2018 Has Been a Year

It has been almost a year since I’ve blogged.  I’ve stopped, well slowed down, for a number of reasons.  One, my job.  I’ve had this job for 4 years, and I love it.  And apparently I’ve been doing a great job, because my supervisor keeps adding on and giving me more responsibility each year.  -_- Second, I’m in graduate school.  The extra time I had is now consumed by reading and writing papers.  Thankfully, I only have one more year to go. Woo-hoo!  Come on May 2019!  Third, I’m also an advisor for my sorority at a local university.  I love it.  It’s a lot of work, but I love my younger sorors and helping them do the work of and learn all about our beloved sisterhood.

Also, 2018 has seen me take my 2nd international trip!  Once my Internship for the summer was complete, I took a 5 day cruise with some friends.  I had a ball!  It was a great trip, I got a tan, and I brought back some alcohol! 🙂

2018 also had the appearance of an old beau.  Someone I dated many moons ago (before Southern Mom passed) reached out, said he was going to be on the East Coast and said that he wanted to see me.  We hung out one weekend, and aside from one minor spat, everything went well.  But now I am regretting that decision.  Just when I think things may start working out in my love life, that’s when sh*t hits the fan, and then I decide that I’m never going to find someone because all the men I meet are jerks.  Or something to that effect.

In any event, I’m in the part of the cycle where I’m over men.  I think I should just stop doing this to myself. Especially since I have so many positive things going on in my life right now.  And honestly, I feel great about everything in my life, except I am not satisfied with being single.  Don’t get me wrong, I would definitely rather be single that be in a toxic relationship; however, it can’t be that hard to find someone that wants what I want and wants me and I want him.  But apparently it is because here I am.

In any event, I’m back at the point where I’m focusing on me.  Which is sort of ironic since about this time last year I was in this same place.  Ah well, such is life.

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

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Moving Forward

It has been almost 6 months since Southern Mom passed.  Some days are great.  Some days are not so great.  Last week was rough since I had to go to home to handle some business on her behalf.  (I took the shortest trip home I’ve ever taken this weekend.)  And while it was rough, especially Sunday, I am moving forward.

There have been some upsides and positive things that have occurred-I presented at a workshop this weekend related to education.  I received an email earlier today about speaking at an engagement this weekend.  I started a book club.  We’ve met twice so far, and these ladies are a trip!  We have so much fun together.  And, most importantly, I bought a house.  In DC.  (My soror/friend/road dawg Original Najeema suggested I blog about that.)  Let me say that was not an easy process.  And I definitely thought it would take me at least a year to do it.  But I did it.  And I love my house.  Now, I will be brutally honest with you-while I LOVE my house, I was hoping that the seller would have assisted with the closing costs, but that didn’t happen.  And while I definitely could have walked away, I didn’t.  And for a number of reasons.

One, I love that house.  It is completed renovated and has the amenities/updates that I wanted.  Two, I was tired of house hunting.  Sure, it was fun in the beginning.  But every house, with the exception of one, that I put an offer on or was interested in, someone beat me to the punch. (LONG on that first house…)  I got tired of finding gems that other people found before me and watching them take possession.  Third, it was EXACTLY what I told my realtor I wanted.  So why wouldn’t I keep it and move forward???  Lastly, I had to tell myself that while I was putting up all of the money upfront, it would still be MY money, going towards MY house, and benefiting ME in the long run. So, earlier this month, I became a homeowner!  My realtor took a picture of me at the last walk through (where I was VERY animated), and of course, I celebrated with a happy hour.  What’s super funny is that Southern Dad called it.  His words two days before I closed?  “Ok, Elle, when you close, it’s not the end; it’s the beginning.  And don’t think you have to go out and celebrate with a happy hour.”  O_o Color me shocked!  How did he know my life???  Needless to say, I didn’t tell him until the day I closed that he was right about the happy hour and that invitations were sent the previous week.  We both got a good laugh from that one.

