Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Investing In Yourself

So now that life has settled into a new routine for me I've begun to ask myself the question what am I do to do with all this free time? A large part of me was scared of getting trapped in the mundane routine of a 9-5 40 hour work week. Terrified even. I thought about revisiting hobbies of mine, art, paintings, drawings, reading, knitting, but so far none of this has appealed to me as of yet. My creative juices haven't begun to flow yet.

I dunno how the thought came about. Maybe I had just finished a day's worth of useless spending. I came to the realization that in the last 4 years I have invested in all the material things that make me "feel" good. The clothes, bags, hair, shoes, furniture, house, car. All the things I wanted with tangible monetary value I had gathered. As I swiped my credit card to purchase an unneeded bag it dawned of me that I could be doing something much better with my disposable income.

Really with money you have three choices. You can spend it. You can save it. or You can invest it. So I begun think more on investing. And not the kind you do on Wall Street. See there's another type of investing we can do. Investing in ourselves. Unlike Wall Street it has non the risks and all of the benefits. And when I say investing in yourself I'm not talking about buying yourself new clothes or anything regarding your appearance, or anything that makes you feel good, actually.

The type of investment I'm talking about is something that cannot be taken away or devalued by anyone else. It's the same type of investment you make in your self when you choose to go to school, learn a new trade, skill or talent.  For example, once you learn something you will always have knowledge.  What you do and how you apply that knowledge is up to you. But at the end of the day no one can take that knowledge away from you.

That's the kind of investment I'm speaking of. But I can hear a few people saying, well that's not a hard or unique type of investment. After all millions of us seek knowledge, whether its a formal education from Yale or an informal one from the University of Google.  And they would be right. But I'm talking about investing in something many of us, especially as Americans, neglect for a million and one reasons. Our health.



We as Americans are less willing to dedicate the same amount of money and energy to better our health that we dedicate to our materialistic belongings.  But our materialistic possessions only have value as long as others find value in them. Would you want those Jordans if others didn't want or admire them as well? Or that nice car? The nice clothes? The nice bags? So essentially in a around about way we can conclude that these we gather these materialist possessions not just for ourselves, but also for other people.

However, investing in your health is the one benefit that you exclusively benefit from. But man of us find it outrageous to pay $40 for a gym membership. I get it. The monetary investment and the amount of energy needed to be successful can seem steep. But I ask you this. How good is that fancy car of yours if you're too sick to drive it. What purpose do those shoes and clothes have if you're too sick to get out of your bed. I'm not saying go out and go visit your doctor and get tons of prescriptions to help you be healthier. I'm telling you to BE HEALTHIER. Move your body. The human body wasn't meant to be as lazy as our society allows it to be. Eat healthier. The human body isn't meant to process ridiculous amounts of processed foods and sugars.  Invest in your body!

As we have moved into a information driven society the investment of the mind carried more weight than that of the body. But I'm here to tell you that the physical encasement of your soul that keeps you here is just as worthy of an investment as your mind. Not to mention that fact that when it improves so does your mind! So with all this in mind (no pun intended) I decided that I have nothing to lose from investing in my body. I got a gym membership, I got a personal trainer and I got up off my ass. I am making the conscience choice to shift money from materialistic things that serve no other function but to paint a picture for other people to investing in my body and making that my greatest work of art. Join me!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Hiatus Over

So I realized that I took a bit of a hiatus. In my defense I warned that I do this kind of disappearing act every so often. Since my last post I got swept up in studying for my boards, then taking my boards, then starting work, then getting accustomed to the energy level required to work. Well now that that's over I'm baaaaaaaack. I have a couple of entries I'm working on. I most definitely overdue for a sisterlocks update whichI think I may do come this December when I hit my 6 months mark. Besides that I have of topics I think I want to blab about. But not right now. Right now I just wanted to say hello and that I hope you all are doing well!

Friday, September 05, 2014

Weeping Willow

Withering weeping willow,
why do you weep so sad?
Your tears tickling the ground
on which I love to stand.
My withered willow is weeping.
Its tears of leaves raining,
throwing away seasons' memories, keeping
them to a wind, staying.
Withered weeping willow,
why mimic the veins in my heart?
But then cradle me in your pillow.
For my pain you will smart.
Promise pleasurable peace
when the wind doesn't whip with
branches of a broken bark.
Weeping willow, take the pain
away from lashes.
But do not hurt me with your own.
Broken branches bathe me in a scent, tart.
Trying to hear your secrets I strain.
Crying loudly when lightening flashes.
Afraid of weather once known.
Awaken withered willow.
Please start to weep again.
Even though this world you depart
I will always remember my crying friend.
And in my heart you will weep again

Written ~2002 about my favorite tree that was once in my childhood home's back yard for more than 10 years. Eventually it died after a lightening strike and one too many storms. I was sad to see them cut the tree I climbed in throughout a good portion of my childhood to escape from the world. However, I was also happy to see her go due to the fact that the branches could often become an all too painful "belt" for misbehaving kids.

