I read an article this morning that pretty much sums up the current climate today on the dating front. You can read it here. To sum it up, everything is ambivalent with both individuals not wanting to feel needy or clingy. There are multiple unspoken rules and no one is willing to pick up the phone and have an actual conversation. I’m going to stop ranting now. Read the article.
This song is on repeat this week. I’ve always been a fan of Ariana Grande’s voice. She has range but also a clearness to her tone that is refreshing. The song is pretty retrospective. It talks about spending more time in the rearview mirror instead of looking ahead. One thing that I like is that the words are honest. The song talks about acknowledgement for the good times but also a lot of regret. It’s not overly optimistic but still expresses hope for the future.
I probably should preface this post by saying that it could be a trigger for people. However, it is something that has been on my mind since seeing the video and reading an article about a topic that has been under a lot of debate for years. You can read it here. First off I do want to say that I’m not a huge fan of abortion. When I was younger I was strongly pro-life due to my extremely conservative background and (I admit) a certain naiveté. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that the issue isn’t as black and white as many would like it to be. The story of this doctor in my hometown of Huntsville, Alabama struck a chord with me. The fact that every day she goes to work with protesters lining the entrance of her practice infuriates me. No one (especially in a medical position) should have to fight in order to do their job and provide a service to the patients that is requested. One thing that struck me is that the doctor herself was a single mother with two kids before she even graduated from high school. She overcame so much in order to get where she is today. The fact of the matter is that people spend so much time an energy protesting something that really doesn’t pertain to them. They are not offering to deliver the baby, clothe the baby, financially support the baby, or even contribute in a meaningful way to the life of the baby. The decision to terminate a pregnancy is not easy. I think that vast majority of women agonize over it before deciding. The reality of it is that that there are some people who are just not fit to be parents. They aren’t mentally, financially, or emotionally ready to bring a child into the world and raise it in a loving and stable environment. Adoption is an alternative but let’s face it, every child isn’t adopted and growing up in a slew of foster homes isn’t ideal. I was listening to the radio last week and a lady was telling the story of how she terminated her first pregnancy because she was going to donate a kidney to her boyfriend and she chose his life over the life of her baby as he was in acute kidney failure and wasn’t expected to live much longer without a transplant. My heart went out to her as she had to make a tough call and I don’t know what I would do if I were in a similar situation. My point is that I think that abortion is a necessary evil in the world we live in. Women deserve access to those services and providers that are licensed and able to perform the procedure safely without being harassed and demonized for their choices. I’ve worked with women who have had abortions and those that wish they had. It’s a choice that isn’t made easily. As I said before, I’m not a fan of it and I think it’s unfortunate but that’s the way it has to be.
In the past few weeks I’ve had the opportunity to lend a listening ear to friends. As a classic introvert, it’s easier to listen to people talk and offer some feedback than to be on the other side. One thing that I’ve thought about is how different life would be if we had an “off” switch for emotions. Let’s face it,emotions can be annoying and affect the way you act. It’s interesting how much of our lives can be ruled by emotions. We leave relationships because our feelings changed and pursue different courses of action because we just aren’t “feeling” it anymore. Life tends to require you to take action and make decisions in spite of how you feel. I’m all for acknowledging emotions but not letting them run your life. Science tells us that 69% of conflict in a marriage isn’t resolvable. What if it’s the same thing with emotions? What if we learned to manage anger,fear,sadness,or guilt without the expectation that these emotions would be completely gone?
This weekend on Sunday I looked at my phone as I usually do when I wake up and was horrified with what I read. It brought back memories for me of a Friday morning when I woke up to messages from people asking if I was ok when a gunman went into a theater about 15 minutes away from me and killed people. As the days have passed, I’ve watched the interviews with the survivors, observed all the varying views and conspiracy theorists on social media, and just felt generally sad. My heart goes out to all those affected. The people who just wanted a fun night out to celebrate with their friends and their families who have been sick with worry finally finding out if their loved one was one of the survivors or one that didn’t make it.The story about the guy whose last text to his mother was “I’m gonna die.” just broke my heart. It’s such a horrible horrible tragedy and lives were needlessly ended due to the decision of one disturbed individual. There’s really nothing that can be said to rationalize the murder of a group of people who were targeted (it appears) because of who they were as people. This event was also preceded by the murder of a singer as she was signing autographs after her concert. While it’s touching to see the kind acts of humanity by the community and the outpouring of love and support and genuine empathy and sympathy for all the lives lost, it’s still a sad reality that this happened in the first place. Maybe I’m jaded but I really don’t have a strong burning desire to bear and raise a child in the world we live in today. It feels unrealistic to hope that the next generation “gets it right.” No place is safe and it seems like an impossibility to change that. I appreciate the attitude of never-ending optimism because we really can’t afford to lose hope because it’s literally all we have. It just breaks my heart.
