Be A Good Girl Friend…

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I’ve been living in L.A. for 3 years and my circle of girl friends is relatively  small in this city. I mean really small as in almost doesn’t even exist . I have made TWO friends since I’ve been here and one of them was in the last month of 2015. Don’t go feeling sorry for me because I’m not sad about it at all. I live in a city people flock to, to make their dreams a reality, so most “friendships” are fickle and very see through. People usually only want to be around you to use you for something or in a few cases when people find out how good you are at your craft they feel threatened as if there isn’t space for the both of you in the industry. Outside of L.A. I have a network of friendships that span countries and time, some going back over 10 years and some are almost a decade younger than I am. Those women are my support system, they uplift me and keep me moving forward even without seeing each other or talking regularly. In today’s fast paced world of social media, reality t.v. and technology, it’s no secret that the ugly side of girl friends is drug the pits of friendship hell and put on display for the entire universe to see. Like many of you, I often see or hear about the latest feuds between reality t.v. “friends”, pseudo-celebs (social media famous) feuding and airing all their “friendship” business on twitter, snapchat or tumblr. Each time, I cringe because in no way, shape or form would I ever do that to my friends and then make up and be friends taking selfies together a few weeks or months later.

So here’s my guide to how to NOT BE LIKE the scripted women you see on T.V. & social media doing it for “likes, follows or re-tweets”. I hope you enjoy and learn something :

(In no particular order)

Rule #1-  Don’t Be Petty….

nene-leakes-kenya-moore-that-grape-juice-entertainment-2014-800-600x335…unless of course you are being petty TOGETHER and not towards each other.  There is absolutely nothing worse for a friendship than being petty or doing so simply because the other person is. It makes you both look immature and could kill things between you too. So before you press send on that rude ass text message…put the phone down and just don’t respond right away or ever. Who knows what she’s in her feelings about and it may not even have anything to do with you. We all have our days, so unless your friend is #teampetty all the time, let her slide sometimes. In the event that she is always #teampetty it’s time to reevaluate your friendship and consider why you’re even still friends with her.

Rule #2 – Be There…and Not Just For the “Turn-Up”

girlfriends8Life is hard out here as a millennial trying to conquer the world and still look cute. We are friends because we need each other on our journeys towards greatness so act like it always. A good girl friend is there for you when you are having a melt down over your latest crush and also there for you when you want to celebrate getting promoted, turning 30 and so on.  Don’t become known as the friend that’s always down to vacation and party but never responds to texts or answers the phone at odd hours when your girl really needs your shoulder to cry on. Her problems might not be a big deal to you because you easily see the solution but a good girl friend is still there to listen and make her friend feel a little better.

Rule #3 – Keep Her Business to Yourself

girlfriends10No matter how hot the tea is, you have no business sharing it, not even with your other friends. Let your girl friend share her news on her own time and not be forced to clarify anything because you opened your big mouth. That is the quickest way to lose trust and create a rift between you two. Even if it’s good news such as an engagement, CLOSE YOUR MOUTH until she lets you know you can share. If you aren’t the type who can keep secrets because of your excitement then its OK to share that with your friends so you won’t get yourself into any unpleasant situations.

Rule #4 – Have Her Back…Always

anigif_mobile_3cb367a8f3b80ac7f9eeb552d73cda3f-3Sometimes you may be around people who don’t care for your friend or maybe just are jealous of her. The best thing for you to do is to always have your friend’s back! Don’t indulge in the gossip because it will make you look 10x worse. You’re supposed to be HER bestie and you’re only adding fuel to the haters fire (and they’ll gossip  about your lack of loyalty). Stay true to your friend and shut down the gossip about her, set them straight about her and remove yourself from the situation and of course you must tell her asap.  My only question when people tell me what someone else said about is, “what did you say about me in my defense”? Don’t be the girl who indulges in all the gossip no matter who it’s about.

Rule #5 – Always be REAL

Living-SingleIf you’re not a fashionista that’s OK. If you’re not a book enthusiast that’s OK. If you really really really love Comic-Con that’s OK. We just want  you to be you…always. Don’t try to morph into your friend and take on all of their likes and passions in life. Be yourself because nobody else can be you. The best friendships are formed when people have a genuine connection and mutual respect for one another. Your good friends can always tell when you’re not being authentic and good friends will always call you out on it so always be YOU. You don’t have to like all the same things or even people to be friends.

