Tag Archives: Chicago

You Winning or Naw?

Black Twitter is outraged at Amanda Seales, who portrays Tiffany DuBois on the hit HBO series “Insecure“, for pointing out a few of the ways in which you’re either winning or losing in life. I personally agree with her Tweets, particularly these:

Yes, that is a screenshot from my phone. Yes, that is my reply to her tweets.

If you’re mad at Amanda Seales’ tweets, welllllll…. do better, get out your feelings, then watch “Feel Rich” on Netflix. It’s a similar concept, but directed towards our health and eating habits versus our spending habits.

Fact: We spend too much money on the wrong shit, usually material possessions, because we’ve been taught a lie that we need that shit to feel good, look good, be successful, have sex, have friends and be happy.

Wake up.

After we buy that shit and we don’t feel better, look better or get anything else we were promised, we just go out and buy more shit, then complain about all the money we don’t have, so we can’t do things like travel, eat right, exercise or learn something new.

Wake up.

Improving yourself is possible at every income level. No excuses. No debate. You either want it or you don’t. But don’t get mad at the spoken truth. Don’t get mad at Amanda Seales because you think she’s talking about you. Get mad at yourself because YOU FEEL LIKE SHE’S TALKING ABOUT YOU BECAUSE YOU’RE DOING THE SHIT SHE’S TALKING ABOUT.

It’s true that a person’s life experiences (traveling for instance), are of greater value to their lives than buying material things (houses, shoes, cars), regardless of race, gender or socioeconomic level. And if you can afford Jordans you can also afford to travel simply by saving the money you would have paid to buy those Jordans.

“But traveling is too expensive, let me count the ways…”

Planes aren’t the only form of transportation. There’s MegaBus, Amtrak, Greyhound and they all cost less than a pair of Jordans. Google it. If you can’t afford a 5 star hotel, there’s AirBNB options that are affordable. Hell, I’ve used AirBNB and could afford a 5 star hotel, but I just like getting more bang for my buck when I travel. Let’s also keep in mind that Living Social and Groupon are in the travel business now and have great destinations and inexpensive deals.

Traveling can be spontaneous, but it can also be planned, like a goal, and give you something to look forward to, which is something that also adds value to your life. Look at places that interest you now, pick a place and save up for the cost, then go. You always plan on buying those Jordans, so you can plan a trip, too.

“Only rich, black people from the suburbs can travel and have passports.”

I’m from Detroit. Not Detroit adjacent, not Detroit proper. Detroit. Born, raised and educated. The “hood”, and I’m proud of it. I own 2 pair of basic Nike’s that retail for less than Jordans and I still bought them on sale, so they cost me less than $100 each. I own a passport. In 2016 alone I traveled away from my state by plane or car a total of ten times. In 2017, while at the airport, I enrolled in CLEAR. I’ve already paid for my hotel stay in Miami for my 7th trip there in 2018. I’ve also started my plans to return to New Orleans for Essence Fest in 2018, which has become an annual trip for the last 6 years, regardless of where else I go. I’ve been traveling since I was in the first grade, so maybe I’m not the typical black person from the hood. However, I’ve been more places than some people I know who make more money than I do and have more education than I do and live in suburban anywhere. I can honestly say I’m surprised by how many successful, affluent black people I’ve met that don’t travel, but own expensive shit. It would he nice if more black people in general set their priorities better and strived to do more than impress people by buying Nike’s or Louboutins, especially if the greatest distance they ever traveled was either on someone else’s dime or only one state away from home.

You can’t convince me that traveling is hard to do if you wear expensive shoes, that you waited on for months and stood in line for hours to buy. But if that helps you sleep at night and gives you a false sense of winning, by all means, enjoy yourself.

Personally I’d rather stand in line at TSA and at my designated gate…..but that’s just me winning.

