We Are One

Christmas Eve is my great grandmother’s birthday. She had five children and would make breakfast for her children in the morning. Her kids and family would be busy during the day. Quite often, they did not get a chance to eat the breakfast until the evening (at least that’s the story that was told to me). All my life, the tradition has been that my family would get together on the evening of Christmas Eve and eat breakfast. People are assigned foods to bring/cook and we just enjoy fellowship with one another. Over time, however, the family tradition has changed…

My name is Bridgette. My name is a tribute to my grandmother’s maiden name “Bridges”. She was one of five, and all but one of them have passed on. Those people were the heads of our family units and when my great aunt passed during the holiday season in 2016, we as a family had to rethink a lot.

What happened to us?

Why don’t we spend enough time?

Why aren’t we coming out to the events we traditionally have?

My cousin Carlton (or Cowboy or Orrustus or insert other family nicknames we have for him) put a stop to the “what ifs'” and “why’s'” over the summer and coordinated a family reunion for us during Mother’s Day weekend. The picture you see above is the family shot. It felt really good to see us together– laughing and dancing and playing cards. Things started to feel better. I remember telling Cowboy that I can’t wait to visit him in Miami since I have never been before. He told me anytime I wanted to visit, his place was open. I never took up the offer.

October 2018, my cousin, Cowboy, transitioned.

The questions. The “why’s”. The “what if’s”. The “I should haves came to play”. Cowboy was older than me and we didn’t have the closest relationship, but the impact he had on our family was so strong and deep. Our family continues to mourn heavily his physical absence. We are still trying to figure it out.  I know I am trying to be more intentional about communicating with my cousins. We are calling more. We are making time to try and seeing one another more frequently. We are trying to celebrate each other in small and big ways. I recognize it, and I am praying we continue it.

Christmas Eve came and brought some laughter into our lives and love in our spirits. My aunt texted everyone and instead of just eating, we also made our annual breakfast a game night as well. We danced and laughed. I introduced the family to For the Culture (the black version of Heads Up). We had such a good night of fellowship.

So, basically the story goes my great grandmother decided to change up her birthday just so that she can be around her family. I often wonder if she knew that the tradition would continue years after she passed. Did she think of how much her grandchildren and great grandchildren would cherish this day because of the feeling it gives them?

As the night settled, we agreed that we need to make game nights happen more. We need to schedule bowling outings. I plan to keep my word and take them up on that offer.

We are One.

#FlyHighCowboy

2018 Reflections

I spent 70, 979 minutes listening to Spotify this year. (They be coming through with all the stats.) This was probably because I spent a lot of 2018 commuting 3 hours a day from McDonough, Ga to Athens, Ga and back (about 1 hr and 40 minute ride [one way]–although I did get it down to 1 hr and 30). I listened to music, sermons and podcasts during my commutes. Sometimes I would drive in silence. Sometimes I would spend the commute crying, frustrated with life. I spent time in my car praying and worshipping. I spent time in my car eating all three meals of the day. Sometimes, I would have to pull over because I was exhausted: a 15 minute nap here, a 10 minute nap there. I slept for an hour in the Walmart parking lot. I knew things had to change when I dozed off and veered over into the median. God’s grace was abundant, as I just drove into grass and a few bumps, but that was enough for me. Something had to change…

Why was I commuting?

In August of 2017, I decided to not renew my lease as I was in the final round for a job in another state. When I didn’t get the job, I was sure I would find something else in a few months. Ha! Life didn’t work out that way.

So 2018 kicked off, and I was a nomad. Crashing at friends’ houses if I got too tired to drive. Always with clothes and bags in my car. I didn’t get a chance to do a 2018 vision board because I didn’t feel any clarity or goals about what I wanted out of the year… well except for one thing (I will get to that later). I, at first, did not think that I could write a reflections piece because there were many moments of confusion, but over the past few days, a few reflections did come to mind out of the cloud. So below are my top reflections. I hope they touch those who read this post. Seasons of transitions are hard, but not impossible. You have the tools you need to get through them.

“I am making room for God to manifest miracles and blessings in my life. Ase and Amen.”

Sister Scholar Joan sent me this mantra and I would recite it to myself everyday or share it on my Twitter feed. It’s funny how this mantra manifested in my life. The idea of making room at first meant having an open heart for God to bring about miracles. Nice concept, huh? In reality, I literally had to make room– throwing away bad habits, releasing bad thoughts about myself, walking away from people, leaving jobs and setting boundaries. There were things I had gotten so comfortable with that I had to throw away in order to have enough room for God to work.

