The Grass Ain’t Greener on the Other Side

After twenty-nine years of life, I finally figured out that wondering if someone actually cares about me means that they do not, or at least they do not care for me in the way that I deserve and that I need to be cared for. Feeling the need to make assumptions and conjure up excuses based off of someone else’s less than sincere actions most likely means just that – he or she is not fully sincere or is too self-involved to care about anyone as much as him or herself.

It is certainly better late than never that I’ve arrived at this rewarding understanding. And it’s a realization that is proving to take some “getting used to.”  This is when I must remind myself to take a step back, look in the mirror and allow myself to be cared for while at the same time being gentle with my learned knee-jerk reactions which include immediate doubt of even the most earnest and pure of actions as this is still a foreign concept presented to me. How glorious of a feeling, a reality to simply know the intentions of another are completely authentic and unadulterated!

The great Persian poet, Rumi, once said that one must continually break his/her heart until it is open. I think mine is opening ever so slightly, ever so slowly and being the tornado my dear friend so accurately described me as makes sloth like speed a benefit. Patience has never been my strongest suit and I’m presently learning its virtuous properties, gratefully with the unknowing help of someone I deem very special, someone I have found myself growing closer to as this illusion we call time passes.

Rumi Quote

I must confess, however, not dwell on the plain sadness of this grave subject when I state that all of my past, significant male relationships, beginning with my father, were spent wondering if I was good enough, if I was genuinely wanted, let alone perceivably needed in any way, shape or form. I know I’m not the only person my age or older having faced this reality and I dedicate this blog to all of you in similar situations and those of you whom have gratefully discovered the beautiful truth that you are worthy and someone, someday, will show you this with a seemingly effortless finesse, alongside your own gratifying self-acknowledgement.

It would be accurate to state that I once believed the majority of people behaved as if, “the grass is greener on the other side,” the idealist in me always replying that “the grass is greener where you water it,” however, in regards to this particular post, I would truthfully reply, “If you don’t water the grass on your side, someone else will come along and water it in place of you.” Can I get an amen?

Unlearning in Progress

I, hands down, just experienced one of the most emotional weeks of my life to date. Perhaps triggered heavily by the culmination of Aunt Flo’s monthly visit, Father’s Day and Mercury in retrograde, there were definitely specifics that influenced the intensity of these emotions. Single acts, be it a statement, an unspoken glance, the hardships of an acquaintance – all came along with the ability to bring me to tears, to my knees, to a complete sob fest. Analogically, I feel like an exposed live wire, an electrical current of mega-wattage walking around on two feet – extremely sensitive and emotionally charged.

I was born with an exceptionally compassionate, empathetic heart. This has proven to be both a blessing and a curse in that I am effortlessly affected by the energies, moods and emotions of others, even those whom I am not even particularly close to. This equates even more powerfully when it comes to those whom I am particularly close to, those with whom I have shared an intimate moment with be it of a physical nature or purely platonic.

Since an early age, I was taught like so many by various scenarios and experiences, that crying in public, the visible display of any type of perceivably “negative” emotion was a sign of weakness. Self-control and composure properly trumped being emotional, raw – being real.

I can recall the threatening tone of my dad’s voice at the tender ages of four, five and six, “Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about.” On more than one ill-fated occasion, I discovered what that “something” consisted of and I lived the next twenty-four hours, post crying, with the imprinted reminder upon my ass. I quickly “learned” that crying greatly disturbed others, made them uncomfortable – it was wrong. And when that show of emotion couldn’t be controlled then unfortunate consequences ensued. Several years later, my husband would “teach” me that crying was a manipulative act that could be avoided and was once again, wrong.

Today, I am confronted with the inner conflict of my rational, secure self actively attempting to “unlearn” that crying in front of others, showing extreme emotion on either side of the spectrum is “wrong” – That it is, in fact, a sign of a big heart, of strength. As many of you are aware, unlearning something that has been engraved in your heart and mind for many, many impressionable years is, perhaps, one of the most difficult feats one can endeavor to take on. I’ve been reminded of this several times in the past seven days and I’m certain this is only the beginning…

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Not a Bad Thing to Fall in Love

Does everyone inadvertently fall in love or does it ever happen at will? I don’t think I’ve ever willingly said, I’m going to fall helplessly, madly in love with this individual that I barely know followed by, I’m going to want to spend all of my free time with this person that was once non-existent or an after thought to me. Wouldn’t it be complete madness if one actually went into a relationship with a person thinking that his/her plans were to fall in love, to desire fulfilling another person’s wants/needs before his/her own? Shouldn’t such individuals be placed in a straight jacket? Falling in love is like professing one’s own, inner insanity and nine times out of ten, I believe it to be completely against one’s will.

I’m no surfboarder but I reckon falling in love is synonymous with riding that perfect wave, experiencing that rush of adrenaline as the wave carries you seemingly effortlessly, gliding along the sea water, never wanting for that high to end. If only that single wave could be bottled permanently – if only the tides, the rise and fall were exclusively at our whim – perhaps then the exhilaration of falling in love with a single human being could be experienced and savored for eternity.

Can one hinder or stop the process of “falling in love” all together? Can one simply walk away from such happenings as if the very act of falling didn’t even ever happen in the first place? Is there a metaphoric off switch for the relentless desire to spend every second of your existence with a person? And if not, then how might one salvage that desire in its entirety for what our perception has proven itself time and time again to unfortunately not exist – forever?

