No New Resolutions!

It’s 2015 in London!

Spent my Christmas in Italy and got back to London just in time to say goodbye to 2014.  My New Year started with an empty refrigerator, no electricity and lentils at midnight.  But Happy friggin’ New Year!

After the longest commute from Gatwick airport I arrived home to find that the electricity had run out so I had to light candles to see my way around.  It was kind of cool, if not slightly creepy.  The part of me that still enjoys scary movies thought about the possibility of a stranger lurking in the dark waiting to pounce and for a thrilling moment I was a little bit afraid.  Then the electricity came back on and my scary movie moment was over.  I took a couple of minutes to empty the fridge because all the food had gone bad.  Then at 11:59pm I counted down to midnight and ate lentils.  Fingers crossed for a super prosperous year!

For the first time since the age of 16 I didn’t make any New Year’s Resolutions.  So when March comes around I won’t have any resolutions to break – Yay!  I also didn’t end the year in a bar or totally drunk, which means tomorrow I won’t be hungover.  Also, I didn’t watch the NYC ball drop on TV.  I did, however, watch the London Eye fireworks on TV, which was a nice change of pace.

I thought I’d feel a little bummed about not going out for New Year’s but it turns out my quiet, sober night indoors was just what I needed to start my year off right.  How you start the year is how you’ll end it, right?  (Maybe that’s not entirely true since last year I was definitely hungover on New Year’s Day.)

Anyway, I don’t know if any of these changes will make a difference in my 2015 but I’m looking forward to seeing what the New Year brings.  Somehow I have a good feeling about it.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

All New Things

I anticipated taking on a lot of new things when I moved to London. LondonPaying almost double for a grande Americano at Starbucks was one I was prepared for.  Cleaning Day was not.  But when you live in a shared space compromise plays an important part of establishing a healthy, happy living environment.  So it looks like my cleaning day falls on Saturdays.

Still doing the healthy eating thing.  It actually hasn’t been as challenging as I thought it would be.  The past week I’ve eaten the most delicious healthy homemade meals all for about £4 each.  I had to get creative because London is expensive and I have to pinch pennies (pences?) if I’m going to survive.  So far I think I’m doing OK.  The biggest challenge is finding healthy snacks to eat and resisting the cookies and cakes that I’m always craving.  But at least as far as the meals are concerned, I don’t have to worry too much about doing the actual cooking.  Yay!  I will do a post about a week of fabulous healthy dinners soon.

I had my first official week of classes and I think I’m really going to enjoy this first semester.  I’m still job and internship hunting.  My social life seems to be picking up as well.  Bowling was a lot of fun.  Also went to the cinema for the first time.  Did you know they don’t serve butter for your popcorn in movie theaters??  I was appalled.  But at least I know for next time that I have my choice between sweet or salty popcorn.

Because of workload and job/internship hunt I may have to scale back to weekly blogs for now because things are getting busy.

But I think it’s a good problem to have.

Outfit of the Day (#OOTD)

Shirt – Forever 21

Faux Leather Skirt – Forever 21

Tights – Primark

Blazer – Primark

Sunglasses – Michael Kors

Officially a London Student

After the chaos of my whirlwind orientation day settled down I had a chance to collect my thoughts and the realization that I’m actually back in school finally hit.

London

I’m experiencing at least 50 different shades of anxiety, nervousness and fear but overall I’m excited to have yet another opportunity to go back to school and also explore another new city.  hashtag blessed =)

London is amazing.

I try very hard not to look around in wonder like a tourist but sometimes it simply can’t be helped.  I’m still adjusting.  Haven’t figured everything out yet and I’m not quite ready to give up my trademark shorts and sheer shirts but I’m sure I’ll find a way to keep part of the old me and somehow blend it with the new me to come.

London

Classes start this week.

Already I have a sneaking suspicion that life is about to get truly hectic for the next few months.  I’m OK with that and I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to handle it.  But this won’t be like undergrad or musical theatre school.  This time around I’ll actually have to show up for class (sober) and do the work.

Also, I have to maintain a B average.  Not that I ever had bad grades in school but it’s one of the first things they stressed during orientation so I’m assuming they take that sort of thing pretty seriously around here.  It’s a good thing though because I definitely slacked off way too much at NYU.  I plan to make up for it this time around.

