Not a Good Friend? You’d Make a Terrible Lover.

Since I’ve been single for the past four months (longest time I’ve been single in the last seven years) I’ve had more time to devote to being a good friend — no make that a great friend. And by focusing more time on friends I can honestly say that my future romantic relationships will be even better.

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Me and Elizabeth! One of the most amazing people ever!

As some of you many know from reading my blog, a few months ago I left my hometown of Jacksonville, Fla. and headed down to south Florida. I didn’t leave on the best of terms so it’s been an adjustment to say the least. Leaving out of pure dire necessity is never how I envisioned my departure. I thought it would always be a one-in-a-lifetime job opportunity that would sweep me away from Florida’s First Coast. Or perhaps a significant other and I finally deciding to embark onto new territory. Yeah, either one of those could not be farther from the truth of what happened. If you’ve read a few of my entries you can easily find the center of my recent radical life transition.

With all that being said, living hundreds of miles away from friends and really only having the luxury of phone conversation has allowed me to work on my listening. Something that I still struggle with constantly. I’m that friend who wants to jump ahead and guess the next word you’re trying to say or try and relate to every story you have. So guilty of this. I really need to learn to be present in the moment and regard everyone’s words as important as my own and really let them speak from the heart. This is way easier said than done. I mean the sheer agony of a long pause makes me want to leap out of my seat and yell, “Did you mean…?!” Or the, “Oh my God! Your mom left your sweater out to dry and it smells bad! Well my mother washed my khaki skirts with a red shirt and I had to wear pink skirts for months!” I’m the over-enthusiastic conversationalist who sometimes can’t wait to get her two cents in.

Now, I’ve made some friends since I’ve recently moved and I’ve been trying to improve the in-person interaction as well. I am realizing that in my past relationships I used to be selfish and well, I think we can all say in unison: that is not okay! For example, I never realized exactly how important it is to do something for someone you love just because it makes them feel better — and without questioning it. Sometimes it feels like maybe I’m the last one to learn this lesson but it’s a new one for me. I was so caught up in how I wasn’t meeting my own needs that I couldn’t wrap my brain around anyone else’s needs. Ugh, sometimes I feel it’s a wonder they’ve all stuck around. I like to think it’s my endless supply of hugs and laughter that keeps them coming back, ha-ha.

Since I’ve been thinking about friendships lately and how to improve upon being the best friend ever I’ve realized that this will inadvertently improve my future romantic relationships. In essence you’re supposed to marry you’re best friend and if you can’t treat your own friends with love, dignity, respect, empathy and honesty then how the heck are you going to know how to treat your significant other? It makes sense doesn’t it? I mean having this new profound outlook really puts future relationships into perspective and until I feel confident in my abilities as a friend I dare not venture into ‘love land’. Also, I have about 10 zillion things I’d love to accomplish before meeting that SOS. Having long-term friends teaches you the value of companionship, acceptance, compromise, patience and dealing with everyday life.

After going through something that really shakes you to your core you definitely start to realize the importance of a lot of things, especially friendships. I am blessed to have some of the most amazing people in my life who are genuinely concerned with my well-being and happiness. I suspect that they may feel the same from me but just to make sure they never feel neglected in the ‘Yessy loves them’ department I’ll try extra hard to really be there for them when they need me and to do so with pleasure and gratitude. The pleasure of having their company and the gratitude of having them in my life.

I realize this has been kind of a mushy entry — I was feeling kind of mushy. Comment any feedback. I respond to everyone and I’d love to hear from you!

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Slice of Wisdom

I have learned to look at my life as an observer. I stand back, look at what happened, and focus my attention on the place where the wound was inflicted. I do not look at who inflicted the wound or how it was inflicted. That it was inflicted is the essence of healing. Find what your wound is, where the wound is being played out in your life, and heal it. Only by doing the work on ourselves that is required to heal mental, emotional, and psychological wounds can we ever hope to be whole in our spirits. I chose to do the healing work because I didn’t want to be mad anymore. I didn’t want to cry anymore. I wanted to heal so that I would have something to celebrate — myself.

-Iyanla Vazant, Yesterday, I Cried

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When No One Gets You

Ever have those moments when you’re thinking out loud to a friend or family member and they start shaking their head? Like, hello?! I was not finished explaining my thought process. You get kind of sensitive. You think, “how can what I’m saying be wrong already?”

