Friday, March 25, 2011

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What's going on....

When I was in Paris with my soul friend Walela, I had an epiphany. I was turning 31 years old and had a naggin feeling in my heart - I was vocationally stucked. I needed to make a move but felt that I was burdened by my past decisions. I was so pathetic I wasn't even a deer in the headlights, I was comfortably sitting on the side of a road chilling with my lack luster grass. The cars were passing my sad complacent self by - I wasn't even trying to cross the road. My soul sister forced me to listen to *Ugh T.D jakes, and we talked about natural haircare abroad *perilous, and we talked about attempts to make our dreams come true *can one still model at 30?, and we just burned incense and watched Kat Williams *the kevin hart of his time on You tube. It was deep even when it was superficial. One night she turned to me, as I sat on her remarkably comfortable areo space bed (eurosized -- don't turn over unless you plan on getting up), and said you will have something come to you, it will be revealed and you will be comforted..aight that last part I made up but it sounded good!

I woke up the day before my birthday from a vivid dream, so strong I still remember (but not share) it - I woke up with my hands clenched and the anger pouring out of me. I was so angry I shocked myself, I didn't know I could be so passionately angery. But as I sat up at 430am in the morning, to a view of the effiel tower, I literally watched as the anger left my body and a sense of peace and certainty was replaced. I knew then that inspite of the percieved obstacles (which would be repeated to me adnauseum even up to this sunday) that I was to follow this path and get my M.S.W. I had attempted to get my M.S.W about five years and was denied, but I felt that the spirit run through me, it felt calm and overwhelming just succinct and sure. This is the path. I popped up and starting researching and taking notes on my road map. Since then everyone of my mentors (except the one that mattered), and plenty of friends attemped to desuade me - you can't make any money, that field is beleagered...there is no real scorlorship, no respect etc etc. BUT the path that you are set upon, if truley ordained, can handle strigent questioning, and I set about doing so...I researched every job, every idea of what I thought I wanted to with my life, looked at different degrees and put them to the heart test -- did they make me feel like I felt that day? Did it feel real? Did it feel ordained?

I never in my life had so many people feel so determined to suggest, and even demand, that I choose a different path.  But after much meditation and fear, I applied to schools, only the ones that felt right and only the ones that do what I want to do -- all reaches. I got in.

I can't believe that I am finally going back to school. I feel like I took the steps toward the road and am fully prepared for those head lights to hit me -- I know which way to go now. I know what it feels like now, the test, when it's right and when it isn't.  From now on I'm holding everything to my heart and listening intently...Listening for the truth and then hitting that path sprinting - trying to catch up.

Then

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Vet is interesting...

She sent me an article explaining what was wrong with my cat. It opened with this picture...
                               

Really?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Déjà Vu...

This evening I came across the biblical passage that caused me to lose my faith...in the Bible - as a relevant, comprehensive and contemporary expression of God's purpose in my life. Hmmmm, is my seminary showing? Anyhoo, here it is...

Wait...context. I was a young girl. Fourteen years old, I had on a turquoise skirt suit with a black geometrical pattern down the front and sensible black Etienne Aiger pumps. Ugh, I also had on those cheap black sheer stockings that stuck to my butt and kept me from breathing from the waist down. I was flipping through the B.I.B.L.E as I was wont to do...engaging my faithisms when my eyes landed on "Paul's" letter to Timothy. (Quotes are there cuz some folks think he might not have written it, it was mostly likely written in his name AFTER his death - but I didn't know that then...) Okay, yeah:

 8 I desire, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument; 9 also that the women should dress themselves modestly and decently in suitable clothing*, not with their hair braided, or with gold, pearls, or expensive clothes, 10 but with good works, as is proper for women who profess reverence for God. 11 Let a woman learn in silence with full submission. 12 I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing, provided they continue in faith and love and holiness, with modesty. (*only part I DO agree with ... smile)
                                           
Whaaaaaaaaaa? Modest? I knew I was fucked. Let's work backwards shall we? I thought, "Wait a second. I didn't personally eat the fruit...I wouldn't have been deceived, I'm smarter than that chick (I think anyway - if it were yellow peeps - humankind is totally fucked). Continuing along...SILENT?....All I could think about was the countless evaluations from my teachers noting the same nauseating thing...Rebekah talks too much, she won't be quiet, even when we put her in the corner!!! LOL. She has such POTENTIAL...blah blah blah   And just why can't I teach a man? The boys in my class were stupid and the ones in church were even dumber (and still are).... The entire verse totally confounded me.

