Sunday, November 14, 2010

What I Learned

Anytime you go through changes, those that are self induced or those that are thrust upon you, there's something to be learned.  When I started my thirty day cleanse I didn't really know what to expect during the process.  I knew why it needed to be done and I honestly thought the cleanse would be limited to just those reasons.  As it turns out, I discovered so many things about myself that were unrelated to the initial reason I began this process. As you know, I needed to balance two relationships that had gotten out of hand.  There wasn't anything crazy going on, but I had become so dependent on my Ex and my Homie that I just felt lost.  I realized one day that I was in these faux relationships and the only person whose life was being negatively impacted was mine.  I needed to take control of my happiness, and that's exactly what I did.

I now know that I don't NEED to talk to them everyday.  Prior to last month I honestly felt that since they're my friends and they make me happy, I needed to talk to them everyday to remain happy.   Well, I'm happy now and I haven't had constant communication with either of them. Don't misunderstand me, I didn't solve all of my problems in thirty days, but I'm happy with who I am.  When you all of a sudden have a lot of extra time on your hands, you can accomplish so much. The days didn't get longer, but I did begin to use the allotted hours in more effective ways. I began reading more, thinking more, and just spending more time with myself trying to figure out what makes me tick.  I even used that time to evaluate a few other friendships, and I found out that some things need to change with a few other people too. At the end of the day, it all starts with me.  I've got to do my part to make sure that I'm a better communicator and that I'm as good of a friend as I want people to be to me. If someone isn't holding up their end of the bargain then I need to be able to address that and deal with it accordingly.
There are things about myself that I'm making a genuine effort to change. I'm going to address problems as they arise. I'm going to be tactfully honest with people. I'm going to stop and think before I blank on someone if they make me mad. I'm not a hot head by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm really emotional and if you make me feel some kind of way, I let you know about it right then and there. I've gotta work on that. I want to be a better person and I'm the only one capable of making that happen.

Going forward I'd like to make this blog more interactive.  I know you guys and gals are reading because I see the stats on each post.  Now, I'd like you to open up and share some of your thoughts with me. Let's have some fun growing together. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Doing Me, Day 30: Wrapping Things Up

When I woke up this morning I only had one thing on my mind. Finish Strong! I got all jazzy for work because I knew I was taking myself out on a date and I didn't want to have to come home and change clothes. Well, the office manager had other plans. After a year of wearing anything I damn well pleased to work, she tells me today that I am not supposed to have on leggings.  Keep in mind I wear leggings all the time and so does my other coworker.  Surely you can understand how this caught me off guard.  Actually, it just plain old pissed me off.  Who would let a person or persons break the rules for over a year without saying something if the rule was really that important? No one, so that leads me to believe she was just trying to f*ck with me this morning.  That's all it was. The first thing out of her mouth was, "you look very nice today, but...."  She was just being a b*tch, which is not unusual.  Anyway, I work close to the job so I came home and changed clothes.  When I got back she came to my desk and apologized because she called the boss and asked her about it and the boss told her that we have been, and could continue to wear whatever we wanted as long as we weren't being inappropriate. It's all good though, as it turned out that would have been a waste of a really cute outfit considering where I ended up on my Me date. 

I went to this little bar and grill not far from my crib to get a drink, a bite to eat and watch some basketball and football.  I'm pretty sure the waitress brought me a virgin margarita, but she claims otherwise. I still don't believe her, but whatever. The wings were not very good either, contrary to what I was led to believe.  Then, just when I thought the night couldn't become anymore mediocre, in walks a group of loud, obnoxious middle aged men. Luckily for me they felt the need to sit right behind me. *rolls eyes*  As I sat there and listened to them form complete sentences using only four letter words, it became painfully obvious that my Me date was going to end early. I'm a pretty easy going person, but I had no intentions of being annoyed if it could be avoided.  I paid my check, endured a bit of harassment, and made my way home.

At some point over the weekend I will write a reflective post about all of the things I have learned over the past thirty days.  Believe it or not, I actually did learn quite a few things about myself.  Who knew so much could be accomplished in such a small amount of time?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Doing Me, Day 29: Finish Strong

Did you know it costs $14.50 to go see a 3D movie at Regal Cinemas?  That's ridiculous!  Now, had I been in the position to have to pay for myself, I would not have been seeing Saw 3D. I don't like horror movies anyway, I just went because a friend asked me to and he was paying.  I'm glad I got to find out how much 3D movies cost, so now the thought of going to see one on my dime will not ever cross my mind again.

