Take A Deep Breath. This Is Going To Be Worth It.

April 23, 2015

take a deep breath

Sometimes it feels like you’re standing too close to the edge. It feels like one wrong move, one wrong word, one little thing that someone says, and you could crack. You could lose it all. Because you can. Sometimes you do. Sometimes you’re holding all of the pieces and juggling all of the glass jars, and then a sentence that would have been inconsequential suddenly breaks your back. You find yourself fighting back piping hot tears because no one ever seems to fucking get all that you’re doing, all that you’re working toward, all of these glass jars that you are juggling.

Breathe.

It feels like you haven’t given yourself enough margin for error. You have not taken a break. You have not taken a breath. It feels like the beginning stages of building your supposed empire are filled with crippling fragility. Everything feels so delicate, so pivotal. The stakes feel so high. You are learning that success is a very lonely place, sometimes a lonely pit. Mediocrity is a loud and crowded bar; success is a quiet studio apartment.

Breathe.

No, really, breathe. The way you learned how to do the other day at Yetti’s event, not just an exasperated and empty sigh. A real, true, deep breath. The one that fills your belly and relaxes your body. The kind of breath that reminds you that ooh child, things are gonna get easier.

Stop letting yourself internalize so much. I know. It’s a byproduct of your age. And that is just as stupidly condescending as it is blindingly true. You look at the women ahead of you in their thirties, forties, fifties and sixties and there is an ease about their confidence that you have yet to acquire. They speak freely. They are unapologetic. Life has shaken them, shaped them and sweetened them all at once. You are waiting for that kind of confidence.

Breathe.

But, you are a byproduct of a generation that sleeps, eats and breathes what everyone else is doing. You know too much about too many things that are way too irrelevant to your journey. But, being in your twenties is like being asked to walk firmly in five inch heels on top of cobblestone. The ground is so damn shaky, so sometimes you are confident and other times you are sure you’re about to bust your ass. Sometimes you do bust your ass. And sometimes that feels better than pretending you know how to walk on cobblestone in five inch heels all by yourself.

So, breathe.

Breathe and trust that all of your hard work is not just being dumped into the void. Even when it feels like it. Even when it seems that things are not moving as quickly as you would like or people are not understanding you as much as you would want. Even when your success feels like it has isolated you more than it’s elevated you. Even when you doubt yourself or feel a nasty blister of envy suddenly swell inside of you because of the woman who says nothing and musters 1,000 likes. Unfollow her. No, really. Unfollow her. Don’t even try to reconcile with yourself about people whom you owe nothing to and don’t even know. Don’t even try to rise above it; just detach. Preserve your sanity, even if it’s perceived as being petty. Because you, my love, are here to work. You are here to leave something special on this planet. You are here to create and connect. You are here to drop gems, fill hearts, take risks, challenge norms and stand close to the edge.

So, take a deep breath. I promise this all is going to be worth it.

Xoxo,
Tyece

Let Your Heart Run Wild.

April 22, 2015

let your heart run wild v2

Your heart and your mind have been at odds. I think it’s his fault. Him: beautiful, complex, where-the-hell-does-he-fit-into-your-life him. Your mind has taken issue with him from day 1. But your heart met him and she ran wild.

He was the first time you realized just how possible it is for your mind and heart to inherit the same body, yet send shockingly opposing signals.

Your heart and your mind are like night and day. Winter and summer. Polar fucking opposite. One is the child, the other the parent. Your heart is that toddler running away in the middle of the mall, determined to do whatever her impulses guide her to do. Your mind is the parent–scolding, reprimanding, reminding your heart of the world’s realities and expectations. Your mind knows that terrible things happen and hearts break and nothing ever lasts forever.

See, your heart and your mind are fire and ice. They could not be any more different. Your mind is the businesswoman; your heart is the starving artist. Your mind is the power suit, power pump and power strut; your heart is maxi dresses and sandals. Your mind is bedtime by midnight; your heart is staying up until 2 a.m. because you love this writing shit more than you’ve loved anything else in the world. Your mind sees everything wrong with him; your heart sees everything that is right. Your mind usually says no and your heart usually replies with, “But, what if…” Your mind is fixed and your heart is fluid.

