Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Beverly is Living Out Her Wildest Dreams in Paris. What Are YOU Waiting For?

This post is dedicated in deep admiration for a blog reader and commenter named Beverly. Beverly is the blog host of My Crazy Cool Life. http://mycrazycoollife.blogspot.com/. I strongly urge everyone to check out her blog. You might learn something that could enrich your life!

Beverly doesn't know this, but she has become a source of inspiration and encouragement for me. [Especially on days like today when I've been wondering, "How much longer until I can ditch this job?" I'm working on several wildest dreams. Sometimes, I get impatient.]

Her blog is also a source of information! I just bought the book The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss because she referred to it on her blog. [Mr. Ferriss also has a very interesting and informative blog.] Who knows? I might decide to relocate somewhere else, too. [And not necessarily because I'm afraid of what may happen to Muslims in this country. As I've said before, I'm not going out like the Japanese-Americans during WWII.]

I smile every time I think about how this sister has gone from her self-description of being indoctrinated into what Rev. Lisa has called a "gravedigger" mindset, to living her dreams in Paris.

I salute her accomplishments. I salute her success as a dark-skinned Black woman who "got her crown back"! I also salute her candor and generosity in sharing the steps she took in a recent comment she made over at Rev. Lisa's blog, Black Women, Blow The Trumpet! She described how she:

Expanded her social network by building platonic relationships with non-Black men and non-Black women.

As this alternative social network grew (which also began to include romantic relationships), she began removing toxic Black folks from her life. [In particular, she started "divesting" from interacting with toxic Black men.]

Then she relocated to France.

Beverly's experiences (which she talks about on her blog) are living proof that it IS possible to start living one's wildest dreams. What are YOU waiting for?


Hagar's Daughter said...

Hi Khadija,

I see we read in the same "circle" of blogs. Beverly is a shero of mine. I told her that I'm living vicariously through her until I make my move. Although it may not be Paris, it will be a dramatic shift for me.

She living proof that wildest dreams are within our reach.

Khadija said...

Greetings, Hagar's Daughter!

For the moment, you're living vicariously through Beverly, and I'm trying to crib escape tips from her blog! LOL!

I'm looking (and working) for my breakthrough!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

DeStouet said...

Thanks for sharing such an inspirational story. She made the escape for freedom before I did, but I am on her heels.

Jerise said...

What a lovely story. A good friend of mine from college has been an ex-pat for years now, living in Germany, England and now Spain. She also married a wonderful man from Spain and they have one daughter. She is an educator and writer.

I live my life by measurable, quantifiable goals. I was working as an arts administrator for years. The work was challenging at first but then it became the same things over and over. Not a lot of opportunity for growth and creativity. So I started writing for a very small local paper - for free. That lead to other opportunities that paid. Now I work as a freelance writer and am pretty much making what I made in the arts. I still work part time in the arts because I love it but I don;t have to sit behind a desk all day and deal with other people's nonsense. I also blog.

I run a journalism program for middle schoolers at my local public school. There I have a chance to speak to young black girls and try to help undo the damage so many of them believe.

The key to "escaping" is to literally plot and plan. Leave nothing up to chance, not even love. I am married because I "plotted" and planned to be. Not by getting pregnant, but by positioning myself to receive love from only men that were marriage-minded and family oriented. I only looked for relationships that would eventually lead to marriage. Anything else would have been a waste of time for me. Black women need to learn that ALL women do this. I don't know why mothers tell their black daughters everything but this. Successful relationships are not an accident of nature. "Black love" doesn't come from the skies.

Khadija said...

Greetings, DeStouet!

Yes, it is a wonderful example. I'm right on Beverly's heels, too! LOL!

Greetings, Hollywood Blackout!

Oh no...I'm NOT talking about "Black love." You see, I believe that "Black love" mostly exists as an empty slogan to manipulate BW into investing in BM who have not, and will not, reciprocate.

Folks need to read Beverly's comments for themselves. It's in response to Rev. Lisa's post entitled: The Annihilation of Black Men: Counting the Costs dated 1/14/09.

Beverly can speak for herself; and I'm sure that she knows best as to the key ingredients to her escape.

Here's MY interpretation of what she described in her comment (she can correct me if I'm wrong):

I believe that the most important ingredient to Beverly's escape was in seeking reciprocity. In my view, the reality is that when BW insist upon reciprocity the vast majority of BM won't "make the cut." Most BM are simply not willing to give reciprocity to BW.

