Coveting What “Jane” Has

As much as I enjoy hearing about others doing well, I don’t particularly care for the effect it has on other people. Let me explain through fictitious example:

Let’s say one of my dearest friends references another associate, saying, “Jane just got a promotion and a big award. She also loss 20 pounds in a month and will be a guest correspondent on “E!” this weekend — interviewing Beyonce and Jay-Z about Blue Ivy!”

My friend is smiling, eyes twinkling. You may mirror his or her enthusiasm. Good for you. Here’s my face: –_______–

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m in awe of Jane, too, but I’m also feeling a little inferior. Why can’t these things be happening to me so that my friend can be all giddy about me? You see, it’s not about what Jane is doing. It’s about the reaction her success produces.

As an only child, sometimes I just want to be left alone and allowed to go into a deep, dark pit of solitude. And other times, I want to be the center of attention that everyone is gushing over. I go back and forth between the two at least ten times a day. I guess that means I’m sociopathic and narcissistic at the same damn time.

Or maybe I’m just a flawed human being.

Either way, while I’m wishing all of Jane’s good fortune and glory on myself, I’m not considering Jane’s journey.

Who knows what struggles, obstacles, fights, sleepless nights, pain and general hardship Jane had to endure to lose that weight, earn that promotion and receive that award.

And knowing Hollyweird, only God knows what Jane had to do to get that guest spot on “E!” (just saying).

That being said, it’s not right for me to mentally pilfer Jane’s jewels. These are the things God has for her and whatever he has for me, is for me.

Instead of coveting what the Janes of your life have going on, remember that God has already designed your gem-encrusted treasure chest — and it’s customized. This chest is filled with treats and goodies. He’s just waiting for you to go on a treasure hunt and claim your destiny.

No Fear.

After a lifetime of finding my way through a multitude of awkward and unfortunate situations, I dubbed myself courageous and the master of perseverance. How wrong was I?

I’m pretty good at taking care of business but somewhere, somehow I began to settle for the ordinary instead of seeking and reaching for the next level in everything I do. You’re probably thinking, “Oh, you got lazy?.” Maybe a little but what I really “got” was afraid. Afraid of what other people would think, afraid I would burn out, afraid people I care about would feel outdone or left out. And most of all, I was afraid of failing.

Once the world became more about the goals I set for myself and not goals others assigned to me, I wasn’t so sure where I fit it. I mean, I know what I want. I envision. I brainstorm and plan. But I’ve been scared to see my goals through because…what if people think my goals are ridiculous? What if I run into a roadblock I’m not familiar with? What if I’m not strong enough, creative enough or good enough to reach the finish line? Frequently pondering these questions left me frustrated and all but paralyzed by fear.

Then, my grandma’s voice would enter my head. “Nothing beats a failure but a try,” she always says. “I know that,” I answer back to myself.

But knowing and doing are two totally different things. Doing is an action word and to do, you have to make a move. Easier said that done when you don’t know exactly where you’re going or exactly how you’re going to get there. That’s where faith comes in. Faith trumps fear — every time. Have faith in yourself, in your inner power, and most importantly in God.

Fear is an illusion. Once you realize that, you can walk right through it. It’s not easy. If it was, it wouldn’t be called fear. Yet and still, I challenge me, you, all of us to go for what we really want —  full-force, with fervor, and faithfully. No fear.

We.Can.Do.It

Still Just A Dream…But A Good One

I was feeling like my black-card should be revoked because I live in the DMV and hadn’t been to the MLK Memorial. Well, on a whim, that changed Sunday. Just south of the Washington Monument, Dr. King appears distinguished and dignified emerging from “the stone of hope,” with his most memorable quotes surrounding him. He gazes out towards Thomas Jefferson’s memorial. Yeah, he’s our “founding father” who was alllllll the way down with the swirl. I digress.

Thank you, Dr. King. Your legacy is one that no FBI phone tap or comment from a former First Lady can tarnish in my mind. I’m sure you’d agree that no one is perfect and I’m also sure you would agree that we’ve taken a few steps backwards not only as a race but as a race of human beings under one almighty God. Against my better judgment, I manage to hold out an inkling of hope that one day, all of us black, gay, white, poor, straight, wealthy human beings can truly be free.

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Hookah At The Bar, Please!

