Friday, August 18, 2017

Say A Little Prayer For You

Made this video for the guy I like to call, "My Mentor," Richie Norton. I was such a groupie of his wife who is a fabulous photographer as well as Richie, both are extremely talented entrepreneurs. I love basking in their glow. They have such great energy and charisma. Prior to meeting them in person I followed them closely on social media. I read Natalie's entire blog in a matter of days. And Richie's free e-book, I devoured in a couple of hours. They are the salt of the earth.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Life Is a Collection of Experiences



Life is a collection of experiences.

I have become increasingly comfortable with being single, unattached, divorced, and free. I am not in a rush to be with someone exclusively. I am actually enjoying the freedom, the ability to choose my destiny. The road ahead is mysterious, scary even but it invigorates me. The adventure of new experiences or the potential for new experiences fills my world with a brand new excitement that I have not felt in a very long time.

I miss the comfort of my ex and I will admit that my birthday weekend had me really sad. I wanted to be with him desperately. I wanted him to take me out like we have done for my birthday for the previous twelve years. I wanted him to hold my hand, to make love to me, to  hold me long into the night but I know it would have been all wrong. There's just no way that my heart can handle that. Even though he offered to take me out, there was no way I could have done that without feeling all kinds of sadness the next day. It would get in the way of my healing and I cannot turn back now. I have come too far to go back to that place of loving him. Even though we had some really good years, I think we just grew apart wanting different things from life.

I could never be the one to leave. I only know how to be loyal and committed. I am truly a woman of my word. If I said, "Til Death Do Us Part," I really meant it. But he decided to leave and I can only respect him for his courage to make the changes that he saw fit. I know I never want to live under the gloom that was taking over our marriage. I never want to feel that dead inside again and I am sure he was feeling that way also. At the same time, I had a deep love for him and he will always own that piece of my heart. Life truly is a collection of experiences. Though he was not my first love, he is and will always be a significant character in the story of my life.

I was having a discussion with a friend. We were discussing first love. Every person has that one. My first love was everything that you would expect. He was pure love, animal attraction, physical satisfaction, and yet was also pure hurt. We compared the emotions of our experiences with our first loves and our reactions are identical - that we would run back to them in a heartbeat just to feel that rush again.

Why is it that we want to run back to that comfortable place of first love? Both she and I were similar in that we loved them with complete abandon. We gave our whole heart to them. What I experienced with my first love is that as shy as I was, he was patient with me. We explored our emotions and our physical desires together. He cradled my heart and my body like no one ever has. Even now as a 42 year old woman, I have only ever been fully satisfied with him and not just sexually. He knew my body and could take me to the heights of pleasure but even deeper than that, he appreciated my heart, and was absolutely in love with my mind. First love is supposed to be like that - a collection of brand new experiences that we brave together.

We wish beyond all wishes that we could take back the heartache that came with first love. It could not have been first love without the heart break. My first love will always own that title of "first love" because he broke my heart, because him leaving cut me the deepest. And my foolish heart was so naive to think that he could love me in my totality forever. And yet, I look back at the fierceness of my love and the strength that I loved him with and I am in awe at my capacity to love him. When we parted ways, I did find love again but a part of me will always belong to him. That place in my heart that was reserved for only him is still locked away never to be experienced by anyone but him.

The woman I have become since I split from my first love, I could never be her without having experienced that hurt. I honor that event and all the years since we split because it has added so many facets to my womanhood. My kindness, my compassion, and my capacity to love has only increased because I know what a broken heart feels like. And though I wish that our love had never stopped, I am also grateful that I found love again. And even though that second love has left me, I know I will experience love again and fall truly, madly, deeply in love with another. All of these experiences of love and pain and hurt and joy and passion are possible because I have loved and I have lost. And I honor all of these trials and triumphs.

Life is a collection of experiences.

#iStillBelieveInLove

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Zipline Review: CLIMBworks Keana Farms

I went ziplining with my nieces yesterday. In typical Leo fashion, I celebrate all season long. The party begins on July 22nd and ends August 22nd. So I have a couple more days of celebrating until Leo Season is officially over.

I had not planned on going ziplining. My sister-in-law had won two tickets to CLIMBworks at Keana Farms located in Kahuku, Hawai'i and she was sending her two oldest children to use the tickets. My oldest niece is leaving for college in just 12 short days. I am so crazy excited for her. This zipline thing was part of her "things to do" before leaving home. I decided to tag along. My father had given me some birthday money so I could afford to splurge on the $150 price tag (Kamaaina Rate).

EASE OF BOOKING:
I walked in there and asked if there was any availability for me. There was one more spot left and I snatched it right up. The worker behind the register was helpful and worked quickly to get me signed in and paid for. There is a 275 pound weight limit and they do actually weigh you before they take your money.

LOBBY AREA:
The lobby was clean and very nice. There are plenty of workers to assist guests with any needs.

GETTING GEARED UP:
Everything is provided for you. You just show up. The workers get you geared up and assist in making sure all the necessary safety precautions are taken. There aren't any lengthy safety videos or lectures. You go on your first zip right at the beginning where the guides give you some quick tips on being safe and having fun.

THE EXPERIENCE:
The tour is two and a half to three hours. After the first zip, you go up the mountain in an ATV. The views from the top are stunning. I think we did a total of 8 zips. One was as fast as 45 mph. The highest I believe was over 1,500 feet. It was an amazing experience! In between zips, you hike or climb or pull yourself up on a rope. It is quite invigorating.

OVERALL:
I had a great time. There is nothing negative that I can say about the entire experience. The guides were fabulous and friendly. They knew each of us by name after the first couple of zips. If there is one thing I wish I had done is take my camera/phone. I didn't take it with me on the hike because I thought I would have dropped it. All the videos in my short vid were taken with both of my niece's phones.


Thursday, August 03, 2017

Paper Hearts : Birthday Edition



Wow. I will be turning 42 tomorrow.

Last year was the saddest birthday ever. My now ex-husband and I were fighting like cats and dogs. We were both so unhappy. I had made plans for dinner and dancing atop the Ala Moana Hotel. It used to be called Aaron's but it's now called Signature Steak House. It still has wrap around views of the mountains, the city, and the ocean. When it was Aaron's, it was definitely one of my favorite spots. I frequented it a lot back in the early 2000's. The men were required to have a coat, which is always a nice, classy touch. The food, the drink, the views were absolutely fantastic. But my most favorite thing was that it featured a hot R&B band that played there on the weekends. They did covers of every single R&B song you can imagine from the 60's to the present. It was something kind of wonderful. I am not sure if the band has continued with the new restaurant but when I made reservations last year, I was hoping that it would still be a feature.

With my then husband and I fighting, I cancelled the reservation. There was no point in having dinner together. We could hardly stand to be in the same room much less have a conversation and be romantic. And I was craving the romance, wanting him to fall back in love with me. I had no idea how to fix whatever was happening with us and I sat idle and watched as our relationship came to a grinding halt. This, by far, has been the most challenging year for me and I have been through some really hard ish in my life.

