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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The Pact.

I am a firm believer that you don’t need to wait for a new year to be a better version of you. However, I also understand the want to symbolically end one chapter of your life and start another. I haven’t made a New Years resolution since I vowed to make my bed every morning in 2016, but this year I not only made a resolution – I made a pact. 

If you’re an OG reader, you may be familiar with my girl Kris. If not, check her out at instagram.com/bumbleyee_designs. Earlier this month, we promised each other that we would produce one blog/quote a week or give each other shit for not doing it. Not long before that, I took to Instagram polls and asked what folks wanted to read and the folks came through.

Thus, I will be posting a blog every Monday with a topic suggested by a GATNB reader. It’s apparent that I’ve been uninspired lately. Not having a topic to write about is just a fraction of the reason, so I am thankful for your inspiration and of course, continuous support. See you next week!

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i love you. all the time.

You always know. That sinking feeling you get in your stomach never lies. Usually, you receive a text or a missed call from someone you never or rarely talk to and then the instincts take over from there. I should know, I’ve received that call five times now and each time, it played like clockwork.  I can’t speak for everyone else whose received that call, but similar to the “Five stages of grief”, I experience a string of emotions that play out as if they were a procedure written in a book. 

For me, there’s the initial stillness. Not shock or numbness. Just me sitting in my stillness trying to understand what I just heard. Questioning the validity. Hoping it’s a dream or a sick joke. 

Once I’ve finally processed what’s happened, I look for signs and suddenly everything takes new meaning. Suddenly, the smile looks like a facade. Suddenly, I know that what you posted wasn’t just a meme of something you agreed with – it was more. 

Then, I go down memory lane. I look at every photo we took together. Replay our conversations, and relive our time spent together. I think about the good times of course – us dancing the night away and laughing until early morning. But I also think about the bad times. The times we would always pick up the phone, and not get off until the other person stopped crying. 

Does this all sound familiar to you? If so, you are no stranger to what follows. 

This is the part that sticks with you. The part that haunts you if you let it. It’s the part where we blame ourselves. 

If I had just called her.
If I had just texted him more.
If I had asked her how she was doing.
If I had told him I loved him at that exact second.
If I had known.

Even when we know it’s not our fault, we can’t help but feel as if we contributed to the death and not enough to the life. We think we’re magicians. Superheroes. Gods. When the truth is, “you can’t save people you can only love them”. 

They say to be kind to everyone, because you truly don’t know what they’re going through. Just please don’t forget to be kind to yourself. 

 

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Love, Everywhere.

Last week, I shared my typical morning routine. It was intentional, and meant to be. But sometimes, we fall into routines without even realizing it. Some are good, some are bad. I’ve come to realize that me and my boyfriend have a “Turn down” routine. A few elements are deliberate, like meditating and no electronics 15 minutes before bed. However, I noticed that at some point of the night once we’re done with our individual tasks for the day, we always share a moment on the couch to snuggle and watch TV.  

These couch moments of watching shows neither of us wants to really watch, but we watch anyway for the other person – are some of my favorite moments. Doing absolutely nothing can be everything. During last night’s “nothing” moment, my boyfriend caught me Googling “How to escape waterboarding”. You know I can see you right? I jumped when he asked me. I did not know he could see me. (Also, I could not find a way to escape. Please let me know if you do) 

I ended up going on Instagram instead. On the top of my feed was a post Miley Cyrus dedicated to her husband Liam Hemsworth for his birthday. I read it in its entirety. She talked about the reasons she loved him, and the special silly and sweet moments they share. One in particular – “I love having a teeth brushin’ partner,” made me smile. Me and my boy friend both have electronic toothbrushes, so when I sleep before him I ask him to brush his teeth with me, so that he doesn’t wake me. Now, we brush our teeth together regardless of what time the other person goes to sleep. Sometimes, I’ll pre-paste his toothbrush. Last night, he did a stupid dance behind me while I rinsed my mouth. 

It was heartwarming to think that Miley and Liam were doing the same thing we were too. Different people, different couples, different lifestyles, doing something as simple as brushing their teeth and being in love. Obviously there were other couples doing the same thing too. Cooking while the other washed dishes. Meditating. Reminding the other to take their vitamins. Asking Alexa to tell them a joke. Taking a walk to the mailbox. Sharing their fears. Sharing their dreams. Taking Spanish class. Picking out baby names. Not so subtly hinting what kind of ring they want. Arguing. Making up. Taking edibles. Laughing. Crying. LOVING. 

Love is happening everywhere. All the time. Including right this very moment. And if you’re reading this, I hope it’s happening for you too. 

 

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2018 Beauty Picks.

The following are a few new products I tried in 2018 and have made the cut over to 2019. 

