Sunday, April 20, 2014

Confessions - Tia

I want to finish the 30 days of Blog but I'm in a funk.

I often read The Bloggess' blog and she struggles with some emotional things and is very candid about it. I can't tell you how many times I've read something that she's written when she's been depressed and painfully honest and it's made me feel better. I say all of that because I genuinely think that I'm in a similar boat. And for some reason, even though I'm feeling like crap today, I feel the need to spill my guts about it. So here's some real time confessions regarding what I'm feeling right now.

- I'm counting the minutes until the sun goes down so that I can go to bed. It feels wrong to go to bed while the sun is still up. But I really don't want to deal with this day anymore.

- A guy that I haven't spoken to in YEARS popped up on social media last week and made me realize that I still feel some kind of way about him and about what happened between us. (He was my prototype: everything I thought I wanted in a guy.) But I'm too scared to try to reach out because I'm afraid he'll be honest and tell me why he stopped being in my life and I think the rejection all over again will be a little too much for me.

- I'm not sure when it happened but I'm genuinely afraid that I've made too many wrong choices and will never get married or have kids.

- I'm unclear on how I'm an introvert but my love language is quality time. Shouldn't I be okay with being alone?

- I hate the fact that I have no one I can call and say, "You want to hop on a plane to (insert destination here) next weekend?" I'm not balling or anything but I have some disposable income and almost 5 weeks of vacation at work. I'm pretty sure I only earn about 3 weeks a year (I'm not totally sure because I've never run out.) But if that number is correct, that means that I took very little time off last year and carried over a lot of vacation days. And traveling alone is pretty lame, so I don't go anywhere because I have no one to go with.

- I think that I legitimately have some level of clinical depression. But I'm hesitant to get help because I don't know where to begin and I don't trust easily. So the idea of PAYING to spill my guts to a complete stranger scares me. (Doing it for free on the internet is easy.) I'm also still trying to shake the "stigma" of mental health issues especially from the aspect of the church and the black community. Neither have ever been very welcoming or understanding when it comes to depression and the like.

- I know it's ridiculous that I'm afraid of what others will think about how my mind works. Especially since I sought professional help in my 20s. I think part of me just feels like a failure for not being able to be consistently "okay" mentally. And I don't want anyone to know that I'm not doing "okay" right now.

- I realize that a lot of what I just said revolves around fear. I don't like that.

- I'm calling a counselor tomorrow to get something scheduled. I know I can't continue like this. I gotta get some help.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

30 Days of Blog: Day 15 - Tia

Where will you be in 5 years?

I have no idea. I didn't expect to be where I am. And if you'd asked me 5 years ago where I thought I'd be, where I am now would not have been my answer. So I'm not even going to try and speculate. And I'm going to politely skip this topic.

Have a nice day!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Man Crush Mondays: Karl Yune - Tia

I genuinely don't understand racism. Disliking someone because of the color of their skin is ridiculous on SO MANY LEVELS. Plus, it means you miss out on the hotness that other races have to offer. Beauty is not relegated to a specific race. And thank the Lord for that. Because REALLY KARL YUNE….REALLY?!?!?!?!

Last week I was watching Over The Top Rock Em, Sock Em Robots Real Steel and Karl Yune came on the screen and I stopped paying attention to everyone else. My LAWD his bone structure!!! Did God carve this man out of stone and marble?

I need Hollywood to do better and put Karl in more movies. And don't just make him the Asian sidekick. He is leading man material. Am I just saying that because he's hot. Yes!! No!! It would just be nice if Hollywood would diversify and have more actors of color in movies and television shows. Entertainment should reflect the true diversity of real life.

Anyway…here are some gratuitous pictures of Karl because I can and he's fun to look at.

Oh, did I mention that Karl has an equally hot brother? Yeah, Rick Yune is fine too. I guess it just runs in the family.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday Funny

I'm grown and I still love Elmo. I'm not ashamed.