Marriage number two is down the tubes and I am not sure if I will ever be married again. It is nearly a year since he and I parted ways and I miss him immensely. Recent conversations between he and I have crushed my heart and eeked out every last bit of resolve that I have been holding on to. What I have to do to get me through contact with him is to force myself to think that he will never love me again. And I have to be okay with that. I have to convince my heart and my mind that he has rejected me because he has. Even though every cell in my heart wants to run back to him and feel his strong arms around me, feel his gentle kiss upon my lips, I cannot let him just manipulate me whenever it's convenient for him. The new NEENALOVE will not accept that.

I crave love and affection as much as the next person but I just can't bring myself to put my heart out there again for another person to trample. I crave a deep connection with another soul - that is no doubt. And though I may encounter men that set my soul on fire, at this very moment I have NO desire to completely give my heart away. As a dear friend recently told me, I have a paper heart right now. She said I need to keep building it so that it doesn't shred to pieces at the first hint of rejection. One of these days my ex will not have this effect on me and I will be able to converse with him as if we were old friends. Today is not that day and it is taking EVERYTHING in me to NOT beg him to love me again.

So as my 42nd year commences, my focus is entirely on me and what will make me happy again.
I will not be mistreated.
No more paper hearts!  


Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Do What Makes You Happy: Pole Fitness Edition



There's this new thing called "pole fitness." It's a new trend in the fitness world. Actually, I don't know how new it is, really, but it's brand new to me.

A bunch of us had a groupon to attend a specific pole fitness class this past Saturday. It was so much fun. Even though I felt painfully awkward, it was still a blast. I would share the video on here but there are people on the video that I did not get permission from to post. I will respect their privacy. Also, what happens at pole fitness stays at pole fitness.

The class we attended was put on by Fit for a Goddess. It is the cutest little studio located on Ward Avenue in Kakaako, O'ahu. Their entire studio is dedicated to pole dancing fitness courses. Scheduling the groupon was fairly simple. The class is usually booked solid several weeks out so we were surprised that the owner was able to accommodate all five of us just a couple days prior to the class.You are instructed to bring a towel, a yoga mat, and water to get through the 90-minute course.

I arrived a little late at the studio. The first thirty minutes is spent stretching and getting to know your classmates. This class has a different level of intimacy that requires one to be comfortable with their fellow participants. As expected, the class was made up of entirely women. There was a nice, even mix of women in different age groups, ethnicity and abilities.

After the thirty minutes of stretching, the instructor goes right into teaching a dance routine. The expectation is that at the end of the day's course, you will be comfortable performing a five-minute routine. Well, I survived it. And I have to stress that it felt so awkward but it was also very invigorating. The instructor makes you want to behave sexy even if it is way outside of your comfort zone. She encourages you to come out of the shell that you're in and to release any inhibitions. I have to say it was loads of fun and super empowering.

As a woman, so often we take on all these labels. WIFE. MOTHER. TEACHER. DRIVER. CHEF. DOCTOR. NURSE. ACCOUNTANT. SAINT. We get so caught up putting everyone's needs before our own and we forget to take care of ourselves. Part of taking care of ourselves means taking the time to get beautiful or to feel sexy. This can come in the form of all kinds of things. What's sexy and beautiful means something different to everyone. For me, I have had to change how I feel about being sexy and beautiful. I realized that I relied so much on my partner's opinion (ex-husband) of me rather than what actually makes ME feel good. This pole fitness class made me feel fantastic. And I don't have anyone to do the dance routine for but it doesn't even matter.

I also love manicures and pedicures. When I was in my early twenties, I did my feet and nails religiously. When I got with my now ex-husband, all of that stopped. I don't know why I stopped but here we are thirteen years later and I have brought it back! When I was going through the ordeal of divorce back in November, my BFF in Maryland took me to the nail shop that she goes to. I was so out of practice. It had been over a decade since I last did my nails. Now there's gel polish and paraffin dips, exfoliation and mud wraps. It's all brand new again.

What I realized is that I had stopped taking care of me because I always wanted to make sure that my husband was happy. I did not want to spend excessively on me because I wanted him to have everything he needed and wanted. I wanted him to be so happy and so content with life that he would never leave me. He would never break my heart. YetIi the end, he left without explanation. So today and every day, always choose you first! Always take care of your heart and do what makes you happy.

Buy the shoes.
Dye your hair.
Get the plush spa package.
Do the surgery.
Go on that Girls Trip.
Take that pole dancing class.
Cut your hair.
Book that massage.
Reconnect with your first love.
Write that book.
Schedule that dream trip.

Take a leap of faith and move toward all the things that make you happy. In the end, no one is responsible for your happiness except you.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Sounding Off : Confused

Lately, my extra-curricular activities have taken me to some shady places. I don't know how I find myself in these places at such ungodly hours of the morning but it has definitely made my skin a little thicker and my resolve to surround myself with good people so much stronger.

I do not look down on the people that I observed in these shady places because each and every person battles their own demons. I do, however, know that I do not want to be affiliated with them. I do not want to be on first-name basis with any of them and certainly do not want them popping up in my life whenever they feel like it. I'm not better than anyone but the vibrational levels that they're at and the level that I'm at are two different things.

I see a friend of mine going down such a dark path and feel ill-equipped to steer her from harm's way. I know that I cannot choose for her. She must choose the road she wants to travel. My wish is that she will come out of this temporary escape from reality unscathed. I ride with her because she is one of my most best friends. When I think of her I think of good times and laughing hysterically. I think of how daring she is and how she casts all doubts aside and walks into any fire completely sure that she will overcome it. I think of how we met as little girls and now we're almost middle-aged and we are still riding together. I think of the tears I have shed over the past nine months as she saw me through my split with my ex-husband. She still sees me through it and lets me vent when I need to and we cry and laugh and say crazy ish to make us feel better.

Separately, we are going through crazy things in our relationships. Me, I'm recently divorced and navigating this new single life. Her, well, that's her story to tell. Not mine.

My ex-husband and I have texted back and forth in recent days. We have become more and more friendly. I don't harbor any malice for him but my heart is still so broken and it's because he left me. I am not an angry person but I can't help but think of everything that my ex and I shared. We were really the best of friends and it's hard to not think of and miss that comfortable place. I am just so confused and unsure about the next move that I need to take. It is hard to make the decision to let go of the illusions of forever with him and yet I know I have to. And once I do let go I will lock that space in my heart that he once occupied, never to be opened again.

