Unrequited Love Series | Ghetto Love (Episode 3)

Welcome to Episode Three! Be sure to check the blog for for previous episodes.

Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado…

Ghetto Love

He’s the most consistent of them all

Daily texts and good morning calls

Hey Beautiful, have a good day

And may God send many blessings your way

He tells me that I’m his diamond in the rough

A true gem that he didn’t treasure oddly enough

When I loved him, I loved him hard

But he was a victim of the ghetto all tattered and marred

He was young and dumb, to thug life he had succumb, yet he didn’t have a clue

Still I loved him the same, other side of the game, shouts out to Ms. Badu

But change is inevitable like the shifting of tectonic plates

I had to move on because destiny awaits

My love for him is unwavering, it will always stay

If he’s ever in dire need I’ll be there right away

Right now it’s crazy there’s a war going on

As much as I’d like to reciprocate affection I must stay strong

The Universe tells me that I’m needed on the front lines

If our love was meant to be it will be in due time

Inspiration

I wrote this poem due to my undying love for a former boyfriend. We met at 19 years old and dated for almost a decade. We literally grew up together! I’m currently 37 years old and I can say that he’s the only man I’ve dated that loved ALL of me. Every roll and curve on my body — all of my idiosyncrasies and flaws. I accepted his for a time as well; but, as we got older we grew apart and had different goals in life. Plus his lifestyle and addictions became too much for me.

I reference Erykah Badu’s classic song, “Otherside of the Game” because it related to our situation at the time. In this song, she sings about her love for a man whose behaviors are counterproductive to the success of their relationship.

In many of my poems I was compelled to say something like, “The Universe tells me I’m needed on the front lines.” I always feel like God is using me for a bigger purpose that I have yet to fully understand. In this case, I felt that our love hate relationship was not helping me get that message. So what did I do? I put pen to paper and pressed on.

Do you have a past love or current love that you can’t shake? Or did this poem evoke other memories for you? If so, tell me all about it in the comment section below.

You don’t want to miss a thing so be sure to hit the ‘Subscribe’ button below. As always, thanks for reading. See ya’ll soon!

Unrequited Love Series | Summer Love (Episode 2)

Here’s installment two of the series. Be sure to read the first installment here.

Summer Love

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You so refreshing like grandma’s sweet, summer iced tea

Southern gentleman, inspiring the emergence of the best of me

If I’m the seedling then you’re the perfect gardener

Your inspiration is the nourishment my soul needs to grow farther

And it’s growing by leaps and bounds

Your energy is the type I’ve been itching to be around

Your reflection is comparable to that of a young king

Under your reign I’m finding my queen

Titles, no it’s much deeper than that

I’d rather a true friend first and that’s a matter of fact

Inspiration

A year after a bad breakup I reluctantly decided to start dating again. I took a chance with this particular gentleman. Turns out that I struck gold because he was the beginning of my reawakening. He was a hardworking, socially conscious, educated man and the lovin’ wasn’t too bad either! His work ethic and mysterious personality were infectious. Whether he would admit it or not, we had a lot in common. We were both from rural areas or you can just call us country folk. We enjoyed the same music and had a lot of the same ideals in life. Even the things we didn’t see eye to eye on were strengths to each other’s weaknesses. Life was foggy and hard to navigate until I met him.

He, ladies and gentleman, would go on to inspire many of my writings during this time in my life. Over the coming weeks you will see that my writings get better and they reveal an emotionally tumultuous, yet inspiring and creative period of my life. Stay tuned!

Did past loves help you find the best part of yourself? Do you enjoy writing? Tell me all about it below in the comment section.

Be sure to hit the subscribe button below so you won’t miss thing. Thanks for reading, see y’all soon!

Unrequited Love Series | Something New (Episode 1)

Numbers don’t lie and my stats say that you guys enjoy when I talk about love. Have you ever been in love (or lust for that matter) and the object of your affection didn’t feel quite the same? That’s what we call an unrequited love!

Three years ago, I was dealing with the lost of a toxic relationship, infant loss and the loss of EVERYTHING I owned (I’ll share that story later on the blog). One year out of that tumultuous relationship I decided to date again to get my feet wet. I met some great guys and some not so good ones. Check out some of my dating woes here!

In the midst of dating, a familiar “bug” made a reappearance in my life — the writing bug! Writing was my first love as a child. I was recognized often and won many awards for my writing. I remember my grandma gave me a sewing machine and my cousin an electronic typewriter for Christmas once. I was so upset because I wanted that typewriter! I had read the entire “Babysitter’s Club” series and I thought that I was ready to write my first book. That typewriter was going to help me do it!

