US: How the Messages Correlate to Society

I’m writing this post about some of the themes I noticed from the new Jordan Peele movie, “US.” There will be some spoilers in this post. Come back here after you see the movie as I don’t want to spoil the movie for you. Great now that we got the pleasantries out the way let’s get to the post. One major theme of the film was that Adelaide explained a traumatic event as a child by meeting her doppelganger. Of course, this terrified her, and as the viewer, we believed she escaped and made it back to her parents. Later in the film, it’s revealed that Adelaide and Red (tethered doppelganger) switched places in childhood. Red went to the surface, and Adelaide stayed down below in the tunnels.

Essentially Red stole Adelaide’s life and every day since Adelaide along with the other tethered has been plotting their revenge. It further explains why Red fought so hard to defend her life and her family. Before this revelation, it came across as a Mom protecting her children. However, knowing that Red stole Adelaide’s life, it puts a different spin on it. Red vehemently was defending her spot because she didn’t want to go back living among the “others.” Adelaide reminds Red of where she once was and where she doesn’t want to be. I felt this directly correlates to what is happening with the immigration issue in the US.

Some folks within the dominant group don’t want people of color in as it minimizes their existence. They feel like they have to fight at all cost to protect themselves. Due to the number of people of color increasing and the dominant society is decreasing. Therein lies a power-shift! The oppressor is now becoming the oppressed which is a position they don’t like. Everything in their power in terms of laws or other means are created to keep the “others” out. It’s fine until the threat of self-preservation is near. Once this occurs, it’s all about survival of the fittest. I ultimately believe that Red was selfish in this regard. She didn’t care about her family. She was only looking out for self and didn’t want the “others” to have their time in the spotlight.

Another major theme I noticed has to do with the husband Gabe and the daughter Zora. Both of them were preoccupied with technology and keeping up with the Joneses. Zora was so caught up in her phone that she wasn’t paying attention to what was going on around her. When the tethered family was in the driveway, her mom asked for her phone. She said Mom I’m not on it when Red wanted to call the police for assistance. Zora wasn’t present for the current situation. Her only concern was that her phone was outside of her possession. To further illustrate my point while on the beach Zora barely interacted with anyone. Again she had her head in the sand literally and glued into her phone. I felt this strongly spoke to what we are experiencing now with social media. Some people don’t have social skills nor how to even communicate outside of social media.

People are using technology as a way to replace human interaction which is why once they do come in contact with others; it doesn’t go well. The husband Gabe was trying to keep up with his friend. He mentioned in the movie that his friend purchased a new car and a boat to mess with him. He doesn’t appear to have a knack for the boat, but it’s view as a status symbol. That if he has the boat he “made” it and he’s now apart of the upper-class society. I got to thinking about the emphasis we place on material items to fit in. We need to be more grateful for what we have instead of what we don’t. The grass isn’t always greener and whichever side is getting the most water will consistently appear to be more green.

There is a ton more of symbolism that I picked up from the movie which could make this post even longer. The ones I mentioned above spoke out to me as I got them right away while watching the film. The movie made me think about some of my current life choices and if I am making them for me or someone else. I am indeed an independent thinker like I believe or I am subconsciously following behind other people. I often time second guess myself, and I take a long time to settle on big decisions. I am worried that I’m going to disappoint my family somehow or think they will not approve of my choices.

I want to go with my gut instinct, but then I brush it off as not being realistic. I can make a last minute decision, and things will turn out completely fine. Other times when I took forever to make a decision it turned out to be a disaster. I believe it had to do with the fact that I overthought it too much and I didn’t view all of my options as I should’ve. It is essential to listen to what you want and not others. Nobody is living this life from day to day but you. If anyone has an issue with what you say or do, that’s their problem. You only get one life, so it’s best to live it up; however you see fit.

What are some of your thoughts after watching the movie US? What do you feel the filmmakers were trying to convey with the messages in the film? Were there things that stood out to you? Why or Why not?

A Different Approach to Dating

All my friends would tell you that I’m terrible at dating. What can I say I’m a hopeless romantic. I typically date one person at a time, and it hasn’t been working out too well for me. I get emotionally invested too early, and by the 2-3 month time frame things fizzle out. I believe this is due to not developing a real connection and the fact that around that time your representative leaves. Everyone is on their best behavior in the beginning, and after time they start to become more comfortable. That is when the real them comes to the surface. I find myself in trouble around this time because I didn’t allow for the relationship to flourish naturally. I rush into things due to infatuation which doesn’t last as it’s not substantial. Of course, things don’t continue if you haven’t taken the time to get to know someone. Plus you have to spend more than 1-2 days a week to understand someone. Consuming small amounts of time with someone not only delays the emotional connection needed for a relationship but you don’t know the person either. If you don’t know who you are dealing with then how can you say you want to be with this person. Getting butterflies for someone is great but slow down a bit to determine true compatibility.

