(Yeah, I know, there’s no “Y” in Happiness.)
But there is a “Why.”
Like, “Why am I here?” Sometimes I feel so sure, and clear, about my life’s purpose, and other times, I just feel…lost.
Wrote a song about it, one that no one’s heard.
That seems to be a recurrent theme: Writing, creating, blogging, vlogging, all these amazing ideas that no one’s seen or heard.
I’m trying though, I promise, I really am. I’ve studied every marketing course, it seems. I mean the idea of applying it all, even trying to keep up with the constant stream of ideas I have, is overwhelming. It’s a common trait of ADHD. I’ve got about 49 folders to keep track of it all. I’m constantly taking notes. It just…doesn’t seem to be adding up to anything right now.
I’m usually the most positive person I know.
I mean as a Capricorn, I have enjoyed long periods of time of being mean, cynical, sarcastic, and just a straight-up bitch. (Being a Capricorn means it was fun for me).
But I’ve been working on myself in recent years. (I want to be happy). I’ve really applied the principals of The Law of Attraction, adding value, and just overall thinking positively.
But…I’ve let fear defeat me several times. Even today. Still crying about it. Here’s why…
I’ve been needing some steady streams of income for a while. To be fully transparent, I’m 35, have been living with my parents for a total of about 3-4 years, (with stints in Charlotte and New York in between) and my period is currently 15 days late.
Probably due to stress.
I learned from my previous therapist to go ahead and plan for the year. So I made getting full-time employment that I love, with good pay, my first-quarter goal. Today is March 31st. I haven’t had much luck with the job search – ok, I applied to a few jobs and my resume didn’t feel like it was working, and I’ve had a few interviews for one role with a nonprofit. I didn’t want to feel like a fool come April. Plus, I’d rewritten my own resume so many times…
So, I hired someone. I hired a career coach with the money that I made from a client, and she wrote me two SEO friendly resumes that really spoke to my skills, and a new LinkedIn profile. I’m currently keeping a spreadsheet of the 60 or so jobs she recommends applying for each week. (I’m hitting like 2 or 3 applications a day, the goal is 10). But I overthink the details of the cover letter (it’s what makes me a good copywriter) and sometimes get distracted by other things, so it can take me an hour, even two to get through one application.
And for these applications to simply disappear into the abyss, with no response, just feels…disconcerting at best, defeating to say the least. I had escaped that for a while by starting my business. But it wasn’t as successful as I initially envisioned.
The professionally-written resume should help with that feeling, but for now, it’s 11:36PM, and I’m writing a blog post about how bad I feel.
Now, my personal belief system tells me not to dwell on what makes me feel bad. And as I write this I feel better. But from around 11:00PM, I just needed to dwell…
…On all the work it took for me to work job after job after job where I was unappreciated, underutilized as a creative mind, just simply, discarded…
And let’s not forget underpaid…
Since I was 15 years old.
So I don’t feel bad about not taking a job I hate now. I paid my dues. (A term I despise and would never make anyone else do just because I thought I had to.) But…
You know I still have people asking me “What do you want to do with your life?”
I DON’T KNOW! MAYBE ALL THE THINGS I TRIED TO DO BUT FAILED AT! Maybe all the things I’m naturally good at, but there just doesn’t seem to be a place, for me at least, to get paid a living wage? There’s no blueprint for being a creative. There’s no blueprint for this shit.
And even when I did have jobs, I found myself wanting to be free from them. I’ve always had a really interesting relationship with work. I think I’ve always undersold my abilities and the impact I can make on people.
I know my priorities haven’t always been in the right place.
I have virtually no income, no savings, no 401k. No emergency plan, and no back stash of toilet paper. I know many Millenials can relate. I have probably wasted money on stupid things, but I have nothing to show for it (except pictures). I just know that many people have relied on me when they’re feeling just as down as I’m feeling right now. And right now, this blog is my soundboard. I hope you feel me.
