Why Telling Black and Brown people (especially women) “You Must Work Twice As Hard” is Damaging, No Matter How True

I am a self proclaimed (and proclaimed by others) perfectionist. Not perfect, far from it, but perfectionistic. You know her, the inner bitch that kills you slowly and deliberately by your own doing, fed by shame, fear, and personal & historical trauma? The one that amplifies every failure and mistake to equal your worth, and cripples you with her harshness?

Today I want to focus on the historical and generational trauma impact of perfectionism. For many of us Black and Brown people, this impact is killing us very deliberately. For many years, as people of color, we have had to work harder. We have and are seen often as less than our counterparts, it’s been demanded we work harder to prove our worth and value, and honestly, it sometimes still never feels like enough. Put the identity of “woman” on top of that and it’s a double whammy. It’s a lot to endure.

What has been a peculiar strategy, one born of group preservation and desire for growth, is that we as Black women impose these same standards and pressures onto one another. We regularly tell one another “to work twice as hard, look better, act better, anticipate mistakes. Be better. Be better.” We model this. Long hours with no reprieve, neglecting our own needs, being a martyr at the expense of our own self preservation, taking on every single task under the sun, and being particularly harsh when our humanity kicks in. And we look at our fellow sisters and tell them, be the best too, sometimes putting down the ones that fall into this form of self hatred that was passed down to us, with things like you don’t dress well enough, not enough degrees, not articulate enough, not enough. Never enough – a direct reflection of what we think of ourselves.

One time, I attended a conference. As for most of us in higher ed, I work(ed) in a very white space and was so excited to connect with other Black women and men of color. I attended as many sessions as I could to learn and grow, to feel connected to my culture, to feel renewed. I left instead feeling heavy. That I had so much to do to even be perceived as worthy by most of society. There were ample messages around you have to get more degrees (a master’s degree isn’t good enough), you need to work longer hours (I was regularly working 60 hours already), create, innovate, and find all the Black businesses and support them today. All while nicely dressed, perfect brows (all the women did), and in high heels. I was overwhelmed and spent many days warring with myself, anxious, and exhausted. To be fair, these messages had been passed down to me since I was young. I think it was just I need affirmation I was on the right path. And instead received a very condensed and intense version of “be better” and it confirmed my worst fears – I’m really not doing enough, or at least it will never be enough due to my identity. Later, I broke into tears.

I’m a pretty high achiever (most perfectionists are), but by definition of my perfectionism, imperfection or lackluster achievement (which means a B+ instead of A) are not tolerated. And any messages about that, fuel me to action and often burnout. And then I had these thoughts:

Why are we perpetuating a message handed down to us meant to keep us inferior and assimilate to a culture that wasn’t created for us? Why are we killing ourselves with a perfectionistic ideal that says that we will still never be good enough? Why are we, Black women, denying, and frankly, obliterating, our humanity in the name of being the best? Will respectability politics actually get us respect? Is this all we are?

The outcomes are clear, racism, especially when internalized, are killing us – quite literally. Racism is strongly correlated with higher blood pressure, chronic disease, and the silent and hidden ailments like depression and anxiety in Black people. We have got to change this narrative.

Listen. I’m not saying that we should be lazy and not work hard or reach our dreams. I’m saying that we should not make that work ethic dependent on proving our worth and at the detriment of our health, soul, and spirit. It should not be the first priority. We should be that first priority.

Today, as I cried in a meeting with a superior (and then feeling ashamed for showing weakness, but that’s another post, for another day), and confessed that I have to prove that I’m good enough, successful enough, especially because I’m one of few Black women in the room, metaphorically and physically, I realized perfectionism is getting me more C’s in life and less happiness. Realizing how deeply I’ve come to see failures as the only confirmations of my worth, and hearing how loudly the voices of “be better, twice as better,” and feeling twice as worse, I realized I’m doing what the oppressors always sought to do to me – destroy. It hurts.

