#DearMe: 25 things I’d say to my younger self

N.B.: I started writing another post last week and the introduction is my explanation for being away for 7 months. While it won’t be posted before this one, we’ll just pretend that it has. Cool? Cool. 

Months ago (and I mean moooooonths ago, maybe even years), Youtubers made these videos entitled: “DearMe.” They are video letters to their younger selves, things they wished they had known and pearls of wisdom they’d like to share. And because I’m always one of the last ones to hop on board the “hip and cool” train, I’m only now discovering this and taking advantage of it. But instead of a video letter and because I don’t have that kind of equipment, patience and no one wants to see me make a video in my bonnet, I thought I’d write a list of 25 things I’d like to say to my younger self in honor of my 25th birthday. Some of these apply to my younger self from 2 weeks ago, others to my 12-year-old self.

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So here goes:

  1. Making an “unpopular” decision by some subjective standards doesn’t make it the wrong decision. It just makes it tough. So if you’re thinking about moving to Niger, being celibate or spending $1000 on a purse, evaluate your reasons for doing it. If you can live with it, then go ‘head girl!
  2. He’s asking you out/into you. I need you to be better at recognizing that. It will save you some awkward moments.
  3. Also, if the gentleman you’re seeing tells you that he really likes you and wants to be together, don’t say “That’s nice” in a weird tone. Even saying nothing is better than that. Oh, and don’t dump someone on their birthday. That’s just cruel.
  4. When people tell you that you’re beautiful or smart or funny or talented, believe them!
  5. If people tell you that you’re ugly or dumb or boring, tell them to kick rocks. Clearly that’s a personal problem and they ain’t shit.
  6. Cross-country moves are exciting. They are also daunting and exhausting. Let’s try not to do that twice in less than 2 years again.
  7. Speaking of moving cross-country, being in a new city can be really lonely sometimes and that’s OK. That feeling doesn’t last forever. It also teaches you to stretch your comfort zone, have new experiences and that’s fantastic.
  8. You remember those last months of grad school? Girl, I know you’re trying to forget that whole graduate experience but it taught you a very valuable lesson.
  9. On that note, graduate school is expensive AF. Make sure you really want to go. (Watch me write about attending a PhD program in the next 2 years because I don’t listen and might be a masochist)
  10. Spending that year in Ayiti with your mother was one of the best decisions of your life. Thank your uncle for encouraging you to do it. And on days when you doubt that, I’ll try to remind you.
  11. Your college friends are treasures. Hold on to them! They made you a special Senior week because you weren’t 21 and couldn’t participate in the official Senior week activities.
  12. About not being 21 in college, stop stressing homie! You’ll regret thinking about it so much and letting it affect your experience. Also when that person calls you “jailbait” freshman year, google what it means before thinking it’s a cool nickname. #Immigrantprobz
  13. Put credit on your phone while in Talloires. White that sketchy night, hitchhiking with strangers and your roommate, will make for a good story, it scared the crap out of you. If you having calling credit that night will save you from that “I might get murdered and never found” feeling, it’s sooo worth it.
  14. At 18, you’re going to go natural. At the time, you won’t do it because you think it’s a political statement or because of styling preferences, but because you wanted to challenge yourself to appreciate your beauty. Because you wanted to stop hiding behind hair. And because of that, I admire you so much. We lost that along the way, but I promise to try to get it back. P.S.: Making a decision to unapologetically love yourself and your Blackness is a political statement. We just weren’t as “woke” (kinda hate that term fam!) yet.
  15. Go to class. Skipping those classes in college was not the smartest decision. And for what? To watch extra episodes of True Life?!?! DO BETTER!
  16. Drinking on an empty stomach is NEVER A GOOD IDEA. DO NOT DO IT!
  17. That “I’m not good enough” feeling is more or less normal. What’s detrimental is wallowing in it and being so hard on yourself. You’re your harshest critic. Be gracious with yourself. You deserve it! Also the devil is a liar!
  18. That guy you like, just tell him. I know you can think of 1,000 reasons to not say anything but they’re all B.S. Rejection stings, it really does. But you know what else stings? Feeling dejected in front of ZBT, feeling like a coward and “what if”. I’m not a fan of “what if” so if you want to reduce the number of those, just tell homeboy. It can go 1 of 2 ways, and either way “we gon’ be alright!”
  19. Family (and people who become family) over everything!
  20. Go to therapy. Everyone needs it and it’s not a sign of weakness. We all need a little help sometimes.
  21. You’re stronger than you give yourself credit. This feeling of helplessness won’t last forever. I wish I could show you all of the amazing things/moments  you’ll experience and the people you’ll meet. 2010 was a crap shoot year but you made it. And as I sit here typing this, I know that the best is yet to come. It doesn’t mean that there won’t be challenges along the way. But we got this! So take a breath and chill.
  22. You’re dope. Point blank period.
  23. You cute. Like real cute. Own it. Those insecurities (unfortunately we still have some at 25, screw the patriarchy!!!) are impeding you from living your best life. Shed them! Also stop dressing like a grandma. There’s modest and just plain tragic. Guess which camp you fall in?
  24. DO NOT DO IT! It will just create some unnecessary drama and make your life more complicated than it has to be. You’ll know who/what/when/where I’m talking about.
  25. Allow yourself to be happy. We all have baggage. But recognize that you have some dope sister-friends (special shouts out to MG, KK, TH, CM and many others), the dopest sister from another mother, but kinda the same mother (<3 u Beat Rice), a wonderful support system, a job you enjoy, a roof over your head, the ability to move and shake your body at dance class (that’s real able-ist of me. Guess I’m not as “woke” as I thought), and breath in your lungs. So enjoy life because… (string of clichés coming up) the world is your oyster and every day above ground is a good day.

