Friday, July 1, 2016

New


I have no clue what the hell has happened, but I've been on some new shit lately. Feels good too. As of late, I've gotten around to finally dropping dead weight. No, not this stupid stubborn 25 pounds. Bad people. Well not bad people, just people that are bad for me.

It may have started with my mentee. Been working with Shorty since she was 12. She's now 19 and just graduated high school and on her way to college. I should be proud of her. But the fact is that within the last few months, she's become a grade A CUNT. I've gone out of my way to help her and I even attended her graduation (not an easy feat for me) but she's gotten to be so snotty and obnoxious that I ignore her text messages now. Not that I want to, but seriously. I just don't have the energy for it.

Next up was my young colleague from school. I like him and he's a great guy. But he goes hot and cold. Sometimes we talk and our hands are all over each other. Other times, he makes me feel like a perv for wanting some alone time. Huh? Last time he contacted me and acted stank, I simply texted him nicely and told him that we can't be friends any more.

Third was a guy I was liking and he's also looking to run for senate soon. We had a great rapport, lots of sexual chemistry (although we never got it on), he was affectionate and we'd even talked in passing about the idea of marriage. He was also a Seventh Day Adventist. Not an issue, but truthfully, I got sick of us not being able to hit the streets on Fridays and Saturdays, but I sucked it up because I liked him and saw a potential future with him. But then one day it hit me. This motherfucker can make appointments for meetings with mayors and local leaders, but I got no appointments at all. As if I was supposed to be ready whenever he called me. Then one day his ass just up and disappeared and THEN had the nerve to get lost on my birthday. And on top of that, he hit me up a week later as if things were kosher. He was even surprised that his number had been erased from my phone. I told him point blank that he made no time for me and he wasn't serious so I bounced. No hard feelings, I'm just no here for this. Dude was deflated, but he understood.

After all of that, I had to reflect. What happened to me? I'm not sure, but it feels damned good. For the very first time in my life, I'm eradicating the time wasters and the energy drainers. For the first time, not only am I doing away with them, but I don't feel guilty for it. I don't feel like I owe anyone an explanation or a conversation. I'm just looking at situations and people. And they either work for me, or they don't. I'm apathetic. I'm loving it. Although, cutting my young colleague seemed harsh, I needed it. He's so young. Great spirit. Sometimes I think I should have taken the time to explain exactly why I cut him off (my text to him was vague, but succinct). But still, its over. I'm done. I'm growing. I'm finally becoming the woman I'm meant to be.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Success




                I am finally in a place of wanting it all and for once in my life feeling like I can get it all. Today, I watched a video about an Indian man who had it all (financially at least) and he walked away to feed the hungry people in his village. Crazy right? Who does shit like that? I’ll tell you who. I do.

                I could see myself mobilizing several people, organizations, etc. and going out to serve the less fortunate. That would be my ultimate goal- dedicating myself to enhancing the lives of others on a grand scale. Lofty? Not really. How hard is it to go work for Coca Cola and convince an already fat and overindulgent society that they need more sugar and fat in their already clogged and overworked arteries?
                My goal is to go to people that need it the most and feed them, body, soul and mind. I want to take people that feel helpless to help and then show them how possible it is. It isn’t hard to feed people. It’s not hard to teach people to read. It’s not hard to organize clothing drives. It just takes that one individual who wants to go from “someone should do something” to “I’m going to do something.” That’s it. It’s that simple.


                So in a nutshell, that’s success to me. Success is living my life and making a healthy living ($80k+) by helping others on a macro scale. No knocking my colleagues that choose to go into case management. Lord knows we need it. But I want to do more. I want to lead. I want to lead teams and build. That is success to me.

Monday, May 30, 2016

The Fred Experience

     From the very beginning, I'd said that after the 2 months he'd spent with me, we'd either be that much closer, or we'd never speak again. It was that simple for me. We've got a lot under our belts. Two months together would mean a shift and neither of us knew what it would be. I didn't tell him about "the options" but in my spirit, I knew they were there.

     The awesome thing about Fred staying with me was that I got to fully emerge him in my life. He got to witness the firsthand hustle things. The constant juggling of bills, motherhood, school, work and life. I make it look way easier than it is and only those closest to me see firsthand what I'm going through. He had a front row seat. There were occasional moments of physical intimacy. I remained drawn to him, whether we were together or not. I was proud to be with him. My friends all giggled about how good looking he is. He enjoyed the moments with me and my classmates.

      One day, some things happened for me to think about things differently. It was all a ruse. Nearly a decade later and I felt like an idiot. A loser. And everyone knew it but me. He and I talked and I asked him what I'd meant to him. He said we were "friends." What the fuck?! A fucking decade and we're "friends"?! Where?! How?! How the hell could he label us as just friends? I've always known that there was another woman he fancied. I've always known that he and I could never make it as a couple. But still, how the hell could he and I just be "friends"?!

     I cried long and hard. I sat in a restaurant with my friends and bawled my eyes out. I've learned that heartache does eventually go away, so I just needed to work through this. He had 3 more nights in Atlanta. I told him that I wanted him to leave my home pronto. We got back to the house and he wanted to talk. I went straight to bed. The next day, we talked. He walked into my room where I was in bed, crying heavily. My heart was on the floor. The fact is that I've come to love this man immensely. He went from that sexy guy I was fucking, to a beautiful soul that I'd come to love in and out. He even came to court with me and sat with me, as I went in for a child support modification from my ex. But it meant nothing. I was just a meal ticket to him. I wanted him to leave my home as soon as possible so that I could move on with my life.
     
     I told him that we could't be friends. I saw no point. I felt used. He didn't love me, he loved her and that's where he needed to be. My coworkers were pissed (some were) and worried about me. I cried for four days straight. His final night, oddly enough, I didn't want him to leave. I mean, I wanted him gone. I wanted the pain to stop. But I didn't want to lose him. I asked him if I could lay next to him one last time before he left. He said yes. We lay there, together, my arms wrapped around him. I knew this was the last time I'd see him and I wanted it to be beautiful. I'd already told him that once he left, we'd never see one another again. I've learned the hard way not to hold on to men that were no good for me. I needed to just move on and him going back to L.A. was what I needed for that to happen.
 
