Step 3: Letting Go and Changing Habits

I woke up at 3:18a this morning after having a traumatic dream about you. I believe there is a lot of power in the words we speak, mine especially, so I won't repeat (even in writing) what the dream was about... but I woke up disturbed and thinking of you. I looked at the clock and realized the date. I knew what today was...

Having spent the past 4 years with you on this weekend, this 5th year I guess my body exerted some sort of muscle memory and instinctively knew where I should be and what I should be doing. I wanted to message you and let you know that I was thinking about you and see how you were, but I didn't. Instead I looked up the meaning of my dream, followed by looking up tips for healing from being co-dependent. I said a prayer and sent my well wishes for you into the universe, hoping you would receive them.

It dawned on me that despite having the best of intentions and wanting to really connect with you in a positive way, it was self-serving. I wanted to let you know that you were in my thoughts, but being honest with myself... that's probably not what YOU need right now. I think it hurt my feelings a bit to have that realization... that what I want and what you want are no longer aligned, on any level... and even in the painful, hurtful moments... I'm not the best person to be there for you. That's hard. After 4 years, we've both moved on... so this 5th year is ushering in new habits. But let me just say, it's a painful process (at times) breaking old ones.

I laid in my bed for 2 hours with a splitting migraine, unable to sleep. I forced myself to not brainstorm ways to reach out to you... no calling, no texting, no email, no social media. These are the moments when break-ups are hard... when significant dates pass and you have to break your routine.

I guess I'm carrying a heaviness around with me today knowing that you probably are heavy too... but I hope you're not. I hope you're finding a way to heal and honor the good memories... while allowing yourself to celebrate how far you've come and enjoy the journey as you continue to grow... which I truly hope you're growing.

My therapist asked me if you were possibly a rebound relationship that went well past its expiration date. I didn't know the answer, but I always knew we had a special connection and were meant to be in one another's lives. I never knew what that would look like -- the capacity, time frame, etc... but you were in my life for quite some time, and as I work to heal from the damage we did to one another, I have to take a few deep breaths to get through the weekend.

Time heals all and I know that each day will get easier... I hope the dreams fade, along with my resentment... I hope that my heart heals. I hope yours does too. You have a knack for keeping people at a distance, but I penetrated that... and for a while, yet you're still somewhat of a mystery. I hope you're able to let someone else in and be a better person to them and to yourself.

When we ended our friendship I wanted to take away all of the positive things I brought into your life, but I'm learning that when you truly let go of a relationship... you have to let go of the bad AND the good. That was hard for me... the good. I wanted to take everything with me, but it's not possible. I've tried to erase your memory to ease the pain in my heart, but realized my healing process is so damn cutthroat that I probably couldn't be on the receiving end of it. I'm sorry my boundaries are so cold, my emotions so vast, and my tongue so sharp. I'm on a road to loving you from a distance... when the best way to love someone is to leave them alone. It's best for both of us. We've done a number on one another. It makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time.

I Been Goin Thru It All (via @fatbellybella)

I'm exhausted. I can barely comprehend how to balance worldwide mourning (which is now becoming a daily occurrence) with the stress in my personal life. I'll see my real therapist tomorrow, but in the meantime music is once again speaking to my soul. Stumbled upon this Erykah Badu remix and it's my cup of tea this Friday afternoon. I hope everyone is finding a way to prioritize self-care, put up effective boundaries, and block the bullshit from spinning on repeat in your mind.


 


