I shall NOT be moved!!

Growing up in Flatbush Brooklyn in the 90's you had your specific clique of friends. Many like you whose parents are immigrants or who are immigrants themselves hung out with those who knew of your culture and your customs. Coming from Haiti in the 80's and living in the same neighborhood in the 90's I saw how many of the kids grow into adolescence and take their own direction in life. When I saw how many of my peers turned out I realized how glad I was to not have fallen into the same traps that they did. You may be wondering why I am writing this, and there is a reason for it too.. Trust me.

Today's prompt from NaBloPoMo asks about a time when you didn't fall into peer pressure. In all honesty I don't think I can actually recall that. I can always tell you about the times when I did. I recall because those where when I got into the most trouble, and boy did I get into trouble... man oh man those were some very terrible moments in my life, but I am scratching my head wondering if and when there was a time when I didn't fall into peer pressure.
Seriously! I cannot remember for the life of me when something occurred and I didn't go for it, or I was stopped by my conscious or my gut told me anything. I begin to wonder " Was I really that stupid?" " Did I really fall for every trap set up by my then friends?" NOOOOO!! That definitely is not it. I refuse to believe so. In all seriousness though I can't recall. 

 I know this kind of makes me sound like I was a gullible or easily persuaded teen, but I wasn't. Actually, after I got into trouble I learned to straighten up. My mother made it clear to me that if I didn't fix myself and turn things around I would find myself with a one way ticket back to Haiti. At this time I didn't know my country. I mean I left there when I was 4, what did I know.So to not have that happen I just did what I was supposed to when I was supposed to. This did come with loads of problems in itself with my "friends" but I didn't care because I knew if I messed up again American Airlines was my next stop.

I think I learned to quit following friends and do things on my own when I saw that it wasn't getting me anywhere. The people that I hung out with were getting into so much trouble in school that their parents were called in constantly. Many had dropped out or had transferred to other schools because they were not going to graduate with the cohort we started with. I finally saw what my mother had seen in the beginning. I never told her these things because I know she would have the " I TOLD YOU SO!" face on ----->

I am glad for her though. I believe that if she hadn't pulled be in and made me see certain things I would have ended up like the other kids I see in my old neighborhood. I may have fallen into some peer pressure growing up in the 90's but having a mama like mine helped me to avoid a lot of the other peer pressures that I could have also fallen into had it not been for her!

Peer Pressure... the Younger Me

Today's prompt on NaBloPoMo asks about a time when I bent to Peer Pressure. This made me think of when I was younger and how I was so easily influenced by my friends to do things that I KNEW I shouldn't have done. Things that I got into loads of trouble for. So with that said I constructed a letter to my younger self about the stupid things I have done.

Bear with me y'all!

Dear Younger Riley, specifically 15-16 year old Riley,

Yes, I am talking  to you. I must admit that I am not proud of the person you were at this time. You just don't understand how long I've wanted to write to tell you what I've been thinking. Pull up a chair and listen intently as I tell you about some of the things you... You have done! Girl, some things that you did back then, I am definitely NOT proud of. You should have not listened to your friends. Why did you fall for the trap that they set up for you? Why did you let them make you feel like that? Were you really that feeble? Come on Girl get it TOGETHER! You should have listened to your instincts and stayed away from those people. Which people? You know which people I am talking about. Those people or should I say friends! Yes, those friends who you thought were your friends (at the time.) Those ones who used to make fun of you and ask if you were too p*ssy to hang with them.

Remember that time when you ditched school to go to that hookie party? Yes, that same party where you danced your heart out and laughed  and made out with that not so cute boy who you thought was cute until the light came on and you realized that he was just EWWWW.. yeah him. all this happened and unbeknownst to you  the school had called your house and told your overly strict HAITIAN mother that you were NOT in school that day? Yeah, remember that time. Girl what were you thinking? Did you really think that she wouldn't have found out that you were out there doing what you weren't supposed to be doing? You thought you were cool right? You thought you were going to just get away with it and not get into trouble? Well honey you thought WRONG. I'm still shaking my head at that.

Its just like that time where you ditched school to go to the beach the year before with your friends. You missed your regents to go to the beach! You took one state test that afternoon and missed the second one.l When you got home you were so tired by the sun that you passed out for HOURS after. To make matters worse when your mother asked why you were so tired you LIED and said that the tests exhausted you. HA HA HA HA HA! What an idiot. (I really can't believe that I told her that, and I believed that she believed me.) Are you still wondering how your mother found out? Well, let me tell you honey. She found sand and seashells in your pocket and add to the fact that you were about 3 shades darker than when you left home that morning.

Let me tell you sweety, the teasing by your friends made you go because you didn't want to be seen as chickensh*t. Good going smart ass. For a long time your mother didn't trust you because you said one thing and you did another. As you've grown you realized that there are some things that you don't have to fall for. If your friends wanted to go, then you should have let them. You didn't have to go. You could have just gone home.

With all that said, I look back at where you've come from and I must say that I'm proud of the woman you've become. I think you've learned from your lessons and you no longer do things that are pressure from your friends. As a grown woman you've learned to stand on your own without anyone's help no matter how much they try ridicule  you when you don't want to participate.

Stay strong and stay grounded. I'm glad you no longer fall so easily to the pressures that you used to face from friends.

