On the Eve of Thirty

So this blog is about the year during which I turn 30 years old. It is only fitting that I have an entry the night before I actually turn 30.

I had a wonderful weekend. I planned it out so that I could spend time with family and friends, but also in a state of calm, peace, and serenity. I got just that.

First, I had dinner at my favorite restaurant with most of my closest friends. It was wonderful to be in the company of the people I care about the most.

Then, He and I went to a wonderful hotel in midtown Manhattan where we met with Her. This was my first time meeting Her and I have to say it was better than I could have ever imagined.  He and I have been working on moving into that place that would work best for us, and we have been, slowly but surely.  A number of things happened along the way, but by my request, he invited Her. I offered Her a gift, my olive branch, and asked that we all co-exist peacefully and openly. I felt the warmth in the room, the mutual attraction and imagination of what if and could this happen… I spoke to them both and opened the door, hoping they would each walk through. And they did. And all began to feel right with me.

We had a passionate night together and I began to feel settled. I’d made clear that from that moment on, all of my decisions would be based on what I wanted, not on what others wanted or expected. My life is MINE and I am finally putting myself first. There is nothing more freeing than the feeling of being in control of one’s own destiny and being resilient enough to take the blows and overcome the obstacles.  I passed my thoughts onto Her because of the things she is going through in Her own life.  I hope she heard me. I learned my lesson, she is now learning hers.

After she left, we went to sleep because we had a peaceful weekend at a B&B planned. Originally, I was going to go by myself, but I realized that I wanted Him there with me.  He happily agreed to go. We both needed the rest and there was no one I would want to end my 20s with, than the person who had the greatest impact on that decade.  I cannot deny the impact and influence he has had on my life.

The B&B was AMAZING. The Apple Valley Inn B&B in Glennwood, NJ (Go visit!!!).  It was beautiful, inside and out, affordable, welcoming, inviting, endearing, isolated, everything anyone could want for time away from the world.   The Innkeepers were the best and the breakfast was so delicious. I was SO happy to have found their location on the internet. I didn’t want to leave.

But alas, we had to return to the city. We stopped for a movie, and then picked up our son.  We came home and relaxed, despite our son being a hellion on wheels. Yes, today was the first day my baby rode a tricycle by himself. I was so proud of him. All I could think, as I enjoyed the warm sun on a lovely spring day while watching my son ride  was how wonderfully blessed I am to have the life that I have.

Recently, He called me a complainer. It struck me at my core because I didn’t realize that others felt I was negative like that. I promised myself that I would not only stop complaining as much, but I would stop looking at things so negatively that everything I said turned out to sound like a complaint.  Yes, I’m a nitpicking perfectionist, but so what? lol

Tomorrow, at approximately 6:34 am, I will be 30 years old.

I am actually happy to have made it…

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30 30 30 30 30

Can I all it 21+9? 

I wonder if it will be hard to let go of my 20s or if it will be easy to embrace the new phase that are my 30s?

With less than two weeks to ago, I’ve been reflecting a great deal about what it means be 30. I realize it probably means the same as being 29, which is such an odd age btw. Lol.

One thing I am noticing is an increase in my selfishness/self-centeredness. I’ve spent so much of my life doing so much for other people, putting other people’s needs and feelings above my own that I forgot about me along the way. I forgot about the most important person.  So now, I find that I am no longer interested in working in low-paying social service, I am no longer interested in catering to a quasi-husband who does all he can to manipulate me (and every other person he knows) into doing his bidding, I am not longer interested in giving up my goals, my dreams, my desires for everyone else.

Especially when people don’t make me a priority.

So maybe my 30s will go down as my selfish years. The years I spend regaining myself, giving to myself, taking for myself, pleasuring myself, exploring the world myself….

Self… now that’s a true Aries word

Peace and Serenity

I was supposed to have a huge birthday blowout for my birthday, but I decided against it. I realized that with all of the ups and downs and the emotional rollercoaster that I’ve been on, I am not up for being around that many people and expending that much energy. I decided that I’d rather enter my 30s peacefully and serenely.

So, I booked a room at a bed and breakfast about an hour away. I was going to go for two nights, but in an effort to save money, I am only going one night.  He is going with me, but I can’t help but feel weird. I mean, we’re not “married” so it won’t have the same feeling of “Oh, the man I love is doing something wonderful for me for my thirtieth birthday”. It feels more like he feels obligated to come, after all the shit he’d put me through.  Ugh. I want a romantic weekend away with someone who loves me. Instead, I’m spending the weekend with a man who says I make him unhappy and feel bad about himself. Great.

