Just Go: A quick “guide” on dating yourself

I enjoy being alone. I enjoy having my own space and the ability to be messy, sometimes. I sleep diagonally on my queen sized bed, fit for a queen, and switch from one pillow to the other at night. I am thinking I need to update to Rihanna status and get a California King bed, in due time. I enjoy the freedom that comes from being alone. I do know that I probably spend an unhealthy amount of time inside. Likewise, I am not sure how much is too much. I like wasting away my days on my couch watching movies and tv shows. By waste I mean with cleaning, showering, eating, using the bathroom, reading, laundry, writing, etc somewhere between being on the couch all day and sleeping. Being alone I am not void of my thoughts. Now, let me repeat, being alone I am not void of my thoughts. I allow myself time to process because I do not always get the time to do so during busy days.

I date myself too.

Right now you may be thinking, “she’s miserable” because I am now at the point of dating myself. I should probably tell you that I buy myself flowers too! Yes, I do think you should learn to be alone, be okay with hanging out with yourself, and be okay with taking yourself out on dates. If you are curious I do not go on dates with men. I do not go on dates with men because I currently have not had the opportunity. I am not lonely by any means but that does not mean that I do not feel lonely at times. Sure, I would love to have someone to talk to besides myself and have someone to share a meal with, but who doesn’t? if you are out there slide in my inbox, what is your secret? Slide in my inbox if you think I am cute too *wink *wink

Rihanna Wink

So where has this gotten me…

I am sure of myself

I am more comfortable in the Kimberlee Ward that you see today. I know until I am no longer here physically and roaming in another realm that I will be discovering myself. I am more confident in being weird and will most likely agree now without getting offended when you point out the obvious.

If my friend doesn’t follow through on that movie I invited them to, their loss!

My friend can miss out on the fun but I do not have to. Your friend can miss out on the fun but you do not have to. If someone sees me sitting alone in the theater, who cares? I am there to have a good time and enjoy doing something I love. I am not worried about what someone assumes about me because I am alone. This same concept applies when eating out too.

Tuning in

I am more aware of when I am not doing okay and can admit it. Remember the processing I was telling you about? well, I have recognized more times in this past year when I needed to let my pride go than ever before. Pride is a killer so let that Sh*t go! You will be better for it, I promise and I do not promise a lot. It is challenging to admit when you are wrong or when you could have done better. Being able to call that out allows you to grow. I am more physically, mentally, and emotionally aware of when I am not doing well too.

Prep for the future

One thing that is important to me and my relationships is that they are interdependent. When I have a partner I want to have the ability to be myself and be “us.” I want to have my own things and then have what we share. I do not want to be attached in a way that can be detrimental to the relationship. I know I have the tendency to get attached in that way and the onus is not solely on me as the issue of attachment in my case is relative. I like and love hard. A good friend of mine, Bria, said it perfectly, she said: “what I notice about you is that you go 0-100 for someone.” I do just that so maybe it was not necessarily an attachment but lack of appreciation for my efforts and thus I look at myself saying, “what did I do wrong.” Really it was a 90-10 relationship aka situationship that I should have gotten out before it started lol. However, my love language is quality time and I am also an introvert that could kick you out in a heartbeat, it’s complicated!

Go to that movie, go to that country, go to that restaurant, go and do whatever it is that you want to do and do it alone. I recognize this is easier said than done in some cases, but it provides a profound understanding and look into your life. If you want to be alone in your place for a couple more months before moving in with your partner to mentally prepare yourself then do so. My best friend said she would move in with me and the first thing I told her was that I was messy but really I do not know how to live with anyone right now. Me being quiet might be mistaken for having an attitude and I do not know if I am ready for that yet. Although, we are alike in that way so I do not think that would be a problem.

P.S. “guide” is in quotation marks in the title because there is no right way to begin being comfortable with being alone and comfortable with going out and doing things alone. I am talking about more than going to the grocery store and running errands.

SAHEcation: Orlando, Florida Edition

The other day I was enjoying the nice humid 91degree weather with a 40% chance of rain in Orlando, Florida. Palm trees, lake, and a strange bird was in my view that I have yet to identify. Nothing says vacay like 14 dollars and 57 cents left in your bank account. Why was May such a rough month financially? I guess I can say goodbye to my budget that went to sh*t. So I may or may not have been lucky to be there, but I am thankful. Because my recent need to get away for my mental health I have found my vacation fund depleted. For another round of, “where did my money go?” I will blame it on the fact that I live in the middle of nowhere and it was challenging to find rides to my various destinations this week and next week that I have found myself “ripped off.”

Where was I going with this?

Oh yeah.

Is there another version of “I got hoes in different area codes” that I could apply to my friends? Wait, they are not my hoes we just come from many places across the United Sates hence my desire to use area codes. Shoutout to Ludacris because that is essentially my life.

I enjoy traveling which is why it is a line item under “Savings” in my budget. I had the opportunity to see a friend who I have not had the chance to sit next to in over a year. His car got towed in the process, haha, talk about Hello! he is not mad so I feel like I can freely tell you all about this experience and laugh about it.