My thoughts and prayers for all those impacted by the Orlando tragedies
Like many black women, I have a love-hate relationship with my hair. It really tends to have a mind of its own and rarely submits to my commands. These days there’s a lot of hype on embracing one’s natural beauty and avoiding chemicals in order to leave hair in its natural state. About a year or so ago my hair was very damaged and required a hairdresser intervention. She gave me a protective style in order to help my hair to grow back. I’ve always had very thick hair that was challenging to manage. Growing up, my mother used a relaxer on it for a few years and then changed her mind deciding that I needed to go natural. It was ok for a few years. I didn’t look my age because of the cornrows but I really didn’t care that much because we lived in the middle of nowhere (literally) with no boys in sight for miles. However, after moving to the Atlanta metro area I decided it was time for a change and (finally) my dad backed me up in getting my hair relaxed again so it would be easier to style. Fast forward two days ago when I finally took my hair out of the protective style that it had been in for over a year. My hair was completely chemical free. I washed and dried it about 3 times in an attempt to get it to the point that I could comb through it. I broke several combs in the process and still was unable to get through all the tangles. It literally would not cooperate and I decided that I needed to see an expert. Once at the hairshop I had a brief consultation with my stylist who took one look at my hair and recommended putting a relaxer back in. As much as I liked the idea of being chemical free, the day to day upkeep of it was a commitment that I just was not willing to make. So I agreed and I am now back on the creamy crack. I can comb through my hair and now I can swim and workout without altering my entire day. It’s a beautiful thing. Will I ever go natural again? To be honest, probably not.
My dissertation chair posted this link in our online classroom today and I have to say that I found it really funny. The truth is that “science” can say anything that you want it to say. There are numerous studies that are quoted as fact that really aren’t. It’s a long video and I didn’t think I would finish it due to my short attention span but it held my attention. A lovely reminder to check your facts before spouting out statistics. Side note: wouldn’t it be lovely if a glass of wine was the equivalent of an hour at the gym?
I recently ran across an article that caught my attention. I follow the writer on some of my social media sites and I usually agree with a lot of what he says. I immediately shared the link with a friend of mine who also tends to share a lot of my viewpoints and she agreed 100% with the writer. You can read the article here. First off, I want to say that I really like the writer’s “tell it as it is/no nonsense” approach. The basic assertion of the article is that women need to stop being loyal while they’re in the beginning stages of a relationship in order to “prove” that they have the capability to be monogamous in a relationship. These days there are so many additional nuances to the dating process. It used to be a lot simpler. You were either with someone or you weren’t. Now we have the “talking stage” which is a sort of a dating purgatory or holding period without anything really being defined. This isn’t to be confused with the “friends with benefits” stage where it can get messy if/when emotions get involved and there isn’t always a clear definition of what exactly it means. The writer of the article specifically addresses women who immediately cut off all other options because they’re currently in the talking stage with someone. I know some women who date online and hide their online profile when they start talking to someone so that they don’t have to deal with other interested guys. It’s a nice thought but in the world we live in today, that’s too much of a gamble in my opinion. You can’t afford to put all your eggs in one basket when you initially start talking to someone. If a guy wants to commit he will. Jumping through hoops and forsaking all others too early in the game is one of the quickest ways to get burnt. You get too emotionally invested too soon without being able to tell if the feeling is actually mutual. It’s a recipe for failure. Don’t paint yourself into a corner. You always want to have options until you don’t need them anymore.
A few days ago I took some time to watch the movie Losing Isaiah. There was a certain sense of urgency as Netflix was about to take it off in order to make room for more movies. I first saw the movie at my grandparents house in Michigan. I remember renting it with my very own library card when I was 9 or 10 and watching it in the living room sprawled out on the very comfortable carpet. I remember being happy in the end that the baby was returned to his biological mother. However, this time I watched the movie with a different perspective. One that’s been informed by several years of being a social worker and working with families and kids. The movie brings up some interesting questions that are still relevant today. A mother abandons her baby in a trash can. The baby is born addicted to drugs because she used substance while pregnant. A kind social worker at the hospital he is transported to adopts him. She and her family raise him as her own. Meanwhile, the baby’s mother gets her life together after finally becoming sober and decides that she wants him back because he’s her child and she never received notice that her parental rights were being terminated. So there’s a lengthy court battle where bio-mother’s lawyer insists that black babies need to be with their black mothers. However, there is a marked difference between the income of biological mother versus that of the family that has adopted the child. The life that he lives with his adopted family is vastly different than the one that his bio-mother can finance. The movie ends with full custody being given to the bio-mother who soon realizes that she needs additional support so she reaches a hesitant agreement with her son’s adoptive mother. There are certain situations where I don’t think people should be allowed to have a do over. I don’t think that any child should be denied access to their family of origin but primary custody should have remained with the adoptive parents until the child was old enough to make a decision. I’ve met a good amount of parents who have adopted kids and then decided that they were too hard as a result decided to relinquish custody back to the state. I’ve worked with parents who have voluntarily given up custody of their children because they felt powerless and felt that their lives or the lives of the other children in the home were at risk. It’s a hard decision to make. My whole point is that kids shouldn’t be taken out of a loving, stable, and safe environment because their bio-parent decides that it’s for the best. There were other options that would have allowed Isaiah to stay where he was happy. Yes, children can be resilient and they can recover but there’s no need to inflict that trauma on a child and mess up his primary attachment so that he can be with a black parent. No reason. It’s cruel and unnecessary.