Emptiness from an empty nest

See, I’m young now and so are my kids.  I know that it would be YEARS before I have to worry about the day I ship my last child off to college–especially since I haven’t even had my last child yet.  But I have always been that person who looks ahead in effort to stay prepared for whatever obstacles that may rear its head.

I know it’s early, but I can’t seem to figure how I would deal with an empty nest.  Will I rejoice and do back flips? Or will I sulk around the house and think about all of the times my kids gave me near heart attacks or the times they made me laugh until tears streamed down my eyes.

Will I be that clingy mother who calls their child every single day while they are away at college? Or will I be the type of mother who gives their child space? I know I am young but I can’t help but wonder about the day I ship my last child off to college and end up with an empty nest!

If you have experienced an empty nest, what are some of the ways you prepared for it? What are some of the ways you coped with it?

via Daily Prompt: Nest

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Move, B*tch!

On this beautiful day, Kia woke up determined to put an end to life as she’d known it.  She was a Senior in High School and she still found it hard to make eye contact with the opposite sex. Whenever a dude would ask her for something as simple as a pencil or even look her way the blood from her face would drain, turn into bodily fluids and come out from the lower part of her anatomy. To say she was still a virgin was simply an understatement–if that was even possible.  If there was anything more pure than a virgin then that was definitely her.

On the long the list of things that she hasn’t done thus far in her life, things having to do with the opposite sex was embarrassingly long.  Never looked a boy in the eyes, never had a conversation with a boy, never kissed a boy never even held a boy’s hand.  It was just all around pathetic and she was sick of being the only socially awkward girl in town.  Today, that was going to change.

This past weekend her cousin Lexy came by for a visit and if Kia felt like crap about herself before, she definitely felt worst after Lexy’s visit. The girls were only born one month apart and were more like sisters than cousins but due to the fact that Uncle Leroy had to move his family across town two months ago when he got that better job at the factory, the girls weren’t able to see each other as often as they used to. But, dang how much could have changed in just two months?

Apparently, every frickin’ thing.

Looking at Lexy used to be like looking in the mirror, but now it was like being Gretchen from Trolls looking at Barbie.  Kia could not believe her cousin’s transformation.  Oh, the betrayal.

Lexy walked different, talked different, she even dressed different and wore lip gloss! And when did she get boobs? Or that…big butt?

Kia’s mood the whole weekend was this . 

Lexy had a “whole boyfriend” as she put it, and gave Kia some pointers on how to get one herself and while Kia sat there trying to figure out if a “half boyfriend” meant a boyfriend with half a body, Lexy laid some heavy stuff on her.

“You’ll fuck around and be that old lady with twenty cats and cobwebs in her pussy if you don’t glow up soon, sis.”

And when the heck did Lexy start using foul language? So many questions, and not enough answers.  Kia was overwhelmed.

By the end of the visit, Lexy had taught Kia everything she knew about boys and how life worked and even decided to let Kia have all of the clothes in her over night bag. She told her to consider it a gift and while Kia appreciated it, she felt like a fish out of water. What the heck was she supposed to do with this stuff? The pants looked like a second layer of skin on her and the shirts were a too revealing for her taste. But then again, if she wanted to avoid being the cat lady, she was going to have to get used to this stuff.  Out with the “old lady attire” as Lexy called it and in with the “sexy sexy-me gear”

Looking at herself in the mirror before she left for school that morning, Kia inhaled and exhaled sharply. She was really going to do this. She couldn’t believe that she was really going to do this.

Walking the distance to school, she was aware of the stares she was getting and almost decided to marry the guy who delivered her first very first cat call but then she remembered what Lexy said, “be cool, and don’t let them see that their words effect you” so Kia tried her best to stifle her grin and keep her glee at bay.

Standing across the street from her school she saw the one reason why she often woke up to drenched panties in the morning.  Brandon Brown stood laughing with his group of friends then her heart stopped when he looked directly at her.  Her eyes darted to the spot on the ground at her feet–force of habit–and she felt herself having what she assumed was an on-coming panic attack.

Sneaking a glance upward, her knees began to wobble under her weight as she saw him walking towards her. She was sure she was going  to collapse and no matter how hard she tried she couldn’t get herself to move!

