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Archive for the month “September, 2012”

I Will Never Outgrow My Favorite Childhood Films

I talk about turning 30, being 30 and all of the trials and tribulations, ups and downs.

Today’s post is pretty light and inspired by a recent DVD purchase.

While looking for measuring tape at a craft store (I’m taking my measurements to send to my accountability partner for weight loss, oh boy!) there was a bin of DVDs. After doing some digging, I found one of my absolute favorite movies as a kid.

“The Muppets Take Manhattan.” I LOOOVED that movie and every time it came on T.V., I would watch it. First of all, the Muppets are timeless and whether you are a kid or a grown up, you can’t help but love it.

I realized, that as I get older, I’m taking comfort in the old movies I loved to watch back in the day and I also enjoy watching “kid” movies.

I’m an adult, but I own “The Princess and the Frog,” “Happy Feet,” “Goonies” and while in college, me and my roommates watched “Shrek” a million times.

The great thing about movies for children is there’s always a message about seeing the good in people, being different, and not giving up and that if you do the right thing, you will come out on top.

For kids, those messages are obvious. They know these things.

But as adults, we lose our way. We have enough losses and enough disappointments that shake us and start tearing away at that innocent optimism we are all born with.

I actually know a bunch of adults like myself who don’t have children, but love kid’s movies like I do. So I know I’m not alone.

I think that watching kid’s movies as an adult helps us not take ourselves so seriously and it taps into something that we have in us all along.

So take some time to watch a favorite movie from your childhood. Relax, introduce it to a younger relative or a friend.

I also know I will never outgrow ice cream.

What are your favorite childhood movies?

Some of my favorites that weren’t necessarily for kids, but were favorites when I was younger include:

The Boy Who Could Fly

The Breakfast Club

Ferris Buller’s Day Off

Spaceballs

The Princess Bride

The Wiz

Clueless

Sixteen Candles

Pretty in Pink

Sister Act/Sister Act II

Mannequin

National Lampoon’s Family Vacation

Moving (Richard Pryor)

A League of Their Own

Bad News Bears (the original with Walter Matthaw)

The Toy (Richard Pryor)

Bustin Loose (Richard Pryor)

See No Evil, Hear No Evil

Desperately Seeking Susan

Jumpin Jack Flash

The Golden Child

Ok, so clearly I am a child of the 80’s.

 

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I’ve Got A Feeling…

There are folks who always talk about speaking things into existence. I believe in this.

There are folks who swear by vision boards.

I too believe in this.

There are folks who say getting off your butt and being proactive and doing everything you can think to do to get whatever endeavor off the ground is essential.

I’m down with that 100 percent.

Folks also say to attain something you want, you have to take a risk and just step out on faith.

More folks say, if you stay calm, be positive and concentrate on giving to others and showing love, karma is going to come back to you.

We all know now, that I’ve been going through some professional changes, pay decrease, new company ownership, blah, blah.

I’ve mentioned that how all of this madness has made me really reevaluate what’s important to me, my definition of success and how I just want to be a better person who can be content with working with what she’s got until she can get a little more.

I was thrown a nice little life jacket of hope when a dream job called me back for a preliminary HR screening yesterday.

I was left feeling a little bit worried because they only asked me two questions– my salary requirement and my availability for work.

When they asked if I had any questions, I tried my best to ask some intelligent questions to really show my interest in such a great opportunity.

I mentioned a short list of things that people believe will help you get you what you want.

I think over this last week, I’ve been doing all of them in some way shape or form.

Last week, I stepped out on faith and I purchased a suit. I said, screw it. I’m going to buy a suit, because if someone calls me for an interview, I want to be ready and I want to feel confident. I tried on a cheap suit that looked ok, and I tried on a more expensive suit which made me feel like Kerry Washington’s character on Scandal, Olivia Pope.

