Saturday, July 13, 2013

Snapback from Reality

Isn't it crazy how you have to step back from reality sometimes in order to stay in touch with reality? If we don't find that escape that works for us, stress is bound to ensue. I don't know about you, but I refuse to be stressed out. They say stress takes years off of your life, so ain't nobody got time for that. For many, their escape is some form of exercise, for others it's reading or even playing video games. However, there are some who choose alcohol and other drugs to escape the challenges that everyday life presents.  That's okay as long as you don't over indulge.
My favorite place to escape first, above all, is music land. Without a doubt, some of my best thinking comes from when I have a little music going on in the background. And just as as side note: I have written some of my best papers jamming to country music. It stems from my high school math teacher playing country music (Kenny Chesney to be exact) while we worked on our computers in class. hahaa Gotta love being from the country! 
I write this in hopes that if you haven't already, find your healthy escape. I know the world says it's alcohol, but that does not always have to be the case.  Find what works for you because there are so many ways to forget about trials and tribulations that we face as adults. Don't forget that God is always willing to listen to what we have to say, so prayers is always an option, too. Even if you don't think He's listening...I assure you He is doing the exact opposite. 
Remember that too much of anything is not good.

Friday, July 12, 2013


Wow. As I read what is being said about the trial on all forms of social media my heart is heavy. The black community is taking a few sides on the Trayvon Martin issue. 
  1. Supporting the Martin family. People are blacking out their profile pictures and tweeting #justicefortrayvon.
  2. Others are saying, that next week, people won't care. Or outside of social media, I bet no one is talking about the case. 
  3. It's a race thing. People are saying it's a black/white issue. 
I would like to argue that it is about all three of those.  We should care next week, it is in fact a race issue and we should be supporting the Martin family in any form or fashion.  Yes, the black community continues to commit black on black crime day in and day out and that is a very serious problem. However, this case has nothing to do with that issue. George Zimmerman may have had no "spite, or ill will" but he decided to pursue a man who "fit the profile" of other break-ins that happened in his community. By taking matters into his own hands, that he CLEARLY was not capable of handling, he had to defend himself by using deadly force and because of that very poor decision, Trayvon Benjamin Martin is no longer on this earth.
Now, people claiming this is just a fad. Whoa. Relax!! Whether it is half-hearted or someone is doing something in support of this case just to get likes or attention, it's still half-hearted; in other words, his or her heart is in the right place. This case has received national attention and I am so glad that it has. George Zimmerman deserves to serve SOMETHING killing this young man. 
Who cares if people do not care about it next week! We can make a difference by standing up for one another via social media. It is the biggest tool that so many of have access to in order for us to voice our opinions. 
This trial has spurred conversation. Good healthy conversation about what forever will be an issue in this country: race. I am so proud to be the color that I am, but it comes with a price.  My color comes with the duty of being better than what they portray in the media and movies.  My color comes with the responsibility of holding myself to standard to be well read and educated. My color is why Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks had to stand up! We may not have endured the racism that they did, but I guarantee you that they would both (and other Civil Right Activists for that matter) be proud of us for taking a stand and coming together over this very serious trial. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Blanket Statements Don't Cover Everybody

