How My Co-Worker Single Shamed Me

single shamed

Apparently single-shaming is an epidemic, and I have become its latest victim. At work, while discussing random mundane things with a co-worker I am not really friends with. You know that co-worker that always has something to say and you just pretend type on your computer while they stand at your desk yammering, in hopes that they’ll go away…that co-worker. During the one-sided chat, the topic of money jumped into the conversation, which went a little something like this: 

Me: I usually work 2 jobs.
Co-Worker: Well yah, you’re SINGLE.
Me: That’s not why. My work ethic-
Her: My husband makes good money and I don’t have to worry about that.
I don’t have to worry about whether there is enough.

I guess being single equates to being a broke, lonely loser. Women are shamed for being single, while men are praised for it. I’m a lonely loser for being single, but a man my exact age, is a “player”. And the fact that I work, sometimes two jobs, and live on my own, pay all of my own bills, and am independent, means nothing because at thirty-six years old…I am single…and a loser, according to her. Continue reading

How Rejection Made Me A Badass

This week I received two rejections: one from Amazon Studios, and another from the popular blog site Hello Giggles, famously ran by Zoey Deschanel. As a writer/actor/blogger I face an insane amount of rejection. But in reality, we all face a large amount of rejection throughout our lives, and it’s how we respond to it that determines our destiny. As one of the few black kids in my elementary school growing up I was rejected by classmates constantly. The only time I was not rebuffed by them is when I was on stage as the lead in a play, or performing in the talent show.

As an actor/writer you’re constantly told you suck. Really…you’re told your audition was not up to par, you are not skinny enough, pretty enough, tall enough, black enough, white enough, funny enough, and so on. I know so many of you have faced the same things. You have been on what seems like hundreds of job interviews that never pan out. Your relationships seem to never go anywhere, you just can’t save enough, or your career goals seem incredibly far-fetched. So, how can facing constant rejection actually help you? Here’s how rejection made me a total badass. Continue reading

36 Life & Love Lessons

36-lessons

In a few days I will be 36 years old, which is insane. Instead of a boring post where I complain about getting older and how I kept grabbing at a piece of lint in my hair, but it wasn’t a piece of lint, it was a gray hair, I thought I’d keep it all fun and positive. Besides, I have learned a lot of love and life lessons along the way, you know, since my dating type is usually: douchebag. Love is the most amazing emotion in the world and we all want it, have it to give and need it, so here are 36 Love/Life Lessons I have learned through many doses of trial and error, blatant foolery, refusing to acknowledge the red flags, and by just saying, “screw it” and having fun. Enjoy!

1) No, I Do Not Want To “Hang Out” With You: Listen bro, you’re going to have to actually ask me on a date, or just go away. I can “hang out” by myself, gorging on cookies and watching Netfilix on my own. Our first date, needs to be an actual date.

2) He Doesn’t Want You: He has not been in an accident. Nor has he been captured by aliens. He has not been hit while riding his bike and is trapped in a ditch,  or too busy at work or school for you…he is just not into you. Let it go.

3) Put Down Your Phone & Talk, Face-To-Face: Remember when you’d meet someone and talk to them? Or, go for a drink, and actually not put your phone out on the table next to your dinnerware? Let’s bring that back yo.

4) Stop Talking Sh*t About Your Body, You’re Stunning: You know that having fat on your body is totally normal right? So are stretch marks, cellulite, and a regular sized ass. Stop putting yourself down! There is someone out there right now wishing for what you have. And if you’re like me and obsess way too much about making sure you always fit into your skinny jeans…then, workout, eat right, throw lots of cheat days in there, and be happy.

5) It Is Your Absolute Right to Have Wine & Chocolate for Dinner: This rule pretty much piggy backs on rule number 4. There is no reason to live life on a perpetual diet. Seriously, I am an actor and yes, looks play a big part in things, but so does my happiness, emotional and mental well being, and dammit, if I don’t have my wine, chocolate and pizza…momma ain’t happy yo. Everything in moderation of course, but I have my “Fu*k It” days when I forgo any cares and literally drink wine and eat chocolate for dinner. Try it, I swear you’ll be happier.

