Category Archives: Uncategorized

In The Next 5 Years

In the next 5 years, I will be 30 years old. Excuse me while I have a minor panic attack.

Okay I’m done.

When you’re a kid, 30 just seems so…old. Ask my 10 year old self where she sees herself at 30 and she will tell you that she is married to Justin Timberlake and has a career as a school teacher. She also has children and a dog. Ask me now, as a 24 year old woman, and I wouldn’t be able to respond because I’m too busy trying not to throw up on myself due to anxiety. I tend to get this feeling that I haven’t accomplished enough for someone my age. I haven’t even gotten my license (don’t judge me. I live in NYC and I’m afraid of driving). I feel as though I’m behind the curve. It’s more comfortable to just not think about it.
In the next 5 years, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m pretty sure life is gonna do what it’s gotta do and no matter what my plans are, they’re subject to change. I’d like to have settled into my career, made a small dent in my student loan debt (insert silent cry here) and maybe have traveled more.
I can’t call it.

September Writing Challenge

I haven’t been as dedicated to my writing as I should have been this summer. Writing every day proves to be a task for me that I just cannot seem to follow through with. And for those of you that know me, you know that me saying I’m going to do a writing challenge is a joke. But here I am, vowing to give it another shot and to actually follow through tis time. So here is my September Writing Challenge. (Yes, I’m 2 days behind. So what)

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I Don’t Like My Mother.

previously posted on 23Summers

I love my mother but I don’t like her. Well, let me try to clarify that. Its not that I don’t like her.  But if she were a regular person that I may know from work or something, she would be just that. I wouldn’t hang out with her or text her and have conversation. She’d just be Joyce: a woman that I work with. Last night we had a conversation (more like a debate) that only proved to me that for every thing we have in common, there are 100 things that we don’t. We’re like wearing timbs in the summer time. It might have been trendy in 1999 but in 2013 it’s forceful and sweaty.  I sometimes feel bad because I know she wants to have a good relationship with me. She tries to talk to me and wants to engage with me but I often feel like Kanye and she’s paparazzi. Out of respect for her and to spare her feelings, I didn’t say out loud that I don’t want to talk to her at all most times. But by me trying to spare her feelings, I come off as cold and heartless to her. How do you tell a mother that her misogyny and over protectiveness is why her first born locks herself in her room when she’s home to avoid talking?  The fact that she thinks I don’t care about her feelings is a result of me sparing them and I will always look like the bad guy. But I’ll take the L I suppose. We just cannot communicate and we’re both frustrated. The difference is that I’ve basically accepted the fact that I probably won’t have the relationship that other young women do when they can say their mothers are also their best friends. My mother still wants it. I feel like I’m trying to break up with her but she won’t let me.

My 8th grade teacher (who was also my ballet instructor for 7 years and math tutor in high school) served as my replacement for a mom/bff. I always admired how she is with her own children who are around my age and she treats me like one of her own too. I can tell her any and everything. She listens without judgment and still delivers sound advice that a mother would give her daughter. I know it hurts my mother to hear me call my teacher “Mom” and maybe I shouldn’t. But part of me wants to show her that this is how I wish we interacted and I hope she would try and chill a bit. She doesn’t though. She’s always wearing her white wig, black robe and has her gavel in hand when she comments on everything from my clothes, friends, and even my sexuality (she’s not sure if I’m gay or straight because I kiss my friends on the cheek).

My mother is an awesome mother and I would be lying if I said that she was a terrible parent. She sacrifices everyday for my brother and I and does everything she can for us. She cares even if I feel like it’s too much at times. As far as moms go, she’s got that down. I just can’t talk to her. I’m writing letters to my future daughter and I can only hope that when she reads them, I will be a combination of the kind of parent that my mother is and the kind that my “Mom” is. I don’t want my daughter to feel that she can’t talk to me because of how differently we see things. I want to her to feel like I’m listening and trying to understand and I hope she will do the same. I hope she will love and respect me as well as like me.  I know very little about parenting but I know what its like to feel like you can’t be yourself in your own home. It sucks.

