June 2, 2014

Online Dating: Is This All That's Left?

One day while not working, my co-worker and I started talking about dating, and somehow I got her to sign up for OkCupid. Because jumping online to find Mr. Right had to be the answer to all of her problems. I couldn't let her do it alone, not to mention I'd made a promise to start dating again. I'm pretty fearless, a fact that drives my mother crazy. After only one full day of being on the site, I went to my co-worker and said, "this shit is hard!" Keeping up with the messages, and trying to engage men who thought, "hey" was a conversation starter was just too much for me. This was obviously not my thing. But I'm not a quitter, so I decided I was going to stick it out. 

A lovely message to my co-worker
I'd also been meaning to do Speed Dating with friends for the longest but my schedule just wouldn't allow it. So, I went to Google, and I found a site called speeddate.com. I mean, if you're going to do online dating, you need to go all the way, right? This was perfect! I was going to get the chance to speed date from the comfort of my couch.This was amazing! Until it wasn't. Speed Date guy #1 decided he wanted my Skype info because we hit it off. He didn't however tell me that he wanted to Skype at 3am. Color me surprised when my ipad started ringing, and when I accidentally answered. I immediately hung up because first, I wasn't Skype ready, and two, shouldn't we actually make plans to do this? Speed Date guy number two and I talked two days in a row. By day two, I was invited to Hawaii, where he currently resides. I continued to ignore the invitation, because come on, we don't know each other. He needed attention that I was unable to give, not to mention, it was a little too early to expect me to go from me to we. The guys that followed weren't any better, and you would think that would have been reason enough to quit this online dating thing all together.

I've never been able to leave well enough alone

There was a guy who sent a message and introduced himself by saying, "they call me *insert name*. What they call you?" followed by a twenty four year old, a man with TWO kids, and bringing it on home, a man who has been in a relationship for FOUR years, and has no plans of ending it anytime soon!

This is part of the actual message from said guy
Picture it, Long Beach, 2014, I was sitting on my couch reading an ebook, (because old) when a message pops up at the top of the screen. You've got mail! I wouldn't usually check this, but something in my spirit wouldn't let me ignore it. I clicked it and the first thing I see is, "can I tell you something?" I regret this, but I asked anyway, only to then receive that message you see on the left. I'd been invited to be someone's side piece. He wanted me to be the Joseline to his Stevie J, and I was shocked!  He asked for a half commitment, which as you can see, I had to ask him to explain. He's bored with his girlfriend and has decided that just from reading my profile that I seem, "exiting." I'm not even special enough to be exciting, just exiting. Whatever that means.

Which brings me to why I'm writing this post. While sifting through pictures of potential guys, my co-worker turned to me and said, "Alana, is this all we're left with? Is this it?" I can remember thinking, God, I hope not. Well, God said, possibly. 

We now live in a world where everything is done online. I mean, I never thought I'd see the day when I could sit on my couch and do Speed Dating and homework all at the same time. I've watched people become best friends just from talking on Twitter. I too have formed special bonds with people through Twitter. But our heads are always down, reading and sending a text message or email, never really engaging in face to face communication. On those days that I am approached by a man who is interested in either dating me or being my "friend" I find it a little annoying that these grown men struggle to have an intelligent conversation. That's not to say that it's all men, but it's enough, and when you've been approached by one too many frogs that refuse to turn into princes, you try to remain hopeful that there is something better. That was me, believing there had to be a better way, and what I learned is that online dating might not be that thing, for me.

I don't want to be that cynical girl, and maybe I, like many others, am being picky, but we have that right. There was an article written recently for women specifically, about why we are single. Like most articles on this topic one of the reasons was that we are too picky. Our standards are too high, yet this is never said about a man. It seems to be ok that a man have a preference that is almost unrealistic, but our expectation, to be treated right, and be with a man who is stable both mentally and financially is constantly criticized. We are often times expected to accept what is given to us because he is a "good man" and one flaw, even if it's one indiscretion, shouldn't be enough to make us walk away.