While I’ll always mourn my mother, I can’t become stoic.  I have to keep moving forward.  I know that’s what she would want.  And I thank God everyday for my family and friends for their continued support.  I know I couldn’t do half of the stuff I need to do without them willing to lend a helping hand.

I read an article this weekend when a friend shared it on Facebook.  While I don’t like the term “Motherless Daughter”, it was SPOT ON with all of the thoughts that I have when it comes to my mother and how to deal when people ask about my parents or how to deal with a potential mate in the future.  And even now, certain things happen that make me think of memories I have with my mother (that time we would sing Sisqo’s “Got to Get It” just because of a particular lyric in the song, that time I heard her curse for the first time because I spilled Dr. Pepper in her car (I was floored!), how she would tell waitresses to call her by her name and not “Hun” or “Sweetie”).  She was such a dynamic person, and I hope that I have made her proud.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

My Life is NOT Boring!

Yesterday at a meeting, I told my friend that my life was boring when she asked me what I’ve been up to.  For a long time, I used to associate my dating life with whether or not my life was interesting.  Yeah…I’m glad it took me 30 some odd years to come to my senses.  On the contrary, my life is far from boring.

First, let’s talk about my job.  Some folks don’t like their jobs.  But not me.  And I’m not just saying that.  I love what I do.  Some of my co-workers find it hard to believe when I say that I’m glad I’m there. Don’t get me wrong-there are definitely aspects that I wish I could change (nothing’s perfect).  But on the grand scheme of things, my job is pretty snazzy.

Second, I’m still super involved.  I serve on a few boards, I’m becoming more involved with my local sorority chapter, and I’m heavily involved with part of the planning for the DC Black Theatre Festival (which I always love!), that is scheduled for the end of June.

Third, I have a social life.  Just this weekend, I went to happy hour, the Wizards/Bulls game, AND an NFL playoff watch party.  I had fun!  I hung out with some old friends and met some new folks.  And I played Spades, which I haven’t done in awhile. And though my partner and I didn’t win, I know if we had kept playing the second round we would have redeemed ourselves!

Lastly, I actually DO have a hot date this Friday.  It’s someone I’ve known for awhile, and I’m glad this opportunity presented itself for us to hang out so we could get to know each other better.  We’re going to hear one of my FAVORITE artists.  Oh, who is it, you may ask??? Well, it’s me!  🙂  It’s been awhile since I’ve taken myself on a date, unless you count me sitting on my couch watching “Scandal” and “The Walking Dead”.  To be honest, I definitely thought about inviting my friends to go with me…but I decided not to.  It’s been way too long since I’ve gone out by myself and enjoyed my own company.   And in an effort to take care of me in 2015, I feel like I can be a little selfish.

So, as you can see (and you being me), my life is far from boring.  I have stuff going on.  And my social calendar for January is continuing to fill up as we speak…well, as I type this.  In any event, I charge all of you to take yourself out on date.  If there is something you enjoy doing, go do it.  Don’t invite your girls, your boys, or your boo.  Go by yourself.  And rediscover how great of a person you are.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

I Haven’t Blogged in Forever

I haven’t blogged on a consistent basis in a long time.  Many factors are to blame.  I lost my last surviving grandparent in April, which hit me much harder than I expected, and for the better part of the summer I was chilling.  I haven’t dated since “The Potential” got stationed to Hawaii, and that has definitely been by choice; I needed a break.  And my life has been somewhat boring….well what I consider boring.  I’ve purposely been laying low trying to get myself in order.   Most important, and what I consider to be exciting and fantastic, is that I have a new job.  And it’s in education.  And it’s in DC.  Although it’s still new, I love going to work everyday.  Seriously.  My commute is SUPER short (well, compared to where I’ve been going for the past two years), and I can finally do stuff in the city after work.  I was pumped at first because I was able to metro and walk and get a little exercise.  But then it dawned on me that when it gets cold and starts to snow, I’m going to have to walk in that…and that’s when I decided to drive.  I may metro next week since it’s the Congressional Black Caucus’ Annual Legislative Conference…we’ll see.

