Goodbye, 2012!

This year has been full of many ups and downs, mostly ups, for which I am so thankful!  I got a new job, I was able to quit my part-time job, two of my sorors/friends got married, and I have a new Godson!  As is my mantra in life, I don’t focus on the negative.  I will say I was able to learn a lot about myself and others based on the not so pleasant things that occurred.  And for that reason, I wouldn’t change anything that I’ve done….well, maybe some things. 🙂

And my Christmas holiday was awesome!  I was able to spend a few days with Southern Mom, which was great, had dinner with my maternal family, I saw my old BFF from high school, and I got to meet my new cousin!  I was equally as pleased to spend time with my paternal side; my cousins still keep me laughing, and it was fun going to see “Django Unchained” with some of them the day after Christmas.

I made a vision board mid-way through the year.  While not everything came to fruition, or as soon as I would have preferred, I am happy to say most of the things I included have come to fruition.  For 2013, I’ll be updating some things while leaving other things right where they are.

All in all, 2012 was pretty ok.  I am in a much better place now than I was on December 31, 2011.  Once again, I thank my family and friends for sticking with me and for serving as a great support system.  I am excited to see what 2013 has in store!  I’m beyond thrilled about the Centennial Celebration of my beloved sorority!  Other things to look forward to include the 57th Presidential Inauguration, my Girls’ Weekend Getaway, my half marathon, my cousin’s wedding, and another cousin and his wife are expecting!  So, focus on the positive and decide what you want to accomplish in the coming year!  No matter how you celebrate tonight, be safe, and drink responsibly!  Until next year, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

A Southerner’s Thoughts on “Django Unchained”

A few weeks ago, I went on Facebook and asked which of my cousins will go see “Django Unchained” with me the day after Christmas.  I’m happy to say 9 of us trekked to the theater.  As I was getting some refreshments, the guy behind the counter, he could not be older than 16, asked which movie I was going to see.  When I told him, his response was, “Oh, you’ll like it.  It was really funny!”  I, being a 30 year old Black woman that grew up in the South and knowing the premise of the movie, did not think that “funny” was the most accurate word to describe this film.

While watching Django, I had to turn my head a few times.  If you know Tarantino, you know his movies are full of cursing, blood, and violence.  I was prepared for the MFer’s.  I was prepared for the “nigger”s.  I was even prepared for the violence.  However, when Calvin Candie, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, handed a hammer to his mandingo fighter and told him to finish his opponent, I turned my head.  The silence heard after that weapon was used was deafening in my ears. You realized just how hard these men were fighting to stay alive.

Now, to give credit to the young White boy behind the counter, there were some funny moments.  Take for instance the portrayal of some racist Whites, who were supposed to be pre-KKK members.  And the very end, when Django was able to enact revenge on those that kept his wife.  But referring to the entire movie as funny is grossly incorrect.  Honestly, I’m not sure how I would categorize Django.  I didn’t like it.  I didn’t not like it.  My emotions are up in the air.  When my mom asked me what I thought, I told her I didn’t know; I would have to go see it again.  My main take-away from the film was the love story.  This man did not let ANYTHING stop him from rescuing his wife.  How often do we see a man go through hell and highwater to get to his woman, especially on screen?  Not very often.

I love Spike Lee movies, from “School Daze” to “Bamboozled”.  But I need him to stop trying to keep his name in people’s mouths by telling folks to boycott this film.  He needs to find something constructive to do.

In the end, my cousins liked the movie.  I’m on the fence, which is highly ironic since I’m the main reason we all went together.  I’m sure I’ll see it again.  And I probably should not have watched “Queen” right before I went to see it… Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is by far my favorite holiday!  Growing up, it was definitely because of the gifts.
🙂 Now, it’s because I get to spend time with my family.  Last night, my maternal side had Christmas Eve dinner a day early.  It was awesome seeing my grandmother, aunts, uncles, and cousins. I especially enjoyed meeting my two new baby cousins.  Most important, I get to spend time with Southern Mom!  We’ve hung out, talked, cooked together, and even did a little shopping!  Tonight, we’re going to see Christmas lights.

I’m excited about going to visit my paternal side on Christmas Day for our annual family dinner.  Southern Dad and I get to hang out a little, which we haven’t really done since I moved to DC.  Although I won’t get to meet my Godson this time, I can’t wait to see my other family members.  Southern Cousin and I are getting our run in on Wednesday, and the rest of the clan is supposed to go see “Django Unchained” later in the day. 

