Friday, February 9, 2018

Memories Should Be Cherished

It was the fall of 2005. I had just moved into my dorm earlier that day and was already heading to my first club experience. The club was a hole-in-the wall located in walking distance from the campus. The girl I was heading there with lived two doors down from me in the dorm. She was also a familiar face, so I was excited to be experiencing this special moment with her.

I didn't know her, but I'd met her earlier that summer during college orientation. The fact that we had met that summer and were living so close during our very first year of college made me think we'd be friends for a long time.

We made it to the club. The smell of weed smoke and alcohol was thick. A lot of people stood around both inside and out. The club, which had a name that sounded like a church, was very small. Being inside of it made me feel claustrophobic. Not much dancing was happening, so I figured others must have felt the same way.  I wasn't sure about her, but I was out of my element.

After that night the two of us were good friends for several weeks. Then we started hanging with others. Well, I was young and couldn't deal with having issues with someone that lived so close to me so I started spending my time in other places where I could meet new people.

I haven't talked to her in a long time, but I like hole-in-the-wall clubs now.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Advertising The Old Fashioned Way (Or Trying To)

There is a meme going around about Chinese restaurants. It goes something like:

 "I've been alive for __ years and I've never seen a Chinese restaurant commercial."

While the meme is true for many of us, we have seen ads from Chinese restaurants. They advertise via flyers on our doors, in our mailboxes, and sometimes they leave the flyers on our cars. One restaurant regularly passes out a menu at the drive-through when customers are getting their meals to go. So while the meme is interesting, we know these restaurants actually pay for advertisement and make sure the words gets around about them. 

This year I decided to utilize the tactic of paper flyers and try to get the word around that way about me. How else are new people going to find out about this amazing writer? By using social media, I'm only enticing the people that already know about me. I have no problem with receiving the support of the ones that already care, but I also recognize I need new faces in order to elevate my life. I need more buyers in order to get my lifestyle to where it needs to be. 

I didn't make colorful flyers though. I just created some new business cards and was determined to pass them out. I wanted to purchase more books and walk around looking for readers with cash like New Yorkers do, but that's not how it works in Houston. So I created colorful cards and looked for a good spot to pass them out at. 

What I should have done was go to a popular club area and stick the cards on doors like strip clubs owners and realtors trying to gentrify a new area do. Maybe I'll do that soon. However, I chose to find a spot and pass out the cards to people walking by. I knew bouncer at a bar, so I sat next to him one night. 

I wasn't ready. I wasn't brave enough. That night I handed one card to a college student carrying a bag  full of stuff. She stopped to speak to the bouncer, so I found out a little information on her. 

While it was cool handing out that one card, the bar was ultimately not a good idea. It was filled with lots of people on the verge of being drunk and many talking and walking by fast. It was too much for an introvert like me. 

I'm going to try this again one day in a calmer area. Wish me good luck on my career. Oh, and if you haven't gotten your copy already, grab your copy of Woman Manifested: A Poetic Tale today. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Making People Seem Better Than They Are

In this current season of Chicago Fire there's a new recurring character by the name of Hope. Her friend Sylvie Brett, who already works for the fire station, helped her to get the job as an assistant at the station.

Sylvie speaks highly of Hope even after finding out that her friend supposedly stole $10,000 from her last employer. She doesn't want to believe her friend would do such a thing. Sylvie still wants to believe in her friend after one of the fire fighters paychecks turns up missing. At the end of that particular episode Sylvie confronts Hope, and then once she's gone Hope shreds the evidence that she had the paycheck all along. The final straw is when Hope forges someone else's signature to get a fire fighter moved to a political position. 

In her first several episodes on the show, Hope went from the nice friend to a conniving woman that had to go. However, this isn't really about her. This is about Sylvie's perception of her. Sylvie wanted to support her friend. She wanted to believe her friend couldn't be doing terrible things to make herself appear better than she really was, or anything to ruin others around her. She gave her friend the benefit of the doubt and even though this is a fiction show, Sylvie is a symbol of those of us who do it way too often in real life. 

I'm one of those people that have given others the benefit of the doubt and had the reality of bullshit people thrown in my face. For instance I recently unfriended several people that landed in my vision because of Facebook groups. One of those people requested me after getting kicked out of a group and starting his own. He needed members. I don't know why he picked me to be one of those members if he didn't even like me, or why he wanted a Facebook group full of people he doesn't even value. I gave him the benefit of the doubt by joining his group, and even showing up to one of his events, but obviously I was being gullible. 

Actually there's a huge trend going on online where people connect themselves to others they have no actual respect for. One of my goals for the future is to learn how to spot them better and get them out of my vision, but for now I recognize I have a problem. 

I know I've talked about online drama a lot, but that's where the drama tends to happen. I used to have the drama in real life, but I learned to protect myself from the real life frenemies. Now I just have to get better at protecting myself from the online crazies. 

