Why do women like Bad Boys?

Is it true that nice guys finish last?

He’s charming, he treats me nice, hell, he’s even religious, but why is it that the inconsistent guy who barely pays me any attention has my heart? All women have asked themselves this question or have had a friend who has asked themselves this question. The truth is,

In the realm of romance, dating, and sex, often times, the perfect gentleman is often perceived as well-intentioned but ultimately unsuccessful and sometimes even pathetic. Perhaps this stereotype has been perpetuated because “bad boys” usuaully get what they want in the end. Sex. Meanwhile, society deems the guy who doesn’t get laid right away a loser.

Kind of messed up right?

But why do we call sexually promiscuous, or inconsistent men “bad” in the first place? Bad is associated with words like unpleasant and disagreeable. However, many would agrue that “bad boys” can be pleasant people or even agreeable. I beleive it is the insensitivity towards woman’s feelings that have given “bad boys” a negative social stigma.

But the question still remains, what is it about bad boys that women can’t seem to get enough of? Believe it or not, “bad boys” aren’t necessarily all bad. They have many positive traits that most women seek in a man.

Weird right?

To name a few of these qualities;

  • Confidence: When a “bad guy” enters a room, he turns heads. He walks into any social setting and is comfortable in his skin. This ladies and gentleman is what the term “Big D!%k energy” Means. Believe it or not, women can sense insecurities in men too.
  • Determination: The law of attraction is real. These men have the ability to attract whatever they desire into their lives. So if it is you that caught his eye..
  • Lighthearted: Women love a man that can make them smile and a man that knows how to have a good time. Because bad boys do not typically commit, women get a kick out of their ability to navigate through life with ease and no pressure

But ladies, can we have these amazing qualities in a man that treats us like Queens? Of course we can! But first, we must beware of Narcissists – people who show high levels of self-importance, superiority, entitlement, arrogance and a willingness to exploit others.

Choose to stop repeating patterns of past toxic traumas and work on being the best you possible. We are what we attract.

Life is a blank canvas of possibility; you are in control of what the finished picture could look like.

Dibi à Paris

I glanced at the clock, and it was noon. It was a warm Saturday afternoon in Paris. From outside my window, the cloudless skies were tempting me to come out and bask in the sun however..

Lunch was the only thing on my mind. In my head, I started listing all the possible meals that would satisfy my appetite.. No, I’m not in the mood for du pain au thon, nor a kebab. Des pâtes au saumon sounds delicious but no, I had that yesterday. I truly have a taste for African food. Preferably Senegalese food. I whipped out my iPhone and google searched “Senegalese food near me” BINGO. Juste 400 mettres away.

I took the tram and a few minutes later I arrived at O Lac Rose. The small restaurant was situated in a shopping center and when I walked in, the cooking oil fumes, and the Sauce Yassa I saw the cook stirring in the back kitchen reassured me the meal I was about to order would blow my mind. Naga def? the Cashier asked me. Mangi fee rek! I replied with a big grin on my face. I smiled because it felt nice to encounter a Senegalese person and instantly recognize one another, but I wasn’t in the mood for small talk. I began my order: “une assiette de dibi yappe s’il vous plait”. I took my seat and 10 minutes later a large plate of seasoned lamb, salad, and rice over a sautéed oignon sauce was handed to me.

As I was enjoying my meal, in walked an Asian man. He studied the menu scrupulously before he made eye contact with first, me and then my plate. He said to the Cashier (IN ENGLISH), “I want whatever she’s having!” as he pointed at my plate. Mind you, this was not an English speaking establishment. I mean for pete sake we are in Paris, it’s crazy to assume that every person you encounter you can go around speaking English to and they will comprehend. But I digress..

He took a seat near me and then asked the waiter for “WATER” again in English. The french speaking waiter, confused and oblivious to his request asked the Asian man to clarify. The Asian man pointed to my glass of water to convey what he wanted. At this point I was mind blown. It is 2019, most of us have iPhones or smartphones, right? So, my thing is, why not google translate simple phrases when you are traveling abroad? Even if your french is bad, when people see you are making an effort to convey your point, it creates a colorful cultural exchange.

At this point, I just had to ask this man.. “where are you from?” He must have been startled to hear someone else speaking in English because his eyebrows were raised to his forehead. He replied, “H—iiiii, I’m from China but I have lived in the US for several years now.” Nice, I’m Salyma, it’s a pleasure meeting you. “David”, the stranger said as he took my hand. Then for the next hour in a half, we both ate the same meal and debated on identity, race, oppression, minorities, marriage, and racism.

From living in Paris and from my interactions with others I’ve realized that Paris is not just Paris. It’s a window onto Dakar, Senegal; or Morocco; or Mumbai, India, China, etc. It is a melting pot of people from all corners of the globe. Here, I have found true beauty in multiculturism.

Growth

This Chapter of my life is called growth.

I almost gave up on this blog. Not because I fell out of love with writing, but because I am being pulled in multiple directions. I almost gave up on this blog because I have big dreams that require major sacrifices. However, my sister became my alarm clock that I forgot I set the night before, yet it woke me up in the nick of time. She reminded me that if writing is my passion, it is not worth sacrificing. Writing indeed is my passion. It expresses who I am as a person, it has saved me from depression, and at times has been my best friend. Writing is the painting of my voice that I get to illustrate. So whether it is writing this blog, a journal, or a book, I will continue to write. My promise to my readers and to myself is that I won’t give up on this blog without bigger plans for my writing.

Now that we’ve got the sentimental stuff out the way, lets talk about growth.