My friends have told me time and time again that I need to date multiple people. For some reason, some people think this means having relations with everyone that you’re dating. That is not what this means at all. Honestly, this is a way if you to date many different personalities at once and see which one is the best fit for you. Another added benefit is that it helps to keep your emotions in check. Especially if you are someone like me, this can aid you in your dating experience. I was curious to see what others had to say about this topic, so I conducted mini online research. Many guys and girls were entirely against dating multiple people. Some of the responses that I read stated that they don’t want to be an option and other people said you wouldn’t be emotionally invested in the relationship progressing. One response I thought was a big shocker was when someone is dating multiple people they aren’t viewed as looking for a serious relationship.

All of these reasons were a surprise to me, but particularly the last one gave me pause. If you are in the beginning stages of dating someone you have no idea of where things will land, of course, this person will date other people as the whole purpose is to look for their future husband or wife. How can you demand exclusivity without having that conversation first? Truthfully, when you meet the right person, you will naturally start to cut off the other people as they aren’t what you want. In dating it’s important to have an honest and open dialogue. Don’t put others down just because you don’t agree with their dating methods. Ask the right questions and if it doesn’t jive with you then find someone else on the same wavelength as you.

Whatever dating method you decide to partake in; be honest with the people you’re pursuing. It’s essential that they know and understand why you’re taking this approach. This conversation can also clear up any misunderstandings that someone may have. Due to the hookup culture that we are in is the reason why dating multiple people gets a bad rap. Explaining why it’s vital for you can make a difference in people understanding you better. For example, I went on a first date with this one guy, and it went very well. I had a few horrible first dates before this, so it was refreshing. When I texted later on that evening to say I made it home okay that’s when things went left. He proceeded to tell me that I’m everything he’s looking for and he wants to make me his woman ASAP. Typically I would be all over this and be ready to be in another relationship that ends in a few months. Because I am dating other people, I didn’t allow my emotions to get involved just yet. I’ve only known this guy for three weeks, and we don’t interact every day. I only see him once a week due to scheduling conflicts. If we had been spending more time and speaking more regularly than maybe I would entertain a relationship with him.

However, since that is not the case, I told him to pull back a bit and let things naturally play out. He gave the typical responses of you are scared and so am I. I’m not like other guys so don’t compare me to them. Seeing is believing and since that hasn’t occurred yet this is all talk as far as I’m concerned. There are things that I saw about him that I didn’t like and I ultimately decided that it wasn’t going to work. If I didn’t date multiple people, I would’ve missed all the red flags. Some may not agree with my approach, but so far it’s working out for me. I respect the one on one method, but I think it’s better suited once you decide to be exclusive. Otherwise, you are putting all your eggs in one basket for a person you haven’t determined is right for you yet.

What are your thoughts on the approach of dating multiple people? Do you agree or disagree? What are some of the methods that you use to deter yourself from getting invested too soon?

Happy dating!!!!!

Improving Your Romantic Outlook

You should treat others the way you want them to treat you. If you want people to be honest with you, then you should do the same in return. If you don’t want to be hurt by others, then you shouldn’t do the same. It always amazes me how people are so quick to play the victim role but can’t accept the responsibility they play within their demise. For example, if I keep having bad relationships with men at some point, I need to reevaluate within myself why I keep attracting these type of men. I can make a general statement saying that all men are evil when it’s my horrible choices that are leading me to that conclusion. There is the segue to my topic of this blog post about continuously picking the wrong partners to date. I’m not calling anyone out as I have been guilty of it myself, but once you know better, you will do better. The first step of moving on from any situation is learning to treat the disease and not just the symptoms.

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The first thing I want you to consider is how you view yourself. Never mind how others feel about you but how do you feel about yourself? Do you put yourself down and call yourself terrible names? Understand that you are hurting yourself when you do this. Having negative thoughts about yourself can subconsciously be exuded externally and keep you from attracting the mate you want. Then others will start to feel the same way, and you will become less attractive as a result of that. Nothing is sexier than a person who has confidence within themselves and believes they are the best thing since sliced bread. I’m not saying be a jerk about it, but you have to have a strong sense of self if you want to attract someone of a higher caliber. You can’t believe you are worthless and then expect a potential suitor to think differently. Since self-esteem is an internal issue, you have to make sure you work through any of those issues before getting into a relationship. Nobody can correct this but you. Seek counseling if necessary but work through this immediately. The more broken relationships your experience, the more of a beating your self-esteem will take.

