I’ll Title This Blog Post Tomorrow

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Monday. Today is Monday. Some of you partied all weekend. Some of you worked overtime at your 9-5s. And some of you indulged in self-care practices at home, happy you didn’t make any plans, or happy that someone cancelled plans. 😂 But today is Monday and I thought it would be a great day to address something that…I don’t know how to word this sentence, so let me get right to it: PROCRASTINATION.

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I’m going to be completely honest with you, which I promise to do over the lifetime of my blog. I am one of the biggest procrastinators I know. I mean, I might not be that bad because I’m sure there are people all around me delaying dreams and tasks I know nothing about. I may actually be inspiring them. They might see what I put into the universe and say, “Wow, Krystal gets shit done.” But let me tell you something: I do not have my shit together. So don’t beat yourself up about it. There is always something that got put on the back burner so that I could do something else more interesting or momentarily  beneficial. I feel like I always owe someone something. I do. Everyday. I am fortunate enough to be multi-talented. No matter which way you spin it, not only do I owe people who pay for my services, but I owe the world my talent. That is my purpose. I’ve come to terms with that a long time ago. I mean, I owe it to myself. Knowing that, procrastinating is stressful!

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To give you an insight into what I do so I don’t lose you later, I started my own hairbow line a few months ago called Denim & Bow (@denimandbow on Instagram). I also draw caricatures at home and at events as Kryzzy Drewit. (Check out the hashtag #kryzzydrewit on Instagram). Eventually, both will have websites. Its on the list.

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As I type this, there are people whom I owe bows and artwork. There are people I owed artwork to for so long, that they asked me if I could replace it with bows instead since they saw that was my new venture. I am proud to say that right now all of my overdue paid orders for bows are finished. I have other tasks at hand as far as the Denim & Bow brand right now for the Spring, but I’m getting somewhere. My love for drawing has kind of shifted, so aside from showing up for gigs, my in-house caricature work doesn’t really get done when it needs to because I’d rather be doing something else. That may sound like an excuse, yeah, but that’s what it is.

It doesn’t help that because I’m really good at what I do, even when I’m late, people want more. How many times have I heard something was worth the wait? Countless times. Just heard it yesterday from a Denim & Bow customer actually. I also love the phrase, “Good things take time.” An art mentor/supervisor of mine told me once, “You show up late, but when you come to work, you work.” I know that I’m good at what I do. I get it. I would hope so, because more often than not, I take really long to do it.

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Listen- I’m a perfectionist. I’m not sure where it stems from. Well, I’m a little sure. Growing up, I believe my mother, (who also struggled with her mental health), expected her children to be perfect. Not only would that make life easier on her since she had so many damn kids (lmao) (Love you Mom, I do) but I think naturally as parents, we want the best for our kids. However, it is so nerve-wrecking to tiptoe around trying not to spill something, or break something, or say something wrong, especially as a child. It’s bound to happen! And when you know you’re going to be physically or mentally abused for making a mistake, I think it sticks with you. I don’t think I’m still trying to please my mother, because over time I realized she can never be pleased anyway. I’m also not using my mother as a scapegoat because I’m an adult and I am responsible for my own actions. I DO think I just hate making mistakes. A lot.

So, I think all of what I just said contributes to why I start something and don’t finish it, start something and take really long to finish it, or don’t even start at all. I have “procrastination anxiety.” I want to give people the best unflawed body of work of all time, all the time. Now, you might not understand why that’s a problem. Shouldn’t we always want to give people our best? Isn’t exceeding someone’s expectations a great way to have a successful business? Absolutely. You can always do better, and offer higher quality than your competitors. But perfection doesn’t exist. So striving for it is going to cause problems. Every time.

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I was taking a bath while I wrote this, and I just drained it. People in the house are starting to stir, and I can shift my energies into doing business-related things that make noise, unlike writing my blog which I can focus on when everyone is asleep. However, why did I find myself thinking, maybe we should do breakfast today? I’m ahead of schedule right now, so I guess that’s why. And I know how easily that could turn into behind schedule in the blink of an eye. You may have heard the phrase, “If you’re on time, you’re late.” I’m finding that to make more and more sense lately. Again, I get it.

