Only Black Girl 02/2018

I’m naturally a very quiet person, especially at work. Is this why people feel the need to come at me with their bull****? Is it because I’m shy? Is it because I’m the only Brown person here? A combination of both? Didn’t your mother ever teach you “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all”? These are the questions I have after my White co-worker, who we’ll call “Bob” TRIED IT.

I woke up in one of those rare “happy for no reason” moods. I felt well rested and ready for the day. It was warm but not too hot out. The sun was shining through clouds, casting the most perfect light on my copper skin tones. I almost wanted to skip to work singing with the birds as the slightest breeze flowed through my curly fro. I looked fly, free, and was walking on sunshine. 😁

I get to work and start going about my business, laughing and chatting with some co-workers, procrastinating the morning away. I don’t even notice “Bob” in the corner watching my moves. He walks over and interrupts my pleasant conversation with someone else…

“hmm,”….. “I don’t think I really like your hair like that.” he says smiling…..

PAUSE!

Now, the problem with being the only Black woman in a majority White office is sometimes you have to tiptoe around people’s feelings rather than saying it like it is, which is your normal method of operation. You see, Bob/Becky can be as politically incorrect and downright inappropriate as they want but as a Black woman, if I want to keep my job, I have to hold back. Despite being the one insulted, I have to cater to his feelings. I can’t curse or yell at how angry it makes me that even in the 21st century my own natural hair is still seen as unattractive or unacceptable. I can’t even tear up at the fact that this man has the audacity to tell me to my face, in a place of work, that he doesn’t like my God-given hair. I have to craft a subtle response to his White privilege all to avoid being the stereotypical and universally dreaded “angry Black woman”. I wish I was braver. I wish I didn’t care. I really wish I didn’t allow people like this to ruin my day. I wish I could tell him everything wrong with what he said without risking my boss’s bad side. But, my boss already isn’t fond of the Only Black Girl and I have bills to pay. We have to choose our battles carefully…

So, lets become Becky. Like, “let me sound totally sweet while being totally rude when I should be totally minding my own damn business because, although natural Black hair gives me the uncontrollable urge to share my opinion,  you rocking a curly fro this morning has 0 impact on my life! *insert innocent giggle here*.” Sigh, 😒.

…Take a deep breath. One more. Don’t yell. Channel inner Becky….

GO!

Ending the long awkward silence and uncomfortable glaring, I smirk. “Oh really?” I shrug. “Well, it’s just my natural hair. That’s just how it grows out of my head. I mean…at least I have hair, right!?” I giggle innocently, looking up at Bob’s shiny balding crown of glory and walk back to my damn office. My job is safe….today anyway.

20 Lessons I’ve Learned Since Leaving the Church

makiah-isms

IMG_0196 My unapologetic, Black self. 2016.

I haven’t been to church in over a year now, and I’ve been pondering how I should address what I’ve discovered along the way. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you probably could’ve never guessed that I would end up here. I never imagined that I could exist outside the Church I once held so dear. But due to the routine state-sanctioned violence that is being inflicted on my people, and the inadequate response from the church (among other things), I have decided to remove myself entirely from a system that claims to value my soul, but fails to show up for my Black body. I’ll probably end up writing a book about this one day, but in the meantime, here are 20 things I’ve learned since leaving the church:

  1. God is not a man.
  2. There is no pre-determined path called “God’s will”…

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Yeah, I’m Fat and HAPPY!

I am 270 pounds. Yup, thats right, I just broadcasted my weight to the whole world and I’m okay with it.  People think of obese and overweight people as lazy, insecure, ugly, depressed, and the list goes on and on even though thats not always the truth and it’s not always that simple.  I used to be very depressed about my image, so much so that I struggled with bulimia. It wasn’t until I stopped caring not only about what other people think but also about what I thought when I looked in the mirror that I learned how to be happy with myself, my body, and comfortable and confident in my own skin.  Once I did that it was so much easier to focus on being healthy (and I am a little bit of a health nut now) and a whole new world opened up to me….but being happy first was the key.

