I’m Sorry

I’m sorry! Let me be perfectly honest with you. I don’t accept “I’m sorry” as an apology. Jaded much? The reality of those words to me is that it simply isn’t genuine. You ever have someone do something that was extremely foul and they say that they are sorry but there is no emotion behind the words? They force their words upon you yet have no remorse. It’s more of a here take this only because it’s probably the right thing to do type of apology. It’s usually wrapped in a “I’m sorry that you…” as if you were the one who did something wrong.

I think of I’m sorry in this way: is the apology to benefit you or someone else? If the answer is not the latter than uttering those words makes your apology empty and worthless. I had a boyfriend who would apologize for doing the same thing over and over. For me, changed behavior and true self-reflection was always more meaningful. For him, his repetitively negative behavior followed with a routine apology was acceptable.

Please do not misunderstand me. I do think that apologies are needed. If you mess up, allow yourself to be human. Be in the moment, be free of excuses and blame. Be cautious of your tone. Make eye contact. Take responsibility. Learn from the situation and be understanding or know that those apologies are falling on deaf ears.

Expecting You in Others

I’ve been seeing memes on social media where people have been posting about having to stop expecting “you” from people. I am in agreement with that because when people don’t behave in a way that we would we are immediately upset, hurt, and unable to fathom how they do the opposite of what we would do.

Here you go again. Setting those expectations that everyone is as considerate as you, as sincere, as loving, and that you can rely on them. Disappointed… again? Another birthday passed in which none of your loved ones attempted to make sure you were celebrated. Somehow you only assumed that when you tailored their birthday gifts to fit them perfectly or changed your plans to attend their at minimum mandatory $50 birthday dinner that they would do the same.Did you stay on the phone to listen to your friend tell you all about how her man has cheated for the fifteenth time and how her job is so stressful but has never asked you how you were doing one time in the forty-seven minute phone call? Better yet, are you the dependable one that everyone ask for money when they are short but never ask you if you need anything?

Expecting you from others is exhausting. We wonder why everyone can’t do the simple things that they would want to be done to them or for them. Is it too complicated or is it only a complication when we have to put forth action that doesn’t reward us? I do believe in doing things out of the kindness of your heart with no expectation of receiving anything. This prevents one from feeling overwhelmed and used. Give what you can afford and don’t give what you can’t: love, time, energy, etc.

Dear Girl of the Absentee Father

Understand that you have done absolutely nothing wrong. Your existence is no accident. Whatever his reasoning for not showing up in your life is no fault of your own. When we understand that we cannot control others actions we allow ourselves freedom to let go of guilt we carry for their lack of involvement.

I know that it gets tough this time of year around Father’s Day. Everyone is declaring how amazing their fathers are and you’re wondering if you could’ve done something to change his behavior. If you could’ve done something to make him see you. See you for who you are and want to actively be that hero you waited to tuck you back into bed when you had nightmares. He wasn’t. He may never be that father that you wanted. Guess what sis, it’s okay. You’re going to be just fine.

I ask you not to fall into that space of having Daddy Issues. It’s not worth it in the end. Trust me. That guy may not love you who reminds you of the gentle glimpses you saw of your father. That guy who is emotionally/physically/sexually abusive to you is not your project to fix. You’re worthy of so much more. You are not your childhood circumstances. You are not a victim. You are wonderfully made and deserving of the utmost respect, honor and love. Remember that love come first from within and you will attract it.

As I speak to you I speak to myself. Daughter of divorced parents. Father who chose himself in every way possible. Being from a small town and living less than ten minutes from someone who chooses not to show up in your life is hard. It makes your heart cold and distrustful. One thing I learned from his absenteeism is that you can either become bitter or better. So from bitterness and mistakes, I am on a life transit of becoming better by forgiving myself for carrying someone else’s load. You should as well.

