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!

Self-Care Your Week

So I told you about how last week was pretty rough. Between me not realizing that camp was delayed for a week to working from home, last week was tough. So I looked at what I did that worked and what didn’t work and came up with a few things we all can do to self care our week:

1. Drink plenty of water: today in Philly it will be almost 100 degrees no need in not taking care of your health so drink up!

2. Take a break: go outside that’s the one saving grace that made the difference last week. Being outside helps your mood

3. Go offline: I love social media but take a break even if it’s for an hour

4: Mind your business: this should be done often but the amount of negativity that we take on always stirring the pot of someone else’s lives can be better used in focusing on ways to improve ours.

5: Work out: you will lose some unwanted pounds as well as relieve stress

6: Get some sleep: watching television is great but sitting up every night while it watches you is not. Going to bed earlier a few nights a week does amazing things for your morning

7: Eat Right: overeating or even under eating is a problem. Make sure you also eat more fruits and vegetables your body will thank you

8: Read: take a magazine with you or a book and when you have down time while you’re taking that social media break, read!

9: Favorite Drink: sometimes having your favorite drink will make a great difference. Now that it’s hot Pintrest some Summer drinks and enjoy something cold and refreshing

10: Plan-setting brings into place will not make your week magical but it can cut down on a lot of stress of having to find things

Whatever you do make sure that you find little things that make your day and week that much better. You can do a thousand one things such as lighting candles, going to a favorite spot, etc

Choose to set the bar high on making sure you aren’t simply getting through the week but that you spend some time being good to yourself.

Have a great Monday and a great week!!

Father’s Day Pain

As we approach Fathers Day we must talk about the pain of the day. There are a lot of amazing fathers that have passed away. It makes days about honoring a father hard just like it was for Mother’s Day. It’s unbearable feeling for many. The pain of the day has to be talked about because it’s unsettling and real.

Absentee Father

Unfortunately the way life is set up it makes it easier for men to be absentee fathers. Like the old folks would say mamas baby, fathers maybe! This is the time to note that not all men run from their responsibilities. There are some outstanding men who not only honor themselves and their children but some men who are stand up men and father and raise children who are not theirs biologically. Kudos to you wonderful men and we will be celebrating you all week. However there are children who regardless of having male influences in their lives or having a mother who attempts to play both roles still need and long for their fathers love, admiration, and respect.

I don’t know why a man would leave. I can’t answer for men in that regard but I can answer for the children who are stuck between this adult world and child life. Normally there is never an explanation. They have no choice to rely on what they are being told. Depends on their mother if they are told the real story without bias. I hear men saying well that child is being tainted by their mother. You are right to a point except often times when the father leaves it opens the door. Let’s not act like there are mothers who use their kids as pawns. You can open your local paper and read how some kids are even being murdered because the father won’t comply to the mother’s demands. We know it exists. However a child can’t understand and as that child gets older they will continue to see the absence of the father as something that is about them. The child thinks I’m not good enough! Kids need both parents!

Fathers raising other families

This could mean that the original set of parents have broken up, the father has left, etc and instead of that man keeping and maintaining a relationship with his kids, he leaves and starts a whole new family. This is the ultimate disrespect to a child. What was it about that new family that made it okay for you to leave and never look back. No calls on birthdays. No time spent on holidays. Nothing. But a new life with a new family and the father that your child longs for is now being done elsewhere. It’s heart breaking. Even grown kids feel a sense of pain.

Single moms as fathers

I will say this and I know a small amount of folks will get mad. Kudos to the single moms doing all the work. You are not mom and dad you are mom doing it alone. Your child may respect the hustle but they still want their father. You can give a child everything but it will never erase the void of that father. The child can even live a settled life but hear me clearly my sister, your child will still want their dad. It’s hard. The pain of trying to make sure that child doesn’t miss a beat only to think your child is not affected by the absence of that father is setting yourself up.

