Friday, May 6, 2011


I've sat on this subject for a few days now mostly because at first, I thought it was no big deal. Of course, playful conversations with friends and peers became serious the more information I gathered. After watching hours of news anchors talking about what they know and sometimes don't know about the killing of Osama Bin Laden, I've come to a point where I'm saddened by our country's reaction and content state facing this hallmark in history. I'll admit I got riled up after a friend showed me the iconic photo of Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, and many others' reaction. Some faces looked stunned and others not so much. However, I think the photo represents the opinions of Americans. I've found some are happy about the killing, most are content with what they've been told, and then there are those like me. Before I go into what I think  let me explain to you what I mean by "content with what they've been told." Being okay with Osama Bin Laden's capture and the fact that he had to be killed according to what our government has told us is not the problem. It's those minds that did not second guess the motives and actions. Those that cannot see the harm that has been done and possibility of suffering for mankind because of the actions taken place. Those minds are the ones that sadden me and bring me to a certain level of discomfort. I'm not saying I don't understand those people. I understand whole-heartedly that it's what people have learned. It's common knowledge that the government may not always tell the truth, or that in "war" we must protect ourselves. However, this "shoot first and ask questions later" attitude that our culture has taught us is not knowledge at all. It's ignorance. It is not helping anyone but building the opportunity for suffering.

Now when this subject comes up around people I either get a positive response, negative, or none at all. The response to my concerns that stuck with me most was sayings like "This is how war works" or "This is just how it's done." You would think comments like that would shut me up but it only fueled the fire for me. I understand how war works and what has to be done sometimes. However, I don't completely see what was done as an act of war. Over the years this manhunt became more and more irrelevant to me. Why? Because there were way more important things going on and I refuse to allow the media to skew my attention towards what we all know is propaganda. Secondly, because it was a modern day witch-hunt I assumed we were above it and would eventually come to our senses. Thousands died during the search for this one man, and if we're being logical, it makes no sense. Was this for the greater good? If so, who's good are we talking about?

My thoughts on this subject are scattered due to my passionate attitude, but my thoughts are complete without holes and more than I can say about the thoughts and opinions of representatives. Let's reflect on what happened shall we: A man was murdered because he was the leader of a group with radical views and seen as a threat. Does that sound familiar to anyone? You can call it a capture, a killing, but what really happened was an assassination and I doubt we as a culture figure out the difference in this decade.

Our values as a nation are what keeps us so content in situations like this. It's learned values that won't allow us to take a step back and analyze what's really happening; to humble ourselves enough to recognize that "problems" are not solved by violence but passed on. We need to realize that Osama Bin Laden was only a leader. He was not the parasite, but the host. The values he lived by are not gone with him. If anything they have been heightened for whoever is next in line to take his place.

I'm not saying that we must change how we feel about Osama Bin Laden, but as people we must change how we feel about our solutions. If we accept it as how it should be done things will get worse. I say it's time to start second guessing. I may not be the one to change things but if we think outside of how we've been taught, knowledgable minds may over time provide solutions for change. Those that speak of revolution, quote Gil Scott Heron, tweet about injustice, the first step towards changing things is changing our values through education. Humans are not responsible for their values, they are LEARNED. Change what is being taught.

Before writing this I was discouraged for my country. I was saddened that the majority of who we are can't find the error in what has happened. It also made me uncomfortable knowing that I shared space and knew some that can't see what is perceived as a "problem" for a human being. It was when I saw a man by the name of Jacque Fresco speak on the subject that my thoughts were put into perspective. Take a look at these quotes and reflect:

