100 Questions: Day 64

What do I feel most guilty about? 

I think I touched on this before, but I’ll say it again before I go zip lining in the woods. There’s this (not so) unspoken code of conduct that women are suppose to live by. I see it in Internet memes all the time: A real woman does this, wears that, doesn’t say this, always thinks like this. These memes are usually created by men to tell women how they should and shouldn’t be. Most men who create these memes do so out of their own insecurities, but decided creating insecurities in women was much better; that way, the bar would be lowered and they would have a better chance at getting laid. What I don’t like that has been the aftermath, is how women have adapted to this way of thinking. 

What I have grown to love about being a woman is that we have so many vast ways of expressing ourselves. We’re not a monolith. So when someone who looks like you tells you, “that’s not how a woman acts/speaks/think” you start to suppress your true self. You begin feeling guilty for enjoying what brings you the most pleasure (like an active sex life that doesn’t include being in a committed relationship. i’m looking at you, slut shamers). 

Being a single mother, I get shammed all the time. It seems that once you have a baby, your life stops being fun. It’s no longer about you, it’s about the baby. You are required to be stressed, over protective, overworked, anxious, and selfless and if you decide to break from that norm…you’re wrong. Even now, on my amazing vacation, I’m told to feel bad that I’m enjoying myself. 

I won’t do that anymore. Life is too precious to not do what brings you joy. Grab the flowers while you can still smell them. It’s not you who should feel guilty about enjoying yourself, it should be those who are too afraid to do what you’re doing. Live! 

  
Tarot Card of the Day: The Sun. Imagine for a moment that you’re soaking in the warm rays of the sun. It feels nourishing and healing, like your aches and pains just fade away. The Sun card brings that amazing energy into your life. Vitality and health abound, while you feel assurance and clarity in all you do. 

100 Questions: Day 63

What stories am I telling that’s holding me back? 

Today, I had an amazing five course lunch with a woman I met through an online traveling group. We were both single, Black women traveling internationally and between courses, we had the best conversation. We swapped itineraries and I just sat back and listened to everything that she’s done and what she plans to do. I felt small in comparison; she had seen and done so much where I have been content chillin in the local parts of South Africa. 

So me and my ego took it upon ourselves to act as if I’m above a tourist destination. That I just “go with the flow” and hate rigid scheduling. But why? After spending time with her and listening to her explain her experience, I took a look at myself. This whole narrative of being a wannabe bohemian who moves like the wind is, at times, a cover up for me being so stubborn and stuck in my ways, that I won’t even give the other side a chance. Then I go deeper, and I’m afraid to disappoint people. 

Friends expect me to take lots of pictures and I’m a person who gets caught up in a moment. I’m rarely on my phone while I’m out and when I am, I don’t know what to take pictures of. The speech on being flexible is cool, but I also miss out on the balance of having a plan. If it’s the failure my plans may fall through…well, I need to get over that, don’t I? 

  
Tarot Card of the Day: Ten of Cups. The Ten of Cups overflows with positivity. Your goals are being realized and the excitement surrounding you is magnetic to others. You feel as though light or color radiates outward from you…almost like you’re shining. Experience sensations like this with an open and joyful heart. Don’t doubt this power. 

100 Questions: Day 62

How am I standing in my own way? 

The weekend before my birthday trip, I was running a few errands but I really needed to clear my mind. My parents were still trying to talk me out of the trip. They went on and on about how dangerous it is to travel alone and, when hearing how little I’ve planned, told me that I wasn’t ready to go anywhere and that I was stupid for still wanting to leave. 

While waiting for the train, a slow panic attack came over me. My chest started getting heavy. My thoughts started racing by with how I was crazy for doing this. In that moment, I wanted to scream and cancel my trip altogether. They were right. I had no clothes, no spending money, and I was flying halfway around the world. Who did I think I was to even do something like this? And then the tears started to flow. I connected with my breath and just cried because I saw me standing in my own way. I had to remind myself of why I was going and because I want to live a more authentic life, some of my decisions won’t be popular. Hell, some of the things I try might result in failure, but I have to try. 

  
Tarot Card of the Day: Two of Cups. Alas, the much adored Two of Cups. When this card appears you can anticipate new love to be heading your way. And yes, this usually means romance…but sometimes it points to the birth of a dear and lasting friendship. Either way, the connection between you will be pure, honest, and solid. Open your heart and get ready. 

100 Questions: Day 61

What action steps can I take despite my insecurity or lack of confidence? 

