Monday, December 14, 2015

I Did Get the Job: A Lesson in Patience

Earlier this year, I kicked myself for not applying to this position. I then went on to apply to several other positions at NYU and wasn't truly sure about how I would fit the culture of the office. Could I do the job? Hell yeah. Would I fit in? Ummmm....

When the Associate Director position opened up in my College, I applied right away and then told no one. I knew I would fit the culture, because I've worked here for the past two years. My normal routine was to tell CT, my little sister and my two best friends about my journey to a road that seemed to always end with no job offer. This time I decided to keep most of the journey to myself. That was until I couldn't hold it any longer. I talk to CT every night and tell him everything going on in my life, so there was no way I could or wanted to hide it from him. I interviewed and discussed my fears of rejection.  I obsessed over every detail of  the process. He listened and continued being the supportive partner I've come to love. After my interviews were over and I had a good feeling I would get the offer, I began sharing with my friends about the opportunity.

After several weeks, the offer finally came late Wednesday afternoon. I was filled with elation that I in fact got the offer and the salary requested.  I was both surprised and disappointed. I didn't have to negotiate because they readily approved my salary request as fair compensation for the new role. I had all of my bullet points ready. I deserve this salary because x, y, z AND a, b, c. My college has known to be a little tight with the purse, but not for me. Not this time. So accepting the offer was a no brainer.

I've spent the last few days doing my current role, training my replacement and actually doing my job. Needless to say, at times I'm a bit overwhelmed. Luckily, I'm too organized and busy to be stressed about any of it. I've been inundated with supportive emails from my colleagues and faculty members who I will be working closely with in my new role as Associate Director. This post is me taking a second to reflect. I graduated just 2 years ago and became an Assistant Director. Just two short years later, I am an Associate.

The email below I just received from a faculty member drove my excitement and gratefulness to another level. It really made me take a second and say, yes this is a great promotional opportunity with a lot of responsibility, but I can do this:

"On one hand, I am sad you are leaving your current position.  I think you are such a fabulous role model during our recruitment open houses. If I were visiting NYU as a potential applicant, I would want to sign up on the spot because I would want to grow up to be like you.

However, I am so happy because you will do a wonderful job as Associate Director, and you are joining our little encove . We have a wonderful group."

OK my me time is up, back to my 3 jobs I go.

Update: A student I assisted also emailed me:

"Congratulations on your promotion. You might not remember the impact you had on my transitioning from high school to college but I am so thankful that you were there to help me last year with all of my many questions and help me transition my credits. May GOD bless you in all that you do, and may you receive many more promotions. Thank you for everything. "


Friday, November 6, 2015

31: A Handful of Aha Moments!

It's very fitting that my 300th post would have a very different tone than the other 299 posts of the past. Silent Scorpion, the Serial Dater, has died. Finally, right?! Parts of her will always be with me but I'm venturing into a new chapter and I love it because I love and fully trust my partner. He's not everything I thought I wanted and everything I didn't know I needed. Like seriously though, he has a beard. He has a full, thick, and soft beard.  I use to HATE beards. Daddy issues.

Since we entered each other's lives I've been met with continuous aha moments.

Aha it can be so simple!
Aha he can get you!
Aha he can love all of those things you don't even like about yourself!
Aha! Aha! Aha!

Over the past several months, I've been very slow to open up with acquaintances/friends (via social media) about him but very quick to share with those closest to me. I shout his name whenever I can and find comfort in knowing that he is as much committed to me as I to him. This was confirmed after my recent trip to his home country of the Bahamas this past weekend. (Of course he's from an island, refer to this post) What a way to bring in my birthday! I got to be with the man I love, as well as with the family he loves and holds near and dear. When we met and he told me no woman had ever met them, I must say I was relieved. Families had always scared me but with him, I found myself wanting to meet them, to see him through their eyes.

When I convey the story of how I ended up at a lunch table with his mother, two sisters, brother and two best friends without him, I fail to mention I could have easily avoided it all. When I was booking my ticket to Nassau, there were two options. Option 1, I could fly into Nassau and then catch a second flight 30 minutes later to Exuma. Option 2, I could fly into Nassau and leave a 5 hour window for what I thought would be awkward meet and greets. I chose the latter.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't also nervous to be meeting all of them without him holding my hand, but I was just too excited that a man I had let into my heart, was letting down all preconceived notions of what family interactions might look like and fully allowing me into his. Although there were some awkward moments, as can be expected for such a meeting, the lunch was filled with laughter and sarcasm; my two most favorite things!

During both the car ride from and back to the airport, both of his best friends shared their excitement in meeting me. Really? Me?! Chile. This black girl surely blushed. They confirmed to me what I already knew and for that I am grateful. Even though his words carry so much value, hearing them repeat to me all the things he's already told me was still pleasing to my ears. It was funny to hear them share he feels like since the moment we met, I "got" him. I use the exact same phrasing when describing our initial meeting. Well the second initial one, the first one doesn't count in my eyes since I was busy being my overly friendly (read: disinterested and standoffish) self.

It was refreshing to see a different side of him when we were with the rest of his family on his island. I didn't need to hold his hand as I chatted with his grandmother, but it was nice to be able to look over at him if I needed to. By the end of our trip, I was hanging out with grandma, one on one. Which reminds me, I need to send her my (read: Google's) Bourbon Pecan Pie recipe. The pie I made was a hit with grandma. A cute girl, who can cook?!! She told me to make sure I come back soon. I see you plotting grandma. I promise I'll be back soon!

He whisked me back to Nassau for the remainder of my trip. And by whisked I mean, we almost missed our flight because he is truly a man of the island and time is not of the essence. I promise I'm working on my patience, ya'll. I think I handled our delayed journey to the airport pretty well, but for him I will do better.

