Iโ€™m Addicted to Instagram!

*City Girls voice:* “Period!”

[In walks Rod Serling]

If you’re up at 3am wandering down the rabbit hole into the weird part of YouTube, you may find yourself watching a “documentary”. This documentary will at some point, if conspiratorial enough, suggest that the world you know is a simulation or otherwise unreal. It’ll point to some dystopian future where every corner is lit up with Times Square-esque billboards and advertisements are beamed directly onto your retina. ๐Ÿ›ธ ๐Ÿ‘ฝ

Well, we’re not so far off. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธ

Times Square is in our phones. Always beeping, always on, always accessible. I know, Despite how I sound, I own zero cats. ๐Ÿˆ ๐Ÿฑ

My Matrix is Instagram. It has me firmly by the spinal cord pumping #FOMO and #fitspo directly into my brain. It simultaneously connects and isolates me. It binds us with tangible proof of our shared experiences while celebrating our differences in culture and cause; all the while making us clones. ๐Ÿ“ 

I know these things. Deep in my big thinky brain I know this, and I still let it get me. ๐Ÿ“ฑ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿพ๐Ÿง  I’m worse off than my preteen sister! I grew up with a landline and PBS. Bob Ross was my therapy! How did this happen to me!?

How I know I’m an addict…

1. I’m willfully on the app all the time. I use it to fill my downtime.

2. My thumb can find and open the app subconsciously. Sometimes first thing in the morning; unfortunately setting the tone for a frazzled and preoccupied day.

โฐ ๐Ÿ“ฑ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ’จ instead of ๐Ÿง˜๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ“ฟ โœŒ๐Ÿพ

3. The number of accounts I follow is disproportionate to the number that follow me. Not that I track it for influence or money, but it shows me that I primarily consume media despite my talent and desire to create it.

4. I label everything #goals. What then must I think of my life if I aspire so hard to take pages from other people’s books? Instagram is a perpetual motion machine cranking out envy and comparison.

5. I am noticeably preoccupied. You know you have a problem when you are constantly stashing your phone. I’m afraid it’s affecting my productivity and ability to have quiet moments with others. Simple intimacy. ๐Ÿ™…๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธ

They say acceptance and admission come first.

In the spirit of coming clean, I’ll make a few more admissions. I’m also addicted to sugar, I binge watch, and I’m terminally tardy. Please send help. ๐Ÿšจ๐Ÿš‘

What I’m doing to get clean…

1. 9-5 fast. During the working day I delete Instagram. The temptation gets real around lunch time, but it feels good to be productive. I’ve also been purging. I unfollow the accounts I can’t see benefiting me. Ones that me feel like I’m not enough.

2. Screen Time Limit. This new iPhone function tells you exactly how much time you spend BS-ing, and you can set a limit for app accessibility.

โš ๏ธ Warning! โš ๏ธ It will cut you off mid-post, mid-comment, mid-like. It’s abrupt and effective, but not without temptation. You can delay and essentially press snooze on the limit for an additional 15 minutes, or for the rest of the day. AVOID SNOOZE!

3. “Productivity Blocks”. Set periods of time devoted to getting ๐Ÿคฌ done! At the end I can reward myself with a teeny bump of that good sweet social media. *snorts*

I’m slowly working on it. Choosing to redirect my energies. Sometimes I need reminding. Sometimes I slip. But more than anything I want to be creating moments worth documenting. But I won’t let chasing the perfect lighting take priority. I’ll actually reach out to people. I’ll work at my goals.

However, I will never stop taking pictures of delicious food. Never.

But y’all accept me.

Free yourselves. Find your hang ups, name them, and stare them down.

Update 11/8/18

Here’s an additional resource in the form of a podcast “Therapy for Black Girls” … or any colored persons…

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/therapy-for-black-girls/id1223803641?mt=2&i=1000417841627

Until later,

Update: 1/3/19

I’ve kept up with the 9-5 fast, but unfortunately that now includes Twitter; my paltry drug of second-choice. Thankfully, Snapchat is so unappealing that it has not yet hooked my attention.

