Why WE NEEDED Girls Trip

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“It’s like we can’t be too ratchet, or else we aren’t smart. We can’t be smart, and love to have a good time. We can’t work and play just as hard at the same time. And this movie shattered that notion on the big screen and I couldn’t have been more proud. -Brooke “

If you’re like me, and the rest of the female population, you saw the thousands upon thousands of commercials and advertisements for Girls Trip. And if you’re like me, you went to go see it the day it came out on Friday. And can I just say, it was UH-MAZE-IN! (Y’all I know that’s not how you spell it, but I said what I said). I got there early with my mom, stashed snacks in my purse, got a huge bag of popcorn and a soda, pulled out my cover (I’m always cold and I ALWAYS keep a little blanket with me lol), and all in two hours, I was taken through an array of emotions.

First off, I need to tell you all of the reasons why I was excited when I first saw this trailer. Not only did it have some amazing actors, some beautiful eye candy and feel good moments (and that was just from the commercials), it took place at the Essence festival! I have always wanted to go for so many reasons. This trailer alone appealed to all of my black girl feels and my black girl life! So often in media and movies, the perception of a black woman is misconstrued and twisted and molded into something else that we can barely recognize. It’s like we can’t be too ratchet, or else we aren’t smart. We can’t be smart, and love to have a good time. We can’t work and play just as hard at the same time. And this movie shattered that notion on the big screen and I couldn’t have been more proud. With each twerk and fruity alcoholic drink they put up to their lips, I beamed from the inside-out. I want to break down each of the girls, I’ll try not to spoil it for those who haven’t seen it but, I want to focus on each of their characters so you understand why I fan-girled through the entire movie.

“Like my mom, Lisa felt guilty about the fact of not having a father present and didn’t want to bring that type of heartache to us if things didn’t work out. She didn’t want to bring someone else into our lives who could hurt us or her and this movie helped me understand her a little bit more. I wish she had, like Lisa, realized she could have a life too. That we would not look at her as being a bad mother when she wanted to do things for herself.”

I want to tell you about Lisa. She was the one I resonated with the most. At first glance, you see the ‘Mom’ of the group. Plain, not much effort put into herself, a little obsessive and very passive. She wasn’t too wild, very poised, morals were on her very fore-front and she loved her babies. lisaShe was a single mother who felt like she had to have it together at all times so people wouldn’t judge her. The negative connotation with single mothers has to stop y’all. Especially in the black community. We judge the mother, we judge the children and people seem to put an extra scope on single mothers to see if they can ‘do it without a man’. Umm, hello! Yes they can! I watched my beautiful black single mother do her thing with three beautiful children. Not once did we go without the things we needed, not once did we go hungry, we always looked nice and attended private schools. And she did it with her single ass. It is possible. (Okay, rant over). Back to Lisa..She put herself on the back burner and didn’t put effort into herself. She tried to make sure everyone else was okay without really looking at her own life. She put off dating because she was so focused on being a mother. I watched my mother do this as well while my father went off and got married and wanted nothing to do with us. Like my mom, Lisa felt guilty about the fact of not having a father present and didn’t want to bring that type of heartache to us if things didn’t work out. She didn’t want to bring someone else into our lives who could hurt us or her and this movie helped me understand her a little bit more. I wish she had, like Lisa, realized she could have a life too. That we would not look at her as being a bad mother when she wanted to do things for herself. Towards the end of the movie, she got back to being herself, not just her children’s mother, which was apart of her, but, that wasn’t all she was. She was a friend, a sister even, to people who loved her for all she was. Once she embraced it, she became a better person and was true to herself.