6) My Life is Dope, and I Do Dope Shi*t: Okay, listen up…I mean, read this, and pay attention because this is a huge lesson we all have to learn: WE ARE DOPE. Seriously, there is no one else in the world who is you, but you. Your life matters and even though it may not be exactly all that you want or hoped for…do what you can with what you have. Live your dreams and if you can’t live them right now to their fullest capacity, that’s fine, make moves to get yourself there. You are dope and capable of doing dope sh*t.

7) You Deserve To Be Loved Fully: Do you know what it means to be loved fully? When you are loved fully, you don’t have to question whether or not he/she loves you. This does not mean the relationship is perfect, because there’s not such thing. What it means is that you are deserving of love, phone calls, flowers just because, date nights, spooning, incredible sex, laughter, comfortable silences and all that love brings. You are deserving of a love that does not leave you wondering.

8) Absolutely No Complaining: This one is so hard, but changing this aspect of your life will literally change your mindset. Now I’m not saying that there are never valid reasons to complain because when I saw those gray hairs I cursed the hair gods, but keeping ourselves in a constant state of complaining will keep our lives stagnant. Stop complaining about dumb sh*t.

9) It’s Okay To Say No: Why do we always say yes to things we either don’t want to do, or know we have absolutely no intention of doing. For example, I don’t want to go to your kids birthday party because I hate kids birthday parties, so why am I telling you that I’ll try to make it? Because of a weird fear of telling you no, and looking like the bad guy. Well, I’m not going, and don’t want to go. That doesn’t make me a bad guy, it makes me honest. Just say no…you don’t have to show up to every function, respond to that person who’s interested in you, or go on another bad date out of fear of looking like a jerk.

10) Stop Giving Your Energy To People Who Don’t Value You: Stop wasting so much of your precious energy on people that don’t care about you or your well being. Why are you even discussing these people and thinking about them at night, ruining your sleep patterns and nights? This girl posted something about me on Facebook a few years ago, and at one point I was her friend, so I was upset by it, and literally let it consume me. I thought about whether everyone else from the high school crowd would believe her BS. You guys, I have lived life this way, constantly focusing my energy on people and circumstances that don’t matter. When you stop giving your valuable energy away to people whether they be an ex, current boyfriend/girlfriend, friend, co-worker, that does not value you, your life will change. Give your energy to those that cherish and encourage you, not tear you down. Continue reading

Have You Ever Been “Ghosted?”

 

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Remember that time when you find out Santa Claus wasn’t real and, even though you may have already suspected it in your heart, you were still hurt? You just saw the world and everyone in it a little differently, right? Or, am I being super melodramatic? I remember it like it was yesterday…cue violin…my sister and I stayed up all night Christmas Eve, hoping we would spot him. I was so excited, that I kept peeking out of the bedroom window thinking I would see him. That’s when it happened. That’s when I spotted them. The horror of all horrors. I can still see them right now as I type. My parents were unloading our new bikes out of the trunk of their car! That was the day my life changed forever.

Okay, guys, yes, that was super over dramatic, but remember, I am an actor. The fact that we even had parents that could afford to buy us new bikes is beyond a blessing, but my point is, we tend to build people up in our minds, and then they do something, or an event takes place, that reminds us of exactly who they are…or are not. This recently happened to me over on Instagram. Now, I have only had one date from someone sliding into my DM’s, and that went horribly wrong, which I will blog about at another time. This time, I was the one doing the sliding.

It all started when I  tweeted about liking someone over on Instagram, and how I felt weird about sliding into his DM’s. Well, my twitter friend really helped to pump me up, and get me excited about all of the possibilities that sliding into his DM’s could bring. After some really great confidence building on her part, I thought, what the hell, let’s do this yo! So, I casually slid my fingers across my iPhone and tapped my Instagram icon. By this time I felt like a complete badass and had absolutely no qualms about what I was about to do. Continue reading

10 Motivational Goals for 2016

Happy New Year and welcome to the all new To Live & Date in LA! I am beyond excited to share my new site with you all, including the To Live & Date in LA product line (zazzle.com/toliveanddateinla*)…thank you so much for your support. 2015 was the most difficult year of my life due to the illness which led to the heartbreaking death of my mother, but with a new year, comes clarity and strength through my love for her and God.

So, let’s start this new year off with positivity, hopefulness, and grace…oh, and an unbreakable desire to make this year a year filled with love, success and blessings! I made a top ten list for myself, and texted it to a friend who said he was immediately saving it to his phone, which made me think of you all. I can’t keep this goodness all to myself right? Read, Share, Love and Enjoy…Jonesie Continue reading

Is Single Really the New Black?

