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“…nobody would fall because everyone would be each others’ crutches.” –Jay Z, “Feelin’ It”

Hi.

Let me start by saying this…I’m not going to promise to post more often. I’m not going to say that I’ll do this and this or that and that. I’m not going to offer excuses or explanations. I’ve been living. When I feel inspired and life slows down enough for me to write, I’ll write. If it doesn’t, I won’t. I’m going to stop making that promise.

Now, on with the show.

I’m happy.

I could end there, but that wouldn’t be much of a post would it. Let me start again, 30 owes me nothing. If everyday from here on out until 31 was filled with bologna sandwiches and Scandal-less tv, I wouldn’t complain (well…hopefully. I shouldn’t complain. That would be more honest). I’ve had some wonderful things happening in my career (which I’m not at liberty to share), I’m honestly happy with myself as a person, and I’m in a relationship that feels nothing like I’ve ever felt, and I feel blessed by it all. God has kept his eye on me, and I am forever thankful. 

But this isn’t what is making me ultimately happy.

I mean sure…it’s 90%. But what is making me happy is that my friends are finding their happy too. We have seen each other at some interesting lows, and seen glimpses of what highs look like. It’s awesome that I have a friend making waves in her dream, another who is a semester away from hers, another who can probably kick through a door legitimately if need-be, several bosses in their careers, and more awesome mommies and talented chicks than I can count. I’m happiest that the people I’ve chosen to be my family – my friends – are coming up too. Even if some are still climbing their mountain, they should know someone else has got lemonade on chill for them, right?

Even though I won’t tie this to a specific episode of Sex and the City, this is ultimately what the entire show is about: being there for your friends through it all. Happy in their happies, and wiping tears in their sads. Seeing in them what life has blinded them to in themselves, and throwing the confetti when that picture comes in HD. So I could talk about love and have a laundry list of things I’ve learned about myself and why he’s the best ever, but this moment is not the time for that particular revelation. I’m happy. I’m happy for me. I’m happy for them. I’m happy for us. And this “us” is my friends.

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Love you ladies.

–V

Today is my birthday. That is all.

#Hello30.

Love,

-V

Today I was at work – minding my own business because I finished putting up my classroom decorations and completing my lesson plans – when I realized that my phone battery was getting low and decided to put it on the charger while I went to a round of afternoon meetings. I come back about an hour or so later to several notifications on my phone. I look at the various social media sites and see that I have a message from Patricia, the owner of GlobalCouture, a wonderful website that is about loving your own hair (She’d interviewed me earlier this summer). Her message said, “I have a surprise for you!!! You are featured on Curlynikki.com today!!!”

Shut. The. Front. Door.

I started pulling up everything I could. I was ecstatic. I’ve talked about my hair and the natural hair community here before, but I’ve never focused on this as a natural hair blog. This is just my way of combining my nerdy-fandom, love of writing, weirdly great memory, and favorite show in a therapeutic way. When I saw my feature, I can carriebradshaw460imagine how Carrie might’ve felt when she met her two fans in Paris (Season Season, Part 2, “An American Girl in Paris – part deux”). She was in a foreign land, wanting a bit of normal, and unknowingly walked into something that made her really happy.

When I saw my feature, I was so happy I yelled in my classroom, ran into the hallway to tell someone, but no one would know what I was talking about (Which is what I actually screamed, lol). That’s when I realized that most of my close friends either live away, moved away, or aren’t as easily accessible due to life changes. None of this is a bad thing, it’s just different. Similar to Carrie, she was excited to see her book in a window with no one with whom to share her glee. She had Petrovsky, but he didn’t understand the same way that her friends would.

I’m happy to have several differences from Carrie. My man is no Petrovsky, that’s for sure. He understood and was happy for me. And, my friends are a phone call away and I don’t even need a calling card. 😉 All in all…that’s a blessing. And I’m pretty sure it’s high on the non-romantic-interest best days ever of 2013.

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Have you had a day that you would consider epic? What happened?

