31 Jan. – { The Insides }

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So……..

I would normally say that I’m in a weird place, but I don’t think that’s the case. I think I’m in a different place. Have you ever seen someone go from extrovert to introvert? From getting energy from proximity to a lot of people to being drained by the same group of people?

I now find myself wishing I was somewhere in solitude enjoying my own thoughts – and yes, conversing with myself concerning said thoughts. My insides are different. And I’m learning to be ok with that.

I don’t know if it’s because of recent changes in my personal life, but I’m learning to be ok with who I am. To be as social as I once was, to the adult non-mutant swagged-out turtle that retreats into his shell as much possible had me thinking I was slowly sinking into some sort of depressed state. You better believe I was concerned. The once-outgoing Kenneth looking for places where people would gather and where new things would pop off now makes a bee-line to the gym and then to my fortress of solitude.

I hope you have points in time where you can sit and reflect on who you are as a person and how you’ve changed over the years. Some of you will find that you haven’t changed at all. If that’s you, then you should probably evaluate your life. Circumstance and life happening bring us to our points of change. If you have not experienced this at all, then your circumstances have changed minimally, or you’re around the exact same people (who are probably arrested mentally and emotionally as well), or you’re one of those people that just staunchly exist.

Either way, there’s nothing wrong with any of it. I would just implore you to know and love yourself. I was at a point where I thought I needed to go back (BACK) to therapy. Actually, that will happen – it’s such a beautiful exchange that I feel the need to put a shameless mental health plug in there for you who suffer under the weight of the “crazy” stigma that says going to see someone about your thoughts and emotions is a bad thing. Tell you what a bad thing is…when your insides are changing and you can’t deal. So you self-medicate or stop the clock.

And that is NOT ok.

Well… It’s taking some time for me to get used to mid-30s Kenneth. And considering I’m not much of a people person anymore – you probably won’t get to know him. Sucks for you.

17 Jan. – {The Lauded Life…}

hippie anarchist

Okay people. Fresh out the gate, I have to ask: what is your angle? We, the lovers of The Social Media Conglomerate, are starting to wonder… Why are you F#$&ing here? I love getting “likes”; I mean, who doesn’t? With that said, I am a bit of a worry-wart in that I see so many going nowhere fast and while I try not to judge, I get furious at all the naked, oozing, twerking, love-me-because-I-am incapable photos and vague posts on the net.

Select your poison, be it Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Soundcloud, and the list continues, but tell me again: What is your angle? I am on these sites to explore, to share with my family and friends and, yes, to sometimes give the public the idea that there is something going on in my world worth a “like.” But I also like things from others – I am a firm believer in supporting one another in the “Village” sense. So I am here online for community, which I have found, and I am happy – but why aren’t you?

WHAT IS YOUR ANGLE? You are half-naked soliciting likes, to then only call all the people from whom you garnered attention thirsty… You post your political rant with no prior knowledge or fact-check only to get angry when people trounce your ignorance… You ask for advice about your child only to get angry when people start with “stay your ass a home” or “quit letting grandma raise them.” For you to tell us that we don’t know you, your struggle and/or to mind our business!?!

Welp, “friends”, you are the part of the Lauded Life for which I don’t care. You want likes without realism, fame without achievement. And you draw attention away from things that deserved to be mentioned.

Let me help you. Read about and share thoughts on: Boko Haram, the current (and YES, we’ve established, BLACK) President’s positive US reforms, #BlackLivesMatter, and any other awesome human or inhumane act on or off American soil that doesn’t get the appropriate coverage because you are clogging the waves with your Butt-cheek isolation videos!

One: You heifers are talented. Two: You boys are exhibiting signs of dehydration. Three: Take time to learn before you cast a stone toward the opposition; there is much to learn before you choose a side. And lastly, Four: I think we should all focus a little more on using Social Media to be worth knowing and not solely to be well-known.

6 Jan – { The Case for TaKisha }

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So………

I’m over the stigma of black people’s names being ghetto….and I admit that I used to be guilty of that mindset.  If I came across a Marquise or a Jamesha, I would think “Why would their parents do that?” – This mindset of course powered by the thought that names that clearly reveal that you’re black are taboo and unprofessional. Which of course is birthed from the thought that blacks are unprofessional.  We take lightly and laugh at the notion that some people don’t get hired for jobs or called back for interviews because they “sound” like they reside in the housing projects…THIS IS NOT OKAY.  I have indeed had a great change of heart.  This change is a result of me maturing and embracing who I am, and black american culture as a whole.

At work I had three young women that I had to work with from time-to-time.  They’re names were Shanique, Tranesha, and Jameque.  Two out of the three resented their names.  They felt that their names were ghetto and that they wouldn’t be taken seriously.  They’re feelings were valid – unfortunately the majority of you reading this post, if you saw their name on something, would write them off as “ghetto” – and assumptions regarding their personality, work ethic, and professionalism would come into play.  ABC News actually did a piece on “Black and White Sounding Names” and research found that by names alone, white sounding names on resumes/applications were downloaded 17% than black sounding names….tsk, tsk, tsk.  I had to encourage these young queens to embrace who they were fully, and if they’re names revealed that they were black – AWESOME!  It’s better than being named Kenneth Bradley (me) and showing up somewhere and someone serving you a look of disappointment because you’re not who they expected.  Believe it or not, that happens more than you think, and when it happens it makes me want to exude blackness and be Bryant Gumbel at the same damn time.

This piece goes out to all of the Dameions, Trayvons, Shawandas, Darrells, Keyshawns, Jamelles, DeAndres, Keyonas, …wait there’s a site dedicated to this that also makes fun by adding extremely stereotypical sounding names as well ( click here ).  I mean, it makes me wonder if the “Pipers, Hunters and Apples” are being unfairly treated – or accepted as just hippie-sounding white people names that are ok.

*sips Mio.

– Kenneth