Get Up & Grow

"We're adults. When did that happen? And how do we make it stop? "

Thy Will Be Done

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how people like to play God. Last night, I had a conversation with someone about various issues like homosexuality, religion, and marriage. ( All things that should totally be avoided on a first date but…oh well.) I told him about my friend who had posted on FB about her vote on Amendment One in North Carolina. She was angry because people were saying that those in favor of it were ” stupid conservative rednecks”.  Of course, a conversation started about rights and the sanctity of marriage. Her sister broke in to ask if she even really understood what she had voted on. Making gay marriage legal in the state was not up for discussion. What they were voting on was the definition of “legal union” and whether or not couples other than ” man+woman marriages” could be recognized legally. The way the Amendment was worded made people think that they were “fighting for team Jesus for the sanctity of marriage”.  My friend had the attitude that if a gay man couldn’t have any legal rights if his partner got sick or died, that was just an unfortunate side effect and it was not her problem. Her obligation was to God and she had to make sure that gay people were not allowed to marry. (Crickets) Yeah…as I have seen on many FB pages in the past two weeks, rights are called rights because people should have them…they shouldn’t be voted on. Also, everyone is entitled to their own religion and beliefs but…that does not give them the right to decide for others or to push their beliefs on others. Your religion or beliefs should guide you in your own life…your own way of living but it should not change MY rights or the way I live MY life because that’s for me to decide.

Why should anyone have to hide who they are just so that YOU don’t have to be uncomfortable? In this part of the conversation, we were talking about seeing people and not being able to tell if they are male or female. He felt like he absolutely had to know and I asked him why it mattered to him. Why can’t that person just be a human being? If you don’t have to deal with or sleep with this person…why do you care? Who gave you the right to demand that women look like __________ and men look like _________? Instead of worrying about whether this person that you are working with or standing next to is honest and trustworthy, you are worried about their lifestyle choices. Lame. He also talked about being in military and how ” awkward ” it was once they opened the military. He liked it better when the policy was ” don’t ask, don’t tell” because at least then, men weren’t coming back to their shared living quarters with their boyfriends. I pointed out to him that it should have been equally as awkward for men to bring women back because either way, someone was having sex in your shared living space and you could walk in at any time! It’s only awkward to him when there are two men involved of course. If it’s a woman inside with his roommate, he sees the towel hanging from the door and takes it as a sign that his roommate is getting lucky. Later on, he’s patting said roommate on the back for a job well done. Ah, the luxury of being  straight.

Another thing that I don’t understand is double standards. So, because you are attracted to women, it’s okay for them to be together but it’s not okay for men to be together? So…the world has to base right and wrong off of your personal preferences? Lame. You get to decide that a man who takes his time getting dressed in the morning is definitely gay?  Who put you in charge of the Gay Checklist? Why should there even be such a checklist?!

Bottom line is this…mind your own damn business!


May 20, 2012 Posted by | Bitching | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

I Expect A Lot…

In the past, when someone has accused me of “expecting a lot”,  I have quickly taken offense and denied it. I saw it as them judging me and that was not something that I could deal with. I think I’m at a point now where I can admit that I do expect a hell of a lot from people….especially those I date. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that either. If I’m going to try to be the best person I can be and to deal with them in a way that is pleasant and fair…why not expect the very same from them in return? There are many things that I realize that I expect from people but they are also things that I expect from myself when I am dealing with them. Do I sometimes fall short? Yes…and so will they but that effort is what matters and lets me know that they actually give a damn. So here are some examples of things that I expect from others.

– If a person is going to make me a part of their life, I expect to be treated like I matter. If I don’t matter…don’t be fake and pretend that I’m a real part of your life. Don’t make me someone to talk to when you are bored or someone to go out with when you have nothing to do. I don’t let just anyone into my life and neither should you. If someone is there, they should have a purpose or a place.  Take an interest in who I am and what I like and actively try to get to know me. Don’t treat me like I’m just one of many options. See me for who I am…the one and only original ME.

-I expect for people to take responsibility for their actions and words. I used to be the type of person who always had some great excuse as to why I was acting a certain way and it usually involved me pointing a finger in someone else’s direction. It’s easy to do and of course I’m human and sometimes I still do it. The older I get though, the better I am becoming at identifying patterns in my behavior and their effects on others. This is something that I wish for everyone else too. I can admit when I’m being difficult and I can usually figure out why. I expect for other people to take more responsibility.

