Thursday, July 24, 2014

Forward Thinking

Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans.
- John Lennon

July 17th; 17 days shy of my 14th anniversary at my employer and the day my position was eliminated. Thinking over the past 14 years, I am in awe of how much has transpired in my life. During that balmy Seattle summer in 2000, I was so excited and full of promise, being out here on my own in the great & beautiful Pacific Northwest.  I had accepted the position knowing it would take me 3000 miles away from any family members. I knew no one in Seattle; now 14 years on, I've built a life here with friends and colleagues who fill the role of my extended family.

My employer had been - at times - both my best friend and my worst enemy.  It was the longest, most stable relationship I'd had.  It kept me awake countless nights & was a comfort to me when needed.  It saw me through tough times, and celebrated with me in good times.  In short: it was my life, my identity and my support system.
My emotions are mixed relief & happiness, with a little sorrow over leaving this part of my life behind. Like any good thing, this must end.  When you lose your job, people expect you to be devastated & heartbroken. Upon hearing the news I felt relief; I knew it was time for me to move on and had already mentally prepared myself to do so.  I prayed for this…I prayed for substantive change in my life and my prayer was answered.  I am ever so grateful and blessed for that.
As has been the case all along, my company set me on the right path.  In preparing for Act 2 of this screenplay I affectionately call "My Life", I'm once again filled with a sense of promise and hope for a future filled with successful ventures, laughter, and kinship. I don't anticipate looking back; only forward.
Always & forever...forward.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


I've decided to lay it all out there and write out the characteristics I'm looking for in a mate. After all, if I don't verbalize what I'm hoping for, does he really exist in the first place?

With that, my perfect man must posses the following qualities:

#1 - He must be a practicing Christian. I've chosen to walk this path & I want my partner to walk with me & believe in the philosophies and teachings of Jesus Christ.

#2 - He must be loyal and honest. A real man knows a good thing when he has it and will rise up & do anything necessary to stay faithful to the woman he loves.

#3 - He must be gainfully employed. He doesn't have to be rich; just make enough to pay his bills every month & have enough left over to pick up the tab now & again.

#4 - He must look to me as a partner  but be willing and able to take the lead when necessary. I'm not looking for someone to boss me around; just someone to step up & be a man.

#5 - He must be hygienically sound and take pride in his appearance. Looks aren't everything but body odor is a deal breaker.

#6 - He must love kids. And dogs. Who knows if I'm destined to have children, but I want a man who can embrace the children (human & canine) I do have in my life already.

#7 - He must be family-oriented. Family is blood, but they can also be poison. My perfect mate is good at walking the familial line and maintaining healthy boundaries.

#8 - He must be intelligent. Not looking specifically for Mensa, but a thirst for knowledge and an affinity for reading are a must.

Come out, come out wherever you are...

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Soul Full

If the sexual revolution was partly intended to make women feel empowered to embrace their sexual selves, and alleviate the guilt associated with casual sex, then why do my female friends often express remorse after such an encounter? In the process of breaking down a perceived puritanical values system "for the greater good", have we cracked the moral compass to the point where it can not be repaired?

With freedom comes responsibility; specifically responsibility for ones emotional, spiritual and physical selves. This might make feminists the world over shudder in disgust but perhaps we've gone too far in laying too heavy expectations and unfulfilled promises onto our womenfolk.  In the interest of making political and social progress, we've turned off the spiritual switch.  Ensuring balance in our lives means nurturing our spirit and soul in some way, shape or form. If women stopped and thought about what they are doing when they lay down with another person out of a strictly physical or emotional need, then they would have an opportunity to think through the potential impact to their spiritual well-being.

To be clear, this writing is in no way intended to blame, finger point, chastise or "Bible-thump". Just because I'm a woman who recently became a Christian, doesn't mean I'm better than the gal next to me. On the contrary, these are opinions I formed long before taking the proverbial plunge into Jesus' hands. I gave up casual relationships a full year prior to being baptized. And as tempted as I've been since, I know for myself that guilt and remorse are not my happy places; spiritual awareness of self and soul is truly preferred.  I believe that every woman (and man for that matter) needs to make those decisions for themselves based on their personal belief system and moral foundation.

If I could give any bit of advice to my female friends, it would be to really listen to what your spirit and soul are telling you.  We talk about the head and the heart all the time, but never about tapping into your spirituality as a decision guide. Do you feel a connection to the other person deep within, to the point where you know without a doubt that person is going to respect and cherish you still, in the bright of day? If not, then I think you have your answer, or at least enough to question the action. Tapping into your spiritual side and heeding to the direction you are intended to go will pay dividends over time. In the end, the choice is truly yours.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Gaining at traction

Attraction is a funny beast.  Reason dictates that when you are attracted to someone, it's a good thing. You are drawn to that person by a force from deep within, and therefore sense you are (theoretically) in the right place. That being said, reality is often devoid of reason and as we all know from experience, we are often attracted to the wrong person.

You know me...I write a lot about this stuff. Some may think my writing is akin to whining but I like to view it more as an observation of the human condition, and more specifically MY human condition.  Relationships are fascinating creatures to me. They take on a pulse of their own from inception and have a very distinct life cycle, regardless of how long or short. Every last one of them - platonic or otherwise - begins with attraction. And when you start mixing in sexual chemistry, that's when things start to go awry.

I have a friend who - when commenting on the unsuccessful dating habits of another friend - used the phrase "not fishing from her own pond."  At first I was annoyed at her for being so narrow minded: how dare she insinuate that someone is flawed for being attracted to men that others deem too good for her!