I’m usually hopeful for the future. I still am. I just needed this. I needed this good cry. I needed this moment to ask “Why?” Why does my pursuit of happiness, and the self-actualization that lies therein, seem to be so elusive for me right now? How long will this struggle last?
I’m signing out. I wanna get this out before midnight, so I can say that I did something productive today.
If you’ve ever felt lost, disenfranchised, or wondered how long it will take before you start being appreciated for what you bring to the world..and getting PAID for it…(or if you simply just want a place of your own…) This is for you. Things’ll look up.
- In August, I learned I have ADHD. This has been a HUGE challenge all my life but even MORE helpful to learn more about what ADHD and how it’s affecting me and how it makes me a super creative, enthusiastic, and details oriented person (when I like the work). I have applied these traits to my work with clients. They especially LOVE the ideas I generate on how to better a process or project they’re having me work on.
- I learned SO MUCH about my WORTH. But I learned when it’s OK to work for free if it’s something I CREATE, VOLUNTEER to do because of a cause I believe in, or it’s something I LOVE, vs not accepting jobs that just didn’t feel good in my body. I learned to say NO and to say YES when it’s right for me.
- I realized it’s OK to NOT want to freelance full time, to run a business with subcontractors, or even freelance at all sometimes! You are STILL an entrepreneur and still a business owner! One of the biggest takeaways I’ve learned over the past calendar year (I joined the course in January 2019 and was LLC’d by March 2019) is that it’s OK to be wherever you are in the process of building your business. It’s OK to stop and reevaluate what you REALLY want. Like a job! I am currently seeking a full-time role and will still freelance. But I think there’s a lot to be gained from full-time employment at an established company. I want to learn some best practices of larger, more established organizations. (I’m targeting the role of customer success manager if anyone’s interested).
- I DO NOT like getting paid by the hour. It’s like I’m allergic to it now! Even though I HAVE accepted some admin clients after saying I ONLY want to do creative work (which takes a lot out of you to be honest, if you’re not inspired at that moment and there’s a deadline looming), I STILL am charging by the project, week, or month. It’s way more flexible, but I still track my time with Toggl for my records.
- More than anything I think I have had to really overcome imposter syndrome and demon voices in my head telling me I suck. Seriously! Believing those voices stopped me from going after things I might have been good at.
- One major bonus insight: The seeds I have planted by putting in HOURS of work on my marketing materials like my portfolio and thinking about my pricing HAS paid off. I may not even use them with every client, but to have them there to refer to or to send off to a client and only having to make just make a few tweaks, is GOLD. I have even used some of these materials for employee job applications. My point is, it may feel like you’re wasting time, especially if you can’t afford to outsource some task to someone, but DO THE WORK! These are seeds you’re planting now that WILL pay off in the end! Think: reviews, recommendations, referrals, the RELIEF of knowing you don’t have to start from scratch.
- And the final insight: A business runs on systems and lives on SALES. In the freelance world, your pitch is your ask. In the job world, submitting an application is like that initial contact with a prospect for them to eventually buy what you’re selling. If you ain’t askin’, you ain’t sellin. And I allowed so much fear to stop me from doing the very thing that gets you a solid YES, I’ll hire you at the price you want – the ASK.
I’m not afraid of asking anymore. Idealist I am, I’m wanting the best of both worlds. Running a business is a lot of work to do full time and to rely on it for your full time salary. I know I’m still not at the point where I want to focus on marketing every day and client acquisition…sales. It’s a numbers game. And I don’t have the team to support reaching the amount of people I would need to get the amount and quality of projects I want.
Plus, I think of a job as my “BIG CLIENT’ in a way. The companies I’m targeting for work offer high salaries, flexible work hours and location, mostly in the tech space. They have roles that call in several of my gifts and will challenge me to grow my leadership, business, and technical acumen. So it might feel closer to contract work than working as an employee ever has before, because I simply wasn’t aware that jobs like this existed.
I don’t see my standstill in moving forward in my business as a setback and I don’t see going for a job by the end of the quarter as giving up. Rather, I see it all as another step in my journey towards financial stability and mastery, two big goals for the year.
