Horrible Bosses 3: Slight Stockholm

Stockholm syndrome is the physiological tendency of a hostage to bond with, identify with, or sympathize with his or her captor.  I will in no way take away from those who have suffered from this condition.  Please notice the title says “slight.” This is an attempt to draw parallels, not diagnosis or make fun. 

We’ve all seen the movies. (If not, they’re mildly funny so you should check them out.) Bosses, supervisor, or any type of upper management can make a good job depressing, stressful, and dreadful.  Most of us are in at-will states (without binding employment contracts) but we never just leave. There is always something that keeps us there and we accept the bad treatment at our current job.  As a matter of fact you’re probably sitting in a job you truly hate right now but you can’t leave.  Maybe you have applied to several other jobs but haven’t been hired.  Maybe your current job pays better than any other job around.  Maybe you’re on a promotion path. Regardless of all of this you’re still stuck in your current job with your incredibly horrible boss. 

For me, I lied to myself for so long and I blamed those reasons when the truth was, I was stuck out of choice.  I was emotionally attached to my boss. No, we were not in a relationship.  No, we were not related.  In fact, before my first interview with her, I’d never heard of her.  However, within the first six months of working for her I was somehow weirdly attached to her.  I didn’t know it at the time.

When I first started working for her, I was praised for my quick resolve, my people skills, and all of my accomplishments that I made at such a young age.  She relished in the fact that I was in law school and working a tough job at the same time.  She bragged about me to senior leadership.  My official title was intern but I did work as a full time employee and received a decent wage.  Three months in to my internship, she was searching for a full time employee. She hired me.  I was grateful and proud of myself.  At 24, I had my first big girl job with benefits in my chosen field.  I was in my close to dream job and I’d only been an intern three months.  I looked at the job requirements.  Normally, I would have had to have 3-5 years of experience with an advance degree. I had 3 months of experience and I was still working on my advanced degree.  I felt that I had really been blessed.  I remember the saying “Nothing in life comes easy.”  I should have taken that saying to heart.  I wish I had.

The moment I said yes to that job, she changed.  It started small. She would make corrections on my memorandums and reports.  Then it started with meetings in her office where she would tell me I was not reaching my potential or that I was not being assertive.  She’d use curse words when talking to me, but I wrote it off as her natural tongue. Her birthplace is a North-east state that is known for producing rude assholes.  She literally talked that way to everyone.  As the months went by, the in-office meetings and her corrections increased.  I’d never been told I was a bad writer or that I was inadequate.  In fact, before I turn in any professional/collegiate paper, I review it at least 10 times.  I make several revisions and sometimes write the entire report over. You won’t see any of that in this blog because let’s be honest, this is blog.  Anyways, she told me I failed at proofreading and did not take my time on my work.  I began believing her.  I became afraid to turn in reports. I took more time to review them.  Regardless, I didn’t miss due dates.  The closer I got to due dates the more agitated she became. I blamed myself.

Outside of work duties, she encouraged me and praised me. When I got engaged, she was ecstatic.  She would spend hours with me talking about wedding plans and my upcoming graduation from law school. She introduced me to her mom and her son. We started building a friendship.  I remember a few mornings she would have meetings in the state’s capital (an hour away from our location).  On those mornings she would ask me could I take her son to school so she could make those meetings.  I came from a single mother household and I know the struggles of being a working mother. I agreed because I truly thought I was helping.  That’s when the gifts started.  Over the course of my employment she brought me a convection oven, a purse, an amazon echo, she’d given me a $100 check (for my wedding), brought me a few lunches, and a few other little things.  When I graduated from law school she made a huge deal of it.  She planned a small party at work and took me to a fancy restaurant.  At the time, that meant so much to me because I couldn’t do a lot of celebrating for myself.  My graduation and wedding were within in one month of each other.  I was totally focused on the wedding.  She reminded me of my great accomplishment. 

Even with the good, the bad started to weigh heavy.  A year in the job, she was in search of a manager for our department.  I asked why I was not considered for the position and she said I was not qualified and I was not ready.  I was only offered a 2.5% raise.  At first I thought it was true.  I should be grateful for getting the first job; I shouldn’t push my luck with the next one.  I felt all of this until I was made to train my superior.  She was unqualified.  She had no experience and she was not me. I wanted to leave right then and there but I couldn’t.  My husband got a job 10 hours away. I was ready to quit and start job searching in my new state. I’d actually submitted a few applications.  As soon as I told her about the big move, she told me that she couldn’t lose me and offered me a work from home status.  I felt appreciated and needed.  I was in awe.  She took a heavy burden off of my shoulders.  I could move, be with my husband, and still have a job. I accepted.  That was a mistake.

On my first day on a work from home status hell started.  Nothing, I did was right. She complained. She yelled. She corrected me on everything.  She also doubted me and made me doubt myself.  She made me feel untrustworthy.  Every day she made me write a log of my work on an hourly basis.  It had to be detailed with every minute of work, every phone conversation, every email, and every break.  She read it every day.  The days I thought to slack, she would get upset.  I also had to write monthly reports detailing every project I was working on.  These reports were only for her. They never went above her and were for the sole purpose of proving I was actually working.  The more I had to report, the more work she gave me.  I was also responsible for my manager.  If she got something wrong, I was at fault for not training her properly.  If I fixed or corrected her mistakes, I was in trouble for covering for her.  There was no right way.  It was hell for me, but I did not feel the heat until she started mistreating my “manager.” At first I thought my “manager” was not strong enough and needed to toughen up. She looked stressed, she smoked more, and she was losing weight.  She was physically expressing what was building up inside of me. 

