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.

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.

Separation Anxiety

My partner called me one day and says, ” I think our son has an anxiety disorder.” I paused for minute as to take into account what my partner was thinking. He went on further to explain to me in detailed why he thought this was true. At that point my child has started crying at the idea of people merely leaving him. In all honest, that was normal.  This is a baby who just go hang of crawling now realizing that when you leave a room. He is all alone.

About 3 weeks ago my son turned 10 months and something that was seemed normal to me has now grown into a monster. I use to be able to leave him with a friend of family member and he would smile. Now he searches their faces or a moment as if to see if he can trust them. If I leave he is done. I thought maybe this stem from the fact that I had been dividing my time between my parents house and my own. This has left my son in situation where maybe I had to leave the room for a minute to take care of things and I had no one to hand him off to. I also thought that taking on short term freelance jobs was the issue. This was alarming maybe for a couple day till I did my research.

So yes, at around 10 months babies become little more aware that world doesn’t revolve around them. This cause the idea of you being gone for long periods to cause slight anxiety. Yes, all of that makes sense to me. However, not everyone has a 27 lb. 10 month old. I sometimes can carry him on a back baby carrier like women do in some portions of Africa. The issue is he doesn’t like to be constricted and will try to kick his way out of the rap. I have tired singing to him while I am in another room so he knows that I am near by. That stopped working. I am running out of ideas. I have done a better job of getting him acquainted with other family members or caregivers. This seems to be the only thing that slightly works.

I know  it will get better in the coming months, but I need help. Or I could just come to the conclusion that I will have Serena Williams/Michelle Obama arms with in the next couple of months. That would be plus after a negative.

The Nice One

Well, I hope anyone who reads this had a great Independence Day. I was too busy helping my parents move so no BBQ or Fireworks for me.

I want to discuss something interesting about judging ones character. This weekend my uncle became very sick. He has pre-existing condition that can cause him to need to go to the emergency room sometimes. He called one evening and asked if I would be willing to take him to the hospital. I of course said yes. What type of person would say no if they had means to do so. After waiting hours, on my uncle was released from the hospital after a blood transfusion.

A couple of days later it start circulating around my mother’s side of the family that all of a sudden I have become a super nice person. I have even been told that I must have become nicer because of my child. Not True. If anything I have learned to handle less BS. So here is the question I posed … well to the universe. Does being a introvert and having a resting bitch face cause people to see you as mean?

I am not a happy- go lucky person.Despite my love of high fashion, I think I fall under pastel goth or loli goth.  I only smile at cheep jokes and thoughts of revenge. I hate small talk and I don’t see the purpose in greeting every person I meet. Not for the reasons you think. I am super awkward, and I am always afraid of saying the wrong thing. If you keep your output to a minimum, you are less likely to say something stupid.

With all that being said one of the particular reasons why I think they think this is because I have cut out certain family members from my life. While living by myself and going to therapy I had a conversation about with my therapist about how there are people in my family I would rather not speak to.  She looked me plainly and said, “Then don’t talk to them.” In that instance I knew I was grown up, and I shouldn’t be forced into converse with people that are destructive.

My mom’s side of the family is has mental health issues. I am not looking down on them for it (my father and I both suffer from situational and clinical depression), but I am being honest. These issue cause over all stereotypical messiness that comes with certain women. I try to stay away so that I don’t get roped in. Their illness and how they manage them dictates how I deal with them.  Certain person seem to actually feed on roping people into her bipolar mania. It has lead me to some seedy places and situation that I rather not be a part of. Other people in my family are not honest with her about managing her issues or taking responsibility for behavior. So I made a conscience decision to cut all ties with her. It was a difficult process because I had to make sure I wasn’t doing it out of anger or hurt, but place of healing. As her actions have caused me lots of hurt over the years. I have to think about my physical and sociological health. I have to be very vigilant and strict about this as even taking a phone call or acknowledging her presents could lead to people not respecting the boundaries I created.This including my own mother. The concession I have made is she gets the rest of the family whenever she feels like it. I get my peace of mind.

Another reason that I might come across as nice is that I had been gone for 4 years. I worked in North East for 4 years between New England and New York. I lived pay check to pay check with my parents paying my cellphone bill. When I did live here I was a college student with an ailing father and mother who was trying her best to take care of household that ran on just my father’s income. My priority became my sisters and brother. Whatever I did have went to them which wasn’t much. Two of them have graduated from college and have jobs of their own. I only have to worry about Little Bear (my youngest sister). So yeah I can pick someone up and take them to hospital. Yes, I can bring my grandmother food when she needs it. Yes, if someone needs to place to crash for the night they can sleep on my couch.

