Sunday, March 30, 2014

Week In Review | Reflections (3/24 - 3/30)

I've been thinking of ways to maintain a more consistent presence on my blog. I thought Total Truth Thursdays were going to be my answer, but I've found myself opting out on a few topics because they weren't adding to my blog or on subjects I cared to discuss.

This rainy weekend afforded me the opportunity to reflect - resulting in the first post of my "Week In Review" series. A year ago I went through this phase of answering twenty questions at the end of the week in hopes of gaining some insight to carry into the following week. Twenty questions became a bit daunting, so "Week In Review" will be my scaled back version. Enjoy!

What did I learn last week?
I learned that I place too many expectations on people based on how I would behave or think that they should behave in a given situation. I learned that I need to accept people for who they show themselves to be and limit any expectations beyond my control.

Which moment from last week was the most memorable and why?
It's more personal than I care to divulge and too fresh for me to know why it was memorable.

What is the number one thing I need to accomplish this week?
I actually don't have anything [personal] that needs to be accomplished this week and that doesn't sit well with me.

What can I do right now to make the week less stressful?
Put Alexis first.

Am I carrying any excess baggage into the week that can be dropped?
Emotional baggage, always. I'm willing to let bygones be bygones. If it doesn't affect my personal safety or health, it's not important.

What am I looking forward to during the upcoming week?
Getting back to happy and prioritizing myself.

Have any of my recent actions moved me closer to my goals?
Unfortunately, no.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Flaw in Strength

I found myself watching Keeping Up with The Kardashians, the episode where Khloe made the decision to walk away from her relationship with Lamar, the other day.

"I hate seeing you stuck in this place, not making a decision when nothing's changing." 
- Kim Kardashian

I've always related to Khloe and her not giving a (whistle) attitude but this episode solidified us a kindred spirits. It started with her being at the dinner table and calling Lamar repeatedly and receiving no response. Then there was her dealing with his reckless regard for her feelings when his "rap video" surfaced. But, what really solidified it was her plea to her sisters and friend, Malika, to understand why she was sticking around, "I don't think he understands."


Granted, I've never been married or in any relationship with such extreme circumstances. But recent situations have put me emotionally in her shoes. I too feel that I'm oftentimes fighting a seemingly impossible fight for something on behalf of two people and then justifying the other person's actions when clear disregard for my feelings is demonstrated.

Not to put too much of my business out there, but for curious minds, I'm in what Facebook would define as an "It's Complicated" situation. I've always mentally snarled at that label --being of the belief that something either is or it isn't, but I'm now a believer. Somethings are just complicated and trying to fit it into the constraints of a label just further complicates what it is or isn't.

I digress.

During Khloe's plea that Lamar simply just doesn't understand, she breaks down in frustration and clear defeat. Kim, confused with how her sister allows herself to remain in this situation, then says to her, "you're the strongest person I know." If that isn't the same thing my friend told me when I called at my wits end regarding my own situation! I never let anyone get the best of me, yet here I am - defeated.

From that point [my own conversation], I've started to question myself. Why is it that I usually have the ability to shrug off problems and circumstances yet experience these rare moments where my sense of self is shattered? I came to the conclusion that it's because I cared.

I can't speak on Khloe and who she is, because I obviously don't know her. But, if she's anything like me then she also approaches life with the not giving a (whistle) attitude because life's proven that it's easier to not care about anything than to care about everything and feel the constant blows of disappointment.

The downside to that is that when you do choose to throw caution to the wind, you end up caring too much. Personally, it makes it harder to accept if a situation is bad because it's as if everything you did was in vain. Worst than that, you were wrong - again.

I find that I don't even recognize the person I've become in this situation. I am sensitive about every single thing - the slightest thing hurts my feelings or makes me cry. I am self conscious and in this constant state of needing approval or reassurance. It's like I've become some feeble representation of my normal self and I don't like her.

This doesn't end with some grand epiphany. I'm still in my complicated situation, still making excuses. Maybe there will be an update, maybe not.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Total Truth Thursdays | Marriage: A Single's Perspective

Blogging is hard and writer's block is real.

