“I’m in the friend zone because I don’t put in effort to let them know I’m interested. Again, it’s a confidence thing and I make it seem like I’m okay with just being friends when I would like more. I settle for friendship.”
By: Shea Harris
The end of 2016 and beginning of 2017 has really blessed me with some bomb music. I have really been able to breathe slowly and whoo-sah through some situations because of some talented artists. There may be a few songs that get me in my feelings but after I shake the words, I just listen to the soothing beat. Let me just go ahead and jump right into it.
For the longest, I’d seen this silhouette circling the web and wasn’t really sure who or what it was. One day I randomly decided to give this project a listen and completely fell in love. From the first record to the last, H.E.R. had me hooked. She samples some of your favs and does it in such a smooth way. I can honestly say my favorite record is U. I know it’s easy to say “oh I relate with this song so much”, but I seriously do. It’s something about being a single Southern Belle in South Florida and seeing how different you are from everyone. The way you talk, walk, dress, think, etc. The line that says it all for me is I’m not like those other girls, I don’t be acting brand new. Like ma’am, what?! I’m really trying my hardest not to dissect this entire song and album so let me move on. Just go give her a listen.
So I actually came across this album through my Tidal app. Anytime a new album drops, it’s listed with the other albums that come one within the same day/week. I think I waited about two or three days before I pressed play, but of course my timeline was already supporting her so I had to see what the hype was about. I recognized Syd by her name and face from The Internet, but didn’t know that much about her. Her voice is honestly everything I need to hear whenever I’m getting annoyed or stressed about sitting in traffic. It’s kind of hard for me to describe the music genre though. It has an urban, neo-soul type of vibe to it. Every time I listen to this album I just want to dress up in my sexiest outfit, put on makeup and act like I’m in a music video. Syd literally gives me all the feels and confidence to be sexy with this album. My favorite song by far is Drown in It. Unfortunately it’s only 1:11 (she knows good and well she could’ve given us an extra 2 mins 😑), but it’s still perfect though.
Solange-A Seat at the Table
QUEEN. That’s the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Solange and this album. As soon as her project dropped in 2016, I played it completely through. I will honestly play this album all the way through without any skips. I barely skip the interludes! This album was exactly what the culture needed, but most importantly Black Women. She paints this raw and uncomfortable picture of what it is to be Black in America, but helps you deal with micro-aggressions at the same time. When I listen to this album it’s usually to remind myself that I’m a strong, beautiful and purpose-filled Black woman. Don’t Touch My Hair. That’s all. I know it’s big, thick and different, but just don’t. It’s weird.
Childish Gambino-Awaken, My Love!
This👏🏾Talented 👏🏾Young 👏🏾Black 👏🏾Man. What planet does he come from?! Does he have a cousin? A brother? A nephew my age? Just kidding! I’m honestly quite upset that I’ve missed out on this mans talent all these years. Childish Gambino’s most recent album is exactly what I needed. He dropped this project right on time. Just when things were getting rough and uncertain at the end of 2016, he dropped this album and I got my entire life. I hate that I had not listened to any of his music before this album, but he has my attention now. I’ve been able to connect with so many of my peers just because of this one album. His songs are so simple and unique on this album that it’s impossible to dislike it. I don’t think I can pick just one favorite song off this album though. It’s a tie between Me & Your Mama and Redbone.
I first heard his angelic voice on Solange’s Don’t Touch My Hair. I didn’t know his name until I looked at the featured artist, but completely fell in love with his presence on the record. A few weeks after Solange dropped her album, Sampha proceeded to do the same. Funny thing is Sampha and Syd dropped (I believe) in the same week. Listening to this man’s voice brought me into a different space. I was ready to hurry and get home to light some candles, meditate and do some yoga. No joke. Each time I listen to his album, I get a different message each time. I’m reminded to breathe and live each time I take a listen. Sounds a bit deep but its the honest to God truth (from my perspective). His voice always gives me chills and makes my heart flutter. You’ve got to check him out!
I know this was an extensive post, but I definitely felt like it was necessary for me to share some of my favs with you all. Is there anything you listen to that puts you in a calming mood? Let me know below!