I recall a few years ago, I was having a conversation with a friend from The Gambia. The Gambia is a small west African country bounded by Senegal, with a rich history and beautiful customs. My friend, lets say his name was Koffi for confidentiality purposes. Koffi and I were close and as two Americans from west African origins, I was able to connect with him on a deeper level than I could with most people. There was a sense of being open and available to another person with Koffi, as I felt in return that he was open and available to me.

One day, we sat and discussed how beautiful our countries were. We discussed the popular dishes in our countries and debated these names as they vary in both countries (If you know, you know). I then mentioned how I could not wait to go back to Africa and reconnect with my culture. I was expecting Koffi to agree, as he hasn’t been back to his homeland for many years also. However, he expressed otherwise. He stated that he had no desire of going back to The Gambia. “Why not??” I awaited some elaborate answer that could justify why one would turn their back on their roots.

He simply replied, “I prefer America.”

I cannot lie, I looked at Koffi completely different that day. I was taught from a young age that our cultures shapes who we are, as it is our main identity. Hating our own culture is shameful and it may cause clashes in our society. I hold the strong belief that our cultures should be protected and preserved in order to be passed to our descendants.

Fast forward three years later,

It is 8:30 am and I am reflecting on my conversation with Koffi as I shower. As I have traveled more, I have come to realize that if we look deeply, all cultures in this world are after- effects of geographical, historical, economic, (etc) conditions and changes. I now feel that if some sides of a culture are unhealthy or unreasonable to a person, it is completely up to the individual to give up that particular practice or culture and move on. It’s possible to appreciate parts of your cultural heritage and disregard what you do not appreciate. In Koffi’s case it is evident that he did not hate the entire culture of his origin, as we shared and appreciated many of the same cultural parallels. Cultures do not remain organic. They change and adapt and so do we. Koffi simply adapted to American culture which became a more comfortable fit for him. I did not know and I failed to ask if he experienced any trauma or adversities in his country of origin, but why was I so quick to judge?

Growth.

I challenge you to do some self reflection today. Ask yourself where could I have been more effective in the past? Where could I have performed better in the role of X, where could I have been more compassionate? Where can I be more [insert adjective] today?

Personal growth is something that develops with time. We must work each day to ensure consistent growth. The truth is, some days you will achieve more growth and other days not so much. However, it is the continual drive to be a better person that will ensure consistent growth. Allow yourself to reflect accurately upon your progress and identify the changes you need to make.

“If you learn your lessons in life, as you get older, you will get better.” – Sommore

Thoughts?

Women: the war on pubic hair

Today in society, women succumb to many societal pressures. Society expects women to be well-dressed, meaning women should always looks their best. Women are expected to act “proper” meaning they should have manners, always. Have you ever heard a man burp loudly and no one says a word, however as soon as a woman burps, people say, “Ew” or “act like a lady?” These exact societal pressures attribute to the reason why women find it necessary to groom their pubic hairs.

If you think the U.S is the only country that expects women to rid themselves of their pubic hairs— think again. Women in Portugal and Romania succumb to these exact societal pressures we face in the U.S. There are many ways in which women rid themselves of their pubic hairs. The most common method is with the use of razors. With bikini season approaching, a rise in pubic hair removal is expected to occur.

On the contrary, pubic hair trends have changed wildly from era to era throughout history. Today, there are claims that pubic hair is fashionable again in porn. Also, feminism is enlightening society that a woman’s body is beautiful as is.

But what does science say??

Some Scientists believe that pubic hair is not just for decoration. It serves a purpose beyond decorating our genitals. Pubic hair is a sign of sexual maturity that serves a purpose in trapping unpleasant odors. The removal of pubic hair is associated with an increase for herpes, syphilis, and HPV according to a recent study. Most women who report grooming their pubic hair admit to suffering accidental injuries in the least accommodating of places.

On the other hand, Some scientist say that shaving is a form of physical exfoliation that can positively impact the health of the skin. While pubic hair serves in trapping unpleasant odors, it can also trap bacteria leading to an unpleasant odor. Removing pubic hairs can make cleaning the vagina simpler for some women as they follow up with a proper skin care routine to keep the skin healthy.

IT IS IMPERATIVE TO NOTE THAT: This article is not to shame women who keep their pubic hairs nor women who rid themselves of their pubic hairs. I want women to interrogate the ideas that lead to our choices, then decide which course of action we want to take.

What do I make of all of this?

I like the feeling of a smooth, glistening, clean leg, just like I like the showering shaving ritual. The smell of the topical gels along with the smooth line of the razor through foam followed up with a skin care routine is my idea of a peaceful way to begin some of my mornings. I am aware that to some women, this may sound like the perfect task to ruin a good morning.. and that’s perfectly O.K.

After all, it is our bodies. As long as our personal hygiene is intact, I believe we can make the conscious decision to keep or rid our bush.

Change

It’s strange, “nothing is so painful to the human mind than a great and sudden change.”

The Earth’s axis is slightly tilted in relation to its orbit around the sun. Meaning, whether we are ready or not, change has won.

Change is like falling in love with a rosette sunset, yet our attachment will disappoint once the sun sets.

However, when we return at the same time tomorrow, we’ll omit yesterday’s sorrow our temporary attachment shall return.

But when will we learn? Change is just a turn.

With Spring comes feelings of renewal and awakening. The leaves return from vacationing and the breeze is calm and serene.

Ya’ Amine, we are keen. Yet lost in a simple routine.

When summer arrives, to our surprise, the breeze will not apologize for its scorching temperature, whatsoever. Perhaps, we’ll get clever

As change never stops. It’s like a clock with a continuous tick-tock, non-stop

Until we welcome Autumn. Soft as cotton she comes and goes, as Winter advances to keep us on our toes.

He’s unapologetic and stern. A concern, to those who desperately await Spring’s return. But when will we learn?

