Category Archives: Happiness

2014 I Resolve to Be. . .

#fearless

If I have a New Year’s Resolution – it is to be fearless. I have always erred on the side of caution. I am willing to take the risk. First, I will not be afraid to write my true feelings on this blog. It is the reason I started it.

I started a relationship based on fear. Fear of my own singleness. Fear of my family always asking, have you met someone? The jokes, the warnings, the foreboding – I admit, I let it get to me. After the initial conversation, I was on the side of no. Then, I talked to friends and everyone was like, you are too picky, yada, yada, yada. I have said it once and I will say it again, my gut is never wrong.

It was right.

The problem with being led by fear, is that fear creates a desperate energy. Desperation is so palpable. It makes you clingy and needy. I was afraid that I had missed this opportunity once before and it was presenting itself again. Afraid of making the wrong choice again. Afraid to let go of what I could see for the invisible promise of faith.

I am not desperate. I am deliberate, delicate, destined, dynamic and other words that begin with the letter ‘D’ lol.

It is amazing when you let go and let God, He really will provide that ram in the bush you could not see because you were so focused on the sacrifice. The sacrifice being the person or thing you thought you were losing.

#open

I resolve to be open – eyes, hands and heart. I feel like I am on the precipice but I am not afraid of falling. I am learning to be content with what I have but I am open for more. I am learning to be in the moment without always wondering ‘what’s next?’  If I step off that peak, I believe that I will learn to fly.

#love

My mom wants to come stay with me for a spell. It may take time but I usually get my heart’s desire.

I do have another desire of my heart. It is the time awaiting that is the test. I am willing.

#perfecthealth

I have been learning to eat well, cook well and be well. It is well.

I am determined to run my half-marathon. I am already shopping for my runner's outfit. A girl’s got to be cute crossing the finish line!

I got on the scale this morning and was down another pound. Shooo, you can’t tell me nothing.

 

Do you have a New Year’s Resolution? Will you share with me?

Is Hate the Opposite of Love?

What is hate? Thinking of the word makes me cringe.

 According to Merriam-Webster online, hate is 'a very strong feeling of dislike.' The full definition: 

"a :  intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury

 b :  extreme dislike or antipathy loathing." Source

Hate is what causes people to hurt others. It has many expressions – racism, violence, war, terror. For the sake of this post, let us omit some of the more global derivatives of hate and focus on relationships.

Brokenheart
 

Have you ever heard of someone being so in love proclaim unadulterated hate for that same person after a breakup? Have you been that person?

In truth, I do not believe that feeling, in this instance, is actually hate. I have another theory. Hate is a function of love.

Think about it.

It allows someone, whom you are no longer dating, to still be included in your life. If you hate them, they are still the object of your affection. It is just a different affection. You can justify to yourself allowing this person into your thoughts and into your heart. In essence, it is a way of holding on when you really need to let go.

Think of an ex, not just any ex, the worst ex that you have ever had. Ask yourself, do I hate him/her? If the answer is yes, then you have not gotten over this person. Barring some violent act against you or those you love, you may still even love that person.

*insert audible gasp* lol

Why am I writing about this you may ask? To help someone, to help myself. When someone exits your life, sweep the dust out of the front door. Leave no remnants – no letters, no bears and no hate.

The opposite of love is not hate. It is indifference. 

Dealing with the Death of a Friend

“Friend, there will never be a friend
As dear to me as You
There will be another closer than a brother
Friend, always worth the wait
Faithful as the day You say we are friend” Israel Houghton

 I am writing this missing a dear friend of mine. She was actually my very best friend in high school. We were one of the few African Americans in the International Baccalaureate program at my high school. She was a sanctified church girl like me. She was very smart and funny. We got along great.

We made different decisions for college and are paths diverged. We kept in touch for a few years but like most high school buddies we lost contact.

A few years ago, we found each other again thanks to social media. She was finishing her Master’s in publishing and I was finishing my first novel. We sent each other our projects and exchanged insight.

I am speaking of my friend in past tense because she passed away. Actually, she committed suicide a few years back.