I can only hope that we have a decent time with no drama, no stress, etc. I just want to end my 20s in peace and serenity. I want to feel resolved. I want to feel reconciled. I want to know that everything I left open is closed. I want to tie all loose ends. I want to turn the page on that chapter and not have to revisit it. 

Lately, He’s been singing a different song and it is so confusing.  When we “broke up”, one would think I was the worst thing to ever happen to him.  He’s admitted he was the source of the wrongs in our relationship. He’s admitted that the real reason he cannot be married to me is because I am the mirror that reflects the (sometimes ugly) truths about him that he is not yet ready to confront or deal with.  He admits that being married to me represented something too real for him, something he is not ready for and doesnt believe he will ever be ready for, because it means taking a long hard look at himself and his life and making changes.  He admits to being a coward. I get it, fine.  He also says that the most he will ever give to someone, he gives to me, and he doesn’t think he’ll ever feel for someone or let someone in as much and as far as me. That gave me some weird comfort, but it still isn’t enough.

He wants me to stay. He doesn’t want me to move. He now says that he doesn’t want me out of his life. He admits that he selfishly wants me to remain in his life as his best friend, his primary lover, the mother to his father, etc etc etc… everything we were before (basically) without the label of marriage.  It is almost as if he mentally cannot accept the concept of marriage and is terribly afraid of it. it is unfortunate because he is still living as a married person, despite his assertions that he is not.  In many ways, it is sad to watch. Something deep inside of him is so terrified of something so great, that he cannot be real with himself and acknowledge that he IS married, that he doesn’t want to be unmarried to me. He just can’t handle the label. Sad indeed.

But see, I’m am all or nothing person. I should be demanding 100% of him, but i know that after all of the hurt and pain he caused me, the damage his behavior did to my mind, body, and spirit, I could never, ever give him 100%.  So how can I hypocritically demand it in return.  Does that mean I could be content with 90%? I’m sure I could be content, but not fulfilled and unlike him, I am not satisfied living an unfulfilled existence. I have little need for relationships/friendships that don’t fulfill me. Why bother?

Bottom line, I think he just wants to have his cake and eat it too and already I’m seeing a pattern of me being the fall back girl.  The one who is there when others are too busy, when others can’t get away, when others aren’t giving him what he needs. When he really needs something, then, he comes to me. The old faithful he knows won’t go anywhere.  What will he do when I’m gone? He can’t be with me if he can’t control me, and for a while, I could understand that. Now, I simply pity him and the need he has to hold onto such superficial control over women.  Whatever broke him long ago, he is trying to fix it with pathetic attempts at controlling women. He knows that is about as much as he can control, so he does it that way. He is so afraid of someone else possibly having control over something that happens to him or in his life, that he’d rather spend his life creating these fantasies of controlling, yet empty, relationships, just to feel like he has some type of power.

What He fails to realize is that men only have as much power as women allow them, and therefor, they have no power at all. If we don’t agree to go along with it, they have nothing.

One of these days, we will stop agreeing to it… and he will be left empty.

But I think i spend too much time talking about Him on my blog, so I am implementing a moratorium on discussing Him here.  I’m moving on. I love myself more than he will ever be capable of and there is no use discussing Him anymore. He will always lie to me. He will always deceive me. He will always do whatever he can to try and control me. 

But He won’t control this blog.

The Stars Don’t Lie

So a good friend passed me a link to me the other day that contained a lot of detailed astrological information, down to the days.  It really tripped me out because it really and truly spoke to various situations in my life.  Venus is in retrograde which means a lot of negativity on various fronts.

It said that I shouldn’t be planning any major party or vacation between certain dates. The day before, I’d decided to cancel my party and a few minutes before, I sent out the notice to people that it was cancelled.  

It said that I shouldn’t use any Internet dating sites until April 17 and that any person I meet until then won’t work out. Interesting because that’s been proving itself to be true.

It said that there was an unresolved issue in my current relationship that I would be seeking resolution for. Oddly enough, I’d just sent Him a resolution-type email, laying out my thoughts and feelings. He responded in 100% agreement. I finally felt resolved. 

It mentioned a volatile relationship with a Leo. Well He is a Leo.

It also said that there were some new projects on the horizon at work. Given the recent meeting I had with a Senior VP about a possible new position, it felt good to hear some positive reinforcement on that front. If I do get that position, it would mean a huge salary increase that could mean I won’t have to move.  

I’ve been listening to God a lot more lately. I think the fact that I haven’t been eating much has been a quasi-fasting that has opened up my mind, heart, and spirit to hear God’s words. A lot of questions I have had have been answered. I’m feeling like God is making his way for me.

