Wednesday, July 25, 2012

It’s official, I suck at having a blog. I have yet to have a consistent schedule in terms of posting on this thing and I get inspiration to write at the most random times. It’s currently 12:30am and I’m supposed to be asleep since I have work in the morning, but I can’t sleep. I have so much to share with you and so have no idea how I plan to structure these thoughts of mine so just work with me…
For starters, I just made a big move. Last month I relocated to Houston, TX after getting a new job. Yay!!! I know, it’s exciting... It all happened so fast and I practically started my life over. Getting rid of all my furniture and leaving my family and friends in Los Angeles was no easy task. You have no idea how attached you are to things and people until it’s time to leave them. I’d like to blame my lack of posts on this recent change in my life…. I’ve been beyond busy as one may assume, but I’m back blogging and I appreciate your patience.

Enough about me, I have a pressing issue to address. I’ve been motivated to write an inspirational post about “following your dreams” and not giving up for the longest, but I hesitated because I didn’t want to sound preachy. I had certain thoughts to share, but didn’t think they were enough to fill an entire post with. Boy, was I wrong… I attended church this past weekend and the pastor spoke directly to me (and seemingly everyone else in the building). His message was a direct question: “Why settle for less when God has more?“

How many times have you settled in your life? Are you doing it right now? Hate your job? Wanna go back to school? Are you in a dysfunctional relationship that you probably should have ended years ago? Whatever the case may be, we’ve all settled at some point. Oftentimes we’re content with just getting by as opposed to trying our best to achieve more. I’ve definitely been guilty of this. But why?

Achieving more usually requires more time and effort. Getting in shape involves working out, but that’s tough so some will continuously put off the task. Why spend time applying to jobs and perfecting your resume when you already have a job that pays your bills? Some people desire instant gratification so settling is an attractive alternative. It is no longer attractive to me though. Over the past few months, I’ve read numerous stories about people dying at young ages and most recently it hit close to home.

Miyagi Chilombo, a young man that I went to high school with died last week due to a cancerous brain tumor. He had just turned 26. When I heard the news, I was shocked. All I could think about was how funny and full-of-life he was. He was so young and had so much more to accomplish. You and I could easily be in his shoes and as we often hear, tomorrow is not promised. Why live as if it is?

This post is getting long and writing about is making me a bit sad so I’ll get to the point. I have three simple tips that I hope will inspire you. Set goals and work toward them. If you spend the majority of your time doing unproductive things, consider making some changes. Take risks and don’t be afraid of failure. Instead of thinking about how things will be if you don’t succeed, think of how great they’ll be if you do. I challenge you to write a list of goals, both short and long term. In fact, I encourage you to write lists frequently. They definitely help keep my life on track… Lastly, live on purpose and with a purpose. Everything you do should have a reason and will hopefully link back to one of those goals you previously wrote down.

Feel free to share some of your goals with me if you don’t mind, I’d love to hear about them. I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog and I'll make an effort to update it more. In the meantime, feel free to follow me on instagram @whatalexsees because I use that much more frequently.

Alexandria B.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Are your standards too high?

Do you have a specific type? Do you refuse to settle until you find that perfect mate? If your answers to these questions are "yes" then you and I have something in common. A friend of mine recently told me that I'm destined to be single forever because my list of dealbreakers is too long. How rude! I believe that there's someone for everyone and that settling is not an option. Well, at least it isn't for me. Yes, I have a lengthy list of dealbreakers but  I'd rather refer to them as the items that shape my standards. I believe that my standards are beyond practical. See below for my list that describes most of the qualities that I'd prefer for my mate to have:

My ideal guy...
  • does not use drugs.
  • has no children.
  • is at least 5 inches taller than me (kinda shallow, oh well. I wear heels a lot, sue me...)
  • is employed.
  • is ambitious and has plans for his future.
  • has a nice smile (I'm a teeth fanatic for some odd reason and I spot plaque from a mile away.)
  • keeps his fingernails clean and has good hygiene overall.
  • can spell.
  • has a sense of humor.
  • is smarter than I am (at least in some way, shape, or form).
  • does not sag his pants, wear tight ones, or use the word "swag."
  • knows how to use a drill, screwdriver, hammer, or fix a drain or something...

Is that too much to ask?