So, here you are, somewhere in between all that makes perfect sense and all that feels so good.

Your mind is the commander. And you appreciate her for it. She is the woman who doesn’t take shit and doesn’t break her stride. Your mind knows exactly what she wants and how she wants to get it. She is the reason anything ever gets done, the reason why you pick yourself up after a nap that lasted too long to make sure you get your blog post written for the next day. Your mind is unyieldingly determined, unwaveringly dedicated and unequivocally devoted. She is forthright, no-nonsense and always disheartened when you choose spontaneity over the straight and narrow.

But, your heart is a motherfucker. And you love her for it. She is the free spirit you’ve always yearned to be, the jaunty vagabond without a home or a desire to settle down, the world traveler, the woman who is OK not wearing a bra. Your heart is beautiful and wild and wide open. You like her that way. She chases the things she wants and loves with reckless abandon. Your mind constantly scolds her for it and she doesn’t care. Your heart is your core. She is your center. She is the reason why you can even tout that you’re passionate or fiery. She’s the reason you’re a damn good writer and artist. Because when you let her do her thing, she will spill everything you never even wanted to feel. Your heart is the reason you can say you love hard and actually mean it. She is the reason every idea ignites your soul, every relationship strikes you as a rare and precious treasure and every person leaves such an imprint on you.

So, I say let your heart run wild. Let her love the people she has doesn’t have any business loving. Every now and again when your mind tries to reprimand her, kindly ask it to fuck off. Yes, treat your heart kindly. Take care of her. Protect her when you can. But, don’t be afraid to let her beat and roar and cry and screw it all up. Let her learn, but also let her teach you that it is more than OK to flex her and test your limits. Let her show you how it feels to stand close to the edge of the cliff with your arms wide open and your eyes wide shut. Let her do what she will inevitably do, especially while you are still young enough to recover from her whims and old enough to trust the wisdom she will impart. Let her teach you. Let her shape you. Let her be the reason you have stories to tell and lessons to learn. Let that heart of yours run wild.

Xoxo,
Tyece

Recap: My 8 Favorite Moments From Mimosas and Men

April 21, 2015

The Male Think Tank + their main woman :)  Photo credit: Erica Nichole

The Male Think Tank + their main woman :)
Photo credit: Erica Nichole

When the idea to do an event called “Mimosas and Men: Brunch and Real Talk with the Male Think Tank” came to me at the end of February, I wasn’t sure the men would buy into it. I knew they liked writing anonymously for the site, but I assumed an event that would bring their faces and voices to the forefront wouldn’t necessarily hold as much appeal.

But, I was wrong. And I’m so glad I was.

On Sunday, April 19, five members from the Twenties Unscripted Male Think Tank (plus an honorary one) came together in NYC with 17 women for a no holds barred conversation about dating, relationships and sex. The afternoon was filled with honesty, laughs, some yells and a hell of a lot of fun. Here were some of my favorite moments, lessons and epiphanies from Mimosas and Men. And a huge thanks to my partner-in-crime Erica Nichole for capturing these hilarious moments on camera!

8. Never tell a group of women you would want to date someone for 7-10 months before making it official.

The first answer of the day that incited uproar was when Chris announced he wanted to date someone for 7-10 months before making it official. His reasoning? “I want to see the full spectrum of a person.” The women definitely didn’t agree, but it made for an interesting debate. (Most of the men agreed 2-3 months of dating before making it official is more of the norm.)

Clearly they were not here for it. At all.

Clearly they were not here for it. At all.

 

7. You can make more money than a man; just don’t emasculate him.

“A man needs to feel like a man,” Malcolm said during the “What if the woman is the breadwinner?” query. I have always had my own qualms with the “A man needs to feel like a man” theorem, but Malcolm did a great job explaining it. He said men want to feel like providers and it doesn’t bode well for them when you strip them of that feeling, whether they make more money than you or not.

6. Say what you want about cheating, but it all boils down a lack of respect.

The cheating conversation was another one that quickly catapulted into a full blown explosion, but Kevin brought everyone back down to Earth with a very simple statement: “It all boils down to a lack of respect.” Let the church say amen.

