Thursday, December 26, 2013

Movement

For the past few months I have been deep in thought about my new year's goals/resolutions/bucket list.  It was a few weeks ago when I started piecing it together by beginning my vision board.  Don't judge it's sparseness now.  I took this picture at the beginning and I have since added to it, although I still have some work to do.


But as we get closer to New Year's Eve I am starting to get more and more ideas on how I want 2014 to look.  Last year I called my resolutions "goals".  My goals fell into 5 categories:  body, mind, spirit, love, and general (the catch all one).  And under each category I had several goals.  This year I thought that I might have one list with just 5 or 10 goals, perhaps a couple from each category.  But I then I felt as if I wanted to have one big long list.  My friend advised me a long list of new year's resolutions seems more like a bucket list then actually resolutions.  I think she has a point.   When I fleshed it out a bit I started thinking that resolutions are more like action statements not just a list of things on a list.

And there is this idea of a theme.  I read this article from the Huffington Post a few days ago.  It suggested that having a new year's theme was more effective than multiple resolutions.  Suddenly everything kind of clicked.  My New Year's Theme for 2014 is Movement.

For me, movement is not just about exercising and losing weight.  It goes so much further than that.  Movement is about this constant state of moving forward in life.  For me it is about moving into a new job.  It is about my moving into my own place.  It is about my moving forward in my spiritual journey.  And it is about moving on past my old hurts and my old loves.  The days of being stagnant are in the past, it is time for movement.

So I haven't totally given up the idea of having resolutions.  I will probably limit it to 10 or so.  But now I know that they will all support my theme of movement in 2014.  Because I can't really afford to stay in the same place for another year.  MOVEMENT 2014!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Art of Saying No

Why is it so hard to say no?  Is it because we feel like another great opportunity won't come along unless we take this one?  Is it out of pity?  Is it out of shame?  Is it a sense of wanting to fit and not think about our own problems?  Or why is it that when we do say no that we feel bad about it?

I suppose this is an odd time to write this post.  I mean today is Christmas Eve.  Christmas is the time when people say yes all the time.  Christmas is about giving.  Christmas is about selflessness and love.   It seems that Christmas has became all about saying yes.  Yes to spending more money than we can afford.  Yes to presents for children that they don't really need and don't really deserve.  We say yes to all the food we have been avoiding for the entire year.  Yes to playing nice with people who we do not like.  Yes to a having a date on New Year's Eve with someone who we might not really care about just to say that yes we had a kiss when the clock struck 12:00 am.  The yesses seem endless but what about the no's?  I reckon that perhaps saying no is maybe more in the spirit that we realize.  Because when we say no for the right reasons it prevents us from saying yes for the wrong ones.

Right under my nose I realized that my friends and I have been struggling with the ability to say no.  My friends and I are a fun group of women.  When we go out we bring the fun.  When we walk in a room heads turn, those of men and women.  Why?  Because we are happy and because we really enjoy each other's company.  The problem is our fun nights on the town do not correspond to our un-fun bank accounts.  Sometimes when we should be balling on a budget we end up going balls to the wall.  I know I have trouble saying no.  I feel like I deserve to have fun.  Or I don't feel like limiting myself.  Or even worse I don't say no because I don't want my friends taking pity on the poor unemployed girl.  So instead I say yes and I have fun for one night but I feel guilty for longer afterward.

It even happens with dating.  I will take a number from someone who I will never call.  I will give a person a second date even though the first was a disaster.  And when it comes to intimacy some people might have a three month rule.  Others may just do the deed  when the time is right.  And there are those other times where guys and maybe girls want to skip the dating and courtship and jump directly into a romp in the sack (excuse my phrases I have been watching back to back episodes of Downton Abbey).  I have no problem turning down pre-mature sexual advances.  But why do I feel bad about saying no?  Maybe because I know that when I say no, they won't think that I am a women with thoughts and ideas who is not willing to rush into something .  Maybe because I know that when I say no that the date that we were supposed to have, the one that I was looking forward to, will no longer be an option because they weren't looking to date me in the first place.