I think the issue is that people think that when you can’t be bothered with everything you rather be bothered with nothing. I won’t say I was always a nice person, but have always been a thoughtful person. Oh who am I kidding . If my life were the movie the “First Wives Club” I am more often an Annie than a Brenda. In closing I am not the spawn of Satan. I merely the spawn of Sea Witch. It’s completely two different things.

Not so Great Pride Weekend

So it’s been a couple years since I have attended a gay pride weekend. I really wanted to this year after this situation that happened in Orlando a couple weeks ago. I was also unable to attend last year because I was so pregnant. Here in Houston  a lot of people were scared to go because of threats of violence. I usually no scared of much so I offered to go with friends.

This were it went all wrong. The night before I pulled a muscle carrying around my sumo wrestler size child. So I had already woke up sore as hell. I also like to spend my Saturday’s alone. I just realize that for the next 18 years I will never have Saturday again. Part of me wanted to just to some yoga and eat turtle cheesecake. However I said I was going to do something I had to do it. I said I was going to be there.

So at 5pm I texted my friends to see where they were going to go. I should have been aware of the second problem when I realized they wanted me to meet them at the Burger King on Westhimer and not downtown. One of my friends kept asking if there was a lot of people there. I kept saying, “No, there is never a crowd in Half Priced Books.” Come to find out they thought the parade was on Montrose where all the gay bars and clubs are located. So this made us late as hell. Parking downtown was upwards of $5 to $40. Yes, 40 dollars. I was chosen to lead the way to downtown but I didn’t know where to lead them to parking so we circled around the parade route a good 3 times before my friends found a place to park.

Then one my friends had a great idea to pick up my partner after he got off work. As the parade is starting I had to drive 20 blocks up to go pick up my partner who wasn’t aware were coming. Then my friend and my partner were lolly gagging. I love them but time doesn’t stand still. So we make it downtown to catch one float after walking 7 blocks over piss, broken glass bottles, glitter, and confetti. So after walking another 3 blocks we found the rest of our party where everyone decided to go to a club.

I am sure I have mentioned to you guys that my partner is Marine Corps veteran with PTSD which usually comes with a anxiety around crowds. So not only are talking about the confined space of a club, but Saturday… during pride week …and at a gay club. This was not the best scenario for us. So again I am parking 7 blocks away from the club this time. I am completely turned around because I am only in this area during the daytime. We finally get there to find out that my partner didn’t have his ID. So after trolling around for 45 minutes for a parking space then walking for another 20 minutes we end up turning around 3 minutes after we reach the club. I also got lost looking for my car.

After I was at Walmart in the Heights walking like an old worn out ballerina to get turtle cheesecake. It wasn’t my ideal night. I have come to the that I had to be more content about being there for friends than what  I missed. Anyways… Happy Pride!

The Child Who Doesn’t Nap and Other Horror Stories

I remember when I was in high school, my mom use to tell people stories about when I was a kid. One of the stories she would tell was how I use to get in trouble for not napping. I actually remember what she was talking about. I remember being in kindergarten and laying on my cot either looking out the window or telling stories to myself. I couldn’t and still can’t nap really. However there are rare occasions I get tired enough to dose off during the day.

This last Friday I got off early. Which means I had my son by myself for a couple hours. However with him wake up in the middle of the night and my chronic sinusitis have made it hard for me to get a restful nights sleep. So when I got home at 2pm I tried my best to entertain him just to fall asleep on the couch. Of course I woke up… I haven’t finished baby proofing the house. Our living room, although full of fun, isn’t a safe area. But there I was trying to keep my eyes open and my kid crawled back and forth looking for something he shouldn’t. So I had to get up and will myself awake.

This isn’t anything new. It’s just getting harder for me to maintain the house no matter if I am freelancing or not. No naps means that I am constantly running after my kid. My partner doesn’t know how to clean and because of his meds he is very forgetful. So that means, I pay the bills, organized the house, clean every crevice, and have time for myself. I am not saying it’s my child fault. I sympathize with him. I hated naps! It would just make my life easier if he was able to nap like a normal child. It’s also not that he isn’t sleep. My kid has FOMO (fear of missing out) bad. He fights sleep.

For now I will continue the good fight of a mother of stereotypical little boy who doesn’t want to sleep.

 

… And the Relapse

So this last week I have been trying to looking for ways to keep organized while taking on more Freelance and temp jobs. Then last week it started to hit me. I know some of you are reading the word relapse and you think drugs. I am talking about physical and emotional health.

