Random Thoughts at Work

I was never the pretty or popular kid growing up. I was the kid who got expelled a few times for fighting, and who loved to fight; particularly boys. I had a need to knock them about. I’ve worked that. Anyway, I never had a lot of girlfriends. My first one was a new neighbor named Amber. She thought I was different or weird; at least that’s what I thought. The first time I met her, it’d been dark outside, and when we hugged a bat flew right between us. It was one of the coolest things that’s ever happened to me. I also remember that I never asked her to spend the night at my house, and every time I stayed at her house it always smelled like some sort of gummy bears. One of the things I always loved about Amber is that she pretty much took me for who I was. In fact, she’s the one who actually helped me change my laugh,  my snorting used to be out of control!

Regardless I’ve never had the luxury of learning girl speak or reading between the lines. I am deficient in both areas. I never was quick when it came to learning social cues, although to many looking in, the story may seem different. I was blessed though. Even though socially I felt inadequate, I’ve met quite a few people who were worth the while. My problem is whenever I have good vibes, I feel like that person is going to be a friend, or at the very least an acquaintance. Socially, at least from a logical standpoint, this is stupid. There is no way you’re going to make friends with every person you click with. In many areas I feel very adult, but when it comes to this I feel like a child, and it makes me sad, which makes me feel stupid.

Losing friends or people I thought were my friends is still something I cry about. It’s one of the few things that will fracture my insides. For me, friends were a happy escape from a life I didn’t want and constantly wish I didn’t have. They were like the live version of books for me. Each person has a story to tell, a different life, and problems I took pleasure in helping them with.

One thing I’ve noticed, or at the very least was told, is that boys, not always, would stop being my friend for one of two reasons. One, I’m intimidating. Two, they think I like them and they don’t want to say they’re not interested. I find number one to be ridiculous. I don’t know a single reason why anyone would be intimidated by me, maybe in my youth, but that’s more than 8 years ago now. For two, I laughed. Hysterically. One guy was rather honest when he told me this, & I, as sweetly as I could, told him there’s no way I liked him. He was shocked. Through some conversation, I learned why he thought I did like him. Flirting, being handsy, and apparently my honesty led him to believe I wanted to be in a relationship. Syke.

Again, I’m socially inadequate so I didn’t even realize I was doing all that, and I didn’t think that it meant I’d like the person even if I did do those things. I never thought I was a flirt. I labeled myself one because others labeled me one. I’ve always just said what I thought. If someone was handsome, I’d say so, why wouldn’t I? The first serious boyfriend I had would eventually kill that. After repeatedly telling me that only whores flirt, or blantanly calling me a whore for complimenting or being touchy I learned to stop doing it; albeit that I was a virgin. With that said, obviously I was not the person I am now, but then I accepted a lot of things that I shouldn’t have in a search for something I didn’t know I even wanted at the time. The handsiness is easy to explain. After being hit, beat, and for a while completely against people touching me, I found that I actually liked the feel of other peoples skin. (It’s why I’m so big on cuddling now. Although I’ve found guys believe this is the gateway to catching feeling’s. Spare me.😑) I liked it a lot so I started touching people: a lot, I’m sure some of my friends probably got annoyed. This is another habit that was broken for the most part by the same boyfriend, go figure. And honesty? That’s just me. I don’t like lying to people. Even when I do it, I turn around and tell the truth, except about my feelings, I always lie about those.

Bottom line, I’ve always felt that there’s something wrong with me because it seems easy for people to pass judgement, and/or toss me aside. Over the years I’ve gone back to doing the things that I like. Like telling people I like their face, or smell, or whatever, and being touchy. People still judge me for it, but at this point I know why I do it so on that note they can bite me. I know what I am and I’m okay with who I am (for the most part). I’d much rather be an affectionate cuddle monster than cold and unhappy.

