So I Left: A Short Story (Part 1)

Photo Credit: x@ray

Photo Credit: x@ray

So I left. Because you can only threaten leaving so many times before people start ignoring you or you have to leave altogether. So I left, but not all together. More like piece meal. My mind left a little bit each night under scalding water hotter than my tears. I started doing that silent daze I watched my mother do when I was younger. You know the one where your chest is tight, your breaths are shallow, your heart aches and your thoughts are foggy? It’s not like the one you have in the optometrist right before that puff of air comes and breaks your concentration. It’s a more permanent involuntary vortex.

Then my body gave up shortly after my mind. I stopped buying overpriced razors and scented bath gels. Holidays would come and go and no-shave November became No-shave new year, forget it February, maybe-not march, after April, I MAY not shave. I kept eating those spare cupcakes with the overly decorative fondant and hoarding whole wine bottles. Who needs to maintain their figure when everything goes to sh*t? The glass wasn’t half full or half empty, there wasn’t a glass. I was just drinking from pavements.

But I left. Because I threatened to and threats are no joke, until they are. I was a joke. My words were the best punch line. I’d laugh too if I heard the things I said with that I’m so serious tone. My hands on my hips because nothing means anything unless you have an attitude. Boy was I good at the attitude part. I had myself convinced. This is it, we have had it! So like the time you were 9 and then 15 you dreamt of running away (or tried), I packed my bags; I was leaving. I think it was 15 times I unpacked that bag with that same silly look on my face and embarrassment in my heart. You’re weak. And I was. The joke was on me because I said I was going, but my feet were lead and one step was a mile and who had time to go the extra mile? I was no frequent flyer so I clipped my wings a little each time until I was grounded.

Why won’t you leave? I asked myself a thousand times silently, then a million times aloud. If I had a nickel for every time people would ask, I could’ve bought myself a sound player that would’ve played the programmed excuses I gave them. I was a time traveler. I could instantly travel back in time and place myself in a memory that made the lie seem true; made the excuses seem legit. I fed my murderer his alibi. You ever hear stories about women who are in captivity for years, when they are released or escape they long for their kidnappers because that’s all they know? It’s something like that. Captivity was torture but it was what I knew. How do I know how to be without anguish if anguish is my life? What’s life after anguish like? Sounds pathetic, right? I knew it wasn’t healthy, but neither was junk food, texting while driving, premarital sex, or running with scissors. But we do it; because even though we know pushing a glass onto the floor will cause it to shatter we want to make sure.

That’s the other thing—certainty. What does it mean to have certainty? It’s like the unicorn of life. I wasn’t certain of what was going on, what else could happen, what else was behind the door. All I knew was (what seemed like for certain) what was behind this door, our door. And that was comforting enough. You know the saying, “If we all threw our problems in a pile we would pick ours back up?” that was my story. It was bad, maybe even horrible, but what else was there? Couldn’t it get worse? So I prayed every night to the same God I told people with smiles and butterflies about. How they ever believed in him through me with stained cheeks and diminishing spirit, I have no clue. But that was me, clueless.

Then I left. Because I gave my thousandth ultimatum and he did not comply. So the only thing left to do was follow-through. I said I would. You have to mean what you say. It’s the second golden rule or something. I packed that same bag with the five stickers and orange luggage tag. This was it. I left…things. The things I knew I’d need or have to retrieve so there was an inch left in that door I never wanted to leave in the first place for me to place my foot …just…in….case. In case things were better, in case I was lonely, in case I was bored, in case I was wrong, I needed to put my foot there. Just in case. I left tangible things because they were in the background of the things I couldn’t take with me like laughs, months, days, minutes, regrets, fidelity and promises; those counters, that bathroom, those couches, that bed. That bed–I stopped sleeping in months before I left, the last time (not the first 6 times). Things in those moments. I needed a moment; that lead to more moments to get it right because this was so wrong! How could it be so wrong when I’m trying to make it so right? I go up, you go down, you smile, I frown, you go right, so I left.

I left. Because “I’m sorry” was like “Hi” and “I Love you” became “Are you happy now?” with both eyes looking elsewhere. It’s funny you don’t become that girl until you are on your knees trying to be heard. Did you hear me this time? But I heard you loud and clear “just go.” So I went because when someone says go, you do. There are no more just-in-cases or please explain or why’s or maybe’s or barter and bargains. Just go’s.

So I left, because you left–before I did.

