Saturday, March 26, 2016

Christian Politics

I have been watching this Presidential election cycle for months.  I have been watching with laughter, disgust, dismay, fear, anger, and ultimately tears in my eyes.  To hear candidates spew such hateful rhetoric, to see supporters taunt and assault those who may not carry ther same views, it is hard to watch, it is hard to stomach.  But through it all it is harder to watch this behavior from self-titled Christians.

I love politics.  For those who have known me for a few years you will know that I was inspired to become President after watching the film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington in my ninth grade civics class.  It is that film, that sparked my desire to help others on a grand scale.  To hold the office, I thought, would be the way to really make a difference while restoring America's faith in politics.  I wanted to be the candidate that made people think that some people really do care about making the world a better place. Over the years this desire has shifted.  I did not want to put my friends and family through the vetting process. But I have never quite given up the idea of running for an office.  In fact someday I plan to.

As I have grown more seasoned (not older but wiser lol) I have learned a lot about the politics process.  Being a government and politics major at the University of Maryland (GO TERPS!) helped me to understand the basis behind the decisions of politicians.  Growing in my faith has caused me to assess potential candidates through a spiritual lens, and what I see is far from the teachings of Christ.

The biggest principle that I stand on in my walk with Christ is love.  Everyday I attempt to become a better person and to do that is to practice love toward myself and to others.  I truly believe that if we all focused on this concept (no matter the religion or lack of religion) the world would be a radically different place.  (As an aside, I thought about not using the word radical in this post.  It is funny how radical has been used with a negative connotation.  I thought that it was important to use it in a positive connotation for this purpose.)  Yet, the rhetoric and the video that I see of the candidates looks far from love.  In fact it looks a lot more like fear, hate, anger, racism, homophobia, and misogyny. How can any candidate who calls themselves a Christian act this way?  How can any candidate who is a self-titled follower of Christ allow their supporters to treat others this way?  And how can we, as Christians, be complacent in these actions that are far from the teachings of Jesus?  Does that not make us just as culpable?

All I know is that Jesus didn't want us to build walls between us because he was a bridge builder.  Jesus did not want us to shun people who were different than us, he embraced them.  Jesus preached about caring for the children and the sick.  Jesus is love.  And love is not what I have seen for the past few months.

To me what is just as scary as people punching each other at candidate rallies is people turning away from the church because they see the awful things that those so-called Christians do.  The spiritual repercussions are already extending internationally and could have a lasting effect for years to come.  So this year when you go to the polls please ask yourself if the person for who you are voting is in line with your own moral and spiritual compass, because I know that I will.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

My year of change

It's been awhile since I have last written and it is not for a lack of material.  For the first time in a few years I have felt more focused than I have ever felt.  When 2016 started I knew that it would difference and so far it has.

I'm focused man!  Yes that's right.  At the beginning of the year I made a list of goals.  I have yet to look back at said goals.  However, there have been two main objectives so far.  The first is to get my finances in order.  And the second has been to focus more on my relationship with God.  Since I made those two goals my priority, everything else has fallen into place.

I have been working like crazy.  Long days, long weeks, long months.  I have been working while still making sure my mom gets to all of her doctors appointments.  I have been working while having a few job interviews.  And with all of this I am happy to announce that my mom and I will be moving out into our own apartment in May!  It isn't fancy.  But it will be our own.  I am excited.  I think my mom is a little scared and a little sad.  She keeps telling me that she should be taking care of me and not the other way around.  And here I am wishing that we could live in the lap of luxury when we are living in a place that mostly completes both of our needs.  No, I haven't figured out every worst case scenario.  But I trust that God will help me as I go along because I am doing the right thing by him by honoring my mother.

So that brings to the man upstairs.  This year I decided that my focus has to be on God.  Mom and I have started to go to a women's bible study once a month.  I have been praying more than I ever have before. I have made it a priority to do more community service.  My friends and I created a volunteer club where we volunteer together once a month.  And yes I still have a long road ahead of me in my spiritual walk but I know that I am getting there. I truly believe that by making God my priority that my blessings have been flowing.