Learning My Areas

Today I learned that I have a serious issue that I still need to work. I had thought I was okay in this area, but clearly I am not. As an adult, I look back on my childhood quite often; maybe too often. I’ve been in therapy off and on since 2011 because of issues I’ve recognized through time. As I grow more comfortable with blogging, I’m sure those issues will make their way to a post. The main issue I’m going to focus on today is my issue with misunderstandings. Growing up I was what is now defined as abused. I don’t talk about it often, and I’m pretty sure this is my first time publicly writing about it. Nerves. Often times those beatings or knock abouts were because of my attitude. An attitude I felt I was due because of certain events and because of how I was treated by certain people. This is what I’ve grown to understand as misunderstandings. When adults think you’re getting smart for no reason, fighting for no reason, mad for no reason; attitude. Or even when they think the reason was something related to regular childish things; attitude.

Did I have an attitude. Heck yeah. The way I remember myself is as a child who was cold hearted. Angry. Bitter. Aggressive. And violent. This could also be in part because that’s the sort of feedback I was consistently being fed. It sticks with you. Sadly, I don’t harbor a lot of happy memories from when I was a kid. A lot of it has been tainted or erased in an attempt to forget things I’d rather not remember. I’m pretty sure I had a good childhood otherwise I’d be a lot more damaged, I just blocked a lot of things out. I said this to give background, I have no need for I’m sorries or pity parties at this age. My point is, today I almost lost an acquaintance due to my 0-100 reaction to having a misunderstanding. We were having a discussion and we weren’t on the same page. Not to say we had to agree, but we were almost in different chapters, which to me is a lot worse and can be damaging to a relationship. Disagreements are natural, but when you have discussions and aren’t meeting for that discussion in the same area things become misconstrued. She didn’t know this was a tough area for me, but we talked and I must say I appreciate her kindness and ability to understand where my anger came from and forgive me for it. Now, she shouldn’t have to know. I should’ve stepped back and tried to see why we were going in circles. If I had I would’ve recognized what she was saying relative to what I was saying. I would’ve seen that she wasn’t disagreeing and neither was I. We were just in different chapters.

Sometimes we don’t know why a person responds the way they do. We take it for granted that we may have known someone for years, known them back when, or may not even know them at all when we make judgment calls. This not just opened my eyes to an area where I need progress, but also reminded me that hurt people, hurt people and I don’t want to be in that category.

Double Standards: Random Thoughts

On the way to work this morning, I was listening to the radio…I think 95.5 or 92.3. Anyway, the moment I had turned to the station I heard “well it’s okay to give up the cookies on the first date if you grown”. I found my response to be one of irritation. I immediately said ‘why are her cookies and when she uses them even up for discussion’. I am beyond tired of living in an “open-minded” society that refuses to acknowledge sexism and misogyny. I know this sounds stupid, but it only sounds stupid when you don’t think about how typical it is for men and women to question a woman’s sexual ambitions and prowess. It is a well-known stereotype that men love sex and if they ask you out, sex is definitely a part of that (which is not always true, hence the stereotype label). But when it comes to a woman saying, “I want to have sex” there’s this uproar. If she does it on the first night she’s a whore, but if he does it on the first night he’s….a man? How does that make sense, logically I mean, where is the logic, because to a lot of people this does make sense.

Let’s break this down. Men love a woman with sex drive, but she can’t use that sex drive the way he does because then she’s a whore. She can’t have sex with too many men, which is a number that he decides, or she’s a whore. If he deems that she’s too much of a flirt, she’s a whore. If she dresses with, what he deems as too little clothing, she’s a whore. (When I say he, please also add she because women degrade other women with these same scenarios). If she says she wants to have sex on the first night, whore. If she says she wants to have sex before he does, whore. If she’s good at it and is confident and admits her confidence, whore. But if HE __________ fill in the blanks with the previous scenarios then I’m pretty sure after the comma ‘he’s a whore’ would not be the way you end that sentence. WHY?

