Tag Archives: Brave

Enter Stranger

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Halloween night 2010 was Kaima’s going away party.
To say I was a hot mess would not begin to cover how I was feeling.

I remember plenty from that night, including meeting a rather good-looking individual and being struck dumb by the way he said my name. “Kiki. Wow. That’s an interesting name. It’s nice to meet you, Kiki.” Beyond that, I remember him spending the rest of the evening talking to a brunette. Not that it mattered much, Kaima was leaving and my heart was broken.

As I struggled with the pain of losing him and moving on with my life (Enter A Certain Stubborn Bear), I forgot that moment when a stranger said my name.

Exit A Certain Stubborn Bear.

Enter fresh loss. And pain. Enter being BRAVE. Enter being alone. Enter YOLO.

And one day, while serving at church, Enter Stranger.

He said my name again. We might have talked for all of 5 minutes max, but I was again struck.
This time I went hunting for the Stranger on Facebook. To no avail. He was hidden from me and, apparently, lost forever.

Off and on I would remember to look for him at church, but that was more off than on and he again faded into a dim memory.

And then I decided to be Intentional this year.
And I decided to start dating.
And Facebook decided to send me an email, “Do you know these people?”

And there he was: The Stranger.

I thought about it, and finally decided to send him a message. I asked if he wanted to be friends. I mean, who WOULDN’T want to be friends with ME? However, he had never found me on Facebook and, let’s face it, I’m pretty easy to find so I had to check first.

Of course he wanted to be friends (he’s not an idiot).

 

YOLO

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You. Only. Live. Once.

It’s a mantra for those of us being BRAVE this year. (And by “us” of course I mean “me”)

I went out for Dim Sum with some people from work, “Kikita, would you like to try chicken feet?”

Bring it.

 

I’ve always wanted to know what it was like to ride on the back of a motorcycle.
I made it happen.
It was terrifying and wonderful at the same time.

I’ve wanted to have braids in my hair forever. Not corn rows, just braids. I thought I could rock it, but was worried because some white people look REALLY STUPID with them.

There was only one way to find out…

I bought the hair.

I made the appointment.

I sat.

And sat.

And sat.

And then I was done.

I have braids now.

 

My family HATES them. My mother was very diplomatic. She said she loves the braids, she just doesn’t love them on me. My sister, however, said they look horrible on me and she hates the color and I look bad and she proceeded to stomp around.

Most of my man friends love them. A couple asked that I not call them until I take the braids out and go back to being myself.

One idiot went so far as to say, “Why don’t you leave braids to black girls?”

I love them. I love the color of brown. I love how the blue pops and the purple blends. I love how I can tie them in a knot.

I was not ready for how much attention they would bring. It has taken some getting used to. Everywhere I go, eyes are on me. That alone would make me think twice about getting them again. The other reason was just sitting for 8 hours was brutal.

Yes, I can wash them. That was an adventure in itself. I’ve learned that I have quite the sensitive scalp. The moment the water hit the exposed places on my scalp, I got chills. They didn’t stop. It was wild. And DRYING my hair… It’s been two days and my hair is STILL wet. ūüėČ ¬†(Ok, that’s not true, but I swear it took a long time)

If I HAD looked like an idiot (which I don’t think I do), hey, it’s just hair…

Besides, YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE!!

A Different Kind of Brave

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My word for the year is BRAVE.

Another way to say BRAVE would be FEARLESS.

I am not trying to force it, I want it to just be the way I am. I want to fully embrace it.

But I have been missing a huge piece of it.

Here’s how I’ve been practicing being BRAVE:

Me: Hey [Friend who rides a motorcycle]! I have never ridden a motorcycle before! Would you take me for a ride?
Friend: Sure!

Unfortunately, we have rescheduled this ride so many times, it might be next year before it finally happens.

Speed dating! That was a way to be BRAVE.

But I have been confronted with new ways to be BRAVE and it is a lot tougher than I thought it would be.

