Are You Addicted to Instability?

Whew! These past few weeks have been insane for this country. I often ask people how can we be so sure we aren’t already in hell, but that’s another post for another day. Needless to say, it has been one catastrophe after the other and nothing is really getting done about it. Thinking about life in general, it is clear that we really have little control over many things, even the most minute, yet there are so many control freaks on this earth. Our days are, in essence, planned for us. We just wake up and live our days as best as we know how. With this, can come peace of mind for some, while for others, it is another opportunity to create chaos.

Our days are, in essence, planned for us…

These days I want nothing more than peace. Still dealing with some post traumatic stress, all I want is calmness. I meditate often; I take care of my hair, skin, and body, and I talk to myself frequently. After all, I am my best company. I have grown to love my personal time. So much so, it’s hard to get me to leave my home. I have cultivated a space of serenity that no one can infiltrate. I am very cautious of who I talk to, what I do, and how I react to different curve balls that get thrown at me. I probably irritate people with my “Oh oks” and “that sucks”, but I have learned this is the quickest way to get people to see that I don’t care…Let me backtrack because I don’t want to be called the cold-hearted, careless, heart breaker that I’ve been called before. I’ll further explain what I mean. Some people clearly bring chaos into their own lives and at a certain point, I get drained with it. And once my peace is disturbed, I get real transparent. So as to avoid unnecessary conflict, I have learned “oh ok” will stop someone in their tracks (most of the time).

I am very cautious of who I talk to, what I do, and how I react to different curve balls that are thrown at me.

In my moments of observation, I have come to realize most people are the cause of their own stress and chaos. I have seen people struggle, work themselves out of tough situations, obtain stable, reliable, good paying jobs, just to self sabotage themselves. I truly believe there are people who are addicted to instability. I swear it. They will be winning, then find a way to mess that up. And this can go for careers, education, romantic relationships, marriages, friendships, etc. And whether they believe it or not, it’s something they do subconsciously. Some examples of such are:

  • Getting a new job, then showing up late
  • Having unprotected sex with someone you know you don’t want to be with
  • Marrying someone, then entertaining another person
  • Not following rules because you don’t want to, then getting mad when you’re reprimanded
  • Getting a new job, then quitting because you decide you want to pursue something else
  • Moving into a new place, then deciding you want to move to another city
  • Buying a new car, then deciding to quit your job
  • Finally getting a date with the person you wanted, just to complain about something frivolous
  • Letting whatever comes to mind come out of your mouth

And this is just some of the things people do to create unnecessary stress and chaos in their lives. This does nothing but create overwhelming feelings that we all know we don’t know how to deal with in a healthy fashion, then it spirals into even more drama. And will then wonder why things always go so poorly for you. I will refrain from personal stories, just to protect the culprits, but it’s really sad. These may be close to extreme cases, but they are true stories. It’s no different then the cyclical toxicity that we see in our families and generational curses we are all so desperately trying to break. People get so used to the hustle and the struggle, being broke, and fighting, that they aren’t able to function in normalcy. They won’t even recognize when they’ve won. And this is not attractive for either sex, by the way. I’ll admit, I am guilty of ‘now what’ syndrome as I like to call it. It’s when you’ve gotten what you asked for, now what? This is the stage I am in now, but I have learned to be still and content in the unknown. I am not going to ruin what I have worked so hard for just because there’s nothing better to do.

People get so used to the hustle and the struggle, being broke and fighting, that they aren’t able to function in normalcy.

In some of your defenses, again, you don’t realize you do it. I challenge us all to look back over our lives and pinpoint the exact moment that we know we ‘F’ed’ up. Life is already full of enough chaos and unexpectedness. We must take accountability for the issues that we created in our own lives. And please understand that we all must certainly pay for each and every one of those poor choices at some point. Karma always comes back to collect. And everybody isn’t going to be willing to listen to the foolishness you consistently create for yourself. There is absolutely nothing wrong with peace. There is nothing wrong with having nothing to do. Chase maturity, chase stability, chase consistency. Learn to be still.

