Monday, August 26, 2013

Party in The VMA's

Every year music lovers around the globe anticipate MTV's video music awards show. Our favorite artist are acknowledged for their year's work by taking home a moon man.  Artists of the pop and hip-hop genres gather on this special evening to give great performances or at least attempt. I'll never forget telling the story at the cafeteria table for quite some time of my mum yelling, "She's licking her in the mouth" after watching the Britney and Madonna kiss. There is always as an iconic moment that is talked about for the rest of the week by everybody and this year it's Miley Cyrus and the treacherous performance she gave with Robin Thicke. 
I have to acknowledge the debauchery in her performance last night. Miss Cyrus has the pleasure of acting black but never suffering the actual consequences. In other words, she can act black all she wants and not actually endure what blacks (especially women) face on a daily basis. Fellow blogger, Ali Esteem, put it eloquently:
Black people find Miley Cyrus annoying because her white privilege makes it possible for her to experience only the painless enjoyable parts of being Black. When Miley Cyrus has had enough she can leave. She can leave this Blackness and call it a phase. Where as I, I will be Black forever and I will continue to be reminded of my race for the rest of my life and not in the safe, un-life altering reminders that are just on social networks that Miley feels so oppressed by. 
However, it is not all her fault because we continue to glorify her actions. The Jay-Z shoutout in SomewhereInAmerica may have made matters worse.
That's my first bone to pick with her. 
The other bone is this. After watching one horrible performance after the other, Justin Timberlake graces us with his glorious presence. From start to finish, the performance had flawless choreography, his beautiful voice and even his boys NSYNC from back in the day. I thought to myself, "Wow. People like Miley Cyrus make a complete mockery of what legendary performers like Justin and Beyonce put so much time and effort into making so great." I am more than positive there were not many rehearsals for all the gyrating and horrible attempt of twerking she did on that stage last night. Yet, she is the talk of the blogosphere on every social media platform (and here I am talking about it too). 
No where during the rest of the year is MTV about music, so maybe if they got back to caring about the first part of their acronym instead of capturing horrible teen mother situations, one of the most anticipated award shows of the year would not be a hott mess. Maybe then, artists who are genuinely passionate about their craft like Kendrick Lamar, Miguel and countless others who give us hit after hit, would actually receive awards. I don't know. It's just a guess. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Elise's Summer '13 Epiphanies

Summer '13 is drawing to a close and it has been absolutely eye-opening. Being the reflective person that I am, I would like to share some of the epiphanies I had. The post-graduation unemployed life leaves you a lot of time to think about any and everything. When you have time like that, one must spend it wisely because time is something you cannot get back. We are not promised tomorrow so we have to take advantage of everything we are given.

This is My Story, This is My Song

One thing The Lord is helping me to understand about me, is that I am most definitely supposed to share my story. I believe my story is unique and so is yours. However, not all of us are called to share (nor would many want to share) our stories publicly. I do not mind being one of the chosen few that must share her story. It is my belief that if I share my story with whomever is willing to listen, he or she may be able to go through life a little bit easier. I am not by any means calling myself the Messiah; what I am saying, is that I want others to learn with me and from me.

Different Kind of Reader

I may not read the novels, but I am constantly reading excerpts, columns and articles from my peers and colleagues. There is true value in learning from one another. The importance of reading is invaluable, but actually sitting down to read books is just not my thing. It is funny because one of my long-term goals is to write a book. Anyway, "We hold these truths to be self-evident" and that is one of mine. As long as you are constantly searching for knowledge and constantly reading ANYTHING, I promise you are indeed doing something right. Never stop reading. The more you read, the more you understand how to grapple with the crazy workings of this world. More importantly, you understand yourself a little more, too.

My Fresh Start

Last, but most certainly not least, I may be late to the party, but I always arrive on time and in style. Most of my colleagues are employed and after a long but fast summer, I am ready to join the ranks. Everyone was saying, "Elise! What's next?" I was not ready to have that answer right after graduation. I wanted to have a second to hang out with myself and be on my own schedule. Slippery Rock had me by their schedule for six years, so I deserved a few minutes to breathe.With that said, after submitting a few applications, I am getting some feedback from potential employers. Exciting, huh?

The plan is to move from PA to the DMV. There is just something about that area that is calling my name and when I get there, my hope is to quickly figure out just why it has been calling me for so long. Would I love being close to home? Yes. However, it's not really that far (four hours) and most importantly, not much is here for me. It is going to be so nice to watch Steeler games without doing homework, going on dates to nice restaurants, and taking road trips to see friends and family. You know, doing things people in their twenties are supposed to do. This new life post graduation will be an adjustment, but a delightful one. Change is not easy, but is necessary for growth. BRING IT!

My Purpose in Life

My purpose in this life is bigger than ensuring students take the correct courses, advising them on how to talk to their roommate about the stinky dishes or what major or career to choose--it is changing lives FOREVER. I want to make a difference in so many peoples lives that I have to keep an online website designated just for people to share their stories with me. This is why, I am really tossing around the idea of becoming a motivational speaker. I want to encourage, inspire, and challenge so many individuals to believe in him or herself to achieve the impossible. Let's want to be more than rappers and football players. Money does not define success; it is defined by what you have done with the time The good Lord has given you while here on this earth. Time is precious so make the most of it!

