Letting go of insecurities 101:  My personal journey and how I’m letting go

Self Help, Uncategorized

 Letting go of my insecurities has been one of the hardest journies in my life.   Everybody  has insecurities, but some of us know how to embrace them sooner than others.  Personally, it took me a while.  I’m certain where they started.  Most of mine stem from school as early as 4th grade.  I grew up dirt poor in the hoods of Milwaukee and Jackson, TN.  My mom wasn’t perfect, nobody’s is, but one thing she provided to me was a safe place to be myself.  I could laugh and play, listen to NSYNC and Britney Spears.  I could watch the Million Man March on TV, listen to Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu to enlighten my mind.  I felt safe at home for a while.  School was different.  I was constantly teased and taunted in school and by my some of my family for being ‘different.’ I didn’t walk, talk or act like the other guys in my school.  I was smart as fuck, shy by nature and hung around all women, yet I had a quirkiness to me that made me stand out.  I wasn’t aware of any of this, I just wanted to be myself and fit in.  Every time I tried to embrace who I was my manhood, masculinity and intelligence was constantly called into question.  This led me to be very insecure in who I was growing up.  I always questioned every step I took.  If I walked like this, would I be ridiculed?  If I talked like this, would I stopped being teased? It overtook my brain to the point where I couldn’t think straight.  The only thing I would think about was being accepted.  At an age where children developed their identity and who they are, I lost mine and it took me half my life to get it back.

I’m sure you would love details, but I’ll save that for my best seller I write after I win by 2nd Emmy and get my first Oscar Nod.  Letting go of those insecurities has been a battle I’ve been battling my entrie life.  There are a few steps i can share that I’ve been learning along my journey:

1.  Get out of your head

This was big for me.  I used to be so obsessed with what people thought of me and how I looked.  These thoughts took over my life until I just got out of my head.  I learned a trick from my friend about replacing every negative thought with something positive.

2.  Dig down to the root

Dealing with the root of a problem is always helpful.  The root of my manhood issues was my lack of father or male role models.  I always felt inadequate and ‘less than’ the other guys.  Once I found out the reasons behind these insecurities, I was able to actually understand them.

3.  Changing what you can

I had a real issue with the way I spoke and my voice.  I had a stuttering problem as a child and it took a long time for me to get over.  It made me insecure about the way i spoke.  Once I learned how to speak, I couldn’t anunciate my words and spoke to fast.  Once I got to college and the real world, I got so tired of people telling me to repeat myself. I worked really hard on my voice.  Change what you can about yourself.  If your issue is your weight, start working out.  If your issue is the way you dress, go shopping.  It sounds cliche but working to change your insecurities in stead of sitting around griping about them is a lot more productive.

4.  Accepting what you can’t change

This is the hard part for some.  I tried to bend, shape and move myself to fit in with my classmates and collegues.  I put on this fake facade that people eventually saw straight through.  I can’t be like every one else, I realized.  All I can be is Romane.  Once I accepted this, I let go.  If you can’t change something about yourself, like having a big head or webbed feet (I kid) accept it.  Be real with yourself.

5.  Realizing You’re not the only one

You aren’t the only one feeling the way you do.  Every body in some form or facet feels insecure about something.  It’s human nature.  We often think we’re the only ones with this particular problem when, in fact, we are one of many.  Hearing others stories and journies will make you feel better and not alone.  You aren’t alone.

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Man in Denton, TX follows police orders, still shot

Uncategorized

This video showed up on Twitter about an hour ago showing a man complying with police but ultimately shot anyway.  It’s sad as a black man you can do anything a police wants and still be shot.  I’m at a loss for words… 

 
Here is the Video caption: 

@BTP_TACO: After actually witnessing police brutality I look at that shit a whole different way bro smh #DentonTx http://t.co/tCYzmbk9Ih

Why ‘All Lives Matter’ Stinks…

Black Lives Matter, White People Don't Get It

We’ve all heard it before, every time you see Black Lives Matter some moron (hello Raven Symone) decides they feel left out and decide to use to trivial phrase ‘All Lives Matter.’  While all free thinking and good will people know that ‘All Lives Matter,’ the police in this country think otherwise.  I’m not sure how many black women and men have to be murdered by police officers for people to see that police brutality is a serious issue that disproportionately affects black people.  At least 304 black people were killed by the police last year.  Black people are 5x more likely to be killed by the police than white people.  This is a specific issue that needs specific reform.  