      As he packed up and got ready to meet his cab outside, he hugged me and told me that we'd talk once he got settled in LA. I nodded. But I didn't mean it. I just wanted him to leave. As he walked out of the door, I told him that I loved him. He told me he loved me too. Then he left.

                                                                    ***

       The next day, I started to feel better. He was gone and I hurt a little less. While at work and trying to hold back the tears, I saw none other than Jasmine Effing Guy. I don't get choked up when I meet people often, but I've been a huge fan of hers for YEARS. I've always thought she was exceptionally gorgeous since her days on A Different World. She looked a bit tired and I confessed to her that I was mending a broken heart. She encouraged me to hold on and told me that things would get better.

        The following day, I went to see a friend perform in a play (she was INCREDIBLE!) and the day I went happened to be Senior Day. I scanned the room of the multiple gray-haired women and something occurred to me. That at only 35, my journey isn't over. I looked at these women who I knew had been friends for years and I knew that I'm blessed to have my friends and we've got tons more living to do. It was the first time I started to feel like things would be all right.

       While there, Fred texted me. I was less than pleasant to him. He had some damned nerve. I wanted to heal, he need to be gone! I typed some ugly things to him. He kept it cool. A couple of hours later, I realized that I was starting to say things that weren't fair. I apologized and tried to call. He didn't pick up. But then he texted me back and said that he's running around, and getting things together to re-acclimate to L.A. and said he'd call me later. The next day he texted me good morning and promised we'd talk later that day, once he was settled.

     He did as promised and called. He started by asking how I'd been. I was honest and told him that I still had no appetite, but being my size, there are far worse things in the world. He said he wanted us to be good again. I told him that I didn't know if that was possible. I didn't feel like he wanted Malika, the awesome friend, he wanted Malika, the resource. Then I said "why do you even want to be friends with me?" preparing for some canned answer. All of his answers up until this point had been canned. But then he said "because you're funny, you're fee spirited, you're kind and you're warm, and I want you in my life." I don't know what it was about those words. I think its because it finally showed that he'd paid attention to who and what I am. All those years, he'd been watching and noticing.

     Despite how much I'd wanted to punch him only days earlier, I was immediately disarmed. Then he said something else I'd needed to hear. He stated "its only natural that after all those years of us sleeping together that it would mean something to me. It may not have started off that way in the beginning, but later on, yeah, you really started to mean something to me." I've come to realize that despite the lovemaking and the hours of phonecalls and conversations, he's not one for loving and mushy words. He shows through action. And what I really needed, was to hear that I was loved. Not just shown it.

     God, that was all I'd needed that whole time. To be told that he loved me too. Although our lives were just too different to make a serious try at things, we still loved one another. It was about an hour of conversation, but in the end, he said "Malika, I'm sorry about everything you've been through. So are we good?" And for the first time in what seemed like a painful forever, yeah, we were and are good. I'm not crying anymore. Things seem back in place. My appetite came back, although I'm now sticking to small salads and veggie based dishes (my waistline and skin thank Fred for whatever happened).

       So yeah, that was me and Fred. Actually, I read back over some of my blogs about our time together. It went from being just about sexual attraction, to being so much more. What's funny is that although I was dealing with him physically before I got with my son's father, it was my son's father missing my 30th birthday party that started Fred and I on more than just a sexual quest. From the night of my 30th birthday, Fred became so much more than just some encounters. He became my rock, my friend, my lover, my confidante, my support, my cheerleader. He became my love. I'm finally ready to let him go love others, while we remain good friends. Because I love him. And because love is fluid. My intuition was right.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Processing Processes

My counselor dumped me. Not really, but I joked with her about my neediness and told her that having her baby and going on maternity leave at this present time doesn't work well for me. She laughed, but I was only half joking. *sigh* Now I'm stuck to work this out on my own. She pointed out to me that I have a lot of negative self-speak, which is true, so I'm trying to work on not speaking so negatively of myself. I guess I'm doing okay at it, but I'm surprised at how much I have to change my words around now to not kick myself.

Anyway, the issue with the classmates that was small, got a tad bigger. Yeah, it got nasty. It stemmed from the fact that I had a group project (and who doesn't simply love those? *sarcasm*) where I was made out to be a monster because of my unwillingness to drive all the way up to the school in the later hours, because I am a mother first and foremost. To be fair, I was initially available, but the first day, things were cancelled because member Shay was coming back in town from a cruise and didn't make it. The second meeting, she strolled in 45 minutes after we were supposed to start, and was surprised when I had to leave at my scheduled time, again to get my child. Hey, not my fault she was late.

The following weekend, I was available, and was told that no one wanted to meet the weekend. So, on my end, I did what I could, but I was not willing to drive nearly an hour through rush hour traffic, when I had mommy sh*t to tend to. I was available via email, phone and text messages, but that wasn't sufficient. I drew my line in the sand. Motherhood came first, and it will continue to do so.

Afterwards, Shay began a smear campaign against me, to the point where several of my classmates let me know that she'd mentioned (or ragged on) how I attempted to complete our project last minute (an absolute LIE). I was not happy. I avoided her. Truth is, I did  more for Shay than she'd done for me. As often happens in my life, I was the first person she called when shit hit the fan. Why? Because I'm cool under fire. I may be an emotional mess in my own life (I know, negative self-talk there), but as it pertains to the lives of others, I'm the epitome of keeping shit kosher. Yet again, reminiscent of things with my sisters.

Anyway, things warmed slightly, and I could tell that Shay wanted to keep things okay with me. And I wouldn't blame her, because she knew that despite it all, I'm a good person and I'm an asset to a person's team. I was warm, but remained distant.

The other day, Shay had a presentation. I may be exceptionally adorable, but sometimes my mouth and my intentions don't always come together. I asked a question that she wasn't prepared for. Wasn't my intention, but apparently she didn't consider a budget to start an after school program. I didn't realize how much the question was considered bad business until I heard a classmate gasp. (Oh shit.) Afterwards, another classmate warned me not to ask anymore questions to the presenters. For the rest of class, I kept my mouth shut.

