When Being Miss Independent Goes Wrong

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This time last year I was preparing to go to Roatan, Honduras to assist with When Love Works couples getaway. After the trip I wrote about a poignant experience while there, but never posted it. Here it is for you to read now. Enjoy!

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Standing on the wooden platform with my helmet adjusted just right on my afro, sunglasses on my face as sweat persisted to slide them off, and oversized brown gloves on my hands. I wasn’t sure if the sweat all over my body was because of the July heat or nervousness as I wiped my face, and inhaled deep breathes several times. 

I had gotten myself into something that only 13 lines through the forest by myself could get me out of. 

I’ve always prided myself on being independent. My parents always told me how independent I was even as a baby. They weren’t shocked at all when I moved across the country by myself with no friends or family TWICE to strike out on my own. 

It was never a second thought getting up and doing things I wanted to do alone when friends weren’t available. This year more than ever I really began to go overboard with my independent, single woman mindset. Buying myself tickets to shows and events, without even inviting my friends first, and calling it date night. Granted solo date night is needed, but some things are just better with other people to enjoy. Admittedly, I have always enjoyed a certain level of singledom and dating the last few years, but started to find myself with very little space for others in my life. 

While actively trying to date I would have my weekly schedule filled with things to do solo or with friends fitting in dates however they could. Most of the time they didn’t fit, and we dissolved quickly. I was trying to establish myself as a woman who didn’t need a man, but wanted one. A woman with a life and not waiting around for anyone.   

Until I found myself hanging on a line in the middle of a forest in Roatan, Honduras terrified. 

After about a week with five couples, as the only single person, assisting with the When Love Works Couples Getaway, I learned a lot about love, partnership, and relationships. But I was determined to spend time by myself on the trip. I walked the beach a few times in the morning, went to dinner my first night, but found myself with the group most of the time. 

Our last day I decided to go ziplining by myself. I was fearless… until I got to the top of the forest and read the waiver. I initialed and signed my life away leaving the company with no liability if anything happened to me. As I stepped into the harness allowing the guide to hook, snap, and pull around my crotch area it started to become real. 

I listened keenly through the guides accent, and mesmerizing eyes, as he explained what to do. “Wait, say that again,” making sure I heard him correctly and clearly with each detail. Once on the line there was no turning back. I’m not one to back down from a challenge I set my mind on, but I was scared and felt alone. Hell, I was alone besides the two guys that worked there to ensure I made it all the way down. 

Snap, clamp, click I was secured on the line after jumping up crotch first and landing on my tippy toes. The first guide zoomed across to the other side. The one with mesmerizing eyes was behind me as I crossed my legs and allowed the line to support my weight. “Now drop,” he said. I glanced at him, took another deep breath and zoom. I glided across the line with the air in my face terrified I was going too fast. 

I used my glove as instructed to slow down, and accidentally stopped myself in the middle of my destination and starting point. I was stuck. This excursion was resembling a metaphor of my life. 

Taking many leaps towards my dreams, but stopping abruptly when I didn’t have control, felt unsure, and lacked the support I needed, but didn’t know how to ask for it. My independence hasn’t just hindered my love life, but every aspect if I’m being honest. 

The guide in front of me zipped back and pulled me to the end of the line. Reality set in once my feet touched the wooden post- there was no turning back. I had to go through 12 more lines by myself. 

Still terrified I tried to calm myself down breathing in and out rapidly. It wasn’t working. 

The guide with mesmerizing eyes could see my angst and talked to me, asking me questions to take my mind off what was ahead of me. He reassured me I would be okay, but all I could think about was the waiver. Finally, I repeated the same steps again to get across to the next post. 

Although, that went much better than the first one, my nerves were bad and in shock at that point. “How many more do I have left? I need a minute,” I said to the guide while trying to talk myself into the third line. “I’m going to go with you,” as he connected himself to my harness. “Just trust me.”

Even though he was a stranger, he was also the expert. My options felt limited. He looked in my eyes and instructed me to cross my legs, sit, and drop down as I did twice before. “I’m right here with you.” As I glided through the trees and swung around no longer holding the line with my hands there he was right behind me. Connected to me. 

We talked, laughed, and got to know each other line after line through the forest. I embraced his support and enjoyed the experience a lot more with him behind me. Before I knew it we were done. It turned into a metaphor for my support and success. The same support the couples talked about during the trip. I still had to do the work, but he was there behind me making it more enjoyable despite the fear. It was never about needing him as much as just having his presence.