Friday, August 29, 2014

If you could design your man....

I have no real point to this blog post besides sharing my own amusement or bemusement... or both. I came across this journal entry of mine not too long ago, after a year or so full of dates and flings I'd rather not remember. I do remember, though, discovering all the things I did not like in a man and from there deciding what I wanted in a man and made a pledge to myself to not compromise on these things. What do I think about this list now? Well, I think it's funny that I actually sat down and made it. As far as its usefulness... Iuhno, some of the things that I listed were naive and/or shallow, so the verdict is still out.  I will say #29 is still an absolute must!! Although my current amour passes the 28/37 rule ( I have no idea what logic I employed to come up with that rule)... so maybe I was on to something. Either way I find it amusing..


My next boyfriend/eventual husband…. 28/37 Required must be demonstrated before entering in official relationship This is the pledge I make to myself.

1. Will love and treasure the beauty this is in found black women
2. Will love my natural hair
3. Will be wonderful in bed and " Follow the Leader"
4. Will be honest about his feelings and intention to himself and me
5. Will be family oriented yet still independent of his family unit
6. Will love and be loved by my father
7. Will have a salary that exceeds mine
8. Will support and encourage my career goals and aspirations completely
9. Will propose to me within three years of dating
10. Will be taller than me with heels on
11. Will be strong and supportive
12. Will be my shoulder to cry own
13. Will let me know when I'm being ridiculous
14. Will be confident enough to put his foot down when appropriate
15. Will be fit, healthy and universally attractive
16. Will quickly recognize that there is so much underneath the surface and be eager to explore and get to know me better before making any decisions about me
17. Will have a sexual appetite to match and compliment my own
18. Will be a fantastic kisser
19. Will be a simple yet complicated man that intrigues me
20. Will actually be a "grown" Man
21. Will have his own place where he lives by himself or just one roommate
22. Will know how to communicate in a relationship
23. Will be an intellectual
24. Will be faithful and trustworthy
25. Will have eyes and lips to die for
26. Will find my strength and independence as one of my better qualities
27. Will be generally curious about what I do even if he doesn't fully understand it
28. Will be able to hold an intellectual conversation with me
29. Will love football
30. Will be understanding of any friendship I have with other men
31. Will share some of my favorite pastimes and hobbies
32. Will love to travel
33. Will be past worrying about what others think.
34. Will find my tattoos intriguing
35. Will love dogs
36. Will challenge me and himself to always do better and  accomplish more
37. Will see my sacrifices and things I do for him and be worthy of them

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sisterlocks at 2 months

The Journey Stage

Month 2
So I am now two months in! Woooooo! J/k... it's not that exciting but whatever... I'm looking forward to completing 3 months soon. I have an unspoken bet to myself that my hair will lock after 4 months. Yes, I know that's terribly ambitious of me. And yes, I know I should sit back and let my hair do its thing. But what's a little friendly competition with yourself? lol My consultant confirmed what I knew, my locks are beginning to lock up. Some still have just a bud on them others are half way locked.. others are somewhere in between. As you can see shrinkage is definitely factor and I don't mind it. My ends have definitely curled up and are matting up for the most part.



Day 2
One thing I didn't think about before I got sisterlocks was the questions and attention it brings. Now some people may like this, but me... after the 2nd time I was stopped by a random stranger, I was already over it. Now in my defense, being questioned about something that is inherently "me"  is a pet peeve I've unfortunately developed overtime, mainly because of my name. My name always starts a string of questions and after a couple of decades its become annoying. Imagine trying to talk to a patient about something important and the only thing they have in response is about the origin of your name... But I digress... well my fro that I wore so fabulously for 7 years has, no joke, caused complete strangers to run up to my car while I'm pumping gas to ask for hair advice... really tho? I'm pumping gas... who are YOU! Well looks like SL's are not going to be any different. I got stopped at a toll booth and questioned for 5 minutes... I mean really. I'm at a toll booth... I'm in my car... clearly I have places to go... lol.

Maintenance 

So I had what might be a bit of an allergic reaction to the sisterlocks starter shampoo. The verdict is still out on that... But until I start to add back on three of the suspected culprits slowly and separately to see which caused the reactions, I have to stay away from it. So obviously I started to do some research to see if I could find some alternatives shampoos. I was looking preferably for an all natural, or close to all natural shampoo, that was residue free and as simple as possible (ingredients wise) and without any conditioner.

