just because she looks soft and delicate
doesn’t mean she’s weak,
remember it’s always the
silk-like wings of a butterfly
that breaks out of a hard cocoon
just because she looks soft and delicate
doesn’t mean she’s weak,
remember it’s always the
silk-like wings of a butterfly
that breaks out of a hard cocoon
Let’s make this year a little different.
Learn to define yourself not by the mistakes you’ve made, but by where you go from them.
I know you’ve got a list a mile high of what you feel are losses, but remind yourself you’re not a quitter. You write your own rules, change the game if you need to. If you are unhappy with where you are then move.
Learn that just because you haven’t been loved in the way you deserve doesn’t mean you don’t deserve it. That just because some people found it hard to love you doesn’t mean you’re not easy to love. Repeat this to yourself. I can still be loved, I can still be loved. Love yourself so much that you don’t feel the wanting from loneliness. Love yourself so much it doesn’t matter who broke your heart in the past or who breaks your heart next. Love yourself so much you become complete. Love yourself so much you stop accepting anything less than what you need. Love yourself so much you stop accepting any less even from yourself.
Look in the mirror. The person you see standing in front of you is the love of your life. Feed her just as much as you’ve fed the mouths who bit chunks out of you. Find the places from which they did, kiss them and let them heal.
Tell yourself you’re more than the sum of all the wounds you’ve acquired through the years. That you’re more than all the things that have ever happened to you. Face those things, stop trying to bury the things you wish you could forget. Remember them, even when it hurts, steal back from them your power. You’re more than the things some monsters stole in the dark.
Remind yourself that self-preservation isn’t the same as being selfish. Love yourself first. Choose yourself first. Make yourself happy first. Save yourself first.
Stop looking for love in all the wrong places. Look for love inside of yourself, happiness in its purest form can really only come from within.
Stop putting yourself down and selling yourself short. Speak to yourself in a kinder voice. You have the whole world inside of you. Anyone can tell you this but it doesn’t mean anything and it isn’t true unless you believe it. You are rare. You are beautiful. You can do anything.
Stop being chewed up by mouths that will forget your name.
Be grateful for your accomplishments and work for those you still yearn for. You got this. This year tune out the voice that says you can’t.
Take care of yourself. No one else will do it for you. No one else can do it better.
Think about the rosy-cheeked, head full of curls little girl you once were. What would she say to you today? What were the things she always wanted to have? Would you treat her like you treat yourself now?
Do what makes you happy. It’s as simple as that.
Darling, you don’t need anyone but yourself. Anything you’ve needed has always been inside you.
Make this your year.
Think about how a year from now you can look back and think I’ve come so far.
We were all young once
All in love–
with the idea of love
A creation of the mind
Based on stories we grew up hearing
“he’ll come riding a white horse.”
“she’ll be the damsel you need to save.”
Adolescent, we search
For the image engraved.
And sometimes there’s a happy ending
And other cases….
Disappointment and heartbreak
We realize fairy tales are just rare dreams
And just like that, love is no longer deep infatuation
But rather something we know to seek the ends of the earth for.
After my last relationship, the one that broke me the most, I decided to take a break from dating. I needed time alone. I needed to find myself again. Because with him, I lost myself.
From being alone, I learned the lesson that the universe has been trying to teach me all along but I was too stubborn to listen.
I learned how to depend on myself. I realized that family doesn’t always mean love, and romance doesn’t mean forever. I learned that I better find a way to always make it on my own because my friends won’t help me and my prince charming won’t come save and my family won’t always be there.
And as months went on, and I continued enjoying my own company, I met a guy. And we hit it off as friends, at least that’s what I thought. Soon, there was an ‘ I like you’ text from him then ‘I like you so so much’ then ‘cant we date’ text. This came after three months of friendship.
At this moment, I was 8 months single, and my girlfriends would tell me, ‘when will you ever know that you’re done with your ex if you don’t get into another relationship?’ ‘You’ve got a guy that likes and adores you so much’ ‘why don’t you date him and see where it leads to?’
It was so damn clear that he liked me very much. For the sake of my friends and their everyday advice, I agreed.
‘Yes I will date you’ I replied a week later.
