Monday, December 31, 2012

Ugh, 2012

Me. Or something.

*Heavy sigh* 

2012 was tough.

I have never had a year that was pure struggle, pure heartbreak, pure lesson and really nothing else. And I didn't even have to leave my apartment to experience most of what I did. I only “worked” two months out of the entire year [and I walked away from both of those jobs], I dated and dumped three different boys, I said goodbye to a handful of friendships [one of nearly four years], I took an honest look at my life, reexamined my priorities and shaped myself up. I cleaned out my closet, minimized the "stuff" I was living amongst, and purged all the negatives lingering in my life along with all the barriers in my brain and the fears in my soul. [I guess I can go into specifics at some point!]

It was not easy. And I definitely wouldn't want to do it again... But it was worth it.

I have never had a year that revealed the real me more than this one. 2012 tested my intuition and it also tested how well I'd heed it... throughout lost friendships, broken relationships, and ill-fitting job opportunities. I said "No!" a lot... but with every goodbye came further clarity. With every heartbreak and hardship, what I needed in my life and who I really wanted to be became crystal clear. As the murky waters I'd lived in for so long washed away... the me at my core became the everyday normal me, instead of just the woman I dreamed of becoming.

I know I am always talking about personal growth and self discovery and blah blah blah... but this year was truly a major game-changer. So major that I'll admit something very embarrassing to you: I am used to skating by, meaning that I consistently give C effort and still ace whatever I'm up against. I have gotten where I am today by putting forth only about 25% of my full capacity. Maybe that's even being generous. The other 75% has been too absorbed in some combination of doubt, fear, laziness and excuses. It hit me that I will continue progressing at a snails pace if I don't do something differently. I have vowed that in 2013 [and henceforth!] I will nip the mental chatter in the bud and give 75% effort [not 100% - that's crazy - compromises people!] I am positive that in doing so, miracles will happen. To quote a fellow wise tweeter: “2013 is the year of manifestation.”

Here's one last gem for y'all this year:
“You need not fear the unknown if you are capable of achieving what you need and want.”
Reading this quote was like turning on the light in a room that had been dark for a few years. It helped me realize my power, and helped me realize fear was useless. The same strength, smarts and skill that have gotten me this far will take me the rest of the way. And that is that... Goddammit!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Things I do to combat stress

I don't smoke when I'm stressed. Say no to drugs kids!!!

Stress pretty much occurs when something/someone I care about has gone all wrong or when I can't have something I desperately want. Am I spoiled? No... I just want what I want.  

Here are some of the things I do when I just can't take it anymore!

If I can't locate a friend to blab at for a few hours, [friends which most likely have been chosen based on their superb listening skills], I'll write instead. Talking is actually easier for me, as I'll take time to explain what happened, and then explain how I feel and then dissect. And dissecting is always easier when I'm speaking all the details out loud, instead of typing them because when I'm writing I'm also concerned with making it all sound good. *shrug, I am a writer with an editor's eye after all. Whatever I end up doing, I know the important thing is to get it out. I think of sadness, disappointment, frustration and stress as a malleable anvil in my belly... one that makes its way out of my system piece by piece the more I talk about it. The more I release my feelings, the lighter I feel. That’s not the case for everybody, but that's why it's important to know yourself, what's effective for you and what makes you feel good. Learning yourself is a process, you see!

Badger the perpetrator: [aka the person who annoyed me or frustrated me to begin with]
Why talk the ear off of a perfectly innocent friend when I can just annoy the person who annoyed me, and bring their level of frustration up to mine so that we can be frustrated together? Who better to face my wrath than the person who incurred it? Now this might seem immature to some of you, and even pointless, but to be honest it's quite effective. Usually, the incessant and unforgiving nagging and badgering results in an apology, an explanation or some kind of mutual understanding. Here is one fact that you should know about me: once you've annoyed me and gotten on my “bad side”, I don't really care what you want to do about the situation, I'm just gonna do what I wanna do. Because your feelings are no longer relevant and I am a reckless individual.

Get proactive:
Is this a problem I can fix? Do I have control of this situation? Can I get of out this situation? If I can answer yes to any of these questions, I am on an action-taking mission like white on rice. Being proactive takes energy though, energy that I am sometimes lacking while in the middle of freaking out, so this usually happens after I've gotten all the toxic energy out of my system. Sometimes it takes a few hours to get to this point or a few days, but either way, I get there.