I had originally settled on Trader Joe's Tea Tree Shampoo. I saw a few other sisterlockers (is that a word?) who loved the shampoo and it was only $3.99 in the store. However, I guess everyone in the world also likes it because it was out of stock in my time of need. So I headed over to Whole Food's knowing that I saw a recommendation for Alaffia black soap. Because I hadn't completed my full research on the black soap and was worried that it may leave some residue, I then followed it with a quick apple cider vinegar rinse to clarify. I liked the Alaffia black soap. My biggest worry that it would leave residue was unfounded.  Therefore I could/should have skipped the apple cider vinegar rinse.

 In fact, I wouldn't recommend anyone starting out use an apple cider vinegar rinse at all. While it does remove leftover residue in the hair, it also does a fantastic job at making your hair soft (wish I would have discovered this when I was a loose natural). Because the rinse I did was very dilute, (because I WAS worried about it making my hair too soft),  I didn't let it sit in my hair long at all I luckily didn't have any slippage, but I can see how that could easily happen. I do like how the ACV made my  hair feel though, soft, fluffier, fuller... However, I also know that this is counterproductive to the locking process. But I  think it may be a go to when my locks mature.

But in other news I've been good with staying away from moisture and oils. After that first month of rebellion and now that my ends have started to matt up I don't see the breakage I saw at first. My scalp also is no longer flaking so no need to jojoba oil to the scalp after a wash.

Styling 

Various Styles 
So obviously during different stages and throughout your life of having SL's everyone is gonna wanna play with a new hairstyle here and there. Me? Not really. I really just wanna get up and go and look cute. However, the length and stage of my locks right now don't really make that possible. If I were to just get up and go I look like I'm wearing the helmet of Darth Vader. I hate curls so bantu knots are out. I really like it in the kinky stage after a braid or twist out. But A) I'm always too lazy at night to do either one of those and B) I don't want to continually manipulate my hair that much to achieve that look.  So I've found myself embracing variations of my natural hair protective undoes. While it was a time consuming process as a loose natural, now it's one of the quickest things I can do to it. Mainly due to the fact that I don't have to make it look so neat, in fact I sort of enjoy the messy looks. I also really like it because they are protective styles and my ends are tucked snuggly away . I can accomplish them without pulling my edges (which I typically let out of the style anyways) and it takes as little as 4-5 bobby pins. My apologies that you can't really see a good picture of the back to really see the actual designs, but I have no one to take if for me, lol.


Sisterlocks and the Beach 


Now I was warned by my consultant to at least cornroll my locks if I decided to go swimming. WELLLLLL..... feel free to refer to part of this post as what not to do with baby locks. I most certainly did not cornroll my locks before I took a swim in the Atlantic Ocean.  But nothing terrible came from my walk on the wild side. In fact it was kind of the opposite. I L-O-V-E-D the way the salt water has made my SL's feel. Now this is counterintuitive because prolonged exposure to saltwater causes hair to become dry, however, although I visited the beach several times I had one excursion alone (sans little kids) where I was able to enjoy the water fully. So my hair only got wet once. The only "bad" thing to occur from all of this is some left sand I still need to wash out of my hair.

Monday, August 25, 2014

I'll Smile

I'll smile in the morning after the cold night has passed
I'll smile in the morning after I've cried my last
tear soaked satin pillows soft as clouds
I'll smile in the morning when the demons aren't so loud

I'll smile in the morning to make the day seem brighter
I'll smile in the morning and done the spirit of the fighter
of equality, sexuality, femininity, minorities and above all humility
I'll smile in the morning and embrace my vanity

I'll smile in the morning after I've laid my dreams to rest
I'll smile in the morning after I've snuggled to your chest
Following making love, a love that does not exist
I'll smile in the morning... well, only if you insist

I'll smile in the morning and justify my actions
I'll smile in the morning and piece together the fractions
of my soul that I am told I'm forced to behold
I'll smile in the morning and pretend not to be so cold

I'll smile in the morning and forget the one that got away
I'll smile in the morning and won't wish that they hadn't stayed
in my bed where he held me and whispered softly in my ear
I'll smile the morning and forget the sweet nothings I did not hear

I'll smile in the morning and send the angel away
I'll smile in the morning and listen to the devil say
bliss awaits me if I give into the temptation
I'll smile in the morning and into my frustrations

I'll smile in the morning and stare at the body I abuse
I'll smile in the morning and suffer through its misuse
from hands not my own that worshiped every inch of it
I'll smile in the morning a little narcissistic

I'll smile in the morning while looking in the mirror
I'll smile in the morning and squint to see clearer
the person inside the person that stares back at me
I'll smile in the morning and realize I'm blind and cannot see

I'll smile in the morning and think positive things
I'll smile in the morning and wish that I had the wings
I've been promised and are certainly overdue
I'll smile in the morning after I dream that I flew

After I've smiled in the morning and move through my day
I'll smile in the evenings shortly after I pray
for a brighter sunrise in which I don't hide
The frown that I have clearly hidden inside

Tomorrow I will smile in the morning with dry eyes
I'll smile in the morning and repeat my lies
to the universe, to myself, to my forgotten youth
I'll smile in the mornings, until my lies turn  into truths

Written June 2012

Monday, August 18, 2014

John Oliver, Ferguson, and Mike Brown



I've been thinking about doing a post on what's been going on in Ferguson. But really the words escape me. The problem is so complex that I know my words won't do it justice. However, John Oliver does a beautiful job summing up the problems behind what's currently going on in Ferguson. It's definitely worth the 15 minutes.

