Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Letter to an Unknown Love

I've kind of been waiting on you my whole life, but I'm probably not going to tell you that. Instead I'm going to show you, in very minute, subtle but big ways. I'm going to hold your hand a lot, but not enough to crowd you, and I'm going to look at you sometimes with curious eyes, wondering what I did to deserve someone who fits me like you do.

I spent so much time wondering about where you are, and what I was doing wrong to make it so that you wouldn't see me, or notice me. I was always so down and hard on myself not realizing that if I didn't think I was important, nobody would think I was. I'd been treating potential dates up until you like I had to win them over, I had to make them like me, not realizing that it was me who was holding all the cards, that I was the prize.

I'm not sure how I'll meet you; maybe out at a bookstore or a video game expo. Maybe at a poetry meeting or simply by bumping into each other. I'm not sure if I'll impress you immediately, or if I'll be that slow burn that eases into your life and warms you from the inside out. I do know that if it's you that I've been waiting on, I'll definitely know it. And maybe deny it.

You see, I'm afraid of myself. Afraid of letting myself go and afraid of the power with which my heart and soul rule my life. I know if you somehow find a home in either of those places then I'll fear you too, or rather who I'll be because of you. I lost myself once in a guy and it took me so long to trust myself after him that I found myself chasing unattainable and ultimately uninterested (and uninteresting) men and I never want to go back. There's no GPS to the soul, and I'd hate to have to build myself all over from ashes into a woman.

I don't know you, but I know you'll be kind. I need kindness in my life because more often than not I'm unkind to myself and rarely believe in my own good. I know you'll be intelligent, cause Lord knows I don't find i'g'nant men attractive. I know you'll have depth to you, some of which you'll let me swim in, the rest which you'll hold for yourself and God.

I have to warn you, I'll be insecure. I'll be worried. I won't see me the way you do, and won't think I'm as ______ as you think I am. I'll worry about other girls and what they say to you and what you feel about what they say. It'll drive you, I know, but just find patience with me; I've never had someone like you before who wanted all of me, not just the fleshy, sensual parts, and my base mind will always take it there with you and other women. It's me, and before you get to me, I'm already working on it so try and just walk with me there.

I worry about finding you. I think about how my life would be different, but at the same time I know to find you, I've got to find me first. And as I'm slowly clearing away the trees that are keeping me from seeing the forest, I know somewhere along the path you'll be waiting. And this time, I think I'll be ready.


I'm learning to live for me. It's exhilarating. Terrifying. And about damn time.

I have been in this funk, this sinking into my own life and mind, for a few weeks. It happened suddenly; my best friend got a new man, my father moved countries and I moved up stations at my job and then depression sank in. I couldn't find happiness any where. I couldn't find peace or stability anywhere. I was lost in my own life and couldn't find a way out.

So I withdrew into myself, deeper and deeper. Thought through, felt through my maze of misunderstanding. I kept feeling misunderstood by others, by God, by myself, and it was time that I took a moment to clear it all out.

I was jealous of W; she finds love and relationships like preteen girls find a Claire's at a mall - easily. I was jealous of my Soul Brotha, as I feel he's got this drive, this inner passion in life that he just knows he's meant for, and I don't have that. I was envious of people with better jobs, people with fitter, firmer bodies. I was not happy with myself.

I broke down all those things: why am I jealous of this and that, when I have me? I have me, and I'm amazing. I'm smart. I'm funny. I'm honest and open. I'm willing to admit I'm wrong, not braggadocios when I'm right. I'm curvy and soft. I'm whimsical and cool. I'm me. Why was I trying to live my life like them? Because they were my constants, my things outside of myself that I judged my life on.

Talking with W, she tossed out casually that her man had asked her to move to Florida and my whole plan shifted; everything I thought I was going to do, we were going to do, was just shot to hell. She didn't say she was going, she said she was considering it, and to think or feel that she would give this new person as much consideration as she would me, tilted my axis and brought it all in to focus: I can't live on other people being my constants, I have to be my own. Why wasn't I my own constant to begin with?

I think I was afraid; that the implications of being my own constant meant I'd be alone and it's not that at all. Being my own constant means being secure in what I can do, but understanding my limitations and working with them. Being my own constant means being independent from other people's perceptions, rules and lives; it means I get to make and mold myself further into who I'm mean to be with no pressure. Being my own constant simply means accepting myself, trusting myself, and moving forward with the knowledge that I'm capable.

And it's about damn time.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

If There Was a Timer...

If there was a timer that told you exactly when you would meet your soul mate, would you get it?

That's the question posed by the sci-fi romantic drama "TiMER" that I just finished watching and I've been going back and forth with it in my mind ever since. Would I? Wouldn't I?

The main character Oona, has a timer and it's blank, meaning the one she's meant to be with hasn't gotten his yet. In the meantime she frets, and worries, and stays pretty much to herself except for her family and best friend/step-sister Steph (who's timer says she won't meet her true love until she's in her forties). After her latest potential love interest's timer says he's due to find love in two years (and not with her), Oona finds Mikey, a timerless guy who lives his life by the seat of his pants and Steph meets a timerless guy who she finally opens up to. By the end of the movie though, Steph's man gets a timer and finds he is meant for Oona; Oona and Mikey break up, Steph accepts their union and the two vow to get to know each other.

In the end, Oona got what she wanted; she fell in love with Mikey in the process and got her heart broken but yeah, she found true love...supposedly. After she meets the guy at a track and field, the movie ends ambiguously. Does she or doesn't she? Was it the timer, or was it just fate? If you could, would you want to?

Since watching it I've been going back and forth with the idea. If the spontaneity, the mystery and anticipation of not knowing is taken out of it, would we really know when we'd found love? If the guess work and excitement were taken out of it, would we enjoy finding love with another person?

Instantly I related with Oona, as admittedly I'm concerned with my lack of dating experience and could see her point; was wasting time with men who weren't her soul mate really worth it in the end? Steph personified W in a way, not caring about love or time but still finding a lot of it wherever she went, her love life the antagonist of her sister's even though they were both essentially still looking for the same thing.

When looking for love becomes a job in itself, is finding it as sweet? If you knew when and where and how with who, would the journey be any better?

And that's when it hit me: The point isn't the destination, it's the journey. If I knew when all the exciting and special things were going to happen in my life, it wouldn't be as sweet, and it wouldn't be as fulfilling as it would had I just happened up on it. And that's why I wouldn't want a timer... But I won't kid you, it'd be nice to know that there is someone (or a couple people) out there looking for a girl like me; the cost of the journey vs. the knowledge of the end is a hard decision for someone (like me) who likes to know everything in advance.

Needless to say, I'm buying the movie.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Letter to a Heartbreak

You are the reason I don't think I'm beautiful. Okay, that was melodramatic. You are the reason I refuse to see beauty in myself.

Before you, I was confident. I was secure. I was that small firecracker with the big boom and glow at the end; small in stature, big in impact. I was outgoing, and sweet and never afraid to be myself. I knew that anything I ever did, I could put my full heart into it because I was a great person; nobody would intentionally hurt me.

And then you broke my heart. I knew someone would have to be the first, but I was expecting someone who wasn't you, my friend. I was expecting some thuggin it and lovin it type dude who I'd fall for stupidly to ruin my little engine that could, not you. You, with your clean cut exterior and gentlemanly ways. I suppose it had to be someone like you, as I don't think I'd have fallen for someone else.

I don't want you to think it's all about you, because it really isn't. You were a catalyst. I had to learn, woefully the hard way, that I couldn't trust everyone, but in learning that lesson I thought that I could no longer trust myself. If I could let myself fall in love with you, through all those red, albeit delayed, flags, I wasn't to be trusted because oh, that heartbreak my brotha...

That heartbreak had me behind a gazebo, in the snow, bawling my eyes out before class. That heartbreak had me second guessing every move I made from then on. That heartbreak had me believing, has me believing that something is wrong with me; that maybe if I were prettier, smarter, faster, better I wouldn't have fallen for it, and I wouldn't have gotten hurt. That heartbreak makes it so hard to just talk to dudes I'm interested in without worrying that they'll f*ck me over in the end.

So in a way, you ruined me. But at the same time, I still pity you. You can't find love either; you're so self-sabotaging that even I, with all the love I know I have to give, couldn't break your obvious self-loathing. All I wanted was for you to let yourself go, let yourself feel free enough to fall in love with me, and even though you could see it, you could feel it and hear it in my every word, you still couldn't believe that you deserved any of it. And a retrograde effect of that was me not believing that I was worth your love.

