A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of facilitating a session for 7th grade girls while my coworker was out of town. Something I really enjoy about working with young people — and black girls in particular is that I see a lot of myself in them. Thought processes, mannerisms, and of course boy drama entertains the hell out of me.
As I was facilitating the session, questions about my personal life came up and I didn’t mind answering.
“Miss Kia are you married?”
“Do you got a boyfriend?”
“Well danggggg. You must be lonely! You ain’t got no man, nothing”
We laughed. They didn’t mean it in a disrespectful way. Hell, when I was about 12 or 13, I felt the same way.
I asked, “Why I gotta be lonely just because I don’t have a boyfriend or husband?”
They didn’t really have an answer. I didn’t expect them to.
It’s something interesting about what we teach girls about finding fulfillment in other people, particularly boys. It starts young. And then those girls grow up into women who think they “need” to have a man or kids just so they won’t be lonely.
So when you don’t have those things, what exactly does society paint you as?
I pondered on that for weeks. But instead of questioning my own self-worth, I decided to think about what type of messages are we communicating to our daughters, sisters, nieces, cousins, etc. ?
What lessons should we teach to the generations after us, so that they can make better decisions (and mistakes) than we did?
LESSON #1 – YOU DON’T “NEED” A RELATIONSHIP TO BE WHOLE
I remember when I was about 12, and I got in trouble by my mama because I wrote in my diary about how I wanted a boyfriend sooooo badly lol. Like, I’m not sure who’s son rejected me or wasn’t paying attention to me but baby, I just felt as if my life wasn’t complete if I didn’t have a boyfriend lol. My mama sat me down and explained that I didn’t need to have a boyfriend to validate me. And THAT, that is a message I wanna yell from the mountaintops to the ears of every little girl that I know who grows up under the male gaze. Meaningful connections with others are important, but you don’t have to spend your whole life pining away for it. And you’re not a weirdo if you don’t yet desire (or never desire) those things either.
LESSON #2 – BENCHMARKS ONLY EXIST IN YOUR MIND
“By 25 I should have ______”
“I wanna be married by ______”
Benchmarks. As a 25 year-old, I’m not sure why having all your shit together by this age is stressed to us by society, but I am learning that putting benchmarks on WHEN you should accomplish your accomplishments is bullshit.
This is not to be confused with goal setting, because making realistic, obtainable goals is important of course BUT life does happen. When we push the narrative on girls that they need to have this and that by the time they are a certain age, they’ll likely work their whole lives trying to obtain it, but what happens if she doesn’t? What will society say about her then? What is she going to say about herself? Let’s make sure we tell our daughters to worry only about the things that she can control and whatever is meant for her will happen in its own perfect timing.
LESSON #3 – DEFINE YOURSELF FOR YOURSELF
So many big and little girls don’t know who they are yet. They haven’t went through the process of destroying themselves and later building themselves back up over and over again. When we are in that state of unknowing, we rely on outside forces to tell us WHO we are, HOW we should act, dress, think, etc. Young girls such as the 7th graders I mentioned earlier in the post are quite impressionable. If I stress nothing else in this post, I want us to teach our girls that being an individual is key. Like Audre Lorde said, we have to define ourselves for ourselves and I think the best way to promote that to our daughters is by modeling that behavior of individuality. Let them know that it’s okay for them to be different. Let them know that it is okay for them to stand out from the crowd. Let them know that society will try and force them to conform but they should always push back and stand firm in their own beliefs, fuck who doesn’t agree.
When you were younger, in what ways did society pressure you to conform to certain standards or beliefs?
Why do you think girls are trained on how to be partners for men but boys aren’t trained to be partners for women?
What do you think when you see a highly successful woman who is unmarried, single, with no children? What does society say about her?
What lessons would you want your daughter or other young girls in your life to know?
The crazy part about it though, unlike most toxic things in my life, I can’t just get rid of her. She’s apart of me, just like I am apart of her. For every bad decision she has empowered me to make, she has also served as my protector away from the fuck shit. She reminds me not to settle and she makes me want to hold my head high, regardless of circumstances stacked against me.
Even with her good qualities, I’d be foolish to ignore that our relationship can get quite unhealthy at times.
Usually, I battle between letting her run the show (re: my life) completely, or I suppress her too much. That’s when the questions pop up: When should I starve her? When should I feed her?
So, I researched. I reflected deeply about who I am and who I want to be. This is necessary, because in order to know who she is, I must first know who I am.
Without further ado, here is my love letter to my ego.
Society teaches us to be ashamed of you, but lately I have wanted to do nothing but embrace you. Oftentimes we clashed because I thought we were so different. I thought that I was growing too much to have an ego, that I was above all egocentric things.
Truth is, I’m not.
I’ll admit though, I do get frustrated with you. I’ve allowed you to get me mixed up in some wild things girl. I’ve allowed you to make me unteachable at times. Too stubborn to ask for help. I’ve let you convince me that we needed to be stroked — by people who didn’t have our best interest at heart, all because we were chasing for thrill and attention that we didn’t even need. You’re sensitive. When your feelings get hurt, I allow you to make some of the most asinine decisions I’ve ever seen. I use the phrase “I allowed” because contrary to your belief, it is ME who controls you and NOT the other way around. That being said, moving forward I must do a better job at controlling you because we’re 25 now. Our childish and petty side shouldn’t be exposed to nobody. We want a healthy emotional state and we don’t wanna fuck up no bags (re: money and opportunities) just because we haven’t tapped into self control. We also don’t want to repeat the same unhealthy patterns as we seek to develop and maintain relationships with people. You’re not a demon. You’re more like the annoying younger sibling that I love so much but still have to let you know when you’re overstepping your boundaries.
