Best Thing You Never Had

Okay, well maybe you did “have” me but you don’t no more.

It all started in high school — siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh. Junior year I crossed a boy in the hallways and then we sat next to each other in History class. I thought he talked too much; handsome, but quite a chatterbox. Then, one day after lunch, I see him holding hands with this girl. She was cute. Simple. However, the hunting lioness in me saw competition determined to best – the best thing you never had.

I Wanted to be His E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.

He added me on Facebook first. Then we exchanged numbers. I initiated conversations through text him. I asked questions about his relationship and plans after graduation. School started at 7:30 am and I would wake up early ya’ll to get cute just to walk past his ass. How could I forget the time I found out where he worked that I drove there after school; wrong site. Eventually, I got him. He wasn’t mine but he was there.

Oh, College…

It wasn’t until I moved into a single room dorm that we had our first encounter. It was actually in a car on dim street and it was the first time THEY said MY name. Kudos to Brittney! We started to make time for love sessions in between classes (he went to a different school). We discussed our feelings with each other and how it was always the wrong time: he was with somebody; I was with somebody. Although we both tried it was never right until…

He Asked Me Out!!!

Perfect timing! He’s single! I’m single! Let’s mingle! We planned to meet at the mall for a movie after his shift. At this time it is crucial to point out he also worked in the said mall. I got dressed, snatched, beat — all dat. “Where are you going?” my mother asked. “On a date! Yes, with a man!” Oh, she was so happy for me. I checked my phone one last time before grabbing my coat and I had a message that read: “hey I got off work early so I went home. Let’s reschedule.” Fuck you mean you meant home??? Devastated I lied and told him I was out-of-town when I wasn’t leaving for another 4. How could he?

Call me Mrs.Lawry cause I’m Salty

At this time in my life, I was still very emotional. Sadness, disappointment, embarrassment, and anger flooded me. It also killed my ego. While undressing I began to analyze the situation: the movie starts at 11; mall closes at 10; he got off early at 9. Why not go home, shower and come back, right? How come we couldn’t catch any earlier viewing to accommodate? Was work really that stressful today? Was I not worth the ride back to the mall? I commanded myself not to cry. Instead, I finished packing, laid in my bed, packed a bowl and streamed Nurse Jackie on Netflix.

The Aftermath

We didn’t speak for a long time after that because I couldn’t bring myself to engage. I still have fucking questions! Through mutual friends we would be in the same room talking around each other; it was stupid. He will always be a dear friend of mine; we have memories but it’ll never be the same. We hung out solo a couple times but it’s awkward now. Just this morning he hit me up on Messenger to ask if I were now involved which I am _____. To this day it continues to bother me and I’m not gonna lie — I cried after we finished talking. You folded on a Royal Flush.

#SorrynotSorry.

Photo cred: giphy.com

 

Black Women Issues

“Black Women Issues”

Black women

in

AmeriKKKa

are living a life

no one asks for

or

wants.

Black women’s 

issue

will have

me

on the brink

of suicide.

Will they miss me when I’m gone?

Perhaps say, “so long”?

College costs.

Can’t save

a dollar for my life.

Overfed.

Under-loved.

Taxed

with no Rep.

BLACK WOMAN

the #1 Vet.

Self-medicated.

THC.

Whiskey.

“When did you start drinking like this?”

a

BLACK WOMAN

dedicated to the life

a strong

BLACK WOMAN

often perceived

as an angry

BLACK WOMAN.

The eldest,

a daughter,

college-educated,

without a college degree.

Guns –

Sex –

Drugs –

Shall I

justify my thug?

Can I live?

Potential suitors

turned prisoners.

Dead end jobs

similar

to

slave labor.

THC & Whiskey are coping mechanisms.

Does it

make

sense now?

It doesn’t.

Allow me

to reintroduce

myself:

I am

a

BLACK WOMAN

with issues.

Can’t drink

enough

to stay

sleep.

Can’t smoke

enough

to stay

high.

Systematic

prepackaged

damage.

Fuck it —

unpack

the baggage…

Ready, set, Go!

By: Brittney Smith

Photo Cred: giphy.com & beatnik24.com

1-800-HOTLINE

Who You Gonna Call?

