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Archive for the tag “self esteem”

I’m Ready for Change, When I Change My Lip Color

I think that there is an emotional tie to our lip color, the same way we feel about a signature fragrance we may wear or even a signature hairstyle.

These things can help distinguish us from everyone else in the world, the slightest change in any of these physical things, people will notice. I think it’s fitting that we are moving into the fall season. I’m about 10 pounds lighter (13 on a really good day) and I’m loving the way some of my clothes are fitting in a more flattering way, and the way some of my clothes aren’t quite fitting me anymore, because they’re loose! What an awesome “problem” to have!

But anyway, as I think of sliding my fine ass into some new sweater dresses and knee-high boots, to welcome the fall my thoughts turned to a new lip color.

Now I have some favorites that I just can’t live with out. Totally toffee and crazy for coffee (work), red velvet (sassy night on the town) and there’s another color I like when I’m feeling edgy and vampy that has a deep purple tint to it. But, I kind of want to introduce something new into the mix.

Changing a lip color isn’t something I do lightly. After all, finding the right shade of anything that compliments my skin color and makes me feel good is hard work. So when I change up, I really take my time and I think about it.

Is this for everyday? Is this for special occasions when I want to turn it up a notch and shut it down.

I have big lips, and a bright gap-toothed smile, so people notice my mouth. It may be one of the first things they notice (I think one of those online quizzes said so). Anyway, I do give new lip color more thought than most, maybe because I’m not a big makeup girl to begin with. But my lips, I will put effort into those.

A lip story that I cannot forget is when I was out shopping with my ex. I tried a bright red lipstick and he hated it. Told me I should never wear red lipstick. It just doesn’t work for me. Stick to the soft browns and neutrals.

Shortly after we broke up, one of the first things I went and did was try three different kinds of red lipstick, til I found my favorite, lol. Now, red ain’t red, and everyone can’t wear the same kind of red, so maybe the one I tried that day wasn’t really flattering, but I’m glad I didn’t give up. When I found the right one, it was symbolic to me. It said, he may have hated it, but he ain’t here now, is he? Do what you like to do, be who you want to be and if there’s a day or a week you want to be bolder than usual, be that, because that’s a part of who you are too.

Now, I know some people who actually rock, blues, oranges and greens. There are even some pinks that make me look crazy, but I will be patient. I’ll test some out and hopefully for fall, I’ll have a new favorite to represent some of the new changes I’ve been experiencing.

I’ll let you know how it goes!

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Good Hair Days Make Me Feel Like…

I love GIFs.

When people use them properly, they bring massive joy to my life.

Today, I would like to attempt compiling a few GIFs to express how I feel when I successfully did a two-strand flat twist out on my hair. Two-strand flat twist out sounds like something Gabby Douglas would do at the Olympics in the women’s gymnastics all around and scare us all because of the difficulty and danger of the routine.

Gabby Douglas's All-Around Gymnastics Gold In GIFs

I feel especially wonderful that my hair came out great, because it was a technique I never tried, and won’t take insane amounts of time, especially once I’ve mastered it.

I’ve been at work like this most of the day, because I know I’m fine (sans shades).

When I walk, I feel like this…

I look in the mirror and say…

thats good thats damn good

Oh lawd, where is his hairline? Just noticed. I’ma go do his hair too.

Whoo hoo for happy hair days!!!! It’s really a big deal.

 

Making A Promise Week, By Week

This morning I got up and I did a Zumba DVD.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a morning person.

In my opinion, I don’t like speaking in full sentences until after 10 a.m. and no one should even be mad at that. The world should just accept it.

After eating like a stupid person the past couple of weeks, the scale has not been kind.

It’s been pretty mean.

So mean, that I’m officially the most I’ve ever weighed in life and it was a ridiculous wake up call.

I’ve had wake up calls before, but last night I prayed to God to remove the spirit of laziness and to please let me get up in the morning without a whole lot of moaning and groaning and ignoring, and at least do one 20 min Zumba rush DVD.

I got up and I did it. Then I made one egg for breakfast. I’m bad about eating breakfast.

I also decided to make another promise to myself and say another prayer to not be lazy and to not get discouraged quickly.

For one week, the only liquid I want to drink is water. Not even diet Snapple. Just water.

