Friday, June 1, 2018

Twenty Eighteen Taught Me.....May

Loving yourself has nothing to do with narcissism.....

Recently, between social media and the general popular culture, I have heard the words narcissism and narcissist used again, and again, and again. Some have even begun to wear the terms as badges of honor, proud of a word they believe is a verbal symbol for how much they love themselves. Yet, it seems like so few understand the true meaning. Narcissism is not self love at all. Narcissism is being obsessed with oneself in a desperate attempt to quell the massive amounts of insecurities dwelling within a person's spirit. Narcissist are consistently seeking ways to fix the things they believe are wrong with them. They can not quiet the voice telling them to make sure their hair is in place, to make sure they're saying the right words, to make sure they are being the standard. A person who loves themselves does not do any of this. A person who loves themselves does so not only with knowledge of their flaws, but also the ability to accept the reality that those flaws may never vanish. They love the worst as much as they love the best of themselves. Unfortunately, the now constant focus on being perfect, in so many aspects of life, followed by the damn near requirement that it is all on display (via social media) for others to judge has turned many of us into loudly screeching vessels of self-doubt. Dedicating time to working on ourselves is important, but maintaining a discernment for when to turn it off and focus on someone else is healthy. Be healthy.

It is not about you....

We do not control the thoughts, emotions, nor actions of other people. As mentioned above, the foundation of narcissism positions many to believe the people in their world are acting as a result of them, and their actions. As adults, it just isn't true. We all live inside our own heads. The subjective is immensely more powerful than the objective. Many are battling their own levels of narcissism, and likely are not motivated by you, but by the nagging, starving internal emotions they are trying to feed. We should approach life in the same way people who are self conscious about joining the gym are advised. "Just go in and do what you need to do, because honestly, no one is actually thinking about you." Adults typically have their own affairs of which to agonize. Very few have a greater intent to destroy than they do to build for themselves. Even the villain is typically looking to gain something for themselves. If we can keep in mind the essence of all behaviors stem from a subjective place, we can make the distinction as to whether the people around us have reached a place where they can balance themselves and others. Eventually deciding whether or not the place in which they stand is a well one for us as partners, friends, or family.

Language is crucial to growth....

We expand our thoughts and beliefs based on how much we can absorb from those in which we come into contact. Words are a beautiful way in which we do that. We have all learned to communicate differently as a result of culture, class, life and love. However, the breadth of one's vocabulary is a doorway to foreign ideas and an opening to convey their own. If many can understand, many can be educated. Communication allows one to learn as well as teach. Never put a limit on language, or risk waking up to find yourself drifting further and further from humanity.

There is always something or someone bigger....

Being confident in one's strengths is awesome. There are so many people who question themselves repeatedly, placing themselves in an endless cycle of indecision and uncertainty. It is miserable not to believe in yourself. So, if you have arrived in a place where you believe in you, stand in it, STRONGLY. Now, being confident does not mean forgetting there is always someone or something better. Deference is not a dirty word, and I think we have all learned we can gather good from many of those around us. The lesson however is to learn the unique balance of WHEN to stand, and WHEN to yield. Because if no one has told you, be aware, those who do not know when to stand down, will inevitably be cut down. Typically with the carnage being less than delightful to endure.

Be prepared for the challenge of boundaries...

People love a dealbreaker. Many of us leap excitedly upon our high horse, and spring board from there onto our soap boxes when it comes to vocalizing what we will NOT accept. If a romantic partner does XYZ, I am leaving. If they ever do such and such at my job, I am gone. Friends engaging in "fill in the blank" behavior, finished. This all sounds incredible and immeasurably powerful, until it happens. Talking a good game is the easy part. The follow through is a lot more complicated. Choking on the unappetizing idea of hypocrisy sends shivers down many a spine. While there is nothing wrong with processing beyond old ideals, sometimes it is less troublesome to not only set life's boundaries, but establish ones in which we undoubtedly know we would be willing to act on tomorrow if the challenge was unveiled today. Truly know where you stand.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Twenty Eighteen Taught Me.....April

The truth is always subjective....