I started applying for jobs.  At first the offers didn’t match what I was making while working for her.  Then the jobs didn’t match my career path.  Then some jobs just didn’t hire me.  I felt unwanted.  I felt she was the best I could do.  Six months passed without any job prospects.  Our tumultuous relationship continued.  She continued to deteriorate my confidence in myself, yet I still had some type of affection for her.   I made excuses for her.  Christmas came and she mailed me a gift.  At the same time, my “manager” was depressed.  Eight months went by before I finally found another job. It was one of the happiest moments of my life but I still felt bad for leaving her.  I gave a 30 day notice (I’m only required to give two weeks) to protect her and the work I’d done.  She was in the middle of a HR investigation, and I failed to tell how she truly treated her staff.  I protected her. 

She was never my captor.  In some ways she was an abuser, yet I still feel empathy for her. I still think of her as a friend. I still protect her. I still answer her calls.  She was a horrible boss.

12 Things I Look for in a Man Besides the Basics

I’ve been dating for over 3 years and finally have found someone who has a mutual respect for me. Again this blog isn’t really about him per say but more so the qualities that are important to me. Here is a list of 12 things that through my journey of dating I realize I wanted/needed in a partner besides the basics (honesty, truth worthy, attractive, funny, makes me a priority etc).

  1. He needs to not be broke and have a decent job. Preferably one that has benefits, vacation days, health insurance, sick time. Etc. Not if he misses a day of work he’s not going to get paid. I know some men out there may not have this but listen…you need to look for one if you don’t. Paid vacation and sick days are life! Not only a job but that allows him to support himself but also a a family. Now he doesn’t need to make 6 figures or anything but if you decide that you want me as your wife and want me to have kids that I’m still on the fence about than I need to know that you’re capable of supporting us if I lose my job. I can struggle by myself. I prefer to do it alone with no kids or husband. If we didn’t get married straight out of high school or establish a relationship in college when we’re both broke, your chances of dating me now that I’m a grown ass woman on my own with my own shit are slim to fucking none. I ain’t saying I’m a gold digger…I just don’t really want a broke n****. Now listen…listen listen before yall start judging me and shit…I know some people may fall down on their luck but best believe I’ll step in a pick up the pieces. However, homeboy better brush off those dusty knees and find something else. I’ll be there to cheer him on. Do I sound shallow? Maybe! #shrugs. But I’ve witness first hand what it looks like for a sista to step in, take care of the family while her man lacks a skill set that would afford him a decent job
  2. He needs to know the value of money. I’m cheap so its okay if he’s not a cheap as me. What’s not okay is if he’s constantly having to borrow money or having to have new Js when they come out and be broke until he get paid again. He should know the concept of a budget and on most occasions, stick to it. He’ll also need to hold me accountable for my bad spending habits.
  3. He needs to have good credit. Okay there are some exceptions to this rule but not many. If he came from one of those households and his mama caught hold to his SSN and put a few bills in his name, give him the opportunity to dispute them and get them removed. Also if he got caught up in the crash of the market in 2009 (which really no one in my generation did because we were all too young to buy a house) and lost his house to a foreclosure than that’s a valid excuse. Simply even falling on hard times and working to rebuild his credit is also a valid excuse. He just needs to be working to rebuild it. However, there are just some people out there who just do stupid shit and has bad credit because of it. They’re also comfortable with having bad credit. They have small shit in collections and won’t pay them off and blames “the man” for why he can’t get approved for nothing. These are the types you need to watch out for. You know what you can get with bad credit?! NOTHING or something with a high ass interest rate and a ridiculous deposit.
  4. My Godfather always told me this. “Find a man that’s handy or can afford to have it fix”. This is no joke! I’m pretty handy and can fix a few basic things. However if you’re in a cohabitating relationship and something breaks and he can’t fix what’s broken and doesn’t have the God given sense to google a local plumber or handyman…why are yall living together?! You got bad credit and you can’t fix nothing. Great!
  5. He needs to be a solver. I can’t be with someone who is always looking to me for a solution. I’m not the handyman. If something breaks in our relationship…don’t always look to me to fix it by myself. Team work makes the dream work.
  6. He needs to have more than potential. FUCK potential. He needs to be a doer and a shaker. He can potentially be anything in the world he wants to be but until I see that he’s making moves to obtain those goals to reach his potential then his potential doesn’t mean much to me.
  7. He needs to be good in bed, open to new ideas and willing to learn what I like. I’m not about to try to build shit with someone who is stubborn in the bedroom and has lousy dick. NO! I’m in the best years of my life and I plan on having a good healthy sex life until I can’t. Also fuck that shit about the motion of the ocean and the size of the boat. SIZE MATTERS. It’s not gonna matter how much the ocean is moving. His moves could be that of a hurricane and if the boat too small…EPIC FUCKING FAILURE!
  8. He needs to feed me. I enjoy cooking so I’ll date a man that can’t cook. I love food too much to sit around and eat food that he’s attempted to cook and it taste like garbage. If he can’t cook then he needs to be one hell of a takeout orderer. His menu reading and restaurant picking skills needs to be on point! Hell I’ll settle for him picking us a plate up from his mama house if she local! I just need him to have dinner when I don’t have the time or desire to cook
  9. He needs to be a fully functioning adult. He needs to know how to clean up, feed himself by means of cooking or take out, wash clothes, fold them, etc. Be able to pay bills on time. You know, do all the shit adults do.
  10. He needs to have the desire to travel and see the world. I’m not talking about us going to the beach. I mean us hopping our asses on a plane and flying somewhere. He needs a passport! We got places to see and adventures to go on. I refuse to be with a man who doesn’t want to travel.
  11. He has to respect my independency. Point. Blank. Period. They’ll be plenty of opportunities for us to depend on one another. Probably every single day but just like most men need to feel independent…so do I! Its what I’m good at.
  12. He needs to like dogs. I’ve had my dog since literally my freshman year in high school. She’s been there through the toughest times of my life. She’s almost 11. At this point we’re a package deal. He has to like my dog and my dog has to like him. If he doesn’t like her than he should pretend that he does or just keep it to himself. I mean she not going anywhere soooo…

