BLACKOUT: NEGATIVE CONNOTATIONS FOR ANYTHING BLACK

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“Why are all bad things synonymous with the color Black?”

From Black cats to outer space. Anything that is attached to the color Black is connected to negativity. Where did all of this come from? Who decided that this would be the definition for a color? But more so, why is this topic so important to myself? This topic of color is of interest to me because of the construct. The societal construct of living in a society where skin color has been the defining motto of a country. Now biologically, it means nothing in the way in which it means something to the human species. But we construct society to make it mean something.

The reason this topic is of importance is because the construct starts young. From the moment your mother gives you a relaxer as a young Black girl to Black boys who want more of a wavy hair look rather than the natural you. The connotation of what you are starts young. Making you believe that the hair follicles that grow out of your own head is no good. Next is the wanting for eye contacts, which consists of other colors. Anything to make yourself appear unique. Dark brown or black eyes are seen as lacking life, void, and without substance.

But is it all true, or all false. Even down to the foods we eat. Anything black is not only seen as visually unpleasant, but it is prepared to lack any real flavor. Now I challenge these ideologies and go, what are the good things that are connected to being Black. One of which is dark chocolate, which has a bitter taste, but actually is really good for you. Or better yet, more melanin protects you from the sun than anyone else of a lighter skin tone. So why do we focus on what is the negative?

For starters, when observing people, associating Black with something bad is of benefit. When you observe for example American history, it was of benefit to attach color to the country’s construct. It’s the main reason White men and women couldn’t have been slaves in this country. It’s virtually impossible to have a defining “thing,” which separates them outside of color. But, you bring into the mix another group and you’re in business. So whose to blame for constructs? Because like I said before, man gives meaning to a lot of stuff we live by. So color for the most part has very little importance to the human species.

In the end, we not only connect color for understanding something we aim to describe, but also societal constructs. But the construct is not to benefit society. On a social level it is to control the masses. Only people have the ability to change that. In my opinion, we know all of what I have said to be true. We have just become comfortable because whoever benefits is all that matters. We are a as long as it doesn’t effect me world. It only becomes important and not language sensitivity when we are effected group.

 

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2017: WHAT’S TO COME OF THIS NEW YEAR

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“What is your plans for the next 12 months?

We all look forward to the New Year. It gives us chance to reflect on the year. But more so, we make resolutions that we work to keep for the upcoming year. For me, I have quite a few plans for 2017. They include, film, theater, novels, podcast show, and photography. Now, you may think, will I be doing this all at once. The answer is no, of course not. But over the course of the year I am hoping to accomplish a variety of endeavors. My first being finishing my first novel and book of short stories.

I started my novel and short stories books in May of 2015. I am performing some line editing, then I’ll design my book covers for both books. This is a crowd builder, which will aid in my next novel and short story book. Setting a goal for myself to write a novel each year and book of short stories together is going to be tough. But continuously contributing to my blog post keeps me engaged in writing my novel and short stories. Making myself write something, anything is beneficial to my books. Well, what about my other projects I have in the works. Such as my next short film I’m looking to shoot in the spring/summer of 2017.

My first short film was ok, but this one has an ability to be greater. I know more about the process and preparation has already started. The film is a 15 minute short about a public figure and her difficulty with being honest in a world where outright honesty could hurt her career. I wrote this screenplay back in September and I have been preproduction planning since then. Hopefully, this will bring me one step closer to making my first feature film. Which is why I also have taken an interest in photography. Working with stills I feel could improve more of my visuals in regards to film.

A more personal goal is health. Towards the end of the year, winter has brought sicknesses; yep, flu season. My internal resolution is to keep the mind as well as the body healthy. To eating healthy and living healthy. Which brings me to another project, my podcast show. I thought about making the show pertaining to societal issues. But that can be depressing, so I want it to comprise of motivation and inspiration.

In the end, a lot of people make resolutions, but few stick to them. Resolutions are a commitment. And they are commitments at times which requires you to work outside of your normal day job. But it is possible. You are a decision maker in your own future. Make plans and stick to them. Unless an emergency arises, they shall not be broken.

 

GUILTY PLEASURES

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“What’s yours?”

Soft batch of cookies are my guilty pleasure. I love having myself a delicious cookie that melts in your mouth. And when I say soft, I mean breaking in your hand soft. Some people like the hard brittle ones. But not myself. In addition to a soft batch, the flavor is important as well. Of course chocolate chip; also macadamia, sugar, and from time to time, a raisin. Now a guilty pleasure doesn’t have to be snack food. Some people’s pleasure is shopping for clothes or shoes. These are not pleasures of mine, but I make no judgments. But what if my pleasure was clothes, what clothing, what shoes?