Rule #6 Always SLAY 

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I know this rule may sound very vain but think about it….who lets their best friends go out looking anything less than snatched? Even if its a low-key day in tights, tees and sneakers you can pull it together in a cute around the way kind of outfit with some hoops and winged liner and pop of color on the lips. Real friends slay together and never leave one another behind. There’s nothing worse than seeing “friends” out together and one of them looks stunning head to toe while the other one looks like a she just got off the late shift at the 24/7 super center. Come on….don’t let your friends outside looking like that, not even on her worst day. A fresh face and a nice outfit can brighten any day 🙂


 

Of course this list isn’t all inclusive and maybe you don’t even agree but based on my experiences and friendships…these few basic principles are always foundations for long friendships. Remember, it even says in the bible, love your neighbor as you love yourself. So how you treat your friends is really a true reflection of how you feel about yourself.  Feel free to share with me below if you have your own rules for girl friends!


Good friends are like the little voice in your head reimagined in human form


 

 

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What Resolution…

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Every year we all make promises to ourselves about what we plan to do, change or stop doing in the new year. It’s a great concept in theory but…no one actually sticks to it. By March at the latest most people have forgotten about the promises they made to themselves and are already back to the same traits and habits they are comfortable with. For me, resolutions were kind of my thing until the last few years. I changed my life and moved across country and I’ve been dealing with all the stress and emotions that come with living in a new place around new people doing new things. So in essence, my last 2 years have been one big list of things to do, change or stop doing. I didn’t need to make a resolution for that, I simply just decided to improve my life and it didn’t take me waiting until December 31st to do so.

This January as you log on to social media and see your friends and family declare things they hope to change and accomplish do what I do and remind people…you don’t have to wait until January 1st to change anything! Why suffer through something you’re not happy with in July simply because you want to make a statement about deciding to change on December 31st? The whole point of that is silly. If your goal has been to lose weight and eat healthier, you don’t need to keep telling your self that next year will be your year. You can START right now on Dec 29th. Putting off your growth (adult decisions) until a later date is actually doing you more harm than good. That way of thinking is keeping you in an unhealthy pattern of lying to yourself and letting yourself down. Of course there’s a small margin of people who make resolutions and actually stick to them BUT the majority never stick to them. By the end of the year, most people have forgotten what they resolved to do on December 31st of the previous year, so they make the same exact resolution again for the next year.

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Whatever it may be that you want to improve about yourself…JUST DO IT! Stop waiting on some magical clock to strike 12 and transform your carriage back into a pumpkin and give you a fresh start. Every day you open your eyes and inhale LIFE is a fresh start. Don’t let the hype over a calendar trick you into thinking that the next year will be YOUR year or your time. Your time is NOW. Your year of successfully making a commitment and sticking to it begins NOW. Tomorrow isn’t promised for any of us so there’s absolutely no logical point to declaring what you will change next year. There are 365 days in a calendar year and you can take action steps NOW to begin working out, eating better, quit smoking, write a book, travel more, quit your job, move to a new city, etc TODAY. If you start working on your goals NOW you will possibly have something amazing to actually celebrate on December 31st next year. Trust me it’s so much sweeter to end a calendar year in celebration of your accomplishments instead of ending the year with promises to yourself over things you want to accomplish in the future. It’s totally OK to make resolutions on March 1st, May 22nd or Thanksgiving Day. Don’t let a calendar holiday and a clock tell you when it’s time to improve your life.

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Celebrate life in the present, reflect on your past and plan for the future TODAY!


