Men

XCII: This Or That? - [Un]Popular Opinion

Alright! Let’s talk about it:

IN-N-OUT OR SHAKE SHACK?

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I’m from the west coast but Shake Shack > In-N-Out any day!  

Can we talk about flavor, savor, and the full package? Shake Shack has got it all! I usually go for ShackBurger, Bacon Cheese Fries and a shake, but the whole menu is literally delicious!

Although In-N-Out is good, there are many who simply HATE the fries, or they don’t like that, many times, the drinks seem a bit flat. But in all of my experience with Shake Shack, I haven’t had one bad batch of fries nor have I had one flat drink. All experiences have been good!

So, it’s Shake Shack all day for me! Yummmmmm…


NETFLIX OR HULU?

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Even though Hulu has gems like Living Single, I definitely watch Netflix way more!

I can’t say that it’s because Netflix has anything special, but I do enjoy a lot of the shows that I wouldn’t have otherwise found (like Master of None).

So, it’s Netflix > Hulu all day.


MACBOOK OR DELL?

I’ve had both, so I can honestly say that I like the flexibility of the Dell. You can buy apps without paying extreme prices in the App Store and you just have more freedom on Dells while Apple tries to get money from its consumers in any area possible.

I do prefer Macbooks over Dells, but I will say that the storage on MacBooks suck!

As for Dells, my old Dell literally went off one day and just never came back on. That hasn’t happened with my MacBook, so…

MacBook > Dell!


SHORT HAIR OR LONG HAIR?

I mean, really, this is a question of person and patience.

Since my hair has always been short and kinky, I guess I prefer shorter hair, but I’m also not opposed to long hair. I even keep my hair in a protective style that is long, so I honestly cannot choose between the two.

But, living in Cali, I wouldn’t be shocked if people preferred shorter hair during these hot summers, and longer hair during the lukewarm winters.

Short Hair > Long Hair.


NATURAL HAIR OR RELAXED HAIR?

I’ve had both natural and relaxed hair and I must say that they are BOTH a ton of work. My mom started relaxing my hair when I was younger just because it made her life a bit easier.

I have thick, course, 4C natural hair with tight kinks and coils, so I completely get her needing a break from trying to comb through that mess.

As I got older, I decided to grow it out and cut off all of the relaxed hair. I have since had nothing but natural hair that is neither tamed nor trained. I keep it in protective styles just because it makes my life easier and I love it.

Natural > Relaxed Hair for me!


INDOORS OR OUTDOORS?

I love my alone time indoors, but, being outdoors when the weather is perfect is simply perfect.

One thing that I can truly appreciate about living in California is that the amount of simply beautiful days that you get far outnumber the amount of doom-and-gloom days.

So it’s definitely…

Outdoors > Indoors for me.


GYM OR HOME WORKOUT?

There was a time when home workouts were my sole source of a workout, and then summer came.

It just got to be way too hot for me to workout in my apartment, so I switched over to the gym. Now, it’s not to say that you can’t stay home, get a full body workout, and not hotbox yourself to death in your home with sweat and body heat, but this is just to say that I couldn’t anymore.

Although going to a gym comes with driving and potentially having to interact with people, I think I’m at a point where I can get a better workout by being in a gym.

Gym > Home Workout!


NIKE OR UNDER ARMOUR?

Now, I do feel as though Nike has a bigger selection than Under Armour, but I enjoy looking at men who can pull off a nice Under Armour workout outfit too. 👀

I mean, I guess I should make this post useful and pick which brand I, as a fit woman, prefer huh? Okay, how about…

Nike > Under Armour 🤷🏾‍♀️And this is just because I have way more experience with Nike than I do with Under Armour. This is subject to change. Everyone is coming for Nike these days…


NIKE OR GYMSHARK?

I’ve always been a Nike girl. I like their shoes, their clothes, their coats, etc. But I did try out GymShark and thoroughly enjoy the fit of some of their styles.

If I had to discuss any negatives about the two then:

Nike - Price and I mean, really, that’s it.

Gymshark - Not all styles are great quality (i.e. the new energy line is thin and just not worth it) and it’s hit or miss depending on what you buy.

