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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

“And look, you tell me you ain’t did it, then you ain’t did it. And if you did, then that’s family business.” –Kanye West

Image

Snapshot from Carrie’s computer

Family Business by Mr. West is probably one of my favorite songs of his. (I think I’ve managed to mention Kanye in at least 5 different blog posts. In my personal opinion, I love this old style Kanye. But that’s another post…for another blog.) I love his candidness about family loyalty. A chain of events caused me to listen to this song, watch a specific episode, and reflect.

My ex got married this past weekend. This ex. Yep…this ex. Once I found out he was engaged, I felt some kind of way. Not negative, but definitely not positive. Probably incredulous. *Kanye shrug* But then I got on with life, and decided what I wanted for lunch, or something like that.

Then the text messages started:

“GIRL!!!!!!!!! Did you know….”

“I can’t believe that ninja….”

It was ridiculous. I started to make a twitter/FB announcement that I knew, and no, I didn’t care. Besides, most of the people who texted just wanted to know what my reaction was. They didn’t have a vested interest in me…and “ain’t nobody got time ‘fa that.”

The summer went on, and I forgot…unless I passed a Ruby Tuesday. (LOL…inside joke.) And it wasn’t until my friend posted pictures at the venue that I recalled that it had actually occurred. He was married…and I still didn’t care.

But I did. But not about him. Or the white dress. Or the people clapping at a new union. I’m from the school of, “If she can make you a better person, please, BY ALL MEANS, do you.” But I did care…about his mom.

I realize that that has been the only thing to hurt my feelings. I last talked to his mother on Christmas Eve (maybe it was the 23rd, I don’t know) to check on her, say Happy Holidays and invite her to church because I was singing. She asked about me, caught me up on his son, and told me that she would try to Imagewatch online. She and I had created a very wonderful relationship when he and I were in one, and when I told her that he’d ended it, she hugged me and cried, and said that we could still continue our friendship. It made me think of “Shortcomings” when Carrie dated Vaughn, a short-story writer, and she had more chemistry with his family. When the writing was on the wall, it was really his mom who she had to end it with. In the episode, she asked the question, “When you date someone, how many people become emotionally involved?”

His mom stopped answering the phone for me after the New Year. We talked via text. She declined my attempts to bring her my tax papers, preferring for me to mail them instead. It was only later that I realized why: because he was engaged. I spoke to his Uncle when I went home for Memorial Day, and he shared with me that his mom was extremely happy that he had made a commitment. It hurt. I felt betrayed in a small sense.

I’m big on family. So one of the hardest things in that break-up was realizing that I lost a piece of extended family, especially his son that I had been sowing into since he was 7 months old. So if there were any ill-feelings about those nuptials, it had nothing to do with him. It had to do the woman who promised to still be my family. Maybe she can’t keep those promises, or maybe she just wouldn’t. Either way, it stung a bit.

But again, life moves forward.

Love,

–V

Whenever I go to the grocery store, it is almost a definite that someone will stop me about my hair. They would say some variation of, “Oh my gosh! I love your hair. What do you do to it? What products do you use? I’m natural, but I’m not sure what I need to do.” I share my hair regimen, and I can see the looks on their faces change from “Oh wow” to “Nuh unh.” 4/5 of the time, I hear this phrase:

“Oh wow. Yeah…that’s too much work for me.”

I normally shrug and say, “Well, it works for me.” It has happened so much that I don’t pay it too much attention. It always reminds me of something I saw on a Kevin Hart behind the scenes video. He and his friends say this as a sort of call and response thing: “Everybody wanna be famous…don’t nobody wanna put the work in.” I would chuckle to myself, and keep it moving.

Then, as I was in the shower, hair twisted, shampooing (only my scalp) section by section, drenching with conditioner, finger detangling, and thinking of the black tea rinse I wanted to do, something occurred to me: The same is true of relationships. Everyone wants their Mr. Big, but nobody wants to have to beat him with flowers. For any individual, how much work is too much?

Sometimes, the work for some is at the beginning with appearance. He doesn’t look like you want him too. He’s too _______. If Charlotte had felt that way, she never would have been with Harry, who is arguably (though not really) the best husband on the series. Sometimes, the work is in the middle. Personality differences, disagreements, and/or compromises. The entire Steve and Miranda relationship is based on that premise. Sometimes she did the work; sometimes it was him; either way, it got done. If the work is at the end, like Samantha and Smith, you’re giving the old college try to make sure you’ve exhausted all possibilities before calling it out. But what if your work is like Carrie and Big…all throughout? Is she just stupid for not leaving sooner? Or did her perseverance finally award her the prize?

