“To touch the hem of her garment…”

So last week on Facebook I saw this post from OWN asking for Chicagoland folks who were interested in attending tapings of Oprah’s Lifeclass. In this post, there was a link to the topics that this first week of Lifeclass would encompass, the one that stood out to me immediately was Karma. I always say that “Karma is nothing like what is is expressed in that dreadful Alicia Keys song”, but have never really understood the full definition of Karma. Just the old “what goes around comes around” adage.

Lifeclass was going to take a look at the scientific, biological, and metaphysical definitions of the word as well as its occurrence in every day life. So I was definitely down. I filled out the form, adding a blurb stating that I was never really clear on karma & would like more information. I was also interested in the fact of how karma tends to be framed in modern day society. It’s almost like a punishment or condemnation as opposed to how I interpreted it on my own to simply just be every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

Well fast forward to 30 minutes later when I get a phone call from a random 312 number that I do not recognize on my cell phone. Answer it warily, and it’s a person from the audience department from Harpo. *cue the shock and awe* We chat a bit about my feelings about karma and I bring up the points mentioned above. Apparently, they’re looking for folks who are confused as shit because the lady on the other end says I’d be a good fit for the audience and someone will contact me with details about the taping closer to the time. I didn’t exactly believe it, so I kept it close to the chest. This part all happened last Thursday and I told a grand total of 2 people. Normally, I’d be shouting this from the rafters, haha!

Fast forward to Monday when I get the definite, YOU’RE (+1) IN! I immediately shot up from my desk and turn to my coworker Catherine shrieking with glee. She was one of the two I told. Next up was calling Veepy coz she’s always my +1 on these things. After about 4 calls from Harpo changing the time, Thursday finally arrived. I had no idea of what was going to happen, but I was feeling kind of anxious about the entire thing. I was uneasy all morning at work (even more than usual, ha!). Quick lunch w/ Veepy @ the Flat Top Grill & then we headed across the street to Harpo. Wait wait wait, then head into the studio.

Since Rosie is taping, we weren’t in the main studio. I knew it’d be an intimate audience but I had NO idea how intimate. There were maybe 35 folks in the mini-studio. Eep! Get lead to our seats and we’re first row, right behind Ms. Winfrey. EEP!!! We fangirl out at this fact, then look forward to the show. Oprah’s joined by movie director Tom Shadyac who is HILARIOUS. The discussion on Newton’s Third Law of Motion aka Karma bka “what goes around comes around” took a few dips and curves, but was interesting. There was a woman who felt she was in a karma rut, another who saw her karma shift once she stopped being a mistress, and one woman in particular who neither Veepy nor I really liked with a heartbreaking story. You have to tune in! The airdate is early November. We were told the 10th, but it wasn’t set in stone.

The underlying tone of the entire show though was to be aware of the energy that you are emanating. Well, let me tell you guys that I must’ve been putting out hella good energy coz…OPRAH TOUCHED ME Y’ALL!!!!! I also got a random hug from Tom Shadyac. But really…back to what’s important. Let me rewind a bit. So there’s a Q&A session at the end of the show. It wasn’t being taped or anything (I don’t think), but I had a idea that it’d happen thanks to the conversation I had w/ the woman from Harpo. So all show I’d been thinking of the right way to formulate my question in a way that made sense and didn’t make me look like a rambling idiot. Well…ok… *looks at blog archives*I am a rambling idiot at times, but whatevs.

So anyway, folks are answering questions, Oprah & Tom are answering. I sense it’s winding down so I finally raise my hand. I did so at the same time as another chick, so Oprah is all “Ok we’re gonna wrap this up now so let’s take you *points to other chick* and you *points to me*”. If I could have done a celebratory bogle without looking like a damn fool, I’dve done it. Alas, I just shifted in my chair while rehearsing what I’d ask in my brain before I had to actually speak. They finish answering the other chick’s question and attention is directed to me.