"We reflect our culture... Osama Bin Laden is dead but the value system that produced him is not. It's quite alive. That goes for the Nazi's, the Ku Klux Klan, the White Citizens Counsel. The value system is still alive. What is needed is not assassinations. Not murder, not killing. No armies or navies to 'solve problems.' What is really needed is a change in our values."
"Erroneous values can cause unbelievable suffering amongst people. And we, our nation, like other nations are mentally like children that do not have answers. That do not have solutions to problems. Whereby, many solutions of violence and they do not solve problems. What is really needed is a change in values... By change in values I mean living in accordance with the natural capacity. That is the caring capacity of the earth."
"I think that a solution takes longer. Of course, a sane solution takes many years. That is, to arrive at a value system that supports nature, the earth and all the people that live on this earth... And you cannot solve problems by killing people. Although most of you believe that revenge is sweet. It is only sweet to the naive and childlike attitudes. Whereby, we feel good when we get rid of a certain person. Identify with the problem. That does not solve the problem. If you yourselves as Americans, were brought up in that country where those values are dominant, you will support those values. It isn't killing people that solves problems. It's outgrowing values that no longer work." 

                                                                                                         - Jacque Fresco

See the entire Jacque Fresco interview HERE! 

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Know Your Friends...

When I was younger I heard a man give a working definition of friendship. He said it's when people have similar thoughts, interests, and personalities. His definition intrigued me, mainly because I thought he was wrong. I wasn't able to define it myself because I believe I was 10. However, that's the age when I met the ones I call my best friends. Now that i'm a grown up I think about that man's definition all the time. I know he was wrong because friendship just describes the relationship between two people just like married, or couple. For example, the word married has a much deeper meaning than marriage. 
I googled the word friend and got various definitions. "A person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations," "a familiar or helpful thing," "a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard," "A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts," and "A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause." I'm not too sure about the first definition in this instance, but when I look at the rest of the definitions I think of a different "friend" for each one and sometimes none of the people I call my friend come to mind. It's in my personality to shift towards liking the fourth definition most out of them all. At the same time it discourages me because I can't say that I know, like, and trust all the people I call my friend. There may be two out of three but rarely do I find all three. I've claimed the same best friend whom I met when I was 10 for as long as I can remember. We haven't always gone to the same schools, hung out with the same people, and even now we don't live in the same state. Our friendship remains strong. Our schedules don't allow us to speak every week or even every month. When I tell people that's the type of friendship we have they look at me crazy, in disbelief. We go for weeks without speaking but we're always in contact. I'm the God Mother of her son and every once and awhile I get a cute picture message of him making a funny face. The best part about it is that when I go home to visit we always pick up back where we left off. There's never an awkwardness between us. I call her my sister because she treats me like one. I KNOW her and she knows me no matter how far apart we are or how much we've grown. We share different views on major things. I don't agree with everything she does and vice versa. We're in absolutely two different places in life but it makes no difference to us when we're together. I LIKE her, and love her with all of my heart. I know and like a lot of people the way I like my best friend. This is where the two out of three comes in. What made me realize I had false friendships was I couldn't get all three with some people. I TRUST my best friend with my life. There's no example I could give to exemplify and I realize now that's what I'm missing in some company I keep. This girl is not my best friend because she's my oldest friend, but because she is my working definition of a friend without any exception. 

What I've found is that the word "friend" gets lost in fun, similar interests, and mutual acquaintances. I want to lose this. I want to stop using a word like "friend" to describe those that only give a fraction of my definition. I want to know well enough to share and love, I want to like enough to always have you on my mind, I want to trust enough never to have to wonder. Someone told me the other day "You have so many friends." I should've replied, "No, I have many prospects." I have few friends that I know of. Friends and family are one to me. I call my best friends my siblings. They know who they are. There wasn't a meeting to discuss this nor has it ever come up in our conversations, it just happened just like love. Analyzing those definitions forced me to recognize how few friends I have and I'm okay with that. Saying you have a true friend is like saying you have wet water, a friend is always true and if you can't see the truth in someone you call friend then they're probably something else. 

So that's it. In writing this I realized, for myself, what a friend is and although I may be friends to some people they may not all be friends to me. It's a strong word just like love or hate and should be used cautiously. It's about bonds and barriers. Build bonds and keep them behind barriers. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

April Fool's Day

An April fool. What is that exactly? Why do we as a society praise the day of cruel jokes and amusement at other people's expense? Are there actually people that have an ideal April fools day of non-stop pranks on friends and family? Who are these crazies with nothing more to do with their time but to sit and ponder over ideas and schemes?
Every year my April fools day is the same in some sense. It seems like the universe is the one pranking me more than anyone else. I can't decide if that's acceptable or not but for now I'll reflect on yesterday's happenings.

