Tag Archives: Levity

Who Loves You?

MM-WhoLovesYouWPMainOoo y’all, I apologize for the delay. I moved…back to my parents’ house (hooray for extended adolescence) since I’d been waiting for my lease to be renewed in August. YEAH. Long story short, I decided against renewing almost 6 months after the fact and moved in with the raddest roommates in the world in the meantime (or forever, let’s not got caught up in details or judgments here).

If you want a little taste of my hellish moving experience, head over to my dear friend Evelyn from the Internet’s Vlog on Youtube. She’s hilarious and one of my nearest and dearest friends.

Ok, back to the task at hand. I wanted this to be three separate posts but for the sake of time, I’m going to combine this into one so we can move on to the fun-introspective-inner dialogue-gut wrenching-reflective-traversing our soul, stuff sooner. Yippee! Emotions! I can tell you’re just radiating with enthusiasm. 🙂


If you read my post on letting go you know that it’s easier said than done. Especially when it comes to intangible things like feelings and negative thoughts but what about people?

IMG-RuhRoh

It’s not fun and it’s far from pleasant but you will find out it is necessary. We can’t always keep everyone right where we want them forever and honestly, we shouldn’t. That’s right. Some people may “fall by the wayside” as my mom would say. As an Army brat, I have always struggled with that concept. I didn’t want to let go. I didn’t want to forget. As I’ve grown, I realize that letting a person go may be better for my own mental health in the long run than it is to hold on to them. Tough decisions have to be made but that’s why I’m here to help. I wouldn’t expect you to walk through the fire alone.

One of my nearest and dearest friends always jokes about how we first met. We were opposites in a lot of ways. She was forward and direct, I rambled and avoided confrontation like that plague. Eventually we grew closer and I came to see her like a sister but I was always thrown by one of her rules. She called it the “care wagon.” Think of a wagon train or a car trip, where you only have so much space. Some things have to get sold, donated, or left behind. That same concept applied to people. Not everyone can come with you. Similar to my analogy in my last post about holding on to things in your hand, you only have so much space in your heart, and it’s your responsibility to make sure you fill it with the right people.

Again, this concept was foreign to me initially. Your love is boundless and should be available to everyone you meet! Everyone deserves your love! Right?…Right?!

No girl, they don’t.

GIF-NoGurl

While she had her limited availability policy, I had a revolving door policy. You could leave and return whenever you wanted, you could barge right in, you could come in and rob me blind and I would still let you back in with no sense of discernment. Some of you will call that love but it’s not. When you allow people to use your time, energy, love, talents, things, anything of yours willingly and without consequence, it’s like setting out a mound of fresh steaks outside your door, you’re going to attract a lot of stray dogs. You can’t feed everybody! As cute as they may look, they can still bite you. What you exude, you will always attract. People can sense when they can push you around and pull you down. That’s why you have to set some healthy boundaries and remain consistent with them. They aren’t meant to keep you from the world, they’re meant to keep you safe.

But what if someone has to let go of you? Shet man. None of this is easy. It’s not comfortable and it sucks to feel rejected and abandoned but take that as a sign that it’s time to self-evaluate. Did they let you know why? Do you agree with the reasons? Or are they just full of shit? Whatever direction you’re coming from you still arrive at the same conclusion, if someone doesn’t want you, is it worth your emotional energy to try and keep them? I’ve never heard of a healthy, satisfying one-sided friendship. That’s because they don’t exist. If someone’s letting go of your hand, it’s not a sign that you should grasp on tighter and claw into their flesh like your life depends on it. All you can do is gracefully accept that reality and move on.

I know for a lot of you there may have been some people that you had to leave behind in 2014. Hell, there may be some folks you left behind yesterday. It doesn’t have to feel good but it should feel right. I remember an excerpt I read in a Suze Orman book a few years back ( the financial stuff clearly didn’t stick as well in the ole noggin’). She was talking about this invasive anxiety she had about some relationships. She was tired of it so she made a list of all the people she was having problems with, called them up, and told them the deal. They either worked it out or she moved on, either way the anxiety was gone once she was done. Do you need to let go of some folks in your life? Here’s a free worksheet with extra goodies I made to guide you through the process.

If there’s some relationship worth salvaging, and both parties are willing to do the work, get in there and fight for it. But remember not everything is worth saving and not everyone can be saved.

