History…

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I don’t usually care enough about a celebrity love story (triangle) to write a blog about it but this CRihanna featuring Karrueche Tran mess is…WOW. Firstly, this nonsense could have ended after the first sentence:

“I have decided to be single to focus on my career. I love Karrueche very much but I don’t want to see her hurt over my friendship with Rihanna, I’d rather be single allowing us to both be happy in our lives.” – Chris Brown

But anyway, let me say that I am a fan of both Chris Brown and Rihanna’s music and what they want to do in their personal lives is their business. What really struck me is the video of Chris Brown that hit the web the day after that ridiculous “statement” came out. He says, “…When you share a history with somebody, then you tend to fall in love with somebody else… it’s kind of difficult…”

Why do people, especially men, put so much emphasis on history in a relationship? I’m not saying that the things you and another person have experienced shouldn’t be valued, but those things are called memories. Memories don’t ever have to be forgotten and you can love and appreciate the memories until you die. The amount of history you have with someone shouldn’t be the only basis for whether or not you should have, or want a future with them.

I also don’t understand the notion of being in love with two people at the same time, especially if the reason that you love one of them is because of the history that you have with them. I believe that if you are in love with someone and happy with that person, there’s no way you will fall in love with someone else. Attraction―yes, maybe even sex, but in love―no. What happens is you find something in someone that you’re not getting from your mate, you like the new person, he/she is great, but history, guilt or some other imaginary obligation is keeping you from letting the first person go,  so you hold on to both of them and you eventually become confused.

Life doesn’t move backwards. When people get together they look forward to seeing each other, they look forward to new experiences together, they look forward to meeting each other’s families… Forward, forward, FORWARD!

You won’t be waking up yesterday with someone or going on a date last week. When thinking about staying with or getting back with someone, think about whether or not you are looking forward to anything with them. That’s a much better measure than the history you have.

Kisses,

Adia Kamaria

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The Real on Reality TV

I fell off of the reality TV bandwagon somewhere between Flavor of Love and its spin-off, Charm School. It’s hard for me to sit through an entire episode of most shows, let alone watch an entire season of a reality TV show. With the exception of every Real Housewives franchise (my guilty pleasure), I’ve caught only bits and pieces of most black reality shows from For the Love of Ray J and I Love New York to Basketball Wives and Love and Hip Hop.

I’m not tuned into reality TV every night, but I read blogs every day. Every day I read about the problems with these shows ― how bad they make black women look, that the shows are scripted, the drama isn’t real…and the list goes on. The truth is, if black women didn’t act this way, there wouldn’t be a show to tape and it couldn’t be labeled as “reality”. And surely the millions of people watching these shows aren’t simply waiting for one cast member to throw a drink on another and the cat fight that follows. There is a deeper connection between the viewers and the cast.

I caught a scene from Basketball Wives with Tami Roman talking to her mother about sexual abuse that she experienced as a child and how she resented her mother for not being there for her. I could relate to that because of knowing women, black women, which have gone through the same thing. I recently saw Joseline Hernandez in a scene from Love and Hip Hop Atlanta telling her friend that she fell in love with Stevie J because he took her out of a strip club and gave her a chance. She said that anyone would fall in love with someone who did that for them. I could relate to that too because something similar happened to me. Jim Jones’ mom and his fiancée don’t get along, Phaedra Parks’ husband is an ex-con and who doesn’t have a friend like Mimi Faust?

Regardless of whether or not these shows are scripted or how they make black women look, some of the issues that are addressed on these shows are REAL and relatable and that may be the hold that these shows have on black female viewers. All of us aren’t willing to air our dirty laundry on TV, but some of these women have something in common with some of us and that’s not a problem, that’s reality.

Most of the cast members on these shows have nothing to lose by participating in them anyway. Being on a reality show has given some of them opportunities they may not have had otherwise. I’m just waiting to see who will be the first black female reality TV star to turn that fame into something really real, a la Bethenny Frankel and Skinnygirl Cocktails.

Kisses,

Adia Kamaria

The Truth About Baggage

Baggage, it’s the term given to emotional issues that stem from past relationships brought into a new relationship, not getting over painful memories and mistrust for example. The general consensus on baggage is that it’s a women’s issue. Women are walking around carrying their emotional scars from one man to the next and these scars give them low self-esteem and make them clingy and irrational…which then makes it impossible for them to have healthy relationships.

While this is certainly true, women aren’t the only ones carrying baggage. Are there more women carrying baggage than men? Maybe, but men are definitely carrying baggage too.  The difference is that when a man has low self-esteem, is clingy or irrational in his behavior etc. he is just considered “lame” or a “good guy” that no woman wants because we’re only attracted to “bad boys”.  Whatever dude, I’m not buying it.

The truth is every, and I mean EVERY adult has baggage. Baggage doesn’t only come from past sexual relationships, it comes from every relationship that we’ve ever had including relationships with our parents and even teachers and bosses. We’re all human and made up of chemicals and hormones. It’s natural for us; both men and women to be affected by our life experiences and to have them direct our behavior in the future. Some of us just have more experiences than others.

