Year 2017. It is currently 4am. I am exhausted but I want to complete this series. This is the only time I have to write. 2017 was much like this morning…exhausting. I ended 2016 and began 2017 in San Francisco. It was a great start to the year with some 2016 feelings.😭 My hair was bone straight with a huge part to the side that covered my right eye. I was in full swing of experimenting with lipstick colors from Urban Decay (JUNKIE), NYX (DISORDERLY CHAOTIQUE), Mac Cosmetics (BLUE BANG made its premiere), and Too Faced Cosmetics (WICKED)! My skin was glowing from coast to coast. 😍 I felt sexy. And I was just that. SEXY! 🙌🏽 Little did I know how painful 2017 (and 2018) was going to be. This chapter is quick and painful just like the year. Once back on the East Coast, my work schedule got so crazy that I was working over 90 hours a week. Knowing what was ahead of me and the work commitment I had made, I told the Ex Factor that he could leave me for I now had no time for dating (especially fake dating a f*ck boy). Ouch! This may sound like bitterness but it really isn’t. It was and is a fair assessment after I tell you how he emotionally/verbally dragged me through the year. 😳 Back to 2017. I told him he could leave me and date other women BUT he can’t date me AND them! And I meant every word. Work had to come first. The Ex Factor said he had no desire to leave me and would work with my hectic schedule. 🤷🏽♀️ This was the year that the Ex Factor lost the ability to even make me happy for an hour. Even if I f*cked him (I guess out of habit), I would immediately be disgusted with him first AND then with myself next. 2017 was the year I started to loathe him!!! 🤮 Why? Oh let me tell you why! On top of a crazy work schedule, my father was battling cancer! 😭❤️ The day before my Daddy’s surgery, I asked the Ex Factor if he was waiting on a better love to do right by because he sure wasn’t doing right by me!!! This motherfucker (I am not going to bleep out this curse word because he fucking earned it) had the nerve to tell me that he has NEVER been IN love with anyone but has love for me?!!! Motherfucker what?! Motherfucker who?! This is the same bitch that stayed with your broke trifling ass for YEARS and still treated you well! And to hit me with such news the day before my dad’s surgery (which I had recently told him about)!!!! What trash! I was in love with trash! I am now vacationing at Fuck Boy nation. 🤦🏽♀️ I dropped one tear (privately) and then I told that lazy not even good for a fuck motherfucker that I don’t give a damn about love or no love but his ass better be there for me on the day of my dad’s surgery or there will be blood! 🔪🔪🔪 I don’t play when it comes to my family! My whole body became numb but my spirit was on fire!!! 🔥🔥🔥 From that moment on, I started to lose respect for him and tried to escape the mess I found myself in. I am ashamed there is even a Chapter 9 (Year 2018) with this fool! 😭😭😭 Before I forget, the Ex Factor did check in on the day of my dad’s surgery but I didn’t need him. A male friend and I texted all day from the moment my family and I drove to upstate New York (where the surgery was taking place) up until my dad was in recovery! I cannot thank my male friend (who lives in DC) and all my other friends who held me down during this difficult time! To God Be the Glory…my father is still in remission! 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾 After Daddy was okay, I continued my solo travels and ended up going to Vegas THREE times this year! I ended 2017 and started off 2018 in Vegas with Harmony. Despite his taking back his I love you (he really could have kept that fake shit in the first place), the Ex Factor latched on like any abuser would to his victim! What a fucking year! ~KJM dropping Chapter Eight on Flashback Friday. This was by far the hardest chapter to write because clearly I was not loving myself enough to escape this fool. Currently, I am writing you from a wiser and stronger place. What does not kill us often times does make us stronger. Oh one more thing, a man who treats a woman like this is not one fit to lead for he is no man…just a boy. And this is clearly someone who doesn’t love himself because for the first time since I met him in 2010, I finally saw him…the way he saw himself…a boy not worthy of me (or any good woman for that fact)!!! I really hope and pray he does better and grows up. It would break my heart if I heard that another woman had to go through what I did…just like it did when Julio told me how horrible he had been to his ex girlfriends and ex fiancés! 🙄🤦🏽♀️ IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: this is the year Willow and my friendship really started to fall apart. She was NOT there for me when I needed her. I visited Chicago TWICE the year before to support her on a risky pregnancy and her postpartum. Where were you when my Dad was battling cancer? I barely got calls much less texts. If you are reading this, you should never wonder why we are no longer friends…
Recently I’ve been reading a lot of articles/blogs from people in their early 30s feeling confused. In my 20s, I never felt left behind nor ahead of others. Then in my 30s (from the jump), I woke up one day always feeling “a day late and a dollar short” in life. From my career to being a blogger to being a lover…I always woke up feeling short. Through it all though, I stay present in my life from the ups (my vacations and my nieces and nephews) and the downs (almost everything else). To those just entering this decade, you are going to get your ass handed to you a million times but you just got to get up. You got to travel even if there is no one to travel with…you got to keep writing even if people aren’t reading….you got to get out of bed even if you don’t have the energy to…you got to say goodbye to lovers while welcoming the chance of new love at an unexpected time…you got to keep living and believing in yourself. You have to still LIVE. That’s what I tell myself when I board that plane (typically alone), when I take pics in my bikinis, and when I have to start over continuously in my personal life. The journey isn’t really about what we accomplish…it’s really about how much we have grown and learned to love ourselves…. Hang in there! “I am not only a client…I am the president.” Lol. ~KJM on Serenity Saturday.
