All posts by Super Nerdy Church Girl

About Super Nerdy Church Girl

I am an author of Christian Romance novels. My debut novel, "Ruth's Awakening: A Love Story is available on Amazon and Kindle. I love living, learning and laughing. I would rather have a great experience than a new purse or shoes. Let's grow in Christ together.

I’ll Name This Short Story Later – Parts 1-4

Part 1 – A Cup of Nostalgia

Brenda was dutiful in all she performed. Church, work, friend, she could always be counted on to show up smiling and performing. She was exhausted. She carried her groceries, bags, disappointments, alone. She knew her routine and awaited the applause. On queue, she pulled up to Starbucks, ordered her caramel macchiato, and sat at the table in the corner by the posted flyers.

“Martin Johnson,” she read the name aloud as if announcing him before an anticipatory crowd. She hadn’t seen him in over 10 years. Hmm, I guess New York was a bust. Here she sat on a regular Tuesday morning and Martin Johnson should appear, unveiled on a poster board flyer. It read, ‘Book signing March 4th, 2020.’

Part 2 – The Friends

“Brenda, Brenda, Brenda. It’s been 10 years already. Let it go. Let it go,” Carmen began to imitate Elsa from the Frozen movie.

“I don’t see anything wrong in going to the book signing. I would simply be celebrating a friend’s success.”

“Friends? Friends communicate. You guys had a bad fight, broke up, and haven’t spoken or seen each other in 10 years. Besides, what would you even say.”

“Hi?”

“Girl, forget that. And forget him. Let’s go to Portia’s birthday dinner tomorrow. I know it’s a workday but that will get you into celebrating the now and not reminiscing about the past.”

“Wow, when did you become so deep?”

“I’ve been watching Iyanla. Plus, I need a ride.”

“I really wanted to attend.”

“And, I really need a ride. My car is in the shop. I took an Uber to work.”

“Fine,” Brenda relented.

“Okay, see ya tomorrow.”

“Bye.”

Part 3 – Portia’s Perfectly Petty Party

Portia has a lot of teeth, Brenda thought. And she smiles as if she needs to show them all, even the molars. She looks great though, Brenda added to her silent discourse to prove to herself that she wasn’t a hater.

“Heeyy, Bren Bren. Heeyy Carmen. Glad y’all could make it.”

“Wouldn’t miss it,” Carmen added.

“Happiest of birthdays, Portia,” Brenda chimed.

“Y’all come sit next to me.”

They sat at the head of the extended table that was draped in a shiny black and gold covering. Portia introduced each person seated but Brenda never remembered names on first intro. So, she smiled and said hello to the strangers she would soon forget.  She sat enduring more small talk, food, and beverages.

Her Fitbit showed 7:23 pm. She could eat and mingle and be out by 8:00 pm and maybe make the book signing by before the 8:30 end time. Shoot, she forgot she had to drop off Carmen. It was an evening event at Brew’s Coffee and Books. Sometimes the poetry slams held there lasted past 9:00 pm. Maybe she had time.

“You got somewhere to be? Somewhere more important than my birthday party.”

“No, Portia. You are truly the most important person in the world to me at this moment.”

“Ooh, the sarcasm, the shade, on such a happy occasion.”

“Don’t mind her. She’s trying to go see Martin Johnson,” Carmen drawled.

Portia laughed with her teeth.

“Ol’ Marty Mar. How is he doing? You used to love you some Martin Johnson.”

“I don’t know. Haven’t seen or spoken to him in years. He moved to New York when he got that screenwriting internship.”

“Translation, when y’all broke up,” Carmen interjected.

“There was more to our relationship than a break-up story.”

“Well, no one wants to hear it.”

“I do. And it’s my birthday.”

“I do remember it all. The highs and the lows. But, in the midst of that tumultuous relationship existed a little sphere of perfection. Sometimes, I find myself staring into that ball and imagining a future, a perfect one that exists only of the highs.”

“It’s an illusion. Get over it,” Carmen interjected.

