All Articles Tagged "growing up"
You can’t help but smile at a bubbly 20 year old, wanting to be seen and heard and liked and drunk. They’re like a bright light in a dark room. A really, really, bright, florescent light that you can’t keep out of your face! Luckily, as we get older, we realize that less is more in almost every area of life. We slow down, we quiet down; we look down instead of having to chat up every single person we pass. Here are 14 ways we realize less is more as we age.
Remember getting your hair braided before school? Or your first perm? What about running home before the street lights came on? We’ve got a list of things we remember from growing up as black girls. Add your favorite memory to the comments section.
Got Your Hair Braided
Most of us remember sitting between our mother’s/sister’s/cousin’s/auntie’s knees to get about a dozen braids before school. Reach your hand back there to count though and you might get popped.
“I think this one looks a little better on you. Wait, try on this size first.
My mom refused to let me change back into my yoga pants and loose shirt in the dressing room. I already had four outfits laying on the cushion seat next to the room mirror that I tried on. But, she couldn’t resist asking me to put on a pair of long shorts with a funky pattern.
“These are so corny. I love them on you!”
The echo of our laughs went over the store music. We both sounded like hyenas, cackling away like we were at home. My mom and I have a particularly interesting relationship in the sense that we have one that relies on a woman’s favorite pastime: shopping.
What started out as monthly outings, which my mom dubbed “ladies ‘night,” morphed into a cathartic session that allowed us to speak openly with each other about our insecurities, dreams and family stories. It’s not like we didn’t have a good relationship when we weren’t shopping, but the activity definitely helps.
Although I never disliked going shopping with my mom — I used to ask for dresses every week at the age of 4 — I didn’t appreciate the trips until I got out of my teens. I was going through the awkward teen years of getting used to my large foot size and managing my fluctuating weight before puberty. There were moments when we went shopping and I didn’t feel like even looking through the shoe racks because I knew I would outgrow them within a year. Mom remained supportive, though, and always told me that I’d appreciate myself as I got older and my bank account became more, ahem, healthy. Her shopping lessons go beyond helping me find the right cut, it’s about repeating the rhetoric of financial independence. Having amazing clothes is an investment just like everything else of quality is, mom says. And when you have investments, you have freedom, independence and options for yourself.
She has told me countless times about what she wishes she did when she was my age, which primarily concerns her not finishing her college education. Her regret comes through, but in an interesting way, I think she’s living through my journey while helping me prepare for what’s next. A pencil skirt that she picks out for me is a cut that she hopes I’ll wear to my first red carpet event. This purple dress, she says, is the first out of many I’ll wear before “your clothes are personally made for you.” Every shopping trip is another opportunity for us to live out both of our dreams — the one I have for myself and the one she has for me.
There have also been a few times when I’ve been able to break her out of her shell. My mom has always been pretty funky when it comes to her style. But, over the years, she has complained about her weight (that she really doesn’t need to lose) and her chest size. “I swear clothes fit you like a hanger,” she says, which is partially true. I’m fairly slim and am able to wear a variety of clothing, unlike my mother who struggled with being overweight in her 20s. Her weight issues were 20 years ago, though her insecurity still lingers. \
I picked up a gold skirt that was flashy and opulent, everything I love in one item. It hugged me in the right places, but didn’t look as over-the-top as my mom and I thought. “Ya know, I think I’ll get that in my size,” she said. Now, usually if a friend of mine tries to walk out of the store with even the same bracelet as me, I balk. But, I’ve appreciated this influence I’ve had on my mother as I’ve gotten older.
Every shopping trip allows me to see her more and more as the woman that she is. There’s always a moment when you see your parents as humans, particularly when you can relate to their vulnerabilities. That’s what is starting to happen for me. Our relationship isn’t perfect by any means, but nothing comes between us and a 75% off sale.
Jade Earle is a freelance writer in New York with a penchant for words and a little bit of time on her hands. She can be found and followed on Twitter @jadeoliviae.
No one told you being a grown-up sucks because you would not listen even if they did tell you! Point blank ….period.
I remember hearing from my mother and aunts, “Enjoy your youth. Enjoy being young. Enjoy being a child with no responsibilities,” and I would quickly scoff at this wisdom. I would speak softly under my breath about elders, bosses, married women and my parents not understanding my plight, trials and tribulations as a teenager, young adult, college student, law student, single woman…..you name it!