If all we seem to be left with is the thirty year old living at home with his parents, the guy who wants to settle down just for the sake of settling down, and the cheater, what does that say about the possibility of any of us settling down at all? I'm not saying that meeting someone and falling in love is an impossibility, but the possibility of doing this is dwindling with every man that chooses to lie about his relationship status, or refuses to leave the nest. It's a sad thought, but the acceptance that we may just be forever alone is a harsh reality that I, along with others, are faced with. 

Online dating, is this really all there is?

March 8, 2014

Alana Needs A Break

Angie, Alana, Stephen, and Rilee
I went hiking with friends a couple of days ago. It was a plan that started with one person and snowballed into a group activity. We'd been trying to find the right time and day to do this activity, but it just never lined up. One day I decided that we were going to do it and I contacted everyone that I knew wanted to go and the majority of my friends said yes. Nia Long said, "when you keep saying you don't have the time, that is when you won't have the time." I spend most of my time thinking about the time I don't have, this is my flaw. I own this.

Angie enjoying the hike
You can't see it in the photos but our phones were always accessible. However, I was the only one occupied by my phone. While hiking, it is almost impossible to get service, you can try but until you get really close to the top, your phone usually makes no noise. Unless you're me. Nobody got service on this hike but me, and in a way I felt like I was being tested. I failed miserably. I received emails from my writers, PR reps, and even an emergency text message from another co-worker who couldn't make it to the hike. "Alana, ignore it!" "Just tell them you didn't have service!" My friends yelled at me as they continued to hike and I stood a few feet answering texts, and emails that couldn't wait until we finished. Just one more text and I could join my friends in the fun that was being had without me.  

The text messages and emails didn't stop until it was time to head back down the trail. By the time we started bouncing down (some of us running from bugs) the rocky path, all emails were answered and I had solved all of the problems, but what had I gained besides a shift on my day off and more questions I'd have to answer later on in the week? I enjoyed being with my friends, and watching them experience what I'd already experienced more times than I can count, but when I walked into my house, and moved around preparing to shift my day to accommodate others, I had a thought: I really need a break.

Stephen, Rilee, and Angie attempting to jump
I've been working my ass off to make certain things in my life happen so that I could accomplish goals that I set for myself last year. In doing so, I've worked myself into a state of unhappiness. The people around me see the things I do as "cool" and "exciting" I'm just exhausted and I'm not giving myself the chance to enjoy these things. I don't want to look up a year or two from now and wonder where the time went. I want to look back and say, "I remember that! It was a really great time." So, this is me no longer saying I don't have the time, or putting people first, this is just me living, and the next time we go on a hike (which will be very soon) I'm going to leave the phone in the car and just take my digital camera with me. I want to stop and smell the roses. I don't want to depend on someone else telling me how amazing they smell.

February 14, 2014

Decision Making: My Struggle As A Professional Writer

I have an article I need to write, an interview I need to prepare for, and a day to start, but I can't do any of that without writing this first. At the end of 2013 I was offered a position as editor for an online magazine that's kinda dope. I jumped at the chance because I mean, who wouldn't? It's the opportunity of a lifetime and has opened some doors for me and has given me confidence to pursue a few things I'd been holding off on. However, as great as things are, there was one thing I never counted on when taking this position. I'm filtering myself.

One of the things I've always loved about Twitter is being able to say what I wanted when I damn well pleased. It's liberating to be able to use profanity, state my opinion, and laugh with old and new friends about the goings on in the world. When I decided that I was going to be a writer, and that this was going to be my career and not just a hobby, I kept thinking that maybe I needed to create a separate Twitter, one for Alana the writer/editor, and one for Alana, the girl who works and rants from time to time. Being the procrastinator that I am, I never got around to it, but that wasn't a problem, until recently.

My job as editor has caused some organizations to follow me, and share things that I tweet. Writers follow me in hopes of connecting, but they don't know who I am because I find myself filtering the things that I say. And it's exhausting as hell. During the Grammys, I held back, a lot. I didn't tweet the way I would have a year ago, I didn't make fun of Stevie Wonder hairline like I did just a couple of years ago, because priorities. The reality is, I have to watch what I say because there is a small chance I might end up interviewing some of the people I talk about and my tweets could come back to bite me in the ass. I don't want to show up to interview someone and have them hit me with, "yeah, I saw that tweet about my hair sliding off my scalp." I actually said that Stevie along with some other funny things. Anyway, could you imagine the horror of having someone throwing your words up in your face? That could make for a very awkward interview.