While wearing my Olivia Pope suit, I turned and looked at the more economically friendly $40 option, said hell no, and purchased that Tahari. I dare anyone to tell me no, while rocking that thing. Olivia Pope does not accept no. Hell, I’m such a fan, I really have a pinterest board devoted to good-looking, non-boxy, ugly suits and Kerry Washington as her Scandal persona showing us how to rock a power suit right and still look like a lady.

The getting off my butt part, was just straight up spending evenings applying and looking and asking people if they knew of any leads.

The giving part is when I saw jobs that didn’t seem right for me, I sent them to other people, I offered myself as a reference, and I’ve even provided online recommendations on job sites for people I’ve worked with.

Seriously, I devoted entire prayers to praying for other people.

When my friends talked about things they were going through, I listened.

I just listened and thought to myself, so many people are going through so much. I want them all to get the desires of their hearts if that desire leads them to where they are supposed to be. I really felt other people’s pain, and thanked God for the blessings I did have.

Maybe doing these things opened me up.

I still have to wait to hear if I got the interview. They only want to see four people and right now they are whittling  6-10 candidates down to the four.

This job seems like the perfect fit. It blends things I am passionate about, which reminds me of speaking things into existence.

I was talking with someone maybe two weeks ago. I said, at this point in my career, I want to be financially comfortable, able to go on vacation twice a year, occasionally splurge on shoes or a spa treatment. But I also want to incorporate my skills as a writer/editor into something that involves advocacy and doing something for people. I haven’t been able to work in the advocacy area where I can see real change, real progress and people being helped.

Let’s just say, the more I research the organization I hope to be interviewing with in the coming weeks, the more my heart wants to jump out of my chest. I actually BELIEVE in what these people are doing and I can’t wait to work for them, use my talents and start helping folks while doing it.

I’m asking God for this chance and not to dangle it in front of me to only yank it away for some abstract reason I have to figure out six months from now. I’m guessing me interviewing and not getting a certain job earlier this year could mean, He was setting up this even better opportunity for me, right now? Yes? Maybe?

But I’m also thanking God for the confidence that phone call gave me to move forward and the proof that I have what it takes. Someone is going to want me in this crazy market.

I’m also praying for the maturity to accept whatever happens if I get the job and especially if I don’t get the job…

But I won’t front, I REALLY, REALLY WANT THIS JOB!

I really believe in my heart, I’m being led somewhere. And I’ve felt it for a long time, even when things started getting more crazy at my current job… and if the path is going where I think it’s headed, with this potential position on the horizon, all I can say is. WOW.

Love this inspirational song. Karen Clark Sheard, Missy Elliot, Yolanda Adams and Mary Mary. If that power combo doesn’t inspire you… Higher Ground.

New Phrase Alert: “The All-Around”

ideago/freedigitalphotos.net

I know I wasn’t just the only one deeply into U.S. gymnastics during the summer Olympics just a few months ago.

We all know that in gymnastics, the folks work as a team, but can also win individual medals in specific events, and then, if you can do everything and score well, you are in the All- Around.

If you win the All-Around, that means, basically you are awesome at everything.

It’s so sad, but I’m starting to feel this way about men.

There are some men who excel in conversation.

Some who excel in putting it all the way down in the bedroom.

Some are just fine as hell.

Some excel in just making you feel like you are the most special person in the world.

Some know how to fix things.

Some make you feel secure and that they will handle whatever situation that arises.

Some know how to navigate your moods. Or encourage your spiritual side.

No matter what you call it, everyone is looking for the All-Around champ.

You know, the person who does all of your “required events” really well.

Or even if they messed up one event, they did so ridiculously awesome in the others, those high scores still helped that person get on top.

While I do want an all-around, I think I’m going to just recognize folks for the events they are really good at, and be mature to leave it there.

Some folks on a gymnastics team are brought on because they bring up the team’s scores. They won’t be an all around champ, and that’s fine. They could still win an event individually.

Men, I’m realizing, are a bit similar.

Remember gals and guys, every one can’t win the all-around. Only a select few can do it. You should feel the same way about who will ultimately win your heart.

