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

 

PODCAST: Depression is Real

In order to overcome the demons of depression, one must first acknowledge that they indeed do exist.

I’m dealing with depression. To begin with, I signed yet another one of those “Promise to Be a Sheep” forms at my job. I shall have my collection laminated. This sinus cold is making me feel like I got run over by a Hummer.  Aww man, what else? Well, my bank account is a joke, my summer body never came, my Y-chromosome decided to become an X and my origins are in Africa.

Laying in my bed last night, staring at the ceiling, with tissue in my nostrils I realized something. I was receiving Facebook messages, text messages, phone calls from former suitors, current situations, and determined prospects.

Although it appeared that I had so many people seeking my attention and time with all things considered I always feel alone. It’s a big world out here and some days, yo, I just feel alone.

Black folks depressed. 

How do you expect to win the war with the pale man when you cower away from the battles within yourself? I don’t like the constant feeling of being sad. It is a detrimentally draining space.

I will be attending a wedding ceremony to someone very close to me. I am eager and anxious to take a slight break from this thing called life. You can’t run away or ignore your problems given that they’ll be there waiting for you when you get back — ready for battle.

Anti-Depression Task #1 – limit television.

There is something mentally unsettling and unnatural about “watching” tv. I’m addicted to reality tv and Netflix [binge watcher]. I own perhaps 100 books. In my living room, there are four cases overflowing with books being the anchor for a 40-inch television sitting on top. I haven’t read more than 20% of those damn books yet I watch television every day. Such a fraud.

I am ready to brawl and sacrifice for my mental stability, physical health, spiritual strength and emotional substance.

SheLived:1

Depression:0

Photo cred: blavity.com

For The Next Time a Black Man says, “You’re Too Strong”

You Are Not “Too” Strong 

He is “too” weak – mentally, emotionally, spiritually.

Dare I say financially? Fuck it.

He’s just all around broke. Broken.

Still trying to make sense of all his scattered shards that all he’s collected is doubt and pity. For the feeble man, you will always be “too” strong.

“All you women…All you [BLACK] women!”

Oh boy, here it comes! The moment we have all been waiting for! Blame the very existence of Black women for your trials and tribulations. Stop comparing yourself to the pale man who steals, kills and destroys. You aren’t him and I ain’t her.

How dare you slander her, Black man?! She who has remained steadfast and diligent as she watched this strange white man steal her children, kill her husband and destroy her virtue? She earned the right to be strong.

You say you want a hardworking strong woman but you do not! A woman who cooks and cleans; fulfills your sexual desires and works outside the home. You insecurities won’t allow you to love her.

You, sir — don’t cook, clean, pay taxes nor feed my appetite and yet I’m still here.

Technically you’re still here because this Sistah ain’t going nowhere.

[That’s my name on the mailbox, brother]

Yet you feel you should be rewarded for taking out the trash?

How are you comfortable pointing out my flaws and stressing your likes whilst lying on my couch; drinking my Scotch, watching my Netflix!

No; I will not chill!

You got clothes in my closet, my keys in your pocket, his half of my bed — but, hold up! “Lemme hold $20”, the man said. You work hard at running your mouth and the streets then walk through my doors talmbout, “what you got to eat?”

When a black man condemns a Black woman he disgraces Yah resulting in complete failure and disasters. Keep playing this white man’s game and your black ass gon lose.

Sit down. Be Humble.

By: Brittney Smith
Photo Cred: fromawildflower.com

Abstractly-Defined Artists Restore Humanity

Artists Restore Humanity

Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with both an old college professor and a local artist. Comparing both conversations I found some striking similarities; both came from backgrounds with troubled family dynamics which is arguably the foundation of every artist. Independently, yet simultaneously – they have taken their personal experiences and embedded them into ridiculous institutions [by way of teaching] with the objective being either to entertain or report possibilities in real-time.

Collectively, all three of us are teachers, writers, and visual artists; captivated by distorted truths attempting to integrate them with genuine realism. One believes the creative process is individualized with hopes of gaining perspective. The other is steadfast at creating safe spaces for P.O.C’s regardless of their gender identification.

