Is my baggage over 50lbs??

I promised to write this post a while ago but my thoughts wouldn’t align. I already know this one will be real vulnerable for me. I promised to write about the intimate conversation that I had with my mentor. Although I will share some things, others I will keep to myself for obvious reasons. I had this conversation with her more than a week ago and I just couldn’t figure out how to write this out.

I couldn’t get my thoughts together to make this post come full circle in my mind before typing. I still haven’t been able to do so; so let’s wing it 😊

We all know how I despise the dating scene right now. That’s for sure not a secret. Let’s be clear, I enjoy a good hot girl summer but I am NOT for the streets! I’m trying to be in the house before the street lights come on. Anywho, I met my mentor for breakfast one morning. I haven’t seen her in more than a year, definitely before COVID.

She asked me how dating was going because, well, the people know ya girl is not for the streets. I told her my concerns and how my friends share the same sentiments. Some of these guys just don’t date anymore. Every once in a while you might find one who will actually plan a date and do the reservations but mostly from what I hear that’s not happening. She literally sat across from me, looked me right in my face and told me, well why don’t you plan the date? Excuse me what ma’am?! You would like me to do what? You mean me… you want me as the woman to plan the first date. What part of the game is this?! And when did married women start giving out this atrocious advice?

Guess what? Married women definitely give out this advice. Very often. I’m pretty sure my married cousin gave me this same advice in July. Of course I didn’t do it; I’m hard headed. My other married mentor I met with in the middle of august said the same thing. But here’s the thing, married women aren’t speaking on large platforms to give this advice out. Culture would have us to believe that we are the prize and the man is supposed to do this, and do that.. and if he doesn’t… girl pack ya stuff and run because you deserve better. If he won’t, the next man will! Isn’t that what culture says? Isn’t that all over social media. We’ve been brainwashed.

Gotta Go!!

Culture would have us to believe everything comes in a pretty bow and if it doesn’t, move on. No one stays planted to do the work anymore. That definitely has been my problem. I had this false narrative that sir you have to come in the complete packaging. I don’t want to assemble. Here’s another gem she shared. She said everyone comes with baggage. Being married is finding your person to keep helping you unpack your baggage. She repacks it sometimes and her husband is right beside her unpacking it. I’m sure she does the same for him. Yup, I had this thing all wrong. Don’t call me for advice. I’m trying to figure it out too LOL

-B

Healing is a Journey

For the past couple of weeks, actually a couple of months, I’ve been in a transition in my life. I haven’t felt grounded. I’ve felt an increase in my anxious thoughts. Fast forward, I concluded that my anxious thoughts were tied to friendships and dating. I was talking to my mentor about this guy I was dating and how things were more challenging than I was willing to sign up for. We talked things through and she helped me look at the big picture. She stated, this guy is in your life for a reason and you have to ask God to show you why.

In the meantime, I have been following a trauma therapist on TikTok (somymomsatherapist) and she has great content. She talks about anxious thoughts and how things are uncomfortable in the beginning of dating someone. She helped me realize that I was having anxiety because my body was holding onto pain from past experiences. To be transparent, when I would text or call this guy and wouldnt hear back for hours, my body was going into protective mode. My brain would run negative scenarios and my body would believe that to be true. She (the therapist) explained how our body holds on to trauma history. So if in the past, a guy was unfaithful, you will fill in the trauma history at this moment. (This does not mean you arent over your past relationship either). This is exactly what I was doing. So she talks about regulating your body. You have to recognize that overly thinking about it wont help so you have to engage your brain elsewhere.

This has definitely been quite a challenge for me. I’ve noticed that lately one sign of discomfort and I am out. When people talking about fight, flight or freeze I am taking the flight every single time. I also like this therapist content because she is realistic. She talks about how everything isnt black and white. I love that because it sure isnt. Most people will post on social media to run at the first sign of a red flag. There are usually a ton of people in the comments sayin YASS sis! Thats RIGHT! They know what they are doing! In actuality, running at the first sign of discomfort is actually a trauma response.

Im pretty impulsive at the beginning of dating until I feel security and honestly that takes time. I’ve done some things and said some things that I should have thought through. Because my anxiety says NAH WE OUT, RUN! But Im learning to stop and give it time. I have to train my mind to look at the whole picture and not just the solo situation. To see if I feel the same way two days later. Most times I dont. To come full circle, he’s in my life because I needed to heal this part of me.

Hope this can help you.