For one week, I want to go vegetarian. No meat. I may keep fish on the menu, but generally, I think I’d like to go straight veggie for just this one week.

The next promise I made to myself for just this one week, is to do two-a-days of exercise. One quick exercise in the morning, like the 20 min rush, or a yoga dvd or my new pilates reformer bar and then a more hard-core workout video when I get home from work in the evening for one hour.

Then I found myself deciding that I’d like to lose 30 pounds by April, and if I do, I get to take myself on a vacation somewhere awesome.

Do I want to join a gym? Eventually. But I’d rather wait until March when the rush dies down. I refuse to join a gym in January. It’s the worst. And I’d like to see if I can push myself at home. I have too many different types of dvds and I would get bored with them. I actually think I can create my own program by just mixing them all up so I don’t get bored with trying to stick with one plan. I just want to move.

I am also strongly considering buying a jump rope to use at work in one of the stair wells for a ten minute break.

I don’t have a husband, I don’t have kids. Nothing is consuming my time to the point where I shouldn’t be able to take an hour to exercise. But it’s so hard to make up your mind, shut yourself up and just do it.

There is a quote from Mark Twain that I really like and have spent the last few years trying to really apply to my life, but I get lazy.

“Do something everyday that you don’t want to do. This is  the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.”

So whoop there it is.

This is one song that pumps me up in my ipod for working out. It’s called “You Can Do It.” No Doubt. Yes, this is old school.

A Tale of Two Photos

The formal season is in high gear in the D.C. area and it’s just about to heat up with the second inauguration of President Barack Obama is just around the corner.

Get your tickets while they are still around $100, because you are about to pay way out the butt if you wait any longer.

Anyway, the point of this post is to address something that was really bothering me.

In one week, I’ve been to two formal events and I posted a few quick pictures on Facebook to show off my fabulousness.

Well, in the first photo, from New Year’s eve, where my hair is slicked down and I’m wearing  an exaggerated bun, I got so many positive responses from all sorts of people.

It made me feel really great about myself.

Then, I posted a couple of pics with my hair in it’s kinky, curly state with a fab dress and great make up, and only a small handful of people responded with the lovely compliments and with such enthusiasm.

It hurt.

I had purposely posted the pics from this second formal to see people’s reactions to the “natural” hair style would be similar to the previous formal. I had a feeling folks wouldn’t be as into it, but I posted it in hopes that I would be wrong.

I wasn’t.

It upset me that people weren’t seeing what I had started seeing in myself. I really liked my hair that night, I really thought that I looked pretty. I thought I looked awesome in both photos. Soooo…

Why wasn’t everyone else jumping on board?

I was really bothered.

I talked to a friend about it and she reminded me that my going natural was still fairly new and so even after two more trips home, my family and friends were finally getting used to it, so expecting people on Facebook who never see me to accept it too, is a stretch. I didn’t think about it that way, but it still upset me. Like what is it about hair? What is it?

I mean, according to public opinion, it seems I am more attractive with less, big, poufy hair. Even when I’ve posted other photos with my new hair, I’ve been getting crickets in terms of responses.

I’m tempted to do a study or something where women wear wigs and weaves, post pics on Facebook, then the same women take off the wigs and weaves and wear their natural hair.

I’ve been wondering if I’ve been subliminally telling myself that natural hair is gorgeous because I’ve been watching videos like mad, and looking at pinterest, and I’ve been seeing women wear their hair all kinds of ways and I just think they are so beautiful.

So is it me? Am I crazy? Am I delusional? I think I look great. I’m proud of myself for accepting my new hair and seeing the beauty in it. Do I really have to wait for folks to catch up and see it too?

Fellas, I’ll Be at the Cultural Stuff

Welp, I figured I should tell you, my friends that I basically ended the situation with the older gentleman.

I know.

We all had high hopes. But it just didn’t feel right. He did something last week that led to a super lapse in judgement, involving a run-in with tow guys and the police, and a lackluster make out session, and the sense that he was too impressed by me, was a little too much.

He said he understood, but he still wanted to check on me from time to time and that he’d miss me.

I told him I don’t know what he was looking for down the line, but I had a feeling no matter how long we dragged this out, I wouldn’t be as all in as him.

