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My Twenty ’13

29 Dec

All in all, I cannot deny that 2013 was a great year. While tempted to dwell on another year unfulfilled in matters of my love life, I have so many other things to be grateful for about this year. I am proud to share here that I am not who and where I was last year as a person; I am so much better! I have reflected and compiled 20 achievements, revelations, triumphs, secrets, come ups and joys I experienced in 2013 have contributed to my glorious transcendence. In no particular order of importance here are the blessings I have received from life in 2013.

1. I almost fell in love: I don’t really care what Brandy sang in 1998, almost kinda counts. Almost falling in love improved my health, reduced stress, and most importantly taught me what I needed to be able to have a successful relationship with a man in the future. While the relationship ended with heartache, I am so fond of it because I experienced new things in new ways that I least expected. It was exhilarating and it was SO what I needed at the time. In moving forward, I am oddly anxious yet excited in constant realization of the fact that the very best man for me still lies ahead. 

2. I realized a dream: It has always been my passion to help young women realize their potential. In my role in my current job I created, produced, and planned an event to recognize nearly 200 teen parents within the NYC Department of Education who received their H.S. Diploma. It was remarkable, inspiring and the best thing I have ever done. In the moment, I realized the dream that I first had when I was about 21 years old and changed my major to social work. I wanted to share my passion for resilience and possibility and that’s exactly what I did on that night. Daily, I realize how fortunate and blessed I am to be doing exactly what is consistent with who I am, what I have come from and what talents I bring to the world all while getting paid to do it! So damn blessed!

3. I met Sheryl Sandberg: As if her book wasn’t enough excitement in opening my eyes to new ideas for my career, meeting her and speaking with her was nothing short of inspiring.

4. I turned 30: In the words of my friend Taryn, I deserve to be 30! Considering all I’ve been through and gained from life I am proud to say that I have lived and loved and have thirty years of experience to show for it. To me 30 signifies the beginning of who I have created and realized myself to be. Age makes me so excited and represents the blessing of progression and evolution.

5. I accepted my body & fell deeply in love with myself: Up until late last year, I struggled a lifelong battle with poor body image, hating that my butt is non-existent, that I have narrow hips,that my waist is wide. For years these views of myself produced severe anxiety, self-consciousness, depression, and even compromised my outlook for love and success in addition inducing physical illness. I had even booked cosmetic surgery (yep!) but my attempts to alter my appearance were unsuccessful (God is so damn funny). I was stuck and hopeless and as a result I was forced to live my life fully, accept myself wholly, and fall in love with my body and myself- even my slight hips and ass! This acceptance allowed me to experience intimacy (with myself and interpersonally), romance, an joy in a way that I had never. It was liberating!  “Who would I be if I had a different body,” I now ask myself. The answer is, “I don’t even wanna know, girl.” I can truly say something I have never been able to say without wearing a single touch of doubt, I really, truly, madly, deeply love myself. There is no body part or person who can depreciate that. My love has also fueled my passion  to challenge the notion that a black woman’s beauty, worth or blackness is found along the curves of her ass or that any woman’s ass is the source of her beauty and femininity. We need broader views of what makes women beautiful and I am committed to deconstructing the idiocies behind this- starting with this secret I just shared with you. #Iamnotmyass #Iamawomanfirst #teamnoass #teambeautiful

6. I got a raise:  Mo’ money, mo money mo!

7. I learned to swim: Swimming is something I’ve wanted to be able to do for years and don’t really know if I thought I could. Low and behold on my second lesson at the Y, I swam fearlessly and unassisted. It was a freeing experience and I can actually look forward to wearing a swimsuit and going to the pool or beach for a real reason – after a few more courses between now and summer 2014 of course!

8. I made my own music video: For my 30th birthday I wanted to something fun and when I heard Beyonce’s Grown Woman, my creative energy came out overflowing. Ultimately, I created my very own professional music/dance video with a bunch of my girlfriends all dressed up in costumes I designed. It was the best thing ever and taught me that I am very talented and creative and I can do anything that I put my mind to. I know that sounds cliché but I tend to forget that and not maintain enough discipline to realize the millions of things that come to mind. I am so glad I did this. I’m a grown woman. I do WHATEVER I want!