My mind keeps going back to Mike Brown and my heart just breaks for him.  18 years old. I remember when I was 18. You haven't experience life at 18 yet. There's just so much you just haven' seen, done, or experienced. You haven't had even a decent heartbreak yet. There's already such a senseless waste of life in the young black male community for treading down the wrong path. I don't know Mike Brown, I don't know the type of kid he was or the man he would become. But he was on his way to college, to try to better himself. That just doesn't seem like the wrong path to me.

There are a lot of questions left to be answered. But no answer will be able to justify shooting an unarmed 18 year old. If he were white, no answer would be able to justify shooting an.... unarmed 18 year old. If he were Asian, no answer would bel able to justify shooting an.... unarmed 18 year old. If he were Latino, no answer would be able to justify an.... unarmed 18 year old. What I am pleasantly surprised to see is that this isn't lost on the public. While it's unavoidable to discuss race in this situation, I'm finding that all communities are upset by the situation.  This is a human rights issues as much as it is a racial issue.

But again, my mind travels back to Mike Brown. I was thinking about him when I was driving for hours and it finally dawned on me. Mike Brown is my brother. I mean that Mike brown could have been my brother. I look at him and I see my little brother. I see Treyvon Martin and I see my nephews. I see Eric Garner and I see my brother-in-law. And suddenly I have genuine fear in my heart. Will one of my brothers get pulled over one day and scare a trigger happy cop? Will one of my nephews walk to the store for candy and take a short cut down the wrong street and scare a white man and loose his life for it?

Suddenly I'm afraid of having a son.  How will I protect him from a world that seems to be built against him? Is there a city I should move to where he would be safe?  Should I move to the best neighborhood with the best schools and white-wash him? Would that make him safer? Less likely to be racially profiled or discriminated against? Would I have to teach him how to talk to cops. How not to seem intimidating. Make sure to say yes sir and no sir when you're unfairly stopped while minding your own business. To control your anger when you're being treated a certain way because of the color of your skin. To make sure you're unassuming and not to hang out in large groups of black people unless you want to draw the attention of cops. Should I teach him that although he is as American as the next person, his right to bear arms would likely get him killed or arrested? How do you raise a black son in America?

Maybe I should just pray for daughters. While the black experience is still filled with challenges, it's easier for females. I don't carry the same disdain and fear as black males do for cops. I don't think about whether or not I appear threatening when walking down the street. I'll take being perceived to have a bad attitude any day over being shot unarmed for walking down the street. Maybe I should just pray for daughters.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

To give.... or to pour a bucket of ice on yourself... That is the question.

So, probably like many of you I have been watching the slew of ice bucket challenge videos being posted on Facebook recently.  A large part of me has been watching them with curious bemusement and fear that someone will extend the challenge to me. It's interesting to watch. I wonder what motivates people to participate. Does it stem from complete altruism? A desire to help a cause? Or is it the attention and "Likes" you get from doing the challenge and your perceived charitable intentions. If I were a gambling person I'd bet it's the latter.

But I'm willing to play devil's advocate and believe that people aren't inherently self-serving but truly altruistic and charitable. Even still... assuming that this is true I'm still bothered by the ice bucket challenge videos. In my opinion, true altruism doesn't strive to be recognized. True altruism doesn't ask other people match their level of altruism. Believe it or not, I think the bible, Matthew 6:1-4, describes the best practice for charity.  It reads:

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
Now whether you believe in God or not has no matter, the message that is being conveyed is still valuable. Doing something good with the ulterior motive of being recognized by others is essentially doing something for yourself. It just looks prettier. It's kind of like donating to charity so you can have a tax write off. Well... who are you really serving here? The charity or yourself? 

Getting back to playing devil's advocate, I suppose the ice bucket challenge is bringing awareness to a charity largely forgotten in the world of charities. ALS has reported that it often suffers with a lack of donations during the summer months and this year, with the help of the ice bucket challenge their donations have increased. So clearly people are actually donating and not just saying that they are or just putting up videos. There is clearly some good being made from this challenge, I won't even think to deny that.