Okay, now I know you all has seen the famous ‘ drugs in my booty hole’ part of the trailer. Yes, I’m talking about Dina! She was the home-girl you call when you need to make a trip to someone’s house cause they’ve been talking shit. dinaShe was the girl you called when your man is tripping and you need to hear a few words so you tell that nigga how it is and how it’s gnna be. She was your little sister that didn’t take nothing but the cold, hard truth. And If you couldn’t give her that, she wasn’t hearing it. She reminded me a lot of my best friend. If you didn’t know her, you’d just think she was not responsible, just looking for a good time and not really care about what people think. But, she is just a free spirit who wants to enjoy life to the fullest. She has always been this way. I can call her when I need advice and she is going to tell me what I need to hear whether I like it or not. She will get you together! Like Dina, she believes in not beating around the bush. Either it’s this way or it isn’t. People like them want you to be honest with YOURSELF. That’s the only way they know how to be. Towards the end of the movie, you see how deep her love is for her friends are. You see that she just wants them all to be happy and to have each others’ backs through the good and the bad. After all, that’s what sisters are for.

“Sometimes you need a shoulder to cry on, sometimes you need to be checked. But, bottom line is, we’re always there for each other when we need each other.”- Queen Latifah on having a sisterhood X Essence Festival Interview

Sasha, oh Sasha. Played by the Queen herself (Latifah), she was a journalist writing for a celebrity gossip blog. From the beginning, you could tell that she loved writing but, just not in that field. But, she was doing what she had to do to pay the bills and even though things were crashing down on her, her girls were the perfect escape to distract her, if only for a little bit. We see her strained relationship with Ryan (I’ll get to her), but she seems to fall back in ease when all of her girls are around, Lisa and Dina, and they can just let go. Through out the movie,sasha Sasha and Ryan eventually settle their differences and evolve even more in her relationship once Ryan sees how loyal Sasha was really is. She always kept her side-eye roaming for the latest juicy gossip, but when it came to her girls, that was off-limits and that was a line she did not cross. Even with Ryan being somewhat of a celebrity, a well-known author along with her husband Ass-hole..Stewart. Even when things were strained between them, Sasha remained loyal to her girls. Friendship meant a lot to her, even when she didn’t always express it. And everything came around full circle because of that loyalty and it was truly beautiful to see. So often, black women talk amongst themselves and if you ask them to describe the black woman community you hear multiple things; catty, mean, back-stabbing, jealous, envious, rude, not trust worthy. Sasha proved all of these things to be wrong even when she had a chance to gain off of all of those negative connotations. We aren’t all bad! There are black women who support each other! And she validated that.

Ryan.Ryan.Ryan. How I loved to see the growth of Ryan! From the outside looking in, she seemed to have the perfect life and that everything just fell perfectly in place for her. Booming career, loving husband (so we thought), loving girl friends, and an exciting life. But, as we quickly learn, her husband is a dirty, dirty cheat..AND SHE KNOWS! Now like most women, we think, ‘What did I do wrong’, ‘What could I have done better’? Stewart (her husband) made sure to constantly remind her of the ‘brand’ they were selling and how much he loved her, and that she would have nothing without him, blah blah blah. I could’ve punched him through the screen. Because each time he smoothed talked her into not moving on, I saw this look that was all too familiar. We’ve either seen it on our girl friends faces, or our own.That defeated look, that lookryan.jpg that illuminates that little girl part of you that just wants to be loved and happy and is lost. That look you get when you feel so small and worthless and confused and hurt. We have all been hurt and thought we had to accept it and move on. As women, we are always expected to accept the bullshit, plain and simple. If we stay mad for too long, it becomes our fault and we are unreasonable. If we push ourselves to get over it too quickly, we end up developing this tiny inkling of disdain that grows and grows until one day it explodes and we get the label I love to hear so much; crazy. We are crazy for wanting better, crazy for voicing our opinion, crazy for having feelings, crazy for not having feelings. But, with the help of her girls, she realized her worth and Stewart couldn’t stand a chance to manipulate her any longer. Did I tell you he had a baby with the side chick? And guess what, she was going to try to figure that out too. WHY DO WOMEN ALWAYS HAVE TO FIGURE SHIT OUT? But thankfully, she realized she was the bomb and then some. And I loved it! She did not need a man to be successful, she did not need a man to seem like the perfect woman, and she did not need a man for validation. On top of that, she found an AMAZING man who genuinely liked her since childhood. He cared about her and I can only imagine their beautiful relationship as it evolved. She mended her relationship with Sasha and got to branch into an entire new business venture, WITHOUT Stewart.

