Why Women Delve Into Their Careers

Being weeks away from 35, I have been able to do some self-reflections and assessments and figure out what I want to get out of life and where I want to be within the next 10-15 years.  I begin graduate school in the fall, which I am very excited about, and my going back to school has allowed me to think about the possibilities and the next steps I want to take in my professional life.  I have also been thinking about my financial health.  After doing some assessments and actually writing down my expenses and income, I realized that I should be much further along with saving than I am.  The good thing is that I have been doing a better job of being a good steward over my finances; the fact that I am now writing them down makes me feel better and that by my managing my finances a little more closely I can do the things that I want to do, especially international travel.  Additionally, Facebook reminded me that it was two years ago today that I officially moved into my house.  This reminder was a welcome memory to see how far I’ve come in being a homeowner (and how much further I have to go to get my house just right.) As I plan for my career, my home, and my personal life, my love life has taken a backseat.

To be honest, I have become jaded and dissatisfied with my love life.  From meeting men who aren’t geographically desirable to men who are too immature to men that were crazy (like almost certifiable) to men that just weren’t for me, I have almost come to the conclusion that I will be single, if not for the rest of my life, then for a really long time.  And if I’m being totally transparent, at this juncture in my life, I’m kinda ok with that.

Sure, I miss going on dates and getting phone calls from suitors and all the other mushy stuff that comes with dating and relationships; however, I’m so focused and excited and nervous for what’s to come in other aspects of my life that I’m really not too concerned with my love life.  And because everything else is going great, it has taken my mind off of the fact that I am single.  With NO prospects.

When something is going right in our lives, it is very easy to focus on that positive and to give two sh*ts to the wind about the stuff that’s not so positive.  That’s why I personally believe that’s why it’s SO easy for women to become absorbed by their jobs.  They have the requisite education credentials, they gain the necessary experience at work, they are leaders-movers and shakers, and they continue to get promotion after promotion and advancement and notoriety and everything else they need to be successful career-wise.  When a man comes along, it would behoove him to let that woman know how he plans to enhance her life and how they can be great together in order for her to give him the time of day.

Earlier this week, I was hanging out with some friends of mine that are married.  I let them know that, “I don’t necessarily want to put this out in the atmosphere but I think I’m going to be single forever.  At this point in my life, I really just want to meet a man who has the same values as me, wants one or two children, and we can put our resources together to buy a bigger house (than mine).”  The husband let me know that I am not the problem (I really needed to hear that because sometimes I think I am).  He assured me that DC is a tough place to find a quality mate.  Which, I already knew.

At the end of the day, I will be focusing my upcoming birthday celebration, work, travel, and graduate school.  If a man comes along he’s really going to have to have his stuff together in order to get my attention.  And keep it.

Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

You’re Bad For My Spirit

The older I have gotten, I have realized that, in dealing with the opposite sex, that it is of the utmost importance to take care of yourself first.  Not your man.  Not your woman. No one else but you. YOU.  If you allow them, people will suck the life out of you and take all of  you.  Why?  Because people are selfish as f*ck.

About two years ago, I met a guy (I’m sure I’ve referenced him here before; I just don’t feel like going back and linking previous posts) at an alumni event.  The first year passed without much incident. That second year…. We went on dates, we hung out, we laughed, things were good. Until they weren’t.  The last time he and I spoke in August, I told him that we should make a clean break, and if we see each other in the street, we say “What’s up?” and keep it moving.

Earlier this week, my phone rings.  I think it’s my eye doctor, so I answer. It’s this dude. (Huh????) He says he’s calling to find out if I’m going to a football game our alma mater is having later this month and that I crossed his mind and he thought about me.  I asked him if he remembered our last conversation, to which he replied yes.  This is then how the conversation went:

Me: If you remembered then I don’t think you would be calling me. 

Him: Why do you say that? 

Me: Because I told you that we should make a clean break.  But here you are calling me after three months.  A few weeks after our conversation, I told a friend of mine about you, and she was playing devil’s advocate.  She thought that maybe I should give you the benefit of the doubt and that I didn’t make myself clear with what I wanted while we were dealing with each other.  

