A couple of years ago, I started reading Jeff Johnson’s book Everything I’m Not Made Me Everything I Am, but I never finished the whole thing (Ugh, Sorry Jeff – love the Kanye track tho!). But I do remember the book having an exercise where you make some type of evaluation list, so maybe this is reminiscent of that.
More relevant, however, is my recent struggle to identify who, exactly, I am and why I don’t feel that I fit in with everyone else (or am not who everyone else perceives me to be), in that, it seems I don’t have any overwhelmingly common interests/experiences as most of my peers, even my closest friends.
But what I’ve come to realize is that with every perceived weakness comes a strength. And with every oddity comes something deeply fascinating. Thus, I am learning to take myself for what I am and embrace all the things that make me unique instead of mulling over why I’m different.
A la — a list: more or less, an effort to reassure myself that I do have some sense of identity in life, albeit, not as definitive as others may like.
Everything I’m Not
Everything I Am
|I don’t read fashion blogs daily||I love shopping and I care about the way I dress|
|I’m more concerned (but not involved as I want to be) with local politics than national||I care about political issues that impact my immediate community and are most relevant to my everyday life|
|I don’t identify with any particular group of people i.e. women, mothers, blacks, etc.||“Ironically, individuality is not a trait shared by everyone.”|
|I’m not up-to-date on the latest hip hop/rap music songs/artists||I love the classic hits and greatest artists of all time|
|I’m not a health nut||I’m very cognizant of my water and vegetable intake|
|I’m not hooked on any reality TV shows on MTV, BET or VHI||I will give show on BRAVO a try|
|I’m not well-versed in anything enough to consider myself a legit activist, social commentator or expert||In the meantime, I have friends who are specialists who I can turn to for their expertise|
|I’m generally over the whole networking with young professionals thing||I appreciate meeting older professionals who have a deeper sense of intellect, wisdom and humbleness|
|I have a hard time reading whole books||I can get through several blog posts + I’m writing a book|
|I’m not a natural hair natzi||I love my natural hair|
|I don’t have any black women role models who I absolutely STAN for||One of my goals in life is to be a role model for younger (and older) women of color|
|I don’t love to wear heels everywhere I go||I look – and feel – good when I do decide to wear heels|
|I don’t subscribe to the whole ‘black love’ movement||I believe true love conquers all (or specifically, crosses color lines)|
|I don’t watch the news faithfully during the week||I listen to news radio in my car almost everyday and enjoy watching Sunday morning news best|
|I don’t have or am not currently concerned with pursing a college degree||I enjoy challenging myself to become educated through different mediums and types of individuals|
|I don’t work on capitol hill, in education reform – or have a traditional 9-5 for that matter||I’m professionally pursuing things I’m passionate about – writing my experiences in life, helping individuals in need and exercising my mynd|
|I don’t like sports||I love going to a live sporting events for the stadium food|
- C. Sturdi
I recently read an article which found that people are less open-minded to the fact that, over time, their values and personalities are bound to change.
Even considering a ten-year period, many adults proclaim that they will have the same morals, habits and perspectives in life as they do today. So a 25-year-old who can clearly see how they’ve developed from when they were 15, still has difficulties admitting the incredible potential they have to change by the time they’re thirty-five.
This, along with the surrounding marriages, pregnancies, career advancements and home-buyings being made by my peers, has led me to look over the past ten years of life my to discover, frankly, ish that I’m too old to be doing.
Here we go:
Getting Parking Tickets
For a couple of years now, I’ve had this illogical mindset that risking getting a parking ticket is more thrilling and less time consuming than putting change into the meter. What’s more, physically putting $3.25 into the meter is somehow more painstaking than paying a $25 ticket online.
Spending My Last Dime on Starbucks
If I have $4 left in the bank, the last thing I’m thinking about is making 1/20th of a contribution to my overdue phone bill – because, after all, that’s the perfect amount of money to fulfill my tall, white mocha desires.
Dashes into Starbucks to place my order, unpaid parking meter outside..