I know that I don't want anything serious right now. It's like I have to decompress from having been a married woman for all of my adult life. I enjoy being in a relationship but I'm too old to put up with just anything. I was journaling in my written diary about wanting to be swept off my feet with romance. I want to feel that crazy love - whisked away to exotic destinations and showered with gifts and flowers and affection. Every woman wants that, right?! I'm too old to help a man "build" himself. Can't I just have a partner that is already assembled? I know right now that I may seem all put together but the truth is I am in the building stage too but a year from now, I will be at the top of my game. Hopefully it will be more like six months. Of one thing I am certain: when I have it all together NOTHING and NO ONE is going to interfere with the path that I have chosen for myself. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Grateful That It Happened


Today marks the eighth wedding anniversary of my sister/cousin and her husband. I was one of two matrons of honor in their wedding. As I was preparing a collage to post to my social media wall, I had to dig through pictures from that time in my life. And there are dozens of pictures of my ex husband and I. It brought tears to my eyes to see us in bliss. We had such a tight bond. We were truly best friends for a good part of our marriage. I never gave up on us nor did I ever give up on him. Every person has a limit and the moment we signed our divorce papers, my commitment to him ENDED. That doesn't mean that I don't still feel love for him, it just means that I am no longer obligated to be a faithful friend and lover. He obviously moved on and so must I.

Since our split, he always talks about us being friends. He talks about going to dinner before either of us leave the island. On the surface, it seems harmless but my heart just can't take it and I told him as much. I believe the last text to him about us being friends went like this, "I'm here if you need anything but I will never see you as just my friend." It's true. My heart aches when I think of our good times together. I see him as such a beautiful soul but this divorce and how it all went down is just too much for my heart to handle. I am the most faithful and loyal companion a man could ever want in his corner and I will never understand why I was the first thing that he wanted to clear from his life. The same thing went down with my first husband.

I'm lucky in love, meaning I never have a problem finding someone to love and someone to love me. The problem is getting him to stay forever. And maybe that's not in the stars for me and it scares the hell out of me to grow old - alone. Though I can thrive and flourish in solitude, I love the idea of growing old with a companion that I love romantically. I had hope that my now ex-husband was that guy. I'm going to be 42 in a few weeks and this is not how I pictured my life. At the same time, I'm grateful to have this shock to my life. It has propelled me out of living in "the gray" and has given me all the motivation to chase my wildest dreams. There are no more excuses. I can't blame my husband because I don't have one. I can't blame my children because I don't have any. There is nothing holding me back anymore.

This brings me back to the origination of this post. As I look at the pictures from my cousin's wedding and I see the beautiful life I had with my ex, I will move forward with gratitude that he and I happened. Even if he only wanted me for just a season of his life, I am grateful that I experienced the love that we did share. And though his flame for me faded, I will always carry him in my heart. All of the special times that we've shared and all our travels together and how we made it work for 13 years - I will remember the good times. And for the record, I am a good woman but he is a good man too. I know I toot my own horn a lot but I have to give him much respect and credit because he was good to me through most of our marriage. This is why it is so difficult to see him leave my life and I will always want to be his ride-or-die.

#iStillBelieveInLove

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

NeenaLove Epiphanies: Moana Movie



I am on a flight headed home to Hawai'i but this journey home is different.

I will be 42 in exactly one month. I have blogged continuously in recent months that this is not exactly what 42 is supposed to look like for me. And I have made crucial decisions in recent days and weeks that will move me in an entirely different direction. If there is any time that I should reinvent myself, now is the time.

Interestingly enough, I am watching Disney's Moana cartoon. When I saw this movie in the theatre, I cried my eyes out. There are so many similarities to my life in this movie. In typical Pacific Island cultures, a single woman remains home until she is married off. Well, I am the survivor of two failed marriages and my father is now worried about my well-being, about me being "taken care of," and his concern for my safety. I get it. I get that a parent wants to keep their child safe and far, far away from unnecessary risk and danger. However, I have been on my own for a very long time and am fully capable of caring for my temporal needs. I appreciate that I have such a concerned father and my brothers are ALWAYS, ALWAYS looking out for me. I feel so "spoiled" by them.

Though I can care for my temporal needs, I often find myself so needy for emotional support. A very special person has consistently stepped up, offering his time and his ears and priceless counsel on my broken heart. My closest friends have also been so pivotal in my healing. Whether it was offering a welcome distraction with a late night trip to the bar, buying me an airplane ticket to get off the rock, sitting next to me and crying like she was getting divorced too, temporarily elevating the mood with a lil something, or just giving positive vibes -- I am so grateful for my dearest friends and family. I should be so lucky, so blessed, to be loved by so many people.

There's a part in the movie where her father forbids her from going beyond the reef. And yet Moana is constantly called by the horizon. Her inner voice beckons her to follow the call to go beyond the reef and yet she must balance that voice with her obedience to her father and cultural traditions. I feel that right now - I love that I have such a good relationship with my father and I know he only wants the best for me but there is something far greater calling me to rise to my highest potential. And it requires me to sacrifice the things that I love right now to move toward my life goals. And I see my biggest dreams as so tangible and so within my reach if I just make these sacrifices right now. If I want something different from my life then I have to take different actions. Now. Now is the time to reinvent myself! Also, at the end of the day I need to carve out a life for myself independent of my life with my father and my brothers.

Another thing that I absolutely adore is Moana's relationship with her grandmother. Her grandmother can see Moana's potential so clear and is the right support system to allow Moana to have enough confidence in herself to pursue her dream. Gramma sings to Moana:
You may hear a voice inside 
And if the voice starts to whisper 
To follow the farthest star 
Moana, that voice inside is who you are
I always want to see everyone I come in contact with as God sees them. And I support everyone's most positive ambitions. As I hear a voice whispering, no, shouting at me to change direction in my life, I am going to listen to it. It is who I am and what I was born to do. I can see my star rising. It is so extraordinarily clear.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Vacation Wonderland and Sad Realities

I have been traveling since 14 June. I left Honolulu, Hawai'i and made my way to Baltimore, Maryland first. I hung out with my bestie in her hood, with her family, and spent a bunch of time with her son who is fighting cancer right now. It broke my heart to witness some of the struggles that he is going through and at the same time, I marvel at the strength with which he perseveres. I pray he will be able to fight this fight and triumph over this ugly plague.

On Thursday, 22 June, I made my way down to Blythewood, South Carolina where my cousin just bought a home and is moving in. I am here to help her unpack her things but more than that, I'm here to listen to her tell me what she thinks about what's going on with me. She always tells me that her life changed when I gave her a couple of bits of advice that she took to heart. I find that so funny that I can give advice on someone else's problems but can't seem to solve my own. I guess that's just the way it is. There is absolutely no doubt that she is my "soft spot" to land. And there is no doubt that I feel like I am hitting rock bottom right now and need a soft spot to land. My rock bottom does not seem too bad when I step back and look at the big picture but it feels like crap and I just wish I could be done with all this hard stuff.

South Carolina is beautiful. My "real" camera was lost in a car accident that I was involved in a couple of months ago. Thank God that my cell phone takes pretty good pictures. Some of these older, historic towns have so much character. I love how green it is here and the acres and acres of trees all around. Some areas have beautiful rolling hills and corn fields. I love the slow, slow pace in the small towns. The heat and humidity is right up my alley. The only thing missing for me is the ocean. The coast has the ocean but it doesn't quite look like the Pacific. I don't think I will ever find a place on this planet as beautiful as my island home.