Am I Losing My Black Card?

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For those of you who do not know, a Black Card is what Black America uses to judge my authenticity.  A Black Card is given at birth because of the color of your skin and can only be taken away by Black America.  Every black baby gets a card after the doc smacks them on the ass.   I say Black America because other darker skinned individuals who are considered black but have TRUE origin from another country are not born with black cards.  For some reason, we Black Americans do not consider them one of us.  Weird, I know but I did not write the rules.  Before I go deeper into the subject I want to clarify a feeling I have—please read this carefully.  The views in this blog are MY VIEWS and they do not represent the views of all of Black America.  I prefer being called Black American (although I’m nowhere near close to that shade).  I choose this title because I am not African American. I was not born in Africa and naturalized in America.  I’ve never even been to Africa.  For all of you “woke” Black Americans DO NOT talk about my roots.  I’m sure my roots have just as much African heritage as they do Native American, English, Irish, etc.  So please stfu and let me live.  I physically look black. Or at least I don’t look white.  White people don’t look white either.  More pink than white.  Anyways, I digress.  The purpose of this sidebar was to tell you why I use Black America instead of African America.  In America’s eyes, I’m black.  In my eyes I’m American but I can’t be called that so I choose Black American. FYI I love being black!

I totally went on a rant.  Back to the Black Card.  As I was saying a Black Card is given to a black baby at birth.  As you grow older you are supposed to like/dislike certain things.  I’ll talk about 5 of them.

 

Number 1: FOOD

As a Black American you MUST like fried chicken, collards, chitlins, macaroni and cheese, sweet potato pie, hot sauce (Texas Pete), Kool-Aid,  and etc. I like most of these things at Thanksgiving or occasionally. Don’t get me wrong, I love fried chicken and collards, but they are not a part of my weekly diet.   Eating these things in your weekly diet will kill you.  I’ve been doing a constant tango between being a vegan and eating meat.  Mainly because I want to live without high blood pressure and diabetes. (Top killers of black people.) Any who, I RARELY EVER FRY CHICKEN.  I hate the smell and the popping.  I ALSO HATE CHITLINS.  They are nasty ass pig intestines. I get a side eye at every family gathering when I bypass the chitlins.

Number 2: MUSIC

Black Americans are supposed to like R&B, Hip-Hop, Soul, and occasionally disco if you spent time with your grandparents who were still shaking their assess in the 70s. For me, I will say I enjoy most of black music but not all.  I love old school 90’s hip-hop and R&B.  I also like rock, country, and pop music. I am in love with Pink and Lukas Graham.

I can’t get on board with today’s hip-hop.  I literally look up the words to the songs, not to sing along, but to understand what the fuck the artist is saying.  They desperately need translators. Just imagine the interviewer during the Migos interview at the BET awards.  His face when one of the group members ( I don’t know his name) was talking was priceless.  That is me every time one of their songs comes on.  Like bruh what the fuck did you just say?

Black America may hate me for this because I’m dissing my own but I do not see talent in today’s hip-hop artists.  I see easy to like people who dress in bad fashion.  Little kids are their main supporters.  They don’t need real words in their music. Just beats that kids can dab to.

Number 3: MOVIES AND TV

Black Americans are supposed to like black movies, or as I call them Blackbusters.  As a black person, it is a law that you consider the following sitcoms classics and have a DVD collection of them: Good Times, What’s Happenings, The Jefferson’s, Sanford and Son, Living Single, Fresh Prince of Bel- Air, and Martin. Of course, there are others.   Actually, you could just get a TV One cable subscription and be happy.  For me, I hate Sanford and Sons and the Jefferson’s (although the theme song was sung at my wedding). I will admit that I will buy a DVD collection of Living Single, but I’ll also buy a DVD collection of Friends, Beverly Hills 90210 (the original, not that new shit), New Girl, Game of Thrones, Heartland, and Dallas.  DON’T JUDGE ME. I like some black shows too but I don’t just watch black shows.  As far as Blackbusters they usually suck or have the exact same story line over and over.  A lot of them are different variations of Soul Food and Boyz in Da Hood. (I have to give credit. Those are actually my husbands words but I feel the same way!). These movies speak to family drama, living in the hood, cheating husbands, etc.  In my opinion, the actors usually over act and the cameras have bad settings. Some Blackbusters are awesome! Some are just poorly made. Especially the ones on TV One.  It’s like watching a Lifetime movie or a Soap Opera. I must be in the mood before I attempt a Blackbuster.

