Are you ill-inspired? Have you been thinking of doing a project and just cant seem to really get it going? Have you been turned down recently? Does your life suck and you just can’t seem to get out of bed?
Do my questions make you feel like you are watching that crazy infomercial about a product you don’t need that comes on at one-something in the morning waking you up because you left the television on?
Well folks; no this is not an infomercial, it’s not a sales pitch, and no it’s not a bad dream. This is basically an article about getting yourself motivated because frankly, we all sometimes need that kick in the butt to get us going.
Recently I have felt a little bit out of sorts and I found myself in the middle of a meltdown trying to do so many things that ultimately seem unsuccessful. So I said to myself- “Self what the heck is going on?” My reply you ask? Well my reply was “I’m tired. Strained, just plain old devastated that I am working so hard for nothing, absolutely nothing.” This led me to start the thought process into why I am feeling this way.
Well let me tell you, because there is a list, I love lists!
- I have been working diligently to edit and publish my novels.
- I rarely get sleep. In fact I have not had a full nights sleep since I was pregnant with my son. I had all the sleep in the world before he was born.
- My mind is constantly going…does your mind do that?
- I have endless stories in my head that I need to get out but don’t have the time to type them all up at the very same time. I wish I had eight arms like an octopus.
- My brain is tired.
- my life is an ongoing process
So on the list goes. While I know this may look like I am selfish or complaining: yes in each article I talk about myself it’s a natural reaction when discussing things, I can also relate to the articles, maybe even a little too well, and complaining is what people in general do. It’s easier to sort out thoughts, ideas, circumstances when applied to ones general retrospect of life and its various situations.
Now moving on we shall to Motivational techniques I have found that helped me get through this time of turmoil. These steps will not only get you into gear but help you shed some much needed negativity in the process. One of the things I have found that helps me surge through the sludge of negativity was to own it. So here we go folks, own it!Own it:
Like life decisions, occurrences, thoughts, hands and feet, everything has two sides. Good and bad, left or right, up or down. In a positive light you have the good and up. In a negative light you have bad and down. Separating these into a small/large list will help you view everything with fresh eyes; it will also take you to the next step which is sort
. Ultimately what these two steps will do is allow you to see where the problem actually lies. Owning up to both natures, good and bad, will give you an even balance and outlook because you cant have one without the other.Sort:
On your small list, try to stay positive by putting the smallest measure of things here. They won’t look so horrible then, may even seem trivial at best and you will not be overwhelmed. On your large list, be sure to put the things that make you want to pull your hair out, once complete set it aside. If you are at your wits end you cannot handle these things right now. So set it down, set it aside until later….much later. Prioritize:
Now you have your small list in front of you and it doesn’t seem so daunting now does it? No, it doesn’t. So here you will have to prioritize what you think you can tackle first with minimal time designated to it. What makes more sense to just get out of the way?
Once you prioritize this list from time effective to time consuming you can now set goals. Goals:
Setting a goal for yourself will boost your inner moral and bring about a change in your confidence when completing the tasks at hand in the order you had prioritized them into. By setting a goal you will be pumping yourself up with a positive outlook that will pay off in the end. It also gives you something to look forward to. Spice it up with a reward if you complete the tasks early. Tackle:
After setting up positive goals take that list and tackle the tasks that you have listed for yourself. You will feel so good when you get started because you have managed your time, followed through, left the stress off your shoulders by seeing the bigger picture and not focusing on the aggravation of said tasks. Your biggest reward in tackling will not be the donut you promised yourself after completion, but in having more time and flexibility to complete things.
For example: You said you wanted to walk the dog before dinner at 6 pm. You set that goal based on your list and have found the time to do it at 4:45 pm instead of 5:30. That will put a smile on your face because you won’t feel rushed when setting the table, fixing plates, washing your hands before you sit down. There may be a mini crisis in there with the kids that will set you back and because you have allowed yourself extra time by staying organized and walking the dog early, you will be able to tackle this without so much as a sweat to the brow.
This last step will make your face bloom with happiness. Because at this stage you should be at the end of your list, yes, soon you will be passing the finish line. So conquer it, revel in it and be merry. You have successfully set a positive foot forward. You have gained confidence, knowledge of yourself, knowledge of what you can accomplish once you set your mind to it, and gained a new perspective. This always feels so good doesn’t it?Reality:
You have completed the smallest things that de-motivated you. You have jumped off the procrastination wagon (yeah I said it!) and got down to the nitty gritty dirty deeds you should have done last week! Now own it, finish it then take a seat because here is where things get tough. Here is where reality sets in. Yup, you still have that big list. You still have things you need to do, decisions to make, bills to pay or whatever it may have been that you put on that gigantic list that you cry over every night.
