On knowing my limits…

I can’t sleep so instead I’m choosing to take the time to blog. This will likely be rambley and very stream of conscious. So…like every other blog entry in this space, lol.

I recently had to make a pretty tough decision and I’ve been beating myself up about it. You see, I’m a pretty ambitious girl. When I put my mind to something, I doggedly pursue until I’ve attained it. Having to switch things up and slow my timeline down for this thing is really fucking with me. I feel like a failure even though I’m still progressing through to obtain my degree. It’s a weird space to be in. I feel like I’m doing so much (full-time work, full-time school, being an authorpersonlady, and making time for regular social obligations with friends & family), but at the same time I also feel like I’m doing nothing at all.

It feels like I’m in a holding pattern and I’m ready for it to let up. I’m feeling anxious to know what’s next. I’m growing increasingly bored in my professional life and am yearning for something better, something bigger, something wider, something higher. Hence, the whole getting my Masters thing. But…my timeline for finishing that and applying for jobs that it will bring has been shifted and it’s got me bothered.

I just feel like I’ve…dropped the ball somewhere. I shouldn’t feel like two classes concurrently is drowning, but this is my current state of mind. Likely retaining little from either course as I struggle to balance the reading, discussion boards, short paper, larger milestone projects and journal entries. Feeling like an elephant is sitting on my chest every Thursday and Sunday evening despite spending all of the other days of the scrambling to cobble together the work to turn in. Barely able to focus. Second guessing my dedication to my chosen career path because of that lack of focus. All because I am stretched too thin, but too damn prideful to admit it.

Instead of being good to myself and allowing space for quiet moments of reflection, I’m into cramming as much in as possible because OMG35isloomingandistillhavejustajobandnotacareerandnobabiesorhusbandtoblameformywackassprofessionalposition. Because the skeletal outline of my life that I crafted a mere five years ago has been broken down and reconstructed so many times in that period that I just feel like I’m never going to get there…

And where is there? That’s a very good question. Because the there keeps shifting and though I try to act like it’s a constant, it isn’t. I’ve checked off quite a few items on my various goals lists, but they’re inconsequential now. Meaningless drops in the bucket of life that have blended in with all of the rest of the stagnant water.

Man, I want a refund on this adulting shit.

On Adore You…

This may get rambley.  It’s stream of consciousness…just some thoughts I’ve been mulling over.

I didn’t write a book to become an author. 

Now that may sound strange to some of you reading this because the idea of a person who pens a body of work and an author are synonymous, but in my crazy lil brain? Two totally different people. 

It’s part of the reason I have a pen name, really. Though the lines have been unexpectedly blurred via social media, but for the most part? Nicole Falls is not me. Well, like me me. She’s nice. Plays well in the sandbox. Gets along well with others. Not a rabblerouser. She’s all “golly gee, thank you for reading my book. I hope you enjoyed it!” green authorpersonlady.

But like…the real me? She’s not as…affable. She’s an artist who’s sensitive about her shit and feels a way when someone calls a work she put a lot into “completely silly”. She’s unable to separate a four star review and “the conflict was lame” happening at the same damn time. She holds herself in high esteem and is wounded when others don’t…just get it. She’s lil pistol starter; ready to react at a moment’s notice to over explain her motives. But like…it’s frowned upon to be an author who does this. 

Authors live behind this shiny veneer of nicety and even keeled reactions. Authors don’t spaz on people. Well…not any author who actually would like to continue to have readers. Authors hold their tongues and carefully craft words to express their feelings that toe the line of complete honesty with a gigantic scoop of tact. 

And if I say this and it sounds as if I’m deriding authors for being mature beings who can handle some of the silly shit that’s thrown their way; it is not my intent. I’m just…not that girl. So it’s a helluva learning curve. While I may react to certain things in a brash way, Nicole Falls has to be a bit more…careful, considerate, & cautious. 

But back to the title of this thing and what I meant. I wrote a book because it had been eating me up inside to have not done so yet. I’ve read so much and saw elements of my writing in the writing of others that made me think you know what? You can complete a book. Even if you decide that only you and Jesus were gonna read it in its entirety…you can do it. 

Writing a book was a personal challenge. It was a way of shaking up what had become a stagnant life in desperate need of vigor. So no, I didn’t write this book to become the type of person I described above. I didn’t even release it to be come this person. 

I wrote it for me. To show myself I could do this. And I could do it well. And I’ve mostly proven that. 

 So I guess it did its job. 

