Saturday, March 27, 2010

Journey to Thirty #9 - Realization: Condoms aren't fool proof

Condoms do not protect from liars, cheaters, or broken hearts. Condoms only try to prevent the exchange of bodily fluids to prevent pregnancy and the spread of STDs. They are not 100% effective at their job. Why would you think they would do extra stuff?
I've handled a number of relationships backwards. I dove into bed with a man expecting to grow the foundation along the sexual path. There's not a lot of conversation and getting to know each other during the throws of passion. I can only remember some groans, moans, and the occasional call out to God. I didn't learn that he had a girlfriend, a baby on the way with another woman, and a few girls waiting in the wings. I didn't learn that he was scared from a previous relationship. He wasn't interested in commitment, and he didn't even get his STD testing on a regular basis. I did learn that he shook before he came, liked the lights on, wanted to talk my ear off during cuddling, and had a slight foot fetish. I know he loved my breast, and if he thought he could get away with no condom he would. Nothing concrete I could build a relationship on though.
Be careful. Be very protective with your body. The door to your heart is not located in your sex. Condoms are not foolproof. Condoms are not designed to do anything more than stop the sharing of bodily fluid, and they aren't 100% effective at that. Protect your feelings with more than just a condom.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Journey to Thirty #8 - Realization: Everyone is not your friend

Once friendship meant a lot to me. I wanted lots of friends. I wanted to be well liked and popular. The older I get the more I realize surrounding yourself with lots of people surrounds you with lots of drama.
Everyone is not your friend, and they don't all mean you well. I have been through some unfortunate things, and I don't trust freely. I have to protect myself from people who see kindness as weakness and make it their mission to take advantage of others. Be careful of who you call your friend.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Journey to Thirty #7 - Realization: Titles

Titles mean a lot in my life. I like to live out my titles. I prioritize my life by them. Everyday when I wake up I'm a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a business owner, and an employee. I am wearing all of those hats every day, constantly. They never come off my head. I never have the convenience of just being Leandrea. Even in the moments when I would like to just be Elle Monroe, my alter, I first have to be everything else, Leandrea, and then Elle. It's tough, but it's my truth.

I am constantly prioritizing my life around these titles. First thing in the morning I start being multiple titles. I wake up to an alarm, on my iPhone, that I purchased to make it easier for me to be a business owner on the go. I check the weather and my email. I'm a business owner, employee, and mother that needs to know how cool or warm to dress her child. I wash my face. I brush my teeth. I get to be Leandrea briefly behind the closed bathroom door. Then I'm a mother. I get my son ready. I prepare his breakfast. I take him to school. Then I turn into an employee. I dress for success while hoping that I'm noticed as a business owner while I'm being an employee. I give my job a minimum 8 hours of my life daily. But, keep my business owner and mother hats near by.
Mother trumps everything. Mother always trumps everything. Mother can stop me from making jewelry for a customer, putting out a fire at work, being the perfect daughter, a listening friend, or a supportive sister. Mother trumps everything.
I eventually leave work, but because my business owner phone doubles as a employee catchall, I'm never without the employee hat it seems. I switch back into a mother primarily. I pick up my son, talk, play, prepare dinner, do bath time, and dress for bed. I juggle being a listening friend, a supportive sister, and a perfect daughter during this time. I try to cram in business owner while avoiding being an employee. It's difficult.
Then at the end of the day. When the sun has long since retreated and quiet is surrounding the house. I go back into the bathroom and close the door behind me. I get to be Leandrea again, briefly.

My little story is true, but this is more about how our titles can rope us into situations we don't want. I'm a sister. I'm the sister to an incredible woman who I think the world of. She is the woman who wakes to let the sun out in the morning, :). She's a powerful force that pushes me to be better without ever saying a word. I love my sister.
I have this brother who I realized, recently, I don't really like. The day came in my life that I had to take his "I love you because you are my brother" title away and just look at him as a man. If he was just any man, I wouldn't allow him in my life. I would consider our relationship toxic. So how do I separate myself from a toxic relationship that I'm supposed to be committed to? I feel bad, and this has stressed me out.
He's never done anything tangible that would cause me to hate him. It's the opposite. He's done so little it's caused me to question what his worth is in my life. I was the little sister that thought my brother could do no wrong. I thought he was the smartest, funniest, and best man on the planet. I excused the fact that he never desired to build a relationship with me. Then I realized that if this man were to prove that every excuse he'd made about his availability in my life were true, he would still not consider my worth in the same league of his. He would never value my opinion, feelings, or intelligence. He would always use me until his needs were met. Wow! I would never allow this from a man I dated. Why am I allowing this from my brother? It's similar to the old saying that you shouldn't meet those you idolize. They can never live up the image you have have of them.
Now, am I bitter? Absolutely, but more at myself than at him. I allowed this. I walked into this situation time and again. I would tell anyone else that if you cannot respect who I am, you aren't allowed in my life.
I will not settle in relationships. I will not give a title more power than I give myself. He is my brother. I love him. I will do anything for him, but allow him to make me feel like I'm less than what I am.

I am obsessed with titles. I think about them daily. I prioritize them to death. I will always juggle them in my head, but I will not allow a title to give someone power or purpose they don't deserve.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Journey to Thirty #6 - Realization: Lust doesn't last

You cannot build a relationship on lust. You cannot expect that someone will ever make the changes you want, or need, them to make in their personality or character. There is a strong chance that what you have is what you will have.
I have been very guilty of establishing relationship with the so called perfect man. He looks good on paper. That typically means he is handsome, employed, has a good family, and buys me pretty things. Actually that doesn't guarantee he's all of those things. He may just be some of them. Now coming from a good family must be on the list. I'm not signing up for crazy! So, I fall head over heels in love. We have sex, and because God is tricky, it's incredible. I am done.
Then shortly after it starts, it ends. But we continue to sleep together, because it seems right.
Things get far more complicated than they should be, and I'm devastated before long.
So I get it, you can't build a relationship off a checklist. You can't jump into bed with someone you aren't sure you can hold a conversation with. You can't give you heart to the man that just buys you what you ask for. You can't expect that everything will fall into place as easily as your bodies entwined. That's silly. It's crazy.
My mother once told me that I should look at the father of my crushes. My handsome man will grow to look like him. The day could come that sex is no longer an option I want. What happens when he's purchased everything I ever wanted? Am I really into him, or is he just the best thing going right now? Will I regret my choice one morning as I realize I've committed to all his annoying behaviors? Is he just generally annoying as a person?
There was a man that was handsome and strong. He made me feel beautiful, but he was also as dumb as a box of rocks! He couldn't carry a conversation if it was about him. He was exhausting. I'd been roped into dating him because he was my type. I love a buff, not too buff, light skinned, not to light skinned, good hair having, deep voice talking, gorgeous man! IN MY LIFE EXPERIENCES, those have been my idiots. So he was dismissed quickly, but it took him months to figure it out, LOL.
I have had to make a change. Sex is no longer on the table. I'm dating for life now, no more fun and games. If it is not a potentially OUTSTANDING fit, I'm not even participating. Charity is for those in need. My needs are few, and that's not one.
Lust doesn't last.