Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

i’m digging: twenties

twenties

twenties

Ok so I know it’s only the pilot but I am in love with Twenties.  Lena Waithe, of Dear White People fame, created Twenties because she felt it was a universal story and because she needed to tell it.   While networks love the script and premise of the show; they don’t think there is an audience for Twenties.  Now we have to prove them wrong.  Lena’s call to action is simple, share Twenties with twenty of your friends.  I have already raved about this show on my facebook and my twitter but this feels like a better way to do it.  I mean, we can’t let Tyler Perry be the only voice of Black people, and especially Black women. Ugh, can we really handle more The Haves and The Haves Nots? shudders.

Although many people have been calling Twenties a “Black Girls”, I think it’s more than that.  Sure they are twenty somethings struggling in a city, but Hattie is no Hannah and that’s a good thing.  Some of my friends have said the characters are annoying, but to me that makes them endearing.  The tampon vs. pads scene was something I have seen played out many times in real life.  I wasn’t in love with the down low angle but I do know that’s a fear many women have while dating.  I love all these familiar situations finally being shown on a screen.  These aren’t your typical Black girl characters.  But what I loved most about Twenties was the way the show dealt with Hattie’s sexuality.  She’s not the gay friend, she’s the friend who having problems with her ex, who happens to be a girl.   It’s not a big deal.  But it was hit home in Hattie’s breakdown that she was in love with an emotionally damaged straight girl. (Nope, that couldn’t have been a vlog from one of my own exes.)

So check it out and let me know what you think.

 

Thank you Lena, I really hope someone picks up this series soon because I need much, much more twenties in my life.

e.

first steps and lessons learned

 

topthetop

Last Sunday, we climbed to the top. I’m not going to say that it was easy. I’m not sure that I want to say that it was fun. I climbed the stairs with three old friends and one new one. Towards the end, they literally held my hands and helped me up the stairs. They stayed positive and friendly through 66 flights of stairs. They cheered me up 1215 steps. They took breaks with me when I couldn’t catch my breath. They smiled the entire way. They made it happen. The climb was the win I’ve so desperately been needing.

I learned two life lessons from this experience: one that I was supposed to already know but didn’t until now and one that I keep forgetting but life keeps placing awesome people in my life to remind me.

During the two weeks before the climb, I was feeling really low about who hadn’t donated or volunteered to climb. I had expectations that friends that I had had forever, people that I talk to all the time, would be the ones to step up and make it happen.  And instead, friends that I hadn’t spoken to in months, in some cases years, were stepping up the plate.  People that I had only heard of before were donating money and leaving nice notes.  People that I had only “met” on the internet were coming to climb stairs with me in real life.  And despite how amazing that sounds (and feels to type) for weeks I was stuck feeling sad about who wasn’t giving.  To be honest, it still hurts a bit.  But it was wrong of me to let a little bit of negativity outshine all the love and support that was being showered on me. It’s embarrassing to think about it now. It’s very easy to focus on the negative and I’m thankful for my patient friends who allowed me to vent, offered some solutions, but ultimately told me to snap out of it and to not let this ruin an incredible opportunity.  You can’t let negativity suck all the shine of awesome experiences.

The other lesson is so simple, it’s funny.  It’s that you get what you ask for.  In the beginning I was hoping just to raise the $250 necessary to be eligible to climb.  But in the end, I raised over $2000.  I made a cowl for my brother for Christmas and people said they wanted one too.  I decided to use the proceeds from them to donate to the climb, I raised over $50 in proceeds to donate to.  I’ve never liked asking for help.  I dreaded asking for donations.  And while I can’t say that I love it or even like it, I’m humbled to know that if I just ask for it, people will be there to give it.  And that feels pretty good.

The preparation for climb had been such a difference experience than I was expecting. Initially,  I didn’t have much of a reaction to the climb.  It was something I was going to do, and it involved me doing something I really didn’t want to do.  I felt like jerk emailing everyone I knew to ask for money.  But I’ve been forcing myself to do things that scared me, so I looked at fundraising as an opportunity to work through my fear – to do something even though it scared me.  And so I did it.

Then there was the climb itself.  Although I’m  not in the best shape of my life, I was pretty confident I would get to the top.  I wasn’t sure how long it was going to take, but I knew I could get up there.  It was only in talking to people who weren’t doing the climb, that I started to doubt myself.  People wanted to calculate how long it would take.  In my practice runs, I was doing 40 flights in 20 minutes.  But somehow, in these talks with other people, I was convinced that it would take me over an hour to do 66 flights.  I began to panic.  What if I couldn’t make it to the top?  (Self-doubt is so lame.)  But as usual my friends talked me down.  My friends helped me up too. We did all 66 flights in 23 minutes.  Anna thought we probably could have gone faster.  Crazy, huh?  In the end, my breathing was the biggest problems.  My legs could have easily done the climb faster, but I just could not catch my breath.

When we finally got to the top, I thought I might cry.  My emotions surprised me.  I did something very difficult.  I did it with friends.  I finished something.  As I said earlier, the week before the climb was a disaster.  A comedy of errors.  There were lots of tears.  I remember crying over drinks that I just needed one win.  Just one victory to show me that it was going to be ok.  I got that on the top of the rock.  I got my first step back on track.

e.

What Am I Waiting For: A Modern Day Fairy Tale

I have this friend at school, let’s call her B. B is easily one of the smartest kids in my PhD program and is super nice. And she was a total bookworm, putting school over relationships. Last year I consoled her through her first major relationship, which basically meant I kept assuring her what she felt was normal and ok. I’m ok with that because most of the time, what you are feeling is totally fine. Anyway, relationship with first guy ended and she had conflicting feelings about it which she felt terrible about. I listened and told her what she felt was normal and ok and that made her really happy.