Meet Justin: Breaking Color Barriers Diving the Deep Blue Sea

It’s crazy to me that we (African Americans) will host a pool party but no one gets into the pool. If they do get in, they have to be able to stand. Or we will plan a day at the beach but won’t go and get into the water. It’s the old stereotype….Black people don’t swim. Well call me a unicorn! I’m something you don’t see every day. Not only do I swim like a fish, I love to swim with them. I am black man that scuba dives. It’s kind of crazy at times when I think about it. Often times getting on a boat or going on a dive trip I’m the only one like me there. Getting all the stares and puzzled looks, but when I’m in the water it’s a whole different world. No cell phones, no technology, no social media. It feels great to be at peace and at one with nature.

Floating along 80 feet beneath the surface weightless watching as turtles, barracudas, goliath groupers and sharks swim right by. Yes, I said sharks. I know what you’re thinking; but you are wrong. Last year only 5 people in the US died of shark related injuries and not one of them was a scuba diver. Here is a secret for you: Sharks hate bubbles lol.

More and more celebrities that you know are catching on and breaking barriers. Will Smith took his whole family diving, Lil Duval is living his best life while diving and the Great Tiger Woods not only scuba dives but spearfishes as well.

It’s always been something I’ve wanted to do. I loved it so much that I want others to experience it as well. I am currently one certification away from becoming a dive instructor. It is my hope to start diving program for kids who are gaining interest in marine biology.

By the way I’m not the only one. I started a small (as of right now) dive club called Unicorns of Diving. Though small in number, we are growing every week as people see us together. We get quite a stare wherever we go, but love to show off our skills and show belong as well.

Follow Justin’s journey on Instagram here

Cantu’s Secret Garden

This past sunday I got invited to an intimate gathering of beauty influencers at the chic 433 Bishop Event Venue in Atlanta. The super cute event had flirtsy drinks, delicious bites, an area to make flower hair pieces and a panel discussing transitioning to natural hair.

Blogger Melissa Cantey, also known as Melissachanel hosted the panel with Lexiwiththecurls and Fabolous Bre. We got to hear their experiences as naturals who transitioned instead of big chopping as well as their favorite Cantu products.

This line is pronounced Tex-ture and is salon-inspired with a foundation in conditioning, The line is lightweight, hydrates the hair, soothes dry scalp, and helps to minimize split ends.

So I was feeling cute and in theme to the Secret Garden. Check out my look:

Bohemian Faux Locs

I love simple and quick styles that I can get up in the morning and go. I decided to do Bohemian Faux Locs because they literally speak to my inner spirit. The hippie in me rejoices in the carefree look. I absolutely love anything that doesn’t make me look like the next person. Don’t fit in, stick out!

Picture Hair Goddess Lisa Bonet standing in front of you.

I have always been influenced by her style. Super bohemian chic and I am here for it! So I purchased hair from my local beauty store of course to recreate my own version of this look.

I initially purchased 6 packs of hair in 20″ in the hues 1B and 27. I later purchased 2 additional packs to add more length. This was so easy. I honestly wish i had recorded a tutorial of it on my YouTube channel. I will do this look again this summer so the opportunity is still possible.

I started with clean hair and began at the nape of my neck and begin sectioning the hair to start my locs. I first began with twisting my hair as if I were doing a two strand twist and then braided the hair down and twisted the ends. I untwisted the crotched locs from the ends and placed it to the side. I used a crotchet hook and using the tip of the crotched loc (similar to process of doing crothcet styles ) pulled the hair through my twisted roots. At this point you should have the two pieces of crotchet loc hair and your own hair, I put my hair with one of the pieces of crotched hair and wrapped the remaining piece around them in same manner of doing faux locs. Whenever I wanted to add length, I would untwist a crotched loc and tie it into a knot around the loc i had created and repeat the process.

Have you tried faux locs?

Art of Five Love Languaging Your Friendships

I was recently asked what my love language was from a friend. Simple question. But I sat in silence because I wasn’t sure if they were asking as in dating or as in friendships. My friend usually ask me for dating advice. Yes me! By the way, I give great advice. My dating life… well that’s another post for another day. I decided to think about this question proposed to me on a level of how I interact with my friends rather than in dating.

