Thursday, November 30, 2017

Spontaneous South Carolina Adventure

The house was silent and empty last night. The dark of evening falls upon the land at about 5:15pm. Before I could second-guess myself, I decided on a spontaneous adventure. The adventure led me south east of my current location, about 140 miles away. The ride along i20-East was quite uneventful. Interstates are the best way to travel if you're in a hurry somewhere. Me? I like the scenic route - the route that's laden with a hint of danger like.... deer dashing across the road way and wrecking my car type danger.

After about forty miles of interstate (I20), I switch up to traveling on the single lane in each direction, county highway. There are no street lamps here in South Carolina. The road is only lit up by the headlights of vehicles and the occasional home. I am not sure how true this is but in the small towns, if you want a lamp pole on your street or in front of your house you have to pay to run the electrical lines, pay for the pole itself, and maintain the electricity. Thus, no street lights. I think it's fabulous for several reasons, the main one being that one can look up in the sky and see the true brightness of the stars without the interruption of manufactured light. The second reason, it must mean less taxation on citizens even though general excise tax here is at 8% and I'm mad about it.

I love driving on the mainland. For the most part, especially what I've experienced here in South Carolina, there is rarely any traffic on the country roads. The interstates are a different story and when you're in the city, it gets a little congested but nothing like I experience in Hawai'i.

I made my way south east of Columbia, SC. The darkness of the highway, the emptiness of the roads, and the silence was very relaxing for me. About half way to my destination, the fog appeared. It one particular section of highway, it rested just a couple of feet above my vehicle for several miles. It was mesmerizing to see the car lights reflecting off the moisture in the stark white of the fog. It moved and danced just above my car and was very distracting because of its beauty. The further south I drove, the thicker the mist became and I was not afraid -- only intrigued.

I arrived at my destination just after 730p. Why I found myself so far away from home is a story for another time. That's not what this post is about. When I woke in the early a.m. it was still chilly and the fog had not lifted at all. As I made my way back north, I was able to capture some of these beautiful images along my drive. I really feel grateful to experience this. The way the fog blankets the landscape is so beautiful in the early morning; the way it hugs the fields and the trees. My mind always seems to revert back to how people experienced this beauty before cars and modern roads. I think of the slave era. My fascination with American greed/slavery has been an obsession since I was a little girl. I cannot explain why I identify with it but I do.

I was thinking that maybe this weekend, I will find another adventure to get caught up in. If Hilton Head wasn't so far away, I would make my way there. I was reading up about things to do there and there are things that I have NEVER experienced that I have always been interested in. Back in the late 90's I read a book called Mama Day by Gloria Naylor. This book is set on a fictional island off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina. It mentions the Gullah people and some of their traditions. Thus, my interest in visiting Hilton Head  and Gullah culture has a lot to do with having read that book.

What might be simpler to do is to head back to Charleston. I visited there the weekend before Thanksgiving. It's less than a two hour drive and probably even shorter because the majority of the drive is on the interstate meaning I can "step on it." There were things that I wanted to do that I wasn't able to get to, places that I wanted to eat at, and pictures I wanted to take. Well, I think this weekend just might be my opportunity to go back and explore. On the other hand, it might be a chill weekend of lounging and writing and cooking and eating my favorite foods. If I were at home and it was a weekend like this, I would invite everyone to come over and eat. I'm in one of those moods. The holidays always tend to bring it on.

Happy Weekend everyone.

SIDE NOTE that I always feel compelled to talk about:
I am so fortunate to have so many people around me wanting whatever I want for myself. Everyday I wake up in extreme gratitude for the people in my life. Nobody really knows how difficult this past year has been for me. I do put on a facade very often so that others are comfortable around me. Very rarely do I let down my facade and have a good cry in front of people. My agony has been experienced privately and with my closest family and friends. Even when my mother passed away, I only cried with my now ex-husband. It would be in the dark while we were lying in bed. He wouldn't say a word to me. He would wrap his arms around me, let me cry, and wait for me to fall asleep. Ironic now that he is the source of my pain.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Just One Of Them Dayz

This PMS thing just drains the heck out of me. I don't know how we, as women, do this all of our adult lives. It seems to get worse as I approach menopause or maybe I'm menopausing? I don't know. It's just so taxing and draining from the crazy food cravings to the cramps, the headaches, and the damn mood swings. Sorry for whoever has had to deal with me today. I have not been a happy camper.

