Wednesday, October 27, 2010

With Difficulty Comes Ease

I've been stressed before...but not more than a good pep talk from Cool Pops could fix.  But at this very moment, it's like I'm standing in the middle of a building, watching the walls crumble around me, and all I have is one brick in my hand.  I don't know where to begin...I don't know how I got here...and I'm here in the middle of this big mess alone.  

My girlfriend told me I'm one of the most resilient people she knows...that I can bounce back from anything...but the knots in my stomach just keep tightening.  I googled "de-stress techniques at work" but somewhere between inhaling in my right nostril *pause for 5 seconds* and exhaling out of my left nostril, I realized this was more a confusing distraction than a solution. Moments like this you wish for your knight in shining armor to remind you that you don't need this have his support, and the support of your family.  But *finger snap* back to reality, I DO need this job...well, I need A job.  I just really want to continue to excel in this job.  

My manager expressed her concern that it appears I struggle performing through conflict, and need to always  be in a favorable environment...and although I don't know how much she has been able to observe of me outside of this clusterphuk...she is right that I do crave positive working environments.  I do thrive in supportive, encouraging environments where my voice is heard, and my ideas are recognized...but don't we all?  Is that really such a bad thing to not want to be miserable, disrespected and stifled? Have I deluded myself by expecting this utopia?  

Inevitably, any job has its challenges.  Perhaps always expecting blue skies is the real failure.  So as this looming gray cloud still hovers above my head, I've decided to remember that this too shall pass.  "Verily with every difficulty comes ease."  And as I fight to not let them see me sweat, cry, stumble or vomit, I will also fight to emerge a better woman.  But do trust...that whenever the leadership gods smile down on me and grant me my own kingdom, I'll do my damndest to make sure no woman in my reach has to endure this battle...and to prove that positive, collaborative and encouraging work environments yield better results any day.  Just you wait.   

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I Hope

I've tried to forget about you, you know.  I mean, REALLY forget about you.  I deleted your numbers, blocked you from my facebook page and blackberry messenger.  I searched your name in my outlook, and deleted all our emails too.  At home and at work. Excessive?  Eh...maybe.  But keeping all those communication roadways open in anticipation that you'll head back my way is...torture.  So since I can't make you call...make you explain why you left...I can put up road blocks and chart a new direction. How long am I to expected to keep peeking down the road, hopeful to see your headlights?

And just like I said, there would be another...and just like I said I would (neck roll) I gave him your nickname too.  He said all the right things...was completely dedicated to me. Matter of fact, he was everything I wished you would be. But...he wasn't you. He wasn't my Captain, my Light, my Star.  So lately I've been in agony wondering why when my mind moves ahead, does my heart lag behind?  Why do I still miss you so much?

Like a madwoman I pulled up an old phone bill online to find your number...I had deleted our call history from my phone in an attempt to survive such moments of weakness, but as they say: where there's a will there's a (omg, I don't believe I'm admitting this) way. I texted you that I missed our friendship.  Your callous reply: "Too soon."  Really, Guy? You told me you were boarding a flight then parted with "You are loved". Hushdafcukup...really? What kinda, ambiguous, non committal statement is that?  

What the hell is going on with me!? I'm a THUG...not some desperate can't get man (can't keep a man, maybe...but let's not quibble over small details) spinster!  One would think that I'd easily forget about what was, focus on what is...and keep it moving.  Well, jerk, I can't...but I'm damn sure doing the best job I can pretending.

Okay, the truth is I didn't delete everything.  I've kept the voice notes you sent of every song you sang for me.  I don't even like them all!  Wait, let me rephrase.  You don't even sound good in all of them.  Maaaaybe 4 at best.  But I love them, because they represent the you that I miss...the "us" that I can't replace as hard as I try.

My FFF (fab, fly friend) says I can't look to you for closure, rather look within.  But everything in my heart...has me staring at that road block, still hoping you'll break through.  However, the truth is...I know you went back to her.  Yes, the one that cheated on you...with a basketball player.  The one you lived with...spent the last 4 years with. And like Michael in The Office, I've most likely romanticized this entire relationship to mean more that it ever really was.  That your time with me was merely an escape away from the woman you really loved.  The reason you were such a dream...the very reason I fell in love...was because you were pretending with me in an attempt to escape the hurt of loving someone who, based on their actions, you shouldn't.

