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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

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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

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…

“I’ve been dating since I was fifteen! I’m exhausted! Where is he???!!”

This is undoubtedly Charlotte’s most famous line of the show, from “Where There’s Smoke…” in Season 3 (Ep. 1). It was put on t-shirts, bags, and became the unofficial motto of the woman who was ready to get married. However, what was mostly overlooked was what she said almost immediately beforehand (in her hungover state), in response to a conversation about why firemen were so cute, even when they aren’t:

It’s because women just want to be rescued.” There it was: the phrase independent single women in their thirties are never supposed to think, let alone say aloud.

Carrie’s response to Charlotte’s declaration was, “Sweetie, did you ever think that maybe we’re the white knights, and that we have to rescue ourselves?” Charlotte’s response? “That is so depressing,” before plopping her head back into her arms. Carrie’s “Is it??” went unanswered, and you could tell the women were contemplative on the matter.

I was thinking about this after having several conversations with a close friend. Is this accurate? No matter how many Beyonce-esque SingleLadiesIndependentWomenIrreplaceable type songs we hear, ultimately would we honestly want to do as “Kanye the wise” would say, “…trade it all for a husband and some kids”? 

My homegirl and I debated this using the context of my “situation” as the basis. I’ve been sick lately (sinus infection, ugh) and haven’t been to work in a few days. I can honestly say that my friend took great care of me…bringing me medicine and food, checking to see what the doctor said, making me tea, etc… Since this occurrence, I have felt a bit more emotionally attached in a way that I can honestly say I wasn’t a week prior. Is that the innate want of the “protected” to be taken care of by the “protector”? Jury’s out I tell ya, but this is something to think about.

Even our “Queen”, Beyonce, who makes all these independent women songs, has Jay-Z’s name on her fingernails. After wrapping the set of “Video Phone” with Lady GaGa, she was captured saying, “I’m glad this is over…I’m going to see my husband. I’m happy! I’m happy!” I’m not saying she doesn’t believe in what she’s saying, but is it a bit easier to sell because she’s already been “rescued”?

I’m curious folks. What do you think? Here’s a little music for thought.

Love,

-V

My bookclub is supposed to be currently reading Hill Harper’s “The Conversation”. (I haven’t bought the book yet, but I’ll have it read by the time of the meeting.) During my planning period today, I was visiting my friend’s classroom, and a conversation came from another male co-worker who saw the book on the desk. We discussed some of the questions in the book, and my friend and I gave our opinions in response to why it seems like the relationships of African-Americans don’t work out. We finished the conversation and were just sitting (because we were under intruder alert…don’t ask), and all of a sudden, he dropped this bomb:

“The relationships don’t work because y’all women are too damn independent these days. You won’t let a man be a man.”

It got me to thinking – is it that simple? Is that the only reason that black relationships don’t work?

So, I got home and  watched the next Sex and the City episode, because I’m on Aidan-review (trying to be clear on the details in case I need them for the movie), and because it’s how I unwind. Men watch SportsCenter, I watch ___ (<- insert season and episode here). The next episode was Season 4’s “My Motherboard, My Self”. This is where Miranda’s mother dies from a heart attack, Carrie’s computer crashes, and Samantha loses her orgasm…though that last one probably won’t be referenced in this post.

Anyway, when Carrie’s computer “sad mac”-ed, Aidan tries to rush to her rescue. He tries to help her solve the problems, accompanies her to the repair shop, and even bought her a new computer and back up system.

My Motherboard, My Self

Aidan tries to help

He also tried to comfort her when Miranda’s mother died and she was grieving for her friend…but she walked away.

Too Independent?

Aidan was very angry that all his attempts at helping were rebuffed, and he ultimately walked away.

My Motherboard, My Self

Can't get in...

Obviously, this isn’t just a state of being for African-American relationships, but it just may happen to everyone (at least the writers of this show). Then it popped in my head that what women are doing isn’t just out of bitterness or hardness, but it just may be a survival technique.

It made me remember how pissed I was a few weeks after my breakup, and I was at Wal-Mart. I was grocery shopping, and I wanted to buy bottled water. I struggled getting the 24 pack in my cart, and it dawned on me: I can’t buy this water. I won’t be able to get it into my house because I can’t lift it. I almost started to cry.

For the past five years, I’ve had someone to help me understand-lift-carry-figure out-accompany-etc…and now I don’t. When she apologized to Aidan for her bitchy-behavior, Carrie said, “…if you start helping me, and I get used to having that help…no good can come of that. What if one day you’re not around? We could fall apart…then what?”

I think that women’s “over-independence” comes out of a necessity to make it. Eventually, I’ll have to buy some got-damned bottled water. And you know what, I’ll put a suitcase in my trunk that day, and when it’s time to take it in the house, I’ll wheel it in…and whenever I get in my next relationship, my man will say “Why don’t you let me bring your water in?” but my response might be “…because I can do it.”

*shrug*…I guess just because we can do it doesn’t mean we always have to, but it’s hard to break out of something you were doing out of necessity. As women, we have to try…and as men, you can understand.

Sometimes, as a woman is making that adjustment, the only thing you can do is be there when she does need you, even when she won’t admit it 😉

My Motherboard, My Self

Being There

What do you think (whoever you might be…I only have 3 readers, lol)?

Nevertheless, have a great day! 🙂

-Ms. V

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