Sometimes I have a hard time saying no to my mom.  I always feel such guilt because she is my mother who raised me.  She is my mother who has no choice for her current affliction.  Sometimes she has no control of her reactions.  But I still say no, even when I am tired, even when I am at my breaking point.

So how can I say no?  How can we say no without feeling bad about it?  I think personally think it is a gradual process.  Maybe it is ok to feel guilty.  Maybe it is meant to be hard to say no sometimes.  Perhaps it is just realizing the saying no is not always a bad thing.  I have heard some variation of the same idea but sometimes before we can love others we have to love ourselves.  So maybe saying no is a form of self-love and self-worth.  I guess saying no is one art that I will attempt to master in 2014.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The 5 Stages of Dating

So this week after having not gone on a real date in the past few months I decided it would be a good idea to book two dates with two different guys on back to back nights.  BIG MISTAKE.  I was exhausted after the first date!  The second date was a bit of a disaster.  It almost made me want to go back on my dating hiatus which I so conveniently forgot as the gentlemen callers started lining up.

As I was thinking about my latest experiences it made me think that dating is much like the five stages of grief by Kubler-Ross.  So now I present you with the Di Mo version of the 5 stages of dating and the corresponding thoughts....


  1. Excitement- The date is scheduled.  Cool I have plans!  I am excited to go out with someone new.  I am excited to go out with that guy I have been crushing on for the past few months.  What I am going to wear?  What are we going to do?  Wait, is this a real date because he said "hang out"? Am I going to have to pay?  If so I hope we are not going to any place expensive.  I like getting to know someone this will be fun.
  2. Nervousness-  Maybe this was a mistake.  My period is about to start and I am in a bad mood.  I can't find any good clothes to wear.  We are supposed to go out today and I still do know where we are going.  Parking is terrible at this place should I go with heels or flats?  What are we even going to talk about?  I don't even know his last name how I am supposed to Google him?  I hope he remembers what I look like.  Is he going to be disappointed when he sees me?  What if he never shows up that would be so embarrassing!  Ugh I don't want to get to know someone this is not going to be fun.
  3. Relief  followed by panic- The date when well.  I had a good time.  He seems nice.  But did he have a good time?  Does he want to go out again?  OR that was a disaster!  Maybe it was because of my period?  I don't know if I can go out with him again.  He doesn't look like what I remembered.  Oh this was a mistake.
  4. Status quo - Things seem to be going pretty well.  We have been out a few times and I enjoy his company.  I hope he doesn't think that he's getting any.  There might be a few red flags here and there.  He doesn't get along with his mother.  His favorite date wear is a hoodie.  It is has almost been three months, what do we call each other?  Do I have to get him a Christmas present?  If I don't break up with him now do I have to keep him around until Valentine's Day?  Well maybe I like him.  Maybe I can see myself with him for awhile?  
  5. Disappointment- Nope, I'm out.  It didn't work out.  We have some major differences.  I am too old to be waiting around on someone who doesn't really know what he wants.  He seems like a nice guy.  He's just not for me.  He has some of the same problems as my ex.  I know how that worked out.  Now I am going to have to go through this whole process again.  I feel like giving up!

So I guess this seems pretty negative huh?  I shouldn't say all dating is bad.  I have had the opportunity to go out with some great guys and it just didn't work out to no fault of theirs.  Dating can be fun.  But dating can be exhausting.  Each new person I meet really feels like I am starting the dating cycle all over again.  The good thing, however, is that sometimes I might need a break, but I never give up on finding the right person for me.  Each person I meet is at the very least a potential new friend.  I never know where a date may lead, but until I put myself out there I will never know.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Embracing My Quirks