Happy National Best Friend Day

In honor of National Best Friend’s Day, I’d like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude for my dear friends. If friendship were about paying others back for their loyalty and kindness then I would spend many lifetimes doing so. Thankfully, friendship is about a mutual give and take, the want to do and love without the desire for anything in return. At the same time, I believe it extremely important to communicate appreciation where appreciation is due.

As I go retrospect on the last twenty-nine years of my life, people have come and gone but the most constant, timeless relationship anyone can have is that of an endearing friendship. They don’t necessarily have to be “best” friends or “lifelong” friends either. I have met a handful of people in the last ten months that have enriched my life for the better and whether or not I am granted the opportunity to spend another second with these folk, I will always stand grateful for the special moments of my unique journey that I had the pleasure of sharing with these extraordinary individuals.

It’s quite the conundrum, in fact. I possess the basic yet strong human fear of losing even more so after losing both of my parents within four months of each other, however, I do not let the fear hinder me from diving headfirst and diving deep into relationships with people whom I deem valuable. For some people, they just don’t allow others to get close. I, on the other hand, seek out the closeness, the companionship I’ve experienced with all of my friends and lovers.   This is quite the recipe for anxiety. I’ve always believed it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all and I stand by that belief wholeheartedly but it certainly causes me to question how long until I lose yet another loved one.

It’s the support, the kindness, the love and the bond I have shared with certain individuals that gives me this strength to continue conducting my life as a giver and a lover – as one who stands, arms stretched open wide to those who wish to receive my embrace, literally and metaphorically speaking. I owe this genuine quality to all of my friends, all of the people who have crossed my path in this life and I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart.

I send thanks to the former best friend whom I was roommates with in college who suddenly decided she didn’t want to be my friend any longer without any communication or explanation. I thank the ex-coworker turned best friend who I’ve known since 2004 who also decided to cease communication within the last few months. I send thanks to David who I once considered my best friend as well as my lover, my boyfriend turned husband. I am thankful to the erratically, spunky girl name Jina who was my close friend not once but twice after forgiving an initial falling out who almost accidentally poisoned my cat to death. I thank her for the apology she recently issued regarding the last and final fall out.

I thank my dear friend, Jimmy, for coming to my door the night I came home to find all of David’s belongings removed from the apartment we shared for several months prior to our decision to separate and divorce. I thank my beloved friend, Claudia, for providing me with clean clothing and a comfortable place to rest my head when David deliberately locked me out of our apartment. I thank Sandy for consistently coming to my side in times of my need for company – the laughs she induces and the love she endlessly provides. I thank Norma for her undying support and positivity – for sending me a care package after my cross-country move to the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, complete with Common’s autobiography and a package of coffee grounds from “our spot” in Studio City. I thank my constant friend of almost sixteen years, Ashley, for always welcoming me with open arms no matter how much time passes, for being able to pick up right where we left off as if we just saw each other yesterday. I thank her for the “strength” key and for providing me with the chance to willingly pass on the earnest sentiment. I thank “my person” for the unanticipated text message reminding me that I am, in fact, her person.

The above are only a handful of the significant gestures that stand out in my mind. If I really wanted to go in depth and take up bundles of your precious time, I’d speak of the countless moments said friends listened to the sounds of my relentless sobs or agonizing screams on the other end of a telephone line or the encouraging words, actions and/or messages unexpectedly received from friends near and far.

I wish everyone knew how much the little things count – how the seemingly most insignificant act can create the most significant impact. Oftentimes, these are the moments that stick with us for a lifetime. I thank my friend, Kwame, for the sincere hug and thoughtful words he offered me after I attended one of his performances in New York, in which he expressed his deepest sympathies for the loss of my parents. I thank an old friend, Arielle, in which she reached out via electronic mail to express her empathy after the loss of my dear mama. I thank my soulful friend, Chanté, for the depths of her compassion, for the simple act of sharing a poem she rightfully believed will render some movement in the pit of my heart.  I thank my dear friend, Elle, who humorously offers to throw cherry bombs off of the Brooklyn bridge with me when I visit New York to enact a primal act of closure.  I thank my friend, RaShaunda as well as others, for sharing their thoughts on A Righteous Revival because one way or another, they can relate on some carnal level, the historic similarities are uncanny and for a moment in time, all involved can feel as if we’re not alone. I am simply thankful for being a sheer thought in the minds of dear friends, old and new – I always feel the love and I always will, for I was blessed with such a gift.

I honestly struggle writing blogs of such nature because mere words couldn’t possibly begin to do my gratitude justice. I can only hope that the people mentioned above and so many that I have not mentioned understand, recognize and know deep in their souls how appreciative I am for their past, present and one can only hope, their future.

Please know if you were not spoken of specifically, this in no way means that I am ungrateful. This simply means that I cannot take up any more of my readers’ time with this blog but I am eternally grateful for your friendship, for your meaningful part in the journey of my life. I can only pray and hope that I provide a significantly equal place in your life. The fact that I could go on for pages is a blessing in and of itself. I love you all with my whole heart. My love has never been in vain and never have I ever taken your time, support or love for granted.

And in honor of my number one best friend, my mama – I miss you with every single breath and I owe to you my ability to love unconditionally for you taught me the true meaning of this phenomena. I am infinitely grateful for your fervor, your strength and your passion – your boundless heart.