http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/07/1349174/-White-man-s-burden

Who are the “people of color”?

(featured photo found on dailykos.com “The White Man’s Burden”)

From time to time  it is important to have an extensive conversation about race. A good conversation in which one should ideally practice listening skills, provide an abundance of context, and give feedback. Last night, instead of bedtime stories, Jeff and I had a filled conversation about race in hollywood which spilled over into a conversation about my use of the term “people of color.” As an interracial couple, it’s important that we get our facts straight about what the other person thinks about race and specifically what language they deem appropriate in description of or conversation of minority communities. I absolutely hate the term minorities and always have because (in my mind) it has a negative connotation of lesser than, so I say people of color quite frequently.  I have never heard anyone question the term “people of color” before, but then again Jeff’s inquisitive personality usually brings that sort of excitement into a conversation. He made me sit and think about who do we call “people of color” and why do we feel we can group black and latino and asian and middle eastern, etc, all together in struggle?

I went straight academics on him, explaining how in the US we are ignorant to the struggles of other countries and communities. For example, colonization in latin america and the near extinction of indigenous people and their culture or how the atlantic slave trade included countries like Cuba and Colombia and Guatemala and Dominican Republic and Costa Rica, just to name some. I explained to him that in the foundation of understanding latin american history is the learning of the haitian revolution, the praising of the same leaders that many caribbean people praise for the independence of their countries today. In regards to black nationalism and contributions to US civil rights history I can talk about Arturo Schomburg, Carlos Cooks and The Young Lords Party off the top of my head, but I had to go to college to learn the place of latinos in american history.

He went straight street knowledge on me, how do we immerse ourselves in diversity when latino neighborhoods are on the come up before black neighborhoods are? When you must travel a distance to get soul food, but indian food and sushi and even latin food can be found within a one block radius of every apartment in NYC, the struggle of “people of color” is distant. He questioned why every major city had a celebrated “chinatown” yet the black communities are still “underprivileged” places to live. We currently reside in Miami, FL which is an interesting setting for this conversation to take place because it is a major city mostly populated by latino people. What is the purpose of grouping our struggles together if they are not the same?

The lack of narrative of different histories in a nation as diverse as the United States grouped someone like me to “people of color”. I can speak expertly to the experiences of diasporic people (a people not easily recognized as American). We know a history that is affected by the US but is not directly American, experiences like imperialism. Those are the experiences that, to me, bring together the struggle of a people of color, but they aren’t going to be made general knowledge or taught in your US history I or II or AP which keeps us separated.  POC’s are a marginalized group of people, they have a reason to continue in the struggle… a purpose to want to redefine “americana” and be included in the narrative of freedom and attaining the american dream.  We keep in mind the revolutionaries who fought for our existence, we deserve to be more than a third world people. We empower the notion of humanity and carry the responsibility of leveling the playing field for future generations.

Our conversation ended on an optimistic note. The beauty in being an interracial  couple is that we can see a world where in race will be so ambiguous that it won’t be a question of importance. Our children will have known that there was a black president in american history, they will read american classics like “the bluest eye” and “the house on mango street”, they will have seen their black and latino parents celebrate homecoming (insert Scarlet Knight pride here) and hear crazy college stories. They too will have parents who have been there and done that. The hope is that with each generation races will melt into each other and children will begin to brag about how many different cultures they have in their family trees. Their norm will be different than ours. Maybe then a couple will just be a couple.

Maribi

 

Finding Balance

The truth is, I needed to stop writing for a year. When I release a genuine thought piece via social media posts and this website I allow someone the power to confront me. I love hearing the perspectives of other people, but things got a little personal this year.

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My words are not meant to be confrontational, they are meant to be inviting, conversational. I couldn’t find the inviting words to talk about #blacklivesmatter & #sayhername movements, or to talk about immigration policies here or abroad in Dominican Republic and Haiti. I couldn’t tackle the issue of the minimum wage raise, the constant posts about police brutality, the posts questioning the reality of trans people, the posts showing  zero sympathy for the complex nature of a society that aims to embrace diversity. There were no inviting people to the issues and the history I know and live personally with my family, loved ones, and with my city. I take it personally, something I’m working on.