Glancing up again she saw his lips moving but couldn’t for the life of her understand what he was saying.  His dark brown eyes seemingly pierced into her flesh she wasn’t sure if she remembered how to breathe.  She was feeling a little lightheaded.

Suddenly he was inches from her body waving his hand at her.  Brandon Brown was Waving at Kia Howard! Oh, she could die happy now.  She sheepishly waved back and willed herself to relax. She gulped and straightened her back and looked into his eyes, trying her best to get a grip and understand the words he was saying but the romantic slow motion music that played in the background in her head muted his words.  She blinked and all she could hear was the honking of horns drowning out his words.

She blinked again and the honking got louder.

And louder.

And louder.

She was finally able to make out what he was saying,

“Yo! Move the fuck out of the way!”

She was confused.  Why was he yelling at her?  She finally gets his attention and the first thing he does is yell at her?  Talk about a turn off.

“Bitch, move! I’ll run you over I swear, I’m not afraid to go to jail!”

looking to her left, Kia saw a deranged woman in one of those red convertible type cars and behind that car was a long line of other cars and angry people and in front of her Brandon continued to yell something about being naked in the middle of the street.

Confused, she looked down and….

Her clothes were nowhere to be found.

Kia had never so much as uttered a curse word in her entire life but in this very moment she was rattled beyond disbelief, humiliated, horrified.  Why was this happening to her? Covering herself with her hands she yelled out,

“What the FUUUUUU–”

The annoying honking sound of her alarm clock jolted Kia upright.  Pulling the covers up she was relieved that she had her flannel pajamas on and that it had all been just a dream.

On this beautiful day, Kia decided it wasn’t going to be the day she would “glow up.” Maybe tomorrow.

via Daily Prompt: Honk

Maybelline Matte Metallic

I am an influenser for Influenster and what happens is, we receive products for FREE to test and keep in what they call a VoxBox.  A VoxBox is just their fancy way of describing a box of goodies!  I would then have to create a series of different promotional videos and blogs to describe my experience with the products that I receive.

This month I received two of Maybelline’s Matte Metallic lipsticks: Shade number 970 Molten Bronze and Shade number 978 Smoked Silver and I have to admit at first I was a little disappointed.  The colors looked weird against my complexion but I did not give up! I was determined to make it work out one way or another!

I thought about running some concealer on my lips to make the colors pop better but decided against going that route.  I ultimately decided to try lining my lips…like I do for all of my lipsticks and that’s when I had my Ah-Ha moment! The lip-liner worked like magic!

It is just funny how things work out because in my previous VoxBox that I received from Influesnter it came with two liquid matte lipsticks and lip-liner from Maybelline!

I haven’t tried the smoked Silver shade as I am not done being in love with the Molten Bronze shade, but I promise I will try out the smoked silver with lined lips.  I am just so in love with Molten Bronze!

If anyone wants to join Influenster, click on the hyperlink I provided or if you want a higher chance of receiving VoxBoxes here’s my referral link: http://www.Influenster.com/r/2863561

Let me know if you would like to join!

Oh, and it’s absolutely free, you don’t pay for jack…I mean if I had to pay I DEAFintely wouldn’t have joined because the way my cheapness is set up……

Have you ever had an idea smack you in the face?

And I’m like “well, voice, they teach the three R’s: Reading, (w)Riting and (a)Rithmatic so that kids would know how to read their pink slips when they get fired from their first job, spell their names and figure out if they should give a cashier 20 dollars of 20 cents to cover a 5 dollar purchase. And they also provide gym classes so that children can stay fit so that in the future they could run from their problems as fast as they can.”

Well have you? And they come out of nowhere, too! They jump out of the bushes and smack you right in the face, or they’ll fall from the sky and land on your head like this hot goop of bird poop and no matter how many times you wipe it away –because you know, some ideas are way too off the wall that you fear that if you tell a soul, people will petition to have you thrown in a psych ward–it just wouldn’t budge.

Well, yesterday when I was on my way to pick up my daughter from the bus stop I had this BRILLIANT idea! It’s totally unrelated to picking up a child from a bus stop so I have no idea where the thought came from.  In fact I was thinking about what I was going to make for Sunday dinner when this little voice in my head caught my attention.

