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Why the Truth matters

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The tagline for this blog is “Life is complicated. The truth isn’t.” I didn’t put much thought into the phrase- it came to me and I went with it. For years, I’ve been known as the kind of person who is honest. This recognition is important to me as honesty is not just a throwaway word- it’s a description of character. I want to be known as a person who lived in their truth. Do I fail from time to time? Absolutely. I think a person would be pretty formidable if they never bent the truth or omitted a few things. I’d also wonder about the quality of their familial and romantic relationships. The cliched “do these jeans make me look fat?” question may be met with an all-too-honest answer. Imagine the hurt feelings!

Jokes aside, when it comes to life and love, I have a hard time not telling the truth. This may be because I don’t speak unless I have something to say. Only in close and personal relationships do I ramble or chat just for the heck of it. Yet even in those interactions, I find it imperative to tell the truth. Not when wanted. Not when I deem it appropriate. I simply tell it. Of course, I’m tactful and choose my words carefully. The truth may hurt but your poor delivery will make it sting. The distiniction is in the intention.

I tell the truth for me and for the person who’s hearing it. It’s obvious why the person should hear the truth but some of you may wonder why it’s beneficial for you to tell the truth. Without getting too fluffy, I’ll keep it pretty simple: When you tell the truth, you are living in truth. When you lie, you are constructing a lie around yourself. Lies are toxic and incredibly fragile. You’ll notice that once one lie is told, you have to keep telling more to support the house that you’ve built out desperation and dishonesty. Depending on who you’re trying to decieve and how smart they are, they may notice the holes in your house of lies. They may point them out. And what will you do? You’ll probably lash out in anger to defend yourself- against a lie YOU told! Isn’t it remarkable how toxic just one tiny little lie can be?

That’s why I make it a point to live in truth to the best of my ability. It’s evident in the quality of my relationships, my work, and my sense of self. Self-love is not possible without knowing yourself first. And the first step to understanding yourself is by telling the truth to yourself- about your likes, dislikes, motivations, etc.

Tell the truth. It matters.

“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We cannot be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”
―Maya Angelou

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For Maya

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Today, as I was going through my morning routine at work, I saw a headline on a news site: Maya Angelou, poet and activist, dead at 86. My throat dried. My eyes welled with tears. I said aloud, “Maya Angelou died?!” My manager responded and continued to work. But I can’t. I’m frozen with a pain akin to losing a loved one. This feeling, while devastating, was quickly followed by confusion. Why do I feel so strongly about a woman who I had never met? Why I am surprised that an 86 year old who had purportedly been ill during the past year passed away?

I realize it’s because Maya’s death, while peaceful by all accouts, is symbolic of a tragic death of an era. And there is no one to take her place.

People wonder why I’m so adamant about the destructive powers of reality television. It’s because of people like Dr. Angelou. When I first read:

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step…

I did not identify with her words. While I certainly was never “built to suit a fashion model’s size” I did not embrace it until years later. I did not understand why this woman would dare be confident despite her self-proclaimed shortcomings. If anything, she should hide away until she lost weight and fixed herself up so that she’d be presentable. This was my thinking.

Media outlets like reality tv and gossip blogs do nothing positive for the Black woman. And I fear that with legends like Dr. Angelou joining our ancestors, no one will be left to remind young girls and boys that they are valued and valuable. But I was reminded. I am grateful.

‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

break ups, friendships, love, relationships, self awareness

It’s not them- it’s you

Let me preface this post by saying that I love and value my friends. They are a core group of people who are honest, trustworthy, and genuine. “Friend” refers to an individual that you trust and love. They’re family that you get to pick. If you don’t feel comfortable saying that about any of your friends, you may want to reevaluate.

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You’ve changed. You’re begrudgingly getting ready for a night out with your old friend and you’d rather do something else. Like anything. You haven’t spoken to ____ lately and every time they do call or text, wanting to hang out, you groan. Of course, you’re not a bad friend. If they ever needed anything, you’d be there. It’s just that you would prefer to do things that require more than a handful of brain cells. The wine + movies + talk about their bad choices is getting old. You don’t even bother to offer your two cents, anymore. What’s the point? Their bad decision-making is a part of them. You’re just actually noticing it, after all these years.

