Love is…..First Take

Sooooo so much to unwrap. Let me say that I hate to be the one to ruin the first episode because maybe you wanted to watch it later. This show although you may read it on the blogs is worth your own watch. It can’t really be placed in a box although I will do my best to give you my first thoughts.

Messy

So my thoughts even though I watched the preview show is that it was messy but not in a ratchet way. No disrespect to any reality show. This was real but it wasn’t the man finds a woman, falls in love and then bam they run into issues, solve it and live-in bliss. This was based on two individuals, Nuri and Yasir who were already connected with other people and other energy coming together. Connected is code switch for they had other men and women they were already messing with!

A few nuggets Nuri, is connected to several men and at the same time. She is dating the way dating should be where you juggle but you don’t have to give up and the goods. This was super refreshing. Most times women are told that this is taboo but Nuri is doing what she wants. She has a mother who supports her and encourages her to do what she will until she is ready to settle down. Nuri’s mom walks in on Nuri while she’s laid up with one of her work boos. She’s better than me. Say what you will but as a grown woman I’m not about to be dry humping a man who I’m dating! This might be why I have 3 kids?! 🤷🏾‍♀️. Momma as encouraging as she was needed to have her key taken since she came in that house while Nuri was laid up and spills the tea and gets all in their sexual or lack of sexual relationship. The only issue I had was with Nuri wasn’t that she was messing with too many men but that some of them was one of her work buddies. Dating a man where you work can be an issue and super delicate. It’s not for everyone. I too dated a man at work back in the day and talk about super slippery slope?! Don’t do it!

Nuri meets Yasir while at a bookstore by Yasir’s friend who first found Nuri attractive. They go their separate ways until one year later they meet up at the exact bookstore. Timing is everything and the reality is that everything that Yasir is everything a mother would have taught her daughter not to fool with. Like my mom Yasir got too many “ain’t gots.” He is literally walking around in his drawls. He ain’t got nothing but a dream and most women aren’t willing to unpack that type of baggage. We are conditioned to keep it moving and avoid the Yasirs of the world. I think that is good advice except when the connections is this strong and you try to make it work. I want to see how this dynamic alone continues.

Nuri on the other hand seemingly has her stuff together. So how this breaks down will be interesting. Both Nuri and Yasir do have amazing mothers. I’ve already touched on Nuri’s mom but Yasir’s mom is equally a force to be reckoned with. Immediately I didn’t get mama’s boy vibes but the love that most mama’s boys are known to share she gives him that without overstepping. She lets Yasir know that he’s going to have to keep working hard and that she believes in him and his dreams.

Timing

As I stated above their timing couldn’t be more off but so magically right. Yasir is living with his live in girlfriend and baby mom Ruby. He gives Nuri his number to the house and this was before cell phones and even so if they had been out he was too broke to have one. Nuri calls the house. Wait!! What?! Yes. Listen please inject every black woman clap because no way you can call the house for someone’s man and then said man leaves the house and comes back home at 4am and live to tell your story! Not a one!!!! So I knew at that moment Yasir was going to be put out and that it would not end well.

There are a lot of deep things to unroll such as statements about light-skinned women and long hair and God forbid they cut it. Men and their standard of beauty. It is definitely brought up. This thought process of beauty and what is acceptable I will definitely unravel as time goes on.

Love is Highlights I Related to

  • The newness of love when you talk for hours and loss concept of time is so magical. Just that heightened sense of new love is nostalgic
  • Having conversations with your girlfriends trying to get clarification only to turn around and do what you want or feels is right for you is something most have been through
  • Trying to figure out dating and feeling lost in the sauce
  • Realizing in dating and in life that what you make time for is where you are
  • Love can be a saving grace

So this is legit a surface reaction to the new series Love is. As this series continues there will be many more moments. I will say that the story is relatable and has real moments that if you just live or have lived a little you can find yourself in.

Can we shout out the playlists and shout out to those 90 classics television shows and music?! Downloads will be up tonight! To help you here is the playlist to Love is on your favorite stream:

Love is weekly playlist

Also I said I would live tweet so to my surprise I would get a reply by Will Catlett who is none other than Yasir himself!! Night made!!

So if you haven’t watched it. Watch it! Let me know what you thought and of course stay with me as I will be live tweeting each episode! It’s that good so trust me you won’t be disappointed!!