On vulnerability part deux…

Can I be real a second? For just a millisecond. Let down my guard and tell the people how I feel a second…?

I turned thirty-four on the eighteenth. It was a fun day. I had a good time with even better company. But toward the end of the day, I had a semi-emotional breakdown because once again I’d set myself up for failure. I have a thing about acknowledgment. I don’t care if you ignore me 364 days our of the year, you better damn well act like you know me on 08.18. And when people who know better don’t do better? I’m deeply wounded by it. So I was kind of thrown off by that being a thing that happened and the feeling of being unimportant has been kinda lingering with me since then. Logically I know it’s silly, but I’m a silly girl LOL.

So a couple days later my friend asks me about my plans for thirty-four. We’re noshing and discussing and I feel myself being cagey. She calls me on it. I manage to keep deflecting. It was one question in particular that I just couldn’t seem to answer. That question was “what do you want to change?” I have a million answers to it in my mind, but…

~full transparency~

I hate feeling vulnerable. I hate baring myself to the core. Which, is some shit, because I often encourage my friends to do this very thing with me. And the withholding of information has nothing to do with the level of trust I have for any of the people that I call friends because I’d trust them with my life. Its that in exposing the vulnerability, I’m forced to face the fact that I don’t have the answers to making the changes. Mind, body and spirit are not working cohesively right now and it’s rather unnerving.

That took a lot for me to type out, honestly. I’m feeling queasy as fuck thinking about hitting publish. But I’ma do it coz I’m working on being better this year. And part of that is chipping away at the armor and rebuilding. So I guess this post does a bit of that or whateva.

On my problem with demanding humility…

I will never begrudge anyone for being cocky. This sort of attitude is expected from me due to the traits associated with my star sign and our alleged inability to be humble. [insert eye roll here]

This has been a thing on my mind for quite some time. Whenever someone is being honored for excelling at a thing in which they’ve put a shit ton of work the speech given at the honoring almost always includes the phrase “I am so humbled by xyz…” and I absolutely HATE IT. Outside of the context/syntax being skewed, the idea that after one does their very best and is properly honored for it, that a humbling still needs to take place bugs the everlasting shit out of me. Why can’t that person, while being completely appreciative of being recognized, carry a bit of bravado, too? They’ve certainly more than earned it with the sheer amount of work, sweat, will power & undoubted sacrifices they’ve made in order to succeed at such high levels that were deemed necessary for recognition.

This morning I was in a chat with some friends & one of them brought up the very salient point that people tend to like people that they perceive to be humble better than those who are not. She cited LeBron James and Shonda Rhimes as examples, which I wholeheartedly agree with. I’m a Bron fan…you know why? Because he stands firm in his knowledge that he is one of the GOATs and is unmoved when it is demanded of him to be humble. He is not without fault for damn sure (bruh flops like no other), but the juxtaposition of him against other players who are perceived to be more humble really annoys the fuck outta me. Just because they are not as outspoken about their abilities or unapologetically resolute in their ability to deliver on promises made, they’re believed to be better people. Oh look at X, he would never say such things. Oh look at Y’s reaction to an unfair call, look at how gracious he is despite the ref being wrong as fuck.

My whole thing is this though. If someone has put in YEARS of intense work and training to ensure they are the *very best* at their craft, they deserve to have the space to be braggadocious at the very least. It’s silly to think that whatever level of celebrity has been bolstered by outside support needs to be tempered by humility.

Fuck humility, man. Talk yo’ shit.

On two halves making a whole…

This morning I was driving to work and one of my favorite songs (that I hate is one of my favorite songs because of who introduced it to me) shuffled on, Amel Larrieux’s “Make Me Whole“. It’s a beautiful love song. If you’ve never heard it, click that link up there and let it accompany your reading of this blog post. I’ve listened to this song a smooth billion and twelve times over the years in which I’ve known of its existence. At one point I’d considered it for a first dance song if I ever managed to get wifed.  It’s almost perfect except for these three lines “your love completes my existence/ you’re the other half that makes me whole/ you’re the only other half that makes me whole”

*heavy sigh*

This is a recurring theme in a lot of love songs and it really puts a stick in my craw. Mainly because romantic love shouldn’t be completion; but complementing. Two whole people should be coming together and building a life together that is rich with new and exciting adventures that only compound the sense of self they’ve already developed prior to the relationship. It shouldn’t be like one is rescuing the other, plugging holes that were left gaping by whatever circumstance of life. This kind of codependent ass thinking is why I feel like I’ve yet to have a successful relationship. I used to buy into the whole I’m searching for someone to “complete me”  ass bullshit before seeing the error of my ways. I’m no shrinking violet, damsel in distress type chick. I had to take inventory of my life and see what holes I could plug my damn self instead of looking for validation from an outside source.

