“Growing Pains”

26 Oct

I’m quite cerebral. I mean, I spend a lot of time in my head, analyzing, intellectualizing, manipulating, all in attempt to understand my thoughts, and behavior. Because of this, I am always under a self-imposed microscope (of sorts) often reflecting and replaying events, conversations, missteps, words that I have spoken (or not)…I am in a sense acutely aware of my short-comings and growth opportunities. I often pray that I don’t go into the ground the same way I have been, hoping to somehow crack my code and become the best person that I can muster up the strength and courage to achieve. I’m growing to accept that in doing this, I am always in transition. It’s impossible to want and pray for change and remain constant, but

OH THE GROWING PAINS!!!

This journey is not without resistance, many tears, bouts of loneliness, and frustration, but in all the bitter, there are elements of sweet that are enticing and intriguing, encouraging me to keep at it and not flee (which is ever the challenge).

Relationship Obsession

17 Oct

Why does it seem like some people are obsessed with relationships? They seek advice about relationships and the decisions they make pertaining to developing said relationships they spend money on books and therapists to manage their relationships. There are songs, movies-in many ways a whole industry dedicated to relationships. And all the while people are getting criticized for being “too relationship focused”.

I’ve often heard the advice to just “get over it” after a tough break up and it has never ceased to be upsetting (even if I do eventually heed the advice). But isn’t it natural to be obsessed over something that is essential for survival? It has been proven that an infant can die if never receiving personal touch or contact with another source of life, so the innate programming to be “obsessed” over friendships, popularity, being in love, affection, dating, marriage and the like, should be a part of who we are. Not many people (if they are truly honest with themselves) want to live a life in complete solitude and isolation (even after a string of negative personal interactions). We all want to be loved, appreciated, validated and who can achieve that solo?

“Stop This Train”

16 Oct

It’s been a while since my last post and all I can say is that sometimes breaks are necessary…

I’m finding more and more these days that I am rarely prepared or equipped to handle this ride of life; the speed bumps, abrupt stops, and fast acceleration. I realize that no book I have read, class I have taken, or advice given could have gotten me ready for the emotional tailspin I find myself in as I reflect and analyze my growth (which in some ways is stunted to say the least).

I have never been fearless, but I did approach life with tenacity and a clear vision of where I wanted to end up, what I wanted to achieve, a plan on how I was going to get there. I didn’t spend too much time analyzing my moves, I just made them. That was when I was younger. Before I felt the consequential sting of my choices.  Now I feel more tentative. 

While I’m not comfortable in this state, I have accepted that when you choose life, you are automatically signing up for the ride. So, I am not exempt from the ebbs and flows of growth and maturity. But honestly, being ill-prepared is so damn frustrating. So, in that frustration, I at times have to block out the noise and distraction so that I allow myself to be present in the moment; to grasp what I am supposed to learn and take stock of my strengths as well as opportunities as a means to keep it all in perspective. Hence my absence. Oddly enough though, writing is just the therapy I need to aid in my refocus, so here I sit at this computer committing to my growth. I often say that I don’t want to go into the ground the same as when I was born, so clearly as painful as it may be, this is requisite in the achievement of that goal.

The Facebook Reality

29 Aug
Facebook logo

Image via Wikipedia

We’re all grown right? So let me be frank: Facebook is not the real world! It is a fraction of reality in some terribly embellished gift wrap that we all feverishly open with high hopes and then become frustrated and hurt when it doesn’t live up to our expectations.

I’m not saying that it along with other social media sites don’t have their benefits and advantages (if used effectively), but it is maddening to hear that people are fighting, divorcing, and creating lifelong irreparable rifts over a website. Does anyone else find that odd?!

Now, when your relationship ends, you rush to change your status…and for what? To get the attention and compassion that you truly crave? And lets not start on the audacity of some people to get mad at you when they see you “online” but you won’t answer their phone calls. It’s a bit “stalker-ish” if you ask me but more immature than anything.