Since BM HAVEN'T and WON'T give reciprocity, it's time for BW to cut most BM loose. ASAP. That is, it's time for any BW who is serious about wanting joyful abundance in her life.

I believe that this one decision---to divest from non-reciprocating BM (which is most of them)---was the key to Beverly's escape. Hitching our fate to that of most BM leads to suffering and sorrow. Most BW know this in their hearts. We just don't say this out loud.

In her comment, Beverly described how:

1-She thoroughly screens non-Black folks before letting them enter her inner circle (since her/our indoctrination has taught us to be cautious of non-Blacks).

2-She stopped giving money to BM who were "down on their luck" and needed a "sister to help them out."

3-She stopped having intimate relationships with BM.

4-She stopped giving random BM attention on the street.

5-She stopped dating BM. [BM generally do NOT appreciate her beauty as a dark-skinned BW.]

6-She will NOT sign petitions, join marches or go to protests designed to protect BM.

7-She will NO LONGER give out her intellectual capital, or share her skills with BM who have not done the same for her. [Y'all know how we love to hit each other up for freebies that we dare not ask for from others! LOL!]

8-She moved to France and does not associate with any African American male expats.

9-She NO LONGER offers "a listening ear to BM who want to complain about ANYTHING. That includes complaints about women, police brutality, racism, classism, the weather LOL" She does NOT give of herself to BM that she does not know.

She explained that this "divestment" only pertains to AA men that she does not know personally and who have NOT added to her life.

Bottom line: As she describes it, Beverly invests in people who have invested in her. All of this sounds like a plan for freedom from exploitation and a path to abundant life to me!

Now before somebody writes in to talk about how wonderful their Black husband, lover, brother, cousin, nephew, cousin-twice-removed is, let me say the following:

Yes, there are a handful of AA men who are willing and able to offer reciprocity in their relationships with BW. Yes, there are a handful of AA men who actually function as protectors and providers for their wives and children.

However, y'all KNOW that this is NOT AT ALL representative of what Black/Black AA relationships have become. And I begin to wonder if some of the BW who write in to say how wonderful their brothers, uncles, nephews, etc. are lying.

Here's why: If there are so many righteous AA men, then why are our collective statistics so dismal? Why are most of our children born out of wedlock, etc.?

I really doubt that my family is unique. My male relatives in my father's generation generally were/are loving family men who protected and provided for their families. My male relatives in my age group and younger are NOT protectors and providers. There are only about 2 real family men in the bunch. The rest are middle-class (and professional) womanizers and parasites. Most of the professional BM I work with are womanizers.

So, I'm saying all of this to say that I'm NOT talking about any so-called "Black love." Noooooooooooo! I'm talking about joyful abundance for BW. Wherever and with whomever they can find it! If that's with a BM (miracle of miracles) that's fine. If that's with a non-Black man that's also fine.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

DeStouet said...

"She will NOT sign petitions, join marches or go to protests designed to protect BM."

"She NO LONGER offers "a listening ear to BM who want to complain about ANYTHING. That includes complaints about women, police brutality, racism, classism, the weather LOL" She does NOT give of herself to BM that she does not know."

Thanks for providing us with that list. You know, the other day I actually signed a petition that was geared to help black men, but not any more. I, like Beverly, am walking away for good.

But about offering a listening ear, that has come about naturally for me. It started with the men in my family, and their childish comments. But now it has come to include almost all black men, especially the ones I know.

To be completely honest, it wasn't until I stepped away that I was able to see, how unworthy many of the black men I know, are of my energies.

Khadija said...

Ahh...There's nothing like telling the truth that will bring out a [rejected & deleted] troll comment! {loud gales of laughter}

What I find amazing is that ALL of the troll's fury is reserved for those BW who are describing conditions as they ARE, instead of sugarcoating reality. NOT for the legions of BM who have abdicated any and all responsibility for dealing with the life-threatening conditions within THEIR OWN Black residential areas. NOT for the BM who have abandoned their out of wedlock children. NOT for self-hating, color-struck BM like Yung Berg, etc.

Nope. No rage or venom for that sort of behavior. The venom is reserved for those BW who say: "NO" to all of that. The venom is reserved for those BW who say to other BW: "Sisters, we really don't have to be bothered with that. Abundant life IS possible from other sources."

