Can A Cheater Change His/Her Spots?

cropped-cropped-logo1.png Turning Pain Into Laughter Since 2011

“Once a cheater always a cheater.” I beg to differ.

Me:  Could you take a chance and date someone known for cheating in her past relationships?

Stuart:  At this point in my life, I wouldn’t take the chance. It would be a waste of time.

Me:  What if she claimed to no longer cheat? Could you trust her? Or would it be too risky?

Stuart:  Too risky. I like to look at people’s pasts to determine their futures. This may be unfair, but that’s how I do it.

Ouch. Well if a person’s future is determined by his/her past then no man would ever take a chance on me. I have cheated on basically every boyfriend I’ve ever had. There, my skeleton is out of the closet. I cannot really provide an explanation for my infidelity besides being young, selfish, and immature.

My last relationship was over 4 years ago. Since then I have grown a lot within myself, with my relationship with God, and with my relationships with the opposite sex. I now know what I want and what I do not want. And I recognized my own shortcomings in relationships and have made great strides to overcome them. With all that being said I still find myself having to answer for the mistakes of my past. I’m finding that some men have a difficult time accepting my “spotted” history.

There are many risks involved when startings new relationships. The biggest -I think we all can agree- is heartbreak. We want to avoid it at all costs. And in some eyes, choosing to date a former cheater is a huge gamble. But as any gambler would tell you, the only way to win is to stay at the table.

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) This scripture speaks about the ministry of reconciliation. We have been reconciled with God through Christ, with God “not counting men’s sins against them” (2 Corinthians 5:19). Following God’s example we should work to be reconciled with our brothers and sisters not counting their sins again them as well (not just talking about romantic relationships either).

So … am I worth the risk? Heck yeah I am! (Duh! lol

So take a chance. 

While on the topic of cheaters… Is going to the strip club considered cheating?

Until next time,

~Keep Laughing

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Kitta is an Interviewer and Freelance Blogger/Writer from Jackson, TN. She can provide blogging services for your business or product, and event coverage.

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Rejection Isn’t Fair

cropped-cropped-logo1.png Turning Pain Into Laughter Since 2011

Is there an easy way to tell someone you’re just not that into them? When someone puts themselves out there and spills their heart to someone it is often something they have been holding in for a while and have been working up the courage to say. From personal experience that’s a hard thing to do. So if you’re the recipient of those special words and you don’t share the same feelings, how do you tell them? Are you honest and say exactly how you’re NOT feeling? Or do you dance around it and ultimately ignore the situation until that person finally gets the hint? What if you can’t find anything wrong with this person? They say and do all the right things, and they embody everything you are looking for in a significant other, but you still can’t bring yourself to get into them.

I’ve been on the receiving end of both expressing and being expressed to, and neither situation is easy when you or the other person doesn’t return those feelings. So let’s deal with the situation of someone having feelings for you that you do not share or are not ready to share. How do you let the other person down without hurting their feelings? Or are hurt feelings inevitable? I have only dealt with these situations in two ways, I ignore it until it goes away or I give a generic, watered down response. What do I mean by generic, watered down response? You ask all the right questions, and I have all the right answers. I have, in the past, responded by saying, “I don’t want to ruin our friendship” or “I’m just not looking for a relationship at this time” or “I have too much going on right now and I don’t have time to commit to someone else.” Watered down, meaning I’m saying just enough to get out of revealing my real feelings and not hurt their feelings too much. Generic because I am not telling the real reason I don’t want to pursue a relationship with this person, “It’s not me, it’s you. I’m just not into you.”

I’ve been talking to a friend of mine that is going through this right now. She had a young man tell her how much he likes her. He has practically planned their wedding and impregnated her so they can have the perfect little family…in his head. And guess what? She doesn’t feel the same way about him. Now he’s a really good guy that would make some woman very happy, but she’s not that woman. And that’s okay, as long as she tells him that and doesn’t string him along. But how does she turn down what others would consider the almost perfect guy? How could you walk away from something you know you may not find ever again…in life?!

I have found that it doesn’t matter how good a person is, how good they are to you, and much they have going for them, if that person is not the right person for YOU, it won’t work. He or she could be the one that everyone else would kill to be with…loves God, good job, good personality, good looks, does and says all the right things…but if he or she is not THAT person, there’s no way you can be with them and be happy. We all have THAT person that we want to be with, even if we don’t admit it. We compare just about everyone to them and no one measures up, no one can serve as a replacement. You can have someone saying all the right things, ready to give you the world, but it means nothing if it doesn’t come from the right person. How do you feel when you wake up to the “good morning” text, the “I’ve been thinking about you all day” text, the “I would do anything for you” text…when it comes from THAT person? You can’t even put into words the feeling that comes over you. You’ll run smack into a pole trying to reply to that text. Now think about how you feel when you get those same messages from someone you have absolutely no feelings for. I know, your facial expression just went from sugar to salt. You may even have your friends and family in your ear telling you, “Giiiiirrrrl you better not let this one get away. He’s the one!”

So when people try to make you feel stupid for passing up what they see as the best thing that ever happened to you, just say okay and keep it moving. You owe no one an explanation. Remember, you’ll have chemistry with a lot of people. But not all chemistry should lead to a romantic relationship. Some chemistry is just the chemistry of finding a really good friend. You can’t fall for everyone because of the chemistry between you. Just because a person seems perfect, doesn’t mean they’re perfect for you. So how do you tell someone that you’re just not that interested in them without hurting their feelings? You can simply say, “I just don’t see us as being compatible enough to date and I would rather be honest with you now than to, later, try to explain to you why it didn’t work between us.” Is that easy? No! Will someone still probably be a little hurt? Yes! But if they don’t respect you for your honesty, then you just dodged a big ol sore loser bullet. Just kidding…not really.

Until next time,

~Keep Laughing

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Kitta is an Interviewer and Freelance Blogger/Writer from Jackson, TN, now residing in Charlotte, NC. She can provide blogging services for your business or product, and event coverage.

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When Your Broken Heart Becomes Your Fault

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Girl meets boy. Girl and boy fall in love. Things are good for one or two years. Things suddenly start to change. Boy or girl is no longer in love. Boy and girl go their separate ways. Girl or boy is confused and blindsided…didn’t see this coming. Or did they? Let’s go back a few months and take a look at what may have transpired. Remember that one time her phone rang and she took the call in the other room? And how that started happening more regularly, when she normally has no problem taking calls in front of you no matter who it is? Or how you usually see him almost every day of the week and now you see him maybe three or four days out of the week…if he has time? Oh, or what about the first time you suspected he was lying to you about where he was and what he did the night before, but you dismissed it because you didn’t want to believe that he would actually lie to your face! Yep! There are always signs, whether we choose to acknowledge them or not. The signs are sometimes subtle, but sometimes HUGE! They smack us in the face like the smell of your grandma cooking chitterlings in the summer time. We see the changes taking place but we hope that we can do something to bring things back to normal…the way it was when you both were in love with each other. We don’t realize that the longer we ignore the problems the worse those problems become. And sometimes we set ourselves up for a heartbreak. How is that possible you ask? Well, we put ourselves in situations that we KNOW will not have a happy ending.

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Take me for example, because y’all know I’ve put myself in some questionable situations. A few years ago I was in ‘like’ with this guy. We weren’t in a relationship or even dating. But we had a strong like for each other. We talked everyday, he came to visit me at work regularly, and I even stayed up all night texting him while he was at work. Yep, I sacrificed sleep just to talk to him! It felt like we were teenagers, neither of us wanting to be the first to hang up the phone. I thought that since we were taking the time to really get to know each, without being around each other all the time and not even being close to being intimate, that we were starting off on the right foot. We weren’t being distracted by lust because we weren’t spending time together alone. We were sharing a different type of intimacy. HA! Corny right? I know, I know. But just keep reading because there was a very good reason why we were never alone together or went out on dates or never even seen together in public. He wasn’t 100 percent available…he was engaged to be married…and not to me. And yes I knew this before I got ‘involved’ in this situation with him! But I continued to talk to him every day, staying up all night texting him while he was at work. I believed the things he told me about his current relationship, and then I got my heart broken. I logged on to Facebook one day and I saw wedding pictures…his wedding pictures…I talked to him the day before his wedding and he never mentioned the fact that he was getting married the next day. I was hurt and angry. I couldn’t believe that he was such a coward to not tell me he was about to walk down the aisle. I thought we meant more to each other and he had more respect for me to hurt me like that. LOL, yeah I know that’s funny right? I had to laugh at myself on that thought. But wait! Should he have given me the heads up that he was getting married? I mean, I knew he was engaged and marriage is what usually follows. Truth is he didn’t owe me anything. A warning about his upcoming wedding, an explanation, an apology…NOTHING! My broken heart was now my fault. So often we go through relationships with our love shades on. Just like our Ray Bans, Nine West, and for some of us Prada shades, blocks the sun, our love shades block the lies, excuses and infidelity. They block the lack of interest from our partner. They block the true personalities and characters of our significant other. We wear them inside and outside, making people look at us thinking that we are confused. You know those people who wear their shades inside or even when there is no sun out? Or people who take selfies with their shades on…or the dude that always wears a hat because he just doesn’t look the same without it.They refuse to remove these items because they seem to make everything look better. Some tend to think they can change a person if they stick by them, love them through their mess. Hmph! When a person shows you over and over again who they are, and you still don’t believe them…your broken heart becomes YOUR FAULT! So how do we stop breaking our own hearts? Simple..stop settling! Recognize that you deserve better and do not settle for less than what you want. You think that what you have now is the best you can do. No ma’am! God wants more for you in EVERY area of your life. Your career, your education, your family, your friends and your relationships. He does want us to settle for less, when He wants to give us the best. But we have to let go so we can grasp what He has waiting for us. We should NEVER let a man or woman have to tell us twice that they don’t want us!

