Just De

Just De
Just De in Manhattan

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful to be home

I fought it tooth and nail.

For the longest time, I didn't want to come home. Not that I necessarily hated my hometown, but I just felt out of place, like I had growing up. So when my sister was faced with a serious illness, I decided to move back to Michigan, but I still didn't embrace it or reconcile that I was indeed returning "home."

A couple of weekends ago, I decided to return to my old stomping ground to visit a great friend of mine. When I arrived there later, there was a sense of ease that flooded over me. I remember all the "hot spots" that I frequented as a teenager. The first place I had my first real job, the first place I wanted to sneak and get into with a fake ID. Places of that nature. The thing that really sold me on being home was the feeling of love and familiarity. Although, I live in New York for a decade, there was always a feeling of disconnect, a feeling that lacked history.

When I returned home that weekend, I realized that God and fate had me there for a reason. Although I am still not sure why I am back in good ole, Michigan, but it feels right.

Now at this time in the holiday season where we give thanks, I want to honestly say I real am thankful to be home. How I am choosing happiness is: I am choosing to enjoy being home, catching up with old friends and family members. And just remembering how this suburban Detroit town has molded the woman I am today. I will never be ashamed of where I came from and I will never be afraid to return home.

15 Mile Forever!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Am I really a Puma?

The thought never really occurred to me. I am over 30 and single. Yes, I do realize that I am way over 30, at the front end of my mid-30s, but wow, I never thought about it in the context of dating and men.

I was involved with someone on-and-off for about nine years. I never really had to think about the dating scene (that's probably why I stayed in a bad relationship for so long.) I still really want to get married, have a few babies and live the American dream just like everyone else. But it's a whole different scene out here in the Midwest, western Michigan to be exact. And it's hard to get an interesting social life together when most 30 somethings are married with children. That's why I have decided to widen my dating pool.

The whole Puma subject was really explored when I asked the question of whether or not I was a Puma on my Facebook wall. My beautiful big sister playfully answered with "I don't know, but I know you will be a Cougar in April." Well I will hit a certain speed limit age in April, yes. I will officially be in my mid 30s. But many people tell me I look as if I am still in my mid 20s. Go figure, blessed with excellent genes. My witty response to my gorgeous big sis was, "Shut up you Cow, Cougars start in their 40s." She ought to know, she is three years away from officially being a Cougar herself.

I looked up the urban definition of a Puma online and discovered that it is a woman in her 30s who dates a man in his 20s. A Cougar, however, is a woman in her 40s who dates or marries a man in his 20s, or in Demi Moore's case, in his 30s.

Now that I am officially back on the dating scene-- well, officially opened to the dating scene that is-- I have to question what men see when they meet me. I work in an environment where I am around the public everyday. The men I meet range from teenaged to middle aged to super-duper middle aged to old. I have been approached by all of the above. Whenever I am approached by a man in his early 20s, my quick response to them is: "Sweetie, I could be your Mommy." Their response to me, "Yeah, honey, that's kinda what I am talking about." WOW. Flattering, that men, no matter the age, still think I have it.

How I am choosing happiness is: It's great to know that life does continue after a breakup, heartache and even after 30. Even though I have left the fast-paced lifestyle of New York, there are still some eligible bachelors out there that are willing to give me the time a day. They still want to know my name, they compliment my appearance and they really want to get to know me. It's good to know that my appearance still will get me carded, get me out of the occasional speeding ticket and even grant me a free drink at a bar.

I am choosing to embrace my new status and enjoy the single life through more mature eyes. Understanding what will work and what won't and when to get out quick. The men that I have met over the last few weeks have been nice, funny and charming. They appreciate my independence and look forward to getting to know who I am. While, I do understand my biological clock continues to tick, I know that God doesn't make mistakes, things happen for a reason and nothing happens before it's time. God knows the desires of my heart and He knows that I do want a husband and children, so I know I will be given those things in due time.