I used to be so afraid to express what I was feeling to anyone. I didn’t want to be told that what I had spent grueling hours thinking and overanalyzing was wrong! I mean I had invested time and energy into these full reports that I was finally verbalizing. But the lightbulb when off the other day as I was talking to a friend.

I was telling her that in the future I could see myself marrying a man and not a woman. She told me not be so quick to choose (seeing as how I’ve dated both). But I’ve already overanalyzed it and no matter how hard I try the thought of marrying a woman does not feel comfortable nor is something that I have ever really seen as a future for myself. I may have said it in the past but I’ve evolved. And said it from the old me, the one who thought love was something completely different — I thought it was just infatuation and physical and then the emotional would follow. I’ve learned, in the past several months, that it should be flip-flopped. The one who so desperately wanted to connect with my female because my own relationship with my mother was so severed. Yeah, that was a tough one to learn. <Add in childhood memories trauma and yeah, it’s super complicated.>

And then I started thinking that regardless of her opinion, I know my thoughts better than anyone else and don’t need anyones blessing to be me and act upon what I think feels right. No one will ever understand my inner workings and I will never understand anyone else’s.

This particular friend had gone through a very difficult health issue in the last few years. A very life-or-death scenario which I know was very eye-opening and life-changing for her. Now, however many stories she shares with me or feelings that she expresses — I will never know what that experience felt like and so it’s only my job to love and be there for her. It isn’t my job to judge her or tell her she’s on the wrong path. As author Caroline Myss has stated, “you’re never on the wrong path, you’re just not managing it well.”

With that being said, I wanted to share two things I reflected on today. Let me know if there’s anything interesting that you thought of today. Would love to hear!!! Doesn’t matter what it is.

  1. Your truth is just that — YOUR truth. Don’t be discouraged from your growth process just because someone doesn’t get it. It’s for you to get, not anyone else. As long as you’re not harming yourself or anyone else — you’re golden!
  2. Everyone can do anything. However, they can only do it to the best of their ability.

When That One Person Won’t Leave You Alone

Everyone’s had that moment — when you’re finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and then suddenly someone or something takes you back to that dark place where you began. The drop you feel your stomach makes as your mind thinks, ‘not again’! Now, this moment doesn’t totally discredit all of the progress that you’ve made but it does bring to the surface some mixed emotions and discomfort.

It can make you feel angry, having to be reminded the mess you had to wade through. It can also bring a sense of shame. You think, “shouldn’t I be over this already?” Is this all starting to sound familiar?

I had that experience today and I’ve been working on a method that will help me get through those moments. This experience in particular was a person from my past trying to contact me. For months I have had my mind made up that I will never speak to this person again.

However brash my decision may seem, please know that this decision is based on several months of reflection. The old me would have felt ‘bad or even sad’ and would have tried to appease them. Ugh! That’s the pit in the stomach – the sickening part. Where the old you is battling the new you. Nauseated by the fact that the you could have ever thought any differently than the learned you.

So, how do I continue to move on? I remember these key facts (I suspect they may help you if you find yourself in the same predicament). If you have any other tactics you’ve used, feel free to comment.

  1. chose to leave for a very good reason
  2. There is nothing I need from this individual
  3. If they really need help they can call their family, friends and/or 9-1-1
  4. My new self doesn’t fit back into the space I left
  5. I am not a martyr and refuse to do things that benefit others at the expense of myself

Slice of Wisdom

“Then it hit me. Some people don’t know how, and others never think about going back and cleaning up their crap. Most people want to start today and feel better tomorrow. They want to take a yoga class, listen to a meditation tape, rub a crystal on their head, and believe they have fixed their lives and healed their soul.

You cannot create a new way of being in one day. You must take your time remembering, cleaning up, and gaining strength. If you push yourself too fast, before gaining the strength you need to go in a new direction, you are going to fall and bump your head.”

-Iyanla Vanzant, Yesterday, I Cried 

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Slice of Wisdom

When you need to be loved, you take love wherever you can find it. When you are desperate to be loved, feel love, know love, you seek out what you think love should look like. When you find love, or what you think love is, you will lie, kill, and steal to keep it. But learning about real love comes from within. It cannot be given. It cannot be taken away. It grows from your sense of self. It grows from your ability to re-create within yourself, and for yourself, the essence of loving experiences you have had in your life. When you have not had loving experiences, or when you do not have a sense of self, the true essence of love eludes you. Instead, you hold onto, reach out to, and find yourself embroiled in, your mistaken beliefs about yourself and love.

-Iyanla Vanzant, Yesterday, I Cried