Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Fading Night

I love to wake up in the early morning while it's still dark out. I brew a cup of coffee. Dark. Black. Stout. I sit on my balcony and wait for the sun to rise. The world is so still and so quiet. Only the breeze through the trees can be heard and the sound of the waves crashing against the shore. The roosters are just about ready to begin crowing but not just yet. Sometimes, on a night where the moon is full, the early morning is awash with moon beams. It casts an eerie glow across the landscape. And when the moon is absent the sky is littered with millions of stars, twinkling and shining it's dim light upon the earth. The scent of the ocean and the smell of white and yellow ginger wafts its way through the tropical air.

This is the most peaceful time of my day. I sit and ponder my mood and the ever changing circumstances of my life.

Most times, I think, "There has to be more to life than clocking in everyday."
"Surely, I was NOT born on this planet to push meaningless paperwork."

I was born to write and to create art with words on a page. I say that with extreme confidence that I am here to tell the stories that are inside of me. I was born to share my hurts and my pains, my struggles and my triumphs, my happiness and my joy. And I was made to do it in a way that is captured so genuinely and arrives on the page from someplace deep inside me, touched by the goddess within.

Every morning is like the previous, after the darkest night, the cock begins to crow announcing the imminent arrival of the morning sun. Both near and off in the distance, the rooster's bark pierces the silence of the morning. My coffee has cooled to a comfortable warmth and its stout bitterness is actually sweet on my tongue. My peaceful meditation returns to thoughts of the precarious situation called my life. In recent months, every pondering has become a struggle to understand the many changes happening to me and around me. I am in a position to make my life everything I want it to be. As exciting as that may seem, it frightens me. It calls for me to be more courageous than I have ever needed to be. The changes force me to stand erect and move in the direction of my destiny, alone, with no one to hold my hand through the painful process of CHANGE.

Seconds turn into minutes. Minutes into hours. As I look toward the east, the dark of night begins to vanish. Slowly, ever so gently, the heavens illuminate the coming of the sun. I can see a glowing ball of fire slowly breach the ocean horizon. The sun's rays turn the heavens into brilliant hues of pink and orange against the purple of the fading night. I am always silenced and awestruck by the beauty of the rising sun upon the Pacific horizon. Even as a young girl, my summer mornings were spent waking early to witness this event. Every day I knew the sun would rise and the darkness would disappear.

The world begins to come alive with sound. Several varieties of birds chirp and sing in a loud array of harmonies. They share beautiful songs of gratitude to accent the awakening earth. Ocean breezes stir the palm trees. Humans begin to stir as I start to hear the whirr sound of cars on the road. I hear my neighbors bustling in their driveways as car doors begin to open and engines start revving. And the light chatter from sleepy children and sleepier parents add to the sounds of the awakening world.

Today, unlike any other day prior, I can see my purpose so clear. It is a brand new day and a new era in the world of NeenaLove. My soul can feel my ancestors gently prodding me into the light of the morning sun. Previous lifetimes have groomed me for this moment and I welcome these changes with new courage. The heartbreak of my past will fade like the night and my sun will rise in glorious brilliance on the life that I was destined to live.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Independent of WE

No one sees my mind the way you do
You see into my soul
Into my heart

Above all, I can be me whenever I am with you
The me that no one in the world can see but you
There are no misconceptions of who I am
Because I am my most genuine when I am with you
I hide nothing

Even now as we traverse separate trials
Our honesty with each other
Our vulnerability
Our connection
Our concern for each other
Our genuine affection
It is all very important to me
And so precious

Yet our symbiotic relationship is just that - so intertwined
And I have a difficult time hearing my own voice
Hearing my own thoughts that are independent of WE
And however I move forward
And however you move forward
Must be independent of WE

WE will always have this connection
And maybe one day we will find each other again
In love
In passionate love
It will be the right time
Without the hurt of our yesterdays
creeping up into our todays

But first, I will work on me
You will work on you
Independent of WE

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Missing Him : Angels Cry Edition

I have been missing him so much.

