Totally clichéd, right? Years ago, I decided to stop watching music videos. I am a dark complexioned, dozens of pounds away from anorexic Black woman – I never saw myself in these videos. In videos targeted at White America, I was not present. However, I was also not present in the videos that were targeting Black America. The models in these videos were generally much lighter and much more voluptuous. Obviously, if I wanted to be affirmed, this was not the place to do it.
Watch music videos for an hour straight. Then write down how you feel about yourself. Be honest. If you feel the same or better, fine. If you are looking down on your post baby belly with disdain after an hour of watching girls with six pack abs, put the BET away. Do the same for fashion magazines. If you can’t leave a session of reading Vogue or Cosmopolitan feeling better about yourself or at least unchanged, you may want to whip out your Kindle instead when in need of lite reading.
Media is impactful. There are billions of dollars made on how you feel about yourself. If you are perfectly happy, you won’t buy things and well capitalism is important in this country. However, you have to protect your mind. If I watched music videos and read fashion magazines on a regular basis, it would leave me feeling inadequate. You have to protect your mind.
Go out alone NOW!
If you have never shopped, traveled, gone to a nightclub or dined alone shame on you! You are waiting on others to enjoy your life. That has got to stop. There are plenty of women that refuse to live life without an escort. This includes friends and family. If you are single but haven’t tried that new restaurant that everyone is raving about – go! GO! GOOOOOO!!!!
The beauty of spending time doing things you love alone, is discovering yourself. You always thought you would love hiking until you were bitten by a million mosquitoes, got way to hot, hungry, a cramp in your leg, and realized that for you hiking sucks.
Spending time alone is hard for a lot of women. Many of us were taught as children that the world is a big dangerous and scary place. That we should never go out alone. This is complete bullshit! Now don’t be stupid. If you go out in Hollywood alone, take ecstasy that some stranger offers you, and wake up to discover you starred in Russian porn, well then that’s your fault for being stupid. However, if the 80’s cover band you worship is only playing one night in town and none of your friends will go with you and you don’t have a date, you would be stupid to miss it.
Have coffee alone at a local coffee house. This is a really easy thing to do solo and seeing single women at a coffee house is no big deal. Order a drink and a dessert or meal. Easy peasy. Bring your laptop and do some work. Or even better, linger over the pages of a favorite book or bask in the soft glow of your current Kindle read. Before you know it, hours will have passed and you will have spent amazing, quality time, alone.
Be Your Best Self-Today!
Another nod to Oprah. She’s right though. No one is perfect. You will be exhausted and depressed if some bananas version of perfection is your goal. However, your best self? Completely doable.
If you have a spiritual connection to something, connect. Try to do this on a regular basis. I am admittedly not super religious but I am spiritual and I meditate and practice yoga with a degree of regularity. You don’t have to be on the new membership, prayer team, praise dancers, and Bible study teacher – unless that’s your thing, but try to consistently have some sort of spiritual encounter.
You don’t have to join a gym, but get some exercise. Years ago I gave my mother a puppy. If nothing else, she gets two short walks in everyday with her furbaby. If you have always wanted to learn to cook, learn. Take a cooking class. The chef working solo next to you could be your next date, if he’s straight. If he’s gay, he could be an awesome sous chef!
If you have always wanted to learn a new language or how to cross stitch, do it! Do not wait for the man you have never met to come into your life to start living life. Live now!