Now, ya’ll have to promise me you wouldn’t sneak up on me in the streets and ask me to put on a strait jacket–because this idea is absolutely crazy.

You see, my cause has and always will be education.  I am all for everything that is education, I appreciate everything that education can provide for us, I love everything about the feeling of being educated.  I love that my five year-old takes her education seriously, I love that my one year-old loves learning new things.  I love that my husband joined me on the “Back to school” train and he’s going for his degree in film production while I am back in school going for my Bachelors degree in Marketing and Advertisement communication.  I absolutely appreciate those who don’t take their education seriously and are content with being stupid because they make me feel super smart!

So, boom.

There I was walking and thinking about dinner when that little voice in my mind took my focus off of Sunday dinner and said “Imagine if High School actually taught kids about life after High School; the real world?”

So I told the voice, “Then these new-aged teenagers wouldn’t be as…loopy as many of them are today…they’ll be more focused and mature and organized…the world would actually have a chance of seeing better days!”

So then the voice said, “what would you suggests schools do to help prepare students for the real world?”

And I’m like “well, voice, they teach the three R’s: Reading, (w)Riting and (a)Rithmatic so that kids would know how to read their pink slips when they get fired from their first job, spell their names and figure out if they should give a cashier 20 dollars of 20 cents to cover a 5 dollar purchase. And they also provide gym classes so that children can stay fit so that in the future they could run from their problems as fast as they can.”

The voice rolled her eyes at me and said “bitch, you ain’t funny, think.  What could be done to help the children of the future be the best humans they could be?”

Okay wait, let me break off real quick and let you know that, yes I do talk to myself sometimes but you promised you wouldn’t have me committed so… back on topic.

So I’m like “High School students should be given responsibilities.  Sure, they have homework and tests to study for but what if they had real-world-like responsibilities? Sure, some teenagers have little jobs but…it’s not good enough” And then the idea smacked me right in the face.

I was thinking it would be a fantastic idea if there was a class in school that gets High School students–preferably the Seniors–ready for the real world. I thought, what if in this class (it should probably be an added curriculum for an economics class, perhaps?) all of the students are given a “debit/credit card” (a fake one of course.  Or it doesn’t even have to be a card, it could be a spreadsheet or something where they can keep track of finances) and they all started off with “broke” with no money in their “account”  Each homework or classwork assignment–depending on their grade–would be “money” to add to their “account”.

So, let’s say a student gets a ‘B’ on a homework assignment and the number grade for a ‘B’ is an 80.  Boom, so now that student has 80 dollars in their “account”. This would teach students that in order to get what you want (money) you have to work for it (do your homework) in order to be rewarded.

What if in this class, students are also “paid” to show up to class on time?  Let’s say if you show up on time you get five dollars, but if you show up late you lose 5 dollars.  This would teach students to focus more on their time management skills.

You constantly show up on time for class, do your best on your classwork and homework get high grades and watch your “money” stack up. Then between the first and fifth day of the month “rent is due” which means you’ll have to “pay” your teacher a fixed amount every single month in order to “stay in the green” a.k.a. keep a good grade.  Let’s say “rent” is 200 dollars a month (don’t we wish) you would have to “pay” your teacher this amount every month and if your “payment” is late you’ll have to pay late fees–just like in the real world. This will teach students about the importance of money management as well as teach them how to pay bills and pay them on time.

You want to go the bathroom in the middle of class? That’ll cost you 10 dollars, can you afford to miss 10 minutes of today’s lesson to go to the bathroom? This will teach students to not only use the restrooms before class to ensure that they get all of the necessary information, but it will cut down on their habit of “going to the bathroom to go meet up with their friends just to roam the hallways freely simply because they want to have fun rather than take their education seriously.”  In the real world when we do whatever we want to do all of the time, it only hurts us in the long run, why not teach students this lesson before they go out into the real world and mess up?

You want to misbehave and act like you have no home training and you end up in detention? Well, that’ll cost you.  I’m thinking the “price to pay” for detention should be double the amount of “rent,” in this case that will be 400 dollars.

