What I Learned From Peeing the Dressing Room Floor:
My Painfully Embarrassing Story About Wasted Opportunity
A few months ago there was this party. It was a theme party with specific colors that everyone had to wear. To the mall! My friends and I declared. So off on an adventure we went. We went store to store in search of the perfect outfits and with every passing store, my bladder said “hey, let’s go!” And every time I’d say, “We can hold off a bit longer.” Seeing how it’s 2019 and malls are practically ghost towns, especially for chubsters like me, it’s no surprise that I didn’t find what I was looking for at the mall. So I disappointingly drove my friends home and headed to my own house where the bathroom awaited me.
That’s When It Happened
As I pulled up at the red light close to my house, I remembered there was a plus sized clothing store around the corner that was going to close in 30 minutes. I can make it! I told myself zooming through the red light and making a sharp u-turn to the store. As I shopped in the store I felt the weight of the water in my bladder grow. I can hold off a little longer, I convinced myself as I pulled on a sexy tight white dress and checked out my perfectly amplified ass in the small dressing room mirror. Suddenly, the slight pressure in my bladder became a heavy set man sitting on a water balloon. I gasped for air, crossing my legs as tight as I could and breathing like a pregnant woman.
Whoot whoot whoom. Whoot whoot whoom.
When I felt a bit of reprieve I began peeling the tight white dress off my body, now damp from my nervous sweating. As I attempted to wriggle the dressing room dress up and off me, my legs still hugging one another for dear life, I felt a warm tingle of dread crawl down my vag, through my panties, and onto my legs. Fuck, I murmured pulling harder at the too tight dress. Who the fuck did I think I was squeezing all this into a damn XL anyway?! I thought as I finally got the dress off and whipped up my own clothes but alas: it was too late. The flood came gushing out of me like the damn Niagara Falls, loudly hitting the linoleum floor and worse of all: leaving a stretch of urine in the air.
What This Tale of Woe Taught Me:
Since this embarrassing event, I do two things:
1. Never step foot in that damn store
2. When I see a fucking bathroom, I go!
The latter has has actually taught me some things about my goals.
The reason I didn’t use the Primark bathroom or any of the mall bathrooms or heck, even the bathroom of the plus size store when I got there is because I thought I was too good for those bathrooms. “I can wait” I told myself. No matter how powerful my urge to pee became I refused to use a bathroom that I didn’t consider up to my standards and look where that got me? Cleaning up my stinky urine off the floor of a dressing room with my favorite freaking jacket.
Turning our noses up at opportunities
Many of us has the mentality that certain opportunities aren’t actually opportunities because they are too small.
I’m not taking that modeling gig, they’re not paying me and it’s just for a portfolio.
I’m not performing at that venue! It only holds 20 people!
So we say no to all the little opportunities, turn our noses up at all the public bathrooms, not realizing we are wasting our talent; that our bladder is about the burst.
I understand the statement “know your worth” trust that’s a motto I tell myself quite regularly but at the same time you can’t squander your talent because nothing is good enough. Social media has a funny way of convincing people that no one struggles: no one ever had to take a pay cut or start small scale. It’s a lie. It’s a flex.
Know your worth means know where your headed: have a vision of your future. But you have to start somewhere to get there.
Not every bathroom will be your house bathroom-comfortable and familiar-and not every bathroom will be a hotel bathroom-fancy and beautiful. But please don’t pee the dressing room floor! Bring your best self to every single venue, modeling gig, or whatever and eventually you’ll be exactly where you want to be.
As for me? I’m headed to the bathroom.
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When I’m not drowning in a bottle of Arbor Mist or gorging on packets and packets of edible gummies, you can find me at the local public school where I mold the young minds of America. As with most American schools, my building is populated with many, many women so there are a lot of “I like your skirts” and “What lovely earrings” and my personal favorite: “Oo girl, them shoes!” I am a big fan of giving compliments because with every one a small positive vibration is sent to the receiver of the compliment and positive vibes are always the wave.
The issue with compliments isn’t in the giving, but the receiving.
Give a man a compliment and usually he’ll hit you with a smile and a simple thank you but with women it’s different. When it comes to compliments the majority of women I’ve encountered (myself included) have a hard time just…saying thank you. The two most common responses I’ve gotten have been what I call the throw back or the throw away.
