Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summer Random Thoughts

I have been so horrible with blogging. Things have been moving way too fast to even think. It seems life is still crazy and getting crazier. I am having a random thoughts day so in the spirit of “killing two birds with one stone” I thought I would get them off my chest while still being able to click the “new post” in blogger.

1. Dating is probably the worst thing in life. Like, it’s unnatural. I am way too young to feel like this but I’m over it. Like, lets skip the first impressions and get to the real you and could we not do the “I have done this and this and this and this”. I really couldn’t care less. Please people stop trying to impress me with mediocre ish. And when I say mediocre ish: things you put on your resume is what I am referring to. And I really don’t need a thousand questions either. Can’t we just vibe and go off of each other’s energy and just be. (Hopefully with this upcoming date I will amend my position).

2. Drake needs a therapist. Seriously. Like, he still seems to be having the same inner demons he had two years ago. I’m all for expressions of emotions but Drake let’s get it together! I sincerely wish he would get that worked out instead of using his music as a soundboard and spreading his dysfunction. Ugh.

3. On second thought: Marvin’s room is kinda fly.

4. Sade is AMAZING. Think she may be my favorite artist. She is officially my girl crush. Her beauty comes from a place deeper than skin. If you get a chance check her out live!

5. I don’t know if I can stomach another year of law school. I am so over it that there are no words to accurately convey how done I am.

6. On second thought: This upcoming semester I am taking full advantage of this being my last chance to play like a kid! I will be skipping school frequently!

7. I wish I had gone to journalism school. This economy is no joke. And Lawyers have to be the most pretentious people in life.

8. Major Regret: basically telling someone that they could do better than their chosen career. It came from a genuine place but life has really made me want to encourage a person’s personal happiness regardless of what I want for their life. I hope every person finds what makes them happy. So many people are miserable in their careers we don't need anymore.

9. Otis Redding- Try a little tenderness has been a favorite of mine for years and I’m not sure how I feel about the sampling used by Jay-Z and Kanye. Eh.

10. Amy Winehouse. I can’t even deal. I can’t. There are no words. This hurts my soul, my spirit, my heart. I will always love you.

11. On drugs: I don’t use, however, I get it. Things have to be better in a hazy mindset. I get it. I really get it. I don’t condone it—I just understand. I wish people were more sympathetic to addicts.

12. Mistake: On a first date not being politically correct about addictions. DON’T ever say on a first date that addicts do that to themselves. You don’t know me or my sensitivities. Just a word of advice for everyone.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Summer Musical Inspiration

The legal arena gets bleaker and bleaker by the second. I have finished two years of law school, interning at a legendary law firm and am in somewhat of a crisis about why on earth I choose to do this and what it will mean when I inevitably abandon this industry. To add insult to injury, I accompany my mother (also a dutiful member of legal hell)at her office at one in the morning as she prepares depositions for a trial beginning next week (she's been here since seven yesterday morning). So, In an attempt to brighten this bleak time in my life I thought I would do a short and simple post (quite the opposite of my typical posts) on something that makes me happy!

There are songs that I feel are perfect for spring/summer. I literally hear a song on the radio and label it by season. I get very nostalgic during the warmer months probably because some of my favorite memories took place in this season. Therefore, the songs that I label as warm weather songs are ones that make me feel good. I will include the YouTube link to each song. Enjoy.

1. Breathe- Telepopmusik

2. Anytime Anyplace- Janet Jackson

3. So Beautiful- Musiq Soulchild

4. Feeling Good-Nina Simone

5. 4 AM- Kaskade

6. Shut It Down- Drake

7. For Lovers Only- Maxwell

8. Symptom Unknown- Maxwell

9. Kiss of Life- Sade (FAVORITE!)

10. Lovestoned I think She Knows- Justin Timberlake

11. What Happened- Algebra

12. What You Need- The Weekend

13. Wicked Games- The Weekend

14. The Knowing- The Weekend

15. Actually the entire Weekend album!

16.Take off Your Cool- Norah Jones and Andre 3000

17. Everytime You Go Away- Brian McKnight

18. I love your Smile- Shanice

19. Digging on You- TLC

20. Blue in Green- Miles Davis

21. Tonight- Xscape

22. Complicated- Nivea

P.S. It's almost three...I'm still providing company (kinda)...mommy is still hard at work. Hopefully we will make it home by five.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Happy Birthday

I realized last week that a very special person in my life was fast approaching their first birthday! I am so elated to say that me and bloggy have made it a year together. Happy Birthday Candlelight Honesty!