Are you in debt? You could do some extra credit work or “credit recovery” work, that will be any extra assignments, help the teacher out after school or if you really effed up, you could do community service and of course if you want to do community service you would have to provide some type of proof like a stamped time sheet. This “credit recovery” can also be utilized by the students who are in the green and they just want to “get extra money”

In the end, the ultimate reward would be to graduate High School with real world knowledge or maybe if the teacher/ class can raise enough money, they’ll be able to reward the students “in the green” with an agreed upon trip or treat of their choice.  However, for those who fall deeper in “debt” they would unfortunately fail the class and have to take it all over again which would mean…they wouldn’t be able to graduate. Just like in the real world when you fall deep in debt, you pretty much have to start all over again from the beginning and work your way up.

Of course this idea is still very new as I just thought of it yesterday and I am sure I will add to it later on, but what do you think about this added curriculum? I’m thinking it would be a good side-lesson for an economics class, what do you think?

 

 

Deafinitely seek help when needed

Yesterday evening I made a call to see about getting myself some mental health counseling.  For the past three years I have been experiencing episodes where I would become extremely stressed and anxious and end up uncontrollably shaking with a killer headache or where I feel like if I somehow die, everyone would be better off.

No, I don’t want to die because I want to see my kids grow up, and no I am not “strong” enough to hurt myself, but I have imagined freak accidents like passing away in my sleep due to eating some bad food for dinner or getting stung by some deadly unknown bug, or getting into a bizarre car accident or getting shot by some crazed racist (since I do live in the south where racism is very much alive.)

I have been battling with this on my own with the support of the many strong and fabulous women in my inner circle.  My mother, grandmother, sisters, cousins, mother-in-law, and friends.

I realized that I am always busy taking care of everyone else and I neglect taking care of myself.  In realizing this, I also realized that if I am not okay, I cannot do my best or be my best for my kids.  I used to believe that they needed to see their mother remain strong in tough situations so that one day when they get older they could follow suit, but I have since realized this was a fallacy.

I would much rather my kids see me getting help and helping myself; realizing I potentially have a problem and finding a way to “fix it” rather than see me in a light that portrays me as being perfect. I want them to know that I am not perfect.

Should either of my children grow up feeling even an ounce of what I’ve been feeling, I want them to feel courageous enough to admit to these feelings and therefore seek help, rather than deny them and let them fester.

The goal is to raise children who don’t need to recover from their childhood. The goal is to set an example for our children and be sure they are instilled with the proper tools that would enable them to live their best life.

I want my children to be confident and unafraid of asking for help.  So I needed to set that example.  I need to be confident and in being confident I needed to accept that it’s okay to ask for help–something I have never been good at.

So yesterday, I swallowed my “pride” and made that call.  The woman on the other end of the phone was clearly confused from the start of the conversation.  See, I use a sign language relay service called Sorenson to make all of my outgoing phone calls.  With this service I am able to make regular phone calls but the difference is I use sign language to communicate through an interpreter and the interpreter uses their voice on my behalf.  Confusing? Think of a conversation going on between an English-speaking person and a Spanish-speaking person with the help of an interpreter. Check this link for more information about Sorenson.

So anyway, I quickly realized this woman wasn’t sure what was going on despite the fact that my interpreter explained that the phone call was being made by a deaf person who uses sign language, so I re-explained that she was hearing someone else’s voice but that someone else was using my words. Things clicked for her momentarily.

She searched for mental health facilities that specifically catered to deaf people and her search only came up with one result.  I told her she didn’t have to look for a facility that specifically catered to deaf people, she could broaden her search to include “regular” facilities and I’ll just enlist a sign language interpreter from a sign language interpreting agency. This confused her. So I tried a different angle.

I said, “I can hear, I lost half of my hearing in both ears, and I can speak very clear, most people aren’t even aware that I am deaf until I tell them. I’ll mostly utilize an interpreter just to be sure I don’t miss any crucial information, but all in all my lip-reading skills are on point”

And boy, her light bulb went off! She said, “Oh! well, that makes a huge difference” I really didn’t see how but in the end she referred me to a different and better (per google reviews) mental health facility.  She offered to make an appointment for me to which I declined her offer, I wanted to do it myself. I needed to.