I Been Going Thru It All Lyrics


I been going through it all
I been going through it all
I been going through it all
I been going through it all
Back all against the wall
Trying hard not to fall
All I wanted was to ball
I been going through it all
Back all against the wall
I only got one call
Who the fuck do I call?
I ain’t got no friends
All I got is my fam
If you don’t really give a fuck
Then I don’t really give a damn
Fuck all these other niggas
Don’t wanna do a song with ya
If you wanna know what I’m thinking
Then follow me on my Twitter
I think I been too nice
But this is where this shit ends
Ya’ll done got to relax
Can’t stick to the fucking facts
I don’t fuck with nobody
I never fuck with nobody
You can ask anybody
If they say I did, then they lying
All this could have been avoided
But nigga really had to snap
Cause I been going through it all
And ain’t nobody had my back
Where the fuck was y’all at?
When Badoula went down
Soon as I’m back up
Everybody wanna come around
Y’all know I go hard
So push up the fucking Fader
Yesterday I’m a hater
Today, the cover of The Fader
I been going through it all
No drugs, no alcohol
420 came back around
But I already came down
I thought I had it figured out
But then it all came clear
Only thing that kept me going
Is looking in the fucking mirror
I’m just too damn pretty
I know your man agree with me
The world would be fucked up
If my face wasn’t all in it
She threw this back in your face
Instagram and BookFace
And I ain’t done with y’all yet
Blowing up the Internet
I been going through it all
That’s why I’m going hard
You did this shit to yourself
Swear it’s not my fault
I been going through it all
Back all against the wall
Trying hard not to fall
All I wanted was to ball
I been going through it all
Back all against the wall
I only get one call
Who the fuck do I call?
I been going through it all
Back all against the wall
Trying hard not to fall
All I wanted was to ball
I been going through it all
Back all against the wall
I only get one call
Who the fuck do I call?
Wintertime
I been going through it all
I been going through it all
I been going through it all

Step 2: Create A Petty Playlist #SorryNotSorry

So, you've deleted all traces of your ex and fully embraced the "out of sight, out of mind" mentality. What's next? Music! More specifically... creating a petty playlist.

I got tired of listening to heartbreak songs... that was more so our first breakup. But the 2nd breakup... the one that was actually for real, for real... I needed some music that spoke to my soul.

Music has been such therapy for me over the years. In addition to real therapy, queuing up a playlist that matches my mood is always a good way for me to process my feelings, purge the emo, and groove to shit that makes my soul feel lighter.

So far nothing has topped Beyonce's "Sorry" as this song takes the mother-effing CAKE at making me feel better. Actually, Drake's "Hotline Bling" is a close 2nd, but "Sorry" is the perfect song to sing at the top of your lungs, solo or with your girlfriends, on repeat.

I seriously made my girlfriend play this about 10 times the other night I was at her place. I totally embraced my petty and filmed fun Snapchat videos, smoked a blunt, and just allowed myself to feel. 

I've been extremely guilty of feeling like a situation can't "get the best of me" and that I have to be strong... that I end up putting on my game face and keep trucking. While this resilience has gotten me through many things, I learned (via therapy) that this mindset also runs the risk of not fully processing the trauma/hurt/whatever has happened. It's great to pick yourself up and keep it moving, but ALLOW yourself to feel the emotions as they come. If you want to cry, cry. If you want to smile, smile. It's okay to have your emotions be an unpredictable roller coaster. What's not okay is pushing your feelings to the back of your mind, never to be processed or felt. Believe me, they will always come to light, probably at the least convenient time.

I want to encourage everyone who is on the road to healing from hurt, disappointment or whatever trauma has come your way, that there is light at the end of the tunnel and the tunnel actually does have an end. Sometimes we're the midst of our journey and have no clue how far we have left, it's easy to forget how far we have come. Take in a few deep breaths and know you're doing a good job.


 


Sorry, I ain't sorry
Sorry, I ain't sorry
I ain't sorry
Nigga nah
Sorry, I ain't sorry
Sorry, I ain't sorry
I ain't sorry

He trying to roll me up (I ain't sorry)
I ain't picking up (I ain't sorry)
Headed to the club (I ain't sorry)
I ain't thinking 'bout you (I ain't sorry)

Me and my ladies sip my d'ussé cups
I don't give a fuck chucking my deuces up
Suck on my balls pause
I had enough
I ain't thinking 'bout you
I ain't thinking 'bout

Middle fingers up
Put them hands high
Wave it in his face
Tell 'em boy bye
Tell 'em boy bye
Boy bye
Middle fingers up
I ain't thinking 'bout you

