All Articles Tagged "Living"
Mary Mary is known for spreading lots of positive light to their fans through their music and through their reality TV show, but the ladies are going a bit deeper these days.
They define a good woman as someone who “is proud of herself. Respects herself and others. She is aware of who she is. She neither seeks definition from the person she is with, nor does she expect them to read her mind. She is quite capable of articulating her needs. A good woman has a dash of inspiration, a dabble of endurance. She knows that she will at times, have to inspire others to reach the potential God gave them.”
The duo didn’t stop there; to check out Mary Mary’s full definition of a “good” woman, head to Essence.
Do you agree with them? What’s your definition of a “good woman?
It’s Too Cold To Do A Damn Thing: Ways To Avoid Anti-Social Winter Behavior And Have Fun Even When It’s Freezing Out
Like the song, “Let It Snow” mentions, “the weather outside is frightful.” And, while there hasn’t been much snow as of late, the air outside is still rather frigid. This chilly weather keeps some of us in our apartments, and a good number of us stay tucked away in our beds, even during waking hours. This lack of motivation to get up and do things keeps us from being productive, making it easy for us to be anti-social and keeping us from enjoying the many events and attractions that the world around us has to offer. So it’s time for us to strap on some boots, put on some layers, and put the anti-social and anti-active behavior to bed.
Incentives: Steering clear of friends is one thing when its cold outside, but steering clear of other important responsibilities like going to the gym is simply that much easier. And we all know that when you miss one trip to the gym, it’s easy to fall off the wagon. The key here is bating yourself out the house, and this can be done by making yourself small promises. If you go to the gym or go far to visit a good friend, then you should reward yourself with a micro-shopping spree or a treat from your favorite bakery or confectionery spot.
Search: Don’t settle for places to go. Do some Internet research and find somewhere you’d REALLY like to be –otherwise you will bail and stay home. Check to see who has upcoming performances at big venues or smaller concert halls, search Groupon or similar sites for deals on events, and find out where folks are going and hitch your wagon onto the most interesting plans for the evening. Try to make a game out of seeing how many fun places you find to enjoy.
Small Soiree or House Party: You’re sick of not seeing people because you don’t want to leave your house? Natural solution: invite people over. It’s simple nowadays, you just send out a quick Facebook message or a text, and you can plan an evening in with friends. It must be kept in mind, however, there are a few downfalls to having people in your home, mainly that as the host you’re normally the one footing the bill for food and libations and cleaning things up. But well-planned potlucks and BYOB invitations are always a good idea as well. And if you want to avoid too much noise or mess, simple movie nights with a bowl of popcorn, some other small snacks and wine will do too.
Loiter: There are plenty of warm, interesting public places where you can visit for free and hang around for hours while being entertained or mentally stimulated. These places include, but are not limited to art galleries, museums, libraries, coffee shops (take a friend and catch up!) and more. In fact, you can often find free classes, free attractions, free club nights, free museums and free festivals that are available to all, especially if you’re living in a big city like New York.
Graduation, Marriage, Babies, Grandbabies…And Then What? How I Learned To Stop Rushing Life And Enjoy The Moment
I’ve always been a person who is guilty of living for the next moment, instead of slowing down to fully embrace and appreciate the current. As a kid, I couldn’t wait to grow up. I literally fantasized about my teenage and high school years. In high school, I couldn’t wait to get to college. In undergrad, I practically sprinted through my major’s curriculum, taking three-week speed courses and summer classes as if there was some grand prize for finishing early. Now, here I am at 22 years old and six months away from receiving my Master’s degree, asking myself why I was in such a rush and wondering what my next move will be.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with being ambitious or anticipating what lies ahead, but there’s a huge downside to not fully appreciating the now. It took me a while, but I began noticing a strange pattern. Once I got to college, I missed high school. Sure, I liked college, but I realized that high school was a time in my life that I’d never see again. Once I got to graduate school, I missed undergrad. Why? Because again, it took that season of my life being over for me to realize that I would never see it again.
Lately, I’ve been anticipating leaving my parents’ house, seeing my career take off, getting married, having children and all of the other many wonderful things that adult life has to offer. But, then it dawned on me one day that once this season of my life is over, I will never see it again. Never again will I be the eager 22-year-old with big dreams, not knowing for sure what lies ahead, but assured that whatever it is, it’s something wonderful. Something beyond my wildest dreams. I thought about what a tragedy it would be to reach the end of my life when I’m old and gray only to realize that I never fully enjoyed anything because I rushed through everything. Having come to this realization, I made up my mind that I refuse to miss out on the beauty of the current moment or season that I’m in by too eagerly anticipating the next one.