I thought I had dealt with this until recently. A family member was distraught because she was afraid her friend had committed suicide. Her friend posted a cryptic message on a social media website. I was able to talk to her, calmly instruct her to call the police and give them as much detail as possible. The next day when I called to check on the situation, I was informed the police got to her in time and she was taken for treatment.

It would have been easy to ignore the little girl’s cry for help as an attention-seeking move but something in me could not let it rest. I am glad I was there for my family member and I was glad that my family member was there for her friend. I am glad that the police responded with urgency and care. I am glad she does not have to feel what I felt.

Death is hard. It is unfathomable that someone can be present, full of promise and dreams and with one desperate action be gone forever.

My friend did not cry for help. She left a note, according to her sister who contacted me months after it happened. I remember our last conversation. I asked to pray with her and we prayed. She was so distant. She did not even sound like her true self.

I write all of this to say that the pain, discouragement, and mental health issues that people deal with are real and not trivial. If you are placed in the path of someone suffering, please do not discount their pain. Reach out. Make the effort. Do not let Satan win. Fight for the life God has given them. Fight for the friend God has given you.

If you know of someone in crisis, here are some numbers to give them:

 

Need help? Text “CTL” to 741741.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255

A Million Little Things

I would love to live in the moment but at any given moment in time so many thoughts are traversing my brain. How will I accomplish my goals? Has too much time passed? What if this happens? What if that happens? Do I look cute in these jeans?

A million little things. 

I would love to travel alone. Find a nice cabin on the side of a mountain and just be.

It would not be so bad to have a travel companion if that someone could be silent with me. We could listen to the tree leaves. An Arapaho proverbs says that , 'All plants are our brothers and sisters. They talk to us and if we listen, we can hear them.' What would a 500 year old tree speak of? Would I recognize its voice over the cluttered noise of my own thoughts. I guess I would have to go there and listen. If there were someone listening with me, would he hear a different story? 

Or would I be afraid? Afraid of the noise of the unfamiliar. Having forgotten my longing desire to get away alone, would I sit with the cabin doors locked awaiting the sunrise?

Who has time to get away when there are a million little things to do.? The holidays are around the corner. Travel is imminent. Family, food and festivities. So far from aloneness and quiet. 

Maybe I will take a holiday from the holidays. My birthday is in January. I could plan a weekend getaway with myself. I think I need to research this more. What would my google search entry be? How to be with yourself and away at the same time?

I don't know. Any suggestions?

 

 

 

 

I Am the Black Marilyn Monroe

That title will make sense if you continue reading.

I had an epiphany during a girls weekend to celebrate my best friend's birthday.

I have finally accepted that I am a full grown woman. Technically, I have been 'grown' for over a decade. Inside, however, I still felt like a 13 year old still trying to figure things out. OMG, thirteen is such an awkward age. You are on the cusp of womanhood but no one wants to acknowledge that fact. The budding breasts, the first period are not welcomed and celebrated. They are feared.

For me, my mother was afraid of teenage pregnancy. She felt that my womaness was a sign of the inevitable fall. Somehow I would discover the forbidden fruit called 'sex' and my life would unravel. The more she projected these fears toward me, the more distant I felt from her. It was like she did not know the real me. Although, young I was an intellectual. I remember ditching school one day to hang out at the Harold Washington Library. I was a N.E.R.D. ALL CAPS like a Kanye twitter-rant. When I did have questions about dating, I knew I could not ask her.

So,  I stumbled though it.

During a discussion over this weekend, I learned that we grown accomplished women all shared this clumsy walk into womanhood.

Oddly, enough I think I have it now. I am a grown woman. I make my own decisions. I am responsible for my own behavior. This means there are no excuses for my behavior. I own it all from this day forward. Being a  grown woman is so liberating. It is okay to be fun, flirty or dare I type it. . .sexy. *insert gasps* *church lady faints*.

My friend gives me a picture back from my freshman year in undergrad. I looked like an old church lady. My friend jokes, 'Yeah, you look like you were on your way to a missions trip.' To top it all off, I had this super-thick moustache. #ugh.org. I was so serious back then. People who know me now as the joking, laughing girl would be shocked at the shy girl in that old photo.