I decided to focus on finding balance.

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My usual easy going personality, was not feeling too go-with -the-flow and that invited some confrontation from friends, family members, and my boyfriend. These moments led to stronger and more meaningful relationships, others led to nothing and strangely enough that was necessary too. Balance. Work on myself and listening to my thoughts over the work on others and making their words more powerful. Little by little I got back to basics: listen to & love my mother & father (& brother). Be honest to anyone I encounter, especially friends. Live unapologetically in happiness. Journal. Stay focused and finish the work.

I started this platform to contemplate the issues that intersect topics of race, culture, gender because they are issues I am very passionate about. They are offensive to some who pass by projectchula.com, but relatable to many.

-Maribí

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(photos featuring parts of San Diego, CA)

Chula Talks Women and Hip Hop

“Some think that we can’t flow, stereotypes they got to go” – Latifah

Queen Latifah’s Black Reign (1993) creates the setting for this writing session. This record rocks hard amongst the classic hip hop alums of the Golden Age like Tribe’s Midnight Marauder (1993), and Common’s Resurrection (1994). These records take precedence in the history of hip-hop, and yes I am a girl writing this passage.

It is true I learned hip hop from the boys in my neighborhood, I fell in love with the culture because they were living it…I had to experience it a little differently than them. I learned Tupac in the back of my cousin’s bright red Electra around 1995. I learned A Tribe Called Quest through my uncle’s affinity for “Scenario.” I learned Biggie through my brothers fascination with the Ready to Die album, and Busta Rhymes through MTV. Big Pun sampled salsa music, and Mos Def did poetry slams. Common dated Queen Erykah, The Fugees remade “Killing Me Softly” introducing Lauryn Hill. “The Sweetest Thing” wins female record of the CENTURY, in my hip hop mind. But my experience as a lover of hip-hop cannot be discounted simply because I am a girl, my reality was depicted in the rhymes of these and more like Queen Latifah, Salt n Pepa, Monie Love, and MC Lyte… but was the hip hop community willing to listen? Are they still looking to listen to women MC’s who rhyme less about sexuality and more about demanding respect for who they are, women. And creating new rules on how to treat these women.

If you’ve ever listened in on a hip hop cypher you understand that every MC is a Braggadocio who your mother wants to misuse and abuse to cue in to her girlfriends she still cute like Who Got It. Women take this a step further when they enter the rap game…they want to talk about wack game and use their voice to praise men a lot less than they do themselves. In the 80’s and early 90s women still did not maintain a position of respected work order outside and within of the domestication of home, especially in urban neighborhoods amongst minority women. So excuse the idea of women MC’s promoting feminism and writing flows that could be less relative to the experience of men. There were already a ton of hip-hop artists doing just that.

This need to expose some of hip hop’s noted women rappers comes on a highly anticipated week in hip hop as Kanye West dropped his new LP “Yeezus”, J. Cole dropped his sophomore LP “Born Sinner”, and Jay Z announces the coming of yet another LP “Magna Carta Holy Grail.” It is world news, so naturally this sparked a conversation at the bar with 2 male friends who are also fans of hip-hop. We agree on a lot, and we disagree on certain points, and as most of conversations the main point boils down to gender. “Women don’t buy tickets to see hip-hop shows” one says, “And if they go to shows they go as dates” the other says. Last line, “I can get with MC Lyte because she hung out with the dudes,” I put my drink down and call this the end of our hip-hop conversation; they are officially gaining their spot on Project Chula and I will convince myself that is the reason such statements are made. There are PLENTY of women who live by the words of hip-hop and can teach a lot of men a few things about this culture and music. I sure have.

One of my first concerts was a Missy Elliot show, my repertoire of concerts attended is not too long but I’ve seen Lupe Fiasco, J. Cole, Talib Kweli, Jay Z, Kanye West, N.E.R.D, Fabulous, Consequence, A$AP Rocky have purchased to see J. Cole and Jay Z once again this summer. Not to mention in college and high school I was introduced to plenty underground hip hop names like Kidz in the Hall, Immortal Technique, (at the time he was underground) Joell Ortiz, etc. Granted, my experience is limited to the 2000s and up wherein everyone praises Kanye, and to an extent rightfully so, but my culture dates back to the 1970s in the South Bronx with DJ Kool Herc not 2007. How did I learn about hip hop? I listened.

