In Honor of Montana: Giving Thanks

21 11 2012

“It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” ~ Psalm 119:71

It’s been five years. Five years since I met the man who would change my life and my perspective on so many things in less than a 2 month time period. And while it doesn’t seem that long ago, this past Saturday actually marked 5 years since he died – since he was killed, actually.

It’s kind of amazing how time works. There are days when it feels like I met him a million years ago. Like the girl who I was at that time wouldn’t even recognize me. Like it was another life being lived, and I only watched it on TV.  And then there are times when it seems like just yesterday that this cute, tall, dark chocolate drop of goodness slipped me his phone number in one of DC’s most popular eateries. He was so slick about it, in fact, that for a minute, I didn’t realize it had happened. It wasn’t until I walked out that I noticed the receipt that read “Simply beautiful. Call me.” It listed his number and name, and that was it.

I naturally thought this man was a smooth operator and was not to be trusted. Who could be that slick and not be a shyster, right? It should be noted that I met him at a time when I was beyond jaded about the men in my life. I didn’t trust anyone, and without realizing it, I’d created this slightly dark and twisty outlook. I didn’t want people to hug me. I didn’t like cuddling. And most importantly, I didn’t believe anything any man said to me. Anything.

And yet, over the course of 2 months, this man knocked 90% of those walls down. I don’t know how he did it. One day I was doubting that he even actually knew who I was, (When I was finally convinced to call him, I argued him down that he probably gave that message to several women and didn’t actually know who was calling him. I shut up when he described my entire outfit and gave a very accurate description of me, down to the freckles on my face and the nail polish I had on.) and the next thing I knew we were texting each other silly high school ish like, ‘just thinking about you boo,’ and ‘I heard this song today that reminded me about you.’

Somehow, this man had taken me (dragging and screaming, mind you) to the point where I was not only ok with seeing him everyday, I wanted to. To where I was growing comfortable with having honest and vulnerable conversations with him. And then, of course, out of nowhere, it was all gone.

For the longest time, I reverted back to the shut off person that he’d met in 2007. I went back to not wanting any physical contact of a comforting nature, always fearful that I would start crying at any moment and not be able to stop. I’d locked all my feelings about the situation inside, and if possible, actually became more closed off than I was before. Ironically, at one point, I even got a tattoo to symbolize a reminder to myself of why it was important to keep my heart open (because time is not promised to any of us), but that tattoo didn’t actually serve its purpose. It just sat there as a reminder of what I wasn’t doing; how I wasn’t honoring what he’d taught me.

Today though, five years later, I can finally say that I get it. I don’t always get it right, but I get it. And I think that’s part of the reason I don’t just remember the horrible, empty feeling I felt when he passed. I can now remember all of the good that came from our time together. I can now remember his infectious laugh and smile about it. And I can meet a man these days and not be afraid to ‘put myself out there’ with him. Montana taught me that life’s too short to be insular and afraid of love, and everyday I’m alive, I’m thankful to God for having brought him into my life.

It’s because of him that I appreciate all of my relationships more. I don’t take my friends for granted the way I did before. I cherish the little moments I have with my family. And I thank God every day for this life he’s allowed me to have. It may not be perfect or always go the way I want it to, but it’s special, it’s had some fabulous moments, and it’s still continuing.

Happy Thanksgiving guys! May you have a very blessed day with your loved ones. I surely plan to.

PS: This will be the last blog post for this week, but come back bright and early Monday morning for the next post (or spend some time perusing through the archives – you never know what old goodies you might find)! Love ya 🙂

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Sweet November

18 11 2010

“So young for death, we walk in shoes too big, but you play it like a poet, like you always did… and I had thought that I would die here. But you pushed me on; you pushed me on; you pushed me on.” ~Corinne Bailey Rae (I’d Like to Call it Beauty)

November is usually not a good time of the year for me – at least, it hasn’t been for about 3 years now. Sadly, I used to love November. You’ve got Thanksgiving (so lots of good food!), an extra holiday off (Veteran’s Day) AND one of my fav’s (Pimp C) has a birthday in this month.

