Friday, December 30, 2011

2011, What a Year!

I am sitting at my desk so bored out of my mind and thinking back over the year 2011. With two days left in the year, I can say, without a doubt, that 2011 will be a year that I will never forget. I thought it might be fun to recap some of the most defining moments of the year. So here, I go…

Honorable Mention – The Que Centennial Weekend in DC July 2011 – That sausage fest was probably the most outrageous weekend I had all year! FUN TIMES INDEED!

#5 – Adventures with My Boof Boof – This past year I learned more about my best friend than I had in the previous 15 years of knowing her
. With every major life change that happened for me this year, she was here every step of the way.  Throughout it all we were able to have great moments of random fun. Weather it was traveling to ATL,
deciding randomly to purchase Janet Jackson tickets, her sitting quietly in the living room (*snickers*) or discussing home d├ęcor – there was always a fun time to be had.

#4 – Finishing Grad School – The thorn in my side for two years is now gone. What a glorious feeling to be done with school FOVEVER. I will miss those refund checks though! ::shrugs:: The finality of grad school will hit me on May 12, 2012, when I cross the stage. Come party with me, eh?

#3 – Milton – If you know me or have read my blog before, you know that my sperm donor has always been an issue for me. This year a major and much needed step forward was taken in filling what had been a long-term void. He and I do not really have a relationship yet, but I was able to get acknowledgement of my presence after 26 years. I’ll be curious to see what happens from here.

#2 – Operation 1135 -- On June 23, 2011 I became a homeowner. What a wonderful feeling it is to come home everyday to something that is all mine. Maybe in the future, I will share posts of my decorating adventures. Things are starting to come together nicely!

#1 – Granny’s Passing – June 4, 2011… Even though it was one of the saddest days of my life, the death of my Granny was also a major turning point in my life. Growing up I used to be terrified of life P.G (post Granny). However, Granny’s passing, albeit devastating,
showed me that I could and would make it on my own. I am who I am because of her love and dedication to me; it’s extremely gratifying to know that all of her sacrifices did not go in vain. RIP!

This past year showed me that anything is possible! 2011 revealed the depth of my faith, love, determination, and strength.  I am so excited for 2012 that I am bursting at the seams.


Here’s hoping that 2012 is even better than 2011!! Happy New Year everyone!

A

Thursday, August 18, 2011

...With Love

It’s been quite some time since I have done a post on here, but I feel it is time. The month of June was a rough one for me – I feel like life just snatched me up into a cyclone and just spit me out. June 2011 will be a month that I will never forget. I experienced one of my highest highs and one of my lowest lows within weeks of each other – the purchase of my 1st home and the passing of my heart!  I have written on here before about me caring for my grandmother while she battled stage IV endometrial cancer -- my grandmother lost that battle on June 4th. As I sit here and try to fight the tears from falling from my eyes, I must say that I dreaded the day my grandmother would physically leave me all my life.
I had been itching to get my 2nd tattoo for quite some time now and I knew I wanted it to be something dedicated to my grandmother. I tossed back ideas of combining her favorite thing in the world the butterfly with a cancer ribbon, yet it seemed so contrived and generic – not special enough to capture the essence of my grandmother or our connection.  As I was unpacking boxes, I found a card my granny had sent to me freshman year in college. The handwritten message was a simple note of her sending me some cash to last me until I came home for Thanksgiving and random hellos from the older ladies at church. It was signed Love, Granny.

My new tat!

The word love just jumped off the card and there it was -- Love….Love…Love!!! So simple, yet beautiful and exactly what our relationship was – a true example of pure unconditional love. As long as I can remember my grandmother was my foundation, she gave of herself so freely to afford me with my every want and need. She financed my entire education, and when I say entire I mean entire. She paid every tuition bill from Kindergarten until I crossed the stage with my bachelor’s degree from Temple University. She afforded me opportunities to travel and experience a life outside of the streets of West Baltimore.
Every single blessing my grandmother gave to me was out of love and with love. It only made sense for me to tattoo ‘Love’ on my inner wrist in my grandmother’s handwriting.  I was created from good stock and reared with love… Every time I look at the ‘Love’ sitting on my veins, it will just be a reminder that everything I do in life needs to draw from that feeling, that passion, that pureness of emotion. 
So to my Granny, I say…
“Thank You! I miss you terribly. I promise to make you proud!
Love,
Adriene  

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Turning Point?!?!