Last night, we both had plans. I was having dinner with an old friend and he was going out to do whatever. We were supposed to drop off the kids, but due to miscommunication, the sitter was unavailable.  Before finding that out, however, he spontaneously told me that he wanted to take me out. There had been some heavy drama earlier in the day involving someone he has been seeing during our relationship and I think he just wanted to spend the evening with me. So I cancelled my dinner plans and we went to drop the kids off. Well, God had a different plan, and it was for us to spend the evening together as a family. I was disappointed because I wanted to spend the time with him, alone. But this was what God wanted and so we accepted it and spent the evening as a fam. 

This morning, I woke up upset, but yesterday I promised him I wouldn’t bring the situation up to him anymore. So I kept quiet and my disposition was totally funky. He asked me if something was bothering me and I said No, which he hates.  We got home, and he was headed out. I later texted him apologizing and he was mad at me for saying nothing was bothering me. I just didn’t want him spending his day worrying about me. He got mad at me for overcompensating.

I can’t win for losing.

But now I am here, alone at home, feeling weird. I don’t believe he is being completely honest with me about everything. I know he is unnerved by the fact that I know him so well. I think he will continue to lie or withhold things as a way for him to keep something from me because that’s how he remains in control. If he believes I know everything, then he is fully exposed, and that scares him.  So I deal with the fact that even though he claims to be fully honest, I know he isn’t. And that knowledge makes me feel like I cannot trust him completely. 

Will we ever reach the point of complete trust and honesty? For some reason, my spirit tells me the answer is a loud NO.

*sigh*

God is Real

God knows that if He wants me to hear Him, he need but speak to me the only way I’ll listen— through music.

I’ve spent the better part of my life going back and forth about my faith. Asking the usually intellectually skeptical questions: Does God exist? If so, why do babies die? Does God have absolute power? If so, why do people blame so much on the devil? How can one have faith with knowledge? Etc etc etc

Well, I’ve been in a critical place for the past year or so… right at the edge of the fork in the road. I’ve had to make some critical decisions and still have more to make. I was feeling some kind of way today, because I felt an idea placed on my spirit out of nowhere, and the ideas came pouring forth, so I asked God “What is it that you want me to do?”

Then, I received my calling… kinda.

I went to do laundry this evening, asked God again, “What do I do now?” I turned on my mp3 player, hit shuffle, and let the music flow.

First song, “You Will Know” by Stevie Wonder. If you are unfamiliar, there is a section that goes:

“Looking up to heaven for the answer
They hear a voice that says

You will know
Lonely heart you’ll know
Problems have solutions
Trust and I will show”

I said, “Ok, God, I hear you” so I just let it play. Usually I am quick to click next, even on shuffle, but this time I just let it play. And I’m glad I did because the next 18 songs (yes, I went back and counted) were songs that spoke to every question or concern I had about my life. Every. Single. One. Some of the jewels were “Something’s Missing” by Brandy, “On Your Own” by Lalah Hathaway, “Everything Happens for a Reason” by Zhane, “Stand” by Donnie McClurkin, “Butterfly” by Mariah Carey, “Yesterday” by Shanice, and others. It was just back to back to back to the point where the tears just began to flow. Tears not of pain, but of joyful relief. I realized God was, in fact, with me, walking right there, waiting for me to slow down so He could lead me.

God was truly speaking to me, because He knew I needed to hear Him as I’ve been putting the finishing touches on the last chapter of my life.

This time, I listened…

…and I am released.

Thank you, God.

Dating Sux

I never imagined that a month from turning 30, I’d be back in the dating pool. Quite frankly, I didn’t think I would have been married by this time or a mother, but such is life. I kinda imagined I’d be in a long term relationship, keeping enough distance to not have to move to the next level, but being involved enough to have someone reliable to spend my time with.

Normally, when I break up with someone, my best coping mechanism is to literally delete that person from my life.  Remove his phone number, delete his email addresses, remove him from any friends lists, and pretend that I never knew him. The second thing I would do is literally and figuratively jump into bed with the next man.  Rebound distractions always made it easier, but then, I never really had a lo of genuine relationships. Men never saw me as worthy of settling down. Well, not the men I wanted anyway. There were plenty of men out there who wanted to give me the world, but I found them unattractive lol  

Anyway, after an “affair” or “dalliance”, I’d write him off and go on a crazed fuckfest. Any man, every man, didn’t matter, so in some ways, you can say I was abusing myself, as if that was the best means to remove the man’s lingering essence.