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Until next time…Keep Laughing!

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Kitta is an Interviewer and Freelance Blogger/Writer from Jackson, TN. She can provide blogging services for your business or product, and event coverage.

I’m Coming Out…Of The Friend Zone

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As a single Black woman I can definitely feel the effects of the lack of good, single Black men. It may seem that all the good ones are taken, married, or they don’t meet our, often times, extensive list of qualifications. But many of us, especially women, tend to quickly categorize everyone we meet. There is the potential mate zone, the booty call zone, and the infamous friend zone. Why do we seem to put so many men in the friend zone so quickly and why do we often refuse to rezone them? When your kids are zoned to a particular school and you don’t think they are benefiting from the curriculum or maybe they are just advanced in their learning, beyond what they are getting from that school, you’ll figure out a way to get them in a different school in another zone correct? Because their education and growth is important to you. That’s exactly how we should treat these ‘friend zone’ situations. We often spend and waste so much time looking for love that we don’t see that love exists right under our noses. We may talk to and see our love on a daily or at least regular basis, but we call it friendship. But like the popular 90s R&B group Shai sang, “If I ever fall in love again, I’ll be sure the lady is a friend.” They say the best relationships start out as friends, but do we really live by that creed?

I was listening to online radio one day at work and the crew read a letter written by a woman that had a male friend of over 18 years. During the years he expressed many times that he wanted to be more than friends and finally after 18 years she decided to date him, but now she’s disappointed that he hasn’t made more of a commitment to her. Now for 18 years he watched you date other men, obviously unsuccessful because she’s still single, and after making him wait you want him to jump into a commitment with you? How sway? Is it fair to make him rush when you’ve made him wait for so long? So why do we friend zone people so quickly and why are we so hesitant to go beyond the friend zone? Speaking from personal experience, I never want to assume that every guy that approaches me wants to get with me. So I always consider their approach to just be of a friendly nature or him just being polite or just striking up a friendly conversation. Steve Harvey says that every guy has an agenda and no guy wants to just be your friend. He is always waiting on the right moment to slide in and take that friendship to the next level. I don’t think that’s always true. I have 2 really good guy friends that I trust and are very comfortable with and neither of them have ever tried anything. And recent events prove that we can’t rely on Steve’s advice, and the fact that he’s on his third marriage may prove that he’s not the expert that he has so confidently deemed himself.

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So let’s discuss why and how people get friend zoned and how to climb your way out of the abyss of friend zoneness, if you so choose. Most of us have a list of qualifications for our potential mate, a sometimes very unrealistic list. If the person we meet does not match the items on that list, but they still prove to be a good human and someone you could have fun with, they may immediately get dismissed and thrown into the friend zone basket. Sometimes we have these friendships that have lasted for years, someone you really care about and would be devastated if they left your life so you’re not willing to take the risk of ruining it by attempting a romantic relationship. We also friend zone people out fear of rejection or being hurt. When you are carrying baggage from your past it can be hard to trust, so you put everyone in the friend category to avoid the potential of being let down…again. Other reasons for putting someone in the friend zone is a lack of attraction for someone or simply being incompatible with a person. Or maybe that attraction was there and that person did something disgusting, immoral, or unethical that turns you off. Deciding to start a relationship with anyone is a risk because no one can predict the outcome. And if you decide to move a valuable friendship into relationship territory it can be even more of a risk. First, you need to establish how strong your feelings are and if you feel that your friendship is worth the risk of losing if this relationship doesn’t work or your friend doesn’t feel the same way you do. You can try to establish rules in the beginning like, the friendship won’t change or if it doesn’t work out you’ll work on just being friends again. But let’s face it, that’s a bunch of BULL! It’s damn near impossible to go from being friends, to lovers and seeing each other naked and, if y’all part ways, go back to being just friends. Someone’s feelings are bound to get hurt, things will be said, and people will move on to other relationships. After that, ain’t no mo friendship bih!

Now that you’ve decided that you actually want to use your graveling hook to climb out the friend zone hole, let’s talk about how to actually do that. Depending on how close you are with the individual that you’ve friend zoned, or that has friend zoned you, very few people will know them like you do. That’s your advantage…show them how much you know and understand them. Now don’t do this in a manipulative way, but what better person to have a relationship with than someone who already knows you and all your little funny and disgusting habits. With a stranger, you have to teach and show them who you are and what you like and dislike. When you’ve already established a friendship with someone, the rest should be fairly easy. I’m not saying you won’t experience the same hurdles that all relationships do, but the getting to know each other process shouldn’t be as hard as it would be with a stranger. The most important thing you can do is be patient. It may not be easy for your friend to go from friendship to relationship, especially if they had no idea you had feelings for them beyond friendship. Give them time to process it. If you sincerely care for this person and want to experience a future with them, respect their feelings and their space if they need it.

If you’re trying to get out of the friend zone I hope it works out for you. And if they reject you, F*** em…they weren’t that cute anyway.

Until next time,

~Keep Laughing

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Kitta is an Interviewer and Freelance Blogger/Writer from Jackson, TN. She can provide blogging services for your business or product, and event coverage.

Follow Me   instagram

Why I’m Single

cropped-logo1.png Turning Pain Into Laughter Since 2011

A few days ago I was standing in front of the mirror snapping pictures of myself trying to take the perfect selfie to post on Instagram. I must have snapped at least 30 shoots before I had one that I liked and was presentable enough for everyone else to see. If you check my Instagram page you will see that I have posted very few pictures of myself. The rare times that I do post a pic of myself I go through the process of finding the perfect lighting and usually snap pics for about 10 minutes before I have one that I almost like. And if I stare at it for more than 5 minutes I can find at least 3 things wrong with it and I no longer almost like it. But, during this process a few days ago I realized why I’m single. Well I realized the biggest reason that I’m single, because there’s more than one reason. I, Markitta Michelle Garner, have a self-image problem. My mental picture of myself is poor. After doing a little research I was surprised to discover that many people with type A personality tend to have a poor self-image. Those with type A personality tend to be ambitious, impatient, truthful, sensitive and always try to help others. I should get a Type A Personality t-shirt made and wear it everyday.

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I am constantly promoting Team Single. I never miss the opportunity to let the world know how happy I am with my single status, and I am happy being single. I am in no rush to be boo’ed up. But I also have to be honest with myself about one of the reasons why I’ve chosen to stay single for so long. It’s not that I don’t go out or that no one shows interest, or the excuse that a lot of women in my small town like to use, “There are no good men in this city.” I’m sure there are plenty of good men in my area. My why is my self-image. How I see myself is not the same as how others say they see me. When I’m at home getting dressed for work or a night out with my girls. I have a little confidence. But once I step over the threshold of my front door, that confidence level quickly diminishes.

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Phot cred: Trunetta Atwater http://www.trunettaatwater.com

I’m pretty as long as I’m the only one and there’s no competition. I’m pretty until I’m among my friends who exude a natural beauty…a beauty that doesn’t take much effort. I’m pretty until I’m surrounded by other women that I’m constantly comparing myself to. I’m pretty until I step on the scale. I’m pretty until someone wants to take a picture with me. I can’t tell you where my self-image issues come from because I honestly don’t know. All I can say is that I compare myself to others a lot and I’m sure if I stopped doing that I would probably like myself a lot more. So I guess my issues come from my own insecurities. I definitely do not lack people in my life, male and female, that tell me I’m beautiful inside and out. The problem is I don’t believe them. It’s kind of like when you’re mom tells you you’re pretty…I feel like they’re saying it because they’re my friends, not because they really mean it.