I missed out on spending time with family last year, so I’m enjoying every moment of being back in my home state.  And I think my family has and will enjoy it, too.  Especially my older cousins that still pick on me.  And I wasn’t ready for my younger cousin, who alerted me to his high school graduation next year, saying “Yes, ma’am” when I confirmed that he was in fact a senior.  I told him to pump his brakes-you don’t have to call me “ma’am”!  But I am glad to see his parents are raising him right.  Those children in DC don’t say it. 

So, whatever your traditions, make sure to enjoy this time with family and friends.  But don’t forget the most important reason for this season-Jesus.  I wish you all a happy, safe, joyful, and blessed holiday!  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Getting off the Merry Go Round

I went back on my own word. (Don’t act like you haven’t done it before.)  A week ago Sunday, I hung out with Guy B; let’s call him Antonio.  Antonio called my phone one morning while I was on my way to work.  Apparently he’d been out of the country for a few weeks for his job.  I kinda gave him a hard time for just disappearing, but because I know who signs his paycheck, I understand his life may not be his own at times.  I relayed what I would appreciate in the future if this were to happen again, and he said he understood. Fast forward to a few days later.  It was a Sunday, and I didn’t have anything to do.  I figured Antonio was in town, so I sent him a text asking if he had any plans.  He called me within 5 minutes and suggested we go to the place we first met to watch the 4 o’clock game.  (Which game?  It didn’t matter.  We first met while watching football, so it’s established we’re both fans of the sport.)

Before half time, we both decided that we had had enough and were ready to go.  I suggested we watch “Scandal”.  He had never seen it before, and I thought a good initiation to the show was the latest episode, which was when Fitz was shot.  As we’re walking down 8th St., he grabs my hand. O_o  Uh, sir, we haven’t seen each other in a month of Sundays, and you think we can just pick up where we left off?!  (According to the BFF TyAnthony, guys may be ghost because they get caught up in life, and it has nothing to do with how they feel about a young lady.)   Long story short, because you all don’t need every nitty-gritty detail of my dating life, I was all set to give up my “I’m Off the Market” stance and see where this was going based on a hand-holding stroll and “Scandal” watch party complete with conversation, comfort, and laughs.  And while we were chilling on my couch, it felt right…as in “I could get used to this.”  The really pissy thing is that for ONCE I don’t have to say “It’s a joke” to a potential suitor because as soon as Antonio and I look at each other, we burst out laughing.  (Heck, sometimes we don’t even need to look at each other.)  Not since Southern Mom (and maybe Southern Cousin) has someone GOT me…  Antonio was talking a good game, and I.WAS.HOOKED.  I was even thinking about buying ol’ boy a Christmas gift.

So, where is Antonio now?  I have no idea, nor do I care to know.  After a few times of planning things and him not following through, I’m over it.  I’m going back to focusing on me and my health and this half-marathon training.  And I was asked to participate in an event in March; that’s still up in the air, but I need to make a decision about that quickly.  I’m sure he’ll call me eventually; don’t they always???  But as my blogging mentor/sister-girl/soror/friend Najeema commented on a previous post, she commended me for laying for my truths out there.  So what is my truth now???  While I’m currently off the market, I want to be in a relationship.  And I eventually want to be married and have someone (or two) call me, “Mommy”.   But if you can’t be a constant in my life, as a friend or other, we might as well part ways.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

They Didn’t Have to Die (Part II)

Who knew when I previously wrote about Kasi Perkins and Selina Brown that the next day our nation would experience another tragedy?  I have to admit I have not actively kept up with the details about the killer of those students and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  I don’t need or want to. All I know is that 26 innocent people are dead and that it probably could have been prevented.  This reminded me of my post from 2 years ago when I had the series “What We Won’t Talk About”.  One subject was mental illness.  Sadly, mental illness is taboo in most ethnic communities in our country, not just with African-Americans.

God’s plan is perfect, although we may not understand.  And it’s not for us to understand.  But, we must be vigilant and faithful.  And while we may cry, be sad, and wonder why this had to happen to these innocent children, we should be happy that they no longer have to experience the ills of this world.  When I still think about it, my heart aches.  There has been so much gun violence in the news recently.  The fact of the matter is that sadly, gun violence occurs everyday; we just don’t always hear about it.

As I did in my original post regarding mental illness two years ago-if you know someone that you believe is suffering from mental illness, don’t sweep their behavior under the rug.  Take them to seek help; don’t just suggest it.  We honestly must take charge and not turn a blind eye when we believe something has changed with a loved one.  Maya Angelou said it best-when people show you who they are, believe them.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

I’m Done Being Fat (Update I)

Happy Monday, folks!  I realize it’s almost been a month since I’ve started my “Get Fit” kick, and I haven’t shared any updates with you all!