I know better now, I feel better now, but I'm not that confident girl anymore. No, I'm a bit jaded and so gun-shy. I have a fear of bothering the dudes I try to talk to; I fear that if I get on their nerves with all my curiosity, my wanting to know them, they'll pull a you and put a stop to it, or worse yet, run. I have had to learn myself all over again. I've had to start trusting myself from the very beginning. I forgave you almost instantly. It took me almost two years to forgive myself.

I don't hate you. I'm no longer mad at you. I'm no longer mad at myself. I just wish you could've been better about it; wish you could've broken my heart like a man instead of a boy. A man wouldn't have let it get so far and thus I wouldn't be so distrusting of others. A man would've looked me in the eyes, so I wouldn't be so sure that when men talk to me, compliment me, they must be lying. A man would've. You didn't. That's my only regret about loving you.

Is it hard? Terribly. Will it always be? I know it won't.

I know I am beautiful. I know I am smart. I know all men are not like you. I know that somebody is going to love me better than you ever could. So the hard part is over; now all I have to do is convince myself, will myself to believe it.

A Letter to a Friend

I'm sorry.

I rarely ever say that, but feel the need to start off with that. I think the last thing I said to you a few months back when we last talked was to grow up...and then I hung up. That was childish, and wrong. I was frustrated and upset with not only you but with my whole life and just took it out on you. I was supposed to be there for you, like you'd been there for me so many times when I thought the world was against me and where was I? Wrapped up in my own world.

You were frustrated. You felt stagnate. I'd just been to that place and instead of coming at you in empathy, I got annoyed with you. You, who had so much to give in life, so much direction, felt stuck? Why? What for when you had the world in the palm of your hands?

I remember work that day was crazy. I'd gotten in trouble for some minor sh*t, this dude I was digging blew me off, and then here you go...not recognizing your potential and sh*t...

I haven't heard from you since, but I know you're well. I guess this letter is more for me than for you; it's me learning to let not only you go, but that guilt that I carry with me for not being the friend I should've been to you.

It's funny, but with every friend I get now, the males anyway, I search for your characteristics. I want to learn them to see if they walk like you, or talk like you, if they see me the way you do, so clearly and easily despite all the opaque glass I have up around my true self. Nobody's come close. I don't think anyone ever will.

I love you. I miss you. And if I see you one day in the street, I'm kicking your ass on sight for not calling me.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

My First Classic Movie (And What My Succession of Classic Movies Taught Me)

It all started with "My Fair Lady," when Eliza Doolittle walked down the grand staircase in that breath-taking, glittering gown, her hair piled high, her back straight and her eyes clear and determined. The music swelled behind her and the photography, though grainy and dull on the tv screen was still vibrant, the colors nearly palpable. I'd never seen a woman look so regal and so in command of a screen before. It was then that I discovered my love for classic movies.

When talking movies with people I often feel left in the cold. On the one hand you have the movie dictators; these are the people who are the self-described experts on all things film who tell you what to watch, why to watch it and why not watching it makes you less intellectual than they are. You have the "you're not black if you don't watch/you're not a woman if you don't enjoy," movie people who think that because I'm black I must know every "Friday," "Menace II Society" and "Set It Off" reference, or I must feel some kind of way about Bella and Edward in "Twilight," or know the depths of love felt in "The Notebook" and cry during the final scene in "Titanic." No, I don't watch movies because the cast and I share a race, and no, I'm not a romantic/drama movie sort of girl (plus Titanic was overly long. Seriously, it took the ship how long to sink? Not the three hours I had to sit through the movie, I'll tell you that...).

I've come to realize and accept that some people's perception of "classic" and my own will never ever match up. And I'm completely okay with that...we're just not going to be seeing movies together that often.

Over the years, I've been asked what movies I love, which are my favorites. "My Fair Lady," "The Sound of Music," and Lord knows, "Gone With The Wind," are at the very top because those are the ones I saw early on in life, but I still love others like "All About Eve," "Imitation of Life," and "The King and I." It's not just the attention to detail placed in every frame, every line of script and swell of strings, but the depictions of women as capable, smart, witty and different, and the fact that despite all that, some wonderful, albeit flawed man loves them anyway. The idea that these women were different for their times, Eliza Doolittle, the street urchin turned lady, Maria Von Trapp, the mischievous ex-nun turned wife, mother and singer, or Scarlett, an oddly attractive, bratty, abrasive woman who made the South bend to her will, but still were able to find love, in themselves as well as with others, was astounding to me.

As I got older my collection has expanded. I recently watched "Gigi" starring Leslie Caron for the first time and got the same breathless, exciting feeling as the first time I watched "The King and I," or even "Breakfast at Tiffany's." Gigi, a young girl being taught the ways of a courtesan falls in love with a childhood friend a few years her senior and a few social rungs up the ladder. Instead of becoming his mistress however, by speaking her mind and being herself, clumsy, crass and sassy as she was, she became his wife. The message with this one, as with the rest, remains true: being yourself is a beautiful treasure that you should love and appreciate.

I think that's why I have more movies made prior to the 1960s than any other type. Maybe that's why I watch them on days when I feel down. Maybe, these beautiful, timeless movies remind me of those same characteristics in myself that I feel aren't diluted with time and aren't easily or readily acceptable or accessible. Maybe I love them because they remind me to persevere, always as myself.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Musing 6

My friends and I like to joke that, as a Virgo, I am sometimes like a robot. Think Beyonce; you know she's human, but with the way she speaks, acts, and works, you're not one hundred percent sure. But the truth remains that no, Tes is not a robot. Tes is, in fact, a person who feels things deeply.

Jason, the cutie with the best hugs, has been AWOL in my life for a few weeks. It hasn't bothered me much; I've been focusing on writing a book of short stories, and trying to get my life together so I hadn't noticed his absence as much as I would've had I had the time. I find that when I have something to do, something to focus on, I don't stress so much about the emotional side of me but more on the financial, tangible parts of my whole life.

But then I ran into him in a hardware store and BAM. Jason's the kind of guy who talks with his words and his eyes. Seriously, I hate using corny, cliched phrases, but the man has hypnotising eyes, and uses them to his advantage so that every word is some variant on sincere and genuine and thus clouds my mind. he wondered why I didn't text or call him. I informed him, indeed, phones work two ways, to which he replied his was broken.

Eh. Broken phone? Really? I mean...okay then.

The thing with Jason is...he doesn't seem the type to genuinely go for chicks like me. I'm cute. I'm smart. I'm funny. Jason is hot. I mean like Mississippi GodDamn hot. And through some perusal of FaceBook I noted that out of his thousand and some odd friends, majority of them were women who either know how to work an angle, know how to work Photoshop or are just that damned gorgeous in waking life. None of them have natural hair. Almost none of them wore glasses (like legit glasses, not the neo-nerd glasses with no lenses). None of those chicks looked like me.

Usually that sentiment makes me feel bad about myself; because I walk to the beat of my own drummer that sets me apart from what's normal and accepted, what's expected. And then looking around one day at my job it hit me; that's probably the reason why, or how, he could be interested in a woman like me. The women I work with, the black women, all have straight hair. Relaxers, wigs, weaves, all of them have straight hair. And my hair is 7 inches tall, thick and unruly and for the most part I leave it that way save for a headband to add some shape. These other women giggled at lame jokes dudes would tell them, resting their newly done, 4 inch nails along the guy's arm while I would be joking with the dude, telling stories, being myself.

Being myself. Being myself. Is that all I've got to do to attract men? Why didn't anybody tell me?!

I felt for awhile that being me, being different was a detriment. I was too tenacious, I was too witty and too quick. I don't kiss men's asses, instead I compliment their intelligence or give them kudos for little things they do that they don't think anyone notices (a dude with nice cologne gets me every time). Being me...rocks. Sure, it may not be getting me laid, dates a relationship, but in the long run it makes me feel better knowing that people see that difference in me, see the sincerity with which I'm trying to live, and appreciate me for it.

Will they appreciate it enough to ask me on a date? Only time will tell...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

(21) The Song I'll Hear in Heaven

30 Day Song Challenge! Remember...I was doing that? No... *ahem* moving ahead then...

There's a song in my playlist there (----->) that makes me happy, complexly happy, but happy nonetheless. Wanna guess?

So Far To Go.

Dilla's production was sweet and warm. If when I enter heaven it doesn't sound better than or equal to that? Does heaven's DJ take requests? Better yet, can I meet up with Dilla, Common and D'angelo and have them do it acoustic? Yeah, that's how much I love that song.

