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Getting Serious About: Social Media Part 2

There was something else about social media I wanted to address that I forgot to mention in the last post. Social media has a bigger influence on us than just who we follow and what we put on the page. The addition of features such as “favorites” “likes” “retweeting” and ads have expanded the reach of social media into even more areas of my life. There is a such thing as online peer pressure now; facebook will suggest pages for me to like, telling me which friends of mine have already liked it. Even if I follow a select amount of people carefully chosen to influence me positively, there are still featured posts and promoted tweets that make it into my timeline that I don’t follow or endorse.

The worse thing may be the ads. I can’t tell you how many times ads on Facebook have unsettled me. I could have just left off reading the Word and praying and have decided to be content in the season I am in, and here comes Facebook with an ad for Verragio engagement rings. I’ve just decided to trust God’s timing with when I’ll be finished with this book and should market it, and here will come the ads for how to publish your book. It’s like their in my head.

If I read the statuses of my friends and they are in a different season of life and appear to be so happy getting married and having babies, I can be discontent, but I also feel happy for them because I know them and their stories. But there are times when the statuses and the ads get to be too much. I read a post by a high school classmate who had gotten a three book deal. When we were in school together, her love was theater production, and still is. I was the writer; everyone knew that. But here she was doing what I wanted to do. I’ve seen someone on twitter that I don’t know personally write a Christian book for women that has sold tremendously, like I hope my book will. But I am not there yet. I’ve seen so many people, many of whom I thought I would have beaten to milestones get married, have children, advance in their careers, find success with their dream jobs, move forward, and instead of feeling joy, I just felt upset that it didn’t seem to be my time for anything, not one thing.

These are the times when no amount of unfriending and unfollowing will do. The ads will still pop up; strangers’ blogs will suddenly reference all of these things happening for them. The only thing to do at that point is to draw back from the social media rat race. Last year, I did a social media fast for a couple weeks. I felt like I couldn’t hear God through all of the information I took in from so many different sources online. I was so discontent and disappointed and disenchanted. I needed to get clear on my purpose and my focus. I needed to allow God to tell me where I was and why, and not everyone else. Whether they were inspirational or inspired me to jealousy, I backed away from them and read the Bible.

It was hard at first, but it got easier. I was able to see that I wasn’t where I wanted to be, nor had I put in all the work I need to put in, to be properly situated for the things I wanted. It’s easy to forget that people aren’t posting every step of their journeys everyday of their lives online. You only see what they want you to know: when times are celebratory or things are happening that they may have been working on for years. You don’t always see when they argue with their spouses or are disappointed with their children.You don’t always see when they want to be alone and can’t get away from their families. You don’t see when the deadline is near and they have nothing to write about. We miss all of the sowing and are judging ourselves by the reaping, and it’s not fair to us.

There are days when I don’t write posts because I’m tired, it’s been a long day, and I have other things to do. Then there are days when I don’t feel like I have anything interesting or inspired to say. I have to keep up a certain high standard of posting. I have to know what people need to hear or are interested in so that I have something relevant to say. Blogging was supposed to be freeing, but if I give in to the pressure to try and gain followers and get views, it’s not freeing or fun anymore. I’m not serving my purpose in posting.

What am I saying? In addition to being cognizant of who we follow and what we put out for public consumption, be cognizant of the feelings provoked by ads. Realize that you are seeing what one twitter user calls the “highlight reel” of someone’s life, not the dailies. When it gets to influencing you to much or you see yourself compromising your character, withdraw from it. Put some distance between you and negative influences and renew your strength. Control the flow of information.

That’s my two cents, anyway. Feel free to leave yours in the comment section.

Erica

Note: this wasn’t the post I was supposed to be writing today, but I wanted to finish my thoughts on social media before moving on. The real post is still in the works.

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Getting Serious About: Social Media

I said in a previous post that people we friend on Facebook, follow on twitter, or follow their blogs are in a unique position to influence us. It used to be that we were only influenced by our friends, but in the digital age, we can have “friends” across the globe. We can follow celebrities and see for ourselves exactly how they are feeling and what they are doing. With the diluge of information we are exposed to, it is easier to believe that individual things we read or follow are inconsequential, but this is not the case.

