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Archive for the month “August, 2014”

Grading Yourself

It’s no secret that I suck at my epidemiology class.

I’ve spared yall most of the gory details of how horrible the last 9 weeks have been. I look forward to this module coming to a close for a variety of reasons. Last week, when I was at the worst of being sick, I gave up. I said forget it and didn’t even bother to show up to class. The week before I looked a hot mess and proceeded to go to bed and not go to work the next day. I digress.

Residual I don’t give a fuckness was all over my work ethic for school last week, especially that class. So, when I had an assignment due on Friday night, I threw up my hands and said it was something I couldn’t face or couldn’t deal with and I’ll accept a zero. I’ll be a grown up and accept it.

As my health started to improve especially by Sunday, I found myself drawn back to the material. I took the pressure off of the deadline that I’d already missed and I sat with my books and notes and I even went back to watch the recording of the class I missed. And I took notes.

I wasn’t doing this for a grade, I already made the conscious decision not to try and by default fail that assignment. I was learning for the sake of learning. I was learning for myself because I didn’t  want to feel defeated. I found that I was getting it right and when I got it wrong, I knew why I was getting it wrong. There was a certain level of self-satisfaction that came over me.

So as I sat in class tonight and she mentioned the assignment and how she’d grade them by the end of the week, I said even if I didn’t understand the rest of it, I wanted to hand in the section that I worked so hard on. Again, Damn a grade, I want proof that my hard work and practice paid off.

So after class, I handed it what I did. It’s not finished by any means, but I sent my professor an email basically saying contrary to my lack of participation in class and my horrible grades, I’m not a quitter. I’m handing this in for me and I just want to see if I’ve improved. So whatever penalty comes with handing it in late, I accept. What I can’t accept is knowing I worked so hard over the weekend to improve on something and not show myself or my professor that I actually did put in the work to improve, even if it’s a small part of the assignment.

Some of the epiphanies I’m having about grad school includes the fact that my education really is for me.

I’m spending all of this money, for me.

It’s not about what my professor thinks. Hell, I didn’t even have to explain myself in the email, but I wanted to. I wanted to get those things off my chest for me. The email wasn’t even for my professor, it was an affirmation to myself that she can bear witness too. I could care less as to what her response will be and have told myself to not even worry about it. I actually prefer she grade my work and not respond to the email. But she will. She’s aware of the difficulty I’ve been having, but she’s been pretty much hands off unless I ask her about something. It’s grad school, we’re grown. It’s my education and not anyone else’s so I own that.

I certainly care about my grades, but for a class with this much hardship, I do have to take it to the basics of celebrating small victories and learning for the sake of learning and not for mastery of a topic. I don’t plan on nor do I want to be an epidemiologist, but I understand how this information will inform decisions I make and how I analyze information in the public health arena. So I don’t pooh-pooh the necessity of the course. I just wish that circumstances allowed me to just take that class alone instead of with another class, as I had done this semester. Lesson learned.

I will say this, the difference between when I’d get frustrated in a math class in high school and undergrad and now is, I let setbacks in those classes make me question my entire intelligence, which is absurd. I’m older and I know better. My participation and enthusiasm in my policy class is like night and day. I’m sure some of my classmates are tired of hearing me talk in that class. Those classmates would probably get some pleasure out of my silent frustration if they saw me in epidemiology.

So, back to the point of this whole thing. This is for me.

A smart person once told me when getting your graduate degree, it’s a lie to call it yours. It belongs to the school. They create the rules and you have to jump through hoops they establish to get it. You have no say in the matter. You earn the right to hold the degree, but it isn’t yours.

While I get the point that person made, I’m going to disagree. My education belongs to me and recognizing that, I didn’t let the machine totally get to me because I did the work for me this week, not for a grade. I’m competing against myself. And I knew if I went another day willfully not handing in that assignment, I would have been disappointed with myself.

I would have been even more disappointed if the few pitiful points I will earn for it (with late penalty) would have been the exact amount of points I needed to barely pass the class. And I deserved to give myself that chance at earning that potential down-to-the-wire, millisecond, photo finish.

