BronxPearl v2.0

Confessions, ramblings, musings, and opinions from a BBW as she embraces 30 31 Years and Life (or at least tries to).

Monday, January 19, 2009

Content No Longer Relevant

So I am sitting here, trying to answer some waaaay overdue interview questions that a beautiful plus blogger sent me, and it is one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do today. I've been interviewed once or twice before. The questions aren't that much different than I am used to. It's just not flowing today. And one question made me realize why:

What drove you to create the magazine? What was (and still remains) your inspiration?

The first part is a textbook answer. It's the second part that is daunting right now. Mainly because I am not feeling very inspired. I have lots of ideas, but I am having trouble executing a few of them and it is frustrating me to no great end. It made it even more clear to me that maybe I am not focusing on the heart of Belle-Noir like I used to when I received an automated email from my RSS feed subscribers list. Someone had unsubscribed and listed reason as "content no longer relevant".

Ummm...ouch? Damn.

I have not been putting 100% into Belle-Noir. I haven't really been putting 100% into *me*. So I am going to have to find a way to push myself and motivate myself. There are still so many ladies who are doing wonderful things in this world for not only themselves, but for the plus community and the world at large. So I need to tap into some of their energy and get it moving!

I have a couple of ideas for what I can do to give myself and the site a boost. And, unlike many of my other ideas, it won't cost a thing! LOL! Hopefully I can gather enough enthusiasm to make it happen.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Dear Heart: An Open Letter

Dear Heart,

I know you feel like you are breaking right now. I know that you are in pain because once again he has torn you in two. I know you feel like the mind is playing tricks on you and laughing at you because we have allowed ourselves to get caught up in the words that he has whispered in your ear when it is just the two of you, knowing full well that it is only actions that should make you swoon.

But be encouraged, my dear Heart. It is a New Year. And with a New Year, comes a new chance to do something that we seem to neglect all the time: love our self! That's right! Yes, I said it!

So I will permit you to be broken for this weekend. I will permit you to cause tears to flow down my cheeks because you are tired of the games, and the foolishness. But only until we wake up on Monday morning. On Monday, we will start afresh and move on and do the important work at hand. We have goals to accomplish. We have true friends to lend our best support to. And no time to wallow in sadness (AGAIN) over people who have no real regard for how you feel.

I hope you are as ready as I am.

Peace & Love,

Thursday, January 01, 2009

The Bucket List:2009

Happy New Year, everyone! I can hardly believe it is 2009. 2008 was an interesting year. I am blessed to still be employed at the close of 2008. I make point of that because I know so many who were laid off during 2008--a few on the last day of the year. I am still in my pursuit to keep Belle-Noir thriving and growing in 2009.

My friend, Denise Best, came up with an awesome idea. She created an Ning group called "The Bucket List". The concept is the same as the movie of the same name, only it is a place where motivated individuals can keep track of their list of things they want to accomplish in 2009. More important than that, they can encourage each other along the way.

While I am sure that I will add more things to this list as the day and week go on, here are a few for starters:

  • Host Four Belle-Noir events in 2009: I read an article by an author who I am following on Twitter named Monique Caradine that was all about what "publicity virgins" can do to get some much needed publicity. One of her suggestions was to host an event once a quarter, making sure that press releases go out for it, etc. I have had an idea for a series of events for awhile now, and by following her suggestions, I believe it will help me get them off the ground.

  • Go on a mini-vacation with my Diva Team: All work and no play makes for a very dull life indeed. My Diva Team (Miss Gale, Denise, Gabby, Ivette and Nicky) have been so supportive in 2008 and while I look forward to working with them in 2009, I'd love to have a girlfriend weekend with them as well.

  • Follow my gut instinct more: My friends tease me about the vibes I get about people, places, situations, etc. But they have proven true so many times. Perfect example was about last night & how I chose to ring in 2009. Which leads me to...

  • Love Me More: I know this might sound like a given to some people, but for me, it is honestly something that I can struggle with. Mostly, I need to remind myself constantly that one person's opinion of me does not define me. My friend Denise said it to me a few days ago that in 2009, we are not going to allow energy stealers into our lives. There are so many blogs that remind women (and men) every day that you should try and associate with people who are going to uplift you, not people who do not add anything to your life in a positive way. Last night, for the first time in a long time, I finally understood what that meant.

