State Ya Biz

Friend or foe yo?

-Jay-Z

I have always oddly admired folks were were friendly and outgoing, and simultaneously been uninterested in being either of those things. I don’t deal with too many people at once because it’s confusing and I need to know who is real at all times… that’s hard in a big group. I don’t do foes… you won’t be around long enough to even get a title.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten more open because at this point I trust my people skills and refuse to lessen myself to accommodate others. But that comes with greater responsibility to myself. So I refuse to be bothered with you if I find out you are either 1) inconsistent, 2) an imposter, 4) dishonest or 5)selfish. Those things usually come across in how you behave when others are involved… you lie, you fake the funk, you only act in consideration of self and not others, and/or you change your tune depending on the audience. Keep it a dollar with me… cuz if it don’t make dollars…

You draw, better be Picasso, y’know the best

‘Cause if this is not so, ah, god bless

-Jay-Z “Friend or Foe”

I believe in forgiveness and giving folks grace when you know they are good people who just got it wrong. But if you are questioning someone’s goodness… my advice, be on some one hitter quitter type shit. At this point be really vigilant about who you share your spiritual space with… someone behaving irresponsibly with no regard for the other people involved are selfish and will push you in front of a bullet to save themselves; someone dishonest will trick you by looking you in your eye why they are picking your pocket; an imposter will put on whatever camouflage they need to fit into circles they know they don’t belong in… and will hammer their square asses into that round hole no matter the cost; and inconsistent people will kiss the devil in private then go ranting and raving about folks kissing the horned in public.

We have a habit of inviting people into our space because other folks vouch for them or they profess their place. Start making people state their business… what you want ’round here? What are your intentions? Then be real Malcolm X about people… sometimes your own folks turn on you when it benefits them. COINTELPRO type negroes are lurking around every corner taking notes, but then will claim they are there to protect and serve you in friendship. They buy their place with claimed commonality, one hand in the group hug the other robbing you. Imposters and liars. Selfish and unpredictable. Be on some “getcho hand out my pocket” type stuff. Protect your spirit.

There is no need to work it out, keep the peace, get closure, talk it out… they are dirty. Some folks sling dirt (along with drama and petty bs) while others of us use it to grow. As one of my best sistafriends says… we are not all the same. We need dirt to grow, but then we transfer to different and bigger pot. Cross go, collect $200, buy Baltic and Mediterranean, and build on the dirt. Concentrate on you, surround yourself with people who are good to you, who want the best for you, and just claim those other folks foes. Or better yet… call them nothing, but gone. Then flex on ’em…

And promise you never, no matter the weather

Neva eva come around here no mo’

-Jay-Z “Friend or Foe”

The Black Sheep

In the love and relationships, disrespect and jealousy related offenses are especially heinous in real life. My ability to cut you off and move on are unprecedented AF! This is my story…

I have never been a big fan of too many people… could be because my family was small and I was an only child and only grandchild on my mother’s side of the family. I was estranged from my father, so I got all the attention and love I needed in a very small circle. As a result, I have always kept my circles small. Plus, I don’t eat bad apples, and it’s easier to see a bad apple in a smaller bushel! But every now and then…

For the most part, I have maintained long term friendships and relationships. My good girlfriends are really my sistafriends. I have a boonapolis (Greek for bestie, main thang, number one boo) and day one’s, and we go back like bangs at Disneyworld in July. So too have been my relationships with men. Two of my longest relationships have spanned over almost half of my life. One, I was married to and the other I was off and on with for a decade, now permanently off. Fuck him. Anyway… you get the point. I commit, to a very small group of people. My loyalty runs deep.

But lately, folks have been trying me. I have had to euthanize some friendships and a relationship… fuck him… (oh I said that already lol) and since I know now that adversity usually comes with a big life lesson, I’m gonna share this lesson with you. Perhaps you will avoid it by learning it in the here and now. It’s double-layered.

