Tag Archives: lifestyle

Your Stamp on This World

Your Stamp on This World

Sometimes we make decisions in our lives that we regret. Other times we proudly go through our days wearing “No Regrets” t-shirts. Its a battle each day when we come up on challenges, roadblocks and barriers and have to make decisions or actions that effect the rest of our lives either positively or negatively.

Melyssa Ford of Blood Sweat and Heels created a “musical” hip-hop-era entitled For Vixens Who Have Considered Homicide When the Video is too Much. She wanted to do something to clear up any misconceptions or judgments that people have of her and other women who chose the “video girl” career path. “…for people to decide who you are from one pocket of your life…” she quoted during the episode featuring this musical, referring to her slightly unsuccessful attempt to remove the “video hoe” label from her popular industry booty.

It sucks that this is how things work in this world, but that’s what it is. Even Monica Lewinsky is still dealing with the national or perhaps even international perception of who she is based on a personal decision she made over a decade ago. Situations like these, are reasons why some people move through life carefully, realizing that the smallest decision can dictate how this world will perceive them.

If you are the type that doesn’t care what people think of you and think that  later on in life you won’t be bothered by the pressures or judgments that may be cast upon you, by all means live life without inhibitions. For most of us-planners-or people who don’t want to be labeled, we cautiously plan out three steps before even taking one. Not that Melyssa did anything bad, or wasn’t proud of being in the industry at that time in her life. She says she has moved on from that lifestyle and wants the world to remove that label.

You can be the prettiest, smartest, toughest person with a cure for cancer and the world will only remember you for that “negative” part of your life.

Just a lil of the TRUTH…

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Posted by on April 18, 2015 in Our Culture/Our World


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Substance Abuse

“…Anything that has substance… we as a people [black people] reject it.”

I heard an interview with Rico Love on Atlanta’s 107.9 and this statement he made inspired this post. He was discussing (as I’m sure many of our parents have discussed) how some of the hip hop music of today is cookie cutter and lacking substance.

I understood where Rico Love was coming from. Most of the songs of today are not songs that will carry us past our 40’s. What’s scary is being stopped at a red light and a 40+ year old, blaring the latest song pulls up next to you singing along. Some songs of today are of good quality, providing good melody, and thought provoking lyrics, but those songs rarely make it to the top, those artists rarely receive a Grammy. Underrated artists like Lupe Fiasco, Mos Def, Wale, B.O.B. should have a bigger or more prevalent platform. Not to say there is no quality music out these days, but there is a lot more rubbish than rubies out here. It seems that unless a song is a crossover song it doesn’t receive the recognition it deserves. We don’t accept the great songs unless there is a certain level of “turn up”. We ought to be able to put our quality artists over the top like we did back when SoulTrain, Luther Vandross, Diana Ross, and Smokey Robinson were in the forefront of the television screen.

Substance is lacking in not just music, but other areas:

Television Programming- Reality TV for starters, everybody has a show about anything. These “wives” themed shows are the ringleader in lacking substance, from the character to the storyline its all junk.

Food- Now days even the organic isn’t organic, you damn near have to grow it yourself for it to actually be considered food. So many preservatives, additives, and artificial in our diets, we might as well eat the package it came inside of.

Clothing- Thin, shredding with each turn, lightweight, overpriced junk. Pay high prices for QUALITY. the garments hanging on the rack have strings unraveling at the seams, lightweight, frail zippers or buttons, uneven hems, mismatch patterns at the seam… think I’m lying? Next time you are shopping, check the hem or seams of ANY garment. Unless you are in a NORDSTROM, SAKS, and maybe BELK, you will find substance lacking attire.

Not being preachy, I’ve dabbled in a few of these substance lacking areas, but writing this post has inspired me to go a little further, search a little harder and spend the extra dollar for SUBSTANCE. I encourage you to no longer abuse substance, beating it down, neglecting it, and forgetting about it’s existence.

Just a lil of The TRUTH..