I’m so excited by the topic and I really want to continue the conversation. Digest and then let’s discuss!

Let It Go [but please don’t sing the song]

MM-LetItGoWPM

“Let’s imagineer a narrative.” ***

Wherever you are, try to grab as many things as possible with one of your hands. When it’s full, try to grab one more thing, were you able to hold it? Or was it overwhelmed with the task?

As a child, my mother would lovingly inquire why I held on to her so tightly. When she’d lay me down for a nap I would cling on to her neck for dear life, deathly afraid that she would let me go forever. I would grasp my dad’s hand so tightly he wondered if I was afraid or angry. Most teen sisters would be annoyed by the near constant presence of their loud baby sister. I became their proverbial cling wrap. I was so afraid of loosening my grip on people and of losing control.

Control that is...and Tom.
Control that is…and Tom.

As an adult, that constant need for emotional intimacy has translated into a string of bad relationships, both platonic and romantic, and all miasmic. If my life were a scrapbook, there’d be whole pages with trash adorned with stickers and glitter. As an Army brat, I’ve always had a difficult time letting go. I need people, things, and information to fill the void inside me. I’m not a bad judge of character, I’m just so extremely afraid of feeling the cold, stale air of that void on my skin, that I surround myself with irrelevant relationships, things, and distractions. That impulsive reasoning has come at a cost.

But times they are a changing. This time last year I couldn’t imagine my life without my soon to be boyfriend and one of my closest friends. As 2015 creeps nearer, those positions have been left vacant. At first, I did what I always do, grip tighter, hold on harder, and pray to God that I wouldn’t lose anyone. When that failed I tried to haphazardly find things and people to fill their place. I went on date after date, made out with guy after guy, and tried to forcibly convince myself that that was enough. It wasn’t.

Then the uncomfortable truths came up. That cold, stale air surrounded me and I realized that every detrimental thing I held onto had cost me something beneficial. Why? Seeds can’t take root in poor soil. Flowers can’t bloom in a garden overrun with weeds. Let go of the bad so you can embrace the good. My self-esteem, self-worth, goals, drive, all got put on the chopping block because baby girl was dickstruck, heartbroken, and afraid to be alone.

You heard me Latrice.
You heard me Latrice.

But now that more time has passed, I realize that my fear of being alone kept me from learning how to be comfortable with myself.  The internal problems I was and am struggling with cannot be resolved with external solutions. It isn’t the fact that I had a defunct relationship but the fact that I attracted, sought out, and pursued one. I needed it because it made me feel whole. But the only person responsible for my fulfillment is me. I can’t expect people to love me the way I need to be loved if I don’t set the precedent by demonstrating that to myself first.

I’ve spent my whole life searching for the missing piece in trivial, superficial things. I’ve invested in shitty relationships, my closet, my whims, but rarely have I invested in myself. By refusing steadfastly to let go of bullshit I’ve gathered, my collection has evolved into full on fuckshit. Anxiety, insecurity, perfectionism, dwindling self-esteem, fragile self-image, and a knack for lowering my standards for anyone who pays me the slightest attention. That shit ain’t cute. 

Clearly I love Latrice
Clearly Latrice is bae.

So how does one let go? It was much easier than I thought. You just:

1) Recognize your grasp

2) Identify the contents

3) Sort it out

4) Let it go

I’ve followed this for the past month and have cleared out a lot of bull. I went through my phone and deleted guys I knew there was no future with, the friends who I always contact and never seem able to contact me, and the people I haven’t seen or heard from in years. I cleaned out my email, my social media, my car, computer, and I’m about to start my closet. All the while I felt my mojo return, my confidence shoot through the roof, and my focus re-align on my goals and vision. It wasn’t easy but it was definitely worth it. The simplest solutions are often the most difficult decisions you can make, but you have to let go of the things that are holding you back if you’re ever going to moved forward in your life.

What are you holding onto? What are you ready to let go of?

 

 

***Watch The Thick of It. Malcolm Tucker’s reads are Drag U worthy. 

Stretch Marks: I’m Cutting Back on Unrefined Bullshit

MM-StretchMarksWPM

I was sitting in a therapy session a few years ago when she asked me the simplest question.

“Who are you?”

“A daughter, a friend, a student, a sister…” I plainly spoke what I knew to be true. She rephrased her question.

“Do you know who you are?”