I failed at being a rambling idiot, by the way. You would too if you were speaking to one of your life’s idols and that person is giving you direct eye contact the entire time. SHIT MAN! So I finally get to the root of my question and Oprah simply says “Because they don’t understand.” Inside I’m like “FUUUUUUUU, I probably looked like the biggest dummy. This question is stupid. OMG ruined chance!” Outside, I smile nod & wait for more. And there was more…Oprah goes on a tangent and I quite possibly black out. I only remember sitting when she was halfway through her train of thought because I was shaking so hard I thought I’d fall over.

After that she thanks everyone for coming and being her first live audience since the end of TOWS. She goes up to the guy next to me and gives him the Oprah patented double high five, hands clench, bring it down and around to a double handshake maneuver. If you follow Lady O like I do, you understood everything in that previous sentence. I thought she was gonna stop at him, but SHE CAME OVER TO ME, DOES THE SAME THING, AND WHISPERS THANK YOU. Listen…y’all…I was done after that. Nobody could say anything to me. I’m sure I had the biggest grin of life on my face. Veep was on the other side of me, but I don’t even know if she got some  O lovin’ coz shortly after she moved on, tom Shadyac comes over and envelops me in the hugest hug. Then begins talking to me about the “be”s in the Sermon on the Mount and how they’re directly related to the law of cause and effect. Again, I had to have been giving off hellaciously good vibes in order to be singled out by the both of them.

Been floating on air ever since. BEST DAY EVER!

The Underestimated Empath

I woke up this morning with one thing in mind to blog about this morning, but then work happened and now I have two things I’d like to speak on briefly. This is completely stream of conscious writing, so I have no idea where I’m headed on this journey, but stick with me LOL. In other news, looking at the title of this post I think I may have found my superhero name. Fugg wimmeh. ^_^

Anyway…

So this morning I woke up in a fairly good mood. I was dragging because I couldn’t sleep last night, but I was felt okay. I was on track to get to work on-time (mostly) and it was just regular Thursdaysville around here. Then I answered a phone call from a girlfriend and there was a noticeable shift. She wasn’t just calling for a lighthearted chat, but to complain about something that (in my opinion) was not worth complaining about. However,  let her vent because that’s what friends do. Instead of venting and moving on though, she continued to harp on the issue, while repeating the same sentence at least 10x in a 20 minute conversation. Her frustration became my frustration. Same with the despondence, irritation, & general unpleasant frame of mind.

I think I’m an emotional empath sometimes. I’m not particularly “New Age-y” for the most part, but there has to be a reason why I continually absorb others’ emotions & not by choice. As headstrong/stubborn as I am, I’d think that it would be easy for me to reject things I don’t necessarily want in my life, yet when it comes to this–I’m powerless. And it’s not just bad feelings, thank God.  Coz I’d be in an emotional abyss more often than not, haha.

[Here, let’s pretend I inserted a brilliantly written segue into my second train of thought]

I am consistently underestimated at my job. I came into this business not knowing anything about it. I was never even formally trained on the job that I was hired to do (& created a document detailing the process as well as additional information about the job in general), but I managed to do it to the best of my ability until my main role was stripped from me.

I like to think that I am a really intelligent person with a high capacity for learning. No hubris, just facts. No matter how I continuously show this at work, however, people still act so amazed when I pull off the smallest of feats. I’m so sick of it. I have a meeting with my Soop Vee this afternoon and I’m just going to lay it out that I feel like I’m highly undervalued & very unmotivated to do much beyond the scope of what I do now. I feel as if when I do go above & beyond (sidebar: My fingers SO just type Beyonce right there), it’s not enough. I’m tired of volunteering to help with things only to be cast aside in favor of someone who they think knows more…or worse being given piecemeal & told to make a quilt. One of my homegirls here who I love to death does that to me regularly. She’ll give me a scrap of information and expect for me to create some grandiose idea from it. Sometimes I can, but most times I don’t. Mainly because I feel like all of the work is for naught.

Quite frankly, the reason I’m still here is because of lack of options to go anywhere else. I feel like I’ve wasted nearly two years of my working life at this company & haven’t acquired any essential skills to help me move onto somewhere else. I’ve only learned to be better at procrastination and pulling poo out my bum  & telling folks it’s diamonds.

