It’s amazing how much things can change in ten years. I often laugh at how different I am now in comparison to ten years ago. What used to be considered “fun” is no longer desirable. What used to be important now seems so trivial.
Here is a little list that I’m sure many can relate to and maybe you’ll get a good laugh from it. Feel free to add any other items you can think of or if you are older, let me know how this list will change once again.
20’s: Party all night then go straight to work
30’s: Party then needs to call out sick from work
20’s: Doesn’t get to club until midnight
30’s: Prefers daytime activities so they can be in bed by midnight
20’s: Loves being in big crowds and is tolerant of being bumped by random ppl
30’s: Gets anxiety attack and flips after being bumped more than once
20’s: Likes going to clubs and house parties
30’s: Likes dinners, shows or paint and sip
20’s: Drinks one too many cranberry vodkas even though history shows the night will end leaning over a toilet
30’s: Drinks one glass of alcohol and can’t keep their eyes open
20’s: Go to work/school then come home and get ready for your night out while listening to party music to get you pumped up
30’s: Go to work then come home and get straight into pajamas and watch your DVR recordings
20’s: Gets pissed if plans get cancelled
30’s: Prays that plans get cancelled
20’s: Enjoys hearing all the latest gossip
30’s: Too tired and concerned with paying my bills to worry about other people’s drama
20’s: Thinks life will end if relationship doesn’t work out
30’s: Looks back on past relationships and thinks “thank goodness that didn’t work out!”
20’s: Self conscious about being naked in front of a partner and critiques every “flaw” she has
30’s: Looks at her body and thinks “I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly!”
20‘s: I can’t wait to get home and talk on the phone for hours
30‘s: “Eh, we’ll talk when I see you”
20‘s: I can’t wait to live on my own and work and pay bills and be independent
30‘s: “OMG it’s like I’m working just to pay bills!”
Have you ever dealt with a toxic person? I think most of us have come across this person at some point in our lives. If you haven’t, consider yourself lucky and if you have, I think you will be able to relate to this post.
There will always be people we don’t necessarily click with, people who don’t share the same interests as us. However, some people are just plain toxic. You can interact with these people, but interactions have to be kept at a minimum to prevent the negative vibes from having an effect on you. Keep your distance from people who are never happy for the next person. People who have a hard time congratulating someone on their accomplishments. People who feel the need to constantly one up on others. In today’s society, we refer to them as “haters“. These people are very toxic and the root of their toxicity is low self esteem and a fragile ego. They have low feelings of self worth and therefore, can never be happy for the next person. How can someone who is not happy with themselves be happy for others? They can’t.
These people will never admit to being unhappy. They constantly brag about their accomplishments, their money and everything else that they have that is desirable to mask their feelings of inferiority. People like this are dangerous because they can never be a genuine friend. A friend is someone who is happy for you when something good happens, someone who listens and wants the best for you. Someone who tries to lift you up when you are feeling down. Toxic people do not display these traits. It is okay to be acquaintances with these people but maintain a safe distance as they always have ulterior motives.
Someone who feels the need to compare and to put other people down are in a constant state of self Judgement. They will never feel completely fulfilled because there are always people around them who they have to do better than. Their sense of worth and validation comes from proving that they are better than the next person. This person struggles with low self esteem and low confidence and the only way to lift these levels up is through somehow convincing themselves that they are better than you. This person only talks about their life, their hardships and their struggles. They probably do not really know anything about you because they have never cared to ask. Even if they have asked, it is just to find something new to one up you on. This person will even buy things that you have or copy your hair style, your nails, etc to prove that they do it better or look better. These people will talk badly about others because they are secretly envious of something they have, whether material or non-material. They talk badly about their “friends” when they’re not around yet smile in their face. If their friend accomplished something or is happy about something, the toxic person will smile and say congratulations but inside, they are waiting for you to mess up. Have a relationship that you are happy in? They secretly hope it fails. Boyfriend proposed to you? They wish it was their boyfriend who proposed. Got a new hair style? They will now go out and get a haircut. Going to Florida? They will now go to Europe. They are in a constant state of competition and enveloped in a never ending cycle of envy and hate. Sometimes, people envy the non material things you have, such as love, admiration, confidence etc. They are threatened by your confidence. Your independence. It kills them that you are happy.
