I Don’t Know Who Needs To Hear This But….

You are not alone.

I know that feeling. I know how it feels to feel like you have to deal with your demons silently. I know how it feels to feel like you can’t even turn to your own family. I know how it feels to not even want to turn to your closest friends or significant other for fear of feeling like a burden. I know how it feels to feel like you have no one. I know how it feels to feel like you’re stuck and have no options.

I know that place, and it freakin’ sucks to be in it.

That being said, I don’t care if I don’t know you, I don’t care if you think I may not like you, I don’t even care if we’ve had “issues” in the past. If you’re seriously struggling internally and feel like you’ve got nowhere to go and no one to speak to, I will be “someone” for you. I will be there for you if you want and/or need it.

If I can be of some type of help to you, or just someone to speak to for the day to clear your mind and thoughts, or be that ‘shoulder to cry on,’ I will be that.

Please reach out. I promise you, someone will care and want to listen. I promise that you won’t actually have to go through anything alone.

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Stay Strong.

-Xoxo, Emily ❤

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Battle of The Sexes: Relationships

Hey Guys!! It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these kinds of posts, but we’re finally back at it and I’m really excited for it 😀 ! So this post is going to be done with a good friend of mine who I’ve known for YEARS named Ralph, (@king__ralph if you want to check out his page on Instagram) say hi to him through the screen or go introduce yourself and show his IG some love!

I thought this topic would be a good one for us to discuss because we’re constantly talking about things like this among ourselves, and he tends to ask for peoples’ opinions on some of these questions on his social media, so I figure it was a good choice.

I’m going to be doing this the same way I did it the first time, which is asking a series of questions, and we’ll both be answering them individually, giving our input on the question/scenario. So let’s get started! 🙂

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For those of you that may be new to my blog and did not know, I am currently in a relationship (which we just recently made 4 years together ❤ 😀 ), so that’s what I’ll be basing a lot of my answers off of and a little on previous relationships. Ralph is not currently in a relationship, so he will be basing his answers on previous relationships and just general thoughts/feelings that he may have on the topics/questions mentioned.

  1.  Can you still be friends with the Opposite Sex?

R: I believe that it shouldn’t matter whether you’re in a relationship or not to be friends with the opposite sex. As adults, we have friendships partnerships and business partners that are of the opposite sex. From experience it’s based off who is insecure about having friends due to how the friends are and what they do for fun.

E: I think you can, I always used to be that type of girl to have more male friends then female friends because I was just able to connect with them more. HOWEVER, I used  to have issues with my partner (not my current one, in general) being able to have friends with the opposite sex because of how I’ve been burned in the past with things like that, so it definitely hindered my trust with things like that, but I think I’ve gotten a lot better with it recently, so overall I’m fine with it so long as they know their boundaries and what’s appropriate and what’s not.

2.  Are conversations with exes okay?

R: Some relationships end off on good standing, so it varies from person to person and the bonds they’ve built together. Sometimes relationships don’t work and it’s okay to be friends, but a lot of people don’t tend to understand how that works because they’ve never had that. In other cases, if it was a toxic relationship and they came to a mutual understanding that it wasn’t meant to work, than that’s it and they let it go and don’t ever speak again.

E: I agree. I really think it comes down to how things were left off and how mature the two people are, whether it was left on a good or bad note and whether you guys feel comfortable with still being able to speak to each other or not.  I’m that type that I don’t necessarily mind being able to speak to an ex once in a blue moon because whatever happened, happened. I don’t hold grudges, and I know that I’m happier now in my current relationship than I’ve ever been, but I’ve never had that kind of experience (being able to stay in contact with an ex), because some people don’t know boundaries and how to respect you or your other relationships after things have ended with them so it’s never really been able to work.

3. Should you give your significant other access to all your social media accounts and passwords to your phone?

R: I believe that a relationship should not eliminate the level of privacy that one should have. There has to be a level of trust when it comes to these social media outlets nowadays.

E: I don’t think it’s ‘necessary’ the way some people make it seem sometimes, but I also don’t mind giving it to my significant other if they asked. I have nothing to hide, so why not? But it also shouldn’t be something that the other person obsessives over all of the time. If it gets to that point that you’re obsessing over your significant others social media accounts/passwords, then maybe you just shouldn’t be with the person.