The main thing that brought this issue to the forefront for me was the announcement of Janet Jackson’s wedding this week. In this world of the overshare, Janet Jackson has always managed to keep her private life private. Janet Jackson could be 11 kinds of crazy, be into all sorts of weird things, and we would never know it. I don’t know if she practices any religion or any other personal details that haven’t been carefully run by a publicist before sharing. I may not agree with some of the things I do know about her lifestyle, but it would be hard to accuse her of being too forthcoming.

Between what we allow ourselves to be exposed to and influenced by in social media, and what we put on social media to be scrutinized by others, I see many pitfalls and opportunities to be pulled off track if one is trying to get serious about their lives. Associations are king in our society. The saying has been for years “it’s not what you know but who you know.” If you want to get serious about your life, whether career-wise, relationship-wise, in your Christian walk, or otherwise, you will need to get a hold on your social media associations.

We all know that employers check facebook, LinkedIn, and other accounts to evaluate candidates. Most people have taken off incriminating pictures or set their profiles to private to combat this. We are aware that many relationships have been negatively impacted by Facebook statuses, a relationship status on Facebook, a tweet or Instagram pictures, whether they be friendships or romantic relationships. We can see the influences, but yet, so many of us can’t seem to grasp the delicate balance between being open and telling things that should be kept private, between sowing seeds in our conscience through social media associations and our feelings or actions. So how do you balance interacting with friends through social media and putting your best digital foot forward?

I have three friends who have recently gotten married. They run the range from putting every detail of their lives on Facebook to only updating occasionally. One went from in a relationship to changing her profile picture to one of her walking down the aisle on her father’s arm. One sent out a facebook message as I sat waiting for her to walk down the aisle. One only posted when she got engaged, a week before, and the day of the wedding. Neither of this is inherently wrong. Where we draw the line depends on what we hope to accomplish.

The first thing to note is that anything we put out for public consumption is subject to be scrutinized and judged. Whether you ask for it or not, you are subject to outside input on anything that you share. Furthermore, it’s hard for love not to keep a record of wrongs if you have documented those wrongs on Facebook, Twitter, and everywhere else. It is the social media age’s equivalent of telling your friends all about your relationship; they will still be mad when the two of you have smoothed it over. Don’t say you don’t want people in your relationship if you are volunteering information about it for people to judge. Find someone you can trust, and who may be able to help, and talk to them about it, not the world.

The second thing is to make sure whatever you post or share is in line with your beliefs and the life you want to live for Christ. We are to avoid the appearance of evil; it shouldn’t even look like it might be sinful. I shouldn’t be holding bottles of alcohol, wearing revealing clothes, smoking, or “dropping it low” in pictures on any profile I maintain. I shouldn’t have derogatory language all over said profile, either. I shouldn’t reserve all my sanctity and holiness for Sunday when the whole week could use some.

When we are deciding who to follow or befriend, it is important for us to see the influence they can have on our lives. Am I following them because they say mean things about other people that I find funny? Am I following them to be envious and/or judgmental about what’s going on in their lives? Is this association helping or hindering me in pursuing the life I want to live?

I’m not saying that you can’t follow anyone who you find funny or interesting. I’m not saying you can only follow people who say “praise Jesus” at the end of everything. I’m saying that evil communications (or associations) still corrupt good morals. The universal laws that God put in place have not changed. We can’t say we aren’t being influenced by pop culture or media if all we do is consume hours of negative and sinful images and messages and don’t consume any of God’s word. I’m all for enjoying your life and having fun, but choose your associations wisely.

Are there any associations you need to let go of or cultivate? How has social media influenced your attitude and actions?

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Freestyle Friday: Tweeting Genius

Happy Friday! I’m going to be off three days next week (!!!), so it’s made this week crawl by for me. Does that happen to anyone else? I’ve incorporated a lot of new things into my work day and the changes have made a huge difference in what I do day to day–mostly for the better.

As you may have noticed, I added a new tab for my Naked Challenge. I have already listed the titles of each exercise on that page. The challenge will be a dual effort between this blog and my personal blog. I will link each exercise to the Naked & Not Ashamed page, so please go there for all things Naked beginning July 1st.

