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LXXXII: To Be A Man...

What on earth does it mean to be a man today?

Now I know that I am not a man, but I have been around enough, paid enough attention and seen enough men to be able to deduce a few things.

There Is A Social Pressure That Comes With Being A Man Today…

Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who do not believe that men also give into the social pressures around them.

But, I’m here to say that they definitely do.

Men are greatly influenced by the men that they surround themselves with, by the men that they see on social media who appear to be “prospering”, and by the presence or absence of the men in their families.

As far as the men in their circle is concerned, a lot of the times, if one of them has developed a mode of operation or a way of acting, a lot of the others will follow suit. I.e. if one of them says that it’s cool to womanize and jump from one woman to the next, then the others will do that as well. They may even be criticized by the males in their group if they don’t do that, hence, the pressure.

Like many others, men also find the lives of those on social media appealing. So much so that they begin to fashion their lives similar to the ones that they see portrayed online. I.e. one guy sees another guy gawking at the plethora of twerking females down their timelines and the ease at which they avail themselves to these men and, again, they follow suit.

Now, take this last one with a grain of salt because I can promise you that there are a lot of men out there who were raised in a two parent household that are still trash. BUT, usually when these men do not have a good male influence around them, they become products, instead, of their environments (meaning we’re basically left to have them be raised by rappers, music videos and reality television). 

Constant Expectation To Conceal What You Feel

Men are usually expected to be the “strong” ones and, in that strength, they are supposed to forego any emotions and keep a strong demeanor.

Whoever brought about this idiotic and childish idealism should definitely be run over by a runaway oxcart because this is the dumbest thing ever instilled into man.

This is the reason that MANY BOYS WILL NOT PROGRESS INTO MEN because they are harboring issues, pain, anger, doubt, and insecurities that they’ve been taught to brush under the rug instead of dealing with. This is devastating, to say the least, because it doesn’t teach men to process what is going on, or to evaluate their reactions to things in a way that doesn’t result in them hurting or damaging someone else.

They become toxic and completely blind to it, all while spreading that toxicity to whomever crosses their paths.

Stigma/Shame Attached To Loving A Woman

This world is funny in that, when a man treats a woman right and loves her deeply, he is labeled  “whooped”, “a whimp”, or “a sissy”.

Look at Russell Wilson — He is a praying man that actually lives the words that he reads in the Bible and is just out here treating a woman right. But, he is also one of the most heavily criticized men for this very behavior.

The way that men are supposed to be treating women is what gets them ridiculed because of the fact that the boys out here do not ever want to grow out of their selfish and childish ways.

This has got to stop!

There should be no shame in treating people right. There should be no negativity towards a man actually being a man when it comes to loving a woman, but I guess it’s easier to praise mediocrity than it is to just be great, huh?

Expectations Attached To Gender Roles

Men have to deal with a lot. Being the protector. Being the provider. The pressure to be whatever his family wanted him to be when he was a child. The pressures of schoolchildren. Bullies and the list goes on.

Men deal with a lot and they internalize most of it. They live in a constant state of, ‘I gotta figure this out quickly and remain strong’ which leaves no room for them to grieve when they are sad or to reevaluate when they’ve messed up.

It further damages the man.

As women loving these men, I believe that it is up to us to reassure them that they aren’t in this alone and that they have help. This world is difficult and, sometimes, all it takes is a strong woman by the side of a strong man. But it also takes the man, in all of his strength, to realize when he needs that strong woman.

The Pressure To “Be Someone Else” 

Guys tend to pretend when they initially meet people. I’ve come across a number of guys whose M.O. is to pretend to be similar to me in order to get past the big barrier around me that initially says ‘LEAVE ME BE’.

They spend so much of their time pretending to be who other people want them to be, all while convincing themselves that they aren’t, that forget that they are pretending in the first place. This only becomes painful when their true colors start to show.

I think that it’s important for men to get in tune with themselves so that they know when they are not actually being true to themselves. It is so easy to get lost in what your friends want you to be or what an easy girl wants you to be and completely lose yourself as a man.

