Tag Archives: relationships

Get Your Happy -An Open Letter to Single Women 

If you’ve been following my journey, you know that I’m not the luckiest woman when it comes to romantic relationships or dating. Although I’m accustomed to being committed, because that’s been the majority of my experience, I’ve had some bad relationships that I had to overcome. Although I enjoying going out, dating has been a serious challenge for me as well. After a couple of stalkers, and too many men who put up facades, it was determined that online dating just isn’t my thing and meeting men in general isn’t always pleasant. 

Instead of doing the “woe is me” single dance, I started intentionally focusing on just being happily single/married to my career. My desire for male companionship has become the last thing I think or care about. Marriage isn’t a goal, it’s an option. And I won’t date a man, or chase a man just to say I “have a man”. I don’t even mind when men assume I’m already in a relationship or married, preventing them from even attempting to date me. I have begun to look at that as a compliment….it means I’m identified as wife material and it helps keep the men who aren’t for me away when they’re unsure of if I’m “taken”, or not. 

I literally can turn men down and not feel any regret. I’ve been doing it for a long time now. I’ve gotten very good at it. I’ve politely said “no thanks” to trips, gifts, dinners, and hotel room keys from a slew of very successful, good looking, and some very famous men, and felt perfectly fine about my decision. *Here comes the grown folks convo.* While other women may think I’m crazy for turning these men away, I know why they show interest in me and more importantly, my p*ssy isn’t what makes me a good woman, therefore, I don’t feel the need to give it to every man who wants it, regardless of his status. Even if a man is genuinely interested in me, it doesn’t change the way I already feel about myself. I know my worth, and no matter how successful, good looking, or famous a man is, my worth isn’t predicated on what he thinks of me at all. I’m not hesitant to let any successful, good looking, or famous man know that “you can Google me, too, bro”, which often, they know already; that is one factor that attracts them to me. 

I can go many of the same places they go and I’m on the same guest lists, so their access doesn’t impress me. I travel, eat at very nice restaurants and wear designer clothes, so offers of plane tickets, handbags and clothes won’t impress me either. Men in my circles grow accustomed to women who fawn over their money, status and material possessions, so when they meet a woman who doesn’t need those things from them, it changes the game and sometimes intimidates them. I’m okay with that. I’m enjoying my life regardless. I’ve found my happy.

I bring this up to say, as women, we have to stop allowing how much we enjoy living life to be determined by how much attention or affection we receive from men. Women “wait” to do things, like traveling, buying jewelry, building/changing their careers, going back to school and buying property, until they “get a man/husband”, while men do whatever they want to do before they get a woman/wife. Too often women will say things like “I want my future husband to buy me a ring/watch/car like this” instead of buying it herself. But a man will see a ring/watch/car he likes and work towards buying it for himself. A woman will say things like “I want to go to Paris/Milan/Ibiza for my honeymoon”, but a man will go to Paris/Milan/Ibiza by himself or with the fellas without hesitation anytime he can afford to. 

Too many women limit the amount of living they do because they prioritize having a relationship with a man above living happily. Those same women often become resentful and envious of other women who have learned to live boldly and happily single, doing everything they want to do…. without waiting for a man to join them or facilitate it for them. That creates a strain in the sisterhood when a woman is unhappily single around her friends who are happily single or happily married. Ladies, you are guaranteed to lose a friend, or two, when you’re not happy because you’re single. 

Life is too short to wait on someone else to live it with you. If you don’t start embracing where you are today and start living life fully, as a single woman, you’ll wake up one day regretting all the things you didn’t do or deferred simply because you were single. Get your happy. Most women meet their Boaz while doing something productive and positive to enhance their own happiness in the first place.  

Devon Franklin posted this picture on Instagram, and it inspired this open letter. 

Don’t Let the Likes Fool You

We live in an age where social media is prevalent. It’s not going away no more than the Internet it lives on is, and everyday it becomes larger than the previous day. Social media is truly embedded into our culture and how we communicate with each other. That can be both good and bad. It can be good because social media allows us to communicate with people that we may normally have not had access to because of distance and language barriers. There are also many other benefits to social media; such as the ability for businesses to reach a global consumer base and relatives to stay in contact from miles away.

Unfortunately, one of the down sides to social media is the impact it has on individuals and their self-esteem. A lot of people, adults included, use social media to validate their self-worth in society. Many people only have interaction with others by way of their social media accounts and the strive on a daily basis to make other people “like” them. What they fail to realize is that some of those people liking their content, whether it is photos, memes or statuses, don’t really know or like them as a person and would not ever support their endeavors in the real world where it matters.