While I can't wait until the One meets me and we get together, I am enjoying this new chapter of my life. Yep, it's cool to be a Puma! And it's good to be alive.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sparty on! Sparty on!: Michigan State BCS ranked

"When will I ever laugh again?"

"When something is really, really funny."

-- Carrie to Miranda, Sex and the City: The Movie

That scene came from one of my favorite movies, Sex and the City. Carrie Bradshaw, the fashionably fabulous New York writing diva from HBO's hit series Sex and the City, was dealing with being left at the altar by her on-again-off again beau, Mr. Big. She was jilted, completely devastated and being consoled in a wonderful five-star Mexican resort by her three best friends, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha. Nothing these ladies could do or say to her at the time could bring her out of her "Mexicoma." All Carrie wanted to do was get past her pain, but didn't know when and if they day would ever come. It wasn't until Charlotte had an unexpected accident in her pants that Ms. Bradshaw temporarily let go of her pain and laughed uncontrollably. It was really a short little blip in the whole movie, but for anyone who's ever been there, they can surely relate.

Now, I didn't witness a close friend poop in her pants, but I did witness the 34-17 beatdown of the University of Michigan football team by my beloved Michigan State Spartans about two weeks ago. It was the first time I felt great in about a month. After that brilliant victory, the Spartans went on to defeat the Fighting Illini of Illinois, 26-6, in the homecoming game, remaining undefeated (7-0).

The Spartans are on fire and currently ranked No. 7 in the Associated Press poll giving them a BCS ranking for the first time in about five decades. I am so excited and impressed. This is exactly what I needed to get me out of my so-called "Mexicoma."

It's been 11 years since I graduated from State and I have always been proud of anything and everything Spartan. From the time the Men's Basketball won the National Championship in 2000 until the most recent Final Four appearance. Even though the game didn't end with a victory, I was still very proud of my boys. People ask me all the time if I am a MSU fan and I quickly say no. I am a Spartan, not a fan and there is a big difference. A fan has a choice to support, but being a a Spartan, there is no choice. Win, lose or draw I will always support my Alma Mater.

Attending MSU was one of the best decisions I ever made. During my time in East Lansing, I formed life long friendships, chose a career based on my passion and had some of the best times in my life to date. Spartans are warriors historically known for their resilience, tough attitude and fighting spirit. That's definitely me. Even going through a heartache.

How I am choosing happiness in my Spartans' success is this: I am realizing that life does go on. And even though the wounds are still pretty fresh from my heartbreak, I know there will be so much more in life to find happiness in. I find happiness in the fact that I was able to move from New York to help my sister and her children. I find happiness in the fact that I was able to transfer my job without any trouble at all. I find happiness that I am much closer to family and friends that I haven't seen in years.

I am so blessed and highly favored. There are so many things to be grateful for that I have to remind myself to continuiously thank God for His mercy and goodness. He's in control of my life and I just have to wait on Him. I just hope my Spartans keep the winning going, and beat Northwestern this weekend.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Actions speak louder than words in politics and in love

A fabulous friend of mine from New York called to check in on me to see how I was doing post-breakup. I was in a pretty decent mood, no major meltdowns or setbacks as of yet. We started talking about the ups and downs of the breakup process and began to compare it to the current political climate.

Right now, America is pretty upset with the economy, oil spills, natural disasters, any and everything you can think of and our President is the one getting the blame. Never mind that's less than two years since he took office and it took several years under different leadership for the economy to evolve they way it has. That's besides the point. People want change and they are trying to say anything to get your vote. The Republicans are blaming the Democrats and vice versa. Some of the Rhinos have even gone rogue and created other parties like the Tea Party. I can go on and on about this because it's one big mess!!!

As my friend and I continued to talk about the state of the Union, the things we liked and didn't like, she said something down right profound.

"Men are just politicians, they will say anything to get your vote."

When my friend said it, I had a big AHA moment. Men who simply like you, enjoy your company, enjoy your time and enjoy having fun with you, will say the things they think you want to hear. They will study your mannerism, learn your mood swings, and test the waters every chance they get.