So, I’ve done Hookah a few times before. Each time, I found myself in a comfortable, dimly lit environment with soft voices and even softer music gliding through the air like a light summer breeze. That being said, Sunday night came as a shock. There I was, doing Hookah while standing at a crowded bar with a drink in one hand, my mouthpiece in another and reggae blasting in the background. Now, that I’ve experienced Hookah this way, I can truly say IT’S THE ONLY WAY TO GO! There’s nothing like the mix of tipsiness and a light-headed high to take a party to the next level. I hope Eden makes hookah a staple of their Sunday night party and I hope other venues that host rooftop parties catch on, too.  🙂

KLH – Mission Accomplished

So, last weekend was a whirlwind adventure. One of my dearest friends, Khabria, turned 25 and we had a blast! We went to Ultrabar on Thursday night and while Khabria’s boyfriend, Lamar, gave her the memo to take off work the next day — I was left out of that correspondence. So, off to work I went.            

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Friday evening, I rushed home from work to put on my riding boots and headed to Cadillac Ranch. It’s a nice, spacious restaurant/bar at the National Harbor that features a mechanical bull. Lamar sure wasted his $3 on my ride. I was THEE most pathetic bull-rider of the night. Everyone expected me to ride it like I was in the rodeo, but unlike Shakira — my hips do lie. For one thing, it took me four times to even mount the darn thing. After that? I lasted for a whopping 13 seconds.

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You and I will meet again, my friend. I WILL be back.

On Saturday, I woke up excited for the grand production. I packed my bag with everything I needed for the night, had twenty zebra-print balloons filled with helium and headed to Khabria and Lamar’s place in Bowie. Here’s the birthday girl, surrounded by my decor of choice:

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After the caterer brought the food in and Lamar showed up with a cake worthy of ooh’s and aah’s, I knew we were going to get Khabria good. Needless to say, her best friends did a good job of keeping her in the dark all day while we set up, because when she came in the door it was obvious that she didn’t have a clue.Image

I’m glad Khabria got to chat and chew with her closest friends and family members. We all had a great time, enjoyed good food and drink, and watched Alvarez tap Sugar Shane’s tush. I was pretty distraught when Mayweather beat Cotto but after a few minutes, I snapped out of it. Hey, don’t hate the player, right?

On Sunday, we went to Half Note in Bowie. You wanna talk about a brunch to write home about?  Made-to-order omelets, Belgian waffles, crabs, jumbo shrimp and everything in between all in the same room. And, yes, the food is delicious.

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Once we were able to walk, the gang took a spontaneous trip down to the Mall and visited a few memorials, with MLK being the highlight. That night? We shone upon Eden’s rooftop party.

Yet again, I missed the “request off from work” memo. On Monday, I yawned my way through the day. Khabria was nowhere to be found. Naturally, I perked up for my final formal evaluation of the year. My kids were well-behaved, engaged in the lesson and really showed what they know. My execution was solid and my questioning was rigorous. Ah, yes, the sweet smell of success.

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The Male Ego, Part III –The “Grass is Greener” Guy

Here’s a situation that definitely isn’t exclusive for one sex or the other. It happens to men and women every day that begins with the rising of the sun. Your ex- gets a new boo-thang…and your insides twirl with an emotion that can best be described as a wildebeest being ran down by a ravenous hyena in the African grasslands.

Much like the amount of time it takes the hyena to catch the wildebeest, the rebound “relationship” between your ex and their next usually only lasts only a short time. Nevertheless, the aftermath of the catch goes on and on.

You, the wildebeest, tried desperately to escape any feelings whatsoever towards the person who by now, you wish never existed. Your emotions, the hyena, chases you down relentlessly. You sweat with fear, eyes bulging, tongue wagging, wishing this carnivorous beast would go away.

Alas, you can run no more. You were able to escape the subliminal messages you saw on Twitter and even an ominous picture or two on Facebook with minimal harm but you CANNOT ignore your mutual friends when they look to you and say “You know you done f*cked up right?”

If your life be so miserable, your ex will walk into the same venue you’re at — looking as good as a jar of ice water in the Mississippi heat.

And it doesn’t matter if you are with your own arm candy, your entire crew, your cousins or all the above. If he or she has entered with their ‘next,’ your insides will sink, your mouth will dry up and your heart will pound as your body heats up from the inside-out. You will have to grip the nearest piece of furniture for support and hum quietly to avoid racing over to the pair and ripping them limb from limb. On the outside, though, you seem as cool as a cucumber. Only someone perceptive enough to see the twitch in your left eye will know anything is amiss.

Sometimes this unspoken, and often unintentional, game is played back and forth. And truly enough, this happens to everyone. However, being the more egotistical of the species, men feel it more.