Seriously, it's funny now but I was full of despair in that moment. The church was the center of my life. All of my friends were there, all of my family attended there; my family had been attending this church since my grandfathers generation and he was born in the year 1900! No seriously, October something 1900! To fathom losing all of that was terrifying. I was a young girl who professed 'reverence for God' and had no desire in life but to do God's will and be his [sic] vessel on earth. Word. But I knew, in my heart, that there was no way that I could be this girl. She was quiet, and demure, and probably sat with her hands on her desk in class...I, however, was a tomboy, who was ghetto loud, played soccer with the boys everyday, and let's not mention my rapidly developing taste for expensive shoes and patterned spandex skirts (read: not modest).

So I spent the summer going to all the men in church asking them to explain it to me - they were suppose to be the teachers after all, no?

I hit family first:  Me: Do you think women should be silence and submissive Uncle Tony? Cuz that's what this verse says.... UT: Uhm, where's your mom?... Me: Upstairs, Uncle Tony, answer my question I need to know this...UT:Well, I mean, that's what it says...Me: Uhmmmm, and do you think I should be silent?...UT:Where is your mother!?

I barely got a straight answer but conclusion slid in somewhere around 'yeah probably it should be that way but I'm not saying that to a little girl who is going to go back and tell her mother exactly what I said...' But I read between the lines and knew that it meant what it said and said what it meant. I knew then that the God that wanted that woman didn't want me(why does that sound familiar??). I tried so hard to be quiet in class, and be modest but it just was not natural to me...or pleasant. Soooo in my heart...I rolled out. A baby feminist in the making!...Funny how I found that verses tonight. I'm sure that is significant somehow..I will let you know later...

This love and dedication to an authority figure that I felt rejected me and could not love me as I was and am became one of my central themes (metaphorical dragons if you will) ...further contemplation required.

Off slaying dragons.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Other moments...

Bring Ocho to Work Day - ocho goes to the vet.

 If I were to look over my desk chair today - this is what I would see....
A very unhappy kitty with someplace to be. He's moaning and groaning and pacing around, sniffing and licking and greeting the crowd. Little does he know that three hours from now, there will be cries of pain and a needle in his urinary tract.

sue me. NOTHING rhymes with urinary tract...

poor kitty.
poor wallet.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sigh..if only I had known...

What would I have done with 200 bucks this morning if I had known someone was going to steal it (and my vintage coach purse)?

Would I have given it to him?


Or her?


Sure I would have.... - some of it?

Then I would have had lunch here...
Le Bernadine
and I would have eaten...this....

but mostly I could have finally purchased these....
Camilla Skovgaard - Tassel Heel Suede Ankle Boot
Obviously it's meaningless, that 200 hundred dollars I cried over...


Tsunami in Japan from Jean Labelle on Vimeo.


that coach bag -
                                                              Libya
As I had my head posted on the empty popcorn counter, my body racked with sobs, I realized that that money meant everything and nothing at the very same time (if a tree falls  in the forest and no one hears it...).

The metro card, the IDs, the special (saved for) wallet, the unique irreplaceable purse; as the tears flowed other stuff came out too - the impending admission/rejection letters from schools, the stupid rent, the expensive birthday that cleared my account, missing my mom but gently interrupting this stream of confusion, fear and uncertainty there was a gentle pressure on my back from my friend. The simple pats were almost rhythmic, disallowing me to sink too deep, reminding me that I was right here, right now, and there were things that I needed to do and get done. I'm astounded at the meaning that people bring to your life, how they buffer you in these moments of minor tragedy, the aftermath, the afteraftermath.  I love the surrealness of realizing that something can both mean everything to you and nothing in the grand scheme of the world. The feeling has a weightless quality. People are missing so much more than a purse right now, they would be joyful to just miss a purse with a few trifles in it...

but it still meant something to me.



Monday, March 7, 2011

I lost something important...

Last month I lost a friend. A good friend. We had been friends for over 10 ten years - my first long term adult friend.  It was a very suessian 'oh the places we'll go' friendship. There was intrigue and aborted fights, dedication and lapses of such, horrific violations and periods of deep commitment and trust.  It started with a bang yet it ended with a whimper.

It was a bitch ending - a unfortunately worded and ill timed email landed on the wet toilet paper thin remnants of our friendship and fell through forever scarring the timid and failed connection. I'm not used to quiet endings -  I tend to go for the 'what the fuck you horrible person I hope you die and burn in hell' shots fired bridges burned type of ending.

And on that thoughtful note, maybe that means something. I'd like to think it means that these two girls loved each other and still do. Would (and have) give the world for each other but we have truly grown apart. To hold someone with love and respect and still lose them is a scary thing. I have loved this person through everything and maintained and fretted over this friendship like no one else in my life, none with my family, none of my romantic relationships and certainly none of my other friend friend relationships. Over curated perhaps certainly. I should note that none of the other people in my life needed such attention but how can something so examined, so thought about, so fixated on end?  I thought it was reality of the galaxy that things carefully contemplated on can be fixed. Not true.