This happened in November 2017.
Through December, everything was good. We spent new years together and that’s when he told me, he loves me. But I couldn’t reply back.
“I love you” has always been a difficult thing for me to say. It’s not that I’m incapable of loving people, but I didn’t grow up in an overly warm household and a lot of that probably rubbed off on me. My father was always distant even when he was right there in front of me, and sometimes all I wanted was for him to tell me that he loved me, to make me feel loved. It never happened, and I always felt like the unloved child of the bunch until I learned to start loving myself.
So when I get into relationships I’m almost never the first person to say “I love you,” even if I know I’m bat shit cray cray/head over heels for someone. It’s not great, I know, but I’m one of those people who just assumes that the other person knows how I feel already. I always do cute little things and drop subtle hints so they know I care. Actions speak louder than words, don’t they?
He continued with the ‘i love you’ texts and after every phone call and every time we parted ways from dates. I still never said it back. Not even once.
January came and went. Then at the start of February, i called it quits.
I did that because, not only that saying ‘I love you’ has always been a difficult thing for me to say, but also, I realized that, I’m not ready to love again.
At the moment, I want to keep working on me, to keep bettering myself, keep getting my life on track, completing all the things I want to do and becoming happy on my own. I want to fill in the blanks in my own life, I don’t want to turn to someone and have them fill in the blanks for me. I don’t want someone to come in and try to complete me because I want to be complete on my own.
Maybe one day, I will be ready to love again. But not today.
They say time heals everything, but unfortunately time had not fully taken its course to heal me and soon enough, my insecurities returned once again and my troubling past came back to haunt me.
In case you come across this post, I just want to say that I’m truly sorry I was not ready for you. I’m truly sorry that I was not able to accept the love you were more than willing to give me. I’m sorry for the apology I never gave you when I said I wasn’t ready for you. I’m sorry for providing no explanation for the sudden pain I might have caused you.
Most of all I’m sorry for convincing myself I was ready to love again.
Before you came along, I was recovering. I was trying to understand how I could give my all to someone and it was still not enough for someone to stick around. I thought I finally had a grip on the understanding that perhaps you were the perfect solution to fix my problems. But you weren’t.
This was a surprisingly good book about confronting your fears and being more open to new experiences. Shonda Rhimes is the writer and producer of several popular TV shows, including “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder.” A self-described introvert, she realized she was always turning down opportunities to attend gatherings because she would rather stay home with her kids or just keep working.
So she challenged herself to spend a year saying yes to things that scared her, such as going on the Jimmy Kimmel show and giving a commencement speech at Dartmouth. The experiences were positive, and soon it became easier to agree to things that used to scare her. She also got inspired to exercise more and start eating better, and she lost 100 pounds.
A friend recommended this book to me, saying it had some good stories about balancing work and personal life. I was glad I gave it a chance, because I did find it inspiring and got some useful tips. I listened to this on audio, and Shonda was an entertaining performer. Recommended for those who like project memoirs or life-changing stories.
Favorite Quotes from the book.
great read!!! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR WOMEN!
“I wish I could tell you in person, but I cannot.”
@my ex: I wish you would have appreciated me when you had me instead of deciding to appreciate me once I left.
@my ex: I wish you would’ve let me know my worth instead of fighting for it.
@my ex: I wish you did not just want me and the other girls you dated for their bodies. Look at the qualities the girls have in their minds
@my ex: Wish you understand what you did is classified as abuse
@my ex: I hope you see someday why I had to end things with you. We were in two different points in our lives and we didn’t need to hold each other back.
@my ex: I wish someday you would realize how much you really fucked me up. No girl should ever be treated the way you treated me.
@my ex: I wish you would have loved me like I loved you.
@my ex: I wish you put in more effort.
@my ex: I wish you could have communicated directly to me instead of your friends.
@my ex: Using other people will not fix you or fill you, it just creates more emptiness within you and those you claim to love.
@my ex: You never appreciated all that I did for you. I am so grateful God showed me the light and allowed me to see life without you would be so much better for me. Now I am happier than I ever was with you.
@my ex: I hope all is well for you, and I hope that you’re really still happy, and that whatever you’ve chosen to do takes you far.