Help.

Today I typed into google’s search bar “signs of depression” and according to Web M.D., I am depressed. I also have malaria. I’m sure there’s a shot or something for my second diagnosis but I’m not quite sure how to rid myself of my other ailment without popping pills like skittles.
I’m bored and underwhelmed with my life. A result of this is feeling like I want to cry every five minutes. I have nothing and no one to look forward to. My love/social life, finances, and job (not career but regular ass job) are all at a stand still and seem to have been for the past year (longer for some of the other parts of my life).
I can’t remember what day it was that I realized that my existence was pretty much insignificant as well as miserable, or what triggered it. But when it hit me, that shit sucked. It was like getting punched in the throat and gasping for air but not getting any. I want so much to shake this funk but I can’t seem to.
I came close to deleting this blog today because , well, what’s the point? I have nothing worth writing about. Nothing worth saying. And no one to read it if I did. I began scribbling a piece in my notebook the other day and was suddenly overcome with tears after realizing that I had no true interest in what I was writing about. I simply did not give a shit as much as I wanted to. And so I gave up on it.
Giving up seems to be the answer I choose a lot more these days. But I don’t want to anymore. I just don’t know how to go about things differently. Should I move away? Should I chop off all of my hair again? Should I start getting high and drunk more often? Should I behave recklessly and irresponsibly just so I can feel something other than sad? It sounds like I should see a doctor, I’m sure. I feel like I should be doing more but I can’t. I have no means to do anything. I’m stuck while everyone and everything around me seems to be flying by me with ease and without looking back. I’m drowning while everyone sails by. I’m scared.

Am I My Sister’s Keeper?

The top three tattoos you’ll see on a hood dweller go as follows:
(These are in no particular order)
1. “loyalty”
2. Praying hands with rosary beads
3. “my brother’s keeper” or something of the like

The first time I heard someone use number 3’s phrase, I wasn’t quite sure how to take it’s meaning. I was a kid and so I decided to look up what it meant. I found out that it originates from the tale of Cain and Abel in the Book of Genesis. Cain and Able were sons of Adam and Eve. Cain ended up being the world’s first murder after he murked Abel. As far as the saying goes, when God asked Cain where Abel was, Cain replied, “I know not: [Am] I my brother’s keeper?” In plain English he basically told The Lord, “Nigga, I don’t know. I’m minding my business, damn!”
Now, we know that he was lying because, well, he killed his brother. And in the tradition of Bible stories, there’s a lesson or two to be learned here. Besides the obvious “murder is wrong” motif that is sprinkled throughout all one trillion pages of The Good Book, the story uses the “am I my brother’s keeper?” line to preach that we are responsible for one another. (So, yes Cain, you are in fact your brother’s keeper. As well as his murder. Why can’t your family get it right?)
I never really thought that I applied this rule to my own life. I always thought that minding my business was the safest and easiest way to avoid drama. But after having a Steel Magnolias moment on a street corner in Manhattan with one of my best friends one night, I realized that I do live by this rule when it comes to those that I love.
In a shorter version of that night’s events, Sam and I got a bit emotional after a misunderstanding. Maybe it was the margaritas. Maybe it was the weed. Maybe it was a side effect of our cycles syncing up. Whatever the trigger was, we found ourselves in tears and embracing one another. Neither of us did something to the other to cause the small stand off. It was all a matter of one showing the other she cares.
“So I’m not allowed to care about my friends?!” Sam shouted at me.
She is allowed though. She was only showing concern for me, her friend of 10 years. And after further reflection, I noticed that I do it all the time for her and my other friends. My delivery isn’t always graceful or delicate. I sometimes come off as harsh or mean (to be honest, I’m a shady bitch). But it’s all in the name of love. I care for my friends. They’re the sisters I’ve been afforded to choose for myself. And so I get protective.
Have you ever gotten so upset with a friend because you’re watching her make choices that only hurt her? Have you done something foolish and now you want to prevent your friend from doing the same? You aren’t trying to rule over her. And you aren’t bitter or jealous. You’re only trying to look out for her. You want to keep her safe from heartache because you know she doesn’t deserve that.
Sometimes it’s hard to say what you’re feeling about someone else’s situation. People are funny and don’t always want to hear the negatives that you may see or feel about someone or something that they love. I’ve seen friendships end because one friend thought she was doing the right thing by telling a friend how she feels.
But sometimes you have to speak up even if your friend will get upset.
And sometimes you’re the friend that has to hear the negative things. And you’ll want to tell her to mind her fucking concerns. But you have to try and remember that your friend cares and is only trying to look out for you. If she’s a good friend, her intensions are of the same nature. It’s being done out of love.
It’s more than likely that you won’t ever see me with a star tattoo with my name in the middle (stars are poppin’ in the hood as well). And although I’m not opposed to clichés (insert hint to keep scrolling to read my post on clichés entitled “Cliché” here. [I’m a allowed to plug on my own blog]) I won’t tattoo any on myself. But I will admit that I have added another to my life. I am my sisters’ keeper.

