Part 1: What is a relationship? The Different Stages of Maturity

So lately I’ve been thinking about what is a relationship to me, exactly? What I have come to believe is that a relationship is building something with someone while growing together, simultaneously. But, I don’t even know if we can build with anybody anymore. I think we all just have differing needs that go unfulfilled. Basically we have an idea of a relationship. Then, we meet someone else who also has an idea of a relationship. Ultimately, we both have two very distinct philosophies of what we want and need. I also think we have different stages where we want different things. I’m in my 20’s and I cannot really base this on any other decade so this is what I define as the different stages of maturity by my understanding.

Early 20’s: Collegiate Years And/Or Early Adulthood

When I was in my early 20’s I honestly did not want to be in a relationship. I am a serious person when it comes to relationships so I did not want to kid myself. In high school, I had about two long, meaningful relationships (in my eyes at the time) and I just wanted to explore the world with fresh eyes. I didn’t want to be tied down to anyone. But, as a “relationship” person I was only kidding myself. For example, I am hot or cold. I like you or I don’t. I want to build with you or not. So, while I thought I was “dating”, which I thought was just casually getting to know people, I was going about it with conflicting wants and needs. I was saying, “I do not want a relationship right now” while giving off relationship vibes. When you are a relationship person you cannot control your body language or the vibes you give off. Okay, people in general cannot control their body language or the vibes that they give off. Consequently, I think this was a confusing time for me and all parties involved.

Mid-20’s: Working Adult and Life Gets Real

I am currently here. I am still working towards who I am becoming. Learning to be comfortable in my own skin. I think I am more open to building with someone. Or more like, identifying my partner and who I choose to build with in a relationship. I also think about my peers. Because my significant other will be from a group of my peers. I don’t think everyone is on the same page as me, however. Like, in early adulthood, most men were definitely not interested in building with someone or taking someone seriously. But, I thought I didn’t care, then. (Sike, I totally cared because I was a relationship person pretending to be a casual dater.) As I think whether my peers are ready at this point, I am inclined to say maybe, so. I think at this stage we are open to love and the hard work involved. Except, we are that ready to do the work. I think a relationship should be seen as journey to build and grow together because it is a lot manual labor to maintain a lasting one. Between guys having to thwart attempts from unsavory characters and girls having to deal with unsavory characters as potential suitors, I believe this stage is still a hot mess. We are beginning to define what we want in a partner but cannot seem to find someone on the same wavelength.

Late 20’s: Oops, Time to Find Someone Because We Are Only Getting Older

I would like to believe that we will have everything figured out here. I also would like to believe there is someone else who is ready to navigate the difficult task of a relationship with us. But, there are those people who figured it out way before this point. They met in high school, decided this is who I’m gonna build with, and then started the journey. For them, this stage could be nearing the big commitment stage (marriage, kids, etc.)  or they are already there. I do think things get in the way. Previous hurt is a big factor. For instance, I’ve been hurt before and I am sure if you are on the receiving end of this post you have, also. (Or, you are some crazy, rare exception lol) But, I think previous pain creates a barrier for some people which they rather not take off even if they meet their perfect match way earlier. Again, we are at different stages. Also, this could lead people to choose career and a care-free lifestyle over all the work that a relationship requires. I am victim of this method. That’s why I think that this will be the moment for me because my career goals won’t be fully realized until this time-frame. I’m trying not to block myself from love, however. Except, it takes more than love to make a relationship work. It takes more than just enjoying your mate’s company or what you do with your time together. There are so many complications and intricacies in this process (which has also caused me to give up in the early stages). I wonder if at this point I could honestly say it would be worth it to let down my guard and grow with someone. Trust them and just know that I’m willing to do the work.

I wonder…

Ciao, Nini

I don’t want a situationship

I’m in a place where I want to choose my career above any other superfluous thing. I don’t mean to be cold-hearted but I just do not have a desire for these situations. I use the word situations because I do not believe we date anymore. We do not communicate with one another anymore. We text. We tweet. We post pictures of an artificial lifestyle. But, we just want to be really heard. We want a witness to our lives. We want to cuddle. We want to travel and to go on adventures. We want our desires to be instantly satisfied. So, no, that is not dating.