I currently live with my parents and my younger brother. Although we have our differences at times, we have an amazing bond. I love being able pop into my brother’s room and tease him just because I can, or do a running leap, landing into the middle of my parents’ bed while they’re watching a movie. I realized that once “adult life” really takes off for my brother and I, we will probably never all live under the same roof again, or be as close.
While I desire to have my own place, I’m determined to take full advantage of all of the privileges and quality time that living at home still has to offer. While, graduation may be six months away and I do anticipate finishing and moving into the next phase of my life, I realize that this could be the last six months that I ever spend on a college campus. It could be the last six months I ever spend as a student. While marriage seems wonderful, I don’t want to miss out on what unmarried adult life has to offer by being so focused on racing down the aisle to say “I do.” There’s still so much that I am still learning about myself. And while being a parent seems like a beautiful and rewarding experience, I will totally enjoy this time that I have to focus on me and the goals, aspirations and desires that I am not even aware that I have yet.
I guess what I really learned is that in life there’s a time and a season for everything and it would be foolish not to enjoy each season to its maximum potential. So I will yield to God’s perfect plan and order for my life. I will savor each passing moment instead of rushing into the next. I will breathe deeply and embrace each moment, each season, each phase of my life as a gift, because that’s exactly what they are.
Follow Jazmine Denise on Twitter @jazminedenise
All photos are courtesy of Shutterstock
It’s a question that we’ve all asked ourselves on more than one occasion and during different phases in our lives. Even if we don’t use those same words or don’t verbalize the question out loud, our actions, choices and doubts are fueled by this quest to answer this broad question. We pretty much start wondering this from the time we awkwardly enter the school cafeteria and look for a table where we belong. Trying to figure this out can make us style our hair a certain way, date that boy, break that rule, join that club or pursue that degree. It can ultimately take us to the life we have now.
Even as grown women, we still ask it. We just swap the cafeteria for adult circles amongst our friends, colleagues, co-workers and society at large. No matter how many years go by, we still ask: “Who am I, really?” And until we can answer that question, it’s impossible to believe we’re amazing.
As women, we are moms, wives, sisters, friends and confidants, but we sometimes feel guilty for not knowing more about ourselves. As women we are expected to be selfless and to focus on others.
Read the rest of their inspiring piece on ESSENCE.
Do you ever feel selfish by taking a moment to give back to yourself?
Maybe you don’t have the luxury of your own apartment or home at the moment, especially with the economy’s job market and the rising living costs in many metropolitan cities. Even in college, many of us have lived in a roommate situation, where things like space, bills, and finances are shared amongst two, three or even four other people.
If you are preparing yourself to live in a roommate-style situation or already found yourself living with others, make sure you keep in mind a few tips on how to handle the finances of this tricky living situation.
So exactly what is a good friend? One who’s always there for you no matter what? One who always makes you feel good about yourself? Someone who is constantly re-assuring your insecurities? Sorry, but that’s not a good friend, that’s just a fake one. Let’s be real, there is no way that you always agree with the things your friends do. So exactly why do we often make it seem like we do agree with them? Is it because we don’t want to hurt their feelings? Or because we’re afraid of an argument? Either way, friends do it a lot! Here are some of the most common lies we tell our friends just to keep the peace:
You look great in that outfit
Hmmm, how do I put this nicely? Even though your flab is hanging out all over the place, and that color makes you look like a giant balloon, you look great! In a fantasy world, you could just say that outfit makes you look fat…but not in the real world where people actually have feelings and insecurities. Who wants to be that friend who destroys their friend’s confidence?
Awkward Silences Aren’t Really That Awkward: 9 Things You Should Do Besides Start Talking To Someone
I don’t know about you, but I find nothing awkward about silences when I’m in the presence of another human being. In fact, I enjoy those moments. Small talk tends to annoy me, particularly when it never goes beyond those random default topics like the weather — and particularly when it’s a stranger I have no interest in knowing further. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t see things that way, and when the conversation between them and another person runs dry, they feel the need to start rambling just to fill the empty airspace. Sigh.
Since these people don’t seem to know what to do with themselves during these so-called awkward silences, allow me to put forth a few suggestions.