Ok, now they're here for it. Photo credit: Erica Nichole

Ok, now they’re here for it.
Photo credit: Erica Nichole

5. Can we stop referring to the number of sexual partners a person has had as “body count?”

Darius said it. I agree. This isn’t a massacre, people.

Darius offering his perspective. Photo credit: Erica Nichole

Darius offering his perspective.
Photo credit: Erica Nichole

4. Who keeps the door open when a man loses interest, yet still keeps you on the bench?

This discussion wasn’t as heated as some of the others, but it definitely forced me to consider who the onus is really on when men “keep the door open” with a woman they are only semi-interested in. (Ah, memories. Like the corners of my mind.) Some of the ladies wondered why men do that and block them from a chance at something with someone else, but Marc played devil’s advocate and made a valid point: maybe that’s just you blocking yourself from something better. It’s all about perspective and ownership. Who stays, who goes and what you choose to tolerate may actually be up to you.

3. Even if you had sex with his friend a decade ago, it’s a problem.

When we got to the sex round, somehow the infamous question surfaced: What if she smashed the homie? The majority of the men agreed that if a woman had sex with one of his close friends, she was immediately and undoubtedly off limits. “What if it was 14 years ago?” one of the ladies asked. For Osi, that didn’t matter. “That’s just always going to be in the back of my mind,” he said.

2. Invite Noélle to your next event.

See the exhibit below. Enough said.

Noelle letting the men know what's up. Photo credit: Erica Nichole

Noelle letting the men know what’s up.
Photo credit: Erica Nichole

1. I’m a lucky ass woman to have these women and men in my life.

Even though there were instances while I was moderating the panel that it felt like I was directing traffic (there was a moment where I asked everyone to calm the fuck down, in those exact words), I had an amazing time that afternoon. Looking around the room, I felt incredibly fortunate for the level of support I’ve received from my New York ladies. I always get such good vibes and energy when I have a chance to connect with them. Their voices, honesty and encouragement continue to help shape this brand. I also felt beyond grateful for each of the guys in the room. Each of the men, in some way, shape or form, have contributed to the success of Twenties Unscripted, and many of them have had a stake in my own life–imparting whatever wisdom they have, helping me learn about myself and navigate my dating life and listening to me vent a hell of a lot. It’s good to just have good people around you, male or female. Thank God for mimosas and thank God for men.

Stay tuned for Mimosas and Men Part 2, at some point later this year!

Xoxo,
Tyece

Part 2: The Male Think Tank Tackles Cheating

April 17, 2015

Click here for Part 1 of this post.

Do you believe a relationship can recover after someone has cheated?

Guy 1: Nnnnnnneeeeeeeeooooooopppppppeeeeeeeeee. Every time I see you it’ll just remind me of it.

Guy 2: I do not believe a relationship can be recovered after someone has cheated. That’s a scar that cuts so deep that it’s unrecoverable. There’s so much distrust and resentment that will always be at the core of the relationship. Remember, and I’ll be emphasizing this point a lot here, the weakness shown by the act should be a huge red flag for the other partner. I think a lot of times, victims may think that it’s easy to recover, but that may be a fear of being alone again. Some people feel its more convenient to save something familiar than to start fresh again.

Guy 3: From personal experience, no. Recovering from a lack of trust is nearly impossible. You can mask the damage and even recover to a degree in which you’re (barely) comfortable, but the reality is that your trust will never be as strong as it once was and as I’ve said before, trust is everything.

Guy 4: Yes, I believe so, but it weighs so much on the events leading up to it. Cheating basically, eliminates the most important aspect of a relationship which is trust. In the case of cheating, either party would have to decide whether it would be worth it go through the tedious task of rebuilding that trust.If it is a both parties are dedicated to it, than why not.

Guy 5: Yes, but this is clearly very dependent on the circumstances. Who did the person cheat with? Why did they cheat? Is it a pattern? A lot of questions need to be answered before that process can begin.

Guy 6: I do believe that it can, no doubt. Will take a lot of work, and effort. As well as trust. Forgiveness and patience is key. One party has to acknowledge the hurt done, and the other has to acknowledge that they can’t hold the cliud over their partners head forever. Can’t make them pay the same mistakes ( if they’ve changed).