We have always been told there are three versions of a story, the individual versions of the opposing parties, and the truth. The truth is the reality, the facts beyond question. But, who can be objective about that? Who is able to tell the truth without bias? A third party will always have just as skewed a view of the events as the participants. We all have our leanings and hats where we hang our loyalties. We will report the "truth" as we see it, and we will never all see it the same way. The truth can never be told objectively therefore, our individual truths are all we have. Knowing that, it is without question I will make sure I always abide by my own certainty. I will stand firm within it, because I am almost certain there will come a time when someone will most definitely attempt to rob me of it.

Friendship is a pathetic reason to allow others to mistreat you....

I have had friendships in which I intentionally let the clock run out. I stopped calling. I stopped asking to meet up. Some I directly hit the stop button, told them genuinely and directly to have a wonderful life, as I would no longer be in it. Many times I have come to this point simply because they did not want to reciprocate the friendship I extended, rarely because they actively did anything. Now, although I do not profess to be the best possible friend alive, I do try to give what I would want others to return. No one is perfect, but in the face of misdeeds no one person or group is exempt from reevaluation, or being voted off the figurative island. Sometimes without love lost, it's necessary to realize when the people with whom you have shared years of memories, laughter and love, no longer serve you. Bid them adieu.

Do not allow prayer to become a habit...

As a child I was given the words to pray. There was the Lord's Prayer, nightly blessings and even a way in which I was suppose to say grace. As an adult, I tried finding my own specific prayers to convey my praise and pain to my Creator. Eventually, I had a pattern. I used the same words, began the prayers in the same way, and ended them with an emphatic "Amen". However, as I backed away from long standing traditions and Christianity, I began questioning whether or not I was using the "right" words. Whether I knew how to "correctly" pray. All I knew is I still needed to pray. I found myself in moments in which I believed my life was not floating along according to plan simply because I was praying wrong. I was listening and listening and listening to the prayers I picked up on from others, and somehow I still felt as if I wasn't connecting, as if I wasn't being heard, as if I was losing my way. I would drift off into other thoughts mid-prayer until finally somewhere between a "Dear Heavenly Father...." and that resounding, "Amen" I realized it was me who wasn't listening. My prayers, with the carefully curated words, were now a routine. The subject matter may have changed from time to time, but essentially they were all the same. These words were no longer a direct reflection of my truest most internal thoughts, they weren't intentional. They were cheap. They were habit. I had to relearn what it meant to pray. I had to teach myself how to talk, not just pray to my Creator. My conversations with my source are now intentional, as if I am talking to a friend, because with all sincerity, I truly am.

Compassion and indifference can co-exist....

Before anything else we are human beings. The most valuable asset we have is our lives. There is nothing worth more than the gift of life we have been given. The level of care and tenderness we have when it comes to life, our own or anyone else's is a measure of how far we have evolved as a person. I was once told if we look within the details of religious doctrine, our Creator is more concerned with how we treat one another, and not necessarily how we interact with him. I believe no matter the doctrine one follows, this is true. We are all at different stages in our lives. People will do things that are hurtful, and no I don't believe it is necessary to forgive. However, I do think it's necessary to come to a place where you can be indifferent. Indifference allows room for respect for life, it allows one to protect themselves without harming another. They say something can let it go. They do something know how to back away. Have enough compassion for the pain and turmoil in someone else's life which has brought them to this place of anger and lashing out without letting it diminish your energy. I don't focus on "going low" or "going high", instead I am finding a way of remaining in a superior position of impartiality. It keeps me from being cold, while simultaneously preventing me from radiating an undeserving amount of warmth on those who have yet to earn it.

I don't need to be a "good" person....

My moral compass is not guided by a doctrine of faith of another’s making. I hear my Creator, and from that I follow. It doesn’t have to be your way, as I am not you. Another's definition of the "right" way to live has long escaped my window of concern. I reserve my cares for being a genuine person, not a contrived version of a "good" one. The only guide is the one in my spirit, and no man or woman has a superior version. We all have our flaws and our feats, and no matter what legacy one intends to leave what will be highlighted isn't up to us as individuals. So, I have become clear, as long as I remained true to myself, I was "good".

