Impression

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We search for acceptance from our friends, family, co workers, children, husband/boyfriends, the person walking down the street, the waiter at a restaurant, not realizing that an impression has already been made.  A person has already looked at you and assessed your actions based on their standards.  It’s not until one decides they want to know you that their initial impression ranges from dislike, content, and/or admiration.  Questions: “So why?,” “Why should you care?” and “What is the fix?”

So Why?

Why do we try to make an impression? Why do we care so much? Why? Why? Why? My five cents…we do it because we were conditioned this way.  Think of when you were a kid; before you left the house your parents would warn you not to “act a fool,”  “your actions are a reflection of this household,” they would say.  What about your first date?  The unwritten rule, “Don’t show him/her who you really are.  “Wait a few dates/months’ or the crazy one “until you are married and he’s trapped.”  You go on a job interview, wear certain clothes, you speak and conduct yourself in a manner that is so uncommon that you have to coach yourself days before the interview; then you get the job and the first few months you are on your best behavior and once you feel comfortable you become a little more relax.  Restaurants – same thing, there are even social etiquette classes on how to conduct yourself in a social setting; as we speak, there is a format on how to engage your audience when blogging – “Social Norms” we call them.

So…why should we care?

I have a coworker who wants a James Jean “Crayon Eater” tattoo, however, is hesitant because of the social stigma that blinds our creativity and individuality.  She’s not sure how she would be perceived.  In speaking with her, this is one of her favorite artist, his work describes perfectly what is in her head.  Why should she care?

My son, a young black boy growing up in a “free”  but racist, discriminant, world.  Why should I care? Especially when, as much as you try to ensure they speak /respect others, peoples hate can sometimes affect how they treat people of color.  Why should I care?

The Fix

If we were meant to be the same, we would all be the same color, height, weight, sex; we would speak a certain way, conduct ourselves as a “Collective.”  My response to my coworkers hesitancy about getting the tattoo, “Tattoos are extensions of art, an extension of you.  If this is something you luv, do it.  When you luv it, you don’t regret it.”  In her situation she should not care what others thinks.

Me, I am 7 of 9.  I was once part of a collective: I had to think, act, and dress a certain way until I realized there was a way to construct my social etiquette without losing sight of who I am.  As I mature, I realize there is a need to “instruct” others on how they conduct themselves.  Every action will have a reaction.  We as individuals choose how our first impressions to others will be and should accept the reactions given.

My son, I should care.  I want him to make an impression, his impression.  So, what do I do?  I explain to him what I have learned, show him what happens when he goes left, or goes right, I teach him to think for himself, I provide him with the good, the bad, the ugly; I explain to him my idea of life and what it’s about, and as he grows/matures I pray that his impression is a positive lasting impression.  I pray whatever path he chooses, he thought about it and accepts the journey he will take.

As long as we are aware of our actions, impressions though needed should be our own.

Un – Traditional Thanksgiving

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Over the last month, we went from “this isn’t real,” “this just happened,” “WTF,” “to Anger management and needing counseling,” and finally, reality setting in – what’s next (in regard to politics) and Oh! by the way…it’s Christmas!  Let’s rewind that last word; it’s Thanksgiving.  While mainstream media wants to “gloss” over Thanksgiving and go straight to Black Friday and Santa, I want to take it back to the good times. Back to when all of your family came under one roof and cooked, laughed, slept (itis kicked-in), and reminiscing took place.  I missed those days.

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Growing Up

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving Day my mom would begin the labor intensive preparation of making sure I didn’t eat all the cheese for the macaroni and cheese and let me lick the bowl the left over pie filling was in. She allowed me to help her prepare our Thanksgiving meal.  We didn’t have a traditional Thanksgiving meal we had an awesome one.  We had crab legs, shrimp, stuffed salmon, mac n cheese, ribs, greens, sweet potato pie and “itis.”  Thanksgiving Day, we would sit around the table and express our thanks, commune as a family, sleep, watch tv and repeat.  The Friday, Saturday, and Sunday after, we did not rush to the malls to buy Christmas presents rather, we continued our family time together and went to pick a Christmas Tree, hang decorations, decorate the tree, and watch movies.  Those were the good times.

Now

I have dinner with my family, some plot on which stores they will go to right after dinner and those who aren’t shopping either still sit and connect with the family or go back home.  Me, I go home and now that my son is old enough, he and I will do like my mom and dad did me, put up a Christmas Tree, hang decorations, sit and watch movies and enjoy the company of family.  This the one day out of the year where you would actually sit with family (which I intend to do) and now, it has become a day of spending money on “great deals” when most “great deals” are generally the day after Christmas.  I’m Just Saying.  Thanksgiving Day is not the same and I am blame Mainstream Media. 

What I am thankful for…

Now, in the spirit of things I would like to start back to how things were and where they should have started by being thankful for the blessings that happened to me throughout the year; reflecting on the good things.
I am thankful for staying “consistent” with my blog – I generally start something and when I get stuck (hit a barrier in creativity) I don’t go back to it for awhile.  So, I am proud of myself for my unrelenting determination.
I am thankful for my son who is challenging me to be a better me, mom, and a human being.
I am thankful for my wonderful Support Group who understands my struggle and helps out in any way they can.
I am thankful for each struggle that has come my way and I did not let it beat me, instead, I fought it and prevailed.
I am thankful that “Conscious Rap” is making a comeback.
…this is just to name a few
Thanksgiving was that one day where you were forced to be thankful, hence the name.  If we continue to lose sight of ourselves, our family, and our community, how will we ever unify and pay it forward to those who need help?  To help the next person we must work on ourselves, we must luv one another, we must stop and appreciate our blessing and through those blessings help someone else.  As I leave you with my wonderful past and my present and my thankfulness, I also ask you, “What are you thankful for?”