Now don’t get it twisted, I’m not looking for validation from a man. I love myself enough not to settle or let someone belittle or disrespect me, but I don’t always like myself. I’m single because I don’t feel attractive. And if I don’t feel attractive I can’t attract anyone else. I’m single because I literally don’t want a man to hug me or touch me in any way because I don’t have the perfect body. I’m single because I feel like if any man gets to close he’ll see all my imperfections.

My friends recently asked me if them telling me that I’m pretty make a difference and the answer is no. You can tell someone something a thousand times, but until they can see it for themselves you’re wasting your breath. Other people’s opinion of me shouldn’t shape how I feel about myself. I have to change my mental perception and realize that God made everything beautiful, including me. So in an effort to reverse my self-image I am going to look in the mirror every morning and repeat Psalm 139:14, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”  

I am currently reading the book Glamour Girl: How To Get The Ultimate Makeover! by Megan Mottley. One of my favorite quotes the book reads,“Problems arise when we compare ourselves to others as well as what we constantly see on television, in magazines, and so forth. People come in all shapes, sizes and colors and no one is better than the other. Our society has defined beauty, fashion, music, religion and many other factors to be a certain way and anything else is ugly, not stylish or just plain wrong. The key is to define your own style and attitude, while taking only a few tips from magazines, television or the people you observe on a daily basis.”

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I know I’m not the only one struggling with their self-image. To all my beauties, “you are created in the image of God, and God don’t make no junk! Like a snowflake, every person is unique. No two are the same. God sees you as a masterpiece; and when you look in the mirror, say Psalm 139:14 and smile.” ~Vicky Courtney http://www.focusonthefamily.com

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As always…Keep Laughing!

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Kitta is an Interviewer and Freelance Blogger/Writer from Jackson, TN. She can provide blogging services for your business or product, and event coverage.

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Losing My Religion

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Judge not lest you be judged. Meaning do not judge unfairly or selfishly. That’s what the bible says right? Yeah, it’s right there in Matthew 7:1…I just read it. So why do so many Christians specialize in being judgmental? For example, on a Saturday outing with my mom and aunt, my aunt asked if she could ask me a question. My reply, “sure, if I can answer honestly.” Before we get into that question, let’s take a little trip down memory lane. I grew up as Baptist the first few years of my life and then as a Jehovah’s Witness from the age of 9 until I was 18. I never really accepted all of their beliefs, always having questions but never speaking my mind. For example, when someone makes a mistake [sins] they are shunned. Forget the fact that everyone sins daily, consciously and unconsciously, because we know bout YOUR sin…because YOUR sin is public knowledge, we’re painting the scarlet letter on your chest until WE think you have redeemed yourself. What happened to ‘come as you are’? Everyone makes mistakes?

Back to my aunt’s curiosity…her question, “Did you not like serving Jehovah?” My response, “I still serve God, why would you ask me that?” She looks me in the eyes and says, “No, I mean Jehovah.” “Wait…you mean the same God you serve?” She says, “People aren’t always referring to Jehovah when they say God.” “Well I’m talking about the SAME God you’re speaking of. The bible calls Him by many names so YES we’re talking about the same God. Did you think I was talking about this ice in my cup. You think I’m worshipping ice sculptures now?” I asked her why she thought I didn’t like serving God. She said because of the activities I partake in and the fact that I have separated myself from that particular religion. “Soooo you mean since I’m out here freestyle sinning, I must have put God on the back burner?” She pretty much said, “Yes, that’s exactly what I mean.” Ha…wow. Never mind the fact that she’s being extremely judgmental right now…I’m a SINNER in her eyes.

Am I a bad person because I’m not connected to a church? Why do I need to be affiliated with a church or a religion to prove that I believe in or serve God? People attend church for a number of reasons:

  • They feel the need to be connected to other like-minded people
  • It’s part of their faith
  • To get and stay close to God
  • For spiritual guidance
  • Or because they were brought up that way

For me, it started out because that’s how I was brought up. Living in the house with my grandmother and watching her go to church every time the doors opened, naturally I thought that’s what you were suppose to do. I mean, how else was I going to avoid going to hell? It became a habit, a part of this thing we call life on earth. It then became a means to stay close to God. How could I be close to and have a relationship with God without being in church? As I got older I attended church because that’s what my circle of friends did. I wanted to be around them and if they went to church, I went to church too…monkey see, monkey do.

Once I realized that I didn’t have to be in church to have a relationship with God, which is the most important thing, I actually started focusing on my relationship with Him more. Like me show you what that looks like if that doesn’t make since to you. When I attended church on Sundays and Tuesday, I often waited until then to fall into worship and talk to God. I depended on the preacher to guide me into prayer, to hype me up to give Him praise. Like I couldn’t do it on my own. The preacher had to tell me what I should be grateful for and motivate me to tell Him thank You.

I lost interest in attending church a long time ago. I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t bring myself to get up every Sunday morning. I don’t party much so I wasn’t staying out late every Saturday night, so being too sleepy or tired wasn’t the issue. The last time I attended church was Easter…pretty cliché of those non-church going people. You know, the Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day attendees. While I resided in Memphis I was a regular Sunday morning worship, Tuesday night bible study, Thursday night singles ministry member. But I realized that it wasn’t church itself that I was drawn to. It was the company I kept at the church that drew me in. I made some pretty awesome, lifetime connections. If it weren’t for my ministry group, I’m sure I wouldn’t have been in attendance on a regular basis. Once I moved back home I searched and searched for the perfect church. I couldn’t find what I had in Memphis and that’s when I realized that my main reason for attending was because of my friends. I struggled to find that same connection. I was looking for friends, like-minded people…not religion. I wasn’t searching for God. I talk to God everyday, not just when I’m at church. It finally hit me that I was losing my religion, thank God. And it was one of the best decisions I’ve made.

Until next time Laughers,

~Keep Laughing

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Kitta is an Interviewer and Freelance Blogger/Writer from Jackson, TN. She can provide blogging services for your business or product, and event coverage.

Follow Me instagram

Black Buying Power: The Importance of Supporting Black Businesses

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I have conversations regularly about how we as Black people should support Black businesses. When the option is available, we should always choose to work with a Black business owner, especially if it’s a locally owned small business. Minority business owners seem to suffer from the myth of offering bad service and not providing as good of a quality product as their white competitors. I’ll admit that I have often had that thought in past. I have a friend that always said she never lets an Asian do her manicures and pedicures. She will always find a Black nail tech and support her first. Me, being prejudice and ignorant about the abilities of my own people [Black] would say, “I don’t think anyone can do nails better than Asians.” Please don’t judge me by my ignorance, I’ve since broadened my mind and accepted that we [Blacks] are capable of absolutely any and everything.

When referencing Black owned businesses and entrepreneurs, people tend to make comments like, “Black people don’t know how to conduct business” or “I don’t support Black businesses because they can’t be trusted.” How do you know they don’t know how to conduct business or they can’t trusted if you’ve never given them a chance? So you mean to tell me that every white business owner is trustworthy and conducts business in a proper manner ALL THE TIME? Every last one of them? Nah bruh, I can’t except that. Whenever you hear about a business man embezzling the money of investors or a Ponzi scheme, isn’t it usually a white person? I’m sorry, that’s stereotyping isn’t it? But it’s true. The term ‘Ponzi scheme’ was even named after Charles Ponzi–a swindler, con artist and WHITE man from the early 1920s. So why are Black people seen as sub-standard when it comes to operating a legit business?

Whenever we get bad service from a retailer or restaurant, or any establishment that offers a service, we are quick to submit a complaint to the manager or through the business’ online website. We sometimes say we’ll never go back again, but after a short period of time we usually do go back. Especially if it’s a place that we frequent. Or if this business has multiple locations we’ll usually just visit a different location. Unfortunately, in most cases, Black owned businesses do not have multiple locations to choose from. Especially if it’s a locally owned small business. So let’s say you decide to support a Black entrepreneur and you receive not so favorable service. Instead of voicing your concerns or dissatisfaction, we just never go back; because that’s the kind of service you were expecting to get anyway right? But let’s say you go to Chick-fil-a and you get bad service; you’re more likely to complain and just vow to never visit that particular location again. But you can go to another location on the other side of town and still give your money to chick-fil-a. You can’t likely do that with a Black business because often times there is no other location.