It's truly amazing to consider the following question: Who could possibly have a problem with BW requiring RECIPROCITY in their interactions? Answer: People who are currently "getting over" and exploiting BW.


Khadija said...

Hello there, DeStouet!

In my mind, it's ALL about the returns on BW's investments of their emotion, time, and energy.

When you look at various quality of life statistics (marriage rates, out of wedlock birth rates, rates of HIV infection, etc.) it's quite obvious that AA women are in crisis. It's just that collectively we're quiet about it. We're not running around shooting people, or hitting people in the head.

I believe that the underlying reason why AA women are in crisis is because most of us are investing our time and energy into people who are doing NOTHING productive in return for us. And it's not just most BM who are not giving reciprocity. Most BW are also surrounded by leech-like BF relatives, and hater-"friends" who are draining them emotionally, financially, etc.

It's impossible to live out your wildest dreams while you are being exploited! The vampires and the dead weight must go if you want to live your wildest dreams.

As one sister mentioned on another blog, there are a lot of AA women who have the bad habit of trying to use their BF friends to get the sort of support for their children that they should demand from the baby-daddy.

There's also the pattern of many trifling BW asking for financial assistance from their gainfully employed BF relatives that they never sweat their gainfully employed BM relatives about.

There are all sorts of vampires currently draining BW who need to be cut off! At minimum, for our own survival. At maximum, to free us to pursue our wildest dreams.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

DeStouet said...

Family has always been my weak area and my elder knew it. Before he pushed me out of the nest(I was one of those students who just did not want to run on my own after being taught how to walk & crawl although I was ready.) he told me to cut them off until they received some kind of therapy.

Cutting ties with my family was about the hardest thing I had to do (although when I actually did it, it was really easy.)

roslynholcomb said...

As I read over Beverly's list, I was deeply saddened that there are black women who've ever done those things. I'm still exploring my psyche to determine why I was never really connected with black men in the first place. To my mind, I owe black men nothing more than I do any other human being. I try to treat everyone with dignity and respect, but I can't imagine having a non-reciprocal relationship with ANYBODY. I think that was one of my biggest surprises when I started counseling women and girls. The numbers of them who were in these type relationships was staggering.

Those posts from the filmmaker were puzzling to me as well. To be in a creative industry it would seem that you would have to have an enormous imagination. I can imagine all types of scenarios for me to become a best-selling author, and I'm implementing any and all of those now. Using both traditional and non-traditional methods. I find it puzzling that she had such a negative outlook when there are so many more venues available today. For the love of Pete, folks go viral on YouTube for free every day! Sure it's hard work, but I hope when she chose to go into the creative field that she understood that it will always be hard. And? Come on, it's not exactly picking cotton!

I've encountered the same when talking to women about finding mates. They tell me all the time that there 'aren't any men.' I don't know how that can be. There are 6 BILLION people on this planet. Approximately half are men. We have technology at our disposal that folks could only dream about a generation ago. I placed an ad on Yahoo! and had over a hundred responses. I met ten guys and married one of them. It doesn't get any better than that. If there are no men where you are, move someplace else.

tasha212 said...

Let me start off by saying that I would NEVER discourage a sista from doing what she has to do to have an abundantly happy life. If she feels she needs to cut herself off from the black male collective , then that's what she needs to do. I don't feel the need at this point in my life to take such a step. In general, I have become very selective about the people that I get emotionally involved with on the friendship level and on the intimate relationship level. One of the things I decided to do was to practice celibacy. That weeds out a lot of the user DBR men who normally approach women. I've also decided to expand my dating options to include other men of color, which I realize will be much easier once I move to a city that's more diverse than baton rouge, la. I don't think I could ever date or marry a white man. But if other sisas are open to doing that I'm all for it. The Black Nationalist in me is cringing but I'm also a realist and an advocate for black females. The reality is, unfortunately, is that black females are under seige and no one is coming to our rescue. So, we must save ourselves.

Peace and solidarity,


Khadija said...

Greetings, Roslyn!

Then you somehow missed the typical indoctrination that the vast majority of AA received while growing up.

I will note that, in previous decades, this indoctrination made sense because there was reciprocity. Previous generations of AA men really wanted to be (and actually were) protectors and providers for BW and children. BM and BW, and AAs in general were much more cohesive and gave each other mutual support. We HAD to in previous eras. We wouldn't have survived the ravages of White racism otherwise.

