It takes one to know one

“What about your friends, will they stand their ground, will they let you down, again? What about your friends, are they gonna be lowdown, will they ever be around, or will they turn their backs on you?”TLC

When we’re kids and into our teens our friends were EVERYTHING. We made them top priority, above our parents, siblings, and sometimes even relationships.  When the going gets tough, or you get hurt, your friends were ALWAYS there to help pick up the pieces.  Male and females alike banding around one of their own after a disappointment, break up or bad day: A family of friends to laugh, cry, and binge eat with. Sometimes those friends end up being your prom date, a bridesmaid in your wedding, or even your future spouse.

Growing up I had that kind of friend group. From grammar school through high school, a group of boys and girls who literally grew up together. A few fell in love and got married,  and are married to this day. I ended up moving away but still am in contact with them from time to time. Watching as their children grow up, and am reminded of the trouble we’d get into. Because of that, our children being raised by much stricter parents than we had. We were bad and got away with it. Our kids try but don’t.

As we grow older our road narrows, life takes up time which leaves less time to cultivate new friendships.  Soon, we realize that most of our friends are people we work with or the half of the other couples that we socialize with. We might not even have much in common with these “friends” but that kinda how adulting goes. And then if the relationship goes south so do many of the friends…

I don’t have many friends. Over the years I have had people weave in and out of my life who have definitely been someone I could consider a friend. But since we meet most of our friends at work,  and I work at a gym, most of my friends are my students. And they tend to float in my life and right back out depending on what’s going on in their “real life”. The dynamic of that friendship can get tricky too sometimes because boundaries must be set. And often feelings get hurt (usually mine).

Funny thing is, I have a lot of room in my life for friends. I’d like to have more friends. But I don’t actively seek them just like I am not actively seeking a man. So, I have only a handful. I try to cultivate the friendships I do have because I understand that if you want to have friends you must BE a friend. So I reach out. I text first. I call. I “check in”. I do my best to make sure that my friends know that I care about them and am here for them. Here is the sad part. I rarely get the same attention from them. To be fair most of my friends are married and they all definately have lives to live, but with the exception of 2 maybe 3 people, I am always the first one to reach out.  Sometimes I feel like I am a burden or too needy. Or that maybe I value our friendship more than they do.

Over the years I have had best friends that I’ve been thick as thieves with. Being there for each other no matter what. Ride or die. Vacationing together. Raising our kids together. Spending Holidays and birthdays together. Then slowly one by one they have all chosen to remove themselves from my life. Now, thats a mind fuck. Undertstanding why a man breaks up with you is one thing, but being dumped by your bestie? It really sucks.

And its happened more that once, so I’d be a fool not to think that I had something to do with it…. Wait, this is turning into a pity party…. lets change lanes. This is getting a little too raw for a Thursday night.

What I do want to do is honor the friendships that I do have in these few women. One in particular who ALWAYS checks in on me. Always answeres the phone when I call, and always has my back. We might not spend our weekends shopping together or having lunch but this woman is a true true friend. And I appreciate that. I know I don’t say it enough, no one does, but to my friends, I do love and value you.

So now I’d like to encourage you to be the first one to text your friend. Call to make sure they are ok, and always support and love unconditionally. Love is infinite. You can’t give it all away; so love freely. I bet you will put a smile on someone’s face and make them feel as special as you know they are. Even if it’s for just a minute. Open yourself up and be a friend…. the return is always worth it.

Friends forever…A.K.

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The Bitch is back

Anxiety: an emotion characterized by an unpleasant state of inner turmoil, often accompanied by nervous behavior such as pacing back and forth, stomach pains, and constant worrying.

No, I’m not the bitch, (in this particular situation anyway) my anxiety is. I haven’t blogged for a week and I have no real reason why… that gives me anxiety. My daughter is with her father and his family this weekend… that gives me anxiety. And in less than a week I get to FINALLY see my all time favorite hip-hop musicians and performers The Carters (Beyonce’ and Jay-Z) and that gives me massive anxiety.