“Who’s the black sheep, what’s the black sheep? Know not who I am, or when I’m coming, so you sleep. Wasn’t in my realm, or wasn’t in your sphere. Knew not who I was but listen here…”

1. People ain’t you!

People show you who they are. We each have a story, and while we are so busy sharing ours we forget to listen to the other person’s. I know if you listen to mine, that you will hear that: I can be centered on self; I am not overtly friendly or extroverted in spaces I have never been; I am selectively sensitive; I talk a lot of shit; I don’t tolerate ignorance or disloyalty; and I’m a fighter for me and mine. Those things aren’t inherently negative, but they might not fit in your world. You won’t know if you don’t listen.

My actions and temperament, ability to forgive, attitude, disposition, values, and traditions are all a function of where I come from, not in the geographical sense but emotionally and relationally. (Well maybe geographically too… I’m from Detroit. We different.) Who influenced me, and what was that influence. Did people mistreat me, and how did I recover from that? But that’s just ME! Other folks are not me. They don’t share my story. They come from a distinctly different set of emotional and relational truths. You won’t know who they are if you don’t listen. But be clear, they are not you!

2. No one owes you SHIT!

You don’t have to be bothered with people who malign your character, are disloyal, disrespectful, hateful, haters, or otherwise just bad for your personal business. That choice is yours. But no one is indebted to you in kindness or compassion, in fairness or loyalty, in friendship or loveship. People get to choose how fucked up or on the up and up they want to be. Their judgement day will come, but no matter what you think you can do about it… nothing you can do can change who they choose to be. Nothing!

Lemme say that again…

No one owes you kindness.

No one owes you compassion.

No one owes you fairness.

No one owes you loyalty.

No one owes you shit.

Trust that people are going to be who they are… that’s their own story! You decide how long , how far, and how much… if at all… you are going to swim in the sea of fucked up, selfish, bitter, resentful, negative, or otherwise unGodly people. That is your story. There is only one you…

the violet in a garden of roses;

the God MC in a group of mumble rappers;

a spelling bee champ amongst those stuck on the first reader;

unique superheroes and mermaids in an imagination dominated by the typical;

a Black Sheep …

“And you can’t beat that with a bat!”

A Secret Society

Those who don’t know the value of loyalty can never appreciate the cost of betrayal.”-unknown

Truer words my friends, truer words. Chris Brown was absolutely correct in his assessment:

So let’s just lay this all out… you never get anywhere being dirty, but in the dirt. If you find that your life is a series of failures, almosts, unnecessary loss, never quites, just misseds, and hell to the nopes it might be a good time to evaluate whether you are a good person and whether you are being good to other people. If you don’t quite know what that means, that’s your first clue you ain’t loyal, but for shits & giggles lets explore the topic.

Betrayal comes in many forms, some which I have unfortunately become very familiar with lately. If we buy a puppy together, you can’t train that puppy to bite me. You can’t poison my food and pull the plate away right before I eat. Likewise, I can’t praise you to your face and put you down behind your back. No matter your level of deceit, trickery, or fuckery… it’s betrayal and like all things done in darkness, it’ll show its face in lightness and expose you.

Here’s the rub, if you have ever cared for anyone you fall out with, bashing them in your head is understandable, but bashing them to other people is out of order. If you value things over people, then you’ll have things and no relationships of value to speak of. And if you tell someone you are down, but it’s in word only and only when they are watching … you are definitely down but not for them, but for the bullshit. The world is small, you never know who you are talking to or mistreating. No one owes another person anything, but the ebb and flow of positivity and negativity in your own life is a direct result of how you treat people. It’s that thing… karma. And she is everything they say she is… she can be your best friend or the biggest bitch. The choice is yours.

So take a look at your life, see what side of decency upon which you fall. If you spend any time of significance assessing how to shit on other people or you spend no time of significance thinking about how your actions affect others… others who do nothing but support and care for you… I’ll tell you, you are on the failing side. If you care to change it, own your shit and do better, or else you’ll soon find yourself ingesting the results of your behavior.

Meanwhile, the rest of us will be drinking our own water in our secret society…

“It’s a secret society/All we ask is trust /All we got is us

Loyalty, loyalty, loyalty”- Kendrick Lamar & Rihanna