Hit me up on Facebook and IG @starsworldsolutions to talk more about all of this.
Enjoy and stay super positive (And turn off the news!) during COVID.
Perusing social media as an empath means feeling and filtering the many emotions of fellow Millenials. I hear so many of us expressing the same sentiments about rejection. We are losing friends and feeling rejected by lovers, we’re rejecting what was expected of us in life, and we’re rejecting the lives that we’ve built before truly knowing ourselves.
This post is a stream-of-consciousness of a few words of wisdom that will focus on rejection regarding friendships and life paths.
Don’t waste your time asking yourself repeatedly, “Was I the one in the wrong?” Am I not good enough?” The answer is not important. What’s important is that you always maintain your relationship with yourself and God, The Universe, and your higher self.
I’ve learned, through my spiritual journey, to reject all teachings that make it complicated to find God. God is within and is experienced as Love.
Remember: rejection is redirection, protection, and preparation – for someone else to come and fill that void in your life.
Many people die on the path – but that doesn’t make it any less meaningful or any more avoidable.
Note: This was written about six years ago from the date of publication. And I think I published it 3 years ago but took it down. It’s a good piece and the updates are ironic… I might even have to do a part 2 for this one!
I have not written in a while. I moved from the state I was living in after 12 years with not many clothes in tow, and apparently I developed a relationship thereafter, and also started a new business. I’ve started school, got a little p/t job, took a leave from that job, reconnected with a few old friends, traveled, started driving, and released the need to call it anything but happiness and bliss.
That’s right. I have a new epiphany about naming things. While listening to Michael Jackson’s new album I realized that my most recent relationship transition reflects this song:
A place with love and happiness, a place that you don’t want to leave, and it has no name.
My current partner told me today that he wanted to be friends.
And I realized that it’s what I want to. He told me he loves me, and I still love him, so I thought, really this is the best of all worlds.
See, I should have learned this from my last relationship, but I guess I’m putting the nail in the coffin for this lesson:
Titles don’t get you Love. Only Love can get you that.
Somehow, in That One Moment, every obligation towards him and all expectations of how the relationship was supposed to be was dropped. I was imprisoning myself with thoughts that I could never be the woman he wanted me to be in all the ways he wanted me to be.
I compared myself with other women in and out of his life, and I even started to care about his whereabouts a whole lot more than I ever like to care about anyone’s. You may call it crazy, but I call it a fucking miracle that I was able to release those negative thoughts, for the most part, in an instant, with the words: “Let’s just be friends.”
It’s not the first time I’ve experienced this with a love in my life. It happened with my first boyfriend, who was ironically named Mychal Jackson!
(Lol omg I totally just realized the synchronicity, Thank You Universe.)
We were cool for so long, telepathically connected, and very much in love, however, there were certain things as a middle schooler that I just could not give this high schooler. And then I had an attitude, the pressure was building, I met a girl he was cheating on me with at the skating rink, (literally bumped into her in line and we plotted to confront him once we got inside, lol) Finally, I broke up with him.
Then we became friends. And our relationship became sweeter and more solid than ever before.
Then, in a more previous adult relationship, I was building with a man who told me that he couldn’t even put a title on what we were. He said something to the effect that what we had was undefinable. I was stuck on wanting to know “what are we” at that point, and I learned from that relationship that you can eventually be the “girlfriend” and still get shitted on.
Then I had other boyfriends and I was more unhappy in the relationship than out of them. Same person, same city, different “relationship status.” I learned to stop asking for the title and to ask God for the person who would bring the Love that I too was so ready to share.
From that point, I never cared about having a title between the person and I, although I still dealt with ownership, jealousy, and insecurities that reared their ugly head with a fervency that I had never known existed within me before. (Let the shadow work begin.)
Now, I have new goals that are evolving every day. Instead of wanting to be some man’s “piece” I focus on the type of woman I want to be. Sometimes I get sidetracked, but I am learning to correct the mistake of believing that someone else, even a loving man whom I adore, is responsible for my happiness 24/7 or even for a minute.