My advice is to keep these people at bay and only disclose generic information to them as they don’t even really care and will just try to add it to their list of things to compete with you on and to talk about. Toxicity and negativity are contagious and you know what they say, “misery loves company”.
So often in life, women find themselves in situations that they don’t necessarily want to be in, however, time and time again, comply and go along with it. In this particular post, I am referring to romantic/ intimate situations. My thoughts are based off of personal experiences and experiences that I have known friends and acquaintances to have found themselves in as well.
There are women out there who are strong-minded, strong willed and do not hesitate to say no. However, there are also many women that do not have that strength. How often do we hear about women who went along with an uncomfortable and undesirable sexual/intimate situation with a man when inside, that was the last place they wanted to be? Verbally, they say yes or maybe nothing at all. Inside, they are regretting putting themselves in that situation and just want it to be over.
I know I have been in that boat before and I’m sure there are plenty of women that can relate. I struggled with the fear of speaking my mind or “ruining” the mood. Fear of losing the interest and desire of the other person. Fear of looking boring or “prudish“. Fear of looking like a tease because if I didn’t want to do anything, I shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Fear of losing the interest of this other person who I wanted so badly to like me. Thinking that this will give me some higher standing in this other person’s life. Or sometimes, going along with it “just because”.
The older you become, the more wiser and confident you become as well. At least for most people. Some women even in their older age are still trying to please other people even if it is at the expense of their dignity and pride. I am happy to say that I am not that woman anymore. I haven’t been for a few years now and I have never been more confident and comfortable with myself. In fact, the more you do what you genuinely want to do and the more you turn away undesirable situations, the easier it becomes. It is very stressful worrying about what other people think. It is very stressful doing things that don’t make you happy. Once you learn the art of saying no with no additional explanation, a huge weight is lifted off of your shoulders and it is very empowering.
Many women feel the need to explain away their reasons for saying no. Many women are uncomfortable with saying no. The first time I said “no” it was a little awkward to be honest, because I don’t like to make other people feel rejected. This other person most certainly felt rejected and it was written all over his face. He persisted and asked several more times and I flat out said “no“. When he asked why, I said “because I don’t want to“. I ended my statement there. He got out of my car and I went home and to be honest, I felt good. I kept my dignity and my pride and I didn’t have to worry about feelings of resentment or shame later on. Once you know what it feels like to put yourself first and to love and respect yourself, you will never turn back. This confidence spills over into all aspects of your life and it is amazing how good it feels. Men will say “you’re mean” or “you have an attitude” but that is okay. That is a normal reaction to being rejected. I’m okay with “being mean” if it means I can walk away with peace of mind.
“You, yourself, as much as anyone in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”.
The recent media coverage of Aziz Ansari has evoked many writings and posts and articles about women going along with similar, uncomfortable situations and I hope that we, as a society, can figure out a way to empower women and give them the confidence to know that it isn’t okay to just go along with it. To have the confidence to realize that if saying no makes you less desirable in someone’s eyes, then they are not the right person for you. To know that their pride and integrity is worth more than gaining the affection of a man for one night. To know that it is okay to reject someone and not feel guilty about it because at the end of the day, if you don’t, someone will still end up feeling bad, except it will be you.
The title of this post is a line from Lauryn Hill’s ‘Lost Ones’.
I have never really been good at confronting situations that bother me. This includes everyday, typical misunderstandings. Often in the heat of the moment, I get so blinded by my emotions and so caught up in the feeling of rejection or resentment that I have a hard time putting my feelings out there and simply telling the person how what they did made me feel. I have often avoided opportunities to seek clarification on something that might not have been a big deal but because it wasn’t addressed at the time it happened, ended up snowballing into something more serious, sometimes even resulting in loss of friendship.
I think most of us have been in this situation. We assume the motives behind someone’s actions and then don’t talk to them again. Or we keep it inside and tell ourselves that we will just let it go, but then when we see the person involved in what made us upset, we have an attitude or a look on our face because the thoughts are rolling through our head. So many times someone has done something that bothered me and the next time I see them I have a look on my face that shows I am upset. The person will then ask “what’s the matter” and I reply “nothing”. When really I could have just expressed what bothered me and ended it right then and there.