I’ve also added an off-the-grid day. Usually a Saturday, most of which I spend with a dead phone. Guiltlessly binge watching on some other device, while washing/folding laundry or cleaning my bathroom.

Plot twist: you can both be a recluse, and a productive young person. Who’d have thunk!?

The holidays were rough. Tucked in at home desperatelyburying yo avoid the “What would you be doing if you were in Miami?” conversations. I spent so much time glued to my screen that I had to take whole naps to rest my eyes. Entire siestas to counteract the phone fiestas! I’m am torn between hiding away from, and actively participating in, my own life. A conundrum.

Caught up in the year-end twilight zone of reflection, aspiration, and regret, I spent what felt like eons looking over my accounts.

Why didn’t I post more? Why don’t I post more? Write more? Travel more? Why isn’t my Instagram more cohesively branded? My messaging more consistent? Why hasn’t my blog taken off? What aren’t I so flawlessly fleek celebrating the New Year in a distant locale?

The comparison monster stuffed my stocking with envy.

On an on. Please help! It’s an ongoing battle: getting clean.

2019: Year of Compatibility

Today marks two weeks of travel into the new year. Exactly fourteen days of reflection, goal-setting, and a lot of backsliding. I’m digging in: committing to making my one and only life work. In the last few weeks I kept hearing a word come up in conversations, in books, on screens. My new theme.

Last year…

2018, for me, was defined by a particular word. A running theme that spanned 365 days of challenging, irritating, and patience-building circumstances.

That word was resilience.

From relationship woes to impending unemployment. From seeking to securing to adjusting to a new and more exciting job.

From stress-induced fender-bender to a car accident that totaled my baby Harriet (Tubman because she freed me). Crying for months on the phone with – and in the offices of – unaccommodating car catastrophe-related personnel.

I had to tough it out. Find stores of resilience in myself because no matter how inconvenient and painful, ultimately not one in that series of unfortunate events, would kill me.

There’s something both empowering and disheartening in knowing that you can survive more. In knowing that you can -and one day will have to- be even stronger still. To my genuine dismay I’d have to make it, and keep making it until I encounter something that actually could!

2018 brought me my first major loan/credit debt-builder while simultaneously rewarding me for my fastidious and measured money management. That gave me the chance to buy a new newish new-to-me car without a co-sign.

2018 brought me a new apartment and a supportive and enjoyable new roomate. Desperation forced our hands, and leases loomed, but a great new friendship formed with each passing month.

Finally, 2018 brought me a new job and plenty of opportunities to learn more about coworker relationships, leadership, and the bureaucratic entities that govern worky-desky-sitty jobs. I’m learning to detect and define my red flags: in romance, in myself, and in my past.

This Year…

In all that I experienced last year, the greatest lesson, and this year’s word, is compatibility. Too many times I’ve forced interactions, and ignored red flags. I’ve wanted things and people more than I’ve wanted peace and flow. I’ve sacrificed compatibility thinking it would yield results in the long run while suffering daily. Living in-authentically. Incompatibly.

I’m committing myself to effortlessness. No matter how contradictory that sounds. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธ I’m working everyday to create a free-flowing life. Disciplining my time and my life to allow in the types of opportunities that I want to experience and take advantage of. If I can nail down my habits, I will have the discernment necessary to adjudicate over delicious new experiences with the time and preparation to appreciate them. What I’ll need is discipline.

Plot twist: Discipline is this cool new form of self-care where you follow a schedule, prompt yourself, and do things that benefit your life. Get this, if you push through your reluctance, and fatigue and keep to your word, you actually see your life improve! Crazy, right!?

My new Mantra. It gets me out of bed. Out of the car for work. Into the gym despite this unusual cold snap. I mumble it to myself in traffic, and as I set my alarms. “Discipline is love. Discipline is love. Discipline is love.” In the shower when my mental to-do list at work gets disparagingly long, “Discipline is love.”

Discipline is the new hygge. Discipline is the new pilates, hot yoga, and cycling combined. For the last two weeks I have set a schedule for myself and begun sleeping at a certain time, setting particular days to work out or study for class. I’ve taken specific steps to make myself ready and remove excuses.