1quirk

 
 noun \ˈkwərk\
             : an unusual habit or way of behaving

I am an atypical black girl.  I have long curly hair.  I was in band for seven years, and YES I went to band camp more than once.  My ipod on shuffle can go from Nine Inch Nails to Lil Scrappy to a lot of Erykah Badu.  I didn't go on my first official date until I was in my last semester of college.  And sometimes I would prefer to spend my Friday night finishing a great book then having a night out on the town.  Some people used to say that I sounded white, some may say that I still do.  I often get asked a combination of are you mixed or what country are you from.  I tend to want to be alone when I am in a bad mood so I don't bring others down with me too.  I often found solace in dancing and singing out loud in public.  I can strike up a conversation with a stranger and it can instantly feel like we have been friends for years.  My favorite piece of jewelry are my over-sized silver hoop earrings because before I lost weight I didn't have a neck and I couldn't wear dangly earrings.  It may have took me awhile but I am embracing my quirks.  I am loving what makes me, me.

I look around at people who are little bit younger than me. Shoot, people my age and older are also guilty of this as well.  So many people walk around trying to be someone else.  Countless folks are zombies waiting for others approval.  People get so lost in caring what other people think, that they stop caring about what they think about themselves. We judge others just to mask the insecurities that we have in ourselves.

I don't know when it happened, but one day I stopped caring.  Not that I go balls to the wall with my extrovertedness all the time, but for the most part I do and say what I want.  Maybe it is because I lost a parent at a young age and realized life is to short run around trying to look to others for approval.  Or maybe it's just because I realized I was never going to be "perfect" in anyone's eyes.  But I some point I became accepting and happy with my quirks.  I came to accept the reason why I am the way that I am and I have learned how my quirks can help me to help others.

Today I encourage you to embrace your own quirks and to be comfortable with who you are.  Because when you are fabulous no one can take that away from you, except yourself!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Practice What I Preach

So yesterday I wrote this motivational post about waiting on God and remaining faithful blah blah blah, but today I am down in the dumps.  I am not sure if it is because this is the third day that I have basically been in the house all day.  Or maybe it is the billionth day of cloudy, rainy, gray weather we have had lately.  But I just don't feel like this big ball of positive energy.  How am I supposed to help and inspire others to their greatness when I am not even believing in my own?  Why am I not practicing what I preach?

Yesterday I said with confidence that I need not to be faithful and trusting of all my worries and fears.  Today I am back to worrying and beating myself up.  I know that God said that you only have to have a mustard seed of faithful, but perhaps there is something smaller than a mustard seed that we can negotiate on?

Being unemployed really can mess with your psyche.  I know that many of my friends probably think that I watch Wendy Williams and Maury Povich all day.  I don't, trust me.  Some of my other friends think that my time should be spent at the library from sun up until sun down applying to jobs.  Yeah, I don't do that either.  My day is spent as a balance of making sure my mother isn't burning down the house, taking her to doctor's appointments, looking for and applying to jobs, cleaning and doing household chores, and not curling into a ball and becoming invisible.  Earlier, I actually did text one of my friends earlier saying, "I want to curl up into a ball and become invisible."

Today my friend and I are supposed to be creating our vision boards to use for the next year.  We did it a few years ago and it was an interesting process, but I am not sure how much it helped.  I tried to back out of it, but my friend didn't make it easy enough for me not to go so I made a vow that I should show up.  But I am wondering how can I make this stunning vision board when right now the only visions I see are of overeating and overdrinking myself into a peaceful slumber?  I mean how can I have a vision when I have felt so stagnant for the past few years?

But I am going to pull myself out of this funk and I am going to stop having a pity party for one.  I mean I am way too cute to have a party by myself.  And more important I am way too blessed to give up and lose focus on my purpose and what I am supposed to be doing.

So shout out to my homegirl who inspired this post today and inspired me to get up and start practicing what I preach!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Waiting On God

Have you immediately walked into church and started getting teary-eyed?  Yeah that was me this morning.  You can say what you want about God and about churches and about the institution of religion in general.  But when I step into church and the choir is singing and I am brought to tears on that first note alone, there is a spirit in the air that no one can explain to me, except being from God.  When the first tear fell, I knew that this was going to be a sermon that I should listen to.  I was right.  Today's sermon was Waiting on God, and it couldn't come at a better time.