I know this isn't my most thought provoking post.  That's ok. There will be more time for that.  Today is just the goal is just to give you an update and to show you how blessed I feel right now.  I pray that it continues.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Welcome to 2016

Welcome to 2016.  Looking back on 2015 I realized why I had so few blog posts.  My life was boring, uneventful, and pretty uninspired, disappointing even.  Yes, I made it through another year, which is nothing to be taken lightly.  But the question I have been asking myself is did I really live?

The past few months have been a blur.  Jumping to the aide of sick family members and playing a support role during grieving is a selfless act.  At times like that you just go into automatic pilot.  You wouldn't believe how easily your instincts kick in.  But there is a downside with selflessness, you forget about your self.

When my aunt got sick and later passed away I tried to be as supportive for my grieving family as possible.  Having lost my own dad to cancer years ago I know the pain to lose a parent.  I tried to make things easier for my family.   I also had to make sure acknowledge my mother's feelings and loss with losing her only living sibling.  At the same time I still had to make sure that my mother's needs were met.  And in all of this, I managed to lose myself.

I lost sight of my visions.  I lost track of my goals.  I stopped going to the gym.  Suddenly things that used to be fun didn't even seem fun anymore.  I didn't feel like I knew myself anymore.  I kind of felt like I was going through the motions like a robot, a robot stuck in a corner.  But I have to WAKE UP.  I need to move on.  I have go to get myself together.  I tell other people all the time that you can't help others if you don't take the time to focus on yourself.  Such an easy concept to say and to never follow through with...

But it is 2016.  A fresh start.  A new year to try to correct what I got wrong last year.  I don't have resolutions per se.  I call mine "goals".  Usually my goals consist of the major aspects of my life.  For each theme I then write steps that I can do to achieve my goals.  To be honest though, I always have a few big overarching themes.  I really just want to be happy and be a better person.

The answer to the question did I really live is no.  But in 2016 it is time to start living!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Dating Hiatus

My goal for Saturday was simple, spend time with mom and then to promptly ditch mom to hang out with people my own age.  Nothing against my mom.  You know I love her!  But after a few weeks of making sure everyone else was ok, after hosting people, after comforting grievers (including myself), I was ready to have a good drink, and preferably a drink with the male persuasion.  Seems easy enough right?

The day began with a question.  Would "Bow Tie", a Tinder suitor who had survived yet another instance of delete, renege on his offer to take me to the Maryland v. Penn State Football game?  After not hearing another mention of this alleged date for nearly a week, I figured that the chances were slim.  I also decided that I needed to bite the bullet and contact him because after all spending time with my mom was still on my agenda.  He finally replied to my message only to say that it was going to be "hard to link up" and that he had "friends in from college" and a "four hour exam to take tomorrow" (he's in grad school).  All of this is well an dandy, but surely none of this became a revelation the night before or the morning of said game.  And you know what I let him know that too.  I am tired of guys cancelling plans on me.  I am more tired of guys cancelling plans but waiting for me to inquire myself.  What's wrong with you dudes?

So my planned date of the week was a bust.  That meant I needed to reach out to some other guys before time ran out.  One of those guys was Troy.  I didn't disguise his name as I usually do only because he is an asshole.  You see Troy is another Tinder leftover.

There were two times in which we were supposed to meet up and something fell through on his part.  Luckily for each time plans fell through Troy decided to text me a week later as if nothing happened.  When I called him out the last time he said he would make it up, but I had never seen any type of "making it up" occur.  No, instead what I witnessed is one weak ass text message a week that said good morning beautiful.

So when I texted Troy yesterday I was not expecting much.   He told me that he was working this weekend (which in my mind ruled him out as company already).  I went on to tell him that I was tired of dealing with the wackness on men, aka Bow Tie.  Troy then proceeded to tell me that he gave up because I was always busy.  So I asked him how he would know if I was busy if he only texted me one day a week.  The conversation escalated to me telling him if he though that he really made an effort than he really wasn't the one for me and I wished him good luck and fun at work.  He then proceeded to tell me I was mentally unstable and to not contact him again.  WHAT THE F?!?!? Ladies and gents, let me tell you something.  Yes, I do have a tendency to be dramatic, over the top, and borderline crazy, but this was NOT one of those times.  At least let me earn your insult!  I am crazy because I call you out on your weak ass approach?  Strike two for Di Mo.