I really don’t want to see anymore men go down this path because they lose that thing that makes them so special in the first place. When you have that, as a man, it is really something that should be held onto.

So, my prayer is that more men learn themselves so that they don’t lose themselves based on the ease of things around them.


As a woman, to try and understand what it is to be a man is to learn to forgive them for the lessons that they have yet to learn — no matter what pain it’s caused me. 

I am working on understanding so that I can forgive and no longer hurt from the men of my past.  

Being a man is difficult and filled with pressures, but being a man with pressures and asking for help or taking time to heal is harder. 

I commend all of the men out there who are trying. I commend all of the men out there who have learned from their mistakes as well as other’s mistakes. My hat is off to you guys & I want it to be known that some women understand the work that you do on yourselves on a daily basis.

This post is basically me saying:

Men, I see the work that a lot of you are doing and I’m so proud! Keep it up!

🖤

LXIX: Blogs To Be On The Lookout For?

Oh Hay, 2019! Let’s start the year off right by loving on some bloggers, authors and content creators!

A big part of blogging is engaging with the blogging community, so why not do a Tag Post!

In this post, I’ll share a couple of blogs by bloggers that I came across on Twitter (⬅️Click the Link to find and follow me). I will try my best to sort them by their focus areas, but excuse me if I miss the mark a bit — a lot of the following bloggers specialize in many areas.

Let’s dive in:

 

AUTHORS

The Colonel & The Bee   By: Patrick Canning  Website:  https://www.patrickcanningbooks.com/

The Colonel & The Bee

By: Patrick Canning

Website: https://www.patrickcanningbooks.com/

Brenna Morgan & The Iron Key   By: Katie Masters  Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Katie_Masters29

Brenna Morgan & The Iron Key

By: Katie Masters

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Katie_Masters29

These particular book bloggers and authors feature either chapter books, or reviews of books to their sites for readers to enjoy. As a book blogger myself, I love the set up of these bloggers’ sites and content! Check them out by clicking below:

https://readitbyroma.wordpress.com/

http://dhawaljoshi.in

 

BEAUTY BLOGGERS

Messages Image(1611716800).png

Beauty that Walks is a lifestyle, hair, make-up, product review and fashion blog that I, personally, love!

It is run by Editor-and-Chief, Tione Rodney, a student studying Business Administration at the University of the Virgin Islands.

If the natural hair help isn’t enough to get you hooked on her site, then maybe the wide range of posts will. Ms. Rodney clearly does not play when it comes to blogging and I can fully appreciate her range of knowledge.

Don’t believe me, check her out for yourself!


https://www.beautythatwalks.com/

 

FASHION BLOGGERS

If you are into bright, beautiful & fashion-forward bloggers, then you have to check out Marie’s Blog at whatcorrinedid.com

Here’s a snippet, but I promise you, her page is one you don’t want to pass up! Check her out!

 

LIFESTYLE BLOGGERS

Lifestyle blogs range in variety, we have all things haunted with Medium, Kristi at Haunted History Jaunts with Kristi; or, if you’re not into that, then maybe you’re into enjoying a laugh or two with Philomath who posts funny lifestyle posts to Querianson!

But, if that’s not your speed, then check out what life is like with an invisible mental illness and how it changes your outlook on life with everyone’s favorite Fibro Mom, Suzanne at FibroMomBlog. Or, if you’re curious about a disability that is more noticeable and also very common, then check out Holly’s blog Life of a Blind Girl (a blog that I can definitely relate to)!

A lot of times, bloggers mix mental health into their lifestyle blogs (which I personally love) and of those bloggers, you have to check out Randomly Creative run by Yvonne Wabai, or by Milli on Poised Prodigy.

Maybe you need a bit of uplifting? Check out The Curious Sedulous, a new blogger with tips on beating procrastination and taking yourself from mediocre to productive AF.

Another new blogger worth checking out is Chevany at Chevy Takes The Mic!

Finally, for all things life and law school check out the lovely Corina’s blog Corina’s Corner!

Curtesy of Corina of   Corina’s Corner  !