A New List of Things You Need To Know As A Woman In Your 30s

I feel like I make this list like once a year. Normally, I’m inspired by a conversation I’ve had or an experience.

I’m just avoiding studying. But please add these things you need to know as a woman in your 30s. I may repeat some I’ve said before.

1. If you like it buy it in every color.

I was in NY and Company the other day and I found pants and tops that fit well, and I straight up bought multiples. You’ll see how important this is. You need ONLY things in your closet that make you feel good about yourself and like you are the finest person walking the earth. Facts.

2. Own at least one freakum dress. It doesn’t have to be scandalous if scandalous is not your thing, but going back to number one, it needs to fit and flatter your body and your favorite assets and make you feel sexy when you wear it.

3. Embrace your shape, understand it and find things that work with it.

Sometimes this means you can’t go with the crowd. Or the latest trends. If there’s something that looks awesome on you, stick to it and don’t let go, you will be timeless and polished.

4. Accessorize. I’ve always noticed that older women had tons of jewelry, real, costume, hats, scarves, brooches. They adorn themselves. Lately, I’ve noticed the power of adding a statement necklace to a simple outfit and it takes my ensemble to another more mature and unique level. It helps bring out my personality so I can stand out from the crowd. And shopping for accessories is just fun.

5. Never underestimate the power of the T. Whether you get cheap tees or more expensive ones, plain black or white tees make you look like you woke up like dis. Keep it simple, rock it with a blazer for work, and amp it up with a great necklace and boom. You look all effortless.

6. Keep mints, lip gloss, tampons and at least $20 in your purse at all times. The last part is most difficult for me as I’m always reaching for plastic. But the times that I actually do carry cash, it just feels like a safety net juuuuust in case!

7. Read stuff.

Read anything, read the newspaper, read the magazines, read books, join a book club. Grown women are informed and keep growing and have interesting things to talk about and an opinion. Books are easy ways to develop opinions and provide good party chatter.

8. Vitamins.

I had to learn about this one the hard way, but for real for real, B complex has changed my life this week. I can press on just a little bit further thanks to these energy boosting vitamins recommended by my doctor.

9. High/Low As a grown woman, you have every right to indulge in an expensive handbag, pair of shoes, suit or fantastic coat or pair of jeans. So for big items that you’ll use forever, I say go for it if you can afford to or save for it and then buy your cheaper items to go with them. When you’re grown, you want to stay polished. That’s the goal.

10. Have a signature drink you like to order, signature fragrance, and signature dish you can cook and cook well EVERY time. It just makes you feel good about yourself.

11. Take dance breaks. Throw on your favorite jam and just dance.

12. If you are wrong, beat folks to the punch and own up to it.

13. If you know you are wrong before you do something and you’ve made the decision to do it anyway, then George Bush that shit. Don’t hide. Bask in your wrongness and if anyone has something to say about it, say you did it for America and keep it pushing.

14. Truth over everything. When you know better you do better.

15. Try something new. Do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, fail, or look silly. Just try. Trying shouldn’t be for kids or folks screwing up in their 20s. As long as you are breathing you better find the sweetness of life and the feeling of accomplishment when you do something you’ve never done.

16. Travel. That’s it.

17. Be cool with going out alone. Start with the movies or a play. Something that doesn’t require anything but your attention and everyone shutting up. Then elevate and take yourself to dinner, but don’t get a table for one… have dinner at the bar. You’ll meet interesting people and bartenders like to give you free drinks or discounts for bringing more boys to the yard who’ll pay full price.

18. Be kind, be giving, be gracious.

20. Smile at yourself, laugh at yourself out loud when you do ridiculous things or look silly or fall down. Like, there are times I got so into it, I couldn’t stop laughing and that felt good. I’m serious though take a moment to smile at yourself in the mirror at work in the bathroom. Don’t give yourself a fake smile either, smile at yourself like yo, I like you. You’re cool people. And after you say that, if you’re me, you’ll start laughing at yourself for even saying something like that. But to see yourself naturally smile at yourself or laugh at yourself, it’s kind of nice.

