Higher Unlearning Pt 2

Throughout my mental healthy journey, I’ve learned a lot of things. But I’ve had to unlearn even more. In the next coming week(s) I’ll be posting blogs about the top three things I’ve had to unlearn. I hope you’ll learn a little something from them.

I’ve had to unlearn the mantra, “Sleep is the cousin of death.” Obviously, you need sleep. But I never knew how important sleep actually was until I didn’t get any. Last year I went a week with an average of 3-4 hours of sleep a night and couldn’t function properly at work. I was depressed, anxious, angry and felt physically ill. If sleep is the cousin of death, then hello darkness my old friend. Sleep should be a necessity, not a luxury.

For years I wanted to be THAT girl. The girl that did it all, or at least tried to. I envied women who were booked back to back to back. Who woke up and went to the gym, then went to work, then volunteered, then went to happy hour and still had time for a bubble bath, book and wine at night. All while having an All-Star lineup of bootycalls on deck or being married with a kid. I soon realized that some of these women were still unhappy, and that most of these women didn’t actually exist. 

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Still, I felt that I had wasted so much of my life being a loser that I had to overcompensate until I caught up to the person I thought I should be at my age. It got to the point where I couldn’t sit in my living room and just chill out, because I felt guilty about it. I couldn’t focus on one thing at a time, I had focus on 3 and still have 3 more things going on in the background. The worst part was I wasn’t doing anything impactful a lot of the times, I was just staying busy for the sake of being busy. Then, came the “self-care” movement, which basically told me that everything I just learned to do was WRONG. 

I’ve since learned that even the busiest, most successful people give themselves a break. I’ve (re)learned quality over quantity. To not feel bad for stepping away from your desk. To stop what you’re doing when you’re feeling overwhelmed. That no job is worth your sanity. That it is OK and sometimes necessary to absolutely nothing. And that sleep is actually the cousin of … productivity, happiness and health. 

 

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Higher Unlearning Pt 1

It’s 10 days into Mental Health Awareness month, and yet here I am with no post. It’s not that I don’t have anything to write about, it’s that I have so much. Throughout my mental healthy journey, I’ve learned a lot of things. But I’ve had to unlearn even more. In the next coming week(s) I’ll be posting blogs about the top three things I’ve had to unlearn. I hope you’ll learn a little something from them.

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During a Sol Sisters workshop, I participated in an exercise where you let the other person talk for 3 minutes without saying a single word. Not even an, “Mmmhmm” in solidarity. You know how hard –  not to mention awkward it is to do that? I felt that without any verbal cues of confirmation, there was no way the other person could tell I was actually listening. I tried to smile and nod my head, but am pretty sure I looked like I was having a stroke instead of silently saying, “Girl, I FEEL YOU”. I learned that it was just as awkward for the person to talk for three minutes straight. 

This also meant that I had to unlearn the habit of sharing my own stories in an attempt to find common ground with other people. Apparently, it shifts the focus from them to me. The intention was never to make it about me, it was to let the other person know I can empathize and that the advice I give is coming from experience. This also includes giving advice (unless asked). For a long time, I thought that part of being a good friend meant giving fire ass advice that lead to ideal results. While this can be absolutely true, you can still be a good friend by simply listening.

Ultimately, I’m unlearning the way I respond to those who come to me during difficult times. Now I just have to learn how to be patient and compassionate with myself in the process. 

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Ayesha, you know I want you so bad.

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Some of you may have watched this Red Table Talk episode featuring the women of the Curry family, but my bet is more of you have seen articles, memes and tweets in response to it. Specifically, the backlash Ayesha Curry’s received from it. I highly suggest watching the interview before reading further, but below is an excerpt from it:

“There are all these women throwing themselves [at him],” she said. “The past 10 years, I don’t have any of that. I have zero male attention. I begin to internalize it is something wrong with me?”-Ayesha Curry

There are those who both have and haven’t watched it that have taken it out of context. There are those who have misinterpreted it, yet made good points. Then, there are those who have completely misconstrued her statement and maliciously manipulated it.

I watched the episode before the internet onslaught began, and understood exactly how she felt and what she meant without even without being in her situation. It’s not that she wants male groupies. It’s not that she’s insecure about her relationship. It’s not that she isn’t content with just the attention from her husband. And it’s not that she needs a man to validate her. I talked to a few of my male friends about it, but the best way I could explain it is like this: (trust me, you want to click after the jump) Continue reading

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what goes up, must come down.

“I care for you a lot, and that’s why I don’t want to hurt you. I just need time to do me. This is what’s best for the both of us. If we get back together, then we’ll know it was meant to be”. Those were the last words he said before he kissed her on the forehead and left her crying on her front doorstep. 

Week 1 isn’t too bad, because there’s still hope that it was just a silly misunderstanding. Something he decided on a whim, and will regret just as soon as he realizes it was a mistake. So every time her phone lights up, so do her eyes at the thought of it being him. She even keeps all of their photos up on Instagram, because it’s still too early to tell if it’s permanent. It’s not a break up – it’s just a break she thinks. She goes about her days as if nothing’s happened and when her girls ask how he is, she replies “Fine”. 