Writing was second nature to me. I had all types of stories in my head; but, then life happened. I became so obsessed with living life that I forgot about the things that bought me the most peace.

Dating again bought on intense emotions. I didn’t know what to do with those emotions so I begin to pour my soul out onto paper by writing poetry in an effort to find peace.

The Unrequited Love Series is dedicated to this time in my life. Once per week, for the next several weeks, I will share a poem that I wrote including my inspiration behind it. So without further ado, here’s the first poem:

Something New

Put me on to something new

Something that transcends all past loves

Something I’ve never experienced

Something that’s good for the soul

Something that will activate my imagination

Something that will restore my faith in friendship and love

Something that will inspire me to operate at my highest frequency

Something that’s so new it makes me slightly uncomfortable

Something that ignites my senses

Something that I can vibe to

Something that I can write to

Something that I can cry to

Got damn it, I don’t care just gimme something new

Inspiration

I was lying around listening to old Curtis Mayfield records. A song called “So In Love” played and I begin to daydream about the love I never had. A love that is different, a love that inspires. A new love like Jody Whatley, and so I wrote my first poem in over 15 years. It was just the catharsis I needed. Over the next year or so I would be inspired to write several more.

How do you get over heartache? Do you write poems as well? Tell me all about it in the comments below.

As always, thank you for reading. You dont want to miss out on anything so be sure to click the ‘Subscribe’ button below. Stay tuned for more poems in the coming weeks. See y’all soon!

How Not to Fall in Love

Let’s be clear love is a wonderful thing. I enjoy being in love and the state of euphoria that it brings. A strong relationship can enhance the quality of life in so many ways. Imagine having a partner to vent to when your boss is being a jackass. Or having a permanent travel partner who will never cancel plans on you at the last minute. A healthy love inspires you to be the best you.

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On the flipside, ego driven relationships bring about insecurity, jealousy, hatred and other disgruntlement. Staying in toxic relationships is NOT an indication of a “ride or die” loyalty. In fact, staying in an unhealthy relationship may be a sign of low self-esteem.

Now I’m not certified in anything but life experience — the best teacher in my opinion. The unfortunate occurrence of habitually attracting unhealthy relationships and being sick and tired of being sick and tired is what brought me here today. In order to attract genuine, unconditional love, I would have to fall out of love with being in love.

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Yep, I was once in love with being in love. I didn’t care if the guy I was in love with treated me like shit. I allowed my ego to make me think that a relationship would somehow heal all the pain. When, in fact, the very thing that would heal the pain was changing the behaviors that caused the pain. Genuine love for myself would help heal the pain. So I set a goal to heal from toxic relationships and behaviors. And I’m still healing, one day at a time. Here’s a list of ways that I am doing it, they may be helpful to you as well:

 Change of wallpaper

A therapist once told me that I needed “a change of wallpaper”. I was confused for a moment because I honestly thought she was giving me home decor advice. Then I realized that she was saying that I am a Fixer Upper. I still have good bones, I just need to spruce up a few things. Watch out Chip and Joanna Gaines, you ain’t got nothing on my therapist though!

Imagine all of the layers of pain that have built up out of what we believed to be love. So for example, an absentee parent, shady friends and most definitely toxic intimate relationships all define how we have viewed love. We can liken those layers to strips of wallpaper. Sometimes we need to change our environments (wallpaper) in an effort to inspire a change in how we view things — especially love. After living in the same place for 35 years, I decided it was time to go. I packed up all of my shit and headed two and half hours north. It’ll do for now. I am able to see life differently than before so it’s been cathartic.

I’m steadily stripping away all of those layers of wallpaper and it feels good.

 Delete, Delete, Delete

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This one is simple and really self-explanatory. I started deleting and blocking the phone numbers and social media accounts of people who I previously allowed to hurt me in some way. I didn’t want any reminders of the pain I once accepted in my life. I wasn’t angry with them, I was angry with myself for accepting the behavior.

 Get Busy

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I keep myself busy by doing all kinds of shit. Traveling, crafting, blogging, reading, hiking, vinyl record hunting and the list goes on. I have to keep myself busy or else I will go into a dark place. My personality type can be a bit obsessive with certain things. Worrying is one of those things. I worried myself sick about why relationships ended. Some things I cannot control. Alas, I’m human and I quickly bring myself back by getting busy with my life.