But look on the bright side. Remember when you made that list you were feeling desperate and ready to splurge on a forty dollar bottle of the finest wine and drink your responsibilities away. But you can’t. Sorry.
So instead focus on the tools you have learned already to get the job done. That’s right. Prioritize! Did that just pop into your head? Right? If not whatever just keep on reading!
If prioritize was not your immediate thought well now it can be, because you have already owned it! You have already sorted it, so what else could you do with the list? No you can’t burn it. Don’t eat it and definitely do not get rid of it by any method of destruction. You have to complete it. Use the tools outlined above and hey I bet when you get halfway through everything else will fall into place.
I am not a journalist, by no means, but I have read my fare share of articles that talk about how to become debt free in two years, how to lose 200 pounds in eighteen months or how to get organized by using tools on the web. Well let me tell you something, those articles didn’t help me. They were all generic typed up baloney that they posted via internet because they have followers who read their crap religiously and then comment about how it helped them when it really didn’t. They just want to feed into the baloney. And really baloney is gross.
But here I have felt we need a more centered outlook on tackling the normal every day responsibilities that plague us. We need a better way of coping, dealing, embracing that with which we can’t get rid of. I am a normal every day person who deals with the same issues. And finding a way to maintain is very hard when you are under pressure, when you are at the end of your rope, when you feel like just shutting down. Anybody can tell you what to do, what you should do. But they won’t help, that’s a fact. It’s ok to tell someone how to handle their life all the while yours is falling to pieces. So I stopped reading those generic baloney articles. Instead I sat down looked at myself in the mirror and said “What’s the real issue?” I wrote my list, read it twice and realized… “I can do this I just have to gain some perspective.” And so can you.
Like I said before I am no journalist, I don’t have the answer to life in general. I will tell you though I have found a new direction for mine and as of this morning, its looking pretty much ok. That’s after I stopped looking at what other people have and focusing on what I have. May not be a lot but with my list its coming together.
Another fun thing to do with your list is getting a group of friends as a support institution. Having a positive backing on your side will motivate you to tackle anything. You’d be surprised what a good shoulder will do for you in a crisis. Now that you have the tools to help you surge through your own river of chaos share it, perfect it, and maintain. Things are always so much more manageable when you undertake it with a positive outlook.
Try it out and tell me how it went! I would love to know if I have ANY type of affect on people LOL.
P.S. When in doubt Pray! If you are not religious we will call it well wishing. Sometimes well wishing/praying will help dissolve the stress you feel. It’s uplifting and encouraging. I recommend for anyone going through a rough patch in their life.
Have you ever said?
“I hate him!”
“He aint s@#&!”
“That man is a dog!”
“He can kiss my a@*!”
“He can take his B.S. and walk straight off a cliff!”
Ladies we have all been there. Yes, we have thought, said, enunciated, had our lips form at least two or three of those anger driven phrases. That’s what you’d call a He-Man Hater moment. Do not be ashamed, it’s normal. Men bash women too. You can recall in “Little Rascals” the “He-man Women Haters Club” where Alfalfa was ridiculed for his love of Darla.
And isn’t this the norm for Men? Think about it. Men are ridiculed for being “whipped” by a woman. They are made fun of if they don’t two-time on occasion. We have to stop being angry and really look at what is happening.
In Steve Harvey’s book- “Act like a Lady, Think like a man” he talks about how men are programmed from the start to “be tough” or “don’t cry”, especially “Be a man”. I am sure if you have brothers you have heard these phrases. But what you didn’t hear after or during these phrases was how to actually be a man. Nobody ever says “Be a good man”. They don’t give instructions, break it down in laymen’s terms or even suggest what a good man is. It is only after a man has reached the darling stage of Playa-hood that they are told “Be a good man” or “I want a good man” instead of being told from the get-go what you are looking for in a man. Don’t get me wrong I know some women do say what they are looking for, but the man has his it wired in his mind what he
is looking for and it had nothing to do with a relationship with her.
But that leads us to question what a good man is? How does he act? What is he supposed to say? What is he supposed to do? Let’s explore this. Yes, I have a list of what the general attributes are, so let’s follow it J 1. He should have a job.