But three years ago that all changed when the guy I was dating was killed. And every year since then, it’s been like a part of me relives the despair of 2007 around this time. For the past two Novembers, I’d start to withdraw from everyone, become extremely introspective, start to regret a lot of things and have to crawl myself out of the funk by Christmas time. But not this year. This year, I’ve decided to do things differently. It started earlier this year when I began to actually process what all happened that winter. Once I did that and surprisingly got the courage to enter the restaurant we’d met at once again (partially due to a Private Practice episode), the idea of letting myself stay stuck in that place became less and less appealing. I think part of me didn’t want to be happy in November, because I didn’t want to feel like I’d let him go.

Except – I have let him go – in every healthy way possible. I can talk about us now and not get teary eyed. I can look at what we had and remember that he showed me two of the most important lessons of my life: 1) it doesn’t take a lifetime to know you want to be with someone and 2) you can’t let fear stop you from going forward. It’s not that I’m any less aware of what November means to me, or that time has removed most of the shock. It’s really that I’ve decided to enjoy my time and live the life I have to the fullest.

That’s why a month after moving into my own apartment, I decided to take a trip to Puerto Rico with some friends and cool people. Sure, I needed the vacation and the hour and 1/2 $60 full body massage, but my decision came from a feeling of “hey, why shouldn’t I go to Puerto Rico for a few days?! I can afford it, and you only live one life. C’est la vie!” (shout out to my cuzzo, Glam!) And that’s kind of the attitude I’ve taken this year. Sometimes that’s worked out well, like deciding to start the process of pitching my first book to literary agents. Some have not gone as well, like taking 2nd (or 25th, however you want to number it) chances with Jake and Cosby… but either way, all the choices have been for the better.

All those C’est la vie decisions have brought a sense of rebirth into my life. And there’s more… I got my 7th tattoo on a whim in NYC with Pimp C. I spent Easter Monday at the White House! I turned down a job in Brooklyn at a time when moving to NY was a great desire of mine. And did I mention that I moved into my own apartment in October? Yeah, that too lol

And on the day after November 17th, the day that ruined November for me for 2 years, I can say that I like November again.

I’m happy, and looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with my beautiful sisters and getting ready to go home for Christmas. I like November again, and that’s pretty sweet to me.





The Girl who didn’t go to NYC

21 07 2010

I watch The Hills – not afraid to admit it. Well, I guess I should say that I used to watch The Hills, since it recently had its series finale. But whether you watched it or not or believed in the reality of the show or not, you have to admit that it was certainly a big part of pop culture for a span of 4-6 years. One of the more culturally significant scenes of the show was when main character, Lauren Conrad, had a choice to make at the end of the 2nd season. Does she go to Paris for the summer for her job or does she stay and spend the summer with her then boyfriend/ “love of her life,” Jason Wahler?

Lauren eventually chose Jason and thus became known as the girl who didn’t go to Paris, put so eloquently by her boss at the beginning of the next season. For whatever reason, that scene always resonated with me. I think because as a woman, our generation of women sometimes feel like we are faced with that decision often (career or love-life)… and I know plenty of women who have secretly wondered if they can truly do both successfully.

Well, recently I was faced with a similar decision – although not as blatantly said. Since January, I’ve been on the job grind, for a few reasons. I was starting to feel a little restless in my position, knowing that I would have been there 2 years at the end of July 2010. But I also felt like it was the perfect time to be in a state of transition. In January, I wasn’t dating anyone seriously and had no obligations outside of myself (and distant ones to family and my god daughter, of course, but nothing that was holding me to DC). I felt like it was the perfect time, if any, that if an opportunity came up in Chicago or NYC, I could pick up and move with no real consequences. (To note: this was after Cosby Show and I decided things were not going to work towards the end of January.)

So I started looking and decided on 5 major cities that I would consider – NYC, Philly, Chicago, DC and home (New Orleans). As far as I was concerned, neither city had a lead over another – they were just cities that I could see myself legitimately living for a few years, with maybe home as the only implied long term destination. I also had some other rules set for myself: the job had to be a move up in my career – so that meant no lateral moves – and I wouldn’t leave my current job for less than $10, 000 more than what I was already making. I didn’t want to be changing positions just to do it, with no real purpose behind it all.

