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

 

 

 

 

Things are good these days. Though not perfect, I live everyday thankful for my blessings. I started this year with no job, no real plan but I was hopeful and that hope has seen me through. I’ve now successfully managed three big fundraising events, which is great for the ego. But what I’m most thankful for is the fact that I don’t hate going to work everyday because I used to! 

Though I’m not completely living my purpose, this position has been exactly what I need and it is remarkable to be a part of something bigger than myself. And I’m truly motivated my our vision. (Shameless plug, still time to donate, click here: Walk to End Alzheimer’s

I’m still back home with my parents; I’ve stopped looking at it as a step back and I’ve embraced it for what it is. It’s my pivot, an opportunity for a change of direction.

My health is up and down. My medicine has been changed a couple times this year, resulting in the usual weight gain and emotional instability that I’ve become accustomed to. But the funny thing is, I love myself more now than I ever have. I needed a shift in mindset,  I had to rewire or at least start the process. It’s one thing to appear like your changing or blog about changing as I did much of last year. It’s whole different thing to buckle down and do the work necessary for change. It’s messy, tearfilled, difficult work. 

I’m still at the gym 4-5 times a week and do my best with my food choices. The scale has not moved all the way in the right direction but I’m trying. I’ve learned that I can love myself through the process. Yes I want the “body” but the body that I am currently in, is smart, beautiful, confident and capable.

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But even though I’m in this good, ever so positive space. I’m struggling with one thing. Well there are MANY things but one thing in particular that I need to work on soon…forgiveness.

“Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense”

I’ve been able to forgive most of the trauma that has occurred in my life. I’ve let go of the hate that I once had in my heart for the perpetrators. Let’s be clear, I’m far from healed but I have forgiven the evil. But I struggle to forgive the pain caused by those that are still in my life. The ones that have offended me but I love them so much that I would never want them out of my life. I’m struggling to move from frustration to forgiveness.

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I’m on my self-help thing right now so of cour

Soooo yea, I’m struggling with forgiveness. I have no poker face and often times if I’m upset, you’ll know it. I’ll always be there for them but I’m no longer the Venesa that they’ve come expect.

I joke with one of my good friends about self-awareness. It seems to always come up in our conversations, the ability to be really know why you’re doing what you’re doing, thus being able to correct it or not.

I’m aware that at this moment, I’m at a place of anger and I need to move from here to one of forgiveness…

A Woman in Process

Written:11/24/16

 

  
Last night a friend started sending my roommate and I pictures from our trip to Italy. It was completely unexpected and some how exactly what I needed in the moment. It was great to look back at a time in our lives that we shared, memories that only the three of us would have. There were pictures of the food, the countryside and even the handsome men of Italy! 

Friendship just like any other relationship takes work. They say nothing worth having comes easy. I mean you can have associates that you laugh, chuckle and sometimes go out with. Or you can have true friends that know your deep dark secrets the ones who have your back without judgement. I believe that is what we are working towards. This takes time and most certainly effort.

It’s the willingness to have those difficult conversations. It’s the willingness to at times see past yourself and your emotions. I think often times when we come into relationships, we fail to understand the other person’s perspective. We are all different. In my case, I’ve known one of these girls for fifteen years and the other for two years. Years mean nothing without constant reworking. We are all in process so it’s impossible for us to have the friendship we had even a year ago in Italy. Some areas will be stronger and some not so much. But if you are committed to that relationship no matter what it is, then you work at it.

I had to have a difficult conversation recently, I didn’t want to. But I knew it was necessary for our friendship, it was necessary for me. Historically I have been notorious for running from a situation. I decide that you’ve wronged me and that’s it, I’m out. I’m learning to express myself more, letting my loved ones know how their actions affect me while acknowledging my faults.

My network isn’t perfect but I am committed to keeping the ones that I care about close to me. It has taken me a long time to get here. Just a hint, the first step was letting go of my ego.

Your ego will have you thinking, “your shit don’t stink” please pardon the expression. But we sometimes feel that there is no way we are at fault. Nobody walking this earth is perfect, swallow your pride and build friendships, not Instagram followers or Facebook friends but lasting relationships.