Last night I was listening to someone sing a cover of Whitney Houston's song, "I Have Nothing." I don't know why that song just rocks me every time I hear it. This whole break-up/divorce from my ex is just so overwhelming. I seek for "band-aids" in the form of men or a man to soothe my aching heart, to validate me, to make me feel needed and wanted. And the strange thing is that I know that I need to piece myself back together and not rely on any outside forces to make my heart feel better. I must gather the strength and courage to stand alone through this until I am completely at peace with the circumstances of my life. I want to throw myself into my writing with fierce passion and spread my wings and fly above my pain. I feel so broken inside that the only thing that I really can do to make it all better is take care of me.

So often, I break down and shed tears just thinking of the life I had before all of this. I miss him so much and yet I'm so mad at him for putting me in this predicament. For giving up on us. For leaving me so lost in love and so broken. I pretend that life is good and that I'm moving toward a beautiful life but this part right now, this transition thing happening, it hurts like hell. I feel like I don't belong anywhere and I'm faced with the madd reality that I am alone in this world. I miss his companionship. I miss his scent. I miss his beautiful smile. I miss his strong arms holding me tight. I wish him well today and every day and hope that he finds his happiness.

Monday, June 19, 2017

My Time to Jump

In the past few months I have talked incessantly about my rising star. I don't know what that's about but I feel it in my gut so strong and urgent. And I don't say it with arrogance or even confidence except that I feel it so strongly - a life calling me that is bigger than the here and now and bigger than I can currently imagine.

I suspect that all the pain I have experienced and all the joys have contributed to the me that I am right now. I do not look at my trail of broken hearts and severed relationships as anything but what it is - two people choosing different paths in life. I respect and honor the choices of the men that have left me. It is their authentic choice. Maybe at the end of my life I will understand the whys of their leaving me but today is not that day. I will always find love in the way that it always finds me. I know my value today and will not settle for less than a man that excites me and sets my world on fire. One that will support my every dream no matter how ridiculous it sounds. Someone that believes in me.

But beyond the wonder and magic of love, I am excited about the power I have to create the life I have always wanted to live. I can take the crazy risks that have always been nestled in my heart of hearts without fear of a less-than supportive mate. I know that the glue that holds me together today is my belief that I can do whatever my mind can conceive. And there is nothing holding me back except my own stubbornness to accept the path that is laid out before me. I still look back at my past wanting and wishing that things could be different instead of looking forward with my eyes single to the pursuit and completion of my goals. I can see so clearly the grandness of my life and the power within me to do what I once thought was impossible.

I still feel great love for my ex and yet understand with exactness that he does not feel love for me anymore. And though I continually mourn the end of that relationship and I occasionally cry myself to sleep just missing his presence in my life, I accept his choice to leave. I welcome the wonder of every tomorrow and marvel at my resilience to rise above the disappointment of that failed relationship. God knows my heart and the potential for which I strive to live up to.

I am here in Maryland and will drive down to South Carolina later this week. And before I flew out here last week, I had a minor meltdown at home. I found myself feeling like I was at rock bottom with all the things going on in my life. I was moving out of the house I was living in and had nowhere to go except back to my father's house. I have no car because my car had been wrecked in a car accident that I was involved in. If you had seen the condition of the car, you would marvel that I even survived.

Nothing is working for me on "my island" and I realized, as I sat sobbing at my predicament, that it is time for me to spread my wings and move away from Hawai'i. God knows I love my island home and my family there but if I am to accomplish anything of substance then I must leave and find my fortune wherever the road is taking me. Making that decision before I left lifted a burden off my shoulders. My older brother and my baby brother really pulled it together for me. My older brother co-signed my feelings about leaving the island and said everything I needed to hear to finally make the decision to leave. My baby brother paid my ticket to leave. Though I am not making the move immediately, the decision to do so was the hardest part. And now that I have made it, this vacation that I am on is that much sweeter. I look forward to every tomorrow!



Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Pondering. Journaling.

Since I split from my ex, the road ahead is shrouded in mystery and I feel like I can do ANYTHING and that NOTHING is holding me back from following my wildest curiosities. There are so many doors wide open for me. I feel like I can do anything. And yet, some of the people I am closest to are so critical of my decisions.

I feel like I want a change in my life. I want to get off the rock for a little bit and get my mind right. I am craving new adventures and to distance myself from everything that is going on in my here and now. At the same time, this could definitely be the best "rock bottom" story ever to be told. That's where I feel like I'm at -- Rock Bottom.

I can't wait to see my cousin in Maryland and my BFF who is also in Maryland. I really need to be with them and talk to them about my life. Lord knows I need some direction while I write these books. What I really want to do is lock myself up in a room and not come out until the novel is done. I can't very well do that here in Hawai'i because my phone doesn't stop ringing and well, circumstances will just NOT allow it right now. An artist needs complete silence and maybe some inspiration music but other than that - silence is the key to unlock the creativity in my mind.

Nothing is more important to me right now than changing my career path. Instead of doing what I do, which I'm pretty good at, I want to move toward living my dream. That means being a full-time writer. I don't get why some of the people that are closest to me cannot see my dream and support whatever path that takes me on. I am not leaving anyone behind just because I am moving toward my dream. At the end of my life, heck, at the end of this year, I don't want to have any regrets.

My father is stuck on the fact that I have a good job with great benefits. Me? I'm like, screw the benefits and the good job. What about the great big world out there that's waiting to be seen and experienced? What about the life that I have always dreamed of living? None of that can be achieved by staying in the same position. No one that ever achieved anything did it without opposition from their closest confidants. I suppose I will be the same. **sigh**

I am just so ready to live out loud and not be afraid of putting myself out there and taking this show in an entirely different direction. I don't mean to be disrespectful to my father. God bless him. He has been such a big part of my healing. And his advice and demeanor is always so steady but I think it's time for me to spread my wings and fly.


Thursday, June 01, 2017

Nobody But You



I stumbled across a Joss Stone song the other day. I Don't Want To Be With Nobody But You. This song moves me and makes me feel things that I have not felt in a long time. That urgency of wanting and needing to be with a certain someone can be overwhelming and intoxicating. I wonder when and why the stars have aligned with such ferocity, with such speed at this point in my life. I know me and I know that I am not the type of girl that wants to date around. I love being in a relationship and pouring my time and affections into one man. Folks tend to think I move on too quickly but I don't agree. I take care of my heart however I need to. You can call me selfish or even cruel for being that way. It doesn't really matter what people think anymore. I have to take care of me and I choose love everyday, all day.

As I find myself in an ever-changing world, I choose to be happy. I choose to believe and know that I am more than enough. I choose to make the best days of my life be today and all the days ahead of me. I will breathe in joy and exhale pain and rejection. I am enough! And just because I have two failed marriages behind me and they forgot about how I used to light their world on fire DOES NOT mean that my light has dimmed at all. In fact I see my flicker turning into a bright and burning flame. And I choose my happiness above everything else.