For the last year and change I have been dealing with the most toxic coworkers! I, like most people, prefer a positive work environment but some folks love to bring the drama at all costs. If you care about your job, it is very hard not to bring that toxic energy home. Lately, there have been some mind-boggling disagreements at work that has left me mentally and emotionally exhausted. If you find yourself in a similar situation…here are some tips to help you maneuver out of the mess and keep you running towards your peace of mind! 10. DRAMA FROM HOME BROUGHT INTO WORK! The toxic coworker is almost always transferring negative energy that is really coming from their personal lives. I have seen it time and time again…folks getting a divorce or just going through a breakup and a simple good morning from a friendly coworker can turn into World War 2! 😳 Ladies and Gentlemen (referring to the toxic folks here) keep your personal lives AT HOME or at least outside of the work place! I am so sorry your man or woman left you but that has nothing to do with the rest of us! Most of us just want to earn our paychecks in peace! 🙌🏽Keep that soap opera mess to yourself! And if you are feeling extra unlovable because you are not able to find somebody who loves your ass…you may want to start working on yourself!!! Your coworkers have nothing to do with your loveless personal life. Check that shit at the door. 9. WITH AGE DOES NOT COME WISDOM! Do you remember my coworker, Poison Ivy, that I mentioned in my last corporate America blog? The one with all the dents in her face that is in her 50s but looks 70s?! 😩 You would think she has better things to do than gossip about me but she doesn’t. I often walk into a room…finding her at the tail end of talking about me to new coworkers. Child…. I thought with age comes wisdom? I guess not because that’s really some high school mess to spend most of your work day gossiping about folks! Check yourself! It seems the older SOME folks get….the messier and the more bitter they get. Everyone is competition for them (referring to bitter older folks but not all older folks). Ivy hates me because I am a beautiful young black woman who is educated and confident. I can’t help her with those dents in her face! Child…I have better things to do like preserve my beautiful chocolate skin so I don’t age like Ivy. 🙌🏽 8. THERE WILL ALWAYS BE FOLKS THAT DO NOT LIKE YOU AT WORK! No need to be a people pleaser because sometimes just your breathing will have folks at work hating on you! 😩🙄 Like…can I live? There have been times I issued an apology to a coworker (who was totally undeserving of it) for the sake of keeping a positive work environment. What I have noticed is five minutes later…those same people are back to gossiping about me to other coworkers and my boss. 🤷🏽♀️ The lesson here is…that if your coworkers decide they are going to exhibit toxic behavior towards you…no amount of “niceness” can fix that. All you can do is if it escalates to an unsafe level…report them to your Human Resources Department, your boss, and/or the police if need be. Some folks are really that unbalanced that they may try to physically harm you. This is totally unacceptable behavior at work and in life! ✌🏾7. YOU CANNOT CONTROL THE GOSSIP MILL! It is terrible when rumors are consistently being spread about you but what can you really do? If you report every single bad thing you ever heard about yourself at work you may come off as petty and messy to your boss. When gossip is flying around, you really have to pick and choose which ones you follow up. Anything threatening your job and/or life is worth reporting but other smaller issues (you have to be the judge of what issues are small) you have to let roll off you back. 6. DOCUMENT ISSUES! If you aren’t sure what issues are big and small, I suggest starting a journal using your own personal paper that documents dates, times, and incidents with your toxic coworkers in case all the information together rise to the level of reporting. I have done this twice in my life and both times my well documented notes came in handy. One time I spent a year documenting the racists behavior of my Associate Director towards myself and other coworkers. ONE YEAR! 🙌🏽 Other people had reported her many times for single racist incidents. No formal investigations were ever held (to my knowledge) prior to me reporting her. Thus, she got away with firing black and brown people for no reason for YEARS until there was me. I was always on time and so great at my job that I got promoted in my department and was now under a different Associate Director. However, that did not stop me (promotion or not) from reporting her racist behavior! A year’s worth of incidents mentioning dates, times, and persons involved were taken very seriously by my Director and my Human Resources Department! 🙌🏽 5. READ YOUR HUMAN RESOURCES MANUAL! Every employer should have a written harassment and discrimination policy in place. They should also have a procedure listed of how to report these incidents. Make sure that you read those sections before formally reporting a coworker or boss. Following procedures will ensure that your complaints are taken seriously. In my work example from number 6, all the previous reports to my Director had been made verbally which according to our manual…he did not have to report them to Human Resources. My complaint, however, was written and well documented…and emailed to my Director five minutes before our scheduled meeting. Thus, by following my HR manual, my Director had no choice but to report his friend, my racist Associate Director! 