And I set out on my journey: job searching and applying, job searching and applying. Occasionally, I had an interview or two, but nothing really panned out. During this same time, however, two things started happening that I didn’t foresee. I started spending time with Jake again (unconsciously making NYC a preference amongst the 5 cities now) and my job began to offer me more projects and opportunities – eliminating the whole restless thing I had going on (although I still wanted more money).  Even with those two things occurring, I kept searching and applying, believing that wherever I was supposed to be – something/ the right thing would come through for me. And one day, I received a call for a job I’d applied for in Brooklyn and they wanted me to come up for an interview. Having been through a few interviews prior, I didn’t get overly excited but it certainly had everything I was looking for (great career potential, more money, and this new found desire for NYC). I went to the 1st interview and I KNEW I’d knocked that interview out of the park.

Suddenly, the idea of NYC was starting to seem real and the fact that I’d stayed with Jake when I went up there for the interview only solidified my desire to be there. When he hugged me goodbye that Friday night after the interview and spending the day with him, the idea of going back to DC that weekend was pure torture.  All I could think of at that point was NYC, NYC, NYC lol. I mean, who wouldn’t right? Great job, great city, guy I want lives in that city – I was good to go. Except that when I went in for the 2nd interview, I learned that the job wasn’t quite as great as I initially thought. In fact, it wasn’t 10% as great as I initially thought – it was, in essence, going to be a lateral move career wise and money wise, once you calculated cost of living expenses. At the same time, a new exciting position was coming up in my current company in DC. It wasn’t a guarantee, but the important people were considering me as a candidate for the position – something that had many of the qualifications of what I thought the position in Brooklyn had.

Eventually, I was offered the position in NYC and just like Lauren Conrad, had to make a decision to leave or stay. And I struggled. I mean, truly truly struggled to the point that before speaking to my pastor at home, I was literally sick to my stomach with anxiety over this decision. Here I’d been praying for this opportunity to come through and now that it had, something didn’t quite seem right about pursuing it. And I didn’t get why.

A lot of my friends thought that my uncertainty came from a fear of picking up and going somewhere new. But that wasn’t it – after all, this is what I said I wanted months before it became a reality. The problem was that when I sat down and was truly honest with myself, I knew the decision to go to NYC wouldn’t have had anything to do with my career. Sure, it was NYC and mostly every writer wants to be there, but my true desire to be there had nothing to with that job. In fact, that job no longer met any of my requirements from when I started job searching. It was the location and more so the man in the location that was influencing my decision – and once I realized that, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t go.

Here were all these great opportunities coming up right where I was and I was contemplating moving because I didn’t want to be in a long distance relationship but I wanted to be with him. How crazy is that?! (especially since even as excited as he seemed about the prospect of me coming there, he never once said, “I want you to come here”.) Now, I’m not saying that there is anything intrinsically wrong with choosing love over your career – but for me, it just didn’t sit right. Not this guy. Not this move. So instead of choosing him, for once in our relationship, I chose me and chose to stay in DC. It may be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. And while I don’t regret it (at all), it did take a while for me to deal with the idea that I didn’t move (and basically fight for us).

I’ve told you before that I love fully, so the idea that I didn’t try everything to make it work – that stayed with me for a bit, until I realized that some things are worth fighting for and some things just are not. I also realized that I did actually fight for something in this situation. I fought for me. And in doing so, I think I gained back just a few of the pieces of me that I lost while with him. And if it took not going to NYC to do that – I’d do it again in a heartbeat.





Tick Tock, Tick Tock

12 11 2009

flying

A few weeks ago, I started this post that would be titled, “Tick Tock, Tick Tock” and it was going to be about how some of my friends’ biological clocks were beginning to loudly tick in their heads and that while I could not relate exactly (because, let’s face it – I’m too excited being a godmommy, teetee, and cousin to all the little ones in my life, and that’s more than enough for me right now), I could sympathize with the tick tocking sound – because my own clock was resonating in my head. To be clearer, the post was going to be about how I was at a point in my life where I wanted to start building something with someone… which sounds crazy if you read this post and this post.  Here’s how it was supposed to go…

I never knew it would happen to me… in fact, I used to make fun of the women you’d see on TV or the ones you’d read about in magazines, and I’d always say, “Whew, I will NEVER be that woman.” And yet, here I stand (like Usher)… or rather sit ( since I’m typing)… as that woman.

