I Hate Hiatuses

As a longtime reader of blogs, I always hate it when a favourite blogger goes on hiatus. Selfishly, you want them to write all the time so you can read it. When you start blogging yourself, you realise that sometimes life gets in the way. Between school and other real life things, there’s been no time for me to do it. However, I’m starting to blog again for two reasons: 1. I need something to do with my free time, and 2. I’m starting to work out again, and I need someone to whom I am accountable. Even if it’s just the four people, who read this regularly. Since leaving a very physical full-time job to go to school, two years ago, I’ve slacked off considerably. I hate shopping, so the prospect of having to buy more (and bigger) clothes is extremely unappealing. So, starting Monday, I’ll start writing about getting back in shape. Make no mistake, this won’t be a fitness/lifestyle blog. I love when my friends choose healthy and active lifestyles, but as encouraging as it is, it’s boring to read about food and exercise all the time. (Even if you love them, which, I don’t) As a disclaimer, I’ll say that there’s going to be some complaining. I am not the raging fitness nut that I used to be, and it shows. I barely like exercising, and I love junk, so this will be a struggle all the way. In the end, it will be worth it. At least, I hope it will. I don’t want to carry on the family legacy of having high blood pressure and diabetes, so to counteract that, I need to stay fit, which means, no more lounging. I started with a light workout yesterday, and I actually felt better after I did it. I still hated it, but my body didn’t.

Since leaving a very physical full-time job to go to school, two years ago, I’ve slacked off considerably. I hate shopping, so the prospect of having to buy more (and bigger) clothes is extremely unappealing. So, starting Monday, I’ll start writing about getting back in shape. Make no mistake, this won’t be a fitness/lifestyle blog. I love when my friends choose healthy and active lifestyles, but as encouraging as it is, it’s boring to read about food and exercise all the time. (Even if you love them, which, I don’t)

As a disclaimer, I’ll say that there’s going to be some complaining. I am not the raging fitness nut that I used to be, and it shows. I barely like exercising, and I love junk, so this will be a struggle all the way. In the end, it will be worth it. At least, I hope it will. I don’t want to carry on the family legacy of having high blood pressure and diabetes, so to counteract that, I need to stay fit, which means, no more lounging. I started with a light workout yesterday, and I actually felt better after I did it. I still hated it, but my body didn’t. Sometimes, you have to do something you do not want to do to attain what you want.

Sometimes, you have to do something you do not want to do to attain what you want.

Story of my life.

Warm regards,

Eri 🙂

It’s December, and I’ve Already Failed My Blog Challenge

I know I’ve been absent for the past couple of months, but rather than give a long, boring explanation as to why I’ve been absent, I’m going to write about how I intended to blog every single day for the month of December, and how I failed already by watching old episodes of The Amazing Race, and Big Brother. 

First off, I’d like to congratulate everyone who participated in NaNoWriMo and its blog equivalent. That’s an amazing achievement, and I admire you for going for it.

Mazel ‘tov.

Since I failed in November, I thought, “December is in a few days. I can make up for lost time by blogging every day of the month!” Then I didn’t write anything all week, so to make up I’ll have to post twice in one day for several days. Yay.

In other news, it is almost time for me to go back to school, which my niece and nephews find hilarious. My eldest nephew said to me the other day, “It’s so funny that you’re talking about going to school, and you’re a grown-up”, and my niece told me I should stay home so my mommy could make my lunch for me as hers does. (I don’t think so.)

This challenge is all about forcing me to write when I don’t ‘feel’ like it because, in a few months, I won’t have a choice. Not that I mind. I don’t work well when I’m complacent, which is why I had to leave my last job. My best work always comes when I’m under pressure. (One of my former bosses picked up on this and gave me deadlines for getting my work done. I love deadlines.)

I have a hunch that going back to university will be one of the most challenging experiences of my life. I know I’ll enjoy every minute of it–even the tough stuff. A few years ago, an acquaintance told me that my work experience was an assignment to toughen me up. It served its purpose, and when I felt the nudge to move on, I did.

That is what life is about. Taking the good with the bad, using the past as a reference point rather than a guide, learning from one’s mistakes, and moving forward when it’s time.

Anyway, I’ve rambled on long enough. I’ll have more to say tomorrow, but until then, I wish you peace and blessings.

Erie

Off The Cuff: In A World Where Not Even Oprah Can Look At An Expensive Purse…

There are still many news stories of great importance to report. There is still unrest in the Middle East; there are violations of human rights in Russia; people are still hungry and homeless, and black men are still getting killed at an alarming rate. 

Yet, one of the most reported news stories of the past summer was this one. The world’s first black billionairess left a Zurich shop after a salesclerk told her that she could not look at a $38000 purse (ouch) because she would not be able to afford it.

Well, Dang.

