Wish Upon a Cloud

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The Cloud in My Sky

The clouds are near yet they are far

Wondering if I shall touch them

No, wait, a thought just came to mind

I shall take a small piece for myself

Being careful so no one would know

A simple touch not to disturb the essence of their soul

Oh, if only I could float so still and peaceful

To spread my soul high above this world of hate and sin

Speak to me my fluffy friend

How does it feel to encircle the warmth of the morning sun

To divide your soul at night like the red sea

So that the moon and the stars can shine on me

Tell me what angers you to darken my skies

Huffing and puffing, clashing together

Roaring with your thunderous voice

I find such sweet joy in your presence

When your quiet voice descends upon my unhappy days

Thank you for stopping by Dragthepen

The myth of the good girl versus bad girl

Dear Readers, 

I have always wondered about the good girl versus bad girl myth. I am calling this myth, bad information, and a horrible way to raise young girls. When I was a little girl, my mother constantly reminded me that if I wanted people to like me, I had to be a good girl because nobody likes a bad girl. My mother scolded me about my tacky behavior. I was told that everything I did was bad. The way I sat, walked, spoke, laughed, played with my hair and chewed food was bad. According to my mother I was simply being a bad girl on purpose. I was warned that good girls do not hang around boys because that is what bad girls did. When I asked why, I was given this explanation. if I hung around boys, I would be labeled easy and ruin my reputation, therefore nobody would marry me. I was about 8 years old and did not know what the word reputation meant. This was heavy information for a young girl to take in.

There are other disturbing myths that adult’s plant into the innocent minds of little girls. I bring forth this topic as a means for parents, grandparents and the other adults in the village raising our young girls: to be aware and rethink the habit of labeling and sending confusing messages to young girls that result in mental and emotional damage to their self-esteem and self-worth. Little girls eventually grow up to be adults and because of wanting to please people by being a good girl, their adult lives turn into a destructive pattern of pretending and wearing the good girl mask.

I hear other women say, “bad girls are punished because it is the consequences they pay for disobeying rules.” You know the saying, it starts at home, parents feel that their children’s behavior is a judgment of their parenting skills, especially when little girl don’t behave. This judgement is due to the gender double standard rule of boys will be boys, and girls only fall into two categories good or bad. Good girls behave themselves. Good girls do not talk back and do as they are told. Good girls do not play with boys, they dress appropriately, good girls do not ask men out on dates, they wait until they are approached, why because a good girl do not want the reputation of being easy, that is a label for bad girls. 

Good girls learn how to cook, clean, manage a home and prepare to become a good wife and mother. Good girls do not speak out of turn, they become people pleasers. Good girls do not have a voice or opinion because they have been taught that society frowns on women who talk back. Society is full of women who do everything right, meaning they excel in life whether married or single, they have a balanced life and they are rewarded by being placed in the category of the good girl. 

On the other side, I have seen good girls transformed into bad girls not because they caused a scandal that ruined their reputation, it is simply that they want life beyond the status quo. Or they lived life in reverse, became a young unwed mother, who’s baby daddy ran off and doomed to a life having more children, living on welfare and the best she could do for her children is to live in public housing. I was labeled the typical stereotype of a bad girl being punished for opening my legs at an early age and I got what I deserved. Truth be told, I was not a bad girl, just a young girl who did know what she was doing. I learned a lesson from a mistake I made, but I was branded a bad girl. 

I said all of this because sometimes when young girls make mistakes and are branded a bad girl due to lack of knowledge and experience, they spend their entire life trying to prove that they are worthy of being a good girl. I struggled for years in and out of bad relationships trying to be a good girl worthy of a good man results in me losing myself like so many other women.

I am going to leave that right there…. another reason for discussing this topic every day I meet young women who are unsure of themselves and worry about what people are saying about them, but no one is asking them how they feel about themselves, and they fear not meeting up to the expectation of others. They all want to wear the crown of the good girl and not be branded a bad girl, because like my mother said, “nobody likes a bag girl.”