21. When you have a tingle to check on someone or just ask them, how are you today? Or are you alright? DO IT! IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE. Even if you text some one and say “I’m thinking of you.” Or tell them something you like about them, it makes all the difference in the world.

22. Say you’re not ok, when you’re not ok. Some folks ain’t gonna know how to react to this. Expect their inability to react because they are used to folks lying, so this is going to throw them off. Tell them it’s ok that you know they have absolutely nothing perfect to say to fix it, but you are just satisfied with them caring.

23. Ask for help. If you don’t know, ask for help and be bold about it. I don’t know, I don’t understand, but I’m smart at other things, so my ego isn’t bruised. Help me so I can be good at this too. Most people will appreciate that you kept it so real and be very eager to help you understand. This is truth.

24. Be proactive. If you see things about to take a twist or a turn and you know you can prevent it or lessen the blow, then do so.

25. This is linked with 24. DON’T WAIT ON NOBODY ELSE TO FILL IN THE BLANK. If there’s something you want to do and folks keep making excuses or blowing it off go back to number 17. If you need courage go back to number 20 and remember number 15.

26. You are in charge of your narrative. Don’t let anyone else write it or define it. You do that. You represent you. If folks have it wrong, you have every right to correct their uninformed asses.

27. Stop cussin. LOL. Only do so for emphasis and impact to let fools know you ain’t playing and that this is not a drill.

28. If you did it right, the walk of shame is a strut of satisfaction.

29. If you really regretted it and didn’t have a child from the situation, you can subtract that bad situation from your “number” I’ll allow it.. like twice. But don’t get carried away.

30. If you are a woman in your 30s, you already know that you’ve never felt this alright with yourself and secretly looking forward to how bad ass you’ll be at 40.

It’s Rant Time

Usually, I’m a freaking ray of sunshine. Many people tell me so.

But tonight, I’m not.

I’d actually like the liberty to be an entitled, jerky asshole.

Here’s why.

For the umpteenth night within the last nine or so weeks of this one particular class I’ve been taking that makes me question even being in a program I otherwise absolutely love, this is one night, where I probably won’t even hand this assignment in.

I started on it early. I asked my professor a question so convoluted that she asked me to try explaining how I don’t understand all over again. It’s quite scary, because I think I’m a pretty good communicator. So instead I show her the problems I was trying to work out, she said I was wrong and gave me a general response in hopes of helping me arrive to the answer without giving it. So, ok. Fine.

After being dog tired for about three weeks and finally getting blood results back that conclude I had a high number of antibodies for Epstein Barr virus, which is basically like mono I felt some relief that my extreme fatigue and lack of desire to do anything but sleep in order to have enough energy for me to go to work, wasn’t just depression putting it’s nasty grip on me again.

I knew that generally aside from the class from hell, I was pleased with my life and how everything was going. I was wondering how I could be so tired and listless, knowing that i wasn’t sad sad. At least not that kind of sad. So finding out it was physical took a lot of pressure and guilt off myself and actually gave me an excuse to say “I’m going to concentrate on my health and if some things fall off the table, I’m not going to stress myself out.”

Which brings me to this assignment. I’m a good 40 minutes from the deadline to hand it in right now. I couldn’t bring myself to even go to class, to further take what feels like torture so I may have missed some steps to help me get through the process.

Either way, if nothing else, I see and feel very intimately what a lot of people feel when faced with adversity on top of adversity. There’s the idea of giving up and deep down not wanting to. Then the feeling like you should be better then feeling helpless because no matter how hard you try you can’t be. So then there is an acceptance and then there is a state of I don’t give a fuckery. Which is where I am.

I tried the assignment and no matter how much I tried to go back to the text, a piece is missing. Something is not connecting. So taking into account I’ve been having health issues and simply trying to hold it together, even this effort of trying feels like an accomplishment. I’m certain my professor thinks I’m an unmotivated asshole. And I don’t care anymore. The few times I’ve tried to ask her a question, I’ve just walked away feeling like I’m still on my own. I miss my homegirl who had to sit out this semester because we were a support system for each other.