By: Shea Harris
I figured I’d channel my inner Evolution of Robin Thicke in the title of this post. Oh my gosh, speaking of: that album still makes my heart oh so weak! I can play that album from beginning to end. Okay sorry. I got a bit distracted. Back to the main topic. Love. Oh it’s such a beautiful thing. I honestly don’t know why some people say they can do without it. In a previous blog post, I talked about how I didn’t know what my love language was. Well just so happens, I took a quiz to find it out. After taking the quiz, I feel like I now understand why I do the things I do and act the way I do.
Here are my results:
|10||Words of Affirmation|
|6||Acts of Service|
To be honest I think I knew my love language this entire time, I just didn’t know how to put it into words. I find myself comparing my actions to those around me and I respond differently. I pretty much knew Receiving Gifts wasn’t my love language. Physical Touch, ehhh. I’m a fan of being touched but I’m still struggling with somethings from my past in regards to that. Nothing too extreme, but you know the past will try to haunt you. I’m actually shocked I didn’t score higher in Acts of Service though. I love when people take their time to do an action from their heart and truly share their feelings through actions.
Now let’s finally get into my two high scores: Words of Affirmation and Quality Time. The main thing that stuck out to me in regards to Words of Affirmation was Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important— hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. I absolutely adore when people let me know how they feel about me, especially because I’m pretty vocal about my feelings. It’s something about an I love you or I miss you that just sends me to cloud 9. I know that actions speak louder than words, but when someone says these things with a certain tone or body language, its a wrap.
Distractions, postponed activities, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful. I mean what more can I say? This pretty much sums up my entire life. If I put aside time out of my day to spend time with you, I pretty much expect for you to respect that time and make the same sacrifice. I do understand everyone doesn’t view sacrifice the same as me, but no matter what I always hope and pray that they do. When plans are cancelled and I was looking forward to hanging out, you pretty much just let me down. Fortunately I’m the type of person who gives like six chances, but once number seven some around…baby I’m sorry. It’s a wrap.
Taking this quiz honestly brought a lot of things to light and made me realize that I don’t have to be like the next person. My love languages are catered to me and how I express myself. Maybe that’s why I’m so quick to go on tangents about how amazing people are or write a little something. Regardless, I have to accept who I am and not force an agenda on people that’s unlike me.
What’s your love language? Let me know below! 🙂
By: Shea Harris
Now for those of y’all who know me, I’m pretty sure you’re rolling your eyes. I promise there’s a reason behind all of this. It makes sense…well it makes sense to me. I don’t really know where this is coming from to be honest. It might be because so many people have made sacrifices for me and I haven’t made sacrifices for them. I think about the thoughtful things people do for me, then look back at what I’ve done. It doesn’t even compare. It may have something to do with me not really knowing my love language. Everyone else’s shouts loud and clear while mine is silent and not present (at least not at this moment).
I Think I’m Too Selfish
Sometimes I talk to people just to vent or share things about my life. I’ve tried to change up my habits lately and actually listen to people and make sure I’m interested in what’s going on in their lives. I don’t always go and visit people, they usually come and see me. I’ve been feeling super guilty since my birthday to be honest. My best friend and really good friend really outdid themselves for my 25th birthday. My best friend flew to Miami from New Jersey for the big 2-5 and spent the entire birthday weekend with me. I haven’t even been to Jersey to visit her yet.
Even thinking back on it now, I don’t even know what I did to have such amazing friends as the ones I have in my life. The fact that people have gone out there way to make me enjoy my special day just brings in all the feels. I’ve literally say to my friends: Thank you for fooling with me. I know I’m raggedy and a hot mess. I feel like I’ve taken on this guilty complex to mold me into a better person. I feel like if I were to sit back and let people do for me, I’d just be taking advantage of them.