I want to start a book club SO BAD! There are a ton of books I want to read, but I want someone to talk to about them. So if you’re interested in reading with me, email me at 2blu2btru4u@gmail.com or tweet me. Speaking of Twitter…

If you aren’t following me on twitter, shame on you! How are you keeping up with posts, catching my random moments of genius or seeing all the profound things I retweet? You can correct this error by following me, @2blu2btru, starting right now. The facebook page needs some work. I am still working on that, but twitter is going strong. For the bulk of today’s freestyle, I present to you Twitter me This, a recap of all the great tweets and retweets from May 2012:

The Retweets:

My tweets (aka the few tweets that actually made sense):

  • Y’all, I’m still not comfortable with Brian McKnight singing about showing me how my lady parts work.
  • Does anyone else’s stomach curse them out when they try to eat healthy/ proper portions? Oh, me either.
  • Notice in old diaries that I disregarded good advice b/c of who was giving it. Don’t take it so personal, 2blu! #hindsightadvice
  • Stand up and be counted or sit down and be quiet. #newmotto
  • Everyone is scared of my red pen, myself included. Being painfully honest w/ myself about crappy first draft @ANNELAMOTT, and I feel cleaner
  • may not always agree w/ what you have to say, but I’m not obligated to attend every argument I get invited to, either. #truestory
  • You can fake your way to the top round and around; but it’s always real, so real, when you’re coming down.~ Dreamgirls
  • I’ve come to the realization people find me hard to read; this is extremely amusing to me, as I think I’m an open book.
  • and being so many steps ahead in theory and thought makes living in the moment almost impossible…and perhaps the most irksome thing of all
  • When my boss hands me work & says “no rush,” I hear the lady from The Weakest Leak say “start the clock.”
  • It’s hard to be a real friend when everyone wants validation more than to get themselves right.
  • If asked what brought about “downfall” of marriage, friendship, etc., it isn’t feminism, social networking, or the times: it’s selfishness.

I hope I’ve convinced you to follow me now. Seriously, get thee to twitter and follow me!

 

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Time Wasted!

I think I may be drunk on free time with this whole experience. It’s kind of remarkable what I’ve been able to focus on and do in the nearly two weeks without social networking. I made a doctor’s appointment, which will be this Thursday, and I got copies of all three of my credit reports for free from annualcreditreport.com. I’ve been to the gym a couple times and out on the trail again. I bought new shoes for exercising (OK–MH bought me new shoes for exercising). I’ve been writing and reading. I cleaned up a beach with my co-workers (a beautiful beach in Ponce Inlet). I’ve survived meetings at work.

That last one may not sound like it fits, but the thing is, I’m not very involved in the office meetings. I’ve been encouraged to bring a book or something to do until they need me. I usually have my phone and do a quick check of Facebook or Twitter, or I read blogs from my Google reader. I’ve been through three meetings so far, but today is the real test: the full day of meetings. I have to make sure I’m prepared with a good book, a notebook to write in, and other non-social media related things to do, like maybe a puzzle book. Wish me luck.

Now that this challenge is almost over, I feel like I’ve accomplished something. I have definitely brought the focus back to me–from my health, to my finances, to where I want to live when my lease is up, to concentrating at work. I’ve freed up a lot of time to write and read. I finally watched things I’ve been meaning to watch. I got new pillows. It’s been a great run. The trick will be to continue leading a balanced life once 12:01am Friday signals the end of my two weeks sans social networking, to continue to focus on my own journey and not spend so much time comparing myself to others.

I’m so excited my doctor’s appointment falls before the end of the two weeks. I get to ask about the problems I’ve been having physically when I run and get a professional answer instead of scouring the interwebs. I get to have an answer other than to try and push myself anyway. Pray for a clean bill of health for me, or some proactive steps towards one.

More later…

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Things to Do When You’re Not Social Networking

My name is ***, and I’m a social network-aholic. It’s been six days since my last tweet, facebook post, and google reader check. You may be wondering what I’ve been up to and how I’ve been fairing. You may even be wondering what I’m learning from all of this.

