I had the honor of being a guest on Darryl Hairston II’s show to discuss #Trafficking.
❌ #EndIt ❌ #EndItMovement #HumanTraffcking #SexTrafficking #NOVAHTI
Sex will always be one of the hottest issues to talk about. Always has been, always will be. Many feel compelled to judge the sex and sexuality of others, while often remaining conservative and silent when the attention is focused on their own personal behind closed doors choices.
The irony is, while we have a great deal of fun procreating a child. That once that child becomes a teenager, most of us will gasp and clutch the pearls of the mere thought of our precious sons and daughters wanting to explore their bodies as well as the bodies of their peers.
But young people always have explored and experimented. We did. And young people will continue to feel grown and, dare I say …feel… and … groan. Regardless if we like it or not.
We have the responsibility to educate our young adults. I originally wrote this piece for MyBrownBaby in 2011, it was part of a collaboration for Planned Parenthood’s Let’s Talk campaign, which by the way, I’m very proud to share with you that this MBB collaboration won a Planned Parenthood Maggie Award.
When I wrote this, my son was 14 years old. We had one computer that my parents gave us that stayed in an open space allowing me to monitor whatever he pulled up on the screen. Flash forward to now – and every phone is a personal computer. Sexual hook ups or access to porn is just a click away.
And maybe today’s parents are more tech savvy than myself. Who am I kidding? I’m certain that they are! Still, the point remains that these Teens 2.0 are much more tech savvy and 100 x’s more quicker than us working the devises and all the complex apps accessible today. Most of our kids believe in their heart of hearts, that they know more than us. They won’t realize until they are grown how wise their parents really are. That’s when most of us realized how insightful our parents were.
STD’s are being transmitted at an alarming and rapid rate. There’s a lot to be concerned about. It means our youth are not only being intimate, they are doing so without preventive measures. And likely with multiple partners. Most teens will not face the fact that they do not have the emotional maturity to wisely process who they should have sex with. Think about how hard it is for some adults to navigate their sexual lifestyles with wisdom and maturity. But that too, is part of the real conversation. To say “Hey, I have regrets”, to say “I wish I had waited….” Our youth deserve our transparency and honesty.
So on this TBT – Throwback Thursday, I share my article with you about talking to sex with my then fourteen year old son. And to be honest, little has changed. I could have easily written this today, meaning every word now, just as I did then.
Happy Try Something New Tuesday!
It’s possible that my drive to embrace life has been sparked from the recent procession of deaths. From my best friend’s mother-in-law, along with the passing of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, and war hero, Maverick Senator John McCain. In their own way, they all lived their lives boldly and honestly. They refused to settle in the day to day routine and they all reached for experiences that were often challenging.
This Try Something New video below by Michael Hsu is interesting. I had no idea that I wanted to watch cashews being roasted, until I watched and re-watched Hsu roasting cashews.
My try something new wasn’t roasting cashews. However, after seeing Hsu’s video I’m very open to the experience! My experience was about breaking from the norm of my routine. Whenever I go to my favorite Pho restaurant I always order the same exact thing. Always. This time, I decided to change it up an try something new.
I placed my Sticky Rice w/ Mango order to take with me to enjoy later in the evening. I LOVE MANGO, but had never had sticky rice. Since this was a dessert and I like rice, I incorrectly assumed the dish would be similar to rice pudding.
Later on in the evening, when it was Walk-On-The-Wild-Sticky-Rice-Side o’clock, I opened the container. My first thought was “What the heck did I get myself into?!” I assumed that the green glow was from the saran wrap. Nope. That rice was actually green. Maybe all Sticky Rice is green. But I’m a beautiful Black woman, we don’t have green rice, we just don’t.