I still want to be better and still am dealing with the shame of not being as fearless, wonderful, and perfect as my sisters around the world and my ancestors were. But perhaps, maybe, just perhaps, my ancestors can be proud of me being good enough. Not twice as good, but just as good, and trying my damn hardest. Maybe they will smile when I give myself a break and say, this is what we worked for. Maybe they can still think I’m beyond their wildest dreams, without the self-hatred of a historical perfectionism not meant to make me soar anyway, and taking breaks to refill my cup.

I dont know. Maybe I’ll find out someday when I disengage from perfectionism.

Patience…

Patience

But, sometimes we get tired of waiting.

And the Universe says that patience is a virtue.

So, don’t we all want to be patient? Of course!

And like my image above says, “good things come…”

But when does being patient turn into being dumb?

How long can we be patient before we’ve been patient enough?

To be patient for a significant amount of time, is OK, but after this time has passed it starts to feel like it’s in vain.

You start to feel like your patience is being overlooked.

Almost as if the party you are waiting on knows that you are waiting, but they don’t care.They are inconsiderate of you and your time.

Why do we have to wait, or be patient after we’ve been patient for long enough.

And who’s to say how long is the right time to be patient, but after being patient for a very long time, there’s questions that need to be answered.

Does our time not matter?

Is it that being impatient is synonymous with being “rude” or “uncouth” when we don’t sit down and wait like the little pets you try to treat us like?

So then we sit and wait patiently, because we’re scared of retaliation of some sort?

Why?

Why should we even be worried about that?

Is that why we wait patiently after we’ve been waiting for so long?

Why is it that we don’t realize our own value, strength and worth would cripple these offenders who take advantage of our patience?

Why is that having expectations for you, the one who we ceremoniously wait patiently for, is unheard of?

Why do we listen when we’re told to be patient and wait, while the powers that be sit on their imaginary throne and take their time without considering us, the patient ones.

We can only be patient for so long, until we start to realize that maybe this is something that is not worth being patient for.

Because we know our worth.

So the longer we’re patient, the harder it is to win us over, because our time is valuable and if they don’t know our worth, we definitely should, and they will find out soon enough.

My Gym Bae (in my head)

If you have any type of insecure, homophobic tendencies, this blog post is not for you.
You’ve been warned.


Ok, so y’all know I’m slightly crazy, but I can’t help but to think that there’s someone at my gym that is trying to reach out and connect with me (like THAT),  but just can’t take that step. Why? There are many reasons that I will touch, kind of, below. But being that I’m awkward and anxious as fuck and have slight social anxiety, I just ignore it all and go about my merry way.

All he has to do is say the word and I’ll be like “let’s go” (hand clapping and all).  But I won’t be the one to say it first.  Just trying to avoid any awkward moments that may occur, because you know…not trying to be that gay guy that hits on everyone because he thinks they are gay.  But I’ve been getting some interesting vibes from him.

vibes

The first day I noticed him, we made some awkward eye contact in the locker room.  Then later that week, there was an awkward “I can’t really hear you but I’m done with this so you can have it” moment. Then another day the same week you asked me to spot you rather than the other people who were around (even though there was only like 3 other people around). Maybe it was because I was the closest person. But why me?  I just want to work out and go about my merry way without any social interaction with strangers.  Now I’m forced to stand over you with my junk over your face. Staring down at your toned chest and shoulder skin because god forbid you wear a regular ass shirt to the fucking gym.  Just let me do me, by my lonesome.  That’s how I like to work out.

I had my “Equality” shirt on that day.  Let’s just say it wasn’t not planned. (I told yall I’m crazy).  I tend to evaluate people to see how they react to certain things.  But it’s all passive.  So by wearing that shirt, I evaluate how people react to me and since he asked me to spot him, I feel like he supports equality (I know, crazy).  He doesn’t seem like a hater off the bat, but maybe he was just really focused on getting his reps in and it didn’t matter what I was wearing and he just really needed a spotter.

But see I’m petty, because if I needed a spotter but the closest person to me was wearing a “Trump” shirt, I’d go to the next person

to the left.