2. He needs his own place
- Well, in order to get a job and keep it you must have a skill. What is his skill? Have you ever asked yourself or him this question? Does he even have any? And I am not talking about in the bedroom because the only job that leads to is porn and we all know that’s not the job you want your man to have. So before you even list this in qualities that your man should have, make sure if you want him to have a job that you are willing to explore deeper into this subject.
- Another part of a job is his income. Is this important to you? Do you want him to have a job to help you pay your bills? Or is it you want him to splurge on gifts like Gucci purses or shoes, nail appointments, buy you a car or house?
- Are you willing to help him, support him and all that good stuff if he needs to find a job? More importantly will you be with a jobless man?
- What if he is a full-time student? What if he is active in the military and doesn’t bring home enough bacon to support your wants? Because lets be frank here, if you want a man to flower you with amenities it is a want not a need. And you must then ask yourself; do you really want to have a man in your life or a sugar daddy?
- So you want some alone time. Does he have his own place or live with his mama? (I know, I know Scrub alert!) But if he is supposed to have his own place that leads us to ask…do you have your own place? Do you have roommates? Do you live with relatives? Why is it so easy to put stipulations on him and not yourself?
- Is it clean? Well most likely it is not unless he has a severe case of OCD, is finicky or has a cleaning lady that is not his mother, whom he pays regularly to actually come in and clean his home.
- Does he have pets? Does he care for them? If he takes care of his pet(s) then you can try to use this as a determination of how he will treat you. On the other hand, just because he puts strong values into his animal that does not mean he will be fully committed to you. You can also determine his personal preferences by the type of animal he chooses. This is generalization I might add, but it helps. If he has a dangerous dog, well that’s your typical bad boy. He has aggressive tendencies like his animal and could be prone to outbursts. If he has say a bunny rabbit, he may be in more touch with his feminine side. He may love to snuggle and will uphold your feelings and emotions in high regards. If he likes reptiles; snakes, iguanas and the like, he may be rough on the outside, but may encompass a much sweeter inside than he would like you to know. May even be a biker boy with tattoos and multiple piercing’s. Again this is all generalization; it may not be his personality at all. But cues to look for and interpret at your own risk.
- Does he cook? Men who love to cook can be very romantic. They like to serve, not in a domestic way, but will love to pamper you. Is it a requirement? Depends on the woman.
- Does he do laundry? Dishes? Vacuuming? Nothing is sexier than a domesticated man, but is this something you want him to do? Remember ladies, what you want him to help with, you should state it in the beginning of the relationship, not after twenty years where you have done everything, spoiled him rotten, and then expect him to pick up a mop. Force of habit is telling you he won’t.
4. Kids or no kids?
- Does he have his own car? Does he ride the bus, train, or take a taxi?
- How important is it for him to have his own wheels? Is it a deal breaker if he doesn’t? How willing are you to travel to him, pick him up or meet him somewhere knowing he is on foot?
- What if he were saving up for a car? Maybe even a house?
- What if he had no license? Never learned how to drive…would you teach him?
- Would this be a deal breaker if you both had no mode of transportation? If you don’t have a car, is he expected to drive you around? Pick you up? Run your errands?
- Most importantly, would you ever let him drive your car? If the answer is no, then take a look into why you don’t trust this man. Because that’s what it comes down to.
5. Family Values
- In this generation you will find many men have kids from past relationships. Many may not. But will it bother you if he did? Would you be able to cope with baby mama drama? Can you see yourself as being a step-mom?
- If he doesn’t have kids, will he want them in the future? Do you want kids in the future? Mind you, never go into a date saying “I want Marriage and kids!” He may very well run for the border. Should this even be up for discussion?
- Do you have kids? Can you see this man being an active part in your family structure? Would you trust him alone with them?
1. Does he love his mother? Is he good to her? Is he a Mama’s boy?
2. Is he good to his siblings should he have any?
3. Is he a loner?
4. How important are his family values to you? Does it matter if he was adopted and has no real family? What if he has a large family but doesn’t get along with any of them? On the flip side what if his family interferes with every aspect of his life? Can you handle these things?
5. Does he want a family? If so, when would he like to start one? Can you see yourself building a life with him?6. Relationship History- The big one!
- How many partners has he been intimate with- we all, although we may not want to step into this muddy water, should have knowledge of this. It tells us so much about a person’s past. Whether he was promiscuous, virginal, or somewhat active is important. It opens a lot of doors. It can lead to the talk about diseases and preferences.
- Has he ever cheated? While I know not every man will own up to it, it’s important to ask. I will not say once a cheater always a cheater, because that may not always be the case. But it is important to know if he has ever done it and has progressed from that destructive behavior.
