Musings of a young black weirdo

Emotional Rollercoaster

Getting over an ex is tough. Especially when you thought you were over that person. You’re just going along with your day, living your life, listening to Pandora, and the when next song comes on, it’s that song. Your song. You hear the intro or the first line, and your mind wanders back to a year (or two or three…) ago, when you were happy with X and you heard this song the first time you kissed. Or on your first date. Or on your anniversary. A part of you wants to turn the song off, but another part of you wants to relive that part of your life for the next 3 minutes and 42 seconds. So you do. Then you spend all day reliving memories and come to the realization that you’re not completely over that person.

Emotional ties are the ties that bind. (I may or may not have just made that quotation up. Sorry if I plagiarized you.) You may have gotten to the point where you can go a whole week or two without thinking about that person at all, but one sound, picture, video, smell (smell is closely tied to memory!), article of clothing, or place can cause allllll those feelings to pop back up. Then you’re stuck with bittersweet memories you would rather forget swimming around your head for the rest of the day. And all you can do is deal with them.

I wish I knew the quickest and easiest way to get over someone. If I did, I would use it myself. *drops mic and walks off stage*

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So this whole Joseph Kony thing has me on [another] change the world kick. [Here’s the video that sparked it all, just in case you haven’t seen it: 

Please support the Invisible Children movement. Child soldiers are real, and they deserve a normal childhood.

Anyways, back to my post. There’s just something inside of me that knows I’m gonna make a difference in the world. I can’t explain it, and I can’t even tell you how I’m gonna do it. But I will. Anyway, I’m jumping on this Kony bandwagon because my generation actually cares about something other than themselves for a change. I’m not sure how long it’s gonna last, so I’m writing a quick post on how to change the world on a college student’s budget:

1. Share your story. You can talk all you want, but if no one can relate to you or finds you vulnerable, you might as well be talking to a brick wall. So whether you’re talking to people older, younger, etc., share your story. The foundation of all change is finding common ground with people.

2.Listen to other people’s stories. Sometimes we’re so caught up in ourselves that we forget to slow down and listen to someone else. Plus, listening to someone could brighten up their day. You never know how one small gesture can affect someone.

3. Volunteer. I don’t care if you’re picking up trash, visiting a nursing home, or building a house. Just get out there. The more you give, the more you receive. Trust me, it’s true. And when you do something for someone else, it will ripple out and affect other people. And eventually, you’ll find something you really love to do, and you’ll do it all the time.

4. Smile! Just like listening to someone’s story can brighten up their day, so can a smile. You never know what anyone’s going through. Maybe your smile will be the first one they have seen in months.

Ok, I hope I made that simple enough. Changing the world is really that easy. You don’t need millions of dollars or a huge army of people with you. You can just do lots of small things, and they add up to be a bunch of big things. After all, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. 🙂

I was talking to my roomie about how people go broke for Spring Break, going places and doing things they can’t afford, and it has me thinking about how people go out of their way to buy/do/get things they don’t have any business buying/doing/getting. If you’re a broke college student (or a broke college grad, or a broke middle-aged person…..), then why on earth would you spend all your residual check/income tax/birthday or Christmas money on clothes, shoes, and stuff you don’t need? Some people genuinely NEED clothes and shoes because theirs are falling apart, but not that many of us fall into that category.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done the same thing. One year, I went to Florida with nothing but some clothes, a credit card, and a dream. I knew good and well that I was broke and could only afford to go on Spring Break because someone was stupid enough to give a broke college student a credit card. Somehow, I convinced myself that I deserved a break (which I’m sure I did), and I needed to experience a “real” Spring Break, so I maxed out my card for the sake of having a good time. I should have convinced myself that I didn’t wanna spend the next 6-8 months (ok, longer than that…) paying off that Spring Break trip. Yeah, that trip was fun, but was it really worth all the headaches the credit card bills caused later on?

