In Which I Shouldn’t Drink Coffee

You know how people are mushy drunks??? I’m a mushy coffee drinker. As soon as caffeine hits my system I’m an emotional wreck. If ever anyone has been fortunate (or unfortunate, depending on how you look at it) to receive an “I love you!” or “I’m so proud of you!” text from me trust I just finished a mug of coffee…..Welp, could be worse! Or could it….

My friend in Alabama sent me a message last night with the link to her home health website for me to take a gander at.  She’s been working on the idea for a while, but never really started putting it into action because while she was in Mississippi, work ate most of her time and also did not allot her any disposable income to put her plans into motion.  After receiving a better paying job offer in Alabama, she loaded up her truck, tossed her two sons in the back seat, and hit the dusty trail.  But she even with her more comfortable living arrangement and higher rank job, she still had the itch to start her own business.  Well it took a while, but she’s been getting her business license paperwork, designing her business card, and completing the website.  Even though she sent me the message last night, I fell asleep before I could open it (it had been raining all day here and as you know, rain is perfect reading and sleeping weather) so I didn’t open it until I was sitting at the kitchen table reading “Rappaccini’s Daughter” and drinking my morning coffee. And I just had to tell her that I was incredibly proud of her. And I am. I probably would have told her that regardless of my choice of beverage, but still, it intensified the need to tell her. Coffee. It’ll make you do things. It won’t help you be productive, but…it’ll make you do other things…..

I’m a bit of a weirdo when it comes to such things.  My friend Bianca used to tell me all of the time, “Amber, you know why you’re cool? Because you have friends, but you act like you don’t need them. That’s cool.” And in my mind I was thinking, “that probably means your standards of cool are pretty low…..and also that I’m apparently a bit of an asshole….” But as I’ve said before, I’m very defensive of myself. I may act like I don’t need someone for the simple fact that I know that it’ll hurt less if that person ever decides that my companionship is not needed.  At the same time, I habitually ask my friends what their life dreams and goals are. Some don’t have any dreams or goals other than to survive in this crazed world, and others have very specific goals. If they tell me a goal they have in mind I’ll let them know I believe that they can do it or be it, whatever the “it” may be. Because, for one, that’s what friends do. I suck at being a friend, but I’m pretty good in that area if I say so myself.  And also because life has a funny, not funny, way of kicking you in the shin and going, “NOT TODAY!” whenever you start inching closer and closer towards your dreams.  Some times your family may tell you that what you’re hoping for is not realistic. Maybe an article pops up on your timeline that says, “Top Useless Degrees” and right there on the list is your degree. Or maybe you’re still in the progress stage and you feel like you’re going to be stuck there forever. And all you really want and need is for your slightly asshole-ish friend to randomly say, “I believe in you.”

It’s funny how time can bring about a change, because back in the dizzle I would be the last person to express anything of the like.  Well, when I was kid I would because I was born to be a delicate little muffin. I remember when I was about five or six, I told my granny, “Granny. I love you. Even after I die and go to heaven, I’ll still love you in heaven.” That’s just the kind of person I was. All kids are kind of like that: hopeful, gentle, optimistic. Then puberty drop kicks you in the neck and well….it was nice while it lasted. After that, being kind is an uphill battle. Specifically, once I hit high-school I lost my gentle edge for a while.  Mostly because during this period you’re trying to find your place in the world. So I was mostly struggling with just being myself, and it bothered me if I did something that my friends liked so they would do it too. It legitimately bothered me. Because I figured if they did it, especially since they were more popular, they’d get the most attention for it. Yea yea yea, I know. Sad *Donald Trump voice* Even when I dyed my hair freshman year of college, both of my closest friends dyed theirs afterwards and I hated it. HATED IT. *Big Sean voice* Poor self image and envy are a terrible mix. *shakes my head* The thought of someone doing better didn’t sit well with me because it made me realize just how NOT better I was doing. But now I know that’s really a sucky mindset and poor heart condition to have.  If someone is doing well then you should rejoice, unless they’re a criminal….And if someone isn’t doing too great then you should empathize because we’re all human and none of us like to suffer. If you extend kindness to someone they will return it to you in your time of need (hopefully. We all know that doesn’t always work out). If you practice being a hater, then you’ll receive hate in return.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can make it through life alone. And when you act maliciously then you increase your chances of spending your life by yourself, with no one to celebrate your success or lift you from your own despair. That’s a tough life to live.