Having a Messy Car
Maybe I do spend an obscene amount of time in my car, however, the excuse for it to look like I’ve been on a cross-country road trip rather than making several 30-miles-from-home runs is beginning to create an undesirable commute for myself and moreover, those who have to endure my traveling travesty.
Being in Love with the Wrong Guy
Letting go of someone can be one of the most freeing acts in life. However, I am a witness that this can also be one of the lengthiest decisions to act upon. Pouring weeks, months and years of emotional commitment into someone who does not want the same things as you can cause a triple delay in the amount of time it takes to find the one who was actually meant for you.
Doubting My Abilities
No matter how many people tell me how skilled I am, if one person – one seemingly important person – totally shatters my abilities as a good writer, leader or professional, my whole life’s purpose comes under self-scrutiny. Allowing one person’s perspective to question years of affirmative progress can become harmful to my continuous growth in life. “Taking it with a grain of salt” has never rang so true.
- C. Sturdi
CashFlowMoe, choice management, DJ Zelly Zel, future generation clothing, Izze Sparkling Juice, Party Divas, PEDX Baltimore Lifestyle Boutique, pert mcfly, pop-up shop, Tammy Rimpsey. alcohol-infused cupcakes, Vitamin Water
On Saturday, October 27th, I headed out to Bmore with the BFF for a pop-up shop, featuring Future Generation Clothing, hosted by Choice Management.
The event was held at the trendy, PEDX Baltimore Lifestyle Boutique, owned by Garth Young. The boutique was set up to stylishly to display Future’s clothing, including T-shirts and sweatshirts for both men and women.
I stepped outside with Future’s designer, Kevin Lattimore, who shared with me his tiring attitude toward most brands of today—which prompted him to start his line in February 2009. He wanted to produce something meaningful for himself and his peers. The strength of his clothing, in his opinion, is the quality material, plus the overwhelming compliments he receives on the brand’s logo.
Back in the boutique, the young, energetic crowd got a taste of the night life with sounds by DJ Zelly Zel, before recording artist Pert McFly hit the stage (or middle of the room) with CashFlowMoe.
After a very lively performance, I chatted it up with McFly about firstly his name – “Pert” a derivative of his born name Percy and “McFly” which is grabbed from one of his favorite movies as a kid, Back to the Future. Then, the self described, “cool, humble dude” (I concur) informed me of how he’s moved to write and perform about his personal life’s experiences, which are relatable to his audience.
The 21 year-old, who’s been rapping for the past 7 years, sees himself moving from his native home of DC to LA in the coming years to share his voice with the West Coast. Much luck to him!
And before I made my way out of the venue, it was a must that I stopped passed the goodie table where we found beverages by sponsors Vitamin Water and Izze Sparkling Juice, plus uber-scrumptous, alcohol-infused cupcakes by the lovely Tammy Rimpsey, owner of Party Divas.
Overall, the event was a success. Congratulations to Future Generation Clothing and Choice Management for showing us a good time!
Check out more photos from the event in our FB Album!
- C. Sturdi
“Do you feel liberated?”
My response, “Uhhhh.. Yes!!!!”
But seriously folks, liberation was probably the least of my feelings. Perhaps my thoughts about “the big chop” could be more appropriately associated with nervousness, uncertainty or… FAT (the less hair you have, the wider your face becomes?).
But liberated? No.
Liberation was the feeling I had when I quit my job last October. When I broke free of the full-time, 9-5 and fell into a struggling state of financial insecurity, bill collectors, i.e. my parents, ringing my phone all day and lacking first-world essentials, like meals from four-star restaurants and new clothes.
In all of its downfalls, that situation was still liberating for me.
But this feeling does not simulate. I did not break free from my hair like I broke away from the bondage of “the man” holding me back from my dreams. Cutting my hair did not bring forth the bliss of being able to make my own decisions, manage my own time and accomplish my own goals.
Most major decisions in life can be made with or without hair – straight, wavy or nappy (or tightly curled as my BFF says) – am I right?
So, then, why did I do it?