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about my “Daddy Issues.” It is my favorite post out of all of my rants on EOTM, as it was the most honest thing I have ever written. Over my 26 years, I never allowed myself to openly feel much about my father. I refused to allow myself to cry, laugh, think, wonder, or ponder about a person I did not know. However, I secretly wished for the acknowledgement from this person I did not know. That’s all I ever wanted.
On February 18th, I got to stop wishing. It was a whole day of first for me that included my father. It was the first time I had a conversation with him since I was nine years old, which just happened to be the first time I met him. Friday, February 18th was the first time we took a picture together, the first time I heard him say my name, the first time we shared a drink together, yet more importantly -- the first time he verbally acknowledge that I was his child or at least the first time that I heard it. Needless to say I was an emotional wreck for part of that day, well really all day. I was a big ball of emotions ranging from happy to elated to confused, all at the same time.
I don’t know what happens now with my father, not sure if I can google how to develop a relationship with your father. Honestly, it really would be nice if I could. I have no idea what I am doing here, lol! I never have had a father. However, I am open and receptive to wherever this path takes me. This is a turning point, my moment in life…
A

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

No Love for Cupid

It’s the first day February--a month full of holidays. This month is dedicated to Black History, Parent Leadership, and National Bird Feeding (Hey, this is what Google is for. lol). In February, we celebrate Groundhog’s Day, President’s Day, and sometimes even a leap year. However, the granddaddy of all February holidays is Valentine’s Day. For the next 14 days lovers will be wracking their brains trying to come up with clever gifts, and ideas for romantic gestures to show their love for one another. WOMP!

When I was younger, I loved Valentine’s Day. You would go to school and make V-day cards; and all your classmates would give out lollipops, Lifesaver’s cards, candy necklaces, and those nasty chalky heart-shaped candies with the sayings on them.  Ahh, those were the good ole days. By the time I got to high school, it was all about who received a singing valentine from Route 87, or who received carnations from a guy at the boys’ school. No longer was everyone included in the “celebration of love”. :(

This post is not coming from a bitter single girl, but from someone who longs for more. Romance, love and affection are great, but Valentine’s Day is not! I would rather not impose the pressure of Valentine’s Day on whoever I am in love with. The actions associated with February 14th have become more ritualistic than genuine expressions of love. Why not engage in a random act of love on July 23rd or September 16th and without spending hundreds of dollars on dinner, flowers, and perfume? That would be a much more thoughtful gesture to show your mate that he or she is appreciated. Valentine’s Day is only one day; what about the other 364 days?!

Just a thought…

A

Happy Birthday Langston Hughes!

To my surprise my favorite poet, Langston Hughes was trending worldwide today on Twitter. Langston Hughes was born February 1, 1902 -- what a wonderful start to Black History Month. Listed below are two of my favorite poems:

Still Here
I been scared and battered.
My hopes the wind done scattered.
   Snow has friz me,
   Sun has baked me,

Looks like between 'em they done
   Tried to make me

Stop laughin', stop lovin', stop livin'--
   But I don't care!
   I'm still here!

Dream Variations
To fling my arms wide
In some place of the sun,
To whirl and to dance
Till the white day is done.
Then rest at cool evening
Beneath a tall tree
While night comes on gently,
    Dark like me--
That is my dream!

To fling my arms wide
In the face of the sun,
Dance!  Whirl!  Whirl!
Till the quick day is done.
Rest at pale evening . . .
A tall, slim tree . . .
Night coming tenderly
    Black like me.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Today's Random Ass Thoughts

It sucks wanting more for someone else when they have no interest in putting forth the effort to get there...like what are you aspirations, goals, etc...I am still in training after seven months, yes seven...I can not take it anymore...I am so over this whole thing...I just need to be out...one more month to go...but then I will be required to work and after eight months of not working, its going to be tough...in good news I only have two more semesters left of grad school...PRAISE THE LORD...however the crazy in me is thinking "hmmm it wasnt that bad, maybe another degree wouldnt be that bad"...I am talking crazy...however I am working on my 5 year skelton...
 
...I'll worry about adding the meat to it as I go! :)
 

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Question I Asked Myself

On Christmas morning, I woke up to text and tweets that my little sister who is four, yes four, years younger than me just said yes to her boyfriend's proposal. There it was -- my little sister was getting married. Immediately I was happy and estactic for her!!! I mean what girl doesn't want to get married? All girls want to get married, right?! Right?!

With the recent engagement of my sister and a friend from high school, it has left me examining what I really want. Like, do I really want this because I genuinely want this? Or do I want it because everyone else around me does and they are constantly and consistently working on obtaining it? I am at the age, where all of my friends are slowly preparing themselves to make this transition. I still don't have an answer to this. However, I have made the determination that marriage is like college -- it isn't for everyone. I am okay with me not being obsessed with finding it, but at the same time I am not going to close myself off to the possibility of marriage either.