Happy Sunday!!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

30 Days of Blog - Days 3 and 12 - Tia

I mean, this isn't a bad quote at all. 
Day 3 - Favourite Quote
In recent years I've found that more people than I realized have a favorite quote or life verse from the Bible that they live by. I find that admirable. I've just never been one of those people who feels that any one set of words is applicable for all time. There are specific truths that I feel are immutable. But I think that certain things apply at certain times and other things at other times.

However, at the moment there are two quotes that I'm very much digging. I saw the first one as an email signature from one of my co-workers:

We are twice armed if we fight with faith. - Plato

To my knowledge Plato professed no particular faith in a higher deity. So I'm assuming this quote was in regard to fighting the struggles of life. But I can't be sure. I may have to take a Philosophy class this summer.

For me though, this quote from Plato is very timely. Recent months have caused me to have to fight for what I believe in, what I know to be true, what I hope will be. A family health scare, a job situation, a personal relationship. I've had to fight just to get through a lot of things and I've clung deeply to the faith that things will work out one way or the other. I've had to believe, in faith, that God has control of things and they will reconcile, maybe not in the way that I want, but things will resolve. So these particular words from Plato have been rather timely in recent days.

Grownups, comedians or not, realize that excellence requires not just early, but constant, unrelenting work and sacrifice and that reaching a peak does not mean you will stay there. - Aisha Tyler

Y'all know I straight up, unabashedly STAN for Aisha Tyler. The other day my brother told me that I'm just a shorter, lighter, less famous version of her. Aside from the fact that he felt the need to bring skin tone into it (so unnecessary, he knows I have dreams of chocolatier skin) it was the best compliment I'd most recently received. People want to be like Beyonce (her life seems overly tiring and lacks a privacy that a geeky introvert like me needs) or Kim K (no comment because I have nothing nice to say). When it comes to celebrities whose lives I would gladly take over, Aisha is at the top of the list.

That chick is a hustler. She's on Whose Line and The Talk. She has a podcast. She's the voice of Lana on Archer. She still does stand up. She writes books. (I'm currently reading Self Inflicted Wounds and you should be too. It's hilarious.)

 She tames unicorns* She's captain of the world's only all black water polo team.*
*These statements are still under review and verification is pending.

With that many irons in the fire you know that she is hustling every day. She's up early. She stays late. She does what it takes to get things done. And her drive is one of the many reason I admire her. It's the kind of hustle I need if I'm ever going to break out of my 9-5 and do something I love. Granted, what I thought I loved and wanted to do has changed but that's okay. The one thing that I love and refuse to let die is this blog. Will it make me famous? Who knows? (Honestly, I don't really want to be famous. Infamous…now that's another story.) But I want to be consistent. I want this blog to flourish. I want something I write to mean something to not only me but to the people who read it. That means I have to keep at it. It means I have to write even when I don't want to. It means that a mundane post about what's in my fridge may be all I write about one day but at least I wrote about something and I was consistent. If I want BGLU to be all that it can be then:

Day 12 - Favourite Childhood Book
Finally an easy topic!! My favorite childhood book is A Pocket For Corduroy. I have fond memories of my mother reading it to me when I was little. And I loved that the little girl in the book looked a bit like me.

As a child growing up in the early 80s, I didn't realize the significance of having a book where the lead character was of color. Race was never a big deal in my house. My parents were kind people who loved everyone regardless of color. But as an adult, I now understand how important it is for children to have relatable characters in literature and media. If you don't believe me, take a look at this and let your heart break.

I have a copy of Corduroy and A Pocket For Corduroy, along with a lot of other books that I loved as a child, in a box in my spare bedroom. I've bought them throughout the years with the hope that I can one day read them to a child of my own. I refuse to get rid of them and if things get desperate enough, I may "borrow" an unattended child from the grocery store and read to them. I kid…I kid…for the most part.

Happy Saturday BGLUers!!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Fun Music Friday: Electric Youth - Tia

I woke up with this song in my head and took it as a sign that it needed to be the Fun Music Friday song of the day. 

Like most girls my age in the late 80s/early 90s, I adored Debbie Gibson. There were Debbie versus Tiffany factions, but I didn't really subscribe to that. I didn't feel like you had to like one or the other. You could be a fan of both of them. They were giving me adolescent soundtrack realness and I appreciated them for that.

