I’m six days away from my 30th Birthday. (Yes…Birthday gets a capital B. I’ve decided it’s a proper noun.)

As I alluded in the first post for the #31WriteNow series, I’ve had lots of things I’ve concerned about. Life…Love…the Pursuit of Happiness. It seems that the closer I get to this major milestone birthday, the more I start giving consideration to things on a more long term scale. I also get very definite about the things that I am NOT giving consideration to on a long term scale…or short term for that matter. I’m slowly but surely coming into my own about who I am, and who I’m not for that matter. I know I’ll make mistakes, I’ll have great ideas, I’ll laugh (probably a lot), and cry. I’ll have arguments, and I’ll be woman enough to apologize when I’m wrong.

satc_season5_episode71_514x330_032920041251_thumbThis reminds me of Season 5’s “Cover Girl”, the first fight on record between Carrie and Samantha. Carrie made the statement that she believed it was time for women her age to cover up, she admitted judging the one friend who had never judged her, and out rightly said that she was uncomfortable with the looks suggested to her for her book cover and didn’t bend on it. And like my line sister so eloquently used Beyonce’s newest full version song to explain, that is some Grown Woman ish. She refused to cover who she was.

I’ve noticed about myself that I am less likely to do things I don’t want to do just to make some group happy, or to ensure that others don’t judge me. I also address people head on. I don’t fake it when I’ve been hurt or wronged,…and then, well, please refer to the previous sentence. It takes a lot to decide who you are in spite of the world. Even more to not have an issue to admit when you’re wrong. Even more to know and even welcome your shortcomings. I’m happy to be embarking on my Grown Woman. I’m also refusing to cover up, hide, or refute who I am. I’m a Grown Woman.

What are your signs of growing up?

Love,

-V

Now as I was saying yesterday before I realized I was honing in on 100 posts, I had something prepared to write on yesterday. I’m the kind of person who notices weird things about other people. The cadences in their speech. Crazy preferences. All of that. Once after my boyfriend and I went to Chipotle, I noticed that he was studying his tortilla chips before he ate them. I thought maybe he was looking for the curved side – you know, to put the bite from his bowl in, like Scoops (See what I did there?…lol, inside joke). Once that option was out, I was wondering if he was looking for cracks in the chips so he wouldn’t cut his tongue but I knew that was a long shot. Finally, I said “WHAT…are you doing?” He paused and said, “Um…I’m looking for the salted side. Who wants the unsalted side to hit their tongue? The salt would just mix in with the food. I want salt, chip, and then burrito bowl.” I was tickled, yet it made perfect sense.

carriessbThis made me think about SSBs… Secret Single Behavior (Season 4, “The Good Fight”). In the words of Carrie Bradshaw, your SSBs are habits you have that you would “never want your boyfriend to see you do.” Carrie’s was making a stack of Saltines, putting grape jelly on them, and then eating them standing up in the kitchen while reading fashion magazines. I’m pretty sure I’ve discussed SSBs before, but never having noticed one in the person I was with. I have always wondered about the things it takes awhile for me to do in front of another…especially someone who means something to me. I couldn’t think of anything in particular. (And farting doesn’t count. Everyone does that.)

While typing on yesterday, my boyfriend was sitting next to me and said out of nowhere, “THAT’S YOU?” I was confused. I had a weird look. He said, “You’re making that bass noise.” That’s when I realized something I’ve known but never paid attention to: I read my words in a sort of out loud whisper in a very deep baritone. He said, “I’ve been trying to figure out what that was for the past 3 minutes!” We cracked up.

It’s awesomely great that I can feel awkwardly comfortable with my boyfriend. I’ve been in relationships where I had to fake some part of myself to ensure that the boat didn’t rock. I’m glad this is no longer the case. I probably could’ve added this to yesterdays “Keeping it 100” post…but hey, I’d need something to write today. Six days in for the #31WriteNow, Luvvie…oh yeah!

Do you have SSBs? Have you ever felt comfortable enough to share them? Talk to me 🙂

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

As I was hashing out what I was going to write today, I reflected on my last few posts where I tried to reference Sex and the City 2 but couldn’t remember it though I remember disliking it. I recall preparing to see the movie. I even remember writing the first review. So I decided last night to re-watch it to see if I still felt the same way about it.

carrie-sex-and-the-city-turban1

I do.

