Thursday, October 22, 2009

Toni-ism 09: Love Yourself First

It sounds so simple, but it's really the hardest thing to do. I didn't come up with this phrase, but I firmly believe in it: You have to love yourself before you can love somebody else. RuPaul made the phrase popular, but it's something we all have heard in one variation or another.

Growing up, I had serious depression issues. I remember thinking that there was no way I would ever be able to sustain any relationship because there was something wrong with me. I was too skinny or too gossipy or too much of anything that was a turnoff. Part of it came from some of the things I saw growing up. My brother's father was an abusive guy, but only towards myself and my mother. My brother never got so much as yelled at by his father from what I can remember. When I was a kid, I didn't know that he wasn't my father too (long story), so it made me think that abuse=love since I saw my 'dad' hurting my mother physically sometimes, but moreso mentally and emotionally. I thought that was the way it was supposed to be.

I went through my early teen years thinking that, if I was just everything that everyone wanted, I'd have the love that I so eagerly desired. I started giving myself emotionally to every person that came into my life, resting my happiness on tehir shoulders. That's not fair to do to anyone, but as a teenager, what do we really know about relationships? I know I was kinda clueless, but maybe that was just me lol. Anyway, I thought that the key to happiness was to have someone tell you they loved you.

When I was 17, I attempted suicide for the first time. I can't really say what led up to it, because I think I was just fed up. I felt that all of the people in my life were just there out of a feeling of obligation. I didn't think that anyone could love a girl like me. I felt that I was so flawed, I'd never be able to live amongst others and them not see the fucked up person that was me. I didn't realize that I was getting back what I was putting out there. I didn't know that, because I didn't think highly of myself, no one else did either. Sure, I had tons of 'friends' and went on dates and had boyfriends, but I never really felt loved. My best friend saved my life that day, by the way. She stayed with me all day and wouldn't let me go to sleep (I had taken pills) or anything. Lucky for me, her mother was a nurse, so she knew what to do.

As I grew up and went through things, I realized that the reason I wasn't happy with anyone else is because I wasn't happy with myself. I didn't love myself enough to know when to stay and when to leave. I didn't have hte confidence and security to put myself first. Once I realized that love starts with me, my whole life changed. I became more confident and realized I could make it on my own because I had the love of God and loved myself enough to make sure it happened.

When you reach the point in life where your love of self is strong, you find the strength to stand up for what you want. Now that I love Toni for who she is, I'd never tolerate abuse of any kind from anyone, whether they be family or stranger. Once you love yourself, it makes you strong enough to love someone else. Otherwise, you'll just be their puppet, letting them string you along on their own journey, when your journeys should be joint.

Love yourself first. Know your worth. Allow no one to make you feel like you aren't worthy of love. These are things I tell myself every day. I'm not saying that I have all teh answers, because Lord knows I'm a mess, but I know what's worked for me. I love myself enough to walk away from situations that I may have tolerated a few years ago. I love myself enough to fight for what I believe in. I love myself enough to love my son with everything I have. I love myself enough to love you.

Well, lovies, that's all for now. Until next time....

Con mucho amor,

My Love/Hate Relationship With My Job

Let me start by saying that I know that I am truly blessed to have a job PERIOD in this economy, much less a job where I get to work from home every day. Plus, I get to work in a field that is a passion of mine, which is always great. However, just like with any job, there are pros and cons to working at home.

PRO: No set schedule per say

Since I work at home, I can pretty much set my own 'business hours' so to speak. I don't have to be at work from 9-5 like most people that work for my company. I definitely am not mad that I don't have to wake up at the asshole crack of dawn to commute to some office and all that jazz. This pro can be a con though in the line of work I'm in because you never know when news is gonna break, so I have to be available whenever they need me. But, that rarely happens, so we'll keep this in teh pros column.

CON: I kinda miss having someplace to go every day

Now, don't get me wrong, being able to sit in my house in my pjs all day is definitely a good look. But there are days when I kinda miss having somewhere to go, you know? I kinda miss having an excuse to do my hair and all that jazz. Since I'm at home, I pretty much rock a ponytail or my scarf since I'm not going anywhere.