I'll be in your city next weekend, but you know that already.  I'm not going to call you, or even email you this letter, because my last attempt to reach out to you left me feeling like a hoochie groupie (and I ain't neva been nobody's groupie)...but I still have hope you will call...hope that you will still want to see me, because you miss me too.  I still have hope that how you said you felt, and that the next 60 years you said we were destined to spend together is real.  Either way, I have hope.  But if you don't call this weekend...I hope she cheats on you with a basketball player (again).  *dead face*  I said I'm a thug. *mean mug* 

Mom:  No, we didn't.  It's just a song for dramatic effect I promise :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Silly Putty

I told myself I wasn't going resort to digging through the crates search of a Mr. Oldie but Goodie to put back in rotation to pass time.  Hell, I even told my girlfriends I was through looking to the past...but there are certain men that just make me melt...the charming charismatic ones that can't be tamed.  I know, doomed from the start.  But for some reason, the competitor in me draws me to them like a moth to a flame.

This Monday, he walked by the conference room while I was in a meeting.  I glanced up the same moment he did.  It had been months since we locked eyes.  I had made a point to avoid eye contact and act as if I didn't know him since the day I found out he was gaming me.  I was more upset at myself for even crushing on him than anything else.  I mean, we met at work!  And although we work in unrelated departments and aren't breaking any ethical had catastrophe written all over it.  We had only known each other for about a month, but he seemed overly interested, and I started crushing big time.

We met on the elevator one morning before work.  He was tall, handsome and very well dressed.  My close, gorgeous, very well dressed girlfriend was newly single, and I immediately wanted to set them up.  He and I exchanged emails, and instantly a friendship sparked.  I was new to the company and he was the second person I met under 30...I genuinely thought we'd be friends...and that he'd be perfect for my girl.

Unfortunately I quickly learned that men don't want to be set up...or at least they don't take it for the compliment intended.  When I tried to set up my new work buddy with my FFF (fab, fly friend), it was as if he was obsessed with knowing why I wouldn't date him...why I would want to hook him up rather than get to know him for myself.  I confessed that I was looking for someone that shared my faith...his unexpected reply was that his father shared my faith, and his mother did not...and they are still happily married.  He was persistent.  I was complimented...and soon began to entertain the thought.

We went to dinner one day after work and his phone rang.  He frantically reached to silence the ringer but it was too late.  Instantly I understood his panic.  The ringtone was Drake on auto tune singing "baby you my everything, you all I ever wanted..."  I coughed out a laugh in disbelief.  "Wow...she has a ringtone?" I ask smiling.  He doesn't respond.  He drives me to my car in silence, offering no explanation.  My pride was bruised, but I had enough dignity not to be THAT chick that starts mouth poppin, neck rollin, finger pointin, or 20 questions askin over ANY DUDE.  Before hopping out of his car I asked if he had anything to say.  He replied "Have a good night."  That day was the last day we made eye contact.

That is, until last Monday...8 months later.  3 days passed after seeing him during my meeting, and I couldn't stop thinking about him.  He was under my skin...and once again I was drifting toward the flame.  I sent the first ice breaker email (I know!!) to which he quickly replied.  One email turned to 10, and soon he stopped by to see me at my desk...unexpected and uninvited.  Not like I minded, but mentally I was NOT prepared (thankfully it was a great hair and wardrobe day, but my mind was in complete disarray).  Unlike my ex that looked closer to Sherman Klump the next time I saw him, the work buddy looked FANFREAKINTASTIC.  I wish I was lying to you.  He looked better than I remembered, and he had gotten a few more gray hairs in his beard.  You know I love some salt and pepper in my life.  I honestly think my upper lip started to sweat!  I tried to play it coy and nonchalant, but I involuntarily turned to putty.  I was actually nervous! Over a boy! At 30!