Our connection was not romantic, he was just doing his job. The overall experience was eye-opening to just how tight I was holding on to my ‘I’m single and independent’ flag out of fear. There’s nothing wrong with being single or independent, but I was wearing mine like a badge of honor. Taking care of myself is easy, allowing someone in for the journey takes courage, vulnerability, and work. I’ve been avoiding those things since breaking up with my high school boyfriend, Mark. 

After my break-up with Mark, who was clear about wanting to be married and have children, I felt freedom. I recognized how hard it was to be in a relationship, especially with no tools to navigate things. Years after our break-up, I felt satisfied when he called me requesting I come outside my childhood home to see his baby, only to tell him, “I’m not home. I’m in Washington, DC in my dorm room at Howard University.”

“Oh foreal? Let me call you back.” I never heard from him again. 

I always knew there were certain accomplishments I wanted to achieve as a single woman i.e. have my own apartment, live and travel abroad, and be able to take care of myself.  Up until recently, I had a very limited ideology of being an independent woman. Now I understand you can be independent and a team player.   

Being in a healthy relationship doesn’t mean giving up who I am, my dreams, or giving up control over my life. It’s just support and encouragement on my journey through purpose and vice versa. Support from my man and others in my life doesn’t take away from my dreams being realized.  

My trip to Honduras helped me to really see that my blindspot in life is trying to be independent and operating out of fear instead of love.  

 

Year 27 Has Begun

It’s safe to say that I am really like foreal foreal *swallows huge gulp* 27 years old now. Its been a week and everything is settling as I inch closer to dare I say it… 30.

Indeed, I’m totally blessed to be alive, healthy, and happy right now in my life. I took some huge baby steps during year 26, boy was it a world wind. I could write a book on the past year of my life alone, and you probably still wouldn’t believe half the stuff in it. I can’t even believe I made it through, but God is good!

Now, I’m feeling clearer about my goals, and truly ready to turn my dreams into reality. Its time to kick life into high gear now that I’m in a really good place in my life emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. My perspective on life now is simple: I Choose To Be Happy! Yep, that’s it!

I have a lot of goals to achieve this upcoming year, and the most important one to me is to put my passport to use. I’ve had it for over a year, and I’m itching like a crackhead to use it. Traveling the world has been a vision of mine since childhood. I haven’t always seen myself as a wife or a mother or even a writer, but I’ve always seen myself as a jetsetter. I understood at a very young age there is a huge world out there beyond what I see in my everyday activities. My curiosity is beyond ready to touch, feel, taste, and see it all.

I’m too adventurous for one country. I believe that traveling the world will allow me to discover more than that particular place, but a deeper part of myself.

I’m not sure how long I’ve known that my heart was in New York, but when I got here, even with all the things I’ve gone through, I have never in my life been happier, and at peace. I instantly felt reunited with my heart as if it was waiting for me to get here the entire time. A new electricity flows through my body now. I can’t help but just take a breath at any point in my day and smile because I’m here.

I’m pretty sure the same thing will happen when I begin to trot around the world this year. I’m not completely sure how it will happen, but mark my words I WILL BE MAKING MULTIPLE TRIPS TO DIFFERENT COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD THIS YEAR! I’m claiming it!

Along with getting a few stamps in my passport I truly want to achieve a higher level of success for myself, not in a flashy ‘I’m a baller’ kind of way, but by just being a woman of action, and getting out of my own way. Taking the woman that I already am, and expanding into another realm that allows me to reach more people. I’m feeling a little shy about my ambitious goals to take over the world with you right now so I’m just going to digress here. I hope that you will continue to send more positive energy my way during this new year for me.

Thanks for reading.
-TheJournalist25 xoxo

All Of The Lights

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Every place you vacation has something special about it. When it comes to Las Vegas no matter how many times I visit or how old I get I’m still enamored by all the lights. It makes me feel like anything can happen and is happening at every moment. It brings the same excitement I got as a child at Disneyland.

There are so many lights with a variation of colors and blinking patterns spread all around the strip and city. There are lights inside and outside the hotels along the walls, up, down, and all around. I’m a woman all about the details and the lights awaken my curiosity of how it all comes together. It may sound weird but it’s actually very sobering for me in “Sin City”.