My homegirls went to see the movie For Colored Girls and not a one of them has had anything to say about it.  Usually there are posts all over Facebook about how great of a time they had, but today there was nothing.  I even sent an email while I was at work asking how the movie was and I didn't get a response.  That's odd to say the least.  Either they didn't like it, or they just don't want to share their experience. *shrugs*

Technically I have 2 days left since I had to add a day to my cleanse.  I'm going to go on one last date with myself tomorrow night to toast the end of this journey.  I'm not sure where I will go, but I will be alone and I will be fly.  Gotta finish strong.  Yesterday I got invited to be on a radio show to talk about this whole experience, and I can't wait.  I'm really excited to share what I've learned about myself with others.  I'll give you the details about how to listen to the show when everything is confirmed.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Doing Me, Day 28: Really Dude?

Well, last night I ended my blog not knowing whether or not I was going to join my friends to go watch a movie that I had no interest in seeing.  The answer actually came to me soon after I posted that blog.  Prior to going to sleep I realized that I had inexplicably spent way too many minutes trying to talk myself into going to see that movie.  I actually talked to my best friend about it and he said, "You clearly don't want to see that movie, you've posted about it on your Facebook page and that's all you keep telling me. Sounds like your decision has already been made."  It was at that point that I decided to stop fighting myself and I said to hell with seeing the movie. 

Anyway, let me move on because I've just entertained a series of text messages that rubbed me the wrong way.  I'm not going to type them out word for word, but here's the gist of it: This young man whom I've only met once at a restaurant, only physically talked to once on the phone, only text messaged maybe once over the past two weeks, just asked if he could come to my place.  Prior to today I haven't seen nor heard a tale of this dude in well over a week, but I'm supposed to let him come to my house at 11:00 p.m.  *side eye* What are you smoking fool?  Aside from the fact that I don't know you, it's late and the only reason we're exchanging text messages is because I text you earlier to see how your weekend went.  Neither of us has given a genuine effort to get to know one another and we probably could at least be friends. We kinda hit it off the first time we met, and our only phone conversation was long and interesting enough. We both expressed a desire to get together and hang out, but since we never made any actual plans, nothing ever happened.  The point is, neither of us deemed the other person worthy enough to explore the possibility of a friendship.  Well, maybe that's kind of harsh. I've been busy, and given his line of work I assume he's been busy too, but if we were really interested then at least one of us would have made a phone call. I didn't not call him for any silly reason such as "he should pursue me" or whatever.  I honestly, just hadn't really thought about him.  I don't know what his reasoning was, and it doesn't much matter anyway.  The bottom line is neither of us tried.  I'm not sitting here trying to act holier than thou, like I'd never let a man come to my house all late, but in this instance it just wasn't happening. I have brothers and enough male friends to know better than to be appalled that he'd try to come through.   However, it was still annoying because practically speaking, it's rude as hell to ask someone to come to their house for the first time and it's damn near midnight.  Who does that?

On a lighter note, I talked to a friend who I have a phone conversation with maybe once per month and she said that she noticed a change in me.  She said I sound happier. That made me smile because I've really worked hard these past thirty days. I'm glad it's noticeable, because although I did it just for me, I still need a little confirmation that the things I think have gotten better are not just in my humble opinion. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Doing Me, Day 27: Don't Say Yes When No Will Do

This past weekend the movie For Colored Girls was released.  Tyler Perry decided to convert the popular play into a movie.  It has an all star cast featuring the likes of Phyllicia Rashad, Kimberly Elise, and Whoopi Goldberg just to name a few.  It would seem like it's a no-brainer that a colored girl such as myself would go see this movie, right? Wrong.  I have some serious reservations about seeing this flick.  It has some really sad, dramatic, trifling shit happening. There's rape, back alley abortions and so on.  Drama, drama, drama!.  My main problem  is that these are the only types of movies that keep being released about colored girls.  Why can't we have one movie that features happy colored girls?  Don't we deserve a Sex and The City type of movie too?  Apparently not, because no one feels the need to make one.  Instead we get movies like Precious, which although critically acclaimed, paints some of the most horrendous pictures of strife that any person from any race could endure.  The whole movie was sad and I will never, ever watch it again.  The only redeeming thing about that movie for me was the fact that I went to a premier so I didn't have to pay for it.  I don't want to pay money to be sad.  I'm sorry, but that's not my idea of entertainment.  If I'm going to shell out twelve bucks for a movie, then I damn well prefer to leave the theater and not have to feel bad about these horrible things that happened to this fictional character.  Yes, we all have pain and emotional issues that we need to deal with, but we don't need to be reminded of it in the name of entertainment. Honestly, I don't go to the movies to get life lessons.  I go to the movies to take a two hour break from the bullshit that I endure daily.

