Category Archives: blog

2017 Online Dating (The Struggle Continues)

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Hey blog readers,

As many of the faithful readers know, this is not my first rodeo when it comes to online dating. It can kind of be like a fun house at times where I am just running to get to the end.

I have a lot of friends who have found much success and happiness through online dating. So after hearing about some good news from a highly respected friend, I reached out to her and she suggested, you guessed it, online dating. So I decided to create new profiles. These profiles are okay and pretty light(in my opinion).

Immediately, guys wanted me to come over to their homes that night(which I politely declined). One guy politely asked for a date days in advance(which I agreed to). This afternoon I spoke to another friend who is online dating and she gave me some tips. It is okay to have standards and be honest about what you are looking for(since I am not looking for anything casual, I can’t put short term relationship on my profile).

So, this morning a guy messaged me and we had basically an introductory convo. Well, after a few back and forths, he mentioned that he was only looking for something casual because he had just gotten out of a long term relationship. I feel like this is the line that most guys who are online dating give to me, so I told him, that was what I was expecting(because I hear it so often) and that I was just looking to date. So, of course, I mention this to my friends online. Well, when I brought it up to my friend who is online dating, she said, no, not all men were looking for something casual. That in fact, some men are looking to settle down. She said that the only men who contact her, are those who are looking to settle down. So, while my friend clearly made me change my mind, the guy messaged me and mentioned some other “criteria” that he was in search of, which I did not fit, so alas, there was no match.

I can’t see women’s profiles but men’s profiles range from empty to unicorn status(meaning they are looking for someone who doesn’t exist or someone who isn’t single). The response time is interesting as well. Some will reply quickly, some take a bit of time, and others not at all(I guess that is the name of the game). So, my goal this time around, is to see just how long I can last(3 months, 6 months, 1 year?) because usually I bail after a week(or after Sgt. Pepper’s profile pops up). Now, years ago, I think the longest I had profiles up was 6 months or so(don’t quote me).

Now you might be asking, “But didn’t you denounce online dating?”, and the answer is “Why, yes, yes I did”. But here’s why I can’t completely let go of it(for now), I am not meeting people in every day life and no one is introducing me or setting me up with people in every day life. So, I really don’t have many options. Now am I open to meeting someone in every day life? Absolutely.

Life is just like a roller coaster and sometimes all we can do is hold on for the ride.

 

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2017 The Road To Dissertation Defense

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Hey blog readers,

I just realized that I had not provided any dissertation updates. In April of 2017, I successfully defended my research proposal. Since then, I have been writing and editing in order to craft my dissertation into something substantial. First and foremost, it has to be readable. That means, I have to make all of my thoughts make sense.

While I am attempting to do that, life continues to happen. Nothing too spectacular, just the normal busyness of life with some added anxiety of the job market. I am applying to a number of places. I re-dyed my hair so that it would be one color(well, let’s just say my hair laughed a lot). Overall, it sort of is the same shade.

I am also training for a marathon with a friend long-distance(this will be her first marathon) and I hope to be healthy enough to cross the finish line. This past year(along with recovering from the car accident), I have been dealing with a lot of calf tightness. It has forced me to walk a lot and do other exercises. At this point, it manages to alert me during part of the first mile and then diminishes. It is so annoying.

 

Acceptance By Any Means

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I am really good at a lot of things. But acceptance really isn’t one of them. In recovery we say “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”. What if serenity is elusive?

It has been two years since one of my oldest friendships ended(and it feels like ten years) and all I can think and feel is the core of me is garbage. My friend accepted all of me, even my core of garbage until she couldn’t anymore. Today I wonder how long she suffered under my garbage. I reached out to some friends for sage advice. I mentioned my mistakes and how I have tried to reach out over the past two years and you know what they said? They said that I have to stop. I have to let her go. I have to let her be in her serenity. And while I don’t have a deep grasp on serenity, I have to give that to her. The thing is, I can give that to her. I can give that to her and accept my garbage. Because at the end of the day, it’s just my garbage.

