“It doesn’t even matter”

It doesn’t matter how good your sex is

It doesn’t matter how strong your head game is

It doesn’t matter when and how much you say you love him and text/call to prove how much you care

Once a man’s interest in you has faded, he’ll be moving on to the next one and you’re left stuck in a place of confusion

You’re left paralyzed by his words, promises and vivid memories replaying in your head, the memories of the good, honeymoon phase. Memories of arguments that were mended by sexual attraction and mutual understanding

You mourn for those days like you mourn for a close relative you’ll never have the chance to see again. 

In my moments that I think of you. I miss every part of you. 

I didn’t think it would hurt this bad, neither was I prepared for the sharp intensity of your words and actions.

Now, I see even my most recent actions don’t phase you. Your mind is set and your heart is fixed, your eyes are looking in a new direction. 

I can’t interfere or alter any of that, so now I’m aware of my state and I have to completely fall back. 

Bitch, sit down. Be selfish!

1. Devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others. (Dictionary.com)

Dear reader,

I’m not trying to offend anyone by citing the dictionary.com definition of selfish. I’m sure you offhand know  what it means or at best are knowledgeable enough to describe it. I just thought for my own sake I’d search for a proper, well worded definition of the famous word. I can’t even lie, I smirked a little after reading the definition and thought to myself, “Yea, this isn’t me.”   

Be selfish: this word and phrase seems to be the recurrent themed advice of my 20s. Almost any adult I’ve confided in so far about the events in my life has repeatedly been advising me to be selfish. But how does one become selfish or learn to master such trait after living a life of generosity?  For most of my life, since I’ve grown to know myself; based on the reminiscent memories my dad shares and my own recollections of childhood, I’ve always shared with others. Barely even thought twice to do it. Yet now, it seems like my days of generosity are catching up to me and left me with the inability to be selfish.  So tell me, how do I acquire this trait, where do I start? Do I need lessons on it? My whole life I’ve always been told it’s important to share, God will reward you for it and people will appreciate your good deeds. I’m neither intending to harp nor am I expecting a personal gold medal or a plaque engraved: Lifetime achievement award of generosity. I’m currently at a cross road now in my life where I need to solely focus on me and my well being without feeling like I need external approval. Also, I’d greatly appreciate if I can happily do things for myself with guilt swooping in ready to kidnap my joy. 

I. Need. To. Be. Selfish 

& in these particular areas of my life to be exact: With my time

My love (Sexual and emotional)

My money 

My ideas 

My talent 

My advice- some ppl are like brick walls, no matter how much you give eventually you’ll see it’s a waste of your time

My style 

My intellectuality 

I’m not sure where to start in this journey of uncovering the myth of ” How to be Selfish. I know THREE places I need to start for sure are time, money and love. 

Love- I have to learn to love myself entirely before I can accept love from someone else.  Having the ability to love myself wholeheartedly  whether or not that person (or people) are in my life. Accepting myself on bad days and still seeing the beautiful  QUEEN in me. Also accepting myself on good days leaving no room for pessimism and negativity to heavily downpour on my sunny days.

 Money- learning to say a firm NO to puppy dog eyes and pleas for financial assistance. Especially since my ass is just as much in need of a little financial boost.  This only deprives me in the long run. 

And finally time- be selfish with my time and stop responding to fuck boys without real agendas, purpose or status of my role in their lives.  I have some changes and adjustments to make. Selfishness, here I come. I hope I take my dosages of selfishness in healthy generous moderation before I abuse it. I wish myself the best. See there’s a start!

Brothers Lessons

As a child, you teased me making sure my skin was tough enough for the cruel world and mean kids.

As a child, you showed me the definition of unconditional love.

As a child, it was you who taught me to fight with my hands, making sure I protected myself at all times. Protect myself from the bullies and people who tried to test me.  

As an adult, It was you who taught me to refrain from physical confrontation (unless necessary) but instead retaliate with my intelligence, wit and words. Always advising me not to allow anyone to be in control of my emotions. 