Words. Mean. Things.

Words mean things.
Lets say that again.
Words mean things.
With more emphasis maybe.
Words mean things!
Okay, once more in case you missed it.
Words. Mean. Things.

We’re all familiar with the old adage “actions speak louder than words.” And while this is true to some degree, I think that people forget the power of what we say. Your words hold weight. If they didn’t, we’d say whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted, to whomever we wanted to say it to and no one would ever have any kind of reaction to any of it because what you’ve said is insignificant. However, we all know that this doesn’t happen. So why do we still write off the fact that our words are, in fact, significant?
I’m a very plain person. If I want to know something, I’ll ask about it. I’ll ask clear questions and ask them as many times as I need to in order to draw the correct conclusion(s) to said question(s) about whatever I’m unsure of. I need clarification that I’m not fudging any details or misunderstanding. And in return, I offer clear, concise answers to any questions that others may have for me. Just how it’s important to have clear, comprehensible, instructions to follow while, say, assembling an Ikea bedroom set, when dealing with others and making sure that they know how to deal with you, you must be clear on how you want to be treated. In plain English, say what the fuck you mean.
The last time I checked, I did not have the any of the same abilities that Professor Xavier does. No, unfortunately, I am not a super mutant that can read minds. Nor do I know any of the like. And quite frankly, I don’t think I’d much enjoy that superpower because I hate most people already for tweeting their every thought voluntarily. But I digress. With my lack of super powers, I’m forced to do the human thing, and verbally communicate how I feel and what I think when another human being asks. And I find that it’s in my best interest to do so clearly and honestly. And again, I ask questions too. If I don’t know, I ask. And when I receive my answer, I proceed with my doings as I see fit based on the answers given. Sounds simple enough, no? Unfortunately, I’m learning that folks aren’t so simple (at least not in the way that I’m using the word).
I guess my problem is that I expect adults to clearly verbalize what the hell they want, need, feel, etc. Infants cry when they need something because they don’t have the words and so we adults have to guess at what is wrong. We have the words! As able-minded adults, we should be better at speaking and using reason while using our words. Use those skills! And even when you know know exactly what you want or feel, you can still say exactly that. “I don’t know how I feel.” WOW! LOOK AT THAT! Am I losing you? Stay with me here.
Everyone won’t know you inside and out off the bat. I’m not a member of the CIA. I haven’t been collecting intel on you since you were 10. I don’t know how to read between the lines with you. And I don’t want to because I don’t want to make the wrong assumptions. Even your closest friends and family had to take years to truly get you and learn to read you without you having to say much. But when it comes to us strangers, you gotta be clear. Not everybody has the time or desire to learn how to read you that well. So when the opportunity comes to communicate your feelings, needs, and wants, take that shit! And do so clearly so that there is no room for misinterpretation. All parties involved should leave the situation know EXACTLY what was communicated. I don’t like shrimp. I can’t get jiggy with the texture. So when someone that doesn’t know this about me is eating shrimp and broccoli and offers me some out of kindness, I won’t be offended. I will simply decline. It’s quite easy.
Along with meaning what you say, you have to act in accordance with what you said. So after declining the shrimp, you won’t find me five minutes later looking for it. I said no. But what if I changed my mind? Okay that happens, but guess what. Just because you changed your mind, doesn’t mean that everyone has to accommodate your fickleness. When the person that offered me the shrimp has finished her meal, and I’ve realized that maybe I wanted to try shrimp again, I can’t be mad that she finished her shrimp! That’s where your actions come into play. You can’t say one thing, mean another, hope that your mixed signals were understood and then be upset when they weren’t. I’m sorry. Try again.
On what plain of logic are you operating on where one thinks that being offered shrimp, telling someone you don’t want the shrimp, then being pissed when she eats the shrimp is acceptable adult behavior? HOW BITCH HOW?! Again, I am aware that human beings are complex in our own individual trains of thought. But not everything has to be equivalent to rocket science. Put the emotional Rubix Cube the fuck down for a moment, Jimmy Neutron, and think about how your words translated to the average minded human being.
Again, words mean things. Your actions mean things too. Say what you mean. Mean what you say. Say it in plain language. And after all is said, be sure that your actions match up with the shit you spit. Stupit.