When I began this blog a year ago I was in such a drastically different place in my life. I had so many emotions and feelings festering and was unsure how to release them in a productive and positive manner. I sincerely believe I first started this blog due to heartbreak but the blog evolved due to my own personal healing and growth. Candlelight was the light that led me through the dark room of sadness to a much better and brighter room! Ironically, Candlelight was a name that I came up with because it connoted the intimacy that aspired to create. I had no idea that its name would end up telling the story of what this blog has done for my life.

Originally, my greatest fear in starting this was that I would fall short in either stories or expression of those stories. With great insecurities I would post anxiously awaiting folk's response. Yet, constantly I was reassured that what I was doing here was being well received. Still, originally many of my readers were friends and I thought their opinions were clouded by our relationship. It was in January of this year that I realized that maybe my dream of one day becoming a published author was not so far-fetched. Demetria Lucas, relationship editor of Essence Magazine, author of the highly anticipated A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Living (out June 14th) and Blogger of the award winning A Belle in Brooklyn featured Candlelight on her blog! It was here that I received such encouraging words from readers and I knew that their opinions were not clouded, these were people I had never met! That changed the way I saw myself as a writer.

I do not know how much longer I will blog—or how frequently (we all know that I am quite infrequent!). I do know that I will continue doing this until I choose to stop. I also know that this blog, similar to what it has done for me on a personal level, is only a small platform that has shown me that I will aspire to have larger platforms to share my work. Thank you so much to all the readers that have taken the time to read my blog. I always love readers that comment but I also know that, similar to how I use to feel when I read blogs, sometimes there are no words to add. Some of you send me direct messages and I appreciate that as well. Still, how ever you choose to embrace this space is appreciated. If I never get any more positive feedback, what each of you have done for me thus far is enough to propel me to aspire for bigger dreams!

Special thanks: to the reader who frequently visits and when there is a new post turns off all the lights and reads in a dark room. (That is a beautiful image for me). In addition, I sincerely thank readers who have shared with me that my words have brought them to tears. I am not so much happy about the tears but overjoyed that I could inspire any kind of emotion.

Lastly, my dearest bloggy--You are a personality of your own. When I don’t want to write I feel that you almost call me to. A year ago I was sad and today I feel like my old self again! I thank you for that. Happy Birthday my love!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Cinderella Rears Her Ugly Head

Typically, I am not an impulsive writer. Correction: typically, I do not post my impulsive writings. Yet, as England makes itself busy sweeping its streets, clearing away evidence of today’s royal bonanza, I awoke from a evening nap with this very lucid and sobering thought: “Oh no, back to this Cinderella sh*t again.”

At four o clock this morning, not at all by any progressive steps of my own making, I was lured into tuning in to watch Prince William and (formerly) Kate Middleton’s nuptials. Surprisingly, over the last week I had gotten entrenched in the media spectacle covering the perpetual countdown of the big wedding. Last Sunday I watched the Lifetime Network’s adaptation of Kate and William’s love story. I assumed their version would be too cheery and not at all the kind of true depiction I enjoy. Still, I watched understanding that in a decade or so I’ll get the much darker and more authentic tale when Oscar nominated actors, skilled directors, an amazing cinematographer, have enough of the details to give me something to really sink my teeth into. Last week, with so much emphasis back on the royal family I watched a YouTube of the 1995 BBC interview that Princess Diana did with interviewer Martin Bashir (infamously known as the interviewer that did in Michael Jackson). And then yesterday my favorite blogger, Scott Schuman, over at The Sartorialist, atypical of his normal communication through photography, put a simple post entitled “so are you actually, really interested in the royal wedding?” Normally, I do not take the time to leave comments on The Sartoralist, with the site’s enormous fan base* I know that my comment will get lost among the hundred others. However, I responded:

I also will have my DVR set! I have a law school final tomorrow so...I have no time to get up to watch it! I think that in the grand scheme of isn't "important." Yet, I think some people take some extra concern in this because of its connection to Princess Diana. Clearly, this isnt about her...but seemingly the world has always been fixated on anything that involves or relates to her. As this is her child getting married and many saw him grow makes sense. Also, we are a society that is obsessed with weddings. And this is why I am excited to see the DRESS. Plus, the ‘commoner’ kate story is about as real life Cinderella as we probably will ever see in our life time. So, although odd...I do think to some degree most people are "really" interested in this.

