WHY?

I woke up to a text this morning from one of my best friends saying, “Not Bourdain too”. With the suicide of Kate Spade just days before, I immediately knew what she meant. Every death, every suicide is tragic. But this one hurt more than it should. Maybe it’s because it was the second high profile suicide in a week. Maybe it’s because I, too have been feeling depressed lately. Or maybe it’s because Bourdain’s story of struggle and success helped me during my move to NY in 2012. 

Regardless, the biggest question for me still remains: WHY?

Why did he do it? Why couldn’t be be stronger? Why couldn’t he fight it? Why couldn’t he see how much people loved him and wanted him to be around? Why didn’t anyone stop him? Why didn’t anyone notice? And to be fair, why was he so stupid? These may sound like selfish questions, but they are real questions that I think a real person like him would answer if he could. These are the same questions I asked in my head when I attended the last four funerals of friends of mine who had committed suicide. FOUR. WTF. WHY?

I don’t know why, but I know howI know how it feels to be sad. How it feels to be really sad. And then how it feels to be depressed. I know how it feels to know the exact steps you need to take to better yourself, yet still not taking them for whatever reason. I know how it feels to look in the mirror and struggle to say one kind thing to yourself, and I know how it feels to beat yourself up even more because of it. I know how it feels to reach out to your friends, have them be there for you, yet still feel so alone, and then feel even worse for seeming ungrateful. I also know how it feels when it just hurts SO bad that you’d consider the unthinkable just to make it go away. They say sleep is the cousin of death, and I know how it feels to wish you would never wake up just so you didn’t have to endure another day of living with your demons. 

I ain’t good, but I’m BETTER. I have to forcefully stop myself right there: I’M BETTER. I’m fighting with myself to not add a “but” after that. I’M BETTER. That’s it, that’s all. I’m better, and you can be too.

I may not know the answers to “Why?” but I can still ask the question. So why don’t you ask for help, and why don’t you reach out to someone who may need help but doesn’t want to ask for it? It’s a crazy world out there, we need each other to survive it. 

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The Look for Less.

::EDITORS NOTE AFTER JUMP::

I’ve noticed that a lot of single men put “looks” at the top of their list of what they look for in a partner. And I get it. With the exception of one ex, I’ve been physically attracted to all of my boyfriend’s before getting to know them. A pretty face and bangin’ body are usually what make men do a double-take, not a beautiful personality. But I’m going to be real here when I say that you shouldn’t be asking for more than you can give. That was me being nice.

What I wanted to say was unless you look like Chris Hemsworth, have Safaree’s dick, or Jeff Bezos’s bank account, you need to humble yourself and quit praying for a supermodel to fall in love with you. 

What I’ll actually say is: you don’t need to wish for looks. 

I know you want your partner to be attractive, I’m just saying you don’t have to wish for them to be. When you meet the right person, shit just clicks, and you’re so grateful to have them by your side, they all of a sudden become the hottest person in your life. Well, next to Michael B. Jordan that is. I already think my man is handsome, but sometimes I’ll just watch him working really hard on a project for work and he gets twice as dreamy. 

Flings and one night stands are different, but when it comes to having an actual relationship with someone, their physical appeal almost directly correlates to my mental and emotional connection to them. How many times have y’all saw an ex of yours who you once thought was God’s gift to Earth, and then just felt disgusted looking at them once you broke up? See what I’m sayin?

Ultimately, who you want is who you want. Just know that there’s a difference between settling for less and having fucked up priorities. Besides, there’s so many better characteristics to wish for in a partner. Like good credit. 

Continue reading

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To Health and Back.

Over the weekend I hiked the 8.4 miles to Alamere Falls to get in some cardio, enjoy nature and yes – take an Instagram photo. While the trail itself wasn’t hard, I underestimated what 8.4 miles felt like and the view was underwhelming. Nevertheless, it was a good challenge and what I valued more than the quintessential “Look at me, I’m so active I hiked to a waterfall!” photo was my HEALTH. 

There were a few times during the nearly four hour trek that I gave gratitude to the free Empower classes my work graciously offers, the gym in my apartment complex, and my commitment to being healthy. I felt lucky to be able to confidently climb up and down cliffs and last the entire hike without struggling. I’m not that strong, I’m definitely not fast and my stamina sucks, but my biggest muscle is my brain and it’s too stubborn to quit (I’m sure the gym helps a lot too lol). 

I’m well aware that everyone’s bodies are different. Some people were born with medical issues that prohibit them from partaking in certain activities. It’s not something they can help. Some people have created entire human beings with their bodies, and are never quite the same afterwards. We all move different. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and it’s a beautiful thing. I was reminded of this during a text conversation with my girls the other morning. 