There are all sorts of hotlines out there waiting to dialed. Hundreds of millions of people use some sort of hotline either every day or once in their lifetime.  Most people are familiar with the sex hotlines. You know, the ones that come on television after midnight; “call now for a sexy chat with Tiffany, she’s waiting for you” – yeah, those. Or to call for the 187th volume of ‘Body & Soul’s’ two-disc CD collection? Those commercials are the best jam sessions. Unlike those what about the hotline’s that aren’t televised?

Netflix features a documentary titled, Hotline (also available on Amazon Prime) that made me think about hotlines in a completely different light. Outside of the typical hotlines for music, physics or toys, there are those for real people going through real things.

“I Just Really Need Someone to Talk to”

A quick Google search of “hotlines for help” will bring forth thousands of results. Hotlines exist for suicide, depression, sexual assault, pregnancy and domestic violence. Which ones have you made bling?

Me? I distinctively remember calling a depression hotline back in 2013.

How Did You Get Here?

menthal_health_hotline

Honestly, first, I had to be honest with myself. I hesitated for about 15 minutes. Was I really that bad off that I needed to talk to a complete stranger about the hardships that I endured? I was. At that time I lived clear across the country with only a duffel bag full of clothes and a dream. My boyfriend (past and present) was just sentenced to prison and I had just graduated from trade school. With a dimly bright future and a new-found singleness, I wanted something more. So, I spent the fourth of July in Washington D.C. where I knew no one, had no money and the battery on my cell phone had just died.

I was living in Maryland the night I made the call. Sitting on the balcony of the apartment, staring at the night sky, with nothing but a pack of cigarettes and a bottle of wine, I dialed. At first, I hung up before it could even ring. I wasn’t sure if that was something I truly wanted to do. Finally, 5 minutes, 3 cigarettes and 2 glasses later I faced the music – or at least the sound of my own voice.

What Did You Talk About?

The voice on the other end of the phone was “comforting”. A white woman seemingly in her 40’s. I imagined her to be 30 pounds overweight with sandy-blonde hair, circular wire-rimmed glasses wearing a sweater. She wanted to know my life to which I told her that I hated it. I never once felt like I knew what I was doing or why. My brother got terminally sick at a very young age that placed him in a wheelchair and my mother was a single parent. That was my life – my story. I didn’t know who I was outside of those two factors and even more crucial was that I didn’t know who I wanted to be.

I sat on the other end of that phone call, staring up at the night sky, leaning over that balcony tipsy and sobbing. My personal failures, hope, and all-time aspirations were met by a person who only wanted to listen. I gave her everything I had and after 15 minutes I simply hung up. It was over when I wanted it to be over. I was never going to run into this woman in a grocery store or sit across from her at a doctor’s office. I could have, possibly, and yet, she would never truly know me nor I her.

Who Do You Talk To Now?

I’ve meant to dial QuitPlan for non-judgmental help to quit smoking – cigarettes, Mary Jane gets to stay. I haven’t done that yet.

I’m actually not really big on talking but mostly I talk to all of you. I write and let the words fall where they may. I was recently logged into Facebook where a notification said something about my “fans” wanting to hear more from me. And if I’m being honest again, or shall be, I don’t want fans. I desire readers. You can be a fan of #SheLived and who you think Brittney is and have never read a post. These days people concern themselves with pictures and 140-character statuses instead of full written articles. Fuck that. I prefer for you to have read everything I’ve ever written and decided that you just don’t like me as a person.

If you’re really willing to read – I’m willing to talk.

Photo Cred:suzou.net, sandiegopsychologicalcenter.com, Youtube.com

Invisible In Plain Sight

“Pretty Hurts” – Beyoncé.

 

Yesterday, I came across the photo below through Instagram. I agree 100% because I know a lot of women working that 9-5 just to stay alive, barely got enough to fill your gas tank, buy swishers and trying to pass finals. Yet, when you sign into the gram you see these chicks rolling in the dough for simply being “pretty“.

We have all seen these women on our timelines; the Westbrook sisters, Aleeyah Petty, Lira Galore, Kylie Jenner. These beautiful “models” are living a pretty convenient life, right? They are literally E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E; hosting at nightclubs, spokes-models for clothing lines and appearing in music videos with rap superstars. Some of the most seen women are also invisible.