Him: OK.

Me: So that there is no confusion, I don’t like talking to you.  You’re bad for my spirit.

Him: Oh, that’s cryptic. 

Me: How so?  

Him: Uhhhhh…

Me: If you don’t understand, say so so that I can explain it to you. 

Him: I don’t understand. 

Me: Then I’ll explain it to you.  I’m in my 30s. I’m passed the point in my life where I’m dating just to date.   And I’m done going back and forth with you.  Over the past two years, it’s been up and down and sometimes we’re dating and sometimes we’re not. So we just need to cut our losses and keep it moving. 

Him: Ok.

Me: So, again, so that I can make it clear, I don’t want to be your friend.  You keep popping back up in my life and I’ve got way too much going on to try to figure out what you want from me every few months.  So you have fun with whatever you’re doing tonight, tomorrow, whenever. Bye.

Today, this post is for ladies in general.  Single ladies in particular. Those single ladies that have had to deal with men that take us for granted.  Those men that feel they can play with our emotions.  Those men that are sometime-y.  Those men that are non-committal. Those men that feel like they can treat us any ol’ type of way.  And think that we are going to stay around to put up with it. Take back yourself, ladies. Take back your strength. Take back your independence. Take back your courage. And let these men know that we’re not putting up with their sh*t anymore.  We deserve better.  And these boys that think they’re men are going to continue to treat us this way if we allow it.  So demand better.  Treat yourself better.  You deserve it.  Don’t let these boys mess with your spirit; they’re not worth it.

Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

Only “Yes” is Consent

Last night, I went to dinner and a concert with a few women for a Girls Night Out. One of the women I knew (we’ll call her Chanel); the other two I met yesterday evening (let’s call them Sarah and Alexis).  During dinner, we talked about politics, pop culture, and the ladies shared stories of their children. Oh, based on the age of the children, these women are old enough to be my mother; that’s important for later. 

Of course, the topic of Nate Parker and “The Birth of a Nation” came up. I must admit that I have mixed feelings about going to see this film, for a number of reasons.  When discussing the rape of his classmate, a young woman he previously dated, Nate Parker had a very cavalier, “devil-may-care” attitude regarding the situation, even after he found out that she had committed suicide.  During our conversation, I of course shared that I read the court documents and that while Nate was found not guilty, it didn’t mean he was innocent (George Zimmerman, anyone?) In any event, Sarah started victim blaming, stating that if she didn’t want anything to happen (sex), then she should not have gone in the bedroom with him.  She also stated that since they had had sex before, why is it ok for her to say “no” later. I must have made a face because she tried to (halfway) clean it up by saying, well we don’t know what happened since we weren’t there.  I said true, but for Nate and Jean (his friend and teammate who WAS found guilty of rape) to have students that were part of the Black Student Union to harass this girl after filing a complaint against them is very telling. 

I then mentioned that we need to do a better job of teaching our boys about consent; we do a good job with our girls, but we don’t do the same with our young men.  Of course the women nodded their head, but at the same time talked about how girls shouldn’t put themselves in compromising positions. For example, if you go to hang out with a boy, why go to his room and not hang out in the lobby? Another thing I mentioned was that the young lady was drunk.  Again, I got “why was she in the bedroom with him?” So, to not get into an argument with this woman, because I was starting to get mad, I closed my mouth, which I don’t know if that was a wise move.  Actually, it was because I was going to lose it on Sarah in that restaurant. The other ladies started talking about how their mothers would have questioned THEM if they had been in a similar experience. I’m thinking “great, here we go with victim blaming.”  And that also made me think maybe this is a generational thing and I’m the odd woman out. 

But if you agree with Sarah, then you believe that I should have been assaulted.  Not to get too personal or too graphic, but in my early 20s, I had made a decision to have sex. I went to the guy’s house. Just as we were about to get started, I said “I can’t do it.” The guy was SUPER understanding and didn’t pressure me or make me feel bad and we were able to remain friends.

If you agree with Sarah, then you think it’s ok for a husband to rape his wife because they’ve had sex before. Just so we’re clear, the only way to consent is to say “Yes”.  If someone is intoxicated, can’t stand on their own, can’t focus, you may want to give them some water and have them sleep it off. 