It's layers that I find so beautiful and appealing with the song. On one level you've got Common, commending his woman for being open, not just sexually but emotionally, to his love and appreciation of her body, mind and spirit. His word play is witty, playful but still delves deep (pause?) into that part of me that questions; do men notice those small things? Do they know as much as I like to think they do? Also as a woman who has trouble with trust, not only in others but in herself, the idea that a man could tap into that feeling and write a response directly to it? Perfect.

D'Angelo's piece is more of personal reminder; no matter how far I've come, there's always so much further to go. On one hand that idea terrifies me: is life just a never-ending game of leap-frog where we just leap forward off the backs of our previous accomplishments, never content with where we are? Is there ever happiness in stillness? Then on the other hand, how hopeful that thought; no matter where you are, you can still move forward, you can still go. You may be great now, but if you believe it, you can be so much greater. Wow.

Dilla's production is beautiful. Originally it's a song called "Bye" from his Donuts album. The legend around it is, knowing the end was near "Bye" was the last thing he composed. In context, hearing it by itself always makes me tear up. It interlopes Ron Isley singing a few phrases ("Don't ever say," "Goodbye," and a splicing of "I Believe"), which just touches your heart. It takes a sample of The Isley Brothers "Don't Say Goodnight" and loops it, adding heavy, heavenly bass to it. Literally, it makes me cry on it's own. But coupled with Common and D'Angelo, it makes me feel listless and hopeful, jaded but still beautiful.

I have a feeling, when I'm nearing seventy and have to wear a hearing aid, I'll still be listening to this song. I'll still be feeling complexly happy, albeit because I'm nearer to the time where it'll be time for someone else, bigger than myself to assess how far I've come. And please believe, when that beat drops in heaven, I'll know I've made it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Musing 3...4? Probably 3...Right?

You feel how you allow yourself to feel...

It's a concept I hadn't really got a grasp on until recently, but now that I have, all the extra just doesn't matter as much. Come, walk with me for a second...

I'd been so messed up over this guy from a long time ago that it was keeping me from seeing the ones right in front of me. Why? Because I felt slighted. Because I felt cheated. Because I felt like that dude took most of what I loved about myself and used it to his advantage to make me feel stupid. That whole situation was almost a year ago, and it was still haunting every move I made.

Until one day I woke up and asked myself why did I feel that way now though? Why, if that one guy made a mistake, would I punish others who come after him, but moreover why punish myself anymore by buying into the notion that I was stupid, that I got cheated, or I got taken advantage of? If it were true (which, for clarity's sake, it isn't), it was true awhile ago and had no bearing on what I did now, not unless I let it.

I've learned to let go of a lot of things. Some people are just stuck in their ways, not knowing or caring how they treat you. Some people are just mean, others are just stupid, but their surliness and stupidity can't make you think less of yourself, or think that you aren't worth what you and God know you are.

Let them call you what they want to. Let them think of you what they will. But know this: it only matters if you make it matter. That's not to say you can't get up in your feelings about things but recognize how much about you it is, and how much about that other person's perception of you it is. If it's all you, then by all means, get emo. But if it's about them...let it be about them. Apologize for how they feel if you want to, but don't let them be a hindrance to you.

I used to think because of this one guy, I wasn't pretty. I wasn't as smart as I thought I was. Nobody wants a stupid, ugly chick right? I used to think, as a child, that I was bad for asking questions that nobody could answer. As a teen, I used to think it was wrong to have emotions. And now...I question everything, I feel everything, and I flaunt my curves. And I don't apologize for any of it. And what, son?

Let it go! Be happy! Be triumphant! Be loose? adventurous? you :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I'm a reflective girl. A girl who's gaze kind of glazes near the  end of conversations. A girl who's always thinking of ways to make herself better, to quell the sadness that finds it's way around her heart. A girl who still manages to smile with her eyes. I'm a girl who thinks so much that I forget what it is I need to do, things I need to find to make me feel like me.

I used to think the thing I needed was love. Attention from someone who I could share my whole self with, not just the bright, shiny pieces. Someone who would treat me as I know I am, like a Russian doll, with smaller and smaller parts until you get down to the smallest, but most beautiful piece. A person to treasure me as I've always wanted, dreamed and hoped to treasure another. But I've been thinking for awhile now that love isn't the thing I lack; Mom, Dad, W, SoulBrotha...I don't lack for love. What I'm missing in life, after years of teenage pining and wishing and praying, isn't love, it's sincerity.

There are rare times when my far off gaze focuses, and I'm able to open my heart and let everything I know of myself out into the world. I say that I'm lonely. I say that I'm sad. I say that I wish I were in a better place to help those who are often helpful to me. The one thing I don't recall saying is that I just want something real. I want an authentic life, something that brings genuine joy to me. Mom always says to speak it into existence...why haven't I said it before?

I started thinking that it wasn't attention necessarily that I needed (let's be honest, if you're not specific enough, next thing you know you're getting all kinds of awkward, dirty and just plain wrong solicitations) but a sincere interest. Someone interested in more than my rack and hips. More than what I could offer to them. A person interested in me, interested in what makes me.

W hurt my feelings awhile ago; a guy I'm thinking of being more into wanted to hang out after he got off work. Though it was nine, I didn't see much wrong with it, but W says it was obvious what dude was up to. Cue my doe eyes; why would I think that he was trying something off-hand when all he said is let's hang out? Where does that mean "say let's get naked?" It was her tone, the condescending way she rattled off what he was really up to that made me just sigh and want to cry.

It felt like she was saying nothing is real, nothing any guy will ever say to me will ever be what he truly means. For a girl like me who craves the closeness, a girl with obvious trust issues no Drake and self-esteem issues that's like a shot to the chest; why? Why can't a person say what they mean? I do. Why can't I accept a person at face value? Why is it naive of me to hope that a person is interested in more than what's between my legs?

At that point, before I started sinking in to feeling sorry for myself I just shook it off and said with squared shoulders "F*ck them, all of them." I refuse to believe that nobody is genuine. I refuse to believe that every word has to be analyzed, every action scrutinized. Does it happen that people are disingenuous? Yes. Every time? No, and to believe so would put my soul in a terrible place of disbelief in what's true; good things happen all the time as long as your heart is open to them and your back isn't to them.

 If I am what's real, any of the extra fakeness will fade and phase into the background. If I am sincere, I will attract it. If I know I'm beautiful, I'll attract people who see that beauty. If I am what it is I want I can stop looking for it in the faces of strangers and be happy looking into my own reflection with a wide, honest smile.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Stop Thinking; Just Go

I'm a sensual girl. I love to eat and feel the textures and different tastes. I love to hear great music and smile and sway to new beats. I find my joy on warm Autumn days with soft breezes and low humming lawn mowers, but it never dawned on me to maybe find that joy in the arms of a person until recently.

You remember the guy? That young one who had to learn a lesson? I love a man who learns, let me tell you. A few days after that incident he apologized profusely with puppy-dog eyes and repentant demeanor and I just smiled and said okay. In truth I should've apologized too; I was a little drunker, meaner, and harder on him than I really should've been, and it had everything to do with me and nothing to do with him. My perception of him, this "I think I'm somebody because I'm pretty" perception, made me lash out at every guy I'd ever met who happened to be like that through him. Unfair, I know. So I accepted his apology, and said that if he wanted we could learn to be friends.

And now we're learning and I'm learning not to be such a snap-dragon; he's a little like I thought he was, but the more I learn about him, in tidbits mind you, the more accepting I am that a) I was a little wrong about him and b) he might just be interesting beyond his pretty boy charm. I think the turning point was when he told me that he just wanted to love someone with the most sincere demeanor and "ah whatever" shrug I'd ever seen. It made me smile and think...maybe...

Jason, as I'll call him, gives amazing hugs; I told him this just the other day, and now he's taken to hugging me whenever he can. It makes me smile, the fact that he not only hears me, but understands what it is I'm truly saying. I'm growing to like him, but fear of liking him too much or being hurt has me thinking more than doing or saying which may or may not be a good thing. I like him, but am not sure I should or should continue to.

And what about Johnny? Well, he's still milling around too; he's taken a little bit to warm up to me, but we're warming pretty good. Romantically, I don't know, but warming none-the-less; I'm not even sure if romance is what I'm looking for, or if genuine companionship is my aim. In any case, what's a girl to do...

I forget to let go sometimes. To not be so judgemental and forward in thought. It trips me up in my walking life and befuddles my mind to the point I can't move for thinking so much. So what am I going to do? I'm going to roll and let the chips fall where they may, as I'm learning that in adulthood, sometimes, you just gotta go for it, whether you think it'll work or not.

The message for today: Stop thinking, and just go. If you keep thinking of reasons why not to do something you'll eventually convince yourself out of what you've wanted all along. Take a deep breath and a leap of faith, and no matter how it turns out, you'll be better for the experience. Unless it's drugs. Just say no to those.