I used to be able to sleep the day and night away, hoping erroneously thinking that by the time I woke up, the issue would have miraculously solved itself. Of course it never vanished overnight, but at least I got to give my brain a rest from circling through it for a few hours. In the past I was able to sleep it off, but I find that I can't do that anymore. The irritable feelings sink into my subconscious now, and I'll toss and turn all night, my heart racing and every limb sweating. It's really disturbing actually. If anything, it forces me to be proactive sooner. My peace of mind is more important than keeping “peace” between me and the issue. Equanimity is the goal, and I'm truly relentless until I get it.

I used to daydream a lot as a child, something I just recently found out has a name: maladaptive dreaming. I'm not sure if my level of fantasy was as engrossed or as severe as what is described here but I definitely did fantasize a lot, and saw myself as a high-powered executive, complete with white pantsuit and a floor to ceiling glass-encased office. I saw myself as a chic city-dweller with a fabulous closet and fantastic friends. While the latter is certainly true, I'm working on the former. I don't daydream anywhere near as much lately. I'm not sure if it's because the fantasies don't hold as much weight now that I'm an adult with quite a bit of experience under my belt, or because I now know the amount of work that achieving those dreams actually takes. Or maybe it's because my head is preoccupied with all the million things I have to do on a daily basis? Who really knows. I miss it a little, but don't know how to fix it. As with everything else, I blame adulthood and the stress of the city

I left this one for last because it's the one I always forget to do. Even though I used to spend entire evenings in my youth blasting pop tunes on my mini boom box, I often forget how cathartic music can be. I really do feel like music is therapy for all the senses... and my favorite kind of tunes - funky R&B or danceable smoothness - really take me to another place. As an added plus, the kind of music I love always makes me wanna dance, which is another stress soother. Last Wednesday night I went out and made some new friends at No. 8, and then joined them for dancing at 1OAK. I was one of only a handful of people shaking my ass on the dance floor, but it didn't matter because I felt good... I felt great... and I felt free.

Friday, December 14, 2012

My name is my name

RIP BlueShame: March 30th 2009 - December 13th 2012

BlueShame. A lot of you discovered this blog when it had that somewhat melancholy and definitely made up word as its title. It will always have a special meaning to me, but as things moved onward and upward in my life, I felt like the quirky cynicism in "BlueShame" didn't fit me anymore. I wanted positivity, light, and something that made a bit more sense for a site that's just full of my thoughts and mandates.

All the easy stuff – etc - was taken, but I knew the new name would come to me eventually, so I tucked the thought in the back of my mind and handled all my other to-dos. Every now and then, I'd brainstorm again. And one night while lying in bed recharging, thinking and tweeting, “Known as Blue” dawned on me [because hey, I am known as Blue] and I jotted it down. Two days later, I made it official. The new blog name works beautifully for me and the site, because after all, this space is all about me, and both the name and the blog reflect who I am. [And as an added plus, no one on any social media accounts had it!]
"MY NAME IS MY NAME!" - Marlo “Black” Stanfield [aka one of my favorite fictional characters of all time – I respect him for his poise and skills in magic].
I also realized that if I was going to sell digital media packages to clients with a focus on building brands, I should hone my own first. My “name” became important. It's one of the first things that people online see, and the difference in response when introducing myself under one name versus another is already astoundingly noticeable.

I am 24 [and a half!] with my own wonderful place in my dream city and my own business. Plus, I have a crazy high self-esteem, a fabulous closet and real love from many genuine sources in my life. All things considered, I am living my dream. And actually, I'm probably living the dream of many daydreaming young ladies all over the world too.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know one thing to be true about me: I have a very high self esteem that I believe is truly unshakeable. I have gone through my fair share of tumultuous life experiences and the gamut of emotions as a result, and there was never a point where I loathed or even mildly disliked myself. I never lost faith in myself, if anything I lost faith in the world and what it had to offer instead. I consider myself extremely lucky to have been born this confident, and my undeniable allure is one of my most vital and cherished assets.

