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Category Archives: coming of age

the vest that saved my life

well maybe I wouldn’t go that far, but ya know

Perhaps I’m going about this all wrong. I wonder if I put as much focus as I am on attempting to create a relationship, into perhaps my goals, hobbies, career, finances, health…Would I have everything I want right now. At this point it seems that I’m letting my life be led by others around me. The last time I actually made a major decision based on solely me was at 21. I moved thousands of miles away because I wanted too. I felt a calling. Not based on someone else. But based on something. My intuition. My path. And everything else basically fell in place. The ‘what’, ‘when’, and ‘how’, came knowingly in my life because I usually had a plan. Although the ‘who’ was a bit of a mystery. I never in a millions years thought I would find myself with T. I never thought my main crew would consist of mainly trans women.(Yep) I never knew I would be in relationship with someone literally twice my age. The ‘who’s’ simply fell into my life naturally yet spontaneously. I didn’t force these people to me. They came in (and out) my life on their own. And the thing is when these ppl did choose to eventually leave I never felt the need to up root myself simply because they weren’t there anymore. I had other things going for me that held me grounded and most importantly, happy.

Basically now instead of making my choices based on the ‘what’, ‘when’, and ‘where’, I’m pretty much chasing the ‘WHO.’

So why did the vest save my life. It was the catalyst that prompted me to my AHA! moment. Two tea cups of rum and oj, a tub of popcorn, a pint of starbucks frappuccino ice cream, a bout of tears, a severe belly ache, a marathon of True Blood, and a 5hr nap, …later, I realize that I’ve been going about this all wrong.

the vest that I bought HER. The Response that she gave me. The awkwardness of the Situation. The now weird Silence. My Disappointment. And Confusion. Leading to a bit of Rebellion. And a dash of Fuck You. My initial idea of ‘Flirting in different area codes’ made me think. Why am I really moving back. Am I letting the ‘who’ make my Choices. Or am I being lead by the ‘what’, ‘when’, and ‘where?’

The Aha! moment?
I now know the answer to that.
Next question, what am I going to do about it?

*this post could also touch on the lines of gift giving and Receiving etiquette. But ill save that for another time

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2011 in coming of age

 

Breaking up is hard to do

heartbroken

….And it gets even more awkward when you not in a relationship. What happens when its simply your friend. I think we’ve all been through it. Especially as an adult you simply grow out of those good friends you had in highschool or college. Neither of you have done anything wrong. It’s simply a situation where two people are just on two different paths. Last night a light bulb went off while having drinks and pasta with a friend. It simply hit me.

I no longer have any interest in this friendship.

If we never saw each other again, I probably wouldnt even bat an eye.

As we waited for our table, myself sitting on one of the benches, Sha Sha* (that’s what I’ll call her) leaning against the wall, aside from the endless chit chatter amongst all the guest, you could literally hear a pin drop. I began creating a list in my head of ‘things to talk to Sha Sha about’. But nothing seemed to come to mind. Any type of small talk simply fizzled out. I occupied myself  with people watching and she played on her cell phone.

I’m not a vain or bougie person, however, last night  it caught me off guard when I saw her in ‘roach killer’  man sandals (raggedy or less than attractive shoes), with long basketball shorts and tee. Also when she commented on CheeseCake Factory being an upscale restaurant? Note: anything with Factory at the end, is not upscale. (However, dress appropriately).When she said loudly how she’s never seen so many forks sitting on a table at once. When she  became utterly confused with the menu and the fact that it had ‘so many things to chose from’. When she sat her cell phone on the table, so she can watch the game?

*sigh*

After the ‘how’s it beens’ and ‘what’s new with yous’, I began to mentally go through my ShaSha list of converstations. I spoke on my midwife conference and the workshops I would be taking. *blank stare and half smile* I spoke on the new birth of my nephew and my sisters hospital adventures *stare and nod* My discovery of this cupcake shop called Sprinkles *blinked twice, stare* Workplace woes *”Oh for real.” another nod* My familys arrival for my Bday *”thats coo” blink, stare*

 

Can I get some feedback please?

Her turn:

Basically stories that she’s told me ten times already. And four word sentences about her girlfriend, work, and future vacation.