Then I became Christian and suddenly the phrase took on a whole new meaning.  All of a sudden, men I'm attracted to have to meet a whole other set of job requirements in order to get past the first screening. Where I would have settled before, I'm finding myself in a situation where that isn't an option. But that doesn't change the fact that I might still be physically attracted to someone who is not right for me, and frankly - I'm likely not what he is looking for in a date either.

Matthew 4:1-11 is about inner struggle and the complications of staying true to oneself.  Jesus found the strength within himself to stay on His true path.  This is a struggle we all deal with, regardless of faith.  Elizabeth, AD is still new to this way of thinking and I find myself conflicted when, on a Saturday night  in a packed room surrounded by people I know and admire, I still can't help feeling a little bit lonely.  Especially, when I encounter men with whom I would otherwise be coquettish. Then I remember that's the me I left behind, when I stepped into that water on that spring afternoon last year.  I made a conscious choice to become Christian, and put my faith in Jesus. When my singledom starts to get me down, I remind myself it's for the Greater Good. I'm in a much better place now than I ever was. My soul has never felt more nurtured, in spite of the fact that my physical being craves attention.  Its really about conditioning and remembering why that life was left behind.  I don't believe you can control to whom you are attracted, but knowing who you are and embracing your values, can make or break you in the long run.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Right Stuff

Working in the music business and seeing the kinds of women male artists are attracted to, I have often felt a bit awkward as the chick that all the boys want to talk to about business and what-not, but never one they look to for a good time.  I've mentioned before: I'm not svelte, I'm a little bit older than the average musician and I'm than most of the men I encounter on a daily basis. 

There are days when I can feel like a bit of a wallflower, awkward and alone in the back of the club while the other girls are up front making googly eyes at the lead singer.

And then I see this:

And it's all kinds of right. 

As a fan from "back-in-the-day", I follow a couple of the NKOTBs on Twitter though I've not made the effort to see any of their shows since 1990.   I've noted for a long time how appreciative and embracing they are of their fans - women who have followed them around for 20+ years.  These women come from all walks of life, and in all shapes and sizes.  And the band LOVES THEM!  They put their fans up on a pedestal and invite them with open arms into their lives.  They honor them at every show, in every town and with every tweet.  I can't tell you how utterly refreshing that is....too often it is the other way around, with the artists allowing themselves to be idolized and deified.  It's really quite shameful when you think of how the music industry model has changed, and direct interaction with fans is downright imperative to drive sales.  Given that most money is made off of touring and merch sales, the last thing an artist should do is keep too much distance between them and their fans.  It's easy to download a tune online, but it takes effort and desire to purchase a ticket to a show, let alone follow a band from town-to-town.

In spite of a long period of downtime, NKOTB has got it figured out.  I point to them as an example for the younger artists I work with as I say honor (ALL) your fans.  The dividends you receive for years to come are well worth the time.  And by dividends, I don't just mean money....there is something to be said for long-term loyalty.  Just ask the Blockhead next door!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Loving Love

A lot can happen in a year. Last year this time, I was in a deep emotional quagmire over a relationship in which I found myself involved that was neither healthy nor nurturing.  I knew that he was taking advantage of me but couldn't pull myself out of it, in spite of pleading from my closest friends. It wasn't until I met someone else that I saw what I was doing to myself through his eyes. That other person turned out not to be a "romantic interest" (much to my chagrin, but in hindsight for the best) but more the catalyst for me to finally see how following the path I was on was getting me nowhere fast.

When I think about where I am today with my outlook on life, it amazes me that the thought of finding someone to spend my "right now" with has been trumped by thoughts of finding someone with which to spend my "ever after".  I believe that gone are my days of casual, pretend-relationships where I was fully aware they are short-term in nature, but yet refused to accept or believe that until they self-combusted. I think those times when my heart felt broken and busted into tiny shards, it was because I was most hurt by the person closest to me: myself.

In my 20s and 30s, I jumped from one inappropriate man to another even more inappropriate man, not realizing what sort of damage I was self-inflicting.  For this, I've paid the price: physically and emotionally.  The mere thought of how much time I've wasted makes me a little bit sad, but wallowing on the sins of the past does nothing to ease the present or set the stage for the future.

There's a song by the Mowgli's, an energetic and vibrant LA-based band introduced to me by my equally vibrant sister.  The song is called "San Francisco" & the opening verse says this:

"I’ve been in love with love
And the idea of something binding us together
You know that love is strong enough"

How be in love, with the idea of love.  An ideal notion that love conquers all your woes. Indeed, that was true in my case. I was playing at love in order to ease whatever ache I was feeling inside.  In reality though, I was doing a disservice to myself. No amount of play-love could cure what ailed me.  I was treating a chronic disease with placebos when what I needed was medicine for my soul.

I read something recently in Proverbs 3:3 that stuck out to me:

"Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart."

I took that passage to mean Love of God; in turn, Love of Self. In my view, to love God is to love yourself enough to put complete Faith in Him and trust that He will guide you down the right path. Don't try and go it alone, as you may find yourself going down the wrong way on a one-way street, towards a very grumpy cop. No one wants that.

If you had asked me a year ago how I felt about God and spirituality, I would have given you a very honest and academic answer: "I believe in a higher power, and that my relationship with that power is mine alone."  And although I still believe this to be true, I think that notion is very shallow and not at all satisfying. Much like the relationships I've had with all those inappropriate men. Going through this process of redefining what my spirituality means to me has served the very important purpose of redefining what I mean to myself.  I am special, in the eyes of the Lord and beyond.  I must respect myself in order to find that person who will respect me and treat me well. 

It is only then, that true love will bloom.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Random Thought #4567

“I'll just bury it deep in the back like I did my feelings…..

It's weird I haven't cried very much at all. I don't know, maybe... maybe you're only allotted a certain amount of tears per man and I used mine up.”

-          Carrie Bradshaw, SATC the Movie

 Amen, Sister.