It sucks. It sucks a lot because he was really, really sweet and kind. But he deserves more from someone who will be just as invested him. My heart wasn’t all in.

So here’s the deal.

I do think I’m ready to date and meet some great guys and I have a friend who is quite enthusiastic about me going out on the scene.

I’m not so excited about hitting the bars and parties. Actually, I dread it. It’s so not fun anymore. Don’t like it.

So, thanks to the good folks at Goldstar, where I get discounted tickets to all sorts of awesome stuff, I’ve figured out there’s a lot of interesting things going on that still involve a few cocktails, but involve cultural things, new music, art and things I dig, where there may be a greater likelihood of me even meeting someone who is interested in the same thing. It won’t be a meat market.

Tomorrow night, I’m going to check out an African hip hop artist at the National Geographic in D.C. I think it will be a lot of fun and inexpensive and I’ll be exposed to something new. Whether I meet someone or not, I still feel like I’ll get my money’s worth and I’ll be comfortable.

Next week, one of my awesome guy friends will join me to see the awesome jazz artist Robert Glasper, who has done some fabulous collaborations with R&B and hip hop artists. The music is unbelievable.

I won’t lie, I do feel somewhat self-conscious. Men aren’t chasing me down like they used to. Somewhere down the line, I gained 20 pounds and I really didn’t notice. I don’t think I look bad, but there is a difference. I’ve changed my hair, so it’s no longer long and straight, but short and curly. But I like my hair this way. I think I look good, but I guess in an unconventional way. So I’m not thrilled about going to some of D.C.’s hot spots trying to wear 5 inch heels and squeeze myself in to a freakum dress while surrounded by long weaves and rail thin music video girls.

I don’t want to push anything up or suck anything in. I want to be able to go out and look cute and comfortable. I just don’t have the desire to go all out to get men’s attention. You either see my light or you don’t. Am I being lazy? Will I not meet anyone awesome because I’m not trying hard enough, or am I old and jaded?

I drink Makers. Not apple martini’s. I like to argue about politics and social problems, I can’t dumb myself down. I like to talk about the books I’ve read, or the concerts or museum exhibits I want to see. I have opinions. Not to say that most of the men in D.C. are shallow, they dig all of that. But the ones that are 28-46, they are greedy, they know the demographics of the city and they know they are at an advantage when it comes to women and the numbers.

So, is my plan a great compromise? Go to more of the cultural events I already love to go to and maybe I can meet someone there?

TMI Alert: A Hairy Situation

Spoiler Alert: I’m talking about body hair and I’m also talking about the love below. If you are a young reader, you may want to have a discussion with a cool aunt, older sister or your mom before or after reading this. I’m kinda graphic, but it could have been much worse. If you are a man, you may get privy to how to have a civil conversation with your lady about her parts without wrecking her sexual self-esteem.

Ambro/freedigitalphotos.net

Back in the late 90s early 2000’s a lot of rap artists put silly skits in between songs.  One of the quotes often quoted by me and my friends come in the form of a skit called the “mad rapper.”

The angry rapper was just a certified, bona-fide, hater and he’d always have someone say, “Tell em why you mad, son.” And then he goes on his rant.

Well I had that moment today.

I need to get my eyebrows threaded. Yes, I am that chick. I’ve stopped waxing because, it seems to last longer in my opinion.

So I purposely go to the quiet mall that elderly people like, and get my brows done during my lunch break.

No one is ever in that place.

Oh, but not today. There was not one but two young girls. One clicking away on a cell phone. She was probably 13 or 14. The girl in the chair getting her brows done looked like a younger sister maybe 9. The little girl is saying, “ouch, this hurts.”

The older one not looking up from the cell phone says, “it’s supposed to.”

So I sit and wait hoping they will leave. Nope, the older snarky one still has to go and is telling the eyebrow stylist (I made that up) to just hold on while she’s figuring out why her instagram isn’t working.

I’m through so I walk out and go to the sad, sad food court to eat and hope they are gone by the time I return.

I eat, I return and now their mother is hovering over the chair inspecting the handiwork of the eyebrow stylist, and with her is a third adolescent girl.

I was so mad.

First of all, I never got my eyebrows formally waxed until my freshman year of college. And boy did it make a difference in my features. We aren’t friends anymore, but thank you Maya, wherever you are.