(to be continued…)

Advertisements

Happiness Needs No Explanation

Photo Credit: Charles Henry

Photo Credit: Charles Henry

So it’s my first day back at work after an amazing mini-vacation in the mountains. I would apologize for my inactivity but some of the best material comes out of long periods of absence. I’ll be honest, my best pieces of writing were always produced in moments of controversy, debate or turmoil. Given that my life has become increasingly joyful, I am having trouble channeling the same sensational or powerful voice from my dark days into my happy days.

It turns out that failing friendships, relationships and life opportunities yield plenty of material. I could write for days on end about the challenges I experienced. There is a poem, an article, a meme, a list of songs that are relatable and produce aha moments. Now that most of the negative nuisances of my life are a thing of the past, I am struggling with my writing voice. How can I successfully reach and affect my audience if I don’t know how to write happy? I haven’t had enough experience with happiness to know how to compose something filled with cheer. Happiness came in small spells that usually ended before I could open my mouth to acknowledge them.

As you can tell from the time-lapse in blog postings, I have been struggling with happy writer’s block for some time now. I have spent a few nights trying to decide why it’s so difficult to write about how insanely happy I am! I mean—of course I want to share these positive emotions with the world. I want everyone to have a slice of the happy-pie. So why won’t the words come to me?

It wasn’t until I decided to turn to the new-age encyclopedia for answers and Google it. I may have typed something like How to Write Happy. I’m hardly surprised that there were so many search engine results. But I ran across a blog post that finally made my struggle make sense. The blog Why It’s Harder to Write when you’re Happy by Kat George hit the nail on the head. Kat describes how writing about bad/negative feelings is like a release; its cathartic and necessary in all the right ways. When you are feeling sad, depressed, disappointed, or angry you want to get it all out in the open, have others relate and sympathize to remind you that you are not the only one who suffers (misery loves company).

Most negative experiences that hurt you, do so because you felt so passionately about the very thing or circumstance that hurt you. So you need a form of therapy to sedate you. Your passion and emotions are what fuels such an authentic and powerful delivery. So I’m asking myself Why can’t you be just as powerful about being happy? And there it was, “…because being happy makes you want to do rather than respond.” DUH! It was like a light bulb went on. When I’m suffering from something I am affected by I sit and dwell on every element of it; I become an investigator, trying to piece together all the pieces like forensics to find explanations for who, why, when, where, what the heck happened? My involuntary human behavior makes me succumb to the needing to know everything. I so desperately need an answer to every rhetorical, hypothetical and scientific question I can come up with.

There is an underlying concept I missed and Kat said it best, “When you’re happy: you don’t care why.” So true! I can’t recall many instances of stopping to analyze why I feel astounding. When I wake up in a great mood, my mental notebook and the desire for investigation are nowhere to be found. I just get on board and accept “We are happy!” I don’t have to find the person or thing responsible for why I am smiling or feeling extreme joy, I just go with the flow. I could easily stop and attribute it to a higher power, extra money in my pocket, the great weather, my beautiful daughter’s laugh—but no. Happiness needs no explanation. My inexperience with feeling wonderful lead me to believe that people were less likely to relate to my present positive experiences. In my mind I have this misconception that people feel the most when it is something intense and painful. Because you are less likely to read happy gossip than rumors.

After finding Kat’s blog I realize that my happiness is powerful. The things that make me happy usually preoccupy me and keep me from being able to do and express them. I’ll have to find a happy medium (pun intended) to expressing the things that have broken me down and those that are currently building me up. In the meantime, I will do my best.

-Elletee

10 Valentine’s Gifts for your Guy

Photo Credit: cutiepie company

Photo Credit: cutiepie company

Valentine’s Day use to be my favorite thing in the world to celebrate outside of occasions of merit and milestone. I would go insane trying to find the most creative, considerate and amazing surprises for my guy. I feel that most guys take the backseat on celebrating and do the showering of affection. Seems unfair. But one thing I find is women who do also celebrate their partner have a hard time finding a gift worth giving. Of course nobody wants to get the gift no man wants (or pretends to like). So the general rule to avoid this is to ask yourself what would he buy or give himself? It’s simple. Of course it all depends on what your guy is into, but here are 10 things that a man would appreciate on Valentine’s Day(or any occasion):

1) Electronics (or their accessories): In the 21st century, I’m not sure if I’ve met a man who doesn’t like anything you can listen to or watch (movies, video games, music, porn). So naturally anything electronic would be worth gifting. My ex was extremely into televisions, music and game consoles. So naturally I bought a wall mount (one year) to compliment the television and a surround sound (the previous year) to amplify his TV experience.