As a child, you told me to stay away from boys by saying “they only want one thing” Of course I didn’t listen, but i never once forgot what you told me and eventually had to discover the truth on my own. 

As a teenager, when you sensed I was getting a little too rebellious you purposely embarrassed me in front of my friends to keep me in line.

As a teenager you gave me “the talk” which you admitted was awkward and difficult to have at the time. Nonetheless you didn’t shy away from it, and in fact stood your ground. As a pre-teen venturing off into high school you taught me to observe my environment, most importantly the people surrounding me and not become “that girl”.

As a college student, you went against guy code and gave me the emotional insight of a guys mind. Sharing with me that males and females are actually more similar than society tends to make it seem.

As a college graduate you taught me to not undermine my degree and not allow terminations from temporary jobs tarnish my determination. You told me to stop bawling and go back to the drawing board. 

As a college graduate, you told me to hold my head high and be persistent, constantly reminding me “Yolanda you have a Bachelors degree, you’re one step ahead of so many other people”. You told me NOT to give up, but instead continue searching and diversify my options. 

As an adult, you supported my decision either way between packing it all up and returning home or sticking through the difficult times and living on my own.

As an adult, you advised me friendships change, people change, while assuring me it’s all apart of life. All that matters is that I do not allow those external factors to break my spirit and ruin my self perspective or self esteem.

As an adult, you told me there’ll be moments in life where I’ll feel alone, but I have to get through those times to discover and understand myself.

As an adult, you told me I have to create my own happiness by finding my happy song and playing it even on my bad days

As an adult you told me to stop trying to impress others and just focus on myself.

As a child, I wanted to be like you. As a child, I felt protected and safe in your presence.


Now as a woman I want to thank you for every new life lesson you ALL teach me

As a little sister, (the wash belly) and the last of the bunch, I’m not exactly sure what I’ve taught you all. I just hope whatever it is, it was worth it. 

Even if I had the option, I wouldn’t have changed anything.

Thank you for the brother lessons.

A Naturalistas Plea- Sometimes growing is the hardest thing to do

Throughout my entire life, I don’t think I’ve ever had a more infuriating love/hate relationship similar to the one I have with you. 
For years I’ve tended to your needs, by helping you get rid of the excess stress and damage when needed. Mainly because I thought this would be the new, fresh start you deserved. On top of that, I keep you well groomed with the appropriate amount of trimming. I’ve protected you from harsh climates and chemicals. Always making sure you were first, without regard to the price because  your protection is what matters the most. Hell, I’ve even kept my word to never ever ever eveeer allow you to relapse and revert  back to feeding your creamy crack addiction. 

I did my part in this, now it’s your turn to do the same. I’m working non-stop in efforts of tending to your high maintenance needs.

It’s been 4 years, going on 5 and I’m still dealing with your stubborn stagnation. I’ve put up with you for so long. And you’re right, I haven’t always kept my promise or maintained my consistence And I might have even switched my actions a few times, yet not once did I ever dare to give up on you and most importantly OUR journey. 

I want this relationship to flourish but you have to work with me too, not against me. Believe me, when I say this, I want nothing more than for us to grow, but more importantly for you to grow and reach your fullest potential. 

 Come on, it’s been a long time coming, please do this favor for me and 

just 

GROW! 