The lights signal that things are moving and shaking whether you see it or not just like life. You may not see things that are happening but there are always things going on. I guess as a nosy journalist I’m always looking between the lines to find the hidden story. The lights do that for me. I know inside every hotel, casino, store, restaurant, and club things are happening and there is a story.

The lights and billboards are constantly moving with advertisements for the various live shows in the Entertainment Capital of the World. People are constantly flying into the city, checking into the hotels, moving, shaking and deals are being made 24/7 hours. People refer to New York City as the city that doesn’t sleep but I beg to differ, Las Vegas NEVER sleeps!

The lights bring about inspiration and beauty in its own way. A beauty created and designed by humans. It has its technicalities and equations that make it work (oh, ya’ll didn’t I was a nerd) and it all comes together for us to experience. They’re a sign of abundance and money to be made, won, or created. Driving (or walking) down the strip puts you in the middle of it all. Each hotel, casino, and light was once just somebody’s vision now made a reality.

The realist in me knows that everything that glitters isn’t gold, but the romanticist in me doesn’t care because I  choose to create my world among the city’s illuminating lights.

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What are your thoughts on the lights? What do you love about Las Vegas? Is there another city full of lights that I need to check out?

-TheJournalist25 xoxo

Let’s Ride Out: MotorTrend AutoShow ’12

Lincoln MKZ 2013

It’s always fun and exciting to attend an auto show. Being able to see all the different types of cars and their various unique qualities. I couldn’t wait to see what the MotorTrend International Auto Show was going to have, but it turned out to be lackluster. I’m not sure if it’s the show’s fault or the lack of new and exciting vehicles coming out this year. I’m leaning more toward the former because it was a small show, but will take the latter into consideration.  I didn’t realize it was gonna be such a small show, but I made the best of it.

Car brands in attendance included Toyota, Ford, Hyundai, Lincoln, Scion, Mazda, Cadillac, Honda, Buick, GMC, Chevrolet, Lexus, Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, RAM, Acura, Kia, Subaru, KIA, Volkswagen, and BMW. Most of which I respectively skipped over because I had no interest in their mediocre vehicles.

See, I go to car shows not as a car buyer, but as a driver. I like to drive so I look at cars I can see myself driving. I don’t care about the price as much as the aesthetics and functionality of inside features. So please excuse my superficial thoughts and feelings now. Plus, in my mind money aint a thang.

Some of the cars I was initially drawn to turned me off once I got inside. Typically what turns me off  is too much going on for no damn reason. I need simplicity and convenience in my driving area because I get easily distracted so the simpler the dashboard, radio, and temperature adjustments the safer I am on the road. Ya Dig!  *Nicki Minaj voice*

Of course, I am partial to luxury, but sometimes luxury have too many bells and whistles also. It’s overwhelming. I don’t like to feel like I’m driving in a cubicle with a bunch of stuff around me. Accessible, Yes! Cluttered, No!

That’s how I felt when I got into the Buick Lacrosse. I’m short and about to hit my head on the roof of the car, that is a problem. The door has a leather covering for you to rest your arm on; I wasn’t really feeling it. The screen and numerous buttons almost made me dizzy. It could seem nice, but it was more distracting than anything else to me.

Cadillac ATS 2013 in display

Throughout my tour of the different cars I realized that I have a love for Cadillac that I never realized before. I must have been in the Cadillac area for a good 20 minutes and then went back before I left. They have this very nice sedan- Cadillac ATS. Its nice, not too big, has swag, but still has a simplicity to it. I have to test drive that car soon.

Inside the ATS

Then there were the usual CTS, CTS Coupe, and XTS that I enjoyed and felt comfortable in.

Cadillac ATS

I’ve watched this Dodge commercial for months now and never got past everything in the commercial to realize what the car was… until last week. I wanted to see this new Dodge Dart in person. It was just okay. A basic Dodge even with all its upgrades and bells and whistles.

Dodge Dart

I’m not a Dodge fan and this didn’t impress me. I prefer a Chrysler over a Dodge any day. Not that I’m a huge fan of Chrysler either.

Inside the Fiat 500, and yes it’s a stick-shift

I’ve always thought the Fiat 500 was so cute, but once I got inside at the show I had a ‘Hell No!’ moment. It was literally like a toy car inside. I always imagined it being a lot more sophisticated than what I saw. I jumped out of that thing. In contrast to most cars having too much the Fiat just didn’t have enough. I can’t lie I would still like to drive it one day, but I don’t see myself owning it.