I loved reading about the different ways my friends took care of themselves, how they inspired each other, and the little changes they were making to better their lives. Living a “healthy lifestyle” can sound like such a buzzkill, and with social media it can seem intimidating. When really, it’s all about doing what works best for YOU. While my girl loves Soul Cycle, it hurts my vagina and while I love bikram, my other girl rather run a half marathon (WHYYYY?). 

I wanted to share the conversation I had with my girlfriends, so that you could see the many ways one can be healthy. You don’t need a fancy gym or expensive membership to some trendy class just to keep up with the Jones’s. You don’t have to be like @alexia_clark or @massy.arias or wear waist trainers or drink special teas (unless you want to of course). Being healthy is a choice, and how you choose to be healthy is entirely up to you. It’s not about the number on the scale, as long as you’re healthy. So cheers to longevity, whether you’re taking a wheatgrass shot or shot of Hennessy. 

And if you want to see my “meh” health routine, click after the jump! Continue reading

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and also with YOU.

As some of you may or may not know, the affluential DJ and producer Avicii died on April 20th of this year. Inferences I made from news articles and captions made by his friends and fellow DJs, lead me to believe it was suicide. On May 1st, my suspicions were confirmed by a public medical report. 

Having obscene amounts of money is an easy excuse to dismiss depression, but depression, as we know is powerful. Like on some Thanos type shit. We see herewith Avicii that it trumps money and success. He had all the resources to get help, so either the pain was so unbearable the help didn’t work or he refused to utilize it.

I thought that once I was in a healthy relationship, my depression would go away. Instead, I learned that it never truly disappears.  For me, it’s like a little monster that has permanent residency in my head. It stays dormant when I’m taking care of myself, but is subject to metastasize given the proper environment.

Right now, my monster is small and sleeping. But every so often, I have a little slip and I can see the monster wake from its slumber and slowly open one eye just to see if its been summoned. 

Sometimes we think that if we just have “this”, “this”, and “this” all of our problems will disappear. I’m not going to lie, it helps. Sometimes a lot. But that final “this” you won’t be able to find anywhere else except for within you. That’s why I still find myself feeling sad and having anxiety despite having a great job and man that makes me feel worth the effort. And that’s why the world is without Avicii and Robin Williams and Heath Ledger and Faye. 

As an outsider, this is also hard to comprehend. I’ve been in a relationship where my boyfriend suffered from depression as well. I thought, “Why? I’m a good girlfriend. I treat you well. We have a great relationship”. However, his depression had nothing to do with ME, and that was hard for  me to understand. I thought that if I treated him good enough, he would be happy. There’d be no reason to be depressed. 

So I reiterate: Happiness starts with YOU. It ends with YOU. Outside factors may influence how you feel, but it’s all YOU. It’s always been you and it will always be you. 

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Rough Writer.

I used to date this pretty boy from Orange County. No further explanation should be necessary after that description, but he was in the military so I figured he knew a little something about roughing it despite his shiny exterior. I was wrong. The first time I asked him to “Hit it from the back”, he said, “Huh?” HUH? WHAT DO YOU MEAN HUH? tenor-1When I asked him to pull my hair, he grabbed a few small strands and timidly tugged on them as if they weren’t attached to my head, and he was scared they’d come off. Boy, quit playin. After we were done, I asked why he seemed confused when I asked him to hit it doggy-style. He said no one ever asked him to before, and it was in that very second I realized the real reason his previous marriage didn’t work out. 

In contrast, Thor was like the bed Goldilocks picked in the story with the three bears. He knew exactly how hard/soft to fuck me. Man, I really do know how to taint innocence don’t I? When I’d ask him to pull my hair (fellas take notes), he’d grab a nice hand full, twist it around his wrist and gently, yet matter-of-factly tug on it until I resembled a Pez dispenser. He rarely ever needed instruction, but on the rare occasion I’d test him and ac12b78192843c152678209ae22e3729mutter something like, “I know you can fuck me harder” or some shit like that. Well I guess one day he figured he’d test me by slapping me during sex. 

My first thought was, “Did that just happen?” By the look on his face, he was thinking the same thing. I should clarify that it wasn’t an airy slap that left a sting. It was almost like he just forcefully pushed my face to the side. Still, I didn’t know how I felt about it. We looked at each other for a second in an awkward moment of silence until it set in. Then, he laughed and I gave him one squinty eye and a head tilt, as if gauging his next move. Apparently I’m bad at gauging, because he slapped me again. That’s when I decided I wasn’t down. 

Him: You don’t like that?
Me: No (although it sounded like a No?)
Him: No?
Me: Nah, I’m good.