Everything is non permanent. Semi-permanent, like a rosette sunset with a touch of all hues. Orange, red, a little blue, these are the clues!

In a few hours, clouds will tower or there may be showers and the sunset that was once “ours” will lose its turn.

When will we learn?

The war on Islam

If you do not know anything about me, understand these 2 things that set my soul on fire.

  1. I am Muslim
  2. I am a human rights advocate

In this moment, It is very hard times for Muslims worldwide. On March 15, 2019, 49 people were killed in a terrorist attack at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand — The country’s worst mass killing since 1943. A suspect charged in the attack was reportedly an anti-Muslim zealot. The deal toll has increased to 50 as there are are several survivors who remain in critical condition.

-In the United states, President Donald J. Trump has openly discussed his anti Muslim Bigotry ideologies. His campaign has advocated for a complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States and he has made toothless statements in regard to his ignorance of Islam. A few comment are, ” I think Islam hates us– There’s something there, a tremendous hatred”, “they have no respect at all”, and “the children of Muslim American parents, they’re responsible for a growing number of terrorist attacks” to name a few.

-In India, an attack on minority religions, including Islam has encouraged hate speeches and assaults that are forced by the majoritarian anti minority leaders. Muslims are suffering as they are systematically demonized as sexual predators, terrorist and demonic people who slaughter and eat cows, which is held sacred to many Hindus. The majority of hate attacks on Muslims are never publicly condemned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

-In China, Muslims are being forced to renounce Islam, criticize their Islamic beliefs, and recite communist Party propaganda songs for hours each day. Muslims are being forced to eat pork, and drink alcohol, which are forbidden acts in Islam. Muslims that refuse to partake in these acts are forced into internment camps and others are tortured and/or killed. The incarceration of this minority religion in China is not narrated as such to its own population. Chinese authorities are lying to their own population and other nations as they describe these internment camps as, “schools” or “institution hospitals”

My point is there is a widespread social legitimization of anti-Muslim prejudice, hate speech and hate crimes. These times are extremely tough for Muslims.

For my non-Muslims: I encourage you all to understand the core of Islam for your own knowledge and understanding. I encourage you all to spread kindness to your Muslim friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc. as your interact with them on the daily. Respecting human rights is treating people as you would want to be treated yourself. Make sure you treat others with respect and uplift those that are being disrespected.

For my Muslims: Times of difficulty test our faith, our fortitude, and our Imaan. Allah (swt) says, “Do the people think they will not be tested? But we have certainly tested those before them and Allah (swt) will surely make evident those who are truthful and he will certainly make evident the liars [Qu’ran, 29:2-3] Hardships are a blessing of Allah’s love. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “Whenever Allah wills good for a person, he subjects him to adversity” We will be tested with good times and bad times. InshaAllah our bad times will teach us lessons in humility. Lessons in humility purify the soul so much that Allah (swt) comforts the believers in the Qu’ran assuring them that any pain they encounter is intended to elevate and honor them.

My date from hell

Most  people who face negative experiences/ trauma, choose not to disclose their experience or they do not speak about it for a very long time.

Why? 

Negative experiences aren’t necessarily easy to recount. The reasons for this are multi-fold and likely include perceived stigma of being a “victim”, shame, past negative disclosure experiences, and fears of being blamed or told that the event was somehow our fault. An attempt to disclose a traumatic experience with a non understanding individual, may harm recovery. It can cause the individual to shut down and lock the psychological vault, if not indefinitely then at least for a long time.

At times, I find disclosing my negative experiences to others…therapeutic. Listening is a sign of love and understanding and after sharing, I feel that compassion. While the below story is negative and somewhat humorous, it is indeed real and this is my outlet. 

It was a birthday party. I was invited this night by a mutual friend to the birthday girl and I had no idea I would meet you this night. I was excited to get dressed up and enjoy myself because it honestly had been a very long time since I had done so. That evening, I work a gray long sleeved crop top, a long (but fitting) black skirt, and a pair of gold heels that complimented my white toe nail polish. My hair was sleeked into a long ponytail weave that reached the middle of my back and of course, my baby hairs were laid. I smelled like vanilla sugar and I was ready to mingle. I arrived at the birthday party at about 11pm and I recognized some familiar faces. I greeted them, and I felt your eyes on me. My friend that accompanied me to the party, began to speak on a topic that I can no longer recall because I was half listening as I felt your eyes burning a hole in my skin.

Being the Gemini that I am. I approached you. “Why are you standing in a corner alone?” I asked the stranger. He relayed to me, “I came with a mutual friend, but I don’t know most people in this room.” Fair enough. 20 minutes later, I forgot we weren’t the only ones in the room. Our conversation grew enthralling and the parallels in our lives were pleasing to discover. Shortly after, the birthday girl announced it was time for the party bus to take us to the club. I had no idea that this house party would lead to the club but luckily for me, I was dressed casually enough for a house party yet sexy enough for the club — I was ready.

We arrived and the scene was quintessential to say the least. I danced with my girlfriend for 1 song before you grabbed me to dance. Without hesitation, I knew you were waiting for your moment and I didn’t mind it. After all, I was interested in seeing how you moved on the dance floor. Your dance moves were hilarious. Not necessarily what I expected, but good enough for me to give you my number by the end of the night. I woke up the next morning to your Good morning text and for the following week we held meaningful conversation via text.

When Friday arrived, you asked if you could see me on Sunday after you left Church. “Sure.” I understood you were really into me because you lived an hour an 30 minutes away. However, I said sure, because I couldn’t wait to pick your brain. Sunday’s used to be my cooking days. When you arrived for lunch, I made chicken burritos. I naively allowed you into my 1 bedroom apartment and told you to make yourself at home.