Emotional scars function much like a physical scar on the skin. When you get cut or burned and your skin is scarred, you might put some ointment or cream on it but it usually stays there. It may lighten up, but it takes a long time to go away and may not go away at all. Anyone who sees your skin will see that scar. When someone is scarred emotionally, it might be covered up in various ways but the pain stays there and anyone who comes in contact with those emotions will see the scars in some way.

I guess nobody ever told you, all you must hold on to, is you, is you, is you.”  ̶  Erykah Badu, “Bag Lady”

This is one of my favorite song lyrics. No one ever told me, and I’m going to guess that no one ever told you either. This is the hardest part of having baggage, knowing how to carry it. It’s so natural to hold on to things and carry them into new relationships when all you should be bringing to a new relationship is yourself. It’s hard to take the emotion out of experiences and appreciate it just for what it truly is, an experience, whether it was good or bad. Since none of us is perfect, what we should be doing is trying to understand each other’s experiences, not judge each other by them.

That’s not to say that anyone should be forced to deal with anyone’s issues. Some things may be too much for you to handle and that’s fine. Baggage is also not only emotional, it’s physical as well. Debt and addiction can also be considered baggage but those topics are for another article. Thank Greg Johnson for this one 🙂

Kisses,

Adia Kamaria

Hard Knock Wife

If you’re single, in your late twenties or early thirties, have a decent  job and you carry yourself well, you probably get asked why you’re not  married or in a serious relationship all the time. If you’re anything like me you hate that question and the “something must be wrong with you” look that usually comes after it. A man once asked me why I chose to work and be single instead of being a housewife. Excuse me, who told you that I chose this?

Excluding the SATC Samantha Jones types, women do want to be married or in a serious relationship. The reason that some women aren’t really is because something is or was wrong with them. It’s sad to admit that the problem that a lot of women have comes from the woman that was supposed to love and guide them―their mother.

I know too many women that were forced to become women way too fast because of their mother’s selfishness. Try being eighteen years old and coming home to an empty house because your mother decided to up and move to another state on a whim or suddenly becoming the bread winner of your household at twenty years old, responsible for all the bills in the house that you share with your mother.

It becomes difficult to find something in common with a young man your age when he is living at home, going to college and has the full support of one or both of his parents while you’re worrying about how to keep your lights on and college is just not an option. At that point men aren’t for sharing or building a relationship with, their purpose becomes what they can do for you, when and how. Life’s innocence is lost― bitterness, anger and confusion set in and it’s all downhill from there. That bitterness, anger and confusion stays with women until they realize it and do something about it. And that is the “something” that is wrong with some women.

Some mothers seem to think that when their children reach a certain age the roles somehow reverse. Women that do this to their daughters have their own issues that make them unable to recognize the damage they’re doing. There are enough things to worry about when girls are making the transition to women. Mothers shouldn’t be giving their daughters extra hard knocks. We often hear about the importance of children having a father in their life for emotional support  but an emotionally stable and supportive mother is just as, if not more important.

I don’t know about women raising men with no male figures, but I believe that a single woman can raise a girl to be a phenomenal woman if she herself is emotionally stable and remembers what her role is. One of the most thought provoking things I’ve ever read is a paragraph in a book called Women Have All The Power, Too Bad They Don’t Know It, by Michael Lockwood. It says:

“Although man was ordained by God to be the leader of his home, a good woman is truly the strength, the glue and the backbone that allows it to thrive. What use is a head without a strong body? Think about it. There are plenty of families who survive with shiftless husbands and wonderful wives, but how many marriages do you know that actually survive with a strong husband and trifling wife? The woman is the most important ingredient.”

Although this is speaking about the wife in a marriage, it speaks volumes to the overall role of a woman in a home. Mother’s, know your role!

I could write an entire book on this, that’s just what I might do…

Kisses,

Adia Kamaria

Like on Top

Most people, especially men, would agree that a good friendship is the basis for a lasting relationship. Ask any man that’s been happily married for more than five years what it is that keeps his marriage alive and you will get the same answer, “She’s my best friend.”

So if all it takes is a friendship to have a lasting relationship, why is it so hard for so many people to have lasting relationships, but so easy to have friendships that span decades.  How is a friendship different than a relationship-friendship? Why does it seem that we like our friends in a different way than we like our boyfriends, girlfriends, spouses, partners etc.? I don’t know the answer to either of those questions, what I do know is this: There is a big difference between liking someone and loving them, and it’s the like that will keep two people together, not the love.

I know, I know, love conquers all and it can move mountains…but think about it. Do you have family members that you love but absolutely cannot stand being around? You love them but you don’t like them. And trust that a woman in love will accept and be patient with a man that isn’t treating her right, but the minute she stops liking him, it’s over.