1. Because I like some natural styles and they didn’t look that great on my hair in the state that it was in.
2. My hair was damaged and everyone knows when you go in the salon for a trim, they give you a c-u-t, instead.
3. I wanted to take better care of my hair, so I may as well start over from the roots.
Am I going to sit around and watch natural hair videos on Youtube all day? I refuse. Am I going to join a natural hair club and become Chair of the advocacy committee? I highly doubt it. Am I going to wash, condition, moisturize and wrap my hair in a silk scarf every night? I’ll try my darndest, but I’m kinda lazy.
And, of course, no shade to those natural hair beauties who behold the experience like joining a doctrine religion. If it brings you joy and satisfaction, then I totally support you.
But for me, it wasn’t liberation. I just cut my hair, yo.
- C. Sturdi
Being a poet isn’t even fair to other guys in the dating pool. It’s like you’re cheating. You have this secret weapon that’s capable of undressing women without even touching them. You just speak words and the panties drop.
And it doesn’t even have to be a poem about love – although those are awesome if done correctly. You can write about politics, social issues, your pet cat named fluffy and recite it so beautifully that it magically translates into love.
So we love you.
No, we may not know you. Yes, this may be the very first time we’ve seen you in life, but right now, in this moment, while you’re standing on the stage reciting your limerick about walking down the street on a Tuesday afternoon, you can do no wrong.
And really, you don’t have to be on stage. It doesn’t even need to be a poem. A true poet can send you a postcard, a 140 character tweet, a ‘Good Morning’ text and make a chick swoon.
I am a witness.
Poets are deep, yo. They’re intellectuals. They’re nerds with flow. How can you not dig that? Where my poets at!?
- C. Sturdi
I could be walking down the street today and that fragrance automatically takes me back to making out in the stairwell right before health class.
I think he was the first dude I’d been in contact with who’s worn cologne. His smell was so captivating. He ended up cheating on me with one (or two?) of my best friends, but you know what – he STILL gets points for smelling good!!
Why? ‘Cause *Chicks DIG Men Who Wear Cologne*
Dude, you could have the most uninteresting conversation in the Universe but I may engage just a little bit longer because you smell like manly sunflowers on a Sunday morning.
Dude, you may not have the sexiest body, but I may hug you just a little bit longer so I can inhale that scent of sweet honey goodness dipped in testosterone.
Yo, God bless the dude (or woman) who invented cologne. Seriously! You make walking down the street that much more gratifying when I unexpectedly breeze pass a guy who’s wearing the latest scent from the most random R&B singer, rap mogul or fashion label.
And here’s a tip, fellas: Stop being skimpy – Go big or go home!!
Wearing cologne for “special occasions” is not the most logical method of application. You don’t know if you’re going to meet the love of your life walking to 7-11 at 2am in the morning and the only thing that separates you from her coveted 7 digits is a pleasant fragrance under her nostrils. Don’t chance it.
Again – Chicks DIG Men Who Wear Cologne.
- C. Sturdi
As you may have read, I am currently not dating. Therefore, I figured I would provide a few strategies for the rest of you mixing minglers as cuffin’ season soon approaches.
Below are things that I have done to score a winter boo; one of them purposely, the others by chance. All of them worked.
Make a Twitter Announcement: Clearly, this one was on purpose. About two years ago, I basically summed up in 140 characters or less that I was accepting applications for a “winter boo.” If you’re remotely attractive and have followers with a little sense of humor, you may get a few responses from people you wouldn’t even have known were interested. And if you are as bold as I, you can just (@) the person who you want to “apply” and see what happens. In my case, he accepted the invitation and we dated long enough to keep cozy during the cold weather. Mission accomplished.
Get a Reference: I won’t begin to estimate how many guys I have bagged through my male best friend because you may begin to think I’m some type of “pass around to the homies joint”… which I most certainly am NOT!
Anyway, this is, after all, the beauty in having platonic friendships. Especially for women. Men have networks much larger than ours. While women tend to spend time with a set group, men don’t mind watching the game with friends of friends, coworkers of coworkers or teammates of teammates. Thus, the options for prospects are endless and you aren’t necessarily ”dating all the homies.”