The Professor who Restores Herself

I remember being a sophomore at Augsburg College and enrolling in Sarah Myers Improv Theater class first semester. One of our first assignments was viewing the stage play “Neighbors” featured at Mixed Blood Theater in Minneapolis. To be frank, the production blatantly and [to some] disrespectfully discussed racism. The show was so captivating I saw it nine times! As a young creative, I both intrigued by the artistry of the writers but also offended by the intolerable stereotypes that cowered over the actors.

The healing that Myers offered me as a young, Black woman has forever indebted me to her. For the first time, at 19, I had my first real conversation on race with a middle-aged white woman. Unbeknownst to me, then, Myers had her own share of discrimination by simply being Jewish. A bisexual Jew.

Sarah Myers, a native of Chicago, IL, and active professor at Augsburg College, utilized expressive are in her stage play, ‘I Do Today’. Myers, a self-proclaimed “Bi first – queer now” woman of Jewish faith said that writing the play was a healing process for her. She is an introvert and doesn’t share specific moments of the play publicly because, well – “people make assumptions”. Myers “draws from personal ordeals” with something she has a strong emotional connection to for her creative process.

Whether it’s in front of or behind the stage (she prefers to be behind the scenes) Myers battles with internal issues that would surely perplex her professional community. What are Jewish laws for being bisexual? Can you be bisexual and have a heterosexual marriage? That’s one for the theologians.

The Revolutionary who Restores the Culture

I had the pleasure of meeting Keno Evol 3 years ago in a kitchen, on the south-side of Minneapolis. Ganja blew on the balcony and hood politics discussed in the kitchen. A room full of Black people is so poetic; influenced by recreational substances harmoniously engaging in the most relevant conversation of their lives. 

Keno Evol is a local artist, performer, spoken word artist, dancer, and director. He spent 3 years in the foster care system as were his 8 siblings. Evol now sits as the founder and executive director of Black Table Arts, an arts-based organization centered on conjuring other worlds through Black art, connecting creatives and cultivating volume in Black Life.

He is also the founder of Black Lines Matter [sharing the same acronym as Black Lives Matter] a “writing arena where social politics meets the poetic”; centered on producing historical and contemporary protest projects by Black poets awhile building Black comprehension. An atmosphere that is “free to the public yet highlights and produces premium Black writing” is the mission. His personal goal is to “constantly hold a free space for us to invite more folks to the table, sharpen our swords and lead with love”.  *Black Table Arts meets bi-weekly on Saturdays from 6-8 pm at The Loft Literary Center Room 303

She Who Restores Life

After speaking with both artists I reflect on the times I did something creative to counter pain. It’s effortless to get something either over-the-counter or “under-the-table” to reduce the imposed upon melancholy. Artists are never normal because we are too complex like a contradicting oxymoron. Writing, however, keeps me sane, sober and solvent.

I recalling leaning on my pen more than my pipe to inhale forgiveness and exhale domestic violence, sexual violence, and low self-esteem. I’ve been molested, physically assaulted and raped. Uniquely, I have a tattoo, orbiting my ankle, that reads ‘Dance, Laugh, Sing’ – a daily dose of remedial acts.

As artists, where do we lie down our vulnerabilities when our audiences want silly little anecdotes about love and relationships. A reader once actually told me to write more about my romantic relationships. Perhaps if she knew what all I was still applying Preparation-H to she wouldn’t be so eager to exploit me all in the name of creativity. How ironic is it, though, that my personal pain cleverly disguised as creative works shall be the remedy for her ailments.

My responsibility as a creative is not just to honor humanity but dammit to restore it. Often times it is a tedious expense to invest in humanity but to give up would leave the wound uncovered. In the words of the Notorious B.I.G. “we can’t change the world until we change ourselves”. I say we can’t heal the world’s problems until we hear our own; the cure

is ART.

Photo Cred: augsburg.com, blacktablearts.com & Pinterest

 

 

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

Me, Them and Y’all

And It Never Fails

Sexism and colorism while working in a professional kitchen emphasized the reality of me, them and y’all. Six to eight hours surrounded by those who neither looked like me or spoke the same language. At times could be emotionally draining and detrimental to my mental state. Frustration collided with incompetency more times than men lie. Sharing them with management met no prevail.