For one thing, I’m learning to do things with my time other than check social networking sites. I went to the gym yesterday and the day before to try new classes like I planned to do. I have written on my memoir and watched movies. I have read most of my library books. I have been a lot more productive than usual.

I’m also finding that while my opportunities to compare myself with other people have been reduced significantly, there are still plenty of opportunities for comparison. I saw two people I work with while I was at the gym yesterday–both very skinny ladies with no stomachs. Neither was in class with me, but I had the urge to compare. I shrugged it aside.

The gym is a place so ripe for comparisons to be made. It is a place where competitiveness is tacitly encouraged. From what kind of workout gear someone is wearing to how good their form is, there’s always something to evaluate. Being in this competitive environment, you would think that I would be struggling more with comparisons. But I have been in classes where I have to focus on myself and push myself. I have to get out of my own way. Even if all I can focus on is what hurts or what jiggles, I’m working on keeping the focus on me.

That’s not to say it’s all been sunshine and puppies. I’m trying to break the habits of years here; a few days is a drop in the bucket. I still have to override my natural tendency to negative thinking and comparison. But I’m working on it, not just wishing it would be different.

I’m making a to be read list of books I want to read. I am making headway on my fitness initiatives. I am writing again. I occasionally want to check and see what is happening with other people, and I want to post about all the things I’m able to notice now that I’m not so busy comparing myself to others, but I feel like a Vivian Green song:

I like it, but I don’t need it. ‘Cause I like it don’t mean I need it.

What I’m learning from all of this is that my own journey is pretty interesting, at least to me. There are things I can actually do to move forward if I take the time to do them. I don’t have to do the same old things every single day and wish for something to happen to change my life. I can do it, a little at a time.

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Why Jay-Z Deserves A Break

My twitter line has been full of witty jokes and outrage in response to Jay-Z’s declaration he will no longer call women “female dogs” after the birth of his own little girl, Blue Ivy Carter. Everyone in twitterland is full of criticism over this: “If he had a boy, would he have done this?” “Having a mother and wife didn’t stop him–NOW he wants to stop?” etc. Even though I’m not inclined to defend people who make bad life decisions (and, more important only to my “writerly spirit”, bad word choices), it shows me a deeper issue with the American psyche that no one has said anything positive about his choice to be more conscious in what he calls the fairer sex: we can’t let people mature and grow up.

Despite when you think someone should have awakened and stopped doing something, despite when you think someone should have started doing something, the fact that they have come to the “correct” realization is a good thing. Not letting people move on is detrimental to our own growth.

I believe that people can change. I know people from my high school days who weren’t very nice to me and now we are friends. They aren’t the same people as they were in high school. I can’t keep seeing them as those people. It would only affect me if I continued to try and cast them as they used to be.

Many people do this when people have religious conversions, swear to give up drinking, vow to be celibate, start going to the gym. We remind them that they could have done that any day; they didn’t have to wait until a new year. We remind them that they said that before and then they went right back to doing what they were doing. We tell other people, “Watch; in a week she’ll be back doing *blah blah blah*.” We think of clever “deep” things to say on twitter about why they couldn’t see that they needed to change a long time ago.

Wisdom, maturity, and growth doesn’t happen in other people like we think it should. Change doesn’t happen overnight. Perhaps Jay-Z felt some stirrings of wanting to stop using the word when he got married; I don’t know. He probably doesn’t think of his wife in the derorogatory terms he used in his music, but if you want to sell records…I remember a rapper who took a stand and stopped using the “N” word when we were all doing that; do you remember him and what happened to his career? Some of you may have vowed to stop and have slipped back into the habit.

Maybe the birth of his daughter, like a bolt from the blue, hit him over the head with the fact someone could use that very word about his daughter. Maybe he will occasionally slip and use the word again.  Maybe he won’t ever be able to live up to his declaration. But I would rather take his “conversion” (for lack of a better term) at face value, understanding that changing the habit of years takes time.

I think that it speaks to what kind of people we are when we can’t let anyone else have an “a-ha!” moment and grow from the experience without backlash and “yeah rights” being thrown like rice at a wedding (or, as the song REALLY says, haters throw salt like rice at a wedding…*ahem*). There are plenty of things to be skeptical of or try to be deep about without sneering at another person’s attempt to grow to be more.