4. BAITING! Understand that when folks do not like you…they will try to get you to act up at work. They may bait you into conversations that seem positive at first but are meant to be a negative transference of energy! If you can, try to avoid conversing with toxic folks at work unless you have to. Last week I had a similar situation occur at work! It was so frustrating to me to think my negative coworker was turning a positive page only to get further trapped into her negative bully energy! 😳 Do not be fooled! “A leopard hardly ever changes its spots!” This phrase applies just at much at work as it does in life. If you are baited into a negative conversation, take a deep breath, stop talking, smile, and politely excuse yourself from the mess! 3. DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN GOSSIP YOURSELF! You did not like it when people were gossiping about you, therefore when you get the chance…shut down any ounce of gossip that makes it to your desk! Remember that “a dog that gives a bone also carries a bone.” Meaning if coworkers are gossiping about someone with you…they sure will be gossiping with someone else about you! And if that phrase does not ring true to you…remember to “treat others as you would like to be treated!” This will help minimize the gossip mill. 2. HOLD YOUR HEAD UP HIGH! No matter what…always hold your head up high and handle yourself professionally when coworkers are aiming low by gossiping about you or are sabotaging your work. The negative trolls want you to step out of character and act a fool. Do not allow them to steal your joy and your peace of mind! 🙌🏽 I know this is easier said than done but you must try. Negative coworkers are going to be in every work setting. You cannot hide from them. All you can do is try to rise above it. And trust me…I know that’s hard. 1. THIS IS ONE SCENARIO WHERE IT IS THEM…AND NOT YOU! We have all heard that famous breakup phrase “it’s me not you.” Lol. Generally, this means the person breaking up with you wants to take the easy route on dumping you so they put all the “weight” of what went wrong on themselves instead of having an honest conversation about why the relationship is no longer working for them. 🙄✌🏾 In an employment environment where you have to constantly deal with gossipy and backstabbing coworkers…I am here to tell you…it’s them not you! For one to be so messy at work they must be suffering from narcissism, low self esteem, jealousy, or self hate…or perhaps even suffering from all of the above! 😳 You may never know why toxic coworkers exist and the good news is it does not matter. Leave them in their own mess and protect your peace of mind. 🙌🏽 ~KJM guiding you through the Land of Pimps and Hoes on Charm School Monday💜
Now the last time I touched this topic I got my ass handed to me. Read my Mommy Brain blog for reference. 😩🙄 I lost three friends because of that blog. Lol. Oh well, here at Kingston Expressions, I don’t stray away from tough topics about my life so I don’t see why I can’t get some of you inconsiderate parents RIGHT. Yea…you read that right. There is a large group of you that thinks the sun rises and sets on your asses with no consideration for others. Parenting is a very tough job but it doesn’t give you a pass on being an ass. Lately, I have been hearing some of the same complaints from my friends who do not have children about the crazy things parents have the nerve to say to them. Here are a few things a parent should never utter to a person without children: 5. WAIT UNTIL YOU HAVE ONE! Everyone always assumes I want children! Even people who grew up with me and know how I feel about this topic will slip up and say this mess. Unless a woman tells you she wants children….do not assume so! ✌🏾Fall back and wait for her to tell you how she feels about possibly being a mom. And do realize that she is also entitled to change her mind on motherhood (hopefully before entering into it)! 🙌🏽 Contrary to popular belief, some women do not have a maternal bone in their body…especially after having children! 😳 I know so many folks who should have just skipped the process all together but had children to keep a man who ended up leaving anyways! 🤦🏽♀️ 4. YOU SHOULD AT LEAST HAVE ONE! Ugh! I get this one so much! Why should I at least have one child? To make you…who is not raising my child…happy?! Or is it a misery loves company thing?! Is this China….is there a one child rule?! The conversations between my uterus and I are strictly private! We did not invite you in so exit stage left! 🙌🏽 This advice is thoughtless and insensitive for so many reasons but mainly because it’s an attack on any woman who does not buy into the idea that women are only on this earth for baring fruit!✌🏾 I will reproduce if or when I feel like. Not to mention some of you parents may be saying this to people who may have been secretly trying to have children but so far have been unsuccessful! 🤦🏽♀️ 3. PEOPLE WHO DO NOT HAVE CHILDREN CANNOT BE TIRED! I heard someone say this the other day and I was so close to slapping the piss out of them. I get that raising children is no joke but folks married to their careers like doctors, lawyers, military etc. work crazy hours…sometimes seven days a week. Their lifestyles (children or not) are demanding. When I’m at my busiest, I’m running an 18 hour day! You do know there is only 24 hours in a day?! Parents do not have the market of exhaustion on lock down. People without children can be tired and rightfully so. There are some childless folks who are caretakers for disabled parents. We all need to be more considerate of each other. Parenting is a choice! You know how I know that parenting is a choice?! We fight everyday in this country for a woman’s right to choose! If you chose life, props to you but you don’t deserve a reward….you deserve support…just like your childless Veterinarian friend who is underpaid and at great risk of being suicidal! 