In my third attempt I reached out to "D".  I can't think of a worthy nickname so this will have to do.  D, another potential Tinder suitor did not have a good initial impression.  His phone conversations included a long rant about his ex-wife and not trusting people and him telling me that his only goal left in life at the tender age of 40 was to travel.  He also said, "you don't seem link a lawyer, you seem like a genuine person."  Despite all this, I still gave D a chance.  We went on a date that was nice and I enjoyed his company.  And through everything going on with my aunt he checked up on me which I really appreciated.  I decided to show my appreciation by inviting him to my friend's work event.  While he accepted on Monday by the day of the event he was "too tired", to which I told him that he needed to make up to me.  He did get some shade from me when on the same night he cancelled he bragged about all of the food that he had cooked that night.  Guess you weren't that tired huh?

So I reached out to D and suggested to him that last night would be the perfect opportunity to cash in on that make up date.  He agreed.  My only criteria is that I wanted a good drink and I didn't want to think.  The time was set for 7:00pm.  By 5 pm I had heard of no details for said date.  I asked him if he had figured anything out.  He replied by asking how far did I want to drive to meet him.  Side bar, if you are making up for cancelling on someone, wouldn't be appropriate if you met in a convenient spot for that person.  Also, what happened to picking women up from their door?  Anyway, at 6:15 despite my headache, we had decided on a place that I thought seemed like a fair distance for both to drive.  I texted him that I was leaving the house.  He told me that I was going to get their before him which was confusing for me but I proceeded onward.  By the time I got to the restaurant he asked me if I wanted to postpone since he was still 30 minutes away and stuck in traffic.  I laughed, because I was already there and this seemed like the worst day in dating ever, and told him that he could postpone and I would find something else to do.  I then began to drive 30 minutes back near my house to get a drink at a local spot.  He then called me said he was at the place and looking for me.  I texted him to let me know I left.  He seemed kind of pissed.  Should I feel bad?  Maybe, but I don't.  I said we could postpone.  I guess that means we both wasted a trip huh?

So that was yesterday.  Yesterday is when I decided that a dating hiatus was in order.  If this is what the dating pool has become then I bow out gracefully.  I told some of my girlfriends my trials and tribulations from yesterday and they all had the similar response "men suck".  And don't get me wrong, I am not some male-bashing, men-hating, bitter black woman.  I love men.  I miss men.  I would love nothing better than to spend a nice evening the company of a good man.  I am just wondering where they are?  And if you are one and I have overlooked you just let me know, equal opportunity and all ;).  But until then I am ok in the chill zone.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Fragile Life

I know that you all have been eagerly awaiting my next blog entry.  I am sure that you have noticed that my entries have become further and further apart.  Believe me it is not because I did not have anything to say, it's probably more because I had too much to say.  I had too much going on, too many thoughts in my head, so much contemplation on my heart, that I was overwhelmed.  I was dealing with life.

We always think that we are invincible.  It starts off when we are children.  We jump, run, bike all to the utmost levels of danger because we believe that we are superhuman.  We convince ourselves that we will never die and that we will never experience pain.  But as our flesh gets older and our minds grow wiser we know that eventually we will all experience our final day.

My aunt passed away a couple of days ago.  This is my aunt that I have lived with for the past few years.  The aunt that acted like a superhero taking care of sick family members, including her sister who is my mother.  My aunt and I could butt heads and then laugh and joke the next minute.  She would call to check up on folks regularly.  She always made sure that the house was fully stocked with ginger even though she and I were the only people who enjoyed it.  The aunt that cared so much for others that she often times neglected herself.

My aunt was surrounded by love in her final hours.  You would think that we were on Jay-Z and Beyonce status with the way that we took over the floor!  So many family members and friends were touched by a woman who believed that angels were looking down and guarding over her.  To many, she herself was an angel.

We always think that we will have one more day, one more day to say I love you, one more day to say I am sorry, one more day, to promise to stay strong for everyone.  We live such a fragile life, never knowing when our last day will be.  After my father died I made a vow to never put off saying how I feel.  I always try to let the people who I care about know how special they were/are to me.  And although I could have told my aunt more how much I loved her and appreciated her I would like to think that she knew.  I would like to believe that she passed knowing that I will take care of her sister and that she does not have to worry.  My mustard seed of faith allows me to know that my aunt is living beyond her earthly flesh among the stars.