Love,

-V

I had something all witty to write about that I had been planning out all day in my head. I log into WordPress and see “99 Posts”. Dang. So the next one will be 100? 100 should be celebrated. My wonderful Sorority turned 100 this year and shut. DC. Down. If someone lives to be 100…it seems like the whole country should sign a card or something. I’m always happy when I have 100 cents. I can get something from the vending machine (or at least I used to be able to…I mean what the heck is up with stuff costing $1.25?? Once I put a paper bill in, that should be the end of my transaction for something from the vending machine…seriously. But, I digress…). So it seems right that I should pause to celebrate my 100th post in all it’s 100ness by keeping it 100.

I’m happy.

Exceptionally happy. Beyonce singing Love on Top at the MTV Awards happy…minus the gut full of person part.

Just writing those words made me smile.

It had been a rough first quarter to the year. I am normally a very bubbly person. I talk a lot, even though I don’t like strangers. At the first of the year, I avoided conversation. I didn’t let a lot of people in. I felt like I was a broken record, even to my very close friends. And in my head, I know God is in control. I’ve read the Bible. Things work out in the most unexpected ways to the people there, and I have the benefit of knowing the end of their stories, so there was no way I was going to question the God I serve when I know He’d work it out. I couldn’t, however, control my emotions. Friends would ask what was wrong, and I’d offer a tearful vague reply. All that to say…rough first quarter.

Most of my close friends have moved either out of state or too far to claim they live in Atlanta. My family, while good, has their share of health issues that I constantly lift up in prayer, and my job is stressful.

But I’m happy. God has blessed me with my own little piece of happy. It’s like the best of every friend I’ve ever had, and all of what I’ve ever liked in any relationship…plus some.

I still get in my head about some things, and I still worry about the future in some ways, but I’m present in the moment and am sincerely enjoying being happy. It’s sometimes still foreign. I’d never felt it before. I’m used to it now. I hope to stay used to it.

So there’s some raw truth about me. Anything you want to share?

Love,

-V

Yep. I thought I told you that we won’t stop, I thought I told you that we won’t stop! *Insert random Diddy noises*

Hi.

Yep. A straight Scandal, Pope listening to the President speak words after being shot in the head response… “Hi.”

Yes I know I haven’t written since Valentine’s Day. And I know that I could have and didn’t. But since Luvvie is all rallying the writing troops for her #31WriteNow Challenge…it seemed as good a time as any to get back in the saddle.

For this month of August, I’m going to try to write a post everyday. It seems a good month to do it…I turn 30 this month. I’m entering a new decade. A new age box to check on surveys. A new mindset of things that creep into your head that you never gave more than a passing whim to before. The age group where you start thinking about your parents dying. Or what you want to happen to your career in real-time, not theory. If you think you could handle having an actual kid. Is there someone you could be with the rest of your life and make the new version of your family? Dude…just go running…it’s not about vanity anymore – it’s about health.  Yeah, I’m not doing that………I’m about to be 30, and I’m saying no to that one. Why? Just because.

Those thoughts permeate my brain on a daily basis in one source or form or another. I’m reflective. I’m a creature of habit, so change is a big deal to me. But I’m also a Leo, so challenges aren’t. Let’s see if this month can help filter through the murkiness of my mind…not forgetting to nod to the pristine places too. Here we go…you in?

Love,

-V

2012,

We didn’t meet under the best circumstances. Our introduction was awkward, and tainted by deception, betrayal, and embarrassment. I felt like I was a horrible person to deserve some of the things that I had endured by the time I laid eyes on you. I felt like I had control of very little. My life was being held together by a thread…a strong thread, but a thread. I didn’t feel like I had control over anything. And I felt loved, but alone.

I learned one very key lesson from our first glance: Grace. I learned the incredible strength it takes to forgive and push forward once you’ve been wronged. I learned to look past a person’s issues and choices and see the brokenness that caused it. It was important for me to learn that lesson because at some point, I’ll need it from someone else. God allowed me a minor glimpse of what He feels daily when dealing with us… When dealing with me.

As we got to know each other better, I know now that I was hurting. Not from the actual issue present at our meeting, but from every relational issue that had ever been. Some of my fears and self-doubt were surfacing, and it was coated with the tight cap I had placed over my emotions over the last few years. I also realized that the pain from our meeting wasn’t because I had felt deeply, but because I had tried and failed. I was angry that my decision had not worked out, and I had been embarrassed in the process. But it doesn’t change the fact that I sincerely wanted to feel.