 

Is Single Really the New Black? According to Dr. Karin Anderson Abbrell, it is. I recently sat down with the author to discuss all things single, relationships, marriage, and the daunting moments in-between. Before I get to the juicy stuff, let me give you a little background on Karin, she’s a psychologist specializing in dating/relationships, identity development and adult family dynamics. Her now book, Single is the New Black: Don’t Wear White ‘Til It’s Right is on sale now. Okay, there’s all the official razzmatazz, not lets get down to brass tax.

As you all know, I have been single for seven years now so you can imagine all of the drama that was discussed during our sit down! Dr. Karin married the love of her life at age 42, she took her time, and did not settle. Having called off her engagement at 34 years old, which, for most of us as she states, is when we feel the most pressure to settle down, get married, and have children, she found love again at 42, but it was not an easy road. Karin states, “I had this phony relationship, and I wasn’t trying to live a lie, but two months before, my maid of honor asks me about the shoes I’m going to wear, and I just wanted to talk about the fun I had at the club the night before.” Explaining how she felt a disconnect, but getting married and having kids is what she felt she should be doing. Despite that, Karin found the strength to call off her wedding and re-enter the dating scene on her terms. Continue reading

We Met at the Lenny Kravitz Concert

concert

Have you ever seen the film, ‘Sliding Doors’, starring Gwyneth Paltrow? Here’s a short summary of the plot: The film follows Helen Quilley (Gwyneth Paltrow), a young Englishwoman living in London who has just been fired from her public relations job. The plot splits into two parallel universes, based on the two paths her life could take depending on whether she catches a London Underground train or not. (imdb.com)

The film is amazing and of course so is Gwyneth Paltrow. There are all these little moments in our lives that happen everyday i.e. the street we take when we walk to the store, the daily drive home on the same freeway, choosing to go to Ralph’s market instead of Trader Joe’s, you get my drift. These are tiny blips on the radar of our lives, but these little decisions, can have huge consequences on our lives. And in the film we see this play out. So, why am I having an existential moment…yet again? Because, last night, at the Lenny Kravitz concert, I had a ‘Sliding Doors’ moment. Let me break it down real quick…

My sister and I have been on a summer concert tour of sorts. We’ve gone to music and food festivals all summer, and last night, we watched the amazingly sexy, and insanely talented Lenny rock out. My sister has never really been into Lenny, but I have since about the age of 13, but she quickly changed her tune when she had the “Lenny” experience last night!

When I was purchasing the tickets online, I kept going back on forth on where I wanted us to sit. I changed my mind so many times, kept looking at the seating chart, then finally decided on the seats I eventually bought. We arrived at the greek about fifteen minutes after his opening act began, bought a few drinks, and headed inside. No one was sitting in the two seats next to us, and we were feeling excited and kind of happy that we’d have leg room to move around. Continue reading

That One-Time A Moment of Loneliness Made Me Irrational

Cookies (1)
 Last week, during one of our many text messaging sessions, my ex-boyfriend (not the douchebag that dumped me over text) who I’ve been close friends with since our 2005 break-up, mentioned that he is taking an important test for the next step of his career. This test is pretty important and he has been studying for it for weeks, and with it coming up soon, last week was the final study push. As we kept talking about his goals and what this promotion would mean for his career, and how stressed he was about it, my nurturing side automatically kicked in. This rarely happens, as we all know I have a black heart of stone, but I love my friend/ex-boyfriend, and wanted to do something to help him get a bit of relief from studying. So here’s what I did, why I did it, how it backfired, and the huge lesson it taught me.
 
When I am stressed out I do three specific things:

1) Eat Carbs in the form of homemade pizza.

2) Bake a ridiculous amount of cookies, brownies and/or muffins…sometimes, all three, if I’m being totally honest, which I always am with you guys.

3) Vacuum. Really…I clean like crazy, but there is something about vacuuming that really calms me down. Judge me all you want, but you’ll never come to my place, and not see those vacuum lines in my carpet.

Naturally, I thought of making the Fireman some baked goods that he can munch on while studying, and just use as a stress relieving break. Great idea, right?