On VerySmartBrothas.com, there was a post about why women are overly loyal.My friends and I had a conversation about it, and one said, “Most women don’t give up easily…but we need not to if we are going to be “overloyal” mothers to our daughters and sons (not to create needy daughters or mama’s boys though). So I guess we gotta learn to give up on people early in the game lol??” Her sarcasm, (which I love…it’s one of the reasons why we’re friends) rings very true. Where is the line? I know it may be fine, but can we see it? Would it be dumb to think that something we’re not doing in practice (being loyal/working in relationships) will happen in the game (marriage to divorce)?

Put it like this…I like the outcome of my hair styling sessions. I’m willing to put it the work when the outcome is what it is. BUT, if (God forbid) a fire catches my hair a la Michael Jackson…no amount of deep conditioner can help that. I’m going to have to cut this ish off.

What say you? How much work is too much?

Love,

–V

Credit to BET

I swear, this is the 3rd or 4th time I’ve made a Kanye reference on this blog. Who knew that ‘Ye and Sex and the City would be so easily connected? (Well, except for Mr. West’s wardrobe choices for the Watch the Throne tour. Skants. All he needs is a lace crown, and he could’ve been  Carrie…oddly dressed but still dope.) I digress.

My last post about Learned Behaviors had a lot of feedback. It didn’t come in the form of comments on the blog specifically, but rather I was contacted via DM, Facebook inbox messages, texts, calls, and face to face conversations from people who both congratulated my ability to write my most (in my humble opinion) transparent post, and shared that reading said post caused them to reflective in their own relationship behavior and the catalyst there behind. Just think, my sharing caused hundreds (okay, well maybe 9) to reevaluate their behavior for the better! Now, I can admit that there was a more negative connotation associated with learned behaviors, but what about the other side? What about the positive things you’ve picked up from your past that has only been helpful ever since you learned it?

Kanye West had a skit on his album “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” (I believe it’s at the end of “Blame Game”) where Chris Rock is engaged in conversation with a girl who is (presumably) West’s ex-girlfriend/jump-off/concubine. He kept asking her where she learned to do this or where she picked up that habit (and that description is clearly infinitely more G-rated than the actual song, lol), and her refrain was unchanging: “Yeezy taught me.” Rock’s final conclusion? “Yeezy taught you well.” Basically, being with ‘Ye gave her some skills that made her new man very happy. Now, depending on whose perspective you’re looking from, this could be negative. I think from the perspective of the album, it was decidedly more negative, yet funny. But let’s get it connected.

Yeezy taught her?

Admittedly, there are some things I’ve taken from every relationship-esque situation I’ve been in that have been great assets in my next relationship-esque situation (including some I won’t discuss, but once I have a covenant, will have to get dusted off, lol). My first relationship really got me interested in hip-hop. Oh, I’d liked rap, but not with any great detail. I think the first rap song I learned I was in the 7th grade, and it was Warren G and Nate Dogg’s “Regulate”. When I was 18, the on again/off again semi-relationship/friendshippy thing I had, he loved hip hop. His favorite rapper was Redman, which is an odd choice considering we were both in the deep south (Louisiana). I listened to Eminem’s whole cd, not just the singles. I developed an appreciation for wordplay.

The guy after him, who I will refer to as Dawson’s Creek, was a baseball player. I talk about him here. He loved God, was a virgin (by choice, but even he admitted it was very difficult to do), and had great manners. We would play together all the time. I think baseball is incredibly boring; however, this is where I learned to take interest in my beau’s interests…even if it’s like watching caterpillars change.

My ex, he loved Southern rap. It expanded my palette to OutKast, Jay-Z, 8ball and MJG, etc… But more importantly, this is when I was forced to like football. From about the end of August until the beginning February, if we were going to spend time together on Saturdays, it had to happen on his couch. Preferably with wings. He was both a college and NFL football fan, so inevitably, I picked it up. And took it and ran with it. I’m a SEC girl (LSU! They’re my default. I was a Gator fan when Tebow was there. Loved him.) and wear my Saints t-shirts to work with a pantsuit to piss off my Falcons’ fan co-workers.