“If I ruled the world” America’s Youth Edition 

Recently I’ve been on an obsessive binge watching spree of Radio interviews. I have this urge to be educated by the latest media coverage, podcasts, blogs, documentaries and interviews. Whichever source has some vital points and topics of interest, I’m all eyes and ears. At this stage in my life I’m beginning to realize the power young people have, unfortunately, we’re not taking full advantage of it. My older brother and I had one of our weekly lengthy convos, which of course includes his updated on my adorable niece Nila, family drama, his life then maneuavers into politics and the latest news. As much as I despise political conversations, partly because I don’t care for politics, the parties or people in it. Yet, he made a valid point when he spoke about Jamaican parliament and it being controlled by ancient dinosaurs refusing to renounce their place in power which inevitably comes with loss of money and national recognition. Instead of allowing young people to breathe new air into the beautiful land, the dinosaurs denounce the thought of young educated, innovative and forward thinking leaders becoming their successors. Then I thought of American politics and the depressing current state most of us are in right now. As we all know, America has recently announced President-elect, Donald Trump as the upcoming U.S President. Trump, who is the embodiment of traditional patriarchal spokesman as opposed to forward, contemporary and innovative leader which is what America needs. Instead of moving forward and helping the country expand, I think with this decision we just placed America in a time machine.  This week my brother, Carl enlightened me about the powers of the youth. After watching several interviews with prominent entertainers from Jidenna, Trevor Noah, Erykah Badu to Pharrell whom all spoke profoundly about their concern for the nation and encouragement of youth involvement.   After Trump’s expected win, I was hurt and disgruntled with the nations supportive decision of Trump. Nonetheless, I was the least bit of surprised.  Anyways, back to the youth. There’s so much power in our voices and ideas, we have to stop allowing the older generation in politics-not power- from perceiving us as inferior solely because of our age. So many of us, whether college educated or not obtain more knowledgeable than the so called antiquated thinkers with leadership roles. I’ve heard numerous leaders use the cliche phrase, “The Youth is our future” “we do this for the youth” on numerous accounts, yet why won’t anyone give us a open platform to hear our thoughts, view situations from our perspective and allow us to be leaders of the nation? Young people we are innovative thinkers. Young people when we collectively group together and implement our ideas we can reform the ancient systemic ideals. Young people we are the future. the decisions we make now, actions we make and platforms we set will garner a newly improved American nation we always dreamed of. Forget about the past ways and what used to work in America. Strive for new change and national progression. Can’t you see that most of our current issues pertaining to education, racial tension, economic deficit, climate, inequality, m housing, immigration are all just examples of history repeating itself. We’ve been taught from a young age that anything toxic or causes a hinderance towards progression should be evaluated then eliminated. Americas old leaders are unwilling to let go of their positions and traditional views simply because of absolute fear. Fear of the greatness this nation has the potential to achieve without a percentage of their influence.

Out with the old and in with the new.

For a first world country, which prides itself on forward thinkers and leadership, America sure does rely heavily on the past rather than reform old habits and replace them with new ones for the future. American chose a man who is the epitome of the racial ideology and belief of traditional America. 

Personally, I don’t want America to revert back to its racially oppressive, segregated ways. Anyone who wants to read this and decides label me as:

Ant-America

Anti-White

Anti-Trump

Well go ahead, after all your first amendment allows you to think freely and express your opinions freely. I’m not Anti-anything but what I am is, anti-racist and anti-sexism.America needs a change and old traditional ways is not the resolution. Is it re-election time yet? 

Am I ashamed to call on your name?

On Christmas Day, at the dinner table I found myself making the most pitiful and hesitant attempt to gather my family together with an announcement about prayer. I know and I am sure of my personal connection with God, but in the moment I became unintentionally reluctant to call upon him and openly thank him in front of my family. My brother teased me for the sad attempt I made with my low-tone, almost incomprehensible prayer. Interrupted by him and my own embarrassment, I stopped. I quickly turned to my right, where my mom was standing and asked her to bless the table filled with dishes of baked Mac and cheese, vegetables, ham, oxtail and BBQ chicken. I was embarrassed of how I cowered in the midst of my Brother’s innocent mocking. Most importantly I felt ashamed of myself and ashamed for disappointing God.
Now I’m looking back at Sunday, December 25,2016. Feeling haunted by my lack of bravery, my poor attempt of initiative to gather everyone and openly express my gratitude to God. When did I become such a coward?  I call on God in the silence of my mind and speak to God in the loneliness of my room. Yet, here it is I couldn’t even find the courage to announce a simple prayer or orate a simple thank you in front of my family. The family God blessed me with. There’s no shame in praising God or expressing gratitude, so why did I lack courage that day?

