Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Every Woman Needs A Male Best Friend

Honestly I don't know who or where I'd be without my MBFF. He's known me since I was 21. Met me and my girls on South Beach, invited me to a party with The Roots performing under the night sky, and rapped me up for hours while we were surrounded by graffiti artists spraying white walls with neon/glow-in-the-dark paint. I'll never forget it.

We talked that night as if we had known each other all of our lives. I had a great time that Spring Break with my girls but he put the spark in it, made it extra special. My MBFF became a fixture in my life, always caring, always motivating, pushing me career-wise, coaching me to do the unthinkable/non-typical, always checking for and on me.

P.S. I'm absolutely not talking about friends with benefits...not that anything's really wrong with that if that's what you choose. Not this article though...

Why is the MBFF necessary?

1. He knows you. Years in the making, he knows what to do and say when you're in a stank mood. You two share inside jokes that will have you busting out laughing even when you're not feeling up to it. You can ask him, "Hey, am I being stupid, crazy, irrational?" And you can count on him to tell you "YES!!!" if that's in fact the truth, rather than someone telling you what they think you want to hear.

2. Dating advice. Yes, he can translate man talk. Better yet, he can stop you from over-analyzing men with these simple words, "Men are simple. It's you women that make it more complicated than it is. Just chill. Do you." I've heard those words over and over again. And what's great about my MBFF is that he doesn't have a problem repeating this to me, as I tend to forget when I'm entering into and exiting out of situations.

3. You can eavesdrop on his love life. It's nice to be on the other side for a change, hear things from a man's perspective about other women. Makes you change up a bit and make your thing (who you are and how you are) much more attractive. Many times, I've found myself comparing myself-and not in any insecure way-to the women in his life. You get to say, "Ooooh, I would never do that. She's wack for that!!" or "Wow, okay, I like how she did that."

4. You know you're in safe hands. After being besties for so long, you develop trust in your MBFF, which is probably more than you can say for those who have come and gone. After trials, triumphs and tests of your genuine love for each other, you know that he has your back and he'll hold you down, and you would do the same for him. You have history, you know each others' stories, you have a forever thing versus a temporary connection.

5. Acceptance. Everyone wants to be liked/loved for who they are, right? Years of friendship has made the both of you reveal yourselves, and though it was not always a pretty picture or you did not portray the most pleasant facets of your personalities, you knew that you were only human and the truth is people change through time and after certain life events. Flaws and all, you stick it out with each other and then he says that when you marry whomever he approves, he's showing up at your wedding dressed down but very handsomely in an Adidas jumpsuit and shelltoes. <----Okay, that's just my MBFF. LOL!!! But the point is the MBFF stands by you and your choices (even after some debate) and accepts you for you. That's a good feeling.



Wednesday, October 13, 2010

On That Midnight Train to Florida

I totally quit D.C. for a week. I packed my stuff and I hopped on a train to purposely ride for 17 hours...I wanted to be in a position where all I could do was think, reassess, write and rest. That's exactly what I did.

I got my window seat (great!), I had my laptop, Blackberry (music and Twitter), and I was comfortably dressed: Tank, Boyfriend sweater, black leggings, calf boots, hair done, make-up minimal. Travel chic. Water and plenty of fruit to avoid dehydration.

It felt good to have a seat to myself, a window I could gaze out of, and just the thought of knowing I had the power to leave stuff I didn't feel like dealing with felt wonderful.

I opened my laptop and added on to my second novel. That thing is gonna be good (in my opinion) especially since I'm combining the second novel's story with the third. That's because both of the plots are in my head and I just don't want to wait for the third to get this story out. For writers who take inspiration from their own lives, you'll get this. I'm currently living novel #3. The passion, because I'm feeling everything now (good, bad, beautiful, ugly), is fresh and I have to transfer it to paper (computer). Considering the fact that the second novel was going to have a very sad element, the elements of the third novel will balance it out. What I want is a balanced story...which totally works cus I'm still dealing with the main issues that were going to be expressed in novel #2 as I'm living #3. So yeah, pretty much, the first novel was based on events in my life during college and a little after. The second (combo of #2 and #3) will be based on personal events, but keep in mind, I have a very creative imagination and it IS fiction.

With #2, my writing is going to be more poetic. I felt the need after the first and since inspiration comes in many forms, poetry found me this year. No poems, just a more of a poetic flow. You'll see.

I wrote on the train, I tweeted on the train- like I couldn't stop. That was different. I also listened to "Love is Stronger Than Pride" by Sade over and over and then tuned in to my Bliss station on Pandora. It's hard to explain this type of band/music. It's meditative, smooth, chill, loungey...If you like Telepopmuzik's "Breathe," then you may like Bliss. The song of theirs I love is "Don't Look Back." Replay...

