Getting Prepared

I keep hearing that you aren’t really grown until you are 30. Or that your “Jesus Year” (33) is the year that your life changes. 

I don’t know if either of these things are true…although it would be nice to know that all of the craziness of my 20′s and all the bad and impulsive decisions I’ve made in my 20′s can all be blamed on not yet being a grown up. 

Let’s go with that. Yeah, nothing was my fault, I was just a kid.

Things already seem to be going in the right direction for my soon to be grown up years. I feel like all of my karmic debts have been paid in the love and work departments and I love my city.

But, I am excited to see what happens next. I already feel a shift. Friends that I’ve known forever and relied on in my times of need are fading away. Old friends that I’ve lost contact with are resurfacing. New friends are around every corner (if I can get over my jaded friend feelings and put the time in that it takes to maintain new friendships). I’ve found myself looking forward to getting better instead of looking for something better. I’ve learned to love me, even if I haven’t always liked me. 

30 is still 13 months away. So much can happen in 13 months. 

I wonder who I’ll be when I get to the other side. Hopefully still me..just with better flavor. 

 

 

Bring it.

Happy 2014!! For the last few days every time I have tried to write the year it has come out as 2015 and I don’t know what that means…maybe I am just eager to get to my 30th birthday or maybe deep down inside I know that 2014 is going to be so busy that I just want to skip to the safety of a non-election year. Who knows. 

I had the last two weeks off and I am so well rested! It’s kind of weird to have slept so much. I don’t think I’ve felt exhausted or even tired this entire time…and I even completely cut myself off of caffeine. (Someone should start a pool..I’m sure there is some money to be won over when I’ll be Starbucks dependent again). Other than sleep, I had a lot of time for reflection on the past year. SO MUCH TIME TO REFLECT!! 

Don’t worry, this isn’t where I start listing off all of the things that I learned, what I’m thankful for, what I lost. This is just where I say that there has been so much change in my life in the last year that I’m just so happy about…and that I’m still trying to wrap my head around. Oh, and that somethings are still the same and I’m happy about that too. 

On January 1, 2013 I woke up and probably was just sad as fuck that I had to go to work at that scary place that kinda felt like the zombie apocalypse. On January 1, 2014 I woke up to a text from my boss saying this year will be fun followed by a bunch of emojis and then I went to the beach with my boo. 

I have so much to celebrate in 2014…a new found understanding of the need for sleep, self-care and self-love…a deeper and better relationship with my love that is my favorite work in progress…being accepted into a leadership program that is scary and cool all at once… and a shit ton of motivation and ideas about how to change the world. 

I also have a new found appreciation for the SoCal weather as I watch my hometown deal with -100 temperatures. (Stay Classy STL!)

I’m ready for you 2014…Bring it! 

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Domestic Terrorism (or When working with people suffering from unchecked privilege)

I have a coworker ,who I basically can’t stand, decide she wanted to share her thoughts about “12 Years a Slave” with me.

PSA: If you are a Non-Black person don’t bring up slavery. Don’t tell me I need to see a movie about slavery. Don’t tell me how eye-opening the movie was (because did you fucking think slavery was a cake walk before you saw this movie?) Whatever you do..don’t say any of the shit this white skinned, light eyed Latina said to me.

Here are the highlights:

“OMG Slavery was so terrible” – BITCH REALLY? You just figured that out? SHUT UP!

“I’m glad my ancestors are from South America instead of the South..I couldn’t take it if my ancestors owned slaves” – WHAT? Do I need to draw you a map of where they dropped my people off? I replied that there were slaves in South America too.. especially in Brazil where her mom was from. This chick was like “oh yeah race relations are still bad there” and then told me that her dad’s people were somewhere in a jungle during that time. WAIT a second though, you remember a few lines ago I said she was pale skinned with light eyes right… I wanted to stand on my desk at this point and ask her how she got so damn light if her ancestors weren’t somewhere raping people and if she thought that they prob were also holding others captive..but I didn’t.