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As you grow within your career and personally your dating life should reflect that. Often we get comfortable within certain social circles because that is what we have always known. However, once you start to grow those areas that once interested you, unfortunately, do change. There’s nothing wrong with this, but nobody tells us nor prepares us for the transition to come. You most likely complain and I know I have about the lack of options out there. The conclusion I came up with is I’m looking for love in the same places I always have. The areas I’m frequenting I won’t find a professional man there so who is really to blame for my situation. You can’t do the same things you always did and expect a different result. You have to expand your options, and yes attend that networking event your friends have been trying to invite you to for months. You have to step outside your comfort zone if you want to meet Mrs. or Mr. Right.

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I hear people say and myself included that I want a man to drive XYZ and work within a particular field. Guess what? The things I was asking for I didn’t even have myself. It’s important to make sure the things you want in a partner are things you can provide as well. I think it’s unrealistic to demand your partner to a higher standard, but you don’t have the same demands on yourself. I took the time to soul-search and prepared myself for when my husband finally arrives. If the right person walked into the room right now would you be ready for that person? If you can’t honestly say yes, then you have work to do. It’s a corny saying, but you have to be the partner that you want. Remember everything you are looking for someone else wants the same. If you are unable to provide those same qualities, then you will continue to date the wrong people. Don’t look at your single hood as a bad thing. Use that time to self-reflect on becoming a better you. Once the right person comes along, you will be more than ready for your last relationship.

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Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. Please share on social media and with your friends/family.

Until next time,

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Prescription for Self-Care

When you hear the word self-care what comes to mind? For me, it’s something that I don’t do enough. I’m always running around but never take the time to focus on myself entirely. We all need time to ourselves to unwind from the stresses of the day. You can’t be fully present for others if you have yet to be there for yourself. I’m learning that I can’t give my all and saying no is okay. I still feel guilty when I do however not being there for myself is even worse. How can you say you love yourself if you don’t give yourself the same care as everything else? Internally you deserve the same amount of attention as your job, bills, etc. No more excuses! From this day forward self-care will no longer be a slogan but a complete lifestyle change.

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I concluded that I lacked self-care while being on this leadership council for a non-profit organization. I tried to make myself available to all the meetings and any activities that came up. Due to my work commitments being on this council was proving to be quite challenging. It didn’t matter however because I was determined to give back even if meant hurting myself in the process. Since this council is new, it requires a lot of time and effort. I could provide support but only in a limited capacity. I started to see that my availability and the council needs weren’t in alignment. I kept forcing myself to fit into a puzzle piece that doesn’t fit. I realize that honestly, I could give my all but at what cost? Sure I would be giving back, but I won’t be fully present as I would be exhausted. I have to take better care of myself if I’m going to be an asset. Until I cater to my needs, I can’t possibly be there for others.

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Putting others before yourself is selfish because as a human you have needs as well. Not catering to your own needs creates resentment. Taking time to recharge your batteries gives you the space you need so you can get in touch with yourself. Also, it’s okay if you can’t be involved in everything. It’s better to dedicate yourself to a few events as opposed to every occasion and not enjoying it.  Be honest about what your schedule permits. People may expect more but don’t let guilt deter you. Don’t let others have free reign over your time as you don’t get that back. You should be happy and excited anytime you are spending time on something. If your energy is continuously depleting that means you are neglecting your needs and you need to look into that. I’m practicing self-care currently, and unfortunately, it’s taking some adjustments on my part. I’m hoping you do the same if you haven’t started already. What are some of your self-care methods that you tried? Please share your comments below. Don’t forget to fill your daily dose of self-care or seek your treatment as needed.

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Until next time,

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Happiness is Waiting

I’ve spoken previously about the importance of stepping out of your comfort zone to grow. You learn so much more about yourself when you take these opportunities. Recently, I put this thought process to the test during my latest trip to Los Angeles. I know family and friends don’t want me to move there, but I love the weather. We’ll see you never know what happens. Anyway, the purpose of this trip besides a vacation, of course, was to visit a relative of mine. I haven’t seen her in two years since she moved and this would be an opportunity to see her new surroundings. Since I knew she had to work, I decided to create an itinerary for myself. The flight was six hours from NJ, and I am not about to be sitting in a hotel waiting to hang out. I am incredibly grateful that I took this approach. I went overzealous with the activities, but I still was living my best life.

