Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Happy Black Girl Day!

I am a feminist, and what that means to me is much the same as the meaning of the fact that I am Black: it means that I must undertake to love myself and to respect myself as though my very life depends upon self-love and self-respect.
June Jordan

Per SistaToldja over at The Beautiful Struggler, every second Wednesday is Happy Black Girl Day. I love this idea! Of course I strive to be happy everyday (who doesn't?), but it's easy to let negativity drain us of that. And for Black women, that could be compounded by all the bad news we're faced with constantly regarding our relationships, careers, appearance, health, socio-economic status... hell, our humanity!

So once a month we (those that participate in HBGD, especially on Twitter) make a concerted effort to focus on the positive aspects of ourselves, our communities, whatever makes us happy. So are a few things (in no particular order) that are making me happy RIGHT NOW:

-It's almost lunch time! (Don't judge me!)
- I am thismuchcloser to my real estate career & I'm making connections for my nonprofit!
- HWHNT's comments last night (he fussed cuz I put him on blast last time, so I've been sworn to secrecy about what was said LOL)
- Learning my hair & inspiring others to go natural
- This incredible lipstick (MAC Slimshine in Lovey-dove). I thought I couldn't wear it since it's an odd copper-y color, but it works sooo well with my chocolate skin!
- The positive black female role models in my life: mom, grandmother, aunts, cousins, sorors--proof that there is more to the Black woman than the stereotypical mammy, jezebel & welfare queen!
- It's warming up! True, it's perfect tornado weather but we're just gonna ignore that for now

Okay, most of that is superficial I know. But I have to say the number one thing that makes me happy is the fact that I'm learning to be my own woman. Regardless of what's popular, what's conventional, what I've been told, I'm learning to listen to myself. I feel we all have an inner compass that will guide us down the path we're destined for, but how many people fail to take heed to it? Instead they end up at a place in life that they never intended on visiting. Fortunately I am starting to listen, learning how to follow my own voice. I'm not remaining stagnant; I'm growing and maturing. And that makes me very happy.

BTW, if you don't have a reason to be happy, let me give you one:
Seriously, who ISN'T happy looking at this adorable face?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Saving Ourselves: On being a role model

Yesterday I experienced the strangest thing, and for some reason the more I think about it, the more upset & heartbroken I am.

My cousin pastors a small church that sits right in the middle of "the hood" and has a lot of kids from the area that attend. Yesterday they had a cookout to celebrate all the March birthdays, so my mom and I decided to ride by. As soon as we got out of the car, a little girl walked up to me, pointed to my dad & said, "You his daughter?" I was a little taken aback, simply because her speech and mannerisms were so... grown. I told her yes, and she proceeded to tell me how she was my little sister now, that she wanted to go shopping and for a ride in my car, and that if I had some old dresses that I couldn't fit any more, she would take them. "Oh, okay..." was all I could get out before she started rattling off things my dad told her he would get for her. My mom & I just kinda looked at each other. A little while later, I noticed her whispering something to my dad and he gave her a dollar. My aunt looked over and told her to stop asking people for money (apparently it was something she does regularly). When I left, she gave me a huge hug and wouldn't let go of my leg. Driving off, I thought "What a precocious lil cutie!" And yeah, I was kinda smug about the fact that she seemed to take a liking to me. I was ready to take her under my wing and turn her into "a princess just like me," as I told HWHNT.

But the more I thought about it, I was saddened by it. Sooo many questions came to mind because it really was unusual. She seemed both vulnerable and very cunning. Why is she so easily attached to people? What's the deal with the constant begging? (I know kids are prone to asking for stuff, but this went beyond the normal kid stuff.) What has she seen or heard to make her so comfortable with asking men for money? (My dad was not the only one she asked.)

Of course I can't pass judgment or say for sure what is going on in her life. I don't know anything about her situation. What I do know is that I feel compelled to help her. I don't even know how, and I have a feeling it's not going to be easy, but I have to. You can just see her potential, and her eagerness to be accepted and cared for could leave her open to anything if she isn't steered in the right direction. I've never really considered myself to be a role model, nor have I aspired to be one. My focus has always been on myself. But this is one of those situations where it's obvious that if I don't look out for "my own" there's a good possibility that no one else will. I know this probably won't be the big thing that saves the world, but it's a start right? If I can start with one who could in turn reach others... That's better than nothing. The ripple may be slow but it's better than not making any moves at all. It's easy to say what should be done, what others are doing wrong, what you would do if... But what is to stop us from being someone's role model, mentor, big brother/sister? I may not be famous or have stacks of money. But I have (a little) time, and some life experiences that I think someone else could learn from to avoid the mistakes I made. I have a sense of humor, and responsibility, open ears and an open heart. From where I'm standing, that's all I need to start.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Randomness, cuz I know you miss it

Maybe I've overextended myself lately. Working fulltime, grad school part time, about to take my real estate agent's exam (Finally!) which will take up the little free time I have. Plus I've started working on the business plan for one of my two future nonprofit orgs, and lately I've been toying around with the idea of a consulting business (but that wouldn't be for a couple of years). And I'm still hopeful about this writing thing... I know what my problem is. I'm too indecisive and ADD-prone talented! There's only so much Tori D. to go around! My mother says I don't know how to pace myself, which is true. I want to do it all, and then when I can't I feel like I'm not doing anything. But hey, "small thing to a giant;" I can handle it.

I hope...

I'm considering lipo. Yup, this again. I'm not seeing results from the gym (and I haven't been BSing this time, I've really been going & putting time in). I don't even have to have it all over. I just want a defined neck and chin! No more double chin! No more "check" dang it! I usually only take pix from the chest up so that's all that matters. LOL

Now, for my shocking announcement:
Hmm, guess that's not as shocking as saying I'm pregnant (which I am totally not, by the way), but for those that know me this is definitely a "wat" moment. I thought I didn't have a biological clock, or if I did, it was broken. And that was fine by me. But um, it's going off like crazy. I need babies! Now! Okay lied, not now unless Common comes to his senses and wants me to carry his seed today. Within a few years though. The funny thing to me is the fact that I'd resigned myself to having kids for my husband (no bastid babies here) if he wanted, but I didn't really want to be involved with them. Not sure what changed or when it happened... but it did. I probably won't hear the end of it from HWHNT. Whatever, he just better be ready to make those 2:00 am ice cream runs. *smirk*

Finally, I think we need to do a telethon, charity walk, or something. The cause: friendless people. There are people who go through life all alone. Or even worse, they have "friends" who won't tell them when they look a damn fool. For just a few cents a day, you could help sponsor a friend for these people, so that they'll never walk out of the house like this again... *cues sad music from the ASPCA commercials*

Okay, enough of this foolishness! I can't take anymore...