But this time is different. This time, I cannot just walk away and erase him. We have a child together, a family. And honestly, I don’t want to erase him. I just want him to be in my life in a capacity that doesn’t hurt me. If that means maintaining some type of distance, so be it. I have detached, somewhat, and that all-encompassing firey intensity is slowly but surely being doused out. What remains is the love and attachment to the man who became my best friend, the man who gave me my beautiful son, the man who has grown so much over the past few months. I look at him, especially in recent days, and see someone who is growing. Someone who realizes what he did wrong, accepts responsibility, and is working on being better and better each day. He is far from perfect, but he is better than he was before. So, I’m loving him for that and actually enjoying it.  The tricky part is making sure I don’t fall in love. However, there are things he does that basically keep that from happening. So I’m good lol

But on the topic of dating… man. I see why my peers are all single. There isn’t a lot to choose from out there.  I blame it on the single mother epidemic. Why? Men have been raised by single mothers who coddle them and have no knowledge of how to raise men. So these boys grow into boyish men who lack substance, manliness… They don’t know the basics of traditional dating. They think a date is meeting them on a corner or at their friend’s house to “chill”. They think romance is paying for a drink. They think good conversation is about Chris Brown and Rihanna’s fight. 

Yes, I’m really intelligent and highly educated. Yes, I have a sardonic, dry sense of humor. Yes, I’m considered far wiser than my almost 30 years. So I should not have to settle for less, right? Whatever happened to men working hard to make something of themselves? Whatever happened to men having pride in their personal appearance? Whatever happened to men watching their mouths around women? Has that gone with the high top fade?

Am I asking too much to be taken out to a nice dinner and to have the man pay for it? And by nice, I don’t mean Red Lobster. Come on…

Sorting through the losers is becoming tiresome. I just want to meet one nice guy who can be my official rebound dude. He can help me erase His scent, His touch, His sweet words, His romance, His passion, His intensity, His sex…

Hard to erase that when all of that is still there, given to me freely.

Therein lies the conflict. I keep comparing them to him. They’re not as funny, They’re not as articulate, They’re not as charming, They’re not as good in bed. Why do I keep comparing them? Because he is still right there, in my face, giving me everything I “need” right now. So why exactly am I out there dating?

Because I need to move forward and this is the only way I know how… replacement.  I’m hoping to show myself that I can find someone just as “good” so maybe I can begin to believe that my world doesn’t end with Him.

I know it, I just haven’t begun to believe it.

Violated…

Last night, I went out on a date. This was the second date I went on since my  marriage ended.  The first one was the night before.

The guy took me to dinner and to a movie. He was so nice, a gentleman.  Then, I offered to give him a ride home and he accepted. As we pulled up in front of his place, he leaned over to kiss me and I pulled back.  He leaned further and was like, “C’mon, stop fronting”.  I pulled back and made it clear I was not interested in a kiss.  Then he grabbed my arm to pull me closer to him and he was trying to shover his tongue in my mouth. I started pushing him away with my hands, trying to lift my legs to kick him. I was terrified.  Then he grabbed my hair and started choking me.  He smacked me. I tried to put the car in drive to startl him. I kept yelling for him to get out of my car but he wouldn’t. Then I started honking the horn, hoping it would get someone’s attention.  I guess he got scared and he left the car fast, not before hurling insults and such.

I was so scared, I was driving blindly. I almost got into an accident before I got myself together. When I got back to my neighborhood, I sent Him a text, asking when he thought he would be home. He said 3 or 4 and it was barely 1. I tried to find parking, but couldnt so I went upstairs, grabbed a blanket, washed my face and went back to the car. I ended up falling asleep in the car for a bit. When I woke up, all I could think of is what happened, and how I couldnt call Him to tell him. I realized I couldn’t rely on him. He was out on his own date and I didn’t want to bother him. He said I was a priority, but I didnt believe him. 

We’d had a falling out before we both left. I checked his phone because I felt he was lying to me about someone he was involved with. He was, and I told him about it. All I wanted was us to be honest with each other so we could move forward with our life.  He couldnt do that and it made me feel like he’d been lying to me about everything, especially about how he would take care of me. He pushed me to make a date last night. He said we needed to go out with other people, that we’d get together at IHOP and talk about it. So I did. The whole evening, I felt nervous and didn’t want to go. I overslept and missed a friend’s birthday party, and part of me was saying I should just stay home. But he pushed me to go and I didnt want to stay home and end up being upset.

I’m trying to not blame him for it. I’m trying to not let my anger over being assaulted carry over onto him because I felt so alone. I’m trying to make sure that I don’t blame him for pushing this date thing. I don’t want to look at him and see last night over and over. I felt so dirty, so cheap… Like, what’s wrong with me? Why do men treat me like this?

This experience showed me that I have no one. I am alone. And trusting and relying on people is not worth it. Ever.