My ex-friend and I are on opposing balconies separated by the abyss of who we are. We cannot cross it and my heart is broken. The scary thing going forward is being reminded that nothing is permanent, somethings you can't make work, especially not by yourself.  It means to me that people who I love could leave me or vice versa but I can't depend on them to be there forever. I know the soothing thing to think is that you should appreciated them while they are here but I'm not at that step just yet. 

I rest so heavily on the people who surround me. I take from them examples on being bold, examples on being determined, examples on being kind, smart, daring and thoughtful - my friends and family are my strength and the thought that they may not be there one day, like my ex-friend, is saddening. The fear and sadness do finally bring me into the realization that I need to look deeply into my circle, breath them in like a complex perfume, hold them gently and pray that they will return my love and care but most of all forgive my trespasses.

I do not plan to move froward in fear. In the last year I have put my burdens down and revealed myself (verbally) for the person I fully am. I have revealed that I am both strong and weak, wickedly smart and mathematically challenged, whipped tongued and stupidly sensitive and most importantly tired. Tired of listening and not talking (about myself), tired holding others up and while my own feet were tired. It was so beautiful when, after deep thought and contemplation (a.k.a therapy), I put those burdens down and watched as my circle surrounded me and held me. I was amazed as they checked in with me and held my hand and took me to eat and told me they loved and cared for me. and still do.

 I see now the arrogance of self-sacrifice - who are you to think that they can't do it? Whether they are tired or overburdened it was simply my fear that they could not be there for me and I would lose them - and a real fear because it happen to my friend and I - but you gain much by sharing your burdens and allowing your friends to feel the joy of giving to you.

Something to think about.

I have lost much, so much, in this journey to rest but oh how much have we gained.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Are you black... in America? Having sex??

So my new favorite blogger went to the rally to protest the defunding of Planned Parenthood last Saturday...I meant to go. smh @ myself. I even emailed the info for friends to go -- but didn't attend myself. When it came down to the decision to go, I'm embarrassed to say that I chose to hang with my guy friend and probably, ironically, get my name on the list of folks that can be found somewhere on this page....http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/aa/. I am certainly not HIV positive (I have been tested recently) but my usual smugness was wiped from my face upon waiting for my results this year.

Normally my Russian nurse would say, "Would you like an HIV test in addition to your STD test?"
And I would casually look around the office with an "Aw shucks why not? My health insurance is going to pay for it right? Knock yourself out..."
Then I'd return to my office with my band-aid covered cotton ball in the crook of my arm and proudly show my students how responsible their counselor was being about her health [Black woman conquering stance].

Now I realized that the present test would be negative because I hadn't engaged in any risky behaviors prior to the end of last year buuuuuuut I can't say that any longer. I am desperately ashamed and disappointed in myself for not standing more firmly in what I believe in and for not standing up for my life and my health.

So everything came full circle when The Beautiful Struggler wrote:
I’m also highly concerned with figuring out ways to make Black people understand the gravity of our sexual health, as the abortion and STI-infection rates show that far too many of us are comfortable with having unprotected sex with no intention[sic] of having a child. As The Champ points out in the hilarious Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm At Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide To Dating, Mating and Fighting Crime (look for a review of the book here this week), even many of those people who are speaking at HIV-awareness events and preaching the gospel of safe sex are going home and leaving the condoms in the drawer[bold added].

wtf.

Sometimes I swear that the universe holds some people accountable for their contradictions and mistakes (me) and other get away scout free (wall street??).  So I now resign myself with the fact that I'm a statistic...

CDC states about African Americans:

African Americans continue to experience higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) than any other race/ethnicity in the US. The presence of certain STDs can significantly increase the chance of contracting HIV infection. A person who has both HIV infection and certain STDs has a greater chance of infecting others with HIV.
So now instead of having a random intellectual debate about people I know who aren't using protection I can and will talk about myself. Why didn't I use protection?  Here's why...

Simple.

It won't happen to me. That's why. In that moment of decision making, with my hormones pumping and the relief and chance of connection and love and touching -- I KNEW that I was the protagonist in this story and nothing happens to the protagonist that the protagonist can't overcome. I don't get the STD, my sidekick does. I don't die from from HIV, my red shirted* sidekick does. Do you hear my conviction in those words? Slam your fist on your desk to punctuate the sentiments...


I must believe it - Why else would I put my life in danger?