 Meditate

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Which brings me to meditation. I haven’t done this lately; but, writing this has inspired me to pick it back up again. When I was really deep into the healing process I got into meditation. I downloaded the app Headspace on my phone and used it incessantly for the first few months. It was super helpful. Realizing how much control my thoughts had over me was life changing. Now if only I could be consistent enough to be a spiritually, centered goddess. I’m confident that I’m on the cusp of that breakthrough!

 Go See a Psych

This one is pretty simple and self-explanatory as well. Sometimes we just need help figuring out the healing process. In my opinion, seeing a mental health provider is just as important as seeing a family physician for routine check-ups. People who still stigmatize the need to see a mental health professional are, in fact, the actual disgrace. There’s no shame in needing help and it’s easy. Plus if you have insurance through your job you probably have access to EAP services for free and there are also tons of other free resources out there. You just have to do a little research to find them.

I recommend trying out multiple mental health providers until you find one that you feel comfortable with.

 Work it Out

Exercise produces those “feel good” endorphins that help us get on with life. It’s as easy as taking a walk, joining an exercise class or buying a gym membership. Professionals recommend 30 minutes of exercise per day. This one is always a struggle for me. Success always comes when I find a dedicated workout partner. Accountability and consistency is key; but, I will not give up!

Don’t Spend the Night: Refrain from Sex

For me, having sex with people who don’t respect and cherish me is an invitation for hurt. I don’t want that type of energy in my space.

Too many times I have confused sex and love. That’s when things got crazy. Pay close attention to how someone treats you. Actions speak louder than words is no cliché. Understand that it’s a big, flashing, red alarm if your interactions with a lover leaves you feeling insecure. Letting them spend the night or you spending the night with them will most likely lead to sex. Stay away from the self-destructive behavior of inviting unscrupulous energies into your life.

Abstaining from sex while I heal was key in understanding myself more. Plus, the self-control abstinence requires was surprisingly fulfilling.

 Affirmations

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Every morning while getting ready for work or preparing breakfast, I listen to affirmations on YouTube. For example, repeat the following phrase ten times, slowly and I promise you that if you’re feeling down you’ll feel a little or a lot better:

“Today I will align myself with pure, fun and positive energy.”

Did you repeat it? If it doesn’t make you a little feel better then you might need to skip back to bullet #5 above. Affirmations literally change my whole day, I am able to manage stress more easily. Through affirmations I am reminded that I am the shiznit!

 Forever a Work in Progress

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Finally, I constantly remind myself that I will forever be a work in progress. If I ever stop and say I don’t need help anymore it’s probably because I’ve died and gone to heaven. I am vulnerable and I am ready to fully heal from past pain in an effort to live a loving, fearless life. No one is perfect and no matter the amount of preaching, clout chasing, Facebook inspirational self quotes posted and perceived perfectionism someone portrays, they are still human. Which means that whether they embrace their vulnerabilities or not, they are still there. It is when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable that we begin to find our true strength.

I call this time in my life a renewal. I’m healing from traumatic experiences and it takes time. Allowing myself that time with no rush has been the key to my success. And that, ladies and gentleman, is how not to fall in love!

Does this post relate to you or do you have advice for me as I continue to heal? Let me know by commenting below.

As always don’t forget to click the subscribe button. See ya’ll later!

Happy Black History Month! | The Church Fan

Recently my little cousin said, “…blackness is NOT monolithic. And my black experience is not the same as someone else’s. Blackness exists on a spectrum, if you will.” She’s absolutely right there are levels to blackness; however, almost EVERY Black American knows about the good ol’ church fan!

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Stax Museum, in Memphis, TN, had an exhibit about the church fan. I learned that, historically, the fan’s popularity rose in Black American churches because parishioners could not afford air conditioning. Local businesses saw these fans as an opportunity to advertise their services. Usually funeral homes are the most popular because, well no explanation needed there!

Gospel singer, Mahalia Jackson

The fans have a range of images on the front from children praying, to pictures of Jesus, to the “Queen of Gospel”, Mahalia Jackson and of course Martin Luther King Jr. Besides the obvious, the fans are used for waving in agreement to the pastor’s sermon, swatting flies, percussion instruments, disciplining unruly children and writing random notes and bible scriptures.

Today former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled their official portraits that will hang in the White House to represent their time there. Both portraits are painted by Black artists. The paintings are bold, colorful and will most certainly add interest to the current gallery of former presidents and first ladies. In usual Black, social media fashion, someone has already capitalized on this announcement by superimposing the Obamas portraits on a typical church fan. Very clever. What a breath of fresh air; those same old images were getting old!

