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“…nobody would fall because everyone would be each others’ crutches.” –Jay Z, “Feelin’ It”

Hi.

Let me start by saying this…I’m not going to promise to post more often. I’m not going to say that I’ll do this and this or that and that. I’m not going to offer excuses or explanations. I’ve been living. When I feel inspired and life slows down enough for me to write, I’ll write. If it doesn’t, I won’t. I’m going to stop making that promise.

Now, on with the show.

I’m happy.

I could end there, but that wouldn’t be much of a post would it. Let me start again, 30 owes me nothing. If everyday from here on out until 31 was filled with bologna sandwiches and Scandal-less tv, I wouldn’t complain (well…hopefully. I shouldn’t complain. That would be more honest). I’ve had some wonderful things happening in my career (which I’m not at liberty to share), I’m honestly happy with myself as a person, and I’m in a relationship that feels nothing like I’ve ever felt, and I feel blessed by it all. God has kept his eye on me, and I am forever thankful. 

But this isn’t what is making me ultimately happy.

I mean sure…it’s 90%. But what is making me happy is that my friends are finding their happy too. We have seen each other at some interesting lows, and seen glimpses of what highs look like. It’s awesome that I have a friend making waves in her dream, another who is a semester away from hers, another who can probably kick through a door legitimately if need-be, several bosses in their careers, and more awesome mommies and talented chicks than I can count. I’m happiest that the people I’ve chosen to be my family – my friends – are coming up too. Even if some are still climbing their mountain, they should know someone else has got lemonade on chill for them, right?

Even though I won’t tie this to a specific episode of Sex and the City, this is ultimately what the entire show is about: being there for your friends through it all. Happy in their happies, and wiping tears in their sads. Seeing in them what life has blinded them to in themselves, and throwing the confetti when that picture comes in HD. So I could talk about love and have a laundry list of things I’ve learned about myself and why he’s the best ever, but this moment is not the time for that particular revelation. I’m happy. I’m happy for me. I’m happy for them. I’m happy for us. And this “us” is my friends.

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Love you ladies.

–V

Yep…I didn’t complete the #31WriteNow challenge…but more on that another day. Today I want to talk about what has been on my mind all day.

One of my favorite (non-hair) blogs is VerySmartBrothas. Last week, one of the site’s contributors shared a 100-word insight on love that he originally posted on another blog.

Please go read it. I’ll wait…..

Read it? Good.

Language aside, it was one of the most poignant and truthful things I’ve ever read. I can completely understand. One of the things I’ve found that came with this all-encompassing happiness from the relationship I’m in wais an ever-present dreading. It feels scary to love someone so much that you become obsessed over how you would deal if they were no longer there. I literally think things such as, “A random drunk driver could change my life and I don’t know how I’d bear it.”

That sucks.

It’s like, I could have an awesome day, a wonderful weekend, and as I’m thinking about it in happiness, this random thought creeps in where if he says he’s about to run to the store for peppermints, I’m dang near hyperventilating. What the what??! This has never happened before. I understood concern for someone taking flights (“Text AS SOON AS you land!!”) or road trips (“Stop texting me and drive!!”), but I’ve never been concerned about Target. Or an outside run. Or lunch (who knows what really leads to cancer these days…). It’s mind-boggling.

What amazes me is that I’ve been in four relationships before now…only two of those being serious…and I’ve never felt this way before. I’d never had this level of concern. Yeah, everyone gets the obligatory “be careful” if they are doing things that requires carefulness, but not the “Please don’t fall getting out of the shower and hit your head on the toilet and black out” type of concern. I imagine that new parents feel the same way.

the-domino-effect-1024In Season 6, “The Domino Effect”, Carrie spends an evening with a visiting Big. He mentions over dinner that he’s in town for heart surgery, and without controlling it, she bursts into tears. It happened again when she visited him in the hospital, and again when she mentioned the reason for his visit to her friends. It was probably the most telling of any relationship she’d ever been in…and she technically wasn’t in one then. She genuinely cared, and the thought that something could happen to him had shaken her to her core. She normally only reserved that type of emotion for the girls. But Big was Big. And he got in. Even though the end of the episode left a lot to be desired on her part, Carrie knew where her feelings were…where they always had been.