I think with age and maturity comes self confidence and the less we seek approval from others. I am learning, although not completely there yet, to be more open with my feelings and not worry about how it will make me look or worry that I will offend somebody. This doesn’t always mean that it will result in a happy ending. Some people might get defensive that you confronted them. Some people might not talk to you again after that. But that’s okay. It is better than pretending that you are okay everytime you see this person or holding in something that is really pulling at you. I do think, though, that more often than not, it will result better than not saying anything at all. Sometimes the other person didn’t realize how what they said or did offended you or hurt you. Sometimes there was no malicious intent from the other person and confronting them helps you to realize it was actually very innocent.
When we don’t seek clarification, we assume and our assumptions, in turn, affect how we act towards the other party.
Recently at my job, maybe about a month ago, a woman at my job told me that something I said offended her. She has a heavy Brooklyn, Italian accent. She paged someone over the intercom. I then called her at her desk and mimicked her accent and said she reminds me of Marisa Tomei. When I saw her later that day, she told me that I hurt her feelings. She said that it is her pet peeve when people comment on her accent and she is tired of hearing the same comment from different people. I told her that I was only joking and I have a Brooklyn Italian accent as well which many people point out to me. Although it does not offend me when people point out my accent, it did offend her. She told me that she is letting me know it bothered her because we are friendly with each other and she didn’t want to keep it inside and give me an attitude. I apologized for offending her and I will not comment on her accent again. After that, everything resumed as normal between us.
So next time something bothers you, say something. You would be surprised how much better you feel after getting that weight off of your shoulders. You would also be surprised how more often than not, people are understanding of your point of view and want to clarify the misunderstanding. If they are your friend, they will listen and respect your feelings and explain. If they take offense at you confronting them or get defensive and act differently towards you afterwards, than it is more a reflection of them than it is of you.
If you could be the opposite sex just for a day, would you? More importantly, what would you do during those 24 hours?
If you are a man, do you wonder what sex feels like for a woman? How it feels to have to squat when using a public restroom or maybe how it feels to get doors opened for you and dinner and a movie paid for.
Most guys that I asked said that they definitely want to know how sex feels to a woman. One guy said that he would like to know how sexism feels and to know what it’s like to get cat called and hit on all day.
Women. What would you do if you were a man for a day? One female I asked said she wants to know what it’s like to go to the bathroom standing up. I actually want to know how it feels to not only pee standing up, but how it feels to pee standing up next to a random stranger. Another female said she wants to know how it feels to play with a female’s emotions and to cheat and another woman said that she would HAVE to know what sex feels like to a man. She said she knows it must be amazing because men go crazy for it.
Perhaps living as the opposite sex would also give us more insight into some of the struggles that the opposite sex faces and we could have a better understanding and appreciation for them. I’ve always thought there must be a lot of pressure on a man to be the provider of the family. Maybe it’s discouraging to keep paying for dates that lead nowhere. And perhaps men could see how difficult it is to be the primary caregiver of a child. Or even how difficult it is for a woman to achieve an orgasm. Perhaps women would understand the pressure on a man to make a woman achieve an orgasm as well.
So if you could be the opposite sex for one day, what would you do and what would you want to know?
In life, people are going to let you down. This, unfortunately, is an unavoidable fact. There will be people who you went to the moon and back for and they would never think to return the favor when you are in need.
There are people who will take advantage of your kindness. They will lie to you and betray you. They will be nice to you when they need something and then turn their back when they are in a better place.
Although there will be times when this cannot be foreseen, often times it can be. So many times after a situation like this happens, we say that we had a bad feeling from the beginning or that something never quite seemed right. If we learned to listen to the little voice inside our head that alerts us when something is off, we would probably avoid many problems.
I used to ignore the voice in my head, the feeling in my gut. I used to make excuses and tell myself I was “just being paranoid.” I don’t do that anymore and I have avoided a lot of potentially disappointing situations. I now recognize when something doesn’t add up and I move on. I no longer doubt myself or apologize for having standards. This may lead to times of feeling alone or feeling like you don’t really have anybody, but in the end it will reveal who truly values you and is not just there when you can benefit them.
The older you get, the less you care about other people’s opinion of you. It is a great feeling to not be mentally binded by trying to please or conform.
In life, things don’t always go our way. Especially when we are younger, we tend to worry about fitting in, not upsetting people or not wanting to come off the “wrong way”. Sometimes we ignore things that bother us or turn a blind eye to something that is not right because we would rather be a part of something than to stand alone.