The simplest action step I can take is the hardest: simply believing that I am worthy of what it is that I’m going for. Whether it’s a editorial internship, a loving relationship, or even a day at the spa, I have to know that I’m worth it. A lot of times, I get caught up in the thinking of, “When I get this, I can have that” or “I don’t have this, so it doesn’t make sense to go after that” and I stop myself before I even start. It all stems from this horrible thinking of not being good enough to have what I’ve always wanted. So, I work on telling myself daily that I’m worthy. Because I am. 

  
Tarot Card of the Day: The Devil. Though it may feel frightening when The Devil appears, this card carries an urgent message and must be interpreted with total honesty. The darkness of The Devil card takes the form of addiction, negativity, or materialism. It can indicate an ugly relationship with a person or substance. Identify this dependency and how it’s holding you back. The devil’s hooves are strong and relentless…their grip will not loosen unless a conscious change is made. Free yourself. 

100 Questions: Day 60

Where have I been playing it safe? 

Today is my birthday, or solar return if you’re into that sort of thing. And with each passing year, I always sit and reflect on how far I’ve come and where I’d like to see my year go. One way I’d like to do before my 34th birthday is to be more fearless. I want to have the courage to live life to the fullest extent, which means I can no longer play it safe. The one place I’ve played it super safe is in my dating life. 

Recently, I met a new guy who is just beautiful. We met at work and when he first approached me, I thought it was a joke. I just couldn’t fathom why he would be interested in me. I chalked it up to him needing a sugar momma and avoided him for months. Recently, I’ve crossed paths with him again and this go around, I decided not to shun him…and we hit it off! Now, I can’t stop thinking about him. His smile, his touch, his cologne. It has been a long time since I felt this way about any guy because I’ve become comfortable keeping men at a distance. 

Playing it safe for me means being able to control the outcome and if I can’t, I walk. Being fearless, rather becoming fearless, means that I have to openly go into situations where the outcome is not evident, and being completely okay with it. This is my chance to not play it safe. Happy Birthday indeed! 

  
Tarot Card of the Day: The Star. Standing outside on a dark night you gaze up at the stars and sense glimmers of wonders and hope. Even though you can’t find concrete answers to life’s many questions up there in the sky, you can’t help but feel comforted and renewed. Such is the energy of the Star card. It is not about actions or situations, it’s simply about connecting to the part of you that’s hopeful and serene. This force will bring light back into your life and infuse you with positivity. 

100 Questions: Day 59

Where can I be more unapologetic about what brings me joy? 

There’s a weird thing that happened when I had my daughter and maybe this is a generational mindset, but my mom became increasingly upset with my definition of motherhood. Now, I know this is a subject that has been discussed far and wide, inside and out. Still, we view things very differently. 

See, my mom comes from the mindset that you sacrifice everything for your children. Your hopes, your dreams, your aspirations must be buried in order for your children to have all that they need. I’m much different. I believe you can have and be all, while raising your child. When you’re happy, your family is happy. Take care of yourself so that you can be full to take care of those around you. So with our two different backgrounds, we clash. 

Whether it’s me meeting friends for dinner or buying myself some much needed pair of shoes, my mother has criticized me; wondering what I’ve done for my daughter. In fact, her favorite saying is, “Did you even think about your daughter when you bought this?” Yes, I did because I talk to her daily. What my mom failed to see is when I’m out with friends at dinner, I call my daughter to ask what she would like for me to bring home. Those shoes I bought? Yeah, my daughter gets a shirt or a new video game. 

Now with my birthday trip (if you’re reading this, I’m loving Paris right about now. Just trust me on this!) I have been called selfish and should be ashamed of myself for “not thinking once about anyone but myself.” I won’t. I refuse to apologize or made to feel guilty about enjoying my life. With the recent string of deaths by the hands of the very people sworn to protect us, I can and will enjoy this life as long as I’m here. In fact, I’m inspiring my daughter to do the same and I won’t ever apologize for that. 

  

Tarot Card of the Day: Ten of Pentacles. The Ten of Pentacles signifies material and spiritual abundance in nearly every area of your life. The number ten usually indicates completion, and in this case the journey was well worth it. So be generous, not only with your money but also with your wisdom. Provide guidance to those who struggle. You will be rewarded tenfold. 

100 Questions: Day 58

What area of my life can I take more of a leadership role in? 

It’s funny, when you feel that you already take control in so many areas in your life, you wonder what’s left? At work, I lead a small team. At home, I raise my teenage daughter. Even in relationships, guys tell me that they’re following my lead, lol! 