Throwing It Back
“Wow Shannon! I love your dress!”
“Thanks Linda……I….that’s a really nice purse you’re carrying.”
Can I just say I hate the throw back? I despise it!
Throwing back compliments is when someone gives you the compliment and you feel the need to return the favor by complimenting them back. STOP DOING THAT! Whether it’s meant to or not, it comes off as insincere and in many cases offensive. I remember one time I was sick as shit and this Black chocolate lady goddess comes by and I’m like, “you’re so beautiful!” and she looks at me: crustables in my eyes, nose coated in snot, dress made linty by my grocery store brand tissues and she says: “I like your shoes.” This poor woman had to really search for a compliment and my dingy old flats wasn’t it. If this was an isolated incident that’d be one thing but fifty percent of the time, compliments are always thrown back! It’s as if we feel guilty for just receiving a compliment and as if simply saying “thank you” would make us seem arrogant or narcissistic. So we search for something –anything –to compliment the other person on just so we can relieve ourselves of that “weird” feeling compliments bring, not even realizing that “weird” feeling is something positive. A sprinkle of love if you will.
Throwing it Away
“Ooo, girl! Your earrings are killin it!”
“Haha, they’re really old.”
I used to be a victim of the throw away: taking something positive and twisting it to shit on myself. I didn’t even realize I was shitting on myself: I just didn’t think I deserved the compliment. “Nice nails!” “Yeah, but I need a refill.” “Great speech!” “I should’ve practiced more.” People were seeing something that I was unable to see because I was focusing on the negative and unwilling to hear the positive.
Like I said: compliments come with positive vibrations and when you respond with something negative you’re robbing yourself the chance at some really good vibes.
Compliments can feel awkward especially when you don’t think you’re looking nice or that you did a great job on a project but life is about perception and sometimes the person with the worst perception is YOU.
There’s Nothing Wrong With Just Saying: Thank You
That’s it: just thank you.
“Susan what a wonderful hair cut!”
“Thank you Linda!”
“Caroline girl! Your presentation was DOPE!”
That’s all. You deserve the compliment: don’t throw it back because you feel guilty and don’t throw it away because you don’t think you deserve it.
Take that small moment and just add it to your love bank or whatever.
How do you receive compliments? Drop a comment in the space below!
So it’s motherfucking Spring bitches and as I do every Spring, I celebrated the occasion by pulling a Hotline Bling: wearing less and going out more.
One of these outings included a brunch with some friends over the weekend. While I was sipping on my Shirley Temple, one of my girlfriends told me how her boyfriend decided that he wanted to limit the amount of time they spent together. Of course, we all had the same reaction: dump him, leave him, kick his A-S-S to the C-U-R-B! (I don’t know why I’m acting like my friends are sassy Black women from the ’80s but I’m feeling that vibe right now). Anyway, as we attempted to yelled some sense into my friend, she simply shrank into herself and firmly whispered: “you don’t know what he’s been through.”
It was then that my heart sank. Because I understood what she was going through.
Back When I Watered His Garden
For about three years I was attached to a man who had been through hell and back. His mother died at a young age, his father wasn’t in his life, and he was in and out of jail. This man was the living definition of “a hard ass life.” This hard ass life made him almost emotionally impenetrable. But for some reason, I was able to see past his tough exterior and to his deep core. I saw through his pain and to his fear: I saw his love. He had a kind and beautiful soul.
Over the three years of our tumultuous “relationship” (relationship is in quotation marks because he refused to put a label on it) I helped him grow and take steps to break down the cement that encapsulated his warm heart. He went from calling once a month to once a week, from quick fucks to passionate love making, from telling me his day was “fine” to painting the most elaborate tales of his day. It was beautiful. I was so proud.
I watched him find his smile, thinking that that was enough for me.
So what if he never got me anything for my birthday? So what if he told me he’d never commit to me? So what is he refused to tell me he loved me, no matter how many times I cried those three words to him?
I was so obsessed with his growth and his progress and his gains that I forgot about me. Yes, this man lived a traumatic life that rendered him nearly incapable of loving and trusting another human being the way they deserved, but it was not my place to play the guinea pig. I am not a therapist. I was not getting paid for this. Yet I allowed myself to be sucked dry as I breathed life into this other human being.