Monica's 90's R and B anthem, Just One Of Them Days, rings truer now than it did back then for me. The older I get, the worse it seems to get. And then once the "event" arrives all the mood swings are gone and the stupid headaches and food cravings just magically disappear. The cramps will still be there though.

Some days I'm not sorry but today I am. I have been a little mean and grouchy and just plain moody. If I could, I would crawl into a cave for the next week until this "storm" passes. I feel restless but really I need to just chill this weekend and stay in bed all day long, write, watch some good movies, and just kick back.

A certain someone was heavy on my mind this morning. I like to think that I was on his mind also but I don't know if we still have that connection or if he thinks I'm a flake. I don't know but I am good where I'm at and don't need to complicate my life by reaching out. 

Thanksgiving Weekend I hung out with my two "nieces" from back home, Penina and Pu. They are both in college near me and I was so happy to have them. We're in the store getting snacks for our pending movie night and I am grabbing oreos and ice cream and chocolate cupcakes. Of course, it's obvious that the food cravings are taking over and we have a good laugh about it. While we're riding in the car Pu asks me if I heard the song, Time of the Month by Swiss. We find the song on Amazon Music Unlimited and I just about die laughing at the lyrics. The catchy reggae-esque chorus repeats:
It's the time of the month
When my baby goes crazy
Out of her mind
And she's telling me she hates me
I give her a little time
Cause in a few days she'll be fine

I guess it's a universal experience for straight men who deal with us crabby women at that time of the month. I did go ape this morning and I apologized for it. All should be well, right? Nope... I don't feel better and I just want to disappear for a week. Ugghhh... My boss is going to be out of the office until next Wednesday. Can't I just escape to Baltimore or Dallas for the week? Oh well -- it is what it is.

I hope I feel better tomorrow.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Thankgiving 2017

This year has flown by. It's been full of so many changes. I can't believe that I've kept up. I have had some bad days, some bad weeks but overall I am content where my life is right here and right now. I am still hungry to achieve the goals that I have set for myself. They are coming along slower than I expected but I am still on track. Inspiration still hits me in waves rather than a constant flow but I am working on that.

I can say nothing negative about my life here. My arrival in South Carolina has really been the path of least resistance. The hardest part was making the decision to leave Hawai'i. Once I did make the decision though, the path here opened so wide and easy that there was no other choice but to move out here. I am so grateful for all the support I have had with this move. Now that I'm here, I'm digging in and really building my own life and actively working on all the things that I wanted to but couldn't because of my commitment to my marriage and my family. This life now is ALL ABOUT ME and only me.

Thanksgiving weekend was a whirlwind with two of the three Sao sisters. I had my fun with sister number one (she's the oldest) before I left Hawai'i. It is always a "thing" when you grew up in the same neighborhood and find each other on the mainland. We hung out all week long and ate and ate and ate. I threw down in the kitchen even though all of us are light eaters. I'm still eating leftovers and am not sick of yet. We did Black Friday shopping at the Charlotte Premium Outlet mall in North Carolina. It was crowded and it took us a good ten minutes just to find parking. There were deals everywhere. Saturday - we drove out to Augusta, Georgia to partake of some Hawai'i grinds. It was really good especially being all the way out here - to be able to get poke and laulau - heavenly! And it was good too. A little fact - the owner and operator of Hawaiian Style BBQ is from my hood in Hawai'i. He is a graduate of Kahuku, Class of 2000. In fact, his dad and my mother worked together back in the 80's. Red Raider Nation ain't no joke.