Grad school has provided me with more than an education. It has provided me with a great group of friends doing amazing work. I almost cried when I arrived when everyone got up to hug me and offered me a smile while shouting my name. I had a rough week and I want them to know I appreciated that moment more than I can express with words.

I know traveling provides you with a certain social capital that not everyone has the privilege of obtaining. At any rate, Florida is in the books, Colorado is next, and then Washington. Two new states in two weeks =)

“Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind” Seneca

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram: @TheeKWard

It’s Lit: Professionalism microscope with a dash of sin

I do not know about you, but I like to have 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 drinks, before I know it I could be drinking a whole bottle of wine or tequila *wink. I am only kidding on the bottle of tequila, but whatever floats your boat as long as you are safe and within your limit.

I am 25 going on 26 and I am currently walking on a thin tightrope. Tightropes seem to be thin anyway, but I will leave the “thin” just for your wondrous imagination. I have moved into the full-time professional world and if you ask me, what is professionalism anyway? In many aspects, it tries to put you in a box and as you walk towards the box you hear a faint voice in the distance saying “assimilation… conformity” Who wants that? not to mention the classism among other things that come into play when talking about professionalism.

Moving into the professional world as someone who is young you may feel the watchful eye behind your back. Yes, we should all be great examples and we all want to live too and or just have a drink when we want to have a drink. Just because people do not see everything I do that does not mean I am better than the next person. I can be described as someone who has “no chill” and yes I am very much an introvert and rule follower. What is life without breaking some rules? just a life without breaking rules and therefore you do not get the opportunity to see how much they bend.

Breaking rules do not necessarily mean breaking the law or doing anything that could potentially get you arrested. That last sentence alone could have me go on a rant about the justice system, but not the time or place. Sometimes you have to break the rules to get to where you want to be or break your own rules so you can live beyond your comfort zone.

By saying I occasionally get drunk, have been high before, not a virgin, known to curse up a storm or whatever else you feel may be “unholy” or “taboo” is letting you know that I have indulged in things that some see as sin or unprofessional.

But again, what is professionalism anyway…

Letting Go: The end is knowing

Letting Go: The end is knowing

#Haiku “Letting Go”
No questions let go
Your worth will shine and capture
By then you will know

Slowly I have been letting things go and taking a step back from thoughts that have kept my mind from being free. I have declared 2017 as the year I will say yes to more experiences, let go of things that I have held onto for too long, let go of pain while being honest about my wounds, and letting go of anything toxic. I owe all of this to myself. If I was to give this year a theme it would be “The Year of Healing.”

Through this process, I am actively taking steps to recognize when I need to take a step back. I am reflective in this way. I enjoy being able to reflect and process my experiences, different situations, emotions, etc… and love it when I have the ability to talk about it among my friends. Reflection is such a powerful tool. At times I tend to overthink and I know how to pull myself back in.

Communication is so important to me and sometimes I struggle with it. One thing I mentioned awhile back is that I will say what I need to even if I hesitate and cry to get whatever it is out. Those may not be the exact words, but I hope you catch my drift.

I want to make this year the year that I invest more in myself and what I like to do. Part of that for me is letting go and knowing how to be kinder to myself. Be kind to yourself because society steps on your back enough. We all have our reasons why we are hard on yourself. I have good reasons and I know it is okay to give myself a break.

Throughout our life we will not always get the answers we seek when we seek them, sometimes they come to us at a later time down our path. You may feel that you need to let something go, but not know why. Listen to your intuition. Have the hard conversation, let the grudge go, let the skeletons out of the closet, change, grow, invest in yourself, heal, experience…

Most importantly, DO YOU!

**I did not take the featured image and have no rights to the photo.

Say Yes: Tinder and Fetishization

Say Yes: Tinder and Fetishization

I decided 2K17 is my “year of yes.”

Recently, I re-downloaded tinder (my swipe left game is strong on this app) and re-downloaded Soul Swipe as well. I downloaded these apps with zero intentions to date. I am in a process of healing and trying to do more for myself.

I am chillin’ in a “if it happens it happens” state.

I was super liked on tinder and decided to find out who it was. It happened to be a white male, which rendered zero surprise because that app is full of white males out here in rural Amerikkka. I was planning to swipe left again until I noticed something.

He was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. a traditionally Black fraternity. I found this interesting because the last couple of people I tried to pursue were Alphas **laughing on the inside. I also have friends who are Alphas and I find them to be respectable men. I decided to like him because the curious part of me had questions.

Not necessarily because he is a white male in a traditionally Black fraternity because he is definitely not the first…

Before I continue I do not date white men. If you have read the article by Tanzila Ahmed, “Why I Don’t Date White Men” she states, “it’s like being with the colonizer. or an oppressor. I can’t do that.” Putting the political part of this conversation aside hanging out with someone I just met through a dating app is unheard of for me. Yall have watched catfish right? lol I am not going to be the one. More importantly, as a womxn it is a safety thing for me too. Unfortunate to mention and that is the reality.