Even worse actually.

I think it’s even worse because then the excitement of it being a new movie, a new Sex and the City movie at that, made me see it differently. I still agree with what I said about Big being the character who remained most true to himself. I still hate Miranda’s corniness. The dialogue was subpar. The clothes…well…the clothes were still good. I meant mostly. I’m still annoyed with Carrie’s hat(s). I still think that all of the best things were throwbacks to the series: the Dior dress, Aidan’s appearance, Smith Jared’s abs.

It made me think about how much a little time can change your review about any thing. Most of the time when I review something that happened after time got a hold of it, I realize how bad it was. When I look back at past relationships, I see how unhappy I was and how I was mostly committed to my commitment. There is a birthday that I have completely blocked from my memory because I hate how a guy I eventually ended up dating embarrassed me in front of my family and friends. In the moment, it was bad. In retrospect it was worse. The good thing about time is that it does provide some type of healing, but the better thing is that it provides clarity. What actually happened. What really occurred. Things you might have decided to gloss over because of the emotion involved that clouded the details become 20/20. Like seriously…I wonder how Kanye West will look back at this moment of life after the passing of his mom after he gets the therapy he probably needs and needed. Will he still think the leather kilt was a good look?

I know this: I have never been happy in any past relationship. There were always things I “dealt with” because I didn’t really believe what I would want could or would happen. I could have happy moments, and decide they were evidence of overall happiness. I also know this: I didn’t think that Sex and the City 2 was a good movie. I liked the moments that reminded me of the show in new ways, but mostly, I could leave it.

Have you ever had a situation that time allowed you to see the reality of it, and not the story of it you probably told in the moment? Are you thanking your lucky stars for this fresher view? Let me know.

Love,

-V

P.S. But serious Carrie…WTF…? You look like the Queen of Spades… :-/

normal_Caps080_thumb

One of the things that I love about Sex and the City is the wittiness of the dialogue. I loved how many allusions there were to literature, how the shows were themed…all of it. That is the part of the show that initially drew me in – well…that and the shoes. To me, this is what was missing from the second movie (I think. I’m going to watch it again tonight to ensure I know what happened. I disliked it so much at first watching that I bought it and never watched it again. The dialogue that I can recall was so corny that I got annoyed)…the conversations. One episode that has a huge focus on that dialogue is the Season 5 premiere, “Anchors Away”. When Carrie suggested Brady might be anorexic because he wouldn’t latch on during breastfeeding? Loved it. Creating New York as a dysfunctional boyfriend? Great imagery.

screenshot1

I was ecstatic yesterday when I had to opportunity to be all witty and whatnot during the most random conversation. Let me just say this: yesterday was a day of Randomness. I got compliment bombed as I walked to my car from lunch yesterday. A guy yelled “NICE LEGS!” and waved from his truck. (No…thank YOU random citizen!) But the most random one happened as I was trying to find the best popcorn on earth in Kroger.

As I walked through the store, searching on the popcorn aisle for popcorn (silly me) and not finding it. A group of male employees at the meat station started making comments to which most non-ratchet women wouldn’t acknowledge or respond. Finally, one of the guys said, “Can I help you find something?” I then turned and said “No, I’m okay.” The second guy said, “It don’t make no d*mn sense for you to look that good.” I did a polite smile and kept walking. The first guy said, “What are you looking for?” I said “This popcorn…” The second guy said, “Is it good?” I said, “Yes…it’s the best popcorn in America…possibly the world.” He said, “Dang…that good? I want to try it.” I said, “If it’s in here, I’ll let you know what it’s called.” He said, “But I want to try it…not here, but at your house later.” I said, “Ummmm……..inappropriate must be half off with your Kroger card.”

About 10 minutes later, I felt the sweet euphoria of having the great comeback. The witty response. That awesome repartee. That was a great response! Yes…I’m a dork. I know…I’m okay with it, but I was seriously thinking, “SWEET!” once it came out of my mouth, lol.