The following photo collages are from Thanksgiving Weekend. I picked up the girls from Rock Hill, South Carolina on Wednesday. We had a blast. They are such good girls. Their parents should be extremely proud of them. The girls came to my office at the University of South Carolina to "house warm" my office. They wanted to decorate it for Christmas but I didn't have any. I took them to take a picture with "Cocky" the USC mascot. So cute. We shopped and explored Columbia. Main Street in Downtown Columbia has the cutest boutique shops. I really enjoyed walking around. Every shop was geared up for Christmas with the most beautiful decorations. It really put me in the holiday spirit. I was sad to drop them off early Monday morning but was happy to have been able to spoil them while they were here.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Redefining Love Relationships

All of my life, especially at the foot of my mother, I have been taught the following about love relationships:

Marriage is between a man and a woman.
Sex happens after marriage.
Children happen after marriage. 

And for all of my life, I believed that. I believed that love relationships progressed from love to marriage between a man and a woman to sex to children. I did not necessarily obey the "sex happens after marriage" part but I certainly believed that those were all excellent guiding principles for living a happy life.We live in an ever changing world whose values are shifting all the time. Marriage is being redefined. Gender roles - redefined. Bathroom entrance - who can use the bathroom and where - redefined. The world is shifting.

Here I am at age 42 and the result of the guiding principles is that I have two failed marriages under my belt. I'm not attributing the "guiding principles" as the reason that I have two failed marriages. I'm just saying that those principles did not really have an effect on the outcome. So here's what I'm thinking I want to do moving forward. I am nixing the whole marriage requirement. I don't think I ever want to be married again. My heart just can't take another round of giving my all only for it to end in divorce. I don't want to do that again. EVER. Of course, that's me talking right now and who knows what's in store for the future. My commitment to my mate DOES NOT need to be "sanctified" by the State. I can commit to him in front of God and vow fidelity and respect all the days of our lives. Why do I need to add the contractual certification from the State?

I am reminded of the scene in the movie Braveheart where William and Muron marry secretly in the cemetery. The priest meets them and they cite their vows to one another and the Church sanctions their union. William chose this route because "the State" at that time was the English under the direction of Edward Longshanks. According to the movie, Longshanks ordered the practice of prima nocta. This allowed the English Lord of the town or village the right to sleep with a new Scottish bride on her wedding night. The desired effect was to breed the Scots out of existence. Heinous and absolutely uncivil but this is why William chose to marry his love in secret.

Now I'm not saying that my refusal of state-sanctioned marriage fixes my relationship problems. That is not what I'm saying. What I am thinking, though, is that I don't want the hassle of marriage. I want him to live in his place and me in my place and on occasion, we meet for the weekend. He can attend special events with me. I can go with him. But to co-habitate and get bills and mortgages together? I don't want it. To have to cook and clean up after him, I can do without it. Well, I take that back, I actually enjoy cooking and cleaning. I just don't want to be tied down EVER again. I don't want to ask for permission to do anything! I don't want to ask permission on spending my well-earned money. I don't want to ask permission to go on a girls trip if I wanted to. I don't want to answer to anybody!

So then, this logic begs the question -- is my newly defined love relationship just about sex and physical satiation? Companionship, love, are those things no longer important to my new definition of a committed relationship? And if that be the case, am I just a creature of physical lust, animalistic in nature? I don't know what this new approach means. I am not sure how it will even play out. I don't want to appear as a bitter woman because I don't feel like I am. In fact, I am the exact opposite. I love life. Heck, my hashtag for the last year has been #iStillBelieveInLove because I do. I believe that I will experience blissful love again. I look forward to it. This time, though, it will be on my terms.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Happy Divorce Anniversary : Year One Is Complete

1 year ago today, Honorable Judge Na'unanikina'u A. Kamali'i ordered, adjudged, and decreed that "a decree of divorce is granted..." You can go back and read my posts from a year ago and feel the sadness that I experienced. I never go into a relationship to give up and I know I sound like a broken record but two men have found it better to be alone than to be with me. That messes with me from time to time because, well, it makes me wonder if I am unfit to be loved. Of course I know that I am lovable but some days when I think about the crazy loves I have experienced through adulthood, I have to question how good of a woman I think I am.