Whoever the MC’s I praise shout out in their rhymes are who I take the time to rediscover now, it is of my interest and less because I am a girl who wants to be cool amongst the guys.

I am a girl who loves hip hop because I hate being told who I am and what I must do and be like. I am a girl who loves hip hop because I appreciate the influence of internal and tight end rhyme schemes, word play, and call it poetry. My favorite artists reflect my daily thoughts and so people who believe socially aware hip hop is wack, are wack to me. I am a girl who enjoys music that excites me, whether physically or mentally, through dance beat, percussion and sound, or words worth time and reflection because they create purpose.

Women are rarely recognized for their talents when put up against men, but the music scene is one in which I feel we stand out. Salt-N-Pepa’s “None of Your Business” gave me life as I discovered it around the time traditional ideologies of women and dating no longer applied to me. “Whatta Man” exuded sex appeal and expressed a woman’s right to lust out loud. MC’s like Lil Kim, Eve, Rah Digga, Remy Ma, Foxy Brown, and Missy Elliot left their mark on the evolution of hip hop as we entered another stage in the late 90s and into the 2000s. We were hearing them at every house party, rocking brown lipstick and tight hot pants. Women were taking part in producing their own tracks and writing rhymes that were cohesive and understood so their purpose could not be mistaken. They were marking their place in hip hop.

I respect the tongue twisting, verbial breakdown Nicki Minaj’s sound produces… but she represents a hip hop that has chosen to perform for the mainstream. It plays in the club, does not necessarily make any sense, and years from now people won’t be passing it down to their children due to its lack of creative cohesive anything. She produces zero U.N.I.T.Y. joints like Latifah made. This generation of women have stories to tell and issues to address… hence the creation of Chula. Women can BE relevant MC’s right now. Minaj, Iggy Azaela, and Azaela Banks have a platform they use to ridicule their talents with antics and outfits instead of producing quality hip hop rhymes. As a woman of hip hop, I pray to the talents of the fast paced rhymers like Monie Love, internal/tight end rhyme schemers like Roxanne Shante (who is known for having created Roxanne’s Revenge in one shot), story tellers of the likes of Lauryn Hill.

Who is your Hip Hop Queen?

❤ Mary B.

The Trick to Raising Daughters: Don Chulo Edition

I write this piece to commemorate a little girl in Texas that I have only met through a skype session in which we booty bumped to Beyonce. I am absolutely in love with her. It is imperative that I let her know just how special she is, for her birth was a moment of conversion for her father…who was scared to his wits ends to raise a girl. And he is not the only one, I have lost count of the many men I have heard utter the words “I would hate to raise a daughter” to which I only have to say…You are too grown for Pampers and it is time for the boxer briefs, Big Boy Style.

My father, too, had a challenge in raising his little girl. She was a curious soul, energetic, and constantly around boys. My family is first generation in the United States and my father was lucky enough to have the female breeding sperm before my aunts and uncles could reproduce them. All in all, it was an experiment raising me and with no female cousins to back me up my father and I had hella fun deciding whether or not I’d go to prom with my cousin or if a brand new car was enough to bribe me to stay home and drive to the nearby Rutgers, instead of choosing the far Rutgers where I would dorm on a Co-ed floor. All of the above are true stories of my life to which my pop had to learn some things: trust being the most important. He learned to put his faith in the fact that he was doing the best he could as a parent, and any mistake that I made he would be there to do exactly what I needed him to… parent. As an adult I continue to work to maintain this unspoken trust because more than growing our relationship as father and daughter I wanted him to believe in himself and the work he had done thus far.