This egomaniacal relationship to the world with regard to the sex is deeply personal... and I suspect that it is also widespread. Everyone believes they are Superman or Batman, aka the most important component of their own life story and as an essential component, it won't happen to them. That shaking of the head you're doing right now -- I take that, I own that, I deserve that.  The sadder point to deal with is that I know the stats, I know the techniques to persuade, I know everything you're going to say in your Prevention speech - I still did it.

Sounds hopeless. It's not. I don't know how to get through to folks me about the issue. So much of that decision, in my experience, take place as a couple - a joint decision - I was always supported in doing the positive thing and when it was on my shoulders alone I dropped the ball. I suppose we need to practice prevention with the understanding that the heat of the moment decision is a joint decision - We need to ask the question, how do we make two individuals invested in prevention - not the individual alone.

I will, however, pick myself up, dust myself off, get focused and as some folks have said - become Pro-life (mine).

*star trek reference for those of you who don't indulge...red shirt die first and only...

Have you seen this??

Posted without comment for now...




Just let that waft over you for now....

Mystery solved...

Look who I found!!!




Last seen here!


Gonna go check our her blog now....

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Looking for a savior?

Charlie Sheen is a genius. How else could one get round the clock coverage like this for free? He had to destroy his life to make it happen but he has enough money to fix it, no? no pity...

I want to address his 'goddesses' though. Those world-weary, roughed-up teenagers he has watching his children...yes, watching his twin boys...someone tell me why he even has (partial) custody of his kids?? Suspect...

The really dusty one looks up at him this morning on ABC and says lovingly into the camera "I respect him as the leader of his house, I listen to him"...

Now - you know where I'm going with this one...smh

Now I give lip service to the idea that people (women) have every right to choose whatever subjugated role that they feel comfortable in -- HOWEVER, when that man is at the living room table snorting 7g of coke up his nose then maybe, no judgement, maybe you should rethink your idea of what 'respecting your man' looks like. I'm just saying - isn't he the casebook reason that the christocentric hierarchical patterns of family structure that support patriarchy are a BAD idea?? I'm just saying.

Ms. Lady states,
"I respect Charlie as a man and I respect him as head of this household and trust him completely," she added. "If there's something I think is a little bad of an idea, I might say, ‘Babe, lets think about it this way.' It works. The system works for us."

Indeed it does. Indeed it does.

Oh wait...And here are the black girls saying the same stupid shit in response to a black man staying the same stupid shit. (the comments are priceless)

from the whittest..
What I do think is necessary to be said is that EVERYONE needs to read this article. Just as a man need to be the clear leader, women need to allow themselves to be lead. In this day (although I’m a fairly young 21 yr old), the culture does not foster strong women who rule the world yet allow their husbands be leaders in their marriages. If I’ve learned nothing else from my grandmother and mother about marriage, I’ve learned that a married woman’s goal is to help make her husband’s leadership as easy as possible and to activity try to make his vision reality.
(mute)

This guy warms my heart and puts women who claim that what it means to be a wife has anything to do with what the misguided sister above states in a tough position of having to explain their own internal desire to be subjugated.

from moodindigo...
Yes, there will be tough decisions with tough consequences. But I believe that the expectation that the husband leads comes from a worldview in which the man is the leader and as someone else said, that’s okay for some people.



I’m looking for a woman with a similar worldview as my own. My view is that as two grown adults we should be able to find a compromise. We should commit to that. And that’s a quality I strive to grow in and that’s an essential trait I’m looking for in a woman. And to be clear, compromise doesn’t always involve one decision but the choice of many and in that you can often find a middle ground. What I love about the process is that it forces you to communicate with each other, forces you to listen, which help builds the marriage. If the decision is truly about what’s best for the family and not what I or she wants, then we should be able to find a middle ground when we get to the heart of the issue.


There are some dealbreakers – hopefully we’ve been honest with each other upfront about them before saying “I do.” And yes there will be apparent dealbreakers that develop over the marriage because people change over time. But you’re committing to the person for who they become for the rest of your life (excluding unhealthy/abusive ish), not just who they are right now.


I think the leadership model has issues when two people do not share similar worldviews. And people can arrive at differences even when initially they were eye to eye. For example, what happens when two devoted Christians are married but later the husband becomes an athiest or agnostic – not just backslidden – but doesn’t believe in Christ at all. It happens. Does the wife still trust the husband’s lead? The only way for this marriage to survive is through compromise – which ultimately takes love – the laying down of yourself for the sake of your family.

Amen.

Makes my feminist giggle....

                                           
I love these shoes! Joel says their manrepellors... since that's what's hot right now (for quirky girls who don't want to be street harassed) I'm all for it.