Despite the lack of support, Black businesses are actually thriving. A 2011 survey of business owners conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the number of Black owned businesses increased by 60.5% between 2002 – 2007. There are multiple reasons we should support Black owned businesses. One is that they usually employ a high number of Black people, thus contributing to the decline of the Black unemployment rate. Those that open businesses in their own communities are helping to supply necessities to those who don’t have the means to venture outside of their neighborhoods and communities. We [Blacks] have a $1.1 Trillion spending power. Supporting more Black businesses contributes to the increase of Black incomes, giving families a chance to properly provide for their children and fund Black education. We should make a conscious effort everyday to buy Black. Even if we have to go out of way to do it. Other races and ethnicities are always going to stick together no matter what, it’s time for us [Blacks] to do the same. If you get bad service, which is most likely to be from an employee of that business, make it a point to talk to the business owner about it, even if you have to return at a later date. They want your business and will surely do what they can to rectify the situation. We should never think that what we are doing to personally contribute to the rise of the Black community is enough. It’s never enough…commit to doing more.

Until next time,

~Keep Laughing

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Kitta is an Interviewer and Freelance Blogger/Writer from Jackson, TN. She can provide blogging services for your business or product, and event coverage.

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Fatherless Daughters: 5 Things She Needs Her Father To Know

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Turning Pain Into Laughter Since 2011

 

My relationship with my father has never been a close one. Even when I was a child he wasn’t around much. I saw him on holidays and I spent most of my summers in Missouri with him, accompanied by my grandmother. I thought I was fine with our relationship because, well, I was a child and when all you’ve ever had is a part-time dad you really don’t know that it’s suppose to be different. When he came around I knew that I could get whatever I wanted as far as material things. I figured that was his way of saying ‘I love you’–eventually I figured out it was his way for making up for not being around much. Even though I didn’t see him on a regular basis I still thought he was a good father. But that was partly because, at the time, I didn’t really know the difference between a good father and a bad one. It wasn’t until I got older that I started noticing things and became aware of the fact that my father could be doing a way better job. He played no part in raising me. He was more like the favorite uncle that you looked forward to seeing during the holidays and at the family reunion. As I got older the relationship got worse—virtually non-existent. He got married when I was in middle school and didn’t bother to tell me. The summer before he got married was the last summer I spent with him. I went several years without having any contact with him and finally got acclimated to not having a father in my life so I mentally blocked him out. It was like he was dead. I’m now in my thirties and since the age of 12 I’ve only spoken with him maybe 3 times.

No matter how old we get, we still need our parents around. We never stop needing our parents. We may pretend to be okay with that absent parent, but if those of us who don’t active an active father (or mother) in our lives, IT HURTS! The feeling of not being wanted, by your parent of all people, is one that cuts deep. If I had to speak for all women who had a father that chose not to be around, I would say there are a few things we need our father to know.

I cried when you didn’t show up.

Children remember everything. Every promise you made, everything you said you were going to do, every place you said you were going to take me…I remember. So when you made a promise to show up for me and you broke that promise it hurt. No matter how many times you broke your promises to me, I never got used to it and it hurt the same every time.

You were the first man to break my heart.                                                                                

I’ve had a few failed relationships and had my heart broken more times than I would have liked. But the first heartbreak I can remember is the one that came from you leaving me behind. Tossing me aside like I didn’t even matter. Did you ever think about me or miss me? I’ve recently been in the same room with you and watched you speak to everyone except me…like I wasn’t even there. Fortunately, I’ve learned that not all men are like you and I am now open to receive love and have children of my own.

I wanted you to choose me first.

Everyone wants to be put first sometimes–to be the first choice. I wanted to know that I was more important than everything else you had going on. Choosing your girlfriend, new wife, or other children that aren’t biologically yours should never happen. I should have never been in second place to anyone or anything.

When you hurt my mom, you hurt me too.

What goes on between parents should really have nothing to do with the child. No matter how well, or not so well, the parents get along, the child should always be priority and that relationship should not determine whether a parent remains in his child’s life. But no child wants to see either of their parents hurt. When I saw my mother visible hurt by the things you did and didn’t do, it affected me. I lost a little more respect for you each time I saw my mother hurt.

For some reason, I still love you.

Whenever someone does something to hurt us, we wish we could instantly turn off our love for them. Unfortunately, for our hearts it doesn’t work that way. I feel like I should have no love for you–I barely know you and you show me no love at all. But because you are my father, I still love you.

Fathers, you are the first EVERYTHING for your daughters. You are the first man she loves and respects. She looks up to you and to her you can do no wrong. She will either admire you for the way you treat her mother, or resent you for causing so much pain. She learns from you how to be treated by a man. That can either have a negative or positive effect on what and who she allows in her life. The relationship, or lack thereof, that you have with her mother shouldn’t affect you being there. She doesn’t want your money or your gifts, she wants your time. She wants you to love her and fight for her and protect her. Don’t be the reason for her tears, be there to wipe her tears.

Until next time,

~Keep Laughing

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Kitta is an Interviewer and Freelance Blogger/Writer from Jackson, TN. She can provide blogging services for your business or product, and event coverage.


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Can I Get My Shit Together Too?

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My best friend asked me if I would marry for money or love. I immediately said love…we can build together and get this money, but the love has to be my number one reason for saying YES! Then he shared a story about one of his coworkers whose girlfriend, who is also the mother of his child, wants to move in with him. He describes this girl as not having anything going for herself. She works a part time job so her income is not what it should be to maintain a household and take care of a baby. In addition, she has no real plans for the future. She is just living day by day, barely getting by. His dilemma, like it is not already obvious, is that he will have extra living expenses if she moves in. He thinks that once she moves in, she will probably quit her job and expect him to take care of her. Now I must mention that this young man works two jobs and is very active in his child’s life, both physically and financially, so the fact that she does not have her ish together is making him look elsewhere for love.

This made me realize, well I have always been aware of this, but men do not really put up with nearly as much from women. We women always like to “see the potential” in our men or “hold them down” and we do this a lot. Like a LOT…once we fall in love it is hard for us to see past the “ain’t shitness” in a man. Even when it comes to cheating, we women are more likely to forgive than men are. Why is that? What is it about women that make us hold on so much longer than men? Another example for ya, I have a friend that was dating a guy that she really liked. He found someone that he thought was a better fit for him. This young woman was a nurse so she already had an established career and doing okay financially. Nevertheless, do not get it twisted, my friend is no slacker. She takes care of business and is well on her way to having an awesome career. However, because she was not ‘established’ yet, her guy friend chose, what he thought was, the better choice based on her financial and career status. Well, his better fit cheated on him…so I guess she really was not the better fit huh? Hmph!

My best friend said that women are the same way when it comes to choosing a potential mate and dealing with relationships, but I beg to differ grasshopper. Yes, some women dismiss men because they do not meet their materialistic standards, the key word being “materialistic”. Those women are what we call gold diggers; they are looking for a meal ticket. Then you have your goal diggers; the women who are working hard to make sure they can take care of themselves and want someone that is equally ambitious. I always say, “He needs to meet me or beat me.” Meaning I want someone on my same level. I work, pay all my own bills, obtain my possessions using my own line of credit, I’m in the process of pursuing my Masters, and I hustle on the side maintaining my own blog and doing freelance writing for others. The point is, I do not want to work a 9 to 5 for the rest of my life and I want to have multiple streams of income so I always know that my family and I are good. I also do not want my kids to have to work for anyone other than my husband and myself. Therefore, when I say he has to meet me or beat, I mean he not only has to be on my financial level or working towards it, but he has to have the same thought process and goals for the future. We should be able to teach other.

So does a man ever wait for a woman to get her shit together? Nope! Sure do not! We are expected to have it all and be able to do all, on top of keeping our man happy so he does not cheat. If we cannot do that, we are quickly thrown into the reject pile. However, a man can be “getting his shit together” and he expects his woman to hold him down until that happens. Well, NO! We cannot be expected to stand by your side while your broke ass tries to make it if we know you would not do the same for us. I listened to another friend vent about the women he had dated recently, saying how none of them have it together. He even compared them to me, saying, “none of the girls I’ve dated recently have their stuff together. They’re not like you. You have your life intact. You have a job and can take care of yourself. I just don’t understand why these girls can’t get it together.” Well my friend, I did not always have my shit in place. I was once that girl that working on getting there. You cannot dismiss someone because they aren’t quite where you would want them to be. That does not mean you have to put up with “ain’t shitness”, just know the difference between potential and “ain’t shitness”. Know when you have a potential Michelle or Barack.

Until next time,

~Keep Laughing

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Kitta is an Interviewer and Freelance Blogger/Writer from Jackson, TN. She can provide blogging services for your business or product, and event coverage.

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Black Women In Charge Of Their Survival: Handgun Safety With Marchelle Tignor

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Over the weekend I had the opportunity to take Marchelle Tignor’s Women’s Handgun 101 class in Woodbury, TN. If you’ve never been to a gun range, shot a gun, or even held a gun in your hands, the sound of gunshots going off all around you can be a little scary and overwhelming. Especially at an outdoor range and you can’t see where those gunshots are coming from and where those bullets are flying. But Marchelle and her husband did an excellent job of easing everyone’s nerves. This class covered the basic fundamentals of shooting, myths regarding women and firearms, and handgun safety. Everything you need is provided by Marchelle and her team: firearm rental, ammo, target, ear/eye protection and range time.

