Seeking my attention

After receiving a call from my employers/co-workers on my day off for the umpteenth time, I feel like the people at my job are seeking my attention in a big way. Why? Well, that’s a whole other convoluted story that I may perhaps tell on this blog one day; a story involving racism, classism, age-ism, entitlement and humility. The point as it relates to this point is that my co-workers (an all-female workforce) will not let me rest. They keep hounding me to be there and do things that they themselves are not willing to step up and do. I just want to quit. I do. I am sick of being their scape goat.

It’s really really hard to explain, because sometimes you just sense things, but you can’t really define it or place a finger on it. This is one of those situations. I have been complaining about this job for a very long time, and from the very beginning people have been telling me to quit and find something else. However, they also tell me to not quit without having a back up plan. There are others who are just like “what is your long term plan?”

The weird thing is that I do have a plan…a long term plan. However, my long term plan requires a lot of free time. There are websites I want to build. There are books I want to write. I have them all mapped out in my head. These plans are concrete. However, with this well-crafted slavery spelled “J-O-B” there’s just no way I can execute this plan.

690f5c14da732e49278b9ae20befbe5e8392f6648d65ed8c7c0cb7ea2909d79cI feel like the folks at work are getting the sense that I’m uncomfortable. I mean, how can someone tell you “please do not call me to come in this week” and then you call them. I feel like…no, I KNOW that they are aggressively seeking my attention in a way that is uncomfortable. They want me to be at the forefront of their minds all the time and it makes them uncomfortable when this is not the case.

I have been wanting to walk away from this job for several months now (even over a year). My very soul has been screaming about leaving for a very long time. However, every tangible aspect of my life is begging for my attention as well, informing me that I have no choice. This is painful for me, as a child who was a victim of domestic violence. A person who was unable to escape her perpetrators. People who physically abused her yet claimed they loved her. People who perpetrated violence on an innocent who was left vulnerably in their care.

The feelings that emerge from this form of captivity are very conflicting and scary. These same feelings arise in my current job. Wanting to escape. Seeing the door wide open. However, feeling the fear of knowing that cutting your current lifeline could be your undoing. “Quod me nutrit, me destruit”, the Latin for “What nourishes me, destroys me” has become the mantra of many young women today, many of whom are intentionally starving themselves through fasting diets and extreme calorie restriction to escape the obesity that is inevitable on a conventional American diet.

The funny thing with that, and this, is that cutting that lifeline is not anyone’s undoing. Walking away from what is destroying you does not necessarily lead to another form of inevitable destruction. Perhaps it is the confusion of living a life for so long in which a thing so comforting and so intrinsic to ones very existence had been a source of poison and pain, leaves on feeling that to live and to die are one and the same.

But just like walking away from Big Macs does not have to mean living only on water (baby spinach salad, with dried cranberries and almonds anyone?!), walking out of an abusive relationship does not have to mean living without love and/or security. It may not be obviously now, but just beyond your current line of vision there may be a new security, a new source of life, that may not be recognizable to you now, because it looks nothing like what you’re used to but if you just walk through the open door and embrace the dreams faintly call out to you of safety, love and stability; I believe that you will find exactly what you’re looking for if you are not discouraged.

Look at me pleaseI’m not saying this for anyone, but myself. These are things that I know from self help books, church and wise friends; but things that I have not accepted due to the difficulty of looking away from the attention-seekers that refuse to leave my line of vision. Bosses calling me on my weak off, family members asking me when I will “get (my) life together”. Bills filling up my mailbox and bill collectors “blowing up” my phone. As much as I want to walk away from emotional manipulators, ridiculers and psychological bullies who use a paycheck as their leash on your life, all signs point to a glass house where you can see that there is a life beyond, but getting there means…well…the possibility of shards of glass piercing your body.

So, I guess, at the end of the day, the answer to getting out of the life you have currently that is unsatisfying; when the option of sticking it out until another opportunity comes along makes you want to swallow an entire bottle of extra strength tylenol so that the bullet you put through your skull doesn’t hurt as much; might be just to walk away…into the unknown…confront the uncomfortable nature of what’s out there while holding on to that vision of the ideal that chased you away from what was. All of this until you find something new that, while it may not be perfection, gives you a better understanding of what that may be.