I am so bad with this Gen Y situation experience that I have chosen my career and the sidelines rather than the game and the drama. I am tired of expressing what I will and will not tolerate and then being ignored. I am tired of mistaking trepidation for careful examination of the heart. No one takes things slow anymore, they just want to manipulate your patience.

Why can’t it be like old times. Glamorous curls, ruby-red painted lips, satin dresses, and honest expressions. You met someone. You got to know them. Not the person they created on social media. Not this artificial  shell of a person they do not even recognize when they look at themselves in the mirror. Do we even know who we are anymore?

What is the purpose of getting likes or retweets? These things mean absolutely nothing. I just want to share conversation with you. Plan our takeover of the world. I do not know if it will ever be that simple again. So I choose to stand on the outside. Watch the drama unfold, refold, get wrung out, drenched, and drowned. I cannot handle the pain anymore. I do not care for the lies. There are so many willing just to give up themselves and their bodies, so if that’s what you want you can keep walking. It’s like is anyone real anymore?

The Obligatory New Year Reflection

Most people would say that Thanksgiving or Christmas is their favorite holiday. While I would say I love both holidays, perhaps Thanksgiving a little more, I know that my favorite holiday is the New Year. I have rituals like most do when it comes to this reflective day. I see the new year as a fresh start, another chance. Some years I am in great spirits because that year has treated me well and I expect more good fortune. Most years what I hope to be a continuance of good times turns into struggle, hardships, and turmoil. As I get older, I notice that I am realizing the lessons of my actions in prior years and learning from them.

I would say that 2013 and 2014 have taught me the most in my short adulthood. For example, I never thought I would be the girl who would make a decision based on a guy. But, in 2013 there I was making important, life altering decisions and considering circumstances which involved said guy. Not only was that a poor decisions, but also, I believe it set me back from progressing in my career for exactly one year. I did not know that the guy I trusted and respected would treat me disrespectfully and down right callous until I made that mistake. At the same time, I believe that had I not made that choice I would either a) wonder what would happen if I did or b) miss the chance to see his true colors.

This lesson taught me that love, though great, is not all there is to life. I am a romantic at heart. I love love. I am that person that thinks of you when you think no one else cares. It is hard for me to open myself up but when I do, I give my all. So, that experience definitely messed me up a little. But, it also helped me realize that I do not need anyone except for my God and myself. A significant other is a complement but he would not be a necessary component for me to live out my life. I wish I could hit STOP and REWIND on the time lost there. Like I said, I lost a year of moving forward in my career. So, yes, it is definitely possible to hit PAUSE on life.

2014 was full of me traveling a route I knew I should have already taken. I was knowledgeable about the path I took and I had so much experience on how to execute my plan. 2014 was about sowing my seed. It was about ignoring the naysayers. This year was about believing in myself. This year was about taking back all of God’s glory and favor the devil stole from me and getting it back. Most importantly, getting it back in less time than what was lost. I was able to make my next step in 11 months although I wasted 12 months. I learned how to build a business with my mom from the ground up. I learned how to be patient, keep a smile on my face, and keep pushing. I learned when I should listen to the advice of my elders and when to use it. This year was TOUGH. However, all of the discipline and grit that I developed from these experiences was worth it.

2015 is the year of Great Exploits. It is about having the confidence of going out there and taking what belongs to me. It requires following God’s command and not walking in fear but being confident in that in due season I will reap what I have sown. So get out your baskets, y’all! Get ready to reap the gifts and plenty promised to you. Don’t doubt yourself. Above all, do not give up!

ciao Nini ❤

“why can’t girls act like they do with other girls when they stumble drunk into the girls’ bathroom all the time?”

I have seen a variation of this tweet for a few months now.

I chuckle and think “SO TRUE!” but for some time I’ve started to wonder why  don’t women act as encouraging as we do when we meet other women in the girls’ bathroom? At first, I was gonna answer this in a general way but I have not compiled a study and most likely can only use personal observations and experiences. So I am going to tell you why I sometimes don’t act as sweet to other girls as I do when entering the girls’ bathroom.