If my pleasure were clothes, then it would not be an article of clothing. Moreso, it would be a clothing store. I really like H&M and Urban Outfitters. If this were my pleasures, these retailers would love seeing me at their doors. Whenever I do go to one of these stores, I make sure to get myself some jeans. H&M and Urban Outfitters have really good prices, something I love. And the clothes last, another plus in my book. But outside of food and clothes, are there any other pleasures. Of course, but are some of these pleasures more expensive?

What about the person or people whose guilty pleasure is buying cars or some other lavishly expensive item. Now, to the average Joe, who spends a lot of money on a guilty pleasure. Well, there are people who drive a new Bentley or Rolls Royce each year. You say, who buys a $400,000 per year. Uh, people with the wealth to do so. So what is it? What creates the desirable situation that makes you want to purchase. For me it’s from a childhood experience. My mother used to buy Entemanns snacks. One of which were the mini cookies. So at times I still find myself making these purchases.

So you see, sometimes a guilty pleasure comes from nowhere. Other times it could be a childhood memory. But wherever it comes from always remember to indulge when given the opportunity. And if your pleasure is expensive make sure you’re able to keep up the lifestyle.

GHOST OF LIFE’S PAST: WHEN CONFRONTED WITH YOUR PRIOR PERSONAL SITUATIONS

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“Do you wish you could take something back  from a past situation?”

Have you ever experienced an event or relationship in your past that you wish you could correct? A situation that has haunted you that you might have forgotten, but would like to find out the full story. What happened? Why did it happen? Was it worth losing so much? How were you effected? Who else was effected in the process? Confronting your past to correct wrongs that were done is very difficult. How do you go about preparing yourself to come to grips with your past? I have been thinking about this because of the Christmas holiday. Why, Scrooge was always a big movie during this time.

Well why was Scrooge such an iconic story to be told? It’s because too often people are able to relate to the person who either don’t have family or don’t want to be around friends or family. But Scrooge was a guy who spent his life being tough especially around this time of year. A year when people conduct in so much shopping, yet the people who worked for him would rather spend time with friends and family. Yet Scrooge could care less about the spending time with family or any other circumstance where family was involved. He never had one, didn’t care to have one, and wasn’t ever going to have one.

During the movie he is approached by different ghost that make him see what he has missed out on in life as well as lives he negatively impacted. In the end, he was able to finally indulge in the Christmas spirit. A book yes, a movie yes, but there are real life Scrooges. But not just holiday Scrooges, they have negatively impacted people on a daily basis. Once that relationship has been hurt, how do you now go back and correct those mistakes. Or better yet, what happens when you’re forced to confront that past mistake. This could mean reopening old wounds that have healed for a resolution.

Have you ever cheated on a boyfriend/girlfriend? Not just in any fashion, but such where it has effected them moving forward with dating. When you see them again there’s a bit of an uncomfortable situation. It’s uncomfortable because you know what you did to them was wrong. Instead of manning up sometimes people just ignore it. But what about other situations more serious like hurting someone in which a law has been broken. How do you deal with the person, that is if the person is still around?

In the end, we have to be able to face our past. It’s tough, but we have to do it. Because it is too often  at times you’re approached with it. So confront it because the person is not guaranteed to always be here. Because not confronting it could turn to personal resentment.

CRASH AND BURN: WHY SO MANY PEOPLE LOVE TO SEE THE TRAIN WRECK

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“Why do they build you up just to see you fall down?”

Growing up, you come from nothing and work your ass off. Eventually you become a success. People flock to you because they know where you came from in life. Everyone loves a rags to riches story. It gives them hope of maybe not quite the financial success, but a better way of life than they have at the moment. But where does this veer off into a whole other path. What do I mean by that; I mean what makes people become irritated with you? It’s almost as if your continuous success begins to make people sick of you.

Well why; why do people want to see a train wreck even though they know how far you’ve come in life. Ok, to be honest, everything is in context. I don’t think everyone hates you because your continuous success means you have a pretty good base of people who patronize your work. I’m talking about the people who want to be around for the collapse. Celebrities have to deal with people like this on a national level, but the everyday Joe has to deal with the same thing as well. But how does the average Joe deal considering the people that hate on them are usually friends and family.

I have a few reasons as to why people love to see the train wreck once you’ve become successful. One of the reasons is that people want to still be able to connect to you. Once you’re successful and that’s it, you become someone they can’t relate to. Your screwing up and falling shows that slight bit of normal to that person who doesn’t like you. Without a fall, especially if you’re really successful, they grow to be resentful.

Which leads to my next reason as to why people love to see a fall. The other is the feeling that your success is confirmation that they have not done much in life. If you worked in your 20’s and they partied, but now you’re very financially by age 30 and they have just become serious, they’ll sometimes resent. They realize that if they could have those ten years back, it could be different. The more successful you become the more they resent. Eventually, if the person is someone close to you, you have no other choice but to lose that relationship.

