“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
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
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 a new entrepreneur, I’ve found myself becoming frustrated with the way business is going. My sales aren’t producing the way I imagined them, my stress levels have slightly increased, and my well known momentum of positivity has begun to dwindle. I’ve vented to people in my tribe and Lord knows they’ve checked me a few times. I honestly have become frustrated with my business and sometimes I’ve tried to convince myself to give up. I know success doesn’t happen over night but Lord have mercy this is just a bit ridiculous to me.
I’m not the type to easily give up, but because this is a new challenge it’s a different story. I don’t necessarily compare myself to my peers because I truly believe I am my own competition, but I do weary looking at my stats and sales page. I know I can’t just up and quit my 9 to 5 tomorrow but it seems like that day will never come. Every day in my cubicle, I pull out my planner and notebook to jot down ideas and events I plan to attend. Every day I think about how much time I could spend creating and changing lives, but the goal seems intangible.
I can’t and wont bring myself to calling it a dream because let’s face it, a dream is a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during sleep. The things I imagine for my business aren’t dreams, they are goals that will be reached and can be reached. Sometimes the whole imposter syndrome seems to get the best of me. I end up psyching out myself. I tell myself why would they want your services? There’s so many people out there that do the same thing and have a bigger following. The only thing that keeps me on track is reminding myself that there’s only one Shea. I am truly an incredible person and I don’t give myself enough credit.
In order to reach my clients and audience I have to continue being honest and transparent. I will continue setting myself apart and being myself. I know I will gain some readers and lose some, but I can’t do anything about that. The only thing that I know is being true to who I am. I will continue giving you all my raw and honest opinion about things as I continue this journey of entrepreneurship. It’s not easy to keep my head up during these frustrating times, but blogging and getting out of my apartment helps with the trying times.
By: Shea Harris
During the work week I have a few podcasts that I love to listen to in order to make the day go by faster. One of my favs is The Friend Zone with Dustin, Assante and Fran. During the beginning of the episode, Fran informs us of how amazing her wellness retreat was in the Dominican Republic. I religiously listen to these three every Wednesday, but I’ve never actually fully participated in some of the discussions until now.
This week Fran gave us a few questions to think about in regards to patterns we see in our relationships. When relationships end, we often think what do I have to work out so I won’t keep running into the same situations? After posing this question and giving us some time to think, she asked the following:
What are the patterns that keep coming up?
Where’d these patterns come from?
Who was the parent whose love you craved the most?
What was the performance you had to put on to receive that parents love?
I was actually taken back by the questions. Not because it hit me in the chest, but because I didn’t answer the questions in the same regard as the trio. I’m sure many of you were able to point out the patterns you see and your past relationships, but I couldn’t. The only factor I could come to was that I was the problem. To be honest, I don’t think I have a “type”; all of my ex-boyfriends are completely different. As I think back on relationships, I usually call it quits or lose interest first. I haven’t had to deal with men that disrespect me or cheat on me. I’ve dealt with men who choose not to keep up with me.
Now before you get all worked up, let me explain.
As a woman I like to own up to my mistakes and learn how to fix them. This particular situation is a bit different though. I always have been motivated and driven when it comes to my life. If I have a passion or goal to meet, I will do everything to make it possible to achieve. I’m sure we can all agree there’s no problem grinding towards things you want, right?
So now let’s add this grind to a relationship. When a man is added to the equation, it’s all good in the beginning. My man has goals and passions he wants to reach and he goes for it. I see the craving for this passion, the work ethic and I hear all these great things! But after a while that love and drive begins to slow down. The spark in his eyes for his passion begins to dim. The talks about his dreams coming to life begin to soften. Eventually there’s no mention of them at all.
Not only do I fall in love with potential, but I fall in love with people who simply don’t apply the same time, energy and grind to their dreams as I do. In the beginning, we dream together and we grind together. In the end, I walk away from someone I love because we are no longer compatible in my eyes. I’ve walked away from men because I continue grinding and they become content.
I hate becoming stagnant and content with things, which is why I’m always on the move and reaching for greater. I have a problem getting involved with men who are okay with where they are in life. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not horrible. I just don’t know if I’ll ever be with anyone who will grind as hard as I do and push pass barriers. I’m not saying I’m better than anyone, but I will say that my drive is a positive and negative thing.
The grind is great for my business, brand and self but not so great when a man is in involved. I’m always trying to reach higher heights and push past my comfort zone. I don’t want to be comfortable and I don’t want my man to be comfortable either, but clearly I keep running into comfortable men.
I had this same discussion with my girlfriend and she said ever so confidently: Shea, you are a catalyst to a reaction. There is nothing wrong with you. And you know what, she’s absolutely right! I am a pusher and there’s nothing wrong with that. I encourage and influence people to step outside of their comfort zone. I don’t know if I may be single forever, but The Friend Zone did help me realize the learned condition I apply to my relationships for survival (or lack there of). I have to keep in mind that you can’t help someone who doesn’t want to help themselves.
Do you have any learned conditions you’ve applied to your relationships?
Do you plan on erasing those conditions and truly being yourself?
Comment below and let me know!
By: Shea Harris
It’s been almost a year and I’m happy to say I’ve fallen in love. I haven’t fallen in love with a man, but I’ve fallen in love with a woman named Shea Harris. This past year has been full of ups and downs. I’ve cried, laughed, gotten angry, forgiven, and so much more over this time frame. I didn’t think it was possible, but I fell back in love with myself in a greater way. After moving from North Carolina to South Florida, I started getting back to who exactly Shea was.
I wrote an article for My Black Matters back in December of last year and I look at that message as a reminder. I remind myself that I will not turn back to that woman who continues to give and not receive anything in return. I won’t settle for less. I won’t act as a wife to someone and there’s no ring present. I won’t sit back and allow my emotions to effect my better judgement. If a man loves me and wants to be with me, he will make it known.
I never knew I could fall this deeply in love again, especially with myself. I thought I could only fall this much in love with, well a man. I thought wrong. As soon as I began to pour more attention into myself, God began to open my eyes. He’s opened my eyes to like-minded creatives, creative pathways and so many ideas. The past year has been rough, but I’m so fortunate for the love that has developed from it.
Being selfish this past year has allowed me to take on various opportunities. Without my selfishness, I have no clue what this blog would be looking like. Without my selfishness, I wouldn’t be living in Miami. Without my selfishness, I wouldn’t have been able to reintroduce myself. I wish I would’ve take advantage of the selfish period sooner but you know, better late than never.
I am a strong, courageous, loving, ambitious black woman who is destined for greatness. I love myself more than I could ever imagine. I love who I have become and the platform I have created to encourage and inspire individuals. I love that I am untouchable, unbreakable, and unshakeable. Taking this past year to learn myself all over again has been more than rewarding. If you would’ve told me a year ago I would be blogging right now, I would’ve laughed at you in your face. I’m so thankful for the avenues this journey has brought me through and I look forward to so much more!
I challenge you to fall in love with yourself again. Remember why you create, why you inspire and why you are enough.