By now, everyone who knows me, understands that social media will somehow work its way into our conversation. Let’s face it. That’s where most of my peers are confessing or professing, offending or defending, whatever it is that they think or believe. Social media is an outlet used by many to express anything—#nofilter.
Our opinions are based off of experiences we have had, and those experiences help us form thoughts and beliefs about what is “true” in this world. Facts cannot be disputed i.e. If I let go of a pen, it falls to the ground because of gravity. Opinions on the other hand are different. i.e. Black is the best color for a truck. Yes, you and I are both entitled to our opinion, but those opinions cannot and should not be applied to everyone and everything you know. There is a certain kind of opinion that I want to address and those are blanket statements.
On my timelines, whether Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram, I see statements about women and men, black and white, dark skinned and light skinned, and the list goes on and on. I cannot believe (but really, I can) that general opinionated statements are still said and affirmed by all. Mostly because the statements are true (to some degree) and good for a laugh. However, are we not always professing that we want to be different and that we should appreciate those differences about one another? Unfortunately, the exact opposite is occurring far too often.
Elise, give us some examples.
Well, I’m so glad you asked.
One of the tweets that prompted this post was a statement by a friend of mine via Twitter who said: “It’s like females in sports. They cheer for the popular team or the reigning champions.” Well first of all, it would be “like females and sports”…just saying. Anyway, there are some females who only watch The Heat because of LeBron James’ smile or DWade’s jawline. But what about the girls who are die-hard fans?! What about the girl who has NBA-TV just to make sure she doesn’t miss a game, has the SportsCenter App. on her phone to get all the latest updates, and could be on First Take tomorrow with Skip and Stephen A. talking like any other seasoned sports analyst? If I know a few girls who can fall into the category, then surely some fellas can say the same. It seems unfair, bias, and stereotypical for anyone, male or female, to say such a thing.
Posts that are clogging Instagram feeds everywhere: “Bitches be like…” and “Niggas be like…” Once again, there is truth behind these phrases and to some degree they are also funny. Although, I also find them to be mostly degrading. The phrases are usually pointing out peoples contradictory actions. For example, a guy will post: a picture of a young woman droppin’ it like it’s hot on Saturday night and then, Sunday morning #churchflow. No, I do not condone a woman dancing in a vulgar manner, but God loves her just as much as He loves you and I. At the same time, guys act like they are not doing the same thing. She was dancing with somebody, wasn’t she?
I am so amazed at how much time we take out of our day to tear each other down, instead of building one another up. In some weird way pointing out each others contradicting actions is a good thing because we are setting a certain standard. It’s just funny to me because usually those publicly holding the standard, have very few [standards] themselves, but he or she believes everyone else should have them. Or better yet, he or she could be seen out doing the same thing or worse. Isn’t that called a double standard?
Before you clump everyone into one general idea, think again! We were all created by the same hands, but He made all us one thing: different.

Something Other Than Your Breasts

It is nice to be reminded every once in a while
that a person with a decent set of manners and morals
still matters to some folks.
A genuine person who isn’t perfect,
but has their stuff together.
I mean, that has to be somewhat commendable.
Someone has to see the beauty in that!
I’m really different than most girls.
I like to show off my smile and not my breasts.
I show cleavage like the best of them but what good does it do me if you didn’t notice my face first?
I want to attract him with my corny sense of humor, lovable personality, infectious laugh and mission to be one of the most respected black women in her field.
I want my conversation to leave a long lasting impression that has you thinking about a concept or idea days after it’s been over.
My beautiful assets are part of the package, but some things should
be left to the imagination until you’ve earned the right to see what’s inside.
The mailman does not deliver mail before someone has made sure
it is going to be sent to the right address.
And maybe I’m the last girl to believe in this, but I want that package to be dropped off to the right recepient.
So for right now, the package is still in the warehouse prepping and when the person worth the shipping and handling fees comes along,
like they say at USPS.
“If it fits, it ships."
I’m not tryna diss the girls who have their tits
out in their pics, but
what are you trying to present?
what message are you sending?
Cause pics like that scream D-T-F
and last time I checked
Snookie and the other meatballs
were never and should not be considered any kind of role models.
Oh America
We have confused these young women!
We have gotten them to believe that their figures are all they have to give.
When it should be about what college they’re attending,
where they see themselves in five years and what their biggest accomplishment is?
How can we transform their mindsets when every rap song says the exact opposite?
There comes a point when we should just listen to the music and not actually digest it.
What’s the difference you ask?
Let it be the songs you dance to with ya girls at the club
but not be something you’re actually trying to live by.
If that last paragraph is ever accomplished the world could be a better place.
Oh we’ll still spend hours in the mirror because that is human nature,
but instead,
it’ll be for ourselves.
Women: Impress the world with the beauty of your smile and mind!

I Love Music

I love music.
I love it because it’s timeless.
The lyrics make you think about love or lust,
ya latest crush or the one you’re tryna leave in the dust.
I love music.
It doesn’t matter if it’s Biggie or Diddy, Taylor or Antebellum,
Frank or Chris, Drake or The Weeknd, J. May’ or J. Mraz 
their music speaks to me.
At different times,
when I’m in a certain mood,
I can go to YouTube or Spotify and play a song that can identify with
however I am feeling.
That’s powerful! 
Music is the language that everyone can speak. 
No matter what genre, there’s an artist and/or band 
whose music gets you from day to day. 

