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Archive for the month “March, 2015”

Love and Caution

Some folks say that they fall in love too easily.
I’ve never had that problem.
In fact, I’m usually not the first to say I love you.
I warn anyone in danger of loving me not to be offended if I don’t say it first, but know when I do say it, I mean it.
There was only one time, I was fighting myself not to let it slip from my lips, and that was in my last relationship. I waited to let him say it first, so I can say it back.
Anyone who falls in love with me too quickly, I look at them with a side-eye. I just have to. I have difficulty believing them. I also feel like folks who are quick to fall, are just as quick to hate you. I’ve seen that happen too. A recent guy went from wanting to tell his mother about me, future children and thanking God for me on Facebook, to being hurtful and saying he had to take me in small doses, or calling me indignant because I dared to speak my mind. So there’s another side.
I don’t have self-esteem nor do I think not I’m lovable, however, if you’re too quick to pull the love trigger, you worry me as a potential love. It makes me think you don’t put a lot of thought into things and are too emotionally driven and that scares me.
So I think I’ve decided that I need to be with a person who is cool with the pace in which I fall in love and won’t see my need for caution and time as an insult.
Because once I’m there, there’s no turning back. I’ve made the conscious decision to be all in. Hurrah. You’ve got me.
I have difficulty with people who want me to speed up that process, or believe that the pace in which I fall for someone is in direct correlation with how I feel about them.
Should it take me years to fall in love? No, I don’t think so.
Is it measured in hours or months or a specific number of dates? No. It isn’t.
What makes me fall in love with a person is a series of moments in which both people are vulnerable, honest and where I’ve felt completely safe and like myself.
Moments of truth, moments of unbridled silliness, confiding in each other, that means something to me. Those moments help my feelings grow. In my opinion, cultivating intimacy does take time. And when those moments start adding up, then that’s when I feel like I could be falling and I allow myself to.
The quickest way to scare me off is to go into instant couple mode. This means introducing me to family and friends or any people you consider important without telling me or giving me a warning.
There’s nothing more uncomfortable than people gushing about what a great couple you are, before you’ve even declared yourself a couple. It’s also very uncomfortable when people really start asking about your future together when you don’t know. Sir, ma’am, I don’t know if I’m going to be talking to this person next week… and my date has only himself to blame.
So I don’t like folks jumping the gun and ambushing me like that.
Those are just more disappointed people if it doesn’t work out. I’m clearly the bad guy. Because here was this guy so proud of me and saying how great I am, and here I am like, he’s cool. It’s still early. I’ve found friends and family don’t want to hear that.
I’m also very private. I want us to enjoy our bubble for as long as we can before we let outsiders remotely close. We’re getting us together, our message, our pace and stride together as a couple. Once again everyone understanding pacing helps the message you convey to the public and all those people you want me to meet. You pull the trigger too soon and someone asks me the wrong question, everyone will feel awkward.
Don’t make too many plans including me too far in advance. Take things one at a time. Besides, I may have already made my own plans that I could have prepaid for, now you’re looking crazy. Or we could have some epic fight in which I ether you and we never speak again.
I’m methodical about entering relationships. I will weigh the pros and cons and read all kinds of articles and take quizzes and look at astrological signs and listening to my inner voice.
So should we go aimlessly into the dark for an infinite amount of time? No. I don’t want anyone to feel like they are wasting time, yet, I can’t operate so quickly, that I’m not considering my doubts or instincts about a person.

One friend thinks I truly haven’t let go of the past.

I’m not worried about the past. Am I affected by it? Yes, certainly. The future, however, has me in knots. Making decisions that involve other people and their feelings if I’m not all in? That concerns me. I feel responsible for that.

I’ve also found out a few other things about myself. I’m uncomfortable if a man spends a lot of money on me. And I value my freedom and independence over everything, way more than I ever realized.

I’ve spent the last four years fighting with myself, fighting for myself, loving myself out of darkness making life changes for myself. It’s been about me. Giving myself over to a man or a family freaks me out. It makes me question everything about the natural next step of partnering up. The pressure to choose the right man who understands that… and coming to the realization that there might not be a man who does, that’s when the claustrophobia sets in.

I’ve been asked over and over what I want. By so many people. It’s been easy to say I don’t know. And it’s lazy.

What I ultimately want is a great, healthy, relationship where I know it feels right in my spirit and where I don’t feel trapped, or that I lost myself or I settled out of some awful fear. I want a love that feels like freedom, that embraces my independent spirit and somehow it works.