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I am his only girl amongst three sons and I was allowed to inherit his foul mouth after the age of 21. He sees himself in me and I share the same pride with him. My father is a jovial spirit and he is never mean to me, even though he is capable of being really mean to people. The trick is to be kind to your daughters, so she can approach you with the ease she approaches mom. The moments my dad has tried to correct me with an attitude or an aggressive stance has never worked. I didn’t get hit (except for that one time to which I threatened to run away and stayed downstairs at my grandmothers for the night) and I was obsessed with receiving and giving him hugs. He knows himself well and has learned to get to know my evolving personality along the way. He always tries to talk to me after he has taken his time mulling over the thoughts and thinking of the right words to say. He wants me to listen, and I always have because he takes the time to listen to me.  It’s the way he shows he respects me.

He was a bonafide gentleman from the minute I was born, and it was his goal to show me just how well I deserved to be treated by a man. If men are mad I have standards that are too high for their liking, I suggest they take that issue up with my pop. He showed me wild amounts of love and rarely yelled at me. Needless to say, I don’t respond well to loud and aggressive men.

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At some point I would have to live my life as I saw fit. I wasn’t as sheltered as most girls I knew. In high school I had a natural curfew of  “whenever we drop my friend Meli home” because her parents did the work for mine, and my dad always waited up for me on the couch, even when my mom went to bed. I had my first boyfriend at the age of 16 and I remember the day I had to tell my father he existed. He didn’t offer me a huge smile and dinner to celebrate, but he said “okay”  for we had agreed 2 weeks before my birthday that 16 was an appropriate age to start getting to know boys and I could bring him home so they could meet. He set it up so I would feel comfortable. I can honestly say I don’t recall ever having to make up a lie to protect my father, he could pretty much handle everything his crazy daughter brought his way. Whether or not my boyfriends could handle whatever craziness he brought their way on that first meeting was always interesting for me to see.

At 22 I fell in love and my father did not pretend he didn’t know. He was mindful of the nights I was upset, I’m sure of it, because on one of those nights he took me to dinner by the waterfront and we split a bottle of champagne. I came home that night clear headed and handled my situation way better than I would have before that dinner. Smart man he was, he handled the boyfriend through his daughter instead of for his daughter.

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He obviously didn’t do this on his own, I think my mom always clued him in to my girl issues, but when it came to raising his kids he knew how to work well with his partner.

My dad once had to deal with his daughter’s life being threatened at the hand of an armed robber. We don’t live in a perfect neighborhood but my dad taught me this was home. My father didn’t panic or run around the block looking to attack the man who thankfully ended up walking away from me. I was 21 and although I was expecting to hear “you should have known better,” I got a more sympathetic reaction to which he taught me to be more forgiving of the man who committed the crime…I have been more blessed than he. That was the first lesson I got in forgiving my neighborhood, and it didn’t instill fear… it instilled humility and practice of instinct. I could have gotten a boastful version of my father, who was upset and only displacing his anger on me. I was not detained in my house or sheltered more after that, but we did develop a texting system for when I would be out late.

He let me cherish my independence and reminded me he will always remain the helping hand when “shit happens.” That is just the way life goes.

He never held me back from making a decision I was sure about…much like that summer before I started college.

He was scared when he needed to be, but taught me I could tell him the truth, always.

He respectfully teaches me to believe in love because there are good men.

He has never in my life told me I look ugly (unless I look really pretty).

He thought things like Daddy-Daughter Prom were more important than working the extra hours at work.

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(Most adorable thing about going to an All-girls high school)

He taught me to eat my steak medium to have a really good time, & shares a glass of white wine with me weekly.

He shares my love of music & jokes.

We are one in the same when it comes to dedicating our selves to our work and the people around us.

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My Pop, known to you as Don Chulo, is the greatest. Here are some of his tricks to raising this Chula successfully.

❤ Mary B.

Notes from an Intimidating Woman

Hair slicked back with a part down the middle made to perfection like Moses parted the Red Sea, her hand is usually met with a lipstick pressed bottle of Heineken before it reaches yours, and she can recite the words to “Juicy” before she can “Call Me Maybe”. Maybe you love “Party and Bulls**t” instead? No? Okay. She’ll teach Biggie 101 later on.