Between the water front breakfast, massages, homemade conch salad and pumpkin duff a la his little brother (he heard it was my fav and made it for me), bottle of wine from pop (I get to call his father that now; although I haven't told him yet), drinks on the beach, a gift that screams SILENT! (like seriously he remembered a conversation we had 2 months earlier) and a dinner just the two of us, my 31st birthday was one big AHA moment.

AHA you deserve every bit of this!*

*just go back and read the 299 posts before this if you don't believe me.



Monday, August 31, 2015

Natural High

I wish I could take this feeling I've had for the past couple of months and bottle it up. The feeling of love, support and encouragement. It is such a euphoric feeling to be surrounded by light and laughter all the time.

I'm holding on as tight as humanly possible with both hands. This feeling is better than any feeling the best depressant or stimulant money can provide.

I'm not normally a woman of few words but I hesitate to go any further. So I'll stop right here.

I'll just ride the natural high I'm on for as long as God see's fit.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Flash Back Friday: Dear Mr. No Chemistry

Dear Mr. No Chemistry

MARCH 4, 2010
I received a comment on my Facebook status after I expressed grief over the tragic passing of my coworker from a guy I dated briefly. We had gone on a few dates but we both realized we had no chemistry and stopped pursuing each other. In my Facebook status, I also mentioned that we shouldn’t take life for granted and should tell our loved ones how we feel more often.
Sorry to hear about your co-worker. Life is real short. Since we are being vulnerable…I’ve always wanted to tell you I like the Lakers (something we constantly jokingly argued about. He was a vocal Lakers Hater) and our time at [restaurant] was pretty fun. Hope you are ok.
With respect,
Mr. No Chemistry
He also followed up with a personal message in my inbox. The Facebook status comment was heart warming enough but the fact that he put time and effort to send a private message immediately following truly made me feel cared for. He knew that the comment about the Lakers would make me laugh at a time when I didn’t feel like smiling.
Here’s my open letter to him:
Dear Mr. No Chemistry,
When I met you I thought our meeting had the potential to grow into wonderful relationship. Soon after our initial conversation, I could tell you were a man of God, and a true gentleman with a kind heart, and had the potential to become above all else, a real friend.  You had a smile that wouldn’t quit and the ability to keep me laughing even when I  had no desire. Only problem was we had no chemistry. We went on 3 dates and eventually parted ways amicably. Two days quickly turned into 2 weeks before I realized I hadn’t heard from you.
Even though things didn’t work out between us, you have restored my faith in men. I know there is a man or several out there for me, who will be all the things he is supposed to be. I’m opening my heart to the possibility of meeting him one day.
I wish you well in your future endeavors and I hope that you find what you are looking for. It didn’t work between us but I know you’re going to make some other woman very happy. I feel truly blessed to call a man like you my friend.
Peace,
Silent

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Thing About Dividing Blacks Based on Skin Color

I recently got into a heated debate with a colleague who is heading diversity recruitment efforts at my Alma mater. We were talking about what he found out after joining a higher education social work consortium. He was enjoying getting to know the network but felt like he needed to do more research on his own so that he could really understand what other schools were doing to diversify their schools. To him, the results were shocking. For me, well I went to 2 PWI's and have worked at the same one for the past few years. It wasn't all that shocking when he told me several highly ranked universities and colleges' websites did not include any persons of color. His exact words were, "they could at least fake like they cared by having just one person of color on the screen." I agreed, I know the statistics, most schools do not care about diversity. For a short while, admissions decisions could legally be based on race. Schools had quotas mandating at least 15% of the admitted class be persons of color. These laws have all but since ended. However, nearly one-third of public and private colleges claim to still consider race in their admission. I work for an institution that touts their diverse numbers in every publication humanly possible so yes for some being diverse is an aim, for others not so much. 

My friend then went on to discuss more websites he had browsed and described a prestigious university who did in fact have a person of color on their homepage. Immediately my not-that dark skin male friend then pointed out that it wasn't enough to have a light skin student on their homepage. He argued that they could have at least selected a dark skin student, if they were going to choose one.Wait, what? You just said no school had a person of color. Now you've found one and they aren't black enough?!  

I agreed that their fair skin could have been the reason, but countered that their could have been more at play. For one, we do not know how students were selected for the photo shoot or how the "candid" shots of students were taken. He insisted they selected this person "who barely looks black" because they were fair skin. 

Had this been 4 years ago I probably would not have engaged him in any deep conversation and just agreed with his argument. Because during that time, I was simple minded too. "But of course they chose a racially ambiguous with fair skin to be the face of their diversity," I would have exclaimed. "I'm not even surprised," would have immediately followed.  He spent the better half of an hour trying to get me to see his point of view. I told him the reasons I did not agree with his focus on the skin tone of the one person instead of the number of persons of color shown. He continued to argue that they ("white people") had chosen this fair skin black person because they racially ambiguous looking. After another exchange of us just not being on the same page, I politely told him we could agree to disagree. Later on in the day at almost 5pm, he asked me if I had changed my mind based on his argument. Since this entire exchange happened over Gchat, I had just gotten busy at work working and left the conversation alone. I ended up logging off for the day before I got his follow up message. When the clock strikes 5, I am usually halfway out the door and the day was no different.