But I won't front. Style-wise I leaned more toward Debbie. I had the hat, the cut-off shorts, the black patent-leather tie-up shoes with the ribbon laces. Don't act like you don't remember those.

And like every girl at my school, I had the Electric Youth perfume. 
It was so pink!!
All I remember about that stuff is that it smelled sickeningly sweet. It was the "gotta have it" item for every pre-teen girl. God bless the teachers of my middle school. They were suffocated daily with the smell of Electric Youth, Darkkor Noir and pubescent hormones. And yet they still came to work every day. Treasures in Heaven…I have to believe that for them. 

I still remember every word of "Electric Youth." And though I was never the greatest dancer, I oddly still remember some of the choreography. This is what classic music does. It sticks with you forever. We won't remember the "Nae Nae" in 20 years (or 20 months for that matter.) But call me in a couple of decades and I will gladly sing you all of the words of "Electric Youth." 

30 Days of Blog: Day 11 - Favourite Foods - Tia

Day 11 - Favourite Foods

As you can see, I'm still playing catch up with the 30 days of blogging. Trying to blog every day, while traveling for work and doing the rest of my life stuff is proving challenging. But I'm going to do it. I'm going to finish because I don't like starting things and not finishing them. I guilt trip myself something awful when that happens. 

But it's the freakin' weekend, so no more excuse. Time to get it in and get it done. Moving on… 

Y'all, I LOVE food! I really do. It is delicious. It is wonderful. And I'm not just talking about regular food. I'm talking about well made, hand crafted, melt in your mouth, not processed, made with fresh ingredients, somebody put their foot in this (like the old folks used to say) GOOD FOOD. 

I remember the first time I had hand-made gnocchi in a home-made alfredo sauce. Child, I LIVED.

The problem is I'm also fond of not good for you, artery clogging, colon blowing, "why did I eat" that food. I'm learning that I need to avoid this kind of food most of the time and opt for "real" food. But I will never fully abandon an In-N-Out burger animal style with a side of fries. That's just not going to happen.

That being said, in no particular order (except for the bacon…Bacon is ALWAYS number 1) here's a list of the stuff that I will always have a hard time turning down because they're my favorites.

1. Bacon

In my entire 30+ years, I have only ever met TWO people who said they didn't like bacon. And I am convinced that those people were either aliens or demons, because no human in their right mind DOESN'T like bacon. It's meat candy. It makes EVERYTHING better. When have you EVER had bacon or something with bacon and thought, "I could have done without this bacon." NEVER!! You know why? Because BACON IS EVERYTHING.

A couple of years ago, I became privy to what real, cut by a butcher bacon tastes like. Great day in the morning (as my grand daddy used to say), it was like someone had opened up the cosmos or something. I didn't know bacon could get better. But it can. The stuff they sell in the stores is bacon-lite compared to butcher bacon. If you have a Fresh Market near you, go immediately and get some Nueske's bacon. Or if you love bacon like I do, you can order some here. (You can thank me later.) Yes, we live in a world that allows you to order bacon.

2. Cupcakes
A miniature cake…with frosting. I'm not supposed to like this because why…???

3. Pizza
As I mentioned in my day 2 post last Tuesday, I'm horribly lactose intolerant. I have been since I was a baby. I read somewhere that something like 75% of the population has some form of lactose intolerance and it disproportionately affects Native Americans (some estimates put 80-100% of Native Americans in the L.I. category) and African Americans. My grandmother was half Native American and I'm black, so, yeah, there was a good chance I was gonna be screwed on the dairy thing.

I once had a friend tell me that I'm just more evolved that other people because humans aren't supposed to a.) drink milk after infancy and b.) consume the milk of another animal. Apparently, we're the only species that does that. I gently encouraged him to have several seats with all that noise because cereal is everything.

I don't eat pizza often, but I refuse, REFUSE, to give it up completely. It's everything you need in one convenient object. Meat, cheese, vegetable, grains. It's the entire food pyramid in a handy carrying case. Thank you inventors of pizza. THANK YOU.

