Tag Archives: growth

how do you know?

5 Mar

i was talking with a girlfriend the other day who is currently going through some problems in her marriage. and she asked me, how do you know it’s going to get better? she said that if she knew it was going to get better that she would do this a hundred million  times because she would know the outcome but, then she looked at me again and asked, how do you know? 

my first response was that you know you’re never going to have that answer and i stand by that because like her, i have asked myself that question a million times over. how do you know? how do you know that the choice you’re making or not making is going to effect your life in some way? and unfortunately, my answer is still the same, you won’t ever know.

it just so happen to be good timing when she asked me that it has been intersecting with my own personal life. i have been seeing a guy for the last three weeks or so. not the first guy i’ve seen since my breakup last year but, the first one that may actually be going somewhere seriously. he’s the only guy i’m seeing at the moment and yet, there are so many questions, fears, and feelings that are swirling around in my head at any given time. 

he’s a good guy. or at least that is what my instincts are telling me but, again, how do you know? after the hit I took this last year, how well do i really know about other people and what their intentions are all about or how well do i know about my own instinct? i feel like i really let myself down last year without listening to my instinct that may or may not have been screaming at me that the situation i was in wasn’t the best for me and now, my instincts might be telling me that this guy is a good guy and possibly worth taking a chance on but, i’m scared because…how do you know?

after you’ve been broken down a few times, i think your heart changes and the way you look at people and yourself changes. not to say that isn’t a good thing. i mean after you’ve been through some tough shit, you want to change even just for the very fact that you don’t want to be hurt that way again, but, can the change make you so afraid to make any decision at all? a part of me feels like i’m just waiting in limbo right now with this relationship and it’s very hard for me to even get excited about it. i’m so afraid that all the things i want just won’t happen and maybe not in this relationship or not at all. that’s why it’s very hard to even get my hopes up about anything at all.

i’m so afraid to get hurt again, i’m afraid to be disappointed or get lost in a situation that i shouldn’t be in. i’m afraid of putting myself into something, my whole self and not getting the same in return. i’m afraid, of well, i’m afraid of failing yet again. i feel like i’m getting too old to keep failing and failing so big. so, sometimes i find myself wanting to sabotage this relationship or myself. i know that isn’t the right thing but i feel like there is this part of me that is wanting to run scared. for so long now i have cultivated my independence once again and it’s something that i don’t want to lose or maybe it’s more about not wanting to lose my values, the ones that i’ve had for so long but haven’t ever really had met? i think that’s my biggest fear, is losing myself yet again for something or someone when i know it just isn’t the right thing.

so, now that i am faced with this particular situation i’m in which has brought me quite a bit of happiness back into my life, it ultimately has me wondering…how do you know? the only answer that seems appropriate…you don’t.

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sometimes the universe really does remember that you exist.

13 Jan

I’ll tell you something about tough times. They just about kill you, but if you decide to keep working at them, you’ll find your way through.”- Joan Bauer

This quote could not be more truer for me than it was today. For months and months I have been taking myself to the emotional brink of a certain event that happened this past year. I’ve struggled with the decisions, choices and a whole helluva lot of “what ifs” to the point of nausea. I mean, y’all have heard me whining about this shit for so long now but, somehow today, something happened so unexpectedly that I think it’s really brought me full circle with this situation and truly given me incentive to move on. This is how the story went…

So, I’ve never been a person who goes on dating sites. And when I say never, I mean not once in all of my 27 years have I done so. But, at the insistence of some family and friends, I thought I’d finally give it a try. I mean it’s a new year, why not, right? So, I’m setting up my profile on one of these websites and I’m not really taking it all that seriously but, as I am entering in what I’m looking for, somehow, as I’m writing it down, it’s like a lightbulb came on that said, yeah, this is really what you want and need. And everything up until now with anyone else has never given you that, not even close. And there I thought, it’s finally okay to feel like this is what I’m looking for and this is what I deserve and I don’t want to settle for anything else. Or at least compromise myself like I have over and over and over again. 

Anyway, so I’m done with my profile and get some hits and what not. Find some interesting people, some cute guys and some not so interesting folks. It was all very…well…let’s just say, interesting and enlightening. So, that was night one. Pretty harmless, right? So, today I go and check on this site to see what was up, almost like checking your email, as easy as that and I decide to check out, my matches. I’m thinking that matches means people that you are best matched with based on your likes but, apparently it meant it your matches based on your geographical location which I suppose makes sense in the grand scheme of things assuming that at one point if you find someone you are interested on one of these things, you’d want to eventually meet them.

