Lord, we are tired. We tired, Lord. We've made it to the fall season and we don't know if we can handle anymore, Lord.
If you haven't realized, there's only three more months remaining in this year! We've almost made it through the gauntlet—2020, you're almost gone, sis!
And for my Debbie-Downers, yes, I know that doesn't mean our problems are going to magically disappear, and yes, I know that COVID is still jigging all over the place. But sometimes a girl has got to look at the positives, m'kay?
And I don't know about you, but seriously, in addition to keeping my mind healthy, if it weren't for my variety of group chats, at this point, I would be questioning 2 + 2 (because after this year, the answer damn sure isn't 4 anymore)—which got me to thinking: in a distanced society, how can we make sure we tighten up what we allow to penetrate our minds?
The best way? Solid, focused communication; no distractions. No BS. All support.
According to GroupMe research, 43% of people feel like pop culture, and/or memes, are the only topics discussed in their group chats. Um, ew. No, ma'am. There's no better time than now to tighten up what we allow to nourish us mentally. It's becoming a twilight zone out there.
So, a list of group chats that you're gonna need to finish out this year are these:
Listen, it takes a village. And this oddly seems to be a lost art. Ladies, I know that some things may not be our business, and you're right, it's not. But bottom line, you need to know what is going on in your neighborhood. And not in a "Karen" way, but more so in a "Claire Huxtable" way, especially if you have kids. Get to know your neighbors, don't frown at an invite. You can't be everywhere, so it takes a village (there goes that saying again) to protect all of your assets. Additionally, your sense of community lies here.
If you're not interested in joining a direct conversational tool for your neighborhood, seek out Facebook groups or pages. You should not solely rely on the news, join an additional form of communication. Now, stop being anti- and go ahead and wave at Judy, sis!
Apple split its stock.
This natural resource company may be interesting to invest in.
Make sure to complete your trust.
Roth IRA vs. 401K?
I'm thinking of putting an offer in on this three-flat.
Add your child as an authorized user to your credit cards to build their credit by the time they leave the home.
Girls, we're all getting older. And the above, are the type of conversations that we need to be having sooner than not. Money is a tricky subject because so many don't understand it. And even then, to be honest, there's so much that we don't know. Link with like-minded people who understand money. And I don't mean fraud or get-rich-quick schemes, I mean those that are thoroughlydiscussing money. Mortgage rates, tax breaks, LLC formation, acquisitions, or optimizing investment funds and shareholders.
All the scary stuff. We need to know about it.
Books will never go out of style. And learning the way of the world, won't either. Whether articles, or books, or audio, take the time to understand something. Order some books to escape reality. Or because of the stresses of society, seek books which allow you to suppress your anxiety. Whatever form you choose, do it. We can't champion this world alone. Book recommendations, or articles sent from friends are a love language. Indulge.
As we age, what we've all mostly learned is that family is a tough code to break. Too many generations of not so progressive behaviors, generational curses, poor mental health practices, and so on and so forth (I could name like hundreds of different variables) run freely in everyone's family, but who else is responsible for keeping it together? It's us. Not to be confused with a family chat, but a cousin chat is necessary in those times when we need to organize what's to come. Where's Thanksgiving dinner this year? The family reunion? Do we have everything? Or our elders may need someone to reach out to for simply assistance on how the world works now. That obligation falls on our shoulders.
So, whether we want to or not, it is our job to keep the family in (somewhat) tact.
Everyone has had a turn to do so. It's ours now.
Ladies, we need positivity. We need someone to speak life over us. We need celebration. We need a space where we can tell someone our good news. We need someone to stop us when we're gossiping. We need conversations where everyone was given the benefit of the doubt. We need prayer. We need spiritual guidance and protection...
The world is negative, society is negative. And that's only because we've allowed negative spirits and cynicism to take over. Be intentional in your thinking. Be intentional in conversation. And there's no time to just discuss it. Live it.
Active/Fitness & Health
Health is wealth, ladies. So, we have to prioritize our time to learn about ways to sustain our health. Vitamin recommendations, or weekly yoga classes. Workout classes or city fitness events. We have to find ways to stay on top of this. Or maybe you just need accountability without the nag. These type of group chats allow you to maintain activity in some form.
Plus, that blood pressure and cholesterol number is nothing to play with.