My current situation has taught me that I still have work to do in this area, but that is one thing I admire about myself: I never give up on the work of continually discovering who I am. Nothing makes me waver from that.
I do believe the new/old adage is true: “Relationships don’t end, they just transition.”
And I feel a sweetness in the surrender, in following his lead, in trusting the Universe’s path of least resistance. I feel certain in trusting that this was my answer to my prayer of what to do (which was really just to trust and let go). I feel secure in the feeling of me standing by my principles to do all of the above.
I feel good in the release of the pressure of feeling like certain things had to be done by him, and by me, rather than just enjoying each other’s company, attention, and love for each other. And being okay with him being an autonomous person who wants to do what he wants, because I want the same freedom from him. (We often give our friends way more freedom than we do our partners. Somehow, our partners are more like our prisoners than a true person who we trust to do what’s best for their own growth.) It feels so good to know that without the prospect of being “in a relationship” that I am not afraid to lose his love, which I was so afraid of when we were “more than friends.”
It feels really good to know that I’ll always have Love. And that’s real. Timeless, Title-less Love.
Note: Stay tuned for Part 2, 2019 version! I got updates on ALL OF THIS!
Whether you know it or not, ADHD affects our emotions in major ways.
I did a YouTube video about how I was still in shock from the diagnosis of ADHD. When I first got diagnosed, I subsequently did research and started learning so much more about ADHD than I ever had before. I want to break down a bit more about how ADHD affects our emotions.
Keep in mind, how this looks for me will look different for different people at different times. (I remember that phrase used to give me so much anxiety. I just wanted an answer, some direction, and I wanted it now! Now I understand just how different we all are, even if we share many of the same challenges).
What doctors say about how ADHD affects our emotions:
According to ADDitude magazine, a website catering to people who have and interact with people with ADD (now more commonly referred to as ADHD):
Challenges with emotions start in the brain itself. Sometimes the working memory impairments of ADHD allow a momentary emotion to become too strong, flooding the brain with one intense emotion. At other times, the person with ADHD seems insensitive or unaware of the emotions of others.
This statement was reviewed by ADDitude’s ADHD Medical Review Panel.
The publication names feelings like extreme sensitivity to disapproval, social anxiety and giving in to avoidance and denial (two of my favorite emotional dishes served together!) as results of the phenomenon that happens in the brain that is called emotional dysregulation.
(I want to stress that this happens in the brain and isn’t a conscious choice). They also mention how all of these emotional reactions can make it really hard to FOCUS AND GET STARTED ON WORK, or anything productive.
As I read and research, in my head I’m like, “I feel all of that doctors”. You can read the article for more details on how they say our emotions are affected by ADHD. But now I want to share how it feels to me.
I think it’s important to look at things from a wider point of view and to understand what’s already been written about ADHD, but to also really tune into how YOU experience whatever challenges and issues you’re going through.
What I say about ADHD affects my emotions:
Although there have been times where I feel that getting up and moving around can help me with overwhelming emotions, I find that the emotional aspect of ADHD is a continual challenge for me.
In one instance that I can remember physical activity working, I had a boyfriend who yelled at me during an argument, and I just allowed myself to get extremely consumed with how upset he was at me. I worked off that feeling of powerlessness and anger by sweeping up the hair at the salon I worked at. I remember thinking “Work IS a savior.”
I felt like I was on the verge of doing something irrational, erratic and self-destructive because I didn’t feel HEARD, so I used physical work to distract me. (And not feeling heard is a theme I see coming up for me a LOT. I guess it’s one of my triggers.)
My new digital lifestyle makes it more challenging to do what works to shake off bad feelings faster – being physical.
Chalk it up to having such a free schedule and less structure. As a writer, and freelancer, most of my days and about 40% – 60% of my time is spent being stuck (did I say stuck? I mean melded, by choice) to a computer or phone. Juggling multiple loving relationships with friends and semi-romantic partners means a lot of texting and social media.
