What we’re not going to do in 2018-err, 2019 is…

So, my blogmates and I actually wrote this post almost a year ago but never submitted it, for whatever reason. Well, I (Malcolm) am going behind the backs of my blogmates and posting this now because some self-reflection and motivation will always be welcomed in life. Please don’t hate me! lol

We are venturing on four months into 2018 one month in 2019 and we all know that time flies when you’re having fun, spending time with friends, getting new jobs, traveling, eating good, dancing, and generally attempting to live your best life. The beginning of the year is always a fitting time to do a little self reflection and see how we are doing with our journeys of self-love, exploration, happiness, dating, work, life and generally all things involved in being a boss!

In our self-reflection in our group chat we recently found ourselves commenting on all the things we are NOT going to do because it’s 2018 2019. We have all reached and survived the dreaded 30 and we have all experienced some serious self improvement and growth over the past few months since we’ve had this blog (and long before it existed as well). So here goes…our list of all the shit we are not going to do or put up with in 2018 2019 (or any other year). If it’s not already clear, this is another collaborative post!

1. Men who don’t appreciate my worth the first time around. No going back to exes who realized they wanted that old thing back and how awesome I was, after they walked away. Bye Felicia! – AP

2. Deal with people who don’t understand that Black Lives Matter! – M

3. Fuckboys – M

4. People who make everything about themselves. I’m talking about something I’m excited about and you turn it into something about you. You’re getting called out. – AP

5. Unsolicited dating advice (see previous post)- AP

6. Greeks who are more interested in partying and dealing with pledges than actually attempting to give back to their community. -M

7. Faking orgasms. I have zero time for dealing with terrible sex so that I don’t hurt someone else’s feelings. -AP

8. People who aren’t interested in me romantically when I clearly want romance. -M

9. Compare skin tones with tanned, non-melanated individuals in society. -M

10. Dates that aren’t dates, but minimum effort disguised as booty calls. LR

11. Getting stood up on dates. LR

12. Dry skin and an useless or non existent skin care regimen. LR

13. Jobs that don’t challenge us to be the best versions of ourselves and don’t fulfill our calling and value statements. I need a job that I’m excited to go and fulfill my purpose. LR

14. Bad wigs or weaves. Too old not to look fly like a G6. Frontals and You Tube videos have come too far for that mess. LR

15. Allowing anyone to withdraw/overdraw from our emotional bank accounts without equally depositing back into it. I will be closing all of your lines of credit, bank accounts, and turning down unworthy applications – friends, family, associates, and co-workers, you have been warned. LR

16. Bad wine. I will send it back to the waiter and pour out the bottle. Too many low cost, delicious options for that, plus I get drunk way too fast these days to not enjoy my drinks. This goes for cheap liquor too. No headache or hangover country here. LR

17. People’s opinions of my life choices or being. Don’t like how often I move? Then don’t move. Don’t like my body? Cover your eyes. Don’t like my hair. Don’t wear your hair like mine. Don’t like my choices around religion, lifestyle, children etc.? Don’t try to be me. I really have zero time for that. LR

18. Mediocre and unloving sex. Goes hand in hand with Ashley’s orgasm thing. Life is far too short for bad sex with people I don’t care about. I am looking for the real stuff. LR

19. Putting myself down and not seeing and actively shining the glory of the light that is myself. I cannot fulfill my purpose, be happy, and get what I deserve if I don’t acknowledge that I deserve and am worthy of those things. And as in a past post, I am quite tired of being emotionally abusive towards myself.

20. Being labeled as an angry Black woman because uncomfortable truths make you well, uncomfortable and defensive. Also, being quiet and docile as to not make you uncomfortable. (A moment of silence for Auntie Maxine always coming through with the truth). LR

21. Settle for anything less than what I deserve. I am not here to be under or taken advantage of. -M

22. Let people guilt me into spending quality time with them. If I’m being anti social, let me be. I’ll catch up with you at some point. -M

23. Relationships that don’t allow me to be my genuine and authentic self. If I have to change or pretend to keep you happy. It ain’t happening. Whether that’s friends, romantic interests or otherwise. -AP

24. People who don’t let me know their true intentions from the jump. In any aspect. -M

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25. Body shaming.

26. Racism.

27. Sexism.

28. Misogyny.

29. Homophobia.

30. Transphobia.

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31. Allow what I perceive of myself as flaws determine my mood and affect the greatness that is me. -M

32. Listen to privileged members of society talk about how much they aren’t privileged. -M

As stated before, it’s 2019 and we don’t have time. What are some of the things that you all don’t have time for for the year. Feel free to share!

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Happy New Year!

Like last year, I have gone back and forth about writing this but this year it’s for different reasons.

