Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Community.

connection, community, connections, friendships, family, relationships, emotional ties, fun, laughter, kids, children, blogging, life


This morning I was catching up on Instagram Stories.

I like to see what my friends are up to, and yes, some of these people I watch and check up on I do consider friends. Not just blogging boos or celebs that I keep an eye on, or expert chefs and the like.

And I caught some clips of Kita in the Dark with my friend It's Really Kita.

She was talking about community.

I told her that I thought she just gave me the prompt for my next blog post.

And so here I am.

The part of her story that jumped out at me first was the mention of the dreaded ole' emergency contact.

Goodness.

When your kids are in school you have to give an emergency contact. For my daughter, her father and I are already on there, so when I have to fill in that slot? I struggle sometimes. Kita said she was asked for like five. FIVE, y'all.

That's completely ridiculous.

Seriously.

I have enough trouble with one.

And it's not that I don't have one friend I could trust to pick up my daughter in an emergency.

I do.

I have several.

Truly. I do.

Don't believe me?

Meet Kate. 

She has saved my backside or helped me and my kiddo more times than I can count.

And I have neighbors. And friends. Really good friends.

This isn't a pity party for Andrea. I promise.

But I have friends who have their own kids. Their own families. Jobs. After school activities. All the things that might leave them unavailable to run across town - or farther than that - to pick my daughter up in case of emergency.

So.

This leaves me reflecting on my community.

And for so many of us? Community = family.

My family is 500 miles away.

My blood family.

My *sisters* are scattered across the country.

My sorority sisters.

My former in-laws are 1000 miles away.

They can't be the emergency contact any more than my own mother, brother or sister-in-law could be. Although sometimes? My brother is who I put down for myself.

He may only just learn that if he reads this post. But yeah. He's who I would want called if I needed him. (Love you, bro.)

It's really hard when your emergency contact was your spouse and you're no longer married.

It's an interesting 'cross that off the list' kind of experience.

But for my kid?

I know I have amazing friends who would not only pick up my daughter from school, but keep her til I got to her, take her wherever she needed to go - and do the same for me. Just as I'd be more than willing to watch friends' kids and keep them at my house for as long as they needed.

So.

That's my community.

I told you.

I do have one.

But that said?

I'm missing so much.

Because so much of the rest of my community?

Lives right here.

In my laptop. In my phone. My iPad.

On the internet.

My community is you - and you - and you.

And you over there (I see you!).

And some days I wish we could form a huge commune where we could sister-wife one another and take care of each other's kids and they'd run from house to house while we all made a big dinner and sat outside at night sipping whatever it would be that would warm us from head to toe on the outside because inside we'd be warmed by the connections and community we had right there in front of us.

And that might be the sappiest paragraph (or really long sentence) you've ever read on this blog.

But I mean it.

100%

I want doors to swing open and coffee brewing and wine bottles in the fridge and pasta on the stove or cookies fresh from the oven or pizza arriving at the door and happy faces and full bellies and all that is right in the world.

And the other part I wish for? Is that my daughter could not just have her Girl Scout friends and her classmates and Kate's girls, and the cousins she has both, 500 and 1000 miles away.

But that she could have additional connections. Extra ones. Like Carla's daughter, and Erin's twins, and Shell's boys, and Charity's daughters, and Danyelle's daughter, and Nichole's kids, and Kita's kids, and Ivy's daughter, and Tiffany's kiddies (because she lives too far away and she and I barely get to see one another, let alone get our kids to meet up!) and I could go on and on and on because I'd want to include all of the children I've watched grow up over the years. Each and every one of them.

Because that, my friends, is community.

There is an old saying (I sound like a granny!) that the OG Bloggers, which I'm barely a part of, but at the same time, I think I surfaced in the second realm (realm? regime? something?) - somewhere in 2009 - that goes like this:

Blogging friends are real.

And it is 110% accurate.

And you can't beat that.

Community.

It's an incredible thing, no matter where you find it.

Lean on yours when you need to.

They'll do the same in return sometime.

That's what it's all about. [Go on, I know you're singing it.]