My longing for him came out of nowhere. I thought I had conquered our divorce and yet memories of the good times crept up on me the other evening.

I cried myself to sleep thinking about how much love we had between us. I am still in shock and disbelief that we walked away from 13 years of marriage. When I give my heart away, I love so hard and I am so loyal. Even now, I find myself traversing the single life but longing to be with just him. And yet I know that he and I will never be again. I am trying, with much difficulty, to even want to be single again. Dating and getting to know new people is difficult when I have come from a relationship that was laden with trust, respect, and love (minus the year before we divorced).

My dear father has been priceless in my transition from married woman to single. He is so wise even though he is a man of very few words. I can hear what he doesn't say based on his reactions to my ramblings. He reassures me that I made my ex a better man.

I stood by him when he deployed to the Middle East. I wrote him every single day and sent him care packages the whole time. That's my duty as a wife, right? No one else wrote him. When we parted, I took all those letters back. Those are my words. I stood by him when he was doing battle with the U.S. Army. I tap danced to his beat; whatever he needed me to do I did without questioning him. When he finally separated from the military, he wanted to move to Hawaii and I wanted to move to Georgia. Guess where we went? Hawaii. I assisted him through his Bachelor and Masters Degrees. I take no credit for the work he did -- it was ALL him but I do acknowledge that I stood by him through it.

Why does a man walk away from a woman so loyal? Maybe I'm a little too "alpha" for him. Did my behavior or actions emasculate him in some way? I don't know. I will never know. What I do know is that I cried myself to sleep the other night just missing his presence. His beauty. His strength. His quiet confidence. His warm body next to mine. I tear up when I think of all the beautiful things he was to me. I don't know what I did wrong and it messes with me because he is the second man to leave me. It stirs up old feelings of inadequacy that happened with my first marriage. And I, for the life of me, cannot figure out where I am going wrong in a marriage.

I don't want to be bitter. I don't want to say that I will never love again because I will and I want to love again. What I don't want is to take any of my current baggage from both marriages into new love. Perhaps I am much stronger than I was before my heart was shattered... twice. But maybe I'm way more cautious or suspect of men who desire my attention and affection. I don't want to be that bitter girl that questions a man's intentions toward me. And maybe some are just getting at me to be a convenient physical companion and that's okay, I suppose. But my body is just the bonus because my real value is in my soft heart, my ever-curious mind, and my deep-seated soul. Maybe some will dig and stick around long enough to explore me but most will not. Yet I will remain who I am and become the best me in every single moment.

As I traverse single life, I want to proceed with wild abandon. Even though I miss him and the memory of our love crosses my mind often, I have to look forward to new love and new relationships. God willing, it will be a love so magical and filled with genuine and sincere affection that it will transcend lifetimes.I would have never chosen to split from someone that I had spent so much of my years with. If it were up to me, I would have remained loyal to him all the days of my life. True love is a gift.

I couldn't have prepared myself for this fall
Shattered in pieces, curled on the floor
Super natural love conquers all, remember we
Used to touch the sky
And lightning don't strike
The same place twice, when you and I
Said goodbye I felt the angels cry
True love's a gift,
But we let it drift in a storm
Every night I feel the angels cry 
-Mariah Carey

Monday, February 27, 2017

Humility and Tender Mercy

A dear friend of mine sent a song to me over the web. I don't know if it's because I had posted on Facebook that I visited my mom's grave that he decided to send me the song. For whatever reason he did, I am grateful for the message I received from hearing it. It has been on repeat all day. Well Done by Deitrick Haddon is the song. The lyrics are quite simple and the music is beautiful but the pleading in Deitrick's voice is so compelling. I embedded the video at the bottom of the post. Maybe you can let it play as you read this post.

These past few months have been difficult for me. The divorce from my husband of thirteen years really did a number on me. An unexpected event like this has really humbled me and brought me to my knees. I find myself so hungry for spiritual enlightenment; to feel the spirit of the Creator around me. I hunger for it above any search for love and companionship. I don't quite know how it all works but a few experiences in recent months have forced me to recognize God's tender mercies in my life and I am grateful.

