How to Stop Dating Guys You’re Not Really Dating

Are you in a situationship? Take the quiz below to find out!

  1. Does he say he’s unbothered when a guy texts your phone but displays all the proper signs of being bothered?
  2. Does he tell you all about his friends and family, but he’s never actually introduced you to any of them?
  3. When you go shopping and you see something he would really like, do you ignore it because it might be a little weird to get him a present?
  4. Has he broken up with you even though he was never your boyfriend?
  5. Does he forget your middle name, but knows your favorite color?

If you answered yes to one or or more of the questions above, you might be in a situationship. If you answered yes to all of them, then God bless you.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, allow me to be the one to break it down.

The situationship is a bunch of bulls*t. It’s used to describe two people who like each other. Maybe they have a really good physical relationship, maybe they spend a lot of alone time together, but they just don’t do a damn thing about it. They’re not quite a relationship, but “just friends” is an understatement.

I am the queen of the situationship.

I have been in several in my short 22 years of life, and boy oh boy are they a complete waste of your precious time.

You’re in a constant state of insecurity wondering if this person is really into you.

You can date other people but not really because you kinda sorta got a man.

And people don’t think you’re available so they pass you on by.

The craziest thing about a situationship is that you don’t even know you’re in one. I had gone all these years not knowing the state that I was in (a serial situationshipper), and once I figured it out…. My. Mind. Was. Blown.

But don’t fret there’s an easy way to get out of the stuationship.

Talk it out.

The situationship can be easily resolved with a little good old fashioned conversation. Ask the person how they feel about the state of your relationship. Do they want more? Do they want less? And be reflective about what you want. Do you want more? Do you want less? The answers may surprise you.

Situationships are ephemeral, but leaving things unsaid will make them feel like an eternity.

Be bold. And get what you want out of life. You’re too great not to.

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Jumping into the New Year with a New Routine

January 1st is the start of a new year. It is also the start of overzealous resolutioners making promises to themselves that they know damn well they’re gonna drop come March. But it’s okay. Trying and failing is a wonderful part of life that I strongly recommend. At least you’re doing something with your time and being productive, but there comes a point when we get tired of the failure. So how do we make it stop? How do we make those resolutions reality?

Most of the time, failed New Year resolutions are super achievable goals. They just lack plan and direction. Losing weight is the most notorious resolution out there. When January 1st strikes, the number of folks at the gym is booming and you’re waiting in line for your favorite treadmill. But give it a few weeks, and the number of people start to dwindle.

It is a very easy thing to say that you’re going to go to the gym everyday. Actually putting it in to practice is more challenging. If one wants to improve the quality of their life through fitness, they have to set a game plan and take all factors into consideration. Are they going to go to the gym in the morning or at night? How long will they be at the gym? What will they do once they get at the gym? Will they have a day of rest? When that person devotes time to creating a specific plan for themselves, they’re more committed to achieving that goal. The human brain likes routine.

I decided not to set a specific New Year’s Resolution this year. I do want to be more active and more proactive, but generally I want to improve the quality of my life (a goal that I have 365 days out of the year), and I think that I could benefit from creating a plan for myself.

Since I’ve moved to Maryland, I have had a difficult time creating a routine. When your’e in a new place it’s hard to create a new rhythm. And although, I’m the happiest I ever been, I feel as though I’m the most unproductive I’ve ever been. I was spinning down the dark hole of youtube and came across the Buzzfeed video We Tried CEO Morning & Night Routines. Three guys tried a culmination of tips and practices of prominent CEO figures. And although the premise of the video suggested that acting like a CEO will make you a CEO, the practices suggested in this video would benefit anyone trying to get the most out of their day in the areas of productivity, emotion, and physical health.

Since I am focused on improving the quality of my life and getting into a routine, I thought what better routine than that of a CEO. With a few alterations, I’m going to take on the CEO Routine, improve my every day life, and document the journey on my blog. Here are the tips and practices I’m going to implement. Please feel free to join me and click on the link above to watch the full video!

Nighttime:

  • Wind down by doing chores.
  • Dim the lights and turn down all overhead lighting to get you in the mood of going to bed
  • Taking a relaxing bath
  • Wear clothes designated for sleep only (so no accidentally falling asleep in the clothes you wore all day
  • Write down 3 goals you want to accomplish the next day
  • Plan your outfit for the next day
  • Plan your meals for the next day
  • Read something non stressful (nothing about current politics and society)

Moring Time:

  • Wake up at 4:00 or 4:30
  • Work out for an hour
  • Plan your day
  • Check your email
  • Enjoy a good breakfast without distractions (no phone, no TV, no reading)
  • Give yourself a positivity boost by reading a list of things you’re thankful for or make a box of accomplishments and kind words about you and whip it out when you’re feeling low

I’m going to keep up with this routine for at least the next month, and if it’s not working I’ll adjust. But I’ll continue to share the journey with you here and keep y’all posted weekly. I’d love to read your comments below, and see if you’re doing anything similar or want to do some of the tips I’ve listed above!