Guy 8: Yes. Cheating is wrong and will hurt the other person in the relationship. However, everyone can make a mistake. As long as the person is sincerely sorry about what they did and they work to make up for it the relationship can recover. It also requires the other person to learn how to forgive and move forward with their partner, which can be equally as difficult, but certainly possible.

Guy 9: Relationships can recover from cheating. I’m not an advocate of it simply because that trust I had for you is now gone. But for those that do recover, it’s mainly because they actually forgave the other person. You actually have to forgive and move on. Most of us “forgive” but still live within that hurt, so any small thing that occurs in the future triggers those past emotions. Then we constantly remind the person of their past ways even when their current actions may have nothing to do with the past ones.


 

Is a woman who has previously cheated on her significant other a deal breaker for you in a potential relationship? Is a woman who has been the “other woman” a deal breaker? Why or why not?

Guy 1: No, it’s not a deal breaker but it’s definitely a red flag and something to monitor. Everything needs context so I can’t write someone off just because they cheated. I’d have to hear the story behind it first. If the story sounds dumb as fuck, then it just might be a deal breaker. A woman who has been “the other woman” needs context also. Maybe her self-esteem was low, or she just didn’t care about being a homewrecking asshole. The homewrecking asshole may be a deal breaker too.

Guy 2: Yes, a woman who has cheated and/or has been the “other woman” is a deal breaker for me. This tells me that she cannot communicate effectively in a relationship, and turns to the easy route if things ever go south. I’d prefer to not have to worry about something like that in a new relationship.

Guy 3: No all around for me. I’ve been the other guy but I’ve never cheated on somebody that I was in a relationship with. I personally can separate the two. I know I wasn’t shit for being the other guy, but also having been there, I know the damage one can cause and I know now that I wouldn’t want to be judged by the errors I made as a younger person. Now, if this woman had just cheated and gotten out of a relationship for that reason, I might consider whether or not she would be trustworthy. I still wouldn’t call it a deal breaker because I have a penis and if you are beautiful to me, you may get the benefit of the doubt or be worth the risk.

Guy 4: In referencing a previous answer, It may not be a deal breaker if I figure out why it happened. But she would lose some stock though for sure. The same could be said about the “other woman” as well.

Guy 5: I think the idea of “if he/she did it to get with you, they’ll do it again with someone else” is a bit overblown. It completely ignores our potential for mistakes and growth. However, if there is a clear pattern of behavior, you are clearly taking a risk believing you’re the one to make this person change their ways. So, to answer the question, no, its not a deal breaker. It is, however, something to take note of.

Guy 6: It’s not my ideal woman to pursue, however, I realize people can change. But it depends on how remorseful and accountable she is. The other woman isn’t so much of a problem, unless she settles for being that. IF she’s unaware I can’t really have too much to say.

Guy 8: This isn’t a concrete deal breaker because I try not to judge people on their past. However, if I were sleeping with a woman while she was in a relationship, I probably would be hesitant to get into a serious relationship with her, even if she broke it off with the other guy. That’s only because I was directly involved with her cheating and I’d have trouble trusting that she wouldn’t do the same thing to me.

Guy 9: I do think cheating when you’re young is one thing. Cheating in a little High School romance I’d hardly count. However, at this age if a woman tells me she previously cheated on someone before dating me, we won’t work. That thought will always be in the back of my mind.  Sometimes women become the “other women” because they simply don’t know the truth. I can’t fault anybody for their actions if they aren’t aware of everything. Now if she is the “other woman” because she willingly chooses to be then that is something I would question. Breaking up homes on purpose isn’t a badge of honor.


 

Do you believe all men cheat?

Guy 1: I don’t believe all men cheat; that’s a myth that some hurt mofo’s made in their circle of misery.

Guy 2: No, I don’t believe all men cheat. There are definitely mature and loyal ones out there who are great partners. Finding them is another story.

Guy 3: No, I do not.

Guy 4: Do all men cheat? Of course not. I feel like it would be preposterous to the that an entire species would be incapable of honoring the trust and loyalty of their partner. We may all think about it or consider though. Life.

