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

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

  
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

Image Credit: http://www.wpclipart.com/signs_symbol/words/punctuation/question_mark_drawn.png.html

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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I was fortunate to interface with friends this weekend, some old and some new. It is amazing how much you can learn when you surround yourself with the right people.

I am going through a metamorphosis of sorts. I’m becoming the woman I always knew I could be. It is difficult, even more difficult than chasing my dream or losing weight. I am forced to come face to face with my demons. I now battle the things that have held me down for years.

On Saturday I was in a good space. I walked the Brooklyn Bridge and much of the Lower East Side with friends and Milo, of course. I don’t think I’ve talked about Milo much. But he’s my best friend’s toy poodle and my buddy!

When we came home, I laid down to take a nap and clear my head a bit. Somewhere between clearing my head and napping, I started to drown in my memories. I started to question my journey and my happiness. I wanted to ran away and before I would call my “boyfriend” or the guy I was “talking” to so that I wouldn’t have to deal. Guys are a great distraction and I used them for years in that way.

But as I discussed a couple posts back, I am not doing that anymore and I am making a conscious effort to go toe to toe with whatever life throws.

I decided to go to the gym, it was an off day so I figured I would just get on the recumbent bike and read a book.

Before I made it out the door, I was stopped by words that I will now live by. “Why won’t you let us love you” My friends wanted to be there for me. I was removing myself because I did not want to bring them down too. It had been such a great day.

I cried and cried to them, opening up about how messed up I feel, how scared I am. I had a heart to heart the day before with another amazing friend, many things were heavy on my heart. I was a mess but I humbly accepted their presence in my life.

I know that I will get through this rewiring of self but I also know that I will forever be a woman in process.

Thank you to all that have been there for me though out my illness, my weightless journey, my mood swings, my life.

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