Korres Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser: This is by far my favorite product of 2018. I wanted a face wash that could take off my makeup and was still gentle on my skin. I found all that and then some in this product. Not only did it take off my makeup better than my Biore wash that has exfoliating beads, but it was less aggravating and smells really good. You can buy it HERE.

Eskinol Pimple Fighting Cleanser: I’m weary about Eskinol products, because they’re known traditionally as skin whiteners and y’all should know by not that I am a better person when I’m tan. However, I’ve noticed that this specific product does in fact keep my skin feeling clean and deters it from breakouts. I don’t like the smell (it doesn’t stink, but it can be momentarily strong), but it does wonders for my skin and cost nothing if you get it in PI. Shout out to Ness for the assist! You can buy it HERE (or go to the Philippines and buy 5 for $11 lol).

Makeup Eraser: My cos-sign for this might be a little preemptive considering I only used the sample cloth that came with my Birch Box (thanks Codi!), but I’m assuming that the full size cloth is only better. The reviews are true, it’s like a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser for your face. I used a  tiny square of it and was able to take off my waterproof eyeliner better than soap and water. It’s reusable too! You can get it HERE.

Sephora Fresh Peach Lip Gloss: really wanted Nars’ Orgasm lipgloss, but couldn’t justify paying $28 for a product that you could barely see. Instead, I asked the Sephora rep for a dupe and I ended up with this at half the cost, with an almost identical sheen/shine. It’s for those days where you don’t want to wear lipstick, but have slightly more oomph than just a bare lip. 

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner: Since I can no longer find my original favorite liquid liner, which is made by Rimmel, I crossed over to the darkside of name brand liner and found my new favorite liner of all time. The brush on this is so precise, yet easy to use that I’m able to create the sharpest cat-eyes ever. I wasn’t able to wear eyeliner for most of the year due to the Thanos of all styes, but when I risked it all for this eyeliner during a few holiday parties. 

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In Your Feelings.

There are a lot of things I let bother me (I’m working on this). Something that never fails to get my blood boiling are people who use their past as an excuse to treat others like shit. In most cases, it’s a valid excuse, but at some point in your life you need to stop using the victim card to victimize others. A lot of people will realize this, yet continue to use their past as a crutch.

The saying is hurt people hurt people, but after a while that shit gets old and at my age it’s getting harder for me to empathize. Y’all need to grow the fuck up and be better,  or you’ll spend your future living in the past, living with the pain, and ultimately – living alone. 

We all have our reasons for acting the way we do, and we are all entitled to feel the way we feel. I’ve learned that you should never apologize for the way you feel, it’s what makes you, YOU. Your past makes you special, but it doesn’t make you better than anyone else. So if there are people who’ve experienced similar setbacks (and trust me, there are plenty) yet were able to overcome them, be better because of it, and NOT treat people like shit, you can do the same. To think any different is narcissistic.

Know that when I write this, I am also applying it to myself. I’m sure I’ve used my childhood to explain myself to … myself, and that’s exactly it. What’s happened in your past is only an explanation – not a justification

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The Grow Up.

I’ve been coming to terms with the fact that I’m growing up. Kinda. I say “kinda” because I finally picked out my medical benefits all by myself … yet still managed to get cake all over my shirt this past Sunday. It’s hard to say. I’m the same girl I was when I started this nearly a decade ago, but I’m also not. Strangely, I have a feeling you guys get what I mean by that.

Looking back, I’ve found that my most popular posts next to ones about 9-inch dicks and anal sex, were about love. More specifically, heartache. While happy posts about the “glitter and the gay” were a strong 3rd place, ain’t no better Mary J. than …

What’s the 411? Mary J.
K-Ci from JoJo Mary J.
Sad Mary J.

Alas, I couldn’t be sad forever – no matter how many views it got. And I hope y’all don’t want to be sad forever either.

I’ve also been coming to terms with the fact that my readers are growing up with me. Look at y’all falling in love, having careers and shit. Your boyfriends who’ve begrudgingly read my articles in the past have turned into your husbands, and if they were horrible people – have turned into your ex. Either way, mama is proud.  Just the other day I received a DM from one reader who started following GATNB when she was 18 – she’s now 25. One: where’d my graduation invite go? Two: HOLY SHIT, that’s love.

It’s bittersweet. On one hand, it’s a reminder that I’ve had my blog for so many years yet feel like I didn’t hustle hard enough to have it reach its fullest potential. On the other hand, I’m grateful to have even made a difference in one person’s life. 

If you’re a Day 1, the change in my blog content should be apparent. I went from writing about anal sex and cheaters to plants and crystals, and I’m sure some of y’all want a refund. Naturally, the direction may change as I change – as we change. However, my mission to let you know you aren’t alone will never waver. Not never. You can’t have the glow up without the grow up. Otherwise, all you’re doing is getting old. And you know I ain’t having that. 

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