I recently joined a black bike club that rides regularly, which is all they look to do. They ask where you are if you miss a trip. They follow-up and follow-through. They challenge themselves, and they'll challenge you. A friend of mine runs a black women's hiking chapter. These are just two examples, there's a plethora of other ways to engage about fitness.
General Girlfriend Chat
Now, you know the homies get a chat before anyone. Why? Because it's damn near necessary. We all have one, we all need one. The comfort, the comedy, the accountability. Crucial.
I cannot tell you how many times I have had bad days, or I've been enraged about something, and I ran to my friend chat to discuss. And instantly, everything had become OK. As women, we are always in our heads. Sometimes, we deserve moments where we can step outside of ourselves and hear, "Yeah, you're trippin', girl" or "Well, how did you feel about that?" Or hell, maybe you just want to tell a funny story. Whatever the case, your girlfriends' chat should always be there to catch whatever you're throwing.
And the best thing about your general girlfriend chat, is that you should easily—and fundamentally—be able to discuss all of the above too.
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As much as I talk about sex, this is a topic that I was excited to shed a spotlight on. Why? It’s simple, really. Despite how sexed — and sometimes it really does seem oversexed — that our culture and society may be, virgins are not extinct. Believe it or not, it’s been reported that around 27 percent of guys are still virgins when they first step foot on a college campus (as a freshman) and, globally, approximately 38 percent of people between the ages of 18-24 are still virgins too. And even though it’s not a ton of ‘em, there are still some virgins who are over 40 (I personally know three, although they declined to be interviewed for this article).
And even though it really does seem like, over the past 50-60 years or so, virginity has been looked at as something that should be ridiculed, side-eyed, or even flat-out dismissed, I don’t feel that way at all. Fourteen sex partners and many lessons later, I actually get that there are many perks that come with waiting. Not only that, but I’ve encountered enough virgins in my time to get that, like most things in life, virginity is not a monolith, there are tons of reasons why people choose not to have sex until later in life and, if there’s one thing that you can’t really “do over” (because no, there is no such thing as a “born-again virgin.” You lose your virginity ONCE) is “losing” your virginity (I prefer to say “giving.” You know where it is)— being careful and even uber-cautious about how and when your first time goes down is something that I very much so respect.
You don’t have to take my word for it, though. As someone who gave my “conscious virginity” (I am a survivor of molestation, which is why I put it that way) at 19, I wanted to hear from women of that age and older who still haven’t “partaken of the fruit” just yet. First, to give their journey a voice and second, to remind others who may not be so vocal about their own virginal sexual status that, no matter what social media may be yapping about, when it comes to the topic of virginity, they are certainly not alone — and there is definitely nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.
*Per usual, when it comes to these types of interviews that I conduct, middle names have been used.*
“It’s not like I planned to be this age and still a virgin. When I was in high school, I thought I would be married by now. I’m not, and that’s why I’m still a virgin. Does this mean I’m waiting until marriage? I am. I don’t see the point in giving some man my all without that level of commitment. I personally admire women who can because I don’t have the emotional strength or mental stamina to go through that kind of stress or pain — especially multiple times. I just think there is already enough to worry about in life than if I’m gonna get an STD, get pregnant by someone I don’t want to deal with for the rest of my life, or even if some man is going to call the next day.
"And before y’all even start — yes, I know that marriage comes with risks too. But if a man is willing to pledge his life to me and sign a legal contract to prove it just to get some, I’d rather go that route than some dude I met at a club or a guy who I dated for a couple of months, and it didn’t work out. To each their own, and this is the way that I choose to do it.”
“I’ve always been called an old soul. I don’t think that 22 is old, but it is old, these days, to be a virgin. Some people assume that I’m one for religious reasons. Really, it’s because I’m observant, and my sisters and friends who already gave it up usually had more drama in their lives than anything. I just want my first time to be with someone who, when I look back on it, I don’t have regrets. I’m not looking for the perfect guy, but damn, can he at least not ghost me, give me an orgasm, and keep the moment to himself instead of telling all of his boys? I don’t think that’s too much to ask — and if it is…oh well.”
“The question I get asked all of the time is if I’m saving it for marriage. I am. I used to say that I was waiting until I got engaged or at least fell in love, but I have friends who did that, and months after they had sex, the guys were gone. I know that marriage doesn’t guarantee anything, but I have some other friends who were virgins on their wedding night, and their lives just seem to be less intense.
