So I've been thinking about the various goings on in the world today, especially the subject of rape and sexual assault. Of course, this is top of mind in light of the high profile stories of Cosby and Kavanaugh that have been in the news recently. I have been struggling to gather my thoughts and words regarding this and I'm still not certain that I am able to properly articulate my feelings. I'm also apprehensive about even addressing this matter. The dialogue that I've seen on social media has been so harsh and combative, that I started to think that maybe I wouldn't even touch this with a ten foot pole! Some people have resorted to insults and name calling due to differing opinions. I understand that folk are passionate about their stance, but as adults, the least we should be able to do is RESPECTFULLY agree to disagree and then continue to interact or not interact accordingly.
Instead of going back and forth on social media, I wanted to use the platform that I have to share my opinion. I'm going to try to keep this short and sweet. Rape and sexual assault is wrong! Regardless of what time a person visits another person, regardless of attire or the lack thereof, regardless of occupation, previous encounters, drug use, etc., it is never warranted. No human being has the right to violate another human being under ANY circumstance.
I'm disgusted by the extreme lack of empathy for victims of rape and sexual assault. It saddens me that we tend to not believe victims when they don't come forward in the time frame that we deem suitable. It fills me with sorrow when we continually blame the victim. I'm remorseful for ever having either of these flawed ways of thinking. A culprit's financial status or position of power and prestige does not excuse this ultimate violation, neither does their race. Just because white men seem to experience more leniency when it comes to suffering the consequences of such crimes, it doesn't excuse minorities and justice should be served either way. The call for justice shouldn't depend on whether or not another person who did the same thing was tried and convicted.
I just want us all to do better. Put yourself in the victim's shoes. Think about how you would feel if you or someone close to you was violated in such a way. It's shameful that many times we don't have compassion for others about certain things until that situation shows up at our doorstep.
So I was thinking about the 15+ years of experience I have working in call centers. The bulk of my experience has been in collections and I currently work in customer service/central scheduling for a medical group. One of the things that has remained constant across the companies I've worked for and the industries I've been in, is how rude you all are. Yep, I'm talking about YOU! I know it's you because it has been me and I still have to check myself from time to time when I handle my affairs. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand I've talked to some of you! LOL!! Some of y'all are seriously THEE WORST! A lot of you positive, upstanding, kindhearted, spiritual, peaceful, and admirable individuals turn into straight up ornery jerk faces when it's time to handle business over the phone (And sometimes in person). Then, after you've showed your tail, you have the audacity to wonder why you received less than stellar service! Now, I know there are times when you get a truly incompetent or rude rep. Though that may be the case, I admonish you to approach them with a certain level of respect, calm, tact, and empathy. Think about how you like to be treated at your place of employment or how you feel when you may be going through a rough patch or having a not so good day, but have to work anyway. This message is for me too. I'm a stickler for exceptional customer service and have been known to be hard on people providing me service. But, this is one of a ton of new leaves I've turned over, so I'm way better and am still working on me.
I'm going to share a few tips with you on how to be a good customer. Follow these guidelines and I guarantee you'll get better service. You'll also keep that blood pressure down!
So I was thinking about all of the great shows that are everywhere right now. In my opinion, the last 5-7 years has provided us with some of the best tv of my lifetime. I watched tv a lot as a child but as time went on and I became an adult, I could go months at a time without even turning my television on. When I would watch, there was very little that I was interested in. For years, I was without any form of cable and I didn't even miss it. I still don't pay for a standard cable package, but there are many other ways to watch quality programming nowadays. I have service via Comcast/Xfinity, but I only have basic local channels, HBO, and internet. I pay for a few other streaming services, but there is still about a $55-$75 difference from when I had cable.
The award show that honors the best in television, The Emmys, comes on tonight and I thought I would share with you some of the shows I watch and the services I use to watch them.
So I was thinking about how I hear/see some parents say that their child is their best friend. No matter how many times I hear that sentiment, I always have the same reaction of bewilderment. My mind just can't grasp the concept. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that a parent/child friendship is impossible, but them being BEST friends makes a bit more sense to me once the child is an adult, AT LEAST. I see this best friend label used on children under the age of 18, all the way down to toddler and infant age! I just don't understand.
Maybe I feel strongly because of how I was brought up. My parents told me that they weren't one of my lil friends. I was taught to stay in a child's place and out of grown folks business. It was ingrained in me that certain conversation, language, and activities were inappropriate between children and adults, especially when they were your parents. Aside from that, I didn't WANT my mother or father to be my bestie and now as a parent, I don't want my son to be my best friend. To me, a best friend is a peer, an EQUAL with whom I can relate on multiple levels, someone with shared interests, someone whose conversation I enjoy, who I desire to spend time with, and most of all someone with whom I can talk to about ANYTHING and vice versa.