So next time your guy best friend goes to an event, tag along. You never know who you might meet. Simple Success.
Throw a Party: Everybody likes a good party. And in DC, everybody likes to “party for a cause.” But whether you’re getting down to uplift or act out, hosting your own party is a good way to score a new interest.
And why do I say “hosting” as opposed to just “going” to a party? Because, as the host, you automatically get attention. As long as you’re looking good, guys will approach you with an easy line, such as “So what charity does the money go toward?” Corny? Maybe. Effective? Indeed.
Welp, that’s all I’ve got for now. Happy Cuffing!!
- C. Sturdi
… because I am currently not dating (traditionally). After a decade and some change of long-term relationships, short term flings and random acquaintances, I decided to take a year off from anything that could lead to male attachment, romantically.
While I miss the ‘good morning’ texts, late night phone calls, dinner dates and companionship, my sabbatical has allowed me to explore a person unfamiliar – Myself.
Too many people are spending too much time trying to please, appease and keep a significant other, that they don’t know how to satisfy themselves.
At some point, you have to take the time to be alone. Step inside the unconstrained life of not needing anyone to see a movie, get some food or dare I say it – take a trip! It’s not so bad, I promise you.
I was in Starbucks the other day and this gentleman felt the need to spark conversation with me. Fine – just because I’m not dating doesn’t mean I can’t converse, right? In the midst of him trying to compare me to his last girlfriend (in a good way) and woo me into a date with him – he informed me that I could not – I repeat, NOT - go to a restaurant by myself.
“Sure”, he says, “Starbucks is fine, but not a NICE restaurant.”
Yes, my friends, unbeknownst to me, a young woman dining solo is unallowable in American culture.
“Fine,” I bargain with him, “I can just go with my friends.”
“No!” he says, “you can only go with a man because MEN will always be there for you and your friends may not.”
*Ahem* Now, I am not a man basher of any sort. HOWEVER, how dare this clown tell me that I am to favor a dude, rely on a dude, need a dude over my homies!? No, sir. I’m good.
Anyway… my best friend calls it “single girl courage” and I’ve been embracing it. No matter what you decide to label it, how you choose to approach it or when you take the leap, I believe it is a valuable journey to take.
Certainly, I am aware that there are things that I cannot provide for myself. So when I am ready to start dating again, I will have a better understanding of my wants, needs and desires as it relates to companionship.
But I have only come to realize these things more clearly because I took the time to be alone. Therefore, when I do decide to get boo’d up again, I will be more appreciative of the lucky bastard who ends up being in my life.
- C. Sturdi
I’ve known Vaughan for several years now and he is definitely one of the most laid back guys I’ve ever encountered. But he’s a man on a mission. After obtaining his first degree from Hampton University, he added a Masters from Georgetown to his resume and is now looking for MBA programs. Pretty impressive for 26, Eh?
When he’s not getting educated, he’s working as Director of Marketing for University of Richmond Athletics. This traveler, sports-junkie and music head is now a CirKiss Life style icon! His wardrobe is cool, laid-back and classic, just like his personality.
Be sure to follow him on Twitter at @Vmoss08 and check out his style profile HERE:
Describe your personal style.
I’m a real chill dude so my style is simple and really laid back as well. I wear a lot of collared shirts because I can wear them with Jordans or Vans in the streets and with Cole Haans in the office. I honestly don’t consider myself to be a seriously fashionable person but I do understand the importance of looking good. *overused cliche* Look good feel good. I think simplicity is undervalued sometimes when it comes to fashion. When people, especially guys, try too hard they often end up looking ridiculous.
What or who inspires your wardrobe selections?
Friends, co-workers, random people, imaginary people.
What are your favorite stores to shop?
Anywhere that says sells Ralph Lauren Polo, Urban Outfitters, West Coast Kix
Do you wear cologne? What’s your favorite?
Ralph Lauren, Polo Black. Also tried some YSL and D&G.
What is your favorite article of clothing?
Navy Ralph Lauren Shawl Sweater (not ashamed to say I had to use google to know it’s called a shawl sweater).
- C. Sturdi