Why? it’s hard to explain if you don’t experience it yourself. And if you don’t, be grateful, I wouldn’t wish this feeling on my worst enemy.

I can’t remember when it even started for me. Somedays nothing bothers me, others I literally feel like crawling out of my skin…. wanting to be anyone else. Anywhere else.

Ironically, my job requires me to open up a part of me to hundreds of people every week. Sometimes I could give a shit about what they think of me. Others, I am so in my head about what they do think I can barely breathe.

I started having panic attacks when my daughter was young. Being addicted to cocaine certainly didn’t help, but the feeling of a panic attack is real. I felt like I was truly going to die. In addition to the mental aspect of it, your body follows suit. Your heart starts racing, your adrenaline goes into overdrive and which causes nausea and hyperventilation. Chemicals are released into your bloodstream that can have long-term effects. They are a blast. What sucks the most is they are impossible to predict and unfortunately you just have to ride them out. Once you have one,  they often come frequently. But I am happy to say it has been a while since I’ve been hit with one.

Then there is social anxiety…… that’s the real bitch. This type of anxiety is debilitating. Some people suffer from it so intensely that they are unable to leave their homes,  preventing them from truly living their life. Home is comfortable. Safe.

I just read that singer Kehlani suffers from agoraphobia. She reached out on Twitter that she had finally left her house after 3 weeks. The outpour of support and encouragement touched me. It also made me realize that so many people feel the same way only they are ashamed to admit it.

“Its okay not to be okay. To dive into your pain. And its alright not to be alright. To search for your light. And its all good not be all good. To feel like you shouldn’t have to feel any better”

“I have my days when I am upside-down, Topsy-turvey. I have my days when I am not myself, and I’m not worried. I have my nights when I am not anxious to wake up and feel any better”

“I don’t know nobody who thinks they’re somebody 24/7. I don’t know nobody who smiles at everyone 24/7. You gotta lose you just a little. Lose your cool just a little. I won’t judge you even a little, I know your sick of it”-Kehlani 24/7

My advice: Live in your truth, talk about your fears. Find someone who understands you and reach out to them when you are struggling. It’s okay, YOU are okay.

As for me….. I am going to live it up and have the time of my life at the Carters. I will not allow this condition to stop me from laughing and dancing and acting a fool. I know I will be okay because I have my girls by my side and I have nothing to be afraid of… and I get to see BEYONCE!!!!

Stay tuned for the post-concert blog…… I’m sure it will be a good one.

In truth and freedom…. A.K.

Karmastition

Let me preface this by saying that I have been teaching Group Exercise classes for over 26 years (don’t do the math. I’m old). Teaching at least 15-20 classes a week for that many years and over 17 locations, I’ve met a lot of people… and rarely do I forget a face…….

A few nights ago I was teaching at a local gym and a man was in my class who I recognized from years ago. Different gym, 45 miles away but this guys faced was buried in my memory. Why? because I had a crush on him for it seems like forever. So did most of my friends and I don’t think he even looked twice at me. Ever. After class, I approached him thinking for sure I’d jog his memory and said: “Hi, I remember you from the Glendora club”. His face drew a blank, I told him my name… still nothing. I walked away from the conversation disappointed but then laughed to myself as I remembered a similar situation a few years back……..

“What goes around comes around, what goes up must come down. Now, who’s crying desiring to come back to me”

Three years ago I was in the middle of teaching a cycle class. A middle-aged gentleman with grey hair accompanied by a young girl who was maybe 20 came into my class late and sat to my left (the room was set up horseshoe style so they were looking right at me). As the class progressed I felt his eyes on me every time I turned to look at him. He has this shit eating grin on his face and the look in his eye like he had seen me naked. Clearly, I was uncomfortable and gave him one of my “WHAT?!” looks but I could still feel his eyes burning through my body.

After class, the couple approached me. He spoke to me as if we were old friends telling me how he had been looking for me over the past few years and was so happy to see me. (I still have NO CLUE who this guy is). Then the girl started in, “he has told me so much about you, I am so happy to finally meet you, you are as beautiful as he described blah blah blah”. Now I’m totally lost and am absolutely sure they have me confused with someone else.