 

Number 4: JARGON

A black person’s jargon is usually mixed with up to date colloquialisms.  I promise we get a memo every month with the latest infamous catchphrase and we vote on which to retire.  I think this year “Bye Felicia” will be voted off the island.  I full heartedly approve that notion. I don’t use catchphrases a lot.  I usually get tired of them quickly because they’re quickly overused.   They get on my nerves.  They are like broken records.  These phrases remind me of the Family Guy episode when Peter sang “The Bird is the Word.” I think what really pisses me off about them is the fact that the ones using it usually do not capitalize on them.  As soon as a “Bye Felicia” is made famous, a smart white kid copyrights the phrase and puts it on merchandise.  That person makes a lot of money and listens out for the next best thing.  It sucks. We can’t be mad at the Kylie and Kendall Jenners of the world for being culture vultures if we don’t choose to protect our own crafts.  Just saying.

Number 5: GENERAL DISLIKES

Black people have certain inherent fears: water, snakes, white people, dogs, snow, and water.  Notice I said water twice.  It’s true a lot of black people cannot swim and have a legit fear of water.  In addition, black women do not have “water hair.”  If we jump into a pool of water (beach or pool—it doesn’t matter), our natural hair will dry into a puff ball. So, if we plan to be in water at any time we almost always have braids or weave.  It’s a protector.  If you see a black woman without one of those two, DO NOT THROW HER IN WATER.  DO NOT SPRAY HER WITH A WATER GUN.  DO NOT THROW A WATER BALLOON. As a matter of fact, avoid her hair at all costs.  Okay, I can agree that most of these things in this paragraph I hold true and dear.  I’m highly afraid of snakes and deep snow but I’m more adventurous.  Also, I totally 100% agree, do not come near my hair. However, I like water sports.  I’ve rowed.  I have gone white water rafting.  I swam in the ocean with turtles.  (FYI I can’t swim. I did all of this with a life jacket.)  Also, I live in a snow bound area of America. It’s literally the whitest place in America. A good portion (not just one token) of my friends are white. My God children are white. I love white people. I embrace them.

If you’re wondering if there are other things that are considered black, the answer is yes. A few of the other things are the less flattering things of black culture that are exploited to make us look like demons or sex craved animals.  You know big dick Black Men.  Big booty Black Women.  Acceptance of absentee fathers. Acceptance of imprisoned Black Men.  Ghettos. Hoods. Guns. Gangs.  These are the things and images White America created, and that we accepted to be our fate and culture.  These things are not always bad.  It’s the way they are chosen to be seen.

As I get older, my Black Card is slowly getting closer to the shredder.  I’m sure in my family’s eyes, I’m in the sunken place. (Watch Get Out.  I’m not going to explain that place.)  Now that you know me, you can see that I’m eclectic.  I like anything that’s interesting, regardless of the color of the cast, creator, or artist. In my mind that makes me well-rounded.  However, my family won’t watch tv with me.  They won’t listen to my music.  They won’t eat my food unless its fried or loaded with cheese.  They call me a white girl.  They say I do white people shit or that I need black friends.  In their eyes and others, I have been a little white washed.  But why? Why is my blackness determined by my likes? Why can it not be determined by what I do as a black woman? Black America we’re holding ourselves back.

Serial Dating Woes

So this is my second attempted at writing this blog because somehow the first one got deleted. ANNOYING!!! Anyway its been awhile since I posted but over those last 2 months so much has happen. Some good and some bad. Some good I’ll share with you today!

For the past 3.5 years I’ve been single. I’ve pretty much have become a serial online dater.  I tried Match, POF, Tinder, Soul Swipe, OkCupid, Bumble, and Coffee Meets Bagel. You name it and I probably have a profile on it! Online dating SUCKS. Free meals and drinks are great though. After 3.5 years of serial dating I’m finally off the market. I met this guy on POF and we hit it off. But that’s not really what this blog is about. I’ll save that for another blog. If it lasts he’ll get his own special blog about how much I adore him and shit. This blog is about the journey of online dating and dating in general and how much it really does suck.

Online dating gave me access to a wide range of weirdos I mean people that I wouldn’t normally encounter on a regular basis (because they’re fucking weird and I tend to avoid weirdos). Dating after college is so different while dating in college. Online dating wasn’t really that cool when I was in college. I also had a bf for 2 years while in college so there really wasn’t a reason for me to. After graduating and moving to a new city and breaking up with my ex, online dating seem like the way to go. BOY OH Boy! I wish I started blogging sooner about the crazies I encountered via the World Wide Web of Lies so that we could have gone on this journey together.

Dating is hard. Every time you meet someone new you go on a date, you have a great time, there’s chemistry and then you find out they’re either crazy or lying about what they looking for in regards to a relationship (just sex). After the 54,984,288 first dates and 32,596, 987 second dates, 3475, third dates and literally 1 fourth, and 1 fifth-tenth date (current relationship), trying to get to know these individuals are a pain in the ass! Its the same damn speech. How are you, what do you do, do you have any kids, and after assuming that someone wasn’t ya know in a relationship I had to start asking questions like “are you married, do you have a girl friend, a fiance, a girlfriend, what about a friend with benefits, and even is there a stranger that you just fuck from time to time?” My patience began to run thin. Damn. Like I literally can’t make some of this shit up.

There was the guy that did multilevel marketing that “you should be here” crap where you get paid to vacation. Boy quit his job and everything to do this. He tried on several occasions to get me to join as well. The thought never crossed my mind. Who the hell can survive off of vacationing. I’m 23 years old with my own house! Whose going to pay my mortgage! Anywho that ended when he texted me and said that he was in a relationship but we could still be friends. FUCKKKKK THAT! Aint no friendship bih. Not to mention he left his “you should be here” account up on my computer…let me tell you how much money he wasn’t making. Not enough to pay my light bill!