That’s my two cents, anyway. Leave yours in the comment section.

XOXO

2blu2btru

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Monday Meditation: Ask & Ye Shall Receive

This weekend’s highlight was an interview double feature I did with the very lovely and personable Sis. Tartt from my church (note: she is my sister in Christ, and yes, she gave me permission to use her name). I have been trying to score this interview for nearly a year, and by trying to score I mean thinking I should really interview Sister Tartt for my blog.

I don’t know about any of you, but sometimes I sike myself out. I dissuade myself from trying things, or I put things on the backburner because I don’t know how they’ll pan out. That’s what I was doing with this interview. I had been put off or outright rejected so many times when I asked people to do these interviews that I didn’t want to ask anyone else. Sister Tartt had told me that she was interested in my project and wanted me to email her the particulars, but I kept putting it off. Sister Tartt is busy; she has other things to do. Besides, I haven’t even (insert any of a million different things here).

The thing is, she was delighted to do the interview. She responded to my email promptly with three possible interview times, inviting me to her home to conduct the interview. Once there, she answered all of my questions without constraint and we had a good time while the recorder rolled.

I had lost a bit of faith in this project. I knew I felt it was something important for me to do, but maybe it just wasn’t meant to be, or not right now. There had been so many stops and starts, so many missed opportunities, so many rejections, not to mention so many changes in direction with this project, that I began to lose my certainty that I would ever get it going in the right direction again. Maybe it was time to do something else. I had forgotten the advice I gave you all so long ago in Screwtape Explains it All: disappoint occurs at the threshold of every human endeavour…once you get through the initial dryness successful, it is much harder to tempt you away from achieving your goals.

Just because something isn’t going the way you planned doesn’t mean it isn’t meant to happen. Don’t stop asking. You can’t receive if you don’t ask; if you don’t know, no one’s going to open the door. If you are going to go for it, go big. Why not?

So, in the spirit of asking, two things: if anyone wants to be involved in my marriage kit interviews or wants to share some of their thoughts on marriage, please get in touch with me and let me know. My email: 2blu2btru4u@gmail.com , my twitter: @2blu2btru, or leave a comment here. Second, in addition to my regular interviews, I am going to start (as soon as I finish posting this), working on getting two special interviews for the project: one with an African-American male who is a professional matchmaker, Paul Brunson, and one with the relationship coach(es) I wrote about in my open relationship posts (parts I, II, & III), Kenya K. Stevens (possibly her husband). These are definitely unique perspectives to bring to the table, and I want them! So, keep your fingers crossed for me, and tweet them how awesome I am and how they should absolutely grant me a phone or email interview. @PaulCBronson and Kenya’s twitter is @JujuMama.

Tell me what you are going to stop putting off and just ask for. Let’s put our intentions out there!

XOXO

2blu2btru

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Monday Motivation: Out of My Head, Psychology Today!

I thought I didn’t have anything new and motivational to say today, so I was going to continue on with my series on how I stay so positive, but then the twitterverse exploded all over my timeline. People were hurt, angry, frustrated, and feelign beat up on…again. There was another article, another headline, about why Black women were, again, inferior.

Maybe you are unfamiliar with this particular media trend. If you are, suffice it to say…the media wants Black women to know just how undesirable we are. Yes, they do. CNN is doing specials on why we are all STILL single. People are pushing us to date outside of our race because it’s our only hope. We are told to be independent, then berated for not letting men be men. No man wants a woman who is basically a man. We can’t win for losing.

Then in (allegedly) comes Psychology today (allegedly) with an article (allegedly) entitled: “Black Women Less Attractive.” *I say allegedly because from what I gather, the article has been taken down, although no official acknowledgement of its existence nor an apology have been issued by PT.* Stop the presses! Twitter exploded with exhortations to know our worth. How dare they call our mothers, grandmothers, wives, daughters, selves unattractive? Black is beautiful…blah blah blah.

That’s all well and good to say, and hey, it got Psychology Today to batten down the hatches and wait out the storm. But the real issue should be why does this get so much attention? Why do we take this so to heart? Why is our self-esteem and self-worth reactive (based upon our reactions to what others are saying) and not proactive?