On the contrary, I love you because you have allowed me to finally recognize you, thus making me more self aware. You remind me daily that I’m the shit. You encourage me to never settle. You help me to have unwavering faith in what I believe in. You let me know that I can talk my shit AND I can back it up. Ironically, you ever hold me accountable at times, especially when I want to step out of character and do something stupid. You help me not focus so much on pleasing others and help me discern which guys are right for me and which ones aren’t. This side of you is like the grown up version of me. You aren’t meek. You don’t dim your light for anyone. You manage to stay humble when necessary but trust me… when I let you out to play, you aren’t scared to tell people who you are and exactly what you are about. What I love most about this side of you is that you aren’t easy to impress.
As I gain more wisdom, I know exactly what I must do to balance you out. I no longer desire to be controlled by you or hide you. I know when to feed you and when to starve you. Because of you, you have taught me exactly when to shut up and when to speak out. Like code-switching for the psyche, we have learned exactly who and what we can reveal ourselves to, a necessary survival tactic if you’re gonna make it in this world.
That being said, I love you ego. You are balanced. And thank you for being apart of me.
Are you in an unhealthy relationship with your ego? How do you manage it?
When do you know when to feed your ego and when do you know when to starve it?
What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever allowed your ego to make you do?
The past two weeks have been rough for 2019. With only 16 days in, we have learned:
Pretty much all our faves have been trash/are trash
People STILL ain’t listening to nor giving a fuck about black girls and women
People would rather advocate for a rapist cuz he makes great music… and the WHOLE city of Chicago knew it
Regardless of his proven history, it is grown ass women out here still willing to buss it open for this man because… he’s still sexy to them????
Whew chile. We are truly living in some dark and ghetto times.
Y’all President has shut the government down due to a wall he can’t get built.
More or less tho, this post isn’t about Rapist Kelly. In fact, I never watched the documentary. I don’t need to and I don’t want to. However, I will say this:
• Just because you’ve been abused, doesn’t give you the right to abuse others.
• I can’t be friends with those who have no empathy for the sexually abused. So many people are deleted off my social media and I could not be happier.
• While yes, the outrage should have been in place 30 years ago, it simply wasn’t. Or maybe it was but again… y’all do NOT give a fuck about black women anyway cus anytime we try and speak up, y’all try to silence us! So it’s like you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
• This shit isn’t an attack on Black men. Everybody should be held accountable regardless of race. Just say y’all wanna be white men and get away with everything… even if it’s sexual abuse. 🙃
• I was told that there were women in that doc who know of Rapist Kelly’s history, saw that child porn, etc but still consented to go with him… while they are indeed BIRDS, they still did NOT deserve what happened to them. Hopefully moving forward they will have better discernment but yeah. That nigga is bat shit crazy.
• Also… for you people who keep bringing up age differences between say.. your own parents etc please understand that there was likely no manipulation taking place AND they were able to CONSENT. Not coerced, preyed on, manipulated, kidnapped etc BUT enthusiastically consented.
• Finally, to you niggas who keep bringing up girls who got picked up in high school by grown niggas or who were messing around with security guards… you make a moot point because a) Girls wouldn’t be getting into cars with grown niggas if the niggas wouldn’t of been pulling up in the first place. And b) Can’t mess with a security guard if he wasn’t trying to mess with you in the first place. Adults should always be held accountable, so stop trying to dissolve people of it.
Anyways, I say all this to say: Fuck Rapist Kelly. *cues Boondocks episode*
Again though, this isn’t about him. I just got one question: how are we gonna survive misogyny? Cuz truthfully y’all, misogyny and patriarchy have done a number on us all. It’s something we ALL have to unlearn.
Misogyny is the reason why we believe 50 men calling one girl a hoe but if 50 women say that she has been assaulted by that man, we question it or say she’s lying.
Misogyny is the reason why it was deemed acceptable for young boys as young as 9, 10, 11 years old getting sucked and fucked on by grown ass women as if that’s not sexual abuse too.
Misogyny is the reason why girls have strict dress codes in school, and get penalized for showing something as simple as a shoulder.
Misogyny is the reason why we only allow boys and men to show anger and rage because to show any other emotion makes him a bitch.
Misogyny is the reason why women are deemed the weaker between the sexes, and we know that ain’t true.
Misogyny is the reason why niggas feel entitled to our time, space, numbers, bodies, etc and if we DON’T give it to them, then we gotta fear if they’ll react violently 🙃.
Misogyny is the reason why women get pressured into taking back their emotionally and maybe even physically abusive partners back, but if she cheats you gotta drop her like a bad habit..
Misogyny is the reason why trans women are getting killed at alarming rates.
Misogyny is the reason y’all don’t respect sex workers of any kind.
Misogyny is the reason why politicians can debate when and how we can get pregnant, get access to birth control, and how much we get paid.
Misogyny is the reason why Rapist Kelly and other people like him were allowed to roam free for so long.
Y’all get the gist now, or should I keep going?
While that’s not an exhaustive list, bitch I am exhausted. But imagine how exhausting it is trying to survive all this shit on a day to day.
Then it’s like… with all this news coming out about your faves and people just refusing to be silent anymore, it leaves me to question: Where do we go from here? How do we start the process of unlearning? Is there exactly one answer? Do we just cancel people left and right but leave our own internal misogyny unchecked?
Feminism ain’t always the answer (because #WhiteWomen and their shenanigans will literally throw the rest of us under a bus.) but I will say this:
I think people hate feminism or simply women feeling empowered enough to speak up about things that they once kept buried and locked away because it puts a mirror on them.
It forces themselves to be held accountable.
To ask and answer those hard questions: Am I creepy?
Have I done some creep shit?
Have my guys done some creep shit and I sat back and said/did nothing?
Unfortunately, some of us have had to parade our own trauma just for niggas to not only humanize women, but to fucking get it.
It sucks. Truly. Because we should respect women just off GP but unfortunately, that’s not how this world is set up… until we started speaking up.
Amplifying our voices and educating not only ourselves, but those that are willing to learn too.
