Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Journey to Thirty #3 - Realization: Mutilation

"Self mutilation is a broad term for a "complex group of behaviors" resulting in destruction of one's own tissue. These behaviors, including scratching, burning or cutting the skin, pulling out hair, breaking bones, amputation, etc..." http://answers.yahoo.com/
I scratched the surface of my self until I was almost destroyed. I burned my self esteem. I allowed others to cut me deep. My stress level had my hair falling out. I was broken, and I'm sure amputation was around the corner. I'd put myself in situations and relationships that I knew I was better than. I continuously mutilated who I was. I had no depth. I molded myself to be who ever someone else needed me to be from 19 or 20 until I was about 25. I was a good daughter. I was a great girlfriend. I was the perfect friend. I spoke when it was appropriate and always said just the right thing. I did what should be done and smiled the entire time. I was perfect in any situation, but I don't think I had much of my own personality. That set me up for failure in every avenue of my life.
I began to realize, as my relationships crumbled, that it's hard for people to accept drastic change. I can sympathize though. I went from yes, okay, whatever you want, sure I will do it, and damn near kissing feet, to having a real backbone. I began to develop my own personality and stopped mirroring huge portions of someone else's. I stopped being a chameleon, and started being myself. People dropped like flies. Some dropped off, but others I walked away from when I saw our compatibility die.
Popularity meant a lot to me once. The older I get the more I appreciate my alone time. I don't want to become a recluse, but I do want to wait out quality compatible relationships. I know what I desire from friends and romance. Well, the surface level is determined. I still have a lot of learning and work to build concrete relationships. One thing I do know is that if I can't have the perfect fit, I rather not have the relationship at all.

Journey to Thirty #2 - Realization: Rewards

When I was growing up both of my parents had financially rewarding careers, and because of that, they wanted to give me everything! I didn't have to earn much. Don't get me wrong, I was a good kid. I never got in any trouble, and in a way, I was always proving myself worthy of what I received. That, and I was spoiled to the max!
When I ventured out in to adulthood, I kept that life style. I damn near ruined my credit. I bought what I wanted, and when I wanted it. I didn't take in mind that my income was less than 1/3 of one of my parents. Plus those household bills I now had, neither of them was using their single income to cover ALL of them like I was. They had developed a plan. They had established a savings. They were making sacrifices. I didn't do any of those things.
Obviously, this has been a hard lesson. Now, I was force fed sacrifice around 24. Motherhood and sacrifice were like a buy one get one free, but the others are a constant work in progress. I'm working hard and heavy on weight loss, and one of the gazillion websites I visit, for motivation and guidance, recently ran an article all about rewards. Eureka! So I should shop, not because I see something pretty, but because I reached a goal. It's called a reward? It translates into everything?
So now, I have a plan. My plan is only new clothes in new SMALLER sizes and exciting trips with a reasonable a budget. I'm working to lose some weight. Why am I investing money in clothes that, if all goes as planned, won't even fit in time for me to get my money's worth? And, once I've put money aside only then will I go on an exciting vacation. No more quick weekend getaways just because. I'm not going to keep wasting my time and money on mini vacations that aren't even worthy of picture taking. If I'd put together the money spent on a few of those, I could board a plane to somewhere fabulous! And, I can force myself to eat like a rabbit if I'm saving calories and money for a few Tex-Mex treats once a goal has been reached. Well maybe a carnivorous rabbit.
Who would have thought this reward thing could be so appealing?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Journey to Thirty #1 - Realization: Happy Birthday

Realizations: I'm sure this is just the first of many realizations as the year progresses. I actually already have numerous realizations just waiting for their turn on this blog. But, let's start this slowly with my anger about not getting birthday wishes from the two men that always seem so desperate to rip off my clothes in the throws of passion. Interesting.
If there is a man in your life that doesn't remember your birthday he's not the right man for you. I'll go much further in depth as my journey to thirty progresses, but the short of the long is you should be memorable. I woke up, this 29th birthday, to my FB wall filling up with birthday wishes. I had text messages pouring in and the phone ringing ridiculously. I loved every second of it! I'm still loving every second of it! But during the hoopla I realized the most recent crash and burn relationship never said a word and the one before him didn't either. Huh?! During the complexities of these relationships they claimed to adore me. Then why can't you remember the only day on the calendar that belongs to me? If I was so important it would have rang in your ears like a tardy bell. But, you promise you want me back. You want me back bad!!!!
Now of course I couldn't wait until the 11th hour to remind them of this mistake. I did it 15 minutes ago. I wanted my "Happy Birthday!" Plus, the nervous laugh that followed my, "did you honestly forget my birthday," was great for my buzz. Well just as if they were one person they both apologized fifty thousand times, promised me gifts I'll probably never see, and asked if I wanted birthday sex. Ummm, nope. I'm not looking for sex from anyone, but even if I was hard up, no super hard up, I wouldn't want yours if I had replaced my girl parts with someone else's goodies. No thanks.
Some may say birthdays are no big deal, but to me they are. The card I sent on their birthdays were big deals, and the thoughtful gift I purchased, when the love was there, was appreciated. Give me, at the very least, the same back! Because my main complaint in matters of the heart is that men don't make their actions match their words. If you claim to care so deeply, love me with your whole heart, and can't see yourself with any other girl, remember my damn birthday loser!