Oh and how dare you sit across from me and play that “glad that wasn’t my family” bullshit to a person who walks this earth EVERYDAY as the product of both Slave and Slave Owner? How the fuck do you think I feel?

“it was nothing like Django…at least at the end of Django all the white people got blown away” – You wanted a happy ending to a slavery movie? This is where I started to cry on the inside. She wanted a happy ending to a movie about slavery y’all..like she was DISAPPOINTED that there was no happy ending. Can we get a happy ending in real life from those hundreds of years? No? Ok.

I am still feeling some type of way about all of this. The last place I thought I would have to have this idiotic and insensitive conversation was at my office..my office full of women and people of color who have dedicated their lives to fighting and healing oppression. I work with all of these people who GET IT..and one idiot who has no idea what IT is. She’s a narcissistic liberal in the  middle of a sea of over achieving revolutionaries.

This is a fucking assault on my sanity. This along with an incident where I was portrayed as irrationally angry and called “rowdy”. On top of being constantly bombarded with her name dropping and high-fiving herself and her white liberal feelings about Trayvon or her son’s school dressing him in a head dress or how she had a hard time getting her white ass boyfriend into some baptism because the lady at the front door thought they were tourists.

I thought I was working in a safe space..not an environment where I would have to watch people throw around their unchecked privilege and I refuse to make it part of my job to call someone else out on their shit EVERYDAY.

Fuck.

I’ll get through this though… just keep focusing on the work I tell myself. Just keep swimming.

The Gospel Truth

I’m not a religious person.

I never talk about the beliefs I do have…I don’t discuss what, who, how I believe. To me, your spiritual beliefs are for you and whatever you do or do not believe in. I may have “your silence will not protect you” tattooed across my flesh…but that is one place I wish everyone in the world would be silent about. Just believe what you believe and go.

So what am I blogging about? Well, I find it very … interesting… amazing…how deeply gospel music touches me. I know that religion is the only thing that got my ancestors through slavery and Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement and now. It was so necessary to lean on something larger than us, higher than those who push us down (even though the ones holding us captive gave us this religion to keep us from our full potential.) Gospel music just feels like black music to me, the music to our struggle.

Sometimes I envy those who can  just… “put your problems in his hands” and be complete and whole and without worry because they believe that there is one deity taking care of it all.

I don’t have that feeling everyday, but for the brief moments when I stumble into a gospel song on one of my Spotify RnB radio stations.. I feel like a weight is lifted the way I feel a weight is lifted when my grandmother says she prayed for me (bc just because I’m not ride or die with her God..doesn’t mean I don’t need a little extra help if there is help to be had)

Or, maybe gospel music touches me because there are people other than God that I can apply them to.. songs I could have written about my mother or grandmother.

Whatever it is…I’m glad for it. Even if it means I’m sitting on my couch crying to Marvin Sapp….we never would have made it, as a people, without this feeling.

Why I hope Queen Latifah NEVER comes out…

I have a secret. Coming out is not the foundation of a happy queer life. We confuse living your truth as a queer person as being rainbow flag bearers…when it’s really about living your life the way that makes you happy. If you know you are queer and you never lie and fake like you are hetero..you don’t owe anyone anything.

Over the last few weeks I’ve heard lots of talk about how queer celebrities have an obligation to come out..thanks to Raven and Jasmine Jordan…oh and ALWAYS Queen Latifah. The queer community goes on and on and on about how celebrities NEED to come out and they treat these celebrities like they don’t have talent, like they aren’t gorgeous..the only thing that matters is that they come out preferably in a big way.

I have another secret. Wanting to keep your personal life..personal..is not living in the closet. Saying that you are not going to talk about your sexuality (since heterosexual people aren’t ever asked about their’s) is not living in the closet. Waking up every morning next to someone you love and not sharing that with the world is NOT living in the closet.

Living your truth is about you being you, you sharing your true self with the people closest to you, and you experiencing love that is your own.

I’m not saying that “coming out” is not important..I’m just not convinced that coming out to the entire world has anything to do with a celebrities personal happiness.

Let’s be honest, how many of us “came out” to the entire world? None. We share that part of our life with our family and our friends and coworkers…the people we see every day. We came out to the people we want to share our lives with.