And unlearning our own internalized misogyny, because that’s the hardest part.
Unlearning is not an overnight process, nor is it easy. You basically gotta ask yourself the hard questions and analyze what messages about certain people were communicated to you and then based off those messages, how did you interact with those certain groups of people?
Truth be told we are all socialized in some type of way. Are your thoughts truly your own or are you simply a product of your environment?
As of late, I have vowed to stop arguing on the internet with people about sensitive topics because tone is everything and Chile… you just can’t talk to people who ain’t willing to listen or learn. Plus, healing is more effective when it’s done off the internet in my opinion.
So what I’ve personally done is I started having conversations with my male friends and while we don’t always agree, I WILL say that they leave conversations with me with a new perspective and I’m hoping a willingness to just do better.
So where do we go from here?
⁃ Create a space (preferably offline) with a community of folks who really want to learn and do better..
Even if it’s just 1 person that’s a start.
⁃ Never stop speaking up.
I commend everybody I’ve seen over the past couple weeks use their platforms to amplify the voices of survivors. People try to silence black women ALL THE TIME but per usual, we ain’t going.
⁃ Nip shit in the bud as soon as it happens.
You don’t have to live in fear anymore. There’s no reason why celebrities and non-celebrities are allowed to roam this earth so freely after knowing about the atrocities committed against women and children. We gotta do better and it starts by being non-complacent.
⁃ Go volunteer somewhere.
I came across this list of places in Chicago that provide services and help those who have experienced sexual assault. If you’re not in Chicago, well…. Google IS your friend. Use it and take action.
Surviving misogyny isn’t easy and I’m ready to live in a world without it. But we can’t do that until we unlearn, heal, and create a better tomorrow.
Are you up for the challenge? Is that something you want to commit yourself to?
Or do you wanna stay complacent, because misogyny is so deeply embedded in us that we really can’t imagine/ don’t want to have a world without it?
January 1st brought in a new year and also 7 whole years of me being a blogger.
I’m in awe. I feel like a proud mama watching her baby grow up because in a sense… my blog IS my baby.
The best thing about being a blogger for so long is that I have grown up with it. I have been in full control of how I want it to look, I have refined my brand over and over again, I have grown to accept myself and all the things that make me a woman, a blogger, and everything in between.
To commemorate such a momentous milestone in my life, I literally sat and thought about doing a photoshoot — alter ego style. I chose this alter ego style photoshoot because over the years, I’ve always struggled with how open do I want myself to be to my friends, family, my readers, fans of the blog?
As transparent as I am with my writing, the struggle of deciding how open I want to be has always been a bit of a crucifix. I always felt like I had to choose between being a business woman, keeping my ratchet side tucked away, not really being emotional on here, etc.
Then suddenly, it’s like something spoke to me….
It was like “Kia… it’s okay to show the different sides of you, that make you, YOU.”
So then I had a bit of an existential crisis, spent a few weeks really pondering well…. who am I? It took a minute but I think this photoshoot conveys the perfect message I am trying to get across. I fully embrace who I am and what I’m about and I have solidified my many roles that have developed within me because of this blog.
Yes, I am a professional blogger but I am also a person who loves to have fun, who is emotional, who is an educator, a podcast host, a free spirit, a twerker — I am all these things and then some. And I love it!
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the pics from my shoot, shot by the amazingly talented Tye Moores a Chicago based photographer and brand manager. I love her work and have admired it from afar all throughout 2017-2018 and was ecstatic when the opportunity presented itself for us to work together. I literally wrote her name down in my journal for people I would like to work with and boom, it was manifested. Anyway, you can connect with Tye + see more of her work on her Instagram @Photyegrapher or her Twitter @TicTacTye
On to the pics!
Do yall remember when I first started blogging, and I went by Kween K? Remember Kween K interviews? While I don’t go by Kween K anymore, Kween K still lives within me. I love this shot because Tye really captured the essence of who I was and who I am and who I am becoming. Kween K walked so Kia Smith Writes could fly. I am forever grateful for developing her as a character, getting what I needed from her, and being mature enough to let her go when I matured and changed the direction of my brand.
These two sets of pictures are hilarious to me, because if you know me, you know that I LOVEEEEEE to throw ass! I’m not necessarily a party girl but given my affiliations with the best DJ’s and party/event curators in Chicago, when I pop out, it’s bound to be great time lol. I love twerking, can’t dance outside of doing that, but I enjoy myself nonetheless.
On the other hand, I am also your very unorthodox journalist. Ever since I got my introduction to it in 2009 through True Star Magazine, I have always believed that a journalist should have two things: Ideas out the ass and a notebook to write them all down in. I love storytelling and being authentic with people while telling them what they NEED to know.
I didn’t promote it on my blog at all last year but the picture on the left represents my podcast that I launched called Beyond The Blog Podcast, recorded and engineered by longtime friend of me and my day 1 supporter DJ Hustlenomics. You can find the some of the episodes on Soundcloud. To be completely transparent, I am debating if I want to bring it back this year.
The picture on the right represents my spiritual side and tapping into different methods and practices I use to stay grounded. My best friend Arthur gifted me my first bundle of sage which is what I am burning in the picture. Over the past few months, I have developed the habit of burning my sage whenever my energy is low and I need to clear my mind from any type of negativity. I also use it when I am reciting affirmations and setting my intentions. Staying mindful of simply how the Universe works and navigating my reactions to it has been a great catalyst in my growth and I can’t wait to grow even more in this area spiritually.
This picture pays homage to the role I play in education. Growing up, I never imagined that I would be working with children, but over the last couple of years I have been immersed as a non-traditional educator. Aside from my blog, nothing has grown me up and shown me patience more than teaching kids. Kids have this uncanny ability to put a mirror on you and force you to confront some of your deepest biases and challenge you to be a better person to set a better example. While I do not plan to stay in the field of education for long, I am excited to see where the journey will further take me.