the spelling of stupit is completely intentional. Thank you.

Birthday No. 24

Today is my 24th birthday. As it was just put to me a few minutes ago, I’m one year away from joining the quarter century club. Thanks for the reminder, E. I approached my birthday this year with slight resistance. I’m getting older and feeling the pressures if adult life more and more every day. I didn’t even want to celebrate. But with some persuading from friends and family, I woke up this morning in a better, happier place.
Although we think that by a certain age, you’re supposed to have everything sorted and in place, it’s okay if you don’t have all the answers. It’s 2014 and life’s possibilities ate constantly expanding. So tell that feeling of “I have to have a career, house, husband and 3.5 children by the age of 29” to beat it. I may not be all the way there by 29 but at 24, I’m certainly not where I used to be. And for that I am grateful.
So I’ll raise a glass to 24 tonight and smile knowing that my future may not be the very clearest but it still shines brightly.

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6 Things Girls Do In Group Chats

Remember conference calls? About 15 years ago, my friends and I learned how to use the three-way calling feature on our house phones and from then on, no conversation consisted of just two of us. We managed to dish about everything happening in our 9 year old lives that we didn’t get to talk about at recess or lunch. As we got older, our forms of communication evolved from conference calls to AIM chat rooms. It was still an all inclusive way of communicating with everyone at one time. Today, AIM and three-way calling have been replaced by the elusive group chat (GC). Everybody is apart of one, whether you want to be or not. The GC is inescapable. Once you’re down, you’re down for life (or until you change your phone number). And like many things, GCs are thought to vary in nature depending on the sex of those running ’em. My twitter’s timeline has touched on the topic of what goes on in a GC run my women vs what goes on in one run by men. And although the universal rule of the GC is similar to that of Las Vegas’s slogan, I’ve decided to share with you some of the things that do happen in my own group chat and what I imagine in others run by women.