In an attempt to get more done and be less distracted and consumed, I often take social media breaks from a few or all platforms for a while. But that still leaves texting. And when I get into passionate discussions, whether personal or about culture or other issues, I find myself getting really riled up and most recently have been looking at how I jump to conclusions that someone is saying something that they actually aren’t. Instead of asking what they mean, I rapidly respond in raging texts, and it has happened over and over again.
I get fixated on a phrase or word…mostly by text. And I get so stuck on what I think is being said that I don’t remind myself to first ask myself “would this person who has proven through time, words and actions that they love me say what I think they’re saying?” I also stay seated and forget to get up, move around, and help calm and distract myself from that negative fixation with movement.
I had no idea that feeling like little things were “life and death” and that I had to respond to them RIGHT NOW was an aspect of ADHD.
I used to think of this as a testing behavior associated with what I think is my insecure anxious attachment style. And it might be. Through intense research (and experience, my Lord) I’ve found out that ADHD often travels with its buddies anxiety, bipolar, and more.
But now, I realize that even though I have learned to slow way way down and I have gotten so much better at my reactions, my brain still sees rejection and insult in so much of what others say. I see it in women, colleagues, and associates as well. It gives me a pain in my chest. I just don’t let myself react to it the same way that I do with my partners. And what is most amazing is that I had no idea that this wasn’t what most people were thinking and feeling. When I express this feeling to others, they don’t express that they feel the same – unless they have anxiety!
Having emotionally intelligent partners helps me cope when my emotions get out of control.
If I didn’t have emotionally sensitive men in my life – who knew how to tell me that what I was doing was hurting them, and the patience to hear me first make excuses, then later apologize, and then even later start to change the behavior – they would not have the emotional intelligence to help me process my feelings. I’m not saying it’s perfect, but they have patience.
Having a creative outlet is essential to coping with the intense emotions of ADHD too.
Writing helps. And blogging, actually publishing my writing, helps me feel that all those emotions that don’t feel so good aren’t being felt for nothing. I put them in my art.
It was really important for me to learn about how emotional dysregulation or emotional hypersensitivity is tied to ADHD. It really helped me make sense of my overwhelming feelings and helped me stop blaming myself so I can focus on managing my reactions to my emotions.
Stay up, Happy Dreamers. Love y’all.
Check out the video I did on ADHD and emotional dysregulation:
Hello, Happy Dreamers.
It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Been a while since I’ve felt like being transparent enough to do so. For a while, I knew I had something to say, I just didn’t know if anyone was listening.
Today, I decided that I couldn’t hold back any longer.
My Journey to a Diagnosis was long
Throughout my life I knew that I was different. I was struggling with something. I had the best ideas, but I never followed through with many of them. Even when I did, it seemed like I couldn’t see some of my most important projects through. I was great with deadlines, so journalism suited me. Unfortunately, though, I couldn’t find a high enough paying job so I always had to juggle several side gigs while writing. I always had this nagging feeling that if only I could focus, I could be as successful as I knew I wanted to be.
My diagnosis was devastating, but it gave me clarity
On August 12th, I became aware of some devastating news. While getting up from the table after a goodbye lunch with my therapist of the past 2 years (I was supposed to be moving to New York to take an Assistant Managing Editor position with an indie newspaper I used to write for back in the day), she dropped a bomb on me – “By the way, you have all the traits of ADHD,” she said.
ADHD Y’all….Issa lot!
I began to take stock of my life after this shocking revelation. I realized through self-examination I had a really unhealthy relationship with alcohol. Throughout my time in New York City, from ages 17 to 28 (some of those golden years are when I first started this blog back in 2012), I had fits and bouts of rage, moments where I felt like I couldn’t control my anger, my words, my sexual inclinations. It wasn’t surprising to me to find out that some of the challenges of having ADHD are to have substance abuse issues, anger, impulsivity issues, and hypersexuality.