I need a mentor…

Am I too old for one? Hahaha, seriously though…if I want to hone my craft, I feel like I need someone to help me get my life together & take it seriously. I have been wanting to be a professional writer ever since I was able to read–well okay, maybe a few years after that. As long as I can remember (& my parents will attest to this) I’ve been scribbling stories/ bad poetry/ lyrics/ something in various notebooks and on various computers. I’ve let some people read some things and they say they like it, but you can’t ever tell if they’re being polite or telling the truth. I get nervous when I think about approaching folks who could be potential mentors though because I’m afraid it’ll end up like this scene (please excuse the janky-ness of it coz I had to record this w/ my phone LOL):

http://vimeo.com/29125768

I feel like before I even approach someone though, I have to be consistent. Which is a reason why I put 30 days of consistent blogging on my 30 x 30. They say it takes 21 days of repeating the same behavior to make it habit forming. I want to get to a place with writing where it’s as second nature to me as waking up in the morning. None of this sporadic, fly by night shit. I can’t sit here saying “I wanna be a writer” without putting the work in. Once I get that in tact, then perhaps I’ll solicit a mentor. But not like Kelby Dawson does in this clip above, haha. Also, I don’t have marriage on my menu…so there’s that.

God is tryna tell me somethin’?

I recently received an email that is forcing me to sit over here and really think about some things.  It was this forward entitled “Is HE the ONE: THE RIGHT ONE?” The gist of the email is breaking down how women should trust God to send the right man to them. A few things stuck out to me on this email and I thought I’d share my interpretations as they relate to me.

First we much allow our Heavenly Father to do the picking.” I’m not the most religious person. I am working on getting my relationship with the Lord right. I digress, though. Even though I am not very religious, I am a firm believer in God placing people in your lives for certain reasons. I also believe that He has a design set for everyone’s lives and if it is so destined for two people to be yoked, He is the one who brings these two together at the proper time.

“Dating exists not for mating; it exists for collecting data.” Interesting point with which I wholly agree. Think about it. Do you honestly know what you want in a potential mate? If so, how did you come to this conclusion? By dating around and having dealings that allow you to sift out the undesirable qualities and become more concrete in what you find attractive and so on.

“Remember, women fall in love and get married. Men decide to get married and then look for a wife.” Read that shit again and tell me it is the not the truth! How many men have you met who have expressed a desire for marriage and tell you about the plans they have for it. Think really hard. I’ll wait. I do not know any. A similar thought was expressed when I was listening to the radio yesterday. I’m not one who believes in coincidence. This was something Ineeded to hear so He sent it to me in two different forms. There is a man with whom I had a very close relationship. There was a time when I could see myself marrying him, word life. It took awhile, but I finally realized that it doesn’t matter how bad I wanted to marry him, he has to want it as well. I’m over here swooning and he’s just chilling. Kinda into me, but not really like that. Certainly not in the way in which he would want to marry me. And why would he right now? I’m not marriage material in this moment. There are a lot of things that I’ve got to get together before I can properly be someone’s wife. Again, I digress though.

The overwhelmingly obvious point of this email was that in order to get to the place God wants you to be to find your One, you need to first work on your relationship with Him. As I mentioned before mine is severely lacking. It’s not something as simple as going to church to mend this relationship either. I need to take a long, hard look at my life and examine it to determine what I really want out of it. I know that I want to be successful, but how can I do that with no faith. Sure I believe in God, but I want to pick and choose when I want to put my faith in Him. As soon as something goes wrong, I am the first to condemn Him. Ask why He is making me suffer yet again. Lament and cry out against Him. Instead of bowing to His omniscience, I question it. I always assume that I know what is better for me and do not understand why He chooses to send me down a path that I am not happy with. Then I have to think about the concept of free will and how although He gives me these setups, ultimately it is my choices that make me end up where I inevitably end.

And it hurts like hell…no Aretha.

A few weeks ago I bought  Groupon for a 10 pack of fitness classes. In purchasing this, I was hoping to make strides in my weight loss journey. Then I promptly filed the Groupon away and forgot about the fitness classes.  Earlier this week I remembered the voucher and signed up for my first of 10 classes. A few friends had been telling me about their kickboxing classes and how much they enjoyed them for a while, so I decided that my foray back into fitness would be initiated by Turbo Kick, a class held at the center that combined kickboxing, cardio, & dance for a high intensity workout.

