You Should Be Pressed

Every once in a while, well actually quite often, a phrase comes a long that gives me such a visceral reaction of disgust that I struggle to contain myself when I hear it. Phrases such as swag, bae and on fleek are on the list. The current culprit is:

“Im not pressed”

The context in which I have heard this phrase has always been in reference to relationships. I assume that what the person means is “I’m not in a rush to get in a relationship or have any form of intimate, genuine, authentic connection with people. I have options. You are one of many.” So forgive me if you utter these words and I adjust my interaction with you accordingly. We are clearly not looking for the same things.

I get it. Relationships are tough. Sometimes they suck. I almost daily contemplate becoming a nun, or just giving up on the human population period and wholly embracing my singleness forever and always, amen.

But call me crazy, for some reason I still have a little hope. Just the slightest bit of hope that someone will see me and say “damn, I need to get to know her.” And then they will get to know me and say “damn, I need her in my life on a consistent basis.” And then we will be consistent for a while and they will say “damn, I need to make sure that no one else gets the chance to experience this amazing creation of God that I have been blessed with.” Yep. Call me crazy but it would be kind of nice to find someone who is in fact “pressed.”

I do not like living, dating and trying to love, in a world where people are not pressed. Where no one feels a sense of urgency. Where no one sees the need to be with someone. Where no one sees the need for consistency, and respect, and the offering of time and intimacy because they aren’t pressed. Because everything and everyone is just another option and there may be someone better around the corner so I’m not going to be pressed about you or the next one or the next one. (I blame online dating)

I am well aware that I am not everyone’s cup of tea. Hell, I’m not most people’s cup of tea. Apparently I’m easy on the eyes but then slightly intolerable once you get to know me so there’s no need to be pressed. That’s okay. By all means take your unironed, unwrinkled, fluffy tail somewhere else. (Yes I did google antonyms for pressed) Find someone else who is also “not pressed” and y’all can engage in vague, undefined, inconsistent, random conversation for the rest of your unpressed lives.

Who knows, maybe I am the crazy one. Maybe somewhere along the line I developed a unrealistic definition of love and unhealthy expectations for what my love life would be like. Maybe my pressedness is what’s causing my singleness to thrive. Maybe I need to start practicing the art of the unpressed.

To end this rant, here is a unfinished list of all the things I am pressed about:

Love

Life

Finding a forever partner in crime

Turning 30 in 6 Days

Money

Buying Christmas presents that people will like

Whether or not my current job is the right fit

Why I’ve given up on weight loss and become content with that 20 lbs

What to wear for my last weekend in my 20’s celebration

Why I can’t figure out how to move out of my parents house

Whether or not I’m a good mother

Whether or not I’m just a terrible person who is incapable of healthy intimate relationships

Why I haven’t been able to find time to repurpose that dresser

If it snows this winter will I make it to work or will I get in another accident.

Love, I am pressed about love, giving it, finding it, wanting it, needing it, deserving it, fearing it, yearning for it, love. I am pressed about love and that’s ok.

(From the princess saves herself in this one by Amanda Lovelace)

What are you pressed about?

30 Reasons Why I’m Probably Still Single.

I will be 30 in two weeks. Minus a recent blip on the radar, I have spent the majority of my adult life single.

As 30 quickly approaches, and I enter another year of attempting to embrace my singleness, I have been trying to think of some logical reasons as to why I’m still single.

Here’s what I’ve got so far:

1. I didn’t forward quite a few of those chain letters in middle school that said do this or you will never find love.

2. I’m not a huge sports fan.

3. I’m too tall

4. I’m not an amazing dancer which makes me not appealing at clubs

5. Resting bitch face

6. My love of Harry Potter (this one I don’t understand)

7. Social awkwardness

8. I have been cursed

9. People get explosive diarrhea when they think about talking to me and therefore run to the bathroom. When they come out I’ve disappeared.

10. I am too good of a wing woman

11. I’m a super hero. My super power is scaring people away.

12. I blink really hard sometimes. It makes people think I’m crazy.

13. I’m a therapist. This scares people.

14. People realize how awesome I am. Realize they don’t deserve me. So they go find someone less awesome to love instead.

15. My cooking/baking is so amazing it causes them to fear that they will gain a bunch of weight being with me so they run (figuratively that is).

