Sunday, December 30, 2007

2007 Comes to an End. . . Finally!!
Although I don't blog much anymore, I still feel compelled to do my end-of-year review. 2007 was a doosy, let me tell ya. I thought I was going to die! I had lots of ups and downs, but I made it through only by the grace of God. Here's a little recap of events.
-Completed my first (real) sociological research and presented it at a research symposium. (only black person presenting)
-Took the worst Spanish class of my whole life
-Watched my mother battle cancer
-Grandmother's boyfriend passed away
-Graduated from ISU with my Bachelor's degree in May
-Uncle came for graduation, decided to stay here instead of going home
-Met a boy who became my first real boyfriend
-Fell in love with that boy and got engaged
-Got my first apartment with a roomate
-Learned how to be willingly domestic in just one summer
-Learned French and Lingala and ate lots of fufu
-Watched three friends become mothers
-Attended several weddings
-Started planning a wedding
-Turned 22 (uneventfullly)
-Celebrated a year with "The Farm"
-Broke up with fiancee
-Got a job in my field of study
-Little sister started learning to drive
-Started teaching Spanish classes as volunteer work
-Father released from prison and came to town
-Little sister got her first job
-Mother remarried and didn't tell me
-Fought with roomate
-Got my first apartment by myself
So, thankfully my tumultous year ended on a positive note with my new apartment which is beautiful and just right for me. The year closes with me decorating the new place and appreciating the freedom that I posess. I know that the challenges I endured were put in my life for a reason, and in retrospect I can definitely say that they made me stronger. I am optimistic about what 2008 will bring. I hope that it will be a year in which I will be able to be introspective, and draw creativity from what I find inside. I look forward to learning and being able to share my knowledge with others. As for graduate school, that may or may not happen in '08, we'll see.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Je t'aime

The words come from his lips so easily, so readily. Je t'aime. They fall like rose petals on my ears and my heart and I know that they are sincere. I know that he is sincere, and I want to say je t'aime too. But I can't.

Je t'aime

The words don't go any farther than the confines of my mind. I can't say it because I don't know exactly what it means. Yes, I know the translation, but what is it saying? Is it just that I care about you and that I want the best for you? Is it that I'm so grateful to have you in my life? Is it that I appreciate everything you do for me? All of that is true.

Or is it saying something more? Is it locking me into a contract? Does it hold me accountable for certain behavior? What are the expectations of one who makes this proclamation, "Je t'aime?" Does it mean that I will never do you wrong? Does it mean that I will be everything that you want me to be? Does it mean that I should always be willing? Is it a promise?

I don't make promises. I don't know how much of myself I can offer. Could je t'aime just be a vow to do your best? What if I only give 40%, but 50% is my best? Am I lying?

Je sais que je t'aime, mon ange. I just can't tell you.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Mother To-Be

They tell me that eating too much fufu makes you fat. I don't know if it's the fufu or the soup, but apparently you will blow up if you eat it all the time.

And it seems that they already think I'm fat. Alex told A, "Your girlfriend is veeeery very beautiful, but, is big." Alex went on to tell him that my size is okay for now, but if I get bigger, sex isn't going to be enjoyable. . .etc. *nod* okay.

So, if eating too much fufu makes you fat, and you already think I'm fat, why do you keep offering me fufu ALL THE TIME?! Everytime we go over someone's house and they've cooked, it always seems to have been fufu. And they always offer me some. I don't wanna decline, because that may be misinterpreted as rudeness. I don't see them offering it to him everytime (although they might be doing so in Lingala or something), so maybe as I become more and more familiar to them, they might lay off. I like some fufu, I really do, but they best not say NOTHIN when I come waddlin up in their houses big as a house!

But I think I am putting on weight, and I don't know if it's becuase I'm looking at my body more (cuz they think I'm fat) or becuase of the FUFU!!! DANG. He likes my body though, and so do I, so it's not too much of a problem.

He bought my mother a card today. I don't even think he read the thing, just picked one that said "mom" and looked nice. And it did look nice, all swirly and flowers and stuff. On the top it said, "Happy Mother's Day Mother To-Be." My first instinct was to buss da fugg up!!!! I just wanted to laugh but you know these men have egoes.