I can see prints of the Obama’s portraits being immortalized on fans in Black churches across America for years to come! So what do you think? Yay or nay? Leave a comment below and tell me your thoughts on the iconic church fan.

As always, thanks for reading. See y’all soon!

Ms. Miriam | Based on a True Story

I was headed to pick up the last item on my grocery run when I heard a little, sweet voice say, “Can you help me?” I turned around and it was a little old lady to match the sweet, little voice. She wore a dirty, knitted hat over a matted, pixie cut wig. Her nylon jacket was soiled with oil stains. She was carrying a grocery basket with a bottle of prune juice. “I need some laxatives because I can’t go. I asked the pharmacist where to find them but he just motioned down this way and didn’t show me,” the old lady said. I told her that I’d be glad to help her and I walked her over to the next aisle where she could find the laxatives.

I thought to myself, “Easy enough, she should have it from here.” Then she confusingly asked, “Well what kind should I get?” Now she was asking the wrong person because I don’t remember taking a laxative since the chubby little kid me thought that the chocolate Ex-Lax in the my grandparent’s medicine cabinet was some type of “special candy”. She seemed helpless though so like a granddaughter helping her grandmother I agreed. There was men’s laxative and women’s laxative, fiber-based, enemas, stool softeners and natural laxatives. Damn, I forgot how real this digestive thing is. I picked a women’s brand off the counter and said, “What about this one?” I read the details and directions out loud to her and she was adamant about making sure that the price was low so that she could save money.

After getting confused about what type of laxative was right for an older person, I thought it would be best if we consulted with the pharmacist. “What is your name?”, I asked. “My name is Miriam,” she replied. “Well Ms. Miriam, I’m Perri. How young are you?,” I responded. “I’m eighty-four!” she exclaimed with an emphasis on the ‘T’ in eighty. I explained to Ms. Miriam that it would be better to talk to the pharmacist.

The pharmacist asked Ms. Miriam a series of questions to make sure her ailment wasn’t more serious than just being “backed up”. After confirming that everything was good, we focused in on Milk of Magnesium and Magnesium Citrate, the “holy grail” of laxatives. Ms. Miriam wanted both as long as they were cheap; but, the pharmacist and I talked her out of it. That was a disaster of epic proportions waiting to happen! With Ms. Miriam’s insistence on buying the cheapest option, I decided to offer to pay for the Milk of Magnesium for her. That way she wouldn’t have to worry about the price. I grabbed her grocery basket and put it in my grocery cart so she wouldn’t have to carry it. Ms. Miriam had become my grandmother for the moment. I felt it was my duty to look after her.

As we headed to the register Ms. Miriam pulled out a $20 bill to show me that she had enough to purchase the laxative. I assured her that it was ok. I didn’t mind buying it. Ms. Miriam seemed to be alone so to change the subject I asked, “Do you have any children?” She replied in her thick Southern accent, “Yes, one daughter. She lives in Gwinnett County, Georgia.” Then, unexpectedly, Ms. Miriam began to cry. She said her daughter didn’t come visit her much and her husband died in 2011. As I fought back tears I asked her if she had any other family. She said yes, they were scattered around the area throughout Gastonia and Belmont, North Carolina. I didn’t want her to be alone so I felt relieved.

We finally made it to the register and as we waited, Ms Miriam said, “You don’t have to do this. I don’t want anyone to think I’m a beggar.” Again, I assured her that I wanted to buy it for her. I didn’t give a damn about what anyone else thought. Then Ms. Miriam began crying again. “Ms. Miriam, what’s wrong?”, I asked. In a soft, sweet voice she said, “You’re so kind.” That took me out and I started crying with her. I said, “Well Ms. Miriam, I don’t have anymore grandparents and I’ve enjoyed getting to know you today. I didn’t have a second thought about helping you when you asked.” The people in the line lovingly watched as Ms. Miriam and I shared this heartfelt moment. I paid for her laxative and headed out to help her put her groceries in the car.

We got to the car and said our goodbyes. I had tears in my eyes as she drove away. She reminded me of my great grandmother, Isadora. You see, Ms. Miriam was so concerned about me buying a gift for her that she didn’t realize that she had unknowingly given me a few gifts as well. On this day, she gifted me with an understanding of patience and love for humanity. She also sparked my interest in spending time with elderly people at residential aide facilities. Ms. Miriam had inspired me to be a better person. After all, I’m not getting any younger and I might need someone’s assistance one day too. Thank you, Ms. Miriam.

That Time I Tried Dating Sites

Have you ever tried something knowing that the outcome probably wasn’t going to be good? Welp, for me that’s what it was like trying my hand at online dating. Grab your popcorn, get ready for the drama!