Salute to my single mothers. You get a bad rap! There are a million reasons why you are single and raising a child or children alone. You have the world on your shoulder and you’re doing the best you can! My hat off to you but do understand your child needs their dad. You might try all you can to get the father to participate and he won’t. You can’t make him! Love on your child but do understand how your child feels. I heard a mom tell her child “you don’t need that fake ass father of yours. I’m all you got.” I understood the pain. I get it! That’s how you feel when that father makes promises and leaves you with the pain from that child and the pain you feel everyday with no help! That child even if he or she understand will still want their dad. It’s natural. Thus the pain on the day!

What can fathers who have placed pain do?

Attempt to be there! Apologize and show up. I would rather know my dad cane and tried and was stopped than to think he just knew I existed and just kept living a life as if I was never apart of it. If you have a child then do right by that child. Do not tell me that the mother of your child makes it hard so you stopped only at her. Yes the courts do make it easier for women then men but if you stop at that you are to blame. Does it cost? Yes! But stop at nothing to be apart of that child’s life. There are organizations that assist men in being in their kids life. If you can google the little dumb stuff that we all google, google information to assist in being involved. Any reasons you try to give me will never be acceptable not to me but to your child. End of the day that child is the one losing.

As we continue to celebrate Father’s Day we will talk about all of the pain associated around the day. We will hit it strong and make sure we balance the pain along with the joys of being a father. I know how being loved on by your father and how that love pushes you through relationships or even with your own kids.

The Importance of Preserving Yourself; Burnout Edition

Call it self-care or the ability to not lose your mind in this crazy and sometimes evil world! The way things are setting up you better figure out how to be your own best friend, confidant, and master cheerleader.

Trust me the opposite of mastering the above skill sets will have you drained. You will have given to everyone and everything and never really reach your own personal plateau. Life will be so mundane. You will look around and ask yourself why?! This my friend is called burn out. Burnout is failure. Burnout is devastating. It doesn’t mean you can’t turn it around but it’s a temporary “L.” You will feel it! It’s hard not to if you have allowed yourself to get to the point of a burnout! The range of emotions that are felt at that moment of burn out can go from sorrow to anger and even a combination of a gambit of stuff in between. What’s the solution?

Acceptance

This is the stage where you realize the snapping out, the anger, the moodiness is for a reason. Usually you would have to be willing to even entertain that maybe deep down maybe everyone ain’t telling the same lie. You have given a reason to everything that points away from you but then you realize maybe what people are saying is true. Maybe I am hard to deal with! Maybe I am being a nag! Maybe just maybe I should look into me and work my life so maybe instead of living a life of calamity I may be able to muster up a better situation.

Make a Plan

You have accepted that you have a little work to do now you need a plan to help you overcome. This means that you will need to be clear in what you need to be successful and turn around this burn out. Often times it may mean unplugging from social media. You could be spinning out of control due to you comparing yourself and your life to others. Also often times especially family who you know their lives off-line and knowing they don’t match their online persona actually can tail spin you. The frustration alone can make you burn out.

Another plan is to take a break. Did you know even the most on point person needs a break. Oh I know you can’t afford it. Money or the lack thereof is the number one reason to not plan a vacation. I know for a fact that if you sat down with your money and looked at your spending by writing things down you can find some areas to cut. If you’re going to be broke at least be broke saving money for a purpose. Also you can plan an amazing staycation. There are ways to be creative and get a break, take a nap, and refuel. I love a good to do list. However with learning balance I’ve learned is that you don’t have to solve all of problems in a day. Start your list but don’t be overcome by one. You will see the light if you keep pushing! However push and take a breather too!

Whatever you decide to do. Take a break and make a plan! People are over worked and underpaid fulfilling the desires and needs of those around them all while operating from an empty bank and I don’t just mean money. One of the things that my new boss has stressed is the importance of balance. He makes sure his team understands that. There is no need to make a sick day, just take day and refuel. This means that he supports self-care for his team and he believes it’s the one way to increase productivity. It’s true!! Apply the same principles to your life. Sometimes the dishes can wait. You can tell a family member no. You can pickup things and leave things too!

Daily Women Crushers

As we continue to celebrate women’s history month, I want to shout out all women who are crushing their dreams.  Wednesdays are designated as #WCW or women crush Wednesday.  However daily women are failing, dusting themselves off and getting back out there and making it all happen.

