Reminiscing

I heard this song randomly today and thought about my old big head Dad. As I was bobbing my head my mind took a power walk down memory lane. I know that he had a lot of jams from “back in the day”, but this one triggered a flashback I have of him humming the beat and feeling the groove. My childhood was something else, but in no way was it all bad. I was/am loved. Reminiscing…. #igotitmade #musicislife #gratefulforthelittlethings

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Fruits of Your Labor

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“You have to learn how to slow down and enjoy the fruits, man”, says my BF in one of the long, random conversations we had over this past weekend. I recall getting into one of my rants of how I’m overwhelmed and tired from doing so much, yet, in the same breath, I talked about how I wanted to add more to my heavily piled plate! He took the time to highlight what I sounded like and he couldn’t have been more right. Oh my goodness! I do need to chill!

It’s funny that we are much alike in that we are very ambitious, determined, and driven… Oh and FOCUSED MaaaaAAAANNN! Some may also group us into the Stubborn and Hard-headed category, but that’s a conversation for a different day. Anyway, being so ambitious, determined, and driven can also mean that we do not know how to sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of our labor. I believe we both call each other out on this.

Speaking for myself, I guess I have operated like a well-oiled machine for so long that I don’t know what to do with myself when I’m not working on something or thinking about working on something. They say that you gotta work hard to play hard, but over the last several years I have found myself working extremely hard, accomplishing goals left and right, but not taking the time to match my play.

Now this isn’t to say that I never cut loose and enjoy myself from time to time. I’ve made some good memories, but I’m currently feeling extreme burnout. I’m all out of juice like a broke down hoopty on I-95. I’m getting to the point where I feel like something has to give. The funny thing is, I actually have some control here and I simply need to make a plan towards a solution for my problem and see it through. Is it weird that I feel guilty for resting and taking a time out for myself? Can any of you relate to this feeling? I know it’s because of some bogus fear/unrealistic expectation I place upon myself and I just need to push that load of crap aside and live.

I’m looking forward to it! Life is no joke short; I don’t want to waste anymore of whatever time I have left here on bullsh*t. Our conversation really got me hyped for doing more for me. Though I’m a Beachbody Coach, we talked about me joining a gym to have access to weights, etc. So, I went and toured a few. LA Fitness and Sport & Health were nice! Um, Planet Fitness didn’t do it for me. Lol. Then he suggested that I create my own workout space in my home, just for me. Hmmmm, that sounded good because I don’t have too much time, but for some reason I didn’t think I could do it. “I’m just going to join a gym”, I thought to myself, but then he encouraged it more and that idea became more appealing.

I became excited to have this private little space in my home for me and started putting it into action!

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I moved stuff around (like that monstrous treadmill), purchased a weight bench (and put that joker together) and bam! Check it out. Lol! It’s not fancy, but it’s cute, mine, and functional. I just need to get a heavier set of weights, a barbell, and the Body Beast fitness program from Beachbody. Ooooooo, I can’t wait! Really, it is the little things. Putting that room together has lifted my spirits and I have been excited all week working out in there (beats working out in my bedroom)!

If you are feeling the burnout like I am, I encourage you, me, us, to chillax a bit in efforts to recognize how much our hard work has paid off.

Here’s to enjoying the fruits!

Radical Acceptance

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My #1 favorite saying is, “It is what it is.” I guarantee that adapting that way of thinking into your life is a game changer. Go ahead, I double dare you. Welp, that is all. Good luck!

#happyfriday Live Free!

True Colors

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Though most colors are beautiful, everyone’s true colors aren’t… If u are giving, ya bet your sweet ass people are taking! But let’s be real, that doesn’t mean that they value you… Make sure you stay clear on that.

Thanks for stopping by and joining me as I learn thru experience; let’s learn these life lessons together.

#happyhumpday

Maxin’ n Relaxin’

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Chillin on the beach in Miami in my all-white bikini and just for a little while I don’t have a single care in the world. This weather is unbelievably perfect. Not too cool and not too hot; the humidity is low and my hair is thankful. There’s an awesome oceanic breeze blowing that tickles my skin. (Teehee) The sun is shining ever so brightly in the baby blue sky interspersed with little white wispy clouds; it looks like it was freshly painted on an empty canvass. When I close my eyes I find the sound of the waves crashing into the shoreline so soothing and relaxing. All of the people surrounding me: the seemingly happy large families, the pregnant young mother and her adorable toddler playing in the sand, the random single muscle men jogging by in speedos, the groups of 20s-30s something girl friends/guy friends drinking and partying, the random dude sitting solo in the cut people watching, the stoned beach bum who is flying a colorful kite by himself, the cute young couples scattered about holding hands and exchanging little hugs and kisses; all of them are having a good time; we are having a good time. And even though I wish you were here, I’m all smiles and am able to enjoy the moment. I think I’ll daydream a bit while sipping my beer… #Cheers