Any reason to Down Caitlyn Jenner and the Trans movement, huh?

LGBT Issues, News, Serena Williams

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Unfunny man D.L. Hughley was asked his opinion on Caitlyn Jenner after she won an ESPY award and he proceeded to hurl insults saying she looked like a “every P.E. teacher he ever had.”  I’m all for jokes although DL Hughley is not one for giving any, but I digress.  If you want to criticize Caitlyn on her family and their tactics to stay relevant, that’s fair but most of the criticism is crossing the line.  There is a sentiment among many that what Caitlyn Jenner did wasn’t courageous and she didn’t deserve that award nor the media attention she has been receiving for her transition.   Accepting who you truly are and revealing it to the world is pretty damn courageous to me.  I’m sure others deserved this award also, but this is a big moment in history and ESPN knew this and rewarded her in accordance.  I do believe a lot of the backlash Caitlyn Jenner is receiving runs deeper than her winning the award.  The hate, I believe, stems from transphobia.  I also think the hate stems from an uncomfortableness by some in the general public.  I’ve seen some silly meme comparing the ridiculous criticism of Serena Williams’ body by some to Caitlyn Jenner’s praise for her transformation.  I feel like this undermines not only Caitlyn but the trans community as a whole.  Why not let both women flourish in their own bodies?  Why can’t both women coexist in their own spaces and flourish individually?  If you have to down one cause to uplift another, then you don’t have much of a leg to stand on, but what can you expect from people who still can’t get the personal pronouns right when addressing the transgender individuals.

As a Black man, You’re Gonna Have to Earn My Vote in 2016

Black Community, Black Girls Rock, Black Lives Matter


Dear presidential candidates,

Gone are the days where I solely vote on a candidate because they are the lessor of two evils.  Gone are the days where I vote democrat just because it’s what black people do.  As a African-American male, if you’re not speaking on issues that affect my community in detail, i refuse the right to vote for you.  The Democratic Party has used and abused the black vote for too long.  None of the three democratic candidates, Hillary, Bernie or Martin have made racial justice a top priority in their campaign.  This needs to change and our voices need to be heard for once.   I’m sick of racial issues being ignored while our communities continue to be grossly affected.  Who will be the first candidate to rise up and unapologetically say “Black lives matter?”

Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley had a chance to engage Black Lives Matter protestors at a Netroots Nation conference in Arizona.  They fumbled almost every question asked to them, with Bernie Sanders completely ignoring the issue.  Granted, Mass incarceration and prison reform have come up as footnotes but racial justice as a whole needs to be addressed. Personally, I want a candidate who is well versed on issues of race and how it affects almost every system in our country.  Barack has done a great job in his second term brining discussions of race to the forefront and whomever is in office needs to continue this discussion , frankly and in greater detail.  Democrats have historically ignored black issues except when it could get them a vote.  Bill Clinton was loved by black americans, yet passed one of the most discriminatory criminal justice bills this country has ever seen.  This cannot happen again.   Cases like Tamir Rice, Sandra Blunt, Rekia Boyd, Natasha McKenna, and Jordan Davis need to be heard and addressed. Black Lives Matter.  We now have a voice and a community that cannot and will not be silenced.

Dear future candidates,

If you want my and many other votes, you WILL discuss police brutality, mass incarceration, the war on drugs, mandatory minimums, sentencing laws, prison reform, raising minimum wage, bringing jobs back to the inner cities etc.  These are not just black issues, but American issues that just happen to disproportionately affect people of color. Every American needs to be educated on issues that affect people of color because we’ve been hiding in the shadows for too long.