I’m a firm believer that when and if you allow your sister, daughter or friend to sleep with certain types of men, be seen with certain types of people, you do not love them nor truly care for the nurturing and well-being of their soul. You a pimp, homie.

I am frigging gorgeous but my reputation, self-respect, and integrity are worth more than any Gucci, Louis, Fendi or Prada – basic bitches wear that shit anyway. Maybe it’s just me?

“Invisible in Plain Sight”

Short skirts, tight shirts, padded bras revealing thongs – emotionally overspent on love, instead cashing in sex for free. Foundation, concealer, mascara packed on strong – press down the pain, conceal the hurt, waterproof the tears – don’t you agree? Golden crowned extensions, body parts augmented, the “fairer the better”, body right for the best price, shunning lips that swell…

Berkin Bags, Minolo Blahniks, Red Bottoms, Chanel sweaters – the devil disguised in Prada as a single, black female addicted to retail….and, well —-

By Brittney Smith

 

Photo Cred: Instagram-everyday696 & giphy.com

Trust the Process

We All Wear Masks

Trust the process! You know, the way I look at life now is completely different from the outlook I had a year ago. I believe that I see life happening around me. Simply being a writer has given me 20/20 vision. I don’t think I truly ever understood what it meant to be alive; alive as a breathing, living being among others. I then have to question is any of this real? What is real life? You ever truly notice your neighbors at the end of the block? How about that same barista you see every day? Your friends? We try to analyze the lives of those around us but it’s a big misconception. You don’t showcase your inner, most personal challenges and daily issues to your friends therefore neither do they.

 

I choose to be vocal about a lot of things because my life is about reflection and progress; from where I was to where I want to be. I now understand the concept of time. Life is short and to not live it fully is a disservice to yourself and a dishonor to whatever higher power you believe in.

                            When Reality Strikes

Today, this isn’t the life that I thought I wanted. Just 4 years ago I was off to college with dreams of becoming a District Attorney. I am definitely not a lawyer and, more importantly, I don’t want to be. Last year I moved to the East Coast; I packed my existence into one suitcase and jetted to start a new journey all within 72 hours. It was a major moment in my life. I was a young, single and sexy young woman picking up where Carrie and the girls left off. I felt like an adult and I knew it was my time but it was cut short.

Now, a year later I can look back and see that everything was a moment to regroup. Before the great migration, I dated the CEO of A**hole Inc. and played myself at the end of it. Nevertheless, the move and the break-up was all necessary for my growth and development as a person and,  always most importantly, as a woman. In order to live a good life I needed clarity. I needed to get away, process and gain the maturity needed to go ahead.

Get Yo Life

If it weren’t for an extensive wine collection, the library or my Golden Girls, I would have never survived. It’s been almost two years and I am in love, leased my first apartment, performed in a showcase all on my own terms. I had to trust the process and know that things were going to be just fine even though I hadn’t planned for them.

 

Wherever life decides to take you will lead up to a bigger picture. Life is the grandest stage you will ever stand on; show up and show out because when the curtain closes, there will be no encore.  They say the greatest day of your life is the day you realize why you were born. Every day I ask myself, “why was I awarded a strong mother, wonderful brothers, supportive grandparents, and great friends?”

I needed the incentive to write. I know that I  want to give all you, my readers, something to talk about that will spark a conversation, something to learn from. Whatever your craft or profession is we all want to be good at what we do. We want people to welcome it because we work so hard to give them apart of ourselves.

It’s Already Inside of You

I named this site SheLived because that is exactly what “she” does and the stories need to be told. There’s a girl out there struggling to declare a major; baby girl life is so much more than what box you check to make sure you receive scholarships. There is another woman out there who is in love for the first and isn’t certain that she’s doing it right; honey, make him see you as a Queen and it’ll be fine I promise.

But how do you get this message out to people? It’s simple: you just start talking because “B, you’re only 22”. Life is a creative process and the world is waiting for us. Ladies, it’s coming – I can feel it. We just need to use everything that was not only given to us but put inside us.

Photo cred:Etsy, digistyle.deviantart.com & arsenal.gomedia.us