Ain’t No More Shame Bih.

Yesterday my brother called. The one I’m closest with. Who is directly underneath me in birth order. The one I probably speak to the least. He makes mistakes frequently which end up with him paying prolonged visits behind bars.

We talk about a lot of things. Or he mostly talks and I mostly listen. To his excuses. To how proud he is of me. To how he’s especially proud since I dropped out of school and blah blah blah. He doesn’t mention that I dropped out of traditional high school because of bullies and because I was a teenager and everything that happens to teenagers is the end of the world. So I left traditional high school, went directly to Job Corps and before I would have completed traditional high school; graduated with my GED and CNA.

He doesn’t mention that after that I kept moving up. Went back to school. Got my nursing degree. That in between there I had a baby and got married. That I’ve never lived with my mother after the age of eighteen. That I’ve pulled myself along to who I am now without the help of social services.

He doesn’t know how difficult being a business owner is. That managing a home, and a family, and dogs, and a writing career are the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life. I just don’t quit.

He doesn’t think about how we came from the same home, in the same city, with the same mom and dad. That the city and circumstances that he blames for his downfall are the same ones that I credit for my toughness. My tenacity. My ability to code shift. My ability to barter and negotiate. To think outside the box. To always try to be two steps ahead of danger. To be myself. To discern whether someone is genuine or not within the first few words. To do so many nuanced things that I use to run my business and my life daily.

After we hung up, I realized that his call, which was totally about him was actually ALL about me. Somewhere deep inside of me I’ve been carrying these things around in shame. The GED, the baby at 18, the divorce. Even the roughened edges which help me get through most days. My annoyance that he was throwing my life in my face as if it were such a bad thing, was actually annoyance at myself for whatever lingering shame I carry from my upbringing and subsequent bad decisions.

It made me realize how I’m often annoyed that people occasionally treat me as less than and how that annoyance has nothing to do with those people and everything to do with me. His call, – which lowkey annoyed me at first since it was late and I was busy working in bed- was just what I needed to grow pass some of my hidden shame. Like I told him on the phone, the Universe always gives you exactly what you need, exactly when you need it.

 

Also, God is from Brick City and the best roses grow from concrete.

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On Sundays I Hate My Dog

On Sundays I hate my dog. Like for real hate him. Like I would low-key let my 2 year old sister/cousin/niece play with him without adult supervision for 5 whole minutes as repayment for the abuse he invokes on us every Sunday.

See, On Sundays Otto thinks that he decides when to tell us to get the fuck up. And yes that’s how he says it “HUMANS, Time to GET THE FUCK UP.” And I know that that’s what he’s saying because he hops around the bed like a baby kangaroo until one of us -read AB – gets up and takes him outside. I couldn’t even tell you what time he does this except to say that it is well before 7 am. See if it happens around 7 am I’ll just cut my losses and get up. 7’s an ok time to sleep in til on the weekend. But he does his little hoppy routine, AB takes him out, and then she comes back into the room to go back to sleep.

The fact that she can go back to sleep is the reason I feel no guilt about allowing her to be the one to get up first. I don’t even blame Otto for doing his hoppy routine as he has to use the bathroom and lacks opposable thumbs to open the door for himself, but I DID buy him a whole piece of real ass grass in a box that he ignores the fuck out of, for this exact reason. BUT that first trip outside was just a warm up. He lays down until AB goes back to sleep then HE STARTS THE DAMN HOPPY ASS ROUTINE ALL OVER AGAIN!!!!!

I’m barely asleep at this point anyway since he halfway woke me up with his first routine, so at this point I usually just open one eye look down at him hopping around like a manic ass kangaroo and remind him that “It’s fucking SUNDAY.” My only semi-day off and that he’s a cute little devil. Also that God or whomever he believes in made him cute for this exact reason and that cuteness only gets you so far.

Of course he doesn’t care about any of what I’m saying. He feels no guilt. In fact, since my eye is open he triples his former hoppy ass routine and starts to bark (as much as his little ass baby puppy voice can bark) and reminds me that I wanted him and to get the fuck up so he that can go outside to play.

