Ramblings @ 1:42am

Having been here in Kuwait for a week to the date and having a week remaining until my flight back to NYC I am beginning to feel recharged. which is shocking considering I originally wasn’t supposed to be returning to the U.S until mid-April. But as you could have guessed, lets just say the groovy laid-back aesthetics of the California girl don’t quite vibe well with the strict and religious Muslim culture of the middle east.

I thought I’d be more frightened about leaving 3 weeks too early. I nearly contemplated a breakdown but realized that all my life I’ve risen to every challenge. And like a cat and a Pheonix I always somehow land on my feet and rise again from the ashes.

NYC is definitely a city that is hungry and ravenous and given the chance will eat you alive if you cannot keep up with the pack. You’ve gotta stay plugged in, connected, aware and alive.

I’ll admit its only March and I’ve fallen off and strayed away more times than I can count but yet there’s still peace. Peace because there’s still hope. Hope because I’m still here. And I’m still here because I still have a purpose. I suppose its that evidence that keeps me from giving up even when giving up feels so good.

I’m rambling at 1:42am Kuwaiti time if that wasn’t obvious and not one of these thoughts is cohesive nor concise. But I just wanted to get it all off my chest. I promise Ill make more sense in the morning… on the east coast and or pacific time.

 

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So I’ve Been Sick

I absolutely abhor getting sick. I mean who doesn’t really. I don’t think I know anyone in their right mind who says to them self, “Man you know what I could use right now? A huge helping of disease and sickness. That’d definitely make today better.”

As a kid growing up I always felt I had to fight to be recognized and acknowledged at times. I had a friend in 2nd grade who got to stay home from school for about a week because she had strep throat. I remember when she came back she told stories of how she got to be loved on by her parents, watch cartoons all day and even eat ice cream. Agghhh! For me this sounded like a fairytale. Later on that night I went home and you best believe I prayed and hoped and wished that I would get strep throat. What must’ve God thought when he heard those prayers? Probably not much but “clearly she must have lost her mind.”

As you could have probably guessed that prayer was not really answered…immediately at least. However, I did get chicken pox though. The devils disease if you ask me. It wasn’t until my 1st year away at private college that the gods answered my ridiculous childhood beckoning and I came down with strep throat. I think I gave it to like 2 of my friends as well. (Sorry guys.) And let me tell you in case you were wondering it was absolutely no fantasy at all. There was no mom to love on me, no barney marathons on pbs to watch, no ice cream, no nothing. Just burning and pain, and fever, and I thought I was never gonna make it out of my dorm room.

Ugh! But, here I sit. Cozied up on my bed with my fleece blanket writing all of this to say, I’ve been sick the last couple days… and I hated it.

#Hashtag Unfollow

So question. And I know I said I was gonna care less about followers and what not and believe me I do care less but I just gotta know…What’s the deal with all the fake follows. I mean im so tired of going on said social media platform and @fationfashion88 has like a million followers and is only following like 427 people and I get all excited like… “Whoa I must be coming up in the world if all of that is following all of this” So I scroll through a few posts and like a kind red-blooded human would do I follow back. Now… all is well until 20 mins later when I go back on my platform to find that my followers count  has only decreased as opposed to increase… strange. Honestly, at first I wasnt noticing it because id just go on my media and be all like “I know I had 8 more followers yesterday then i do now… Or maybe i was trippin…?” So just to ensure I’m not losing my mind I wrote it down… 234. (not a lot I know, but precious to me nonetheless) Throughout the day 5 new followers making it a total of 239. I go to bed, wake up…and bam…. here I am at 230. WTF. ..?

Look, I’m not religious about these numbers things or anything but it almost feels like I’m being used. Once I figured out that people just like one of my pics follow me and then unfollow me is so that I will see they followed me and because im normal or have a crazy desperate desire for friendship perhaps, Im naturally inclined to follow them back. What a jip. I would have way more respect for someone and even follow them if they just came out and said,

Look, I need some followers. I’m trying to get to a mill by the spring of 2019 and I need your support.

p.s the chances of me following you and giving to flips about your life are slim to none, but the follow you give me is still very much needed and appreciated.