Single women who are lonely and longing for relationship and finding ways to enjoy their single days and taking trips, starting businesses, becoming sound individuals without someone in their company. Those are daily women crushers.  They want to be with someone but aren’t allowing the lack thereof to stop them.  Until love finds them, they are out here making life happen for them under their own guidance, salute.

To the married woman who gives daily to her husband and attempting to be united, you are a daily woman crusher.  People think that marriage is a cure-all but it’s not.  It’s hard work to put someone else above your own.  It’s a union that actually makes you confront a lot of who you are or who you think you are.  Marriage is being there for someone and trying to keep the spark going regardless if that woman is tired or not, salute.  FYI the same should be done from her husband towards her.  If you find you are in a one way marriage, there are a few talks you and your husband need to have.

To the mother who is tired and feeling overwhelmed and still continues to get up before her house, getting things in order, and making it look effortless, you are a daily woman crusher.  To the days when those around you takes you for granted, and forget to say sorry or appreciate what you done, salute to you.  Salute to you when you lose yourself and literally have to pick yourself up before you can give again, salute to you.  Salute to you as you endure your body going through hell and back to deliver, salute to you.  Salute to you as you almost sometimes die on those tables waiting to hear that first cry, salute to you.  Salute to the women who have lost life many times and feel like their worth is tied to being a mother and can’t.  We salute you.  Just know that is a real pain. A real fear.  A real cry.  A real emptiness and I stand behind you and with you.

To the business woman who has to have her work checked twice just because she doesn’t have the same “member” as those on her team, salute to you.  Salute to the woman who is making moves after she was denied financing, salute to you.  Salute to the woman whose ideas failed many times before it took off, salute.  Salute to the woman who while accomplishing her goals, had the very folks who now want to stand with her after the fact and those same ones laughed, talked about, and ridiculed for that venture to pop, salute!

To the woman who has or is facing many demons and finding herself alone as she pushes towards getting her life together.  The ones that seem and feel like constant failures while others around her is flourishing.  The ones who say why not me too but they seem to be saying this only to themselves and there is no one around who understands you.  We salute you.  We get it.  We understand because as a woman regardless of what we have all accomplished we have all been public goals and secret failures.  Trust the process, understand that it will work out. Even in the dark, there will be light.  At the second you go to fail, you find a solution. At the moment you decide today is the day you will give up, light shines.  You are purpose and you were created for purpose.  The world has something that you have inside of you.  We salute the process of growing in the dark with limited water and resources.  The best flowers sometimes have thorns but are the prettiest in the end.  Don’t give up!

Women’s Month, Year of the Woman: Erica M!