And every guy I dated after the previous one absolutely loved each picked up habit.

Big was a known jazz enthusiast. No doubt that helped Carrie with Ray, her jazz musician (until she couldn’t deal with his ADD). Steve taught Miranda to relax when he would wake her with their morning, er…happy time, even though she hated it. By the time she was dating Dr. Robert Leeds, she was comfortable enough to take a personal day of…um…happy time. And she didn’t even argue about it like she did with Steve. Stevie taught her.

All I’m saying is, even though we get some learned behavior that we need to get rid as soon as possible, we also get some beneficial things as well. I’m still me and I want to discuss issues like any other girl……………..as long as the Saints aren’t playing.

What say you? What good skills have you gotten from past relationships that will be helpful in your future ones? Who taught you well? (lol)

Love,

–V

P.S. …all you folks who read this, and then text me, you are more than welcome to actually respond here, lol

Okay, so remember a while back – some time around April I believe – when I mentioned that I had a boyfriend? Well, it didn’t work out. He was, um, otherwise engaged…amongst a bunch of other Eminem stuff (Eminem…shady…see what I did there? lol). It is for the best; it lasted all of two months officially, even though we were seeing each other for about 10 months before then. The good thing is that my niece said it doesn’t count anyway because she never met him or knew his name…bonus!

A friend of mine said, “Really? Two months? And weren’t you on a whole other continent for two of those months? So technically, it was a month and a week! I mean, wow…didn’t you know it wouldn’t work? I figured it wouldn’t.” (Most people did…only 3 ever said anything of the sort.) Now, this whole thing isn’t about him, but rather was a point that reminds me of something I was talking to my current beau about ( 😉 …hey babe *blush*), and a post on VerySmartBrothas about a cheating spectrum, and it got me to thinking about lying.

 It’s no secret that lies are one of the major dismembering factors in relationships, but are all lies created equal? My boyfriend and I were discussing how lies of omission are viewed because how deceptive they can be. I can say that this relationship has probably started the mostly honest-ly of any relationship I’ve ever been a part of, so we discuss a lot. And, because we started as friends (like seriously, I never would have seen it coming), there are certain aspects of our lives that we were privy to already as friends, so you can hold it back once it has moved to a relationship.

My question becomes one of “Is there a magnitude or caliber of lying that is wholly seen as permissible, while the opposite end is likely to find someone in a hospital?” Samantha caught Richard eating another woman’s…er…sushi (“I Heart NY”, Season 4). She papered his neighborhood and threw a drink in his face………but ultimately returned to the relationship. I have another friend who found out her boyfriend actually gets off work 2 hours before he told her he did, and she ended the relationship and never looked back. When I asked why, her response was “If he is lying about this, then we are starting off with problems. I’m not about to stick around to see what the **** they are. If he needed two hours he couldn’t tell me about, what the hell was he planning to do with them?” Touche.

I remember the moment I knew it wasn’t going to work with the person who can be commonly regarded as my ex. (But for future reference, if I say Ex on this blog, 9 times out of 10, I’m referring to the 5 year relationship of over a year ago…or whenever it was…yeah, a year.) It was way before I knew anything else was happening, and it was simple. A little before Easter, we were at his apartment watching “The Wood”. There is a moment in this movie where the two childhood sweethearts were planning to give their virginities to each other, but the only condom present ripped. The female instructed the main character to grab another one out of her brother Stacy’s room. Well, Stacy comes home with his girlfriend, he has to hide with the condom, the girl goes ballistic because there is a condom missing and she had counted his stash the last time she was there. Stacy couldn’t explain it to her, and they leave arguing.

While we were watching, he said, “That’s so stupid. I would’ve just said, ‘I gave one to my homeboy, Boo.'” o_O.

I said, “Ummmmmmmmm…………what????”

“Yeah. I’d just blame it on him. It’s easier than trying to explain. And whatever I said would sound like a lie anyway, so I’d just lie to keep the peace.”

Our conversation after that was a continuous dialogue about the lying being wrong (or not), and I remembered that I brought it up to at least 3 groups of people. Now, granted, it was an interesting conversation starter, and everyone we discussed it with found it interesting. But honestly, I never let it go. The ease with which he created the plausible and logical lie always bothered me. Had I followed my gut in that moment, I probably would have experienced less drama (because the kid really doesn’t do drama).