I woke up rushing to get to a photo shoot I had scheduled to shoot the cover for my magazine prototype. I realized for the first time that my room was filthy and I was running out of underwear because I don't remember the last time I did laundry. I'm sure the clothes on my floor had been there for a good three weeks but for some reason this was the first time I'd noticed. After receiving a text from my main photographer that he'd be late I became discouraged and canceled the photo shoot. I sent a very informal text to the models and didn't specify my reason. I pondered over the sending of a second text but my arrogance wouldn't allow it.  I also thought about the second photographer I initially had but had to cut him loose because we were sort of involved and he pissed me off. I wondered if I'd be in the same situation if I'd let him continue as my second photographer. I immediately stopped myself and remembered that he wasn't dependable; part of the reason I wanted nothing to do with him in the first place. It was cancelled, but I still had to rush to turn in the documentary that I'd known about for a month and still decided to procrastinate resulting in me putting final touches on it until 4am. I got 4 hours of sleep. On my way out the door I decided against coffee or breakfast. Breakfast would have been a Pop Tart but I still didn't bother to go towards the pantry.

I saw my bike on the lock where I'd placed it the day before. I decided to walk to the bus instead. As soon as the gate to my building closed behind me I felt rain fall and quickly put my gears into reverse. Back into my apartment building, up the stairs, and opened the door to retrieve my umbrella.
It rained for approximately two hours. My blue canvas shoes were soaked and I could feel a small puddle surrounding my toes. I went to the office to get out of the rain and let my feet dry while I waited for the clock to strike 11am so that I could indulge in lunch. I was starving by now.
In my time in the office I'd thought of a scheme to tweet about a free pizza party going on in the area outside of the office at noon. Neither the free pizza nor the party existed but I knew my college friends and they flocked to the opportunity of free food. I posted the tweet in all caps and hashtagged how much I loved my school.

I spoke to some girl friends the day before about changing my Facebook relationship status to 'in a relationship' with some cool looking guy that people would believe I'd actually sleep with. I scrolled through my Facebook chat availability and found my 7th grade boyfriend. He's not really considered an Ex because our relationship was more like a friendship but time allowed me to love him dearly. I made the proposal and he got my humor and agreed. It was done. I didn't expect much reaction from my college buddies but I knew it'd get my hometown friends talking. I thought about my Ex and what he'd think. I thought about all of my Exes and what they'd think about my alleged new love for this handsome dread-head. I laughed to myself but wasn't as excited about it as I was the fake pizza party I'd announced.

While I twiddled my fingers waiting on someone to come ask me, "Where the hell is the free pizza," I received a message from a guy I dated but he didn't make the cut when it came down to exclusiveness. Although I think in his mind we had been together at one point and I was waiting for him to get his act together. He asked if the new relationship was a joke. I laughed at his rudeness and decided to play with him. I responded, "Of course not." I imagined him in front of his computer frustrated. "What's it to you?" I jabbed at him. I knew then his defenses went up. Then the funniest message popped across my screen, "I just didn't think you settled. I always saw you as an independent woman. I know people want intimacy, but I just figured."

In my amazement that he would type that message while thinking I'd just started a new relationship I knew that he was deeply concerned. The fact that he thought it was okay for him to say such a thing to someone he'd had a mild history with was amusing and somewhat infuriating. However, he'd turned my light-hearted prank into something heavy and made himself the April fool. I'm sure a more worthy Ex boyfriend saw the change in status and had an opinion but kept it to himself because A) It was April fools day, and B) I'm no longer obligated to him.  But this guy not only misunderstood his boundaries, but implied that because I was not after him that I was "settling." I chuckled to myself in disgust and he logged off before I could respond.