FLASHBACK

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OMG!
There it is.
It’s happening again.
It’s uncontrollable.
It’s taking over and holding my cognitions hostage.
My heart rate is increasing as the excitement pulses through my tiny blue veins.
My blood pressure is elevated and not due to genetics and/or too much salt.
Wait!
What’s this?
I’m over here smiling to myself.
Can you picture my incredibly huge, radiating smile?
Now I’m closing my sultry brown eyes, inhaling through my nose and exhaling through my mouth as I bask in your sweet memory.
I can almost smell your manly scent.
My goodness, I can almost still… (eh hem; clears throat) feel… you……
Mmmm, that flashback.

#HappyHumpDay 

Zero F*cks Given

Often, our blogs have taglines. But, what if humans did too? What would your taglines be? 

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I’m actually so random and unpredictable that several different taglines could be used to represent me, but at the time of seeing this writing prompt, “Zero Fucks Given” is what comes to mind. I’m counting down to the wonderful age of 30; 14 more days; OMG exactly 2 weeks from today, eeeeeek! And do you know what’s funny? I actually feel different. Though it’s been a gradual uphill struggle getting up to this point, I feel like only within the past 3 – 6 months have I realized the many significant changes within my mind, body, and spirit. Some people may share my sentiments and some people may scoff and think that my age ain’t nothing but a number. Shrugs, I dunno, I’m just going by how I am currently thinking and feeling. 

These days I am less anxious, more calm, and easygoing. I have more understanding and acceptance, especially of the people, places, things, and events that I cannot change. I love myself more and appreciate my true beauty. I feel more confident and have the motivation and courage to do what I want. My people-pleasing days seem to be coming to a close. Regardless of the fake ass, hardcore bullshiggity people spit from their mouths about not caring about what other people think about them, we all want to be liked/loved, valued, and appreciated. Me included! But, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, this is less important to me than it was in my previous years. I figure that as long as I like me, God has my back, and I’m ok with my thoughts, feelings, and actions, then I’m good to go! 

I want to share something with you… Given my unconventional upbringing in a substance abusing household, I have developed what those in the mental health profession refer to as  dun, dun, duuuuuunnnnn, “codependency issues”. According to merriam-webster.com. codependency is a psychological condition in which someone is in an unhealthy relationship that involves living with and providing care for another person (such as a drug addict or an alcoholic); as a psychological condition or relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition; dependence on the needs of or control by another. According to Codependency for Dummies, symptoms are as follows:

Low self-esteem

Not liking or accepting yourself

Feeling you’re inadequate in some way

Thinking you’re not quite enough

Worrying you are or could be a failure

Concerned with what other people think about you

Perfectionism

Pleasing others and giving up yourself

Poor boundaries

Boundaries that are too weak and there’s not enough separateness between you and your partner

Boundaries that are too rigid and keep you from being close

Boundaries that flip back and forth between too close and too rigid

Reactivity

Dysfunctional Communication

Difficulty expressing thoughts and feelings

Difficulty setting boundaries — saying “No” or stopping abuse

Abusive language

Lack of assertiveness about your needs

Dependency

Afraid of being alone or out of a relationship

Feeling trapped in a bad relationship and unable to leave

Relying too much on others opinions

Intimacy problems

Avoidance of closeness

Losing yourself

Trying to control or manipulate others

Feeling trapped in a dysfunctional relationship

Denial

Denial of codependency

Denial about a painful reality in your relationship

Denial of your feelings

Denial of your needs

Caretaking

Control

Controlling your own feelings

Managing and controlling people in your life; telling them what to do

Manipulating others to feel or behave like you want (people pleasing is a manipulation)

Obsessions

Addiction to a substance or process

Painful emotions

Shame

Anxiety

Fear

Guilt

Hopelessness

Despair

Depression

Um, well damn! As a mental health therapist with a specialization in working with individuals with co-occurring disorders (i.e. someone with both a substance use disorder and at least one other mental health disorder such as bipolar disorder), I am fully aware of those who present with codependent behaviors. I’m actually well-versed in the subject matter, but for years I felt as if I was above those issues due to my studies and career in the field… How foolish! It wasn’t until there was a major crisis within my immediate family 1.5yrs ago, the heart breaking end of my last relationship 6 months ago, and my participation in brief outpatient therapy which ended about 3 months ago, before I realized that a lot of my stress and depression was directly related to my freaking codependency issues!!! Cue the cartoon light bulb above my big ass head!