Lately your idea of a great Friday night is doing anything that doesn’t involve their kind of fun.  Now, you’d rather read a book or talk about history and art and science. When you do drag yourself to an outing that you didn’t want to go to in the first place, you regret it almost immediately. The jokes and topics that you once happily took part in now annoy the heck out of you.  If this sounds like you, you’re not alone.

It’s okay to end relationships if you know that they no longer fulfill you spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.

People subscribe to the “best friends forever” mantra as if it were etched into the tablets as the 11th commandment. I don’t think it’s realistic or fair to either party. What I do know is that change is normal and paths diverge. Sometimes you outgrow people or they outgrow you. This leads to wanting, enjoying, and accepting different things in life. And when people differ on those fronts, what kind of relationship do they have? One of convenience or genuine understanding?

What I’ve learned in my twenty-something years on this planet is that wholesome and healthy friendships require people who respect and value each other’s thoughts, feelings, and choices. Notice I didn’t say agree. Friendships don’t mean condoning everything a friend does. In fact, that can be detrimental. But once you lose respect, you are doing a disservice to the other person/s by stringing them along, knowing that they have no place in your life at the moment.

So instead of forcing yourself to be someone’s friend/significant other, try something new. Accept the fact that you’ve changed and adjust accordingly by being honest about it. “It’s not you, it’s me.”

Peace & Love,

Adri

love, marriage, relationships, social media

Kill the Bat Signal

For quite a few us who have lived in the social mediaverse, posts about relationships seem commonplace. Some range from the cryptic yet impending sense of a breakup: “Sometimes you gotta know when enough is ENOUGH” (the caps make it official) to the more obvious: “I wish I never even bothered with him. What a waste of time.” The feelings and emotions behind these posts are real, no doubt, but nothing grinds my gears more than the bat signal. You’ve seen it and if you’re like me, you’ve either scrolled past quickly if it was sent out by someone you hardly knew or you may have rolled your eyes because you *do* know the person.

Bat signal: A virtual post seeking companionship, disguised as frustration with the dating pool.

It looks something like this “I’m gonna start being a jerk because clearly that’s what women want. Women don’t know what to do with a good man.” Or this: “What’s the point of cooking, cleaning, giving my all when no guy appreciates it. All they want are HOES!”

I’m gonna stop here for a moment to address readers who’ve sent out the bat signal. You just found out what I’m talking about and everything in you is ready to close this page. I can’t stop you if you do. But I’d encourage you to read more. I’ve put out the bat signal, so I’m not judging you. I just want you to do better, because after reading this, you’ll know better. Cool? Cool.

So why do folks put out the bat signal? Because they’re lonely, upset, and unable to be real with themselves. They may have been friendzoned for the 10th time or dumped for the 12th time. Their advances may have been denied. The point is, the bat signal is only put out after some sort of rejection. Much like Gotham’s police department, your bat signal is projected as a sign of distress. But that’s where the similarities end. In your world, you’ve had it up to here with the guys/girls you’ve dated or dealt with and instead of reflecting within, you project your frustration outwards, secretly hoping that someone worthy of you will show up.

Throwing virtual tantrums won’t make things better.

Unfortunately for you, your amazing qualities that you’ve undoubtedly enumerated for anyone willing to listen are a dime a dozen. You cook? So does Walter, the local handyman. You have your own car? So does the high school student who works at Target. You have your own place? Lack of ownership never stopped a broke college student living in a dorm. You have a good job? So do your married and committed colleagues. So what’s your problem?

The truth is: it’s not them, it’s you. And that’s okay! You are a human being with strengths, flaws and everything in between. Sometimes we just make bad choices or haven’t taken the time to really think about who we are and what part we play in this dating game. No one is born with a strong sense of self awareness. Everyone starts from somewhere. You just have to make some changes. What those changes are remains between you and yourself. But it starts with putting the blame game to rest and trying something different. Because in your world, Batman isn’t coming. So kill the signal and start thinking about what you can do to make yourself better as a single person.

Peace & Love,

Adri