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Archive for the tag “maturity”

A Tale of Two Sisters

I have had a million things on my mind.

What else is new?

I had a strange feeling yesterday as my sister sent me a lovely photo of her, my brother in law and nephew after church.

They looked like the perfect little family.

It was like three in the afternoon, I didn’t go to church, I was still in my pjs and I was alone. I was feeling guilty that I hadn’t gone to church in weeks. But I really didn’t have the energy to sit through service as people went on about their mothers. I love my mother and I’m thankful for her, but it’s not a day that I really enjoy because of how complicated our relationship is.

I was a little bit jealous looking at the photo, but at the same time so happy that my sister managed to find her happiness and find her place and her lane.

My sister has been the kind of woman who settles down and always appears to be content. Sometimes I confused that for her playing it safe, and settling, meanwhile I was always the one to branch out, do something different or crazy and test my limits and my independence.

Sometimes, it made me feel superior.

I often wondered, why don’t you want MORE? What is out there that you dream of or feel like you lack? Why haven’t you just gone for it?

It confused me. I felt like we were made up of the same stuff, surely she had a desire for more. I looked up to her. She was a great student, a good athlete, very smart, very beautiful. I felt like she hid from her greatness. It was like her greatness was more than she could stand, a burden, a sin and she wanted nothing to do with it. It would draw too much attention, and it would be too much.

That bothered me, since I thought so much of her. I but I actually still do think highly of her. But she’s not me, and I’m not her.

She is still a little bit of a mystery because a decade separates us. She was off to college when I was eight, and she never came back home.

She never stepped up to meet it her greatness and look it in the face and accept it, I thought. Even when I tell her how beautiful she is and how she should wear her heels higher and her jeans a little tighter, she’d just shake her head. It wasn’t comfortable to her.

Why didn’t she she what I saw?

I’ve come to the conclusion, my sister is satisfied.

Sometimes, I am jealous of her ability to be satisfied, while I’m always in search of the next, the better. I can’t stand still, and more and more, I say what’s on my mind and what I won’t accept and then I don’t accept it.

We’re two sisters living in two different worlds.

She admires my independence. I admire her groundedness.

Things aren’t perfect. And she’s had her struggles. Her frustrations with work, my nephew has had some medical scares with seizures, but she’s had an amazing husband who has stood by her and seems to adore her still.

I had a long talk with my cousin Friday night, and I asked her if I was too independent, too selfish for a real relationship, marriage? Would I be able to subdue my often independent and creative and impatient nature and would my future man accept it?

It seemed like my sister was highly suited for traditional, stereotypical marriage. She didn’t have a rebellious streak in her at all. She did everything she was supposed to and without complaint or grumbling. She was a good kid. She rarely got in trouble or talked back to our parents ever. I had the smart mouth. I would question. I would act a fool in the store.

She would occasionally stand up for herself when necessary, but like myself, she calculates her moments and tends to be non-confrontational unless she has to be.

When I was engaged and preparing for marriage, I was trying to mimic what a good wife was supposed to be– full of self-sacrifice, totally supportive. I put everything into my relationship. However, my creative side was lacking. I was afraid if I didn’t faithfully put a certain amount into the savings account we created together that we agreed upon, I’d be letting down my man, I’d be cheating him and I wouldn’t want him to think I wasn’t pulling my weight. Our accounts and our participation in contributing to them allowed us to live as we pleased without worry. It was smart. I wanted to always be attractive to him, I wanted to be able to do the things he wanted sexually. I thought that was what good wives were supposed to do. The best wives seemed to be the ones who sacrificed the most.

So here I am.

I know myself better than I’ve ever had before. But I worry.

I’ve seen a lot of pain. I’ve seen a lot of selfless acts in my family. I’ve seen people fear and or deny their own pleasure and happiness and wants because they had to take care of someone else out of love and duty.

I don’t want a life like that. I want to feel like I’m being mutually loved, nurtured, protected and taken care of. Love should be freedom. The person you love should make you feel free. Yes, you have a duty to them, but you should feel most like yourself. You should feel free.

The stakes are getting higher and higher for me because I see how quickly life can change how life is filled with joyous moments, but also highly painful ones that require support networks free of judgement, and full of acceptance and love.

It’s strange how I don’t want my man to feel like he has to sacrifice everything for me, but I want to just know, like I know my own name he would if he had to, but because I love him just as much and I’m giving too, he doesn’t have to… Because that’s what you do for love.

