Swiftamine.

I’m late to the party. *shrugs*

Granted this comedy sketch about the girl we love to hate T. Swift debuted practically a month ago, it’s still worth noting and still worth publishing for those few of you who read my blog through LinkedIn (my ambicious audience that’s too busy for SNL, I love you and thank you for making me feel relevant when I share these (old) current topics with you)!

T. Swift has broken record after record with the debut of 1989 and her cash keeps rolling in. I have yet to listen to her album as she is currenlty having beef with Spotify and I refuse to get my music from anywhere else (especially when I throw $10/month at this particular streaming music source). I’ve gotten used to the fact that I may never listen to it (helloooo still haven’t listened to Beyonce in its entirety and that came out a year ago!) and that I’ll only know Shake It Off, Blank Spaces, and any other single she decides to release – I’ll live.

Clearly I’m not an avid Swift fan, which is why I wanted to share this SNL clip with you. For those of you who aren’t Swifties and are surprised, annoyed, bewildered, perplexed, confused that you sometimes find yourself humming ‘Shake It Off’ – this if for you. For those of you who find yourselves having the ability to belt out the entire chorus (and if we’re honest a verse or two) of said song and find it witchcraft that you know more than just the words “Shake. It. Off.” – this is for you.

It’s okay. Embrace Taylormania for what it is. She’s a pop star who is winning it at 23.

**cough, Taylor, if you need an educated black gal on your staff I’m only a Facebook, Twitter, Gchat, Instragram, LinkedIn message away!**

Quote of the Week

“Be yourself. Then tomorrow you don’t have to worry about trying to remember who you pretended to be yesterday….”

Governor Chris Christie (referencing his mother) on New Day after midterm election results

I cannot tell you how excited I am for 2016. The Republican party has always managed to bully/bulldoze/seize enough politcal seats to make noise in Washington, but the energy that the party is effusing right now is mesmerizing. Now that the party has shaken the Tea Party extremist and is showing a true united front when the Democrats are all over the place, one has to wonder if the Repubs can control the entire legislative and executive branches in just a few short years. I’ve always been a fan of Christie and his ‘no nonsense attitude‘. I’ve always been a fan of Hilary Clinton – just because. I’m excited to track Rand Paul and see what he does. It’s just interesting that we already know one of two people to who will ultimately win the Republican nomination. I’m just intrigued to learn what junior Democrats will find it in them to run against Clinton, after all she was supposed to win in 2008 when the one-term Senator gave her an upset.

ps: RIP to Obama’s political future. I’ve seen him as a lame duck basically all of 2014. Now that the Republicans control the legislative (in a disgustingly obvious no contest sort of way), Obama now sadly has the front row seat to watch Republicans pick apart any advances he may have wanted and steamroll any legislature he wouldn’t want happening during his tenure.

Quote of the Week

“When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.”

Harley Davidson

 

I was glancing over an article/blog post/editorial/whatever recently about how a guy recently quit his ‘amazing’ (usually one of the words used to describe this company) job at Google. He went on to talk about his first world problems and life being too comfortable or too convenient and how we’re too young to settle <<< I totally agree. Yet for some reason he couldn’t keep my attention during his waffling. I use ‘waffle‘  because he has the financial means to quit his job (for the second time, you know after he left Wall Street) so I take his self exploration with a grain of salt as he has the financial means and (most likely extensive) resources that most young professionals who are experiencing 1/4 life crises don’t have… So yeah, I may be a hater…. *shrugs*

However, a commenter (my favorite part of most online media) listed the above quote. It was simple and poignant. It’s the little grain of salt you may need to get stuck in your head as you go on throughout your day. Use these simple words as a constant reminder of how you should continuously take action and control of your life. Steer your life to what you think success is for you because if you let someone else take the captain’s seat, you’ll probably capsize… or at the minimum spread your bad attitude and discontent with your life like the norovirus on a cruise ship. <<<< yes this was a stretch analogy, but you’re welcome because I know you’ll understand it anyway!!

Listen to the Mustn’ts

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A lot has happened in the month that I’ve neglected this thing…

A new home in the city. New project at work. New outlook on life. New man <<<<< sike!

During my transition from shameless squatter to a “homeowner” I spent my time dogsitting and going down memory lane. I tried spending my time reading The Fountainhead and Gone Girl (saw the movie EVERYONE MUST SEE IT!); however, I kept finding myself thumbing through my friend’s collection of Shel Silverstein wisdom. While I enjoyed all of Where the Sidewalk Ends and some of his other works and heard the profound, encouraging, uplifting words Silverstein provides to children (provided to me), one poem in particular stood out. The title itself was quirky and spoke to me. It’s short. It’s succint. It makes you think.

How many times have you wanted to do something but talked yourself out of it because they talked you out of it? How many times have you regretted (not) doing something and wish you had a personal time machine to go back and carry out your gut’s desire? You’ve only one life. When it’s all said and done it should be a rewarding ending of decisions, experiences, highs and lows that you’ve decided for yourself. Your life shouldn’t be a summary of what others have decided you should say, should be, should do. This is something that I’m continually learning for myself. Hopefully you’ve already learned this lesson. However, if you’re slightly older than Silverstein’s target audience (like me) and need to consciously remind yourself to live your own life, please join me on this journey of self exploration and let’s fully live the lives we’re lucky enough to still have.

Friday Funny.

I’ve been a sufferer of RBF [Resting ‘Betch’ Face] my whole life.

If I’m not smiling from ear to ear then I must be upset, irritated, worried, etc, etc. – ya know, all negative things. In recent years I’ve tried to be conscious of this issue and make my resting face not look so “intense”, but I’ve realized – THIS IS FUTILE! For some reason my blank face is one of morose irritation. I’ve really tried to remedy this situation, but I’ve realized this is a character flaw that I will just have to embrace.

Buzzfeed and other videos have helped me further my appreciation of this affliction. If you are a fellow sufferer as well, I hope that you too find comfort in the fact that you are not alone.

Does My Opinion Matter?

I don’t know where to begin.

At times like these, my brain sort of shuts down and doesn’t easily formulate an opinion. I catalogue all of the facts and figures, digest everything from everyone, and I try to see if with time and intense pressure a well rounded opinion is formed – sort of like a pearl.

I don’t usually write pieces on current events unless they’re light-hearted or no longer mainstream. Reason being, I don’t want to be a part of the fray. I don’t like band-waggoning. I don’t like adding fuel to the flame when it comes to responding to ignorant people (who actually aren’t ignorant at all because they have figured out the perfect combination of words and sarcasm to illicit an overwhelming response). I don’t like making my views public on the “trendy” news of the day because (to me) that just makes me another number. If I publish my views on today’s current headlines I’ll just be another person “taking a stand” and “doing what’s right” behind a computer screen. To me this is absolute b***$#!+ because what does a well crafted 50o word or less editorial really do  if that’s the only thing everyone is doing? We are a narcissistic nation. We champion our international advancements, point the finger at each other for our own domestic pitfalls, and yet we portray our views ‘flawlessly’ as we try to garner as many likes and shares as possible in the opinion spouting process.

Trayvon Martin’s case concluded July 13, 2013. Before, during, and after the trial there was such a public outpouring of ‘I am Trayvon‘ pictures and protests and demands for gun reform  it was truly amazing. Our nation spoke up (whether in support of or against Zimmerman) and there seemed to be a sense of change on the horizon. When the jury acquitted Zimmerman of all charges, I was speechless. Trayvon supporters were speechless. Heck, I bet even Zimmerman supporters skipped a breath in surprise for a moment or two.