For instance, being a radio show host I offer independent artists the opportunity to have their music played on my show. I did this because I was constantly receiving messages with links to YouTube videos from artists asking me to watch, like and share their videos. However, many of those artists weren’t generating revenue from their video content on YouTube. So what’s the point in me liking your art when my ‘like’ is not helping you to make money from your art? To me it was a waste of time. So I offered artists another, more traditional method, by which they could be heard, not just liked. A many of them have stated that they have seen an increase in the number of PAID downloads of their music as a result.

Artists and musicians aren’t the only people impacted. Aspiring models, actors and others are in the same boat. People love the way they look on Instagram and like their pictures on Facebook, but that doesn’t help if those same people aren’t going to see the actors in plays, movies or aren’t watching their television shows, and…. well…. everyone wants to be an Instagram model nowadays, so you can imagine how stiff that competition is. Getting a lot of likes on Instagram doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be booked for the next Dolce & Gabbana, or Macy’s campaign anymore than for the local county fair at this point.

Part of the issue is the façade that big brands portray to consumers as well. When big brands seek partnerships or endorsements, outside of professional athletes and well-known celebrities, they often seek individuals in large part due to the quantity of their social media following more than the quality of their followers, the person’s power to influence those that follow them or their own loyalty to the big brand as a consumer.  This makes everyday social media users and those with dreams of success and stardom believe that they only way to be successful is to have a huge following on social media.

What’s the use if your followers can’t be converted into consumers?

For instance, reality show stars are now being cast in movie roles that actors/actresses fight and train for, simply because they have a larger social media following, but they don’t actually do anything. The movie studios do this because they hope that the reality show star will give them free advertising for their movie. True enough, the advertising is free, but what movie studios fail to realize is that everyone that follows that reality show star on social media isn’t really a loyal fan who would buy a ticket to see them star in a movie.

Being in media has afforded me the opportunity to hear what everyday people honestly think about others. I don’t know what it is but me, but people love to talk to and confide in me. I hear it all the time “I just follow them because I think they are funny/I want to see what people are saying about them; but I’d never spend my money going to see them perform/sing/dance, etc.” And that’s the hard truth that a lot of people don’t know when they have dreams and goals of Instafame.

Consider the newest social media darlings, The Westbrooks. They are being called the black version of the Kardashians. I wouldn’t consider that a compliment personally, but maybe they do. They have millions of combined followers on Instagram and a reality show on a popular cable network. On the show, we get to witness the sisters attempt to do what their father (a successful businessman), suggests they do; monetize their social media following. We also get to see their friends either support their attempts (backyard pool parties) or try to use them for their own attempts at gaining clientele (club openings). Which is probably where the Kardashian comparison comes into play. It seems that the “power” their wield over their social media minions could be used more productively than to endorse hair extensions and pop bottles in nightclubs. They all seem to be intelligent young women, with guidance from their hardworking parents, who didn’t always have it easy, so they understand building success in a more traditional way to acquire longevity.

So why shouldn’t The Westbrooks be able to do something bigger and more impactful with their branding than what everyone else on Instagram is doing?

Time will only tell when it comes to how far things will go for The Westbrooks. They’ll either make change, make waves or be replaced by the next hot group of pretty sisters on the internet. In the meantime, I hope that they serve as a lesson on how fleeting and intrusive Instafame without strategic preparation can be. I also hope that at some point we move away from the façade of what makes people successful and show examples of more men and women using their influence on social media for more than monetization. Those people exist. They may not have millions of followers, but they have quality followers, who are positively impacted by them, myself included. Big brands aren’t paying attention to those types of social media influencers….yet. But that is something that I also hope will change so that being attractive isn’t the only talent left for people to have in order to become successful.
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Real Women Won’t Hold You Back

There’s something terribly wrong with this picture. Women, especially the younger ones under 35, are always crying about men lacking ambition, drive, focus, determination and commitment, but those same women do everything possible to undermine, discourage and sabotage the men who do. They think that being a real woman means having a man. They think that being a good woman means chasing a man. They are even so foolish to think they can get and keep a man by threatening and harassing other women. It never works in their favor, yet they are determined to try.

I feel bad for men who are surrounded by women who themselves don’t want anything more out of life  other than to be “hood”, “liked”  and “ratchet”.