So everyday that I play this gem of a song, I Don't Want To Be With Nobody But You, I think of the intense chemistry and fire I feel in my budding friendship with a special someone. He has traversed several hurdles that I have unknowingly placed in front of him. I say "unknowingly" because I was not consciously creating these situations that generated a sort of test for him to pass or fail. That is not my style and yet when I sit back and observe and analyze what is happening between us, I am amazed and fall deeper in sync with him.

The last "test" blew me away. I had been thinking so negatively about how he would react if I exposed certain parts of the real me.... the girl that doesn't have it all together, the girl that needs emotional support, the girl that is sometimes a basket case, the girl that is cranky and moody... he reacted beautifully. He was stunned that I would think so poorly of him and that I would think that he would run at the first sight of realness on my part. Not saying that I am NOT real but I have definitely put my best foot forward in all our dealings. When all the emotions had died down (on my part), he was cool as a cucumber, the following exchange happened:
HIM: You are very special baby
ME: Me? Special? What you mean?
HIM: U are special baby. U complete me. I'm crazy about u.

I know that little exchange does not seem like anything special but after what had happened between us before that, this just set my world on fire. YOU COMPLETE ME. Now we have said some hot and heavy things to each other. I am always careful with my words because I try not to ever say something that I don't absolutely mean. Yet and still, I may say something that comes out like a knee-jerk reaction to whatever he says and then realize -- did I really just say that? But now, having gone through our little trial, whatever is happening between us just got REAL-ER. And the words that once were knee-jerk reactions are now turning into real feelings backed by raw emotion. The rise is so exhilarating and the butterflies that were a mild flutter have blossomed into rapid, pulsating waves of affection. I Don't Wanna Be With Nobody But You!







Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Burden of Secrets



Some days I crave emotional support. Today is one of those days. I can't be all put together, all the time. No one can. I wish I could stay in bed for the next week and cry. Maybe I should crawl into a cave and not come out for a day or two. Secrets are a heavy burden that I don't want to carry anymore.  I want to live my truth. I am in a constant state of peeling apart layer after layer of the life I have created. I feel so messed up all of the time. And I pretend to be so put together when really I just want to fall apart in pieces. I have always been a "fake it til you make it girl." I know one day I will emerge from this heavy burden of sadness and fear. I see it so clearly but today... today is not that day.

Since I split from my ex in September 2016, my whole life has been in constant transition. I did not see the divorce coming even though I felt that things were off between he and I. While he was contemplating the split and figuring out his solo game plan, I was wondering how to make US better. I never thought that I would have to plan my life again, as a single woman. I feel alone. I crave affection and someone to hold me together but I have to figure out a way to hold myself together. I cannot lean on anyone to do this for me anymore.

I want to run away and start a new life somewhere away from all the noise around me. I crave new experiences to help me forget the pain of the here and now. I look at the woman I am today and marvel at how far I've come from September 2016 and struggle with wanting my old life that I had with my ex. We were a powerful match but I cannot keep looking back at that because he DOES NOT want me. And I just have to make peace with that and move ever gently in a different direction. What has transpired between us is done and no amount of longing on my part will bring back what we had.

For the most part, I am an open book but there are some secrets that I have not even told to my two besties -- two women that know virtually EVERYTHING about me. I fear judgement. I don't want them to tell me how stupid I am or foolish. Both of them are in Maryland, so far away from me. So today and every day I carry my secrets and bear its weight alone. As I reconcile the consequences of my choices, I make corrections so as not to make the same mistakes again. So I cry tonight and release it into the universe so that I can feel whole again. Alone.

Maybe tomorrow I will feel renewed and maybe I won't but I know that I cannot continue on in this way.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Hashtag I Still Believe In Love


There is one thing that I am absolutely sure of. I was born to write! I was born to tell my own stories and to speak my truth that is written upon a page. And that is the one and only thing that I am absolutely sure of. With that being said, can you imagine the host of other things that I just can't figure out?

For instance, I love to be in love. That is another thing that I am sure of. I love to feel the butterflies in my belly and the brand newness of falling in love. I also loved the longevity of my last marriage. We were such good friends until we both became so unhappy. Some days I want my old life back with him then I think of how cruel he was when we were breaking up. Even so, if he came to me today and wanted to try and work it out, I think I would consider it. I loved him so much and he loved me too. He loved me for 13 years, probably more like 12 if we take off the last year of our marriage. He stuck it out with me, was faithful to me, was a good provider for us and his children. I can't say why we fell out of love but love just doesn't go away especially after 13 years of being together. The time flew by between us. We were such good friends - did everything together. I miss his presence in my life, the companionship. I miss his leadership and his constant guidance. I miss us. #iStillBelieveInLove

And the crazy thing is - I cannot wait around for him to want me again because I deserve a bit of happiness. And last I checked, when I looked in the mirror and assessed the woman that I am -- I am a damn good catch and he gave me up without even trying a separation. My mother raised me to be a good woman with a kind heart and I'm smart with such a genuine personality and talented too. I can toot my own horn and back it up with skill!! I cook, clean, and do all the domestic things that an old school woman can do. Tonight my father looked at me and said, "Babe. You look regal!" I agree popps. I am regal. I am the queen that you and mom raised me to be. I am the good girl that every mother wants for their son. #iStillBelieveInLove

My stomach turns upside down when I think of how he used to make me quiver with just a kiss. He knew the power he had over me. I know that if we were to ever get back together that we would be so powerful and so much stronger than we were before. Communication would be more intense and we would truly hear each other this time around. I tear up just thinking about him and the way we broke up. Even though it could have been really ugly, my  mother raised me to be a CLASS ACT and instead of fight him on the divorce, I gave in to whatever he wanted. It was seven days from the day he told me he wanted a divorce to the day that we were signing papers. The months have flown by since that day and every day gets a little easier but I still miss my old life where I had a companion by my side, helping me make the tough decisions. #iStillBelieveInLove

He is a beautiful man and I'm sure there are many lovely ladies that would beg for a bit of his time. I wish him well on that journey. What I know is that I don't want to grow old alone so I consciously make the choice to stop worrying about two failed marriages. Though I take responsibility for the things that I could have done differently in the relationships, it was ultimately their decision to leave instead of trying to work it out. I really thought he and I would have lasted forever. Our level of commitment to each other was unparalleled. I trusted my life and my heart in his hands. I believe in love. I always have. #iStillBelieveInLove

I want to experience the magic of love OVER and OVER again. I have never had a problem finding love. There is magic everywhere for everyone. I am wide open to possibility even though I have a glimmer of hope for my L.A.W. I honor his desire to be free and the courage it took for him to leave. I could never blame him for following his truth. If we all acted on our most genuine feelings, the world might be a better place. But my truth right now is that I am a single woman, no kids, and I deserve all the love one heart can hold. #iStillBelieveInLove

Monday, May 08, 2017

Poetic Justice: "Her Heart" Version



I spent my Saturday night curled up in bed, feeling ill, craving sleep but unable to shut my eyes. My mind is always on overdrive, overthinking decisions that need to be made, and turning over past choices that I have not made peace with yet. And of all the mindless things that I could do, I selected watching a movie on Hulu to help pass the time. I nixxed the writing for one evening and sat through an entire movie. It's rare for me to have attention enough to sit still and look at a movie without being distracted by social media or the call to write or read a good book. My selection that evening was John Singleton's, Poetic Justice starring Janet Jackson as the lead opposite the late Tupac Shakur. I am a huge John Singleton fan and am sad that he has not put out anything recently. He exploded on the scene in the early 90's with his debut film, Boyz N the Hood. It was, by far, the movie of my teenage life! Though I could never actually relate to the gang lifestyle of South Central L.A. it certainly was a gripping story and portrayal of what goes on in the inner cities of L.A.