When I covered an event for the magazine, I was offered the chance to cover the red carpet as well as the event, and interview different celebrities that were there for the occasion. I remember a certain celeb getting angry and deciding that they were going to get off of the red carpet because they were tired of waiting for their chance to talk to the next media outlet. My fingers were itching to tweet the moment, but I couldn't because again, professional. I struggle with that even knowing what I know now. Sometimes I throw caution to the wind and decide to tweet my first thought anyway, or I retweet something that's slightly reckless because I think it's funny. I find it so hard to filter. Anyone who knows me knows that I can not be stifled. I would rather give  up my position as writer/editor than become a person that I don't even recognize. I've got to find a balance, I know this, but I'm afraid I'll always be left asking the question, where do I draw the line between personal and professional?

February 7, 2014


"Alana, you're a really good writer." My dad said this to me as I sifted through the numerous emails in all four of my email accounts. I glanced up and said to him, "I'm really not as good as people believe I am." It was a sobering comment that immediately made me feel terrible. My writers block had started lowering my self-esteem. A co-worker recently mentioned that I attend some of the "coolest" events. I smiled, but behind my smile I was thinking, "I attend them, and then grapple for the right words to string together in hopes of submitting an article worth reading.

I've been questioning my skills a lot lately. Writers block has hit me hard and I am still down for the count. I bullshit my way through the things that I have to write and when there are no deadlines, I'm silent. The only time my fingers move is when I'm changing the channel, or tweeting. Honestly, Twitter seems to be where my most of my words land. Not in the article that's due at the end of the week, or the email that needs to be sent out to my writers, but Twitter, the place where procrastinators like myself go to...well...procrastinate.

I would never go so far as to say that I'm a terrible writer. If I were, there is no way I would have made it as far as I have. But I'd be lying if I said that I didn't come down on myself when I see other writers' hands flying across the keyboard, knocking out article after article, while I struggle to finish one. I'm constantly in my head trying to talk myself up in hopes of sparking something, anything, to help me make my deadlines.

My horoscope said that this was my month. That I was going to make great strides in my career, and if I'm being honest with myself, I'm off to a great start. I've landed a big interview that could help push me to the next level, I'm that much closer to publishing my first novel, and I'm a step closer to pitching to two major magazines in hopes of seeing my name in one or both of them this year. But I am still stuck with the question, where have my words gone?

November 4, 2013

Courage or Comfort?

"The path to loving and belonging is vulnerability." ~Dr. Brene Brown

It's kind of hard to write a post about vulnerability when you aren't completely sure how to be vulnerable anymore. I use to think that my need to be perfect was me being a perfectionist, I thought it was a great thing to be, a great trait to have. On Sunday, I learned that that is not the case. My need to be a perfectionist was me refusing to be vulnerable. 

During the most recent Life Class, Oprah, along with Dr. Brene Brown tackled the subject of being vulnerable. Dr. Brown says, "if you don't know how to do vulnerability, then vulnerability is doing you." I sat up with my phone in my hand and began taking notes, because quite honestly, she was speaking to me. I've had two moments in time where I was completely vulnerable. One was when I shared my battle with depression, and another is when I decided to tell someone the truth, and my truth was ignored. Funny enough, I was more terrified about talking about depression than I was to tell the truth, and I received completely different responses than I thought I would get on each topic.

I use to be really good at hiding behind my laugh and smile and being silly. I never shared with people when I was angry or sad, or just plain fed up. It was just easier to be happy on the outside and curl up in a corner when I was behind closed doors. The fear of judgement or rejection is what stopped me from being vulnerable. 

   "We share with people who earn the right to hear the story"~Brene Brown

And sometimes we trust the wrong people with our story and we get hurt. It does not mean that we should shut down forever. The one thing Dr. brown said that stuck out to me was, "If you want to be brave and show up in your life, you're going to fail. You're going to stumble, you're going to fall. It's a part of showing up." She follows it up with, "you can choose courage or you can choose comfort. You can't have both." For the longest time I was trying to choose both. 