Oh, I’m super excited that “Scandal” is coming back in 5 days…but I’m super sad Harrison won’t be there (Darn you, Columbus Short!!!!).  I have been keeping my eye on this Ray Rice situation.  Now, while I do not condone domestic violence in anyway, Ray was honest with the NFL in February when reports first came out about him hitting his then fiancee’ Janay.  And the league decided to suspend him for the first two games of the season.  Now since there’s a tape, they changed their tune.  As a friend on Facebook pointed out, it’s double jeopardy, like getting charged twice for the same crime.  I truly hope Ray and Janay were/are getting the help they need.  I’m not going to even touch Adrian Peterson and all these other NFL players that are coming out of the woodworks for being charged with domestic violence disputes. And no one wants to talk about Judge Mark Fuller who was arrested last month on a battery charge for assaulting his wife.  Well, some people do.  Three U.S. Senators are asking him to resign because he violated the trust the people of Atlanta put in him.  (Bravo to you guys!) I mean, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right?

Back to me-now that I feel like things are falling into place for me, I’m starting to take stock in my life and work on the areas that need improvement and updates. I’m purging my house (it’s a slow process, but I’m getting there; I have WAY too much stuff), and I’m rejoining a few organizations that I left by the wayside for a few years.  While I didn’t become a complete hermit, it’ll be good to enter the land of the living again and to start embracing the Social Butterfly I naturally am. 🙂  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

I Need To Diversify

Over the past few months, I’ve realized that most of my friends think and/or look like me.  But I shouldn’t be surprised.  I went to an HBCU.  I’m part of a predominantly African-American sorority.  And most of my closest friends come from those two communities.   I’ve come to the realization that I need more non-Black friends.

Growing up, most of my friends were white.  It wasn’t until I got to high school that my best friends were black.  In middle school, I remember praying for black friends when I got to high school.  And that’s what I got-for the next 18 years.  And don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not complaining.  But when you have friends that think like you and agree with you on pretty much everything, it sometimes gets old.

Of course I’m Facebook friends with a number of the white kids I went to elementary, middle, and/or high school with, but we don’t hang out or do brunch or have dinner together.  (I actually take that back. I do have a white girlfriend that I have known since 6th grade and every time I go home, we see each other.  And we even did dinner when she came to DC last year with her students.)  I did reach out to one of my high school classmates that lives in Northern Virginia for brunch about a year ago.  We weren’t necessarily friends in high school, but it was great to see a familiar face from home in DC.  And there is another friend that I went to high school with who was my buddy.  He lived in DC for about a year, and we went out to dinner (with his now ex-girlfriend) while he was here.  And I’m happy that he came out to help me celebrate my birthday when I was home in April.

At the end of the day, one off dinners and lunches, and friends that live 8 hours away, don’t necessarily count.  Well, they do, but I want more.  I want non-Black friends in DC that I can hang out with on a regular basis.  Those that I can talk to about my life and who have a genuine interest in getting to know me.  And I want to take an active role in their lives-celebrate their monumental moments and do fun things with them.  I also truly believe having a diverse group of friends will make me a better person.

But, for now, I will cherish the friends that I do have.  And look for opportunities to expand my DC circle.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

I Am Not Mary Jane

Tonight is the season finale of “Being Mary Jane”. This show has sparked much conversation in regards to black women and how we are portrayed on television. Some people are impressed with the strong heroine, admire her for having a great job and being a career woman, for helping her family in their times of need-despite their bad decision making, for being financially independent, and for just being a go-getter. On the other hand, you have those who are disgusted, upset, and pissed off with this character. As I stated in my review of the movie that premiered last summer, I was happy to see a character like her…but at the end of the movie, I was totally disgusted when she saved David’s sperm. And that was just the beginning of how any similarities between MJ and myself began to deteriorate. She began making awful decisions. From going back to Andre, her married boyfriend, to having a pissing contest with Avery, Andre’s wife, I realized that I am not Mary Jane (despite BET’s attempt to encourage women from all walks of life to send in videos proclaiming “I am Mary Jane”).