Welcome To Chapter 7!
Although I am 7 years in, I still feel like I am just getting started. This blog has ascended me to heights I never imagined I would touch. I have gained relationships and sat at tables I never thought I would. I have received countless support and messages from people who have been touched by my words and have started their own blogs and publication. That’s humbling and leaves my heart full everytime. Every share, every like, every subscriber, I appreciate you all more than words can express.
7 is the number of completion, but y’all know me….. I am FAR from finished!
Thank you all so much for rocking with me over these last 7 years and stay tuned.. I got a bunch of cool shit in store.
Let me start this off by saying, I do not believe love is a fairytale, absent of difficult moments.
I do believe that many of us have not been exposed to healthy and fruitful versions of love, only survival.
I do believe that many of us don’t actually know what a healthy relationship looks like, because how can we be shown something that our predecessors have never known themselves?
So cycles are repeated. It’s like the more you struggle with someone you love, the bigger your imaginary badge of honor.
Why is that?
Why is emotional abuse, gas lighting, putting someone else’s needs above our own, and just toxic bullshit perpetuated as badges of honor? It’s like a game of seeing how long we can stay with each other and put each other through until either one of us finally settles down and acts right.
In fact, it is a game, and one that I am frankly tired of.
Y’all can keep the struggle love.
When partnering with someone, it won’t be absent of struggle. In any partnership, there will be compromises that have to be made and adjustments for the betterment of the relationship.
But a lot of shit that gets promoted is just unnecessary and simply NOT normal.
“You know how much shit he put her thru?” makes my skin crawl. Not to mention the whole high speed chase thing. This isn’t normal. High speed chases with your baby daddy shouldn’t be joked about or congratulated. You’re not going out sad for leaving someone who doesn’t treat you right. What’s sad is someone thinking that behavior is humorous and that someone’s child will grow up thinking that not only is that behavior normal but they’ll possibly grow up emulating it too.
Y’all can keep the struggle love. It literally doesn’t appeal to me. For some it might (and I literally think it’s because you haven’t been shown anything different) but really, if struggle love is all that you are used to then at some point you must re-evaluate.
Do you really want to be stressed out all the time?
Do you really want to jump through hoops just to prove your worthiness to someone?
Do you really want to endure any type of emotional, mental or even physical abuse just to say you have someone?
Do you want to be someone who is constantly embarrassed by the actions of your partner, just to say you have someone?
Love is a gamble and while it won’t always feel like sunshine and rainbows, but it also shouldn’t be mentally or emotionally draining either.
Y’all can keep the struggle love.
Life is short. Do you want to put yourself in an early grave by loving someone?
Y’all can keep the struggle love.
I gotta act mentally unstable just to prove my worthiness to you?
Y’all want someone to be your peace but you can’t even keep the peace?????
I’m good luv, enjoy!
Y’all can keep the struggle love.
There’s no set definition of what a healthy relationship is but I will say that I agree with what this tweeter said:
None of the things she said contributes to the toxic ideation of struggle love. Of course you can provide those things to yourself, but if you choose to be partnered with someone then choose peace, safety, emotional and mental security too.
To conclude, let me reiterate this: Love is not a fairytale, absent of difficult moments. But it surely isn’t one full of struggle, constantly disrupting your peace either.
If you have a partner or find yourself being someone who chooses struggle love, do yourself a favor: Keep it!
What do you think a healthy relationship consists of?
Why do you think how much pain someone endures in a relationship is treated like a badge of honor?
How do we teach people not to idolize struggle love?
I remember when I wanted to be grown… I really wish I could go back in time and smack myself! I used to think that being grown was all about coming and going as you please, nobody telling you what to do, and fun all the time.
What a joke. This whole paying bills, working multiple jobs, having money but no time or time but no money, and paying off debt aspect of being grown? Yeah. That shit is for the birds.
And I’m overly over it. I wrote in my journal a couple weeks ago about how I was tired of just simply surviving. I would like to thrive. I wanna know how it feels to be free from some financial burdens (far fetched I know) and LIVE. Sometimes I think we as people get caught up in the mundane routine of life coupled with the stagnation of just trying to keep our heads above water that we forget to just live.
We also forget to stay thankful. To stay grateful. Because that sure as hell has been some shit I’ve been struggling with: staying grateful, even when shit is not going my way.
I mean I prayed for this.
I prayed for these jobs.
I prayed for these opportunities.
I prayed for this autonomy and financial freedom.
But I’m still not happy. What’s wrong with me? Is it wintertime blues or what, because though sis is strong… sis is tired. And overworked. And stressed the fuck out.
But yet and still, my optimistic inner voice is telling me to remain thankful. Not because “it could be much worse” like most people say, but because….. well to be honest I’ve been struggling with the “why”. I don’t know why I should stay thankful, I just know that I should.Without focusing too much on the why, I did come up with a couple how to’s. I’ve been trying to stay consistent with the practices and even practicing these things in small doses should give me some small wins right?
Here’s what I came up with:
Cry now, Boss Up Later
It’s important to allow yourself moments of sadness, because this grind is anything but glamorous. I don’t give a fuck what you see on social media, this shit is NOT easy. I used to pride myself on being so strong, smiling through the pain, and other things to convince myself I wasn’t falling apart but fuck all that now! I’m human. You are too. If I wanna cry and complain about something, I will. Then I’ll dry my tears and get back to work. But first, let me have a meltdown lol.
Remember That Everything Is A Stepping Stone
My mama tells me all the time, “you are not a rooted tree.” This means that any time I am dissatisfied and want to change something in my life, I can do it. Nothing is holding me back, only myself. I am free to spread my wings wherever. Even when in an undesirable position or a position that isn’t the right fit, I just look at everything as a stepping stone. I’m taking things one day at a time, building connections, learning what I’m supposed to learn and then moving on.