9. I attended the 50th Anniversary of my High School Drill Team: You may not understand and I can’t put into words in a convincing way that will convey the value of this experience without being called a dork so just trust me – this was a joyful and meaningful experience.

10. I lost a friend: I learned a tough lesson on being impeccable with my word and intentions within my friendships.  I took me losing a friend to realize how I was failing as a friend. Though it was challenging to accept, it was a profound and necessary experience for me and my remaining friendships.

11. I dated better: While my dating efforts haven’t landed me in the arms of my dream man, I dated some great, smart, sweet, successful men this year. Though I HATE dating, it continues to bring me more clarity and affirmation about what it is that I want. Now, Universe, provide! #noboysallowed #menapplywithin

12. I fit back into jeans from high school without even trying! Boom!

13. I got over that lingering bad relationship baggage: Thanks in large part to great the guys I met this year. They are the better I didn’t realize I could/should do when I was dating that guy back in Texas. In the word’s of Beyonce, “Man, that was so wack!”

14. I fell in love with reading as a hobby again: Thank you to my new favorite new books: Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi,The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz and The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.

15. I met my favorite blogger: Cynthia of Simply Cyn or Addicted2Etsy is hands down my favorite blogger ever. I have been reading her blog for 5 years and her beauty, style, and authenticity just inspires and grounds me. I was happy to finally meet her in person this summer. I am grateful for the energy her blog brings to my world.

16. I discovered the best cocktail ever: ..and now it’s just me and whiskey gingers ’til the end of time.

17. I joined the New York Urban League: Joining and participating has been such a great investment for my social life and interpersonal growth. I should have joined a long time ago but glad to be here now. Yes new friends!

18. I got closer to friends and family: Through a series of fortunate and unfortunate life events this year, I was forced to rely more on my friends and family in ways that I have always been too ashamed or scared to do. Truths were told, sentiments were shared, baggage was claimed, and I am so much better for it.

19.  BEYONCE’: It was Friday the 13th and guess who played Jason?!

20. I finally decided on a business to start: I am a woman of many talents and many passions and over the years I have been paralyzed by them not knowing which ones to cultivate, thinking too much, being too flaky, and worrying about the outcomes. I tried to give up on the dream of owning my own business but then I realized that it was something that I would never be able to let go of. I sat and thought again about what I just love to do and what brings me joy and allows me t be creative. Well, I have figured it out somewhat and it is coming soon! 😉

In short, who needs a degree when you’re schoolin’ life! Thank you, God.

30

21 Oct

Feeling blessed,authentic, loved, fearless, sexy, and abundant! Happy birthday to me! Here’s to my 30s – joy, sunshine but I can stand pain and rain. Love doing what I love and love inspiring others: http://vimeo.com/m/77333845

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Chest Hair & Chanel

28 Sep

This blog post should not be used against me. I am only human and when a former love interest finds his selfish way back in my heart, I become vulnerable and damn near mentally unstable. Why can’t the men I date just be mature, thoughtful and communicate readily? I won’t be attempting to answer these questions but I will try to tame my heart and mind. Remember the guy I fell in like with last year for the first time in like for ever? Well if you read my blog posts from earlier this year, you can see that my heart got completely broken. I can’t say I didn’t see it coming but it was still difficult. I learned a lot and picked myself right up and looked on to bigger and better real men.

So here I am just minding my own business and he comes waltzing back in, in his feelings of missing me (the obvious) and feeling guilty with a series of 5 am phone calls and I miss you texts all to no real end- something like an alcohol-induced Afropolitan version of Drake, “Take Care”. Most recently, this past Saturday he had another drunk Drizzy moment and I called him back this time. He finally apologized for the BS he pulled over the summer (i.e., standing me up on a date he suggested and never apologizing or responding in anyway) claiming he was afraid of hurting me and had gotten ahead of himself and decided not to communicate. This lead to a 2.5 hour conversation reminiscing on our bad romance, where things went wrong, the “breakup”, how we wished things would have been different and catching up on each other’s lives. Ultimately the conversation ended with us saying we still had feelings for each other and missed each other and him suggesting that I let him take me out for dinner and me saying I’d think about it.