I’ve also internalized the truth of the matter: If God can and will do it for someone else, he can and will do it for me.  Of course, I struggle with this from time to time. At some point later I’ll have a post about God NOT doing it for me because emotions…they’re fickle things….BUT I also know that if my heart is not in the right place, then he can’t give me anything or do anything for me, at least not to the extent he desires to.  So now when I see someone else being blessed, I thank God for it. Not solely because I know that he can do the same for me, but because I’m grateful that each of us has a great purpose for living.  We may struggle to get there, but it’s still there. “For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you, not to harm you…” Yes. Yes I did use profanity and quote a bible verse in the same post. Forgive me, Lawd. I especially think of the people who swam through the swamp, and still ended up on the peak of the mountain. You never know what people went through to get where they are. It amazing to hear individuals’ stories about their backgrounds and compare that to their accomplishments. Truly amazing. Let that be encouraging, not envy inducing.  And believe that God has things in store for you as well. Now, it may not come in the same package as someone else’s and it definitely won’t come when you think it will, but it’s coming.

So in my caffeine chronicles I’m here to say that I’m proud of everyone here. Even if you don’t think you’re where you need to be or should be. I’m still proud and I still believe in you. *cue the national anthem playing in the background, and an Eagle perching on my shoulder….And my head on Barack Obama’s body….but with his smile….* Too much detail…..

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In Which you “Realize Things”

No, I’m not a Kylie Jenner supporter, but let me not get started on what could possibly be such a bitter subject. *clears throat* Someone somewhere in this vast universe said that the way that we love others is often an extension of the way that we love ourselves. I’m sure I didn’t say it.  It’s like when I thought I invented the word snazzy or came up with the phrase, “give a fool a shovel and he’ll dig his own grave.” Moral of that story is that I think I’m a genius and then the internet says, “Girl….you thought….”  You can substitute the word love with treat, forgive, etc.  Now this isn’t true for everyone. We all know those couple of people who expect something of other people that they don’t expect of themselves. I’ll get into that later.  My point is that I realized that I am one of the former.

Let me tell you, I am hard on myself. That’s been repeated on this blog probably a million times, but hey….let me repeat things. If I make a mistake or even just act irrationally then I’m very unforgiving of myself.  I’ll carry the guilt around with me until now. And now. Aaaaaaand….now.  That’s like the time I told my close friend China that she looked like Michael Jackson (in my defense she did because she had on black skinny jeans with a white button down topped off with the pants being cuffed and her having on black loafers. I was justified. And Michael is her idol). But I said it loud where people could hear it and I thought that I embarrassed her. And I still remember it nine years later. It’s not just the fact that I haven’t forgiven/forgotten my slip of the tongue. Since I haven’t done so I feel that she hasn’t either. And the girl couldn’t even remember that she left her car running for a whole hour of school. I also carry the same feeling when other people slip up. I’ll be hard on them because I feel like I would be equally hard on myself.

So a situation occurred this weekend, and it’s not my business to indulge the full details thus I can’t reveal very much.  This is all I can say: I saw a married couple get into an argument. In the height of his anger the husband told the wife to get out, and she did (like her name isn’t on the deed too). The wife went to stay with her parents until the husband grew to regret the situation and asked her to return. I’m not married so it’s only so much I can judge in the situation. I’m not going to say what I would have done since that commentary is unnecessary and unfounded. Can I honestly say I wouldn’t tell my spouse to get out? No. Can I say that I wouldn’t leave? No. Because it’s easy to say what you will and won’t do when you’re not faced with that dilemma personally. NOW I will say that the whole thing blew me like a breeze, and I could think nothing nice about husband or wife. NOTHING. If their last names and first names were Nice I still couldn’t do it. Bluntly put I thought they were both pitiful because they were both acting pitifully.  And the pitifultality (that’s right. I made that word up. FOR REAL THIS TIME) made me so unnecessarily mad.  It was unnecessary. I shan’t deny.  And I kept asking myself, because I was trying to just put the whole situation out of my mind, would I be this judgmental if I were in the situation? And the answer is yes. Yes I would.  I would be unfair to them and to myself.  And it got me thinking, maybe the reason I didn’t extend compassion to them is because I wouldn’t extend it to me. And that’s just really sad.