4. Cereal
You name it, I probably like it. Rice Krispies, Cascadian Farms Granola (my current favorite), Special K, Frosted Flakes…all of it. With few exceptions, cereal is my go-to. Thank God for lactose free milk.

5. Breakfast/Brunch
I understand that breakfast and brunch are not exactly foods but meals. But I don't care. I will eat breakfast/brunch any time, any place. I'm unconcerned with the time of day or the location. If there is a meal that contains all of the elements of breakfast/brunch, you don't even have to ask. Yes, I want in. Yes, I'll have some. Yes, pass me the bacon.

6. Hummus
Why didn't anyone tell me that ground chickpeas were so delicious? I'm a bit angry that it took me so long to get into hummus. But into I am. I pretty much eat it every week. And Trader Joe's Jalapeño Cilantro hummus is worth the 30 minutes it takes me to get to a TJ's to get some.

7. Mexican Food
Mexican food is a close second behind breakfast/brunch. When I was little, my family lived in Texas and the woman who watched me after school until my mother got home was Mexican. She used to make homemade tortillas and a bunch of other stuff that pretty much ensured that I would be addicted to Mexican food for my entire life. Thank you Mrs. Conchola for your far reaching and long-lasting influence.

8. Somosas
A couple of months ago I had vegetable or chicken somosas 4 days in a row. I'm not even remotely sorry about that. If somosas are available, I will be eating them.

9. Burgers
For health reasons, I don't eat a lot of red meat. But that doesn't mean I don't love it.

I'm not a fan of cheap fast food burgers. (I do not put In-n-Out burger in that category.) It has honestly been years since I've had a McDonald's burger. In my opinion, those just aren't real burgers. When I say I like burgers, I'm talking locally grown, grass fed, hormone free, made to order, cooked to perfection burgers. There are THREE restaurants in a 5 mile radius of my house that make some of the best burgers I've ever had. I try to only hit ONE of them up every 3 months. I feel a burger every quarter is fair. But when I'm there, look out. I want it all. Bring me the big, juicy patty with bacon (of course) and sweet potato fries.

Oh and one time this happened.

Yes, that's a burger with doughnuts for buns. Again, sorry I'm not sorry. It was delicious and decadent and worth it.

10. Bacon
Bacon started the list and bacon ends the list. It's just how I feel about the delicious, God sent food and I make no apologies for it.

Happy Friday Y'all!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Stop Trying to Make Me Care! 6 Things I Need for the Media to Stop Talking to Me About- Toya

As much as I hate to admit it, I am a big fan of The Internets (no typo).  My social media activity has only increased since I moved back home.  I appreciate the fact that it helps me stay up in everybody's business keep up with the many people I care about. However, being online a little more than usual has me constantly inundated with things I'd totally be okay never hearing about ever again by the media. Here are the following things I need for the media to stop trying to make me care about once and for all:

1. The Kardashians:  Why? Just....why are we still talking about any of them?  And listen, I don't have a problem with them at all!  How could I be mad at a family that took a lemon of a sex tape (not that I saw it or anything) and turned it into lemonade, lemon meringue pie, lemon fresh Pine Sol, and a thousand acres of lemon trees for everyone in the entire family? I'm not mad at them. I'm mad at the media's obsession with them. Why are we still talking about them? We're not talking about Ray J. I don't get it.

2. Justin Bieber's...anything: Leave this child alone. I swear the media is just bored.  I really don't understand why the media is so obsessed with his demise. It's ridiculous. I do miss #MusicMondays from him though. Say what you want.

3. Real Housewives/Basketball Wives/Love and Hip Hop of Anywhere: Loooooook! It's one thing that people are fans of these shows. God knows I have had my guilty pleasures even though these shows aren't any of them. It's another thing when the media gets involved and tries to make it seem like this mess is for real.  Like, media outlets I actually respect talk about RHOA like it's real life. I don't see them talking about what happened on WWE the night before? What that's not the same thing? Oh okay.