Now, I feel like I’m just projecting what I want him to be onto him.  But I can’t help but feel like I’m being stared at in the locker room by him.  Especially when I’m looking out my peripheral and see him facing towards me while I’m getting dressed, rather than facing towards the lockers on the wall. Maybe he’s just weird like that. Who knows?

I know, I know. This all sounds crazy, and yes I’m slightly crazy and yes I know that someone I know who works out at the same gym at the same time as me will most likely see this (no it’s not y’all, so don’t ask me about this haha),  but whatever (actually, I’m going to need y’all to be chill if you do read this, LOL).

But IDK, maybe I’m being irrational and it’s all in my head.  I try to shut the world out when I’m working out so I don’t really know what’s going on.  I just like to do my set, dance a little in the middle, and then do my next set.  But he seemed to be everywhere I was the last two days we were working out at the same time.

I ran…lol

run awa

I went to another part of the gym each time because my anxiety got the best of me, and I kept staring, and then I just didn’t want to be “that guy”.  Gay or not, I hate being “that guy”.  Who knows, he probably isn’t even paying me any attention, but I’ve been working out for so many years and have not had a hunch about another person in the gym like this at all.

If he’s just trying to find a workout partner, I. AM. NOT. THE. ONE. lol

It's a no from me

*shrug*

I guess we’ll just wait and see what happens…

Crossroads

But why not me?

I stand at the crossroad

Of uncertainty and rejection

Far too often

To be asking the road to answer

Such a silly question.

She doesn’t know.

If so, I’m not sure how she could explain away

The aching of feet

Tired of a repetitive journey

That leads nowhere

But back to hours of standing

At this crossroad.

The road thinks I’m hopeless.

But why NOT me?

I wonder aloud to the crow

Always circling this crossroad

Waiting for me

To rip my heart out and leave it

For death and his dinner.

He thinks I’m foolish

To carry it around,

Alive

Beating

Hungry.

But WHY not me?

I ask the couple in the

Old beat up Chevy.

Always passing by to their home –

On the other side of the cross road

Of course.

They flash me looks of endearing pity

They could not know.

They wonder how I got here

Get here

Every time.

They think me broken

And never stop to wonder,

As to not be

Cursed in my presence.

But why not ME?

The sun hears me

And my pain is the only thing

Strong enough

To shy her away.

She will not know,

Disappears and sends

Rain.

But even rain isn’t enough to wash away

The dirty traces of shame.

BUT WHY NOT ME?

Thunder roars

He can keep up.

But he cannot settle down

To answer me.

He thinks I’m weak.

but why not me?

This time barely a whisper.

And she stirs within me.

Because.

You are the universe

That cannot be contained.

It will always be you

And yet, never you.

She thinks I’m strong.

I choose my road.

Afraid.

You wrap me in your arms, stroke my cheek,

I feel weak

Safe

Beautfiul

Afraid.

You kiss me softly with your lips,

But also with your gentle words,

Touch

Patience

Quirks

Wisdom

And a smile that always feels

Exactly right

Safe

And bright.

It frightens me.

You feel like home,

Safe and comforting,

Yet easy and familiar,

But also like an undiscovered adventure.

Is this a mountain, ready to fling me down as soon as I climb up

Or a smooth river, ready to gently carry me to safety?

I can’t take the mountain anymore.

You disarm me,

I put down walls willingly,

Lay down my weapons of mass protection,

Hang up my armor.

I am raw,

Pure clay from the earth,

Soft and malleable

Yet strong and buildable

For you.

I don’t have the energy left in me

To be putty for an evil crafts maker or solider.

Please don’t be from enemy lines.

I am knowingly

Intentionally

Choosing

To

Melt.

It’s been a long time

Since I’ve decided to lose form

And be the soft, flowing, mess

That I am

For another

In attempt to find love.

You make me want to try.

I am afraid.

But also so damn ecstatic.

Capitalize on the ecstasy,

But please don’t exploit my fears.

Make me believe.