I actually feel kind of bad writing this years recap and it’s mainly because 2018 wasn’t all that awful for me. I keep seeing a bunch of post about how terrible 2018 was and how 2019 will be better and I wonder if I missed something. I also know that due to moments I had in 2018, I have been hyper aware of the fact that, while my life may be difficult in some ways, there will always be someone somewhere who looks at my life and wishes they had it or something similar. So I’ve spent 2018 trying my best to be positive and grateful for what I have. It’s been an interesting ride for sure.

Did I do everything I wanted? Nope. Did I accomplish all the things I set out to? Of course not. Do I still have time? Sure.

An incomplete list of things I did not do in 2018:

Save money

Move out of my parents house

Eliminate debt (the exact opposite actually)

Avoid my two year car accident curse

Lose weight

Exercise more

Do those last two for a prolonged period of time

Meet Luke Kuechly, have him instantly fall in love and become Mrs. Luke Kuechly, after a whirlwind romance.

The reality is, these are things that have been on my yearly to do list for many many years (including the last one). But overall, despite not achieving them, I had a good year. I would just really like to be able to say that without feeling bad about it.

So, in looking forward, a few areas I plan to focus on and improve in 2019

Financial: I am the first to admit that I am terrible with money. I have a decent job with good benefits. I make enough money to at the very least support myself outside of my parents home. I could probably manage to support myself and my daughter as well if I cut back drastically and we ate a lot of ramen. I don’t want to do that and I am blessed with parents who aren’t forcing me to do that either. I will not apologize for this and in 2019 I want to stop feeling bad about that. When I talk to people about moving out, and I start to feel bad about not having done it already, I realize it is typically people who do not have kids, who left home for college and never moved back. Our stories are different and that’s okay. Being a mother literally dictates every decision I make. And moving out would immediately cause me to be a single mother providing 100% of the financial and emotional support to my child. Until I feel like that is the absolute best thing for us to do…we will continue to stay put even if others don’t understand the decision (and even if my child doesn’t understand it either). Also in the financial realm, I have been working on decreasing credit card debt (Italy was not nice to my credit cards and I have since handed them over so I can’t use them). I even managed a credit free Christmas which I’m proud of. So, I will continue to make double payments to eliminate credit card debt which will all work together to increase my financial stability. Ta-da!

Relationships: I would like to be a better friend. I jokingly but seriously warn people who appear to be trying to create a new friendship with me, that I am a terrible friend. It’s true, but I would like to improve them. I want to stop being late to things I’ve planned with friends or just forgetting altogether. I want to check on people who I haven’t talked to in a while or who I can tell something might be up. I want to see people in person a little more often (if financially possible) and not just get updates on social media. I want to, however, do this in a way that is not emotionally and spiritually draining for me. Being a good friend is hard work. Being present for people and available and listening and offering advice or not offering advice depending on the moment and knowing the right things to say and trying to lighten the mood and just being here…it’s hard. I try really hard not to judge people when they aren’t able to do all of those things for me because I know it’s difficult when we all have our own stuff going on. I realize though, because I have this new found guilt of not having an extremely difficult life and things for the most part are going well, that I then feel like I should do better and be better at all of these things for all of these people. I want to do better but I also want to allow myself grace if I don’t. So, I want to be a better friend. I want to continue to grow other relationships including with family, friends and the boyfriend who I’m pretty sure I bullied into being my boyfriend but now he’s stuck. I don’t think he minds though!

Spirituality: I think this is one area that I have struggled with the most this year. A few years back I was in this great place spiritually and then allowed a relationship to derail that. I don’t have much to say about this one except some work here is definitely needed.

Health: Here’s the big one! I realized a month or two ago that I have never been physically healthy as an adult. That made me sad. What I mean by physically healthy is eating right, at a healthier weight, exercising regularly, not using food as a coping skill, able to walk up the stairs without dying, and overall just happy with myself and how I treat my body. I also realize I spend a lot of time wishing this would change but zero time actually doing anything to make things change. Prior to my birthday and the holidays I was getting things on track. A piece of chocolate cake and some snow basically derailed that. This year I want to obtain a healthy relationship with food and exercise that is not screwed up by a minor speed bump. I also want to look amazing in a bathing suit.

So I think that’s it. Pretty basic really. At the end of the day, I am not perfect, neither is my life, but I want to preserve and improve what I have created and I think the key to that for me is focusing on the positive and allowing grace for myself and others.

I hope whoever reads this is able to find and give happiness, grace and love in the new year!

