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“Sorry, I have to watch the kids…” is a common phrase that I hear when I want to spend time with my friends with kids. As a single person with no mini-me’s, I truly despise this phrase. Numerous times I have the inclination to respond with the following:
“Listen, I know you have kids. I’ve been your friend for x-amount of years. I don’t think you kids should get in the way.”
I am wise enough to know that this would immediately end my so called friendship. However, how does one maintain a friendship with someone who has kids and one who doesn’t? How does one maintain the title BFF? Or is it BFF until we have kids? I think i may have a few recommendations to parents of the world.
Here are my few recommendations to maintain healthy relationships with your friends with no children. Number One. Get a Babysitter. I know that sounds very elementary, self-explanatory, and harsh, but you have to breathe once in a while too. Otherwise you’ll get burnt out. It’s very convenient for to place your kids somewhere while you’re at work, so why can’t you do the same when your best friend calls and wants to hangout?! Let’s not stop there.
Number Two. Call a Close Friend or Relative. Utilize your village. If your friends consider themselves your best friend, they are probably more than likely willing to take on this “challenge”. It’s not a far-fetched idea to ask a relative either. They love and like your pictures on social media, so they might as well be with the monster. I’m talking about your little tyke. Oh, but wait, there’s more.
Number Three. Bring Your Kids. Now I don’t mean bring your kids to the club, obviously. I mean bring your kids to the sporting event or concert, if age appropriate. They need to see how adults interact so they know what to do or not when they get older. It’s also a great way to show your friends if your children are as bad as you say they are. (It’s okay to laugh.) Additionally, then your friend can judge whether or not they want to babysit in the future.
Now, I don’t want anyone to misunderstand what I am saying. However, what I am saying is that there needs to be balance. When your kids eventually grow up, who are you going to call then to talk about why your kids are still in your house? Seriously, who are you going to call? Are you using your kids as an excuse to get out of spending time with your childless friends? I hope not…something to think about.
“We make time,
For what we love.
People will show you…
Your worth to them.”
-Joshua Ryan Stewart
TTYL…sometimes this acronym can mean as early as an hour later or as late as in eternity… What does “TTYL” truly mean? Does it even have a meaning more than “talk to you later”?
Well let’s start with that…TTYL has lost its meaning due to overuse of it. I have found out that in this social media, millennial age, that we’re in an era where time management is not a priority. Since time management is not a priority, we use four simple letters that gives us an excuse to get out of a conversation or obligation. Could it be that we want to respond so quickly that we don’t have enough time to think through what to say?! So as a result we respond with TTYL.
The problem is we want instant gratification, so we give a vague response to a text message, phone call, post, and even DM. Why is that? We’re afraid of saying “no”. We don’t want to let people down. I have found out that giving a vague response has caused unnecessary rifts in my relationships more than saying “no”. Saying “no” has also crippled society so much that I’ll just say “not right now” or “I’ll think about it”. In this overly sensitive world, I have to say those phrases. People have the assumption that when I say “no’ to an idea or request that means I’m saying no to the person who’s delivering the message. Which is far from the truth.
Let’s get back to the topic…
Here are the top 5 times when it’s “okay” to use TTYL:
- Bedtime. Who want’s to keep the conversation going past midnight. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
- Meeting a deadline. If it was me, I probably wouldn’t respond, but I guess that’s considered being rude.
- On a previous phone call and/or text. Multi-tasking is not that great.
- Trying to gather your thoughts. A statement and/or question caught you by surprise and you need some to process what you just read.
- Ending a friendship and/or relationship. It does wonders!
The solution to avoid overusing this acronym is to use it at these above times. Although, I honestly don’t like using TTYL, the above times I deem as appropriate to use it. However, please continue to use it sparingly and honor the people in your life. Take the time to really have more meaningful conversations while friends, family, and even strangers.
Until next time…TTYL
BLACK LIVES MATTER! BLACK LIVES MATTER! BLACK LIVES MATTER! BLACK LIVES MATTER!… From social media to the streets, #BlackLivesMatter is a hashtag that can no longer be avoided. Not only is it a popular hashtag, it started as a movement to the disenfranchised. However, there has been some recent debate about whether the movement of Black Lives Matter is really helping the lives of black people. There has also been some rhetoric and/or disdain towards it and towards people who chant “All Lives Matter.” So what should people do that want unity say?
Let’s take a short trip back in history. In the late 70’s, American television was becoming the norm for all lives. Parents, children, and neighbors would sit around their tv with their tv trays and dinners to tune into their favorite show. However, there was an underrepresentation of people of color. There were very few actors, producers, and/or networks that were truthful about the portrayal of people of color.