anyway, so i’m looking at my matches and lo and behold, of all the places that I didn’t think I’d EVER see this person again is my ex-finance (you know, the one I’ve been heartsick about these last however many months) and the one that you know, got MARRIED about 4 months ago and is STILL MARRIED. so, immediately, I’m like WTF (after almost falling off my bed entirely). I’m thinking of all the places you’d be on in the social media world, why in the hell are you on here? I mean i have been plagued by months on end on social media outlets such as facebook and instagram with the temptation to see his new life and for the most part I have given in except the past couple of months so I thought I finally found the one place that I’d be free from you. I GUESS NOT. did I mention before…WTF?!?!?!?!!?

so, his profile on this dating website is under some different alias, and says he still lives in the town that I do which he does not and hasn’t for months now. oh and the other fact…YOU’RE MARRIED! and i feel like i would have given him more credit had he not filled anything out and just put his pictures up but this guy had the audacity to fill out his interests and what he’s looking for. YOU’RE MARRIED! did i mention that?!?

but, of course i’ve got to give this guy the benefit of the doubt which i cannot think why at all but i’m thinking okay, well maybe the marriage didn’t work or whatever the case may be…NOPE. still married. so, after I got over my initial shock and i was able to pick my jaw up off the floor, i gave my sister and one of biggest supporters a ring and we had a long chat about it. and she told me that i just have to realize that this is truly where i’m supposed to be, that that could have been me, would have been me had i decided to uproot my life and marry this guy and follow him to where he’s at now. and that i was so jealous of this person he was with, wanting to be her when it was a known fact that how he treated me was awful enough and that he wasn’t going to change. see, this is how i saw it. i thought, well he got married. that’s a big decision, right? maybe one of the biggest you’ll ever make in your life and you wouldn’t make it unless you were ready or just knew. so, i got that into my head. got it into my head that somehow there was something so much better about this person he had chosen to marry, that she had something i was lacking so very much. and that he had changed and was ready to commit and was being responsible. 

and who knows, maybe there is some truth to that but, not enough i don’t think. nothings changed. at least not for him. he is truly that guy who is who he is right now and i don’t know how long he’ll be that way but he is indeed that person. and seeing pictures of him and his wife and their new life has always made me so incredibly sad and jealous and angry at times but when i saw it today, i felt so different. okay, okay, i can admit that i did gloat a little, but only very little. because most of me felt an incredible sadness for her and for me and for him. because i was once that girl, we’ve all been, right? i was that girl who was just willing to settle for whatever came her way. i was going to take that life and make it my own when i knew i deserved so so much more. and when i was putting down my own preferences on my profile for what i wanted, i came to the HUGE realization that no person I’ve ever been with has ever come close to giving me any of the things I really wanted and needed. and especially not him.

and so i feel sad for him in the sense that there is still something in me that wants to believe that people are good and want to change. i want to believe that he can be the person i’ve always wanted him to be, can see him being. i just wish he wanted that as much as i do for him but i’ve heard it a million times and i will say it now, that some things never change. but, after seeing this and experiencing this today, i knew just how much i’ve changed. how much this pain has transformed me and how much growth i’ve really had this last year and still continue to have. it was quite profound for me. 

it made me feel like that every single thing i’ve been there, all of the tears, fights, struggles, changes, sleepless nights, hopelessness and a whole plethora of feelings has brought me to the place that i need to be and that’s here. i needed to be here in my hometown and in my home with my family and my friends surrounding me with their constant love and support. i needed to be in a familiar place that would bring me back to a place where i knew who i was, and what i was capable of. i needed to be in the ugliest of situations to show me just how strong i can, how much i can overcome, and who i really was beneath the rubble. 

i don’t know if today’s experience was the universe throwing me a bone or just shedding some light on me to tell me that it’s okay to be where i’m at, even if it wasn’t where i originally thought i was going to be or even if i feel like at times that i’m a million miles away from my dreams. i think it showed me a glimpse of the life i could have had and all the things i could have and would have lost had i decided to go down that path. life is just so fucking hilarious at times when it’s not beating you to the pulp. so, tonight, i feel like i’m going to go to sleep knowing that all the pain i’ve endured and put myself through wasn’t in vain and that i’m just getting started. 

a new year.