Guy 5: Nope. Only lonely people who consistently make bad decisions truly believe this.

Guy 6: No.

Guy 8: No, absolutely not.

Guy 9: Contrary to popular belief, I don’t believe all men cheat. There are a lot of men that are never presented with the opportunity or even possess the ability to finesse another woman other than the one he has. However, I do believe that all men are tempted to cheat. Whatever resolve that man needs to find in order to conquer that demon speaks of his character. For those that do give into temptation, just hope your decision was worth it, playa.

Xoxo,
Tyece & The Male Think Tank

Part 1: The Male Think Tank Tackles Cheating

April 16, 2015

Part 1 cheating post

Editor’s Note: This post took me awhile to approach the Male Think Tank about. Last year a reader asked the guys to tackle cheating, and it wasn’t a subject I was comfortable opening up to either them or the blog. But, I guess some things change. We approached this post less from a place of inciting judgment about their own personal experiences with the topic and with broader questions. In other words, I did not ask any of them to openly admit to cheating nor being cheated on.

There were times when assembling this post that I cringed, times when I laughed, times when I completely agreed and others when I completely disagreed. So take what you like, toss what you don’t. I appreciate each of these guys for being honest and open.

Mimosas and Men eventAnd don’t forget! The Male Think Tank will have its first event, Mimosas and Men, this Sunday in NYC. The event is sold out, but if you have any questions you would like us to ask at the event, you can submit them anonymously here!

Why do you think men cheat?

Guy 1: I think men cheat for a caveat of reasons. I would say that there’s an excitement in cheating even though it’s wrong. It’s like exploring the unknown and hoping you don’t get caught while doing it. Stressful, but it seems exciting too. Men also cheat because some (a lot) of dudes like the thrill of the chase. Lastly, men cheat cause new sex is ALWAYS appealing just cause it’s new.

Guy 2: I’m going to combine questions 1 & 2, because at its core, I don’t see a difference in cheating between men and women. I’ll assume we mean cheating when there’s a serious relationship involved. I think people cheat because they’re unhappy and weak. I don’t think either part is surprising, although the “weak” part is a word that may not often be used here.

The unhappy part could be from many many reasons: the passion is gone, their partner is no longer attentive, everything is on auto pilot, there’s a lack of communication, etc.

The weak part is the act of cheating itself. It takes a very immature and weak person to perform the act of cheating. You’re knowingly hurting the other person in the relationship.

Guy 3: Cheating in general is a lot like crime. Some crimes are premeditated with malice aforethought, others are of passion or opportunity. I think men and women cheat for different reasons, but it all boils down to a lack of respect for the other person. If you truly love somebody, the last thing you want to do is cause that person harm.

Guy 4: Men cheat because its fun. Don’t get me twisted though. It is wrong to violate someones trust. It is wrong to lie to somebody about your actions. It is wrong go back on your promises. As with many things that are wrong to do and possess these characteristics, cheating still remains fun. And when I say “fun”, I do not mean “Carnival/Theme Park” Fun, I mean it’s a “Rush/Drug” type feeling that I think Men can get out of it. We know its wrong, but still do it any way. Life.

Guy 5: Put simply, men think with their smaller brains. It seems impossible to many women that someone could have sex based solely on physical attraction, and no emotional attachment, but men do it every day. Sometimes while in relationships…

Guy 6: I believe men, at least when I cheated, do it for convenience. It was not that I didn’t want the love that I had. It’s just that she was lacking a component that I needed at that time which was support. I met another woman who had those components, in which I didn’t pursue. It started with a convo, and just went from there. However, I was too emotionally attached (in love) to leave my original woman. So for some I believe that’s the case, however I do know for others it’s pure greed.

Guy 8: I don’t think there’s a specific reason. It could be any number of reasons.

Guy 9: Men tend to really be drawn to physical qualities. It is very easy to look past all the other qualities that contribute overall to who and what a person is. Put a man in the “right” environment and add the “right” woman to the mix, there is a good chance he may cheat if everything isn’t right at home (She nags too much, highly insecure, argumentative/fighting excessively , etc..). From the majority of stories I’ve heard, it starts with physical attraction. All the other factors at home make it easier for a man to commit to cheating.