XoXo - Tes

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Everyone's Got Something

I don't find myself in too many situations that I don't know how to deal with and I rarely find myself making super wrong decisions. I think out most, if not all, of my moves and that's why my seemingly small, self-destructive moods wreck havoc on my logical side and make me question why I do the things I do.

As previously stated I've been on the depressed side of life lately, and have been really down on myself. I don't find myself smart or attractive or any of the things I worked so hard to see in myself previously. And for an ego boost, I did something out of character for me and woke up feeling ashamed of myself and where I was heading, and noted that, though it was a one time thing over the span of a few days it still was something that normally I wouldn't do.

In my head at the time it was a means to an end; I wanted attention, any kind, and that was a quick and easy way to acheive it but yet, in the end it didn't fill that part of me that's sad and wanting for something. In fact, it just made it worse, like I was feeding it by trying to stop it, adding on to the feeling of worthlessness and loneliness.

After realizing what I was doing, and why, it made it easier to make a clean break from it, but I think I'm one of the lucky ones. True, I still feel the way I feel, but I'm pulling out of it. And admittedly, my self-destructive thing isn't as bad as many depressed people's may be, and for that I'm grateful. But I do know that it can be a broad spectrum. It could be drinking and drugs, risky behaviors with strangers, self-harm, or as simple as pictures on the internet, but everyone has a "something," and knowing that makes me feel oddly better.

Knowing that, although different, everyone has something that alerts them or others when they aren't truly themselves makes me feel not as alone. And although I wish I could take back my something, doesn't mean that I necessarily regret it as it's shown me another side, albeit a darker one, to my personality. More importantly though, it's shown me a way out of it so that I can avoid it in the future.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Depression Is Super Real

I'm getting depressed again. And not just that superficial, "oh woe is me" type sh*t, but legit depressed. It's happened enough times now where I know the difference and know when it's setting in, but still I feel so powerless to stop it.

It's this feeling of loneliness, a retreating into myself further despite knowing I should try doing the opposite. It's like drowning with nothing to hold onto, and nothing to hold you in place so that you stop sinking. It's shame, and not wanting to tell people how you really feel for fear of bursting into tears when you know you're the "rock" to them and no one needs a crumbling stone. Contrary to popular belief, it isn't silent; it's loud, obnoxious negative thoughts that drown out anything good. And it's here.

I started noticing it and realizing it wasn't a normal thing in my mid-teens. Everyone else was always some variant of happy, or at least compliant, in their lives and the twists and turns, whereas I rarely was either. Then, just like now, I thought that people have too much going on in their lives to really see that sinking behind my eyes, so they ramble on about this or that when I'm wishing they'd feel it or at least see it. They never do, and I always lose faith in people and their supposed heightened emotional perception.

As the person other people go to for solace and strength, I find this feeling a weak thing that makes me less of who I'm supposed to be. I'm supposed to be a beacon, I'm supposed to be constant. I'm supposed to be...all these things that I can't be when I get this way. And it makes me angry, not only at myself, but at the people that surround me. They keep calling and talking and adding so much more noise...and the moment I try and interject, to let someone in on the fact that I'm not myself, they suddenly have something more pressing to do.

That always stings, no matter how or when it happens; no matter how I feel generally, people using me cuts deep and makes me question my want of company, companionship and whether I am better off being lonely than surrounded by people who may or may not care. It spirals and spirals until I convince myself to be alone and work through it myself, but the older I get, the longer it takes to pull myself back out of it. But I never feel like I have the option to share or shove that part of me onto someone else, and I never feel as if that's fair to them.

Moral of the story is, I'm depressed. I'm working on getting out of it. And if you know a "strong" and steady person in your life, on occasion, in between telling them how fabulous or f*cked up your life may be, ask about them. Notice them. See them. Be there for them. You could be the person giving hope to the hopeless and letting a person who loves you know love them too by simply being there.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sometimes I Forget My Creativity

It's odd how we never know how much we use a letter until we have to keep copying and pasting it. In any case, that's just what I did. And what I'm going to do again sometime this week. I just stopped by this time to leave a little piece of me that I always forget exists behind; the poet. I don't rhyme much, and I often write about love and the depth of the human mind/body/spirit...and now's no different. Sometimes there's so much going on in my head, in my heart and in my soul that there's nothing I can do to get it out. Nothing but write. I call it "Know Me"...so here goes...

If I could take all the things I feel about you
Think about you
Dream about you
And hold them in my hands
Wrap them in a gift box
A big one
And give them to you
I don't know if I could

I want you to know me
To see me
Beyond the shy smiles
And easy laughs
And into my person
I want you to want to
See me that is
And be with me in spite of
Or because of seeing me
Not even exclusively
Okay a little exclusively
But how do I convey all that
Without seeming so so so...

I don't want you to think
That I'm this breezy, prim and proper girl
I'm elusive
And admittedly a little vulgar
Okay f*ck it, very vulgar
And that's not even touching the depth of me
But I'm so afraid
Afraid that getting to know a person will change me
Afraid that I'm never enough
Afraid of never being seen
Not just by you, but anybody
So how would you know?

So how would you know I'm this girl?
This funny, smart and loving girl
Who's favorite word is four-letters and can't be said in church?
Who's favorite thing to do is sit quietly and breathe deeply as if air was precious?
Who loves to joke and tease, talk and listen just as much as sit in silence or jam to music?
If all you've ever seen of me were glimpses
Shadows of the me that hides behind that veneer
That ice
That barrier that was built once upon a time when I loved too hard
And fell too quick
With no one to catch me or bandage my broken heart?

I won't lie and say I'm the model girlfriend
Because sh*t, I don't know
I won't lie and say you're my ideal guy
Because hell, you're about as gun shy as I am
And in the time that we've known each other 
We still don't know each other
But damn it, I want to
Know you that is
And have you know me too
And not just like two people
Who happen to be similar
And fall into some sh*t they don't want to be in
Just for the sake of not being lonely
I want us to be known to each other
In a way that's comfortable

If I could write you reams and reams
If I could hold what I feel for you in my hands
If I could show you what the landscapes of my dreams look like
I might
But instead
I'm either going to act like it all means nothing
That you don't weigh heavy on my mind
Conscious and subconscious
And let the opportunity to be
Be myself, be with you, be myself with you
Pass me by
I'm going to throw it all in your face
In a frenzy of emotion
Of words
Of hand gestures
And with a breathless sigh
And shake of the head
Leave it all to you to decide
If you could
If you would 
If you want to
Because I want you to
Get to know me

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I'd Rather Be a B*tch Than Be Disrespected

I hate being blatantly disrespected and when I am disrespected I get a little vicious. Fact o' life.

It doesn't happen often, but occasionally I get stepped to like a dollar fifty street walker. Usually I breeze by and let it roll off my shoulders as I know I'm not like that, and I get joy in knowing that those people treating me like that will never get the opportunity to know if I'm like that or not; I'm just a really cute, feisty girl who burst their balls turned them down and kept it moving. But I recently found myself straight schooling a brotha.

At first the young lad was mearly an annoyance, somebody giving me the up down and trying to get in with me for reasons I don't understand. Honestly, I'm not the girl for the pretty boys. Do I find myself fancying pretty boys? Sure, but they usually have something beyond their sinewy biceps and glowing eyes. Intelligence. Self-awareness. Mystery. Something to keep me interested beyond the simple cat-and-mouse (or lion-caribou) game I tend to play with guys I'm interested in.

Not. This. One. The cat-and-mouse didn't even get that far, as I was a tiger and he was so not worth the headache it would've taken to muster up interest to bring out the chase, let alone more than one claw. Don't get me wrong, he's cute, almost as cute as he thinks he is, but that underlying, nauseating arrogance and vapidness just made me turn up my nose.

The thing about it is, when men boys come at me sexually without knowing who I am, I'm immediately put off, not only because I'm still a virgin, but because I feel that's disrespect in the highest to consider me not even worth getting to know; it feels like they're trying to take something from me without giving anything. How do you ask for the most private, intimate part of me, without going through any of the real stuff that shelters that part?

You don't. But he did. And boy did I tell him about himself. I don't think I hurt his feelings much, as he said he'd been told what I was saying before and I padded it in after-thought with the sweet morsel that he just wasn't my type and I wasn't his and we could go on like none of this ever happened. Including ever meeting each other. Now I've probably set myself up to be known as "that b*tch" between him and his friends or the challenge that's not fawning and feinding after him.