Curtesy of Corina of Corina’s Corner!

 

FOODIE BLOGGERS

Bites n’ Pieces is a foodie’s stop-shop!

Check out this website for fun and exciting recipes and cutesy lifestyle posts!

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Thanks for reading, clicking and engaging! Content creators, you’re doing wonderful work! Check out someone else’s and spread the love!

•Bree

Let’s Be Breef

LXVII: What I've Learned, Thus Far, From 2018?

Here we are! Another installment and another year of lessons!

I’ve changed things up this year and entered into it feeling a bit more liberated than I was in 2017. I had decided early on that I was going to do what I wanted, when I wanted and try things. But, with that, I also opened myself up to people which is something that I normally steer very clear of.

Whenever you open up your heart, mind, and ears to new people, you’ll definitely be learning new lessons, however. Trust me!

So, here are a couple of the lessons that I’ve learned, thus far, this year:

STEER CLEAR OF THOSE WHO WANT YOUR RHYTHM BUT NOT YOUR BLUES

Wanting my rhythm and not my blues simply means that someone wants to be around me when I am happy and having fun, but when stuff hits the fan of life, they want to hit the road.

I’ve had this type of person in my life plenty-a-time!

The bad thing about me, however, is that when it comes to people who I have allowed into my life, I genuinely try my best to keep them.

BUT, sometimes in life you go through things, not to learn to work through them, but to learn to walk away from bad situations

This year has been one big lesson on walking away for me. It gets so lonely sometimes, but walking away from people who want to be around when all is well but leave when things get difficult is a very necessary reality. 

PERSPECTIVE IS EVERYTHING

The way you view a situation says a lot about the way you view the world and the way you view yourself.

Now, I generally look at situations from a very realistic standpoint. I also use facts from the past that have created a pattern to assist with the way in which I view those situations. So, in short, when a situation presents itself, I’m an absolute realist through and through.

Now, this year has been filled with ups and downs, and I’ve worked at keeping my outlook on things upbeat enough to allow myself the ability to continue on in whatever direction I am attempting to go in life without letting things get me too down.

Changing my perspective on a lot of the things that have happened to me lately has seriously helped. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been so necessary. A lot of times, perspective comes through in the form of a glass being half empty or a glass being half full. 2018 has taught me to look at things with the glass half full which has allowed me the opportunity to fill it the rest of the way on my own.

WHEN SOMETHING IS FOR YOU, IT WILL ALWAYS BECOME YOURS

This is super important for me to remember! 

I oftentimes work overtime to keep friendships and relationships with people who have never even deserved my time in the first place. It’s in my nature, however, to nurture those relationships...

BUT, when a relationship is for you, it will be yours without all of the tug-of-war! I forget this so much and it results in me making people feel way more needed than they actually are by trying to keep them in my life.

This is a habit, in me, that needs to be left in 2018. Because, trust me, you won’t be forcing the friendships and relationships that are meant to happen!  

BE REAL WITH EVERYONE AT ALL TIMES 

Now, first and foremost, you have to be real with yourself! But after that, you have to be real with everyone else.

I met someone this year who was such a gem! A beautiful soul inside and out. But, if you asked me, now, whether or not I still know this person, then my answer would honestly have to be ‘no’.

This person was so good at pretending to be the great person that I grew to very fondly enjoy, but [as you’ll read below] people can only pretend for so long (and sometimes for too long) before their true colors show.

It turns out that this person was a complete stranger to me when they showed me who they really were. What a shock!

I can see from that situation that it is, a lot of times, hard for some people to just be themselves which, to me, seems like it would be more work to pretend to be someone or something else. But, I digress, …

People usually teach me the biggest lessons and from this person, I’ve learned that you have to be super mindful of who and what you are. Remain true to yourself no matter the situation.

Real will attract real, but you have to weed through a lot of fake to get to it.

PEOPLE ARE GOOD AT PRETENDING — WATCH FOR SIGNS

I have made the mistake of underestimating the amount of time that people can live while being fake and, trust me, they can go the distance. 