When I was on my way home I reflected about the reasons why the color of the persons skin wasn't my main focal point. Why wasn't I too enraged that a light skin person being the representative for all black people. Normally I would have just gone along, being that I am a dark skin black woman myself. However, things my thoughts about skin tone have changed over the last four years, for good reason. I now have a almost 4 year old nephew who is as fair as they come. He takes after his father who is half white and Belizean, and who's skin makes can't go without sun block in the sunniest of days. This very fair skin tone has been passed on to my adorable nephew. I remember a few years ago when it dawned on me that my love might not so easily be seen as just black. His mother is black, her sister is black. We're all black, why would anyone question his level of blackness. Are there levels to his blackness? Recognizing that he is an individual, I do not automatically assume he will want to share our identity. His father didn't readily, so I don't assume he will either. I want him to embrace being a black man and I'll support and instill those values in him. I'll be damned if anyone questions his black identity because of the fairness of his skin.

My thoughts are no longer so narrow minded to assume that blackness is simply defined by the intensity of melanin. My beautiful mixed race nephew has opened my mind in ways he can't even fathom. I can only ascertain from his few years on Earth that my views will continue to transform as we both grow older and wiser. To my colleagues dismay, I did not concede my argument after he followed up the next day. Much to his chagrin I stood by my belief that separating a race of people by skin tone was just a decisive measure. We all know where it came from, so I wasn't going to participate in that kind of conversation in 2015. We're all a little mixed up anyway. Why does it matter so much that they chose a light skin person? Especially when other schools do not even have just one.

It's more important that they only had one person of color on the website, not that the one person was a fair skin but obviously (to him) black person.

Is diversity important? Hell yeah. My career in admission is focused on being an advocate for diversity. Is the type of skin tone diversity as important, absolutely not. Could the fair skin of the black person be the reason they were selected to be on the page, absolutely. Let's not divide ourselves based on the darkness of our skin, black people. All my black is beautiful.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Blog About It

I want to take this moment to encourage everyone to start a blog. To release those feelings in the most artistic way possible. The use of words to create imagery and tell a story is not my best skill but has become something I have loved doing for the past 7 years. SEVEN YEARS! Today I've spent some time reading some of my old posts and I must say my interest in writing long, detailed posts have surely dwindled. I no longer detail every suitor, every argument, every little or big situation or occurrence but one thing has remained constant. My blog is my voice and it is something I enjoy going back to read after a significant amount of time has passed.

But back to my original point, ah yes, you should blog. By you, I mean YOU! No you don't have to open your blog to the public like me in a not so anonymous forum. The majority of the people who read my blog know me very well. Hey ya'll! Sometimes I'm quite aware of this fact and it changes my tone a bit. Other times I get encouragement from people who read a post I think no one has seen and I'm satisfied my voice has met someone's ears.

So yea, blogging. I like it. And yes, this blog post is about blogging.

I'm clearly distracting myself from something else...

Monday, June 22, 2015

I'm Working On It...Seriously

When I say I am working on me, I truly mean I am paying someone to sit with me for an hour every other week to work on me. Yes, I'm seeing a therapist.

The short version is therapy is just that, therapeutic. It's a treatment for issues I've been dealing with all my life. The longer version is as follows.

Therapy can help:

  • feel stronger in the face of challenges
  • change behaviors that hold you back
  • look at ways of thinking that affect how you feel
  • heal pains from the past
  • build relationship skills
  • figure out your goals
  • strengthen your self-confidence
  • cope with symptoms
  • handle strong emotions like fear, grief or anger
  • enhance your problem solving skills


My therapist has her work cut out for her and she has set up a plan for me to do so constructively. So far she has validated certain feelings and thoughts that I may have normally misinterpreted or brushed to the side. My opinions are important and it's okay that my values are different than others. There are also moments where she just lets me know I need to man up and speak up. My words not hers.

As blunt as I am, I tend to sometimes be passive and then therefore indifferent to things and situations that should be immediately addressed. In the end I bear all of the weight and resentment which affects my overall mood. Although its only been a couple of months, some friends have already noticed a difference in my overall demeanor.

I'd have to say this includes complete strangers because I feel like my energy is pulling people my way. And I'm not speaking simply romantically, but in general I'm feeling a closeness with people I've known for years that I never felt before. I have a long way to go in this process but I'm optimistic and excited about this journey. I will surely blog about it more because there's so much stigma behind it when there shouldn't be. It feels great to be open and honest with someone and have no fear of judgement.

So when I say I'm working on it, know that I'm serious. With the help of an outside party, I am digging deep, talking, thinking and getting to the core of my values and a better sense of myself. The conversations are not always easy but I know it's worth it. I'm worth it. I'm working on it.

Monday, June 8, 2015

But What If You Fly?

"What if I fail? Oh darling, but what if you fly? -- Erin Henson

I didn't think anything when he asked me to go away with him.
I didn't think anything when he brought me a gift.
I didn't think anything when he introduced me to his friends.

Truth is, I don't trust my own feelings.
I don't trust my own emotions.
They haven't pushed me in the right direction in the past so I quiet them.
I've pushed them so far into the dark, I don't know when they should be in the light.

I separate actions from words.
Actions do mean something, when I let them.
But until words precede or follow actions, then they are just that.

Nothing tops hearing I like/love you.
Nothing tops hearing I want to be with you.
Actions are nice and I enjoy them.
But until words precede or follow actions, then they are just that.

So now I've found myself at a bit crossroad. Some very faint feelings have emerged for a man who's company I enjoy.  I could say something and get rejected. I could say something and the feelings could be mutual. Or I could say nothing and walk away. At this point, I'm not that deep in. It's not that deep. Besides, he's not my type, anyway. And he's said nothing to show me he expects more than what's currently being presented. Plus, I am not sure he's worth the discussion.

You can probably tell by now which way I'm leaning. Much to the chagrin of my friends, I will likely remove myself from this situation.

Why?

Because, what if I fly?

