Think Peace

I wake in the morning, another appointment. I hope the psychologist listenin’ – Kendrick Lamar, United in Grief, Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers

I love Kendrick, he was a part of my weekend. This is not a Kendrick think piece, but it is a think peace. It is an amalgamation of thoughts I have had this past week, framed by my guy dropping his newest album, until this very moment, that have a theme, of sorts. Hopefully you will catch it or it will resonate. Maybe it won’t but that’s okay. I don’t write for approval. It’s creative therapy.

I choose me, I’m sorry. –Kendrick,

*********

The world in a panic.” -Kendrick

Yesterday, a White teenage supremacist walked into a grocery store in a Black part of Buffalo, plagued by segregation and affected by the common highway cutting through the neighborhoods of Black people, virtually disturbing their environments and peace, and killed tern people with a rifle with nigger emblazoned on it. A nigger killer, if you will. A teenager whose manifesto was a three year plan, to save the white race and white children… basically by murdering my people.

In this country built upon the backs of Africans who begat African Americans, there is this agenda that now claims white America faces extinction snd the way to right that is to again oppress and dishonor the humanity of Black people. This child who likely wasn’t taught anything about our addition to the value of this country was able to determine that we are the enemy of his future. The murder of those people and the end of this child’s freedom are the faults of ultra conservative right wingers who supported that political lie to gain political favor.

Today a white man walked into the Black church where the Governor and Attorney General were worshipping with a hurting community, with a gun. We can’t worship God in peace. United in Grief.

Yo, I’m livin’ in this time behind enemy lines so. I got mine, I hope you got yo’self a gun. -Nas

I bought a .223, nobody peace treat. -Kendrick

The value of hip hop has become very dependent upon being a bop with quoteables that will make good Tik Tok content. If I hear “I don’t even gotta walk in with my tool out,” one more time… like sir, quiet down. It’s less about the art and lyrics and more like a recipe for pill and pussy popping. Every Future album sounds the same is considered a five mic classics. Yet an album whose admittedly different production highlights the deep and complicated lyrics, like a jazz band highlights the leader’s instrument, is criticized. The way Miles Davis was criticized for his electronic sound during the velvety jazz era, at this time of catchy twerkable rap tunes, something this different isn’t going to be an instant success.

MMBS is five years after DAMN. Well in five years the artist has become a father; live through a 2-year isolating and socially transformative pandemic; watch countless videos of Black people dying, including a man heartbreakingly calling out to his mother as he took his last breaths; a unapologetic racist President backed by the conservative Congress he bullied like schoolyard boys; and a virus wipe out almost a million people in America. The album integrates that trauma into it’s lyrics and production. Most songs feature multiple beat changes. I haven’t even fully immersed myself in it, but emerged seen, understood, connected, and more at peace than when I entered. It’s a musical therapy session. Peace in chaos.

You really need some therapy…
Bottled up no chaser
Need no chaser-
Kendrick

Sometimes therapy is not sitting on a sofa stretched out in an office. Yesterday I spent time gardening and with my great girlfriends, and it was surely therapeutic. I’m a pretty awesome friend…I give pretty good advice, I’m supportive, I am fun, and I try to make time despite being overwhelmed with priorities. My gardening skills, however, are lacking. Those peonies and lavender might not make it to Friday, but I wanted to try something new because I love peonies and lavender. Time will tell if the gardening pans out, but the conversation I had with a few of my day ones this weekend … cash money!

We talked about our experiences and issues with men and shared truisms we had collected to help us become better mates to attract better partners. We all discussed wanting and needing a mature mate, as grown as his numerical age dictates, and being at peace with leaving situations when they no longer serve us instead of staying afraid of repeating past failures. It’s imperative that when we see red flags to accept them and move on, and understand that choosing ourselves is never a failure. Dating with purpose, but being careful to vet all potential mates and date in the here and now, not just fall into relationships with people we know due to familiarity.