 

Tired and Overused Dating Advice None of Us Wants to Hear

You may not have noticed but us bloggers are single and have been for quite some time (some of us more single than others at various times, but for all intent and purposes, we’re all single as of this moment). And not to overstate things or brag on ourselves, but we are pretty good at being single. Like probably the best; we’re killing this shit.

So good in fact, that many people feel the need to share their fantastic dating advice to help us become better and more desirable partners. This would be great and all, but it is often unsolicited, doesn’t fit who we are all as people, assumes we aren’t good partners, is overused, unoriginal and tired AF, assumes we haven’t tried that already, ignores real issues of being single, especially as a gay, Black, single parent, woman, or busy professional person, contradictory the advice we got ten seconds ago, and did I mention UNSOLICITED – a.k.a. we didn’t ask you to solve our perceived dilemma of singlehood. And sometimes, this advice also has an underlying, and maybe even unintentional at times, undercurrent that we are not good enough as we are. And frankly, we’re kind of tired of that crap.

And so after hours of lamenting about this on our group chat (we group chat literally hours a day, like I feel like we go through our entire days together lol), we decided, you know what, we need a collaboration post, and we need one on this topic. So with no further ado, here is our first collaborative post written by all of us as a list of our “favorite (as in never say it again)” dating advice:


Just let him find you, also known as don’t look for him, he will fall in your lap, he will come when you stop looking and least expect it.

I’ve been single a long time. Never have I taken some time off from dating or working so much that a dateable man has fallen into my lap and we have began as a couple. Never have I been home, not leaving my house, engaging with anyone (which would be when I least expect it, and frankly, kind of annoyed if he showed up) and gotten married. Furthermore, I do not like the idea that I don’t get to be an active participant in my life. It’s not my style. I kinda like to be involved and it be more of a “we found each other” kind of thing. I get it, this is deeply rooted in biblical tradition – something about a man who finds a wife, finds a good thing. However, too many women I know have not found a good thing in a husband for me to not be an active participant. Perhaps “finds” is symbolic here too, like if you find a good lunch spot you’ve found a good thing. Those spots still advertise though. Also, the Bible is written in historical context and also patriarchy and also, not really my thing. Additionally, I know women who are happily married that have gone on single cruises, dating sites, speed dates, and were set up on blind dates. They did stuff. They looked for him. They found him. I have also known people who were “found” and are in terrible relationships. And what about same sex couples? Who finds who? It’s not like I’m on a safari of men anyway, looking for my right prey. But that sounds like a good idea. Where is that safari? How do I create one? Now that’s advice I could use. -Lee

I’ve been trying to be found for a year and a half now, and I’m still lost. I’ve always hated this stupid saying because even if you “let him find you” you have to put forth SOME type of effort. Like, sitting at home watching Netflix in your underwear while eating Chunky Monkey Ice Cream is going to help a man “fall into your lap”. Miss me with that. -Malc

“Where he at though?!?!” I’m a living witness that this is a load of crap. Most of the men I have interacted with have shown up “when I least expected it” or I wasn’t looking. Even my mindless swiping on Tinder was typically for kicks and giggles and not because I thought I’d find “the one” or that he would find me. I’m not one to go up and talk to a guy first. I don’t regularly put myself out there and yet men tend to show up and it still doesn’t work. Usually what people say to me is “he’s not going to find you if you stay at home knitting.” And that’s awesome because when I’m at home knitting I’m in full bum mode. I wouldn’t want to find me then either. But then people also say “no one wants a woman whose out all the time.” Which one is it people? Go out and put myself out there so he can “find me” or don’t go out and let him deliver my pizza on a Friday night.-Ashley


You should meet people in real life instead of Dating Apps

Even though I’m highly considering this, I don’t need you to tell me what to do with my life! What if I have social anxiety and hate meeting people in real life initially? What if I want to vet out these guys by texting the hell out of them and make sure they aren’t psychopaths first? What if I just want to waste time and maybe trip over the love of my life that way instead of spending money at the bar every night trying to find bae? If you want to use an app to find love, do it. If you want to find love at the bar, do that. If you want to sit around on your couch watching Netflix in your underwear eating Chunky Monkey Ice Cream, waiting for your bae to magically fall into your lap somehow out of nowhere, do it! -Malc