The truth is that I am at church twice a week. O_O
And I keep that suuuuuper quiet. It’s like I’m ashamed to admit it.

A few Saturday nights ago, I went out dancing and happened to be wearing all white. I looked like a santera.
And some santería guy noticed.
And he wanted to talk religion with me.
It was like he was trying to impress me with how much he knew about Santería.
And it felt like he just wanted to connect with someone on that level.
So I let him talk. I let him think I was a santera. I made understanding sounds about the ritual dances. I told him to keep quiet about the chicken sacrifices because “People just don’t understand, you know?

It had been my moment to be BRAVE and admit that, while I love Afro-Cuban dances and know about Santer√≠a, I don’t practice it. That I, in fact, go to church and believe in the whole Jesus thing. BRAVE fail.

Why should I care what some bad ass dancer thinks of me? (Ok, the answer would be that there is a considerable shortage of bad ass dancers out there and if one shuns me then that is one less I get to dance with and one shunn could lead to more shuns and I’d be left with only a couple of good dancers to dance with and would spend most of my nights sitting and waiting until it was my turn to dance with them again.)

Obviously, I have my work cut out for me.

Being BRAVE is harder than I thought.

Being BRAVE isn’t about jumping out of planes or riding motorcycles, it’s about facing the scary things and sometimes the scariest things to face are other people.

Kikita on New Year’s Resolutions

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No.

Why?

What was so bad about last year that needs resolving? (Don’t answer that.)

In my opinion, here are the problems with New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Looking back… You base your resolutions on things you don’t like about the year before. Admirable, but how is focusing on the negatives from the year before going to help you be positive in the new year?
2. It’s a set up! You give yourself such high things to aspire to and will only hate yourself more when you can’t acheive them.
3. Who can remember that much? Let’s say you keep your list short and only make 3-5 resolutions. Life happens, will you remember all of those things in 6 months?

Who wants this kind of pressure? Not Kikita,  I can tell you that much.

“But, Kikita! don’t you have goals? Or some way to differentiate between one year and the next? How can you not make resolutions?!?”

Yes, I do.

It’s called “One Little Word.

I learned it from Ali Edwards*.

“And what do you do with this one little word? You live with it. You invite it into you life. You let it speak to you. You might even follow where it leads. There are so many possibilities.” ~ Ali Edwards

You pick a word and it becomes a sort of mantra. It is your answer to everything. A sort of mantra. It can be something you want to be more of, something you want to be less of, something you used to be and want to get back to.

Last year my word was AMAZING, but I told everyone else my word was YES. (I was feel rather saucy the day someone asked.)

So really, I had two words…. *shrug*
It’s a Gemini thing.

How can you fail yourself with just a word?
You can’t.
So you’re already setting yourself up for success.

Besides, if you say something enough to yourself, eventually you’ll believe it.
This may be hard to fathom, but there was a time when I did not find myself amazing. O_O
Now? Just about everyone I know finds me amazing. (Some more than others.)
In fact, it is almost annoying how amazed some people are by me.
And I am amazing because I chose to be. Not because I was trying to resolve something from the year before.

And one (or, as in my case, two) word is a whole lot easier to remember than a list of things like “Go to the gym more.”

So maybe I need to pick two words again for this year… and you know what’s great? You can keep your words from last year if you’d like.
I KNOW I will have amazing moments this year.

The words I’ve chosen for 2012 are…

BRAVE: Bold, Intrepid, Daring, Dauntless, Heroic. BRAVE, courageous, valiant, fearless, gallant  refer to confident bearing in the face of difficulties or dangers. BRAVE is the most comprehensive: it is especially used of that confident fortitude or daring that actively faces and endures anything threatening.

SHINE: Glow, Glisten, Glimmer, Sparkle, Shimmer

I’m sure some people might think that I already am these things, but I want to really focus on them this year.
I want to have adventures.
And I believe that every day life can be an adventure if you let it.

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*Ok, Mami learned it from Ali Edwards and shared the idea. I read up on it, tried it last year, and loved it.