The First Sit-Down Taught Me:

I remember the first meeting I had with the higher-ups. My 30-day review had come up and it was time to discuss the job and my performance thus far. By now, they too had become aware of the tension in the kitchen. I expressed that as the only Black individual employed and the only woman in the back-house was a cause for complications. As passively aggressive pale men in their mid 30’s and 40’s they had answers for everything. They matched my statement by acknowledging the older women who prep in the mornings. I responded that they do not work in the blazing heat on the line nor during the dinner rush hours. Those women also don’t stand on the same field as me for they speak the language – Spanish.

julia-header

In the field is Team Spanish versus Team English. Them against me. I am a woman enclosed with knives, blood, fire and frail egos. Some of the Hispanic males speak English and all the pale men know some jargon. I, however, am solely devoted to one team. In the field, collectively, we play defense against the quantity of orders coming in. Often it is a trial attempting to communicate intricate and fairly complicated food orders with a language barrier. As a result, we are constantly on the offense with each other.  I can say I wouldn’t have been extremely particular of another woman’s nationality. Preferably an English speaker.

Everything You Are You Owe to A Woman

A woman, regardless of her race, could have able to tell me what to expect from who. Which of these guys throw curve balls? Who also plays for our team? Which ones have slippery fingers? Who thinks he’s goddamn Danny Zuko? As a woman I have must be stronger, louder, faster. A routine showdown with sexism. Given that my emotions cannot compel me yet firmly stand my ground.

The threat of a capable woman results in the labeling of the word “bitch”. The inconvenient truth of the matter is had my vagina been a dick there would be nothing to discuss, no matter what color it was. The pale men say it’s because of their strong Hispanic culture. Women are not recognized outside of being devoted mothers and caregivers. In other words, women are mundane broads. This truth is apparently not of too much interest to the pale men.

But To be a Black Woman…

Being the only Black African* on the scene often times causes me to second guess myself. I constantly am self-consciously considering my blackness: ‘Be aggressive but not ghetto. Speak loud and clear but don’t be too loud. Always show up on time. Is my natural hair presentable? Yo B, they don’t know you, you can’t go awf like that. The Chef and Sous Chef, along with the front of the house, are Caucasian. There are two mixed-race women, an African woman, and two unidentified men. To sum it up they enjoy bun-less black bean burgers, have unhealthy fascinations with cats and oddly placed geometric tattoos. The women dress like it is either 1972 or 1993. A clusterfuck of hipster, pale quagmires.

colorism-photo

I recently engaged in yet another tedious and dramatically stale clambake to attempt to release some pressure. In uniform fashion, the majority of my narrative was met with rebuttals. I walked back to the kitchen and filled orders but eventually, I had broken down. Again faced with the adversity of being a Black African and a woman; filled with so much anxiety, fury and defeat I skidded to the bathroom, sat on the floor and cried. I gave myself 3 minutes to plummet grief into my lap then dust that shit off. I stood in front of the mirror and reminded myself why I’m here. This isn’t my dream, I don’t want to someday run this place. Get this money.

The Greatest Gift & Curse of All

For all these reasons I will never forget the first time, I sat down to discuss the job. I casually pointed out that this particular job has its controversy because of the inescapable “double negatives” of being a Black Woman. They looked at each other, looked back at me and spoke passively transparent in agreement that, “I guess I, or we, never saw it that way“.

Funny how that seems to be the only thing I see – me, them and y’all.

Photo Cred: giphy.com, meetup.com

Brock Turner: We Are “More Than A Number”

Brock Turner, a Stanford University swimmer, was convicted of raping an unconscious woman on campus. Since athletes love statistics let’s talk numbers. Women are more than a number.

33% of girls are molested before the age of eighteen.

This is the time in her life where she should be young, care-free and fantasizing about being prom queen; watching reality shows and rocking the hottest clothes, not being taken advantage of by someone she knows.

1/3 of those cases involve children under twelve; babies who don’t quite understand what’s happening or big enough to shield themselves. Instead of enjoying their childhood and cavorting in the park they are now afraid of any and everything that goes bump in the dark. Ever wonder how many hold this confidential information – we’ll never know it because 65% of these cases go unreported. But to give you a hint 1 in every 4 girls is the noted statistic.

