Don’t get too near for there’s lions; beware.

My head is foggy and everything I thought I knew and understood seems hazy. It’s as though for the first time I’ve opened my eyes to the sight that was always there, looming, a sight I chose not to see. Why is it that people always see what they want to see? Is it an inner dialogue that strategizes on desires? We know better and yet we allow the fallacies to overcome our instinctual warnings.

For isn’t it true that we see only what we want to see? What happens when you finally see everything as it really was, rather than what you thought it was? Well, when lies are at hand, you sometimes die a little inside.

Entangled in the lies, in the allure of it all. Ignoring all your gut reactions that wards off the dangers that are near. That warns you when conditional lies are at hand. For it’s both a blessing and a curse to feel things so deeply. To have the emotional side yet understand the rationale of it too; it’s a perfect combination of trust and misguided trust. I think the more damaging question is why do we do it? Why do we risk our hearts, our mental well being for a trust? Trust is a curious thing. It needn’t be earned nor deserving, sometimes it’s given solely from desire.

But it’s the lies that derail me the most. Maybe you don’t hold qualms with lies the way I do, but I destest lies, I detest the very thought of them, the ignigmy of them, their very existence. I feel them at the core of who I am. See, I find courage and strength in owning the truth. So in that very stance, I see cowardice and selfish acts in deceit and lies. I don’t understand how lying has become so commonplace.

Lies rarely elude me, as I feel them at my core. Deep down we all know, maybe not at first, maybe we only sense it, maybe we only wanted to believe in the lies that were told. But hindsight always gives clarity to the moments of passing. And maybe it’s the good in us that pushes away the notion of lies, the notion of deceit, but vibrations rarely lie, and a lie is a lie is a lie.

Lies lead to stolen time that resonates with the essence of robbery. Somewhere along the lines we lost sense of caring, of moral respect, of loving more than oneself, of common decency. I don’t understand it and maybe I never will.

I wonder why we do that? When our gut tells us one thing, but yet we push that warning away and hold on to hope. But it is not hope that lets us down, its people. It’s their actions, or lack thereof. Its the lies; the lies they tell themselves, the lies they tell another.  And yet we continue to be drawn by the fire, for sometimes we want to hear the lies over the truths ever-knowing the deadly aversions it holds.

Maybe it circles back to the fact that humans are selfish, we want what we want, and often times we fail to see the true costs our decisions lead to. We want instant gratification, and we to relish in the delights of our desires. We want ideas more than we often want actions. Maybe thats why people lie. Maybe thats why people cheat people out of the truths.

So what can I tell you? Don’t get too near for there’s lions; beware.

Worth by a Woman

By the time we are children, we females are presented with the very idea of what kind of life we should strive to attain. What type of ideals and roles will matter most. A twist in your thoughts that will forever be changed.

Grow up to be beautiful, dress the role, fall in love, become a wife, become a mother, attain the career. Because those are the everyday underlining commonalities that our youth is understanding, that our society is reinforcing as expected norms. But dare we stop to think of why it’s placed in that order?

And when we speak of beauty, why is it so often objectified as external beauty. Why don’t we think of internal beauty and reflect on it with more worth than physical variations of beauty. Are we so derailed on ideologies and terminations of what beauty is that its only objectified?

As a little girl you dream of becoming successful, independent, strong and powerful, but what happens when you grow up to be that very woman? What happens when you defy the double standards? Well, you start to see things clearly. You start to see them as they truly are rather than what people want you to see.

We live in a society where we toss around words like equality. Equality, do you know what that is? We often think we do but fail to see the subtle differences.

We think there is gender equality, but there’s not.

We think that because women have the same rights men do, we’re equals; we’re not.

We think that because there are laws in place women are given the same rights, the same opportunities; we’re not.

We are told we can become anything that we want to become. Anything in the world. But what happens when you become the very person you set out to be?

You dreamt of living a life where you were proud of the person you became. Where you feel worthy of the life you have led. You quickly realize that the life you have chosen to have, chosen to maintain, comes with stakes that are costly.

Success is often mirrored in masculinity; shown in images opposite your gender. So is it possible that a woman can be both soft and feminine while still having a dominate and powerful with a touch of masculinity? Well, yes, but those women are often coined as high maintenance and deemed intimidating.

