Archive for the ‘Life’ Tag

Are You A Groupie? By Angenita Williams

GLPIC

 

Are you a groupie?

Merriam-Webster says a groupie is a noun that means a fan of a music group who follows the group on concert tours.

Urban dictionary says a groupie is a young woman, often under age, who seeks to achieve status by having sex with rock musicians, roadies, security, and other band-related guys.

Does that describe anyone you know?

I heard the song Groupie Love by an indie artist Young Mac about a year ago. (Check the photo.) The more I listened to it, the more I really get it. Although the title would have you thinking otherwise, it’s obvious that the woman being described in the song is a hurting woman.

“I can tell it’s groupie love cause she aiming to get rich.”

Listening to the lyrics on the surface would have you think the narrator is talking about the typical groupie – backstage at all the shows. Heels on point. Body a ten. Making sure she gets chosen. But a deeper listening reveals that this “groupie” isn’t typical…she has the “aim” to get rich…but the “rich” isn’t the rich that one thinks of when they speak of rich.

In this aspect, rich means love. She wants to be rich…in love… jumping from body to body in search of this elusive love…the love that every girl dreams of. Yearns for. And when that love isn’t there, then substitutes are there to take the place…money…attention…sex. Selling herself short for the illusion of desire. She’s broken. And the narrator tells her, “I can feel your pressure.”

How much pressure are we under to find love? For us single ladies that are 35 and up, how much pressure do we bear when we wake up next to pillows every morning? When you just wanna hug and hear a deep masculine voice say it’s gonna be alright? I know…Momma never said there would be days like that….because Momma never let it show that there ARE days like that.

Navigating the world of relationships is real tricky. Mainly because everyone has baggage to unload, and everyone wants to remain selfish….when love has nothing to do with selfishness…it’s so selfless. You willingly give your all because love is about growing the other person, not what you can get out of them or from them. You have to make sure that person has your best interest at heart…But you can’t wait too late or you’ll end up broken and bitter.

Self-love is the key to deflating the pressures of being single. No one can love you if you don’t love you, and if you don’t love you, you can’t possibly love anyone else. So for the groupies in the world….take a pause…love you…Nothing will give you more satisfaction until you realize that love you seek is right there in you…

“Go ‘head and show that groupie love…go ‘head, you know that groupie love….”

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Am I Not Good Enough? by Angenita Williams

*This is NOT a blog about being sad, or feeling unworthy. It IS a reflection.*

In the midst of my reading and studying, I usually play music or have the TV on for background noise. Sometimes, I have both. But yesterday, I decided to listen to the YouTube personality April Mason. She is an empowering woman with some really good points. I just wasn’t ready for what she had to say.

She had a letter from a young woman who explained that there was a guy she was “dating.” He was nice. He treated her well. He was fine. His sex was awesome. But he didn’t want to be in a relationship. Although he did all the things that couples do, he made it clear that a relationship was something he did not want. She was understandably confused. His actions did not match his words….definitely something I can relate to.

April went through all the usual relationship advice: why buy the cow when you get the milk for free; you allowed him to dictate the “relationship;” you must love yourself first…and so on and so forth. But then she said this:

“This may sound harsh, but you are not good enough.”

I stopped studying.

“You are good enough to hang out and go to the movies with. You are good enough to share meals with. You are good enough to have sex with. But you are not good enough to be his WOMAN. You are a placeholder for his permanent one.”

I sat up. Not good enough to be his woman?

I’ve often felt like I was never good enough. My self-esteem hasn’t been the highest. Although I was always told I was beautiful, I didn’t really believe it – I was fat. I didn’t have a nice shape and I was bigger than most guys – but I was still cute and my smile lit up a room.  I knew I was smart – my grades showed it. I was a little short on being street smart until I got to the streets and had to learn to navigate. I never quite learned how to navigate relationships with men though.