So let celebrities have their lives..because you are just a fan..K. I personally hope that Queen Latifah NEVER “comes out” and just keeps living being true to her authentic self. (and don’t give me that “We need to see our selves represented” bs.. whats the difference between knowing she is queer and hearing her say she is queer? Right…none… press on with life please!)

Now go get yourself some business. lol

Me

I’m changing. I can feel my skin getting tight and ready to shed like a snake. My amazing girlfriend tells me that I look like myself, not like the sad shell of a person that she first met. I look like the person she knew was inside.

My growth is not always easy..on me or those around me. My happiness veiled in a thin layer of residual sadness that I have to wake up every morning and decide to break through. It’s hard to find yourself when someone almost runs off with ALL your stuff. When I wasn’t paying attention…I almost lost all of me.

Ever morning now I wake up and realize that I’m me, again. That I am not pretending to be someone else to keep down confusion. Reminding myself that I don’t have to be chaos on the inside and cool on the outside… I can just be me.

I can wear a smile. I can be friends with who I want to. I can go and do what I like. I can identify how I want. I can be genderqueer and sometimes wear dresses…and sometimes line my lids in dark colors and glitter. I can love, and I can admit that my relationship isn’t perfect but we are in love and constantly working on it..and on ourselves. I can scream at the top of my lungs that I am happy and mean it..or that I am sad and not fear that I will be told that my sadness is inconvenient.

I am me. I am a body full of emotions and thoughts and opinions and love. I am a heart full of memories and questions and faith in myself.

I believe in me. In the love I possess and the greatness I can achieve.

I.

Love.

Me.

Again.

Fly me to the moon

Well.. not me. I don’t want to go to the moon. I am, however, very interested in when the moon or mars or some kind of giant space station will be ready for crazy ass conservatives to flee..leaving behind all that is right and good in the world. 

I love diversity. I love that people come in different colors and shapes and sizes. I love that we all have different languages, different levels of education, different talents and tastes… but I can not stand batshit crazy conservative ass holes. 

There I said it. 

I just can’t get down. It’s fine if you believe in something completely different from me..just don’t be completely ignorant or a raving lunatic that recites back everything you hear on Faux News or the 700 Club or your racist down the street neighbor. 

Find some real values and act according to them. (Not “Christian Values”..that’s not a thing. Are there like little packaged bundles of values out there? Is it like a zip file of values? Do they come cheaper if you buy your values in bulk?)

Don’t just find someone you think is like you and follow their word blindly into the abyss. Also, don’t make up facts…don’t deduce things…don’t decide you know the facts because you said them so much you believe them. And if your fake facts get challenged.. whatever you do..don’t argue them to the death because you are too brainwashed and stupid to realize you are losing!! 

UGH…

Note to self: Don’t read rightwing anti Obamacare craziness after midnight. That shit makes me crazy!! 

I’m emotional and I can’t let go

I’m realizing that the hardest things to change about myself are the things I let happen to me while I wasn’t paying attention..

I’ve been working hard for months to change my diet and exercise. For two months straight and even while on vacation I was working out 5 days a week and eating progressively better. I’d lost 10.5 inches all over, I was happier, healthier, my problem skin and chronic aches and pains had begin to disappear.

Then I kinda hit a wall. I realized that while I had successfully convinced myself that working out was my stress relief and  took me away from whatever I was worrying about.. It in fact was not. After those two months I realized that not drinking coffee was too hard.. I wasn’t sleeping well, staying up late multiple nights in a row every week was catching up with me. Not drinking was ok until I had to deal with several social situations where EVERYONE was drinking and the drinks were soooo good. Not eating bread, sugar, fried foods was awesome until I was tired and sad or stressed and I just needed 1 good thing in my life and a shake from Fatburger or chili cheese fries from Tommy’s was perfect.

For me food is always a way to have something good in life no matter what is going wrong.. Good food won’t fail me… Not the way people or the government or society or I fail me.. Bacon donuts from The Nickel will always have my back.