Journey to Thirty - Introductions

I'm 29 years old. I'm on the cusp of 30. I'll be 3 decades old before I know it. That means I'll be 946,080,000 seconds old, 15,768,000 minutes old, 262,800 hours old, 10,950 days old, 1,560 weeks old, 360 months old. If any of this math is incorrect, I'm not surprised. I'm getting older and my mind isn't as sharp as it once was.
I can't believe how time has flown by in my life. I am approaching an age that seemed so "mature" 10 years ago. It was "like 30," with a tight wrinkle free look of disgust on my face. I'm shocked, but I'm thankful. Thank you God for taking me on this journey, because we both know I cooked up numerous recipes for disaster over the last 10 years. I've made it though. Just watch my God work, honey!
So that's what I'm calling this. It's my JOURNEY TO THIRTY! I'm going to chronicle this year. I want to look back on lessons learned, heartbreak, disaster, and growth and learning. I've come a long way baby! I want to celebrate it from 29 to 30 and from 30 until God says the ride is over. (Now Lord, I'm working on cute little titles from here to age 1000 so let's not cut this ride short.)

I don't remember anything about my 20th birthday. It just doesn't stand out in my mind. I'm sure there was some sort of celebration. There was almost always some sort of birthday celebration. I remember that someone pointed out to me when I was nearing age 20 that my teens would soon be over. I probably high-fived them. It's funny but from the time you figure out age you are on the fast track to getting older. When I turned 12, I just wanted to be 13 and a teenager. When I turned 15, I just wanted to be 16 and get a driver's license. When I turned 17, I just wanted to be 18 and an adult. Then when I turned 20, I just wanted to be 21 and go look mature sitting at any body's bar with a legal drink in hand. Maybe that's why 20 is a blur. It wasn't so significant. I wasn't seizing the days. I was hurrying them past.
I remember that at age 21 I rushed to a bar. I just wanted to be able to purchase a drink, any drink. I just wanted an alcoholic beverage in my 21 year old hand. Then the bartender failed to card me. That broke my heart. Did I look old? No, it was a college town,and there was a strict don't ask don't tell code. I mean old? What was I thinking? I haven't even met old. This is still my prime, honey!
It began to get a little cloudy for me at 22. I started a relationship that I thought was perfect. He was beautiful, and he thought I was a dream. We played this dangerous game with each other's emotions. There was jealousy, infidelity, promiscuity, and competition. We called it love. I was so wrapped up in who he was that I again lost my identity. I was good at that. I would mold myself into the perfect mate or friend. Before I knew it, I was no more than his girlfriend or their friend. That was dangerous. It is so incredibly true that if you don't stand for anything, you will fall for everything. And, I did.
I was redefining myself often. It was like the second round of puberty. I had a good idea of who and what I wanted to be, but there was no foundation. I realized later that because no one ever helped me focus on molding who I was, I'd only learned how to mold myself to another person. I'm not proud of that. I'm such a strong and multifaceted person, but I spent years doing myself a major disservice. You should never allow yourself to be defined by other people. Take as much time as you need to learn enough about you that you can build a strong sense of true self. That's important. I wish someone had helped me with that. I wish I could have been strong enough to fight to be who I wanted to be. Life probably would have been drastically different. However, I am who I am NOW because of the lessons I learned along the way.
Most of 22 and 23 were the same life lived over and over with different people. I had dysfunctional relationship after dysfunctional relationship. I was so needy, but I thought you just give to get. I didn't know you were supposed to make demands and not settle for less. It's funny now because it all seemed so obvious. But I was starved for attention and affection. I had this incredible family that only seemed to know how to talk about love. We weren't that great at showing it. I needed a mother daughter and father daughter relationship that included trust, friendship, and reliability and I didn't get that. My parents had their own issues, and because I wasn't keeping up much noise I got lost in the shuffle.
Then 24 came around, and it finally felt like I was getting it all together. I had a career that I was great at. I lived in a town that I loved. I saw a future. It wasn't perfect, nor was it scratching my entrepreneurial itch, but it was great for me. I was dating a guy who was crazy about me, and I was finally feeling like there was equal sacrifice. I was his fiance, with the ring to prove it. Wedding plans were underway, and then the pregnancy test came back positive. My life went into mass hysteria. I was so excited about having a baby, but I knew I didn't want to have a baby and become a wife. Strange, I know, but I wanted to concentrate on one life altering thing at a time. Then it all fell apart around me.