Years. Maturity, Acceptance. Freedom.

Sunday, I am walking through the grocery store when a woman walks up to me and says, 'Hello sista, looking like the black Marilyn Monroe.' I literally, lol. I was not wearing anything unusual or provocative. Actually my long, flowy dress was to my ankles I think she just sensed it, too.

I am grown woman.

Last Night, I Woke Up Laughing

I had a funny dream. I will tell you at the end.

Of late, I have been thinking a lot. It is the same old rerun of mistakes I have made and what I could have done different. It’s like the old soap opera that you watch when nothing else is on tv. You can miss months without seeing it and somehow you can still follow the storyline. That is because it never changes. It is the same old story – someone cheats, someone lies, and some tries to destroy their arch nemesis.

Arch nemesis? Who really has an arch nemesis?

I digress.

You have to arrest every thought that does not bring you peace,
enlightenment or closer to your God-given destiny. Every other thought is
just a distraction. Then, there are dreams. They are a little harder to arrest.

Sometimes dreams are ways for you to workout complicated issues that you cannot not do consciously. Dreams elicit the response in your body/mind/self that you could not allow during the day. They come to bring you answers.

Yesterday, I was so wound up – muscles tight, sinusitis, and a crazy busy workday. By the time I got home, I just could not seem to wind down. I even tried praying. I watched a little TV, browsed the web and finally decided to lay it down.

 

The Dream:

 

I was robbing a bank with KC and JoJo of Jodeci. The police surrounded us and we had to scatter and JoJo got caught. I moved to Mexico with my share of the money like Jada Pinket in Set It Off.

Next scene I am on a movie set with Jada, Will and Denzel. We are taking a lunch break. There are no paper plates so I decide to make one from a folder. I fold it and start to staple my folder-plate together. I accidentally staple my finger to the folder-plate. Everyone laughs at me – Jada, Will and Denzel. I say, “Sometimes things like this happen in life but it is important that you don’t become st . . .” Denzel interrupts and says, “What? Stuck in the moment, like you are stuck to that plate.” Then they all laugh again.

The weird thing is as I am typing this, the dream’s meaning is so clear. Mistakes happen. Even when you do something really dumb in a really public way. You cannot become stuck in the moment of the mistake. You have to move on!

I woke up laughing!

Fitness 2013 – The Plateau or the Cliff

I am not as obsessive with my scale nowadays. I get on it one every other day and not everyday :-).Seriously folks. For a few weeks, I had been gaining and losing the same 3 lbs. It was starting to get on my freaking nerves.I felt myself getting close the that cliff. That edge that tempts you to chalk it up to genes and eat the darn Doritos. We have all been there, right? Right? Ok, maybe just me.

Then I remembered my post – It's All Mathematics.

That extra slice of cheese, that helping of ice cream was all adding up. . .on my thighs. Back to the drawing board. I reviewed my diet and designed a workable plan. Back to my oatmeal in the morning. Plain yogurt and fruit for snack. Reasonable lunch 800 calories or less and a sensible dinner.

NO.MORE.DORITOS! lol

I reviewed my workouts via my phone app and I had slacked to about 3 times per week. My goal is to be at 5 times per week. Seriously, I have been working out extra hard with a trainer. Why put myself through that torture – and believe me it is torture – to undo it with mindless snacking, being lazy or eating out? 

In the words of Sweet Brown, 'Ain't nobody got time for that!'

I get on the scale today. For the last few days, those 3 lbs have stayed gone.

Shoot, I'm tryna be fine by my birthday.

#countdown

Do Black Women Really Hate Their Hair?

Interesting topic suggestion brought up by my very own brother. We shall revisit the hair debate again.

The braiding, straightening and adorning of hair is all to make one feel good about oneself and/or to attract another person. I mean can we keep it real. So, what decision is best when the two goals become mutually exclusive.

Real conversation:

Me: When you straighten your hair, the heat can break the bonds just like a chemical. Then your hair won't revert back to curls.