Scrap Everything

Speaking of scraping everything, I started to reflect on love a bit more and what I desired in a partner. I was truly transformed this year when I read bell hooks “All About Love: New Visions” Below is a dope quote from the book:

“To practice the art of loving we have first to choose love — admit to ourselves that we want to know love and be loving even if we do no know what that means.”

I think we have to start all over when it comes to love and create our own meanings and ways of practicing it. In the book, love is defined as, ‘the will to extend one’s self for the the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.’ Love is as love does. Love is an act of will–namely, both an intention and an action.”

Intention!! I want to be in love that is intentional with intimacy, has integrity, and goes beyond my wildest dreams and aspirations about it. I am nowhere close to any romantic love, but the love I share with my friends is amazing. I am looking forward to the day when I see that and more in and with a partner.

G & C 2018

I went into 2018 with a motto of “Girth and Consistency.” Ya’ll know what I am talking about. I truly wanted to be able to explore my sexuality. What did I like? What did I need to speak up about?

I got new toys (I have suggestions if anyone is interested). I did a boudoir shoot, where I got to explore my body and my scars. G & C became more than just a motto; it was a form of sexual liberation. I talked with friends about this exploration and some of them have adopted their own version. Some of these conversations led to discussing sexual health. I walked away from a selfish partner who was just not about pleasuring me. I made the decision that my pleasure was greater than their company.

 I found a sexual partner who loved using Tumblr and we would exchange messages there. It was a beautiful thing to share what I desired via images and words. We would connect and then give feedback about what we enjoyed about the experience and what we wanted more of. Needless to say, I was distraught when the new Tumblr regulations occurred.

G & C has run its course, as I have achieved what I set out to do, and I want to focus more on intimacy in 2019. I am thankful for the exploration.

Building a Culture of Transparency

There is not a badge of honor for hurting others. You have to be accountable for the impact of your words and actions. Transparency is a bit more than honesty, to me. There is integrity in transparency.  A good friend of mine vented to me about how I hurt her feelings with actions I did. I listened and apologized not only for how I made her feel, but also for not communicating what was going on. On the opposite end of that, I experienced hurt by a friend and there has not been a “debrief” convo about my feelings and the impact their actions have had on me. I need to follow up on the debrief, but I want to do it in a way that is fruitful for moving forward. I want to give grace to this person, and today, I don’t have the words that will reflect such grace. In building this culture, I believe there is room for that. This year has taught me that I have to speak up when it is needed, learning when it is best to share, communicate frequently and just be mindful of my words and actions. Again there is no badge of honor in being an ass.

Vulnerability

In 2018, I had some very low points, and most of the year, I buried them inside and kept them to myself. It wasn’t until I became vulnerable and opened up to my mom, my aunt, my friends Joan, Kristi, Casey, JoJo, Emmanuel and Brittney (and others but I don’t want this to be long lol) that things took a turn. I did not have to carry those burdens alone. These people prayed for and with me. They gave me space to mourn, celebrate and vent. They affirmed me when I was in doubt. This year showed me that it is ok to let others show up for you. I have always been the friend who people came to for advice, prayer, food etc. I felt that I had to keep that up and not show when my energy was down or when I literally couldn’t show up for myself let alone anyone else. This year, I learned that I needed to allow others to show up for me. So, thank you to my tribe. Ya’ll are everything and then some.

Oh to Dream

Creativity for me this year was up and down. There were moments where I got a burst of energy and I would be writing down poems, ideas for scripts and just projects I wanted to get involved in. Other times, I would be so overwhelmed that I didn’t pick up a pen. Over the summer, I had this idea of getting artists together to create with no boundaries. The end result would be a series of shows that would incorporate music, theatre, poetry, dance and visual elements. I named this piece “Oh to Dream.” It was inspired by a lot of things. I am still working out how it will all come to together, but, in generating this project, I am jumping out there to take the risk. My mentor, Jamil, said that I shouldn’t say no to any opportunities so I volunteered with 5 theatre productions this year. I went to concerts. I found a part time job at my dream theatre (The Alliance) and quit my job to get rid of that commute. A week after I sent in my resignation letter, I received an offer for a new job. It is a newly created position with so many opportunities for me to dream and make it my own.