I know I deserve so much explanation, hell an apology for not being honest about baby girl on the other end of the ring tone.  All the more reason why my philosophy is against considering men my age...this is all so childish.  But there is nothing better than being in the presence of a man who makes your heart skip a beat.  Well, maybe there is definitely better to have someone you trust feel the same way about you.  But I'd be lying if I didn't admit that deep down inside...I still want to tame this one.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Salt and Pepper Seduction

I've flirted with the idea of an older man (see: Dr. Dynamite), but at 18 years my senior, AND after my mother said he could be in her dating pool, those fantasies immediately evaporated.  But over the last month, largely due to Mr. Day 19 (see: Four Seasons)...I noticed something pretty attractive in older men:  They know what they want.  No filter, no games, and no fear of commitment.  I think I'm on to something...

But in most cases, an older man equals a divorce plus at least one child and that child's mother.  With Mr. Day 19, it meant two divorces and two children with two different mothers, and was borderline two damn much.  But, I saw the potential for the large family I've always wanted.  If I could, I'd have three boys and a girl...but as I get older that baby making plan is slowly decreasing.  Only children are lonely children, so now, I pray I can squeeze out a two piece.  But with a blended family, I can have more kids...without the birthing plans and labor pains.  I LOVE the idea...and I know without a doubt that any child of my husband will be loved as one of my own...because it's a piece of him.  

"You date suits" my guy friend once told me when asked to describe my type.  And although my heart has skipped a beat or two to a bad boy in my day...they were much more corporate thug or suburban thug, than county prison thug.  My friend was irrefutably on point.  Aside from a tall, masculine man with a great smile...a good suit has potential to render me speechless.

So aesthetically, I've revised my prototype.  I still need a suit in my life.  Still six feet or taller with a smile not hidden behind a deceptive scowl.  But deeeefinitely 6-10 years older than me.  4 shakes of pepper, 1-2 shakes of salt. Preferably divorced once (I'll pass on the repeat offenders), with children. I'm so sincere about wanting to be a step mom!  I know this may sound odd, but if I've learned anything about myself in this year of revelation and introspection, I've learned that I need a dependable, family oriented man that is stable, secure and sure.  Sure of himself, and sure about what he wants. Nothing against my twenty something/early thirties guys, still living on the edge, going hard in the club over the weekend, waiting for the perfect 10 to drop out of the sky and miraculously erase their desire for anyone but her...but I'm not that chick.  I don't pretend to be nor do I want to be that chick.  I'm not perfect, but I AM amazing.  And I think most men need until about 36 to realize that beautiful, loyal, amazing, loving, intelligent and imperfect may just be the perfect combination after all.

The newest prospect (courtesy of Match) has be by 10 years.  He is all of the above and lives locally.  Trust that I'll keep you posted as I conduct this little social experiment.  Not sure of his salt and pepper ratio just yet, but I'm all the way seduced.  Stay tuned...

Sidebar: Ladies, if you're a hands person and buy into the myth...please take a look at those little people hands that belong to Denzel!! *Gasp* TRAGEDY! But see!?!?  There is always a design flaw.  You gotta be leery of super fine. Because either they're stupid or...well, like know.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Four Seasons

During a weekend trip to visit with my friends, the new guy and I make plans to go to brunch that Sunday while I'm in town.  We've known each other for 19 days, and he said he wants to show me how much he appreciates me for being in his life. He said he was wearing a suit (HUGE for a non-ironing, jeans and gym shoes kinda guy) so I dressed up as well.  Pulled out my favorite crystal necklace and purple suede heels and felt like a movie star.  His jaw dropped. Nailed it :)  He was intent on keeping the restaurant a secret, but eventually we pull up at the Four Seasons Hotel.  He held my hand as we walk down a huge winding staircase and through the double wooden doors.  "Your table is ready sir" the host states.  The most beautiful flowers are waiting for me at our table.  The card reads "Our future is limitless".  The servers are smiling, complimenting my flowers, my shoes, my outfit.  One gay server kisses his fingers and calls me "flawless."  I was on sensory overload as the grand orchestrator (Mr. Day 19) sits to my left beaming as I take it all in.