Do I myself have my own limits concerning sex and what I think is too much, I sure do, but I do not put those limits on other women (at least not anymore). +++ Sidenote: my personal definition of whore is unlike what I see in the masses. I see whorism as a man or woman who is messy (has a lot of drama, mostly of the sexually transmitted, cheating, leading on and causing heartbreak variety) with their sexual encounters. Am I saying this definition is okay? I by no means have the answer to that, like I said, I’m still growing, I may find error in that definition too +++ I’ve learned that it’s not fair to be one sided. The limits I do have are the same whether the person is male or female so even in my inability to understand or accept all ranges of sexual freedom; I refuse to only hold women to a specific standard. I didn’t have a huge revelation when I made a conscious decision to stop being majorly sexist (I say majorly because I am still a work in progress). It was, Thank you Professor Illig, sociology of gender, having sexually free and sexually vanilla friends, having conversations with different people of different backgrounds, and it was reflection that showed me how crazy these double standards are.

We all know that there are people who have copious amounts of sex from low self-esteem, or some sort of trauma. But there are also people who have copious amounts of sex because it feels good and they like it. We can’t just put all women or most women, or even SOME women into one or the other category (or any additional categories for that matter). Before you speak on what a woman or man is, concerning their sexual freedom (if you really feel you need to speak on something that isn’t your business anyway) please try and actually get to know the person first before the ignorance starts to spew from your mouth and add more catastrophic pollution to the planet. Thanks.

What Do We Want?

What are we looking for?

Time and time again I see memes that attack women who have men chasing her, but she wants the man who doesn’t want her. Time and time again I see memes about men who are looking for a specific sort of woman, but when you see those people in public they’re sporting women and seeking women who do not fit that mold. So what exactly are we looking for? Are we just sharing these posts to make ourselves look more enlightened, or are we just saying what we want in the future versus what we want right now? Does it matter?

I’d say it does. Because social media isn’t just social media. It was never meant to be a place for people to throw out a fake image of themselves just to receive likes and comments. It was meant for us to connect to each other, to share ideas, to have a venue to create and self-express, and a place to vent. SELF-EXPRESSION. Not CONFORM-EXPRESSION. There is a clear difference. Sharing things that degrade Black women or our beloved Black men just so someone can come on your page and have something to say? Versus sharing experiences that have changed the way you look at our Black women and men and saying what it is you hope to get from that. The point is so many people are caught up in social media fame that they forget that the people who see your page are connecting to that being you’re giving them. When I post, I post me. I post things that sit with me. I post things that when people see me, speak to me, and get to know me, they will know that my page is definitely mine, and represents a lot of my ideas.

Now, with that being said, how do we fall for or connect to people based on social media? Like that one guy you met at a party, exchanged numbers, hung out with once, and stalked his entire Instagram. Who he was in person, and the person he portrayed himself to be were not exactly the same. Does that mean he lied or is there more to him than those short encounters allowed you to see? We have so many faces. Beyond double consciousness, I find that we have this alternate reality within ourselves that tells us who we really are can’t be accepted so we find bits and pieces to hide away. If you ask me why relationships are failing, that would be one of the reasons I would give you. How can we know what we want when we hide from ourselves? When we fake for social media? When we share and post controversial things just so that someone can notice us?

A great example for this (and by this I mean seeing someone for who they really are) is someone who I lovingly call Bear. He doesn’t know I call him that, but I’m sure he will after this article (lol). When I first met this cat we didn’t seem to have anything in common, the first words we ever spoke to each other had been rude. I wanted to smack him, but I was also intrigued by his attitude and well, his girth. He was thick and I find that I love me a thick man, especially a thick Black man. The next time we spoke, it was at his house during a party. And the time next time, at his house during a party, but this time it was different. Something was wrong, and my insides felt like mush; not in the good way. By the end of our conversation, I was pretty sure I’d break down into tears, but when you have someone who trusts you with private information, information that hurts them more than it could ever hurt you, you don’t break. You stay strong for them so that they can depend on you and lean on you for strength. Long story short, because this is a very long story for me, we connected when I got to see him at a vulnerable time. It was when he let me see who he really was that I found, hey, I can actually be friends with him.

