Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Leave It All Behind

Life has gotten the best of me again and I missed Festivus and the Airing of Grievances. I even wrote them down this time but between keeping Le Munchkin from taking over the world at the kids Christmas Party and fighting a nasty stomach virus (kids are petri dishes and parents suffer for it) I just couldn't find the time. But don't fret, there is still time for my end of the year post where I plead with you to leave all the BS in the past year.. SO here we go.


1. Celebrities: This year it feels like we've spent so much time focused on what celebrities were doing, are doing or shouldn't be doing and it's time to say no more! I won't begrudge you all of your escapism but there is so many important things going on in the world we SHOULD be focusing on. I also want people to stop blaming celebrities for their kids wayward ways. Parent your children and cut the blame game. Beyonce rocking daisy dukes, blonde weave and singing about being drunk in love ain't got a damn thing to do with your child because you control what she/he is exposed to. Michael Jordan doesn't make boys go out and fight for those sneakers, you fostering commercialism in your home does. SO STOP!


2. White People: Don't be alarmed! I'm not saying you need to cut off all the white people in your life but in 2013 white people have been making a pretty penny off victimizing people of color more openly. From the attacks on a murdered teenager to black women and their appeal to others it's been a free for all when it comes to our community. I believe these things must be challenged but I also wonder what happens after? I've been following some amazing women that challenge and then do the work. They have been a great source of strength for me and I'm grateful. In 2014, I would say let's try to stop focusing all our collective energy on how they see us and start investing that same energy in creating a better, stronger community. Challenge the BS but also work to change the narrative (as much as we can) and force the world to take notice.

3. Not Being Intelligent: Nothing irked me more this year than seeing people who are relatively smart post unintelligent comments on social media. I'm not saying you need to be a know it all but don't say stupid shit like "OH I didn't know who the Black Panther Party was" just google that shit! The Google Machine is your friend! And when you find out then share what you've learned, you can even let people know that you did a little research. Sharing your ignorance just makes me lower my specs to glare at you.

4. Policing Opinions: Everyone in the world will NOT agree with you and they have their right to their opinions and you don't have the right to police their feelings. I have watched people jump into ongoing conversations armed with nothing but their police opinion badge to tell others they are overreacting...STOP IT! This goes especially for those of you brave enough to discuss race in this country, you had better be ready for what others have to tell you and learn to disagree without the oh you're being sensitive BS that is often spewed. It's inappropriate and condescending. STOP IT


My festivus list was much longer but I'm trying to work through all that and bring the new year in on a high note. What are some negative things you'd wish people to leave behind?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

In Look At Me News: Kanye West Is At It AGAIN




No it's not Chris Brown, though he's been acting the damn fool this week too. It's the constant seeker of attention and music industry idiot savant, Kanye West. 

I've made a point not to comment on his antics this year because look his existence is plagued with The Carters fabulous life, his diamond teeth, comedians making fun of him, million dollar tours and homes....Wait what am I talking about?  Kanye and his first world problems get no sympathy from me. Dude needs to stop trying to buy his way into the ultra white world of fashion and buy his way into the best therapist office he can find!  Kanye ain't been his mother passed and there doesn't seem to be one person in his circle patting their sofa and letting him rest his head on their shoulder. So I've looked passed his three year old behavior until today.... 

Kanye thought it was a good idea to yet again embarrass himself by speaking in public. This time he's comparing his "girl" Kim K to the FLOTUS. 

“There’s no way Kim Kardashian shouldn’t be on the cover of Vogue. She’s like the most intriguing woman right now. She’s got Barbara Walters calling her like everyday,” West told Ryan Seacrest in an interview on Tuesday.
West said that “collectively” he and Kardashian are “the most influential” couple in fashion – especially compared to President Barack Obama and the first lady.
"No one is looking at what [President] Obama is wearing," he said. "[And] Michelle Obama cannot Instagram a pic like what my girl Instagrammed the other day."
*SIGH* Seriously Kanye?
  • I'm not even going to get into him calling her his girl or that in praising her he reduced her to a booty shot on IG. 
  • I won't get into how  the only thing intriguing about Kim K is how she's made a fortune off of a sex tape. 
  • I won't lay into him about how he should strive for more than to just be influential in fashion because that is as fleeting as his current career. I JUST WON'T DO IT!
  • I refuse to speak on the fact that Kanye is comparing his reality star girl to a woman that spends her days with dignitaries from other countries, speaking to kids about health and just representing  for Black Women in a world that has deemed us Enemy Number One.
  • Or that we should be encouraging our young girls to want to be more like Michelle Obama, former corporate attorney and FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES!  