Loving him almost cost me my life and I didn’t even realize it until it was almost too late.
But thank God I did. And as I sat at that brunch spot sipping on my Shirley Temple, I stared deep into the eyes of my friend and saw the same pain that lived in my own eyes for so long.
I think that some people in this world are empathizers: we look at someone and completely understand everything that they are going through and then feel like it’s our job to save them. Well I’m here to tell you it’s not your fucking job: unless you are a therapist getting paid mad bank, it is not your fucking job to save anyone.
Stop treating people or relationships like projects.
Stop watering someone else’s garden thinking that one day they will grow to water yours back.
Do you know what happens when you water a garden? They become pretty little flowers that give your sweaty, dirty ass allergies. That’s what happens. You’re left tired, aching, and with no one to support you.
Now this is not to say don’t ever help someone you love through a difficult time, not at all. This is to say don’t forget about YOU. Don’t forget that in any relationship there are two people growing together to become a we. Not two people working towards the growth of one person. That’s not fair and it’s not your job. Does someone with a severely fucked up past deserve love? Hell the fuck yes.
But so do you: and if they are not in a place to provide you with the love you deserve, then stop settling for anything less. Love yourself enough to let that person go.
SLIGHT DISCLAIMER: Now, it took me three years to hear that message so I honestly wouldn’t feel right ending this without saying this: YES you have to love yourself enough to let that person go, but also love yourself enough to forgive yourself if you aren’t quite there yet.
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You Are What You Eat
You are what you eat: this is a statement I heard a lot growing up. Eat a bunch of donuts and you will be slow and lethargic. Eat some celery and carrots, and you’ll have the ability to do magical things. Not really, but you’ll be more focused, remember shit with ease, and will be able to see better. Everyone always talks about the benefits of a physically palatable diet but no one ever talks about the benefits of a mental diet.
Defining A Mental Diet
A mental diet is defined by the editing what you expose your brain to. Eat a lot of shit and you feel like shit doesn’t just apply to food. If all you watch on television is ratchet reality television and all you read is Donald trump tweets and if all you listen to is American Top 40, this is the equivalent to eating nothing but fast food your whole life.
Time begins to addresses this concept slightly in their online article entitled “Social Media Is Making You Stupid.” The article states, “[Social networking] could be making you dumber by supplying answers and insights without requiring any actual thinking, so that your analytic powers begin to waste away like an unused muscle.” Not only are we not exercising our brains when we spend all of our time on social sites but on top of that, my theory is the more we indulge in entertainment and neglect other aspects of our brain, the more we stunt our mental and personal growth. If you aren’t eating your vegetables and instead gorge on nothing but Hot Cheetos and honey buns, don’t be surprised when you have greasy hair and a smelly vagina. It’s time to trim the fat…and the sugar
A Balanced Mental Diet
A balanced mental diet consist of all the parts of the food group.
You have your veggies: self help materials. Self help materials include anything that has you reflect on yourself and your growth as an individual. Self help books, psychiatry podcasts, motivational speeches, etc. these things, like your kales and your carrots, are essential to ingest on a regular basis. How can you grow as a person if you’re never reflecting upon yourself and opening your eyes to your flaws and ways in which you can improve upon them? (Personally, I suggest Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, it’s like the spinach of brain veggies…I’m a big fan of spinach).
Fruits: fruits are sweeter. They share many of the same benefits of veggies but our bodies like them better for some reason that a scientist would know. Your mental fruits are your self love materials. I make a distinguish between self help and self love because self help is to look at yourself from a critical lens and to dissect what makes you tick, hoping to fix it. Self love on the other hand is just living you for you. Yes you are growing as a person but you need to love yourself at every single stage in that process.
Good carbs: good carbs aren’t as great as the chips and the pastas but they’re still pretty tasty and they’re necessary to our development. This is where the politics come in. we have to understand our place in this world and in order to do that we have to understand the world. Brush up in your current events, understand what these politicians are up to and ways that you can use your voice to change the narrative in whatever level that may appear. Politics are carbs because yes it’s super important but too much of this shit and you’ll drive yourself crazy.
