100 Questions: Day 72

How do I measure my success?

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This post will be short and to the point. I measure success in how I feel about myself. How I can look back on the lessons that Life has taught me and see the growth within me. Success to me is when my daughter takes heed to what I’ve said and relays it to her friends. Success is the amount of times I can laugh in a day. I measure my success in smiles. In how I take time to take care of myself both inside and out.

That’s some of the ways I measure success.

100 Questions: Day 71

What do I need to say but have not voiced? 

Last night, my energy felt really off. So I lit an incense, sat in a half lotus pose and meditated. Just last week, I met a pretty great guy that I feel I may be jumping the gun with. I see him a lot….electronically. We actually met on social media and his presence prior to us meeting was already heavy. In the days since, I’ve felt a mix of excitement, nervousness, anxiety, and a weird touch of rejection. Then I got mad at myself for feeling all of these things for a guy I just “technically” met (we’ve been online friends for years). During my meditation, I let all of those thoughts and feelings come to the forefront. I must’ve been sitting for at least a half an hour before I started singing one of my favorite Nina Simone songs.

Anytime I sing a song out of the blue, I know it’s my spirit singing out. So I went to get ready for bed when all of a sudden, the memory of the day I knew my relationship with my father had changed came to the surface. I was 16 and just told my family that I was pregnant. Before then, I was a daddy’s girl. He was the first man in my life. He saved me from my mom’s “wrath” and was the one to sit me down and explain everything to me. He was so patient and kind with me. Until I did something he felt was unforgivable. I felt the distance between us. It took him years to even look me in my eyes. It was that pain that I carried for a long time; never dealing with it because I had a newborn to raise as well as myself. It manifested itself in my relationships with men; ending with me not wanting to get any closer than a few causal flings. I didn’t want anything serious because deep down I knew that if I did something that made him upset, he would leave me. I sat in my bed, in the dark, crying. I cried for the 16 year-old me because those were some scary times for me, and I felt that I had to walk that road alone. But I didn’t want to. I wanted to feel love and safe and to be assured that everything would be okay. Not tolerated by the one man I thought would love me for the rest of our lives.

I never said this to my dad nor have I told him, “I forgive you.” Those three words can release so much pain, clear so much air, and bury any hatchet.  Still, they’re the hardest words to say.

100 Questions: Day 70

What have I stopped doing that I want to start again? 

This is a no-brainer for me. It’s pole dancing!

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I’ve always been interested in learning how to pole dance since I mentioned it as a sexy way to spruce up my love life. Figured, if I learn some tricks and spins, that I could whip out a nice bedroom routine or have it in my arsenal just in case (whatever that case is…lol!). Plus, my then boyfriend encouraged me to sign up for a class. He was just as enthusiastic about the pole classes as I was. Still, I never worked up the courage to go to a studio. And then we broke up and I moved out. For a moment, that reasoning for wanting to take pole disappeared. I didn’t have a reason to go. That is, until I went looking for a gym that was a hub of everything that I love: various dancing forms.

Once I found the gym I was hooked! It became less and less about being sexy and more about being able to do a spin properly. Pole classes taught me to be confident in who I am as a woman. To trust in myself and my body. I got stronger in more ways than one for the two consecutive years that I attended classes. I would think back on the classes where I was drenched in sweat, trying to coordinate my legs and my arms to put me in the perfect front hook, and laugh. In those moments, I wanted to quit so badly. But I didn’t want to give up on myself. I looked forward to learning new spins. Pole classes was something I was dedicated and committed to.

I stopped taking classes because my membership had expired, however I know after writing that it’s time for me to go back. Pole classes was my outlet. My release. With each class, I had something to work towards. I need that type of challenge back in my life again.

100 Questions: Day 69

What am I avoiding right now in my life?  

The last 48 hours have been very overwhelming to me in the most beautiful way possible. A few months back, I made a speech, from the heart at a retirement party that resonated with one guest in particular. She came into my office and after talking to her for quite some time, she offered to pay my tuition so that I can finish college. Later on in that day, my mom calls me to tell me that she’s getting a new car and she wants to give me her old one. Both ladies are looking for a response on what it is I want to do and fast. 

So why am I afraid? 

Everything that is happening are things that I’ve thought about years ago. Getting a degree, having a mentor, gaining the freedom to drive….seeing these come to fruition is intimidating to me. I talk a lot about my words and thoughts being powerful…but to actually see it happening is overwhelming. 