Love is…..you fill in the blanks weekly by tuning into Own on Tuesdays at 10/9c

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Acting Real Focused

Why is it that people tell you to reach for your goals? Simple if you keep going even if you fall, one day it will pop! The second you do you’re acting funny, cute, or like you got it like that. No the part your missing is I’m acting real focused. I know where I am going and I’m striving to get there. I can’t stop to make you feel better that I stayed in your lane. Either get a new lane or come up! Simple and plain! Also you have no idea what a person goes through behind the scenes in order to make their dreams come true. Hard work and dedication comes at a price always!

Who is going to push for your dreams more than you? Not one soul. Not one person is in charge of your journey like you are. You have to keep trying and keep going. There is an idea inside of you so keep on pushing until someone who needs to hear it does.

Do you know even in blogging there are moments when you snag that national account and moments when you don’t. There are moments when thousands read your work and days when they don’t. Never give up! Persistency is how you win! So this is why I keep going. I started my blog 3 years ago to a crowd of a few and now that crowd has grown and continues to grow. I’m more determined to keep going until I get to work with the likes of Essence or Mother Oprah. Why? I know I can reach the goal and I know that goal it’s attainable.

So whatever goal you have, crush it! Don’t quit or let the folks see you sweat! Use your voice to get the folks together and press on!Your yes is on its way!

Summer Be Good to Me!

Welp in a few days Summer will officially make its mark.  There a few things we can do to ensure we have a great one.  So here are some ways to get Summer going:

Make Me Over

Ladies, all of my ladies, do me a favor and check your make up bag.  Have you checked your bag to make sure that you are getting rid of a few things you might need to switch up.  I know there are a few things that we just absolutely love and don’t want to part ways but don’t let your makeup bag be the cause of increased acne breakouts or other facial issues.  Please let it go or replace it.  Trust me your face will thank you.

Wardrobe

It’s the time for sun dresses, shorts, swimsuits! Who isn’t excited?  There are all of these items in every size.  So you can be cool and cute all Summer long no matter what size you are in.  Enjoy it! Trust me once the heat is gone and the snow is back on the ground you are going to be sad.  Let me say especially to my ladies, there are way too many options to be comfortable for whatever you are doing so there is absolutely NO reason to be in these streets in your pajamas.  I do NOT care how they feel, wear some clothes.  Real clothes!  Thanks the world would appreciate it.  Also back in the day I was taught not to come outside in a head scarf, now we can wear them fashionably.  There are a thousand YouTube videos in how to tie one so that you can match it up and wear it flattering.  Do not come outside in the regular you slept in your scarf look.  Thanks again.  We got to care about how we walk out the house not only due to the fact that you may run into someone you know but just because self-love causes us to walk differently.

Know your Arena

If you are going to concert dress for one. This could go under wardrobe but I wanted to make it separate.  You can’t be at Brunch with sports clothes unless you are going to a game. I know we can do what we want, but know your arena.  Would you go to a wedding in jeans?  No! Then be sure that you are in the right arena with the correct clothing.  It makes a difference and not only that we live in a take a picture world and I remember when I was going through depression that I would be out looking a hot mess. I wasn’t dressed for the right arena and that sent me further in a tail spin. It happens trust me.  So research and use Pintrest.  Pintrest will actually align up some suggestions if you do not know.  Have some fun with your looks and be fly all Summer long.

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Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

Summer Parties

This could be in the form of a cookout or a good party, make it your best one.  If you are the one who is throwing one, pick a theme and commit to it.  Nothing is more fun than a good Summer party with all of the frills.  Also realize you can be super creative and stay in budget.  Trust me when I have a theme even for my kids, I find ways to keep my budget on point but nail it every time.  Have some fun and make it a great party.  Also drinks are important non alcoholic and alcoholic. You can really find some new ways to drink a refreshing drink that makes you feel good and wow a crowd.  Do your research.  Also if you choose to consume alcohol do so conservatively and use Uber or Lyft or a trusted friend or family member for a ride.  DUI are super expensive.  Don’t let that Summer turn up cost you or someone else their life. Have fun and be responsible.

Get Out

There are many events in your city or town that is free.  Please explore and get out. Do not sit around salty all Summer long complaining about how there’s nothing for you to do. Get on  Google and find something to do.  There may be events in towns and cities near you to explore as well.  All I am saying is the boredom that kicks in by adults are self inflicting. You have the choice to sit and be miserable or be creative.  If you are single and are saying well I have no one to go with, I understand.  I used to say that too.  One part of doing better socially is sometimes pushing past that and getting out.  It’s scary I won’t lie.  However be open to meeting new people while out.  Even married my husband hates all activities that require you to be outside in the sun or around bugs.  Every festival that I want to attend I used to not go or break him down to go.  Now yes he will go, but the ones that he won’t I have learned to get out and have a great time.  One time I went somewhere and eventually he showed up.  I refuse to not attend these types of events.