Women have continuously strived to attain equality by taking on MORE roles, more responsibilities, more more more. Women didn’t want to just be mothers, so we allowed them to have jobs, which led to education opportunities which led to actual careers all in addition to being the wife, to maintaining the roles of motherhood. When compared to fatherhood, motherhood is commonly scaled in weights for physical, emotional and intellectual strifes whereas the father is weighted by his ability to financially support his home. But that was just a thing of the past, how it use to be, not how it is? Or is it? Isn’t it fair to say theres still underlining tones in our present day society?

All I am saying here is that, women should be weighted in their worth by who they are; by their character, by their integrity, by their personality, by their intellect first and foremost. These others roles women take on, should only be a contribution to who she is, to how she is seen.

So the next time you look at a women, I hope you really see her. Really see her for her entire worth.

Time Tells a Tale

And no one will ever understand the depths of grief, until one goes through it themselves. No one will ever question the value of life quite like you will the moment you are weighted with the loss of it.

Life asked Death, “Why do people love me and hate you?” Death replied, “Because you are a beautiful lie and I am a painful truth.”

What if I were to ask you to look at life as a beautiful lie, how would you picture it? What would you see? We all understand that no one will survive this life, that we will all die, some with a long life, some shorter. But what of life is there, that we continue to negate the importance of living? We find ourselves inside this matrix of repetitive tasks that are coated as responsibilities, as expectations, but do we ever stop to question how they actually bring quality to our life?

Must we only value life to its fullest when we are at crosshairs with great losses? Why is it that the absence of life often is our primary reminder of the grave value of life?

Buddah, once said, “The trouble is you think you have time.” I believe that there is great truth to that. For tomorrow has stolen too many dreams and we as individuals often comfort ourselves by believing we have time. For if you were honest, and you saw through the lie of life, you would see that you don’t have time. You have no promise of time, so what you do, in this moment, in this hour, in this day, is all you are promised.

Time is the most important part of our life and yet we often take it for granted. What if you were to measure your days with time, how would you measure it?  Or better yet, compare it to monetary value. We are given 86,471 seconds each day, each day we have those seconds to use and what we don’t use, goes to waste. And what we make of those seconds are never to be returned.

Now if I were to ask you how you were to spend $86,471 dollars that were given to you daily, you would automatically shift your mindset to how you would absorb that day. Time is no different than that, now is it? Oh but you’re still not quite certain that time holds greater significance than money? Ponder this: Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found once it is lost; “life.”

Most often times we hear people whom are at the end of their life lines relishing in the reflection of their time. Pay attention. We mustn’t comfort ourselves with the delusion that time is on our side; that is a fallacy, that is a hope.  Hope is possibly the only thing greater than fear, but there is a fine line between hope and delusion. Understand that we dilute our lives with lies, innocent white lies that ultimately change the course of our directions and further shape our lives.

Remember to value your time, remember it’s a gift. Quite possibly the greatest gift of life. I hope you count your days in seconds and measure your worth by time. For life can sometimes be a beautiful lie, one thats often seen at the end of the line. Don’t wait for that, the time is now.

Dating; at it’s worst

Modern day dating, it’s a joke right? Or could it at least come with a hand guide? Some kind of identifier so you don’t have to use your heart as a punching bag for this process of elimination. Seriously, what the hell? Have you tried dating these days? Well have you? For your sake I hope not.

Lets pretend for half a second that you actually get past the meeting point. You know the kind where you spend countless hours sifting through online dating sites, pretending to carry conversation on the most basic insights to your life to an utter stranger; via text. Meeting people out, unless its a mutual connection, is well, a seemingly dying phase.

And even if you do get past the first date, you know the one where you determine if you could actually like this person and want to know them better, it doesn’t get much easier from there. Now we get to add in terms like ghosting, bread crumbing, zombie-ing, benching, catfishing or catch-and-release. Don’t know what these terms mean? Well, again, wouldn’t a handbook be grand? Try Google.

Mental games are played and emotions are seared. Honesty seems to be an impossible feat, for no one ever says what they mean, for that would go against some unbound rule. It’s as though there are unspoken rules in mannerisms and actions, but finding the baseline of these rules, isn’t to be found.