You ever have an experience where you had an awesome comeback that didn’t “occur to you to say” like…..3 hours later? What was it? I wanna know. Sharing is caring. I have another one where I almost effectively quoted an entire chorus from Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative” without her knowing it, and was giving good advice too. Oh yeah…that one was awesome. Anyway, please…share.

Love,

-V

On last Thursday (not yesterday), I went to a Ru Sans for lunch because I wanted Asian food. I didn’t know that they did a buffet, so I got the fried rice I wanted, broccoli, and an endless supply of sushi…my Nook and I were ready for a pretty nice afternoon. I took a small booth near the door, and prepared to read and eat.

There was a couple sitting to my side and a bit behind me. Because of our close proximity, I could make out their conversation, but I was trying to be engrossed in my book. However, there was a strand of dialogue that perked my ears, “He just doesn’t get me.”

Maybe it was the tone of her voice that made it stand out. Maybe it was the “he” pronoun when she was already there with a guy. It kind of made me chuckle like, “Someone is about to get broken up with.” His response was, “I completely understand. I’ve felt alone with her for the past two months.” My reaction turned from the chuckle to an “uh-oh….” I listened to them hash out their earnest complaints and desires about the person to whom they were committed. He played video games with a headset on for hours while ignoring the flesh and blood person sitting in his living room. She didn’t make the effort to give him to type of love he wants. And right when I was about to be lost in my book again, I heard her say “husband”.

My immediate thought was, “Molly…..you in danger, girl.” Unbeknownst, or maybe even beknownst (can you be beknownst? How can you just add random prefixes to words that don’t stand alone? Sorry…anyway……) to her, she was setting herself up for an affair. This communal gripe session was giving root to the allowance of those feelings being watered elsewhere. I wondered if they could see it coming. I wondered if they prepared for it in advance. I wondered if they had made the decision to cheat.

samanthaRichardAtlanticCityIt makes me think of Carrie and Aidan, the second go round in Season 4 (“Time and Punishment”). Or Samantha and Richard’s round 2 in Season 5 in Atlantic City (“Luck Be an Old Lady”). Or Charlotte, Harry, and the nanny in the Sex and City 2 movie. All of these were differing levels of the possibility of infidelity, and at some point, someone saw it coming. Notice I didn’tnanny mention the Carrie/Aidan/Big fiasco of Season 3. Big may have known his intentions, but for all intents and purposes, Carrie was a bit caught off guard. She tried her best to avoid him until she got thrown up against an elevator wall, lol. When Aidan was annoyed that Big was still around, he started hanging out with the female bartender (who obviously knew about her) and got very close to the “inappropriate” line. Samantha and Richard might’ve been a self-fulfilling prophecy because Samantha couldn’t let go of his past indiscretion, and was just waiting for it to happen again by side-eyeing every waitress and cleaning girl. Charlotte never considered the possibility that Harry would step out on her because she trusted him (still my favorite couple!), until her friends planted the idea, and then it was all she could see.

My point is this: at some point there is a moment of recognition and a moment of escape. Carrie called Aidan out on it so they could have the actual forgiveness conversation; Samantha cut her losses before that shoe hit the ground; and Charlotte…well she over-analyzed it while in Abu Dhabi but ultimately trusted her husband because the root of her issue didn’t stem from him, but from her friends warning her about the “Jude Law” (at least I think so. I didn’t like the second movie, so I didn’t watch it as much. I totally hope that’s what happened).

I remember being saddened once I found out she was married…that girl in the restaurant. I was discussing this with two of my closest friends, and decided that I wanted to warn her in some way. I wanted her to not become what she would despise. I was writing it on a napkin…”be careful.” I turned around to see how to give it to her, and they were gone. Who knows where. I hope they were going to have these conversations with someone else…their significant others (hopefully)… counselors… Iyanla… somebody! I didn’t want those two friends talk to give way to action that was not-so-friendly.

But I will tell you what I learned from the show and this situation – a lesson from each.

  1. Call it like you see it…you might even get some true forgiveness out of it.
  2. Know when to hold ’em, and know when to fold ’em. (this is not about towels)
  3. You should probably only trust details of your relationship to people who care as much about IT prospering as you do. This is different from people who care about you. Those can be opposites.