We caught up some, and I made you a burrito. But right before indulging you just had to mention… “I eat a lot” That caught me off guard. “Ok.. I cooked a lot, so help yourself.” I didn’t understand your warning was an inclining to your savage eating habits. After one burrito, I watched as you stuffed ALL of the ingredients into 3 burritos and… ate…. ALL..of… my… food. I watched you slurp down ALL the food I cooked that afternoon without saying one word. I was disgusted and stunned.

But I tried to rationalize the situation. I thought to myself “maybe this is his first meal of the day, maybe he hasn’t ate in weeks, maybe he really loves my cooking… maybe I should overlook this red flag??” I took your plate and I asked well, “how was the food?” The response I was given should have been enough for me to kick you out. Enough for me to slap your mother for raising such a disrespectful human. You fixed your greasy lips to say “It could have used more pepper” At this point I was fuming. Smoke was in the air but I let it clear before I spoke again. I truly held my composure in this moment. I grabbed both your plate and mine and took them to the sink. After washing dishes, I sat beside you and we talked about tv shows. I played something for us to watch as you sunk into my couch. Oh, you were comfortable, comfortable and I wanted nothing more than to kick you out of my apartment. What happened to the guy I met at the party? How could I have missed these signs?…

After 10 minutes of watching whatever show was on you went for it. Just as You grabbed me to dance in the party you were bold this time too. However, this time I was not receptive. You kissed the skin I had showing on my back very Passionately. Oh, you went for it. I jumped. “Could you.. not?” I said. WTF not only did I not like that. It was random, impulsive, and creepy. We continued to watch the show when you kissed my back AGAIN. This time I was not so nice. I jumped up and I cursed you out. I moved to the opposite couch as I thought of ways to kick you out of my apartment.

Usually I’d text my bestfriend to give me a call and some emergency would be my escape out of the awkward situation. However, this time I was very blunt. You were too disrespectful. I expressed to you that” hey, its getting late, and I’d like you to leave.” The disappointment on your face was less shocking than your words. “I didn’t plan on leaving until midnight” MOTHERF&#*@! Who the hell are you to tell me when you planned on leaving my home? You then asked if you could use my restroom before your departure.

Image result for bad first date

Whew a sigh of relief. Finally this hell date was coming to an end.. I could see the light.

15 minutes later you were still in my restroom. I approached my bathroom door and pressed my ear on the door. Instantly, I heard bombs dropping in Baghdad. The farts you let off mixed with the smell that surrounded my room were head spinning. How DARE you take a hot shit in my bathroom as its time for you to leave?? Did you really have to go or was this petty revenge for being kicked out? I couldn’t put my finger on it, I just knew this was the last time we would ever hang out. What puzzled me was when you came out the bathroom, you had a brand new outfit on. “Why did you change?” I asked. You responded, “Just in case I spent the night I brought another outfit.” I laughed inside. The entitlement was enough to piss me off but funny enough for me to understand that you sir.. are sadly mistaken.

You left my home that evening with the saddest puppy dog eyes as you asked for a hug. I refused to hug you and you got in your car and drove off. I layed on my couch and pondered on how things went so wrong. My phone buzzed and it was you again. I opened your SMS. It read, “Can I get a bite”? A bite? what on earth is he talking about, he literally ate all of my food. Is this a sexual reference? I wanted you to specify. “A bite of what?” You responded, “I drove an hour and thirty minutes to see you, can I get 5 minutes with the kitty, can I get a bite?”

Baffled, I blocked you.

I could only reflect on my mistakes afterwards. I should have never allowed a stranger into my home. You weren’t entirely to blame. I am grateful you did not come back on your own accord. A crazy individual, however a needed learning lesson you were indeed.

Thoughts? comment below.

Are you worth it or are you entitled?

I hate long lines at the supermarket. I hate bad customer service. I hate it when I don’t receive cellular reception on the New York Metro system… but what do I hate more than any of these inconveniences?…I hate ENTITLEMENT

Entitlement: noun. the fact of having a right to something|The belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.

Well, What is it about entitlement that gets under my skin? After all, entitlement is not necessarily a bad thing. People living in the United States are certainly entitled to unalienable rights. These rights are highlighted in the American constitution i.e. the freedom to vote, freedom of speech, freedom of religion etc. I feel that as humans we should be entitled to equal human rights(unfortunately that is not the case world wide).

Without equivocation, what I hate most about entitlement is the deserve trap. It goes a little something like this..

I bust my ass at work, I’m smart, I invest..  I deserve to be a millionaire?!

Entitlement thinking is invading our society. We feel that we should be allotted rewards because of our motivation, our skills, our looks, or even worse… just because.

Ask yourself, have I become.. entitled?

  • My boss should give me a raise!
  • My spouse better cook tonight!
  • She/he better text me back!
  • My kids better behave!
  • My spouse better be in the mood!
  • I should be manager right now!

Or perhaps,

  • You look out for your desires more than anyone else’s
  • You crave admiration/adoration
  • You like to assert your dominance/superiority over others
  • You tend to feel sorry for yourself in attention seeking manners if things do not work out how you planned
  • You believe that you are more special/matter more than others
  • In order to “succeed in life”, you will go to any lengths

The truth is, we do not reach our full potentials when we fall in the deserve trap. Many things we hope for do not go our way in life. For instance, the “he/she better text me back” approach. This mentality is what empowers many people to send multiple text messages to their person of interest because they feel that <Hey, I like Tina, and she should text me back because I’m funny and handsome>

… Which may be the easiest way to get ignored in my book. This belief facilitates the entitlement mentality, which psychology defines as a narcisstic mindset that can easily be mistaken as natural and healthy.