I’ll say this, it’s not my hope to start worrying about if caterpillars will mutate and suck the life out of my beloved, but I do know that this is a tell for how much he means to me. Only God can protect him, so I have to let Him do just that. But, one of the best feelings in the world is when I see him walk in the door, and I know he’s safe……………. and with me.

Have you ever experienced this? WHY DIDN’T YOU WARN ME?? How did you handle it? Let me know!

Love,

–V

I haven’t forgotten about you. Between turning 30 (which was awesome, and thank you so much for the spectacular well wishes!), work being back in session with a vengeance, a legion of meetings outside of my teaching responsibilities, church activities, and having the time to stop and enjoy my relationship…ya girl has been busy. And sleepy. Very very sleepy. So I took seven days off from writing, but I’m still here. Say, “Hello Atlanta!” Lol, 😉

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But trust me…I am still one happy girl. I’m happy with where I am. I’m typing this from my phone in a meeting, taking notes and asking questions, but still wanting to express myself. Yesterday, a friend sent a song to me that she said reminded her of myself and my road to 30. The song is “I Choose” by India.Arie. Check the chorus:
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Preach India! This reminded me of when Carrie turned 35 with a less than positive outlook. She had to admit something from her heart that her mind wished wasn’t truth: that she wanted a special man to celebrate with. Having her friends made her life wonderful, but they didn’t fill that companionship void. It wasn’t until Big showed up with champagne and red balloons that she felt better (here’s a Vivienne note: this is when I figured they would end up together. I’m pretty sure I’ll make this a post.)

Then I thought about when one of my closest friends turned 30. She wasn’t looking forward to it and she has a wonderful husband and beautiful children. However, her career wasn’t what she wanted. This is when it occurred to me that this song was relatable. Authenticity to who you are makes a difference. What is important to me may not be as valuable to someone else. But if it’s important to me…it’s important. Pretending it’s not just leaves feelings of discontentment. You can’t forget about yourself and YOUR values. And you can’t judge what’s important to you by what is important to others. Choose.

So… I’m choosing. Choosing to focus on being my best self. Choosing to want to be the best Vivienne, daughter, friend, girlfriend, future wife, and/or future mom that I can. Because I started thinking that way, I embraced 30 with open arms and snacks, lol. I love that life started falling into place and allowed me to see me clearly. I won’t forget about V.

Any areas where you’re choosing your best you…or want to? Share.

Love,
-V
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Today was the first day of school. It felt different. I didn’t have the random 2-2:30 am wake up that I normally have at the start of every – my clear indicator of nerves. I didn’t spend the previous night deciding what outfit would make me look professional and jazzy – an ideal I wanted conveyed to my students. I didn’t try to fall asleep earlier than I have been all summer – which, granted, has been earlier than the 4 to 5 AMs of summers past. I ate my final piece of birthday cake (yo…that thing was good. Pretty…and good), drove back to my side of town, watched tv, and laid it down for the night.

As I got to work 5 minutes early, I didn’t feel the intimidation of several new faces. I didn’t even freak out when I saw that my classes were bigger than they normally are for this time of year (I don’t teach at a traditional high school). When the copier broke down, I just created a plan B. I clarified certain things with my administrator with my heels clacking all the way. New and newer teachers sought me out to ask last minute questions, compliment my outfit choice, or to help them calm down. It was then I realized something: I was a veteran.

I remember when Carrie met her mentee Laurel Harris and how all of her questions and enthusiasm, while sweet, seemed worlds away from the life she understood (Season 2, “Twenty-Something Girls vs. Thirty-something Women”). She seemed awed by Carrie’s confidence that had developed over time, fascinated by the ease with which she met new people, and just generally wanted to be in her presence. Laurel painted Carrie’s toenails, shared her idealized (though non-practical to Carrie) views on relationships, and gushed over her clothing. Carrie’s regular happenings were news to this bloomer. She probably didn’t realize how much time had passed since she herself had been in the phase where Laurel resided until there was someone reminding her daily that it seemed extraordinary.