PRO: I am doing what I love

The fact that I get to blog and be a part of creating a blog team for a huge corporation makes my heart sing. I love that I'm helping them reach a goal and making an impact on how they do things. Plus, this experience is helping me learn about the backend of blogging, the behind the scenes stuff that I need to know for when I start doing my own thing.

CON: Motivation to work sometimes is hard

Working from home always sounds so easy to people, myself included before this, but it's a lot harder than I anticipated. Finding the motivation to actually climb outta bed and work can be hard sometimes when you know there's not a specific deadline or anything. Some days, I just wanna stay under the covers, but I know that if I do, I won't get paid. While you'd think that money would be enough to motivate me to get up outta bed, sometimes my sleepiness makes it hard.

PRO: I work alone

I love people, don't get me wrong, but having to depend on someone else to get something done irritates me to no end. Especially if they're holding me up over something dumb. Working alone gives me assurance that I'm getting things done.

CON: I work alone

Since it's just me here, I don't have that extra push of support and help, if needed, to get things done. Sure, I can always call my boss and get assistance or whatever, but it's not the same as being in the same building with them. Knowing your boss is only 5 feet away is a helluva motivating force to get things done. Plus, I get kinda lonely here all by myself while Dominic is at school and the roommies are at work. I miss having someone to talk to when I go on smoke breaks or whatever.

PRO: My bosses truly appreciate and respect me

I know so many people that are working for people and are miserable for one reason or another. I can honestly say that I'm the happiest I've ever been about a job. The only other paying job I had that was as much fun to me was when I worked at Waffle House in Georgia. I love that I get to write every day. It's a very exilerating feeling when you see your dreams being realized. That makes all the shit that is kinda difficult seem so meaningless. To know that my bosses recognize my skills and ask my input on things makes me feel like Plus, my bosses are all really cool. I was lucky enough to meet them and get to know them a little before they hired me.

Like I said before, I'm truly blessed to have ANY job, so I'm grateful. Plus, I do love that I get to be home with Dominic more. Everyone says I'm so lucky to get to work at home, which is true, but I just wanted y'all to know it's not as easy as you might think. It takes a lot of self-motivation and organization to do it.

Until next time, 

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dear Attic/Balloon Boy and Family

Dear Attic/Balloon Boy and Family,

First of all, Falcon, let me say that I am glad that you were safe in your hiding place rather than floating into oblivion. Now that I've said that, let me tell you how much I am over your family.

To know that, while the whole country was watching your lil device float across the Colorado skyline, your lil ass was chillin in a garage attic (allegedly) pisses me off to no end. I mean, the whole damn country was worried and sending prayers your way when the whole time you and your fam was chillin watching it unfold. I'm too through with you, Falcon. I watched you and your two bad ass brothers on Larry King hitting each other and whatnot and your mother just sat there smiling like a damn fool. I saw your fam's episode on WifeSwap and thought that you were more the type of family that needs Super Nanny Jo Frost. I'm sure she would've been able to whip your family into shape.

Now, to Falcon's parents, I have to ask, what kind of parents are you?! I've seen some media whores in my time, but you two take the fucking cake. To pimp out your son just to get a reality show deal is beyond disgusting. It's downright criminal. To see that the police in your town are gonna press criminal charges against you two makes my heart smile. I'm not one to be happy about anything bad happening to anyone, but you deserve it. You two spent tax payer dollars to get on television. What kind of bullshit is that?! You put on a great show though, I must admit. I was one of the millions of Americans that was on the edge of myseat, praying for Falcon. How can you look at yourselves and not feel like shit?

To add insult to injury, it is being alleged that you two shitbags had a media outlet help you set up this little scene. I swear you two should be working for network television. Did you guys work on the script together? Did they tell you how to handle the other media you would encounter after the fact? These are questions we all want to, and deserve, to know. Oh, and your lawyer is a dick. For him to have an attitude on the news about you guys hopefully being prosecuted for pulling the wool over the public's eyes is just stupid. I guess I just really want to understand where the hell any of you gets the nerve to have an attitude with ANYONE after the bull you pulled, but whatever.