I already knew how she'd be thinking. That I "threw shade" (I'm a grown ass woman, I don't throw shade, I insult you directly to your face). Regardless, I knew it was coming. The cackling, all of it. To try to lessen the impact of what I'd done, I shot her a text message to apologize and let her know that I'd had no ill will and it was an honest question, taken wrong. She responded by telling me that she believed that I did mean to trip her up (it was a sloppy ass presentation, who creates a non-profit without doing a soft budget for start up?!)

My response was to let her know that its not in my spirit to be mean or malicious and that I was kind of irked to think she'd believe I'd try to do that to anyone. At which point she texted me (yes, this is all via text) that we simply "think different" and that she'd take the high road and that I'm fake and yadda, yadda, yadda. She also mentioned that "karma is a bitch." My ears perked up. "NO THIS BITCH DIDN'T" was my first response.

I pretty let her know that yeah, we do think differently, simply because I don't take cruises in the middle of the semester and expect others to cover for me, I don't subscribe to notions of "good hair" as she did, and as an extra dig at her low-brow antics, I also mentioned her penchant for asking her petty dope boy boyfriends to pay for her cheap ass party outfits. Yeah, low blow, but I was tired of her mouth. Tired of trying to be the bigger person. I was starting to feel like the only thing I'd done in being nice to her was to give her the impression that I'm weak. Slow? Somewhat. Weak. NEVER.

So yeah, shit's been awkward. As I try to work on myself and my dis-ease with conflict, I talked to a mutual colleague who suggested mediation. I told my colleague that quite truthfully, I didn't see much value in maintaining a relationship with her. As elitist as it sounds, I didn't see much value in her. I didn't talk much about what lead me to be frosty toward her in the end, but I was frosty before the stupid group project. Cordial, but definitely didn't consider her in my inner bubble by then. She'd made some mean comments about a guy I was seeing and I knew then that she was un-bubbled.

So I'm wondering why I feel the way I do. I don't regret a damned thing I said. She totally had it coming. I honestly tried to explain to her that I didn't have bad intentions, but to be called malicious and intentional in my absentmindedness was the last straw. She deserved it. I'd do it again. To be quite honest, I wish I'd said other fucked up things about how she lives her life, but at this point it would be overkill. But trust me, there was more ammo. Just didn't feel like typing it all. Text buttons are so small.

And understandably, she unfriended me on Facebook and even blocked me. Not surprised or unnerved by that. Like I said, I didn't see much value in her. She was an emotional vulture. I also considered her a little "below" the things some of my classmates like to do in the great city of Atlanta. I guess my only regret is that I had to do it. I had to take it there. Lord knows I didn't want to. I've been letting her slide all damned semester. Like I said, I think that for me, it goes back to that sister shit. I tried hard to be the higher person. I even humbled myself in the face of fucked up comments, hoping to make things better. I know her feelings are hurt. I'm not happy about that. But again, I wish she'd learned to shut the fuck up and leave well enough alone. But you know what? I won't be swayed by this. I've got shit to do.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Breaking Eggs



No clue what the hell is going on, but the last 48 hours have been insane. It started out Sunday. I was working, when a cute temp from another location came in. We locked eyes and he was a hottie. I asked his age and he said 25. I knew I couldn't do it. Lord knows I wanted to, but he was far too young and I couldn't stand to be known as the woman that only dates far younger men. Long story short, I found out he's related to the young guy I'm already dealing with. Ouch. And ew.

I texted my young friend about it and he laughed. I couldn't believe it. What are the odds that the cute new stranger that I'm batting eyes at is related to my youngin? I couldn't deal. I told a girlfriend of mine, who is familiar with my relationship with Youngin, and she giggled and started singing "Its a Small World Afterall." I'm still in shock. A part of me felt like it meant something. I mean what are the odds? But if so, what? What was it telling me?

Fast forward to the next day, where I attended a meeting with my counselor. Fred was kind enough to drop me off at school while he used my car to run errands, leaving me there with her to sort through my emotions. I was having a small conflict with some classmates over an assignment, and although not a big deal, while discussing it with her, I realized that the conflict was closely related to issues stemming from childhood. The fact is that my default when dealing with conflict is to shut down. I don't have a middle mode on it. And if you don't respect me shutting down, I explode and go off. Its true. And its unhealthy.

While talking to my counselor, I also talked about Fred and his visit. She was surprised that I hadn't mentioned him earlier and said that while he's pretty and shiny, he's filler. He and I can never be married and I know it. But dammit, he's so sexy. Got an ass you can bounce quarters off of. He's smart and funny. My son loves him. But still, it ain't happening. Nevertheless, I went in talking about about a small tiff with my classmates, only to discover that I can't deal with conflict, back to bullshit from my sisters. What the incredible hell? The counselor also said that I revert to childlike nature when I'm conflicted. SHIT. Last week, I said to her "I'm a mess." She looked at me and blinked. She didn't say "no, Malika, you're fine, everyone has issues." Nope, she allowed me to own it. Wow. I left out with a greater understanding of how deep my issues go. Not pretty, but workable.

 After class, I went out to meet not just Fred, but my bestie Sky as well. We were almost on the freeway when I asked Sky if he wanted a veggie wrap and he did, so off we went. We pulled up and I saw them. My ex's psychotic baby mama, and my former friend. My default was to shout out "FAT BITCH!" but I couldn't because it went against what I am now. But I was stunned. I stayed in the back seat and ducked until they'd pulled off. They saw me and if they didn't, they saw the tall nut job that is my bestie. Fred wondered why I'd ducked. Sky was confused and surprised. The good news that old girl looks a hot ass mess and the vehicle she's in shows that times are hard. Part of me wishes I'd stood there, looking good as hell. Weight loss, nice car (and its MINE!), hair twisted nicely, gotta admit, I was pulled together. And my ass ducked. Why? All I could do was wonder what was in the air. Sky and I laughed about the oddness of it all. Fred wondered which was my ex's baby mama. I told him the big one. He tried to be nice, but his face said it all. Wow. And not in a good way. Call it what you want, but I won. Fuck that. School, connections, look, health, and room for growth. Kind of cathartic to think of it that way.