That’s how I felt today. People came to me just to ask how I relate to students. Students who’d already been to my class were saying in other classes that they felt I’d be their favorite. They wanted to know how I “did” me. I realize now that this is the confidence that comes over time as you do what you’re called to do. Sometimes it comes out as remarkable to those just wading in their calling. And I feel honored. Honored that they see or saw something in me that they wanted to know more about. Soon…they too will be veterans, and the cycle will start again. I’ll wish them well!

For any teachers reading, I hope you have a wonderful school year!

Love,

-V

P.S. I told you my cake was pretty! (He did good 🙂 )

30th Birthday Cake

Today I was at work – minding my own business because I finished putting up my classroom decorations and completing my lesson plans – when I realized that my phone battery was getting low and decided to put it on the charger while I went to a round of afternoon meetings. I come back about an hour or so later to several notifications on my phone. I look at the various social media sites and see that I have a message from Patricia, the owner of GlobalCouture, a wonderful website that is about loving your own hair (She’d interviewed me earlier this summer). Her message said, “I have a surprise for you!!! You are featured on Curlynikki.com today!!!”

Shut. The. Front. Door.

I started pulling up everything I could. I was ecstatic. I’ve talked about my hair and the natural hair community here before, but I’ve never focused on this as a natural hair blog. This is just my way of combining my nerdy-fandom, love of writing, weirdly great memory, and favorite show in a therapeutic way. When I saw my feature, I can carriebradshaw460imagine how Carrie might’ve felt when she met her two fans in Paris (Season Season, Part 2, “An American Girl in Paris – part deux”). She was in a foreign land, wanting a bit of normal, and unknowingly walked into something that made her really happy.

When I saw my feature, I was so happy I yelled in my classroom, ran into the hallway to tell someone, but no one would know what I was talking about (Which is what I actually screamed, lol). That’s when I realized that most of my close friends either live away, moved away, or aren’t as easily accessible due to life changes. None of this is a bad thing, it’s just different. Similar to Carrie, she was excited to see her book in a window with no one with whom to share her glee. She had Petrovsky, but he didn’t understand the same way that her friends would.

I’m happy to have several differences from Carrie. My man is no Petrovsky, that’s for sure. He understood and was happy for me. And, my friends are a phone call away and I don’t even need a calling card. 😉 All in all…that’s a blessing. And I’m pretty sure it’s high on the non-romantic-interest best days ever of 2013.

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Have you had a day that you would consider epic? What happened?

Love,

-V

I’m six days away from my 30th Birthday. (Yes…Birthday gets a capital B. I’ve decided it’s a proper noun.)

As I alluded in the first post for the #31WriteNow series, I’ve had lots of things I’ve concerned about. Life…Love…the Pursuit of Happiness. It seems that the closer I get to this major milestone birthday, the more I start giving consideration to things on a more long term scale. I also get very definite about the things that I am NOT giving consideration to on a long term scale…or short term for that matter. I’m slowly but surely coming into my own about who I am, and who I’m not for that matter. I know I’ll make mistakes, I’ll have great ideas, I’ll laugh (probably a lot), and cry. I’ll have arguments, and I’ll be woman enough to apologize when I’m wrong.

satc_season5_episode71_514x330_032920041251_thumbThis reminds me of Season 5’s “Cover Girl”, the first fight on record between Carrie and Samantha. Carrie made the statement that she believed it was time for women her age to cover up, she admitted judging the one friend who had never judged her, and out rightly said that she was uncomfortable with the looks suggested to her for her book cover and didn’t bend on it. And like my line sister so eloquently used Beyonce’s newest full version song to explain, that is some Grown Woman ish. She refused to cover who she was.

I’ve noticed about myself that I am less likely to do things I don’t want to do just to make some group happy, or to ensure that others don’t judge me. I also address people head on. I don’t fake it when I’ve been hurt or wronged,…and then, well, please refer to the previous sentence. It takes a lot to decide who you are in spite of the world. Even more to not have an issue to admit when you’re wrong. Even more to know and even welcome your shortcomings. I’m happy to be embarking on my Grown Woman. I’m also refusing to cover up, hide, or refute who I am. I’m a Grown Woman.