So what’s my problem? If “I get it,” why am I still like this? Honestly, I feel like working on procrastinating is a way I procrastinate. The irony! 😂 Reading self-help books and browsing the internet for tips is one of my favorite past-times. I call it procrastinating, but is it really? For example, you know how you say you don’t have time to organize, but then later you’re wasting time looking for something because you didn’t have time to organize? So then you start organizing then and there, but now you’re behind on what made you rush to find the thing in the first place?  So when are you supposed to organize? Lmaooo story of my life. Do you ever find yourself saying, “I’m late anyway, what difference is a few more minutes going to make?” (That later turns into a few more hours or days.)  Oh or, “Better late than never.” Like, please tell me its not just me. Lastly, as a creative, one of my favorites is, “I just don’t feel inspired.”

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I have found a few things to be helpful when it comes to procrastinating that I hope will help you if you can relate to me on any scale.

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1. The Pomodoro Technique– I should do it more, but when I do it, I find it rewarding. Write a list of tasks you have to complete. Set a timer for 25 minutes, and allow yourself no distractions to work. Take a 5 minute break. Get something to drink, a snack, answer a text, whatever. After repeating this process 4 times, take a longer break (15-30 minutes) and do something mindless like vacuuming or stretching. Repeat. For more information, visit www.pomodorotechnique.com.

2. Write lists/record memos. As a person who wears many hats, and a creative person, I have a lot of ideas.  Writing them down has helped me sort them out tremendously. Don’t let not having the best handwriting or grammar stop you. This is for YOU, your productivity, to improve your life. Buy yourself a pretty journal and use it. Also, invest in a planner. You can literally find one anywhere even Wal-Mart and The Dollar Tree, but I like Target and Barnes & Noble. Or even places like Marshalls or Ross.

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3. Don’t spread yourself too thin. You are not obligated to answer everyone as soon as they text/call/DM/e-mail you. You’re not being a jerk. But you have priorities, goals. People who love and support you will understand you’re a busy person and won’t take it personal. If they’re busy people too, they get it. If you have friends and family who have no hobbies or goals, its not your job to entertain them. If you’re not a psychologist, it’s also not your job to constantly give them mental health advice.

Sidenote- People don’t like being left on “read.” If you know you don’t have time to properly respond to something, don’t open it. Set aside time everyday to respond to people, and yes, prioritize the order of responses as far as social life, emergencies, and business matters.

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Also, its important to go to networking events/parties, and to just have a healthy social life in general. Can’t be all work and no play. However, don’t fill your schedule with events you don’t want to attend. You’re wasting time and you’re most likely going to spend the event miserable thinking about what you could be doing.

…I’m going to wrap this up, because I really am working on my issues, and you probably should be too if you have the same ones as me. This blog post isnt perfect, it feels a little unfinished actually, but the beauty of it is, it’s done. 🙃

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And here are a few pictures I pinned that I love but couldn’t fit in this post.

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“Hello, My Name is Light-Skinned”

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So it’s been two months (sorry), and I have so much to blog about! However before I tackle any new topics, I have to tackle this beast called “Colorism” which is the reason why I named my blog what I did.

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It is so unfortunate colorism even exists. I don’t discriminate against people with darker skin tones and never saw them any differently than I saw myself, until it became obvious that they didn’t view me the same way they viewed each other. And I started paying attention. Now, It’s like there’s a whole club of heavily melanated people on social media uplifting and praising each other’s melanin but you can’t celebrate being light-skinned in the same way. Even though you are black, you don’t get to celebrate it. Is that not reverse-colorism? I mean I guess its just called prejudice, but its rarely addressed in my opinion. As a light-skinned woman, you have to take a back seat when it comes to addressing black issues that don’t revolve around colorism and light-skinned privilege, because you aren’t black enough to understand any other black struggles I guess.

I find myself feeling unreasonably weary upon meeting a dark skinned woman. Now, I think dark-skinned women are beautiful! I love getting a tan, I be flexing in my complexion, honey 😂. And if I get the slightest bruise or scar, it’s so obvious 😩. Also, I look horrendous in some colors, like they’re too yellow or they wash me out. I feel like darker women can pull off anything.  And this forehead. 😩 But do I want to be darker? Not anymore. Not because I want to be beautiful according to society. But because I am beautiful according to me. I will never be dark skinned, but it doesnt mean I can’t appreciate the melanin I do have and appreciate my own skin tone too. You can like apples AND oranges. And if you’re an apple, I hope you have some apple friends to relate to!