After being challenged whether or not I choose to donate will be my choice, a choice you won't find me announcing. I may have already donated... or not, that's not important. You definitely won't find me pouring a bucket of ice on myself and posting a video of it. You also won't find me challenging anyone else to either donate or pour a bucket of ice on themselves (or both). We don't know each other's financial situations. Some of us may not have the luxury of surplus money to donate at the moment. So no, I don't challenge anyone to donate. I do encourage people to donate if it's something they want to do and are in the position to do so. Charitable work after all... is good for the soul. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Calling an Introvert

So I'm sitting here, minding my own business, watching a movie that I've seen a million times before, while googling whatever random thought is passing through my head when all of a sudden.... The phone rings. I stare at it sidelong. My inner voice groans why--eeee? I stare at it. Then I commence a debate I have with myself every time my phone dares to ring.

Me: What is that noise???
Myself: Phone
I: Oh sh*t.... the phone. 
Me: Are you going to answer it?
Myself: I dunno, I haven't decided yet
I: Well who is it?
Me: Does it matter...?? don't answer. 
Myself: It could be important, tho... 
I: I mean, can we just check the caller ID at least?
Me: Why? I don't feel like talking on the phone, no matter who it is. 
Myself: Eff it, I'm checking the caller ID.. 
Me: Don't do it!!
I: I don't know this number  or alternatively: (crap it's [enter name here])
Me: Yep, defintely don't feel like talking to them 
Myself: But why are they calling?
I: No one calls us... so it really could be important... 
Me: Well answer it then..
Myself: You answer it!
I: Whoops looks like it went to voicemail...
Me: Yessssssss
Myself: Hope it wasn't important.
I: What were we doing again??? Oh yeah...
Me: Wait... so who's gonna check the voicemail... 


Introverts have a preference for their internal worlds vs the external world. This doesn't mean we're total recluses now without need for social interactions. We just need... less of it. Now with regards to the phone scenario, I'm sure not every introvert is like this and I'm sure some extroverts can be like this. In fact, I'm not always like this. When I do choose to answer the phone it's usually out of curiosity, however. But more often then not the interruption in my internal world by the external reality of the phone ringing makes me want to runaway. 

If you're friends with an introvert be cognizant of their inner worlds they live in. Some of us require less time in those worlds then others. But when we're ready to come out, come out we will and we will reach out to you. We'll make it known in our own way that we're ready to play! So to sum it up... Don't call us... we'll call you... probably... maybe.. Well never-mind, no. We'll text you! Yes, in fact, it's probably just best that you text us... even if it's an emergency. You'll probably get a response sooner.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Unplanned Vacation


"Chillaxin" in my big hat! 
On Monday I packed up some bags, got in my car and drove south for 5 hours for an impromptu vacation. It's not the vacation I had planned. In fact, at this point in time, had things gone according to plan, I would be shacked up in the Caribbean in a cottage. Life, however, has had other plans. While I haven't been much of a fan of them lately, not in the least bit, it has forced me to go where the punches take me. So when I was given the opportunity for a week away I took it. Why not?

It was really nice to not only be on an unplanned vacation but to be on vacation with no plans! That may sound odd at first,  but this vacation made me realize that more than often we go on vacations dragging along an anchor's of worth of plans. We want to maximize our time spent viewing the sights and attractions while minimizing our money spent. So of course, we create itinerary. Some of our itineraries are rock solid with scheduled naps while some of our are loose with things we are going to see this day and things we are going to eventually do that day.  

However, this planning is often the cause of tensions and frustrations that occur while on vacation. When plans go astray of course we often get frustrated, its natural.. or even worse, when plans are unknown, we can become frustrated. That frustration is sometimes taken out on poor unsuspecting waitresses who had no idea that the show you wanted to see starts in 15 minutes and she should, of course, be moving at lightening speed... But, more often then not, our frustrations are taken out on the ones we are vacationing with. That's when the bickering in arguing comes into play where we should be enjoying our vacation. We've all be there.
Sunrise over the Beach during my vacation 

So this got me thinking.Why do we go in vacations with PLANS anyways?! Vacations are our chance to get away from our structured and routined lives. So why routinize our vacation which is supposed to be the anthesis of our every day life?  If we go on our vacations with no plans there's no plans to argue about, no plans to mess up, no unknown plans... cause plans don't exist. You get up and enjoy whatever comes at you that day. If you feel like visiting the local national park, you do it. Feel like catching a show... you catch one. Don't feel like looking up something to do. Well Chillax on the beach or in your hotel room, who cares? As long as you're enjoying what you're doing and you're relaxed, then you are accomplishing the true purpose of a vacation. 

Now on my vacation I didn't have that luxury. My traveling companions had plans in mind. And of course, any discord that happened was due to something going wrong with those plans. But I did have a day in which there were no concrete plans to be had. I think that day was the best day of my unplanned vacation. I think I shall do it again. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Ancient Art

The smell of cinnamon in the fall
Sounds of lustful laughter says it all
The feel of desire's embrace and kiss
Changes a moan to a silent wish...