4. Beyonce': Listen. Y'all have GOT to stop talking to me about Beyonce'. That goes for her husband, her baby, her daddy, her daddy's baby, etc.  She can't break a nail without it being all over my timeline.  Again, I have nothing but love for the sista but it's kind of like what Ghandi allegedly said about Christians. "I like your Christ but I don't like your Christians." I like a good bit of Beyonce's songs but her crazy ready to cut somebody fans?  Since a lot of them act like she died on the cross for their sins and rose on the third day to drop an album at midnight, I don't think that's an unfair comparison.

5. What any public figure believes about homosexuality: Y'all. Everyone is not down with everything. I really don't understand why the media needs to publicize people's personal views on the subject.  I also don't understand why people feel they need to have approval from a public figure on their view on homosexuality be it for or against. Someone isn't wit' it? Cool. It is what it is. Someone is all for it? Live your life. A celebrity wants to come out? I mean...I guess. A celebrity is gay but doesn't feel the need to come out or make a statement? Stop trying to out them! Let people be!

6. Sarah Palin's opinion on anything: Everything I have previously listed I am completely indifferent about. But Sarah Palin? Y'all have GOT to stop talking to me about what Sarah Palin has to say about ANYTHING. She infuriates me.  Why are they still asking her opinions about anything in life?! Sarah...Sarah...honey...listen. You don't get to quit your job and then tell other people how to do theirs. No ma'am. Stop asking her opinion on stuff. It doesn't matter anymore.

Other people's opinions who are also null and void: The opinions of Joan Rivers and anyone else who has any opinion on who is too fat to be successful and popular.

Well these are my gripes. What about yours?  What or who do you wish the media would stop trying to make you care about?

Woman Crush Wednesday: Solange - Tia

Did I buy a copy of Essence because Solange is on the cover? Yes, I sure did. Why? Because I love Solange. Don't get me wrong. Beyonce is a bad broad. But if I had to pick a Knowles sister to be friends with, it would be Solange.

I mean, what's not to love?

She's stylish.

She seems to be a great mom. She quit Instagram because people were trolling her son. Seriously, who trolls a kid?
And she makes amazing music.

Sol-Angel and the Hadley Street Dreams is one of the best albums to come out in the last decade. It's funky and eclectic. My inner music nerd STANS for this album.

Normally, I don't care that much about celebrities on a personal level. But honestly, if given the opportunity to be friends with Solange in real life, I would do it without hesitation or question. She is a BGLU personified. And I'm glad she's getting the recognition she deserves.

Happy #WCW!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Try- Toya

"Try" by P!nk just shuffled onto my playlist. Alecia will minister if you let her. 

So I guess I'll start writing again too.

In a post earlier this week, Tia talked about how it is essential to her well being if she writes consistently. The same may be true for me. It's easy to keep things inside now that I am away from everyone because I moved back home to get my life together. However in doing so, I feel like I am keeping a lot of things locked up like my creativity and well, the desire to express my opinions on things because I just happen to like the sound of my own voice apparently.  Unfortunately,  I have found by not expressing myself, I mull things over and over and over and over again in my brain be it in the shower, in my car.... on the train hoping that what I have said in my mind I did not say outside of my mind. You know what I mean. What others call crazy talk, those that often talk to ourselves just call it working it out.

My mom has set up a little office in the house that I am now making my own so I can work. She'll discover this when she  comes home to see that I have moved her clutter into a box and have already hung up some motivational quotes on her walls with Scotch tape. Here's the first one I posted today that I heard during a TED talk called "How to Make Stress Your Friend":

"Chasing meaning is better for your health than trying to avoid discomfort."- Kelly McGonigal

It is hard to start dreaming again and doing things you once enjoyed when you believe that you have screwed up your life beyond all recognition and restoration. This hit me when I took a long walk into Center City Philadelphia last week. I walked past the subway and just kept going for some reason.  I have said that I have no desire to live in Philly but then I came across some cute brownstone apartments. I was then reminded of how I have always wanted to live in the city in one of those. I was also reminded how there is no way outside of winning the lottery right now that I could afford one and then I almost burst into tears. It was then that I discovered that I had completely let go of the dreams that I used to have because I thought that all of my mistakes had made my life a complete failure. Unbeknownst to me, my "hiatus" from pursuing anything fulfilling at the moment was just me giving up.