Friday, March 30, 2018

Twenty Eighteen Taught Me.....March

Loyal to my principles....

Loyalty has long been a concept used to guilt one into placing the needs of others, before their own. A loyal employee. A loyal partner. A loyal friend. A loyal son/daughter. These are all phrases enveloped in positivity and favor. We are lead to believe, standing firmly in our carefully cultivated principles, when in opposition to someone or something important to us, is disloyal. The unspoken truth is that there is a hierarchy of loyalty, and a limitation on how far it should reach. Being loyal to one's own morals, ideas, and values should be where allegiance firmly plants it's feet. There is not a job, relationship, or friendship worth being disloyal to oneself. If anyone thinks to even ask you to do such a thing, be very clear, your best interest is never at the root of their request.

The same experience does not equate to the same life....

I have very vivid memories of a number of childhood tragedies. I know the clothes worn, the words spoken, and the smells wafting through the air. But, when I have sat down to discuss the impact of such events with people who were literally standing right next to me in the moment, it is barely remembered. Our brains are amazing machines with the ability to grasp and hold only the possessions of it's choosing. No experience is the same for any two people. It is extremely insensitive and primitive to believe it is. So, if two people can stand alongside another in the very same experience, one barely recalling and the other permanently shaken, imagine how different it is to encounter the same general moment but in different places and different times. Although it is the same, it is not the same. It is a simple concept, but one often overlooked. Allow others to sit in the uniqueness of their lives. You are never going to see it, hear it, or feel it as they do.

The "moral of the story" is rarely rooted in reality....

Some of my favorite movies are romantic comedies. They are pretty textbook and we know "the good guy" and/or the "the good girl" wins in the end. We all love these stories. They are heart-warming and replenish the cup of hope we all long to remain full. I love these movies for the same reasons I have always loved books. They provide an escape. An escape from the truth of reality. In real life, I root for the righteous, the noble, the people who stand firmly on the thick soil of integrity. I root for these people because I know I am not always one of them. I try to remain on the side of the decent, and as Olivia Pope would say, "wear the white hat". However, the reality is I've done my share of devious deeds. The truth is, most of us have. We are all beautifully flawed, and that is okay. You know why? Because even at the end of the story, where the moral and valuable preference is revealed and the crowd all cheers, in real life, even if we do not measure up, we can still win. Sidepieces do become wives. Thieves get the money, and the "bad" guy wins the race. Now, this is not to say go out and fuck shit up with no regard or compassion for the world around you, but instead, give yourself a little grace when you fall short. We all screw it up. It doesn't mean you can not alter a few plays and truly win. We all can't be the good guy, but it does not mean we're the undeserving bad one either.

Vulnerability equals evolution....

Not unlike many, I grew up in a "what happens in this house, stays in this house" environment. Although I vowed to never live my life that way, I have found myself in many a moment holding back. I didn't speak my truth. Sometimes it was because I was afraid of the judgement, other times I was caught up in the crosshairs of "is this my truth?", or "is this also someone else's truth I do not have the right to tell?". Honestly speaking, this is something with which I still struggle. I go over the quote "If you wanted me to speak better of you, you should have behaved better" over and over again in my mind. I try my best to have compassion for those I love and the things they have yet to face. However, as I am writing down my lessons and answering questions about my life in scenarios where I once would have said, "that is none of your business", I am feeling free. You can not shame me, or hold anything against me, because it has already been said and acknowledged allowing me to ascend above it. My spirit pulsates at a higher more peaceful frequency, and it can not be taken away from me. I can allow the only voice that matters to be my Creator and for that feeling I will not only be honest, but I will continue to do my best at bleeding all over every page, pouring all I have into every interaction. Not for anyone else, but for me.

Compromise and tolerance just aren't my cup of tea....