2018 is over and I’m glad! JK

2018 has been one interesting year.  I decided to date, then I decided not to date, then I decided to date again, and now I’m not sure if I’m dating or not…*shrugs*.  I moved from one state to another 2 states away. I realized that making friends as an adult is hard for a slightly antisocial introverted person.  BUT, I’ve also shed some of my introverted ways as well…kind of.  However you put it, I must say that this year was pretty good.  I’ve had highs, and I’ve definitely had lows, but we’re going to end this thing on a good note, so I’m just going to get right into it. In no particular order, these are my favorite moments/things about 2018:

Concerts Concerts Concerts

I’ve decided to lump this one together.  Why?  Well, because I didn’t want three different concerts taking up my list.  DUH….

I was never a concert goer growing up.  I didn’t go to my first concert really until I was like, 25.  My first artist I ever saw live in concert was Bruno Mars, and ever since then, I’ve been in love with it.  Now, people may have considered me a big music guy, and I am, but I’m not that big on crowds, or I wasn’t.  I’ve grown to overcome that over the past years and now I even make friends (with the assistance of alcohol)  The concerts I’ve been to this year were Miguel (twice) w/ DVSN, Janelle Monae w/ St Beauty , Sam Smith, Tank and the Bangas w/ Big Freedia, Allen Stone, and Jessie J.  All of these shows were awesome. Janelle Monae, was BY FAR my favorite with Allen Stone and Sam Smith coming in at close second.  If you want to know why, just ask, I’d be more than glad to ramble on about her fierceness.  There’s nothing like seeing an artist in person, be it your favorite or not.  The sheer talent that these humans display is just utterly amazing.  If you find yourself close to any, check them out. You won’t be disappointed.  Here are a few videos of my favorite songs from my favorite concerts from this year.

Janelle Monae – Django Jane

Sam Smith – HIM

Allen Stone – Unaware

Moving from Charlotte to Washington, DC

Most definitely the BIGGEST decision I’ve ever made in life and from a professional standpoint, I feel like it was a great decision.  From a personal standpoint, I’m not sure yet.  My personal/social life hasn’t been the best, but it hasn’t been terrible either.  It’s kind of hard being an adult in a new city who’s trying to find their footing.  The friends I do have here that I’ve known from College though are great and I really appreciate them for all their help when I just want to talk, or go out to Happy Hour or whatever, but I’m still trying to find my own place…My own little circle, if you will.  Anywho, this post isn’t about that.  This move has really let me know that I shouldn’t be complacent or be satisfied with complacency and if there is an opportunity to better myself, that I should think of all the options and go out on a limb if I believe in myself. And that’s what I did.  I don’t think I’m ever looking back, although I do love Charlotte, it was pass time for me to leave, and I’m glad that the pieces fell in the right place for it to happen.  I’m loving DC btw for anyone who’s wondering

Bowling with Stonewall Sports (Charlotte)

So, thanks to a friend from a couple years back, he introduced me/forced me to play sports with Stonewall in Charlotte.  I started out playing winter volleyball (in a gym) and honestly, I thoroughly enjoyed my time playing. It got me out of the house during the week, and I was able to socialize a bit and make some good acquaintances. But then bowling season came around, and I’ve never loved being social as much as I did once I discovered that.  I think it’s just the non competitive demeanor of most players.  Everyone was there to have fun and you could also drink beer while doing it without looking like an alcoholic, lol.  It’s a very low key, social sport and that’s what I enjoyed most about it.  I’ve made some good friends playing, and I honestly miss those guys the most outside the circle of my close friends.  Stonewall Bowling will forever be ingrained into my mind as one of my favorite memories of 2018, and of Charlotte as a whole.

Friends

In addition to making new friends through Stonewall this year, I’ve also had friends who have always been there for me.  Obviously some of us don’t talk on a daily basis, but we can definitely chop it up as soon as one of us says hi and has something to talk about.  And sometimes we don’t even talk about anything, we just like to say hello and keep it moving.  I hate that I wasn’t able to spend more time with my most bestest best friend Lanita, but I know that she’s got my back any time I need it, and I have hers just as well. Also, shoutouts to my new best friend and former roomie Caroline.  I hope I didn’t drive her too crazy for that year she lived wit me.  She’s helped me with more than she will ever know over the last year and I’m forever grateful. Lastly, shoutouts to my BFFFFFF and blogmate Lee, for putting up with my mess and silliness and stupid emotions over the last forever.  Not sure I would be as sane as I am without ranting to you on a daily basis. I can’t say enough to embody the appreciation I have for all of my friends.  I love them all, and hope that they all prosper in their jobs, family lives, or whatever else they want to have success in for life.

Family

I will be the first to admit.  I don’t visit my family as often as I probably should but that doesn’t mean I don’t love them.  They probably think differently though, lol.  Either way, the times that I did visit my family this year, it was for special reasons, and I enjoyed every moment of it.  I want to be there for them more than I have in the past so I want to make it my mission to visit more often, talk to them more often, and just be around/present more often.  Unfortunately, it may be harder since I live farther away now, but we will try.