One of the anchoring scriptures for this new project is Isaiah 43:18-19, “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” This year God showed me a path in a wilderness of doubt and fear and made rivers in a desert of hopelessness. On the other side I am dreaming bigger. I am excited about this new year as I will be turning 30 (ow ow). I am thankful for the journey 2018 took me on.

70, 979 minutes of music on Spotify in 2018, mostly experienced in my car. I remember how I would look at the sky and thank God for His creation. I would thank Him for the view and the beauty I was seeing before me. Even on mornings of rain and clouds, I said a prayer of thanks. The opportunity to see the view was enough. 2018 was a good view.

Gratitude

“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil with good.” – Maya Angelou

It has been two months since I started my new job. I love where I am and the things I am learning. It feels good to come back to Atlanta and learn the city as an adult. LOL. Things have moved so fast and I have finally been able to sit down and reflect on gratitude.

For those who don’t know, my job search was a two year process. It pushed me emotionally and physically. It was a season full of doubts and fear. Being out on the other side of this season, I am still in awe of how everything came together. God truly worked things out for me and one thing I know for sure is that I would not be in this new job and new city without my community of friends and family.

Celebrate- appreciate love

Earlier this year I started a list of those who have been there for me. Whether it was a prayer, a word of encouragement, a place to stay, a check-in, a hug, a smile etc, I wrote your name down. So no poem from me with this post, just a shoutout to everybody who helped me in this season.

Joan| Kristi |Casey | Raven | Candace | Meka| JoJo| Phil | Nia| Ne| Keion | Chris P. | Chris B.| Will | Corey | Kelundra | Alfred | Brittney | Chandra |Wande | Meshell | Ebony | Rachel | Jessica L. | Briunna | Mommy | Tasha | Toya | Jamil | Zay | Alita | Lo | Ayanna | Courtney H. | Courtney Jones- Stevens | Bri | Regina | Angel| Angelica | Renita | Dee | Tara| Katie | Kimberly D. |Erin T. | Keith N. | Kascha | Henry | Destiny | Kristen | Robert C. | Jennifer R. | Angela G. | Makeba | Althea | Dasmyn | Miles | Emmanuel | Anthony | Chelsea | Auntee Sheryl | Daddy | Crystal M | Elmo | Janelle | Felecia | Kendra| Gibson | Mikki | Crystal R. | Baker | John W. |Ebony R. | Monet | Realenn | Ambre | TJ | Lisa C. |Zerotti |Justin A. | Chanelle |Natalie | Tamara | Ivy Park |Sachel | Carlos | Markel |Mineka | Jamaal | Aaron | Gurlie |Jordan W. | Erica J. | Deja | Ian P. | Ian T. | Cubas | Alanna | Keely | Robbie | Ryan J. | Colby G. | Marty | Kelsi | Jeffrey |Kevin | Kurtis |Auntee | Jackie | Rukiyyah |Katie J. | Travis G. | Jessica G. |  Tracey | Roshaunda |Jameeka | Tricksey |Brittany W. |Maya D. |Taylor W. | Jason W. | Zoe |Aaron R. | Dr. Cook |Shaquinta | Shelby M. | Shelby J. |Kiera N. | Elliott | Heather | Danny | DOF | Selam | Mineka | Ashley G. | Jamie | Kendra | Erin A. | Erin W. | Amber B. |Dr. Amma |Marlon | Troy | Raymond |Jocelyn | Lisa S. | Adetinpo | Marlyncia | Kiah | D’Asha | Bri. W. | Tiffany | Dominique | ATL NetTwerk | Unfit Christian | STED- Man |Bobby T. | Carlton B. | Blake S. | Kasondra | Jeremy C. |Vicky C. | Joan (Lyric) |Mylene | Seles | Mumbi

THANK YOU

“Thank you is the best prayer anyone can say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility and understanding.” – Alice Walker

 

 

I like you… I think

I am embracing a culture of transparency, which, to me, is different than honesty. I will delve into this in a later post, but a part of this culture of transparency is not hiding my feelings. This is especially true when it comes to people I am interested in. Most recently in a text thread, I told someone that I liked them and I am aware that they do not have the same feelings I have.

Ahh well

Oh well

Time will pass and I will be over it lol. But until then I feel how I feel. And I am still going to be me and do things not to get any points for doing them.