Namaste. -Sincerely Brittny

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The Luxury of Friendship

There isn’t a blessing quite like that of a true friend- Sincerely Brittny

It is strange how quickly people toss around the word friend. Everyone is their friend, but when things get rough or they need something it seems they always call me. I chuckle at this statement because some people actually consider me a friend; whereas in my eyes we are just good acquaintances. I have also been on the other side of this. It’s both sad and interesting that people don’t know the difference between the two. I am now realizing, friendship is a luxury that everyone doesn’t have the privilege of having.

I have had the same friends since I was 6 years old. I don’t necessarily recall how the friendships started, but they have lasted the test of time. Sure, there have been many people who have come and gone since then and I have definitely had the pleasure of introducing new friends into my life, but those ride or die, always there when needed and when not, soul connected, won’t discuss your personal business with others, friends have always remained constant. We have allowed each other to go through and grow through many things. We have seen other friendships form and others fade. We just GET each other. I honestly can’t recall having any real fights with any of my friends. Sure we may disagree, but a fight…never. My friends have seen me at my best and worst. They’ve allowed me to crash at their homes, have loaned me money, and have been the first to show up in support of major events in my life. They know me so well. They know my family, my family knows them. Our families know each other. We can have a full conversation with facial expressions and our group chats are made for reality tv. I love them. Truly. They are my soulmates.

“I am now realizing friendship is a luxury that everyone doesn’t have the privilege of having… “

It’s funny that with all that being said, we have all faced individual challenges with other friendships (mostly romantic relationships) that involve our own friendship. To be more specific, we have experienced some form of someone else, either another friend or a lover, having a problem with our friendship and honestly, it’s mostly the male counterpart who has the problem with the female’s friendship. I have come to the conclusion that this is because he doesn’t understand what real friendship is and has never experienced it. The fact that there are grown men who do not have real friends is beyond me. And let me be clear, I’m not speaking of friendships with women (we know a man will always have an excuse to be friends with a woman), I’m talking about with other men; a brotherly type of relationship with a man who is not a family member.

The first time I experienced this, I brushed it off. A good friend of mine (a man) was having a birthday dinner and my boyfriend at the time didn’t want me to go. I chopped it up to him wanting me to himself and wanting my time (you know the things we ladies convince ourselves of being cute, when they aren’t…but I digress). It became a HUGE argument and defining moment of our relationship. For awhile, I thought it was only males, but he had a problem with my female friends as well. He could not believe that there were people in my life who didn’t actually have an agenda. He would try to convince me of things about people I have known my whole life. Honestly, I should have known then that it wouldn’t work, but I pushed through, foolishly. It didn’t take long for my friends and I to start comparing notes. Apparently this is a ‘thing.’ People will get mad and have an attitude with you because you want to hang with your friends…the audacity. I literally lost a best friends because her man didn’t like me. Mind you, he never met me. Perhaps she talked about me too much or even spoke negatively about me to him, but she made her choice. We haven’t spoken in over 10 years.

He could not believe there were people in my life who didn’t actually have an agenda…

This brings me to another point. Women, what is up with bad mouthing your friends once a man disapproves or if she does something you don’t like? Either she wasn’t your friend to begin with or you’re easily influenced (we’ve all been there, no shame nor shade, but it’s getting ridiculous). I had a conversation with another friend of mine that, frankly, left me wondering about the future our friendship. She said: “Oh I would pick my man any day over some woman because she probably jealous anyway”. -This is problematic. The fact that you believe all these women must be jealous of you is a bit much. Does it happen, yes, but how often can you say this has happened to you? Perhaps you should check the company you keep attracting into your life. It has to be a lonely life to not have someone you can call and cry to when you are down. It has to be tough to be on the side of the road and can’t reach out to anyone; to have no one care, no one to be silly with. I am a very private and guarded individual, so I get it, but I have to ask, have you looked deeper into yourself and gotten to the root of the issue?