BMW 650i

At the BMW exhibit they had some nice BMW models. The 650i caught my attention, but once I got inside of it there was a lot going on with the compartments. Enough to distract me at least. I love the feel of the buckets seats like I mentioned here. The rear window was low which made it awkward to see through. I loved the door and the sunroof.

I love the door on this BMW 650i

Many of the models have the same basic design inside, but the bigger the series the more extras. I did enjoy the lockbox feature where you can lock the middle compartment. I could see myself finding something to hide in there just because I could.

After BMW my interest in the rest of the show began to wane. Don’t get me wrong BMW is not my end all be all car of choices, but like I said the show was small which means the exhibits were crammed together and everything was just looking bland and basic.

Lexus IS 250C (white ugh)

As I wondered back toward the exit a Lexus caught my eye- IS 250C. I’ll admit I don’t know too much about Lexus, never really cared enough. This car if you don’t know is a coupe with the top down. Lately I’ve found myself loving sedans like the BMW 328i or Buick Regal, not too big but not too small either. Too small is like a Chevrolet Cobalt or Ford Focus for me.

Then when I think of a coupe I don’t think about anyone sitting in the back seat, but this totally could have two people in the back. It’s also a convertible top. The inside was comfy and simple. I enjoyed it as if I was actually driving it.

Inside the Lexus

After Lexus I continued to browse but nothing really grabbed my attention except the new Lincoln MKZ. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get inside of it. Good news is that it will be available to buy and test drive  in early 2013.

All in all I found some gems and had a good time imagining myself on the road in them. I hope to actually get to drive these cars one day foreal. We will just have to wait and see because you know I’ll have to let you know.

Also, my ticket came with a free subscription to MotorTrend Magazine. I’m about that life! #EverythingWillBeFree

Do you like going to auto shows? What brand do you always look forward to see? Let me know the deal.

-TheJournalist25 xoxo

Adventures of TheJournalist25: The Venetian

During a recent weekend trip to Las Vegas (Read: How To Vacation With Men) I had the amazing opportunity of staying in two hotels. One of which was The Venetian.

Two days before my scheduled trip I received my usual daily emails from Jetsetter.com when a $120/ night room deal appeared and I just couldn’t pass it up. I had already booked my room for Friday and Saturday with plans to return home on Sunday, but since I was driving I was able to extend my stay an extra day.

I’ve always wanted to stay in The Venetian since I was an adolescent girl visiting my dad during the summer. It just screamed luxury and class with the high-priced boutiques and gondola ride in the middle of the shopping area. (Yes, I’ve always been bougie.) Who could resist a faux France experience such as this. I could only imagine what the rooms were like and finally the opportunity to experience it had arrived.

That Sunday afternoon after checking out of my other hotel and having brunch with my dad I anxiously followed my GPS’ directions to The Venetian. I pulled up around 2:30 pm in my rented Toyota Yaris, sunglasses on because I was still a little hungover, and allowed valet to open my door as I got out to check-in. I was actually surprised by how many people were checking-in on a Sunday, but I rolled with it. I mean it wasn’t like I had a choice. I was beyond ready to lay my pretty little head down on those feather-down hotel pillows, but all in due time.

Once I finally got to the front of the line they couldn’t find my reservation *sigh at Jetsetter*. The lady was very helpful as she went ahead and charged my credit card for the room and gave me directions on getting the charges reversed once I got in contact with Jetsetter. Thank God I’m a baller!

It took her about 15 times of putting in my information for the check-in to be complete. I was patient and she was polite. I couldn’t hold it against her that I wasn’t quite recovered from the night before, and I knew getting an attitude wasn’t going to make things any better.

Finally, she handed over my keys *shrieks inside* tells me my room number, 18-131, and then hands me a map and shows me how to get to the elevator tower. She used a pen to point out the direction on the map to get through the casino and gave me a left right left direction just to get to the elevator. I wasn’t prepared for the walk to the elevator. It was like the universe was playing a sick joke on me for having a good time the night before. Mind you I’ve never stayed in a casino-hotel besides the Mandalay Bay and their elevators are conveniently right before the casino and shops.

The Hallway Before Getting To The Casino

As I began to walk thoughts of passing out crossed my mind, but I mustered up the energy to walk myself and roll my luggage to the elevator. Once, I got there I had to flash my key at security on post, it wasn’t like he was really paying attention anyway.

