Is It Just My Imagination?

Hi Liz,

I just want to get your take on this situation. I work in an office where I am 1 of 5 African Americans. My co-workers are pretty cool and they include me in on everything but sometimes I feel like our interactions are inappropriate.  I wear my hair natural and they always want to touch it or they comment about how difficult it must be to wash it (it’s very thick and kinky). When we have our potluck lunches, they always volunteer me to bring fried chicken.

I feel like I’m always on the ready to defend myself against their ignorant comments. We do joke around sometimes about the difference between black and white people but sometimes I think they go to far. If they think I’m angry or frustrated about something, they’ll say things like Here comes diary of a mad black woman part 2 or Madea’s about to reach into her purse or her baby daddy better watch out (I’m married). I laugh it off but on the inside it pisses me off. Even during small talk, I find myself looking for racial undertones and it makes it impossible to really enjoy participating.

Do you think I’m overreacting or am I being used as a source for their entertainment?

Here’s what I think.

Your co-workers may not necessarily be racist. They may have a genuine curiosity about the African American culture that has been misrepresented through media outlets for generations.

You are in a position where you can educate them on that which they don’t know. You have the opportunity to positively counteract any aversiveness that may have been handed down to them about African Americans.

Let them know that the African American woman is a very complex but versatile human being from the many ways she is able to wear her hair to the ways she satisfies her appetite.

With that being said, you need to recognize and correct the role that you play in their, seemingly, naive banter. When you joke around with or say things to people with humorous intent, you create tangible topics. It’s on the table and they can reach out and grab it anytime they want. Laughing things off that you are secretly not comfortable with gives off the same vibe that joking about taboo-to-you topics does. It’s an invitation to continue.

If you want something to be off-limits, you have to leave it off limits too. If something makes you uncomfortable, you also need to make it known because, ironically, it may not be obvious to some people.

If they volunteer you to bring chicken and nobody ever eats it, that would raise a flag but, if you bring in the chicken and the bones barely survive, CONGRATULATIONS! You’re a damn good cook and they love!! That doesn’t mean you have to always be the KFC ambassador. Let them know you have other recipes you can throw down on and bring it to the next potluck.

Set your boundaries. Once you do, you’ll know when someone is stepping out of line.

That’s my opinion.

If you would like my opinion, please complete the contact form below.

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Friends Come And Friends Go

Hi Liz,

I have been friends with this girl since junior high school. We have always called each other best friends, sisters or cousins and we hung out all the time. Now we are both in our 20’s and, even though we still get together, things don’t feel the same. Even our conversations feel different. Mostly boring. It seems like we talk about the same things over and over again.

We haven’t had any disagreements or anything that would make me feel this way but I just don’t really enjoy being around her anymore. Sometimes I feel bad because she asks me to do things with her or go places and I either ignore her calls and text messages or make excuses about why I can’t.

She’s a really cool girl but I don’t think we have anything in common anymore. Do I tell her or should I keep ignoring her until she gets the picture?

Here’s my thoughts:

Childhood friends are like no other! We experience so many firsts with them. They really are like family. The problem with childhood friends is that we don’t stay young. We all grow up. We develop our own individualities. We discover new, uncharted territories and things we once liked, we realize we no longer do.

What you are experiencing is normal. You may have outgrown the level of companionship your friend can provide. Listen, I know when you were younger, you probably joked about the things you two would do together as two old ladies but the reality is that, sometimes, friends grow apart. It happens.

You can and should be thankful for the friendship you had growing up because it’s a part of who you are today but who you have become just doesn’t fit into the constraints of who you were. It’s ok to walk away from it while it’s still a beautiful memory.

Lastly, don’t leave her hanging. You said yourself that she’s a cool girl. Do you want to create the type of distance you are looking for by being a douche bag? Let her know how you’ve been feeling. Her feelings may be hurt but in the end she will fall back and give you your space.