I mention this because I know that without this unrelenting faith in myself, I would not be where I am today, in any way shape or form. It took a lot of honesty, a lot of courage, a lot of focus, a lot of self-reflection, a lot of trial and error, a lot of quitting the things that didn't work and - even though I consider myself cautious and smart - a lot of learning things the hard way. The hurdles that I so painstakingly leaped over, and the challenges and walls that I beat down with my bare fists are the same ones that hold other people back everyday.

I hate to sound clichĂ© , but going after what you want in life is so worth it. This isn't a dress rehearsal. It's a one shot deal, and you either seize the day or get lost. I used to be confused as to why most entertainers would immediately go into the ugly cry upon accepting an award for their work, but now I understand. It's a struggle to climb to the top of that hill, but once you get there, all you can feel is an immense sense of accomplishment. Once you give yourself a moment and let it all catch up to you, you can finally taste the sweet sweet victory you hungered for, instead of the blood, sweat and tears you powered through for so long. 
“I left my entire family, got the cheapest apartment I could find, and ate shit until somebody would listen.- Lady Gaga
Depending on what you believe, the world is ending in one week. And even if it doesn't, a new year will be here in two. Take this time to think, plan and reflect. And then, when you are ready [or not]...

Make a name for yourself.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How to love me

“Neglect the whole world rather than each other.”
  • Recognize that I'm different.
  • Celebrate that I'm different.
  • Take care of me, my heart and my body.
  • Admire my body, brains, independence and accomplishments.
  • Be loving and sincere in your criticism.
  • Think of me.
  • Respect is just the minimum, respect my body, my opinions and my valid emotions.
  • Do not treat the word "love" lightly. If you say it, mean it, if you mean it, show it.
  • Encourage me.
  • Don't make me wonder if I'm one of many, let me know that I'm the only one, that I'm one in a million.
  • Hold me.
  • Never talk down to me.
  • Talk to me, engage me, ask me questions. Figure out what I like.
  • Be gentle.
  • Adore me with your words, touches and kisses.
  • Be thoughtful, kind and generous.
  • Show appreciation when I am thoughtful, kind and generous with you.
  • Be affectionate.
  • Enjoy my laid back demeanor but don't confuse that for anything goes.
  • Compliment me.
  • Show me new things. Excite me. Engage me.
  • Don't get too comfortable and don't stop trying to impress me.
  • Give me your attention.
  • Go out with me, explore with me, show me off.
  • Display your gratitude.
  • Make me and us high, if not at the top of your list.
  • Kiss me, suddenly. Always.
  • Be open and honest. Be straightforward.
  • Discover new things with me.
  • Tell me about yourself without me having to prod.
  • Share.
  • Be affectionate with me.
  • Cuddle with me. Sleep with me. [And make it count!]
  • Make me yours and only yours.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Plan of Mastery

Crossing the bridge into dreamland. [Photo by: Lanolan]

I know I've been quiet, but I've been busy. And when you're hungry, you don't talk, you eat.

I have a "Plan of Mastery" file I reference, that details all of my big and small goals and how to achieve them. I love the name of it as working on yourself is like painting a picture. A masterpiece, if you are so skilled. Or a "beautiful fresco" as a loquacious man once coined me.

Upon turning 24 and feeling like there were some huge chunks of my life "missing" [also the realization that the same things had lingered on my to-do list for YEARS now]; I felt like I needed to make a change. Especially with 25 looming, just under 6 months away.