We should all be striving to be our best selves and hopefully somewhere in that recipe is true conflict resolution or communication improvement, where we can end (and in some cases start) a relationship maturely and perhaps not through a computer. Where we can be proud of who we truly are and what we have actually accomplished (or not) and not hide behind this over-inflated character that we have created (with a perfectly airbrushed AVATAR) to represent us online. Remember, it is supposed to be for social networking, not social disconnection.

“Who You Calling A B**CH?!”

28 Aug

I’m sorry, but maybe I am getting old! When did it become okay for women to use the word B**CH as a term of endearment. For so long it seems as if women were fighting against the title, now some of us claim it with pride?! I’ve heard ladies declare, “I’m a bad B**CH” on several occasions and every time it troubles me. For a few reasons. First, because I have a tremendous respect for words and the power they hold. Second because if you choose to refer to yourself as a B**CH, aren’t you granting permission to men to do it as well? How can you cop an attitude with a guy for calling you a B**CH if you pride yourself on being one? Doesn’t seem like you have much grounds for a fight there…
Not trying to knock anyone (just make you think), if you were in fact all that, wouldn’t you use a thesaurus and find an edifying word minus the negative connotation that builds your ego without sacrificing your self-esteem?

The Importance of Personal Style

27 Aug
Vogues

Image by Mageca via Flickr

As I poured over the pages of the coveted September issue of Vogue (aptly deemed the fashion bible), it dawned on me how much we are bombarded with advertising that tells us how we should look (why must you choose either a strong eye or lip in makeup application?!). But truthfully (partly due to the ever-changing trends in women’s fashion), it is important to at some point in time in your life, define your personal sense of style. One that depicts how you want to be seen in the world, not to simply duplicate what you have been told to look like but what you desire and feel comfortable looking like. When you embody your style, you own it, believe in it, defend it without saying anything. You actually get the attention without asking for it. Sometimes you want to fit in where other times you shun it. At times you may have to feign confidence until you actually attain in, but either way you are being true to you.

I do grow weary of the industry telling me I should want to look like a 16-year-old girl when I have a woman’s body, but some of the stuff is cute, I must admit. I like kitschy prints sometimes and colored jeans (although this a warmed over trend from my 9th grade year). I also love glitter nail polish, while some decry it as being age inappropriate for us 30-something gals. And with all the celebrities donning them as they walk the busy avenues and sit in VIP, I love the way stilettos look, but I’m gonna be honest, most times those b***hes hurt like hell. If I do risk wearing a pair, believe that I have a pair of sandals or ballet flats near by because that’s me; comfort trumps trend . There is nothing cute about limping around in your 5 inches or blisters on your feet and my personal style won’t even allow me to fake that!

Generational Divide

26 Aug

I’m starting to accept that there will always be a divide between generations. For eons, the youth have been blamed for the separation due to our “colorful language” and taste in music and clothes (among other superficial details), but I beg to differ.
I find that in many cases, it is our elders that perpetuate the divide with their preconceived notions that they are hopelessly dedicated to, while convincing themselves that we are selfish, egotistical brats with no respect for the past or our predecessors. The main issue I see is that our elders are set on lumping us all into one “ungrateful” group despite our individual differences. Where we as the youth have been raised to shun and defy labels, they are determined and in some way dependent on those labels in order to grasp this generation of people that they do not understand. I had to accept this as evidence when my grandmother compared me to my older cousin who outside of us being related, shares very little in common with me.
In no way do I think the youth of today are asking our elders to embrace all that we are without understanding it, I certainly am not trying to force my beliefs and existence on my parents or those before them. I just want the respect in acknowledging the possibility. The possibility that in youth there is this natural resistance to the status quo and a longing for understanding and acceptance of our desire to be individuals. This does not however compromise all of our reasoning or intellect. 