[Now I know in my small readership, there are men who take the time to read what I have to say, and I appreciate it. Please don't think this blog will read "The life of Debbie Downer, male bashing spinster." I promise I will share extreme joys in the near future.]

But some men will test the waters with women, even when they know in their minds they have no intention of making a committment to the women they are with at the time. It's pretty simple when it comes to men. They either want to be with you or not. Hind sight is 20/20 during a breakup and I can say that with authority. I found some old emails between me and my ex and I and one in particular stands out. Because I am a writer, I had a tendency to write emails-- love notes, I guess-- to him just to let him know how I felt. I found this one email he wrote that said "You're not getting rid of me anytime soon, I'm not going anywhere." The time stamp on that was about four years ago. He was right, he didn't go anywhere anytime soon and I couldn't get rid of him. But during that time, his actions weren't exactly that of the perfect boyfriend either.

The thing I neglected to notice about my ex is that he didn't do the little things, and to be honest very few of the big things too that mattered. While all his words sounded so good and so sweet, the obvious fact was his actions didn't support those words. I used to justify it as "he just doesn't know how to be a good guy, or he doesn't know how to be sweet, exc." But the truth of it was, he wasn't that into me. Yep, I know it's a corny title to a book. But it's true. He wasn't into me. You know how I know: because all of the things I yearned for him to do for me over the course of nine years, he is doing for his current love/future
wife/possible baby mama, all in the matter of weeks.

How I am choosing happiness is: learning to understand the signs of a politician. It's never about words and all about actions. Men will say anything to keep you around. It's because you are pretty, sexy, wealthy smart, funny or just because you are there. They will say anything to keep you around. But once they get their life together, get bored, or finally meet the one who they actively want to be with, they will not give a crap about you.

Before I got off the phone with my fabulous friend, I asked her when do men stop being on the campaign trail and stop all of the games and nonsense?

"Well, they stop wasting your time, when they are truly in love with you."

I have to say, I am excited to experience that when it finally happens to me. I'm just getting a little impatient. But I know I am getting a little closer to it.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Facebook: Blessing and Curse

With all due respect to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook is the devil. You all know what I am talking about too. I have to give the young billionaire props for thinking of this bit of genius, because I would never know what was going on with everyone's lives. Many of my high school and college friends have beautiful families, fantastic careers and have really put their mark on the world. It makes me proud. Before FB, were you so in tune with all of your former high school, college and co-workers lives? I mean isn't this what high school reunions are for? I have to admit, I love FB. I enjoy reading status updates, reading who got married, who just had a baby, or who's in love.

Recently though, finding out who's in love was rather painful. As my previous post mentioned, I found out my ex had moved on with someone else. Shortly after that, I discovered that he not only moved on from me, moved her in with him and even have discussed the M word with her. After a month! There was even talk of a baby that could possibly be on the way. The ex said he was kidding, but come on fellas, how many of ya'll would willing claim a child if it weren't really there? I mean, I am just saying... (alright, I am done venting:))

I figured out one of the more painful realities of my life as of yet, on FB. Wow. Being the journalist that I am and self-proclaimed investigator, FB clues gave me more than enough to find out the truth. And I wish I weren't so damn nosey. A good friend of mine told me she would never let her ex be a FB friend because she doesn't want to know about his life. It would still hurt. Amen sista! Good thing my ex blocked me, because I know I too would be hurt to hear about all his undeserved happiness. But I still know. I bet the one mutual friend we have knows all about it and will not tell me anything because he knows it would hurt me. Especially when my friend tells me that I should be glad I could heal 735 miles away instead of being in the middle of my breakup Ground Zero. Point taken. But it's still hard. It helps not being there, but it hurts that I am not there.

Lately, because of my FB obsession, I not only learned about my ex's lovelife, but I learned about his pending engagement and his new social life. Many of his FB friends, are her friends. Many of the FB comments pertain to an evening out or an inside joke amongst his crew that didn't include me. Yep, he's over me. And I have to admit, it makes me sad.