I was always good enough to converse with because I do have a nice conversation. I have a brain and I can go from goofy to intellect in a split second. I was nice to hang around because I carry an aura of comfort; of loving. I can cook a little bit, so of course I was good enough to make meals for a man. Of course I was always good enough to have sex with. I’m a nice looking, fluffy woman that’s well endowed. I take care of my kids. I’m smart. I’m funny. I’m loyal.

But I still wasn’t good enough.

 I wasn’t good enough for my father to love me enough to show me that I was indeed worthy to be treated like a human being.  I didn’t have a very high bar to compare any man to. Attention was enough I suppose. I wasn’t good enough for my ex to not marry a woman that I knew was all the way wrong for him, but yet he still came to me on plenty of nights until I stopped him. I wasn’t good enough for the guy who told me he wouldn’t hurt me, but he didn’t want a relationship…after sex. Or the one that said that no man would really want me because of my ready made family. Or the one who stopped talking to me when I took sex off the table. Or the one that sent unsolicited penis pics. Or the one who thought I would stay despite his abuse.  When I got married, I felt that finally I WAS good enough…I secured a lifelong bond with a man I was madly in love with…

But I wasn’t even good enough for my husband. No matter how loyal or loving or supportive I was, I just wasn’t good enough to keep him from the abandonment or the side chicks.

In the aftermath of all of this, I find that I am still just not good enough. I’m good enough to hang with or converse with, or even to sex…but I’m not good enough to be a man’s significant other. I’m not good enough to be the ONE.

My attributes are great. I am wonderfully flawed.  I’m beautiful. I’m sarcastic. Intelligent. I like sports. I cuss like a sailor. I am articulate. I can get moody. I can appear standoffish or disinterested.  I can discuss politics, Beyonce, Maya, and Bugs Bunny. I am lovingly loyal – I would say to a bit of a fault. I am a sweetheart when I want to be. I’m the perfect homegirl. I’m caring. I’m supportive – an awesome cheerleader. I adore my children and my grandchildren. I will go to war with the world over my children. I love my family. I work hard. I hustle harder. I strive to be the best I can be with all my flaws. 

This year marks my 40th year on this Earth. I look at the world through a lens of life experiences. I do have faith in God, something I can’t say I’ve always had. My confidence level as definitely increased by the multitudes. But, in the area of relationships and commitment, something always falls relatively short. And with all the #inboxfoolishness I get, with all the dates that are made but never completed, all the notions of just wanting sex from me and nothing more, I wonder…

Will I ever be good enough?

Tragedy and Travesty of Violence by Angenita Williams

 

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We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made of us.

~ Jean-Paul Sartre

I cried when the Trayvon Martin verdict was read….I cried when I learned that Jordan Davis’ killer didn’t get convicted of his murder, but of attempted murder of his friends…I was in dismay and utter disbelief when Eric Garner’s death was ruled a homicide, yet it doesn’t appear an arrest has been made…and angered at how long it took to even get a name of the police officer that shot Michael Brown…

I’m left with the questions of how can my son, grandsons, and nephews trust the police to protect and serve them when they are viewed threats and unworthy of living? How can the community not be in a state of fear and depression when oppressors are all around them? How do these actions and circumstances differ from a 1960’s state of America? Isn’t this modern-day lynching? When is that change gone come? How is it gonna come?

Our men are accustomed to being the last rung on the ladder when it comes to this country. They are put down as nothing; regarded to animals. A professor by the name of Charles Carroll details this in his book “The Negro A Beast” or “In the Image of God” published in 1900. And something from so long ago still resonates in our country. It’s also worthy to note, the Bible is also used in this book to justify that Black people are not human, and according to page 138 of that text, scientific research demonstrates that “no wooly-haired nation has ever had an important history.”

It doesn’t help that Black America cannot unite unless some tragedy occurs; nor does it help that our youth of today buck authority, and just don’t care. But how can they when they are resorted to being shot like raging beasts when all they try to do is surrender, break up a fight, or lay face down and follow orders? Can one even imagine how depressing living in that manner is? It’s a wonder that we still have some strong men left in our community.