Sincerely,

@selfabsorbedselfielover”

I, after reading this remarkably candid yet sincere post/message can’t help but  click that    Instagram_Button button and do so gladly. I mean why not? If you’re that frank and real about it why the heck not? Anyways, I digress, the point is I’ve grown weary of following people who have tricked me. So, If there is anyone out there looking for followers…just say yo, follow me…or follow people you actually wanna follow. Or, here’s a thought, just be you, be real, and the followers will come… I think. (lol)

#OOTD

OOTD#1

 

10 Things I Can Care Less About in 2018

7 days in to the new year and so far so good. I guess that’s easy to say when technically my only resolution this year was not to have any resolutions this year. Yet, I’ve found that there is always room for improvement though. Right? That’s why over the last week I’ve taken a bit of time to reflect and have decided on 10 things I can care less about in 2018 (and 10 things that I can care more about too).

1.  I can care less about…. What Others Think About Me
     I can care more about…. What I Think About Me

Ah, the struggle of my life. Or at least it used to be. It wasn’t until lately I have began to make a conscious effort to make a conscious effort on my behalf. ask myself what I feel, what I need, what is really best for me. Life’s more simpler and free when you live it for more than just the approval and the opinions of others.

2. I can care less about…. Just Getting There Already
    I can care more about…. Learning the Lessons Along the Way

I wrote this song a few years back titled “In between the promise”.  In it I described how uncomfortable, sometimes uncertain, and difficult it can feel and seem when you are waiting for the promises of God to manifest in your life. Yet, while we are in the midst of the climb there are lessons to be learned so that when you do reach those promised lands in our life we are equipped with the wisdom and skills to sustain and flourish in the blessing. If we just rush through the process we miss our purpose.

 

3. I can care less about…. All the Things I Don’t Have
    I can care more about…. What I Can Give to Others

Nearly everyday I go to my local grocery store to purchase my breakfast or lunch. And n that journey I pass by this church thats along the way. In front of the church live several homeless people. they build their temporary mobile homes out of cardboard and whatever scraps they can assemble together and there they lie in the cold of winter and in the hot of summer as passerbyers scuffle along to their various destinations. When I see this I cant help but be thankful for what I have. And although it might not be as much as some it is still more than others. And out of what God has blessed me with is an opportunity to be used to be a blessing to someone else. After all, that is what blessings are given to us for. To be given and shared with others.

4. I can care less about…. Failing
    I can care more about…. Faith

The fear of failure is debilitating and crippling. It paralyzes growth and stunts progression. Taking chances, taking risks and exercising faith are the only ways to move forward. And if we fall its not a loss it is merely a lesson. Some things we will never unlock within ourselves and something we will ever accomplish if we dont step up and out and just do them. For me that might mean performing more often, writing more often, exploring new avenues and saying yes more often than no.

5. I can care less about…. Happiness Being Contingent Upon (_________________)
    I can care more about…. Finding Joy in the Present

“I’ll be happy when I win a million dollars, have that husband/wife, or buy my own home” The question I ask myself now is, what if that never happens… does that mean I wont be happy till then? Do I just send my days focused once again on what Im lacking and not taking the time to acknowledge and find joy in what I have today. Whether its a studio apartment to call my own or really great friendships or that fact that I have a job when so many people out there are having such a difficult time finding one. There’s so much to find joy in and be thankful for in every moment, and if you don’t know where to begin, let’s the fact that you are alive and able to read this post right now is probably a good place to start.

6. I can care less about….  My Past Mistakes
    I can care more about….Growing From My Past Experiences

Can’t change the past my friend. And you have about 3 options when it comes to prior mistakes. You can spend your life running from them, repeating them, or learning from them.

7. I can care less about…. The Latest Gossip
    I can care more about…. Speaking positivity/Building Others Instead of Tearing Them Down

I know I know, gossip is so juicy and spilt tea is just so mesmerizing. That is, of course, until you taste the bitter tang of harsh and hurtful words and you are left to clean up the mess of your name thats scattered across the table. Someone once told me, “If what you are sharing is not constructive or shared with a heart of concern for another in an attempt to help them then its gossip.” Gossip is destructive, gossip is debilitating, gossip brings no profit to neither the speaker nor the hearer. Its like filling your mind and heart with garbage and weighing your soul down with lies. Instead building up others, choosing to use your words to encourage rather than to discourage is a far greater conversation.