I’m not a quitter. But right now, I’m getting comfortable with the idea of temporary failure for my sanity. My student advisor told me all wasn’t lost and if I tried really hard, maybe I could crank out a C in the class. There’s still a quiz and the final looming which accounts for about 30% of the grade. I had already calculated if I screwed up for the rest of the semester and pulled off an 80 on the final, I had a chance of getting that coveted C. There’s still hope.

But as of late, I don’t care.

At one point in time, I’d say I’d have to work harder and prove something to my professor that black people aren’t stupid or lazy and that I deserve to be in the program. But you know what? It’s not about her or being a credit to my race right now. I’m tired, I’m working on my health and she’s still going to get paid. Me failing a class isn’t going to help what’s going on in Ferguson right now. I won’t be a discredit to my people or prevent other black folk from getting into my grad school because I fucked up. I’m over feeling that kind of pressure. I want to be healthy, I want to get through these last two weeks.

It’s wild how I can feel like whatever is lower than crap, but feel like a superstar in another class. My professor calls on me often and my classmates are often impressed and entertained with my contributions to the class. Even when I’m not prepared, I have a natural ability to make it work. Doing well in that class gives me confidence, and I like that feeling. The other class, destroys my confidence. But that’s life. That’s part of the lesson. Sometimes not doing so well is part of the lesson. Sometimes saying screw this all today or this entire week and accepting the consequences is a part of life too. I’m prepared to do that.

I’ve been listening to gospel, while wishing I wasn’t on medication so I can drink.

I’m filled with contradictions. Tonight I feel about 5% saint and 95% ratchet sinner. There’s a part of me that hates I can’t complete the homework let alone hand it in and that I’m willing to see a big, fat zero. But I just can’t go any further with it.

So there it is. I’m messy tonight, yall. Messy.

It’s Rant Time

Usually, I’m a freaking ray of sunshine. Many people tell me so.

But tonight, I’m not.

I’d actually like the liberty to be an entitled, jerky asshole.

Here’s why.

For the umpteenth night within the last nine or so weeks of this one particular class I’ve been taking that makes me question even being in a program I otherwise absolutely love, this is one night, where I probably won’t even hand this assignment in.

I started on it early. I asked my professor a question so convoluted that she asked me to try explaining how I don’t understand all over again. It’s quite scary, because I think I’m a pretty good communicator. So instead I show her the problems I was trying to work out, she said I was wrong and gave me a general response in hopes of helping me arrive to the answer without giving it. So, ok. Fine.

After being dog tired for about three weeks and finally getting blood results back that conclude I had a high number of antibodies for Epstein Barr virus, which is basically like mono I felt some relief that my extreme fatigue and lack of desire to do anything but sleep in order to have enough energy for me to go to work, wasn’t just depression putting it’s nasty grip on me again.

I knew that generally aside from the class from hell, I was pleased with my life and how everything was going. I was wondering how I could be so tired and listless, knowing that i wasn’t sad sad. At least not that kind of sad. So finding out it was physical took a lot of pressure and guilt off myself and actually gave me an excuse to say “I’m going to concentrate on my health and if some things fall off the table, I’m not going to stress myself out.”

Which brings me to this assignment. I’m a good 40 minutes from the deadline to hand it in right now. I couldn’t bring myself to even go to class, to further take what feels like torture so I may have missed some steps to help me get through the process.

Either way, if nothing else, I see and feel very intimately what a lot of people feel when faced with adversity on top of adversity. There’s the idea of giving up and deep down not wanting to. Then the feeling like you should be better then feeling helpless because no matter how hard you try you can’t be. So then there is an acceptance and then there is a state of I don’t give a fuckery. Which is where I am.

I tried the assignment and no matter how much I tried to go back to the text, a piece is missing. Something is not connecting. So taking into account I’ve been having health issues and simply trying to hold it together, even this effort of trying feels like an accomplishment. I’m certain my professor thinks I’m an unmotivated asshole. And I don’t care anymore. The few times I’ve tried to ask her a question, I’ve just walked away feeling like I’m still on my own. I miss my homegirl who had to sit out this semester because we were a support system for each other.