So listen.  Don't take this life for granted.  Don't hesitate to tell your loved ones that they are loved.  As clique as it may sound you just never know when you will have that opportunity again.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

I'm Not Your Baby

There are times when I truly feel that my peculiar dislikes will leave me single forever.  I don't know what to say.  I can't help it.  There are just some things that make me feel uncomfortable and I really can't change that.  Amongst those things that drive me crazy are when guys call me a pet name prematurely.

I remembered that I wrote about the pet name thing before.  If you want to see it click here.  But it wasn't until a few days ago that I really thought about the underlying reason why I hate pet names.  Sure I don't like feeling patronized.  The ultimate black feminist in me doesn't want to be considered as an object or a little girl.  But this week I realized that there as something much deeper that bothered me.

My friend reminded me of something that one of my ex-boyfriends said while we were dating.  He was telling me a story about how one of his friends as caught calling a woman who he was dating by the wrong name.  His advice to this friends as to call every woman baby so that he never got their names mixed up.  My girlfriend shared a similar story with me that the guy who she as dating, who she found out had a girlfriend, also referred to all his female companions as baby.

The reason why I don't want to be called baby or sweetie or sweetheart or anything similar, it just doesn't feel special.  Pet names are supposed to be for someone you care about.  Someone with whom you have a connection.  When I am online dating nothing makes me feel more turned off than when a guy that I have never met all of a sudden thinks it is ok to use terms of endearment.  It to me is the same as saying I love you.  Would you say I love you to a stranger?  Of course not, unless they just gave you a million dollars! lol

So there it is. Crazy or not.  I might be too picky.  But I just want to know that I am really special.  I don't want don't want to be just one of your babies.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

My Alter Ego Ethel

Move over Chris Gaines and Roman Zolanski!  Mimi and Sasha Fierce have nothing on Ethel.  Yes, I have my own alter ego and her name is Ethel.  You see Ethel is a 75 year old grandma who doesn't give a phuck!  Ethel is one bad mama jama who speaks her mind, does what she wants, and apologize to no one.  Yeah right now I am Ethel, so if you don't like it suck it!

The truth is I am getting tired ya'll.  Sometimes I am just fatigued from being the people pleaser trying to save the world.  It's exhausting!  I am constantly trying be sympathetic. I am constantly anticipating everyone's next move or lack of move so I can step in and save the day.  I feel unappreciated and neglected.  No more checking up on you texts.  No more remembering that this is the anniversary of the death of the pet that you grew up with as a child.  No more follow ups to see how your day at the dentist was.  No more phone calls to see how you are dealing with your breakup after only dating that guy for three weeks.  This is the end of me setting a time to meet up that takes into account your tardiness.  I am not going to feel bad if I go places or do something by myself.  I will not feel guilty if I don't want to go out anymore because I don't feel like driving or I would rather watch Murder She Wrote on Netflix.  Ethel will not let me bite my tongue nor will she let me stay completely quiet to avoiding hurting the feelings of a sensitive person who has no regards for my own feelings.  She will not let me play nice.  Because the Ethel in me wants me to enjoy my own life and stop worrying so much about everyone else's.  I mean clearly who is worrying about me?  No one.

Part of me embracing my inner Ethel is realizing that there are just some people who are not going to value you me as I value them.   A friend wrote a post that lifesucking and timesucking contraption aka Facebook, saying that she was going to put in as much into a friendship/relationship as she receives.  I plan on adopting the same strategy.  No more dating guys who aren't really into me (especially when I am not really into them either).

I have been told that it is my gift that I stay in touch with people, that I can sense when someone needs a word of encouragement. And while I do these things without wanting something in return, sometimes I need it.  What ya'll don't understand is that caring so much about others and internalizing their emotions is very draining.  My tank is depleted and I need to fill it up with more of me and less of everyone else.  Just because I am strong and I handle a lot of shit on my own doesn't mean that I don't need someone to check in on me dammit.  So when I feel that I don't get that type of support I just stick to myself.  Shoot sometimes I/Ethel need to be away from humans especially when they act like morons.

So today I am my alter ego, Ethel. Ethel, that ass-kicking grandma that is the biggest shit talker this side of the Mississippi and can get away with it because she is 75 and no one wants to disrespect their elders nor give her a heart attack.  Peace out biotches!