While there at the veggie shop, one of the admins at one of the schools in the Atlanta University Center who I had a brief with, tryst showed up 20 minutes after we arrived. Odd as hell. He and I hugged and chatted briefly. He looked nice. But it was getting to be a lot to take in. While at the veggie spot, I told Sky the things my counselor had pointed out to me. I told him I think I'm bad at conflict. "Duh" was his response. I told him that she said that I revert to childlike behavior when I'm conflicted. He reminded me that my apartment has become one giant coloring book. Dear God. I told him she allowed me to call myself a mess. He nodded in agreement. It was really starting to sink in. That same night, I was sick as hell. Vomiting and all. I rarely throw up. What the freak is going on?

The next morning, I started to really think. If I'm broken and looking for filler, maybe Fred is too. Maybe that's our connection, that we're both broken and its easier to be with one another loosely and accept our broken selves than to fix him. I know a bit of Fred's history, but not much. But damn, he's broken too. Him? Him. I spoke to him about it, and we acknowledged yet again how we could never marry. He's hung up on someone and there are things about his character that while I love, it could not be the man I'd need long term.

So I can only imagine what else awaits me. I'm big on signs and I think its incredible that all of these strange things are happening at the same time. I think the counseling is opening up something and ts something that I need. Definitely uncomfortable, but you can't make an omelette without breaking some eggs. This better be one hell of an omelette.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Sexual Energy



Those magical words were uttered again, in reference to my- well my... something. I was on the phone with a fellow I'd met about a year ago. We met online and hung out a few times. He lived in south Georgia at the time, were he was in school, but he's since graduated and moved back up north. He'd disappeared for a few, which was fine because school keeps my head in the books anyway, but he recently reappeared.

We chatted about life and he said he'd like to see me again, and said he'd possibly fly me to see him. I'm always up for a free trip and I trust him not to murk me and leave my body in a ditch, so hey, bring it on. As we talked, he mentioned something I've heard a few times before. He said that I have "sexual energy" that he's really drawn to. The odd thing is that this is certainly not the first time I've heard those words or even felt it. Early last fall, as I started the training for my internship with many younger men, I caught my energy slipping on out and I was warned by Ted that I should reign it in before I started giving off milf vibes to the fellas. And although I did bring it in and ended up in a brother/sister relationship with many of the guys, there was still one younger gentleman on campus that got caught up in my web.

So my new friend speaking those words made me start wondering if perhaps I'm more sexual than I'd ever given myself credit for. I had drinks with colleagues recently and the topic of magic numbers was brought up. I said my number (after swearing I wasn't lying), and was told by my cohorts that they'd assumed that my number was nearly double what it actually is. What the entire hell?! Thankfully my relationship with those friends has long since crossed the line of being personal and not professional so I could do was laugh and assure them that I wasn't the raging whore that people assume me to be.

But still, here is a man that's only spent sporadic time with me, who picked up on what so many other men have picked up on as well. I ooze sexuality when I don't mean to. I sometimes post pics on Facebook that get all kinds of likes, winks, and sexually explicit comments (lord knows I appreciate them) when truthfully I don't see what others see. My male bestie, Sky, suggested that I have as much sexual energy as any other woman, its just that I'm comfortable with myself sexually which is intriguing and turns men on. With that statement, I had to relinquish him from the conversation because I could see him wanting to drink bleach as we talked about my sexuality.

As we make this beautiful transition into spring I'm wondering if I should play with my looks more to see what I can pick up on. Not that I'm trying to attract anyone anyway, as my schedule doesn't allow for much anyway. But still.

Monday, March 7, 2016

On Being Held Again

I've written at length about my time with Fred. How much he meant to me and how he's helped me through some hard times. I've also touched on how freakishly sexy he is. Crazy thing is that despite it all, what amazes me most is how much he's mine. He may be on the other side of the country, but I'm in a special place in his heart and that amazes me. It shouldn't though. I'm certainly old enough to know that looks only determine a small amount of where, who, or what a person is. But it never ceases to amaze me to  know that someone as good-looking as he is manages to be drawn to plain old me.

I've been having a hard time lately, as I've had to deal with not having anyone of substance around. My 23-year-old "friend" is still around but at times I have to remind myself that he's still a kid. He's also busy as hell, as am I so although I see him regularly on campus, our time is fleeting. The other guy I liked on campus actually had a girlfriend that I'd learned about through a 3rd party, so his ass was exed. Briefly thought that Ted and I would be rekindling things, but that turned out to be a bust as well. Granted, I still got quality sex, on occasion, but I missed being held. Not just held, but loved.
I missed rolling around in sheets with a man that loves and knows me. Penis can be found anywhere, but to find a man that understands and deals with my quirks isn't easy.

Last month, I guess the winter weather got to me. I had a few extra dollars and I figured I'd take the plunge and go see Fred. I didn't want sex. I needed to be held, and I was willing to go to the opposite coast just for that purpose. I texted Fred in the middle of the night and told him that I'd be flying to see him in March. He responded that he'd be in Atlanta in March and that he couldn't wait to see me either. My heart was aflutter. Fred? Here? He was here a year ago for the first time in nearly 4 years, and to see him a mere year later seemed like a dream.

I tried numerous times to clean my home to the specification of an important house guest, but the fact is that working, motherhood, school, interning and extracurriculars at school make cleaning nearly impossible. But still, I tried. The night he got in, I came in a few minutes before him, hoping to get things together even more. He called me and asked me to come outside and flag him down so he'd know what apartment I was at. I ran to the door and there he stood.

I hugged him like my life depended on it. There he was. Not a pic in my phone, not a Facebook image, him, in the flesh, hugging me back as tight as I hugged him. He came in, settled his items and took a shower. I lay down, and he lay down right next to me. I ran my fingers through his curly, damp hair and held his hand. I felt my soul seep back into my body. In that moment, he wasn't that fine ass dude I've drooled over for over a decade, he was the man I loved tremendously. In that moment, we shared a single bond and a single moment. Its almost like we were one person. I happened to have a playlist of some of my fave chill music, and Tevin's "Always in My Heart" spun in the background. Despite the song being over 20 years old, it was then that the song took on a true meaning. I giggled and said to him "this is our new song" as a candle flickered in the background.

