Top 40 Before 40 Part 1

71 degrees. Sun is out, birds are chirping, the kids are all outside laughing and playing. BBQ grills are fired up, drinks are flowing freely. Super Bowl Sunday is upon us. Rivals are talking smack. It’s a beautiful day out. But! Do not let it distract you from the fact that we are still indeed in the middle of Winter and it’s supposed to snow on Friday. Mother Nature if playing tricks on us! I refuse to be fooled and bamboozled into thinking I can put away my winter clothes! No ma’am. Also, to the non-believers: Global warming is real.

I say all this to say, that Spring is around the corner and before you know 2020 is here! Ok, I digress. This year, I turn the big 4-0. And I used to think that I would have life figured out and that I would have accomplished all of my goals and simply just waiting out my years with my 2.5 kids, husband and all that jazz, but life had different plans.

Now, I have accomplished TONS and have a great story to tell about how I got to where I am today and a great story on how to get where I am going tomorrow, but none are without lessons. Usually, I do my top lessons for the year at the start of the year, but this year I am going to do this a bit differently. I am going to share my top 40 lessons in life. I will post one set each season to get to 40 in the last quarter of the year. Before I dive in my top lessons, I would love to hear some of your memorable life lessons. Drop me a message, comment, email. All my contact info is available in my “I am Listening” section. Let’s chat!

So, let’s get it!

1.Never do anything that will affect your coin.

Do I even need to say much about this? I think not. You all know what this means. Be responsible. Pass that drug test, show up on time, reply to that email, submit that report, whatever. Do what you need to do to make sure you continue to secure that bag.

2.Men say what they mean, the first time. You won’t change his mind sis.

Look, we can say what we want about men, but they are usually pretty consistent creatures. Yes, there are a few that are “special” but for the most part, men are up front with us on what they want and where they are at. We like to ignore when he says “I am not ready for a relationship” and think “oh he ain’t never dealt with a real woman like me, he will change his mind” no he won’t sis, no he won’t. Just because Dionne and her man worked it out and he changed his mind for her doesn’t me Donte will for you. I have learned that men will change because THEY want to, not because you were so awesome he just had to. He has to WANT to change for you and it has to be on his terms and he has to be comfortable where he is in life in order to do so. And you won’t even be aware of it, because you will think he was always like this. Leroy wasn’t shit 5 years ago, but today, Leroy is sent from Jesus. If you hear any variation of a man saying he is not ready or simply just wants sex from you, be his friend. Nothing more. Save yourself the headache. Your older self will appreciate you for this. And guess what? In having standards, he just MAY see you as different.

3.Jealous and envious spirits are real. Be mindful of the friends you keep

Whew! Where do I begin with this? I am speaking to women about women. There are some women who just don’t want to see you win and act like they do. Some don’t like you because of how nice your hair is, or the attention you get from men, the complexion of your skin, your positive attitude, you get recognized at work. WHATEVER it is. They will hang around you, act like your friend all the while hoping you fail so they can feel better about themselves. Hell, some of these women (girls) will act like they are pro sisterhood and say all the great things like “I am rooting for you and want to see you win” but their behavior and attitude shows different when it’s time to support you or even show up for you. Pay attention. Place them where they should be. Not in your inner circle. I will say the older I get, the more I am running into these women. They are drawn to you, because well, you are amazing. But don’t be fooled. Sit back and observe, you will soon see who is really down for you.

4.All skinfolk ain’t kinfolk

I mean Zora Neale Hurston said it best. Just because we are from the same culture or the same race doesn’t mean that we are the same. It will go back to lesson 3 too. Not all of ‘your’ people will ride for you and it will be your very own people who will stab you in the back and dance in your face. Crabs in a barrel…

5.Never pour from an empty cup

You can’t give what you don’t have. Be leery of folks who expect you to give, give, give and they take, take, take without ever pouring back into you. Save something for yourself. I adopted that term in my 20’s. I needed to always save something for me. I refuse to give what I don’t have. It’s not even money, but time, resources, compassion, advice, clothes, weaves, whatever! Don’t give what you can’t afford to lose. And I don’t know about you all, I definitely can’t give time freely because once it’s gone. It’s gone.