😳 I just read an article about the high rise in Veterinarian suicides! Lawd have mercy! You never know what load a person is carrying around…so parents be kind and do not refer to other’s lives as being easier than yours because they don’t have children. Some people’s lives are painful and difficult because they can’t have children. 😐 2. CHILDREN ARE A BLESSING? Um…to whom ma’am? Every person will see becoming a parent in a different way. There are many good parents out there that may not share your views because of the road they had to walk in parenthood. Point blank this statement can be offensive to the childless and to other parents. For the childless, this statement is secretly reiterating that some of us may regret not trying to have children. And are we less blessed if we don’t have children?! 😳😩 1. GIVE HIM/HER A BABY NOW! I have heard this advice being given to the marrieds that are childless and to the childless singles too! I, myself, get it all the damn time! The Ex Factor has very impressive genes 😍 so folks are always like you two would have a beautiful baby. They must want this typically mild mannered man to come burn down my house! 😳🙄😩 It should be very obvious why this is bad advice for childless singles but I think people miss the boat when speaking with childless marrieds! It is not up to anyone but that husband and wife on when is the right time for them to begin a family! The rest is simply none of our business. Accidentally getting pregnant can put a strain on couples but so is popping up pregnant and rushing the timeline you and your spouse set to start a family. Outsiders have no business in our wombs. We have a right to choose if we want children and when to have them! ~KJM on Flashback Friday! Mind your own womb and nobody will get offended. Childless people have feelings to!
It crept up on me like a bad dream after nights of having glorious dreams. I did everything “right” in my life…yet 9 years ago this feeling began to drown me…and I could not swim. No life vest either. Just drowning in the feeling of not arriving…not living to my life’s full potential. As a result, I hid in the shame of feeling like I’m not where I want to be in life and the realization that I may never get there. I spent my life focused on education and career yet I have a mediocre job (God bless it though). I’m still dealing with the guilt of not wanting to biologically have children. Yes guilt! Society will always find a way to make a woman feel guilty about skipping motherhood. The Ex Factor is my exception. There is no place I would not travel to with him…scared or not…I would take that journey but only if he was ready and willing to do it with me. I know I can raise children (I have already helped my parents do so) and financially I’m okay though I think that no amount of money is enough to raise children. Yet still the guilt of not wanting children just for myself stays with me. I don’t think it is wrong to say that I would only go on that journey with a man I love but society thinks my clock should be ticking no matter what and I should just find any man who will marry me and build my family with him. Yikes! Children need stability and security. None of that can ever be guaranteed because circumstances can change but we should aim for it. A stable and secure marriage/long term relationship is healthy for my children so that’s why there is no family without the Ex Factor. I have never made that choice for anyone so I’m not sure why others want to make that choice for me. “You will have regrets,” they say. I highly doubt that…yet still the guilt haunts me. Never having checked up on my reproductive system, I have not clue what shape it is in. I know so many women struggling to have a baby and I killed my own fertility without trying. That is the guilt I live with but I cannot be out there reproducing because others may not be able to….that’s just fucking silly. And if I change my mind somewhere down the line…that is my choice too! So here I am at 36 years old…”Ms. Did Everything Right”…yet I have not arrived in my career nor my personal life! 😳🙄😩 From the outside, it probably looks like I have more than arrived minus the baby thing. Within me though, I feel like I am not where I should be and I know I am not the only one. My faith tells me that no matter what decisions I make, I will end up exactly where God wanted me to be for IT IS WRITTEN! 🙏🏽 My heart knows this but my mind plays tricks on me. It is these tricks that I lay with at night…wondering where I made a wrong turn. 😩But what if I told you that there is no such thing as a wrong turn? Every hardship and every victory has placed us exactly where we are suppose to be! 🙌🏽 I know it is hard to accept but who we are and who we are to become are shaped by our trials AND tribulations. There is no victory without failure. There is no wasted time. If you felt you stayed somewhere too long…guess what? You were suppose to. If you look back on the “roads traveled” (paraphrasing Robert Frost here) and thought you chose the wrong path…you did not! You made the choice you were suppose to and there are always consequences to our actions. Bad things do not always happen because we deserve it. They can occur to shape us, break us, and rebuild us! What if I told you that you have arrived and your journey is not over as long as you are still breathing?! That is right. YOU, MY DEAR, HAVE ARRIVED! 🙌🏽 Revel in your arrival and never question it. Miles to go before we can sleep and that is just the way our Higher Power designed it to be. Be content in who you are and stay confident that you will be who you are destined to be. For IT IS WRITTEN! 🙏🏽 Sleep well knowing that. It is already written and you have already arrived! Cherish that blessing and go forth positively everyday! 🙌🏽 ~KJM on Throwback Thursday! I hope this helps someone out there. Wehave arrived. 💜
