Romantic Relationships are overrated… For now

It has been a whole year since my break up. It has been over 365 whole days. I took a break to myself. Took some times for a couple of vices (politics, chocolate cake, and work). But I am a human and a woman after all. Some earlier this year I made plans to start searching for a new partner. I wasn’t sure at the beginning what I wanted. I knew I wanted a good time. Not like a sexy good time but the kind of time where you go out, you have fun, and you say to yourself, “I’d like to do this again.”Though I have become more open to the idea of dating it has been a struggle. It’s easy to say I would like to start dating again than actually dating.

I found out there are a lot of scumbags still out there. There are guys scumbags but feel the need to put on the appearance of one. Congratulations, you are still a scumbag. Then there are the guys that believe the some how are getting passed over for scumbags. They are your emo boyfriend from high school revisited. Unaware they are the just as much of a scumbag than the guy supposedly their exes left them for, they sit around moping about the last girlfriend. Sometimes the girlfriend before that. And the one before that girlfriend. Oh, this is before you make arrangements for an actual date.

But now I am a mom. My kid comes first. So now it’s about a person I am cool with bringing around my kid. Hell even letting them know I have a kid. You are always constantly worried about if this person will harm your child. You also have to take into account that this person might also have the opportunity to influence your child for the better or the worst.

So now I am picky. I am pickier than I was 2 or 3 years prior. I do go on dates. I have fun on these dates sometimes. But now my bar is raised. I won’t settle. I have high standards. Probably the standards I should have had from the beginning.

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Calm Stands Warm Stands

I am going to warn you this is going to be one of those weird blogs where I somehow came to an epiphany about something. So last week has been pretty hard for me. Although I was given the opportunity for some me time with friends downtown weekend for the LGBTQ Pride Parade, this week just has me drained emotionally.

So for those of you who aren’t familiar with cognitive therapy, there is alway a plan put in place for when something gets you down or angry or whatever. So my plan has always been to listen to music, write, and or play video games. So I was in the middle of talking about happiness with a friend and I joking said, ” I keep hoping that I can my road will eventually lead to warms sands.” For those of you who don’t know, I am huge Skyrim fan. So much so that my for my birthday I want thieves guild tattoo ankle and dark brotherhood tattoo on my shoulder. I jokingly call myself that night mother who is the leader of the dark brotherhood. The warm stands saying is something that Khajiit, the cat people of Skyrim. All of a sudden it hit me. What if it wasn’t just a joke what if this was something I could live by or at least a meaningful saying.

Sayings or Mantras mean a lot to me because sometimes you don’t have a piece of paper or napkin isn’t around. Sometimes your iPhone is dead and there is no outlet. Sometimes you don’t the time or the luxury to veg out gaming or nerding out. When nothing else is available to combat those bad thoughts fight them with good thoughts. For me, the idea of sifting fine sand through your finger reminds me of home. Maybe I am cat person…. in both senses of the term ooooooooooooo. Either way, I am still the Night Mother.

 

 

Don’t Tell Me Out to Potty Train

So my son is 22 months old. He has gotten to the point where if he soils his diaper he tells me or tries to take it off. He will even pick up his own diaper and throws it away. So of course from time to time, I might mention this to a friend or two. So to my surprise, I received a lot of, “So you are going to potty train him right.”

I think what caught me off guard the most were the friends that didn’t have kids that were admint that it was time of me to start potty training. How does one who have never give birth to child all of sudden decide that a child is capable of knowing they are ready to to go to the potty. Now let me remind you… my son is a little over one in half and close to 2 years old or 24 months.  Most girls start at around 2 and boys somehwere between 2 and half to 3 years old.  Although my son is able to understand that his soiled diaper is not something you would like to keep in his room, he doesnt seem to understand the process before the soiled diaper. He knows during. He will hide himself. However there are still sometimes he will go and still keep playing. I just know he isnt ready yet.

