“Black girls don’t get told we are beautiful enough. Black girls aren’t always told we can be princesses. Cute, sweet, innocent, pure- these are not words black girls often hear associated with us. Fast, sassy, mouthy, too grown, angry, aggressive- those are the words that get shot at us like darts. Black girls are not girls- we are mini women who are forced to be strong. You must tell black girls they are beautiful, innocent, sweet, magical. You must treat black girls as girls. Then, you can talk about black girl characters whose looks and femininity doesn’t matter. Otherwise, you are just maintaining the status quo- denying black girls our beauty and femininity.”—Brittney Jones (via beautiful-ambition)
Last year, a former high school classmate made contact with me through Facebook out of the blue. Randomly, he told me about his two year ‘bout with the law and being in federal jail and being wrongfully accused of the crime and how he was trying to get his life together for his daughter. (This is almost a regular thing for my high school alumni). I was a little taken back by his candor but I told him that he just needed to work hard and stay focused on his goals. Just a regular generic polite response.
He asked all the regular questions – what I was up to and how my family was doing? - and I responsed politely. Then he told me that he was proud of all that I had accomplished so far. I felt the authenticity and kindness of his words. I was touched and it really stuck with me.
On February 10th, I started my day with breakfast, emails and articles. Recently, I have been taking mental break from checking Instagram and Facebook 5x times a day everyday to once or twice every couple of days. That day, I decided to take a comprehensive look-through of Instagram and one post stopped me cold in my tracks.
He had died. I was in shock. I frantically checked my class Facebook group and his Facebook for confirmation and I got it. He fainted and never woke up.
He isn’t the first of my classmates in the graduating class to die. We have lost about three others. However, this one had a profound impact on me.
This gentleman and I briefly hung out for a moment — walks home sometimes because he lived just up the hill from me and calling me a few times. One thing that really stuck with me was his sense of humour and positivity. We did the sillest of things, like the Harlem Shake, sang Black Rob’s Whoa too many times and he would make fun of my accent and ‘how proper I was’ ALOT.
He was a genuinely good guy.
His sudden passing sent me into a day of reflection. My biggest take-away was that life is indeed short and I needed to find a way to connect with people who I shared a moment or two with over my life. I made this one of my goals for the rest of 2014.
RIP ES. Thank you for your warm spirit. Walk Good, Homie!
The happiest couples always consisted of two (sometimes more) emotionally healthy and independently happy individuals. These people practiced self-love. They treated themselves with the same type of care that they treated their partner… or at least they tried to.
Emotionally healthy people know how to forgive, they are able to acknowledge their part in any disagreement or conflict and take responsibility for it. They are self-aware enough to be assertive, to pull their weight, and to give love when it’s most difficult.
It’s easy to pretend ‘to be fierce and fearless because living your truth takes real courage. Real fearless and fierce women admit mistakes and they work to correct them. We stand up and we use our voices for things other than self promotion. We don’t stand by and let racism and sexism and homophobia run rapid on our watch.
Real fearless and fierce women complement other women and we recognize and embrace that their shine in no way diminishes our light and that it actually makes our light shine brighter.
I prayed for change, so I changed my mind. I prayed for guidance and learned to trust myself. I prayed for happiness and realized I am not my ego. I prayed for peace and learned to accept others unconditionally. I prayed for abundance and realized my doubt kept it out. I prayed for wealth and realized it is my health. I prayed for a miracle and realized I am the miracle. I prayed for a soul mate and realized I am the One. I prayed for love and realized it’s always knocking, but I have to let it in.
1. Your job. Yes, even if you’re working something that other people condescendingly term “not a real job,” such as retail or service. If you have a job of any kind in this economy, you’ve already won.
2. Whether or not you have debt. If you managed to get out of your education debt-free, that doesn’t mean that your life is a financial walk in the park that you constantly have to be apologizing for. If you are in debt, it doesn’t mean you got a “worthless” degree and now deserve to be shamed for struggling to find work after you were convinced by your school that you were making a good decision.
3. The kind of food you enjoy eating, or why you enjoy eating. (No matter how “uncultured” or “boring” or “gross” someone else might deem your favorite food.)