-Respect me as a person! Do not make assumptions about who I am because of my gender or my skin color. I guarantee you that women are not the only ones with emotions and some of us are capable of controlling them. Do not assume that because at any given time I disagree with you, it’s because I’m on my period. Please be advised that I am not going to launch myself into a neck rolling, finger-snapping frenzy when I am angry. (Believe it or not, Black women don’t all have attitudes.) You don’t have to comment about how articulate I am as if it’s some kind of surprise. I’m a 29 year old, educated woman. I’m not going to be ghetto and obnoxious just because I have brown skin. Stop acting surprised because I listen to music other than hip-hop and R&B and speak languages other than English. Respect me enough to avoid doing/saying things that you know hurt me or make me angry because I’m going to do the very same for you!

-Be yourself! There is nothing worse than dealing with a person whom you feel is not being completely honest about who they are. Ok, so you aren’t rich, trendy, or ripped…some of us don’t care about those things. If I start out not knowing the real you, we don’t really have a chance at all. I’m going to be who I am. ( I’m still working on not being so apologetic about some of the aspects of being who I am but….I’m me nonetheless.)

-Express yourself! If you feel something, say so! This doesn’t just mean telling me that you like me….I also want to know if you have doubts, fears,etc. If you have a problem with me or something I’ve done/said….let me know. I have found that in the past I have missed many opportunities because I just didn’t speak up. I have also seen that holding on to issues and fears can come back to blow up in your face when you are unwilling to get them out on the table. They never really go away unless you confront them.

Ok so my brain just shut off…must be on a timer. I’m sure I will think of some more things later.

Feed your faith and starve your fears….


April 14, 2012 Posted by | Affirmation, Bitching, Less than 3 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Line…and When is it Ok to Cross it Again?

I have this friend…we will call him Purp. ( I really hate posts that start that way but oh well…) Purp and I met on Facebook when I joined a page for foreigners living close to my area. As soon as I introduced myself and said that I was looking to ” get a social life”, he responded asking what I like to do. Ever since then, he and I have seen each other every weekend. I know what you are thinking and it isn’t anything romantic…I think. Well it didn’t start out that way. We are always hanging out with groups of people…mostly people he knows. We have never been out alone.

Recently, this friend of mine asked if I would be interested in hanging out alone….a date, he added at the end. I was shocked because I had no idea that he thought of me that way. I guess that’s a good thing though because I hate for a man to act like a horny dog from the beginning. He and I have started a great friendship and he reminds me so much of the people I called my closest friends in high school. So, I agreed to go out with him tonight but I’m feeling so many things at this point.

1. Excitement! Hanging out with Purp is always a great time and I’m always excited to see him. I’m also excited because he treats me like a friend…a lady…someone to be respected. I never feel like he is looking at me with lust in his heart.

2. Fear! What happens if this doesn’t work out? What if one or both of us is uncomfortable? How do you go back to being friends and forget about that one night when you tried to be more? That’s scary! I know people are always using the lame excuse that they don’t want to ruin a great friendship but I REALLY feel that way. If I lose this person’s friendship, I will be crushed.

3. Curiosity! No really…what happens if it doesn’t work out? Does he become SuperCockBlockMan when we hang out from now on? He doesn’t seem like the jealous type and I don’t think he would turn into a jerk if we didn’t end up dating and I met someone else while I was out with him in the future. There is always that possibility though…I just wonder what he will be like from here forward.

So I have also been thinking about this other situation. If someone tells you that they want you to “follow your heart” when it comes to someone else…does that mean exactly that or is that a nice way of saying ” I don’t give two shits what you do” ? Conversations come less frequently and some things have changed. I get the feeling that we have both stopped caring a little and that’s fine. Once I start seeing someone as an emotional threat…I slow down on trying to pursue them. Nobody is perfect but there are certain places that I just don’t want to put myself.  Call me a coward…I’ll be that.

April 10, 2012 Posted by | Less than 3 | , , , | Leave a comment

A Lesson in Letting Go Pt.2

It seems as though lately I have had to do a lot of letting go. I’ve had to let go of people and also of faulty thinking and behavior. I will get to the people later because I want to focus right now on the thinking and behaviors that I am working to leave behind.

I will NOT sit at home in hopes of spending the evening flirting on Kakaotalk and eating junk food! I don’t know what it is about meeting someone that turns me into such a couch potato but I JUST got myself a social life and I’m not going to let go of it. I find myself feeling resentful because the men in my life have lives and stuff to do and that’s just childish and wrong. The issue here is that I want to be the most important part of someone’s life. I know that something like that takes time and that it needs to happen in a healthy way but for some reason, I still get impatient. I definitely have been the type of person that counts on others for my sense of self-worth and that’s not healthy at all.  At other times, I seem to be totally independent and confident and I’m having a hard time figuring out which is the real me.