Super Woman Resigns

Quitting is not an option for a superhero. At least, it’s not supposed to be. One of the reasons I’m called Super Woman is because of my persistence, regardless of any adversity. I keep pushing forward and fighting obstacles, trying to resolve issues whenever I believe that it is possible to do so. I make the impossible possible even though I can’t explain how. I don’t know if it’s because I’m resourceful or blessed, or a combination of both. Sometimes I think it’s because I’m crazy, other times I think it’s a gift and a curse. The one thing I do know is this – It’s a thankless, tiring job, to say the least. I once thought that being a parent was the most thankless job in the world. But it isn’t. Being a good, reliable person is the number one thankless job. Always being the she-ro to others isn’t easy at all, I just make it look like it is. I rarely hear “thank you” or “good job“. People rarely call me and ask if I’m okay or if I need anything. When I am tired, there is no sidekick I can call. When I’m sick, everything comes to a screeching halt. When I am in need, there’s no one I can turn to because I’m everyone else’s she-ro. On more than one occasion people whom I have “saved” have turned their backs on me in my time of need and berated me to others behind my back saying things like, “she’s nobody special” or “I never liked her“, yet they smile and tee-hee-hee in my face asking for my help to improve their lives. When I cut them off because they are ungrateful I become the villain.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury of quitting like I would really like to.

Why?

Because if I quit, who is going to do it? Of course, it’s easy to say that someone else CAN do it, but the question is WILL they? Honestly, I don’t think other people would step up and do the things I do. If someone else were both willing and capable, I doubt people would ask me to complete the task in the first place. When I think about how we view our Superheroes, both “real” and fictional, I realize that Superheroes get a raw deal no matter what. Superheroes have minimal private lives. Superheroes are expected to be able to handle what ‘normal‘ humans can not. Superheroes never get a day off.  Superheroes are expected to confront villains on their own turf and defeat them. Superheroes are expected to start and end sh*t while they rescue kittens with both hands tied behind their backs during thunderstorms. 

Well, maybe I don’t want to be “super” anymore.

Being “super”  comes with the burden that people believe that you don’t need them for anything, so they never approach a situation with committment. People often assume that because I’m “super” that everyone else –  besides them –  will be there for me when the time comes, so they don’t have to. I’ve experienced this in my personal and professional lives. In my personal life, there have been many men that have told me that they never asked me out on a Saturday night because they assumed I already had a date. They never called and asked, they just assumed. As a result, I grew accustomed to going places and doing things by myself socially 99% of the time. If it weren’t for all the “honey, where’s your date?” questions from socialites and their husbands, I would be perfectly comfortable in any situation alone.

Professionally people always disappoint me and rarely if ever apologize for doing so. They think it’s okay because they assume that I can do it without them anyway. They assume that there are enough other people who will do the work or attend the event, that them not being there won’t be noticeable. That is what is happening now. Sequins & Suits is being cancelled because everyone is assuming that everyone else will attend, volunteer, assist and sponsor so they don’t have to. They assume that their few dollars won’t matter anyway, so why even try. As a result, it will take a miracle and a half to pull off the I Feel Good: Mind, Body & Soul Women’s Conference a few months from now. Which, by the way, I’m considering cancelling now to prevent me from being disappointed again later. After all, no one feels it’s that important anyway or they’d be doing something to help it come to fruition.  

People are selfish. People are hypocrites. They don’t care about anything or what happens to anyone else, until something happens to them. When something happens to them, their child, their parent, their school or their nonprofit organization they want everyone to rally on their behalfBut when someone else needed you before that tragedy happened, where were you? I was trying to adjust that selfish mindset and do so in an entertaining way. But no one cares. I was trying to do something preventative to uplift young women at an early age. But no one cares. A teacher told me this weekend that there is a 10-year-old girl in her school who is pregnant. Those are the young women I’m trying to reach before they get pregnant. But no one cares. Maybe I’m just not popular or dramatic enough for people to pay attention.

Detroiters don’t care, but want to cry and beg for help when things get worse. What were you doing before things got worse? Oh, I know. You were assuming someone else would do it so you wouldn’t have to. You were assuming that someone “super” would swoop in and rescue the kitten.  