Then there is the sexual aspect. Why are there different rules for men versus women? Why is it that the very moment sex comes into play, everything always changes? What about finally getting what you want (both sexes) suddenly loses the thrall? Can women not have the same wants, the same desires, without hindrance? Is it about the idea of capturing control, of capturing the target?

And what is dating actually? It feels like everyone is dating multiple people at once and yet no one ever talks about it. No one ever communicates, for fear of losing what they do have. Wouldn’t it be easier to just state that you’re openly dating others? Wouldn’t that cut back on the half-truths and misdirection? As a women, I would almost prefer to know, for it doesn’t always have to be a one way street, thats a myth. And even if that truth ended it, isn’t it fair? Must we be so greedy with other people’s hearts? Undoubtedly, that is what is invested, to some degree.

Is it me or is it absolutely ludicrous that the whole purpose of dating is to get to know someone, but no one actually shows themselves in their basic form. That is inadvertantly shown through time, time that often isn’t granted. Then theres the numbers game. How many people that are involved in the mix, then changes the way you show yourself or the lights in which you are seen. Is it completely lost that people date to get to know another person?

Then theres the emotions. Women don’t get there on their own, but more times than not, it feels like women are left emotionally without much communication or acknowledgment. It starts with a common path, often times led by the male, only to be left by the male. Is there some kind of ability men have to turn emotions on and off? Can someone please explain to me how men have the unprecidient ability to make women feel crazy?

Let’s not even dive deeply into social media, but there is absolute truths that it plays a pivotal part in modern-day dating. The obsessive stalking, the validations, the constant touch of knowing what entities are present in others lives, the pops of updates to their lives. Most often, we as a society use social media to present our best self, to show the world as we want to be seen and not as we truly are in raw form. Social media too, has changed the mannerism in how we now date.

Why does everything have to be so complicated? So elusive? So much of a game. I almost don’t want to play it, for how can you play a game, if you don’t know the rules in which to play by.

Beautifully Broken

“I feel like she just goes to pose! She is THAT girl that goes places just to post.”

It might not seem like that harsh of a statement at first stance. But what if I told you that statement came from someone I thought I was friends with? What if I told you it was whispered behind my back? Would that make a difference on your scope of severity? What if I told you that it wasn’t that long ago that I hated the reflection looking back at me? How does that change your perspective? Any? Well, what if I told you that I haven’t been back to the gym since then? How about then?

It doesn’t matter if it came from a friend. It doesn’t even matter that the post was meant to be empowering to women. What matter’s is that its unkind.

Why is it so incredibly difficult for women to lift one another up? Why is it almost instinctual to belittle or outcast? Do we even recognize it anymore or has it become so commonplace that its barely recognizable?

Women look at one another and constantly embark inward insecurities and place them upon others? And for what? What good does that actually do? I earnestly don’t think it does any good in any degree. So maybe you can stop and hear me, listen to the words and ponder on the following example for even the briefest of moments, just to consider. Just to consider that maybe there is more for us to learn.

More often than not, people have the wrong perception of me. The outwardly perception people typically form rarely matches the inward perception of who I am. Of how I see myself. And maybe that’s my fault to some degree.

Two years ago I lost the very identity I had of myself; I gained 25lbs after battling a nicotine addiction. After a few skips forward I found myself driving across country away from the life I had, away from a relationship and career that no longer served me. I found myself driving back to a life I had nothing to hold on to, emotionally, financially or physically; an all time low.

So in sum, maybe an identity crisis would be a fitting category for means of painting a visual. And there’s truth in the statement that often times you have to deconstruct in order to really build yourself back, so in short, that is exactly what I did.

I started over, from below ground zero. I was mortified by the image that lurked in the mirror. For all that I have ever endured throughout my life, I at least always knew reflection in the mirror, but this time was different. This time, I couldn’t find the girl I thought I knew; I didn’t recognize the image in the mirror; I couldn’t bare to look in the mirror.

And though physical admiration was never sincerely high in my spectrum, it was the fact that I no longer had a solid ounce of appreciation for my physical attributes that obliterated my confidence. I gained a derriere overnight, my thighs became thunderous and dimples started appearing in places they didn’t belong. None of my clothing fit; I was in denial, I refused to shop, I boycotted jeans for nearly two years. I refused to buy bigger clothing. I closed myself off from the outward world as I knew it.