When They See Us: My Thoughts

Ava DuVernay has hit us with another thought and emotion provoking project on Netflix highlighting the case of the Central Park Five. I encourage you all to research the case on your own. In a nutshell, five very young, black boys: Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise, were accused and convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park back in the late 80s. After spending years of their lives in juvenile detention and prison, another young man confessed. The Central Park Five were eventually awarded money, but we all know the amount will never be enough to get these young men their lives back. This is not an argument of innocence or guilt, the so called law has determined that, but these are simply some observations and thoughts I had while watching.

Black Women Have to Do Everything

Sigh…We literally have to be everything to everyone. Just typing those words make me exhausted. No one fights for our own like us. It’s both sad and admirable at the same time. It’s crazy how these young boys were picked up, taken to the police station, and interrogated for hours, without the notification of their parents. These boys were between the ages of 14 and 16. It wasn’t until one of the boys’ mother showed up at the police station demanding that they release her son because he is a minor, that they let him go home. The fact that this was never a thought before she showed up amazes me. When his mother said, “do I need to call the New York Times,” they quickly pulled back. I’m glad she had the gall to confront the troubled NYPD and prosecutors. Had she not, I can’t help but wonder how far this would have gone, though it had already gone too far.

Fathers of Color, What’s wrong with Y’all?

Before y’all come for my head, let me start by saying, not all black fathers. But the fathers in this mini series were trash. Sorry, not sorry. Granted, no one knows what he or she will do in certain situations; some people become heroes and others cower, but cower is an understatement when it comes to Antron McCray’s father getting angry with him (enough to throw a chair) and telling him to “say whatever these people want.” Seriously! Then he gets to court and explains that he believed if Antron did this then he’d be allowed to go home…Um, what world is he living in? Your BLACK son is being accused of raping a WHITE woman in the late 80s and if he lies on the others he will exonerated himself? That’s just stupid and y’all know it. I have read that this caused a rift between he and his father and their relationship was never the same or repaired and I’d say rightfully so. He literally contributed to taking his child’s life away. There’s not enough forgiveness in the world for that. And lets get on Raymond Santana’s father. He got married while Raymond was in juvenile detention. When he got out to return home, she had moved all of her family in the home and was very rude and disrespectful to him, constantly threatening to call is PO because he is a rapist. What kind of foolishness is this? Is this ok? Someone has to help me understand this. Is this normal behavior? And for his father to just sit there and look and reprimand his son for literally breathing? No sir. All in the name of ‘love?’ People will literally allow someone else to come in and change the whole family dynamic just to have somebody…y’all really trip me out with that. So the only way he could be there for his son was in private pretty much. We have to do better.

Black Police Officers, What’s Your Role?

I have to put this out there: I am not a police hater by far, but I have had a run in or two with the police myself and If I’m honest, my most negative experience came from a black officer. I wonder if this is anyone else’s experience because we don’t talk about that. How much responsibility do you put on black police officers. I mean, they do have the inside scoop. You would think many of them would try to do a better job of protecting their own from the corruption that we all know takes place in these police departments. But as previously stated, some people cower. Watching Korey Wise’s experience in prison, as a 16 year old, is particularly disheartening. He was a scared little boy in prison with all of these grown men for a crime he subsequently was found not guilty of. Do you think any of those black men or guards helped him? Nope. In fact they went out of their way to harm him. He was beat up constantly and the black guards, along with the white ones, mocked him. 16 years old. This angered me more than anything. Perhaps, I place a higher standard on black men (imagine that), but I was really disappointed by this. It was the white officer at the other prison that truly protected him and looked out for him. He was very kind and I hope this officer (if this part isn’t fictional) is getting his blessings from this.