I second this one. And people always say “well I guess I’m just old school.” Well I guess so, Susan and Tom. I work in a female dominated space and since I date men, that makes it hard to meet people. I’ve also met some really cool people online and I don’t have to worry if they’re hiding their wedding ring in their left pocket. Also, let’s just say, online dating isn’t failing me. 🙂 -Lee

I’m not a huge fan of online dating. Mainly because I’m not a huge fan of dating period. It’s weird. Especially when it’s someone I don’t know. But since I don’t go out a lot for a number of reasons (no one to go with, no where to go, too damn tired, Mom duties, etc.) at times online dating has been used as an attempt to meet people. I actually met my ex online. What I didn’t like was the judgment I felt when I told people how we met. Screw you Susan if you think that the fact that you met Tom your second year of undergrad makes you better than me because I met my imaginary boyfriend on Tinder.-Ashley


You need to love yourself before someone else can love you.

So where did this idea of me not loving myself come from all of a sudden? So every single person in the world hasn’t learned to love their self? I mean, I love myself so much I sit around in my underwear eating Chunky Monkey Ice Cream doing my happy dance while watching Food Network and HGTV. -Malc

I call bullshit. Loving yourself is a lifelong process. Sure. You should have some basis of self worth so you don’t go out with abusive people because you feel that’s what you deserve, but if I wait until I conquer self-love, guess I’ll marry in the afterlife. -Lee

As my co-bloggers have already said…this is bullshit. Self-love is not a destination. It is a process. I will not wake up one day and say “this is it. I have arrived. I love myself the most I ever have and the most I ever will.” The reality is there are days I wake up and I feel like the spirits of Beyoncé and Maya Angelou have entered my body in the middle of the night and I am fearless and can conquer the world. There are other days that I wake up and nothing fits, my hair is a mess, I have zits, I don’t feel good and all my insecurities are standing in front of me the entire day. Am I less deserving of the love of other people on those days? I would venture to say the opposite. It is on those days that it would be nice to have a partner who can stand between me and my insecurities and remind me that I am loved by them and that I deserve the love of myself. And then on the good days they can be my biggest hype man and gas me up so I can take on the world. Hey. But maybe I just don’t love myself enough and I’m all wrong. I’m single. What the hell do I know. –Ashley

self-love-isnt-a-destination-self-love-is-a-journey-22927087


You should work on yourself instead of worrying about dating

I like how people think that us single folk don’t have anything going for ourselves. Like, what would make you say “work on yourself”? Are you saying I’m undateble because I have no positive attributes going on for myself? Are you saying that I’m broken? Because that’s what it sounds like. Yes I know I’m not perfect, but when you tell someone to work on themselves as an alternative to dating, you’re ultimately telling them that they are not fit for the dating pool. Bitches *Eats Chunky Monkey Ice Cream in underwear* -Malc

Ugh. Disgusting. I have been working on myself for awhile now. So now what? -Lee

What the heck do you think I do all day?!?! Okay. Maybe not all day. But a lot of my time, life, existence has been spent on self-reflection. With every failed attempt at Love I try to figure out what I did wrong and make changes accordingly. And this is bullshit because half my Facebook timeline is full of hot mess men and women in hot mess relationships so there’s that.-Ashley


Your expectations are too high.

I’m sorry, Jane, but maybe that is why you’re bored AF in your marriage or unhappy or have so much time to give me advice I never wanted. My list includes kindness, gentleness, open minded, treats me well, intelligent, has a good head on his shoulder, easy on the eyes, you know, being a human I want to spend time with and occasionally rip his clothes off. Maybe my expectations are high. But you know what Jane, so are the ones for myself. And I’d be damned if my expectations for myself are higher than with someone I am too spend some of my life with. -Lee