It could be the fact that in the past year, I’ve known over 15 people who’ve gotten married… 4 couples who’ve gotten engaged, and 10 (yes 10!!!!!!!!!!!!) people who’ve married in between the months of September and October 2009 alone… but whatever it is, it’s here. I am her.

And I don’t like it… not one little bit.

And then I stopped. I never finished writing it. That will happen sometimes when I’m writing a post for the future… I’ll start it, come back to it when I have more time, and eventually finish it – but the reason I stopped was different this time. I stopped because something about the post didn’t seem…. right.

And so I came back to it today, and realized what it was. I should say from the start (or rather the middle now lol) that November has come to be a very emotional month for me. I had a tragedy happen with a boyfriend at this time 2 years ago and while I have mostly grown from that experience and certainly don’t regret the time we shared, there are times when the pain of it is excruciating. Not often. Most days I’m fine, most days I’m dealing with other matters or figuring out other situations, focusing on other people – but some days are not good. November is pretty much a month full of not good days.

And if you know me, then you know that means I instinctively retreat. One of my friends so eloquently pointed out to me the other day that I am “a silent person when it comes to dealing with pain.” Another friend once called me Brie from Desperate Housewives (and if you’re reading this – yes, that still hurts lol). This November, however, has been particularly frustrating because of the post I was starting to write. Like I said, I’ve never been that girl who wants to be in a relationship. It just usually happens. I’m either in one or I’m not – and usually, even if I’m not, I’m not alone.

But a little while ago, I chose to be alone. I let go of the go-to (for a few different reasons) and decided that the next guy would be something substantial – still moving at a slow pace – but substantially moving at a slow pace. And since then, I have met guys. I’ve continued to meet men, give them my phone number, have them try to date me…. and continued to shut them down. Because really, there’s only been one man I’ve ever really wanted over the past 5 years.

In the midst of all the other guys and all the other dates, he’s the only one that I want to call when something great happens or that I want to rub my hair when something goes wrong. He’s the only one who can make things better for me at the sound of his voice and can bring a cheesy smile to my face at the mention of his name. He’s the only one I’ve literally had dreams of spending the rest of my life with – and while he’s not the one who died in November, he is the one who should have been out of my life 5 years ago. And every day that I want that, especially in November, there’s an equally just as paralyzing feeling that I am shitting on the memory of the man who I say taught me that I deserve better.

So I think that the reason I stopped the post was because the post was going to be about wanting to be in a relationship. But that’s not true – I don’t. I want to be with him… which is something entirely and wholeheartedly different. And yet, as much as I want to be with him – I KNOW we will never be together. There are some things that you just know. Like the fact that the tick tocking may not be the tick tocking of wanting a relationship, but a constant reminder that it’s time (past time) to let go.

A long time ago, on my first blog, I mentioned that I have this weird thing that I do of connecting to quotes and characters on certain shows. I get too invested sometimes. I can quote almost full episodes of Grey’s Anatomy (I’m not kidding… nor am I bragging either). I know it’s weird – but I still do it, kind of like how I still collect and keep a very handy box of cards at my place that I have purchased in advance for pretty much any occasion you can imagine. Anyway, the other day I was watching Glee and they sang the song, “Defying Gravity,” from the musical, Wicked.

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I’m through with playing by the rules
Of someone else’s game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It’s time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes: and leap!….

I’m through accepting limits
”cause someone says they’re so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I’ll never know!
Too long I’ve been afraid of
Losing love I guess I’ve lost
Well, if that’s love
It comes at much too high a cost!
I’d sooner buy
Defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye
I’m defying gravity,
I think I’ll try defying gravity… and you won’t bring me down.

And it just stuck. Now is the time to LEAP! Do everything I say I do – go no holds bar for everything I want. (except him, of course lol)… and immediately (well, after singing it a few times in the shower and in the bed with my remote as the microphone), I was at peace. No more ticking, no more tocking – just silence. The good kind.





Something in Between…

1 10 2009

What a girl wants; What a girl needs; Whatever makes me happy sets you free; And I’m thanking you for knowing exactly…” ~ Christina Aguilera

I seem to be having this very interesting knack in my dating life, of meeting men on two very different extremes of the dating spectrum. Either they seem to want to marry me after the first conversation or they can’t seem to make the oh so significant jump* from talking to me constantly to wanting to go on a date. It’s quite the conundrum, actually.

