Lately I’ve been feeling off balance fighting through a period of feeling emotionally and physically drained and disappointed. At this point in my life I feel I need to give deep thought into what I am doing, and is it truly meaningful, or is all of the book writing, blogging, vlogging, just another way of me staying busy, which in turn appears like I am productive and successful.
Since the start of the pandemic I’ve taken several free courses and just recently completed a 40 hour training to become a Victim Advocate for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. I feel that it would be a great experience to add to my resume. But, the more that I think I am accomplishing, the bigger the question of what am I doing for my future? Creating a brand, publishing books, joining the International Lions Club, will any of these activities help me in the future.
I have a timeline. I want to semi-retire in three years at ( 60) and fully retire at 62, and relocate from New York. Can I do this in three to five years on my own? How? To accomplish my retirement vision means less time For my brandConversations with J. R. Floyd. I have two manuscripts I wanted to publish this year, and dealing with the disappointment of being 7 months into this year, and some of the projects I planned had to be rescheduled, and I may not be able to complete them.
It’s time for me to put the same focus and energy into planning for my future. The last five years I’ve been balancing my time between two jobs that I no desire to continue to do. I am hoping that my upcoming cross country drive from New York to California will help me to refocus my energy and start to design a new vision for my future. I am not looking for a fresh start or to start over just to work from the foundation that I currently have.
If anyone has retirement advice or suggestions I would like to hear from you.
Somebody please help me to understand this….during another conversation with a brother about my upcoming cross country drive from New York City to California with a very close male friend, he revealed an ugly truth about how not having all the facts can lead to biased thinking.
To make a long story short.
The male that engaged me in conversation suggested that my cross country drive with a man is a romantic vacation. I corrected his assumption by stating that “although I was once involved in a long term relationship ( 1999-2004) with my travel partner, we remained good friends, but not friends with benefits because I don’t play that game.”
Him: What are you kidding me ? How can a man keep his hands to himself across the whole country?
Me: Because we are both mature adults and he knows that I don’t lay around for the fun of it.
Him: Oh boy…ain’t no way I could do that with you…I would be all over you…I adore you.?
While I am flattered by the comment, this is a man who I don’t know very well, and we had one dinner date many years ago. I am thankful to him because he was the first person to interview me for my first book, The Waiting Game, back in 2016 for his radio station. And we have not been in each other’s presence since that time.
Me: All men are not the same. Your attitude is the reason why I remain single and celibate. Men like you need to learn and understand regardless of their former relationship or current situation with any woman, this doesn’t give any man an open door or invitation to touch a woman without asking.
Him: Well I ain’t gonna lie…I would have to be in a straight jacket to not touch you for that long. Wow that torture.
Another reminder, I have never been in any situation with this man that would suggest that I was attracted to him. He continued the conversation by calling me a dominatrix.. And that he would have to be handcuffed and gagged to be next to me for such a long period of time. The next part of the conversation is what pushed my bell and is the driving force behind me making this conversation public.
Him: I wish you would just be honest and not play games.. That’s it you’re a control freak!! You don’t want a man, you want a pet. Or He must be gay.
I found his train of thinking and assumption about me and my travel partner to be insulting and disrespectful. I blasted back with
Me: First of all, why are you talking to me in this manner? I am single because it’s my choice. Secondly, the gentleman I am traveling with is just that, a respectful man who lives by good values and morals and understands boundaries, he is the perfect travel partner to take this trip of a lifetime with. Finally, please refrain from speaking to me in such a manner you have no right to judge me or him. I am shocked at how one black man can label another brother “ Gay” becuase he choos to carry himslf with respect, dignity and most important show a woman her worth.
Him: I didn’t mean to disrespect you.. You are absolutely right!! I have friendships with people too. I’m sorry.
For the people reading this conversation please understand my intent is not to embarrass anyone, on the contrary, I want people to understand the harm they cause by making assumptions about others based on personal biases, misinformation and lacking maturity to keep an open mind. The fact that he referred to my traveling partner as “ Gay “is offensive and an attack on a person he doesn’t know. To the people in society who have a negative mindset that men and women can’t be friends without physical inimatancy, I am sorry that you have brought into a myth, and you’re missing out on a bond that can last a lifetime. I am proud to say that I have six outstanding male friends.