In essence, having a sense of entitlement is a malignant form of self-love. It often harms the people around us which indirectly causes us harm. It is imperative to remember that we all are subject to personality flaws. While some of us are deeply insecure, some of us suffer from entitlement complexes.

We must develop more self awareness, identify our inner expectations of the world, and work to accept life as it is without imposing our perceptions of what things should be.

True self love, is not entitlement…not the REAL kind.

man wearing gray sweater in selective focus photography
Photo by Segopotso Makhutja on Pexels.com

Energy, why protect it?

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” – Anne Lamot.

We are constantly in motion. Like the rest of your body, your brain changes with each passing year. As a twenty something year old, the regions in the frontal lobe that are responsible for judgment, planning, weighing risks and decision-making finally finish developing. What does that mean?

It means that with each passing day, we get better. Our mindsets change and we gain clarity. With clarity comes a loss of relationships and new relationships.

Just as a security system protects our homes, we must protect our mental state and our energies. But, Wh@t dOeS Pr0TeCtinG YoUr En3eRgY Ev3n M3an? Protecting your energy simply means to pay attention. Pay attention to the company you keep, pay attention to what you intake, and pay attention to self care.

Pay attention to the company you keep: For example, it is perfectly healthy to cut off a friend you no longer enjoy spending time with. There is no reason to feel guilty in doing so, nor continuing the relationship because it’s habit to spend time with them. There are warning signs. Your interests may shift, you no longer have a particular thing in common, or they no longer bring positivity to your life. This person may be a childhood friend, a college friend, a colleague or an ex, etc. Just like we grow out of our old shoes, we can grow out of relationships. The key is recognizing when that relationship becomes problematic and moving on.

Pay Attention to what you intake: If you’re like me and you wish to live a healthy life. You will probably not eat junk food everyday. However, protecting what you intake is more than just watching what you eat. Its filtering what you watch, and filtering what you listen to. You attract what you intake, and if you wish to live a more positive life, intake more positive shows, and listen to positive influences/music.

Pay Attention to self care: Listen to your body. Self care does not necessarily mean spending $100 on a spa day on your day off. For me, self care is unplugging myself from the world, drinking hot tea with ginger and doing a $3 coconut face mask. Self care could be playing video games after a stressful day or simply meditating. Listen to your body and give it what it needs. May it be water, sleep, or even lotion (for the ashy mofos, kidding of course) be attentive to you.

After all, we only get one body. Protect your energy. Your future self will thank you for it.

Loneliness matters

I have found my peace. My relationships are thriving and I am constantly striving to  complete each goal that I have set for myself. It’s safe to say that I am “happy.” However, one major challenge within happiness is loneliness. The more I’ve learned about happiness, the more I’ve come to realize that loneliness is a common and important obstacle to consider. Psychology says, that in order to be happy we need sufficient material resources, intimate bonds with others, and a stable environment.

While I can agree that these factors play an important role in our lives, I do not believe that is all that it takes to satisfy the void we feel in our hearts. I believe the key to a not-lonely life is a connection with God. The second major key is enjoying company. Not the company of your boyfriend/girlfriend, not the company of our friends nor families, but enjoying our OWN company. How many people do you know that are in relationships that are STILL lonely? How many wealthy people have everything they could have ever imagined in life yet they are still…..lonely??

For many of us, “alone” is a negative state of being. Society and social media following support the notion that other people make us important. Being alone carries a negative connotation that implies sadness or isolation. But what many people tend to overlook is that there is so much power we can pour into our souls by learning to trust and rely on our own inner voice as the best source of guidance. Being alone matters and learning to be comfortable with it is even more important. Being alone allows us to think for ourselves introspectively. We can analyze situations and make our own decisions without being socially influenced.

More specifically, learning how to be alone can be beneficial to us when it comes to pursuing a romantic partner. You will have instilled in yourself what you know to be true about who you are, and what you will and will not tolerate. Your partner will only be a bonus to your life, not the missing puzzle.

I say that to say this, Be thankful for yourself. No one can have your back like you have your own back. In the field of personal development, WE are our own best teachers.

And after all, if you know what I know to be true.. you’ll find peace in knowing we’re never truly alone.

Black woman claims she’s white

16-year old, black teen, Treasure, believes she is Caucasian. How can a black person deny their race when they are visibly black one may ask? According to this teen, she is Caucasian because everything about her differs from African Americans. This distinction stems from her “not nappy” hair texture, her nose, which she says is “not giant, like African Americans.” Her lips, that are “perfect”, and her Caucasian ears that are the complete opposite of “giant” African American ears. Treasure stands firm in her walk in life as a Caucasian person as she distances herself from “ghetto” speaking and “criminal” thinking African Americans who are all “below” her.

Unbelievable?

Take a look at this video..

Whew…

adult dark depressed face
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

That was A LOT. before we release our opinions on this dangerous mindset, I believe it is imperative to analyze what role Treasure’s parents played in her life.

Our Parents are our first teachers of life. They are our introduction to socialization. Through experience and behavior they help shape our self-esteem and cultural identity.

Treasure’s mother, a black woman, enabled her daughter to believe that her late husband, who was a Caucasian man was her biological father. It was not until his passing, that she decided to tell her daughter the truth that her only known father was not her biological dad. What effect did this devastating news have on Treasure? In my opinion, it caused a true identity crisis.

What we are witnessing is cognitive dissonance, lack of exposure, and self hatred. As humans, we strive to be consistent. Have you ever been to the supermarket and realized that they moved the cereal to a different aisle? Or do you have a love interest that you are getting to know that does not call when they say they will call nor text back? Annoying and uncomfortable right? Well, this feeling of discomfort is what this 16 year old teen is struggling with. Her identity as a mixed girl was stripped from her, and the white father that she knew and adored is gone–physically and psychologically.

