Tuesday, March 31, 2015

First 15

Today (technically yesterday) marks the 15th day of my turning 27. Normally, I don't care about that kind of thing and it's really not a big deal, but I was reflecting a lot today on the past two weeks. Really, nothing that I hoped would happen has happened and random shit that I would've never imagined happened (is that cryptic enough?).

>My actual birthday didn't go as originally planned, but it ended up being perfect. I spent the day with family and Mexican food and day drinking; and spent the evening with a group of people who gave (give) me so much joy. I probably had a giddy grin on my face the whole night. I woke up the next day and was pleasantly not hungover; I woke up feeling intensely satisfied and loved and accepted.

>I had hoped that I would soon hear back from this one particular job that I want really badly, but that hasn't happened (yet). The job hunt is disappointing and discouraging. I hate finding a job that you've been waiting for your whole life and casting your coin in the lottery hoping to hear from them. I hate that restaurants are all like "you don't have enough experience" when this skill is something I could just learn. I hate how I don't know what I want to do until I find this amazing job, then I have to just hope that they look my way, but they never do. I hate it. A friend of mine pointed out that many people would like to kinda have my life right now in which I can do what I want to do when I want and I get what she was saying, but I also need a freaking job.

>I'm reading this book called The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth. It's pretty much changing my life. In short, it goes through the history of the world, from the very beginning/creation, to modern times but with women. I had never really thought about how heavy handed the patriarchy tells the story of the world. It's always MALES were doing this and MALES thought this, but never are women really brought into the picture of how the world came to be. This book does that and proves how women have been much more integral in civilization than we are taught. (I'm not doing this book justice.) This book has me thinking of God (yes, even the Christian one) as a female. Honestly, it just makes more sense that way.


> Charlotte has been feeling really small to me lately. I'm from Charlotte and moved back to it after graduating from University which means I've seen Charlotte through the eyes of a child and adult. Recently I feel like every 'new' person I meet isn't really new because they know someone else I already have known. Last week, this guy walks into this weekly meeting I go to and I remember him  in the exact classes I took in middle and high school and even a pretty detailed story about him. Perhaps I'm feeling a little trapped or maybe Charlotte's shrinking.



> So I was doing fine, in fact I was really excited about this group of friends I was growing to be a part of. They are funny and talented and intelligent and eclectic and I felt/feel so happy and humbled to be welcomed into their circle. I felt like we were clicking, then I fucked up. Hopefully not for good. One stupid decision messed up the dynamics of things and I'm worried that I've lost these people forever. This makes me sad because I want them in my life, like I intentionally chose/choose these people to be in my life instead of them just being in it via circumstance/convenience. I've mentioned before how I don't have a lot of friends, I'm cool with that as long as the friends I do have are quality; currently I feel like I have less (like no friends at all). So now I'm awaiting the verdict of whether or not I will 'let back in'...the suspense is killing me.

Five nutshells.

Friday, March 20, 2015

"Not my type"

I've heard this twice in the past week and I've angrily cringed each time. It's an expression I struggle to understand, yet always leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

The other night I was having dinner with someone; he said that he needed to get out more, he was feeling lonely. I suggested that he try a Charlotte Meet-Up group to meet some others who have similar interests to him. He said he was on Black People Meet, which is a dating site for, you guessed it, Black people. (This did not thrill me for a number of reasons, but the biggest one is that he claimed to want friends but he's looking for girlfriends, but that's another post for another day.) Then he expressed how disappointing the pickings/results were for him. He winced as he showed me the first page of a lady who'd contacted him, her profile picture/age/city/profile name. Nothing about who she was, just the precursors. She was appropriately aged, appeared to take pride in her appearance (she had cute hair), and seemed nice enough. I hated online dating so I give her mad props for putting herself out there and for making the first move. I asked him about her, what didn't he like about her. "She's not my type...look at her, does she seem like my type?" Full disclosure: I don't like his type. He hadn't looked past her pictures. He didn't know anything about her, just that he didn't feel any initial attraction to the way she looks. I have a problem with that.

I get that attraction is important in romantic companionship, but is there a polarity that people face when gauging someone's attractiveness? Attractive OR repulsive? Nothing in-between? And what about that minuscule thing called personality? Does that get any say in how attractive someone is? Am I weird for not having a physical type? Let me be clear: personality wise, I have a type (or types) and all you have have to do is say a few keys words/phrases and you'll quickly fall out of my graces (rhyme unintended). But looks wise, my tastes are scattered across the board. I've repeatedly thought nothing of someone's looks, but then they opened their mouth and suddenly I was obsessed. And it's happened the other way around: initial physical attraction (can't stop staring and drooling) and they open their mouth and I can't escape fast enough. 

So I'm curious: how much does personality factor in when it comes to initial attraction to someone? Do you have a physical type in which you rarely deviate from? Have you ever thought someone attractive until they opened their mouth? What about the other way around? Also, those other bolded questions above.