I’ve spent a lot of time with the difference between being proactive and reactive lately. I’ve spent most of my life in the struggle to love myself and have self-acceptance. I’ve been as nitpicky as the next woman of any race about how I look. If I had a gun to my head I could still spout off all the things I hate about my physical appearance with the same ease as I could commiserate with a friend about it over lunch.

Neither is the thought that African-American women are unattractive a new phenomenon. The term Black is beautiful exploded in the sixties in response to centuries of being told that we weren’t beautiful, after decades of putting everything from axle grease to lye in our hair to change its appearance. Even then, many women still struggled with how they looked. Studies were done showing little black girls didn’t think little black dolls were pretty and didn’t want to play with them (the veracity of the studies’ findings were debated and refuted with further studies, but the message had already infected the community). We’ve been fighting this war for a long time.

The difference is, for me, that I decided before I opened twitter that I love who I am. I love how I look. I’m not content with it; I’m always striving to be better. However, I know the beauty that I already have. I made a proactive choice to not let how I feel about me be swayed by how others feel about me. Whether Psychology Today polled 100,000 Americans and found that 99.9% of them thought I, as a black woman, was unattractive, or ten men attempted to get my phone number today with an additional 15 watching in appreciation as I walked by.

I don’t mean to imply that I am in any way excusing Psychology Today’s article. They knew (or should have known) the import of what they were doing, and how it would affect women of all races to be ranked in terms of attractiveness. Nor do I agree with their findings. I was always raised to believe that I was beautiful, smart, worthy all on my own, that marching to my own drum and standing for what I believed only enhanced my beauty. I was given the pretty dolls that looked like me and read the books about how beautiful my brown eyes and black hair was, yet I know that’s not every Black woman’s story.

I’ve read “Phenomenal Woman” and written my own “I’m beautiful, gosh darn it” poetry. I’m tired of trying to convince people of what I already know. My truth is that I know what’s beautiful about me: my eyes, my smile, my cheeks, my hair. There’s just nothing anybody can say that negates that. As India.Arie sang:

There ain’t no substitute for the truth
either it is or isnt…
you see the truth it, needs no proof
either it is or it isnt…
Now you know the truth by the way it feels

My truth is very simple. There are only really ever two people who need to find me attractive: myself and whoever I marry. At the moment, I find me attractive enough for the both of us. 😀

To sum it all up, I’ll leave you with a few lyrics from one of my favorite songs about self-love: 

I’m not the average girl from your video
And I ain’t built like a supermodel
But I learned to love myself unconditionally…

And I know my creator didn’t make no mistakes on me
My feet, my thighs, my Lips, my eyes, I’m loving what I see

But I’ve drawn the conclusion, it’s all an illusion
Confusion’s the name of the game
A misconception, a vast deception,
Something got to change

Now don’t be offended this is all my opinion
Ain’t nothing that I’m saying law
This is a true confession
Of a life learned lesson
I was sent here to share with y’all
So get in when you fit in
Go on and shine
Clear your mind
Now’s the time
Put your salt on the shelf
Go on and love yourself
‘Cause everything’s gonna be alright

That’s my two cents, anyway. Feel free to leave yours. Did you get a chance to read the article? Were you offended? Did you agree/disagree with all of the hoopla? What do you find beautiful about you?

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Hardly Ever Satisfied–Male Guest Post

Welcome to my third male guest post! These  are post by intelligent, successful men giving their takes on dating and relationships. You can review the first two posts, Independent Attitude–Brian, and The Silent Killer–Mr. Perfect, here (Brian) and here (Mr. Perfect)

Before I had a blog on WordPress (or a boyfriend), I would write long, involved notes on my facebook page about dating & relationships. One of the first people to wade into the fray each time was Percy. Percy and I went to college together for a year here in Florida. He’s always been one of those guy friends who always “keeps it real” and is willing to weigh in on any subject and give you a glimpse into a guy’s mind.

 

Percy has included his biography and links below. Feel free to comment here and contact him through his links.

 A question we tend to ask a lot when it comes to relationships and members of the opposite sex is “WHY?” Why is it so hard to understand women? Why do we pay more attention to the people that hurt us, rather than to the people that care about us? Why do we cheat? I could go on forever… but it would be to no avail since life is a vicious cycle. However, I would like to put my two cents in on why women are hardly ever satisfied. 