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It was a year since a very bad breakup and two years since I suffered a miscarriage due to uterine rupture (we’ll discuss that at a later date). I wasn’t ready to go full throttle, so a friend suggested that I try dating sites.

Tinder

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To swipe right or to swipe left, that is the question. My first try at online dating was Tinder. Tinder is an app that allows users to use pictures from their Facebook page and tweak their dating bios to their liking. The user will swipe right (like) or swipe left (dislike) on other users profiles. If both of you swiped right, you’ll get a little notification saying, “It’s a Match”.

Initially I was excited at the idea of writing my bio and hopeful that I would find a great guy to chat it up with. Boy was I naive as hell! Most of the talks involved sex. After many tries, I did meet a great guy and we eventually met in person. Fast forward a year later and after his many talks about the perfect woman for his imperfect ass, his lofty affiliations, his sexual romps and a myriad of of other braggadocious fooleries, a lack of reciprocity and plenty of ignored calls and texts, I realized we were better suited as associates.

Plenty of Fish

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Next up is the infamous, Plenty of Fish aka POF aka Plenty of Hoes aka Hoe’s Playground aka For “Hookups” Only. My naivete was strong when I decided to use this site. I had no idea of the stigma surrounding POF. The functionality of this site is pretty basic. The user creates a profile and a group of matches will be generated based on the user’s preferences. The user can then search through profiles and send or receive messages.

Again, I had fun creating my bio and searching through the profiles. I had no idea of what was to come. One of the first red alerts was that I ran across the profile of the same guy I met on Tinder. He was a serial online dater and it seemed as if I was following suit.

The first guy I connected with invited me to a local bar. He was tall dark and handsome; but, as soon as he opened his mouth I regretted my decision to meet him. He was reminiscent of a pimp named Slickback…

Immediately he started talking about how he drove his older car to meet me; but, he has a Mercedes Benz. I made it clear on my profile that I don’t give a damn about who you know or your material possessions. I just want to know your intellectual aptitude or “where yo’ mind at” is how I put like to put it. During our “date”, his phone wouldn’t stop ringing and he had the audacity to answer it every time. Then there was his five or more kids by several baby mommas, his constant need to talk about his 10 year old Mercedes Benz and oh, his pseudo rap career. His social media pages were riddled with drama. It was just a train wreck waiting to happen and in typical ENFP fashion I floated away from that situation like a butterfly.

The next guy made me laugh, so I agreed to meet him at a favorite resturant. Upon meeting, he appeared to be stuck in the early 90’s New Jack Swing era. Something like…

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That’s not the issue though. He was groping and trying to kiss me upon first meeting. I just wasn’t feeling this guy’s vibes, so I deleted his number and moved on. Deleting him wasn’t enough. He kept calling and texting so much that I had to block his number. Then he found me on social sites so I blocked him from those sites as well. Can we say weirdo and borderline stalker? I was immediately turned off by online dating so I deleted all of my profiles and I haven’t looked back since!

What I Learned

I took a chance and I failed, no wait, succeeded in understanding more about myself and what I desire in in life. I prefer the old-fashioned way of meeting prospects and that’s what I’ll stick with. Hey, YOLO — right?

Have you ever tried dating sites? Tell me about your experience by dropping a comment below. Peace y’all and don’t forget to click that subscribe button! ✌🏾

Who is Perresia Cortez?

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Yep, that’s me, a self-proclaimed “diva, gypsy, dreamer.” I’m a DIY’er, writer, wanderluster, corporate American, avid Chuck Taylor collector, pseudo motivational speaker, foodie, cookie monster, hiker, feeler, explorer, former beauty queen, style maven, daughter, sister, friend, lover and any damn thing else that I put my mind to!

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The Makings of Me

I grew up in a small town, called Blythewood, 20 minutes north of Columbia, SC. That’s right I’m a Southern ‘effing’ Belle! I grew up on about 30 acres of family land that was given to my great grandmother’s grandmother after her time as a slave.

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Blythewood

I refer to my family’s living in Blythewood as “The Little House on the Prairie”. At some point in time my entire immediate has lived and some still live on our family’s property. We didn’t use phones we just stood on the porch and “hollered” if we needed each other. Told ya’ I was country — LOL!

What’s in it for You?!?

I’m a random chick! I’ve got so many random trips, cookies, DIY projects, rants and other randomness I want to share with you! I hope you will find something here that sparks your interest. You definitely don’t want to miss a thing so be sure to click on the subscribe button!

Thanks for stopping by, see y’all soon!