Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008

Man, it is almost over and well 2008 was quite a year! Four years ago on today one event changed my life forever ….FOR THE BETTER. It was the beginning of the end of my marriage but it was the beginning of the rest of my BEST LIFE EVER. It kicked off a journey that had many valleys and mountain tops and I am prayerful for many more, for the mountain tops would not be as sweet if there were no valleys to make me truly appreciate the view from the top.

I wanted to do some kind of year in review but really there is just so much going on in my life now that I don’t even really have time to look back at this year through blog. Hell I barely have time (or should I say desire) to read all the blogs I want to. The reason started with today’s very special anniversary is because 2009 is my tipping point. In 2009 I will have been newly single longer than I was married. Anyway here is a 2008 OG year in review, the Cliff Notes version.

Boston
I spent 8 months of my 2008 in a different part of the country and well I have to say it was one of the best experiences of my life. I learned a lot about life, love, and happiness.

In 2008 I have grown so much. This time last year things were just all over the place I had just got through some tough emotional times, but they made me stronger and looking back with out those times I don’t know if I would have been able to survive Boston if I hadn’t gone through what I went through. The growing pains I went through last year prepared me for so many things I had to deal with in Boston.

TOM A
(The Object of My Affection)
Well, in 2008 I moved in a new space with TOM A, however at this time last year TOM A and I had only started talking again after 3 months of very limited contact. The ups and downs of TOM A’s life combined with my Boston tour helped us find out what works for us, which is very different than your average couple. We still are learning and growing but I am happy with it. I love him and I will always love him. As we both say we are us and we are not defined by what others THINK we should look like. We are whatever we are.

Goals

I don’t really make resolutions. However I do make goals and try to set realistic time tables to get to those goals. Most of the goals I made I think I have either met or on track to meeting. The biggest goal of 2007 was move into my house, which I did. My goal for 2008 was to get my debt down and I did, even paid off my car (even though I’m looking for a new [to me] one. The goals for 2009 is to continue to live, learn, and laugh. Anything outside of that, I’m not even trying to have.

Professional
This has been a phenomenal year for me as a professional. I moved out of the very volatile banking industry into a very stable health care. I also made the transition from Analysis to Project Management. The flatness of the organization will also help me reach my goals of PMI certification and my MBA much easier, or at least I hope so.

Friendship
2008 made me feel even more blessed to have those around me that I call framily (friends who are like fam). I joined a great group of cyber family and found so many blog favorites I was borderline addicted to blogging. Its cool I have it under control. Really the cyber world was largely responsible for me making it through the really lonely times I had in the Bean and keeping me close to my friends and family who were many many miles away from me.

Life
In general 2008 is wrapping up quite nicely for me. I have been insulated from the high gas prices of the summer ( I was in Boston on the MBTA when gas was high), banking crisis (while working in the banking industry- God is SOOOO GOOD), and Hurricane Ike (although I see the rebuilding that is STILL happening months later). I am blessed. I am happy. I am God’s child. I really am so grateful and excited for what 2009 has in store for me. I am on the back end of my thirties. I think the ride to 40 should be LOTS of fun!

What about you? How was your 2008? Excited about 2009? Tell me!!

Be EZ,
OG

Monday, December 22, 2008

Short and Sweet- My Antithesis

Ok this is going to be short but I am trying to post at least once a week until I get use to being back home. I mean it's just so great to be home. It just feels so right and for me. I am getting into a routine at work and at home. Right now I have moved from just sitting in the house and enjoying it to completely unpacking and finally hanging art and putting final touches on the house. I'm still looking for a couch but I have plenty of time.

This week I will be doing the guest bedroom so that should be fun. I'll try to remember to take a pic once its done. I've also started looking at landscaping books time to add some curb appeal to my little spot. Man if you guys only KNEW the extreme joy I get out of decorating my house and loving my defacto man TOM A, Crys informed me I was in love. HA HA HA!! I am happy.

I have to admit its taken a minute for TOM A and I to figure out how this life works for us, but I think we have. Things seem good and most importantly I am happy.

Can I just tell you that I have done it! Finally broke down and after MANY many MANY many years I am wearing red lips. Well more like wine but red none the less. I have been wearing pinks and nudes so long. I've bought darker lipsticks but not worn them always went back to pink. Something about this winter makes me feel like lots of lashes and dark lips and dark hair.
I know I'm crazy but I love playing grown up! Just for the record I BLAME this red lipstick voyage all on Keisha Cole looking like FIYAH on her CD cover. FIYAH!!

Well its time to go. I have an early morning . Until I blog again....

Be EZ,
OG

Monday, December 15, 2008

Taking Care of #1

So this post was inspired by Smokie’s post on facing your denial and going for what you want. This came on the heels of reading Lisa’s post over at Black Women Blow the Trumpet about how we as women need to learn that we should be the first on our list of priorities. Sorry Lisa I haven't had time to weigh in but I will.

Smokie talked about her personal journey through denial. Realizing that she really did want the things she had convinced herself she didn’t want or need. The post made me think of he OG before she was married, divorced and 35. That OG never really had a problem identifying how she wanted to live or what she wanted. Or so I thought. What I found out with age that many of the things I thought I wanted were programmed in me.

Programmed, many of the things I wanted I wanted because I had been raised to believe that was what I was supposed to want. Many of things I did because I was expected to do them as a productive member of society. I went to school, attended church, got a job, and married, because that is what we did in my family.