But now.. My body doesn’t feel so good when I eat these things. What gives me momentary highs.. Or what gives me a string of highs that I build with every meal now leads to a face full of acne, and bloating and dry skin and headaches and a bunch of other blahness I’m gonna keep to myself.

Now, I can’t go back to living in pain with an ever growing waistline… but I don’t know how to cope with life without eating it all away. (not over eating..I don’t stuff myself…I just tend to find all of the most delicious high calorie foods there are.)

Emotional eating is HARD y’all.  So if you see me looking grumpy or sad..just know it’s because I’m fighting the urge to eat a cupcake. Or have a venti latte. Or pasta in a rich cream sauce and a glass of wine..or a bottle of wine. Grr.

Don’t call it a comeback

What happened to writing everyday for 31 days Jess?

Well world, apparently it takes me longer to collect my thoughts than I thought. I’ve actually been writing most days in Evernote while I ride the train to and from work. I have some great starts in there, I promise. But the thing is, I have so much on my mind that it kinda gets overwhelming. I’ve spent so much time trying to think about what I want to write on what day…

Let’s just call it a false start. 

I’m still learning to just let the writing process and speaking my honest truth just happen without over thinking it. I’m a work in progress. 

But there is much more in the works..so many drafts to make realities this week. 

I’m coming for you 31 days of posts..It’s happening. 

 

Love is simple

I was just reading an article that was sent to me by Pia about polyamory  and I just felt like declaring to the world that….

I am here for polyamory!!

I am HERE for all of my beautiful friends and family that have chosen to open their hearts and raise families and build lives with more than one partner.

I am also in a serious and beautiful loving relationship with ONE woman and one woman only. And I love it that way.

Say what?

I’ve been asked before how someone who is essentially a serial monogamous can be a firm believer in polyamory. Shouldn’t I be the fiercest advocate for monogamy? Shouldn’t I lead the chorus for “That will never work!” and “I couldn’t do that!”? Instead I’m preaching the word of “Go get you as much love as you need!!”

Well I’m here to tell you.. MONOGAMY is fucking HARD! One person can’t be EVERYTHING you need all the time. You have to figure out how to be everything you can be for them and then the two of you have to figure out how you fill in the gaps for yourself. I choose not to find the other things I need, like a listening ear or someone to talk sense into me or people who let me be crazy and say crazy shit or help me run away from reality, in lovers..I just find them in friends :) (which is why friends are so important to me)

I date one person at a time and have relationships with one person at a time because I know myself very very well. I just know MY limitations. A lot of the strictly monogamous people I know say they can’t get down or that being poly will never work because they are possessive. But for me it really doesn’t have anything to do with being possessive…I just like to be the center of attention.

I’ll admit I’m selfish. I’ve never been in a situation where the person I was talking to was talking to others that I didn’t feel like I was being neglected. I’m needy. I cause drama when I am not tended to, when nobody is there to hold me or feed me or have sex with me. I’m admittedly high maintenance in the area of attention. And when I want it.. I want it. So the idea of having to schedule time with people and have times where I can’t have someone’s attention makes me feel loopy as hell. You mean I can’t call partner A to come spend the night with me because they are spending time with partner B…and partner C is busy/spending time with someone else/getting on my nerves? So nobody is tending to me? OH NO!!

And at the same time..I like my space. I can want to change plans and be by myself at a moments notice. That could probably throw a wrench in a well orchestrated situation, huh?

I also have the opposite issue in that I am selfless too. I tend to give an incredible amount of attention and time and spend $$$ on the people I love. (I’ve tried to show my love in different ways and it’s just not me..if I’m not giving you those three things..I don’t really love you..it’s one of the truest indicators for me)  I could have 3 people that I need to send surprise flowers to, 3 people to take out on dates and 3 people to txt during the day? That sounds like a lot of work yo! I have a job and bills.

I give my poly family SO much love and props. I admire all of your abilities to be mature, to work out conflicts, to start from a place of love and to overcome all the naysayers. And double props to all of you who are truly challenging heteronormative behavior and who have partners across the spectrum of queer!

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