At 39?  Really? You're just going to retire at 39 huh? 

As I walked around I realized that I had placed a death sentence upon myself. I struggled to remember what my dreams were and why because I had completely swept them under the rug and out of sight. I got my butt  kicked so badly last year that my goal for this year was to simply stay above water and not be a mess. That was all. Don't try to thrive. Just try to survive. Anything else is going to send you to the crazy house. The fear of moving forward had crippled me so badly that for two straight weeks I couldn't even update my resume.  That's why that quote by Kelly McGonigal hit me like a ton of bricks. I have now come to grips with the fact that if you want to do anything in life other than just exist, you can't walk around trying to avoid discomfort. I can't hide from the uncertainties of life. I can't walk around being afraid of anxiety attacks.  I can't keep myself from moving forward because I am scared to fail and scared to go back to a dark place. Because after you go through all of your reasons to not move forward like your failures, your third, fourth, and fifth chances, and all of your regrets, fears and disappointments, what do you do when you still manage to wake up the next day?

You give yourself a clean slate. Sometimes every single day.

You scream "No" when fear and doubt start to creep into the room.

You put your pride and shame away and ask for help; even when everything in you wants to make it seem like you have everything under control.

You forgive yourself for every single mistake no matter how careless or far reaching.

You learn to trust yourself all over again.

And then you try.

30 Days of Blog: Days 2 and 7 - Tia

Day 2 - 20 Facts About You
Believe it or not, even though I'm a blogger, I sometime find it hard to come up with a bunch of facts about myself. So I'm not being self-deprecating, but some of these may be a little boring.

1. I just got my 4th tattoo. And MY GOD did it hurt. Of all of the tattoos I've ever gotten, this one was hands down the most painful. There's a picture on our Instagram that you obviously follow us on, right…Right…RIGHT?!?!?!
2. I judge people who watch any of The Real Housewives shows but I will shamelessly watch 16 and Pregnant.
3. The only reason I don't live in London is because I'm afraid the constant gray weather would bum me out too much. (A friend of mine pointed out that if I did live in London and the weather was getting me down, I would just be a short train ride away from warm sunnier weather.)
4. I have pretty small feet for my height. I'm almost 5'10" and my feet measure a size 8.
5. I love gingers.
6. I'm lactose intolerant and ALL of my favorite foods have diary in them…except bacon.
7. I will always watch Love Actually if it's on even though I have it on DVD and digital.
8. I love really bad movies. The crappier the better. Sharknado is a masterpiece.
9. I used to be obsessed with the Titanic. Not the overly long movie but the actual ship. I watched documentaries. I have books about the sinking. I did unnecessary research on the sinking. I nerded it up for a boat that sank over 100 years ago.
10. I love bacon. No, seriously, LOVE IT. Would eat it everyday if I didn't care about my cholesterol.
11. I don't understand the fascination with Scarlett Johansson. No shade, I just don't get her.
12. I used to want 5 kids. Now I'm far too selfish for that many children.
13. I'm not a great dancer. I'm okay with that.
14. I will eat kettle corn until I'm on the verge of throwing up and then will stop eating just long enough for the feeling to pass and then keep eating it. It's a sickness. I just don't know when to stop.
15. I hate winter but I love Christmas.
16. I still have a tape deck.
17. I have a box full of children's books that I've purchased over the years to read to my kids.
18. I LOVE LOVE LOVE music.
19. I don't feel like a lot of people really get me.
20. Whenever I have to write a list like this I always struggle to come up with enough points and it makes me feel like my life isn't very interesting.

Day 7- Your 5 Favourite Songs
(I left the British spelling because I'm an anglophile like that.)
Listing my 5 favorite songs is an exercise in futility. I have one favorite song that never changes and that's "Children Say" by Level 42. That is my all time favorite song. But aside from that, the songs that I label favorite is an ever-rotating list.