I live a very blessed life. So blessed that sometimes I am moved to tears! 🙌🏽 However, there are moments (like this holiday season) where I feel like I arrive everywhere a day late and a dollar short.😩 For example, 15 years ago my career was highly lucrative but when I entered it at the height of the 2008/2009 recession…I barely made ends meat! And there were some years…I didn’t even do that…my Dark Ages (May 2009-June 2013). This is the time I learned to not only cry but to weep! I mean I did everything the right way and still got my butt handed to me. First adult lesson in life…just because you work hard does not mean you will be rewarded.🙌🏽 Ever since, I feel stuck but refuse to take a pay cut to start over in a different field! ✌🏾 I am a single woman whose independence is essential to her being. I can’t and I won’t go back to the dark ages! I vacationed in hell for so long and I made it out! Thank you Lord! 🙏🏽 In the midst of the Dark Ages, I met the Ex Factor (June 2010) and it all made sense. The Good Lord had sent me to this place of darkness to find the light within me…to make me fall in love in a way I never thought possible. But after a couple of months…even that love had “a day late and a dollar short” feeling. If I hadn’t gotten dropped on my face, I would never have loved so openly and so deeply. I know that for a fact because I had been married to my education for so long. If everything had gone as I planned, I would be married to my career too! Through the insecurities and the instability of my heart and my career…some blessings still emerged! 🙏🏽 Like the blessing to travel whenever I want! The blessing to live on my own again! The blessing to love a difficult man unconditionally…the blessing to choose him everyday and not because I had to but because I wanted to. The Ex Factor in every sense of the word is my real first love!!! Remember how hard it was for you to break free from your first love?! Hell…some of y’all are married to them now (even after separations, trials, and tribulations)! I’m always cheering those couples on because I get the road wasn’t paved easily for them but they made a way! 🙌🏽 Even with all these blessings…I sometimes focus on the things that feel like curses…career and personal life. I know there is rebirth after every death of a season but sometimes the wait for that rebirth seems endless. Even if I got into a healthier relationship…I’m always going to love the Ex Factor. Some things you just know about yourself. And even if I got a new career…the newness of it all may restrict my ability to travel! 😳 Know this about me…I CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT TRAVELING! It’s literally the air I breathe even if I’m frequenting the same destinations…because every time I arrive…I learn something new about myself. I breathe in life and self exploration…and I AM BORN AGAIN…into the life I have dreamt for myself. 😍 Those are the moments I live for! The moments when I see only the blessings in my misfortunes…for without them…I would have never traveled to this place! I would never have fell in love. I would never feel free. I would never appreciate my ability to always be there for myself. 🙌🏽 ~KJM on Flashback Friday. They say timing is everything. Maybe we aren’t a day late and a dollar short. Maybe we just haven’t arrived at our unknown destinations yet. But when we do….may our hearts and pockets be forever full! 💕
Happy Monday! It’s been a while since we road through the land of Pimps and Hoes (Corporate America). While the state of your hearts matter so much to me…so does the state of your wallets! 🙌🏽 Today I’m going to cover the top 5 Mistakes I’ve made in Corporate America in hopes it helps you all to maneuver similar obstacles better than I did! 5. Working Weekends When I Did Not Have To! This! 🙌🏽 Ever since I have been working in this country (from my early teens), I have always worked almost every hour of every job that I could! Sigh…it’s the Jamaican in me. There were times this was required of me or times that I really needed the money so I easily dedicated my time to work. I’m not talking about those times. You got to do what you have to do to achieve your career and financial goals. However, 80% of the time I was giving up my weekends just because I am use to doing so. Giving up my ME time. Giving up my peace of mind. Freely adding more stress on my mind and body. Sacrificing moments of peace that I’m just learning to cherish. I’m not married with children! Thus, making my weekends about me should be easy. Yet there were times I felt guilty for not working enough! 😳 I have gained weight and had many sleepless nights because of this need to work 6/7 days a week in the last 8 years! 😳 Running yourself down for shits and giggles is not the business! Not to mention if you keel over and die at your desk, Corporate America will gladly remove your corpse…quickly…to replace you…without even saying a prayer over your body! 