“Maybe you should get a ride home with Portia,” Brenda snapped back.

“Fine. I will.”

“Happy Birthday,” everyone shouted as the hostess brought out the cake.

There goes those teeth again.

Part 4 – Déjà vu.

It was the summer of 2010, a drought. Forty days and no rain. Brenda was sweating bullets underneath her dress standing next to the stage at Brews, Coffee, and Books. She had finally worked up the courage to read a piece. She had chosen Midnight Moon.

“Next to the stage, we have a newbie, Brenda Jones. Let’s show her some love.”

Finger snaps filled the room. Brenda stood in front of the microphone, hands at her sides, eyes on the floor.

“This piece is called, Midnight Moon.

Juxtaposed against the inky midnight

He greeted me with a crescent smile

I awaited his fullness

I awaited his return

I waited. Because.

I wanted something beautiful

I wanted something whole

Like the full moon.

I mapped its phases

Watched it grow

Until the fullness of

All that is light

Greeted me, hello.

 

She looked into the crowd and saw his smile. He stood and raised his hand as a conductor raises his baton and began to snap. A chorus of snaps followed.

She sat down and exhaled. She had finally done it. A shadow fell across her table. She looked up to see him, dark light midnight.

‘Hello.”

Short Story Part #4

Déjà vu.

It was the summer of 2010, a drought. Forty days and no rain. Brenda was sweating bullets underneath her dress standing next to the stage at Brews, Coffee, and Books. She had finally worked up the courage to read a piece. She had chosen Midnight Moon.

“Next to the stage, we have a newbie, Brenda Jones. Let’s show her some love.”

Finger snaps filled the room.

Brenda stood in front of the microphone, hands at her sides, eyes on the floor.

“This piece is called, Midnight Moon.

 

Juxtaposed against the inky midnight

He greeted me with a crescent smile

I waited for his fullness

I waited for his return

I waited.

Because.

I wanted something beautiful

I wanted something whole

Like the full moon.

I mapped its phases

Watched it grow

Until the fullness of

All that is light

Greeted me, hello.”

She looked into the crowd and saw his smile. He stood and raised his hand as a conductor raises his baton and began to snap. A chorus of snaps followed.

She sat down and exhaled. She had finally done it. A shadow fell across her table. She looked up to see him, dark like midnight.

‘Hello.”

Awaken My Love

I used to awaken in the middle of the night, turn on the TV praying that the sound would not wake my mother and watch old black and white films. It would not matter the title. I discovered a fondness for musicals, Ginger Rodgers and Fred Astaire. I became enamored by the love story. I imagined such a life of beauty, love, and music. I became engrossed in the story until I would fall asleep or the national anthem would start playing.

Funny thing, I never saw anyone like myself in those stories. There were African American movies and characters but they were in the throws of struggle, poverty, or slaves. Where were the brown girl love stories? It was a question I put on the shelf in my young mind and went about life being a kid. As a preteen, I discovered Zora Neale Hurston stories. Their Eyes Were Watching God centered around black love before it was a hashtag. I craved more.

If I were this hungry to see women like myself fall in love, surely there were others. Mahatma Gandhi and, later, Barack Obama said that you need to be the change you want to see. So, I became a writer. I wrote Ruth’s Awakening: A Love Story to illustrate a young black woman’s journey to love. Ironically, I have had non-black women and men write me or tell me how much they relate to the story. Love is truly our universal language.

As I write the sequel, I have to remind myself to remember the love. The desire for it, the euphoria in it, the hope of it and transmute that on the page.

Take the journey with me.

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Short Story Part #3

Portia has a lot of teeth, Brenda thought. And she smiled as if she needed to show them all, even the molars. She looks great though, Brenda added to her silent discourse to prove to herself that she wasn’t a hater.

“Heeyy, Bren Bren. Heeyy Carmen. Glad y’all could make it.”

“Wouldn’t miss it,” Carmen added.

“Happiest of birthdays, Portia,” Brenda chimed.

“Y’all come sit next to me.”