The ability to feel that way and have it pan out to an actual bond is something that I have never taken for granted. We haven’t seen each other for months, but let him call me and I’m there. When I find myself in need of honest truths, support, or just fun I call him because I know without a shadow of a doubt he has my back. There is nothing in this world like someone showing you who they really are, showing you parts that they don’t show other people, and allowing you to be there for them. That is a gift that a lot of people feel is actually a burden. It’s not. There are people who are legitimately alone, and have no one that they can depend on or confide in. To be that for someone, their peace of mind, even if it’s only for a piece of their mind? I would go back and feel all the pain I felt with him just to be able to be supportive. I know a lot of people now who wouldn’t and don’t see it that way. I know people who would have never tried to get him to open up or asked questions. But what did it cost me other than some secretly shed tears? And what did that small sacrifice allow him?

Although this has taken a serious turn away from social media, the point still remains the same. We have to get more comfortable being who we really are so that we can know what we truly want. Stop hiding behind all these fears. Stop hiding behind the possibility and almost assured pain that will ensue from being so openly and unapologetically yourself. I myself have been wilting at the edges, the destruction spreading through the veins of my flower slowly but painfully. Hiding. But that ended two days ago. I find that even through the nerves, I’d rather say, be, who I am than continue hiding and placating my inner Queen to be “well liked”. Since this is getting long, I think I might end it here and carry on My Inner Queen later. She seems to have something more to say.

Friendship or Lack Thereof

I’m sorry I’m not a better friend. I imagine from the outside looking in, I look popular or at the very least well loved. From my perspective I often feel alone. I don’t blame my friends for this but I have to ask myself is it because I’m not a good friend. I don’t text them as much as I should, but I don’t do it on purpose. Near death experiences have a way of changing your focus. My health and my finances have been my top priorities, except on the weekends and then my only priority is to have fun and relax. This, is selfish. I am living a selfish life. Regardless of my reasons I know I have to do better. But towards who?

Another important question that I ask. I have friends I’ve known 8+ years who never visited me when my school and house were only an hour and a half away. Is that acceptable? But, why didn’t they come? What about their lives….i try to have perspective. And now that I’m home. The same friends who I haven’t seen since graduating? Are you really that busy? Didn’t you just call because we were in the same mall but no attempt to see each other and hug for 5 seconds was made… Why? Is this what our friendships have boiled down to? It’s always this same group that raises these questions so I learned to be there and be distant. I learned that each person loves differently and you have to accept that person for who they are. Even when you want more from the friendship. If you can survive without the wanted things, is that really a friendship or holding on when you should let go. More questions.

But then you have the friends you meet in college. A time when you think, I have my group I don’t need to add anymore people. Little did I know. I was so unfulfilled with the way my main group had become. Not due to them but because of where I was in life. None of us are on the same path or track anymore. And it’s not in the way where…. Anyway. Staying on track. The college friends. You meet them and you click. You unclick. You latch. You detach. You’re raw. You’re guarded. You go through all these different phases and relationship types until you settle. Like a home in its plot for 5 years. The walls have cracked and leaned to the spot they’ve found worth staying in. You’re content. What about those friends.

Do you still text them like you live down the street, like you’re still working on campus, eating food in the cafe, or do you fade out like the credits to an amazing movie. Dragging while also speeding past. Playing a song you hope they all remember as you each wait to see if there is an added scene. Is this real?

When did I become this worrisome person. When did I become so timid and afraid. I say these things to myself, but can I articulate them to those it concerns. Can I look at my friend and tell her the words she said that one night have diminished our entire friendship. Is that even fair. Because I always am afraid of being unfair. As selfish as I am, I feel a lot of fear concerning what my actions mean to those I love. Who’s to say they don’t feel the same way. Who’s to say my friend isn’t worried if we’ll ever be the same. Or if my other friend wishes I had said, “hey where exactly are you, I’ll come say hi real fast”, and why didn’t I?