The conversation last night really bothered me; that’s why I’m up at 7:30 am writing about it. 

If you want to know more about consent and sexual assault, I encourage you to visit your local domestic violence center. Until next time, I’m just a Southern Girl…in the city.

Companion: Requested 

This weekend I hung out with a sorority sister of mine that I have not seen in AGES!  It was to the point that she had me paranoid and thinking I had done something to her because it had been so long since we’ve seen each other. She’s a few years younger than me and is engaged. I love her and her fiancée and their relationship.  They have the same goals and he has helped her realize some of her dreams.

As it typically goes when I catch up with a girlfriend that I haven’t seen in a long time, she asked me the predictable question-“So, are you seeing anyone?” Surprisingly Sadly Fortunately Hell, I just told her “no”.  After running down the last few guys that had my attention within the past year, I told her that “I really just want a partner. A companion. I don’t need a guy to spend money on me or buy me a house or get me things.  I can do that myself. I want a man who can be my support, someone that I can depend on, and who can be there during the rough times.  And I want to be the same for him.  And at the end of the day, we pool our resources together to get a bigger house and more resources to raise our family.  It would be  so much easier if guys got that.”

Her response? “Elle, that’s the perfect description of what a relationship is. (The companion piece)”

So, to the single men reading this, that’s really what women want. Well, that’s what this woman wants.  Sure, we need to date and communicate and do things together. And yes, I would love to get “just because” flowers or get taken out for a night out or just do something with just the two of us. But when it’s all said and done-you need to be working on making me a life partner.  The end.

Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

“You’ve Got a Great Personality!”

These are the words that were spoken to me yesterday by a co-worker before she stated she couldn’t understand why I’m still single.  I love her to life, she’s funny, and we play off of each other ALL DAY.  But almost of the blue yesterday, she made mention that she was talking to her husband (lovely man) about me this past weekend during their discussion of relationships.

But in addition to my having a “great personality”, apparently I’m too picky.  These words are like hearing, “You’re pretty-for a big girl.”  I immediately responded and told her that I’m not picky-I’m selective, and I’m not going to be a relationship with someone just because.  My last ex-boyfriend (I used that word VERY loosely) couldn’t understand that (that’s why he’s an ex), but maybe my co-worker will.  Not that it’s really any of her business.  I know she means well, but I’ve (somewhat) gotten to a place where I am truly happy working on Elle and am ok with being single.

Sure there are days where I desire the love and affection of a mate.  But I’m not willing to compromise myself to get it.  And just because I’m in my 30s doesn’t mean I’m going to start accepting any old thing that comes my way because I feel like time is running out.  When things like that happen, we make our situations MUCH worse.  And at times we end of not only disrupting our lives but also the lives of others.

So, in short, if you know someone who is single, just let them live.  If they are interested in you searching for someone for them or want to discuss their love life (or lack thereof), they’ll let you know.

Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

It’s a Lot Going On…

I can’t write about the senseless deaths that have occurred over the week (heck, the past few YEARS); my heart can’t take it.  Plus, it would not be eloquent or maybe even make sense.  So, I’ll leave that for others.

I also won’t write about this past season of “The Real World”.  (Yes, I’m 30+ and still watch it; sue me.)  If you watched it, you know there was some epic ish that went down.  If you didn’t, just know that racism is alive and well in this country, if you didn’t already know.

I am going to drag someone through the mud.  I probably shouldn’t because I bear responsibility (well, just a little bit) for bringing this person back into my life after he reached out to come back, but I find solace in knowing that I always stayed true to myself while he was playing games. And you can thank my cousin in my head over at Black N Bougie for her post from April that made me want to just bawl my eyes out, invite my girls over for adult beverages and junk food, and watch “Lemonade“.  Who knows, I still may do that on Saturday…

This past weekend, my friends and I took out a rising college freshman for a Sister Circle brunch, to give her advice, guidance, and some anecdotes to help her along her way while she’s in college.  Two of my friends that have known me for a number of years stated how I’m always positive, even in the midst of adversity.  But you know, that gets tiresome.  And old.  I’m sick of being positive all the damn time.  I want to be bitchy sometimes, too.  I’m sure it’s good for the soul.