4. What time do you consider as being “disrespectful” to come back home if you’re in a relationship (like how late or not)?

R: I believe that if a couple has trust without each other and communication is good, then there shouldn’t be any issues of how late or not one should come home.

E: For me it would be anything after like midnight or 1am. Not because I don’t trust Diego or I think it’s disrespectful, but mainly because I worry about things like that a lot (worry as in for his safety and well-being, not if he’s doing anything behind my back) and I won’t be able to sleep if I don’t know that he’s at home safe or not, but he is really good with constantly texting me, keeping me updated and stuff, so that does tend to ease my mind a bit.

5. If you’re in a relationship, do you think its okay to go out of town without your spouse?

R: Yes, going back to trust, if you have a certain level of trust in your partner then that’s all that should really matter. That, and communicating whenever possible as well.

E: Diego and I were just recently talking about this to each other lol. We both agreed that it might be a little weird with not having the other around, but if it’s like a girls or guys trip then why not? We know our boundaries and if at any time we feel uncomfortable about something we’ll voice that to the other and talk it out. Communication is definitely key in a situation like that.

6. How much of your relationship issues or business you may have do you think is okay to share with family or friends? (like how much would be too much, and how much would be acceptable)

R: The amount of information you share with your family or friends is based off how close you are with them. For me, I share nothing with my family because I don’t feel like it’s important for them to know a lot about my life. Some of my close friends, like some I’ve had for 18+ years, I’ll tell them the important things even if we don’t speak every day.

E: When it comes to family I’ve learned the hard way not to say too much, because I’ve come to the harsh realization that at times they can be worse gossipers than your friends and could possibly use whatever you tell them against you later on. Some, not all, but because of those select few, I’ve learned to not say much to most family members unless I’m THAT close to you. Similar with friends, I have a really small group of friends that I consider close enough to tell things like that to, I could probably count them on both my hands.

7. Do you think a couple’s finances should be together (to some extent) or completely separated when just dating?

R: I believe that finances should vary from experience to experience because it depends on the morals of the person. There are males that wouldn’t let a woman pay for anything any time they go out, and sometimes depending on the financial circumstances, there are couples that always do it 50/50.

E: I think if you believe you’re going to be with your significant other for life, then why not? Maybe not as SOON as you guys start dating, but over time for sure. In the beginning, Diego would not let me pay for ANYTHING, literally, for like the first year of our relationship. But as time went on and I ended up getting a better paying job, I wanted to be able to treat him the way that he treated me so I would treat him, then there would be times that we would just pay for ourselves. So it’s definitely somewhere in between now, but we also tend to talk to each other about what we can and can’t do financially and ask each other’s opinions on whether or not we should spend certain amounts of money on certain things, so it works out I think.

8.  How important is physical chemistry to you?

R: Physical chemistry to me, plays a pivotal role. I believe that despite the good communication and good vibes, a balanced, good sex life is needed as well. I’m not perfect, I’m chubby but if the person is willing to accept that than I’m good with that, and vice versa.

E: I agree. I’m not going to sit here and say what a lot of people tend to say which is that ‘looks shouldn’t matter,’ because looks aren’t EVERYTHING, but they definitely do matter to some extent. As well as sexual physical chemistry, I think both types of physical chemistry are extremely important in a healthy relationship, especially more so when you’re an adult and looking to settle down. I feel like it should be the best of both worlds when you’re in a relationship, not great in one way and blah in the other.

9. If your partner had close friends with the opposite sex, how would you feel?

R: I would have to meet them all is all. I personally have 3 female best friends and that throws off a lot of females, like why do you have so many best friends? But for me, it’s important to cherish those kinds of relationships.

E: You know a few years ago, had someone asked me this question, I would’ve said I have absolutely no problem with it. But, in recent years, girls have shown me that they really cannot be trusted. The same girls that get close to your boyfriend, and try to be “cool” with you, are the exact same girls that behind your back, talk the most shit to him about you (or try to) to make you look bad. So I’m pretty iffy when it comes to things like this, and Diego knows that, but I also am not opposed to meeting them and getting a feel for them before full-on judging the friendship or whatever it is.

