31 Days of Introspection: Week 3: Relevant vs Irrelevant Information

Heya,

So…the oddest thing to think about is the fluidity of life. My thoughts from one week to another. The way things change just by a few well  timed words. It’s all incredulous and I’m in awe at how things turn about.

From last weeks summary, I remember an emotional rant about perception and deleting my Facebook because of my inability to externalize the opinions of others. This week, my guy and I were out on our upstairs porch, him standing with one hand tucked in one pocket, the other balancing a thick cigar between two fingers, and I, sitting on the roof with my knees pulled up close to my chest, two boxes of matches jammed between my sock and the edge of my sweats, my cigar dangling from my fingers.

We chat about life. Our goals, as if we aren’t already aware of each other’s aspirations, and any emotional hindrances from the week. It’s not until rain starts to patter on the porch, chasing us inside, silently down a flight of stairs (so as not to wake baby Naomi), and onto our screened in porch that we get to the meat of it all.

This is something we regularly did, him and I, before Naomi was born. It wasn’t just cigars. Often times we’d go out to hookah lounges, or our favorite cafe that serves hookah, and we’ll spend hours entwined in each other’s legs, our thoughts mingling. This night, we discuss minimalism and how I’m on this new journey of decluttering and keeping only the things that “spark joy” and how he’s a natural minimalist and doesn’t even know it. He tells me how appreciative he is that I’ve taken this huge leap to make our house more of a home. That it’s safer for Naomi to scramble about on fawns legs because I’ve gotten my shit up off the floor and gotten rid of piles of useless, unread books. There’s a compliment in there somewhere.

Our convo, now that we are in the throes of Our Time, turns to what he calls Relevant and Irrelevant Information. I tell him how I want to delete my social media. How it all just makes me feel like shit. Why do I need justification? Why do I need people to “Like, Comment, and Subscribe” (Blah blah blah)? Why can’t I just get on and happily watch cat videos without thinking no one cares about me? That no one loves me? That their opinions cut so deep without them saying anything? And yes, we are long since working on my aforementioned abandonment issues from childhood, but this is a deeper level of questioning. This isn’t just the want to understand. This is the want to change.

He flicks the ash from the end of his cigar and turns to look at me. I don’t know if it shows in my face, as I gaze back at him, but I need to know. “You can never change the perception of others,” he says. “It has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. Their opinion, negative or positive, is just that. Their opinion.” I nod but my mind wanders and I think about all the “branding” lessons I’ve learned in business and how it makes a difference when showing “yourself” to clients or employers/employees.

What he’s talking about is different. “If you knew someone didn’t like you, Jade, you’d want to know why…” he knows me so well. I’d have questions, internally at least. “I don’t want to know why,” he said. “It doesn’t matter to me. Even if they were  to tell me, what would I do with this information? I wouldn’t change myself to suit their needs. So why?” This -another thing we discussed at length- might make him sound arrogant but as someone who knows and loves him I can tell you, he is not. But that sentence right there tells you how much I care. What he was saying made sense to me though, or maybe it’s because we have a bond. He cares what Naomi thinks, I think, and the opinions of his parents but there’s little else that can shake him. I’m strong like that, but definitely not in the area. I care a little too much.

Later, when our cigars have burned down and I’ve had to pinch the lip end of mine with both hands so as not to burn my lips as I drag, I tell him an experience I once had with perception. “I once had this girl tell me she didn’t like me because I was too happy. Seriously, she was mad because I always walked around happy for no apparent reason.” Now, this was before the pregnancy losses, before the attack in college, before adult life chewed me up and spit me out again. I had a rough childhood. An angry one, and in that sliver of between time that was the last two years of high school, I had gotten to a place where optimism and light were my unspoken motto and she stomped all over it.

“So…” he flicked his cigar again, “ what did you do with that information? Be less happy?” He had that sly, sideways look. With one corner of his mouth tilted up and one caterpillar-like eyebrow raised.