So here are some of the changes I am making, some of which I've already implemented. A lot of these things are obviously, things that I've never done before - so here's to Winter 2012, all of 2013 and beyond:
  • Asking for help from family and friends and receiving it, accepting it
  • Trying non-conventional therapies and changing my realistic borderline pessimistic [anything that can go wrong will] thinking in order to allow growth, abundance and opportunity into my life.
  • Making money and investing it into further opportunities, saving money, squashing all debts once and for all.
  • Really honing in on my career desires, pursuing them, marketing them and myself.
  • Not settling! Not in gigs, not with clients, not in romance, not in friendship. I've always been good about this, but I need to watch out for the "exceptions" I tend to make.
  • Dressing in a more true fashion for me. More sophisticated, sharp and sleek, less girly, young and frilly.
  • Going by the sophisticated and real "Elle" vs the little too casual "Blue".
  • Challenging my own thoughts.
  • Stepping up my beautyifying game [regular hair masks, at home deep cleanse facials, using natural non-irritating products, eating better and more regularly, getting massages, doing acupuncture etc].
  • Letting my hair go long.
  • Accept the challenge of a dance class.
  • Being friendly, networking, and presenting myself as the ambitious and focused lady that I actually am.
  • Stop THINKING about goals, desires and plans past a certain point and take ACTION on them instead.
  • Give myself permission to be happy, loved and fulfilled.
  • Paring down my stuff and making moves more towards a more minimal lifestyle and household.
  • Truly owning my power as a sexy, bright and shining young woman.
  • Maintaining my health and taking better care of my physical body [regulating my food intake and paying attention to the kinds of foods I eat, getting a balanced level of sleep, maintaining regular physical activity, taking MSM and a multivitamin!] 
  • Going deeper with my writing, changing up my style making my entries a little more personal, challenging what I think I know about writing.
  • Making a plan and pursuing it until all options are exhausted.
  • Loving with no reservations and allowing myself to be loved.
  • Going to fucking Paris. Finally.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Lure of The Alpha Male

"Like a moth to a flame, burned by the fire..." [Photo by: Lanolan]

Oh, The Alpha Male. I didn't even know why men like this were so appealing until I met one this summer... and after I met him, I realized two things: One, this is probably why I was so smitten with this put-together but always unattainable kid from my past. [Despite being in his early 20s when we met, the young'n had a few distinctive alpha male qualities; he was confident, had good taste, was a leader amongst his peers and was good at thinking on his feet. We are no longer in touch - he literally disappeared off the face of the planet after I lent him $500 - but I sometimes wonder about him and what kind of man he will grow up to be.] And two, although this type of man is initially appealing, he ultimately isn't a suitable match for me.

Alpha Males are extremely enticing to both submissive females and alpha females [which is what I think I fall under]. They are usually sharp thinkers, with impeccable taste and style, known leaders, and are often employed in positions of power. Others look up to them, and they relish in their status as respected figures. They often possess great self-professed sexual skill, and word on the street is that they can often get a woman hooked on them through this alone. In short, they are alluring as all the fuck. Some Alpha Males are excellent partners and others fall into the Narcissist/Abuser territory - this blog post is intended to help other women figure out what kind of Alpha they are dealing with - and get out if necessary.

Just recently, I dated someone who embodied The Alpha Male through and through, so much so that it was even part of one of his nicknames. He was intelligent, cultured, stylish, passionate and ambitious. He was super into me and so dedicated to seeing me achieve my goals; that his daily support, motivation and advice bordered on the overwhelming. I realize now that he just wanted me to be happy and successful, but his methods made me feel unhappy and worn down. I was unheard, judged and endlessly criticized. I tried to walk away twice and was pulled back in by his "What ifs?" But one night, I put two and two together and realized he was dating me, some blankhead barbie and who knows who else... and it was exactly what I needed to say: "Enough" and toss his ass out of my life with both middle fingers raised and my eyes looking straight ahead.

The strength, style and power of an Alpha Male appeals to me, but it comes at the price of navigating his emotional unavailability, his need for complete dominance, and his lack of compassion/empathy. Just like any man, choosing to be with an Alpha Male is about determining what you can deal with. You can read more about your typical Alpha Male below. [I pulled this spot-on description from the very "girl power" sounding sisters of resistance blog.] I have italicized the experiences that I can relate to.

The Alpha Male is often intelligent, able to confidently discuss a wide range of issues and may be capable of critical thinking. For these reasons, he is a leader amongst his male friends and is respected by colleagues and family members. He is therefore not used to being challenged or disagreed with. He will always aim to maintain control of every aspect of your relationship, including frequency and length of visits and telephone interactions. He is mainly motivated by self-interest and is not a team player.

LIKES: Being in control, being waited on, being waited for, being the center of attention.

DISLIKES: Being wrong, being out of control, being questioned, any challenge or disagreement.

Pride. Confidence/swagger. Is a taker, not a giver. Never backs down. Appearance-centric. Recipient of frequent phone calls from others asking for advice. He avoids intimacy and is rarely honest and open with his feelings. In conflict situations, an Alpha Male will often simply ignore and/or avoid you if he suspects you are angry. He may then initiate contact on his terms when he assumes you have calmed down. Marks his territory by leaving clothing and accessories (shoes, jackets, sunglasses) at yours so he always has a reason to return. Will regularly cancel plans with friends, family, and lovers at a moment’s notice. He calls this behavior spontaneous, but is in fact insensitive and inconsiderate of those around him.