This Year the theme is the Year of the Woman.  This is not a theme that I made up but is the theme of Woman’s Month all around the world.  We have celebrity women who are speaking up and this is so awesome to have.  Now I feel like I need to give the voice of the everyday woman.  The single mother trying to make ends meet, the married woman trying to balance it all, the career woman trying to make it up the ladder without having to drop her panties along the way, and all of the women in between. Women are beautiful and strong beings.  Like Beyoncé says, we have the kids and get back to business.  Women can do it all, have it all, and this year and beyond are looking out for the next generation so our daughters and granddaughters don’t have to say #METOO!
In addition to that we have to showcase regular women because we have a voice and power too.  We are women who have been married, some divorce, some single, some moms who are all making their marks in this world.  They are giving back to their communities, keeping families together, raising families with and sometimes on their own, completing college, making their and other people around them better.
Erica M.is the oldest of 3 siblings, a single mom of two daughters ages 16 and 13, raising their 19-year-old sister which she considers her my own (oh yes the headaches :).  She currently works for a financial institution going on 23 years and attends college a few months shy of earning her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in hospitality. Erica is a social bean and loves to spend time with family, friends and herself. Yes she enjoys time with herself including scheduling days off to do some of the things she enjoys.
Some times as we get wiser we often think back on the times of our younger days.  We wonder what lessons could we go back and tell our younger selves.  I asked Erica what her lesson would be to a young Erica back in her day:
I would tell my younger self not to rush through life, marriage and family. All these things will come in perfect timing. Enjoy your childhood go play in the park instead of worrying why your parents are fighting. Enjoy being a teenager and do teenager things like hang out with your friends, focus in school and don’t worry about adult things and in your young adult years explore and venture out don’t worry about putting your life on hold for others. 
Being a mom myself I often ask myself during times when I am with them what lessons I want them to get.  My daughters are young so of course I try to keep it in perspective but I asked Erica what she wanted her daughters to know in life, love and career.
Life – It flies by very quickly and has many stages so take hold of the present and worry about tomorrow when it gets here.
Love – Don’t rush, force or look for it because it can lead to failure. Love is natural and will happen when you least expect it. 
Career – Let your heart and passion lead you to career of choice not money. Go hard to be the best in that field regardless of what it is.  
So what has Erica accomplished so far:
  • Purchased her home at the age of 19
  • When back to school during a separation with my then husband
  • Bouncing back from having to file for bankruptcy
  • Having the means to support my daughters alone
  • Working for the same company for 23 years and I am only 40 years old
  • Instilling in my daughters the meaning of faith
  • Working my way up to a Co-lead for a team at church
  • Stayed focused on my weight loss. About a little over a year ago I was a size 24 (extremely tight) and now I am wearing a 18 -20.
First of all congrats on all of your accomplishments Erica! Let me just add from this list, there was failure. You have had to made bad credit decisions to have to file for bankruptcy but…..she now owns a home.  She now can financially support her girls on her own. Did you catch that?  Sometimes we fail but if we KEEP on going, we will come out of top.  So if you are a woman who is struggling with any failed relationship, bad credit or anything that you DEEM negative, the only way it stays that way is if you allow it.  Kudos to you Erica!!
 Even with all of the great accomplishments that Erica has already done, I wanted to know where she sees herself in 5 years:
This is always a difficult question to answer because our vision changes over time but as of right now. I want to see myself in 5 years living for me and not others, in a position of choice with work and not must, and enjoying life with my girls, family, friends and maybe with a new-found love.
Now the #METOO movement is something that didn’t start on the internet.  It started from women getting tired of being sexually abused, harassed or assaulted.  The Internet made it easier for women to band together.  Women have been seen as accessories in times past.  This is why often times they are not believed or if they are to be believed they are seen as the one who agitated their aggressor.  I do NOT want myself or other women and God help me, my daughters to have to say METOO!
I asked Erica what the #METOO movement meant to her:
 The Me Too movement is a great organization that helps those that were or are being sexually assault or harassed. They provide support, ways to speak up and remind you that you are not alone. Finally and hopefully people can start feeling more comfortable in speaking up because they are not alone. I plan on using this movement to reassure my daughters that if they are ever made to feel uncomfortable to please speak up. It is not their fault of someone else’s actions.  
Finally I wanted to know about what the future holds for Erica:
Things that are on my heart that I look forward to crushing is
  • Continue losing weight and getting fit for myself. There are things that I want to do but have weight restrictions. I don’t want to be restricted of nothing I want to do.
  • Work on my bucket list which would lead to enjoying my life
  • Be in a position in my career were there is still passion and have it not be just work
  • Utilizing my event planning skills to plan family trips as family time is so important to me
 Anyone who has been reading my blogs knows I am a huge pusher of self-care.  I want everyone especially my ladies to work from a full cup instead of this notion that they must work until there’s no working in them left.  To keep giving from empty cups and stop caring of what others think about them taking time for themselves.  So Erica, what do you do for self-care:
  • I read a lot of inspirational books such as a Woman’s daily prayer, Too blessed to be stressed, and a moment for your soul. There are many days that I feel down and out, wondering why me, or when will my prince charming come. These books remind me of my purpose now and to remain focus on today.
  • I have a journal that I am writing to my future self. In the book I write things that I want to do but afraid to do, mistakes I did today that may affect tomorrow or areas that I want to change that will benefit the future me, Honestly it helps me stay focus on doing things for me today because I don’t want to let down the future me.
  • I try to exercise daily and make conscious decisions when eating because the more weight I lose the more I feel good about myself.

Thank you to Erica for pushing through when life knocked you down many times, raising your daughters with respect and love, and making sure that while you are there for others that you keep yourself your priority.  Good luck on your continued blessed journey!

 

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