Shoutout to @Amaa_Official on Twitter for Inception inseminating my mind!

Ways that I’ve been utilizing discipline to increase compatibility in 2019:

  • I speak immediately on the things causing me anxiety and don’t murder myself by over thinking the outcomes and avoiding difficult conversations
  • I put my clothes out the night before AND check the weather
  • I schedule my workouts and don’t stress if I miss one. I just resume immediately at the next scheduled opportunity
  • I meal prep to save money, keep on diet, and feel like a grown up
  • I try to do things at the same times each day to create routine and run on muscle memory
  • I can spend time with friends and family more often if I make them shorter outings. (for instance, I can say yes to a party without anxiety because I know be there for no more than 120 minutes)
  • I let my phone die on Saturday mornings, and don’t power up again until the evening. A whole day off the grid to work on my blog, homework, connect to loved ones, work out, get domestic, or just relax
  • I refuse to be inhabited by guilt so I leave work at a reasonable time and wake up early to recap before I sit at my desk. No more unfocused late nights churning out half-assed results from a foggy anxious brain drain

I want to be calling things, relationships, experiences, and opportunities toward me. I want to create a space where growth, love, and contentment are welcomed. I want to have room for change, and be the person with the mindset to make use of that change. Discipline is love. Love for me, for my friends and family, love for my readers, and the individuals I serve. I want to love my life more, so I need to discipline it.

Discipline is love.

Old Yearโ€™s Resolutions ๐Ÿฅ‚๐ŸŽ†

I’m sure we’re all looking forward to another journey around the sun; visualizing our new bodies ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธ, soon-to-be bank accounts ๐Ÿ’ต, and super fulfilling love lives ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿง”๐Ÿพ.

In anticipation for the new year, it would seem that we are trained to accentuate the positives. We want to frame our experiences and shape our personal narratives positively in the hopes of making them so.

In this world somethings must die in order to give rise to what must follow. So that others might live, and take their rightful place and priority in your life.

tenor

Some habits, trips, and relationships can’t be manifested until their predecessors are trampled by a herd of wildebeest. (It was 1994, and it’s still too soon ๐Ÿ˜”๐Ÿคญ)

You can’t ghost ๐Ÿ‘ป your real-life problems in favor of an idealized life that resets on January 1st. You can’t leave your lingering family/relationship issues on read or deactivate your adulthood account. That’s unfortunately not how this works. I tried.

Didn’t work. Before you initiate the sweeping changes you have planned for 2018 2019, what are some small changes you can make today? This year?

A lil’ motivation to complete your Old Year’s Resolutions, and step bravely into the unknown.

And finally, I wanna ask you all a question. Inspired by the folks at Shine. “A Daily text to help you thrive.”

Take this poll!

Roze Goes … luv ya!

Roze Goes Footer

TIRED of Being Broke: No Money, Mo Problems!

Image courtesy of skiptothis.com

[sings Al Green-ly at top of lungs]

“I’m so tired of being broke,

I can’t pay this on my own,

Won’t you help me Mom,

Just as soon as you can!?”

I’m sitting on another curb tearfully waiting for a tow truck; the second one this week.

Lyfting across Miami costs me about a month’s worth of gas, and my lil red hooptie Harriet is no closer to being fixed.

I try to hide my face from the residents of the overpass under which I overheated. We are now essentially in the same water-free boat.

Update: Bought a new car in August. Still broke though ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธ Car buying is an emotional ๐ŸŽข

I get it. I’m a quasi-recent grad. I’m young. I “should” be broke. It’s expected. I devoted my first few years after graduation to service, and the non profit sector is so named for a reason. Got it.

Big booty BUT though … now I’m settled in another full time, fully benefited, office based, salaried job with all the assurances and insurances that I previously coveted, and I’m still broke. Still proportionately the same amount of broke.

Brick. Brack. Broke. ๐Ÿ’†๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜’๐Ÿ™ƒ

I don’t have to bread you in the many work, income, and finance woes that face the average millennial. You know then well.

1. We’re living at home longer which means we buy homes later.

2. We are SADDLED with unprecedented educational debt.

3. We inherited an awesome economy.

4. Will invariably end up working deep into our golden years.

Ultimately it all just feels like…

A memoir.