Solo Trips

Yes I took a big solo trip in April but I also take solo day trips or beach days.  These are important as getting together with my girls, family time, and baecations.  You got to know you and what you like.  The best way is to push past being uncomfortable and explore.  I love it NOW.  I will not pretend that it’s always been this way because that is a lie.  However EVERY time I have come home I have been better. I do NOT answer any non emergency calls while I am out.  That is my time and my family respects it.  If I am on my phone the whole time, when am I having my time?  Reserve your time and don’t let anyone infringe on it and that’s family and friends.  The only thing that should happen is confirmation that you are safe and if an emergency then yes a call.  Your time is your time.

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Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

My Summer Playlist

So here is my personal Summer Playlist.  I love music and nothing is better than having that AC on or having the windows down and have the base jumping:

Nice; The Carters

Summertime; DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince

New Rules; Dua Lipa

Nice for What; Drake

Wait; Maroon 5

Rock with you;  Michael Jackson

I like it; Cardi B

This is America; Childish Gambino

Can’t stop the feeling; Justin Timberlake

Big Poppa; Notarious B.I.G

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My Summer Must Haves

Pool time-tan lines are made at the pool or beach. I love tan lines because they remind me that I have enjoyed a little bit of life.  I look forward to them and allowing all of this melanin to pop!

Ice-cream sundae bar: yes this can be done all year-long but nothing is better than eating it and stepping up my ice-cream sundae bar in the cutest of dishes

Outside Movies: in Philly they do series of movies for all age ranges throughout.  You will find me at one or more of these in the city

Beach day-self explanatory

Summer Fests-another thing that I love about Philly is that all summer long there is a festival for many reasons and many of them come ready to go with alcohol. I love the ones that are kid friendly since I have kids.  We all have fun, it wears them out, mommy and daddy can have our time or have a quiet house afterwards.  It’s a win, win!

Cookouts-who doesn’t like grilled food?  It’s the best and couple that with some awesome Summer salads and you got a good meal.  Nothing like getting together with a few folks and having a great time while the kids play!

So break out the sunscreen and fill up the water jugs it is happening.  Today alone it’s almost 100 degrees and the smile on my face can’t be wiped off.  So bring on the sweat, the fun, the sun, and all of the things to do. I will be hitting the streets and blogging it along the way.  Enjoy this season!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Message: A Different Light

Good Sunday morning to you all. I hope one you had or are having a great weekend and two you are finding ways to renew. One of the things we are talking about today is the phrase “I see them in a different light.” This is to suggest that whomever you were or are dealing with has changed and is no longer the way you remember them. It’s almost like the person has done a “switch.”

I would suggest that some people could possibly switch or that maybe you were unwilling to change the focus of your lens. You may not have been willing to see the special person in your life in a certain way and therefor excused their behavior. I have had this happened too many times to count. You simply don’t even consider the opinions of others and will only see them how you like them. So regardless of their negative qualities you simply bypass them and continue until…… they bite you, hurt you, show “their true colors,” etc.

Their true colors were on display the entire time your willingness to be blind is what handicapped you. If you have someone tell you about how a person is, take what they say into consideration of the potential of the person. This means be aware they may behave this way but do not simply say they aren’t capable. Doing this allows you to be honest about the person you are dealing with and make the decision to remain in their life. This also makes for when the “switch” happens for you to take the responsibility of not playing victim. You saw the negative potential and you still entreated or trusted them. Trust can be broken. It hurts. It’s devastating depending on the level of relationship, but sometimes we play victims to things we were willful participants and we need to be honest with at least ourselves.

The same light that drew you to a person was there to shine the light on them as a whole. You chose not to see all of their sides. You connected to the parts that benefited you. That is the honest assessment. So now that you have been bitten by their full personality you must make the decision to withdraw or continue. Do not let the ones who stand by saying I told you so push you and don’t let your pride of not wanting them to be right make you continue either. I’ve been wrong about friends. I’ve been guilty of continuing relationships with people I knew wasn’t right. These are choices. Honestly the longer you stay the worse the bite will be. True colors are always present you just have to take the sunglasses of selection off. The more you blind yourself into acceptance the worst the hurt will be.

Now the flip is you can just be friends or relationship with bad folks and you see them clearly and you just going to ride it out. This too is a choice. I am finding too if you make this choice and then person doesn’t belong in your life, events will continue to happen that will push your hand. You can’t improve yourself and not take accountable the circle you keep. Either you and your circle are going no where or one or more in that circle is in constant inner turmoil until they weed out the negativity. It’s like fighting yourself to be with a person or group of people and it WILL bother you until you do yourself a personal justice and end things.