Have you ever heard about something bad that happened to an old friend, maybe an ex, and you immediately felt bad for them even though you hadn’t seen or spoken to him or her in years? That’s because you have love for them, but you’re not in love with them and you wouldn’t necessarily enjoy being around them either—you don’t like them anymore.  You can have love, it’s not fleeting and it can be kept for someone forever regardless of whether or not you are with them.

Like on the other hand, comes and goes, but it’s more important than love for a relationship to last. Sometimes love is just simply not enough. For two people to stay together, they have to like each other. They have to like talking to each other, like being around each other, like helping each other, like the sex they have with each other, they have to like the person that the other person is when they’re not together.  If love were enough there wouldn’t be so many men cheating on women that they love with a woman they like, but that’s another topic.

Don’t misunderstand me. This is not to say that you either have to love or like someone and that you can’t have both these things in one relationship. You can, that’s the ideal situation. It’s just my humble opinion that liking someone trumps love for a relationship to last.

 

Kisses,

Adia Kamaria

 

The State of our Union

By the time I got home from class last night I wasn’t able to watch all of President Obama’s State of the Union address. I did catch a lot of clips  and I saw the many posts on Facebook and Twitter. People tweeted and re-tweeted that BET should have aired the State of the Union live instead of the popular sitcom, “The Game”. My question is why, because Barack Obama is black? BET is Black Entertainment Television. The State of the Union isn’t necessarily considered entertainment.  Would we care about whether or not BET aired a State of the Union address ifJohn McCain had won the election?

While it’s great to see so many of us supporting our leader, if we’re going to be engaged in politics and policy let’s do so because we want to truly make a difference. Or to educate ourselves so we can conduct our lives in a way that is most beneficial to us, not simply because our president is black, mulatto if you want to be specific.

The best way for us to support him is not to only vote for him and to watch his speeches, but by voting in our local and state elections as well. I voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and I will be voting for him again this year.  However, I also voted for Alex Sink, Kendrik Meek and Frederica Wilson in the 2010 Florida state elections because I want as many Democrats to occupy as many seats as possible to support him.

We don’t know what this year’s election cycle will bring. We must continue to support President Obama and do all that we can to have him serve a second term. Not just to lengthen the legacy of what is undoubtedly a great achievement in African-American history, but to also to show our support for what we believe is right for our country.

What we do know is that Barack Obama will not be our president come January 2017 and his replacement probably won’t be another African-American.  Don’t let the conversation end with him. Let’s stay engaged regardless of who are president is and what his or her race may be.

This is just my opinion, feel free to disagree.

Kisses,

Adia Kamaria

The Title

Since the start of 2012, literally beginning on January 1, 2012, my ears listened to more stories about marriage than usual.  I spent much of the first day of this year listening to a friend’s reasons for not getting back with his ex-fiancé even though he is still more than madly in love with her. Then, later that day I heard a story from a friend about a man that proposed to his long-time girlfriend over the holidays, not because he was madly in love, but because he felt guilty about being with her for such a long time and not proposing to her and on and on…

The story that made an impression on me came from a total stranger one evening as I sat under the dryer at the salon.  I don’t recall how the conversation started but somewhere in the middle of it she told me that she married her husband just last year after being together for eleven years. The hopeless romantic in me smiled widely and quickly said “Congratulations! You must’ve been so happy!” She replied with, “Mmmm,” and rolled her eyes.

Not knowing what to make of her gesture I didn’t say anything else, but she kept talking. She went on to tell me about the many break-ups she and her husband had before getting married, that he had a child with someone else in that time and the countless women that he’s been involved with outside of her and the drama that continues in their marriage. I could see how hurt she was by the expression on her face as she spoke.

I felt bad for her, but I wondered why she had married him after all of that.  The only thing that made sense to me was that she married him because to her, marrying him was the prize.  Yeah, he caused her a lot of pain but in the end she got the ring. He married her and not any of the other women that he had been involved with, almost like it was a competition to see who he would marry.

Unfortunately, stories like this one aren’t new to me. I’ve heard of and seen other relationship in which a woman is hopelessly and even sometimes unreasonably in love with a man that does her wrong over and over again but she stayed with him in hopes of one day being married to him. Why do women do this? Do we honestly think that marriage will change him or the situation? Even if you do “win” the ring, have you really won anything if he continues to treat you poorly after you’re married? Does being married excuse his behavior? Shouldn’t a woman demand more from the man that she vows to be with in sickness and in health and until death do them part?

To be clear, I do believe that people and situations can change and that a rocky relationship can be turned around to a harmonious one. But generally speaking, have women lost the true meaning of marriage? Were we ever aware of it in the first place? Are we seeking truly happy and healthy relationships based on friendships, love and respect that blossom into long-lasting marriages? Or are we seeking a ring to express to the world that we are desirable? A ring to back up the title of wife, giving a symbolic jab to any other woman that he may have been with, in essence saying, I won.

Kisses,

Adia Kamaria