The courting of lips, skin and tongue
The dance of hips that sin a song
Of beating drums by thumping hearts
The careful caresses of an ancient art.

The exchange of breaths from soul to soul
Come together making them whole
The tickle of hair on satin skin
Turns wandering hands deep within

The arching backs and quivering legs
The rake of nails that plead and beg
The bite of teeth that pierce the flesh
Feeds the need of desire’s distress

The tango of passion in tangled sheets
The climax of bliss where two bodies meet
The chill of sweat and whispered names
Replaces the moans from wench they came

The quieting hearts in intimate dance
The tangle of limbs in embrace, enchant  
The blanket of pleasure heavy & sweet
Lures the mind into a quiet sleep

The trickle of light from the setting moon
The beginning of love to blossom soon
The ballads of birds will coax the sun
Who soon reveals where two are one

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Cogito Ergo Sum

I lay in bed hoping to sleep but the only thing I accomplish is to think... I think therefore I am? I am tired. I am stressed, I am worried, but I am blessed...

I think of questions that I cannot answer. I think of solutions that will be ignored. I think about love and I think about pain and I wonder why both feel the same. 

I wonder about the future. I wonder about the past. I wonder about the many things I fought for, but did not last. I wonder about the present moment and I question how it's possible that I'm living... but not living in it. 

I question who I am. I question who I was and I question who I am to become. I question The Lord and his plans for me. I question whether my dreams will just remain fantasy. I question my feelings and wonder how something inside of me could be so foreign. 

I wonder about the world. I wonder about humanity. I wonder about compassions empathy and the definition of sanity. I wonder how people can cry at a heartfelt video tribute of a dying person then think thoughts brewed in hatred because a person dared to be different. 

I think about tomorrow. I think about today. I think about those less fortunate and where their heads lay. I think no one notices me, like no one notices them. I think about the different battles we all must be fighting within. I think about a lot. I think it doesn't matter if no one gives a damn about what I think. The point is, is that I think.. Therefore I am. 

Monday, August 04, 2014

New Habits

So the dirty 30 birthday is a few years off but for some reason it's been looming over me with this big *WARNING!* sign flashing in my head. I have no idea what to expect for my 30's. But I do know that I want to start them with good life habits and healthy habits in tow. Essentially a healthy life routine. New habits, especially a new routine can be hard to establish. Especially for someone like myself who naturally shuns all things routines in favor for randomness of life. But now I've found as friends and family get more involved in their own respective lives that randomness includes too often me cuddling with my couch with Netflix to keep me company. Don't get me wrong now. I do not disdain that habit in the least bit. But what I cannot stand for is doing the same thing day in and day out. But even more importantly, when I saw that the hamburger I ate one night didn't just disappear due to the magic my once extraordinary metabolism pulled, but instead started showing up in my a$$.... Yep, it's time for a change.


So for the last 2 months I've been on a mission. Essentially at the end of the day I want to enhance the complete trifecta, Mind, Body and Spirit

Mind - Forcing myself to get out the house to do something that isn't work or errands whether that's pampering myself, visiting a friend, strolling through the park. As along as it's an activity that reduces the stresses of every day life.

Body - Establish better eat habits such as replacing simple carbs with complex carbs. Eating more protein and fibrous meals. Establish a exercise routine, even if that only means getting up and walking around the neighborhood. But really, I want to be able to run 1 mile comfortably and keep basic muscle tone to keep a lean and slim body.

Spirit - This is probably the hardest routine to establish thus far. Its so easy to allow our spiritual lives and health to lapse. For me I want to start attend church again on Sunday. Sounds simple. I have the time for it. But it wasn't until yesterday that I was able to go to church for the first time by myself. Why did it take so long. Well it was the going "by myself' part that was so hard for me. It wasn't until I set out on this mission that I truly appreciated how family and faith are so closely connected. Church is a family activity and when you're away from family then friends are a nice substitute, but it harder. But when you have no friends who share your faith... there's only you. You to keep yourself accountable. You sitting in the pews alone while everyone files in with family members and loved ones. For a introvert like myself, this thought was so terrifying that it took more more than 8 weeks before I could put on a face brave enough and walk into, what is relatively a new church for me, alone. I am so glad that I did though. The relief I felt as I sat there was indescribable. I felt a decent burden lift off of my shoulders as soon as I did.

I'm excited for the opportunity to live a new healthier and more spiritual life style. I know it's not going to come without its challenges. I know its not going to be an easy routine to establish. But the important part is that I've started, which can be the hardest part. I'm excited to see where it takes me :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The $i$terlock$ $ecret

So I'm a naturally curious sort and I've always wanted to know what makes sisterlocks.... well Sisterlocks. Every now and then I would google "sisterlocks technique", "sisterlocks tool" etc etc. Google knows everything and I knew somewhere someone has spilled the beans, no matter how efficient their legal team is. Loopholes exist everywhere. Why did I want to know? Did I want to install my own locks? Absolutely NOT. Did I want a cheaper alternative? That would be nice but I would rather have it done "right", if there is such a thing as a right way (now I'm not so convinced there is). Do I want to maintain my own hair without having to pay a ridiculous fee to learn how to do it after already paying the steep price for the install... Hell yes!