3 Jan

for a couple of days now, i have been thinking about what i’ve been wanting to say to wrap up 2013 and what i want to say about the year we just stepped into. it’s not that i necessarily want to wax poetry about all of the lessons i’ve learned but, i guess a part of me wants to voice it as best as i can. i want to know that i did learn some lessons actually. and i think i did. 2013 seems like it is what it would feel like to take a master’s program. i felt schooled to say the least.

my 2013 started off very different than other years. i was involved in something that completely raptured my whole being and for a time, i almost thought it’d always be like that. but, life as we all know it doesn’t always work out the way you think it’s going to or hope that it will. so, as my year progressed, it did just that. it turned into something i would have never asked for but would have to endure anyway. and maybe that was the point. because if we were to talk about lessons, this was by far the biggest lesson i have ever had to go through in my life.

by the beginning of summer, i pretty much was spun out on stomach-churning, heart-palpitating and sweat-induced heartbreak pain, the mother of all pains (besides stubbing your big toe). and that is where i will start talking about the lessons i’ve learned i suppose. no matter how much i’ve hoped for certain things in my life, i have become accustom to the notion that life never asks you what you want and even when i think it is, it really isn’t. and so this lesson wasn’t any different but it never feels any less painful whether you knew that already or not.

so, i think the lesson in that would be to know that yes, life isn’t going to ask you what you want so you’re going to have to do that for yourself. what do you want? you know, to be honest with yourself is one scary place to be. it’s sort of like being in the middle of a dark room and you’ve got to navigate yourself towards the light, the one that you hope is there in the first place. and i don’t know about you but, i’m not the biggest fan of the dark and that is what it was like, this lesson. being in the pitch black dark. and wondering, is there light, wherever i am?

we will come back to that in just a little bit because i don’t want to minimize other, possibly lighter yet most-noteworthy lessons i also learned. i learned that sometimes when you reach out and you stretch out your hand just long enough, someone will take it into theirs. i cannot begin to describe the depth of love and support i received this year from family, old and new friends alike. i can honestly say that my heart was full to the brim with the kind of tenderness i was able to receive from those that i loved, and those that i have grown to love so very much. these people, these oh so wise people who lent me their hearts when i felt mine was irrevocably broken and without these people, i don’t think i’d be able to sit here and write about this or make it through the pain that i was in.

you know it’s people like the ones that i am so fortunate to have in my life that are the things that make learning lessons like this the only thing possible to get through it and learn from it because these people are really the ones that have created a whole new dialogue and view to see things from. it makes me think back to this summer when i was getting my first tattoo and my tattoo artist who i still keep in touch with said this to me, he said that all life is about making connections and putting people in our hearts and that we shouldn’t waste one second on those who can only go surface deep. i think about that all the time, it was probably one of the most profound things i’ve ever heard. and i will always be grateful to those words.

and the connections i’ve made this year with new friends and the connections that have deepened with friends that i have had for years has been…well…it’s been everything to me. because i believe too that life is all about connections, reaching out and touching one another and being touched in return and this year proved that to me ten-fold.

so back to the biggest lesson i’ve learned that spurned from my heartbreak, you know the thing i’ve droned on about in probably all of my blogs. how did i learn from it? what else did i learn from it? what is it that i really do want? and my answer to all of those are well, just this…to be determined. if i were to sit here and tell you that i’ve learned my lesson, i will give my heart out to less people, i won’t give as much as myself to someone else, i won’t be with people less-worthy, or whatever, i’d probably be lying because those are things you cannot ever predict. yeah you get smarter about choices, and about the people you let into your life but you cannot predict just how you’re going to behave or how someone is going to react to who you are. life is still a gamble, no matter the lesson.

but, what i can tell you is that the growth i have taken this year is something that is a progression. it hasn’t stopped. i haven’t learned all that i can. God, do we ever? someone once told me that the minute you stop growing is when you’re dead. i still believe that. sure, i have days when i just feel like i want to be done already, i want to know exactly what i’m doing with my life, who i am, and where i’m going but, i know that’s ego and not truth. because the truth is that i may never know those things to an exact tee, and they may always change but, that’s the point. the only constant we will ever have is change.

you know i said before that being honest with yourself is a scary place to be and it is. and i find myself the most scared when i sit down and tell myself that this is what i want because sometimes i think, i may never get it. i may never have the courage to go out there and get it or have the courage to wait for it because i can be a taurus to a tee at times, one stubborn ass bull. i want things and i want them right now. but, remember, here comes that pesky notion again…life never asks you what you want. and what about this fear thing? is that ever going to go away, even with my progression into a new me? i don’t know.

the other day i was on facebook and i read a quote that said everything you want is on the other side of fear. pretty powerful, huh? i thought so at least. and it made me think of this year and just how much my choices have been fear-based for a very long time. i’m so fearful that i won’t ever get what i want, and that if i ever do, it won’t be real. or that i don’t really know what i want or that i’m afraid to be that honest with myself about what i do want. i did mention i have this thing about fear, right?

but, then i think about some of the things i did this year and i think that some were made possible by the fact that yes, i was scared out of my gall but, i did it anyway. that i pushed through certain boundaries that were only put up by myself and my fear and again, i did it anyway.

so, to really try to sum up my year as poetically as i can and with all the meaning of who i am and who i want to be, what i learned the most this year was that there are some connections you make in life that run so deep, they’ll change every core of who you are or thought you were, and that if you don’t ask yourself what you truly want, no one will, and that fear is a state of mind, a motivator, and the one thing that can stop you dead in your tracks or make you look at yourself in the most brutally honest way, the only way to look at yourself.

