Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fall Fashions. Imitation Is The Highest Form Of Flattery.

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I will be the first to admit that I am not a fan of any other season except for summer.  I hate being cold, I hate wearing sleeves, jackets, coats, all of it.  Growing up I always lived in pretty warm places, and even though in Virginia it does not get that cold, it get cold enough that I have to wear several layers of clothes.

Since I am not a fall or winter type person, my wardrobe is not really stacked for cold weather.  Once again, I look to my favorite pal Pin interest for fall inspiration.  And Pin interest did not fail to disappoint.  

The first look that I found was something very easy, that I am sure anyone can pull off.  All you need is a pair of jeans, a white shirt, and brown blazer.  Lucky for me, I had all this stuff in my closet.  No shopping needed.  The jacket I actually had for a few years, and I could count on one hand how many times I wore it.  But when I put it together trying to imitate this look, I liked it.  I may try to put on this jacket more often.

The second look, it may not look like I did a good job imitating this.  But I did, the colors are just off in my picture.  I chose a button down sweater because that is what I had.  In fact I got the sweater for free at a clothing giveaway (click my blog here).  Since it was free I cannot complain.  Even though my sweater is not exact, beggars cannot be choosers the sweater was free.  My pants in the picture were black even though it does not look like it.  I would give myself an A for effort, not the best imitation  I have done. Just okay.

My third outfit, even I have to give myself an applause for this one.  I had all these items in my closet.  I bought the shirt and the scarf from the thrift store.  The matching animal print jewelry was just something I had in my closet that I got from a jewelry lot through Amazon (click here for my blog on that).  I love lots because you get so much jewelry for such an affordable price.  I felt like my outfit came extremely close to the original, don’t you?

My last outfit I also thought I did a great imitation as well.  I got this jacket from the thrift store a few days ago for only $5.  When I saw it, I just liked it, I did not even have the imitation in mind.  The shirt and pants are something that I already had in my closet so it was not big deal.  And the shoes, I got from a Goodwill trip (see here) I went to a few weeks ago.  I typically do not like the Goodwill because they are more expensive than the thrift, but I got these shoes for around $4.  So I felt like they were a steal.

Overall, I am happy about my attempt of fall fashion.  I like wearing colors so the outfits I chose were able to do just that.  Plus I think it is kinda fun to find things out of your closet to try to imitate things that other people pay a fortune for.

It is Called A Break Up Because It Is Broken (#TheSW30) Day 19

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Today’s blogging challenge is to talk about a difficult break up.  But leave it up to me to deviate from the topic a bit.  Instead I would like to talk about a “breaking up” of sorts that was really hard for me as I am sure is hard for other single mothers.

If you do not know all the drama circulating around me being a single mother and my son’s father you can click, here, here, here and here.

For myself I think letting go of the idea of having my family was the hardest things that I had to do.  When I first got pregnant with my son, me and his father were not in a relationship.  I was young having fun and what happened happened.  We were friends of course, I did not just pick him out of a hat and got all loose with.  It was rather a level of lust between us that just came to a head.  And eventually, I became pregnant.

Of course he disappeared.  I am not going to go into detail about that because I have written about it so many times before.  What I will say that by the time I had my son, I had accepted the fact that his father was more than likely never going to come around, and was prepared to raise my son on my own.

It was not until an unlikely change of events occurred that would set the course of things off.  A few weeks after my son was born, his father became incarcerated.  Call it my forgiving nature, but I decided to reach out to his father when he was locked up.  This went surprisingly well.  We spoke on the telephone and wrote letters to one another on a regular biases.

This type of interaction went on for the next two years.  Perhaps a little longer.  It was during this time that we grew close and I toyed with the idea of having my family together.  I think anyone who has child with someone, you always fantasize about having a”family.”

I could feel myself starting to feel something deeper and we talked about a possible future tother and all this other type of stuff.  Until I began to notice things going a little haywire.

I would go to visitation (which was a two hour drive) and would be told that he had a “girlfriend” visiting him by the guards.  When addressing it with him, he told me that he could not help who visited them and what they called themselves.  But the situation became worse.  He would tell me and he son could not to visit because he had other visitors.  He would get really distant and stop talking about the fictitious future we were planning together.

Soon after I found out he was legally married.  Still wanting our family to work, I asked him did he plan on getting a divorce since he had been separated from his wife for such a long time.  He told me no.

I am a Christian, and did not want to be an adulteress.  I think this was the first indication that I needed to let this go.  But like a fool, I hung on just a little longer.  That was until during a phone conversation, he told me about his girlfriend and the life he had planned to live with her.

