Chè Monique

Living Out Loud and in Color. Encouraging Others to Do the Same.

Notes for my 12 year old self

A couple weeks ago, I had the amazing opportunity to hang out with an after school girls group at my old middle school. My favorite 8th grade teacher is apparently still one of the coolest teachers in school, the girls love her. She brought me in to talk to them about college, teach them some bellydance moves and talk about life. I was super nervous going to middle school. Kids are really judgmental at that age, and if I did not impress them in the first few minutes I knew that they wouldn’t pay attention to me at all. Fortunately, they were in to what I had to say. Due to time constraints we could only really talk about college but there are so many things I wish I could communicate to a middle school girl.

 

College Stuff:

When speaking to them I talked about how the story they are sold that they should just go to college and they’ll get a good job isn’t quite true. I had the girls close their eyes and raise their hands if they were concerned that their families wouldn’t be able to send them to school and at least a third did. My tips for maximizing financial success post college include.

·         Have an idea when you go in, of what kind of job you’d like when you get out. I have too many friends struggling to make ends meet who have expensive liberal arts degrees that barely give them an employment advantage over a high school diploma. If you are going to college to better your economic outcomes have a plan, “go to college,” isn’t a plan.

·         Our local community college is highly ranked and has guaranteed admissions agreements with lots of highly regarded schools. Starting at community college is a great way to minimize college expenses and ultimately student loan debt. I emphasized to the girls that if you start at community college and transfer into a 4 year institution your diploma is just from that 4 year institution.

·         Good grades can translate into scholarship money, which translates into money in your pocket.

·         Often school isn’t that hard. Many teachers will give full credit just for doing your homework, doesn’t matter if you get it right. Take the easy opportunities to boost your GPA.

·         Find and make friends with a teacher who will advocate for you. This is useful for everyone, but especially if you feel like your parents are not in a good position to advocate for you.

·         Consider trade school. I do have a BA, but it’s my massage therapy certificate that enables me to go to work. I know many successful, massage therapists, dental assistants, hair stylists and nurses. Trade school prepares you for a very specific line of work and employment in that field is generally pretty easy after.

 

Boys:

I would have loved to talk to these girls about boys, but It’s probably good that we didn’t have the opportunity. I probably would have broken school rules.

·         Don’t rush into sex. Don’t rush into sex. Don’t rush into sex. Especially that young, it’s very easy to develop a “reputation” in your early teens, which can turn you into a social pariah.

·         When you do have sex, be safe and do it only because YOU want to.

·         If you like girls, that’s fine.

Popularity:

For some reason middle school feels like a popularity contest everyone is losing. One girl asked me, “What if your friends are holding you back and they don’t realize it?” Go after what’s important to you. If your friends are really your friends, they’ll still be there.

·         Most of the stuff you are worried about today won’t matter even three years from now.

·         Quality of friends is so much more important than quantity of friends.

·         You do not benefit at all from teasing or making fun of anyone. Uplift other girls.

·         If you really look around, everyone is awkward in middle school, you will all outgrow it.

 

 

The girls are having a slumber party next month, hopefully I can make it.

Just another Tuesday Afternoon

I just had the most hilarious afternoon adventure. I was scheduled to meet with one of my HS history teachers at 1:00, for lunch. She indicated that she had to attend a funeral in the morning and might be late, so when I arrived at 1:02, I glanced around the restaurant, but didn't look hard for her. After 20 minutes of goofing off on my phone, I text her and of course she's on the other side of the restaurant. She had a situation come up and now the plan is that we'll take our food to go and we reschedule for next Tuesday.

In the course of learning about how Chocolate City Burlesque and Cabaret has taken over my life and about my new girlfriend, my teacher decided she better take a month to absorb my lifestyle before we meet up again. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: ... So I'm going to watch my brother's baby for two weeks.

Teacher: You love children. When are you going to get married and have a baby?

Me: I'm dating a woman, so even after we get married...

Teacher: You're dating a woman? How did that happen? .... What does your mother think?...

She was seemed to take the news in a stride until she told me she needed more than a couple days of processing time.

I leave the restaurant and mail a friend a long overdue copy of the #CCBC calendar. The Chocolate City Burlesque & Cabaret logo is on the envelope. The postal clerk, also an older woman is tickled. Like giddy/giggly, she's simultaneously intrigued and embarrassed. I tell her that I'll bring her stickers and flyers, she says not to, but continues to talk about how much shimmying we must do. And how she can't do it, because she has to be comfortable. "What's more comfortable than being naked?" I ask. Her immediate response, "Having clothes on." I'll be dropping off those stickers  and flyers soon.

 

What a day!

Wowsers! When my alarm clock went off at 6:00 am on an "off" day, I was not a happy camper. After some serious pep talks with myself, I got up, made a moisturizing treatment for my hair and showered/shaved.

I'd been at a Chocolate City Burlesque and Cabaret planning meeting until around 11:00 last night and answered emails and Facebook messages throughout the night. I was exhausted, but excited. Today was the first day we'd have the overwhelming majority of the CCBC Presents: Black Friday! Performers in one room. Our group photos and studio shots were this afternoon.

Pulling this together was amazing, it was a last minute shoot. We decided to do it on Tuesday. I'm not sure how we got everyone to agree to be there, but I think it is a testament to how excited we all are about the production and the statement we're making.

 

Thank you for being a friend

I have the best friends ever! I don't just mean my close friends, I have lots of good mutually beneficial relationships. I am incredibly grateful for this. I have a daily mantra to "Spread love and joy wherever I go." I'm not perfect and I know I have mood swings, but this is a good thought to reference every day and guide my actions. 

As I'm working to put on the Black Friday Show I have experienced a huge outpouring of support, for which I am very appreciative. I am glad that I exist as a loving and supportive person that people are inclined to help.

I love love. #CCBC and more!

Life is so exciting these days! I've been meaning to start a blog for eons. It's 12:30 am, so this will probably not be my best writing sample. This is my, sometimes you just have to start, post. Something has to be first, and this is it.

If you are new to me and my life here's what's going on:

  • I just cut a very crazy work schedule in half so I can work on actively manifesting the life I want.
  • I'm finally going to tackle the long overdue project of this website.
  • I'm working on making my Chè Butter (super awesome cream that's good from head to toe) a viable entity.
  • I'm setting goals to accomplish before my 30th birthday in 14 months. These include:
    • Financial goals
    • Business goals
    • Fitness goals
    • Life management goals
    • *I haven't completely defined all of these goals, but I'll be sure to post about them when I do.
  • The current biggie right now is that I'm producing a show. That is why I'm loving life.
    • The show is "Chocolate City Burlesque and Cabaret Presents: Black Friday!"
    • It is a burlesque tribute to the Black American experience.
    • I have already received such an outpouring of love and support and that is why I am loving love.
    • My co-producer Dainty Dandridge is brilliant and fabulous.
    • We just cast the show, but aren't ready to announce.
    • DJ Jo Iyce is co-hosting with me and he is so helpful and knows so many people.
    • I really think the show will sell out.
    • It's a ton of work though! Even more than the Halloween parties I usually have.
    • We have two group photo shoots on Sunday in two different cities.
  • And there's more I'm sure, but I'm going to go call my bestie right now.

Please stay tuned to my blog. Sometimes I'll talk about my day. Sometimes I'll talk about sex. Sometimes I'll be very deep, but other times I may be quite vapid and inane.

 

xoxoxoxo