The man who once was ready to dismiss you in such a suave and swagged out manner, is now hitting your phone up ladies. He wants to know where you are, who you’re with and what y’all doing.

The man who so nonchalantly breezed over every care, concern and complaint you had during the relationship, now wants details about what you have going on from the moment your alarm clock goes off in the morning until the time you turn your TV off at night.

He, who so valiantly and bravely proclaimed that he loved you enough to let you go and wanted the best for you in all your future endeavors, is now calling you everything but a child of God through text message.

No, he’s not evil. He’s furious. He’s livid because of all the graphic details he’s made up in his head about what could be going on between you and so-so or even worse, you and such-and-such. B*tch, you know he hates such-and-such.

Weeks or months later, the angry barrage has discontinued. Now, there is loving adoration. Everything your ‘next’ sees in you, and lets you know on a regular basis, your ex realizes was there all along.

Now here’s something to note, ladies. He genuinely loves you and wants you back but don’t EVER think that’s all it is. This is about EGO. How DARE you be giving time and God knows what else to another man?!? That all belongs to him. Broke up or not, you’re his!

Most men could give a sh*t-less if a woman is at home — sad, lonely, thinking about him…damn near suicidal, but let her give another man some vital attention. *cue ambulance sirens, helicopter noises and horror movie screams*

So from here, the choice is yours, ladies. You can either entertain him and (possibly) give your love another chance or you can move on — with or without the next.

Let’s be honest. Most of us take him back. That was the point (or at least half the point) of the ‘next,’ right?

Some of us, though, can’t get past our own frustration and resentment as we think, “Oh, so now you want me? Now you care? Ain’t that some sh*t?” In this case, it’s better that as women we gracefully bow out.

In either case, let this be a lesson to you, gentlemen (and ladies). Reign in your ego while you’re in the relationship so that you won’t have to worry about battling it after the relationship is done.

The Male Ego, Part II – God’s Gift

Good-looking women are often stereotyped as conceited. Unfortunate. This stereotype creates something of an “expectation” of conceit. And often, acceptance follows expectation.

Some of my down-to-Earth friends associate with pompous people — much to my chagrin. Naturally, the pretentious persons in question are usually women. And although I am no fan of arrogance, I can somewhat deal.

Now let’s talk about what I can’t deal with.

We all know a few. Men who think they are the epitome of manhood and perfection personified. Oh, these creatures. They walk around with their heads in the clouds and up their arses at the same time — a feat to stand in awe of, indeed. How do they do it?

Well, that is a mystery that will remain one. I don’t know how they do it but I know why they do it — EGO.

Such a man has been told he’s fine” by his mom, grandma, aunties, neighbors and teachers since he ‘strutted’ down the birth canal. He has had women falling all over him since Pre-K. It was around that same time that other guys either started sucking up to him or plotting on his downfall — and he ate it all up like Thanksgiving Dinner.

In an alternate scenario, the guy starts out as an ugly duckling who isn’t very popular in school. He has a few close friends and a girlfriend or two but that’s about it. Either in high school or college (usually the latter), he reinvents himself. Things get ugly — quick. Not used to being really successful and popular, he gets hooked on his newfound glory and BAM — egomaniac!

As stated in Part I of the Male Ego, everyone has an ego. And I will add that depending on circumstance or situation, it can be both useful and necessary, alluring and sexy.

However, everything has its time and place. One’s ego does not need to be unleashed, full-force, 365.

When I think of the ideal man, I think of a man who is self-assured and confident but also humble and gracious. He knows that he’s the sh*t to the point that he doesn’t need to make self-indulgent statements all the damn time (think Jay-Z vs. Kanye).

This man does not need to put down or look down on others who can’t, or choose not to, match him tic-for-tac in terms of physique, fashion, finances, etc. He simply feels content and blessed because of all the great things he has going for himself.

This guy elevates others because he knows that the light of others won’t steal any shine from him — he’s THAT good!

I can’t stand the guy who uses every social gathering as an opportunity to brag on what he has and what he’s doing. If he’s not doing that, he’s laying out his “standards” of fine dining and apparel. Worst of all is when he goes into painstaking detail about all the criteria a woman must meet “to be his lady.”

That, friends, is a post for another day.

In the meantime, I suggest the next time a male friend of a friend starts droning on and on about how great he is, you wait until he pauses to catch his breath, wrinkle your forehead, look him dead in the eye and say, “But who asked you, though?”