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Surviving the Holidays…

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year and that means visiting family and extended family.  If you’ve moved away from your family, whether 30 mins or 30 hours away you may be looking forward to visiting and catching up with everyone. You may also only be looking forward to maybe seeing your favorite cousin, hanging out with your old neighborhood friends or tasting your grandmother’s delicious desserts. For some, the holidays are not usually a joyous occasion and this is my take on how you should handle the stress, the snide comments and enjoy your Ho, Ho, Holiday!

a-madea-christmas-movie-wallpaper-22As you’re packing, boarding the plane, train or driving, start mentally preparing yourself for the family members that ALWAYS have something shady to say. You know the one aunt who hugs you and then takes a dig at your weight, hair choice, or even your life choices.  You don’t have to be unreasonably rude but you can firmly state that your life decisions don’t have to be approved by the family before making them. You aren’t there for the bullshit so say your one liner, smile and move past her! It’s Christmas and either she can respect you or simply stop talking to you (you want her to stop talking to you ).

xmas-fights-181215-640x457So you’ve recently had a child and most of your family hasn’t been around you and all your glory of motherhood/fatherhood. Naturally, they’ll all want to cuddle, kiss, and feed your child. You may have your own way of doing things and your family may not understand so this may cause tension. It’s OK to tell your family that you don’t feed your child certain things. It’s OK to tell your family that you don’t want them kissing your child. They mean well but you’re concerned about the health of your baby not their feelings. You can express this nicely but expect some attitudes from some people. Honestly they’ve raised kids so they think they know it all. That’s normal but remember that you’re a parent now too and you and your partner know what’s best for your little one. If they won’t stop pestering you start asking questions about their kids.

Nia-Long-Eddie-Cibrian-CoverYou’ve decided to take your new boo home with you for the holidays. This can go really well because you’re so sure everyone will love him/her as much as you do. This bold move could also not go over well with some members of your family who may use this moment to be super shady. Unfortunately some members of your family are judgmental whether it’s over race, sex or age.  Be prepared for those family members who always ask tons of questions. You don’t have to answer and God forbid they try to make you guys have the marriage talk. With that thought in mind don’t take someone home you aren’t serious about. You may have to really defend your relationship and it may be VERY awkward if you aren’t even sure if  they  are planning to stick around at least until next Christmas.

ill-be-home-for-christmasPerhaps you haven’t graduated college yet because you’ve changed your major again. Perhaps you don’t have children yet because you are focusing on your career. Perhaps you didn’t bring a date this Christmas or the one before because you are enjoying the single life. Some members of your family may be really opinionated about your choices. You don’t have to explain anything to anyone about your life BUT just know that the opinions will come. I want to believe that families are so opinionated because they love you and want the best for you. But when they are bombarding you with questions, pointing out your age, reminding you of who’s having kids and getting married and you’re not…it doesn’t feel much like love or like for that matter. Try to keep your cool and remind them of all the AWESOME things  you are doing with your life. Don’t feel pressured to make major life decisions over Christmas break.

The holidays are wonderful but can be stressful with family. If you’re going home for the holidays or are already there, stick to the more positive family members. It’s perfectly fine to only associate and hang out with the people who genuinely have an interest in your life and they support your choices without all the extra shade. As you’re sitting down for dinner have your favorite bottle of wine close by and take a seat in between your two favorite relatives. Make the holiday as joyous and as stress free as you can for yourself. Remember, when Christmas is over,  you will hug everyone goodbye (maybe) and go on with your life as planned until the next family event. I hope you have a wonderful holiday!

 

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XOXO…Ros

 

 

Its OK……to not be OK

o-MY-ANXIOUS-HEART-facebookTrue life….I have an anxiety disorder.

Everyday everyone is going through something whether good or bad, if you’re alive you’re going through something. Most of us try hard to tell ourselves that we’re OK. We try to trick ourselves into believing that if we just “fake it” (happiness) then eventually the unpleasant feelings and thoughts will go away. Eventually sometimes they do go away but they always return because we keep lying to ourselves. Here is something you need to know and you need to tell yourself this…..It is OK to not be OK!

w400-408213PsGR9fY6I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder in 2005. I remember the moment I stopped telling myself that I was OK and I needed to face MYSELF head on. I had been dealing with some intense issues at work and my grandmother had breast cancer.  Everyday started to become increasingly harder to get up and get moving. I kept forcing myself up and in to work because I was “OK”. I kept lying to myself and swallowing my thoughts and feelings as I went about the day. One day I was on a treadmill trying to workout,  and someone got on the treadmill next me and recognized me. All she did was smile at me and say,  “hey how are you?” and I felt a rush of emotion and physical exhaustion overtake me at that very moment. I started to cry uncontrollably and nearly fell off the treadmill (thank God for emergency stop buttons).  Of course I was super embarrassed and my first reaction was to try to pull myself together but I didn’t, I couldn’t. In the days that followed I had more episodes triggered by conversations with any and everyone or my day-to-day schedule. Physically I felt a gripping feeling like someone was squeezing the life out me slowly. I felt like I was drowning with no water in sight. I prayed a lot and cried out to God often but NOTHING was  “fixing” me.

