A Wedding and Singleness

20151017_104116

Last week, I attended the wedding of my friend, A. I have talked about our friendship in Grief and the Curves of Life. I was honored to not only attend the wedding, but to be a bridesmaid. When a woman selects bridesmaids, she selects women from her community; her sisterhood.

A’s sisterhood is comprised of beautiful, smart and gifted young women! We did not all know each other. Three of the women were friends beforehand and lived around the same area. K (another bridesmaid) and I were introduced to each other and to the three women. We all had several occasions to get to know each other such as the bachelorette party weekend and the bridal shower. I also hung out with two of the women and A at an Italian festival.

Throughout all of our gatherings, we got along and connected over conversations about how we met A. We chatted about A’s idiosyncrasies, her love of God and of people. We were women of different personalities and of different racial/cultural backgrounds, but we respected and liked each other. We loved A and were ecstatic about her upcoming wedding. Sometimes, when women get together, there can be disrespect and turmoil. We did not witness such trials. After the reception was over, we mentioned that we should stay in touch and have a Winter get together.

God is a Connector of people! Thank you to my friend JH for emphasizing that point to me.

I enjoyed seeing A and her husband AC meet at the altar. In our blue dresses with silver broaches, we, bridesmaids, watched the tears dribble out of AC’s eyes and the smile that crossed A”s face. As an entire congregation, we sung one of my favorite songs “How He Loves.”  We listened to A and AC’s handwritten vows, and our excitement flowed as they kissed.

Husband and wife. A man and a woman whose love was molded by the ultimate Savior and Lover of souls.

Jesus.

During the day, I attempted to shove away thoughts about how I might meet someone there. I have heard folk say “You meet the one in college” or “You never know who you can meet at a wedding.” So far, I have not met anyone in either circumstance. I have been to college, and I have gone to several weddings.

I did not want meeting someone to be my focus. I was a bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding, and I was celebrating A and AC. My part in their romance was to pray for continual blessings and to support them. Meeting boo at wedding was not the objective.

But as my fellow bridesmaid K stated:

“It’s impossible to be single and go to a wedding without thinking ‘what if…’ I couldn’t help but deep down think well maybe. Maybe someone here will notice me.”

Weddings are filled with love and relationships, whether familial, platonic, or romantic. As a bridesmaid, I felt joyful and beautiful, and I began to wonder the maybe’s…I did not want to wonder the maybe’s. Maybe, someone will watch me as I walk down the aisle. Maybe, someone will come over and talk to me as I sit at my table. Maybe, someone will think to themselves, “She seems cute and nice.” Well, the maybe’s turned into no’s.

No one approached me. No, I did not have one of those fairytale moments in which the guy and girl are pulled to each other. Guy and girl stare at each other’s faces and say aloud “Why haven’t we met before?” Nah, these moments happen in Meg Ryan movies such as Sleepless in Seattle and You Got Mail. My life is not a movie, and I am just a quirky, Christian Black chick with glasses.

But weddings can produce such idealism. They can make you swoony and hopeful of meeting someone. Weddings can also have awkward parts for the single lady. The most awkward parts are:

1. When slow songs come one, a single lady is usually kicked off of the dance floor. There are not many other options than to go back to your table. You can stare at the dancing couples on the dance floor, you  can take a selfie or you can do both. To occupy the dragging minutes of the slow dances, K and I took a selfie. Selfie below:

Wedding Selfie

2. When spotting a cutie, do you say something? It’s a wedding, and you may not see this person again. So,do you go    over and introduce yourself? And if you do introduce yourself, what do you say? Perhaps, you say:

“Hi, my name is _______! Do you know the bride or the groom?”

or

“Hey! Why aren’t you dancing? I’d love to see ya break a move. Breakdance, do the robot, do something!

or

“Wanna cut a rug?!” 

After you have said something clever, what else do you say? How do you deal with the pauses or the sideway glances? Even though, I have jumped out a plane before, there’s more risk in approaching a cutie at a wedding. I am a traditionalist, and I do not want to chase a guy.

