Movies, Flea Markets, and Parental Advice #100HappyDays

Day 54: Curriculum design makes me happy. I spent most of the day working on new stuff for work, and it was…kind of awesome. Most people wouldn’t be geeked to spend a whole day in front of Word documents and Excel spreadsheets, but putting together this new program to help people learn our software better makes this geeky gal pretty happy. 

Day 55: Movies make me happy. Especially when you can watch them in the comfort of your own home–DVDs from the library for the win! 

Day 56: Flea markets make me happy. Yes, you read that right:  flea markets. My daddy and I used to go to the flea market all the time when I was little; I loved seeing all the cool stuff for sale. So, when I found out a flea market was going on near my house I definitely wanted to check it out. I didn’t buy anything, but I did see some interesting stuff–I’d love to go to more flea markets now that the weather is nice. 

Day 57: Parental advice makes me happy. At least once a week, I call my parents to catch up…and also ask for advice (usually about basic adult stuff that I should probably know already, but don’t). Lucky for me, they are always willing to give it andddd it’s always great advice! Win-win!

Day 58: Being in a supportive relationship makes me happy.  My boyfriend is there for me whenever I need him, and I am so lucky (and happy) because of it. 

Rude Girl

Apparently, I’m rude.

I mean, I didn’t even curse!  No personal insults or attacks.  Not even an angry emoji or two. Just a single iMessage after multiple disappointments:

“I said before I want a friendship with someone who has time and energy to hang out with me.  I don’t think that is you. Best of luck in the future, but do not contact me again.”

In the words of Queen Bey “you must not know ’bout me” because, baby–I can show you rude if you really wanna see it. I purposefully waited a day before responding because my original response was hella rude.

He must have also conveniently forgotten that his rude behavior caused this reaction.  I mean, he was the one who:

  1. Disappeared for MONTHS after our first date–no phone call, text, telegram, smoke signal, NOTHING.
  2. Randomly popped back into my life expecting me to forget I hadn’t heard from him in literally five months.  He asked me if he could “make it up to me” which he did by…
  3. Continuously made sexual innuendos and constantly commented on my body, which made me extremely uncomfortable. (When I asked him to stop, he said he would “back off.” I didn’t ask you to back off, sir. I asked you to STOP.)
  4. Touched my hair without my permission.  Like, not just a pat–his hands were IN MY HAIR.  (To his credit, he stopped when I asked, but please don’t touch me without my permission. That is very, very rude.)
  5. Telling me he didn’t feel like making the drive to see me (after I drove to see him the last time we hung out) and making plans with me, but cancelling the day of because his “night kinda disappeared with a bunch of stuff.”  <~~~WTF does that even mean?

So, sir–if being up front about not wanting inconsistent people in my life is rude, then I don’t want to be polite.

Boy, bye. 

The (Not So Great) Compromise

Compromise:  “a concession to something derogatory or prejudicial.”

Dang, Merriam-Webster.  That’s a little harsh, don’t you think?  (Though I’m certain advocates for the Virginia Plan would side with you.)

I like the simple definition better:  “a way of reaching agreement in which each person or group gives up something that was wanted in order to end an argument or dispute.”

The key word in that definition?  Each.  Each person gives up something.  Not one, but each.

I met someone who by all accounts was exactly what I wanted.  Handsome.  Intelligent.  Successful.  Wonderful listener.  Socially conscious.  Empathetic.  Great teeth (don’t judge me, as everyone has their preferences and this is one of mine).  But there was a teeny, tiny catch…

He was into open dating.

And, well…I’m…not.

It’s fine if others want to have open relationships, but I’m just not that kinda gal.  Call me prissy, prudish, old-fashioned, unrealistic, whatever you want–it’s just not for me.  I’m the type of person who goes all in when I commit to something, so that’s what I want in return.  I’m also an only child, so sharing isn’t my strong suit (again, don’t judge me, as everyone has their flaws and this is one of mine).

So when he mentioned the subject with me, I listened to his rationale.  I heard him out. I let him explain what it all meant and how he practiced it. (All the while hearing my intuition screaming, “Girl!  What.  Are.  You.  Thinking?!?  This is not your lane!  Don’t go there!  This is not what you want!”)

And yet…I said I’d think about it.  I honestly considered being one of many, even though my heart disagreed.  This man was 80% what I needed him to be.  I could live without that 20%, right? No one’s perfect.  I was willing to compromise.  That’s what adults are supposed to do–compromise!  Each person gives up something for the greater good.

…But that wasn’t what was happening.  Each person wasn’t giving up something.  I was giving up something, and something I really, really  want:  Monogamy.  Faithfulness.  A one-and-only kind of love.

I don’t think that kind of love is impossible.  I’ve seen it happen and I know it can happen for me.  But it surely won’t if I keep doing this fake ass “compromising.”

I told him every man in my life (until recently) has let me down.  They abandoned me.  They decided that some one or something else was more important than me.  I do not want that any more.  I refuse to commit someone who is not willing to give everything, because that’s what I’m willing to give.  I will not be second best.

I deserve someone who will make me their one.  Their only.

So we decided it wasn’t going to work out.  He’s a great person; I won’t cross the street or cuss his ass out if I ever see him again.  He’s just not the one for me.

I was in my feelings a little bit after our decision to part ways and stumbled across this gem that reaffirmed I was taking the best action for my life.

Here’s to falling in love for the right reason and finding someone to share me…with me.

Ashley in Tinder-land

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

I must be mad, y’all.  Sunday night, I did something I swore I’d never do again…

I got back on Tinder.