I know my purpose and I want to help others to figure theirs out--that's how I'll make a difference in this world. I am BEYOND determined. THIS is what I am passionate about. I am passionate about people figuring out his or her purpose and passion. Because if I can get people to realize their passion, their purpose in life is activated, which means goals can be reached and THAT equals success.

You know I always like to end with a quote. It was Confucius who said, "Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life."

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Beauty in Nuance

I am beginning to realize that men do not always understand how we [women] interpret things that they say and do. This is one of the many things that makes the world go around. As women, we try to comprehend whatever it is people are saying. In other words, we look for the deeper meaning. Men on the other hand, (typically) do not. Hence, the “getting to know you” phase being so important when working towards any type of relationship. 
It is no secret that men and women are similar in many ways, but we should appreciate the nuances that lie between the two. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


"Wake up! Wake up! Wake Up It's the first of the month" is a lyric throughout the year that crosses my TL almost every first day of the month.  Since we're not too far from that first day, I'd like to challenge us to wake up in a different sense.  On my timeline last night were hundreds of tweets about VH1's show Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta's (LHHATL) reunion. Then this morning, I got up and was watching the Kelly & Michael show and TV mogul, Oprah was a guest. I thought to myself, "Can we go back to wanting to be like Oprah and Barack instead of the ratchet mess on VH1?" It's absolutely disgusting that black folks tune into mess like this.  As a black woman who is fighting the stereotype of who so many believe she is before she even opens her mouth, I cannot and will not endorse shows like  LHHATL. This show and anything like it, set us back so many years. THEN, we have the nerve to wonder why folks stereotype us. Really?! I mean, really? 

If I could ask the black community to do one thing, I would ask them to stop supporting shows like Love and Hip Hop. Here's why:

Shows like Love and Hip-Hop (and countless others) reinforce the thousands of stereotypes that whites have about blacks. Some of the stereotypes are: We're loud. We fight. We're "ratchet." We hate each other. Can anyone tell me that Love and Hip-Hop does not embody all of the things just mentioned? No. What is absolutely astounding is that we have the nerve to be offended when folks call us niggers. May I say, that something as simply as watching a tv shows in turn makes it okay for them to place all those stereotypes upon us. 

Thus, our own actions are why this society less of us. My beautiful black people, we are our own worst enemies. When are we going to take a stand and say no more? I thought the Trayvon Martin situation would inspire us to begin making a difference, but I was regrettably mistaken. We unfortunately, are going to continue to keep letting our wheels spin. 

Maury Povich is the one who has been making the most money off of black folks niggnorance. Young women with five to six potential baby daddies. ARE YOU SERIOUS?! Black people wake UP! Wake UP! If you didn't watch, it wouldn't be okay. But no, we endorse it and have been (and will continue to) for years to come. It's sad really.  

So you see it's almost unfair to be upset at the Riley Cooper's and Paula Deen's because the entertainment actions are supporting an age old mentality. The old saying goes, "If we knew better, we'd do better." Well, it is time that we begin to know and do better because if we do not, who will? We cannot and will not move forward unless we make a difference. How do we make that difference? Just by doing simple things like not watching a television show is taking a subtle stand. Remember that it has to start with us. If we want respect, we must first act as though we deserve it.  

Monday, August 5, 2013

A Risk Worth Taking

Of all the things I am thankful for about myself, it is my personality. My personality has afforded me so many opportunities, thus making me into the person I am today. I love to meet new people, no matter what the situation, and make a new acquaintance or friend. Even though I never really considered this [meeting new people] to be one of strengths, it is indeed. To be honest, I still get anxiety meeting new people even though I have proven time and time again that I can thrive. Most of that anxiety comes from always wanting to make a good first impression because it is one you cannot change or take back. Like Sheryl Crow said about the first cut being the deepest, so is an impression. 

This past Saturday and last Sunday, I attended two beautiful weddings by myself (We'll save the how and why that all happened for another blog). A few times before each occasion I said to myself, "Are you really about to do this?! The norm is to take a date and enjoy the ceremony & reception with a boyfriend/someone you are seeing/close friend." But then I thought, "You were invited and this is TOO special of a day for some very dear friends for you to miss because you have to attend #solodolo." I was uncomfortable in both situations, but what is written above in the first paragraph is what I took from the experience.

These were two humbling experiences where I again, surprised myself. And again, the experiences were a little outside of comfort zone and I am beginning to realize that there [outside of my comfort zone] is where I will often be placed in order to continue growing as a person. It is these types of instances that make me realize I'm different (in a good way).  I think most people would not attend if they had to go by themselves or leave early, but I stayed the entire time for both weddings. 

With that said, do not always let your thoughts talk you out of situations you feel are uncomfortable. There is a good chance something may come from that situation that you later use a powerful adjective to describe what you experienced. Our mind is powerful and if we let it always talk us out of things that may be beneficial to us, it can stunt our personal growth. Taking risks makes for a great learning moment and good story, so take them often. Remember you are a lot stronger thank you think!