Nike is more of a surefire shot while Gymshark is taking a gamble. I’d say that if you actually workout during your workouts and aren’t just at the gym taking selfies and doing squats, then maybe lean more towards Nike. But, if you’re there for the looks, then Gymshark all the way.

For this post, it’s going to have to be Nike > Gymshark.


COFFEE OR TEA?

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Since I’m already addicted, I’m going to side with coffee in this debate.

There are times where tea is totally my first choice (like when I’m sick), but the thing that I go for when I wake up is always coffee.

I’m currently obsessed with Peet’s Coffee’s Major Dickason’s Blend which is a yummy dark roast that has just the right amount of flavor and boldness for my little papillae to enjoy.


THE OFFICE OR PARKS AND REC?

I’ve honestly never seen Parks and Rec, so The Office all day!


CYCLING OR RUNNING?

I used to make it a point to drive an hour and a half to attend Soulcycle.

I just had to attend the class taught by Devin, one of the coolest people that I’ve gotten the opportunity to meet, and such an inspiration during every workout.

BUT,

Since, I have to choose my preference, I’m going to go with running! The times that I can’t make it to Soulcycle, but try to cycle on my own, completely suck. Without the Soulcycle atmosphere, I just don’t push myself the same, it’s not as much fun and my cycling workouts never pass the thirty minute mark.

But, when I run, I set the pace and I find it easier to focus on pushing myself. For some reason, I feel like I’m more in control of the workout when I run rather than when I cycle.

Running > Cycling

LXXXIII: To Be A Woman...

To be a woman is to wait...  

In our teens, we wait for the moments that make us feel most like a woman. We wait for that group of friends that we believe we can’t live without. We wait for love — a deep, all-in, scary type of love. 

We wait for those little glimpses into our futures that show us what our passions will likely be. We take chances never fearing the risk. We try without the fear of failure. We leap knowing that life will catch us.

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Once we reach college age, we wait for the work that we’ve done on ourselves, thus far, to be realized.

By now, we’ve experienced friendship, betrayal, and love [for many]. We’ve had to pick ourselves up, persevere and be our own heroes. We’ve done all of this while under the lens of those around us while trying not to crack under the pressure.

Being a woman is tough. If we aren’t waiting for recognition for our hard work, then we are waiting for men to realize that many of us require that they actually treat us right. We are forever seen as the weaker sex and forever waiting for equality, civility, humanity, and appreciation.

At this point, this woman has been waiting to see a couple of things and I’ve noticed a couple of things... :

HARDWORK’S PAYOFF

There are some women out there working their buns off on a consistent basis and I think that it is worthy of so much applause.

Without getting into the things that women deal with, all too often, while working in the professional world, the way in which women still reign supreme in a number of professional arenas is astounding.

Women are simply amazing. But, sometimes it’s also the case that women are overlooked for their hard work. There are a ton of women out there who have to work behind the guise of a man just to keep their jobs; there are so many women who are the geniuses behind works that will never be known; and there are so many women out there who could do the job 10 times better than their male counterparts but will never even see anything past an interview.

I know that there are many women, including myself, who are waiting for all of their hard work to pay off, and I am just here to say to all of us:

Keep your head up. Your day is coming…

FRIENDS ACTUALLY BEING FRIENDS

I say this and will always stand by this, “it is so easy to be there for someone when they have nothing for you to be there for them about”.

I am a complicated person as it is, but in all of my arduousness, I still manage to be the friend that those around me need. As a woman, I found it necessary to pay attention to the needs of each friend (because they are always different), and work at being what each person needs and when they need it.

Again, I don’t see the point in being in someone’s life if I am not there to enhance or change it. So, as a friend, I make sure that I am exactly what that person needs: if they need an ear, then I listen; if they need a night out, then I’m going; if they need to vent, then I’m right there volunteering to beat up whoever needs it; if they need a shoulder, then I do my best, but honestly I hate contact so, you know, give and take.

All I’m saying is that, I understand what it is to be a human. I understand what it is to be a woman. I understand what it’s like to have emotions, and I understand disappointment very well. Life is not easy for everyone, and I get that it is 10 times harder if you’re doing it alone. So, I do what I can to make sure that those around me know that they are not doing it alone. I’m always here.

But, when it comes to my needs, if I really take a look at my life, not many of those same people even try to be there for me, women included.