Both my mother and father are staunch Christians. Though I was raised with such a strong foundation, I find that my curiosity for other spiritual practices is so much stronger than my Christian background. And yet, I have a soft spot for the teachings I was raised to believe. Above all, Love is paramount. Compassion. Forgiveness. Service.

The first couple of weeks after my ex said he wanted a divorce were extremely difficult. Extremely! I found myself crying myself to sleep all throughout the day and all through the night. Part of me was so upset and disappointed with my husband's decision to walk away from our relationship. I thought of how I would now be alone in the world and that I would grow old without a companion to journey through life with. I thought of my parents who were married to each other until my mother passed. That's forty-plus years of commitment. Coming up, I didn't know very many marriages that ended in divorce. My parent's generation was true ride-or-die relationships, so to see my second marriage come to an end just about tore me apart. My loyalty is so fierce and so powerful. Why wouldn't a man want that kind of woman in his corner? I know my value and I cannot understand why a man would trade me in.

In those first days, I leaned heavy upon my popps and my older brother for comfort. I am fiercely independent and rarely ever ask anyone for help. But the pain of this broken heart could not be soothed without help from above. My popps and my older brother laid their hands upon my head and put a blessing on me so strong and so powerful that I was sobbing.  I have never seen my father cry, in all of my 41 years, not even at my mother's funeral service. But that day, as he prayed over me, he choked up and I could hear him cry and felt his tears drop on me. We felt so strongly the spirit of my mother all around us. I felt her holding me up, and drying my tears, and telling me that everything would be fine. God's tender mercy was upon me that day because I rarely feel my mother's presence. That day, in those moments with my father and older brother, we felt her all around us and I knew that I would be just fine. I knew that I was not alone.

On a recent trip to "the South." I was driving on a lonely road. It was late at night and most of the roads in Georgia and South Carolina are not equipped with street lights. My drive from Atlanta through Georgia and South Carolina was a great time for me to clear my head. The long monotonous drive gave me plenty of time to be alone with my thoughts. My life since splitting from my ex-husband has been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, of decisions and indecision, and full of so much change. I really needed that distance from all things familiar to think through the pressing issue of where I want to take my life.

My drive that evening should have happened much earlier than it had, meaning I should have been driving while it was still daylight. My arrival in Atlanta was four hours delayed. I should have made it to my destination by 7p but with the delay, it was now estimated to be 11p. As I made my way along the roads, I was just about 70 miles from the coast. That's where I wanted to be - the Coast. I wanted to look out on a different ocean than the beautiful Pacific. Perhaps, I could make a life along the banks of a new body of water; far away from the Pacific. I love the Pacific but I feel a wave of change surging inside of me and I am going to ride it to wherever it takes me.

The GPS had taken me along a very lonely road. I had not seen a car for miles. I felt like I was in an episode of Scooby Doo. Every town I had ventured through was dark and void of life. Spooky. Creepy. I felt like I had stepped back in time and I felt very alone, like the whole world had turned their back on me. I almost shed tears thinking I had made a big mistake for getting on the road all alone, in a place that was completely unfamiliar to me. I approached a fork in the road and went right instead of left. I had to back track, turn around and go back to the fork and take the left. I distinctly remember uttering out loud, "God, please watch over me. Please get me where I need to be safely." Inside, I was slightly terrified and feeling like I had made so many mistakes in my life and it was manifesting on this road trip. The delay with the airplane, the long and lonely drive through the darkness, taking the wrong road; these were all little events that were heavy on my mind as I made my way toward the coast.

Imagine pitch blackness, not a single street light, just the stars to light my way and the solitary light beams from my rental car. From the right side of my periphery, I see a deer shoot out into the lonely road. The animal was taller than my car and it's antlers were large and well-developed. The excitement of nearly reaching my destination had suddenly turned to panic as the large animal collided with my vehicle. It happened so quickly. As I think through the collision and slow it down in my mind, I am humbled and in awe of my experience and the tender mercy of God's hand in those moments.