Who cares what I miss. I should have thought of that at the time, what I would miss, what I would lose, what I would not become but I couldn’t see it because I was blinded by my own garbage. I am a trash person and my core will be trash. The garbage is not to be celebrated, but it is to be learned from. So going forward, I have to continue to learn from my mistakes big and small. I also have to show more gratitude for those who choose to be in my life garbage and all. I am very thankful for them and I probably wouldn’t be able to even look half way decent if it weren’t for the great people that are in my life in these moments. Yes, you win some and you lose some. I definitely lost. That’s also the story of my life, I have lost a lot. But being a loser doesn’t give me the right to treat anyone badly. So I attempt to walk forward not adding harm to others. Some days are quite easier than others.

Let us walk toward serenity by any means.

Headspace

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This weekend was wild. It was filled with adventure but at the end of the day, I was still left with me. I recently started back online dating. I’m doing a better job of filtering. It’s like a spidey sense of sorts.The first date was with a guy who looks just like one of my friends. The conversation flowed as much as it could in an overcrowded spot. He asked great questions. Nice guy. At the end, he said we should hang out again. Cool.

The next day, tons of guys are interacting with me and texting me. It’s a circus. Then the sky parts and in walks Mr. Darcy. I’m a huge Jane Austen fan. So we end up talking about books and Mr. Darcy hates Jane Austen! I’m shocked because he is literally Mr. Darcy.

Well, Mr. Darcy and I are too matched. Have you ever met someone who could check off all of the boxes? That’s Mr.Darcy. The problem is he knew it. So all of my insecurities just flooded to the surface. I think it happened after Mr. Darcy said I deserved respect. Well, I just lost it(on the inside). So I resigned myself to not being good enough for Mr. Darcy.

Now, you would say “What are you even talking about?”. Well, let me explain. Mr. Darcy is great(I am too on paper). But in reality, I am flawed, needy, and broken. I am so broken that even though I put on a very good face, at the end of the day, I am trash and all of my exes can probably vouch for that.

See, here’s what I do, I try to be and give another person all of the good that I can muster from any corner of myself, and they don’t want it because it is deeply flawed. Then, I realize oh yes, that’s why no one wants me and I am back to my default, rinse and repeat.

Then I woke up and had an existential crisis on the way to work. I cried all the way to work. Because it’s easier to do that instead of just seeing it for what it is and just saying hey, it’s just not the time. I realized that I can’t be mad at the men who catcall me on the street hundreds of times per day because they don’t know me, they just see a part of me and that’s it. I can’t be mad at the men who are online dating and message me just to hookup because they don’t know me and they just see a part of me that seems pleasing at the time and I do better when I just don’t respond. I can’t be mad at my exes because they realized that in fact, no I was not enough for them because they only saw a few parts of me that were enough and I didn’t have enough of anything else to hide my true self.

At the end of the day, I can only be mad at myself. Because I am everything that no one will ever want. I am too loud, too smart, too crass, too fat, too not quite pretty, too you just fill in the blank. I can always work on myself but there are parts of me that won’t ever change. What’s left is what I have to live with. Do I hate myself? Not quite, let’s say I love 90-95% of myself and wish I could get rid of 5-10%.

My friends picked me up and said I am enough. So I have to act like I am enough. And that is challenging. That’s why it is easier to be single because I can ignore the parts of me that I hate. I don’t have to compare myself to all of the other people who manage to find someone.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to.

Fin

 

 

 

Equality In The Church

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*This blog post was submitted to The Junia Project for a blog contest. You can find out more about the Junia Project at http://www.juniaproject.com

Women’s Equality in the Church aka There would be no church without strong women

Countless women are named in the Bible and esteemed by God and Jesus in both the Old and New Testaments. Growing up in very conservative congregations, I could only read about these strong women because women were given minor roles in the living church.

While girls in the church weren’t always explicitly told what our roles were to be, they were mostly unspoken. It was just assumed that we would be in relationships where the man was the head and women ultimately did not have much say. We were told to dress chaste as to not tempt men in the church but men were not told to be respectful of girls and women as to not enter into temptation.

The first missionary I ever met was a girl who spoke about her mission to Japan. I don’t remember what the missionary shared but at that time, I knew that I wanted to be a missionary no matter what. No one asked me when I was young what my plans were but I was ready with an answer if ever I should be called upon.

From a very young age, I assisted and took care of children, from babysitting, to nursery, to teaching Sunday School, AWANA ministry, you name it, if it involved children, I was there helping out. This service to the church extended to my late twenties.