9 days. Nine days was all it took for our nation to move on from Trayvon. For such a state based issue to get such national attention that the president felt compelled to speak on the matter, it took nine days for our nation to ‘forget’. I remember this clearly. Nine days after the verdict was reached for Trayvon’s trial, Prince George of Cambridge was born – thus effectively diverting American attention overseas. Nine days was all it took for avid Trayvon supporters to drop their hooded pictures and start the self-indulgent game of selfie snapping once again. Trayvon’s case concluded over a year ago, and it seems we’ve taken no steps forward and no steps backwards as a nation. We’ve simply just stopped moving.

Fast forward to a little over a week ago and we’re in the same situation again; only this time there’s a plot twist as the aggressor is a police officer versus an over-zealous member of the neighborhood watch. Michael Brown, is the latest person to make headline news due to the violent way he died. We are going through the same motions as Trayvon. First, public outrage. Second, a trending hashtag/image so that everyone can repost and feel connected to the coverage (this time it’s a ‘hands up‘ pose that’s going viral). Third, character assassination of the victim (police supporters are claiming the officer was responding to a robbery and Brown was the aggressor). Fourth, evaluating the psyche of the perpetrator (soon to come). Fifth, trial and verdict (which will illicit public outrage because I can tell you now the officer will not be charged with 1st degree murder). Sixth, national amnesia as the news cycle will completely move on from this issue and pivot to covering the Middle East or a famous person’s sudden death or a presidential hopeful making another dumb mistake.

It’s ironic really. The people whose views matter most on this topic are staying quiet. The movers, the shakers, the policy makers are surprisingly in unison on this issue of ‘mums the word on the Hill’. Our current Congress has agreed so fleetingly, it has been deemed the slowest moving Congress in 20 years. With all of the time they have on their hands I’m surprised no one has spoken out on the issue. However, I’m sure if this death happened exactly a year from now, 90% of politicians (regardless of party lines) would spread their views far and wide as strong opinions garner votes when campaigning for re-election.

However, beyond the media being in the wrong and politicians staying woefully silent, my biggest issue is with society. It goes beyond the irritation that I have with the people who want to be social media famous off of a tragedy or those who make horrendous statements just to get a rise out of the masses. It’s the irritation that not one, not two, but multiple innocent minority males have been assassinated and all that has happened is that the issue has been reported on. Our attention span has been so flippant as a society, we haven’t evoked real change in decades. Gone are the days where people sacrifice for months, years for a cause. If an issue is not captured in 140 characters or less, we will no longer remember it once the hashtag is no longer a trending topic.

So, you ask, what’s your brilliant solution, Moni? You’ve found all of the problems, but what is a viable solution?

To that I say, “I don’t know”. I don’t know what the answer is. Arresting this officer ensures that he won’t do it again, but it doesn’t guarantee the same thing won’t happen again tomorrow. We could add more black officers to the area, but just because officers of color are present it won’t alleviate the negative stigma for the area. We could start drives and encourage people to vote and change their elected officials, but we all know statistically that will be ineffective as low-income areas do not effectively exercise that right due to the time/financial inconveniences that voting can cause. If Brown had survived, or the officer was not white, would this case be a national issue? No. We are America. Land of the ‘free’, home of the drama. We crave it. We run off of it. This story is a knee-jerker, boosts ratings, and highlights the ugly keloided side of America – that will probably never truly heal.

Highlighting voter education or race relation advancement is not as sexy and eye-catching as racial profiling and rampant gun violence. The looters who are ‘outraged’ are only detracting from the issue at hand. The ‘peaceful’ protestors and overly aggressive police are only showcasing the discord in the area. Until we can revert back to the days of yore and become a nation of doers instead of complainers, we’re going to be stuck. In politics, in the media, in our day to day lives, we’re stuck if all we do is talk about change instead of creating it for ourselves.

What it all boils down to is the fact that unless people rally to actually evoke change instead of rallying for the sake of rallying, nothing will ever change. People have to demand institutionalized change. Through education, voting, and actually understanding how one’s actions can in fact change their environment/their situation, we’ll sadly be stuck in this sick cycle.

Personally, I don’t see myself flying to Ferguson to stay there long enough to see the change they desperately need – hence me standing next to the soapbox instead of on it. If your support will go beyond the trial, beyond the #dontshoot trendability, beyond the well thought out Facebook comment that will gain you at least 162 likes, by all means I support your support of these trying times and am praying for you. However, if you’re just supporting just to say, “I support this cause,” when in reality you’re just expressing a little social media sentiment, please stop. It’s people like you that are hindering the progress of the people who truly care and will fight for the change society needs. You’re a distraction.

Honest Trailer

Lately everything I’ve found interesting has involved Disney. Maybe it’s because my cruise a few months ago was freaking awesome. It could also be that I’ve yet to find reason to pop open my very unnecessary and impulse purchase bottle of Moet and Chandon from my champagne brunch on said cruise. Or, it could just be that I’m subconsciously preparing myself to see Aladdin on Broadway in a few weeks – and can’t wait!

Either way, when a co-worker enlightened me on the ‘honest trailers’ spoofs I was mesmerized. Essentially, Screen Junkies creates spoof trailers of cinematic treasures and enlightens the audience of the movie’s true substance – you know the things marketers gloss over.

The Lion King’s spoof had be howling within seconds. It’s catchy. It’s funny. It’s intriguing. After the movie I did a little research on Kimba the White Lion and the evidence that Disney ‘borrowed‘ the idea is there. Granted many articles I’ve read have stated that the storylines are completely different, it’s pretty hard to not notice some of the blatant similarities.

PS: If The Lion King trailer had you giggling, you’ll love the Frozen – Honest Trailer as well!

 

Renewed Hope.

Back when I was a wee little girl I had the dream of becoming a Senator. I thought it would be cool to be an elitist in the top 100 half of Congress than just a number in the House. Over the years that desire has all but died as time and time again American politics seems like a way for some of the smartest people to showcase they were physically able to attain a master’s in this or Ph.D in that, but they mentally never left high school – some middle school.

A few days ago, I was given renewed hope in politics when I stumbled upon a video of Elizabeth Warren. Warren is a Senator from Massachusetts who means business. While I could bore you with facts about her and how she is being considered to be a Deomcratic presidential favorite in 2016, I just want to highlight a recent piece of her work where she ripped into a bank lobbyist. Essentially there are provisions for almost all loan borrowers to experience some form of financial relief through filing for bankruptcy – unless your loan is a private student loan. Federal student loans have been excluded from bankruptcy since 1998, and in 2005 the banks successfully lobbied against bankruptcy protection for private student loans as well. While the federal government offers a little help with a few loan modification options, the banks hardly offer anything – if at all.

This heated discussion is based off of the CNN Money story about a family whose daughter suddenly passed away and her three orphan children were taken in by the grandparents. The daughter’s $100,000 loans morphed into $200,000 of debt after her parents could not make all of the demanding payments and the escape option of bankruptcy was not an option. It’s sad to hear that her parents have already eaten through their retirement. With no relief in sight, this family will most likely be financially strapped for years to come.

Mission Statement

“Weird Al” Yankovic is kind of great.

In an effort to point out that all of the buzz words that you have used/are using/will use [yes, I’m talking to you] at work are insurmountably useless, he has created yet another parody to help people visualize the words and phrases they commonly use but can’t actually define.

“I wanted to do a song about all the ridiculous double-speak and meaningless buzzwords that I’ve been hearing in office enviroments my entire life,” Yankovic stated in an interview with the WSJ. Click the link to learn more about Weird Al and his new album “Mandatory Fun”.