My first husband was my first love. I met him when I was just 18 years old. I didn't know shit about love but I swore I did and as soon as I met him, we moved so quickly and effortlessly into love. I was like a pitbull when it came to him. I locked my jaws onto him and was not going to let him go until he gave me what I wanted. And all I wanted was HIS professed love. We married after I turned 21. Six years later we divorced. My second husband was everything my first husband was not -- he was present in every single moment, in my face with love and affection, and wanted to be a part of every facet of my life. We traveled the world together. We were best friends. We bought our first house together. There was a bunch of firsts with him. He was so much fun. I will always hold on to our good times because there was a lot of them.

Having said all of that there is one thing I have made peace with and that is that I don't want to move backwards. All the pining I have done for my exes is just too much already. I just need to move forward and not look back. Everyone that matters to me has said as much. Even though I shared so much of my life with both men, there is just no way that I can put the hurt behind me. We can be friends, maybe. But partners or mates again? I'm not so sure. And the friend thing is questionable also just because I feel a sense of irritation just thinking about "helping" my ex with anything. Whatever value he sees in me that he would want to keep me as a friend, it was all his when we were married. And... well.... we're not married anymore and any value I might add to him is no longer available to him. It's time for me to move on and actually, it's time for him to move on as well. This is what you wanted - divorce. There is nothing that binds us together. We don't have children so let me go and you go on your way too!

When I think about the condition of my heart and the broken-ness and sadness of the past, I want to move ever so quickly toward something else. When it comes down to it, I love the butterflies that accompany new love. The anticipation and the magic that happens is so nice. There's no sadness or heartache associated with new love and I cherish the beginnings. I want it to stay just like it is in the beginning of the budding romance. I feel like I never want the relationship to develop past that beginning stage. I mean, because, what happens after the beginning? Usually one person is pushing for it to develop to something more, which usually means moving in together or marriage. And what happens in that type of relationship? The butterflies disappear. The honeymoon phase fades and the relationship becomes a shadow of what it was in the beginning. We forget how much we couldn't live without each other. We forget the instant attraction that happened in the beginning. We forget to love each other and to cherish each other. In fact, we find ourselves dreading the monotony of our lives. It doesn't have to be that way but it usually happens that way. Some people can manage it and push to work through those difficult times and some just throw in the towel. I suppose one is not better than the other, it all depends on your value system. So give me the fireworks of brand new beginnings.

I subscribe to relationship commentator, Derrick Jaxn. I love his videos. Some of them are really funny and truthful and it comes from the man's perspective. He talks about how women should approach relationships. I mention him just because he has been like the voice in my ear for the last year, reminding me that I need to know my own value. Thank you Derrick Jaxn! This video is one of my favorites. It's not very old. I think he posted it a month ago. I want my ex to one day realize what a gem he let go of when he gave me my walking papers. Maybe that day will never come and him divorcing me might turn out to be the best thing he ever did. Whatever happens though, I will be okay. Right now, I know that it's already TOO LATE. If he came to me tomorrow and said he wanted it all back, I can't. I'm done.

Truth be told, I feel so free right now. I will be even freer as soon as I no longer have joint debt with my ex. We don't need to be in contact. My feelings for him are still so raw. Any of our encounters since we split has been difficult for me. I will never show him that raw emotion again, the way I did when he first told me he wanted a divorce. He will never see me fall apart again. In fact, my rise is meteoric. He can watch me from afar.

So happy divorce anniversary. I will celebrate this weekend in Myrtle Beach, perched on a balcony overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. And hopefully I will find some good seafood to munch on as today, of all days, I am craving a poke bowl.