I can honestly say I did not love myself in that stage, I couldn’t. I think most women can relate to that. I think all humans can relate to that. Being in a stage of your life where you absolutely feel disconnected from your worth, for your inner love, from your confidence, your solace.

It wasn’t until I found myself fat shamed by someone I trusted that I first understood it wasn’t just me that had disdain in my appearances. Even if he was remorseful and apologetic, it broke me in a way I had never been broken. Maybe I never had much else growing up, but I always felt grateful for my beauty; it was the one thing no one could take from, or so I thought. Something that I lost for the first time in my life; it was a new kind of empty for me.

It was that break that pushed me to stop wallowing, to finally do something. For as long as I can remember, beauty was effortless, I never had to work for it, I never really cared about it. It was all I was ever really defined by, beauty. Thats all most people ever saw. So when I lost it, I understood the value for the first time. I suddenly appreciated all that I never appreciated before. I decided if I were going to have to work for it, I was going to go for the best version yet.

Little by little, I began to pick myself up again, I began to learn to love the person I now saw. Of course, it wasn’t without tests of courage from myself, from society, from the people I love. It wasn’t without daring to defy the odds society placed on beauty that I found true beauty in life. It wasn’t until I began to let go of the ideal perception of what society interjects on beauty that I began to reclaim myself. That I began to love myself again. That I began to feel pride for the person I saw in the mirror. And through the process I began finding empowerment in the journey, in the transformation. Self love does that to you.

Slowly but surely I started to love the reflection in the mirror, I began to love the journey itself just as much as I began to love this newest me. Maybe I still have heaps to go in terms of growth and change, but I can honestly say I love myself,  for everything I am, for everything I am not, for everything I stand for.

Naturally as I grew, so did my confidence, so I started to be a light for the people in my life. I wanted to reinforce all that changed my life in hopes of touching others lives. In hopes of being a support, of being an positive example. Maybe I make it look easy, but maybe it’s a lot harder for me than it looks. Maybe just maybe it takes more courage than I let on. Maybe courage has been mistaken for vanity?

So the point? The point is you do not know what you do not know. You do not see what you are not shown. So when you make judgments on others it has a ripple effect in the world. When you say things that are unkind it has consequences. It either empowers or belittles. It either does good or harm. It either has sustenance or ignorance. There has to be accountability to our actions, to our words. We really should care about what we say and what it does.

I understand theres a delusion that beauty makes peoples lives easier, simpler for them; they are given more advantages, more edges; all mistruths. Beauty changes perceptions, it changes the way you are treated good and bad, it often incurs more ugliness than it does beauty. It often involves more challenges than it does the delusion of ease. Even the people I am friends with don’t know my struggles, don’t know my qualms. So naturally you won’t begin to know a strangers.

Maybe the lesson isn’t about me, but about ourselves. Our own self discovery. I often wonder if part of the reason people don’t maintain ownership is because they wouldn’t be proud of the person they see if they had to? Have you ever tried to be that honest with yourself? Maybe the change needs to come from the way we think, for its the thoughts that empower the words.

The truth is everyone wants what they don’t have; everyone. So the next time you see someone with something you don’t have, try to admire them rather than criticize them.

A Woman Like You

We all know that look. That dirty, gut wrenching, look. The one that defines the very coin, if looks could kill. Those hateful glares, the tension in the body language, the hatred oozing from within. Yeah, you know which one I am talking about. Well, I think it’s safe to say every woman has seen it, has felt it, maybe even portrayed it. But why do you know that look? Why is that normal? Normal by society’s standards that is.

Why don’t women lift each other up? Why is it so easy to look down on other women? To taunt them? To judge them? To belittle them? To desecrate them? To humiliate them? Why? Why are women constantly the enemy?

It’s the strangest thing, how women look to each other as though they are enemies. As though their strengths, their beauty, their intelligence somehow negates their own. Why is it so difficult for women to support one another, to look at an utter stranger and have empowering thoughts on all the things you take admire to? What is it about women, that we constantly have to tear down others with words, with body language, with actions? It’s as though women are inapt to feel good for fellow women when they take notice to something in them. It’s as though we have been taught to compete with each other in every facet and every realm. As though we have been bred to believe its normal to tear others down when their strengths strike an insecurity in our own self.