Thank you for stopping by dragthepen

Second Chance and New Beginning

Dear Readers, in 2018 I made the discussion to end my engagement. The choice was painful, l had to be honest with myself I was going into the marriage for all the wrong reasons. For a period of time, I felt lost, broken, unloved and unwanted. I decided to journal my way through the healing process and what I’ve discovered about myself was life changing. The biggest lesson I don’t have to settle to be happy. Available on amazon.

Join the Conversation

Dear Reading

I’ve been MIA for almost three months. As you can tell from the picture, I’ve been busy.

The conversation is a collection of my short stories, poems, and mt award winning play. available on amazon. Thank you for reading J. R. Floyd /A.K.A Dragthepen

Reset, Regroup and refocus:

This is a very important moment of reflection

Conversations on finding and loving who I am

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It’s time for me to regroup and refocus on myself. I’m still trying to figure out where did I lose myself at? I was setting boundaries and doing great. I feel like I took 20 steps forward just to take 100 steps backward. I can no longer forget about myself and my worth. I’m so convenient to people all the time and I neglect myself for the sake of others. I don’t understand why I do that, wait yes I do. I have always been the one that people can rely on and be there for. But how many people have shown up for me? Not many I can tell you that. It’s time to do something different and get serious about taking care of myself. NO MORE NEGLECT OF MYSELF. I’m so serious this time. It’s time to create healthy boundaries and if…

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Are you like the person you want to date?

Dear Readers,

In this complicated world of dating men and women are rolling out a list of requirements for their potential partner. So here we are gone are the days when boys meets girl, boy likes girl, they are joined together in Holy matrimony and live happily ever after.

Nowadays people are requiring proof employment,  credit checks, salary requirement, ownership of property, conducting background checks, prenuptial agreements, his and hers bank accounts,the use of credit cards, expensive gifts, in addition to some women asking for a monthly allowance.

Let’s cut to the chase for the men and women who play the dating game here is a bit of advice make sure your creating the exact lifestyle that your requesting from a future partner. In other words, be the person that you want to date or marry. Let me clarify ………

If your requiring a person to earn six figures,  have an education, be stable in their profession, good health, honesty,  compassion, emotionally stable, live by good values, than the big question, is your life a reflection of these requirements? The most common question people ask is “what are you bringing to the table?” There are individuals who will hardball a potential partner to match the standards that they have created for their life. Why, because they desire to continue in the standards they have created. And in this modern time of self sufficient women, men are requirementing women to contribute more to the relationship than good looks and  being a freak in bed, and ladies newsflash men are turned off by your personal laundry list of needs to be maintained, thus the term ” high maintenance.”

And vice versa women are no longer falling for the smooth lips of sweet talking men,  persuading them to part with their money, drive their cars, and free load by moving in their space. Men and women need to grow up and act like the mature adults they claim to be. People are foolish if they expect to call all the shots and engage relationship, where they are reaping all the benefits from a personal list of requirements, using the other  as a doormat, ATM machine, and treating their homes like a pit stop dropping by to have their needs meet before quickly moving on.

People who expect to engage in relationships for personal agenda void of an emotional or spiritual connection that isn’t a relationship its a business proposition. And the sad conclusion is when the benefits run out so do these benefit seeking indivduals, moving on to the next benefical relationship. These individuals should stick with the circle of  trolls who are incapable of a legitimate  human connection.

For the mature adults who are emotionally stable, financially responsible, have career longevity, feet are planted firmly on the ground, live in reality, and are ready for a relationship, may I suggest these  requirements? Honesty, respect, compassion,  love, keep an open line of communication and  be supportive of your partners visions. Above all work together building a foundation of friendships, trust, and grow together. Don’t forget to laugh and be playful. Be the person who you would want to date or marry. If your asking your partner for 100 percent than be willing to do the same.

Join Conversations with J R Floyd on YouTube

Men and mental illness & the culture of silence.