It is so easy to dress your imperfections up, and make them pretty for all the eyes on you, but it takes courage to be vulnerable, and say, "this is me, no shields, no lies, just me. Accept it, or don't." By doing that, you are putting yourself out there to be judged or disliked, you are being vulnerable. I've worked so hard to not be that person, and now, I'm back in a place where being vulnerable is important to me. I choose courage over comfort. 

October 11, 2013

Closure: You May Never Get It

Closure: A feeling of finality or resolution, especially after a traumatic experience.

It's different for everyone. We don't all need it to move on to the next thing or get on with life. Sometimes, it's just as simple as charging it to the game and moving on. That's not the case for everyone, some people need that ending, they need to know why.

Yesterday, like every other day, my people on Twitter had a discussion. This particular discussion surrounded closure and those who need it. There were a few opinions that I agreed with, but more that I disagreed with. One person said, "They need that closure, that "I'm sorry", so that they can feel better about letting that person back into their life." It's not always about that. Sometimes, people want an I'm sorry because they feel like it's what is needed to move forward.

There is a quote by Oprah that I love,  she says, "What we all want is to be seen and heard, and to know that what you say really matters." It is very possible that the person looking for closure just wants the other person to say, "I hear you. I get it." That is the closure for some. It is impossible to get that when the person you're dealing with isn't showing any signs of "getting it".

Getting closure does not mean making the same mistake with the same person. But rather trying to figure out why your actual outcome was different from the one you expected.

The problem with wanting and seeking closure is that it's so easy to lose yourself while seeking it. You become consumed with the "what if" and closure then becomes a need which eventually turns into an obsession. Closure, there is nothing wrong with wanting it, but if you aren't getting it, you have to find a way to let go of the hope that one day you will. Give yourself closure by letting it go.

Quick Thought: Hurt People

It's been said very often that, "Hurt people hurt people." This means that those who have been hurt once before sometimes lash out at those around them. Up until recently, I had someone like this in my life. They were always pointing a finger at those around them saying what people were doing to them was wrong, but for some reason they could never see the part they played in the cluster fuck that was their life. I always overlooked the tantrums and the anger and made excuses for them by saying, well he has been through a lot or she was hurt by ________. I never thought to say, this is wrong.   I was often times this person's proverbial punching bag because they knew that in the end, Alana would always be there. All of this goes back to my post about the giving tree.

There is a quote by Jane Austen that says angry people are not always wise. The truth of the matter is, angry people can be assholes. And we as their support system and friends are feeding their irrational bullshit.

I do believe that hurt people hurt people. I also believe that bad behavior only gets worse if you placate those who are acting out. So if someone is hurt, and you call yourself their friend, be the kind of friend that calls them out on their bad behavior. Your hurt friend will only continue to hurt people, yourself included, if you rub their back and tell them that it's ok.

September 25, 2013

Nobody's Perfect...Not Even Me

It is easier to be honest with someone about their shortcomings than it is to be honest with yourself about your own. This isn't a secret, this isn't news to any of us. We fear holding up a mirror and looking in it because of what might be staring back at us. I believe that when I write, I give the impression that I am holding up a mirror, looking directly into it, and telling you what is wrong with me. I can sometimes be transparent, or at least seem like I am. I've worked hard at this. It was my plan to do this so that people wouldn't try to figure me out. If they started picking me apart, they'd see my flaws. Not the flaws that I push to the front, but the ones that I bury deep down, the ones that would force me to face the facts that I always  seem to turn away from.

Let me tell you a short story that could potentially turn into a long story. I met a guy when I was fifteen. We became friends, nothing special, just friends. Around this time, I was really working on my perfect persona. I didn't use profanity around him, when he told me he liked my voice I made sure to always speak that way, even when I wanted to raise my voice, I didn't. Anyway, he and I grew closer, because I had become what he wanted me to be, I'd become perfect, for him. But that shit became exhausting, and it became really clear that I had to stop working hard to be what I believed he wanted me to be. Long story short, we grew apart once I showed him that I didn't fit into the pretty little box he tried to put me in. We talk twice a year and that's only because I check to make sure he's still alive. I'm disappointed every time he says he's doing well. I don't wish anything bad on him, but it wouldn't hurt if his life was at least a little shitty.