-B

Move away they said…

Have you seen that Tik Tok that says “That was the best idea I ever had” then 2 seconds later it says ” That was the worst idea I ever had!” Thats exactly what moving far away from home can feel like. Its definitely a roller coaster ride. There is this meme that everyone is posting on social media; encouraging to move away and it will be the best decision of your life. Well that’s a tad overzealous. It may not feel like that at first. Moving to a new city is challenging. The hardest part is leaving your support system. I moved away from home 5 years a ago (Not counting college). I would have anxious thoughts about what if my car breaks down, who will I call? What if I get into an accident, how am I going to figure that out?

One of the biggest adjustments is trying to get a positive social life. Who do you hang out with after work? Or on the weekends? Its hard to make friends as an adult. Everyone is having this struggle. When I first moved, I felt so out of place. I was beyond ready to have local friends. I started going to meet ups. This was trial and error in itself. Although I met other women at happy hours and the movies, I didn’t necessarily find anyone that I connected with. We struggled to have common passions and interest. Our personalities didnt click. Most of my local friends came from work. That’s where I found my tribe. We clearly already had work in common so there was a connection there. I would say, be patient and creative. Look up organizations in your area that might interest you. What about your local alumni chapter? I also volunteered as a troop leader for Girl Scouts and met a friend there.

I didnt feel like I made the right decision until I started making permanent changes for myself. Once I found a church home that I loved, I felt more grounded. Its something about a great church with great people that gives me balance and peace.

Also, my family and friends from out of town came to visit me often. This helped with the transition. But lets be clear, there are many days where I questioned did I make the right decision. I would come home from work and go right to sleep on the couch. This came up in my therapy session one day. She told me I was probably had functional depression at the time. I had no idea. Couldnt even recognize it. It took about a year for me to get used to the adjustment.

If you are deciding to move, go into it with realistic expectations. Its not easy, but it may be worth it.

-B

Im Not Gonna Be Able to Do It

I usually list my emergency contact as my sister or my best friend. In my mind it would be my husband by now but we know how that story went. Its not just my story. I love sharing my friends stories. It makes me feel like less of an outlier. It allows you to understand the common themes that take place. My brother drove 2 hours to mount my TVs. Probably should have been my husband. My friend had a nail in her tire. Her dad took her car to go get it fixed. She said she would have preferred it to be her husband. My friend said she was looking up someone to hang her curtains. She said she would have preferred it to be her husband.

I see and hear men say there arent quality women to date. I dont want to hear it. Miss me with the non sense. From where Im standing, there are too many quality women to go around. I was discussing with the girls about how we were taught to just do this the right way. Dont worry about a husband. Dont worry about a man. We all graduated college. Most of us have masters degrees. Some of us have doctorate degrees. We are at the height of our careers. Everyone makes at least 60k and even more. No children. Own place and can financially support ourselves. Emotionally intelligent. Beautiful. Well traveled. Selfless. Did I already mention no children? So nope I dont want to hear that there arent quality women. We did it right. We did it how our Moms and Aunts told us to do it. So why does it feel like its at a disadvantage? My friend said sometimes it feels like a disadvantage that we dont just turn a blind eye to the games and BS in dating. She’s right. As soon as we see a couple red flags, we cant stick around. Clearly the number of men vs women is already unbalanced. Then when you add in your preferences and standards, the options get fewer and fewer.

My aunts and uncles seem to have healthy marriages these days. But I know from the stories, it wasnt always like that. My aunts had to deal with a lot to get there. I asked my uncle when do men get it together and stop playing games. He literally looked at me and said around age 40 with a straight face. 40. He said 40. Nah I dont even have it in me to twirl my fingers for the next 8 years. * Big Eye Roll*

Ya Mom Has Some Explaining To Do!

Lets have a round table discussion on who is raising these men shall we? We are #OverIt in 2021.

Now before you prejudge and say oh this is about to be about men bashing, its not. Its me sharing our stories collectively. Somehow we are seeing some common themes in these new age men and we dont like it. Lets list some common denominators.

  1. Consistency -I don’t necessarily hear my guys friends complain that women are inconsistent but that is for some reason these men struggle in this area. Dont start anything you cant maintain. This guy told me I dont tell him good morning. You know why I dont? Cause I cant maintain it! Im not a morning person but I can for sure say goodnight. Dont call me every day for months and then randomly I dont hear from you. Dont introduce me to a vibe you cant maintain.
  2. Emotional Intelligence– This one is rough. Men dont spend enough time developing in this area. Its not only about showing or expressing emotion. One of the biggest components is self awareness. Most men arent self aware. Especially when it comes to relationships and dating. They have put so much focus on building their career that this becomes a large area of weakness. You aren’t aware that your over indulgence in drinking, smoking or sex is avoidance for your problems and issues. Emotional intelligence means you know how to communicate effectively. There’s is this meme going around that says “time passed its not an apology”. I for sure know that this is directed towards men. Men will not communicate for days at a time and think things are supposed to go back to normal. How about learning how to communicate to overcome challenges and defuse conflict.
  3. Low Effort- If I hear one more man make the excuse that he is busy Im going to swipe a table. Everyone is busy. We are adults. Grow up. People make time for who and what they want. The “Im busy” excuse is old and tiring. Most of my friends are really low maintenance. This guy took my friend to watch the planes take off. Cheap, easy, intimate and low maintenance. That’s it. Its the low effort that takes me right on out of here.