However, my very own life experiences and tests have actually taught me throughout my matriculation as an adult that being a grown up actually does not have to suck.
Let’s run down a laundry list of grown up experiences that MAY suck:
1) Having to work full time just to have no money after paying bills.
2) Working at a job, or for a boss that you actually do not like.
3) Paying taxes.
4) Not being in a meaningful relationship.
5) Not being able to eat whatever you want without gaining weight.
6) Not having children yet.
7) Being passed up for a well-deserved promotion and/or raise.
8) Dealing with sickness.
9) Not getting into the graduate school of your choice.
I have dealt with each and every instance listed above. Believe me when I tell you that those life experiences hurt, some more than others, however, they were all a part of my growing on so many levels. Throughout those sucky experiences, I have grown in my faith, patience, expectations, love and relationships.
Read more on HelloBeautiful.com.
I should probably start by telling you that I’m guilty. I’m guilty of entertaining “friendships” with questionable women who display suspect behavior. Why? I’m not exactly sure, but I believe that part of it is due to my constant efforts to see the best in people. So much so that I tend to overlook behaviors that clearly indicate a person probably doesn’t have my best interest at heart.
I met my first frenemy in elementary school and it took her burning me several times in middle school before I finally woke up and realized that I’d better cut this girl off before she does the unimaginable, and of course, I’d have no one to blame but myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fool. I was always fully aware of her shady behavior, but I was in my early teens and I frequently second guessed myself. I believe that’s the tricky thing about frenemies. They are not fans of the obvious, but instead, they’re crafty masters of subtlety and doctors of deception. A frenemy will almost never do something so blatantly obvious that they leave you walking away determined to never speak to them again. Oh no, that would be too easy. A frenemy would rather strike you soft enough to come across as playful, but hard enough to cause you to want to strike back. They commit shady deeds that are so illusive, they’re almost unidentifiable and often leave you asking yourself, “Did that just happen?” which eventually leads to “Maybe they didn’t mean it that way,” and somehow becomes, in many cases for me, “I’m probably overreacting.” And of course, the cycle continues. As subtle as they may be though, you can almost always count on a frenemy to eventually go overboard and hurt you in an irreversible way. It may come now, it may come later, but I’d bet my last dollar that it will come eventually.
It took me encountering people like this throughout high school and college before it dawned on me that entertaining frenemies was like playing Russian roulette. Dealing with sly and underhanded people may seem harmless while in your teens, but as I got older, I quickly learned that the stakes are higher once you enter adulthood because you have so much more to lose, which brings me to my latest revelation. Several years ago, I formed somewhat of a friendship with a woman who eventually began displaying frenemy-like behavior. It was like a full-time job to show myself as someone welcoming enough to carry on a friendship, but keeping enough distance between us so that she couldn’t burn me. Letting her know enough about me for us to get to know each other, but not enough that she could use any of the information she knows about me to hurt me. I would literally attempt to stay five steps ahead of her just to protect myself from the wrath of the frenemy that I knew would eventually come. Then one day I slowed down and asked myself, “Who the heck has time for this?” Who has time carry on a not-so-sincere friendship with a person you can’t even let your guard down around because you have apprehensions about their loyalty? Either you’re with me or you’re not, right? I mean really, what grown woman has time to play the frenemy game? It’s silly, time consuming and in the end, a snake will always be a snake. In that moment, I made up my mind that my genuine friendship is gift, my time is precious, and neither will be wasted on insincere people.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned since entering my twenties, it’s that real women don’t entertain frenemies. There are much better ways to spend your time, and with much better people.
Follow Jazmine on Twitter @jazminedenise.
Children of the ’80s and the ’90s should know all about “Clarissa Explains It All,” the show that was centered-around Clarissa Darling and all of her life happenings, including school, puberty, boys, and so on.. The show first aired on March 23, 1991 and ran until December 3, 1994, airing a total of 65 episodes. With the show having been off the air for almost 20 years, it’s definitely time for an update on the cast.
Mirror Photos, Duck Lips And Straight-Out-The-Shower Shots: Why Following My Niece On Social Media Was The Worst Idea Ever
Kids. They grow up so fast don’t they?