I’m not a quitter. But right now, I’m getting comfortable with the idea of temporary failure for my sanity. My student advisor told me all wasn’t lost and if I tried really hard, maybe I could crank out a C in the class. There’s still a quiz and the final looming which accounts for about 30% of the grade. I had already calculated if I screwed up for the rest of the semester and pulled off an 80 on the final, I had a chance of getting that coveted C. There’s still hope.

But as of late, I don’t care.

At one point in time, I’d say I’d have to work harder and prove something to my professor that black people aren’t stupid or lazy and that I deserve to be in the program. But you know what? It’s not about her or being a credit to my race right now. I’m tired, I’m working on my health and she’s still going to get paid. Me failing a class isn’t going to help what’s going on in Ferguson right now. I won’t be a discredit to my people or prevent other black folk from getting into my grad school because I fucked up. I’m over feeling that kind of pressure. I want to be healthy, I want to get through these last two weeks.

It’s wild how I can feel like whatever is lower than crap, but feel like a superstar in another class. My professor calls on me often and my classmates are often impressed and entertained with my contributions to the class. Even when I’m not prepared, I have a natural ability to make it work. Doing well in that class gives me confidence, and I like that feeling. The other class, destroys my confidence. But that’s life. That’s part of the lesson. Sometimes not doing so well is part of the lesson. Sometimes saying screw this all today or this entire week and accepting the consequences is a part of life too. I’m prepared to do that.

I’ve been listening to gospel, while wishing I wasn’t on medication so I can drink.

I’m filled with contradictions. Tonight I feel about 5% saint and 95% ratchet sinner. There’s a part of me that hates I can’t complete the homework let alone hand it in and that I’m willing to see a big, fat zero. But I just can’t go any further with it.

So there it is. I’m messy tonight, yall. Messy.

If You Are Excessively Tired, It’s Not In Your Head

I know that I’m under a certain amount of pressure these days. I’m working very hard to do well at a new job I really enjoy and I’m a grad school student. I spend a lot of my free times going over lectures, attending online live sessions, working on papers and projects.

But this semester something was different.

Three weeks ago I got sick at work. My throat felt like it was closing up and I had a lot of serious allergy symptoms.

Me being me, I thought nothing of it, went to get my go-to remedies, orange juice, Vietnamese chicken pho (soup) and took claritin before heading into the work site that was the source of these symptoms and taking nyquil at night.

But even as some of the allergy symptoms started to ease, I was growing actually more tired and more fatigued. I lost interest in my school work and didn’t care and couldn’t complete all of my work and at a certain point I just gave up hoping if I did miss a class to sleep all night, I’d wake up the next day, take a shower and feel like my normal self.

I’d wake up the next day begging God to give me enough strength to get out of bed to take that shower and make it to work. I didn’t want to be sick, I had too much to do. I couldn’t afford it. So, I’d eventually get up after an hour of praying and willing myself to get up and take the shower. The normal burst of energy I feel when I take showers had zero effect. I was dragging myself through my morning rituals, doing just enough not to look absolutely crazy when I headed to work.

Being a natural hair girl, you often have to take a lot of time to style your hair. No energy to do that. I had to keep my styles as simple and basic as possible, from relying on bobby pins and rolling my hair as neatly as possible into buns, or wearing a scarf to run errands.

My friends noticed that I wasn’t doing too well either and kept urging me to see the doctor. It’s pretty horrible that I’m working on my Masters degree in Public Health, killing myself to work on projects about helping people become more healthy and I’m completely worn down. So I went.

I went yesterday and my doctor confirmed I had swollen nodes, post nasal drip and left over congestion from the two weeks prior. She said she wanted to do a blood test to rule in or rule out Epstein Barr virus. My excessive tiredness, seemed to suggest that this virus may be the culprit as to why I was experiencing an abnormal tired that just wasn’t my usual. I told her I knew I couldn’t have been crazy or acting dramatic because I’m the person who often has a lot on my plate and I can push through usual tiredness, get the job done and still get up in the morning.

By the time I survived to the weekend, I could not get out of bed at all.