I used to have a lot of anxiety and was constantly stressed because I would continue to keep myself in negative situations. I no longer have that problem because I have learned to identify when something is not right or when someone does not have my best interest at hand and I remove myself. This goes for both romantic relationships and friendships.
Life goes on and time waits for no one. Make sure that you live your life to your fullest potential and don’t let anyone or anything stand in the way of what you really want and what makes you happy. Do not worry if someone else does not like what you are doing and don’t seek validation from others. Do what you feel in your heart and everything else will fall into place.
So I’ve been a long time fan of Beyoncé. Ever since she was in Destiny’s Child. I was listening to a Beyoncé playlist on Spotify while driving home the other night and there are seriously so many songs that she has done over the course of her career that there is no way I could pick a favorite. Or even a top five for that matter. I was thinking about her videos and started pondering which ones would be on my all time top ten list.
I would like to share my ten most favorite music videos of Beyonce’s. Not necessarily because of the song alone, but that combined with the visual appeal. Please feel free to share and comment which is your favorite Beyoncé song or video.
1. Get Me Bodied-This is one of my all time favorite feel good songs. Not just from Beyoncé but in general. This song always makes me feel good and I find it hard to sit still when I hear it. I absolutely loved the video when it first came out and loved that she had the former D.C. members and her sister, Solange, featured in it. Who can resist dancing when you hear Bey naming those classic dances?
2. Ring the Alarm- This is a personal favorite for me because what woman can say that they haven’t been in a relationship or came out of a relationship where they felt cheated? Like you gave your all just for him to move on to someone new. We all have a little bit of crazy in us (some more than others) and this definitely expresses what a lot of women have felt.
3. Listen-This song is off of the Dreamgirls soundtrack. This song has a lot of personal meaning to me because it encompasses what I felt during the last few years of my past relationship. I felt very trapped and it’s like I was dying inside. He was very verbally and psychologically abusive and loved to tell me that I would be nothing without him. He never seemed to understand or care how unhappy I was and thought that as long as he paid rent, I should be happy. I remember belting this song out when I was home alone because it is exactly what I was feeling. I used to tell my mom and friends that my home doesn’t feel like home and then I heard Beyoncé say “I am alone at a crossroads. I’m not at home in my own home. And I tried and tried to say what’s on my mind. You should have known.”
4. Crazy In Love-This was the first video Beyoncé made during her solo career after Destinys Child. She is not done up but still looks beautiful. She gave us the “uh oh” dance and her legs are giving me life in those shorts. This was the first song her and Jay didntogether after “03 Bonnie and Clyde” and they had a definite chemistry.
5. If I Were a Boy-how many times do we say that men would never be able to handle it if we did to them what they do to us all the time? Every lyric in this song is relatable to women and shows the many double standards that exist in relationships. I love the twist at the end where she is the one doing dirty and he uses the “how do you think that makes me feel?” Line on her.
6. Upgrade You-Every strong man has a strong woman in his corner. “I can do for you what Martin did for the people. Ran by the men but the women keep the tempo. It’s very seldom that you’re blessed to find your equal. Still play my part but let you take the lead role”
7. Hold Up-I think I like this song so much because it is an updated version of Ring the Alarm and anything that’s a little crazy appeals to me. I love her yellow dress and her willingness to admit that even Bey gets insecure and jealous. “What’s worse? Looking jealous or crazy. More like being walked all over lately, I’d rather be crazy”.
8. Single Ladies- this is another feel good song and I would be lying if I didn’t say that I didn’t memorize the choreographed dance routine in this video. It was mocked on multiple forums and the best was Justin Timberlakes rendition of the famous video on Saturday Night Live. This song is played at every party and wedding reception and woman love doing the wrist twist.
9. Run The World- This video is very visually appealing to me and Beyoncé said she received inspiration for this video by the different dances and cultures she saw when she took time off to travel. “Boy you know you love it how we smart enough to make these millions. Strong enough to bear the children. Then get back to business”.
10. Irreplaceable-this song gave us the famous “to the left” line. “To the left to the left. Everything you own in a box to the left”. A message to all that you are NOT irreplaceable. I think most woman can say they have sung this song after a breakup or when in the end stages of a failed relationship.