Hindsight Twenties Twenties- A Review of VH1’s Hindsight

There’s a saying that hindsight is 20/20 and it’s totally true.
Looking back in retrospect, we can say that if we made different choices our lives would have turned out differently and we’re absolutely right, but for all the wrong reasons.
A semi-new scripted tv series bearing the name “Hindsight” on VH1 is my latest obsession.
Let’s not even mention the fashion references to the 90s or the awesome music they’ve been playing from those times. It’s like going down memory lane and it’s fantastical.
But to me the mark of a great show is having a main character or even a cast of characters that you can’t decide if you love them or hate them from one moment to the next.
The main character Becca basically has a mishap the night before her second wedding that lands her right on the day of her first wedding as a young twenty something.
Armed with knowing how the “future” turns out, she’s spending this series trying to correct what she got wrong, but not only turning her life upside down, but every one else around her too. This obvious point, which seems to be lost on our protagonist quite regularly is made repeatedly by her wild and crazy friend Lolly, who Becca doesn’t give enough credit for actually being smart despite her free-spirited, IDGAF, video store job-having ways.
One of the things Becca is desperate to not have happen again is a serious falling out between her and Lolly that basically ended their friendship and caused them not to speak for a decade.
The most amazing thing of all about this entire storyline is the fact that Lolly, as a true ride or die homie, is certain her bestie is going nuts under the pressure of her thankless entry-level job and pending nuptials, claiming she’s back from the future. Lolly’s participation is honestly what keeps this thing afloat. Becca can’t do this by herself. But as certain things start to happen in real-time that Becca mentions, Lolly quickly becomes a believer and stands by her friend, while hoping to reap some benefits of the info too. But knowing the future and Becca’s arrogant responsibility to keep everyone from making mistakes, will likely be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for their relationship all over again. Being the free spirit Lolly, is she’ll only take but so much…
Unfortunately, Becca gives away all of the suckie information like the ending to “Friends” and breaking the news that REM will break up, and is shocked to find out Patrick Dempsey will become hot.
Becca does use her knowledge of the future in really fun ways regarding the work world and I’m sure as I continue to watch, it’s going to be entertaining.
I’m most amused by how people really did manage to live without cell phones, but how inconvenient it must be for Becca’s character when she got lost and lamented having no GPS, or just being able to call or text a contact to make sure they had the concert tickets they promised. I was tickled when she searched high and low for the Keurig… Nah boo, you got to brew the hard way…
This show is further proof that yes, the decisions good or bad that you make in your 20s have very real and lasting effects for better or for worse. Even if you have an opportunity to go back and change things, knowing exactly what the future holds, doesn’t mean making the opposite choice is going to make your life better… Becca starts finding out the hard way and also in some rewarding ways how fate can totally be changed off of a series of decisions, even if you think you’ve inserted yourself at the right place at the “right time.”
One thing I’m noticing a couple of episodes in is that in this version of her life, she and her mom are doing a much better job of connecting with each other, and keeping it realer. I sure hope the coming episodes will show Becca really coming to this realization and that they in fact, get closer. I’d like to see this relationship grow and improve.
I haven’t even gotten into homegirl’s love life. That requires a post of its own. This chick in the present, past and future has more drama than Netflix and how she navigates figuring out who is really the one, and how she’s rewriting history with her future husband #2… I’m worried she’s going to mess herself up trying to “fix things” and write herself out of a future with the right man.
I can’t wait to continue watching this show because I really, really dig it. I’m also waiting to see if and when Becca gets the courage to take an elevator again (the ill-fated place where the Back to the Future/ Freaky Friday time travel takes place) and if her return to the present/future is going to look anything like she imagined or attempted to plan for.  For the sake of great television, It probably won’t. I have finals this week, so I have to resume my binge later!!!

How To Adult Well

I adore both this post and the writer soooo much. I rarely reblog unless it touches me and makes me feel like I couldn’t have said it better. I gave myself whiplash nodding so much!

The Ink Well

A few weeks ago I was laughing at a FB post that a good friend of mine put up about a particularly tough morning of forgetting her keys, burning her breakfast, and locking herself out of her apartment. She ended the post by saying, “I forgot how to adult.” Several grammar nerds immediately assailed her post and vehemently corrected her use of the phrase “to adult.” She relented and changed it “to be an adult.” Later on I told her that I thought “to adult” was so spot on because an adult is not just a noun, but it’s also a brilliant verb when acted upon well.