Confessions of A Mushball

Chaiwat/freedigitalphotos.net

My older gentleman friend has a term called a “mushball.” He informed me a long time ago that while he can be very nice, and kind, he by no means is a “mushball.”
Meaning he won’t be manipulated or taken advantage of, and is not afraid to speak up.

Well, I on the other hand, have been struggling with my mushballness over the years.

One area where it seems I can’t shake it is with the long time friend who have had numerous fallings out with. It’s well-documented on this blog how I’ve struggled with this relationship and after I sent her an email about life being too short and that while I recognize our relationship may not be as close as we once were, I still love her and want only the best for her.

She agreed.

Her birthday is this month, and somehow in all my mushyness, as a gift, she and I will be going rock climbing.

I kind of see a symbolism in choosing this adventure as my birthday gift to her.

Rock climbing takes patience, determination, concentration, and trust in the person below holding that rope. You see a goal at the top, it’s not going to be easy. You may slip, or fall, or have to start all over again, but you know it’s worth it when you get to the top and look down at where you started. There, you see what you’re really made of.

Some friendships are the same way.

I know. I go from one extreme to another. I was going off on how selfish she could be in other posts, but I did mention that for some reason of all the people in the world, I wouldn’t necessarily recant my negative statements about her, but I would eventually swing back to the other side of the pendulum.

I think we’ve missed each other because now she wants me to travel with her next year on the great journeys she plans to take. I’d actually like that. As much as we may get on each other’s nerves, we actually can travel together.

So I confess, I’m a mushball. For certain people in my life, my heart allows second, fourth and eighth chances.

I hope that this time around, we understand each other better, and she understands how to better navigate my sensibilities, whether she gets it or not.

Here we go again.

A List Of Things I Know for Sure

You all know how much I love Oprah. She’s got this thing called, “What I Know for Sure.”

Over the past few days, even a couple of weeks, a lot of things have become very, very clear.

One of the things that keeps hitting me over the head is, new job. New job. New job.

Thing two is I’m totally voting for Obama. These things are tied together.

Thing three is nothing on this planet belongs to us. We are borrowing and sharing from and with the rest of humanity. We are borrowing from the future inhabitants of the world, we are sharing with those of us alive at the same time. Nothing belongs to us, because anything we have can be taken from us at any moment. So there’s no need to be greedy, or stingy, or so protective of what we have, because you’ll learn the lesson the hard way. Keep on doing what you are doing if you fall into that category.

Thinking this way this last week, wondering if I’d even have a job this week when others were laid off, it makes me want to give more. It’s not mine anyway. Whatever I do have in me, it’s time to give. When we do that, we are opening up opportunities for others and in turn, opening up more opportunities for ourselves. Hell, when my car almost broke down and I had to fork over a couple hundred dollars to fix, I just said, God this all belongs to you, I’ve been through enough, I just want my car to run and thank you that I didn’t break down on the road this weekend somewhere between Brooklyn and Maryland.

Back to the point…

The company I work for was sold.

Fine. We knew that was coming.

But we got sold to a smaller company that has not so great benefits, will make us pay more for our share of health insurance (some folks with families will be paying $1000 a month, like who has that and other bills too?).

Oh, the kicker?

A 7.5% decrease in all of our salaries. Yes folks, so here’s why I’m voting for Obama.

Republicans would argue that the government takes money from hard-working people who earned it to give to folks who don’t deserve it.

Well, in this competitive market, a COMPANY, not the government basically said, you make too much and for this company to grow, yeah we have to take almost 8 percent of your income that you did earn, and on top of that make you pay even more for healthcare… don’t worry, we will grow now because thanks to how awesome you all are, we’ll see profits down the line.

I sir, call bullshit. Please vote. Please take someone to vote. Do not believe this trickle down shit. Big companies are only going to look out for themselves. Period.