"Aw, A, this is nice. But. . . no. It says, mother-to-be. Thats for a pregnant woman." We have to have these kind of English break-downs all the time. I've had to explain things like, "this sucks" and "silly". (btw, silly translates to 'idiot' in french. Not easy to explain the difference).

Friday, April 06, 2007


Let me preface this by saying that it makes me feel strange to write about men so much. I have other issues in life. . . but I do like boys!

I'm too young to be thinking about marriage. I'm only 21. He's too old not to be thinking about marriage. He's 24.

All of his friends/acquaintances from his country are married by now, or at least have a fiancee. He doesn't even have a girlfriend, and I know that's presenting problems for him. Even his mother is pressuring him, asking why he has no fiancee yet. She offered to find him one back home, but he doesn't want a Congolese woman. He wants to find his own wife.

He likes me. To tell the truth, I think he's growing on me in some type of way. He just treats me SO well, and that alone is enough to hold my attention. He treats me like the queen I perceive myself to be. I know that in a relationship, he could probably be the bomb boyfriend. At least attention-wise (and I like that). I had even gotten to the point of considering this relationship thing, and we all know, Eliz does NOT get involved. I don't like emotional attachment. But I was considering it.

I realized though, that he needs a relationship that's going to turn into something more. It's a little funny in a non-laughter way that I had always percieved myself as only being in relationships like that. One that would go somewhere, not just being in one just to do it.

I hate that he's so many things I thought/knew/know that I want(ed), but I'm still not quite feeling it. And that even if I was, we just have two very different goals for a relationship. I hate that I'm thinking about relationships.

We had a LONG talk last night, on the phone for almost 2 hours. Caking. Dayum. I told him how I have problems with the L word. I just can't say it. He told me that knew. I guess he caught the hint after the first few times of saying it, and me not reciprocating lol. I told him how I have problems with emotional attachment, he told me how he imagines that I am his girlfriend when we are together, but has to bring himself back to reality.

*sigh* I know this is going to be difficult.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sunday Morning

Shortly after I woke up this morning, I got a call. He's always calling, and I have to admit that I'm often guilty of ignoring the ring. Sometimes talking to him is too much of a chore. I mean, how can a person who doesn't even speak that much English talk so dang much? I called him back though. I haven't really spoken to him too much lately.

I didn't expect him to invite me to church. An hour before it began. I quickly beautified myself (and yes, I did a good job), packed my clothes for work afterward and hobbled to the elevator in my stiletto sandals. Between the engagement party on Friday (silver strappy sandals), going out on Saturday (red Miss Sixty boots) and church today, my feet have taken such a beating this weekend! But I digress. . .

We went, and although I only speak a few words of French, and absolutely NO Lingala, I had such a good time! The music was good, people were dancing and making noise. . .now, I've had some good church, but this felt like a straight up party! I know Congolese people love to dance, and MAYN they were gettin it! It was funny cuz one of the guys I had definitely seen the night before at the club, doin that same dance!

I was glad I went to church with him. I like him because he's sweet, and I know he's capable of giving me the attention that I desire. I'm sure he'd probably do almost anything he could for me out of love, which is also what I want. I could break his heart though. Like his friend, P who I'd met waay before I met him. P had this vibe from the start that immediately caught my attention. Something that made me bite my bottom lip! But P was a friend of a different guy I was talking to. Was. But dang it if P isn't his friend too! Ok, yeah, P has a girlfriend (don't they all?) which makes him off limit anyway, but BAAABYYYY, if he didn't. . . He was interpreting some of the service for me today, sitting next to me, leaning in. I love a man who can give me information *wooh*. But I know what it would do to him for anything to ever happen between P and I. It would kill the man. But I digress. . .

The message was good too. The preacher spoke about God's favoritism. I was actually. . .inspired. I was inspired by the music, and the congregation's connection with their God. I was inspired by how the music and the praises to God made them so happy, you would think that they had no cares. Just singing and dancing and rejoicing and laughing. . .