Richard Wright has plausible and logical lies. The woman he was meeting for lunch was a business associate. So where do you forgive, or just say forget it?

My thing is, I don’t need to be performing mid-day secret ops in a wig and glasses before I decide we are NOT together. So what is your lying curve? Anything is a deal-breaker, or wait until it’s a bigger deal? Is not telling that you still talk to an ex on a semi-regular basis the same as planning your wedding while you have a date? Because it is all wrong. Let me know, lol.

Love,

–V

P.S. Here’s Ne-Yo’s take on it…(I love the writing…hate the message…but I get it also. It’s a conundrum.)

Last night, two friends came over and we watched my admittedly favorite season of Sex and the City (Season 3). We started at the beginning with “Where There’s Smoke” and so many blog post options came about, but I decided to write about leftovers.

In this case, I am not talking about food. I’m talking about issues. I have talked at length about how slow I’m taking it, but I am now recognizing that one of the major reasons for my SlowPoke Rodriguez is the issues that were created as a result of my breakup. I have never had issues of this sort before, but now they are rearing their ugly heads. I find it difficult to believe anything without proof, and this has a lot to do with the lies of my ex. I think it’s only an issue because I chose to move past every lie I discovered, thinking that we were moving forward. That, my friends, was my fault in hindsight.

In this episode when Carrie met the politician, he offered to buy her a drink, which she declined until he gave a reason that didn’t seem threatening to her. He asked for her address, which she only gave after he explained that he would only use it for the official government purpose of telling her voting district. He asked for her number, which she chose not to give. He asked if it was a bad break-up, and was rewarded with a silence (and a half).

The entire theme of this episodes was being rescued as a princess; however, each woman fought it tooth and nail, or accepted the appearance when it didn’t add up. Miranda didn’t want Steve to help her get home after eye surgery. Charlotte allowed her “white knight’s” appearance to overcloud his reality. Samantha tried to create her own fantasy, and only ended up embarrassed.

This is what I wonder. It can’t be that easy to find the line between pulling back and going full throttle. If it was, everyone would understand relationships overnight. And even when you get past the surface of your pain, the undercurrents are harder to heal. Carrie put it best by saying, “I was so burned in my last relationship that I was terrified of leaping off into the next one.” Even when her guy showed an act of faith of showing up, she sat there fully dressed and refused to give in to his request. It took Miranda to put it into perspective. That realization gave her the courage to share with the politician that it was a bad breakup, and she needed to take things slowly. I recently had a conversation with a friend about this, and she said something very profound. She said, “Your fear is hand in and with some void that you have yet to discover. It is important to find it before you hurt him. He can’t pay for what he didn’t do. And you aren’t even doing anything to him, but your refusal to act can do even a little bit of damage that isn’t deserved.”

Good point.

You have to deal with your leftovers. As anyone can tell you, leftovers left too long are just a mess to clean up, but the sooner you do it, the better. Then maybe, like Miranda, I’ll be able to see him, or whoever, more clearly. Because obviously, “Where There’s Smoke…”…there IS fire.

I hope you all had wonderful weekends. I enjoyed our rainy weekend, and got much-needed rest.

Love,

–V

FYI (since I talked about it last week)…today would’ve been my six year anniversary. Um…in the words of Jay-Z, that “only gets half a bar…” (I only really remember this because I have a great memory. I found a girl I went to elementary school with in the checkout line at Kroger the other day. I literally have not seen her, or a picture of her since 1993.)

Anyway, this past weekend I took a mini-vacation with my friends. We went to Panama City Beach and truly had a wonderful time. The lack of posting was due to all the schoolwork I needed to do during the week to be able to take off the weekend. It was wonderful. We jet-skiied. We parasailed (which was made of awesome). We went to the beach at the crack of dawn (yeah, I wasn’t happy about that one), played The Michael Jackson Experience on Wii, and came back playing Phase 10.

Sunset after Parasailing...God is the best artist.

Anyway, we do what we do best: talk. We have conversation after conversation. Some of it is silly yet profound, like using Finding Nemo as the basis to why women aren’t submissive, and why some parents seem to baby or attempt to enable their kids instead of preparing them for the future (Yeah, this conversation really happened). Sometimes it’s Pinky and the Brain – our attempt to take over the world (for the better…improve it and whatnot). Often it’s about our faith, but a lot of the time it is about relationships.