PS… If you can’t stand to part from her completely, try introducing her to some of your new interests. She’ll either like it and you’ll have that good ‘ol friendship back or she’ll hate it and reconsider the direction of your friendship. (Sounds like a win-win situation to me).

Good luck!

That’s my opinion.

If you would like my opinion, please complete the contact form below.

CONTACT FORM FOR SUBMISSIONS ONLY. TO LEAVE A COMMENT KEEP SCROLLING.

I Heart My Boobies

The annual gynecological exam. That one day of the year when poking, prodding, and touching in the nude reaches an all time high of awkward.

But, it must be done.

This year my gyno threw in a little something extra. She told me I was now at the age where a mammogram is recommended.

Very sarcastic YAAAY!

I finally get to have the mammies grammied experience. If I allow my imagination to run away with the descriptions provided by my predecessor grammers, I am certain that I will be walking away from this event with football shaped pancakes.

But, it must be done.

The thought of even the slightest possibility of being diagnosed with cancer is beyond frightening.

I salute every fighter and survivor in the world. You guys are simply amazing.

The Susan G. Kormen Foundation is estimating that an average of 252,710 American women will get breast cancer this year. Although not as common, men are also susceptible to breast cancer with 470 estimated to be diagnosed this year.

I have seen the beast come out of breast cancer. My aunt fought, silently but vigilantly for years. An old school mate-my GOD- she fought with style, grace and eternal beauty! If breast cancer wrote a book, she would be listed in the chapter titled SHIT-FOR PETE’S SAKE! Believe me when I tell you, she was that amazing! They both were and they are truly missed!

A good friend of mine has recently undergone a double mastectomy. We have so much to celebrate on her win!

If given the choice I would choose that uncomfortable poking, prodding, and touching any day and every day over having to live with the diagnosis of breast cancer, or any cancer for that matter. That’s why it’s important to learn your body, know your body, and listen to your body.

More than 40,610 women and 410 men will die as a result of breast cancer this year alone.

Breast cancer does not follow a social platform and does not discriminate by race, ethnicity, religion, or age although some people may be at a higher risk to get it; especially those with, family history, obesity, and alcohol abuse. For more information on breast cancer risk factors click here.

STAY AHEAD OF THE GAME

Learn your body. You spend time with your body 24 hours/7 days per week. That’s a committed relationship. You should spend a significant amount of time learning where everything is, why it’s there and what purpose it serves.

Know your body. After you learn your body, you’ll know when something is amiss. Monthly breast exams can help with the detection of any lumps or distortions. If you are not sure of the correct way to examine your breasts, here’s some more information.

Your body speaks. Your body has different ways of telling you something is wrong. If you’re someone like me who has a very high pain tolerance and an even higher dislike for going to the doctor then you definitely need to listen, closely, when your body speaks.

We are so very good at conditioning ourselves to ignore the pains, cricks and creeks that surface from time to time that, sometimes we ignore issues that are actually serious and we cause our own delay in getting the help that we need. STOP THAT!!! 

Signs and symptoms can differ from one person to another and are not limited to those listed above so when in doubt, check it out!

So, yes, in a couple of weeks I will be pancake Penny but I heart my boobies so it must be done!!

Don’t forget to get your annual poke and prod and, if it’s your time, mash ’em up!

A Special Motivation Because Today Is Not Just Monday

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Today’s motivation is in honor of my son who gave me purpose 25 years ago. He exhibits this daring, free spirit that confuses and wows me all at once.

Where I am introverted and-as he reminds me regularly-less festive (ok he says NOT festive at all but…), he is extroverted and will celebrate the alphabet at the drop of a dime.

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He is everything my inner self was screaming for me to be but fear of the unknown kept me complacent. For years (my younger years), I drew blueprints of creative ideas but the thought of actually having them take flight was frightening!

It was easier for me throw away my ideas and, in a sense, my personality, my character, my dreams and my potential than it was for me to grow with pride or lose and learn with dignity.