6.Shut up at work.

Ain’t no other way to say this, but shut up. Your co-workers don’t care. They don’t. You don’t need to share your opinion about this stupid wall, or immigration, your relationships, your boss, religion, race relations to the office. Go what you came for. Money. Do your job, keep the atmosphere light and airy. Laugh when you can, be silent when needed and don’t take nothing personal. I have made the mistakes several years ago about being vocal about things and I was quickly labeled the “angry black woman” and those that know me, know I am everything BUT angry. But news flash! I am a minority. My majority co-workers don’t understand a lot about me and my world because it is not their reality. America is not Wakanda and while we are free-ish all battles are not meant to be fought off the battlefield. There is a time an a place for everything. Now, in my workplace, I am told how peaceful and positive I am by both majority and minorities. I just smile and continue to do my job.

7.Divorced men, recently divorced, bout to be divorced men. Stay clear until they heal.

I instantly put my head down when I got to this topic right-chea! I dated a separated man who was going through a divorce. Talk about rollercoaster!! Chile! But I will say this as a divorcée myself. It is not their fault. They don’t know. They are truly trying to understand it all and some days they are up and some days they are down. They love being in a relationship and they love being free. They are happy to be single and angry on how things may have ended and if not angry, feel like they failed. All feelings that are not easy and they are valid. So, with that being said, I tell all my friends, proceed with caution in dealing with a recently divorced man. Be his friend, but nothing more. Let him be a hoe again, let him go to therapy, let him deal and work out his issues. He needs it. This is the one time where you can ignore what he says to you because he don’t know shit. If I could do it all over again, I would have simply been his friend and let him work out his issues before becoming involved and catching feelings. Save us both the heartache. If a man today says “I am recently divor-“ he wont even get the final word out because all he will see is smoke from my heels from hauling ass. No thank you sir. I bid you well. With someone else who ain’t woke.

8.Your intuition is real. Stop talking yourself into bad shit.

Ladies Ladies Ladies (in my Rotimi Nigerian Butterscotch voice) We know good and well when something is not right. Why do we always talk ourselves into some nonsense trying to justify it? Only to come back later and say “ I should have listened to my first thoughts” God gave US intuition for a reason, we know how to discern accordingly. That is if we don’t talk ourselves into bad shit! Listen to that voice and act accordingly. You won’t fail you. Not listening will.

9.Read. Learn and do your own research. Never take someone’s word as the end all tell all.

Social media is great. Wikipedia is great, your podcasts are lit. But guess what? These are all folks opinions on things of the matter. Read a book, research the topic at hand. Form your own thoughts and opinions and go from there. People emote. People, people and that ain’t always good. People will also comprehend on the level in which they are on and that may not be your level. Take heed on what your hear and form your own opinion and thoughts about topics and about other PEOPLE. “Girl, he is gay, my homegirls told me so” And when you talk to the guy you find out he just didn’t like her and his rejection to her advances made her categorize him as gay.

“She is such a bitch and evil” Come to find out that she is a kind person, but doesn’t take well to being lied to, taken advantage of and cheated on. FORM your opinion.

10.Know your limits. No is not a bad word.

There was a time where I would say yes for everything because I wanted to be liked and accepted. I wanted to be in the ‘in crowd’. Then I had to start saying no. I can’t be who others want me to be. I can’t always inconvenience myself for others who wouldn’t do the same for me. I had to learn myself and what my limits were and act accordingly. I am not the person who can over extend myself all the time and I know I can’t be in these streets 24/7. I need a recharge day at least 2x a week. Yep, I am needy with MYSELF. I love to say no now. It’s like the best word ever. What are your limits? Find out and govern yourself accordingly.

Well that’s all I have at the moment. I have plenty more lessons to come and some I wanted to dive into now but said, no no, in time!