We all know that, every relationship comes with its own sets of problems, compromise and occasional arguments, but when it’s too much, well it’s too much. If the good days aren’t out weighing the bad days, something is wrong.
Every relationship is going to differ when it comes to the amount of arguments per day, week or month and working through conflicts can even build a stronger relationship between two people. But when it gets to ‘being controlling’, then something is wrong.
And we ladies, have the tendency of making excuses for our controlling relationship. Our problem is that we begin to classify these controlling behaviors as “normal” in relationships. Because your best friend’s boyfriend is the same way, or your last boyfriend was much worse than your current boyfriend, so it’s totally normal.
Are you really going to try to convince yourself that your boyfriend choosing whom you can and cannot hangout with is love? Is it actually cute when he says he doesn’t want you socializing with other guys because he just cares about you so much that he wants you all to himself?
If relationships were supposed to be a game, having rules and guidelines would make sense, but they’re not and it doesn’t.
If they are isolating you from people, friends and family, you have a problem. If they say things like, “you’re mine and only mine, forever”, there might be a problem. If you can’t go out and enjoy yourselves without getting in an argument by the end of the night, you have a problem. If your family and friends express concern over your relationship regularly, you most definitely have a problem. And when you start to ask yourself, “am i actually crazy, is it just me?” then your problem couldn’t be any more obvious.
You won’t realize how little freedom you have in your relationship until it’s too late and it’s already gone, I can promise you that… ‘Yes, I promise you that because I write from experience.’
Controlling and possessive behavior is not cute. This behavior can end up taking a turn for the worst and I’m sure none of us really want to stick around long enough to find out what happens next if you allow it to.
Years pass on, and we grow. But every year is different in its own way. Some years break us, and some years shape us. 2017 came in both ways, but God let me bend, but He did not let me break.
I feel like the past year I was stagnant. I just don’t feel like I was committed to any one thing with my whole being. I just sort of…well, fell all over the place too much to be organized even though I got a few things done.
For 2018, I thought I’d do something different and choose a Word of the Year for myself.
DO is my word.
From Shonda Rhimes book – Year of Yes, which is my other book of the month, she says, “DITCH THE DREAM. BE A DOER, NOT A DREAMER. Maybe you know exactly what you dream of being. Or maybe you’re paralyzed because you have no idea what your passion is. The truth is, it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to know. You just have to keep moving forward. You have to keep doing something, seizing the next opportunity, staying open to trying something new. It doesn’t have to fit your vision of the perfect job or the perfect life. Perfect is boring, and dreams are not real. Just…..DO.
You think, “I wish I could travel” – you sell your crappy car and buy a ticket and go to Bangkok right now. I’m serious. You say, “I want to be a writer” – guess what? A writer is someone who writes every day. Start writing. Or: you don’t have a job? Get one. ANY JOB. Don’t sit at home waiting for the magical dream opportunity. Who are you? Prince William? No. Get a job. Work. Do until you can do something else.”
From that, I decided in 2018, everyday I will DO one thing that is good for me. Even if i don’t want to. Even when it’s the last thing I want to do. I’m not asking myself to change my routine; instead I’m challenging myself to make one tiny adjustment per day.
What is your word for the year?
I try. I try really hard to still believe in this thing called ‘Love’ but the more I witness and personally experience in regards to dating and love, the more I realize that my pessimism is more than warranted.
So here are some things I regularly encounter:
When I first heard of  ghosting, I thought it was a rare phenomenon. Who were these awful, evil guys running around stringing women along, then dropping off the face of the earth? Were they raised by wolves. What is their problem? Then it happened to me one two many times. But the one I remember was a guy who swept me off my feet, charmed the pants off me for a year, then disappeared only to return a year later asking if I wanted to get together. WTF!!! I politely reminded him that he had ghosted me one year ago, he can get together with someone else.
Then there’s being  benched—-you know, when you have to be the cause of another woman being benched. Although I have never being benched. What had happened was, a guy I liked told me: “I’m interested in both of you. But I’ve put things on hold with her to see where things go with you.” I’m sorry. WTF!! After an argument about what he was doing and him denying that he was benching her, that was the end. I’m assuming he went back to her – until he found someone else for whom he could bench her again.