We are constantly waiting for something.  We wait on our friends who are always late.  We wait for our food to be ready while we are at a restaurant.  I wait for my mom to get out of bathroom so I can pee before my bladder explodes.  We will even wait in line for a new pair of sneakers or to save a few bucks on a tv that is probably bigger than anyone really needs.  Yet, how often do we really find ourselves waiting on God?

I have always thought I had the answers.  I felt like my decisions were right.  My beliefs were in check so good things would always happen to me.  I work hard and I will be rewarded for this work.  Life is as simple as that, right?  Not exactly.  Well, not at all.  There are a lot of things that I am waiting for.  I feel like I am always on the cusp of something new and exciting about to happen in my life.  Right when I feel like finally done waiting and I am ready to receive reality sinks in.

Today's sermon reminded me of something very important.  God works on his own timetable.  As much as we want to speed up this process, it is a process.  While in the process we need to become comfortable with ourselves, comfortable with God, and remain faithful that God keeps is promises.  Sometimes in the process things might even get worse while we are waiting.  Sometimes a situation might get worse before it gets better.  In the end though, what we had to go through to get to the other side is well worth the wait.

I just have to remember all this.  I need to really believe what I am typing to you all because it is hard.  Because I get tired!  I get tired of waiting to be in love.  I get tired of waiting for the job of my dreams.  I get tired of watching my mom get worse everyday.  I get tired of waiting to figure out when I can stop worrying about paying my bills everyday.  But I will still wait and I will waiting faithfully.  Because God has really seen my through some doozies earlier so I have been blessed by the power of this work.

So today I am waiting on God, patiently and while I am waiting for it to stop snowing so mom and I get grab some dinner lol.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Who's Going to Fight for Me

This post is inspired by a conversation I had with one of my BFFs last night when I really should have been asleep but I was wired from a late night workout and watching the show Scandal (if you watch the show I am sure that you can relate to Scandal-induced insomnia).  Anyway, in our conversation I was talking about a person who I was recently seeing.  I will the divulge the details of why we parted ways to protect his privacy. I was reflecting on some of my unresolved thoughts and feelings and how I didn't feel enough closure. By the end of the conversation I noticed a pattern in my past relationships.  I always feel a longing for a sense of closure, aka being able to say everything that I didn't like about the relationship veiled as a way of preventing the person who I was dating from making the same mistakes with someone else.  But I know even if I said everything I wanted to, it wouldn't make myself feel any better.  But by the end of this conversation I thought maybe there is an equally important point that I am missing.  I began asking myself who's going to fight for me?

Let me further explain this question.  I have long championed myself as being a fighter.  I still remember writing my law school admissions essay comparing myself to Muhammad Ali and my passion of fighting for others.  My commitment to public service is a reflection of my fighter status.  I fight for my friends, I fight for my family, I fight for my opinions and for my beliefs.

But at the end of the day being a fighter is lonely.  Sometimes I get tired of fighting.  Sometimes I wish life were like the WWE where I could tag someone else in so that I can take a break.  Sometimes, I just want someone to fight for me like I fight for them.

Who's going to fight for me?  This is the question that I often ask myself at the end of a relationship.  So often I feel like every relationship fades with little effort from my other half.  Me, I will fight until I am exhausted when I feel like it is the right thing to fight for.  But for those who I have dated, few if any, have actually fought to make the relationship work.  While I should take it as a reflection of them, I instead internalize their lack of urgency.  It makes me feel that maybe I am not worthy of someone fighting for.  I began to question if there is something wrong with me.  Did they not realize that I am not a hard rock but really a gem?  Did they not understand this fabulousness that they were letting go?

I might be temporarily phased but I am never down for too long.  Those others didn't want to fight for me, and that is a blessing for me.  I know that there is someone out there who will fight for me, I just need to be patient, I just need to remain faithful.