I can remember my niece as a tiny little thing. Toothy smile, long hair covered in balls and barrettes and things, a love for all things Barbie and an appreciation for dance. She grew up fast before my eyes and changed from a shy but happy young child with a bed covered in Build-A-Bears, to a quiet (when with family of course) young adult with a penchant for texting like crazy. Hell, during a family gathering, if you’re not looking, she’ll slip on her headphones and act like nobody else is around. Yep, she grew up fast all right.
But I didn’t really realize all of that until I started following her on Instagram. While Facebook has always been more about statuses and a few pictures here and there, same for Twitter, Instagram is all about photos, and the more photos she puts up, the more I want to pick up my phone, call my brother (her father) and say, “Uh, come get your child!” I’ve found on my homepage images of her in a towel straight out the shower, sports bra and tights shots, booty in the camera and hip all out to the side photos. Though 18 (she JUST turned 18), she’s been acting way too grown for me.
And if the half-dressed pictures weren’t enough, there are times when I can tell she’s doing the most to receive compliments from her followers. Male, female–whoever. She’ll post a picture with a crazy face and say that she knows she doesn’t look cute in it, but she wanted to take the photo anyway. In response, all of her young (and hell, who knows with Instagram. People can be 40-year-old trolls following you and you wouldn’t even know it) followers comment back saying she looks more than cute, that she’s fine, and so on and so forth (*shudders the thought*). And it was okay the first couple of times, but seeing as she posts about five photos a day in front of any mirror she can find (duck face included), it’s become a tad bit annoying. As quiet as she comes off face to face, she gets her Sasha Fierce on with her phone, talking crazy and reciting rap lyrics to her 500+ followers online. After weeks of watching all these shenanigans, I think I’m ready to help her bring that follower count down a bit.
But as sassy as she can be to my discomfort, in all honesty, she’s a more modern version of myself some years back when I let Facebook get the best of me as an 18-year-old. To this day, I can scroll through old photo albums of mine from freshman year of college to now and sometimes I have to shake my head at what I see. Not only was I being sassy like my niece (oh, but you would never catch me in my sports bra or in a towel trying to be seen), duck-lipping it up, throwing my hip out there, and showing off my curves in a swimsuit, but I was also cursing like a sailor while joking with friends about these pictures. I was young and silly, acting a fool and loving it. But years later I cringe at my clothes, my poses, my once proud expletives and my behavior as a whole. And honestly, when I think about my own juvenile behavior in the past, I can’t help but give my niece a pass. She’s doing the same over-the-top (but maybe to an extreme) stuff I was trying my hand at when Facebook ruled the world and Twitter was just starting to make waves.
While I might have to pull her to the side and let her know a few things, I can’t fault her for doing the same things damn near everybody was doing back in the day when they got their hands on camera phones and cameras with decent megapixels. Plus, her grades are high, her dreams are big and she hasn’t done anything yet to make me feel like I have to be worried about her doing more than spending too much on Jordans and catching a speeding ticket. It’s about maturity. She’s young, she’ll learn. And she’ll grow and do better–I hope. So I’ll deal with the questionable if not obnoxious photos for now. I just can’t help but long for the days of the little girl in the white princess dress with her Barbies as she continues to grow into a saucy young lady with a passion for mirror shots.
Just the other day, I wore red lipstick, for the first time. Actually it was the first lipstick I’d ever worn in my entire life. It was clammy between the purses of my lips, but I didn’t mind it. This notion made me completely ecstatic. To you, this may seem a bit superficial. However, for me, it’d been a long time coming.
I was afraid I’d be noticed with anything additional or too bright. I did not want to be noticed, I wasn’t ready to adorn myself with anything that prompted catcalls and stares.
The truth is…
I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin. In fact, for a few years, I’ve been wearing someone else’s. I get up every morning, pat on makeup, slip on my heels and borrow words for the day, words that I don’t recognize as my own. I even delve into habits that weren’t previously a portion of my idiosyncrasies: eyebrows, nails, and organization.
The truth is, I was a skater girl: A kick loving, curse slinging, and over analytical extrovert. I was a nerd (still am) with a zest for journaling, Harry Potter, romance, and drama.
High school and college stifled me. Girls in higher heels and upper echelon begged me for tact. They caressed the underlying notions that I’d never be good enough. Everyday, as I faced the mirror, I realized that I was an impostor.
I am a shell of my former self.