This week, hell yesterday, I decided to stop trying to work on a relationship that was never going anywhere.  And when it was over, I left quietly.  I didn’t make a scene.  I didn’t yell.  I didn’t throw anything.  I just discreetly got myself together and left.  He may not even realize that I’m done.  And I kinda don’t care.  Sometimes I wish I could be an itch with a b in front of it, but I’m always concerned with how people see me, even when they do me wrong.  I tell you, respectability politics is a mug…

So, yeah, after reading Michele’s post earlier today, I got mad.  Like real mad.  I need to have a breakdown.  I just realized that my friends and I don’t go into details when relationships are over. Or when things go bad. And I think that needs to change.  I need to get out everything bad, awful, and toxic out of my system from this last thing that never was. It’s at a point where I need some support.  Because I’m starting to think that something may be wrong with me. And then I need to move on.

TyAnthony had to remind me last night that I’m supposed to be working on me.  (I love that he’s my voice of reason.)  But I feel like I go through this cycle every two years; I discover something I want to do and intentionally make “plans” to eliminate dating relationships things  from my life.  Maybe I should not focus on cutting out things but instead focus on bringing positive things in.  And then maybe all the other bullsh*t won’t matter.

In any event, that’s all I have for today.  I may do a post later on this past season of TRW…I’ll have to pray about that.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

 

Fifty-Seven

Southern Mom was born in 1957.  In 2014, I kept telling her that it was her “Golden Year” because she was TURNING 57, and she was BORN in 1957.  Little did I know that less than two months after her birthday, she’d be gone. Whenever I see the number 57, on an interstate exit in particular, I always think of her.

Doug Banks, my FAVORITE radio DJ of all-time, passed away a few weeks ago at the age of 57.

Yesterday, we lost my boo, the ultimate performer, the greatest musician, an icon. How old was he?  Fifty-seven.  Prince Rogers Nelson is the ultimate instrumentalist.  I say “is” because it’s still hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that he is gone.

I have loved Prince for as long as I can remember.  One of my first memories of Prince is “Purple Rain”.  As young as 8 or 9 (probably younger) every time I would go to my uncle’s house, I would ask him if I could borrow his “Purple Rain” VHS tape.  I would watch that movie multiple times a week before I took it back to his house.  It got to the point that one day he just told me he would get me my own copy.

For my 10th birthday, I got the tape of “Diamonds and Pearls”.   I was SO happy to get that doggone tape.  One day, I took it to daycare so we could dance to it.  And my BFF lost it.  I went SLAM OFF on her.  I was so upset!  I had it less than a week, and she LOST IT!  Thankfully, it was recovered, but I learned then not to let anyone mess with/hold/borrow my stuff.

One of my bucket list items was to see Prince perform live.  Despite the circumstances, I was BEYOND thrilled to see him perform in Baltimore last year.  My linesister B and I had floor seats!!!!  It was one of the greatest experiences of my life.  And while I missed his DC show, I didn’t worry too much when he announced he was going on tour again in 2016, because I just KNEW I would get to see him perform again.  Alas, that is not to happen in this lifetime.

It’s still surreal to me.  I just can’t believe that he’s gone.  I feel like there’s so much more he has to do.  There’s so much more the fans have to see and hear and do.

Prince was unapologetic about who he was.  He was about the music.  He was about living your truth.  He wasn’t the biggest man or the tallest man or the most masculine man, but he could have any woman (ANY WOMAN) he wanted.  Even guys respected Prince because he was a bad-ass.  As my friends on Facebook have said, “he was the original Mr. Steal Your Girl”.

While I am upset that I won’t get to see him this summer, I will remember how his music made me feel.  How I still dance and sing to the “Purple Rain” soundtrack (heck, really any Prince album).  How amazing it was to see him on stage last year.  And how he changed the music industry.  Prayers to his family, friends, loved ones, and fans.

Prince Rogers Nelson, you were one-of-a-kind, ahead of your time, and you will be forever in my heart.

Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.