I guess the big question is, how do you live with yourself? How can you bastards look in the mirror every day knowing that the whole country had your back and you stabbed us in ours? I mean, we should have guessed it was a hoax when you let little Falcon throw up on tv twice. But he screwed up your plans by blurting the truth out during tha tLarry King interview, huh? Damn kids and their inheriant honesty. How could you use your own kid to make a quick buck? I am a mother, and could never imagine getting rich off of my son in such a way.

Well, I hope you two enjoy prison and that your three sons are going to get the care they need while y'all are locked up. It's not their fault you raised them that way.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Art of Prevention

Okay so, in my last post I mentioned 'prevention'. Let me explain that in case you're unfamiliar. The Art of Prevention is something we all learned about from our parents growing up but they didn't call it that. It was more like, 'If you knew you were gonna get in trouble, why did you do it in the first place'?. THAT is what happens when you don't practice prevention. Basically, The Art of Prevention is thinking about the outcome before you do something. I know this seems like something that's pretty simple and is commonsense, but if there's one thing I've learned in my 29 years on this planet is that common sense isn't something everyone has. That's why I'm writing this blog. Hopefully it will turn the lights on in someone's head.

The Art of Prevention is something that will come naturally as you practice it more, just like with any other lifestyle choice. Let's create a scenario: Let's say that you have a homegirl/boy that you know for a fact is gonna get too wasted and more than likely get escorted out of a club if they go with you. Now, what do you do? Do you go out with them anyways and just make sure you got bail money or do you stay home? I'll admit that, for many years, my choice would have been the first one. I have a friend that I love dearly, but she's a hot damn mess and is always starting some drama when we go out anywhere. The right thing to do for me is now to just not go out with her crazy ass anymore because I'm not trying to be Big Bertha's bitch you feel me? THAT is the Art of Prevention. I know she's gonna have me taking my earrings off and shit if I go out with her, so I now stay home or go out elsewhere. It doesn't mean I love her any less, because I love her to death to be honest. But, I have to do what's best for me and my family, which means staying my ass home sometimes lol.

Here's another scenario: You have a co-worker who is just plain reckless out of their mouth when they speak to you, whether it's in person or via email. What do you do? Do you go over to their office/cubical and beat the shit outta them on general principle? As much fun as that would be, we all know you can't just go around beating the shit outta people just because they piss you off and were never taught how to talk to people. Instead, you go to your supervisor and let them know that this bitch got one more time (well, maybe not in those words per say lol) or you're gonna snap. Your boss may find a way to keep your contact with them limited, or end it all together. THAT's prevention. You're taking the responsible steps to keep yourself from killing a mofo.

I could give you a zillion options and scenarios, but I think you guys get the idea. To sum it up, The Art of Prevention can save you from unsavory and undesired experiences. All you have to do is take the five seconds to think before you act. I'm not saying it's the answer to all of your problems, but if used correctly it can totally help you. Just don't use it as a crutch to be afraid to do something. Think and weigh your possibilities in every situation. Sometimes, the thing that seems the best solution isn't always necessarily so.

Untill next time, my loves, remember that if you don't protect yoruself from the fuckery, who else will?

Abrazos y Besos (Hugs & Kisses),

Toni-ism 15: Don't Let Basicness Infect Your Life

Hello, hello world! I know it's been like a month since I wrote here, but I've been hella busy. I"m writing for a new site (in addition to the others I work for), It's a site connected with my girl Nikki's clothing line, Nikera Clothing. I'm loving it! Y'all know me, if nothing else I love to stay busy. Dominic is great, thanks for asking if you did mentally lol. He got all A's & B's on his progress report, so I'm happy.