We had this conversation about attitudes and relationships. One of my friends is of the opinion that women, people in general but mostly women, only have their hard-edged attitudes because they are not with their 11. I, at least currently, think that my mindset shapes my attitude or lack thereof. Do all of our theories on relationships only apply because we haven’t met a person to supersede our ideals, or would they be there regardless because of mentality? Is it the man, or the mirror? Hmm…

Remember this convo?

Carrie: Do you remember how Big used to keep me away from his mother, like I was some kind of leper?
Miranda: I remember.
Carrie: And how pissed it used to make me?
Miranda: I remember!
Carrie: Well now, Aidan’s offering up both his parents on a silver platter, and I’m not sure I want to meet them.

Carrie did this in her first go round with Aidan (Season 3, “Drama Queens). She was very weird with him for a time, and it’s mostly because the mentality created by Big and a bevy of other failed relationships conditioned her to be used to “the chase”. With him, at that time, it’s was nothing but calm seas and not a cloud in sight. He wanted her to meet his parents, and she thought that it was too much, too soon. Is this really her inner self telling her that he was not “The One”, or her conditioning that if she tries for this, she’ll only end up hurt like she was with Big (who was completely uncomfortable with the thought of her and his mother sharing the same air).

It’s a crapshoot for me, but I’m leaning towards mental conditioning rather than the man. What say you?

Love,

–V

A random conversation with a co-worker brought this on. I was discussing with her how I’d visited my ex’s mom because she has done my taxes for the past four years, and told me that she would continue to do so (yes!). This was generally a recount of my weekend, and she said “Wow…are you proud of yourself for getting through that situation? I mean, I am exceptionally proud of you. You have come so long…how long has it been?”

That question right there caused me to turn on the calculator in my head. And I realized…

Today…makes exactly one year since my breakup. Like…exactly. I only remember because we broke up one week shy of our 5 year anniversary, and the 28th is next Monday.

I shared this with her, how proud of myself I’d become. The things I’d done. The people I’ve met and relationships I’d built that never would’ve been. And I told her that besides God, my family and close friends…I can only thank one other entity…

Maybelline Colossal Mascara.

Now hear me out.

Yes, I’d done a lot of praying. I’d shopped. I’d spent time with my family who checked on me. My friends consistently kept me uplifting. Jazmine Sullivan was my homegirl. But none of those things affected my overall view of what I thought I’d lost than Maybelline Colossal Mascara.

See, the deal was that even though I’d make it through day by day (I remember reading Jozen Cummings reply to another reader on how to get over a breakup by saying “Wake up. Eat. Live. Go to sleep. Repeat. Other than that, You’ve got me.”), I was still sad. It was palpable. I know I got closer to God and to a few of my friends (Shouts out to Seattle!! 🙂 ), but when I was alone, it wasn’t enough to stop the emotional overload.

Until the day I couldn’t put on mascara.

I’ll never forget that morning.

I had dragged myself out of bed. I’d found an outfit. I didn’t have the energy to do much makeup, so I figured I’d do a little mascara, lipgloss and go so I wouldn’t look how I felt. Well, because of my crying, my eyelids were so swollen that my lashes literallly laid against them. When I realized this, and saw the mascara wand effectively coating my lashes and my eyelid simultaneously, I yelled…yes, yelled (and sorry, this is what I said)

“WHAT THE F*CK!!?!????!?? Oh………HELL naw!”

And that day forward, I decided I would not have another crying bout. Yes, I may get sad. I might even get lonely…but tears stop now. A few times I’d get watery-eyed, and remember my Martin Lawrence-esque eyelids (after that fight…remember that episode?), and suck it up. I would move forward because I was awesome…even if one person didn’t see it. But no one else would if my eyes were so big that my lashes stood upright.

When Carrie broke up with Big, at the start of Season 2, she would avoid anywhere she might run into him. With that being said…I refused to avoid mascara. AND…a few weeks before that, I had just bought and opened a Dior Iconic Mascara…that’s $28 I’d have been wasting! Not the kid.

So, thank you God, Mom, Daddy, brothers and sister, great friends, and Maybelline Colossal Mascara. I wouldn’t have made it without you. And honestly, if not for that question, I would have forgotten…which is a testimony in and of itself. 😉

I hope you all had wonderful days!

