My thoughts and opinions on parenting, relationships and the stuff that makes up our minds, bodies and souls. Based in Brooklyn, NY.
Dec 19, 2010
Ahhh! What a Year! The 2010 Roundup - Part 1
Hello readers! So this entry is late for a couple of reasons. One, fate stepped in and erased the original entry that was shaping up pretty well and relevant, but to be honest, my heart wasn't in it. And although I felt good about the subject since it was a timely piece about the holidays and all the madness that surrounds it: preparation, stress, anxiety, travel, obligations, etc., again, my heart just wasn't in it. As I contemplated what the actual topic should be with a friend, I realized that with all the change and growth that had taken place this year I'd given updates on every part of my life except my relationships. And given that was on the forefront of my mind in January, it was a bit ironic but at the same time a testament to my focus to get to know me and come to terms with who I am. Well, I'm the parent of an awesome 4 year old daughter who amazes me each and everyday. I am a brand - bedstuymommy - and entrepreneur - owner of ChuggyBear Entertainment. But what of love and relationships? Who am I then?
First, as I mentioned in my first post, in order to truly be ready to open myself up for a healthy relationship, I had to rid myself of the life of relative independence I was living back in January. I will happily say that I am now truly living an independent life free from the control, influence, aid, support, or the like, of others. I live peacefully in my skin everyday, ready to take on the world which never disappoints with all of its ups and downs. I look at these as opportunities to grow, learn, collaborate, create....be. I was able to get through the storm of earlier this year with a mantra that changed my perspective: life can be a bitch, but every bitch can be dealt with. By saying these words each time I felt beaten by someone or a particular situation, it put me back in control because I altered my perspective to see the obstacle as part of a game where all I had to do is focus on winning. So instead of trying to surpass what seemed to be insurmountable odds, all I had to do is not view failure as an option and make the necessary happen. It was the beginning of me harnessing my ability to focus and, therefore, strengthen the power of my creativity. That led to my mid year decision to begin walking in the shoes of the woman I envisioned myself being. I threw away my fears of failure (again, not letting that be an option) and changed my mind about what was possible. Instead of imagining it, I began doing it, I began living it every moment. But it wasn't until this Fall that I said it out loud and truly released the power of all my work. I spoke about being bedstuymommy and started working on all I'd envisioned for ChuggyBear Entertainment. Life right now is good and I'm looking forward to greatness in 2011!
In my second post, A Lesson from Heartache, I referred to a man that at one point in my life I thought I'd marry. He was my first real relationship and although we had our ups and downs over the four years that we were together during my 20s, I thought that we had a bond, a connection that was special. It was for this reason, the fact that we had a past and my need to feel something special from someone at that moment in my life that I allowed my heart to misinterpret our interactions. This led to the first whammy to my very raw and vulnerable heart after breaking from my 15 year relationship. My anger at my childlike behavior with that situation still haunts me to this day because it reminds me of how quickly a bad decision can deeply hurt me. If I wasn't in the state of change I was in when all that happened, I could've reverted back to the old familiar and wouldn't have this blog, ChuggyBear and most importantly, my independence. This experience was instrumental in my growth, however, because it was my first instance of finding the extraordinary silver lining that exists in every dark cloud we encounter. Instead of having my heartbreak drag me down, I used it as an opportunity to examine my perspective on love, relationships and my emotional state at that time. I realized that not only was I not ready for anything serious with anyone, but that rekindling an old relationship didn't mean you shouldn't get to know that person all over again. I broke rules with him and did things I said I'd never do with someone which opened me up to be hurt and disappointed. I gave trust where it wasn't deserved, not because he's not a good person, but simply because it wasn't warranted nor was it necessary based on the nature of our relationship. It taught me how to guard my heart, manage my emotions - because I live through them - and be wiser about who I choose to essentially let into my world.