I don’t understand how people can tell me that MY expectations are too high. Like breh/sis, it’s MY life so yes I want to have some sort of expectations if you’re going to want to “climb this tree” (as Ashley says). And I’m sorry, but if being a decent human being (plus a few other things) is having high expectations, then I guess I’m going to be alone for the rest of my life eating my Chunky Monkey Ice Cream in my underwear. -Malc

What I love about his one is that people usually say it without actually asking me what my expectations are. My bad Jane for thinking that I deserve to be respected, appreciated, not cheated on, and treated as an equal not a possession or piece of meat. Didn’t realize I was asking for so much!-Ashley

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You should Pray on it

Sometimes I have these thoughts that what if I pray for God to send me someone, and then I meet this random person that seems remotely interested in me. So then I think it’s a gift from God and decide to make them mine, but then they end up being crazy and almost kills me or something then I think to myself, “why in the hell would God send me a crazy person?” So then I just decide not to pray on it and go back to eating my Chunky Monkey Ice Cream in my underwear. -Malc

So essentially what Malcolm said above is exactly what happened to me (minus the trying to kill me). The day before I met my ex I literally prayed “God, you know I really want someone, but if it is your will that I be single forever or in this season then I am okay with that.” And then ta-da here came this man, who was interested in me, and took me out, and treated me right (at first) and all those good things. It was like God had been waiting for me to stop fighting my singleness and trust him (and follow all this terrible advice) and only then would I be prepared to receive this man he had for me. It helped that his tinder profile said he was a God fearing man. It was confirmation. And well if this is the first time reading anything I’ve written…long story short…it was a disaster! So yea. I’ve prayed on it. Jesus knows my heart. He knows I’m not perfect. But I’m almost certain he expects some action after the prayer. I don’t think saying the right words in my head is some magic spell to make a man appear. I would have figured that out a long time ago if it was. Also, people who don’t believe in God clearly still have relationships…so…there’s that.-Ashley

My mom and church made me start praying when I was 5 years old. Sister Jane was wrong. That didn’t do anything. Of course then, the reason it has happened is because my faith isn’t deep enough. By the way Sister Jane that is a logical fallacy. If something doesn’t work, you don’t get to just to say, well it does work, but you didn’t believe enough. Also, Sister Jane, isn’t kind of weird that I spend all my time praying for a husband when children are dying in refugee campus and war zones? Other iterations of this are “wait on the Lord” “He knows best.” I don’t know, y’all know I’m agnostic and God is a woman anyway. -Lee

prayer GIF-source



You should enjoy being single while you can!

Yes, yes. Because I’ve just been miserable eating Chunky Monkey Ice Cream in my underwear this whole time. And that may sound miserable to you, but the way my Introvertedness and Anti-Socialness is set up… -Malc

I know I write about being single a lot. And I’m sure it’s easy to confuse that with me being miserable that I’m single. But I’m not. I was, however, miserable in my last relationship so the next one will definitely be one that does not destroy the peace I have while single. So even though I’m not out partying every night and even though I don’t have a boyfriend, I do enjoy my life (and my late night texting 😉) so yea…there’s that!-Ashley

What does this even mean, Susan??? I am living my best life and I want to live my best life with someone else too. Is this a terrible, terrible thing? Trust me I’ve thought long and hard about sharing my bed with someone (he better like it cold) and having to share my cereal. I’m ok with it. Perhaps, you should have thought more about enjoying your singledom. I, on the other hand, will not subscribe to the fact that my life will be miserable after getting with someone, and so my only alternative is to be unhappy. Perhaps that is why marriages don’t work, because we make it sound like your life is ending. How about some advice like “enjoy your life while you have it, regardless if partnered or not,” because spoiler alert, we all die. -Lee


You need to put yourself out there…but not too much.

