Monthly Archives: March 2016

Being Bianca S is Hard But It’s Getting Better

 

depressed woman

Life is Hard

Being Bianca S is hard. Being 35 is hard. Being Bianca S at 35 is really hard. I must be going through some mid-30’s crisis because for the past few days. I have not been myself at all. Have you ever felt like that? You know that you need to move in a different direction, but someone has put crazy glue on the soles of your shoes and you can’t move? If not, I can tell you that it is the most depressing, frustrating feeling in the world. Knowing that you need to change something, but don’t know what to change or how to do it.

There was so much that I wanted to accomplish by 30: married, kids, house, and amazing career. But here I am at 35: single, a dog and a cat, in a one-room apartment, with a job were I get to listen to people complain 99.9% of the time. Sometimes when reality comes crashing into your face like a ton of bricks, you need to just soak it all in as is. Right now, it feels like everyone around me has their shit together, and I here I am standing in the middle of the street, in my underwear with my finger up my nose. There’s a visual for you.

People say that you shouldn’t compare yourself to anyone else and they are completely right.  But when you are in the midst of a total mid-30’s anxiety attack, it is very hard not to. It is so hard not to wallow in the pool of self-pity that is all the shoes, clothes, bags and experiences you can’t have because your wallet is empty. To be constantly reminded every time you scroll through your Facebook news feed that you are husbandless, childless, and absolutely going nowhere right now.

And that’s when it hit me. This is just “right now” not forever. There is a chance to turn things around and be who I am supposed to be. Boom – another wall. Who the hell am I supposed to be? Let the anxiety attack begin again. Let me let you in a little secret and maybe you’ve heard this story before. Once upon a time, there was a little girl who was taught that if you work hard, are respectful, and do what is asked of you, she will be successful. And she did. She worked hard, did everything that was asked of her and more, and then, shazam. She’s fired from her job, took a job at a much lower salary just so she would have pay check, was worked like a government mule until she couldn’t take it anymore. She left that job for another one, which while paying more, is mind numbingly boing and way to administrative for her liking. The young girl then goes on to start a couple of side hustles hoping that one will help her pay bills and pan out to become her passion all while trying to piece together some sort of social life to help her forget about her less than exciting career.

Sound familiar? Well, this has been me for the past three years. Going from situation to situation, trying to move up in the world and get my life together all at the same time. This has been the hardest three years of my life and there have been times when could do was throw my hands up in the air and said, “Lord I surrender,” because I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t take the constant rejection letters from jobs, no one wanted to participate in my accountability groups, no one wanting to take me out on a date, no one to tell me that this is all temporary.

Yup, it took a couple (several) self- help books for it to finally get in my head. That this whole fucked up part of my life is just temporary. It could be permanent if I choose for it to be, but oh no. That is not the goal. I have big plans for my life and crying about (which I have done) is not going to change anything. Even when times are the hardest, you have to have that small glimmer of hope that everything will be ok and it will be.

happy black woman

But Life is Getting Better

That’s where I am now. With strength, determination, and faith, I am going to get me shit together come Hell or high water (whatever that means). And if I can do this, anyone, including you, can to. Like Peter Pan says, “All you need is a little faith, trust, and pixie dust.”

Later Days

B

 

 

 

Life After Frankie’s Eviction

What has life been like since Frankie’s eviction? Besides the three weeks I was hunched over and in pain when I coughed, laughed, sneezed, or moved the wrong way and the other three weeks when I felt great, but couldn’t do anything, it has been amazing. No complications at all. Thank the Lord! The human body is absolutely amazing. Six weeks after being gutted like a fish (I have the scar to prove it), and having something the size of a baby’s head and its 4 much smaller counterparts removed from my uterus, I’m good as new. I just wished that someone would have told me that after three or four weeks, you would get this burning, tingling sensation in your abdomen that, while causing a massive panic attack, would turn out to be nerves healing themselves. That might be the first time in recorded history that Web MD did not tell me I was going to die.  6 weeks after my surgery, I got clearance from my doctor to move freely about the cabin, (work and working out) and it was on like Donkey Kong.

