I pride myself on being an open book, believing that my story will be an inspiration to others. But at times my transparency is met with unwanted questions and unsolicited advice. When I feel my truth will be ridiculed, I run. I enter my zone usually taking a step back from those around me, unless I feel that they have proven themselves to be unconditional in their love. There is good and bad to this. The good being that I have to protect my dream and my truth. When one chooses to do things that are against the grain or something that may seem far-fetched; the naysayers will be the loudest voice you hear. Protection is necessary. But I’ve learned that by running, I’m protecting myself, yes but I could be hurting other people too.

Running is a natural reaction. Walter Bradford Cannon described it as the fight or flight response. I think we all remember this from high school or our freshmen year psychology class, the one we took only because it was Gen. Ed requirement. “The fight-or-flight response is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival.” During this time the body naturally does things that prepares you get out of harms way as fast as you can or buckle down and fight. We’re talking increased heart rate, constriction of blood vessels and liberation of metabolic energy sources for muscular action!

https://psychlopedia.wikispaces.com/Fight-or-Flight+Response

 

It makes sense that when I feel someone  is attacking me, my dream or my plan; I’m out! I’m not a fighter, so I’ll just walk away. There is nothing wrong with removing yourself from situations that are fruitless. But if it is not yet fruitless, it is worth a conversation not a fight but a productive dialogue. I’m working on doing that. I have a long way to go. My friends call me a turtle, because going into my shell is what feels comfortable. But life isn’t about doing what is comfortable. It also takes maturity to know the difference between an attack and warranted criticism. If I am hurting people with my running or my isolation, I do not want to do it anymore. I’m working desperately to live my life in Christ and hurting people, no matter how inadvertent, is not something that I want to do. Not to mention, constant running is not necessarily the best way to solve any situation.

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.

IMG_0405

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

IMG_3469

Last night, I was watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians. You can judge me if you want but I genuinely enjoy the show, it’s pure genius. ( I don’t care what Kate Couric says)

In the most recent episode, the family is on a ski vacation in Montana. It was a great trip, the usual drama but all in all, a good time. As they make their way down the mountain to head back to sunny skies; I think it was Kim, Kylie and Khloe was driving. It’s rough terrain and poor weather. They slide on black ice and lose control of the vehicle. The fact that this was captured so vividly is another testament to my aforementioned claim of how amazing this show is but I digress.

The moment was incredibly scary. There’s a link below. You can fast forward to the last 30 seconds or so but watching the entire video gives a bit of perspective.

After the accident, the camera pans to the car in a ditch, Kim crying and police lights. It was a dramatic scene. After the incident, Kim mentioned how grateful she was for her life, they all were. They stressed the importance of being appreciative.

As I watched this I can’t help but think, how much like them, we often don’t take the time to truly appreciate our life, our loved ones, even our health, until something bad happens or we no longer can.

Please don’t think I’m pointing the finger because I am an offender too. Just last week, I went on a what my boyfriend would call a tamper tantrum about my life and how unfair this health thing is.

Yes, losing sight for those moments was incredibly scary but I got it back! I’m chronically ill but I am able. I’m ashamed to say that I lost sight of that, no pun intended. Just like them, it took something traumatic to truly appreciate.

We need to be consistently thankful, no matter circumstance. I know this won’t prevent the bad from happening. But what it will do, is provide remarkable perspective.

Say one thing to yourself that you are thankful for after reading this post.

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

 

 

I just got back to me. As such, I started to write. I’m a spoken word artist but I haven’t truly put pen to pad in years. To commemorate my new found inspiration. Below please find an oldie but goodie. It’s met to be spoken but I hope you can still feel the words.

 

She had a date with Mr. Man

In preparation she decided to hold a meeting between her lips and the bottle

As rum burned the insides of her insides, the butterflies died

No longer nervous she approached the situation with calmness and lack of inhibition

She had known him for couple months but this was first true meeting of the minds

She wanted to crack open his skull, chisel away until she unlocked every memory, want and desire

She wanted to know him and in turn he know her

Wanted him to swim along the waves of her every thought, Hold picnics in the central park of her being

She had no idea where the relationship would lead but became fond of exploring the possibilities

Because you see there were these qualities

That he possessed that would send chills up the spine of a paralytic

Rich dark chocolate skin and lips that looked soft to the touch, and eyes that were focused and driven on taking Corporate America by storm

In her young life she had never met anyone like him, as cliché as it may sound it was the truth

She had never met anyone that seemed so in tune with the plan that she saw for herself

Now let us remember she held no expectations, she was just in awe of the manifestation

As if God was showing her representation that He was out there

Her soul mate, her knight in shining armor, her Matthew McConaughey in every romantic comedy  

He was out there, and she became excited, giddy like a school girl

Even if Mr. Man was not the one, there was hope that ones like him still existed

The plan was to spend the night together bring in the light of a new day together

She hoped their minds would connect on the most intimate of levels and a friendship would be born from their passion

They sat in the room and talked for hours until the darkness inside the room matched the one outside the window.