So where do I need to step up and be more of a leader? My inner self. I don’t control me; external forces do. Being an empathic person, other people’s energy run its course over me. When cravings hit, I’m not in control; cupcakes are. When I want to connect to my higher self, I don’t take any type of lead. Instead, I allow fear of the unknown to take charge and ultimately, close off that which I’m trying to get close to. 

I have to be mentally, emotionally, and spiritually in a leadership role…with myself. 

  
Tarot Card of the Day: Son of Cups. Like all of the Cups family, the son truly excels in the arts. He’s usually a musician or a visual artist of some kind, and he finds success within his field. his natural ability to look inward adds to his charm and mystique. To others he may seem secretive and even peaceful, while deep inside he carries a dark kernel of intensity. 

100 Questions: Day 57

What does my ideal life look and feel like? 

This is a fun question because it’s all about manifestation. To really sit and visualize what your ideal life looks and feels like, is a wonderful way to tell the Universe what you really want (you know, if you believe in the whole Law of Attraction notion). As I prepare for my trip abroad, I know exactly how I want it to look. 

In my ideal life, I’m a freelance writer, mostly opinion pieces, essays, and travel blogging. I love waking up one day in Paris and falling asleep in Amsterdam. I’ve worked on a fishing boat in Costa Rica and teach students English in Seoul. I don’t have one place I call home, because I think the world is my home. I have many loves and lovers in my life, eventually catching the eye of a rouge creative; fleeing wherever he’s from on his journey to find “inspiration”. My daughter will have made several popular cartoons and I’d giggle whever I’d see them on television; seeing her everywhere I travel in whatever language it’s in. 

My ideal life feels like a cloud. Each day, I wake up refreshed, energized, and full of what lies ahead. I feel love in every baked bread, in every child’s laughter, in every blade of grass. I feel awaken. I feel the support from friends old and new. I feel protected by God. I feel grateful to do what I love doing and being paid for it. 

That’s my ideal life. 

  
Tarot Card of the Day: Five of Cups. The Five of Cups indicates a time of deep grievances and sorrow. A relationship may fall apart or an old friend could slip away. There will be disappointment and even regret. When this card appears it’s important not to make any hasty decisions. It may also be helpful to look at the type of expectations you place on others. Perhaps they can never do enough to please you. 

100 Questions: Day 56

What are my instincts trying to tell me? 

I thought about HomieLoverFriend yesterday and decided to text him, just to see how he was doing. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been so great. So, remembering that he felt some peace near water, I suggested that we head out to this local park. They have a trail that leads to the harbor, so I felt this would be good. He’d be able to release some of his hurts and I wanted to be there for him; like a supportive friend. It didn’t go that way. 

Instead, it went the way it always went: he found other things to do to avoid facing himself. Only this time, I wasn’t trying to persuade him to see things differently. I was just there. As he was talking to me about his woes and about how he would feel me loving an ex still would be a problem (long story…sort of), it hit me. 

Don’t look back. 

That sentence resonated with me for the rest of the evening. From the resurgence of exes, to my anxiety over this trip, to being a late bloomer, I can’t look back. My time is really in the present moment and when I take my focus off of that, I hurt myself. I have to stop recycling and start letting it go to waste, if that makes sense. 

  
Tarot Card of the Day: Justice. With tails entwined, two cats look directly at you…waiting for you to choose between them. Which is right and which is wrong? The Justice card implies a weight or heaviness surrounding a choice you have to make. Now is not the time to shun the concept of divine balance or karma. All of your choices affect your life, and sometimes lives around you…both now and in the future. 

100 Questions: Day 55

What emotion have I been hiding? 

Love for myself. I thought about this yesterday on the train ride home. Day in and day out, I would fantasize about saying “I love you” to someone and having them say it back. Be it an ex or someone new or even a complete stranger, I long to hear and say those words. 

But yesterday, I was thinking about my re-surfaced ex and how he showed me how to love again when something said, “He didn’t teach you anything that you weren’t willing to learn on your own” and I was brought to tears. I started searching within and realized that this entire time, I have been looking for my love outward when what I needed was within me. But what does it look like? Feel like? Sound like? 

How do I show myself love when I’ve always looked to others to do it for me? 

  
Tarot Card of the Day: Eight of Swords. Surrounded by threats and obstacles on all sides, you find yourself the victim. You see no way out; no available choices. Your perception keeps you from opening your wings and taking flight. What keeps you suspended here? The Eight of Swords demands an answer. You can’t hang here much longer. 

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