“Not having sex has shown the true colors and real agendas of a lot of guys, so while it does get lonely, being this way makes it easier to see who is serious about a relationship and who just wants to get their d — k wet. Virginity can be the ultimate male marriage material predictor. At least it’s been that way for me.”
“I almost gave it up to my first love, and ‘he’ didn’t happen until college. The break-up damn near turned me into a basket case, so that proved to me that I’m not really for a sexual relationship. I think the best way to explain it is, until I know that I can emotionally handle giving myself to someone and it possibly not working out, I need to stay just where I’m at…and I’m just not there yet.”
“The timing of this is crazy because I almost lost my virginity last weekend. It’s a long story, but I was going to give it to a guy friend because I want my first time to be with someone who I trust. We didn’t go through with it because he said that he didn’t want to chance me regretting it and it ruining our friendship. I think it’s interesting that it seems that men value a woman’s virginity more than women do these days. Anyway, all I know is it won’t be just some random guy. If I don’t trust you with my heart, you will never be able to have my body. My standard will definitely be someone who was my friend first.”
“I’ve been too busy to give up my virginity. Sounds crazy, but it’s still the truth. I’ve always been very career-driven, so after getting my master’s, I decided to do a lot of traveling and then buy a home. It’s probably been over the past few months that my sexual status has even crossed my mind because dating just hasn’t been a priority.
“I guess you can say that having a full life is why I’m a virgin. When I can fit a man into my schedule, and I find him just as stimulating as what I currently have going on, I can almost assure you that my sexual status will change. Until then…stamps on the passport are my orgasms.”
“I’ve had plenty of oral sex — not giving, receiving. Some people say that, technically, I’m not a virgin anymore, but I guess I’ll speak for the women who fall into my special situation. The reason why I’ve never gone down on a guy is because I want that to be reserved for the one [who] I first have intercourse with. The reason why several have gone down on me? You know how guys are — they see virginity as a challenge and will go the distance to be the first. If they wanna try, who am I to stop them?
"As far as what I’m waiting on…I don’t really see it as ‘waiting.' I am open to it. I just haven’t been with someone who seems like he is who I should give it to. I think that the guy who never brings sex up will probably be the one who piques my interest. I’m already a challenge. I think I’m looking for someone who is one, too.”
“I’m a virgin because I’m focused. There are too many women at my school who are so distracted because of what some guy is doing or didn’t do — and I don’t have the time. I want to be able to have my master’s degree before my 23rd birthday, and I’m on the way to making that happen. I haven’t told anyone this, but the present I want to give myself is losing my virginity for graduation. I think an orgasm for all of my hard work makes sense. I know who I want the guy to be, too. He doesn’t know. Hope he doesn’t blow it. I’ll try to keep you posted.”
“All of the holy books value virginity, and that’s why you will never be able to convince me that there is not a serious spiritual breakdown in our society. What used to be respected is now a so-called social construct, and to me, that sounds like so many people are so hyper-sexed with no real reason or purpose that they want to take the ‘misery loves company’ approach — that because they weren’t taught to value virtue and virginity, they want as many other people as possible to follow suit. That will never be me. Until I meet the man who is deserving of being the first and only to enter into my body and spirit, I will remain a virgin and very proud of it.”
“I honestly don’t know why I’m still a virgin. Remember how you told me [Shellie] that after the first couple of years of abstinence, you got pickier and pickier? That’s the way I’ve been all of my life. I’m sure that sex is amazing, but it’s also complicated, physically kind of messy, and exposes you to a world of stuff that you don’t have to think about when you’re a virgin. I’m not scared to have sex, but I’m not in a rush. Look at me — I’m sure I’ll open these legs up one day, but I’m not checking off the calendar or anything. When I have room to explore the good and bad of sex, I’ll be more aggressive about it.”
There you have it — proof that there are at least ten virgins on the planet who aren’t still in high school. And what I like about each of them is there is both a confidence and focus outside of their sexual status that serves as a great reminder that sex is a part of who we are yet…it’s certainly not everything. And you know what? It never was designed to be.
So yes, kudos to them for having a personal type of conviction, for whatever the reason, and standing by it.
Virgins or not, it’s a reminder that we all should be firm in our standards about…something.
Amen? 1000 percent.
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