Last week, as I was watching the President give his final State of the Union address, I got a message. I happened to do one of those glances where you just sorta acknowledge that your phone vibrated, but immediately go back to what you were originally doing, so I thought my eyes were tricking me when I saw that it was my college ex who was reaching out to me. But it wasn’t a trick and after 4 years of silence and separation, he returned back into my life. Much like my favorite game to play at carnivals: Whack-A-Mole.
If you’re anything like me, you believe in the effects Mercury being in retrograde has on your everyday life. Your travel has been less than smooth, your phone or laptop is giving you the blues, and…exes reappear out of the woodwork. Now, I’ve had my most recent ex show up all the time, but not him. Not my college sweetheart. Not the ex that I watched slip away from me and fall in love with another woman right in front of my eyes (via social media). No, this ex was happy in life. This ex had found “The One.” This ex was engaged to be married. But here’s he is; telling me that he missed me and the friendship we once had.
I can’t lie, I missed his friendship, too. Before we even became romantically involved, we were two transfer college students who bonded in the basement over our discontent for our roommates. We would talk all night and walk to the cafeteria for waffles the next morning. We spent most of our first year really getting to know one another, playing Monopoly until the wee hours, studying, going to parties, and relaxing into what we defined as being young adults. That year ended with us becoming intimate, but ultimately me deciding that we should just keep it at a friend-level, because by then our friendship meant everything to me and I didn’t want to lose that. It would be another 18 months before I lowered my defense and became his girlfriend. I would remain his girlfriend for 5 years; my longest relationship to date. The day we broke up, my one wish was that we could remain friends, which wasn’t easy considering we now lived in separate states. But we made it work, even when I started a whole new relationship. He was there, until August 2012. That’s when he met the woman he would eventually call his “wife” and he bestowed on me a title that I still hold today: his ex.
But last week, he returned to me; bringing with him the promise of a rekindled friendship. He had been reminiscing lately on how close we were before he moved on. He wants me back in his life as a friend. Naturally, I’m cautious. Is he bored in his marriage? Does he REALLY miss me or am I just an escape? Have I matured and moved on enough that I can be JUST a friend to him? So far, that’s all that’s been happening; sending text messages here and there to each other. My friends are worried about me; they knew how I was when it was over. They held my hand and attempted to listen to me through short breaths and tears. Plus, none of them are friends with their ex; say it’s impossible because one person will always want more than the other. I’m taking a slightly less cynical approach to this. Right now, I’m just glad my friend is back. However long that may be.
Happy New Year! While everyone is gearing up to head back to work and get to putting their new year’s resolutions in action (I know you didn’t actually start on the 1st), I’ve been summoned to jury duty. As far as first things to do in the new year, this definitely isn’t it.
In fact, in the 20 minutes I’ve stood in line to sign-in, nobody wants to be here. Even if they wake up this early for work, the majority of the people I’ve encountered feel that the 7:30 a.m. check in time is just too early. One CFO in line even talked about bribing the clerks to get out of serving. I get it. Even I prefer to be snuggled in the bed, watching a Living Single marathon. But a lot has changed in the last five years since I last served.
Trayvon Martin happened. Jordan Davis happened. Michael Brown didn’t happen. Eric Garner didn’t happen. Freddie Gray is happening. My views on jury duty have changed tremendously. Yes, I’m still nervous about having someone’s fate be solely in my decision to sift through the facts presented to me. Yes, I still feel annoyed by the summons. However, this is my civic duty. Who knows what will happen today but I know I will serve with purpose.
But being able to catch that Living Single marathon would be great, too.
What new beginning am I being guided to?
Let me just say that doing 100 questions has been a true labor of love. I definitely fell off a few times but I will say this: because of these questions, this became a year that I did some much needed self-reflection. These questions made me really delve into myself and really see where I am and where I need to change. I encourage anyone reading this to answer some (or all) of these questions in 2016.
Now, on to the final answer of 2015. The end of a year always brings about reflection and also goal setting in lieu of resolutions. For the past two weeks, I have truly been in a zone. I got a push from my spiritual guides to really set goals for myself this new year. Before, I was just going with the wind and picking goals for myself that sound great in theory, but I never saw come into fruition. Mostly because I was playing small. I’m being pushed to be greater than I have ever imagined myself to be. So for the last day of 2015, let’s decide to not play small, to take more risks, and to be okay with making mistakes.
What little act of kindness can I do today?
This one is easy. Give a compliment. Effortlessly and Sincerely.
What change can I make today?
Well this answer is easy for me today. I need a “new-new” routine. For the last 5 years, my routine consisted of me waking up every morning at 5 a.m. I would then give thanks for the day, set an intention, and by 5:30, I was doing some form of exercising. Since I prepped breakfast and lunch the night (or nights, I love leftovers) before, I used the 6-7 a.m. hour to get dressed for work. Then it was the 8 hours of being at my desk at work. Spend 45 minutes getting home sans traffic, rinse and repeat.
Now that I got laid off, I need a new routine because right now I don’t really have one. I wake up whenever I feel like it, run the errands that I feel like, revel in daytime naps, and watch marathons in between searching for employment or going on interviews. If I can be honest, a lot of what I couldn’t stand about my job, I have the freedom to do now, but I have to get serious. I have to get a plan into place and create a new “new” routine. What will it be? I don’t know, but what I do know is that I’m a morning person who can’t stay asleep past 7 a.m. My day should start then. Still keeping in line with how my mornings used to go, when it comes down to my old commute and things to do at work, that can be fixed. I can squeeze time to have a nap if I choose. Maybe carve an hour or two just for some fun. Maybe switch up where I look for a job. Have lunch at a cafe. I’m setting the stage here for how I want my life to go. My routine should reflect that.