What are your signs of growing up?

Love,

-V

Now as I was saying yesterday before I realized I was honing in on 100 posts, I had something prepared to write on yesterday. I’m the kind of person who notices weird things about other people. The cadences in their speech. Crazy preferences. All of that. Once after my boyfriend and I went to Chipotle, I noticed that he was studying his tortilla chips before he ate them. I thought maybe he was looking for the curved side – you know, to put the bite from his bowl in, like Scoops (See what I did there?…lol, inside joke). Once that option was out, I was wondering if he was looking for cracks in the chips so he wouldn’t cut his tongue but I knew that was a long shot. Finally, I said “WHAT…are you doing?” He paused and said, “Um…I’m looking for the salted side. Who wants the unsalted side to hit their tongue? The salt would just mix in with the food. I want salt, chip, and then burrito bowl.” I was tickled, yet it made perfect sense.

carriessbThis made me think about SSBs… Secret Single Behavior (Season 4, “The Good Fight”). In the words of Carrie Bradshaw, your SSBs are habits you have that you would “never want your boyfriend to see you do.” Carrie’s was making a stack of Saltines, putting grape jelly on them, and then eating them standing up in the kitchen while reading fashion magazines. I’m pretty sure I’ve discussed SSBs before, but never having noticed one in the person I was with. I have always wondered about the things it takes awhile for me to do in front of another…especially someone who means something to me. I couldn’t think of anything in particular. (And farting doesn’t count. Everyone does that.)

While typing on yesterday, my boyfriend was sitting next to me and said out of nowhere, “THAT’S YOU?” I was confused. I had a weird look. He said, “You’re making that bass noise.” That’s when I realized something I’ve known but never paid attention to: I read my words in a sort of out loud whisper in a very deep baritone. He said, “I’ve been trying to figure out what that was for the past 3 minutes!” We cracked up.

It’s awesomely great that I can feel awkwardly comfortable with my boyfriend. I’ve been in relationships where I had to fake some part of myself to ensure that the boat didn’t rock. I’m glad this is no longer the case. I probably could’ve added this to yesterdays “Keeping it 100” post…but hey, I’d need something to write today. Six days in for the #31WriteNow, Luvvie…oh yeah!

Do you have SSBs? Have you ever felt comfortable enough to share them? Talk to me 🙂

Love,

-V

I had something all witty to write about that I had been planning out all day in my head. I log into WordPress and see “99 Posts”. Dang. So the next one will be 100? 100 should be celebrated. My wonderful Sorority turned 100 this year and shut. DC. Down. If someone lives to be 100…it seems like the whole country should sign a card or something. I’m always happy when I have 100 cents. I can get something from the vending machine (or at least I used to be able to…I mean what the heck is up with stuff costing $1.25?? Once I put a paper bill in, that should be the end of my transaction for something from the vending machine…seriously. But, I digress…). So it seems right that I should pause to celebrate my 100th post in all it’s 100ness by keeping it 100.

I’m happy.

Exceptionally happy. Beyonce singing Love on Top at the MTV Awards happy…minus the gut full of person part.

Just writing those words made me smile.

It had been a rough first quarter to the year. I am normally a very bubbly person. I talk a lot, even though I don’t like strangers. At the first of the year, I avoided conversation. I didn’t let a lot of people in. I felt like I was a broken record, even to my very close friends. And in my head, I know God is in control. I’ve read the Bible. Things work out in the most unexpected ways to the people there, and I have the benefit of knowing the end of their stories, so there was no way I was going to question the God I serve when I know He’d work it out. I couldn’t, however, control my emotions. Friends would ask what was wrong, and I’d offer a tearful vague reply. All that to say…rough first quarter.

Most of my close friends have moved either out of state or too far to claim they live in Atlanta. My family, while good, has their share of health issues that I constantly lift up in prayer, and my job is stressful.

But I’m happy. God has blessed me with my own little piece of happy. It’s like the best of every friend I’ve ever had, and all of what I’ve ever liked in any relationship…plus some.

