The dramas of dating in nyc

In my life, I’ve experienced many dating triumphs that turned out to be extreme flops. Seemingly I can’t piece together the perfect love story for the storybooks but I do have some testimonial statements of how challenging it’s been. Being youngish and quick to fall in love or at the very least giving people an opportunity has lead to some pretty intense situations of heartbreak and mischief.

My mother’s description of me once was being so innocent, like the toughness of the world hadn’t corrupted me in some bizarre way. The truth was, I was damaged. Heartbreak and living through that pain have a way overlapping layers to you more than anyone can imagine.

Being so tightly intertwined with individual’s can cause a ripple effect of things that you grow to expect or tolerate. Thinking that people are as all in like I am on the matters of my heart, that isn’t the case. Being lied to, cheated on, dating people who lost their way didn’t have jobs or much to offer. There hasn’t been too much of what I didn’t experience in this wild dating roller coaster that shook up my life. I seemed to always get caught up on the “potential” of a person, which wasn’t a terrible trait to have. The troubling part happens when you don’t see them for who they are right now. I dated one guy that lied, cheated and disrespected me to the point that I unknowingly got him an uber ride from the other women place to mine.

Even after I manage to get the guts and the balls to break up with this person, he still had the audacity to be the one that said he wanted nothing to do with me anymore. Then no more than two days later in the same breath, asked for help with his resume.

There was another guy I dated that turned around and lied about an entire FIANCE that he thought he could keep a secret from me. Needless to say that these were just some of the destructive, toxicity dating has crumbled my heart a bit to become just a bit cynical and closed off from love.

I don’t want to be that typical bitter, angry black woman that is destined to be forever in isolation with a pinch of self-pity. It takes a lot of vulnerability and maturity to further pursue others for your own quest of love.

Part of me wants to have hope, that love is possible for an individual like me. That I would be deserving of such an astonishing thing to happen in my lifeā€¦to have someone see me for all that I am and embrace every last imperfection.

With all the heartbreak it adds layers of complexity, lessons learned and a new perspective of protecting my heart. When love finds me in its purest form, I will appreciate it more.

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I’m more than my hair

Growing up as an African American, having your hair done is a big deal within the community. As a child, I’ve had my hair chemically relaxed and altered to be more “manageable” for my family to style. My thick afro-textured hair was always kept permed and altered into a straighter hairstyle to be perceived as my hair being “done” or secured in a protective style such as braids, twists, etc. The days I either sat in the salon chair with the booster seat, sitting down for my hair to have these chemicals put onto me, to the point where it could leave my scalp burning. There was this desire for me to sit there longer so, in turn, I knew that my hair would turn out to be straighter, more slicked back at the end of the pain all of these efforts would be worth it. Doing this process brought up a sense of being a very well put together young lady.

Having your hair done wasn’t meant to be interpreted as a terrible experience, it often acted as the opposite. The deep-rooted processes to get your hair “done” also brings a sense of sisterhood, togetherness, and creativity. Some days, my grandmother would have me in the kitchen as she would use a hot comb to straighten out the kinks in my hair. This was the time we took to talk about anything we wanted to at that moment. She took the time to make sure I was presentable to the world and had confidence in myself and my hair.

Frequently, I’d sit on the floor with the cushions underneath me as my aunt would detangle, grease and braid my hair. We would joke around, laugh and watch tv. This became a time and space to just be free and let the creative side flow out. From box braids, twists, ponytails, there was nothing that was off of the table. You could be as innovative and free as you wanted.

When your grows towards the rays of the sun with a consistency like soft cotton candy it’s bound to turn a few heads and I’m ready for all of it.

High School Life vs College and the 7 year gap in between

While working as an intern at the business management office, I made the decision to go to college. With finalizing that choice, I seem to battle with myself to find a major and stick with it to ride this college train until I graduate. I’ve done the whole college application process before and didn’t follow through, there was always something pulling me back. There was something that made me not want to go beyond the application.

It took a seven year break after high school to decide to be thrusted into the community college life. If it wasn’t for the small handful of people I’ve come across with some true ambition I don’t think I would’ve made it through the semester. School in general never felt like a safe place or somewhere that I felt like I could thrive. In high school I was the teen with more bullies than friends and skipped school more often than not.

At the time of my experience, my school was on the top 10 lists of worse schools in New York City.  The education system can fail you sometimes if you’re not into some rich elite private school drowning in thousands of dollars in debt. The bullying and personal issues caused a suicide of on of the friends I made during my very first year of high school. While some people were sympathetic and showed a genuine sadness of her passing, others made harsh remarks about her death and some even tried to destroy the small memorial of her that was posted up at school.

It’s safe to say that those actions, along with the relentless bullying that I received there made me want to retreat and I found every reason in the book to not show up to school. I’d only show up to take a test, bring in some homework and make my prompt exit.

In my high school there were some pivotal things that slowly made me want to never do any sort of schooling again in my life.

  • Students would taunt or throw things at a teacher who was a bit older in this life to the point where she had genuine fear of standing up to teach the class anything.
  • A teacher whose eyes seemed to be directed at my boobs for part of the class.
  • One of the teachers got stranded somewhere out on a trip and proceeded to email the students in the class for money to get back home.
  • Students were so bad that we got kicked out of a school trip to the zoo of all places.
  • During the grieving process of the death of my friend, someone in class stated that they were glad she was dead because she finally gotten to do the one thing she truly wanted. It absolutely blew my mind that some people could be so cruel.

Things continuously escalated until I had my breaking point of almost being assaulted sexually in the staircase before class. To see that person on the day to day basis felt like I could never find peace. Due to that and other problems I picked my poison of choice and began to drink heavily. I would take whatever alcohol I could until a numbness settled over me. I was constantly skipping school until I spoke up and got transferred out my last few months of my senior year in high school. With the new school I had fewer problems but I didn’t know anyone and so I refused to attend my high school graduation.