I'm the kind of girl who thinks every moment is a teachable one. I don't want him to think that mess was cute or cool, because it wasn't; it never works for women about their business and who know who they are (it often works for girls, which is a whole 'nother entry all together). I don't like being a mean girl usually and tend to try to diffuse the situation but for once, I don't mind being the b*tch.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Game Doesn't Really Work For Me...

I'm not much on game, but I can tell when it's being shoveled at me.

True, men game women all the time, and it's not a bad thing in my eyes; if they do it right, it leads to an open, playful start to a relationship. I've been known to coach dudes through it when they approach me wrong, telling them what they did well and what they need work on. I smile and invite them to try again later, and I breeze on by. It leads to the mystery of Tes, the breezy, openness of me that makes it seems like I'm the fun girl. And I am to an extent.

A young one from my job and his friend tried to push up. I was joking around with my friend, pretending to holler at her, and he interjected saying I was doing it wrong. I invited him to show me how it's done. He tried to maintain his cool, but he was a little flustered. I like them flustered. He and his other half (why is it when they're younger they depend on their wingmen more?) whispered and giggled a bit before he asked me for my Facebook. I told him if he wanted to talk to a girl like me, he'd need my number; grown women don't Facebook - we face time, otherwise we talk. He asked for my number instead and I gave it. I don't plan on him calling, and I'm not sure he does either.

Besides, I'm not interested. Johnny's got my full attention in that area for now; he's maintained that level of dopeness that made me interested in the first place and he's not letting up. He's honest and open, to an extent, and funny and smart. We communicate easily and we seem to always be speaking the same language. Plus his eyes are just gorgeous and make me wanna melt.

I let the young one know that I wasn't necessarily interested, but that just seemed to make him more eager. What's up with that? The old adage nobody wants someone nobody else wants? In any case, I let him know I was kind of occupied, but I could still have friends. That's all I put up, so that's all he should expect. But does it ever really play out that way?

Why is it men think they need to resort to game to get a woman interested? Which is preferred; the man with good game or the man who's just genuine? Is there such a thing as "genuine" game, where a man is just himself and it works in his favor? Also, why is it when girls use game we're called sluts and tramps? And is there such a game as not having game at all? I need answers!*

*Sorry for the hiatus...but between writers block and sleep what's a girl to do? I did miss you guys though. It makes me happy to see people still read me :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

We All Feel Ashamed

Awhile ago a friend on one of my social media taverns posed a question: What are five things that you think all the time that make you feel ashamed? Some of the answers were laughable; "I often wonder about my best friend's mom in her bathing suit...leaving it there." Some were serious; "I wonder whether I'm going to heaven or hell?" All of them though made me think "what are my five things?"

1) If I could do so without it being obvious, I would constantly dumb myself down. Being the one who knows anything about everything* gets weird; when a smart ass approaches my group of friends and they all look to me to bring down an intellectual b*tch slap on the person I often sigh and wish it could be someone else. If I could, I'd try being the dumb girl because no one expects greatness from her, nobody expects depth; they just expect blank stares and nervous laughter after a joke has gone over her head.

2) I'm afraid of never finding love and being alone. Yes, independent woman, woot woot, and all that jazz, but on the real, I'm scared it's never going to happen (excluding parents and W). I know I'm young and I have time but it always feels like I'm always slightly out of touch with what's real in the world or out of reach with the ones I'm interested in. "Marvin's Room" conversations happen to me all the time and they always leave me feeling the same way: lacking and confused. They all say the same things "I thought you were too good for me," "I wasn't the one for you," or my favorite "I'm not ready for someone like you yet." So it's not my fault, but it is my fault? Which leads me to...

3) I do think I'm pretty and smart and fun, but I still have low self-esteem. Can't even explain that one. It's just one of those things. Which also leads into...

4) My boyfriend record or lack thereof makes me feel insecure and embarrassed. Logically I know, you know, that it's fine I haven't dated many people exclusively, but when faced with societal norms my track record is laughable. I know that sometimes things just don't work out, people aren't meant to be together, yadayada, but for me? It always seems like there's something I could've done, or said to keep that person, whether they were worth it in the end or not if just for the sake of not being alone. It's not my fault, but it still feels like it is...

5) I'm unintentionally whiny**. In the world of Grey's Anatomy, I'm a Meredith. Meredith seems to have her sh*t together; she's a doctor, she's got a McDreamy doctor boyfriend/husband/person, and she's got awesome friends. But Meredith is almost never satisfied and constantly talks about the wrong things in her life. And in that way, I'm a Meredith. Or, philosophically speaking, a Socrates; it's better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied...right (I did a whole six-page paper on this for class awhile ago and I'm still unsure if it's true)?

So...what are your five things?

*No, I do not know everything about anything; I'm a useless trivia person with really good music memory and grammar, which apparently comes in handy to a lot of people.
**The only person who hears me whine consistently is W, and she for the most part understands it's for reasons out of my control (which is why I whine about it) and listens like it's the first time she's ever heard me say anything about it.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Shy Girl? It's Overrated by Far...

I'm a shy girl, which to me is ironic, because I'm also super friendly and approachable. But the fact remains, when there's someone I'm interested in, it takes a lot of guts for me to just up and admit that, and even more for me to convince myself that every little thing isn't a sign that I'll get shot down.

There were times in the past when I asked to hang out with guys and it just went wrong. We'd hang out and it was either terribly boring or there was just no chemistry when we were together and that is something that's just easy to accept and move on from for me; like I gave it a shot, he gave it a shot, and it just didn't work, that's cool. But other times, dudes just flat out said "Nah, I'm good," and to a teenaged girl (at least the ones like me, I'm finding) that's like saying "I can't tell you exactly why I don't like you or want to hang out with you, I just don't," which is a harpoon to the chest for someone always seeking reason and logic. Like, have you met me? Do you see how awesome I am here? Why wouldn't you (not being narcisstic...okay maybe I am but really? I'm kind of cool.)?

I think that contributes to my shyness the most and turns it into this kind of aversion to bothering people. Whenever I get the urge to ask for anything from people that aren't my parents or close friends I always wonder or fear that I'm pestering them. Nobody wants to feel like a bother to other people, but I find that that's frequently what it feels like to me to even take a chance outside the norm for a person.

Prime example is that I've been trying to ask Johnny from work to hang out for like a week, but one thing after another keeps getting in the way. Wrong numbers here, not enough time there, we don't see each other in the office as much, and it's just like 'Maybe that's your sign, Tes.' But for once though...I don't think it is. Yes, I've tried sending texts that he apparently doesn't get and I've tried calling (damn you, error 505...)  and it's just not it for me. So I've decided to do the thing I haven't done in ages, the unthinkable (no Alicia)  and just bite the bullet, wait until I see him, and ask.

It's funny that when I think about it, it terrifies me, but somehow I know that when I get to talking, it won't even seem that big a deal for me. I feel comfortable in myself, and enough in him, to know that he's not just gonna clown me in the street on some "YOU?! HELL NAH SON!" He's a nice guy, I'm a nice girl, and it won't get to that level. And it took me four years of fearing the rejection to finally have the epiphany that, yeah, that sh*t'll sting, but it won't be the end of me. And if he doesn't want to, or can't, that won't be the end of us as friends. And I'll still be the nice girl, and he'll still be the nice guy, but I'll have gotten just one step out of this chalk outline that I've drawn for myself as the shy girl.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Scars Go Deeper Than You Think

I am a girl with prominent acne scars and they make me feel unpretty.

I've never written that, or even said it aloud before, but the fact remains that it's still truth. They were right; truth hurts.

I would suppose it started when puberty did, around 11 years ago when Mother Nature went all "I've Got The Golden Ticket" and dropped Aunt Flo by for her first of many visits. Until that point I'd seen teen aged girls with acne and I thought it was like on TV, just make up that they could take off at any time they wanted to. That was until I started getting pimples of my own.

I was so self-conscious and always trying to assimilate to new surroundings as a shy girl that acne was the last thing I wanted to happen, and so it began. It was a cycle; the pimples would come and I'd feel ashamed, I'd pop, squeeze, tease, poke and prod them until they popped, I'd feel ashamed, they'd scab, the rough patches would drive me crazy with how they'd never just smooth over and go away so I'd pick, only to make huge scars, which made me more ashamed. Rinse, repeat.

It never occurred to me that it was a stress reaction until recently when I noticed I was doing it again (that and gaining weight). I don't think I know how to un-stress; my reaction to stress is to get depressed which, as you can guess, really doesn't help the situation at all, but rather perpetuates it.