I watched "Just Wright" again! I enjoyed watching the maturation of Scott's relationship with Leslie. I like the realistic situation involving the return of his ex-fiance who had broken his heart and Scott was unsure so he left Leslie for her...Leslie did her own thing and when Scott got his barrings and saw clearly, he came back for her and courted her though she gave him a hard time at first. The right things done and said by the right person. It's refreshing to watch.

The only thing that irritated me on the train was when I got a seat mate and she slept facing me. Girlllll, no! LOL!! And then when she slept with her back to me, the crack of her butt was showing. One, are you wearing underwear? Two, where is your belt? Three, you can't feel that breeze? Ewwwww...so I made myself sleep facing my window.

When the sun came up, I made my way with my laptop to the dining car. Seats taken everywhere. I asked a young man could I sit with him. I never opened my computer because we talked for hours. He was a Miami man, hardworking, kind and he was stuck at a standstill too. He was in the midst of figuring out how to continue to get what he really wanted in life like me. Two strangers on the same page. I enjoyed my time and my talk with him. And when I was rushing to get off the train with my luggage, he stepped off (not his stop) and helped me. Very, very sweet man. We said goodbye, I think I hugged him (he was a sweetheart) and he hopped back on the train. My mom saw him and asked who he was...Just a nice guy.

Now I'm in Orlando, still thinking and reassessing, but I'm wayyyyy more relaxed. I'm coming back different. I'm already changed. More explanations later!



Friday, October 1, 2010

Dear God, Help Me to Let This Go...

I've been in my (Wo)man cave for weeks. Tragic news of my Uncle/Godfather's passing put me in another mental state...not crazy, but extremely sad. One, I'm big on father figures. He was one. Two, I love the loved ones who support me no matter what. He was one. And three, it was unfreakin' real and sudden...like split-second life changing. I was living in a nightmare that I feel like I still haven't woken up from. It's heartbreaking...but the things that keep a smile on my face are: My family's strength, love, and perseverance and the fact that my Uncle planted valuable seeds in all of us. He instilled entrepreneurship, beyond-the-classroom learning, and that living your dream is the only way to live. With that, family, and God (constant prayer), I have all I need to succeed.

So what is it that I need to let go of? Not my Uncle's memory- not at all. I'll explain...

In beginning to search for family photos of him a couple of weeks ago, I kept seeing and remembering this picture of myself at the age of no more than 2. I was dressed in a white bonnet (too cute) and a white gown made by my Granny with lace detailing on the front and pearl buttons. Pale, pudgy, and barefoot. I was inside of a church, First Baptist of Georgetown. It was my christening and I was in the arms of my handsome, protective, loving Uncle and Godfather Darren Thompson.

I wracked my brain the other day. "Where the heck is that picture??!! I need it!!" I figured as the days went on, I'd remember. So I waited...just for the location to come to me. Days came and went. No pic.

My mom came in town and I asked her about it. She said, "Sam, I gave you the picture. I put it in the photo album I made for you one Christmas. You took it to Florida. I haven't seen it since you've been back."

My heart dropped into the deepest part of my stomach...I hadn't seen that album since 2006. I ran to an empty room in the house where I'd stored miscellaneous things. Nothing. No album. I ran downstairs to a closet under the stairs where I'd stored more items of mine. Ripped through boxes and more boxes. No album.

My mom came downstairs. She asked, "You haven't found it?" I balled, "Noooooooo!!!!"
I cried, "It's with all the others!" I was referring to the whole box of family photos I had lost in college. I left the box of pictures on my closet floor as I literally ran for my life from my Florida apartment and my college boyfriend- Mr. Evil. I left him with all my stuff. I escaped with a smidgen of my sanity and a couple of suitcases.

Because I knew I was safe with my family and in a very loving and healthy environment, I became okay with the fact that I had left that man with my plasma T.V., my ultra comfortable queen bed, the non-stick pots and pans, the reading chair, the glass chess board, and my pictures (knowing his evil ass, he burned or tossed them), but I didn't know my Uncle was in there.

Back to the other day, my mom consoled me as I was broken down crying on the floor. She said, "Samantha, it's okay. You were going through a lot then. We had to get you up outta there...What's most important is that the memory of Darren is in your mind and in your heart. That's all that matters."

As mad as I was, she was right. It was okay. And every time I think about the picture of us that I'll never see again, yes, I get angry, but I remember her words. He IS in my heart and in my mind. A small picture can't hold the kind of wonderful man he was and what he meant to me, but I can.