“Right?” I smiled ruefully and handed over the scorching hot butt of my cigar. I folded my legs beneath me and tilted my head at him incredulously. Because I’d never thought of it that way. Yes, I always remembered that mantra that force into you as a kid ‘be who you are’ and ‘it’s okay to not be liked’ but I never took ownership of my own feelings in the matter. Responsibility of the part I played. I did dim my light for her. I remember seeing that chick in the halls and feeling like I couldn’t smile. Like I couldn’t be happy.

“See, the problem is that people aren’t honest with themselves. Be honest, Jade. You want people to like you. You want everyone to like you. Most people do.” I wasn’t offended but I did feel attacked. Damn, Bear (my nickname for him).

“Well,” I said. “It’s not that I want everyone to like me.” I took in a deep breath and he lifted an eyebrow. “I don’t have a problem with people not liking me! I don’t! I just…want to know why!”

”But it’s not Relevant Information,” he said. He went on this long monologue about how Relevant Information is the Information you get that you can actually utilize. Mostly from those you genuinely care about, and vice versa, and secondary players in your life that still affect you- like a boss or mentor. It’s constructive criticism. It’s when people build you up. It’s kudos. It’s even when someone is giving the harsh truth that might make you WAKE up, ask the hard questions, or the feedback that pushes you to strive harder toward your dreams.

“Irrelevant Information”, he says before taking a long drag on the remnants of his cigar and expelling slowly, “is all that information from the unimportant people in your life that you can’t use. it’s the opinions that serve no other purpose than to bring you down.” It’s what that girl said about disliking me because I was too happy. Was I supposed to dim my light? Why did I? What did I gain from that except heart ache! What did she gain except satisfaction — then she probably promptly forgot who I was. It’s the information from people who aren’t a part of your life, they don’t matter.

Now, it’s not to say negative information is always irrelevant. Like I said, if someone says something that does hurt you, but it pushes you to work harder, be stronger, move higher, then that is Relevant Information. It’s all crazy and feels like common sense, but me thinking of it in this way was like a light bulb moment. I was finally able to just let go of all the old friends, the sordid past and start over.

Keeping those people around will harm you, destroy you, dim your light. I realized I didn’t need this repeated social hiatus- not for this reason at least. I just needed to change my circumstances. I needed to change the audience. Get back to what my social media intention is really about— why I use it in the first place.

Minimalism. Declutter, not Deactivate.

I went from around 530 Facebook friends down to 32. (seriously? Old high school classmates that didn’t even like me back then and don’t talk to me now? Random people I met and never connected with again? Hundreds of people I’m dishing my soul out to and expecting them not to trample on it? Yeah. No.) I kept only the people I felt I truly wanted to keep. Then I deleted a few dozen more. As my guy suggested, join groups you like and the people who are into those topics will fill your page. It’s kind of like keeping the things that “spark joy” only…virtually.

I want my social media – my feeds – to be about Books, Writing, amazing places Traveled, and philosophy. Instead of my hiatus I’m re-tailoring with honesty in mind.

Week 3 Summary

Since you stuck around after that whole thing, thank ya thank ya. I’ll keep my summary of this week brief.

I met up with the Black Moms group for my area yesterday and it was amazing. I really feel like I might have found a community here that can help me and provide fun events that aren’t so solitary. I met several cool women with age variety – and a surprising amount of twin moms. We sat, had tea and cackled over all things culture. I definitely want to make it a point to attend more events in the future.

It really sucks not having a laptop. I honestly don’t know how I’m going to do the business, writing and editing, university work, and freelance work from my IPad. If anyone wants to gift me a laptop, I’d love it. I’m laughing but boy am I serious. Har har har. We’ll figure something out eventually. We always do.

I’ve read almost 118 books this year. My goal was 100 due to the baby and switching universities. Most of those were in the second half, and a ton of that can be thanks to audio books. I use Overdrive which is a free app you can link to your library card. Oh man, I’ve read/ listened to so many in the last three weeks. Y’all should check it out.

Lastly, I’ve been keeping the apartment clean!!! Yaaaaaas! I’m so happy because now that I’ve made it into this routine I can clean so much faster and so much easier. I’m loving this minimalist life and I know I still have more to get rid of but the hard work is done.