I’ve recently made a facebook post about how I’m accepting that my feelings get hurt rather easily. I say this to point out I’ve had a history of lashing out in anger when I’m in pain, sad, or have hurt feelings. As I understand, it made it hard to love me. Now that I’ve accepted that about myself, I want to improve it. I strive for perfection. I want to be an amazing friend. I want to have balance included in that. I want to care for my friends AND care for myself. I want to talk to them about things that matter to me and have them do the same. I need to have one, at least one, that I can tell my deepest thoughts to. So far, no one fits that for me. I barely whisper those things to myself.

That is on me. I will myself to stop being so AFRAID. Afraid of judgement, rejection, bad comments, hatred, arguments, hurting someone’s feelings, conflict, or any negative consequence. Fear. It is a common thread in my posts so far. I am disgusted with myself, but also proud that I am finally admitting the truth. Without fear, where could I find my courage?

Latch. Detach.

I sometimes label myself an old soul. Not because of multiple characteristics, although if I put some thought to it, I have a few distinguishable old soul traits. What really makes me feel this way, is my inability to cut people off without warning. It is my inability to easily and freely detach from others. I wonder, often, why it is so easy for people of my generation and those after us to detach from people. Why are so many, so heartless. And then the question remains, are you really heartless or trying to hide the pain that consumes you? I get it. If it’s the latter, that used to be me. But I would rather love hard,  make friends, be betrayed, and have my heart shattered than feel nothing. I’d rather have the pain than run anytime I feel afraid, or feel like there may be an unwanted situation.

It seems so easy for people. One day you’re cool, you’re texting, you’re calling, you’re hanging out, and then one day they don’t have time to chill,  your calls go unanswered, and texts…what texts? The sad part is, many of us have experienced this but will still turn around and do it to someone else. This, in my opinion, comes from this mindset that you treat people how you’re treated instead of treating people HOW you want to be treated. I feel it was worded that way for a specific reason. Seeing how doomed our society is due to treating people how they treat us, it would make sense that it’s the wrong course of action. I say this as someone who has wanted, very badly, to slap the melanin out of someone who has turned my stomach with drama. But. I have no right to treat them poorly. Why? Because who I am doesn’t allow it. So why do so many change in order to be able to cause people pain guilt free.

Regardless to put this back in scope. Or in better terms, point out why this matters to me…it is always an experience when I meet someone who’s energy and chemistry matches mine. I am not a cup of tea or coffee that everyone can swallow, so much so that Starbucks would never think to put my distinct flavor in product testing. It used to break my heart that I was hard to be friends with, until I learned that it wasn’t me. I have high standards yes. I don’t allow betrayal of any level yes. I demand respect, integrity, healthy character, and I destroy any kindle of misogyny or sexism I find. I, in all sanity, understand that everyone cannot bear me all or even some of the time. I am okay with this because I love who I am. I love that when people remember me they say “Diamond? Man she doesn’t play that”  with that said, finding a kindred spirit is a treat. Like rose flavored Turkish delight, I partake and try to only do small bites. The past has taught me that the truly delectable things in life parish the quickest, so I try to let the moments resonate before it passes completely. Even still. There are times when I forget season, reason,  lifetime and take the whole Turkish delight and put it in my mouth. I let my guard down,  I fall head over heels in friendship and then. Detach.

I end up left. Wondering what I did. Why the person doesn’t like me anymore. What I said that pushed them away. This is the inner child in me who I allow to flourish and still have a part of my everyday. After a few of her questions I quiet her and try my hardest to not let the real questions bother her. The questions that the hurt person in me often asks. Is it because I’m different. Is it because I’m too strict. Was I too girly. Did I laugh too much or try too hard. I always ask because it doesn’t make sense to lose things you want to keep. That’s when the adult in me steps up and pats hurt me and child me on the back and says that’s the way life goes sometimes. Some people are there for a season, a reason, or a lifetime. I understand that things change, but being the flavor that I am, I always expect some spoken communication of the change; I’ve never been good at reading between the lines. Either way.