 

Land of the Free, Home of the Basic

As one of those pop culture words/phrases that’s run(ning)/ran its course in our common young adult vernacular [let’s reflect on YOLO, circa 2011; Bootylicious, circa  2001;  and Whassup?, circa 1999], labeling others as ‘Basic’ has been a term of endearment for those you know who are making a faux pas, and an insult to those you don’t and wouldn’t mind keeping that way.

It turns out that Jezebel has made it easy for us to spot the most common basic tendencies throughout the nation. From LA to Dallas to DC and all that’s inbetween, we can now understand the Basic female in every area code – and how to avoid them.

Don’t feel left out gentlemen. Jezebel also created a guide for Basic Bros and where to spot them as well.

&& I know you were wondering. I’m a hybrid of a Brooklyn Basic and HBCU Sorority girl basic even though my life’s Venn Diagram doesn’t overlap with having ever lived in NY or ever attending said institution.

&& my ideal guy would be a hybrid of the Manhattan Bro and Brooklyn Bro.

Hmm… Maybe this is God’s way of telling me that my ‘bae‘ (another young adult slang term on the rise) is in NY? *starts looking at NY job listings*

Epiphany.

Well.

The other day I had one of those days where I question life, the purpose of it, and the blah blahs of it all. Again – the family said ‘just turn to Jesus’. The friends said- ‘don’t worry you’re not the only one feeling this way’. The television told me,  ‘oooh, we’re helping 8 year olds become Instagram famous and what exactly are you doing?! Haha I should explain that I recently watched Raising Asia (some Lifetime dance show about a spoiled kid) and it was interesting to say the least.

Anyway, after having another woe is me evening, I kind of realized that the world has a way of making things fall into place. I stumbled upon a LinkedIn article that’s a must read (it shall get featured one day soon). I realized that I suck for not contacting two amazing potential professional mentors that I met months ago. I realized that all of these random bouts of sadness are useless and UNHEALTHY. Finally… most importantly… I realized that I’ve lost sight of the little things I wanted to accomplish this year. I made a list of 23 things I wanted to accomplish in my Jordan year. After reminiscing on my words written over six months ago, and reflecting on what I have not  accomplished, I’m realizing that the universe is not conspiring against me, I’m conspiring against myself.

It’s the little things that matter. You can’t climb a mountain without learning how to crawl. You can’t make wine without a few squashed grapes. Everything worth having in life requires steps, requires a process. Overnight successes -well they suck. Theres no point of getting to the top if you’re only there for 19 minutes. These are all thoughts I’ve shared before. These are all realizations I’ve realized. However, for some reason this week truly marked a turning point. Go be the catalyst of your life. Go fulfill your purpose. While it’s hard to keep these things in check and to remember the little things, it’s honestly the little things that matter most.

———————————————————————————–

It’s a funny realization that I forgot to auto-publish this piece and as I sit here at my cubicle absorbing my words after just having a random call from my manager (that has instantly changed my perspective on my job for the better), I realize that life truly can change in an instant. It’s the little things and the small steps you take that prepare you for those moments. While I’m constantly trying to mature as a person, writer, friend, [insert other nouns here], I’ve really got to retain my perspective on life and how it could be worse. Perspective is one of my favorite words and yet something that I have been losing sight of lately.

This has been a great Wednesday so far. Hopefully a new perspective and mindset is helping you have a renewed sense of self for the remainder of the week!

Morning Chuckle

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is on the typical media circuit as he promotes his new movie “Hercules” premiering Friday. While  we’ve learned in recent weeks that his 22 week daily diet for the movie would be a typical person’s last meal, his latest stunt with Jimmy Fallon will probably pique your interest most in seeing the movie if it wasn’t on your radar before.

Johnson stopped by “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon, Tuesday, July 22, and he educated us on The Fungo Brothers. While the duo were “before their time,” Johnson cited this dynamic duo as a pivotal resource for his workout regimen for the movie. If you happened to miss last night’s episode view the clips below.

You gotta hustle for the muscle!

Why Can’t We Be Friends?

 

A guy bestie of mine (shortened to ‘guestie’?) sent me this link and asked me what I thought. As I watched it I realized that while satirical, there is A LOT of truth in the parody.

Ladies, for some reason at times (*cough* quite frequently) we have a subconscious desire to tear each other down, give backhanded compliments, compare/rank/totem pole ourselves to one another – stop it! Men, you have an uncanny nature to always just let things be, to nonchalantly let issues roll off your back, to not pick things apart and to never overanalyze another’s actions – très annoying!

While guestie and I had a rivetting debate/powwow/good ol’ fashioned ping session, it’s definitely a topic you should ponder today while overlaying it with WAR’s Why Can’t We Be Friends in your head. If nothing else, you can appear to be deep and insightful and spark this discussion yourself while hammocking, at a drunk brunch or whatever it is you find yourself doing as you bask in the sunlight of the weekend with your friends.

#yourewelcome.

Two Will Do, but One is Just Fine

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If you’re anything like me you’ll have to do a double take or five when glancing at these pictures. At first I noticed the cool outfits. Then the America’s Next Top Model poses. Then I noticed what was missing…

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Fasion designers Katriina and Vilma decided to take on the challenge of how to empower breast cancer survivors. What started as a nonprofit art project, quickly developed into an international photo exhibit. Including 10 photographers, 10 suits and 10 models, these Couture one-breasted suits are being used to empower all women.

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While the designers’ Kickstarter campaign was not a success, you can view their entire collection and learn mroe about Monokini 2.0 here!

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Farewell ‘Archie’

 

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Archie Andrews, will commit his last heroic act today. After spending 73 years of debating between Betty and Veronica and bumbling through sticky situations with best friend Jughead, the adult themed series “Life with Archie” will have Archie die as he stops an assassination attempt on his gay best friend, Kevin Keller. Announced in April that the Archie character will die, today readers will be able to experience his final moments.

While the teenage Archie character will still live on in other series, the “Life with Archie” series portrays the character’s final moments – in a very political themed way. Not being the first time to tackle a political issue (previous issues feature gay marriage, cancer, and affordable health care), today’s issue highlights America’s leniency on gun control.

“The way in which Archie dies is everything that you would expect of Archie,” said Jon Goldwater, Archie Comics publisher and co-CEO. “He dies heroically. He dies selflessly. He dies in the manner that epitomizes not only the best of Riverdale but the best of all of us. It’s what Archie has come to represent over the past almost 75 years.”

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This isn’t the first time that an iconic comic book character has met his demise. Peter “Spider-Man” Parker and Steve “Captain America” Rogers have made headlines and garnered intense reaction from fans in recent years as their characters have also died. Goldwater, however, notes that Andrews’ death is different because he is not a superhero. “Archie […] he’s human. He’s a person. When you wound him, he bleeds. He knows that. If anything, I think his death is more impactful because of that. We hope by showing how something so violent can happen to Archie, that we can — in some way — learn from him.”

Keller joined the Archie cast in 2010 as the first openly gay character. In “Life with Archie”, Keller is a former military veteran and newly elected senator pushing for gun control after his husband was involved in a shooting.

The following issue (No. 37), will be set one year after today’s issue and reveal how the town honors Archie’s legacy.

Melodramatic.

If one needed a visual of this word, they would find a still photo of me in the fetal position clutching my stuffed dog in pure angst. One would wonder: Did someone die? Did she lose her job? Is there a severe physical ailment? No. None of those things transpired. Rather, I realized that I am not invincible, I cannot take rejection, and I am financially irresponsible.

Let’s take a deep dive [Spark notes version] into my psyche over the past 8 weeks and evaluate why you’ve been neglected of my witty words during this time.