Don't get me wrong.  I seen some nice isht in my day.  But I was BEYOND impressed.  The menu was mind blowing, but I froze in my seat for what seemed an eternity when after 3 plates he says "I need to take you somewhere, are you ready?"  I just knew this fool was going to drop to one knee.  It was that kind of moment, yet absolutely NOT the moment at all, and I was afraid that the only thing left was a ring in a glass of sparkling cider.  I was NOT ready.  I let go a huge sigh of relief when instead he leads me to the dessert room complete with chocolate fountains, and every type of dessert you could ever imagine.  It was the best brunch ever.  But tragically, I was very much aware that I was not him...AT ALL.  But after all this planning, I was determined to be not just a good date, but a fantastic date.  So I laughed at his jokes, stroked his ego, and adoringly caressed his face like he was all that mattered in life.  He deserved to feel like a King...even if I had to fake it. And all the while in the back of my mind, I was planning my exit strategy.

Ok, maybe I should catch you up on how we got here.  Two weeks after my rekindled love of yesterday went on hiatus, I was on to the next.  Now wait. Before you start thinking it, let me reassure you...I am not scared of lonely, or unable to exist happily single.  I can do single.  I have, and will if I must (AND *insert neck roll* make it look good)...but certainly not by choice.  So unapologetically, good people, we're keeping it moving.

In two short recovery weeks filled with denial, heart ache and despair...after feeling like I had no more to give, God shocked my system to make it very clear who was in control...and it wasn't Satan (see: Slap in the Facebook).  I was introduced to the new guy on a Wednesday.  Thursday he drove 3 hours to meet me for dinner to break fast for Ramadan, then drove back home. Before he left we visited the nearby masjid to pray together, then later enjoyed great conversation over a shared ice cream sundae.  At every moment, he pulled my chair closer, and gazed adoringly into my eyes.  He...was...ready. Ready to commit, ready for love and ready for a wife. Considering the last vanishing act I witnessed, it was everything I wanted. He was handsome, and attentive and spontaneous and he came to my city... just like that, to see me! Not because he was in town for business, or visiting friends, but to see ME. period. *big smile*

But here's where keeping it real goes wrong in 5...4...3...2...

The next day (Friday), he tells me he has visions.  And from the moment he laid eyes on me he saw a vision that I was going to be his wife, and our first child will be a boy.  He understood my request to take things slow, but wanted me to know that he was sure, and was willing to be patient with me along the way.  I think to myself, "I deserve this" and ignore the faint alarms going off in my head.  After 10 days he's planning premarital counseling sessions and asking me about rings.  I learn that he was married TWICE before and has two children.  I had mixed emotions.  Divorced twice? At 37? But his boys were beautiful.  I realized I want to be a step mom.  I wanted to be THEIR step mom.

But yes, the alarms did get a little more audible when he put both boys on the phone without warning or discussion, called me non-stop throughout the work day, told me constantly how much he missed me, and asked me to call his mother to introduce myself all in the first 20 days...but deep down inside we all want to believe in love at first sight, right?!  Your ego wants to believe that all this is possible because you are just that hot.  But that's a farce.  To really know me, and love me...damn sure requires more than 20 days.  Ain't no shallow ponds over here, any means.

I declare it takes four seasons to know a person.  12 full months to not be the fool who rushes in (that was sooo 2009).  Now I know, you really don't know someone until you live with them, or work through adversity together, or experience tragedy and loss together...but that's phase II love.  But as I seek to conquer phase I love, I just need four seasons to be sure of how I feel.  So ironically, at an otherwise perfect brunch at the Four Seasons Hotel, I decided I need more than the guy who fell hard over the pretty face.  I need a guy who through the fall, winter, spring and summer, saw me in each light, fell in love for all he saw, and captured my heart in the process.  At that moment *ahem* I'll be ready for that *cough, cough, hint, hint* glass of sparkling cider as he sings the International Players Anthem.  I chooooose yooou babe.  Aww.  Yesss indeeed ;)