Can’t Women All Just Get Along?…

Skinny women, fluffy women, in between women? I’ve been in 2 out of 3 of those categories, and I get tired of the evil looks. All I ever did was walk by and be nice to you. I know that look because I used to get it from people that said they were friends.

I woke up thinking of that song “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor. The line that makes me giggle is when she says “I’m bringing booty back”. I love that this song became a mainstream song that celebrates the big girl.

I’ve been friends with my share of fluffy women, and honestly, I wish I was them. I always wished I was them. It’s a shame that only a certain type of woman is seen as beautiful and even sexy, because the truth of the matter is that guys really do like “a little more booty to hold at night.” Besides, there are places in the world where I would never get a second glance because I’m not full figured.

Yet bigger women wish they were thinner. That’s a true shame, really. I hope some of them get to go to places where they get to experience men fawning over them. Every woman deserves to feel sexy. Because she is. No matter what size she may be.

If some of us thinner women are honest (and there are those of us that are), we wish we had the hips, booty and thighs that some bigger women have got. I’ve had friends that were thinner and desired to gain weight. I was one of them at a point in my life. Mostly, I wanted people to stop thinking I was sick and too thin. I felt like an ugly duckling when I was at my thinnest. Before I had time to accept my smaller size, people were thrusting their opinions on me. There were those that thought I looked amazing, which made me question how I looked before and if it was really that awful. Then there was the other camp of people that asked if I had been sick or if I was eating.

Being a person that doesn’t like to be the center of anyone’s attention, it was overwhelming. I ended up being very depressed because I thought I was ugly because of things people said. I wanted to be an in-between girl like I used to be, but maybe with some more booty. But I began to wonder if I should stay thinner because maybe I didn’t look as good as I thought I did then. It was a hard time.

You know what I hate too? The way clothing fits on bigger women, including the intimates. There is this automatic assumption that you have bigger breasts if you’re a larger woman, and that’s not always the case. I can’t imagine what the bra search must be like! Clothing designers also act like bigger women want to hide their figures under circus tents that people dare to call clothing! What for?! This is why, even though I’m not a bigger woman and never have been, I’m thankful for stores like Torrid that have fashionable clothing for plus-sized women. They deserve to look their best just as much as any skinny or in-between woman.

Now I’m still an in-between woman in terms of size, but I got the extra booty that I wanted. That was all thanks to my wonderful personal trainer. Hiring a personal trainer, even though it was for a short time, made me feel empowered and confident in my body. Through thick(er) and thin, I had never felt like that. One day recently, I tried on a swimsuit, and I actually liked the way I looked in it. My body had changed a little bit in terms of how it looked, but what really changed was my mind. If for no other reason, hiring a personal trainer was worth that.

Whatever it takes, I hope that more women start to love themselves and be comfortable in and with their bodies, no matter what size it may be at the time. Let’s face it; our bodies are going to change a lot. Though it won’t be easy all of the time, I wish we loved ourselves where we were, and not because the scale is showing a smaller number.

Only then will we be able to look at another woman and say to her “You look amazing”, and mean it, without feeling like it takes anything away from our beauty. That would be a beautiful thing.

I lost it over a tip…

…because I was in the nail salon and forgot to get cash. Yes, I had a mental fit over this. Allow me to explain.

This past weekend has been rough emotionally, as it was a weekend where the things that were bothering me had to do with being black. There are days when I don’t let it get to me, but then there are times where I feel like the world is imploding around me, like this weekend.

For those that are unaware, there is this preconceived notion that black people don’t tip, or tip poorly when it comes to anyone giving a service of some sort. Sometimes workers will decide how they’re going to treat you just by looking at you. I’ve worked jobs where I have had to rely on tips to supplement what I wasn’t getting per hour, so I know what it feels like when you don’t get tipped. Couple that with this idea that service persons have of black people, and you end up having a anxiety attack/mental meltdown in the nail salon, a place where you should be enjoying yourself.

I don’t know if anyone could tell I was freaking out and chiding myself for not getting cash, but it slipped my mind. I hadn’t been to a nail salon in 4 years, and had forgotten¬†that they don’t take tip on cards. For non-POC, this is excusable. For me, not so much. It brought back memories of being in hair stores, which are mostly run by Asian people. I felt like I was being judged and watched, even though I would never steal from or rob anyone! Then I started thinking that the staff was ignoring me, when they really weren’t. I was so in my head that I was brushing back tears. The young man that did my nails helped pull me out of that just by being his smiling friendly self. He has no idea how much that helped me.