And flickering light from the television matched the stars of the night sky.

She was enjoying the chatter and foresaw no physical embrace that moved beyond the locking of tongues or the meeting of lips

Needless to say she was not ready for what took place in the coming moments

Their lips touched and his lips were just as soft as she envisioned, his hands ran the curves of her body

Her hands felt the shape of his every muscle

He assisted with the removal of every garment

His brown skin pressed against her brown skin and their naked bodies danced in ways that were met for the grown and sexy

He moved in and out never once removing his lips from hers

They played out the words of a romantic novel until the climax

Once the deed was done they laid in bed, she inched as far away as she could

She did not feel regret but there was an emotion that came over her

She had just let this man accomplish the most amazing of feats and she was not sure it he was worthy

Fear manifested as goose bumps on skin of her body

But he pulled her close to him and they slept the night into morning

She awoke inside his arms; he was holding her as tight as if protecting her from the outside world

She felt safe and wanted

She knew there time together was coming to a close, but his eyes reassured her that this was not their last meeting

As they parted ways she felt like the female lead in every romantic comedy, Cinderella at the ball and the lady to his knight

 

 

When you hung up on me a few days ago it signified a complete end to our relationship. Moments after I deleted and blocked your number. Oh and your keys are in a Park Slope garbage can somewhere. I’m not bitter, I’m just done. This is not intended to bash you but because I didn’t have an opportunity to express my pain and frustration, here it is.

We were friends first before any line was ever crossed. We truly got to know each other and I can honestly say I have never connected with another man the way I did with you. When we started this little situation back in November. I expressed to you my current position. From career to family, you knew the things that were my focus.

Feeling the pressures of life, I looked to you as my source and refuge. That was my first mistake because though you were incredibly supportive, I should have looked within. I can not be anything for the people that I impact on a daily basis if I don’t stay true to the things that I tell them. I should have taken care of home first.

On Sunday when I said to you I’m going to take a step back to focus on my dream and my mental health. It was probably the most genuine thing I’ve ever said to you. I understood that it would put you in an awkward position but I was willing to compromise. I can’t attest to what you felt in that moment because you didn’t express yourself. You choose to wait until we got into an argument to vent. You made references to my illness and my mental health. I think it is incredibly selfish to not see what I am trying to accomplish. I also think it’s insensitive to talk about my struggles in the way you did. I’m not upset because honestly isn’t not worth my energy but I am hurt. The irony is that on Valentine’s Day, when you gave me those books, you expressed how great I was and encouraged me to pursue my dream.

I appreciate everything you were to me. You were great friend and an amazing lover. But in this moment you showed me exactly who you are. Thank you for the motivation. I’m determined to make that which I strive for a reality.

“I just want to know what I can do in the air and what I can’t, that’s all. I just want to know”

A Woman in Process

 

https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSYB4uOyCK-mrzBtJIdh7W14NPI2OfQJ73IPKMo2d5Ftw6L_afoSg

I saw an ex the other day. I didn’t know what to say or how to react. He wanted me to stop and talk for a while but I did the “it was good to see you, but I gotta go” yea I ran, not sure why. He represents a part of my life that I don’t want to revisit. It’s almost like he was the manifestation of the girl I was. And the woman I’ve become/becoming didn’t want to see that scared, lonely, insecure, or confused girl. So I ran from her. Who I was is just as important as who I am now though. I should have embraced my past. Reminiscing in those moments of anguish and self-loathing only helps me appreciate my progress and growth. I’ve made several mistakes, especially as it relates to men. Sometimes it’s hard to acknowledge who you are or who you were. Don’t be ashamed of anything. Nobody is perfect. And everything is fixable. I say that tongue and cheek because obviously some things are not. But the point I’m making is, don’t get caught up in making mistakes: live your life and know that the bad points only prepare you. Let’s grow together!

–A Woman in Process