  1. I was considered for a job that I did not want, for a company that I have salivated over for years. I never wanted the job. Ever. However, even as I flew out to my final round interview, I was trying to make it work logically in my head that if I suffer enough in a company that I love it will eventually all workout. Even as I was trying to convince myself that this job that I was overqualified for and had no desire in taking was the next big break in my life, I received the biggest blow to the gut when I received my rejection phone call. To think you have something in the bag and then to topple off of the pedestal you put yourself on is quite traumatic.
  2. I am on a financial struggle. It is not the severe struggle some face where they debate between paying their car payment or light bill for the month, rather it’s the anguish in realizing that I can no longer afford bottomless brunches and now have to cook for myself and provide my own Korbel and Simply Orange (with mango) instead of having Mindy the waitress bring them to me.
  3. Along the same route, I can no longer plan to go to Las Vegas with my friends. This realization is not helping as I have lately been trying to get a handle on my intense FOMO (fear of missing out) anxiety. I feel as if all of my friends have migrated to Nevada at some point in 2014. Now that the dream of parlaying on the strip is no longer on the table, what photo will garner the Instagram caption – “School is like going to Vegas. Gambling thousands of dollars when there’s no guarantee you’ll be successful. #cliquechillin #6amnights #whathappens”
  4. After conversing with my sister and lamenting on how I hate my stage in life and the stagnation and the unrest and the blah blah blah that are my first world problems, I told her that Oprah was already fulfilling her purpose at my age, but Suze Orman was a waitress – so there’s hope. She then went on to tell me that they and I are apples and oranges. I cannot compare myself to them because I do not have the drive, focus or direction to attain their level of success (I promise she’s a really sweet girl she’s just giving me some tough love – but she clearly enjoys kicking dogs in her spare time).
  5. My roommate pointed out to me that I make no sense. In my recent state of borderline depression, I told her that when I do finally make it big I’ll be a sham of a success since I don’t have a story/haven’t gone through a real struggle. I didn’t grow up on the streets of Brooklyn being forced to sell crack or have to deal with alcoholic parents or harassed to join a gang, rather I got by in middle class suburbia having to deal with relentless jokes on my nose than threats on my life.

If you haven’t rolled your eyes at least 8 times while reading this, then something is seriously wrong with you. While these are all real self-centered, self-deprecating thoughts that I’ve had in recent weeks, my inner circle has helped me to realize that I need to get over myself and count the thousands of blessings that I have. Having a few complaints aren’t bad, heck I think they’re healthy as it shows you desire to see a difference in the status quo that is your life. However, if you allow your discontent to cause you to go into paralysis and down a rabbit hole of self-loathing then this is where you should draw the line.

As William Ernest Henley puts it quite nicely, ‘I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul’ (well… you and Jesus). No one else can be the pilot of your life but you. Even if you haven’t figured out where you want to land, at least make the journey worth while!

AMURICAH!

I know I’ve neglected this thing for far too long… there are soooo many posts, ideas, rants, aspirational messages I want to/have to post – but none of that matters right now as we watch the USA take on Germany!!!!! USA USA USA USA USA!

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When DIY goes to Far…

[Maybe I should preface by saying this post is honestly for women only.]

I love a good craft. When I see that image on Pinterest come to life on my kitchen counter because of my hands I almost understand the joy people experience when they bring a new life into the world. Now, I could spend hours exploring craft ideas, creating such crafts and enjoying the fruits of my toil from said work (let me clarify, when I say ‘craft’ I mean FOOD!), but there are times when I feel that the American public should banish certain DIYs because they’ve gone too far *<<<<insert mortified emoji here!*

A few days ago, I was reading this post on tampons and how they are bad for the environment. The author mentions that each year 20 billion disposable menstrual products are tossed into North American landfills – 20 billion!! She decided to go on a quest to educate herself on greener ways to handle her monthlygift and share what she learned. I truly appreciate the exploration and education she provided because I honestly didn’t know that most of these options existed. Menstral cups, sea sponges, and pre-padded panties are just a few of the options she mentioned. They all seem to suit different needs and if it helps reduce one’s carbon footprint then I’m all for it!

HOWEVER!! The last option she mentions is a little vile. The thought of creating a homemade pad crosses the line. I just can’t imagine sitting in front of the TV, watching Suits and sewing together a reusable pad – eww – but please don’t think of me as close minded. After doing a lot of research on the issue I’ve strongly considered experimenting with the DivaCup (hello, it was named for me!) and giving it a whirl. There are times when I’m really into this hippie stuff and I’d love to not fill landfills with my business. If you’d like to make your own DIY pads, find some pretty cool instructions here! If you’d like to learn more about menstrual cups and why I’m strongly considering converting, click here! If you’d like to see the hilarity that Buzzfeed can generate when trying to broach such a sensitive topic click here. Enjoy!

Word of the Month

Levity: humor or frivolity, especially the treatment of a serious matter with humor or in a manner lacking due respect.

I was in conversation with a co-worker one day when he sprung this word on me. Now, I know I’ve heard it in the past, but I had to look it up (no judgement!). It’s always astounding to me when you stumble upon those words that aptly describe a person, situation, etc. that they could hold the weight of a sentence solitarily [ie: jaunt, dalliance, serendipity] .

While I’ve found many words fitting for other people, never have I found a word that so aptly describes me (well, besides charming, quirky and captivating). However, levitizing (pretty sure this is not a word, go with it) is something that I do on a daily basis. It’s like I found the glass slipper of nouns for myself. Hopefully I was able to expand upon your vocabulary for the day! Ta-ta.

It Was the Orange Juice

Today has been the longest day of my life (in 2014 at least, 2013 saw some looong ones) and I barely moved from a 5 foot radius.

It all started with the orange juice. After passing out on the couch at 1:45, Jesus jolted me awake at 4:30am so that I could start packing for my trip. It took me the remaining 5 hours until my taxi came to pack for this week long voyage. However, with a little spring in my step and feeling great I managed to squeeze out enough time to enjoy Chik-fil-A with my friend before my departure. Being two hours early for my flight (again, divine favor) I felt on top of the world. It’s not until I got to security did things start to go downhill…

I already knew something was wrong when I cleared the body scan and saw my backpack pulled off of the conveyor belt. It wasn’t until the guard ransacked it and pulled out my unopened Simply Orange Juice did I realize my problem. After rejecting ny pleas to chug it on the spot and having no desire to get back in line, my heart cracked a little as I watched him nonchalantly throw away some quality liquids.

Fast forward two hours and I went from being happy watching Parks and Recreation to experiencing the five stages of grief. My flight was delayed two hours due to ‘mechanical errors’ (clearly not enough phalangies) and this is no bueño. I should explain that this is detrimental as I am flying to Orlando to embark on a 7 day DISNEY cruise (I say it loud and proud now since so many ppl make fun of me!) and the flight being delayed two hours is forcing Mickey and Minnie to leave without me.

While I’m trying to muster up fake tears to the US Airways agent to book me a flight to Cozumel to catch up with the boat, I’m also trying to telepathically tell my sister whose airborne to Orlando to stash my passport somewhere in the airport so that I can even get on this international flight. Yes! That’s right! My passport was on its way to Orlando with my sisters because for some odd reason they didn’t trust that I’d bring it. -___-

Now that I’m forced to fly to Orlando in order to fly anywhere else – I’m stuck. Not only do I have to prove on good faith that the agent can book me an international flight with no concrete access to a passport, I now have to fake cry AGAIN because he’s saying upgrading me from a domestic flight to an international is a situation where there are too many strings to be pulled.