Have I become detached from God, that I’m ashamed to call on him in the presence of others? Maybe, I’m just trying to prove to the world that I’m not a pious, religion imposing saint trying to secure my spot in the kingdom of heaven. I’m not overtly Religious. I don’t  practice a specific religious belief. I am spiritual, in the sense that I acknowledge the existence of a higher,powerful being. This may seem confusing to some, however, my belief and preference to associate my self with spiritual belief particularly derives from life experiences. Also, believe it or not I was once a Sunday school regular. I don’t ever try to impose my thoughts or beliefs on anyone. I simply, believe what I believe and I encourage others to do the same. Yet, for some reason I lost my voice that day. 

I’m sure God wasn’t please with me, and now I’m openly expressing my apology, hoping that he forgives me for being afraid and ashamed about acknowledging his presence in my life. 

Dear Solange, Thank you.

Confession: I listen to Solange’s 2016 album, “A Seat at the Table” at least once every week or two weeks. If not the album in its entirety, I play a few tracks throughout the day. It’s just that great and I mean it. This album does something to my soul and allows me to be delve into a creative space. When I listen to the album it’s as if the words trapped in mind are easily brought to life with my pen and poured out onto my notepad. “A Seat at the Table” is empowering, thoughtful, thought provoking and magical. 

This album is authentic and unique in its representation of Black Pride and Pro-Blackness. Solange perfectly pieced this incredible album together with soft melodies and harmonies, meaningful lyrics and powerful words from  featured speakers. Her angelic voice filled with soft notes makes it seemingly effortless for it to match  wit the varying genres on her album. The songs on the album range from a classic R&B vibe to groovy 1970s sound to modern hip-hop. The sound and feel of “A Seat at the Table” is as electic and original as Solange’s fashionable ensembles. I have the feeling that unlike numerous other musicians who work tirelessly to acquire mainstream attention end up derailing from their true musical purpose and message, by selling their self short just to appease listeners. I hold the utmost respect for Solange because I don’t think she purposely made any tracks to appease listeners whether they are Solo fans, not fans or first time listeners of her musical craft. Her popular singles, “Don’t touch my hair” and “Cranes in the sky” lyrically and visually depict what she represents. Solange is not afraid  to show her love for her Black culture and share it with the world. “A seat at the Table” is unapologetic and in no way, I absolutely mean no way is Solange trying to measure up to her  Super-Star Big sis, Queen Bey (Beyoncé). So for all of you Bey Hive supporters and nay Sayers, Solange’s 2016 album proves to the universe that she can and has made a name for herself. Her authentic afrocentricism is untouchable✊🏾. Solange is fearless for this album in various unimaginable ways. For so long, I have listened to Solange’s music, admittedly copied a few hair and fashion ideas from her, but all the while I felt as though she hadn’t acquired the fame or acknowledgement she deserved.  Her sound has always been a little different from other artists, having a sort of 1950s-1970s musical influence. She is truly an old soul in a young modern woman’s body. “A Seat at the Table gives me so much hope for the future. In the midst of every financial set back, job loss, social isolation,emotional withdrawal and self-doubt, this album brought me through each day with a smile and optimism.  Solange has earned the recognition she deserves by creating such an authentic and lyrically beautiful album. I have no doubt Solange’s vast fan base and super stardom will reach all time heights. There are thousands of young people who resonate with what she represents, including myself! 

This album will go down in history as a classic. It’s depth and influence surpasses it just being perceived as a great album with songs. It’s a movement.  It allowed listeners to feel, to think, to understand and to learn. Most importantly, it taught us to love our Blackness regardless of societal perpetuating images and messages of Black cultural hatred.  We are stronger and greater than the world wants us to believe. 

