Open Tab: How Can Women Get Along with Other Women?

"It is said that 8 means the creation of new order or the beginning." --Nikkipanache

This past weekend I attended Appalachian State University's homecoming with seven other women. 

I often hear women complain about how they don't make friends easily with other women or how they have a string of Stephen King-like tales of shady women-friends. And it all sounds terrible. And I get it. But I believe that you have to be weary of people, in general, have faith, and try to live the best life possible. I know that sounds like unicorns and rainbow fairy tales to you right now. You're probably thinking: "How Sway?! When there are real-life monsters out there!" I understand your grief as I enjoy Sword and Scale podcast and know that everyday monsters are real. Apparently, we are among 2 billion un-triggered sociopaths. Listen to the podcast. Don't quote me on that.

But back to this girls trip. It was amazing. We all got along. We are a dynamic group: one teacher, an attorney/teacher, a coordinator, sales executive, healthcare counselor, an athletic director,  another counselor and myself. We had a difference of opinions on different subjects, but we all agreed that a good time required laughing, dancing, singing, timely coordination (which we failed at the entire trip--LOL) and lots of food and cocktails. It was harmonious. It was bonding.

We stayed peacefully in a cabin on the mountain; a cozy cabin that smelled of cedar. It had three sleepers, a loft, and two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, a hot tub, two fireplaces, and a wrap-around patio.

Oh, sidetone: I picked up some palo santo sticks and homemade soap (Nigerian and Fireside) at Dancing Moon, a store on King Street. I shopped there while in undergrad for incense, natural herbs, and other fun stuff. No; I never purchased the witchcraft books. This store has been around forever, and it is simply one of my favorite stores. So I just had to share it with the girls.

But I digress. 

In all, we created some great memories and simply enjoyed one another. And I say all of this to give you a recipe of success ... on how women can get along with other women on a trip ... or just in general. While the lesson seems remedial, it's going to be helpful to someone. So let's get right to it.

1. Respect: The circles of women about which I roam are of women who have a general respect for humanity and for other women. They share a great appreciation of life and for the next person. Sometimes having respect means letting someone have their moment of grief, happiness, joy, sorrow, whatever without interjecting your own personal opinions, competitive spirit, or yourself (basically). Let people be who they are. When you are ok with yourself, you can be completely ok with others being themselves. 

2. Keep Your Judgments to Yourself: No one's life is picture perfect. People make mistakes all the time. I find that if there's a difference of moral compass or opinions, it's more helpful to seek understanding than to begin to draw a stark contrast of who you are against who they are. For example, if a woman tells you something personal about herself that doesn't necessarily sit quite right with your spirit, seek understanding through questioning (no deposition). Like my mama said, "if you ain't got nothing nice to say, don't say nothing at all." The same holds true with this saying: "If you don't know what to say, don't say anything at all." This goes back to respect and not injecting yourself in the mix. "Everything ain't about you, Sis!" 

3. First, Compassion. But Don't Take Them Home with You: You can be nice to people all day long and be decent. And your niceness doesn't have to lead to complete friendship. Kindness costs you nothing. I think we're missing compassion amongst women, and this missing element frustrates human connection. Figure out how to tap into into this if you haven't already. I had to work on my delivery. My delivery would be dressed up in expletives and fast talking. Now, I just add a soft touch through choice of words. It's a skill. It can be developed. Be cautious, folk will see your compassion as an invitation to a friendship. If you're like me, you've run out of capacity to handle just another friendship, so you have to be clear with people/women when you say, "I'd gladly be your acquaintance, but I have more than enough people to love on right now." Ok; don't say that, but figure out a way. I just tell people: "I can't take on any more friends, but we can be cool." I'm still filling my cup, so no apologies there.

4. Spring from a place of positivity because HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE. It's simple. If you're hurting about something or in a difficult place (harvesting bad energy), ask yourself if what you're about to say is coming from a positive or negative place. I mean ... just slow down your reaction. 

Having had a good time this past weekend, we will do another "For Colored Girls Retreat" as our homecoming trip next year. It is invite-only. But I encourage you to start your own. But you cannot use the name, best friend said so! LOL.

In sum, the number eight in this case symbolizes the beginning of a retreat worth having every year. You need your girlfriend-only rituals. It makes the bond stronger.