Protein: learning new things. We have to take the time to add something new. Growing means exposing yourself to knew things in the world. Take a dance class, learn French, finally master trigonometry. Not only is it never too late to learn something new, it is mandatory. Life is short so expand your bubble!!
Sweets and Fats: And now we have our sweets. Go on and indulge in that Kardashian whatever. These are sweets and fats because these things do not nourish you. No matter how you look at it, you’ll never gain too much from anything on VH1 except the same sick satisfaction that a Snickers gives you.We always need that little pick me up. Go ahead and eat your Snickers but know when to stop.
At the end of the day, we are all trying to improve ourselves. Being the best possible version of yourself does not start and stop with your bank account or your physical appearance. It starts with our brains and our mentality. We can only accomplish what our minds are willing to allow us to push for and if our brains are stuck on stupid then we will be too. No one is perfect. I watch enough Netflix and Hulu to fill a whole twenty-four hour period without stopping but it’s a process. We try Keto, Paleo, and all the other diets to keep our bodies healthy, how about we try something for our minds?
Question for my readers:
I didn’t include religion because I’m still figuring all that shit out for myself but I acknowledge that it should be somewhere. Where do you think religion or spirituality would fit in the mental diet? I don’t think I get enough comments to be asking questions but 🤷🏿♀️ gotta shoot my shot!
What Happens To A Dream Deferred?
My grandmother on my father’s side always dreamed of seeing the Eiffel Tower. She always dreamed leaving her Homeland of Haiti-just for a week or so to go straight to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower. Raised under the strictest patriarchy rules, she was never allowed to travel without the presence of a man. Her first husband- the womanizer- never acknowledged what she wanted and her second husband-the wife beater-was too cruel to take her. When her second husband passed away and she decided she could go on her own “when the time was right,” she began getting these cloudy spots in her right eye. Merde. She murmured when those cloudy spots turned into blurred and impaired vision. She had developed glaucoma, and would never see anything clearly again, let alone the Eiffel Tower.
My father always dreamed of driving across America. Always the taciturn individual, this was the one subject that would make him quite talkative. His goal was retirement. Once he retired from his job he would go, just him and my mom. I was 15 when his eyes started getting cloudy. “Things are different here,” he’d tell his mother. “A couple of surgeries and I’ll be fine,” he assured her. When I turned 17, he stopped being able to drive at night and by the time I hit my freshman year of college, he could no longer drive at all.
A couple of weeks ago, I woke up from a wonderful slumber and half of my left eye wouldn’t work. It was cloudy.
Barriers Between Us and Our Dreams
This isn’t a story of glaucoma. This is a story of dreams deferred.
Every day of our lives is a chance- an opportunity to work towards our goals and find a way to make our wildest dreams come true. And the only person that actually stands in our way is us.
We give people the power to stop us from following our dreams. We set limitations on our goals. Even my dick head grandfather did not hold a gun to my grandmother’s head and tell her she could not go to Paris. She allowed her inner voice to tell her not this year, every single year-even after he died. My father worked at the same company for 20 years, they would have given him a couple of weeks off to have his adventure if he asked, if he pushed for it.
Moving Out of Your Own Way
The point is, we don’t know what tomorrow brings, we never do. Yet all we do is push things off until tomorrow and then blame everyone but ourselves when our lives don’t turn out the way we want it to. Shit, I’ve had a book written and ready to edit for years now yet I allowed my insecurities and fear of rejection to keep me from releasing it to the world. Isn’t that such a fucked up concept? That our own fears and insecurities can hold us back from living our lives?! Our best lives, as the kids say.
Stop pointing the blame at other people and other things and ask yourself: how am I standing in the way of my own success? How am I keeping myself from my dreams?
The thing about life is that it can take us anywhere. You can spend your whole life working out and eating right and still die at thirty from cancer or some random act of violence in the streets. Those are the type of things that are out of our control. When we decide to take a trip, publish a novel, see the world, ask someone out-those things are not. Stop waiting for a sign or for your body to look nicer or for your situation to change. Stop creating invisible barriers and live your fucking life. Do it now.