The stereotype of Black America will always supersede the accomplishments of Black America, and that alone makes for a bleak existence in this country. What is extremely disheartening is that many folks in the community either believe the stereotype completely or perpetuate it. Look at those who leave the ‘hood never to return, and snub their noses at where they came from. What about those who don’t reach back to the ‘hood to help those in need? What about those who refer to their own people as “useless, unkempt, and unnecessary?” Whatever the case, though, stereotypes should never, ever equal death. Books should never be judged by their cover, and when it comes to our men, the covering of their skin is justifiable homicide…simply because of America’s belief that black men are simply unworthy and animalistic. Men who were once deemed as kings are resorted to being less important that mistreated dogs. (See Michael Vick.)

The protests happening in Missouri attempt to thwart the notion that we can be peaceful. But it’s kinda hard to do when you have armored tanks, weapons, and tear gas descending upon you when all you want is justice. It’s hard to turn a cheek when you are being bullied by the powers that be. It’s really difficult when your questions have no answers. Peace is extremely hard to attain when there are a few indignant people causing mayhem. At this stage, no one will remember the good about the situation (peaceful protestors protecting businesses), but the bad that is being done out there right now.

My favorite author, Maya Angelou said it best: “If we lose love and self-respect for each other, this is how we finally die.” The best way to get our respect – is to LOVE each other, and stand together to not only right the wrongs of the forces that are upon us, but to also dismantle the killing of our own people by our own people. The youth of today have generations of worthlessness upon them. I’ve said it before, and I will keep saying it – fathers need to return to the home. The trends of the downfall of Black America can be directly correlated to the absence of a real dad. And when I say return to the home, I mean DO SOMETHING. Parent, participate, love, discipline, listen, and respect your kids. Because in all honesty, if we cannot come together and show that we are worthy, there are going to be many more Mike Browns, Eric Garners, Oscar Grants, Ezell Fords, Sean Bells, Trayvon Martins, Jordan Davis’s, Ramarley Grahams, etc…and justice will simply refuse to prevail.

Well Done, Maya by Angenita Williams

She rose from the depths
Of what society said
She should be
Tall, black, woman

Silenced
For years
After her words killed
A violator

But still, she rose

Her stature captured nations
Civility unmatched
Humble beyond measure
Loving spirit

Wisdom…
A teacher
A motivator
A Queen

And still…

Clouds produce storms
Rainbows are the products of storms
And clouds
They happen when the sunlight reflects moisture 

In the air
At just the right time
And angle
Nature’s splendor 

And still…

Her quotes…
Made you say…
Where did she get THAT?
How was that obtained? 

And her works
Will guide
On exactly where it was
Revealed 

And Still… 

Her voice…unmistakable
Her spirit…full
Her life…of purpose
Her legacy…everlasting
Her honor…noble
Her being…marvelous

Simple, awesome…love

When I wrote the blog last October, Clouds and Rainbows, I knew that Maya Angelou was ill. She was still boisterous, funny, and full of wisdom, but her body was frail. The shell that housed her was getting weak. But in her strength…she didn’t let it be known…

The strength of this woman is unlike many I have seen. By rights, a teen mother should not be this successful and full of life. She shouldn’t have all these experiences. She should grow to be a welfare mother with a house full of children with no daddies. Stigmatized. Alienated.

But through love and guidance, THIS, teen mothers, abused women, lost and lonely girls…THIS…is what you CAN be. Life can toss you so many things, and people can give you so many excuses as to why they can’t do something. But the LIFE of Maya Angelou dispels everything that anyone can say to you to impact you negatively. Her statuesque life. Her larger than life personality. Her…spirit motivated you to want to move. A simple reading of any of her works will get you up and out your seat.

God called her home on May 28, 2014. His purpose for her shell is done.