You don’t trap people.

You accept them. Even when they change, because they are going to change and grow and you are going to change and grow too.

The goal is to change and grow in a way that benefits the unit.
I think people in relationships are allowed to change and grow.

But the vision for the relationship should always remain the constant. You have to agree to that from day one. Even when children come and when they’ve left the house, even when there is success, even when there is failure.

You both are looking at the same goal.

Sometimes I wonder if I already know this man. I wonder if I have to fall in love again and fail once, twice or even three times, before I’m supposed to be with him. If I’ll be mature enough or worthy enough to be allowed to have the one finally revealed to me.

I wonder If we’ve met before quickly and brushed past each other on a busy street, or we’ve sat and had easy conversations that lasted well into the night, laughs lingering in warm air. I wonder if he’s right around the corner, or living half way across the globe, doing all of the things he’s supposed to be doing so he can find his way to me at the exact, preordained time. I wonder if it will take ten years from now to find or rediscover him.

The timing isn’t up to me.

Who he is, isn’t even up to me.

It is up to me to recognize his voice when I hear him.

His touch when he touches me, his kiss.

To look in his eyes and see him and know.

That kind of love is out there.

I’m sharpening my skills to better identify it.

I’m getting closer.

I was told not to worry. That he’ll find me and love every bit of me. He’ll accept those dark things that occupy my mind that makes me quiet and moody sometimes, and he’ll love me through it. He’ll give me just enough space, but he’ll know exactly when to come in, not say a word kiss me on my head and hold me close.

Everyday, every action, we both are getting pulled closer.

I believe.

Take Two: Giving Lancelot A Real Chance

I’ve been thinking a lot about love.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it takes to select a partner.

I’ve been thinking about how I approach love and falling in love about three years after being destroyed by the man I was set to marry.

For me, the prospect of love is exciting, it’s comforting…it’s a new goal to reach. But it is also terribly terrifying for me.

I thought I was in the deepest love possible before, and it ripped me apart. It took me a very long time to heal.

There was a feeling. There was an attraction. There was this unwavering feeling that I wanted to be there for this person, I wanted to help them grow and become better.

That person, I thought made me feel beautiful until he felt I should lose weight. This person made me feel at first secure, until he made me feel unsecure. I enjoyed the sex, until I felt pressure to be a thinner porn star toward the end of the relationship. I enjoyed it until he thought it was an insult to him if I didn’t come every time. I had dreams he was cheating. I’d wake up in a rage. And when he wouldn’t call for days, or rush me off the phone, I already knew we were circling the drain.

I felt like something was wrong with me. So I couldn’t even enjoy it.

There was a reason it didn’t work out. As much as I loved this person, I can say now, he was not my husband. He wasn’t the one I was meant to be with.

Ironically, what I thought I knew to be love, or the feeling, or the things I wanted of a partner, those things started to unravel. Because of what I thought I knew then, and actually didn’t know, it gives me a very clear picture of what I should be looking for now.

And this is why I’ve decided to reach out to someone who I didn’t give a real chance.

After thinking about how much I just want to have sex with “Kyle Barker,” I never liked how he made me feel. He didn’t really challenge me to be better. He enlightened me, and he was the one who put me onto the book the “Four Agreements,” but he wasn’t truly invested in me or my development. He may have given me a few tips about business, but once again, it was all superficial. He said he missed me and could be himself around me and that he liked that I was just as silly and intellectual as he. But he’s never done anything to prove it.

Come to think of it, I don’t think he’s ever just done anything kind, or to go out of his way for me. Ever.

In praying for the right man to come into my life, I feel like I’ve been thinking more clearly.

But in the thinking more clearly, and being more discriminating in who I even spend my time with, it’s awfully frightening. Because my thoughts are leading to this person. I’m going to call him Lancelot.

I’ve mentioned him before in this blog. He was the “good-guy” I was in no emotional state to deal with when we did start talking.

Lancelot literally met me at Don Pablo’s downing margarita’s after work like nobody’s business. It may have been only four months after my breakup with my ex. I was particularly peeved by work and I even called one of my friends to share how rock bottom I was at that point that I was stuffing my face and getting twisted off margarita’s by 7 p.m. on a weeknight.

He was at the bar. He was engaged in a conversation with another man and woman. The man and woman worked together. I originally thought all three knew one another because of how easily they interacted. The other man was totally older than me, but I thought he was fairly attractive. Lancelot, was a chipper man of stocky build.