Sorry, I ain't sorry
Sorry, I ain't sorry
I ain't sorry
Nigga nah
Sorry, I ain't sorry
Sorry, I ain't sorry
I ain't sorry
No no hell nah

Now you want to say you're sorry
Now you want to call me crying
Now you gotta see me wildin'
Now I'm the one that's lying
And I don't feel bad about it
It's exactly what you get
Stop indirecting my grinding

I ain't thinking bout you
I ain't thinking bout you
I ain't thinking bout you
I ain't thinking bout you
I ain't thinking bout you

Middle fingers up
Put them hands high
Wave it in his face
Tell 'em boy bye
Tell 'em boy bye
Boy bye
Middle fingers up
I ain't thinking bout you

Sorry, I ain't sorry
Sorry, I ain't sorry
I ain't sorry
Nigga nah
Sorry, I ain't sorry
Sorry, I ain't sorry
I ain't sorry
No no hell nah

Looking at my watch he should've been home
Today I regret the night I put that ring on
He always got them fucking excuses
I pray to the lord you reveal what his truth is

I left a note in the hallway
By the time you read it I'll be far away
I'm far away
But I ain't fucking with nobody
Let's have a toast to the good life
Suicide before you see this tear fall down my eyes
Me and my baby we gone be alright
We gon' live a good life
Big homie better grow up
Me and my whoadies 'bout to stroll up
I see them boppers in the corner
They sneaking out the back door
He only want me when I'm not there
He better call becky with the good hair
He better call becky with the good hair

Interracial Dating in a Time when People who look like Him are Killing People who look like Me

I don't even know how to write this post, but the subject matter has been weighing heavy on my heart, so I'm trying to get my feelings on "paper" so I can try and make sense of what I'm feeling.

Despite growing up in a predominately white neighborhood, as an adult the majority of my relationships have been with black men or bi-racial men who self-identify as black. For the first time in my adult life, I'm currently involved in an interracial relationship of sorts with someone who is not a person of color and doesn't inherently understand what I'm experiencing as a black person in the United States.

Normally this wouldn't be a real issue, but due to the current climate in the US (i.e. police murdering black and brown people for no reason), it's caused me to be in a head space where I'm constantly questioning and looking deeper on these serious issues and finding it shocking that people who are close to me can't relate.

In short, it feels like I'm experiencing something traumatic alone. The guy I'm dating doesn't really handle the "heavier" parts of life too well, so I shouldn't have been shocked when he was without comments on the police murders of black/brown people, subsequent murders of police, and just the climate of the country in general, but it was rather disappointing. It felt like this super sweet guy lacked the emotional depth to not only tackle these tough subjects with me, but was clueless on how to be there for me. He was waiting for an invitation to help me process and grieve... but therein lies my issue... he's seemingly viewing this as "my" problem that he needs an invitation to instead of feeling like this is something affecting both of us in the country we both call home.

I guess it's a privilege to be free from the weight of what's happening right now. He doesn't have to understand. He's a white man who has never lived outside of Seattle and  therefore is almost by default detached from what's happening in the country. Seattle is not without its share of issues, but by geography alone it's so removed from what's happening... if you've never lived anywhere else you may actually believe Seattle is an accurate representation of what's happening in the world... and it's not.

On another note, we have had a few conversations about white, male privilege and what that means for him as he's dating a black woman. I can't move the same way he moves. Certain things he deems fun (i.e. breaking onto a closed highway with his friends to ride their bikes, getting pulled over by the police, and being released) doesn't work for me. I can't roll the dice with police interactions because they don't end the same way for people with my skin color. I can't scale the balcony to your 2nd floor apartment in Queen Anne because I'm a black person and even if you're locked out, someone would consider me to be "suspicious" and probably call the police... again, police interactions don't end the same for me. I care about the time bon fires technically end on the beach because I can't have an attitude of saying "fuck the police" or "fuck laws and rules" because again... police interactions don't end the same for me.

Race hasn't been a huge blocker thus far, but with the police brutality ramping up in the past week, it's brought to light the different (potentially incompatible) ways we handle stress and conflict, along with our recently strained communication. More than anything I want to feel inherently understood and it's weird to have someone incapable of relating to me on such a basic level of who I am... I'm not sure how to move forward.