Motives Vs Actions:  Seeing people for who they are

Self Help

  
Have you ever had that one friend was a great person but just treated you like crap?  Have you had that one relationship where they treated you well half of the time but the other half was tumultuous to say the least?  I feel like the biggest thing people get stuck on when it comes to letting go of someone is under or overestimating their intentions and motives.  We often ignore or excuse blatant disrespect or outright bad behavior because of these assumptions about their intentions and motives.  It’s human in us to see the good in people and give second chances.  Forgiveness is a powerful tool!  What happens, however, when that forgiveness is abused by the offender?  Why is it so hard for us to see people for who they really are?  

Motives are defined as ‘a reason for doing something, especially one that is hidden or not obvious.’  Everybody has a motive for doing something whether they want to admit it or not.  We all seek to gain something from a situation, even if it’s personal satisfaction or mutual happiness.  We all want to think those we hold close in our lives have good intentions, but what happens with those intentions we assume someone has for us come in direct conflict with what action they are showing us.  

Example:  You have a friend you’ve been Knowing for a while and claims to be there for you, but every chance they get, they ditch you for somebody else:  

Do you automatically assume this friend meant, in fact, to diss you or is there some other reason?   

This, my friend, is what we want to avoid.  As soon as we start trying to rationalize bad behavior is where we mess up.  What has this friend shown you?  They’ve shown you they could care less about hanging with you. It’s not assuming, it’s right in your face!! That’s all you need to know to decide what your next step is.   It’s a tried but true statement, actions speak louder than words or in this case, actions speak louder then motives.  

I’ve seen so many people hold onto toxic relationships because they assume this person meant something else than what they actually did.  They start making so many excuses to affirm their belief of somebody’s motives or intentions.  No, they probably didn’t mean to hurt you but they did.  No, they provably didn’t man to piss you off but they did.  Once you own up to this reality, you’ll be more inclined to see the person for who they really are and make your mind up from there about how to move forward.  

What happened to Sandra Bland?

Black Community, Black Lives Matter, News, Police Fuckin Up, Racist News


Sandra Bland of Naperville, Indiana was supposedly found ‘hung’ in her prison cell in Waller County in Texas.  I will start with what we do know:

-Sandra Bland traveled from Chicago to start her new job with her mom

-Last Friday, Bland was stopped outside the campus  for failing to signal while changing lanes.

-A video has surfaced of her arrest showing the police roughing her up and throwing her on the ground

Big Gap

-She died in police custody

The police ruled her hanging a suicide but it’s in Texas and it involves the police so that opinion cannot be trusted.  Family and friends are trying to figure out exactly what happened in that cell.  Why would a young woman with a brand new job randomly kill herself in a jail cell?  Why is the police’s word the sole word according to the media in cases like these?  Sandra Bland knew her rights and questioned her arrest as seen in the video.  So let’s put two and two together, an outspoken BLACK women who knows her rights just so happens to die in police custody in Texas and the police rule it a suicide…hmmmmm.  I’m not saying something’s fishy, but something stinks.

Caitlyn Jenner Gives Powerful Speech at ESPYS; Haters Mad

News

‘Trans people deserve your respect,’ stated Caitlyn Jenner in a powerful, game-changing speech at the ESPY Awards earlier tonight while accepting the Arthur Ashe Awards for courage.  With her family in attendance, Caitlyn Jenner detailed the struggles many in the transgender community face.  Trans people face difficulties most of us couldn’t imagine.  Jenner detailed the struggles of trans youth, especially trans women of color who face significant difficulties.


Forty-one percent of transgender people surveyed said they had attempted suicide, with the suicide rate being among the highest in the LGBT community.  Over 200 murders of trans persons happened in the past year. About 20%  of trans have limited access to healthcare for their transition.  Much ignorance still exists with trans issues, but with women like Janet Mock, Laverne Cox and now Caitlyn Jenner in the forefront, I believe that will be a thing of the past.