Trying to find an apartment in New York City when you don’t live in the city is a nightmare — not that trying to find an apartment in New York City when you’re in New York City is much easier. But unless you have a lot of money and a broker who actually wants to earn his 15% commission, you’re going to end up sacrificing some of those things that would be considered normal amenities in any other city in America just to put a decent roof over your head.
I already knew these things when I was preparing to move back to the city in July. I was given about 60 days from the time I accepted my job offer to find a place and relocate, but in New York speak, since landlord’s here do not hold places for people, I had about two weeks. As the weeks in my search passed by and I was running out of time without being able to do a quick find-an-apartment weekend trip, my search came down to two options. One was sharing an expensive apartment in a new condo-style building in Brooklyn. My roommate would be a 45-year-old man who told me once he installed a kitchenette in the bedroom I’d be renting, which already had its own bathroom, it was expected that I would not be in any of the common areas of the apartment, i.e. the state-of-the-art chef-style kitchen or the enormous living room and balcony. The other option was a more modest Jr. 1-bedroom apartment in Harlem across the street from my last place that was owned by my previous management company and that I had a friend of mine visit twice to check out. I went with Harlem.
When I moved in, things were cool. I already knew the neighborhood so I wasn’t expecting to be grabbing Sunday brunch with friends in the area. But I also wasn’t expecting to be dealing with what I will call “special” neighbors, cat burglars, and other critters, literally. The first time I became a bit suspicious of my dwelling was when my super, who was also my super at my last place, gave me the rundown on my neighbors. He told me a couple of the apartments on my floor were empty besides the quiet guy to the left of me and the old lady on the right who I didn’t have to worry about — just don’t loan her money. When he said that I thought, I don’t ever plan on that being a discussion we would have. But just the next week we were having a completely different one.
When I received an email notification that my package from Target had been delivered I was prepared to have to pick it up from the local post office because of it’s size. What I wasn’t prepared for was the lady to the right of me yelling “hey. hey I have your package ” when I came home. Part of me was happy I wouldn’t have to go to the post office now, the other half was like, umm I don’t know you and I didn’t ask you to do this. What was also uncomfortable was that my neighbor, whose name I still don’t know, would not allow me to enter her apartment and get my package, she insisted on carrying it out to me. Fine, I understand wanting your privacy, despite the fact that we’re talking about the same woman who basically took my property, but when she wouldn’t even stop at the door to set my box down and instead pushed her way into my place, I was on edge. She commented on how nice my place was and all I could think was, if this lady breaks in my apartment and sells my stuff for cash it’s going to be on.
Thankfully, that never happened. What did happen was me essentially telling her to STFU one night when she wouldn’t stop yelling uncontrollably. At first I thought the woman was hurt, so I peeped my head out the door. Then I realized she was just babbling nonsensically, and annoyed I slammed my door shut. She decided to do the same, which prompted me to look in the hall again. This time two males that I’ve seen in her place before were in the hallway. One began to explain to me that she was off her meds, the other thought she was on drugs. My neighbor then peaked her head out saying she was screaming because I slammed my door when all I had to do was ask her to be quiet. Not one to pick a fight with crazy, I asked her to be quiet. She said okay, closed the door, and went back to yelling about being under investigation by the FBI. At that point I didn’t need anyone to explain anything to me: that chick cray.
Much to my misfortune, she’s not the only oddball in my place. Last Monday as I came home my male neighbor to the left stopped me to ask if I’m the “one who’s singing all the time.” Embarrassed and apologizing for being too loud, he said he wasn’t bothered at all and thought I sounded great. He then gave me his name and introduced himself. I said thank you and went inside my apartment and thought nothing else of him. At 11:30 pm, my doorbell rang. Knowing no one was there to see me, I ignored it and thought it might be an accident. A minute later, the bell rang again so I tip-toed out of bed to look through the peep hole. Apparently I wasn’t light enough on my feet because my neighbor, in his yellow flannel pajamas, announced “It’s James. The neighbor you met before.” With my mind in Law & Order SVU mode, I asked him what he needed and that’s when 50-year-old, wild about the eyes James said he needed to talk. I told him no, said I was going to bed, and then I grabbed my fuchsia Komachi knife and laid it by the bed thinking I’ll be damned if that negro tries to get me without a fight.