But this isn’t about if my son is really to potty train as much as it is people feeling the the need to tell me how parent my child espcially people lacking the life experience. As if I am not potty training just beccause I like changing diapers. I know I am new mother. I am always look for ways to do things the right way. So I am open to sound suggestion… when I ask for it.  Even if they did have experience I didn’t ask you for your input. And maybe that is rude but, its also rude to interject when no one ask you to. 

I know I sound angry, but I bit perturbed. I don’t want to force my child to do something he isn’t ready for just only create self doubt in his abilities to do anything not just potty training. So I can say oh my son is already using the potty. Parenting isn’t just about hitting milestones and it especially isn’t about hitting them early. 

Mommy is doing the Most

Yes, I stress about being a mommy. A couple days ago I was walking to one of my best friends about my blogging situation. He is a hipster and will say it without any issue. Like most of my friends very childless and hoping to stay so. He asked me about things that I cared about as a mom. I started listing some things. Then he started listening something things. You know the outlandish stuff like essential oils ( which supposedly can make you or your kid really sick) and gluten. I started laughing.

Don’t get me wrong gluten is a serious thing… to kids gluten allergies. We all hear about that mom or see some form of them as characters in a TV show or movie. Still, to this day I don’t believe that kids should be vegetarians because of watching, “About a Boy.” But let’s be honest we have all been there. My irrational obsessive over parenting for awhile was fear of Autism that was constantly being brought up by my ex and his family. Which got slightly worse after my son’s pediatrician was worried about my son speech development. At 18 month my son only knew a handful of words such as hi, my sister’s name, my given name, and Duchess (our chihuahua). One of my close friends is Autistic, and I love him very much. No one wants their kid to have autism.  I was obsessed with anything that could cause Autism. “Could be his diet… All the stress I had during my pregnancy… can gluten cause Autism.” I am joking about the gluten. 2 months later my son speaks in full phrases. In fact this morning he handed me my Xbox one controller and asked, ” Do you want this?” Maybe later I guess.

Again… don’t take it the wrong way. Mommy sense is the best thing ever. It what helps you know your kid is in danger. And not everyone gifted with mommy sense. Sometimes I wonder if I have strong enough Mommy sense. But sometimes in an attempt to keep kids safe we not only are going overboard but we are also harming them. You have heard it before and most people call it helicopter parenting. But I am not just talking about helicopter parenting. I am also talking stressing about every little thing. Do your research and maybe not microwave your kid’s food in plastic or recycle more. But don’t break out into a hot sweat over little stuff.

Not Being the Parent, My Parents Were

I am the oldest of four. I am 60 parts my father and 40 parts my mother. I can tell you neither of them knew how to deal with the person they helped create. Now, it’s sort of a given that parents have no clue what they are doing with their first child.  Hell, I have no clue what I am doing. It’s sorta sad, because had they taken the time to actually listen and communicate effectively it would have saved everyone a lot of trouble.  But… Let me tell you a story.

A couple of days ago my mom and I were having a conversation about her belief that turning the other cheek in certain situations or even apologizing. I told her she went about it all wrong. There was a certain situation in which my aunt got upset with me when I was 12 and cursed me out like a grown woman. My other aunt lied and said I had yelled at that swore at me. I called out for her to try to explain not yelled. But I was forced, not asked, to apologize to that aunt. I took it as my parents didn’t trust my word. I also internalized that as that I wasn’t worthy of respect. It wasn’t until I was an adult to work through the pain and anger that I didn’t even know I held on to that day.

However, the conversation got me to think about not just learning from my mistakes as a mother but my parents’ mistakes. I also learned I have to undo the mistakes I left behind with my son. This a growing person who is learning who they are. It’s my responsibility to make sure my son functions at a healthy emotional level. I don’t him turning 29 and realizing that he is acting out on a situation that happened to him over 15 years ago.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my parents. I also completely understand that working with the tools given to them by their parents. Let me tell you my grandparents are like a bag of knotted rubber bands. I think my parents did the best they could with what knowledge they had. I wish they would have handled it differently, but wishful thinking in the past gets us nowhere… on both sides.