Years ago I saw a video clip of Eartha Kitt regarding the notion of compromise in regards to relationships. I found the video entertaining and I mainly laughed, because I mean, who doesn't love the wit and brashness of Eartha Kitt. However, it only recently dawned on me this is now the only way I am willing to accept any sort of ongoing voluntary interaction with any other human being. The person I have cultivated over the last thirty-eight years is one who I am happy to be. I have my flaws, which I analyze at an annoying length, and I work at them. Now, although I wish to continue to evolve, that is a process ultimately between myself and my Creator. I have absolutely no intentions of altering who I am to please anyone else, and I do not wish to interact with people who are not firm in their belief and power in being uniquely who they may be. In other words I will not compromise who I am to be in your life, and I will not tolerate character I do not appreciate to keep you in mine. If we do not come from the same figurative tribe, than you my friend are a reason or a season. Please relay the message the universe has sent to me via your form and enjoy the rest of your pre-celestial journey. I refuse to spend precious moments attempting to decipher why we do not agree on the fundamental aspects of life. I am comfortable knowing there is no shortage of people who are compatible with my being as I am, as I have already encountered many. Also, I have finally rooted myself in the dirty little secret that even if there weren't, alone, I am enough. Oh and by the way, so are you.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Twenty Eighteen Taught Me.....February

Your path to happiness does not require approval.....

Traditional norms are nothing more than a suggested blueprint. If we were all born with our own individual purpose, we can not all possibly follow the same plan. Go to school, get a good job, get married, have kids, saddle yourself with mortgage loans and car financing (to of course cement the need to work for the next 30 years or more), retire, and die. Is this what we should all want? Is this what you specifically want from your existence? For me, that plan was trashed long ago. Yet, the outside world keeps yelling those messages around me, that is until I think of who we watch, the people others either attack or want to be. I believe masses of people are mesmerized by the lives of celebrities, those considered sexual deviants, and many with massive amounts of money, simply because they found a way to do it differently. People are amazed by those who did not follow "the plan", likely because it has been drilled into our minds there is only one way. We are almost told we should be ashamed if we choose another route. Currently, the trend is for everyone to claim they give "no fucks", but the statement couldn't be farther from the truth. Social media shows the majority coveting the same places, lifestyles, and possessions, and if you don't want those things, there must be something wrong with you. So many can not even explain conclusively the reason it is those things are wanted. It all appears to be nothing more than brainwashing. Learn to delve deep into your needs, analyze them with the greatest of intensity, and then pursue them with your entire spirit. If there are days when you feel the entire world is against you, or moments where you feel you may have to abandon all the friends and family you dearly love just to grasp a breathe of freedom, then and only then are you likely doing it right. When you reach that point, I am more than certain there is a joy and a peace waiting in rest for your soul, in fact I know it, because I have seen it. We can not be guided to individual satisfaction, it is an unaccompanied journey. Therefore, the permission of another will never open the gate. In place of waiting for someone else's sanction to participate in your inner most joy, make the conscious decision to learn you, love you, and most importantly live you.

Never let the selfish overshadow those who offer nothing but love....

A man from my past died this month. He was not close enough to call a friend, yet I remember him fondly. We went on a couple dates, shared a few laughs, and when I wanted to take the train at ungodly hours he would always insist on driving me home. He entertained all my questions about his occupation, and his history within it, not because I needed to know, but because it had always been one of my interests. He was sweet to me. On the day I found out he died, my buried memories showed themselves and I realized his impact ran a bit deeper than I thought. At the time, mentally I was residing in a sullen space because I was feeling unappreciated by a person I once considered a friend. The feeling was taking up enormous amounts of my internal sphere and energy. Negativity is substantial, and looming, but, so is love, kindness and appreciation. Both sides of the coin are large enough to lay imprints on our subconscious, however it is a mindful task to assign which takes the bigger seat. I found it astonishing a man who did not remain in my life long enough for me to comfortably call friend showed nothing but fondness and I forgot, but an unappreciating "friend" had occupied my mind for longer than I can even recall. I decided in that moment, it would never happen again. Negative energy may not be something I can completely stop from entering my space, however it will never again be allowed to sit front row when I have positivity lingering somewhere in the cheap seats just waiting to be invited down to the floor. I am now deliberately keeping the warmest of memories at the forefront of my thoughts, as they not only serve me best, but are the lesson I want to stand as my tribute to his memory.