“This movie…no BIBLE of Sisterhood is something every woman of every age needs to see… It was sexy (Kofi was in there y’all!), unapologetic, the right amount of raunchy, real, raw, hilarious and uplifting.”

One thing that would’ve been a nice additive to the movie, for me, would’ve have been to see how Stewart would react to someone being interested in Ryan. If maybe he had seen the chemistry between them (it was always respectful, no lines were crossed while they were married on her end). But, I would have loved to see him have to nerve, the audacity, the unmitigated gall (yes, that was a Grinch reference) to say anything to her, make her feel bad, or think he had to the right to be upset. It always works that way though doesn’t it? Men do whatever, when ever, to whomever and women are ‘strong’ because they sit through it all. But, if it was the other way around, oh baby, you have committed the worst crime ever right? It’s just one of the double standards that women are shunned under and it has to stop. #ISSADoubleStandard

“It showed girls being girls on vacation, and that is not always sitting by a lake reading a book, or waking up at the crack of dawn to do yoga, or having tea in a history museum, or ‘finding ourselves’ by the ocean (although those are perfectly acceptable if that’s what you want to do. We are allowed to let loose ‘like the boys’, we are allowed to hook up if we want to, we are allowed to take the day by storm, we are allowed to be GIRLS in every sense of the word.”

Girls Trip gave me my entire life and then some. I could resonate with every character in some way, form or fashion; some more than others. But they all tapped my soul in the right spot to awaken the super black girl in me. To know when to toot my own horn and let loose, to know when someone needs to be checked or when to check myself, to cherish the women (friends and family) in my life, and to not accept anything less than what I deserve. This movie, no, Bible of Sisterhood is something every woman of every age needs to see (18 and over though, it’s a hard R rating). It was sexy (Kofi and Lorenz was in there y’all!), unapologetic, had the right amount of raunchy fun, real, raw, hilarious and uplifting. It showed girls being girls on vacation, and that is not always sitting by a lake reading a book, or waking up at the crack of dawn to do yoga, or having tea in a history museum, or ‘finding ourselves’ by the ocean (although those are perfectly acceptable if that’s what you want to do. We are allowed to let loose ‘like the boys’, we are allowed to hook up if we want to, we are allowed to take the day by storm, we are allowed to be GIRLS in every sense of the word.

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So please, go see it with you mother, sister, auntie, girlfriend, friend, daughter (if she’s age appropriate), enjoy, re-evaluate and flourish.

As Always, Peace & Love ♥

 

 

 

 

 

That Old Love

So often, we hear of that old love that has stood the test of time. We hear our great aunties and uncles, granddads and grandmas speak of all of the trials and tribulations they went through to get to where they are today. And when we hear that, I’m not going to lie, I kind of take that with a grain of salt. You see the love they have now and think, they couldn’t have possibly gone through too much pain, they are still together. Right? Surely they’ve never cursed each other out, not spoken for a week or more, wanted to leave, gotten to the point when they don’t even look at each other. But the truth is, they have. The difference between now and then simply boil down to value. Don’t worry, I’ll explain.

We weren’t around for the times when your grandma couldn’t stand that your granddad always left the toilet seat up and always forgot to close the cabinets when he was done. We weren’t there for the times your uncle got sick of your auntie for washing the clothes wrong and accidentally drying his favorite shirt. We weren’t there to witness when they went thru their boring phases and just didn’t have much to say to each other. The truth is, it is gnna happen. I have always viewed relationships in a family sense. You have this person you confide in, talk to everyday, all day. Go through life together, GROW through life together, you see the good, bad and down right ugly of a person and you have to choose everyday to love them in spite of it all. Now-a-days, people are quick to see the faults in a person and simply abandon it for something ‘easier’. But they rarely take the time to realize that these situations are going to happen with everyone.