😳🙄😐 You heard that?! No matter how valuable you think you are to a company (that’s not your own business) YOU ARE REPLACEABLE!!! So make sure that you don’t unnecessarily marry your job! That pimp ain’t got no love for hoes! “Cash rules everything around it” (quoting Wu-Tang Clan here) and not your spirit and you livelihood! So please go and enjoy your weekends! They are sacred! The people you love are so much more important than any job! And you just cannot get those moments back! 4. Getting Too Close To Coworkers/Taking Work Drama Home With Me! If you get nothing else from today’s blog, this is one of two lessons you better take hold of: COWORKERS ARE NOT YOUR REAL FRIENDS UNTIL YOU NO LONGER WORK TOGETHER AND STILL KEEP IN TOUCH BY CHOICE!!!! 🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽 I work extra long days around a computer. The need for human contact is sometimes so deep that I find myself consorting with spawns of the devil to get through the day!!! At work, we must do what we must do to survive. As coworkers, we are all usually in the shit hole together so of course we bond like prisoners who just got out of solitary confinement! 😩 To be honest though…probably 90% of the people I have worked with over the years are people I would not normally socialize with.✌🏾 The other 10% have become great friends…even some that feel like family! But it’s the 90% I want you to focus on! Folks with common goals and could be up for the same promotions are essentially competitors…no matter how nice and sincere they are! Everyone needs their paycheck and are typically not working for fun because they have millions in the bank! Thus, learning your weaknesses in a competitive environment works in their favor. Try to be sociable on a…dare I say it…fake level! Don’t share with your coworkers more than you would share with a stranger on the street! Keep conversations on the surface avoiding your personal life, politics, religion, or even most recent GYN visits! 🙄 I know it sounds silly to say this but even I get caught up in the madness. If you do find that you let your guard down at work and shared too much…immediately stop sharing! Pull yourself back into being sociable on the surface!!!! And if drama ensues…smile, keep your cool until it blows over, don’t entertain conversations about it, and by all means…leave that shit at work! 🙌🏽 Life is way too short to pack negativity with you! I know this is sometimes easier said than done but if you want to advance sanely…TRY! 3. Your Boss Is Never Your Friend! Over the course of my work history, I have had more amazing bosses than shitty! As a matter of fact, I’m still friends with many of them…decades after I have moved on! I know! I know! I’m in the minority! 🙏🏽 Some bosses are so nice and just great to work for. Many have taught me valuable life and work lessons! With that being said, as their employee, I always had to keep in mind that while working for my great bosses…they were not my friends! Let me giving you an example. In my early 20s, after graduating from college, I worked for a university. My first boss and I are still great friends! After a year or so I got promoted in the same department and got a new boss that I also loved! While I loved my job, I knew that my goal was to go to graduate school in a few years. After 2.5 years of working for this university, I found out that I got into graduate school and was headed to NC in five months. I needed a boss to do some of my recommendations and to sign off on my financial standing for my new apartment. While I loved my current boss, I knew if I told him…I may lose my job because he was still my boss and I was going to be leaving in our busy season! What to do? I turned to my previous boss whom I trusted and who still worked in the same department…and enlisted her help. My leaving did not directly affect her and she always encouraged me to aim high! So she did my recommendations! 🙌🏽 No matter how much I liked and respected my current boss at the time, if he knew I was leaving so early in advance…he would have had to make decisions as my boss! Not my friend! Please keep business as business and never take your boss as your friend until you no longer work for them! Business is business and should never be personal! 🙌🏽 2. Thinking That What I Do For A Living And Who I Am As A Person Are One And The Same! I have accomplished so much in life but for most of the last 8 years I have been ashamed of being a consultant. My credentials say I should be more, doing more, and making more and yet I wake up feeling less than. 😭 I came out of graduate school at the height of the 2008/2009 recession and slowly fell into my field. Then I became trapped because I was building experience in a dead end area of my field. Ouch. For years, I did not tell people what I did for a living….I use to just say I put tiny buttons on shirts! 🤣 But truth be told, hindsight is 20/20. I have friends who are doing what I wanted to be doing and I do not envy their lives! I love my freedom to pick and choose when I want to work. As a consultant, while I’m not my own boss, I have the freedom to say no to things and switch up who I work with. There’s no one to deny my vacations or tell me I can’t take time off for myself. Granted I don’t get paid when I don’t work but the freedom to decide my own financial fate is important to me without the stresses of having my own business! 