Karma is not the universe "getting you back" for an error in judgement....

No one is perfect. I do not believe it is the intent of the universe to punish an individual for behavior simply because it yielded an unintended, unfavorable outcome for another. Consequences and benefits should always be anticipated with all of our actions. Sometimes we luck up and reap all of the benefits, other times we strike out and have to face the consequences. There is a possible positive and negative outcome for every scenario. I personally believe the deciding factor in manifesting our outcome is intention, as much, if not more so than our actions. Any one who has ever studied concepts ranging from the law to science to everyday life knows intention makes all the difference when it comes to the interpretation, and therefore the outcome of our actions. The intricacies of concepts like karma are vast, and should not be reduced to social media quotes and hashtags. Stop telling people "karma" will "get them" because you happened to be a casualty of the circumstances surrounding their choices. Every action is not ill-intended, and therefore does not yield a detrimental conclusion, no matter how badly some of you all would like it to.

Aggression and antagonism are not more powerful than positivity....

In a country which bathes itself in the principle of "being the very best", it is more often than not we encounter others willing to do whatever it takes to "be the best". Many degrade, belittle and even compromise the standards they may have once held high simply to win nothing more than a fictitious race. Challenging oneself to reach a higher level is healthy, and mere evolution, but competition does not have to lack kindness. I suppose it all comes down to the outcome one wants. Sometimes one has to ask, "What kind of impact do I want to leave on the world?". We have all heard the quote "you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar", but on a greater scale how does being the honey versus the vinegar propel your own life? If the choice is to be self serving, then that is everyone's right. However, I don't know about you, but I have yet to see a genuinely happy person who only cared about themselves.

Cliches and imitations are enemies of progression....

I watch many people use cliche quotes, and bits and pieces of lectures from people like Oprah as a road map to attempt to reach a place of peace, a place of success, a place of happiness, a place of wisdom. While there is nothing wrong with listening to stories regarding the path of someone else to gather insight, it is important to understand your path, your purpose, they are your own. Accomplishing what someone else has accomplished, in the exact same way they have achieved it is not possible. We are unique, and therefore our journey has to be equally as uncommon. There is no such thing as walking in someone else's footsteps. Have you ever tried to literally walk in someone else's footsteps? If the steps are in a shifting substance like sand, you'll notice the sands moves as you step into it. Once you have stepped into it the footprint is no longer the same. If the substance is immobile, say in the case of hardened cement, likely trying to step perfectly into each footprint will throw one off balance. Life is no different. Copying another's path only throws us off balance, and keeps us standing in the same spot, trying and trying, again and again, to get it right. If growing in your own universe and ascending to your greatest power is the goal, at some point you're going to have to forge your own path.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Twenty Eighteen Taught Me.....January

Evolution is an ongoing entry on my "bucket" list. The things I do, the places I go, the interactions I entertain, I believe they should all propel me forward. This year I have decided I want to evaluate and record all the things I learn month by month. Sure, I could do it in my journal (and I do), but something is nudging me to do it here as well. Maybe someone will read it and help me "unpack" some of these lessons in a more expansive way. So, if you're inclined to coast along with me, hopefully this year, you'll teach me something, or as Jay says, "I'll do that so you don't have to go through that".

If the choice is between money and time, always take the time....

Middle of last year, I left my 9 to 5 to essentially work as a freelancer. When my job on the project I was working on ended after the first week of the year, I had a choice to make. I could wait for another job to start with the same people a few weeks away, or search for something else. If I chose to look for something else, it would possibly put me in a position where I would not be available to take another job with the people I preferred, which for a number of reasons would be more beneficial. Pressed by my instincts, which I have recently vowed to follow, I decided to take the time off. This time off has been one of the most comforting and enlightening periods of my life. It is no less than a set up for all of the things I would like to accomplish in this coming year. If you ever have an opportunity to take a break from the responsibilities of adulting, turn off your anxieties, rest upon your faith, and take the break. There is a reason for it and a blessing we are all not afforded.