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She smiles a smile that is hard to trust…there is a Heineken in her hand. In an unlikely matter, this is the woman that deems it appropriate to crack a joke before her counterpart does. She calls it breaking the ice; others may crown her the title “intimidating.” It is true, she judges all those who cannot recite Biggie’s “Juicy” with her, everyone should know at least the first lyric and her expectations cannot be met. This appreciation for classic tracks is enough to decide whether or not she’d be a challenge one wills to accept or not. If she takes her music this serious, what else does she take too seriously? Her beer purchasing talents must prove she has a higher degree of testosterone in her system than the vodka-loving queens, and the joke that was actually funny couldn’t be developed from the mind of a simply wit-filled woman…those are only found in the movies. She can only be Mila Kunis.

Her taste is impressive yet put in question when she orders whiskey. Who taught you about Jameson? From a woman that is consistently considered for questioning (and I am fully aware that my taste in drink, music, and hair style has only half to do with the reason for being donned intimidating), my brother taught me dark liquor was the better way to go and I listened. Maybe the past 4 years of different Cognac and Jack have enhanced my funnies? I am told I inherit more of my brother and father’s jovial personality after a couple of those.

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The answer to the above questions can be found in this Chula’s upbringing, and amazingly enough has more to do with what my mother taught me rather than my uncles, cousins, brothers, and father taught me.

My beautiful mother taught me my greatest lessons right after basketball practice: stand tall and walk well in your heels. I spent 15 minutes against a wall every night Monday-Friday for the latter part of my grammar school career while my mom cooked and looked over my homework at the same time. She would test me by making me walk a straight line in heels while bearing her choice of books on top of my head and force merengue parties for 2 in my room on Fridays. There was no way the hips of a Dominican woman would stay stiff for life. I was to learn to have pride in my femininity while playing basketball, and building ramps, and running neighborhood-wide games of manhunt and red rover, which added a new scar to my growing collection every time.

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As the mother to the only young female in her United States family, Mami had quite a challenge on her hands. All this child loved was wrapping her hands in oversized tube socks and learning how to fight with her brother via Jean Claude Van Damme: Street Fighter edition. Her favorite pastime consisted of practicing Michael Jackson’s Bad video, and beating her score on Crash Bandicoot. She was super good at the Crash Bandicoot and the Snowboard Kids (got lucky on Tekken, Sonic the Hedgehog was Eh once she couldn’t get past a certain level) and she wanted to be just like her older brother. She tried breakdancing, but was never really balanced enough to do that correctly. She picked up the piano for 10 years, but chose to develop writing skills instead of furthering a music career. She was coming into her own and  had a rather unique rhythm to her femininity because Mami said she could do it all, so long as she remembered to stand tall, practiced her walk in heels, and dance while she could still swiftly move her hips.

When I re-tell this story, people who are opposed to gender roles are astonished and look at me with sympathetic eyes. I know they don’t understand yet, my mother was teaching me to be proud of myself. I would become an American woman with traditional values tuned to Dominican culture. A good woman, as much she gave to her husband and family, had certain demands to be respected. She would work to not give anyone, especially a man, a reason to throw something in her face. She’d work hard, play what/when she saw fit, and could not be told what to do. She knew what needed to be done, and would make sure she could count on her partner for their part as well.

Mami Chula was fierce, and it took me about 23 years to appreciate her purpose.

This intimidating woman has pride, the good kind, and rarely seeks for attention further from the one her style or Heineken may attract. She may only speak when spoken to, or have high expectations of herself and her ambitious goals, but it is doubtful she seeks to be compared to. She has standards, as all people should, and only seeks to be tended to correctly by a potential partner with whom she can mutually understand and meet needs. Mutual is the key word in this intimidating Chula’s standards.

I can admit to being the type that is usually surrounded by friends, dancing, and then when I do get approached I have the nerve to poke fun at a bad pick-up line to make the situation less awkward. I once got asked if my personality matched my face, IT’S AWKWARD. I rarely feel the need to walk up and start conversations with strangers, but I LOVE meeting people randomly…when it isn’t uncomfortably forced. The bar is not the place where I am considering anything too seriously (unless a you invade my personal space or threaten my life) so no one else should either. I am usually hoping for someone who dances well, can talk music, and has a beautiful smile. I choose whether or not I’d hand out a number based on how well a person smiles and dance, yet I’m met with men who would think it proves intelligent to start a debate or test my vocabulary. I ONLY care if you can say “drink?” and are wise enough to extend your hand to ask for a dance. If you happen to get excited when the DJ plays some 90s hits, that is just a drizzle of Hersey’s chocolate syrup. . .