I work two jobs: Job number one ends around 3pm, and job number two starts a few hours after that, and ends at about 10pm, so, let’s just say I am super tired by the end of my day. Is this winning me any sympathy points, because it better be. I decided to bake cookies and brownies, but not just one type of cookie, a full on cookie assortment, because why not turn this into a huge task that I would force myself to accomplish in a timely matter, and before the Labor Day weekend? Do you hear the violin strings being played? I do.
Continue reading

No, I Don’t Want to Hang Out With You

 No, I Don't Want to Hang out with you
Remember when you went on dates? No, better yet remember when you would spend an afternoon getting ready for your date that night? Hair done, nails done, new outfit, manicure and pedicure…and wait, sometimes even new shoes too?! What happened to that? Am I just old, or has dating really died? Everyone is just “hanging out” and I’m not hanging out or in with anyone. Everyone is hanging out without me and I’m okay with that. I don’t want to hang out with someone, I want to date someone, fall in love, and ride off into the sunset on the magical unicorn I have mentioned once or ten times, on this blog. So, men of the world, please for the love of all things holy, stop asking us to “hang out” with you!

“Hanging out” is not a first date. Hold on let me address something else as well: Netflix and pizza is not a first date. I will repeat myself: NETFLIX and PIZZA is NOT A FIRST DATE. I’ve been seeing this ignorant post on Instagram about how Netflix and pizza is not a cheap date because of the following fees: rent, electricity, playstation, etc. And, this stupid post, actually has a plethora of likes and laughing emojis on it. Not to mention it also states that women are bitches and there are many women who have “liked” this post. After I clutched my pearls, and gathered my composure, I considered the sheer idiocy behind this thought. Paying rent for your apartment/home whatever, is your choice, so is the fact that you bought a gaming station, and a monthly subscription to Netflix, which was not purchased with the idea of, “Man, I am going to get laid so hard for this” so can we stop with this dumb ass train of thought?

Now that I have gotten that out of the way, let me revisit my issue with hanging out as a first date. When you like someone you clearly want to make an effort to spend time with them, and get to know them, right? Doing an activity together like hiking, lunch, biking, wine tasting, dinner, movie in the park…you get my drift, are just a few of the myriad of ways you can get to know someone. I hang out with people I know, like my dad, sister, and my short list of friends. I do not want to hang out with you on our first date…I want to get to know you on a much deeper level. Continue reading

5 Signs He’s Just Stringing You Along

5 signs

1) He Only Texts You

Can I just start this off with a short rant on my love/hate relationship with texting? Yes…great, because, here it goes. I love texting and I friggin’ hate it so much. Mostly I hate to for the same reasons why I love it! Argh…I am just a mix of emotions on this topic. Texting is great for those of us who don’t want to spend hours on the phone, but here’s the thing, I don’t want to spend hours on the phone, I want to spend hours interacting with you, face-to-face! Texting is very impersonal and there’s this new era of young whipper snappers (i.e. the 25 and under crowd), who are really satisfied with a goodnight or good morning text and feel as though that means he, “really likes me.” Ummm…whatever happened to actual voice conversations, and preferably the ones that take place among each others actual company.

Texting is easy. Texting is non-committal. Texting is the step-sibling to actual time and commitment. I kid you not, I met a guy one year ago, and he has been texting me ever since. We have not seen each other or spoken on the telephone. A year people! I in no way take him seriously, and you shouldn’t either. Yes, texting is fun and who doesn’t love a great back-and-forth, but actual time spent together is an investment in your foreseeable future. Good morning texts and goodnight ones for that matter, do feel really good, but not when it’s never been backed up with anything more than just that. If he is only texting you, then he has absolutely no intentions of investing actual time in you. Let it go.

2) He Never Gives You Details About His Life

Let’s re-visit one of my examples from number one, and refer back to the guy who has been texting me for over one year now. I once asked him what he did for a living and his verbatim response was, “Live life!” as though he was utterly offended that I would have the audacity to ask him a question about himself. That…that right there is what I’m talking about. If you don’t know small or large details about his life, it’s because he doesn’t need you to know. Why would he not need you to know? Because you don’t matter enough to share his life. You are not part of his future plans, so why would he take the time to let you really get to know him better?

Where does he live, are his parents still together, what are his plans for the next five years of his life, can you name his friends and have you spent time with them? I mean really, if he won’t answer even basic questions, or better yet freely tell you about himself, it’s because he has no plans of making you a permanent fixture in his life. Let it go. Continue reading