But I am glad I had the conversation with myself...

A

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

All of the Lights


I am in training class, with my iPod in…days like this I thank God for big hair to cover my ears! :) One of my favorite Yeezy songs came on…as I listened to my girl Rihanna “sing” the chorus, the words struck a chord.
“Turn up the lights in here baby extra bright, I want y’all to see this turn up the lights in here, baby…want you to see everything Want you to see all of the lights…”
It appears that this has become the mantra of a few of my close friends. Recently K, KJ, and A have all been turning the lights on extra bright for me. They all have recently been offering their perspectives on a current situation. I am not discounting anything that they are saying. In fact, I believe and already know everything that they are saying to be true, I was just ignoring it. I am not ready to walk away, even though I know I should and need to. Being the true Sag girl that I am, when I am ready I will do it and it will be over! That simple.
I am truly grateful and appreciative that I have friends who are not afraid to “turn up the lights” on me when I need it. Their actions highlighted something I wasn’t ready to admit or walk away from. I am still not ready to…not sure when I will be. But it is nice to know that when I am walking a path with my eyes wide shut, my friends are right behind me “turning on all of the lights.”
A

The BIG Elephant in the Room has Gone Digital


I grew up in a single parent household. Only Mom. No Dad. 
…I honestly never thought about it…until I got to middle school. An invitation came in the mail in 6th grade for the Father/Daughter Bullroast and then it hit me, that I didn’t have a father! At this point I was 11 years old, I knew my paternal grandparents and Aunt…I knew I had sisters…but the sperm donor was still an mystery to me. I had only laid my eyes on him one time. All my life I grew up hearing “You look just like your father.” My thought was always “thats great,” but it meant nothing to me because I could not connect with him. 
About 5 years ago, I was able to final make a connection to my sisters via Facebook of all places. I mean Facebook really does change lives. I grew up with my brother, but I always wanted sisters. It was awful knowing that you have sisters but you can not do anything about it. Its great to finally have a relationship with them, but there is still an elephant in our relationship — our their father. When we talk there is no mention of him. We have two different perspectives of one man. I never bring him up because I respect that he is their father. 
The very thing that allowed me to develop a relationship with my sisters is the very thing that is haunting me now. Our Their father is now the big elephant in my digital space. His name appeared in my notifications today and I turned my iPhone off. Just the appearance of his name two people below me on the comment section of my sister’s picture freaked me out!!! 

Did he click on my name? Did he look at my profile? Did he think my profile picture was beautiful? Or did he simply ignore the digital me, like he has the real me?! Almost 26 years and counting…
A

Today's Random Ass Thoughts


Why do I always procrastinate? I just need to write this paper and I will be done with this class forever, like forever…This weekend was great…Had a great time last night and I only had ONE DRINK…that is utterly amazing…lol…Last night also was a turning point for me…I TURNED IT/HIM DOWN…progress is amazing…However, I wonder if the other he saw me fall last night…I don’t think so…I kinda don’t care, he already saw me looking hot…red lips and pressed hair…oww!!! 
…okay I really should get off tumblr and start writing 8-12 pages of brillance on something related to brand management…
**logging off tumblr and opening Microsoft Word** 

Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart…


Today I was on Facebook and noticed all of the statuses with people excited for Turkey Day. Thanksgiving used to be one of those holidays that I never really appreciated. It really was just a chance for me to devour all of Granny’s tasty dishes. I know I know…how often is the meaning of the holiday drilled into our minds as youngsters. I heard it all and even loved making the turkey’s by tracing your hands in elementary school, but the meaning really didn’t stick. I honestly just never thought much about it.
However this year, Thanksgiving has a new meaning for me. This past year has been one of the most trying years of my young life. I lost my job in the middle of an awful recession, my grandfather had a mild stroke and several bad car accidents, and my grandmother was diagnosis with stage IV endometrial cancer. There were many times were I could have just given up. However, my eternal optimistic spirit never allowed me to give up ever, even with all the tears, pain, and heartache!
On Thursday, when my family sits down around the table I have so much to be thankful for. My heart is so filled with joy and praise for all that the Lord was able to do for me this year. Despite the challenges that arose this past year, I never had to once question where I was going to sleep, what I was going to eat, how I was going to pay my bills, etc. On Thursday, as we prepare to eat, I will share that I am most thankful this year for my tremendous growth and strength. Once you really trust, you will receive…
So for Thanksgiving 2010, I ask that each of you really take a second to appreciate your many blessings. You will be amazed at what you have already received. Happy Thanksgiving!!!
A

He Say...