Since my fileting, I mean surgery; my quality of life has improved greatly. The round alien mound is now replaced by a slightly swollen (that is what I am telling myself) tummy and a protective layer of fluff over my 6 pack (again what I am telling myself). No more abdominal pressure, pants not fitting correctly, and other bodily function issues (which I will not go into. You’re welcome). I’ll leave that up to your imaginations. I also have this amazing scar. My doctor did a good job of stitching me up. It is still a little hard (I’m still healing). And I have been attacking it daily with Mederma to lightened it up a bit Since Frankie was so big, I had to get a vertical incision. Now I have a line from my belly button to about an inch and a half below my bikini line. I’m still going to rock my Fendi bikini. So there! And in approximately 8 months, if I am married, I can try to get pregnant.

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Before…

After!

After!

That was the main reason behind my decision to have the surgery. Yes, the physical stuff was getting annoying, but if left unchecked, Frankie would fill up my uterus and make it hard, if not impossible for me to get pregnant. My chances of miscarriage were increased with him lurking inside, just hanging out. When you put it that way, Frankie has no choice but to get the hell out. Even though a C-Section will be 99% likely when I do become pregnant, at least will be able to have kids.

Once I got the OK, I was really itching to start working out again, mainly to see how flat my stomach could get now that Frankie is no longer an inhabitant of my body. While the body is an amazing thing, somethings don’t bounce back quick as others. My cardio went from amazing to non-existent. What would you expect after not moving for 6 weeks? But slow and steady wins the race. After doing some of my favorite workouts (Turbo Fire/Turbo Kick) and new Beachbody on Demand workouts from Joel and Jericho, I am pleased to announce that my pants are starting to fit again! All I did was alternating days of 30 minutes of cardio and 20 minutes of lifting, and a somewhat clean diet. That’s it! Oh, I should mention that my clean diet consists of no meat, dairy, and very little seafood. But more about that later. It will keep you coming back for more.

If you have any questions about fibroids, fibroid surgery, going semi-vegan, or working after surgery, ask away at bianca@beingbiancas.com. I’m here to help

Later Days

B

hashtagsinglegirlproblems

As an observer and part (I would like to believe so) of the political scene in Philadelphia for a few years, I have come to the realization that there are three types of civically engaged African American men in Philadelphia: “Those who are”, “those who want to be”, and “those who are here for the left over Politihos”(It’s just what it sounds like, trust me) who have had their dreams of being the next Michelle Obama crushed faster than their $20 H&M shoes start to hurt their feet.

There. I just said what so many women have probably thought to themselves countless times during endless political networking events, fundraisers, and happy hours. Many an hour of my life that I cannot get back have been spent studying (i.e. mingling and trying to control my resting bitch face) these local fellows. Let’s delve into each type shall we? “Those who are” is pretty self-explanatory. These are your elected officials, high powered lobbyists, staff, consultants, and movers and shakers of the city. Everyone wants to talk to, take a selfie with, or be seen with them. They have celebrity status and can do no wrong in the eyes of their constituents. “Those who are here for the Politihos” just came for those women who hope and pray that with the right hair, highest heels, and shortest skirt, that they will be whisked into the VIP section and possibly First Lady status. Those who want to be, well here is where things get very dicey for a single girl who is looking for her Frank Underwood to take her away from single girl status.

Upon further study, “those who want to be” can be broken down into two very distinct subgroups: Those who have legitimate potential to be and those who think they are by putting on a suit with a nice pocket square and some fancy socks. Now if you are like me, a single girl with a plan, then you obviously want the first choice. Someone you can work with and use all of you finely crafted Claire Underwood skills to build the two of you into the power couple that rivals Michelle and Barack. Someone who has the knowledge, presence, and grace to be that politician. Who you want to ride with, in the first car of the roller coaster for the entire amazing ride. Just typing that gives me hope that one day, one day I will be living that dream. But ladies, that sneaky wannabe type. What they lack in social skills, conversation, simple knowledge of politics, and basic fashion sense, they make up for in sheer determination in trying to make you believe that they are, in fact, somebody.