Can I open up? Is it safe or not?
I’m afraid a little, you relate or not?
-Kendrick

The took accountability about likely not always being the best partner, and needing to do a self evaluation on what kind of partners we are versus the kind we know is necessary, and making the moves to get there. Those of us who had been married and/or recently separated from a commitment acknowledged needing time to heal from past hurt. It was a discussion centered on being our best selves. It was centered on accountability and peace. It was centered on healing.

I’m sacrificin’ myself to start the healin’ and…
Shit on my mind and it’s heavy
.-Kendrick

I sometimes struggle with letting things go. I have a vengeful nature that I’m not proud about, but I’m very clear about. My revenge stories are legendary… just saying. But this weekend I just decided to stop cold turkey. Energy out equals energy in, and I noticed that some of the people I know with the most toxic energy constantly emit that type of energy… and it ages you, it angers you, and it makes you insecure and unkind. Only energy I’m interested in is bright and sparkly like sequins, rich like vintage Daytona Rolexes, and present like Eckhardt Tolle. After all the greatest energy is peace.

Trying to keep the balance, I’m playing strong. Stop playing with me ‘fore I turn you into a
[ BLOG ] -Kendrick Lamar

“Everybody needs therapy.” -LaToya Henry

Pulling Numbers and Letters

So I’ve been told I must got the GCP. What’s the GCP you ask… well in the words of Jay Z and in the spirit of Don Magic Juan’s pimp challis, “my cup runneth over”

I hear it all the time…”who are you dating NOW!?!?” like I’ve got a wheel I spin to see who’s on my hit list this month. Or the ubiquitous, “You always got a (insert term for man: dude, boyfriend, whatever)” comment, that is so interesting to me. “Got” would imply in my vocabulary, something that one has on lock… yeah nope. I might be able to pull, as my one friend termed it “letters and numbers” (I’ll leave that for you to decipher), but dating is the pits. I personally despise it. Plus at this point, post 40 with kids as the custodial parent, there is no dating. Any outings or conversations, texts, or emoji sends are basically one long ass interview on how much you make me laugh, how long I can stand to be around you in one sitting, and whether you match at least three of my five must haves, that better quickly materialize into a relationship if you meet the requirements, or I gotta go.

Most of my first dates have morphed into relationships that last years. Instead of “dating”, I participate in the pull and catch; it really is self explanatory. There is a subtle art to the pull and the catch… and while I’m not interested in doing much more than expressing interest and then letting him find his good thing… cuz I’m a mf lady, I am involved in the process. Not that I’m an expert… but I pull a lot of As and Bs, and 9s to 7s. You can keep that 10 though, leave him for the chicks with time on their hands. He’s too pretty for how my life is set up.

The Art of the Pull

1. There is nothing sexier, in a man or a woman, than confidence. Period. When you know you are fine, he’ll know it and she’ll know it. Confidence is the art of aesthetic persuasion. Notice I didn’t speak of beauty, that’s too subjective a thing to use on humans. You need something foolproof.

Confidence is the reason she wore THAT dress, the one you hate and think she’s too whatever for, but that him, him, and her are staring at. Confidence is the reason she cut her hair the way she likes it, with no worries about what he thinks, or why he wears that combination of shirt, pants, and shoes that confuse you but your woman says “his outfit is NIIIICE!” Confidence is not bound by beauty, body type, color, or any subjective boundary… it’s an undeniable acceptance of how wonderfully made you are, despite whether you do or don’t fit into society’s ideals. And it’s 100% ownership in that acceptance. Get you sum.

2. If you are playing Bid Whist and you pass on your bid, and you knew you had 7 Uptown and the clowns next to you bid 6 Uptown -cue Aretha “Ain’t No Way”- how pissed will you be that you didn’t bet on yourself. You knew what you had and what you wanted, but you got scared of the win. Well, in dating, the win is the guy or girl you dream of, the one you know or don’t yet know who will check all your boxes. You have to bet on yourself when the opportunity presents itself, and speak on your wants. Now you don’t have to be full on direct, but if you are like me, you give an in. You leave the door ajar. You flirt, come hither, a little Happy Birthday Mr President… and then you go sit your cute ass down somewhere. If he’s in for the win, he’ll bet on himself, and complete the deal. If he’s not, he missed out. Cue the death of Pac-Man…

But always bet on you, know what you want, set a boundary, and then touch your boundary by going for the win. Shit, at least smile.