One more week of Introspection, guys! Then I’ll spend the last 3 days of December reflecting over the month. Cherchez La Vie is the last Sunday of the month. That’s the real holiday, I can’t wait to look over the last 6 months and set goals and plans for the next 6. Things are turning out better than I thought and I’m feeling like a better, mentally healthier, and lighter person already.

Don’t forget to let me know in the comments your thoughts, goals or aspirations. Are you a minimalist? Interested? Yogi? I want to know it all, let’s chat.

 

Good Readdance,

Jade

To help me with my writing skills, my guy suggested that at least 50/100 of the books for 2020 have to be in a genre other than Romance and Detective/Mystery. Game on! I’ve already dug into science fiction a lot this year and I’m ecstatic about it, taking any and all suggestions!

Book Review: You Will Pay by Lisa Jackson

It starts as a prank—a way to blow off steam after a long summer at Camp Horseshoe. Among the teen counselors, tensions and hormones are running high. No wonder the others agree when Jo-Beth Chancellor suggests they scare Monica O’Neal a little . . . or a lot. Monica has it coming, and no one will really get hurt. What could go wrong?
Everything. That summer, two young girls went missing.
Each one knows something about that terrible night. Each promised not to tell. And as they reunite, a new horror unfolds. First come texts containing a personal memento and a simple, terrifying message: YOU WILL PAY. Then, the murders begin.
It started years ago. But it will end here—as a web of lust, greed, and betrayal is untangled to reveal a killer waiting to enact the perfect revenge.

 

This was another one of those books that I read fairly quickly. I had forgotten how much I liked to read books by Lisa Jackson.  She writes mystery with just a hint of romance. In this book, you follow a sort of contorted ‘who done it’. You get the comparison of the characters when they were young and impressionable and them as adults when they have had a chance to put the past behind them. There are a few twists and turns in the story that were pretty exciting and unexpected.

lisa jackson

I will say this book is longer than I expected it to be. I think it could have been shorter and we still would’ve gotten the same level of character development. Some parts did drag on just a bit. This may just be me though, with my attention span and the fact that I have so many books to read so I really have to be very invested in every chapter.

I would recommend this book if you are looking for a quick mystery read. If you’ve read this book, liked it, disliked it, hated it or haven’t read it yet but plan to…let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you have any book suggestions or any reviews you’d like to see here, let me know!

 

 

Good Readance,

Jade

Book Review: I’ll Walk Alone by Mary Higgins Clark

 “Almost two years after someone snatched Alexandra “Zan” Moreland’s then three-year-old son, Matthew, from his stroller while his sitter dozed, Zan, a New York City interior designer who remains devastated, has been unable to trace her son. To make matters worse, somebody is using her credit cards to purchase expensive items just as she’s on the verge of landing a prestigious account for her fledgling business. Worst of all, evidence emerges that suggests Zan kidnapped her own son. Meanwhile, a priest is troubled by a woman whose confession reveals that a murder is being planned. Contrivances that prevent key information from reaching the heroine as well as characters without personality in the service of a plot with at least one major hole won’t please those who prefer their suspense firmly grounded in reality and logic.”*

 

It almost happened again. I almost let it happen again. It t’was the night before Christmas…just kidding. It was about 2am this morning and I started to read an e-book that was recommended to me earlier in the day and then I thought, Crap! I need to read those damn library books! So I went to the large stack sitting on my dinning room table and picked up I’ll Walk Alone by Mary Higgins Clark. I got into the book and it took me until, around, 4am to finish it.

I'll Walk Alone.jpg

I thought the book was pretty great, although there were some parts that really annoyed me. It’s already established from the first moment that someone is impersonating her and that most won’t believe it but she spends the majority of the book acting like a crazy person. She often asks herself if she really did have something to do with her son’s disappearance. Of course, I expected her to be upset, frustrated, exhausted and even a little unhinged but the dramatics was an unnecessary addition to the plot twist.  I feel as if we didn’t answer most of the questions (lotta worry, lotta call backs with no pay off; thinking of the Stephen King suspense method).