🙌🏽 I travel when I want to and quite frequently. And while there’s always a danger that my job won’t be there when I come back…there are always other companies to consult with! Life goes on. Plus my current career allows me to follow other passions (like blogging) without making me feel like I have to choose one over the other! Hopefully it stays that way! 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 It took me forever to find the positives in my current line of work! And I do make a decent living! I treat myself very well because every dime I make goes into me taking care of myself like a queen! 🙌🏽 Never let a job define who you are as a person…even if you love what you do…for everything has a season and all seasons will come to an end! 🙌🏽 If you are Usain Bolt, it’s okay to miss being a runner but even he must embrace his next chapter as being more than a runner and seeing it filled with hope! Life must go on…beautifully! What defines us are our hearts, our loved ones, and the times we refill our own cups with joy and laughter! There is so much more to a person than what they do for a living. Focus on the blessings until you get to where you want to go and even when you get to that destination…remember it too is just a season! No shame in making an honest living that provides our needs. You are so much more than your career! It took me almost a decade to realize that! 🙌🏽 1. Thinking Your Current Work Place Is Your Company! This is the other lesson you must tattoo in your brain! I have said this time and time again! Please do not invest all of your blood, sweat, and tears into a company you did not build! See number 5! No matter how irreplaceable you think you are to a company, you are still very replaceable because it’s not YOUR company!!! And in some rare instances, even a company you built may put your ass “out to pasture” when the new board of directors have a need for fresh blood! 😳 Most of the time though if it’s your own business…it will be your own legacy! That means even if you spent 20 years with the same company…they are probably not as invested in you and you are in them. One of the good things about being a consultant is I never feel like any company is my company because I work with so many! Though slaving away on weekends that I did not have to sends the message that I’m investing my time in a job that’s not going to be mine forever! “Silly rabbits! Tricks are for kids!” Your boss owes you nothing. Your company owes you nothing. Your coworkers owe you nothing. You are the only one who owes yourself something! Like the dignity to “know when to hold them and know when to fold them” during your stay in Corporate America! Pimps are only loyal to themselves! Once your ankles start getting ashy, you ain’t the new hoe anymore, and you can’t spend as much time tricking on the beat…that pimp is going to be looking for new hoes! 🙌🏽 ~KJM on Charm School Monday!
Well it’s Temptation Tuesday and this one is going to be a shit show! Yesterday I read a very long, informative, and depressing article on Oprah.com titled “The New Midlife Crisis…Why (and How) It’s Hitting Gen X Women” by Ada Calhoun. Please do not read this article without having an entire bottle of wine at hand! It was so truthful and yet so fucking depressing! Many of my friends did not even make it to the end of the article! Of course, I…without wine nor a Xanax, boldly read every last word! The premise is that Gen X women (myself included) are the forgotten middle children! We are more educated than our mothers, more exhausted (whether we have children or not), are more likely to end up alone because our parents are more likely to be divorced than any other group so we don’t have a blueprint to keep our relationships together and thus, we are fucking jaded (🙄 tell me something I didn’t know), there are less of us than the generations above us and below us…thus we have a greater chance of being older parents while caring for our own aging parents, we start to get “perry” or premenopausal symptoms almost a decade earlier than our mothers, and we feel defeated because we worked our asses off but because of two recessions, we most likely have had long periods of unemployment, are still living paycheck to paycheck, and only to find out more recessions are most likely on their way as we start to age out of the youthful employee category! So to sum up my sum of Ada’s article…we Gen X women are fucked!!! It’s not like I didn’t feel what Ada was saying way before I read this article (I think my Crisis started at age 29…when unemployment ravaged my soul and my self esteem) but to see it all in bold print…I wanted to throw the fuck up! I did everything “right.” Did not become a teenage mom, didn’t choose marriage over myself, closed shop on my womb, have multiple degrees, and dove into a career that has not been rewarding…to my pockets nor my soul. I’m a consultant so I really don’t have a retirement plan. Fucked. Fucked. Fucked. Only good news in Ada’s article is that it didn’t matter whether I chose a husband or not…most of us Gen X women are gonna die alone anyways! 🙌🏽 We out live men and most may leave us before they drop dead! 😩Ain’t that a bitch…that that’s the only silver lining I saw in the article! And why isn’t the female Midlife Crisis not spoken about more?! Because society focuses on the men’s! 🖕🏾According to Ada, women tend to start going through their midlife crisis way before men so by the time men start with their antics…we have adjusted! And guess what that gets some of us? Our older mates now want younger women and the life we created with them ain’t enough! 