Bottom line, think before you speak and stop throwing the people from the LGBTQIA community under the bus.
Lately, I’ve been thinking that maybe I should rethink what it means to be a victim. Let me explain, once upon a time about 26 years, I escaped a violent marriage, and before that at the age of 18, I was abandoned by my son’s father. There was a time in my life I spent years experimenting with drugs and heavy drinking, but I got clean and sober. While I was going through years of therapy and the healing process, I was told by the professionals, that I was a victim of domestic volience, a victim of drug abuse and I was victimized by my son’s father, and all of these experiences resulted in me being a survivor.
So, each time I told my story I used the words victim or survivor. Recently, I began to think about what being a victim means to me. I admit that I did survive all of the previous mentioned experiences and not only did I survive, but I thrived, and learned valuable lessons from each experience, no matter how painful and that’s putting it nicely. But the knowledge made me stronger, and helped me to mature into a emotionally balanced person.
I don’t want to think of myself as a victim or survivor, but a conqueror. I admit that there were times in my life when I felt so low and broken that I didn’t think I could ever make a come back. I did more than make a come back, I soared past the limitations that was placed on me.
Unlike the individuals who consider themselves victims or survivors, I do not carry battle scares and my wounds have healed years ago. I stop volunteering to speak about the years of mental, verbal, and emotional abuse by my Ex. And, I am happy to report that my son has matured into am amazing man of valor. Lately, I dare not go back to abusing myself with alcohol because I like being sober.
I once was a victim, but I survived, thrived, overcame, and conquered. We should be careful when labeling individuals a victim. If people continue to hear the word victim, they may never understand that beginning a victim isn’t forever, and that being a survivor means they want to be a conqueror, and not relive what made them a victim.
Wow. what a difference a year makes. Last year this time the education system was struggling to educate our children remotely, proms, graduations, weddings, baby showers, religious and anniversary celebrations were cancelled. It took some for us to understand and come to terms with life as we once knew it was over and we were left with uncertainty. We fought through the fear of death, a second wave, political confusion, financial devastation, homelessness, depression and emotional Instability
The Vaccine arrived and more uncertainty, yet, we yearned for relief from the limitations brought on by this pandemic, so we soldiered on. Today, I see smiling faces of families at graduations and proms. I see people despite all the controversy getting vaccinated, wearing masks and practicing social distancing, planning weddings and taking much needed vacations. Slowly, we will learn how to accept and adjust to this new “ Normal.” I am no expert, but you and I know that we are not out of the woods and no one knows when we will be free from the threat of this virus or the continued effects this virus will have on people’s health, business, and with the return of workers returning to the workplace.
I know that we cannot continue to hide behind closed doors, but we must carry on with safe practices, while we begin to enjoy some of the pleasures that we had to leave behind last year.
During a conversation with a male friend about relationships, he enlightened me about the reasons why women of color are experiencing difficultly finding a partner. He claims that most women of color lack three important quailites.
Women of color are not fit ( meaning we don’t take care of out bodies according to the standards of the male gaze).
Women of color don’t believe in submission ( meaning they don’t believe in a man having control over their lives and that women only care about themselves rather than foucsing on the needs of their man).
Finally, women of color are not friendly ( meaning we don’t smile. Example, if a brother ask a sister to smile the response is usually ” I don’t have to smile” making her unfriendly and approachable).
He continued to say that men are not attracted to women who are aggressive and masculine, instead they want women who are feminine and submissive. I listened as he educated me about conceited women of color with bad attitudes, fluanting their independence, and willingness to live life, and not settle for less than what they feel they deserve, often setting standards on a level that is unachievable for most men.
My phone rang and I was happy for the excuse to escape the conversation. It’s not that I don’t think that there might be some truth about what he said, but I couldn’t help thinking, why is the burden always placed on women?
Anyway, it will be interesting to see what you have to say.
Dear Readers, write the script for the life your living not the life your fantasizing about. Yes, have dreams, but turn those dreams into a vision and then reality. And alone the road if your loose hope say to yourself out loud.