She quickly called it a night because she said she was tired and waking up tomorrow for a flight. Which is fine and understandable. When I finally arrived home, I felt like I completely wasted a night. What was the point of that? It all just felt weird. I am definitly growing out of ShaSha. There’s absolutly no connection between us. It’s like this weird estranged relationship.  It reminds me of the relationship with my Dad. His number is in my phone because…he’s my dad. I call him out of obligation. Not for conversation. I file about 4 ‘things to talk to daddy about list’ in my head. When those run out I wrap it up and hang up the phone. And honestly I think he does the same. But this is something I HAVE to do. Cuz he’s my pa. And its not as bad as it sounds. 

ShaSha has been on my mind for several months now. Along with previous and similiar situations. This isnt about her dress code or manners. But simply, we dont have anything in common anymore. And this whole estranged relationship with her? I just wanna give her daps, wish her luck in life, and simply go our seperate ways. I know good friends are hard to find. But if your hardly that, then what’s the point?

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2011 in coming of age, dear diary

 

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Anger

“The art, beyond insolence, of the Black girl’s face as she cuts her elegant sidelong glance at me. What makes her eyes slide off of mine? What does she see that angers her so, or infuriates her, or disgusts her? Why do I want to break her face off when her eyes do not meet mine? Why does she wear my sister’s face? My daughter’s mouth turned down about to suck itself in? The eyes of a furious and rejected lover? Why do I dream I cradle you at night? Divide your limbs between the food bowls of my least favorite animals? Keep vigil for you night after terrible night, wondering? Oh sister, where is that dark rich land we wanted to wander through?”

“I loved you. I dreamed about you. I talked to you for hours in my sleep sitting under a silk-cotton tree our arms around each other or braiding each other’s hair or oiling each other’s backs, and every time I run into you on the street or at the post office or behind the Medicaid desk I want to wring your neck.”  For some reason these struck out to me. Simply because I’ve been on the receiving and giving end. Sadly all to common

-Audre Lorde “Sister Outsider” Eye to Eye

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2010 in coming of age

 

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Handcuffing 6 year olds?

http://www.theroot.com/views/nola-child-handcuffs

The headline read “Handcuffing 6 yr olds in New Orleans? Seriously?”  I’m thinking, headcuffing 6 year olds in New Orleans? So what 

  I wish I could have handcuffed some of those bad ass kids in my classroom, while I was teaching. Oops, did I just say/write that. Um, yes I did.  After reading that load of crap story, I’m thinking their actually handcuffing the wrong person. How bout handcuffing Ja’Briel’s parents and tying them to a post,  because of their ignorance and lack of parenting skills. Idiots. How about getting one of those paddles and bending their asses over and giving them a good ole ‘old school whoupin’.  I’m sure this is not the first time little Ja’Briel has been disobedient or aggressive to his classmates and maybe even the teacher. I’m sure the school has even contacted the parents concerning his behavior. Trust me,  these parents know these kids are acting a fool. And I’m pretty sure that the teachers and students are fed up and frustrated that class has to be continually interrupted from having to deal with Ja’Briels’  bad ass. While teaching preschoolers and coordinating afterschool programs for ‘at risk’ children, I know what these teachers are going through and what these children are going through.

My experience has been rewarding to plan out frustrating. Rewarding when I see my preschoolers exhibiting behaviors and rules I’ve taught them. Or exposing them to ideas and activities, or food, animals, nature, …things they’ve never experienced and seeing their eyes light up.

Then…

there’s the Ja’Briels. Who ruin it for everyone, so now we can’t attend that waterpark anymore. So now the kids cant do that special project in the afternoon because ‘Ja’Briel’ destroyed it during one of his/her tantrums.  Now I have Paul, Jason, and Susan mimicking ‘Ja’Briels’ behavior, now thats more children we have to deal with. Or because the lack of parenting skills I have to deal with 5 and 6 years spitting in my face, punching me in my legs and my head, destroying my personal and the classrooms items and toys. Or I have to deal with eye level 12 year olds cussing me out, throwing chairs across the room, beating up other children, raising their hands to me 