Happy Resolving!

Stop Telling People Of Color How To React

I watched a video recently featuring a southern white man named Bill talking about how the white nationalists in Virginia do not represent all white people. I 100% agree with that statement. These white nationalists do not represent every white person in our country. However, I found the rest of his video troubling. He went on to say that people of color (specifically black folks) need to stop hating white people, and he equated the hate going on in Virginia to the Black Lives Matters protests.

So here is a list of several reasons why that’s bullshit, and we need to stop telling people of color how to feel about our mistreatment.

  1. Black Lives Matter is not about hating white people. It’s about not dying in the streets over a pack of Skittles. We don’t hate white people. We’re asking white people to do better. It’s okay to ask fellow Americans to treat other Americans with respect and dignity. And when there is a group of black folks or a single black person that goes of the rail, that person or group is not representative of the entire movement. Where on the Black Lives Matter website does it say “Go forth and hate white people”? I’ll wait.
  2. Don’t act as if you don’t understand where racial tensions in our country first originated. It’s not a chicken or egg scenario. The ones who enslaved black folks, killed the Natives, interned the Japanese, and terrorized Muslims, are all white. It only makes logical sense that we address white people when talking about acts of racism. We can all contribute to systems of oppression, but it seems that white folks are the ones reaping the most benefits.
  3. Remember when you were little and one of your siblings broke something, but your mom said “you’re all getting in trouble if someone doesn’t speak up”. She wasn’t wrong for that. She needed an answer, and since you were a witness to the crime, you were obligated to speak up. I will never feel wrong for asking a white person to speak up and do something because sitting back is a luxury, a privilege, that I do not possess. We need white people to talk to other white people to stop this hate. We’re holding you accountable.
  4. If people of color supposedly hate white people, it is not comparable to the hate toward people of color. Throughout history, people of color have tried very hard to fit in with white America. We’ve changed our names, dropped our native languages, and lightened our skin. So forgive me if we’re a little angry with white folks. We’re still not accepted after all our years of building this land and stripping ourselves. People of color are simply asking for change. These white nationalists are asking for our elimination.
  5.  Thousands of peaceful protestors across the country are met with guns and tear gas. I have not seen these white nationalists or any group of white rioters met with the same treatment. They need to experience and suffer the consequences of their actions like the peaceful black lives matter protestors endured blatant hatred and disrespect. We’re all equal, right? That’s not hateful. That’s constitutional.

10 Things to Consider When Budgeting During Your First Year of Adulthood.

During the final weeks of AP Government, Mr. Giusto gave our class the most practical financial literacy assignment of our young lives. He told us that our parents had just kicked us out, and we only had $2,500. We needed to find a place to live and find a job to support ourselves for the first month. He threw wild cards at us like our car being towed or getting laid off. And suddenly, that $2,500 that seemed like a lot of money disappeared.

Now, that I’ve graduated college, and I’m ready to embark on my journey of adulthood, I’ve been thinking more and more about this assignment. And although Mr. Giusto did his absolute best, there was no way he could have prepared us for the harsh realities of the American economy.

Rent prices are astronomical, the cost of living increases everyday, and saving is a challenge especially if you’re living pay check to paycheck. With this information dangling over my head, I decided to budget and create a plan for how I would live within my first year of adulthood. And I wanted to share some of the things I considered while creating this plan.

