Sunday, December 23, 2018

Lessons Learned the Hard Way, Part III

Happy (almost) Christmas. Here is the continuation of the "41 Golden Rules..." 

Lesson 21: Do something scary. Listen: I have moved (three times) to different cities where I had no family. And let me tell you something: I *made* that work. Nashville, Chicago and Lansing, Michigan. I made friends, I got jobs and I made a life. And I do not regret it for a moment. 

Lesson 22: Don't let fraternity boys take you out for your 21st birthday. Baby, just know that I am looking out for your best interests with this. And extra advice: if someone offers you a "three wisemen" shot, just say no and walk out that bitch. Your stomach lining will thank you... You are welcome. 

Lesson 23: Listen. Really listen. Do not offer advice. Do not respond. Just be there and listen. Somebody needs it. Trust me. 

Lesson 24: YOUR dreams should come first. Never doubt that-- you were given an idea FOR A REASON. Make those dreams a reality. 

Lesson 25: Send handwritten, sincere notes. Etiquette 101 never fails you. 

Lesson 26: People CAN change, but you can't MAKE them. Your best bet is to walk away before things get REALLY bad... and meet back up when that person regains their senses. 

Lesson 27: Be kind. Self explanatory.

Lesson 28: Don't overstay your welcome. On stage, at a sleepover or at a job.

Lesson 29: Your friends are not EXACTLY like you... and that is ok. 

Lesson 30: Do what you love... or (honestly) what you can stand at the moment. Life is not always going to be rosy. Sometimes you are going to hate your job. Sometimes you will want to punch your relatives. Don't do it. Maintain some positive energy because the one thing about them tables... they always turn. 

Last 11 coming up right before the New Year!  

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Black Girl Magic, Part II

More lessons learned during this roller coaster ride called life. For the first 10, check out last week's article.

Lesson 11: For everything, there is a season. Listen: you are going to lose some folks along the way. Everybody's finish line is different. Some of your "Day 1" friends won't make it to year 41. 

Lesson 12: Learn how to PROPERLY apply makeup. Y'all. Stop being in these streets looking like you are always on your way to a Halloween party. When folks tell you that "less is more" they mean it. I mean it. Instagram filters can't hide a heavy hand. 

Lesson 13: Eat your veggies. Find (at least) five different vegetables that you like. Eat them, thank me later.

Lesson 14: Shout/Argue. Listen, I know that it is frowned upon, but really it is about presentation. I argue ALL the time. Now, every argument isn't a shouting match... but I never leave folks with any question about where we stand. I am VERY capable of getting my point across, and there *may* be yelling/curse words or there *may* be an even scarier tactic taken (that smooth, calm voice right before the volcano erupts). In any case, say that you mean and mean what you say.

Lesson 15: Have a signature drink. More important than you think. This is what your college years are for! Experiment with all sorts of alcohol on your 21st birthday and the couple of months following it. Learn where your breaking point is... and stay away from it when you are out and about- like on a first date... or networking. No one likes a drunk in public. Or a puker. Know those limits!

Lesson 16: Don't hang out with dicks. Momma Hot, Black and Bitter told me a million years ago: you are known by the company that you keep. You are. Choose accordingly. 

Lesson 17: Plans made at 16 might not be life at 41. Woooo- MESSAGE. At 41 I am not doing what I thought I would be doing. At the age of 16 I would have never thought that I would be back in my hometown, that I would be married, that I would have a kid. None of this was on my radar, but that is the best thing about life-- it is full of unknowns, twists and turns, punches to the face... and fantastic surprises.

Lesson 18: Drink Water. Do it, especially after a long night of trying to figure out your alcohol tolerance levels. You're welcome. 

Lesson 19: Believe the bad behavior. We all have seen some signs of bad behavior from people in our lives. We have "friends" who throw chi in our face when shit gets tough; folks who don't cheer when we are winning; assholes who allow other people to talk shit about us, etc. There had been plenty of times where I have heard "you know, I don't usually do X,Y,Z, but..." Yes you do. When you see the warning signs, start to pan your exit from toxic ass people. 

Lesson 20: Take a Social Media timeout. Seriously, once a month. It can be 4 hours, a day, a week, whatever. Do it to prove to yourself that you can. Take a nap, read a book, get a massage, watch reality tv... just don't check Facebook/Twitter/Snapchat or (the ultimate time suck) Pinterest. 

Damn, I am old as shit... I still have 21 more lesson to go! LOL 

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Black Girl, Overjoyed: Part One

Just over one month ago I had a birthday. (Truthfully these fucking birthdays seem to be getting closer and closer together-- I'm not ready.) So, for over a month I have been bringing crass and sass to 41 like no one's business. I mean, I have been rocking it, but some things that have happened in the last couple of weeks has made me want to count my blessings, so to speak. I started thinking about life lessons that I have learned over these 41 years of eating, breathing and living on this planet. Some lessons have been learned the hard way-- several times over-- because I am a hard headed asshole (eh, know thy self, right?). Some lessons are just common sense (but the vast majority of folks have dismissed common sense, so... they still might be helpful.) All of these lessons have shaped me as a person, and I am excited to share them over the next few weeks.  

So 41 years on this Earth, (at least) 41 lessons learned, right? Let's get into it. 

Lesson 1: Coffee is the best drug. No, really. Before law school I never touched the stuff. During pregnancy I couldn't drink it... but now every day needs that hot concoction to be great. Don't leave home un-caffeinated. 

Lesson 2: Be the friend that YOU once needed. I pride myself on being a good friend. Like, I am ride or die. If we are cool, you are family and I will do anything I can to help you out. I think one reason I am like that is because, at a couple times in my life, I have needed some ride or die friends. Folks who didn't ask any questions but just came to my aid. I carry that with me every day and I am determined to be that for someone else. 

Lesson 3: Travel. Extensively and as often as possible. Pretty self explanatory. 

Lesson 4: Have a signature fragrance. Do it.

Lesson 5: There is no such thing as peer pressure. Doesn't exist. If I don't want to do something, I am not going to do it. Period. 

Lesson 6: Tip well. Don't be a cheap bastard. I firmly believe that EVERYONE should have to wait tables once in their life. That shit is humbling... and it is legit HARD WORK. So if your bill is $75 and you leave five bucks on the table, we can not be seen together in public ever again. Don't be an asshole. 

Lesson 7: Find a quality esthetician and follow her to the ends of the Earth. Seriously, if she moves to a salon all the way across town FOLLOW HER. She will help you get your life (and those eyebrows) together. Ok?

Lesson 8: Not everything belongs on social media. Back in my day (in my old lady voice) we didn't have social media. When I was a teenager there was no Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and we certainly didn't pose for the 'Gram. So the idea that my private issues would not make the rounds on social media. I love social media... but it does not run all facets of my life. And all facets of my life do NOT make it onto social media. 

Lesson 9: Don't slurp. Seriously, it is fucking gross and low rent. Eat with your mouth closed. No one wants to experience your food like that.

Lesson 10: Read. Continuously. Everything. 

More to come, 

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