I then randomly thought of astrology and how this man was a Leo. I didn't have good experiences with Leos. I am an Aquarius and they can be a little too much for me. The photographer I had been sort of involved with was also a Leo. The guy I was supposed to meet for drinks the night before who sort of had a panic attack after I told him I'd have to reschedule was a Leo. I entertained the idea of a blog post entitled, "The Year of the Leo." I put it out of my mind and decided none of the three men were worth the time. There was one Leo who I'd had a wonderful experience with and we are still good friends so it wouldn't have made sense to me to bash the entire sign when the problem was clearly the men who carried it. All of these thoughts made me hungry.

I went to get chicken chop chop for lunch. It was marvelous. I saw two familiar faces walking towards the office and I smiled to myself because I knew why they had come. One of them sent me a message about thirty minutes before explaining that he was on his way for pizza. When he got there I realized how I hadn't seen him in awhile. He sat with a puzzled look and finally said, "I'm here for the pizza." I immediately smiled. "There is no pizza is there? Did I just get fooled?" I nodded. He didn't crack a smile but I knew he'd eventually forgive me. I gave him a hug and got a quick flashback of our past. It didn't matter at that moment nor does it matter now but there is one to talk about and I'm not even sure it can be qualified as a past because who's to say it's over. Another time (I was reluctant to write even the previous sentence but whatever). I shared a few more laughs at my friends expense then off to class I went.

This class was a joke. It wasn't necessary that I attend but I felt bad for the past three weeks of not attending. My phone vibrated in my pocket and I knew exactly who it was. This guy didn't quit. I told him to watch how he talked to people and he immediately got into his feelings. Once again amused, I played along with his game. For some reason he felt some obligation to me because he kept responding. I felt no obligation so I failed to spare his feelings. I told the truth. The idea was for him to stay out of my business whether it's fake or not and he couldn't handle that. I'd gotten myself into a pickle with a guy that I wasn't interested in over a relationship that was only meant to make people laugh. I had a feeling that he wasn't laughing anymore because neither was I. I was over come with the ass hole inside of me and a phone call sent me over the edge. He gave a half assed apology and giggled through most of it. He was cocky but I had him beat. I got the first, second, and last word and hung up. My friends laughed at the conversation they'd just overheard. I sat unaffected.

I had a dinner meeting to attend with my boss at a very good Japanese and Thai restaurant. I loved the idea of free food but found that she'd ordered appetizers for the table for us to share. I knew it was too good to be true. Honestly, I couldn't focus for the entire hour and a half I sat at the restaurant. I watched her mouth move and admired her wonderful eyeliner job the entire time. My thoughts went back to the guy that didn't quit. I thought about what he probably had been doing before my fiasco and if I'd ruined his day. I hope I hadn't. I knew he'd probably share a conversation with my brother later that night about how hard I am to handle and how I'm different from other girls. I hoped he'd sit with himself and remember how my attitude and confidence always kept him intrigued. We disagreed on almost everything but he kept coming back and today was no exception. It was then as I sat with the illusion of interest that I realized that our past wasn't mild at all. We were attached, no longer romantically, but attached nonetheless. I imagined us having petty arguments every time we met in the future. I had to deal with him one way or another because he was friends with my brother. My brother was always the one asking me for advice but he'd sent me a big revelation just a few hours before me sitting idle at the restaurant table.

"Ya'll two are something else. Ya'll are going to get married one day!" I cringed at the message he sent but now I knew he couldn't have meant it literally. After all that arguing we did we were sure to be back sharing ideas and bickering sometime next month or even sooner. I hated the fact that I'd been such a jerk to him now and I saw the sincerity in his apology then. Somehow I knew I wouldn't have to apologize to him because of his laughter on the phone. He wasn't laughing because he was cocky, he was laughing because I played the same games with him over and over. I played a hard bargain but he knew I didn't mean it. I was putting on for him for no reason at all. I'd fooled myself when it came down to him. I smiled to myself as I took another bite of the lettuce wrap on my plate. "Fuck April fools day," I thought. I changed my relationship status back to single at midnight.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Guy That Made Her Distrust Men…Who Conveniently Came Before You. Why She's So Salty.