I do hope I won’t get too busy to keep up with my blogs and Youtube videos.  I truly hope there will be time to fully enjoy London.  Speaking of which, it looks like bowling and salsa dancing lessons may be in my immediate future.  Additionally, I may have found a free outdoor bootcamp to attend on weekends.  And I managed to find a Black hair supply store as well as a Black hair salon right near where I live.  Yay!

Let’s see what else is in store for me.

 

Outfit / #OOTD

Sweater – The Limited

Scarf – Primark

Cut Offs – Macys

Tights – Primark

Back In London

Things are falling into place already.  

I have a sneaking suspicion that I live in close proximity to one of my favorite UK Youtubers and so far the weather has been perfect!  The past couple of days have required no coats – maybe a light jacket or sweater – and there’s be sunshine.  I love it.  I know it won’t last but I love it.

I’ve already managed to attend a lecture at Birbeck University as part of the Black History Month celebration thanks to an invite from a UK naturalista with whom I’ve developed a friendship (Hey Sian!).  I love that Black History Month is celebrated in October over here.  It’s a nice change though I do still plan to celebrate it again in February.  Why shouldn’t we have two months?  Hmmm?

In the next couple of weeks I hope to attend more natural hair events as well as some blogger events.  I’m just jumping in feet first I guess.  Don’t want to waste any time.  I want to enjoy as much of London as I can.  Please follow my Youtube channel as I will be vlogging about my life here in addition to my regular advice, comedy and beauty videos.

In other news, I’m still feeling a bit jetlagged.  I’ve not been sleeping well at all.  For instance, today I woke up at 5am and for the life of me could not get back to sleep.  Yesterday I was up at 7am.  Unheard of.  Unheard of.

I feel a bit homesick, to be honest.  I know it’s only been three days (and I’ve got many more days to get through – classes haven’t even begun yet!) but already I find myself thinking about specific things I used to do in Los Angeles and kind of missing them.  To be clear, I’m missing specific parts of my life as it existed in LA.  I’m not necessarily missing LA.  I think it’s because I didn’t give LA a proper goodbye.  Instead I sort of quietly exited stage right.  Maybe I did that wrong.  Maybe I would have closure had I left LA in traditional Dawn Style – with a party.

It’s OK though.  In my own way I did say goodbye through a series of Youtube videos I’ve affectionately titled “Letters to Target”  I had to quickly come to terms with the fact that there are no Targets in London.  I’m already not really a fan of Boots.  But I am checking out some other spots where I might be able to get the products that I need.  Anyway, the “Letters to Target” series features one minute videos in which I prepare to leave LA and let go of what is familiar.

Watch the first 4 Letters here:

There may be one or two more Letters to come.

So please stay tuned!

Common Black Girl | Common White Girl Tag

In lieu of doing two separate videos for these tags I just thought I’d combine them into one.

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And don’t forget to share!

Former Sidekick Girl Preview

I had this post scheduled on my new blog for next month but I felt it necessary to post now.  So here’s a preview of what I’ll be writing about on That Former Sidekick Girl.  Blog launches August 3rd!  Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss my weekly posts!

“Don’t Be Someone’s Muscle”

Remember those mean girl movies like Jawbreaker and Heathers?  Or pretty much any movie where there was a mean girl and her two (usually ethnic looking) sidekicks?  I would watch those movies as a kid and think that if those sidekicks weren’t standing right there this little mean girl wouldn’t have so much mouth.  She wouldn’t act all tough and think she could get away with doing terrible things.

The truth is this mean girl secretly needed to be flanked by her sidekicks to feel tough. She needed to send her cronies or sidekicks or “muscle” out to do her dirty work.  She didn’t want to get her hands dirty or face the consequences of her actions so she encouraged her friends to rally in her defense.

But here’s the thing- why would you take on someone else’s battle?  Why would you decide to take on someone else’s adversary?  Don’t you have your own battles and adversaries to overcome? 

Another important question that comes to mind is…. Why doesn’t this person deal with her own problems herself?  Why did she choose you to deal with them?  What kind of friend puts their issues into someone else’s hands?

And so that we don’t play the blame game let me also ask why would you oblige this friend?  Why would you do this person’s bidding?  Do you want to be her sidekick?  Do you really want to put yourself in that category?  Do you really want her to think of you as the person she could turn to to handle her drama?