Back to why all of this matters. I couldn’t believe how casual these girls, who were all under 17 were about getting their eyebrows done.

It made me a little sad. Then it made me think of how I didn’t have a problem with any of my body hair, until other people pointed it out and made me feel bad about it. So people are starting on these girls, really early. Or I was just really sheltered and oblivious.

I really wasn’t aware of my hairs, or how unattractive they are to society until middle school while working on my rocket in technology club a boy pointed out he could see my armpit hairs when I raised my arms to work on it.

I was mortified.

Until that day, I didn’t think there was anything wrong with me, those hairs, and that boys were looking up under there.

I immediately took my dad’s razor and began secretly shaving my pits.

I’m so sorry daddy. Here you are shaving your face after I’ve shaved my little 13-year-old pits. I’m so, very sorry.

Then I found out a year or so later on the volleyball team that leg hair just really had to go too.

I was so depressed. So I shaved my legs, once again with daddy’s razor. My mom didn’t want me to start shaving and said so when I brought it up. So I snuck. So sorry daddy.

When the other only black girl on the team, a year older than me declared she didn’t shave above her knees, I felt as if that was a good idea, and so, I didn’t shave above my knees.

I told them to go take a hike when they all agreed one girl on the team was perfect because her thighs never touched when she walked.

I decided in my mind that girl was a genetic anomaly and that a little contact while you walked wasn’t a serious issue.

It wasn’t until college that I realized men were waaay more obsessed with the “hair down there” than I was.

For spring break one year, I knew the importance of keeping the bikini line clean and raced for the Nair. I wasn’t about to be looking crazy in South Beach.

But once again, sheltered little me didn’t know the rules of the game.

I was so busy concentrating on the bikini line, a Miami weed man with dreads, and Caribbean accent, who was crushing on me that week complemented me on my confidence and declared my “happy trail” was sexy.

I was totally confused as to what he was talking about. Noticing I needed further explanation, he tickled my stomach and stopped just short of my bikini bottom.

Damn it. Those little bitty hairs? You have to shave your stomach too? I must be a hairy monster.

Why didn’t anyone tell me?

I was so embarrassed. He could tell I had no clue and he just kept telling me how cute I was.

I went back to the room and commenced with the Nair on my stomach too, just below the belly button. Damn.

I honestly thought the hair on the love below was supposed to be there, because it was there and more covering for well, the private parts. And after having a first sexual partner, who was my long time boyfriend, who never had a problem with it or mentioned it, it didn’t occur to me until a couple of partners later, hair or no hair was such a big deal to certain men.

One jerky boyfriend during my early 20s wouldn’t leave it alone.

“You should really shave it. It will make it feel better, for both of us.”

I was livid.

I felt like he was rejecting me and my little lady. That it wasn’t good enough, which was a damn lie, because my first loved me and it, and had no problems with saying hello face, to, um face before, now he wants to bring this up.

So after that conversation, and finally the end of that relationship, I decided that it was my choice to shave or not shave because it was a private part of my body and you can take it or leave it.

So that was my take on it. If you want some of this lovin bad enough. You will take it as it is, however I decide I want it.

I blame porn. Silly men and their silly porn.

Years after the boyfriend with no tact who made me feel like I had an ugly kitty, I had another lover who used a different and most effective approach.

“It’s beautiful, I love it and I will still enjoy eating you out, however if you shave it, it will help me do an even better job.”

And Bingo was his name oh.

I didn’t have no Harriet Tubman speech about accepting my hairy parts, and accepting me and rejection and the are you a pedophile question session.

Nope.

The hair? Gone.

But at a certain point in time, I came to the conclusion that sometimes I like being bare and sometimes I keep it au naturale when I know I’m not having company for awhile. It depends on how I feel and to me that’s the point. I’m not asking for anyone to lean one way or the other, just feel good with what it is you’ve got and don’t let anyone else sway you.

That’s your stuff!

I do believe you should make it as presentable as possible for your special partner, but you should ALWAYS do what is most comfortable to you.

I know I went totally left today. I’m gross. Some of you may stop reading my blog forever. If I went too far, I’m sorry. But this was the post on my heart and mind today.