This experience did get me to reflect on what I mean when I say I like this person. Like, do I even like them for real? LOL I suspect that there is more I need to learn about this person and won’t have an opportunity to learn, at least not in the way I want. But in the meantime, I like this person right?

So this poem is trying to talk through it. Enjoy.

I like you

Well, at least I think I do.

I do like you

I think

How about this

I like what I know about you thus far

From the moment I met you. There was something. A connection. A vibe. An energy. Anytime I am around you, it’s a yearning. I like how I want to be around you. Observe you. Learn you. I want to know you cuz I like you…

I think.

How about this

I like how you present yourself. From your swag in your walk, your sense of style, your talents and abilities. Your faith. Your compassion. Your drive and commitment to the things you set your mind on. It ignites a fire in me to do better, to find my passions, to explore my heart.

Cuz you are

You are who I want.

I think

How about this

I want the opportunity to explore if this desire is valid.

To see if all the things I’ve listed this far makes sense.

To strengthen what could be

To nurture what could be

To be all that you need and deserve in a partner

To see if the connection, vibe, and energy can be more than fleeting moments of time.

More than fantasies. More than wishes. More than coulds, shoulds, woulds.

I’ll be honest.. I’m not all that special. What I can offer, some other woman probably can. What I’m saying, you may have heard. I’m not oblivious to the fact that you can get these things from someone else.

But I am saying this…

At this moment in time

I want to offer these things to you.

I’m willing to be open with you

My focus is on you.

I desire you. All of you. The things I know and even the things I don’t know.

This feeling is not superficial.

I like you.

How about this… you got a poem.

If that ain’t real, then I don’t know what is.

BCB 8/5/18

 

For colored girls who live for snap filters and a little bit of cleavage

So let’s talk about this feature image…

I participated in this personal project called Scars of our OWN by Sarah, owner and photographer of OWN Boudoir.  It is a project where participants are exploring there external and internal scars. These photos were done in March and I had been going back and forth about whether I should share them or not. But I returned to the poem below (which I wrote back in January) and knew this was the perfect piece to share with this image. So first shoutout to Sarah for making this experience so amazing. What are my Scars? A part of them is dealing with my body image. I have many assumptions about what my body says about me and how I operate in the world. Some of them are valid and others are things I need to work through. More about my experience with Sarah will be shared on her website so stay tuned there, but in the meantime, enjoy this piece.

For colored girls who live for snap filters and a little bit of cleavage

This poem is for you.

For you women whose thighs rub together and have jeans that are proof of the friction.

This poem is for you who have love handles that need to be appreciated daily.

For you still learning to appreciate those handles.

This poem is for all the BS you put up with

The frustrations , the questions, the triumphs

This poem is here to lay it all out.

This poem doesn’t have answers

But it has truth, and to be honest, I like to sit in the truth.

I like to sit in the uneasiness and vulnerability and boldness of it.

So this is for colored girls trying to lose weight to reach their full bad bitch potential

Who have reached the point where their motivation is to stunt on these niggas

Just to prove a point

For colored girls who wear sizes 16 and up and still want to be sexy in what they wear.

Thank Black Jesus that Lane Bryant and Target have answered our prayers

And that there are online boutiques like Monif C and Elloquii, but some days how our bank accounts are setup, we stay in our prayer closets for better deals and stretch pants

For colored girls who are good enough for late night rendezvous, but not good enough to take home

Cuz in reality our big bodies don’t get real love

They get half assed intimacy in our inboxes after midnight

In reality our big bodies don’t get fawned over, they get overlooked

And it’s a daily battle to tell ourselves you are beautiful

You are worthy so fuck these niggas and their superficial standards

For colored girls who manipulate the shapes of our bodies with Spanx and tights to smooth out rolls and have scars where the material rolled up or stayed on too long

But this dress has to have the Spanx so we deal

For colored girls who aren’t considered “thick” because we don’t have an ass

We have stomachs and thighs with stretch marks

So we are looking for the word that describes our shape and it’s a word or words that we are proud of

For colored girls whose breast cups extend into threes and into the alphabet past Ds into Fs Gs and Hs

And even then we still want to buck the system and not wear a bra

And trust me, these triple D’s don’t always have a bra holding them hostage

They need to be free

To be free colored girl… I sometimes get there

Like that one summer I put on a two piece bathing suit without a wrap to cover up my thighs and let my stomach out.