The reality of the matter was at 26 I had no clue what I was doing because I wanted to do it and what I was doing because that is what I was supposed to do. Because that is what my family expected, because that is what society said would make me happy. What I found out, at the expense of my ex husband was that I am not a traditional kinda girl. That I did not want the traditional life, that I wanted big city bright lights city girl living, that I wanted a real relationship with God not one that just happened on Sundays and Wednesdays, that I only wanted to play with other people’s children and not be anything more than the fun aunt, that I liked to smoke, drink and party past the age it seemed appropriate to smoke, drink, and party.

For me the issue was coming to terms that what I wanted was a break from what black women wanted traditionally. You see my denial was denying myself me, because I was afraid that I would disappoint those who had put so much stock in who I was to become. I guess I would liken it to being Prince William or Harry. Certain things are expected from them because their birth right and the promise they have shown as young men. Same for me. You see I was the first. The first born of the first born and well I was born with the need to meet what was expected of me. My dad use to tell me that if you treat people as you expect them to behave they will rise to the occasion. In my case, I’d have to say it was true. As a precocious child my GG began to expect greatness out of me. It was evident that I was a smart kid so there was never an option, in my mind, to get anything less than a B. It was never an option to do things that those fast girls did.

I was a little different/I didn't do what the fast girls do.



You know I come from a family where irresponsibility was not an option, and unfortunately I didn’t even take my youth to be and do those irresponsible things that most did. As a matter of fact I will never forget a conversation I had with Bus Chick. I had, like every other college student, discovered credit. I was sitting in her apartment and telling her I would have a grand total of $10 left for the next two weeks after I paid my half of the rent and all my credit cards. She looked at me and said, well why don’t you just not pay your CC’s? I had NEVER thought of just not paying my bills or just not being responsible.


-or-

When I think of my godparents, who are also my aunt and uncle, they raised my cousin who had Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and Autism. At his funeral people talked about how they had been so dedicated to raising and loving him all 33 years of his life. How they had seen parents of children with far less wrong just drop their kids off at the state hospital and never look back. My aunt responded and said really we aren’t that great, I mean I did what I was supposed to. I never really thought there was another option.


Even now I struggle with what people expect from a 35 year old professional who has what I have to offer. They don’t get my vices or my nontraditional choices in life and love. They think if I was her I would do this. Or think I am crazy for spending that amount of money on hair, make-up, shoes, and clothes. Or that I was crazy to move 2K miles from a home that was barely 6 months old.

You see what I learned from my life before now is that my happiness is important, that my happiness is the most important thing in this world. That if I am not happy, does anything else even matter. I came to realize that my happiness is the key to my progress.

Lisa is so right when she talks about how we as black women have been programmed to put our happiness on the back burner. That somehow there is some kind reward for letting others be happy at our expense. I mean I was a young woman and if I hadn’t had my epiphany I honestly believe that I would have continued through life living a little pink house existent, being a Stepford wife devoid of joy. I mean I would have had happy moments, but I wouldn’t have been full of joy. You know the kind that no one can take away.

Before I made my own decisions, but they really weren’t MY DECIISONS because they were always made with how it would affect other people. These days my focus is making decisions that contribute to MY HAPPINESS. I think if more women really made the decision to put their happiness before that of the other people in their lives this world would be a better place. Lisa mentions in her post that Will Smith said that if he wasn’t happy and fulfilled he couldn’t put that into anyone else and that is why his happiness was always his first priority. THAT’S REAL TALK!

Now, I admit I find myself still struggling with being selfish. That sometimes it feels wrong or awkward to say no, just because I don’t want to. But like all things in life it gets easier the more I do it, and I have put down the nightmare that I would somehow become some vapid, selfish, uncaring monster. I know my DNA will not allow me to just not take people’s feelings into account, but it will allow me to have the balance that I think is necessary to live MY best life possible. The key is not the best but to be the BEST me.

I heard Oprah this weekend speak on her weight gain. And she said something that summed it up. She sad that she had a problem with self-care. I think that is something many women suffer from, especially black women. We need to learn to prioritize taking care of us, it should never come last on our list. I'm working to make my self-care a priority in my life. Its not as easy as one would think, but I'm dedicated to it no matter how much my nature says the contrary.

Well I’m out. Hopefully this will hold you guys for a minute. I even already know what my next blog is. UH OH….I’m almost back in the swing of things.



Be EZ,

OG

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Checkin In!

Well I hope everyone had a nice Holiday kickoff, aka as Thanksgiving. T-day is my favorite holiday by far. I'm doing ok I completed almost two weeks on the new j and so far it's cool. I am cut-off from a lot of the world (blogs, personal e-mail, and IM) but hey that's the way of the world in Corporate America.

Not a lot going on with me, adjusting to being back home and TOM A and just life in general. In my first weeks of being home and working, it seems the same as when I left.

Wow I really don't have a lot to say. I love Houston. I can't believe that 2008 is almost over. I can't believe that its almost 2009 and that we are almost ten years into the millennium. I can't believe I'm three years away from being out of high school 20 years GEEZ!! I can't believe it is NOT butter. HA! HA! I can't believe that I have not been online consistently since I got home. I mean to be honest I haven't even been lurking. But I have been thinking about you...kinda

It snowed here yesterday. Like real snow...big flakes...enough to make snow angels and men and balls and IT SNOWED. Global warming

I promise the next blog will be much better…the question is when IS the next blog. Let me catch up and see what the rest of you are doing and then I’ll be back to weigh in on something. Not really sure what…but SOMETHING.

Be EZ,
OG