And I’m finding it more and more difficult to understand why I can’t find something in between. I mean, is it really that difficult? No, I don’t want to talk to you 20 times a day, but goodness, even Toni Braxton didn’t put up with seven whole days of not hearing from her dude. It’s okay, though – I have not given up, cuz I mean really, regardless of my temper tantrum the other day, there’s no way I’m going to stop giving my number out to cute guys with great smiles.

Just like Salt N Pepa, MEN are indeed my weakness… well, men and shoes… but you get my point.

But the problem is, how do I manage these extreme expectations, guys? Because they are killing me! – lol, okay, I’m being a little dramatical.** But you get what I’m saying, right? Is it so much to ask to get a little something in between – cuz that’s all this girl wants. As I told a guy the other day, I’m just not in a place where I want to marry someone or can see myself spending the rest of my life with someone right now. I’ve been there – done that, bought the t-shirt, got it ripped out of my hands at a concert, got it returned, tried to sew it back together, and finally said F-it and sold that blickey on eBay.

I’m just not there lol.

I’m also not in the cut buddy mood either these days. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having someone in your life to fulfill a special duty and all. But that’s not where I’m at either right now. I’m somewhere in between – wanting to chill and hang out and have fun and just go with the flow… but I keep finding people on those extremes.

So what does all this mean and why is it generating an entire post from me? I’m glad you asked – the point of this all, the entire thing, is that thsadlittlemermaide Little Mermaid is not happy. She, like Christina on Grey’s Anatomy, is not getting any lovin’ – because all these men are hittin’ her with these extremes. And where this is an unhappy mermaid, there is an unhappier D-Magic.

What’s a girl to do? Don’t tell me I have to marry someone to get it in again – I’ll never make it. I’ll die, I’ll just die!…………………………….Maybe I can get some help from the Juvie this weekend, what do you think CCB???? 🙂 That’s something this girl could see herself wanting LMAO! No? Yes? No? lol

* this jump is in fact not very significant at all – but the men on that side of the extreme seem to think so

** yes, I said dramatical – yes I know it’s incorrect, yes I’m going to keep using it – because well, I like to lol





Steve Madden: Lost and Found

18 01 2009

Okay, so for some reason these shoes look white in the picture, but they’re not… they are Grey. And sooooo cute! I saw them like a month or so ago at this Christmas Party I went to with Diamond Princess and S Curl. As soon as I saw them, I was like… oh I’ve got to have those. So I asked the lady where she got them from… “Steve Madden,” she says. Great. So I look up Steve Madden a couple days later… no shoes! Aghhhhhhhhhhh, what was I going to do? I needed those shoes…

Well, dear readers… the shoes have been FOUND. At Marshalls, of all places… and for only $30!!!!!! They come in grey and red patent leather AND the insole has a little padding!!! 3 1/2 inch sole, but for those who dont think they can walk in a heel with a lot of height, the thickness of the heel should make it a little easier. If you dont have a Marshalls around you, you can also find the Steve Madden IMPEREALs on Zappos, but they’re selling them for $89.





Lost & Found

29 07 2008

Have you seen me “Lately”???

 

This 4 1/2 inch black patent leather pump has absolutely stolen my heart. With the peek-a-boo toe and faux cheetah print stiletto heel, Steve Madden’s “Lately” pump is definitely one of those shoes that can MAKE your outfit. In fact, be careful, because it might just cause a slip-up or two as your swag-meter is sure to increase by at least 2 points. (as long as you dont trip on the 4 1/2 inch heel, that is lol)

Last seen at the Georgetown Steve Madden location on major clearance for $20 a couple weeks ago. Was originally $90. Since then, has not been found at any other Steve Madden location in the DC area or on the Steve Madden website. After the villain (ie the sales person) broke my heart by informing me that the only size left was a size 5 (who the hell wears a size 5?!), have been on search for shoe at similar price.

So far, only luck has been on Amazon.com, kaboodle.com, and zappos.com. However, all locations are selling the shoes for no less than $71. A far cry from the $20 deal at the store.

Will you join me on the case? *Disclaimer*: if you find it, you must report back… it’s only FAIR!