I got to know my insecurities as I spent more time with you. I had a glimpse of what I actually wanted, but deep down never thought I could attain. My friendships strengthened. I took a few risks. I used my gifts. I trusted God more. Sometimes I trusted Him less…but at least I now know where those areas are so I can remove my hands. I’d been angry. I started expressing myself in different forms.

I let someone in. Well, correction… someone got in. I was prideful and vulnerable. I was ugly and beautiful. I was hard and soft. I rejected and accepted. I made a friend. A friend who saw my insecurities and didn’t play on them. Someone who affirmed beauty in my ugly places. Someone who didn’t try to make me be… just allowed me to be… and then I was. Helped me see through some of my learned behaviors and make me miss my true personality. I trusted. That’s scary, 2012. You could have warned me that I’d be emoting through the latter part of the year. Could’ve given me some preparation for all the emotions that would come flooding back… but noooooo. I felt stripped and bare no matter how hard I tried to stay covered. And though it was frightening…it was freeing. Just inopportune.

So I’m leaving you with some similar feelings, but they’re a good negative if that makes any sense. I feel my broken places, and now I know they’re there. I won’t board them up. I’ll shine light into them and fix them. I won’t internalize rejection. I may feel lonely, but it’ll pass. And it won’t be my truth forever. I’ll be vulnerable…yet selective. I’ll be cautious…but I’ll love. And I’ll feel pain…but so help me God, it’ll be growing pain. It’ll make me better. Because in the new year, all I want to be is better.

I want that for you too. Whoever you are. So thanks, 2012. It wasn’t always pleasant, but it was necessary.

Love,

–V

IT’S MY BIRTHDAY! CELEBRATE!

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I’m in the last year of my twenties…and I’m okay with it. I’m excited about the upcoming year. But, today was also the first day of school. Catch-29 🙂

Love,

–V

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…but it’s all so personal. I’m pretty sure every writer, at some point, had to get over how much of themselves they felt comfortable baring. This is especially true when your readers aren’t only people you don’t know, but those you do. That’s probably the hardest part of all.

I’m still here. I’m just trying to think my way around this.

Love,

–V

…or at least they will be soon. See you back on this side of the pond. 😀

Love,

–V

Remember this post about things to do in a year? I wrote it exactly one year ago…

I’ve done, or am immediately about to do, all of it.

I’ve bought Louboutins…I’m exceptionally more active at church. I’ve been on a roadtrip with my friends(Panama City Beach) and done something I was afraid of (parasailing and jet-skiing). I’m about to leave the country (Germany, with trips to Paris, Venice, Munich, Pisa, and possibly Barcelona…woo-hoo!!), and I figure I get a 5 day window for it to count in the year :), so I’m in on that one.  I’ve bought several hot dresses and worn them. I’ve started chronicling for my book. I sang karaoke…once when I went on the cruise, and once when I got back to Atlanta. I’ve cultivated a relationship and several friendships, and while I haven’t been to the gun range, I have the groupon for it. It’s on deck for when I get back to the States. Not bad…not too bad at all. The only thing I haven’t dedicated lots of time to was going after a personal dream, at least not with make-up. But, I love teaching. I’m great at it…and I’m called to do it. And my mentee graduated from high school this year, and he thanked me immediately after crossing the stage. If that isn’t a personal dream, I’m not sure what is.

Thank you for chronicling with me. I’m exceptionally excited about the things I’ve done and the things I’ve opened myself up to do. So once I return, it may be time for a new list. I’m excited about traveling to Europe, and I have one major goal. Not to get kidnapped. And apparently to avoid gypsies…everyone has warned me about that. I don’t wanna have to fight nobody, lol.

So with all that said and done, not a bad 365 days. Clap for ’em.

 Any suggestions for Europe from any international travelers? Any places that I just have to visit? Or eat? My cousin and I are geared up, and we’re ready to roll!

So let me say goodbye in all the languages I’ll encounter while on vacation…

Bye ~ Au Revoir ~ Auf Wiedersehen ~ Ciao

See you when I return (unless I get to update in Paris…that would rock)! Love,

–V 🙂

P.S. We’re stopping in Milan…oh the shoes…

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