1. WE SHADE
The Urban Dictionary defines shade as acting in a casual or disrespectful manner towards someone or dissing a friend. I can speak for my own GC and probably many others by saying that there is plenty of shade present in our conversations. Palm tree emojis grow tall and strong amongst those blue and grey bubbles. However, contrary to popular belief that all women are malicious and catty, much of the shade is playful. It’s sort of like playing the dozens but instead of “yo mama” jokes, it’s quick witted retorts about that tragic weave you had back in high school. It’s a sass-fest and its fun! If you’re in a GC with your real friends, you know it’s not personal. Yes, sometimes our shade isn’t innocent or playful and we do drop the dreaded screenshot here and there. But keep in mind that with all shade, comes a lesson to be learned. If you fear you may fall victim to the screenshot, then maybe you should reconsider whom you’re sharing things with. Some women know what lines not to cross and what things to keep to ourselves while others have no code of conduct. It’s all about making a judgment call.
2. WE SEND EACH OTHER SELFIES
This one is pretty basic. Sometimes we have days when we just feel fine as hell. Maybe we got a new lipstick. Maybe we tried something different with our hair and it looks like the angel Gabriel laid hands on our tresses. Or maybe we just got our eyebrows done and they are ON POINT! Whatever the reason we’re feeling ourselves at that moment, we just grab our phones, turn on that front camera and have a mini photoshoot. But sometimes we want to share our flawlessness but not with our twitter or IG followers. I know I have this complex where I don’t want to seem too narcissistic by dropping 15 selfies on my TL. So what do I do? I send a few to my GC. We fawn over and flirt with each other because its fun and it makes us feel good. Sometimes you wanna hear that you’re working that up-do and you know that nobody can handle the regal-ness of that ponytail like your GC can.
3. WE TALK ABOUT SEX
Of course we talk about sex! Who doesn’t? Women have and enjoy sex just like men do. So why wouldn’t it be a hot topic in our GCs? No person’s sex life or sexuality is identical to another’s. We ask questions, swap stories and dish out advice the best we can. It’s not pure filth but it gets pretty authentic. This isn’t the place to sugar coat shit. If one of my GC members has the strong urge to give a serious BJ but has no one to service, she can come to the GC and vent. If another wants to share with us the time she had sex in Central Park and how much fun it was, we’re all ears (or eyes) and ready to hear/read all about it. And if someone has questions about this new obsession everyone seems to have with analingus, at least one of the other members will have the knowledge. The GC is supposed to be a judgement free zone. Its place where we can let our inner freak flags fly freely. As long as you’re happy, considerate of others and responsible, we support all quests for an orgasm.
4. WE READ
I don’t mean reading in the book sense on this one (although we do have the occasional sharing of reading lists). Reading is telling someone about herself. Real friends will read you! Like I said before, the GC is a judgement free zone. HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean that we let our friends walk around being ain’t shit individuals without calling em out on it and ignoring questionable behavior. Sometimes you need your friends to tell you when you’re being an asshole. When I’m making poor decisions, my GC will call me out on my bullshit and let me know when I’ve got to reevaluate some things. It’s all out of love.
5. WE DISCUSS
Whether its dieting, new fashion trends, music, or concerns about the current state of our economy and how it affects us, we discuss things. Yeah, we touch on topics like which shade of nail polish should be chosen for next week’s mani/pedi session. But it doesn’t end there. On one occasion we went from mascara to a lesson on different breeds and strands of bacteria found in a bio-chem lab. It’s not strictly “girly” stuff. And even though I put my phone down when sports come up, the conversation continues. We just talk about it all.
6. WE SUPPORT
When something amazing or not so amazing happens, my GC is usually the first to hear the news. As a writer, my notebook holds most of my secrets, fears, hopes, dreams and ideas. But those pages can’t talk back and sometimes I need a few words of encouragement. A pep talk is needed every now and then when you’re feeling hopeless about the direction in which your life is headed. Sometimes you need to be praised for landing the job you’ve been wanting. Sometimes you just want someone to listen and reassure you that she understands where you’re coming from. A good GC serves for all of these things because a good GC is made up of good friends. We laugh together. We cry together. We do our best to make sure that everyone feels loved and knows that she has someone that’s got her back.