Although I have my issues with being too nice, it really hurt me when one of my Facebook friends shared a story recently about what she is currently going through. Well, she's been talking about her issue for some time now. I hope she's okay with me telling her story. She's an author that I look up to a lot. She's also a very nice lady that is fighting for social security disability coverage. 

Well, in recent times she's had trouble with the judge over her case, her lawyer, and making sure all her paperwork was getting done. 

One of the ways she has shown how overly nice is, is by doing the paperwork when her lawyer wasn't taking care of it. In a status she actually mentioned how the lawyer had just had a new baby, so she understood her needed time to bond with his family. Unfortunately in what I call a jackass move, after that the lawyer decided that he could no longer work with her. 

While it bothered her, and would bother anyone, she tried to positively move forward. However, hours before deciding to write this, she put up a new status. In her new status she said the lawyer filed papers to get her case dismissed. This was all after she had been doing the work toward the case herself and saying positive things about him to make herself feel better about her extra work. 

There's nothing we can really do to stop people from being assholes. However, we can stop giving them the benefit of the doubt; stop convincing ourselves that they are actually nicer than they really are. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Some People Only Want The Illusion That They Hurt You

It's a 15 minute break at work. A comment I made on a post in a Facebook group is a problem for someone else. The comment was not directed toward them, but they got offended. That person gets mad and starts calling me names. Usually in these circumstances they use phrases like, "You're ugly," and "Nobody wants you." I think of replying, but again it's a 15 minute break. I have to use it wisely, so I scroll through my timeline looking for posts that appeal to me until I have to get back to work. 

It's a post in a women-only Facebook group designed for women to compliment each other. I compliment a woman and she responds with gratitude. A few minutes later someone reports my comment as spam. I'm not sure if they had a problem with me or the woman I complimented with. However, it's just a post in a group. I move on. 

There are discussions about serious matters going on throughout the internet. The subjects can range from sexual assault to politics and religion. I comment sometimes. I read the comments. These subjects bring out lots of emotions and of course lost of online arguing. 

What do you do when people taunt you on the internet? Do you take their bait and argue? Do you log off? 

I prefer to log off. 

I spend a lot of time on the internet. Sometimes I spend way too much time staring at vacation photos of celebrities and people working regular jobs like me. I tune into their beautiful wedding photos and the photos of their bad hair days. I also give them glimpses of my life in the form of photos, tweets, and status updates. I allow them to jump into my inbox to have more private discussions and I share with them.  I also make enemies on the internet. 

You remember those enemies you made in school? The bullies? Their goal was to taunt you until you had a face full of tears . They threatened to beat you up and some were brave enough to actually do it.  I only got threats. They didn't like you and didn't want anyone else to like you either. 

Well, the enemies moved to the internet. They believe in being petty and giving the illusion they won a fight with you. They taunt you into arguments on the internet or try. If you don't respond back, they assume they won a battle. I'm cool with that assumption. They can have that illusion. In 31 years I've never been a physical fight, so I'd rather not engage in online fights either. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Upgrading My Lifestyle

A college classmate recently got engaged and did a Facebook live video about it. She talked about how she went through struggles and one day decided to change her mindset. She started focusing on the future to make her happy. Part of that future involved a husband. Even though there was no man for her to marry at the moment, she would think about the kind of man she wanted and even window shop for things he might like. It set her mind up for how far she has come. I've been taking on a similar mentality.

I'm not where I want to be in life. I don't have the perfect job and I definitely don't have the man of my dreams. However, in this year of 2017 I started making baby steps to getting my life closer to my dreams. One of those adjustments was Valentine's Day.

I didn't have a man on Valentine's Day 2017. However, I did have a concert ticket to the Keith Sweat concert. The concert featured Avant, Bobby Brown, and of course Keith Sweat. It was something I could dream of doing with a significant other and also something I enjoyed very much. So I went by myself. This was actually the first time in my 30 years of life that I did something centered around love on a holiday about love. Maybe for year 31 I'll do the same and maybe I'll even have a date.

Okay, I'm lying a little. Although it would be good to have a significant other to go with me, I just really wanted to go. I was and am tired to waiting on a man, or even friends, to suggest events I love.

A few other things I've done this year are my NYC birthday trip, comedy shows, and most recently went to a Je'Caryous Johnson play for the 3rd time.

All of these things costs money, but they are an upgrade in lifestyle that I appreciate. For example, depending on the nightclub I could put on anything. But when going to a stage play I get to look fancy and be around other people that are looking fancy.

Now, I just have to figure out how to add more money to each paycheck, so I can afford to enjoy more of these activities.

P.S. I have baby fever really bad. That's normal at age 31, right? Anyway, my mom has said that I would have to slow down if I had a child. However, I was in a restaurant recently. A woman walked into the restaurant with two small twin boys. There's hope for me after all.

Have you been doing anything to upgrade your lifestyle?