2) Car Accessories: Some men love their cars more than they love you (I’m semi-kidding). So find accessories for his car that would make him happier to be in it. Try themed car mats, headrest covers, dash cover, organizers, seat covers, GPS, sports accessories, window decals, etc.

3) Tickets: Purchase tickets to whatever event, show, play, comedy, race or game your mate enjoys. Also decide if he would enjoy the outing more with you or with friends (don’t roll your eyes). Sometimes we can be more of an interference than anything. He may enjoy the game more if he went with a friend and will appreciate you more for doing so.

4) Jacket/Coat: Every man needs a coat or jacket. Yes we live in sunny California, but any respectable male adult over the age of 23 should wear a jacket out in the evening.

5) Sports or themed Apparel: Some guys prefer jerseys or sports attire, others enjoy bands or zombie tees. Depending on the guy, you can’t go wrong with themed apparel. Find a nice comic or walking dead tee, a Metallica sweater, Lakers jersey, a dodger baseball cap or a Steelers jersey (or a team worth wearing).

6) Subscription boxes: I thought women were the only ones who could enjoy these, but NOPE! Google subscription boxes for men. You pay a monthly fee and every month your guy will receive a box full of special gifts. You can subscribe to a sports box, a food box or an adult box (like Spicey Subscriptions). A popular one for geeks and gamers is LootCrate. It’s a simple mystery and the gift that keeps on giving.

7) Fitness gifts: Every guy wants to or dreams about being fit. So find your sweetie something that will encourage or help push the process along. Workout gear, weights, protein powder, running shoes, etc. All these type of gifts show your support and can leave him looking great (don’t you want to take credit for that?).

8) Cologne: Not body spray! Axe does not count. Find your love a premium cologne. As cliché as it may sound, a good cologne goes a long way.

9) Food: Do you know a man who doesn’t like to stuff his face? Either prepare his favorite meal, treat HIM to his favorite restaurant, have food delivered to him at work or home and watch him enjoy. Ladies, if you are being showered with gifts, you can pick up the bill in 2014 (don’t be proud).

10) Gift card: There is nothing more wonderful to a man than being able to buy what he wants (that he didn’t know he wanted)instead of returning or hiding your gift. If you have run out of time or ideas or he has everything, buy a gift card to a store he frequents and let him do the work.

-ElleTee

Learning my Love

Photo Credit: Esther Cantero

Photo Credit: Esther Cantero

Some nights ago two friends of mine gathered over wine for an impromptu girls night in. As most women do, we ended up on the topic of love. How appropriate. My long-time friend is married and the other two of us are newly single; both out of long-term relationships we had some very strong convictions about relationships, expectation and love. During the therapeutic rants we shared, my long time friend (we will call her J) mentioned how relationships become more functional when you are aware of what type of “language” your partner speaks. She took some of the passages and information from the book “The 5 love languages.” Remembering this, I later visited a website that asks a series of questions to determine your primary love language. It’s no surprise to me that I scored evenly for Words of Affirmation  and Quality Time.

It goes without saying that given my history (and my love for expression through language) that words are like fuel for me. Hearing what is felt or being reassured frequently is something I  need from my partner. The profile suggests that compliments, terms of endearment (like I love you), verbal appreciation and expression of one’s feelings are critical for me. I am an individual that thrives off words of encouragement.

I also am the type of person that determines the quality of a connection by quality time spent. I am big on interaction. The way I connect with a person is based on how enveloped or naturally woven we become through our interactions and experiences one-to-one. We live in a tech-gen where cell phones make appearances at dinner tables and phone calls are taken during intimate conversations. For me, this is a no-go. I value undivided attention where the other demonstrates their interest in me and making a connection by fully engaging.

As I mentally confirmed how accurate this was, I started realizing ways I could prepare for future relationships (and I use that “S” loosely). Relationships that lack effective communication are often lopsided. One person is usually being heard more than the other at one time or another. I was constantly trying to show my affection and love through acts of service. I felt that showing the other person that I was willing to alleviate some of the weight on their shoulders by executing tasks that stressed them out was the best way to show my love. However, I never stopped to ask specifically in what ways I could demonstrate to them that I was truly devoted to making them happy. For all I know their love language could involve physical touch. Therefore I could perform 3 million acts of service and still they could feel underappreciated or miss my attempts to show my love.