Regardless how the music has changed, we are no different from previous generations in that we all march to the beat of our own drum and rarely feel like we have to explain our reason for doing so. Instead of being treated like social deviants, all we want is to be understood and the first step to that is accepting that despite our generational divide, we all want the same in the end because we are all people (despite age). Our methods of attaining such may differ, but the basic needs do not differ from those of our elders.

Tidings to the Teenage Me

25 Aug

If I could go back and tell my 16-year-old self anything based off of the knowledge I have now, I would tell her to relax and have fun. That life doesn’t have to be taken so seriously that you forget to enjoy it. To seek experiences that will not only build your character but that you would truly enjoy, not just those that would lead to something bigger or those that would definitely set up your future. I would tell her to learn to laugh and it be a sincere response to true joy or hilarity, especially when it came to laughing at herself and her mistakes. I would tell her not to fear making mistakes because they were bound to happen and it wouldn’t be the end of the world.
I realize now that once you reach adulthood, seriousness isn’t really an option, you’re kind of forced into that mode, so why not spend your youth being carefree. Not necessarily careless, but allow yourself to live in the realm of a teenager. I was always the girl who could stay awake into the next day to get a school project done, but the first to fall asleep at a sleepover. I was successful yes, but an anxious, and often stressed, successful young person. This carried over into my adult life and only now am I trying to “unlearn” all that I have been socialized to believe and programmed to do. While the destination is important, it’s the journey that makes it worthwhile.

For the Love of Spirulina: Tales of a Junkie

24 Aug
Vitamins!

Image by bradley j via Flickr

I never thought that I’d be so reliant on vitamins/minerals and the like but as I sit here alternating between green and white fragments of the building blocks of my body betwixt sips that would equal 24 ounces of water, I must admit that I have become quite addicted to the little suckers.

Yes, I am a vitamin junkie.

Now my statement is made in jest, but when I don’t take them, I do feel the difference and I swear by them, as they have cured certain feminine ailments and are the base for most of my beauty regime (along with sleep) which have resurrected my hair skin and nails from the dead on several occasions. There is a science to it though and my addiction is firmly based in research in books while using myself as a guinea pig. And I do not, I repeat DO NOT use them in place of nutrients I can get from actual food…

The funny thing is that when I was little I rarely took anything consistently, not even Flinstone vitamins, and as I aged I was too focused on other things to make anything part of my daily regime outside of studying. But with age comes responsibility or in my case the recognition that my body is not as resilient as it used to be, or perhaps I am doing a bit more damage to it than I used to? On second thought, I really doubt that so I’ll definitely let age have this one. I have found though in some way that vitamins give me peace of mind, the reassurance that there really is a solution for my stress, decrease in energy, or excessive hair shedding that does not involve me visiting another health care professional who would “fix” my problem by prescribing me some “wonder drug” that I would come with a barrage of side effects. I never would have thought I’d be the lady that totes around a pill-box and randomly pops pills throughout the day, but while everyone else is busy searching for the fountain of youth, guess what? I think I may have found it :-)!

“Ex-Factor”

23 Aug

I know I fell short of your expectations. But as my mother always tells me, “when you put your expectations on someone else, you’re setting yourself up to be disappointed.” I couldn’t give you what you wanted and although you are a great man it was as much your fault as it was mine.
You kept pulling for me to be more and different, like I wasn’t enough as I was. So I rebelled at first and then slowly started to withdraw in order to protect myself. I just couldn’t bring myself to give my best to someone who didn’t see the best in me.
Sure I wasn’t ready to embrace your world, but what about who I was? What I actually did possess versus all that I was missing. I needed your praise as much as your critical eye.
I do hope that you find love, but first you may want to look into what love truly is, and what it definitely is not. How being a responsible steward of it can lead you to great reward, but poor handling will only lead to loss. I’m sure you’ll get there, but I won’t be standing by you to witness it because in your absence I gave myself fully to love and where you lost, I truly gained…