What action step can I take today that my future self will hug me for?
You know one of the potential pitfalls has been for me being a true, unrestricted dreamer? I lack the follow-through. I’ll see something that I want, or get a vision of what it is that I’m suppose to do, and then leave it up to fate how it’ll get done. While there’s nothing wrong with leaving things up to fate, I can admit that there are some dreams that require my follow-through on.
So the action step I can take today is…to just take action. If I know that I’m spiritually moved to live in California, my action would be to research places to live, search for job openings, and narrow down where in the state I could see myself living. Plan a trip out West. Find a Airbnb in a potential neighborhood. In this case, my “dream” of living in California becomes my reality because of the steps I plan to take.
Oh by the way, that’s actually a goal of mines. I’m sure my future self will give me the biggest bear hug in our apartment near the beach.
What payoff is no longer pleasing me?
Another one that I’ll keep very brief. There’s a song by one of my favorite groups, Little Jackie, that I would sing for months after finding out my college sweetheart had move on and found the love of his life.
In the chorus, the lead singer says one line that I would scream to the heavens: Love will find me eventually. At the time, I held that belief to be true; just stay still and continue to live your life and in time, you will love again. That if I just stop looking, that what I was looking for would come to me; I would find the love of my life.
Well, that thinking has only been a disservice to myself and here’s why. I have left experiencing love in the hands of someone else, or something else…instead of finding it within me. Love shouldn’t have to find me, love is already within me. Love isn’t a person, it’s an energy. So I’ll be spending time tapping into the love I already possess from now on.
When I listen to my heart, what does it say?
This post will be short and to the point. I have been experiencing rejection lately as I try to find another job before the new year. The majority of the jobs I apply for, I’m immediately disqualified for before I even make it to the next step. For the few that I have, the company eventually hired within the company. When I was laid off, I told myself that this was a perfect opportunity to regroup and refocus on what it is that I need to do with my life. Then all of a sudden, I started comparing myself to others. I began to feel unqualified and “not good enough.” I started to even doubt what I felt my Guides were telling me. Then, in the wee hours of the morning, my Guides whispered into my heart:
Just trust the Universe to provide you with what you need. It’s all right there, coming together for you. Just be patient.
It’s hard for me to trust the process fully sometimes, but when I do, it always works out. I just got a friendly reminder today.
When has scarcity or lack-based thought prevented me from doing what I love?
How many times have you uttered the words, “I don’t have the money to do that right now?” Maybe you’ve said, “When I get some free time, I’ll finally be able to ________.” I know for me, this is an ongoing conversation that I have with myself, but not as frequently.
Sometimes, it just takes a tiny shift in your thinking to truly change your outlook. For me, I wanted to get out and enjoy the city that I live in. But the narrative I always used was, “I don’t have a job. I can’t afford to go out.” So guess what happened? I started working, which of course produced an income. Then the narrative became, “I don’t have the time to go anywhere.” “I’m too tired and I have other things to do.” I stayed in this mind space for years; eventually spilling over into other aspects of my life, like my wellness and traveling. But underneath all of this “lack” laid an underlining issue that I couldn’t touch: I was afraid to go after what I loved…alone.
So, I started to really ask myself is it that I don’t HAVE time, or do I not MAKE the time? If I wanted to go to a Happy Hour, then all I needed was 20 minutes. And let me tell you, it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. Then Happy Hour turned to dinner at restaurants I always wanted to try out. Soon, it was going to the dance studio and taking classes. Soon, I didn’t mind doing things by myself because I always seem to attract like-minded people wherever I went. The lack of money (or so I thought) opened my eyes to how I just view money in general. I always “talk broke”; there’s never enough money to do anything…and if you believe in manifestations, then my reality matched it. It took years for me to shift from a lack of money, to knowing I have the money to do everything I needed and wanted to do. I would tell myself, “I have the money to do what I love. My needs are met.” and what I needed was either marked down or on sale. I started getting raises at work, too!
Thinking from a space of lack has a way of keeping you boxed in a prison of your own creation. It doesn’t feel like it because it feels comfortable and familiar. I know for some logical thinkers, “attitude of gratitude” thinkers grate their nerves; that it’s unrealistic. But there’s a saying we have that pretty much sums up scarcity and lack:
I’ll see it when I believe it.
Where can I be more understanding?
Yesterday, I had the amazing opportunity to take a yoga workshop called: Dancing with the Goddess. Doesn’t that just sound divine? Well, that workshop set a lot of things in motion for me that I will absolutely write in future blogs, but for the purpose of this answer I’ll share what happened to me during one of the meditations.
After doing a series of kundalini exercises, we were asked to observe not only our breaths, but how we’re feeling. While I felt a sense of calm within my own body, a voice said to me, You’re a late bloomer. Always have been. It doesn’t mean that you’re not in bloom, though. and tears immediately began to fall down from my face.
I get caught up (which is very easy in the age of social media) with seeing the growth of others and not within me. To me, it seems as if everyone else “gets it” and I feel that I’m always one step behind. That is the farthest from the truth. I just happen to learn in my own way, in my own time. If I’m going to be the best that I can be in this lifetime, I have to understand myself more and not hold my standards up to anyone else.