Two days later, there was a different intruder I had to worry about. After coming home late from work last Wednesday I grabbed some food on the way to my place and simply planned to shower, eat, have a cocktail, and pass out. Unfortunately, when I walked in my bedroom and turned on the light I found a stray cat sitting in my bed. Yes, a stray cat nestled in my streets. Startled, and wondering if I’d just relived a scene from Jumanji, you know when the kids find a lion on their bed, I simply backed out of the apartment, called my super, and hoped I was hallucinating. I was not. When my super entered my place he looked in my bedroom and there the disgusting orange stray cat I take precautions not to even walk by on the street because it looks so gross, sashayed his or her arse out of my place and gave me a look like “you’re lucky I feel like leaving” as it walked by me. I haven’t been back to my place since.
I could write off that last situation as the random dealings of an ally cat so determined to find shelter it spent hours biting and clawing it’s way through the side of my AC window expander, but because I skipped over the part where my property manager’s neglect to close the holes I noticed the day I moved in resulted in a rodent infestation I don’t feel like I have to explain myself. Two hotel stays and a week on a friend’s couch later, I’m mustering up the courage to return to my literal hell hole tomorrow without having to cut a mother effer– which in this case could mean a stray animal, my crazy neighbor, or my landlord who doesn’t understand the concept of peace of mind and why I’m hell bent on breaking my lease. Despite the great things that have happened since moving back to NY, this is one of those times where I can’t help but ask myself, where did I go wrong?
Have you ever had a sucky apartment situation?
Feel like going surfing? Sorry, but that’s for white people. How about some golf instead? Nope sorry, once again that’s too white. You’re going to eat salad for dinner? Nope, that’s white people food. How about fried chicken instead?.. Yes, this sounds kind of ridiculous doesn’t it? Believe it or not, people still have to deal with this sort of negative feedback everyday. As much as we all know that a person’s character should not be defined by their race, we still see it happen time and time again. This friend is an Oreo, that person is whitewashed, that girl thinks she white. We all agreed with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when he said that people should be judged on the content of their character, not by the color of their skin. It’s unfair for people to think you are a certain way based on your race. So why do some black people still think it’s okay to do this is a reverse way? In other words, they think that a person’s character should be a certain way based on their race and to be any other way is not being black enough. Either way, they’re both unfair. That’s why it’s time dismiss some of these unfair judgments about black people that some people call “being white.”
The other day my man started acting strange. Everywhere he went, he took his cellphone with him. This is strange for him, as he’s not attached at the hip with his phone. In fact, he still has a flip phone for crying out loud! From the moment he got out of bed the phone didn’t leave his side and something about his whole aura was strange. I didn’t know what to make of it and the more I thought about it, my mind, my senses were inclined to lean towards the theory that something was up. Not just any something, but another woman. However, my common sense (see what I did there) made me stop and think for a minute. Has this man given you any reason other than a new found bond with technology to make you draw this conclusion? I’m not saying my man is a saint, but he’s honest, to a fault at times. About an hour after I took notice, he told me without prompting he was anxious about a call from work. Why was I inclined to go to this place where I think it’s another woman? Why take it to that paranoid place? Because, my last relationship happened to be with a fella of that flavor.
Do we really learn anything or know anything concrete about relationships based on past relationships? When my ex would act in ways that deviated from the “usual,” it meant he was checking for someone else. But that doesn’t mean my current man is the same. My boyfriend hasn’t exhibited the behaviors of my ex. Matter of fact, this man is almost the polar opposite.
The lessons of my past relationship I won’t ever forget, but I’m not sure it helps me to hold onto them as some kind of litmus test or point of reference for my current relationship. There are general things we all learn from being in a relationship; what we’re attracted to physically, sexually, the way we prefer to interact, get along and or live with someone else, but can we say for sure that we’re getting any better at it or learning about more about one person based on what another person did?
My ex was a cheater, but I’m not going to take away trust from all men in the future unless they give me reason to. I have to enter every new relationship with brand new eyes and naivety because it is brand new! There’s only one thing you can know about for sure in one relationship that you can take to the next; yourself. My ex was what he was, it ended and I know that I’m not about that life. I know for me, infidelity is unacceptable. I also know that there’s no list that’s going to make my man love me more. No concrete rule on one-night stands, more than one surefire way to succeed at love. I know when my ex exhibited a kind of behavior it meant something, but I can’t take that thinking into my current situation because I’m with a different man. The possibilities are endless because the people and experiences are endless. I’m not telling you not to be vigilant in your relationship, but be mindful of whom you’re being vigilant against and why. Is it the person you’re with or the one you left? Past relationships serve to teach me more about myself, what I’m willing to accept and preparing me to do it differently the next time with someone new, not as an example of how things are and will always be!