  1. Do your research when it comes to finding a place to live. It may seem like it’s easy to just pick up and move anywhere in the country, but it takes a lot more planning. According to the Department of Numbers, in 2015 the average monthly residential rent was $959. When you first move into a new place, landlords typically expect you to pay a deposit and first month’s rent. If your rent costs you $900, that’s already $1,800 before you’ve even settled into your new digs. You may want to consider finding housemates, sharing a room, or living further away from your place of work or school to lower the costs. (Side note: Only spend a third of your monthly income on rent).
  2. Get Renter’s Insurance. Anything can happen within a year, and you want to make sure you covered. Say someone breaks into your apartment and stills your laptop, TV, and microwave. Do you want to be S.O.L or stress free? There are renter’s insurance plans as low as $10 a month that will cover you up to $10,000 depending on your place of residence and number of occupants.
  3. Don’t spend a ton of money on furniture, but make sure you have the essentials. When my big brother first moved out of the house, the only pieces of furniture he had were a desk for his computer, a mattress without the boxspring and headboard, and  a trash can he made out of tin foil and cardboard. I’m not saying you have to live this way, but try approaching your living space with a minimalist mindset.
  4. Spend money on a good mattress. There are many people who would tell you to just sleep on any old thing, but I think a good mattress is an essential part of living. You approximately sleep for 1/3 of your life so you’re going to spend a lot of time on it. Also, we perform better when we’ve had enough quality sleep. You’re going to need a lot of energy to keep you pushing through your next year.
  5. Start establishing credit. You should’ve done this yesterday, but it’s never too late. I’ve always hated the idea of credit. If you don’t have money for something, just don’t buy it. However, you need credit for everything. Some places will check your credit score before renting a place to you, and you can’t get a good interest rate on a car unless you have a good score. Get a credit card with a low APR, use it once or twice a month, and then pay it off. I have a couple of credit cards. One, I keep for absolute extreme circumstances… like dying on the side of the road. And one for for monthly expenses that I pay as soon as I spend. I’ve been doing this since I was 18 (I’m 21 now), and I have an excellent credit score.
  6. Learn to cook different things. I fancy myself to be a good chef. However, I have only a few recipes that I constantly recycle through, and it gets boring. It gets so boring that I decide to waste money and eat out when I could’ve just whipped up something in my kitchen. Anyone can cook. It’s not difficult, but it does require some time, patience, and willingness to learn. If you perfect your cooking skills, it feels like eating out everyday, and you’ll feel good knowing exactly what goes into your food.
  7. Remember that you’re never too good for a side hustle. Even Beyonce has side hustles. That’s how the rich stay rich. I worked three jobs this summer, and if it wasn’t for the third job, I would never be able to save anything. Don’t be afraid to take on a waitressing job or nannying for kids. There are even jobs online where you never have to leave the comfort of your home like virtual assistants or copywriters.
  8. Learn to make whatever it is that you love spending money on everyday. For some, people this is a Starbucks latte. For me, it’s an Acai Banana Berry Smoothie. Yeah, I know it sounds expensive. I spend about $7 every day at work. That’s about $35 a week. I can make a smoothie from home and only spend $30 a month.
  9. Set up a “keep the change” savings account. I am a customer with Bank of America so I’m not sure which other banks have this specific program, but a lot of banks do something similar. Every time I use my debit card, it gets rounded up to the next dollar, and that change automatically goes into my bank account. It’s the equivalent of saving all your coins in that old slurpee cup, except more efficient. I saved $100 in just a couple of months.
  10. And lastly, if you want to go out to a bar or club with your friends, just pregame at home. Thirteen bucks for a long Island Ice tea is ridiculous!

Being A Black Vegetarian

When I first gave up meat, the conversation I had with my great grandmother on Thanksgiving didn’t go entirely well.

She said to me excited, “Chelsea, I cooked the collard greens with turkey neck.” I had been on and off with red meat and pork since I was a kid so it was a very sweet sentiment for my grandmother to change her way of cooking for me.

I responded, “Oh, thanks Grannie. But I don’t eat meat anymore.”

My grandmother did a quick gasp and told me, “Well, I don’t know why in the shit you came here. Up there with them white folks.”

She continued to mumble some stuff about white people and vegetarians while stirring the pot of greens. Even though she was kidding, she was right. I was missing out on so much at Thanksgiving. I was missing out on pretty much everything except for the mac n’ cheese and pecan pie. (Now that I’m trying more of a vegan diet, I can’t even have that.) But being a vegetarian isn’t only for white people. It’s for everybody. Kale… collards… we practically invented that shit.

But it’s very hard to convince my great grandmother of this when she’s been eating her way for nearly a century, which is why we have to educate young people on the benefits of adopting a more plant based diet: 1) It’s more sustainable. The amount of water that goes into producing a pound of beef is ridiculous. 2) In many ways, it can be more affordable. The cauliflower “chicken” recipe I’m going to show you costs approximately $10 to make, and 3) it’s healthier. The animals you eat are drugged up to the max.

Although you can’t deny that soul food isn’t good, we can most certainly agree its not good for us. We don’t have to live on a slave diet anymore. We can eat better. We can live better.

I did a variation of the Spicy Fried “Chicken” Cauliflower from Jenné Clairborne’s site sweetpotatosoul.com. You can find it here for the full list of ingredients and instructions. I absolutely love her site. Fried chicken is the only thing I miss since I’ve become a vegetarian, and I was craving it today. I’m so glad that I came across her blog!

Ingredients:

Sweet Potatoes and Collard Greens:

  1. Brown Sugar
  2. Black Pepper

Fried “Chicken” Cauliflower:

  1. Almond Milk
  2. Dijon Mustard
  3. Nutritional Yeast
  4. Corn Starch
  5. Cayenne Pepper
  6. Creole Seasoning
  7. Black Pepper
  8. Sea Salt

*Tip: Make sure you don’t heat your oil too hot and always watch your “chicken”. It will burn. 