I grew up with three brothers so I have seen life as a competition because I had to compete for so many things. For example, I had to get downstairs and eat before my brothers or I would have slim pickings. I would have to race to the tv set or I would be stuck watching some burdensome sport. I had to get to the bathroom first or it would be like trying to take a shower in cold water, in the middle of a landfill. So, I definitely learned how to become competitive. I am not complaining either. I learned so many skills competing with my brothers, you cannot imagine and I would not trade it for the world. But, I do know that my competitive spirit wouldn’t earn me best friends if I didn’t mature out of that attitude.

Also, I had three brothers. Some of the ways I interact with other girls is a reflection of that. I did not have to compete with sisters. I was the only sister. I was always gonna be loved the best. Hello, no one to compare me to lol But, I think not having a sister did not give me access to the whole girl bonding without competition thing. I definitely size girls up, not just because of cultural norms but I size everything up. Remember, the competition thing.

But, thank God for school! Unlike what Jaden Smith thinks, I believe school is pretty valuable. Especially for “only children” or “only girls” and “only boys” in families. You get to learn just because you are an only that doesn’t mean you are more special. You get to interact and learn about how we all are pretty much the same while simultaneously being pretty different. Yea, in school I learned how fun being with and hanging out with other girls could be. Which leads me back to the girls’ bathroom. You don’t have society hang-ups in there. You are not competing to be the prettiest or most attractive girl in the girls’ bathroom. There are no boys. Just because you may be one of the onlys out there, in here you were basically the same while simultaneously wildly different. So, there’s that.

I also think the girls’ bathroom while drunk should be replicated outside of the bathroom. Maybe, not the drunkenness, so much. But the familiarity. If we all were as encouraging outside the bathroom as inside, less girls would be stealing and creepin’ with other girls’ boyfriends. There would be less drama to be the prettiest or most wifeable. Honestly, there shouldn’t be that much competition because everyone is going to end up with that person that thinks they are the prettiest no matter the circumstances. Not everyone is made to be with everyone. There shouldn’t be any competition in regards to those reasons. But, you know it’s not a perfect world. I can only speak for myself. I’ve noticed my life is easier when I embrace other women rather than comparing and I honestly don’t wish to do so anymore.

 

Ciao Nini ❤

 

November: Guilty Pleasures

Okay, so this post took forever but I have had the busiest November ever! I wonder if you guys are pushing to get things done before 2015 gets here just like I am?

Leave a comment about the cool things you are getting done.

But I know, you are here for the goodies, so this is my list for November:

1) Ole Henriksen – Sheer Transformation

Ole 1 Ole 2

So I was such a newbie to this product that I still probably don’t pronounce it properly lol – However, this daily face moisturizing lotion did wonders for my face. I have Combination Oily skin so it’s so hard to find a product that doesn’t a) completely grease my face up or b) leaves it as dry as the Sahara. My first try of this stuff was just ok but then I ran out of whatever I was using at the time and really started using this full-time at nights and it creates the perfect balance! I have absolutely zero dryness and the best thing is I don’t feel like a greasy french fry after application. Price point $$$ so this can be a little expensive but it is totally worth it because of the quality and value you receive. I started with a free sample and I was able to stretch that for over a month. Now that I have the actual size for normal people, I think it could last at least six months to a year. So consider that when purchasing. The brand has dozens and dozens of products for all skin types. I think I am going to try a peel next so stay tuned!

2) Jordana Nail Polish – Ruby Slippers

jordana

I know I am not the only who shops at the Beauty Supply. I had no clue Jordana is also a makeup brand. But I have been buying their nail polish colors for awhile and their quality exceeds OPI and Essie, even. It has a great finish which can be complemented with any good top coat and base coat. I specifically am in love with Ruby Slippers because it is fall/winter season but I have a beautiful jade blue I rotate during the summer months. The polish costs about $2 depending on the Beauty Supply you are at and is totally worth it! Maybe, I’ll try the makeup line eventually and let you know what I think.