Marchelle is a domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor, who saw the need for a larger representation of Black women when it comes to firearms and shooting instruction. In her own words, “Survival is a choice, and it’s important that women feel like they’re in control of their safety.” With plans to open her own range, her mission is to empower women and make sure that none of her students become a victim. Undoubtedly, Marchelle encounters a lot of opposition while traveling state to state to teach these classes. Finding a gun range that will allow her to teach can be a daunting task. Imagine being a Black woman walking into a range that it is, most likely, white-male owned and asking to use their facility to teach a handgun class to a group of Black women. You can guess that she’s been turned away just for being a woman, but even more so for being a young Black woman equipping other Black women with the skills they need to defend and protect themselves from likes of people, men, that look like them. How DARE she even ask?! Fortunately for us, Marchelle realizes that this is much bigger than her and the motivation of empowering women and destroying the victim mentality keeps her going…despite the negative and sometimes racist feedback she’s met with. If you’ve ever had to opportunity to meet Marchelle, you quickly learned that she is not easily intimidated and as she jokingly told us, no one can hurt her feelings…except her husband. 🙂

If you ever needed a reason to be proactive about your safety, just turn on your tv or log into social media. From the recent race riots in Charlottesville, VA to the numerous videos and stories of white men publicly and unapologetically verbally and physically attacking Black women, it is more important now than ever to take control of our survival and learn to fight back. While I am grateful for the Black men that have stepped up in defense of Black women, it is up to us to make sure we do not become victims. Still need convincing? Here are a few alarming statistics and incidents (numbers don’t lie):

  • Homicide at the hands of an intimate partner or ex-partner is the number one killer of African-American females ages 15 to 34
  • Black women make up 8% of the U.S. population, but account for 20% of the intimate partner homicide victims
  • Racists government officials publicly attack their Black female counterparts, setting a precedence for the lack of respect white men have for us. Basically normalizing the disrespect of all Black women everywhere. 
  • In Chicago, a Black female security guard had a bottle of water thrown on her and was then punched in the face by a white man because she asked him to move away from the building where she was working. Police was called but never showed up, and there were bystanders who witnessed the entire incident and did NOTHING!

Marchelle travels almost every weekend to bring gun safety to as many women as she can. If she comes to your city I encourage you to sign up for one of her very affordable classes. It’s time for us [Black women] to take charge of our lives and refuse to become a victim. As I always say, no one is coming to save us…we have to save ourselves.

For more information on Marchelle and to sign up for a class, visit her website at triggerhappypanda.com and be sure to connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.

Until next time,

~Keep Laughing

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Kitta is an Interviewer and Freelance Blogger/Writer from Jackson, TN. She can provide blogging services for your business or product, and event coverage.

 

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Black People Get Depressed Too: My Personal Experience With Depression

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It’s Monday morning, August 21, and I’m sitting at my desk at work fighting back tears. Speaking and smiling at my coworkers while literally fighting back tears. And It’s also my birthday. The first birthday, in a long time, that I have spent doing nothing. No partying, no drinking, no activities with my friends…nothing. In fact, I only had 2 friends to text or call and wish me a happy birthday. It’s amazing how people, even your friends, rely on social media to remind them of your birthday (I deactivated my Facebook account).  Since the beginning of this year I have been trying to make some changes in my life in regards to my career and living location. Anyone that has been on the hunt for a new job knows that the process can be very stressful and can move very slow. I am a person that expects instant gratification, even though I know that’s not realistic. I have also dealt with friends not being the friends I thought they were, seeing a few people for who they really are, and ultimately pulling away from people that I love and care about. The process of losing friends sucks and can bring you all the way down. When you go from talking to someone on a regular basis to having that person ignore your calls and not tell you why is very hurtful. I think the weight of everything and the months of holding everything in, on top of it being my birthday, was finally coming out.

Over the last few months, I’ve pretended that everything was fine, while inside I was breaking down mentally and emotionally. I didn’t want to appear weak and I didn’t want people to stop wanting to be around me if I admitted that most of the time..I’m sad. I stopped talking to everyone, stopped answering phone calls and texts, stopped wanting to do ANYTHING! I only talked to people when I had to. All I really wanted to do was sleep, because if I was awake I was constantly overcome by worry and anxiety. I started having panic attacks and didn’t want anyone to know. Anytime I feel like I am going into panic mode I quickly make an excuse to leave, if I am around someone. Recently, I even left a friends house at 1am because I felt a panic attack coming on. I’m sure he thought I was bat-shit crazy because I left with no excuse at all. But I just didn’t want him to see me have a full blown panic attack. After I calmed down I went back, which probably made me look even crazier.

Depression is one of the biggest stigmas among Black people. It is not something that is openly talked about in the Black community. It’s definitely not something I wanted to claim. I figured, like many people, that this feeling would eventually go away. Often times if we are experiencing a down period or even a chemical imbalance that is throwing us off mentally and emotionally, we are told to “pray about it” or “you just need to go to church, take it to Jesus.” But don’t you DARE speak of the word depression. For Black people, that word seems to be a myth. It’s like one of those ‘things white people deal with’…Black people don’t get depressed, we just take it to Jesus. Those are actual words that someone spoke to me. I didn’t understand how that could be true because what I was feeling was indeed DEPRESSION.

It’s time we start paying attention to the signs that some of the people around us may indeed be experiencing depression. Stop telling people all they need is Jesus. What about those people that don’t believe in Jesus? What do you tell them? What is their outlet if ‘the church’ is not an obvious option for them? For those who choose not to go to therapy, their friends and family are the next best thing. I decided to use my own experience to help my readers recognize some of the signs of depressions in their friends or family members.

*If they go from communicating with you on a regular basis to not answering phone calls or responding to text messages. Or they are slow to responding to calls or texts. 

*If they aren’t as talkative when you talk to them or are short with you when they respond to your texts or calls. 

*If they stop going out, being social, and just don’t want to be around anyone. They don’t want to do anything, especially if they are normally a very social person.

*If they are sleeping more. Always tired no matter what time of day it is. 

*If they order an alcoholic drink every time you go out with them, whether it’s at lunch, brunch or dinner, no matter what time of day it is. And if they can drink several drinks and not seem to be affected by them, it could mean that they have been drinking a lot lately and their tolerance level has increased and now they have to drink more for the alcohol to have any effect on them.

*If they just seem unhappy all the time. Nothing you do or say seems to help cheer them up. 

*If they make up excuses every time you ask them to go anywhere.

*If you have no desire to attend important events or family functions, like weddings, graduations, baby showers, or birthday events.

*If their birthday rolls around and they have no desire to celebrate in any kind of way.

*If their stress level is high or they seem to be zoned out every time you’re around them…like they are physically there but their mind is somewhere else. 

*If there is a change in their appetite and they are suddenly losing or gaining weight.

*The smallest thing or occurrence can set them off…making them angry or sad.

The one thing you don’t want to do is show frustration or anger at someone for suddenly changing. Before you judge or get angry at your friend or family because they haven’t been around, try asking them if they are ok. Don’t just assume that they are acting funny. I had a friend to text me and basically accuse me of being a bad friend because I had been so distant. After trying to explain to her that I just needed some time to get myself together, she said it had been a month…I guess a month should have been enough time for me to get myself together and get back to normal. Don’t put a time limit on anyone’s feelings. Everyone deals with things differently and everyone’s healing period is different. I think it’s time we start taking depression seriously among Black people and stop being afraid to admit that we [Black people] get depressed too.

Although Black women are less likely to commit suicide, it is the third leading cause of death among Black men. Which is all the more reason for us to start being more in touch with those people in our lives that we love. Stop being all about self and busyness and start staying in touch with our family and friends. Don’t let too much time go by before you reach out to someone you haven’t heard from in a while. Stop holding grudges and being mad over something trivial…call your friends and family while you can. Especially your strong friends. They will be the ones that are less likely to reach out for help. Black people get depressed.

Until next time,

~Keep Laughing

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Kitta is an Interviewer and Freelance Blogger/Writer from Jackson, TN. She can provide blogging services for your business or product, and event coverage.

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5 Steps To Reclaiming Your Time

cropped-cropped-logo1.png Turning Pain Into Laughter Since 2011

 

During a congressional meeting on July 27th, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuckin thought he could dance around  a question posed by California representative Maxine Waters. Oh but Waters was having NONE of it! She quickly regained her allotted time lost by exclaiming, “Reclaiming my time! Reclaiming my time!” Now of course the internet and Maxine Waters’ supporters took this and ran with it…drug it through the mud until it was so dirty that no one wanted to use it anymore. Meaning that people will abuse a phrase so much that you quickly get tired of hearing it. Within a few days Waters’ face and her now famous catch phrase was on posters, t-shirts, underwear, and thousands of memes.