Leaving your mama’s house, earning a degree, or knowing how to make a dollar do not automatically equip you with the skills to adult. To adult well takes YEARS of practice. To adult takes an enormous amount of faith, courage, discipline, humility, and…

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Doing Good Vs. Doing Well

There’s always going to be that annoying person who likes to correct other people’s speech and grammar. One common correction that pops up is when a person tells another person, “you did good.”
That smarty pants will chime in and say, “Well. You did well.”
But you know what?
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with doing good. In fact, I think it’s a high compliment too.
In my opinion, doing good comes from a real and deep soul place. It’s meaningful, it’s without expectation of something in return. Doing good has no room for pretense. Doing good is thinking about others, doing good is spreading positivity. Doing good is choosing to do the right thing especially when no one is looking.
Don’t get me wrong, I won’t knock doing things well. We should always aspire to do things well. But doing good is pretty great too.
Doing things well is a good thing. Doing things well is the blood, sweat and tears and the discipline and work that sits on the foundation of doing good. You really work at doing things well.
Doing well is execution and mastery of whatever it is you were trying to do. Doing well is when you have the tools to elevate, share those tools so others can do the same and then that’s exactly what you do.

It’s All Practice

The longer we live and the more experiences we gain, we should start noticing some patterns if we are smart.

Over and over, I keep finding that EVERYTHING, every moment, every experience, every success, failure and mistake is essential to our growth and essential to our preparation for the “What’s Next” moment that’s going to show up.

It’s funny how we (I include myself in this) are always looking for the next big thing. We’re looking for the next relationship if we’re single (I hope you aren’t if you are married, lol), we’re thinking about the next job, the next promotion and we are thinking about all of the steps it’s going to take to get there. Then we get to there, and we’re looking for the next.

It’s sad and ridiculous all at the same time, but it keeps life interesting and it makes sense. As long as we’re breathing, we have the capacity to learn something new, do something new, change something we don’t like about ourselves, make a new friend or get rid of trifling folks who don’t add any value. We’re always rebuilding new cells, and shedding hair. Our nails grow, so it’s natural to always be in some kind of transition because our bodies are doing this every single day too. We’re healing ourselves even if it’s from a cold we caught, to pain someone may have caused us when we were a kid.

So ok, we’re always going to be looking for the next thing.

But just as we grow hair, shed dead skin, the things we are doing daily are kind of like those unglamorous changes we go through each day, there are unglamorous tasks we are doing consciously and subconsciously in an effort to move us forward and prepare us for whatever the new “next” is.

There are times especially professionally or in our love lives where we don’t see what’s at work, even in the small things we do each day.

I’m learning to examine those things and try to see new opportunities in everything.

I was recently bothered at work by how it seemed like the really talented people get overlooked or seen as a threat, meanwhile others boast and brag about mediocre things, or they talk to hear themselves talk, or create more problems so they can “solve” them and make themselves look better.

I’ve found that some people would rather create their own problems they can swoop in and solve to keep a job because they fear that actually solving the problem means there’s no need for them anymore.

That kind of thinking is operating in fear. There will always be new problems even after you solve the old ones. Have faith that people will be so impressed with how you handled the first problem that it’s a no-brainer that they’ll need you for the next.

And have faith you’ll have the skills to meet the new “next” head on.

I’ve been learning that the difficult people you are dealing with today are probably slightly more difficult than the most difficult person you’ve ever dealt with or slightly less difficult than the most difficult person you’ve ever dealt with.

That first person is your new lesson because you’re about to have to deal with someone much worse. You’ll need those skills and new ones to defeat the new beast. The last person is a reminder that you’ve dealt with worse and can deal.

Any opportunity you have to present or be in front of an office or lead a meeting take it and take it seriously. Be organized.

I learned this lesson this week when all of a sudden an informal meeting I was leading started to grow larger and larger when my supervisor noticed that I was organized and that people were engaged, expected to be ready to contribute and actually looking forward to it.

I turned around and started seeing that he extended invites to the project manager and people outside of my team who really had nothing to do with what this meeting was about.

This was my opportunity to put on a clinic. If there were things that I didn’t like about how meetings were run, well, this was my meeting. Instead of bitching about it, I had the power to show them how it’s done. And it took a very successful friend to point this out to me.

“As much as you say they are haters, he invited hater number one, two and three to your meeting. I work with idiots all of the time, and there are some smart idiot managers. The smart idiot managers tend to want to learn from people who they’ve identified as smart and organized. They may take all of the credit, but they know they need you and you can stack the deck in your favor. You can always stack the deck in your favor once you know this.”

So I’ve also decided that how I execute this meeting isn’t about the haters. It’s about me preparing myself. If I’ve said that I want to go back to the White House someday to talk about health disparities or before Congress, there are going to be far more important people who may not like me or what I have to say and the stakes will be much higher. So why not practice right now for that moment with this one little meeting with just a handful of haters…

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