Being a Black Woman with ADHD in America is even more difficult because we don’t share our stories so there’s less support
Now, there are several issues to unpack being a Black woman in America with ADHD. You could be a Black woman and have what they call a neurotypical brain and still have issues navigating jobs, the economy, your living situation, relationships, sexuality, and all other areas of life. That just comes with living in a society where white supremacy exists (but we are destroying it day by day by promoting wellness over wokeness – I’m so proud of us). But adding ADHD or any other mental challenge to being in an intersectional group is definitely more difficult. I wanna share what those stories are for me.
My journey to learning I have ADHD in a timeline
In the video, I talk about my timeline leading up to my diagnosis of ADHD. But to be clear:
2002 – Moved to NYC, began classes at Marymount Manhattan College
2003 – Came home, family ran out of money!
2003 – Moved back to NYC and moved in with a roommate who was a former classmate. He tried to hit me, so I moved out that night after only staying for 6 months.
2003 – Moved into the Harlem projects on 145th and 8th. I was working at The Body Shop.
2004 – Moved out to rent a room in Brooklyn and since then lived in subsequent Brooklyn rooms and apartments. I was working at a real estate company, and then a hair salon.
2005 – My sister moved to town and was working on her book.
2006 – We got an apartment together on Broadway in Bushwick. I was still working at the salon 10 hours a day, 4 days a week. It was one of the best work experiences I had that worked well with my ADHD (that I didn’t know I had yet.) It was fast-paced at times, detailed, had lots of interaction with people and a reasonable schedule. (9-7pm)
2007 – I left that job and worked at a French salon. It was a valuable experience. I had a boss who allowed me to do a lot different things, not just reception. I washed hair, promoted etc. It was also the first year me and my sister put on our first party, so that was first event.
2008 – I worked at a couple of restaurants and then I became a flight attendant. That changed my realm of vision for what was possible for me. After that I knew I wanted to travel eventually.
2010 – Left North American Airlines and moved into nonprofit at Public Allies. I LOVED my time with Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation – Youth Arts Academy. It was a community organization ran by 5 black women and I felt so seen, heard, and covered and accepted. I loved working with the children and the parents. This job worked well my brain. There was a lot of action, movement, freedom, creativity, and more. I didn’t enjoy every task but I grew a lot. I moved from full time to part-time and began classes at Swedish Institute of Massage and picked up another part-time job at a salon
2013 – I had to leave that job to move to South Carolina. At that point, my fibroid was too big and my periods were painful and heavy. As I stated in the video, I had to quit school and everything. It was devastating. I didn’t even realize that moving home was an option. But my Dad told me, “come home.”
In December of that year, I enrolled at SUNY Empire State College.
2014 – I was in school and tried to start a company remotely with my current ambiguous relationship bae. ADHD definitely played a role. There were several times he got frustrated with me because he felt I wasn’t being productive enough. I had a job at Trader Joe’s and school, and although I know that was a challenge in itself, there were things that I wanted to do and focus on, but couldn’t seem too. It was frustrating and my inter critic was at an all-time high during that time. It didn’t help that I was dating a Capricorn (dating is a loose term).
2015 – We moved in together! I know it seems like a jump. But we had similar goals. We lived in Charlotte. I began working at a sex toy boutique downtown. I thrived there, but it paid less than $10/hour. I wanted to move up and get paid more. A job at a call center opened up and I only lasted 4 months. It was extremely challenging and now, reflecting on this situation knowing that I was dealing with fibroids and ADHD, man. No wonder it was a whirlwind, along with his problems he was dealing with. If only we’d had the education, understanding and resources, we probably could have made it together as a couple.
2016 – We lasted 2 years but we moved out. I moved back to South Carolina and had my surgery in October.
2017 – After taking at least 6 months to recover and working on my degree, researching a bunch of new career options, mainly in social work and education, I began a job at a homeless teen shelter. I speak about how overwhelming it became on the video.