Poetic Justice also touches on the issues that hamper young people's lives in L.A. but this is told from the perspective of a young female writer, Justice, played by Janet Jackson. Her escape from her reality is her poetry. I have only watched the movie once prior to this screening. Even though I have always identified with being a writer, the first time I watched it back in the mid-90's, I did not connect with the character of Justice. This time around was so different.

The movie is about love. It's about how this young urban woman deals with her personal issues and how it relates to her finding love. Justice is very skiddish about the idea of opening her heart. In the opening scene, she is at a drive-in theatre with her boyfriend who, based on their dialogue, just got out of lock-up. For young readers that are not familiar with a drive-in theatre, you take your own car into a parking lot where a huge screen is set up to project a film. The sound is either set to a certain radio station that you tune in to or you can park near a speaker that you are able to hear the movie. It is quite an intimate setting as movie-goers are able to carry on conversations or do what lovers do and are still able to maintain a small bit of privacy.

One of my most favorite dates of all time happened at the drive-in theatre. It was after my junior prom. My date and I doubled with my best friend and her date, which was also a good friend of my date. I look back at it with fondness because of the level of respect that was observed between all of us. There was no pressure for any hanky-panky physical activities. The four of us genuinely had a good time and the movie we watched was, White Men Can't Jump, starring Wesley Snipes.

Anyway, Justice's boyfriend is trying desperately to have physical relations with her. She nervously asks him why he loves her. Without skipping a beat he says, "Cause you fine!" She is thoroughly unimpressed by this answer and pushes him off. She distracts him by saying that she wants some popcorn and jujubees. He is reluctant to go but he is still trying to impress her. He exits the car, takes a few steps toward the snackbar then races back to the car. He tells her, "You want to know what I love about you? I loved that you sent me all those nice poems when I was locked up." She blushes. For a deep-feeling person like Justice, that was the right answer or at least a large step in the right direction.

I can certainly identify with Justice's search for a man that can see into her and not just her physical beauty. I know that has always been the most important thing to me - that a man could see my soul as it is and love that part of me the most. Physical beauty fades. I don't pretend to be the most gorgeous thing on the planet and most times I feel awkward or average even though admirers gush about my looks. For me, the best parts of me cannot be seen with human eyes. It can only be observed soul-to-soul. Anthony Hamilton sings a song, Her Heart. The lyrics are so beautiful to me and the melody adds a touch of sadness that can only come from a man with so much regret for hurting the only woman who loved him with such completeness.

I know you love me more than me
And you vowed to love through anything
I never had a kind of love that was forever

And as you cried in my arms
You woke up my heart
And I saw again what I found in you
Cuz her love, her love
Won't let me lose her
No matter how I try
I just can't say goodbye and lose her

I point out this particular song and these lyrics because it shows the extent to which a man pushes his woman until he could really see into the heart and soul of her. It is almost as if he takes her to the verge of breaking her heart before he can actually see her true value. For me, this type of realization is crucial and yet may come a little too late.

Justice's boyfriend dies in the next scene right there in the drive-in, before her very eyes. You can see and feel her heart seize up and become as stone. The rest of the movie attempts to follow Justice along this path towards opening her heart again. Watching the movie with this as the sole objective of the story changes how I view this love story. Though I still cannot understand the merciless killing and loss of her boyfriend in that manner, I do know what it's like to lose someone that I loved so much. Whether it was my first husband or my second, I know what it is like to be cut off from the man that I love. And it hurts like hell. I can pretend that I'm moving on and going towards someone that will take care of my heart but am I really? I can make comparisons across the board with old love and new love and there really is no comparison if I am looking at it strictly from the standpoint of who can really see and appreciate my heart and soul in its totality!

Sure, new love is exciting and brand new. There is no history of hurt and the magic and the chemistry is intoxicating... yet there are so many flaws in it's expression. I may seem like an independent woman with all her ducks in a row but that is so shallow for someone to only be attracted to that part of me. What I want is someone who can see into the heart of me and know me. Someone that knows every trial I have faced, knows the emotional battles I've fought, the pain I have weathered, and still wants to be in my corner to hold me together. And if a man has no interest in seeing that part of me then why would I waste my time on it? Lust? The magic of those fluttering butterflies in my belly? Now that would be shallow of me and so surface and unlike me.

When Justice finally opens up to Lucky, played by Tupac Shakur, she exposes parts of her past that illustrates why she is so hardened by life's trials. Lucky has the choice of running from that type of emotional pressure. Some people are not meant to bare the load. Some people are not equipped with that type of emotional depth and stability to want to stay around. In the end, Lucky knows she's worth the risk of loving a woman so hardened by life. And that, that is what I want. That is what I deserve.

Like Justice, I cannot be so guarded about my heart. I cannot pretend to be this strong woman when all I feel is weakness inside and I have to let a man in so that he is able to provide that support that I am craving. I cannot say that I am open to new love and not give him a shot at being everything I need him to be. I have to open my heart space up and tell him what I need and let him in on what makes me tick. I have to expose my battle wounds and let him see the scar tissue that makes me who I am. What is priceless to me is when a man can support me with all my ambitions and get behind 100% of all of my dreams no matter how ridiculous they might sound to him. It takes a secure man to see my potential, believe in it, and move out the way so that I can do what I do. I cherish that. It's what I deserve and it's what I received this morning so unexpectedly. And the butterflies that were a mild flutter has suddenly blossomed into rapid, pulsating waves of affection.





Tuesday, April 18, 2017

So Fragile So Broken



I am going through such a range of emotions in the writing of this novel. This is the longest I have stuck to the writing of my own novel. Projects that I have done as a "ghost writer" have been simple because the subjects are usually things that I am so disconnected from. However, the writing of this novel is forcing me to dig deep and feel emotions that I have buried for so long. It is very therapeutic to feel these things and at the same time gives me an awful remembrance of the hurt I have experienced. As much as I say I love to be in love, I think it's mostly to avoid having to feel these strong emotions of pain and suffering and of loss and longing. Maybe one day I will skip having to be so melancholy and on the verge of a depressive break down. My feelings of happiness from last week are lost on me today. I hope tomorrow will be warm and that the joy I felt just a few days ago will return.