Why are we threatened by one another with such velocity that we are willing to go out of our way to break each other down? What good does that do? No, really? Ask yourself what good does that do.. to anyone? What message does it send? Is jealousy that engrained in our undertones that we don’t even recognize it anymore? That it bares no accountability? Is it so easy to wash our hands clean of such hate? To be so intolerable?

Does anyone even understand what its like to be a women? How many falsehoods and hypocritical ideals that we are supposed to live up to? We have been set up for failure. Not only do we not form bonds with one another, but we carve out enemies from the very sex that is supposed to unite.

I am tired of being told who I should and shouldn’t be. What is acceptable and what is not. For it’s all an entangled web of lies, falsehoods and hypocrisies.  We are constantly scrutinized, judged, and berated. Be kind, but not weak. Be sexy but don’t be promiscuous. Be humble, but not timid. Be intellectual but only in your place. Be independent but don’t be pretentious. Be strong but don’t be too strong. In a world full of spectators and speculations I just want to be me. I want to live my life without the constant batter and belittling commentary that make one question their actions, their choices, their process. Is it impossible to think that a women might be entitled to that? Well, clearly it is.

So should this cycle never stop, I at least want to take ownership in knowing I can be above it. I don’t have to play part to a cycle I am not interested in living or defining my life by. Sometimes I like to even go against the norms just to see. Just to decide for myself. Just to see what relationships stay and which change, and sometimes I don’t always like what I see, but that’s the thing about truth. It’s always honest. It doesn’t care how you feel, how you react to it; there’s nothing that can be done to change the truth in that very moment, for what is done is already done. A lie doesn’t change that. It doesn’t change the actual truth, it merely disguise a partial truth.

Take Marilyn Monroe for example, in her peak she was the very example of a women who defied the societal standards and social hierarchy of womanhood. She presented lust, and sex appeal in a time where it was deemed filthier than disease. A time where she was berated and shamed not just from women but from men alike. She faced enormous burdens and hardships for going against the standards of what a lady “should be.” She changed the entire imagery of what beauty and freedom within your expectations can be.

And even now, looking back at her, what does history remember her by? Her iconic sex appeal, her lust. Oh, the irony doesn’t go unnoticed. We should respect women like Marilyn Monroe, women who are courageous, woman who are daring to go against the odds; great odds. For it takes great bravery to take on such hate, such resentment, such judgments, such scrutinies. What I am trying to say ladies, is that it takes courage to go against the expectation; to be daring. So the next time you see someone, going against the expectations you follow to; expectations you probably didn’t even set, might you consider the resilience and efforts that fellow woman is taking on just to try to set her own expectations? Might you consider applauding her instead?

And to those courageous souls out there, I do applaud you. For the world need’s more women like Marilyn, women like you. Women who are that courageous. So be racy. Be daring. Be original. Be everything you want to be. Be unapologetically you, for people will judge you regardless.

A Matrimony Amiss

Lets talk about marriage these days. Maybe how it’s turned into a hunting sport more frequently than not. Or how far we will go to be able to achieve marital status quos. Does anyone ever even stop to think what it is by definition? What its suppose to signify?

Marriage is a vital part of the societial depictions of the ideals of the very definitions and norms of a life. And yet marriage is often misconstrued imagery for what we actually want in a relationship. We look at it like it’s the “next mile stone” to commitment, a commitment of loyalty, of devotion, of monogamy, of unbidden insecurities and unveiling trust. Isn’t that why people get married? To have that? And here I thought marriage was supposed to be symbolic of commitments already acquired.

So many times I hear or see stories where marriage was sought out for the title and not the act. And what is most befuddling of all, is the couples that seek to get married when they can’t even maintain a healthy relationship. Why? Do people really believe that getting married is suddenly going to fix the crippling issues people already have?  Marriage isn’t a fix all, it isn’t a social title to aspire to attain, it’s not even a validation of a promise if the promise isn’t already there. Which is not to say that there are not couples out there that seek marriage for pure reasons, I am merely pointing out the alarming chaos of those who do not.

