Something to Watch: Price of Ambition

Brown Sista contributing writer Ashley Grayson has launched a hot new original TV pilot PRICE OF AMBITION. The 28-minute dramedy-style pilot follows the lives of two twenty something women looking to make a name for themselves in the entertainment industry. It doesn’t take Taylor Graham and Zoe Thompson long to realize the industry is a jungle but that doesn’t stop them from embracing it in order to make their dreams come true. Passion, drive, and pure hustle take these twenty something’s to the top of their game, but it doesn’t come without a price. In the end we all have to make the ultimate choice and decide – is the price of ambition really worth it?

“We are very excited to debut Price of Ambition,” said Ashley Grayson, the pilot’s creator and executive producer. “This project showcases the stories of successful young college educated African Americans who aren’t often fairly or are rarely depicted on web or broadcast TV.”

So to those who have had enough of the Basketball Wives and all related shows, check out this fresh new pilot.

Price of Ambition from Beach Chair Entertainment LLC on Vimeo.

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Don’t Let Your Family Destroy You

While my childhood friends were trying to find ways to make money for new clothes and gadgets, I was always trying to find ways to get rich quickly and save my family.  A small hustle of selling bubble gum and canned sodas turned into a grind of working full time jobs to chase a piece of paper; my degree.  I knew that each accomplishment was a small step toward my childhood dream.  I’ve always told myself that once I make my millions I’ll help make everyone else’s dreams come true.

Something happened to me that changed my life – I realized that the harder I worked the more my family effed up (excuse my language).  Here I am, grinding and sacrificing only to be smacked in the face with phone calls that someone has been arrested, gotten pregnant, dropped out of school or started doing drugs again.  My first reaction, jump in my car, grab some cash and play superwoman.  How can I clear and clean this situation up without too many people finding out and without too much damage being done?  How much money do you need to get your life back on track?  It didn’t matter that I was stingy with spending money on myself because I’d only use it to save someone from their own problems.  I built a rainy day fund for the stupid decisions that my family was sure to make.

While I excelled in my career, my private life was becoming a distraction and I had the gray hair to prove it.  I packed my things and left Baltimore and as much as I miss home sometimes, I’ve learned that even an hour drive away is far enough to keep me from trying to save everyone all of the time. It’s difficult turning your back on the people you love but I’ve learned that those people turned their back on themselves long before I did.

There are people who have been screwing up for years and they’ve never gone without a place to lie their heads or without food to eat.  The moment I lose my job and miss a car payment, all of my positive and productive work will be lost until I get back on my feet.  I cannot afford to allow my family to drain me because once they do—I’ll be right with them.  And how can you help anyone come up when you’re right down with them? I’ve worked too hard to go back to where I came from and though God can take it away instantly, I’m going to do my best to live right to keep it.

All in all I’ve learned a few life lessons.  Learning these have helped to free me from the burden of carrying everyone else’s burden:

  1. You can’t save everyone
  2. You can’t help someone who doesn’t help themselves
  3. You should not enable or endorse negativity

Can you relate?

You can also follow Ashley Grayson on Twitter.

Men Who Lie On It

If you’ve never found yourself in a situation where a man lied about his involvement with you – consider yourself lucky.  It’s one of the most degrading feelings ever.  To be completely innocent and in the dark to the lies being spread about you isn’t one I’d wish on any woman.

I just don’t get it.  Is it that bad in any man’s life that he must lie about who he has dated and slept with?  Is there a law against it?  There should be.

It’s already difficult for woman in professional settings who are honestly working their way to the top.  If she’s too successful too quick, people ultimately assume that she slept her way to the top.  What she doesn’t need is a lying man adding fuel to the assumptions.  It’s not fair to her.

Men who lie on ‘it’ are true embarrassments to real men.  It almost become the most recognizable characteristic of a clown.  Either you got it or you don’t and if you don’t, figure out what you need to do to get the bare minimum of a woman.   Obviously you have to lie about being with a woman because you’re not good enough to get her.

If you’ve ever lied about your involvement with a woman, you should seriously curl up in a corner from shame.  And as a woman, if you’ve ever been lied on, find a peace to not lose your cool and not go Tami, Evelyn or Chrissy on him.

You can also follow Ashley Grayson on Twitter.