8. I can care less about…. Being Right
    I can care more about…. Learning Something New

Everyone says I should’ve been a lawyer. I highly disagree. While I do love being right and I’m an awful great competitor when it comes to debates I must admit I can be a horrible listener at times. Because of this I kinda do myself a disservice in that I inhibit myself from learning something new. This year Ill care less about AAALLLWAYYYSS being right. (For the most part)

9. I can care less about…. Social Media & Followers
    I can care more about…. Quality and Authenticity

Now I do understand that as a blogger or an aspiring influencer it pretty much goes without saying that social media is life and death to your craft. However, getting all caught up in who’s following you, who’s unfollowing you, whats popular, whats trending blah blah blah. I think this year I’m gonna care more about producing quality work that is more authentic to who I am and care less about the numbers and the opinions of the world of Social and Media.

10. I can care less about…. People Pleasing
     I can care more about…. Pleasing God and Pleasing Me

You can not please everyone. Everyone is not gonna like you, let alone love you. That is why it is important to know who you are and love who you are. Haters gonna hate and I’ve learned there are just some people that are not meant to go where God wants to take you and you must leave them behind. This year I’m going to care more about what pleases God and what satisfies my soul and less about what others say or feel about me.

That’s What You Do

I can’t say

That the roads not hard to travel
All I know
Is I won’t go at it alone

I can’t say
That there will never be a battle
But I know
But I know
That its won

I can’t say
That this life is never lonely
All I know
is that your always by my side

I can’t say
that trouble won’t come
but I know
But I know
that he’s Mine

Cus I do believe
That he’s working it all out for me
I believe that he’s set me free
That I’ve been given a life
full of purpose
and promise
renewed
Cus that’s what You do….
That’s what You do…

Love is…

Love is not just a feeling

Love is not just an expression or a phrase.

Love is sacrifice.
Love is patience.
Love is practice.

Love is motion.

Love is what you don’t say when you’re angry.
Love is what you give even when you’re hurt.

Love is power clothed in justice.
Love is the truth when its easier to lie.

Love is what is said when no one can hear.
Love thrives in the thoughts that go unspoken.

Love is giving up the right to be right just so that no one has to be wrong.

Love is giving it all when what you’ve got counts the most because
Love does not look for opportunities to serve self but to fervently serve others.

Love is what I’m still learning…still knowing
And even if the teachers of my past were flawed and far from the shores of love…
I refuse to ever stop growing, sowing and loving…by the power Love.

So Here’s The Thing About Drinking

 

“That’s the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.”
— Charles Bukowski (Women)

I kinda knew something was a little off. Simply because  I didn’t just like drinking…I think I actually loved it. Like I had real intimate  feelings for it. I looked forward to becoming whoever “she” was when I drank because that girl was fearless, that girl was free. She lived out her fantasies and didn’t make apologies for any of it at all. There was nothing I couldn’t drink to enhance or drink to erase. And if for some reason you had something to say about it I had no problem drinking you away too.

“I understood drinking to be the gasoline of all adventure.”
― Sarah HepolaBlackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget

For a long time this drinking thing really seemed to work for me. I mean after all it was the serum; the solution that made me beautiful, made me funny, made me crafty, made me bold… Until one day it just… didn’t.  And with every drink minutes, hours and days went missing. People and places disappeared and feelings became nothing less than raw nerves painful to the touch and fearful of the light. It was as though every shot was a game of russian roulette, held hostage with the barrel of the bottle pressed tightly against my lips. Id officially lost my self to the point I had no clue who I’d become. Just some stranger in my own life.

But do you wanna know the scary crappy truth about it all? Despite the loss, the pain, the turmoil, the regret it wasn’t at all difficult for me to find ample reasons to try my hand again. Some of the greatest reasons I found to drink include:

1. Drinking because everyone else is drinking (who wants to be a prude?)

2. Drinking to be happy

3. Drinking because you’re happy

4. Drinking because you didn’t drink enough

5. Drinking because you drank too much

6. Drinking because your boyfriend probably cheated

7. Drinking because you found out your boyfriend definitely did cheat

8. Drinking so you wont remember

9. Drinking because you remember all to well.

10. Drinking because you’re a boring person when you don’t

11. Drinking because everyone else is boring when you don’t.

12. Drink because it’s Friday

13. Drink because it’s Saturday

14. Drink only wine because it’s Sunday

15. Never drink Monday – Thursday unless it’s a stressful week, Then drink because you deserve it and you gotta take the edge off.