16. Mama ain’t raise no fool.

17. Neither did my dad.

18. The older I get, the lower my tolerance for bullshit becomes.

19. My hip to waist ratio is not correct.

20. I look bougie

21. I was meant to be a military wife. My entire childhood prepared me for it. I do not live near a military base.

22. I’m intimidating

23. The idea of meeting people scares me.

24. I have briefly met, fallen in loved, and planned weddings with so many people that God is just like “look here. You need to stop.”

25. I’m convinced most people are serial killers.

26. I am not ordering pizza at the right time, therefore the really hot pizza delivery man has not shown up at my house yet.

27. Luke Kuechly is just really nervous.

28. This is some sort of test. I am failing miserably.

29. My introverted nature makes me hate chit chat and small talk. These things appear to me integral parts of meeting people and getting to know them and making them fall in love.

30. Pretty sure it’s those stupid chain letters.

So…if you to are approaching an age where you never imagined you would still be single but alas here you are…what are the logical explanations you have come up with for this phenomenon?!?!

Signs of my Emotionally Abusive Relationship

I keep telling myself that my last post about my last relationship will be my last post on the topic. But here we are. I think my worry is that someone will read it and think “oh she’s not over him yet. She’s undateable.” Then I realized I’ve apparently been undateable for one reason or another my entire life so no point in worrying about that now.

Sometimes when I’m by myself I find myself replaying some very key moments in the relationship in my mind. I continue to ask myself “how did you let all that happen.”

Confession, I have always wondered how women wind up in abusive relationships. Did they not see the signs? Why did they not walk away in the beginning before it got bad? I understand that there comes a time when it is no longer safe to leave. I guess I’ve just kind of wondered how it got that bad.

I think I understand now.

Disclaimer to anyone who reads this and may know my ex. He never once was physically abusive. And maybe it’s still how the whole process works, but I’m not certain he ever would have become physically abusive.

But that’s all I will give him as far as the abusive piece goes. The farther I get from it, the more I realize how emotionally abusive that relationship was. And how easily I got caught up in it. And how difficult it was to leave.

I don’t know why, but I feel like I need to give some full confession of everything I dealt with for nine months. I haven’t told anyone everything. Not even my closest friends. The purpose isn’t to gain sympathy. I think my main goal is to just put it out there. So it no longer feels like a secret I’m holding onto.

So here goes. A comprehensive list of things that took place in my last relationship that I consider emotionally abusive:

1. At my mom’s 60th birthday party he got mad at me because one of my best male friends was apparently looking at him for too long. He took this as a sign that we had slept together or that my friend was secretly in love with me. I had recently gone to Raleigh and met my friend for lunch. He thought we slept together then.

2. He got mad when I told him my “number.” Said I was lying because at first I said I didn’t know exactly. He said when I saw his face expression to that answer and took the time to count that I just said 10 because it seemed like a safe number but that I was lying. (Anyone reading this who feels some sort of judgement by this number…screw you).

3. Got mad at me when I didn’t text him while at my God Daughters 1st Birthday Party. Said that no one year old’s party should last that long. When I told him I helped set up and clean up because it was at my church he said I should have told him before hand because now it seemed like I was covering something up. By this time I was terrified a picture would be posted of me and the male friend from the first example and he would think I was cheating. That friend is my God Daughter’s God Father.

4. Purposefully got me drunk on our birthday celebration in order to see me throw up because I told him I did not want that to happen. I had previously told him that that had never happened before and I didn’t want it to happen on my birthday. I threw up. Asked for a bottle of water and some gum. He asked how I knew I needed water and gum if I had never thrown up from drinking before. Said I was hiding some wild partying days where I was also probably a hoe.

5. At my companies Christmas party, we fought. He was mad because I was talking to the other therapist and didn’t talk to only him all night. He was also mad I asked what time he needed to leave and that I asked more than once. When I told him I was worried the same thing was happening as what happened at my moms party, he said that was a sign that I was sleeping with someone at the party.

6. When dropping me off at work after we ate lunch together one day, an old co-worker drove by. I waved. He waved back. He got mad. Said I should not have waived and that the guy should not have been looking into the car that hard. He said that this was a sign that we had slept together at one point and I was lying about it. He asked what position he held at my job and I said he was a tech. Said that that was definite proof we had slept together or at least talked because at our company Christmas party I didn’t talk to any of the techs.