I grew weary of trying to self medicate with over the counter drugs and sometimes drinking my feelings into a black hole of severe intoxication. I found a counselor and made an appointment to talk about what was going on with me. It was there that I learned what  my episodes were actually called, anxiety/panic attacks.  That was back in 2005 and since then I have had other attacks but I have changed my mindset and I allow myself to NOT BE OK.  I know life happens and changes in an instant but I now allow myself to feel my feelings instead of bottling them up and choking them down the instant something feels unpleasant. I know that we all do this because we don’t want to appear weak, sensitive, or crazy but we’re only hurting ourselves.

w400-408213UAVYNDC9I think for so many reasons we all try to pretend that we’re always “fine”, whether its fear of judgement from others or simply not wanting people “in our business” or asking questions. Trust me, I understand because I’m a private person. Yes, even as I share this, I guard my private life and loved ones like the jewels they are. But I’m OK with sharing with you what I sometimes still struggle with because I know I am not alone and you may need to know that too. I learned with therapy, prayer, mediation, yoga and a true desire to be mentally and physically healthy that you do more harm than good to yourself by not allowing yourself time to work through the things floating around in  your head. It’s OK to say to a loved one that you’re not having a good day and you don’t have to know why. It’s OK to cry sometimes and not be able to pinpoint why.  It’s OK to not know how you’re going to “get back to yourself” again. You don’t need to force yourself to be normal because none of us are normal anyway.

Sometimes thoughts and feelings still flood me, just not as often as they use too. They crash into me like a rogue wave and sometimes I feel like I’m suffocating. I don’t try to medicate the thoughts away or drink my thoughts and feelings away anymore. Instead I allow the tears to flow. When I need too, I stay in bed all day and give my body and mind the peace and rest it needs. When I’m ready, I talk too my loved ones about my feelings and thoughts. Sometimes I need to explain to them that it’s deeper than just a bad day because sometimes people don’t get it unless they experience it.  I no longer get upset the rare times when people don’t understand the seriousness of the situation. Mostly, people simply listen and let me talk through it. Although I always hear it,  I don’t need them to tell me everything is going to be OK because I know things always end up OK with time and you need to know that too.

*All photos in this post are by Katie Joy Crawford and you may see more of her work here: www.katiejoycrawford.com

Just because today may seem like the worst day of your life doesn’t mean that tomorrow can’t be the best day of your life….you just have to decide you want to get to tomorrow.


Musically….Speaking

Music DoodleI’m an artist in every sense of the word. I’m passionate, dramatic, sensitive (about my work), fiercely protective of my gift and most importantly a fan of eclectic music.  I started singing listening to my Grannie sing and play her piano. My musical roots are thick and drip with soul. I listen to and love to sing anything from Negro Spirituals, to 70s Disco, to Millennial Trap Music. When I discover a new artist I listen for emotion that pulls me in deeper. I love artist whose music makes me feel deeply.  I love the kind of music that takes me back to memories whether good or bad.  I love the kinds of voices, phrasing, and  melodies that  have the enchanting ability to launch me forward mentally to places and times I haven’t yet experienced. I’d like to share with you and support the artistry of a few talented vocalists whose music I respect and admire. This is what I’m listening to right now…..enjoy the discovery.

(In no particular order)

alex isleyAlex Isley

Fav Song: Set in Stone

Her voice is heavenly. You can hear the gospel influence (but not overkill) in the way she sings adlibs and ends phrases. She knows how to do just enough on a song. Yes, her name is the real deal.

maxine ashley  Maxine Ashley

Fav Song: Perpetual Nights

Her voice sounds familiar even though you haven’t heard it before. Perpetual Nights in a true feel good and chill type of song. Its my favorite “car song” to cruise too along the L.A. streets.