I quickly became tired of seeing all the posts, tweets, and facebook statuses about ‘Reclaiming My Time’. I’ll admit, I was a little salty with Maxine for getting everyone fired up to reclaim their time, but then I thought, “I need to reclaim my time for several current situations in my life.” So in planning how I was going to reclaim my time, I figured several of my readers would love to start reclaiming their time as well. So I came up with 5 easy steps for myself in my process of reclaiming my time.

Stop Entertaining Negativity:

I had a friend that was constantly sending me screenshots of random people from her social media pages. She always had something negative to say about everyone instead trying to find the good in people. So what I started doing is NOT responding to those texts. I would respond to all other texts, as long they were not negative. She finally got the message. I reclaimed my time from all negativity. There are so many negative things I could focus on all day everyday, but that’s not going to find me get to where I want to go in life. If you have time to focus on the negative, you have time to focus on making positive changes in your life. This is time that can be dedicated to starting your own business, building your brand…doing research to educate yourself so you can make a positive impact on your community. Something other than talking down on other people. It is ok to tell people that you will not entertain any negativity. That could be a wakeup call for them, as well, to stop focusing on the negative.

 

Stop Talking About It:

I recently dealt with a situation that was literally draining emotionally, mentally, and physically (in that order). I felt the need to talk about it to ALL of my friends. This situation consumed me because it is something that I never really dealt with before and I am still not sure how to handle it. I want the outcome to eventually be good, but I am scared shitless that it won’t and I can lose a really good friend that I care about. I want to move past it, but how is that going to happen if I talk about it every day? It won’t! I have started writing more and talking less. I have also decided to deal with the issue head on instead of asking everyone else’s opinion about it. As long as I have unanswered questions, I will always be confused. I will continue to feel the need to hash it out with my friends, instead of the one friend that I should be talking to. Moreover, I’m sure my friends are tired of hearing me talk about the same thing over and over again.

 

Do Not Get Involved:

I have a friend that is trying to sort out a situation with a couple of people that we both were once friends with. I am very protective of my friends and family and will often try to fight their battles for them. I don’t want anyone to feel comfortable enough to come to me saying anything negative about those that I call friends and family. So I was recently talking to another friend about this situation and telling him how I wanted to reach out to these former friends and have a conversation with them. He quickly said, “DON’T DO IT! Let them sort that out and stay in your lane. Not your circus, not your monkeys.” He’s right. I don’t deal well with drama and always try to steer clear of it. Getting involved in that situation would just be inviting negativity in and the disturbance of my peace. This, in turn, affects everything else in my life…throwing everything off balance and distracting me from my goals. So make the choice to not get involved. If you are already caught up, reclaim your time and get out of the sunken place NOW!

 

Let It Go:

I am the liberated Black woman formerly known as Bitter Betty. I was once the queen of holding onto to things that hurt or angered me. It would only take one time for a person to hurt, anger, or disrespect me and I was DONE! The fork had been stuck in me and I was ready to be eaten, I was so done. (Wait…sorry I have a dirty mind) The point is I did not know how to let go of things and they were affecting my attitude and the way I approached people, places and things. I was robbing myself of having meaning relationships and friendships and my attitude was horrible. Then life taught me that everyone, including myself, makes mistakes. I had to learn how to forgive and forget, because I wanted to be forgiven for my mistakes and mishaps. Holding on to negative things makes you unhappy and robs you of your joy. And I need all of the joy and happiness that I can get. Life is too short and I don’t want to miss out on an ounce of joy and happiness. So I reclaimed my joy and happiness by letting go of hurt and anger.

Take A Chance:

A closed mouth don’t get fed. If you want something, ask for it or go after it. How many times have you said, “I wish I had…” or “I wonder what would happen if…”? We often hold back on pursuing the things we want because we are comfortable, afraid of failing, or don’t want to be rejected. Rejection and failure is a part of life and a part of growth. It can break you, if you let it, or it can make you stronger and make you push even harder to reach your goals. I’ve been saying that I want to relocate for years now. I haven’t actively pursued it until now. I feel like I’ve wasted so much time being comfortable in my little small town bubble. My friends are (were) here, my mom is here and I’m familiar with my surroundings. I’m living in ‘The Comfort Zone’. But I am so unhappy. I feel like a raft inside of a small box. I want to inflate to my full size, but this box is constricting me. So now, I’m taking a chance and taking steps to relocate. Please stop waiting and start doing. When I think about at all the time I wasted staying in my hometown, working jobs that definitely don’t pay enough, and putting my dreams on hold, I want to cry. But I won’t because I’m a G! But I could have been in a city that appreciates my talents more, surrounded by like-minded individuals that are pursuing the same things I am. I will always love my hometown, the city that raised me. However, I outgrew it a long time ago and now I am taking a chance and starting new in a new city and state and going into the career that I actually went to school for. Do not put your happiness on hold any longer by giving into the fear of “what if”. What if you do and everything turns out great?

These 5 steps can easily be summed up in 3 words: STOP ENTERTAINING NEGATIVITY!

Until next time,

~Keep Laughing

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Kitta is an Interviewer and Freelance Blogger/Writer from Jackson, TN. She can provide blogging services for your business or product, and event coverage.

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So You Think You Can Blog? (Birthday Contest)

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“It’ the most…wonderful tiiiiiiiiime of the year” No it’s not Christmas, it’s Leo season. Better known as Markitta’s birthday…time to celebrate. While I am excited about this year’s celebration activities (although they have yet to be planned), I am more excited about doing a little giving back to my people. I have had several people to ask me about blogging…how I started and the best website to use for hosting a blog. Well, I started blogging because I love to write, I am very opinionated and I needed an outlet to voice my opinion, and you can make money from blogging. Three of the best reasons to start right? Writing is very cathartic.

Well, this year I want to give someone else a gift. I am want to help someone start his or her own blog. And I’ll be paying for your own blog site through WordPress and help you create a blog site name. I’m even going to bless you with some of time and help you write your first blog. So if you are an aspiring writer that just needs a little help getting started, keep scrolling to see how you can enter my birthday contest.

Contest Rules

  1. Write a blog post to be featured on my blog. Make sure it’s interesting, well written, and a hot topic that will catch the attention of my audience.
  2. Must be at least 18.
  3. Send your blog post to canilaughnow2@gmail.com with the subject line “Birthday Contest” by August 21. Also include your Instagram profile name in this email.
  4. You MUST follow @cilnmedia on Instagram.

Simple right? The best blog post wins my Blogging Birthday contest. So get to writing…and may the universe be on your side.

Until next time,

~Keep Laughing

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Kitta is an Interviewer and Freelance Blogger/Writer from Jackson, TN. She can provide blogging services for your business or product, and event coverage.

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Porn Watchers: Heathens or Sexually Healthy?

cropped-cropped-logo1.png Turning Pain Into Laughter Since 2011

Everyone watches porn, or has watched porn at least once right? Well I know ALL of my male friends (and the majority of my female friends) watch and they make no apologies about it. I once heard a former pastor of mine say that there was no harm in watching porn or masturbating. The real offense is the fact that the average person cannot do either without thinking about another person while in the act. That’s when the sin of lust comes into play. But for those of us, I mean y’all (LOL), that can watch porn without fantasizing about someone else, is there any harm in watching porn and engaging in a little touching of one’s self? Of course, if you’re watching porn all day, everyday then it’s a problem. SEEK HELP! That’s not healthy. But I do not believe that the occasional log on to Pornhub is harmful.

Let’s be real, we all have ‘urges’ and ‘needs’. If you aren’t married or in a committed relationship with someone you have an active sex life with, I believe watching porn is better than being a promiscuous THOT or a man-whore in these streets. And speaking of relationships, is it still okay to watch porn if you’re married or in an exclusive relationship? Especially if you and your partner aren’t watching together? So if you don’t have anyone to engage in safe sex with, how do you fulfill those urges and needs? Well, you learn what makes you happy and tingly inside by exploring your body while watching porn. The benefit of watching porn, or ‘learning your body through the art of masturbation’, is that once you enter a relationship with your life mate, you know what you like and you can guide them on what makes you happy sexually. That very thing can also backfire, in that you can become so use to pleasing yourself that you no longer desire the touch of another person. I’m not sure how that can happen because I have yet to discover anything that replaces the touch of a man, but it is definitely not unheard of. I’ve heard many pastors preach against masturbating, one even saying that God provides us with wet dreams so that we don’t have to masturbate. I personally disagree with that, but for all you Christians that hang on to every word your pastor says, that’s actually a good reason not to watch porn.