So I say, “I’m sorry, I must have forgotten your name” thinking it will spark some type of memory of this guy.”He replies it, ME Joe! Still nothing, So I say, “Ya, I still don’t follow”…. and he looks at me with surprise…..”We dated for over a year!!!”

Oh.

Ok, in my defense, “dating” is putting it loosely, but still, there is NO way this old man with grey hair is the Joe that I recall having a mostly sexual relationship in my 20’s. So I turn to the girl and say, oh, are you his daughter? Fair question considering he LOOKS like he is in his mid 40’s and why else would he want me to meet her? “No, I’m his girlfriend she says with a giggle”.

Seriously??????

So lets back up a little, Joe and I went to high school together and reconnected in our mid-twenties. The Joe I “dated” had long dark curly hair (mid-90’s… it was hot). Was in a rock band and we had chemistry that was off the charts. I was single AND worked at a gym all through my twenties so no harm no foul and there were quite a few “Joe’s” over the years. I’m not even sure how things ended but apparently, our relationship meant a lot more to him than it did to me.

Fast forward 20 years and in my mind, I still am in my mid-20’s, and honestly have aged well due to a healthy lifestyle and botox/ fillers (just being real). Joe on the other hand had cut off the sexy mane and let his hair go completely grey. I stood dumbfounded that this was the same guy.

Luckily, I had another class to go teach so I excused myself and got the hell out of there. I left Joe with his bruised ego and infant girlfriend and never looked back.

To be honest, I was slightly traumatized (for like 10min) after our one and only meeting. But can you imagine poor Joe? A whole year of booty calls and I honestly didn’t remember, guess we didn’t have that great of chemistry after all.

Word of wisdom: Yea I’ve got nothing. This was just one of my many stories that are true, sometimes sad, and always a little funny.

“What goes around comes around, what goes up must come down. Its called Karma, baby and it goes around”-Karmastition-A Keys

Keepin’ it real…A.K.

 

 

The wait

“N-now th- that don’t kill me, Can only make me stronger. I need you to hurry up now ’cause I can’t wait much longer. I know I got to be right now.  Cause I can’t get much wronger. Man, I’ve been waiting all night now. That’s how long I’ve been on ya..I need you right now. Harder, better, faster, stronger….”

“But I know God put YOU in front of me, so how the hell could you front On me. There are thousands of you’s there’s only one of me. I’m Trippin I’m caught up in a moment, right.  We will do everything that Kan like and won’t do anything until the time is right.”- Stronger- Kanye West

I recently heard Devon Franklin interviewed on Ryan Seacrest’s show. I was immediately drawn to him and his philosophies.  He spoke about preparing ourselves for what we want in life. And that the only things we could control was how ready we were for those situations, and then how we dealt with them once they came into fruition.  He used his wife actress Meagan Good as an example.  She wanted to be cast as a superhero in a movie but her body type doesn’t scream badass. Devon suggested that she start to workout prior to ever auditioning for superhero roles, so when that call came and she walked into an audition for a badass bitch… she looked like one (my words not his).

I came home and told my mom about the interview.  She went to our local library and brought home the book that Devon and Meagan wrote together called The Wait. Its a book on how they as a couple waited to sleep together before getting married and a breakdown on why it is such an effective tool.

I am very transparent about my social life (we all know I don’t have one) which includes a sex life. So although this book is amazing and full of great information, waiting to have sex with my imaginary boyfriend isn’t exactly haunting me on a daily basis.

Most of the time I am ok with it. You get busy, I’m active. One year turns to two and now we are at……. well let’s say it’s been awhile. And like I said most days I don’t even think about it, but there are those days when Ill see a couple at the mall holding hands and kissing and think hmmmmmm, a man in my life would be nice.