Dear Readers, Today’s topic is dedicated to exploring a subject most people don’t want to talk about or rather ignore the truth that men struggle with mental illness.

We ignore that men have similar experiences as women. Some men have or had at one time In their lives encountered abuse, neglect, sexual violence, sexualized by the media, incarceration, a victim of racism, and hide their sexual preference. It’s the opinion of others if a man isn’t humping, in a relationship or situationships his manhood is questionable.

Men have anger and emotional issues, they carry baggage, and feel lonely, disrespect, disappointed, discouraged and unappreciated. Men fear not being good enough, although they are told not to show fear, because real men don’t let people see them sweat. Instead, they should be Macho and aggressive proving to the world they are top dog.

Society continues to turn a blind eye to the emotional and mental issues that men struggle with.In every culture there is a population of men living in silence because there are very few safe spaces created for men to let go of what’s burdening them without the shame and guilt for wanting and needing to step out of the iron suite of masculinity. No one wants to be strong all the time.

We are a society build on the empowerment of the women’s movement because we feel that for centuries women have been given a raw deal and we have. But men have been thrust into the spot light being told that their duty is to be brave, provider, protector, predator, emotionally detached, silent, milatant and masculant. And if they fail to meet any of these standards then they are failing as a man.

To complicate this situation society plays the blame game pointing fingers at the homes, schools, and churches. Wondering why there is a raise in domestic violence, men wanting to be women, men killing each other, men abusing drugs and alcohol, mistreating their families, increased incarceration, the lack of male role models in the homes, poor communication skills. Men are feeling broken, desperate, and hopeless.

Society on the whole is to blame. We have created situations that cause men to carry a chip on their shoulders. We are not creating support systems for them. We are not creating peace inside homes where men can find balance and be open about their pain. We keep choking them with impossible standards and threaten the strength of their manhood, if they dare show any sign of weakness. Men need to be genuinely embraced with authentic love and to know that it’s ok not to be okay. They need to know from the core of their being that someone is sincere about having their back.

My sister an amazing nephews ❤

Because we are reluctant to talk to men about mental illness we continue to create a society for them to be dysfunctional, lost, silent, and to live in denial about the emotional trauma in their lives that need to be healed. We need to create a society where we foster empathy for men, and address the connection to males suicide and mental illnesses. For the women listening to this podcasts, let’s recognize our part in creating dysfunctional men. Especially, mother’s who coddle their male children preventing them from developing into men..Enough with the mams boys.

Until we break this practice of being taboo about talking about men and mental illness, we will exist in a world where men will never understand the joys of being whole, unashamed and free from hiding skeletons of emotional brokenness and mental illness.

Thank you for stopping by dragthepen.

The Cost of A Life

Dear reader,

The unjust attitude of Landlords ( slumlords) or LLC companies that hoard real-estate in New York City, should be rendered unconstitutional.These greedy and heartless proprty owners target low income people from under served communities such as,  immigrants, single parent household, people of color, low income wage earners, and many more marginalized groups who live in fear of being homeless. The majority of these groups do not under the housing laws or that their basic human rights are being valided, thus becoming victims used by Landlords as a means to an end.

The principal standard used to be that once a tenant and Landlord enter into an agreement, he/she is bound by the contract of the lease to render basic services such as, repairs, heat and hot water, safe electricity, and to maintain a clean environment free of rodiants. However, overtime a lease agreement has become a useless piece of paper and housing court tend to defend Landlords over the rights of tenants. Furthermore, as the immigrate population increases this gave way for Landlords and property management companies to rent illegal apartments, to practice rent gouging, and use intimidation to  trap undocumented and low wage earners into living in horrible conditions. People are afraid to call heating hot lines to complaint or to withhold rent because of lack of repairs in fear of eviction or being reported to immigration.