I promptly left the store to get cash so I could tip about 25%. Could I afford it? Not really, but he did a great job. Besides, it was nice not to be scolded for my nails being so short or for wanting them short. Female nail techs always get on me about that.

Sunday didn’t get any better. I was in church, and wasn’t sitting towards the front, like I usually do. I was on call, so I stayed towards the back. A young white man with a hoodie was in service worshipping with us. I don’t know why, but I felt a pain in my chest, which I know was anxiety. When I saw him, all I could think of was that church shooting in South Carolina. The shooter was white, and purposely targeted black people.

White people have come and gone from our church and I never thought twice about it; why was this bothering me today? I remember watching him for any unusual behavior, and taking notice of all the exits. I never recall feeling like this. Was I right to be suspicious? Why now and why with this particular person?

If I could sum up this past weekend in a word, it would be this: unsafe.

I’m not safe from people’s perceptions of me. I can’t be spared from people’s prejudices and how they’ll treat me based on how I look. There’s no reprieve from being black; it’s an every day thing. I hate how talking about it makes white people uncomfortable. Trust us, we don’t want to try to make you uncomfortable. If you do feel this way, maybe you should ask yourself why that is, because it probably has nothing to do with me.

I tossed, turned, and cried last night in bed, fretting about this. It’s something that’s not so simply changed. I wish I could talk to my counselor because she is black and could understand how I’m feeling, and she helped me get out of my head a bit. Unfortunately, I can’t afford to talk to her anymore.

In a world where being black could mean not returning home again, I feel lost and alone. I need my counselor back.

Highs and Lows

If we were having coffee today, I’d be sitting at Starbucks with a java chip frappuccino today experiencing a lot of feels. I also realized that I haven’t the slightest idea as to how “frappuccino” should be spelled (you should’ve seen how many times I typed it before I caved and looked at the menu. It turns out that I spelled it right the first time around).

I’m sorry that I’ve avoided writing one of these lately… it’s just that I had wanted to record them. I recorded a few of them, and fell off of it a bit. Either way, I want to stay connected, and I regret not keeping you posted.

To be honest, I haven’t fully gotten “used to” not living at home anymore, and I still feel like I suck at being an adult. My bank account’s been negative for months, work hasn’t picked up yet, and it feels like no matter how much I work, I’m not getting anywhere. The only thing I’ve managed to overcome was my fear of talking to people about my money situation. It’s embarrassing, frustrating and humiliating, but people have been mostly supportive and as helpful as they can be. It still sucks though. The only good thing that will come out of suffering the summertime swell is that I should finally have a bank account that isn’t negative. I still must endure another 2 months before that happens, but I’ve still managed to somehow enjoy myself. Yes, I don’t have money, but most of the things I’ve needed have been met. The Lord has been looking out for me in that regard.

I just wish I felt more capable as it pertains to “properly adulting”, but since I haven’t found a good sugar daddy yet, it looks like I’m stuck on the grind. (Kidding. I’m not looking).

On the flip side of things, I’m getting to deal with things that have hurt me in the past. I’m realizing that up to now, a lot of what I’ve experienced has caused me not to like myself much at all. I’ve been finding ways to try to rectify that. In reading a lot of articles, it is suggested to focus on your good traits. This makes me seriously uncomfortable, to be honest with you… so another thing I would like to focus on is doing things I enjoy. When I’m doing something I enjoy, I am the happiest I can be. This ends up translating into being a more confident person. The caveat is that some of the stuff that I like and enjoy involves money, of which I have none.

Working is what we must do; however, taking time for oneself is just as necessary for your sanity and mental well-being. I feel like most of the reason I’m not enjoying living on my own as much as I could is because I’ve been so focused on stabilizing my financial situation.

Speaking of sanity and well-being, not having a boyfriend has been bothering me a lot lately. If I’m truthful, I’m still settling for some of what I want. I want to scream on the one hand, but it’s also soothing a sore spot on the other. I’m hoping that this whole journey in learning to like myself and working on healing what has been hurt for so long will help me to at least be satisfied with where I am… and before you go there with the “you’ll find someone one day, be patient, it happens when you least expect it” rhetoric, please save it. It irks my soul. I know that sounds rude, but I’ve heard it for so long that I can’t stomach hearing it anymore.

I could write a book on all the stuff people have said to me thinking they were being helpful, but I’d be disgusted by it so much that I’d burn the book. Yes, I have strong thoughts about this. Most of them end with me flipping the bird at whoever hands me that rubbish. Before you find yourself saying ANYTHING of the sort to someone that is single, ask yourself this question: Did it help you when you were single?