I try to hide it; I'm the peppy, friendly girl. I've got the headful of confident curls and brains, an easy smile and a soft voice that speaks strong words but... But the sides of my bath tub should be sponsored by Bath & Body Works in conjunction with SoftSoap. My sink looks like a dermatologist's spread with creams, ointments, treatments, astringents, scrubs and cleaners. And I stand in the middle of it all holding a make-up brush inches from my face.

I try not to be ashamed, and I try to feel prettier. I try to see past the scars into the person. I want to will myself not to hide who I am, my flaws behind CoverGirl's mask of pressed powder and feel okay about it. Other people keep their scars and insecurities inside, why can't I? And with a decided flick of the wrist, I tell myself I'll stop wearing make-up tomorrow. Or Saturday. Two weeks. Until. Maybe.

And the funny thing is, even with all the make-up on, even with all the discoloration hidden and smoothed I still feel the same. I still feel as if the world can see that I'm a girl who doesn't handle her stress well, and I take it out on my own face. I wonder what it would take to make me feel confident enough to not be ashamed to say that I get stressed. That I get depressed. That I get lost. But I just turn away and I don't think of it again until I have to face another mirror...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Life Is Funny With How It Evolves You

"A clean house is note of a life unlived." -Anon.

My room is clearly evidence of said quote, as when I look around it all I see is stuff, stuff and more stuff. Kind of like an understandable version of "Racks on Racks" except with actual items; make-up, shoes, clothes, purses, and accessories litter my floor as if two super models stay here (except there are food wrappers scattered around so...).

I've been a bustling broad lately; I work 8 hours a day, five a week, and spend a lot of time at work, on my way to work, or preparing for work. The rest of the time I spend sleeping, shopping, or eating, the latter of which has gained me five pounds that I'm desperately trying to get rid of. Don't get me wrong, I love the thickness, but I'm trying to be in my normal range of 140-155...anything else means I'm running up and down my flight of stairs until it hurts me.

I didn't use to have time for make-up, nor use. I had a lot of acne scars growing up and would spend my time with different concealers and powders, bases and creams, trying to fade them and hide them when one day I realized, somebody is going to be very upset if I'm flawless in the face when they ask me out, and flawed as hell when they take me out. I figure I want people to see what I look like naturally, and to be honest, I'm not all that bad. As W tells me often, it could be much much worse on some "Oh bless your heart," type sh*t.

I'll be honest, I absolutely love clothes shopping. I never used to have the means to go out and browse and try on because I knew if I did I'd want to buy and I'd be strapped for cash. Now? Dresses and slacks, blouses and skirts, heels and wedges (oh my!); no item is safe. I love things that fit flatteringly, things that don't require "support garments." I like to look nice, but not as nice as I've been trying to look lately.

See there's this guy at work...I'm not sure what it is, but I'm just feeling him. He's not necessarily my "type" per se but I still dig him. Let's call him Johnny. Johnny is...techy. He's funny. He's got lots of stories and seems like a really nice guy. Plus he has a deep kind of voice which so sweetens my tea. He makes me blush, actually, which is really tough to do, and he does it with little gestures here or words there, maybe a look...

I'm not really myself...I mean, I'm not who I'm used to being. I'm used to being high-strung and worried. I'm used to feeling unpretty and unproductive. I'm used to not feeling like I'm capable of what I wish I were. I shouldn't say I am, but rather I was. I was that high strung wallflower girl, but now...I'm that woman stepping tentatively into her own little niche of spotlight. And I'm a woman with a crush on a guy that makes her blush.

Womanhood was sneaky, but man, is the payoff worth it.

Friday, September 2, 2011

I Am Not My Hair (Except Yeah, I Kinda Am)

I have issues voicing my opinions to my father; I know it and anyone who's heard me talk to my father knows it goes deeper than just being a daddy's girl.

In my mind, when I was younger I used to think that if I was a better little girl, prettier, smarter, or better yet, perfect, he wouldn't leave so often and he wouldn't pick everything else over me anymore. I never felt quite good enough growing up because of that mindset, and so I wouldn't say anything contrary to what my dad said. Ever.

Fast forward to three days before his wedding and imagine his face upon seeing his little girl who used to wear sleek, smooth and shiny straight hair come off a plane with curly, kinky, big hair. The first thing he did? Hug me and touch it on the sly. The first thing he said? What are we gonna do about your hair? He asked me would I be willing to straighten it.

At first I was okay with it, at least that's what I kept telling myself; I am not my hair and whatever. However, the more I thought about it the more uncomfortable I became with the idea that to be accepted I had to change a part of me that had come to represent my metamorphosis from girl to woman. It represents me becoming a new person who makes her own choices and it kept getting harder and harder to give that woman up.

I am not my hair, except yeah, I kinda am.

I feel like my hair suits me in ways that are easy to explain but hard to justify. It's more work than my straight hair ever was, but I love it; nothing feels quite as cool as walking in the rain while other women are just a-running. My hair makes me feel sexy and smart, beautiful and strong. My hair makes me feel like I've been waiting to feel about myself for my whole life.

And so in the end, I told my father no, I wouldn't be straightening my hair, but I wouldn't mind other alternatives. And he completely respected it. The bridal party did too, to a point. My hair was gelled within an inch of it's life, held up with three industrial strength rubber bands and wrapped in a stray track of hair from a discarded packet of YAKI. But what made me smile then, and what makes me smile now, is the fact that even under all that, my hair was still my hair (and it was curling despite that damn Jam).

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Womanhood Is Sneaky

I've been catching my parents looking at me. I mean, yes, they can look at me however they want cause, you know, I'm theirs and whatnot, but the look has changed a little. It's kind of like that look I see them with in all my baby pictures, but it's also a little sad. Sometimes they just look at me like a stranger, as if I'm a body-snatcher in their kid's body.

That, and a few other things have led me to believe that I may be a woman now. When did that happen?

Sometime in the last few weeks I've felt...different. My job is going fine, I'm saving my money and painting my life in my mind's eye with broad brush strokes. I'm more accepting of myself as a person who, admittedly, has flaws like anyone else. I'm more ambitious with my dreams. I'm less focused on what my life is missing, and more so what it's full of that I love. I'm a woman.

I'm focused on myself as a person and understanding what it means to be me now, and what it'll mean to be me in the future. I'm cleaving more to my own understanding of the world than what I'm told of it and see of it. I still dig poetry and music, so not a lot about me has changed in my own eyes; I still feel like the same person, but I'm being looked at differently. Like a woman.

I feel as though womanhood just snuck up on me.  When did it all happen?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

It's Been Ten Years...

Ten years ago today it was unusually rainy. Usually in most parts of Texas it'll rain for a few minutes and then stop completely, but that day, it rained the whole day and night. The world felt different and somehow lacking in something. Ten years ago, Aaliyah died. Ten years...has it really been that long?

Today, here in Texas, it's unusually cloudy and rainy as well and I'm reminded of the sadness that I felt that day but also the joy that I feel now. I find that there is still that sadness at her passing, but whereas so many people get caught up in the loss, I like to think of it as if (as DMX said) we've just gone a long time without hearing any new Aaliyah. I find joy and happiness and so many of the things I think I'm lacking when I listen to her. She was the ultimate in sexy - the kind of sexy where you know it, you feel it, but it's not overt and all over the place. Classy. Sensual. Sweet. And always herself.

My father had always held Aaliyah in the highest regard; if he wanted me to grow up to emulate anyone it would be Aaliyah. No pressure or anything. For the most part I agree with him that, when I grow up, I want to have that same sort of essence about me that's undeniable. That essence that's sure and calm, mysterious but light. I'd want the wisdom she always had behind her eyes, and the sly smile that always played across her lips when she'd thought of something witty. But more than all of that, I'd want to be myself, just as she was always herself, and if that's the case, then I'm already on the right path.

I have too many well loved Aaliyah song's to pick just one, so how about five? 1) Came to Give Love; it always reminds me of my purpose in life (minus fans of course). 2) I Can Be; it's nothing like what you'd expect from her, but exactly what you'd expect from her. 3) All I Need; it explored her deeper range vocally as well as by genre. 4) At Your Best (Remix); cause that sh*t's just smooth and classic. 5) It's Whatever; it makes me feel heavy and weightless at the same time - it reminds me to keep being the hopeless romantic I am in the hopes of one day knowing exactly what she's talking about.

I often wonder where she would be now. What she'd be doing. I'd like to think she'd have come out with a rock infused album. Maybe a classic, old school album too. She'd be sought out for Tyler Perry movies for sure, but I think she'd politely turn most of them down until he came up with something really good. She'd be trying comedies and dramas mostly, but maybe a horror here and there. Maybe she'd be writing. She'd have changed her hair, maybe cut it, and left women everywhere trying to emulate her sleek style. And maybe she and Dame would still be married.