Crazy enough, we weren't even having sex.  We literally just sat there, next to one another. As his back faced me and I wrapped my arms around him, I gave him a peck on his back and whispered, "I love you." "I love you back" he said as he tapped my arm.

And that was all I needed. To be rejuvenated again. To be held and loved and appreciated and adored. And not by a guy that's just good-looking, but by a man who met me at my worst, but stuck with me. A man that knows my soul. A man that not only lets me hold him, but a man that anxiously wants to hold me back. I've held and loved. That was all I needed.


Saturday, February 13, 2016

Goals

So be quite honest, I'm currently sitting in a coffeehouse on a Saturday night, with my classmate Shalynda, as we work on our respective projects. As Chapter 2 of my thesis is due on Tuesday at midnight, yesterday, it occurred to me to change my topic. So while everyone else is plugging away on chapter 2, my ass is here working on Chapter 1. Oh, to wonder why I do the things I do... but I digress.

Lately has been a bit of a blur. I've talked at length about my interning and how well its coming along. I'm working with an exceptional organization and getting to reach out to quite a few people and getting experience to do things that I'd only imagined. I've definitely had to carve a way, but I'm making it happen. About 3 months ago, I'd decided that there should be a pantry to benefit the Atlanta University Center schools. It has been a long process, filled with disappointments, politicking, smiling when I didn't want to, calling and asking my network dozens of questions and just being available and willing to talk about this pantry to anyone that could halfway help me.

I was given the opportunity through my internship the chance to go before the board to pitch my idea for the pantry and holy crap, they loved it. They actually loved it. I literally cried tears of joy as I was told that the money would be granted to make this a reality. That moment meant so much to me. I'm sure that no one outside of my intimate circle fully understood why, based on my history, but its here. Or soon to be. The planning part is over, now is the execution part.

I'm tired as hell. I'm exhausted. My dating life is crap. On a good note, one of my friends told me they thought Ted was no longer employed, prompting me to text him to see if he's okay. It was my first time texting him in over a month and things went well. Well, better than I thought they would. He's still employed, but had a few troubles but he's holding on. It was nice to hear from him. I miss his friendship. :(

Strangely, the only thing I have to look forward to (aside from this damned thesis being over) is that Fred is coming to visit next month. Lord, I can't wait. Just a few weeks. We've been chatting a lot lately. I really just look forward to a long hug from him. I hug from Fred. And beginning to work on this pantry that will hopefully feed hundreds of students well into the future. That's all I want. Love and a legacy. Goals.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Age of Reason: Or Lack Thereof



So I attend college with many people younger than me. The organization I intern with has 50 interns and only 5 of us are in graduate school. Of those 45 undergraduate students, I work closely with 3 of them. Of the 7 people I intern with, only one is older than me, he's 38. The rest are in their 20's. One is 29. The rest are younger. So essentially, I'm one of the few "grown" folks in my academic circles. Ted, who was in his early 40's, and I are no longer a thing, and I was bummed initially, but I emerged with a greater understanding of who I am and what I want, so I walked away with what I needed to learn to move forward.

Anyway, the majority of people that I encounter about 25 hours a week are in their early 20's. I'm definitely a world apart from many of the people around me. I'm one of the few with a child, living on my own, away from campus, having had real life work experience and real life experience in living. It makes a difference as I look at the people around me. Truthfully, my intern supervisor is about my age, and I feel like I have more in common with him than some of the younger people I'm near. I'm actually cool as hell with all of my intern supervisors. We're in kind of an elite club of educated, middle-aged black people. Not young and naive, but not old with outdated ideas.

I tried to go see Hilary Clinton when she came on campus at Clark to speak. They didn't let us in (some bullshit, but I digress), but I was painfully aware of the #BlackLivesMatters protesters that interrupted her speech. Young political me may have agreed with them. Older and experienced political me has a hard time taking them seriously because they have yet to outline a platform. In working on the election last year, I learned a lot about policy, politics and planning and I can honestly say that those kids have no fucking clue how to make a movement.



I recall when I entered school, several people theorized that I'd meet my future husband in grad school. After my first semester, when most of my male colleagues were either gay or married, and out of a class of 25 people, there were only about 4 males per class, I knew that the odds were slim of getting a new boo, even though I wasn't there for that anyway. This semester, as I've gotten out of my shell more and had more chances to socialize, I actually am meeting more men, who are seemingly available. Truth be told, dating still is not a priority, but the fact is that I do get lonely at times. I held on to Ted longer than I should have, simply because I didn't have the time to meet someone to replace him. Once things were officially over with him, I suppose I subconsciously started to check my surroundings. 

I started to spend time with a younger colleague (early 20's), and let's just say that there were some good OUTSTANDING times had.
But his age (or lack thereof) made him a bit flaky and I've got shit to do, so I don't have time for unstable people or situations. Oddly enough, after things with him ended, I started to really think that perhaps I should start dating younger men. I've always felt like I had more in common with older people, but as time goes on, I don't look, act or feel 35. My young boo thang told me he thought I was 26 when we met. Even in non-academic situations when I'm out, the men that approach me and the men that I'm attracted to tend to hover around 25 or so. Initially it weirded me out, but as time went on, I had to accept a new truth for myself- a younger man just may be the way for me to go. I'm finding that older educated men come with lots of hangups and bullshit expectations, while younger dudes are all about just being and having a good time. They don't get as hung up on past experiences and they aren't afraid to take a woman out. They're willing to leave the home and bedroom. Truth is, I'm in the early stages of dating a 28-year-old classmate and while I'm not out shopping for wedding dresses, its nice to be with a man who isn't bitterly divorced or a lifelong playa who has bullshit expectations of me.