2018 – I quit and began subbing in the schools, deciding that I wanted to be in education to work more closely with the kids. In January, I began subbing in my city. In February I graduated and then applied for New York City Teaching Fellows. No offense to the program – I learned a lot about the special needs of students in Title 1 schools, but it didn’t prepare me for the teaching job I would later acquire. I was in the program from May and taught from September to November of 2018. During this time, I began working on my coaching/counseling skills by reading Tarot. By the end of the year, I’d had a very eye-opening experience that caused me to end that practice. I still know I wanted to
2019 – Shit. Here I am. In August of this year, I learned I have ADHD. My life is starting to make a hell of lot more sense now.
The video says so many things that became clear to me right before and after being diagnosed with ADHD – it changed my identity – and I think it’s for the better.
Stay True, Happy Dreamers. I love you.
Sometimes I feel like I want a “relationship,” sometimes I don’t.
As I’ve been thinking about becoming celibate, there’s the question of intimacy and sexuality.
I want to feel close to someone at various times. Who wouldn’t want connection? Who wouldn’t want to feel fun and abandon in one’s body? The question is, what will I choose to attach that idea of intimacy to in my mind? What meaning will I give it? Am I able to feel the fullness of sexuality and sensuality and intimacy in my life as a woman and refrain of actual sex?
I have realized that whatever I put as a condition for someone else is what I hold myself to.
I also think about my bouts with jealousy and possession that I’ve been prone in the past. When I imprison someone with jealousy and expectations, that has to come through me first in order to get to them. I’m no longer willing to subject myself to that first, mainly because it sucks for me.
I’m selfish like that.
If I choose to be exclusive with someone and I’m also celibate, by default they must be celibate too.
Am I willing to subject someone to that? Are there men out there willing to share that journey with me? Do I want or need them to?
I care more about what I want now, more than ever. And it feels damn good.
I’m already entangled in relationships of various styles, connections of various levels. None really have strings attached as I learn to “manage my expectations.” It’s a fun ride letting go.
I’m probably deceiving myself when I say “I don’t know if I want a relationship.”
What I’m really saying is “I don’t know if I’m willing to take someone with me on this very self-centered journey of self-love and development. I don’t want to own you because I’m not going to let you own me. I’m quite good right now.”
When I decide to commit to someone, they’ll have to take a second seat to who I’m already dating…the woman I am.
That’s the most important relationship of all.
Over the years, the most important thing I’ve come to know about friendship is this: friendships ebb and flow.
Hard to believe, but I’ve been FRIEND ZONED! I just wrote about the friend zone and setting boundaries in relationships in my last post.
I’ve been talking about this for a while in this space, the blurred lines that can sometimes occur between friends when there’s an attraction. It’s often a thin tightrope to walk.
Lately, I’ve been thinking that if I were giving relationship advice, I would advise women to never tell a man from jump that they’re not going to be intimate with him if they have an initial attraction to him, unless there was a reason that you need to say it out loud and make it a point – that is, if he asks. Some things just don’t need to be said, and part of your power as a woman is living in that mystery that men find so alluring. Not because they find it alluring, but because it’s a part of your power.
Also, if there’s an initial attraction there, you might just change your mind, and you might want to exercise that option years later because friendships are built to last.
I’ve been intimate with a few of my really good male friends. Sometimes it was because of one night of overflowing passion that finally reached a breaking point, and others it’s because we tried to have a relationship and for some reason, decided against it.
Because the friendship was solid for years, I didn’t have to worry about losing someone or the energy becoming awkward indefinitely because we had sex. We were beyond silly games, and we respected each other enough to where we could talk about our needs.
I’m grateful for these relationships. They are stronger than ever before, now that I make it an intentional practice of nurturing long lasting friendships. Maybe I’ll write about that next week.
Maybe I’ll write about that next week. But THIS week tho! I’ll tell you how it all started. I’m pretty open on my Facebook page. I am rebranding, quite subtly, but I’m really only trying to reinforce positivity and love on my page. People take notice.
One person in particular did, and since I knew a few of the people he dated, I figured he was cool since he hasn’t been excommunicated from the community.
Mostly, I just follow my intuition on these matters.
I’m an Aquarius moon, so it’s natural for me to have friends from all over the world, from all walks of life.