And my DVR was set and ready to defy time, making it possible for me to later go back and scan through the whole procession to the moment that I have argued is the real centerpiece for American (and obviously English) weddings—the dress. I wrote here last summer about my fascination with wedding dresses. I actually debased weddings entire purpose to the dress. I was “thrilled to bits” (paying homage to Princess Diana) to see the dress, and I knew I would later on in the day.

That was until my neighbor from hell decided that at four o clock in the morning he wanted to walk around overhead loudly and thump (which I later learned was him falling *deathstare*) and awake an already anxiety ridden, sleep deprived neighbor beneath him. I was beyond irked! I looked at the clock and realized that only two hours had passed since I went to bed and became even more annoyed. I also realized that he had woke me up in the nick of time to catch a peek at the bride. I didn’t realize that when all the national networks started picking up the coverage in England they would have two full hours of coverage until the bride was revealed. Still, in a state of law school finals anxiety, annoyance with my neighbor, I found myself on my couch, eyes literally burning from sleep deprivation, in front of the television.

I wish I could say that the coverage wasn’t exciting but even I, with a head full of cotton was enthralled with the royal procession. The beautiful cars with their unnaturally clear windows and equally spectacular passengers. It was all rather whimsical. And then the moment that I was waiting for—Kate emerged, playing peek-a-boo, strategically getting into the car without letting the billions of viewers see the dress. Still, from the headshot image I could see from her ridding in the car I was positive that I wasn’t going to really be moved by the, what was announced later to be designed by Sarah Burton of the late Alexander McQueen, dress.

And then something very odd happened. As I watched the angelic looking Kate being driven to the Westminster Abbey in a Queen’s Classic 1977 Rolls-Royce Phantom, I literally—wait for it—shed a tear. I could not believe this disgusting display of daintiness. I was shocked. I didn’t understand that emotion, and I might add I am very in touch with my emotions. I quickly became dry eyed, laughed at myself and dismissed the previous emotional blunder as pomp and circumstance.

Somewhere in the back of mind though, I knew what that tear was about and it had nothing to do with the ceremony, per se. As a woman who, for the past two years, has openly made it known that I do not wish to get married nor do I find marriage necessary, it is safe to say that I do not believe in the traditional fairy tale. In my adulthood I have become a lot more realistic with the way that I view relationships and my expectations for love. It was my feminist enriched undergraduate education that helped reconstruct how I viewed the ridiculous Cinderella story. As a feminist, regardless of my views on marriage, I have difficulty endorsing any storyline that allows a man’s affirmation of a woman dictate her fate. Even with Pretty Woman being my favorite movie, I ended up having to reevaluate why that movie has a special place in many women’s hearts including my own. I have discovered that while grown women try to abandon childish ways it is through Cinderella stories like Pretty Woman, masked in mature plots and sexual scenes, that the little girl in us is awakened. We say that we don’t believe in fairy tales but the years of conditioning that we received as "good girls that wait" is not so far in the past.

But there was that darn tear. As I watched Kate get what I had labeled as the most real life Cinderella story ever known, her evolving from a plain girl ridiculed for her looks to a full-on princess, the little girl in me that believed in princes and fairytales reared her naïve frizzy head. Adulthood has taught me that Cinderella stories are only relevant in imaginary worlds where fairy dust resides. Yet, I was teary eyed. After I laid in bed after my abundantly refreshing nap this evening, clear headed, I cursed Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Catherine and her wickedly fantastic love story, full of love, challenges, break-ups and ultimate reunions, just set feminist and the like about three hundred years back. Thanks your royal highness!

* You can catch an interview that was posted on this week about both the site and Mr. Schuman’s aim as a fashion blogger here.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Foreign Tsunami

It’s hard to be apathetic for things you don’t understand. When I heard about the Japanese Tsunami last week*, I shortly gasped and feigned shock. I rhetorically stated how awful it was. This was my reaction not out of organic concern but because I knew I had to get it up for the messenger delivering the news. I know when a reaction is expected and more often than not I give it. I didn’t understand what had occurred in this foreign land nor did I have the concern to really get into the details of it. I saw the media typhoon covering the international disaster and wondered why my internal reaction was so minimal.