Later in the night I told him I was not going to come and thought about my pledge to say “yes to more things. Just trying to live a little more that’s all. I extensively looked this guy up on the internet. When I looked up his job the location came up as St. Louis and I was like wait, he is in KC so how is his job 4 hours away. MY HEART DROPPED
the worst possible situations were running through my head.

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Fast forward I found him on linkedin *handclap, facebook  *handclap, school he graduated from *handclap, and his bio on his employers website *handclap!!

I DO NOT PLAY THESE GAMES.

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When I was confident enough that the person on the other side of the phone was who he said he was I decided to go, and as soon as I got there I sent a text message to my best friend Fanny that stated “If you do not hear from me I am here *inserts location” she responded and said, “WHY ARE YOU BEING SKETCHY!”

Rewind, I entertained the idea after this conversation

Him: Bruh I’m new to town and I need new people to kick it with. We share political preoccupations so that’s a good start.

**I started laughing because he called me “bruh” and I am thinking, “here we freaking go…”

Why do white people feel the need to address Black people using vernacular specific to Black people. I mean in an in-group type of way…

Me: … What political preoccupations do we share?

Him: Fighting for equality and celebrating the natural beauty of all women. Not beauty in the “appealing to the male gaze” sense of the word-real beauty. The beauty of humanity that should be recognized regardless of provincial standards of what it means to be attractive.

**Some context: My profile said “Feminist AF and Black women are magic”

Moving along, when I got there he explained a Facebook conversation he was having with someone about feminism and mental illness. I enjoy intellectual conversations but the “I am really here right now when I could be in bed sleep” kept replaying in my head but I listened. I stayed for a bit and bounced.

The next day Fanny asked me what I was doing, I told her, and this was her response

Fanny: My mouth is open that you went out with a white guy lol

Here is the thing. I am trying to have more of an open mind. I told him I would not have liked him on Tinder if he was not an Alpha and I let him know that I do not interact with white men what so ever. Let’s not bring my white friends into this.

The last time I hung out with white men I was degraded and made to feel like a piece of meat. I was soooooo uncomfortable and never talk about that experience.

My relationships are more than just a preference. Politics come into play as well as my ability to be able to talk about my experiences without having to teach and explain that they are valid.

Someone once said to me, “I do not date white men because they will always find some way to call you nigger.” #Deep

I cannot remember for the life of me who mentioned that. My intention with this new relationship is to share knowledge. If he is interested in Black womxn it is important that he hears my voice. No I do not have the responsibility to teach nor do I speak for all Black womxn.

At the same time I often see the fetishization and oversexualization of Black womxn, latinx womxn, and Black men. I will also add the fetishization of bi-racial children based on physical features without thinking of the responsibilities and weight that holds.

I do not speak for all of these people and reflect on the multiple factors people of color (POC), Queer people of color (QPOC), non-binary, trans*, trans* people of color, etcetera need to consider when deciding to pursue a relationship. No they are not entitled to you or your “exotic” trophy.

Not at the dinner Table!

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You know the few things you are not supposed to talk about at the dinner table? I tend to talk about those things and more. At times I have no chill. Lately, I have engaged in conversation about religion. Until recently I have juggled in my mind my identification as a Christian.

By now you might wonder what my stance is… I currently do not identify with any religion. I believe this is part of my journey in getting to know myself and digging deep into what my values and beliefs are. Having the ability to say that to you confidently tells me a lot.

All of my life I have questioned. My great uncle used to say I would make a great detective. Being shamed for questioning growing up is one thing that turned me off. I am not saying everyone does and too often people do.

I have had people tell me they wish they came to know their God instead of growing up in a church. I am not saying all churches are bad and or that growing up in a church is bad. Likewise, I recognize what churches did for the Black community and pay homage to that.

However, I can see how oppressive organized religion can be. I went to church here and there growing up so I cannot tell you about that experience, but something never sat well with me. For awhile people would ask if I went to church and I told them no. I told them the relationship between God and I is just that.

I asked a friend why he identifies as a Christian and he was not able to tell me why. He was able to tell me that he stands by some of the values and ways of being. He said he sometimes struggles with the way people teach “the word” too because the bible is like a game of “telephone.”

Recently, I read an article that talked about millennials and their view on religion. http://faithit.com/12-reasons-millennials-over-church-sam-eaton/ I encourage you to read it. I am not able to fully speak on the experience of growing up in a church like I said and I can relate to some of what is stated in the article.

Also if someone can clarify the “God fearing man” phrase I would appreciate it. I do not see being fearful of God as healthy and maybe I am interpreting it all wrong.

For awhile I was afraid to tell any guy what my stance was just in case things moved forward and we had kids one day. Although, I have pretty strong perspectives about a lot of things that some guys I have dealt with cannot handle *Kanye shrug. Back to maybe having kids together one day gives away how much I am a futuristic thinker. These days I am a tad bit more relaxed. My point is that it will be important to talk about whether we want our children to grow up in a church and right now that is not what I want.

Lastly, I would encourage you to think about whether you would have come to know your faith on your own if you did not grow up in a church. Would you be a Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, etc? This is not to change your beliefs but to get you to dig deeper about why you believe what you believe.