I snapped photos of myself in the sand and in the water

And felt free

Cuz there is something about cleansing and freedom in water

I felt invincible and beautiful and loved all by myself

I shash shayed past thinner women with bigger confidence

I sent photos to friends and potential baes

To be free colored girl, I sometimes get there

When I take nudes of myself once I get out the shower

There may or may not be a collection in a private app on my phone

There may or may not be folks who receive them in their inboxes

On those days, Instead of shaming my body and trying to hide it

I spend time admiring it

And yet sometimes I am uncomfortable in my nudity

I suck in and twist to paint a better picture, a better image

To be free colored girl it can be uncomfortable

But this is for colored girls who, despite being uncomfortable,

Smile anyway

Rock that dress with the right fit for our curves

Shoot those shots in DMs

And take those selfies with good filters

with of course a little bit of cleavage

BCB 1/16/18

#B29: Birthday Reflections

Yesterday I turned 29.

It is a birthday that can often be discarded. It is the last of your 20s, but it is not 30.

I, however, was not going to let this be just a blah birthday. I planned a full weekend of activities that kicked off with a cooking class with my mom, sister and a friend. Then, I had a good old fashion sleepover where I asked friends to wear all black, and I wore a pop of color. I ended the weekend with a game night at my cousin’s apartment.

I am so so so thankful for my friends and family. Birthdays are the time where I reflect on the past year, consider things that went well, make sense of the things that went all the way left, and take note of the things I accomplished and things still left to do.

As I was preparing for this birthday, I researched the significance of the number 29. What I found really stood out to me: “The number 29 is highly relationships oriented. Its very existence is intertwined with the dynamics of relationships.”

It seemed very timely for the experiences I have had in the last year. I have really tried to cultivate community in my life and work space. In practice, that has looked like more calls, more FaceTime connections, and more reaching out. It hasn’t just been me doing it either. I’ve had friends and family show reciprocity in making connections by reaching out to me as well.

I want to close this reflection by share a few reflections of what I have learned this past year, as well as my intentions for the new year of life.

  1. I have and will continue to pour into relationships with intentionality and grace.
  2. Walk away from selfish people.
  3. Be honest about your intentions.
  4. Don’t assume.
  5. It is ok to not respond to that text or email or to not answer the phone.
  6. Let your phone die.
  7. Don’t make excuses as to why you can’t do your passions.
  8. Stop making excuses for your bullshit.
  9. Look people in the eye when you take shots.
  10. Apologize when you are wrong.
  11. Read that email before you send it.
  12. Shoot your shot in his DMs.
  13. Worship can happen anywhere. Let the Spirit move how it needs to.
  14. Praying with someone is an intimacy that can’t be beat.
  15. Ask for help. Like seriously, don’t suffer in silence.
  16. Talk with God about your desires and fears.
  17. Check yourself on your problematic ways.
  18. Groupme is fascinating and ridiculous at the same time. I love how it creates such a great community, but also, folks really try and separate their real lives from it. So weird, yet again fascinating lol.
  19. Advocate for yourself in the workplace.
  20. Black women are everything and then some.
  21. #CiteaSista has taught me so much, and I am thankful for this space and the knowledge and community it offers.
  22. If you can’t tell your friend, tell your therapist.
  23. Tell him what you like in bed. Don’t assume he knows.
  24. Being a better steward of money is a forever thing. Don’t be ashamed, just keep working at it.
  25. Practice gratitude. It definitely makes a difference.
  26. Stop bullshitting about your health.
  27. Drink water.
  28. Minding your business gives you peace.
  29. Be patient with yourself. Some days you will get it right and some days you won’t. On the days you don’t get it right, put on some music, say a prayer, and go to bed. You will have tomorrow to try again.

 

My First Pastors

createherstock-HER-harbor-grace-photography-36

It is Lenten season.

To my knowledge this is the first time I have been intentional in this season. I have some friends that are holding me accountable. I have enrolled in an online bible study course with Trinity United Church of Christ. I have been praying for some specific things during this time. One of my friends has created a glorious document of sermons, podcasts, scriptures and songs.

One podcast Theology Live featured Rev. Janae Pitts Murdock. In this podcast, she talked about women in the bible that she finds is influential.  I enjoyed this episode so much. But what really stood out to me was what a comment Rev. Pitts Murdock talked about how women have shaped the church and her experience with God. She said that it was women who were her first pastors.