Rest in Peace, Dr. Maya Angelou. I’m sure you have already heard this by a bigger voice than mine, but, job well done. JOB WELL DONE …

Whatever you want to do, if you want to be great at it, you have to love it and be able to make sacrifices for it…

~Maya Angelou

Circle of Friends by Delina Hill-Brooker

circle of friends

 

I have several sets of friends that are dear to me. Most of the people that I know in Atlanta I met through the two jobs that I’ve had since I’ve been here. The last job that I had several of us left the company for various reasons throughout the years, but we’ve always kept in contact. We meet every once in a while and have a lunch or dinner date and catch up, and recap all of the things that haven’t been discussed via email or social media.

For some odd reason we never met up last year, I hadn’t realized it until we were all together. Even this time, we kept saying for months that we were going to meet up, but never did. We kept putting it off, like we had all of the time in the world. Fortunately, we finally got our act together and came together as planned. The reunion was refreshing to say the least. Little did I know, so many major life changing things had happened over the year for all of us. Even though we were the same people, we were not the same people. The beautiful thing about it was, we were able to offer words of encouragement, alternatives to view points, but most importantly it was a place to REALLY be heard and understood. (No one understands a woman, better than another woman). There’s always more room out than in. Just being able to get things off of your chest brings you to a higher point.

I always enjoy my time with my circle of friends, and maybe I enjoyed them more this time around because the hubby and I, had just finished watching The Best Man Holiday, ( a REALLY great movie) which made me reflect on my circle of friends, and even my broken circles of friends.

On my way home I reflected on the things that I had learned about my friends along with the message from the movie and I came to the realization that even though everyone is not meant to be in your life forever, I don’t want any bad blood or ill feelings between any of my current or former circles. If there was a REAL need, I would be there, and would hope that the same would be extended to me if I had a need. Life is too short and precious to hold on to grudges, issues and unnecessary complications. Even if there is discord among your circle SOMEONE should be the brave one and break the silence. I say brave, because that’s exactly what it is – especially when there’s been a breakdown.

If you want to take a deeper insight into my view of it all, what if God didn’t speak to us, or ignored us when we were in need, or were sorry, but didn’t know how to apologize to Him?

Forgive in the same manner that you want to be forgiven. Remember that everyone is human, and we all make mistakes. Cherish and embrace your circle of friends. Life is too precious and too short.

Life’s Mistakes by Angenita Williams

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This has been a trying week or two for me on more levels than one. Many don’t know what I’ve gone through because I try not to speak about what my issues are. Most of the time, I suffer in silence as I work through whatever is going on.

I’ve had some drama – and anyone that knows me knows drama is totally not my thing. I think unnecessary drama is a waste of life. And I don’t know about anybody else, but life is too short to entertain drama. Some I ‘unintentionally’ brought on myself. Some I didn’t.

See, I’m my biggest critic. So when I make a mistake KNOWING that the outcome isn’t going to be anything good, I shoot my foot off. When I don’t listen to my gut, I get queasy. When I ignore all the bells going off inside my mind, I have to pick my face up off the ground. I get mad – not at the situation – but at myself for making that wrong turn. I beat myself up – just black and blue my spirit and spunk. Typically my feelings get hurt, but always wanting to look at the best in people is a blessing and a curse at the same time. It leaves me pretty open to chance, and that’s a good, but bad thing.

Another thing I don’t get is bringing on drama, especially through social media. Hiding behind keyboards is dangerous. Why not just confront the situation head on? Could it be fear? Why put everybody’s business on blast BUT your own?

I admit I’ve made some huge mistakes in my life. And those mistakes lead me to be who I am today. If I was perfect, I wouldn’t have the life knowledge needed to navigate this life I was blessed with. My mistakes were hidden testimonies to divert someone else. But until I realized that, I constantly beat myself into the ground. I then realized that although my after-mistake feelings always make me want to beat myself up because I knew better, my pain helps someone around me to be better. In turn, that makes me a better person.