Interpersonal Skills – The Alpha Male is able to maintain the undying respect, loyalty, and dedication of those around him. This is done through a combination of emotionally manipulative and fear-inducing tactics he has been taught by men before him. You may be frustrated with his inability to say anything really nice to you but nevertheless still be taken in by his game. Learning to identify and take note of these tactics when they are utilized is a primary way you can begin to untangle yourself from their grasp.

Situational ManagementThere is never a situation The Alpha Male cannot handle. You may be impressed by the way he is able to deal with change, make decisions and have those around him carry them out. Good at thinking on his feet. 

Mind control & Altering reality – The Alpha Male has the ability to radically change your understanding of the circumstances or an argument. For example, he will be abusive to you and re-frame the situation so he is the victim. He will often alternate between abusive language, vicious attacks on you and your personality, and lies of affection and lies in the future, disorienting and confusing you, and replacing your thoughts with the false realities he has constructed. His aim with this tactic is to mold you into a submissive and fearful but still loving and affectionate object of his control.

Sex – The Alpha Male is often abnormally good in bed [or endlessly talks about how sexually skilled he is], and may even appear to know how to read your body, contributing to the illusion that you are meant to be together. If you encounter someone with these unusual skills, proceed with caution. 

Common Phrases
A. Nobody can tell me what to do / I’m my own man
B. I’m not ready / too selfish to be in a relationship
C. I’m not a relationship kind of guy

The Light and The Dark

This image is destined to become legendary. It is SO epic.

Hurricane Sandy came and she went – all without doing a lick of damage to my neighborhood or my property – which I am immensely grateful for as I know that many [including some of my friends and my entire family] did not fare so well. Last year, I worried myself half to death in preparation, but this year I handled the news of HAARP's Mother Nature's wrath in stride. It helped that I spent the entire duration [and then some] holed up in my apartment with my new beau, a man who was as much of a pleasant surprise to me as he now is to all of you. We spent nearly three days together [a total of 67 hours, to be exact] listening to new music, digging deeper into each others exquisite tastes, watching movies and YouTube clips, laughing, eating [nonstop eating] and getting to know one another, with not one dull moment in between all that activity. It was bliss, it was supremely invigorating, but more than anything, it was well deserved.

He came to stay with me again during the "Northeaster" we got this week, making him my official apocalypse cuddle buddy. Last night he treated me to red velvet Sprinkles cupcakes [yay!] and SkyFall [nay!], where we whispered sarcastic commentary to each other and spent the entire film with our arms delicately wrapped together. He is teaching me so much about true love, the important things in life and relaxation... and sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I had never walked away from my previous dalliance which was distressing and toxic, what would have happened had I never joined a dating site and took the time to look for love [despite my hesitation and fears], what would have happened if I had never taken a chance and introduced myself to this incredible man...

Well, I for one, wouldn't be falling madly in love at this very moment.

Living underwater.

I had a little restaurant gig I was doing mostly because I wanted some money coming in, and because I'd convinced them to pay me a hefty hourly wage. After Hurricane Sandy, that job vanished into thin air... and although I of course felt a bit of panic [nothing like steady money coming in to keep you in a shiftless and complacent stupor], I immediately felt relief. There was nothing really wrong with the place or the job... and that was the biggest indicator that the job wasn't enough for me... and that a "job" never ever will be.

And then, the next wave hit: old friends offered assistance, friends linked me with their connections, I set up phone meetings with fashion designers and voice over experts, and my Dad even decided to send me "a little something" to soothe the grand slam of Sandy. The tide had turned yet again, and it seemed as though New York City and I were repairing ourselves at the same damn time. [I hadn't realized the extent of the damage until I rode through pitch black downtown Manhattan on Halloween night. Those eerily dark streets are something I will never forget...]


Sandy grabbed me by the shoulders, looked me square in the eye and screamed "What are you waiting for?! Look at all these gifts you've been blessed with, that you're just wasting away. WHY?!" I didn't have an answer. So I took a deep breath and said "You're right. Enough living in the dark."