But, let’s not forget this is a fictional show; though, suffice it to say, I’m sure there a few people out there that can relate to a few scenarios. Let’s be real for a second. We put SO much pressure on writers and directors and producers to show black people in general, black women in particular, in positive lights. There was even a post how the world has evolved from Claire Huxtable to Mary Jane Paul. We slam these women on “Real Housewives of Atlanta” and “Basketball Wives” for fighting and cursing and basically just being an embarassment. We villify them for not setting positive examples and being roles models for young girls and young women. But…shouldn’t WE be doing that? The woman that goes to work everyday. The woman that volunteers with non-profit organizations in her city. The woman that teaches Sunday school. The woman that serves on the city council. The woman that teaches chemistry and math and English. The woman that is a great neighbor that speaks to everyone and helps keep the streets clean. My point is, if we, the women that these children see and interact with everyday, are doing what WE should be doing, these young women would not look to a tv character, whether she’s on a scripted show or a “reality” show, to figure out how to become a woman and a lady. She would view you-her mother, her mentor, her teacher, her neighbor-to decide what makes a woman. Yes, we are all flawed, and that’s fine. But should our aim in life be to become a caricature character we see on television?

I mean, I am not Mary Jane Paul; but I am not Claire Huxtable, either.

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

It’s A New Day

There is a LOT going on in Elle’s world.  I’m on the cusp of so many life decisions and things that I want to do.  As Southern Dad told me a few months ago, I’m not getting any younger and it’s time I start to get settled in some things.  Meh, not sure I totally agree with that, but I’ll see what I can do! 🙂

Yes, it’s true I’m getting older, but I feel that as long as I’m not responsible for anyone but myself, I can change my mind on a whim if something doesn’t fit my fancy.  It may seem a little shallow, whimsical, or like I don’t know what I want/what I’m doing, but I’m ok with that…to a degree.  That’s probably why I’m always hesitant to tell my friends/family my plans. Because the next thing you know, they’re asking you how’s the planning for such-and-such going?  I STILL having people talking to me about law school. -_-  I think it’s ok if we change our mind and decide we want to do something different.  It shows that we aren’t stagnant and that we continue to grow and evolve and change.  But, because I like stability I’m not changing all willy-nilly.  Before I make any major life decision, I make sure my ducks are in a row.

For example, on this particular day, I have decided what I want to accomplish for 2014.  My vision board is complete, and now I have to do things in order to realize my visions.  For example, I have decided to seriously work on opening and starting my business.  I have the proper reading materials in place, and my next steps are to do the legal legwork to make it legit.  Not to mention this is a field where I do not have a ton of experience, so I need to do my research/interning/speaking with experts to get all of the knowledge that reading a book isn’t going to teach.

Secondly, as a way to get healthier and in better shape, I’ve decided to do a juice fast/cleanse.  I’m pretty excited about it, and my lunch (kale, strawberries, pineapples, apples, and blackberries) is SO yummy!  I’m excited to try out these other recipes I have and create some of my own.  I’m easing in to this fast, based on the side effects that I have read come along with only juicing.  But I have an awesome support group, so I know I can do this and stay committed.

So while it may seem like your friend/cousin/girlfriend is all over the place, maybe she isn’t.  Maybe she knows EXACTLY what she wants to do and is doing it.  And if you start to do something and it turns out to be something you didn’t expect, that’s ok.  Keep working at finding what works and fits for you and the life you want to live.  Because at the end of the day, the only person’s happiness that matters is yours.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!