To put it bluntly, there’s a THOT TAKEOVER in progress in this world, and they are doing their best to try to take our promising men down with them. Yes, the thotish behavior of women is negatively impacting the success of men of every generation and will for generations to come if it’s allowed to spread. It’s difficult enough to lay the foundation for our sons to grow up and become strong, decisive, productive members of society, but when you add a thot to the equation, you make the mathematics impossible to solve for any man.

I’m a feminist, who also loves men. No matter how much heartache I’ve had in past relationships, I have a tremendous amount of affection towards the male gender. I have learned a lot about myself and men specifically in many areas of my life because of the men who are and have been apart of it.  It’s not always easy to do, but I can say that because I am not bitter and angry,  like some women, I have built awesome rapports with men personally and professionally. I have the respect of these men because of the kind of woman I am, and the way I conduct myself; not because of how many fans I have, or don’t, and not because of sex.

When it comes to sex, I have no problems being celibate. Keep in mind that I’m not practicing celibacy because I can’t get a man. The problem I’ve always had is that my sex appeal attracts too many men and often they aren’t the kind of men I’d want in my life. It’s the combination of pheromones and the long legs that start at the floor and come all the way up to make an ass out of themselves, that causes me problems with men… or so I’ve been told.

Celibacy is a character, esteem and strength builder.

Celibacy helps me to focus on myself on a deeper level and have a clearer mind so that I will have better discernment when I do decide to date a man. Celibacy shows that I can be sexy without having to have sex. Because of celibacy, I can tell which men are worthy of my time, attention and energy, and which ones are not. Further, because I don’t chase men, I don’t hate on women who have a man, and I don’t compete with thots, I’m self-assured, confident, successful, and I don’t share my body with every good-looking, charming man who wants it. Those are just some of the many characteristics that men actually find attractive about me and other good women in the world. Thots don’t have those qualities going for them. Thots are selfish. They are attention whores who need to be validated at every turn. They like to use a lot of words and can’t say anything meaningful or valuable. They can’t bring anything to the table, not even a pitcher of water because they concentrate more on how cute they are than being smarter or successful. They are braggadocious about their sexuality, and overly aggressive towards men that have absolutely no interest in them because of it.

Men are comfortable with women who don’t try to manipulate them,  who can speak to them like they are adults and allow them to make informed decisions for themselves. Any man who has ever said he didn’t want to pursue a relationship with me wasn’t harassed or belittled. He was set free to do whatever he thought was best for him at that time. Any woman he decided he did want to be with or even showed him attention after me wasn’t harassed by me either. Why? Because I don’t need to prove myself or my womanhood to any one. What does that resolve? Nothing.

In my personal relationships, sometimes men later realize that I may have been the better woman and sometimes they don’t, but they can never say I wasn’t a good woman towards them when they were with me and they can’t say I’m crazy because I can’t handle rejection either. Thots hate rejection. It hurts their feelings because they lack maturity and self-esteem. Thots are quick to attack the next woman in a man’s life, while real women know that they have other options that they can take advantage of.

I learned early on how to be a motivating factor and a supportive woman to a man. It’s not hard, but not everyone can do it either. It’s not about the material things. It’s not about being loud and making it rain in the clubs. It’s not about proving you’re the baddest bitch in a room (that woman doesn’t have to prove anything because everyone else already knows she is). It’s not about cooking a struggle meal or giving good sex either. That’s how thots think.

Real women, grown women, know better.  Grown women know that men mature at different stages, ages and for different reasons. We as women can’t always motivate and nurture men throughout every one of these phases, but we do know that when a man seeks something better for himself of his own accord, he will find and want the woman who will help him accomplish that. He’s not going to give his attention to the woman who is telling him he can’t, he shouldn’t, she doesn’t want him to, or the woman trying to sabotage all of his opportunities and relationships because she fears losing something that wasn’t truly hers to begin with – him. After all, if he was hers, they’d be married and supporting each others dreams and goals.

There’s a vast difference between a good woman who knows how to have a man’s back and a thot who only wants to hold a man back. A thot knows that him moving forward in his life, growing, maturing and becoming successful in spite of her, means that she has no power over him.

Real women don’t seek to have power over men.

Not our husbands, not our sons, not our brothers. We seek to co-exist and partner with men so that we can have a stronger dynamic in this world. There’s so many forces against us already as women, we don’t need to be anymore combative with each other or over any man.