As Saturday drew closer, however, my reservations began to sit in. I haven’t worked out on a consistent basis in quite a long time, so I was worried that I’d either pass out or embarrass myself. Let the record show that I am not easily embarrassed.  My fondness for karaoke despite being able to hold a tune in a bucket clearly displays this. I am however super self-conscious at times & during workouts is one of those times. It’s much easier to stop mid jumping jack when it’s just me (& Jillian Michaels watching judgmentally through the DVD screen), but it’s a whole different kind of beast when surrounded by up to 49 other women who are working as hard (if not harder) than I. Nevertheless, I bucked up and got my ass on the train to head into the City for my first workout.

I walked into the workout facility, immediately scoping the area for chicks who were as fat as or fatter than me. I’m so serious right now, my dudes. I needed comrades in this. I was in luck as there were three (maybe four, but her workout gear camouflaged her true size) fellow fatties. Who cares that they were strangers that I hadn’t known existed prior to stepping through those double doors? I made eye contact and give a nod of solidarity to a couple of ’em. There was an unspoken connection that let me know that I could take breaks & guzzle down water whenever I needed. They’d likely be doing in the same simultaneously. We were all in this together.

I shuffled to the back of the room and did a wee bit of stretching. Neck rolls to relieve the tension. Calf/hamstring stretches to alert those muscles that they’re about to experience something we haven’t experienced in quite a while. Jumping/bouncing in place to hype myself up. We begin and I’m feeling okay. I don’t want to die just yet and I am actually keeping up with the intricate choreography that Becky is teaching. Ok…I dunno that Becky is her real name as I was psyching myself up when she was introducing herself. She looked like a Becky tho, so go with it. We’re about halfway through the workout and the intensity is steadily climbing. I’m still keeping up and feeling good…ish. I feel my energy level rapidly depleting so I take a water break. Get a little more strength from that good ol’ H2O & resume once again.

I’m proud to say that I made it through the entire workout without puking or crying. My legs felt as if they were made of jello at the end, but I had a deep rooted sense of accomplishment that had me floating back to the train station. As soon as I sat down on my ride home though, I felt it. Those initial pangs that make you wince and rethink your entire life. Why haven’t I worked out sooner?How did I allow myself to gain SO MUCH weight? Oh God will you just take me coz this hurts like Hell!!! Unfortunately for me, I hadn’t thought this through entirely because I agreed to go to a concert with my friend later that evening. Which was general admission. Which meant standing the entire night? Sweet Minty Hayzeus in le Manger, what was I thinking???

I woke up this morning feeling like I had been beat with several bags of nickels. I am sore in places that I didn’t even KNOW could get sore. In spite of all my pain though, I am smiling. Because I did it. (cue: Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor”)

“It hurts my pride to tell you how I feel…”

This morning my brain (that treacherous heaux) decided to put Beyoncé’s “I Miss You” on a continuous  loop within itself. Funny thing is, there is no one current to miss. There have been some near misses in recent history, but no one who has really gotten all up in my mind like that.

Since him. And I hate that he has been relegated to a pronoun which inspires many giggles on the Twitter when it’s hashtagged. Seriously, just do a random search for #him & laugh with me (& others) at the lamenting over missing/loving/wanting/spending time with the illustrious him.

I hate that memories of him pop up at the oddest times. I hate that certain words I say remind me of him. I hate that whenever I meet a dude name [redacted] that I immediately think of him. I hate that I miss him so fucking much. Like clockwork it always is in the fall when thoughts of this guy weight heavily on my brain. I wonder if he ever thinks of me & stupid sappy shit like that. Once I called him randomly. It’s funny how I barely know my mother’s number by heart, but I remembered all ten of his digits. The fuck is that shit?

It’s like I’m all of a sudden consumed with the thought of us, though there can’t ever be nor will there ever be a reunion. (Cue: Jill Scott’s My Love)I need to just let it go. I think that the major reason why I can’t seem to however is because we had no real closure to our situationship. So many unanswered questions and anyone who knows me knows that I can’t stand for that. I HAVE to know why. I need explanations, motivations, & other -tions.