That's it. Now go out and practice. Be positive, transparent, but not naive. And furthermore, be blessed. This is a how you BEYT all the goodness in life, generally. BEYT shirts loading soon.

 

--Nikkipanache

P.S. I think the next post will be about how I was nearly stabbed in a workplace. 

Open Tab: Search* When the Creative Mind Drives a Legal Mind

Exhales*

"If you're asking the Universe for such a thing, of course it's going to be worst and harder and grind-dee-er and difficult." -- The GaryVee Experience podcast

I asked the Universe to get me through law school and to my license to practice and then to grant me the capacity to run an e-commerce/retail business in tandem, so I can fully express myself. I'm still asking the Universe for these things. I must be able to do both, be a creative and legal mind to be happy and to feel complete. Why?

Flashback to 2011 when I was laid off at Lowe's. I've told this story before. I worked at Lowe's in their Taxonomy Department but first as a temp as a metadata writer. The latter is not the exact title for that position. But basically ... have you seen those hang tags on Lowe's products in their stores? I wrote that. Have you seen the product descriptions on your receipts when you purchase your products from Lowe's? I wrote those too. I call it Twitter language. Have you seen the product descriptions on Lowe's website? I wrote those too. But this is not the only writer I was meant to be ... as a purpose to the World and Universe. Long before I was laid off, I had an epiphany, a dream, saying go to law school and become the ultimate writer--a lawyer whose writing brings about change. So since Lowe's provided flex hours, I studied for the LSAT at home, before work, at work, after work, and took it twice. As you know, this behavior led to the PBAP at Central Law then a small scholarship at Charlotte Law. I also graduated law school.

How about that dream now?! 

While I was studying for the LSAT, I made bow ties, that is, after I was laid off, I began a custom bow tie business. You see some men are viewed as companions, meal tickets, etc. But if I choose to date you, you're probably my creative muse. In some form or another, you serve as inspiration for me creatively. That's how this bow tie and e-commerce thing got started. I was seeing someone who loved bow ties. I used his neck and his bow ties to create prototypes and paid my bills for a year and a half. Thanks, Bro!! He's not the point here. The point is when I studied for the LSAT and did not make the score that I needed the first time, I continued to be creative, and it all worked out. I had to exercise both my creative and legal minds in order for the Universe to respond. Over the years in which I attended law school, I abandoned my creativity for my hunger for the law. There are a good number of us out there, lawyers who blog (or photograph, paint, draw, make tea, etc.) or bloggers who are lawyers, whatever! We need both. I need to make graphics, design tees, blog, show you my lousy sketches (see Suis Generis drawing on homepage), paint, color outside the lines ... you get it!

I've now failed the bar twice. We will get to these experiences later. I promise. I'm still angry about the recent failing, and I don't want to post it just yet. You'll manage. LOL.

But I'm hoping that my secret sauce, the knowledge that I know of myself and how the Universe responds to me will yield the desires of my heart. But like GaryV has said, it has become harder, grind-dee-er, and difficult to obtain these things. They are in my line of sight, not far beyond my reach, but I haven't grasp them yet.

So that's what the new website is all about. It'll be about my journey to exercising both my legal and creative minds, so that I can manifest. It will be for my selfish reasons of healing and letting go and growing anew, meanwhile, entertaining you all with my #truestory. It will be about how I motivate, prepare, grind through seasons and endure pitfalls, so that a smile isn't so hard to manage on a daily basis. (Have you seen my smile? If not, see my Instagram.) It will be about how entrepreneurs and lawyers find happiness despite pitfalls. The e-commerce side of this site will feature products that will motivate the Do-Gooders and Go-Getters with all kinds of witty, wearable stuff. The objective here is to keep you motivated as I keep myself motivated.

Furthermore, I will throw in some shirts simply based on awareness alone because "who am I not to?" In all, we are about to beyt, hook, and kap-cher moments in time to feed our prosperous future, meanwhile, stay woke about The Black Experience because all of these stories are told by me--a young, black, brilliant woman. And being black sometimes drove my ambition. :)

This should be funny, interesting, and sometimes scandalous. Hmm ... where should I start?

'Til next time.

-Nikkipanache