Well, I’ve been going steady with meeting my run buddy for 3 weeks now.  So far, I’ve lost 3.2 pounds.  This morning, we jogged for the majority of the first leg of our walk/run.  Each time we go out, we go a little further and move a little faster.  SI, my steady run buddy, has pushed me and inspired me in ways I couldn’t imagine.  We have yet to miss a run because we don’t want to disappoint each other.  The other young lady that also responded to my request came out with us once.  Apparently she’s working with a trainer, but we wish she would come back out with us.  A friend of mine, MA, comes out with us every now and then.  It’s a little difficult for her since she lives in a different quadrant than my running buddy and I, but when she doesn’t run with us, she gets in the miles on her own.

This past Saturday, SI, MA, and I met up with the Black Girls Run group that meets at the National Mall.  We had a blast meeting other ladies, taking a picture in front of the National Christmas Tree and White House, and fellowshipping afterwards at Starbucks.  (Thanks to SI for making sure I got that banana instead of the blueberry muffin.)  I can’t wait to go back out there with them in 2 weeks.  It’s awesome meeting other women AND getting a change of scenery.

To make sure I stay on my half marathon training schedule during the holidays, I’ve recruited some people to keep me company.  Southern Mom and I will be running together on Saturday and next Monday.  She’s afraid she won’t be able to keep up with me, but I’ve told her that she’ll be fine.  I’ve even talked Southern Cousin into running with me next week after Christmas.  She seems to think I’ll be doing a 10-12 minute mile; someone needs to tell her that may not happen…

And although I don’t hit the gym as often as I want (I go once a week-I want to go at least twice), this weekend I started this 30 day challenge that a friend of mine posted on Facebook.  It’s called 10-20-30.  You run or walk 10 miles a week and complete at least 20 push ups and 30 squats a day; you’re welcome to do more.  On Saturday, I even added 20 minutes of pilates into my routine.  (Yes, I only did that because in this month’s issue of “Women’s Health Magazine”, Kerry Washington is on the cover, and she discusses how she enjoys pilates. #dontjudgeme)  That 20 minutes was the best thing I could have done for my muscles after that run on Saturday.

So, in short, this “Get Fit” kick has been awesome so far.  I feel better, have more energy throughout the day, and have even inspired those around me to do better.  But, at the end of the day, this is about me.  I need to be healthy for me and live the best life that God has planned for me.  Whatever your motivation, I implore you all to add some type of workout to your weekly routine.  You’ll thank me later. 😉  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

They Didn’t Have to Die

Thankfully, I’ve never been a victim of domestic violence.  Unfortunately, I know people that have.  With the recent news regarding the deaths of Kasi Perkins and Selina Brown, my heart has been heavy.   These women, both mothers and in their early 20s, were killed within a week of each other by the fathers of their daughters.  However, their killers will never seek justice.  Both men ended their own lives.

Something needs to be done to teach these boys how to control their anger.  It’s almost too late when they become adults because they’ve become accustomed to being violent and aggressive.  I’m not a psychologist by any means and I do not claim to be an expert, but I think aggressive behavior may come from a multitude of areas.  One could be a boy that grows up in a household where he saw an aggressive, angry male hitting his mother, his sister, or another female family member.  Heck, the boy himself could have been a victim.  Another issue could be the child is angry; why-I don’t know.  But in his anger, instead of lashing out at those around him, whether it be physical or verbal, he needs to be exposed to a constructive way to handle being angry.

Parents play an integral role in the development of their child.  Their presence, or lack thereof, has a lasting effect on their offspring.  Some may wonder if a parent is not dispensing good habits or positivity to their child, should they be an active participant in their upbringing.

I’m sort of going off on a tangent, so let me circle back.  Earlier this week, when I read about this story regarding Selina and other victims, I was brought to tears.  It’s not enough for a woman to want to end a relationship; now, she has to worry about her life and the lives of her children.  This story prompted me to reach out to friends to help me sponsor a family that has been victimized by domestic violence.  I’m happy my friends agreed to help me make Christmas enjoyable for a mother and her children.  And it is my goal in 2013 to volunteer on a regular basis with an organization that helps these families.

Sad to say, these stories are not new.  Women are terrorized everyday by a lover or ex-lover.  I do hope that we keep these discussions going and find a way to help children so they don’t grow up to be abusers OR victims.  While we are doing something for the victims, I want to think of ways to diminish the number of women who are victims of domestic violence. What can we do so that these types of relationships become obsolete?  This time of year is a time for celebration, family, and good cheer.  If you’re able, I ask you all to purchase a toy for a child or a gift for a mother.  All some women want is to end a relationship, not be in fear of their lives.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.