I’m 5’11, with size twelve feet, big hands, an awkward smile and a stomach that kind of spills. To the stores, I am TALL, LONG and find-it-online. To the bullies, I was Sasquatch goofy and nerd. To the men who failed to assess internal beauty parallel to external, I was “alright” or “okay.” To myself, I wasn’t deserving.
That’s where it starts, doesn’t it? With yourself?
I found it hard to take compliments. I often cringed at the utterance of beautiful or pretty directed towards me, suppressing the urge to look behind me and search for the woman they were truly talking about. Defense mechanisms were my forte:
1) In social settings, when the men are more adoring of your friends instead of you, twiddle with your phone. It shows you don’t care.
2) If anyone asks what’s wrong, nod and smile. Never let on too much. Insecurity is not attractive.
3) Stay clear of things you used to love to wear, before anyone pointed out their flaws. Bright colors, horizontal stripes and tighter things only emphasize your thickness.
4) Talk fast and quick. Perhaps if they know you are a celebrated poet, scholar and writer; your looks won’t matter too much.
Years ago, I had the opportunity to confront my insecurity. I stood on my first well-known stage surrounded by people who actually had requests. Fans of sorts. I could have dropped my bitter cloak there. I should’ve swallowed the attention whole and relished in the fact that I was a great writer, performer and someone who deserved everything.
Instead, I blacked out. I let a pretend confident spirit envelop me and tear the stage apart. A train car voice cascaded from my lips and took charge of her surroundings. No microphone needed, I’d placed my morale, in rhyme, on the ears of many. It was beautiful. However, the instant the clapping faded and I cascaded down the stage’s steps; I was hunch shouldered, smirk-never-smile and nervous-wreck, shell of me, all over again.
While cruising YouTube a while back I decided to watch Brandy’s “Put it Down” video. I was extremely impressed. Brandy looked good, her sound was fresh, and the video was very colorful (and that’s good for someone like me who likes to be entertained by vibrant colors). So it was a win all around the board.
However, when I read the comments, one person did say something that honestly was in the back of my mind. They agreed about how they liked the video as well, but were expecting something a little more mature from her seeing that she’s a grown woman and has a daughter in double digits. Though some people threw shade at the comment, citing how (I won’t say her name, because people are “over-saturated” by her) still dances after having her baby, and no one objects to it.
It did make me want to observe people and myself, as a mother, a little closer, and I have noticed that some parents do experience a little bit of a second wind after having a child. There’s a saying that “children keep you young,” but now that’s also being proved by science. An experiment by a Norwegian scientist along with Arizona State University put aging, elder, dementia and Alzheimer-ridden bees back in the role of caregiver, and found that within days the bees were back to their old vitalized selves, with a lowered rate of dementia and Alzheimer. What does this mean for humans? Well, bees and humans’ brains are very similar and have the same Prx6 protein in it and scientists are beginning to think that taking care of children is what keeps some parents young at heart for a few more years. (Caveat, please do not try to heal your family and friends who suffer from these diseases by letting them babysit your children. Further research is needed.)
So, this explains why I bump into nervous looking parents while we awkwardly walk around the junior’s department and exchange those lies we both mutter to each other in passing: “Yeah, well, sometime these jeans/shirts fit me better…”
But, when you look at the children/teens, it just seems as though they are at the complete opposite of the spectrum. They want to grow up too fast. Which was an argument that came out in the comment section of Keke Palmer’s “Dance Alone” video. We knew that this blossoming actress wasn’t going to stay a child forever, but people were concerned that she was trying too hard to prove that she was no longer a child and people should accept her as the 19 year old that she is. In all honesty, Keke was just the soundboard that people were using to object to what they’re observing in the general population: the younger generation growing up too fast. We see children and teens make unsound mistakes, hoping to prove their agency, while only making their caregivers look bad in the progress.
But, being in the entertainment business is different, and there’s pressure for the women to be seen as young and fresh, and the older teens to seem able and ready. Maybe it’s unfair to hold Brandy to this standard. Expect her to sit on a stool and single demurely about adult challenges, while “She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” grooves like nobodies business on stage (no hate, I’m a fan of both).