I am a financially unstable bear…

Fall is upon us (if this Chicagoland weather is any indication) & I can already feel myself withdrawing. Well, to be honest, I’ve been kinda withdrawn this entire year. I dunno what that war is about, but I’ve just been very “meh”-y. Nevertheless, I normally wait as late as November to fall into hibernation mode, but it’s hit me a bit early this year. I have decided that after this weekend, I’m no longer a social butterfly. All free time will be spent in the house, not spending money. I jokingly say “I’m poor” all of the time, but I’ve recently come to terms with the fact that I really fucking am poor. Let’s add it up…

– I work for shit pay. I began working at my current company at the end of 2009, so I missed the merit increase for that year. There was no talk of any increases in 2010 because of upheavals. In 2011, I did not receive an increase.

– I went from a job with guaranteed overtime every 8 weeks to one with alleged overtime, but have yet to work an ounce of it.

– I went from paying too much in rent to paying nothing in rent to paying very little in rent back to paying a sizeable amount in rent in the span of 2 years.

– My debt ratio is fucking ridiculous.

Yet I continued to live my life irresponsibly. I have not accrued any additional debt, but I’ve paid so little on the debt that I currently hold that it barely makes a dent. I took trips, bought new shit, & acted like everything was cool. Robbing Peter to pay Paul was some shit I did on the regular. Scratching & surviving, yet making “too much” to hang in the chow line. Over it.

The thing that sucks about this all is that I’m probably going to become distant from a great number of people in my life currently. I don’t have many local friends, sadly. I can’t expect for people to adjust their lives and always come to where it’s convenient for me. I won’t be able to travel like I am used to, which will be the biggest sucker punch of them all. I plan to spend the rest of this year slowly chipping away at Debt Mountain in order to make some things happen in 2012.

The Internet…

I read a blog this morning that talked about the lines of reality and virtual insanity being blurred. Reminded me of this post I wrote on my livejournal in 2004. So I burrowed through those archives to find it & x-post here. Enjoy!

====================================================

When does the internet stop being “just the internet”? When does it become this life altering entity that moves beyond the realm of your PC (and/or notebook PC) and into the “real” atmosphere? I’m forever saying “I don’t see how these folks let some internet people affect them so much”, but truthfully there are real people lurking behind the screennames and pseudonyms. So I guess feelings can be hurt by them.

I think, though, that this is really most relevant when the relationship of the people moves beyond that of a “net buddy” into a “real life friendship”. I still cannot see how in the hell people let ignoramuses on message boards who post something about them to really get them heated. “Oooh, I’m gonna cyberly whoop your ass!” I think the only way someone on the internet’s words have the power to hurt or make you think a bit harder is if you’ve cultivated an offline relationship of sorts (or if there is some truth to what has been said). Ya dig?

I’ll still never get over those who really are hurt by these people outta West Bumblefugg saying stuff about them. Uh, hello? They don’t really know you. The internet being the wonderful tool that it is allows you to present whatever you want to present. Some people paint themselves in a flattering light only, as to seem without flaws and all that crap. In turn, with that you do have to realize that the light you paint yourself in may come back to haunt you.

I used to go to this one message board where all these lil teenies posted all of these designer handbags and clothing all day, saying that these items were the only things that they wore. Then the next week or so, there’d be a ‘POST YER PICX!!!!111’ thread and these same teenies were in AE clothing, looking typical. Of course people talked madd crap about them, but thas their own fault. These girls continued to get defensive all the time and complained to the mods that people were picking on them because they were “juss jellus” *Tamika head dip and sassy neck swivel*. What could the mods do? They set themselves up for the fall. Stupid.

I’m going on and on about this because of some crap that I was involved in (peripherally) for these past few days. Being the antagonistic bitch that I am, I kiiiinda picked with some of the people involved and they got madd defensive. Something in their responses made me think I’d seriously gotten inside their heads or something. Maybe I give myself too much credit, but it sure seems that way. The funniest thing though is that while they are sitting there wringing their hands, “hating” me, and cursing the ground that I walk on, I’m sittin’ here laughin’ my cute lil apple bottom off.