One particular morning I was already in a sad, why me, I’m hideous and no one will ever love me mood. It was early and I was standing in line for coffee (this time at the coffee bean). The lady in front of me was dressed as if she were going out for cocktails and clearly hadn’t checked her hair before she left the house.  When she went to order to the hard of hearing barista and said loudly ” I just want a coffee to go. Can you believe this, I spent the night with a guy I met last night and I woke up to discover he did not own a coffee pot?!”  No, no, no, not today, I thought. The deaf bartisa then asks her if she wants something to eat. “No, I just want my morning cup of coffee because the guy didn’t even own a coffee pot”. Please shut up….I was thinking… at least you got some last night. “I had to get off the freeway on my way home just to get a cup of coffee”. Bitch shut up... I almost said as I grown out loud….and roll my eyes. Finally, the old deaf barista brings the loud mouth her coffee, she turns around and I am face to face with…. A MUSTACHE!!. Not a man dressed as a woman, but a woman that clearly had no regard for facial grooming. A  mustache!! I’m speechless, the mustache lady had no problem getting some action while here I am too many years celibate.

When I got to the gym and told the story with vocal inflections and all, my members and I  laughed and laughed….So there is always a positive in any situation. And in case you are wondering…. I’m still waiting. But Ladies please….. handle your facial hair!!

To one of my dearest friends who doesn’t have a mustache, but always makes me laugh, Lori Williams ! Love, A.K.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

​​Okay okay okay okay OKAY​

Friday I was having a day, everything made me cry. I would’ve won the academy award in Extra if they had such a category. So I took the evening off work and sat down to write.

I wrote the best blog to date. I was to the point, insightful​, spot on. As I was writing, I was truly understanding where all these emotions were coming from. It was like a therapy session and blog entry combined. Three hours and many edits later I complete the masterpiece…. I am one second from posting and I accidentally​ swiped right on my mouse. I look at my screen, the blog is GONE. I panicked​, of course,​ and tried to figure out what the hell happened.
Long story short… I have NO IDEA and I haven’t been able to recover the data.

Just Breathe. Let it go. It wasn’t meant to be. Fuck that, I was devastated​.

Two days later, I’m​ back on my computer ready to open myself up and look at why I lost my shit. The truth is I don’t handle disappointment well, and I was disappointed.

My daughter feels that I place unrealistic expectations on other people and am disappointed when they don’t live up to them. She is right, but here is the real: I place unrealistic expectations on MYSELF and then project them onto others. It’s not a good look. But it explains a lot. Once I realized that​ I have been working very hard on modifying​ my behavior and changing the way I think about others and mostly about myself.

Being honest with your self is hard. At a young age, ​we create ideas of WHO we should be instead of embracing who we ARE. Maybe its the influence of another person, a living situation, the media… everyone is different. But Mask off, who do you see?

Personally, I had convinced​ myself that If I wanted to be a badass bitch, a strong woman, that I had to control my emotions. I never cried, never showed weakness. In crisis, I was a beast, nothing could break me. Once the crisis was over, then I fell apart. See, we can’t be strong all the time. Who says we have to be? Being vulnerable and transparent​ are scary things to be but are also freeing. And who doesn’t want to feel free?

You’d ​be surprised… change is hard and if you have lived your life a certain way for any period of time it is going to be uncomfortable to rewire yourself and be any different than you were.

But what’s the alternative? Continuing​ to be unhappy? Maybe you aren’t​, maybe you are content in the way your life is going. But as we grow older​​ and wiser we realize that our old ways are no​ longer working. As we continually​ evolve as people shouldn’t we also let go of the things that are holding us down? The fear that is preventing us from moving forward? Honestly, what could be so bad with tearing down those walls, letting yourself feel, even if hurts? At least now you are​ able to live in your truth.

Sounds pretty good to me.

“We gotta make a change. Its time for us as a people to start making some changes. Let’s change the way we eat, let’s​ change the way we live, and let’s change the way we treat each other. You see the old way wasn’t working so it on us to do what we gotta do, to survive”

“That’s just the way it is. Things will never be the same. That’s just the way it is. Aww yeah” 2Pac- changes

Be You​ even if people don’t understand or like it, that’s their problem… this is YOUR life.