Many times we are too hard on ourselves. As humans we will make mistakes. We will fail. We will hurt people. It’s inevitable. If you don’t do any of those things then you must live on the mountain side with Big Foot. But when these things do happen, you have to take a deep breath and forgive yourself. We already have to survive in a world that can be hard on us for no good reason other than our gender, face, religion, job, etc. Some people will be hard on you because you’re the cashier at McDonalds and the ice cream machine is down. Like you learned to repair ice cream machines in your garage in your spare time and you should go back there and fix it. They think it’s okay to curse at you and threaten you or jeopardize your job because they are upset. It’s not just, but that’s how the world works.  So you while you have to be realistic about whatever it is you have going on, you also need to be kind to yourself. It will be extremely difficult to extend forgiveness and mercy towards any one in this whole wide world if you won’t even extend it to yourself.  If you’re used to beating yourself up it’s going to be hard to begin this practice.  I’m still learning to just go, “well, you fucked that up kiddo. Take that loss and keep it moving.” Sometimes I’ll have moments where it’ll just flash up in my mind like those memes where Squidward’s eyes suddenly pop open when he remembers something he did. Let me give an embarrassing example (judge me accordingly).  I spent the night with a guy friend (scandalous. not really. Y’all know I’m too insecure for scandalous behavior). I have a terrible sleep pattern and will wake up sporadically at night, especially if I’m nervous (and I was because I liked this particular friend).  Well I woke up at whatever time and I couldn’t go back to sleep. And it didn’t help that I had consumed dairy that day, if you get a young playa’s drift. Well the essence of the dairy worked its way from my internal organs to the outside world in a not so quiet manner. Hey, I’m human. I’m also not supposed to consume dairy according to my doctor but cheese is life. Anyway, the memory of this little ordeal will literally pop into my head at any given moment for no particular reason and give me heartburn. You’re bound to recall embarrassing or rough moments. Which isn’t uncommon. I’m sure it happens to billions of people as well.  But it’s a rough world out there, kids. You gotta be your own sanctuary.

As I said earlier you’ll have the hypocrites who can always point out someone else’s flaws without acknowledging that they have the same ones.  I have some family members who I would put on blast because they’ll never see this post *Kanye shrugs* but I won’t do that. But these family members talk about each other like they are complete strangers. And I find it so amusing, shamefully amusing, that the things they talk about each other for are things that they do/say as well.  One will say the other is too frivolous with money while that person’s credit score is trash.  One will call the other a “lady of the evening” and forget that they are sexually active as well.  I often wonder wouldn’t it be best to just not say anything.  Somewhere in the bible it says that the measurement of judgement you use against others is the same one that will be used against you.  When you open your mouth to judge someone you invite others to judge you on the exact same level. Especially if you make the exact same mistake.  It seems like it would be better to save yourself from that pain. If it does not directly affect you or concern your well-being then just let it go.  Why does it matter that Susie slept with Joe unless you are Mrs. Joe? What does it matter that Carl is on drugs unless you plan to help him seek recovery from his addiction?  These sort of people like other people’s misery or dirty laundry because it makes them feel better about theirs.  Don’t be like that. Along with being kind to yourself, be kind to others. It’s free. It can be painful, excruciatingly painful, but it will ultimately work in your favor.

Still, there will come a time where you have to put your foot down, whether it be on the ground or on someone’s neck but that day is destined to happen. If it comes don’t feel bad about having to do that either.  Meek and weak are not synonymous. You have to protect yourself. Don’t let people run over you because you want to be nice. You can’t be nice all the time. Well, you can, but it can be detrimental.  You don’t have to be kind to an abuser. Don’t feel like you have to spare them any trouble by sticking around or not going to the authorities.  You don’t have to be a stepping stool for everyone.  If someone is taking advantage of you then it’s perfectly fine to cut them loose.  Again, kindness starts with you.  You’re not doing these things to be hurt the other person, but more so out of thoughtfulness to yourself. Remember, you have to live the rest of your life as you. So you are your main priority. I know that sounds anti-Jesus because Christianity teaches us to put others before ourselves. But it’s not.  If you >over extend< yourself on behalf of others then you jeopardize yourself which is not God’s plan. If you’re exhausted, hurt (physically, mentally, or emotionally), and feel like you can’t see the light of day then you need to make some changes. Don’t think that’s God’s will. That’s not apart of the plan. Trials will cross your path and it can get downright uncomfortable, but there is a line between a trial and self-destruction. Know that line and don’t cross it.

I feel a bit better after I’ve made this post. I’d been carrying the frustration around all day. I didn’t even want anyone to talk to me about the situation with the married couple because it made me mad.  It’s not the easiest to admit that I was being judgmental and harsh because it makes me look bad, but I look worse in person so yea. Plus condemnation will eat you alive.  So it’s a relief to get it off my chest. With that being said, I am off to read more of Atlas Shrugged.