I tried my best to ignore the happy bunch, but sometimes they said something funny, which prompted me to laugh.

Lancelot caught me and announced, “See, we even made her laugh and she’s been looking upset all night. Come sit with us, we’ll have shots. Please, come sit.”

I tried to protest, but the rowdy bunch insisted.

As the night wore on, I smiled more. I laughed. I even told Lancelot that I really didn’t want to smile and that I was upset that he and his party made me do so.

I wanted to be mad. I wanted to be angry. After all, I was heartbroken. The “worst thing” that could happen to a woman in love did. I was so close to being married. And it was gone. Done. Had a pretty ring just sitting in a box now and not on my finger. I had problems!

With an easygoing nature, he said to me what he continued to say to me long after that night. “You can’t let anyone mold your ball of clay.”

“What?”

Taking a sip from his beer, he smiled, exposing his dimples and a gap-tooth, shook his head. “It means don’t let other people dictate how you feel and get you all wound up and crazy.”

He was a former military man who traveled extensively. He went to school when he was done and built himself up as an IT genius, securing crazy contracts all over the world. He built up a lovely life for himself. The only thing missing was someone special.

When we shut down the bar talking, mostly me bemoaning my circumstances, he wanted to exchange numbers. He wanted to take me out to dinner.

We did, but when we went to dinner the first time, I didn’t really put forth a lot of effort.

He kissed me at the end, but I felt like it was too forward. I wasn’t ready. I didn’t like how that felt.

I continued to see him, he invited me to his home. A beautiful, beautiful one at that. I was very impressed. Yet, he was humble.

He casually mentioned that he bought his mother a home in the south, but it really wasn’t bragging. He was a loving son, who really understood the difficulty of his situation, not knowing his father, and his mother being a young teen. He wanted to make her proud and nurture her.  He was raised by his loving grandparents, who he cited as his example and blueprint of a real relationship. He said they loved each other so much, when one died, the other died just months later from a broken heart. He called it forevership. And he wanted forevership.

He cooked for me. Sent me home with loads of food. He always kept my wine glass full and I’d call him out on it.

“You just want to get me drunk so I can’t drive home.”

Then he’d smile that smile.

“I just want you to be happy, to enjoy yourself. This is your home.”

Those words scared the crap out of me.

He would speak as if he knew I’d be his.

I’ve thought of him often, but I’ve been stubborn, because I didn’t want him to be right.

He seemed so sure about me, even when I felt like he didn’t even know me yet.

He’s brought me food when I was sick. And he’d bring me dessert from a fine restaurant after a business dinner he had with clients.

He was thinking of me, when I wasn’t thinking of him.

The first time I came to his house, he made jokes about my clothes in his massive closets, and taking long baths after a long day of work in the ridiculous ginormous tub in the master bedroom bathroom.

This was too much.

Any man this quick to want to include me in his life, in his home to that degree… it was not to be trusted.

He had to be a nut job.

I told him so.

It was too much.

His response was that he tends to be a little too pushy when he wants something and a little too honest. But he trusted his gut and his feelings. He said he believed that he was for me, “the guy.”

The crazy thing is whenever I told him to back off, he said he’d try. And he would. But then he’d do something pushy again a week later and I’d pull further away.

He understood when I told him that I needed space and didn’t want to talk to him for a while. He took it in stride and would send me a text every few months to check on me.

I reached out yesterday and he seemed very happy to hear from me. After exchanging a few niceties, he asked if I had time to have dinner with him.

I told him that my week was hectic, but maybe the end of the month would work. He would be traveling next week himself, but he’d arrange something as soon as he got back.

So why am I giving this a go?

I’ve never felt disrespected by him. (I stayed over and stubbornly slept on his couch, despite his offer of the upstairs guest room. I woke up in the middle of the night, and found him sleeping next to the couch, on the floor so I wouldn’t be alone.)

When he’s not pushy, I enjoyed his company.

He has a positive, upbeat attitude. He does not place blame on people or have a chip on his shoulder, but he is not a pushover.

He is romantic and affectionate.

He is generous.

He’s funny.

He can cook.

Has a career.

Has a beautiful home.

He’s building his own business.

He seems loyal.

He seems trustworthy.

Loves to travel. “I don’t fly anything lower than business class internationally, and if you’re with me, you won’t either. You should  be comfortable if you are in the air for that long.” Well damn. (He said if I went to visit my friend in South Korea, he wanted to take me because he lived there. And sure enough he had a massive award on his shelf in English and Korean from the people of Korea).