  I have to put myself in awkward and controversial situations where I have to sit there and  physically restrain kids for 30 mins to an hour.  Knowing that if a parent or Licensing walks in, my ass would be out of there so quick, but nobody see’s or cares what just took place prior. The  fact that these ‘Ja’Briels’ just punched another kid in his mouth and threw a toy at the head of my teacher assistant. That’s why bad ass ‘Ja’Briel’ is neatly folded in a bear hug between my legs while I try to multitask and calmly get the other 20 preschoolers to take their naps    So now instead of having teachers meetings and parent/teacher conferences about future fieldtrips and activites, and what new ideas and projects we should implement in our lesson plans,  Now these meetings are simply filled with how do we keep the ‘Ja’Briels’ in check. How many times can we call and send letters to parents when no one’s responding and they shrug and don’t give a damn once you tell them of  ‘Ja’Briels’ behavior.  Uggghhh….frustrating.

So yeah when I saw that headline, I’m like so what. Handcuff is ass and the parents. Parents, be Parents. Give a damn when your child acts a fool in class. He/she is calling for help. He wants your attention, your love. Some damn discipline. Yes. Children WANT and NEED discipline. Teachers can only do so much.  *sigh* idk, ill just leave it like that

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2010 in coming of age, dear diary

 

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Open Letter to Essence regarding that Wack list of 20 things Black Women should experience

(And yes, I still pop open thee ole Essence mag every once in while)
 
The article “20 things every Black woman should experience” had some good points, such as the Homemake over and building your own home (loved that), freedom hair (nice), and living in another place(interesting). However, it ended there. The list simply seemed redundant, i.e. aunditioning and experiencing different cultures and places. Or just plain ole boring, hence getting a tattoo, texting, and blowing our paychecks. Half if not most Black women are already doing that in our daily lives. Yawn. 
I was hoping it had more fulfilling experiences.
  • Such as becoming a mentor. Not just for a child but perhaps a college student possibly entering into a similiar career path as you.

 

  • Or throwing a charity party. This puts a spin on our usual girlfriend get togethers. Instead of spending $20 bucks on that bottle of Shiraz, tell the guest to instead use that same money to donate to their favorite charity when they arrive or have designated charities at their disposal online. Be creative! Make it fun. This doesnt have to be boring or sad. Remember, your doing a good deed.
**And if your feeling really bold, use your birthday as a day for the less fortunate to receive your gifts. Tell friends and families to brings gifts or money, so they can donate them to local organizations or charities**
  • Mad as hell and can’t take it anymore? Instead of complaining, every Black woman should experience writing their first open letter to congress, the board of education, a local news station, a magazine. Anywhere you feel your voice needs to be heard and feel the need of urgent change. 

**Venting to your cousin Keke about the lack of class room supplies at your daughters school, is not going to bring money into the classroom.**

  • Every Black woman should experience going to a conference, a march, or protest rally. We love to talk and most like to do it loudly 🙂 So why not take that strength and put it too some constructive use.

Do something Black girls “Dont”

  • Take up Salsa dancing, Belly dancing, the Cha-Cha, or even Pole dancing. Since Black women don’t go to the gym as often as your white counterparts, we absolutely have to get in the cardio and strength training in some how. Why not step out the box and be the first black girl on the block to sign up for that Merengue class:)

This is not an exhaustive list of things Black Women should experience and I know neither is Claire’s, just thought I’d throw in my two cents. Hope you could implement this in the Essence mag or to a Black women you know. Peace.

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2010 in Breeders, coming of age

 

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I am so in need of a career change. Its like the older you get, the more you realize the importance of waking up to do what you most love. Just having that paycheck is not cutting it anymore. Since my move here to this hot ass desert, I have definitly been on a rollercoaster as far as career wise. After enjoying working at the YW for a year and a half which was challenging yet fun, supportive, and structured. Then working one day a week at a day spa, which I absolutly loved, I felt I was fortunate to wake up going to 2 jobs I adored. Fast foward to my move, I expected a smooth transition. A replica of my past work experiences. Well Im guessing that’s why they call it LIFE. Because shit happens. And bascially I was knee deep in it on arrival. I couldn’t get a childcare job to save my life. And when jobs did seem promising, the wages were a complete joke. After that unsuccessful adventure I retreated back into massage, only to find out that I would need 100 more hrs added unto my already 600hrs. Of course, go figure. Yes, silly me should have done my research before hand. But would that have stopped me from moving, hm maybe, maybe not. Fast forward to today, I can’t wait to start taking my cont. ed classes for massage. However they won’t start till like August/September. But gives me time to get my funds right and all that good stuff. Really interested in  the LaStone class which incorporates cold stones not just hot ones and and also the Myotherapy class. Excited to have some extra experince on my resume instead of the same run of the mill: sweedish, deep tissue, aromatherpy, etc. The school also offers a meditation class. I may have to take that up. This is my ‘get shit done’ year. I got my list in hand and slowly marking off the task. Get job that offers full health benefits and everything under the sun (CHECK) Pay off that chunk of debt (CHECK) Pay off those little chucks of debt (CHECK, CHECK) other misc. goals (CHIGGIDY CHECK) But the way life works is that as soon as one is checked and off the list another one mysteriously appears. Gotta love it