Anyway, B and her boo break up. She’s fine with it, we both continue to work on our PhDs. Then one day B comes in my office and tells me she’s met someone and she likes him. He’s also a student but in a different school within our university – actually in religion, which is totally not B’s thing. She also tells me he has a history (read: marriage and a kid). I clutch my pearls, I mean, this would be her second major relationship. But she’s so happy, which makes me so happy. She says “It feels right,” and I smiled. I mean, what would I have said anyway, she was so happy. I keep my doubts to myself.

A few weeks later and her boo is in my office.  Official introductions are made even though we both heard of each other already.  He’s cool, I approve, we joke about baking cookies.

Fast forward a few weeks, and B walks in and announces she is going to marry her new man. I laugh and say “ok.” But the look in face tells me it’s more than an empty assertion, she is going to marry him. “In September.” Uhm, that’s like two months away, but hey, who am I to tell her what to do with her life? They’ve talked it over. She admits that yes, it sounds crazy, which comforts me because at least she gets why I’m giving her the crazy eye s.

She tells me of plans to bring him to meet her parents and how she will meet his parents in the upcoming months. Everything is moving right along. After visiting her parents, they decide to postpone the wedding until December. And even though December is still way within a calendar year of them meeting, this seems much more realistic.  She’s still really happy, there are no problems in love land. I think to myself, this never happens in real life.

Another few weeks and she’s met his mother. Her mother and his mother get along, she loves the family, all is great in the world. She announces that she’s getting married next Tuesday, they’re back on the original time line. In fact, they’ve already filled out the first part of their marriage license paper work. They are ready to go.

I ask what happened, why the change? And her response was so simple, “What am I waiting for?”

In fact, most of the time when we talk about him, she often asked “What am I waiting for?” And I started thinking about my own life. I’ve been mulling around with an idea to write a book but procrastinating on that. At that point, I clearly wasn’t writing the paper that I needed to be writing. I kept putting everything off because I felt like I needed to wait for something (I still have no idea of what I’m waiting on most of the time), but I had to ask myself, what in the world was I waiting for?

I couldn’t think of a good answer, so I got going on what I wanted to to do. Started the book, finished the paper. And it felt good.  And it feels good.

B got married to her boo that next Tuesday. I saw her that Thursday, she was talking to my boss about a paper they were writing together, I couldn’t help but noticed how relaxed she was. I couldn’t contain my excitement and was trying to be cool because I didn’t know who she told, but I busted in and interrupted their meeting.

“So did you do it?”
“Do what?”
“You know, what you said you were going to do on Tuesday?”
“What did I do on Tuesday?”
“Fool, did you get married?!”
“Oh yeah. I got married! (to me) I got married! (to my boss, who just laughed because this scene is now totally ridiculous).

So B got married, I finally turned in my paper (and passed my class, praise baby Jesus) and I’m working on the book, which I’m sure you’ll hear a lot about this year. And we all lived happily every after.

peace,
e.

The Good Old Days: Brownappella

So sometime in late 2003, Smith had an karayoke guy come and record us singing.  The following foolishness ensued:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

enjoy,
e.

“I’m not here to make friends”

for real? Is this requisite line of every black chick on reality shows?

Last night I watched the premiere of Real Chance of Love.  Yes, the show is as terrible as its title and horrendous wardrobe.  Who dresses theses guys?!

But please slip me the number of real’s hair dresser because I WISH my hair had that shine.

At any rate, the show is basically Flavor of Love (my fav) but with two clowns and too many angry women.  The black women were so angry.  The white women were so “color blind.”  The show was absolutely ridiculous but one part struck me, the mandatory “I’m not here for friends” line that somehow turned into a really huge fight.  It went like this.

White woman: We should be buddies.
Black woman: I’m not here for friends.
White woman: Ok *walks away*
Black woman immediately starts talking shit to other women about how the White women wanted to be friends.  She threw in the “She’s here for the wrong thing, she’s not real” line and the others giggle.
White women: *over hearing this (because of course the Black woman was extra loud)* Are you talking about me?
Black woman (yelling): YES! I AM NOT HERE FOR FRIENDS!

Uhm, what in the world?   Don’t believe me, watch it here. That was annoying.  What was more disturbing to hear it in real life in my office yesterday.  Someone was in my office and we were talking about the drama that is grad school and she told me she didn’t have any friends at school.  She then named three women who are acquaintances and was really proud of her self.

“I’m not here for friends,” she said as she leaned back in here, a proud smile pasted on her face. [editor's note: edited b/c it was causing drama in my real life]

Ladies, lemme break something down for you.  You need friends. You need friends at school, you need friends at work,  you need friends in your life.  I know this macho “I don’t need friends” bs makes you feel like you’re an independent woman, but for real, you sound foolish.

Why do you need friends? Well besides the fact that friends are awesome, they can benefit you.  You can study with your friends at school.  Friends at work can help you with your projects, they can keep you from putting your foot in your mouth at meetings.  Friends at both can support you when people start acting crazy (it’s inevitable).  I love friends.

If the friends at work and school aren’t awesome, perhaps you aren’t choosing them wisely.  The office gossip, probably not the one you should be a bff with.  The loud mouth who’s always playing people in class, while funny, is not the one that you want to share your insecurities with.

Choose wisely and please make some friends.

peace,
e.

crossposted at SASSY