Now, I know this sounds like a healthy experience, right? Immediately after I felt instant gratification, excitement and butterflies just thinking about cuddling his chest hair, basking in the scent of his Chanel cologne and sharing a fabulous dinner followed by our usual comedy session and all of his sweet affection. This sweet dream was all abruptly intruded by anxiety, pain, and confusion. What did all that just mean? Why did I entertain that conversation with someone who has persistently ignored my feelings and fell short of what I deserve in a man and friend? What do I do now that the ball is in my court? Why did I care? What does he really want from me? Is he still trying to create a relationship with me only to put it on hold when he wants? Why do I still have these deep feelings and fantasies – it’s been nearly 7 months! Why is he still coming around?

Nearly a week later, I’ve lost sleep and time in conversations about him with friends. Why? It’s just a guy! An immature, commitment-phobic, replaceable guy that I just happen to be crazy about. Why Lord? What do you want me to learn from this? why put me through this? Wait, I guess I’m putting myself through this!? Just, take me to the King, Lord and to my king while you’re at it. Or make this one my king. While a part of me wishes I could just indulge and be done, the depth of my feelings and maturity aren’t content with a little chest hair and magnetic cologne, resistant to the idea of another bad romance. UGH!

Maybe, I’ll just keep him waiting like he did me. Maybe, I should just follow-up and say just what I’ve said in an attempt to get back on track to moving on, “I miss you and would love to spend time with you but I my feelings are too deep and my heart can’t take the insecurity of not knowing whether you’ll be here for me longer than the traces of the scent of your cologne will.”

In My Feelings

11 Jun

I Like A Nice Guy, That’s My F*ckin Problem!

8 May

Have you ever prayed you could overlook a physical flaw a guy had? Not only for your own good but for him- so that you don’t have to turn him down? My friends would say that  I am probably the most strengths-based person when determining if a man is attractive or not or any person for that matter. I don’t care if you look like Flava Flav, I am going to find something attractive and beautiful about you and justify that you are not ugly. I just cannot call or classify a person as ugly! To me doing so represents a character flaw. Who are we as human beings to call a creation of God ugly? To me it implies superiority and judgment and in a world that is so focused on appearance I am not willing to be a part of  social construct that classifies people as such knowing that the judgment is followed by mistreatment. So with that deep stuff said, there’s a guy I’m dating that I just cannot accept that I may or may not be attracted to. I just can’t call it.

I’m praying to God I am physically attracted to him. He’s perfect! Soooooo nice, socially relatable, highly highly successful, generous, thoughtful, romantic, dark, fit, culturally diverse (i.e., he’s African), ready for commitment, established, courteous, adventurous, ambitious, a boss (works hard, is living his dreams and takes the f*ckin lead), and communicates well and readily. The prah’lem is his teeth! I don’t know if I can get past them. This is just not fair. Not fair in the fact that I like him so much and have such a great time and like being around him but when it comes to thinking about attraction, the chemistry begins to waiver when he smiles. It’s like I want to kiss him but his teeth won’t let me.

Why can’t I just like imperfect teeth, Lord? I love nice teeth, that’s my f*ckin problem! Or is it really the teeth? Is that just what I can see and the real incompatibility is less tangible and less visible? I don’t believe in forcing chemistry, changing people or accepting them for any less/other than they are – that’s not love but is it possible to grow attraction for someone? Do people grow to love flaws in a person who is otherwise so perfect? I haven’t ever had to think about this and I am really at a loss of what to do. My mind is so into this guy and I feel my heart could get there but my floral arrangement is going to need a bit of water and I am not sure if this is possible with him ;-). This has always been a given with me but I’m not sure how far my history can go with this because I have always had full force, intense, fast relationships which have more times than not amounted to nothing more than two people being so excited about the chemistry and physical only to realize we have fallen in love with the wrong person within each other. Maybe it’s too soon to call it but I don’t want to wait around and lead this guy on. He’s too good for that and my integrity won’t allow it. At the same time I don’t want to blow him off. And if I have the “we’re not a match” conversation with him doesn’t that make me a little superficial? Tossing out a perfect guy because his teeth ain’t quite right?!