What this also showed me is that it’s difficult for me to love someone with the same love language as myself. I find it difficult to give my partner constant words of affirmation, yet this is the way in which I accept or need to be loved.

I am doing better about not dwelling on things I can’t change, but have started embracing experiences that taught me what I will change. I have learned several things about my desires since my last relationship that will improve the experiences I will have.

Things I learned about myself:

  • I always stood up for myself with strangers, never my partner
  • I always did the talking, never the listening
  • My independence often overpowered my ability to be submissive
  • I took everything personal
  • My pride masked my ability to convey my emotional and physical needs
  • If my partner didn’t respond how I wanted them to I discredited their feelings
  • I preferred being practical rather than hypothetical
  • Insults were like divorce to me
  • I was able to forgive my partner but never myself (for forgiving them)
  • I never learned how to be a girlfriend, so I always acted like a wife

It’s never easy to see the underdeveloped areas about yourself until you are removed from the situation and go through something that highlights those qualities. But I can say learning new things about myself daily is a truly rewarding experience.

What’s you and your partner’s love language? Do you know?

-Elletee

10 Habits I Gave Up to be Happy

Photo Credit: Simon Hayhurst

Photo Credit: Simon Hayhurst

Since the top of the year I have made some really great progression in terms of personal development. Though it wasn’t intentional—I woke up one day and had made of my mind that feeling sub-par all the time was not the way I wanted to live. With that being said, I made some very necessary changes in my everyday life that really have turned things around for me in the best way possible.

I discovered the problem with personal development is that most often you believe its everyone else. It’s not me, it’s you! That attitude will stunt the growth of any individual. Living in denial is like wearing shades to a movie; it limits you from being able to truly see those areas of your life or qualities about yourself that need some fine-tuning.

So instead of dealing blame cards to others (who may or may not have really been at fault) I started to look inward. By doing so I discovered there were many things I practiced that were part of the problem behind so many negative experiences.

1)      Always responding – I had this very annoying need to always respond to everything. Whether it was insult, criticism, instructions, directions, debate, rumors or compliments, there I was waiting to retort. I didn’t realize how much energy and time I was investing in addressing things that most often weren’t worth answering. If someone had something negative to say about me, I couldn’t get the words out quick enough to refute what had been said or annihilate them verbally. Behind every insult or discussion I had to birth a snarky response, a humorous comeback or personal reference. It’s a funny thing realizing how annoying it is to be on the other end of that discussion. So it turns out not everything dignifies a response. I had to stop accepting the invitation to these anxiety parties. I had a serious problem and had to stop responding to everything I heard. The saying goes, “Never waste time trying to explain yourself to those who are committed to misunderstanding you.” Chances are if they are saying something negative, they have made up their mind. Nothing you say will influence or change their opinion of you. Next, why do you need them to see you differently? You don’t—move on. Who are you trying to convince, them or yourself? And by the way, is everything they are saying wrong? What usually pisses us off is when people make statements about us that have some truth to them, otherwise, why would we be mad and not humored? Think about that. Lastly, if you’re waiting to respond, you are not listening. Terrible listeners are hardly compassionate people.

2)      Making Excuses for People – Remember benefit of the doubt? I lived there. I built a house directly on its soil and invited everyone to move in rent free. How generous was that? I was completely guilty of making excuses for people who didn’t even bother to have any of their own. I was constantly allowing friends, family, or men, violate me in a physical, emotional and spiritual way. Every heartbreak or disappointment I would give that person the benefit of the doubt. They didn’t mean it; they were mad; she seemed sorry; I’ve done that before; they won’t do it again; it wasn’t that bad; maybe there was something I could’ve done better; they won’t always be this way. The list goes on. I could conjure up a full alibi for my murderer if I needed to. And then I was on the stand. Guilty! It’s exhausting giving all or part of yourself and trusting someone to handle it with care. Repeatedly I was taken advantage of but this lovely quality lead me to believe that people would be better, get better, do better and reciprocate what I felt or shared for them. WRONG! So I gave it up because Maya Angelou said, “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”  I figured the 1000th time was a good place to start believing actions rather than hopes and promises. 