I say all of this to put the point across the extreme negative mindset and experiences I had tied to being in school, to learning new things, meeting people etc. It puts a damper on your senses, doesn’t make you want more than this and so I wasn’t exactly running to sign up for college when I graduated at the age of 17. I took my time, I applied for a shit ton of jobs that I didn’t get and ultimately felt like the biggest failure of my life.

Everything felt like it came later to me and even now at the age of 25, I struggled with everything. Although I’m enrolled in college now, Im in no way shape or form have any clue what direction I’m being pulled in. This led me to become a liberal arts major, completely undecided and still searching for where I truly fit in so I don’t end up doing things that I hate. The transition has been rough, writing essays, presentations and doing things extremely out of my comfort zone has been less than to be desired.

My stomach was in knots during every single one of my presentations but I did it, the biggest struggle was surviving my math class but I did it. It took lots of work, youtube videos, practicing at work with a co worker, having a classmate help during our downtime at our main campus and even a family friend that’s an architect who is a complete math whiz. All of those supporting factors worked as a key ingredients to passing my classes and maintaining my 3.4 gpa.

College life isn’t for everyone, I certainly didn’t think I’d see the day where I was enrolled and had the strength, discipline and drive to follow through with it but here I am kicking ass. Working part time and experiencing college life part time has led to keeping me a very busy woman and I hope that I find somewhere that I belong.

It took a very long time for me to want more for myself, I feel like a lot of times I settled for things and the biggest change has been wanting more. To challenge myself to want more than just barely surviving, barely functioning. There’s so much more that I want to attain and it won’t be handed to me. I have to fight, claw and push my mentality further than its ever been. I choose the people I let into my life wisely and I’m ever so grateful for the few individuals who has made a positive impact on me.

I don’t know if I will continue on the path of college life but here I am doing my best and that’s all a person can do.

 

Britt’s Space

Where do I even begin to tell the tale of my life because it’s still unraveling day by day. Sometimes it’s the same old mundane tasks that I do on the daily basis that makes me feel like I’m inevitably stuck in a rut with absolutely NO progress being made. A semi young but old enough to know better 25 year old living in New York City with unfilled dreams and short lived expectations of other individuals around me.

As I’m embarking on this path to figure out who I am, what I want to do with my life and whom I wish to invest my time into my 26th birthday is looming over me in 4 months. For the life of me its hard to gather everything I’ve accomplished so far and the expectations I’ve held of myself into perspective. The big wins and the massive losses I’ve had to witness in my life so far has been a crazy roller coaster ride.

I feel like most things I ended up doing a bit later in life, such as working and it took a few years and major hiccups to end up where I am now. Back then I wasn’t motivated to do anything and without experience or anything “Extra” to bring to the table, it made finding a job pretty hard. My two jobs that lasted a few weeks tops, they were at call centers and along the lines of customer service representatives that lasted no where because I quit.

My next job ended up being what I called a “young mans job” because it was pretty much an overnight, overworked and poorly payed stock position that had a real fake fancy name of presentation specialist. It was opposite of everyones schedule, part time and grueling.

From resetting some big ass shelves, unloaded boxes and manipulating the displays, there was only so much more I could take. Roughly 5 months, 30 pounds of weight loss and down almost 3 sizes later from all of the manual labor of the job I randomly decided to never come back. One thing I was grateful for from that job was the weight that I lost but eventually I gained it back….but that’s another story for another post lol. All of these mini jobs weren’t ones I could really slap on a resume. So at the age of 23 I had to fake it until I could make it. So I hit the ground running and had to *lie* (clears throat) or embellish just a bit on my resume, it got me to the place that I am now.

For starters I’m an “intern” at a business management office in midtown, it sounded semi fancy to me when I first started. A young 23 year old with no real job experience in her belt that had to continuously embellish the the truth on all of her resumes, often using family and friends as references. Up until that point I had no real experience at working, my experiences went as followed…

  • I use to walk my aunts dog from time to time before I ended up just being its owner and that is how I became a “pet sitter”
  • Babysitter for my cousin while she was busy doing crazy shifts at work which then became renamed to “nanny” on said resume.
  • Finally present day with NO office Experience whatsoever but I was talented with my words, mannerisms etc so I was a “personal assistant” to an art gallery director on the behalf of a family friend. 

With this new resume fabricated by my aunt and a recommendation from a family friend that worked there, this put me on the pathway to be interviewed at a well known company. I was a complete bundle of nerves, I had no idea what the position was for exactly. There wasn’t any specific details on what I would be doing and upon trying to google the company before arrival, there wasn’t much to go on. I went into this huge intimidating building with as much confidence that I could muster and went passed the doors, through security and led up to the small office.

From my perspective I was a fucked up mess, I fumbled over my words and had EXTREME nervousness to the point where I had to stop, take a moment and start over. Looking back at it now, I can laugh at myself at the ridiculousness of my nervous antics because everything comes like second nature.

Just when I thought I had tanked yet ANOTHER interview on the slew of interviews I’ve been on (trust me there was a lot of rejects) I actually got hired. I was bright eyed, young and happy just to be making some type of money. To have some kind of income, I could have almost cried. There were so many other interviews I went on. Solo ones where I barely got to speak, group interviews where I was struggling to stand out and all that came in between. Just when I was giving up hope, I landed a job…that ended up with the title “intern and its where I have been for over two and a half years now.

Its eternally funny how life hits you and when you thought that you would remain knocked down flat on your ass, something comes and scoops you back up into giving you a seed of hope.