After holding up this delayed flight 15 more minutes with my own personal drama (did I forget to mention the other passengers already boarded?), I boarded a flight to Orlando with no real plan. So now… I have to pray they can stash my passport. I have to pray a friend I haven’t talked to since graduation will let me crash on his couch for the wkd. I have to pray this flight to Cozumel will even go through! && I’m even doing some hail Mary’s just in case to see if it’s possible to even sprint to this boat.

Sigh. My life is stressful. I’m not even bothered by the four different babies crying on this plane at the same time. I blame the OJ. Next time I’ll just stick to the fresh squeezed lemonade.

I am not a hater.

I always have to preface that when the topic of Beyonce comes up. I’ve been meaning for awhile to give an in-depth analysis to this American gem, but for now I just want to give you this nugget of a video. While I do not worship her, I appreciate her music. If this video were real I’d have the same fate as the leading man in this ‘trailer’ – no question. Over the years I’ve learned that the Beyhive takes these things very seriously. If they could really execute this, I know they would.

Respect the Queen

‘He Monica Lewinsky-ed all on my gown…’

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Well.

It seems like we traveled 20 years into the past.

In an effort to become relevant (my words, not hers) Monica Lewinsky has finally decided to break her silence on her affair with then sitting President Bill Clinton. Hitting newsstands May 13th, Lewinsky opens up to Vanity Fair about the hailstorm that ensued after her affair with the president went public. From struggling with suicidal thoughts to explaining the difficulty of finding a job, Lewinsky wants to change society’s perception and clear the air around her name.

Sure, my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point: it was a consensual relationship. Any ‘abuse’ came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position…

At the end of the day, Lewinsky realizes that she has been the butt of many pop cultural references and even notes that Beyoncé got it a little wrong in her song ‘Partition‘ and the singer should’ve referenced Bill Clinton – not her. She wants to move on and possibly have the final say in this fiasco.

On one hand, I say good for her. On the other, like other people who break their silences dramatically late – who cares? This affair happened when I was 5ish years old. I had no idea what an affair was and was more inclined to see the shenanigans Tommy and the gang were trying to pull on Rugrats than the possible impeachment of a president. If she really wanted to make a statement, she should’ve broken her silence AFTER Hillary made it official she was running in 2016 [Ready for Hillary anyone?!]. But that’s just me. Who knows what else Lewinsky has to offer in the rest of the article. Go grab the nearest Vanity Fair next week and find out!

Inspirational.

“Because of  Them, We Can” features many portraits by Eunique Jones Gibson of young boys and girls dressed as inspiring, accomplished people. The project is, “committed to encourange and empower people of all ages and hues to dream out loud and reimagine themselves as greater than they are, simply by connecting the dots between the past, the present and the future.”

View the pictures. Watch the video. Get inspired.

[Not sure where this fascination with children is coming from lately, but You’re welcome].

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Fashion Alert!!

I love a well dressed person.

A well dressed man – even better!

But.. there’s something to be said about adorable kiddies. Whenever the Lord decides to punish me with offspring, I hope to make them look as lovable as this! So what if people argue that these parents are horrible and using them as human mannequins. I say, what’s the point of having a kid if you can’t make it a life sized, life like, moving, walking doll?! If you want to see the entire Buzzfeed go right ahead. Below are just a few of my favorites. ❤

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Cannabi-so Lucky?

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Yes. That was a stretch. Yes. This is my lame attempt at being witty.

But as the world (and especially America) has slowly opened its arms to grass, Mary Jane, reefer, hash, kush – or to you less hip people weed – one has to wonder are we finally on track to making marijuana a national “treasure”? According to the Huffington Post‘s findings it seems we’re on pace.  Maryland recently became the 21st state to embrace the use of medical marijuana. Legalizing marijuana has been an uphill battle for its advocates. Some would have argued that Colorado legalizing marijuana in 2000 (can you believe it’s been that long?!) was an anomaly and it’d sooner revoke the law than other states follow suit. Others would have argued that 14 years later the country’s national colors would have been red, green, and blue by now!

The nation is definitely progressing with 12 states having pending legislation on the issue. However, if I may step on my soapbox *cough cough* : it is still absurd to me that our sometimes backwards country is willing to legalize another drug form before nationally legalizing same-sex marriage (if you could care less to follow the link, only 17 states allow same-sex marriage, 33 flat out deny it). Sigh. Either way, progress is progress. So, I guess I’m grateful that there’s some change than none at all – until headlines like that of Donald Sterling breakout and one has to wonder if there has really been progress at all?

Quote of the Week

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frigtens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?

 

Wise words from Marianne Williamson’s A Return to Love <<<<< an excerpt from Oprah.com. This is a NY Times bestseller book focusing on spiritual thought that I hope to add to a neverending book list of mine (if only I’d actually sit down and start crossing things off – sigh). Anywho, today is the beginning of a new week. Ask yourself these questions as you start your day, your week, your new chapter in whatever new endeavor you find yourseldf in and hopefully you can provide yourself with some powerful responses.

An Ode to Ursula

I was never a fan of the Little Mermaid.

I always thought that Ariel was too spoiled and I always thought that Ursula was truly evil (her and Cruella.. they were the only ones I distinctly remember being afraid of). Anywho, when I stumbled upon this spoken word by an Ursula fanatic I was intrigued. Apparently Disney came out with a collector’s edition of villain dolls and a few of the memorable characters received some ‘upgrades’. The most notable being Ursula, who went from being plus-sized to looking emaciated. Below is the spoken word piece (I’m sure you’ll provide a few snaps to)  and Ursula’s transformation. Enjoy!

Ursula then.

Ursula then.

Ursula now.

Ursula now.

Food for Thought

How many times have we walked away from a perfect thing without knowing it…?

 

Got this nifty little nugget from a new ABC show called Mixology. The backstory for this episode/quote is that a guy [since I forgot their names let’s call him Cam] meets a girl [let’s call her Alex] at a bar, they have chemistry (the very strong type), they decide to meet later that night and talk to each other a little more. However, as the episode progresses, Cam’s friends point out to him that he’s in love with love and just because they have chemistry it doesn’t mean he should pursue her. He feeds into his own insecurities and decides not to meet her when he notices her hug another man (her attractive co-worker)…

All of this is to say, that if we don’t dive headfirst into failure, how can we ever hope to succeed? Yes, Cam has been married three times before the age of 27, but who’s to say this bartender wasn’t his soulmate? Without some of the greatest people failing an incredible amount of times, we wouldn’t have Macy’s, the lightbuld, FedEx, or even Ford trucks! I’ll leave you with some uplifting quotes about failure. I just hope you take their advice and fail harder!

“Failing is one of the greatest arts in the world. One fails toward success.” – Charles Kettering

“Failure provides the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently.” – Henry Ford

“The fastest way to succeed is to double your failure rate.” – Thomas Watson Sr.

“No matter how hard you work for success, if your thought is saturated with the fear of failure, it will kill your efforts, neutralize your endeavors and make success impossible.” – Baudjuin

“I don’t believe I have special talents, I have persistence … After the first failure, second failure, third failure, I kept trying.” – Carlo Rubbia

“I’ve failed over and over again in my life. That is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

Repeat.

I’ve kinda been known to have an addictive personality. From absently polishing off an entire bag of party size chips in one sitting, to having debilitating two week long crushes, to playing a song 47 times in a row and not being phased… I’m an indecisive lady who knows what she likes in the most inconsistent of ways. This week’s song on repeat is Miguel’s Don’t Look Back on his 2012 Kaleidoscope Dream album. While the premise of the song is how he’s a gentleman by day and womanizer by night, the simple words of the chorus are what I’m connecting to. The phrase “don’t look back..” has so much meaning. To me they’re words of advice as one prepares to start a new chapter in his life – even if he hasn’t realized it yet (ie Derwin Davis when he was last seen on The Game  – how I heard this little gem of a song btw).