We don’t have to be this way.

Random Thought Before Bed

Lying in bed at night is one of my worst and happiest moments of the day. Happiest because it feels great to be in bed, heating pad turned on, and pillows tucked just right. It’s the worst because my mind doesn’t stop whirling. I’ve been on vitamins for over a month to help with this inability to shut down. My nervous system began crashing, but that’s not the point. Or, maybe it is. I question, after having a whole day to contemplate these deep thoughts, why do I wait until I need to rest to allow them audience. But I don’t. I think all day. I wonder all day. I see scenario after scenario, storyline after storyline, and its exhausting.

I am currently on day 6 of a migraine. That’s 6 straight days. The first day I was irritable. By day 3 I was having a hard time speaking and concentrating. Driving was 100% out of the question. Work was out of the question. I had nothing but time to think. In all that time, it seemed all I really did was stress. It was supposed to be a time for me to relax and de-stress to take some of the pressure off of my nervous system, I failed. Sadly, I keep failing in this area.

I’ve always been a fan of documentaries and TV shows on discovery my whole life. I watch person after person hurting themselves, and I always say “that wouldn’t be me, I’d never keep doing that if it was killing me”. Yet here I lay. Damaging precious nerves. Stressing. Helping the headache, feeding it, and I don’t know how not to.

Everyone always says, don’t stress. Nobody ever tells you HOW to not do that. What do I do? What stops stress because I’d love to stop worrying. I’d love to be happy, stress free, and healthy. Because I’ve found, the more my physical health decreases, the more my affinity with my struggle with depression increases. The two together and you have a cycle cocktail of pain; physical and mental. The battle is often now a minute to minute struggle. Choosing, fighting to not wallow, fighting to not explore the darkness that, honestly and truly, feels like a turtle neck too many sizes too small. It chokes, but gives just enough space to feel like there may be hope until the next breathe and you feel the restrictions, yet again. At least once a day for the past month I’ve had that feeling. So, is it at all surprising that the moment before sleep is so complex?

What I do know, I’ve found one specific thing to help, even if it’s only a little. Music. My best friend created a playlist for me over a year ago when my struggle with depression was getting the better of me. College trauma. But on the nights when I can’t quiet the noise, In His Presence gives me other sounds to focus on. It gives me something to set my mind on that’s positive and uplifting. So, with all that said… Even though it’s been rough, I still have the happy.

In His Presence

First of the Many Random Thoughts

Everyone always says to be a writer you have to write. But what happens when you’re blocked or afraid. I have a lot of personal truths that are raw. Things that I would love to say but feel like people would judge me or hate me for speaking on. Based on that, I know that the writing would kill but another fear, a powerful one, comes into play. The fear of being good. The fear that people will actually read it and relate to what I’m saying because deep down, many of us have explored our dark thoughts. Many of us struggle with our inner self because society says we have to think a certain way, have to be a certain way. By now, I’m sure my writer instructor’s are tsking away because I’ve been way too ‘abstract’, but I’ve grown to realize my life is abstract. I think in vague terms and then I dig deeper to get to why I had the random thought. Why not write from the beginning?

I want to be different. Says everyone. I am different. Says hardly anyone who actually is. The carbon copy changes so often that people assume that their new version of different really is. The new age nerd, hipster, quiet/mysterious, but none of it is unique. What makes us special isn’t the group we create, what our group does, but how as a group we work because of our individual. Each of us an important atom that connects to another to create something beautiful. We have become so individualistic that we forget it is the group that helps us find the treasures within ourselves. Without the group I wouldn’t have realized I’m willing to lose a friend instead of lie to them, or that I would rather throw up bile from anxiety than to leave a bad situation unworked with someone I care about. It was my reaction to the group that has helped me find different parts of myself that I don’t see often in others.