I gotta get to the bottom of this especially before I except any more expensive dates. What’s a girl like me to do? Poor me, right? Who the hell have I become? A year ago I couldn’t handle the thought of dating again. Today I have to figure out what to do with a imperfectly perfect guy who just wants to make sure I had a great day and take me exclusive restaurants and I don’t know what to do with him. I’m BACCCCCKKK! lol Talk about First World problems. Anyway, can anyone relate? Give me some feedback. I feel like I know what I am going to do but just curious if others have had a similar experience. Are we too conditioned to the fairy tale of love and instant attraction or is it something that can evolve? Shouldn’t we care as much about attraction as we do character?

Right Now

8 May

I’ve decided not to be so concerned about my dating life anymore. When I say concerned I mean not being preoccupied about when or how I am going to meet the right guy, that I’m doing this dating thing right and going in the right direction, not feeling like I am not progressing in the romantic part of my life, and not worrying about how I can creatively respond to people when they questions me with “You’re single?!” or “You’re not engaged yet ..or anything?”. Right now I am just enjoying dating again and I have decided to honor that.

I accept that some people don’t get me and may even perceive there being something odd about my chronically single self. I accept that right now I am dating a variety of different and great men but that none of them may work out for me (smh). I accept that I have to take my time with them slow and allow things to evolve. I accept that I am going to have to be a little more patient with this process and with the men I date. I accept that I have to be patient if I want something worthwhile. This is a phase of my life that took me a century long time to get to.I accept that this was the journey I took and I can’t get the time back. The more I date, the more I am comfortable with this part of my life surprisingly and just really un-f*ckin-concerned about the outcome and how each date goes. This whole things is a risk-free trial as far as I am concerned. I am less concerned about having another bad experience or vulnerability and more trusting of myself to make the right decision when or if this things happen. Who knew I’d ever get to this space?

Right now I am loving this idea of dating as a risky and undetermined process. In the past I have been more of a control freak than I’ve been willing to admit to myself and nowhere else have I been more challenged by my sense of control than in my search for love. Usually, I just want to get to the good stuff  with a guy (i.e., romance, sex, and commitment) thinking I am in control of the emotional exchanges not honoring the fact that there is nothing I can do to ensure these gifts from someone else besides receive them. In other words, the more I focus on the person type of person I want to be with and share my love and life with the less I am concerned/impatient with when and how I am going to receive them. The more I love myself, the less impatient I am. Everything I want is inside of me and for right now that’s my only focus.

Love Stories

25 Mar

Today as I was researching a business website (for my forthcoming brand design firm :-)), I caught an unexpected surprise on the blog of the site. It’s funny how you find inspiration for love in the most random places but I guess this is what happens when you stumble upon any work that is done with true passion and love. I was browsing through a site called. Detavio.com, a marketing firm website I discovered through a wedding blog (imagine that). Here I was thinking the guy was just blogging about his business endeavors and inspirations for marketing then I read one of his recent posts titled, “Love Stories”…..

“Someone who was supposed to love you didn’t.  Someone else loved you but left (maybe your’re still recovering).  And perhaps, hopefully, there are others who loved you, stood by your side through all things and never let you fall.

Our life is a webbed series composed of love stories.

With each relationship we walk away with some tale of how love came (or didn’t) and how love stayed (or didn’t).   The stories we tell ourselves based on our experiences with love dictate our own love story.  They teach us to believe in love (or not), whether we deserve love (or not), as well as how to love others (or not).  Know your own love stories so that you can determine whether (or not) they are good the way they are or if some of them need to be rewritten.”

This is so simple, yet it’s everything. How many times have you told yourself your own love stories? Do you tell the stories with regret or sadness, internalizing the script? I do. Well I did. This post was a beautiful reminder to me to know my stories, to be mindful of the ones I tell myself over and over again, and to definitely keep rewriting them. I am so grateful for this piece of inspiration as a reminder that thoughts become things and if good love is my thought and intention, I have to have the best love story so that it will manifest in the way that I desire to give and deserve to have. I hope it inspires you.