Therapy brought me back to life. It helped me to get centered and put my life into perspective. It helped me face my denials and hold myself and others accountable. It helped me deal with my extreme feelings of guilt and shame. It helped me gain the strength to say “NO!” and feel ok about it. It helped me to loosen my death grip on everything and everyone because, can you believe this?, I actually don’t have all the control in the world. It helped me to recognize where I was being taken advantage of. It helped me to simply let go and forgive myself and others.

I still care about other people and some things, but not at my expense. I do what I want and drop whatever gets in my way. I thank God that I have peace today… #ZeroFucksGiven

Thanks for stopping by, feel free to comment.

DP:Tagline

Procurement of Fruit

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So exactly two weeks ago, after church class (RCIA), I went to the grocery store to pick up some last minute food items in order to complete my prep cook for the rest of the work week.  I typically do this on Sundays, but I had a lazy Sunday after getting into some shenanigans the Saturday before and opted out of my normal prep cooking ritual. I recall being extremely tired as it was almost 9:30pm when I was walking into the local whack ass Food Lion (I was definitely too lazy to drive out of the way to Safeway or Wegmans). I skimmed my list as I darted thru the produce, meat, and frozen food sections.  “I just want to get the hell home”, I thought repeatedly to myself.  I spent all of 10/15 min gathering my necessities in that bad boy before heading to the checkout line. “Almost there!” I thought to myself.

While the young kid is scanning and bagging my items, I have him stop to scan my discount card so I can throw my keys back into my pocket. I also swipe my check card so I can put my wallet away. I’m telling you I was focused on getting home asap! The kid seems nervous for some reason.  He’s smiling awkwardly at me and trying to make small chit chat, but I’m thinking, “Look man, not today, because you are not focusing on the scanning and bagging”. LOL. I’m not rude, so of course I indulge him. We get to the last item, my pink lady apples…Three of them in the bag, ready to rock. But, of course we run into an issue where all of a sudden the scale isn’t working so he’s unable to price the apples.  He tries a few tricks to get the machine going, however, all failed.  I tell him, “Don’t worry, thank you.  I can leave without the apples.  I’m ready to pay”. He apologizes and I smiled politely while thinking, “Damn, I will have to return to the store another time”, because there was no way I was going to complete that transaction and start a new one in another line.

Now while this is going down, the patron behind me sparks up conversation. I did recognize him from the week before when he was actually behind me in line when I came to the store for items after church on Ash Wednesday.  He said, “Excuse me Miss, don’t I know you from somewhere?”. Sigh…..I replied with, “No, you don’t, but I do recall you being behind me last week when we were shopping here”.  His face lit up as he said, “Yes, that’s right, and you are looking beautiful as ever”.  Sigh…… “Thank you sir”, I said.  He’s an older gentleman probably in his late 40s, a little heavy set, with kind eyes. He was appropriate and polite, but since my last break up I have been turned off from other males trying to holla and/or even give me complements (Idk, I’m in a weird place at the moment), I’m just not ready to entertain all of that yet.

Welp, my transaction is complete.  I say goodnight to both him and the young employee and I’m out. It was cold as a mutha out, but I was excited to be closer to being home. I pop open Lucille’s trunk (She’s my car) toss them groceries, push the cart to the cart holder, and jump in my car. As I was jumping in, the gentleman that was behind me in line briskly walked over to my car with a skimp bag.  He’s says with the biggest, and no lie, kind of creepy grin ever, “Miss, here’s your apples!”. I smiled and even felt a little moved.  I said, “You purchased my apples? Wow, I appreciate you doing that”. He said, “It was my pleasure, have a good night”. He turned, walked away, and got into his car.

I took a second to thank God for that moment, but keep in mind it was a short second because I had to dip out of that parking lot and make sure I wasn’t followed. I’m hypervigilant. I appreciate any acts of kindness I receive, because for some reason I don’t get them often (Perhaps I’m too independent for my own good sometimes). Hmmmm….

Thanks for reading.

How Much Can The Heart Hold?

“Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.”

—Zelda Fitzgerald (1900-1948), Writer

I ran across this quote this morning and it provoked a few different thoughts and emotions. I think it is a beautiful quote. Right after reading it, I smiled.  I like to think of myself as an individual with a big heart. I tend to always come from a loving place. Some people say that when you love somebody, you love them. But, with all of that said, I’ve had the opportunity to fall in and out of love. Sometimes things look and feel different once the smoke clears. It’s amazing how things, including love, change over time……

Hope you enjoyed reading! Stay up lovebirds!

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