 

 

Lianne-La-HavasLianne La Havas

Fav Songs: Blood (the entire album) & her cover of He Loves Me (in Paris)

Just listen to her music and her voice and you’ll love her or at least respect her craft. She’s jazzy, funky, soulful and she rocks out. You can watch her live on YouTube. She’s on my list of favorite singers…..ever.

 

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Kwami Liv

Fav Song: Pleasure This Pain

I just discovered Kwami Liv a few weeks ago and her latest single featuring Angel Haze is my new obsession. The lows in her voice tied in with hypnotizing lyrics is music gold. I’m certainly looking forward to more from her.

 

 

jadeJade De LaFleur

Fav Songs: Smokin’ in My Car & Freedom

Her voice is heavenly & jazzy on Smokin in My Car. I’m biased here because everyone who hears it thinks I’m singing,  although I’m super flattered, it’s all Jade singing here (well James Fauntleroy is on backgrounds.

AriLennoxblk1Ari Lennox

Fav Song: Bound

Listen to Bound until the last note is played. This woman has serious soul and her range is incredible. Bound is dripping with raw emotion….depending on what kind of day you’re having you may cry. Please release more music!!!

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Emily King

Fav Songs: Aya (intro) & Distance

Emily’s ENTIRE independent catalog of work is impeccable. Check out her latest album The Switch. Watch her live performances on YouTube. She’ll blow you away!

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I hope you take the time to explore these artists on sound cloud, YouTube, spotify or apple music. Some of them are independent artists, some of them are industry veterans, some of them are just starting out and I fully support and believe in each of them. I hope that when I release music someone, well a lot of you support me and share my music!!!! I have so much in store for the next year. If you listen to these artists you may have an idea of the sound I’m drawn towards. For now I write and expand my ear as I become inspired by life’s sights, sounds and feelings.


 Part II of this to follow soon! I’m on the hunt for new sounds to inspire me and provoke thought. 


 

It’s Make Believe…Social Media

I have a love hate relationship with social media.

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I love it because I have genuinely networked and met people I would have never been connected to otherwise. I hate it because it gives a false sense of everything to everyone using it. I have a confession, I used to be a social media addict. I used to have it bad and it started to interfere with my daily life. I wasn’t even aware until my boyfriend forced me to pay attention to my habits over a year ago. I also must confess that I used to compare and contrast my life, myself and my  belongings to everything I saw on social media. I was making myself sad, angry, worried, stressed out and overall unhappy and slowing down my own progress over people, places and things that were completely intangible to me. I  know it’s absolutely crazy but I had to log off and in one case completely delete my account to get back to the center of what’s important in real life….in my real life. NO this isn’t a blog about my accomplishments and where I’ve traveled but it is a blog about how looking at something so irrelevant like a photo of someone else will have you questioning if you’re even on the right track in life.

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My self-esteem is great. I have highs and lows just like the next person but overall I’m pretty good on most days. On a bad day, social media is NOT THE PLACE TO BE! I genuinely enjoy the success stories of entrepreneurs who’ve built their brands from the bottom and are simply sharing their day-to-day endeavors on social media. Those accounts motivate me when my own path as an entrepreneur is rough. I appreciate the advice many business leaders, financial advisers and motivational speakers offer on a daily basis. I even love the FREE fashion tips and hair styles I find when I’m stuck in a rut at the hair salon or when I need to dress for an event. Its like having a free fashion stylist or personal shopper in many of the detailed accounts I’ve found. The accounts I don’t enjoy as much are the ones that have given me anxiety and self-doubt. You know the girls who take perfect selfies with perfect makeup, perfect hair at any time of day, perfect bodies in the most amazing dresses, with a Birkin or Chanel bag casually draped over the chair in the background. You know the girls who seemingly go everywhere and do everything in body-con dresses, two piece sets, designer heels or just full-blown red carpet ready all the time and all of their pictures are editorial HD quality.  All of their photos suggested how great life is poolside, sea side, court-side, sitting pretty in private jets or nestled comfortably behind the wheel of an expensive car that costs more than my parents  first home.