I think not! See? I told you my list was practical... Don't get me wrong, I'm willing to compromise on some things. For example, I've dated a guy with plaque before. It was tough, but I did it and I managed not to say anything to him about it. Needless to say, it didn't work out but I tried! Some things, however, aren't worth compromising for. I refuse to compromise in regards to drug use, weed smokers included...It's just not cool to me, point blank period. Employment is another one...  I've never been attracted to an unemployed man. Would I date one? Hmmm. Maybe if he was in graduate school or something, but that's about it. One of the reasons I'm certain my standards are sensible is because I know plenty of people whose are not. I mean some people have the most ridiculous requirements of their mates, ones that they're incapable of meeting themselves. These people should question whether or not their standards are too high!

How can you tell if your standards are too high?

For starters if you're requiring something that you yourself can't provide, that's a sure sign. Create a mental or written list of the things you're looking for in a relationship... If you don't want your mate to have kids yet you have three, perhaps you should reevaluate your list. If you drive a 1998 Toyota Corolla and live with your mother yet you want your mate to drive a luxury vehicle and have a place of their own, perhaps your should reevaluate your list. Ladies, if you want a man who at least 6'3 when you're only 5'2 then perhaps you should reevaluate your list and stop focusing on the physical attributes. Besides, short men need love too! If you collect unemployment checks and want to date someone with a "good job," perhaps you should reevaluate your list. I could come up with several more examples, but I'm sure you get my drift.

Create your list, edit it and make sure your standards are ones that you can meet, and stick to it. Tons of people are in or have been in unhappy relationships because they settled for someone who didn't quite meet their requirements. Others are in unsucessful relationships because they have no requirements at all. You'll find that perfect mate someday. And when I say perfect, I don't mean that they'll have no flaws... I'm referring to my belief that they will be perfect for you. Looking at your list, are there any items on it that you would like to share? Are your standards too high? Why or why not? Feel free to leave a comment below and let me know.

Thanks for reading,

Alexandria B.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

KONY 2012

Every so often there's a current event or viral video that sparks the interest of many provoking uproar or some type of action. The other day I awoke to numerous facebook posts about the video posted below. People I knew urged others to share the video and seemed genuinely excited and motivated to take part in this new movement. One that I, of course, had to watch and see what all the fuss was about. If you haven't seen it, feel free to press play below:

Six minutes into the video, I wanted to cry for Jacob, the young Ugandan boy whose sad yet uplifting story is highlighted in the 30-minute film. It was edited perfectly, evoking both emotion and curiosity. So who's responsible for this superb video you may ask? The answer to your question is Invisible Children, a non-profit organization that claims to "use film, creativity and social action to end the use of child soldiers in Joseph Kony's rebel war and restore LRA-affected communities in central Africa to peace and prosperity." One thing's for certain, they've mastered the film and creativity part!

The organization started years ago after three filmmakers traveled to Africa for a film making adventure. They've since raised millions of dollars to fund their efforts however, like many other causes and movements, Invisible Children's #Kony2012 campaign is raising some eyebrows. With over 57 million YouTube views and God knows how many kits purchased since the film's internet debut, people are now beginning to wonder where the money they're donating is going. It has been said that only 31% of donated funds go toward helping those in Uganda and that the organization is money hungry.I must admit that when I initially watched the film I wondered what the narrator did for a living and when I realized that Invisible Children was his job I kinda gave the situation a side eye. Trips to Africa aren't cheap and neither are camera crews and equipment so I definitely understand how some of the funds donated can be used for those purposes. Instead of instantly vowing to donate "a few dollars" or buy a Kony2012 bracelet, I wanted to learn more about the cause.

I have been researching and will continue to read up on the cause and have found sites that suggest alternate organizations to donate to. My only issue is that many people allowed themselves to be drawn in by a creative marketing campaign. Yes, Jacob's story was sad and that little boy in the video was adorable, but wearing bracelets and shirts will help find Joseph Kony how? Is posting posters everywhere really going to make a difference? And what technological advancements are going to be made with this year's donations to find a man that is rumored to be dead? We should make an effort to ask questions before hopping on a bandwagon, that's all I'm saying. Kony's army has been active for over twenty years, but this is the first time many of us are hearing about it so I applaud Invisible Children for their ability to capture the hearts of many and raise awareness.

But still people are talking... While millions are in support of the cause, others wonder exactly what more money is needed for. Millions have been raised and used and the United States is apparently already involved so what's the real goal? Invisible Children has been criticized by the Better Business Bureau and rumors about most of the donations being used to fund the salaries of the three founders are spreading. YouTube has an abundance of people who are eager to express their opinions about the campaign and popular YouTuber, Jerry LaVigne, posted a humorous video to share his views.

What do I think?

