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!

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Thoughts From a Southern Girl

Just so you know, this post is about to be real random.  Why?  Because I have a lot of things I want to say…but I don’t really have anything to say.  Make sense?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.

First, let’s talk about the return of “Scandal”.  I was not excited about the premiere, until I saw a clip of Mellie and Olivia at a faux lunch.  Mellie laid into my girl Liv, I put a smile on my face, and prepared to enjoy the mid-season premiere. The premiere was good, a bit predictable, but I think “Grey’s Anatomy” was WAY better!

Unfortunately, or fortunately for some, it snowed in the DC area on Monday.  (And there are reports we will get more snow next week. -_-)  So, the good thing for me was that I used that day to catch up on some missed television, namely the Oscars.  Yes, on Sunday evening I propped myself on the couch to catch the awards show, but somewhere between the award for Best Production Design or something like that and the evening news I fell asleep.  (I am such an old woman.)  I woke up to the news that Lupita won for Best Supporting Actress and “12 Years A Slave” won Best Picture.  Thankfully, the Oscars were on On Demand, so I was able to see Ellen’s shenanigans, Matthew McConaughey’s AWESOME speech, and Steve McQueen jump at the end of his acceptance speech.

Honestly, that’s all I’ve got.  I don’t really have anything else to say.  My life is pretty boring at the moment.  Well, maybe not boring.  Uneventful is probably a better word.  I’m just working and trying to get my personal affairs in order.  I do plan on juicing for Lent.  Since I have not consistently done it in the past like I was supposed to.  And the days that I do not juice, I will not succumb to food.  I will just drink H2O all day.  Jesus made a sacrifice for me, and for the next 40 days, I can make that sacrifice for Him.  I am planning how I am going to celebrate my birthday, which happens to be during the Lenten season.  So far, I am pleased with what I’ve come up with; I just need to figure out where it’s going to be.

For someone who didn’t have anything else to say I am not surprised I found some extra words. 🙂  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!

I Finally Had My Olivia Pope Moment

It’s a few hours after Fitz is shot.  Olivia returns to the White House to “handle it”.  After she talks Mellie into addressing the public, she goes to the closet of the First Couple to get a suit for her.  Once she enters, she’s sidetracked when she sees Fitz’s clothing-his suits, his jeans, his sweatshirts.  She grabs a sweatshirt, sits down, and inhales his scent.  Then…she cries.  Not too hard and not too long.  But she cries.  Then all of a sudden, she stops.  She gets up, replaces the sweatshirt, grabs Mellie’s suit, straightens her jacket, wipes her eyes, and leaves.

I cried yesterday.  Not hard.  Not long.  But I cried.  And then I wiped my eyes, washed my face, and kept it moving.

It’s hard being a woman.  Sure we look pretty, are friendly, and have things together, but it’s hard.  We have to deal with crazy things at work, possibly at home, and with our family.  It’s not easy keeping things together.  Or appearing to keep things together.  You may see us in our suit or our heels with a smile on our face, but you have no clue what’s occurring beneath the surface.

Now don’t misunderstand, it’s not a complaint or a feeling of being ungrateful.  But it’s not always easy when the life you currently have is not the life you envisioned for yourself.  Or when people don’t do right, you have to be the fixer.  Or if things start to fall apart and go awry, you have to put them together again.

It would be great if you had that support system that you could go to when things got rough or a little complicated.  And sometimes you do.  But you don’t want to be a burden or you don’t want them to worry. It would be better if things never got rough or complicated.  But that’s not realistic.  Life is experiencing the good with the bad and the easy with the difficult.  Sometimes you wonder how long this not so great season will last.

It’s hard being a woman.  It’s even harder being Superwoman.  To have the appearance that nothing phases you, that all your ducks are in a row, that you have everything together is not easy.  But some days you need to cry.  You could be sad or angry or frustrated and you don’t know what to do.  So you cry.  Not hard and not long.  Just enough to get the frustration out. Then you get up, wipe your eyes, put on your big girl panties, and keep it moving.  I’m sure Superwoman cried sometimes, too.

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

Let Me Tell You About Jordan and Michael

In recent weeks, innocent Black people have been killed at the hands of others who had no real provocation to shoot them.  (Think my fellow FAMU Rattler Jonathan Ferrell and Renisha McBride.)  Last November, at a Gate gas station in Jacksonville, FL 17 year-old Jordan Davis was shot by Michael Dunn.

The facts are there were four teenage boys riding in a Dodge Durango and getting gas one Sunday afternoon.  Michael Dunn and his girlfriend pulled up to  the pump next to them.  Dunn asked the boys to turn their music down.  The boys did not oblige.  An argument ensued. Dunn said he saw a gun. Dunn goes to his car, loads his gun, and fires 8 shots into the Durango.  He goes back to his car, drives to his hotel, has dinner, goes to sleep, and drives back to his home in south Florida.  (Dunn was in Jacksonville to attend his son’s wedding.) When he arrives, police are already waiting to arrest him.  Two of those eight shots hit Jordan Davis and killed him.  No one else was hit.

When Dunn was shooting at the teenagers, the driver of the Durango drove away to escape the shots.  He then turned back into the gas station to get help for his friend.  Police searched the area surrounding the station.  No gun, or any type of weapon that resembled a gun, was found around the scene of the crime.  Thanks to the quick thinking of witnesses, one wrote down Michael Dunn’s license plate number; that’s why police were waiting on him when he got home.

Dunn said he was scared and afraid that more “thugs” were coming after him in a second car, and that’s why he fled the scene.  My thinking is, if he was REALLY and TRULY scared, why didn’t he call the police?  He could have easily left the scene, called police, and agreed to meet them somewhere away from the gas station to report what happened.  I just find it hard to believe that if he felt as if he was really defending himself, why did he run?  In my experience, people who run and hide are usually guilty of something.

Michael Dunn’s trial date has been set to start on February 3, 2014.  I truly hope that justice is served for the young Mr. Davis.  I’m writing this because a wrong has been done.  A young life was senselessly and violently taken.  And I’m writing this to make sure you all are aware.  Don’t think for one moment that this does not affect you because you did not know Jordan or you don’t know Michael or you don’t live in Jacksonville.  This affects all of us, because what we don’t realize is that if we do not stand up when wrongs occur, it could give someone else in our own backyard the idea to do the same thing.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

P.S. This is a wonderfully written article regarding this crime.  I hope you all will read it.

I just randomly came across this older post. While I am happy to say I have put some of these tidbits into practice, I could do more. In the hustle and bustle of life, it’s SO easy to neglect ourselves. So make it one of your goals in 2013 to take some time for you. 🙂

Southern Girl in the City

Yes, I realize it’s been almost a week since I’ve written anything.  Honestly, I was tired and really didn’t have too much to share with you guys.  This weekend I attended “Refresh 2011”, which is a conference geared towards the African woman (yes, I know I’m not African), but all women could gain something from attending this event.  I realized (not that I didn’t already know this) that you have to be able to take care of yourself before you can take care of others.  There were a lot of anecdotes I took from this event, and I want to share some of them with you.

  • Be sure to take time for you.  If you don’t take care of yourself how can you take care of the important people in your life?
  • From the organizer, Ekene Ajune, she reminded us that the Bible says “Love your neighbor as thyself”, but…

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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.