It's fun to dream. Where do you think she'd be now? Any favorite songs? Remember her, today and any day where you think there aren't truly beautiful people in the world.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I Always Forget Something...

It's funny how rides on planes always make me feel like I've forgotten something.

As clouds rolled by like trees on a roadtrip, I wondered why things always seemed so much harder on the ground. What about being above it all made me feel so...above it all? And why did I always feel as if I was leaving something behind, be it an attitude, an item, a person?

I flew into my home state for my dad's wedding; it was beautiful actually. Maybe living in Texas has that effect where seeing green grass and trees excites a person, but the air felt truly clean down there; I found myself taking deep breaths and reveling in breezes more often than I do at home.

I felt more relaxed. Sure, it was a stressful time as I played bride assistant and cheerleader (for both bride and groom) and a new role of "big sis" (which is taking time to get used to), but at the same time I just felt...better. I wasn't tired, I wasn't anxious, I was just fine.

A small dinner party the day before the wedding introduced me to a plethora of new people, one of whom caught my attention in roughly 4 minutes. He's a lanky type of dude, taller than me by at least six inches. Very quiet nature about him, with squinty, wise brown eyes. Conversing led me to believe that he was older than he was, which made me feel like such a cougar for even vibing him like I was, but maybe it was my new attitude that made me just not give a damn.

The wedding came; it went as perfectly as weddings usually go. It was calla lily themed and classy. I wore a wine dress with matching shoes and a hair weave that nearly split my head open (nother post, nother time). The bride was beautiful and the groom composed and handsome (and I'm not just saying that because I'm related to them either, they're seriously super cute). My dress fit perfectly (the shoes were gorgeous, so of course they hurt) my natural hair (gelled within an inch of it's life) had held throughout the wedding and exorbitant amounts of dance tracks (although under my gelled "swoop" bang I held a tissue to stop the brown goo from weeping- so not sexy).

I had my first slow dance ever, albeit a little off beat, with the young heart throb who, at the end of the night, told me how good I looked (even though he later said I looked prettier with my hair the way I usually wear it which was a "yay" moment). My family of instigators literally ran with that, let me tell you, and started wanting to all of a sudden ask me how I was doing, if I was seeing someone, yada yada. What can you do?

What did I do? I rolled with it; usually I'd get all high strung about it but I realized that they've never seen me, not the real me anyway. They see the little girl in the big dresses and shiny Mary Janes. They see the awkward preteen with braces and really terrible acne. They've never seen the me that's real, the me under all that, and the young'n brought out the best of the real me; I heard 'em say I was blushing glowing, and it's true that when I hear the right things a glow does happen. And when the young'n speaks and looks so earnest and intent...well, yeah, I was glowing. I was energized and dancing, socializing, hugging, speaking briskly but eloquently to all the guests who wandered by.

It was such a nice night. It was such a nice trip. And as soon as I landed back in Texas it all felt like a dream; I got tense and was thinking ahead a mile a minute. And then I looked in my phone and saw messages from the young'n, reached into my purse and felt the necklace that I wore to match the shoes, and remembered while inhaling the sweet smell of tree-grass-and-dirt that centered my anxious spirit.

I always leave things behind I suppose, but it's the things that I can take with me that make more difference.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Lil Wayne: A Critique of a Culture

I'm not a fan. Now that that small fact is out of the way I can say that I do admire the man's hustle and the twinkle in his eye when he's doing what he loves; he's got a way with words that make people feel smarter when they get his metaphors which I think is admirable. Hell, before him, none too many dudes knew what metaphors were, so I definitely respect that. However...something is missing lately in his rhymes.

For that paragraph up there, I often get looked at as "that one girl." You know, that one girl who's always a bit different; she's always reading and using four syllable words. She's always listening to "alternative" music. The snooty black girl. A musical purist/elitist. And yeah...I can kind of see that; but I still have a point.

Take for instance the new leaked single, "She Will" with Drake. Yes, I'm Aubrey biased, but at the same time I can listen objectively ("Marvin's Room" was shallow, sappy and pointless - see? I can be honest.). "She Will" has sick production; it has a throw back 90s West Coast vibe with trilling bells layered under the bass; the bass is going to boom in cars across America at all times of the day and night, I can already feel it. Then the strings add a bit of an eerie feel, bringing the vibe down to make the song feel heavier; they make it feel like the words over the music have weight to them.

And then you listen to the lyrics and it sounds like everything he's ever said in a song before. Disjointed ideas with witty punchlines doesn't make a great song. Interesting, sure, but not so much as engaging as it would be if there were a common thread between each set of 16.

"She Will" is (I'm guessing) about what a girl will do when you've got all the money and influence behind you, but throughout the song the "she" takes a backseat (no pun intended) until Drake's hook (which is debatably about either a stripper, or Nicki Minaj or Nicki Minaj stripping?) which isn't in the least surprising as Drake tends to put a lot of focus on the woman - positively or negatively is debatable as well.

 The "she" is an afterthought, kind of like all the items and imagery sprinkled throughout the song; "she" is just another thing to acquire along the way and forget about in the end. The song is just a front, in my opinion, for Wayne to boast about himself and what women will do for him. And like that, it's just like every hip-pop song I've ever heard by him.

You want a sum of up the song in a few sentences? He's blind to the criticism. He gets b*tches. He's got a preoccupation about his soul going on, hence his preoccupation with hell and heaven imagery and the thin line of "life" between the two. He's the man right now in rap. He gets money. And oh yeah, he gets b*tches.

It's not so much Wayne (really) but what he reps that I have a problem with. An artist being good at what he's good at isn't a crime; it isn't like I want a painter to pick up a mic and spit something awesome. It's not that he himself is a self-absorbed poser (*cough cough*) but his obnoxious followers (fans) typically are. You disagree that Wayne is the greatest rapper alive and you don't know hip-hop. You don't think Young Money is taking over the world, you don't know hip-hop. You don't pop it for a real dude to a YM beat, and you don't represent hip-hop. And there's where I find my problem.

I am hip-hop. I'm jazz, alternative, pop... but more than anything, I'm hip-hop. Hip-hop is innovative and broad; it takes from many cultures and styles to make up an array of interesting and unique mixtures that shouldn't work, but do. I can't say that Wayne is the greatest alive, because I haven't heard every rapper in the world. I can't say YM is taking over the world because I don't think any company has captured the world the way Bad Boy circa 1996 did. And I don't pop my booty (in public or otherwise) to music I think demeans me.

I am my own person. I have my own thoughts. I love hip-hop...but I don't love hip-pop, or it's current leader, Lil Wayne.*

*You know who the exception is; I'm not ashamed to be a girl with a crush :P.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The "Once a Month" Conversation Irks Me

W and I have had the same talk every month since we've met each other. Truth be told, it's tiring on both sides as we're two sides of the same coin and thus see the world different. I'm usually the side of the coin with my face on the ground.

It's usually prefaced with a small dig at my perpetual state of being single that turns into an hours long debate about what my "problem" is. Why is it whenever I'm talking to somebody and voicing an opposing opinion I am the one with the "problem?" In any case, the conversation is always about why I'm still single.

As a matter of fact, I'd say that was a common conversation with all my close friends. George doesn't understand why it is, unless he's arguing with me, that no man has laced me up. Soul Brotha believes in timing and openness and a willingness to be loved, and that none of that is in line yet. W says the same thing, but for the most part she's got no real reason why either. None of them do and for most recent memory, I haven't brought it up anymore.

Honestly, I've stopped thinking so hard on it. It's not my time, sure. I've not met the right guys, whatever. But when W said earlier that she wasn't a lucky SOB when it came to relationships and that I was supposed to be the "It" dating girl and it just "wasn't time yet" I kind of lost my sh*t.

I like everything to be explained as logically as possible or it eats at me. Me not finding love is one of those things that just doesn't seem logical to me. By anyone's definition I would guess I'd be the "just right" girlfriend (as I think nobody's girlfriend is "perfect"); I like to cook just as much as I like to go out, I'm creative, and damned funny. I understand sports and that sports time is a man's time away from his woman. I understand a need to be an individual in a relationship and not a relationship oriented individual. Logic, see?

W keeps saying that love has no logic and timing is it's own thing all together that I can't ever hope to understand. I keep telling her that that has no bearing on what I may or may not be doing wrong here to not have ever been snatched up. Today it finally hit me to sum it up for her in a short, five word sentance: I am tired of waiting.