Another thing about mistakes is that if you continue to repeat the same ones, you are not learning the lessons God has put you here to learn. So you are a shell of what a living human is supposed to be. If you are the same person you were ten years ago, then something is not right. It’s time for a self-evaluation. It’s time to be real with who and what you are. And if that means that you are just a screw-up, admit it and be happy in it. You don’t have to apologize for who and what you are. The key is to simply admit your shortcomings. That way, when someone calls you out on them, you can smile and say, “Yeah, I know.”

Clouds and Rainbows by Angenita Williams

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I had the pleasure of going to hear Dr. Maya Angelou speak a few weeks ago. It only solidified my desire to want to sit down and simply talk to her. Her wisdom is enlightening; her humor is addicting.

This is the type of woman who commands you to listen. She is an inspiration for me. The author is bold, brash, and makes no apologies for her being her. Even at eighty-five, her energy and viability is astounding. I felt her strength from my balcony seat.

She began her lecture with the phrase, ‘Be the rainbow in someone else’s cloud.’ She ended with the same sentiment. It got me to thinking about my rainbows. And about the rainbow that I have been. While I’m not sure who I was a rainbow for, I know that my rainbows have come in both genders, all races, all ages, and different belief systems. Many were unexpected rainbows that came through on my cloudy days.

I thought more about the clouds and rainbows in my life. I’ve had some clouds that were so dark, they could only produce massive storms with a few tornadoes thrown in for good measure. And not every one of those produced a rainbow. It was a challenge just for the sun to break through them. When the sun broke through and produced a rainbow, it was the most beautiful type of rainbow – one that stretched across the sky and had no beginning or an end. Those rainbows gave me a level of happiness that I never experienced before.

But, the thing about rainbows is that they fade away. Once their beautiful presence dissipates, only a faint memory of their beauty lingers…until the next cloud comes….

Missing the Bus by Angenita Williams

I was talking to an old friend. There was some flirting going on, and he jokingly said that I was gonna miss the bus. I replied with, “Dude, I have a car. I don’t need a bus…”

And after our conversation, I thought about it. How many buses did I miss because I had a car? I wondered if I missed the bus that would take me to where I wanted to be because I was so insistent on driving myself there. After all, riding the bus in Indianapolis is rough. All buses, with the exception of maybe one or two, use downtown as the hub. There you see all kinds of mixtures of people amongst the buildings that stretch far into the sky. People transfer from one bus to another to get to their destinations. Those that have extended waits sit or stand in the shelters. The shelters don’t cover everything, and on cold, rainy, or snowy days, people are huddled there to try to keep dry and warm – some don’t get protected. Gotta be prepared; gotta make sure you definitely dress for the weather.

Depending on where you are trying to go, you should leave home up to maybe three hours before you have to be somewhere. There are quite a few stops on the way. People get on, people get off. Exchanges are made. The rides are not comfortable at all. And if the air or heat is broken, then your ride is just that much longer. And if one connection is late, you will be, too. So patience is definitely a virtue.

The bus is not designated to get you exactly where you want to go, but to get you close enough to walk to your destination. Sometimes it’s a few blocks, sometimes, it’s a few miles. You have to have on good shoes to walk. Not only that, you have to have a sense of direction…especially if where you are going is new. You gotta know how to get there. You have to plan the trip.

But…when you have a car, you go straight to where you want to go…without stops that give you patience. It’s quite easy to get lost because you hop in, and drive, not necessarily planning or preparing with a sense of direction. And, you can’t enjoy the scenery because your mind is so focused on the road…Maybe I should park the car.