I still get in my head about some things, and I still worry about the future in some ways, but I’m present in the moment and am sincerely enjoying being happy. It’s sometimes still foreign. I’d never felt it before. I’m used to it now. I hope to stay used to it.

So there’s some raw truth about me. Anything you want to share?

Love,

-V

One of the things that I love about Sex and the City is the wittiness of the dialogue. I loved how many allusions there were to literature, how the shows were themed…all of it. That is the part of the show that initially drew me in – well…that and the shoes. To me, this is what was missing from the second movie (I think. I’m going to watch it again tonight to ensure I know what happened. I disliked it so much at first watching that I bought it and never watched it again. The dialogue that I can recall was so corny that I got annoyed)…the conversations. One episode that has a huge focus on that dialogue is the Season 5 premiere, “Anchors Away”. When Carrie suggested Brady might be anorexic because he wouldn’t latch on during breastfeeding? Loved it. Creating New York as a dysfunctional boyfriend? Great imagery.

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I was ecstatic yesterday when I had to opportunity to be all witty and whatnot during the most random conversation. Let me just say this: yesterday was a day of Randomness. I got compliment bombed as I walked to my car from lunch yesterday. A guy yelled “NICE LEGS!” and waved from his truck. (No…thank YOU random citizen!) But the most random one happened as I was trying to find the best popcorn on earth in Kroger.

As I walked through the store, searching on the popcorn aisle for popcorn (silly me) and not finding it. A group of male employees at the meat station started making comments to which most non-ratchet women wouldn’t acknowledge or respond. Finally, one of the guys said, “Can I help you find something?” I then turned and said “No, I’m okay.” The second guy said, “It don’t make no d*mn sense for you to look that good.” I did a polite smile and kept walking. The first guy said, “What are you looking for?” I said “This popcorn…” The second guy said, “Is it good?” I said, “Yes…it’s the best popcorn in America…possibly the world.” He said, “Dang…that good? I want to try it.” I said, “If it’s in here, I’ll let you know what it’s called.” He said, “But I want to try it…not here, but at your house later.” I said, “Ummmm……..inappropriate must be half off with your Kroger card.”

About 10 minutes later, I felt the sweet euphoria of having the great comeback. The witty response. That awesome repartee. That was a great response! Yes…I’m a dork. I know…I’m okay with it, but I was seriously thinking, “SWEET!” once it came out of my mouth, lol.

You ever have an experience where you had an awesome comeback that didn’t “occur to you to say” like…..3 hours later? What was it? I wanna know. Sharing is caring. I have another one where I almost effectively quoted an entire chorus from Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative” without her knowing it, and was giving good advice too. Oh yeah…that one was awesome. Anyway, please…share.

Love,

-V

Yep. I thought I told you that we won’t stop, I thought I told you that we won’t stop! *Insert random Diddy noises*

Hi.

Yep. A straight Scandal, Pope listening to the President speak words after being shot in the head response… “Hi.”

Yes I know I haven’t written since Valentine’s Day. And I know that I could have and didn’t. But since Luvvie is all rallying the writing troops for her #31WriteNow Challenge…it seemed as good a time as any to get back in the saddle.

For this month of August, I’m going to try to write a post everyday. It seems a good month to do it…I turn 30 this month. I’m entering a new decade. A new age box to check on surveys. A new mindset of things that creep into your head that you never gave more than a passing whim to before. The age group where you start thinking about your parents dying. Or what you want to happen to your career in real-time, not theory. If you think you could handle having an actual kid. Is there someone you could be with the rest of your life and make the new version of your family? Dude…just go running…it’s not about vanity anymore – it’s about health.  Yeah, I’m not doing that………I’m about to be 30, and I’m saying no to that one. Why? Just because.

Those thoughts permeate my brain on a daily basis in one source or form or another. I’m reflective. I’m a creature of habit, so change is a big deal to me. But I’m also a Leo, so challenges aren’t. Let’s see if this month can help filter through the murkiness of my mind…not forgetting to nod to the pristine places too. Here we go…you in?

Love,

-V

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