Love,

–V

I hate* my friends.

Heart to Heart...

They consistently try to point out logic and truth when I don’t want to hear it. I was talking to one of my friends about my timidity of trusting someone and stepping out into relational waters again. She said, “Like, real talk? Not about him, or about your ex, because you haven’t said anything negative about him since the new year, but you have been throwing major shade at yourself. You are letting someone’s past actions dictate how you act, even if it is ‘in spite of.’ You are responding to him in defense of what you think he’ll do, and you need to remember that he is not your ex. You can’t treat him like he is, or like he will be. You have to let him be him, and take it how it goes. I’m not saying don’t be cautious, but don’t do this.”

*crickets* 😳

I gave the only response that I could give in that moment….

…”No, YOU stupid.”

We both cracked up. I acknowledged what she said, but thought about it on the car ride home. How much credit do we give our past in how we go about our present? I hate the idea that my past relationship can have that much power over the things I do right now. Who is really running these decisions that I make?

Another friend of mine called me a cold freezer today. He said I either have some hellified defense mechanisms, or I really don’t care. I believe it is the former. Only your friends can tell you those things about yourself that you don’t really want to hear. Or acknowledge. They can call into question your actions that you don’t want to analyze for yourself. They can make you view it so even if you decide to keep doing what you’re doing, you’re doing it consciously. Doesn’t that suck? Miranda did it for Charlotte in SATC 2: the movie. She forced her to admit that motherhood is not always nice, fun, or wanted. Only then could she really say what she wanted or needed, and stop running herself crazy or being resentful.

The ending of my last relationship blindsided me. In hindsight it should not have, but in the moment, it did. I keep wondering if I will walk into another head-on collision unprepared, so I’m checking every nook and cranny for possible signs. My friend said if I continue to do that, it in and of itself will cause the accident I was looking for. (She didn’t state it in this manner, but you know, implications and whatnot.) So I can admit this: I’m scared.

*sigh* 😕

Can’t you see why I hate* my friends? I just can’t right now. Goodnight 🙂

Love,

–V

* hate here means desperately thankful for even if I don’t admit it in the moment. This definition stops at the culmination of this post, and is only active within the confines of the post itself.

*sigh*

I would really rather write about anything else right now, but nothing else is coming to mind (probably because this is the only thing on my mind).

A friend of mine once told me that one of the scariest things in the world to her as a child was the monkey bars. When I asked her to expound upon this, she said, “The monkey bars provided you with exhilirating options about what you would experience; however, you had to let go of the lower bars just to get up there. Scariest thing I remember…just letting go.”

In Season 5 (“Catch”), Carrie was researching a new “singles” activity, the

"...I Can't!!"

 flying trapeze. Once she did something a little out of her comfort zone, she became hooked! What she couldn’t do was let go of the bar to reach out and catch the hands of another. It was too far past what she was comfortable. She attempted twice, and she refused to take her hands off the bar. It got me to thinking about the next relationship, friendship, job offer, etc… Why is it hard to let go of the bar?

A friend of mine has been very, um, clear…yeah, we’ll go with clear…about what his intentions are towards me. He has done the nicest things, been a good person, and seems to be forthright…but I have a vice grip on that bar. I say things like, “Well, I hope you’re telling the truth.” It’s my defense mechanism. Whenever something seems off-kilter, whether it is or not, I do what my friend describes as “ostriching” – sticking my head in the sand to step away from what is currently causing me discomfort. He has started to call me on it. He wants to know why I don’t believe what he says…why I don’t trust him. I told him it’s not him I don’t trust; it’s trust that I don’t trust. It hasn’t worked out too well for me before I guess. Benefit of the doubt and all that jazz.

Well, letting go is not a place of strength. It makes you vulnerable. Once you’ve experienced a not-so-nice feeling – whether it was hitting the ground off the monkey bars, betrayal from a friend, or a broken heart – our natural instinct of self preservation activates to stop any semblance of that same issue. The problem then becomes that you can’t experience the benefits either.

So while I’m not sure I’m ready to leap, my fingers aren’t as tight. We’ll see. But I know one thing, I’m so happy to have a great safety net: faith, family, and friends. You guys are awesome 🙂

What about you guys? Are you leaping?

Love,

-V

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