That being sad, here are my other 4 favorite songs for the moment in no particular.

Monday, April 7, 2014

30 Days of Blog: Days 1 and 6 - Tia

As promised, I'm trying to change some things and stay creative by blogging daily. What that means for you is more information than you probably ever cared to know about me. Sorry, I'm not sorry.

Day 1 - Your Blog's Name
Black Girls Like Us came about after Toya and I realized that we were both the "weird" black girls growing up. We were the girls who spoke properly. We not only listened to but reveled in all music including "white people music." (We see you Duran Duran…we see you.) We had friends who were something other than black. We were labeled "different" "sell-out" "Oreos." We were never black enough for certain people. And while it was hard when we were younger, once we got older we realized a.) how awesome we truly were and b.) that there were other "weird" black girls out there like us. And maybe those other "different" black girls would like to read a blog about two girls who get them because they're like them. So out of that came: Black Girls Like Us.

By the way, Buzzfeed absolutely nailed this.

Day 6 - What Are You Afraid Of

So this is where I get real. I'm not afraid of dying. I'm not afraid of serial killers. I'm not afraid of most of the regular things that most folks are afraid of. But what I am afraid of is that I will end up alone.

I am on a fast moving train barreling toward 40. And I would love to just spend several decades in my 30s. But like Elton so wisely said, "This train don't stop there anymore." I can no more stop time than I can make myself get married. Or fly. Or own a liger.

I grew up in a culture of Christianity that made you feel like you weren't saved enough if you weren't married by the time you were 25. My mother and cousins, though well meaning, would tell me that, "God has someone for you. Just keep praying." So from the time I was 11 I prayed…and prayed…and prayed. (Yes, I wanted to get married when I was 11. I liked the idea of being a wife and a mommy. I blame my surroundings and 80s sitcoms.)

But as I got older and after catching THREE bouquets at back to back weddings, the freakishly insensitive people around me went from telling me, "You'll get married soon" to "When are you getting married?" to "Are you seeing anyone?" to "How's work?" Even my mother stopped haggling me about marriage and grandbabies. I think she may have given up.

The older I get the harder it gets for me. I feel like no one is ever going to like me the best. (That's the basic concept of marriage, by the way. Of all of the girls a boy can marry, he picks the one he likes the best and marries her.) I'm afraid that I will be alone forever and that I will become the weird cat lady.

I do try not to worry about it. But it's difficult. I see some of my friends pairing off, doing life together, having babies and I wonder if it's ever going to be me. I think about the fact that I went on 2 dates between 2007 and 2012. I worry that as a person whose primary love languages are quality time and physical touch, I will slowly go a little crazy because I won't have someone to love me the way I need to be loved.

So yeah, there are a MILLION things to fear on this Earth (with a disproportionate number of them being in Australia) but the thing that I am most truly afraid of is being alone. And if someone feels like that makes me a wuss, they can kick rocks, because at this point, honesty is all I have left.

Good day sir. I SAID GOOD DAY!!!

Another Challenge - Tia

This isn't the first time that I've attempted to do a 30 day challenge. But something Toya said to me yesterday struck a cord and subsequently lit a fire in me.

Yesterday we were doing a BFF phone catch up and we were discussing what's been happening in our respective lives. We've both been going through A LOT. And when my life gets full and exhausting, my first reaction is to shut everything out and binge watch Netflix. I don't want to be creative. I don't want to share my thoughts. I just want the inner dark and twisty-ness to go away.

I can't speak for Toya, but whenever my life takes a turn for the Meredith, the one thing I SHOULD be doing is writing. It's cathartic. And it keeps me from staying in the dark and twisty places.

Side note: I took the Grey's quiz twice at and got this both times:
The only saving grace here is that Meredith's life is SO much better than it used to be. So…you know…there's still hope.