The Back Up
One of my old beaux came back into my life recently. The reason we stopped talking was because he never seemed serious. He would tell me how beautiful I was, we would exchange secrets and dreams late into the night, and of course, there was some intercourse. (It was mostly just head and finger bangs but still.) Anyway, every time I asked to make our situationship into something more, I always got answers like “I’m not ready” or “give me some time.” These answers were confusing because they weren’t a “yes” obviously but they also weren’t a no. They were a “let’s wait.” At the time, “let’s wait” sounded like a “I have to work on me before I can be a we” answer. I respected this at first and waited. But after a couple of years (yes I said years) I was tired of waiting so we broke it off.
When he came back into my life it was all “I miss yous” but still no real sense of commitment. And that’s when I realized: I was the backup.
The back up is often rooted in good intentions. It’s something that many of us do, actually. Especially if you grew up in a traditional household or have a traditional mindset that tricks you into believing the only way you are whole or the only happy ending you can have lies in marriage. The backup basically means you found the one…for a potential future you. The back up is a guy or girl with everything to offer. They have a good job, they are decently attractive, and they treat you RIGHT. The back up is the type of person you can bring home on holidays and finally silence your nosey ass aunt whose sole purpose on this universe is to spread your singleness about the lands and to note how “wide” you’ve gotten since her last visit.
Yes, the back up is the perfect person to spend the rest of your life with…except they don’t make your heart jump.
You like them enough, sure, but you don’t want to shout it from the rooftops. A light whisper maybe but the feelings are minuscule. And as fucked up as it may be you don’t want to let them go completely.
Why Are We Like This?
Growing up surrounded by traditional Caribbean parents as well as television programs and movies that pushed the traditional romantic ending down my throat I get it. That shit sticks with you. And no matter how independent and successful you may be, there will always be that little voice reminding you: you will never be whole without a significant other. This same little voice is the one that keeps you from letting go of that individual who’s perfect on paper but not warming your soul. It crawls into your ear and whispers all the what if’s. What if you don’t find someone else? What if this person is meant for the future you? What if someone else takes what could potentially be your happy ending?
Sure, you’re not ready for marriage now. You’re still twenty or thirty something: the world is still your oyster! But when you finally reach that place everyone always talks about, the place where you’ve done all the things you set out to do and tried all the foods and dicks you wanted to try, it’d be nice to have someone to tell all those things to and as they say, “settle down with.” And right now this person-your back up-seems like a great option.
The back up is a bullshit concept but it’s one rooted in our own creation. Yes that man may satisfy a future you but if he doesn’t satisfy you now girl let that man GO! Don’t hang someone on a proverbial shelf with the hope that you can use them later as not only does it hurt them but in the long run it hurts you too.
Instead of keeping people on reserve we need to instead attempt to unlearn this fucked up mentality that we need someone else to be whole.
Or that our happy ending will only come once we are married. You are your second half. You are whole as you are right now. Let’s internalize that instead.
The Problem With Resolutions
So it’s that time of year again! The time of year where we don our sparkly gay apparel, kiss our loved ones at the strike of midnight and vow to travel more, join that kickboxing class, run that marathon, start our business, and so on and so fourth screaming “Happy New YearS” to all the passerby. Yes, t’is the motherfucking season. The problem with these New Year resolutions is they usually give way mid February. We stop getting to work a half an hour early, forgo the quinoa, and those five am runs become a thing of the past. And before we know it, we’re right back to where we were December 31st of the year before.
According to Business Insider, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail each fucking year. That’s insane. But I mean, this information is nothing new, right? Instagram and Facebook shame us everyday with memes about making and breaking new year resolutions. “Keep that shit to yourself!” your favorite influencers post and we all chuckle right along, feeling stupid for having made them in the first place.
But that’s where we are wrong. One should always embrace goals and personal growth so why wouldn’t the start of a new year signal an opportunity to start fresh and achieve something that we have always wanted to do?
So Let’s Keep That Resolution
Let’s actually keep our resolution by making a new resolution.
This year’s resolution is to treat every last day of each month like it’s December 31st and every first day of each month like it’s January 1st.