And much the same, 1 in every 4 women will experience domestic violence;

insecurities and frustrations being mourned in silence. Raised voices bring trepidation and you have nowhere to turn; fire in his eyes while he sits and watches you burn. 1 in every 5 teens gets told the “I hit you because I love you” lie. Well, I’m here to tell you that ain’t shit to love nor is it charming to have a black eye. People, places, and organizations exist to offer a safe environment but where are they when 3 women die every day due to domestic violence?

Every 2 minutes someone in the United States is raped and that’s probably because the U.S. has the world’s highest rape rate. This is not something to go gloating about but this a message that we have to stop ignoring and doing without. 1 out of every 4 women in college will be raped. So when it used to be all about B.A.’s and PhD’s it’s now become getting d-r-a-i-n-e-d off liquor and GHB. We maintain a society where men still prevail because 15 out of 16 rapists will never spend a day in jail. 18.8% of rape victims are black women – we get sought out for our hips and thighs and how they fit in our denim.

Women and young ladies who bear hardship to those exploitations are:

3 times more likely to suffer from depression; 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide

6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress; 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol and 26 times more likely to abuse drugs. 90% of abusers know the victim that much is a guarantee and is case you disagree allow me to introduce you to me: at age 8 is was the older boy from across the hall, when I was 17 it was the bad boy who was so smooth he made me fall and at 18 – the boy that I didn’t really know at all.

You don’t know what kinds of survivors exist among you and we’re never supposed to talk about it because apparently, the topic is too taboo so something has to change because those experiences are horrendous to live through…but I’m just one person with one voice and one story that needed to be introduced with the optimism that my experiences won’t be reduced. It doesn’t characterize who I am nor does it station me beneath another. But for those who stand parallel to me – we are not victims who drown in our misfortunes, charity cases that require pity or statistics because the last time I checked I wasn’t a fucking number. We are human beings, diamonds, and exquisite pearls.

We are women – who rule the world.

By: Brittney Smith

Audio is Available – Press Play!

Photo Cred: insider.foxnews.com

Just Keep Swimming — Just Keep Swimming…

Watch My Breast…Stroke

Once, in 9th-grade science, the teacher asks everyone what they want to be when they “grow up”. You said a forensic scientist. Who says things like that? You do. Remember when you dreamed of being a lawyer? Now you just sit online, talking to yourself just trying to stay afloat. Darling, just keep swimming.

What – are – you – doing – with – your – life?

Shit, I try to be inspirational about it; reminding myself that not everyone is a dreamer. Looking at the odds Bill Gates dropped out at 18; Oprah got fired from her first gig at 25. Oh! And lest not forget JK! Harry motherfucking Potter got rejected; fame and fortune didn’t come for her until later in life.

Be mindful! Take advantage of life and finesse the fuck out of that shit. It’s critical to be in an environment that allows you to take advantage and be creative.

Just Keep Swimming.

Photo Cred: desertswimschool.com 

I Just Wanna Be Successful

Yo, I just wanna be successful. They say that we learn more from our failures than our successes especially if we see those failures properly corrected. Hmph, I suppose, right?

It’s Honesty Hour

I don’t yet feel like I’ve had any successes; except never have been pregnant – that’s a lap of luxury. Nothing, however, has ultimately been a triumph. I went to college but I dropped out so that wasn’t a success. Moved – came back, found work – got an apartment, quit my job, got a roommate and then, because I still wasn’t working, moved back home. My first grand adult adventure plummeted straight into a ditch. Yet, I’m still no failure.

To fail is to make the same mistake twice and mistakes I don’t make. I make choices; sometimes the wrong choice. Failure depends on how one perceives success. It’s not to have the biggest house, nicest car or fanciest clothes. That is an accumulation of wealth, not success.

I suppose I’m just different because most people recognize failure and have yet to experience success. Me? I am the success and never even heard of failure.

Photo cred: giphy.com

Are You Waiting to be Great or Ordinary?

People are always waiting for something;

usually to be ordinary. I remember when I was a kid (which was like…last week) and, you know, I couldn’t wait until I turned 16. I would finally be allowed to call that boy my friend, get a cell phone and a job – not just volunteering. Then I couldn’t wait to be 17 because that’s when I would graduate from high school. Next it was 18 to officially be legal and, of course, 21 to buy that first drink. What are you waiting for now? There was nothing waiting for me except 25. I’ll be a quarter of a century – old. 25, however, should bring complete financial stability and independence.