I decided to show him just who I was, which wasn't much different from who I made him believe I was. 

In the end, I held up the mirror and showed him the real me and in doing so got a little glimpse of just who he was. I didn't like what I saw, but I like the lesson that I learned. I'm not perfect, I never will be, and altering who I am to fit the mold of who someone else thinks I should be is crazy. Nobody's perfect, and sometimes the person you're trying so hard to be perfect for, is scarily imperfect. 

September 24, 2013

Quick Thought: Love...There Are No Guarantees

One of my favorite movies is All About You. It follows a woman named Niki who is more in love with a man than he is with her. He eventually breaks up with her, and she is forced to take a step back professionally and personally, and move back in with her old roommate who just so happens to be her ex's cousin. She later falls for a guy who turns out to be her ex and roommate's cousin. This is a really complicated storyline now that I think about it. Anyway, as the two grow closer, they have a small conversation that goes like this:

"It's pretty daunting to give your all to someone, who doesn't want it."

"What will it take?"

"For what?"

"To try again."

"Assurance, I mean an escape clause. A one hundred percent money back guarantee if you will. I need to know, that I know, that I know."

"That's no fun. You have to leave room for the surprises."

Do you really? I understand her feeling like she needs assurance more than I understand his statement about leaving room for surprises. Nobody wants the surprise of things ending in their relationship, or saying I love you and being met with silence. Giving your all to someone who doesn't want it, like she said, is daunting, but it's also soul crushing. 

I've been thinking a lot about love lately. I remember what I felt when I was in it, but I also remember the lasting affects when it was over and done. I once wrote about the lessons learned from each relationship that I've been in, and about how I had some of the highest highs and the lowest lows. There was some good and bad in each relationship. I carry both with me even to this day. The fact that I carry them might just be the reason that I am not in a relationship now.

So maybe we should leave room for the surprises in order to try love again, but if you're like me, you don't like surprises. I, like Niki, need to know that I know, that I know.

Unfortunately, in life, there are no guarantees.

September 18, 2013

Sincerelyalana Update!

I feel like I've abandoned this place. If I'm being honest, (and I try to be as honest as possible) I really haven't done much writing outside of my freelance work. I've started blog posts and then sent them straight to the draft box. Nothing that I've written for sincerelyalana.com seemed good enough. This is my baby, this place helped me find myself and my writing voice. It has allowed me to be completely open and honest. It has also stopped me from being one of those people who updates their Facebook status every five minutes. I love it here, but I haven't been acting like it lately. My goal is to revamp the site and definitely write more. I also need to work on my professional site alanastoner.com and my genealogy site mygenealogyjourney.com.

A lot has happened since the last time I posted anything here, I resigned from The Bridal Hot List. The reason isn't important, but trust me, I had a good one. What I learned from writing for TBHL is, sticking with something just so that you can say that you didn't quit, is slightly ridiculous. I wasn't proud of my work, but I felt bad for walking away. However, something happened that made me do a double take and I decided that I didn't want to continue to waste time on something that I didn't feel passionate about.

I joined a writing group at the top of the year. The ladies and gentlemen are so encouraging. I can log in and vent about something, whether it be about writing or not, and they are there with encouraging words and advice. Last month the creator of the group brought something to all of our attention, and the Amazon Challenge was created. Everyone who has decided to participate is working on a novella that we will self publish at the end of September. We will support each other's work, and even suggest it to friends and family. I'm in the editing stages of this challenge, and I haven't decided whether to write under a pen name or not. So there is that...

I'm still writing for Miss A where I cover charity events. I will be covering an even for The Wounded Warrior Project. Not only will I be on the red carpet, I'll also be inside of the event.

And finally, I will be Walking To End Breast Cancer next week with friends and family in support of a family member.

Everything seems great, right? Well not so much. I'm struggling with writing for myself and not sacrificing who I am just to please other people. Here, I'm open and honest about everything. That honesty has caused a problem in my past, but it didn't matter then because it was just a job, not my career. 

This is what I do, in the end this is the only thing I'll do for a living, but right now, I have to find a happy medium. I can remember when my Facebook page was just family and friends, now, it's family, friends, editors, people I write for, and people that I admire. I find myself watering down my words, ignoring my emotions, due to the fact that these people have "friended" me on Facebook. I also allowed people who admire my work, friend me on Facebook. Who told me that was a good idea?