16. Drink because its your birthday (and what better way to celebrate another year of life then with a cup of poison?)

17. Drink because its someone elses birthday

18. Drink because its (insert holiday here).

19. Drink because you’re an adult and that’s what adults do.

20. Drink because… It’s my life and I can.

I wish I could say I just woke up one day and immediately recognized something had to change. That right before the crap hit the proverbial fan I sat with myself and had a much-needed chat. Perhaps I would have looked myself in the mirror and say something a bit cliché like “You’re perfect just the way you are.” or “WWJD” or maybe I’d go so far as to keep it (as the kids say) a hunnid and be all like, “Girl, drinking that Blue Juice at some frat party don’t make you any cooler, dance any better, or look any finer.”

But, as most great horror stories go, I didn’t heed that oh so obvious and logical voice that shouted, “Don’t go down there into the basement run the other way! Get out! Get out! Get out!” Instead I stumbled boldly into the darkness and have been fighting my way back out ever since.

Some days are easy, some days are hard, and others are even harder than that. Yet I’ve found that having real reasons to resist gives me strength to withstand the urges that wash over me like crashing waves coming to swallow me whole. Some of the greatest reasons I found not to drink include:

1. Because I am my own person. (What is this middle school? If everyone jumped off a cliff…)

2. Because I want to actually feel my feelings, whatever they may be, and know that they are real and unadulterated.

3. Because I hate hangovers and I hate being sick and there’s not enough seltzer, Gatorade, and Tylenol in the world.

4. Because no one’s actions should have so much power over me that they force me to compromise my integrity, my worth, and the love that I have for myself.

5. Because the crap cost to friggin’ much. Your friends, your job, your self-esteem, your looks, your money (the list can go on)

6. Because I hate not remembering how “so and so” got my phone number. Or better yet, how we even met in the first place.

7. Because it feels better when you are authentically you. It’s a lot less work and a lot more freeing to not only be who you are, but really know who you are.

8. Because in order to form, cultivate and experience true relationships with others you kind of have to be present mentally and emotionally for them.

9. Because no day is promised and if it’s a new day and you’re lucky enough to see it then the world is yours. What you decide today will impact your tomorrow and your tomorrow will impact the world around you.

10. Because I absolutely hate drunk dialing my exes!

11. Because… It’s my life…And I can!

(& someone out there somewhere must know, that they can too)

 

“Now I’m
sober and I
realize, I
didn’t drink to
escape the world,
I drank to escape
myself”
― Phil VolatileCrushed Black Velvet

Thoughts… “What is Normal Anyways?”

“Ughh, what is Normal anyways?” I mumbled to myself for like the trillionth time. I-have-never-been-normal…ever!

I wasn’t a normal kid. I mean, I took imaginary friend to a whole ‘nother level. One day my dad just couldn’t take it anymore and totally snapped. I guess he got fed up with me waiting on my imaginary friend during bath times. Or maybe he just hated the way I sat half way on my chair when the dinner table was full so my “friend” and I could share a seat.

On one of these occasions he completely lost it when I absolutely refused to sit all the way on the chair because, “How dare I be so rude as to not make room for my best friend during meal times…ugh duh!” It was at that moment my father stood up and started yelling, “Stop it Sutana! There is no friend! Sit in the chair and eat your food.”

“Um yeah there is,” I noted confidently as if to say whoa there daddy-o didn’t you get the memo?

Looking back now, I think this response probably terrified my dad. I mean, just the thought that his daughter may be a few screws short of a tool box sent him into panic mode and agitated him even the more. I think it was then  my life changed in a pretty profound way and I witnessed what would be the first and hopefully the only murder I’d ever seen committed in my life.

My father turned back, picked up what I believe was an imaginary butcher knife and went on shouting wildly while making stabbing motions in the air beside me. Once he regained a portion of his sanity he yelled, “Shes dead Sutana! there is no friend, I killed her, she-is-dead. Now! Sit in the chair and eat!” I sat in that chair alright… but I didn’t eat! Besides, I never got how people had appetites after funerals anyways. And although it wasn’t a funeral, in my little 8 year old mind it was a sever loss none the less.