To meet the demands of this unfortunate feat, a young man, by the name of Robert L. Johnson, created a network called Black Entertainment Television, better known as BET. The timing couldn’t have been better. After launching in the early 80’s, BET was a network that people of color could relate to and feel appreciated by watching.
One can only imagine that Mr. Johnson probably had some people, white and black, who questioned why he would name a network “Black Entertainment Television”. In his defense, which he probably doesn’t need, the reason to create a network dedicated to people of color, mainly black, was to empower the people. It was to show America, that we (I am black) can be just as creative and/or more creative as our white counterparts. We can go toe-to-toe with any other actor, producer, and/or network and produce great results.
Fast forward to the present, Black Lives Matter is here to stay until ALL people can see that we matter. It’s not about dividing or separating cultures. It’s about empowering black lives. So the next time, you find yourself or others questioning whether or not you should join in with the movement, let a resounding YES come to the frontal part of your brain. The Black Lives Matter movement suggests that you can get involved by contacting a local chapter, making a donation, making a purchase (of merchandise), and/or finding resources and actions. Choose one or more; let’s make this world a better place.
Throwback to two years ago…still relevant?
The picture above was taken during a “Crucial Conversations” session in one of my summer graduate classes. I decided to take this picture because, my instructor believed that it was the same person. I whispered to my friends to let them know that wasn’t the same person.
I interjected and let the professor know that one image was Trayvon Martin and the other was Jordan Davis. The professor didn’t apologize. They just said they got the images from the same website. I was no good after that.
I wonder how many other students were confused about the images but were too scared to mention something. That made me think about the times in society people are too scared to mentioned injustice. There was a crowd of people that day that walked away in ignorance.
How do we properly address these issues? Do other races really think that all black people look alike? Would this be a different story if those two young men were still alive?
Something to think about…
Stop trying to go through the back door. The back door should be only used as a way of escape in in case of an emergency. It should not be used as an entrance to your destiny. Arriving at the front door means that you’re on the guest list. Front door means thtat you’re supposed to be there. Back doors are used by thieves. IF you sneak in through the back door, security will have to come and kick you out. Mean you will only enjoy the success for a season not a lifetime.
Timing is very crucial to your destiny. In this age of instant gratification or “overnight success”, we must not forget that it takes hard work and dicsipline to accomplish anything what what looks like an “overnight success was an “overnight success” is/was a lifetime of hard work.
Continue to make most out of every opportunity that comes your way. Allow everything to work together not against. Be strategic in your planning not manipulative. Being manipulative is having a back door mentality.
There are exceptions to the back door but very few. Renew your mind. Pray. Plan. Pursue. I think the book of Hebrews said it best “faith without works is dead.” Don’t just have the faith to be there, have faith to get there.
Actor, Writer, Artist, Photographer…these are only the names of many professionals that take on the often cannot be avoided survival jobs. Survival jobs can range from babysitting to work at a temp agency. Survival jobs are only to survive in between a drought season. However, most allow those survival jobs to become long life careers. Let me share a viewpoint of few experiences that have been shared with me.
When a friend of mine first got into acting, he was working at a retail clothing store. It was okay, but it always interfered with his auditions. He was grateful to have the discounts for clothes so wardrobe didn’t have to worry about him. Despite the proper attire for set, his job was always in the way. Yes, of course, he could’ve called out sick when he found a job that fit perfectly for his future brand. But, he can only call out sick so much. Nevertheless, he ended up quitting that job.
My next friend’s survival job was a substitute teacher. Now this job she really enjoyed a lot. Working with children has always been a strong strength for her even as a teenager. She was on a substitute teacher list, or known to many as a Sub List, and teachers could call her if she was available. Then she could either accept or decline based upon her schedule. A problem only arose when teachers noticed that she was reliable. She found out, once you’re reliable teachers tell other teachers about you. So after being at a particular school and being a familiar face in the building, the principal and administrative staff take notice. This survival job eventually turned into a permanent job for her for three years. She got so comfortable with the pay and benefits that she put acting on the back burner. Somehow, she still felt that there was something more out there for her.
My last friend’s survival job was a brand ambassador. She was fortunate enough to get this job because she had a close friend that does freelance PR that had found success with it in between projects. While doing the job she gets to connect with all types of people. Also, with this job, she’s normally just working on the weekends. So it allows her to go to auditions throughout the week and book projects on a moment’s notice. The only downfall is that sometimes she has to wait up to a month to get paid.
Pursuing your ultimate dream can be hard. But if you’re diligent, you can truly attain success in whatever you choose to do and love. It is good to have a backup plan or a cushion to fall back on. Unfortunately, sometimes a backup plan becomes the only plan and you lose focus on your ultimate goal. Remember survival jobs should be temporary. Don’t set up camp there if you know that is not your final destination.