Until Next Time Folks!

With much love and grace,

V.

The Apps

Alright y’all. I did it. Yes, I deleted all of my dating apps. I have unsubscribed, stopped payment, deleted profiles and removed them from my cellular devices. I deleted all of those ratchet dating apps. The Bumble, The Hinge, The Match. All of them. And yes, I said “The” in front of all of those horrid apps. Maybe I am being a tad bit dramatic, but I need you guys to understand that this was a big deal for me. I do not go out much and I have relied solely on dating apps on meeting people. It is time to break out of my comfort zone when it comes to dating and step outside of the box because after all, isn’t that where the magic happens? Here are a few reasons why I deleted them:

1. It was the same lame dudes on all of them. They all hit me up on each platform thinking I am a brand new person. Like really man? No, I do not have a twin.

2. It’s frustrating ‘clicking’ ( I use that term loosely) with someone and they disappear.

3. I meet someone, we seem to hit it off, then I realize, he is playing a game and or has a woman at home. I don’t know about you ladies, but I am not trying to reenact SZA’s Weekend song in real life. I ain’t no one’s weekend nothing bih.

4. I fear getting recognized by my new co-workers. The annoying IT guy at my last job hit me up on one of those less desirable apps, like The Tinder or The OKC. I don’t recall; however, it was another bad choice of joining listening to my younger friends who are more carefree and easygoing with dating. Lesson learned. The freaks hang out there. I am sanctified.

5. It felt like a full time job keeping up with all of the messages from the weirdos. Then I got concerned with hurting their feelings. This was not gonna work.

6. I wanted to focus more on myself and my goals and spirituality. Yes, I said spirituality. My chakras need to stay aligned at all times. Prayed up and Saged up in this piece/peace.

I do have some upcoming events which will allow me to be intentional in meeting guys, but it won’t be my overall goal… I’m lying y’all. I’m gonna be scooping eligible bachelors everywhere I go like a mutha. Discreetly, of course! I need to see what’s out there and compare to what I have seen on The Apps. It can’t be that bad in real life. But how will I know if I never go?

Stay tuned… more foolery will be upon us soon.

-V.

The Convo – Part 2

 

I walked in the door and dropped the keys and my purse on the kitchen counter. I kicked off my shoes and left them on the floor in the hallway. I walked towards the couch and pull out my phone. Maybe I should call Kayla. I quickly decided against it. I just don’t have the energy to speak about this dinner with anyone.

I need another drink.

I got up and poured myself a shot of Café Patron. I took a sip, griped the glass with both hands and exhaled deeply as I sat down on the couch trying to recap the dinner with Daniel.

I thought I was over Daniel. I haven’t seen or heard from him in a year. I went out on a couple of dates here and there, but I never took things too far. I agreed to have dinner with him simply out of curiosity. Now, it seems as if curiosity killed the cat. I am here confused over someone I was over months ago.

My phone buzzed.

I walked over and checked my notification.

“Hope you got home safe. Although the evening wasn’t how I thought it would play out in my mind, I am happy at the fact that I got to see you. Goodnight Evelyn.”

I started to respond, but I backspaced and left it at that. Knowing him he already saw the grey bubble appear and disappear.

Right now, I just need things to slow down and make sense to me. I honestly don’t know how I feel.

The phone buzzed again.

This time it’s Xiomara. “Girl, you good?”

“I’m good. Just exhausted. We will catch up at lunch tomorrow.” I replied.

“Night girl” she replies.