For women to see how difficult this life can be and still not be there for another woman is disturbing. And I see it as a cycle of women running into the wrong types of women throughout their lives. They reach a point where it’s impossible to trust a good one when one comes around — and so begins the cycle of selfishness that we are currently knee-deep in today.

Women loving women, genuinely, is so absent in today’s society. For two women to be friends and not talk behind each other’s back or not lie to each other’s face is near impossible to find and it’s sad. There is nothing more powerful than a woman truly supporting a woman — how could we not flock to this?

We have to do better because there is nothing more beautiful than women truly supporting and rooting for other women.

REAL LOVE

I’ve heard it time and time again. It is so easy for a boy to tell you that he loves you, but I have yet to see a man show me that he loves me.

As a woman, when a pattern makes itself known, we cannot help but to internalize… “It must be me”, “Maybe I am asking for too much”, “Maybe I should lower my standards”. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is true, sometimes it is us! Sometimes we do ask for unreasonable and unrealistic things! And I’m not even touching that last one because I will never lower my standards.

But many times, it’s the fact that these boys haven’t been held responsible for their actions (see To Be Man post); they haven’t been required to try or put forth effort beyond getting in a girl’s pants, they haven’t been told to be the role model or the man. It’s never required because there is always a girl in the background that he can spend his time and energy on who doesn’t require these things like the woman does.

In this regard it’s like we’re fighting ourselves because we’ll continue to be the home for his womanizing ways, lies and failure to accept or admit the things from his past that have hurt him. Things that he hasn’t even taken the time out to work through because he’s never been required to.

Being a woman is hard — being a woman in love is the hardest.

Strength and “Real Love” have to go hand in hand in this world. I’m waiting for the shift that doesn’t only call for a woman’s strength but that also includes a man showing strength, restraint, loyalty, and love… and I do mean Real love.

COMPETITION

For some reason, women always seem to be in competition with each other as if we aren’t all fighting the same evils.

That competition even becomes the very demon that destroys our relationships, our friendships and our own well-being.

I don’t compete with the women around me because I really don’t see a point and I don’t see what we would be competing for (I generally see myself on different levels across the board). The energy put into competing at things that probably won’t even matter 5 years from now could easily go into, oh I don’t know, ANYTHING.

I just see the world as insanely difficult when it comes to people because our focus gets stuck on things like competition instead of on things like working through problems, or being there for each other, or being a friend…

I mean, maybe the fact that I honestly cannot wrap my mind around why or what women are competing for is exactly why I don’t understand this concept of women competing against women — and I do refer to the negative competition and not the fruitful/sportsman-type of competition.

HUMANITY

Chivalry, compassion, dignity, love, tenderness, kindness, consideration, generosity, goodness, sincerity, honesty and loyalty — Where art thou!?

I’m waiting for the world to find it’s humanity [again]. For some reason I have this idea that we once knew how to treat each other. And I could be completely wrong, but I honestly feel like there was a time where men had manners, at least made an effort to be honest, and tried to treat women the way they deserve to be treated.

Maybe because of the way that I was brought up — you know, with common sense, common curtesy and decency, do I believe that others should exercise the same.

I think that the world is so caught up in the pretend lives that they’re living for social media and viral culture that they are completely forgetting to be human and to treat others as if they are also human.

As a Black woman, my experience is much different from many others when it comes to humanity. Many women reading this post probably do not feel that humanity has died, but being a Black woman (the most unprotected, the most attacked, the most forgotten kind of woman) only shows me in technicolor that the world is lacking in the humanity, compassion, loyalty and decency department, and I want us to get it back. I believe in us!


Women spend their lives trying to find themselves and then to not lose it to the world, trying to determine who and what is worth caring for, trying to protect what’s nearest and dearest to them, nurturing, loving, caring and being compassionate and remaining strong. All while being used and abused by damaged guys (and girls), being betrayed by lifelong friends, and being placed in insane situations in the workplace while being looked over for things and positions that they can [more likely than not] do better than the guys.

Being a woman is hard… And I think that I continue to return to this point because it is too true. But, to all of the women who are loving in this world, working in this world, caring in this world, trying in this world and who are remaining true to themselves in this world, I see you and I applaud you all.

🖤

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!

🖤