Going through my timeline on Twitter, I saw this tweet… “The hardest thing for a woman is having a good man after having a bad one. She feels like its too good to be true.” If this statement were anymore true, Jesus would’ve spoken it Himself. I’ve personally had a girlfriend who told me this to my face. She told me I was too good to be true. Since when were we as men not supposed to be good to the women we care for? You want us to be too normal? Too boring? That’s fine. I’m sure there are plenty of mundane men out there that will put you to sleep. However, that is not me. I thrive on adventure, new experiences and spontaneity. I thought women liked those things. That’s what they lead men to believe, anyway. I guess if it’s not in the form of G5 jets, yachts or luxury cars it doesn’t count, huh? Let me tell you women out there something you may have looked over: If there is a guy who genuinely cares about you, do not let him go or treat him any kind of way. In the long run, that’s what you’re going to end up wanting anyway. You want someone that’s going to care for you and love you regardless of any situation or scenario, right? So why run from it when you find it? Maybe you’re not attracted to him… that’s fair. But don’t lead him on. Nip it in the bud. This is one reason why guys end up treating women like “items”. They get hurt numerous times, which leads them to think EVERY woman will do the same thereafter. So they build up walls thicker than those of Jericho, and go around treating women as if they were toys that can be played with and thrown away at any given time. So ladies, if you ever come across a bitter dude, don’t knock him for it. Try to understand why he’s bitter. It had to have come from somewhere. Usually women have this problem more than men, but please know that men can be hurt emotionally as well. 

 That brings me to my next point. Why is it that every time the dreaded “Valentine’s Day” rolls around, women let their wrath reign down across the world? I’ve never seen so many young women so bitter as I have recently. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of happy women out there who are satisfied with their lives right now, but this “holiday” seems to just bring up sadness, anger, and bitterness mainly in our black women. Now, I understand you may not me bitter, just mad as hell… but why let that stop you from being loved? I know a woman personally who’s been through a divorce and has a child all at the ripe age of 23. She’s been through more than the average 40 year old woman. However, a young gentleman stepped into her life, and she’s on her way back to loving again. That’s the kind of thing I like to hear. Ladies, all of that man bashing you do on Valentine’s Day, or any other day isn’t going to get you anywhere. It may feel good for the moment, but words don’t keep you warm at night. Words won’t love you back. Words won’t take care of you when you’re sick. So be careful what you say, ladies. People generally have no idea how much power the tongue has. You can definitely speak things into existence, and if you’re not careful you’ll speak the worst into your own life. Here’s an obvious tip for Valentine’s Day to the fellas… If a woman starts trippin’ on you about Valentine’s Day, she has feelings for you! Guys, we have to pay attention to these things. You’re only digging your own grave if you choose to ignore the little things and be an ignoramus all around. You’ll never get keep a woman like that.  However, as Enitan Bereola, II stated on twitter, “LADIES’ TIP: Your boyfriend ain’t your husband … don’t expect him to act like 1 until he is. #Pleasantries.” He didn’t forget to address the gentlemen as well. “GENTLEMAN’S TIP: Your girlfriend ain’t your wife … don’t expect her to act like 1 until she is. #Pleasantries.” (Whether you’re a lady or gentleman, if you’re not following @bereolaesque on twitter, you are asleep my friend.)

I don’t see myself as a basher of women, just a realist. I’ve had some not so nice experiences with women at a young age, and it leads me to believe that they definitely don’t always have your best interest at heart. However, I also have had some beautiful experiences with beautiful women. Those experiences keep my heart from being cold. I’m a firm believe in equality. Treat others the way you want to be treated, etc. Don’t start  playing games with someone’s feelings, then get mad and bitter when the favor is returned. What goes around, comes around! Remember that. 

In conclusion, I’d just like for women to remember a few things about men. There are still gentlemen in the world, however, it’s up to you to decipher who’s real and who’s posing. Yes.. guys WILL deceive you to get what they want. But don’t take it out on the ones who are actually gentlemen. If you really care about a guy and want to be with him, don’t let anybody or anything stop you from getting what you want. We all know good men are hard to come by these days, so if you have one, hold on to him, because there are plenty of other women that will scoop him up as soon as you let go. Last but not least, the golden rule… put God first and everything will fall into place.