They sat at the head of the extended table that was draped in a shiny black and gold covering. Portia introduced each person seated but Brenda never remembered names on first intro. So, she smiled and said hello to the strangers she would soon forget. She sat enduring more small talk, food, and beverages.

Her Fitbit showed 7:23 pm. She could eat and mingle and be out by 8:00 pm and maybe make the book signing by before the 8:30 end time. Shoot, she forgot she had to drop off Carmen. It was an evening event at Brew’s Coffee and Books. Sometimes the poetry slams held there lasted past 9:00 pm. Maybe she had time.

“You got somewhere to be? Somewhere more important than my birthday party.”

“No, Portia. You are truly the most important person in the world to me at this moment.”

“Ooh, the sarcasm, the shade, on such a happy occasion.”

“Don’t mind her. She’s trying to go see Martin Johnson,” Carmen drawled.

Portia laughed with her teeth.

“Ol’ Marty Mar. How is he doing? You used to love you some Martin Johnson.”

“I don’t know. Haven’t seen or spoken to him in years. He moved to New York when he got that screenwriting internship.”

“Translation, when y’all broke up,” Carmen interjected.

“There was more to our relationship than a break-up story.”

“Well, no one wants to hear it.”

“I do. And it’s my birthday.”

“I do remember it all. The highs and the lows. But, in the midst of that tumultuous relationship existed a little sphere of perfection. Sometimes, I find myself staring into that ball and imagining a future, a perfect one that exists only of the highs.”

“It’s an illusion. Get over it,” Carmen interjected.

“Maybe you should get a ride home with Portia,” Brenda snapped back.

“Fine. I will.”

“Happy Birthday,” everyone shouted as the hostess brought out the cake.

There goes those teeth again.

What About Your Friends

I heard Desmond Tutu state that we need other people to be fully human.

“None of us comes into the world fully formed. We would not know how to think, or walk, or speak, or behave as human beings unless we learned it from other human beings. We need other human beings in order to be human. I am because other people are. A person is entitled to a stable community life, and the first of these communities is the family.” Source

I extend that to friends. We need them. We need community. I’m sorry but Vicki Winans was wrong when she sand, “As long as I got King Jesus, I don’t need nobody else.”

On the surface, that may seem correct. A relationship with Jesus is the most important one you will ever have. However, is it the only one you need? Let’s delve a little further into the lyrics.

“I’ve been lied on, cheated, talked about, mistreated
I’ve been used, scorned, talked about sore as bone
I’ve been up, down, almost to the ground.”

Now this sounds like emotional trauma. That is a danger of becoming close to someone. They have the proximity to hurt you. The opposite is also true. Letting someone know the real you can be a mutual enjoyable relationship. Great conversation, a safe place to vent, someone to cheer you on when you doubt yourself. Friendship has its benefits.

The bible has many verses on the value of friendship.

A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for a time of adversity. Proverbs 17:17

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. Eccl. 4:9-10

I never really noticed this part of the verse until writing this post. ” . . . because they have a good return for their labor.” We work so hard to accomplish things solo when we could achieve exponentially more working together. 

There are people who prefer solitude. There is scientific evidence that loners become overstimulated in social situations or in crowds. I postulate something different. Individuals thrive in authentic community. Past experiences with betrayal or disappointment can sour someone on the idea of friendship.  Solitude in this instance is a trauma response. I believe this is why social media is so popular. It allows people to connect while simultaneously maintaining distance.

” . . . there seems to be a cap on the number of friends a person’s brain can handle, and it takes actual social interaction (not virtual) to keep up these friendships. So feeling like you’re being social by being on Facebook doesn’t work. Since loneliness is linked to myriad health and mental health problems (including early death), getting real social support is important. Virtual friend time doesn’t have the therapeutic effect as time with real friends.” Source

Herein lies the rub. Friendship takes effort. You have to care about another’s well-being. You have to call them. Make plans for lunch or to workout together. Each friend serves a different role in your life and that is okay. Not every friend is someone you can call at 3:00 am when you are in a crisis, but maybe you have one that is. Not every friend is a spiritually-rooted, prayer warrior, but if you have one that is, you are blessed.