Be Gay Like the Flinstone's Baby

I find it so fascinating that we bash Chris Bosh for being gay and he has a wife; while everyone seems to be praising Jason Collins for coming out. Does anyone see where I’m about to go with this? Let me make myself clear. I am genuinely happy for Jason Collins and for making this declaration because I know it was not easy for him. His bravery is to be commended and I hope this encourages others who are going through this process, to feel empowered.
As soon as Jason made this announcement, memes were instantly flooding my Instagram and Twitter feeds with Chris Bosh captioned saying things like “I’m coming Jason!” and “Coach, can we trade for him.” I mean, it is just not funny anymore—hell, it never was funny. People who think it is are actually showing their ignorance and bigotry towards gays. Since everyone has taken such a liking towards Jason, I almost wish he would speak out against making fun of people who aren’t and people saying they are. It is not fair to Chris, his family or to people like Jason in the gay community. It reinforces the fact that there is still hatred towards people who identify as gay and that they will be ridiculed.
Let’s put the shoe on the other foot. For example, people very often remark about the way I speak. Because I can construct a sentence that does not sound anything like what blacks and whites have witnessed women of my color speak like on Maury, I automatically talk “white.” It’s not fair to any educated and well read person to be referred to in that manner and/or treated any differently.
If that analogy didn’t make sense, try this one: It makes me think of Carlton always feeling like he needed to prove his blackness to Will on Fresh Prince. He tried living in the roughest part of the neighborhood JUST to gain Will’s respect.

We are a society that is constantly trying to make fun of people for ANYTHING! Why don’t we instead figure out ways in which we can love or learn from each other. This happens in small doses and we see it when tragedies happen like Boston strike our nation. However, why do we wait until something bad happens?! I guess I’m like John Mayer and just waiting on the world to change.

Pressure Always Points in the Right Direction

At my age, close friends and family are getting engaged and married what seems like everyday. It is such an exciting time! To know who you want to spend the rest of your life with at such a young age is quite the blessing. Then, to be invited to these weddings is an honor in and of itself. Although I am anxious for this to happen for me, there is no rushing this process. 
With that said, it is my belief that there is a pressure to do what everyone else in your circle is doing. This happens mostly because the people comprising our circle are achieving the same goals and are around the same age. Thus, they have very similar activities and life events happening around the same time. Even though this is the case in most instances, there should not be a pressure to be making the same things happen in your life. It is alright to not be doing what everyone else around you is doing. I always like to use myself as an example. Pursuing my graduate degree was a big decision for me. None of my close friends were going right back into school, so Elise made the choice for her. I think that is on e of the many reasons why I am still on this natural high from graduating because I cannot believe I did it. I surprised myself! Even though my close friends did not pursue another degree like me, does not mean they will not one day; it just was not their time. 

Just because everybody around you is making great changes to his or her life, does not necessarily mean you need to do the same.  Each decision you make comes with a commitment and that is not something that should be taken lightly. Let that unspoken ‘pressure’ drive you to make well thought-out decisions not off-the-cuff decisions. Ultimately, your path should and will be different from everyone else’s. How boring would it be if we all did everything exactly the same way? There would be no reason to share cold beverages or hot meals with one another; we would already know the others’ story. Life would be so boring. The great thing about this life we have is that we all have a story and we should make sure ours is worth hearing. 

Why Paula Deen's Piece is Being Sliced

My girl Paula Deen dropped the n-word and other racial slurs. This situation coming to light has now prompted The Food Network to not renew her contract. 
Now, everyone and their mother is taking to Facebook and Twitter to say that if this were a rapper this would not even be an issue. NEWSFLASH: IT’S APPLES AND ORANGES FOLKS! Rappers are given what is called a poetic license. Their profession is art; thus, whatever it takes to compose that art—it is allowed. I am not excusing the derogatory language that rappers use; I am however, telling you why it is allowed and in turn, accepted. 
We simply cannot and should not compare the two. Paula Deen is supposed to making us delectable pies and delicious treats…not using the n-word.