 3)      Control – so I was (and sometimes still can be) a control freak. I had this addiction to be constantly and unnecessarily controlling. I blame most of it on my OCD and embarrassingly on my ego. Where there is successful action, there is successful reward to be reaped. So I ran with it. I was pretty set in my ways and wanted to do things as I had previously done when I had seen that they were successful. I never considered that getting from point A to B could have multiple routes. So I suffered. I wanted to control people, things, plans, feelings, the earth as it spins on its axis (a real exaggeration). I felt more secure with outcomes if I had a part in how things went. The unknown scared me and therefore I stood in my own way (and others) trying to make sure that everything went according to “plan.” Apparently that was no good for friendships, relationships, partnerships or employment. So—I nixed that. It was like putting a box over a growing flower. I could not thrive because I would never allow someone else to teach me, lead me, correct me and therefore only had the potential to be as great as I was in that moment.

 4)      Making comparisons – Well, I’m human. So naturally in such a capitalistic, materialistic, socially driven society—I compared everything. I would compare myself to others, others to me, things to things, circumstances to circumstances. I tried to weigh the value of things in relation to other things. It was a serious sickness. It made me feel inadequate or give me grounds to be judgmental. Comparison is dangerous to your health. It spreads aggressively once you truly adopt it. You will compare your life to that of others, your accomplishments, your childhood, your relationship, your status, your finances, etc. I found that even though I had textually been successfully in my 26 years of life, that I would make myself feel inadequate. If someone had been a relationship for lesser time than mine and were more happy/in love/engaged/married… I had failed. If someone had less education than me and had greater opportunities, I had a “life isn’t fair” attitude. Comparison is like a rat race inside the mind. It was poisoning my thought-life to the extent that I changed my course in life so often. I was trying to dissolve the feeling of failure and inadequacy that originated from the idea that someone else had or did something that I can do/should do/need to do/would do/better at….exhale. Its exhausting just to type. People won’t admit to doing such a thing (because everyone is perfect and can care less what others are doing, right?), but I will. It took me a very long time to realize these things were happening in my subconscious and being acted out in my physical life. Where the thoughts go, the actions will follow. So I decided to mind my own business, as fundamental as that may seem.

 5)      Keep talking about it – I use to think that I couldn’t move forward or heal because my problems were just impossible to get past. In reality, I was hard to get past. I would dwell on my problems or constantly bring up what I had been through, what and who hurt me, blah blah. My problems were my pitch. No clue why this seemed appropriate at the time, but one day I ran into the same type of person. It didn’t seem appealing and I found myself thinking, “But that was then, this is now.” The past is the past and we don’t live there anymore. By frequently bringing up the past, I was forcing myself to relive those hardships over and over. I would feel the same anger, the same pain, the same hurt, the same devastation each time I would bring it up. I felt “sorry” for myself and I wanted everyone to attend the pity party. And while some did, it was an unattractive obstacle. I placed those mountains in front of me, making it impossible to go through and find happiness. If you live in the shadow of your past, you’ll never enjoy the sunshine in your present. I had to ask what was  the purpose of discussing past obstacles and if it was benefiting me. Then I had to decide if I wanted to be happy or right? Because even if I felt those experiences contributed to me being unhappy, did I want to be right about that or leave those moments behind with an opportunity to be happy. So then I freed myself.

 6)      Relying on fixers – I was placing my happiness in the hands of others. I needed their approval, their acceptance, their well-wishes, their loving behavior. It goes without saying (even though I will say it) that this is a downhill path. I’d be happy when the people I loved or cared about were happy with me, were on good terms with me or approved of things I said or did. The difficult thing to see was how infrequently that would happen. Can you imagine trying to people please a handful of individuals all at once? Each had their own challenges, their own illnesses, their own personalities, their own moods, their own expectations. It was like trying to win the lottery every day. So with this came a lot of unhappiness. I could please one or two but then the other three or four were upset, offended, or disapproving. So then my “good” mood was ruined; my temperament was always affected because it was contingent upon what others felt for or about me. I was the human yo-yo; emotions up, emotions down. It made me physically ill always worrying about my status with others. I burned the bridge to that place, finally!