I sat there, staring blankly for 10 minutes. I had no concept of self. Which makes it easy to understand why I had no sense of self-esteem, self-love, or self-identity. Everything about me had been carefully constructed in relation to others. I knew absolutely nothing about myself. I suddenly felt my mind connect to my body again, it had been about 10 years since it had been.

Maybe I should explain.

There’s something that happens when you’re in the midst of being sexually assaulted. At some point you realize that this person is bigger than you, stronger than you, and no one can hear you scream. This isn’t like the movies where you can escape just before the bad thing happens or someone comes and rescues you. This is happening. No one’s coming for you. You can fight but this is happening, right now, and there’s nothing you can do. You just…let go. To stay present would probably kill you. You find some switch in your brain and suddenly, you’re disconnected. If you’re lucky, your brain will file away the trauma in a vault that you won’t be able to access for years, maybe your entire lifetime. But your body, your body remembers everything.


I never knew why food was so comforting to me or why I would sneak to the kitchen in the middle of the night to pilfer sweets or anything I could get my hands on. I would eat until I was full but still there was an emptiness that I could not fill. There was a hunger but because I wasn’t in tune, I confused the pangs in my stomach with the ones in my heart. Frustrated, I would brave school to hear the endless taunts and jabs about my size. It wasn’t everyday but I lived in constant anxiety until the next one. I started to believe what I was being told. It’s not hearing, “You’re fat!” yelled at you in your high school physics class, in front of your teacher, that hurts. It’s what’s underneath the insult. You just told me that I was different and because I am different I deserve to be yelled at, to be laughed at, to be ridiculed, and to have who I am taunted and confused with what I am.

More importantly, you told a young woman who already felt she had no ownership or claim to her body, that something was wrong with it and that it must change in order to appease those in possession of penises. So I did just that. I would try to radically and unrealistically usurp my bad habits by replacing them with obsessions fueled by shame. It never worked. It never will because change doesn’t happen like that.

Consciously, I was aware that what was being done to me was wrong. But my brain filed those insults in a vault that I could access and the pain of them reverberated in my jean size. Hurt, feed, suffer, repeat. The abuse my attacker started, I continued.


Years pass and my insecurities are still there. I fantasize about the day when I’m skinny, when the earth will bloom, the heavens will open, and everything will be perfect.

“When I’m skinny, I’ll be able to dance”, I’d tell myself.

“When I’m skinny, I’ll be beautiful.”

“When I’m skinny, I’ll be able to get back on stage.”

“When I’m skinny, I’ll be loved.”

“When I’m skinny, I’ll be…better.”

See how that starts to sound like some Scientology introduction meeting? I was sipping the koolaide someone else gave me without considering the source.

None of those desires require the condition of a different size. If you saw me at my sister’s wedding, you would know I’m a dancing machine. I out jumped, out wobbled, and outlasted a lot of people half my size.

SHITTING ON 'EM
SHITTING ON ‘EM

I am beautiful. It took me nearly 24 years to be able to say that confidently, but girl, have you seen my smile? Have you heard me crack an obscure joke? Have you witnessed the outpouring of love I give people?! Have you seen my dress game? I serve Southern elegance everyday. Pffft, you don’t want none.

 Ima give it to you anyway
Ima give it to you no way!

It wasn’t until I came to college that I realized that my body is desirable. Sure, I’m not everyone’s type but I learned that I was for a lot of people and not just in a weird, underground, kinky, fetishized way (Craigslist, you know what I’m talking about).  I wasn’t some lower rung on a ladder for a man’s quest for ascendancy and power. I will not except that. I’m no less of a powerful human being because I have more mass than someone else. How atrocious is it to impose the belief that a woman’s size warrants her worth? What a tragically sexist thing to be threatened and afraid of a woman commanding more space than you. But let me not get into that.

You don't want me to put on my reading glasses. Don't make me reach for the case.
You don’t want me to put on my reading           glasses. You really don’t.

For years I was disconnected from my body, I hid inside of it, I abused it, I abhorred it. I cringed at it. But then one day, it suddenly occurred to me that my attacker and bullies were off in the world not thinking of me and I had allowed them to live rent free in my head for ten years. TEN FUCKING YEARS. A whole decade of my life dedicated to modifying my identity in relation to someone else. For people who didn’t even matter! Of course I had no clue who I was. Do you have any idea how terrifying and liberating it is to realize that the story you’ve written about yourself isn’t even yours? Y’all don’t want me to preach!