Yet, I still remembered distinctly a scene from a fictional dramatic series leaving me literally walking around my apartment sobbing and babbling in a fit of hysteria. Even more recently, Maya Angelou on Oprah’s OWN network discussing her life, emotionally touched me in a way that left me in a complete state of stillness. The vast difference between the disaster in Asia and my reaction to scenes played out on my television screen is not of magnitude. Instead, the difference lives in my connectedness to the issues.

Generally, this is the difference that resides within all of us. The difference that makes us seem insensitive when someone else’s heartstrings are tied and pulled tightly around an issue. We all have led lives with varying degree of experiences, helping to facilitate how we view and react to the things put before us. I reacted weakly to news of the Tsunami because beside the images I viewed over at CNN I have no point of reference for it. Not only did Tsunami feel foreign to my tongue as I played with it in my mouth, the concept of a real life natural disaster was remote. Simply, Tsunamis are someone else’s devastation, not mine.

What’s disastrous to me are the saddening things that happen in my orbit of reality on a daily basis. If I want to see disaster, I don’t have to look across an ocean, disaster lives in my own backyard. When I heard about the eleven-year old girl in Texas getting rapped by close to two dozen men—that was disastrous to me. I could relate—not because I have ever been sexually violated but because as a woman, who was told at an early age to always let her parents know if anyone touched her, the possibility of sexual violation has always been in my orbit of reality.

Not to mention, that I think I have just become overtly desensitized to large scale disasters. Literally, a plane went through, at that time, the two largest buildings in New York. And I sat, at age fourteen, a few states away watching it on television. I watched people cry, bleed, and die in the street. But wait, two years prior to that, at age twelve, on every news station there was coverage of a boy walking into a high school and killing thirteen people. And then more recently we had black people, my people, floating in dirty water for weeks--the president, apathetically, in plane flying overhead. Approximately two thousand people died from that--and I watched it on my television screen. Then to round things off, in 2008 there was a lunatic running around the streets of D.C. playing a game of Russian roulette. Those disasters are in my backyard and the frequency of them numbs me for the next disaster. Thus, when I heard about Japan’s Tsunami—a natural disaster I couldn't understand it. I understand man-made disasters. I understand people hurting people. A tsunami--is just foreign.

And this awareness is what is starting to transform my own reaction to others who seem cold and indifferent to things that deeply affect me. I am becoming more apathetic to those whose icy dispositions I can’t understand. Prior to, it would anger me when people couldn’t understand how I felt, or seemed to meet my emotion with coldness. Within the last few years, as the result of personal experiences, I understand both sides of the coin on a few issues. Now, I understand both being apathetic about those issues and later being deeply invested in them. You can't fully empathize with something unless you have been through it. Now, I understand that the person that hurts me and doesn’t apologize isn't necessarily a jerk. The person just hasn't experienced that kind of hurt yet. That kind of pain is foreign to them.

Race relations, from a very broad lens is not about ones hatred for another’s race. Instead, it’s apathy for a group of people and the issues of those people we know only abstractly. I can’t understand the issues that specifically affect white people. I realized this was the case when I, during my time abroad, sat in a room of predominately white people and watched a movie about the Holocaust. They wept. My eyes were dry. Yet, I have not ever attempted to watch Roots and every time I try to watch The Color Purple I can’t deal with the emotions it elicits. Jewish suffering—I don’t relate to. Black suffering—I do.

As I watched a woman back in September (the same day that I had the “chance encounter” that I discussed here) become uncontrollably emotional, I realized the power of relevance. She was sitting outside of Pottery Barn with a woman that looked to be of relation to her, a flow of people passing by, a steady flow of tears freely and shamelessly drawing lines down her face. The way that she cried seemed so natural and effortless that I surmised she had been crying for days, at minimum the entire day. She seemed comfortable, so settled into her sadness that I couldn’t imagine her as anything but.