I guess there IS something to letting go of the things that no longer serve you, in order to make room for the things that will uplift you. Crawl away from the dark in your life and make your way towards the light. Good things [sometimes good beyond your wildest dreams] exist there.

P.S. - You know that saying: "Be careful what you wish for, cuz you just might get it?" THAT SHIT IS TOO REAL.

Friday, October 26, 2012

You gon get this werq

"All the magic I have ever known I have had to make myself..." - Lady Blue

Somehow I'd forgotten that I'm a muthaf*ckin magic maker. Listening to my first mind has been leading me in great directions, places full of possibility, opportunity and wonder; pockets of life that I always knew existed, but ones I was never fully sure how to find. 

My OKCupid profile has garnered lots of attention in the mere week I've had it up, but no one had caught my interest enough to seriously reply. Just as I was about to blog and lament over how bored/hopeless I was beginning to feel, my eye was immediately drawn to a tall [very tall - he's 6'4], strikingly gorgeous and stylish young man, who described himself as an "Individualist" and seemed like he possessed an artistic soul. Of course I was all ! GREEN LIGHT ! because I've always been a sucker for that je ne sais quoi, x-factor type quality that is as rare to find as it sounds. So when I do come across it I gush... and then I pounce. So I was all "Individualist, meet Anomaly", and he was all, "How would you like to get further acquainted?" and I was all "Fuck yeah! A bitch still got it!" We have talked every night this week for hours, and as long as it remains smooth and blissful, you'll see no slander here regarding him.

I met for coffee with a serious bibliophile today, someone who I'd probably never befriend in real life but was connected with through the power of the internet. He was literally, the third white man I have ever carried a conversation with in my life [crazy, huh?], and I was pleased that it went so well. He also mentioned that he reads and really enjoys my blog, and it confirmed my belief that my work does indeed appeal to all kinds of people. I'll be giving him writing assignments and critiquing his work, which makes me an Editor as of - today. [Yay!]

Someone left a comment inquiring about what's going on with the fashion company I kept mentioning on twitter. Well, I actually have a few options on my table right now... I'm in talks with a new client to potentially helm her fashion line, and I'm frequently in touch with the designer of the aforementioned line [whose pieces are edgy and bomb - at least according to the sneak peek I got]. All these collaborations take time you see... and when the projects finally bloom, I can guarantee that will be the first blog to know. And for the especially nosy, be aware that all of my official dealings and endeavors are fully catalogued here. [For those inquiring about Elle B. Consulting - my services are being fine-tuned. A relaunch is happening very soon!]

Speaking of projects... I'm filming next month. Don't ask me for what, because I'm not totally sure just yet, but keep an eye on that youtube account because juicy things are coming! A bitch trynna get famous, you see. [I didn't get that 'Notorious' necklace made a few years ago for nuthin!]

I have always wanted love/support and a fulfilling career, but I think now is the first time that I'm making a real, conscious effort to attain those things. By conscious, I mean that I'm paying attention, I'm not passively letting losers into my life because I think it's the best I can do or taking jobs "just for the money" or letting others write my life's rules. I'm laser focused on what I want, probably because I spent more time than I'd like to admit figuring out what I didn't want.

And I'm especially glad I made it a point to diversify my options and finally pursue my passions because after this Dominican nanny killed them two kids on the Upper West Side [and my personal nanny fiasco earlier this year], I don't have a shot in hell of getting hired to do that job again. But besides all that nonsense, it's just time. I'm 24 years old... Exactly 31 weeks and 1 day from my EPIC 25th birthday [which is on a Saturday next year!], and the countdown is all too real.

It's an exciting time my friends! I'm glad you're all here to share in this life-changing journey.

P.S. - How did I go from a down in the dumps funk to motivated, energized and excited?

Well, I remembered my extraordinary abilities [ie: my writing and other innate talents], I remembered that I had power ["When you feel like you can't go any further, just know that the strength that carried you this far will take you the rest of the way"] and I got reacquainted with my imagination and my literal and figurative dreams [the latter being something I hadn't done since I was an overeager teenager].