Chapter 1.

Where’s my mom now with her threats to take me out of this world she so lustfully brought me into!?

I’m tired, boss.

Plus insurance still costs you money and I don’t understand why I’m paying twice to not be sick!

Every-flipping-thing! Bills, insurance, loans, water, the waves that travel through Al Gore’s Internet, breathing, eating animals, not eating animals, education, avocados, air, everything.

Do these headliner tidbits sound familiar?

1. “You should have three months of bills (not just rent) saved up!”

3. How many emergencies can you fund?

Cake cannot be both eaten and possessed simultaneously. The same quantity of money cannot be both saved and spent. It’s not a question of how much I spend, or how aggressively I budget.

I don’t make enough. Thats it.

The rent at my new apartment is $75 less expensive. Our utilities are lower. I eat out less often than ever. And just as I might see addendums to my pockets, I have had 3 emergencies since August. There goes my profit margin.

Credit card balance hovers like a David Blane stunt: inscrutable and racially ambiguous.

{enters stage left} … the side hustle. Which thus far feels more like an internship.

But…

How are y’all escaping the clutches of poverty? Glucose guardians?

Email me!

Happy Lociversary! ๐Ÿ’‡๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ”’๐ŸŽ‚

You’re one year old, Ru. Happy Birthday!๐ŸŽ‚๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽˆ ๐Ÿพ ๐Ÿฅ‚

{whispers} Ru, short for Unruly, is the name of the mane formerly known as Afrobella.

From Bella To Ru. ๐Ÿ—ฃ to @trini4true on IG!

How does it feel?! Stretching long and strong from crown to soul. From polished and impermanent, to rough and ready. Still a few lumps and bumps, but better for the wear(er). A masterpiece mastering peace.

Day 1! The journey begins!

It would be easy to say the my loc journey has been a mission of internal growth made manifest externally. It would be. It isn’t.

I have dermatitis… so thereโ€™s that. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜’๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธ

It would be easy to say that through the baby wick, swelling, and generally FUGLY stages it was easy to envision them; fully realized and long AF. It would be. It isn’t.

On one hand, curls last forever! … ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ™„ I have to wash them out!

It would be easy to say that I feel more beautiful now than ever before, and my overall self esteem has been greatly enhanced. It would be. It isn’t. It hasn’t been easy. To navigate this shape-shifting adult body, redevelop my reemerging sense of style, and address a perceived increased in pressure to assume the accoutrements of โœŒ๐ŸพprofessionalismโœŒ๐Ÿพ

Sometimes I protest retwistsโœŠ๐Ÿพ

Before

After

Today

In a little more than a year I’ve grown an appreciation for the quirky, inside-out sort of beauty that I am. I spend less time getting ready… on my hair.

I feel a sort of badass empowerment knowing that bigotry, so mobilized by tax payer dollars, and cushioned comfortably in the bosom of bureaucracy, has seen fit to force itself into our salons and places of business. That my hair, our hair, has once again come under laser-focused scrutiny in the form of a Supreme Court ruling. ๐Ÿ‘ป๐Ÿšจ๐Ÿ—‚๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ—ณ๐Ÿ“ฐ

I’m a cocktail of a sort.

๐ŸธA generous helping of pride and natural beauty

๐ŸธA spritz of oils and aloe gel

๐Ÿธ A heavy-handed pour internalized white supremacy

๐Ÿธ A sprig of IDGAF for garnish

You’re one year wiser, thicker, longer, and stronger. Here’s to you! ๐Ÿฅ‚๐Ÿพ

I’m thinking about turning this into a series. What would you like to see first?

๐Ÿ’๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธLocs vs Dreds

๐Ÿ’๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธLiving with Locs & Dermatitis

๐Ÿ’๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธHow I Manage My Locs Solo

๐Ÿ’๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธFreeforn vs “Fashion Dreds”

Reply in the comments.

Love you, Ru!

4 Lessons Adulting Has Taught Me!

Adulting. Adulteration. Grownup-ism. Maturiosity.