It also made me think about how much people take with them offline. What limits are there as to what to take offline and what not to take offline? What’s really worth stressing over to the point of breakdown? Half of the time when I pick with folks, I forget about the ish after I’m done. With some of these people though, I think they sit and analyze this stuff until there’s no room to analyze anything anymore. They ponder over the littlest details of the situations, wondering what they could have said or done to prove their point more effectively.

What’s even funnier is when the situation has been over and they come in with their overthoughtout (love my new word!) theses about the situation! Oh, or my personal favorite is when they use that age-old, passive/aggressive method of using the signature (on message boards or even emails) to send out some sooper sekrit message to the enemy.

Stop frontin’, you know you juss want to have THE SEKS with your enemy. That’s why you’re so fixated on them! It’s that old childhood thing that boys do. Let’s tease the girl, torment her, and then kiss her! LMAO!

I’m sick. This has gone in an entirely different direction that I intended it to go. I’m gonna stop it here ‘cuz this is hella long and I hafta set up the Yahoo!Group for my Student Social Work Association. I juss joined it today and have responsibilities. I’m so excited!!! *has flashbacks of Jessie on Saved by the Bell* BWAH!

Later gators!

Paper Bag…

So today I was on Twitter, as I am every M-F (ha!) and I see a RT of a blog post from that girl who’s an urban entertainment blogger that calls herself Bitchie talking about “Kelly Rowland: ‘I don’t want to be as dark as I am – I want to be a little fairer”. I couldn’t fathom K. Row saying such malarkey, so I had to click through to the hated site. Well in the actual “article”, it speaks about how Kelly was uncomfortable with her skin tone as a child growing up among so many fair-skinned (I fucking hate this term. So dark skin is unfair? So much for a post-racial society.) folks such as Tina & Bey Knowles. In the article Kelly talks about how Miss Tina helped her overcome those feelings she had as a kid.

Immediately I was irritated because most folk jumped to the conclusion that in 2011, Kelly felt some kind of way about her skin & was about to begin bleaching much like Sammy Sosa & Vybz Kartel. All because of some incendiary tweet in order to get the originator blog hits. Ugh, there’s a plethora of seats for that girl to have.

Shortly after ranting about the lameness of shocker headlines for blog hits, I tweeted the following:

@litfangrl: Ask nearly any dark brown girl who came of age in the 80s/90s if she had issues w/ her skin tone at any time & I’m sure you’ll hear yes.

@litfangrl: But let me not even get into the discussion of colorism right now.

Because my feelings on the issue are better discussed in more than 140 character spurts. In the 3rd grade, my best girlfriend T was light-skinneded (smile).  She & I were inseparable and that carried over into our summer school gifted program. Well two of the cutest boys in our grade were also in that gifted program (one in particular who I had the biggest crush on), which required us to take a bus to another elementary school that was across town. As children are prone to do, we started a game of make-believe. We pretended to be characters from House Party, LOL. Obviously, T was the Tisha Campbell character & I was AJ Johnson’s character. The boy who I had the crush on though was Kid’s character & I tried my hardest to make T switch with me in order to pretend “go with” my crush. She vehemently refused, not because she liked him as well (she actually didn’t like either of them, but that’s another discussion for another day), but because she as light & I was dark–so there was no way I could pretend to be the light skin girl. There was no means of stretching the imagination or invocation of personality characteristics to determine who was who…just I’m light & you’re dark, so that’s that.

As a child  I noticed that whenever someone wanted to insult another, the first thing out of their mouths were related to skin color. “At least I ain’t as Black as you” “You look like you’re burnt to a crisp” etc. Early on, I felt some kind of way about being dark skinned. It didn’t help that while I was growing up, all of the boys had crushes on all of my lighter friends. I was always the home girl, the one who was cool, but never the one who was desired. Shit did a number on me psychologically for years.

A few months ago I was talking to the homie L about colorism amongst The Blacks & how crazy it is that it’s still happening in 2011. I then further discussed this with a girlfriend who’s of a lighter hue and she claimed that it was all in my head. That no one ascribes to the paper bag test mentality anymore. But when I hear my young cousins lamenting about getting too Black in the sun & shading (pun intended) their darker counterparts, I know that it isn’t merely a figment of my imagination.

What say ye?