Before I started accepting friend requests from these people, I'd thought about creating a separate account specifically for these people, but I clearly didn't make it happen soon enough. So now, I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place of trying to stay true to myself while not stunting my career growth. Nobody said this would be easy.

July 13, 2013

"Live one day at a time emphasizing ethics rather than rules." ~Wayne Dyer

I've always kept my two professional lives separate. There is Alana the writer, and Alana who clocks in and out. I've never wanted people to think that my words, represent the companies that I work for. The last company I was employed by made everyone sign a form that said we would put up a disclaimer on our blogs or when we tweeted saying that our opinions did not represent *enter company name here*. I knew then that I had to keep my online life separate from my nine to five, which hasn't been hard. 

That is until I went on an interview today. I love my current job, but I like to explore options. Also, there is always the possibility that there is something better out there for you. Anyway, the interviewer asked me if I would be willing to give up the writing positions that I currently hold, along with sincerelyalana.com. My answer was strong and very sure, no. I'm not willing to give up what I've worked so hard for, for a job that might decide tomorrow that we just don't fit. Not to mention, the company I now work for is totally fine with my writing, and has even asked me to do some writing and editing for them. Do you see why I love them? 

I've mentioned my freelance work in every interview that I've done this year, and every company has expressed interest in my writing. The point in me doing this was that I didn't want to accept a position, have them find out about what I do, and then it causes a problem. This is the first time that anyone has pretty much said, WAIT WHAT?! Don't get me wrongI don't hold this against her. I understand the fear. Words are powerful, and when used, they can make things look beautiful, or very ugly.

Anyone that knows me, or follows me on Twitter or Facebook knows that I have never mentioned where I work. There is not a person outside of my small circle that can run down my resume. Back in 2006 I started working for a company that had quite a few celebrity clients. I never talked to people about who came into the store, and I never spoke of the company's name. My main concern has always been making sure that the work that I present, in anything that I do, is good if not great. I don't want to be recognized, I don't want fame. I just want to be able to say that I am doing what I truly love.

Never give up something you love to appease someone else. I've always said this, but after today I feel like it's even more important for me to say it. For anyone to ask you to give up something that makes you genuinely happy, is unfair, and ridiculous. You and only you get to decide what you will give up and when and if you will give it up. One of my favorite Oprah quotes has always been, "Everybody has a calling and your real job in life is to figure out what that is and to get about the business of doing it" 

The first time I heard her speak those words, I immediately decided that I was going to do what I believed was my calling, and that's when I began pitching articles. The first email that I received accepting my article only solidified my belief that this is what I was supposed to be doing. This was home, this is home. Why, I ask, would I ever give it up? 

Giving up writing, would mean throwing all of my hard work away 

I have a responsibility to take care of me, we all do. That responsibility is doing what's right for you, even if that means walking away from an opportunity that's safe. So, no, I will not give up what I've worked so hard to attain for the benefit of someone else's comfort. If I am passed over for this position because of who I am and what I do, it's not meant for me. I'm ok with that.

June 29, 2013

Accepting The Blessings While Surrounded By Turmoil.

I'm in a battle called, how do I do this? So many great things are happening. I've often written about how I sometimes find myself waiting for the other shoe to drop. When things are going right, I wait for the one thing that's wrong to come in and trump that. Recently, I was offered a position to write for a pretty big online magazine, this is a dream job for me and a huge foot in the door. In the beginning I wanted to write for a publication that catered to the African American community, and I sort of did that. No, it wasn't Essence, Ebony, or even jet, but it was a step in the right direction and gave me a push to actually continue to pursue the career I've wanted for so long. 

I tend to hold on to my good news until I have no choice but to share it with others, because I can't stand having all eyes on me. The congratulations are sometimes hard to accept graciously without instead ducking my head, and saying, it's nothing, really. I guess that could be considered blocking my blessings because in a way it's a sign of being ungrateful, even though I'm more than grateful. I'm just not accepting of it all.