I found myself unable to be as analytical as I am when I go to my own church, sitting quietly in the back watching everyone else. It just felt good being there, but I hate the idea of using God and religion as a mere high. Then I got to thinking. Maybe he, with all the weirdness that surrounds him, is my angel of some sort. Maybe he will be my connection back to God.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

He Was Honest

He was honest with me. I asked him, and he was honest. In fact, I think I can say that in instances where I have asked him about anything, he has been honest.

But actions speak louder than words.

His actions told me that he was single and that he was attracted to me. Or at least that he was single and wanted some. His words said that he was attracted, so I wonder if that was truth also.

What does attraction really account for anyway?

I didn't trust him in that capacity. I don't think I ever did, because he had a reputation. But don't ask, don't tell right? Under the pretense that he was single, I was upset when I saw the pictures. I was UPSET. I thought to myself, how could he? How can he say he's single and talk all this sweetness to me when he's GOT a girl? How could he disrespect his relationship like that? I began to have flashbacks of all the instances in which I felt disrespected by his actions, things I knew he didn't do to spite me. Things he didn't even know I was upset about. Flashbacks of all the disagreements and misunderstandings, and this was to be the last straw. I was becoming increasingly angry, after all, I am his FRIEND. I know the kid. I knew I needed to talk to him.

So I asked him.

"What. . . is your relationship status?" "Well. . ." he said, "technically I'm in a relationship, but it's kinda not a real relationship." He said that it was somewhat like a friendship with benefits, but not that-because it was more. They hit a rough patch for a while and now they are. . .well, I don't really know what they are but he is not exactly single.

I told him that if he is in a relationship, be it 100% of a relationship or 10%, that he should not be trying to ''holla'' at other people. He should not be trying to holla at me. I told him that it was not appropriate. He said that he would not holla at me anymore. There was no attitude, he was neither indignant nor ig'nant. He just calmly said, "Ok" and that he wouldn't do it anymore.

I asked him, and he told me, just straight up. I couldn't be nearly as upset (although the anger had died down by this point anyhow). I didn't raise my voice. I can't justify his actions, and I certainly wouldn't try to.

We continued our conversation, me complaining about school, him encouraging me and not letting me make excuses for myself. He'll holla at me later. "You know, not holla, but I am gon' holla at you later." That's alright with me.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Aw Hell

Right now I am ANGRY and I feel like my life sucks. I hardly got any sleep last night, and somehow I spent all night trying to force myself to do an assignment which I magically completed just before 8am. Funny how it only took me an hour to do it.

I am ANGRY because I can't make myself do my homework when I want to do it.

I had to make sure I got it done in time to move my car. The spot I parked in last night is only 1 hour parking from 8a.m. till 6p.m., which means that I had to move it by 9 at the latest. But I have class at 8:30. So I go to move my car. I go to move my car. I go to move my car and my car will not move. I go out in the COLD after gettting no sleep to move my car and it will not move. I called my mother, she called our mechanic. He says to have the car TOWED in to see if they can get it started. To see if they can get it started. But I don't have to work until Wednesday, so thats when I really need the car to be started. So what if they get it started today, but come Wednesday I'm out of luck? I will have wasted money, energy, and time.

I am ANGRY because all I wanted to do is move my car to another parking spot but now I have to get it towed, which might not even be a solution.

My mother offered to help me pay for the tow. Towing is ridiculously priced, and I'm thinking that I'd like to own a towing company one day, cuz the profits must be MAD crazy. But I have money, and I know she hasn't had a lot of work to do at the job lately, so her paychecks have been muy pequeno. In fact, her last check was less than mine. And I had taken days off. Her check was a third of what it usually is. I was upset that she offered to pay for it.

I am ANGRY that my mother busts her butt and still does not make enough money.

I thought about how Symone told me that they needed laundry detergent. I went to the store last night after work and picked up a few things for myself. I got some detergent for them too, and found some smoked almonds for my mother. She loves smoked almonds. I dropped them off at the house, and she called me saying, "What did you do that for?" I know that she was grateful. I'm trying to do this whole 'family' thing, cuz I know family is supposed to help take care of each other, and I like doing that. I like being able to do what I can to help out. I know that my mother also takes joy in being able to do things for me, even if its just giving me some food when I come home. I know she was trying to help me by offering to help pay for the tow. That made me feel a different feeling that I don't have a word for. Some kind of heart feeling.