You can let nature take its toll. Nature will always give you a way out. You can naturally end a relationship. You no longer like the same things so when the opportunity comes simply decline the invitation. The more declines let’s the person know you’re not feeling them. Also conversations will began to lack. One of the things that irk me but have been a blessing is “k.” You are in a relationship with someone and all they give is a k or one word answers and you’re trying to talk via text or even regular conversation is my ultimate pet peeve. There’s blessing in it. The more irritated I get by it the more I just communicate less. How can you be a friend and you’re excitedly attempting to talk to a person who is dry? That is a turn off and eventually I just share less. Nature will take its course!

So if you’re in constant inner struggle over a person who’s true sides have been showing you lack luster relationship or they have been “switching” take the time to be honest with yourself about what part you have played and how long you have allowed this to continue? Don’t stay just to prove someone else wrong. Don’t stay just because starting over would be an issue. Let nature take its course. Also you may have to end it too. You may have to do what you should have done week, months or years ago and that’s walk away!! It’s no longer serving you! You deserve to be in relationship with like minded folks. People who when you speak to them make you feel inspired. When you are around make you happy about life even when life is not only giving you lemons but feels like it’s giving you spoiled lemons.

Sunday Message: “What She Said”

So today is turning out not quite how I had in mind. I’ve finally ate breakfast yet it’s clearly late lunch time right now. I woke up with the worst headache. I haven’t had a migraine like this in quite awhile. I’ve noticed my hormone levels have been all over the place. Thankfully I have my first “yearly”check up since hysterectomy surgery, tomorrow.

I was looking at my Facebook memories and a picture came up that was so innocent but made me do a little thinking. I started thinking about my past dating life and being single in general. Let me pump all of your breaks now I am not wishing or hoping for any old thing! I am not taking applications, my home life is super secure. But I thought about the woman I was. I would say I was strong and confident. I did what I felt like I wanted to a point.

I was talking to a friend and she asked me at any time while dating did I feel like I had regret. I told her the truth overall no of course. However individual situations many times. I definitely struggled with wondering what everyone was saying or thinking of me. I’ve only come to the knowledge now that folks will say whatever about you or even make up what they want so you have to just live.

I remember one time when I was visiting some friends in Atlanta a man I had been romantically connected to wanted to rekindle but I was so caught up in what those who were with me thought I declined. He told me I would go back home and be “wifed up” and he was almost right to the point. I’m not saying anything would have come from that encounter but there’s no way of counting that out. Again I’m not in a what could have happened mode but as my friend and I talked there were other missed opportunities that I missed aligning my life with the crowd.

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I missed job opportunities too! I got a job offer in Omaha and didn’t take it because I was worried about leaving my family and feeling I would be isolated from friends. I wasn’t thinking about how much of a life I could have created. My dad was like girl get out and enjoy life. But nope I was like I’ll stay.

Listen, having people around is great. Creating a new life is scary. Taking a chance on love, can be nervous however don’t ever make a decision on the basis on what others would think. Whatever the “she” is speaking, saying, or thinking, it only affects them not you. I’ve missed on things because my inability to separate support from permission. I didn’t need permission but during that time I wasn’t able to distinguish the two and set boundaries.

Everyone is talking about “living their best lives.” I’m doing that now. I’ve wasted time and didn’t enjoy moments due to not being able to understand what that meant. I didn’t have the capacity to shut the naysayers out. I didn’t have the capacity to say regardless of what my entourage thinks, I’m making a decision on what I want.

Whatever the “she” may be whether a friend, a strong glare from a stranger, your church family, a boyfriend or even a potential dater, be sure to balance what they say to what you want and be able to live with yourself after the fact. Anything that may create a regret means don’t do it. I wouldn’t go back to that life now but I can learn and teach my girls and my son not to let other whispers stop you. You can’t live your best life under the guidance of hoping for acceptance from everyone around you! You may not get it. You better be sure you can accept you. You are okay with the outcomes. You are okay with walking away! What “she says” means nothing if it doesn’t align to what you say or what you want! Remember support isn’t permission. Give yourself permission to be happy! Define what that means to you!

Ask Toi: How Do you Tell your Friends to Watch their tone with you?

You have to just tell them.  This notion of allowing folks in the name of friendship speak to you anyway suggests that you are keeping them even in an unhealthy state just to keep them around.  That’s the same notion used in some romantic relationships just for the sake of not being alone. I know you want to preserve relationships and of course blowing up at everyone is frowned upon but real friends should be open enough to speak the truth in love.  I think sometimes we forget that keeping real can go left sometimes and you must have a little finesse when you deal with other humans.  People have things in their life and on their heart that not everyone needs the in your face approach or the let everything happen approach.  There is a balance but you are the ONLY one who control that.