In the end, I don’t care how much disdain you receive, never compromise. And when someone hates you because you’re successful, become more successful. Learn to get revenge by being great. Not to rub it in the faces of people who hate you. But show them they don’t have an effect. Because once you crack under the pressure, they’ll continue to forge ahead. But remember to also never lose sight of the people who love you for achieving your dreams. And note that if you’re still successful, you have more love than hate.

WAKING UP GOING TO SLEEP: TOMORROW REALLY IS PROMISED, SO PLAN

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“Live everyday not like it’s your last, but like there is a tomorrow.”

Have any of you ever heard of the phrase, “Don’t put off tomorrow what can be accomplished today.” Very important phrase, but far too often we live by the phrase, “Live everyday like it’s your last.” That sounds fine at all but what about tomorrow. We think that life is short, but in reality it’s long, very long. And the more you screw up in life the longer it’s going to feel. What do I mean by that, this is what I mean. You get arrested and have to go to prison, time seems to stand still. There are no clock nor calendars so every second is a drag. But someone who is in full swing into their career of choice feels like there’s not enough hours in the day.

So why, why do people waste time thinking they’ll get to it eventually. It’s because there is no sense of urgency in some people. When you’re young, this is very prevalent because life is set up for you to a certain extent. From pre-school all the way through undergraduate school, your daily schedule is laid out for you. But once you leave this undergraduate experience you’re thrust into the real world. So what do people do, you put stuff off, you put stuff off. Then before you know it, you’re 30 years of age and nearly a decade has gone by since leaving college. By this age, people start to really buckle down, unless you’re one of those people still with no plan.

Problem is, when you’re one of these people with no plan, you roam the world not knowing what you want to do. But in your mind you go, I’m still young. And then there’s the people who see individuals their age you came into success young at 30 or 31 years old. They compare themselves to these people, so they get down on themselves. Fatal mistake because they could start now and still be young by the time they come into their own. But what do they do, they regret. And go to sleep, wake up tomorrow and now they’re 40 years of age. And now you’ve wasted over two decades.

40 years old seems like a ways away, but I have a sibling almost 40 years old. With me almost 30 years of age, I see the value in preparing yourself in life early. Lucky for me, I was the baby, so I got a chance to see two siblings come before me in life. They left college and worked for a while in addition to traveling, until they came upon what it is they’re doing in life. So I had a template in life to work from. But the overall real problem for procrastinators is the worrying of what others are doing.

When you’re busy trying to figure out your situation, it’s hard to worry about others. If I’m in 5th place, the last thing I thinking about is who is in 6th or how 1st and 2nd are running a 1st or 2nd race. My goal is to surpass that point or the person in 1st and 2nd. And if my trajectory serves me right, I’m on that path at the moment.

BIRDS OF A FEATHER: WATCH THE COMPANY YOU KEEP

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“Is it true that you are what you associate yourself with.”

“Watch the company and the crowd you bring.” If you’ve never heard this before, I’m sure you’ve heard of this one. “Birds of a feather flock together.” These are a couple of the statements of advice people are given about the people they choose to hang around. But, are these statements of advice always bad to live by in life? Is there ever a reason to flock with the same group of people? Well, in my opinion it’s all about the context of the reasoning behind flocking. What are some of the goods and bad of flocking with a group?

When looking at flocking in the same group of people, what about your career circle. If you are a professional in your field, you are far more likely going to hang around those in that field. Or you might even find yourself associating with people in a related field of interest. For example, a Nurse Practitioner and a doctor could be found hanging out in a group with other physicians. Maybe even top level physicians might associate with executive heads of the hospital. The executive may not be a doctor, but a top doctor is in the same realm.

What about flocking in the same group of people into the same or similar interest. If you are into traveling, you are more than likely going to find yourself associating with people who enjoy hiking, biking, and other leisure activities. Or let’s say you’re in a group of people who enjoy the single life of dating in a big city. You’re going to most likely hang with people who love the nightlife of clubbing and going to bars. But what about the opposite. What about the negative connotation that comes with flocking in the same group?

This is some good advice for a young teen or early adulthood male or female. When you’re young you think the people you’re hanging with can do no wrong. That’s until they start to engage in behavior that is harmful to them and those around them. As a young child you make friends and each of you take on these different personas as you age. So the person you know at 7 years of age won’t be that person 14 years, as they will at 21 years, or even at 30 years. So flocking in the same group might not last from childhood through adulthood. People who maintain these long term relationships are few and far between.

Why is that? Why do we move on from people we were once close with at one age, but not now? Because flocking with the same group might have to change. You might even flock in a group that you didn’t get along with during childhood that you do as an adult. Meaning the group you didn’t associate with as a teenager, you might learn to like as adults. A lot of changing your flock has to do with maturing and taking on different interest and viewpoints.

And that’s what it all boils down to, viewpoints and lifestyles. Flocking in the same group can be good if you are all headed down the right paths. But if you’re in a group that is not going anywhere in life they might be a burden. And hanging with them will further hinder you from growing.