I Don’t Think I Make Time For People
Spending time with people isn’t a problem. I think the problem is who I spend time with. I’m such a social butterfly that sometimes I have to postpone meet ups in order to reunite with other folks. I don’t even know when I’m going back to North Carolina because I’m determined to make 2017 my year of travel. I want to visit my friends in other states I’ve never been to. I honestly don’t think I’m heading back to the Carolinas until Thanksgiving of this year. Although my parents aren’t upset about me coming to visit, I can’t help but feel guilty.
What kind of daughter doesn’t go back home to visit her family? What kind of daughter puts her family on the back burner just to go to other places and visit friends. I know I’m probably overreacting, but these thoughts have ran through my mind. It all comes to the main factor of love. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have enough love to pass around or that people won’t understand the type of love I give. The feeling of being forgotten has to be a terrible one and I don’t want anyone to feel that way.
At the end of the day, I have to let go of the guilt that has been running my little mind. I have to be confident in the fact that the people in my life know that I love and cherish them deeply. Have you all ever felt this way? Let me know in the comments.
By: Shea Harris
Usually around this time of year I see all types of emotions come across my timeline. It’s a mix between love, appreciation, bitterness and sometimes even anger. It’s uncomfortable scrolling through because I’m a positive person and seeing many mixed feelings projected is uneasy. I don’t know whether to laugh, be sad or let’s be honest roll my eyes. I don’t know your situation but hopefully this will bring some light to your Valentine’s Day and to your life.
1. Say Bye Bye to Bitter Betty/Barry
She/He is no longer needed in your life. It’s okay to be single and take comfort in your own space. All of the things you’ve gone through (or going through) is a set up for something simply amazing. It may be financially, emotionally, physically or spiritually. It doesn’t always have to be an individual. Maybe you thought you were going to marry that man or woman once upon a time but it just didn’t work out. It’s okay love! You didn’t need to keep that person with you on this journey. Keep your head up and realize that you’re worth more than gold.
2. Self Love is the Most Important Type of Love
I don’t even need to say any more. If you want a bit more emphasis, check out this post.
3. Search and Find Who You Really Are
We claim to know exactly who we are, but we are always changing (especially in our 20’s). I used to think I knew exactly what I wanted, but now I’m honestly just experiencing every little thing that comes my way. It may take for me to almost drown in the Grand Cayman Islands to figure out I’m not the strongest swimmer (true story by the way). I may have to try plantains a few different ways to come to the conclusion that they’re not for me at all. I say all this to reaffirm that I’ve tried different things to find out who I am and what I like. It’s absolutely fine to try things and rediscover who you are. I mean if not, then why exactly are we here?
4. Sit Back and Chill
While discovering who we are, sometimes we read too much into things. Every person you come across doesn’t deserve you and every text doesn’t need a response. Yeah it’s often times exciting to welcome potentials in your life but keep in mind that’s what they are, potentials. Take your time on getting to know folks and seeing who they are, if they flow with you and if they truly are who they say they are. It’s never that deep to jump to what if’s and you just figured out each others name. Keep it cute and light until things begin to shift.
5. It’s Just Another “Holiday”
Of course I leave the best for last: baby it’s just another day. Don’t spend all your time caught up in the Instagram, Facebook and Twitter posts. Think of it like it’s your birthday. For 24 hours you’re receiving calls, texts and social media notifications for this one day and then the day after…silence. That’s pretty much how Valentine’s Day works. You see all these things on social media and mushy advertisements until the day of and then it’s on to 50% off Valentine’s Day candy and Easter prep. I choose not to be upset and worked up about one day out of the year simply for two reasons: I’m healed from the Bitter Betty bug and I’m blessed to have family and friends who show me unconditional love all the time.
I truly hope this post was helpful and inspiring to at least one person.
Happy Valentine’s Day lovely and keep your heart Three Stacks. 😉
*Image from College Friend*
By: Shea Harris
Hey! Hey! Hey! It’s Sheaaaaa Harris. Okay, enough of the clowning around haha. I don’t even know where to start to be honest. I’ve been kind of ghost during this first month of 2017. I honestly don’t even have a valid excuse for y’all other than: I’m just trying to keep my life together. I have so many ideas for my blog, business and career route. But one of the main things I’ve been able to focus on is taking care of Shea.