7. Pretended he had gotten into a fight at a club because someone said they knew me from college and made it seem like I was a hoe back in the day. He did this to see what my response was and to see if I confessed to being a hoe.

8. Forgot that I invited him to my best friends 30th birthday party. When I didn’t remind him but then said I would come see him afterwards he said this was proof I didn’t want him to come. Broke up with me for still deciding to go out. Called me a thot. Got mad when I posted a picture of me that night with the caption “thot adventures for the besties birthday.” Called me several terrible names throughout the night. Said I was choosing my friends over him if I didn’t leave and drive down to see him immediately. Threatened to share intimate details of our relationship to members of my church to prove I was a thot. The next day when things had calmed down and he encouraged me to go out saying he wouldn’t get back with me if I didn’t go, when I text upon returning home he acted as if he had slept with his ex and she was at his house. This was a “joke.” Said he trusted that I hadn’t been a hoe for the 24 hours we broke up.

9. Repeatedly said he couldn’t trust me after that night. If I didn’t call every day while at work for my lunch break he assumed it was because I was sleeping with someone at my job instead of calling him.

10. Got mad at me because I didn’t come down to visit him one weekend when he hurt his back. I was going down there any weekend that I wasn’t on call. I chose one weekend to not go down and not be on call to get things done. He injured his back and chose to go out and was in pain. Told me he had never felt so alone and should never feel that alone while in a relationship.

10. Got mad at me because I went to one of my best friend’s baby shower. He called, knowing I was there, and I didn’t see it. He said that I was choosing my friends over him. I made it a point to go to the baby shower because it was important to me and obviously he wasn’t important to me because I didn’t come to see him. I was on call that weekend and did an assessment right before the party. He said I made it a point to do the assessment quickly in order to go but never did the same in order to see him.

11. Told me I didn’t actually like him because he was not my “normal type” so I was probably secretly cheating on him with a skinny light skinned guy.

12. Got mad when I did not tell him what I liked about a movie I went to see with a friend. When previously he got annoyed when I wanted to talk about a movie a saw that he wasn’t interested in.

13. Constantly told me we had nothing in common because I didn’t like to party.

14. Got mad when I would wake up early and read while he was asleep.

15. Purposefully left hickies on my neck that he wanted people at my job to see…especially the people he thought I was sleeping with.

16. Tried to figure out which guy on the UNCC basketball team I had dated. Got mad when he wasn’t skinny and light skinned. Then told me why I was mad that he was looking and would not acknowledge my actual reason for being annoyed with him. Honestly I don’t even remember what my reason for being annoyed was but we argued about it and this triggered us not talking for a day and then ultimately breaking up.

There are more things. Smaller versions of some of these things. These are the biggest. These are the ones that randomly pop up in my head. These are the ones that make me feel stupid and ashamed and cause me to continue to beat myself up for getting into that situation and staying for any period of time.

But that’s the thing I guess. When you’re in it it’s harder to see. It’s harder to realize it’s happening. All you really know is it sucks, your miserable, there’s no one to talk to about it and sometimes the good times give you hope.

I have vowed to myself that I will never again be so afraid of losing a person that I lose myself. I have vowed to myself to never let a man have me questioning who I am as a person. I have vowed to myself to watch out for red flags but also yellow flags too. I have vowed to myself to run as fast as possible if a guy ever takes issue with my friends. I have vowed to myself to love me, unconditionally, and not allow anyone within a mile who doesn’t do the same.

To anyone who may read this and see some similarities in their relationship. I encourage you to step back and really decide if this is what you think you deserve. If it is, know that you deserve better. If it isn’t, choose yourself and move on. Above all else though, I urge you to please stay safe.

I am Not My Hair or My Edges

I love being Black. I love being Woman. The two together make me feel strong and powerful AF, and I feel great joy and pride to think about my ancestors and who they may be and what they fought for. I feel a strong sense of connection to other Black people, giving a nod, or smile as if I belong to a secret society of magical melanin. I  love all people, but I love my people in a unique way. We are a people of triumph. And black women, well, we come in shades, sizes, and shapes of wonder. We have learned to celebrate our beauty.

Well, kind of.