Upon impact, all of the airbags in the vehicle deploy and there is a strong burning odor. I was so stunned and in a state of shock that I don't realize that I may have been in danger by remaining in the middle of the road or that possibly the burning odor could mean that the car was on fire. I was just in utter disbelief. I have heard horror stories of people getting knocked out and bruised by the airbags. Every single airbag had been spent. There was one at my feet, one that came out of the steering wheel and a curtain alongside the sides of the car and from the top of the windshield. I have also heard stories about the severe bruising that comes from the seat belt holding you in place. I had not lost consciousness but I was definitely dazed.

God's tender mercy was upon me because I did not have a single scratch on my body. I was not bruised. I did not suffer any whiplash. My back was fine. When Highway Patrol arrived, the Officer told me that the deer was back several yards away and was indeed dead. I felt a tinge of guilt for having taken the life of the deer without doing something useful with it's sacrifice, like maybe feeding a family. And yet, all I could feel was gratitude for being fully alive and not a single scratch on my body. I was definitely shaken up but feeling nothing but God's love upon me for watching over me so closely even when it seemed as if I did not deserve his/her watchful care.

Both events, feeling my mother around me in late September on up to the trip that found me on the side of a lonely road with a wrecked car in January, were eye-openers to how closely I am loved and cared about from on high. Even in my most sinful pursuits and dark behavior, my mother is reaching out to me from beyond the grave and God is watching me, ever caring for my safety and well-being. Thank you dear friend for sending me this song. It prompted this post. The song had me reflecting on God's hand in my life. I kneel in humility and am strengthened by the thought of seeing my mother again.

I just wanna make it to heaven
I just wanna make it in
I just wanna cross that river
I wanna be free from sin
Ooh I just want my name written (Oh Lord)
Written in the lamb's Book of Life
When this life is over

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Sending Love in the Face of Goodbye

My ex-husband was my favorite subject for photographing. I loved taking his picture. In our travels, he always looked so international and I loved that about him and about us. I once thought that there was no one in this whole entire world that I would rather trot the globe with. He is thoroughly as unafraid of foreign destinations as I am. In our adventures together, I have photographed him in beautiful settings. Urban. Cultural. Scenic. I will miss that since we no longer have any association.

I will miss how mobile he and I were. His health and fitness and mine made us ideal companions. We used to take long hikes, vigorous hikes, all in the name of health and wellness. We traveled all over the world together and I thought, for sure, that this journey would last a lifetime. God knows I miss him but I will never let him see me cry again. One day he might regret walking away from US or he might not. Either way, I am okay with how things are turning out because all I have to worry about is ME and only ME now.

One day, when I'm not so sad from our break up, I will be able to look back at us with fondness. For the most part, I do appreciate the time we have shared. I appreciate the good times we've had together. I will always remember the fiery passion we had in the beginning. Flames were so hot that it had me marrying him just seven months after meeting him and we lasted thirteen years. We have done so many different things together. We've shared experiences together that I will probably never share with another. His strength, his concern for me (when we were happy), his handsome face and beautiful body is imprinted on my memory. 

I will miss his family. I felt so connected to them the minute I met them. When my ex was deployed to Iraq, I would visit my in-laws without him. I would drive down to Alabama and spend time there. My ex mother-in-law would call me and check on me all the time. I have met his extended family also and already miss them so much. From Oklahoma to Alabama, I know them all. I always looked forward to visiting my in-laws in Alabama. I always feel so spoiled when I'm out there. I could sleep all day if I wanted to. I could lock myself in the room and watch T.V. all day or write. I will miss my father-in-law's cooking. He knew what my favorite dishes were and would always fix it for me. Low Country Boil was ALWAYS on the menu. Of course I would have to bake while I was there. Sometimes I'd make my father's famous bean soup for them. They loved that. **heavy sigh**

Tomorrow, we take care of one of the last pieces of business between us. We sign closing documents on the sale of our house. When he called me to confirm the appointment, I started to tear up after we hung up the phone. And then the flow of tears came gushing as I remembered our life together. I miss him. I miss his presence in my life and when he was happy, it was so magical to see him laughing and joking. We will always have this special time in our lives to look back on. Though I look forward with excitement at the road ahead of me, a part of me will always think back on what could have been between us.