Dear America

As I sit in my quaint office and watch footage from the McKinney, Texas pool party, I am disgusted but not shocked. It's not fair that I am not shocked that a grown male police officer pulled a gun on unarmed black teenagers. It's not fair that I am not shocked the police officer brutally threw a young, defenseless female teenager to the ground and straddled her with all his weight. His abuse of power isn't new, camera phones are new. Twitter is new. Youtube is new. Facebook is new. I can see what is going on around the world in the blink of an eye now, but the actions are not new.

I purposely avoided the links the first 24 hours after they became available as I do all too often. I have to mentally and emotionally prepare myself to take in all the bullshit. Even before I click on the hot links I know what is going to happen. Unbeknownst to the party being recorded they will be or are already the victim of unabashedly unnecessary aggressive behavior. At some point, an even more traumatic action will take place and the video will end.

For the past few years, the vicarious traumatization I endure watching these videos remind me of the threat my gorgeous melanin causes even those sworn to protect me. Clearly there were psychological, emotional and physical incompetence's that moved the white police officer to be overly aggressive in a situation that did not call for it.

It's all too much.

America, its way too damn much.

Dear America, fix this shit!

(Go ahead and star this post because it'll become relevant again in a few weeks when the next police brutality video goes viral)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I Didn't Get The Job

I never not got a job I interviewed for. Does that sentence even make grammatical sense? I'm not sure but I think you can certainly get my point. For every position I have ever interviewed for, I was called back for additional interviews and eventually offered a position. This has always been the case. Until, it wasn't.

A couple weeks ago I applied for an Associate Director position. While the move up is a bit premature to some, I'm always up for a professional challenge. I am not yet feeling completely stagnate in my current position but I was intrigued by the posting and decided to apply. I told myself, self (yes, I refer to myself as self) if you get this awesome position, wouldn't that be awesome. My bank account immediately interrupted and said yes ma'am, it surely would.

So I applied.

I was immediately called for an interview.

I interviewed with a panel.

The interview went pretty well. I knew it even though I picked myself apart after.

I was called back the same day for another interview later in the week.

I interviewed with another panel.

The interview was not pleasant..at all. It was the coldest interview I've ever had. I just didn't click with the two old white men I met with.  Not because they were old and white but because I just wasn't feeling the energy. I knew as soon as I walked out of the room that I did not in fact get the position. However, I wasn't at all disappointed. While the position itself would have been awesome, I don't think I would have fit in well with the culture of the office. And after quieting my chatty bank account voice in my head, I walked into work. I almost gave my current supervisor a hug when I got to my office. She smiled as soon as I got to the office and welcomed me the same way she always does. A way that normally would make me wish she would take a chill pill. But on that day, it was comforting. Will I keep looking for another promotional opportunity? Absolutely!

But for now, it's okay I didn't get the job.

Friday, April 10, 2015

There's Something About Silent

Because it's Friday and we should all be smiling...here's a second post for the day that's been sitting in my draft box for months. Tomorrow isn't promised, right?

For the past several years I've had this running joke with my close girlfriends; "Black American men don't like me!"  When I first began dating at the ripe old age of 17 1/2 years old (I know I was a very very late bloomer), I dated an African American man. Almost four years later when I returned to the dating scene, I was dating all types of men: African American, Spanish (there was one Puerto Rican guy), African, Asian (oh wait that's never happened), white (oh wait that's never happened either). Okay so I've mostly only dated African American and African men. You got me.

The year before I moved to New York. I was talking to one of my girlfriends about someone new I was dating. After telling her his name she responded, "Dang Silent, you never date black American men. They're all African!" I had to stop and think for a second. Out of the last three gentlemen I dated, two were Nigerian and one was African American [with a unique name]. Touche my friend, touche.

Since I moved to NYC 3 years ago, I have seriously dated 3 men. At this point in this blog post you can probably guess their ethnicity. African right? Wrong! Caribbean men have now made their way into the mix and account for 40% of the men who approach me and 33% of the men I've seriously dated. 33% of 3 is 1 for those of you who didn't major in math.

At one point, I started scratching my head to figure out why this was happening to me. Is it because I live in New York City, the "fake" melting pot? I can't really call it a melting pot. That would imply that people of all backgrounds mix and mingle versus populate certain areas the way they do. My girls meet plenty of non-African and non-Caribbean men when we go out here. I on the other hand will meet the one African or Caribbean man in the venue. Whether they come up to me or they come up to me. I don't go up to men in New York (outside of New York, well that's a post for another time), its usually a man who can trace his families roots outside of the US. And as laudable as it is, using a lineage service does not count.

The funniest thing happened the first time I went to Jamaica in 2008. I was with a group of my gorgeous fair hued girl friends. They are a beautiful mix of El Salvadorian, Creole and just not dark like me girls. As soon as the five of us stepped foot on the beach, all of the attention went to me. I for one, was not use to being around them and getting a lot of play. This was at a time in LA, and I assume things haven't changed much, where my darker skin seemed to make me less appealing to some black men. I was once pushed out of the way by a man to get to my fair skin El Salvadorian friend. Asshole.  Let's be clear here, I was no ugly duckling. It's not like I was not getting any play. It was just the amount of black men who preferred fair skin was highly noticeable. However, this was not the case in Montego Bay and Negril, Jamaica. In fact, it was the complete opposite. Wherever we went, I always had a suitor or several and I ate it up. Hey, I was on vacation.

This story has repeated itself on every vacation to the Caribbean since. Jamaica pt 2, Dominican Republic and Barbados. Oh Barbados! That's also a blog post for another time. Remember how I mentioned earlier I don't approach men. Well when you just know any man you want to talk to, wants to talk to you, you change your tune.  I promise I wasn't purposely picking these places to test my theory either. I didn't actually select any of these places. I was a part of larger trips to the Caribbean 3 times in the past 12 months.