 

Why do you think women cheat?

Guy 1: Women’s reasons for cheating seem more tied to “emotions” than men, but as I’ve learned over the past few years, women have just as much “aint-shit-ness” as guys. I also think women cheat if they’re not getting the attention/affection that they want but they’re too scared or something to end a relationship themselves. I’m just speculating though.

Guy 4: If you let us men tell it, women cheat to send a message or as a form of retaliation. A woman cheating is a lot more calculated and premeditated than a man cheating. But again, that’s if you let us tell the story.

Guy 5: I honestly think this answer isn’t nearly as cut and dry, but that may be my male perspective getting the best of me. I think women usually cheat as a reaction of some sort, not “just because” like a man might. “He hasn’t been treating me as well as this new friend has been.” “He did, so I’m paying him back.” Just a few reasons that come to mind.

Guy 6: Same reason, I used to believe that due to my upbringing women were just greedy, and were out to hurt men. Like they got a thrill out of it. However, I believe the reasons can vary. I do believe women are less remorseful though.

Guy 9: Some women do operate like men, so they may cheat based on physical attraction. However, the majority of women operate differently than we do. It seems to me women cheat from lack of emotional/love from their partner. There is some disconnect that draws them to another individual who is providing them with that emotional stimulation. Nine out of ten times it boils down to the small things like listening, comfort, attention, etc… that may lead a woman to cheat. It definitely isn’t as trivial as physical attraction.


 

What in your mind constitutes cheating? Is there such a thing as emotional cheating?

Guy 1: Cheating is dating, Kissing, fucking/intending to do any of those while you’re with someone else. Yeah there’s such a thing as emotional cheating…if we’re in a relationship, don’t go confiding in another dude about things you won’t talk to me about/spend time more with a guy because you’re more drawn to him than me….that’s cheating too.

Guy 2: Cheating is giving yourself intimately to someone. Yes, I definitely think there’s emotional cheating. In fact, I believe emotional cheating is the majority of cheating at first. It’s rare for someone to cheat initially on physicality alone. That essentially means you’re either just doing a one night stand or getting a prostitute. The foundation of most cheating starts with emotional cheating. You don’t feel like you’re getting the support you need in a relationship, and you seek it elsewhere. Having someone else that listens to you, and cares for you is very comforting, and that’s how many cheating episodes occur.

Guy 3: Emotional cheating is very real. Cheating is acting in a manner towards another individual that your partner would disapprove of. A little flirting to get your way or a compliment to get out of a ticket, sure. You giving up the digits or visiting somebody at their home creates an opportunity for physical cheating.

Guy 4: I really only believe in cheating in the physical realm, as in I actually have to be in physical contact with another woman outside of my relationship. Other than that, I wouldn’t define it as cheating. I think I understand what is implied by emotional cheating, but that may mean someone is in a relationship wanting out, but not really pulling the trigger on leaving for whatever reason.

Guy 5: Anything that would upset you if your partner did it.

Guy 6: Basically anything that you know that your partner would not be cool with in regards to intimacy with another partner. I do believe that emotional cheating is the worst kind.

Guy 8: I only count cheating as getting physically involved with someone else (kissing, sex acts, etc.). I’ve never heard of emotional cheating. If that’s supposed to be like, flirting with someone or fantasizing about someone else, then no, that’s not cheating.

Guy 9: If you know your actions are questionable, it probably is cheating. If you take a second to think about if your significant other were doing the same thing, and it hurts or pisses you off, then you’re probably cheating. I do believe emotional cheating exists. When you start relying on someone else other than your partner for emotional support or attention/listening, you’ve exposed yourself to that individual. Emotional cheating is a slippery road that can very easily manifest into physical cheating.

In Part 2 of this series, the guys will discuss whether or not they believe a relationship can recover from cheating, if a woman who has previously cheated is a “deal breaker” and they’ll answer the age old debate…do all men cheat? Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow! But, for now, let us know what you think in the comments. Who do you agree with? Who do you disagree with? Do you believe men and women cheat for different reasons? Let us know!

Xoxo,
Tyece & The Male Think Tank