So what would you do if faced with the same situation, in any perspective? I’m curious. Let me know.

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

ImageYou see this?

It was posted on Instagram by @alex_elle (Alexandra Elle). It spoke to me. Read it.

It is a part of her #anote2self campaign. Her idea is that “we all need reminders” and she invites people to use the hashtag and write their own notes.

This particular one spoke to me because I’ve had a rough year. It is probably been rougher than most realize or understand, that’s for sure. However, on this day…this particular day in February…it’s so easy to focus on what we don’t have or to look to the next level as more important than the one we’re in. So I just wanted to share this #anote2self: You are enough.

It seems like sometimes in life when we keep getting two to the body, and one to the head, we get used to rolling with the punches. What happens is that when we finally stop, we realize that we are bruised. Battered. Beaten. We never give ourselves time to heal between blows. Maybe because we are so used to pressing on. To dusting ourselves off. And when we finally stop…we may not recognize ourselves. We may doubt our abilities. Our gifts. Our value. Our anything. So this reminder is that you are enough.

In “Attack of the 5’10” Woman” (Season 3…my favorite season), Carrie was almost desperate to show Natasha that she was fabulous. When that opportunity didn’t present itself, she felt like less and less. That was because through all of her heartache, she had begun to feel like less and less…but never stopped. My favorite part of that episode is when Charlotte told Carrie in the midst of her obsession: “Listen to you. You don’t have to prove anything. You are stunning… intelligent… and funny.” Carrie’s response was, “Wow! Why can’t you do that for yourself?”

Sometimes we can’t. Sometimes we feel so let down or rejected that it clouds our ability to see value in ourselves. You feel enough pain and you get tired. You believe your worst critique. The value is pushed down deep and possibly covered. But it’s there. And no matter who didn’t see it, who didn’t want it, who can’t stand it…it’s there. And you are enough.

So, just let yourself heal. It’s God’s battle anyway. 🙂

I’m not sure if anyone needed that, but this is #anote2self…so if it isn’t for anyone else, I’ll take it. So no matter how much I’ve been hurt, or feel sad or down, I have to know that I am enough. Even if it’s just because God said so.

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day.

Love,

–V

Someone called me a skeptic recently.

I have never been called a skeptic by anyone. In my life. Ever. (Well, I guess until recently.)

That has never been me. I’m Miss Optimistic. The sunny side of life. Even if it ain’t sunny, hey, I ain’t complainin’. I’m in the rain doing a buck-forty, hydroplanin’. (If you get that…I love you. +10)

You catch my drift though.

I’ve always had the type of mindset that thought the best of anyone I met, because I figured there was no way they could get to know me and intend to do me harm…right? The more I thought about it, the more I realized … He’s right. I am. A skeptic. At least I am now. I can add it to the list of Learned Behaviors (along with something else I won’t mention here).

I’ve found that the closer someone gets to me, the more my expectations lower. I brace. Wait for the blow. The other shoe will fall any minute now. It reminds me of Miranda when she first met Steve (Season 2, “The Man, The Myth, the Viagra). He wanted to stay around. She pushed him away. He worked harder to be in her life, and each time she fought harder to maintain distance. When he asked why, what was her response? “I guess I’ve just kissed too many bartenders.”

Miranda never considered he could be different. At least not for real. She knew he was saying something that someone “different” might say. Maybe even doing something that someone “different” might do. But to her, he looked the same. The same as every other one who had let her down. Who had said something different before. Who had done something different before. Eventually…it worked out for her. This moment started it…remember?

"...maybe I can believe it..."

“…maybe I can believe it…”

I don’t like it. I’m not okay with being afraid of the next hurt, but I’m also not okay with being so trusting that I become the fool each time. So what’s the middle ground? Skeptical Optimist? Optimistic Skeptic? I remember when Charlotte had that feeling after she and Trey divorced. I understood that place of feeling lost. More than I want to share.

What about you? Have you been in that place? Did you pull yourself out? Did you go for broke and trust? Are you there and okay with it? Let me know, but not right now…because Scandal is about to start. …like, right now. 😉

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

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 67 other followers