White Women

I was always taught if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all, so I will leave that heading as is. I would really like to see a study done on white women to determine the things that go on in some of their brains. I will once again preface, with not all, but I am starting to wonder about many of them. We talk about self hate a lot in the black community, but realistically I have never seen a group of people hate themselves like white women. They will vote against their own rights, for what? I don’t know. But lets address Lucifer Fairstein, yes, that’s what I am calling her. She is very befitting of that title. I have never seen someone so happy about rape. That’s how I see it. She didn’t care about this victim, kind of like these men don’t care about these babies with these abortion bills, but that’s another story for another day. She had a personal agenda. She was all too eager to convict and coerce these little boys. And from what I read, to this day, she stands by her decision. That’s that narcissistic attitude that some of these white women have. I have seen one too many white women lie and deceive just to fulfill their own agendas or cover up their own mishandlings. It’s despicable and people fall for the crap all day. When are we going to start holding these people accountable? There is no way she should be able to walk around peacefully selling her novels or whatnot. It’s truly disgusting. I see there’s a petition going around to pull her books from shelves. Yeah, after she’s gained all this money and notoriety.

All in all, When They See Us is a good watch. It once again brings those matters that no one wants to talk about to the forefront. It brings forth emotions that are sometimes uncomfortable, but this is the reality of our lives even still today in 2019. I encourage you all to watch. I realize there are two types people in this world: those who do and say something and those who sit back and watch things happen quietly. Better pick a side quickly because as the world continues to turn, there is no way you will not be affected in some way by the craziness that is life. I also realize that there are number of people who just don’t care about the lives of little black boys. What will you do when it affect yours?

If you watched, what were your thoughts?

-Sincerely Brittny

What Are You Willing to do for Love?

Is it only through scars that we find love? -Sincerely Brittny

I believe we are all born with this innate desire to be loved. This is likely because as children, we are catered to, hugged and kissed on, constantly held, and doted by almost everyone we come into contact with. As we continue to grow, the love lines start to blur. It’s almost as if the yearning for this feeling becomes an obsession of sorts. Now, it’s a daily task of “how can I please my family?” “What can I do to ensure this feeling never goes away?” “How can I continue to receive these hugs and kisses?” These praises, that make me feel so good inside. Then we experience what we believe to be romantic love. It is at this moment where we start to feel the negative components of love and then we become adults…By this point, the definition of this thing called love has become skewed and we all have our own definitions of what it is and act accordingly.

What were you taught about love? Were you ever taught anything about it at all? – I don’t think many of us were to be honest. Love was something we saw and felt by watching others, which ultimately led to us emulating these behaviors in hopes of getting something in return (kind of selfish when you think about it huh?) Many of our views and opinions about love were birthed through religion. Christians believe God is the only true source of love; agape love- love that is self-sacrificing, it is only through Him that we can experience love and exhibit love. Eros love -the sexual kind, had no place in the New Testament (I believe this speaks volumes). Buddhists believe in enlightenment through compassion and understanding: unconditional love. Latter Day Saints believe love is charity, what you do for others. Muslims believe those who do good, are pure, and act justly are loved…Dare I say, they are all saying the same things.

If love can be so simply put into these basic definitions, then why is it so difficult to obtain and why are so many people desperate for it? Desperate to the point that people are willing to steal, kill and destroy. Have you ever seen an episode of Snapped or For My Man? We all like to call them crazy, but forget how close we’ve been to that edge, all in the name of love. Love is complicated, which I am certain I will be met with “it’s not supposed to be”. Well, what is it supposed to be? What I do know is it’s this temporary insanity that sometimes never goes away.

