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.