These are just a few of the items that are on my Bucket List for 2009. I will update this post over the next new days or will post a complete list before the week is out. But I must say, I do love a New Year. It has so much hope and promise in it. I will make these feelings last well into 2009.

What are some of your Bucket List items for 2009?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

What A Difference A Day Makes

Overheard at work two weeks ago:
Client to Old Director: "Yo, I'm looking for that chick who does the letters."

Old Director: "Which chick?"

Client:"The fat one that be sittin' in the back."

Old Director: "Oh, you mean Aja? She's back there."

Overheard yesterday at work:
Different Client to New Director: "Yeah, is that chick who does the letters here?"

New Director: "There are no chicks who work up here."

[five seconds of silence while the client thinks about it]

Client: "Excuse me. The lady who does the letters. Is she here?"

New Director: "Yes, but you have to go through the point person and see if she will be seen now."

I'm an Administrator for one of the top alcohol and substance abuse treatment providers in the U.S. and in fact around the world. (If you google drug and alcohol treatment & prevention NYC, the company I work for should be at the top of the list). For the past three years, I've been working at a facility that is for male parolees. It really could be its own blog, but because of confidentiality clauses, etc. I don't really discuss it much. For the past three years, it has been an internal battle everyday not to cuss my old director out.

It's only been a week with my new director, and already, a change has come. I adore my new director because he truly believes in the team and is not out for personal accolades. The old director was a clinical genius admittedly, and helped our program earn two three year licenses with our state regulating agency and our contracted agency. Which is great. But not with out much controversy and taking all the credit for the hard work of the clinical staff, administrative staff, and other ancillary service providers. The fact that he would allow a client to refer to someone (namely me) as a chick and not bat an eye should be testament to the lack of respect I felt everyday under his tyrannical rule leadership. He definitely had fat chick issues (although he loved breasts and gave me special attention when I wore blouses or shirts that highlighted the girls *insert eye roll here*). So I know that ultimately, I was good for the work I did, but because I wasn't eye candy too, I didn't really register on his radar.

My new boss is all about getting work done and efficiency. He is allowing me to be the supervisor I am supposed to be when it comes to the Administrative stuff under my watch, and is officially entrusting more responsibilities to me, as opposed to my old director who would throw things my way last minute.

I'm not sure how long the honeymoon with my new director will last. But I love that he demands respect for all of his staff members, and not just the ones in short skirts.


Sunday, October 05, 2008

Allow Me To Re-Introduce Myself...

It has been awhile since I have blogged here. I'd like to say that it was because I have been wildly busy. I have been in a way. The website has taken up a lot of time, which is good because it has been growing more and more. But mostly, I just haven't really wanted to write here because I kept going back and forth about whether I should start a new chapter of my life somewhere else. I have some great ideas for a personal blog. With a theme, themed posts, etc. But at the end of the day, any personal blog about me is going to be just that: about me and my growth (or, in some cases, my lacktherof). BronxPearl just defines me. Regardless of where life takes me, the Bronx will be home. My pearls are not just birthstone, but were well-earned (twenty of them to be precise).

There are some things that I have been piddling around on for ahwile now (how long have I been "trying to go to grad school"? Yikes.). People always say that there is never a "right time" to do something. I kindly beg to differ. A sister finally has some money saved up and can start spending it wisely (and frugally since Lord knows where the economy will end up now, even with the bailout bill signed). I'm still working on the relationship thing. Or rather the lack thereof. And while I have a new director at my j-o-b, it is clearly going to be business as usual and therefore, worthy of plenty of humorous posts. The themed posts will fall into place just as well here as they would anywhere else.

So, with all of that said, "allow me to reintroduce myself" name is Ms. Aja B.

Here we go. Again.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Need I Say More?

Watching Barack and Michelle take the stage last night was more than I could stand. And when she hugged him, gave him a thumbs up, and a dap before he went to the podium? Priceless!