There would have been a time that I would have looked at this young woman and quickly and disgustedly labeled her weak. I would have figured that she was weeping over a man and that she should just wipe her tears, have some pride about herself, and pretend not to care. There was a time that I believed a nonchalant exterior created an indifferent interior. On that day, though, I understood that you cannot pretend away pain. There’s not enough pretending in this world for that to be a plausible remedy. At that point, I had comfortably sat with my own pain and therefore didn't look at her with pity—but instead with understanding.

And so, while I don’t understand what is going on in Japan—I will have empathy. Not because I can relate to the Tsunami, as I’ve said, the Tsunami, the natural disaster, the country, all of that is foreign to me. What isn’t foreign, though, is the suffering. I understand suffering. And for that, for that which I understand, my heart is genuinely heavy.

*I started writing this the week of the Tsunami. Out of respect for the people affected by the recent events, I halted writing and decided to postpone until now.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

His Sad Story--Her Happy Heart

There’s open and revealing and then there’s this: vomiting your life in my lap. I can’t say I wasn’t warned. Long ago, I was cautioned that boys who quickly relinquish stories about their lives were not the optimal recipients to, with the same haste, relinquish my heart. I didn’t buy into the anti-thesis of what seemed to be the obvious: if he trusted me with his sad stories then I could surely trust him with my happy heart.

Back then I refused to believe what I now know to be true. I was being used as a trashcan for someone else’s emotional garbage and the person’s purging had nothing to do with me. It was most assuredly not an indication of substantiated feelings and emotions. At best, it was a fairly perceptive person desiring to hone in and optimize my innate nurturing tendencies for his own devices. At worst, it was an opportunistic mechanism used to push a hidden agenda. There is no room for deviating from that comparative structure. It was an “either or” “one or the other” spectrum—no more, no less. Best case or worst case, pick one.

I am seemingly audacious to make assertions that demean the very moments that I, over the years, replay in my head incessantly. One could argue that I have degraded someone else’s legitimate and sincere motives to bolster my own insecurities. Arguably, I have taken beautifully candid and unpretentious instances and turned them into something sadistic. Rest assured, I didn’t reach this premise swiftly—but I had to come to grips that these moments were less an indicator of the intensity of my relationship and more a preface of how intensely I would tie myself to him. More than anything, it was an indication of how quickly I would charge myself the position of saving him.

And this is why I write this post—because it is a cautionary tale. It’s a self-actualizing warning. A warning that I want every single woman to heed, keep secretly tucked in her breast, retrieving it to use as ammunition to protect her happy heart. I write this because while it’s flattering to believe that men spilling their lives in our laps is something that we have single-handedly resonated —it is also to our detriment to believe so. I now understand that for as long as I tenaciously cleaved to the notion that I am different and that I somehow facilitated a space leaving men incapable of keeping their traumatic and sad stories in their mouths—I trade in the truth for self-sustaining lies. The truth is, regardless of his motives, when said man vomited in my lap, his life—he was left cleansed and I took on his waste as my own. I vowed to protect him and keep his sadness as my treasure. What we, as women, fail to realize is that the woman before us—who spun vomit into pearls and adorned them carefully around her neck was unable to do—we probably won’t either. She couldn’t save him—and neither can you.

When you look at it practically, a person that shares such intimate aspects of his life within weeks, can’t measure those details the way that you think he does. What have you done to prove your trustworthiness? Yet, here he is seemingly trusting you with such profound information. And you take the pseudo trust that he has created to sustain your desire to be his truest confidante. You are no confidante though; he would tell what he is telling you to a stranger in the street. Really, for all intentions and purposes you are a stranger in the street. Still, we listen intently believing that this is the first sign of many on how intimate he is willing to be, how deep he wants to go. He certainly could never have revealed these dramatic and heart wrenching stories to anyone else. We happily transform anecdotes into commitments; all the while he is using us as a second-rate therapist. And when he feels he has gotten whatever he wanted from the relationship he gets off the couch, brushes the invisible wrinkles from his pants leg, nods and exits. And we sit aimlessly trying to figure out how to save him—not knowing that he is probably long gone already using his sad stories on the next one, not knowing instead of saving him we should have been trying to save ourselves!