When I first started this list, I thought I’d have a hard time writing 25 things but I now realize that there’s so much more that I’d like to tell my younger self. Apparently my younger self is a real hot mess. However, I’ll stick to these 25 for the interwebs.

I love you and Happy Birthday queen!

Shout out to VOIS for this video! I recycle it EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I have to wish someone a happy birthday! You can also spot me swinging uncontrollably in the back (face palm)!

What would you tell your younger self? Share in the comments below.

1000 Reasons Why I’m Single: Reason 2

Would you look at that? I decided not to wait another 234329348 months before posting again. I just had to tell y’all what had happened (yes, I am aware that was improper English but I say “what had happened…” all the time so let me flourish!). I was going to tell y’all about this last week but I really needed time to process, because this was some next level BS.

SPEAKING MY TRUTH!

SPEAKING MY TRUTH!

Yeah, remember how I told y’all about my date with “Mr. Steal Your Leftovers” (sung to the tune of  “It’s Mr. Steal Yo Girl”- Trey Songz)? So…apparently, I still hadn’t scrapped the bottom of the barrel when it comes to “no good” dudes. So if you want to feel better about your life, please stay tuned.

THIS TEA GON' BE HOT!

THIS TEA GON’ BE HOT!

Y’ALL! I don’t even know where to begin with recounting this tomfoolery. To this day, I am still completely and utterly baffled that someone can be this LOCO. Either this man needs treatment for his undiagnosed schizophrenia or delusional disorder (I swear I only use my psych degree when it comes to dating. Le sigh!), OR he deserves a medal for being so bold in his lies. Let’s go back to the beginning, shall we?

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A few weeks ago, I decided to not be lame and go be a 20-something year old…Actually let’s fast forward a bit. Y’all don’t need to hear about my thought process and the agony of choosing between “wash day” and “da club”, as I refer to it.

So, I’m at da club with friends when 1 of them points to these gentlemen in the corner. I’m being awkward and am glued to my phone but quickly glance in their direction. I’m thinking, “they’re definitely handsome but I’m definitely NOT bold enough to talk to them”. My friend Bohemien [sic] Debutante is a different story. She will befriend a brick wall and that brick wall WILL fall in love with her. She finagles her way to where they’re standing and out of nowhere we all strike up a conversation. I hear a Francophone accent so I ask them where they’re from. They respond: “Belgium”. They ask me if I speak French, I answer yes and from that point on, we just gelled. Somehow I end up talking to one of these gentlemen until 4:30AM.

We swap stories about our lives, what we do etc…I tell him what I do. And this is sort of when things start to go downhill.

He tells me that he’s a PhD student in computer science at Georgia Tech and that before that he was living in the Los Angeles area. He was working for Microsoft in LA and before that he lived in London, where he got an MBA. Prior to London, he lived in Finland and worked for Nokia. And before that, he did a Bac S (those of you familiar with the French system will know what that means) and obtained a perfect score.

“That sounds great girl!”

“I don’t see what the problem is. You’re just looking for a red flag”

“See! you can still meet decent men in these streets”

let-me-stop-you

DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT JUST GOBBLE UP ALL SORTS OF BULLSHIT BECAUSE SOMEONE IS CUTE. Listen to your instincts!

Observation #1: Homie was sounding MIGHTY accomplished for someone who claims to be 28. Is it impossible? No. Is it improbable? YES!

So either homie is LYIN’ about his accomplishments or he’s 55. Now, Black don’t crack but it might be a little hard to try to pass off for 28 as a 55 year-old.

Observation #2: Homie was real aggressive with trying to “get some” (avert your eyes mother). No matter how many times I re-iterated that “he ain’t getting none”, he kept trying.

Maybe homie thought that if he was more impressive than I’d be more willing to revisit my decision.

