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Thursday, July 5, 2018

MY EGO TOOK A BACKSEAT

Have you ever had issues with accepting help from others? I have. In hindsight, I'm sure I've lost friends and definitely a couple of great opportunities because of it. I had a good friend (we'll call her Nelly)  who always offered to pay for dinner, drinks, cab fare, you name it, Nelly paid for it. We literally would argue over the bill until the surrounding tables would start to look. I would get distracted in a stare down with a random onlooker and Nelly would slip her card to the server. Clearly, Nelly was a kind and generous friend who suffered from the same issues as me when it came to accepting help of any kind.

Guys, 20 something Nikki was not the sharpest knife in the drawer. If I could go back in time, I would graciously accept EVERY SINGLE TIME.  Reciprocation is the key.

When I moved to another country with the family, we started from scratch. Of course, we packed and boxed up all the necessities. Most of the boxes were full of toys that we desperately hoped would soften the blow of a whole new world to our 5 year old son. The rest of the boxes were clothes, most of which helped the neighbors identify us as being "not from around here". We needed furniture, cutlery, oh and a refrigerator! Did you know that here in Los Angeles, the apartments don't come with a fridge?! I'll let that sink in while I finish this lesson.  We bought a bed and TV from the guy who was currently renting our first place, he needed the money, and we needed basic cable. If you're stuck on the fact that we bought a used bed, you should be. It was gross, and was on the curb the same night we bought it.

We needed help. I had to stop saying "No really, we're good!" and start saying "Yes, that would be so helpful!" I literally thought I was going to die, from being helped. Instead, I was forced to put my ego and pride in check. I became vulnerable and opportunities showed up left and right. I learned to listen to friends and family and what was important to them. And THAT is how I gave back. Most people want to spend quality time, some people appreciate good solid advice, and all of us don't want to be alone.

OK, here's the take away. We all have instinct. If you have issues with accepting gifts or a helping hand, tune in to your instinct. It will always let you know if the person offering has an ulterior motive or if they just want to make you happy. I'm leaving a few photos here, all with items that were gifted to me in the last few years. Thanks to our friends and family who have always wanted to lift us up.  And thank you to my tribe (old and new) who have always wanted to see me happy. I'm looking at you Nelly.

Thanks for reading,
Nikki








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Saturday, June 2, 2018

TRIGGERED

I'm over people cancelling people and companies. We need to all have our own opinions on things. Don't let other people tell you how you should feel about something. If a topic interests you, do 10 minutes of investigating and I guarantee you, you'll find out more than you did from some strangers instagram post saying "Kanye is a racist, everybody hate him for the next week" 


Do I disagree with how swiftly Roseanne was cancelled, absolutely not. But, did I stop buying my favorite drink (albeit too expensive and packed with calories) from Starbucks? No! The folks at my local Starbucks make my family and I feel welcome, always. I have developed connections with the employees that have spilled outside the faux mahogany wooden walls where we meet 2-3 times a week. I think that we are so damaged and sensitive from being historically mistreated that it can blur our judgement on certain situations. Here's hoping I don't get cancelled for expressing my view.

In the last few years of my life, I have found myself slipping into a dangerous place of fingerpointing and judging. Me! The girl who in her teens made a promise to react to racism by educating every person that said something offensive out of ignorance not anger. The young woman who spent her twenties debating with family and friends about the goodness of people, constantly correcting everyone when they painted a whole race, gender, or political party with the same brush. Even in my 30's, I soldiered on, spreading flower petals over hate, giving second chances at every turn.  

Lately, I find myself looking for someone to make a mistake and say something to offend me. I'm asking my son questions about situations that in no way have anything to do with racism or hate. Making comments loud enough for people to know I'm "woke" but soft enough to squash the guilt I feel by not being true to myself. In my forties, I have too many years behind me to ignore the differences in us as people.  I am raising an African American male who needs to know the right way to handle situations that his friends will undoubtedly never have to deal with.  He will continue to face roadblocks and challenges, he will also laugh a lot and be surrounded by love and light. Yes, there are awful, hateful people in this world. Sadly, I can never watch another episode of The Cosby Show, but I can't promise you that I won't listen to Kanye's music ever again. Google the whole interview.

I owe it to my son to offer the balance that my parents gave me. Everyone has a story, listen before you judge. 



Also...I STILL LIKE H & M. Damn them for making affordable chic clothing. When are we allowed to shop there again?

Thanks for reading,

Nikki

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