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The best part about having an itinerary in place is you never have to worry about what to do next. Having your activities planned out for the day takes out the guesswork of what to do on a given day. Of course, you don’t have to follow an itinerary word for word. However, it allows you to focus on the trip and not stress about what activities to do. Having these preplanned activities in place worked out perfectly as I was solo for half the trip. I spent time with my relative but not for the whole duration of my stay. The best part of this is that I was able to do the things I wanted to do without judgment from someone else. Spending time with myself not only allowed me to fulfill my interest but to learn how to deal with my own company too.

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Another significant part of my Los Angeles trip is that now I made a new friend. When you go on a trip solo, it forces you outside of your comfort zone.  Then for you to connect with others, you will have to put yourself out there. That is how I made a new friend in Los Angeles, and I gained a new travel buddy. She was out in Los Angeles solo as well, and we met at the same hotel. We even were staying on the same floor only three doors down from each other. I’m a firm believer that we were destined to meet. I heard of coincidences, but that had to be fate involved. I seriously would’ve missed out on all the fun and the people I met if I didn’t go on this trip.

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Of course, I would’ve loved to spend more time with my relative during my time in Los Angeles. However, I learned so much about myself due to this trip that I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. I learned how resilient I could be when faced with new obstacles and challenges. This trip opened my eyes to the endless possibilities if only I would be willing to try and stop being scared. Remember you can’t have a lasting relationship with anyone if you can’t have one with yourself. Go on that trip, try out the new cooking class, or whatever your interest takes you. Stop letting the fear of the unknown stop you from living your best life. The happiness you are seeking is on the other side of fear.

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Until next time,

Thkeya Life (1)

Social Media Cleanse

I know it’s been a while since I wrote a blog post. I was running around getting ready to head to Miami and then it was time to leave for my trip. Now that I’m back it’s time to write another post. I went to Miami for the first time for five days, and I loved it. I had the best time, and I can’t wait until I go back again. I did something that I rarely do which is not to take pictures and then post them to social media. I lived in the moment for once and didn’t stop to post the photos every five minutes. It was a very liberating experience to live in the moment and not be so preoccupied with social media. It made me realize how much social media has impacted our lives. I guess to a degree we have allowed it. We sometimes feel the constant need to post images and tell every detail of our lives. We need to practice more of living in the moment. I enjoyed my Miami trip more because I wasn’t trying to gain likes or please my followers. I did something healthy which is to experience the moment, as it was occurring.

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Living in the moment allowed me to have more freedom and experience my trip a lot more. I would post here and there but nothing how I would typically. Life was so simple before social media as people were present and lived in the moment. In the days before social media people would communicate with their company more instead of being on the phone. I believe it is insulting to be on your phone while in the company of others. It signals that not only are you uninterested in the folks around you but that whatever you are doing on your device is more interesting. However, putting your device down and taking in life as its happening is such an invigorating experience. You don’t get those moments back, so it’s important to be present in that given moment.

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I think taking time away from social media is essential especially if you see you are getting too caught up in it. One must remember that social media is a form of entertainment, but it’s not real life. It is a way for you to connect with others from different parts of the country and the world. However, it can’t replace living your life. There is much to see and do out in this beautiful thing called life. Please don’t allow social media to take away from that and make you forget what is significant. I would recommend that everyone at some point goes on a social media cleanse. It will allow you time away to focus on the real world and not the fake. A bonus is communicating with the people around you. With social media, people forgot how to speak when they have people in front of them. Purging from social media gives you time back with loved ones and the world around you. I’m not saying stay entirely away from social media but don’t forget to live your life to the fullest while using it.

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Until next time,

Thkeya Life (1)

Battle with Depression

I’m writing this in complete shock of what transpired with Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. My thoughts and prayers are with their families at this difficult time. I’ve been reading a lot of comments regarding this situation, and everyone keeps saying how they don’t understand how Kate and Anthony got to this point. The comments are beyond hurtful as many people don’t know how mental illness and depression can alter your emotions. You will have mood swings, and thoughts of suicide can occur. These thoughts take place over the course of days, weeks, months, and even years. It is a constant battle of trying to get better and pretending that you’re okay. It is a private hell that I don’t wish on anyone. My intention with this post is to shed some light on this subject. The insensitivity I’m seeing is all the more reason why it’s essential to have this conversation. With many prayers and conversations with myself, I decided to share my own story. I have reservations about it, but I think it’s critical that I put my feelings aside. If this story can save one life, then it will be all worth it. Most importantly I hope that someone out there will think before they bully or judge someone. You have no idea what that person is dealing with or if the night before unsuccessfully (Thank God) tried to commit suicide.