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Let me move on to Mr. Levert (We’ll just call him this for kicks and giggles). Mr. Levert was the reason why I had to start asking about all significant and insignificant others. I actually didn’t met him online…I met him out one night but whatever, it goes along with how dating sucks. Anyway he approached me and 2 days later we went out. We had such a good time. There was chemistry, we were attracted to each other…blah blah blah. Long story short after doing some PI work I found out that he was engaged to be married. WTF! This SOB was living a double damn life. Oh don’t worry. I got something for that ass. I’ll be the woman he’ll never forget. 🙂

Most recently right before I met my boyfriend I met this guy online and strangely enough I can’t remember his name. We’ll call him SkinnyJeans. He liked to wear them and they were always extra skinny. Is that a thing? Extra skinny jeans? It literally looked like he had to shimmy in and out of them and lay on the bed with his stomach tucked in to button them. WHERE DID HE HIDE HIS PENIS?! Anywho…I should’ve known better by going out with this fool. SOOOO many red flags in the beginning. One. I don’t date men with kids. I’m still on the fence about having my own so I damn sure don’t want to play stepmama to someone else’s child and he had a daughter. Initially he didn’t even mention a daughter but after some PI work I found out he had a daughter and was on child support. Sign 2, I got a text from his number from a crazy female pretending to be him talking about how he had a girlfriend and he couldn’t talk to me anymore blah blah blah.. Some real basic bitch shit. Not that should’ve been enough to keep me away for good but noooo I gave his ass a chance anyway after explaining that his crazy ex had sent the message and they were over. Okay lets fast forward a few weeks. I’m driving home from being out of town and I get a series of text messages and some phone calls from his number. One phone call was of a couple having “sex” and literally all I heard was moaning, groaning, a headboard shaking, and a woman screaming out Mr. SkinnyPants’ name. I literally had just hung up the phone with him. So that had to be the quickest round of foreplay ever! SOOOO he had a real crazy bitch on his hands. Homegirl even asked where I stayed because she was pretending to be him. Let a bitch roll up to my house. Fuck all that women empowerment shit that I wrote about in my Afro blog. I would’ve went from 0-100 real quick! Needless to say I called him, cursed him out and told him to lose my name, number, and what I even looked like. I don’t have time to be fighting some random chick over a dude I don’t even like because she mad that he stole her skinny jeans to come out on a date with me!

See I told yall I couldn’t make this stuff up. I just can’t.

A month later I met my current boyfriend and he really took things to a new level. He was NORMAL. WTF. Who sent you?! You mean you’re not crazy? Now don’t get me wrong he has his quirks but I can live with them. We did the usual first date and a day later we had a second date, then a third, a fourth, and I stopped counting after ten. That never has happened before. EVER! I’ve never had a problem meeting guys who were successful in their careers or didn’t have kids my only problem was finding someone not fucking weird. He comes along being all normal and shit and I’m suspicious! Dating had totally screwed me up! Not to mention he didn’t have any social media he was active on or had at all. How did he expect me to play PI without any social media accounts?! I NEEDED TO INVESTIGATE. You mean I got to TRUST you?! Who got time for that?! Like I gotta trust you and shit and wait until the lies that you say reveal themselves after I’m in knee deep? Yeah nobody ain’t got time for that! LOL.

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I realize I had my own insecurities to deal with. I had to learn how to trust again and be okay with not being a private investigator. It’s been hard. I’m not even going to lie about that. However that’s not his problem. His job isn’t to assure me that he’s being faithful and not lying because of my own insecurities due to past experiences. Not his problem and I’m not making them his. As time has passed its gotten a lot easier. Now I’ve hadn’t been going into full panic/anxiety attacks or nothing but it’s definitely has been a learning experience.  One that I’m glad I get to experience and I get to experience them with him.

How I Paid off 30k of Debt in 3 Years Making 35k a Year. SIKE!!!

Don’t you just love seeing those articles! They give you a brief moment of hope that you too will be able to do the same and then the unimaginable happens…you read the article and you realize that these people circumstances are totally unlike your own! Let’s face it, there is no way you’re going to pay off that much debt bringing home around the same amount salary wise and still be able to live. These articles that you read, the person has either moved back in with their parents where they allow them to live rent, utility and grocery free or they move into this baby apartment with roommates and pay like $300-400 a month on rent. THIS IS NOT ME and it probably isn’t you either! I have a home. I have a car payment. I have other real bills! Trust and believe that I don’t live above my means but I am I trying to sell my car and take the bus to use that money toward my debt? HELL No! Why? Because our transit system isn’t that great! I don’t live in a city like New York where public transportation is bomb and a car isn’t a necessity.  So no, I’m not going to inconvenience myself by taking 3 buses and 2 hours out of my day to go 12 miles to get to and from work. I’m also not trying to move back home with my mama! Why? Because I’m a grown ass woman who doesn’t need her mother all up in her business asking who, when, where, and why. Not to mention she lives 2 states away.