But truth be told the real reason I wanted to find out was because, although I paid the fee and have no regrets, I have to count myself lucky to be able to afford such an expenditure. Not everyone is. But I don't think that should exclude you from being able to embrace your hair and a style that will benefit it and yourself as a person. The creator of the sisterlocks process has the audacity (IMHO) to say (and I'm summarizing) that hair is one of the things that is holding black people back and how sisterlocks is essentially breaking that barrier..... Really though? SOoOoOoooOo... how much sense does it really make to attach such a hefty price tag on to it and then continue to nickel and dime embracers and those who want to maintain their own hair by charging them even more to learn how? It's really the fee for the retightening class that bothers me most. It just seems greedy to me. But that's none of my business.

Although I plan to stay with my consultant for at least 6 months to a year to ensure I start healthy locks, eventually I know I will take my hair's maintenance into my own hands. So thus I googled and googled and googled. Well first let me say this. The law team is very good at ensuring the full picture is never revealed in one place. So what I began to find were pieces of the puzzle.  I believe I have collected all those pieces. I have some thoughts and opinions about some of the things I found, but I'm gonna keep those to myself since I am no expert by far. So I'll just provide those of you some of the puzzle pieces that I've found and let you decide how they fit together or even if they belong at all. If you have any other great resources that you like, please share them!

Be Well and Have fun!

Puzzles Pieces:
Puzzle Piece #1
Puzzle Piece #2
Puzzle Piece #3
Puzzle Piece #4
Puzzle Piece #5 (Hint: check out 5:17)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Sisterlocks at One month

One month-versary
So it's been roughly a month since my sisterlocks install and today I had my first retightening. To be honest I don't have much to say about it, lol. The retightening went well, wasn't too long. My consultant was great as always. She said that people tend to fall into two categories. Those that like the look of their locks freshly after retightening, and those that like the look of their locks right before retightening. I find that at the moment I like it best maybe a week after retightening. I will probably be keeping with a 4 week schedule, since coming upon 4 weeks I felt like my hair was starting to look a liiiiitle bit crazy. lol


Maintenance:

As for how this first month has gone. Everyone's hair is different, and I know that no oils or products is supposed to go into the hair for 6 months, but twice my hair was so dry i had to add some very light oil. I added it mainly to my scalp which was constantly itchy and flaking. I think I plan on trying to wash my hair weekly now instead of twice weekly to see if that helps a bit with the itchy scalp. I have realized that more frequent washing prevents my hair itself from becoming too dry and feeling like a brillo pad. But the dry hair sans-products is what promotes locking. I just need to find some sort of balance there I think. The whole banding thing doesn't really bother me.

Styling:

I haven't really explored styles really. Like I mentioned in a previous post my go to style is the flip to the side and go. I wasn't as comfortable with the decrease in length and the somewhat diminished look of fullness after saying goodbye to my fro initially. Because of that I really haven't worn it out just is, but I'm finding I like the as-is look freshly after a wash due to the crinkling produced by the braiding and banding. So I'm starting to embrace that look a little more. I have done a couple of up-does which look cute and have turned out well, but for the most part, until its fully-locked I plan on keeping styling to a minimum.

The "Journey"

I guess right now it doesn't really feel like a journey to me, mainly because journeys have destinations. I think this is more of a process, just like going and being natural was its own process. I guess the thing that I can most identify as a destination are the stages. Right now, as suspected I'm entering the budding stage, not fully there yet. I am really looking forward to December which would be 6-months for me. I guess one of the reasons I always wanted sisterlocks is because I wanted less maintenance in general. And while locks are not maintenance free I am looking forwarded to not braiding and banding and having the option to just get up and go if I wanted without feeling like I need to style it, even if that style is a simple flip and go. In fact when I can put it in a loose twisted bun, I'll be set to go.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Unsaid

When words are no longer enough...
Their meanings lost in ironies of cliches. 
What do we have left in our arsenal to express the droning days? 
I suppose we still have piracy to quote that which was better said. 
And while we rob and borrow snipets from the dead. 
We are surprised that there still remains so much...
Which will remain unsaid.  
The Irony Isn't Lost Upon me... 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sisterlocks!!....I finally did it!

So I think I  may be adding a new focus to this blog. In addition to my random ramblings on life (which there hans't been much of) I think I'm going to also begin chronicling my newest journey. Sisterlocks!! If you don't know what they are, well, Google exists, explore its wonders!