Like any group of people on this planet, we have adopted some oppressive beauty standards and use those to ostracize others, and promote unrealistic and unhealthy ideals of beauty. Two of these include hair and ass. Both of which I personally struggle with.

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This is an extremely difficult meme, as funny as it may be to some, because honestly, these both are hard for me, and one time, this may have made me feel depressed for days.

Today, I will discuss hair, in particular, edges.. Edges seem to be the holy grail of beauty in our community or the foundation of endless humiliation. For those of you not familiar with this seemingly very important issue, it is when you don’t have much hair or have some loss of fullness around your temple, sometimes even a little further back, often due to tight braids or hairstyles (especially when young), but also due to, and often complicated by, nutritional issues, genetics, medications, and stress. This can result in alopecia, specifically traction alopecia, but also often in combination with other types, if any of the factors are involved. You scalp may easily scar and this can kill the follicle, making it difficult for hair to regrow. Some women can do whatever they want to their hair and never experience hair loss, and some may have one hair style, med, or accident, that causes this to happen. Many times, it isn’t our fault, or we didn’t know better, or a well meaning hair stylist, over relaxed, too tightly braided, or over-styled our hair. And we all know how hard it is to sometimes correct a hair stylist, especially if you’re shy like me (I tend to just go home and cry when I hate my hair lol).

It’s not a fun thing to have. Trust me, I know. I have some hair loss in my temples. Additionally, if my hair does not remain braided or put up, I begin to lose hair in the middle of my head. I have been ashamed since day 1, when it started happening around ages 10-12. I wore styles to hide it (making it worse over time), I used sprays to make my edges look fuller, I cried every time I thought about it. Every blog, every joke, every rant about edges made me feel like a personal failure. Like I should have known better, prevented it, etc. I wouldn’t (still won’t) go to new hair stylists for fear of being judged (I had a wonderful stylist once in Charlotte who was so kind and actually helped stop future hair loss and now designs wigs for me). I would be scared to show my friends my hair. I wouldn’t look at myself in the mirror. And even though I realized there was treatment for this, I did not seek treatment until 4 months ago, because of the intense amount of shame I carried about my temples.

Why was I so ashamed? Well, men (who are going bald, which is baffling to me) would make jokes and comments on the web. Stylists put things about hair loss and who they won’t serve on their website. Websites talk about how Black women are losing their hair and edges because of their vanity. Everyone has a topical solution or a vitamin that will restore your hair, and every time it fails, you feel like you fail. And well, a quick Google search  shows the feelings about hair loss in our community, as we joke about anyone struggling with this.

 

These seem funny… I have laughed to hide my pain when these are posted or people joke, and I’ve learned to not take them so seriously, but they are emotionally damaging to many people.

One thing that really gets to me is the way other Black women talk about one another in this situation. We tear each other down about it. We humiliate one another. We act like this is the worst thing that can possibly happen to a person. It also seems that Black women are made to feel that this is wholly our own doing and we are failures because of it. What’s interesting, is when other women of different races have hair loss, there is a different take on hair loss. It seems to me that it is looked at as more of a medical issue; something to get treatment for, embarrassing, maybe, but not a telltale sign of your worth. I am guessing this stems from the complicated relationship Black women with have hair, which I believe pre-dates me and results from historical racial trauma and many years of internalized oppression. We have come to see our worth in physical terms and beauty as very one dimensional. Along with hair, comes the natural versus relaxed, weave versus non weave, the right way to be natural versus the not right way to be natural. I’ve been judged by all of these things – not natural enough, wearing wigs, too kinky of hair, all while dealing with this shame – it is difficult to be a woman.

As I mentioned, 4 months ago, I ventured for the first time to see a dermatologist after trying every remedy ever; a beautiful, smart black woman doctor, who had excellent reviews. And I muttered those words that I have been scared to tell anyone, “I have hair loss.” She took a look and I wasn’t sure what I thought she’d say, but prepared myself for a lecture as I’d received from so many other women. Instead she was the most reassuring human being I had ever met about this. She was compassionate, she didn’t blame me, and she didn’t make it seem like a big deal.  I was so ashamed I didn’t even once consider this as a medical condition, that would be covered by insurance. She assured me that it was, and that this was as real of a medical condition as any condition. She made me believe I deserved treatment. I didn’t realize that up until then, I truly believed I didn’t deserve treatment for my hair loss. It was another thing that I used to validate the idea that I wasn’t worthy or good enough. And so, I began injections, the standard treatment for alopecia of all sorts. The rest of my hair is luckily a big full kinky afro (mainly because I keep it braided – like I said, I lose my hair in the center of my hair easily), but I know that is just luck. It’s early, but the prognosis of my hair recovery is good, but slow, and I can see a little improvement. Had I not let my shame stop me, I might could have had better results faster.