2013, you really kicked my ass. you beat me to a bloody pulp, had me crying like a newborn baby in the fetal position, and really pushed me off a cliff with no remorse whatsoever. yet, just like any other bully who comes to take my lunch money, you leave me with something i didn’t have when you took my money the first time and that’s conviction that the next time, i will be better prepared. i may not always get it, you may always take a little something from me, but each time, i’m going to be there, a little smarter, faster, and hopefully, better.

2014…here we go.

about time.

16 Nov

the other day i caught an afternoon movie which was about time and it was aptly named, about time. it starred rachel mcadams who if you’ve been sitting beneath a rock gained her rise from fame from a little film called the notebook. anyway, it’s besides the point who is in the film. i just had to give her a shout-out cause i have a huge lady crush on her. 

so the film is all about time and how we use it and what we would do with it if we had the chance to go back and relive certain moments in our lives. and that is what the main character is faced with. he has the ability to do just that, go back in time to redo certain moments in just his life. he decides to go back into the past to change certain things but with inevitability, it changes things to the point where it’s undone the things that he wants. his goal is to get a girlfriend and that is when he meets the lovely mcadams. yet, when he tries to change certain things, it changes meeting her altogether. 

his dad says that when he decides to change certain things, he needs to change the things that will somehow make his life better. and that he does. he gets the girl and quite a lovely life with her, marriage, children, love and all. it was an incredibly sweet concept and executed very well or at least that is what i thought. and of course, it got me thinking or i wouldn’t be writing this blog right now. 

it got me thinking about time and the ability to change certain things and if i had the chance, would i? what would i we each give to change the things that have either brought us immense pain, or even pleasure, would we do it again or alter it in some way? and the film also got me thinking about how effectively am i using my current time. how much of me is being present and how much of me is still living in the past? 

to answer my first set of questions, would i go back and change certain things? oh God yes. yes, yes, and a thousand times yes. but, just like in the film, it has made me think that if i were to do that, how much would other things change? how much would i change and would i not have the opportunity to have learned as much as i have and experienced what i have? even with the pain, the immense pain, and the truly heartbreaking pain, it’s all growth, right? i mean i’m like anybody else who doesn’t really want to feel pain. it’s like seeing something on a menu and you think, eek, i don’t think that would taste very good, not sure how my stomach could handle that. i think that’s how we all look at pain. it’s not something we would actively swallow but it’s like that one time that you decide to step outside of your box, you are allowing yourself the opportunity to experience something new which just may include pain. 

so, although i would love to go back and change certain things just to avoid feeling the pain that i have, i know it wouldn’t do me any good. i wouldn’t be able to recognize growth, accept and welcome growth and live growth as i am right now. and in the long run, that’s what i want, that’s what i need. i think that’s what all people should want.

it’s funny to think about all the things we do and don’t do that decide what path we are going to go down. all the things that we accept and avoid lead to our experiences and it’s the result of those experience that make up how we see ourselves, our reactions, our motives, and pretty much everything else in-between. so, it makes me think about all my choices, and all the paths it has lead me down. i feel like every experience leads me down a new path, or maybe it is just one very long path with many detours and exits and on-ramps.

and i’m speaking to my current experience as well and how effectively i am using my current time. i know i could be using it more effectively in the sense where i am just focused on myself. i am learning that day-by-day and it’s a hard lesson. it shouldn’t be but it is because there is still some of me living in the past. thinking about all the things that have happened and the things that cannot be changed and maybe what i’d like to change. but, what would that really change? nothing, right? i mean it’s happened. it’s all about the coulda, woulda and shoulda. but that’s now and not then. so, what can i do to be more effective with my current time? what can i do to make my life better, right now, right in this moment, right in this present time? 

i think that is probably the simplest answer that anyone could answer and it’s in two parts: focus on myself and focus on myself in the present. be here right now, just in this moment, and in every moment from now on. and it’s not going to be easy because i am a person who lives her life very much by the things she regrets and wishes she could do different but, that is all apart of this growth, is it not? i need to learn to grow out of such things, and learn to accept them. it’s an old adage that we cannot change the things that have already happened and the only thing now in my control is what i do from here on out, that is what really matters. 

the past is exactly that, the past. something that has already occurred.and the present is where it’s all happening, and it’s not marred by the past either and that is another thing i need to accept. the past has made me strong, has allowed me to learn and continue on in spite of it. it doesn’t have to deter me into wayward thinking or that it influences who i’m going to be. one day, i hope to come to that acceptance and many more things. 

until then, it’s all about time…