Sunday evening I posted my opinion of Black Girls Rock and my reaction to a FB status I saw immediately after the show wrapped. I asked my BFF male to provide some insight to the status…here are his musings!!! :)
BET, for once, presented an excellent representation of what black women; better yet all women should strive for.  The beauty of the talent and inspiration shown during that Two Hour Special was definitely something to be proud of.  During the show I received many texts and messages from black women stating how awe inspired they were with the showing of the many different talented women of color.  
I was asked to reflect on a status that A viewed on Facebook after viewing the Black Girls Rock special.         
“I’m going to always be pro women. I believe in building up our women. But if I wasn’t too tired id go in on the fact that our women have to wait until Tyler Perry movies or the I rock on bet to realize their strength and self worth. sincerely frustrated bachelor.” 
Now I am not a frustrated bachelor, as I have been lucky enough to have found my jewel.  But I have lived a little bit to understand the frustrations of this young black man.   
Let me start by saying, BLACK WOMEN ARE AWESOME!  They are beautiful and gifted in more ways than any demographic in this country.  I salute all black women who handle their business and head their households when no one else is around to do anything better.    
The problem that a lot of men find is that for every strong black woman that is aware of their worth, strength, courage, fears, triumphs, desires, wants, and needs; there are another 2 black women who allow their self respect and dignity to be defined by society and black men.  A lot of depictions in mainstream media depict the whole demographic of Black women as educated, beautiful, and unable to find a man.  While there are so many of these women in society making an imprint, there is also the group that this brother speaks about that causes so much “frustration”.   
Many Black women have allowed their self worth to be defined by some man who has controlled their heart, mind, and aspirations.  These permanent scars are seen in their interactions with their children, friends, and men who are trying to pursue them.  I have interacted with plenty of black women who live daily with a negative aura surrounding them.  Many of these women have allowed someone else to define their self worth.  When they view a depiction of strong black women such as Black Girls Rock!, it becomes a slight inspiration and realization of what they could be.  
When this young brother states that he is frustrated, he honestly and very likely might be.  Not with the Black Women that are and were reflected in this show, but with the Black women who don’t realize that self esteem is created thru your own belief.    
K

BLACK GIRLS F@#KING ROCK!!


Kudos to BET!!! Black Girls Rock was a great presentation and display of the accomplishments of several great black women. The show was absolutely incredible!!! It has been a long time since I watched anything on BET and walked away feeling empowered. I mean I literally died, went to heaven, saw St. Peter, the feet of the Lord while Jill, Ledisi, Marsha, and Kelly performed. Then I went back and revisited my Lord when Tasia, Ledisi, Marsha, and Kelly performed. BET needs to know that that really was the best two hours of anything they have aired in the past 10 years! :-)

However after the show wrapped, I logged onto Facebook to see the status below:
“im going to always be pro women. I believe in building up our women. but if I wasnt to tired id go in on the fact that our women have to wait until tyler perry movies or the I rock on bet to realize their strength and self worth. sincerely frustrated bachelor.”
*deep sigh* BBM sad face, KIK angry face….all that shit!! Where do I begin!
My first thought was really?!? Really dude, really?!?! Black women know that they are awesome. We do not need or request that Tyler Perry speak for us and measure our strength and self worth. We do not need or request that BET air Black Girls Rock, however in this day and age its is needed and necessary. Black women do not often receive the praise of their worth. More often than not, we are broadcast in popular culture as oversexed-ghetto-neck-rolling-gum-popping individuals or downtrodden-angry-bitter-always-gonna-be-single individuals.
It is nice when there are other representations of the vast fabric of African-American women. Presentations and examples of black women doing all of the things she is capable of doing are refreshing to see in the media. Shows like Black Girls Rock aren’t needed to show us our worth, but a lovely reminder of how great we really are and to showcase that greatness to the world, all while appreciating the undertakings of other great black women!
I for one am self aware of my worth, strength, courage, fears, triumphs, desires, wants, and needs; I am surrounded by so many beautiful strong black women who are equally self aware. So black men, please don’t stop uplifting us and don’t misunderstand the intentions of those who choose to give us a voice, publicly acknowledge, and uplift us either!
A