But there it was. Looking all florescent and Hulk-ish. There was no turning back. I took my fork and struggled as I tried to separate the rice apart. Almost working up a sweat doing so. I refused to be defeated. I began to feel deep down, that maybe, three bites of this illuminating green dish might give me a dash of super human powers. Could I possibly fix the water crisis in Flint, Michigan? Could I possibly give every single mother a break and peace of mind? Could I possibly, if I consumed not three, but a whomping six bites, have the power to impeach? I had to try. I had to find out.
But the cement, they called Sticky Rice was tougher than my fork. I eventually mustered up the strength for one bite. Chewed and chewed and chewed……and chewed. It was around this time, I began to fear what in the world I was putting in my body, especially with a fresh apple nearby rolling it’s eyes at me.
I eventually had to give up. I had no choice. My fork wept from the fact of having to return to the drawer as the utensil that grains of rice beat up.
I never made it to six bites. And for that I am deeply sorry.
I’m not alone in this right? We can try something new together. I would love to hear what your “try something new is”, no matter how small, it’s all about the effort of not settling for the routine and predictable. Maybe together we’ll find our super power.
Everything about this moment in time is meaningful, deep and symbolic.
I recently had the privilege of being included in the USA Today Magazine Best Years edition. The task was sweet and simple, “If I could write my younger self, what would I say?”
I am 50 years old, and still finding myself. In many ways I have changed from my younger self. I would like to think in some ways I am wiser. But I also feel exactly as I did in my 40’s, 30’s and 20’s (Dear God, am I really reflecting over DECADES of time that has passed?!). The core of who I am remains the same. Our spirit might dim, might shine brighter – but essentially the core of who we are always remains the same.
When I stop to think “What would I tell my younger self?”, that one simple & sweet question was everything but.
Every time traveling note I attempted, was full of advice I felt like I was presently avoiding, Ok, running from. I had created a life for myself that consisted of moments of joy and happiness, on the foundation of fear and manipulation. A combination I welcomed and prayed for once upon a time. Any woman who yearned for who she felt was her Soulmate will understand this.
I felt like I was lying to my past self; in denial to my present self; and betraying my future self. Simple and sweet question my foot! This was life changing. One day I will share the details of the impact this one question’s ripple affect had. It’s all a bit to raw to do so now.
Healing is in it’s infancy stages, Wait, I’m being prideful…. healing is in it’s embryo stage. What I can say is that I have forced myself to listen to the advice I would share to the younger me. I forced myself to face the reality of my present circumstances. And made the extremely hard and difficult decision to be my own advocate for my peace and well being.
Which sucks. It’s painful. It’s difficult, scary and consists of weeping everyday at one point or another. Including at work in front of my manager during a meeting. SO embarrassing! Poor guy, he looked so concerned and confused as I sobbed in front of him. I can NOW see his “What did I do?” expression somewhat comical. As he did nothing wrong at all. He simply mentioned the name of the man I had been in a relationship with for twenty-five years and living with for the past six years. My manager had no way of knowing that days before this meeting took place, I left the Man I once wanted to be with forever. He had no way of knowing our time was up.
Tears aside, what I’m telling you that it’s gut wrenching to walk away from a life that was to be “forever and ever”.
This entry is reflected as the first on my blog. I have been writing for years. Some of my work has appeared in magazines both nationally and regionally. This blog at one point had years worth of content on it. YEARS! I have wiped the slate clean. I deleted all the posts.
This blog is in complete synergy with my life. Leaving the past, the dysfunction behind, and starting over from scratch.
What would I tell my younger self? The exact same thing I tell myself today – “You are enough. You are stronger than you know. Your self worth is defined by you and ONLY YOU.”
Maybe deep down, I knew this 25 years ago. What I do know, is that this time I am listening. This time I’m trusting the Universe … and trusting myself.
I MADE A BABY WITH THE DEVIL: A BLACK MOMS STORY OF PARENTING AND DOMESTIC ABUSE:
As I breathe life into this site, there are some very important pieces from my past that matter to me and I would like to share.
This article is one of them.