While I take comfort in getting closer to a reason why I’ve been feeling so bad, I don’t want to claim having EBV. It’s not even something that can be treated. You try to manage it with lowering stress and a more healthy lifestyle. But you will have episodes of extreme fatigue. This has been the worst. Last year there were about two times in the year where I felt extreme fatigue and had difficulty, but just brushed it off. The level of tiredness I’ve been feeling over the last two weeks could not be ignored. So while I was tired of family and friends asking me if I’d seen the doctor, I’m glad I went because it gave me back some control instead of just feeling bad and feeling helpless.

We just have to wait and see what the blood test reveals. My doctor recommended a B complex vitamin to take daily, however I won’t see improvement in my energy for three days. So I’m still struggling a bit right now. I’m also taking an antihistamine and a prescription grade nasal spray. So we’ll see how things go over the next few days.

I really appreciate the love and support 29tolifers have been giving me on the blog and on twitter! You guys are absolutely the best.

Do you know anyone who has Epstein Barr? How do they manage it? What lifestyle changes did people have to make to improve their lives?

Avoiding Responsibility

I’m about two weeks away from the end of my second semester of school. And I’m out of gas.

It’s been tough to concentrate.

I couldn’t get out of bed today and I kept telling myself. This would be the weekend I buckle down and complete a massive final project.

But it hasn’t been in my heart. I knew going back to school and working full-time would be hard.

But mentally, physically and everything else, it’s just hard.

It’s a test of your will and your mettle. It’s going to take everything out of you if you are trying your best.

Complaining is an easy thing to do.

I don’t even know how to give up.

I’m already $30,000 deep.

So paying for a degree that I didn’t complete with my own money… yeah. We ain’t doing that.

But I’m tired. I’m unfocused and I find myself easily distracted. All of a sudden the pile of laundry is bothering me, I have a renewed interest in old CDs and I hula hoop with a weighted hoop. Anything not to do what I’m supposed to.

I hate the pressure of feeling like, I’m wasting time only to put more pressure on myself to get everything done at the very last-minute. I know better to be a procrastination. It won’t do me any good. I’m not a full-time student that can just concentrate on school. My free time has to be school time.

But I can’t resist the urge to slack off, to sleep longer, because I need it. I deserve it. And I don’t care. When you are out of gas, out of energy, you don’t care.

But then you go to sleep and dream about your teeth falling out.

You look it up and find out those dreams are linked to anxiety and change.

No kidding.

I know I want to do the things I’m studying. I know this. I actually like the things I’m studying, but I’m tired. I’m all over the place. I’m out of gas. Just two more weeks. So why is this even harder when I’m so close?

I guess that’s the point.

After 30, “I Don’t Know Why I Love Him/Her” is no longer an acceptable answer

I’ve had yet another conversation with a friend facing an internal struggle to allow a man she knows isn’t really good for her to continue to stay in her life and take up her brainspace, heart space and energy.

So, I asked her. Why? Why him? Why do you believe you love him?

She replied, “I don’t know why.”

I told her she better figure it out.

I said right then and there, it was almost cute in our early 20s to say we just loved someone because we felt it. But 9 times out of 10, what we were feeling back then might have been everything else but love, or simplified versions of it that our tiny brains could process at the time.

I hate to take the glamour and wonder out of love because it is one of the most powerful and inspiring and amazing things we have to hold on to during our existence. I don’t poo pooh it by any means. However, if you are a grown woman and you can’t make a list of the reasons why you love your significant other, I’m worried for you. “I just do.” Is not enough.

I’m afraid that I’ll come off really judgemental by saying that’s a lazy ass answer, so I’ll stand in my truth and be a bit judgy.

Those answers are lazy. It requires nothing of you but to simply feel and it certainly requires nothing of the other person except they breathe.

The more I think about the people I love, I find it’s actually quite easy to articulate why I love them and what makes them so special to me.

There are some people in my life who know how to make me laugh. Some people who make me look at myself and strive to be a better human being. Some people make me feel safe. Some people make me feel like I can do anything I put my mind to because they believe I can. Some people remind me to take care of myself. Some people give me the safe place to be vulnerable to cry or be angry.