Interestingly enough, a friend of mine has too recently discovered that there are no positive relationship benefits from choosing men who evidentially need saving—or at minimum some good psychological evaluation. We both laughed when I told her what my new plan of action is for these men. The next time a man starts in with these morbid stories of his life and childhood ---I am going to sit, listen quietly, and once he finishes instead of looking at him tears welling in my eyes, sad for everything that he has endured, I will ask—“and how have you grown from this?” And I will wait for his response. And I will wait for him to match this incredibly unequivocally uninspiring story with something uplifting and rousing. And if he isn’t able to conjure up anything but a blank face, what I will leave that conversation with is an understanding that the man in question is nowhere near ready for me in his life. For, if he cannot take some of the most profound incidences of his own life and spin that into something positive then I know there is no way he is ready to contribute anything beneficial in my life. If he is not growing—then he is not learning—and he is just a boy in a man’s body. The kind of man that I want, that I need would not use stories of trouble as opening liners but would instead use it later to show how he has become the phenomenal man that I see before me. No longer, do I have either the inclination or the space in my happy heart to allow another stranger to come in and debilitate me with his sadness.

I, too, do not want any other woman to mistake men with stunted growth patterns as men offering intimacy. So, I advise women (and men if this actually happens to you as well), to not allow strangers to leech onto your heart and suck it dry. I’ve already got a plan of action for how I will deal with these type of men. But for someone that has never had the opportunity to see firsthand the circus show that is men flipping trouble as an attractant of good women—let me briefly paint the picture.

His face—it will go completely blank and he will communicate emotive stories about himself as if they don’t touch him. He will go on for a while—he isn’t looking for you to integrate any commentary though—this isn’t about you—you are suppose to just listen. And while I have enough experience and too many heartaches to listen and not give two flips about what he is talking about the inexperienced woman who may not be able listen without growing emotionally invested--should silently start humming to herself. Make no mistake, it will be difficult—it’s that time when you’re getting to know someone and everything is new and exciting and everything they say is of the utmost importance. However, you have to tune them out. So, just hum. And you will feel bad—but I promise if you listen and you use those stories to justify anything about how he feels for you—then you will end up feeling a whole lot worst in the end. Let him tell his sad stories—but please please don’t let it touch your happy heart.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I'm a Hypocrite--but Need Dual Stimulation

It was hours before I was scheduled to take a Constitutional Law midterm. Instead of studying I sent the following black berry message (bbm): “Pookie! How do we feel about dating men that don’t have college degrees. In theory I think it’s no big deal…in practice??? What are your thoughts.” The recipient of this seemingly trivial bbm had a midterm of her own, and as she is quite the grinder I couldn’t believe she entertained such antics so close to test taking time. She responded. We had a short exchange. Once discovering that this too was an unresolved issue within herself, said: “That should be your next post!” Funny, because that would imply I could resolve how I feel about the issue. I haven’t.

This bbm was not unprompted. Every night up until then I woke up from horrible dreams with a motif theme. What prompted both the dreams and the bbm, was an encounter with a young man. He was cute, gave me butterflies. I rarely get them. Like, never. He seemed upfront, said he wanted to know “everything”. Eluded things about himself that seemed revealing for a first encounter. He wrapped things up by asking when was a good time to call. So, here I was with this guy that from the offset seemed open, not into playing games, yet, still elicited nightmares.

These dreams, they came from a place of fear. While this man seemed nothing but genuine, I was fearful of his pedigree. In my world where all my dates and relationships have stemmed from academia or spaces where supposedly forward moving progressive men migrate, the manner in which I met him gave no indication to his background. So here I was, having bad dreams about a seemingly nice guy solely because I was fearful that he did not hold a degree, fearful of the depth of his intelligence.

How could I, the same person that wrote here that I was more intrigued and moved by men in jail than the ones in my intellectually confined world, be so quick to qualify a man by his educational transcript. Here was my time to put some actions behind those words of equality, yet, I was like a sheltered catholic girl afraid to fraternize with the ungodly people. I felt like a hypocrite. I was a hypocrite. My mind continued to go back to the words I wrote in that post. I continued to remember the men that inspired it, the men that made me smile even during client interviews at the local jail. But still, my nights were filled with dreams.

And the dreams were awful. In one, my date and I in the car, having a conversation about President Obama. My date, ignorantly believing that President Obama the President of the entire world, not understanding other nations have other leaders. I had to try to make him understand. I had to teach him. And there were other dreams---the encounters were each different but there was one consistent quality—the men. They were all faceless.