Finally I drag myself out of bed and move sluggishly towards the back door so that I can let him out. After I open the door I go back in and sit on the kitchen steps to monitor his playtime (he needs supervision since he likes to eat things that could kill or maim him) there is no furniture in the yard currently because of raggedy ass hurricanes. SO now I sit on the hard ass, cold ass tile floor while Otto runs around like Speedy Gonzales and stares at squirrels. I sit there until he’s had his run of eating grass and rearranging DJ’s stick pile and comes back into the house to look at me like “Ok human you may make your coffee or whatever I’m done. For NOW.”

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I do as I’m told and make myself some coffee so that I won’t kill my family in anger then climb back into bed where I am completely done with any hope of sleep. I guess staring at squirrels and eating grass are worth waking me up out of my sleep. Though, Now that I’m fully awake he climbs back into his bed and he GOES BACK TO SLEEP! His mission, to remind me why I don’t really wanna have a baby in real life, is complete. And I both appreciate this and HATE his cute little puppy face. IMG_7071.JPG

 

It’s My Birthday Bxtch!!!!!

3 years ago, and I know this because the lovely Drea did the research, I created this blog. 5 years after the Blogging boom. 8 years after my friends told me that I should pen my thoughts for the whole world to know. Obviously it took me so long because I don’t even like people that much and because I’m a procrastinating ass asshole. Also because telling the internet what I think and trying to run a business doesn’t really go together for reasons I’ll discuss below.

Here’s my disclaimer. I say things that may make you uncomfortable. If so, stop reading and don’t read anymore of my blogs but DO NOT WALK UP TO ME NEXT WEEK AND REFERENCE THIS BLOG POST. If you have thoughts post them in the comments or better yet share this shit on your Facebook post, tag me in it and tell me how you really feel. BUT don’t walk up to me in a networking meeting and ask me why I wrote what I wrote. Cause mostly:

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In honor of Authentically Adrien’s Birthday here are 30 random ass things that are on my mind. I’m going to be very transparent and vulnerable with you. You’re welcome.

1. I have word finding problems. It stresses me out beyond belief. Unless I’m writing and sometimes even while I’m writing I will give you a sentence because the one word that would suffice instead escapes me. I worry that these are the early signs of Alzheimer’s. AB and I have been together long enough for her to start unknowingly supplying me with the appropriate word. Me-  Because I don’t support what he was saying. Her- You disagree? Me- Yes.

2. Kendrick Lamar goes so HARD. #ThankMeLater

3. I haven’t been able to write since we elected Ya’ll president. (He’s NOT my president.)

4. These last few years have been REALLY difficult. Lots of ups. LOTS of downs. Today while buying groceries I overheard the salesclerk talking about how she wanted to get off of work early so that she can get her hair done for her date tonight and for more than 5 minutes I wanted “I wanna get off of work early so I can get my hair done for my date problems.” Even though I know we all have problems and I know I’m blessed. As fuck.

5. I cuss a lot. I know that makes people uncomfortable. More and more I don’t give a fuck.

6. Pockets on dresses is a gift from Gawd.

7. Look What You Made Me Do Is Trash.

8. I’m a parent and I low-key wanna have another child but mostly I don’t care for other people’s children. Some people’s children should literally be on the front of the condom box or the featured speaker for a sex ed class.

9. People don’t watch their children. That freaks me out. If we’re together and you have children chances are my pulse is on a hundred cause you’re not paying attention and doing CPR on children is my least favorite thing to do.

10. Actually hiring men who think they’re better than me who will quickly treat me like I’m invisible aka shit white men do is my least favorite thing to do.

11. Broccoli is my new anthem.

12. My grandma (I call her ma) has multiple myeloma. I’m in mourning. Last year she was walking this year she requires extensive assistance.

13. I think Iyanla Vanzant is full of shit. Needless to say she can’t fix my life.

14. IF ONE MORE PERSON TELLS ME TO APPLY FOR FOODSTAMPS IMMA SNAP. Irma didn’t effect me on that level and she probably didn’t effect you on that level either. That money is coming from somewhere. STOP. tenor-1.gif

15. The 90s were the best:

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16. I love ebonics and AAVE. Finally I’m allowing myself to love things that were created FUBU.