I'd fallen into the grave to begin with because disappointment had hit me tenfold, and that bummer from disappointment became discouragement - which then morphed into deep anger at what I felt were injustices in my life. I had let it all get to me [mistake #1!!!], and although I knew I would arise from the ashes eventually... I wasn't entirely sure when that would be. I snapped out of my funk much quicker than I'd intended to due to intense motivation and nagging from The Gentleman back in August. At the time, it was so overwhelming that it felt like water-boarding [it's still a sore spot for me], but him telling me I was a "fuck up" was the catalyst I'd apparently needed to stand up, regain my strength and prove him wrong. My friends and family are grateful for it.

And in some bittersweet way... so am I.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Your problem with other people is YOU

I'm tired of meeting people who make me feel like I need to go through hell and high water to get to know them. I'm well aware that most people “ain't shit”, as I've dealt with my fair share of them. [Ain't Shit Folks = individuals who are self-centered, dangerous, unreliable, disrespectful and wildly delusional – to name a few.] But as one of the rare “worth a damn” people out there, I hate having to come in and clean up the mess from the last guy or girl – so I choose not to do it anymore. It’s such an immediate turnoff now anyway. The Daily Love says “Go where the love is”, so I'm doing just that. [This is not a relationship specific topic, as this issue has arisen in a variety of my friendships as well.]

Fuck all you walls up, hands in the fighting position, impossibly high expectation having, jaded motherfucks - hear it from me first: you’re not worth it. [Don't get me wrong, everyone is worth an effort, but not all that extra shit. Who do you think you are anyway?] My only message to the jaded set is: You've been hurt? Newsflash, we've all been there. Now get the fuck up, brush yourself off and stop crying you weakling!

I'm here to announce that your problem with other people is actually... 

I know you're probably gasping and clutching your pearls, and some of you extra closed types probably wanna curse me out. But the reason why it's getting to you is because you know that I’m right. Heck, I wasn't too receptive to this idea either, as it seems to place all the blame on the victim and not the perpetrator... but since the only vehicle we are driving is our own, it makes sense that we're in charge of paying our own tickets when we fuck up. This was a lesson that I recently [and begrudgingly] learned myself.

First, recognize and accept three things:

You are the one who decides who you let into your life. You are the master of your domain, the guard at the gate. You are human and you are gifted with something called intuition, a gut feeling, your first mind. Did you know that by using this gift as a guide, you can choose to let people in or keep them out?! Now this doesn't mean you should be rude and ignore someone who says 'Hello’ because you're making an effort to screen and filter people, but it does mean that when the uninteresting party asks for your number or to take things further, you can smile and say “I'm flattered, but I'm not available.”

You can't change anybody –individuals can only change themselves – and usually only after some tumultuous shit goes down. Why? People are hard-headed and often stuck in their ways due to fear or ingrained habits. Do not let someone into your life thinking that with your magic touch, they will change. This is not likely to happen. [I don't understand where anyone gets off thinking that they can change someone. Why do people – especially women – think this? These are not children you are trying to mold – these are adults, with their own experiences, perspectives and histories. Let's toss out the notion of changing others completely, because it is false false false.]

Your fears will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. For example, if you don't trust anyone at work, then you will behave in a manner that corresponds with how you feel. If you don't trust someone it means you don't value them, and how do people treat things they don’t value? How do you treat something you consider garbage, useless or unnecessary? You disregard or toss it because it’s inconsequential right? That's how you will treat your co-workers, and they will respond to your dismissive behavior - most likely unfavorably - proving your worst fears “correct”: that people ain't shit. When in fact, if you had gone into the workplace with a clear head and no preconceived notions, the outcome would undoubtedly be different.

When you say:

“I don't trust people. Everyone is shady. People always have ulterior motives. I am very guarded. People have made me put walls up. People always want something from me. People abused me. People hurt me. People betrayed me. I can't get over the way people treated me. I will never forgive this person. Everyone's out to get me.”

What you really mean is:

“I don't trust my own judgment. I am not in touch with my gut/intuition. I don't know how to tell the difference between a beneficial relationship or a detrimental relationship. I am emotionally retarded. I like to experience things the hard way. I think I can change this person. I like to sabotage my peace and happiness. I refuse to learn. I'm looking for perfection not a human.”