I'm Baptist but certain situations call for COGIC conviction
Allelu! Third offering y’all.

But I will. There’s no greater disservice to your life, legacy, and the time you have left than to convince yourself that things cannot change until you’ve grabbed the golden fleece. You know why? Because often times, just like the fleece, the thing you’ve deluded yourself into believing is your salvation is just a myth. Baby, if you want to change your life, change your life. Want to write a book? Draft it up, draft it up, watch them words pour out. Want to move to LA? Start saving. Want to go back to school. Hit that google flex.

Sure, I think we all should strive to be our healthiest selves but you can’t get to the other side without first accepting where you are. I love who I am and the body that covers it at what ever size it may be, big or small. I don’t believe in bashing other body types because everyone has something they’re insecure about. Instead of wasting time on what we’ve been conditioned to despise, let’s learn to love all of who we are. It’s your body, no one else can lay claim to it. Shouldn’t you be the one to love it the way it deserves to be loved?

It’s not the shell that indicates the quality of the pearl. It’s the damn pearl. And believe me honey when I tell you I may be round…but I am lustrous.

Read my Queen, read!
Read my Queen, read!

Seeking a Friend for the End of My Extended Adolescence

MM-SeekingAFriendWPM

“Hi! My name is Jordan!”

That introduction has been giggled, whispered, yelled, laughed, snorted, croaked, and muttered many a times over my 23 years. Each time with the hope of making a friend. In every new school, in every new meeting, in every new situation, I pronounced my existence to a new world. But over time, the frequency died down and I settled into the group that I’d found. I never thought, nor cared, to dust off my friendship pioneer boots again.

Until now.

The problem with settling down in the same city as your school is eventually your people leave. The tribe disbands.  I’ve been blessed with some real rockstars for friends who are out changing the world as we speak. Meanwhile, I’m whoring myself out to obscure publications like “Geriatric Skiing” to pay the rent but, I digress. I watch with pride and sadness as they sail off into their destinies while mentally placing an asterisk next to their name.

My social calendar is filled with less dinner dates, nights out, and road trips and more “let’s order out and watch Netflix in bed without getting any fried wontons in your bra” kind of nights. I’ve gotten comfortable.

"I underestimated how much I could eat."
“Need…social…interaction.”

I’ve started to convince myself that I prefer the two dimensional characters in my screen opposed to the three dimensional ones I’m used to interacting with. The sad realization was that this was all by choice. I can fill my dance card if I want to, I’ve just played it safe by not doing so. Can’t lose anymore people if the only ones I really see aren’t real (#SadShitSunday).

So I devised a plan. Where can someone go to find likeminded people who want to engage in sexless entertainment and platonic relationships for free? Meetup.com of course. I signed up, logged in, and started searching for new framily members. It didn’t take long before I was writing introductions and giddy with excitement for which I was immediately ashamed. I was going to hit return until I saw a vision of myself in bed with fried wontons popping out of my bra like the popcorn scene in “Real Genius.” I emphatically hit send.

"Wontons, wontons everywhere."
“Wontons, wontons everywhere.”

Half an hour later and I had plans for Saturday night. Salsa plans. The day of, I changed my mind a dozen times but I finally took a chance. It was only a few minutes from my apartment anyways. I drove over and parked. I was a nervous wreck. The restaurant was swanky. Hell, it was clean. My shoes didn’t stick to the floor and the faint smell of urine and STI’s weren’t wafting about. This was a place designed for adults. It was dim but you could see and there was no purple haze fogging up the joint. Sixth street it was not and the $10 cover charge confirmed that. After a little confusion I meet up with the event’s leader and immediately felt underdressed and self-conscious. She walked me over to the table and I sized up the surrounding company. My anxieties were quickly assuaged.

There was a woman who looked like the physical manifestation of sadness on my left, the group leader beside her, a mother who seemed near orgasm by the lack of children in her sight across from me, a willowy girl in the corner, and a young woman who’s eyes sparkled of crazy on my right. I made surface level conversation, ordered some food and a drink, and tried to get to know my table mates.

ME: So are any of you from around here?

SADNESS: Yeah. It’s so much better than South Austin.

MOM: I live in South Austin.

*marked silence*

ME: Are y’all excited to dance?

SADNESS: I mean I’ve seen the lesson before. I come here a lot.