Too much?

With Love,

Mary B: The Intimidating Chula

‘Hood Talk.

If where you come from taught you to disrespect where I come from, what’s so great about not being from the “hood”?

In my definition education encompasses more than what we are taught at school and through textbooks, for the textbooks have forgotten to mention a lot of the history that has created my presence in the United States. I was born and raised in an urban center, less politically referred to as the “hood”, and I learned how to be a woman of morals, respect, wit, and intellect in this place. I have encountered situations that have challenged my naivety, at the same token my city has instilled in me an innocence and a childhood filled with an imagination that created and nurtured my talent for reading and writing. In the ‘hood we don’t swim easily, but for the most part…we refuse to drown.

I am disturbed by the amount of ignorant comments some folks make when referring to people that come from these communities. Some like to call us “uneducated” because our people react negatively, sometimes violently, to abandonment, discrimination, racism, stereotyping, etc, on a daily basis. Some like to judge our culture, and call our style of dress and music “thuggish” or say we are “gang bangers”. Some, especially, like to remind us that because our school systems are “failing”…so will we. I am a product of this very neighborhood that taught me to not be so outlandish with my judgements of people because one day I would find myself needing them. And for the people who judge us as though we have created this bad reputation for ourselves and state their opinions strongly…I strongly suggest you create more consciousness for yourself. Most of our history isn’t in the books.

We epitomize human behavior in the ‘hood. Acts of violence, need for family, love of pride, attachment to an escape factor. Mine was art over drugs, that exists in the hood too.

It is true we speak loudly, we learn to be defensive because sometimes we are judged just a little too easily and a little too harshly in a society that should know better.

I am a graduate student, an entrepreneur, an idealist…contrary to popular belief, I am not the only one of my kind. The spirit that drives me can be found in the heart of your favorite revolutionary figure. The odds were against them, the odds continue to be against the “hood”…folks around here just fight the cause a little differently. Malcolm X vs. Martin Luther King, Jr. There is not a way for our streets to constantly be clean and our individual issues to consistently be solved and monitored.

I was taught to value my family, to question my neighbors, work hard to move forward and gain respect, and keep my head high at all times so people don’t take advantage of me. As a woman, I was taught to be a little less friendly so a man would take me a little more seriously. As a spirit, I was taught to humble myself…I never know where this life will lead me.

Hip hop is my culture and its poetry and integrates me to popular society. I’m afraid it’s the only thing greater society may respect of me.

I’ve never tried drugs, but went away to college and witnessed most of the action there…from kids who weren’t from the ‘hood.

My mother is a big believer in Christ and as a result I am too. I carry her words constantly in my brain because I trust her.

I am not better than anyone because I am a college graduate, rather I am better equipped to fight administrators and continue to uplift the younger generation of my neighborhood. We respect each others history in these parts, and we take the time to listen and get to know the path which we all come from.

I understand that gang violence is detrimental to our community, but I also understand that a lot of our mothers and fathers need to work beyond 9-5’s to pay for rent and food, and I also understand that more public programs need to be implemented to occupy the time and minds of children so they can grow in purpose, and I mostly understand that the outside world needs to stop doubting where we come from. As we all know, school is forced upon us in our early age and a lot of students have greater issues than getting an A. I AM proud to say that more and more of our children are learning about college, career, and a world outside of their own. They are finding more mentors to look up to, more books they can relate to, and listen to stories that keep them motivated.

This piece is a personal one. I share my thoughts as a woman who was born, raised, and still resides in my neighborhood. I come from an immigrant family who started their work in factories as they saved enough money to own businesses and perfect their craft. I don’t condemn those who express their disdain negatively, I don’t congratulate them either. I speak a certain dialect, it does not make me less capable of communicating and understanding my surroundings. I have a different and more flexible way of adjusting to the world. I don’t hate it.