- Have you ever cheated? We have to be honest ladies. Women cheat, cheating happens everyday. It is important that we take responsibility and show that we have made a mistake and moved on from it.
- Does he show signs of being a serial dater? When I say serial dater I mean playa, dog, serial cheater…the list can go on. Frankly ladies, if he has anything to hide and cant give you an honest answer, if he shrugs his shoulders and waves his hand as if fanning a fart, well then he is one of the above. He has no intention of making you his “baby”, no intention of staying faithful, will not commit to you and NO you cannot tame or change him. Walk away fast. Because if you stay you will be considered one of the following: Friend with benefits, F@#$ Buddy, booty call, just sex and many many more.
- Is his number of partners disturbing? Can you deal with being #101? Ultimately you may find this is not even a topic you want to cover. Should you skip this, be prepared for what may come.
8. Looks- I saved this topic for last, because well we should think of his personal attributes before his physical. This will give us a chance to visualize what we are looking for.
- We are in an economy where everyone is struggling. This is a topic that most often is the cause of many breakups. If he is in debt, is it bad? Are you in debt? Would you want someone in your life who is accepting of this? Is he in debt because of you? Was he trying so hard to please you he broke the bank? Is it because of a past relationship that ended in separation or divorce? Has either one of you ever declared bankruptcy?
- Should this be a factor in your relationship? While most couples do merge their expenses and paychecks a lot are in more modern relationships where everything is separate. So should his financial background bother you?
- Let’s look at a more traditional situation. Women were always cautioned to keep a separate account for emergencies should they find themselves in a divorce or separation of the home. We have seen countless stories of people who didn’t protect themselves and they ended up losing everything, broke, out on their butts with not even a nickel and dime to rub together. But is this something to consider when thinking of a man? Should one push the issue of such negative behavior on a relationship that hasn’t even started yet?
- Let’s be very honest here people. To some, looks matter. It is the very core of what they are looking for in a man or woman, whatever your preference may be. It makes some people’s world go round. So we have to explore this option. How important are a man’s looks to you? Does he have to be trim or muscular? Will you date a large man?
- What are your height preferences? Is it ok if he is an inch shorter than you? Can he be bald? Or is hair very important? What about his age? What would you consider too old? What about if he is younger than you, would you date him?
- How about his “other” size? Will that make or break the relationship? Did you happen to notice most men with above average size “down there” tend to be promiscuous? Its not a proven fact, not every man who is well endowed will sleep with every woman they see, but if he has the goods he tends to want to spread it. Why? 1. Because that’s what they are told women want. 2. He has a very large accompanying ego and has to satisfy its needs with constant attention and praise. 3. He knows that he can have it anytime, anywhere because being huge is the best fashion statement in the industry of women. It’s better to us than shoes. Am I lying? Lets be honest here…if a man is well stacked…do you care what his face or body looks like? Did you just say no? What did you just think: “You can always turn off the lights? Mhmm… proved that point huh?
- What if he is not above average? Is this a deal breaker? By the time you can check his package that would mean you are ready to move to a more intimate setting. If his size is a deal breaker you have to determine a better way to find out this information. It can be very hurtful when being led on.
- While you are basing your whole relationship on looks, trust that he is doing the same. No relationship can survive on shallowness. While I am not saying you are a bad person, people want what they want, just be prepared to face as much scrutiny by him as you are doing to him. Men go by visual cues, if you are giving off negative vibes please expect this in return.
So ask yourself while you are making this long list of “should have” qualities…What is your ultimate goal? What exactly are you looking for in a “good man”? Do you really think there is a man out there that fits your exact description of what you want? I just asked you about the man you “wanted”. What about the man you “Need”?
This is how I believe (I may be wrong) a list of a “Good man” should look.
- Supportive- values my skills, intellect, mind, body and soul. Helps me maintain my goals in accordance with his. Will be by my side through crisis no matter what or how difficult they may be.
- Romantic- May not buy jewelry or purses, but will strive to make me feel special and loved. Understands the importance of intimacy, not just sex, but of holding hands without thinking it’s a sissy move, but understands it’s a bonding ritual that keeps us closer. Loves to spend time with me, makes time, and expresses his feelings.
- Drama-less- I wish I could say Drama-free but that can be seen as impossible. He tackles his problems or seeks a shoulder when needed. Is not afraid to express himself, but in a manner that is non-aggressive. Does not get himself into situations that could lead to court appearances or jail time. This is a MUST!