*she nervously laughs without breaking her permanent frown*

CRAZY: I mean, I salsa all the time. I don’t need a lesson. Y’all are going to have to keep up with me. *flips hair* Plus I have my own meetup group and we do fun stuff all the time. I’m used to this. I’m Latina.  *craziness intensifies*

WILLOWS: *breathes*

ME: *Takes a swig of my bellini*

MOM: *Looks on longingly* How’s it taste? I bet it tastes good. It’s been suuuuuuch a long time since I’ve drank!

ME: It’s pretty strong but good! Do you want some?

MOM: *as if someone tickled her nethers* Oh my! Me? Oh no! Why I couldn’t possibly…

ME: *shrugs and finishes remainder of drink in one gulp*

MOM: If you want to order another one…

SADNESS: You can have some of my martini. I can’t taste it anymore. I can’t taste any alcohol anymore. *frown deepens*

*more marked silence*

CRAZY: I have my own meetup group so…

Wontons don't sound so bad right now.
“Wontons don’t sound so bad right now.”

Thankfully, the lesson broke our tragic conversation. I wasn’t hoping to meet my future bridesmaids, just some new blood. I was starting to regret it but I paid $10 to dance so I fully intended to cumbia my way across the floor for $10 worth of music. The instructors were clearly professionals, the audience was clearly amateur. People followed along, albeit in their own way but everyone looked to be having fun. We were all waiting for our checks so no one got up to practice, so we just watched in the saddest silence I’ve ever experienced.

The band came out onto the stage and the music started to pick up. Older couples held each other tightly and swayed along to the clave. Friends danced in circles and laughed at their missteps. I was dying to break out. I had to get on that dance floor. Whatever energy the dancing was stirring up wasn’t making it to the Convent of Perpetual Awkwardness. I decided enough was enough and I got up, Willows followed me. My 20 steps took 6 for her. We started to shimmy but had to reconcile the mismatched rhythm first. Downing the bellini in five minutes on an empty stomach and dehydrated body didn’t help. Just as me and Willows were starting to have fun, I felt the dam break and gallons of sweat burst from my pores. She tried to fan me but there was no stopping the flood. I ran to the bathroom to cool down. A roll of toilet paper and an unresponsive Dyson fan later, I left the bathroom to find there was no one from our group on the dance floor. No one. No, not one, no, not a single one. The event was specifically created for a girl’s night out to dance. They were all just watching, in silence, as other people threw their inhibitions to the wind and had fun.

I was annoyed.

"I PAID MONEY FOR THIS."
“I PAID MONEY FOR THIS.”

I poked and prodded and eventually Crazy got up to dance with me. I assumed the friends position and started to form a circle when she whipped me around and took the lead. If her eyes were hiding the crazy before, they were completely unleashed now. “When my hand goes like this, your foot moves like THIS! Understand?!” I was starting to understand why her ass didn’t have any friends. She twirled me, pulled me, swayed me, and directed my body to fit her choreography. “Up! This way! Again! Twirl!” I was scared. She was no Chayanne and I certainly wasn’t Vanessa Williams but she was leading me as if our lives depended on it. People were actually starting to move away from us. The song ended and she loosened up a bit, her gaze still on Defcon 1. I tried to open up for the other ladies in our group but even they had left. She looked like she was about to lunge into a jazz split so I faked right and bolted towards the table.

Dance-2
Girl this ain’t “Dance with Me.”

I sat and watched the dance floor for a few more minutes. I asked if anyone else wanted to dance.

LEADER: “I feel too vulnerable out there!”

Everyone nodded in agreement. I pretended like I had something to do in the morning and excused myself from the table after saying thank you and goodbye (I’m Southern, not heartless). I sat in my car pondering my fate and whether the rest of my twenties would be riddled with awkward interactions or netflix nights. I felt myself tear up. I let the feeling shit storm wash over me. Then I took a breath and drove home.

Later on I realized what really happened that night. If that night was just an excerpt of my life, then I was going to be okay. I didn’t wait by the sidelines or tack myself up like a wallflower, I got up and I danced. I wasn’t scared of looking goofy or being vulnerable, I thrived because of it. All those negative feelings weren’t even about the ladies there. They were about me and my shortcomings and hangups but I did something about it. Sure, I might not have it all together right now but I have a good head on my shoulders, a strong will, and a big heart. I’ll be just fine.

Until then…tumblr_lhlq2skzqs1qa4yudo1_400