When all of my heartache began, I was about to terminate my FB account and just shut down the rest of the world. But my same wonderful friend who told me she doesn't want to know about her ex's life, asked the simple question of "what about the 400+ friends who want to know about your life? Are you willing to let that happen because he has moved on?" Again, point taken.

How I am choosing happiness is: I am remembering just how important I am to a lot of people. People who prayed for me and asked about me through this difficult time in my life. People who just called to check on me because they too have been through what I am going through. People who posted on my FB wall how special and wonderful I am and that one day the man God has for me will meet me. I just have to heal so we CAN meet. People who encouraged me to start this blog to expedite the healing process. People who just took the time to tell me a corny joke or just to say hi. I am choosing the happiness in that. It is humbling and beautiful and I appreciate it ya'll.

But damn, I still love you and hate you FB!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Okay, this blog was born out of drama

Now that I see I have one official follower (thanks Dennis), I know I have at least someone who wants to read what I have to say. To be perfectly honest with you, this blog was born out of pain and a little bit of drama. You see, as life would take me, I have been out of the writing game for about seven years. The job that gave me my first shot as a professional writer, wasn't a good fit. So, I did what most people do in that situation: I panicked and tried another field to support myself.
I have always been trying to get back into the game, everyone from my parents, sister and friends have asked me why in the world am I NOT writing. But it wasn't until recently that my passion and tenacity really hit me over the head like a brick. I was determined to not only get back to New York and resume writing, but I also wanted to reclaim my life.

I moved from Long Island to Battle Creek about a year ago in order to help my sister who was diagnosed with a serious form of cancer. By the grace of God, she is doing amazing-- cancer free for over a year! And with that prognosis, I felt it was time to resume my own life and pick up where I left off. As circumstance would have it, I was fortunate enough to transfer my job from Long Island to Michigan without problems last year and I heard that there was an opportunity to return with a slight promotion. The only challenge was that the position needed me right away.

Thrilled at the chance that I could come back to New York, I told my boyfriend about the news. I was less than thrilled when he seemed to be ignoring me and didn't return my calls. When he finally got back to me, it was through facebook and only to say that he didn't know what to tell me, but he was happy that I would return. Talk about a blow to the gut! I began to see the handwriting on the wall. But as stubborn as I am I refused to let it go.

Fastforward to now. After I kicked my boyfriend off Facebook for his indifference to my return, I decided to let him back on the social networking site after I cooled down a bit. But I still refused to really have any interaction with him, I just enjoyed being nosey. Until one day I noticed his post were really interesting. Before I left for Michigan, he always said he would finally move out if his parents home and get a place of his own...something that I thought would be for us when I returned. So when he started to post he found a place and he was moving out finally, it provoked me to talk to him to get answers. When I talked to him, he confirmed the posts and said he was indeed moving out and he had found a place. Now, keep in mind, we weren't on the best of terms during this period and I totally know about long distance relationship thing. But I really thought I was still in his heart. That quickly changed when I noticed that the same woman kept writing on his Facebook wall.

I wasn't immediately jealous because after all I wasn't there with him, he's a good looking guy and to be honest men write on my Facebook wall all the time. No Big Deal. Until I commented on his Facebook wall, thinking I was still his girlfriend, only to have him remove it hours later. Big blow to the gut. That's when I went a little crazy on him. I called, I texted, I left Facebook comments all in the effort to get answers.

I finally wore him down enough to get him to talk. At first he told me that the time and distance was the factor, but it wasn't until I specifically mentioned his new girlfriend's name that he admitted that there were someone else. But I had no idea what else was to follow. I planned a trip to New York about two months before all of this happened and I was thinking about cancelling the trip. But my friends then reminded me of how big New York is and it was more than enough for me and my ex. Besides, they all missed me and assured me a fabulous time.