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

Image Credit: www.pd4pic.com

I’m on a cleanse of sorts. Up until recently, I was so in love with love that I would go from relationship to relationship searching for someone to fill that void. It’s those damn romantic comedies, Cameron Diaz always gets the perfect guy. So here I am, searching for my Matthew McConaughey. I’ve done that for the last 8 years, I started dating at 17. What I’ve never done however is work on me. I talk about working on myself all the time. But the second I’m alone, truly alone. I can’t deal with it. So it’s easy to text a guy from my past or a number I took that I never thought I would use.

Case in point, I reached out to guy from my past a few days ago. I would like to think it was genuine and I really wanted to check in. But moments later, I have a date scheduled. It wasn’t my intention, but he wanted to hang out and being me, I had to oblige.

The date went well. He was the perfect gentleman, he’s a good guy so I didn’t expect anything less. Towards the end of the date we had a verbal exchange that was not great but I didn’t think much of it. The next day, we had brunch and a walk planned. I reached out to him for details. He basically called me out on my attitude and said that this wasn’t for him. Our personalities didn’t match. I tried to explain my feelings away and justify the attitude that I had the night before.

But his mind was made up and he didn’t want to see me again. Sure my pride is hurt but I was wrong. I appreciate his honesty and maturity, I wish him the best.

In hindsight, I shouldn’t have even gone on the date. I should given myself the time that I promised myself I would. If I had reached out to him 6 months from now, our story would most certainly be different.

I can’t say that I’m on a man cleanse for x amount of days because life doesn’t work like that. But what I will say is that I will make a concerted effort to stop the pattern. Just like my exercise and eating habits. It will take time.

Am I undateable, for now I am.

A Woman in Process

 

They say that people are in our lives for a reason, season or a lifetime. I’ve come to learn how true that is. Last Easter dinner my friends and I had this profound conversation about about “friends” and the purpose they serve. Now just a year removed from that conversation; I think about the people that are no longer in my life, the people that used to be my complete focus but more importantly, the people that are still here.

I think that every person that comes into your life serves a purpose. But they key is to make sure they are playing the right role. Growing up playing basketball, I always understood the importance of playing your role. I was a 5’4 scrappy player. I was on a team with girls that were amazing, many of them went Division 1. I was not a star on that team, even if I had the talent to be one, that was not my purpose. My purpose was go out there play defense and get rebounds, that’s what I did.

You can’t expect a coworker to treat you like a best friend or a one night stand to be your husband. My point is that not everyone is the star and as such shouldn’t be playing that position. I was disappointed by something a guy friend of mine did last night. My anger turned to humor as a I realized the reason we are in each others lives.

I can’t expect anything more from him, that is not where we are in our friendship. That’s not to say that one day we won’t get there. Friend is a term that we use so freely but most of us can count true friends on one hand. The other hand is equally as important though because those people may play just as vital a role, it’s just that their position is different.

A Woman in Process

I’m so sick of being sick. This week has been a trying one for me, from dizzy spells to now a stomach bug. I could tell you where I’m writing this from but that might be TMI. It seems that I can’t catch a break.

I was talking to a few friends; We were doing the comparing thing. You know the thing you do when you look at someone else’s life and feel really bad about yours because you “think” they have it all together.

“We all have stuff, our stuff is just different.” Nobody, no matter the job they have or the money or the looks or the whatever, has it figured out. We all have something that we need to work on or something that is a constant battle everyday.

I’ve always been someone that people confide in, as such, I hear a lot of stories that are just difficult. I know for a fact that some people who pretend to have it together are really struggling. But that might be how they cope with it and you now what, that’s fine.

However you find refuge is your own business. But what you do not have the right to do is make anyone feel anyway about what they are going through. I’ve said this before, if you have to tear someone down to build yourself up, examine your foundation.

We should be helping each other, uplifting each other. Many people ask me why I am so transparent with my blog. It is my life documented because I am in process. I am someone who gained 50 pounds last year, I want to share my journey and hopefully inspire. I have a chronic illness that I will have to deal with for the rest of my life. I have boyfriend issues and friend issues. I have family struggles and career doubts. I’m just like you. We are All in Process.