Finally on the 18th floor! I couldn’t be happier only to realize that 131 is basically at the end of the damn hall. As I rushed down the hall to my room I realized I was hungry and tired, what a combination #shrugs. I was feeling too queezy at brunch to actually eat anything other than a banana and half an omelet. At one point on the way to my room I think I just glided down the hall in my clear no grip jelly sandals. All in all I made it to the room and couldn’t have been happier.

I stepped into a Victorian style, golden, regal studio suite. Maybe five feet away from the entrance was the bathroom on the right with french doors opened. I’ll come back to the bathroom because it was an experience in itself. Directly on the left was a framed full length mirror on the wall. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love a nice mirror. Then *wallah* the rest of the room ahead of me.

On the right, the king size bed adorned in white egyptian cotton sheets (not sure what the thread count was) just how I like it with four big fluffy pillows. There was also a red chaise lounge at the foot of the bed. On both sides of the bed were nightstand type shelves joined to the wall. On the left was an iHome alarm clock and the telephone on the right side. I used the iHome to play my Rick Ross station on Pandora and charge my iPhone while I fixed my hair in the bathroom later that afternoon.

The Bed I Slept In

May I add that the electricity outlets were not the easiest to get to let alone use. That was disappointing. Sometimes its the little things.

There was a nice cherrywood dresser directly across from the bed and plasma tv hanging above it.

I couldn’t stop there, even though I wanted to so badly, but I had to check out the sunken living room. Yes! there were two little stairs to walk down. It was cute and sassy like me.

Sunken Living Room

The valour-like L-shaped sectional sofa was a bit dated from the 70s or something, but it blended well with the ambiance of the room. It didn’t look out-of-place. When I sat down on the couch that bad boy sunk in so it wasn’t very comfy for me to relax on.

Just a few feet away was the office area. It continued with the theme of the room with the wooden table and chair. I looked around some more and saw the forbidden snack bar connected to the entertainment center. I was advised during check-in that all the snacks were censored so if I picked anything up it would automatically charge $45 to my room. Whaaaaat in the hell! $45?!!!!!! Yeah so you know I stayed clear of that area.

The Roman curtains and shades were remote-controlled; too bad my window on the 18th floor was facing a wall. Very little lighting got in either way. So much for the nice view. Even with the few negatives about this room I was still enamored by it and felt luxurious. The best way to describe the way I felt is the Straight Talk Android commercial.

I finally scurried to the bathroom to potty and stuff. It was sooo fancy darlings. I’m surprised it didn’t have a bidet. In the corner there was a vanity! The vanity had a mini sewing kit on it (that I should’ve taken now that I think about it. Not that I know how to sew or anything). The floor was marble, there were double sinks and the toilet had its own room (most nice hotels have this set-up). The bath tub and shower were separate. I couldn’t figure out how to turn the flatscreen on in there. Please don’t judge me.

I finally laid down in my cozy bed and it felt good. I couldn’t sleep though because I was hungry too.*sigh* I forced myself to sleep anyway for an hour and a half before meeting up with my friends.

The time flew by while I was out looking at everyone else gamble. When I arrived back at the hotel it was bedtime. I used valet in the parking structure because its closer to the elevator tower. Much more convenient. The Grand Luxe Cafe was very accessible before heading back to my room so I stopped and got carryout even though I’m not a huge fan of their menu.

Inside The Venetian

By the time I fell asleep good my alarm was going off. It was 4:30 a.m. and time for me to get back on the road. I took a nice hot shower. It was one of the best showers I’ve ever taken actually. Got dressed, packed, and rolled out.

Overall, it was nice staying at The Venetian, but I could’ve done without it. I know from my description it sounded bomb, but all the things I described was to be expected from any 4 and 5 star hotel. The Venetian is actually a 5 star hotel, but I would rate it a 4. The main thing I felt it was missing was the personable customer relationship. I felt lost in the sea of other guest after checking in. I wanted more and expected more after the previous hotel I stayed in.

Vegas is a bright, vibrant city, but The Venetian was kind of dark with very little natural light inside the room. The environment very stale. The television was complicated to work and was set up like a wack Netflix and OnDemand mixed, just too damn complicated.  I felt like I had to force myself to relax instead of just relaxing. I’m not pressed to stay there again… at least not if I have to pay for it.

Sometimes it just be like that!