10. How do you think you handle fights when you’re in a relationship?

R: If you were asking the old me how I handle fights, the answer would’ve been really bad. You learn through experience how to handle arguments and what not, but if you’re asking the current me, now it’s all about talking it out and giving each other space.

E: I think it depends on the kind of fights, or like the reasoning for them. If it’s a stupid little fight, I think both Diego and I can agree that yeah we’ll both get annoyed, but we’ll be fine 5-10 minutes later. But if it’s a full-blown fight about I don’t even know what, we can both be hot heads. We’re also both really hard-headed and stubborn at times, so it might take us a bit to cool down and finally think rationally, then be able to talk whatever out sensibly and come to a common understanding, which is what usually ends up happening.

11. How do you respond when your partner is really late to meet you?

R: I would respond in the fashion of questioning whether or not they’re okay and finding out why exactly they were late; anything past that would be unreasonable.

E: It depends what he’s late for. Like if we have something planned that I’m really excited about and we have to be there (wherever) at a certain time, I’ll get SO annoyed because I’m so anxious and just want to get there already, plus don’t want to miss out on our specific reservation or time slot or whatever it is. But if it’s just that we’re going to hang out somewhere or go out to eat and we said 1pm let’s say, and end up leaving at like 2pm, it’s whatever, who cares lol. Diego on the other hand gets so annoyed with me because I take forever to do my hair and makeup even though I swear that I don’t lol.

12. Do you care to know about your partner’s past? (whether relationships, sexual or not, etc.)

R: I see it this way, a person’s past doesn’t involve you because you’re not around, which means it is none of your business unless they are willing to tell you. The only thing is that if course we should be curious to see what mistakes we shouldn’t make or do like the last person.

E: If it was before me and/or has nothing to do with me, then I don’t care. Unless it’s a bad habit you have or something that may get brought on to our relationship. But with me and Diego, that was just something we spoke about in the beginning because we were both curious about it with the other. It almost gave us a better understanding of each other in a way.

13. When do you think it’s the right time for people to meet each other’s parents/families?

R: I believe that when the relationship is serious and you both agree that this is something you want, that the parents should be met.

E: This is hard. I have absolutely no idea, and can’t even base this off of previous relationships, because my last relationship I didn’t tell them about it since I didn’t get a chance to, they kind of just saw us together and introduced themselves. And my current relationship, my parents already knew of Diego since we had went to elementary school together, and we tried to hide it for a bit just to enjoy it amongst ourselves for a while, and they ended up knowing the entire time lol and approaching us about it. So I wouldn’t be able to answer that tbh, I have no idea, I guess whenever you both feel comfortable about it.

14. Would you relocate for love?

R: It would depend on what my financial situation would look like at the time.

E: Off the top of my head, if I were to be basing it off of just love, I would say yes. But being REALISTIC about the entire thing, I would agree with Ralph, but also it would depend on a few other things with that obviously being one of the most important ones. I would also say that it would depend on where exactly they would be going? Would it be better for you/us financially and the opportunity in general? Would I be able to find work wherever it is we end up? There would be a lot to consider for it, but those would be some of the main things I think.

15. What’s the single most important thing for a relationship to be successful? (in your mind)

R: I have learned that the most important thing in a relationship that’s needed is communication. A person isn’t a mind-reader to be able to fully understand another human being. Often times things get misconstrued due to lack of communication. If one would simply verbalize their feelings in the moment instead of building it up, it would be a better environment for the relationship in general.

E: I agree. I feel like when you’re younger, you hear all of the time that communication is key in a relationship, a little too often even to the point where you almost don’t believe it. But when you grow up and start to actually have serious relationships, you see that ‘communication is key’ is 100% true. It’s the only COMPLETE way to truly understand where a person is coming from, or why they’re acting the way they do, etc. I almost feel like you can’t have a relationship WITHOUT communication realistically.

16. What would you define cheating?

R: I believed that cheating can be considered a number of things. Emotional as well as physical, also verbally based off intentions. For example, if you have any physical sexual contact with another person, that’s cheating; kissing, holding hands, etc. Verbal intent would be planning on it. Another example would be “I can’t wait to be with you later or can’t wait to fuck you”, etc. Emotional would be confiding in another male or female outside of your relationship on your relationship issues with the intention of finding solace in that person which leads to other forms of cheating.