Those are the major themes for now. Im sure there will be Part 2. Stay turned.

Leave Me Alone

Team “Do Too Damn Much”

I seriously do the most. I didn’t learn this about myself until recently. Have you seen that meme that says “I dont like how I act when I like somebody.” That is definitely me. This year I’ve learned a hard lesson of staying true to who I am. This mantra does come with some cons. Staying true to who you are can also bring about some hurt. Nope, no one talks about that part. Story time of course…

I am a giver. I always have been a giver. My mom was a giver. I learned that from her. Any time she thought a person would love something, she would for sure buy it. Man, this has come to my detriment in some situations. For instance, last year, I was dating this guy. I love to get stuff for the man I’m interested in. *insert big eye roll here* Im annoyed with myself. Anyway, birthdays and holidays are a big deal for me. It’s always weird buying stuff for someone at the beginning. You cant go too hard because you arent at the level but you feel like you have to do something right? Well I just bought a couple small but thoughtful things. Chileee why in the world would I do that? Homeboy started acting up literally on his birthday. Acted up so bad, I had to just drop his gifts off. I should have just bought a dollar store card and called it a day!

I have a couple friends who feel that same. We are just givers. I have a guy friend who goes all out for the person he is interested in. I don’t ever get those type LOL. But again, sometimes it comes with disappointment. I get excited to get a person a gift. Especially if its thoughtful. Lets jump to present day. I bought this guy a gift for Father’s Day. I remember him showing me his favorite picture of his kids. So for the gift, I got the picture put on a dog tag for him. Man I thought the gift was superb. I checked with all of my guy friends. They said oh he’s going to love it, thats dope. This dude literally said “Oh thank you for the gift.” That’s it and that’s all. Welp after two lessons, I think I’m done on the gift giving. Clearly the guys I choose don’t appreciate it.

Breaking Chains

There has been an outpouring of information and support for people healing their past traumas. I absolutely love it! Time and time again, I see post about people working to break generational curses. Just dont post about it. Be about it. Lets get personal. Although people describe me as a private person, if you ask me, I will give you a straight truthful answer. No matter the subject. That’s how healing works. Its my truth and once I have healed from it, its nothing you can say or do to bring that pain back to me.

Back to the story. While growing up, I always saw my mom with a man. I didnt know how detrimental it was when I was younger of course. But as an adult, I can unpack it. So my mom and my biological father had a toxic relationship. One of the worst I have ever seen in my life. After she broke free of him (and I mean that literally) she stayed with a man. She had an abusive relationship with my bio dad. It really damaged her self worth. Being with a man validated her whole being. I was beyond annoyed by it. When she had a new slick, (got that from my pastor lol) home girl was ALL IN every single time. These men became priority. Somehow and some way these men would still cash out. We had every thing from these men. I was getting gifts galore. They were even buying me pets. One thing I will say, I never went to these men houses. My mom didnt play that. If you were going to play her game, you were going to play by her rules and on her court.

I remember one particular guy. He was a long haul bus driver. You remember back in the day when large families would rent the charter buses for their family reunions or trips? That’s what he did. He had a trip to six flags he was doing for a family and he got me and my mom free tickets. Listen the lady was good ok. It didnt matter. I still hated all these men. They were occupying my moms time. A lot of her time. And I was beyond sick of it.

I saw a glimpse of me going down this path as a teenager. Honey I was boy crazy. Thinking back now, it was bad. Although I wasnt sexual, I literally kept a dude in rotation. Im glad I grew out of that. As an adult, I work really hard to be careful of the men I allow in my space. After every break up, I take time to be by myself. I am intentional about defining my worth in other things. My career, my goals, my family, my spiritual life, my friends and the list goes on. Its not always easy. It takes a strong support system. Reassurance doesnt always have to come from a man. I have the best hype men and women in my life. They keep me grounded. Sending you all encouragement and strength to keep breaking chains. Adulting is rough sometimes. You got this!