On this quest to adequately love myself, I have realized quite a few truths. Peculiar truths regarding the accouterments of adulthood.

  1. Sometimes, adulthood is just making bad decisions (or ones that just feel bad) and sticking with them. Whether it’s seeing out a terrible job, paying all your bills early and leaving yourself nothing to live on, or eating lackluster Pinterest salads for the rest of the week. Sometimes you just have to suck it up to achieve your goal: making money, becoming debt-free, or leading a healthier lifestyle.
  2. Traffic is the manifestation of Satan. It may be difficult to see examples of God in our lives, but we can all agree that traffic, particularly the traffic on the way to work, is the hand of Lucifer in action.f7e128c37eb39f7e6bd918c2fa16eebf
  3. College throws you together with like-minded and like-scheduled youngsters. It also tears those bonds asunder when cap and gown are in hand. Now, out here in the “real world”, it requires effort [gags]. In light of this I have gone places, talked to strangers, and been added to TWO never-not-notifying group chats full of lively young persons. It is… fun?
  4. You will never just be “good”. You can never coast. You’re never comfortable. I will always want more or be just a little dissatisfied. There’s always more schooling to be had, and someone younger or seemingly more qualified. But you will always have the upper hand, so long as you are you. Free yourself of the need to keep up with the imaginary Jones’ {plot twist: they’re having an affair} or sustain appearances, just work hard and do your best. (Like Grandma taught me)

And finally…

Peep the link to my Pinterest board about Adulting, ย hope you find it helpful! Also, this Buzzfeed post is my life!

Roze Goes

All the Single (White) Ladies! ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ’โ€โ™€๏ธ

I’m not easily persuaded. My fingers are almost completely OFF the pulse of the zeitgeist. I have little-to-no idea what the young people like, or “what’s hot in these streets”. Thusly, I don’t often buy into hype. I just finished watching Season 2, Ep. 3 of Game of Thrones!

How to Be Single

The trailer didn’t sell me initially. The same ole trope: a young white woman longing to find herself embarks on an “I don’t need a man” journey of self-discovery in the big city. ย  What I expected was a New Girl/Sex In the City mash-up. I was pleasantly disappointed. Although virtually devoid of POC (except where they were offered up like optional side sauces in miniature tasting bowls; separate, other, and in quantities too little to appreciate), this white-chick flick hit pretty close to home.

A young woman, comfortable yet discontent in a relationship sets out to find out who she is. I am everyday working on the same. Some of the truths she stumbles up on are actually applicable.

  1. You only get a few moments of real self-knowledge when you’re not tied up in the accouterments of relationships.
  2. Young women, under the immense pressure and seemingly ultimate goal of relationship bliss and marriage, fall easily, and almost imperceptibly, into men’s “d!&k sand”; losing ourselves in the process.
  3. Openness and ownership of your body and the decisions you choose to make with it. Everything you do, makes you everything you are, and shame/guilt are nothing you should ever be or consider yourself.
  4. Finally, I UGLY LAUGHED all throughout this movie. I felt it deep in me. The little moments of insecurity that sometimes remind you of how hard you work not to feel empty. The value of friends. I was reminded of just how much self-acceptance is a ย rocky, rewarding, and never-ending journey. Gotta work at being the youย you want!

Lady Dynamite

I love alternative humor and lately the universe has been sending a bunch of really powerful non-traditional roles played by actresses that’s aren’t quite so mainstream. They’re older, and not what others may consider classically beautiful. More importantly, they play characters that push social commentary, have internal struggles, and are genuinely working to be better people. They have more than just man troubles, and aren’t encumbered with need to be bashful, comedically awkward, or cutely quirky. (I’m talking about you Zoe Deschanel!)

Spy


Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidtย 


Here’s what bums me out. That they’re aren’t more women of color in roles like this. Perhaps we’re too busy unpacking colonialism, defending the idea that Black Lives do in fact Matter, or bathing our children with bottled water. Maybe we’re not journeying to discover ourselves because our roles were written for us hundreds of years before were were born. Maybe they’re waiting for me to write their voices.

Roze Goes
… To a dark (skinned) place