It started a couple weeks ago when I notice I kept dropping things. My grip is usually the first to go. Then  my joints have gotten achy. Now I am at the point that I have two productive hours in the day. The hours change quit often so I have get them while I when I can.

A couple years back I was diagnosed with Lupus on a low but positive ANA (antinuclear antibody test). Later is downgraded to fibromyalgia then upgraded again. After  I got another not sure diagnosis and just gave up on “modern” medicine. By then whatever it is I have gone to remission and I heard of some cases where people only had one flare. But now it’s back.

I don’t want to spend this whole blog complaining about my illness because it’s so boring. I want to talk about how I am pushing through. I do what I can when I can. This is still all new to my partner who caught me at the tale end of last flare. My pregnancy wasn’t a cake walk either but it’s pregnancy no one expects it to be a cake walk. I think he thinks I am trying to shrug off some of my responsibilities. He is pretty lazy so I take on far more responsibility anyway. But the complaining. My kid is pretty long and heavy. So I have had to come up with in genus ways to carry him in this situation.

I have made up my mind to stay positive.  I am not saying I am going to be happy go lucky, but I will be productive. I am a mom after all can’t spend my life being slouchy sick mom.

New Job… No Time

So I finally got a new freelance gig. I am not sure what to think about it since I have only been working there since Friday. It’s more on the Public relations and marketing side but it’s a media job.

My new issue this week has been trying to divide my new found freedom between my responsibilites at home. My mother and my grandmother have been kind enough to take care of my son while my partner and I are at work. I still can’t help but shake this feeling that I am some how missing out. Yeah I am scared of Mommy FOMO. I never thought I would be one of those mothers.

When I was studying to get my degree I remember admintly and definatly telling everyone who was willing to listen that even when I did have kids I would not be a stay at home mom. I also was sure I would rasise my kid in NYC. I am kind of glad I didn’t do NYC while my kid is still in diapers. I can’t do people complaining about my baby being a baby.

Until now, I have had my son with me 24/7. We woke up and his schedule was mine. Now I get up before he even wakes up and I am the person who spends the least amount of wake time with him. Today my partner took him swimming on today. It was his day off and my family had invited him over. I didn’t know how to feel as my mom scrolled through picture and video of an experience I wasn’t there for.

However this job provides so much more for him. More toys, more baby music classes, more mommy and baby yoga etc. I spend the weekends with him. He still wants to be around me when he sees me. Maybe I am just beeing really dramatic.

The Cool Mom

I gave birth 6 months ago.  I remember how scared I was when I found out I was pregnant. I wasn’t scared of the responsibility of being a mother. I was 28. I had graduated college. I was working freelance which was paying well.  The responsibility wasn’t the scary part. My life changing was what terrified me.

I spent my 20’s free! I traveled when I wanted (or had the money to). I spent money on tech gadgets. But more importantly spent money on me;my brand. When you have a kid that all changes. Kids are expensive.

There are are diapers, clothes, formula, and baby food. Unless were able to keep some of your expendable income there isn’t much money around for clothes, hobbies, video games, and etc. The only thing the keeping me from running for the hills is the idea of the mom I could be. I call her , “Cool Mom.”

This lack of funds kill my idea of the type of mother I thought I would be. I wanted to be one of those mothers who wore cool clothes. I want dress my baby like 25 year old trust fund kid. I want to drink lattes in the village with my expensive stroller. I have none of that. Most of the time I am covered in baby puke. I am tired all the time. It has gotten better. My son is on solids… so less puke. I have some really cute clothes for my son. I have 3 strollers at this point. Ballin’ right.

But what I found out is that I didn’t need any of that to be, “cool mom.”  What makes me a cool mom is a spending time with my kid. Taking him to baby to music classes or to the park.  Making sure my kid comes out well adjusted is being a cool mom. Being a good mom is what is cool.

Also, not be to full of myself, but I was cool before being a mom. I was always kind of sure I would be an amazing mother. I liked helping my own mother out with my youngest sister. I took her to concerts, helped her throw birthday parties. So maybe adjust my cool from being a cool single adult  with no children in sketchy relationships with guys who can’t spell to being mom in a relationship. I have also taken strides to make myself cooler. I hang out with my partners friends on the weekends. Mostly in silence why they talk about stuff from past lives. As a homebody I now go out more. I realized I was trying to be someone who isn’t me when I am just fine. Plus my kid is super cute.

*Cue Lupe Fiasco’s The Coolest as she twirls away like Wonder Woman*