 7)      Using people as fillers – I will confess this horrible habit of using people as “fillers.” What is a filler? It is a person whose purpose is solely to fill a void of some type of comforter to pacify a current sentiment or circumstance. These people are the distraction from whatever is physically or emotionally weighing down on you. It’s a form of addiction because they provide you with whatever it is you need or want to get through the circumstance or feeling. It can be anything from laughter to companionship. Most fillers are temporary. Some fillers are long-term and can keep you from evolving. After all, if you rely on whatever energy that resource provides in order to “pass the time” or ignore a circumstance, you will not face it head on. While most fillers are distractions, some are a great source of strength (i.e. friendships, spirituality, exercise, etc). But temporary, less conducive fillers can yield some very serious consequences. No more relying on others to make me “feel better.” I had to be my own little hero and encourage and make me feel happy.

 8)      Negative Self-Talk – The person who gets the last say-so over your life (aside from God) is you! So if you are constantly doubting your potential, saying negative things about yourself or speaking negatively over your circumstances then you will probably be right. I discovered behind all of my negative self-talk there were two little people: 1) the person who wanted someone to tell her she was wrong about herself and 2) the person who really didn’t want to be better. If you keep putting yourself down, not only will others start to believe it, but so will you. I couldn’t become a better me because every time I was discouraged or feeling a certain way I would speak negatively about myself. My actions would reflect how I felt inward. I would begin to try less, mope more, and have the behavior of the type of person I was telling myself (and the world) that I was.

9)      Holding grudges – You know how they say something like holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die? Yea—well this is true. Grudges are like hot coals. The other person isn’t affected or burned by your negative feelings. The only person that wastes energy and is affected is you. It took me some time to realize that forgiving other people was for ME. Everytime I was angry or disappointed I held onto the memories (play by-play) so I could remember how that person made me feel. It was my way of ensuring that I never gave them the opportunity to do it again OR to limit the level of interaction or trust I had for them. Meanwhile, life goes on and so many people disappointed or hurt me. So then there was this huge line of things and people to log into the grudge section of my memory, which gave me no room to think positively or feel positively about anything else. How could I possibly make room for happy thoughts or feelings if my mind was crowded with all the grudges I needed to hold? Forgiveness will free you mentally. If you accept that you were hurt and realize the problem that person had was with themselves and not you, then you can free yourself of dwelling on something so toxic. So I adopted forgiveness and let

10)   Self-forgiveness – This is a work in progress. I am my harshest critic and often influenced by the impact I have on others. But in the past I was handicapped by mistakes. Whenever I failed to do something I let me being discouraged tear me down.  I left many endeavors unfinished because of my inability to see past the disappointment. I always blamed myself for why things or situations just never turned out right. I had to give up the idea that I was not allowed to fail. Failure builds character, it gave me the strength I needed to take on future challenges and changed the way I saw success. The victory of accomplishing things became sweeter and I was able to take the errors and refine the way I went about things. Learning to forgive myself started with changing my perspective. I could be disappointed, but had to forgive myself (because I am human) and also to accept that it wouldn’t be the last time I would fail.

Sometimes we have to go through a storm or a phase in our life where nothing goes right in order to become what we need to when everything does. These were everyday habits that I had cultivated over the years. It’s not easy and some days I considering reverting back (on some of them). But these changes have been for the better. Best decisions I have made.

I Am a Pervert

Photo Credit: .mw

Photo Credit: .mw

I’m not sure if there’s a candy-coated way to have discussions about sex. I have found that since becoming a mother, talking about it has made people increasingly uneasy. I guess there is a discomfort in knowing that someone’s mother is interested in the O’s outside of Cheerios. I find it kind of ironic considering I haven’t mastered the art of immaculate conception. I know the idea of my parents exchanging anything aside from “good morning,” exceeds my threshold for parental PDA.  But that’s neither here nor there.

What I have gathered is that its only socially acceptable to discuss getting-it-on as a mother with other mothers, married couples and/or people who are familiar with your story and accept that you still have a pulse (and libido). These limitations (if you care about what other people think, like I still have trouble with) can be annoying when you are a young mother.

I am pretty fortunate that I have many friends with children or family that relate to my situation. But those outside of my circle find it hard to accept that my mind (and my body) are not out of commission. With sex becoming an increasingly casual engagement and society being drenched in sexy, you would think us mother’s could get a day pass. But no!

Over casual conversation, an older male made the statement that mother’s should take pride in their newfound role and tone-down their “perversions.” I giggled. Why? Because I just learned that I am a pervert! I may have already had a clue, but this confirms it. It was mother hen, in the kitchen with the pool boy!