E: Cheating is pretty much anything that you’re doing with someone else (of the opposite sex or just generally out of your relationship) that you feel like you have to lie about or hide from your significant other. If you’re meeting up with someone that you know you’re boyfriend/girlfriend would not like, it can be considered a form of cheating. If you’re texting or calling someone that you know they don’t like or wouldn’t want you to be doing that with but you’re doing it behind their back, that can be considered it too. Some may argue that this isn’t true, but to me, that’s what I would categorize cheating.

17. Do you think you’re typically likeable by your significant others’ family and friends?

R: I believe so, I often get along well and am very sociable with families and friends.

E: I’m pretty likeable when it comes to my significant others’ parents. They typically like the way I am and carry myself. Friends tend to be hit or miss, male friends I get along with quick because we joke around a lot and be dumb with each other and it’s a good time. The female friends as I mentioned earlier, are more hit or miss than anything because of their own intentions.

18. After a break-up, would you ask for your gifts back/would you give back all the gifts given?

R: They can keep them or do whatever they want with them. I bought it for them for a special reason, so it’s theirs to do what they want with it.

E: Same. The only gifts I would REALLY want back are the ones that I like made myself. Which I’ve done before, nothing crazy, but like scrapbooks and stuff because there’s been a few that i put WORK into, and they came out looking beautiful, and for one reason or another we broke up, but lowkey I wanted it back, not because of the person at all, but because of how much effort I put into it and liked how it came out SO much lol.

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So what did you guys think about this one?! Let me know in the comments down below or let us know on social media. Also, if you guys have any suggestions of topics that should or that you would want to see be covered on this segment in the future, please feel free to let me know! 🙂

-Xoxo, Leo Girl! ❤

Making The Most Out of a Bad Situation

By now it’s been about 2 weeks since all of the craziness that’s gone on in the Bronx and circulated pretty much all of the local news outlets on a constant loop. I, originally, was not at all going to speak on this, which I know a ton of people have been saying constantly lately, but I most definitely was not. For those of you that don’t know, this blog has always been a space for me to be as open, honest and creative as I’d like, BUT, when it comes to crazy, controversial topics like the stuff that’s gone on in the Bronx, I prefer to steer clear of it altogether. Not because I’m scared of sharing my opinion, but because I don’t like to speak on things that I don’t have all of the facts on. I find that most people who do that end up making themselves look dumb, and I’m not about that. That being said, I’m not going to directly speak about the events that occurred in the Bronx recently, but I am going to indirectly refer to it and give my general thoughts on what happened, how it made me feel, what’s next, etc.

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I’ve never been one to hate or be ashamed of where I come from (the South Bronx), in fact, I’ve actually always been proud to tell people that that’s where I’m from, in spite of all the negative things people tend to say and think about it. My thought has always been that there are good and bad places everywhere. Good and bad things that happen everywhere. Good and bad people everywhere, it’s almost inevitable, and I had grown up here in the South Bronx where things like gang violence, shootings, etc. happened on a regular basis.

I was always a firm believer that even though the South Bronx has its rough edges, as a whole, it’s come SO far from where it once was 10, 20, even 30 years ago. Hell, I was so passionate about that that I wrote my entire senior project in college about that; a 10,000+ word, 30 page paper/story on just exactly that (which I got an A on btw 😉 ) because I was determined to make a point. As a whole, the Bronx has made SO many positive changes in an effort to make it a better place. But I guess sometimes it’s true what people say, that the more things change, the more they stay the same…

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It’s not at all a secret the events that have occurred here in the Bronx recently, so much so that a lot of it has actually gone global. And from what I’ve been seeing and hearing, a lot of people are upset and annoyed because they’re questioning why everyone seems so surprised about the events that have occurred, as if any of this is anything new. Like these things in the Bronx haven’t ALWAYS been happening, and you know what? They are 100% right, it’s nothing new, and nothing that a lot of us have not seen and/or heard before, but that reasoning or “excuse” will NEVER make things like what’s happened okay.

It’s so much bigger THIS TIME because of all of the graphic pictures and videos that have been shared non-stop on not just one or two, but ALL social media outlets. It was 1000 times MORE publicized then your average news coverage stories that you see on Fox 5 News @10 every night.