- Goals- Has goals in place for the future. Is ambitious when it comes to his work-life as well as home-life. Plans for emergencies as well as building a life with someone
- Real- knows his flaws, mistakes and shortcomings. Embraces his good as well as tough inner workings that make him the man he is. Someone who isn’t afraid to go toe-to-toe with me, but can handle a crying jag.
Once you have the basis of what you need you can then explore what you want. This is when you can go into looks, endowment as well as other topics like children, past relationships. I believe once you have a basis of your needs the wants may seem pointless or even frivolous.
Understanding what you are looking for, what you won’t put up with, and what you ultimately need in your life will define the man you are looking for. As women we strive for better, but what we forget is people have to work together in order to achieve better. We also have to look into ourselves and acknowledge if the qualities we want from someone else are qualities that we possess. We can’t expect something that we don’t give from within ourselves. Meaning ladies, if you want him to buy you a Louis Vuitton limited addition purse, you should be able to fork up the money for season tickets to his favorite sports team games. If you want him to massage your feet, you should be able to return the favor. If you want him to love you for all of your shortcomings, be prepared to return that love.
That leads us to explore why we go through our He-man hater moments. When your mind is set on man bashing think of why you are doing it. Was he the man you needed? Are you really mad at him or yourself? When you realized he was “playing” you, why didn’t you walk away then and not wait an extra year or two before hitting the road? When it all comes down to it man-bashing is a way to vent on the disappointment and hurt your gentlemen friend caused you, because that’s all it really is; hurt and disappointment. When you realize this you can stop yourself, think about why you are so angry and move on. Make a list of what you are really looking for and take your time with the next one to see if he really possesses the qualities that would make you happy. The qualities that will help you maintain a long healthy relationship.
While I am not a relationship guru, I am however a true testament of trial and error. I have broken up, been cheated on, gone back to the man like three times before figuring out its not working. That one of us needs to change. But one day I sat back and said…Why do we have to change? Is change really necessary? No, it’s not.
What’s necessary is figuring out what I need, want and who I am. I do not believe in the saying “if you love something let it go, if it comes back to you cherish it” or “You have to love yourself before someone else will love you”. If you love something why do you have to let it go? If you have to let someone go in order for them to see how much they are hurting you, then that is not a positive relationship. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be. Sometimes it does work out, the loved one comes back and you have your happily ever after. But if you love something love it, don’t let it go and think that it will solve things. You have to work at a relationship in order for it to thrive. I think that saying shows people how to quit easily when things get tough instead of working harder towards something meaningful.
You have to love yourself before someone else can love you? Well, let’s change that because everyone has self-hate. I don’t mean you hate yourself literally, but we all have things about ourselves that we don’t like. Just like a relationship you have to work to have a positive self-esteem or image. Just like you have to work out to lose weight or even diet, just like you have to work at a relationship. We all want a quick fix instead or putting time and attention into something we direly need. I have found when you have someone positive in your life that loves you it helps with self-esteem issues because you view yourself through their eyes. It’s elating to feel needed and wanted. So while you should find a happy median with yourself in or out of a relationship, you should consider building on that core relationship with yourself so that your insecurities do not frighten off your mate. It’s a proven science that women tend to care better for themselves when they are in love than if they are in a funk or alone.
If you have recently suffered a break-up I do encourage you to take that minute to blame him, curse him, shove needles in a voodoo doll(just kidding don’t actually do it!) man bash the heck out of his personality to friends. Then breathe and release the pain. Let the hurt go and figure out what it is that you need from your man and go from there. When you have it all in perspective things will look much better.
I also encourage you to take the time to look at all aspects of your life and find out where you have slacked off. Most of the time when stressed we do not see the bigger issue which may have caused a rift in our relationships. Accept your fault in the problem and then let it go. No use in holding on to trivial things, they will only leak over into any new relationship you have. You don’t want to fault Peter because of Paul. And should Peter want to get back together, take the time to air out old ghosts, tell him what you are willing to do in order to move forward. If he can’t meet those needs, then move on to Paul. Paul may be the one. I am not condoning cheating! Make sure you are ready to be honest about what you are feeling. Don’t go fishing unless you have the right bait. And don’t bait a fish if you aren’t prepared to cook it or throw it back.