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Relationship Goals

There’s been a lot of cute memes and videos circulating on the internet with #RelationshipGoal(s) examples. Everything from hugging and holding hands, to being handcuffed and wearing matching shoes. Being a woman who has had a multitude of bad relationships that included hugging, holding hands, wearing matching shoes and the occasional handcuffs (please reference some of my blogs or short stories if you don’t know what I mean), those things just aren’t a relationships priority for me.

Although the idea of a relationship lasting for a decent period of time is a foreign concept for me, if I were ever afforded the opportunity to have a healthy, successful partnership with a man who loves and respects me, my relationship goals would include honesty, communication, building wealth and leaving a legacy behind for our grandchildren. We can have great sex, of course, and dress nice, live a comfortable lifestyle, travel and such, however having mutual respect, admiration and support for each other’s professional endeavors, talents, ideas and ambition would be what separates the good from the best, in the way that I view a successful relationship for myself now.

Having someone who encourages you to be the best version of yourself in spite of what others say about you, can make a difference in your self esteem as well as in your bank account balance.
Someone who encourages you to take care of yourself, mentally, physically and emotionally, so that you can look and feel good, as well as combat stress that comes from obstacles you can’t control, can be the difference between you being happy and having a heart attack. Having someone who respects your sacrifices and struggles to grow within your purpose, instead of someone trying to change who you are to fit their agenda, can be the wind beneath your wings.

But that’s not how a lot of people view relationships anymore.

A lot of people look at relationships as something they need to make them whole and happy. That isn’t the case. Relationships are meant to enhance who you already are and increase the happiness you that already have as an individual. Seeking happiness from someone else in a relationship will not make you a whole person. And if, because it happens, the relationship ends, then what do you do? Sadly, some people resort to extremes because they can’t let go of the person they believed made them happy. That’s not healthy for anyone involved.

A lot of people also hold a lot of bitterness when their relationships end. It’s normal. It’s human. But you have to let it go so that you can move forward and have the opportunity to do it better the next time around. Try to refrain from wishing ill towards someone when the relationship ends. That only creates a void within yourself. When you genuinely care for someone else you want them to be happy, healthy and whole, not because of you, but even without you around.

I’ve always admired power couples. Personally that is what I’d like to have if and/or when I get involved with someone again (yes I’m cynical about the possibilities. Again, reference my past blog posts).  Power couples are typically two separately successful individuals who come together and complement each other’s drive, ambition, talent, focus, etc. etc. etc. There are thousands of said power couples in the world. Some more successful and popular than others, but all equally beautiful to me.

These couples probably wouldn’t have the relationships they have if they depended solely upon each other for their success or their happiness. They came to the table as two people with a lot to offer as individuals and saw that in each other, made a decision to combine together and grow towards something they wanted. That is what I think it takes to reach your #relationshipgoals.

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Turn Down For What?

Often we go through our lives concerned about what others think to the degree that we diminish ourselves. Too often, women in particular, down play our talents, dumb ourselves down to seem less educated or intelligent and quiet ourselves up to seem less intimidating. There’s that word – intimidating. I’ve heard that a lot  in my life and until I reached my 30s I honestly didn’t understand what it meant. Men often said I was ‘intimidating‘ to them and that’s why it is difficult for men to ask me out or commit to a relationship with me. I thought it meant I was doing something wrong. I later came to the realization that wasn’t the case. In fact what I grew to understand was that

Strong Women Only Intimidate Weak Men ~ Dr. Farrah Gray 

Recently, the extremely talented Mo’Ne Davis was verbally attacked  on Twitter by a male college student who called her a “slut” because he was jealous of her.  Yes, jealous. That was his motivation whether he would admit it or not. He didn’t like that Mo’Ne Davis was shining brightly, so he called her a “slut” on social media in an attempt to take her down a notch and throw shade at her. He wanted Mo’Ne to turn down so he could build himself up. His envy of her success drove him to behave like a jealous person does – ignorantly – and he lost his opportunity in return. Mo’Ne, being the exceptional young woman that she is, forgave him, asked his college to reinstate him and publicly stated;

“Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone deserves a second chance. I know he didn’t mean it in that type of way. I know people get tired of seeing me on TV. But sometimes you got to think about what you’re doing before you do it.