But then, is it chasing to introduce yourself to a guy and see where the conversation goes? I spotted cutie, and I just continued to socialize with the girls. It was an easier and safer choice. Since God has connected me with so many female friends, I am sure that He will connect me to my godly boo in time. Now, I am not saying that I do not still wrestle with time (I talked about this concept in Singleness and the Curves of Life.), because I do wrestle. I yell and wrestle furiously with time and I ask myself, “When I will get married?

But I just think there really is not anything else that I can do but to wait on God. Waiting is not an easy feat, but it has to be done.

I do not believe God wants my concerns about singlesness to overtake me. I read in His Word:

“Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.” Psalm 34:10

Bridesmaid Status

Single sisters, how do y’all contend with singlesness at a wedding? Holla at me! Please let me know in the comments below!

Blessings,

afrotasticlady

Advertisements

Friendship and Representation

Mone At School 001

(High school throwback! Before I went natural.)

I have a bad habit of scrolling through social media sites when I first wake up in the morning. One morning in September, I noticed lots of folks talking about an Apple Music commercial starring Kerri Washington, Mary J. Blige, and Taraji P. Henson. I ended up watching it, and I loved how it showed friendship and representation.

Friendship:

The commercial shows Kerri Washington and Taraji P. Henson arriving at Mary J. Blige’s house. Mary J. is playing some cool music, and the women have their own dance party in the living room. I do not know if these women are friends in real life, but the friendship that is shown in the commercial reminds me of my own friendships. As I watched these beautiful women having fun and grooving to old school music, I reminisced about the simple hangout times that I had with my high school friends.

My original homegirls.

In high school, our fun was laidback! In our group, we had a set of twin sisters, and we usually went to their house to chill. We would watch movies, eat Vietnamese food on the floor, chat about our latest crushes, or chat about Aaliyah’s music. We did not need a lot of money to enjoy ourselves; we just needed a space to relax. The Apple Music commercial brought me back to those high school hangouts when listening to music and sitting in someone’s living room sufficed. These times were before the distractions of our cellphones alerting us of a text or a Facebook notification. Hey, none of us even had a cell phone, and Facebook came out when we were in college.

I reminisced about the times where we walked around our hometown or jammed ourselves in our friend’s S’s car. It was actually S’s parent’s car, but she had both her driver’s license and access to a car. While we walked, my friends listened to me rap Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.” Back then, I was obsessed with Eminem’s music. I was comfortable being goofy and dancing on the sidewalk. They laughed and shook their heads at my weak attempt to emulate the chorus of “Lose Yourself.”

One time when we were in S’s car, we sang raucously to B-52’s “Love Shack.” Some of us did not the words very well and some of us did not sing very well, but we enjoyed the song together. We let S drive us to wherever we were going.

I know the Apple Music commercial is selling a product, but I ignored the commercialism and focused on the splendor of friendship. Of three Black woman listening to various genres of music and rocking out.

Representation:

My eyes widen when I see positive images of Black folks in the media. These moments do not occur frequently. Black folks being portrayed as human beings. Human beings who go to school, work, and church. Human beings who hug their children and raise their children. Human beings who are trying to figure out how to love and how to deal with death.

I deem positive representation as important.

Yes, my eyes widened when I saw three beautiful, Black women sitting in a beautiful house, listening to music in an Apple Music commercial. It showed the humanity of Black folks and not the ways we can be portrayed as villains, criminals, absentee fathers, absentee mothers, etc.  Our God-given humanity, the same humanity that God has given all of us, was displayed in an Apple Music commercial.

Representation happens when talented Black female director and naturalista, Ava DuVernay directs the same Apple Music commercial. Ava DuVernay has directed films such as Selma and Middle of Nowhere. I have not seen Middle of Nowhere yet, but it is on my list of must watch movies. With my cousins, I saw Selma in the theater. The poignant scenes in this movie had me cry several times. It was challenging watching Black men and women being beat up and ridiculed. My emotions could not be still, as I thought about what Black folks experienced back then, and the subtle or not subtle racism they experience now.