My experience with love has been a bit of a seesaw. There have been extreme lows and extreme highs. I sometimes question if I’ve ever really experienced it. Sure I’ve been selfless, understanding, and literally given my last dime, but if it’s not reciprocated, is it really love? I’ve also questioned if anyone is capable of loving me in the fashion that I love others, or what I understand love to be. When it comes to romantic love, I do not believe in soulmates. I am not under the belief that there is only one person on this Earth that is made specifically and only for me, or you, or anyone else. I also don’t believe there is someone out there for everyone. This is not to discourage anyone, but think about it. The ratios are disproportionate. Suppose my ‘soulmate’ is dead. Does that mean I am to spend the rest of my life alone? This is a real question and could very well be fact. Yet still, I feel a desire for love and I am sure you do too.

So what are you willing to do for it? In hindsight, I realize some of my relationships (platonic and romantic) didn’t work because there wasn’t a mutual sacrifice (keyword: MUTUAL). In my spiritual awakening, I have learned that nothing is free. You can manifest all you want, but it comes at an expense. If you aren’t willing to make the sacrifice, then it will not work. This goes for anything. And the sacrifice will not come easy. Now this doesn’t mean you place your children in harm’s way, you endure violent environments, or you jeopardize your morals and values. I am certain this is what love is NOT. But realistically, some people may have exit your life, you may have to give up some of your pleasures, and you may have to spend countless nights alone and it’s ok. No, you cannot have it all. Sorry. Does love come with scars? Yes. Is being hurt a part of the story? Absolutely. But I hear the true beauty is in the healing and where we find the love we so desperately seek. It may not look how or be what we expect, but it is sure to come.

-Sincerely Brittny

Heartbroken Happiness: My Personal Essay

After the Rain Ends, the Sun Always Shines Again- Sincerely Brittny

In October of 2017, my world was shaken up. While I knew things weren’t going great, I was under the impression that things would get better if I just rode it out and stayed in prayer. Unfortunately, this just wasn’t the case. The delusion that I had been living in finally came to light. I felt a mixture of emotions, but I was literally frozen and becoming more numb by the minute. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but that is truly my experience. I couldn’t do anything, couldn’t think of anything, many days, I couldn’t speak anything. I literally sat in silence at home for about a month. I went on about my daily work day, maintained conversations via group chat with my friends, and still laughed and joked with my mom, assuring her I was fine. But every day I’d go home, I was silent; partly from exhaustion of having to fake things all day and partly from the anger I felt at God. I was dying a slow death and confided in no one.

Months passed and I still sat in that emotionless state of shock, I guess. In between that time, a few things happened, a physical altercation, self-inflicted stab wounds to my right thigh, a move, a new job, and an epiphany: I had officially gone crazy. I didn’t know what was going on with me and was convinced I had some type of mental illness, but I still continued to go about my daily routine. In February of 2018, after I had started my new job, I decided to finally see a therapist. Now I am not one of those people who “feels some type of way” about therapy. I knew I needed it and was glad to finally have taken the plunge and scheduled an appointment. Therapy was everything I thought it would be. I walked into a room decorated in pastel blues, a soft aroma, and the infamous couch. As soon as I sat down, I could feel the tears already welding up in my eyes, but I played it cool, like a G, at first.

I realize there is probably a little explaining to do, especially in regards to the physical altercation and the stab wounds. So as to not create alarm, I will back up a bit and briefly address them. I honestly don’t remember which happened first (things are becoming a blur), but in the midst of a heated argument, in which I was enraged, I literally jammed a pen into my thigh, HARD, multiple times. It was as if I had blacked out. I can only imagine what that would have looked like to a fly on the wall. I didn’t feel any pain. It wasn’t until the other person in the room asked me what I was doing and snatched the pen from my hand, that I looked down and saw blood rolling down my legs. Side bar- I realize and understand now why people cut themselves. Physical pain is much easier to endure than emotional pain. It’s such a release and the body heals fairly quickly. I know that is a controversial statement, but I believe it to be truth; back to the story… then there’s the physical altercation. This one I will not go into detail about because it is a trigger for me. But it was another moment of “black out”. When you are in the middle of a physical altercation with someone you actually love and care about, things can get really difficult. My adrenaline was pumping, mostly from disbelief. I remember fighting to breathe and then just stopping. For what felt like 5 minutes, I just laid there. In that time, I knew I could no longer live my life in this fashion. I saw a knife (or maybe scissors, I’m not certain) in the corner in my peripheral vision and my mind went back and forth between grabbing this object and planning my next move. It was as if my energy was transferred to the other person involved and that person snapped out of it and just stopped as well. Then there was silence. We never really talked about it. I did receive an apology and that was that.