No Place Like Vagina

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Previously featured on AllThingsSass.com

After having an estrogen fueled discussion with my girlfriends, it was reaffirmed to us that having vaginas is hard work. No, this is not another feminist rant and I’m not talking about having a vagina being hard work in relation to glass ceilings and double standards. I mean that it is simply not that simple to have a vagina. Once I hit 12 years old, I’ve learned that having a vagina is like owning a home. You’ve got to clean it, keep it smelling nice, looking presentable and protect it from home invasions and unwanted guests. And whether you’ve got a multimillion dollar mansion or a humble studio apartment in between your thighs, upkeep and maintenance is required and there are so many things that can and probably will go wrong.
Let’s begin with the outer appearances. Our front yards. Technically, it’s not the vagina but who really uses the word vulva besides my OBGYN? I’m one of those girls that will let the grass grow a little bit if I don’t plan on having any company. Why? To put it simply, the hair removal process can be tedious and painful. As an adult that enjoys mouth hugs (giving and receiving) I can totally understand that coughing up a hair ball kind of kills the mood. So for my guest’s sake, I not only trim the hedges, I scorch the Earth. But taking trips to Brazil via spa appointments gets costly and like I mentioned before, it f***ing hurts. Sure we can shave but having your nether region resemble the back of a Nestlé Crunch Bar won’t keep ‘em coming back (I’m talking razor bumps). I’ve experienced a chemical burn from using hair removal creams like Nair and Veet and let’s just say when a label tells you not to do something, it is for a reason. But despite all of this, me and many of my fellow vagina owners torture ourselves for whatever reasons in order to maintain the flower pots in our panties.
It’s important to keep your outside looking presentable and welcoming but if the inside is a disaster, what’s the point? Now I know Tyra Banks loves to refer to our lady parts as “self cleaning appliances”, and yes it is true that our vaginas essentially clean themselves, but things can malfunction and we don’t have warranties if things go bad. Lets have a moment for the ladies with sensitive vaginas. You girls go through so much. From yeast infections to allergies, it’s like knowing Bubble Boy if he lived between your legs. My mother can’t wear underwear that doesn’t have white cotton crotchets because dye irritates her. My girlfriend is allergic to latex and I mean how reliable are sheep skin condoms? A lot of our vaginas’ health is affected by our diets and lifestyles but some women just have more issues than others. Yeah, you can drink tons of water every day and eat yogurt, fruits and vegetables but there will still be those times when you’re the girl in the commercial wearing the red hoodie and your yeast infection symptoms are Zimmerman-like (too soon?). And then we have all of these B.S. sprays and deodorants. Newsflash: your vagina isn’t supposed to smell like summer rain or morning dew on a blade of grass. Pussy smells like pussy! It doesn’t taste like pineapples or water. It tastes like pussy! If you’re sour or smell like an edible arrangement, something is wrong. You have your own, unique smell just like many homes do. But the Pine-Sol woman should not be making visits to your vagina.
Now on to the home invasions and unwanted guests. Sometimes we can invite someone in and they’ll leave behind unwanted reminders of their stay with you. It’s bad enough that there aren’t many ways to test guys for certain STDs but we have interiors and although I’m familiar with myself, I’m not in there feeling around everyday for something strange. It’s like logging on to Web MD. You think you feel something every time you have a look or feel around and boom, you have cancer. I’ve wrongly self-diagnosed about a billion times but only because its tricky to know what exactly is happening in my body’s 4 inch deep walk in closet. Trips to the gyno aren’t on my list of favorites but what else can you do to be sure that your partner didn’t leave you a parting gift that keeps on giving? Much like Hannah Hovak, I too wonder about “the stuff that gets up around the sides of condoms”. Condoms aren’t 100% effective and STDs can still be passed along just by touching each other’s junk. And yeah Lena Dunham may have said that all adventurous women have had a brush with HPV or something but I like my adventures cancer-cell free. So it’s time we find a Sloman Shield type of security system for our love boxes, ladies.
When it comes to owning a vagina, I can sometimes feel like Tim Allen on an episode of Home Improvement and even hear myself making that confused grunting noise he does. But despite how they may sometimes leak, have squeaky floors or thin walls, our vaginas are pretty awesome. Why else would so many men and women spend the rest of their lives trying to get inside once they’ve left? There’s no place like home.