That was then. This is now. Circumstances have changed. What served us well in previous decades


It doesn't work anymore because most BM stopped holding up their end of the bargain. We can continue to ignore and deny this changed reality at our peril.

About the filmmaker-commenter over at Gina's blog: This person is a good example of what happens when people give up on their aspirations. They become enraged with the people who are still willing to try!

Instead of using that rage & energy to find ways around (the very real) difficulties, they console themselves with the idea that it was impossible. The idea that others might be able to do "it" while they have failed so far, is too much to bear.

Greetings, Tasha212!

You made an extremely important statement when you said, The reality is, unfortunately, is that black females are under seige and no one is coming to our rescue. So, we must save ourselves."

This is it in a nutshell. Often, I find the conversation patterns about BW's empowerment similar to ones discussing Black conservatism vs. Black nationalism.

Black conservatism borrows (steals) many ideas from Black nationalism such as self-reliance, self-respect, etc. But Black conservatives almost NEVER mention why self-reliance, etc. is so important: Self-reliance is so important because Black people have been, and continue to be, under attack from the outside! By omitting any mention of the outside attacks, Black conservatives only state half of the equation.

It's often the same with discussions about empowering Black women and girls. Those who are speaking will often only state half of the equation.

Sometimes BW who are talking about empowerment NEVER mention the fact that BW and girls are under heavy, prolonged attack! Or that these attacks are coming primarily from BM. So you end up with "you go, girl" conversations that still leave BW mentally unprepared for the ongoing attacks on their dignity.

Sometimes other BW who are talking about empowerment have conversations that are rant sessions about BM, without moving the conversation toward concrete solutions.

Neither scenario is sufficient for BW's collective needs at this point.

I knew that I would dissipate the "you go, girl" buzz for some readers by specifically mentioning that divesting from most BM (due to their lack of reciprocity) was an integral part of Beverly's success.

That's too bad. This is serious. I am serious about encouraging BW to create and find abundant lives. This means that I have to tell the truth. The whole truth. Even when it's not conducive to some of our cultural myths, such as the myth of "Black love." Especially when hanging on to these myths is causing pain, sorrow and suffering for many BW.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Beverly said...

Hi, it's Beverly (blushing). I certainly didn't expect anyone to write a blog about me. LOL Well, I guess this means that I need to write my book now. LOL That's actually an inside joke with myself. Only one other person actually knows about this book which explores my former life and how I transformed. I've been "writing" this book for 5 years. LOL


I'm glad you got the book 4-hour workweek. I need to add some affiliate links or something when I do these plugs. LOL I need to get paid. LOL

Khadija said...

Greetings, Beverly!

{standing ovation}

Yes, I think you should write your book! One detailed, real life example of escape to one's wildest dreams is worth more than a thousand motivating speeches.

Not to mention that I can't think of any books that are telling the truth, the WHOLE TRUTH, about what steps BW need to take to find abundant lives. Your book could help a lot of BW.

You said, "I'm glad you got the book 4-hour workweek. I need to add some affiliate links or something when I do these plugs. LOL I need to get paid. LOL"

Maybe you should add some affiliate links! The ONLY reason why I don't do that with the books that I recommend here is that I consider this blog a "ministry" of sorts. And therefore, I want it to be totally separate from any of my economic activities.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

After some pondering, I did manage to think of a "truth, the WHOLE TRUTH" book about BW's circumstances that I've actually read: Evia's book. There are probably a FEW other such books, but I haven't gotten around to reading them.

Most of the books marketed to BW (that I've read) push the same tired, obsolete, and LIFE-DAMAGING FOR BW dogma.

[Side note: I was particularly disappointed when I realized that a BF author/playwright that I had otherwise respected was pushing the usual "deadly for BW" cultural poison.

Specifically, Pearl Cleage's book What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day. The heroine hooks up with an ex-con who was in prison for murder. And this is supposed to be a good thing! Lord have mercy.

What's so peculiar about this is that this author has done a lot of writing that was otherwise strongly pro-BW. {sigh}]

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Prosechild said...

I'm catching up on blog reading and just read this post. "4 Hour Work Week" was my inspiration to escape the rat race also. I was inspired to move abroad after a study-abroad program and can't wait to make my move. I have a preliminary plan in place and will be making my escape in 2010... that is my own wildest dream :-)

Khadija said...

Greetings, Prosechild!

{raised fist salute} YES!YES!YES! I love hearing about BW making moves to pursue their wildest dreams!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.