With Valentine’s Day just a week behind us and my one-year anniversary approaching, I’ve got love on the brain (Rihanna Voice). For me love was always this movie like thing, butterflies in the stomach, take my breath away feeling. And it was also my healer. The dopamine rush that came from a romantic relationship is what I sought. I wanted someone to complete me.

And while it is something that is truly unexplainable.  Something that takes hold of you and is quite possibly the best feeling in the world. It is not my healer, it is no longer my band-aid, and it is most certainly not perfect!

 

It was the Best of Times, It was the Worst of Times 

Before I got married, I thought things were complicated with my exes because they were not “the one.”  And this is true, they were not the one for me to journey with beyond a certain amount of time. But I thought that once I met my husband, it would be smooth sailing and problem free.

But a year later…I have learned!

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Love can be difficult. When you decide to journey on this thing called life fully committed to this other human and having this other human fully committed to you, it is just that a journey.

You’re learning and growing with this person, but you are also learning and growing individually. And it’s this constant commitment to meet each other in the middle. It’s a commitment to always checking in. Not to mention life will happen, and you have to deal with those trails together.

Falling for Me

I’ve also learned that you can fall and not lose yourself.  Remember that dopamine rush, prior to this relationship I wanted to so badly to fall into someone. I wanted that man to scoop me into him because then I wouldn’t have to deal with the darkness of me.

But it’s incredibly unfair to both of us to give him that responsiblity. I am responsible for my happiness, I am responsible for my completeness. I am everything to myself. My husband’s love and acceptance is a fortunate addition to aforementioned.

Me Again!

I put me first now. I didn’t always though. I was trying to win wife of the year then quickly realized that only resentment comes with that award. Once I learned to put myself first, it became easier to be there for him. Because I was now operating from a place of surplus. Lisa Nichols says you have to love from your saucer meaning you have to love from your overflow. When you love from your overflow,  you have taken care of your needs and are fully equipped to help others.

It’s only year one, but I look forward to the love and to the lessons.

A Woman in Process

 

 

 

 

I used to watch romantic movies all the time. Growing up, I dreamed of that type of love. But I was always flawed in my approach, giving too many unworthy men a chance. I was a hopeless romantic.

And then there was you, three years of back and forth, on and off. I ran from it because I said to myself, ” this doesn’t feel like what I see in the movies.” They’re always happy in the movies, “he” always gets it right in the movies.

I realized almost 8 months ago that much like anything else in life, love requires hard work. It requires a commitment from two people to give it the old college try. And so we started trying again, shortly after I said I couldn’t anymore. Not many people knew, they do now of course.

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We don’t have the perfect story. I saw this the other day and I thought of him. I figured would share. I could have said this to him yesterday but in my attempt to prove that everyday is a reflection of this love that we have worked so hard for, I felt today was better suited.

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A Woman in Process

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As I was walking to the gym this morning, I noticed all the parents hand in hand with their children. It’s the first day of school. It made me smile as I saw parents snapping pics and kids shying away from picture number 10, as if to say mom that’s enough!

I really thought about how amazing that feeling might be, to bring children into this world and properly care them. Growing up I didn’t really want children. I didn’t because I thought there was no way I could be as good a mother to them as my mother is to me. I felt a pressure and it scared me. She truly is an amazing woman and has remained the backbone for all of us.

I was going to hold off until her birthday in a couple of weeks to write about how amazing she is. But I can’t wait. I know everyone says this but I have the most incredible mother in the world.

You have to understand what these last 4 years or so have been like for me. At 21-22, when parents hope for their children to have finished college, moved out the house and started their lives; that’s when I was diagnosed. I turned into her baby all over again. I couldn’t get out the bed, I was completely dependent on her. In the hospital she stayed there with me, every single day. She wouldn’t leave until she had spoken with the night nurses and made sure they knew my needs.

Years removed I’m not nearly as bad but you all know I’ve had my moments. At every issue, health or otherwise, I call her. She is there faithfully and always knows what I need. When I made the recent decisions to basically revamp my life, she supported.

She knew that it wouldn’t be an easy road for me. On Saturday I called her, stressed out about everything. Fearing the idea of finding a new apartment and trying to live comfortable in what seems to be the worst of times.

I said to her “why is this happening to me, I did everything right, I have the degrees, I worked really hard. If I didn’t get sick” She stopped me right there and said “I understand that but look how far you’ve come.” She wanted me to remember my progress, she refused to have me give up or even relish in negativity.

And just like that I got up, took a shower and got on with my day. But what gets me is that, she does this for all of us. My brothers and I, with such conviction and passion. She is my source and my strength. Please understand that if I become half the woman that she is the world will be a better place. I love you mommy. Happy almost Birthday!

A Woman in Process

 

I’ve been discussing my most recent decisions with family, friends and colleagues. Being the caring, loving and most certainly opinionated people that they are; I’ve heard things that are warranted and things that I could have gone without hearing. Just in case you haven’t read my most recent post, I’ll update you a bit.

Within the last few weeks I have resigned from a city government job that provides great benefits; healthcare and otherwise. A job that provides an okay living now and possibly a quite comfortable living in the near future. I have also left a relationship with someone that I saw myself being with forever. Someone who was worthy enough for me to break the vows that I had made to myself earlier this year.

My mother asked me recently, “are you being influenced.” I said to her “sure, I don’t think anyone makes any decision without enlisting the advice of others.”