So I hinted at this earlier. People really like giving confusing advice. Just let him find you. You can’t stay in all the time. You need to go out more. But don’t go out to much because a man doesn’t want a woman whose in the club all the time. Don’t be such a prude but be modest. Then they suggest some really terrible ideas of where to meet someone. “You like to read go to the bookstore.” Okay I also like to sleep how do you suggest I find a man doing that?!?! And also, there are women who go out every weekend and they have a man. And there are women who never go out and they have a man. So I’m not sure what the secret going out to staying in ratio is. That would actually be helpful advice if you know it!-Ashley

So, I’m not supposed to try, but I am supposed to try? What the hell am I supposed to do? Can someone fucking tell me? I don’t understand. Is online dating putting myself out there or too out there? Where is “there?” Cause I’m with Ashley, the bookstore never works. Only in Hallmark movies. Everything works in Hallmark movies actually. Maybe Susan and Tom, you thought I lived in a Hallmark movie? -Lee

Contradictory statements are null and void… -Malc

mae whitman GIF-source


You need to try something different

This one kind of goes along with the your expectations are too high part. But with a slight twist. Usually it’s in reference to whatever my “type” is. You want to know why my type has been up until this point…wrong…that’s it. I just struggle to believe that all people who look a certain way, or like certain things, or believe certain things are all the same. Because people have all sorts of stereotypes about light skinned women and I don’t usually fit them. So I try not to judge people. And then there’s also this assumption that I’m only interested in someone because they look a certain way and that’s just annoying. –Ashley

I’ve tried all the different. That isn’t the solution. Stop telling me to do that. -LeAnna

Try something different? Why? What do you mean? What is “different” exactly? I’m attracted to personality, so I don’t think trying something “different” would work in this scenario. I think that would slightly be considered settling, right? I’ve dated all types of different people physically, so if you mean try something different in that aspect, I already have, and we’re still in Singleville. I refuse to try something different in regards to personality as those are my expectations. Sorry that I have a type and I would like to find someone who falls in line with that. -Malc


But you have your daughter that should be enough

So this one only fits me but I think my fellow bloggers may be able to fill in the daughter with something else (career, friends, family etc.) The frustration here is that 1. you’re assuming I’m not grateful for my child and 2. A parent-child relationship is vastly different from a romantic partner relationship. I shouldn’t have to explain the differences but I’ll make this point. I am my child’s main source of support (emotional, mental, financial, physical health, educational etc.). She 100% relies on me. She, however, is not mine. I can not collapse in to her at the end of a long stressful day. I can’t cry on her shoulder when I feel overwhelmed or like a failure. I can’t go out and have a drink or dance or Netflix and chill or any other date options there may be. These are things that a partner would provide. But I think it makes people uncomfortable when I am honest and say that sometimes I get lonely, even though I have a child and live with my parents.-Ashley

Ashley! You are so right I can fill in this in with something else. Common things people tell me are “but you have a career and degrees.” Anyone who knows me, knows me that my career is basically an extension of myself. And yet, somehow, it doesn’t manage to hold me while I’m crying at night, imagine that. My career is so important to me. I try to be the best version of myself and my identity is definitely wrapped up in it. But I know all too well, that on my deathbed, I won’t be asking for my career or thinking I should have spent more time there. I hope to be reaching or thinking of the one I love. Lee

Nothing will ever replace the tender touch of another human being that you are romantic with and understands you on an emotional level. Sorry, but no career, money, etc will ever be able to replace that, in my opinion. Chunky Monkey Ice Cream comes close, but apparently I’m not supposed to have that type of relationship with food. -Malc


You’re too *fill in the blank.*

Speaking of career, the other advice I often get is maybe you should be less career focused, passionate, intelligent, smart, as this is intimidating and doesn’t allow a man to be a man. I am usually stunned at this point. Sooooo, I spent thousands upon thousands of dollars to get where I am, give my heart and soul to my job, have spent all this time “working on myself” to “love myself more (see above advice)” and now, I’m supposed to play small for a potential mate?? I’m really confused here. Shouldn’t he want to see me as I am, and I him, and we both decide this is who I can spend my life with and choose? I am not dumbing or silencing myself for anyone. -Lee

Ahhhh yes. The dreaded too much….! Leanna and I have discussed this a lot. I think for me I’m usually too quiet, too reserved, to introverted, too obsessed with Harry Potter. I used to get too intimidating a lot. Not sure if that’s changed or people just don’t say it anymore. But whatever it is that people say I am too much of and should become less of to get a man to them I say…men should stop be too chicken shit if me being me is intimidating!! – Ashley

I’ve learned that I will always be too much of something to mostly everyone, and I just hope to find the one person who doesn’t mind my extraness in said something that they can look past it and love me for it. And if I’m too much for you, then you’re not enough for me.  That’s when I can walk around confidently and comfortably in my underwear, eating my Chunky Monkey Ice Cream, alone and “too much”. -Malc

Here’s a peom that sums up this issue perfectly.