Yesterday, I heard some news that made me realize a new chapter is on the horizon in my life. Personally, professionaly, and physically I know that change is coming and I’m terrified, yet excited. It’s always funny how random songs come into my life at the perfect time. The last time this happened I was playing Calvin Harris’s Sweet Nothing the entire time I was running 4 1/2 miles on the side of the highway – crying. Let’s just say that song helped me purge some pent up emotions my last semester at Carolina. While many a Tar Heel gave me worried pittying looks as they drove past, it was the best and easiest way for me to move on from my “problems” [haha it’s always funny to reflect and realize the worries of yesterday are overcoming memories for today].

Anywho. As this week is 1/2 way over, is there anything you need to move on from? A friend that’s no good  for you? A habit you’ve been meaning to kick? A job that you have when you’ve always wanted a career? Whatever it is, do what you need to do and don’t look back. At times life has a way of happening outside of your control. Sometimes we intend to start new chapters, and other times life becomes the author of our lives. Whatever is happening to you, for you, without you take it for what it is, learn from it, and as my friend [in my head] Miguel says – don’t look back.

Quote of the Week.

You really can find some great inspiration in the most obvious of places. I’ve recently been utilizing LinkedIn quite a lot lately and one of the “influencers” I follow shared these wise words from his father…

A fool with a plan can outsmart a genius with no plan any day. – T. Boone Picken’s father

These words in a sense speak to me as they remind me of my blopost Pause. You are your own legs in this race called life. While a little timing and luck can help you, only you can decide whether you get to make it to the podium or not. <<<< I know. This analogy was a stretch, but you get where I’m going!

Ha. At the end of the day, I know I may be a fool.. I’m just desperately still trying to figure out my plan. Have a great weekend folks! 🙂

Guerilla Ad Strategy

actors front row from left, Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Peter Nyong’o Jr., and, second row, from left, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyong’o and Angelina Jolie as they pose for a "selfie" portrait on a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday, March 2, 2014, in Los Angeles.

actors front row from left, Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Peter Nyong’o Jr., and, second row, from left, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyong’o and Angelina Jolie as they pose for a “selfie” portrait on a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday, March 2, 2014, in Los Angeles.

Now that the buzz of the Oscars has died down and everyone has belabored all of their comments on Lupita’s whirlwind in Hollywood, Clooney’s gaff in pronunciation and Whoopi donning a dress, I’d like to highlight a fun fact I recently learned. >>> please keep in mind that I have still yet to watch the Oscars, it’s still in my DVR markes as new.

Ellen’s ‘impromptu’ selfie with her Samsung Galaxy Note 3 was actually staged. I’ve had a friend or two tell me that the stunt didn’t look that organic, but either way the overall goal was reached – Samsung got amazing product placement and it was definitely a buzzworthy moment during the award show.

If you’d like to learn more about the specifics of Samsung’s $20 million+ deal, or behind the scenes details from the award show’s producers feel free to click away.

Being Black Is…

I heard about President Obama’s initiative last week to “empower boys and young men of color,” but I chose to write a brief synopsis over the Oscars instead. Why? Well honestly hearing about black [male] youth in America is frustrating. From the many who have died in senseless deaths, to those who have been stopped and frisked unnecessarily, to others garnering absurd criminal sentences for an offense, while some are just trying to take a step forward only to be dragged back… it’s astounding. I’ll take you on a jaunt of the eye-opening, [borderline] depressing internet joyrneys I’ve been on in recent weeks.

1. You can die from walking through someone’s yard [after someone chases you down of course]

2. You can get a DUI for having bloodshot eyes [that dang chlorine..]

3. You can be depicted as ‘art’… but this and this are no Monet

4. You can basically get a life sentence at the age of 14 [note to self… never commit a crime in FL]

5.  You can view 21 other reasons here. This is all too much.

So while there is much negative news out there about growing up a minority male in America, it is great that President Obama has started his “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative which joins together local and national leaders in philanthropy, business, government, faith communities, and the media. This team will try to foster solutions that challenge boys and young men of color. General Colin Powell, Michael Bloomberg, Marcia Fudge, and Magic Johnson are just a few leaders who want to evoke change through this program.

While it is quite perplexing that so many people find fault with an initiative that is supposed to move this nation forward (just read the comments in these Washington Post, CNN and CBS articles), one can only hope that only small minded individuals have the time to actually leave comments on news articles.

In recent weeks, it’s crossed my mind that being black can be Frightening, Scary, Depressing, Disadvantageous… however, if you focus only on the bad you overlook all of the progress that has been made. From Obama, to the new ‘it girl’ Lupita, to the numerous accolades the Williams Sisters, LeBron James, Tiger Woods have garnered, one cannot say that progress is not being made. Does racism still exist? Yes. Is there biased injustice in our judicial system? Absolutely. However, the only way we can move forward as a nation is if we band together and quit trying to tear each other down – figuratively and literally.

Love.

When you think of two people in love what do you think of?

Is it a man and a woman sharing a gentle caress? Are they the same race? Similar socioeconomic status? Same level of idealized ‘beauty’?

Why is it that most people’s default thought is of a same race, heterosexual couple? How can we start to change?

Well.. photographer Braden Summers is ahead of the game and is on a quest to change the way we think. His series “All Love is Equal” features moving pictures of LGBT couples in love all around the world. What started as a Kickstarter project is now one small step to change people’s perceptions on a global scale. Below are just a few of his photos from the series but visit his site for even more!

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The Oscars are when?!

So… if you’re anything like me, you spend more time trying to catch up on buzzworthy TV (hello House of Cards, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones!) than spending an arm and a leg trying to enter an alternate universe for 2 1/2 hours with stale popcorn. Since my new favorite queen of daytime Ellen is hosting the Oscars this year (RIP daytime conglomerate Oprah, the 4 o’clock hour just isn’t the same without you), I figured why not educate myself so that I can have a little frame of reference on Sunday and be able to confidently interject at the water cooler on Monday. Below is the only thing I’ve looked at and intend to use for such preparation… this eerily reminds me of my college days… but if these kids enlighten you like they did me, then you’ll realize that you’re glad you didn’t spend money on Philomena, Her still seems weird, and 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street are all still must sees on my list!

Pixar.

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I believe in conspiracy theories.

I believe JFK’s assassination is beyond the scope of one man. I believe that another intelligent life form could exist. I believe Beyonce & Obama could have a thing together (haha, I kid! You’ve gotta love the French for deflecting).

After many years and many tears, I also believe that in the Toy Story franchise, Andy’s mom is Jessie’s previous owner, Emily. I don’t care enough to explain it, but you should definitely look into the theories that Jon Negroni and the site Imgur present. It’s kind of mind blowing.

If you want even more, Negroni also presents an idea that all Pixar movies “exist in the same universe and tell one, cohesive story”. I admit, it’s too many words for me – but something I’ll check out when I’m bored one day soon. >>>> Enjoy!

Fun Fact: There’s a separate wikipedia solely focused on the products of Pixar Studios. Pixar Wiki is a fun place to click around!

No Noise Please.

I always hate when I’m late to discover innovative [sidebar: I can’t stand this overused buzz word, but it’s so fitting!] ideas. After scrounging around the world wide web, I learned a little bit about Maentis and Selfridges&Co. With all of the clutter and chaos and messaging that comes with mass marketing, it’s intersting to see the perspective these “innovators” have taken to combat this situaiton.

