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Monday, August 12, 2019

Elevation Hateration

I have been soliciting a lot of prayers lately. Y'all, I am trying to get on the good foot in regards to my life. For four years, I feel like I have been emotionally and professionally all over the place, moving at the speed of an empty plastic bag sailing across a Wal-Mart parking lot. In less than five months I will be thirty-five and some things have to change. So I am praying for direction, job offers, income, confidence, and healthy hair- all the things needed to get my life back on the right track. And I was asking those closest to me to pray for this on my behalf. But my friend Twin warned against this.
Twin is one of the many non-related aunties in my life. She is in her late 40s, looks 30, keeps her skin hydrated, is one of the last Black women to still get perms, and she is about as holy as they come. When I saw her recently, I asked her to pray me up some good opportunities, and she said she would, but warned me against asking too many people.
"You have to watch who you ask to pray for you, because everybody don't have your best interest at heart," she warned, pointing her acrylic nail in my face with the seriousness and steadiness of an old bayu witch .
Hm. This was interesting to me, because I had been thinking that the more prayers going up on my behalf, the better. It never occurred to me that there could be someone out there trying to spiritually sabotage me.
But over the years, I have suspected that there were people in my life that were happy that I am a have-not. I have been told by people I shared this with to confront these "friends" about this, but how do you ask someone who you otherwise love if they want you to fail?
Sadly, going over the list in my head recently, I realized that the list has gotten longer since the last time I did it in my head, which made me sad. How am I attracting people into my life that don't want me to shine?
That is a question for another day. For now, I am praying like I have never prayed before for money and miracles. I even asked my mom in Heaven to give me a referral. I will let you know how this pans out, but you can't share it with the haters.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Thirtigue

When I was in my 20s, I had a laundry list of symptoms comparable to those heard on a prescription pill commercial. I was moody, depressed, frantic, and hysterical. Jamaica helped me to see that I was suffering from 20pause, a type of menopause experienced by women in their 20s who are freaking out about their futures. Now, at 34, my friends are suffering from what I have coined as Thirtigue. The symptoms: anger, feelings of emptiness, loneliness, exhaustion, and hopelessness, all caused by pouring your all into a man, changing him for the better, then watching him leave you to go shine with someone else thanks to your hard work and patience. Sadly, by my age, women have experienced this so many times that their condition has become terminal.
"I'm done pouring my all into a man!" Tiffy exclaimed. She, Savannah and I were on a 3-way call, reminiscent of our middle school days. "I want a man that is move-in ready!"
Ah, a move-in ready man. A man that knows how to communicate. A man that loves The Lord. An employable man that isn't broke. A man not addicted to porn or Instamodels. An attentive man that can be sensitive but can also lay down the law. As Savannah and Tiffy continued to chat I envisioned a topless Michael B. Jordan, walking towards me with a bouquet of flowers and a box of Little Debbie Cakes. Then I wondered: for a man to be as amazing and seemingly flawless as Michael B. Jordan, can you imagine how many women he has sent into Thirtigue?!
Sadly, I don't think that there is a way to beat Thirtigue, short of dropping off the dating scene. It is in the hearts of women to be giving and to motivate. There is no woman alive who is going to get with a guy, see his potential, and not do anything to help him make it. Sadly, the hope is that you come across a man that has Thirtigued so many other sisters that he is pretty much "move-in ready" fo you. Messed up right?
In the meanwhile, you can try to protect yourself against Thirtigue. Remember that you can't change a man. Help him set goals but give him room to reach them himself. And try not to love too hard, as if that is possible.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Sickles and the Naughty Call