But a healthy sex life can be beneficial to your mental, emotional, and physical health. According to WebMD, sex not only feels, but it’s good for you.

Boosts Your Libido…Apparently having sex makes sex better. Women every time you have sex your vaginal lubrication increases, blood flow, and elasticity increases. Now that increase in elasticity kind of scares me, but not enough to deter me.

Improves Women’s Bladder…A good sex life is like a workout…an orgasm can strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. This is one that I’ll using in the future because I swear I pee like 20 times a day.

Lowers Blood Pressure…this is should be of particular interest to us black people, since many of us take in foods that are bound to elevate our blood pressure.

Counts As Exercise…in a world that is obsessed with being in shape, but too lazy to actually workout, now you have a fun workout to do to help you lose weight. Sex uses about five calories per minute. It bumps up your heart rate and requires you to use various muscles throughout your body.

May Make Prostate Cancer Less Likely…According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, men who ejaculated frequently were less likely to get prostate cancer. Men, you should watch more porn!

Improves Sleep…what’s put you to sleep and provides  a peaceful night’s rest better than good sex? Nothing that’s what.

So the answer to the question of whether or not watching porn makes you a heathen or sexually healthy is NEITHER! Pleasuring yourself does not require the same amount of energy and exertion as actually having sexually relations with someone. You don’t reap those same physical benefits. Now, porn may relax you and help you sleep better, but it can’t provide you with the emotional support you need and crave sometimes. If you are engaging in the act of sex with someone you love and are in love with, it is often about more than the physical act itself. Sex with the right person can make you feel beautiful, loved and protected. All feelings that are nourishment to your emotional spirit.

So whether you’re a regular porn watcher or an occasional porn watcher, you are not a heathen. You’re not very sexually healthy either…unless you’re a man, because you just need to ejaculate at least 3 times a week to possibly prevent prostate cancer. Proving once again that men have it so much easier than women.

“Daily penetration is medicinal.” Regina Hall a.k.a. Ryan from the movie Girls Trip

Until next time,

~Keep Laughing

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Kitta is an Interviewer and Freelance Blogger/Writer from Jackson, TN. She can provide blogging services for your business or product, and event coverage.

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Why History Is Not Repeating Itself

cropped-logo1.png Turning Pain Into Laughter Since 2011

“History is repeating itself. They’re trying to take us back to slavery days.”

That’s what one of my older Black coworkers said to me after we watched a recent video of a cop beating up an elderly Black woman. My response to that, “In order for history to repeat itself that suggests that certain events would have stopped for a period of time. The events that are happening today have never stopped. They slowed down a little, happened a little less frequently, but certainly NEVER stopped.”

Slavery, as defined by Webster’s dictionary, is the legal or economic system in which principles of property law are applied to humans allowing them to be classified as property, to be owned, bought and sold accordingly. The enslavement of Black people began roughly around 1501 and extended through 1865. We were finally ‘set free’ through the emancipation process that started in 1863, and wasn’t fully enforced until 1865 ( thank you so much Mr. Abraham Lincoln). Now this act still didn’t guarantee instant freedom. We still had to find a way out, usually by running away or with the help of the Union Army. Even though slavery was abolished, there were still exceptions to the rule. Like the fact that slavery served as a form of punishment for committed crimes. And who was committing all of the crimes? You guessed it: Black people.

It’s 2017…we’re free now right? Nope! With the growth of the prison system, and Black men making up 40.2% of the prison population, we now have institutionalized slavery. The number is despite the fact that Black people only make up 13.6% of the U.S. population. Prime example is the difference between two different criminal cases in the same city and state. A white woman in Lincoln, NE steals over $3000 from the teller drawers of a Wells Fargo bank, of which she is employed, and is sentenced to probation. A Black man is arrested for pointing a toy gun into a crowd. They allegedly find drugs on him and he’s sentenced to almost 2 years in prison. I guess we should be happy that the Black man didn’t get shot.

While the Emancipation Proclamation declared us separate but not equal, Jim Crow came along and said we were still separate but at least now we were equal. During the Jim Crow era everything was racially segregated. Now you may be saying, “We aren’t racially segregated today.” Ummm, yeah we are. There are still establishments that won’t serve us or they serve us begrudgingly. We are still fighting to belong to certain social and business groups that refuse to let us in. What about the race riots: the Cincinnati riots of 1829, the Snow Riot in Washington, D.C. in 1835, and the most famous Tulsa Race Riots in 1921. They destroyed any and everything that Black people owned. Have we not seen this happen today? Maybe not on as large a scale, but they are still attacking our businesses, vandalizing our homes and churches. From the 1960s up to today, protesters have been killed by police officers, with those killings being justified because of course the protesters were being unruly. Officers have been killing us and getting away with it for years. The only difference is now we have camera phones and social media, so everything is being documented and displayed for the world to see. The lynchings never stopped, they just slowed down and were no longer made into a public event. We’re still being lynched! Don’t believe me? Just ask the families of Otis Byrd, Alfred Wright, Lennon Lacy, and James Craig Anderson. These lynchings occurred between 2008 and 2015.

So please stop saying history is repeating itself. It’s not! We were never accepted, they are just tolerating us because the law slightly says they have to. We aren’t free. We are still enslaved, we are still called niggers, we are still beat and killed by the police, we are still victims of racially motivated hate crimes. We are still the strange fruit hanging from the trees. Our history is continuous.

Until next time,

~Keep Laughing

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Kitta is an Interviewer and Freelance Blogger/Writer from Jackson, TN. She can provide blogging services for your business or product, and event coverage.

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Women In Leadership: Mastering Effective Leadership

cropped-cropped-logo1.pngTurning Pain Into Laughter Since 2011

I was in retail management for 6 years I can honestly tell you it takes a special person to be able to endure the task of managing a retail store, especially during the holidays. Customers have no respect for you, thinking that just because you are in customer service that gives them the right to talk down to you. Customer service is usually the outlet for everyone to take out their daily frustrations. The rule of the customer always being right is outdated and I definitely did not base my management style on that rule. I’ve been cursed at, had kids hit me, had people threaten me, and had bags and receipts snatched out of my hand by angry customers. Now imagine you’re a Black woman in this position of leadership. The level of disrespect is almost 10x worse. All of the assistant managers I had, and I had many assistants during my retail career, were usually white and older. When customers were looking for the manager they immediately headed to my white assistant. And when my assistant directed them to me, it brought me great joy to see their facial expression quickly changed. And the fact that I look younger than I actually am was another strike against me. No older white woman or man wanted to talk to a young Black girl. Oh, and did I mention that I’m short? Imagine having someone literally looking down at you while they’re expressing their disappointment in your service, trying to be intimidating. Fortunately, I am not easily intimidated.

This disrespect didn’t stop with my customers, it also came from my employees. I often times experienced disrespect from my older white employees who weren’t use to taking orders from a young Black girl. I had one assistant in her 50s that came from another retailer that had recently closed. She was the store manager of this retailer so you can imagine how it made her feel to go from being the boss to having to listen to me tell her what to do on a daily basis. I was the subject of many jokes and lies that she thought I didn’t know about. But, as always, I came out on top, my district manager saw her for the liar that she was, and she eventually found another job. I am grateful for the skills and life lessons that came along with the position of retail manager, and yes there were plenty of life lessons. However, I am also grateful to be in different industry now. But, this 6-year opportunity taught me many lessons and helped shape me into a better leader. Below are some of the lessons I learned and how I learned to carry myself as a successful, professional Black woman in a leadership role.

DO NOT let others intimidate you.

People will come in and think they can do your job better than you can. In most instances, that is not true. Those people are the ones that are intimidated and upset with your position. In my case, being a 5’0 tall Black girl who keeps people guessing about her age, I had many customers and employees that thought they could get over on me. But, to know me is to know that I am not easily intimidated and I have a very small filter…which means my professional clapback can be worse than your snap. Never let a customer, client, or employee think they got the best of you. If you need to go in your office and scream a little then do that. Go home and take it out on your man in the bedroom, but don’t ever let them see you sweat. Just remember, you can stand your ground without earning “the angry Black girl” label. Stand your ground ladies, and let them know that you earned the right to be in your position of leadership.

No, we cannot be friends.

Your job is one of the main places that you establish friendships. However, if you are the boss the friendship zone is one that you really cannot enter. There is a thin line between being someone’s boss and being his or her friend. Often times you think if you can make your employees your friend it will make it a lot easier to work with them. WRONG! Making friends with your employees gives them a sense of entitlement. They think they can get away with more because they’re friends with the boss. That level of respect they should have for you is diminished and once you’ve switched from employer to friend, the transition back will not be an easy one.