17. Every time DJ hears me singing Bodak Yellow he questions why I’m doing such a thing. As if 33 is old. As if the hood didn’t make me.

18. “You eat your own people while declaring a ban on cannibalism.” – Didi Delgado get to know her and #ThankMeLater.

19. I miss happy Adrien.

20.  I miss enthusiastic optimistic Adrien.

21. I’m taking The Landmark Communication Seminar soon. I know I need it in my life. I’m not looking forward to them selling me shit. EVERYBODY sells you shit. Get over it.

22. Why we selling shit, order a detail or an oil change from Unique Otto and #ThankMeLater

23. I’m really pondering changing the focus of the Blog to Business, Books, and The Boy. But I also wanna talk about what I wanna talk about when I wanna talk about it. *shrugs* First world problems.

24. “I’m prepared to die in the moment.”- Rihanna

25. The longer ya’ll president is in office the more terrified I become of white men. Being in rooms with large amounts of them is becoming immensely uncomfortable. Like, which one of these dudes in my networking meeting wants me dead or which one of these dudes in my networking meeting thinks I need to go back to Africa. Though the correct thought is how many of these dudes and not, which one.

26. My niece just told me: I’m lovely, kind, pretty, and encouraging.

27. Ashley say’s I’m beautiful.

28. Brittany says I’m hi-Fucking-larious.

I low-key needed all of those opinions. ALSO: Angela Bassett is fione. As fuck. #YoureWelcomeFullSizeRender

29. Make sure you brush you teeth at the bottom. Look in the mirror when you’re done. If there’s plaque present make a dental appointment and floss. #ThankMeLater actually #ThankABLater

30. Minding your business, not being racist, and staying hydrated are all free.

 

Cheers to 3 more years of me telling ya’ll my business on the internet and ya’ll letting me. I love ya’ll. All ya’ll.

 

 

 

For Colored Women Who Are Sick and Tired When Being Sick And Tired Is Not Enough.

For Colored Women Who Are Sick and Tired When Being Sick And Tired Is Not Enough. I see you sis. I know you’re past done. That you want a rain check from any and everything, I get that for colored women rain checks from any and everything are hard to come by. I feel you. I know you wanna lay on the floor and sob into a puddle. I wanna sob too. Actually as I type this the thought of bawling seems much like a necessity. I know that you think when it comes to yourself you don’t have the luxury of giving in to such temptation. I know that you believe that when it comes to yourself nothing is a necessity. It is though. And crying is a healing thing. SO do it. Sit down. Lay down. Bawl, cry, howl, be still. SAY FUCKING NO for once. Breathe. Let the kids soothe themselves. Let someone else figure dinner out or hell go ahead and order in. Luxuriate in the thought of quitting. Then don’t. I see you sis. I wanna quit too. But I can’t. I won’t. As Beyonce says, “Imma keep running cause a winner don’t quit on themselves.” And as much as you want to, you shouldn’t either. Go ahead and take the time to bawl. At least for tonight. Cause, tomorrow we got work to do.

The 4 Types of People Who Show Up When A Family Member is Sick.

My grandma (whom I call mommy) came to FL for a visit and ended up getting sick and spending almost two weeks in the hospital. Now she’s at my home and my family is trying to figure out how to get her back up north to her home. Needless to say I’m stressed but mostly over the people who show up when a family member is sick.

There are 4 basic types of people who show up when a loved one is really sick. Most of them are good and mean well but at least one of them sucks tremendously.

The know it all – Probably saved and sanctified. Probably hoping to gain something from sick family member. Oftentimes money. Keeps saying “Whatever they (sick family member) want to do is what we’re going to do.” Regardless to whether whatever sick family member is saying is actually what’s best for them. Will frequently remind everyone why they’re in charge – oldest, only daughter, lives closest, etc- even though they’ve shown that they’re only on the scene to be seen and have had ample opportunity to step up to the plate and provide care in the past, though they’ve never stepped up before and are barely stepping up now except to be the loudest person in the room.