A few years ago I told you guys about Sickles. I was pretty optimistic about him. He is literally tall, dark, and handsome, and at the time, for some reason, I was under the impression that he was going to Morehouse Medicine to study Sickle Cell Anemia. Since then he has wanted to be a dentist, worked for AT&T, been incarcerated, had a baby, contemplated working on a farm, and fallen off the face of the earth...or so I thought.
The other day I was scrambling to get ready for some errands that I had to run. I had decided the day before that I would leave the house at 8am. Before I knew it, 10:30am had rolled around and I was still trying to get dressed. Just when I was about to head out the door, my phone rang, alerting me that I was receiving a call via DUO. There was no name, just a number. I answered it only to be greeted by a live video of a man (only from the waist down), playing with his not-so-wee wee wee. I quickly hung up, understandably shaken. The phone rang again from the same number, and I answered it again, ready to curse out the person. But this person was not just some weirdo calling me to be gross. It was Sickles.
"Sorry about that Holly," he said, smiling his goofy smile. I was not smiling. 
"Really Sickles?" I asked, shaking my head. 
"Yeah, my bad. So...how are you?"
"Have a good morning Sickles," I said, ending the video call. 
Lately, during my reflection time, I had begun to be really hard on myself. It just felt like I was getting older yet nothing about my life or my being was changing. Now I know for sure that this is not true. When I first met Sickles, my self-esteem was in the pits. I would have thought that whole thing was cute or funny, just happy that there was a guy out there willing to talk to me, even if he was being nasty. But when he did that the other day, I didn't feel happy, I felt annoyed. This showed me that I am growing in some aspects of myself, even if I don't have a nice car and a huge house to show for it. I have respect for myself! I have dignity! It's funny the life-changing conclusions that seeing a man's penis can bring you to. 

Thursday, August 1, 2019

xoNecole's ElevateHer Crawl is coming this weekend!

Are you looking to start your own business? If so, attending xoNecole's first ever ElevateHER Crawl is a must! Presented by Toyota Corolla, it will be taking place this Saturday at Mason Fine Art Gallery. Attendees will  have the opportunity to hear from business leaders such as Janell Stephens, the founder of Camille Rose Naturals and Ezinne Kwuburi, the Head of Inclusion and Diversity for H&M. Guests will also have the opportunity to enjoy a DIY Beauty Bar, a self-care lounge, and founder fireside chats. This event will be the perfect opportunity to network, seeing that 50 businesses owned and ran by women of color will be there under one roof! Need to purchase tickets or get more info? Click here.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Let's Face It

At the risk of sounding vain I am just going to go ahead and say it: I want to look cute forever. And at the risk of sounding full of myself I am just going to say this: I don't even want to live in a world where I am not adorable. Having been the biggest girl in the room for my whole life, my million dollar face has been the one thing that has gotten me a seat at the couple of tables I have been invited to. You would think my personality would be the show winner but, believe it or not, a lot of people don't take to loud overweight girls that enjoy having open and honest conversations about vaginal hygiene at the dinner table. Go figger. 
Where is this all coming from? Well, I have talked to you all before about how worried I have been about my skin since I turned 30. Gone are the days of me having an effortless complexion. My pores are getting larger, and I need a moisturizer like a fat kid needs cake. On social media, girls that I went to high school and college with are looking ten years younger than they did when I met them. And since I am not ashamed to admit that my face is the one good thing I have going for me you know, outside of my brain, I can't afford to let it go. Let's be honest,  I let my body go in the 3rd grade happily and without effort once I started wearing a bra. Since I am not really excited about getting things injected into my face or having appearance altering surgery, I have to keep this face tight and right. 
Tortilla has great skin, but she uses those trillion buck Korean skin potions you can order from Sephora. I am currently using a scrub that I got out of a gift bag. I like it though, it smells like sweet potatoes! But it is going to take more than sweet potatoes to keep my skin on the up-and-up. I watched a Youtube nighttime skincare tutorial that included seven products, so I guess I have to step it up. I guess I was naive for assuming I could keep my face from cracking off of shower gel and Vaseline. 
At this moment, I would just like to express how pissed I am at men. They can look like something the cat dragged in and women will still be beating their doors down as long as they have a good paying job and health insurance. What is a poor girl like me to do? Home chemical peels with hot bacon grease and a plastic knife?
Well, I guess there is nothing left to do but enjoy my face while it is still here. Beyonce said that pretty hurts, but she forgot to tell us that it also fades. But there will be no fading over here, not yet, as long as I have my bacon grease. 