3) WEN

wen

This month I finally went out on a limb and tried WEN. I have been hearing mixed reviews and I am super picky about what I use on my hair. It has taken forever for me to curate a hair regime that actually works so I always have reservations for trying something new. So I tried WEN, Pumpkin Spice of course 🙂 , and it is honestly the BEST shampoo I have ever used. I tested it out three times to make sure and I’m telling you that I am not going back to anything else. I will say the first time I tried I had to comb out a lot of tangles and did lose some hair. But, I think it was kind of a purging thing because the second and third time I didn’t lose anything. What I really enjoy about the product is that it is a 1 in 5 product. You don’t need any conditioners or deep conditioners; it’s all in there. I normally use an olive oil hair mask after I wash my hair though so I don’t know if that affects the results, at all. It is equivalent to buying a shampoo and conditioner together at one retailer if you want a price point. But, it will last a while plus you won’t need anything else. I also heard about a new product from Sally’s that is called Hair One and does about the same thing for just $10 so there is that option. I’m pretty interested in that because it has olive oil included in the product. I may try that soon too and post about it.

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Hairstyle after using WEN

hair one

 

 

That’s all for this month…stay tuned for December (tons of cool stuff pending)!

HAPPY Thanksgiving Turkey Day!!!

October: guilty pleasures

1. Stila cosmetics

stila

It is so difficult for me to find a good foundation that stays all day AND blends in perfectly for my skin tone. This foundation from Stila is like THE BEST on both accounts. It glides on creamy and the texture stays literally all day long. Also, it is oil-free, light-weight, and oxidizes during the day so it doesn’t make your face feel cakey. The last thing I love about this is that it has a true match concealer that is on the top so you do not have to buy two products and hope they match. I will say make sure you spend a little time blending for the most flawless finish. Here’s a picture from when I was using Stila:

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2. Sephora collection, Cream lip stain 02 Classic beige

If you are looking for a new nude lip, this little number will be perfect! Lasts all day with a perfect matte finish & is affordable from Sephora. However, it is sold out online but I got mine in-store so maybe try there first! I’m wearing it in the first picture matched with Stila Stay All Day foundation & a brown lip liner:

lip stain

3. Loreal Miss Manga Voluminous Mascara

Finally, I have REALLY curly eye lashes with length so it is definitely difficult for me to find a mascara that both straightens my lashes and leaves them full & thick. I LOVE the Voluminous line from Loreal and I honestly don’t see a need to go to any other brand. I use one mascara to separate my lashes & then this to make them thick and full. The best thing is the prices are so reasonable you can afford to play with the entire Voluminous line of mascaras.

miss manga

Well, those are all my current guilty pleasures for right now. My tastes change so frequently but I think these will be a staple in my guilty pleasures for at least a few months.

❤ Ciao, Nini

Karma

Everyone who has recently experienced a break up or anyone who has yet to heal from the trauma of a heartbreak understands the concept of karma. We use karma as a defense mechanism. Karma ensures that the person who treated us badly gets what they deserve without us saying it was our fault. We had nothing to do with it. Karma effectively takes care of the guy or girl that wronged us without us having to worry about repercussions. I believe that we use karma as a defense mechanism because we want to protect ourselves from several things. We use karma to protect us from the reality that we are not over our ex, to cling onto unhealthy imagined scenarios of retribution, and to prove that the break up was for the best because they finally got “theirs”.

But, we need to realize we can’t use karma as a sense of escape for too long. The feelings we leave suppressed while hanging onto these fantasies are just below the surface. I remember a time when I was so angry because an ex hadn’t gotten their “just desserts” following a break up, yet. I was wondering if I sang enough Beyonce “Irreplaceable” lyrics in the atmosphere? Or did I visualize their demise adequately enough? Then, I asked myself, “why do you still even care?” They are going on living happy, fulfilled lives and you are just here worried about them. You have to let karma and unresolved issues go in order to find your happy.

No amount of wishing for their bad will actually ensure they have a bad life. Your ex is also a reflection of a decision you made in life. So do you really want to tell people, yes, you really did date that pot-bellied fool two years ago? While you definitely don’t have to wish the best for them, let it go. There is far greater out there for you AND them. For those few months following the break up I do suggest jamming to Beyonce or something that makes you feel better about getting cheated on or lied to, etc. So, click “play” on this video from Big Sean, #IDFWU and get the last of your karma seeking and vengeful days out:

Ideas, life, and style.