My first experience with depression started when I was a teenager. I experienced a traumatic event in my life which prompted this. I didn’t properly learn how to process and deal with my emotions. I sought help, but the first therapist that I interacted with wasn’t helpful. She made me feel as if the situation was my fault. I was already blaming myself, so this situation just pushed me over the edge. I had so much pent-up aggression inside that I just wanted it to be released. I begin to self-harm as a way to cope with my emotions. Of course, this didn’t help at all, and my pain only intensified as time went on. The pain was becoming unbearable to the point where suicide was viewed as the best option. I didn’t feel comfortable discussing my struggles with anyone. When I would explain my issues with family, I would hear you don’t have anything to be sad about, or you need to pray more. Not sure why people think hearing that would be helpful in some way. Of course, this does nothing to cure your depression or boost your self-esteem. I kept myself busy with school and extracurricular activities. All I did was mask the pain I was dealing with, but it did nothing to cure the depression I was feeling. My family and friends thought I was okay because I did an excellent job of hiding my emotions.

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I am a very great actress, and I hid it very well. I don’t want to come across as weak or complaining, so I keep things to myself. When I did open up to the family, I didn’t get the support I was seeking. They were listening to me, but they didn’t understand what I was feeling. In their mind, I was a teen, and this is what teens deal with, so you will grow out of it. This thinking was wrong as I didn’t grow out of it and it only became worse. When you first open up about your feelings and don’t  receive a heartfelt response, you decide to not speak on it anymore. Everybody wants to be understood so when that doesn’t occur it’s easier to keep your thoughts to yourself. Depression followed me well into my adulthood, and I still struggle with it daily. Happy events were occurring in my life, but I was battling my own demons that I couldn’t enjoy it. I know I wasn’t the most relaxed person to date during that time as I was suffering in silence. I was going through the motions of life and being miserable at the same time. I got to the point when ending it all was the best option just to alleviate the noise in my head. This is when I unsuccessfully attempted suicide, and I’m so incredibly grateful it was unsuccessful.

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I went to work the next day as if nothing happened the night before. I remember that day as if it was yesterday. I had a horrible day at work, and my coworkers had no idea the previous night I had. At that point is when I decided to seek therapy again. I know you are wondering the first attempt didn’t work out so why try it again? I knew that I couldn’t do this alone and who better to see but a professional. I met an excellent therapist and credited her with helping to save me from myself. I had been a broken person all these years. My inner child never fully healed, so she became an adult without the emotional coping skills necessary in life. Even though I was an adult emotionally, I was still a teen, and that version of myself was the one making the decisions. Until I learned to heal that inner child, I would never be able to move forward. Those were the skills I learned in therapy, and that’s why I’m here today. With her guidance, I was able to finally heal my inner child and gain the closure I desperately needed for that chapter in my life.

I am a stronger, healthier person now because of therapy. I am a massive advocate for treatment, and I encourage anyone who needs healing to get it. After speaking about my struggles, I noticed that some family and friends are going through similar issues. Being preoccupied with how I came across, I never thought that maybe there are people who understand me. When you are in your head too much, you don’t reason with reality. My family and friends are more than willing to help me if I would let them in my world. Therapy taught me that I need to stop building walls around myself and be open to people as everyone isn’t going to hurt me. I don’t want anyone to read this story and feel sorry for me. I’m in a much better place, and this experience has only made me stronger. I hope that you read this story and it opens your eyes that depression doesn’t have a look. Anyone at any given time could be experiencing depression. If you have a loved one that is struggling even if they give hints, please don’t ignore them. That is their way of asking for help.

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Unfortunately, there is a still a stigma associated with mental illness and depression. Due to that people are still afraid to come forward with their truth. If you are struggling, please feel free to email me even if it’s to vent. I don’t want you to feel alone. Seek treatment and speak to a trusted friend or family member. Use this post as a way to help facilitate a conversation if necessary. Don’t let your struggles get the best of you. There is a way that you can overcome your obstacles don’t be afraid to ask for help. If one person doesn’t listen or give you the response you are seeking keep trying. There are others out there who do so don’t give up. Please share this on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and leave your comments below. Let’s continue to add commas to our lives and not a period.

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Until next time,

Thkeya Life (1)