The same thing goes for Polo, J’s (yea, I said it!), cars, phones, iPads, tattoos… the list could go on. Sometimes I look at what some people have/wear/do and wonder how they can afford it, but then I remember how the average American owes more than he/she makes, and I realize that what you see isn’t what you get when it comes to money. We spend so much time trying to make ourselves look richer than we are while the people that are actually rich just sit back and think of more ways to convince us that we NEED the newest clothes, shoes, and electronics so that we can be happy. Or at least happy until the next version comes out in 3 months.

Why do we see living within our means as a bad thing? When did obtaining debt in order to create an image become okay? It’s not healthy to constantly compare yourself to other people and aspire to have things others have. You never know how they got those things. Maybe a parent died and left that person a lot of money. Or maybe they had to endure basic training, being moved to three different bases, and being shipped off to Afghanistan just to get enough money to afford that nice car. I’ll take my average things that I can afford over those situations (and others) any day, especially since I FINALLY just paid off my credit card debt. 🙂

Falling in love with love…

Just in case you live under a rock or you’ve never seen a calendar, it’s Valentines Day! Named after St. Valentine, a saint that had nothing to do with naked babies, candy, or secret admirers, Valentine’s Day has turned into a consumer powerhouse for the floral, greeting card, restaurant, and chocolate industries.

I’m kinda neutral about Valentine’s Day. I think it’s ridiculous to go all out to show those you love that you love them only once a year, but I can never be mad about a holiday that celebrates love in all forms. That’s why I don’t understand why some (definitely not all) single people get all sad/bitter every year when this day rolls around. I understand when people are sad about being single. Sometimes it sucks. But I don’t understand why people get mad at happy people in relationships. Like, really? They’re not the reason why you’re single. I’m willing to bet you’re single because you’re bitter.

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella was on last night (the one with Brandy) and it got me thinking about bitter people. Cinderella is obviously a work of fiction, but we can learn a lot about it. Look at the stepsisters. They had a whole song dedicated to how hateful and bitter they are. And where did they end up at the end of the movie? On the other side of the royal gates while Cinderella and the prince lived happily ever after. The girl who had a genuine personality, forgiving spirit, and positive outlook on life is the one that fell in love and ended up better off than she could have ever imagined. Being hateful gets you nowhere in life.

Love doesn’t just mean romantic love. Look around and see your family, friends, pets, etc. and realize how truly loved you are. Some people are abandoned by the ones they love, and some are born into this world alone. Don’t take for granted something not everyone has. Love is all around you. If you choose to ignore that and be bitter and hateful today, then so be it. You don’t deserve the love you do have.

And most importantly, remember to give love. Whatever you give, you will receive tenfold. Spend your time giving love, and you won’t be solely focused on receiving it.

As for me, I’ll be spending Valentine’s Day with people who I truly love and who love me in return. Feliz San Valentin! 😀

Sad>>>Happy

Do you ever notice how we’re supposed to be happy all the time? It seems like everywhere we turn, there are messages (from friends/family, on TV, in magazines, on the internet, etc.) that tell us we’re supposed to be happy all the time. But what’s wrong with being sad? Sure, it’s not a “fun” emotion to have. People that have fun and enjoy life aren’t sad.

Think about it, though. Everyone knows that one person who’s never sad, angry, frustrated, irritated, or “blah” feeling about anything. That one person is always happy and always flashing a HUGE smile. I don’t know about anyone else, but I always wonder what that person’s like when someone eats their last *insert favorite comfort food here* or forgets to call them back. What’s that person like when they get dumped or stressed? Does she (it’s almost always a she) scream into her pillow? Does she just hold it in? How does she release all those negative emotions so that she can be super happy the next time you see her walking to class?

I don’t think it’s healthy to be happy all the time. I just don’t. “Happy” is a good emotion to have, don’t get me wrong, but how do you become happy without being sad? You wouldn’t know what happy was if there wasn’t a complete opposite with which to compare. I actually worry about that one person that’s always happy, because holding all those negative emotions in is unhealthy.

