Tag Archives: new york

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.

Blessed and Favored

With the holidays approaching, so many people feel hopeless and depressed because of what they don’t have. Statistically this is the time of year when people are more likely to commit suicide due to feelings of loneliness or depression over what they don’t have in their lives. A woman jumped to her death from a building days ago in Manhattan, after surviving Hurricane Sandy. While most people in Manhattan at that very moment were thankful for living through one of the worst storms they’ve ever experienced, she decided to end her life. Some people have a “glass is half empty“… or completely empty… mentality about their lives. Everyday I encounter people who throw pity parties for themselves, complain about how terrible everything is in their lives and about where they live. News media doesn’t help this mindset. They spend hours of time reporting on all the death, crime and scandals and give you only two minutes of human interest stories that are positive. Even in politics the candidates spend the majority of their time trying to make the other candidate look bad, instead of telling us what makes them look good – and telling the truth about it. During this year’s presidential election between the Binders Full of Women that don’t exist and Donald Trump holding “charity” for ransom, the whole politics for personal gain campaign had gotten on my last nerves.

However, it could be worse. I could have been without my sight, or even without my hearing and wouldn’t have known about any of it. And fortunately, I know how to change my television channel.

Therefore, it can be said that I am truly blessed and highly favored. My vision isn’t the best; contact lenses keep things 20/20 for my nearsightedness that I received thanks to chicken pox when I was three years old. When the weather cools down my body starts to ache from the two car accidents I had less than a year apart. I have a few extra gray hairs in my head that I’m not so enthused about. But it could be worse. Putting my contacts in everyday allows me to work, read, drive, and see everything around me. I know people who have lost their sight, although they are blessed to still have vision. Feeling pain in my legs and back reminds me that I still have the use of my legs and can walk. Those two car accidents in 2007 and 2008 could have ended a lot differently than they did. My gray hairs remind me that I’m alive and getting older, which wasn’t the case when I was told I could die before I turned thirty years old. Now I’m headed towards forty and there’s a such thing as permanent hair color to cover the grays.

I say all that to say that perspective about life contributes greatly to how we feel about our lives. Being grateful for the small things in life that we often take for granted can make the unforeseen tragedies a little easier to deal with. I feel so bad for the people in New York and New Jersey who suffered damage to their homes, businesses and disruption to their lives after Hurricane Sandy and after the nor-easter storm that followed shortly after. I really feel bad that a woman who survived the ordeal of Hurricane Sandy didn’t see herself as blessed and favored and therefore, made a decision to take her own life. She may have had the type of life that a lot of people in worse situations would have gladly traded with her. I recently read an article about a woman who had to have her limbs amputated because she so desperately wanted a bigger booty so she got illegal butt injections. She was so beautiful and gifted before making the decision that altered how she lives the remainder of her life. But she didn’t appreciate the beauty she had and instead concentrated on the booty she didn’t have. Now she doesn’t have arms or legs.

Maybe that’s what more people need to adjust their life perspectives; a “Trading Places” type of experience where they have to literally live someone else’s life for a period of time so that they can better appreciate their own. Personally, I’ll keep living the life I have. I can think of a lot of situations that could be a lot worse than what I have going on. I’ve also learned that by persevering through any situation, I come out learning a valuable lesson and often also reaping a tremendous reward.  No one said that living would be easy… At least not anyone that I know of. Even when everything isn’t exactly right in my Super World, I’m still very thankful for everything that exists in my Super World. I’ve been without creature comforts that I once took for granted. I know what it’s like to lose children, a marriage and many other things, including nearly losing my life and the use of my limbs. Those experiences taught me valuable lessons. I don’t regret the experiences because they were meant to occur so that I can be the woman I am. I wouldn’t give up any of this to have any of that happen again.

People complain too much. Often the complaint is related to something a person wants but doesn’t have; or something someone else is doing or has done, that they wouldn’t have the courage to change in the first place.

Instead of dwelling on what you don’t have, I encourage you to be more thankful for what you DO have. The desire to acquire what we don’t have has caused some people to lose their lives, their limbs and their faith. Everything you have is yours for a reason – good, bad or indifferent; either own it or adjust to it. Likewise, whatever is meant for you will also be yours; not necessarily because of you, but in spite of you. Sometimes, we can be our own biggest hindrance to our progress with our doubts, complaints and fears.

As you go about your life wishing and hoping for more, and not appreciating what you have, be careful of what you’ll exchange in order to get something you want. Everything comes at a price, including wealth, health, beauty and success. Love yourself first. Assess the important changes you can make to improve yourself like your integrity, character, self-esteem and attitude BEFORE you go through hell to change the superficial elements. Be thankful for the family you have, instead of wishing you had different family members or more of them. Some people are literally the last person in their family alive now. Be thankful for the days you have today and ahead of you instead of complaining about each day that comes. Life isn’t promised and someone died today. Be thankful for your job instead of complaining about the people you work with all the time. You may not be the best coworker to them either, but there is someone who woke up unemployed today. Don’t complain about what other people should or shouldn’t do; instead evaluate what you can do to make your own situation better. It’s likely that you aren’t being the best citizen or neighbor that you can be. Get off of Facebook and get face time with people around you and in your community. Become more involved in something positive and you won’t have time to concentrate on the negative.

Everyday count the blessings you have and look for new ones to appreciate. Making this a regular practice throughout the entire year will put a glow of love and abundance around you during each holiday season; rum not included. 

When you want to open your mouth to complain about something, remember this: 

No matter how bad you may think your situation is, someone else on this planet would gladly take your place and your blessings instead of what they deal with.  

Be blessed and highly favored. 

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.