Sistas vs You Know What’s

I know.  I know.  It’s not nice to refer to a woman as a you-know-what and I won’t, however, I do think that there are lots of you-know-whats out there.  What’s a you-know-what?  It’s a malicious, unpleasant, selfish person; usually a woman.

At the end of the day, people can do what they want to do but I really can’t stand women who pride themselves on being a you-know-what.  While what they intake doesn’t affect my digestive system, their actions are enough to get my blood boiling when they misrepresent women in general.

As a sister, a godmother, a cousin, a daughter and a friend—I can’t stand to see any of my favorite guys fall for the wrong women.  As a woman, it seems so easy to see a you-know-what coming but it seems like good men become dazed by whatever and get caught up in their mess.

While it may be vulgar and offensive to some, no one defines the difference between a sista and a you-know-what better than Jay-Z.  Now, that doesn’t mean that Jay-Z and men like him should be glorified because they know the difference, especially since I believe that some women become you-know-whats because of their past experiences with men.  It does mean, however, that when a you-know-what is identified, you should promptly lead her to the exit sign.

Now don’t get it twisted, sistas can have their you-know-what moments but at the end of the day a sista ain’t a you-know-what.  A sista is going to support you not belittle you.  Motivate you, not enable you.  A sista is going to respect you, love you and protect you. You-know-what’s are selfish and self-serving.  Sometimes they’re cruddy, irresponsible and untrustworthy.

Some you-know-what’s can’t be saved and good brotha’s shouldn’t waste their time trying to.  If you meet a you-know-what who’s more interested in your wallet, your car, your house, your stock portfolio or who you know – bounce that chick like a bad check.

There are plenty of good sistaz out here who don’t carry the baggage or the drama.  Women like Michelle Obama are great examples of a good sista that you may want to make your wife.  Don’t think those types of women exist anymore?  Well, I know a lot of great women who are looking to build a legacy with a great man.  Black love is beautiful.  Plain and simple, love is beautiful.  Treat these sistas like queens and we better our chances of fewer you-know-whats.

What do you think?

You can also follow Ashley Grayson on Twitter.

When the Feelings Aren’t Mutual

I like you. I respect you.  I even value our friendship but I don’t love you — at least not the way you love me.  And in all honesty, I wouldn’t date or sleep with you if I had no other options.  Not to sound harsh, but I’m really NOT interested in you.

Have you ever been there?  That awkward place, that awkward time that led to that awkward conversation.  It’s one of the worst places to be when the feelings aren’t mutual.

How many times have you started a friendship making it clear that you just wanted to be friends?  How many times have you networked with someone and made it clear that it was just business?  How many times have any of those people had “the talk” with you?

You know “the talk.”   The “I want more or we could be” talk.  Haven’t you sat there before, almost frozen?  Thinking to yourself what you did wrong to make them think that there could be more.

I’ve run my actions through my head on many occasions.  Thinking to myself, if I said I only wanted friendship and I acted accordingly—how did we get here?

Don’t you sometimes feel like the bad guy or like you’re being punished?  I’m the bad guy for having to hurt this persons feelings and I’m being punished because I can’t seem to have a lasting friendship with someone of the opposite sex.

Once you have “the talk”, it’s difficult to be the innocent friends or partners that you started out as.  You will often feel uncomfortable or guarded.  I hate that.  I hate living life not trusting. It’s not like every man is knocking on my door but its been enough to just make me uncomfortable.

In all reality, as much as we hate to be there, it seems like it’s an inevitable landing place.  While my friends would tell you that you should take it as a compliment, I know that its frustrating and unwanted attention.

I realize that I’m not one of the guys. I get it.  But when people cross the line they take the fun out of the friendship.  Its not innocent anymore.

So as much as I’ve fought this life lesson, its getting harder to believe in woman and men friendships.  I have a couple that I believe are genuine but theres a growing list of them that I’m just not too sure about.


Do We Deserve Closure?

It’s been years since our love affair ended.  I’ve gone through short hair, long hair, blonde hair, bangs, bobs and even grew out my relaxer and went natural.   The seasons have changed and so have the pictures in the frames.  I’ve healed, I’ve dated, and I’ve lived and have even fallen in love again.  Yet, with it all, there remains an elephant in the room of my conscience.   What happened to us?

It became apparent after having drinks with a good friend of mine recently.  We both chatted about our pasts loves and when we finished there was an odd pause where we both equally wondered what happened?