Many women, especially Black women, probably know how hard it is to write a post this vulnerable and transparent about hair. I’m putting myself at huge risk of being ostracized and criticized. Maybe my future boyfriend will read this and decide to not be my future boyfriend. But I want others to know that those seemingly harmless and “funny to you” jokes might be hurting someone. It may be reminding them that they are not worthy for yet another reason. It may be reinforcing stereotypes of beauty. Also, really, is losing your hair the worst thing that can happen to you? I mean why is that even a thing? Men get to go bald and look debonair or distinguished (I admit to loving me a bald man). Wigs and extensions exist for a reason (for both fun and functional reasons – which I use them for both and probably always will, I don’t care what you think about me). For heaven’s sake it is JUST HAIR.

There is an amazing online website for women with hair loss. I don’t ever comment (yet, anyway), but listening to women – both in treatment and others just accepting it and rocking their hair bald or with extensions and wigs – has been eye opening for me. I remember one woman saying, after many failed treatments, said something like “fuck it, it’s not that serious, I’m just going to rock my fabulous wigs, because I am still beautiful. Life goes on. This isn’t the most important thing in life.”

Her stance is what I’m coming to adopt and accept in my life.  Do you think my courageous ancestors that walk with me are concerned about my edges as part of my life purpose? Do you think Harriet Tubman worried about her edges while trying to free slaves? I think not. She had a purpose to fulfill, a great life to live, people to help. And no one ever doubted her impact on the world. People write about her heart, her bravery, her convictions, but never her hair. And I’m sure men and women fell in love with her soul. And I’d rather have a full soul, than full edges. And maybe I can have both. And if not, that’s ok too.

So please, stop shaming other women about a medical condition. We’re all beautiful. Edges or not.

 

 

Knit With Love

I’ve gone back and forth in my head and heart about two things since “the breakup.” What to do with this damned scarf and what to title this blog post.

Options for the scarf:

Burn it

Unravel it in a fit of rage

Cut it into shreds

Hide it somewhere and pretend it never existed

Throw it in the trash

Send it with the most epic passive petty note ever written.

Finish it and donate it.

Don’t finish it and donate it.

Options for the title of this post:

What it’s actually titled or

Knit with (unrequited)Love

So first things first, I am well aware that knitting is about the most grandma hobby an almost 30 year old woman can have. Go ahead and get your jokes out of the way now. I’ve probably heard them all. I’m okay with it. While you’re laughing you should know that I thoroughly enjoy it. It’s therapeutic. And there’s just something about creating something out of nothing that gives me great satisfaction. It’s the same feeling I get whenever I grow a vegetable garden. “Look I made a thing!”

Long story short. Before I came to my senses and ended a terrible relationship that was sucking the life out of me, I was working on a scarf for the male counterpart in said relationship. I began this scarf despite his jokes about my knitting. I worked on the scarf despite him saying multiple times he would never wear it. I secretly wanted to finish the scarf in hopes of it being a way for him to see how much I cared and prayed that maybe, finally, he would believe it. I had a lot of hopes and dreams put into this scarf. Poor scarf!

About halfway through the making of the scarf the relationship ended. And then the question immediately presented itself. What to do with the scarf? I hid it in the compartment in my couch where I keep all my current knitting supplies. (Side note: if you’re reading this and wondering what to get me for my upcoming 30th birthday, some sort of knitting supply storage container or bag would be a lovely idea). I began and finished other projects. More than once I looked into the compartment and seriously considered unraveling the scarf. More than once I tried to throw it away. I tried to pretend the blasted scarf did not exist.

But, alas, the scarf is still here. But I have a plan. Thanks to an old friend who does great work every fall/winter collecting coats for the homeless people of Charlotte, this scarf will soon have a new home. I decided to just bind it off and send it away as is. Half finished, random hearts, spots that were planned for more patterns, and full of hopes, dreams and unrequited love.