December 31st is always the day to reflect, to think about our lives through a critical lens: am I where I wanted to be at this time last year? What goals did I accomplish? What surprises (good or bad) occurred? How have I overcome adversity? What am I still unsatisfied by? From this reflection, we come up with our new big goal or “resolution” as well as a plan on how to achieve said resolution. Then we celebrate our successes, wake up on January 1st and begin executing our goal, hearts and minds feeling revitalized and full of motivation: “this is the year that I fucking crush it,” we say.
Now imagine those same actions and that same feeling every single month.
What if at the end of January-January 31st we sit down and reflect on our month, analyze it from a critical lens: asking ourselves, how did we do this month? Celebrating our accomplishments, making a plan for the next month, waking up February 1st with that same New Year’s day drive to do the things we said we were going to do. If we did this every month, where would we be in relation to our goals?
In Conclusion: Stay Motivated
Now having a “new year” every month is just one way of going about it: you can also do this same concept once a week or fuck it, once a day. But basically, don’t give up on you and your goals. There’s this quote: “Motivation is like a shower, you gotta do it daily.” Now although this quote doesn’t really go with the resolution of monthly resolutions (I hope we are all showering more than once a month) the concept still stands. Creating a resolution isn’t “corny” or “useless” or whatever else social media has led you to believe. It’s a great way to grow and actually be the person you want to be. It’s about not giving up and keeping that same energy as the year gets harder. Congratulating the progress you make and forgiving yourself when you fuck up.
Honesty and Anal: an Introduction
Over the weekend I went on a date. Today’s Cupid Meets Fish date was 6 feet and three inches full of lewd and disrespectful comments wrapped up in an emoji shrug and a slick “I’m just being honest.” I nodded and smiled, making the decision to give him a sip of that same honest-tea, something he certainly was not prepared to drink. As disgusted as I was by this individual’s personality, it got me thinking about this seemingly pious thing we call ”honesty” especially when it comes to relationships. I noted something:
We can learn a lot about how honesty works if we just analyze anal sex in a traditional vanilla relationship.
I know it may seem odd or vulgar to compare the two but they are actually one in the same when it comes to relationships. Understanding the mechanics of anal sex will set you up for a successfully honest relationship whether it’s friends with benefits or your forever boo. So let’s do it! Let’s have some anal!
“Come on baby, it’ll feel good, I promise.” Mr. Everyman snuggled up tighter to his boo, his rock hard pecker digging into her right butt cheek as it tried to find her middle.
She rolled over so her rear end was protected by the embrace of the mattress.
“Not tonight,” she murmured for the umpteenth time. “Let’s just get some sleep…”
Mr Everyman and his boo are not having anal.
Honesty: it’s craved in a relationship by one or both parties but depending on the level of trust in each individual, it may not always be received.
When both parties go into the relationship with the mindset that they are not going to be receiving and/or giving honesty, the relationship does not work. This may seem like a very obvious statement but in our current culture, a lot of individuals carry a mindset that “males aren’t shit” or that “females are bitches” thinking no one is to be trusted, to the point where a relationship starts off a lot like that movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith: everyone lying and/or believing the other party is lying.
It’s 1 am on a Friday night and Mr. Everyman and his boo are filled with drinks and laughs from dinner with their friends. He decides to shoot his shot. He slobbers wet kisses all over her neck, supple breast, and stomach.
“Let’s make tonight special…” he murmurs between drunken pecks on her body.
She shrugs. Tequila always makes her freaky so fuck it, she thinks, allowing Mr. Everyman to fumble her purple panties off her booty.
But Mr. Everyman gets too excited, loving the tight hole a little too much, shoving himself inside her a little too hard…
Mr Everyman is only servicing himself.
Honesty isn’t always a good thing especially when it’s self serving.
Self serving honesty looks a lot like that date I had, where he had no regard for my feelings and just said how he felt when he felt it for himself. This type of honesty isn’t about mutual understanding. It’s just one person wanting his or her surroundings to be comfortable to them at any cost. Honesty like this hurts and it’s a pain that does not get better because instead of the other individual opening up, they close off even more, so you are basically jamming your dick or dildo into a clenched asshole which may feel fine to you because you’re gunna get in there anyway but feels brutal for the other party.