BTW, here’s some Chunky Monkey for Malcolm.

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A Healthy Change for Myself…

We talk a lot about body positivity here and loving the skin you are you in. However, this post shares a few moments of weakness when loving the skin you are in isn’t enough, because it can’t cure health problems. I wholly believe in that there are unrealistic expectations put out in the universe (facebook, twitter, or any kind of media for that matter) that causes people to obsess over having the perfect body and that doesn’t work for everyone. It causes a lot of pain and suffering mentally for some, but this isn’t one of those posts. Well, I don’t want it to be. This post may not be for you, and I understand, but this is my truth.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been telling myself that I need to get back in the gym. That I need to start eating better. That I should probably be more mindful of my health overall. Not because I’ve been hearing it from others. Not because I’ve seen other people go to the gym on a regular basis. But because my doctor told me I’m close to having pre-diabetes. Because I have family that is now going to a class to help keep pre-diabetes from becoming full fledged diabetes. Because I’ve started to run out of breath walking up my stairs. Because I keep finding clothes that I love that no longer fit… among a lot of other things.

Yes, I’m all about being comfortable in the skin you’re in. That’s part of living a happy life. But when things start to affect your health, it becomes more than just loving your body as it is. I’ve hit the heaviest I’ve been ever in life, but I’ve been happy with life for the most part (Maybe not in the relationship department, but that’s another story for another time…). Not really caring about what I’ve been eating, because food is bae. I’ve just been really reckless with how I’ve treated my body. The whole while I knew what I was doing. Fast food and restaurant foods for most of my meals during the week. Beers and Liquor almost every day. I’ve been “living it up”.

I’ve never been the “biggest” person. Other than being tall, people used to think I was skinny for the longest, and I still get comments about not really looking “big” to this day. I don’t know if people were just being nice, or actually felt that way, but it did help me feel more comfortable with myself and my weight, because at one point I really wasn’t comfortable with it. I still have problems with it but I’m aware of my situation and that I need to control it before its too late. Back in the day, I used to follow all of these crazy unrealistic Instagram pages who seem to lose weight in like 5 seconds. Looking for the miracle workouts to make me lose weight faster. But over time I got over that after I realized that this was damaging to myself. I realized my worth and my sanity wasn’t worth it and I started focusing on loving the skin I was in. But as time went along, I gained more weight, and it made it harder to love the skin I was in. Not because I didn’t look like a model, but because I knew I was not taking care of myself properly.

So, as of today, I’ve made a promise to myself to work towards a healthier lifestyle again. To get back in the gym, and eat better overall. This is a process to be a better me and ensure that I live to be 150 years old; or try towards it anyway :-). I don’t only want to lose weight and look better. I want to get my health back in order. That is my top priority. I don’t care about the six pack abs or the hard rock pecs. I just want to not feel tired all the time and not die sooner rather than later in life. Thankfully though, losing weight is a wonderful by-product of living a healthier lifestyle and additionally, I get to do something I thoroughly enjoy, which is working out (^_^).

This blog will never be a fitness blog and I don’t want it to be. Sure, while I go through the process of being healthier, I will share my successes and most likely rant about my setbacks, because that’s a part of the process. As you all know, I usually blog about my life and my journey as a whole and this is a part of it. So while I restart this journey of becoming more healthy, I will also work more to love myself flaws and all, because only I can guarantee myself that. But I will also strive to become a better, healthier, and non “getting tired while walking up on flight of stairs” person as well. Because I want to love the skin I’m in for a very long time.