Now, my previous Tinder experiences have been lackluster at best.  (Yes, at BEST.)  Some of the men I’ve had the displeasure of meeting include:

…the one who asked me (before we’d ever met) if I liked to give head.

…the one who (after a pretty great date) disappeared for five months, then tried to come back into my life only to be too busy to spend time with me.

…the one who (again, before we’d ever met) called me damaged because I refused to cosign on his claim that he was the best thing that ever happened to me EVEN THOUGH I HAD NEVER MET HIM.  He claimed I was “choosing a Buick over a Bentley” (whatever that means).

…the one who sexually harassed me, then bashed Black women (a.k.a. women who look just like me) on Facebook.

…the one who had a girlfriend the entire time we were dating.  His girlfriend actually contacted me to find out the details of our relationship.

Y’all can see why Tinder-land wasn’t a place I wanted to stay for an extended period of time.

But because I’m optimistic–or a glutton for punishment, I’m not quite sure–I’ve decided to give it another try because I want to find love.  My last relationship was pretty terrible.  My Tinder experiences weren’t much better.  But through it all, I’ve learned a few things:

  • Distancing myself from toxic people is okay.  In fact, it is necessary for my personal sanity.
  • I don’t owe anyone anything.  A man doesn’t deserve a date, an explanation, or a minute of my time just because he decided to speak to me.
  • I shouldn’t settle for just anyone.  The man God has for me will be all I need him to be.
  • High standards yield high results. Holding myself to a higher standard (and expecting the same from the men I interact with) will help me weed out the ones who don’t deserve me.
  • Self-love is a prerequisite to a loving relationship.  In the words of one of my role models, RuPaul, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”
  • I am worthy of unconditional love.

So with all of those lessons learned, I’m ready to head back to Tinder-land.  Lewis Carroll said it better than I ever could:

“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”

Here we go…

Nothing Less

Life is too short to waste time on those that don’t deserve it. Every person you hold dear should improve your life and make you a better person in some way. If they aren’t bothered with making time for you, keeping promises, or caring about your feelings, keep it moving. They don’t want to invest in you, so why should you invest in them?

It can be hard to end those relationships and sever those ties, but it must be done. You deserve to be surrounded by people who care about you and want to make you a better person, not those who only care when it’s convenient or beneficial to them. You are worthy of dedication, love, and respect. 

Accept nothing less. 

Darkest Night, Brightest Day

Yesterday was a big day. My ex came to get the rest of his things from my home. I was initially very nervous, but everything worked out fine. A very nice policeman came to “protect the peace” as they call it. Peaceful it was–within 45 minutes it was over. He left a pile of cards and notes I’d written him, thrown on the floor like trash. If he thought that would hurt my feelings, he needs to think again. I put those papers in the recycling bin and never looked back. 

The overwhelming emotion was relief. My heart lightened when I looked at the now empty room that contained his things. My house is starting to become my own. I am already making plans to improve it: painting walls, getting new furniture, mounting a big flat screen in my living room. I hired someone to maintain my yard and it looks beautiful. If things work out as I hope, I’ll have friends over for a barbecue this summer (though I should probably put my grill together and learn how to use it first). 

My life is starting to become my own again too. I notice that I smile more. The anxiety and depression are gone; I’m more energized and alert. Before, each day was a little dim, as though a cloud hung over it. Now I thank God as soon as I wake for the blessing of witnessing another beautiful shining morning.  

It’s funny how the deepest heartbreaks can bring the greatest joy. The darkest night leads to the brightest day. After so many years of doubt, I am sure this is where I should be. 

I am happy. 

Black and Blue (unknown to you)

Blogger’s Note – April 28, 2015: I’ve been going back and forth in my head over whether or not to post this. It is deeply personal and, honestly, I was afraid to put the truth out there. God sent me a sign, so now I’m sharing this. Thank you to this blogger for allowing God to speak to me through you. I’m not afraid anymore. 

On the outside, I looked fine. 

On the inside, I was black and blue. 

The words he hurled at me left invisible scars. He called me stupid, ugly. He constantly picked me apart: my hair, my clothes, my weight, my job, my family, my friends. He said I deserved all the terrible treatment I’d gotten in the past. He said that no one else would want me. He yelled in my face until I was a puddle of tears. Once I screamed at him, pushed to the edge of sanity, “Why do you do this? Why do you always try to break me down?”

He didn’t say anything. 

He isolated me from my family and friends. If he could keep me from people who valued me, I would continue to feel worthless. I would continue to believe that all I had was him and the world he constructed for me: the feelings he told me to feel; the life he told me to live. 

No matter how hard I tried, I was never enough for him. And I did try. I stopped doing things I loved. I left people behind who had been there for me long before he had. I put him–his kids, his family, his finances, his feelings–before myself over and over and over again. He required–demanded–all of my time and attention. But it was never enough. 

I pretended. When I talked about my relationship, I was intentionally vague or only focused on the good parts. When asked how things were, my response was always “It’s fine.” “He’s fine.” “I’m fine.” But things were not fine. I felt like I was drowning and the person who was supposed to be my life boat was actually the current pulling me under.  

Thank God for the breaking point. Thank God for that night when He whispered to me, “Enough is enough. You were not meant for this,” and I finally heard Him. Too many times I had ignored His subtle revelations, but this time His whisper was a shout that woke me up. 

I’m a firm believer that God sends us trials to teach us. Not because He doesn’t care or wants us to suffer, but because He has a lesson we need to learn to get to the next level in life. I’ve learned my lesson. I will never forget it. 

“Enough is enough. You were not meant for this.”

On the inside now, I’m healing.