Do I put him into the "light, casual" bucket? Do I make the effort to educate him? Do I just let it work itself out (which is very unlike my personality type)? We have a difference in age (I'm 5 years older), culture (I'm part of pop culture and he's very removed from mainstream culture), and race (White/Black). It feels like so many things are hurdles, which I've been wading through. Maybe none of this even matters. Maybe this is what dating is all about -- getting to know someone over time, learning about their personality, creating a foundation of friendship and seeing if the chemistry can warrant a monogamous relationship.

Anyone else have experience with interracial relationships and how they've worked through some of the challenges?



Step 1: Out of Sight, Out of Mind

It honestly feels like I've reverted back to the early stages of a break-up. I'm emotional off and on, dipping my toe into the "crazy ex" pond... sometimes diving head first... feeling valid emotions, followed by spurts of hating myself for mourning a relationship that was so unhealthy. Why in the hell do I miss my ex? Do I even miss him? I think I'm just frustrated. Why? My heart aches... which is then followed by intense anger and annoyance. I left our relationship with more scars than I had coming into it and it's starting to get under my skin. Suffice it to say I feel resentful. I know this will pass... but for now that's what I feel.


Step 1: Out of Sight, Out of Mind.

It took some time, but I deleted every single picture of the two of us on Facebook. That's over 4 years worth of memories with someone... milestone moments... erased. I deleted his friends and family from my friend list and other social media. They're lovely people and I have grown to love them, but I don't want to be privy to his life or the people in it. I don't want to see updates about him. I don't want to know how he's doing. Not now. It's too fresh. I want to imagine a life where he's not there... instead of the reality that we live within 2 miles of one another.

I desperately want to heal from our relationship. I'm someone who feels everything and I'd like to feel nothing when I see him. I want no emotions... neutral, which is a safer space to be in than feeling hate or love. I'm sure I'll always love him... it's like he still has pieces of my heart. I just really want them back... with interest (okay... "interest" may be petty lol)
I had been keeping a painting he made of me a few years ago. We went to this paint night back in Chicago and drew one another. It was a fun memory... he tore up the picture I drew of him last year during an argument. He claimed it wasn't about the fact I drew it, but more so he hated the person he was during that time. Today I tore up the painting he did of me. I didn't want to stare at a reflection of how he saw me. What once was a fond memory suddenly made me feel like I was living in the past and holding onto this moment of us in time. I didn't want a painting he did... and it's now in the trash.

My friends keep telling me the same thing I've often said to them, time will heal everything and I'll look back on this and view it as a learning lesson. I know this is true. I will heal. Time will pass and I'll move on... the pain will go away... I'll forget some details of our relationship... I won't want to spazz out at the thought of seeing him. It's just so difficult being in the heat of the moment... the start of that journey. Hell, I'm not even at the beginning. I'm sure I'm somewhere near the halfway point where you can't see the beginning, sure as hell can't see the end, but know you've made some progress... but how much further do I have to go?

My Ex is Dating a Blogger


This is the picture that made my eyes roll so far into the back of my head that it nearly exploded. The new girl my ex is dating is a blogger and posted a picture on the back of his Harley... a view I had for 4 years... posting the same fucking picture I posted for 4 years. Creating hashtags and shit. You want someone to move on, but then you see they're moving on and it kinda sucks.

I had been trying to heal and hold onto him as a friend, but instantly realized I couldn't do it. I don't know if I wanted his friendship because it had become my sense of normality after so long... if he was really that important in my life... or I was just being a baby about cutting the cord, but this was the final push I needed to cut all ties with him. I care about him and love him, but realized I can't be his friend. I can't focus on healing while trying to nurture a friendship with someone I share so much history with. There are too many feelings there and I'm not in a place where I can manage those emotions without potentially losing myself to them.