From what I gather you have allowed a build up go on way too long and you need to address the relationship as a whole. It sounds more to do with if that friendship should stick than it does with tone.  As adults you aren’t going to necessarily get it right all the time, but friendships are a choice unlike family.  If you choose this relationship in more than one way, then you need to find out what attracted you to it in the first place.  Keep in mind that not everything can remain.  So that means that there are times when relationships can run its course.  You don’t sound as if you are just someone in a tiff with a friend but more you are recognizing the unhealthy part of the relationship.  You have two choices, keep some control of how you allow folks to speak to you, or let it continue while you get frustrated and mad that you didn’t speak up.  I would suggest you speak up when things are being said and if that doesn’t work, you may need to figure out the extent of the relationship and let it take its natural course.  Also you have to own some responsibility.  I have had friends who for various reasons have crossed lines, but it’s not the habitual line stepper that was the issue it was my issue for not making others respect me.

Real Love: Friendship Edition

So I have been documenting my journey during various stints of my life.  I have talked extensively about moving to Philadelphia from Lancaster and how hard it was for me to adjust to life in general. I STRUGGLED. There were a lot of reasons why.  I had great friends at home in Lancaster.  I was newly pregnant with baby number 2 and a toddler as I moved into my fiance at the time’s home.  It was too much at one time and I was trying to act like it wouldn’t be a problem.  In my mind I am like I got this.  However I didn’t have it and I was too self-centered to reach out to others to tell them the REAL of how much I had been suffering but feeling like someone should just know what is wrong and rescue me.  Guess what?  I had to rescue myself.  Many didn’t know. I didn’t open up and I didn’t talk about it either.

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One of the areas that suffered the most was friendships.  All of them took a hit.  Not one was okay in my eyes.  It wasn’t that friends left me because they didn’t.  I lost the access that I once had or at least I felt that I had.  Do you know how hard it is to maintain friendships even an hour and a half away?  When you can’t drive as often as you want due to the hassle of having a toddler and a growing belly?  Listen, I didn’t invite any friends over because anybody who knows me and knows my ambitions would think (in my head) that I had accepted the very bottom by moving in with my fiance and his mom.  Now let me be clear that is how I FELT.  There was nothing bottom about taking on a plan to make sure you are secure and making sure that things aligned well as long as YOU have a self-care plan and I had ZERO!  I never let folks know not even my parents what my plan was and how having that plan is what has caused me to have a better life even now.  I just moved and acted like I was crazy in love and I was but it was a purpose for it all.

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So after I had my son and even after the birth of my youngest and last child I struggled to get out and make friends.  I am not one of those people who believes in having a thousand friends instead I believe in smaller solid circles.  To build a circle I compared them to friendships I had for over 20 years and they can’t be on that same level.  However after some self-care, some get over yourself, after some mental relief I have been able to establish some new friendships and they are proving to be something so powerful.  My new friendships have NOT replaced old ones but they are showing me that you can open your heart and life to another person and be whole.  I have learned that I can be the friend I want others to be towards me.  In that I have learned that the love will not look the same either.  We have to be willing to put it out and weed the wrong ones out.  That is a process.  It doesn’t happen overnight.

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One of my friends I will call her K is amazing.  I didn’t realize I needed her in my life until she came in and I allowed her the space.  I find that she is super refreshing and super encouraging.  If anybody would follow our daily videos or texts they would call us weirdos. I find that the love that she gives adds to me and makes me want to be a better woman and mother.  She checks me when I need it but her approach isn’t to cut.  I have had friends who kept it too real but didn’t have the finesse to be able to know where I was at moments and it would hurt my feelings.  I also didn’t speak up about the hurt either. I didn’t want the backlash. That is not a real friendship if you can’t say hey you are doing something that isn’t sitting well with me and I need you to stop.  I am glad that I am open to the kind of love where someone gives me the love I need and not the love they think I need and isn’t willing to change. I have had several budding relationships in the last 5 years and they are ALL super amazing.  They all have taught me so much about myself.  They all are a blessing.  I don’t have to pick and choose love I can have it all and having girlfriends in my life is necessary and beautiful at the same time!  This notion that having girls who are friends to avoid cattiness is ridiculous.  That only happens when you choose the wrong ones.  I have had to cut a few of those off too in the last 5 years or even just let nature take control and not see them as much too.  My friends old and new are making me better in this thing called life.  I am honored to have each of in my life.

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