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Also, I have always been physically attracted to dark skinned men. However, because of society’s beauty standards, it is almost as if dark-skinned men are only attracted to me because they want to “date a light-skinned girl.” That’s annoying. And beautiful dark-skinned women look at me so rudely when I’m with my black ass boyfriend like, “Oh he’s only with her cuz he likes light-skinned girls.” 😂  (Meanwhile, he never really had a preference). (And another thing, finding good lighting for us-ies is a nitemare)! It makes me sad. (Not the lighting, but what I said prior about assumptions and being objectified).  I’m more than just a skin color. Although on the flipside, I have heard light-skinned women are lazy in bed. Hilarious.

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Which makes me wonder: What kind of thoughts/feelings/emotions does the name of my blog evoke for you if you are one of my black readers? I wouldn’t be surprised if you said you thought here would lie the thoughts of someone sensitive, stuck up/”boujie,” or privileged. Those are a few common stereotypes I have seen online and heard from other black people all my life, to describe people who fall within the “light-skinned” complexion category.  Frankly, I’m used to it. Doesn’t mean it’s not irritating. I mean, these are things my daughter will have to face, who I’m raising to be humble.

I want to address what is called the “Willie Lynch” syndrome. I have read that in actuality, the Willie Lynch letter never even existed. I still believe that doesn’t change the fact that the slave mentality that the plantation owner allegedly said he ingrained in his slaves, has a lot to do with why black people struggle with colorism today. To make a long story short:

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This tweet is obviously from 2014 based on the math, so technically here we are 306 years later.

From what many of us learned about slavery, light skinned blacks worked inside of the plantation houses versus their dark-skinned family members outside in the fields. Some people may argue that means that light-skinned blacks had a better experience as slaves. I don’t know about you, but that sounds ridiculous to me. A better experience as SLAVES. Seperated from other family members against their free will. I don’t want parts of any of that at all. That’s like saying, “If you had to choose, would you rather contract Cancer or AIDS?” Hmmm…let me weigh the pros and cons real quick. Seriously, thats how ludicrous it sounds to me. And EVEN IF my light-skinned ancestors had a better slave experience *rolls eyes* did any of them ask for it? Do you think they interviewed for the butler position because all of the cotton-picking positions were taken? And again, EVEN IF THEY DID, what does any of that have to do with my character as a light skinned woman born in 1987?

Now, I LOVE BLACK PEOPLE. To be honest, I love ALL people. It brings me joy to spread love and also, NOT to be a racist. So it’s disappointing to have to say that over the course of my entire life, I have felt more alienated by my own people than people of other races. I was a bright, artistic child. Reading by age 3, winning legit Crayola awards for my art by 8. (Stay with me, there’s a point). Welll the majority of my classmates in my gifted and art classes were white. I was maybe 1 of 4 minorities, 1 of 2 blacks at best. That was until high school, where there was a bigger pool of kids and that number increased by a few digits. The dirty looks and insulting remarks I received from black students all over the school who never got the chance to know me, are not things any child should have to hear. I didn’t understand what I did. I still don’t. I stayed to myself and slept through a lot of my classes, watching the clock when I was awake. A parent might tell you that kids tease you because they’re jealous. But what were they jealous of? My educational experience in a room full of white/mixed/asian/latino kids that I couldn’t relate to? I mean, my family was super poor. My classmates’ families didn’t appear to be. Their hair looked easier to manage than mine. The teachers liked them more and sometimes it was blatantly obvious. I mean the teachers may also have found it disrespectful that I slept in class, but none of them ever bothered asking what was going on at home. (That’s for another blog post). 98% of my classmates didn’t invite me to their birthday parties or care if I sat next to them at lunch. They still picked me last to be in groups. I wanted to fit in somewhere. I wanted to have chocolate skin and relaxed hair. (Why I Wear My Natural Hair now after over a decade of relaxers is also another blog post). I guess I should have been grateful though, because I was surely having a better experience than my black peers. I mean, because I asked to be in gifted classes. (Sarcasm, ok).

I still get told to this day I “talk white.” Excuse my language, BUT WHO THE FUCK INVENTED THAT TERM? Should I feel insulted because I use proper grammar and inevitably adopted speech mannerisms of the people I didn’t choose to spend the majority of my childhood around? I always listened to R&B and Rap music in my household. But I started hanging out with/dating more black people after high school. Different slang and dialect became more integrated into the way I spoke, wrote, and typed. It was like I learned another beautiful colorful language. (Fun fact: I used to be fluent in German). Anyway, I didn’t even feel comfortable using the “N word” until I was like, 18/19. And even now, I only speak “Ebonics” around people I know. I can turn it on and off in a professional setting.