And now that she’s whole? Oh bitch…it’s lit. Not only am I better for myself, I’m even doper for someone else. My current first dance song contender contains the line “happiness happens when our hearts combine” Which is the perfect summation of what I hope will happen when I finally meet my #him. He’ll slide into place, perfectly. Like a dope verse over a tight beat or whateva. HA!

On Shake… (An ode to @curlyfro)

I’m bullshitting. I should be writing my novel. Or doing homework. Or working out. But instead it’s a Friday evening and I’m sitting at home drinking a coffee stout and lamenting on what I should blog about. This blog has been neglected as of late and I wish I had better excuses, but the truth is ya girl is just…wack. But acknowledgment is half the battle or whateva, so I’m tryna do better.

Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. So as I was soliciting blog fodder on Twitter, my buddy suggested a topic that we were talking about via text earlier in the day and it would be a really good topic, but I don’t know how to broach it here without…ruffling some feathers, so I passed on it. I texted her to give her more specifics as to why I didn’t wanna blog about that thing right now and as a joke she texted back “You can write about me!” So this one is for you, Shake!

About a month ago I wrote a very specific post about my love village. Shake was singled out as the “sh” to my “ade”. We’ve known each other for less than a year, but I can honestly say that she is someone I hope is a forever friend. We clicked immediately, randomly connected via Twitter and eventually bonded over sportsball, books, and boozy brunches. She’s from one of the few states in the union I’ve yet to visit and am not so secretly plotting on getting her to show me around one day. And I’m 63% sure she’s gonna aid and assist me in finding my future ex-husband (#baewatch2k16). LMAO! But nah, seriously…

A few days ago I was having a conversation with some friends about whether or not it’s hard to make friends as an adult. I’ve found it is very easy and it is because of women like Shake. She’s openminded, secure in who she is as a woman, and invested in making sure that the growth of her friends happens on a parallel with her own.

She’s just good people; that’s the black ass bottom line. And through her I’ve met even more good people. So my life is #blest thanks to her presence or whateva.

On being emotional…

(Alternately titled: No Carl Thomas)

Last week on Twitter I kept seeing this tweet circulate. Of course when I need to quote it now it’s nowhere to be found, but the basic premise was “what things excite you as an adult?” The more people answered the more I felt myself feeling sad for the majority of them. A lot of the responses leaned towards not much really exciting them in their adult lives.

My first thought was…damn is excitement supposed to wane with adulthood? The manner in which the question was posed lead me to believe that people think that once you reach “adulthood”, the zest and zeal for life is pretty much nonexistent. That makes me sad because what kind of life is that to lead, where damn near nothing really gives you the buzz of excitement.

My second thought was…am I that much of an outlier? I don’t remember whether or not I’ve discussed it on this here blog, but I’m hyper-emotive. When I’m happy, it’s with a capital H. When I’m sad, it’s deep down in the trenches of the emotional abyss. Every capitalized word is really me shouting. I’m almost always really “laughing my ass off” when the acronym leaves my fingertips. I’m never halfway into an emotion, it’s all or nothing. So, in turn, the littlest things bring me the greatest delight. Like the cafe having pepperoni pizza unexpectedly. Or when my Bluetooth syncs with Rosie on the first try when I hop in the whip after work. Or when I’m recognized for doing a good job at the gig. Or when a friend says that I’ve helped/encouraged/inspired them. All bring me the same amount of immense joy. Which in some cases is to my benefit, but mostly to my detriment.

Being aware of this of my tendency to over emote (& its reception) has caused me to pull back on fully expressing myself with others in a lot of scenarios. Especially if the vibe I’m picking up on in the room is not one of positivity. But each and every time I have to do this it feels like a tiny piece of my soul is being ripped from my being. Did I mention that in addition to being hyper-emotive, I’m also prone to hyperbole? But nah, seriously…I fight with completely suppressing my emotional state and just letting it all hang out daily. It’s crazy that something like this is still a struggle for me in my advanced age, huh?

