Quote

Slice of Wisdom

When you have something to do life will not allow you to move forward until you do it.

― Iyanla Vanzant, Peace From Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through

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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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Who is the Girl in that Selfie?

I’ve convinced myself of the reason why I like to take selfies. I’m trying to see if I still recognize her, especially after the life-altering year I’ve had.

For years I’ve lived my life on autopilot, trying to fill every minute of every day with work, friends, relationships, concerts, restaurants, clubs, dancing, and I drowned out the voice inside. The voice that held the answer to who I was, my dreams, my purpose and my inner peace.

I was in a constant tug-of-war between a boss who projected all of her anger onto me and significant other who did just the same. Had the new people at work not asked why I let my boss mistreat me, it may have taken me a lot longer to realize how bad it actually was.

Now, no one asked me about the girlfriend, because I never told anyone the truth of what was happening. I never told anyone that she yelled at me for the smallest things, that she became jealous of anyone I spoke to, criticized me constantly and manipulated me into thinking she was the best thing that had ever happened to me.

Those who know me have been in total disbelief that I would allow such people in my life for as long as I did. The thing is that the broken me – the girl who never made it past May 31, 2014 – didn’t realize that I had a choice.

I was taught to learn that love would always hurt one way or another. That if you made people angry with you they would hurt you and that love would always mean pain. That you should accept that you’ll always be the punching bag. And that’s exactly what they represented to me — another chance at proving all of those things right.

Having these two individuals in my life during a 9-month period completely wreaked havoc on me physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I was anxious all of the time, gaining weight, losing interest in seeing friends, not feeling motivated to take care of myself, and preoccupying myself by pleasing the two people in my life who did not deserve it. I was definitely in a state of depression.

Several months ago I had had it at work and I courageously (some would say foolishly) quit my job without having anything else lined up. That alleviated some anxiety and stress but something still wasn’t right. A week after I quit my job, I moved in with my significant other and things started to spiral down quickly soon after. The fights became more intense, the words became more hateful, and I cried almost every night.

If it hadn’t been for the few weeks I spent at the local public library, using the computers to job search I don’t know where’d I’d be. During that time, I checked out a self-help/spiritual healing book by author Iyanla Vanzant, titled Peace from Broken Pieces. In the book she shared so much truth about her life struggles and how everything that happened in her life was a direct reflection of how she felt about herself.  Being a fan of hers from years back and seeing her on the Oprah show, it was mind-blowing to me that this woman endured so much turmoil.

A quote of hers that still gets me choked up is, “You can only get what you really want by letting go of what you don’t want.”

With that, I decided I was leaving the toxic relationship. A few days later a temporary job fell through and I ended up not only leaving a relationship, but also leaving a job, an apartment and my city and moving hundreds of miles away to live with my parents.

Nowadays when I take a selfie it serves as a reminder that I’m not completely lost. That even though there are parts of the girl prior to May 31, 2014 that no longer exist, I’m still here slowly picking up her pieces, healing them and using them to shape the me I thought I’d lost. 934771_10100505330996512_4189002201993813681_n

Never Really Made a Good Lemonade

When life handed me my current batch of lemons, I felt lost. Completely disoriented. What direction was my life heading in? What do I do now that I’m completely moving my life to a different city (and not on the best of terms)? And literally speaking, I’ve never been too good at making lemonade but now life was squeezing me through and I had to find a way before bitterness would set in.

Shock would be the best way to describe everything that has happened since the end of May. I had a friend tell me recently that there are Top 5 Stressful Situations and that I had gathered 3 out of 5 in one fell swoop. Yippee!

  1. Death of a Loved One
  2. Divorce (Relationship Ending)
  3. Major Illness
  4. Job Loss
  5. Moving

So how have I decided to begin to move on?

  • Journaling
  • Reading Self-Help and Spirituality Books
  • Sitting in Silence
  • Taking Long Baths
  • Practicing Gratitude & Forgiveness
  • Going to the Gym
  • Eating Healthier
  • Lots of Prayer
  • Random Outburst of Tears
  • Happiness to Sadness to Anger to Gratitude to Happiness Again
  • Going out with Friends on the Weekend/Making New Friends (Some Friendlier than Others)
  • Spending Time with Family
  • Hugging my Cats
  • Singing Every Sam Smith Song I know (as well as Kelly Clarkson and Demi Lovato break-up songs)
  • Listening to Of Monsters and Men on repeat (currently happening)
  • Taking Time to Do Whatever I Want and Enjoying Alone Time (not as easy as it sounds when you’ve devoted nearly eight years of your life to relationships)

If I had to pick a favorite one out of that list that has helped me the most it would be sitting in silence. I never realized how the mind really needs to be quieted in order to find the answers you’re constantly searching.

I was so used to running around in the morning and getting ready for work, jamming out on the drive to work, working over 50-60 hours a week, coming home and making dinner, spending time with my then ‘S.O.’ and then going to bed. My mind was computing but it wasn’t really thinking.

Now that I practice meditating on my thoughts, I have begun to understand how my past and all the choices I have made have led me to where I am. I can reflect on every single emotion I feel that I dislike and really get down to the root — it’s truly life-changing.

One example I will use is that I would get so upset at what people thought of me — people that I didn’t even know! I would obsess about it at times! So I dug deeper as I sat in silence to find out why.

This is what I learned:

The anger stemmed from me being insecure and not really knowing who I was. I mean, how dare that person say something about me and not know me? I couldn’t let it go! And it was all because I hated that that person could possibly know more about and see me more clearly than I actually saw myself.

The insecurities stemmed from so many childhood to adolescent factors, which I may share another day (but for now I’ll condense).

So now that I knew the why, I needed to accept responsibility for my thoughts rather than blaming others for their cruel words and move into healing the thought. What helped me heal was knowing and affirming the following:

  • Forgiving myself for allowing the thoughts to take over me
  • Knowing that God loves me just the way I am and that only God can judge me
  • Understanding that those who judge are feeling pain as well
  • And knowing that what other people think of me has nothing to do with me, it’s their business

With all that being said, I think it’s time for a close. I hope this was insightful and you were able to take something away from this — that’s my wish!

P.S. If you ever have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.