How after, seemingly good relationships, did they both end so quickly and drastically?  Where did it go wrong?  When did it begin?  Why?

It’s strange.  I mean, I’m not looking to reunite with the person I once thought I’d spend the rest of my life with.  But there are moments in my life where I reflect and just wonder.  Is that wrong?

I imagine it’s just like a parentless child wanting to know why their parents left them behind or gave them up.  Not as deep, of course.

But no matter how often I think about it, I’ve never reached out and really asked what happened.  I moved on with life and so did he. But I’d be lying if I said it’s never crossed my mind.

So given that, does he really owe me anything? Do people on the receiving end of a break up deserve any type of closure? Or should we just get over it already?

The Girl Code… Can’t Date Him Law

We all know that men have these “man laws” that they live by but no one ever talks about the girl code.  To be fair, I can understand why we don’t, its one of the most complicated rulebooks known to man.  I mean, if this current Congress tried to pass it into law, they’d have a harder time doing that than they do the budget.  And we’ve all seen how difficult that is for them.

The girl code is complicated.  It has so many variables. If this then that.  If that then this.  It can seriously result in confusion.  That’s why you always need one female friend with some reasoning and morals to act as the coach.  You know that one friend, “Girlll you know you wrong!.” “Girlll, you can’t even think about touching him!” She’s the fun patrol, the party pooper, but she’ll usually keep you out of trouble.

One rule that women rank higher on the list is the ‘you can’t date him rule.’  As much as this rule has complicated my life, I’d be lying if I said I haven’t thrown it out to my friends at times.  My friends already know, even if I got married, they could never date 3 guys from my past.  And the sad thing is, one of them dates back to elementary school! LOL.  He is off limits.

I have history with those three guys.  At those times of my life, I was madly in love with them, yes even the elementary school one. (You couldn’t tell me Love & Basketball wasn’t written about us.)  But there’s an emotional attachment there.  That’s how I justify keeping those three on the list.  But I swear some women throw men on that list just because they saw them first.

I have friends that had crushes on guys and never went any further than a hi or bye and still stuck those guys on the list.  Or how about the friend who likes a guy but the guy likes you and she forbids you from dating him.  Is that really fair?

In a world where the majority of us are single because we’re looking for the best catch we can find, should we be in positions to mark some guys off as forbidden?

I don’t know. Like I’ve said, I’ve used it but I’ve tried my hardest not to abuse it.  So what say you? How do you feel about this rule and what other rules have you had to follow from the girl code?

You can also follow Ashley Grayson on Twitter.

Girrllll, Just Be Patient

“He’s loves you. He’s going to come around.  Just wait, you’ll see.”

That’s the advice some random chick gave Emily on VH1’s Love & Hip Hop this week.  And despite it being a guilty pleasure for two seasons, it was pretty much the first time I side eyed myself for wasting 24 minutes of my life weekly.

If you haven’t caught the show, Emily is F-A-B-O-L-O-U-S’ sons mother and on again off again girlfriend.  This season, she decided to move out and on (kind of) because she’d finally had enough of his scandalous ways (Google Kimbella).

But no one is blind to the truth. She moved out to get his attention.  And that she did.  He’s currently being a “good boy. “  And of course, she’s ready to go back.

Blah blah blah.  Seriously.

Who hasn’t been there?  I’m not judging the chick.  But I’d love to personally side eye the friend that gave her that horrible advice.  Really?  Just be patient, he’ll stop cheating at some point and you’ll be the one chick he’ll run to.

Woosah. I can’t even begin to express how ignorant, careless and sloppy that bit of advice was.  I don’t know Fab, maybe the dude has changed.  But some female was watching that show going through the same thing, thinking – she’s right, I will be patient.

Girl bye.  Even if he did change, you have no business waiting for him to change.  I have a friend who has been tweeting this regularly – choose the guy that chooses you.  Which means, you should not be choosing the man who chose you on Monday night and someone else on Tuesday.  You should not choose the man who doesn’t think twice about you when you’re out of sight.  He does not deserve you.  Let him live his life out in the world chasing his pleasures.

Free yourself from the daily punishment that you put on yourself.  Stop worrying about what or who he’s doing.  He’s really not worth it and while you’re at it, clean out the house of useless friends.

You can also follow Ashley Grayson on Twitter