4. Your decision to have children, or not have them, or to not be sure if you even want them.
5. Your dislike for marriage as an institution — and even if this one day changes, you don’t have to justify having grown as a person and moved into a new point of view. No one should be telling you “I told you so” over something as enormous as your decision to commit for life to another person.
6. Your sexuality, or your desire to experiment with it. You are allowed to have “phases” or “try things out” or be “confused,” and can take as much time as you want figuring it out.
7. Your gender presentation.
8. Your income level, and what you can and cannot afford. If you are having trouble keeping up with friends because you are not able to spend as much as them, there is no reason to risk financial ruin to try and keep up appearances.
9. Your body. The only person whom you need to talk to about with it is your doctor; everyone else can else can go kick rocks.
10. Whether or not you want to go out on a weekend night, or ten weekend nights in a row. The amount of time you spend in a bar or at a club does not directly correlate with how cool or worthy a person you are.
11. Your relationship status. If you’re single and happy, that’s great. If you’re in a relationship and happy, that’s great. If you’re either of those and not happy, you are more than allowed to be, and it’s no one’s business how you should “fix” it unless you ask them for their advice.
12. How many friends you have. One is enough. A hundred is enough. And there is no need to falsely upgrade acquaintances to “friend” status in your mind simply to fill out the ranks. A true friend is rare, and we don’t need to make it a competition for who has the most.
13. How much you drink when you go out, or if you drink at all, or why you choose not to drink if you do.
14. What kind of music you enjoy listening to.
15. What kind of an education you have or don’t have, or if you intend to go back and finish what you’ve started. If continuing your studies is something you want to do, good, but don’t be forced into saying that you want it just because it’s what people expect of you.
16. What you happen to be turned on by. If you like slash fiction, you like slash fiction. If you like people recording videos of themselves popping balloons, that’s awesome for you. It’s all good, and as long as you’re not hurting anyone, have at it.
17. Whether or not you know to cook, even if you’re a woman who “should” know how to do those things.
18. If you stay at home to raise your children, or if you hire someone to help you do so because you have a full-time career. Neither of those choices are more or less feminist, no matter what Elizabeth Wurtzel tells you.
19. How many people you have had sex with.
20. Whether or not you are a virgin, and whether or not you want to wait for marriage to lose said virginity.
21. Whether or not you believe in God, and what you think God actually is. (As long as you’re not imposing any of your beliefs on others, in which case we’d have a bit of a problem. But I trust that you’re cool and wouldn’t do that.)
22. Who you voted for and why. If you want to talk about it, you’re free to. But no one should ever make you feel like you have to tell them.
23. If you have sex on a first date, if you kiss on a first date, or if you won’t even hold hands on a first date. You’re allowed to do whatever you like when you’ve just met a new potential suitor.
24. Whether or not you choose to use dating websites.
25. Not knowing exactly what you want to be when you grow up, even if many people would already put you in the category of “grown up.” If you are considering going back to school, or changing careers, or moving, or starting a family, or doing charity work — it’s all good. And none of it has to be followed up with a longwinded explanation about why it’s a good idea and they should believe in you. If you need to justify what makes you happy to someone in your life, perhaps you should ask yourself why you even care about their opinion in the first place.
“After all, seasons change. So do cities. People come into your life, and people go. But it’s comforting to know the ones you love are always in your heart. And…if you are very lucky…a plane ride away. - Carrie Bradshaw”—Carrie Bradshaw (via whatwouldcarriesay)
By now, the world has heard that Keith Mitchell and the NNP are no longer in opposition but instead once again holding all 15 seats in the Parliamentary Chamber of the Lower House. Yes, AGAIN. It happened in 1999.
PM-elect Mitchell is back in power after his 5 year hiatus from his 13 year consecutive run.
I was reading a few articles about his victory and just felt like I was transplanted in Orwell’s Nineteen-Eighty-Four. We gobble up all the Newspeak and go in hook, line and sinker with the ideology and the manifestos, the promises etc etc etc. Yes, we are a democratic society but are we a thinking society? Do we really take on board our human right of freedom of expression to seek, receive and impart information and exercise our individualism? Or are we just discouraged as a society to even care beyond our own basic needs and wants to think about what lies in the future of our small vulnerable economics?