Treasure hence, begins to act in a manner that strives on make things more consistent. By rejecting black people, Treasure feels a closeness to whiteness, which she associates with the consistency she once had in her life. Furthermore, by rejecting her blackness she is subconsciously distancing herself from the inconsistent person in her life– her mother. Treasure’s mother lied to her about who she is. That trauma has enabled Treasure to develop a Rejection of identity which I believe is a coping mechanism.

Treasure’s low self esteem is also a result of lack of exposure. How many powerful black women do you think she knows? Probably not many or none. How many black role models can you imagine she has been given exposure to? This is why REPRESENTATION MATTERS.

What difference does the representation of someone like yourself make? Representation encourages children’s cultural and ethnic pride. Pride, in return, is associated with self-esteem– How we feel about our race, our ethnicity, but most importantly how we feel about ourselves.

All in all, before I am able to criticize Treasure’s dangerous mindset, I can first pity her ignorance. Her ignorance to her identity, her lack of representation, and her ignorance toward her own ethnic heritage.

What that mouth do?

Damn!

Excuse me, because I don’t even like to curse. I was telling my friend the other day to correct my French if she overheard me cursing. I’m not perfect but I made a commitment to myself to only let what is beautiful flow from my mouth. My posture, my facial expression, the space I take up—profoundly, yet subtly, shapes how I feel emotionally and shapes the words that come out of my mouth.

But shit, it feels good to release tension.

wow, I did it again.

It’s not that being positive or even refraining from cursing is hard to do. But I have to question, is it wrong to express negative emotions? Am I a hypocrite or is this an indication of my duality?

Hypocrisy: Noun

  • The claim or pretense of having beliefs, standards, qualities, behaviors, virtues, motivations, etc. which one does not actually have.

Duality: Noun

  • A classification into two sub-classes or opposed parts. (projective geometry) The interchangeability of points and planes.

-Are we hypocrites for choosing not to curse, but on our way to work we find ourselves  screaming “Fuck you asshole” to the reckless driver who swerved in our lane? Or Is it our duality that empowers us to be righteous in some settings and carefree in others?

-Is it hypocritical to listen to spiritual music when we are with our families, yet we listen to trap music when we are with our “hood rat friends” (you know who you are) Or is that also an indication of our duality?

You be the judge.

What I do know to be true is, things are not always black and white. As a bilingual person I feel that at times, speaking English with my mother feels weird and our conversations are more authentic when we speak in French. This duality may be the same as listening to trap music with our friends because it feels more authentic, yet we choose to listen to spiritual music when we are with our aunties because it feels more appropriate.

The truth is, we live in language.

Choose to speak in ways that express your truest feelings. Sometimes those feelings are not always pleasant, but negative emotions deserve an outlet. With that in mind, there are dangers to giving negative emotions too much attention. Giving too much attention to our negative emotions can overshadow other emotions and narrow our focus to more negativity that may lead to mental health issues.

If you’re like me, and you choose to live a more positive life, become more conscious of the energy you release into the world. The world is OURS. Witness how something as simple as speaking a positive aspiration aloud can manifest itself to become a reality.

Damn, the human race is truly blessed with the ability to communicate through language.

I did it again. But, I cursed in a good connotation this time.

See, communication is a gift. A blessing and a CURSE.. but I’ll save that part for another discussion.

woman with orange manicure
Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

Balance check

Every once in a while… or perhaps very often, i find myself overwhelmed with all of the tasks that I have to fulfill. Taking care of patients full time, competing to be the best in my graduate program, blogging, writing, maintaining family ties, making time for my romantic interest, exercising, practicing Islam, checking my emails, feeding my cat… suffice it to say, one of my greatest challenges is not completing these important tasks each day, but finding the time to enjoy leisure activities as well. I often feel like I’m running a never ending race while I’m completing one activity as I’m thinking ahead of my next task. Certainly, to achieve your goals you have to be a little obsessed and highly invested.

Balance.

Why is balance necessary? Balance gives me back my control. I understand that I am in control of multiple activities and if I balance my time these activities will not control my life.

Does that make SENSE? Balance is how we regain POWER over the activities we are committed to. The way I see balance is the same way I see a thanksgiving plate. On thanksgiving, we pack a variety of different sides onto our plates. Turkey, Collard greens, stuffing, roasted sweet potatoes, potato salad, mmhm… my sister makes the best macaroni and cheese.. extra chessy and— nevermind. The point is, when we have a balanced life, we will most likely eat all of the food on our plate ONE side at a time rather than being overwhelmed by the food all at once.

Plan…

After I make a schedule for the week. The next morning I may feel overwhelmed by all of the activities I have to complete that day, but by lunch I will have completed something. And soon enough, It will become clear to just.. Breathe. We’ve got this under control.

Forgetful

Sometimes, I forget.

I forget that my eyes are always honest. The “windows to your soul” some call it and mine are pianist.

The songs they play are pleasurable like warm sand sliding between your toes from a quiet wave.

Sometimes, I forget.

That my smile is the trusty key that fits in your back pocket, like I forget that my beautiful face is the purest shade of chocolate.

I forget that the love that spills from my heart is ever flowing, dripping and dropping like a leaking faucet.

Sometimes, I forget.

That my skin is as smooth as silk.

To be held in my embrace is to be wrapped in an ivory silk blanket and to taste my skin is to devour the sweetest pomegranate.

Sometimes, I forget.

That this too shall pass. No mater how scary a situation may seem it is just a fleeting moment. Life’s a lesson as we are in class.