Girl: I know, I know. Let me get married first.

Me: o_0

I have heard this more than once. The idea that a man (read: black man) does not like his woman's hair to be, dare I say it, NAPPY!

Real conversation:

Me: I don't understand the Rapunzel weaves. So much hair.

Guy: I don't understand why everyone wants to be natural all of a sudden.

Me: o_0

Do black women really hate their hair?

*insert Sheryl Underwood post*

Discuss.

Sheryl Underwood Disses Natural Hair On National TV

I have focused mainly of nutrition, health and weight loss in the past few weeks here on Talulazoeapple.com. Then I happened upon this video of Sheryl Underwood, co-host on The Talk, making some very disparaging remarks about natural, afro hair.

Being someone with natural hair, I was near tears watching her spew such hurtful, self-hating comments while the audience laughed. Melissa Gilbert tries to save her but Sheryl is unrelenting in her comments.

Please watch the video. It is less that 1 minute long.

 

 

 

Is this okay?

It is so ironic that I get so many nice compliments about my hair now but now EVERYONE is natural. When I began about six years ago, it was less common to see a young black woman with her natural hair. I got so many UGLY comments from my family – the people who love me the most. I got the most kind comments from people of other nationalities or complete strangers.I have grown to adore my hair. I can think back as a child getting my hair braided and feeling so bad because of h0w 'difficult' my hair was to those attempting to do it. They were very vocal about it. Then there was the task of straightening my hair. I could not help cringing everytime that hot straightening comb came near to my scalp and ears.  Little by little those words – nappy, bad, coarse – seeped  into my little soul and I wished that my hair was like Marcia Brady's. She would brush her long locks exactly 100 times. Anyone remember that episode of the Brady Bunch? lol

BUT I was a child. As I grew up and learned about myself as a woman, I saw that my hair was just as beautiful as Marcia's. I learned to love my coils, curls, afro. When I see someone as mature as Sheryl Underwood hating their hair in such a way as this video suggests, I want to cry just like that little girl terrified of that fire-hot straightening comb.

I understand that the root of self-hate is deeper than an 1-minute video by a comedian. Sheryl Underwood is more than just a comedian. She is an African American woman with a very public, national forum holding up authentic, natural blackness for public ridicule.

Does anyone remember Don Imus?

I would hope that Sheryl Underwood would reflect on why she thought it was okay to ridicule black children in this manner. Upon that reflection, I would hope that she will make a public, national apology.

What do you think? Am I being to sensitive?

 

*Repost* Being Vulnerable Is Not A Weakness

The definition of vulnerable is capable of being wounded or hurt. Ouch! When you read something like that, who wants to be vulnerable? Women, especially, African American women, are taught to be strong and indestructible. The result of creating a wall of defense is that nothing can penetrate it. So you are strong, independent, and can't nobody tell you nothing. That is cool unless it is all a big lie. You have to open the door sometimes.

Penguins

I am learning through introspection and interaction with friends that it is okay to need and be needed. It does not mean that you are weak because you can acknowledge to yourself that you would like someone to go though life with. Scratch that like, you NEED someone to go through life with. There are dreams you would like to fulfill and experiences that you would like to have. What do you gain by pretending that you really do not care about anything or anyone?

Often times, you can avoid many pitfalls by listening to the experiences of others. How would you ever listen to those experiences if you are so wrapped up in yourself that you will not offer a listening ear to someone else?

Even in love, if you never put yourself out there, e.i., be vulnerable, you will never reap the rewards of love. Even if it does not work out, you have gained a valuable experience. If you never even try, you will have gained nothing.

I wrote once before about having the opportunity to audition for a play. Prior to my actual audition, I had the opportunity to tryout for a musical. I chickened out. When the opportunity presented itself again, I went for it. I did not get the part but I got some great feedback from one of the producers and I gained a valuable experience. If a third chance comes around, you best believe that it is going to be mine.

My point is to open yourself up for new friends, love and life experiences. In the words of Anthony Hamilton, "The lonely never win."