Okay so, let me get to this. For those of you that are friends of mine on Twitter, you know that a while back, I tweeted my 'Toni-isms'. Now, these are beliefs that I have on how to live life and survive somewhat unscathed. I don't claim to be someone that has all of the answers to happiness and success, but these are things that work for me. A kind of mantra if you will. Anyways, I'm going to start putting htem on my blog here to share with you guys. Now, there will be numbers, but those aren't necessarily the numerical order that they are in in my mind. I moreso put them on there to be cute if you really wanna know lol.

We're gonna talk about basicness today, because I seem to find myself surrounded by it on a regular basis to no fault of my own. Now, the Toni-ism is: 'Don't let basicness infect your life.' When I say 'your life', I mean all aspects of it. When you allow basciness to infect your life, just like with any other disease (like hateration), it eats away at your defenses and makes your immunity to the bullshit go down. Thus, you find yourself thrust full force into the world of the basic, and who wants to be there? Not me said the flea!

Now, for those of you that aren't familiar with the concept of basicness, I put Lil Duval's definition of a basic bitch as the pic on this post. However, don't be fooled into thinking that chicks are the only ones out here doing basic shit. And, there are different levels and degrees of basicness if you ask me. For example, a bitch that trolls the VIP/backstage area looking for a celeb is some basic shit, but it doesn't have to be as blatant as that. I believe that basicness is more of a state of mind than just actions. Basic bitches and dudes think that the ghetto fab way they live is okay. They think that mooching off of someone continuously is the thing to fucking do. Basic people think that their way of life is the only way to live, no matter how pitiful they apear.

I could really go on and on about my definition, but I'll leave it to you to define it for yourself. Basically (no pun intended), basic to me is anything less than productive. If you're a nigga living at home over hte age of 30 and think that's cute, you're a basic ass nigga to me. Get up, get out and do something! Now, this total lack of motivation and desire for more in life is exactly why I tell myself to not let the basicness of others infect my life. People like that tend to pull you totally off track. Either they want you to support them in their basicness, or try to infect you with it. Any way you slice it, you gotta keep the basic out of your space as much as you can. Of course, when the basic person is a loved one or family, it's a little more difficult to exorcise them from your life and spirit. I feel like this: If me being in your presence makes me feel dumber or less than what I felt when I'm away from you, I'm gonna have to kiss you goodbye. It's not because I think I'm better than you, but because my own sanity and joy are more important to me. You can call me a bitch or mean or bougie if you wanna, but I have a child to raise, and if I'm not mentally and emotionally at peace, he won't be either.

I feel that the key to preventing yourself from being infected by the basic is to stand your ground. You have to know what it is that you are willing to accept and tolerate from people off top. If you know you don't wanna have ot break up a fight at the club when you go out with someone, leave their ass at home! It's called prevention, people. I know many don't use that term, so I'll be doing a blog on that topic shortly. (Maybe today who knows? LOL) To keep shit away from you, you have to do whatever you can to stay away from it. When it's your family that's hitting you with the basic shit, you have to decide if they're worth the feelings you have once they're gone. If ANYONE in your life makes you feel uncomfortable in your own skin for ANY reason, you gotta pull back. I know it's hard when it's your family, but you have to take care of yourself too. It's too much damn work to be everything for everybody all the time. At some point, you have to put your priorities and livelihood first.

At the end of the day, no one is perfect, but at some point you have to draw the line as to how much imperfection you can take. I know people that I love dearly but just can't be around them because I can't deal with the bullshit they do. Doesn't mean I love them any less than anyone else that resides in my heart, but I just can't allow myself to be sucked into their basic world. I just can't do it. I know that there are things about me that may drive the next person insane, so this whole thing isn't to try to slam anyone that's not 'like me' per say. I just refuse to allow someone's mentality and lack of whatever to bring me down. If I'm a bitch for that, so be it. Like I always say, 'I'm not a bitch. I just play one in your life.' Take that one any way you choose to.

Well, gang, I'm out! Drop me a comment and let me know what YOUR '-ism' or mantra is.

Con much amor (With Much Love),