But God is good and needed for me to also know what the real deal was since I'd, obviously, lost sight of that. So he sent me someone late last year. It was another person from my past who I'd lost touch with since I was around 19. I didn't think anything of chatting it up with him since he lived in Georgia, but my heart was open a bit due to his support early this year during some really dark days when I was trying, horribly, to break free from the relationship with my daughter's father. That support with no strings attached gave me hope that a real, deep and good love was still possible. Nevertheless, he lived 800 or so miles away from me, so how far could this go, right? I'm happy to say that we still correspond, he still gives me hope of how good it can be and I look forward to continuing things to see where this goes. He's thinking about moving to New York so if that does happen, I'm excited to explore the possibilities.
As the year progressed and I continued my work on me, about the time when who I am, what I stood for and where I drew the lines in the sand were being solidified, I met someone else. This man was a complete stranger to me, a complete gentleman, smart, respectful, and as I jokingly told everyone, read books. But he's not interested in having a serious relationship so he is instrumental in me perfecting the management of my emotions while also being around someone who knows how to treat a woman. It's been over six months and we still see each other from time to time. He's the owner of a new business as well and lives in New Jersey so neither of us have free time. But the time we do spend together is good and I can say that I'm in a place where I can say that I appreciate our relationship. A few months ago, I was completely frustrated by it and voiced these frustrations. It was the best thing that I did because I got a few things off my chest and we now correspond with each other more transparently and, I believe, we are both aware of the other's intentions.
Then there's the man I ran into simply because I'm back in Brownsville. He had a crush on me when I was 16 years old but our relationship never blossomed. It's really sweet to see him in another light and to have him back in my life. He completely gets a part of me that I sometimes have to explain to others that did not grow up in Brownsville or a neighborhood like it. I enjoy spending time with him and look forward to continuing to do so.
And with all that said, what are my intentions? Well, I'm a believer of being on equal footing with a potential mate so since I'm currently living with my mother, I don't feel that I'm ready to go out there and truly "market" myself for that special person. And with all that I have going with the businesses, I don't feel that I have the time to dedicate to becoming serious with someone anyway. I'm in a good place where I have my priorities in order and am not really looking to change anything. Nothing is absolute, however, especially with human emotions so should I be blessed with meeting that special person, then I'll definitely treat it as such and explore the possibilities. But for now, I'm happy being single, being independent and free (and happy and me, as Ms Jill Scott says). I look forward to completing the current leg of my journey and starting the other.
I won't lie that there is a part of me that feels that I'll never meet that special person and that my blessings with regard to a mate will come to me via deep and meaningful interactions with individuals for a significant period of time. I've always been fascinated with Queen Elizabeth I and believe that I identified with her for several reasons, like the fact that she was ostracized by her family at a young age, was able to overcome that obstacle as well as many others throughout her reign which proved the depth of her strength. But mostly, I identified with her overwhelming failure at love and relationships. Her chastity has been questioned by historians, but that is not the fact that I am caught up about. It's more so the fact that anyone that she felt deep emotion for, she lost whether it be because they were not suited for her due to class or their country of origin or that they became pawns to her in her political campaigns as queen of England. At the end of the day and of her life, she was without a person that she publicly acknowledged as her equal. She, instead, had many great loves that fulfilled her for a time and then ended without her "winning" the ultimate prize of an equal partner for her to spend the rest of her days with. I used to look at it as a very sad story, but now see it as a life blessed with opportunities to grow emotionally. And, to me, that's the most important part of life and of living.
Whether I'll be a modern day Queen Elizabeth or will "win" my prize is yet to be seen. What I know for sure is that I'm much wiser in my choice of mates and continue to grow wiser each day. As I seek that person that is my equal emotionally, intellectually and spiritually, I'm enjoying it and have no regrets. Each experience has given me something whether it be wisdom, hope, or insight into my emotions. I can't complain about that at all! So as I get caught up in my favorite love songs ("The Way" by Jill Scott or "Spend My Life" by Eric Benet featuring Tamia), my love of falling in love is now relegated to the duration of the ballad. It's no longer something that I seek from my interactions with individuals that I come into contact with. It's no longer the driving force behind my actions with an individual all in hopes that those feelings are returned. It's just my reminder that when I do find that person that the love I give will be deep, pure, true and intense. I must, therefore, choose carefully and be sure that the one that I give my gift to is worthy. Until then, I enjoy the great company with the men that currently bless me. Thank goodness for human interaction, chance reunions and opportunities to just be.