I JUST WON'T DO IT, I HAVE TOO MANY THINGS ON MY TO DO, SO I WON'T DO IT!!!



Monday, October 28, 2013

The Gye Nyame (jean yuh-me) Empowerment Project




This weekend I had the pleasure of volunteering at The Gye Nyame Brotha 2 Brotha Youth Summit, and it was an amazing experience.  Before I get into the work done with the young brothers let me touch on the preparation done by the women.

The women were gathered an hour before the men’s workshops were to end,where we participate in what was described as a cleansing ceremony. The facilitator spoke about the need to heal as a unit before being able to stand in receipt of anyone else’s space. Each woman was directed to look at the women next to them and communicate with them. Interesting enough every woman in the room turned to each other and started chatting it up. We were all hushed quickly and given instructions that we were to do this in silence.  We were to look into the eyes of each woman and hold their gaze and listen so we could actually connect. 

Now if you know me or  have read this blog you know I have done a tone of work on my inner self but it’s always been ALONE. Yes I’ve sat in groups but only for direction, I have always been uncomfortable in groups like this. But I made a commitment to be a full fledge participant to this experience , so at my turn I held the gaze of the woman to my right it was incredible, without uttering a single word I heard her. I found myself gasping a little before I turned to meet the eyes of another woman.  This exercise has made me rethink my stance on healing as an individual first, and being prepared to help others.  I like everyone should be growing daily and telling my story is a way to help others with their stories. MAN LISTEN!

The next exercise was equally enlightening and focused on men in our lives , equally amazing. Without going into detail, it  was an emotional, tears inducing moment that allowed the women in the room to let go.  A spiritually collective *SIGH* was felt across that auditorium. 
When the men re-entered they were greeted by women ready to speak to the accomplishments they have made in their lives. Each women read from the cards provided and let them know they were enough, more than enough and that collectively we can win. I was moved (almost to tears).  
It was a beautiful experience.
           
               It was an inspirational experience.

                              It was a movement of positivity.

It was so necessary to have Black Women and Men in a room celebrating each other.

And it  was my pleasure to volunteer and I can’t wait for the Sister 2 Sister Youth Conference in March.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Parenthood 101: Siblings




Saturday morning as I prepared to pay bills, CJ volunteered to watch Le Munchkin.  They laughed and screamed for a long time, and then it got really quiet... too quiet. I got worried. CJ is a great kid and I know he wouldn't hurt his brother but every parent knows when it gets quiet you have to wonder.

I got up from my bed and quietly walked into the living room and there they were laying on the sofa. CJ had his legs slung over Le Munchkin and they were knocked out. I almost cried. I knew CJ was going to be a great big brother from the time we told him I was pregnant but I didn't think he would fall so deeply in love. Well he has, and
I am head over heels in love with both of them.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I Feel Your Hurt



I listened to you on the phone last night and I heard you say " I won't rack my brain about choice other people make"

I listened as you told the story over and over again each time stressing that you didn't care, but each time seeming more hurt.
HURT

As you spoke, my heart broke a little more because I've loved you long enough to know when you're hurt.

PEOPLE 

But this was more than just hurt feelings, this was you wishing they were more, that they saw you as more. More than you WERE because you've worked so hard to be a be more for THEM.

HURT

I wish I could reach through the phone and kiss away the pain, but you seemed so far away. I want you to know that your validation doesn't lie in them, it lies in you.

Hurt people may have hurt you my love......


But You Are Healing! 

Friday, August 30, 2013

It's Labor Day Weekend




If you know me or have read this blog you know that Labor Day Weekend is a special time for New York. Great parties, concerts, and Carnival. I will be in Brooklyn for one of the many days but I will not be at the parade.. Remember the last time I went Soca, Wining and Bullets 

Even if you can't be in NY get your Labor day fun on anyway and remember there's no work on  Monday!!!


Monday, August 26, 2013

A Day In The Life Of A Working Mom


Last week the only thing that kept me from cursing everyone short of Jesus out were GIFs. There just seemed to be one for every crazy moment in my life and so at the suggestion of Smarty Jones I will be tweeting with them. So here's a taste of what that will look like.

A Day In the Life of The F$%K it List 

Wake Up at 3:00 A.M for Le Munchkin's sermon

Then waking up again to actually start the day
Yoga Time
Wakes CJ up
Making breakfast, lunch and getting dressed..All at the same damn time

How I feel when the LIRR is stalled AGAIN and I have to send an email to say I'll be late AGAIN!