   Thank you Solange Knowles for blessing            2016 with “A Seat at the Table”

Can I Have “A Seat At the Table” of Success?

For so long I’ve feared doing what l love the most. Simply for the fact that I was afraid and I still am afraid no one will support me. I fear the thought of starting something new and lacking a supportive foundation for my endeavors. I commend those for their bravery by just going out and seizing their opportunity without exception of immediate success. I watch some of my closest friends and acquaintances or people I know from my a respectful distance, live by the Carpe diem motto. Each day I wake up and I see another person fearlessly challenging their self and their opposers by succeeding in their endeavors. As I sit back at home just aimlessly scrolling, reading their captions their comments, I can’t help but to wonder, “when will it be my turn?” I hate to admit that a part of me feels envy. Not envious of their success or watching their dreams unfold. Envy in the sense of how did they find the courage or time to dedicate to pursuing their craft. Fashion, entertainment, acting, corporate, modeling entrepreneurs. 
When did their desire to thrive transition from a phrase of,

I hope to… I wish to… I want to…
into, 

I will…I plan to… I am…

Meanwhile my life seems to be at a stagnant halt encompassed with a list of disappointments. 

To my fellow friends who read this, I ask for you to please not interpret my expression as an envious confession but as a revelation of admiration by a close bystander. I was once told by a woman of great intellect and wisdom beyond her years, that God’s timing is not your timing. Therefore we shouldn’t be hasty or anxious. God hears all of our prayers, once you bring your prayer to him, Let go and trust in him. Have faith in his timing. Yet, this was and still is my main issue. I repeatedly pray to God, addressing the same issues unable to let go of my unhappiness. I was dwelling on my dissatisfaction without appreciating the infinite good I obtain. I wasn’t making a way for myself or giving myself time to be happy. I just complained. I know that God hears me, Eventhough I may not know when he’ll answer, my prayer will inevitably be answered when he sees fit. My time will come. For now I’ll treat these cloudy days as lessons In humility and patience. There’s no way I can or will become great woman in one day. 

Friends continue to strive. Family continue to strive. I will cheer you on from the side line. 

I wish all of you success in your endeavors.

Sincerely,

Your Admiring friend

Table for One Please

  
 I sat alone in a chilis restaurant in the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport. Usually I don’t like eating alone in public settings, but today I had to chose between setting my pride aside and eating alone or listening to my stomach talk to me as I sat waiting for my 9 o’clock flight to New York City. 

Inevitably,of course my stomach won the battle. 

I placed the menu down at the take out counter, held my head high, and walked towards the hostess’ podium. She asked “table for one?”

I replied confidently, “Yes, table for one”

She led the way to the two-seater table. I followed. As she placed the menu on the table, I pulled out a seat and sat down. I peered across the small table to the empty seat in front of me and placed my bag there. Obviously, I was not expecting a guest. This was simply a moment between me, myself and I. I had to get used to that for the time being. 

As I sat at my table for ONE. I did everything in my power to avoid eye contact with the other restaurant attendees. The only pupils I looked into belonged to the sweet and busy waitress.  When she left my presence my face returned to the screen of my iphone. I was not doing anything significantly important on my phone, I just used it as a facade to keep me looking busy . I didn’t want to look like a sad loner at my table for one. 

I scrolled through my call logs searching for someone to call. I read text messages and replied. At one point, i reached for my blue JVC headdphones and plugged them into my phone.

 First, I attempted to listen to  music or watch some dance choreography videos on YouTube. But that didn’t work. This always passes the time and maintains my attention. 

Then, I went to Netflix to watch my favorite show, A Different World. That didn’t work either.

Finally, I decided for sure Pandora would work. I tapped the app,waited…waited…and waited, for nothing. That was my last failed attempt. 

Unfortunately, it was just my luck the  wifi access was shitty. 