Well, I’m not doing it anymore. This is my new manifesto:

I will not plan any charitable events or large-scale social events in the city of Detroit ever again out of the kindness of my heart, for the greater good or because it is the right thing to do. If anyone wants me to use my “super” powers and save the day in the city of Detroit, you will have to pay me to do it. I will consider planning events in other urban cities like Chicago, New York and Atlanta, but they will have to pay me too. I’ll host your Detroit event, but you will have to pay me. I’m not going to support anyone who doesn’t support meprofessionally and personally. I’m not even buying a membership to your organization if it doesn’t directly benefit me. I’m no longer investing my money, my energy or time to do anything for people who don’t care or reciprocate.

If people in the city of Detroit don’t have the mindset to see the value in what I do or what I offer, I can’t force them to. If people in the city of Detroit don’t appreciate my efforts, I can’ t force them to. Therefore, it’s in my own best interest to only do what I need to do for myself, my family and my company. I’ve prayed all I can pray and I’ve done all that I’m capable of doing at this time. When the people of the city of Detroit wake up and start caring about something more than following trends, and doing the same old fuckery they’ve always done, maybe I’ll start giving out of the kindness of my heart again.

Until then, I quit.      

Not that anyone will even notice.     

Getting Ready

This weekend is a big weekend for me.  I’ll be having a book signing  for “The Goodie Bag; The Erotic Fiction Collection” at the First Fridays After Work Affair on Friday, March 4, 2011at Ambiance Lounge, 211 W Congress, Downton Detroit, from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm.  I’ll also be presenting my business to the public at the I’m Every Woman Expo on Saturday, March 5, 2011at the Silver Garden Event Center, 24350 Southfield Road, Southfield, MI from 10 am to 3 pm.  Needless to say, I’m a little nervous.  I’ve been getting ready; from hair to clothes, to making sure I have my brochures, books, and information together.  Of course Murphy’s Law is coming into play.  Anything that can go wrong, will.  But I’m working through it.  These last few weeks have been full of “tests” and I’m determined to pass them all.

Super Son was recently accepted to attend Clark Atlanta University in the Fall.  He’s been blessed tremendously since he didn’t work the plan I set out for him.  He still has three other colleges we hope to hear from before he makes a final decision – which is based solely on who is offering the most scholarships to him for his attendance.  However, he hasn’t been as proactive as I would have liked for him to be when it comes to getting ready for college.  It’s been stressful on me because I trusted him to get ready for this transition in his life.  I thought he’d be looking forward to it.  I might have been wrong.  But his options are few. He won’t have the opportunities that I had because my path is my own, and his is his own.  At the same time, I do expect great things from him, because he is Super Son.  And to whom much is given, much is required.  I expect him to do his due diligence and prepare himself for his future.  He can’t expect Super Mom to always be there to instruct him or remind him of his responsibilities.  After all, to be fair, I have additional responsibilities that I will have to maintain long after he has left for college.

So last night, I spent  quite a bit of time explaining to Super Son why he should’ve gotten ready last summer, like I told him to.  I also showed him how he has inflated the stress in his life by not being proactive and doing what was asked of him several months ago.  As I was doing this, I was going over his acceptance package and his financial aid with him.  I don’t know how much the Fed will expect me to contribute towards his education yet, but I do know that I will need to sale a whole lot of books to pay my share of the $18K per year college tuition at Clark Atlanta University… or any other school that may accept him between now and May. 

The plan was changed. Now we have to adapt to a new plan.  We have to get ready…again.

It could be a lot worse.  Super Son has never been a problem child, he’s never spent a minute in handcuffs or used drugs.  He isn’t chasing girls more than he’s doing homework and his teachers don’t seem to have a problem with him.  I think he’s realizing how important it is for him to get ready ahead of time, instead of waiting until the last minute, hoping that by osmosis things will go his way.  I think he got a reality check.

While I was preaching to him, I still had my own “to do list” to complete for this weekend.  This weekend isn’t all I have to get ready for.  I have another expo in Chicago at the end of March, and another expo in April in Metro Detroit.  I have to get my finances together because I need my marketing materials ordered and reordered, my hotel room reserved, additional books printed, hair appointments made, clothes selected and I have to inform as many people as possible of my upcoming appearances. 

How do I manage it all? It’s not easy. But I was built for this.  So, I chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, while I put the work in. 

For to whom much is given, much is required. 

It’s time to get ready.