Creating And Celebrating Small Wins
I would be lying my ass off if I said that everything was all bad. Sometimes I think we focus so much on what isn’t going our way, what doesn’t feel right, and all the bad shit that happens that we miss out on our small wins. We refuse to create those small wins and we self-sabotage ourselves with our negative way of thinking. We ignore the signals our mind and bodies give us to rest, reset and just slow down because we are so focused on the bad. But even darkness light eventually will peek out right? I had to start creating and celebrating my small wins– which looks like a number of things depending on the day. It can be something as simple as showering as soon as I get home from work, cooking enough for two days, sleeping without my phone next to me, etc. Celebrate and create your small wins because regardless of what happens, no one can take away your power to do that.
To conclude, I’ll say this:
I was questioning on Twitter one day if adulting ever gets any easier? Does it ever let up? Will I ever not be sick and tired of being sick and tired?
The answer from many of my older peers was no. It doesn’t get easier but you do learn how to manage better.
And I guess that’s the space I’m in. Extracting the lessons and learning new tactics to manage myself + my affairs better.
Growth in all situations is something that I am most thankful for… even when shit goes left.
Self-Love. It is a badge of honor to have a lot of this. It is said to be the greatest type of love to have, that when you love yourself— I mean ALL of yourself, your confidence level is on 1,000. You’re always aware of what you be doing. You set and maintain boundaries, you cut off any dead weight or toxic person that brings more pain than peace. And all of these things are true, because in the name of self-love, we deserve to reach our best selves daily. In spite of flaws. In spite of the messages we have internalized about ourselves. In spite of the fuck shit we do to ourselves.
As an unofficial self-love coach, I want y’all to understand this one thing about me: I still struggle with this shit too. I still struggle with not only acknowledging my flaws but holding myself accountable about them too. I struggle with the ways I treat my mind, body, and spirit when I don’t FEEL like loving myself, cuz that’s a real thing.
Truth be told, I think self-love has a deep and scary side to it, it’s not all shits and giggles at all. You simultaneously need to know how to thrive in both the light and the darkness to be your best self.
In self-love, we speak a lot on letting go of toxic people and things, but what if I told you that YOU are the toxic person that you need to let go? Then what?
What if I told you that YOU are the reason for your self sabotage?
What if I told you that you’re the one that’s actually addicted to chaos and it’s not the other way around?
What if I told you that when you ignore the signs your mind, body, and spirit is telling you, you’re the reason for your own self destruction?
What if I told you that the reason why we don’t really wanna dive into the dark side of self love is because not only is the shit scary, it’s lonely too?
And nobody likes to be lonely. Nobody likes to be misunderstood. As individualistic as we are, we still want to feel connected to our friends and family. No one likes to be SEEN as an other, I don’t care what anyone says.
Other spooky sides of self-love include:
Falling Apart To Get Back Together
The metamorphosis process is painful. It has literally felt like my heart was breaking or my literally skin was shedding. It hurts seeing the old you go. Cuz now you have to get to know this “new” person (who isn’t REALLY new, they were always inside of you, they just had to be manifested and nurtured) and the new person you are may seem a bit unfamiliar to you. It’s like you are constantly reintroducing yourself to your family, friends, coworkers, etc. Each time you discover something new about yourself you then have to either build upon who you already are or completely start over.
I think this is the scariest part for ME. It’s like you get to the point where you can name all your problems and you’re super self aware but then what? Accountability is spooky AF because it actually forces you to do shit. We want all our problems to solve themselves but we know we can’t truly grow if we don’t put that work in.
Sometimes We Don’t Want To Put The Work In
Speaking of work, we know that doing the work of self-love is… exhausting to say the least. Sometimes I don’t wanna be self-aware. Sometimes I wanna give in to my toxic desires. Sometimes I wanna ignore my intuition. Its a lot of work to love yourself, no matter how worth it, it is.
Moral of the story, yeah self-love is spooky… but like Will Smith once said, everything we want is on the other side of fear.
Questions that need answers
What areas do you struggle in when it comes to self-love?
Is it okay to desire certain things from certain people yet NOT act on them?
What scares you the most when it comes to self-love?
This all started when I commented on someone’s Instagram post when they asked if Friends With Benefits could actually work out. Of course, there were a lot of mixed responses, but one that stood out to me the most was when someone said “yes…. if sex is the only thing that y’all hit each other up for.”
I agreed with that BUT I also added that while it could work, it also depends on what the act of having sex means to you. Humans complicate things so much, so sometimes in our most “casual” encounters, one or both parties may find themselves performing some type of emotional labor for one another, even though things are supposed to be “casual.”
This led me to do a little research on what exactly emotional labor is and how does it manifest itself in all my relationships–especially my sexual ones.
In simple terms, emotional labor typically refers to managing your emotions in a professional workplace. When you apply this same line of thinking to non-professional settings, you will see that emotional labor shows up in all types of relationships. Some examples of emotional labor looks like: awareness of mood swings, likes, dislikes, asking if you ate today, asking about your anxiety levels, asking about your day, stroking your ego, etc.
Furthering my research, I found two articles that confirmed what I already knew: it is majority women in heterosexual relationships that shoulder the work of emotional labor because we are supposed to be “naturally understanding and nurturing” while men basically can go through life and not deal with any of this because we don’t give nigga’s room to explore their emotions in a healthy way. By we, I’m talking about society at large and those of us who have internalized misogyny.
So Wassup With Casual Sex?
Well first thing’s first: What does it mean to be casual? From the dictionary it says: happening by chance;fortuitous, without definite or serious intention; careless or offhand; passing, seeming or tending to be indifferent to what is happening; apathetic; unconcerned.
So if that’s the case, then why do so many people end up in situationships? When it comes to sex in general, the mindset behind it is changing. It’s no longer a thing we do just cuz some of us might be married or some of us want to reproduce. People have sex for all types of reasons, and probably the most common one is because we want to.