Now, that I have those truths out the way, I want to introduce the very first "link up" I've decided to participate in - Total Truth Thursdays. I'm still not quite sure how the whole "link up" thing works, but I stumbled upon this at Hey Kelsea Rae and decided to throw caution to the wind.

If you want more information about this link-up and the dates/topics click the button at the bottom of this post.

As the subject of this post indicates, the first topic is marriage. Let me start by saying that I am not married nor by any rational assessment of my current situation close to becoming anyone's Mrs.. Because of that, I decided to look at this topic from my stance on marriage (as a single woman) and the role marriage plays in my life overall.

Candidly speaking, marriage is a goal of mine (watches as any potential suitor of mine runs for the hills). It was only recent, in the last year or so, that I realized how much of a goal it really was. I use the word goal purposely, as it's something I'm working towards. However, I do want to make clear it's not a challenge or something that I take lightly. I say it's a goal, because like any other goal I have I am working towards it and preparing myself for the opportunity. I just don't know what, or in this case who, I'm preparing for (wouldn't that make life so much easier).

The bible says, "He who finds a wife finds a good thing (Proverbs 18:22)." Quickly, I think this is another one of those male ego booster things, because I'm quite positive I'll find him first and then have to wait for him to see the light. Anywho, if you read my post the other day, I talked about my views on womanhood and what being a woman means to me. As mentioned there, gender roles and the purpose of them have been skewed by society. I feel that the role of a woman is to take care of her family. Whereas a man is supposed to support his family. Over time, maybe in part due to the repetitive roles women and men assumed in society, people have equated "taking care" with domestic responsibilities and "support" with finances and stability.

To me, the words can be interpreted however as long as the interpretation works for that family unit. Taking care of one household may mean a woman needs to carry the financial burden while her husband continues education. For another household, the husband may need to "support" his wife's desire to maintain her career and be a stay at home dad. I think the definition of what it means to take care of someone or support a person has always been a constant, it's just how it plays out is what's flexible.

Unfortunately, marriage has loss it's value in society. I think that's partially due to the casual manner in which it's approached - also the stigmas that have been attached to it. I am a product of divorce, so I didn't grow up in a household that's helped to shape my ideals on marriage. But, I've witnessed (mainly in media) a lot of power couples. Besides the success and money, what I've always wanted and admired was how much of a team dynamic they seemed to have.

As I've been dating, I have come to the decision that all the dating I do is in preparation of finding my husband - my partner in crime, the person that balances me.  I have a sincere belief that life is not a journey intended to be experienced alone. I have things right and wrong with me, but so will my furture husband. For me, the puzzle is finding the person whose wrongs are my rights and vice versa. This obviously complicates the dating game for me, but having marriage in mind as my goal does help the process.

Tune in next Thursday, the topic is fashion.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Reason Why I'm Blogging [Again]

I relaunched my blogging presence a little over a week ago and I'm already feeling that lull I experience that usually leads to blog? what blog? oh, that thing! I think the challenge I'm facing is that I don't have an identity as a blogger. I don't really know what I want my blog to offer others. This next sentence may be selfish, and potentially something I shouldn't voice here, but I don't think this is meant to be for others - but, more so for me.

Thinking back on the reason I decided I wanted to blog again, it came when I had the ephiphany that I wasn't the woman I saw myself being at this age. This isn't related to reaching career goals or living in a particular city - those things I accomplished. It was more about the basics of being a woman. I'm not the cook my mother is, I don't possess that feminine charm to change the energy of a room, I couldn't honestly say I know how to "take care of a man," I'm not crafty in the Martha Stewart sense of the word, I don't know how to remove really bad dirt stains from a white tiled floor...I feel when it comes to those aspects of being a woman, I'm not there.

This portrait of being a woman might ruffle a few feathers, especially for my fellow professionally driven "modern" women. But, these are the skills I want to be able to say I possess as a woman. It's kind of hard in this society to justify this frame of thinking - especially living in NYC. The city where gender roles are constantly being challenged and women are being encouraged to do more, be more and I love that. But, I've been so focused on becoming this modern woman - one of intellect, ambition and independence, that I lost focus of the values of the traditional woman. 

I created this blog and my 101 list around becoming the woman I want be - one that finds balance between modern feminist values and the traditional standards of womanhood. The result: pretty, smart.