😳 Jesus be a fence! Like why do we Gen X women even try?! It didn’t matter whether I got pregnant at 15 or 50…I was going to be fucked anyways! Struggling. Exhausted. Feeling like a failure even though we are stronger than our mothers! Built to survive alone. That’s good since that’s one of our fates! I’m literally on my morning commute craving wine. But I’m just gonna save my coins and pull over and get that cheap wine…like the Boone’s Farm! Ain’t drank that shit since college but no time to spend more money on expensive wine….when Ada says I’m gonna need every dime for my retirement either on Pookie’s island or a homeless shelter…no in between baby! Yea this is the life of the brilliant Gen X woman! Did I mention that we have also lived through 9/11 and other terror attacks around the world?! No wonder believing in fairytales and a good life are so hard! We are too busy dodging bullets off our asses while protecting our loved ones, grabbing a few degrees, bringing home the bacon, and lecturing our husbands mistresses turned girlfriends on how not to mistreat our children when they are in their care! Wtf?! I’m exhausted from being exhausted. Not to mention, if you are a black Gen X woman, you have a host of other problems that other Gen X women do not. White Gen X women do not have to worry every time their man or son leaves the house that he may not be returning unless their men are military, firefighters, or cops! So…we have racism on our backs and innocent black men that we love being gunned down while their law enforcement murderers go free in an unjust system! We are more likely to be single moms too! I could go on and on with the plight of the black Gen X woman but I’m fucking depressing myself! So we are fucked. Got it! What next?! ~KJM on Temptation Tuesday! Here’s the link to Ada’s article…http://www.oprah.com/sp/new-midlife-crisis.html?FB=fb_omag_new_midlife_crisis_feature Please heed my warning and get the cheap yack out before reading one word. Trying to save y’all the funk I’ve been in ever since I read it! Fuck….
So my blog turned 2! Definitely do not have anything planned this year. 2016 and 2017 have been some rough years on many levels. In 2017, there were times I had to choose self preservation over work and working on the blog. This vacation was one of those times! Thanks to everyone who have been supporting me on this venture! One Love 💕 ~KJM on the West Coast 😘
I hate gossip! That’s one of the reasons why I don’t do a gossip blog. Sometimes a few gossip headlines may catch my attention but they never hold it. I find that if one is focused on the lives of others (in a negative manner) then they are behind in handling their own life business. And if there’s one thing we will do at Kingston Expressions…is do our life’s work…no matter how hard and messy it gets! We will grow! 🙌🏽 Now on to today’s Charm School Monday lesson! On Saturday, I worked for a couple hours. Consultants often have to work crazy hours to keep their clients happy so I do just that. One of the OLDER (should be too old for this shit) ladies had just returned from vacation. Do you remember poison ivy from one of my earlier 2017 blogs? Yea it’s her again. As I was approaching my desk, I overheard her gossiping with another coworker about me. A third coworker also overheard and by the time I got to my seat, she had repeated poison Ivy’s last words about me. I’m not sure if she did it to be funny or to let me know that they had been discussing me. Either way I played it off and pretended to be unaware of the bull shit occurring. After all, I had fifteen minutes left of work and then my weekend would begin so I was just going to let it ride. What Poison Ivy was stating was not only untrue but it was something she had no personal knowledge of! Now for her to be spreading rumors about me when I’m only a few feet away is crazy. Knowing that she would like a rise out of me, I stayed calm, finished my work, and left…still smiling. I’m not going to lie it really bothered me. I don’t like people to defame my character but it finally sunk in why Ivy was trying to do just that! Clients generally love me and my work so on a whole, I make more than her. She spends all day kissing asses while I’m working my butt off. Ivy is from a privileged class while I am and will forever be the underdog. Privileged people never like to see the underdog rise. She does not get why my black ass is so smart! This is crazy since I’ve all the same credentials as Ivy but once again the privileged will always treat those that are not like the hired help. But I digress. If you recall, Ivy is probably somewhere in her 50s looking like she is 110 years old. The dents on top of dents in her face signal all the lies she’s told and all the hate she has in her heart. You can’t hate and expect to age well! 🙌🏽 That’s a fact and that’s why black don’t crack! Amen! While I was in my feelings about the incident, I remembered a meme I had read several months back. To sum it up, you are not ready to be successful if you aren’t ready for folks to be talking about you and trying to tear you down! Whoa! 🙌🏽 One cannot be a Barack Obama by being loved by everyone. If you are loved by everyone then you are probably a people pleaser that stands for nothing! And if you want to be great you have to stand for something…especially your own success! 🙌🏽 Jesus was not popular and was hated by many…hence His crucification! Remember that every time people try to tear you down! Keep going in your pursuit of happiness and excellence! Don’t stop to address your critics! Your success will do that for you! 🙌🏽~KJM saying watch out for those gossip folks but don’t let them deter you from being great! 😍 Happy Charm School Monday! 💕