The Best Anal Sex
Mr. Everyman cuddles up with his boo. He slides his lube covered tip around her asshole, teasing her. It feels good so she inches back towards him: a little moan let’s him know she’s ready. His tip kisses the side of her round bun one more time before finding her creamy middle. He shudders with excitement, her insides were practically begging for him…
The best anal sex is the type of anal where both parties are fully invested and want to do it with each other. Both individuals are ready to listen to each other’s bodies and provide/receive the penetration with the other partner in mind.
Honesty only works in a relationship when there is mutual trust and effort.
This is not to say you have to wait six months until you fully trust the person to engage in honesty. Honesty can start from that first encounter, that first text message. But both parties must be thinking about the other person’s feelings and have a mindset where they trust that everything being said was said from a place that took those feelings into account. Honesty, like anal penetration, is hard to take but only when there’s no trust behind it ( pun intended). If you tell me you hate my hair (as my date had told me) but you are thinking about my feelings and me as an individual, you’re going to choose words that tell me you hate my hair but also let me know that you are providing me feedback and not just shitting on me. Honesty that is done correctly may sting here and there but ultimately it feels good and will be a healthy part of your relationship.
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So I recently attended a wake for the brother of a coworker of mine. The deceased was a young man of the mere age of 24. He died in a hiking incident in which he fell off a cliff and to his death. Prior to the wake all I could think of was the negative: I mean shit-imagine hanging out with your friends doing something you’ve done your whole life and then just….not coming home.
But then again, isn’t that a good thing?
At the wake, I shook hands with his beautiful mother and I hugged my co worker, our chest as close as they could be as I tried to absorb just a modicum of his despair. “Take all the time you need,” I told me coworker. “I’ll be back to work on Monday.” He responded.
I was so taken aback I didn’t reply. Back on Monday? I thought. That’s not nearly enough time to wipe the snot out your nose. Apparently my coworker said he will be returning to work soon despite everyone’s plea that he take more time because “that’s what his brother would have wanted.” His brother had the opportunity to do what he loved all of the time and although that was the way he died, it was an ideal way, and my coworker loved our job and wanted to spend any moment he could at work because you never know how much time you have left.
And that’s the truth: as cliched as this seems, the one promise that this life has to offer to anyone or anything is death so it really is up to us to surround ourselves only in what makes us happy.
But also, that if it’s a double edged sword?
What if because we know we only have this one life we stop appreciating the average day to day and instead chase this concept of happiness to the point where we don’t even realize that we are doing the things that make us happy?
Two sides of the Happy Coin
I drove to the wake with one of my managers and in the car we discussed relationships. We both agreed that although at this particular moment in our lives we do NOT want a relationship with anyone, we are constantly looking for one. Why do we keep looking? Well because Rhonda in HR just got married and Boss Lady Barbara is engaged and Jamal from Accounting has been married 25 years and they are all so…”happy.” So, what if my manager and I think we are happy but we are not? What if we could be happier with a significant other? Right now at the ripe old age of 25 I am not in the mood to deal with someone else’s shit: I work hard at work because I’m ambitious, I work hard at home because there’s no other choice, and in my free time I like to stuff my face full of high sodium Lunchables and drink wine out of a bottle in my panties and a t-shirt. Although I’m sure having a little boo thing next to me while I wipe snot off my nose with the bottom of my shirt and weep to another episode of Ugly Betty would be nice but it’s not exactly what I truly want. That being said, I still have every Tinder meets Bagel while Cupid searches for Fish app that the world has to offer. My “fomo” as the kids call it keep me in a constant state of searching for happiness instead of simply enjoying what I have at the moment.
I think as humans we are too insatiable.
Nothing is never enough and believe you me it has served us well over the centuries. Could you imagine where we’d be if people where like, who needs horses we can just walk all the time to all destinations! Or if the people who make, I don’t know, roller coasters were all, safety belts? Psht! We good! It’s conflicting because in this sense and in many others the thing that makes us want to keep improving and discovering new ways to be happy is a great thing.