I get it tho, I am discouraged too.
Congratulations to Keith Mitchell and the NNP on your victory. I encourage him to stay away from any briefcases left intentionally or unintentionally in his presence.*i kid* I also hope that the 15 elected Members of the Lower House and the 13 appointed members of the Senate, remember that their sole responsibility in office is serve for the benefit and betterment of the people of Grenada.
Knowing who you are is the greatest wisdom a human being can possess. Know your goals, what you love, your morals, your needs, your standards, what you will not tolerate and what you are willing to die for. It defines who you are. I have learned not to obsess over being number one all of the time. Sometimes not being number one gives you the incentive and the courage to fight harder; it is motivating. Have patience. Have grace. Be secure enough in yourself to base success on personal growth.
Take at least twenty minutes every day to be still and quiet. Time to sit in complete silence. Think. Reflect. Dissect your thoughts and feelings. Relive any mistakes from the day before. Decide how to be smarter and tougher, how to be more committed and considerate of others and more sensitive and aware of your surroundings. Choose something you learned that will make you a better person.
Choose to be happy and positive. Live like the blessed human you are.
Knowing who you are allows you to create your own beautiful legacy.
8 Conditions of a Cultured Person - Anton Chekhov:
Cultured people must, in my opinion, satisfy the following conditions:
They respect human personality, and therefore they are always kind, gentle, polite, and ready to give in to others. They do not make a row because of a hammer or a lost piece of india-rubber; if they live with anyone they do not regard it as a favour and, going away, they do not say “nobody can live with you.” They forgive noise and cold and dried-up meat and witticisms and the presence of strangers in their homes.
They have sympathy not for beggars and cats alone. Their heart aches for what the eye does not see…. They sit up at night in order to help P…., to pay for brothers at the University, and to buy clothes for their mother.
They respect the property of others, and therefore pay their debts.
They are sincere, and dread lying like fire. They don’t lie even in small things. A lie is insulting to the listener and puts him in a lower position in the eyes of the speaker. They do not pose, they behave in the street as they do at home, they do not show off before their humbler comrades. They are not given to babbling and forcing their uninvited confidences on others. Out of respect for other people’s ears they more often keep silent than talk.
They do not disparage themselves to rouse compassion. They do not play on the strings of other people’s hearts so that they may sigh and make much of them. They do not say “I am misunderstood,” or “I have become second-rate,” because all this is striving after cheap effect, is vulgar, stale, false….
They have no shallow vanity. They do not care for such false diamonds as knowing celebrities, shaking hands with the drunken P., [Translator’s Note: Probably Palmin, a minor poet.] listening to the raptures of a stray spectator in a picture show, being renowned in the taverns…. If they do a pennyworth they do not strut about as though they had done a hundred roubles’ worth, and do not brag of having the entry where others are not admitted…. The truly talented always keep in obscurity among the crowd, as far as possible from advertisement…. Even Krylov has said that an empty barrel echoes more loudly than a full one.
If they have a talent they respect it. They sacrifice to it rest, women, wine, vanity…. They are proud of their talent…. Besides, they are fastidious.
They develop the aesthetic feeling in themselves. They cannot go to sleep in their clothes, see cracks full of bugs on the walls, breathe bad air, walk on a floor that has been spat upon, cook their meals over an oil stove. They seek as far as possible to restrain and ennoble the sexual instinct…. What they want in a woman is not a bed-fellow … They do not ask for the cleverness which shows itself in continual lying. They want especially, if they are artists, freshness, elegance, humanity, the capacity for motherhood…. They do not swill vodka at all hours of the day and night, do not sniff at cupboards, for they are not pigs and know they are not. They drink only when they are free, on occasion…. For they want mens sana in corpore sano[a healthy mind in a healthy body].
What is needed is constant work, day and night, constant reading, study, will…. Every hour is precious for it…. Come to us, smash the vodka bottle, lie down and read…. Turgenev, if you like, whom you have not read.
You must drop your vanity, you are not a child … you will soon be thirty. It is time!