This is what companies and these businesspeople the Republicans want to give bigger tax breaks do, they fuck other people so they can keep their OUR money. We cannot let this happen.

Shit is so real. So I’m on the grind looking. This is downright scary.

I feel horrible for the pregnant woman on my job who basically said, with the new plan, she’s basically going to have to foot the entire bill for her pregnancy. She’s in a panic. And I don’t blame her.

So even working people, with damn company insurance, really need help. This ain’t no game.

Now that I’m done with the really bad news, the other thing I know for sure is that seeing my vision come to life fills me with joy. I’m determined to keep going.

I had the photo shoot for my tee-shirt line in Brooklyn, NY this weekend with fabulous, beautiful, hard-working talented friends.

I learned, when you let people in on your dreams and let them take a part of it, it not only lifts you up, but makes you accountable to really not give up and make it happen.

Why? Because these people believed in you enough to give up their time, their energy and sweat because they believe the dream too. Your real friends and loved ones are invested.

We were up at the crack of dawn, and I was doing every menial job possible, but I didn’t care. I loved every minute. I’m proud of myself. I’m proud of my friends who helped me. I can’t stop looking at the photos I took and video. I’m going nuts waiting for the photos  my professional photographer homie took. They are going to be insane.

Even just seeing how the shirts looked on other people filled me with pride. My models were beautiful, they were just being themselves, and from the photos I did see, they were just amazing. AMAZING!!!

I learned I do want to work for myself, and provide others with opportunities. I don’t want someone to evaluate me every year and give me their opinion of how I work, whether I suck or whether I’m awesome, then toss me a few pennies or not toss me any pennies. I want to give somebody a job so they can be independent, and feel good about themselves.

I’ll let my customers tell me, and I’ll tweek my product and services until they are happy and I get the value of those products and services. That is the American way. Not this world I’m living in right now.

I don’t want to be at the mercy of some large company that has the audacity to assess my value and then say, “you make too much.” Or, “You should be happy you have a job.”

Those are the options now?

Yall better wake up. I’m totally awake. Bright eyed. I got comfortable. I did.

If I didn’t get my promotion a few months ago, yall, with this cut, I would have been making a little over what I made when I first started at my job five years ago. That’s how real this situation is. My second year into my job, I had to take a second job. So taking a nearly 8 percent cut ain’t no joke. NO JOKE.

The next thing I know for sure is I’m developing feelings for the older gent.

He is supportive, kind, caring, funny and when I was having these crappy days, he was the first person I wanted to see.

One of my friends just suggested going speed dating, and I kind of don’t want to go. I don’t feel like I’m ready for a serious relationship with him right now, but I’m happy where we are. I think of him often.

So these are the things I know. These are the things I know.

What do you know for sure?

Intimacy: One Of the Most Misused Words

There are books dedicated to how we misuse and abuse certain words. There are snobby people who often like to correct folks when they misuse and abuse certain words. The Huffington Post even broke down a list of the 7 most misused words. I’d like to add one to the list.

There is one word folks haven’t quite gotten the grasp of and they use it really loosely and use it for all sorts of meanings.

That word is intimacy.

Some men seem to hate it because they think it’s code for give her more hugs, and there will be just cuddling and talking about feelings tonight.

On the flip side, some men think some super good loving is about to go down, because they are about to “get intimate.”

Department stores have sections consisting of lacy bras and panties and consider them “intimate apparel.” I guess the “you’re almost naked” section wouldn’t look good on a sign.

Either way the word intimate always seems to either point to sex, or the lack of it.

Women will throw around the word if they are feeling unloved or unappreciated or if their man has forgotten that there is such a thing as foreplay. “The intimacy has gone out of our relationship,” these women will say.

I asked a good male friend what he thought was the true definition of intimacy.

And he said that a good 80 percent of people don’t really get its true meaning. In a nutshell, he mentioned things that were right along my path of thinking the ability to be vulnerable with someone, and to share a deep connection.