Not rhetorical.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Pithy Mom and Daughter Story

I was the only child for the first 7 years of my life; so if one or both of my parents were around I believed it necessary to be the center of their attention. 

One day my dad came home early from work. My mom was clearly surprised and they were chatting behind my back, not paying me any mind. Well I wasn’t having that so I began histrionically laughing to draw their attention to me. The gusto I put into this display made me slip into the little, clear creek I was fishing in with a stick. The water was a bit chilled and only went to my ankles, but the worst part was that my shoes and socks were soaked. I panicked and began wailing once all the sensations were absorbed, I was drowning. I quickly realized I could just step back onto dry land, but it was my parents’ fault for not including me in their grown-up conversation so their punishment was me, their only begotten child, drowning and being swept away by the barely bubbling current. I was quickly rescued and taken inside. Shoes and socks at the door of our two bedroom apartment and me sitting on the edge of the tub with my feet in lukewarm water sobbing, my whole body in convulsions as I gasped for air. It was a scene. “Mommy, are there sharks in that water?” My 3 or 4 year old brain tried to wrap my head around the severity of this near death experience. She said no, that sharks live in salt water, which I knew about because Grandma Doris and Granddaddy Bunk live on the sound. Then she took a brief tangent to talk about freshwater sharks, but how they are still too big for the creek. 


Despite my annoying, childlike behavior, and affinity for drama she took care of me. She didn’t scold me for doing kid stuff, she put my feet in warm water and told me not to worry about my wet socks. How my momma handled that situation sticks out in my head because she didn't patronize me for all the staginess, she made me feel safe to be just me to react the way I knew how and to let my little brain process and learn the way it should.

(me, my mom, and my cousin; look at all my hair)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Spare me

It's great that people are mindful of others' feelings because that means that they are at the very least a decent human being. But while it's important to be considerate of others' feelings it's also equally important to be honest and respectful of one's own feelings. A few weeks ago a friend of mine admitted that she didn't feel like she could be honest about herself and her feelings with me because she felt like she was responsible for my feelings. That could seem like a nice sentiment to some, but I didn't like it at all. I've spent a majority of my life doing that: trying to manage other people's feelings and stifling my own. It made me really unhappy and unhealthy and out of touch with myself and it made me feel like the people I called my friends didn't really know me because I didn't know myself/make myself known. I was always getting lost in others feelings, their world.

Now if I'm being honest, people do have a huge influence on my feelings, but so does the weather and my blood sugar. But I can only control one of those things. When it all boils down to it, my feelings are my feelings and they are my responsibility. No one else's. So when my friend said she felt responsible for my feelings and she'd step around certain things when having a conversation with me, it'd upset me. I want my friends to feel like they can speak openly and honestly with me, if it makes me feel some type of way, that's on me not them. I appreciate them trying to spare me emotional distress, but if not them, then someone or something else, so why not be honest with oneself and let me deal with my feelings and thoughts without you trying to censor them. That's much healthier for both parties involved. 


Monday, March 9, 2015

People suck. But...

Like that time when I watched my dad get all dressed and ready for his bachelor party and his friends never came, so he sat on the back patio and contemplated suicide for the umpteenth time.

People suck. But we crave them.

Like that time when I found out that my visa request had been denied and I was devastated and my best friend said I couldn’t call her because 10pm was too late, her and husband had to get up early.

People suck. But I need them.

Like that time in elementary school when some shitty little kid made fun of me because my ancestors were slaves, so he or she was better because their ancestors owned slaves.

People suck. But I trust they can change.

Like all those times when I was made fun of by teachers and peers for having kinky/curly/black people hair and I cried to my mom, begged my mom, to do something about the affliction.

People suck. But my hair is fucking on point.

Like all those times when I was reminded by that aunt that I don’t fit in with the rest of my family, but at least I’m skinny by her standards, so I’ve got that going for me.

People suck. But I’d still like to belong.

Like the time I was called ‘the help’ by a stay at home mom who I frequently nannied her ridiculous, dirty kids while she went out and pretended to run errands, but kept these Wednesday mornings secret from her husband.

People suck. But I will take their money and eat their food.

Like that time a super racist, creepy customer said that I was one of the smart ones and he was refreshed by my articulate nature and how he should be allowed to say ‘black folk’ because the  black President says ‘white folk’ in his book.

People suck. There’s no but to that one.

Like the time he said she wasn’t his type because he’s not into curvy girls and I took it to heart and was offended and put off by him.

People suck. But he’s not really my type either.

Like that time when my friend won’t pick up the phone or respond to my text messages since I came out to her, so I’m pretty sure she’s ignoring or avoiding me, or maybe she’s just really busy?

People suck. But I still wanna be friends with them.