I believe filmmakers strive to share a story with their audiences. Great filmmakers will force audience members to feel strong emotions. During Selma, I cried to the point that I wanted to yell, but I also smiled at the God-given strength of Black folks. The Apple Music commercial made me smile and laugh as these women listened to their favorite songs. I even wanted to join them as they danced and air drummed to a certain song. I had to watch the commercial several times, because it has such feel good moments. Friends, women, Black women playing music and socializing!

Ava DuVernay is a great filmmaker, as she can make a one minute commercial feel like it should be a movie or a television show.  This filmmaker definitely demonstrates to us that Black female filmmakers are important and needed!

Friendship and representation.

By the way, if you are not receiving my biweekly blog posts, I’d love it if you subscribed! Thanks again to my current subscribers and readers! Y’all are encouraging and wonderful! 🙂

 

Choosing to Be a Writer/Artist

A few years ago, I was at a church service in which I shared a piece of my writing with the congregation. After the service was over, a woman (I think she may have been a minister, but I cannot recall) approached me, pointed her finger and said in an authoritative voice:

“YOU ARE A WRITER”

I have had other people in church inform me that they enjoy my writing. But when this woman spoke to me in such a bold tone, I felt as though God was speaking through her. I needed to hear that I was a writer, because I had not taken the gift and the art of creating seriously. I knew that I was a writer, and that I liked to write, but I thought it was unrealistic to think that my writing could be published somewhere.

I have always been a writer. I grew up writing in journals and notebooks where the pages were nearly ripped off of its spiral. In high school, I allowed my friends to read my “books.” I recited my poems in high school shows and church services. As the years passed, I realized that I loved going to the theater and watching people put their own twist to their lines. I loved going to concerts and looking at the enthusiasm on a person’s face as they sung or played an instrument. I found joy in the artistry that folks had.

Finally, I have figured out that I am an artist. I wonder if I am being pretentious when I describe myself that way. It’s a word that seems like it should be reserved for famous writers, painters, dancers, singers, and other creative folks. My writing is not famous; my words are not in books. But the word “artist” explains so many facets of my personality.

For instance, I am always thinking and observing the details of people, things, and surroundings. I like details, as I want to see every little piece that makes up a whole. I think a lot, and I have to quickly catch my creative thoughts. I usually write them in my phone or scribble them on a piece of paper.

Journal

I have times where I need more than scrap paper. The creative thoughts can get so tangled up that I need to sit somewhere and write. Write and write until the words become untangled. Write and write so I do not have to keep the thoughts stuffed in my mind.

Recently, I spoke to one of my professors in my social work program about my passion for writing. I was concerned that I could not be a creative writer and a social worker. I wanted to know if the roles could co-exist, or did I have to pick one? My professor explained to me that there are many social workers who are writers, and that many folks choose the field of social work because of the diversity of positions that you can work in. The professor told me that she is a writer, and she encouraged me to dedicate a morning or a few mornings to writing. Essentially, it does not matter what time I choose to write, but I have to choose to invest in the gift.

I believe I have been resistant to the words “artist” and “writer,” because of my perfectionism and my game of comparing myself to others. Perfectionism is about my ego. When I am perfectionist, I do not allow myself to write, because I do not think I have anything “perfect” or “eloquent” to say.  When I do not write, I do not share the gift that God has given me. Since God has given me this gift and this love of writing, I should use it.

I am a writer. I am an artist. And yes, it is scary to say those words and to write those words. But I want the gift to be used. I love how certain words sound next to each other and how words can make a person feel. I want to continue writing blog posts and creating short stories and poetry. I even want to try other forms of art that I have not explored fully.

I have read a few blog posts in which the bloggers have wrestled with the word “writer.” I want to encourage these bloggers by saying:

YOU ARE A WRITER, WRITING IS YOUR GIFT, & CHOOSE TO INVEST IN THE GIFT!”

By the way, I have an update about my blog, and I want you to please check out the following video. Oh, if you are not from New England, I hope you are still enjoying the weather…watch the video and you will get what I am saying:

 

 

*Participated in the following link-up!

Open Mic Monday