So Where Do The Emotions Come In At?
Drake said in one of his songs that “We live in a generation of not being in love, and not being together. But we sure make it feel like we are together, because we are scared to see each other with somebody else.”
Whew chile. If that’s not the truth. Lemme turn that quote on its head by saying further, I think we live in a generation where we are too afraid of being vulnerable and to afraid to give and receive love, yet we want the emotional labor performed.
Not saying that you have to pick one or the other but aye, this is where things get complicated….
But Kia, Sex and Love Are Two Different Things.
Are they really? Or are they closely related? What does having sex with someone, “casual” or not, mean to you? Only you can define that for yourself. In my opinion, I think sex and love are closely related BUT you do NOT have to love someone or be in love with someone to have sex with them. Did I contradict myself? Probably so.
Or maybe not. Sex is so complex. Humans are too. Mix the two and shit becomes difficult.
But, if you are a person who engages in casual sex or wants to, you may be wondering what are some of the do’s and don’ts of engaging in this act with someone. A while ago on Twitter, I tweeted my theory that people may catch feelings for a casual sex partner because we have all been socialized to think that casual partners should be treated like trash emotionally. When someone develops emotional competency, it disrupts the status quo of what we’ve been taught.
Now of course… some good dick or coochie shouldn’t have you out here crazy, because then that becomes an underlying issue with your attachment styles and the ways you refuse to regulate your emotions. Some things to consider when it comes to casual sex are
What types of actions should be avoided emotionally?
Do emotions have a place in casual sex?
What makes casual sex successful?
What makes casual sex so layered?
So you met you a lil somebody that you wanna have sex with but you’re not looking for a monogamous relationship and they aren’t either. Yay for you!! To keep it successful, I would suggest:
Communication – This needs to be open and honest. When you share your body with someone, I feel like you deserve to know how many people they are fucking. Ask them do they plan on having sex outside of the arrangement? How often or when is the last time you and them got tested? How casual is casual? What is the frequency that you all want to see each other? Talk about these things.
Honesty – Be honest with yourself and each other when it comes to casual sex. Think about your reasons for even doing this, with this person. Make sure you aren’t settling for casual sex when you know YOU want more. If more is what you want and that other person isn’t on the same page, please move forward. Otherwise, you set yourself up for disaster.
Protect Each Other – Casual sex does not equate to carelessness, especially when it comes to our bodies. If you have sex with others outside of the original arrangement, the least you could do is use condoms or whatever. You don’t have to treat your casual sex partners like trash emotionally or sexually. Period.
If you want casual sex to be successful, you may want to avoid:
Stringing Them Along – Look, it’s not hard to tell if someone likes you and wants more. If you notice that, speak up about your boundaries and then GRACEFULLY make your exit. (because remember kids, ghosting them is not cool). Sometimes, we can get sooooo selfish that we string people along and have them in situations they don’t want to be in simply because we won’t establish and/or maintain boundaries. Y’all got folks out here performing an unbalanced act of emotional labor, because your mouth is saying one thing but your actions say something completely different. It is so many people out here to have sex with, find someone who is on the same page as you.
Emotional Labor – While you don’t have to treat your casual sex partner like trash, you also don’t gotta act like you’re in a relationship with them either. That means no cooking for one another, no cuddling, no spending the night at each other’s houses, no meeting each other’s family or friends, no dates. In fact, the only time y’all should even communicate is when y’all are deciding what day/time/location you all are going to link up to have sex. Dassit. Cuz its casual right? Why do you want all the extra stuff?
Being Messy – Nobody likes a messy partner, especially one that’s just supposed to be there for sex. Don’t bring drama into y’all situation. Don’t bring back STD’s, don’t bring them into a situation where you got a ex who can’t let go and definitely don’t approach nobody if you have a hard time being real with yourself and others. Just don’t be careless!
So, if you haven’t realized by now, I personally don’t think that casual sex is “casual” ……
Can it start off that way? Of course.
But why can’t it STAY that way? Because. Humans… we make shit hard.
You know how many times I’ve tried to be “casual” with a guy and then I find myself acting like his girlfriend???
As much as we try to avoid emotions, we forget that lust and desire are emotions, two necessary components when you wanna fuck somebody. We think so basic when it comes to emotions that we miss the key ones that even draw us to people in the first place.
Therefore, you can’t have sex WITHOUT emotions, however you can learn how to PROPERLY REGULATE them.
But as I said earlier, we can’t properly regulate our emotions if we have a hard time communicating them let alone admitting them in the first place. We’re afraid of being vulnerable. We’re afraid of not being liked back. We’re afraid of dealing with our own shit, so we use sex to distract us.
Is it possible to have a platonic sex partner who is also your homie, also someone you care deeply about, also someone you can go out on dates with, etc? Yes. As long as you two communicate those things.
Is good sex with someone probable cause to desire those things listed above? No. But also yes. Because regardless of what we call it, building things with people and learning all of their likes and dislikes is an intimate exchange of time.
Even being open and honest with one another when feelings change is hard.
The layers of casual sex is what makes things so complicated… Unless, of course you TRULY are a person who only hits people up or allows yourself to be hit up for sex and sex only. Which then I kinda feel like means you are suppressing an emotional side of yourself but if this practice is something that works for you and you like it, I love it.
Moral of the story
Always do what works for you. If you know casual sex is not your thing, don’t settle for it. If you know monogamy and sticking to one partner ain’t for you, don’t settle for it.
Emotions are more prevalent than we think, so even if you think you’re doing your best to avoid them, they’ll smack you in the face anyway.
Casual sex ain’t really casual.
Enough of me talking, let me hear what you think!
Have you ever engaged in casual sex?
Have you ever settled for casual sex with someone and wanted more from them?
If you are someone who prefers to engage in casual sex only, is it hard for you to find someone on the same page as you?
Are sex and love closely related or two different things to you?