The Lesson, I Guess
I’m just saying we need to be able to understand that happiness comes in many forms and those forms look differently for all people and their multiple stages in life. Right now I am happy with my Netflix and Nachos but maybe tomorrow I will want a little shorty by my side. Right now, you may be satisfied taking the bus but tomorrow you will want a car. I’m not ashamed of my Lunchables and you shouldn’t be ashamed of the bus. My coworker’s brother loved to hike so while we can comfort ourselves in saying, he died doing what he loved, I don’t know if HE knew how much he loved it. Did he ever take the time to say, I’m so happy right now and just be alive? Or was he too busy searching for the next thing? We need to find the happy medium between improving our lives while enjoying exactly what makes us happy in the moment. We need to take a moment and just…be happy.
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DISCLAIMER: I’m not out here trying to get sued or anything. So I must say that although I talk about Polaroids, I’m really referring to instant film cameras only. I don’t know jack shit about the actual Polaroid company or their business.
I remember when I was six or so and I was sitting at the dinning room table of my old household eating a bowl of soggy Corn Flakes with an inch of sugar at the bottle of the bowl and my sister walked in with a big ass camera.
“Look what I got today!” She was ecstatic.
She held it up and snapped a picture of me shoving a spoonful of the cereal and sugar down my gullet.
“Stop!” I yelled.
“No look,” she held up a faded pic of the picture to me. Isn’t this so cool?!
Cut to a couple of months ago when I was celebrating the birthday of a close friend of mine in Saratoga Springs, New York. She took out this little pink plastic camera and said, “let’s take a selfie!”
We posed and she clicked the button and instantly, she was holding a faded little pic of us looking…well, faded.
“Isn’t this so cool?!” She beamed.
The problem is, it wasn’t cool.
The Polaroid Plummet
I’m a 90s baby, so growing up Polaroid cameras were a big ass deal, dominating the camera industry. They were a household name: everyone was shaking it like a Polaroid picture. Then, when the digital camera came, they just…disappeared. Now I know the argument is, they didn’t disappear Polaroid has a big name in the digital industry and blah blah blah but as a consumer I went over (or under, idk math) 15 years without hearing about the thing that made them cool: the instant print picture. With the age of digital cameras everyone was so obsessed with the quality of the pictures and having their pictures right where they could see them at all times, that we forgot about the awesomeness of the Polaroid instant picture. We went from instantly holding a picture of a chubby kid eating soggy cereal to pictures on a camera: having to go to a local Walgreens and sit in one of those uncomfortable ass plastic chairs looking at a little screen and clicking the pictures we want to print; praying to God that it doesn’t freeze on that one blurry pic of our tits. Or, if you were lucky, you had a printer at home that did it for you. But that’s besides the point. My thing is, where were the instant pictures?! What happened Polaroid?!
Here’s My Theory
I think Polaroid got discouraged. I think someone in the office said that digital was the wave of the future and they just went with it. Didn’t put up a fight, didn’t see the importance of their product.
They stopped believing in the thing that made them great.
Could you image how lit our iPhones would be today if Polaroid has kept their instant pictures and just advanced with the times? Now, to give Polaroid some credit, they did make a come back and you can buy an attachment thing that makes your photos instant for you. But still. If they had done this all along, I wouldn’t have to buy an attachment and I sure as hell wouldn’t have a shitty quality photo of me at a party in Saratoga Springs.
This is Why You Shouldn’t Be Like Polaroid
Polaroid didn’t stand by their shit. They sat around and let the next wave take them away from their awesome product. Instead of saying hey digital cameras with instaprint, cellphones with instaprint, they just jumped on whatever was popular. Don’t do that.
Whether it’s an actual product, an idea, or something in YOU that you think is dope and that you like, don’t let that thing go just to do what is popular.
Popularity and clout are about having something dope, KNOWING it’s dope, then telling those around you. I didn’t even know there were different types of yogurt until everyone started talking about Greek yogurt. It’s a cool yogurt and now every yogurt brand and their mama has a Greek cousin but that’s because someone knew that Greek yogurt was the shit and told others. Whatever your “thing” is, if you know it’s the shit, OWN THAT SHIT! Make sure people know your thing is the shit. Don’t abandon it when something else comes along.
And If You DO Abandon It
Bounce the fuck back! This blog post was about instant film yes but the real Polaroid company was bankrupt like three times! Them mofos are the bounce back, come back Kings and Queens! Pick yourself back up, take a look at the thing or quality that you know is awesome, dust that bitch off and TRY AGAIN.
For actual information on the Polaroid camera, go here.
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