3. NO ONE LIKES REJECTION! Not women OR men. Just because men get rejected more, does not mean they enjoy it. C’mon, that’s ludicrous. So just like the thought makes you want to hide under a rock, it makes him want to hide in a cardboard fort. So, it is very important that you make sure he can see your open door… fellas too, women are shooting their shots out here these days. Its also important you clearly communicate with kindness your closed door. If you are involved, say so. If you aren’t interested for one reason or another, say so. If you simply are casing the joint and don’t yet know what you want, say that too. But whatever you message, make it clear. If one doesn’t have to guess what you want, but it’s clear, the more likely you’d get what you want! It’s a pull not a push.

The Art of the Catch

1. “You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar”

Okay so one wants flies, but if you want anything, you get much closer to your goal by being positive, with smiles, with kindness, and with, well, honey. There’s a reason Pooh ate it by the jar full… shit was good and sweet! Likewise, being a bitch will get you nowhere. Only assholes, real assholes like bitches, they enjoy that game. But people tryna boss up and get this money …

… have no time for that game, cuz tryna figure out your bad attitude takes up time away from the grind. Once you have pulled, you have to be kind and open to the catch. And while we’ll eat cod, every one prefers fresh water fish over salt water fish. Be not salty or stank.

2. Ella Mai said it best :

“I put my feelings on safety
So I don’t go shootin’ where your heart be

All that extra special crazy, it took you five minutes to text me back, trippin for nothing, checking his phone, acting a damn fool is for the birds. Yes, KeKe Wyatt might have that bomb snapper, but again, that’s your typical saltwater variety. It’s sure to run your pressure up and increase your light bill. Let’s look at the quality of her choosers. The last dude was a preacher who left her while she was pregnant with their third child, after she raised two of his children, right… okay enough said. We want to be a quality catch just like we want quality fishermen. And you simply are not exhibiting quality behaviors when you are acting a fool. You have to remember what pulled dude… your confidence, self-love, high esteem, win-win-win-win attitude, and your kindness. Keep those factors at play the entire time. Put your weapons down and rely on your personal stock of personality and class to end up, hooked up with a quality dude. But you gotta be quality first.

3. So since I’ve earned my degree in letters and numbers… I think it’s safe to tell you, that the final test, the piece de resistance, the grand finale of the catch is the most important. Webbie had I-N-D-E-P-E-D-E-N-T what you know about me… and I’ve got C-O-N-S-I-S-T-E-N-C-Y, that shit’s so fly! So they say women date & marry men hoping they will change, and men date & marry women hoping they’ll stay the same. Now I’m all for growth, but I don’t think you have to change who you are fundamentally to grow, you just get better. I’m with the fellas. We should be FIRST, ensuring we are dating people who we like and accept AS IS! At 40… they might not ever be anyone different than the person you see in front of you. Furthermore, we could stop sending our representative and just be who tf we are. Then be consistently that in word and deed. If I tell you I’m going to cook you dinner on Thursday, only an emergency out of my control would change that. If I say I’m going to be respectful of you, that’s what it is. I’ll even respect you and me enough, in the presence of your disrespect, not to stick around and bust your head to the white meat. In order for human beings to feel safe enough to be emotionally vulnerable and mentally free they must be in space that’s consistent, which is synonymous with peace. You won’t get chose if you bring chaos.

So you see, it’s that simple. And if you are doing all those things and he doesn’t respond, he’s not the one. Move on with grace and bitter-free. You put your feelings on safety so you wouldn’t black out on these dudes, and simultaneously dodged a bullet. See how the universe is always working with you. Now put on your sundress or those gray sweatpants and that beater, check yourself in the mirror, do the Blade Icewood dance, and go out here, boss up and pull letters and numbers, and soon you’ll be saying …”my phone won’t stop ringing!”

“It’s Mr. Lee Iacocoa
And I’m the mayor of the mitten
Ya’ll niggaz ain’t bossin up y’all bullshittin!” -Blade Icewood and G-Rock “Boy Would You”