In no way am I saying don’t conquer your debt but don’t try to live up to the hype of these special case people. Do what you can to make paying off your debt realistic and achievable. For example, I’m currently in grad school and my loans are in in forbearance so I make payments to go toward the interest. Also another thing that I did after I purchased my home was that I refinanced my car dropping the interest rate from 11% (bought my car right after graduating with no cosigner or real credit) to 3.99% and good God it has made such a difference! My payment lowered but I continue making monthly payments as if it hadn’t paying more toward the principal balance every month. #Winning! Also don’t be afraid to ask for financial help. We don’t wake up one morning and become finance gurus. You don’t want anyone to know your business or how much you suck with managing money? Welp then stay broke and stay in debt! Getting out of debt and managing money is one of those constant struggles but if you remain consistent and put in the necessary work you’ll see those numbers go down. Try starting small and accomplish one debt at a time so that it doesn’t seem overwhelming.

Recently I discovered the debt calculator. It definitely makes figuring out your debt easy and tells you what and how much to pay. Just enter your info and it does all the hard work for you! I’ve listed the link below. The website also has other features that I haven’t explored yet but this debt calculator seems to be legit! Once you’ve tried it out for yourself please comment so that others can see the experiences that you’ve had and whether it worked for you! Happy undebting!

https://undebt.it/debt-snowball-calculator.php

They Didn’t Make Me, They Won’t Break Me

After dealing with the bullshit over and over again, you get to a point where you’re like, “Fuck this shit, for real.”  I think I’m getting closer to the edge. I’m so tired of working every day for 8 hours with people I don’t like.

On one end, you got people at work who are just naturally irritating.  They’re not trying to be annoying, it’s just in their DNA.  For example, I work with this girl who really wants everyone to like her, but every time you speak with this hoe, she talks about herself.  Also, everything is a competition.  She does everything better than everybody. So girl be like, “You think you had the worst lunch, I had the worst lunch ever!” Stop talking to me.

Then, you have your biased, racist, micro aggressors. You know, the ones who are always concerned about why your hairstyles keep changing and they’re always trying to act like they ‘down with the clique’ when they come around you.

Either way, I just don’t have the energy to interact with these folks everyday anymore.

So what do I do now…

I go search for another job, but in the back of my mind I’m like but what if I go there and it’s the same damn thing. And it’s not easy to get a job.  You have to first get your application pulled… then an interview… maybe a second interview…then you wait for them to accept you.  Then, you have to get acclimated to the environment and the culture…go through orientation and training.

Just the thought of all of this is exhausting.

 

So why don’t I just work for my damn self.

Well the issue is that I need to maintain this job security and benefits. I have to maintain this lifestyle and be a responsible adult by taking care of my obligations. Starting my own business will take time to get established.

But I can’t continue to work at a place that takes away the best parts of me like my happiness, my time, my soul and my positive spirit.  I can’t stay at a job that has me constantly questioning my competence, intelligence, and ability to think on a higher and creative level.  I HAVE DEGREES!

On a positive and introspective note…

I think it’s hard to see the lessons in the struggle when you’re going through the storm. However, I truly believe that with every difficult situation, in due time, there is a lesson.  Through the struggle I will gain more wisdom and I look forward to that.  I am strong, brave, and resilient.

The Real Struggle

Struggling with religion? Confused on church lessons? Do you go to a church because it’s expected of you? Or do you go because you actually want to go? The only people who are not struggling with religion are those one verse people. You know, the ones who quote their favorite verse of the bible because it fits their lifestyle “at the time.” Or those people who listen to the glorified stories of the Bible. I’m a truth seeker and I don’t need the glorification. I had enough of that learning slavery in grade school. If you’re a pious Christian, which I highly doubt you are, and you are offended, here are some of my favorite Bible stories with my interpretation. Have fun J.

1) Ruth: I’ve heard a lot of people say I want a love story like Ruth and Boaz. Look further. Naomi had two sons. Oprah and Ruth married her sons. Naomi’s sons died. Oprah got the fuck out after her husband died. Ruth stayed with Naomi. Naomi was too old to have more children. She needed a son and someone to buy her land. She knew Ruth caught Boaz’ eye. She instructed Ruth on how to seal the deal with Boaz. Boaz marries Ruth and has a son. Naomi takes the son. Sounds like a pimp-baby scheme that was well played by Naomi. I don’t hear a love story.

2) Noah’s Ark: As a kid, you heard that Noah gathered two animals of every kind and put them on the ark. There were no other people on this ark. Why? Because as punishment the rest of them died for being sinful and denying God. Noah was only one person. How did we re-populate after this natural disaster? Hmm…gotcha thinking doesn’t it? Evolu..haha. You take your guess.

3) Moses: Okay we all know that Moses saved the people from the Pharaoh. “Let my people go.” After death and lotus, Pharaoh finally listened. Yeah okay, so after all that Moses took the people on this long ass journey to many lands. As expected the people became weary, hungry, and sometimes delusional. They started worshiping figures. God threatened their lives several times and Moses came to their defense until he couldn’t anymore. If it weren’t for Moses, God would be done with the human population. Moses saved us. Would animals have religion? Just curious. They may be better at it than us.