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Questions.

thoughts, emotions, questions, politics, dating, connections, community, finding friends, relationships
image from pixabay

Part of our conversations.

Part of who we are.

Part of what we need.

For how else will we get to know one another?

If not for questions?

How many do we ask when first introduced?

What's your name?

Where are you from?

What's your sign? (Does anybody ask that anymore?)

What do you do?

What do you like?

What are your interests? Hobbies? Favorite songs? Books? TV shows?

Who do you root for? (Sports teams. Goodness. So so important then.)

And now - in today's world?

What do you believe in?

What do you stand for?

What makes you raise your voice?

What makes you stand up for others?

What do you think of the current administration?

What are your beliefs?

Who do you support?

What are the mantras you say to yourself to get through each day?

How many tears have you shed?

And for who [is it whom? maybe. either way...] did you shed them?

Who do you root for? (This means something totally different now.)

What do you stand for?

What will you fall for?

So many questions.

So many answers needed.

Friendships eliminated. Facebook or otherwise.

Family members ostracized. And rightly so.

Morality in question.

This is so so much more than a heated discussion over Thanksgiving dinner, y'all.

So.

Much.

More.

So please.

Ask the questions.

Don't be afraid.

Share your answers.

Take that stand.

Fall if you have to.

But please.

Ask the questions.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Voices.

thoughts, emotions, relationships, connections, how we speak to ourselves, self-love, self-care, community
image from Pixabay


I'm sitting here watching The Voice, and it's interesting that the title for my post is Voices.

I'm sticking with the one word titles for November. Though I'm obviously off the daily posting thing.

So.

Voices.

They represent so much.

What voice do you use when you speak?

How many voices do you have?

I'm not talking about the voices in your head (and let's not get all mental health oriented here, we all have them, our inner voices that guide us, I'm not referring to anything you need to worry about, promise).

I'm talking about the voices you use when you speak.

What voice ...

When you speak to your partner. Your spouse. Your boyfriend. Your girlfriend. The person who represents that significant other in your life currently. However you refer to them.

What voice do you use when you speak to them?

Is it the one that is harsh? The one that slides out softly? The one that gives them the benefit of the doubt? The one that is automatically accusing? Which one do you use?

What voice ...

When you speak to children. Your sons. Your daughters. Your nieces. Your nephews. Your neighbor's child. The children of your closest friends.

What voice do you use when you speak to them?

Is it the one that shows them they are safe? The one that scares them into silence? The one that makes them laugh? You know the one - that sweet little laugh that you wish could be bottled up and brought out whenever you feel sadness. Do you bring that laughter out of the children you speak to? What voice is it that does that? 

What voice ...

When you speak to your friends. Your colleagues. Adults you pass at the grocery store. In the street. At the coffee shop. The people who wait on you. The people who stand in line behind you. In front of you. 

What voice do you use when you speak to them?

Is it one that shows them they are seen? One that shows them they are just as entitled as you are to be where you both sit or stand? One that enables them to feel comfortable enough to smile slightly if you make eye contact with one another? 

What voice ...

When you speak to yourself. 

Yes. I know. I mean it. 

When you speak to yourself. 

Do you listen? 

When you speak to yourself. 

Do you automatically believe what you've said? 

When you speak to yourself. 

How long does it take before you find yourself saddened? 

When you speak to yourself. 

What voice do you use?

We have so so many voices. They all matter. Each and every one holds an impact over those we come in contact with. 

But. 

The most important one we have.

The most important one we use. 

Is the one we use when we speak to ourselves. 

Hold on tightly to that thought.

And the next time you find that you're being hard on yourself.

Stop and ask. 

What voice am I using?
 
And why?

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Emotions.


love, friendship, connection, emotions, emotional, therapy, sharing pain, crying, laughter, dating, comfort, thinking, processing, memories


Emotions are tricky, aren't they?

We go through days.

Moments.

Feel as though we're flying high.

On top of the world.

We rely on others.

Feed off of them.

Our emotions often echo those of the people around us.

Especially when we're empaths.

Yes - that really is a thing.

We have these gut feelings.

We follow them.

We.

Freaking.

KNOW.

But we sometimes shove it aside.

Consider ourselves irrational.