Make the effort. Say hello. Share a bit of yourself. Make a friend.

F Your Feelings

Excuse the title but I needed to grab your attention. Spin it on its axis and point it back toward your goals. You said you would work out 4 days a week but you do not feel like it, you are tired. You said would stop eating junk food but you are stressed and snacking helps you cope. You said you would not go back to your ex but you are lonely. You said, you promised, and you did not because – your feelings.

Feelings are conscious expressions of your emotional state. This emotional state can be conscious or unconscious. For example, you can ‘feel’ sad, annoyed, despondent. These feelings are the result of a ‘depressed’ emotion. You may or may not be aware of your depressed state. It may take the assistance of a therapist to point this out to you but you are conscious of your feelings of sadness, annoyance, and despondency.

Feelings are tricky. Other stimuli can trigger feelings unrelated to your true emotional state. Dehydration causes thirst that can be mistakenly felt as hunger. You can overreact to a stimulus because of your own emotional state. You may feel afraid of someone in an elevator due to you never feeling protected or safe alone.

This is why you can never trust your feelings. You need something else to gauge and aid in what you need to do.

For if our thoughts are erroneous, or based on false assumptions, the feelings tied to these thoughts are bound to be equally distorted—and hardly to be trusted. Source

Enters the word. Words are very powerful, especially, written down. Here’s a tip. For the month of March, make a schedule. Type it up and print it out. Stick to it, regardless of how you ‘feel’.

Drop a comment, like, and share this post to help someone who could use this information.
newyears.

Ari Lennox and Teyana Taylor Are Beautiful Women Not Rottweilers

I was happily scrolling through social media when I noticed Teyana as a trending topic. I am a fan of her music so I click the hashtag. To my dismay, she was not trending because a new song or dope video had dropped. Teyana Taylor and fellow singer Ari Lennox were trending topics due to the viral tweet below:

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Colorism, Featurism, and the Black Woman

I never understood or really got colorism. I was never called light-skinned until college when I became very aware of an invisible line of demarcation, separation, and mistrust between black women based on skin shade. I have grown to learn more about colorism and featurism via novels by Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, my own study minoring in African American Studies, articles, and YouTube testimonials based on lived experiences.

Merriam-Webster defines Colorism as:

prejudice or discrimination especially within a racial or ethnic group favoring people with lighter skin over those with darker skin. Source

For a quick cultural reference, see Spike Lee’s School Daze. There is a musical dance battle between the light-skinned ‘Wannabes” and dark-skinned ‘Jiggaboos’ that highlights the tension between black women who fall into those perceived categories. The idea is that women who are ‘light-skinned’ are seen as more desirable by men, specifically black men in this case, than darker skinned women.

There seems to a subcateogry of colorism called featurism. As noted by writer Nia Hernandez,

The official definition of featurism is “A form of architectural design based around certain accentuated features”. In other context, society accepting or preferring certain features over others (i.e. European features over African features). Source

In the case of Ari Lennox, she has previously responded to criticism of her nose or wide nostrils. Teyana Taylor has received similar critique of her facial features. If we are to keep it real, a lot of the ‘you so ugly’ jokes center around facial features that are more afrocentric or our misconception of what is afrocentric. (Africa is a huge continent of over a billion people in over 50 countries. African Americans are the decedents of enslaved Africans who mainly came from the African West Coast countries.) We typically associate wide noses, textured hair, and dark skin as African features and all of the negative ideas that have been linked to that. ‘Beautiful’ black women are those whose features align more with perceived eurocentric standards of beauty; slim noses, lighter skin, softer textured hair.

When a Joke is Not Just a Joke:

There is a  malignant  history of race-based pseudoscience associating black people to animals  which metastasized into racist eugenics ideology. The idea that black people are animalistic or subhuman affects their treatment by others in society  in many areas, such as, politics, education, healthcare, law enforcement.