I originally contemplated getting Sisterlocks back when I first went natural in 2007. The price and my overall propensity to take forever to make a decision delayed me getting them for... uuh 7 years? lol. To be honest I fell in love with natural hair and was having fun with it.  Every so often, usually when I hit a "hair" road block, I would contemplate Sisterlocks all over again, only to eventually talk myself out of it again. However, I realized that fun had finally come to an end when I would much rather throw my hair in a wig and not deal with it... then well... to deal with it. So after finishing a couple endeavors in my life, one day I woke up and said, "it's time"... within a week I had an appointment with a consultant. One June 23, 2014 I finally did it.

My free natural hair was 12-10 inches with a 4B/4C curl pattern, My actual locking process took 24 hours over 2 days and we don't talk about the cost. So far I love my locks. Right now in their infancy I've been treating them similarly to mini twists, since that's what they look like for the most part. Doing simple styles and calling it a day. I'm a "get up and go" girl, so I'm loving the fact that I don't have to spend as much time on my hair. A quick swoop to the side and I'm more than happy to go.

Day 2 after Installation 

I'm anticipating that the locking process won't take too long, 3 months (fingers crossed) 6 months max. My hair was meant to lock, lol. After 4 weeks my test locks were well on their way. Most recently I did my first wash. which felt amazing. The "no products for 6 months" rules is going to be my hardest thing to follow. It must be the old natural in me, but I cannot stand the feel of this dryness!!  So finally putting water on my hair was everything! I have to fight every night in the shower the temptation to just dunk my hair. I did cheat a little and after my wash I added some vitamin E oil to my scalp to help prevent an itchy and dry scalp. My first wash came with both good news and bad news. Good news, the majority of my locks were entering the budding stage already! Bad news... me and shrinkage would have to be best friends. This wasn't unexpected in the least bit since my hair had crazy shrinkage as a free natural. I'm just worried about how long this marriage to shrinkage is going to last.  Luckily I look relatively ok with short "hairstyles" (hairstyles equalling swoop and go) and don't mind the shrinkage so far.
Week 2: Shrinkage and Budding
Overall I'm excited I finally made the plunge.  Not too shabby, within the first week of having them done I got my first "Are those Sisterlocks? question. So I'm relatively pleased so far. Although when I look through pictures of Sisterlocks around the web I wish I started them back when I had the idea in 2007.  Ah well, I'm excited for my journey and I'm confident in my decision.  Hellloooooo Sisterlocks!!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A look into your past

So, I've stumbled upon a very old "blog" of mine recently. I'm unsure if blog is really the proper term to use.  I think something like "The self-absorbed rattlings of a 21 year old who thinks they know it all." There's a lot of talk about feelings and boys, and one boy in particular. (I thought I was going to marry him... Thank God I didn't marry him To say the least, I was getting annoyed with myself the more I read. Thankfully, like many projects I start, I abandoned it a few months after I started, so the torture was short-lived.  It's kind of funny though. If I flashback to 21, I remember stumbling upon my livejournal account from high school and thinking, "Oh the teenage angst, how could I have ever been so stupid?" Funny how we're so critical of our past selves,  because we've all been there, we've all done the stupid things.

But it makes me wonder, 7 years from now in 2021, will I find myself once again stumbling upon this blog, reading through it and "facepalming"? (Future me, if you're reading this, yes the term Facepalm is an actual thing and yes you used it cause you thought you were cool... I wonder if Facebook is still around?) I wonder if I'll laugh at myself wondering how I could be so preoccupied with the minor trivialities I let my life become obsessed with today.

But not matter how painful it is to read back on my own stupidities, it's also very refreshing to see the transient nature that life is. To realize that our pain is temporary. That our happiness is temporary. That our stress is temporary. That our success is temporary. That our hate is temporary. That are love... can be temporary. It punctuates the importance of releasing the negative and embracing the positive. If our pain is temporary why devote so much time feeding it. If our happiness is temporary why not more time experiencing it and maximizing. Why torture yourself with all the worry, stress, and pain when you have the opposite at your disposal? I wish I could have told myself this years ago. As I always say, hindsight is 20/20.

If you're one of the small subset of random people who are reading this, I have an assignment for you. Go back 5 - 10 years, or to an age that you had once considered significant, and find a piece of personal writing. It's not as hard to do as you're telling yourself , electronic records and technology were abundant 10 years ago, I bet you can find something. Read whatever you find a few times, then write a letter to the past you with whatever recommendations, compliments and thoughts you have to offer your past self and save it. Likely, one day, there will be a past you living in the future... Your daughter or son, who at age 21 is self-absorbed, lost, and fixated on a boy or girl they can't let go. You may not know exactly what to say to them, or how to say it, to help them out.  But maybe one day you'll remember that you did a silly little thing such writing a candid letter to your 21 year-old self that can  be of some guidance. Think of it as an alternative to starting a conversation with "When I was your age...."