This was the hardest or sort of break up I had to do.  I saw in this moment he had not changed.  He was making an already bad situation worse, and I had a decision to make.  To continue to fight for his attention over another women, or to go about my merry little way and resort back to plan A and raising my son on my own.

I decided to raise my son on my own.  It was hard at first.  I did not know if I would ever see his father again, or if my son would ever know his father.  I just knew that I did not want to be in the crazy love triangle.

For the next three years, I did not talk to him.  I did not write a letter.  I barely answered his phone calls.  This was not to be malice, but so I can regain my sanity.  That situation was emotionally draining.  My son’s father wrote almost every week.  In which I did not write back.

Flash forward to about three months ago, he was released from prison.  Even though he had a girlfriend, I could tell he was the same womanizing man.  Still wanting to have his cake and eat it too, from who ever would give it to him.

He moved in with his girlfriend and lived their all of like two months.  Yes this women waited for him for 6 years, only for it to end like this.  I did feel some sympathy for her.  Six years is a long time to wait for someone for it not to work out.  But then, I felt glad for myself.  That could have been me.  I could have fell into the trap of thinking that he was going to change.  People have a tendency to be one way when they are in prison, and then the real them comes out when they are back in their natural habitat.

Even though it was hard to let go of the idea of my family, I was glad I did.  I am not with anyone now.  But when I let go, I dated.  I dated a better caliber of men.  I learned that I deserved better, I learned about myself, and what I wanted in life.

Once I let that situation go, I got further in life then what I think I would have ever gotten if I would have continued to hold on.  That situation was taking up too much mind space.  Causing too much anxiety.  And the negative energy that was wasted on that situation was energy that could have been used doing something productive.

Now, my son’s father is in his life to an extent.  But I not longer have the blinders on.  I am able to see right through him.  I know now just because he is my son’s father, we do not have to be together.  I have learned that it is better for us not to be together.

If there is anything that you take away from this post, I want you to know that weather you are male or female, do not feel like you have to be with your children’s mother or father.  If it is not right, then it is just not right.  Move on and find someone who can love you like you deserve to be love.  That does not mean cut them out of your children’s lives, it just means cut them out of yours.

For those who do not have children but are in a crazy relationship.  Let go and let God.  All the more reason, there is no child keeping you in that bad relationship.  You cannot change anyone or force anyone to be something they do not want to be.  If they cannot love you, find someone who will.

Relationships are a two way street, if you are giving more than you are receiving, there is something wrong with that.  Know that this is not normal and that you deserve better.

To find out more about my life after I stop speaking to my son’s father for those three years Check out my book here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Can't Judge A Book By It's Cover, Debunking Stereotypes (#TheSW30) Day 19

I find it very funny that so many people go around claiming they are not biased or they do not have stereotypes about other people.  But it is through my life experiences, that I would come to beg a differ.  Even among Christians we have our own stereotypes. We look at people and we automatically assume things about them because of how they look.

For example, I am a African American female.  I am also a single mother, and was raised by a single mother.  With just those two facts alone people would assume that I am poor, on welfare, grew up poor, or come from some dysfunctional family background.

Today’s blogging challenge focuses on telling you something that you do not know about me.  I want to actually tell you a lot that you do not know about me.  I think when I encounter people and they just assume the worse, at this point and time I let them.  I have been battling stereotypes and trying to prove my competence for as long as I can remember.  It comes to a point and time that I just give up.

Who wants always prove they are smart?

Or just because they are black they did not grow up with drive bys?

I think I used to go out of my way to try to show people the real me.  But it is very unfortunate that people are only going to see what they want to see, and they are only going to assume what they want to assume.  And 9 times out of 10, that means assuming the worse about me.

The first thing I would like people to know about me is that I DID NOT grow up poor.  I can recall at the last placed I worked I was having a conversation with two fellow co-workers who were white.  One made a comment about poor people. One of the co-workers looked at me as the comment was made and expected me to get offended.  Like because I was black, I must have been poor, and therefore I should get offended about the comment about poor people.

In fact, she brought the comment up many times to see how I would react to it.  It was like just in case I did not catch the “poor people” comment the first time, let’s bring it up again, so she could address any feelings that I had.

Each time she would bring up the comment I would just look at her.  In fact I more than likely grew up with more money than she had.  I did not feel the need to tell her this, but it is crazy that just because I am black, I must be poor.

The truth of the matter was that when growing up I was a complete and utter spoiled brat (still am).  I had everything that I wanted.  Due to my mother being in the military I  lived in places likes Atlanta, Hawaii, Texas, Belgium, Virginia, Kentucky... And lived in an upper middle class neighborhoods most of the time. In fact, many of my friends from high school are European since I lived on an international base.