It seems like my life has been spent waiting on things. Waiting to be older. Waiting to get a job. Waiting to go to school. Waiting to live. And I am tired of waiting. I have a job, I'm getting friends and broadening my interests; I am finally living. Why, given all these other things I've attained, would I focus on the one thing that I feel keeps alluding me? Why would I still wait on some dude to see in me what's always been there?

I Hate Taking Pictures

I've never been one for pictures. I don't particularly enjoy posing or being caught in the moment; I don't feel like those are genuine representations of who I am. You can only get so much from a picture- I like to believe I'm better in real life.

On my mirror I have two pictures, one of me as a toddler in an over sized hat with a Maggie Simpson binkie in my mouth, and the other a portrait from my senior year of high school. They're on either side of the mirror and I always find myself standing in the middle when one day it hit me; I don't like taking pictures because those girls in the pictures are never me.

The baby girl is flawless and full of this innocent explosion of life. She's new to everything and earnest. The teenager's smile doesn't reach her eyes. She's self-conscious and shy. She takes everything to heart. Then there's the me in the middle. Me in the middle with the slightly jaded eyes. Me in the middle with my big transitioning hair not hiding my insecurities behind buckets of concealer and powder. Me in the middle not giving much a damn of what people say behind my back, or to my face, as I don't think too many people know me well enough to "real talk" me anyway. That is me and has been me for a very long time.

Those girls in the pictures were never who I was meant to be; maybe that's why I don't enjoy pictures. The girl in those pictures aren't who I was, but rather who I was posed to be, or portrayed to be. Why does it take us so long to get to that point where we know that who we are in that moment is who we were always destined to be?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Storytime: Heartbreak

It felt strange. I was warm and cold, full and empty, but more than anything else I was angry and confused. Everyone had crowded inside; it had started to snow again.

It was snowing. Piles of it had been scooted to the side of  the walk ways and everyone was bustling to get inside. The beat of my heart and rush of blood behind my ears just kept getting louder and louder the longer I held up my dam of emotions with toothpicks of sheer will. I couldn't breathe, I couldn't think, I just had to get out of there.

I found myself in a gazebo near the forest surrounding the school; nobody was trying to stay out in the cold so I was alone. Snow flurries blurred my vision, mixing with the tears I was finally letting fall. I couldn't stand any more, instead I was kneeling, praying as the comforting chill moved in and around me. The sound of my heart was ironically being drowned out by a Paramore song of the same name. My dam burst.

It wasn't so much the person breaking my heart that left me feeling so much and so fast, because truthfully, Captain is nobody worth crying for (at least not yet). It was the rush of realizing how little I truly valued myself if a person could make me into someone other than I am in such a short amount of time. It was the crushing power of my own strength caving in on me. It was my shame, my disappointment, my anger and my feeling of hopelessness that had me prostrate before God in the snow on a Tuesday morning.

To this day, I can't listen to that Paramore song without becoming teary. It reminds me to never go back to that place that took me so long to get from, that place of no longer knowing who I was. It reminds me to not just come to God in times of turmoil, but to come all the time and with a grateful spirit. As I see it, that heartbreak, even under the guise of a know-nothing boy, shaped who I am now. It lead me to better understand myself and further solidified a lesson that had taken so long to finally cement in: Tears are not weakness.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Storytime: Tes' First Day

The room is small; most of the rooms are small. There are old, rolling office chairs and small cubicles with enough room for a computer, a phone and a keyboard. And I'll be showing up there eight hours a day, five days a week for as long as they possibly let me. I've got a job.

I'm a representative for a cell phone company, the "first layer of defense" as they say, for the company. I've been training and training for the past three weeks, absorbing and asking as many questions as I can, enjoying the down time as much as I can, because I know, as a customer, how call center calls usually go and yet...

I have such a hard time with nerves. No matter how prepared I think I am, I always get that antsy feeling in my stomach (or maybe, in today's case, it was the potluck food). Today was no different; even after hearing my partner for the day go through her calls (which were really tough by the way. She was super hard on herself, but she was awesome.) I still felt queasy, extremely so.

I took my time setting up, making sure everything was perfect. I made my station look like I actually worked there, placing around knick-knacks that I carry in my purse in the spaces left between the imposing equipment. I tested my headset, and tested it again. I cleaned off the mouth piece and made sure I was signed into everything I needed to be.

And then there was a beep.

And after that, I rocked it. I was punctual with my responses, precise with my assessments, and polite throughout the entire call. I held proper procedure; I ran down the situation, summed up what I'd done, made sure my customer felt secure and closed out the call with a smile. I may have been shaking in my chair, but my voice never wavered; I was confident and in charge.

And then the shift ended.

I amazed myself today. I had so much anxiety built up around this idea, this fear of failing, and for it to end up not happening just blew my mind. It's like planning to get mugged, and then receiving a half a million dollar windfall. Am I confident that every day will be that way? Of course not. But I do know that with every call there's a chance to be the person who changes another person's day for the better. And with every call you get another shot at being greater than I was before.

I've got a job, and I think I'm going to do amazingly at it every chance I get.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

That's Deep Irks Me

I've gotten immune to being called "deep." It seems like the phrase people throw around when they don't know how to respond to what you said, but they know it means something; instead of coming up with something equally "deep" to say, they just say "that was deep."

In my training class a few days ago we were asked, during downtime, if we could travel to any place and any time, where would we go. After the few preliminary Jaimaicas and Hawaiis I was asked the same question. It was a tough one, as I enjoy lots of different time periods and cultures (namely the 1920s and '60s), but I decided on Civil Rights Era America. I know, not much of a vacation.

But life now is like a vacation to most people, as opposed to what it was back then. I feel like I don't appreciate how much has happened to make not only my life, but life in general, as good as it most times is. Sure, I'm usually dissatisfied, but that's more of a me being dark and twisty thing than me actually complaining. As my philosophy class taught me, it's better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied.

Seconds of silence passed before someone said the inevitable "that's deep." And then they went on to discuss Hawaii versus Jamaica.

I think my problem with the "That's deep/You're deep" conundrum is that so many people say it, and then forget about it thirty seconds later. I understand that for the minute or so I said it, it took some resonance but for the most part they were unchanged in their thinking and unwilling to elevate themselves to that frequency of thought. And that irks me.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Soliloquy: Why Do I Care?

I keep forgetting I'm supposed to be an adult.

I was one of those kids. The smart ones. The weird ones. The ones who still live with their parents through "college." But I'm an adult. It's a weird place to be in; between caring about what your parents expect from you and what you expect from yourself. I'm not one to care much about peers, because in the end, who are they anyway? But I still seem to care so much what my parents think, no matter how much I don't want to.

I'm a Grey's Anatomy fan. Seriously, I've been watching since season one episode one. W and I often talk about who's who and she decided long before I accepted that I'm a Meredith. I'm whiny and romantic. I have trouble admitting when I need help. I have a strange relationship with my parents and I only have one "person" in the world, even when she's a bitch and that's W; W gets to be the awesome Christina, and I'm stuck being the misty-eyed Meredith.

In any case, Meredith is this whining, moody, but very effective and logically illogical doctor. She falls in love with the most imperfect perfect man, and she makes a living by saving lives. Sounds awesome, but then life gets complicated. And then you meet her parents. Her father is this ineffective man who she can't connect with and her mother is this domineering super-surgeon with Alzheimer's who she still craves affection from and secretly idolizes and dislikes immensely.

While I'm not saying my parents are like that, I am saying I understand what it's like to be on the cusp of responsibility for your own life and realizing that you've got to be accountable to the people who raised you. It kind of sucks a little; you're just taking the reins on your life and now someone else's expectations of you are misguiding what you know you want to do, and who you know you want to be.

 I'm spoiled, and elitist. I think I know a lot when I really know I know next to nothing. I'm scared of everything outside of my comfort zone and I don't like to share. I know who I am without people telling me repeatedly, but my parents always seem to hit me right in the ribs with their criticism care and their guilt love; they tell me all the time, with and without words who they think I am and who they raised, not realizing I'm making my own person. I'm making myself, despite the fact that they've already laid down the foundation, I'm building my own house. I want to not care what they think, but I just end up feeling guilty about my lack of caring.

So the question I keep asking is why do I care? I never cared about friends in high school. I never cared about co-workers on a job. I never cared about much of anything outside of myself except for my parents. I guess I could say that, being an only child with a military background, they're all I think I have and I should value them. But the real part of me, that selfish, not-yet-grown-up part of me just says "Screw it, let them think what they want" while I go on and live my life the way I always wanted.

Where's the balance in that? Where's a survey that I can take every day to ensure that I'm giving at least 5% of care and attnetion to what others, including my parents, think? Why don't I care as much as I think I should?