I turned off all notifications and turned the phone face down. I guzzled the rest of my Café Patron and headed to my bedroom to get some well-needed rest.

~~~

The morning at the office was a breeze. I had to give a presentation to senior management and it was flawless, so needless to say I am in a great mood, despite last night’s dinner.

I pulled up to Lime, a Mexican spot near the office, to meet with my girls to recap.

I looked and saw Xio and Kayla and waved to them as I got out of my car.

“Hey girls!” I said to both of them.

“Ohhh honey, someone is in a good mood…I wonder if that’s what we are going to talk about?” Kayla asked inquisitively.

“No, boo”, “I just had a great morning at work.” I replied.

“Ugh such a fun killer” said Xio.

I approached the cashier and placed my order. I am cheating today. I earned it.

“I am going to have Nach‘yo Mama’s Nachos with ground beef and all the trimmings! And a frozen sangria.” I told the cashier

“Well daaamn girl, forget your diet huh?” Kayla said.

“Yup!”

Kayla and Xio placed their orders; we grabbed our numbers and looked for an empty table.

“So, let forgo the chit chat and tell us what happened? I texted you and you never replied!” Kayla said.

Xio sat there sipping her frozen sangria and waved the attendant down for our food.

“Ok, so you know I was nervous as hell right? I wore my black dress with the royal blue pumps. I was going to wear red, but decided that wouldn’t be appropriate, don’t need him thinking I was trying to go all out, ya know?” I said.

“Right, the blue pumps are way more appropriate, wear the red ones in his bed instead.” Xio said with a devilish grin.

“No! I can’t with you girl!” I scolded her. We all laughed and I took a sip of my sangria and ate some food, in between bites, I continued.

“Anyway, he stood up”

“Where did you guys go eat?” Kayla interrupted.

“J. Alexander’s. Stop interrupting so I can finish, I only have an hour for lunch! Anywho, he basically wanted to apologize I guess and talk about our relationship and that we could have tried harder. He said he knows he wasn’t his best self, blah blah blah. He mentioned something about how he was going through something or issues that he didn’t want to get into, but that is precisely what I want to know about.”

“What did you say?” Xio asked.

“Well, I told him how I felt at the end of the relationship. I told him how I didn’t feel it was necessary to work things through now, because when we were in the thick of it I felt alone and as if was he no longer interested in me.” I took a slight pause after saying that.

I continued, “He wants to work on us now. I don’t know how I feel. A part of me wants to see what happens and see if he changes, but at my pace. And another part of me is scared of getting sucked in and hurt all over again. I’m scared to love him and I don’t trust him with my heart. But I must say, he looked so good. And his cologne. Lawd have mercy on my soul!”

“Jeez, get a grip Ev.” Kayla laughed.

“Well, you have every right to feel that way. I do commend him for manning up and talking to you in a mature way and not placing blame or yelling. For that he seems to have done some thinking. Danny that I know would have said, ‘F-It and next!’ He is coming for you Ev.” Kayla said.

“The way I see it is you don’t have anything to lose.” Xio said. “ Hear him out, go at your own pace and if he messes up one time…chuck up the deuces. We ain’t 25 anymore honey.”

“Girl please, we age just like fine wine!” I proclaimed.

“Well, aiming to be a vintage wine isn’t hot.” Xio said.

“Ugh, I know! I just need time to gather my thoughts some more. Why would I want to open up that part of me again just to get hurt? Hell, he is talking a good game right now. I bet I won’t hear from him now that he sees it isn’t going to be easy.”

“Did he text you last night?” Xio asked.

“Yeah”

“Then his ass is calling today. Mark my words.”

“Well I am not holding my breath.” I said.

“Girl, we will talk later! I gotta get back to work. My boss is clocking me. Ugh can’t stand his fat ass.” Xio said.

“I hear ya! We should go for brunch on Sunday.” I said.

“Let’s do it!” Kayla responded.

“It’s a date! Bye girls!”

 

-V.

Part 3 coming soon!

broken lollipop

Crush

girl frustrated

Now that I like you

that I fear you

Afraid of all that could go wrong

Yet hoping for all that I want to be right

Now that I like you

I have anxiety over you

Will you call

Will you text

Will you continue to pursue me

Or pass me up for the next.

Now that my heart sees you 

I’m nervous for you and us

Trying to stay cool 

Being mindful to not always make a fuss

