Sunday, January 7, 2018

New Year, Who This?

So I think after years of using blogger, I'm going to use a different domain. It doesn't seem like a lot people actively use this site, and it's not as user friendly as WordPress or Tumblr.

Check me out at:

Monday, January 1, 2018

It's All About Consistency

Talk about a flash from the past! I was on Instagram and saw someone post a link to their blog, and I thought of this page. One of my new year intentions is to start writing again. So, I figured why not get my writing juices flowing by blogging. This time consistently (hopefully). 

Consistency and I have a love-hate relationship; my lack of discipline has stood in the way of many good things in my life. But as life has taught me in these last two years: time is truly one of the most valuable things there is. 

2018 marks the 10 year anniversary of my college graduation. I attended a liberal arts college that is known for the large writing prize it gives a graduating senior. By the time I graduated, I was so discouraged with the writing process. Mostly it was my fault, because I didn't work at my craft, but secondly I was criticized by professors and peers about my untraditional form when it came to my poetry. One professor said my writing style reminded her of Lucille Clifton, which when I look back was an awesome compliment. In those 10 years, I was so busy trying to find my purpose, not realizing it was right in my face. I'm not spending another 10 years not writing. Not going to spend another 10 years dreaming about the life I want, but doing nothing. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

What's in a Name?

Almost five years ago, I started a new job and started using my middle name at work. It was a new period in my life, and I wanted to reflect that. I was tired of the different pronunciations (even within my own family my first name is pronounced differently), and longed for a name that people wouldn't ask me how pronounce over and over again. Which is actually good when you work with people who have dementia.

It's not that I wanted to appear "white," as some people have suggested. Which is actually absurd when you think about it, because when I show up to a job interview or anything, people are going to see I'm black. Also, while my first name is an ethnic name, it is completely unrelated to my heritage, so it's not like I am hiding my blackness or background. In fact, I liked having a unique name, and my middle name seems too generic sometimes, but I prefer it over my first.

If anything, I would rather people didn't make assumptions about my race or gender based on my name. In high school, when I went to visit colleges, a couple of the schools placed me with students of Indian descent based on my name. And sometimes people used to think I was a male, because men usually have this name.

So, I started using my middle name, and slowly I incorporated it into my life, I started introducing myself using it, and even changed it on fb. Which of course warranted questions, and even when I explained why, some friends felt the need to ask me about it over. I even had several people try to "out" me, even though I wasn't trying to hide my first name. The funny thing, some people act as if your middle name is just some name you made up and it's really hard for them to comprehend why you would want to use it. But I also have some friends that were really cool about it, and even asked me what I prefer to be called.

My boyfriend asked me a couple days ago if I would consider legally changing my name, and while I thought about briefly before, I seriously hadn't considered it. Even though I don't really use my first name unless I'm around people that knew me before 2009, I think I would feel strange omitting that from official documents. Whether I use it or not, it's an ingrained part of me. But who knows? Maybe when I get married and change my last name, I'll consider changing my first, too.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Motivation Monday

I don't know what it is, but I feel amazing today! My weekend was wonderful with no incident, and maybe I underestimated how much some downtime can improve my mood and outlook on life. I was feeling kind of down about a couple things, but then last night I started thinking about my life, and I am going to be grateful for the things I do have.

I may not be where I want to be weight-wise, but I'm healthy. No diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol - nothing. I was able to jump out of bed, and use my limbs. I'm not working right now, but I'm blessed to have someone that is understanding and is giving me time to pursue my career. Not to go on and on, but I have some pretty good things going, and I refuse to let a temporary setback influence my outlook on life.

Another thing that I am going to let go is holding on to the past. You get so wrapped in thinking about how things should have been, or how someone hurt you, that you don't focus on the present. I'm done worrying about the past, and people who have hurt me. I still have time to pursue my dreams, and I have people in my life that genuinely care about me. and want to see me do well. So from now on, that is what I am putting my energy into.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Giving It Your All

A couple of days ago, I saw this video and it was super inspiring to me. I am in the process of trying to lose weight, so I have started going with a high school classmate that lives near me. There is something to having a workout buddy during your weight loss journey. Even though I have increased my gym visits, I just really started thinking about what I am putting into my body and after being chastised by my gym partner for eating unhealthily, I am going to try a pasta-less diet for a month. When she suggested this to me, in my head I was thinking, "um, no!," but I want to see if I have the willpower to do it. Funny thing, my cabinet is currently stocked with rice and pasta. And to be honest, I think pasta is my favorite food. In addition to eating it almost every day, when the bf & I go out, I am a sucker for a linguine! Particularly a seafood linguine. But when I eat out, I will focus more on fish, veggies, and other proteins. I know I should, but I am not giving up on eating out! I love trying new and delicious foods and posting them to social media. Maybe in time I'll stop eating out as much, and find other social activities in its place.