Monday, July 29, 2019

Mortified

I have been pretty scared a few times in my life. One time that stands out in my mind happened when I was an undergrad student in New Orleans. I had gone to a parade with my friends and I was NOT in the best of moods. I was so immature back then. If I was unhappy, everyone had to be unhappy. So, eventually, my mood was so fowl that me and my friends decided to leave and go back to campus soon after the parade was over instead of hang out. Slow dragging behind my friends in a black hoodie with my lip poked out, I heard a man talking about how fat I was to his friend. I turned around and they both laughed, so I shot them both the finger. They stopped laughing, and the tall one who had made the remark motioned in his jacket the way that gangsters do in movies when they have a gun.
My heart started pounding so hard I could hear it over the band playing in my ears. I started to walk quickly, dipping in and out of the crowd, only to look behind me to see that the dudes were pissed and hot on my trail. I sped up, which should tell you how young I was. I am so out of shape now that, if this would have happened yesterday, I would have just stood there and taken the bullet before I tried to run from it.
I dipped behind a float alongside the train tracks. From my position, I was able to see the thugs racing down the street looking for me. And just when I thought I couldn't get even more scared, I saw the man who called me fat turn my friend Tiesha around quickly. I held my breath thinking, Oh God, please don't let this moron shoot my friend over something stupid I did. He looked her up and down, realized she was not me, then continued on the hunt. When we got to campus alive and safe I was so happy that I collapsed on my bed and screamed in my pillow. My mouth had gotten me in tons of trouble before, but that was a close call.
I say all this to say that this weekend I ran into an older woman in my life. She has been diagnosed with colon cancer and is doing chemo to shrink the tumor so that it can be removed. She got so upset while telling me about her treatment and her infusions that she started crying. I gave her a hug and that is when I felt it. This woman was not scared, she was mortified. This far surpassed the mere fear I felt when I thought that I was going to get gunned down in the Big Easy. Hugging her, I could feel the nervous energy bouncing around in her body. She was trembling and secreting a panic that sat in the air, making it warm, thick, and uncomfortable. You could literally smell her anxiety. I felt that if she could have, she would have screamed.
What could be scarier than knowing you are going to die or having good reason to think that you might? What could be more agitating than going over the list of things you want to do and get done over and over in your head? Is it possible to even explain in words the fear of not knowing what the afterlife holds in store for you and if you are spiritually ready to find out?
I thought these things as she left to go run errands. As someone who is often afraid to go after what I want in life, she helped me to remember that there are worse things than being scared.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The Sexless Love Interest

After writer's group, I had a long conversation with Ryan the crush. Truth be told, my crush was beginning to fade. A flame can only burn for so long when it is clear that the one you are ablaze for has absolutely no interest in you. I had to take a lesson from Aunty Maxine Waters and start to reclaim my time. There is no time wasted like time invested on a dude that doesn't return your feelings. We hadn't spoken in a while. But, after writer's group, we took a second to catch up. He got a new job. He's going to take a vacation to Miami before the summer is over. He also said that he is excited because that very day marked his tenth year of being abstinent.
Get the f*&k out of here! I wanted to scream. How could a man this hot and this smart and this old (he's 42) be walking around sexless?
Instantly, the crush rekindled at 1000%. It was a huge turn on to meet a man who, in this day and age, had some modicum of self control. I live in Atlanta, where, weekly, men make their rent rain in ones at one of the city's well-known strip joints. Dudes cheat. They have more than one girlfriend. Their lives seem to revolve around sex, indulging in their desires at every possible turn. And there I stood, next to a man, that made a serious decision, in his youth, to hold off on sex.
"I'm looking for love," he said honestly, nibbling on one of the homemade brownies brought to the group by Jabbering Janice, the one woman in group that can not stop talking.
Love me! I imagined myself screaming, jumping in his lap.
I told P about this when I got home. Of course, he had something rude to say about the whole thing.
"This guy is obviously gay," he said nonchalantly.
Ryan isn't gay. I like to believe that he is a sign sent to me from heavens that not every man is a fornication-obsessed dirt bag. Now, if I could only get him to sleep with me.
Lol...just kidding.