Keep your personal life and your professional life separate.

With so much going on in your personal life, at times, it can be hard leave the personal on the other side of the door when you arrive at work. But, we must learn to balance our personal and professional life. The two should never really meet. When I operated as a retail store manager, I had a very small store with a very small staff. There were times when we had no customers and no work to do so we were literally just standing around staring at each other. When you spend eight hours a day with a person it can be somewhat hard not to talk about some personal aspects of your life. Just remember to keep it at a minimum. If you tell too much of your personal business they could very well use it against you later. Trust me I speak from experience.

Know your employees love language.

Everyone has a different love language, including your employees. Some people need acknowledgement for every good deed they do. Some people just need occasional recognition; just to know that they are appreciated will make them work harder. Learn what motivates your employees and do more of that.

Do not be a boss, be a leader.

There’s a difference between being a boss and being a leader. A boss spends all day telling his/her employees what to do and how to do it. A leader shows them how it’s done by being a part of the task at hand. I never asked my employees to do anything I’ve never done or wouldn’t do. From cleaning the bathroom to completing markdowns and changing sale signs, I did it all. It’s important to lead by example and not let your position trick you into thinking you’re too good for certain jobs. Don’t be the bougie Black girl that’s too good to get dirty. A good leader creates other good leaders. A boss can make good employees leave.

I do not have favorites.

This is a lie! Of course, I had favorites. I had workers that worked harder, were more dependable, more flexible with their schedules, and that were just all around more pleasant to be around. So obviously, I am going to favor those over employees who do not display those qualities. I also had employees that I related to more on a personal level, so it was difficult not to favor working with those employees over the others. But I tried to not show favoritism to anyone. I gave my harder working employees and those with more flexible schedules more hours of course, but that is as far as my favoritism went. I will say that is one of the things I mastered. I had the opportunity to hire friends that needed jobs and when we were at work, they received the same treatment as my other employees. Which is why they sometimes did not want to see me outside of work. LOL

Do not be surprised when one of your employees turns on you.

Ahhh, the element of surprise…it’s not always a good thing. Out of the 6 years I spent in retail management, I had 2 employees to call my district manager and try to get me fired, 2 other managers that quit on the spot one week before Christmas one year, and several employees that just did not bother to come to work and would quit without notice. When employees are upset with the boss, they will sometimes go to the extreme in retaliation. Do not be surprised when an employee turns on you out of anger, or even jealousy. That’s right I said jealousy. I had an employee that I took under my wing. I wanted to see her succeed because, despite all of the negative things people said about her, I believed she had a lot of potential. Well one day she sent me a text (which was against company policy) accusing me of turning my back on my team. This was a few weeks after I made the decision to move on to a different company. When we had a face to face conversation she said anything she could think of to hurt my feelings. My theory was that she was upset that I was leaving and felt like she was stuck in a position she didn’t want to be in. That’s where jealousy comes into play. There is a quote from The 50th Law, a book by 50 Cent and Robert Green, that has become the basis of my leadership style. It says,

“If you build a reputation for toughness and getting results, people might resent you, but you will establish a foundation of respect. You are demonstrating genuine qualities of leadership that speak to everyone. Now with time and a well-founded authority, you have room to back off and reward people, even to be nice. When you do so, it will be seen as a genuine gesture, not an attempt to get people to like you, it will have double the effect.”

Women, in particular Black women, can definitely be successful in leadership roles and we deserve to hold just as many positions of power as our male counterparts. Find the correct leadership/management style for you that will allow your business or organization to be successful. And we can lead without becoming the angry, loud Black woman that they expect us to be. That stereotype is their reality, not ours.

Until next time,

~Keep Laughing

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Kitta is an Interviewer and Freelance Blogger/Writer from Jackson, TN. She can provide blogging services for your business or product, and event coverage.

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It’s My Funeral And I’ll Party If I Want To

Turning Pain Into Laughter Since 2011

If funerals are supposed to be a celebration of life, why are they always so sad? Yes, I know that someone has lost their loved one and that is a horrible experience to go through, but if we are celebrating that person’s life shouldn’t there be some actual celebration going on? I know some of y’all are probably thinking that I’m being insensitive right now and that is not my intention. I know what it feels like to lose a loved one and it was hardly a time that I felt like celebrating. But for those of yo who believe in heaven and hell, and you also believe your loved has descended into heaven and not the latter, shouldn’t you be celebrating this person’s life all the more? Well, after years of attending the funerals of family members and friends, I have decided that I want my funeral to be a true reflection and celebration of what my life was and what I represented during my time here on earth. I have put together a list of do’s and don’ts for a select few of my friends, of which they are to pass on to my mother if I precede her in death (I couldn’t send my mother into shock by giving her my funeral plans).

Do’s

Play upbeat music at my ‘Life Celebration’…I want happy music that makes people want to dance and smile. If that means my ‘Life Celebration’ won’t be held at a church, then so be it (I don’t go to church anyway so that solves that problem).

Dress comfortably and wear bright colors…I love bright colors, especially on my Black people. We [Blacks] come in an array of shades and I want there to be an array of bright colors at my ‘Life Celebration’. And y’all better not put my face on a t-shirt or have my name put on the back of your car or truck window. Not knocking anyone that wants to honor their loved ones in that way, I just don’t wish to be memorialized in that way.

Remember all the times I made you laughI love to have fun and I love to laugh. In most dark situations, I try my best to find the humor, to try to lighten the mood. I also tend to laugh at things others probably wouldn’t laugh at (don’t judge, I usually keep those laugh moments to myself). If my friends are down or having a bad day, I feel it is my duty to make them smile or laugh at least once. And if you know me well you know that I don’t have much of a filter so I’m likely to say the first thing that pops in my head (my friend Sierra hates to have me on speaker phone or connected to the Bluetooth in her car, LOL). So whenever you get sad just think about some of the stupid, crazy things I’ve said or done and have a good chuckle at my expense.

Don’ts

At no time are my family and friends allowed to use the word funeralIn any announcements, phone calls, discussions and the event program, it will be referred to as ‘Life Celebration’. The word funeral sounds so sad.

If we weren’t cool or we use to be cool and you cut me off for whatever reason, don’t feel bad and come to my funeral…Listen, I am a firm believer in giving people their flowers while they are alive and treating people how I want to be treated. It is no secret that I love hard and truly cherish my friends. The people that I currently call my friends have been in my life for a long time and it is my mission in life to hold on to them. I have been fortunate enough to attach myself to some good people who have helped me when I was at my lowest and helped me grow in life. Those are the people I want to celebrate my life. If you gave me flowers and then took them away, I do not need them back once I’m dead. Just stay away.

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If you can’t find anyone who can actually hold a note, don’t have any live singers at my Life CelebrationI’m sorry but I’ve been to too many funerals where the choir and the soloist SUCKED! What better way to disrespect the deceased by having horrible musicians and singers performing old Negro spirituals, making what’s already a somber event even more somber. If they can’t blow like Monica and Luther, just have someone pull up Pandora or Tidal or go old school and make a CD of songs to be played. As a matter of fact, I’ll make my own playlist because I want to be entertained as well. And if I forget to make a playlist before I leave, I’m putting my friend Tyone in charge of that. Out of my small circle he has the best taste in music, so I trust that he won’t let me down. Live musicians is NOT a necessity for me.

DO NOT have a crying, falling out episode in front of my familyI know that my family and friends will be sad to let me go, but what I don’t want is someone having a crying spell and making my mom, or anyone else, more upset than she already is. If you feel the need to shed some tears and you actually feel like you may sob loudly, please excuse yourself and step outside. You can come back in once you get yourself together. Oh and I will make sure that there are ushers in place to keep order should such an incident occur.

Do not spend my insurance money on a casket…I want to be cremated and stored on someone’s mantle. Hopefully I’ll be married with children before I die and I can live with one of my kids if my husband has dipped out before me.

In all seriousness, I want to make my transition as easy as possible for my family and friends. I don’t want them to have to pick out my casket or worry about how they are going to pay for my funeral. I do not want everyone to gather at a grave site and watch me lowered into the ground. Honestly that is always the hardest part about a funeral for me. When my grandmothers passed away, it tore me up inside to watch them be lowered into the ground and we just turned away and went back to regular lives. It was like we were leaving them all alone, out in the cold. I am very serious about how I want my funeral to go. I want y’all to celebrate the life I lived and the impact that I left on this world. And believe me when I say, I plan to be around for a long time and I have set things in motion that will allow me to leave my mark on this planet.

Until next time,

~Keep Laughing

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Kitta is an Interviewer and Freelance Blogger/Writer from Jackson, TN. She can provide blogging services for your business or product, and event coverage.