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I cannot say that I now live vicariously through my son-xanax can’t be manufactured fast enough to cover me on that-but I am elated to see that the best part of me is renewed in him. He validates the message in “I Can”.

To you, YES YOU, The person reading this right now. Don’t let twenty years collect idle dust. Do something you’ve always wanted to do. Go places that you’ve only imagined going. Create that bucket list and COMPLETE that bucket list. Seek new business opportunities and leave complacency behind.

This week do it different. Whatever “it” is to you, turn it upside down or right side up. Paint it blue or rock it in purple. Sit at the bar, instead of the booth in the corner. Be seen. Be heard. Be remembered. Whatever it is, make memories with.

Fear only lasts a long as you feed it. Don’t let it cause you anymore disappointment.

PS…. Son, I love you infinity x infinty!

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Some Days I’m Like Finding Dory

img_0078Let me get started on my next blog post.

…OH LOOK, a Facebook notification!

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That is the story of my life! It amazes me at how fast I can get side-tracked and go from having a list of 10 things to do to still having a list of 10 things to do all within a 24 hour period.

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I say to myself “let me get up and get started” but I never really move an inch…at least not the FULL inch…towards what needs to be done. There always seems to be something that gets in between me and my duties.

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Writing this post was far less easy than it should have been not because I was at a loss for words but because my brilliant idea to listen to some smooth jazz while I wrote turned into a maybe I should play an audible book instead. That meant looking for a new audible book because I didn’t want to hear the ones I previously purchased but have not listened to.

…On a side note, I didn’t purchase any this time BUT I did add 5 of them to my wish list for further consideration…

Deciding against listening to anything, I picked up my pen to slather my paper with content when this video that I had seen earlier on Facebook popped into my head. How adorable! I thought how cool it would be to experience that. My guardian angel woke me up with this. Maybe one day, though…Maybe one day. In the meantime, I felt the urge to hit up google to indulge in an animal cuteness overload.

EARTH TO DORY…

Oh yeah. What was I doing?

Most of my writing takes place in the wee hours of the morning when everyone is asleep except for my brain. That’s when all my thoughts become active and if I’m not ready to write them down the odds are highly in favor of me not remembering half of them the next day.

So I get started.

OH! HEY! I have unread emails.

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Yes, I have thousands of them that I never read from last year. Why do they look so interesting now?

GET TO WORK DORY!!!

My Dory syndrome is not just limited to the early mornings when I’m doing my writing.

Going to the grocery store for two items.

OH, LOOK! A CART! LET’S FILL IT UP! (but don’t include the two items we came for).

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Could be Dory…on the master cleanse…

I know I can’t be the only one that participates in this comically serious issue. Who else will force themselves to grab a handbasket so as not to overdo the shopping only to end up filling the basket and then going back for a cart because the basket is too heavy. Am I the only one?

The Dory syndrome is all to real but how do we overcome it? Especially when we have deadlines to meet and budgets to keep. I have begun being more mindful of how I deal with my distractions.

Social Media- I, purposely, do not have any social media apps installed on my iPad where I create the majority of my posts. My stylus is addicted to those social media icons.

Email notifications are turned off! I get email notifications at odd times. Blogging is a gem for meeting people all over the world that wake up when I go to sleep.

My cellphone is also a distraction magnet and is not kept in the same vicinity when I’m writing….well, I’m working on that part anyway. DON’T JUDGE ME!

 Shopping is more of a challenge. For some reason I need everything I see, if not now then I know at some point in the future I will. Gotta be prepared, right?

I try to combat the case of the spendies by taking a limited amount of cash with me and leaving the card home for small purchases. I can’t pay with a smile so if I don’t have the funds it stays!

For larger purchases, taking inventory of necessary household items and making a list is an absolute must. Taking my husband to enforce the list or, at the very least, my steps in the store is also very effective. I got it bad.

Where are my fellow Dory’s? How do you manage your time and your spending?