On energy…

Sorry guys, I’ve been MIA. If you follow me on any other social media, you’ll know that the last couple weeks have been a special kinda hell for some of my extended family. We lost my uncle unexpectedly on Friday 5/10 & with all of the gathering of family and funeral events, the last thing on my brain was a blog. But I’m back now…or whateva, ha!

So at my uncle’s wake, my cousins, some of my cousins’ friends and I were sitting near the back of the room in a semi-circle, talking. We were talking about one of my cousin’s inability to be aware of her surroundings and the manner in which she speaks when certain people are around. Long story short, we were at the hospital, sitting in a waiting room after my uncle passed. My cousin T walked out of the room in which my uncle was being held into the waiting room where Cousin D & I sat. Cousin T merely asked where we were coming from and Cousin D’s first words were “I was at motherfucking Oakbook…” Cousin T bucked her eyes and quickly escorted us to another area to continue our discussion. When asked why she hustled us out so quickly, we were informed that the older woman with us in the waiting room was my uncle’s pastor’s mom. Meanwhile Cousin D had been cussin’ up a storm.

So at the wake we were all laughing because as Cousin D recounted the story to those who weren’t there she kept saying to Cousin T “the energy that you were giving off caused my reactions”.  And this exchange of energy phrase became our refrain throughout the weekend. Whenever we needed a moment of levity, the Energy was brought up. A tool of amusement for the most part, but the idea of it kept sticking in my brain enough that I wanted to actually talk about the validity of energy exchange.

The older I get, the more hippy dippy I become. I’m getting into all sorts of magical and mystical things, but this energy situation is something that is most palpable to me. I feel it present most when I’m surrounded with the company of other Black women. I have to specify because it’s a totally different vibe when I’m surrounded by my friends of others colors and/or genders. I can’t even really describe it, it’s just a thing. A sense of comfort, going home, finding your tribe and identifying with them. Which is why I’m so thankful for my brown girl brunch crew. That gathering of energies helps me recenter myself every month as we come together to nosh, drink, gossip, uplift, inspire, and just relax.

I’m constantly working on the energy I put into the universe, too. I feel as if being cognizant of the ways in which I affect others is a stepping stone to helping me be a better person. Particularly, knowing when the energy I’m transmitting is not some that needs to be shared with the masses. This is my biggest struggle now to stem the flow of the negative energy and redirect it into different channels. The learning curve on that shit is hiiiiiigh.

What say y’all? Any tips and/or tricks for energy redistribution? Letcha girl know.

On my squad…

A few years ago I wrote a post in which I outlined the different levels of friendship. I was inspired to write this post because of a conversation I had with my friend about a mutual friend of ours who always had an issue that she wasn’t issued an invitation to every single thing we did together, even if it was impromptu. In rereading that post nearly 4 years later, most of it still stands and I’d call it one of my favorite posts on this here site, honestly. I still ascribe to the tenets therein and with the exception of the dissolution of AK47 as the board of trustees, the sorting for certain folks in my life tend to still be constructed by those designations. All of this talk here is arbitrary because the focus of this post is not friend group designations, but for me to big up some of my friends  who honestly keep ya girl on her square when she’s precariously balanced and ready to jump off of it.

LG is my sister. I talk to her daily and when I am finally ready to let go and let loose with my emotional crying jags she lets me soup snot in her ear and reassures me that I’m not completely insane. She is one of the kindest souls I’ve ever met and is deserving of all the nice and fine and good things in life.

SL is lil pistol starter. She’s who I call when I have my “am I tripping or…?” moments and she’s right there like either “naw, my G I peep game” or “yeah my G, you straight trippin”. She’s honest, sincere, and a great drinking partner LMAO.

ST is new to the fold, but like SL I can count on her to give me the real. She’s the “Sh” to my “Ade”. She is levelheaded and fiery and honest. And also a great drinking buddy, LOL.

CJ is a godsend. Honestly don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have her to talk me off this ledge I climb up every time I think about this book I’m allegedly writing. She’s my Obi Wan Penobi.

EK is my most levelheaded friend. She is a woman who knows what she wants and how to get it and I am inspired by the manner in which she lives her life completely on her own terms.

CC, SD, WD, TT, AR, AE, EH, DW, JP, EW, KD, NP, NC & KDJ bring so much light and laughter to my life. A group of witty, grounded, intelligent women who are a part of my village for which I am ever grateful.

You might see yourself up there, you might not. Just know that whether or not, I’ve called you out today–if you have my phone number and we talk regularly enough, then know that I appreciate you. But these ones were on my heart and mind when I wrote this post. 🙂