Some time ago I was participating in a Twitter chat and one particular tweet was referencing self care in the black community. Over the past year, I’ve noticed how self care has been advocated in the black community. It’s been everywhere: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, group chats, podcasts, etc. I know some of the talk has been because of the violent acts towards the black community and also ✌🏾coping with✌🏾 this new president. The past few weeks I went back to why I decided to make self care a topic throughout Shea What’s Real and my life: it’s all because of my mother.
In 1998 my mother switched career routes, from Bank Teller to Mental Health Direct Support. I wasn’t really sure what that meant for me, but I knew it would be a pretty major change from what I was used to. I was used to seeing her behind the counter at Bank of America, I snagged all the cheap lollipops (now that I think about it they tasted like medicine 😷) and of course spending time with her at work during after hours. This new job was nothing like hanging out at the bank. This new job had her doing things I didn’t even think others had to do. In 1998 my mother began taking care of mentally and physically disabled adults.
It’s not like I hadn’t seen disabled people before, but they were more so in my face now. I noticed the way people would look at us in public and the way they’d treat us. Some of the looks were ugly, afraid, disgusted, I mean the list can go on. Growing up around the disabled really made me thankful for every limb on my body and every southern drawl that comes out of my mouth. Over the years, I’ve met individuals who couldn’t walk, talk or had disfigured limbs. Before learning about disabilities in school, I already knew about them. As my mother became seasoned in her career, she taught me a good portion of the physical and mental disabilities that humans could encounter. I guess you can say she was my personal teacher.
So what does all this have to do with self care? Ummm, literally everything. Throughout the switch in my mother’s career, I’ve seen how much she takes on and how she deals with it so well. She makes sure she makes time for herself and takes care of her mental health. Through exercising and mini vacations, my mother has shown me first hand how to handle life when it seems to get a bit out of control. Instead of freaking out about the unknown, handle what’s in front of you at this very moment. When I feel myself getting anxious, I simply turn on my laptop to type, watch Youtube, Bob’s Burgers or just take a trip to the gym or the beach.
It’s important that we all grasp hold of self care and apply it to our lifestyle to remain in control of our emotions. I’ve noticed that when I haven’t had enough self care, I’m physically and emotionally drained (which clearly isn’t what my personality embodies). What do you do for your self care routine? Who inspired you to apply self care to your lifestyle? I’d love to hear from you all!
Until next time! 😘
By: Shea Harris
Tis’ the season to make resolutions? I think not. During this point and time of the year, I usually like to reflect on what I’ve gone through. 2016 wasn’t all bad, but most I certainly hit some bumps in the road. From the tears rolling down my face to truly appreciating life. I guess I should probably go into a bit more detail huh? Well here are a few things that 2016 taught me:
Always Love Yourself First
Love yourself girl or nobody will. Okay sounds a bit cliché, but it’s the absolute truth. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always put others in front of me (especially when it comes to love). Last year (to this date) I wrote an article about The Most Important Type of Love for MyBlackMatters. In order to reach my full potential and glow up, I had to make sure that I understood the true meaning of loving myself and being happy with myself. There’s something truly beautiful about feeling completely whole about who you are as an individual. In my case, others acknowledged my happiness before I even did. I was walking around South Florida with a different type of pep in my step and outlook on life.
Stop Belittling Yourself
As confident as I may seem, I often times belittle myself. When it comes to this blog, my business, my career or just about anything, I don’t think I’m really the best person for the task. Sounds super weird, but it’s just something I have experienced and felt throughout this year. I’ve had coworkers ask me questions and I often times question myself and wonder if I’m giving them the right answer. I have friends constantly hitting me up to hang out or simply complementing me and I literally make this face 😳. Like why and the HECK do you want to be around me? It’s about time for me to realize that I’m truly as great as what people see in me.
Let That Hurt Go Baby
Let. It. Go! I had to stop holding onto dead situations. I went through such an odd emotional and mental battle in 2016 when it came to dealing with a break up that had lasted for sometime. I was holding onto a dead situation that would no longer be brought to life. I was so worried about the what if’s that before I knew it, time was passing me by. I didn’t want to let go of someone I considered my friend, but you know what life happens. You have to go into situations with an open mind. Sometimes things will work out and sometimes they won’t, but at the end of the day you have to put yourself and your emotions first. Stop worrying about what people may think and do what’s best for you.