But seeing how these really young girls barely batted an eye at the thought of body hair removal and how long it took me to even understand the hairs, let alone the social, and sexual implications of it all, I had to laugh and I had to share these thoughts.

I’m glad I had a childhood. I’m glad I maintained my innocence for as long as I could.

Maybe I was late to the hair removal game, but if I joined it any sooner than I did, I would be even more jaded than I already am. I’m glad I was militant about shaving my special parts early on, and I’m equally glad someone showed me the other side of the argument in a nurturing way.

And for those wondering during the college years and after… I bring my own razors when I visit home.

My poor, poor father. God bless him.

The ‘Well Do Something, Then’ Campaign

Photo credit: David Castillo/Freedigitalphotos.net
“Well do something, then.”

There once was a time where when you were a kid (or even for some real belligerent adults), when folks were about to fight they’d stand toe-to-toe and someone would have to be the first to do that step-in-the-face-flinch thing to assert they weren’t playing around, but they weren’t quite ready to just pop off and be the first one to land the punch.

I mean after all, there are usually witnesses, and we all know the person labeled as the fight starter is automatically at fault and eligible for the most severe punishment of the fighters.

An interesting thing happens though.

If the flincher doesn’t go ahead and just throw the first blow, the other person, to show they are now equally fearless as the initiator, will up the ante, and often reply, “Well do something, then.”

Not to be outdone, the flincher has been tested and has to go through with it. If they don’t, all of the pomp and circumstance was for not, and they’ve lost credibility as a bad ass.

If the flincher relents, the other person wins philosophically and usually twists the knife further by saying, “Thought so.” Either pandemonium breaks loose, or the nerve has been lost and the flincher has to slink away in shame.

I often think when we tackle things in life, we are the flincher. We even let life get to the point where it tells us, “Yeah, that’s what I thought” as soon as we turn and walk away after a failure, an embarrassment or if someone hurts our feelings or tells us no.

We want to ask someone out, we want to stand up to a bully, we want to tell people how we really feel, or try something new, or wear our hair a certain way, or we want to take a big risk.

We dance all around this stuff making a big show, talking about what we are going to do, we move our hands, we have a solid stance.

Meanwhile, that thing is staring us in the face saying, “Well do something, then.”

I’ve been working on/ignoring a novel that I’ve managed to write over 100 pages. I keep saying there’s something missing, and I just can’t get there, but I’m kind of almost done.

“Well do something, then.”

I’ve decided this weekend, I’m going to Kinkos and I’m going to actually print the whole damn thing out for the very first time. No, I’ve never printed it out. Crazy, yes. And I will read it, and take a red pen to it and get all up in its rectum and finally finish that thing for real.

There are two jobs I want to apply for.

“Well do something, then.”

Looks like I’ll be working on that too this weekend.

Unused Living Social gym 3-month membership that expires in October.

“Well do something, then. And stop wasting that money.”

Don’t even get me started on the t-shirt business. Things have slowed down, but I’m not as far behind as I think I am.

“Well do something, then.”

I know a friend who is choosing to live in a fantasy world they made up to avoid dealing with the possibility of rejection and dealing with what other people think of his decision, instead of stepping up and being honest with himself and the parties involved. He’s gonna have to take a risk, it’s the only way, even if he fails miserably. He’s got to take those steps as a man.

His fear is crippling him and making it increasingly more difficult to tell the difference between reality and things he’s made up to make himself feel better.

It made me think of what I’ve been telling myself lately. What are the lies? What is the truth?

Am I thinking clearly?

What am I afraid of? And how do I face that honestly?

I think a clear indication of what’s in your heart is what you decide to do even when you’re scared.

If you flinch more than once, especially after you’ve been called out to, “well do something, then,” no one is going to take you seriously.

How many times have you told folks what you’re going to do? And did you immediately do it? Did you wait until such and such happens? Are you still waiting for such and such to happen?

Do you have to wait for the situation to hit you first, so you can feel justified in hitting back and then by default you’re not the one to get in as much trouble because technically you didn’t start it?

Either way, that’s punk theory. Sometimes you just got to start something to force you to finish what you start.

I’m not in any way an advocate for picking fights, but in these kind of circumstances, we need to be unflinching bullies for our dreams, for our beliefs, for our respect and to just get difficult things done.

You don’t like it?

“Well do something, then.”

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