October 1, 2015

Shouting From the Rooftops in a Whisper

*blows the dust off this blog again*

You know.. I am so terrible at blogging. *sigh* I wish I could tell you some fantastical story that I won the lottery and I just was trying to get used to being rich and having a driver... but that isn't the case. I haven't blogged because I have been very busy.

I am still in school. I have my comprehensive exams end of October. I am developing my prospectus. And I am working still.. full time and involved in big projects. I am still adjusting to being a wife.... along with other things. And trying to work out a schedule that allows some self-care. It's tough. And although I love Wonder Woman... I cannot be her 24/7. Shoot.. I can't even watch TV without feeling a tiny bit guilty... I guess Scandal has to wait.

I go through moments where I feel great about life.. and then moments where I feel like at any moment it can all come crushing down on my head. There are things going on in my life that I am so delighted about. Given the loss of my mom that I  experienced early this spring... I am so excited about things... Nervous but thrilled. My heart is swelling. My husband is the bee's knees. We celebrated one year of being married and he still takes my breath away. We are settled and happy... and moving right along as a unit........

I am so happy that  I am shouting it... just at a whisper level.

I realize I am on social media. I have two blogs. I have a YT channel.. and I have a pretty good social medial presence. With all of that... it doesn't mean that I want people in my business. I do not want people I barely communicate with speculating on my life. My mama used to say "everyone doesn't deserve a front row ticket to your life". Therefore, the people who need to know will know intimate matters in my life. Not some chick who I talked to on occasion via some website. Not someone who follows me on Twitter. Not someone who looks at my Instagram. I am talking old, "down like 4 flats" friends are the only ones who get to share in my life...all its ups and downs.

This makes it hard to have a social media presence. There are things I'd love to share.. but given my privacy... (and my husband's privacy).. I chose not to. I am sure part of it will make me lose out on blog sponsors.. and other exposure. But would I rather leave myself exposed to the world? Or be happy in my cocoon? It isn't that I live my life with rose-colored glasses on. But I just want to cherish my happiness. I've waited 35 years for it.... I've worked hard for it. So has my husband. So has my family.

Recently, I had a couple of incidents of personal invasion that bothered me. Someone  decided to post unsolicited inquiries in my inbox, speculating on my life. I didn't bother to answer them directly and I still won't. Then, a week later, someone (whom I assume could only hear ramblings of my life either via my other blog... or another social media group I used to belong to), decided to post something on my personal Facebook wall. Luckily, I had friends who are fiercely protective of my privacy and also alerted me. I deleted it. My life isn't internet fodder. I am no longer 25. I do not have the protection of a private blogging space (a la Xanga back in the 2000s)..  I have Facebook mostly for my family and college friends/sorority sisters. Also, most of my very good friends live out of state. Email has gone the way of the dinosaur these days.. so social media it is. But If I cannot have some modicum of privacy... then gosh.... what is it all for?

I partly blame myself for being too open with folks in the beginning. I shared a lot. I shouldn't have. And now as I knock on the front end of 40 (YIKES)... I know a lot better.

Maybe there will come a time where I share something amazing and wonderful on this blog. Maybe I won't. Until then... it is my choice. And no one has the right to violate your space.  I will continue to shout my good news... praise my husband... brag on my family... and share silly stories of the adventures of my Godchildren...

... but it'll have to be done in a whisper . And for certain ears only.

June 19, 2015

#realtalkfridays: Juneteenth And Self Care

It has been a super rough week. We need to take a damn break!

For more about Juneteenth, go to www.JuneTeenth.Com  

June 4, 2015

Say it Loud: I'm Black and Repressed

Black people need to get free.

If you based your judgment on rap music, porn, television, movies and covers of King magazine, you would think black folks are the most liberal, sexually free group of folks in the world. They show our  bare, tribal breasts in the pages of National Geographic. We twerk on stage with big butts in front of millions. We make Instagram posts grabbing massive sized penises while singing slow jams. We are half naked at Carnival. We can talk about taking the dick and sucking the clit.... But we can't talk about the beauty of sex? Just the animalistic nature of it. The Primal. The Base....

And we are bold faced liars. And they wanna keep us that way. 

Black people are so closed minded about sex/sexuality because the oppressor stripped that beautiful thing out of you, replacing it with shame. They browbeat us with religion, making us ashamed of our bodies. Calling all own black skins a curse. How on earth were we to be healthy and happy and whole about our sexuality in a hostile environment that labeled you beastly, wantonly, temptresses and used your bodies as economic breeding grounds?  Used your bodies like you would a wash rag? Took advantage of you in any way possible and dared for you to tell! That labeled you black bucks and Sapphires.  We've relinquished power so much so over our bodies that the oppressor has now co-opted out looks: the lips, butts and such.  And had us fooled the entire time thinking it was worthless when in reality it was priceless. Biggest con is ever. 

Carribeans and Africans burn gays in the streets. Call them "batty boys" and condemn them. They have to hide. And be ashamed. My husband told me his home island of St Kitts has banned sex toys. Why?? Now it's illegal to get your rocks off in the privacy of your own home. Colonialism is the real winner.

Church and society told us to cover up. That black bodies were ugly and nasty. Boys told to button up. Girls told to lengthen hem lines. They told us to hide who we loved for fear of eternal damnation.  We could lead the choir but not get married to our partners because "it's an abomination". You became part of a community that damned you at 8 am service and praised you during choir rehearsal. You've been fed this puritanical ideal of being chaste and modest... when in reality... no one was thinking about your blackness when they created this model. Blackness automatically means unchaste and immodest.  