I got comfortable with being a dreamer. I haven’t navigated how to be a doer. People see something great in me that I can’t even see sometimes. I want to avoid disappointing people who believe in me, but what I’m really avoiding is the greatness that is within me. 

I’ll figure it out. 

100 Questions: Day 68

What relationship am I not feeling the way I want to feel in? 

If you’re not into astrology as much as I am, then you wouldn’t know anything about Venus currently being in retrograde. In a nutshell, Venus controls love and relationships. So with this planet moving backwards, expect some relationship issues to come to the forefront and to do some real evaluating. I mean, look at all the celebrity couples that have called it quits since July 25th (Miranda/Blake, Jennifer/Ben, Gwen/Gavin, Kermit/Miss Piggy).  Venus is not playing out here.

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For me, this retrograde has done something completely different. First day of the retrograde, my current ex came back into the picture. Literally out of the blue, he wanted to treat me to the perfect lunch. He brought me all of my favorites and treated me like he’s always treated me. He takes joy in being the prototype; the man to beat all men you’ve ever encountered in your life. As much as I appreciated his efforts, something about them felt hollow; like it wasn’t real. In fact, that feeling stuck with me for a week. It wasn’t that I was feeling empty, but I started to recognize some of the roadblocks I had set up for myself in matters of the heart and I wan’t happy about it.

Being a Venus child, I’m ruled by this planet. It’s my very essence and yet, I have looked to others to love me in ways that I feel that I couldn’t love myself. I don’t love myself as much as I expect others to, which completely diminishes me and sends me into any potential relationship in a deficit. I start relationships off imbalanced because I have raised this person on a pedestal unintentionally and unfairly.  I have made a person responsible for the love I want and crave, instead of just giving it to myself. Even worse, is that I pour out to another in hopes that, when seeing my effort, will reciprocate (of course, I learned the hard way with HomieLoverFriend that this only depletes you and breeds resentment).  So this weekend, I made a pact with myself. That I would treat myself with much more love. Nourish my body, mind, and spirit. Laugh more. Go out on the town more. Sign up for more classes. Take way more trips. Buy more clothes. Spend more time outdoors.

Before, I would do all of these things because I was depressed and being kind to me was an act of survival. Now, I need to do these things for myself because I’m a damn good person who deserves nice things.

100 Questions: Day 67 

Who can I forgive? 

I thought of a myriad of people that I could say and they’d all be the usual suspects: myself, an old love, my parents. But, I’m going to go with the first person who came to mind: Professor Stevens* 

Professor Stevens was my Intro to Journalism teacher who always sent my paper back with tons of red notes on them. The professor who my best was never good enough. But I was determined; I wanted to be a writer and one day, run my own magazine. I came to him after class one day and asked him what I could do to pass the class. I’ll never forget what he said next. Professor Stevens, with a smile and a halfhearted laugh told me, “Change your major.” That was the end of the conversation, and my dream came to a hault. 

I never forgave him for taking me off course because I was too busy blaming myself for not being strong enough. So today, I forgive you. I forgive you for not seeing my potential. I forgive the way you handled me that afternoon in your classroom. I forgive you for not knowing how to nurture my gift of creative writing. I finally forgive you, Professor.

*Name has been changed not to protect him, but because I genuinely forgot his name. It’s been that long. 

  

100 Questions: Day 66

What have I denied myself that I really want? 

Editor’s Note: Yes, I’m starting this back up, or rather…I’m here to finish what I started. My thoughts have been all over the place lately and thanks to the morning meditation I’ve been (consistently) doing, I feel more centered and ready to answer these questions again. Also, with bringing back me answering questions, I will be replacing the Tarot Card of the Day, for an Adventure Card of the Day. Courtesy of the deck I was gifted with: Anywhere Travel Guide. So, on to today’s answer!

I want to live a life that I love. A life that feels right for me, not one that looks good to others. And sitting here, I realized that I’ve denied myself that simple pleasure because of how uncomfortable it made other people. My trip to South Africa was something for me, but it made my parents anxious. I use to explore the city all the time; going into random restaurants, strolling around. I stopped doing that for a few reasons: the guy I was dating at the time hated any form of change and the downtown area even more, and I just stopped enjoying taking the Metro home late at night. I started telling myself over and over, “you’ll go to that restaurant next week when you get some money” or “we’ll see what the weather is like”. I love to indulge, be it on a small or large scale. I’m a firm believer that life is meant to be enjoyed…and here I am, denying the one thing I believe in. I love traveling. I love live music. Eating with my hands. I love laughter. Watching the sun rise and set over each new day. Driving with no destination in mind. To enjoy sweets without worrying about how the scale won’t tip in my favor. These are just a few things I really want. So, I have to work on getting them. Regardless of how it makes anyone feel.