That's hard to admit. It's hard to admit that someone still has a spot in your heart and can trigger you... for good or bad. I lost my best friend and boyfriend in one blow... and to be honest I'm completely exhausted from making someone a better person for having had me in their life. I left our relationship with more scars than I entered it with, but I know I'll only be stronger and better for having had this experience. The road to healing is a process. Considering this another hurdle.

When your ex starts blogging about you...


I promise this blog isn't going to turn into a blog about my ex... but my ex just told me that he started blogging again. *insert deep, emotional sigh* Now we're definitely using the term "blogging" loosely. Up until now, his blog only included 1 post, but it was well-written and showcased his creative side. That was years ago, but I kept encouraging him to tap back into his creative outlet and write, draw, etc... just allow himself to be raw with his talents.

So, he sends me a messages this morning saying that he's started writing again, will be writing about stuff that may include me... and wanted to give me a heads up (out of respect) to make sure I knew. My initial reaction was taking a deep breath when I got the alert that he sent me a message. We have been attempting to be friends, but got into a spat a few days ago. It's kinda this strange space to be arguing with your ex... like, why the fuck are we arguing? Why can't we just have clear communication? The easy answer is to just not speak to one another, but that's easier said than done and we both agreed that we wanted to try at a friendship. So anyways, I let out a deep breath and opened up the message... it started by him saying he was "waving a white flag" (we're both dramatic) and then he went on to share with me how he was feeling, etc.

He sent me the blog link and asked if I'd take a look. I read the first post and was rolling my eyes by the end of it. He was discussing something that happened while we were together. It wasn't about me or bad... but it was the type of stuff you don't bother mentioning to someone that you're dating, but if they find out it'll annoy them. So yeah, eyes were rolled.

I told him I was excited he was allowing himself to tap into his creative side, something he often neglected while we were together, but reminded him that I was still in the process of healing from our relationship and wasn't thrilled to read about stuff that overlapped our time together. I appreciated him sharing his thoughts with me, but I also know I'm an emotional cancer so I can't read everything in such a raw way and be light-hearted about it... not when everything has a deeper connection to my life and past.

Anyways, being authentic about the process of healing, this is where my ex and I are right now... writing about one another, trying to have a friendship, and co-parent our dog. This is my life.

My 3-day Long First Date ("LDR" Guy)


I'm all about casting a wide net, but that net doesn't typically get cast farther than a $10 Uber range. Period. I like to live within my geographical truth and that includes knowing that I'm not here for that commuter lifestyle, be it for romance or my day-to-day stuff. I live within a mile of everything I need and honestly, that should include a dude too. So, how did I end up on a 3-day first date with someone who lives 3+ hours away? I'm still asking myself the same thing.

This dude had a few "working" nicknames, but I was reserving giving him something official until we met for the first time in person. The most important part of this story is that he lives far as fuck away. Like, 200+ miles, over 3 hours away... he doesn't live near me AT ALL.

We'd been talking on the phone for a few weeks, like actually talking on the phone like when someone dials your number and the phone rings... not merely texting back and forth. It was like being back in Jr. High. What's funny is that during a conversation he actually asked me about my strong feelings on not driving places, and my answer: "I could give you a million reasons why, but the only reason that matters is that I don't want to... (insert smile)" <----- essentially, I'm not driving for anyone, including you new guy.

He said he came into town to see an office his company had recently acquired, but I know the real reason was to finally meet me in person lol. He stayed at a hotel in the city (the only person kicking it at my crib right now is my dog, thank you...), but we ended up hanging out for 3 days. In a row. Back to back... 3 motherfucking days for a "first date" with a relatively new person. You can say I dove in head first. We'd been speaking on the phone for a few weeks, so it felt like we got fairly acquainted with one another, but it's completely different to be on the phone with a person vs. meeting them in real life.

Day 1:
We decided to keep things casual on day 1 with drinks and see how it went. I think we were both a tad bit nervous and not sure of what to expect. We also wanted to minimize the amount of pressure on "hitting it off'" so we said we'd start with something chill and then reassess. I was out with dude from like 7p to 3a. It was a fun, long night.