I only told this story to encourage all of you–disabled or not–to seek help whenever you feel like you need it.  Sweeping things under the rug can prove to be more damaging than helpful.  Wouldn’t you want to want to be able to say “I’m going to be okay, I will get through this”? Wouldn’t you want to feel better about yourself? Doesn’t the idea of waking up one day and actually looking forward to your day sound like a slice of heaven?

I bet it does.

In the meantime I do partake in some self-therapeutic methods because I am aware that it isn’t free to just knock on a psychologists/psychiatrist door and ask for help.  My advice is to find something you love doing and do it when you are feeling those feelings of anxiety or depression.  I know that it is sometimes hard to get up and go when you are feeling depressed, but try to think about a time you were doing something you loved and try to recapture that moment.

Below are some of the things I like doing:

  1. Writing short stories.  If I am feeling down, I found that It is easier for me to create characters who aren’t and this lifts my spirits; living in my happy characters’ world is like a little vacation from my reality.  On the other hand if someone in my life pisses me off, I can always write a story where they get hurt insert evil grin here.
  2. Listening to smooth Soul and R&B music.  I tend to listen to a lot of smooth R&B music, preferably songs sang by men.  I find their voices to be soothing especially Luther Vandross. His voice is literally like butter, it makes everything better.  But I also prefer male singers for another weird and unrelated reason as well. For some reason in society most men are conditioned not to show their feelings and to carry these tough personas so I find it refreshing when a man goes against the grain and openly expresses his feelings.
  3. Taking a hot bath with scented aroma therapy Epsom salt. I don’t know whether it’s the heat from the water that melts my anxiety and anger away, or if the aroma therapy thing is real (I’m still skeptical, don’t judge me), but I recently added this to my list of stress/anger relievers and it works wonders!
  4. Read a book. As I’ve mentioned earlier, walking in a characters shoes is an escape from my reality.  I like to read fiction books (my favorite author is Janet Evanovich) and as bad as it sounds, reading about someone else’s problems help me see that maybe my problems aren’t as “unsolvable” as I believe them to be.
  5. Talk to my loved ones.  Communication is definitely the key to everything. Anyone I’ve ever vented to would tell you when I am angry or frustrated I express my feelings in such a raw and otherwise “effed up” yet hilarious manner. And for that, I’ve come to appreciate my moments of frustration and anger because apparently that’s when my creativity shines through the most.

What are some ways you relieve stress or lift your spirits/ mood?

 

It wasn’t me!

There is nothing worse than being forced by your best friend to go to the gym with her when you already had your mind set on pigging out on a pint of Ben and Jerry’s cinnabon ice cream while sobbing over the latest episode of This Is Us.  There is absolutely nothing worse than being in the middle of a very compromising yoga position and having this propeller-sounding gust of air blow through the silent room.

All eyes on me.

So, what’s a girl to do?

Right, deny, deny,deny and deny some more.

It wasn’t me! It was probably the Air conditioner that was grinding overhead; perhaps something got stuck, or maybe it was a shootout happening outside, or maybe it was the seventy-year-old woman next to me–which would probably explain the smell, right? P-U, lady.

“You should probably take a laxative when you get home to clean yourself out, dear, and forget drinking soda and all of that sugary stuff you kids eat and drink these days, drink water and only water, because gee, kid, even I don’t smell that bad, and I’m older than God”, the old lady said.

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t her. But it still wasn’t me!

 

via Daily Prompt: Deny

Straight ahead

It’s not that she didn’t want to finish her novel, she was just having a difficult time staying focused.  There was always some paper clip nearby that looked so lonely and needed to be fidgeted with, or a questionable stain on the carpet by her foot that she wondered about? How did that get there? Was it a pee stain from the pet of the previous renter? She wondered what the previous renter was like, was it a he or a she? were they old? What did they like to do?

What was that odd smell that kept wafting through the window? She snickered at the thought that the smell came from her grumpy old downstairs neighbor, perhaps the woman dropped a load in her depends–not that the thought really deserved to be dignified with a laugh, but she was out of her mind with exhaustion! She couldn’t think of what to write next.