But then…I still had the decision of what to name this post. I assumed there would always be a post about the scarf as soon as the decision to make a blog began. Knit with (unrequited)Love was always my go to title. Just seemed to fit. But then, as time has gone by, as my heart as healed, and as I have decided every thing happens for a reason and there is something to be learned from every seemingly terrible situation, I decided on the title we have. Knit With Love.

No matter what, this scarf was knit with love. Whether returned or not. I invested time, energy and a piece of myself into this scarf as I like to believe I do in all relationships, friendships and other areas of my life. Whether those things are returned or not I can not control. I can only decide to love. To love fully. To love completely. To love despite the times that it hasn’t been returned. I have decided not to let those moments of unrequited love ruin my outlook on life. I have decided not to become bitter. I have decided to learn from it and not let it ruin me. I have decided that if for the rest of my life I put out love and it is unrequited that at the end of it all I will not be mad that I loved without boundary and without fear. Okay there’s a little fear but that’s only normal.

So tomorrow the scarf will be handed off to my friend. Not completed but bound off with love. Filled with the hope that whoever receives it will, if even for a moment, feel loved.

The plan is to continue to knit things. Scarves. Fingerless gloves. Ear warmers. Etc. to donate next year, and for years to come or to give to people I like or love. Because even if it’s the lamest of all hobbies…there’s nothing wrong with knitting with love.

Oh, and Incase you didn’t know:

“Hey, Stranger” Season

As the weather tries to get cooler (we are struggling here in NC for some reason), as the colors on the leaves change to their beautiful oranges and golds, and as Christmas music and decorations seem to have exploded onto the shelves and radio stations, I have been quickly reminded that “hey, stranger” season has arrived as well. 

Like ghosts of semi relationships past, i have received four “hey, stranger” text or direct messages this week. Actually five but one was from an actual friend just checking in so I don’t hold it against him. 


So what is a “hey, stranger” text you ask? Well first off, if you have to ask, consider yourself blessed since you’ve never received one! Side note before we get started, if Ruby Rose ever sent me a “hey, stranger” text any advice or thoughts that follow this sentence go out the window! So back to the matter at hand. A “hey, stranger” text is any message you get randomly  from any person you may have once been even the slightest bit interested in whether romantically or otherwise but for what ever reason it didn’t work out. Maybe they ran off and found someone else and got married. Maybe they ghosted you only to pop up now because they realize you’re amazing. Maybe they are currently married and failed to mention that before flirting with you. Maybe they snored so bad you slept in your car the last time you saw them and for that and several other reasons it would never work but now that they are getting old they realize they were an idiot and want to try again. Maybe these are true stories, maybe they aren’t. Either way, these relationships, or semi-relationships, did not work out for one reason or another but for some reason as the whether changes so do peoples feelings and memories so they think it’s a good idea to contact you out of the blue. 


And that’s the issue. It’s totally random and out of the blue. You’ve been minding your business for weeks, months, years and they’ve decided that’s a good indicator that you want to hear from them. 


If you’re anything like me a few things happen when the text appears or  the DM comes through. 1. You are slightly confused as to who the person is because you have either deleted their number or erased them from your memory. 2. An epic battle takes place between being a bitch or politely telling them to go back from whence they came. 


If you’re also like me you usually try to politely tell them to go away which always ends badly. They don’t understand politeness. They see it as weakness and they still try to sneak in. So then you ultimately have to be a bitch anyways to get them to go away. 


So I’ve written this as a warning. To my kindred spirits who find that each year as cuffin’ season approaches you receive an onslaught of unwanted “hey, stranger” text, I say to you: stay strong! It’s not worth it! They will disappear as quickly as they came once it starts to warm up again. You deserve better. You are better. Say it like a mantra every morning in the mirror until you believe it if you don’t. 


And for those of you who are considering sending a “hey, stranger” text. 


You had your chance. You blew it. It’s okay. We most likely aren’t mad (or maybe we are so consider that before texting) but we don’t want to hear from you. Go find someone new and live your best life, just leave us out of it!!!! 



I don’t know how else to say it. People who send any version of the “hey, stranger” text are some of the worst kind of people.