Day 2:
I'm not really sure of where to draw lines between friends and casually dating, but since he was in town and I had already made previous plans with my girlfriends for this night, I decided to have him tag along. We ended up going to a friend's house (only a little awkward) and then a friend's going away lol. In hindsight, this is the type of shit you take your boyfriend to, not some dude you're just hanging out with from online. Either way, he was able to hang with some folks and it wasn't too awkward. I also liked having my friends as a buffer to spread out the attention. They were clutch. Towards the end of the night I started to hit my wall and was a bit exhausted from the back-to-back late nights and just being "on" and around someone new. There was a moment when he wanted to "talk" a bit longer and I was like, dude... it's fucking 2am lol... (in my mind), but I obliged and kept it chill. Thinking about it, this was me being nice and on my "best behavior" coupled with a tad bit of guilt that he drove so far. I wasn't going to be a dick.

Day 3:
Okay, so this is when I hit my wall. I'm a true extrovert -- people energized -- but I was definitely "over it" and ready to have some alone time. I mustered up the energy to go grab brunch, but I knew this was someone I wasn't feeling a romantic connection with, but could see myself staying in touch and being friends. I think I also started to realize that I definitely jump off the deep end and throw myself all the way into things. Go big or go home, right? lol...

My ex reads my blog


So, why haven't I written a blog post since February 2016? My ex sent me a random text message a few months ago and told me he'd been reading my blog (yes both of them) and thanked  me for not trashing him. Initially when I read this message I was shocked. He was reading my blog? This one? The one whose name he absolutely LOATHED and caused an argument between us? We hadn't been speaking to one another, so the message came out of the blue. Shit... what was he going to think? Why was he reading it? Why'd he bother telling me? I was all over the place. When I saw my therapist she gave me some advice on what she thought it all meant, but I was still feeling scared off from writing. In my mind, once my ex had a front row seat to my life post-him, it'd change everything even more. Fast forward to 2 months later and I've finally sorted out my emotions, processed our break-up even further, and decided I feel comfortable writing about my life again.

Yes, I'm still dating and have been since I stopped writing. The stories I've told my friends in real-time have been hilarious... and I hope to catch the blog up on all the shenanigans.

Like I said when I originally started this blog, break-ups are a process and healing doesn't happen overnight. Every day I get better than I was the day before... now I'm finding myself 5 months post break-up with someone I was with for 4 years! It's amazing to see the progress I've made... every day gets easier... just wake up, pray, set your intention for the day and ferociously protect your vibes!! I promise you'll it'll get better.

The Younger Guy


I've casually known this guy (let's call him "sleeper cell") for maybe a year. We haven't interacted much, so it's really like the true definition of an acquaintance. Anyways, I literally woke up one day recently and realized I may like this guy.  Yes, I actually woke up one day after knowing about someone's existence for over 365 days and they were suddenly on my radar. The fuck? How'd this happen lol... how does this type of stuff ever happen? No clue, but I'm here with a mild crush.

So, I hit up sleeper cell (we already had one another's numbers) and asked him if he was seeing anyone. I mean, it came out a bit smoother than that lol... but I won't lie, it was very direct. After thanking me for my forwardness, he told me he wasn't seeing anyone seriously, and was down to hang out! I was actually surprised and admittedly excited. I don't know... maybe it's just the idea of meeting someone in real life and not doing the online struggle. It's all good vibes.

He's cute, has a dope ass dog, nice smile, photogenic (my friends know how much this speaks to my soul)... oh, and he's younger than me!!!! *hides face behind hands like that 'see no evil' monkey emoji*

I feel like a cougar.

For the sake of transparency, he's only a year younger than me... actually, I'm downplaying how OCD I am about age. I went to some age calculator and he's technically 259 days younger than me lol. I've never dated anyone younger than me. Wait, I just lied... the first (and last) time I dated someone younger than me was in Jr. High. However, as an adult, I've always aimed higher, literally. So it's kinda new for me to like someone younger... though we're both in our 30s and I'm sure this shit does NOT matter at this point lol... but whatever, I'm a cougar. Do I get a badge or something?
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