be nice first

last night I came to a conclusion that honestly changed me. after a long conversation with my mom about my relationships in my life, I realized that I was afraid to let people be close to me. This is because of the past relationships I’ve had and how they’ve failed. Part of it is based off of fear that people will see me for the person I am and dislike me. But I have realized that someone’s opinion of me does not change the person I am. My actions, believes and heart create the person I am. Another thing I talked about with my mom was my “social awkwardness”. I just don’t know all the rules and social expectations in interactions with people that are my age, which is crucial in making friends. And honestly, after all I’ve been through I don’t know if I really want to make friends. My mom told me that the first thing I need to do is just be nice. This will involve me thinking about the way I talk to others. The job that I have as a teacher plays a crucial role in developing this skill. Since I’m working in a four year old classroom, I understand the way I interact with the children directly affects how they interact with other children, so I’ve been watching my words and my behaviors. I will just have to do the same with those that are my age. It’s going to be a journey, but I believe that being open will allow me to let more love into my life and overall be happier. I know it’s all going to be okay.

perspective

the way you view the world is through your own eyes. as you age, you are taught to try to view the world from other perspectives, or through the eyes of others. sometimes, depending on the situation, it may be difficult, but with practice I believe it get easier. today i’d like to discuss my perspective on a situation that’s a little close to home for me right now- what to do after a breakup.

when I use the term breakup, I am referring to an end of a relationship, whether it was a friendship, romantic relationship or anything in between. 

breakups can be difficult. but when others around you breakup, it can leave you in a difficult position. often, people feel that they have to chose one side or the other. honestly, i don’t think it’s possible to avoid choosing a side. within the breakup, you were closer to one of the people, you had to have been. and i think you just will have to examine the whole situation. my advice is to look at the whole situation- look at the actions that took place. often people say “well they didn’t do that to me.” though this is true, it is important to remember that actions reflect values and morals. so though they may not have done it to you, they think it’s acceptable to do to others, which means they may do it to you. i think the best idea is to use this as an opportunity to understand people and their personalities. if you don’t agree with the way one person treated the other, then siding is okay. it may be difficult to stay neutral, depending on the person. but it may be possible. as long as you understand what type of people both people are and then decide that you want to be friends with both people, then try. the best idea also is to talk to the people that broke up: be clear with your intentions. saying “look I’m going to hang out with “insert name”, because of “insert reason”” may be beneficial.

if someone does it to someone else, they may do it to you. make sure you’re hanging out with people whose morals are high and are nice people. part of being a nice person is actually being nice to people. remember that! 

true friends 

this school year has had its ups and downs, but that’s a subject for another post. right now I want to talk about friends. this year I’ve made new friends and lost some along the way. making and losing friends is a part of life, but I want to spend a moment on how I’ve learned to cope with the end of friendships. 

  1. Acknowledge that it hurts- break ups are hard, whether it was a romantic relationship or just a friendship. It’s hard. These things happen for a reason. remember the good times and accept what has happened. relationships end for a reason and the best thing to remember is why the break up happened. reiterating that makes it so much easier to move on. 
  2. Finding new outlets- friendships take up more time than you’d expect. use that new time to find things that you like to do. this will really help you heal too.
  3. Let it out- sometimes you need to let the emotions out. I normally cry and write. Both of the things help me sort through my feelings and I always end up feeling better. 

I hope this little list makes a difference. You deserve healthiness and happiness in all elements of your life and I hope you get them! 

solidarity with communities of color 

Issues that plague communities of color* really affect the nation as a whole. While issues negatively affect communities of color, white communities are benefiting from these practices (known as the concept of white privilege). I believe that with white privilege comes white ignorance, about issues that affect other people. In addition to this, it is a popular belief that you have to be affected by these issues to stand up against them. This is not true. There are ways that white people can help communities of color and I want to talk about them.

  1. Get rid of the white savior complex– Yes I know communities of color have their own struggles that white Americans do not have to face. But that does not make us less than you. All that means is that we need more resources to help ourselves. Which is natural, because after hundreds of years of not having access to resources, there will be a need for more. If you choose to help communities of color, you have to remember that you’re not saving them, you’re just helping them do what they were already doing. All too often the white savior complex is displayed in media- the one white person enters a community and fixes everything. This is not true. My dad always says “We don’t need saviors, we need servants.” You have to be willing to help the cause, but just know you’re ONLY helping.
  2. Make friends- Because of segregation, it can be easy to only have friends that look just like you. This is not coming to help people. You need to make friends with people to understand what is truly going on. Friends talk about things that matter. There is a complex that many white people have that if something is different, the other person is required to explain it. This is not true. Being friends with someone means that you respect them, their ideas and their culture. If you are truly friends with someone, you will understand how they were raised and what things make them them. Remember to just keep an open mind. People of color are people too, and deserve to be respected.
  3. Get involved (in your local community!)– Believe it or not, there are issues in the community you live in! Just because you’re not affected by them in a negative way doesn’t mean they don’t exist! Going to Haiti to help children is helpful, but it is not going to fix the problems that are going on in your local “ghetto”**.
  4. Research and fact check!!!– What you read on the internet may or may not be true. Fact check. Look across multiple sources and figure out what is the same. And look across good sources, like scholarly papers. Talk to professors and other people. Figure out if what you’re reading is true. Be open to being wrong and understand that the way you view society may not be the way it is for other people. Be open.

Last but not least, leave your biases at the door! What you think you know about us is false! 

These are just a few tips that I believe will help change the world. But please understand that by helping communities of color you are embarking on a mission that will change your life for the better. We need helpers and can always use your help!

*As a black woman, I cannot speak on other communities of color. I just understand what goes on in my community and that these issues affect other communities of color.

**ghetto- according to Merriam Webster Dictionary a ghetto is: a quarter of a city in which members of a minority group live especially because of social, legal, or economic pressure.

importance of honesty

“the truth will set you free”. I really believe this to be true. Honesty is always something that is necessary to have any type of relationship. I believe that if you are honest, it displays that you’re more serious about the relationship (even if it’s just a friendship). Being able to communicate openly and honestly is a really big deal, because it’s what brings people close. And I’m not saying that you have to tell everyone your business. I’m just saying that in order to maintain healthy relationships, honestly needs to be a core value. You deserve to have people in your life who love you, who care about you and who are honest with you. But you also need to make sure that you’re that way with others. You cannot always change the situation, but you can change how you act and how you react. Be honest with yourself and really feel your feelings. Express how you feel- it does make you vulnerable but it really brings people closer. The first relationship I was really able to put this into practice was with my roommate Kaitlyn. Instead of making small talk, we talked about deep issues. Our fears, our dreams, little details that make us who we are. It has allowed for us to communicate effectively and really become very close. I accept her for who she is and she accepts me for me. This would have probably happened, but us communicating openly and honestly from the beginning really allowed for a great friendship to form. So I’m telling you- just be honest. Be upfront. Be vulnerable. Because you will learn so much more about yourself when you put yourself out there. Trust in the process because whatever is meant to happen will happen! Just be brave!!