It is so much easier to blame someone else. Hey Men do it! They blame us for global warming. For the plague! For having babies! They want a good woman just as much as we want a good man, but fail to encompass that which they seek. We all have a tendency to bicker, whine, rant, rave, vent or be bitter towards the opposite sex when things go wrong. It’s a go-to way of evading the bigger issue. While men can read this topic and go “aw now here we go again” we women will look at it and go “that’s what I was just saying about Tyrone!” Ultimately let’s view this as a way to cope. There are so many people out there telling others what to do, what to think, how to behave, or what to look for. I think, and I hope I am right, we have established in this post how to cope, what the bigger picture is, and how to move on from hurtful ways and thinking.
I am in no way telling you to go back to the “ex” or that my way of thinking is right. I am not saying you are to blame for his mistakes. What I am saying, however, is we have to come together as a people and realize things will never be perfect. We have to own up to our part in past, present and future mistakes and learn better management techniques. I always want to have a “real” view in my postings. I want to play devils advocate and really get down to the nitty gritty. Self reflection is the best cure to any hardship. Self improvement is the best medicine for a better future.
Hey I may be wrong, but if you get to this part of the article and you have related and agreed to anything I have written, well then I guess I nailed my goal. Happy reading to all and as always I hope for the best in your journey; because that’s what life is, it’s a journey. It has bumps and forks in the road; it has dips and turns, puddles and muddy pastures. And I believe if we embrace this concept we can enjoy the ride, turbulence and all.
Today I am feeling optimistic. I don’t know about you but there is something so very refreshing about a new year coming around. It feels like it naturally removes clutter from the mind and soul. I guess you can bring it down to a fresh start; a brand new day, year, month, hour…definitely a brand new you.
I have decided not to list out my New Year’s resolution because frankly, I never stick to it. I just don’t have the time, patience or wherewithal to stick to something that I will never commit to. So instead I will just do it!
So far I’ve cleaned to my hearts content. Donated clothing, I stuck to limiting myself to how many charities I will donate to. It’s only five dollars a month, but at least it’s something. My soul can rest.
I can honestly say I fed into the whole Resolution baloney like a sucker every year. And when December 31st rolled around I found myself disappointed, deflated, angered by the very fact that I did not stick to this idea of change. And why should I change anyways? My habits aren’t like fat cells that can deflate or inflate with food intake. I am not a bad person. I haven’t robbed a bank or stolen a car. I do my fare share of chores. Ok so I indulge in eating…who doesn’t? Ok so I gossip every now and again…and again who doesn’t? Ok so I could finally lose those ten pounds I wanted to lose before I had both my kids…and maybe I could keep to a strict schedule for bedtime, feed them more fruits and less juice. And maybe I can stick to a budget regimen that will actually keep some change in my pocket instead of spending it on things I don’t necessarily need…But then again…
See here is the problem. We focus so much on what “News Critics” or “Society” tell us we should do with our lives. But there is that key word sticking out there somewhere- “Should”. Not have to do, must do, need to do, and are expected to do. It’s a suggestion. A suggestion that is manifested into a big psychologically draining “Must” in our life that is quite literally pointless. It’s pointless people.
Why do we do it? Why do we entertain such bizarre things? In all honesty we concentrate so much of our person on what we hear in the news, what we read in a magazine that we don’t know our butt from our elbow. And the thing about it is… the kicker that gets me is… we really don’t have to listen or entertain the stupidity of such suggestions.
Like for instance. I am a single mom. No, I was never married. And I am sure some people can find the most dastardly, despicable, mean, and hateful things to say about that. But that’s my life. It is a part of my history that I wouldn’t change if I wanted to. Who is to say that having the most sweetest kids who are the very eyes to my soul in such a way is completely bad? And is my version of being a single mother any different from a widow raising their kids alone? What about a divorced parent? Does it make them horrible too? Or are they better than what people would think of me because they are only single because their partner died or left them?
Do I worry about this? No, because what is right to me may very well be wrong to society. Does it make me a bad person? No, because I will make mistakes or bad decisions my entire life. That may seem wrong to others but hey who out there has made a right decision every single time?
So what’s the point of following the path of someone else’s life, beliefs, thoughts, opinions, etc if it doesn’t necessarily fit with the makeup of my life? Why should I follow a diet plan that worked for someone else when our bodies are not the same? When our lives are not the same? Why should I listen to pop music only because it is the most liked and listened to genre of music in this generation? Why should I wear red just because it’s the fashion industries “in” color for this season?