Go Out & Chase Life

Once I hit 25 I will have already moved clear across the country, on my own, with nothing but $75 and a suitcase. I’ve rented a studio apartment, bought a car and had a few pregnancy scares. I grew to become confident about my physicality, more aware of my sexuality, deeper in my mentality and stronger with my spirituality. Yet, and still, there were moments when life completely left me behind, choking on dust.

When I touchdown on that 25 though – I’m done with that. The first half of my twenties was all about character building, finding a voice and liking how that voice sounded. Now I make no apologies whatsoever, okay? Also, at this stage of my existence – it’s game time.

Embrace YOU

I will have finally came into the woman who I was born to be. I’m will be happy. Why? Because I make it a point, now, in everything I do. When you try to live a regular life it’s sometimes hard to remember what the destination is. They tell you to go to school, work, pay taxes – pledge allegiance and then die. Talk about tunnel vision straight to the grave. 73 billion mofo’s on the planet and a good 72 of them find ordinary life to be “the norm”. Who do you think you are? The next Steve Jobs, Kobe or Beyoncé? Yeah, right. I know the secret though: it’s all about your daily actions. You gotta make time for it! Steve had to go through some thangs before it was all that; Kobe stayed shooting in the gym; Beyoncé…is Beyoncé.

 — BREAKING NEWS —
This Just In…

Ordinary life does not consist of things that benefit you. Ordinary life consists of things that benefit other people at the expense of you. I don’t want to be ordinary and, quite frankly, I never was. I always had questions that seemed to defy authority.  used to get called into the manager’s office and hear, ‘you think you can just walk in here doing and saying whatever you want’. You goddamn straight!

Am I supposed to care that you’re a manager? Nope! You are not about to slave me. You clock in and out just like the rest of us – salary or not.  I don’t have ill feelings towards “authority” the way I got issues with bullsh*t so don’t bring it my way. Cause ya girl ain’t ordinary. You take that lunacy over there to Tom or have that conversation with Mary but not Brittney. Hell, fire me. Capitalism reigns supreme and there is another job out there selling something to somebody. Better yet – I quit.

Don’t let life pass you by before it’s too late: you’re married – with kids, too many stretch marks and not enough wine glasses happiness. That’s what happens when you choose to be ordinary; bamboozled into indentured servitude. Nothing in this world will be given to you, especially if you black – especially if you a woman. You must take it and I’m finna [yes finna] take that shit.

Don’t believe me? Oh, honey — just watch.

Photo cred:livinglifecounseling.com

Every Once in a While

Where Do You Fit In?

From here on out I shall categorize people and things into either every day or every once in a while. Daily tasks and people have caliber. Those once in a while activities won’t be taken seriously, stressed or tripped over. If my mood doesn’t depend on it, whether I eat or my personal safety then why do I care?

So what does it for me on the daily? I work out, of course. You don’t lose 80 pounds by being a couch potato. I try to drink water every day but it’s a personal struggle. I’m not a person who likes to drink unless it involves some sort of fermentation or grape stomping. Umm, what else?

I typically try to make it a point to do my First 5. I’ll admit that I sorta slacked off this past week but I will continue to engage in it. Btw, First 5 is an app on my phone that gives daily lessons, or readings, from the Bible. See, I don’t go to church but I do believe in the Lord. I also believe that God lives within and not necessarily in a building with mosaic tiles and stained windows.

Does It Matter?

What do I every once in a while? In order to come up with an answer would require me to ponder over 2015 and I don’t want to do that. It’s the very first day of the calendar year and I’m not about to be stuck in the past. I guess I could say going out. I didn’t go out last night like I intended to but it’s a once in a while thing. Seriously – who goes out every single day? Strippers and Jehovah Witnesses.

About two weeks ago, I sat myself down and said that I would be a better friend. I constructed a “life plan” (as if anything in life EVER goes according to plan) and rated myself on certain areas. I gave my friendships a three. Why? Cause, B – you can’t be a person sulking saying, “no one ever calls or invites me out.” Well do you call people and/or invite them out? You don’t. I actually can’t call anyone. I don’t have a cell phone. *Blood Chilling Screams* what twenty year old doesn’t own a cell phone in 2016? That would be me. I got swindled into some foolery last summer and saddled with a monstrous bill from Sprint – go figure, right? Ever since they disconnected the phone I’ve been in a scandalous affair with a landline ever since. It’s actually quite marvelous.