Think about that though: I have to turn it on and off in corporate America. Both ways of speaking represent who I am, my past and my present. But I have to revert to “talking white” per se if I want to get a job. You may have heard of the term “light-skinned privilege.” Basically, it is the idea that I am more likely to get a job position over someone darker than me, less likely to be shot by police officers, more likely to receive positive leading roles in movies and be a leading lady in urban music videos. Other blacks may find me more desirable, as I mentioned earlier. I won’t argue that it exists. I wasn’t born yesterday. It ABSOLUTELY exists. But do I like it? Not at all. Did I ask for it? Well, who asks to be born, much less asks to be born a certain complexion? I have family members, friends, and currently  a significant other, whose complexions are darker than my own. I don’t want them to be target practice, I love them. If they are more qualified for a job than me, I would hope they get it. I’d love to see any of them on the big screen in a leading role. And if there were a white person more qualified for a job position than a light or dark-skinned black person based on criteria other than skintone, then that’s just the way the cookie crumbles! At the end of the day, I never felt privileged in a room full of white people, I just felt black. I have been the only black person in circles quite a few times before because of where my interests led me. It just made me the butt of token black jokes which I awkwardly laughed off but never really found funny. They still found a way to remind me of my blackness as if no one in the room could tell. It made me think, is it worse when I’m not around?

Oh and, let’s stop with the, “Are you mixed” question or just assuming that I am. It’s annoying. If I don’t tell you my race and it isn’t the topic of discussion, why do you need to know? And if you know I identify as black, (you do now) please don’t call me white. It’s not funny. I wanna reitetate this- I have nothing against white people. But I’m black. It’s no different than me asking not to be called a father. I could never be a father no matter how hard I tried. I have never felt a father’s feelings. Not for nothing, being light-skinned and not feeling like you fit anywhere at times is frustrating enough. And if you have 1 too many light skinned friends, you’d look prejudiced. But it would kind of make sense, because you naturally migrate towards people who might understand a struggle people who are dark skinned wouldnt understand. Again, unfortunate because we shouldn’t see each other as different at all.

And I couldnt imagine being mixed.  I see all the backlash they get. I see uproar about them being chosen for television or movie roles that the black community want someone who “looks blacker” to play. Who helps a mixed person when they’re experiencing an identity crisis? Do you seek out mixed friends? How? Mixed could mean so many things! (I’d be interested in your comments. My 13 year old sister actually has a white father).

In conclusion, if you still think I’m sensitive, stuck up, or privileged- You’re not 100% wrong. I’m a Cancer and I’m an artist, so Im sensitive about my shit. I also have depression (yet another blog post lmao).  I can see how people might view me as stuck up because in a public setting, I’m reserved at first while I observe my surroundings. I also am selective about who I exchange energy with and I realize I am not obligated to talk to someone if I don’t want to. And I don’t care how they feel about it. That has nothing to do with me being light-skinned though. Honestly I’m humble, and spent too much of my life feeling insecure in my looks and my abilities to be stuck-up. Am I boujie? Sometimes I guess. I like nice things, expensive settings, etc., but in all honestly I’m a simple girl. I like chicken nuggets more than steak. I know more about markers and baby hairbows than designer shoes and handbags. (I like them too though, don’t get me wrong. I’m just not the boujie-est person I know).

56blogsstillcrazy-when-u-take-her-to-a-nice-restaurant-for-14020947.pngAnd am I privileged? I don’t feel privileged, but I recognize that my skin color holds a certain amount of weight in certain situations. However, I don’t think it makes me better than a dark-skinned person. In all honesty, I hate it because I don’t want it and I don’t like the way I’m treated or spoken to/about because of it. If you ever wondered how a light-skinned black person feels about being light-skinned, I can’t speak for all of us. Just wanted to speak my truths with no interruption. Finally.

Please, comment! No matter what race you are. I’m sure I’m not the only one who is interested in what you have to say, and everyone is looking for someone to relate to. If I offended anyone, it wasn’t my intention. I understand sometimes you have to just agree to disagree but there’s always room for growth through knowledge. Thank you for reading!