If the answer is no, and it made you feel like I currently do when people said it to you, bite your tongue immediately. Do it! Though I assure you that if it does slip, I’ll be glad to flip you off in an effort to point out that transgression.

Oh, and my car got stuck in the snow. Yes, stuck. I had to call a tow, which I ended up not needing because a van full of guys were able to push me out. Ever since that incident, the whole week has been up and down like that. Well, at least I can say that I haven’t been bored, but I left ride sharing alone for about a week after that.

Good things that happened this weekend are:

  • THE BAND GOT BACK TOGETHER… and by the band, I mean that I got to be with the friends that I hung out with in high school today! We haven’t been all together in years, and it was wonderful to see everyone again. I think it’s better now that we’re all matured and have experienced life a bit more.
  • I hung out with my friend A, her boyfriend and her sister. Banana pudding cake was involved. It was very good times.
  • I saw “Hidden Figures”. Great movie.
  • I was flying for 5 days straight, which has been the longest I’ve been out for months! I really missed flying. Before that, I was barely called at all. I got to hang with my crews a bit as well, one of which was a captain I flew with before and enjoy working with.
  • I finally successfully applied the right lash! I never had problems with the left, but the right one gives me a hard time. I fought with it for a good 5 minutes, but it’s on properly! That is all that matters.
  • I visited my mom and grandmother. I try to do this when I can/feel up to it, and managed to successfully do this twice this month. I know the month isn’t over, but that’s not bad! It also helps that I live close to both of them. Now I need to work on visiting my dad. We talk on the phone, but I’m overdue for a visit.
  • All my training at the gym is paying off; someone actually noticed a difference in my appearance! I knew I felt stronger and my endurance was a lot better, but I couldn’t tell whether or not I looked different. That was quite encouraging.

I’m so sorry for the long behind update, but it hasn’t all been doom and gloom. Here’s hoping that next month is better. Heck, I’d take a better next week! I’m hoping to be more balanced emotionally, mentally, financially, and that my diet will be more balanced as well.

Looks like the key word here is balance.

#weekendcoffeeshare

 

Part of what I want isn’t good enough

If we were having coffee, this is how I would start out.

I’ve been seeing someone that is only around to scratch an itch. I had a “one and done” policy on this for a while because I didn’t want to get any hopes built up because I know how I am. Well, I broke that rule and saw this person more than once. I thought I could handle it only to quickly find out that I can’t.

It’s like “true and false” statements. If part of the statement is false, then the whole statement is false. A little leaven spoils the whole lump. Likewise, having part of what you want is still not having what you want. You might as well not bother.

It’s hard to tell myself this because it resembles what I want… but it’s not. Not at all. It’s only a mere fraction.

So why am I putting up with it?

Because I’m tired.

I’m tired of being alone, tired of people trying to tell me I’ll find someone, and I’m SO tired of hearing people say “You’re so pretty”, “You’re so intriguing”, etc… yet I’m still single and feel unwanted. The worst phrase that anyone could form their mouth to say to me is “I wish I could find someone just like you.” That’s the meanest thing you could ever say, because in those words lies the undercurrent of “I don’t want you though.” No one wants you. Just the idea of you. In the form of someone else.

I’m definitely going to stop seeing the guy for my own sanity, but in case you were wondering why I let things go on for a minute… here’s some insight.

Something I have in common with the black coffee I’m enjoying is the sweet taste of bitterness. I miss my counselor, but can’t afford to see her anymore. Maybe I wouldn’t be feeling the way that I feel.

#weekendcoffeeshare

And A Squirrel Scampered By…

…outside of the apartment building where I will now be living.

My apartment. My first apartment.

You guys… I can’t describe how surreal it all feels. I’ve been waiting for this moment for years. Out of all of the times that I have imagined having my own place and what that would feel like, fear isn’t what I expected to experience. Yet I find myself being afraid.

It’s not that I haven’t lived away from home before; it’s not so bad to be away from home. It’s actually pretty great. What’s scary to me is that I really am out this time. I’ve lived with roommates in the past when I was out of the house; therefore, responsibilities were shared.

This time, there is no such safety net; it’s just me. I, alone, am responsible for paying for the roof over my head along with other bills. I’m afraid that even with my job and my best efforts to stay afloat that I might not be able to maintain everything, let alone live comfortably. I’ve become hyper aware of what is a necessity and what is a luxury, and I realize how much that I’ve taken for granted because I didn’t have certain responsibilities. It’s one thing entirely to just help with paying bills; it’s something else when you’re the only one responsible for whether or not those bills are paid.

It’s the most frightening thing I’ve ever experienced. What if I fail?