I Call it Wondering, You Might Call it Obsessing…


How many times have you caught yourself obsessing over a guy or multiple guys (get’em playa,lol)…
…obsessing over ever minute detail of each interaction with that person…recalling in vivid detail moments the two of you have spent together…trying to figure out if you were witty enough, clever enough, or funny enough…
…Wondering why hasn’t he called? Why didn’t he respond to my text? Why didn’t he try to make a move on me last night? Does he like my red lipstick? Can he see the run in my stockings on my left leg? Is he capable of love and monogamy? Is that even an option? Or does he just think I am a nasty girl that swallows what’s on the menu(ROZAY!, lol)?
Getting a whiff of the cologne he wears and instantly replaying a hot steamy tryst in the sheets…obsessing if he deleted THAT picture you sent weeks ago…questioning if he calls other girls baby…consumed with thoughts of him taking other girls out…still completely stunned that he didn’t even try to make a move…
Did he notice that I changed my hair? Does he stalk my Facebook page? Did I come on too strong? Does he notice that the jeans I am wearing are two sizes smaller than the last time he saw me? Does he even like me? Or is he just saying everything  he thinks I want to hear?
Wondering…obsessing…wondering…obsessing…wondering…obsessing…
A

...From Someone Else


Today one of my “email buddies” and I were stalking, I mean talking lol, about Mop Top Maven’s amazing site. We were lusting for it and plotting on how to steal, well everything about her. Lol…But we were also admiring how beautiful she was with her natural hair. My friend responded with a lovely message …
“Kind of like my good friend A. You were definitely pretty before [with my perm] but there’s something more there now. Idk how to describe it. Maybe it’s a glow that comes from being confident and taking better care of yourself! Natural hair requires such a commitment and it becomes a whole lifestyle.”
WOW!! Talking about knocking my socks off…however once I got over the shock of her thoughtful words, I realized she was right! I totally agree with her…I AM PRETTIER, MORE BEAUTIFUL with my hair in its natural state. I honestly do not know what it is that provides this newfound “glow” or confidence, but I believe that I have a healthy self-acceptance of me. My natural hair has made me say, “This is me, this is who I am and I love it!”
These unexpected words from a friend came right at a time of frustration, stress, and confusion. The message in these words from my friend, gave me 10 seconds of self-reflection to regroup myself and let the confident woman that I am re-emerge. These words from someone else erased the brewing doubt, anxiety, and fear away.
Sometimes I guess you just need to hear it from someone else… :-)
A

The Quest for Something More...


As you all know, I love being a natural girl. I love my kinks, curls, frizz, and even my one strand knots…well not really, but I am working on accepting them! J I thoroughly research products before buying them. I feel like I am a part time chemist as I scour product labels looking for dreaded ingredients like ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL & SODIUM LAURYL SUFATE. I will not let certain things touch my hair.
About 3 months ago, I took my natural beauty regimen a step further and I began making my own skincare products. Again I morph into a mix-tress as I whip up clay detox masks and steep green tea to make my facial toner. Each product made with care and pride that I no longer have to shell out excessive money on products to diminish blemishes and eliminate blackheads. I have found a way to end these dreaded problems with a few trips to Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Little India (my fav Indian grocery store).
As I approached my fro’s birthday, I had an epiphany. in my best Chrisette voice I put all of this work and effort into researching natural options for vanity sake, but I do not place the same attention on body. Over the past 10 months, I have cared for and watched my grandmother battle stage 4 cancer, and I vowed that I am going to do my part to prevent my body from succumbing to this dreadful disease as much as possible. If I can place the same effort into my food and exercise habits then I would be healthy, with glowing skin and hair down my back! Oww!!
It has been almost two months since I visited old friends like McDonald’s or Burger King or had a Coke. I have been attending bellydance classes twice a week – which I love by the way – and I am hoping to add Zumba into the routine soon. I am taking my time because ultimately I want this to be more than a diet or a quick way to drop 10 pounds… I WANT THIS TO BE A LIFESTYLE CHANGE!!!
Now if someone could only tell me how to remove this damn sweet tooth…
A

Today's Random Ass Thoughts

What the hell is going on with this weather?! I mean is it not October 28th, so I am baffled as to why it feels like mid June outside. It is nice to have this gorgeous weather, but it is alarming. If you ever doubted global warming, then come to Baltimore at this very moment…I wish my hair would grow at least an inch a month…I need to get so much done tonight…I am soo excited that my grandmother has decided to receive treatment for her cancer…So at this very moment, I should be working on a statistics project due very soon however I could care less about kurtosis or standard deviation (I sound smart don’t I?!)…On my commute home, all 5 minutes of it, I was thinking about risk aversion. Generally when I make my mind up about something I am going to do, I make like Nike and just do it, corny yes I know, lol…cut off all my hair, no problem!  Get 5 stars tattooed on my right ankle, no problem! Why can’t my heart have the same gusto? My heart is envious of my brain’s ability to take the risk or in the words of my granny “am it and do it.”  So for the next few weeks leading up to my 26th birthday, my hope is that my heart grows some damn balls and “am it and do it…”


A