Sometimes I forget,

That no one is better equipped to tackle my challenges better than I. So I celebrate my losses as they keep my esteem high.

So this post is to remember,

YOU are deserving of kindness. So remember to treat yourself with love and patience as the endearment you give yourself shall remain timeless.

“You have been assigned this mountain to show others it can be moved”

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

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Are you beautiful?

As a child, I‘ve always felt “beautiful.” I am the baby of my family and growing up my family friends and relatives referred to me as “la plus belle.” Meaning, the most beautiful in french. These things never made me infatuated with myself or with my looks but they did do one thing.. make me feel special.

In middle school I went through the “awkward stage”. The high-watered pants, the high pony-tail that sat on top of my head (that my best friend loves to make funny references about), the taunting that I endured due to my dark skin, and the strong French accident that I tried so hard to shake. Yet, I still felt beautiful.

In high school, I was super shy, but for the first time ever, I came out of my shell. I was full of life, I had an amazing sense of humor, I was liked, but most importantly to me at the time, boys found me beautiful. As a young women the desire to be wanted and liked equated to how beautiful I was.. I felt beautiful.

Then all of a sudden.. I didn’t feel beautiful.

I didn’t have my family and family friends constantly reminding me that I was “la plus belle”, I didn’t have the reassurance from the opposite sex reminding me of how beautiful I looked or the reassurance of my friends reminding me of how amusing I was.

One evening, after a period of hesitation, I finally hung out with someone who I knew lusted after me. Once I arrived, I sat in his apartment and without beating around the bush, I asked him, “Why did you want to hang out?” he replied, “because I find you beautiful.” That was the first time that words weren’t enough to make me feel beautiful.. I left.

One afternoon as I walked through my college campus it began to drizzle. Five minutes later an unusual amount of downpour that made my socks disgustingly wet made me grateful that I decided to carry my umbrella that morning. As I reached my destination, I spotted a woman walking in the opposite direction than I was. What shocked me was that she had no umbrella, no jacket, and from what it seemed like, no sense of direction. I approached her and placed my umbrella over both of our heads as I asked her where she was headed. She told me that she was a freshman heading to her dorm. I understood that was a 10 minute direction from our location which translated into a 15 minute walk considering the heavy rain and a 15 minute walk back. Yet, I was still inclined to walk her home.

Finally, we reached her destination and the appreciative lady thanked me for my beautiful soul.

It dawned on me that outer beauty is a temporary gift. What will happen to our self-esteem when we don’t hear affirmations from others? What will happen when we age and we lose our outer beauty?

The most everlasting gift we can give to ourselves is inner beauty. We may be unable to see the inner beauty in others but isn’t it amazing how we can “feel” these things? A person with inner beauty always touches those around them. Your inner beauty is your untarnished truth. In fact, it is the purest expression of beauty that the soul has to offer.

So when you see the warm and hypnotic glow that radiates from my face please understand it has everything to do with the magical ember that burns deep within my soul.

 

 

image from: http://www.travelstart.com.ng/blog/the-best-of-west-africa-destinations/

 

Does religious compatibility matter in relationships?

I live for warm summer nights. They are filled with memorable times, beautiful weather, and picturesque scenery that embodies the allure of some of God’s finest creations in nature. Reminiscing on a previous summer night, I was running errands with my boyfriend at the time. After a successful night of productivity we got into his car to head home when I opened my wallet and realized I dropped a $10 dollar bill sometime during the night by accident. An instant feeling of gratitude came over me because my faith kicked in at that moment–Islam. In Islam, Muslims believe that God deserves all praise for the good that occurs in our lives and God deserves all praise for what may seem like misfortune in our lives. Our misfortunes in hindsight may actually be some of our biggest blessings in disguise. I expressed to my boyfriend at the time an atheist, how I wished that I made whoever’s night that found the $10 dollar bill and how I had hoped that it could slightly change someone’s negative situation.

His response?

He was disappointed and borderline angry that my money was lost and expressed that if I planned on giving away money it should have been to him. He then arrogantly listed all of the things he could have done with the cash had I gave it to him instead of losing it. Instantly, I knew religion played a major role in our principles and morals. Our mindsets were completely different.

According to a recent Pew Research Center Survey, Marrying within the faith is common in the United States, with nearly 7/10 married people (69%) saying that their spouse shares their religion. But a comparison of recent and older marriages shows that having a spouse of the same religion may be less important to many Americans today than it was decades ago.

While different faiths usually disagree on a number of things, they all surprisingly agree that the idea of an interfaith marriage is a bad idea.

Some appalling statistics concerning interfaith marriages:

  • Kids in an interfaith marriage are twice as likely to be brought up in the mother’s faith than the father’s faith
  • In the West, interfaith marriages are mostly welcomed. In the East, they can lead to violence, honor killings, and a number of other anguishing consequences
  • American Muslims have the highest rate of interfaith marriages than any other Islamic community
  • 45% of the marriages that currently exist in the United States, as of 2010, where interfaith marriages
  • When one spouse is more religiously active than the other, then there is a higher level of marriage dissatisfaction that occurs
  • The risks of divorce increases for an interfaith marriage when a husband attends services more frequently or when a wife has a more conservative religious outlook
  • The United Nations believes that there are over 5,000 religious honor killings each year because of interfaith marriages
  • 25% of married couples who begin as interfaith couples will actually become same faith marriages
  • Marrying someone of another faith makes you more likely to have a positive impression of that faith as a whole

Personally speaking the chances of me dating outside of my religious beliefs again are slim to none. How about yourself, Could you date/marry outside of your religious beliefs? Why or why not?

arches architecture building daylight
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How you lovin’?

silhouette of man and woman kissing
Photo by Ibrahim Asad on Pexels.com

I’ve had love. I’ve lost love, I’ve regretted giving love, but most of all I love… love. 