Think of negative emotions like being sick. If you try to hold in sneezes, coughs, and other bodily fluids, you’ll actually do more harm than good. Going to school/work when you’re sick doesn’t help you get any better either. You might get other people sick trying to be productive. When you let everything out and give yourself time to FULLY heal, you’ll emerge from your emotions a stronger person ready to get back to business as usual.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is: it’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to be mad at the world some days, to be stressed out about school/work, or to be irritated because you have 3 boxes of cereal and no milk. Don’t try to hold it in because it doesn’t help anyone. When you get bitten by a snake, you have to suck all the venom out, right?

**Disclaimer: While venting emotions is very healthy, please, PLEASE don’t put all your problems on facebook, twitter, myspace, etc. No one wants to read a constant pity parade. Find a good friend/therapist/1-800 number to confide in. :)**

Today is Alpha Kappa Alpha’s 104th birthday. To some, that may mean nothing. To others, that may mean that light-skinned women have been flipping their long hair for 104 years. However, to the ladies that share this sisterhood with me, the bond we feel every day becomes even stronger every year on January 15th.

Before I became Greek, I thought the phrase “from the outside looking in, you can’t understand it; from the inside looking out, you can’t explain it” was foolish. I thought being Greek was all about stepping, strolling at parties, and being looked up to on campus. Now that I’ve participated in Greek life for almost two years, I know that being a lady of Alpha Kappa Alpha is so much more than that. But it’s almost impossible to explain. I have gained a sisterhood stronger than any friendship, a group of motivated people not only supporting me in every step along the way but also inspiring me to constantly be a better person, and the ability to go anywhere in the country (and a few other countries) and find women with whom I will always share a common bond.

If you’ve ever thought about going Greek, don’t take the decision lightly. I would never take back the decision I made, but I also didn’t take that decision lightly. I know more than a few people who regret the decisions they made and can’t do anything about it. Joining an NPHC organization is a lifetime decision, and if you make the right decision for YOU (not your parents, friends, family members, etc.) then you will reap the benefits of your brotherhood/sisterhood for the rest of your life.

With all that being said, I love my AKA 🙂

Art Imitates Life?

So I’m watching Dance Moms (LOVE this show!) and the episode that’s on now is really interesting to me. I’ve seen it before, but this time, it struck a chord in me. The storyline is that one of the moms whose daughter quit Abby Lee’s studio actually has her own studio. So as Abby Lee’s dancers are getting ready to go to LA for a competition, so are they. The thing is, though, that the other studio’s strategy for winning the competition is based on what Abby Lee and her dancers are doing. She’s basically getting revenge on Abby Lee for playing her daughter to the left.

That’s the backstory. The reason why this got me thinking is because this mom is so determined to get revenge on Abby Lee that she goes out of her way to try to sabotage her. It’s almost comical, but it reeks of desperation and jealousy. I started thinking about life in general and how some people do this even though cameras don’t follow them around. How many times has someone gotten something you wanted (or thought you deserved), and you blamed the other person instead of looking at yourself? When we’re rejected or we lose something (or someone) we wanted, we almost never want to stop and think about how we can improve instead of spending all our time and energy dissecting how the other person won or why they got chosen.

Instead of considering that Abby Lee’s dancers practiced harder, were more flexible, had a natural gift, etc., this woman assumed that Abby Lee was cheating. Instead of training her dancers more or giving them harder dance routines, she looked for a sneaky way to try to win. And in the end, she lost a lot more than just the competition.

My point is that it’s always easy to blame the other person (He got the job because he’s white/a man!**/She got an A because she cheated on the tests! etc.) instead of looking at ourselves and giving the other person the benefit of the doubt. At the end of the day, the other person has nothing to do with why you didn’t get the job, grades, man/woman, shoes, car, etc. that you wanted. It all has to do with you. So next time you get rejected (rejection is inevitable; it happens to everyone), instead of dissecting why the other person got what you wanted, figure out why you didn’t get it and make changes and improvements accordingly.

**Disclaimer: I realize that racism and sexism (and the other -isms) are very real, and I don’t mean to downplay racism as it occurs in everyday life; however, let’s be real here. If a company/school/program won’t pick you because of your race, gender, religion, etc., then it’s probably a poisonous environment in which to work anyways. Consider it a blessing in disguise. 🙂