Week 2 and 3 however, she isn’t fine. She starts texting him to get some closure, but he always changes the subject. And he only returns her texts on Tuesday nights – maybe a Sunday afternoon while he’s visiting his mom. But come the weekend, and it’s radio silent. Well, except for that one time after the club where he came over to “talk”. In the moment she went with it despite knowing it was a bad idea, because she knew that if he was sleeping with her that night, he wasn’t sleeping with someone else. The next day he left before she woke up and texted her, “Sorry”. 

After a month and some change of sulking and bad decisions, she finally goes out and does something fun. She accompanies her friend to a work happy hour disguised as a ploy to introduce her to a cute co-worker. He’s 6’2″ and looks like could be Idris Elba’s cousin. He’s not cute – he’s FINE. She’s not ready for a relationship, but she’s ready to finally have some fun. To finally feel normal again. 9:45pm het gets her a beer. 10:17pm he’s teaching her how to play shuffleboard. 10:55pm they’re taking a shot together. 11:30pm they move to another bar. 12:37am they take a group photo and Idris Elba 2.0 puts his arm around her shoulders as a friendly gesture. 1:03am she goes home. 1:30am she posts the photo. 1:34am he likes her photo. 1:37am he texts her, “WYD?”

The next day he wakes up and checks his phone to find … nothing from her. Just a text from his boy making sure he got home OK, and three texts from the girl he fucked two weeks ago and won’t leave him alone. But nothing from HER. No reply. No missed call. She didn’t even look at his IG story. Instead, he looks at hers. No story – just that photo of her from last night with her pretty smile. Did she do something to her hair? Hmm, she’s showing cleavage – I thought she hates showing cleavage? And who the fuck is that guy? Dammit, he’s pretty handsome. I guess. Must be her friend’s co-worker. Man, fuck her ho ass friends. Suddenly, one of his boys texts him, “Get ready, we’re going to a day party”. Tired and exasperated he begrudgingly gets out of bed to take a shower. Man, fuck my ho ass friends. 

Week 5 and 6 are rough. He’s tired from work and basketball and clubbing and day parties and the bottle service chick that he almost cheated on his girlfriend with and finally gave the business to. He missed coming home to dinner. He missed picking her up from work. He missed her encouragement and support. Her brain and her head. He missed being comfortable, which was ironic considering he used that as an excuse to break up to begin with. Most of all, he couldn’t stand the thought of her being happy with someone else. Touching someone else. Loving someone else. He looks back at his phone to see 6 consecutive blue boxes in a row, then 1 short reply saying “OK”. He deserved the abruptness for accusing her of going off and fucking someone just because she didn’t want to talk.

Week 7 he feels like a simp from replying to her IG stories to only receive a “seen” confirmation in return. His pride is hurt from being left on read then seeing her comment on someone’s post just a few minutes after. He’s tired of hearing about how good she looks from one of his friends that saw her at the gym. He didn’t even have the heart to tell her old-corker they were no longer together when he ran into him. 

Week 8 he can no longer take it and sends the dreaded, “Please, I just need some closure and I’ll never bother you again text”. She rejects dinner, but agrees to meet at Philz for coffee. He gets there first and already has a mint mojito waiting for her. She definitely did something to her hair, but asides from that she looks just as he remembers her – except more beautiful. He gets up to give her a kiss, but she grabs the coffee and gives him a hug. She’s kind and polite, except for checking her Apple watch when it goes off almost on cue. She smiles. 

“I care for you a lot, and that’s why I don’t want to hurt you. I just need time to do me. This is what’s best for the both of us. If we get back together, then we’ll know it was meant to be”. Those were the last words she said before she kissed him on the cheek and left. Without her coffee.  

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The 6 Stages After A Break Up.

In “The First Week After A Break Up” here, I wrote about the mundane routine one naturally falls into post-heartache. But as we all know, heartache is just one of the stages we experience. Below are a few other stages we’ve all been through. Bonus points if  you’ve been through all of them.