Mistakes

16 Mar

Sometimes the hardest thing to do in this love game is to get over your mistakes – what you did wrong in dating or loving someone. For me this is the part that has me stuck right now. While the guy I was dating wasn’t perfect or without fault, I have to take responsibility for my own actions and feelings. I am the one who allowed myself to fall and have such great expectations.  I am hard on myself when it comes to many things but nothing pisses myself off more than when I play around with my heart.

More recently, I just cannot believe I jumped head first into something and got distracted by the butterflies and the thrills of love/lust (still trying to sort it out what it was). I’m thinking I should not have made myself so available to someone. I should have ran at week three when I wrote that blog post. I should have acted on my intuitions more. Oh no, I was having too much fun. Fun lead me to even more mixed emotions. Trying to make sense of my feelings getting so lost in them I lost my sense of self  ultimately being disappointed. How could I let this happen after all the work I’ve done on myself? I just made so many mistakes. I should have never allowed my physical desires and emotions to define a dating relationship before I had a chance to. I should not have been so giving of my time. I was having too much fun. I was so excited to have found someone who I actually liked enough to tell my friends about and even consider being my boyfriend. I was so close and I fucked it up.

How did I not communicate clearly? I should have been more direct and asked more questions in the beginning. I should have gone slower. What the hell was I thinking? I thought I’d learned these lessons so long ago but apparently I’ve gotten a little rusty. How did I allow someone who I was so emotionally aloof and immature to distract me with amazing fun, great sex, and perfect kisses? How did I forget that finding the right relationship was so important to me that I needed to take it slow and be more discerning? Oh, self how could you do this to us? Arggh! I feel like such a fool. I’m too grown for this.

I guess it could have been worse. I guess it was fun and I guess I did end it at the right time. I did all I could.  I was vulnerable and honest. I was myself. I was open. I was giving.  All of the things a good woman is. I just wish it would have been enough. I wish that the guilt I feel could be replaced by the thrill I once felt. The fact of the matter is what’s done is done. Next time I’ll do it right and hopefully it’ll be with Mr. Right. This is the reason I have to begin to forgive myself right now.

How’d I Get Lost on An Open Road?

10 Mar

I keep telling myself this was inevitable and thought it’d be easy. Every week I threatened to end things and knew I was in control. Here I am now and I wonder how was I thinking then? How was I so sure, so resolved and so understanding of my decision? I was almost certain you weren’t the one but I was willing to be wrong and risk intimacy to be sure. I ask how did I get here if I knew where I was going? How did that happen? Ambiguity is such a peace killer. I don’t know what’s worse now, dealing with the anxieties I had then when I was in it knowing I needed to end it or dealing with the now, the fact that it can’t be but not exactly sure what.  Both offer a glimpse of possibility that maybe it can still work in the future, maybe the timing was just bad and maybe we just weren’t right for each other right then as you eluded to. But then again I’ve heard since then that you knew better than me that I’m not the one for you and that you knew this all along.  Yet and still you chose me in ways that were not becoming of my heart and affection toward you. Jokes on me I guess. I guess I was picking up on the wrong signals or did I only want to see the green lights inconsistently yielding to the caution I felt.I saw it. I knew it. I accepted it under the guise poor communication – the things you were more forthcoming about. I just can’t understand how I got here though. I guess I got just as lost as you did though. Caught up in the good and hoping for the best of the situation and building on expectations dismissing the signs of the discord and simply indulging in the joy. I guess I’m just as guilty as you then. However, I was a bit more honest, open and and willing to accept it as it emerged because of my compassion for you as an ordinary person and a person I enjoyed I couldn’t be so selfish. Well, thankfully I’ve been down this road before. It’s always been a winding one. For what it’s worth, I really do miss you and I’m not mad at you. I wish I had a good enough reason to turn back around. Even though it may not have been serious to you, it was to me. I usually drive this course safe but I took your word for it when you said you were “harmless”.  But now I remember that we like different courses, cars, and prefer different paces. Until I figure this out, I am optimistic that maybe one day our paths can merge again but on better terms. Or maybe this path will lead me to that one thing I’m looking for. True love.

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