I think this is yet another reason for people rally their energies toward a seemingly great cause without knowing very much about it. If you or anyone you know typed in your information and pledged money to Invisible Children after only seeing one video on YouTube, question your/their intelligence. If after researching the cause you found that it was still very much something you wanted to be involved in, more power to you! Rock your #Kony2012 bracelet and all that good stuff... What I don't appreciate is people who take the time to edit and share images like the one shown on the left to joke about the matter. Like seriously? Much like when people tweeted and facebooked to prevent Troy Davis' execution or rallied to support other causes that were popular in the past, I believe that the mass interest will soon fade. I hope that folks will prove me wrong.

What are your thoughts? Did you or would you pledge money to the cause? Are people being too skeptical and if there's anything else you'd like to add feel free to post it below.

Thanks for reading,

Alexandria B.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

How to make a woman interested in you...

Boy meets girl, they have a decent conversation and exchange numbers, boy irks girl's nerves so she stops chatting with him, boy harasses girl.

That's been the story of my life for quite a while... Now I don't normally post personal details on this blog, but today I'll make an exception. This is mainly because I know for certain that I can't possibly be the only one that goes through this. Whether male or female, we've all had to deal with that person that just couldn't seem to take a hint. Unfortunately for me, that person is actually those people. There have been a few men that I've met over the years and while they were nice people, I was not romantically interested in them. So I did what any normal person would do... Put them in the friend zone! Before you begin to judge please note that in no way, shape, or form have I ever led anyone on or purposely caused them to believe that a love connection was a possibility.

Why is it that folks play themselves by automatically assuming that exchanging numbers means that they're about to start dating someone? I've literally had a guy speak to me like I was obligated to spend quality time with him after one phone conversation. I believe a person has the right to feel you out via telephone conversations before either of you waste time or money going on dates. That's fair, right? I must admit, I'm not perfect and I could work on being a bit more blunt with people, but I fear being rude. As opposed to just saying "I just don't like you," I've given excuses in the past. I've either told people that I'm in no position to be dating right now, that I don't have time, or that maybe I'd hit them up if I wanted to hang out. These excuses were totally honest though. I am in no position to be dating someone I don't particularly care for, I work two jobs so spare time is scarce, and I always place emphasis on the word maybe. These days if the excuses don't work I'm just less inclined to respond to text messages and phone calls. Why am I like this and what are the men in question doing wrong?

Only God knows why I'm like this, but some may site the fact that I'm a gemini as a reason for me being wishy washy in my dealings with men. I don't believe my astrological sign has anything to do with it, I simply know what I like and up until recently I hadn't been attracting it. Allow me to list a few of my experiences. I've received multiple text messages at all hours of the night, been turned off by inappropriate comments, and simply been annoyed by another party's lackluster conversation. What did I do in these instances? I didn't respond because if I did, the fool would've thought that texting me at 3am was acceptable, I verbally expressed my disgust, and I ended calls abruptly and ignored the heck out of future ones and text messages. What did the men do? Simple. They kept calling and/or texting. But why?

Some call it persistence, others call it harassment. I call it pure desperation. There's no way I'd continue attempting to contact anyone after multiple failed attempts. Here's a rule of thumb: if you call and/or text someone three times to no avail, they're either dead, super busy, or just not interested in talking to you. My advice would be to stop calling. Give that person the opportunity to show that they're interested in you, if they don't then chances are they aren't.

I am a woman so I can only speak from my experience. I can't give much advice to other women about how to make the right guy interested in you because if I knew, my new crush would probably call me more often. However, I can gear some advice to men because I've dealt with my fair share of ones that I was not eager to get to know. The truth is I don't know any tricks that will ensure a woman's interest, but I do know things that'll definitely prevent it.

Don't constantly call or text a woman unless she is behaving in a similar manner. It makes you seem pressed. Also if you're a man (or woman) that always "chilling" and hanging out who never mentions going to work, chances are another person, if they're anything like me, will not be interested in you. In addition, monitor the type of conversations you have. Any respectable woman won't want to discuss sex with you in the beginning stages of your friendship so if that's what your conversations are typically about, something needs to change. This last bit of advice is universal: just be yourself. If the person you're interested in isn't responding to that then keep it moving. Perhaps it just wasn't meant to be.

That's all I've got for now. Do you have any tips or stories you'd like to share? If so, please feel free to comment below. Also, I'd definitely appreciate if you shared this post with others because excessive phone calls and texts from uninteresting people is a growing epidemic. I'd like you to help me have a part in putting a stop to it.

Thanks for reading,

Alexandria B.