What Are You Waiting For?

So why wait until the “new year” to get your sh*t together? It’s the everyday things and people who matter: my health, my family, my love. They saw my story unfold and are witnesses to the glow. Not this wishy-washy, pop up type sh*t. You don’t get to decide for the both of us when you would like to be present. You’re either going to be here every day or we cross paths when we cross paths. Every once in a while.

New Year View

Off To a Fresh Start

Each and every year, I reflect on my life in two ways: on my birthday and at the start of a new year. Birthday’s are crucial because you are a year older so surely a year wiser. This year I turned twenty-something and boy, was it different from last year. I was extremely self-conscious with down in the slums self-esteem and was just overall unhappy. New year’s are dramatic and electrifying. I lived on my own in an intimate studio apartment in the heart of downtown but I slaved at a corporation that I hated and had terrible money management skills.

Today, I’m writing this from the bothersome corner of my mom’s basement because I moved back home and my money management skills are still shitty. This past year I learned to humble myself internally. I became a minimalist and transitioned to a healthier, greener lifestyle. I went through a phase where I dyed my hair pink, purple, and teal during the summer.

Do You – Be You – Love YOU

I wasted a lot of time having cold feet on whether the world will find me interesting. That’s not confidence and I do not want to do that anymore. I had to invest and develop who and what I wanna be. 2015 did that for me and taught me the importance of standing firm on your foundation that you have.
Well, there is one day left and I am taking with me more self-awareness. How can I be more in tune with myself? Better myself? You know, it’s nobody’s responsibility to take care of you except you.

2016 is the year where I will officially soar in more ways than one. I shall be moving out for I am crazy determined to never return. Straight up deep-sea diving into my future believing in both myself and God.  I am leaving behind are all my past lovers. All of ’em, ya hear? Bygones must stay bygones.  If we can’t be friends without any advances or innuendos then keep it trekking. I’m not entertaining it. Dear God – if there be any ‘oops’ moments, let them be with new people – Amen.

That’s where I am now; blessed that I have been able to sustain SheLived for a year and a half. She’s determined to continue to grow and create something:

a better me – woman, writer, soul; who is bearing it all on the page.

Where Are You Now When I Need You??

Nightfall is always the most melancholic time of day. It’s when I think about you.

And I know that you think of me, too. But do I keep you up at night?

I sense you everywhere except inside – you’re nowhere in sight.

I can’t sleep and honestly, I’m not surprised

Without you alongside I hardly feel alive.

Distant peers have become parents – husband’s & wives.

Shit, I’m not asking for all that; just to forever be in each other’s lives

Too inexperienced to be tormented over a half-empty bed

and yet, far too rational for such clutter to be in my head.

See, I know that you love me – it’s already been laid out on the table.

No fable.

True story, my dear.

…but just what the f*ck am I supposed to do until you can come here

and be incessantly near?

(12:59 AM)

Photo Cred: giphy.com

Don’t You Walk Out on Me!

Say, Imagine This:

I am not the kind of girl that you can just turn away from. Oh no! Don’t you walk away from me! Just the other day I’m watching this show and the guy goes to a party, gets wasted and doesn’t really remember the intricate details of the night before. To his surprise, the next morning, he starts getting pictures from this girl and he has no idea who she is nor where she came from. Eventually, he learns that a “friend” of his supplied her with the digits but he’s married.

He’s never texted her back or had any type of conversation with her even though she is coming for him. After a week he goes to his friend and says, “yo, the girl from the party is still hittin’ me up. You put me in this situation, what should I do? I love my wife.” Aiight, cool. I respect that. Especially since he hasn’t responded to any of her advances but explain to me why you haven’t blocked her ass yet.

You Ain’t Fooling Nobody

You can press ignore all you want but you are still allowing it to happen! I can’t go for that. I mean an ass shot he can kiiinda get away with because it’s so many fucking booty models these days. My thing is why is gotta be in your possession like that, huh? Why the shit gotta be on-call when you need it? He wrong. Point blank.