…but if you’re still mad and hating

 
She not…watch full speech below

Criminal Jusitice Reform Front and Center in the Obama Administration

Black Community, News, Obama is a G, Political Shit
US President Barack Obama speaks during the NAACP's 106th National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 14, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEBSAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

US President Barack Obama speaks during the NAACP’s 106th National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 14, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEBSAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

The Obama Administration has now put criminal justice front and center as its main issue in his already impressive set of reforms.  On the heels of commuting the sentences of 46 federal convicts, Obama will soon be the first president to visit a federal prison where he will talk to inmates and prison guards.  He has also spoken on the issue recently in the media with a speech to the NAACP convention and also sat down ‘The Wire’ creator David Simon earlier this year to speak about criminal justice reform.  In his NAACP speech, Obama spoke against mandatory minimums, a lack of voting rights, jail abuse and job discrimination that many current and former convicts face.

Mass Incarceration and over-sentencing are important issues that disproportionately affect poor people of color.  Our criminal justice system is one of the most systematically racist institutions in our country. African Americans and Latinos make up only 30% of the population, but 60% of the prison system.  1 and every 35 and 1 and every 88 black and latin men respectively, are behind bars.  Around 1 and 9 African American child has a father in prison.  This is one of the greatest unspoken injustices in America.  You want black people to stop crying about racism, changing the way we sentence and jail our people of color for non-violent crimes would go a long way in changing that. This along with an overhaul of our policing system needs to happen soon.

5 things every black girl should hear 

Black Community, Black Girls Rock, Lists, Self Help

1.  You are beautiful

 
Beauty comes in so many different shades and colors.  The media and advertising often exposes young black girls to one definition of beauty.  Every black girl should be taught they they are beautiful.  This is not only important for her self esteem, but for acceptance of  herself and culture.

2.  You are heard

 
Black women and girls are often, directly or indirectly, told their opinions don’t matter as much as their male counterparts.  When women often voice their opinions in a matter, they are hushed or made to feel inferior.  Young black girls need to be told their opinion matters and they can express themselves.   They can be as loud and as assertive as they want to be.  If somebody is intimidated, fuck them.

3.  You can be ANYTHING you want to be

 
Women can really do and be anything they want to be.  The earlier girls know this, the better.  We often limit our girls by exposing them to limited career choices.   Showing them that they CAN be doctors, lawyers, bodybuilders, construction workers or whatever they desire early on will benefit them as they grow older and start making career choices.  Although being Instagram models and using your beauty as a career is fine, young girls need to know using  other tools in your chest like your brain may be more rewarding and get you a bit further in the long run.

4.  YOU come FIRST

 
Black women have often had to make some of the bigger sacrifices in the black community.  They’ve had to hold down the household while men were allowed to do whatever they wanted.  It is often in the nature of a woman to put her needs aside for the greater good, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of a mans ego or selfish choices.  Black girls should know that THEY come first, before family, friends or boyfriend/girlfriend, at least until you have children.  Every girl should know her mental, physical, financial and emotional state ALWAYS comes first.

4.  Having a man should NOT be a priority 

 
I’ve told my niece this over and over again.  You DO NOT need a man to be happy and successful. Love is a beautiful thing, however, men come and go but a degree is forever.  Michelle already had her law degree and was a junior lawyer at her law firm when she met Barack. It’s human for us to desire love, but get your OWN first.   I’ve seen so many women, especially women of color go through hell and high water to say they have a man.  They would stunt their growth and make sacrifices for temporary relationships.  That’s five years you could have many going to school, making money and establishing yourself.   Im not saying don’t be in a relationship, but establishing yourself first should be of the most importance. If you do find love in the process of getting your own, that’s great.  If not, that’s great too.

5. You are POWERFUL

 
If women knew their own power, their would be no wars, no strife, and men would be a footnote in history.  Some women don’t know their power which is often distressing.  Black women birth human civilization, but have never been given due credit. Black women are Kings and Queens, warriors and mothers, fighters and lovers aka complex human beings.  Black culture begins and ends with black women.  A Black culture that influences the world.  That is power.   Every young black girl needs to be told this.