I could be like everyone else and point the finger of blame. I can say “Hey well if sex wasn’t so publicized in the media I wouldn’t have sought to have it!” or I can say “It was him he should have been better prepared and protected!” Or maybe even “You know if I had better sexual education in high school or more ways to cope with peer pressure I wouldn’t be in this situation!”. I’ll even throw this out there- “If they had courses on how to maintain a steady loving relationship without intimacy and it wasn’t a factor on keeping your man happy I would have held out longer!” But hey there is never going to be a book on life. No matter how many experts comment on the subject or write books everybody as well as every relationship is different.
As a reference look back in our history. Men courted women for several months before asking her parents for her hand in marriage. And even during the courting period they were chaperoned on dates. Couples married young; at the age of sixteen teenage girls were considered women. Societies view on relationships has changed so dramatically over the decades I don’t think we even know how to go about the whole dating ritual. To sleep with him on the third date or not, that is the question. Make him wait for 90 days is what Steve Harvey says. But that’s not always going to work. The “player” has evolved. Men will wait those 90 days, get the goods and bounce. You can wait until you get married but even now marriage is not guaranteed because Life is not guaranteed.
The media is always telling people what not to do, what they should do. How to live there lives, what to eat, what to look like, what to wear, who is fat, who needs lipo, who had lipo, who got shot, who killed who, who is wanted, who got pregnant by who, how to know if he is cheating, how to have a successful marriage, how many kids you should have, how to raise them, how to cook …I could go on and on. You are the only one who can decide what is best for you.
So live everyday, every moment like it’s your last. This should be the new you. I am just suggesting. You don’t need to commit, follow or religiously go by every word in this blog. But hey, look at your life right now…do you like it? Are you happy? Do you think you need to change?
I will not as they say “knock” a person for following society’s novelties religiously. That’s their prerogative. As they say; to each his own. So I will follow that concept this year… to each his own. I will not make a resolution. I will not wish on a star or throw pennies in a fountain only to wait an eternity for the wish to come true. Instead I will live it. I will commit to being the very best me I can be. I don’t have to change. I don’t think there is a need for it. But I will adjust my world a bit; tweak it so that the people I surround myself with can embrace it as well.
P.S. I laughed a bit after writing all my thoughts. If it weren’t for the media, internet or what have you, you wouldn’t be reading this blog. So I thank you for taking the time out of your life to read this. And I wish you well on your journey to a better you. Not that there was anything wrong with you to begin with. Happy New Year!
I write this in the hopes that everyone had a joyous holiday season for the end of 2012. One of the reasons I thought to write this article is because of what had been thought to be the end of all life on December 21st 2012 by the Mayan Calendar. This widely publicized Armageddon had been the most talked about topic of the year. As many quit their jobs, took to violence, or told their long lost love how they really felt after a long separation I began to wonder- why do we hold on to such frivolous things?
One of the various things that mold us into the beings we are today is our Family. While many out there sever their family ties due to disagreements, falling outs, abuse, etc. I find that even this can be an addition to who we are inside. Think about it…look deeply into your memories of times past. What was your first memory? Was it good or bad? Who is sharing that moment with you?
I will share one of my first memories with you. It could be seen as good or bad. I choose to think of it as both. My first real memory was a time when I was three or four. Those menial details don’t stand out but what does is something I think that shaped my persona. My mother was moving us from California to New York where our family on her maternal side resided. She had packed our things early that morning, dressed me momentarily gaining my consciousness before I fell back into a dose. When she roused me later she had the suitcases by the door and a cab waiting outside. We rode this cab to the Amtrak station where we awaited our train. I had my favorite Barbie doll, she was naked as always smiling her plastic red tinted smile and her hair was the texture of a brillo pad since I never brushed it. We waited in the cold yellow light of morning, the train bristled its horn in the distance signaling its arrival. I looked up at my mothers face her expression sad and mournful. I looked to my siblings who stood off to my side their expressions blank, questions on their lips. The train stopped before us and we waited to board.
Back then I remember the gap between train and platform was much more menacing than it is now. My legs were not long; my feet would have dragged me into that perilous gap without the assistance of my mother. She held tight and lifted me when it was our turn to board and I cried out my fingers slipping on my precious Barbie. It was either her or me and as a child my fragile mind grasped onto that concept even though I knew my hand was sweaty and the doll would slip through.
I cried out, but my mother kept on going. We took to our seats even though I was screaming to high heaven that I dropped my precious Barbie. There was nothing we could do, she was under the train. We could not retrieve her. In my mind I knew this but at the same time I was only a child and I wanted to save her. I scream, yelled, kicked and cried but the train began to move anyways. The doors had shut, the conductor was checking tickets and still I wanted to save her.