 

23 Thoughts I Had Today (complete with links for your visual pleasure)

  1. I wonder what it’s like to be an only child.
  2. Rory should have never broken up with Dean. Jess ruined her life.
  3. My dog has no respect for me.
  4. Tinder in Vegas sucks. Stop with the gym selfie. I get it. You work out.
  5. You never see anyone have left over oatmeal. That would be kinda gross.
  6. It’s so hot. I’m not cut out for the desert.
  7. I shouldn’t have eaten leftover oatmeal. I don’t feel so good.
  8. I don’t like the new set up of this Target. Where is the Shea Moisture? I need my Shea.
  9. The Mandela effect is real.
  10. I just need to get rich really quick and 60% of my problems will be solved.
  11. Ew. Why is Sallie Mae sending me letters? I just graduated. Chill.
  12. Should I eat the 4th slice of pizza…. yeah.
  13. I spend so much money at Target. My skin doesn’t need to be moisturized. I can be ashy for two weeks.
  14. I have so much student loan debt I could buy a used Tesla.
  15. Ugh. Butterflies are so gross. They’re just glorified moths.
  16. If one more bug crawls on me. I’m gonna lose it.
  17. I really should’ve told off that guy I dated sophomore year. He wasn’t even that cute. 
  18. That weird front bra thing looks pretty cool. All you have to do is pull a string and you can wear backless tops. It probably doesn’t work with big titties though.
  19. Should I shave my legs? I mean I’m not going anywhere… ugh but it feels so nice.
  20. The girl who voiced Tommy on Rugrats was also in Friends. Wow. Her IMDb is impressively long.
  21. It would probably be very hard to learn Turkish on Google Translate.
  22. I spent $30 on a planner I can’t use for 3 months. Was it a waste of money? No. It’s the most beautiful thing ever. I’m such a f*cking adult.
  23. Zac Efron is so freaking sexy. Even when he had a gap in his tooth, he was beautiful.

Inside the Brain of a Fat Girl

Yes. I used the dreaded F word. C’mon. It’s okay to say. Let’s say it together.

1

2

3

Fat.

Now, see. That wasn’t so scary. Many folks out in the world are scared to use the word fat because it has such a negative connotation. It’s a “bad” thing, and if you call someone that word, it’s as if you’re calling them bad, too.

The similar thing happens when you call a person black.

You know how people get. They crouch real low, speak in a whisper, check over their shoulder in case someone hears them. “Yeah… I’m looking for Michael… he’s um… um.. ya know… black.”

Well, of course we know Michael is black. Anyone within a 50 mile radius can tell Michael is black. Why are you whispering?

Why do we find it so difficult to say these things that are purely descriptors?

It’s because we know how those groups of people get treated in our country, and it’s hard for us to acknowledge.

I don’t often use the word fat to describe myself. I usually use plus size because if I use the word fat, it’s almost always to berate myself. Some days I’m very comfortable with my body. I’ll look in the mirror and say “Gahhhhhhh Damn! The lord blessed you with some mighty fine looks. You must be an angel!” And on other days, too many days, I think that the girl in the mirror isn’t even worth being seen. She’s fat.

I’ve been called fat many times. Behind my back and to my face. From acquaintances and people I have considered close. It’s always used as an insult, an attack on my being. Now, some people will say why don’t you just lose the weight? First of all, losing weight as a woman is extremely difficult. And second of all, why do I have to lose the weight? Why can’t the jerk who called me fat lose the attitude?

I used to feel bad when someone would call me fat. And some days, I do let it get to me. But I don’t have a problem with my size. I have a problem with the way I’m treated because of my size. I’m very comfortable with who I am as a person, and as long as I (extra emphasis on the word I) am comfortable with my being, I have nothing to change.

I don’t write this post that you’ll pity me. That’s never my intention with anything I post. I’m fairly content with my size. I’m a vegetarian. And I live a lifestyle a lot healthier than many peers my age. I want to debunk the myth that everyone who is fat wants to be skinny. If anything, I think people who are fat want to be valued in the same way people  who are skinny or lean or “regular sized” are valued.

I used to get self conscious eating food in front of other people because I was worried that people would think I’ve had enough. I used to get uncomfortable walking into a clothing stores because I knew almost 10 times out of 9 nothing was going to fit me.  My fears and uncomfortability were justifiable. Someone always has a comment to make about the appearance of someone else. But I’m so completely over being uncomfortable because someone else is dissatisfied by my simple existence. Who has the energy to keep that up? Most certainly not I.