I don't have a relationship to run to. I don't want to run into a new relationship. What I want is to discover me again; to be the girl that I was before this marriage. I love the freedom I have experienced since me and the ex split. I feel so free and so mobile. I have traveled more in the last five months than I have throughout our marriage and I love that. I have always wanted to feel this free - free to do whatever my heart desires. I want to date and have fun and not be so concerned about any particular significant other. I have been in relationships since I was 18 years old. I met my ex-ex-husband when I was 18. From day one that we met, it quickly blossomed into love. It was very apparent that it was going that route. And I waited for him. Waited three years til he was ready to marry me. After six years of marriage, he called it quits and I jump into the marriage that just ended. So I think I'm done, for now, with serious relationships. I just want to be free.

As I get ready to work up the nerve to see my ex-husband tomorrow, I think of how much I have grown in the past couple of months. I hope that he has grown as well. I send him love and light and all the happiness that one can hold to sustain him through life's meandering roads.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Anonymous Love Letter: I Have Nothing Edition

Dear Love,

I find myself in a daze, fully feeling the void in the wake of our split. I can't really call it a split. It's more like my decision to walk forward and do "the right thing," whatever that means. Why does "the right thing" feel wrong? There is nothing ugly about what we are even under the current circumstances. We are so beautiful together, so in sync, and so much a fabric of each other's DNA. How could our connection be ugly or wrong? When people are in our presence, I am sure they can feel the electric and the love energy that surrounds us.

I miss you with such intensity. I try to think of other things and even attempted "seeing" someone but none of it even feels right or anything remotely similar to what we have always shared. I crave your voice and to hear you tell me that you love me. Surely you know that my love for you will never end. I see your face in every ray of sunshine and in the stars in the heavens. I hear your voice on the wind and feel your gentle hands on my face.

I want to throw all of the rules out the window and run away with you today. I want to pick up the phone and call you and listen to you tell me that you love me and that you miss me. I feel the same. My heart knows with certainty that you have been my one true love through every lifetime before and I know that even in the next lifetime, we will find each other again. I pray that we don't have to wait that long and that our paths will cross again soon.

If you're reading this, listen to whatever is in your heart at this very moment and do it. I will be waiting. Always remember us.



Saturday, January 28, 2017

A New Year, Maybe A New Me

Happy Chinese New Year!

There is so much to be grateful for in my life.

As I move forward, one step at a time, I find that I am outgrowing my current job. I have a strong desire to move through all of the monotony of my old life. My most recent trip to Texas really opened me up to the possibility of moving and living there. Granted, I would need quick access to Hawai'i because I can only go so long before I need the ocean. Dallas is the hub for American Airlines so if I could get a job there then I think it would be a no-brainer for me to make my way to Dallas. I just need a fresh start away from here, away from my ex-husband. He has not left the island so the odds of running into him here are pretty high. I would just die if I ran into him with another woman.

He is so beautiful to me but I understand that he does not feel that way about me and I will be okay with that. It does not devalue who I am. I know what I bring to the table and I know how powerful my life is. What I miss so much is his presence in my day to day. Even though our split has been such a free-ing experience, I miss the routine of every day. Funny how just a year ago, the routine is what was making me so unhappy.

I love being in love. I love pouring my time and affection into a relationship. I don't have that right now, though I would not be opposed to it, so I am constantly working on using that time to write. It does not mean that I do not have any interested parties vying for my affection but I am just tired of waiting. I want something in real time. Right now. Someone to go to the movies with, to take me to the nail shop, to go dancing with, dinner, and all the fun things that can happen in real time. The truth is that I know I'm not ready for real-time love. My mind, my heart, my soul is just not ready to pull anyone else into my drama. In the meantime, though, I will enjoy the attention as I heal my heart.