Ridiculous.

Because emotions, they are so so tricky.

They can change in an instant.

A heartbeat.

A few words.

Mere minutes.

(I can tell you just how quickly if you actually want to know.)

And you find yourself falling.

Even when you knew.

You knew it wasn't permanent.

You knew things were changing.

You knew that it wouldn't be a forever sort of thing.

But damn it, if those emotions didn't get in the way.

And let you anticipate.

Expect.

Hope.

Freaking hope.

And dream.

And then.

Boom.

Emotions.

On overflow.

Ridiculously so.

Even as you talk yourself through and remind yourself.

YOU.

KNEW.

====

Deep breaths, y'all.

Today is an emotional day for many of us.

Social media is overpowering.

People reminding us to vote. Telling us it's horrible if we don't/didn't.

Then telling us it's totally okay, we can do whatever we need to do.

It's a privilege.

A right.

And yet.

Painful for so many.

Emotions.

They flare up, friends.

And it's okay.

Because even when we know.

WE KNOW.

That they are going to?

They can still knock us on our ass.

Flat.

Hang in there.

And if you need a place to share your emotions freely? Reach out to me. I'm here.

I'll hold you. Laugh with you. Cry with you. Listen to you.

I'll listen as you pray, or I'll pray with you.

I'll wish for all the things you wish for.

I'll hold your hand.

I'll share my emotions as you share your own.

Those tricky little f*ckers.

Each and every one of them.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Coffee.

coffee, memories, drinking coffee, warmth, caffeine, habit, happiness


Coffee coffee coffee.

I kind of want to leave my post at that.

And I also think I may try to stick with one word titles this entire month.

I am AWFUL at post titles.

In general, I just don't come up with exciting ones.

Coffeeismylife.

It's not really, but this morning, with the weird time change, and wait, it's actually this afternoon, but that's not even because of the time change because it would still have been the afternoon when I'm writing this, anyway - coffee.

I live and breathe it in the mornings.

Sometimes it's even just the smell of it.

I don't even make it through the entire first cup. But I still want to smell it and have it permeate through my home.

Permeate.

It's an interesting word. An SAT word, as we used to call 'em.

====

I love iced coffee in the warmer weather, but when fall actually takes hold - which is temporarily the case in North Carolina right now because it appears as though it is going to be almost 80 degrees on Wednesday, so, thanks for that, Mama Nature - anyway, when it's cooler outside, I'm all about a hot cuppa Joe.

Or a warm one. Because I got coffee at McDonald's the other day (I know, who even AM I?) and it was so hot I couldn't drink it til I brought it home and doctored it up greatly with some SILK Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk Creamer.

Some days the only way I think I'm gonna make it through the day is if I pump coffee through my veins. Which is where that fun little image with a woman and a coffee IV comes from. I share it often, but won't here because I haven't found the artist yet and I prefer to give credit where it is due.

====

To me coffee represents so much more than a cup filled with a favorite warm or cool beverage.

Coffee is a summer day on the porch with my mom. Sipping her iced coffee. Feeling 100% certain I'd never ever drink coffee for real.

Coffee is slipping downstairs and heading a block or so away from my Manhattan office at three in the afternoon. Only to that particular Dunkin' - because they made their iced coffee perfectly. Poured where the sugar crystals piled up at the bottom.

Coffee is grabbing the perfect cup for 50c at the cart on the corner of Hudson Street after coming from the train. Or ordering a 'regular' when you ran to the bodega to get your breakfast sandwich.

Coffee is a warm hug from the inside on a rainy morning.

Coffee is what brings me comfort on a crappy day. It reminds me of so many people and so many moments. So. What might, to you, look like an addiction. Or a habit. Or a part of my routine. To me? Is much more.

====

Anyway, I stopped this post yesterday because I was going to wrap it up with a coffee image of some sort and then I didn't post and then I broke my NaBloPoMo streak at DAY FREAKING FOUR.

Not cool, y'all. Not. Cool.

So. Talk to me about coffee. Do you drink it? Like it? Hate it? HOW do you drink it if you drink it? Fill me in. I've got nothing else going on right now, anyway ...