I believe the ease at which other black people make these types of jokes is rooted in ignorance. Comparing a black woman to a rottweiler dog is not funny; it is also not benign. Clearly the young man making the comment and the many who cosigned his statement through likes and retweets have not heard of the Human Zoo built by King Leopold of Belgium to showcase the Congolese people to Europeans. This display only highlights the actual reign of terror and genocide inflicted by Belgium on the nation of Congo.

Funny yet? 

Comparing these two young talented women to a dog associated with being dangerous and aggressive is associating their aesthetic with danger and aggressiveness.  These are the same stereotypes surrounding unarmed black men who are shot and killed at  7 times the rate of unarmed non-black males. We cannot become complicit in our own dehumanization. There is a history of this behavior being acceptable and normalized.

In this new decade, we will denormalize it.

Let’s start 2020 out right by calling out disrespect and putting haters in their place –  the trash.

Too Light to Be Seen

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5

SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder affects tens of millions of people. SAD is associated with the prolonged darkness of winter months. Some places experience winter up to seven months out of the year.

Can you imagine being SAD for over half the year?  Month after month looking to the sky only to find Cirrostratus clouds and gray shadows? Many people live a sad existence, when all they really need is the sun.

I dreamed once that I was in a home with a man and children. The place was dark but spotlight surrounded me wherever I walked. I was trying to get the man of the house to see that what was missing in this home was light. I tried a lamp but it was not working. I tried opening windows and pushing back drapery to no avail. In frustration, I left this home and the light followed me.

In Plato’s Symposium, the character Aristophanes introduces the concept of twin flames to describe love. The idea stems from man and woman originally existing as one being. They became arrogant and wanted to be Godlike, so the gods split them in two. Each half  craves the other half to experiences wholeness. Reveries illuminate unconscious desires. In that dream, I was desperately seeking light. I could not comprehend how someone could live in the absence of it. I tried to share my own but it was not enough.

I now understand that you cannot be the only light in a relationship; the only one planning for the future, the only one financially stable, etc. You need a companion flame. This companion love exists. It is too light to be seen, as one cannot look into the sun. You will not because its glow will surround you.

Sherri Shepherd and the Dangers of Loneliness

I saw an interview of Sherri Shepherd on the DL Hughley Radio Show discussing her ex husband to whom she is paying spousal support. DL jokes about him being a sorry **s man. Sherri said (paraphrasing) that she had to take ownership of her decision to marry him, a decision she said was made out of fear and loneliness. She also said that she was tired of being single and celibate. I was really surprised by her honesty.

Community is important. Friends are important. Family (blood or otherwise) is important. Loneliness is a powerful state of mind. Loneliness is not necessarily the absence of people but rather disconnectedness. You should not choose a mate in this unhealthy state. It is like shopping when you are hungry. You end up with a cart full of junk, completely ignoring your list.

So, what can you do if you find yourself in a state of loneliness?

  1. Reach out.
    • Someone wants to hear from you; an old friend, an older family member who may not get many visitors, an elderly neighbor. Someone needs to hear your voice and you need to hear theirs.
    • Build community. We are not intended to do life alone. Church, clubs, groups, are some ways to connect with others.
  2. Volunteer
    • Do something nice for someone who cannot repay you. Loneliness is rooted in being self-centered. Volunteering allows you to reorient your focus to someone else in need. You derive a sense of value in helping others.
  3. Practice daily gratitude
    • Write down five things you are grateful for and post them on your bathroom mirror. Glance at it everyday while you are brushing your teeth. It is a method to focus on the good things you have in your life and not the one thing you are missing.
  4. Journal
    • Write your feelings, goals, hopes, and dreams. It helps you visualize what is going on in your heart and head. There is power in the written word. I recently reviewed some of my journal entries and was blown away by my progress. This brought a sense of gratitude and happiness. This exercise helped reinforce that trouble don’t last always.

Identify your feelings of loneliness. Take steps to connect with others in a beneficial way. Don’t allow loneliness to lead you to detrimental habits or choices.

What say you?