Since graduation from high school, I've gained about 64 pounds. In college, I gained the freshman 15 + some extra. And of course, everyone had something to say, from my parents to people I went to church with. Of course, it hurt, and sporadically I would try to go to the gym or eat less, but my love of food outweighed my desire to be slim. And I always justified my overeating by saying, "I'm fat anyway, something extra won't hurt me." In hindsight, I realize I used food as a crutch. When something bad happened to me, I ate something. When a man I was dealing with treated me horribly, I ate something. When I felt inadequate, I ate something. Now, don't get me wrong, since the onset of puberty, I've had curves, and always had someone saying if you lose a couple pounds, you would be perfect, but I wasn't one of those girls who felt like I needed to be super thin to be attractive. Even now, I still feel pretty attractive.

In other, not so new news, I moved out from my parents house. Even though I have been officially living with my bf for 5 months, Wednesday and Thursday I moved the rest of my stuff out. It was particularly symbolic for me, because I wasn't just moving my clothes and toiletries. I moved everything, including books. I think I have more books than all my personal possessions combined. Even though I haven't read all my books, these books comfort me. I still have books given to me by my parents when I was child. I have books from special people who have passed away. I still have my favorite book from childhood, Maizon at Blue Hill. In the fifth grade, my parents transferred my brother and I from a small Christian school to a slightly larger Catholic grade school. My first year, I was so lonely, and I was always in trouble. Not for fighting or being mischievous, but for not doing my spelling homework. I figured I didn't need to; I was the best speller in the class. In any case, I was resigned to the back of the class with other miscreants and troublemakers. Incidentally, it was located right next to the books and instead of paying attention, I immersed myself in these books. My parents say I was always a bookworm, but I don't remember loving books until I was about ten. Anyway, I think keeping my books and some other personal artifacts at home was a way of keeping one foot in the threshold, just in case things didn't work out. But 2014 is going to be my year, I am claiming it. In terms of accomplishing goals and bringing dreams to fruition. So, in everything I do, if it's weight loss, school, work, or love . . . I am giving my all to it.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

How to Win Friends & Influence People

“Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you believe that you too can become great.”

-Mark Twain

One of my good friends bought me this book for my birthday, and while I have yet to read it, I think it will provide me with some much needed tips on professional and personal interactions. Perhaps, it will be my next selection as I just finished Octavia Butler's Earthseed series. I read horoscopes for fun, but astrology may be on to something. Cancers are tough on the outside, and soft on the inside. Which is completely me. And by tough, I don't mean going around beating people up, or being verbally abrasive, but by having a guard up, and being willing to write people off for small things.

On the flip side of being a cancer, you are a nice person, so people will take advantage of that. That is something I have struggled with my whole life, both in my romantic relationships and in my friendships. At the ripe ol' age of 27, I have finally learned that you have to balance the soft and the hard parts of yourself. On New Year's Eve, I did some cleansing. I deleted people from my facebook account that I finally needed to let go. The deletion was not from a place of bitterness, or dislike, because who knows what will happen in the future? It was a recognition that the season for our interaction has ended.

The older you get, the smaller your circle. And at this stage in my life, I want surround myself with good energy, and with people who have my best interests at heart. I also realize that while I need to be more careful with who I let in, I also need have to be a good friend as well. My first agenda in being a good friend is forgiveness, and openness. Back in college, I had resentment toward a friend because I felt they weren't a good friend to me, and in honesty, we weren't that good of friends. I assumed we were because of how long we had known each other. So, after years of feeling like this person only wanted to be friends with me when she had no one else, I told her how I felt. Of course, it didn't go well, but I felt relieved because I had been honest. Later, when I thought about it, I was just as much to blame, because I recognized what was happening and didn't address my feelings at the time. Something similar happened with one of my closest friends this past year. I was upset at something that had occurred and rather than address it in the moment, I waited months to say how I felt. I was justified in feeling the way I did, but wrong for waiting so long. Friendship, like love, is a gift and it has to be cultivated and appreciated. This life is too short to spend time doing things, or being with people that you don't have to.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

New Year, Same Ol' Me . . . Kind Of

“If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.”

― Audre Lorde

On facebook, I’ve been noticing a trend when it comes to New Year’s resolutions—people are rejecting them—instead of cramming their hopes and dreams into this annual portal, it seems people are more forgiving of themselves. I love new beginnings. For example, I will be encountering a new semester in a couple weeks, and in a couple months, I will be graduating with my master’s degree. In the near, yet indefinite future, I will be embarking on a new career. Since this is a new year and all, I considered completely wiping out my previous posts, lest prospective employers potentially stumble upon this blog and come to the conclusion that I am completely unemployable (haha). But then I figured, I wouldn’t be me without the struggle, and the dreams that I’ve had these past several years.

Along the lines of making a resolution that’s not quite a resolution, I have a few, of course! But my resolutions are no different than personal goals I already have in place; my only modifications are to not explain myself or justify my decisions. Decision-making can be hard for me; as I like to do things that are not too controversial, and are in my comfort zone. In 2014, I am stepping out of my comfort zone (even more than I have in 2013), and I am going to follow my bliss. While I’m not doing anything crazy, the opinion of my family, bf, and friends are very important to me, but at the end of the day, I can only be accountable for my own actions, or inaction. Yolo or carpe diem can be cliché and sometimes a cover for stupid decisions, but I don’t want to look back on my life and be full of regret. And I won’t.