I remember a while ago talking to a supervisor and telling him quite truthfully that I feel like a 35-year-old teenager. I don't look, act, or dress my age. Call it a gift or a curse. But during this season in my life, I'm encountering people younger than me who are inspiring me to be great and to relax. I'm reminded to not always take life so seriously, while my age and experience have me in a perfect place to take advantage of the multiple opportunities given to me. So I may be old and seasoned, or I may be young and flirty. But either way, I'm having the time of my life, and for that, I am grateful.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Meetings

Life is odd and beautiful. I knew I'd be embarking on a journey, but I had no clue it would lead me here. I've met so many people in the last few months, that I almost have to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming. So yeah, I'm still at Clark Atlanta University. I tried to transfer to Georgia State University and I was a tad butt hurt when they declined my application. By that point I'd already done 6 classes at CAU, so I knew there was no option but to stay the course.

So yeah, I'm still with Ted. If you want to say "with." I'll say we're still close and he's still my heart. But for some reason I prefer to keep my thoughts on our relationship as casual. I do love him. But since we both know there's no wedding bells any time soon, we're careful to not go have titles and all of that. I know who he is, he knows who I am. My close friends are aware of who he is. The only thing is that he works at a college near my college's campus and some of my classmates and colleagues know him, so I make it a point to not make our relationship known to them. Not that we have a "relationship" anyway.

Next, last summer, I FINALLY achieved my dream of meeting Tevin Campbell. It was absolutely unreal. He was humble, funny, charming, cute, all of that. Naturally I got a pic.


I spent the next week on cloud 9 after that happened. But shortly thereafter, I had to get my head back in the game. This was early August and school started school and I needed an intern site. The one I'd had previously been selected for told me that they couldn't take me after all. I went into action, looking through my school's catalog for one that would be close in proximity to my home or school. I called a few and sent out a few applications. Nothing. Eventually I found one that was near campus and headed by the family of a local Civil Rights Movement hero. I can't really say names just yet because there are unfortunately a few people that stay trying to throw salt into my success, but let's just say that this position was big. I went in for the interview and nailed it!

With this particular position, I work at one of Atlanta's worst alternative schools, along with meetings with some of Atlanta's biggest heavy hitters. I'm still floored at the opportunity this has afforded me. Such as this awkward pic of me at an incredible moment.


I was able to attend dinner with Ambassador Andrew Young, and even personally ask him about some of my career and educational options. Freaking priceless! Plus I'm scheduled to be part of a major political unveiling on Monday. I remember a few years back that I'd decided that I wanted and needed to be a tad more politically tuned in. I didn't know how it would happen. I thought I'd start attending city council meetings, but my schedule never allowed it. Yet slowly, I'm building a name and connections to major players. All by being patient and persistent. I'm letting go of people that don't mean any good for me. And by doing that I'm opening my door to the opportunities to get me where I'm trying to go!

Malika

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Revisionist History

I had lunch with a friend earlier today. During our time together, he'd told me that he'd started writing about his life and out of respect, he allowed his mother to see what he'd written so far. He said how she was bothered by his story and felt that he didn't do enough to paint her in a positive light. Essentially, she wanted him to rewrite history, rather than to acknowledge her faults as a mother. My friend respects his mother, but at the same time, he had to remind her that she wasn't Claire Huxtable and he shouldn't be charged with making up stories to make her look or feel good. I told my friend that I completely understand and that was a large part of why I never attended my undergraduate graduation. Truthfully, I felt that neither of my parents did much to help me as a I struggled to get that degree and I refused to allow them a platform to puff out their chests and boasts about my accomplishment. So I stayed home and didn't mention the graduation to either of them until the ceremony had passed.



Later on, I went with my best friend Sky to the mall. As always, we made a lot of noise and I enjoyed embarrassing him. While there, he ran into a female I'll call Amber. Amber looked up at him and quickly hugged him. I recognized Amber and reached in to hug her, until she put up her arm and told me that she wasn't dealing with me after my birthday celebration. Er? I'll tell you a bit of how I came to know Amber.

About 10 years ago, I was in San Diego with my younger sibling, when she introduced me to Amber. Amber told me that she'd considered moving to Atlanta, and I told her that whenever she decided to move, she could come on out and crash with me. Fast forward about 3 months later, she calls me out of nowhere and says that she hopes to come to Atlanta within a couple of months. I told her that sounded swell. A few weeks after that phone call, she told me that she planned to move out in a few weeks. At that moment I was a tad hesitant. By that particular point, I'd just gotten rid of a sycophant who was sleeping on my couch and I was dealing with my breakup from David. I really just needed to be alone and deal with what I was going through. A few days later I got a call that she was 20 minutes outside of Atlanta and needed my address. HUH?! I couldn't. I sure as hell didn't want to. I needed to be alone. I was trying to balance work, school, and my emotions. Taking in a new individual at that point in time wasn't something I wanted or needed. But nevertheless, there she was with nothing but the clothes on her back. She had no job, no friends, no money and no family in the city. I was it. So despite it all, I let her stay.

Time went on and Amber and I became really close. She was around in part during my pregnancy and I introduced her to lots of people and helped her get to know the party scene. The roommate she moved in with later on was because I introduced them.

So here we are, in the middle of the mall, and she accused me of being fake the last time I'd seen her. Thinking back, when she came over for my birthday, she brought friends. They arrived, I offered them drinks and food, you know, normal host shit. Everyone in her party seemed to be enjoying themselves with their guests, so I left them alone the whole night, but after checking to make sure that all was well. So what the hell was old girl talking about?

I assured her that had no problems with her and assumed all was well. Sky assured her that if I'd had problems with her, he'd have known it before anyone else (true). I asked her why she didn't bring it to my attention then and she claimed that she didn't want to ruin my birthday. I asked why she didn't mention it later on, and she said that she didn't want to bother with it anymore. What the hell? I even apologized if she felt that my behavior was off (even though it wasn't) and promised her we were cool. Then the bitch threw in some shit about me not getting along with my sister and said that was obviously why. I'll say this- I happen to be dealing with tooth pain and lockjaw at the moment. And perhaps if I weren't focused on the fact that it now takes me an hour to eat a small salad, I may have been more willing to neck punch her for that comment.