Like I said. The list goes on and on. I’m not in some mystical haze about my feelings for the people I love. It’s clear and it can be articulated. As we get older, we should get some clarity. We shouldn’t use love as a crutch to be lazy about our relationships and hope they succeed on automatic pilot.

As I’ve mentioned in other posts, like an annual review at a job, or report card time for school, we live in a world were assessments help us decide if we are achieving goals, moving along at a proper rate, and even helping us figure out what is a good fit for us and what’s not, what we’re good at and where we need a little more help. It doesn’t hurt to look at our performance in relationships as well as the performance of others. Trust your boss doesn’t write in your review, “Eh, I don’t know, we just like her.”

Should you treat the people in your life like a check list? Should you be constantly evaluating them? Absolutely not. But taking serious inventory from time to time about your relationships can prove fruitful.

So if you can’t come up with one good reason why you love the person you love, dig a little deeper. I’m sure you’ll find one. You should want to find one.

Hitting a wall? Gotta Switch It Up.

This weekend was a success. Here’s why. I did a lot of things I wanted to do, which included just spending time with folks and not studying. I participated in a great book discussion with former co workers who couldn’t have been more diverse and it was a breath of fresh air. I got to see women who I’d worked with for 7 years in a very different light. They were vibrant and open and absolutely delightful. To experience them in a more relaxed element was so wonderful. My guess is they probably got to see another side of me too.

Because I was killing a slew of birds with a single stone, I also managed to catch up with some other friends who lived nearby in the area I was in for the book club and so it turned into a shopping party after we had lunch. Then that turned to fro yo, and a mini makeover to help me get ready for a much-needed night of dancing in DC.

When I say I can’t remember the last time I got down and dirty, sweating all over my entire body, sore feet and all, I really can’t remember dancing so hard. And most of the time I didn’t even have a partner and it didn’t even matter. This party was spinning tunes from Hip hop and R and B from the 90s and the whole crowd lost their minds. It was wonderful. One guy I was dancing with was absolutely delightful, I had no problem grinding, hugging on and flirting with this guy because I needed a release. I rubbed his bald head, I sang words to saucy songs and I just let my body move however it did. And he was with it. He kept telling me I was trouble, and I playfully denied it.

We did exchange business cards, as people do in DC, so hey, who knows? Maybe we’ll stay in touch. But I won’t stress over it.

I sent a text to a friend the next day saying, “Sometimes you just need to get all sweaty and grind in a dark club with a stranger.”

I’m not sure if the pressures of working full-time and school have made me more open to just being in a moment, but even when I went out of town to visit a homegirl, I wound up kissing a stranger in the club parking lot. I was scared that I was regressing, and then realized, I’m a grown woman. I wasn’t having sex with these people, but at the moment, they were giving me something I absolutely needed. And to kiss them back, to flirt and shake my butt to touch them was my show of gratitude for sharing a moment with me, where neither one of us expected nothing in return and would have been perfectly fine walking away with the memory and mystery of that person.

So, I’m embracing these moments that only single, grown women can have. If I want to kiss a guy and I feel safe enough to do so, I will. If I want to dance a little sexy, if i buy a freak um dress or wear a new shade of lipstick, I can. And I will.

When your time is limited or it seems it’s always accounted for the moments that you have complete control over, you find yourself giving into indulgences to feel alive, and feel as if you are breaking free from the routine. I think it’s ok. I think we’re allowed from time to time.

There are days I wish I had the guts and the lack of bills and responsibilities that would allow me to just do school full time. I really like my new job, so I wouldn’t want to quit. But I have noticed when I can study at a much slower pace on the weekend, I retain the information better. I’m not just going through the motions to fulfill a requirement which is how I feel mid week.

It was nice to study at the park today and then take a nice walk around the lake. It actually reenergized me.

The concept of balance has been weighing heavily on my mind these days. Mind, body and soul. I’ve been needing it and craving it. And this weekend taught me that studying all weekend wasn’t going to get it. That I still needed fun and other stimulation and variety and human interaction, and a handsome man picking me up like a Magic Mike extra while Ginuwine’s Pony pulsates through a sweltering DC night club.

I feel much better off of that memory. I’ll stop being so scared of what Monday brings… and will take my butt to bed.

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