Kids and people in general are scared to come outside because of how publicized these things have been and never knowing what’s going to happen after they leave the comforts of their own homes. I know I personally felt like that the past two weeks. I don’t think my anxiety had ever been so high before. I was paranoid all of the time; on the trains, walking near some people, walking home by myself at night, etc. I had a panic attack at LEAST 3 times that week because of it all. And to some, that may be silly or stupid, especially since I was born and raised in this city, but I think it’s a legitimate fear especially with how frequent these incidences were occurring and how close to home they were. No one should have to live their life like that. I am 1000% a believer of not living life in fear, because doing that is only going to make you miss out on things that life has to offer you, but this was a whole other level, as we all witnessed.

What has our world truly come to when there are grown ass men (and women) out here preying on kids? Not only that, but kids out here killing kids, ACTING like their grown. And for what? Because they were being bothered by them? For superiority purposes? To make some sort of statement and put fear into the eyes of other kids and their families? As a community, we’ve got to do better. In recent years, and months even, there have been more parents having to bury their kids then the other way around, and it NEEDS to stop. All of these fake thugs wandering around the streets jumping and killing people for absolutely no reason. People really need to learn that not everything needs a reaction, and sometimes you really just have to let shit go because it’s not worth losing your life over, or someone you care about.

People really think that it’s all fun and games being out in the streets, doing the crazy shit they do…..until they get caught and arrested. Then what? Who’s going to be there for you when you’re locked up and don’t have anywhere to go or anyone to turn to?

But to the same extent you almost can’t blame some of these kids (not fully anyway), because it all starts at home. Who’s around them. What they’re seeing. What they’re parents are allowing, what these people are bringing around them, etc., the list can go on and on. These people/kids also turn to the streets seeking some sort of comfort and entertainment that they’re not receiving at home or otherwise. I’ve seen it in SO many kids for years working at the after-school/summer camp that I did, and it is SO sad because these kids would much rather spend their time out in the streets with their “friends”, doing absolutely nothing productive as opposed to actually trying to make something of themselves and their future.

Personally, I would never use that as an excuse, because if I were to be brought up in a shitty environment, with shitty parents, no money, etc., that would only motivate the crap out of me to do and want better for not only myself, but also my future family. And I’m not at all trying to downplay it, because I know for a fact that it wouldn’t be easy, but at least you would do the smart thing which is to be above all of the BS that you went through and see around you.

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I’ve got to believe for my own sanity that change is possible. It can and will happen; it’s going to take time, but it will. We need to make a SERIOUS change, mainly in the way these kids are brought up nowadays because they are the future. Kids nowadays are constantly isolating themselves indoors on their cell phones, Ipads, tablets, etc. wasting their youth away. They should be outside experiencing parks, camps, museums, actual HUMAN INTERACTION, ANYTHING that is going to be entertaining and beneficial to them later on in life and keeps them off the streets getting themselves into trouble.

Times like these always makes me reflect on my life and the people around me. It really puts things into perspective that nothing in life is guaranteed tomorrow, not even your own life. It shouldn’t take things like this to happen for you to be grateful, but it’s almost like another one of those inevitable things that tends to happen. Be grateful for everything and everyone in your life today. Give your loved ones a hug and kiss and tell them how much you love them and how much they mean to you. Don’t take things for granted. Don’t go to bed upset. Do things that make you happy. Right the wrongs in your life at the moment, because life is way too short and precious to let it pass you by with nothing to show for it and have petty things ruin it.

In times like these it really does take a village to make change happen. And as cliche as it sounds, we need to be the change that we wish to see in the world. It starts with us. The Bronx is NOT a bad area, it’s the people in it that are making it bad, and this change will only happen if we continue to band together the way that we have been doing during recent events. What we were all able to accomplish when we came together for a common goal in recent events was truly amazing; imagine what else we all could do if we continued to work together at other common goals, and that is NOT limited to just making a change in the Bronx.

Take what’s happened and use it as motivation to humble yourself, be grateful for everything you have RIGHT NOW, and try doing something to help out in making a difference for the future. You never know what you would be able to do or start on your own, or with other people.

-Xoxo, Leo Girl ❤