I was livid. She walked away as if she checked me. That bitch had some damned nerve. She showed up at my front door, during a really hard time in my life, on a wing and a prayer, and I took her in, fed her, introduced her to people and essentially created a home for her as she went through her divorce and THIS was the attitude she threw. WHAT THE HELL?! I thought back to her admitting to me that she'd been diagnosed with anxiety a few months back and that she felt that my cousin didn't want her at his home last Christmas and I had to assure her that it was all in her head. So I tried to give her a pass based on the anxiety issue. But the level of disrespect that she just showed me for no reason at all was some next level bull.

For me to bend over backwards to look out for her and be accused of being "fake" and then not even allow me the chance to explain myself or apologize really rubbed me the wrong way. The same person who came at me sideways today is the same woman who would laugh with me about how crazy it was to land on my doorstep when and how she did. She'd always said how much she understands how much it took for me to let her in when she was a virtual stranger and felt that act was a testament to who and what I am as a person.

So what exactly was today? Was I seriously talked down to and accused of being fake for no real reason at all? So history means nothing. She somehow completely rewrote my display of who I am and how I am. I let her stay with me for months out of the blue, but when she's invited to my home to celebrate my birthday, I supposedly blow her off. Damn. Folks really do forget, don't they?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Desertion

I'm well known to be a lover. I love hard, I love fast, and I love long. I think that my ability and willingness to love as much as I do is a part of what makes me great. I've loved and known some incredible people in my day and I relish our bonds, as the many people I've come across hold special places in my heart. The loss of my cousin Tracey when I was 17 left the impression on me of how important it is to tell people that they're loved while they're here.

Even after a blowup, I'll admit to typically being willing to go above and beyond to keep things kosher. I don't like hostility or awkwardness from my squad. I'm a lover first and that's the position I'd prefer to play.

Fred, my flame, my friend, my lover, my companion. He up and disappeared on me several months ago. He visited in the winter, but then he just disappeared. Poof. Nothing. No phone call, no text message, no Facebook inbox, nothing, he just stopped coming around. At first I was worried. Was he in a hospital? Jail? Was he hurt, did he lose his phone? Where was he? I needed answers. It wasn't like him to just up and leave, especially after all we'd been through together. I reached out to a mutual friend, who it turned out had been in touch with Fred the whole time. Wow. Like that, huh?

Don't get me wrong, I understand that sometimes people need to cleanse and be alone. Sometimes you need reflection and to think out your worries. But I didn't deserve at the very least a heads up? I remember while with my ex, he and I discussed marriage. I'd shared with Fred my plans and Fred asked if he'd get an invite. I told him that based on our history, having him at the wedding wasn't a good idea. His response was "after everything we've been through?" That response was what rang out in my mind as he left. "After everything we've been through?"

Fred and I shared so many times together. I recall one particular night where we'd met up, while I still lived with my son's father. Despite living with my ex, Fred certainly possessed a piece of my soul. That particular night, we went to Fellini's Pizza on Ponce de Leon Avenue. And for some particular night, that night was more special than most. We sat there, staring into each other's eyes. He confessed some of his insecurities, which I'd never known he'd had. We stayed there for about 3 hours, talking. I remember how much I wanted to stay there in that moment forever with him, while a small part of me feared someone that knew my ex walking in and catching me, since the pizza spot was only a few miles from home. I came home at 4 a.m. and my ex asked where I was. I quickly lied that I'd had pizza with friends. When he pointed out that it was 2 hours after the pizza place closed, I told him that we sat afterward talking. Which was technically true...

After that, my last physical encounter with Fred was when we got a hotel room together. That night was magical. I actually still have the key card from the hotel still in my wallet, 4 years later.

Fred came to see me in February. When I took him back to the bus stop, I cried my eyes out. We'd spent the last 3 days together, but I was again letting go of one of the great loves of my life. The other being my ex, David. He thought I was being nuts (guilty) but he knew what he meant to me, because I'd always shown it. And two weeks after he went back to L.A., he disappeared.

It was a process to let him go. I cried. I questioned. I theorized. What went wrong? What did I do? How could I fix it if he didn't tell me what the problem was? My mind constantly wandered back to Fellini's. That night and how we stared in each other's eyes and talked about the future. *POOF* Gone.

Today, while sitting next to my best friend, I got a call from a strange number. I assumed it to be a bill collector or stupid telemarketer. I heard a voice "Malika?" "Yeah? Who is this?" "Its Fred." What? How? Huh? A flood of emotions ran through me. All I managed to say was "I didn't expect to hear from you." He said, "I know you didn't." "Where were you?" I wish I could have managed some kind of emotion, but truth be told, I was shocked. The mutual friend that Fred and I share tried to update me on his dealings recently and I told my friend point blank that I had to kill Fred off in my mind. Although I unfriended him on Facebook, I did still occasionally check his page. But still, I didn't want or need updates. I needed him to cease so I could feel better about moving on without him.

Coincidentally, I'd tried to call him a few times last week, but his phone was off. So I guess he'd been thinking of me as I'd been thinking of him. While he was here, he accidentally left a pair of socks behind. I meant to send them to him and he sent me his address to do so (before he ghosted me). I wanted badly to throw his socks away, but I couldn't. I guess although I'd killed him off in my head, a small part of me cared too much to throw them away. He told me that he'd never forgotten about me and that he prayed for me all through his absence. He said that he didn't intend for his absence to be so long and that truthfully there was some guilt for being gone for so long. We spoke and caught up for about 20 minutes. Throughout the whole conversation, I didn't have much emotion. I didn't know how to feel.

A few minutes after we'd gotten off the phone, I started to sort through my emotions. I realized that the reason I was so dry while on the phone with him was because I really did kill him off. All of the warm, fuzzy emotions I'd tied to our time together I'd had to work hard to erase. And I did. So when he appeared out of no where, the woman who loved him wasn't home.