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Posted by on September 20, 2014 in Our Culture/Our World


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Like a Good Neighbor

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We all share this world, and regardless of how much of a recluse we want to be, we will be living, working and playing near each other. That being said, there are some courtesies that we should keep in mind. Living in the city, or suburbs, or even the country side, there are some simple living manners we should uphold. Common knowledge things such as keeping the yard cut and clear of litter, keeping a volume cap on the noise levels, keeping guest’s cars parked in places that don’t hinder other neighbors’ way of life. Some other things are not as noticeably common. Things such as monitoring the comings and goings of different people around the neighborhood. Not to become that nosey window peeking, porch chair watching, over the glasses snooping old lady or man, but knowing when things don’t look or sound normal. Other things such as the cosmetic details that should be maintained, keeping the property value where it belongs. Living in condos, or apartments some things see a little less obvious. Keeping the noise at common, comfortable volumes, walking softly when you live above the first floor. Not running up and down the stairs, bumping the walls, or leaving trash outside of the door. Keeping your living space clean so that you deter common city rodents.

While we hope to live near people with these common courtesies in habit, good neighbors are far and few between. I’ve given up on apartment living. My next move is ownership. Sometimes this world can make us forget the good inside of us. Its our job to remember the little things that can help spread the love to others.

Just a lil of the TRUTH…

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Posted by on July 19, 2014 in Our Culture/Our World


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Foreign Exchange

Foreign: Not familiar; strange
Exchange:To give up for a substitute; To turn in for replacement

No one person is the same. Different looks and personalities help to make our surrounding unique. People are all different, and this helps to add excitement, joy, and variety to our communities. That being said we should add excitement, joy and variety to our everyday lives. Trying things that are different than your normal or familiar routine will help spice up your life.

Transitioning from high school to college, and college to the working world we find ourselves out of the new and exciting events of life, and into the mundane routine of the workforce. Spicing up our evenings or weekends (in and outside of the bedroom) can be as easy as trying new things.

Travel-visit the small town a few hours from your home; visit the major city a few hours from your home.
Food-Order something other than chicken tenders or burgers; try ethnic foods; try new recipes (practice makes perfect).
Fashion-Wear something you’ve always wanted to try but never thought you could pull it off (try it while on vacation, those people don’t know you and may never see you again.)
Entertainment-Read a book of a different genre than you prefer; Watch a movie of a different genre than you prefer; visit a different bar than you prefer.
****sensing a theme here****

Just a lil of the TRUTH…

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Posted by on June 14, 2014 in Random thoughts


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Absentee Father

black-fatherFirst post of the A-Z Challenge Letter “A”:

How ironic, this post is being written the 1st day of the month we recognize our fathers, or the men in our lives who play a fatherly role. Father’s Day in the black community has a different tone than that of other communities. Sad to say a lot of our fathers are missing. A lot of our fathers are the “reasons” for our short comings and flaws. My father was taken from me at a young age, so I’m not writing from life experience, my references are that of conversations and observations.

THE BLAME GAME: In watching different television shows displaying bad behavior (in my Iyanla Vanzant voice), I grew tired of hearing men and women blame their actions on not having a father in their lives. I understood people reacting to the absence of a father in the household or in their lives period, but I couldn’t understand adults blaming their behavior rather than accepting responsibility for their actions. Children blame their actions on others, as adults you have the mental capacity to understand that your actions and reactions dictate the journey you take. Shows such as Bad Girls Club, Basketball Wives, Fix My Life, Locked Up, Beyond Scared Straight and any other shows that display bad behaving individuals seeking help to right their wrongs, often tried to get to the core of the issue, placing all the blame on not having or knowing their father. It irritated me to hear the reasons for their behavior or the reason their lives turned out to be jacked up was because they had not fatherly influence. What about those of us who are doing well in spite of…?

I do believe that fathers play a major role with influencing their children’s behavior, I understand that different people react in different ways, but I don’t think its okay to blame another for your actions. What about that bad behavior exhibited by those who come from a two parent home?

INACTIVE FATHER: I found it interesting that at one point this year, I had a conversation with 3 different men about their fathers. I hadn’t asked a question to spark the conversations, the guys just spoke about recent incidents dealing with their fathers. Three different men, 3 different parts of this country, 3 different lifestyles and personalities discussing with me the idle (not idol-understand the difference) role of their fathers in their lives.
One father-never around throughout his son’s childhood, and suddenly has an interest in being around him as an adult. This man wants nothing to do with his father, expressing anger towards his mother for updating his father on their son’s well doings and whereabouts. Feelings of annoyance seep out when any amount of concern or advice is voiced. Conversation of attending his funeral one day, with doubt of emotional reactions.

Another father-Remarried during their childhood, remarried a woman with a child from a previous relationship. Treated stepson better than own sons. The boys spent summers with their father, hating it. Resentment lasting well into adulthood. The men respect their father simply because he is their father, but get no enjoyment from spending time with him. Resentment has severed their bond.