So I went ahead and kept with my plans to return to New York. I did tell my ex that I was still coming and I wanted to talk to him. He then tells me that his new girlfriend is living with him. Talk about another blow to the gut! In his words, "her life is going places and she just needed some help from me, that's why I moved her in so soon." Wow. After nine years, he never made that kind of commitment to me, but whatever. I needed his help too, but again, whatever. My life is also going places, but again, whatever! And to think he, could have been around for the ride.

So, I ended up meeting up with my ex. We talked in his car because his new love didn't want him to take me out. It was pretty intense because at first I really did curse him out, yell and scream and I was just pissed off at him. But then I calmed down because I knew I came for a reason, to get answers and to see if it were really over between us. I came prepared, hair and makeup together and a slammin black dress with my sexy stiletto heels. Just to remind him of what he would be giving up. Trust me, he remembered and even mentioned it when we were talking. He even took me to his parents house, I guess for me to say goodbye to them. That was hard too. I really did grow to love his parents and I know that his father really did love me. His mother was still on the fence about me, but I will get to that whole thing on a different post. But I will never forget when my ex's father hugged and kissed me and said "I'm so sorry things didn't work out." All I could say was "Thanks." But all I wanted to do was cry.

When my ex took me back to my car, he touched my face and kissed me the way he did for nine years when he was mine. So I am thinking, I should be in fight mode, and if I just came back to New York, we could capture all that was lost. WRONG! After that joker kissed me, he quickly mentioned that he was engaged! WTF! Engaged after only a month. Talk about a shot to the heart! I was completely devastated. Especially after he says to me that he was just kidding and he hadn't officially proposed to her and that she doesn't have a ring yet. But then he said that he probably wants to marry her and even went so far as to say, "If you can't be with the one you love (me), love the one you're with."

There is much more to the story, but I'm getting too personal and this post is too long. But the point of this whole post is this: My ex and I were always so rocky, always so wrong for each other. Everyone around me would tell me the same thing and I wouldn't listen. The heart wants what the heart wants. It's not so much that I am hurt that he moved on and found someone else, it hurts that he could have treated me better and everything that he is probably doing for his new love now, he could have done for me. Because I was there with him through a lot and helped him through numerous things.

How I am choosing happiness is: I am no longer concerned with what people think. I have to do me. And for a long time I neglected me. I tried to jump through so many hoops to keep this man, someone who never really appreciated me. I am choosing to also find happiness within myself so that one day someone can find me and be that person that God has created just for me. (Remember ladies, the man has to find you.)I have learned that either it (that special love) is there or it's not. And for me and my ex, it wasn't. And believe it or not, I don't fault him for that. However, I still have issues with how he did everything. And part of me choosing happiness is me choosing to think that he was a bit of an ASSHOLE!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It starts today!

For about a year, I have been comtemplating starting a blog. What would I write about? Would I be consistent in posting something on a regular basis? Would people think it was funny? Or better yet, would people read it? I think that is the biggest fear for a person who decides to launch a blog. Especially for me.

You see, at one point of my life, I was a professional writer. I was even a staff member of a major New York metro daily, writing sports of all things. So, as a professional writer, I understand how important it is to grab the reader right away. Focus on the worthiness of the article and basically make the reader feel like they weren't wasting his/her time on my words. A couple of friends from High School and College suggested that I read other blogs and take it from there. A couple of them actually have blogs and told me to remember to stay true to myself. If I were to write about a personal experience for example, to be prepared to have that very same experience bless or haunt me one day. (Ya'll know I am going to be famous one day, LOL).

Another friend suggested that I take the potpourri that is my life and write about all the experience that I've had in the last three decades and explain how I came to the woman I am today. That's when I decided to keep it simple and call my blog "CHOOSING HAPPINESS."  This work will be about how I choose happiness on a regular basis, how the different experiences of life will always present you with a choice. And hopefully I will choose to be happy. If by chance I don't choose happiness, then I am sure there will be a story or something that I have learned that evolves from my original decision. So, here we go... CHOOSING HAPPINESS is officially born. Believe me, in more ways than one.