And as a grown-up, I’m 100% convinced that nothing about my adulthood thus far has been normal. Well, sorta. I mean, hmm. What have I done that’s normal? Ah! Well…I went to college for like 6 years…annnnddd….. that’s about where that story ends. Come to think of it, I could be on my way to a masters right now. Humph… I guess there must be something about  Sallie Mae stalking me all times of the day from random phone numbers seeking reimbursement on defaulted student loans, and the fact that i have nothing to show for this debt but a few YouTube vids and a Facebook page that makes me say “Ahh, It was all worth it.”

And when it came to other normal adult stuff like relationships or even  employment for that matter, I always had this weird way of  ending things. Like my first job for example. It was at an ice cream shop on the other side of town that I only worked at 2 or 3 times out of the week. The people I worked for were the sweetest husband and wife owners who were just looking for some extra help because they were expecting their second child in a matter of months. I guess they were just so busy they hired some extra hands to run the joint while they were out doing what ever it is expectant parents do in the third trimester of pregnancy. But, when I’d finally decided that it was no longer the job for me, I literally handled it like a premature 5th grade boyfriend.

You know, the kind of relationship where its all initiated by mutual friends and classmates that say “Hey Jason likes you wanna be his girlfriend?” And you’re all like “Okay. Sure.” despite the fact that you don’t even know what a relationship is, in fact you still spell it r-e-l-a-s-h-o-n-s-h-i-p. But you just rationalize it in your mind like “meh, how bad could it be having a boyfriend? You’re like way totally past the cootie stage.”

And so this thing lasts for the longest 2 weeks of your life and it is full of awkward hand holding and sitting next to each other EVERYWHERE, all-the-time. At lunch and on the school bus and at the museum field trip and during recess annnnd eventually your’e like “Skip this! I can do this all by myself! Its called an imaginary friend bro…granted mine was murdered by my father last week but Gods able.”

So then you tell your best friend to go break it off for you. Why? Because its her fault for setting you up in the first place and taking the blunt of awkward break up conversation is what real friends do for each other. And so Friday comes (because you always break up on a Friday, gives you two days to avoid any backlash) and she breaks it off for you and come Monday you and Jason are back to hopscotch and Chinese jump rope again like nothing ever happened.

And just like my 5th grade love life I just couldn’t bring myself to look into their soft blue and green eyes, and like a semi adult say, “Hey guys, I have to quit.” Instead, 2 hours before my scheduled shift I had my best friend, who mind you looks about as much like me as she sounds, call my job and quit for me. I just remember my boss being on speaker phone saying ” Are you sure this is Sutana? Because you don’t sound like Sutana. “

And  all I could think, in my best Aziz Ansari voice was… “Aghh, cus its not Sutana, this is so embarrassing!” But it was too late, we’d already gone to far. And in the end, as for everything going back to butter scotch and Haagen Dazs, lets just say when I went to pick up my last check it was the most awkward situation EVER. (sigh)

But so what! what is normal anyways?
By definition normal means average, conforming to a standard; a typical state or condition; the usual. And honestly when you put it like that, normal doesn’t sound like to much of anything I really want to be. Although I’ve done a lot of sucky things and maybe many of the quarks that make people raise their eyebrows towards me are embarrassing, or awkward or seemingly unnecessary, when reflected upon and placed in the proper light I find them empowering, and inspiring and what makes me, me.

I struggle with who I am, who I want to be and what I want others to think about me every now and then…okay that’s a lie, I think I think about it about it everyday. But in those moments when I want to cringe because a memory pops up from my past or when i want to shut out the world because I’ve hurt myself, again, and I’ve given in to a temptation that continuously proves too powerful for me or when i want to cry because I’m not the person I thought i should be by now;  I have to force myself to pause and to remember that I am not this way by mistake. That God made me this way and there is a reason and a purpose and a place for a sideways girl like me. That maybe, just maybe my brand of strange is precisely what the world needs.  And if we were all honest, even the “best of us,” looking inward at who we’ve become can find some flaw, some past failing, some undesirable thing about ourselves. But, what I’ve learned and what I’m continuing to learn to accept are that it’s those weaknesses that make us stronger, those embarrassing stories that make us wiser those flawed and fragile things that make us different and the same all at the same time. We are all our own piece of abnormal…some of us are just better at hiding it, others of us are still learning to live with it, there are those too who wear their weirdo right out there on their sleeve and then there are a number of us who rotate daily in all of the above.

The point is, I definitely don’t have it all figured out but what I do know is that I don’t quite mind being different, or odd, or unique, because the truth of the matter is, the most normal thing I can do is be me…