Now that you know how my mind works let’s talk about the real challenge of finding a church that fits my way of thinking. This year, as a challenge, I am attempting to read the entire Bible by December 31, 2017. I’ve gotten enlightened but it’s made my search for a church home so freaking hard. I know that most people do not see the Bible in the way that I do or sometimes they are afraid to let their imaginations run. Religion gets stuck into this social construction box where the priest/preacher/reverend/elder, whatever the fuck you want to call them, is the architect. (Please take your pick on the title. I’ve never understood the differences in the titles and to be honest I don’t care to learn. ) Anyways, we give so much deference to these men (I say men because traditionally they are men). These men, not the Bible, tell us how to live. For instance, some churches require women to wear skirts (long skirts), closed toed shoes, and headpieces. Women are also not allowed to have piercings. I’ve found in other churches that women are not even allowed to preach. (Isn’t it amazing that all of these restrictions are on women.) Maybe I have not gotten to that part of the Bible yet but I have not read any of these rules. From my knowledge, there were 10 commandments and a few abominations. I don’t remember these other rules but these are the rules that make religion hard. They aren’t faith based. They are personal preferences of a man. I don’t want a church that tells me how to live life and how to dress. I want a church that challenges me to be a better person by teaching me how to understand life and cope with the crazy disasters (Trump) of the world. I want to learn to co-exist with other religions. I want to learn to accept all people as they are: gay, straight, and/or bisexual. If God accepts them as they are, why can’t I?
Let’s be clear. I understand the tone of this blog seems kind of harsh. I believe in God. I believe there is only one God (he just has multiple names). I believe in heaven and hell. I believe in God’s law. I want to be the best child of God that I can be. I just want the truth to be taught a in a place I choose to worship.

Kids, Time, Studies, Time, Portions…

Portion.

When you portion something you divide it up. You allocate time slots for certain things and neatly plan your day out. I used to be really good at this. During college, I took big-weekly-plannerorganic chemistry and each week I planned out 12 hours of study time writing it all down in my agenda.  I stuck to that schedule come hell or high water (The high water was a real possibility as the city was below sea level).

Now, I’m a PhD. student and a mom. I’m still trying to portion things like time, books I read for pleasure, the amount of Nutella I ingest on an average day, etc. But these days it’s pretty fucking impossible to stick to a schedule. As soon as I have a plan of attack laid out, a kid gets sick, or my dog eats a toy car and needs to be rushed to the emergency vet, or I’m exhausted because the baby was up all night.

This isn’t to say that I’m not productive anymore because I am. I just can’t pre-portion my time. I’ve learned to be more flexible. There’s no point in writing out a study/work schedule in a planner anymore unless I plan on erasing and rewriting it at least 15 times. Although, I would really like to make one of those really pretty planners….maybe that’s in my future.

Daily Prompts

Stop Hating on the Fro

Dear Relaxed Hair Sistas,

Let’s call a truce. My natural hair sisters promises to stop bashing your relax hair if you stop bashing us and we stand in solidarity together. Recently there have been tons of young girls in the media at private schools targeted because of their natural hair. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE. Whether we chose to wear our hair chemically straighten, in locs, weaved or natural we have to stand up for one another and let these young women know that they’re beautiful. I chose to wear my hair natural. It’s the way it grows out of my head. I also chose to wear weaves when my natural hair becomes too much of a pain to deal with it which is majority of the time. However I decide to wear my hair it does not give anyone the chance to dictate what is appropriate.

Earlier this month 17 year old Jenesis Johnson attending North Florida Christian School in Tallahassee, FL was told that she needed to “style” her hair because it was distracting. Jenesis wears her hair…exactly how it grows out of her head. Jenesis goes to school crowned in an Afro serving all kinds of black girl magic and somehow the school deems it as distracting? Which is distracting? The afro or all of her black girl magic that I’m sure is swirling around? Did she leave a trail of fairy dust that blinded some folks to the point that they can no longer see the beauty of her afro or was her magic just to overwhelming for such simple beings that it caused them to lose their minds and create this witch hunt. According to the handbook of this private Christian school (but is it really since they are bashing her hair that reflects wool. Sounds familiar?) it reads “no faddish or extreme hairstyles, and hair should be neat and clean at all times. The administration will make the decision on any questionable styles.” Let’s be clear…there is nothing faddish about my natural hair (its here to stay), and naturally it grows outward and not down which isn’t extreme if that is how it looks in its natural state. People won’t let us be great! This child sits at the back of her class so that she won’t be considered a distraction! How ridiculous is that!? Whether she sits at the back or outside of the classroom sadly her blackness will never live up to the ideal of whiteness that this school has set. So Jenesis has 2 options. She can succumb to the standards of beauty that has been set by a white administration or she can “simply” leave after this school term is over and they will refund her money. How generous of them! Crush this kid’s self-esteem and then give her an option to look like her white counterparts because her blackness isn’t appropriate OR take her and her money elsewhere…Both statements clearly says she’s not wanted as she is but if she has to be there than she needs to try to assimilate as much as possible down to the follicles of her hair.

I say all of this to say is at the end of the day we need to uplift one another because there are literally people out there that are tearing us down. If they don’t target us directly by skin color they’ll use tactics that indirectly only just target us! Obviously no policy can say “no black people allowed” but there are damn sure ones in place that only affects us that they pretend could go for other ethnicities. Well yeah they could but do they?! So I suggest we stick our wands in the air, twirl them around and use our black girl magic to dissemble those type of policies with help from our nonblack counterparts. Yall in or what?!

Sincerely,

Tate

PS. Please don’t waste your time nor energy commenting with shit like “Rules are rules”, “if she don’t want to follow the rules she can leave” “policies are put in place to protect us”. The clap back will be too real!