Yes—I am a mother, but I am still a woman, with working parts and sensations. You don’t forfeit your sexual appetite as a rite of passage during labor and delivery. It’s upsetting that I can’t be seen as a woman who can cook, clean and satisfy my man (or myself—blushes). What happened to the rise of the MILFs? Did I miss that train? It disturbs me that people still have these preconceived notions about motherhood. We are presumed to be these tired, grumpy, scatter-brained, uncoordinated individuals who have no idea what a comb looks like and watch Disney shows all day. Am I close?

I think the shock factor is higher for women like me because even in this 16-and-pregnant generation, people still don’t look at children out-of-wedlock favorably. It is more common but not SC (socially correct). However, married mothers host discussion boards, blogs, heck—even a press conference on how to spice up their sex lives. People from all walks of life chime in on how they can understand, improve or cope with their sexuality after children. But us black sheep are extreme perverts. God forbid we still want someone to make us feel attractive and to pursue us. Haven’t we learned our lesson? Guess not.

What about a mother makes sexual thoughts, acts or discussion perverted? It’s not like you can get second-hand violated. I don’t discuss it with my child or her teachers on back to school night. Is it simply because I have a responsibility to be an upstanding human being or a role model for my offspring? Just like non-parents, my life behind closed doors (specifically the bedroom) are private.

As derogative as the term “pervert” is, I can’t help but feel humored. I am not going to attend a meeting, detox myself of sexual thoughts or assume the position (well—maybe) that people believe I should. My parenting skills are not affected by personal desires. If there’s anyone who appreciates a healthy sex life, it may be the overwhelmed mother. What kind of life is to be lived where your most intimate moments are licking the TV screen when Scandal is on? A static one.

Let’s face it, Betty Crocker isn’t the lead woman in a man’s fantasy. But there is something sexy about a woman who is maternal and glamorous; who you can count on for R & R and S & M. If what I see in the mirror every morning is perverse, well then I’m a proud pervert.

5 Types of Women who are Not the One

Photo Credit: Marsmett tallahassee

Photo Credit: Marsmett tallahassee

Growing up as a little girl, you are genetically predisposed to wanting the ideal life, you know, that happy ending; I’m talkin’ white picket fence, three gorgeous children, a man with a chiseled face and body, an upstairs-downstairs home, Sunday dinners, road trips, the works! Sure there are exceptions, but somewhere down the line (that so happens to be jagged) you will either consider it, seek it, lose it or question why you haven’t arrived there yet. Or at least for me that often tends to be the case. I find myself staring at couples with googly eyes and the silent “aww” rising to the surface in admiration. I mentally record all of their gestures, the inches between each corner of their mouth to form their smiles (which feel genuine). How do I know, well  their bodies match their faces and they are deliberate in just the right way. I mean its priceless. There aren’t enough zeroes in a paycheck to buy that I-AM-SO-IN-LOVE-WITH-YOU glare in a person’s eyes. No words in a script could ever give life to that PLEASE-LOVE-ME expression.

Then you sigh. Because you feel a breeze in a place where there should be flutters and magic. But nope, just dust. You can say aloud to as many people as you need to (in order to get five, maybe six hours of sleep at night) that you are fine…I’m FINE-F-I-N-E and A-OKAY with being the one who isn’t finding her glass slipper in the palm of Prince Charming. But somehow, Mr. Wrong and his cousin Mr. What-the-Hell keep stealing your Nike Free’s. So instead of kissing passionately until your lips begin numbing, at midnight you are wearing fleece pajamas, sipping on cheap wine, watching re-runs of things that are constantly reminding you that the line to your destination is a couple of lines, that go over a couple of walls and even under some bodies of water. Okay, that may sound extreme. For some it isn’t, they are standing in a Starbuck’s line and BAM! Channing Tatum has napkins and he’s 50-shades-of-ready for you. So now you have mocha-lovin’ and your dreams come true.

I’m not bitter. Let me say that—just a little salty. But something I consider when I have those Did my Guy get Lost episodes, is about why I’m not “The ONE.”

Okay let’s address the elephant in the room—women, we are not all “THE ONE” (well at least, not always when we think). There has to be some self-reflection or estrogen revelation hour where you realize you don’t always have it all together. You could have had third-degree-burn rendezvous as well but you don’t even like coffee. What am I getting at? We aren’t always our best us. We can’t go around thinking that men (or boys) are always the problem (even though they can be—a lot). But there is a time and place for accountability and before 30 is ideal.