The very first thing my therapist said to me was very cliché. “Why are you here?” she asked. The flood gates immediately opened and I unleashed years worth of built up anger and emotion on her. When I was done, (in which she literally just sat there and watched me spaz out) I very vividly remember her leaning in close to my face and saying “I’m just going to say what no one else will and what I know you have been waiting to hear.” I’ll let you all guess what she said. It was a four word sentence – no, commandment. After that, I felt like I could finally exhale. I felt like I hadn’t taken a breath in years. I’m sure some of you understand that statement, whether you’re willing to admit it or not. I continued therapy for about a month. In the mean time, I was doing what I needed to do to get through each day.

There’s something about my birthday that makes me really emotional. That emotion can vary greatly. As my 33rd birthday was approaching, I felt sadness. I knew deep down, that I could not and would not spend another year of my life unhappy. A few days later, I grabbed all the personal belongings I could carry, packed them into my car and a friend’s car and I left everything else behind. Yes, you read that correctly. When you get to this level of desperation, where you are willing to sacrifice any and everything just to be happy, you realize many things you thought mattered, just…don’t. I mean you would be willing to do anything just to FEEL again, so I jumped off the cliff…and guess what, my parachute opened. I spent the next day handling business and the following day I happily celebrated my birthday with my closest friends. They don’t know it, but that day meant the world to me. It was the most fun and probably the most I had laughed in years.

I know that was heavy, but there’s a method to my madness. Heartbreak can come in many forms and from various places: family, friends, lovers, church, work, school, etc., but I am a living witness to the fact that your life can and will go on. As I am approaching my 34th birthday, I thought it necessary to reflect on this life lesson. Almost a year later, I am still heartbroken. I can be in a room full of people and at times, I still feel lonely. Life has truly beat me down; however, this comeback has been nothing short of amazing. I have grown so much spiritually and I have seen God work in my life in ways I have never seen before and it didn’t involve me going to the alter falling out every Sunday. It truly took peace, silence, and stillness to develop such an intimate relationship with God and with self. I love myself so much and no one can ever come between us again. I know myself very deeply and this intuition is on point! Throughout all of this I have learned that time doesn’t heal all wounds: YOU have to decide you are ready to be healed. And when that time comes, you will know.

Tips For Dealing With A Broken Heart:

  • Seek Therapy (no one has to know unless you tell them)
  • Cry (you have to release it, there’s no other way)
  • Eat (I know, it’s hard)
  • Do the things you enjoy doing (you know what you’re good at, do that)
  • Set a personal goal (like getting your body back right)
  • Fast (from people, social media, bad habits, etc)
  • Be authentic (don’t want to go- don’t)
  • Be observant (don’t ignore red flags, trust your gut)

Please Don’t:

  • Hurt yourself or others (if you’re feeling suicidal, please seek help)
  • Allow others to tell you how you should feel, think, or believe (i.e. you should be grateful, etc., shut down this behavior, it is toxic)
  • Isolate yourself all the time (sometimes is actually ok, allow people to be there for you)
  • Create distractions (you have to deal with this now or later)

~Sincerely Brittny

The Summation of Brittny

Brittny is a southern girl who is an avid reader and supporter of education.  She enjoys deep conversations about current events, pop culture, and the emotional rollercoasters that encompass black women and the black community as a whole.   She is a lover of family, books, and yoga.  She dibbles and dabbles in writing from time to time.

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