Who would have thought that my seemingly perfect life could crash and burn in the blink of an eye? I started 24 in bliss, but by the time it ended I was packing up my life, and newborn, and moving back into my parents home. Life did a 360 without any warning. I was hiding from an abusive man, trying to pick up the pieces of my destroyed life, and battling depression, all with a baby in tow. I though I was going to have a nervous breakdown. I almost did. I may have. I chained smoked, gained insane amounts of weight, and slipped back into my 22 year old self. Failure.
So 25 and 26 were a total fog. They were wasted with me standing around expecting someone to save me. I was a victim of a number of tragic situations, but everyone has bad stuff happen to them. Instead of fighting back, I'd turned my life off completely and become nothing more than a victim. 27 and 28 had foggy parts. It was more about calling bad decisions foggy misunderstandings. At one point, I felt like I could lose control, but I didn't. Wow, I'm stronger than I thought. I'm blessed. I refused to fall apart, because there was no time and no desire. I had stuff to do. I had this kid to raise and this future to plan. I returned to school at 26. I let go of being a victim. I began thinking, seriously, about the future. I took a chance and finally picked a major, marketing. I completed the real estate program. I became a super student. Then at 27, I established a business. My marketing classes caused my the entrepreneur in me to take shape. I began a jewelry company, a blog, and shaping myself into an all-things-fashion consultant. Wow!
At 28, I took another break from school and rejoined the workforce. Now freshly 29, I am a single mother, business owner, and Membership and Marketing Specialist for the Girl Scouts Diamonds. I'm also returning to school in the summer. Although something had to give for a few months, I really miss being a student. I have a busy and demanding life. I am being pulled in multiple directions, and I'm short 24 hours everyday. I'm happy though.
Following, "I'm happy though," is I'm single. That's not a bad thing. It's tough at times, but it's not the end of the world. I finally realized that I suck at relationships, and I'm not ready to be in one. I was this needy, go for anything, girl. I figured out a lot when I dated this last guy. He was in the foggy parts of 27 and 28. Shortly after we faked commitment, I found out about his girlfriend. Then there was the fun of the pregnant ex-girlfriend calling. Then the continued complications of our "relationship." He and I played with my sanity up until...couple days before today. Not literally a few days ago, but it took a long time for me to realize that anyone doesn't beat no one. He's bad news. He's not good in my life. He means me no good. Some relationships are only to put you in the time and place for better relationships. He was a lesson. Now, the next man that comes along will appreciate the maturity and strength I have. I'm not bitter. I'm not going to punish the next man. I was not forced into the madness I went through. I walked that journey with both eyes wide open. I just thank God I made it through with negatives down the STD board, a tightly handled bank account, and my total sanity! Take that fool!
I'm not ready for a relationship, and I won't be until God puts the right man in my path. I'm not looking. When you look for a relationship you find a relationship. Then you regret it all.
29, this is going to be one hell of a year. I have weight loss and health plans taking shape. I'm looking at saving MUCH MUCH MUCH more money than I spend, and making plans that will outlast the day. I am going to spend more time thinking big, living out loud, and becoming a much better me than I've been in the past. This is not a dress rehearsal. I can't keep living my life for or through other people. I need to stand on my own two feet, fight past the anxiety, and allow myself to grow in a positive direction!

Friday, January 22, 2010

I'm back!

So it's been ages, but I'm back! I have been working crazy hours with my business, a "regular" job, and single parenthood. I'm fulfilled, almost, but typically out of time for most anything else. I'm recommitted though. I'm ready to get back to this blog. It's like my online diary, and I've missed it.

I'm starting a new feature to this blog. It's going to be called my journey to thirty. I'm turning 29 on the 24th of January, in just a few days. My twenties have been so crazy, yet strangely rewarding, and I want to chronicle this last year. I think it will be fun discussing some of the things I've learned. I will start it off by reviewing some of the unsuccessful decisions I've made in my 20s and what I've learned from them. Please take this ride with me. I think it'll be worth a laugh or two at least!