To me, I think that intimacy has nothing to do with sex, wanting sex or not feeling like you’re being kissed and caressed enough during sex.

My definition, as shared with my homeboy is, that you can share intimacy with anyone you feel totally and completely comfortable around and trust 100 percent. Children and parents can have an intimate relationship, people of the same sex, friends, people who are romantically involved, your spiritual relationship, siblings.

The biggest piece to my definition is the responsibility of the other person. You have achieved true intimacy when you’ve let down your guard, you are vulnerable, you trust them, and that person understands how important you doing that is, and not violating that trust. They honor your conscious decision to let them into your life in such a private, special, meaningful way and they want to protect you and what you’ve built together.

Building intimacy takes a whole lot of time and patience and all of that stuff because you are building trust. It’s not a quick thing, or a fleeting thing. It’s lasting. It’s quite real, it’s comforting and scary at the same time because you are willingly handing over your trust.

Just because you are having sex, you are not experiencing true intimacy.

Just because you are just staring deeply into someone’s eyes over a candlelit dinner and haven’t had sex yet, that doesn’t make you an expert on it either.

There are plenty of people walking around thinking there is intimacy in their relationship because they are the ones doing all the talking during cuddle time, but they laying down of fears, the opening up, and the exposing of vulnerability has to come from BOTH parties.

I’m happy to say that even though I’m not in a relationship, or having sex, I can say that I share intimate relationships, by my definition with a couple of close friends and family members and all of those situations may be very different, but I feel the same way in each case. I will protect those people and their feelings and they will protect mine. They take their jobs seriously as people who love me and I do the same. There is a mutual appreciation for what we add to each others lives.

You don’t need lacy panties.

Sometimes you don’t need to talk.

 

30 and Still Spoiled

Ok, ok.

All my life I’ve been well-loved by my family and friends.
When you are younger you take it for granted. You expect it. When you are the youngest cousin and everyone including your sister is at least 10 years older than you, these folks are going to surround you, protect you and look after you, well forever.

This weekend one of my favorite older cousins came to town. She’s basically my second sister. She’s always looked after me, talked to me about sex, boys, men, fashion, being classy and the importance of a good bra.

We had a fantastic time. Went to a football game, went shopping, ate at a bunch of great places (lots of eating); it was just wonderful. Even when I got a flat tire, she calmed me down and because this was a tough week for me financially, she paid for my new tire.

I love my family.

Strange things were happening the entire trip. I ran into a man who looked just like my ex, she purchased a pair of shoes only to find later they were both right feet and we had to kind of drive out-of-the-way to go back to the store to return them, an old man even asked us for hugs outside of a restaurant, before his wife came out to the parking lot.

We had a good laugh at it all.

Even though I didn’t have much money this week, (hey it’s hard out here, can we say rent?) I tried to treat her when I could and she did A LOT of treating for me. Even at a buy one get one half off shoe sale, I became a happy owner of a new pair of fabulous heels from her shopping trip too!!!! LOVE MY COUSIN.

She mentioned how she admired my independence and how hard I’ve been working and how she had just been enjoying herself. I really, really appreciated the fact that she was so generous and still saw me as her little cousin that she wanted to spoil.

I won’t front, as independent as I am, I love it when my family members refuse to take my money, or when they pick up a tab. But I believe that I usually pay it forward, and when I have some extra money, I love sharing with them or giving them a gift to let them know how much I appreciate them.

It was so nice to kick back and spend time with one of my favorite people for a few days. We laughed and just went wherever the wind took us.  And the wind took us all over the place! I showed her some of my favorite places and we even found new ones. Including the AFI theater, where we saw the amazing “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” a Sundance darling sure to win truckloads of awards in the coming year.

It was worth all of the buzz and hype because it was a beautiful, emotional story, with a lot of heart, and the kind of courage I don’t know if I would have under the circumstances.

I don’t have anything groundbreaking to share, I’m still in recovery mode from hosting, but please go see the film. I may try to do my own little review another time.

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