Friday, January 13, 2017

She is Back... with a Vengeance

These past couple of months have been a roller coaster of emotions. I cannot contain the myriad of feelings I have experienced.


And now, I am adding EXCITEMENT. 

I think I am finally coming from beneath the grey skies of the break-up with my ex. Fo real, fo real. I am not just saying that like I did in previous posts. I really mean it. We really are done and because I have come to that realization, I think everything will be alright. I am not going to be bitter because if he wants to walk away from me, I respect that. It is not a judgement on my ability to be a good person. In fact, I respect that he had the courage to follow his most genuine desire and move in the direction of where he sees his life going even if it meant breaking up our marriage. Of course, it could have also gone the other way where he actually put in the work to make US work again but I will not mourn that anymore. My life is too fabulous now for me to even consider what NOT breaking up would have looked like.

I have such a clear path ahead of me and it invigorates me, it frees me, it gives me brand new eyes to see that there are an infinite number of possibilities. This is not to minimize what I had with my ex but I felt like a dog on a leash. I had/have so many dreams and ambitions that I have for myself (for us) and I just felt like he would yank it when my ideas were a little too risky. Since we have parted ways, I feel a new sense of EXCITEMENT and that little girl I was - the one that could do ANYTHING, the one with IMAGINATION and CREATIVE PASSION - she is back with a vengeance. I rise and flourish in spite of the heartache and turmoil that I am experiencing.

Other things have also synced in my life that has filled my heart with hope, EXCITEMENT, and new found joy. And I wonder how I ever did without it for so long. Sometimes it be like that.

2017 will be the best year yet. I am strong. I am powerful. I am ready!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Anonymous Love Letter : More & More Edition

Dear Love,

I am consumed by thoughts of you. It has always been that way. I cannot say when or why you touched me in this way but you have. The time we have spent together will always be cherished and treasured. They are little gems in the fabric of my life that I will take with me into the next lifetime where I will search for you again.

This longing inside me makes me sad instead of happy only because I know that it is not me that you go home to at the end of the day. I cannot risk my heart for something I have no right to claim and what I know today is that my heart is so raw and broken. It's not your job to put it back together. That's my job and so the decision to "close the door" was made.

In my mind it makes perfect sense. "Close the door" so I can mend my broken heart while you figure out what you want to do. I don't know what you want to do. If you love her then love her and let's seal this door shut until the next lifetime. Because right now, what I want is MORE and MORE of you and I cannot have it. When I'm feeling especially low, I think about you and want to talk to you and hear your voice and feel the comfort of your words but I do not have access to you. And that fueled the logic behind "closing the door."

What I wish I could tell you is that I want us to run away and lock ourselves in our bubble and make love endlessly and fan the red hot flame between us. Let the world around us fade away until there is just you and me. Yet I know this can never be and we will have to be content to meet in our dreams. But today and always I send you love vibrations so sincere and so intense that it could light the world. Remember me.



Monday, January 09, 2017

Anonymous Love Letter : Ridiculous Edition

Dear Love,

Today we closed a door.

It frees you to be the man you always wanted to be for her. She is so blessed to have your heart the way she does. Though we made a mistake by opening a pandora's box with whatever we have done, in the end, your decision to recommit to her is admirable and so precious. I don't know why we complicate our lives with distractions from things that really matter.

Here and now, we say goodbye. Though I feel my heart breaking all over again, I knew that this thing we had had an expiration date. I look ahead to whatever is on the horizon for me. My unwritten future is wide open and I welcome all of God's abundance into my life. I open my heart again to chase forever, alone.

My wish for you is that you will find happiness and joy;
that you will rededicate yourself to loving her the way she deserves to be loved;
that you will put in the time, your heart, your soul into making love last forever.

I smile as I think of how fortunate she is to have a man that recognizes his error and chooses to recommit. It is a beautiful thing to witness.

So today and forever, know that I have always seen through your facade and into your beautiful soul. I have always seen you as a beautiful expression of God's genius. I will carry the memory of us all the days of my life. Live well and take care of yourself.