As the gears shifted, the whistle blew and the train pressed forward I began to hear a snap, crackle and pop. I would have loved to dream of the notorious Rice cereal but that wasn’t the case. This was the horrid death of my precious Barbie as her body was ripped apart the pieces began to filter through the air like black snow flowing down around the window in front of my face. Pressing my face to the cold dusty window I cried as I watched her singed hair rain down. She was gone. I grasped that. I knew it in my heart, my mind, my soul. My Barbie had died.
I had sat back with a tear streaked face, my siblings were laughing and poking fun and yet none of that mattered. My mother shushed me with a big juicy glazed cinnamon bun from the snack cart. I ate silently as I wondered if my Barbie felt her cruel death. I wished I had dressed her, I wished I had combed her hair. I realized I would never comb her hair even if I wanted to now because she was dead.
It never mattered to me that my mother had left my father for the last and final time. I didn’t realize the complexity of why we were on that train. That we were leaving California for good, or that I might not see my dad for a while yet. I didn’t know that my siblings would be affected by the changes happening around us. I didn’t see the obvious, that my life was changing drastically and that this small innocent act of fate was preparing me for a lifetime of circumstances.
I do however know what I learned that day. I am a strong person. I am human, I feel, I love, I conquer. For the first time as a young child I experienced death. It may be insignificant to others, but it was real to me. Some may have imaginary friends, my oldest sister had Michael Jackson as an imaginary friend, and my youngest brother loved Dragon Ball Z and watched it emphatically for many years, even naming himself Yohan, a nick name close to the main characters in the show. That precious Barbie was my childhood friend, as close to my heart as a child could be. I loved her with a diligence that was unending.
This memory is so close to my heart because for the first time, I was aware of me. Not the outside of me that people see. Not the me that works hard day in and day out, Not the me that wears mascara or the me that braids my hair up to look pretty each day. But the me that cries when things go wrong, the me that will suck in a breath when a witty criticism is thrown my way. The me that has a mature level of understanding of myself and others.
On that morning my siblings teased me, laughed at me, and mocked me. It was the beginning of years of teasing over this memory, as time passed I laughed about it too. And I think going through such banter from them helped me in the long run. I learned to let bullies remarks slid off my shoulders over the years. I had built up a barrier of protection for myself that has helped me to this day.
My family ties are strong. I have learned so much from the people I share looks and blood with. We share holidays, woes, quality time as well as constructive criticisms. We laugh and banter, we cry and scream at each other. And I’ve come to believe that all the struggles we went through together prepared me for the outside world.
I may not have all the tools. They didn’t teach me how to budget a checkbook or my funds. They didn’t teach me all the basics of building a good solid relationship. But they did give me the tools to manage the muddy waters; Like a fight with a best friend, How to make something out of nothing, How to cope with a broken heart, and How to look stylish no matter your figure type. My brothers taught me how to be tough, how to fight without using violence. How to walk the walk, talk that talk and mean it all while doing it.
So when thinking back on that memory, what did you take away from it? How has it helped you now? What has it taught you about yourself?
This holiday I was very thankful for my family. We may not always agree on everything, may bicker and fight, but we love each other. I don’t know your situation; don’t know your background or the makeup of your family. But I will tell you this, its something I have learned and a philosophy I use for myself. Everyone is human; they will make or break you. They will always disappoint you at some point whether it is big or small, whether you can move on from it together or separately. But everyone deserves a chance at redemption, a chance to show their worth. Wouldn’t you want that for yourself? For you family? Your Children?
If it weren’t for the lessons we learned from the people we care about we wouldn’t be who we are today. They are the first teachers you will ever know in your life. They make mistakes and will continue to do so throughout their entire existence. It’s what they do after the mistake that counts. Do they pick themselves up and make better decisions or do they continue to make bad choices? And even if they do, who are we to fault them? We are all on our very own life paths, we don’t know where it is leading us. And something that you choose today may seem right and have a positive outcome, but whose to say it isn’t the biggest mistake you will have made on your journey? We can only hope to be the best person we can be with the hand of cards we have been dealt.
I leave you with two of my quotes that I try to live by everyday. I hope you have enjoyed this article and would love to hear your comments. Have a nice holiday and Happy New Year!
"Flaws are a part of the basic genetic makeup of a human being. We are neither perfect nor capable of being perfect. Subjecting any person to the test of perfection is morally wrong because all will fail. It’s with love, faith, and understanding that allows us to accept one another."
"Everyone needs a chance to be better than what they were perceived to be. Would you want anyone to rob you of yours?"