My friends want to go to dinner then go see this movie.  Normally I'm all in favor of a group outing, but I'm just not feeling this.  As you all know I'm nearing the end of my thirty day cleanse. (if you don't know feel free to read some of the older posts)  I'm trying to finish strong and I just feel like this movie will put a huge damper on my mood and I don't need nor want that.  I feel like I've grown a lot in a short amount of time, as evidenced by the fact that my participation in girls night out is up in the air.  The old me would just suck it up and go to the damn movie, but I'm not that person anymore.  I adopted a motto a few months ago and it's really worked out well for me. "DON'T SAY YES, WHEN NO WILL DO".  I really do practice this, and that's how I keep myself from wasting my time doing shit I don't really want to do.  If I decide not to go see the movie with the gals, it won't be the end of the world.  They probably won't even miss me.   I'm not sure what my decision will be right now.  I guess we'll find out tomorrow night.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Doing Me, Days 24, 25 and 26: The Weekend

In case you haven't noticed, I don't really do too many posts on Fridays and Saturdays.  It's a traffic thing.  No one really reads them on those days for reasons I completely understand.  I'd rather just take mental notes and touch on a few things on Sunday night.

Day 24:  I took some serious me time on Friday night. I had the opportunity to go a couple of places, but I decided I would be better served to stay at home and just chill.  It worked out beautifully. I ended up staying up until 6:20 Saturday morning because I wanted to finish the book I had started called Manhunting, by Jennifer Crusie.  It was a cute book and it had a lot of laugh out loud funny parts.  I started reading it at 2 a.m. and the plan was to just read a chapter, but I wasn't really sleepy so I continued to read and before I knew it, it was after 6. It's not like I had anything pressing to do on Saturday anyway so it didn't hurt me to stay up all night.  My body pretty much only allows me to sleep about 4 good hours per night anyway, so I was up and at em again at a decent enough time.

Day 25:  Saturday was a lot of fun. I went to meet a friend for coffee and dessert and we just sat and talked for a couple of hours.  The desserts were good, a bit too sweet, but good. We hashed out a few things, so not only was it fun, it was also productive.  Those are the best kinds of conversations! Afterward, instead of heading home for the night I wound up at a male friend's place watching television and drinking.  We all know what late night drinking leads to....Just kidding, it didn't lead to that.  It could have, but cooler heads prevailed because we're just friends and last night just wasn't the time to change that.  I actually don't foresee that time ever coming.

Day 26:  Last night while having dessert and coffee, my friend and I got on the subject of church and how often we do or don't attend.  We share some of the same feelings about church attendance.  Here's the thing, I don't attend church very often. I'm not ashamed to admit that. I have some real issues with many of the churches I've attended since I've lived in this city.  It's not to say I don't enjoy church when I'm there, I do.  I love to hear choirs sing and if the pastor is good at delivering a message, that's terrific. I'm not really going to get into all of that though. I am very comfortable with my relationship with God.  I know what it is.  I hate it when people try to look down on me because I don't go to church every Wednesday and Sunday.  Just because you go to church, it does not mean you're nearer to God than I.   I don't think God is taking attendance at church anyway.  Let me handle my spirituality the way I see fit to handle it.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Doing Me, Day 23: You're Doing Too Much