Anyways, we eventually part ways for the night (well I guess morning by that point). I’m real skeptical of his stories but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I mean…it’s totally possible that on top of all that, he’s a great songwriter and recently sold a song to Anthony Hamilton, that may or may not make it unto the next album. Right?!?!?! Because why would someone come up with such an elaborate lie?

Exactly Jon! Exactly!

Exactly Jon! Exactly!

Now, I wish I could tell you that this was the end of it. But nope. It gets worse (or better for entertainment purposes).

scared-gif

Despite my reservations, my friend convinces me to keep talking to him.

Sunday – We talk and for the most part he seems legit. He tells me he went to church, made lunch and is doing homework. See girl, you were too quick to think the worst. 

Monday, during the day – We text back and forth. I google him (Yes I did and I am not even a little bit ashamed to admit this). Nothing comes up. I try alternative spellings. Still nothing. I check the GaTech directory. Nada. This is definitely strange. My friend tells me that he’s a computer science student and could have possibly deleted his online presence. I don’t really buy it.

Monday night – Me: “So what are your thoughts on social media? For, against, indifferent?” Him: “I don’t do social media. I deleted all traces of me from the internet”. Me (in my head): “That’s real convenient” but what I actually say, “Interesting. I guess I know a few people who feel really strongly about not being on social media as well”

At this point, I just want to scream: “Imma need you to stop f%^$#*&’ lying bruh. Confess now and I probably still won’t talk to you, but don’t drag this out“. But he didn’t so the saga continues.

Tuesday night – Him: “I spent my day TA-ing 2 classes and reviewing my colleagues work on computational modeling”. Now most people would have thought, “oh, he really is a PhD student”. Unfortunately, I’m not most people so I asked him questions about the classes he’s teaching and his modeling (he probably didn’t realize that part of an epidemiology degree is learning how to create models. Sike sucka!). He fumbles, doesn’t really answer and changes the subject. He was really good at diversions. Most of the time, I would make a mental note but let him believe that he succeeded. At this point, I was in too deep. I had to figure out WHY he was lying.

Wednesday – Time to gather evidence. It’s one thing to think that his story about being offered a scholarship to play basketball is bullshit, it’s another to catch him in his lies. I ask a few confirmed GaTech students to look him up in the online directory. They have access to detailed information because they’re students at the institution. What do you think they found?

Wednesday night – I’m still bidding my time and seeing what lies he’ll tell next. Somehow we start talking about past relationships. And ladies and gents, here’s the kicker! At this point, his stories were still batshit crazy relatively harmless until this very moment:

-“My last relationship didn’t really end. She died.”

-“I’m sorry. Do you mind me asking what happened?” (because clearly I thought what we are all thinking at this point. He might have had something to do with it)

-“She had cancer. I knew she was sick when we got together but I was going to be brave and face this with her. Ultimately, she got really sick and passed”

Me at first

Me at first

Then I had to go 'head and sip my tea

Then I had to go ‘head and sip my tea

HOMIE! DID YOU REALLY JUST DROP THE C-BOMB THOUGH? LIKE FOR REALZ?!?!

Do you know how low that is? And obviously I can’t be the asshole who questions him on it. Who says: “I don’t believe you. Prove that your gf died of cancer“?

At this point, I’ve had enough. There are way too many lies and I need concrete proof that homie is lyin’ through his teeth. We have a date on Friday and I’m definitely not finna go on no date with a murderer/pathological liar etc…

Thursday – Remember those people I had check out his story about being a PhD student at GaTech? Well if you guessed that they came back and told me that there’s no record of anyone by that name then DING DING!

Now, I’m a scientist so I did my due diligence. I checked other schools in the area. Zilch.

Any record of anyone by that name at various business schools in London? Nope

That engineering consulting firm he “founded”? It exists but the information doesn’t add up. His name is nowhere to be found on any of the websites, it’s not a London-based company and Nokia didn’t buy it.

Friday (D-day) – I finally have concrete evidence that doesn’t make me sound like a creep/stalker, albeit with great detective skills. At this point, he’s texting or calling frequently. He even let slip that he’d wait 3 weeks to ask me to be his gf. DAFUQ homie?!?!? I’m clearly gathering evidence to catch you trifflin’, lyin’ ass. Ain’t nobody tryna be with you? I casually text him: “Hey, totally slipped my mind. Do you go by your middle name at school? I was hanging out with some GaTech friends (some of which are in the computer science program too) and I was so excited to tell them about you. They had never heard of you though. Weird, right??!?”

Now, it may seem like I’m giving him an out with the middle name thing, but we’d discussed ad nauseam the fact that he doesn’t have any middle names.

That's right MOFO!

That’s right MOFO!

Y’all wanna guess what happened next?

deuces_nene

But for real ladies, this is why you should ask questions. Google is your friend. Also, Liam Neeson ain’t got nothin’ on me!