Do you have difficulty admitting and talking about your emotions to your sex partners?
Have you ever been in a casual and fun sex partnership with someone and then one of you catches feelings? What is your next move?
“I’m sorry if I ever did anything to hurt you or anyone around you….” is how a recent text from a guy that ghosted me last year popped up.
I was flabbergasted. One reason was because I never expected to hear from him again and then, considering the type of guy that he is (or rather portrays himself to be) I definitely did not expect an apology…. even if it was generic.
Let’s talk about Ghosting. The thing that most people do, but everybody hates.
Gho-sting ɡōstiNG/ noun: Per my definition, ghosting is when you build a personal connection with a mf and then boom: out of nowhere things change and this person disappears into thin air. They don’t return calls, texts, and if you happen to live in the same city with them; you don’t see them…. like at ALL. Even if you purposely go to the same places they go or even pop up at their house.
Needless to say, no matter what your reaction to being ghosted might be, the shit hurts. Like bad. But why does it hurt so much?
Consider Your Attachment Style
If you’re anything like me, it may take you a moment to open up to others, especially romantically. I think the more time you spend talking, building, dating, fucking — whatever, with someone your walls soften and you get used to a routine. When that routine is interrupted, it just feels weird. Not to be overly dramatic, but sometimes getting ghosted can feel like you lost a piece of you and now you have to figure out who you are again before you even met this person and started a routine with them. Understanding that all relationships and friendships don’t last forever, but damn, who knew they’d be so temporary too? Our attachment styles have a lot to do with why we react so seriously when we get ghosted. Did we have a healthy attachment to that person? Or were we feeding a co-dependency issue that we have?
Ghosting Is Just Rude AF
Another reason why ghosting hurts so much is because its just RUDE AF! Some people feel like ghosting others is okay because not everyone deserves to know why you stopped fucking with them. That’s cool, but what if that SAME energy was returned back to you? However, I do think we take it so hard because our egos get bruised. We think we are such great people that we are untouchable when it comes to the nuances of developing close relationships with others. Aside from bruised egos, ghosting is rude as fuck because of how cowardly and childish it is. It’s okay to have changed feelings, but damn… can we exhibit some emotional maturity and just communicate?
If Someone Ghosts You, It’s Not Your Fault
Probably the worst part about getting ghosted (aside from generic ass apologies after the fact) is all the self-doubt that comes creeping up. You begin to question yourself like was I not good enough? Was I far more invested in this thing than they were? What is it about my personality that made them tired of me? Do I need to change something about myself so this never happens to me again? Soooo many self-defeating thoughts, and if you already have low self esteem, then getting ghosted makes it worse. I have learned and I want you to understand that if someone ghosts you, it’s not your fault.
It’s not your fault if someone ghosts you.
It’s not your fault if someone ghosts you.
It’s not your fault if someone ghosts you.
It’s not your fault if someone ghosts you.
It’s not your fault if someone ghosts you.
It’s not your fault if someone ghosts you.
For crying out loud, it is not your fault if someone ghosts YOU.
We cannot control grown ass people (no matter how much we deeply desire to) nor their actions. It is not your fault if people wake up one day and decide to walk out your life, let them do it…. you’re the prize anyway.
What If I’m The One That Ghosted Somebody?
I have been that person too. And we ain’t shit for doing it. I remember I ghosted this really sweet guy and to this day he never treated me ill because of it, which makes me feel even worse for doing it. At that time in my life, I lacked a lot of emotional maturity and refused to learn how to communicate through my shit.
Still, it’s no excuse.
As I said earlier, it’s okay if you wake up one day and no longer have the same feelings toward someone and it’s okay if you no longer want to be in their life. But it’s HOW you walk out their life that matters and as I’ve said, to do so with no word or explanation is just rude AF, G.
Is There Ever A Situation Where It’s “OK” To Ghost Someone?
I’m still trying to figure this one out myself, because I know each case is different. Like one time, I was having casual sex with a guy and found out that the dick was trash…. so I ghosted him. He wasn’t trying to be my boyfriend and I wasn’t trying to be his girlfriend so to be honest, I don’t even think he noticed that I was gone lol.
In other cases, I do understand that sometimes you have to leave somebody exactly where they have you fucked up at. No explanation, especially when you’ve tried to communicate your feelings and they simply didn’t listen. I know people who have ghosted because of that.
Instead of finding situations where it’s okay to ghost someone, can we put that energy into oh Idk…. being comfortable with being vulnerable and actually TALKING about what goes on? Like, we can’t be childish forever. Use your words.
The Person Who Ghosted Me Has Apologized… Now What?
Shit….. don’t fall for it sis! Lol.
Y’all remember how on Insecure, Nathan ghosted Issa for a month and then tried to walk his yellow ass to her house with some flowers on her birthday? Like everything was all good? Whew chile, thank God for Molly intercepting because that could’ve taken a turn for the worse. That’s how I felt when that dude from last year texted me apologizing this weekend. Where was this energy last year? But I digress.
Understand that you don’t have to do anything. Not even wanna accept it if you don’t want to. You can actually pretend that the person doesn’t exist, cuz that’s how they did you when they ghosted you. (I’m a little petty, I know.)
Moral of the story
We all go through shit. Doesn’t mean you have to ghost anybody.
We all get ghosted. Stop blaming yourself, its not your fault.
Communicate, it makes things easier. Work through the issues you have with vulnerability. We all have to grow up some day.
Navigating relationships is scary enough. Let’s not add ghosting to the mix.
Have you ever ghosted someone?
Has someone ever ghosted you? If yes, how did it make you feel? Did your views on building relationships with people change?
To start this off, I want to issue a trigger warning, because its been a minute since I’ve written about r*pe. As a victim survivor of the circumstance myself, writing about it, reading about it is honestly just triggering as fuck.