We see news reports about slumlords who fail to make repairs or who are notorious for not supplying tenants with heat and hot water. The most recent tragedy in New York City, on January 8, 2022, 17 people died due to a fire caused by families using space heaters to stay warm. This situation was complicated by the fact that the building did not have smoke detectors or proper fire doors that would have kept people safe until help arrived. The publics opinion is to judge the less fortunate by reversing blame because these victims should be able to live in better housing. Well, naysayers, let’s be realistic not everyone can live the promised luxury of the American Dream, and not everyone can afford a house, condo or to live in an upscale neighborhood.

It is the duty of our American system to keep a certain class of people from improving the quality of their lives. Our political leaders accomplish this by keeping wages low, corporate take over of the farming industry keeps food prices high, increase rate in utility services, high cost of public transportation, high rents, and  the lack of low income housing. The government believes that there is no profit in developing affordable housing. The American way of thinking is that only a privileged few deserves to enjoy basic amenities such as shelter and food.

Regardless to the fact that some of the most dangerous fires caused by property owners neglect there hasn’t been a single person held accountable. I’ve experienced living without heat because the home owner didn’t want to pay the cost of heating. But, they expect rent on time each month. I am heading towards retirement and ridding myself of Landlords by building a tiny house. I am lucky that I can afford to build my dream home, but I am just one person. When I lay down at night in the comfort of my warm clean apartment free of rodiants, I whisper a prayer asking God to help the people who are not as fortunate as I.

Thank you for stopping by dragthepen.

Five Days

My life friend and road warrior

Dear Readers, 

Remember the saying,” home is where the heart is?” This is what I was thinking during my five day tour across America.  Let me explain. I have two routines I am accustomed to performing in the morning and evening, the way I start and end my day truly makes a difference. I do not like chaos or noise to greet me in the morning.  I like taking my time sipping coffee,  reading a daily meditation and reviewing  my daily To Do List. In the evening I enjoy quiet time. I don’t talk on the phone, I am employed as an ESL teacher engaging in conversation throughout the day. I frown at loud music or playing the Television at a  volume that gives me a headache. I see evenings at home time to unwind and shake off the business of the day. I usually have a light dinner, maybe watch a movie,  look over my weekly calendar, and have a cup of my favorite tea Earl grey.  

During my five day drive across the country all of this changed and I found myself out of balance and becoming irritated by my road partner who interfered with my daily routines.

My journey across the country was an amazing adventure, but I didn’t  foresee  the clash of personalities. My road partner is a talented musician and actor who since the age of 17 have lived the lifestyle of a spoiled rock star. He knows nothing about  morning or evening rituals, he only knows one speed fast, and he likes everything  loud. His theory is if you can’t  feel it, what’s the point? 

On our second morning when I was taking longer than he thought was necessary to get back on the road he would pace the floor of our hotel room and repeatedly ask me if I was ready to go. His plan was to see as much as we could at each destination, and still cover 400 miles per day. At the end of each day he would throw himself in bed and turn on the Television blasting the volume disturbing my tea and quiet time. Once the volume  was so loud the front desk called to say that the other guests were complaining.  

By day four I was so frizzled because I was used to centering myself before each day and evening, and I found I wasn’t  enjoying being in his company, thus making the second half of our tour across America less enjoyable. Our final destination was his home in Southern California. During  the last 400 miles of our journey I began to feel uneasy about the plan to stay in California  for three days before returning to New York City. I  envisioned myself  there in his house, loud Tv and rock music banging in my head and he is a person who does not like to be asked to lower the volume. After crossing 10 states we arrived at his home. I immediately searched for a flight leaving early Friday morning, but no luck. I was trapped there until Saturday. When I told him that I planned to return home early he was shocked and When he asked why, I told him the truth.

He apologized and explained to me that he truly did not understand how important my morning and evening routine are to me. I decided to change my flight plans to stay longer. I do take some of the blame because I should have had a conversation with him before the journey. Although we have been friends for over twenty years, we have never been in such a close situation. I think we both learned something from this experience.

South Dakota