The caregiver– Been taking care of sick family member since day one. Genuinely wants what’s best for sick family member. Probably overwhelmed. Probably has a ton of other responsibilities who need them as much if not more as sick family member.  Either doesn’t work or has a super stressful ass job that they have to tend to in addition to taking care of everything else.

The knows a lot but won’t speak up– Probably has some sort of medical background. Probably has a good support system and is well balanced.  Tremendously helpful but rarely speaks. More action less talking is their motto. Probably has no children or older children and a supportive spouse. Probably the best candidate to be the caregiver or to assist the caregiver but won’t because they don’t want to deal with the family drama. Unknown.jpeg

The wants to help but doesn’t know how or The does what they can– Probably lives in a different state than sick family member. Tremendously helpful when they’re able to be near. Frequently checks in or follows up with sick family member and caregiver. Expresses what they think is best in a safe way but supports whatever decision is made. Probably has younger children and is either single or the primary breadwinner of their household. Frequently says “Well that sounds like the best thing for sick family member but I’ll do whatever you all need me to do.”

I’m probably missing some items/people here but *shrugs* my grandma is in my house and she’s declined dramatically so… I’m likely not thinking straight, also Know it All should go and fuck themselves because life would be better for all involved if they did. (That was nicer than what I really wanted to say.)

10 Reasons Why Holiday Wokeness Needs To Go In The Trash And You Need To Mind Your Business.

Tomorrow is Independence Day and already my timeline is full of the Uber Woke People throwing shade at other people for celebrating it the same way they crawl out of their coffers for every other holiday and it’s actually quite tiring.

  1. Lots of economically challenged people who work part time jobs don’t get any vacation or personal time to spend with their families outside of national holidays. They look forward to these dedicated days where the vast majority of the country is off or working shortened hours knowing that they’ll get time to enjoy their families. The last thing they need is your heavy handed woker than thou memes. IMG_2143.GIF
  2. Mind your damn mother fucking business bitch.
  3. If they do have to work these days they often get time and a half to compensate them for working and if you’ve ever had your $8.50 jump to $12.75 just for working a holiday you don’t even care about, then you understand that that’s something to be celebrated.tumblr_nvrvtocxzX1ua4csuo1_500.gif
  4. Mind your damn mother fucking business bitch.
  5. People can walk talk and chew gum at the same time AKA they can be aware that they are not truly free in this country and enjoy time off of work to do whatever the fuck they want with whomever the fuck they want AT THE SAME DAMN TIME.  images.jpeg
  6. Mind your damn mother fucking business bitch.
  7. The look on children’s faces while they watch fireworks is one of the beauties of the world. You’re hastily typed shamey meme is one of the trashy things of the world. See why we need to keep one and get rid of the other?giphy-2.gif
  8. Mind your damn mother fucking business bitch.
  9. The alternative would be black people not getting the time off of work because black people weren’t really free on the original Independence Day. Where is the logic in that? tenor.gif
  10. Mind your damn mother fucking business bitch.

On a more serious note, it is totally possible to educate someone without making them feel like shit. When you create memes and posts that judge people for celebrating a holiday that they’ve chosen to celebrate your information gets lots in the negativity of it all. At that point you’re not really trying to educate. You’re moreso trying to shame someone for their happiness and as my mother in law would say “You need to get you some business.”

Black people have enough crap to deal with and being judged for enjoying themselves by people of the same hue is just something they could totally live without. We deserve every chance at happy we can get and if we want to get that by wearing red, white, and blue and lighting some sparklers with our families then let us and remember to mind your damn mother fucking business bitch.

 

5 Reasons Why I HATE Hair Salons AKA Why I Went Natural.

If you google the phrase “why I went natural” you will find 100s of women of color giving you all sorts of reasons from the fact that the perm never took, to the fact that it burned, or in some cases thinned many a woman’s hair to nothingness. Those snatchback ponytails that many people make fun of are in direct correlation to the thinning effect of lye and no lye perms alike.

But my reason; I hate Hair salons. 