 

Sora

I owe pretty much all of my sanity to my wonderful, but crazy dog Sora.  She was named after the girl in Digimon, but only after I found it on a pet name site.  despite having a pink coat, a purple harness, and no male genitals, people still think she’s a boy dog, and everyone in my apartment building either is in love with her, or is scared of her. lol.  Sora wouldn’t hurt a fly, but she is very energetic and doesn’t know how to turn if off.  The joy and excitement she has when she sees me get up every morning, and when I get home in the evenings, puts a smile on my face that I just can’t avoid.  I love her to death.  I have literally a MILLION pics of my loving pup on my phone and I’ll try not to share them all here, but OMG I don’t know how I would be without my lil sweetheart.  lol

Just look at this pup!

This Blog

Even though I haven’t written a lot here lately, most of my content comes from this year and I can’t thank you all enough for tuning into the craziness I call my mind.  Everyone who has given me feedback, I have taken it and hopefully applied all of your input to make this thing better for everyone.  I’ve been told by many people that they enjoy reading my posts and even had some who were inspired by them.  As I’ve said many times before, I don’t think of myself as that type of person, one who inspires, but I’m glad to hear that 1) you all are no different from me and 2) that we all go through life in different but similar ways and 3) that we all can provide some kind of inspiration or insight to help  each other out, even if you don’t feel like you can. Also, I love that my blogmates have been here to share in these experiences as well, and hopefully we can grow to even more followers in 2019. Here’s to our followers and to us for another wonderful year! Year 2 will be a blast!  We love you all!

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Obligatory Year Review

I went back and forth about writing this. Then my wonderful fellow bloggers did and I felt like I had to as well. But honestly I probably would have anyways.

I like to think that I do a lot of internal reflection throughout the year. Reflecting and adjusting as necessary but New Year’s is obviously a time to do that a little more extensively.

What’s working? What’s not working? What should stay? What should go? Did I do all the things I set out to this year? Where did I succeed? Where did I miss the mark a bit? What are my hopes for the year to come?

I think the biggest lesson I learned this year is that I am enough. Just as I am. Right now. Today. Tomorrow. If nothing were to change. I am enough. Does that mean I don’t need to improve? No. That’s not what I’m saying. There is always room for improvement, but I think it’s important to focus on where you are, where I am, and be proud of that too.

I have spent a long time, not just 2017, feeling like I wasn’t enough. Wasn’t good enough for someone to Love, wasn’t cool enough, wasn’t a good enough friend or Mom or therapist. Just less than in all areas. This thought guided everything I did and definitely encouraged the way I interacted with people.

But I told y’all, 29 years and 9 months was the exact moment I became too old for this shit! Too old for doubting myself, minimizing myself, and treating myself as less than. Too old for allowing people in my life who do those things. Too old for not standing up for myself. Too old for not loving myself. The world is going to do that enough, I don’t need to join in.

Honestly, it’s hard. Sometimes I feel like I’m being cocky, or selfish, or crazy, or thinking too highly of myself. But I think that’s just old ways of thinking creeping in. There are many moments when I still feel less than or like I’m not enough. I work hard to make those moments smaller. They will always be there but my goal is not to live there anymore.

So to all of you who read this, to my lovely blogging friends who I adore and thank for this outlet, to my family, to my co-workers, to my daughter, my hope for you for 2018 and beyond is that you believe and live a life knowing that you are enough!!

( I also hope you make/save all the money, pay off all the bills, lose all the weight, get all the gains, kiss all the people, have all the laughs, cry all the tears and feel all the feels!)

“New Year, BETTER Me”

I’m such a hater of the phrase “New Year, New Me”.

This mantra invades our Facebook posts, and Twitter feeds and it’s always a show of how possibly someone’s life was so bad, that they get to press the “reset” button at the end of one year and beginning of another. As if you’re able to just do a 360 twirl and start brand new.  As if the problems from the year prior can no longer penetrate your environment.  As if everything in your past life led you to this moment.

Yes, striving to be better is great.

But don’t forget where you’ve come from.  Why does the new year have to bring a new you?  Why can’t we strive to be a BETTER us?  Every moment in life is a teachable moment.  And yes, life is not perfect, but that’s the beauty of it.  We learn from the imperfections of life and build upon those experiences.

Those who do not know history are bound to repeat it.

This is not only true in social, political, and historical context, but also in personal context as well.  Give yourself hope, that where you are currently, is no longer where you were.  You are enough.  There’s no reason to undo who you’ve been this year, just to most likely repeat these actions in the upcoming year.  Striving to be better is one thing, but pressing the reset button completely is another.

And if you seem to think that maybe life is bad enough where you need to press the reset button.  I hope that you find your base platform from which you need to build from.  But at the end of this year, I hope that you aren’t posting “New Year, New Me” but “New Year, Better Me”.