Reciprocity in itself is not enough, it must be equal and balanced.....

Life is filled with careers, children, and honestly all around chaos for many. We know we all get busy, we go through things, and we struggle to keep friendships, romantic relationships and family connections wading smoothly through the tides. Everyone knows reciprocity is necessary for healthy interactions, even in places as basic as social media. However, the bare minimum is not enough. Do not ever be convinced it is. Yes, a person may respond to the energy placed before them, but how often? Are you giving eighty to receive a measly twenty of someone's energy in return? People who care for you, people who matter, will show it. Do not accept scraps from someone else's table when you can have a full meal at your own.

Treasure the source of your comfort....

As far back as my memory takes me, I always had a book and a source of music in my possession. Even when all of my possessions where destroyed and I had nothing to claim but an actual roof over my head, the first thing I bought when I finally got a paycheck was a $20 boombox and my favorite magazine (because it was cheaper than a book). I knew as long as I could listen to the radio and read I would be okay. Sure, I could have spent that $25 dollars on something more productive, but for me, it was the most basic way to preserve my sanity. In this last month, I've gone back to reading more than I ever have, and my television is collecting a lot more dust than the record player I own. There was a moment where I found myself engaging in the pastimes of others as a way to be supportive. It brought me nothing but unrest. I say that to remind you and myself, it does not matter if your solace is a DVR full of Love & Hip Hop episodes or ice fishing, do not let it fall to the wayside simply because you are the only one in your circle who likes it. Love what you love, and do it often.

Loving my own company allows me to pour from a cup that runneth over.....

Not getting up and going to a job everyday means spending a fair amount of time alone, at least during the week. Spending time in my own world has never been a problem for me, but to have the span of time I have had this month to pour into myself has made me so much more able to give so freely to those I love. Whether working home alone, or out in the world, I now know a dinner, a movie, or even sitting for a few hours with headphones on to listen to a new album alone has to happen more often. It is necessary if I want to be the most outstanding version of me for the others in my life. I want to give them more than a measly twenty percent of my energy. I want to make time for me, so I can make time for them.

Take care of yourself in ways that feel good internally, not simply for vanity....

I like fashion, tea, a tall glass of cold water, and salads, but I love comfort, coffee, red wine, rich desserts and cheesy, creamy pasta dishes. In the past I have allowed some of the best memories of my life to be spoiled by how unhappy I have been by what I see in a picture following the occasion. I rarely look completely pulled together, and I don't ever "slay" anything. However, I've always enjoyed myself. The memories my friends and family recall always start with "It was the night you said...." or "It was the night you did....", less often "It was the night you wore..." Taking this month to revamp some of my eating and exercise habits, I have come to the realization, I am one hundred percent okay with not being the girl who "slays". It feels good when I go for a twenty or thirty minute run, it doesn't feel good to be sore from nearly two hours of working out five nights a week. Fresh fruits, veggies, and organic meats from a farmers market always make me happier than eating disgusting fast food, but so does a gourmet meal at a great restaurant. Jumping off a cliff into extremes for nothing more than a smaller size dress is not going to ever be okay for me. It's taxing and miserable to maintain. I have a number of healthy habits, and they feel really good for me to partake in, but unfortunately for me, they just do not translate into a size 2. Health is important to me, but so is quality of life. Compromising is just out of the question.

Now let's see what February brings....

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Narrative

Do you know any married couples who have survived infidelity?

I mean really know them, like they have discussed the transgression at length with you. The ins, the outs, the fall out, the aftermath.

How does their relationship look?

Are they consistently working at building trust daily? Are they in a blissful second honeymoon kind of phase?

Is love still there?

I don't know about you, but the marriages I know of, where an infidelity has occurred, is best described as a very clear lifelong exercise in the words "work in progress."

On their best days, the thoughts of the indiscretion are placed at the very back of their minds and they can smile, love, live, breath.