Regardless, I can’t keep quiet and watch you all continuously tear down other survivors of the circumstance due to your own ignorance. Every week, I watch y’all spew hatred and place blame on EVERYONE except the person who did the actual crime. I watch y’all justify and defend and down right CAP for abusers left and right, simply because some have influence. Some have power. And some were your “role models” growing up.
Social media has literally been making my stomach turn for a number of incidents. From that Orange Bitch in the White House tweeting that if the accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh were true, then the accuser would have filed a police report 36 years ago, to y’all caping for Bill Cosby because he’s “old and blind”, enough is enough!
I’ve been wondering how could you all have the gall to even ask why women wait to report sexual assault, but maybe you are unaware and don’t understand how this works.
Maybe you are under the assumption that as soon as someone gets sexually violated, they then have the strength to go through the legal process and then boom, all is taken care of and the perpetrator is thrown in jail. And then the victim lives happily ever after.
I don’t expect y’all to be that dumb, but you know… if you’ve never been sexually assaulted before, then you deadass may not understand shit about shit, so that’s why it’s easy for you to spew your hatred and opinions.
Stop Asking Us Why We Wait
Remember when Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas? What did y’all do to her? What did y’all say about her? Remember when we publicly watched R.Kelly’s grown ass marry 15-year-old Aaliyah, piss on a 14-year-old girl, post up outside of Kenwood High School, and even to this day has some sort of sex cult going on, what did y’all say about those girls? Bill Cosby said it out his own mouth that he bought drugs for women so he could have sex with them, literally said it out his own mouth and y’all are STILL convinced that those women are lying.
I say all that to say that if we actually had a chance at being believed, then maybe we would report more. Did you know that out of every 1,000 sexual assaults that happen, 994 perps will walk free?
Stop Asking Us Why We Wait
Did you know that 2 out of 3 sexual assault cases go unreported? I’m sure women and other people who were sexually assaulted would report more if they had more support. If only they were met with compassion and kindness. If some weren’t bullied into being quiet. Did you know that 7 out of 10 rapes are committed by someone known to the victim? So naw, contrary to what is publicized on TV and movies, a rapist is not someone waiting in the bushes waiting to get your ass.
In the #WhyIDidntReport hashtag, thousands shared their stories of being violated and staying silent about it. Fear, backlash, and even their own family members were the common reasons why so many choose to suffer in silence for so long. Some even place blame on themselves, wondering if they could have did or said something different would have stopped that heinous crime.
Stop Asking Us Why We Wait
Did you know that out of all victims of sexual abuse, 34% are under the age of 12 while 66% are ages 12-17? That means that every 2 out of 3 kids in that age range that you know, 2 out of 3 of them may be victims of sexual assault. Concluding with this, 93% of perpetrators are known to the victim.
Imagine being a kid and being assaulted and not feeling comfortable enough to tell anyone because you know exactly who did it, or you feel like what happened to you was somehow your fault. Imagine the blame, actually being placed on you. I know exactly how it feels, because I was once that kid.
Stop Asking Us Why Wait
At this point, I just wish y’all would just admit that y’all hate women and y’all don’t care that someone gets proper justice. Some of you have mentioned that all those women are lying and just want money, fame, etc. Y’all wonder why many only come forward when someone has reached a certain status of affluency. Y’all wonder why white men “don’t get convicted for the same crimes”
As I mentioned above, 994 perpetrators walk free when accused of sexual assault. So not only are people NOT REALLY going to jail for these crimes, but did you also know that only 2-8% of rapes are falsely reported? Yes, it’s true that some people do lie but it does NOT negate the fact that the number of unreported, non-convicted number is so high.
When women do report things in a timely manner, society condemns them no matter how young or old. The other day on Twitter, I watched y’all condemn someone for putting her drink down at a party for two seconds to hand her friend a napkin, and when she picked it back up there was a green pill floating in it. Instead of condemning the person that put it in her drink, y’all attacked her.
The message all of these incidents portray is that everything is our fault, we should be more careful, we should know more, we shouldn’t be trusting, we shouldn’t drink, or go outside or breathe at this point. Or we’ll get r*ped and if we say something it’s our fault. And if we don’t say something, it’s our fault. And if we say something years down the line, it’s our fault.
Why don’t y’all have this same energy for abusers? Not just the celebrity ones either, but the ones in your own neighborhood, in your friend group, at church, the ones in your own family?
Stop Asking Us Why We Wait
I think the narrative should switch from “Why did it take her years to reveal this?”
“It’s a shame that she had to suffer with this secret for years, I am glad she’s receiving peace.”
Instead, y’all cap all day long on Al Gore’s internet and basically say that Black men shouldn’t get convicted of sexual assault because white men get away with it. What that says to me is, not only do you NOT give a fuck about women or justice but you also just simply want to be white because whiteness = power and y’all desire that shit so much.
I wish y’all had this same energy about the criminal justice system when we discuss how Blacks and Latinos are disproportionately locked up for shit like weed, meanwhile White folks go to Colorado and start weed farms. Now that is some shit to rant and rave about.
Stop Asking Us Why We Wait
We will continue to wait until y’all start holding people accountable, and not just celebrities either. Your homies need to be checked and locked up for the creepy shit they do, too.
Until y’all stop protecting abusers.
Until y’all stop accusing anyone who speaks up as someone who is just trying to tear someone else down.
Until y’all actually know, learn, and understand what consent is.
Until y’all unlearn all the harmful messages about women’s bodies and the access you perceive you have to them.
Until you examine what in you makes you want to protect abusers so much.
Until you start believing, start supporting, and start providing safe spaces for those who speak up.
Until you learn basic empathy and compassion, even if you have never experienced sexual assault yourself.
Experiencing sexual assault is a literal nightmare. The least you can do is stop asking us why we wait.
P.S. To my survivors of the circumstance who may be reading this: I don’t care if you are 6 or 66, I believe you. I love you. And whether you choose to live in silence or use your voice loudly, I support you.