-B

Savage For A Season

“And when I turn into a savage boy don’t ask me why” -Queen Naija

Ladies have you ever just been in that mood? There were times when I felt like why am I being the good girl to just get dealt a bad hand when it came to men. Sometimes you just feel like Eff it then. I’m so bad, that I have a whole playlist just to get me through that mood. My friends know about my playlist and have asked me to send it to them too. My mostly calm friends would say “oh no don’t do that. Don’t listen to that stuff while you’re mad. It’s just going to make things worse.”

Nah. Forget that. Play that playlist sis. That play list will help you remember the pain when you feel like you want company. That playlist will quickly stop you from sending the “I Miss You” text. You might go through a lot of emotions with this playlist. You may be angry one minute and sad the next. Play it anyway. But only for a season.

When that season is over, make a new playlist. Put that one to rest for a while. Playing it too long might make you jaded. It had its purpose. Everything has a season. Even if you are only savage for this season.

Girl Get You Some Boundaries!

Hey yall! Its been a while. So Sorry! Holidays, New Year, activities, volunteering, planning, the list goes on. Lets get to it! Story Time!!

I say all the time that value my relationships. Even ex romantic relationships. Although a romantic relationship may end badly, somehow we still end up being friends years later. Its a gift and a curse. But you have to know how to have good boundaries. Ah boundaries. My favorite. One of my strengths is being a good listener. Chile, these men test my listening skills often. A couple months ago I received a call from an ex that I hadnt heard from in years. I was out with my family but I stepped away to answer it because we hadnt talked in forever. I really just answered to have a 30 second conversation and then tell him I would call him later. NOPE! Homeboy ended up talking about his issues with his children, baby mom issues work issues and the list goes on. How do you call someone and just dump your issues on to them like that?! I was in public so I was choosing my words carefully. Trying not to offend him. Quickly told him I was out with family and that I had to go. Of course he apologized but he also was inconsiderate and didnt ask if I could talk before he unloaded his problems.

Fast forward to a couple days later, he texted me asking if I had time to talk. Ok, better. I responded that we could talk but I did not have the emotional capacity to be his therapist tonight. Boom. Ladies and Gents that is effectively how you set boundaries. The first conversation he caught me off guard. I was prepared this time.

We have to be careful to not others weigh us down. Too many times, my friends and I trade stories about men who will randomly call and then all of sudden you feel weighed down by their problems. I cant carry your emotional baggage sir. I have my own.

I guess youre wondering what did the guy say when I told him I couldnt be his therapist? He said danngg I wasnt calling to do that. Why would you say that? I told him how thats exactly what happened the last time and I wasnt going to allow it to happen again. We talked about other things and the conversation went smoothly.

Setting boundaries doesnt come easy. It takes practice and some feelings may get hurt. Remember to always say things in love and kindness.

-B

Lets Talk Couples Counseling

Get you a man who goes to therapy

I came across this video posted by comedian David Arnold on Instagram. He told a story about how he ended up in couples counseling over an argument about oatmeal! I laughed so hard because that is seriously how it happens sometimes. The last straw may seem so petty!

I ended up in couples counseling over toilet paper! No lie. The toilet paper was the argument that broke the camels back. Let me paint the picture. We were watching a movie and he went to the bathroom. He went to grab the toilet paper but was annoyed that I accidentally bought paper towels instead of toilet paper. Oh Baby! He was sooo mad. He wanted me to leave the house at 8 at night in the winter to get him some toilet paper pronto. Nah fam. I wasnt doing that. You all know that its gets pitch black dark at 3p in the winter. Besides, we were watching a movie. So I suggested that he go downstairs to the lobby and use the restroom. Nope, homeboy wasnt having it. So we ended up arguing because I wouldn’t go to the store and he wouldn’t go downstairs. Needless to say, the night was ruined. And that, ladies and gentlemen had us in front of a therapist.

I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into when we went to therapy. Therapy was his idea actually. Im a social worker so I was totally in agreement with going. But chilleee someone should have told me to buckle up for that ride. I literally had no idea that our relationship was in such turmoil. Hanging on by a thread. Im pretty sure I cried at every darn session for months. I thought we would go, talk about feelings, chat it up. Nah son. Sis had us pulling back layers and layers. Hurtful things were said. But a lot of healing was done.

You have to be emotionally prepared for this. I was not. Its a safe space for both partners to express how they feel. Ask yourself some questions before going. Give yourself a pep talk that you will be receptive to what your partner says even though it may cut deep. And most importantly, you have to commit to doing the work. In the future, Ill talk about some exercises we did. Keep tuning in.

Do your work beloved