I always compare it to a sibling relationship, LET ME EXPLAIN. I have two brothers that I love to death but, they get on my nerves ALL THE TIME. They do things that I may not like, say things I don’t want to hear, give advice that is not warranted, hurt my feelings, messed up my room when we all still lived with my mom, broken a few toys of mine, but guess what, they are still my best friends. I will still choose them as my brothers if I had a choice. Because my love for them is unconditional. Despite all of the arguments we have had, where we have yelled to the top of our lungs and proclaimed how much we get on each others nerves, I still love them and I still choose them.

Relationships are a lot like that. Especially living with someone. When you wake up, they are there, when you go to sleep, they are there too. It is totally different than them just coming by to visit and staying a couple of nights with you or vice versa. You don’t notice how they throw their socks right next to the dirty clothes basket instead of IN it. You don’t notice them leaving the seat up. You don’t notice them putting your things up and forgetting where they put it. Or eating that piece of chicken you were saving for dinner. Regardless to the arguments you had that day, they are right there. Some days whether you like it or not. lol Trust me, we have our days when we can’t stand each other and do childish things like not speak to each other even though we are with each other all day, everyday. But once we give each other some space (aka go into different rooms and avoid each other lol) and are able to talk, we come to an understanding and decide to move past it.

This generation has made it so easy to move on to the next instead of putting in honest work to have a thriving relationship. You have friends that try to encourage the carefree lifestyle and to just find another. Sure, that would be easier but, you have to ask yourself if it is worth it. Happiness takes work. Being happy with your partner on the not so good days is hard work. And when I say work, that’s exactly what I mean. It’s not always easy, it’s not always the cuddling at night, it’s not always laughing together. Sometimes it’s not speaking all day and still making dinner for the both of you. Sometimes it’s throwing out the first olive branch and simply hugging or kissing your partner,  letting them know you understand or you’re sorry. Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes you hurt each other’s feelings, sometimes your communication is off. But your love should remain the same. I am super grateful for how my relationship is now. But,  it took work to get where we are. I am grateful for the fact that we have family that encourages our love and advises us on how to stay happy and we listen and take that advice to better ourselves and each other.

Examples of love are so important, especially in this generation. With social media and everything else making it so easy to distract you, seeing real love is a pinnacle aspect of a healthy relationship. You have to listen, learn, and implement what you have heard and learned about yourself and your partner. You should always be your best self in the relationship you are in. Even if it doesn’t work out, it should make you feel good that you have learned somethings about yourself and it should make you better for the next person. You either Love or you Learn, there is no losing in love. Which I wrote about in my previous post Love or Learn (click here to read).

Sometimes people just don’t work out because they aren’t meant to be. They may be prince/princess charming to one person but, the opposite to another. I have learned that makes a huge difference in every aspect. So, the next time you are going through a rough patch with your significant other, ask yourself is it worth it. If it is, by all means work it out the best you can. If it isn’t, know that you have learned about yourself and DO NOT look at it as a loss.

 

As Always, Peace & Love ♥

 

Love or Learn

“You do not lose in love. You either win or you learn.”

Hey there every one!  I spent my Monday in bed due to a slight cold from losing a water fight on Sunday (I was ambushed but, we won’t get into that). But I woke up thinking about situations when we feel like we have ‘lost’. Those moments when you feel like you have exhausted every option and nothing worked and at that moment, you feel like you have been defeated. But, how often do you take those opportunities to learn from what could’ve been done better or slightly different.