He never did it again. Funny thing is, it didn’t hurt. Not in the least bit. It bothered me, because I felt disrespected by it, although I’m not exactly sure why. It can also go the other way around. I have one homie who was fucking a girl who wanted it more rough than he was comfortable being. Alas, everyone has their own perception of what “liking it rough” means and it’s getting harder and harder to interpret.

In the world we live in today, it’s almost as if we have to sign an agreement prior a’la 50 Shades of Grey. I agree, it’s a boner kill to discuss these things in the heat of the moment, but better safe than sorry. Also safe to say you can slap her ass, pull her hair and choke her out, BUT LEAVE HER FACE ALONE. Well, depends on what you’re going to do to it. 

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QT.

I spent most of my adult life wanting to be the kind of woman who squeezed every second out of every minute of every hour out of the day. At the time, these were high hopes for a girl that couldn’t even commit to making her bed in the morning.

I wanted to be the woman who woke up early, went to the gym, made breakfast, wore heels to work, looked flawless on the train, killed presentations, power lunched, had happy hour with her girls, then came home to her modern, high rise apartment Downtown and had a glass of wine while writing her book before bed. Instead, I woke up at 7am, but hit the snooze button four times, had wet hair on the train, and got anxiety hosting every All Hands meeting.

Then, about a year ago I slowly started to become the woman I wanted to be. I don’t know what triggered it, perhaps nothing. I started making my bed every morning, and somehow found the energy to wake up early and make breakfast. I found myself washing dishes right away. I went to the yoga and the gym consistently. I became less tolerant of messiness, and I could no longer sleep in or lounge without having couch potato remorse.

I had finally tapped into the part of me that was just as productive outside of work as I was on the job. Even as I write this, I’m trying to purchase black out shades and watch an episode of Sneaky Pete while researching cheap vacation destinations in July. I come home from work and look around my apartment trying to find things to do. I have yet to just come home, and take a load off. The fact of the matter is, I can’t sit still until I’ve finished everything that can be done. Except, I’m constantly finding new things to do.

I had finally turned on that part of my brain. The problem now is now I can’t turn it off. I can’t relax until absolutely everything is done right then and there. Everything is urgent even if it’s not. I’ve created a monster. One that unpacks right when she’s back from a trip and puts every dish away even if she’s running late for work. 

My 30 year-old me would be SO PROUD … yet my 36 year-old self isn’t. I feel as if it was done all in vain. Because seconds turn into minutes, and minutes turn into hours, and hours turn into days, and all I have to show for it is a clean apartment and a planner filled with crossed-out “To Do Lists”. Here I am doing all the things I’ve praised, yet I don’t feel anymore a Goddess than I did before. What gives?

I’m not going to downplay the importance of prioritizing and utilizing your time. It’s an admirable talent that I’ve strived years to have. However, I am going to glorify the importance of quality time as an adjective and not a noun. Because you can count all the minutes you spend (or don’t spend) on various projects throughout your day, but it’s the times you love, feel loved and have purpose that count most. 

 

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On My Mind.

Current song: On My Mind
Current mood: Nostalgic

On my way to grab lunch the other day, I made sure to play my Jorja Smith playlist on Spotify to prep for her concert later that night. On My Mind began to play, and the hook resonated with me:

I finally found what went wrong
You think I would mind
Oh, you think I, oh
I finally found the wrong in you

In life, you go through certain things, and you never forget how you feel in those moments. Not even years later when you’ve seemingly moved on. Similarly, there are songs that trigger these feelings and like a bullet to the chest you are instantly brought back to that exact instance of heartache, happiness, betrayal,  and confusion, etc.

Jorja’s hook mentioned above is one of them. As soon as I heard the words, my eyes went tight and I pursed my lips thinking of a specific fuckboi from my past. I remember how manipulative he was, and how I constantly blamed myself for the way he was treating me. I allowed him to make me feel unworthy of love – what more his love, and I allowed myself to believe I deserved it. The On My Mind lyrics remind me of the days right after I finally snapped out of my funk and basically realized HE WASN’T SHIT. I wished this song had came out 10 years ago, because it would’ve definitely helped me at the time.

Still, I appreciate the song nearly a decade later. Despite being in a great relationship today, I can remember the pain of the past as if it were just yesterday. Because no happy life, wonderful partner, beautiful family, or big house will ever make you forget how it feels to be disrespected, betrayed, and heart broken. I believe songs like this are written not only to help those going through similar situations, but also to remind those who are no longer in them to appreciate their current relationship even more. 

Current song on my mind: The Sweetest Love
Current mood: Grateful

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