Meetings where I listen to people give the wrong information
The fall out from the drones nodding their heads in agreement with the wrong info

WORK

It's Mother-F$%King 5pm

Praying that the LIRR has gotten itself together and I can get home.
How I feel when Black is at the station to pick me up (My Friday Prince Charming)

Dinner, Bath, Good Night Kids



I should be reading
What I'm actually doing


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Parenting 101: Mommy Needs A Break



I don't have too much to say today. With all the things happening around me and this constant feeling of being pulled back and forth I just want to rest. This quote says it all!


“I want to weep, she thought. I want to be comforted. I’m so tired of being strong. I want to be foolish and frightened for once. Just for a small while, that’s all… a day… an hour…” 
~ Catelyn Starks  

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Parenting 101: Halloween



I know it seems like it's way too early to start having the Halloween costume (Shut up Coogie), but before you know it we'll be scrambling to find just the right costumes.

This morning for the third time I asked CJ if he would like to dress up as a family, and he said YES. But when  revisited the idea of  Run-DMC (after showing several cool videos), he was none to thrilled. Instead he said a family of Ninjas... BLERG CJ!

So I posted this on facebook and it seems I'm not the only parent going through this! So this one is for all of you on FB that know my pain!


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Dear Sixteen Year Old Self,




Dear 16 year old self,

've thought about how to approach this letter without sounding like a secure, happy woman, because believe it or not women like you are not celebrated in 2013. Women like you are accused of fake "having it all", or settling, and so many other negative things. Despite society’s bizzaro views you are happy and secure. When people read this and get in their feelings, don’t worry because you have family and an amazing support system.

I finally got the strength to write this letter after being asked “Which of us didn't have an awkward moment in high school?”  And for the first time you answered NOT ME! Why?  Because you didn't. That old wives tales "Good Black Don't Crack" is nothing short of the truth, and besides wearing high heels and dresses you haven't changed a bit since 8th grade( oh and better hair) physically. But you have grown, your view of the world is like a kaleidoscope shaped by your many experiences you've had.


Friendships:

At 38, you have some of the greatest friend you will ever have, and in this ever changing city that’s not easy. A few years ago you were able to reconnect with your friends from 20+ years ago and it's pretty awesome. It's a great feeling knowing that despite distance, all of you continue to support and love each other. Now I’d be lying if I said that friendship has been simple. You've had the battle of letting people go, frenemies, negative Nancy’s and others that just never how to be a friend. The years, the laughs were real and sometimes you miss them, but eventually you get to a place of calm....No a place relief. Which make you happy, and able to see who were just passing seasons in your life. Reading this it may sound scary and even a bit lonely, but it has allowed you to select a circle of friends that keep you grounded. Women (and men) in different phases of life, striving to be better and that's everything you need. 




Relationship:

(Y'all know Black does not take pictures, HHAHA)

Sshhh Don't tell him about this one!


Yes, My dear you are married, you have a great son and a little one on the way*. You’ve always been anti-marriage and well kids… JUST EWWW and well life has turned out to be pretty awesome. You’ve had to sacrifice your alone time, but there is something about these magnificent Giants that comforts your soul.
At 16 you're still feeling ill towards your dad and his choices, it takes time and hard work but you eventually move on.  HEADS UP: You're going to let those insecurities seep into your current relationship, it will cause friction and you will feel a level of heartbreak you never knew possible.  . But you emerge stronger and demanding better for both you and your husband.

You're a good mom; you would sacrifice everything for your sons just like your mom did for you. But there are moments when you feel overwhelmed and we know how that ends in our family, DEPRESSION. You have sought help that allows you to share your every though free of bias so that you never fall into the cycles.   Your therapist often points out, what many in your family forget, strength and the determination to be who you want to be, not who others think you should be or do are how you avoid these pressures. And you do your best to remember that. 


Life
For many years you were afraid to stop and survey the world around you. Always on the move never seeing the effect you might be having on others (good and bad). And despite what you think, there have been lots.  You don't find out about the affect you have had on others until much later in life, because you're kind of self centered and believe that everyone is doing the same or have lived the same as you. It’s not true and your good friend from Tiffany is kind enough to point that out to you regularly. Bless her heart! So you're working on this control thing especially when it comes to other people's lives. :). 


Family:
Family:
You've always lived by the motto that in the end: Men come and go, kids get older but your sisters are forever! And though that remains true, life isn't always that simple. The three of you are moms, career women and sometimes you just don't see eye to eye. So what do you do? You work harder. You've struggled with your ego when it comes to this, but  now is the time to put all of that aside and Work harder !!! Tell them they have to work harder too. We may not live on Howard anymore but we are forever young, forever those girls!