I do think it's time for me to test this theory in the Motherland. Anyone want to plan a trip soon?

I Miss You and One Sweet Day

Life is too short. I've heard it before, we all have, but its so very true. Life is too short to be unhappy. Life is too short to make change tomorrow. You or someone you love can be taken away without notice. I try and remember that every time I find myself mad at my sister for something stupid, upset with a friend for something even more stupid or just generally in a bad mood. 

My mother was taken away just like that. One minute she had had a stroke and 5 days later, she passed. It was around the same time as the singer Aaliyah. Although there was a full year in between her passing and my mothers, I relate the last song Aaliyah released with my mother. Miss You. I cannot for the life of me get through hearing this song without crying. Sometimes its controllable, sometimes, not so much. I remember a couple years after her passing, I was at a backyard party. I was mingling and having a grand time. Then, the beat of 'Miss You' dropped and I immediately headed straight for the exit.  I didn't tell anyone where I was going, I just needed to get far far away. These days, I can play the song if I want to get a good cry out when thinking about my mother. I have some beautiful memories and I am not ashamed to get a good cry in every once in a while. 

I went off to college the same year she passed and one of the first verses begins "Off to college.." Whew chile. I'm crying good tears just writing this. 

Off to college
Yes, you went away
Straight from high school
You up and left me
-
Did everything
For one another
Now you're gone and I'm lost without you here now
But I know I gotta live and make it somehow
Come back, to me
Can you, feel me (Callin')
Hear me, callin' (For you)
For you,'Cause it's

It's been too long and I'm lost without you
What am I gonna do?
Said I been needin' you, wantin' you
Wonderin' if you're the same and who's been with you
Is your heart still mine?
I wanna cry sometimes
I miss you

Now I'm sittin' here
Thinkin' 'bout you
And the days we used to share
It's drivin' me crazy
I don't know what to do
--
Come back...to me
Can you, feel me (Callin')
Hear me, callin' (For you)
For you, 'Cause it's

It's been too long and I'm lost without you
What am I gonna do?
Said I been needin' you, wantin' you
Wonderin' if you're the same and who's been with you
Is your heart still mine?
I wanna cry sometimes
I miss you

The other song that brings me to tears is One Sweet Day Mariah Carey featuring Boyz II Men. Even before the lyrics begin, I recognize the song based on the beat drop in the beginning too. Just like with Aaliyah's Miss You, if I'm in public, I either scramble to change the song or exit the room.  If I'm alone, I might just let my tears flow. Not sure I'll ever get to a point where I can listen to these songs from beginning to end without crying. Its been 12 years since my mother passed and I still cannot.

"Sorry I never told you, all I wanted to say. Now it's too late to hold you. Cuz you've gone away, so far away. Never had I imagined, living without your smile....And I know you're shining down on me from heaven.." 

Good thing my office has a door. 



Monday, April 6, 2015

The Misinterpretation of Silent Scorpion

People mistake...

my ability to compartmentalize my emotions with the absence of all emotion. 
my ability to cut off people who I don't think are good for me with the ability to absolve all thoughts of them all together.
my ability to give up a vice without vocalizing how much I miss it with the ability to stop yearning that for which is unhealthy.

Those who misunderstand my being misinterpret my actions and emotions.

Yes I am able to keep my feelings to myself but that doesn't mean I don't have the
m. That doesn't mean I don't go over every interaction with the opposite and same sex with a fine tuned comb, over and over and over again. It means I keep it to myself. It means sometimes I'm quiet. It means sometimes I'm not expressive but...I am not a robot. I am not without emotion. I am not without feelings of regret or guilt; without feelings of remorse or sorrow. Of thinking that all of the actions following my action were my fault. It means unlike others, sometimes I won't allow myself to make that call. To reach out. To speak up. To speak out. 

I understand. My ability to keep those thought processes to myself makes others unaware of my over analysis of certain situations and for that I say...I guess. While I can make myself understand, it's pretty dumb to me that people don't afford me the same thoughtfulness (and yes this has been vocalized to me before). To believe that I don't have the same kind of feelings as other people is as hurtful as it is ridiculous

I had to learn a long time ago to suppress my feelings. Life happened and in the face of it all, there were people depending on me who needed me to be strong and silent. So I stayed strong and silent in public. I'm really good at controlling things I can control. I guess I haven't learned how to shut it off just yet. 

Food is a great example. I made up my mind that I was going to give up cheese for Lent. Let's not get it twisted, I LOVE cheese almost as much as I love swine. But the point was for me to pick something really difficult. Once I get past the first 5 days of a vice, I can be around it and almost not yearn for it at all. I ordered my burgers cheese-less, stayed away from my favorite pizza and all the other goodies that come with cheese for 46 days and 46 nights. Why, because I had made up my mind to control my behavior. It was something I had done before with sweets, liquor, etc. When I make my mind to give up something, its gone. 

Do I have weak moments, yes. Do I stick to my resolution no matter how founded or unfounded they are, for the most part yes. I have given up sweets for the month of April. So when I'm presented with the opportunity to indulge I say nope not for me. That was until yesterday I decided, hey, I want a cheat day. So I indulged and wasn't the least bit satisfied. So the next 24 days will be a piece of cake...with no cake. 

Those are things I can control. 

Things I can't control. My feelings and who they're for are much more complicated.

When I decide that I am the most important person in my life, then yes outwardly, I express less about a person but they still occupy my mind. I have one person I wish would stop taking up space because we just aren't on the same page. But, I can't do anything about that. He's there. Feet up and relaxing. Taking up space and invading my thoughts. They aren't necessarily bad thoughts either, just thoughts I can't control. Same thing goes for some people who I am no longer friendly with. They take up space. They have their feet up as well. In that same space of emotion I cannot control. I am aware of this misinterpretation of my levels of control and working on managing appropriate times to express my emotions. 