He goes on to ask his friend what is the difference between having the photo on his phone and watching a little porn? His friend says the difference is the girl in the photo can become a reality. Needless to say, he doesn’t take his friend’s advice and decides to email the picture to himself.

Later that day, when he gets home, he greets his wife,

“Ohh baby, how you doing? The lines were long at the supermarket…”

BOOM – the emailed booty pics! The Mrs has questions but he defends that he hasn’t responded. She notices glitter on his neck and says he smells like a strip club.  He says, “I think it’s best if I’m not here now.”

I Ain’t With the Storming Out Shit

Nah nigga. Nope. That type of shit don’t work for me.

And you know what she said to him?!?! She told him to go and that she doesn’t care!
I don’t think so.
I think it’s best you sit down and think about your actions out on the couch and when you ready to apologize come find me. Cause you ain’t about to go nowhere.

*** There may be times when he truly needs his space to take a walk or just go sit in the garage but not in this situation here.

Let Me Clear My Throat

We have already established that the girl in the photo is actually fuckable. Furthermore, you still have access to your phone and probably still have her number since she’s not actually blocked. When he leaves the nest that leaves nothing but opportunity for him to make it a reality. If he leaves the house covered in glitter and already smelling like the strip club don’t the strip club smell like p-u-s-s-

.

PhotoCred: giphy.com

Popeye’s & Merlot

You ever notice how people have false ideas of what happiness entails?

Happiness is not ever something you own. It also won’t be anything you suddenly wake up and become. True peace and happiness come from within your soul. The gag is liking you and what you have to offer the world; not what it has to offer you. You soul’s harmonious state is far more important than your social media status. Try not to consume the false realities of happiness, instead, consume what feeds your soul. Popeye’s and Merlot.

What Makes You Happy??

You see, people living today are more concerned with the number of followers they have on Twitter; how beat their MAC NC 45 is or where they ordered their 100 % virgin Malaysian 26 inch tresses.  I take great pleasure in saying none of that matters in the grand scheme of things. You cannot take it with you.

A couple of weeks ago a good friend called to talk about their current life path and how their perception of pure happiness was tainted. They told me that the happiest days of their life was a few years ago when they had a girlfriend (me btw), a car, decent job, a side hustle and a suitcase full of Benjamin’s. At that point in time, to him, happiness was everything he’d accumulated on the outside. 

When the chips are down, Alexander Wang is not providing the reassurance you require to know that you lived a pretty good life. Your 429k Twitter followers won’t be down to ride out for the cause. I understand that it’s not completely your fault that you believe these ridiculous things will bring you joy. I blame the white, fake Jewish media.

Don’t Fall For the Hype

Ever considered why no one is begging for your autograph as you cash them out in the supermarket? How does no one want to take a picture with you after you found limited edition jeans in their size at the store across town? It’s your job and what you get paid to do. Every image being processed on your screen is an illusion that has concocted to brainwash you. Don’t be bamboozled.

Where I’m from every man I meet has a mixtape, siiigh; and every girl is a model double siiigh. Everybody desires to be the next Diddy, the next Barack or Beyonce. True happiness gets lost when there is so much emphasis being on fame and “likes”. Why though? What they don’t reveal is how the stage and flashing lights are nothing more than a job.

It felt good being able to pay his mom’s rent, fill up tanks to several cars and a girl who always brought a large #1 from McDonald’s; extra Mac sauce and a Frappuccino. Yeah, those were the days that made him feel like life could not and would not get any better. Boy, was he in for a wake-up call. We broke up, he got fired, the suitcase was empty and all his “friends” had disappeared. Life had come and literally snatched that happiness away.

So What’s It Gonna Be?

What truly defines you is how you remind those closest to you that you love them; what you find hilarious at 2 am; how you spend your Sunday afternoons on a rainy day. I live by, “Drink fine wine. Smoke great weed. Make good love. Repeat.” To live a fulfilling life all you need are good drinking partner, a reliable pharmacist and outright love.

That is what real happiness is to me. Life is what you make it, however, don’t be so consumed with “making it” that you miss life. Whatever you do, don’t lose sight of yourself in the midst of surviving in this toxic, self-absorbed world.

Photo Cred:vinepair.com & dc.thedrinknation.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