What’s amazing to me is how everyone interprets the act of love differently and shows love differently.

When I think of true love, the first person that comes to mind is my mother. How can someone endure so much pain during a pregnancy, sacrifice so much to provide for her baby, tolerate cognitive dissonance during the teenage years, constantly forgive with an open heart and continue to love all the same? Only God knows. 

When I imagine the love I need to keep a distance from, the first person that comes to mind is my father. An absentee father is one of my greatest blessings. I am grateful for my father’s shortcomings because his absence gave me a personalized blueprint of the signs of a mendacious man. I was given the ability to call out the man who wants to love me, be with me, but will not protect and honor me like the crowned jewel he does not deserve to hold. 

But in order to fully understand this concept I had to experience selfish love. Love that brewed from intrinsic motivations, love that pretended to be kind, honest and ingenuous. Love that lied and cheated. Love that clouded judgement, Love that was a product of a broken home, love that needed guidance, love that was emotionally immature, love that was unappreciative…. love that didn’t value their worth, love that needed patience that I didn’t have. Love that was exactly what I needed.

One of life’s greatest treasures is true love. When love is unfeigned… it gives us every reason to believe in good people. During my vacation in France, I encountered a person who I knew for a short period of time, but in that short time span, he became a confidant and a friend like no other. By expressing forthright, unromantic, kind, and veritable love, he easily became a life long friend. Not because we come from similar walks of life, or share the same religions views, but because of the deep respect and concern that was mutually reciprocated. 

Connections.

When we care about someone lets be present, give them the most authentic version of ourselves, lose all expectations… and love. 

 

6 weeks too long.

I’ve heard many times before, “Not all those who wander are lost.” Well, I’ve been proudly wandering the streets of France these past 6 weeks. Traveling has left me speechless and simultaneously turned me into a great story-teller.

Reconnecting.

My intentions of going to France was to earn university credit from a prestigious business school in La Rochelle called Groupe sup de Co. But never did I imagine I would reconnect with God, nature and most importantly myself on this trip. The first thing I noticed in France was community. Each nationality has a community and set neighborhoods for their people. I found this division beautiful. Moroccans, Pakistanis, and Senegalese people for example each have a sense of community outside of their homeland to depend on, communicate with, and grow with. The different nationalities in France that yearn to succeed each have a common denominator–DIVERSITY.

What I found surprising?

The ability of people to spot out persons from their motherland. One afternoon standing outside of the Musee du L’ouvre, I made eye contact with two African men. The moment they saw me, they flocked to me yelling “SENEGAL, SENEGAL, SENEGAL.” See, if I was being pursued that way in America I would probably run but for some reason I still decided to run… but in their direction. They embraced me and instantly wanted to get acquainted with me. As a woman who comes from two African backgrounds I was moved as to how easily some people can detect unique phenotypes and attributes from different countries.

SEX.

Everyone’s favorite subject.

not in the physical form, but I was more mentally stimulated these past 6 weeks than I have ever been. Have you ever visited a site so beautiful that you gain chills down your spine and tears begin to swell in your eyes? Well that’s what the Garden of Claude Monet in Giverny, the beaches in Normandy, and the Musee du L’ouvre in Paris did for me. How many of you are aware that mental stimulation can be more arousing than physical stimulation when it comes to sex? So to my future husband… enjoy life’s scenery with me, take me to the pinnacle of your favorite site, and lets wander where the WiFi is weak.

Black. No sugar, no cream.

capitalismchains• Black •  Adjective 

  1. of the very darkest color owing to the absence of or complete absorption of light; the opposite of white
  2.  of any human group having dark-colored skin, especially of African or Australian Aboriginal ancestry

My first understanding of blackness came from the Ivory Coast. There, I was taught that my black skin is radiance that serves as protection from the sun’s harsh rays. As a child, I understood how alluring black skin was and is, as it glows and shines as light is reflected from it.

But what does it mean to be black in America?

My first week of third grade, my teacher counted by 2’s and paired me with a white male to work as partners on our writing assignment. Immediately, he ejected the proposal and blurted ” I DON’T WANT TO WORK WITH HER BECAUSE SHE’S DARK, DARK…DARK. My reaction? Pure confusion. I thought to myself, I am dark, but what does that have to do with the assignment?

Double consciousness, a term coined in W.E.B Dubois 1903 publication, “The Souls of  Black Folk” describes the psychological challenge of “always looking at one’s self through the “eyes” of a racist white society. Double consciousness is walking into a grocery store with both hands in your pocket, and remembering that as a black person, society stereotypes you as a threat so you quickly take your hands out of your pockets to avoid any repercussions. Double consciousness is standing in line at a coffee shop behind a white person and leaving plenty room between yourself and the individual because you understand that your blackness makes others uncomfortable. Double consciousness is getting pulled over for failure to signal and keeping your hands on the dashboard for the duration of your encounter with an officer because you’re aware that people who look just like you get shot and killed for reaching for their wallet. Sadly, this critical concept may be the determining factor between life or death.

34-year-old, Lolade Siyonbola, a black graduate student at Yale university took a nap in her dorm’s common room and in consequence, a white student called the police on her. While double consciousness may sometimes serve as a shield from white oppression, never in a million years would I conclude that sleeping while black could be a potential threat. Lolade Siyonbola warrants the right of occupying space on Yale university’s common room as she is a deserving student who pays her tuition.

These incidents remind us that a lot of work still has to be done nationally.  How would you react if you saw Siyonbola asleep in the common room? Does one’s blackness make you uncomfortable? if so, why?

Image from: http://www.socialist.ca/node/3010

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