For that, I continue to be misunderstood. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

I Had A Dream Last Night

I Had A Dream Last Night

And you were in it
I don't usually remember my dreams
They happen
I wake up
It's over

But this dream I remember...vividly

And you were in it
Looking how I last saw
Feeling how I last felt
It was so real
I woke up
It's over

I Had A Dream Last Night

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I Won't Be Wearing an Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini

If there were ever a more well timed trip, it would be my impending get away.
My passport is ready.
My skin is ready to bask in the sun.
My hand is ready to grip my non-virgin pina colada.
My mind is ready to be occupied by things I can control; my liquor intake, amount of dancing and morning beach runs.
And not the things I cannot.

And although my bikini(s) is not yellow nor does it have polka dots, it is ready for the sun, fun and sand.

When Is The Right Time?

Sometimes we get so complacent in our the lives that we don't allow ourselves to explore our greatest potential. As stale as it may feel, we stick with what we know because well, its comfortable, convenient and easy. We stand in the way of greatness by settling for mediocrity. I'm not usually afraid of taking a leap of faith so I've been toying with the idea of searching for a new job.

I make a pretty comfortable living in my current position, most of my students help me love what I do and well I'm good at it. I'm having an amazing start to my fall admissions. My percent of change over last year is constantly being lauded by my supervisor and coworkers. My supervisor is so damn happy with my performance, which in turn makes me very happy. At my current position, I've gotten excellent reviews, I know the ins and outs of the population I'm working with, I know how to manage my supervisor and her personality, and I've mastered how to direct the business. So why leave at this moment?

Deep down I know at some point I'll have to move on. I just don't see a long term future where I am. For one, there's no opportunity for growth here. While my supervisor can offer me an endless supply of verbal praise, she is currently unable to offer me what I deserve; financial gains the work I produce merits. If I did what most people do, I'd stay in my current position for at least 2 years. I've surveyed a few friends, because that's what people do when they make big life decisions, and I've gotten mixed advice. Some applaud me for keeping my options open and agree that the time is now, while others encouraged me to wait until the society agreed upon 2-year mark before making the move.

I am a person who believes in fate. My coworker mentioned that his old colleague (who was previously in my position) was leaving another college at NYU.  The position was a full band above my and two levels above my current one but if I applied, I'd probably at least have gotten an interview. It was scary to even think about leaving a place I'd gotten so relaxed in and moving on to a place I didn't already know how to navigate. If this had been my two year mark, I'd have applied right away.I read the job description for hours trying to talk myself out of applying. Telling myself it just wasn't the right time. By the time I decided to throw caution to the wind and apply, the position had been filled.

This would have been an amazing opportunity for my career. I can't believe I talked myself out of applying for it. What if I didn't get called for an interview?  What if I did get called in and they didn't pick me? What if I got the position and wasn't happy?

But, what if I did get called for an interview? What if I did get called in and they picked me? What if I got the position and was happy and fully satisfied? I'll never know because I let my ego stand in my way. I didn't want to be bruised by no so I did nothing. I didn't even submit my damn good resume.

Sometimes the right time isn't the most comfortable, convenient or easy. Sometimes the right time is now.

Monday, February 9, 2015

I am not a STAN, I am a well informed supporter of a smart business woman

Most of my friends incorrectly assume that because I have been a fan of Beyonce since she burst onto the scene almost 2 decades ago, that I am blind follower. That I activate my BeyHive senses whenever her name is brought up in conversation...okay, wait, that is partly correct. I'd like to point out that I don't always comment on hateful comments about her. So many people hate Beyonce for the sake of hating Beyonce. When people say I'm a STAN, what they are misinterpreting is my ability to challenge their unfounded statements, with actual facts. Beyonce is a talented force who is hard working and smart. Yes, she's smart. No way you get to her status and make the calculated moves she makes without being a smart business woman. Did I say she was intellectual or educated, no. I said she was smart. Since there are varying levels of smart, she deserves to be put in the same sentence as that word. If you want to challenge me, I dare you. 

Now while I love my girl, I must say, a few of her choices over the past year have left me annoyed and disappointed. First there was Elevatorgate. Sigh. I had a short conversation with my sisters about this incident that went something like this.

Me: Did you hear about Beyonce, Jay Z and Solange in the elevator?!!!
Them: Yeah!
Me: If you ever...
Them: (cuts me off) We know. We would never.
Me: Cool
Them: And you would never..
Me: (cuts them off) Girl bye, no. 

When I watched the video of Solange going ham on JayZ in the elevator and Beyonce just watching, I just couldn't comprehend. After about 5 minutes of physical abuse and spitting from Solange, Beyonce finally stepped in. 
My sisters know me very well. Kicking and spitting any grown ass man especially their spouses and father of their child(ren)?!!! Chile, if my sis did that to my spouse, I might black out. They know this. I know this. Feet stay on the ground. Spit stays in mouth. At all times. I've never raised my hand to a man. Barely have ever raised my voice. I choose to deal with arguments with men in an opposite way of what I saw growing up. Now while my sisters' partner thoroughly raises my blood pressure, I keep my hands at my side when addressing them. 

Then there was the tour with her husband. Since I loved her last album, there was no way I wasn't going to see her live. It was worth the flight from New York to Los Angeles for the weekend just to see her (oh and my little sis and fam too!). During the concert, I sang every lyric to every song. Including JayZ's and especially their duets.  [Insert Yaaaaaassssss getcho liiiiife huntttty!!!] However, I was a little tired of seeing every inch of her body during her performances. She's bad. She knows she's bad. Jay Z knows this. Shoot the President and first lady knows this. But boo I don't need to see your crotch throughout an entire concert. The pole dance/strip tease type session was just, yawn. I was over it. But overall, it was a good time.