Even myself.

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#XD7 – Conclusion – The Home

Alexis didn’t think that her whirlwind summer fling would come to this: sitting in silence, barely acknowledging each other’s presence as the highway seemed to go on for miles. Ever since they left her mother’s house, he has been very distant towards her. The few times Darius did speak to her was to ask if she was okay or needed to stop. The smile she become accustomed to seeing was no longer; instead he was focused on the road ahead Alexis thought of what she could say to break the tension between them, but could only think of one thing.  She placed her hand ontop of his.

“I’m sorry.” she said almost in a whisper.

Darius sighed. He grabbed her hand and pressed the back of it on his lips; a gesture that sent waves up Alexis’ body.

“I’m sorry, too.”

*                                   *                                  *                              *                                    *                                    *

Alexis returned back to the flat to see Andrea sitting on the couch, reading a magazine.

“Girl, where have you been?! I haven’t seen you in weeks!” she stormed off the couch.

“I went out.” Alexis waved off; too busy in her own head to fully give her roommate any real energy.

“You know today’s the 15th and did you at least call your mom? I can’t keep paying rent…..”

Alexis walked to her room and closed the door. She plopped down on her bed and thought about her week. She heard her roommate talking through the door but she didn’t care.

She had to blog about her summer.

#XD7 – Seven – The Conversation 

Darius rushed after Alexis, who has steamrolled out of the house.

“Wait! Hold up!” he quickened his pace to catch up to her. The two not-so-strangers stopped on the middle of the lawn. Darius grabbed Alexis’ arm and motioned for her to turn in his direction. Alexis spun so hard that her unruly natural curls flew into her face. She blew them out of her face and stared into her Sexy Stranger. Darius. His eyes were a pool of confusion and warmth.

“What the hell was that back there?” he said, pointed back at her childhood home. “Is that how you talk to your mom?”

Alexis felt a sharp pain in her heart. She felt that he was judging her; erasing all of the fun they had together over a few words that meant nothing to her. Why is he being so rash? And why did this bother me so much? Do I…LIKE like him?!

“Yes, and so?” Alexis looked down at her feet, which she was fidgeting before he looked up at him. “I just don’t like her all up in my business, that’s all.”

“She loves you. She cares about you. She’s your damn mother, for Christ sake!” he said; each sentence louder than the last.

“Right. MY mother. So I’ll talk to her how I want to, and you talk to your mother how YOU want to. Agreed?” she looked to see that it was him now looking at his feet.

“We should…get going now.”

#XD7 – Six – The Relatives

When they arrived, Alexis’ mother, Beverly, was more accommodating than she anticipated, which made her nauseous.

“Please, help yourself to whatever you like! We were just sitting down for dinner.” Beverly said bubbly to the addition at the family table.

“Thank you, ma’am.” he replied. “Everything looks delicious.”

“Now, is there anything you don’t eat?” she motioned for him to sit at the table. Alexis spoke up.

“No, he eats everything. Especially my pussy.”

“Alexis!” her mother shrieked.  “I’m sorry….um….”

“Darius, ma’am.” he finally said with a smile.

“Yes. Well, you have to forgive her. She can be a bit…blunt.” she chuckled nervously at her daughter, who looked down at her nails. “Are you going to join us?”

“Sure, mom.” she said nonchalantly. “After having a bunch of sex for weeks on end, you work up an appetite.”

“Lex, nobody cares about your sex life.” her brother, Simon said as he came down the stairs, staring at his phone.

Beverly quickly changed the subject. “So how is Andrea?”

“Okay.”

“So…are you okay with the rent? Because you didn’t deposit the last check I sent? Is everything okay.”

Alexis slammed her hands on the table. “Dammit, Mom! That’s why I never come over here. I’m with a man I have incredible, mind-blowing sex with after meeting him at a gas station and you nag me about rent?! You’ve never believed in me. Ugh! Come on, let’s go.” she motioned to Darius, a man whose name she just learned.

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