The truth is, if you trust your intuition, you will be able to tell who is trustworthy or not by just paying attention to what they say and do. Even if you aren't sure immediately, know that these things come to light eventually. “When you see a red flag, it's probably good idea to stop.” - The Daily Love. If you're not in tune with yourself, you'll paint everyone with the same brush – you'll get what you're looking for from some [while falsely accusing others] - and end up disappointed, hurt and lonely every. single. time.

I'll use myself as an example. I was in a deep funk this Spring/Summer, which was brought on by various disappointments and various shady characters. It got to the point where I hated the world and practically every person alive in it. But after emerging from the cloudy haze, I realized that some of those situations could have been avoided if I hadn't been so desperate and if I had only heeded the clues. Here is what went down with two of the aforementioned shady individuals:

In April, I took a job as a nanny for a seemingly laid-back couple on the Upper East Side. They had just moved from San Francisco and seemed fair, hip and sane. The Mom [aka "The Defendant" for the purposes of this story] was talkative, if a little nervous-seeming during the training week, but otherwise cool. It wasn’t until she went to work and I was alone with her baby that she started acting cunty. [Not to mention the child was a nightmare – she cried for hours and her voice was so hoarse from screaming that I seriously thought she was ill.] The baby was 3 months old but looked double her age, and the only thing she wanted [and that soothed her non-stop wailing] was her bottle. I felt so uncomfortable feeding this already huge baby all day long, but her parents insisted I give her what she wanted. I wasn't comfortable with most of their parenting techniques and found a lot of their mandates to be excessive, unnecessary and even harmful. Four days into the job, I walked out and let the defendant know I wouldn't be returning, after one particularly inappropriate display of behavior from her. [She came home and began to bark at me about some made-up neglect that never ever happened - check the building cameras!]. A few days later, I notice the culprit behind the mass “So-and-so has declined your application” emails I'd been receiving: a “review” by the Mother accusing me of monetary greed and child abuse. I was appalled, stunned, furious. And after I picked my jaw up off the floor, I sent her this: 

I had every intention to sue her for attempting to ruin my spotless record. I had scheduled an appointment with a lawyer, but gave the defendant one last chance to rectify the situation before her daughter's college fund ended up in my pocket. The review was removed right after I notified her and her husband of my plans.
In hindsight: The mother seemed cold, detached and disinterested throughout the initial interview, and super vigilant during the trial period. Not to mention, I was actually her second fucking choice for a nanny – her first choice had 'chosen another family', and her very first nanny didn't work out, making me this family's third nanny in only 6 week. Scary.

This summer, I sublet my apartment to a kid I barely knew but who seemed safe enough. The whole thing kinda fell apart and he ended up staying for one month instead of the original two, both of us sharing my tight space because there wasn't enough money to go around. Even after everything blew up in my face and I was no longer able to go to Miami, I still gave him a discount on his rent. He was mildly irritating and laughably judgmental here and there, but we got along well enough. Well, all it took was his security deposit being one week late for his immature and reckless side to come out in all its glory. I got texts from him displaying the sass and attitude you’d expect from Honey Boo Boo, and not too long after, he posted an ad soliciting sex on craigslist along with my picture, twitter handle, number and hometown. I knew it was him because unbeknownst to his stupid ass, only three people have that delicate combination of my personal information – and he was the only one out of the trio who had something against me. Thanks to him breaching our contract and making threats to me online, my debt to him has vanished into thin air, and I've obtained an actionable restraining order.
In hindsight: I had always found this kid to be erratic and highly annoying. He would often IM me out of nowhere, ask me a bizarre question and then sign off almost as quick as he had popped up. He thought he was sooo witty and sooo intellectually advanced, but he wasn't. He's a young dummy who'll go to jail if he even dares say another word to me.

And let's not even count the amount of guys who told me “I'm not looking for a relationship” within the first 24 hours, yet my lust-struck ass always stuck around for a few more weeks anyway. Or the countless insecure female friends who secretly seethed every time they saw me, and lashed out [consequentially ending the "friendship"] the first chance that they got. [People who are "guarded" are so paranoid that they will attack before they are attacked, you understand?]

The lesson here? Listen to your intuition about people, follow it, and never mind what the person in question will think about it. If you are wrong, you can always say sorry and return. But if you are right, your first mind will lead you away from the rats and the snakes and save you much heartache and drama in the meantime. Go where the open hearts are and don't bother knocking on locked doors. Misery deserves no company.