Then there's the biggest movement of our time and her silence. I was again, disappointed. Another chance for her to take a public stand and nothing. But let's be clear here. Beyonce and her husband make several private and anonymous donations throughout the year.  They have donated to the Ferguson movement on the ground and send hundreds of high school students to college each year. JayZ quietly started an educational trust fund for the children of NYPD shooting victim Sean Bell.  While his meeting with Governor Cuomo to discuss criminal justice reform was more of a political move for Cuomo than anything else, Jay-Za philanthropist and we can't discredit that. Up until last night, Beyonce hadn't really said much except for fairytale, we are the world IG posts. I didn't find her actual performance and believe other artists could perform the song better, including Beyonce. She was just, off. I understood the politics behind choosing her. While people will argue (and looking at my Facebook timeline, plan on arguing all day for a while) that Ledisi should have performed, I can tell you why she did not. 

The Selma soundtrack performances were left for the end of the program for a reason. When you add Beyonce to anything, you are guaranteed ratings.  In addition to her loyal (BeyHive) fans sitting through the 4 hour show, ALL of her haters sat through it to just to hate. Not sure why people have that much time on their hands but okay you proved why the Grammy's liked the idea of Beyonce over Ledisi. Doesn't matter if Beyonce asked herself or was selected, the bottom line is she brings in ratings. Higher ratings, equal more advertiser dollars.  It's the production of the show that defines its value far more than quality. Even though her performance was a little off, it was a moving performance for one reason. If you blinked, you missed it. 

For 2.5 seconds, Beyonce used the biggest platform to bring awareness to the Black Lives Matter movement. While viewers were distracted by her inappropriate sheer white gown and flowing mermaid like hair, her background dancers/singers dressed in all white suits held their hands up in the 'Hands Up' gesture. The gesture is the same used that has recently been used demonstrates protesting the death of unarmed black men at the hands of police. While Pharrell's similar use of the gesture and Prince's black lives matter statement before giving out the award for album of the year, is getting loads of attention, let's not miss skip over Beyonce's gesture. This is musics' biggest awards show. She chose this platform to take a stand and for that, and only that, her performance was moving. 

Smart move Beyonce, smart move. 

FYI: You can support someone and disagree with some of their actions. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Things I Need to Finish...

House of Cards Season 2
Breaking Bad
Mad Men
Game of Throne books I was reading
Orange is The New Black Season 2

So many things to finish
so much time
so little motivation
to finish these things

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Let Me See Your Grill

Two years; that's the length of my sentence. I've run through the gamut from nostalgia to optimism. I'm going to miss what use to be but I'm excited to see what's in store. Everyone who has been in my shoes has talked about exactly what is I can expect...pain. The first day wasn't the most painful. No, that would be day two and three. And from what I hear, every 4-6 weeks for the next two years.

As each day passes it becomes easier to live with this foreign object in my mouth. It's just a temporary part of who I am now. That is, until I get up in the morning and look in the mirror. Oh hey girl! You're 16 all over again. Well, some other 16 year old because this was not my life as a teenager. It wasn't in my parents plan. Actually, I don't think I ever made a fuss about how much it bothered me to anyone let alone my parents. If you pay close enough attention to my childhood school pictures, you will see how I felt about my smile. Around 2nd or 3rd grade, I began to master my smize. Chile, I learned how to smize long before Tyra Banks coined the term.  

Sometime during high school someone told me I had a beautiful smile. A few someone's actually and I started to believe it too. I started smiling ear to ear in school pictures. I didn't care about the gaps. My teeth were unique. They were cute. My undersized teeth were adorable. My smile was innocent and lovable. My smize was no longer necessary. Life was fun and I expressed my happiness with my teeth, so I smiled. A lot. 

But...

Of course there's a but. Why else would there be a need for a blog post if there wasn't one. But, I still wasn't 100% happy with my smile. Yes my teeth were by definition perfectly straight. I had no overbite, no crowding, nothing that the average person who seeks an orthodontist is trying to correct. Nope my issue was quite the opposite. The spaces in between my teeth were wiiiiiiiiide. It made it hard to enjoy certain foods. My little chompers couldn't quite destroy an apple, instead the juicy small fruit would bruise my sensitive gums. Can you believe not even a damn apple could be trusted? Also, while I loved my view from straight forward, I hated my side profile. The spaces in between my little chiclets had a way of making a cameo when I didn't ask them to. I knew the solution to this situation and it was expensive. Although I surely had the money to pay for the procedure many years ago, I spent it on other things: clothing, traveling, and food. You know, more important things.

That was until this year. This year I had saved enough to pay for them upfront. There is no monthly payment plan for this Lil Jon grill. Nope, it all belongs to me. Although I haven't posted any social media pictures sharing them with the world, I don't mind them. I actually kind of like them. On one hand, lately I have been mistaken for being in my early twenties so this only adds to my fun. On the other hand, they're just cute. My sweet and charming appearance has just been amplified. In addition, this is only temporary. These braces are a means to an end. In two years, I plan on eating hard foods and smiling ear to ear without a second thought. 

No apples formed against me shall prosper!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Guest Post: Comfortable with Nothing by NotYourAllyKat

NotYourAllyKat is back with another post following her 3 part blog series

When I first moved to New York I was full of excitement, hope, and wonder. At the time I literally had like four dollars in my bank account, was sleeping on a couch smaller than me, and no job.  So it’s not strange to me that I was full of excitement, hope, and wonder because since everything else was lacking those feelings were all I had. To have everything you must be comfortable with nothing. As I sit here two years later, with everything I was missing two years ago, I realize it may be time for me to have nothing again.  I’m not talking about moving to some random country (although that, too, sounds appealing) or a reckless career change (I’m actually somewhat good at what I do) but nothing in terms of waste of time relationships.