You Do What You Want When You Bloggin’
It’s been one year since I started Shea What’s Real and I’m shocked! I didn’t know where this blogging journey would take me, but it’s taken me farther than I expected. I’ve made some bomb friends and connections through Twitter, Instagram and Black Bloggers United, attended events, movie screenings and power hours with some bomb creatives and ultimately just enhanced my vision. I didn’t know how things would pan out with the blog, especially since it was something new for me, but I can honestly say that this journey has helped me emotionally and mentally. In the past I would keep things bottled up, but my blog has allowed me to destress and create in ways I didn’t think were possible.
I know this was a bit lengthy, but hopefully you made it all the way through. I hope and pray your reflections will bring you into a fresh and clean New Year and push you to do more than you could ever imagine.
Peace, Love and Blessings!
See you in 2017!
By: Shea Harris
It’s been one week since Art Basel and I must say this year was a bit different than last year. One of the main differences was that I had company come in town and I had to deal with anxiety. Let’s be clear, I’ve never really been one to face anxiety unless it was finals week. I haven’t had to take a final in over 2 years, so you already know I was tripping.
The anxiety came down to me having to entertain people during one of the busiest times in Miami. I’ve entertained guests before, but Art Basel is completely different. During Art Basel season, there are parties, concerts, art showcases and several events for one week straight. Did I mention there’s little to no sleep? It’s one of the most amazing experiences (if you do it right). It’s safe to say I didn’t make it to every event I wanted to attend, but the ones I did attend were absolutely amazing.
Myself and friends started event hopping Thursday night (as soon as their plane landed). I think its safe to say that Thursday was a flop. Usually I don’t mind certain events but because I had company with me I wanted to make sure they had a great time. Thursday night, well Friday morning, I only slept for 3 hours and had to be at work. All day in my cubicle I couldn’t help but to think oh gosh, what if they aren’t having a good time?
I got so caught up in worrying about if they were enjoying themselves that I nearly caused myself to have an anxiety attack. When I was supposed to be napping Friday after work, I was up messing with my laptop doing some insane searching. When I was supposed to be relaxing, I was worried about what could possibly happen in the next 4 hours. I drove myself crazy that weekend. I ultimately lost the momentum and heart to enjoy myself during the most poppin’ weekend because I was too worried about what might happen.
The lack of sleep, worrying and running around ultimately lead to me being sick for a whole week. Thank God I’m feeling better, but it all came down to me not taking care of myself. I kept trying to please my friends and worried myself into a hole of sickness. I most definitely learned my lesson though. There’s no way to entertain people if I’m about to have a nervous breakdown. I have to remember it’s okay to be selfish and concerned with my health.
Have any of you been close to an anxiety attack or actually had one? How did you recover? How have you avoided them? I’d love for you to let me know!
By: Shea Harris
As I get older, I begin to lose more people in my life. I remember attending funerals at a young age, but the only thing that makes the memory stay is looking at pictures. I remember the dresses, socks and shoes I wore at the gravesite. I remember how cold or how hot it was. But the older I get, the tougher it is for me to remember. During the summer of 2012 and the fall of 2014, I lost two prominent women in my life: my grandmother and my great grandmother. I was fully aware of their condition during their last days, but I didn’t think their time would come to an end so fast. For each of their deaths, I remember exactly where I was when my mother broke the news to me.
The day my grandmother died, I kissed her that morning and said I’ll be back later. I said those words with such confidence thinking she’d hold on until I got back. That day I was working at the farmers market on Beatties Ford Road. It was a hot summer day and I was just wrapping up my shift. My phone rang in my pocket and I saw my mothers name flash across the screen. As soon as I picked up the phone and heard my mothers tone, I knew my grandmother was gone. I didn’t know what to feel, but I knew I wouldn’t hear her voice again. I knew I wouldn’t be able to spend time with her again. I knew I wouldn’t be able to see her again.