Maentis: French art collective Maentis started a satirical series of corporate logos called “Universal Unbranding”. The whole point is to provide a poignant POV and sharp contrast of the brand and how it has affected society.

Selfridges: Widely known for its chain of high end department stores in the UK, Selfridges opened The Quiet Shop as a way to offer a range of carefully selected brand name products – without the brand name. This minimalist approach features Heinz ketchup, Levi’s Jeans and Beats by Dre headphones.

It’s great to either poke fun at big business or try to minimize the clutter that they create. Either way, maybe this has helped shine some light on the ways marketing has positively and negatively changed society and how sometimes the best way to rise above the fray is to not be a part of it.

So, once again there is this age old question of what is beauty? and how does one find it? and how come only certain looks and skin tones are “it”?

Well.. Buzzfeed had four women participate in an experiment. Each woman modeled in a professional photoshoot and then had Photoshop experts retouch the photos to make them look like “cover models”. Their reactions are quite surprising and not what you’d expect when given such an opportunity.

“It’s natural to be critical of yourself, it’s natural to be uncomfortable or awkward… but you just have to know that the ideal just doesn’t exist.”

While I probably paid more attention to the comments people left than the video itself, I must say I agreed with some people that this has an eerie feeling of being staged. I mean really… only 4 women and they were all aghast by what the computer did and had these amazing quotes [like the one above] about loving your imperfections. Puuuuuuh-leaze. Now, I agree, this is a great video with a beautiful message, but they could’ve toned down the cheesy just a bit.

Beauty is in the Eye of…

To Quit… Or Not to Quit…?

Sometimes I like Facebook because you stumble upon gems like these. Now, I would never condone this behavior as it is quite reckless and leads to no good when on the hunt for another form of employment; however, I love when people are creative when dealing with common situations. Below is a story about Jenny DryErase. She quit her job with a bang by emailing these photos to the entire office (sidenote: never do this… ever. Don’t be “that” person who floods my inbox). She thought she had won the battle against her boss until he came back with an even better response…. Enjoy!

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Now… take a moment to get your giggles in check. You good? Okay… Now to her boss’s response….

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After this back and forth, you have to wonder what the office dynamic was like before she quit?! Needless to say folks, never do this. It’s unbecoming and you just killed a reference!

*Disclaimer: being the pretend journalist that I am, I did some sleuthing and stumbled upon this. It kind of takes away from it all, but since I’m positive most people won’t read this post in its entirety, I am happy that most of you will live in ignorant bliss and truly believe that some people do in fact go out with a bang!

On Being Late…

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In my head, I’d like to view myself as a person who treats my time and other people’s time with the utmost respect and is at every destination with 2 minutes to spare. However, many a loved one would call me delusional and state catching me only being 20 minutes late is finding me on a good day. On a spectrum of time keeping, I’ll be honest and admit that I am closer to my family’s perception than my own… You see, things always “come up” whenever I’m getting ready. From an important email, to losing time singing the entire Katy Perry PRISM album, to accidentally making a sandwich and watching a quick episode of Modern Family – things always happen to me that make the hands of a clock move faster than me.

Is this behavior fair? No. Is this behavior acceptable? Mmm.. No. Is this behavior a central part of my character? Uhh… [depends on the situation].

When a colleague sent me this article from the Washington Post on being habitually late, I knew from the title that this in no way would apply to me. After reading it, I realized that the entire article was a page out of my past life experiences. I’ve thought these thoughts. I’ve had these excuses. I’ve irritated the same friends. It’s honestly uncanny. Below is an excerpt:

Here is a translation guide, if you know someone like me:

I am coming downstairs: I will respond to an email, eight minutes will pass, then I will come downstairs.
I am a block away: I am two blocks away.
I am five minutes away: I am ten minutes away.
I am seventeen minutes away: I am giving you an oddly specific number to disguise the fact that I am probably something like half an hour away.
Twenty minutes away!: I am lost somewhere miles away, but optimistic.
I’m en route!: I am still in my apartment
See you at [Time we originally agreed upon]: I’m about to go take a shower, then get dressed, and then I will leave at the time we agreed to meet.

And if you say “I’m running five minutes late” this, to me, translates to “Hey, you now have time to watch a 90 minute film before you get dressed!”

While this article is narcissistic and self-centered and egocentric, sadly, this article defines me and my concept of time perfectly! While my concept of time is usually right on the money and often times a few ticks early when dealing with the professional world, for some reason the  hands of my clock go into slow motion when I’m doing anything not work related. While I’ve taken great strides this year to be a Type A person on time [again, my friends would probably disagree], I know I have a lot of room for growth. In my book, the first steps towards change are acceptance and a game plan. I’ve accepted that I need to do better and my game plan is to start tricking myself with time deadlines (even if my friends are already ahead of the game)!

Black Don’t Crack!!

Lorde & Beyonce at the 2014 Grammys

Lorde & Beyonce at the 2014 Grammys

I stumbled upon this tumblr >>> Old Black People that Look Younger than Lorde <<< and it had me howling withing seconds! I never realized the conspiracy that has been circling that Lorde may not be the age she is claiming to be. However, if you take note on how weathered her face appears and the amazing maturity in her voice you may start to wonder, “Is she really 17?! “… Anywho here is a blog that is dedicated to showing that older African Americans (some even triple Lorde’s age) are aging much more gracefully than our newly discovered New Zealand talent. Enjoy!

Quote of the Week

“We don’t do what we have time for, we do what we make time for…”       – Guest Pastor at DC Metro.

Now, I know it’s a bit early to have a quote of the week when it just started, but these words were so profound and right on the money I felt the need to share. Have a great week, and try to remember these words as you go about your day!

Pause.

Pause is the realization that you’ve stopped, but know that you can move on. Pause is the feeling of purgatory when it’s really contemplative reflection. Pause is knowing that you should hit play, you want to hit play, have the desire to hit play, but for some reason you haven’t and you’re at a standstill.

You’re not at a crossroads or a cliff or the edge of the earth, you simply just stopped moving. It’s too quick to be wasting away, but long enough to be noticeable. It’s apathy. It’s boredom. It’s laziness towards your own life. It’s a moment in time you don’t necessarily wish back, but time you wish you didn’t waste.

After all the fervor and newness the new year brings, I’ve realized my life has been in pause. That zest for life I had just days ago, has dwindled into me being a slothlike hermit. When I hear lazy friends are working out more and their mantra is “summer bodies are made in winter” I get happy for them and wonder why I can’t do the same. When I hear inspirational quotes on my favorite comedies such as, “every decision you make from now on should be towards your dreams” I feel like it’s the universe talking to me.

All of this is to say that each day is a gift. I don’t see it as a way to refresh, but a way to progress forward (or backward depending on your supporting cast) from the previous day. The world around me is a nonstop movie. While I’d love to hit fast forward sometimes in life to the good stuff, I at least need to stop hitting pause. I want to see as much of my movie as possible before the film runs out. So, today, I’m hitting play again because I’ve been getting jealous watching everyone else’s previews!

Day of Solitude

Today marks the 28th year in which the US observes the legacy of a great man. From reenacting his speech to volunteering to reflecting on how much this nation has changed in the past 50 years, people find ways of celebrating this holiday in various ways. Today, I did something a little different than in years past. Instead of a Day of Service, I appreciated a Day of Solitude.

Now, I know that I could have given back (and trust me in the coming days I intend to), but there was something about not having any human interaction and trying to figure out where my life is going that made me want to celebrate my day off in this way.

While some might spend the day at a MLK rally, volunteering at an Affordable Care Act information session, meeting with her sorority to go over new initiatives on how to give back to the community and end the day in Bible study – yes, my sister loves to stay [too] involved – others may spend the day running errands, cleaning, donating money, and contemplating the overarching question in her life “what is your purpose?” 