I cannot continue this manic feeling of highs and lows and I surely don't want to pull anyone into this crazy roller coaster. I hate this and yet the tears that I shed are like drops of pain leaving me. I wish I didn't have to go through these emotions but I understand that this is part of my healing. I honor the lessons I have learned and I cherish the fact that I love so deeply and so complete. And I hope that one day someone will come along who can appreciate the depth of my soul and how much devotion and love I am capable of giving.

I started a post several months ago, after my divorce was complete. The post is called "Hashtag Perfect Man." In it, I talk incessantly about what the perfect man for me looks like. Every woman has different ideas on this. As I was reviewing the post, I am surprised at how lengthy it is and so specific. And it details things that are so surface and shallow and so unlike me but I really wanted to create the perfect guy in my minds eye so as to attract exactly what I had envisioned. I have not completed the post because I have not included the things of the heart. It's like I'm afraid to outline the things that will care for my heart, afraid that if I dreamed that big dream no man could ever fit that tall order. Moving forward, I cannot compromise the things that are most important to me and that is that someone will appreciate my heart and the depth of my soul. That my devotion to him will never be taken for granted. That my tenderness will never be used and stand unreciprocated. I don't think I am a high maintenance woman. I am definitely down to earth but not high maintenance. I do require a lot of attention, someone that will always think of me and show it in his actions.

There's a Jonathan Butler song called, Take Good Care of Me. The first time I heard it I was a pre-teen. Late 80's time frame. The lyrics have always been so beautiful to me. I don't know why I have always identified with the idea that I am a broken-hearted girl but I have. Perhaps my energy attracts all this pain and loss. I would not be surprised if that is the case. When I attended the Maxwell concert this past November, as we exited the arena and walked to the car my date asked me to sing a song for him. I selected this song. It was such a beautiful evening. I was feeling fantastic and euphoric at all the experiences of that particular weekend but especially that evening. It was so close to perfection where I felt whole and loved. The magic and the electricity of it all will never be forgotten. And even with all that magic, I know my heart is so afraid to trust again. And I don't want to be bitter and resentful but I think that maybe lonely is better than falling truly, madly, deeply in love again. I cannot experience anymore heartache. I don't want to.

I don't want to push away true love but I am so fragile and so broken. And even though I pretend to be strong and I constantly use the hashtag iStillBelieveInLove, do I? Do I believe that my heart really has the capacity to love again? I can't even call it right now. I am so afraid of being vulnerable and allowing anyone into my private agony. And I don't want it to be agony for long. One day I hope that I will triumph over this sadness and live in that space where joy reigns. I spend so many mornings in tears as I wake alone in my bed. So many nights longing to be held as I fall asleep and wishing that my bed was not empty. Somehow my life is going on, one day at a time but I wish I could skip over all this heartache. I wish I had the resolve to say that tomorrow will be better but I will settle by just saying that I will try harder to let go of the pain. Maybe one day someone will crack through this hardened heart that is longing to be soft again.







Thursday, April 13, 2017

I Wake Up & Feel So Happy


Yesterday. Today. Everyday, I wake up and feel so happy. I feel like there are fireworks going off inside of me. I have never been more sure of myself than I am today and I am so grateful. My life today is not what I had envisioned a year ago or even six months ago but everyday I move forward with confidence. And everyday, I feel more sure that my life could not be any other way than what it is right now.

I don't know what is on the horizon but I see my star continuing to rise. It is so clear. Clearer than it has ever been in my entire life. I will live the life of my dreams and I will have everything that my heart desires and deserves. And I deserve the fairy tale that I have put together in my head that includes my dream job of being a full-time author.

I don't know what love looks like for me in the future but I am not in a rush toward anything but taking care of me, for right now. Even though I still straddle that line between rekindling the old or fostering the brand new, I am only concerned about my own mental and emotional well-being. It sounds selfish and you can call it that. I'm okay with being called selfish. It's not the first time or the last since someone has called me that. One can either stay with me for the ride or not. There are no guarantees that I will be the same me a year from now that I am today.

I know that new love is magical and exciting. And we find these sparks of fire under the strangest of circumstances. Two souls meet and exchange real energy and chemistry. One can either follow it or let it die where it is and always wonder about what could have been. I am not one to wonder. I am curious and thoughtful about everything and that includes the magic of new love. And I don't know where it will lead. No one does. One thing is for sure - what I know about me is that I am the most loyal chic, ride-or-die, down-for-whatever, and I can be the best partner a man could ever have. That is the real-est truth about me. So whether I follow new love or let my path lead back to old love, when I give my heart, I am giving my life for as long as they will have me. I did it with my first husband and I was there for my second husband and I kick myself sometimes for letting them dictate when they would leave me. And they both left me!

I can say that much of my healing has a lot to do with my mind's acceptance of hope for the future. Today and all of my tomorrow's are not so bleak and foreboding anymore. I am actually excited to see what is ahead of me. About six months ago I couldn't even plan 15 minutes ahead because I was so depressed and the world just looked so dark and unappealing. I lost so much weight. I didn't have an appetite. I was just not happy at all. I didn't stay very long in that dark place and I am grateful to have made it out from beneath that grey cloud.

I feel so alive in such a genuine way. I almost feel ready to let go of some of the "crutches" I have acquired in the last six months. Almost. I move forward with nothing but positive vibes in my body and a mind so determined to achieve all of my wildest dreams. Here I am Universe -- use me for your greatest good!


Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Happy, Even



This morning I feel as light as a feather.

As many of my blog followers know, I have been working on my first novel. I have started several novels before, wrote the first chapter then just stopped. But this one, the one I'm working on now, has so much fuel and fire on it that I have no option but to write, write, and finish it. I have taken out my old journals for inspiration so that I can push through the writing. I have an aggressive goal of completing the first draft by the end of April. This would mean that I have to write about 10,000 words per week. If I write six days a week, that's about 1,700 words a day. Aggressive, I know! I am already behind so there is a lot of catching up to do this week. If I combined what I write in my handwritten journal with this blog and what I add to my novel, I would kill the 1,700-words-per-day goal.

So why do I feel light as a feather today?

Well, I pulled out my journals the other day to make my second video on my YouTube Channel. (I posted the video of me talking about my journals.) I decided to read my journals for inspiration and let me tell you the emotion was coming off the page. I cried and sobbed as I read. And it was THE UGLY cry, the stutter cry with stuff coming out of my nose and tears flowing from my eyes. It was not pretty.

Everyone gets one first love. Mine happens to be my first husband. So much of who I am today was shaped because of that first love and the heartbreak of that first love. We have been through so much together and in some of my hardest times, he was the only one standing with me. I knew I loved him when we had our first real conversation. And my love is true ride-or-die love. I don't have any quit in me. Reading the journals was like revisiting the hurt because of my devotion to that man. At the end of our relationship, he really had nothing left for me. No affection. No love. No care for me. Reading through those emotions and events of unrequited love really sent me into a crying fit.

