A Glimpse Into My Life

See it through my eyes & understand me a little more

Tag Archives: Blogging Challenge

Single Black Female: Is Something Wrong With You? (#31WriteNow)

NOTE: This was a private post written in 2010. Funny…it still applies even though I’m 27. I decided to update it and share it with some of my more current thoughts (in italics).

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I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard that question or how often I’ve heard it hidden within some other backwards compliment, but I hear it often. It’s now to the point where I change subjects rather skillfully (if I’m up to the challenge) or I forget all of my Southern upbringing and charm classes and cuss someone out.

Yes, I’m single. Yes, I’m a Black woman. No, there is nothing wrong with me.

I understand why people become so up in arms when I take the opportunity to describe myself. It usually goes something like this:

“Oh, I’m 23 (now 27). I have my BS and MA. I hope to go on for my PhD. I want to work in Education (the policy/administration side…not teaching). I hope to…” and so forth and so on. However, in taking the time to describe myself I face these questions later:

1. Do you have a boyfriend/Are you courting? No./No.

2. Why don’t you have a boyfriend? I don’t leave my house? I don’t know.

3. What are you going to do with all that education? Use it.

4. Don’t you know a woman’s place? Yes. It’s her address right?

(Updated Note: I’m probably single because I have a smart mouth and unintentional snark.)

Wait…whoa…what in the fudge sticks?!?!

You see, when I get around family and this topic is always brought up, I’m left feeling like an outcast. Of most of my cousins from 15-26 that identify as a “woman,” I’m one of TWO that are single/uncoupled (three years later and it still applies). That can be a self-esteem killer, and until recently, it was.

I had an interesting conversation with a Sista of mine. She posed the two questions: “What are 10 ways a man could charm you?” “What are 10 ways a man trying to charm you would annoy you?” I gave her my reasons and quite honestly, it was an eye-opener for me (I’m actually going to answer these questions for myself again). The more that I thought about it, the more I thought about how these things impact my “dating” life. I mean, it’s really hard to walk around as a young, seemingly successful, Black woman who is single AND remain confident in yourself when there are so many things out there telling you why you’re still a failure. There are “experts” who release books on why Black women can’t get, keep, and marry a (Black) man. There are nightly “specials” that devote time to harp on the connections we make with each other, our accolades, and then pose the question (usually by non-Black people) why can’t we find, keep, and marry a (successful Black) man. (Sidenote: HA! I’m watching One-On-One and would you know, this is an episode about how a successful Black woman has managed to step on a Black man’s ego and that’s why she lost him).

I say one thing to these specials and experts:

Spare me the story of the tragic Black woman that happens to be successful and goes to sleep alone at night because she can’t find a successful Black man. And here’s why.

I’m 23 (now 27). I’m (still) being told that I need to start looking for a man. I need to settle down and have some babies (okay…now I want to. Then I wasn’t ready). That’s great. It’d be nice if I weren’t alone (if only it would cut down the chatter at my family reunions) and it’d be nice if I knew of multiple successful Black men aged 22-27 (let’s move this on up to 27-33-ish or something) looking to settle down. The fact is, they aren’t. MEN MY AGE ARE NOT LOOKING TO SETTLE DOWN (hmmm…this isn’t true so much anymore cuz I’m older now). Besides the countless male friends that I have (okay, 6 so as not to sound like a floozy), I also have 5 brothers that were raised by BOTH parents to play the field and put women through the wringer before they put a ring on anything.

So yes, I’m single. Yes, I’m Black. Yes, I’m a woman.

And there is nothing wrong with me….. I still want a boo though. LOL

You Can Be Anything!!! – pt. 2 (#31WriteNow)

As promised, here are my (somewhat) final thoughts on believing I can be anything.

This morning, I had a phone call with a support coach to help me with my business. I’ve been frustrated for a long while about where it is and the results I’ve gotten and after some soul-searching, I realize it was the same frustration that was at my job and in relationships and everything. Basically, there has historically been a disconnect between how people saw me and how they treated me. And I mean ALL people.

Including myself.