The Five Love Languages: Words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, quality time and physical touch. I’ve always tried my best to be that friend that pours into a friendship instead of draining it. Here are my thoughts on trying to make sure you are using love languages in your friendships.

Affirmations

Sometimes a simple thank you for listening to me vent is a good start. Listen, I get it. I understand. Life can be so stressful and sometimes you want to run to that friend or call them and tell them about everything bad that’s going on in your life. But is that all you’re doing? Are you only telling them when things are wrong? Do you even ask what’s going on in their life?

I’ve had many talks with friends who I’ve felt were either draining, inconsistent, or let’s just be honest, not good friends. It’s a hard talk. It’s one of those talks where you feel like you’re breaking up with your significant other or if you’re deciding if you want to make it work. It’s worth it.

Gifts/Acts of Service

It’s the thought that counts. Nothing says thinking of you more than receiving something minor that you absolutely love. You know your friend likes the Avocolada smoothie from Tropical Smoothie. Go get it. You heard them mention how much they liked the new Fenty Stunna Lip Paint you were wearing then go and pick it up for them. They will know how much you’ve actually been listening to them.

Quality Time/Physical Touch

So in friendships I am combining these two love languages. We all get busy with our daily tasks. Make time to spend with your friends. I calendar in time with people who are important to me. Send your friends a text and ask if they are available on a particular date at a certain time. This is a better alternative than the elusive statement “we should hang out soon or get drinks sometime”. You’re actually setting up an appointment and it helps you to stick with seeing them.

Understand that just in your dating life that your individual friendships will have certain love languages that they prefer. My friendship love language is quality time.

No is a Complete Sentence

It is perfectly okay to say no and give no explanation for that. To not feel compelled to provide a thesis as to why you cannot, will not, and shall not consider doing something. Too often we become these over-thinkers who want to rationalize with ourselves on providing reasons to others on our decisions. Since when did we have to give validity to other’s acceptance of hearing us say no?

Disappointment. Judgment. Neglect. All of these or none of these sometimes hold us against our better decisions to agreeing to things we shouldn’t. How many times have you gone to a party because your best friend wanted you to go only for you to scroll social media the whole night? How many times have you loaned money to someone that you know can’t and won’t pay you back only because you don’t want to be “that person” who forgot how hard times can be?

When you begin to say no more to others you are in actuality saying yes to yourself. You’re giving yourself more time to developing yourself, your ideas, and allowing mistakes to be made and resolved, I’m not saying to go around saying no to everything. Make the best decisions for your life and circumstances so that you are in a better situation than you’ve ever been in before. Stop feeling challenged to provide excuses when your no is enough.

Period.

When They See Us: A Case of Racial Profiling and Systematic Injustice

The title of this Netflix 4-part miniseries When They See Us by Ava DuVernay based on the true-life 1989 Central Park Jogger case has so much relevance to today’s criminal justice system that is haunting. Racial profiling has always existed in one way or another. This story isn’t an isolated situation. There are many horrific cases like this that have span throughout time. Someone commits a crime and instead of justice prevailing, innocent people are chosen to be the sacrificed based on the color of their skin in order to help someone else’s career.

These five young men of color were Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise. The fact that these boys were picked up for allegedly fitting the description.; yet there was no real description. The rape victim didn’t get any of the assailant and there were no witnesses. The pressure was on the prosecutors office to find someone to convict which is understandable; however, the manner in which Linda Fairstein decided to make them fit the narrative is morally incomprehensible. Personally I believe all of her cases should be reopened because she seems to have a prejudice against not only black and brown men but against justice. Understand that she was a prosecutor in the district attorney’s office from 1976 to 2002. I also believe her books should be pulled from shelves.