Friend Break-Ups and Make-Ups

In high school, I remember this group of girls that were ALWAYS friends one week and not the next. I’m not about that life. If we cool, then we’re friends before, during, and after the disagreements or petty fallouts. And I’m not talking about the friend breakups we all know are coming where one friend is just a really shitty person and you’re carrying the weight of the friendship. The kind of break I’m talking about is the one that you didn’t really see coming, but it’s so deep of an issue that the break is unavoidable. I think these disagreements and fallouts are much less frequent as you grow and mature, but that doesn’t mean friend breakups don’t happen anymore. Sometimes they’re just less dramatic. You’re not really friends anymore but you also aren’t enemies. You’re civil but not close. These are the most common types of friend breakups post-college and perhaps, the easiest to deal with.
Recently, I’ve dealt with two pretty major friend breakups. Like the kind where I’m probably never speaking to this person again. Each breakup played out differently with the first happening after giving birth to my second daughter and the second sometime during the heat of the 2016 presidential campaigning. So here’s some backstory:

Recently, I’ve dealt with two pretty major friend breakups. Like the kind where I’m probably never speaking to this person again. Each breakup played out differently with the first happening after giving birth to my second daughter and the second sometime during the heat of the 2016 presidential campaigning. So here’s some backstory:

6 months or so after giving birth to my daughter, a close friend was getting married. While planning her wedding she asked me to be her matron of honor because her first choice friend was graduating from PA school that weekend. Now listen, some people might feel some type of way about being the second choice and about the friend just telling you that shit, BUT I did not at the time (I do now but my feelibridezillangs are directly related to how I was treated during and after the wedding). Okay, so girl asks me to be MOH. I agree but remind her that I’ll have a very young infant during the pre-wedding plans (showers and bachelorette party), I’ll be breastfeeding this infant and managing my then 3-year-old. Oh also, I’ll be wrapping up my master’s thesis and graduating. Another fun fact is that I live hours away from her and the wedding venue. I’m candid about ALL of this. And she assures me that she’s fine with how this might play out. During this time I’m also in Kye and Avery’s weddings so they can attest to my willingness to, despite all the shit I have going on, be supportive of the bride on her big day. OKAY. Ya’ll I’m still mad about all of this.

A lot of shit goes down including this ex-friend having the wedding party order $150 dresses from China (Awful fucking idea…never do this) that end up not fitting anyone and just being poorly made altogether. So then we have to rush order dresses from a bridal shop so that’s another $100+ expense. During all of this, I keep my mouth shut because let’s face it I can be a bit aggressive about my opinions. Not only do I spend a fortune on dresses I’ll never wear again or can’t even wear the first time, but I also have to pay for a hotel and arrange childcare. All of which would be fine if this girl wasn’t being extra with so many other things. Let me give you a list of the demands.

  1. Let’s all go to Miami for a weekend for the “joint” bachelor and bachelorette party.
  2. Please be at the venue to help set up at 8:30 that morning
  3. The rehearsal dinner starts at 4 on a Friday afternoon.
  4. Everyone needs to get hair and makeup done by the same person. It’ll be $125.

My internal responses to all of these demands

  1. Miami? For a weekend? Miami is 12 hours from you and 8 from me. Who goes to fucking Miami for a two-day weekend? Joint bachelor- bachelorette party….ew. You said the house on SOUTH BEACH would be how much money per person???
  2. Okay, I’ll be there at 8:30 but I gotta leave to breastfeed my kid at some point before the ceremony OR is there somewhere I can pump and store my liquid gold.
  3. Uhhhh that’s kind of early for a rehearsal dinner and we live 7 hours away…not sure if we will make it.
  4. Bitch, I did not pay $125 for my hair and makeup at my own damn wedding. This too much.

My actual responses were much more toned down and reasonable but DAMN.

annoyed

All this played out with her ignoring me during the wedding, putting me as MOH as the VERY last bridesmaid and then ghosting me after the wedding by deleting me on all social media. I also need to point out that me and my husband were the only people there on time to help set up that morning and my man stayed afterward to help her elderly parents clean up when the groom’s whole fucking able-bodied family peaced out. SO yeah. I’m still mad.

But this friend breakup is directly tied to my kids and my role as a mom. Sometimes parents get painted as bad friends but that’s a two-way street. So, pro-tip people, nobody will put your wedding over breastfeeding their children or your lame ass bachelorette party over completing the master’s degree they’ve worked on for 2 years. #sorrynotsorry.

My second friend breakup has been a lot less dramatic, but a lot more painful. I’ve been friends with this guy since elementary school but as we grew up the way we see the world has changed dramatically. He’s your average middle-class white male and he occupies that bubble to the fullest extent. He’s very Republican. I’m very not. We’ve always been able to have lively discussions about politics in the past and while our stances on political issues didn’t line up I always believed our fundamental values were one in the same, but during the recent presidential election I saw the truth of the matter when he snap chatted me a picture of a MAGA sign in his front yard.

I turned 18 the September before the first Obama election. I voted for Obama twice and I believe he has been and will be remembered as the greatest president of my time, but not everyone believes that and that’s cool. But if you voted for Trump, we can’t be friends. Not because you voted for a Republican…not because you didn’t vote for Hillary. I have friends that I have the utmost respect for that chose not to vote for Hillary and I understand that. But voting for Trump and his administration tells me one really important thing about your fundamental values: You won’t stand against racism and sexism and the injustices that stem from those beliefs.

make racists afraid again

I think about our friendship. I never confronted him. I just cut off contact and he knows it. He’s texted me and maybe one day I’ll have the energy to reach out to him and tell him why we can’t be friends but right now I’m too distraught that a person I thought I knew has always been a stranger, and a stranger that supports the very things I’m standing and speaking out against every day.