I realized my limited internet access prohibited me from disengaging myself from the world. I unplugged my headphones, set the phone aside and sat patiently for the waitress to bring my food. 

Sometimes fear can hold you back from so many opportunities and life changing moments.

As I sat there with my delicious Mexican bowl in front of me filled with beans,grilled chicken, rice, and array of vegetables. I realized fear is created by the mind. 

What’s so strange or sad about a woman or any person enjoying a moment with them self? 

Nothing at all! 

With my phone set aside on the table. I ate my food in peace and watched families interact with one another. I wondered about where they were traveling to or from. What kind of occupations they have?

It made me think of my own family and the family I will possibly have in the future. 

As I indulged in the Mexican cuisine I thought and watched. Even made eye contact with a few customers.

Eating alone without the disturbance of a phone wasn’t so awful or terrifying after all. 

At my table for one I had a chance to reflect and watch the world around me instead of hiding behind my phone, pretending to be occupied. 

  
I’ll do this more often. This time I’ll try a different restaraunt or maybe a movie theatre!

Scar woman: Facing Life’s battles

“How di right side ah yuh body suh chop up?”
I’ve always found it easier to make a joke out of my own situation or personal  flaws before someone else points it out and tries to ridicule me about it. I can be pretty sensitive about my appearance, although I try my best not to make it too obvious. I’m sure I’m not the only one, after all we are human, and we all possess some level of self consciousness within us. I just try my best to conceal them, some days I’m quite successful at doing so, while others days… not so much. I like people to see that I’m strong and I’m highly aware of all the physical flaws I have, so in order to mentally and emotionally prep my self for the glares, questions, and teasing, I simply beat everyone else to it by making my own comical relief about them. Before the accident, I had a few scars, that weren’t so obvious or bothersome to me because over the years I learned to accept each one. Ever since the accident, I’ve received more than I bargained for.I should be grateful for the scars, it’s either them or death. And honestly a much as I hate the scars I have, I’d choose them over an eternal nap in a 6 foot hole.
My new scars are all in places that I used to admire and show the most appraisal to: my stomach, my right eyebrow, and underneath my right eye. So when this was said of course in reference to the visible and apparent scars on the right side of my body. The scar on my upper right arm, one on my leg, and the newest additions to the scar collection includes the one on my stomach as well as the cut between my right eyebrow.
I often hear jokes or questions like this about my flaws. Honestly, I’m extremely self-conscious about each of my noticeable stitched scars. It’s bad enough I have to see them everyday and live with each one. I can’t really hide them in certain clothes. To be honest  I’ve stopped trying. I no longer see the significance of hiding what I’ve been through. We all have scars, it just so happens that mine are visible and easier to see. No one is perfect, and I will never be.
My scars do not define me. I won’t allow them to change me or hinder me from getting what or where I want. Scars aren’t the most attractive things to look at, but a person has to offer is so much more valuable than their appearance. I hate these scars. But, if it weren’t for them I doubt I would be the person I am today if I hadn’t endured these painful incidents. It sucks having to be the center of jokes, stared at like a wounded pitiful animal, or constantly being questioned.

I am not my scars.

We’re all mortal beings, which means the bodies we are in are only temporary, therefore we are expected to return it when our time is up. Words can be shallow and hurtful, but I believe my soul and personality are worth more, than attractive scar-less flesh. There was a point in my life I allowed fear and opinion of others to prohibit me from wearing any type of clothing that would reveal the slightest bit of my stitched scars. Not anymore.
The reaction I hear about my scars aren’t new or shocking. Those who are brave enough just stare at them, as if I can’t see their eyes beaming at my scar. They ask questions like:
How did that happen?
Does it hurt?
Did it hurt?
How many do you have?

Life happened. At that time it hurt, but no longer does. In total I have 5.

MESSAGE For Scarred Women:
Your wounds may be visible, never allow your wounds to damage your spirit. You are and will be amazing.

Signed with love,
A physically scarred young woman.