So, I have this friend who has this incessant need to be liked.  She literally goes out of her way to make sure people think she's just the great friend or great random new girl that they just met.  Sometimes she's just real over the top.  She's a nice girl, but having known her for years I can tell when she's in her "let me make sure everyone thinks I'm the greatest most considerate person ever" mode. Knowing how easily she can flip the switch, it leads to me questioning her motives for doing anything.  I really hate that because I know some of the things she does are genuine, but lately I can't stop saying to myself, "She's just being real extra right now".  I really, really hate that it's come to this point.  I normally don't let it bother me when she's sashaying around acting like a Stepford Wife, but it's been getting on my nerves a lot lately. I'm not sure how to handle this situation because hell, she might not even realize she's doing it how much she does it.  The thing is, I've never liked girls who act like that. You know the chick who wants to be everyone's friend?  When you're a teenager it's understandable to want to be liked by everyone.  Unrealistic? Yes, but it is understandable. When you're 30 years old, you really shouldn't give a damn about who likes you and who doesn't. Not unless those people are important to you in some way, and even then you should draw a line somewhere.   When you start going above and beyond, bending over backwards to serve complete strangers, or people you just met through mutual friends,  then you're doing way too much.  I don't know if we'll ever address this.  I'm not sure there's a nice way to say "Quit being a fake bitch" but maybe I'd better find one.  Like I said a few posts ago, it's not good to let these things fester.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Doing Me, Day 22: Worrying vs Planning

Have you ever found yourself worrying about something that you're not even sure will be a problem when all is said and done?  Basically the"what if". What if this happens, then what will I do?  What if that happens, then what will I do?  Why do we worry ourselves sick before we let the entire situation play out?  It probably has something to do with the "Hope for the best, plan for the worst" mentality that a lot of us live by.  This sort of thinking has us crossing bridges before we even come to them.  Yes, more often than not it's better to have a plan than to not have one, but, it's a very thin line between planning for something and worrying about something.  Worrying is what we do when we don't have all of the details. Planning is what we do when we know what we're working with.  I personally struggle with worrying vs planning.  Tonight I finally realized I've spent way too much time worrying about things that in the end I had no reason to worry about.  I don't want to live like that because it's not healthy.  We all know worrying  promotes stress, and stress can lead to all kinds of bad things.  Sickness, poor decision making, wrinkles, and several other undesirable things. Obviously there are times when you can't help but worry, and we have to work on accurately identifying those times.   But, there are situations that we encounter daily that we let drive us damn near insane and in the end we find out we were worried for no reason.  The point I'm trying to make is, confirm the damn pregnancy before you sit around weighing your options. ;)

Sidebar:  No, I am not pregnant, nor have I been doing anything that could lead to pregnancy.  I'm just using that as an example. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Doing Me, Day 21: Nearing The End

Can you believe it's already been 21 days???  I know I can't! However did I get here? Wherever will I go afterward?  I've been wondering a lot about where this blog will go after this cleanse is over.  I honestly don't know, but I do have some ideas floating around in my head. Once I figure everything out, I'll let it be known.  I've enjoyed these 21 days.  I've laughed and cried. Felt happy and sad. Experienced anger and calmness.  I've pretty much tapped into every raw emotion within me. (Yes, I know there are a couple of fragments above)  I wouldn't trade this experience for anything.  I've spent a lot of time with myself so I've had a lot of time to think. To plot.  Things are going to come together real soon and hopefully I'll have the drive and focus that's needed to see these things through.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Doing Me, Day 20: Know When To Fold Em.

If I tell you I'm going to come slap the hell out of you, it will only trigger a minor emotional response because you don't know if I'm serious.  If I walk up and slap the hell out of you, it will definitely trigger a huge emotional response because I actually did it.
I bring that up to say, it's time that we start believing what people show us instead of what they tell us, especially if those two actions don't match.  Why do we constantly talk ourselves out of believing what we know is true??  Are we so starved for a "happy ending" that we're willing to swallow gigantic amounts of bullshit in an effort to make it happen? Why do we talk our home girls into believing the bullshit he's feeding them?  Why do we let our home girls talk us into believing the bullshit he's feeding us?  Why can't we just accept what he's showing us?  We waste so much time on men who are unworthy and it's so unnecessary.  We pray and ask God for signs, and when we get those signs we completely ignore them. Or, we interpret them in a way that fits what we want to believe. God all but comes and sits down beside us and tells us what to do, yet we still do the opposite.  Then we sit on the bed crying and wondering why. Deep down we know why.  It's because we ignored the red flags, and more importantly when the guy showed us who he really was we didn't believe him.  We have no one to blame but ourselves.  We have to break this cycle.