This documentary was hard to watch at times; however, I watched it twice. Why? I felt it was important to watch the first time because I had heard of the story in the news. The second time I watched it I had had such a heavy heart the first time and wanted a better understanding of how these boys were failed so many times. They were failed by their friends who were with them in the park who didn’t come forward and say what they were doing at the time of the rape. Their failure seems to have come from fear of being arrested as well. They were failed by the officers who arrested them who just literally picked them out of the crowd because they were “thugs from the projects” as they were labeled by the news reporters. They were failed by a system who did not care about them at all and to this day still don’t care.

Not-My-President Donald Trump is even mentioned for his $85,000 ad of “BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY. BRING BACK OUR POLICE”. How ironic is it 20 years later he is in office with such high rates of police brutality and killings of black and brown men.

In 2002, DNA evidence linked serial rapist and murderer Matias Reyes to Trisha Meili. In 2014 the Central Park Five were awarded a $41 Million Dollar settlement in a civil case.

Have you watched When They See Us yet? I encourage you to watch it with your sons, nephews, daughters.. all the people you love. I cannot imagine the psychological effects all of this had on these men and their families. We live in a society that reminds us that as much as things are evolving they are remaining the same.

What is the difference between Mental Health and Mental Illness?

Mental Health

Mental health refers to our emotional and psychological state, our social well–being and how we feel about ourselves and interact with others. Mental health is not the same as mental illness, although poor mental health can lead to mental and physical illnesses.

When we have good mental health, we are resilient, can handle life’s challenges and stresses, have meaningful relationships and make sound decisions. Mental health, like physical health, is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood and old age.

Being mentally healthy is influenced by life experiences, relationships with others, physical health and one’s environment. Just as people may experience physical problems over the course of their lives, they may also experience emotional or mental health problems that affect their thinking, mood and behaviors. This does not necessarily mean that a person who is going through a difficult time and is experiencing poor mental health has a mental illness. Feeling miserable and socially isolated are red flags that one’s mental health needs attention.

Mental Illness

Mental illness refers to a wide range of disorders that affect mood, thinking and behavior. Mental illness can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, social standing, religion or race/ethnicity. People with mental illness often experience distress and problems functioning at work, home and in social situations. Mental illness is not something the person can “overcome with willpower,” and can be caused by biological factors such as genes or brain chemistry, trauma and abuse, and family history of mental illness.The major types of mental illness include:• Depression• Anxiety• Mood disorders, including bipolar• Personality disorders• Schizophrenia• Trauma disorders• Eating disorders• Addictive behaviors

Signs and symptoms of mental illness vary, but may include changes in sleep, appetite, and energy level, severe mood swings, persistent thoughts or compulsions, hearing voices, social withdrawal, feeling sad, hopeless, or agitated, having trouble performing everyday tasks, or wanting to hurt oneself or others.

With the right treatment, people can and do recover from mental illness. Friends and family members can be important influences to help someone get the treatment and services they need. Primary care physicians can refer individuals to psychiatrists and other professionals who specialize in mental health treatment. Treating a physical illness might require medications and physical therapy, and treating a mental illness might also require medications and different therapies. For many people, the first step is to recognize there is a problem and be willing to accept help.

Dr. Antrell Davis

Dr. Antrell Davis is a native of Cuthbert, Georgia, but currently resides in Washington, D.C. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in sociology in 2007, a Master’s degree in social work from Howard University in 2009, and she received her Doctorate of Management degree from the University of Maryland University College (UMUC). Dr. Antrell currently serves as the program trainer for the United States Department of Defense and she trains social workers in the areas of suicide prevention, technology, mandated reporting, and clinical protocols. She is an expert on engagement practices. Dr.Antrell was recently recognized in the Rural Leader Magazine as a 40 under 40 rural leader.

Dr. Antrell has made it her passion to serve others. She enjoys volunteering and mentoring young people looking to improve their lives. She also admires her family and friends because they are the individuals that continue to support her endeavors. She enjoys traveling, especially internationally, to connect with other cultures. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Dr. Antrell encourages everyone to never give up on their dreams and to read Romans 8:28 daily, which states: and we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Fbook: StayOnPurpoSe

IG: Dr.Antrell