Sistah Take A Seat: Don’t Pay For Bae

As women, we spend a great deal of our lifetime being something to someone else. We are first daughters to parents. Sisters to siblings. Gal pals to friends. Significant others to men. Mothers to children. Aunt. Goddy. Sister in law. Grandmother. And on and on. 

Our roles bleed into each other. There’s no beginning and definitely no end to our super powers. We can make a meal with $10 or less. We can have 20 tabs open on our laptop and get it done all the while jostling a sick child on our hip or feeding jello to an ill parent in hospice. There is no end to our inner strength. It is both a blessing and a bane to our existence. Yet, there are times we extend too much, share too much, do too much…way too much. 

Bae is that boo thang whose caught your eye. He’s saying the right words. He’s hard core or he’s super sweet. Whatever your preference, he’s laying his mojo and making you feel all ooey-gooey on the inside. One day he’s driving your car cause his is in the shop. Before you know it, he’s driving your car around town while you wait on public transportation. One day he’s asking you for a couple of dollars to make rent. Before you know it, he’s got his Jordan’s in your closet and buying a pair every other week. 

So I’ve painted some very extreme cases of instances where the relationship balance is skewed–or maybe I haven’t. I’ve heard the horror stories of women who ended up being nothing more than a bank account, therapist, and chef for men who showed their natural (insert your preferred word here) when they felt it safe to do so. I’ve seen co-dependent relationships breed all sorts of tragic outcomes. She was paying his bills while he was paying someone else’s. She was looking out for his kids while he was busy making another for her to take care of–with someone else. She was hiding his drugs at her place while he was laid up somewhere else where police raids wouldn’t find a tic tac to charge him for. And it goes on and on. 

Fall back sister-friend. Pause. Stop. Take off those rose colored glasses and see your life for what is really happening. You’ve paid and paid and paid for Bae with no return on your investment. You’ve paid with your finances. Your energy. Your time. Your body. Was it really worth it? There are married women who don’t do what you do. Women whose names are on life insurance policies and mortgages and bank statements.  It says something about them but it definitely says more about you. 

You are doing THE ultimate MOST! No, Rome wasn’t built in a day. But it certainly was destroyed in one. Bae needs a wake up call, not you. He needs a life altering change in his life, not you. Bae needs a reality check, not you. 

Life Coach, Random Thoughts

Sistah Take A Seat: When You’re Not Being  “Present”

Gabby Douglas has been on my heart something serious this Olympic season. I know she’s all the way in Rio and I’m nothing but a mere observer–but her spirit speaks to me like it would if she was my girlfriend two miles away, a church member in my congregation–like she was even me. I watched her four years ago shine and sparkle and give us all that #blackgirlmagic we so craved. Sprinkle. Sprinkle.  I watched the media and Black women at large try to dissect every strand of her course hair. White folks could care less about our hair as much as we care about our own hair. Gabby fought back and brought home the golds. 

This time around, Gabby stepped onto the stage and her shine and sparkle, well, her #blackgirlmajic, hmmm…something ain’t right. Minimal eye contact. Detached. Performance for the cameras and back to “normal”. Apathetic. Flat affect. Smiles that don’t reach the eyes. Mood incongruent with the setting. That fake smile. Simply put, this girl is not happy. Why? I don’t know. I can’t begin to know why this beautiful young trailblazer has missed a step. That she simply is not present.  By present I mean not being in the moment. Not connecting with others. Not being your true self and relating to the experiences about you. 

But I feel Gabby. How many times have I checked out when I couldn’t deal with the emotional threats made against me (real or perceived)? How many times have I withdrawn to that quiet space in my head and just mentally floated away? How many times have I taken off my glasses and allowed the blurry world to just be that–blurry? 

Gabby is one among millions of women who may find it hard to cope with life’s challenges in one form or another.  It’s not the challenges I’m concerned about yet rather how we cope that separates the wheat from the chaff. I spent half my lifetime trying to pretend that I liked everyone I met. I pretended that people excited me when in reality they drained me. I pretended that I was happy with my body when I really was not. I pretended I wanted to be “cool” and relatable when in reality I wanted to be in my nerd space with the do not disturb sign on the door. To me there was something wrong with being smart, organized, opinionated and introverted. After all, “everyone else” was wearing the long weaves, the high heels, and the big purses. That being in roles of wife/pastor wife, daughter, sibling, friend meant I had to kill my true self to become someone else. The pressure. Oh the pressure of living a lie. 

Today, I still carry all those roles and then some. But it’s how I cope that has made me more spiritually and emotionally centered. My faith in Christ keeps me grounded. No, I’m not in seminary school reading the Bible cover to cover for the 100th time, but I’m connected to Him. 

Do people still drain me? Yep. I just know how to better manage my responses and time spent with others and make time to be alone. Balance. Do I still find it hard to manage my hips and thighs? Yep. Fitbit helps. Wearing clothes that flatter me helps too. Acceptance. Am I still a nerd? Yep. Til the day I die! Truth
Gabby is young. I pray it doesn’t take half her life time to strengthen her village, acknowledge who she is at the core, forgive herself and others and use this test to be her testimony. I want her to hurry up and feel better, do better, be better! But as with everything, I know it’s going to be more hard hills to climb before the road smooths itself out. Being present is no small feat. Come through Gabby. Come through. 

Life Coach

Forward To Fall

I know it’s like 99.99% summer time here in South Florida. Sometimes there are deficits to living in a city that’s always in “South Beach” mode. Folks down here tend to find it hard to transition with the seasons. Up north, there’s a brisk, crisp wind and chill in the air that ushers in football season, hay rides and warm soups. Well down here, we break out knee high boots in 75 degree weather. Such is life. 
Regardless of the change in weather temps, Fall is right around a corner. I recently came around the aisle at the local Walmart and nearly got slapped by a scarecrow. It looked like a corn field had cropped up on the shelves. Forget back to school! They had Thanksgiving on deck already. I wasn’t ready. Ready or not, change is our only constant. 
These lazy dog days of summer are drawing to a close. It’s nearly time to buckle down and get back to the business of “living.” So for those of us who had the luxury of being on chill mode during the past two months, it’s time to reconnect. For those of us whose pace hadn’t changed, it’s time to take stock. Fall is the time to reap the harvest. To count what’s in your storehouse. To take inventory. So be you a ten month working educator or a year round entrepreneuer, we all can stand to take some time to run through our 2016 “at a glance” book. 
Take a look at your 2016 goals and gauge where you are. Don’t beat yourself up too much for getting off track. Maybe snack yourself a couple of times. Just don’t hit too hard. Life happens. Yet it merits some looking into if you can honestly say you weren’t doing your part. It’s okay. Just admit it. Then take steps to remedy the solution. 
There are four months left in the year. Yep. FOUR MONTHS. Whatever it is you’d like to wrap up before year’s end, let’s have a go at it. Enrolling in college? Saving for a car? Closing on a house? Working on that business plan? You still have four months to shape something out of it all. 
Don’t go into Fall like a recalcitrant teenager. It’s here whether you like it or not. Welcome it with thankful arms. Thankful for yet another season to make the best of your life now.