This used to happen to me often, particularly when my hairdresser worked from a shop in a snooty retail district. (Thank God she opened her own shop! I couldn’t stand the pretentious neighbourhood she worked in.) I would walk into stores and browse, only to be told by the salesclerk that the item I was looking at was “too expensive” for me. I understand why it happened. I am a young black woman who dresses like a high school student. (Jeans. T-shirt. Hoodie. Sneakers.) I will cop to the fact that I appear as frugal as I am. (My favourite stores: The Salvation Army Thrift Store and Forever 21)

I do not understand why it happened to one of the richest women in the world. I guess it is true what they say about assumptions (keeping the “ass” in ‘assume’ since 10 B.C!). To alienate a woman who could purchase both the purse, and the whole boutique was an asinine mistake. I hope the staff of that store will learn from all the poor publicity they receive from this. In the future, it may serve them well not to prejudge a person based upon his or her appearance.

Every time I want to believe that I am living in a post-racial society, I get an ugly reminder. Race still matters. The degree in which it matters depends on how directly a person feels the impact of it in his or her daily life. In other words: If you don’t have to think about how your behaviour will shape other people’s view of your race or ethnic group, then race is not an issue for you.

That does not mean that it isn’t an issue for other people. To compare the two would discount the experiences of those of us who have had to get used to living with other people’s prejudices. It would be like telling a man with one leg that I know how he feels because I broke my toe once. It is not the same thing. It will never be the same thing.

It is not the same because I cannot (safely) change the colour of my skin. While I give people the benefit of the doubt, I also realize that there will be assumptions about me based solely on the fact that I am brown-skinned. I’m used to it, and it is sadder to me than it is infuriating because it is a reminder that racism still exists, albeit, in a less-overt, more passive-aggressive way. (At least, that’s how it is here in Canada, I cannot speak for any other country)

I have hope because the younger generation is not as race-obsessed as their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents were. I may not live in a society in which most people judge me by the content of my character (yet). I will admit that society is more accepting of other races than it has been in the past.

That said, there is still a long way to go, and change begins in the heart and mind of each person. Every person has prejudices, including me, but racism is a learned behaviour. We will only un-learn damaging behaviours when we confront them. We will not confront what we do not believe is there.

In the future, I pray that all of us, regardless ethnicity, of can accept people as they are without attaching any personal baggage. I gauge people on a case-by-case basis because I know what it is like to be prejudged without any facts. I do not want anyone else to experience life the way I have.

The content of a person’s character is the most important thing about them. It does not matter what they have, or do not have. It does not matter which title they hold. It does not matter where they live, whom their friends are, or how many degrees they earn. If a person cannot show a modicum of genuine respect to the people he shares space with, he is fundamentally weak.

I don’t want to be deprived of any opportunities to learn because I don’t like the look of the person who delivers the message. We all can learn from one another if we’re open to it. If our biases hold us back, that’s just sad.

As a Christian, there is an expectation for me to treat others the way that I would like to be treated. (Most of the time that means I want people to leave me alone, and stay out of my business) However, I’m also human, which means that I often revert to treating people they way they treat me. For the most part, it means that I’m kind to people. If I’m not, the person did something to earn it.

Poet, Maya Angelou once said, “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” I know better than to disrespect the people who disrespect me, but at the same time I refuse to allow anyone to dishonor me, so I may strike back. Others may be easily impressed by titles, status, and wealth, but I am not. What impresses me is when a person shows respect to everyone–without anything to gain by it.

If one of the richest women in the world is affected by subtle racism, than what hope is there for the rest of us?

Change

“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.”
Gail Sheehy

 

There are a lot of changes being made at  my place of employment and I can honestly say I don’t mind them. (I’ve been with the company for nearly 12 years, so at this point, resistance is futile.)  Accepting change is an entirely new thing for me because I spent many years being averse to it. In other words, I would fight against it with everything I had. My former supervisor and I used to debate all the time because he loved to make changes, and I never failed to challenge his decisions. Especially when I knew thought they wouldn’t work.

Like most people I enjoy being comfortable, and for me, comfort has always been consistency, efficiency, and predictability. I didn’t learn how to adapt to change until I had to adapt to many changes–all at once. (2008 will forever be known as, “The Year I Got Way More Than I Could Handle”)

I have since learned that change isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it encourages us to step outside of our comfort zones. (I’m pretty sure I was pushed, but I’m not bitter.)  In my experience, I have grown more by being placed in new–and often uncomfortable– situations, than I have by staying within my cozy little bubble. (No matter how cozy it is.) I learned that I cannot control my environment, but I can control my reaction to it. I may not like change, but I have decided to embrace it.

After all, some of the greatest blessings I have ever received came disguised as curses.

Happy Friday, Y’all 🙂

Erie