Many people struggling with weight issues think once they lose weight then they’ll be happy. For me it worked in reverse and it wasn’t easy, it was a lifelong journey.  Anyone who’s been overweight knows the harsh judgments of society all to well.  One of the worst criticisms, in my opinion, is that we’re lazy or don’t care about our health.  I’ve been overweight since I was a child (about 2nd grade) and the pounds slowly packed on.  You think I gained all these pounds in just a few years??? Absolutely not! If you gain an extra 10 pounds every year for 10 years that’s already 100 pounds. Now try from 8yrs old to 26. Thats almost 20 years and most of those years had gains rather than losses.  When you have a certain diet and lifestyle from childhood to adulthood, certain habits become a learned behavior and it doesn’t matter if today at this moment you’re old enough to make healthier choices. You have to unlearn those habits and re-train yourself to do something totally different from what comes naturally. That is quite a task!  What kills me is how people will say these misguided things about someone who’s overweight without knowing anything about them.  You might see a 350 pound person and think they’re lazy or pathetic.  If you’re really mean then maybe you even joke about them. But what if that person goes to the gym every day and actually just loss 50 pounds? What if they’ve been trying to get on the right track? Are they still lazy?  What if a person is very slim and “attractive” but happens to have an eating disorder? Are they healthy?  You can’t judge a book by its cover and if our society focused more on HEALTH  and not on WEIGHT, our obesity problem would probably be less severe.

For some reason around 2014 I started feeling really comfortable with what I looked like and who I was. I ate fairly healthy and was losing weight slowly but surely. This was the ONLY time period in my life (2012-2014) where I consistently maintained my weight without having to diet or exercise regularly. I had adopted a healthy lifestyle and it was starting to come naturally. Then in 2015 I decided to give the health food a rest and eat a cookie for once….which led to some cake….which led to many trips to Daddy’s Dairy, Wendy’s, Papa Gino’s and everywhere in between.  I called this my brownie cookie take-out diet (I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS).  That lovely diet lasted about 7-8 months and got me to my top weight ever, 270 pounds.  But you know what? During that whole time I never felt bad about myself. I felt a little guilty because I knew I should be eating better, but I never looked in the mirror and felt any form of worthlessness.  I  knew at that point that I would love myself no matter what I looked like.  I had learned what self-acceptance really meant and I treasured it.

I had learned to accept myself but I also accepted that at 270 pounds my body had reached its limit. Here’s where I emphasize the importance of being healthy.  I noticed the stairs seemed a bit harder lately, my knee problems had gotten worse, and of course, my clothes didn’t fit!  So I got off my Brownie Cookie Take-Out diet (jumpstarted by a green smoothie cleanse) and got back to healthy eating and I exercise when I can.  I’m now 260 and hopefully that number will continue to drop. I must say this is the healthiest I’ve felt in a long time and I can’t wait to get even better. I have no set goal and I’m not looking for specific results. Theres no pressure. I plan to listen to my body, do what feels right and most importantly, focus on overall health rather than where I tip the scale. In my opinion, Health and Happiness go hand in hand.

Only Black Girl

I walk into my job and turn the corner towards the offices, of which mine is last.

In one office I spy all my co-workers.

What is this? A meeting? No one told me…how typical.

Why does everyone look so emotional?? One is sighing with a look of perfect contentment.  Others make exclamations…”Wow…”  “How?…” “Why?…”

Has something happened? Is this a private intimate moment between friends? Has something miraculous occurred and I missed the memo?  Why am I the one always left out?

I walk closer.  Another co-worker bursts into hysterical laughter as the conversation continues in muted tones.

Perhaps this is a happy occasion.  Someone has good news?

I walk up to one of the group, a grin on my face, eager to join in the camaraderie, wondering what event impacted this weekday morning so much more than any other.

I whisper to him, “Hey, whatcha talkin about?”

He grins at me in sheer delight, “Paul McCartney :D”

……”oh”……..

*pops tongue and keeps it moving down the hall*

Fav Song of the Week 1/5/2016

Ok, I don’t really listen to Demi Lovato like that (I put most Disney/Nickelodeon stars in my “Give it a rest/Nobody gives a crap” music file. #noshade) but I happened to hear this song off her new album and was very impressed. She’s always been a decent singer but most of her music seems to hide the unique qualities of her voice and her skilled and emotive singing.  I honestly wish she sang more songs like this but, unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be her preferred style.  I’ll certainly be keeping an eye on her though!

 

20 Things You Should Know About Dating An Independent Girl

Thought Catalog

1. We need alone time. A little each day and more than a little on other days. It doesn’t mean we’ve lost interest in you.

2. We don’t mind if you don’t call or text us every second. We like it. We won’t be contacting you either. That said, if you’re late, don’t keep us guessing as to when you’ll show up as we’ll make other plans.

3. We can clean up our own messes. We’re not waiting around for you to fix our problems.

4. We are perfectly fine doing chores, running errands, and exercising by ourselves. If you want to join us, we’re glad to have you along, but don’t talk to us while we’re in the zone.

5. We sign up and attend charity events, races, and cultural exhibits on our own. We don’t need a date to feel comfortable at these things. Set us loose in…

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