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Those kinds of pictures and those accounts used to keep me scrolling on tumblr and Instagram for hours on end, never double tapping just cyber stalking.

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Sigh….I’m know I’m not alone here but I realized I had a problem when I developed some sort of emotional opinion about these women whom I didn’t even know. It’s common, it’s reasonable and it’s unhealthy when YOU start to question the positive path you’re on. One day I literally had a laugh out loud moment when I took a selfie and I hated the lighting so I just went into an app and changed it. It was like a light bulb went off and I realized something, social media is an entirely made up world. You can be whomever you want. You can look like whomever you want. You can say whatever you want and no one will really be the wiser. The people who really know and love you won’t “out” you online if that isn’t your real life or what you truly look like, so you’re safe to pretend online. All of the people we envy, either for their body, their money, or their lifestyle may or may not truly have those things. People borrow clothes, pose in their friends houses and cars and simply Photoshop themselves if they want too.

largeI’ve known a few people with a few hundred thousand followers on social media. Only two of them truly have the money, fame, credentials, material wealth or even the means to have the things they showcase in the life they portray online. One of the people I’ve met online, I hung out with a few times before finally realizing that they were simply crafty at creating and branding their online image. This late 20s person still lives with her parents in a not so nice area. She person doesn’t drive a nice car but she has lots of material possessions, dresses well and is always jetting off to an exotic location. I don’t know the details of how she gets money or how she pays for anything but I can see for myself that people only show you, the viewer, what they want you to see online. Nobody is going to show you their dirty house after not feeling like cleaning up for a week. Nobody is going to show you what their body really looks like after not working out and eating takeout food for a month is like. You’ll only always see the perfectly snatched, blended, cut, curled and slayed to perfection version of everyone on social media. Don’t ever doubt that you are doing something wrong in life or not focused on the right “hustle” because your follower count isn’t that high and nobody is sliding in your DMs. Stay focused on your goals.  Stay on your path. If all else fails….log off!


It’s ok to be motivated by someone else’s success just don’t make it your blueprint without reading their fine print.


Girl Bye…

In light of everything heavy in the air I decided to write a “light” post on a somewhat serious topic…enjoy!

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There was once a time when you were once a friend and a confidant. Maybe you know what happened. Maybe you don’t know what happened but one day you realized that you and  your BFF were no longer talking, texting or connected on social media and you weren’t really bothered by it….GASP!! Did you just break up? That happened to me with exactly 2 people, 1 male and 1 female friend. I’ve had both of these friends for years and we just sort of fell a part with no argument or bad feelings.  I chalked it up to us just growing in different directions and there’s no love lost on either part. Most times people aren’t meant to be in your life forever, just a season of time to get you through a phase and then you GROW. But that’s the easy BFF breakup. If I see those people along the path of life, I’ll speak, hug, small talk and keep it moving with a smile.

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Then there are other people….the people whom as you look back you see all the red flags and reasons why you probably should’ve never trusted them, never talked to them, never let them crash at your place, never invited them to kick it that one time, never introduced them to the homies, never let your kid play with their kid, never shared your hopes and dreams with them just plain damn NEVER!  We all have at least one person that we swear that if we ever see them again, we are fucking them up on sight or at least cursing them out and it doesn’t matter how much time has passed. They still deserve it! You were there for them, probably more than once and they ultimately shitted on you. So they can never be your friend again in this life or the next.

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Then there’s the friend that started out really cool. You two got along super well. He/She had so much in common with you that it was kind of weird at times. You like the same places, same music, same foods, same tastes in men/women. Then you noticed they started dressing more like you when you’d go out together. They started going to your barber or hair stylist. You got box braids, she got box braids. You got an Usher Mohawk, he got the Usher Mohawk. You bought a A6, he started test driving A8’s. Then it hit you…this person is trying to be YOU! You don’t hate them because they’re cool, you just had to limit the time y’all spent together and start telling them things AFTER the fact to prevent their fraudulent ass behavior.

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This is why you must have a huge network and a small circle because sometimes no matter the sex  you have to say #GIRLBYE!