Your mom is okay, she's had a hard two years, especially after losing Bob. You and your sisters need to fill that void as much as you can. Even when she's driving you crazy about things SHUT UP and let her speak her mind, then let it go. *whispers* you've been known to carry a mean grudge* She's your mom and no matter how rich, how skinny, how fat, or how carefree you get she's always going to see you as her baby and try to protect you. Let her do her job :).

here isn't much left to say, you're making good choices and living the life you want. On your 30th birthday you decided that society’s definition of having it all wasn’t your dream, and you’ve made your own!
  • You've been strong enough to create your own way in this world.
  • Pain and loss have taught you to be a better friend, but also to stop losing yourself in other people’s problem because of your need to fix them.
  • Life has taught you to be cautious, but daring enough to know that sometimes you have to fall before flying. The fall may be long, or short it may cause bruises but they are necessary and build you up.


And though you don't attend church often (to your Nana's dismay) you're building a pretty strong relationship with Jesus and my dear he hasn't failed you yet!!! 

So 16 year old Ra, I hope I've shed some light on your future. You’re an amazing woman; you're smart, happy and most importantly comfortable in who you are and what you've accomplished. Life isn't easy, and you have been known to make it harder, but life is short and there is no room for regret.

So remember what Dr.Seuss taught you....."You have brains in your head, and feet in your shoes you can steer yourself wherever you choose. “Now go out and LIVE. 

With Love,

The Dexterous and Deft 38yr old Rashida.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

'Cuz I'm a Woman. W-O-M-A-N


I remember growing up thinking that life would be as easy as this Enjoli commercial.


 I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan. And never let you forget you're a man

GIRL BYE! I go out make the bacon, fry it up in a pan and barely get to eat it because I have 10,000 other things to do.

 I can work 'til 5'oclock come home and read you Tickety Tock.

5'oclock? The last time I left work at that time was probably never! Then add to that my commute, I'm glad I have a 7 year old to read "Tickety Tock"to the baby. Besides I'm too busy frying bacon and making sure my husband never forgets he's a man. Which seriously in this two income world he might have to work that out himself.

And if it's loving you want, I can kiss you and give you the shiver and bits. 

*Pencils in giving husband shiver and bits to the weekend to do list*

'Cuz I'm a WOOOMMMAAANNNN. W-O-M-A-N! 
 I'm still a strong woman. I just realize now that I don't have to be all things to everyone. And though I want my husband to be happy he needs has to fry up a little of that bacon he brings home too.

And if I remember correctly Enjoli smelled like rubbing alcohol and baby powder.




Monday, July 22, 2013

They Must Take It!


On Sunday, as I put my frustrations about the Zimmerman verdict into weeding my garden "Coffins For Head of States" came blasting through my speakers. I was immediately reminded of the closing performance of Fela! on Broadway, when the cast brings out coffins to lay them at the steps of the court building. I kept the song on repeat, later tweeting  how amazing I it would be to organize and lay empty coffins with the names of slain innocents on the steps of American courts.  I began  searching the internet for a clip of that powerful scene and came  across this statement from a cast members.

"In 2007 I was cast in what would be the dopest musical on Broadway in 2009. This was Fela! As we work shopped and created this piece, our director Bill T. Jones asked us to decorate a coffin with name of someone who was close to us who died unjustly. During the last number in the show, we would walk on stage carrying coffins singing Fela's "Coffin Head Of State." I decided to put the words "I AM Sean Bell." Bill said someone who is close to you. While I never knew Sean Bell personally, I know him all to well. I know Trayvon Martin. Michael Griffin, Amadu Diallo, Emmett Till and far too many more to name. They represent my 14 year old black son growing up in America. People say next week we will all forget. Here's one woman who will never forget. I am reminded everyday I look into the eyes of my son that young black males are endangered species in America. How to survive and be at the top of your game is an on going conversation I have with my son. Fela carried his mother's coffin and placed it on the steps of the capital in Nigeria. Today I carry Trayvon's coffin, Sean's coffin, and every other innocent black male child's coffin who was gunned down because the gunman felt their lives were worthless. Black male lives have no value in America. All of their coffins need to be placed on the steps of the Supreme Court. Replace the stars on the flag with their coffins. This is what America represents "They Must Take It."  -Iris Wilson
The message in this song is plain. There is blood on the hands of the courts, this country and it's time to send a reminder that they are responsible for the death and continued injustices. We won't allow you to just bury their memories away so we will deliver these coffins and YOU HAVE TO TAKE IT!

I deliver these coffins* as a reminder that Black Lives Matter and we won't stop until this corrupt country changes!

























**Shout out to The Jaded NYer for the coffins and her skills with photoshop