Carry on…. A.K.

P.S.A.

“This is a public service announcement………”

“Fellow Americans it is with the utmost pride and sincerity that I present this recording, as a living testament and recollection, of history in the making during our generation”

“Allow me to reintroduce myself my name is HOV….. H to the OV.”

“Now before I finish let me just say, I did not come here to show out, I did not come here to impress you” Because to tell you the truth when I leave here I’m gone!  And I don’t care what you think about me but just remember, when the shit hits the fan brother, whether its next year, ten years, twenty years back,  you’re never gonna be able to say I that lied to you Jack”

“I gotta a hustlers spirit, check out my hat yo, peep the way I wear it. Check out my swag yo, I walk like a ballplayer.  No matter where you go, you are what you are player.  And you can try to change that but that’s just top layer. Man, you was who you was before you got here. Only God can judge me, so I’m gone. Either love me or leave me alone”

That is top 5 Favorite JayZ songs… Why? Did you read the lyrics???

I have found in this life so many people who are constantly fronting (Put on a fake or false personality, NOT keeping it real). 

The reason question is WHY? I find it refreshing (although I’m in the minority it seems,) to be around people who are transparent and honest. Honest with themselves and honest with me. What the hell is so scary about the truth? I’d much rather someone just tell me the truth  I don’t like you (whats not to like, but whatever)  or you talk too much (and……??) than turning that simple truth into something big and dramatic and uncalled for.

Here’s the kicker: Most people don’t truly know the people they claim not to like…..ahhhhh. So why in the hell are they making a character assessment on simple behaviors that they may or may not even understand? Those behaviors may be different than yours but is it your job to judge that person based on what you see or hear? No.

Nobody likes me….. Hahahaha, well maybe a few people do but I have a lot of haters. Why? I’m not really sure because the people who do not like me DO NOT KNOW ME. They make an assumption about who I am without even getting to know me. In their defense, I do have my walls up most of the time. Mostly because I’ve been dealing with this shit for it seems like ever.

For Example: The Starbucks lady.  This woman doesn’t even know my name or anything about me but goes out of her way every time I see her be nasty and rude. Why? Because One day I passed the check out line and went straight to the bar to pick up the drink THAT I HAD ORDERED AHEAD. She screamed at me “There are 10 people ahead of you” I just looked at her, picked up my drink, turned on my heel, swung my long blonde pony and walked out. Not my fault she doesn’t use the app. A few days later I see her again standing near the bar hands on her hips literally blocking my way, this time the pony was light brown,( I wanted you to have the full visual). I walked up to her and say “excuse me Wonder Woman” (don’t forget she was standing with her hands on hips and legs in wide stance), and picked up my drink. She was livid but speechless. As I walked out, I said good morning and thank you to each barista by name. I am almost at the door when I hear her yell… bitch! I turned around gave her the long look, long enough for people to stop their conversations, I’m sure they were wondering if there was about to be a girl fight right there in their local Starbucks. I just rolled my eyes and kept it moving. The very next day I tried to order my coffee but the app was down, I saw her car in the parking lot and thought great here we go. I walked into the store and she yells from the other end “THE APP ISNT WORKING NOW YOU HAVE TO STAND IN LINE” I’m thinking, this bitch… but I say nothing walk to get in line. My favorite barista came around the counter and handed me my drink that was already ready (on the house). Aint karma a bitch. I purposely walked past her with my drink to get a straw, she was huffing and puffing to anyone who would listen. I turned to her smiled and said: “have a GREAT day” she looked at me and said “oh fuck off”…. the only sound in that store after that was the sound of my laughter as I walked out.

(I just read that to my daughter, she laughed. It’s a miracle!)

Anyway, back to the point, what was the point? oh ya… don’t be so quick to judge or dislike someone. It takes up so much unnecessary energy, and they might actually be a cool person that may make you laugh or be a great friend. Sometimes we find the most beautiful souls are just a little more hidden than the rest. Be open. Be kind..treat others the way YOU want to be treated… it’s as simple as that.

keep it real… A.K.