When my great grandmother died, I was about to watch a movie with my boyfriend at the time. I had a missed call from my mother late in the evening, but I didn’t think anything of it until I she answered the phone once I returned her call. As my mother said the words Grandma Boot is gone, I fell to my knees and cried out. I didn’t know what came over me. I was angry, upset and just pissed because I was headed home that weekend to spend time with her. I pleaded to God during that entire week for her to hold on so that I could spend time with her.
As I think back on these tragic events, it hurts me to the core that my memory is fading. It’s getting more tough for me to remember the times we spent together, our inside jokes, the times I was fussed out and most importantly the way they looked at me when I walked in the room. This doesn’t just go for the two people I mentioned above, this goes for everyone who is no longer in my life. The fact that it’s getting tough for me to remember the sound of their voice, their laugh and their tone, I feel a bit guilty.
One thing is for sure, I’m not finding it difficult to remember the love they had for me or the love I have for them. It’s not easy facing the devastating truth that your loved ones aren’t coming back. I always feel guilty when I would forget little things about those who are no longer with me. I used to try to call them shortly after they passed, only to quickly remember they’re no longer here. As I continue this journey called life I make it my goal to live my life to the fullest and do everything in their honor. The memories may be slipping my mind, but the love that was shared is everlasting.
By: Shea Harris
As I sip on this strawberries and cream frappucino with toffee nut in the local Starbucks, I’m blasting Single by Lil Wayne. Some of the repetitive questions I’ve gotten over this past year are as follows: How’s the dating life? How’s the dating scene? Are you dating? I would say getting asked these questions gets annoying, but I’ve gotten used to it. So here’s my answer to those questions: Chaaa I don’t know. Okay that sounds kind of bad, but it’s the truth. I’ve met some pretty interesting men out here: men I’m attracted to and men not so much attracted to me. Usually when I see post about the single life, I see people bashing the opposite sex. Well I can honestly only be responsible for myself so in the next few paragraphs I’ll be listing a few thing that have come to me while being single.
I’m About That Action
I will say it time and time again: I’m 👏🏾 About 👏🏾 That 👏🏾 Action! It’s so many times that people say they want to see me (whether it be family or friends) and I’m down for it. If there aren’t any actions behind it, I’m not going to invest my time and energy into it. There is literally a list of things I could be doing besides taking time out to hang out with folks. If I really want to see you, I’m going to see you. This probably sounds super clichè, but I’m pretty sure there’s a reason for the phrase actions speak louder than words. I understand some people aren’t as vocal as others but to be real, the only thing I can go off of are actions. If I’m out here willing to make moves, the moves should be reciprocated (or so I think).
I’m Very Unique
I know we’re all special and unique in our own special way, but there are certain aspects about me that stick out like a sore thumb. My two puff balls and country accent don’t define me, but they stand out. My facial expressions and my personality are out of this world. When I walk into the room with my head held high and read your mind, trust me I know it’s extraordinary and catches you off guard. I make several announcements without uttering more than 2 sentences (when you first meet me 😉). I don’t think men are used to meeting a woman like me, trust me even my friends make the 😳 face sometimes. The only thing I can do as a human is be completely honest with you. There’s no need for me to lie or try and hypnotize you with cute little actions. I’m good off that lol.
I’m Not In A Rush
I’m pretty sure majority of the men out here think women are rushing to get into a relationship, marriage or something of that nature. I can honestly say I’m out here enjoying my life. I’ve learned over time that you cant force anyone into anything. Actually, you cant force anything period! Let’s be real: I’ll be 25 next month and I’ve changed so much within one year. I’m still figuring out my likes, dislikes, style, hair, all of the above. I’m currently at a stage in my life where I’m just taking everything as it comes and being the best person I can be. No need to rush into something and I’m still learning more about myself. If something happens, it happens; if it doesn’t, trust me I’ll be okay lol.
If you’re single, how is dating in your city? Is it as complex as people make it seem or is it pretty much nonexistent? Comment below and let me know!