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2010 in coming of age, dear diary

 

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Black Pride

Moments where I’m glad I’m a women of color. So strange today as I was having lunch in  the breakroom with about 5 of my coworkers, ranging from supervisors to my peers…I got up half way into lunch and went into my locker to get something to read. Found an ECHO magazine, which is Phoenix’ LGBT magazine. Went back to the lunch room table and engaged myself in an article about a lesbian comedian who had performed in the Pride festival. All but a moment later a guy co-worker, who I’m really cool with, compared to the other staff, ask  “What are you reading?”   I responded, “A magazine.” With a trace of ‘duh, can’t you see’ mixed in.  “Well what kind of magazine.”   “ECHO” I simply responded. Now get off my back, I silently thought. “Wait a minute, like Echo the clothing. You know like Marc Echo?” Through is thick Serbian accent I tried to understand what he said. So I just nodded and smiled. “Is it Echo clothing?” He asked again. “No.” I said. “Okay, let me see the cover.” I held up the cover for him. Which portrayed a pretty neutral photograph. It was simply a picture of a tatooed guy with a tank top, holding up a pass issue of Echo magazine. The co-worker nodded, but I could tell he still was not satisfied. “So what kind of magazine is it.” He asked once more. For God’s sake. “It’s a gay…and…lesbian…magazine. So obviously you wouldn’t be famililar with it.”  Mind you, when ever I’m nervous I talk a little bit louder. And I broke down each syllable in ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian’ as if I was speaking some type of foreign language. I would say I could literally hear a pin drop after I proclaimed my statement. But afterwards I swear everyone suddenly became a little bit hungrier as they  began stuffing food into their mouths all the while nodding ‘hmmms’ and ‘ooohhs.’ And at that moment I was so glad I was a woman of color, because I swear my face was on fire. I’m not light-skinned or dark skinned, just brown. So I prayed to God that the heat radiating off my cheeks werent lighting up the entire breakroom.  oddly enough, aside from my extreme blushing, I felt fine. I almost felt proud. Like “yeah I said it. Im a LESBIAN! And I don’t care who knows.” Lunch resumed I continued reading my Echo mag. Not long after, the male co-worker got up and made a quick exit out. I could only imagine that he was going to tell his breakroom story to the rest of the gossip hungry co-workers.

And yes sure enough as I entered the floor he made a joke like, “Oh we werent talking about you.” I simpley nodded okay. Then he asked, “So, how was your lunch.” With a weird grin. “It was fine, werent you there.”   “Yep, I was. But you werent talking to me.”  “Thats because I was reading my magazine.”  “Oh okay.” He says. Suddenly the girl off to my left bust out laughing and the other girl co-worker to my right keeps giving male co-worker the (subtle yet obvious) eye. Between fits of laughter co-worker to the right says to male c/w, “Just leave, okay.”

There is more small talk exchanged, but suddenly the front desk gets extremely awkward. And my prior feelings of pride are quickly drenched in humiliation. I leave and retreat to the ‘private’ desk off to the corner. As I make myself comfortable, the two girl c/w’s keep stealing glances at me as if this is their first time we’ve met.

Oh my gosh, is this highschool! I try not to let this embarressing awkwardness get to me, but I swear I feel like I need a hug, lol. Corny, I know. Anywho, I’ll go back and spell check, I just had to get this off my chest.

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2010 in coming of age, dear diary

 

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