Note: This article was painful to write, because it speaks directly to my current situation. I know that everyone in my life will hate me and think I’m stupid if I quit my job and pursue my dreams, even if my dreams cost nothing to pursue. However, I want, more than my very life, to get out of the situation I am in at work (which will never change no matter how you slice it). As I’m writing this, I know that what I must do is write a plan of how I will get back on my feet by pursuing my dream. One that involves a timeline, a budget and financial projections. I might want to present this timeline to my mother since I’m really hoping that she will house me while I pursue this dream. However, if I have this plan, then maybe I should be prepared for her to say no and present the plan to other friends and/or family who may be willing to house me and supportive of my goals/plan. Writing this post has empowered me to develop this plan (a one month strategy, hopefully) to produce something valuable without depending on others for subsistence. I guess I will try to draw up this plan today and post the redacted version for educational purposes on this blog. I look forward to sharing my exciting yet trepidatious journey with you all. I’ll be sure to let y’all know if I actually follow through…

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A Dream Deferred: Why I Decided to Become a “Lady Again”

I don’t remember when I stopped dreaming, but I remember that I used to dream. I specifically remember a time (pre-high school) when I would lie on a couch in my family’s basement in Washington, DC in the 1990’s and fantasize about married life.

I would dream of the perfect family, a husband who loved me and was generous with hugs and kisses; happy and obedient children and dinners around the dining room table. I’m not sure how common dreams like these were for children growing up in the (then) murder capital of the world. I don’t even know where those dreams came from considering that my family was nothing like that. They must have come from Full House, the Cosby show or any of the other gratuitous amounts of television shows I would watch at every free moment I possessed.

Who am I?

On this blog, I go by “African Femininity”. This is because I hope to blog regularly from an African perspective regarding issues of femininity. This was a natural choice for me, because I am a first generation American-born Nigerian which means I was raised in a household utilizing selective values from both traditions. Obviously, this left me irreparably conflicted about what exactly femininity is supposed to look like. For this reason, on my blogging adventures here on “Ladies Again” I hope to focus a lot on reconciling these cultural, traditional and societal conflicts within myself.

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Why I decided to Become a “Lady Again”.

When my friend “Lilac Blue” introduced me to the idea of this blog after a spirited discussion about the rise of a confusing sort of feminism in today’s society and the loss of the feminine identity, I was immediately sold. After all, I’m a 30 year old, unmarried and chronically single, underemployed “boomerang child” who is waiting for her “career to take off” (i.e dream job, high income, zero debt) before she can begin her “real life” (i.e. married life with white picket fence and 2.5 kids). In short, I feel like a grown a$$ woman whose teenage identity crisis lasted way too long! What better way to “find myself” than to join a blog with that very focus. So, here I am, joining the hoards of millennial 15-minute-fame-seekers in their weapon of choice except, without the promise of recognition due to intentional anonymity.

I believe there are benefits to anonymity on the internet. I think that because of the anonymity of this blog, I will be able to be much more open, raw and uninhibited. For this reason, I believe we will be able to give more of ourselves without as much pretense or pandering. Which (as you will soon see) speaks, to a certain degree, in the direction of my views on femininity.

What does Becoming a “Lady Again” mean to me?

This is a difficult question to answer, honestly. I hope to talk about several different topics on this blog. Sometimes, I intend to do strictly opinion pieces about my views on certain hot topics. However, I also hope to offer a window into some of my personal struggles as well. Such as:

  • Weight loss and image issues
  • Dating
  • Career
  • My Personal Mission to Become a World Traveler and/or Travel (at all)
  • Christianity

Ultimately, though, I guess becoming a “lady again” means, to me, reclaiming womanhood. Now-a-days, I think that anyone who claims to know definitively what womanhood is must either be delusional or selling something. After all, the LGBTQ community along with the universal merger of the international community (i.e. the blurring of cultural border lines) turns asserting any one definition into a highly controversial and even offensive act.

Gone are the days when we could define a woman by the clothes she wore, the role she played in society or even her biological attributes. So, for this reason, I hesitate to expound on what becoming a “lady again” means to me. The answer is in part that I hope to discover the answer through involvement with this blog. However, there is a strong yet dormant part of me that whispers the answer daily to my soul. That part has a definite vision of what I hope to become by the end of this journey which (at this time) I envision ending with me breast-feeding my 2.5th child as my protective husband gives me a loving peck on the neck. Perhaps Lilac hopes her story concludes differently, but this is mine and whether or not you agree, I hope you can respect the fact that this is a conversation worth having out loud. So that at least some of us can rest peacefully in the security of our version of womanhood.

Read Next: Cat Calls are Awesome! When did Compliments become Offensive?

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Reclaiming Femininity

Photos of women

Hello, everyone! This is our first blog post at Ladies Again, and we’re excited to discuss femininity with the world. We originally wanted to name our site Reclaiming Femininity, since that’s the subject we’ll explore on this blog, but the site name was taken by another another covering the same subject. Femininity must be popular all of the sudden! Either way, check out the blog Reclaiming Femininity when you get a chance.

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