No.  You don’t.  You’re no one’s backup or sidekick or muscle.  You’re better than that. 

Sure you want to be a good friend and show support to your friend.  But show your support by encouraging her to handle her drama like a mature adult not by sending you out to try to intimidate someone on social media.  That’s the kind of cyber bullying we are cracking down on.  (And if you think I’m going to stand for it for even a second you’ve got the wrong one.)

I used to be that girl.  I’d jump into my friends’ battles and run off at the mouth like nobody’s business.  I was that loud, obnoxious, stereotypical “black best friend.” Even though I made unnecessary enemies I thought it was worth it because I foolishly believed that when something happened to me my friends would stand up for me.  They’d support me.

They never did.  Not once.  On more than one occasion I found myself in trouble and in need of support and those friends were nowhere to be found.  That’s when I realized there was something very wrong with those relationships.

The friends I have now don’t step in and fight my battles for me. In the past I’d wish they would.  Then I’d feel supported or protected.  Maybe then people wouldn’t think they could mess with me if they knew I had backup who would retaliate.  But one thing I noticed about my friends now is they aren’t about that life.  When something bad happens to me they uplift me, encourage me, comfort me.  They remind me to focus on the bigger picture and help me not to let my emotions get out of control. 

Now I realize these are my true friends. They really care about my well-being.  Because when you think about it…once the emotions get out of the way the drama no longer has any power.

When I was running around with the wrong friends they wanted to see that drama.  They wanted to be entertained.

But I’m nobody’s court jester.  And I deserve to be taken seriously.  Like a person.  Not like this person you can send into the fray when you’ve got drama.

Take a close look at your friends.  Take notice of what they ask of you and what they use you for. If you find you’re being used to fight someone’s battles (either verbally or physically or through social media) put a stop to it. Think for yourself. Don’t be anybody’s TOOL.

Go Be Happy.  Now.
That Former Sidekick Girl

How To Feel Better

thatformersidekickgirl
…a Former Sidekick Girl does not ask permission…

Yesterday was pretty rough- one of my low energy sad type of days.

I hate days like this.  I wake up and I know it’s going to be a bad day.  This cloud of doom settles over me, my heart sags and I can barely move.

It’s depression.

I’ve danced around this for years but I don’t think I’ve ever actually come out and said it but I struggle with depression.  I have struggled with depression for a long time.

Sometimes it’ll go away for weeks or months and I’ll think “I’m cured!”  But then it comes back and I know that I have to battle it all over again.  Today it came back with such force that it felt like there was no way to win. The fact that I haven’t slept in two days due to the excruciating pain in my tooth probably had a lot to do with it.  There was just no escaping the pain and when I feel pain I cry – simple as that.

But the difference between how I handled my depression a few years ago and how I handle it now is that I’m better at pushing through it.

I don’t just give up, crawl back into bed and take a ‘mental health day’ anymore. I get up, get active and choose to be happy instead. Today I made myself hang out at Barnes, drink iced tea, read books and work on my new blog.  When I got back home I decided to get creative and make a couple of Vine videos and wouldn’t you know it, I felt better.

Laughter really is the best medicine.

So if you’re like me, battling depression or just having a bad day – don’t let your day go to waste.  Get out of bed, get dressed, put on makeup, get out of the house, blast music, make some Vine videos, laugh, workout, treat yourself to an ice cream…or simply jump up and down for five minutes.

Don’t let the sadness win.  Save your ‘mental health days’ for when you’re going to the beach or sneaking off to an afternoon movie.

And if you’re feeling overwhelmingly depressed and having thoughts of suicide you should seek professional help.  At least pick up the phone and reach out to a friend.  Don’t go through those dark moments alone.  Asking for help does not make you weak…you can still be a strong (Black) woman even if you’re sad or in need of help.

I mentioned earlier in this post that I worked on my new blog.

skglandingpage

It’s the official blog for That Former Sidekick Girl.  It launches August 4 and right away I want to do my first ever Giveaway!

Be sure and subscribe to That Former Sidekick Girl, Follow me on IG, Twitter and on my Youtube Channel for details.

Remember- you can choose happiness. Even if you have to fake it until you really feel it. Fake it til you feel it!

Go Be Happy.  Now.