After the Storm by Delina Hill-Brooker

The news is good for giving us fair warning and hyping up the conditions of possible weather and storms. With today’s technology we get instant alerts via text, apps, and various media outlets. Even if we initially brush off the warning, when the storm comes we take shelter and wait it out.  And sometimes even with those warnings we are still in shock and awe of the damage, destruction and force of the storm. After we are sure that the storm has passed we go out, check our surroundings and access the situation. Even if our property was spared, there was damage. Even though our anxiety has been lowered, we move into another phase. There is still work to be done. Fallen trees, down power lines, dirt and debris. The clean up after the storm requires hard work and continuous effort in order for our lives to be put back in order. BUT we survived.
This is a lot like life. We can see the trouble brewing, sometimes we brush it off and think that it’s nothing – or at least we hope that it’s not as bad as it seems. We are anxious and scared while going through it – even with fair warning, but we survived the storm. Sometimes there’s damage that needs to be repaired, other times we have to dust ourselves off, brush away the old debris of life so we can have a fresh start.
It’s important to remember that we HAVE to repair the damage in this order to move completely out of the stormy phase. We SHOULDN’T walk around with the old debris on us – that only shows that we haven’t completed dealing with the storm. And even thought the clean up is hard, tedious and sometimes painful, it is absolutely necessary. You wouldn’t move into a house with no walls right? So why walk around wearing the debris of unfinished business for the world to see? Just remember, the hard part is over – you survived the storm.
This blog was inspired after yesterdays bad storm, here are some of the pix.

Point of View for ’42’ by Angenita Williams

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I made it a point to take my daughter to see 42, the movie based on the story of Jackie Robinson. Whether she wanted to see it or not, she was going to. I thought it was important for her to see a piece of history about breaking barriers that was not set in the era of Civil Rights and MLK. She actually wanted to see the movie. I was pleased.

42 is long, but it doesn’t really seem that way until near the end of the movie. The cast did a great job of depiction. As I watched, I wondered how it truly felt to be Black in America before we stood up and claimed our rights as humans.

It was interesting to see Jim Crow before the 60’s. Jackie Robinson stood his ground, but he did so respectfully. That took strength and grace. I loved the way he shut up his Caucasian naysayers by dismantling the pitcher, and by knocking the ball out the park. It was really in-your-face, and I chuckled at the stupidity of their actions. He was Black. He was a man. He was a ball player.

I think one thing that held steadfast throughout the movie was the story of Branch Rickey. He was a different kind of white man. Although he made it very clear he was about money, he also prepared and lead Robinson to greatness. His compassion about baseball, and his ideology about racism, moved me. He was a money man willing to risk everything to break the color barrier. But, just like every human, he was flawed. The underlying cause of wanting a “Negro” ball player was to right a wrong in his life. He was old, and it weighed on his soul.

Rachel Robinson was portrayed as the perfect wife. She held her man down throughout the entire story. Not a word in disagreement. Not a nagging anything. She played her part in his life and constantly encouraged him to keep going. She completely and unquestionably had his back. Although she seemed a little too squeaky clean, she had her moments of opposition. She walked in a whites only restroom, and questioned just about everything.

There is a scene in the movie in which a father and son are in the stands. The son states that Pee Wee Reese is the best player ever. The father and everyone else around them shouted racial epithets at Robinson, and while the son looked uncomfortable, he does as well. He watches in confusion as his favorite ball player walks up to Robinson, and puts his arm around him as they laugh and talk. That scene was powerful because it showed how racism is carried throughout the generations. It spoke tremendous volumes just as a scene where Robinson makes the decision not to fight after being degraded by a white man.

As we walked out of the theatre, I asked my daughter how she felt about the movie. She was happy she saw it. I asked her to imagine herself back in those days. Then I said, “Do you think you could have been that strong?”

“Without fighting?” she replied

“Yes.”

“No. I don’t know how they did that. I would have been so mad!”

“Well, Jackie Robinson went through all that so we didn’t have to,” I replied. And it’s true.

I think all children, especially our kids, need to see this movie for more reasons than one. They need to see what it felt like before we had a voice to say enough is enough. They need to see what it meant to be a Black man, and what it took for him to be successful in a sport he loved. They also need to see how everything they have is because someone had to fight and/or die for it.

Jackie Robinson was educated, and he stood his ground…with his mind. There is nothing more powerful than that.

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