I am always a fan of hers but I definitely pay attention to each book as it’s own separate work. I must say, I did enjoy the plot twist in this one. It wasn’t as explosive as some of her other stories but I enjoyed it. I’d recommend this book if you just need something to curl up with or a quick read with a little suspense.

If you’ve read this book, if you liked it, disliked it, hated it or haven’t read it but have plan to…let me know! I’d love to hear your thoughts. And if you have any book suggestions for me to read or any reviews you’d like to see here, let me know!

Happy Reading.

Jade

 

*Link to Book and synopsis: http://bit.ly/2CTpnPG

Long Little While

You’d be surprised how much you missed something when you’ve been away for a while. I talked to someone recently about my love of reading and they mentioned how I should write reviews. I thought to myself ‘I do!’ but I knew that I hadn’t been consistent with writing them. I don’t think there is any real science behind it, I just think that my love for reading has suddenly outweighed my love for writing reviews.

Don’t get me wrong! I love love love to review novels but I just get so caught up in the stories that I end up reading the next novel and not writing the review. I have sooooo many book reviews to write. I’ve at least read 4 books a week for the last month and a half. Each of them will be getting a review, it’s just a matter of time.

I look forward to the long nights until I get them all done and I hope that you enjoy them.

I love feedback guys! If you hate my reviews, let me know! If you love my reviews, let me know! If you have read the book before, please…let me know and tell me how you felt about it!

 

Jade

Book Reviews Coming Soon

Hey!

I have read a few books but the last two that I finished that I will be doing reviews on within the next few days are below! I am also rereading the entire His Dark Materials collection by Philip Pullman, I read it when I was in highschool and can’t wait to start it again. It will most likely take a while as there are three larger books, I might break them up and do a review for each novel.

Lynsay Sands: About A Vampire and Lyra’s Oxford by Philip Pullman

24664678   531197

I look forward to writing these reviews and I hope you enjoy them!

Jade

Guest Book Review Written by LoveTiggi

Hey guys,

So I know I told you I had reached out to a few new writers! Here is one that was willing to give a book review for the page! I hope you guys enjoy! You should find it under the “Reviews by Other Readers/Writers” tab!

If you read and like the review, feel free to check out her FB page and blog!

Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005166165790

Book Review Blog:

http://lovetiggisblog.blogspot.com/

Thanks!

Jade

Hello Again! I’m back!

Hey all!

So, I’m sorry that I haven’t been on here for a few months. My life has been hard these last few weeks. I was in a happy phase of my life, reading books, working, making plans for the future and being with my guy. Then everything took a turn for the crazy. I found out I was pregnant in August and outside of the usual surprise and terrifying thoughts I was happy. My guy was reserved and eventually happy and we began making plans for our future together and that of our child.

8 weeks into my pregnancy I had to rush to the ER due to severe bleeding. I thought I’d had a miscarriage but instead it turned out I was diagnosed with SCH. It’s a Subchrionic Hematoma. It happens basically when the placenta slightly detaches from the uterus. I was so scared and I cried alot. This was pretty consistent over the next three weeks. I was in and out of the ER and finally the last time I went I was told that my child had died; that I had miscarried. I don’t know if any of you have ever experienced it but it was the most devastating thing I’ve ever had happened. I’m still grieving now and it’s been the wildest turn of events that are still effecting me. I hadn’t read any books, I hadn’t written any of my new novel, I really hadn’t done much of anything.

While I was pregnant I had started a Youtube pregnancy and natural hair vlog, I have since turned it just into my natural hair blog but I will insert the links below so you guys can check them out or any future uploads. It was indeed an outlet for me. I have slowly been picking the pieces of my life back up. I moved into a new apartment, I just enrolled at Aveda Institute and made plans for my future. Despite the grief and the hurt of the miscarriage my guy and I are stronger than ever. I’ve read a few books since then and I’ve even reached out to a few guest writers to do a book review for the site! I am determined to heal and not let my emotional state stop me from doing the things I love!

Please be patient with me! I will be uploading more reviews and posts soon! Be prepared to see more of me!

Natural Hair Vlog!!

The Pregnancy Vlog- from start to finish

ENJOY!!

Jade!!