I have a very generous, open, and free-loving spirit. Throughout the years it has been bruised as I have gave time and time again more than I received. Though that has caused a tough exterior, inside I am still just as soft as cotton candy. Being the tough “cool” girl, I’m the girl that always has someone. Maybe even perhaps a team of guys that all serve different purposes. There’s dinner guy, drinks guy, sex guy, guy I text when I’m bored, guy in a different city that boosts my ego..the list can actually get quite expansive when I allow it to.  My free loving spirit has granted me probably more than the average amount of sexual encounters but the people I have actually cared for can be counted on one hand.

Lately my feelings of excitement, hope, and wonder have been missing and I think it’s because I was wasting time with a guy who I really liked (number 4) but just wasn’t all the way with me. The absolute worse thing you can say to a girl is I really like you and could see myself with you, but I don’t want a relationship. What kind of fucked up mixed signals are those? Everyone knows girls hold on hope to the one little good thing they hear. Actions speak louder than words and in this case his actions were the kind you do when you want a relationship. I was trying to be the “cool” girl and hold on to the good feelings I had when I was around him, ignoring all the blatantly obvious signs of the rising tide that would eventually drown me. I don’t blame him necessarily but wished he could have been a bit more understanding when I was explaining my feelings instead of just saying I told you so.

I don’t want to be the “cool” girl anymore. Being that girl gets you nothing that you want.  Let’s face it although it is not my main priority in life I do want to settle down and be able to call one man my partner in life. Indie Arie says it best, “I am ready for love.” If I were writing this three years ago I would have followed that with a GEY. But it’s not GEY; it’s what I want, eventually. Not today, next month, or even next year but someday. So if you aren't aligned with my life goals then you don't belong in my life. So now I’m back in the desert of nothingness, a sad but smart choice. I guess I’d rather be hot all by myself then lost in the mirage of an oasis of some one else.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

So, when are you moving back?

Even before I boarded the plane to New York City, I had several people ask me the same question; "So, when are you moving back?"  I completely understand the reasoning behind the inquisition, I mean the most favorite person in the whole wide world, or in Culver City, California, was moving across the country.

There was no accident in me choosing New York City to start the next chapter of my life. The truth is I had only applied to three schools. One in California, one in Chicago and one in New York. Thank the lord I didn't get into the school in Chicago. There aren't enough sweaters and coats to get me through those winters. When I got the early admission into NYU, I ignored the request from another school I applied to for additional documents. I knew New York was where I wanted to be. I quickly submitted my handsome deposit to secure my spot before telling anyone my plans. I felt super bad about being so secretive for months but this wasn't about them, this was about me.

I was stuck in a job I didn't love and feeling like I would regret not doing something for myself for once, so New York City was the move. Not because I had always dreamed about moving there, I didn't actually do much research before selecting the city. I chose New York because it seemed like a challenge. Like the song says, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. My original answer to the question, "So, when are you moving back?" was  "Two years." Duh. My program was only going to last two years. What reason would I have to stay any longer?  So, that was my original response, two years. For the first year, my response was consistent. I really liked living in New York, but I could abandon my family for too much longer. I had a new nephew and a sister who needed me.

Two years.

Fast-forward to right before graduation in 2013. I had absolutely no job prospects but it made me sick to think about leaving. I had made so many new friends I was just beginning to get to know and some of my old friends had moved to the city. I couldn't leave just yet. I made a vow to myself, if I didn't find a job by December of that year, I would return back to Los Angeles. I looked at it as fate. I also looked at it as I would be flat broke and wasn't ready to live on the streets with old roommates I had kicked out, Mickey and Jerry. They are not as cute and furry as you may think,  I should know I've had these furry creatures as roommates at two out of the four of my New York apartments.

Well as fate had it, I wasn't destined to move back in 2013. I found a job right before my money well went dry. Well the well wasn't that dry, I had a fantastic temporary job at the same place that ended up hiring me into a permanent dream position in the middle of November 2013. It looked like it was not time just yet for me to return. But the question, "So, when are you moving back?" reappeared since my two years was up and I had just gotten a new position. So I thought practically, about my family and friends in LA and chose a year, 2016. At the time, I truly believed 2016 was going to be my time to return. It was far enough away to make me feel comfortable but close enough to make others happy. There I go again, trying to make others happen. I truly believed that in 2016, I would make my move back across the country.

Two years.

Today marks the beginning of 2015. It hit me that that makes 2016 just next year. Look I majored in math for 1 year at UCLA so yes I know basic math but I really didn't feel 2016 would creep up so quickly. What's not so surprising is my date has possibly changed. I love what I'm doing at NYU. I'm possibly up for great changes this year in my career. And yes, I still keep others in mind when deciding my current answer to the question. But my answer to the question "So, when are you moving back" has changed. My new answer:

I don't know.

There are so many things that have occurred over the past two, three, four years that I couldn't have predicted in a million years. Some good, some bad, and some just what they were. I have stopped trying to figure out every detail of my future. I could end up back in LA, it could be Chicago (no wait, we ruled out that cold ass city a few paragraphs ago), or it could be Timbuktu. I'm not sure when and where I'm moving from New York but it will happen when I'm ready. I will be sure to take others into account when I decide my future, because I don't live in a bubble and I know my actions affect others I truly care about. However, wherever and whenever it is, my move will ultimately be about me.


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