It struck a chord with me when I thought about how this mirrored my life. In my mind, I think about my grandmother. Her favorite scripture was John 3:16. I knew that very early as a child. The simple gospel: “For God so loved the world…”

It struck a chord with me when I think about my aunt who I can talk to about anything and she can relate it to scripture and stories in the Bible. She one was the one who taught me that the Word was living and breathing and applicable to the past, present and future.

It struck a chord with me when I think about my mother who in her actions she exemplifies John 13:34-35:  34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

So this poem is a tribute to my first pastors: Maxine, Corliss and Crystal. Enjoy.

The pulpit was the kitchen

the living room

the church reception hall

sermons given through plates of southern cooking

and hugs

lessons on living and growing and coming to be

examples of how to love, how to have a relationship with God

that was mine, not theirs

Before my baptism in the church, the immersion began when Nanny taught me

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son…”

I didn’t just memorize it. I knew it and felt it and believed it.

The foundation began with three women who showed me that the church is more than a building.

The church is people loving and giving.

Before any man in a robe stood before me , the Holy Spirit

already was upon three women in Decatur, Ga.

 

3/11/18 BCB

The List

Have you written down the list?

You know which one I am talking about. The list of things you want in a mate.

The wish list of romance. The list of hopes and dreams of love.

I haven’t written that list.

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A few weeks ago I was talking with Dr. Joan about love and whatnot and she challenged me to really write that list out. And here we are weeks later… I still haven’t written the list.

Why?

What is so scary about writing down the things I want and desire and have thought about for a while? I know Brittany is going to kill me for not being on time with my deadline. But I have literally been frozen trying to write this… The struggle is REALLLLLLLLLLL.

Am I scared to write this down and be disappointed that it won’t come to light?

Are the things on my list too lofty? Am I wanting too much? This list is not about salary or credit score or height, but truly about how I want my interactions to be with a partner. Last month I wrote about intimacy and that is easy for me. To be poetic and metaphorical, but concrete, letting it out plain…welllll

So here is this list…. It is not fully a poem. It is just something I need to get out. Shoutout to Dr. Joan for pushing me and Brittany for the gentle nudge to finish. I am writing this list as a manifestation of what is to come. I am writing this list as an affirmation of what I deserve. I wrote this list to face the fear and embrace that it can happen. It will happen. Here’s to love:

  1. I want to laugh. Brother make my stomach hurt from laughing so hard at the nonsense. Let’s make corny jokes that only we know and
  2. I want to pray with you and for you and you pray for me. There is intimacy in knowing that God is a provider for all of our desires and you want that for my life.
  3. I want to dream together. Let’s talk about our passions and how we can help one another accomplish them.
  4. I want to question together. The world, the Bible, all the isms, all the problematics.
  5. I want to have great sex. Like I think about it afterward and gets chills sex. Like you want to please me before yourself sex. Like we try out all the kinky sex. Like we can’t get enough of each other… SEX.
  6. I want someone who wants to travel and experiences new places.
  7. I want someone who appreciates the arts. You don’t have to be an artist (although that would be nice) but appreciate it so we can go to concerts and open mic nights and museums and ish together.
  8. I want transparency. I want us to share and be vulnerable. Even if it is uncomfortable. I want to tear down masculinity with our vulnerability.
  9. I want someone who looooovvvesss to listen to music. Like to the point we can share new music with each other. (Because that’s foreplay duh)
  10. I want someone who is good with money (in terms of budgeting and planning so we can do all the stuff I want to do) I can learn from someone else.
  11. I want someone who is patient. Because I can be stubborn and I can snore. So your patience in those two things is greatly appreciated.
  12. I want someone who challenges me and inspires me to be better. Someone who wants to be in my corner cheering me on. And of course, I would be doing the same.
  13. I want someone who can be social. I am involved in a lot and I be doing a lot. LOL. But if we go to an event, you can mix with folks. If we are with my family, you can mix in with them. (I got a lot of cousins)
  14. I want someone who cares about people. Someone who understands that liberation is in love and daily we should strive towards loving more and more.

To my future love: With this list, I will match you with all these and more. I am open to whatever more you bring outside of this list as well. I hope that we have a love that complements the badass people we already are and that with our love we make the world better.  -BCB

How to Heal #HairHate and learn to love black women's natural hair

What intimacy looks like to me…

Hi.

I’m single. And in this journey I have been able to write some good things about what I want partnership to look like. And lately intimacy has been a big part of that.