Here are my 5 Reasons why:

  1. The smell of the chemicals make me sick to my stomach. I spend the majority of my time in the salon with my hand over my mouth trying both not to throw up and to decrease the amount of noxious smells I inhale during my service.                                                                                         200.gif
  2. Stylists never seem to value your time. They consistently seem to fill the room with more people than they can handle at one time. Which forces you to either run late for future appointments or to block off the rest of your life while you sit in a chair waiting 84 years later for your 10 am appointment.                                                                200w.gif3. THOSE DAMN DRYERS DON’T DRY MY HAIR. If I added up all of the time that I’ve spent sitting under a dryer waiting for my hair to dry I’m certain it would be equal to like 6 years. The worst part is when the stylist walks over to check your hair giving you false hope that it’s finally dry after 3.5 hours only to tell you that you need to sit there for another 30 mins… 1 hour…10 weeks…25 years.  So all of these videos of people having fun sitting under dryers is NOT TRUE. Destiny’s Child and Bruno Mars lied to you!!!!
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  3. I don’t care about other people’s business and sitting around in a salon listening to people complain about their lives or talk about how their best friend’s baby may or may not be the Mailman’s is not how I prefer to spend my days. 200-2.gif
  4. I don’t enjoy Wendy Williams, The Real, TMZ, or any of the other celebrity gossip shows that all stylists seem to love to watch while they torture your hair in to perfectly pretty submission.  It does something to my soul to be forced to listen to people gossip about people and the damn paparazzi pictures drive me crazy. I’m not sure why this is a thing we as society loves so much that daytime telivision is full of options but I can definitely do without ever hearing Wendy the idiot Williams ever say “How You DOehn” ever again in life.                                               200-3.gif

 

So those are some of the reasons why I went natural. Now I only have to see my stylist every 5-6 weeks to retighten my sisterlocks and for the most part I don’t have to deal with any of the reasons I’ve listed above.

When The Driver Says Fxck Your Life and Means It.

I’m in a shuttle traveling from NYC to Stamford CT. The driver is rude or maybe he’s just “I don’t give a fuck about you.” but whatever it is I’m impatiently counting the seconds until I get out of his vehicle. Weirdly enough I’ve heard him be rather nice to customers who call and request his services over the phone even using his professional -read white- voice.

He drives like Fuck your life is his motto. Within the first 5 minutes of being in his death vehicle I began praying to all of the ancestors and all of the Gods. ALL OF EM. Especially when he said Fuck the bus and just drove in front of it. 

(In case you can’t tell what you’re looking at the red and white stripes are on the bus mirror that he drove in front of who had the right of way.)

His breath smells like when you leave organic waste in your trashcan for too long and it gets wet. Which isn’t the only reason that I’m happy he’s not a talkative friendly driver but it’s at the top of the list. But when he blows his breath at the other drivers my life passes before my eyes. He’s an angry driver so this has happened quite a bit on this 50+ minute drive. 

I guess he is who people are talking about when they say “Rude New Yorkers” he eminates his rudeness from his pores. I knew it from the second he walked up to me at the airport as if the mere fact that I needed his shuttle (which he gets paid for) was the entire bane of his existence. And though I HATE not tipping people it’s not looking good for this dude. And although I REALLLY dislike tipping people who treat you like they think that you’re not going to tip in the first place brother man from the dumpster has like 20 minutes to at least act like he has some customer service or imma have to keep my pennies in my purse. 

My travel day has been pleasant up until this point but now I’m really wishing I would’ve bought some Tequila in the airport. 

Mantra for today: That was then this is now. The past is the past and the future is everything.

The Boy is Lazy AF and I May Just Punch Him Square In The Jaw

zvIzRRH.gifMy son is Lazy AF. Like typical teenage rolls his eyes in the back of his head when you ask him to do anything outside of his wheelhouse:laying down, eating, playing on his phone; lazy. As a parent I don’t know how to combat this.
At least without slapping him into another ethnicity and ending up in prison and I’m way too cute for prison.

I’ve tried to build him up and pour into him his greatness. I’ve tried to appeal to his sensibilities. I’ve tried to ask for his assistance as his mother. I’ve even tried guilt, yelling, cajoling, and a bunch of other shit that I’m not proud of, but as I write this I’ve just finished yelling at him about being a lazy ass who wants to lay around the house every weekend. Again I’m not proud but I’m fearful. Fearful that this laziness is going to follow him through his life.