But, I’ve learned that, eventually the real will always come out. 

I’ve had two friends while in school that people have completely warned me about but I ignored it and instead defended them because I wanted to base my reactions to them solely on my experiences. In hindsight, I completely wish that I would’ve listened to those people, but I didn’t, so I had to eat that loss.

I didn’t believe these things because people are so good at pretending to be things that they are not. They immitate the things that they see being attracted by others. They become so good at the facade that it’s undetectable to eyes that want to believe what they see.

But, I’ve seen that faking it gets exhaustive and they will eventually show their true colors. Some people don’t last a week, others take months, and one took years!  

 My advice to myself and others would simply be to jump ship as soon as the first sign becomes apparent. We’re so inclined to ignore the little signs because we’re enjoying the bigger moments, but trust me, cutting these people off early on is always best. 


So, there you have it! 2018 has taught me A LOT about people and how I should approach the next batch that I meet in life.

But, most of all, 2018 has taught me to look at situations from multiple angles: yes, losing a job will hurt, but there are so many benefits to it; yes, losing a ‘friend’ will hurt, but I’ve gained so many more who actually seem good; and, yes, loving someone is difficult, especially when you’re on completely different wavelengths as far as life is concerned, but opening your heart to someone has the never-ending benefit of showing you so much about yourself!

So for that, 2018, I thank you! 🎊🎊🎊

LVI: November Goals

I finally have time to sit down and set out my goals for the month, so why not set out my November Goals?

These will be simple goals for my blog, for my life, for my family/relationships, and for my fitness! I’ll try and keep it short by making one goal per topic, that way it’s more realistic and actually doable, because, why make unobtainable goals, right?! Here we go:

FOR MY BLOG:

My November goal for my blog is to get out and take more photographs for my posts.

I’ve been blessed with a bit more free time, but haven’t used it much to enhance my peace of mind. Photography, eating and working out are the things that make me happiest (when I am not around other people), so, in my solitude, I want to get out and get some great shots. 

 I believe that photographs bring life to my posts and they make it much easier to notify my followers on Socials about my new blog posts.

FOR MY LIFE: 

This November, I’d just like to see myself happier. I want to find that I am studying more, cooking more, reading more, writing more, and, smiling a lot more.

I want more life, but, more than that, I want more happy life.  

But, I want to take it day-by-day. Some days just staying home and watching that same old movies over and over in sweats with wine makes me happy. And some days, all I want to do is go out and mingle a bit.

Basically, I put a lot of pressure on myself to be happy. I force happiness, I push for happiness in crappy situations, and I settle for happiness-lite when I simply don’t have to!

The trend this November is ME — I am working on my happiness, my fitness, my studies, my reading, my writing, my time.  

FOR MY RELATIONSHIPS

The biggest thing that I am going to work on, from this point forward, and in all relationships is communication.

The odd thing about me is that, before I will talk it out, I always prefer to just walk it out. Meaning, I’d rather just walk away completely than do the work to stay (usually out of fear).

I’d usually rather just try to fix my feelings myself when they are hurt, or try to deal with whatever caused the quarrel in the first place rather than attempt to talk to the person.

The problem is that I do not find it odd when I prefer not to communicate, but the reality is that there are actually people out there who are adult enough to come to you and talk to you about a misunderstanding. So, one should also be open to that.

FOR MY FITNESS: 

I usually don’t make fitness goals just because I hate putting pressure on something that I do for pleasure, but, for the purposes of this post:

My November goal for my fitness is to run more! Believe it or not, I am still working off all of the weight that I gained while being cuddled up this summer. BUT, the summer love is gone and so must go the summer love handles!

A little summer weight is no match, however, for a good old cardio regime, so let’s set a goal of 28 miles for the month of November. This will include cycling, running, walking, hiking, and anything physical except driving (😂, I would try it).

I’ll be honest, I’m only about 6 miles in so far, but will take a ‘before’ and ‘after’ picture to see if any progress happens on these beautiful 22 miles that will be completed by the end of November.

So, my November goals are set!

READY, SET, ACCOMPLISH!

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