There were times here and there that I felt a calm come over me. Yes, I do have a job and work it as much as I can; however, I will need a supplement income. As freaked out as I was about this, a peace would overcome me. In those moments, I told myself that things would work out and be fine. The journey, however, to that place where things are fine is one that tests your nerve, and your ability to press forward, even when you don’t know where you’re going or if you’ll get to where you want to be.

My friend A was very excited for me, though. She insisted on coming over to see the place, and bought hot wings with her. I felt a lot calmer being there with her. It’s one of my first memories, and I’m so glad it was a fun one. We’re going to have another fun memory when she camps out with me Friday night. I say “camping out” because my bed is not yet here, so we’ll both be sleeping on the ground. It’ll be like the old days in high school that consisted of sleepovers, and laughing until all hours of the night.

Most importantly, there will be no worrying. Things will work out as they should; I just gotta keep taking steps, and clinging to those moments of peace when I want to fret. I wonder if that’s part of the reason I was so focused on the squirrel. Its hindquarters were nearly white, but the top half of it was a light grey. It paused for a moment with a pine cone in its mouth to watch me haul a box across the parking lot, then bounded to the nearby tree, and scampered upward and out of sight.

The Side Eye

If we were having coffee, I experienced something that has had me wondering since it happened. This hasn’t happened in a little while, but I wonder if this will be something that I will now have to expect more and more, given the current climate in my country.

I was in the airport on a long sit (about 4 hours because of delays!), and I discovered that my airport has a Gap clothing store in it! I love the fit of Gap jeans, so I went in to peruse. I was trying on a jacket, and went to put it on when a white woman approached me. She started to pose a question about something in her hand, then paused and asked “Do you work here?”

Now, I understand that the people at Gap dress pretty casually. What I fail to understand is how she could ask me that question when I was not dressed casually at all! I was in my full flight attendant uniform with the scarf and all! Not even floor managers at the Gap are that dressy. I had to restrain myself from giving her a snappish answer, but I definitely looked at her like she was crazy.

So much of me wondered if she assumed I worked there because I was the first brown face that she saw close by. Like I said, I’ve had this happen before. I’m pretty sure most brown people have. Your class doesn’t spare you from the side eye and careless assumptions such as these.

Jon Stewart used to talk about matters like this when he hosted The Daily Show. I love that he, and a few others, have used their platforms to be like John the Baptist. However, their cry isn’t that the kingdom of heaven is near. Their cry is that “Racism is still alive and well! Prejudice and ignorance are still king in this country!” Any time that citizens of this country (people of colour that are legal citizens, LGBTQ folks, disabled persons)–people that have helped make up the tapestry that is this country–are fearful for their safety, that should be a concern for ALL persons. It’s not enough for merely those minorities to be concerned; sadly, their voices aren’t heard as well for reasons of which we’re all aware, even if we deny them.

There need to be others… more like him. Not everyone in this country is prejudiced, but not everyone is speaking out against those acting on their fear and ignorance. This is what makes me sad and afraid. More than anything, I wish that there was something I could do to stir change… but I don’t know where to start. I’m just one person. One black person and one woman. Who feels like her voice wouldn’t be heard.

#weekendcoffeeshare

Birthday Blues

Normally, I really like birthdays, including my own. It’s a day to celebrate the fabulousness that is you, of course!

My birthday is in 9 days and I’ll be yet another year older. Here’s why I’m not looking forward to it this year:

  • I’m not where I wanted to be at this age (not married, no children, still living at home, etc), and therefore, am embarrassed to admit to being this age/don’t want to be this age. It just reminds me that I’m too old not to have certain things in order.
  • My work week starts on my birthday. ugh. getting off is tough, and I don’t want to use sick time.
  • because of the above reason, I probably won’t get to have cake.
  • no party or celebration will be had. although the first reason has me down, I’d still like a party. I haven’t had a birthday gathering/party in a while. I tried planning one when I turned 30, and no one could come… including me! (my account was drained. it wasn’t a good birthday).
  • I won’t have much money to even take myself out! Maybe next check after my birthday.
  • when you get older, you’re stuck celebrating by yourself.

I wish I had a happy ending to this post and that despite the cons, I am looking forward to my birthday… but I don’t and I’m not. If I had the day to myself, maybe I could see the ray of sunshine coming through the clouds. Birthdays should be about you, and this one just won’t be. This is the second birthday where I’ve had to work, and that’s just depressing.

And yes, I do mean the second birthday ever. At all of the jobs I’ve had, I made it a point not to work on my birthday. I treasure it enough that I ensure that I don’t ¬†“have” to do anything then. I don’t have that option with my current job.

So here it is. Happy birthday to me. *sigh*