I figure, 26 is a good age to start looking at the wo-MAN in the mirror and put an end to this madness. What is it, am I too nice, too mean, too thin; need more education, need less education. The why not me list gets very long. But here are 5 types of women who are NOT the one:

1)      The independent (the proud): A walking-talking oxymoron (emphasis on the moron). You are goal-oriented, headstrong with an I can do it all by myself mentality. This means you throw yourself into education, work and all aspects of life with the mindset that you don’t need a man for anything. While this may be true, batteries get expensive, heating blankets will never be better than skin, you can’t marry yourself, dreams are amazing, but sharing them with a family is better. You can be ambitious and submissive (uh oh she said the S-word). Sorry! Not submissive in the 1970s apron-wearing voiceless wife kind of way; but in the employed, successful but domestic and yielding sort of way. It’s a myth that all men are intimidated by a strong woman. Some men can appreciate a hardworking, established woman. But allow the man to be a man (a protector, an aggressor, a provider). Overshadowing or trying to be the man in the relationship will send off this exact message “I don’t need you.” And well, you don’t, but you want them don’t you?

2)      The insecure (the paranoid) – You usually have a ton of excuses. You constantly need validation, answers, explanations and an excessive amount of attention. You are dependent on your man to approve of you and others to approve of your man. You go from feeling like everything to nothing in 0-60 seconds. You are never satisfied and make comparisons between your guy and someone else’s or yourself and someone else. You are a searcher of red flags. You will dig and dig until you have something (whether imaginative or concrete) to satisfy that gut feeling (but it won’t). How can something bloom when you are secretly watering it with doubt? You place unreasonable expectations and play the victim card often. Everyone and everything that is done to you or felt by you is someone else’s fault. A man (especially a good one) will only tolerate this for so long. Even the best rollercoasters can make you nauseous if you keep getting on them. You are incomplete! You cannot compliment someone else if you aren’t whole to begin with.

3)      The selfish (also known as the spoiled) – Want to know if this is you? The next time your guy tells you he is going out with his boys instead of staying in with you, gage your reaction. If you feel upset, jealous or annoyed—you’re selfish. It’s one thing to miss your man, but to want him to devote himself solely to you is selfish. Guys need their time too. The selfish woman often makes ultimatums, making a guy constantly choose between her and everything (children, friends, work, hobbies). You want to be treated like a queen and showered with affection and love, but put in only the effort you are willing too based on what you feel he deserves. Conversations and debates are usually centered around what you feel and rarely consider what he feels (or doesn’t). Selfish women thrive off guilt-trips. You won’t admit it, but when you don’t get your way, the guilt trip just slides right off the tongue. You’re looking out for your best interest and compromise is not your specialty.

4)      The scorned (the broken) – Woe is me! You live in the city of regret and stay at the heartbreak hotel. You sing those familiar songs about being hurt, betrayed, lied to, used, abused. You reopen your wounds as much as possible. Hey, but you throw an amazing pity party! However, many men won’t continue to accept the invitation. There is nothing more unattractive than a woman who clothes herself in hurt and dwells on the past. That man is not responsible for those things that happened to you. He cannot be held next to the same burned-out candle used for others. He doesn’t stand a chance with you (or you with him). That baggage you bring on your new trip will only weigh you both down. It’s unfair and unfortunate. If you are not healed, you cannot move forward! Do the next guy a favor and steer clear of any relationships until you can be strong enough to dust yourself off, let go and give him a clean slate to start with.

5)      The pessimist – The glass is always half-empty with you! You anticipate failures. One action/mistake will have you second-guessing everything. You keep your guard up and only give enough of yourself that you know if it fails, you can endure the loss. You are limited to negative thinking in fear of the possibility of failure. When you face challenges with your guy, you become cynical and condescending  saying things like “I knew this would happen” or “see.” Nobody likes a negative Nancy. A man needs to be built up, encouraged and know that he has room to be human and make mistakes (just like you). We know you are perfect dear, but planting negative seeds in your relationship (and mind) will only grow bad fruit.

There are more types (and exceptions) of course, but these are the top 5. At one point in your life you have been or will be one or all of these types of women, whether you started off that way or grew to be because of experiences. But we can’t go playing the blame game and pinning everything on the opposite sex. Heck—we will probably never admit to being any of these individuals. That’s fine. The longer you avoid taking responsibility for your who you are, the longer it will take for you to get things right. If you want someone to step up to the plate, you have to be worth striking out for. To find the one, you must be the one.

-ElleTee