Looking the part and being the part is what separates the men from the boys, or in my case potential dates from potential blog post subjects. Even with their suit-pocket square-tie-sock-shoe-briefcase game, I can see right through their clever ruse. I have seen some cute dogs in suits and I have seen some men in nice suits who act like dogs #justsayin. It is your job to look past the GQ magazine cover and actually listen to the words that are coming out of their mouth. While it may sound good, because you know, he is in a suit and he does look dapper. If what he is saying has you hearing Scooby Doo in your head (think about it for a second). Run away, drink the alcohol that hopefully to have, or excuse yourself from the conversation. Do whatever you have to do to get away from the sneaky bastard. And dear super woman, since I am one of you, I know what you are thinking, “Maybe I can teach him a thing or two. Dress him up a bit. Make him into something.” Do yourself a favor. Take your hand, right or left it really doesn’t matter and with a lot of force, slap that shitty idea out of your head. He will not change. He thinks that he is part of the crowd. If you point out that he is in fact, a wannabe, 10 times out 10, he will not believe you. So save yourself and your liver a lot of trouble, get out before you get in.

Young Clare Hale, if you stay the course and don’t get distracted by the shiny fake packaging, fast talking, snake oil salesmanship of the political wannabes the end of the tunnel will be your prize. Your ride or die political soulmate. Your very own Francis Joseph Underwood. Stay strong girl.

Later Days,

B

10 Ways to Have a Magical Disney Vacation

It’s a Disney kind of day in the Magical World of Bianca.

 

First I stumbled upon the most epic Disney compilation album ever, Disney Classics. It includes songs from Dumbo, Lady and the Tramp, the Lion King, AND TV themes (the Gummies Bears, Darkwing Duck!) and theme park music! My heart was nearly bursting at the seams when I realized that the Finale from Fantasmic was playing in my ears. Oh happy day! Then, my day got even more magical when I learned that the new nighttime light show at Animal Kingdom would be opening in a few months. Of course it is now on the list of things to do during my annual Disney World vacation.

 

What’s that you say? You go to Disney World every year? Why yes, yes I do, and I am damn proud of it. I am an absolute Disney Addict. The movies, music, rides, and food make me feel like a kid again. It takes me back to those years when I didn’t have to pay rent or work. You know, when I didn’t have to do the whole adult thing. As soon as I pass through that magical arch in Orlando, I feel like I am home. What do I do when I visit that most magical place on earth? Well in some particular order, here are my top 10 things to do when you are at Disney World:

1.)    Fantasmic – the most epic nighttime show ever in creation! The sights, sound, and songs are absolutely magnificent. Even though I have seen the show a few times, I could and probably will see it a few more times. You will be humming the song all day, until another catchy tune replaces is it.

2.)    Magic Kingdom –The epicenter of Disney Magic. But how do you do Magic Kingdom properly: 2 words… rope drop. Yes, get up extra early, you know you can’t sleep anyway, to see the official opening of Magic Kingdom! Oh what magical experience it is. Of course there is singing, dancing, a train, and fireworks. After the festivities are complete, run down Main Street and have your picture taken in front of my home away from home, Cinderella’s castle.

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3.)    Dole Whips- the first of many Disney foods and/or restaurants to be listed. Dole Whips, found only in Magic Kingdom, are cups or cones of pineapple heaven. You can choose to get it as a float, but that would not be a wise choice. I’m a traditionalist, in a cup all the way! Don’t eat it too fast, although brain freeze could be quite refreshing in Florida during the summer.10-ways-Disney-vacation-magical4.)    Be Our Guest – oh be still my heart. Beauty and the Beast is my absolute, all-time favorite Disney movie and now you can eat in the Grand Hall. It’s like being in the French Alps snow and all. Seriously, you expect Belle and Beast to start waltzing by. The Beast does welcome his guests to dinner and poses for pictures. The only restaurant in Magic Kingdom where you can get alcohol, and they have the grey stuff. It is in fact delicious. As soon as you know you are going to Disney World, start working on reservations. It may take some effort, but it will be worth it.