It is in this disconnect that the frustration has festered and grown BUT it is in this frustration that I have decided to want a new life. As my Life Coach AND my Support Coach (two different people) have said before, “If there is a desire, the Universe works to present an opportunity.” Seriously, they both said this! In being anything, I desire to be everything that I’ve ever wanted to be.

I want to be:

  • Wealthy
  • An example of prosperity and abundance
  • Content with life as it is
  • Grateful for everything that comes my way
  • A doctor (in the philosophical sense)
  • An AWESOME daughter, sister, niece, aunt, cousin, friend, etc.
  • A wife
  • A mother
  • An example to others that they can get out of debt and STAY OUT of debt
  • Stylish
  • Confident
  • A successful business
  • A successful businesswoman
  • Sociable
  • Worldly (someone who travels a lot)
  • Fluent in two more languages (Italian and maybe Arabic; the third language is up for grabs lol)
  • Healthy
  • A marathon runner
  • Well-read (I love books!)
  • Someone who reaches the goals she sets for herself
  • Compassionate
  • Understood
  • Loved
  • Mentally healthy
  • Someone who has grieved the loss of loved ones in a healthy sense so I can move on and develop/strengthen relationships with people who are here
  • A mentor
  • A mentee
  • An example to people that they can make it too and someone who provides tools (I sometimes feel that’s what I missed in the healing process)
  • A known blogger for Young, Gifted, Black & Broke
  • A writer
  • AWESOME

I know that bringing this list to fruition will take some serious self-reflection and some serious internal work with building a new mindset and developing new habits but I’m up for the challenge. What’s exciting about this (and scary all at the same time) is that people have also shared that I’ve only touched upon the tip of my potential. There’s so much more there.

Let’s see where this journey takes me next. Cheers!

Reflections On the 21-Day Meditation Challenge (#31WriteNow)

I did it! I’m so proud of myself for completing the 21-Day Meditation Challenge on “Miraculous Relationships” hosted by Deepak Chopra with the assistance of one of my FAVORITE personalities, Oprah Winfrey. While this wasn’t my first meditation challenge I’ve signed up for, it was the FIRST one I’ve completed and did the days in order (read: I didn’t skip or miss days). This challenge was three weeks of internal work to build Miraculous Relationships and I believe that it was well worth it.

Relationships, in general, are something I struggle with. Even with my closest ties to people, I feel inauthentic in many of my interactions. There is always a mask to be worn because I fear that I won’t be accepted if I truly share with people who I am, how I’m feeling and what I’m thinking. The older I get and the more I choose to do some internal work, the better I understand that I’ve developed this style of interacting with others as a coping mechanism. This stems not only from the abuse I endured when I was younger but also as a result of witnessing how people treat others who are vulnerable.

Ultimately, I want to get to a place where I KNOW I can be myself and this challenge was the first step. It’s exhausting (for me) to pretend to be someone I’m not. It’s hard for me to play the “I’m alright” card when I know I’m not.  At this point in my life, I’m starting to grasp that I have no more expendable energy to keep up a façade so that others feel absolutely comfortable with me. But that’s not what this post is about (I’ve actually scheduled a post for later this week on expectations and acceptance). This particular post is about finishing a challenge and the BIG thing I learned.

I just have to say this again – I FINISHED a 21-Day Meditation Challenge and this makes me proud!

What doesn’t make me proud is that after turning a mirror onto myself, I realized that I have a problem seeing things to the end. I can set an awesome goal and even outline a very doable plan but for some reason, the follow-through isn’t quit there. This realization is scary because I have major dreams and goals that require a precise attention to detail and most importantly, following through.

The good news though is that I’ve decided to kill two birdies with one stone (sidenote: I do not like this saying but it fits). From now through the end of September, I’ve chosen to focus meticulously on (1) understanding myself and the way I function and (2) developing new techniques and habits so that my goals are reached. I’ve asked three people to be my “accountability buddy” and I’ll be sharing with them my goals on a weekly basis and the progress I’ve made on each one. In addition to that, I’ve decided to seriously study just about every aspect of myself using various tools like spiritual reading plans, astrological information (at some point, I’ll share my reactions to my Natal Chart) and good old trial-and-error.