Happy

Via Facebook I was introduced to Pharrell Williams' new 24 hour video Happy.  I had heard about this video before and I hadn't given it much thought.  A 24 hour video?  How?  Why?  Who has time for that?  But this video is worth watching.  In the very least it will change your mood for a few minutes.  I immediately downloaded this song and I have been playing it on repeat ever since.  You know why?  Because no matter how big your problems may seem.  Or whatever or whoever you might feel down about listen to this song and you can't help but smile and want to clap and dance along with it.  Try it, and then send it to your friends.  


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Where My Passions Lie

Since this blog has turned into my open book on feelings and emotions I feel like it is important to share with you something that I have been struggling for in the past few years.  To summarize I suppose the issue is that I feel like I am not following my passions.  Let me explain...

When I was younger I always wanted to be a writer.  I started off writing poetry.  I placed second place in a local competition once.  I was even published in the magazine Seventeen.  Shoot, I ended up going to a journalism camp when I was in high school.  I was sure that I was going to be the next poet laureate one day, but I hadn't put much thought into anything besides the title itself.

Some where along the way my interests shifted.  I think that when I saw the movie Mr. Smith Goes To Washington that I set my sights on the White House.  And for many years I was serious about it.  My friends surely remember me introducing myself and saying that I was going to be the first black female president.  My AOL IM screen name was even adia4prez.  While I was in college I always made sure to never be photographed with a drink in my hand as I thought it would come back to bite me as I was being vetted for my presidential bid.  But life happened.  Reality sunk in.  Being president is not easy, just look at President Obama's hair in the past few years.  I am too cute to go gray like that honey!  Of course my dreams of politics were also set aside make my family a priority.  Plagued with unemployment and struggling to take care of myself and my mom's leftovers my once squeaky clean image probably will never make me eligible to run for anything anytime soon.

I went to law school to help people.  I always give this stump speech in interviews and when I meet people about wanting to be Angela Davis but not wanting to get arrested.  I thought that I naturally was going to become a public defender or a community activist that would work for the people with the people.  I have done some of that.  However, much of my dreams have been left unfulfilled.  These days I feel like I am my happiest when I am volunteering at a soup kitchen.  I still haven't really figured out how to satisfy my passion for helping others will not being in line at the soup kitchen myself.

I sometimes have this flashes of greatness.  I tried to describe it to my friend the other day.  I have this flash of where my life is heading and being able to testify about my testimony.  But the flash is just a flash, so quick that I can't really feel it or touch it.  It is like I know it is going to be there, but I have no idea how to reach it, no idea how I can see it again.  I had a flash this morning.

This morning one of my friends I met during my stint in law school wrote me a touching message.  I won't go into detail to maintain her privacy.  However, she starting by compliment my blog saying it was amazing and "ditto" to all the thoughts that I share on dating, unemployment and the such.  Later today I received another email from a friend who said that she loves reading my blog.  A few days ago I received a compliment from a friend who I haven't talked to since high school and she too reads my blog!

So what's my point in all of this?  Maybe all of my dreams have not yet been fulfilled.  But ego aside, maybe I am helping people through this blog.  Perhaps by pouring out my thoughts and feelings on the interwebs that others can relate and know that they are not alone.  Maybe by putting a few words together and sharing them with they world that I have inspired someone else to do something that they have always wanted to do but have been putting off.  Maybe?

I just wanted to end with saying thank you!  I never know who is reading or what they are reading but I appreciate it nonetheless.  I am truly humbled to know that maybe I am actually living my dream out loud in a capacity I had never imagined. Please continue to read, comment, and share with others :)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Letter to My Exs

Dear Exs/Men I Have Dated,

I know it has been awhile since I have talked to you, some longer than others.  I know that you are probably surprised to hear from me.  Actually I am surprised that I am writing you myself, but I suppose that I have some lose ends to tie up.

I just wanted to say thank you.  Thank you for the good times that we shared and thank you for the bad times.  It is because of you that I am a stronger person.  I have begun to understand that I really do want to get married one day and not just have an eternal boyfriend.  And I might even want to have kids.  Because of our time together I know the difference in how a woman should and should not be treated.  I have experienced love and I realize that I want to experience that again with someone who continues to love me back and not just when it is convenient to them.