However, on their worst days, there is still an unspoken truth wafting through the air that leads to checking unattended phones, and snooping through open email accounts.

The love is still there, but the trust is irreparably damaged.

I can see it, feel it. It's tangible. It's real life.

They have decided to stay married, but things are different, and they probably will always be.

Not bad, not good, but most certainly different.

Being I have witnessed the real life versions of such circumstances, I find myself annoyed with how this scenario is portrayed when it applies to any sort of public, political or celebrity couple's story displayed for your nightly news.

Or even more dishonest, when the narrative is being duplicated for a television show, or blockbuster movie.

The illustration we typically see is a couple experiencing an affair, one-night stand, however extensive the relationship may be, only for it to end with the marriage winding up back in a place where their love is somehow much greater, and much stronger.

Their happiness is now overwhelmingly unbreakable.

Who are these people?!? People no one knows, that's who!

Being honest, the majority of the time the forgiving party within this story line is the wife.

Is this, as a society, what we really want to teach women? Is this what you want for your daughters?

It is perfectly acceptable to be cheated on, because in the end your marriage is going to be so much stronger, and your love will be so much more wonderful than ever before. And you can make your story a hit album, and have twins while the world gushes

When are we going to stop indirectly, sometimes directly, feeding women these fallacies of necessary forgiveness?

Pay no never mind to the possible expensive price of her own self worth, because the societal credit of being a "wife", being "chosen", is worth so much more. Right?

Indeed, everyone does not have a visceral, dramatic reaction to infidelity, but if one does, it should be okay for them to leave. And when I say leave, I mean leave without stigma, or the judgment associated with having given up on their covenant with God, and that other person, laid at their doorstep.

Marriage is a difficult journey for most, even without infidelity, and if an affair becomes a part of the process, there is nothing wrong with deciding to stay.

We all make individual choices someone else may never even consider.

However, there is something wrong, very wrong with gorging women, or men for that matter, with the idea that the pain and hurt of betrayal will somehow magically turn into a redeemable experience, something for which you can and should be grateful.

I could be wrong, but in real life, it just doesn't seem to work out that way.

Sunday, November 29, 2015


After moving into my apartment in the Bronx I didn't have any money, not one dime. Zero dollars and zero cents. I'd paid the deposit and the first month's rent to move in. It was everything I had left. I wasn't happy, but I was relieved because now I didn't have to live in the roach infested place I'd lived in for the first month I'd been in New York. Joy helped me move my meager belongings (my clothes, music collection and a few other knick-knacks), she'd known me maybe all of two weeks at the time. Crystal, who had only met me once via Joi (the only friend I had in New York when I moved there) gave me information for a temp agency. The phone number to that temp agency was my only glimmer of hope. I wasn't concerned about my empty apartment, sleeping on the floor, or the 4 or 5 $0.25 bags of chips being my only food until someone gave me a check. I just needed a job.

On Monday I made it to the temp agency, but I was late, and covered in sweat because I'd gotten lost taking the train for the first time alone. I ended up walking from the West side of Manhattan to the East, which I thought would be a short distance. It sounded short, so rather then continuing to get turned around on the train I thought I could walk it a bit quicker. Don't ever let anyone tell you that is a short walk, especially not in business attire in the middle of August. I just knew the woman would look at me, and the mess I was, and walk me right back outside. She gave me a bit of a side eye, but when I told her about being new to NY she seemed to understand. She found a data entry job that I could start the next day. Finally, things were looking up.

I pushed through to the next week, although not before passing out on the train due to not eating. A stranger picked me up and gave me a few sticks of gum. That gum tasted like steak. All I heard was "Whoa, we almost lost you there" and all I felt was an overwhelming cloud of pity surrounding me, but those strangers who picked me up and shook me awake....well let's just say New Yorkers are not as cold as you may think.

That first check was everything to me. I bought groceries, a pillow, a $5 blanket (which is inside the ottoman in my living room right now, I'll never get rid of it) and a $20 boombox. That night I laid on the floor with a full belly and I played almost every CD I owned. The music revived my spirit and I felt like God really loved me.

Just Grateful.