Shaking herself free of her presumed writers block she placed her hands on the keyboard, her pinkies on the ‘A’ and Semi-colon keys, ringer fingers on the ‘S’ and ‘L’ keys, middle fingers on the ‘D’ and ‘K’ keys, and forefingers on the ‘F’ and ‘J’ keys, she was seriously going to get it together, she was going blow this first chapter out of the water.  It was going to be the best first chapter ever written by anyone in the world! Mark Twain was going to be calling her for tips on how to write such a eye grabbing best selling novel.

Wait, who is Mark Twain? She didn’t know the first thing about the man saved for the deep quotes she’d come across on when she scrolled through facebook and the fact that she knew he was probably old or…deceased…which would make things awkward; to have a dead man come from the grave asking questions.

Which reminded her she forgot to reply to her best friend’s message last night before she fell asleep.

Hey, sorry for the late reply Hon! Ugh, all of this writing is keeping me busy! But to answer your question, no, I will not be available for drinks tomorrow night, I’m trying to make my November deadline, I’m going to publish my first novel even if it kills me! Ha! love you! Talk soon!

A whole month was more than enough time to knock out a novel, right?

In a robotic, zombie-like trance she opened a new tab and typed in “Google.Com” and promptly sat there staring at the screen.  What did she come here for?

She giggled which somehow turned in a full blown fit of laughter.  Her cackles bounced off the walls, she bent over in her seat smacking her leg.

You know how you think of something funny then laugh at the fact that you found that thing funny then laugh at the fact that you actually thought about the fact that you found that thing funny and so on and so forth?

It wasn’t until she found herself on the floor gasping for air that she realized she probably had a problem that could be medically treated.  Was she going crazy? Has she officially lost her marbles? Is this what animals in the zoo felt like; being locked in a cage all day? Was that why the monkey’s often threw their feces at onlookers? Those poor animals.

She liked monkeys they were her favorite animals of all time and she didn’t believe the theory that humans evolved from monkeys.

Getting up off of the floor she glanced at the clock above her desk.  In big rectangular numbers, her digital clock read 11:59, she’d literally been sitting at her desk since 7 O’clock and the only thing she’d gotten down was the title which now didn’t feel so fitting for the story she had in mind.

Googling “how to write a novel” in search for ways she could regain her focus and get down to business, she was hit with an article detailing the importance of writing an outline when writing a novel.

Oh, right.  She was supposed to work on that yesterday.  Easy peasy! One outline coming up!

Psych!  Writing an outline was easier suggested than done! She struggled with finding a fitting name for her main character, her premise was clear, but she couldn’t get past figuring out a name! And that title, it has to go, no one would ever pick this book up and deem it interesting enough to read.  However, they shouldn’t judge a book by its cover–or title in this case, right?

Growl.  

When did she get a dog?

Growl.

What the heck was that?

Growl.

Looking down she found the culprit, her belly needed to refilled, obviously two cups of coffee wasn’t good enough for Mr. Tummy.

She snickered, “Mr. Tummy” She could write a children’s book called The Adventures of Mr. Tummy…or to make it interesting she could call it The Misadventures of Mr. Tummy, she could make her story about a tummy ache and the inevitable trip to the toilet that follows. Kids like gross things like that.  She’ll have to get down to writing that book ASAP! It shouldn’t be hard, it shouldn’t even take long, she just needed to find an illustrator.  Where does one find an illustrator?

She sat back staring at the screen again until her stomach growled to attention.  Right, time to eat!

While she prepared her lunch she turned on her blue-tooth speaker, connected her phone and put on the Spice Girls Pandora Radio.  She jammed and cooked and Jammed and cooked. She jammed while she ate, she jammed while she cleaned up the kitchen.  N’Sync’s Bye, Bye, Bye came on just as she was done putting the last of the crumbs she swept into her hand from her table into the garbage.

Oh, it was on now.  She tried her best to remember the routine she and her friends came up with for this song when they were carefree pre-teens, once upon a time.  For the most part she just improvised while she huffed for breath, sweat draining down her face as if she’d ran two blocks to get away from an army of mutant sized Rats she remembered seeing when she was growing up in New York City.  She needed to get in shape and entertained the thought of getting a gym membership, but when she sat down at her computer getting ready to look up some good deals for gym memberships she felt nothing but exhaustion.  A nap was necessary.  She’ll get back to her writing later on.

You all know how the story goes, she ended up putting her writing off for one more day…again.

via Daily Prompt: Focused