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5.)    Le Collier- This is a complete hidden gem nestled in Canada in Epcot which has the most amazing food ever. The steak and poutine… my mouth is watering as I type this. Even though I am no meat/no dairy, I will be scarfing this down for dinner. Did I mention the poutine has truffle oil? Best..Meal..Ever

6.)    Space Mountain – this ride holds a special place in my heart. It was the first roller coaster I ever went on when I was 7 and made me the roller coaster freak that I am today. My family was shocked that I wanted to ride, me being the quiet one and all, but I did it, and have each time I go back!

7.)    Character Breakfasts – nothing says Disney like taking a break from eating to pose for pictures with your favorite characters, sometimes in costumes. They come around to each table so no one is left out and you don’t have to wait in line. It may make breakfast last a bit longer, but it is so worth. Best character breakfast (food and character wise: Tusker House in Animal Kingdom)

 

8.)    Mickey Waffles – no breakfast is complete without Mickey waffles. That is all.

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9.) Buttons – If you ever go to Disney World for a special occasion… GET A BUTTON! First Visit, Special Occasion, Engagement, Marriage. The Birthday Button is particularly amazing. You get free cupcakes, birthday calls form Goofy, random people tell you happy birthday, Did I mention the cupcakes, because let’s face it, a birthday cupcake at 11am is only allowed in Disney.

10.) Wishes – cap off your day at Magic Kingdom with the nighttime fireworks display, Wishes. I admit, I tear up every time I see it. It reminds you that your wishes and dreams can come true, if you just believe and who doesn’t like a kick ass fireworks show? A trip to Disney is not complete without seeing this amazing show.

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Well, there you have it. I could have gone one, but I figured 10 was enough. If you have any Disney questions or a fellow Disney addict, drop me a note in the comment section.

Until next time, have a magical day!

B

How Cheesy Crack Sticks Can Keep You Employed

Sometimes just sometimes, my job can be a little, how shall I say this nicely, “challenging”. Whether it is dealing with a not so happy person over the phone or face to face, there are numerous times during the day when I want to bang my head against my desk to prove that 1.) this is real life 2.) I am actually awake, and 3.) to keep me from doing or saying something that will get me fired. Instead of one masochistic behavior, I choose another, snacking. Yes, snacking can and is good for you, if you choose the right snack. For me, cheesy crack sticks work for me.

Fruit, veggies, and nuts are all healthy and amazing snacks, which you should each by the way, but nothing makes me feel like I am floating in the clouds surrounded by rainbows and unicorns than a couple of soft pretzels, a bag of cheese puffs or a couple of fun sized Snickers bars. There have been days, today included, when I have brought healthy snacks with me to work, but will still go get a bag of cheesy crack sticks (cheese puffs) from the vending machine after a difficult phone call. I know that I should eat the tasty blood oranges from Trader Joe’s, but they don’t soothe the savage beast like the cheesy crack sticks do. Why is that? Seriously, why does crappy food make my feel all warm and fuzzy inside?

Cheesy-Crack-Sticks-Employed

The ultimate mood stabilizer

After some extensive research (Googling), I found scientific proof that cheesy crack sticks of goodness were in fact, responsible for my improved mood. According to a study by the University of Leuven in Belgium, people who were given a saline solution while listen to depressing music and viewing pictures of people with sad facial expressions became 4% more depressed, while those given a fatty solution under the same conditions where hardly affected.

Say what?!?! There is scientific proof that those cheesy crack sticks are a mood enhancer? The research shows that the improved mood is not only caused by the taste and feel of crappy food, but also a chemical reaction in our brains and tummies that make us snap back to Happy Land. Thank you Sweet Baby Jesus, for proving that I am not completely losing my mind in my assumption of the power of crappy food to mellow out the mind. While I won’t switch to a diet made up of only Butterscotch Krimpets, Soft Pretzels, and cheesy crack sticks, at least my anxiety can be put at ease knowing that these no-so-good for you foods are doing their job of stopping me from putting my head through a wall during normal business hours.

So when you are about to jump off the deep end at work and possible do something that will land you a meeting with the HR Department, back away from the ledge and go get a bag of chips, cookies, or a cupcake. You, your coworkers, and your employment status will be grateful for the decision. Me, I am going to raid the vending machine and stock up on cheesy crack sticks. One must always be prepared.

Later Days,

B