My life was very stereotypical, I went to a high school in which most people had cars and when I turned 16 I had a car as well.  I cannot ever remember going without anything let alone my mother being on welfare! In fact you may be surprised to learn that my mother has a Master’s degree.  Yes! Another single black female with an advanced degree.  Quite shocking!

The fact of the matter is most of my schools were mostly white.  I would be very shocked to count more than 15 black people who graduated from my senior class in high school, of a class that had more than 500.  And I went to a very big high school, our freshman class had something over 1,500 people. I can recall growing up being one of those black people who was the only black person in the class.

I had one of the moments like in the movie “Freedom Writers” where she was the only black person in her AP class.  And the teacher asked her about slavery or something.  No lie, that happened to me.  When I was the only black person in class, I would sometimes be the black spokes person for all historical African American events all through time.  

Very uncomfortable.

Most people would also be shocked to know that I am very nerdy on the low.  I think people would be shocked to know that I could have finished high school a half a year early but decided not to.  I think people would be shocked to know that I finished my undergraduate degree at VCU in only three years.  People would defiantly be shocked to know that I have a Master’s degree and in the last stages of my PhD.

It is funny, only 4% of people get a PhD in this nation.  I would love to know the stats for how many black women who have their PhD.  I think you may be looking at her (mild joke). But it seems that it is very shocking to people to learn that I actually have a brain inside my head.  In fact, some men I have dated, and came right out and said this.  Like “hey your pretty smart.”  Like is was rare or something.

In fact, I think God created me to write.  I love to write.  If you click on my blog here, you will see that I maintained a dairy for most of my teenage years.  I even write music.  I also write this blog and have written my own book.  In an interview once I was speaking about my hobbies.  The woman looked at me as if I had lost my mind, because I was telling her that writing was a hobby.

I would also like to tell you that my grandparents are from the backwoods of Alabama.  And I mean like they grew up like picking cotton share croppers in Alabama.  But because they wanted a better life my grandfather join the military where he was an international traveler as well. He retired as an E-9 which is very high for a black people during that time frame.

If you read my blog, then you know I am a home owner of a house in which was built once I bought it. So that should not be too shocking, But just in case you do not read my blog now you know.

 When most people meet me they seem to think that I am some weak person without a voice.  But it is oh so the opposite.  I pride myself on not being weak, and just because I am not always speaking I do have a voice.  In fact, when most people see me get angry, it is shocking to them, because of how vocal I am.  This is not about be lashing out and fighting everyone or anything crazy like that.  But I am able to say my mind, how I feel, and hold no whims about it.  I am very comfortable with who I am as a person and do not really care about what other people think.

On the flip side I am very forgiving.  Call it a God given talent, but I am able to get over things quite fast and forgive people for it like nothing ever happened.  This does not mean that I allow people to abuse me time and time again.  This is a difference from forgiving and being your idiot.

This post is getting a lot longer than I intended it to be.  But the main point that I want to make is, never judge a book by its cover.  So many people have judged me by my cover and it is to their own detriment.  There have been times that I have been in a position to help people out, but opted not to because of how they have judged me or treated me.

There have been times where I have opted not to deal with people because they have judged me, and were so oblivious to their stereotype, that they did not even know they were being judgmental.

At the end of the day, you never know who your are talking to, who you are looking at, and who can help you.  But sad to say that you may never get that far, because of the fact that you have put a label on someone without really getting to know them.  This has happened to me in public, on jobs, with friends, and dealing with other people.

There are times where I am sure they maintain their judgments and time where they found out about the real me through other people and regret trying to fit me into the “angry, poor, black, woman” mold.

Our world is way to diverse to to sit and generalize people.  Once I was in Saks Fifth Avenue and another black women who worked was giving me the third degree because she felt like I was going to take something.  Upon conversation she found out I had a good job and was a college graduate.  She told me “ wow I did not expect that.”  And this was from another black person!!!!

Do not be that person.  And as a Christian, why would you want to be.  I am convinced that when we go to heaven a lot of people are going to be upset and disappointed when they stand before God and have to answer to all the nonsense they did and the way they treated people.  Weather you felt they were a big deal or not.

When Jesus was on Earth and they asked him the biggest commandment of them all, out of the 10 commandment that Moses gave.  Jesus said:

“ Jesus replied: ‘

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Matthew 22:36-40

I think if some of us really reflected on what we are doing, we are not loving our neighbor as ourselves.  We are judging them and stepping on them, because we do not feel like they meet our expectations.

I am sure when Oprah was 15 years old, most people around her did not think this obese black women would amount to anything.  But boy were they wrong.  Just saying.