Last night I sent a facebook message to him with some of the journal entries that I had read. He did not recall treating me so cruelly and perhaps he did not think he was doing that. But since I was on the receiving end of his inability to show me love, I am the teller of the story. He allowed me to express my hurt. I cried and cried as I read and wrote those words to him. It was like a small weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I felt that pain again, expressed it to the man that I had once loved with complete abandon, and then I let it go.

You may wonder why I am dealing with my first husband. I believe much of my current issues has to do with that first heartbreak. As I revamp my life and reinvent me, I'm taking my hurt alllll the way back to when I first felt my heart break and that was with my first husband. When I've healed from that I will make my way forward to my current divorce. Of course it messes with me that two men left me in my short 41 years. I can't say why nor do I understand it at the present moment. I don't know what I do that is deplorable to them that they cannot stay committed to the relationship. What I know is that I am a damn good woman even if they cannot see my value. I move forward with so many lessons learned and no love lost. I am still as excited about love as I have always been. New love. Butterflies in my belly. Bring on that crazy kinda love that sets off fireworks in my soul. I'm ready!

I know there is much healing ahead of me and that this will probably not be my last cry session. But for today I feel great. Light as a feather. Happy, even.







Monday, April 03, 2017

I Don't Need to Rehash a Damn Thing



Dear Ex,

You cannot come into my life when you're feeling some kind of way just to get things off your chest. I don't need texts like this in the morning:
Neena...not to rehash, but your a great person.. great wife and the more I think about I realize we can both be free do to pursue our OWN goals. It really wasn't about you. Just so you know

I really don't need texts like that to color my day. If I had the courage right now, I would tell you to stop texting me and yet I hold on, hoping that maybe one day you might want me back. But I don't even know if that's what I want. Do I want to live in the gray area that we've been in for the last couple of years? No! I want to feel my blood coursing through my veins, hot and flaming and never fall into a funk where I forgot the woman I am.

So, before you send off a text where you are trying to make yourself feel better about breaking my heart - DON'T! I don't need to hear it. I don't need to rehash anything. I have made peace with your leaving and I never want to rehash any of these feelings of heartache again. Not from you. Not from anyone who has ever broken my heart. You don't get to do a do-over with me.

The way you treated me when you told me you wanted a divorce and the immediate days after our break up was probably the worst thing I have ever experienced (aside from the loss of my mother). The way you made it seem like I was the enemy still makes my stomach turn when I think about it. I know that I am a damn good woman and a damn good wife. You treated me like I was some skank off the street trying to trap you, like I did something wrong to you. When I cried throughout this process, you looked at me with such disgust that even now I am amazed that you ever loved me.

So, don't text me with your guilty conscience texts. I don't want to hear your regret or your mantra trying to convince yourself that divorcing me is the best thing for both of us. Since we did it, we might as well keep moving ahead. Trust me when I say that you will NEVER have the opportunity to be with me again. EVER. And it's not because I don't love you because Lord knows I do. It's because of how you treated me in those final days. Call me bitter. Call me whatever you want. Just know that I am so done with you!

Love,


NeenaLove

Like any uncharted territory
I must seem greatly intriguing
You speak of my love like
You have experienced love like mine before
But this is not allowed
You're uninvited
An unfortunate slight

I don't think you worthy
I need a moment to deliberate



Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Love Future


In recent days, I have found myself contemplating what I will do next in life. I have this pulsing desire to leave this current situation behind. I want to put so much distance between me and all of my past romantic relationships and scratch out a new existence all by myself. I know I will not do it all by myself. My family and friends are so much a part of my transition. But I feel the need to be all by myself in the world. As crazy as that sounds, I need the peace and tranquility of being alone to find ME again. I need to stretch my legs and gather new experiences and remember the girl I was and figure out the girl I am going to be.

Much of my adult life has found me searching for true love and seeking to find that spark, that magic, that fire. In recent months, I straddle this line between rekindling past love and all of the history that comes with it or should I move toward something brand new without any history or pain. The pattern I find myself in is that I want men that don't want me. Well they want me or they think they want me but they have no idea how to fulfill my needs. They don't pursue me in the traditional way that I dream of, the way I saw my father constantly court my mother or the way I watch my older brother with his wife. I have such beautiful examples of love, unconditional, all around me. How is it that my selection in men is so poor that they always find a reason to leave me?

I have buried two marriages in my short life and right now, I cannot love like that again even though I love being in love. There is no better feeling than the butterflies that arise in my belly when I am in love. There is no better feeling than to be desired by a man that I am absolutely head over heels for. And yet, I have not clearly defined in my head how I want the next relationship to look like moving forward. I would agree with anyone who says that right now is not the time to look for a new love. And yet I feel the stirrings in my belly again. I feel the magic of explosive new love and at the same time, I feel the burn of old love and my mind cannot decipher which is the right way to go. At best, the right way is to sit in stillness and not choose a path at all. The path that is beckoning to me is the one that puts me above everyone else. I cannot live my life for another and neither can they live for me.

Just recently, I started watching the TV Show THIS IS US. The writing is so fabulous. The story line so real and the actors and actresses that bring it to life are stellar. The most recent episode I watched, there is a particular scene where one of the main characters is prompted to seek out his one true love. Kevin shows up at Sophie's door unannounced after not having seen her in 12 years. She was once married to him and he left the marriage. He tells her that she's the one that got away.

Side Note: Every single episode of THIS IS US is chock full of raw human emotion. Love, hate, resentment, anger - it just covers so many emotions and I cry with every single episode.

When Kevin shows up at Sophie's door and reveals his regrets, it instantly reminded me of my own failed first marriage. Everyone has a first love - the one they gave their entire heart to. My first love was also my first husband. I have written about our relationship several times before on this blog and in my handwritten journals. At the end of that marriage, I never quite moved on. It's like he took the biggest piece of my heart with him when he left. And what was left for my second husband was a tiny fraction of my capacity to love and yet there's no denying that I did love my second husband also. This recent break up with him has brought all of the pain and loss of both marriages to the forefront and I grieve. I still sob when I think of the loss of the two great loves in my life. This prompts me to want the magic and electricity of new love. I don't want to dwell on the pain of the past. I have been quite successful at burying the pain and pushing forward without addressing the wounds. But now, now is the time to purge and let it all go once and for all.

I don't know what my love future looks like. What I do know is that I love the bliss of a love without any pain associated with it. What I do know is that magic can happen at the craziest of times and under the strangest of circumstances. What I absolutely know is that synergy and pure, raw attraction is alive and well in me. What I know is that I don't want to label or define the old or the new because it changes it, whatever IT is, and turns it into something I may not want. As I progress through the changing landscape of my life, I will do so with my eye single to my goals. I love to be in love but first I must work on me and that is exactly what I am going to do. God-willing, all of my passion for writing and all of my creative pursuits that make me feel so alive will be realized and love will find me, either way.

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