Older, more wiser Riley


Well look at that. Day 2 of writing on this blog, looks like I'm really going to take this seriously this time.  (Crossing fingers) Well that's the hope.

To get myself back into blogging I decided to join Blogher NaBloPoMo for the month of January. The premise of this is to write everyday for the month of January. Each day has some prompts to help if you're stuck trying to find the right words to write. I am excited about this. I believe that this will help me find my groove again.

The topic of this month is pressure. This is something that I am very familiar with. With my job I am constantly under pressure to make sure that things are done well, and done in a specific amount of time. I am not only responsible for myself but I am also responsible for about 150 other people. But that's something else that I will get into another day. Friday's topic was about procrastination, and THIS is definitely something that I struggle with. When I was in school I would always leave everything till the last minute to get it done. I felt that I would work well under pressure. While this did pay off with good grades on papers, and studying for some exams it also left me sleepless. I would spend hours upon hours the day or night before doing what was assigned to me weeks before.

Fast Forward 10+ years and here I am still procrastinating. I just don't know what it is about doing things at the last minute that grabs me. I just can't seem to shake the "wait till the last minute" thing to get things done. I have even waited till the final second to get something handed in. Now don't get me wrong, this is not something I am proud of. Actually I usually get mad at myself for waiting till the last minute to finish something, but it doesn't deter me from letting it happen again. My mother would say that I am shameless about this, but eh. I wonder what causes procrastination?

Yeah that's about right.Especially the first one. I am often lazy to get things done. I will give myself several hundred reasons why I can do something later instead of getting to it right at the moment its supposed to be done.

For example, right now I am supposed to be looking over some papers to hand back tomorrow. I have about 30-40. This wouldn't take me more than about an hour, but here I am typing on this here blog because I said that I would make a conscious effort to be more productive about my blog this year.
Anything to get away from the task that I am supposed to be doing. But best believe that tonight before I go to bed I will get it done. While I'm watching some meaningless TV or looking through some video's on YouTube I will do what I have to do because I know it needs to get done.

My boyfriend has asked me a million times why I do wait till the end to do these things, and I have not been able to give him a significant answer. But in an effort to make some positive changes for 2014 I promise myself to no longer procrastinate. I am going to need help y'all. I am really going to need reminders and calendars and alarms and all that other stuff that technology has made available to me to get things done in a timely fashion.

As of tomorrow I will no longer procrastinate!

Don't call it a comeback...but thats EXACTLY what this is!

When I first started this blog oh so many years ago ( I want to say that its been 6-7 yrs) I had hoped that it would be a place where I could put down my thoughts and wishes and hopes for the world to see. I am not afraid to share and I'm not afraid to let anyone in. That being said I spent many days and weeks writing and putting myself out there and then... NOTHING. Its came to a point where writing was the farthest thing from my mind and my thoughts and updates about life took a back seat. Don't underestimate the fact that school and work and dating and everything else was hectic but what I enjoyed doing took a long and drawn out backseat to anything and everything. 

So here I am January 2014, and I'm writing again on this blog. Why? Well because, because, because I want to. I was speaking to one of my very close friends and she asked me one thing that I miss doing, the one thing that I would devote time to wholeheartedly, and this is the first thing that I could think of. I really missed blogging. I missed the time I took to write and then edit my words. I missed the feeling of talking to others who either have gone through what I went through or others who just stopped by and said that they enjoyed what I wrote. I just missed doing what I liked doing. From  youth I've enjoyed writing and I realize that I haven't been doing it as much as I would want to.

Now don't get me wrong I don't think that I'll become some famous blogger and what not I just want to put "me" down on paper, or rather the internet. My life isn't interesting like that by any means. I feel like I lead a very boring life, but I am not afraid to write about it. I am NOT shy about my life.

Well, since you're here and reading and you haven't left let me give you a quick overview of what has been going on since I last wrote something of relevancy on here.

Well first, I was with this guy for "a blink and you missed it"  small amount of time. He was a total pain in my ass, it was my first and only "interracial relationship. I thought that stepping out of my race was going to be cool and easy and we would click and we would end up having some interracial babies.. NAHH that is NOT what happened. I quickly realized that he was definitely not someone that I wanted to be with long term. Too clingy, too needy, and VERY VERY BORING.  Also during this time I left my job at the library. I had reached a point where I felt that I wasn't using my potential to make a change in this world. I wanted to do something I was proud of, something that would give me the warm tingly feeling that I thought I had when I first started working at the library, I enrolled in a Masters Degree program to become a teacher,  as I was working on this degree I was teaching at the same time.  Soon after graduating from graduate school I met this guy who  ( I wasn't even looking for ) is amazing and wonderful ,and a pain my ass, and a thorn in my side, but I love him to pieces and we have been together ever since.Its been 2yrs and we are going strong.

You're probably wondering what my plans are for this, since I have decided to come back and write and put myself "out there." Don't feel bad for thinking it, because I'm thinking about it too. To be honest I  haven't the slightest idea.

To be honest I just plan to put it all out there. I have a couple of blogging ideas but mainly its about what my friends and I are going through (I've asked if I could share some of their stories too.) Some of my friends have some amazing stories about dating and love and romance and a whole slue of other things and I have permission to put it out there for you to read and enjoy and of course comment on.

With all that said, I plan on writing as much as I can. I do want to make this something more than what is has been. So, with this first blog post of 2014 I want to wish you a great new year and happy reading.