Moving forward, I want to build a foundation that best protects me from extra stress in my life while I reach for my goals (I mention protection here because setbacks and failures are inevitable). I’m absolutely glad that I made the decision to stick with this challenge because I can already feel a difference in how I relate to myself. I’ll use the excitement and confidence I got from completing a challenge to begin this process of self-actualization and I’m eager to share what I learn along the way.

What challenges have you completed that you are proud of?

You Can Be Anything!!! – pt. 1 (#31WriteNow)

The other day, while clearing out some things, I ran across a folder of assignments and work that my Mom has kept for years. My first thought was, “How in the hell did this shit get in here?”

Excuse the language…y’all. I’ve just been frustrated about being the dumping ground for everyone’s stuff for a while.

So as I’m looking through this folder, I came across an assignment my Brothers (they are twins) did in the first grade. The assignment was a worksheet filled with prompts and they had to finish a sentence and then draw a matching picture. Seriously, what they came up with was CUTE!

One brother was like, “When I grow up, I want to be a… dinosore astronot (dinosaur astronaut)!” The picture he drew with it was equally cute — it was literally a dinosaur as a rocket (he must have learned about animal rights later on) and he was in a space suit. It was literally awesome…but what made it more awesome was that he got an “A” for completing the assignment (even if his answers didn’t make sense because they didn’t). The only feedback he received on his assignment was that the teacher corrected the spelling of his creatively spelled words.

But that made me think about all of the things I’ve ever wanted to be and all of the things I used to find joy in doing that I don’t anymore. At what point did I start to believe that I couldn’t be anything I wanted?

Somewhere along the line, I started to settle for what made other people comfortable and I don’t like it. While I reading my Brother’s dream from first grade, I remembered being on the bus in tenth grade once. I was singing along to a song (to myself) and a “friend” of mine encouraged me to sing it louder only to say that I wasn’t good at all and laugh [another friend told me that I didn’t sound bad at all and asked why I was in Talented at Visual Arts (or TaVA)]. But what stuck with me was the negative thought/feedback I received from a friend.

I have been needing a little bit of a push to finish my Personal Statement for my PhD applications and I thought of this as that negative memory played back. With that, I’ve decided to take a moment to just be my First Grade self again…and write out everything I want to be because I can be anything!

I’ll be back tomorrow to share it. 🙂

Would You Be Ready? (#31WriteNow)

WHAT?!?! A double-post! Girl what?!?!? lol

For whatever reason, my creative juices are just flowing TODAY. I’m not mad. Nope. I’m gonna ride this wave until it drops me off wherever and I think y’all will appreciate this very short (and to the point) post.

Earlier today, I was doing my regular stuff I’ve been doing since August 18th (job searching, business building, tweeting, facebooking, tumbling, etc.) and the biggest “AHA!” hit me in the face. As I was searching for a position I deemed worthy of being considered by me, I came across a listing that was posted by someone I’m quite familiar with. As I looked at it (and determined I’m not interested in applying for it), I remembered something she told me a LONG time ago:

“I appreciate the attention you pay to detail. It shows you’ll be ready for whatever happens next.”

Here’s why it was an “AHA!” moment: IF anyone called me and said, “Courtney! HURRY UP AND GET TO ABC COMPANY IN THE NEXT 17 MINUTES! They are holding interviews for this position that I said you’d be perfect for and they are willing to talk to you now!” I would not be ready to go. Speaking frankly, I don’t think I’d be ready if someone called and said that opportunity was available for the next four days. I’m not ready. My hair isn’t done. My laundry isn’t done. And I’ve just been downright sad (I mean, rightfully so…but still…I gotta get out of this).

So today I made the decision to get ready and I’m going to start by (painfully) doing my hair. Clearly my life doesn’t move until I show I AM ready. I’ve been saying it long enough. Now to prove it.

If the opportunity of a lifetime presented itself to you, would you be ready? If not, what do you have to do to get ready?