And so, for days, I struggled. Not only was I inwardly feeling like a hypocrite and terrorized by the men of my dreams, I was also flashing back to a conversation that I had a week prior. I remembered saying, “People generally don’t interest me. I need someone with something besides a college degree.” (read: as lightly as possible. It did not come from a place of righteousness). The guy who was on the other side of that statement laughed in disbelief, then asked what I needed: “A man with a rap sheet!?!” I was irked by his thoughtlessness—the lack of depth. I don’t remember exactly how I responded but probably vaguely (“No, just something more.”) What I meant was that I wanted someone that stimulated from a place of abundance. I wanted a man, unlike him, that understood instantly what I meant by this kind of request. Still, if my only request was, “something more” then why didn’t I give the man I met a week later the chance to have it. Every morning as I woke up from another dreamful night I wondered what my problem was.

The problem, I recognized over some weeks, was that a girl who formerly said she could date any boy regardless of his educational background, graduated college and became a woman who realized it wasn’t just the education that was so impactful, but the experiences that came along with it. My college experience facilitated the woman I am today. I need a man in my life that has a similar experience. Not to say, men without degrees don’t have equally impactful and positive experiences. Simply, we have different impactful experiences. What I fear, though, is the lack of commonality we would share regarding the most defining parts of our lives. College, education as a whole, is an integral part of my story. A man lacking that experience would not be able to share in the conversation the way I would want him to. We would speak entirely different languages regarding it.

A year ago, three women and a man—all college educated, all striving to obtain a juris doctorate had a conversation on this very issue. Although the man of the discussion was outnumbered in gender and ideology, he held his own. He was strong enough in his opinion to seemingly paint us as silly superficial women. I was at an advantage—I understood exactly what he was getting at, for I had argued the same position of impartiality several years prior. I wasn’t about to back down and agree with him though. I couldn’t accept his premise, that a man working at McDonald's* had the same probability of being as compatible with me as someone with higher education. While his position speaks to his down-to-earth nature, it misses the mark on what many progressive women look for in men. Women are an evolving, ever-changing species. Women tapped into that quality and wanting to reach their full potential understand that the man they choose to stand beside often dictate the potential of their own evolve.

I confidently said then, and I say now that while I could be crazily physical attracted to a man that works at the McDonald's down the street, I do not believe we would ever have enough of the good stuff to make it work. I am not discriminating because I fear societal ostracize. I do not care about the amount of his paycheck. None of that is the true basis that allows me, without fear of coming off as an elitist witch, vow against men working at any kind of local fast-food establishment. I am able to confidently make this assertion because I know we would be unequally yoked. In his decision to choose a career at McDonald's would live the fundamental contradiction in how I choose to live my life. The decision to choose a higher education is indicative of one’s mentality about themselves and the world they live in. Understandably, this is a pretty simplistic generalization, not taking into consideration the various challenges in actually choosing higher education, still, generally speaking one’s will to go speaks to their mentality.

Not to mention, I am frequently underwhelmed. I smile—am friendly, but at the core there is something there that won’t easily stimulate. My mother says, “Erica, you have to give people a chance.” I agree. I am striving to be a little more open and patient. I want that whole package though. While this post seems a complete contradiction of “I Wish He Wore an Orange Jumpsuit” and that I am at the other end of the spectrum, blowing up men that hold degrees, I am not. I like the progressiveness of men that choose to better themselves through education. However, I cringe at the generic conversations that I seem to have with them. Similarly, I like the colorfulness of men who do not hold degrees. However, I wish we had the ability to go deeper with our conversations. I’m not putting one above the other. I don’t want either. Really, I don’t . You can have them both. What I want neither can offer. I have nightmares about one not fulfilling me intellectually, while I have daymares that the others will never emotionally move me.

Maybe, it has nothing to do with a college degree or the lack thereof. Maybe, it simply has to do with the caliber of the man. In my dream the faceless men were neither interesting nor intelligent. Under my premise then, they didn’t fit into either category—college going or not. Instead, I think these men, prompted by the mystery man, represented my fear of never being dually fulfilled. I did not have the information to determine which category he likely fell within, therefore, I had dreams that not only spoke to the anonymity of this man but the anonymity of the man that I ultimately want. The man in my dream, faceless, devoid of intellect or intrigue had nothing to do with higher learning—it was a manifestation of my real life terror that a man with both—doesn’t even exist. College going, or not.