What does this all mean? One thing my mother is quick to say (while I occasionally bump into her in the Junior’s shoe department as well) is: “Age only tells you how long you’ve been on this Earth, that’s it.” But, I would like to encourage anyone who is under the age of 21, to please enjoy your youth. There is nothing to rush to as an adult. As my old pastor used to say: “The grass is always greener on the other side, until you go over, examine it, and find out that it’s astro-turf.” All of this is being typed by a woman in an off the shoulder Snoopy and Woodstock sweater…
Kendra Koger is wondering if “She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” needs a background dancer to do the robot awkwardly in her upcoming tour. If so, she can tweet her @kkoger.
Last week, or maybe the week before, I stumbled across an article on Clutch Magazine. The article, written by Danielle Pointdujour, comically detailed the experience of a newly engaged friend of hers who spent the night at her parents’ house with her fiancé. Not surprisingly, since the two weren’t married yet, her parents had arranged for she and her man to sleep in separate bedrooms. But in the middle of the night, the love below started talking to her and she invited her man to her room for a midnight romp. Of course he obliges; and sure enough, just like something out of a cheesy romantic comedy, her mother walks in and sees the two of them mid-hump and freaks out.
The story was funny but even more hilarious was the comments section. Almost unanimously, everyone agreed that the author’s friend was trifilin’ and completely disrespectful for acting like that in her parents’ home. From the comments section, one could surmise that when it comes to black folk, having your boo sleep in another room, until you all are married is pretty much standard protocol. I know it certainly was in my house. When my sister first started dating her boyfriend, in college, he would come to visit her over the holidays. Not only did my parents not let he and my sister sleep in the same room, my father made him sleep at my aunt’s house. She lived ten minutes away. It was not a joke. Eventually, my mom was able to convince my dad to let my sister’s boyfriend stay the night; but the idea that his youngest daughter would be hunched up with some dude, under his roof was completely out of the question. And my sister understood that.
I don’t know about ya’ll, but from the time I was able to walk and talk, my parents started letting my sister and I know exactly what it was. Locking our bedroom doors was not permitted. “Don’t be locking these doors, these are my doors.” If we so happened to break something in a moment of rough housing, we were reminded just how much we didn’t own. “Don’t break anything because you don’t have any money to pay for it. None of this stuff in here is yours!” My father, who really wasn’t known for discipling with smart comments, even dropped this little piece of knowledge on us: “This is my house. I just let you live here.” Well dang.
As hard as it was to hear those reality checks, they certainly got the point across. Owning a home was the American dream and I know my parents put up with a lot of ish at work in order to make sure we kept it and that it was well maintained. It was and still is the sanctuary from all of the foolishness they encounter in the world. The place where what they say goes. Where their rules reign. That’s important to anyone, but particularly so for black folks, whose intelligence, capabilities and authority are constantly being questioned in the workforce and society at large. The house, the kingdom is an escape from all that, and it must be respected by anyone who sets foot on the premises. To this day, my dad still feels a way about Left Eye setting Andre Rison’s mansion on fire. “She burned down the man’s house Veronica, his home.”
Now, I’m not going to lie. There were times when I tried to rebel against the rules of the house. After my freshman year of college, when I came home for Christmas break, my sister and I stayed out til four in the morning chatting it up at a friend’s house. When we walked in our house, my father was on his way out the door for work. Needless to say, he wasn’t pleased. When he came home that evening, we got into an argument about acceptable curfews and how our coming in so late/early was disrespectful. I didn’t see the big deal. We weren’t out clubbing or drinking or with [straight] boys. We were at a friend’s house. What I failed to realize at the time, was that if I wanted to stay at my parents’ house during the college breaks, I needed to abide by their rules, or find somewhere else to stay. And if that meant being home before 4 in the morning, that was just one of the stipulations. And that’s what I think those commenters on Clutch were getting at. If you can’t control your hormones for a couple of days, stay at a hotel. We always have options.
Though there were times when I thought my parents’ measures were extreme, now that I have my own spot, I know exactly what they were talking about. I don’t like for my little apartment to serve as a bed and breakfast for just anybody. I’m very particular about who stays here. And when guests do come, I don’t want them traipsing the dirt and grime from the bottom of their shoes on my rug of many colors. When you work hard for something, not only are you going to take care of it, you’ll certainly want to make sure other people do the same. We all have our rules and if you’re going to invite or allow somebody to stay in your home, they’re just going to have to follow them…or get ta steppin’.
What rules did your parents have growing up? Were you allowed to sleep with your significant other in their house before you were married?