I realized,  lying, especially when it comes to dating, love and relationships, is nothing new. But come the hell on! If you’re going to lie to me about where you were, what you were doing, and who you were with, cover your tracks! Don’t let yourself get tagged in an Instagram or Facebook photo. While I don’t advocate for lying, I can say that no woman would let herself get caught in a lie, because we’re smart enough to plan it all out properly!
So there I am texting a guy and then he just stops responding. For days. When I hear from him again, I get the whole, “Oh, sorry. I didn’t see your texts because I wasn’t near my phone.” Oh, really? This is 2017 (it happened then); we’re all in some serious relationships with our phones and, boy, I saw you liking photos on IG and retweeting crap on Twitter, but go ahead and tell me again you didn’t see my texts. You straight-up  ignored me; at least own up to that crap.
On the flip side of being ignored, when I’ve decided that things aren’t working out with a guy, even if we’ve only dated a couple time,  I get called a whore for it. Sometimes a bitch. Me taking the high road to say I’m not interested, as opposed to ghosting, leads to me being insulted. And disgustingly, if I took the low road and ghosted them instead, I’d get the same response. It’s really hard for women to win in this dating game; we’re all a whore when we piss off a guy.
Then when love starts to fade or few arguments here and there, shaking up the relationship a bit,  you’re passed over for someone “better”. When the wording of, “I met someone better for me” is thrown at you. Okay then, you met them, then leave. TF! You don’t have to be all up in my face with that.
I had this one guy in my life who would tell me he loved me regularly, but it’s was a word he used on his own terms.  Being told “I love you” when it’s convenient for them. He knew if he told me, I’d respond with, “I know” as usual. But on the few occasions I said it to him without being prompted by him first, he’d pull away for a few days as if I’d told him I have the plague. It was so much like clockwork that it became a joke with our friends: “Oh, I haven’t heard from so-and-so for a few days.” “You told him you loved him again?” “Yep. Although he told me he loved me a couple hours before, so I thought I was in the clear this time.”
Lastly,  having to hear “I’m not looking for anything serious” over and over and over again. Yeah, dudes, I get it. You’re not looking for anything serious – unless you find that woman who looks like she’s been torn from the pages of Vogue and is willing to suck your junk 50 times a day. Oh, believe me, I get it. Groan. Eye roll. Groan.
I’m sure there are more, but these are mostly experienced by many girls out there. Share you encounters in the comment if you wanna.
I’m never quite sure what has me rate a book 5 stars. I rarely do so. I think I save my 5 stars for books that have me fully intellectually and emotionally engaged. Stay With Me was that kind of reading experience. Set in Nigeria between the mid 1980s and 2008, Stay With Me is about the tortuous relationship between Yejide and Akin, and their heartbreaking road to parenthood. I don’t want to say too much about the story because it’s best to experience its emotional punch as it unfolds but here are some of the things I loved about Stay With Me:
-I loved the portrayal of Yejide. No one will agree with all of her decisions but Adebayo has created a character that felt so real. The consequences of losing her mother at birth are perfectly woven into this angry, aching and intelligent character.
-There is a lot of love in this book, but it is love between humans. So it comes at a price including bad decisions made out of love, silence where speaking is needed and avoidance because of the fear of loss.
-I loved the portrayal of contemporary Nigeria. As someone who knows relatively little about Nigeria, this book gave me a strong sense of the interplay of traditional culture, modernity and political unrest. Yejide and Akin are university educated and relatively well to do. Yejide runs her own hair salon and Akin works for a bank. Yet they both come from traditional polygamous families, and there is much pressure on Akin to take on a second wife — something Yejide vehemently opposes.
-Although Stay With Me is relatively short, a lot happens in this story and much of it is unexpected. This is not a story with a typical narrative arc but it is carefully and beautifully constructed.
-Adebayo treads intelligently on morally charged territory.
-And the ending — yikes — had me weepy.
I loved it. I highly recommend it. Although I suspect that many will struggle with many of Yejide and Akin’s choices and actions. Thank You Netgalley- Knopf Doubleday Publishing- and the ‘star’ of this book: Ayobami Adebayo