I must admit, I got nowhere on that question today. While my To Do List for today is more than halfway incomplete, there is something about how I spent today that makes me pretty content on what I’ve accomplished. [Honestly I credit a great deal of my peace towards a Forbes article I stumbled upon earlier today (my personal favorites were points 2 & 3) on ways you can get important business lessons from this great man].

All in all, my Day of Solitude had purpose. Maybe it wasn’t as impactful a day as my sister’s, but I’d like to believe that the impact will be felt in days to come.

Fresh Eyes.

With the new year people always make these grand sweeping proclamations and announcements that are supposed to radically change their lives and perspective on it. Now, don’t get me wrong I am about to relay to you my epic sweeping ideas in a bit, but it’s nice to point out that while my ideas are impressive (at least to me) the expectations I have of myself to commit to these are monumental.

The reason I am posting this on the 6th is 2 parts procrastination and 1 part digestion. I really wanted to adjust to my list and only write down what was attainable. Last Wednesday was not only a fresh start to a new year, but a way to look at life with fresh eyes. I really want this year to be the start of a lifestyle change. From eating better to standing up for myself more to changing some personal character flaws, I want to grow as a person, friend and full-time professional this year. Why people pick January 1 to always make these decisions (including myself) is beyond me. Whether you choose last Wednesday, July 4, your birthday or your anniversary to that special someone you need to choose that that day – or better yet today – will be the day of change. I’ve given myself 6 days to marinate. Give yourself a few days, think about what you want to see change in your life and commit.

My Wondrously Extraordinarily Pompous List for 2014:

  1.  Daily Quiet Time – As a Christian I really want to mature my relationship with the Lord. If I am not putting in the time and effort to stay connected to Him, how will I grow closer to Him (true for any relationship)? Whether a Christian or not, everyone should take a little time each day to meditate and reflect on their day and see how they managed to impact the world. Each day’s meditation can help improve your tomorrow.
  2. Eating Habits – I’m a perpetual snacker. Whether feeling hunger pains or not I’m always eating. The past few days I’ve realized I haven’t felt hunger pains in years but just a strong desire to eat something. I need to change that this year. For the foreseeable future I am going to be a pescatarian and cut out fried foods. Grand gesture #1 – I know. I’ll definitely indulge every now and again but indulgence and everyday norm are two different things!
  3. Figure Out How to be Responsible – From actually helping clean my apartment to being better about time management this is DEFINITELY a much needed change.
  4. Focus. Purpose. Passion. – These words (when used as nouns) describe what I want in my life. I want to figure out my Purpose in life, throw myself Passionately into it and Focus solely on this. I have an interest in everything; however, interest and passion are two different things. If you’ve found yours hold on tight. There are many people who are jealous.
  5. Tithe ( consistently) – Again, ties into my faith. Again something I should already be doing.
  6. Start a Book Club – My roommate and I have been talking about this. I want to see it into fruition, 12 books in 12 months. Shouldn’t be too hard. Although, we’re already nicely into January so I’m sure this month’s book will be a light read!
  7. Update Blog Weekly – There are always so many ideas I want to post, reflect on and share. However, lack of diligence on my part and ample loads of procrastination have me happy (at times) posting monthly! Well, no more. granted I don’t have copious followers like Blair Edy or a show that spawned from my blog like Courtney Kerr, the thing I like most about them is their consistency when posting. Something rather simple to achieve if you ask me!
  8. Job Hunt – In my head I’m like a butterfly always finding something interesting, but never settling in one place for too long. With figuring out passion comes figuring out career choices. I’m not sure where either will take me, but I’m excited for the ride.
  9. Work Out – After hearing my friend talk to her roommate about getting up at 5:30a to ensure quality time in the gym before work, I realized working out needs to be a priority in my life again. Sometimes daily won’t happen, but more often than not needs to occur. Again – trying to build that consistency.
  10. Volunteer – I loved going to soup kitchens, nursing homes and other things of the like. I’ve fallen off in recent years and it’s time to start it up again.
  11. KIT – There are some people who were meant to last a season in your life and others a lifetime. However, in my eyes everyone will be a season if you don’t try to keep in touch with a select few. The goal here is to reach out to those friends who aren’t in my inner circle, but I still appreciate in my life.
  12. Birth a Love Life – Pretty self explanatory.
  13. Pinterest – The greatest time waster on the planet – and I love it! I want to do something from the site once a week. Whether it’s a cool meal or a DIY project I want to flex my culinary and creativity muscles! Also, if all you’re doing is pinning and not doing –  what’s the point?!
  14. Post Europe Pics – I have been back in America since July. My mother has yet to see pictures of me as I backpacked across that great continent. This is more for her than me, but I promised and that day shall come sooner than later!
  15. Look into Grad School – I know eventually I’ll become a student again – something I’m looking forward to and loathing at the same #@!* time. However, I’m not sure for what. Whether MBA, JD, journalism, heck acting (does such a thing exist?) I’m going to become studious once again and I am ready to learn.
  16. Commit – Kind of the theme of the list so far, but something that still deserves its own bullet. My list won’t be a 1/4 complete without this and I really want to see a change in myself and that this list comes to fruitition.
  17. Relocate – Whether it’s to DC, NYC, ATL, or somewhere[else]inamerica, my time in Alexandria,VA I can tell is coming to a close. I’ve had fun in my first adult apartment, but it’s time to move on to bigger and better things.
  18. Develop Accountability Partner(s) – None of these things will happen without outside help keeping me on track. Whether it’s a person or group I need others I trust to depend on and depend on me in order for us all to improve our lives one day at a time.
  19. Become Selfless – Selfish, sadly is an adjective that can be used to describe me. While  it has dissipated over the years, there are still remnants of this character trait in me. On this quest of being a better person I’m trying to shed the negative and thrust positive into the world.
  20. Become Vested – Once I’m mentally over something, it’s hard for me to invest myself any further than what’s expected of me. I want to go deeper in everything that I do rather than always staying on the shallow.
  21. Travel – I love it. I want to continue to explore areas of the earth I have yet to visit. Already on the docket – Miami and Jamaica! The goal is 5 new places, so we’ll see where this year takes me.
  22. Save – I’m the worst. When  I see a check deposit into my account my mind thinks I have to perpetually spend until I reach my last $100 that I need to stretch. Well, no more of that I say! I have enough clothes and since I’m curbing the whole eating out thing I’m sure this won’t be hard to attain anymore.
  23. Be Happy – In recent months I’ve noticed I have a slight anger problem. Nothing too crazy, but it festers until I either erupt or suppress it with running. As I’ve learned firsthand recently, life is too short. I need to address things in a timely manner or let them go. After all, my being angry only affects me!

And that folks is my Jordan Year list for 2014! I’m excited for the highs, the lows and ultimate growth that this year has in store. Hopefully you’ll experience the same.

Love Yourself.

A friend of mine recently sent me some words of encouragement that I would like to share. It’s entitled: If I Was A Black Girl In Love With Myself…. 

The title is catching and  the words are [for the most part] gripping. I really liked this piece, although it negates itself a bit by playing up some stereotypes that black females could endure. However, if you get past that part, and focus on the core of the message and love yourself you can reflect on the shoes you’ve walked in and evaluate where you’re going.

So, whether you’re a Jewish boy, a white woman, a veteran, a black man, a part of a minority, a part of a majority, I encourage you to read some (or all) of this piece. Irregardless of how you feel about the execution or the target audience of these words, I am sure that you can find some truth and potentially some growth as you reflect on what the author is trying to say.