The Stand Up (The Dead Beat)
This guy always makes plans and makes the most minimal efforts to see them through. He treats her like the 2nd or 3rd option. This guy talks a good game but when it comes down to backing it up he's either nowhere to be found or making up some excuse as to why he came up short. This makes a woman see men as undependable and dependability is key to all women no matter what their type. If they feel they can't depend on you then they don't trust too much of anything you say. This feeling can be avoided early on if you just stick to your word. 
No one likes to be stood up (men included). Different situations trigger different emotions and it seems being stood up seems to trigger the same one for women. Intentionally standing a girl up not only pisses her off but let's her know that you could care less about your time. This usually happens at the beginning of a friendship or relationship so it is essential that men keep their word at these points. It wastes the girls time, yes, but there's also a feeling of rejection whether you apologize for it or not. You may say you didn't intentionally stand the girl up but if you did nothing to prevent it then it's all the same to her. Guys make sure to keep your word and if you truly can't make it be sure to let her know. It's better to be let down easily than dropped on your ass. 

The Cheater
This guy's made her feel like crap perhaps over and over again. He's done the unthinkable and though it may be her fault for possibly staying with him as long as she did (if she knew of course) she's still had a significant amount of damage done to her trust skills. If she's like every other woman scorned, she's determined never to let it happen again. So before she even begins to think that you could be the same type, assure her that you are not with more than words. If you don't want her to think you would cheat don't do things that cheaters do. She knows a cheater's habits from past experiences so she'll innately be suspicious of any behavior. If you think she won't like it or you don't want her doing it you probably should stop. 
Now let's be real, some women are just lost causes and there's absolutely nothing you can do sometimes, but that's your problem not mine. 

The Liar
Now it's easy to become this guy and it's even easier not to. No one likes being lied to. Why am I even wasting time on this one? If tons of guys have lied to her of course she's not going to trust so easily. It's more work for you but she'll appreciate it in the end when she finally sees the truth you should be telling her. 

The Ladies Man
Let's keep it funky, women talk a little too much. I don't at all condone the behavior of sharing information about who you're seeing or sleeping with, but it happens. Therefore when a man becomes known for trying a little too hard to charm the ladies it doesn't take long for women to figure out the game. The ladies man has a lot of female "friends" that he's "cool" with and whether they're sleeping together or not it sure seems that way to the untrained eye. This WILL ruin a relationship if it even gets that far and a woman will rightfully be uncomfortable with her partner or courter being too popular with other women. 
Know your boundaries and respect her so that she won't see you as the ladies man no woman wants to waste time on. 

Mr. Mind Game 
For some reason there are guys lurking around playing mind games with women. This man seems perfect but either he's scared or just stupid and can't fully commit to the idea of taking the next step with a girl. He can tell her how he feels about everything but their relationship. He can take her out in public and look like they're a happy couple but he just can't seal the deal. For about an hour or two this can be cute if it's done right. After awhile it gets old. This man flip flops from friend-friend to special friend. He sweet talks her like he wants her to be his lady but then tells her how much he wants to keep the friendship "alive." Personally I want this phase of man to die a slow death but that's because I have a strict "we gon' bone or what?" rule during courtship. This man is the most confusing of them all because he makes it impossible to move forward. By the time you're fed up and choose to leave him alone he's usually the one that calls 2 weeks after the fact to finally spill his feelings. This is flattering but upsetting because by that it's too late. 
Guys, this type of man is frightening and you should be careful that you don't become any form of him. Tell her how you feel from jump and she won't suspect you to be the type of crazy associated with Mr. Mind Game. 

Don't Let ANY of these men be you or be prepared to be brought up in the weekly discussion on bitch niggas by your female counterparts. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

5 Things That Some Women Are Secretly Capable Of… And men aren’t aware.

DISCLAIMER: I am not speaking for all women. I'm speaking for the perfectly sane, educated woman that knows what she wants. Do not apply this to any female that you can't speak highly of. Enjoy! 