Right now, my main role in my son's life is as his parent. I'm here to instruct and guide, discipline and mold, love and protect. We do enjoy each other's company and I've made it my business to establish a relationship with my son where he feels comfortable talking to me about most things, but there are boundaries set and lines drawn which I make sure are not crossed. I teach my boy the importance of relationship and encourage him to develop friendships with children his own age. But, when he needs that extra boost of wisdom and guidance or just needs to talk some things out, and doesn't feel comfortable coming to me, I implore him to use all available outlets; talking to his dad when he feels he can and talking to another adult he trusts, like his uncle. I encourage him to journal and he also goes to therapy. In my opinion, having boundaries and other outlets allows for a certain level of respect to be maintained between the parent and child, ESPECIALLY when the child is below the age of 21. I've witnessed scenarios where parents and children become such friends to each other that the line between friendship and parenthood becomes super thin and the behavior of the child, though usually unintentional, crosses over into disrespect.
As an adult child, I can say that my relationship with my parents, especially my mother, has moved into more of a friendship status. However, she isn't my BFF. She is not my peer. I still revere her as my mother FIRST and there are certain things I don't wish to discuss with her, places I don't want to go with her, she doesn't expect it, and I know that the feeling is mutual. And that's just what works for US!
I'd like to hear from you! Is your child(ren) your best friend? Are you best friends with your parents? And if you have young children, how does being best friends with them work? What exactly does it mean? Talk to me in the comments, fill out the contact form, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So I was thinking about how yesterday would have been my 21st year wedding anniversary and this week marks 14 years that I've been divorced. Now, when people hear that I remember these dates and actually think about what the date is every year, they tend to believe that I'm still holding on to things and that I have not gotten over my ex. Not so. Unfortunately, I just have that type of memory. For some reason, seemingly insignificant details get stuck in my head, especially dates. Like I remember that Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were murdered on my birthday and that Anna Nicole Smith died on the day of my brother's funeral. I even remember that Barry White died on July 4th because I heard the announcement on the radio right before getting out of the car as we were headed to the Taste of Chicago. I also remember the birthdays of random co-workers, old classmates, and acquaintances; I'm talking people who probably haven't thought of me in years or ever! Weird, I know, but that's why I remember these sucky September dates and every time I remember it's like a band-aid being ripped from an exceptionally hairy part of your arm. You know how you let out a yelp from the shock and the sting, then have to deal with the residual redness and soreness until it all fades and you forget you ever had a band-aid, or an injury for that matter? Well, I'm writing this in the middle of the redness and soreness.
I'm not sad, but just reflecting on the pain that I endured in my marriage and then in my separation and divorce. As I mull over different scenarios, I finally just stop and thank God that I have come so far. From depressed, stressed, and broken to happy, peaceful, and whole. There were times when I had no idea how I would make it through and points when I thought that it would be impossible to survive. When I think back, it's nothing short of a miracle that I made it to the other side of so much despair. As I continue to reflect, I'm grateful and relieved and now the soreness is beginning to subside and the spot isn't as red.
Now, I'm reviewing my journey through singledom and that's where I linger for a while. I'm not quite sure what I expected when my status changed from married to divorced. I definitely didn't think that dating or finding love again would be a big deal. Linda, listen. This whole single, dating thing has been one of the hardest phases of my life! It was difficult for me to jump back in the saddle, especially when I had never really been IN the saddle! I was married at 18 and pretty much missed the years when most young people usually get into the swing of dating. I was a total fish out of water and honestly, at times I still feel that way. At first I felt kind of desperate and obsessed with the idea of dating and trying to find a new man aka I was acting real thirsty! LOL! Over time, I realized that I needed this measure of singleness, to heal, focus, and find myself. So I did that. I discovered my likes and dislikes, handled some business, embraced my style and personality, cultivated relationships with family and friends, traveled, realized some talents and dreams, and just got to know and love Cheryce. I thought that once I did all of that and was content and comfortable with myself and my status, that dating would be easier. *insert eye-roll here*. For ME, it isn't easy and it ain't fun. I'm not Catholic, but I've contemplated leaving behind my earthly possessions to join my nearest convent. In 14 years, I have not had a substantial romantic relationship and that baffles me. Although (mostly) optimistic, I can't help but have moments of sadness and frustration. This is where I get stuck. The redness is basically gone and the soreness is leaving, but the spot is starting to throb on its way out. I ponder and consider. I dissect and analyze, and I still can't figure it out...I continue to think about the people I've encountered, the experiences I've had, the lessons I've learned, the bullets I've dodged and again, the feelings of relief and gratitude return. I'm starting to conclude that everything regarding my love life will unfold as it should and in its perfect timing, as long as I go with the flow of life and rest in the fact that despite detours, my steps have always been ordered. I just need to keep doing me and living my best life. I don't need to pick up my nun habit just yet...Wouldja look at that? I don't even remember where that band-aid was!
So I was thinking about how judgy we all tend to be at times. Yes. ALL of us. And it seems to come so easy. Why is that? Why does it seem to be second nature for us humans to be such Judge Judys? And most times when we've put on our People's Court robe, we don't have any true knowledge of what it is that we've deemed ourselves qualified to judge in the first place. Please. Don't even think about reading this and saying to yourself, "Well, she's not talking about me. I'm not a judgmental person." Ma'am or sir, yes, it is you that I speak of. We all do it and it is my belief that many of our relationships and interactions with people would improve exponentially if we took more time to think, communicate, and empathize rather than judge and condemn. Here are 3 reasons we should all be more conscious of our judge-o-meter.