If you’ve managed to keep reading, most of you are saying I’m a nutbag for letting him go and entertaining the older gentleman, boo thang and Kyle Barker over probably the last two years.

I think I am a nutbag. Therefore, I’ve decided to give it a serious try. I don’t have the same baggage holding me back. I want to be loved and treated well from someone sincere.

One of the things that has scared me most is, I could not understand for the life of me what he kept seeing in me. Why was he being so intense and persistent? Why would he keep reaching out? What on earth did he see that first night, down the bar, in a sad, drunken girl, barely touching her tacos, who was so broken, who admitted she had no desire to laugh or smile?

What did he know?

How could he be so comfortable envisioning me sharing his home one day? Or traveling the world with me?

A week ago, I was annoyed with a man who didn’t know what he wanted or where he was going especially with me.

This week, I realized I was in the company of a man who knew where he’d been, where he is, where he’s going and who he wants there with him and I was that person. As trifling, as confused and crazy as I was. I didn’t know what I wanted then. At all.

I told him that. And I told him I could not give him back what he was offering me, because I was so all over the place.

And he said he understood.

I’ve decided to go with my feeling on this one. When I’ve mentioned the prospect of seeing him again to a few friends, they warned me not to play with his affections. So I’d been laying low.

But in my prayers, I’ve asked to be able to see people with new eyes. To see them accurately and clearly. And I’ve given people who didn’t have nearly the same amount of class, respect and status my time and energy.

I’m not so awesome to say I shorted him.

But I certainly shorted myself. And my heart can’t afford to not give someone like that a real chance.

More references to Lancelot: https://29tolife.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/heart-head-gut-do-all-three-have-an-equal-vote/

Going Out Alone, It’s the Opposite of Pathetic

I realized I was starting to mature when I started going to the movies, restaurants and bars alone.

Just last year, for the very first time, I went on vacation alone and it was fantastic. I was lazy (sleeping in), I was a nerd (went to museums) and I did as I pleased when I pleased.

What sparked today’s topic is the fact I really want to see these pitiful Wizards play the new and improved New York Knicks. The Knicks haven’t been good since I was in high school and, well, I just want to see this miracle for myself.

Suddenly I realized that my local female friends wouldn’t really have much interest (Other than meeting men but they would automatically be considered wack because they’d be sitting in the cheap seats with us too. “And why do we have to sit waaay up here???”) and I have very few male friends out here to just simply hang out with.

Going alone to the game may work out well considering I want to buy the $10 nosebleed seats just to get out and have a little fun. I’ve had pretty darn close- to-the-floor seats before and it’s fantastic. But just to check out what this new New York squad is all about (I don’t even care at all about the Wizards), I’m not down to make that kind of investment.

All of your life, you are told–especially females– if you go someplace, take a buddy. Before you call my father, yes, for safety reasons, it is usually a good idea to have folks with you. However, you can have a good, safe time alone if you act with caution and common sense.

In high school, you tended to hang in groups and in freshman year of college it wasn’t uncommon to see massive herds of 20 heading out for a movie or a meal.

Some people (mostly women) balk at the idea of going to a movie alone. I’d rather go alone when I go see a documentary or an independent film that most people I know may not be interested in.

The toughest places to go alone for me were definitely restaurants and bars.

I’m at the point now where there are benefits and tricks to getting the experience you want as a woman at a restaurant or bar alone (including free drinks and meals). There are two experiences; wanting to just be out and not be bothered or wanting to be out and be social.

If you want to go out to eat, but you don’t want to be bothered:

Get a table. Do not sit at the bar.

Bring a book.

Play with your phone.

Wear flats.

Don’t wear makeup.

Wear glasses.

Don’t smile.

If you want to go out to eat, but be entertained and have people to talk to:

Sit at the bar.

Talk to the bartenders and people sitting around you, male and female, singles or couples. (Most people sitting at a bar understand the bar community rules and won’t be mad if you do talk, but feel them out. Listen, but don’t butt in on really personal convos.)

Don’t bring a book.

Don’t play with your phone.

Wear makeup.

Wear flattering clothes that make you feel good.

Smile.

When you go out alone and are comfortable with it, you are in control of your social destiny. You come and go as you please, you don’t have to hear other people complain, and you aren’t waiting around for someone else to make a decision that you may not like and will have to suffer through anyway.

With the proper attitude, you may even meet new people and make new friends because you appear open, confident and approachable.

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