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.