Have you ever been excited about something but wasn’t impressed afterwards? Have you ever stayed at The Venetian? What was your impression? Talk to me.

-TheJournalist25 xoxo

A Love Like This: Domestic Violence

There I was in the street, with a fist pulled back ready to fly into my face while the other hand tightly gripped me by my jacket. I stared into my boyfriend’s eyes as a way of daring him to actually hit me, but also fearful that he would.

I was 18 and embarrassed.

I come from a past where my father abused my mother and my grandfather abused my grandmother. There I was staring into his eyes about to fall victim to the vicious cycle.

Unfortunately, domestic violence doesn’t have an age, race, or class to strictly match the face. It can happen to anyone. It manifest in multiple ways- physical, verbal, emotional, and sexual.

Several events took place before the day I stood in the street about to be punched in the face by my boyfriend. It started with name calling, manipulating me emotionally, lying, and other huge red flags.

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Recently, I attended a Teenage Domestic Violence conference that empowered the young ladies in attendance to protect themselves by not attracting abusive men. I couldn’t help but think “Wow, that’s a great place to start.”

Yes, it’s important to know the signs of an abusive partner, but starting from the inside out is a better solution than what to do when it happens. During the conference the girls learned about eating healthy, doing yoga as a way of exercise and meditation, and affirmative ways to think of themselves. All of these everyday things play a major role in attracting the right friends and partners in our life. Something most of us weren’t lucky enough to realize as teenagers.

Abusers choose people who they believe they can abuse. There were plenty of stories told to the young ladies about women being abused emotionally, mentally, sexually and physically. I decided to keep my story to myself. The early signs that a relationship wasn’t going to be healthy and so on were also presented to them. The day truly encompassed everything for these girls to put in their toolbox of life.

I was glad to see them receptive to the information. I noticed they wanted to know how to help other girls who may need help with unhealthy, abusive relationships. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is see your friend in a bad relationship and not be able to help.

Nearly three out of four (74%) of Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence. 

Approximately one in five female high school students reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner.

These girls didn’t want to just help their friends but any girl they saw who may need help. That’s what it’s about being able to help our fellow sisters with the information we have.

That day in the street I felt alone and vulnerable as so many women do when abuse of any kind is in their life. Luckily, for me his fist went down to his side instead of crash landing on my face, but for many women this isn’t the case.

One in four women (25%) has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime.

Later that evening after the conference the organization that held it, New Star Family Center,  had a fundraising dinner. I had the pleasure of attending thanks to Kandee Lewis, a facilitator during the conference and executive director of Positive Results Corporation. I learned more about their efforts in helping women trying to escape an abusive relationship.

The money is being raised to build a comprehensive center in Hawthorne, CA (Los Angeles) that help women get all the help they need when leaving their abuser. These things include getting a restraining order, legal counsel, car seats for their babies, etc in one place. This makes it easier than having to go to several buildings and find different organizations that provide all the help they need. Especially since most women leave with nothing.

I found that this is very important because it takes a woman being abused an average of 7 times before actually being able to leave their spouse for good. Just remember the several times in “What’s Love Got To Do With It” Tina Turner tried to leave Ike Turner. Now imagine regular women trying to do the same thing.

I’ll admit I never gave the process that much thought. I thought you just eventually leave the person or kill them. Boy, was I completely wrong. I’m glad I was made more aware of the numerous affects domestic violence can have on not only the individual but the family as a whole during the conference and fundraising dinner.

I was also happy to see the support of local officials like Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Mayor of Hawthorne, Daniel Juarez and his council members. They’re just as important to the process as everyone else who are looking to help.

I thank God I was able to leave my boyfriend at the time without having to worry about children, where I was gonna live, and my saftey, but most women aren’t this lucky. I’m glad to know there are organizations out there like New Star who make it easier for those women and teenagers.

What has been your experience with domestic violence? Any thoughts about prevention. Let me know in the comments.

-TheJournalist25 xoxo

*Note: bolded statistics are from Domestic Violence Resource Center 

How To Vacation With Men

Recently, I took a trip to Las Vegas, NV because I needed to get away from Los Angeles. I needed a vacation and a change of scenery. Most of all I need my own personal space to walk around naked and use the bathroom whenever and however long I needed because this is not a luxury I have at the moment.