I am openminded and opinionated because I want to extend and explore my intellect across different worlds. The lack of respect for mine has created my will to learn as many cultures and worlds as I can. 

My pride comes from a sense of confidence I have in myself. I know I could not be who I am without my knowledge of how things work in the ‘hood.

Mary B.

Is Getting Your Closure Beneficial?

So you and your ex ended without “closure” and now you are contemplating whether or not it is worth contacting him again? Get that last “open” conversation about your failed relationship and get some “answers.” Welcome to the club. Let’s take a good look at this…

What is the purpose of this so called “closure” anyways? Is it just another opportunity we’d like to give ourselves to rationalize the fact that is, we just didn’t work out? Whether it was bad timing or a falling out of love…we didn’t work, isn’t that the only fact that matters? Apparently NOT. We want the chance to speak all those unspoken thoughts, because now is clearly the opportune moment.

I am a woman who was taught to “grab the bull by the horns; you want answers go get ‘em.” Best advice I have ever gotten, and only recently have I begun to follow it in all relevant aspects of life, like: career, academics, personal goals/dreams, food, water, cute dude at the bar, etc., etc. I’m starting to believe that love, cannot really be placed in this category as relevant. Although love needs to be worked on so that your relationship can progress, it also cannot be forced. Both parties have to be willing to put in the work, if your ex has seemingly moved on…don’t doubt it… (this is quite difficult to grasp in the actual practice of life).

I am professional at opening my mouth and speaking my every thought, it’s a gift and a curse. A gift, because I admire my fearlessness to expose just exactly who I am.  A gift, because it is a staple in embodying the whole “I don’t play games” vibe, which is the energy true bad-asses thrive off. A gift, because regardless of what I revealed about my crazy, inner, just straight feminine thought process, the right person would listen and not judge and just understand I needed to hear myself speak and I needed to see him nod along the way before he spoke his one sentence that would clarify everything. But it is a curse because I feel I have the right to the answers I seek for, simply because I ask the question. A curse, because I don’t have a great concept of just letting things play out as they should. This whole “Let Go and Let God thing” is a new practice for me. Part of maturing is learning that there are just some things you cannot control, and be honest with yourself…how ready are you to hear the truth? Because it will not be as pretty as you imagine. And are you ready to take yourself back to that place of heartbreak? Because my guess is, you’ll be dragging yourself back to that space for a few days after. And most importantly, will that person be as open to this revisiting and re-opening of wounds as you are?

I am also a professional at creating stories to help me manage my life a little easier. As much as I hate the dreaded line “it is what it is” this is the one time it’s not really a full of shit statement.  (True Story: my mother has been using this line like it is written in the Scripture). What answers are you truly looking for, after the break up? If he cheated and that came out of the dark, what more do you need to know? And can you really be “just friends” if you were in love? (Maybe after you both have found another ‘love’).

The closure process makes sense in that it ties everything that was unsettled in your mind into a nice bow for the Fvck You and Please Miss Me, you truly want to send. Because if he was an absolute douche there is no and, or, nor, but, ifs, but maybe, why about it…you KNOW that you deserve better. And if they decide they want to change and you believe it, then go ahead and throw your whole heart back into it and celebrate love. Obviously not everything in life is black and white.

Ending a relationship that you have categorized as special is NOT easy. You can spend years referring back to it, dwelling on why it couldn’t last, you can be dating someone else and still catch yourself thinking back to that one relationship. But I begin to question this idea of “closure” as I realize that my guy friends don’t mention this “closure” topic to me, and I have witness them equally suffer from a break-up as much as I have. And it could be fear of allowing yourself to be vulnerable to this person once again, of bringing up the past when you are trying to move forward in your future, of coming face-to-face with the reality that maybe you just didn’t want that relationship to end and you’re actually still wondering, could it have been saved?

Things happen for a reason…right? And let’s be real. Is closure an opportunity to close the door? Or officially keep it forever slightly opened?

I don’t know if this thought process is one driven by fear, but it is one that I am letting be…at least for another couple of months.

Share your thoughts and experiences with getting your closure. We’d love to hear from you!

With Love,

Mary B.