Friends with benefits
A lot of men love the idea of sexing up a friend with no emotional strings attached but smart men AND women know not to get too excited about the idea because it often leads to drama and possible heartache. There’s also a big misconception that women are incapable of having such a relationship where she has zero attachment to the man. For some reason men seem to think that women cannot have sex without falling hopelessly in love with a partner. THIS IS ENTIRELY FALSE. Although women have in the past been known to WANT emotional connection attached to their sex, it is not always a necessity. Women are cold creatures. Did you know that? Not all women get butterflies and see stars in a man’s presence. I’ve known more than a few women who have said those magical words “I’d give him some. Nothing else though.”  It’s normal and usually occurs with women that really don’t have time for the relationship drama and have penis on the brain. Ever been talking to a chick that seemed totally uninterested in your goals and interests but jumps at the opportunity to bone? Yea, there’s a chance that she only wants one thing and if you’re willing to give it to her without entertaining the idea of a deeper relationship she’ll take it. Don’t try to fake it with her because she’s definitely not going to with you. If after the sex she hasn’t brought up the idea of taking it to the next level you should know that you’ve just been used. Women are capable just as much as men of detaching their brain from their vagina. Proceed with caution.

The misconception that women don’t know how to forgive is one that I want to die! PEOPLE in general hold grudges. Women are of course no different but it’s no worse because of gender. Sure she may never forgive you but it’s probably because you did something unforgivable. There ARE women that are capable of moving forward and putting the past behind but only if she believes you’re sincere. If she doesn’t seem like she forgives you, you probably don’t seem sincere. Evaluate this and try again.
Option B: If she doesn’t seem to be forgiving she probably doesn’t give a damn anymore. Sometimes women lose interest and are just waiting for you to leave. Yep, that’s probably the case most of the time. 

Cooking you into submission
Don’t fight this one. You know it’s true.

Being nymphomaniacs…without being a hoe
For some reason men don’t think women like to have sex as much as men. And if they do they’re deemed hoes. This is ridiculous. A woman can love sex just as much as any man and not be a hoe, of course. It takes brains and careful planning to carry out such an act. Mainly, women must know not to tell all their business. Most rumors that get spread about promiscuous women are done so by their female associates. A hoe is only a hoe when everyone knows. This goes for men too because they gossip just a much. Mmm. When women find someone they like to have sex with, they do so and often. Sometimes there may be a few that women keep but it does not make the woman a hoe just yet. A lot of sex doesn’t make a hoe. It’s the lack of discretion, selectivity, and consideration that are the key points to Ho’ism. It’s natural to be sexual and a woman that knows not to over do and choose wisely is just that; a sexually wise woman. Grow up!

Being happy single or without YOU
You are not God’s gift to women. God did make more. Get off your nuts. I’m not saying this to man bash but there seems to be some sort of misunderstanding. All women don’t feel the need to have a man and can be content with being alone. This does not mean that they’re lonely. Everyone has options. Whether she chooses to act on them is totally up to her. Don’t think because she hasn’t mentioned anyone  that no one's tried. Women get approached by other men every other day. REMEMBER THAT! If you’re in a relationship with a girl who treats you like a king, appreciate her. She’s more than likely treating you like that to stroke your ego and can stop at any time she may feel she’s not appreciated. Don’t forget that women are perfectly capable of being happy without you and telling you NO and GOODBYE.

*Authors Note This is not to bash men. I love men and everything that comes with real men. Men: appreciate and learn from these thoughts for they came straight from women. Comments are welcome. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Expect More of Yourself