Like those times when my boyfriend at the time decided that my consent wasn’t necessary and that he could do whatever he wanted to and with my body because he’s 10” taller than me and much stronger than me. Then 7 years later I finally put a name to it all: sexual assault.

People suck. But they won’t break me.

Like that time when a customer called me a ‘territorial bitch’ in front of his young child and wife because I politely asked him to not go behind the counter at the yogurt shop I worked. And I was appalled at his asshatery.

People suck. But fuck that guy.

Like that time when I decided to start standing up for myself and actually sharing my feelings and my thoughts and this small group of friends decided they didn’t like this side of Colea so they made me feel like I was unsafe in my own home, so now we don’t talk to each other, because they are always right and I will always be wrong.

People suck. But I will continue to grow.

Like all these times when people have inevitably hurt and disappointed me, purposefully or inadvertently, and I keep coming back, perhaps foolishly, only to experience more pain and more delight and more life.


People suck. But I love them and I want them and I am them.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

In Orbit

I'm not an astronomer, but I do have basic knowledge about planets, how they orbit (I mostly just know that they orbit), and that they don't all orbit in a perfectly centered circle around the sun. Stay with me here on this metaphor: we're each our own solar system, so that would make each of us a sun. People are the different planets and moons in our solar system/life. There are times when the planets/people are closer to us and there are times when the planets retrograde from us. Some people are merely space trash, some people only stay in our gravitational pull for a designated amount of time, some people orbit in our lives forever. There's a beautiful synchronicity to this solar system, to each of our solar systems.

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about who I want in my 'solar system'; the kind of people I want to be surrounded by and the kind of people I want to orbit around. I think to a certain extent you can choose who's in your system and sometimes you can't; some people sneak in (like the friend who I don't know how/when we met but we've been friends for years now) and stay, some people come bombarding in, tear up shit, and then leave. When I boil it all down, there are very few people who I actually want to have regular contact with my life. I've mentioned before how I don't have a lot of friends, but that doesn't bother me. It's the type and depth of friendships that I have with people that primarily concerns me.

I think it's important to regularly survey and maintain our solar systems, it is our life after all. We should take a good, hard look at who we want to have access to our lives, we should get rid of the obsolete satellites, we should accept the exiting of those who couldn't take our glorious heat (because we're the sun). But most importantly we should embrace the synchronicity and rhythm of our lives.

Monday, March 2, 2015

For Future Reference

For future reference, Colea, you don't have to do, or be, everything they say. And boy do they have a lot to say.
When they tell you what to eat, you unearth alternatives.
When they set out to make you feel inferior because you're not white, not skinny, you walk around naked in your blackness and curves.
When they reveal their lengthy list of only "do nots" for you female body, you wildly dance in the celebration that is autonomy.
When they box you into gender roles, you take your wrecking ball and smash the fucking patriarchy.
When they remind you that you are not a man and should therefore be subservient, you catapult fiery, feminist boulders at them.
When they tell you in whom and how to believe, you carefully piece together your own spirituality.
When they decide for you what to do with your life, you wander down every path that calls your name.
When they gaslight you, you dig your heels in deeper into every one of your emotions.
When they call you too loud, too opinionated, you get a megaphone.
When they limit you to a certain space, you let your colors bleed.
When they tell you who to love, you roll your eyes and lean in for the kiss.
When they belittle your cries for justice, you keep your hands up and engrave the victims' names on every surface.
When they hold you down under the waters of oppression, you fight, claw, and draw their blood.
When they tell you what to do, you do whatever the fuck you want.
For future reference, Colea, question everything, live everything, follow peace.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Cheating

So when I was in university I had to take some english class as a gen-ed. I liked it enough, but the biggest take away was what the professor said about writing, about creating. She said that writing, creating something with words, was supposed to be messy. Yes it was a process, but it should be messy every step of the way. This was news to me, I had always been taught that writing of any sorts was cut and dry; there’s a process, a formula, you must follow when writing anything; there’s always a wrong and a right and this is how you avoid the wrong. Learning this and taking what this professor said to heart temporarily freed me and I expanded this concept to other art forms like music, my major, and to how I perceived art which is a reflection of life. I think life is art…I really do. And I’ve been cheating at it. I’ve been struggling to adhere to these rigid guidelines of what life should look like, and what it should feel like…and that’s cheating. That’s cheating myself of what actual living looks like and feels like. Life is messy and trying to live a life in which there is no mess, trying to skip the ugly/hard/confusing/complex is is trying to live a life void of LIFE. I was dating someone who really loves life and she taught me the importance and thrill of embracing every experience, unattractive and lovely, as part of a tapestry of my life. It’s cheating when one tries to weave their life tapestry without the hardships, their life will be incomplete, holey. And this holey life can’t stand on its own, so I want to stop cheating at life and fill my tapestry with as much life as possible. I want my artwork of a life to be able to stand on its own.