I will forever thank Kimberly Foster at forharriet.com for publishing the first piece that I've ever pitched. It was all because of one tweet, and me finding the courage to step out on Faith that I was able to say that I had gotten something that I'd written published. But even with that wonderful thing happening to me, I still waited around for the other shoe to drop. This is a weird way of thinking for someone who firmly believes in speaking things into existence. Even when it isn't spoken, your thoughts always seem to manifest themselves.

Not everything in my life is rainbows and unicorns, my life is not perfect, and if I'm being honest the imperfections are really beginning to kick my ass. My first thought is, call your therapist, she's there to guide you through tough times. However I'd really like to get through this without sitting on a couch and sharing my feelings. What I'm going through is not dire, it's just hard, and I don't do hard. With everything going on, I'm really trying to find a place where I can sit and actually enjoy all of the good news I'm getting. I'm aware that sweeping the bad under the rug does nothing but prolong the inevitable, I'm also aware that at some point I have got to get out of my own way. Right right now, however, I just want to sit here and try to find my happy place. I'm going to accept my blessings while surrounded by what some might consider self inflicted turmoil.  

Is that even a thing?

June 22, 2013

Letting Go: It's Beyond Your Control Girl

The last few weeks have been rough. There have been so many ups and downs that I didn't know whether I was coming or going. For every right, there were six wrongs. Of course I smiled through it, because that is what I do. This is normal, because we all go through stuff, right? Right! But for some reason the bad news just wouldn't let up, I was being hit from all directions and I didn't know what to do but to surrender. 

I've never been a quitter, I've always chosen to fight through whatever was going on with me and so far, I have always come out on top. One of my downfalls has also been never asking for help, I'd rather suffer, and struggle so that when things finally turn around I can say that I did it, by myself, as I always do. Talking about my problems with others only happens after the problems are solved. This time however, I decided to take a different route, I asked for help, but help never came. Still wondering why I don't ask for help?

Normally I would go into survival mode, and find an answer to all of my problems, but with everything going on I was too tired to fight, it was just easier to give up. So, that's what I was going to do, for the first time in my life I was going to give up and just let the chips fall where they may. Then I remembered someone telling me to let go of things that I had no control over (it was probably Oprah, she has the answer to everything.) I'm not a failure, I never have been, and I wasn't about to start now. I let the problems go, and decided that if things were meant to work out they would, and if they came crashing down, I'd cover my head and hope that the damage wasn't too severe.

Almost two months after everything started going from good to bad, things have definitely turned around, and I'm so proud to be able to say that I did this by myself, without the help of others, and I didn't give up. What I've learned in these past weeks is that, I am not in control. I do not say what does and does not happen. When things are going badly, relinquish control with the understanding that your worrying will not fix the issue, your worrying will not make you feel better or put a smile on your face, understand that sometimes you just have to give up control, and that's totally ok.

Oh, remember the good I was talking about? I've had a lot of great writing opportunities come my way. Some I've shared, others I've stayed pretty quiet about. Here is my latest piece on bridalhotlist.com, where I am a regular contributor.

June 4, 2013

#XD30 -4- Because I Can

He slid off of her slick body and rolled onto his back. Staring at the ceiling, he released a dissatisfied sigh. Sleeping with her didn't make him feel the same way sleeping with Camilla did. The sex was good, but there was no emotion involved, ever. They had sex, he and Camilla made love, there was a difference, for him. 

The sound of a lighter clicking forced Jacob to turn in the direction of the beautiful woman laying beside him. She was smoking, a nasty habit that he detested. However, because it wasn't something he had to deal with very often, Jacob accepted it. 

"Why do you have sex with me J?" A puff of smoke accompanied every word she spoke.

"What the hell are you talking about?" 

She placed her cigarette in the ash tray next to the bed. Rolling over on her side, with her head propped up on her hand, she stared into Jacob's angry face. "You don't love me, and I don't believe you even enjoy what we do in this bed. So, why do you continue to call me?"

Finally, Jacob turned his head slightly, and with cold eyes he said, "because, I can." 

She watched as he stood up from the bed, not caring about his state of undress, and stormed into the bathroom, slamming the door behind him. She smiled, and dimples identical to Camilla's pinched her cheeks. How, she wondered, would her sister feel when she found out that the sister she never knew she had was sleeping with the love of her life?