Toya told me she had to ask herself, "Are you just going to give up on all of your dreams because nothing seems to be happening right now?" Dear readers, that was the spark I needed. I refuse to sit around and mope because things are so slow and unclear. YES, I've been in a dark and uncertain place for a while now. Yes, I'm genuinely afraid of a lot of things about the future. (I'm a planner, you see. And when my plans don't work, I often temporarily panic and crumble.) But I LOVE this blog. And I refuse to let it fall by the wayside any longer. This blog needs to be the one bright spot in my day. My plan is that even if my entire day is falling apart around me, I know that I can come here and vent or cry or share something mundane and I will feel better. BGLU will be my daily sanctuary.

But confession: some days I just don't know what to write about. So that's why I figured the best way to ease back into writing daily would be another challenge.

I grabbed this one from the interwebs because it was the least irritating and wasn't overly juvenile or personal. (Apparently, there are a lot of young oversharing bloggers.) And since it's already the 7th of April, I'll be doubling up on topics until I can catch up.

Also, I'd like to ask you guys to keep me accountable. I really need to do this. I need to stay creative. I need to make sure I have an outlet so that I don't remain in the dark places in my own noggin. So if a day goes by and you don't see a topic, hit the Twitters (@TiaBGLU) or the Book of Faces and guilt trip me until it gets done.

I have to go do my "pay my bills" job now, but I'll see you all shortly.

Man Crush Mondays: Jesse Williams - Tia

It would be EXCEPTIONALLY easy to objectify Jesse Williams. I mean, COME ON!!! LOOK AT HIM!!!!

I'll be the first to admit that there have been times that I've found it hard to concentrate on a particular scene of "Grey's" because Jesse has his shirt off. I feel that it's unfair of Shonda Rhimes to expect viewers to pay attention to the words coming out of his mouth when this is happening:

I'm a heterosexual woman with working eyes. Nothing else really matters when this is happening.

But Jesse being fine as frog's hair is NOT, I repeat, NOT the reason he's my MCM. (Well, it's neither the sole or primary reason.) I was recently catching up on my current number one girl crush Aisha Tyler's podcast "Girl on Guy" and Jesse was the guest. It was during those 90 minutes that I realized that this man is not just a pretty face. He's smart and funny. He's generous and a bit militant. He's basically an AWESOME dude who just happens to be in a pretty package. (If you're interested, you can listen to Jesse's "Girl on Guy" episode here. But be warned, it is NSFW. It's not pervy or anything. They just curse a lot.)

If for some reason you're insane and not already on board with the wonderfulness that is Jesse Williams, here a few fun facts that will help you out of your craziness and into the light.

1. He's been with the same woman for years.
Side Note: She STAYS giving me hair envy.
But don't get it twisted. She met him BEFORE he was famous. They got together back when he was teacher in New York. She's been ride or die for a minute. And from what I understand, she's a real estate broker. So she got her own, thank you very much.

2. He is über smart and engaging.
I seriously want to encourage you to listen to the "Girl on Guy" episode. Prior to listening to it, I just assumed that Jesse Williams was just another pretty boy actor. I had no idea that he'd graduated from Temple with a double major in…two things that readily escape me (and that I'm too lazy to Google as I've taken a sleeping pill and am trying to finish this before I fall into a sleep that is centimeters away from being a coma.) Listening to him speak made me want to learn more about his abs (sorry) him so I did an infinitesimal amount of internet searching (it honestly didn't take much, he's quite popular) and stumbled across his tumblr. It is chock full of insightful reads and diagrams (and some giggle worthy gifs.) Trust me, it's worth your time and there are quite a few things that will make you think. (Side note: Smart brothas make me happy.)

3. He believes in justice.

It would be very easy for Jesse Williams to sit back and say nothing. Being vocal about polarizing issues can be very unpopular. And being an actor, I'm fairly certain that booking a job may very well come down to who's the most popular and least offensive. Who hasn't stepped on anyone's toes? Who's ruffled the fewest feathers? So to speak up adamantly and vehemently about the murder of a young black boy at the hands of a white man, may not win too many friends or influence too many people. But it is without question the right thing to do. I admire Jesse for his words here. And he's correct. We should ALL be outraged.

Now, if after all of this you can't understand why Jesse is my MCM, then you're dead inside and I can't help you.

Happy Monday Y'all!!