 

 

Game Day!

“Check it out. One, two, three. In this place to be its plain to see…..”

“She was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen in my life, the way she clicked her heels and threw her fist in the sky,…..too tight.”

“whoa-oh-oh she’s the cutest thing in the world, oh yea…….oh whoa-oh-oh she’s my lil- hipster girl-” LMFAO.

The first game of the season!! I LOVE game day. Not because I like football, or sitting in the stands or even because I have school spirit.

I love game day because I get to watch my daughter cheer. Yes, I am slightly extra when it comes to her but we’ve had some pretty low lows so to watch her in her element: Happy, confident…… shining. It brings me such joy.  And yes I cry, every time I see her cheer I cry. Tears of joy, because I am so proud of her and tears of sadness because with every game another week goes by… time that is moving way too fast. Soon she will be cheering on Friday nights as a Varsity cheerleader and then…. its over. The four years of high school are gone. Ok, I’m skipping ahead, but shit it seemed like yesterday was the first day of kindergarten…….

She ran to the classroom excited to meet new friends, never once did she look back. She had on a new outfit, a new backpack and was looking and feeling very cute. She was all about school, mostly the social aspects, but no matter… she was happy. Happy to be there and a part of something new. I stood at the window looking in and you guessed it.. cried.

I remember the day I found out I was pregnant. I was in shock because I was told I could never have children and honestly never really wanted any. But then once I told her dad and everyone else I knew, it became real. I remember thanking God daily for trusting me with one of his angels and soaking it in everyday as life grew inside me. I prayed for a boy, mostly because of my own strained relationship with my mother. I wasn’t sure how well I’d deal with a little girl wearing dresses and spinning around with bows in her hair (remember I wear workout clothes most of the time).

I loved being pregnant. Aside from the constant fighting with my soon to be husband I had not one problem. I was grown (33) so ready to settle down and really dig into motherhood. As it turned out her dad wasn’t. So looking back,  the single parenting started when I was pregnant. Even though we did get married, and then divorced. I’ve always really been a single mom. Its always been my lil hipster girl and me.

When I found out I was having a girl, I cried… again. Then I became determined to raise her the way my father raised me. Starting with naming her a boys name, I knew she’d be special and I wanted her to stand out from the jump.  Walking AND talking at 8 months didn’t give me much time to learn how to parent an infant, but I did my best. I told her I loved her a million times a day and glory to God we formed a bond that still is a force stronger than anything. She went everywhere with me, she is still my favorite companion.

I remember picking her up from my mom’s house one day and my mom saying “she is so in love with you” and I replied, “I am so in love with her”.  In the insanity of life, what else is there but love? It beats the shit out of fear. And drives me to be better every single day. Not just for her, but for me. I want to be prepared so if she comes to me (which she usually still does) for advice, I have something to help and guide her. Something that makes sense that she can learn from.

My love for her has kept me sober and strong. I am who I am today because of this little girl who gave me the courage to get up and get out when my marriage became unhealthy. The strength to beat a nasty cocaine addiction before it ruined both of our lives. The push I needed to follow my dreams and start this blog. See when I say she is everything, she really is.

One game day down, and as always she was perfect, she will always be perfect to me.

“Sometimes, these walls seem to cave in on me. When I look in your eyes, I feel alive. Some days, we say words that don’t mean a thing. But when you’re holding me tight, I feel alive”

“Make it last forever, come on baby, won’t you hold on to me, hold on to me. You and I together, come on baby, won’t you hold onto me, hold onto me”

“We gotta hold on, I gotta hold on. You’ve got to hold on, you’ve got a hold on me.”

“We gotta hold on, I gotta hold on. You’ve got to hold on, you’ve got a hold on me””

“you and I forever”-Blue-Beyonce’

Dedicated to my favorite daughter, the love of my life and the pain in my ass….

A.K.