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How my child prefers to spend his free time. 

Fearful that he won’t go to college, or trade school, or build his own business. That he’s destined to be a couch surfer floating from place to place building robots in the freetime he has from whatever menial ass job he has at the moment. Fearful that I will lose my cool and punch him square in the face. *slightly kidding*

I know, I know, he’s only 14 but I worry that he doesn’t have it in him to work two times harder, be two times smarter than his white contemporaries. That because we have a little bit of money and have placed him into a school with wealthy children, he thinks he’s on equal footing with his peers. That he will be so fucked when he has to face the real world and since he’s only 14  he only has a few years left to get his shit together before life smacks him in the face and shocks the false sense of affluenza out of him. Because unlike his lazy schoolmates who will end up being mediocre, running companies give to them by their parents, even if we were to still have our companies as he gets to the age when he could run them, we CAN’T afford to have mediocrity running our businesses.

I don’t want to get too down on him. I realize that he’s a good kid. A great kid; funny, smart, caring, and loving. He’ll give you the shirt off of his back (if you really needed it) BUT he is also LAZZZZZZZYYYYY AF! Currently he is laying in bed with a headache solely because I am in the living room and he CAN’T lay in here in front of the TV. As opposed to going to work and making money for the many things he wants, or going to hang out with his friends, or even just building something in the shed, or doing ANYTHING. Laying around the house is what he prefers to do at every opportunity.

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I’m trying to get him to understand that a good personality only goes so far. Especially for black boys. Hell, good black boys are being killed by police everyday. Jordan Edwards who recently died was only a few months older than he is.  I joke about punching him because I honestly don’t know what else to do and I worry so much for him. That he could face something as horrible as being killed by the police or that he can end up a lazy bum sleeping on his grandma’s sofa (since he gotta get the hell up outta here as soon as he graduates if he has no further plans for his life) or spend his days driving some smart girl crazy as she takes over trying to pull him forward into the life of greatness which I have been desperately attempting to push him into.

I know that I can not want more for him than he wants for himself and lately I don’t have much energy left to do any extra wanting for anyone outside of myself. I’s tied boss. Parenting is hard enough but add lazy and angsty into the mix and it’s enough to drive anyone over the moon.

I really wish that there was a magical pill to cure his laziness because, at least for today, I am at my wits end.

Hell Yes to Working Vacations!

If you ask me how my vacation is going I will tell you AMAZING. If you follow that up with “Oh yeah, what have you guys been doing?” You will be surprised at my answer: SLEEPING, EATING, RELAXING…WHATEVER THE FUCK WE WANT.

For most people traveling to foreign countries is all about being a tourist; exploring, taking in the sites, sounds, and experiences of the regions. And,  don’t get me wrong we’re doing that too, but really we’re doing WHATEVER THE FUCK WE WANT. Which is mostly to sleep, take long baths, wake up when we’re ready and watch movies. (All of which we don’t have the privilege of doing often at home.)

And because we’re (AB and myself) serial mompreneurs with two auto repair shops and a business services start up, and I’m a writer with a new book floating around the world, we’re working many hours of each day on our businesses. But there’s something about employees having to figure shit out on their own without calling, texting, or slacking you every five seconds, that makes working remotely so much more FUN and Productive.

There’s something very powerful about being reachable but unreachable at the same time. About sleeping in and still waking up 6 hours before your employees. About decreasing the screening process for potential new employees and realizing that all of the time you spend vetting people over the phone is a waste of time. That removing yourself from the process and letting the manager find out that people are either qualified or unqualified or batshit crazy once the person shows up for the interview, is a much better use of everyone’s time. Especially yours.

So far I’ve been to Amsterdam, France, and Germany and I’ve enjoyed each place tremendously while still getting shit done so YES, HELLLLLL YES to working vacations. If it weren’t for the boy, I would think twice about returning home. I lie it’s cold I need to eventually go home but I’m going to be a changed entrepreneur when I get back.