The difference for me now is that, I am only considering my feelings. I’ve spent much of my life thinking about others before taking my next steps; often so concerned about what people will think or how they will react. You know what, right now in this moment, I don’t care. I am making these decisions on my own accord and I will deal with the consequences accordingly.

Why? Because I am the only one in my body. I am the one who has to wake up most days thankful that I am alive, yes. But nervous for the ensuing headaches, the dizziness, that not too good feeling. That feeling that even though it happens most days, I never get used to it. I rely on a tiny pill for life.

I’ve enjoyed this job but most recently, I’ve felt overworked, stressed and just plain sick. What good are the health benefits if the job is a part of the reason why I’m sick?

I’ve heard more comments recently about my relationship. People weighing in on both sides. Please make no mistake about it, I love that man and I know he loves me. He is loyal, honest, caring; all the foundational things that I think quite frankly are rare in our current dating environment. I know that.

But again I ask, what good are all these things if I am not happy? There are things missing in this relationship. Things that I don’t think I can go on without. But most importantly I’m not ready for a serious relationship. That is why I made the promise to myself a few months back to stay away. I’m in this place, not finding myself but creating the woman I want to be. I am fighting for her, I refuse to loose her.

My one year loc (dreadlocks) anniversary was a few days ago. Last year when I made that decision, I heard the comments good and bad but I forged ahead because it was what I wanted.

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It is no coincidence that these decisions are running parallel to each other. I am living my life, the way I envision. I may fall, I may even loose sight but I will never give up.

A Woman in Process

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When we got back together a couple months ago we promised each other that this time would be different. We don’t really have a choice, neither of us have the energy for another go round.

As you know, before he came back I was committed to taking the time to work on me. I broke that vow to myself, I have to make this time worth it.

We don’t fight and we do our very best to talk through most, if not all situations. Make no mistake, it’s incredibly difficult, remember I’m a woman in process. Many times being mature about a situation is not what feels comfortable. Not to mention I am emotional, I cry when I break a pencil!

A couple days ago we had a situation. He did something that I didn’t like and sorta hurt. I called him on it and we resolved it. There are these things that he does that I can not stand, but there are a many more that I do love.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

Corinthians speaks of a true love, an unconditional love, the love we all aspire to receive. But how willing are we to give it?

Our loved ones are flawed. We have to be willing to love them despite that. This does not mean that we settle for anything that is disrespectful or hurtful. But we have to accept them for who they are, work on the things that you can both change and move on.

In many relationships. especially romantic, we continue to complain about things that are beyond our control. The choice was made years ago; work through it or make another choice.

I observe a lot; at work, on the train or  just in my day to day. I’ve noticed lately that we do this thing, I call it “convenient love.” Convenient love is loving only when it benefits you or requires little sacrifice.

That is not love, love is when a mother stays up all night when her child is sick, when a dad makes it to every single game no matter what, when a friend drives hours to where you are because you need them. It is the willingness to love someone despite their past, flaws and mistakes.

We can’t demand a love that we are not willing to give. It’s starts with you.

A Woman in Process

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It’s only been a few weeks but I’ve been keeping something from you. After my nightmare of a date last month, I made commitment to myself and focusing on me. But like I mentioned in that post, life has a way of making absolutes tricky.

My ex, someone who I’ve been playing the back and forth game with for the last three years, resurfaced in my life. We have always kept in contact and held no hard feeling towards each other. When we finally decided to part ways for the last time, it was on mutual terms and I felt that it was over at least that part of our relationship.

When he phoned me three weeks ago expressing where he was in life and saw how I fit into his new present and future, I was taken aback. It’s not that I didn’t believe him but I was skeptical. I’ve been waiting three years to have this man commit in this way so it was shocking to hear him tell me these things, why now?

I was scared because I didn’t want to lose me again. I want to explore me void of a relationship or attachments. But unlike the old Venesa, I didn’t seek this, this found me.

He asked me for an opportunity to show that this time, the last time, will be different. He asked me to stop acting like it would be a bad thing to fall in love with him. He begged me for the chance to be what I have always wanted.

I resisted for a little while. The last few months he was keeping in touch a bit more so I figured something was a brewing. But I know this man and he doesn’t say anything he does not mean nor does he sugar coat. A major part of the reason why we struggled before, back then I wasn’t mature enough to understand his honestly. Now I relish in his candor.

Please don’t get me wrong we had a host of other issues, my illness, my climbing back to me, his personal battles, arguing, culture you name we went through it. And we have a long way to go no matter how much we have changed individually.

I kept this from you because I felt like I talked a big game about being alone and ended up in this thing, moments later. But then I realize that a part of why I love writing in this forum is the fact that I get to be so open.

I haven’t been writing as often because I truly felt like I was keeping a secret. But it’s not a secret at all. I love this man and I’m granting him the opportunity, as he asked, to fall in love.

At first I didn’t even tell the people closest to me, out of fear of ridicule. But I made my decision and they have the choice of being on board or not. It’s that simple.

Do I wish that I had more time for myself, sure. He’s moved from New York and in a way I have the best of both worlds. My friends will tell you, I’m a hopeless romantic, I do fall hard. The physical distance between us will force me to take it slow and still work on me. The most important part of the equation.

I know in my heart that if I didn’t give this a fair shot I would wonder all my life, what if?

A Woman in Process