But inevitably, we are all enthralled by the illusion of it all. Religion aside, because let’s be honest, I don’t have the energy to dive into that depth, but will say this. When people attend church for their very first time to join as members just to be able to get married, I would say there is something very diluted with the idea that this is a marriage out of holy matrimony.

Then there’s the pressures and expectations society puts on us. Society puts implications on women and marriage at a very young age, as little girls we are given Barbie’s and dolls that depicts brides and wedding days as a day that every little girl dreams of. A dream that continues to be egged on by society as you grow up; only to feel the sharpening pressures from society the older you become. Almost to the point of outcasting women the older we become, whereas men are not held to the same social implications.

Sadly, it’s turned into a sport almost at times; by women mostly. Ultimatums are given, pressures are applied, expectations reinforced. I have seen it, I have watched it unfold by my very eyes.

Though I may never understand it, I guess the question remains. Why would you want to embark in a marriage that required convincing and manipulations at time? Isn’t that a sign in and of itself? Is it the title you want so badly? Does it not matter how you get it, as long as you get it? For I believe that when you are with the right person, you will want to give them things that you might not ever wanted to do before, such as a committment, such as marriage, simply out of love.

Just as there is this stigma for women to find a husband, to start to plan for this utopic imagery of a life, I find that men have feelings of obligations and expectations rather than wholesome desire when it comes to asking for a hand in marriage. Its as though they are conforming due to pressures. Then there are those men who seek out a trophy wife, typically more seen in the men with perceived power, wealth and ego. Those are the men, who exploit marriage as a means of selling the title for a price, a price some women will pay for the illusion of the lifestyle, for a price of their soul. What part of that seems dreamy? Are we really so vested in the act of marriage that we are willing to do anything? To be anything?

I won’t even touch on the topic of the capital gain our economy flourishes from marriages from the very first engagement party to the cost of the venue, and for some, the costs of divorce. Yes, our economy is quite dependent on the flow of revenue when it comes to this industry. And yet we do it, the cycle continues; we heed warnings and red flags and press on. A clue to our incredibly high divorce rate we have, a rate more successful at failure than achievement in terms of marriage.

To me marriage is suppose to be symbolic of someone saying that they love you, now and forever. That they will love without condition. That they will be there for me; always. That they want me for all of me, the good and the bad, just as I am, and only me. But that’s my thoughts, that’s my perceptions. I guess the better question is, what do you think marriage is symbolic of?

A few years ago, I would have never believed I would be capabile of envisioning a happy future without marriage, but I can now. It was so engrained in my mind that having a marriage was a pivotal part in having a life that was complete. Society has a way of making women feel inferior for being single, especially as they age, and though I am not what I consider to be old, I am old enough to not have many friends that haven’t settled down.  Being married is so expected in society that most strangers typically feel comfortable enough in asking if one is married in the first five minutes of getting to know someone. Why is that knowledge more sought after than knowledge of say character or individuality when getting acquainted with someone.

I guess what I am trying to say, is that its okay to want to find someone to spend your life with, but do that. Find someone who you want to be with. Find someone who enriches your world and adds value to your life. And if commitment is something that you choose to have in a relationship, then don’t wait for marriage to have exclusion, to have trust, to have friendship. Marriage isn’t a social status to achieve, it’s not a sport, its not simply a title, it’s a commitment. A commitment that is meant to stand the test of time.

More importantly, what I am saying is, marriage isn’t what it once was. Maybe it never really ever was what society eluded it to be. But what matters is that we understand that marriage doesn’t define who we are, it doesn’t even define what a good life is. Living a life without marriage shouldn’t be shameful either, in fact, maybe it should even be as courageous, especially for women.

Lets exploit the delusion that because people are married life is automatically better. That’s a lie. Lets exploit the delusion that just because you are married monogamy is given. That’s a lie. Lets exploit the delusion that marital titles makes you more socially acceptable. Thats a lie. Lets exploit the delusion that in order to be happy you have to have marriage. Thats a lie.

For those of you who want your happily ever after, I hope you find it. I just hope that you find it for all the right reasons. And for those of you who may never find your glass slipper, understand it was never needed for completion of a wholesome life. Marriage isn’t a necessity, its a choice. Choose wisely.