Why I Take Myself Serious Enough to Wear Makeup

I have always thought of myself as homely. I am a home girl. I wear jeans, t-shirts, and Chuck Taylor tennis shoes. I read books, play video games, and worked as a writer. I was too busy for makeup. It wasn’t until after dealing with my post-partum depression and help from friends that started looking ways for self-care.

This blog was one way, and my appearance is another.My appearance has always been a big deal for me. However, sometime in high school, I wanted people to take me seriously I stop wearing makeup. I stop dressing up unless asked. Now don’t get wrong… I like I stated I love jeans and t-shirts, but I also make a conscious choice of what I am going to wear. But getting myself back into the idea of self-care was a struggle.

My first time applying makeup was in early middle school. I was still applying my make up like an 11-year-old. I have the artistic skills of a toddler. It is literally the grace of God that  I can apply my eyeliner in a straight line. So I had watch video after video, which was cathartic as well, to get an idea of what I was doing. Then next it was purchasing brushes, applicators, primers, and etc. Not to mention a very unproductive visit to Sephora where I left looking like an Oompa Loompa. I eventually figured it out how to do a simple beat. I am still learning.

I think people don’t understand how small things help with maintaining your overall mood. I needed something to remind me that I am human. Taking care of myself helps tremendously.  At the end of the day if you look good you feel good.

 

A Plea for Creativity

I won’t lie. I have been lying to myself for some time now… I tell myself that I am not pushing myself because I am just busy with something or I am not ready. The truth is… I have been in a lull that has been coupled with fear and lack of self-confidence. I will admit some of that time was taken to coming up with a proper self-care routine.  That is still an excuse. I’m being honest with my feelings. I keep hoping that at some point I will find something to that will push me and fuel me. I have decided to merely just carry on. I know that it doesn’t sound encouraging.

I know that it doesn’t as romantic as finding a muse in an unexpected situation.   I wish I had something more impactful to say. Sometimes all you have is to carry on.

Not Really Saying Goodbye- The Break and The Break up

I have been gone a while. I took a much needed break to boost clear my head and even boost my confidence. In the midst of that break… I broke up with my partner of 3 years. I wanted to wait before I posted something because I wanted to arrange my feeling in place of peace and not anger or sadness.

I want to keep the reasons brief. It wasn’t working out. In my opinion things were moving to fast, and certain issues on both of our parts had not been rectified before falling into a relationship. We wanted to be each other safe place, but in the words of Warsan Shire ” You can’t make homes out of human beings.” Had I ever stop to think for a second… I would have known I wasn’t ready. He wasn’t ready. It has little to do with disorders, but more to do with me.  I thought that I could fix  my broken heart with a nice guy. So the sake of all of us… I felt it best to separate.

Genfrication

So when I moved back to Houston, I had my heart set on downtown living. Since I had been gone they have build beautiful high rise buildings for prices I would have dreamed of on the east coast. I had a couple of building picked out that that were a couple distance from good eats and a ballgame. Then I got pregnant. Now my priorities had to change. I need a two bedroom apartment as appose to the studio or efficiency across the street from Minute Maid Park.  As a result of my partner moving in with me… I needed something close to the Veterans Affairs Hospital. I knew the next best place was Third Ward.

Third Ward is wear its happening. It’s 5 minutes away from downtown. It has pre-war structures. Better yet it reminds me of my great grandmother- Gloria. Of course I fit and I wanted to raise my child here. In the last couple of years this portion of Houston has lost it’s originality.

I have lived in this ward off and on for the past 10 years. I remember when a doctor moved in with his young wife and 4 year old daughter further down Delano between Blogget and Southmore. I though, ” Oh that’s cool. There will be kids in the neighborhood again.” I also remembered some years back when a gay couple purchased a house and build up like castle. I said to myself, ” Oh that’s interesting.”