Thank you for putting up with me.  I know that I can be strange and moody and sometimes down right evil but you dealt with me.  And because you were able to handle it I know someone else can handle me too.  Thank you for always asking about my mother and treating her with respect even if you never met her.  I often worry that I will never find a man who will be able to deal with the responsibilities I have with my mom, but because of you I know this will not be a problem.  Because in my eyes the way that someone takes care of their mother, sister, and kids is a reflection in how they will treat me.  You made me realize that if another man is not doing this than he is not the one for me.

I appreciate the fact that you respected my religious beliefs.  One of you actually encouraged me to start going to church regularly, and I haven't looked back since.  Some of you would ask me about church and what I learned, you even asked for prayer.  A couple of you even came to church with me, which meant a lot.  While others were not as inclined.  The pastor told us today that your salvation cannot be taken away, so I know you will find your own path one day.  But for me, I know I want a man that has a relationship with God and is working on how to become a better person.  Not so that he can get into heaven, but he realizes the love and grace shown by God and wants to return that to others.

Thank you for loving my body no matter what the scales says.  You made me feel as beautiful with clothes on as I did naked.  You encouraged me to eat healthy and exercise not because you wanted to change me, but because I wanted to change me.  I appreciated when we cooked together and we worked out together.  I even liked when you got a little jealous when other men stared at me.  Because let's face it, I am fabulous!

For the past few years I have not had a full time job.  Thank you for not making it a reflection on myself as a person, but merely a circumstance that many people at this time face.  You sometimes paid for me when I didn't have to pennies to rub together and that was not forgotten.

Finally, I just wanted to say thank you for not being "the one".  Because by us parting ways it opens the opportunity for you and for me to find who are true companion shall be.  I would love to say that we should be friends, but it would be a lie.  Because when people part ways one or both of them is still harboring some sort of feelings whether good or bad.  But I do hope that all is well for you.  I hope that I helped you as much as you helped me.  I hope that you will find your own love as I will find my own.

Yours very truly,

Di

Loving My Body

I was at one of my favorite boutiques dedicated to curvy girls (Non-paid shout out to K Staton Boutique!). It was small business Saturday and I was trying to do my part to stimulate the economy.  I am in need of a fly new dress for the holidays and since I am down 20 lbs (and counting) I thought it was a good way to treat myself.  I learned something very important this weekend.  I am hot!

I am embarrassed to say that loving my body shouldn't be a new revelation, but to me it kinda is.  You see I grew up always trying to hide my body.  When the style was everyone wearing baggy clothes I fit right in.  Of course when that style faded, I still held on like I was holding on to life itself.    It took me years to figure out that I was wearing clothes one maybe two sizes too big.  I even wore my shoes too big!  Even now as an adult who has lost weight I still find myself trying to cover up the flaws in my figure by just covering up everything everywhere.

But this particular shopping trip I decided to try on things that I would normally never wear just to see what it would look like.  Yes I tried on some body hugging dresses that I could barely put on much less take off.  And I was amazed!  I had a waist!  It had been hiding for some time.  I had these muscular legs.  I actually had a nice shape.  I am getting a little bit of a butt (no thanks to my mother, but I will save the topic for another day).  All of these great features I had been hiding because of this one tire thing around my stomach.  I had named it once after I saw that stand up special when Wanda Sykes named her stomach Esther Roll (if you haven't seen it you should look it up on YouTube!) but I have since forgotten the name.  Anyway, I was so afraid of this one spot that I hated that I was not able to highlight all of me.

So from now on I am going to stop bundling up my figure.  Of course I am not going to let it ALL hang out, ain't nobody got time for that!  I mean it is easy for everyone to love the good things about ourselves it is just learning to love our flaws that takes the most work and dedication.  But while working on loving this body that God gave me I am going to throw on some Spanx and keep it moving!  I suggest you do the same!