  1. The Hobby Phase.Yoga. Plants. Dance. Piano. Gym. Rumble. Soul Cycle. Orange Theory. Barry’s Bootcamp (can you tell I live in SF?). Name a new hobby, because you’re about to dive head first into one. 
  2. The Narcissism Phase. Nothing says, “Look at me I’m single and looking bad all by myself” than a an actual photo of someone looking bad all by themselves. This can come in the form of a selfie or full-body photo, but it won’t be like any of the ones she’s ever taken. If it’s a selfie, best believe her cleavage will be in it. Best bet is it will be a mirror photo half naked. Bonus points if it’s a mirror photo where in the reflection you can see her backside. Yes, it will be a fire ass thirst photo, one that tries to remind you of what you’re missing out and what other men will now have access to. If she already takes these types of photos, then maybe she’ll take one in a turtleneck instead. 
  3. The Glow-Up and Go Out Phase. This is the phase where you start wearing less and going out more. You may have even cut your hair or got a new set of tits. You reconnected with your girls you haven’t seen in years and are having more GNO’s and boozy brunches. 
  4. Cryptic Instagram Phase.  People don’t like to admit it, but IG in fact does say a lot about a person. Sure, there’s always more than meets the eye, but often times IG can be very telling. I’m 10 for 10 on break-ups based on Instagram captions. People only share the parts of their life they want to share … and sometimes they want to share they’re newly single. 
  5. The Wanderlust Phase. Pack your bags, because you’re about to go on a trip … via Instagram. One that will probably last longer on Instagram than in real life. Now there’s two types of girls: One that goes to Las Vegas or one that goes to Joshua Tree. There will probably be nature (because that signifies tranquility and being one with the Earth), there will be quotes from a Paolo Coelho book accompanied by  fire ass thirst trap selfies – DUH.
  6. The “I’m Doing Me” Phase. Everyone should have some “Me time” regardless of if they’re in a relationship or not. After a break up however, people “do me” to a whole new levelI’ve been through this phase myself (I think every girl has), so let me save you the time by allowing you to copy and paste the following: I’m just doing me. I don’t have time for relationships while I focus on myself. If it happens it happens, but I am not looking. I know what I want and I’m not going to settle. I don’t need a man right now.

 

 

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This Serenity Shit Is Hard.

You guys. I’ve had an ACV shot (diluted with water of course) every morning since the beginning of the year. I’ve been sleeping no later than 10pm for the past 2 weeks (unless it was on purpose). I’ve been drinking more homemade matcha lattes and less coffee. I’m on a 13-day meditation streak. I’m rubbing essential oils on my feet. And I have been letting. Things. Go. 

By the sounds of things, you would think that my hair would be shinier, my skin clearer and my pheromones on fleek. I’d have zero fucks to give, and be walking on sunshine. It’s all partly true (except for the clear skin), but what’s also true is it’s partly lonely. Partly frustrating. And partly depressing. 

Because I am not bubble bath-ing and face masking my way to serenity  – I’m fucking fighting for it, and it’s the toughest battle I’ve ever had to face. It’s the only battle I’ve have to do alone. Even in my darkest times, I’ve always had my friends to lean on, but this road to inner-peace involves letting my expectations and relationships with some of those very friends go. It’s a very humbling feeling to do this knowing that these friends could care less either way.

Usually, I triumph over my tragedies after the damage has already been done. After rubble has already hit the ground, the smoke has cleared, and the wounds have been bandaged up. All I did was survive these traumas, which is great. But lives weren’t meant to be merely survived – they were meant to thrive. So this time, I’m intentionally taking action to make sure nothing and no one disrupts the sanctity of my well-being again.

I still get mad. I still get anxiety, and I still wish a motherfucker would. However, I’m no longer letting those negative feelings engulf me. Just the other day a woman cut everyone off waiting for BART and nearly shoved me out the way. Instead of shoving her back, I left it alone. Then, I wished she’d sprain her ankle and couldn’t go into work for the rest of the week. Hey man, this serenity shit is hard and my chakras are petty AF. 

 

 

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When Death Becomes Us.

When death becomes you, you will look back at old text conversations and replay the real ones in your head. And if you think hard enough, the rest of the world will fade away and you will hear her laugh as if she’s standing  right in front of you. You will find every photo you ever took together and play back that day. You will look for signs and find ones that don’t actually exist. You will wonder why even though it shouldn’t matter and then you will think that you are more than human. That you are a savior, a magician, a superhero – someone that could’ve changed the hands of time.

You will reach out to people you barely talk to and tell them to call you if they need anything – anything. To drink, to laugh, to cry, to remain silent on the other end of the phone. Acquaintances will turn into friends, and you will hug them a few seconds longer than you normally would. You tell them you love them, and to keep in touch. That it’s a shame you had to reconnect under these circumstances. You make plans that you both know probably won’t happen, but both of you are OK with it.

You will hear her parents. The distinct and unfortunately familiar cries of a mother’s soul gasping for air. The raspy wails of her father’s heart breaking. You will lose your shit when they carry her out of the church with solemn faces following behind her. You will see beauty and pain and love and despair coexist in the same room. And that trick you do when you stare at the sky and force the tears to roll back into your eyes will not work as they lower her casket into the ground. 

You will look for a reason to smile, maybe even laugh. You will almost feel happy seeing so many people there for her, doing the things she would’ve wanted everyone to do. You will feel an energy that can only be produced in a time of tragedy turned triumph rivaled by the numbness of only half believing what has happened. You will look around at the elderly, the children, and everyone in between and hear the buzzing of LIFE and remember that the hardest part about someone leaving us doesn’t even start until after the funeral. 

When death becomes you, you feel all the feelings along with absolutely nothing at all. The things that didn’t matter as much now mean everything, and you let more than usual slide. You forget, and maybe even forgive. Text an old friend, help a stranger. You are grateful even if you don’t want to admit it to yourself. You are relieved. You are sorrow you are happiness. When the death of a loved one consumes you, you do a lot of things. But most of all – you live.

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