But now old homes are being torn down for new industrial style lofts. They have a yoga meditation center within walking distance of my apartment. The ran rail line also within walking distance between University of Houston and Texas Southern University. It dawn on me to this weekend how hip Third Ward has become. I was at a friends birthday party the group was going out for drinks. I passed up opportunity merely because it was late. My son wasn’t going to go sleep without me.  I over heard them saying off Southmore. I was like nah not my side of Southmore. Sunday morning pictures were posted and sure enough they had gone to one of the new bars in the neighborhood further up Southmore. I was surprised.

I had to go back really think about what was happening to my neighborhood. Then I had to ask myself was I a “gentrifier?”

I have spent a small sent in Brooklyn, New York where I consider myself gentrifying the neighborhood. I didn’t have an apartment of my own. I never had money to really take part in any of the hip things going on  unless a friend offered to take me out for drinks. And most of remnants of older inhabitants of days long go thought I was old Jamaican lady’s grand-daughter come to visit from the Southwest. I remember being in Starbucks in and this Jamaican guy asked for change. I was looking like a real hipster that day. As I gave the guy my letter over loose change he asked, ” Are Jamaican… Are you from Brooklyn… I think I know you.” I grinned and said no.

My experience with Third Ward is a little different. My grandfather’s (maternal) family moved to Houston and lived in Fourth Ward by the turn of the 20th century. Sometime after 20’s my family relocated (grand parents) to Third Ward. The only property that is left in the family is great grandmother’s house that sits on Arbor. Across the street Local AME church has created a memorial for great great grandmother over a property that use to house wayward boys. They use the duplex now as a ministry for women.

I myself remember skating down the streets when I was 5. Getting kicked out of the one Ralston’s Liquor  store at age 10 for going to pick up some cigarettes for my aunt.Visiting my great grandmother in the apartment she lived in by herself. I even attended and graduated from Texas Southern which is in the heart of Third Ward. My great uncle was shot catching the bus in Third Ward.

I think my issue with Gentrification is the loss History and people’s intention. I have no problem with my neighborhood becoming more integrated. Restaurants and bars are major plus for me. I have an issue with people forgetting that people were confined to live in these areas. That schools in this city weren’t integrated till the 70s. That there were sit ins and riots that happened during the Civil Rights Movement in Third Ward. That my Grandfather died in this part of the city. Yes, its close to downtown, West University, the Kirby district, and the Galleria. But it’t so much more for me.

The Divorcing of Friends

A couple of Days ago my friend post a meme on her Facebook page. It read, “If we grew apart as friends, there is 100% I am cheering you on from afar, and I still love you.” That’s not just that friend but very much who I  am too. I have had some people who just walked out of my life as friends, and I let them go for various reasons.

Let me just say I am emotional friend. I feel like I can say that after my Sailor Moon marathon. I never forget anyone, and I always try to be considerate. It literally hurts my core when people aren’t the same to me. I have only really shown how hurt I was by it maybe a handful of times in my life. I am the Arya Stark of my group of friends… I never forget and rarely forgive. My Therapist and I are working on that. So I have come to the conclusion that you have to just let those friends go.

I have had so many changes over the last couple years. I have changed jobs, matured, had a baby, was diagnosed with an illness, my view point on things have changed, Broad City, The Read… 2 Dope Queens. Some people aren’t ready for that. When you are ready to climb mountains you want a team of mountain climbers. I am not trying to talk bad about people I don’t speak to anymore.They are probably great at climb some mountains, but they just aren’t ready to climb these mountains.  We aren’t in the same place, and that’s cool. However I will implore you to keep up with people.

There are people I have in my life right now merely added to Facebook to be polite either through work , projects, etc. Those acquaintances have become good friends who have encouraged me or vice versa. I have also gotten in contact with people that I have fallen out of contact with. One of my childhood friends just got married and is now pregnant. It’s great to keep up with her because she is going through everything I went through last year.

In closing friends are priceless, but you can’t make someone be there when they don’t want to. I am using that extra energy to be a better friend to the friends I have. I hope whoever reads this will do the same.