Is it wrong to want to make them the official spokespeople for a Black Love & Relationships Campaign? Because if that isn't (seemingly) the way it is supposed to be? I don't know what is.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ride or Die Chick vs. The Good Black Woman

I know a lot of my posts relate back to something that Belle in Brooklyn has written. But isn't that what a good blog does? Create conversation? She is a relationship writer. I'm not in one right now, and even though she is a couple of years younger than me, I still take note on what she says.

Today's blog was about Ride or Die Chicks. Specifically, how she did not see herself as a ride or die chick that would be there for her man when he called her from the police station at 2am after doing something dumb.

"As an adult (21+), I’ve managed to keep myself out of dumb situations that will get me locked up or detained. I’m good for being the chick that’s like “um, I’m going home” or simply staying home when I think trouble might be coming. I don’t roll with people too long that consistently participate in reckless behavior. I expect other adults in my world to be moderately responsible and law-abiding too. I don’t think I am asking too much." said Belle.

She then told the story about how one of her male friends was so pleased that he had found himself a "ride-or-die chick" due to her angry and physical reaction to his partying in the club, a dead cell phone on his hip, while she called him repeatedly, trying to find out if he was inside of said club that she could not make her way into (they were supposed to be meeting) and not knowing exactly where he was.

So, I decided to leave a comment:

If "Ride or Die Chicks" are the ones who are at the precinct at 2am, then I'd rather be just a plain ol' good black woman any day of the week.

A question about your friend and Gold Dresses Tai: is there a reason he didn't think to maybe check outside to see if she had shown up as opposed to just partying the night away? Or did he do that and you just didn't mention that? Because I'm thinking that yeah, maybe he is in love with his "ride or die chick", but if I was Tai, I don't know if I would be too crazy in love with someone who would leave me out on the curb wondering if I was okay or not while he got his party on in the club.

One of Belle's male friends left the following comments:
Just out of curiosity and with all due respect - how many of you non-ride or die chicks have a man (a good man)? (This query applies to you as well Belle)… You don’t have to be honest with us, but be honest with yourselves.
P.S. Being a ride or die chick does not simply apply to being the chick we call when we are locked up. That is not all our realities nor was it the reality for the man mentioned in this story when he realized he had one. It's knowing you have a woman with you no matter what for whatever, whenever, wherever. We live in a remote control society, the minute we see something we do not like (commercials), we change the channel, and walk away.
Dude, please.
There is nothing okay with someone partying the night away, knowing full well that your woman is looking for you. Especially when she was right OUTSIDE. Did it occur to you to maybe check for her? (No one has answered that yet). That is just straight up rude. She flipped on you because she cared about your inconsiderate self and you had her worried to death. That's not being a ride or die chick. It's checking you for your rude behavior and letting you know that if you even think to do it again, she most likely WILL "change the channel" on your behind.
So you know I had to write back:
I can be honest and say no, I don't have a man right now. Why? It's because I've been down that road of the 2am phone calls at the police station (and, sadly, far worse situations). And, quite frankly, now at age 30? I don't want to deal with it anymore.I think Belle broke it down perfectly:
"Standard shit? Fine, I’ll deal.
Just human shit? Fine, I’ll deal.
Life shit? No problem. I got you.
But utterly dumb (or disrespectful or embarrassing) shit?
What is so wrong with that?
I still say there is a difference between being a "ride or die chick" and being just a "plain ol' Good Black Woman".
Back in my ride or die chick days, dealing with Knuckleheads was completely me. I was also between the ages of 18 and 25 and didn't have a clue what a real man was. No--correction: I knew what a real man was. My dad was a prime example of what a good man was. At that age, I was a dreamer and felt that the Knuckleheads would grow out of their immaturity and their tendency to being inconsiderate more than kind. I learned the hard way that this is not the case for some of them.
I'm not arrogant enough to call myself the epitome of a Good Black Woman. LOL! I fully recognize that I am working on it. But I have no desire to be a ride or die chick anymore. There is always a line that can be crossed. There will always be a non-negotiable that will cause the channel to be turned. Good Black Women recognize that, and for the preservation of themselves, and their sanity, they will cut their losses and keep it moving.
I think dude has a Good Black Woman on his hands. Period. He is blessed to have her. And, that episode aside, dude seems like a Good Black Man. I hope to be a Good Black Woman to a Good Black Man one day.