I desire a partnership that is transparent, vulnerable, teaching, challenging and thoughtful. I desire a love that pours into me as much as I hope to pour into it.

I began writing this piece and the phrase “Hold me in this space” came to mind. And I begin thinking of where I want to be held in a partnership. For me that is in the darkness of someone as well as their light. Hope you all enjoy 🙂

 

Hold me in this space

An ongoing tension of

Wanting and pushing back

Of embracing after a period of distance

And releasing when we get close

Of words thought to be said

But eyes that speak them

 

Hold me here

Near your heartbeat

Its rhythm syncopated a beat only I know

A language only I know

Only I feel

 

Hold me here

Near your scars

Evidence of life that has endured, will endure

Hold me near the stories they tell

Like when sorrow came in the night

When heartbreak first introduced itself

When pain became a tenant

 

Hold me here

When joy shined through the darkness

Told your pain it was no longer welcome in your heart

Comforted you when you called out for help

 

Hold me here

Where prayers were answered

Where thanks was given

Where the manna flows in abundance

 

Hold me here

Where thoughts in your mind

bring a smile to your face

where the tension in your shoulders release

where I become synonymous with your fondest memories

where peace resides in your spirit

 

It’s in this space I want to be

Hold me there

Closure.

A situation or occurrence in which something closes forever. 

Closure.

Lately, I have had to have some real honest conversations with myself about this. A relationship ends, be it amicably or not. You may spend any period of time adjusting and then you move on, right? Nah bruh.

But what about that time you looked on their social media page?

Or what about keeping those emails/letters/texts?

Or making a folder in your phone of old pictures?

Closure is not as neat (or as easy) as we like to think it is. For some, you are forced to close on your own and heal in the best way you know how, even if that means reopening and closing.

Closure has levels.

I have had two exes to come back and apologize for hurting me, years after our relationship ended. So, while I closed the chapter myself, those added conversations definitely helped with my healing.

Even still…

When one of those exes got married over the summer, I still had to come to grips that my high school/college self held on to dreams in that chapter. I had to tell her, “chill out, girl”.

And bell hooks said it best:

“I was still mourning- clinging to the broken heart of girlhood, to broken connections. When that mourning ceased I was able to love again.”

Well, I am not loving again, but I am being more intentional about the love I want and need. I am hoping to fall in love again.

Closure involves others. Shoutout to my best friend and prophyte who came through and helped me with talking through those moments, figuring out my exact feelings about the moment.  And not offering the sentiments, “Girl you still ain’t over it. Move on”. When in reality, 5 (7 on and off) years ain’t easy to get over and even in my best days, I recognize that a part of me will always have some type of connection. But in those conversations, I did come to realize that nostalgia is a bitch, but all will be fine. Shoutout to my therapist for asking those hard questions of me and challenging me.

Another ex was on an apology tour with me and even though there are times I miss him and I am transparent about that, I straight up told him,” Sometimes you have to take an L, bruh.” The door closed again and I locked it and got rid of the key for good measure.

I was texting a friend of mine and he said, “Closure is like licking an envelope. In order for it to close, you have to go through the bitter and nasty taste just to make sure it’s closed.” (Preciate this DG)

I wrote a little piece about thinking through these things and my conclusions. Hope you enjoy.

I took all your shit

Packed it into a box

Mailed it first class to your mom

I deep cleaned my car

Deep cleaned my apartment

I wanted no lingering of your presence anywhere near me.

I was safe. Door closed. Book closed.

But my TL wanted otherwise

That song we  danced to in the living room, officially making it our wedding song

My timehop reminding me of the statuses I wrote about us

My homegirl said your name

A colleague asked about you

I deleted your number

It took me a year to not spit it freely as if it was my own

I changed my Instagram name

I stopped following yours

Out of sight, out of mind

I am safe. Door closed. Chapter closed.

But tagged pictures are a bitch

And for some reason, you have made new friends that were my friends

And they posted pics of you

So I have accepted that there will always be lingering pieces that I will have to deal with

Pack away

Lock up

Turn away from

A process. Of undoing and healing. Of reclaiming lost time where I thought I couldn’t close you. Of reminding myself that there will be better. Of remembering and honoring the love and memories, but knowing they have a place, in the past.

I packed up my feelings

Those memories

That bookmark I left in our book.

Taped the box shut and walked away.

BCB 10/19/17