* The McDonald's example was an extreme exaggeration. Most men that do not go to college do not necessarily have minimum wage jobs. Actually, many do very well. Also, I understand that there are alternative respectable careers that do not necessitate a degree. In fact, I would love to date an artist (good with his hands!) To make the point I used extremes.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Resolved of 2011

I don’t believe in them. Nope. A friend asked what my new year’s resolutions are. I quickly dismissed it. New year, same shi*t. It’s just my mentality though. I am the same person that doesn’t believe in time, not really. I believe in yesterday and I believe in today. I believe yesterday is the same as today. Life—to me, just one long day. We die the same day we are born. We construct minutes, days, weeks, months, years to make sense of it all. We try to organize space into something called time. Time is just space evolved. In essence, there are no natural time markers, therefore, I am not going to go against nature and try to make importance of trivial socially constructed touchstones. So, nope, I don’t believe in them.

What I do believe in is what I told my friend I want for 2011, my forward moving. I believe in progression. I believe in evolution. I believe in my own personal growth. I told her that I want to (full disclosure) continue moving forward, not fall back into old traps. No backtracking. No backpedaling. I want to skip the whole three or four months of traditionally and crazily texting, emailing, and calling a mirage. Let’s just skip right over that. I want to continue forgetting. I relish moments when I realize that the past is finally beginning to blur and feelings are contemplating subsiding. Feelings I clutched to, I now am freely willing to let go of. I want more of that for the upcoming year. I don’t need a new year to make me want those things for myself though. I want it because instead of whispering before I drift to sleep, “goodnight *******” to the darkness, to a man no longer in my life I want to say “goodnight Erica” roll over and be content with whose in my bed—myself.

So, while I don’t have a list of resolutions, what I do have is what I know to be true. I know the following list of moments, things, songs, movies, etc. were my favorites from 2010. That’s the only thing that is resolved as I go into 2011. Enjoy.

1. Kanye West’s Runaway video and song. Pure artistry. I listened to only that song for an entire month. The full eight minutes of it, loving the end best.

2. Love Jones. I’m late (I know I know) but I get giddy every time I watch (like three or four times in a row each time). Nina and Darius dancing at The Wild Hare makes me blush, oh and the scenes right after that. Wink.

3. Darius from Love Jones. He changed my entire “type” from unattainable to available.

4. Me asking a friend, tongue in cheek “goodness how have I gotten so wise” and her responding: “this bitch called life.” Hilarity. Honesty.

5. Me in the kitchen every week over the summer baking, trying to ease my restlessness, quiet my heart.

6. “Hard in the paint.” Shamelessly. I wont even say who that’s by. We all know.

7. A discovered love for Erykah Badu. Pleasantly.

8. Smoothie King. Every single morning.

9. Yoga. Quiets the soul. Controls the body.

10. The boy that made me see there are others at a time when thought I had met the only one. The hours that I fell into him, while still understanding he was only in my life to whisper the secret that there are more .

11. Benadryl. Don’t knock it til’ you try it, it’s helped through many sleepless and difficult nights.

12. Cupcake runs! Yum.

13. Cardio at sunrise.

14. The Sartoralist. (

15. The night friends got together to do speed dating, staying out until the wee hours of the morning. Good night. Funny night.

16. The moment I realized I was talking to a murderer during a client interview in an attorney booth, said “ohhh, ok! Murder one!” tried to balance my tone and make sure I could make a quick exit.

17. Realizing drug dealers are seriously deluded. They really have a skewed sense of reality. I lost respect. Sad. (And yes, at one point I did in some ways respect the hustle of a drug dealer...that’s another post.)

18. My birthday spa treat. Amazingly thoughtful.

19. When I realized only I write “multiple choice questions”. It’s really quite rare. I’m really quite rare. Smh. Smile.

20. Finally becoming proud instead of embarrassed that I have the depth to allow a short affair to profoundly and positively change my life. Literally, change it. Change me.

21. The space of this blog. I love this space.

22. The readers that let me know how much they appreciate this space.

For conformity's sake..."Happy New Year!"