I admire her forgiveness, however, I have issue with her saying “I know people get tired of seeing me on TV” and here’s why:

As women, in general we turn our light, our shine, and our accomplishments down too much, too often and to make other people feel better about themselves just because they want to see our light lessened.  We do it in the work place, we do it at social events, we do it at family reunions and we do it with the men in our lives. As a result, we are paid less and disrespected more. We shouldn’t do this to ourselves, each other or teach other young women, like Mo’Ne, that they should either. If being successful in any shape, form or field results in others feeling envious of you, that isn’t your fault and it isn’t something you should apologize for. You shouldn’t stop doing the great things you are doing in your life or career because someone feels intimidated. You can’t control other people feeling jealous of you. You don’t have to lessen yourself to build others up. If a person’s jealousy doesn’t motivate them to do better for themselves, that’s entirely too bad for them.

I no longer care about how intimidated someone else feels when it comes to my appearance, my success, my intelligence, my height or anything else that makes other people feel ‘some type of way‘ when I enter a room or express myself.  Especially not a man. That is their issue to resolve, not mine. I will continue to be the amazing woman I am and anyone, man or woman, who can’t handle it doesn’t have to stand in my sunshine. They can go find a dark shadow to lurk under. And if Mo’Ne Davis was my daughter, I’d tell her the same thing.

The next time you encounter a situation where someone is attempting to diminish your shine, say this to yourself until you feel it resonate within yourself like the sun itself

I shine brightly, I am intelligent, I am successful, I am happy, I am beautiful, I am self assured, I am gifted, I am talented, I am loved. I live within my purpose, and I strive for personal greatness, so turn down for what? 

 

Experience; A True Teacher

We have all experienced disappointment, rejection and loss. I myself experienced a tremendous amount this year alone. My mother died, I lost friends and I lost opportunities. All of these experiences forced me to make adjustments, changes and sacrifices. What I thought was going to be one of the best years of my life, turned into one of the most difficult. I was hurt, sad and even felt depressed throughout each experience I weathered. In spite of the negatives, I learned from each situation and as a result I also experienced positive growth.

While I was going through hidden pain, I was still having positive experiences. This year I became a correspondent blogger for Six Brown Chicks and I got to meet a woman I admire greatly as a result; Zondra Hughes. I was in featured in several articles written by talented journalists and bloggers, one of which was published in Italy. I finished my second book and (to my surprise and delight) it reached number 34 in the world on Amazon’s Urban/Regional list of eBooks. In a couple of weeks that same book Breaking Through the Black Ceiling will become available in paperback for purchase.

I had a lot of obstacles come up against me this year, some that were truly unthinkable and others that were completely frightening. Details of one of those obstacles is actually the topic of one of my next books. We won’t even begin to discuss my nonexistent love life. I no longer date. It just doesn’t work out well for me, so I’d rather avoid it than endure it. I still learned from the lack of romance in my life this year as well. I learned that it’s better to be happy and alone, than be miserable trying to force your love on someone who doesn’t want or deserve it. This year I opened up about my past experience with domestic violence for PURE Magazine, I mourned the loss of my friend and mentor, Mark England, and I made some very difficult decisions for my family. I also had to say ‘no, thank you’ quite often for the sake of my own sanity.

This year, I also learned the importance of forgiveness, not for others, but for you. I learned how much I truly value certain friendships, but that I don’t need the ones I lost. I learned that loyalty is often expected, but rarely received. I learned that it is often difficult to be your authentic self, but doing so gives you strength and takes away any negative power that others may have over you. I learned that I have the ability to shape my destiny and purpose, while still living the life that is written for me in the Master’s Plan. I learned that sometimes I won’t be happy, but I will be strong. I learned that my apprehension related to fame is hindering my success, and I decided to change that.

Experience is a true teacher. I truly believe that even the negative things that have occurred to me, not just this year, but throughout my life, served a purpose and were meant for me to learn from. Experience shapes us as individuals. We can’t always control what we go through, and everything we endure in life won’t be pleasant. However, we can make an effort to learn from every experience, good and bad, so that we can become better than we were before. I hope that all of the experiences I had in 2014 will strengthen me to become more resilient, stronger and more purpose driven, so that I can have more wealth, better health and happiness in the days and years to come. I want to continue to make a difference in the world using my voice, my creativity and my words, leaving behind a legacy that will influence others to do the same. I hope the same for you as well.

Next year already holds a great deal of promise and opportunity for my life and career. What I lost in 2014 will be replaced with more abundant and positive experiences in 2015. The obstacles, fear, pain and disappointment from 2014 will no longer exist.

All that will remain is me

Better than I was before.