Privacy Please!… and Thank You

My motivation for the trip was a friend/classmate’s birthday… and they just so happened to be of the opposite sex, as in a man. Another motivation was the fact that I would be able to see my dad for a couple hours too.

So, I booked my hotel and rental car with the intentions of having a relaxing, bubble bath, great food, and sleep filled weekend. I thought I would run into my friend and his friends then go about my business for the rest of the weekend. The universe had something totally different in mind.

Let me just say I got very little sleep after Friday night, but had a blast.

The view from my room on the 39th floor at night

When I arrived in my hotel room I heard loud music and negroes next door to me. I was extremely tired from my drive, but kind of excited to know young black people were right next door. Only to find out the next day in the lobby that my friend and his friends were staying right next door to me. #theirony. We didn’t even know we were staying in the same hotel so it was crazy to realize we were neighbors.

This changed everything. By Saturday afternoon I was hanging with the fellas. Don’t get me wrong I did get in quite a bit of Me Time in too, but going on vacation with men has its advantages in comparison to being with just a group of women sometimes. Here are a few things I learned and appreciated during my trip.

1) They’re not going to babysit you

With women friends there’s always that one friend that wants to keep an eye on everyone and everything. You just want to tell that bitch to go somewhere. Being with a bunch of men I was free to do me and be me. If we departed ways I was fine being by myself. I didn’t have to run up behind them the entire trip and they damn sure didn’t check on me (like that). I’m a grown, independent woman and I didn’t need to be with someone every minute of the day. That’s why I rolled out there solo.

My personal time also helped with not getting annoyed with being around them so much. I was able to my thing as a female and vice versa.

Yummy cookies and creme gelato during my Me Time in the Bellagio

2) Liquor is Free!

Now, I was with some quality dudes and they had an abundance of top shelf dark liquor at their disposal and mine. They were never stingy when it came to pouring up a glass or two. They actually encouraged it. Let the libations flow.

Note: Know your limit. If you can drink like a man by all means, but if you can’t please don’t try to keep up with them because they are not going to babysit your drunk ass.

3) They don’t want to shop!

I hate every time I go on vacation my friends want to go shopping for hours at that. In a city like Vegas and only a weekend to enjoy myself the last thing I wanted to do is see a mall or be in the hotel room all day. I’m trying to get something poppin and explore all there is to offer. Men sleep, wake-up, get dress and leave the room. The day flows from event to event. Their main objective is… finding some bitches! lol They also just want to do crazy, dumb, hilarious stuff just because they’re on vacation.

The tomfoolery from playing the penny slots #cashedout

4) Nothing is taken personal or serious

You’re allowed to embarrass yourself. Its all fun and games at the end of the day. You’re not allowed to take yourself too seriously. Just go with the flow and have yourself a good ol time.

Some very funny and crazy things happened over the course of the weekend that still make me weak with laughter. In a normal circumstance I probably would’ve wanted to slap them or would’ve been offended, but there was no need for all that because it was really just all fun and games.

5) Don’t share a room with them

I’m so glad I had my own room to go to. Men are messy and will sleep anywhere and anyway. Not only that, but you know their main objective is to bring bitches back to the room so its best to give them the space to do so. Who’s to say you don’t want to take someone to your room for some private time anyway? Kudos to these guys for having plenty of condoms at their disposal. Whether or not they used them shall remain in Vegas. Just know they were not about to get caught slippin’.

Having my own room also allowed me to get ready without them having to see the entire process from start to finish of putting on make-up, doing my hair, and other womanly things. Oh and lets not forget being able to go number two without them knowing. Let me not forget that I could have my own #howmybootyendupintheair moment(s) with no problems also.

I definitely appreciated that when it was time to go out with these guys they were dressed to impress. I’m talking blazers, suit jackets, cuff links, button down shirts, slacks, etc. So, when I came in with my black dress looking classy yet seductive we all looked like we belonged in a crew together. Shoutout to those guys and their flyy selves. #YouGoBoys!

I enjoyed hanging with them and the moments I had by myself. I had an equal amount of time by myself doing my own womanly things as I spent with them. I do however wish I would’ve taken more bubble baths to relax while I was there. Not to mention I spent some time with my dad Sunday morning.

I’m not sure if I will ever have the opportunity to travel in this capacity again, but I sure did enjoyed myself.

Are there any other advantages to traveling with primarily the opposite sex on vacation? Have you had a similar experience? Let me know the deal in the comments.

-TheJournalist25 xoxo