About things I didn’t give two fucks about

Before I liked you

-V.

No Love Lost

I didn’t cry for you
When I left 

I wasn’t sad

When I told you to fuck off

Not a tear fell down my cheek

No sleep was lost by your thought

I didn’t look back

When I walked away

I didn’t think twice 

When I deleted and blocked

You out of my life

It’s as if you never existed

Your deception was fiction

Of a novel so descriptive 

Of your bullshit

That got 1 star

-V

You Don’t Want Me

I had a thought, something profound I was trying to say

But in all I realized something …

You don’t want me

I know my worth yet even though, it’s so easy to succumb to what you say…

You don’t want me

I was fooled by your consistency of…texts

That you wanted me?

But I spoke of the need of phone calls to truly get to know you

I got it once…

You don’t want me

I’ve been here for 4 weeks. I’ve seen you once…

You don’t want me

It takes you hours to text me back or it falls short when it is not sexually related

You don’t want me

But you reply fast and for hours when it’s related to possibly sex or you expressing your want of it…

You don’t want me

I ask you of your intentions and you speak so general

“Girl, I’m chill, easy going. Want to get to know you inside and out. I’m passionate and touchy feely.”

Please.

You don’t want me

I ask you… “What’s my last name? What do I do for a living?”

“Girl, I just called you Gonzalez.”

I’m not Hispanic

You don’t want me.

I attempt to ignore the signs

But my uneasiness overwhelms me

I look for excuses for the things you say and do

But in actuality, there aren’t any

You don’t want me

And I won’t be the fool

To only want you.

V Comes Out to Play! But Went Back Inside.

I haven’t done a week in review in over 2 months! In the past couple weeks, my eventful, uneventful life had some moments. Some moments, I have shared, and some I haven’t. So here is a bit of an update … I finally went out in the evening time to a poetry open mic event… and I went ALONE. Yep, I did it! It was very small and quaint. But overall, I just started talking to people and met some cool people, who even tried to convince me to recite a poem on open mic. I was like oooooooohh noooo. I am NOT ready for all of that. But, in hindsight, I should have. I think soon, I will break my virginity of reciting on open mic. I must relive the Nina moment in Love Jones!

nina hair flying 

Another first in this new town is I finally went on a date. And it was great! We sat and spoke for hours. Nice, right? I was so proud of myself for not bailing out on this one. Ha! But that was the only time I saw this guy. He religiously texts everyday and never skips a day. But he still doesn’t know much about me and doesn’t seem too eager either. Then the textversation gets more sexual. I laugh it off at first, because at the end of the day, that is what’s on their mind. I get it. But express your interest, RESPECTFULLY and move THE FUCK ON. Sorry for the vulgarity, but this is a pet peeve and a common theme I’ve witnessed as of late. I do not engage in it, and it eventually stops, however, when that becomes the only time you engage in this wack ass textversation, it gets really old really fast. When it isn’t him trying to see if you down to Fu- . Then he stops replying or his replies are hour or two apart until you don’t respond and the next day hits you up in the afternoon with “Hey Gorgeous” or “ Hey my boo” my reaction….no reaction. I delete the thread and say to myself, “boy bye.” I can’t with these men. We didn’t even get to date two. Sorry, not sorry. #kanyeshurg

kanye stop it alright 

I must say I love my job. Finally! My coworkers are great and I am really building some friendships with a couple of people and that feels great. What a feeling to be valued at work! I forgot what that felt like. For someone, your boss at that, ask you “What do you think?” Say word???

kelly shocked

I even got an email from a recruiter a couple of days ago about a job opportunities for a manager job in a different company and I have no interest. Why? I have a great schedule, a great manager, and wonderful coworkers. I am not leaving this for the unknown, even for more money. I think I am going to ride this out and just be patient. Things will work out for my favor. I can feel it.

With time, things will get better for me with adjusting to being all alone here, but the way things are panning, that won’t be for long. I am learning to love spending time by myself, catching up on books and just giggling all day when I am at work. If you ask me, I think I have it pretty good here. I think I’ll stay. 

carlton dance

 

-V.