When I transferred to college to finish my Bachelors degree in Christian Ministry, I was just sure that I would end up doing some sort of ministry somewhere. I assisted informally with my church’s youth ministry and when a more formal position became open I found myself not selected in favor of someone who had a better look (but not theological studies or even youth ministry experience). In that moment, I was so devastated that I knew I was having a mild heart attack (it was one of those votes that came before the whole church). That became a defining moment for me not just as a woman but as a Black woman. Many women in the Black church are able to hold the position of minister but are often not tasked with major ministerial duties. I knew that it would be more like Children’s Ministry although I applied for Youth Ministry positions as well. As I applied for ministry positions, I ended up getting one interview at a local congregation for Youth Ministry. Well, I did not get the job. In fact, I think I was just interviewed for the position because there weren’t many applicants. At that moment in time, I knew that there would never be a place for me in ministry and I stopped trying. I completely gave it up. Here I was with a newly minted degree and nothing to show for it (the true story of my life). I later segued into education and faced other hurdles and barriers which would be a whole other blog post.

As long as I have been a member of a church, women have been regulated to supporting roles (until I met women Presbyterian ministers). It took women ministers to reaffirm to me that truly God calls all of us and not only that has given us all gifts that can benefit all who need them. In contemporary churches, women preachers are some sort of enigma who has massive followings and money to basically do what they want (as long as they don’t go too far ala anyone who has a strong opinion that goes against accepted church teachings).

Continuing to relegate women to second class roles not only in the church but in society perpetuates a standard of living that is not only un-Biblical(if we are truly living out Christ’s teachings) but also weak. Because without the inclusion of strong women in positions of leadership not only in the church but also in society, we continue to set a disastrous example for future generations that will not have as strong of an impact on the world than an egalitarian position would. When I read the Bible, I see men and women as equal because that is what God teaches. Equality in the church is not something that we can continue to wish for and hope for some time in the future, it is a standard that we have to uphold now in order to move forward in a direction that will be empowering for both men and women.

Perpetuating inequality in the church is a true bastardization of God’s word and anyone who continues this practice will have to ultimately answer to God for it. This does not mean that these views should be allowed to have such a loud and smothering voice in the church, but rather, the views for equality and justice have to speak even louder, even when it hurts.

 

2017 Reflections

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As I attempted to update some blog posts, I realized too late that I ended up deleting a second page where I was sharing academic updates. So, due to not being able to retrieve that page, I am just adding all of my posts(academic and non academic) to this page with all of the others posts. So simple, yet not quite what I had planned.

Just like this year it seems. Nothing has quite gone as planned in this new year. It has been a series of twists and turns with a lot of laughs and tears along the way. Oh yes, that is also a theme of my journey to Ph.d. It is twisty and turning in so many different ways that hopefully lead to a great result in the end. Forgive me if anything I share is repetitive because I really can’t remember the last time I made a blog post in 2017(did I? oops).

Okay so in 2016, I entered my third year of doctoral studies. In the Fall of 2016 I *insert drumroll* passed my Comprehensive Exam! Whoo! Also, for the last year or so I have updated my dissertation proposal and it has officially been sent to my dissertation committee members. In 2017 I presented my research at our Applied Demography Conference and it was a hit! In the next few weeks I will defend my dissertation proposal and present my research at a Social Science Conference. I also have been wrangling with data(per usual) and writing along with brainstorming for more writing.

Thank you to everyone who continues to check out my blog(even if it may be on accident). I really appreciate it and hope to bring even more great content soon.

Peace, Love, and Tacos

Whose Voice Matters?

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As we go through life one day at a time, there will be competing voices trying to turn us toward their direction. The good, the bad, the ugly. These voices can sometimes be amplified depending on our point in life. Also, I can’t forget our own inner voice. Which demands to be listened to in one form or another.

I have been tasked with the challenge of reducing my time spent on social media. To me, that is akin to torture aka a new level of Dante’s inferno. I never see other people being asked to do such things. I usually see people deciding on their own to do it.

Here are some pros and cons:

Pro: I have a lot of people I consider friends on social media

Con: I could do a purge

Pro: Comps and dissertation 

Con: Stress outlet

Pro: I can work on minimizing

Con: Why am I still listening to others?

So these are some of the thoughts that swirl around my head when I’m not in pain or super anxious.

Have you ever been told that you spend too much time on social media? If so, how did you cope?

Peace, Love, and Smoothies 🙂