So often you hear people saying, ‘If I had just waited two seconds longer, I could’ve made it.’ Or in my case, ‘If I had ran a little faster, I wouldn’t have gotten soaked,’. Now, some things you have to truly work at to improve or change for the better the next time you come across a similar situation. While other, you make slight adjustments and see the difference it makes. This aspect applies in almost every part of life. Sometimes we let the feeling of disappoints and trial and errors dictate the next move and that’s where we go wrong. We have to try to take every situation and turn it into a positive. I know that sounds cliche’ but the simplest things make the most sense. I often don’t need a long prophecy to see the gold message in it.

Whether it be a business, or a relationship, friendship, job or goal that didn’t work out the way you planned. It was for a reason and you have to take that information you have gathered after a long, deep conversation with yourself and make the next move your best move!

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As Always, Peace & Love ♥

But, they got kids!

Relationships are hard, okay? Like, real hard. Now, I don’t mean that you have to fight constant battles everyday with and/or against each other but, it does have it’s obstacles. Whether or not you make it through them in one piece, together, is the real challenge.

One thing in particular that seems to break relationships down, is if one of the partners has kids, BUT, only if it is not something you can handle. I want to address this because my man has two beautiful baby boys with his ex and I never for a second looked at them as being in the way of our relationship. But I know of people who simply will not date someone with kids or will not make any effort to get to know their children and it saddens me every time I hear it. I have had friends that won’t even ask about the children, or mention them. I never understood how you could date someone and not want to know their kid(s). And I also never understood how a person with kids could date someone who did not want to be in their kids life at some point.

Now, I do understand the reasons why someone might feel this way and not want to get involved. Maybe they have an ex that still wants your partner back or an ex that keeps them away simply because they may not like you. Maybe they feel like they can’t get as much time with their partner because they have kids. But, when you accept that person in your life, you have to accept the terms and conditions as well. It takes a certain level of maturity from each person involved to handle these things without feeling left out. You have to know that their children ALWAYS come first. Point.blank.period. And if you can’t handle that, maybe he/she isn’t for you.

When you plan to be with someone and start a family with them, it is so crucial that you establish some type a relationship with their children if you plan on having a future. I’ve witnessed beautiful blended families where they all work well together and they all know their place. Where the exes and new boyfriend/girlfriend don’t hate each other and can actually depend on each other if need be. And with that being said, I know these things take time. You shouldn’t be threatened by the ex and the current partner shouldn’t be looked at as the enemy. But, I do understand the caution behind not wanting your children around someone other than you. As we all know, there are some crazy ass people out there. But, you have to trust the mother/father to know that they wouldn’t bring someone in their lives if they couldn’t trust them around and in their kid(s) life.

So if you are leery about dating someone with kids, I understand and I’m not judging! But, don’t count someone out simply because they have a child or multiple children. And if you are open to it, more power to you! It certainly isn’t for the weak-hearted.

 

Love, Always. ♥

Magic Smoothies

Hey guys! So I’ve been trying to eat a bit healthier so I picked up a Magic Bullet blender a few months back. I was so exited to start using this. I love smoothies and I love fresh fruit. But here’s the good part, I can make so much more other things with it as well! It came with a booklet with some recipes and I am going to give them all a try. The smoothies keep me feeling full all while getting my healthy serving of fruits and veggies (I add spinach leaves to it for some greens). You can also add any type of protein or whey to the mix which give you an extra boost. I have yet to do so, but I think I might pick some up soon.

In the picture, I have huge ice cubes but, I have since switched to frozen fruit. To me, the smoothies come out much better and I have more room for fruit without the ice.

Did I mention it’s fun to make! Take about ten minutes tops to have yourself a delicious smoothie. I love it so far and will continue to replace a meal with one of these babies. Now, I’m not gonna lie and say that I have been eating healthy this entire time. I love me some Reese’s okay? lol But I have been making an effort to incorporate healthy foods and exercising.