I am ANGRY because that is the emotion I default to when I don't know what to call the emotion I'm feeling. Language is so interesting.

I am scared of grad school. I am scared of applying to grad school. I am scared of the capabilities/incapabilities of my potential. My room is not clean. My room stinks. I am complaining about the smallest things that don't matter in life.

That makes me ANGRY.

I just have to make it through the day.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Parents Just Don't Understand

Perhaps DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince said it best when they claimed that, "Parents just don't understand."

I also hold strongly to my mother's old school statements of, "Don't talk about it, be about it" and, "Talk is cheap."

And now it seems that in my attempts to "be about it", my mother simply does not understand. She does not understand my heart for activisim and struggling for positive change.

She thinks it's great when I go to leadership conferences that teach me how to be a more effective leader in my community and campus. In fact, she sitting on the couch together and listening to my recounts of workshops on self improvement, career builiding and being a role model. Oh, and she loves hearing about those inspirational speakers.

She was also proud of 'her baby' when I went on the Civil Rights Movement Trip to Memphis. I told her how we not only dealt with the Civil Rights Movement of the 50's and 60's, but also with women's rights, gay rights, disability rights, and human rights. How we went to the National Civil Rights Movement Museum and I saw accounts of individuals who fought for the very same freedoms that I take for granted on a daily basis. I thought of slaves who taught themselves how to read, defying their master's rules, and who shared their knowledge with those who were willing to learn. I thought of Booker T. Washington and WEB DuBois and their efforts to improve the 'race problem' with education and hard work. I read stories of innocent victims and those who were victims for the cause. When I walked into a segregated bus simulation and sat down, I wondered what it would have been like to hear, "Get out of that seat nigger" from some White man with authority screaming at me. I wondered if I would have stayed in my seat, or if I would have sat there in the first place. I wondered if I would have just eaten lunch in 'my place', or if I would have challenged that structure and risked insults, injury, and my clean criminal record.

She loved that I was inspired. She also enjoys having debates about issues concerning race, global issues, capitalism, and immigration issues, although we almost always disagree.

But she doesn't understand. She doesn't understand that something can be done about the problems presented by the world we live in, which shocks me considering that she was born in the 60's. She knows all the stories. She can vote now and uses the same water fountains as white people do. She knows that it wasn't always that way.

But she says that no change really happened. "All that protesting," she says, "what good does it do? How do you know if you'll actually make a change?" She insists that no significant change has been made since racism still exists and Whites still have privilege. People are still arrested, killed, denied jobs, etc. due to racial reasons.

Apparently all of that Civil Rights hoopla was for nothing, but I just cannot accept that.

Neither can I accept seeing problems such as CocaCola and Wal*Mart raping nations just to procreate more cash to line their pockets and leaving those nations naked in the dust. Perhaps I should do nothing about it, because what will protesting do? What good would it do to stage a silent protest of CocaCola's injustices during my university's 150th Anniversary's Founder's Day?

What good did it do to bring Blacks to the polls knowing that they wouldn't be able to vote anyway (well, maybe if they knew how many bubbles were in a bar of soap) and could possibly lose thier jobs? Perhaps it was absurd, becuause I'll admit, I didn't vote in this last election for the governor.

And the threat of jail, "Elizabeth, if they lock you up you'll only be playing into their system. They love to see our black people in jail." I guess I should just stop when they say stop. "I's sorry Mista Offissa Suh, I's didn't mean ta make nobodys mad. I's gone take my sign hea and mosey on. I's sho is sorry Mista Offissa Suh." Why should I play into their system of locking Blacks up when I can just back down at their request. Now THAT'S fighting the man!

My mother may not always agree with my 'radical' (btw, Angela Davis is coming to speak at Wesleyan, you know I'm SO THERE!!!) viewpoints or my attempts at activism. Perhaps she doesn't understand, or will never understand. I guess its just taking another one for the cause(s).