Black girls get sent to the principal  office more times than white girls for wearing the same outfits but because they have curvy bodies, are suspended or sent home more. Black boys are told to shrink and become small because their powerful, looming presence causes alarm and discomfort. 

And with a rise of the new movement of trans rights, black folks are left utterly confused and mostly unsympathetic. That's so odd how a group of oppressed people so easily succumb to group think. 

We think it's all one in the same : gay, straight, bi, trans, asexual, queer, intersex and drag.  We refused to learn the proper terms or be compassionate for fear of being labeled "one of them."  We look ignorant and uneducated. The same oppressive logic our oppressors gave us when we had allies in our movement. You must be a "nigger lover"  if you want equal rights for black people. You must be a homo if you want rights  for those sexually different than you.You cant fight for HIV/AIDS awareness unless you are gay and with the disease???  Can't you just be a compassionate human being?

But what's so funny is that black folks are doing it all behind closed doors and thinking "that's some white people shit" and it's not. Sexual ritual and sexual difference  have been around and apart of the African diaspora long before we entered this hemisphere.  We've gotten it beat out of us by the bible, Quran and the law of westernized, colonized lands.
Don't get me wrong. We love us some us ... As long as that "us" fits within the binary the hegemony has presented to us. But everyone doesn't work that way. Including black folks.  And we are blind to that.

So for every meme our there poking fun at a trans celebrity  every dumb article, every stupid video, it pushes black folks back further and further. We claim we want to be seen as equals yet cannot demand equality for our LBGTQIA brothers and sisters hurting .  We lambaste them, saying "your blues ain't like mine"  as we fail to recognize that Blues comes with various shades of intersectionality. 

We frown up at anything other than the norm: BDSM, polyamorous relationships, gender non-conformity.We cant even celebrate the differences of body type within our community. Not every woman is a coke bottle. Not every man is a hulking brute.  Yet, we will allow others to exploit our bodies, creating an image of the "ideal",  and we will exploit them too in the name of the dollar. We allow the "gaze" of others to dictate how we feel about ourselves and how we function as sexual beings. We aren't allowed to function outside of the paradigm of "wench/mammy.breeder/field hand buck" so often presented to us.

We can gyrate our ass. Pussy pop in a  handstand. Twerk it for some dollars. But can't speak openly and honestly about what makes you tick. About who you love. And why any and all of that among consenting adults is ok. 

We are a sad, repressed people. Until we can do better in addressing these issues, we will do future generations of young men and women a disservice by not allowing them to find their true, authentic sexual selves.

I hope one day we will get free and release ourselves from the bonds of sexual repression. It isn't 1815 anymore..........

But you wouldn't know it.

May 12, 2015

Lone Wolf Workplace Syndrome

(Source: BET.Com ) 

I've worked my current job for about 10 years now. No... 10 years exactly. I have been a pretty autonomous worker. And trying to balance school, work and home life is challenging.

I cannot say that I was/am particularly close to anyone at work. Well... I was. I had a girlfriend named Lydia and when my job sorta consolidated into her department, she embraced me with  open arms. She was 10 years older than I was, had two kids, but it felt as though she was a peer and my older sister. We'd have lunch often. She gave me tons of advice. She let me vent to her and she would vent to me. And when I started dating my husband, she was rooting for me.

Lydia passed away about 2.5 years ago from breast cancer. And I miss her at work everyday. Sometimes I think I hear her laughing but I know she isn't here. She was my ally. She was the person I bounced ideas off of. She was my rock at work.. This loss has been magnified now that my mother is gone too. I would call my mother on my lunch breaks and we'd talk and catch up. Sometimes my mother and I talked 3-4 times a day. Lydia and I were the same way at work and apart from work.

But they are both gone. And I am isolated here. There are two other black women at work. One has two children  (and is a bit on the "alternative"/hippie/grunge side) and the other is a bit older. While they are both kind, we just do not have much in common (at least I do not think). The rest of my coworkers are white women or gay white males. I certainly do not have much in common with them.  The other two black women who used to worked here were far older and both retired about a month ago. One dubbed herself my "work mother" and we would share things. She even came to my wedding and mother's funeral.

Most days I have lunch in my office alone. Or I will go out with co-workers who work in different divisions of my job. But internally... I am alone. I keep my door closed, my music or YouTube playlist playing, and keep my head down and work until the clock strikes 4. It's isolating. No one understands. So I just keep to myself. People are sorta nosy and intrusive. I am pretty private. They go to lunches without me. They order food without me. They have loud and obnoxious conversations right outside my door as if I am invisible.  Some even hang out after hours....

I wonder if this is the same feeling that most black women (married/single/kids or no kids/gay or straight or etc) feel.  There is no one in my age group to relate to my experiences. I feel isolated. Not quite like an impostor... but definitely like an outsider. The idea of fraternizing with my coworkers bothers me. especially if alcohol is involved. I've been on a couple of work trips and remained conscious of the fact that I shouldn't drink too much. I shouldn't order this or that. I need to "present" myself a certain way outside of work.

I feel stuck. I feel alone. I feel like there isn't a network of support system in my office. Sure... OUTSIDE my office. But not inside my office. I often feel tense and brace myself for the microaggression.  I brace myself for the coldness and the lack of empathy. Even after I came back from grieving my mother, the first thing out of their mouths was "So such and such....work related". Fuck off.   I do speak and I do not shut myself off totally. But nothing connects. It is as if I am alien.

As black women of a certain age... how do we balance this? How do we break out of this?  Am I alone in this??


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