Eating healthier also changes your whole mood. I wake up with energy and  a bright outlook on the day. I don’t get tired too quickly and I feel soo good! So, try to make a small healthy choice today, or tomorrow. Any effort counts! Oh, and Happy Friday!!

Anybody have any good recipes they use? Let me know!

Peace & Love

“Now tellem’ why you mad, son..”

“Why you always gotta be so mad?”-Solange X Mad

Good morning all. Today I woke up with a heavy heart. I listened to Solange’s new album in its entirety the other night. Didn’t skip a track, didn’t stop it or pause it; I just listened. I have been trying to write this for the past three days and each time I tear up and close my lap top. I am so sad for the black community for a plethora of reasons. For what others do to us, what we do to ourselves, how we are perceived. We live in a ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ mentality and truth.

We live in a world where our down falls are what’s highlighted and used as reasons for hate and injustice. When every race has down falls, every race has killers, every race has a ghetto, every race has ignorance, every race has negative but, as a black person we have to constantly fight to not be seen and grouped with such. Our right to be who we are and proud is constantly being beat down with mirror reflections of our drug dealing neighbor or our gang banger cousin We have to constantly prove that that is not us. We live in a world where we have to throw out our ancestors accomplishments for validation and to get the ‘okay’ from everyone else.

When in history class as a young child, I never learned of the black scientists, generals, leaders, inventors…And if I did, it was always separate in the Black History section and we learned about the same people during the month we are given. I always had mixed feelings about this. Why is it separate? We are apart of history..period. So when February rolls around, we are supposed to be happy that we are getting recognition that we deserve, right? But, to me it feels like a ploy and it says ‘Hey, did you know that you guys are smart even though you’re black!’. I just don’t agree with it. Why our history can’t be written down with history is beyond me. But on the other hand, it is the one month that children in school can learn about people they wouldn’t otherwise hear about. It is the one month that we are given to showcase the things we have done to contribute to society. While they learn about great surgeons,  teach them about Ben Carson too. When you teach them about poetry, tell them about Audre Lorde.

“Now tellem’ why  you mad, son. Cause doing it all ain’t enough…So I got the right to get buck.”- Lil Wayne X Solange X Mad

With everything that we have done, as black people, we still have to fight to be recognized as more than another black person. Everything we do has to be extraordinary to be deemed good. And when we do something great, people are always more amazed that a black person could do it, despite being black. I don’t want to keep hearing, ‘you speak so well’. or ‘you aren’t like most black people!’. I don’t know why people think this is a good thing to hear. It’s tiring to have to keep explaining why we are important. It’s tiring to have to keep showing and telling what we can do so we can be looked at as human and viable parts of the universe. It’s so tiring to have to keep debating injustice and our lives. It’s tiring to have to keep explaining why I feel this pain everyday. And I’m talking about with everyone, black, white, etc. It’s tiring and it’s sad that we even have to debate a life.

Being pro-black IS NOT anti-everybody else. I can’t stress that enough. As a black women, I don’t want the special treatment. I want the normal treatment. 

We have to take care of each other. When we kill each other and create havoc in the community, everyone else uses that as an excuse as to why they care less about a black body in the street. Cause if they hadn’t done it, the neighborhood gang would’ve right? We need to focus on the solution more so and that is what I plan to do. To make sure we are not forgotten or written off. I am so excited for this upcoming project I can barely contain myself. Before we look to have positive things given to us, we gotta help ourselves. We have to uplift and give back to the community if we can. Only we know what we need. Cause from the outside looking in, you see frustration, pain, and violence but, no one ever stops to find out why. And I know this is just another blog, another speech , another black, another outcry. But, I plan on doing something about it. Tho it may be little and small compared to the big picture, it is one step closer to the help we need.

“They don’t understand what it means to me. Where we chose to go. Where we’ve been to know..”-Solange X Don’t Touch my Hair

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So as always, Peace & Love..