Twitter  – @CrisC0
Facebook – Percy ‘CrisCo’ Nelson
youtube.com/Ultraballer

Design Work
www.facebook.com/GRAZIGNER
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Bio:
Percy H. Nelson
22 years old
UCF Alumnus – BA in Art
Member of D.W.E.E.B.S. Dance Crew (2010 BET Spring Bling: Revamped Champions)
Founder/CEO of GRAZIGNER-Graphic Design
 
Likes: Dancing, Singing, Spending time with family/friends, food, watching movies, beautiful women, laughing, new experiences/adventures, graphic design, music!

Dislikes: Ignorant and obnoxious people, lacefronts, liars, hypocrites, prideful attitudes, etc. You get the idea. (I could go on for a while. lol)

GRAZIGNER
Percy H. Nelson
Freelance Graphic Artist
facebook.com/GRAZIGNER
www.grazigner.deviantart.com

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Freestyle Friday: The Clean Up Edition

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The twitter feed is gone, but you can still follow me on twitter! Image via Wikipedia

Thank God it’s Friday! This week has been a long one for me, with many highlights and lowlights to be examined. First of all, I wanted to let you all know that I have been considering improvements on this blog–content-wise, and design-wise. You may have noticed that I took the twitter feed off of the side bar (you can still follow my blogs on twitter here). The blogroll is going to be taken off and relocated to a separate pageI added the Categories List so you can see what I write about frequently, and find other feature posts or items that you’re interested in (such as Things Mr. P. Doesn’t Know About Me). Don’t forget to check me out on 2o-Something Bloggers by clicking the 2oSB badge. I would appreciate any thoughts on the changes thus far to the design.

Content-wise, I’ve seen a renewed interest in the marriage kits. I feel like I am back at a place where I can focus on those. I have people with different experiences that I can talk to (people who did live together before marriage, people who are not in their first marriage, people who are married to people who have differing religious beliefs or no religious beliefs, people who are counselors, psychologists, and so forth, people who are serial marriers (if their is such a word)). I also found a cheap affordable digital recorder that I plan on purchasing so that I can better render answers to questions and freestyle a bit more. I am working on new questions for the new experiences I’ll be documenting, and I want you to add any questions you may have for these people with at least ten years of marriage experience.

I am participating in the postaday2011 challenge on this blog. I missed a few days and have been going back and uploading the things I wrote for those missed days, so please feel free to go back through January and see all the good content you may have missed. I’m thinking of highlighting my posts for the week in each Freestyle Friday going forward.

Last blog-related thing: Thoughts From the Cubicle, my little blurbs at the end of each post–are you guys liking that new feature, or is it too much access to my random thoughts?

This week I tried a new exercise, Body Attack. If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen my trepidation at taking a class called Body Attack. I used to have a teacher who quipped, “After one of my exams, you will feel examined.” Well, after Body Attack, my body did feel attacked! I hadn’t taken a cardio class at the gym, and let me tell you, I was DYING to call it a day at the first water break (of all of five seconds), but I made myself continue, and I’m proud of myself for finishing it. It involved a lot of running and jogging in place, which I thought would be too much for my feet (as I’ve tried running and develop a foot pain in my arches after a few minutes), but after a few twinges, I didn’t feel anything. Maybe the foot pain is just a mental barrier I needed to break through, or maybe something else had to hurt to get my mind off of it. 😉 The major problem is I have no rhythm, which was exacerbated by the fact I couldn’t breathe and had no idea what moves were coming next. Aside from sounding like an old smoker afterwards (my exercise induced asthma makes me cough/weeze like an aging chronic smoker), I enjoyed myself. I promised my workout buddy I’d go back next week and see how I like it.

This weekend is much needed for me, and I can’t wait to relax and enjoy it. I also can’t wait to hear from you guys, so keep the comments coming! *Note: The related articles have been freestyled as well and do not necessarily reflect the views of this blog or this blog’s creator.

XOXO

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