Today, a particularly rainy day, I had to make a run to the store, and only in my car, as the rain pelted, did I allow myself to unleash the tears I'd been holding onto. I'm not sure what will happen. I'm not even sure if I'm glad he's back. Not that I want him gone again. Not that I want him to leave again either. So I'm torn. I guess as always, I'll let time sort this out.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Today

I try not to write things when I'm in a crappy mood, but my happiness bubble has burst, at least for now. A family member I used to be super tight with has inserted himself into a situation that he is ignorant on, then had the nerve to act as though my opinion of my experience is invalid. It hurt like hell and truth be told, I'm not sure if our relationship will ever be the same way again.

On top of that, I need to find a place to intern for my school and I mean like NOW. Plus I'm unemployed. More than anything I need a paid internship. Don't get me wrong, there are jobs in the pipeline, I just need them to happen soon, and they will. My best friend made a very good point when she said that I have a way of making miracles happen. She's right, cuz I swear, I'm not supposed to be standing, let alone smiling while I do it. But right now, I'm feeling pressured to make things happen. But on a good note, my son is healthy, my friends are all doing well, Ted is still a presence, and this flipping heat should be lifting soon. Two more years of graduate school.

So I just decided that today is going to be my last day feeling sorry for myself. This pity party mess ain't my bag. I'm a doer, not a whiner. On a good note, when I feel like crap, the people around me notice, and they check in on me. And that's a blessing in and of itself. So anyway, I'm off to find an internship site (that'll hopefully pay me) and/or a job.

Malika

Friday, June 5, 2015

On Enjoying Bachelorettehood



I've had a total of two conversations today about how I should change my life, settle down, I'll never find a good man as long as I continue to blah blah blah. The funny thing is that the only people that feel it necessary to wag their finger at me and my "whorish" lifestyle is men. Grown women get it and they either applaud or remain apathetic about my desire to be free. But men... men seem to have a hard time grasping an attractive woman who chooses to play the field rather than settle down.

Perhaps it is because I defy the stereotype of women that are considered sexually liberated. Those women are thought to be either ugly, stupid, incapable of a good conversation, bogged down with several children or emotionally or mentally inept. And not to toot my own horn, but I'm neither of those things. I'm funny and outgoing with a great personality, considered attractive (as observed by the fact I'm frequently hit on), I'm educated, and fairly independent overall. So the question remains, why would a woman who would make a great wife choose to be single when so many men want her? Wouldn't marriage be the ultimate prize?
For me, no it is not. I went from feeling that I absolutely never wanted to be married to instead feeling that I'll only get married if the situation is absolutely perfect for me. And nothing less. I really don't even want a serious relationship simply because serious relationships indicate that two people are together with the eventual intention of marriage- and marriage is not a goal of mine. So here I sit. I think I'm okay with the whole idea of being single in part because it is so easy for me to meet new men to chill with temporarily. To be quite honest, things are going well with Ted. He lives alone, he lives his life and I live mine. I think about him frequently and we text often. And I'm crazy about him. And as it stands, I have no desire to fall any deeper into a relationship with him. I could keep things going with him like this for years and if all goes well, I probably will.

It's so frustrating to me that men feel it necessary to tell me how one of them would improve my life somehow. Do they tell their guy friends how much they need a wife? I highly doubt it. So why am I supposedly suffering over here? What they don't understand is that the same benefits that men enjoy from being bachelors, I enjoy as well. If I find someone that I have amazing chemistry with, I can feel free to go home with that person and fuck their brains out. I don't have to worry about lying or cheating because no one claims me, nor I, them. I can do the things that I enjoy, such as bars and clubs, and again, I don't owe anyone an explanation. I can feel free to casually date or focus on any one person as much as I want. A romantic weekend can happen with any one or several men at any given moment. My bills are in my own name and I spend my money on what I want to spend it on.



To be fair, I let men know up front that I have no intention of getting with them seriously. Not that I automatically drop panty for every man I meet, but even in passing, I let it be known that I have no desire to get married, nor any for additional children. And like all things, nothing is certain (except for my lack of desire to procreate again). Some of them appreciate my honesty and tell me that they too don't want to date too heavily either, while others thank me for my time and leave because they clearly want a wife and/or a woman that is willing to have another child. I have no problem with the men that tell me that my lack of desire for commitment is a deterrent because I'd rather not spend time with a man who will question my whereabouts (none of your business) or eventually ask when I plan to settle down and have his baby (never). 

Perhaps its fear or even past "damage" as one male friend put it, but whatever it is, I love it. I'm in love with my life and myself in a way that I've never been before. There is no man weighing me down nor making me question myself and my abilities. I've wasted many years of my life with the wrong men and I've seen what holding on to the wrong man can get you. Not a goddamn thing. No growth. No happiness. No support. No goals. No smiles. Nothing. So here I sit. Alone, making myself happy in a way that no man ever has. Who knows, maybe I'll get married one day. But to be honest, only if I find a man that makes my life even more awesome than it already is. And I'll be honest here, my life is pretty kick ass as it is.

Malika


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Pushing Forward

So I touched a bit last time around on a few updates in my life. Like always, summer is the time I plan for major adventures in my life. Since I've been blessed with less work on my plate, I'm able to take care of me in a way I haven't been able to in years. I'm looking forward to getting more work done, and getting to do what makes me happy again. I've got 4 projects to work on, including 2 articles, one about my good friend Hashim who was the victim of an attempted car jacking, and another about Frank Barham, a wonderful spirit who lost his life while trying to raise awareness and money for people with disabilities.

While I'm just as raunchy as it pertains to my sex life, I've decided it best to dial it back on some of the details of who and what I'm doing. I'm still casually dating Ted (5 months strong, which for me, means its going strong) but I continue to date other people as well. I'm glad that Ted and I have such an arrangement and I'm very close to him. But me being me, I still desire to spend time with other men. My latest is a well-known local musician. Because Atlanta is so freaking small, I can't say much, but he's definitely in my sights. A friend of mine commented that in terms of men I've certainly upgraded as the years went on and I certainly agree.

Crazy, as I was out walking the dog, I had a ton of things to blog about today. But suddenly my mind is blank. So yeah, shit rocks.

Malika