Another father– Son never met father, has no desire to meet father, and only has the goal of being a better father to his daughter than he had for himself.

Not knowing why these men felt compelled to share their feelings on this topic, it was clear that it was a common theme in our community and that I needed to write about it.

So now what? What do we do besides try to break the pattern? We definitely should forgive, but forgetting will only lead to misunderstanding. Is it ok to resent your father for being a better father to a different child than he was to you? Should you just be happy that he worked on some things and eventually became a better father? How true is the forgiveness in these situations. Should/could you allow your father another chance to play an active role in your life? Regardless of the reasoning behind the missing father, the lack of a strong male figure in the household as either role model, disciplinarian, or confidante affects the mind and structure of the black family.

Shout out to all the actively involved fathers, role models, uncles, brothers and friends that help to mold the lives of children. HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

Just a lil of the TRUTH…
A-Z Challenge Letter “A”

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Posted by on June 1, 2014 in Our Culture/Our World, Random thoughts


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Good Coffee? Good Breakfast? Both Please!

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Coffee drinker since my childhood days-blame my auntie, I drink it more than her nowadays- I love a good hot strong cup of Joe. I tote my fave insulated coffee cup to work on a daily basis. On the weekends I enjoy a couple of cups while surfing the web, reading or writing a novel. I’ve always loved coffee shops. When I was younger I’d tell my friends I wanted to date a guy who would go to the coffee shops and read books with me (actually had one to do that with me… not coffee shop, but Barnes & Nobles).

Sometimes I get up on the weekends, get dressed and hit the local coffee shops, and indulge in my favorite Saturday morning pass time. While I’m considered tiny in size, I LOVE to eat!!! Why is it these coffee shops either have excellent coffee, or excellent breakfast? I WANT BOTH!!! Drip coffee shop in Atlanta has awesome breakfast, and the coffee is just typical. The name is cute, the atmosphere is edgy-chic, and the breakfast is divine. The Coffee Cup in Fayetteville, NC has delicious coffee, stylish modern coffee shop design, but offers instant oatmeal, granola bars, and gourmet cupcakes to munch. Several other places have typical coffee, and typical breakfast bagels… I’m not into the trend known as Starbucks, I enjoy a cup from there every now and then, but I’m a fan of the tiny locally owned coffee shops.
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So for now I’m on the hunt for a great cup of coffee and delicious breakfast!!!

Just a lil of the TRUTH…

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Posted by on May 17, 2014 in Random thoughts


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Leaders of our World

“I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles, but today it means getting along with people.” Mahatma Gandhi

Who is a leader? What makes a leader? What qualities and characteristics make for a leader? Which unqualified leaders have previously held position? How do unqualified leaders gain position?

This blog was inspired by the viewing of the first episode of Blood Sweat & Heels, a show that airs on Bravo Sundays at 9/8c. On the episode the ladies were at a brunch hosted by cast member Daisy Lewellyn. Another cast member Demetria Lucas blogged on this brunch in regards to relationships and snooping on cheating men. There was something that stood out much more to me as a woman. A topic that I thought would generate more of a response than the broken record of cheating boyfriends. In one of the many topics discussed at the brunch the ladies had disagreements in regards to gender and leadership. Some comments made seemed to be those of old. Comments of men making better leaders than women, and women having the responsibility of following the leadership of a man. A comment that the host Daisy made referred to men being better leaders because of women and their monthly menstruation. *GASP* Do women really still think like this? I’m not as taken aback when men make comments such as this, but for a woman to think that because of our hormone fluctuation each month we wouldn’t make good leaders is mind boggling. This coming from a woman who is a style expert, TV Personality and has written a book. Which qualities must one possess to accomplish things of this caliber? Are those qualities similar to the qualities of a leader? She expounds on her views by expressing how she grew up admiring her father who was the head of the household. She has traditional views and feels that traditional men should be leaders. She even takes it as far as to say that women who have weaker boyfriends are lame and the woman is probably cheating on him.

Women can be leaders, women are capable of leading, and lead most things behind the scenes. Naturally women are nurturing and tend to use emotions in their actions. I agree in that aspect, but I also know some pretty heartless women.

Nonetheless we are all entitled to our opinions, and no one should be take a verbal beating because of it.

Just a lil of the TRUTH…

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Posted by on February 9, 2014 in Our Culture/Our World, Reality Rewind


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