One of the most influential books I've read recently was "The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates" by Wes Moore. It's a touching story about about two men from similar backgrounds and even the same name, and the factors that drove them to two very different fates. Both men grew up in single parent homes, struggled with school, and even lived just blocks from one another in one of Baltimore's roughest areas at one point. Wes Moore, the author, later became a combat veteran, a Rhodes Scholar, and now an associate at Citibank in NYC. The other Wes Moore is now serving life in prison.
Shortly after finishing the book, I was lucky to hear Moore talk more about his story and elaborate on his reasons behind him telling the story. Moore stated, "I wrote the book to get people to think."
Of course the stories Moore told attracted male readers but me being a female, I was attracted in another way. When the topic of fatherhood came about, of course I was all ears. However, I paid special attention to the emphasis on the two boys in the story having the same backgrounds. That same story applies to me with people as close to me as my best friend.
It got me thinking about the decisions and factors that play a part in someones fate.
Moore recalled a moment when he asked the other Wes if he thought we were products of our environment. The other Wes Moore responded, "We're products of our expectations."
I couldn't agree more, but I also think we're products of what others expect from us as well. Looking back on my old friends that I seem to have lost touch with, we were no different. We all had some of the same adversities but we also had some of the same opportunities and our decisions are what has led us astray.
I once felt guilty for leaving some people behind but I had to realize they would've been right beside me if they'd chosen to.
That's just one thing Wes Moore's book got me to think about, but it mainly made me want to take action and change as much as I can to reach out to as many kids who were like me as possible.

"Potential is universal, Opportunity is not. The difference between where we are and where we can be is extraordinarily thin."       -Wes Moore

Saturday, January 29, 2011

In Search of A Father: My growth without mine.

For some time I've been contemplating my non existent relationship with my father and whether I should pursue one or not. Just a little background, I have never had a relationship with him due to his lack of presence and efforts. My mother raised me to know who he was and often let me know that he loved me, but he just hadn't grown up yet. Not excusing him, but that explanation actually got me by as a kid. However, I found what my mom said harder and harder to believe as I myself began to grow up. Her comforting words replayed over and over in my head every time I'd see a daddy and daughter holding hands or the image of a father walking his daughter down an aisle to marry. I never dared ask my mom why I couldn't have those things or if I'd ever, mainly because I knew it would be painful to answer and probably more painful for me to ask.
The lack of presence from my biological father was long ago replaced with my grandfather's. Although my view of men has struggled because of it, I worked to not let his absence determine my lifestyle or my future as a woman. I've crossed a few milestones and been happy with myself but there was always a hint of pain in my smile. There was always an elephant in the room but I dared not ask about it or say "I wish my father was here." Valentines days came and went but every time I was greeted by an admirer with candy or flowers, I imagined that my father could do the same. He never did. Not one Valentines Day or Christmas. And when Father's Day rolled around, I was unaware of the holiday and ignored any sign of it. He never shook hands with my first boyfriend or gave scowling looks to my second and third. I was not greeted or congratulated at my graduation. I was not given a proud hug when I was accepted into college. Nor was I given a speech about boys and academics as I moved into a co-ed dorm.
Through all the years and events I seemed to manage with grace. I never questioned his absence because of those words my mother told me when I was smaller, "He loves you. He just hasn't grown up yet."
A week ago, I looked at a calendar and realized my birthday was a week away. Not any birthday, my 21st. Another milestone. As I thought and planned a series of events I got an erie feeling. A feeling I've never had before but still it felt familiar. My thoughts, I'm about to be 21 and I've never heard my father wish me a happy birthday. This would make sense if he had passed when I was younger, but he is alive and well. I tried to comfort myself by replaying my mother's words in my head but it didn't work. I grew angry and then sad. With the words repeating one thing stood out to me, "He hasn't grown up yet."
"He hasn't grown up yet, but I have," I said to myself.
I've grown into a woman. I live well. I'm working to better myself everyday. I'm not the same kid. I can no longer be persuaded into believing that my father isn't around because of lack of growth.
Growth, I thought about that word long and hard. I'm no longer biting my tongue in fear of being hurt. I will dare to ask "Where have you been?" I will take a stand until I am noticed and appreciated as a daughter, his daughter. I will show the love that I've always longed for in the hopes that it's returned, and if not, I can still say that I made a grown up decision to try.
My decision was to try to contact my father in hopes of building a relationship not because I want him to wish me a happy birthday but because I want him to see my growth. Hopefully it will inspire him to grow. And instead of him being around for a milestone in my life, he can be one. I have yet to contact my father, but I plan to soon.

To Be Continued...