He commented on some of my posts and we sparked up a conversation. Soon we were talking on the phone, and at this point, I still didn’t know exactly what he wanted from me. I knew this man was older, and he seemed to talk about money more than was tasteful. But what intrigued me was that he was taking a class to improve his business skills, while having already ran a profitable business for 4 years. I researched it and it seemed legit. Anyway, I wasn’t going to invest in his business or anything, which is now being dissolved I believe – but I’m very careful where I put my energy these days, any relationship I form is, in fact, and investment.
Our first conversation on one evening lasted hours, which didn’t say much because I can talk for hours with no problem. He did most of the talking anyway. I enjoyed listening. This is a skill I wanted to cultivate more skillfully for my own self-development. It’s been working. It’s funny how the Universe responds to your intentions – I’ve been meeting some serious big talkers lately. Refreshing.
So, he eventually invited me to a party, but I got robbed! Larceny was performed (funny way to put it) on my vehicle that week, so I didn’t go. Plus, I was tired. I didn’t feel like the drive, and I wasn’t quite sure about this one yet. I was sure that I wasn’t really attracted to him in the way of romance, but in my new practice of keeping silent until there’s a reason to speak up, I didn’t feel the need to mention it. I did ask what he expected, and he said he just wanted to chill. Being so forthright when speaking about how he dealt frankly with other women, I didn’t feel he’d feel the need to lie to me.
We didn’t speak for a while, then one day he texted me saying, “I want to speak to you about something.”
“Sure,” I texted back.He called me and said, “Listen, I wanted to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed our conversations, and I’d really like to keep you in my life – as a friend.”
He called me moments later and said, “Listen, I wanted to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed our conversations, and I’d really like to keep you in my life – as a friend.”
Well that gave me pause.
“And that requires a conversation?” I asked skeptically, with a bit of an attitude even.
“Well, actually… ”
And this is where it gets interesting
“…In this class I’ve been taking, they said one of the biggest mistakes you can make in a relationship is to not express your intentions from the beginning. If you don’t, how can both parties’ expectations be aligned?”
This was definitely new for me. I didn’t think I could apply this piece of advice of telling him what I wanted, until after I knew I actually wanted a romantic partnership with a man. Then slowly, but surely, (that’s the goal) I begin to give him more and more responsibility and see how he handles it. Only then can he be a viable partner in my life.
NOTE: Becuase I hate when bloggers are making it seem like they’re totally following all of their own rules and perfect at everything, I want to say that this was only what I learned AFTER screwing so many relationships up. I mean by putting ALL of the responsibility for my happiness on the other person, by actually getting UPSET that they had other things to do besides be with me (now, I actually LOVE busy, PRODUCTIVE men) and exploding into angry, emotional outbursts and pouring out my heart to them that I have abandonment issues that they’ve triggered by not calling me back. So yes, I HAVE MADE THESE MISTAKES and here you’ll see me LEARNING from them. That is all.
Now, back to me literally being friend zoned – this was happening and I didn’t even catch it – but I liked it!
Not only did it take the pressure off of me of wondering what this new man who wanted to be in life expected of the times we would hang out and enjoy each other’s company, but he was straight up about it. It was a verbal contract. There was no mystery – there didn’t need to be – we’re just friends.
And friendship is a beautiful thing. I’ll never devalue it again.
I didn’t feel slighted. I didn’t feel less attracted to him OR less attractive. I felt relieved and empowered.
Sooner or later I won’t care at all what men want from me, or other people in general. I’ll show up with what I’m ready to give and leave it at that.
But I’m still navigating approaching all of my relationships in a new way.
I take full responsibility for my feelings, and you take responsibility for yours. It IS a process.
And in the meantime, some clear boundaries don’t hurt. In fact, they actually help.
What should you take away from this? Maybe I’ll revise what I said earlier: establish what you want from the relationship as early as you know it – but don’t let anyone pressure you into making a decision before you’re ready.
The friend zone is a pretty comfortable place. Kick your feet up, and make yourself at home.