Making It Work

Sometimes, the greatest gift we can give ourselves is being able to believe in ourselves. Too often we doubt ourselves, go against our instincts, and try to live according to what others or society has dictated.

I’ve never been good at that.

As I approach thirty, I find that I’m less likely to want to do what others suggest I should be doing. I realized early on in my marriage that I wasn’t exactly cut out for the mold crafted by thousands of years of paternalistic oppression. I wasn’t cut out for living according to the rules or laws embedded in the marital union.

Instead, I have realized that I need to carve out my own path, my own definition of what happiness with someone else is.  It might not come from Him. I’m almost positive it won’t.  But when it does come, I don’t want to be one of those people who is so closed off from the possibility, that possibility never turns into reality.  However, I seek to do things by MY own definitions, MY own rules, without compromise.

That’s how I’m moving forward in my life. By MY rules, my design.  I refuse to allow others to dictate how my life should be conducted, what choices I should make, where I should go.

It is important that I maintain my independence, not just relationship wise, but independence in thought, in my heart, my soul, my body, etc.  Relying on others never works because you’re always at the mercy of something you cannot control– their behavior.

In order for me to make my life work the way I want it to, I have to regain control over the most important aspects of that life. I have to make things work for ME.

That’s what 30 and beyond will all be about.

Stupid is as Stupid does

Sometimes, I just feel so stupid. Like, I can read the writing on the wall, but I act like I didn’t see anything writing at all. The message has been clear, almost from day one… As many times as I’ve read it (as it has come in so many manifestations), I ignored it. I chose to be blind to the truths right in front of me. Friends cautioned me, family raised flags. They all saw what I refused to see, but because they loved me, they were supportive and hope and prayed for the best.

I asked God earlier today, “Why me?”  

I feel bad for questioning God, but enough is enough already. “Why me, God?”

What did I do?

All I can do is be thankful for the idea God placed on my spirit today. I’m not sure who reads this blog, so unfortunately, I can no longer be as expressive or honest as I once was.  All I know is that change is coming, major change, and soon enough, I will be away from everything and everyone and finally…. finally at peace.

Routinely Comfortable

Life is a series of events, planned and unplanned. I get that. What I don’t get is how people become so complacent and accepting of routine. I was never good at that.

Yesterday, I had a great conversation with a friend and over the course of the conversation I realized just how much the last few years of my life had been little more than a repeated routine.  Who I’d become, the person I woke up and went to sleep knowing had settled into the routine of being someone’s wife, someone’s mother, someone’s friend, someone’s reliable worker.  I realize that this is the type of life most people experience, but it was never something I anticipated.

I always thought that when I got older (or grew up, whichever came first), I’d spend my days wandering around, literally and figuratively.  I could never see myself “settling down”.  That concept was SO very scary.  It made me think of being trapped, caught up in a web of a life that I would never be able to get proper footing.  I’d rather drift than be rooted into what I’d always thought would be automatically boring.

And then it happened. My life became routine. I was married. I became a mother. I got a stable job.  I made grocery lists. I planned meals and family trips. I planned my outfits. I budgeted. I did everything I thought I was supposed to do. I loved my son. I loved my step-daughter. I loved my husband…

… and the routine failed. Things didn’t work out as they were “supposed” to (or maybe they did and I’m just refusing to accept that). Thus proving that I was right from the beginning when I was anti-routine.  I tried to be someone I was not, or maybe I was that person, just being her in a way that I did not want to be. I got caught up in the tradition of things, the way things were supposed to be… according to someone else. And it made me miserable a lot of the time. 

I began to resent things, people, anything that seemed to be a part of the routine.  Including, and probably most of all, myself. I began to accept conditions and behaviors that I would never have accepted. I began to behave in ways that I never imagined I would be.  Life fell into a cycle of repetitious nonsense, routine drama… you know it’s bad when even the drama becomes routine.

One day, I woke up. Not sharply, as if awaken by a loud alarm clock. More like a sleepy awakening, eyes fluttering, arms stretching, yawning. The kind of awakening where one might fight it, hitting the button, wanting to sleep nine more snoozy minutes. I admit, routine became comfortable, inviting, warm… you KNOW it, and therefore it offers no surprises.  Resistance to change, waking up that is, is a normal reaction.  That dream always seems better than reality.

But, I finally got out of bed. I placed my feet solidly on the floor, and instead of taking my usual shower, I just got dressed and went outside for a run.  Something completely different than anything I’ve ever done.

I said good-bye to my routinely comfortable life and opted for the scary, terrifying, unsure, unknown, genuine, real life that is and was always supposed to be mine.

I see happiness on the horizon.

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