I had lunch with someone yesterday and we had an interesting conversation about relationships and love. Much to my surprise, he was very open about his love life and told me that he’d fallen in love with someone soon after he got to Korea two years ago. They were together for 8 months before breaking up and he was heart-broken. Since then, he hasn’t wanted to date and go through all of that again. He also mentioned that this would be his last year in Korea because he wanted to move to Peru ( he has family there) and teach before pursuing a Master’s degree in Hispanic Literature. I started to talk about my tendency to rush…the fact that I can never seem to calm down enough to enjoy dating…and I always seem to be searching. I expressed my interest in changing those things and finding peace. His opinion was ” you can’t really change who you are though.” I respected that response…I even agreed to some extent.  I found myself thinking…I hear you talking but…you want me to believe that it wouldn’t bother you to know how I am, at this very moment, sizing you up? Deciding if you are boyfriend material even though this is only the second time we have hung out? ( Because that’s just what I do!)

Some people would say that I am just a hopeless romantic…some people would shake their heads in disgust and label me as desperate. I’m not sure that I’m as interested in labeling it as I am in changing it but then that brings me back around to the golden question: Can someone really change who they are or will the result just be the same product in different packaging?

April 8, 2012 Posted by | Less than 3 | , , , | 1 Comment

I really don’t have to…

Just when I started to revert back to old habits…I sit straight up in bed and think to myself ” I really don’t have to be with anyone at the end of it all.” That’s the best thought I could possibly have and I don’t mean to shut myself off from the world like I did before ( another bad habit broken) but to stop being so damn desperate. Why sit around and worry about who to pick or who is the best for me when I can just spend time with people and have fun? Why force myself to make choices that don’t need to be made at this point? I’ve realized that just because someone has expressed some interest doesn’t mean that I have to be so eager to make it into a relationship. Just because two or more people have expressed interest doesn’t mean that I have to choose. What I’ve learned is that I really don’t have to do these things and my world won’t come to an end if I don’t take stuff so seriously all the time and over analyze everything. For the love of God, woman….just have some fun!

April 7, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Interpersonal Deficit

So…in the class that I’m currently taking, the issue of interpersonal deficit came up. We learned that it is a situation where you have a lack of relationships with other people or a lack of healthy and positive relationships. I immediately knew that we were talking about me. I mean, that’s something that I am dealing with at this stage of my life. I also talked to a friend of mine who is also living here in Korea and dealing with interpersonal deficit and like her, I wasn’t always like this. I used to go out and have fun and enjoy people. The difference between us is that she can pinpoint an event in her life that caused her to be that way…her divorce. For me, there wasn’t anything like that…I just slowly withdrew from society and when I do let people near me, I make it hard for them to want to stay. I definitely think that I could benefit from some sort of therapy for this. I am not under the illusion that I will be able to “cure myself’ by getting this degree. I want to turn 30 a year from now and be able to say that I am capable of having positive and healthy relationships with others.

I want to help others who go through the things that I went through and those who are going through things that I can’t even imagine. Some times I get lost in the theories,laws ,codes of ethics and even sometimes my own touch of neuroses I wonder if I’m in the right place…if I should even be in this program. As long as I have the desire to help other people and the drive to learn more…I think the answer is yes.

March 10, 2012 Posted by | Affirmation | , , , | Leave a comment

5 Things He’ll Just Have to Accept

All I’ve been hearing lately from people is how relationships are about compromise.  ( Usually I’m hearing it from a man who wants to change something about me…) I agree whole-heartedly that there are times when you need to compromise with the person that you are with for the good of your relationship. I don’t, however, believe that it should be one-sided, with one person constantly pointing out “flaws” and expecting changes to me made. There are also some things that my future man will just have to accept about me:

1) I have  a dog. My dog is loved and spoiled. He sleeps in the bed with me and pretty much has the freedom to roam my home and do what he wants within reason. I do not obsessively clean his feet or vacuum his hair off of things. I like to keep a nice apartment but I do not go crazy over it. Anyone who has a problem with dogs, or my dog in general need not apply.

2) I have tattoos. I have lots of them actually and I love every single one. In Korea, tattoos are becoming more popular and I was very surprised to hear my co-teacher say that she wanted one. I was told before I came here that I would be stared at and pretty much hated for my tattoos and that hasn’t really been the case. There are still some people here who think that women with tattoos have connections with gangster or they are prostitute and that’s fine. They can be ignorant if they wish. My tattoos are obviously permanent and I don’t want to date anyone who has crazy ideas about what having a tattoo means about a person…or someone whose family is going to make a huge deal out of it.

3) I am emotional. It has nothing to do with being a woman or having PMS. I am just a naturally emotional person. I tend to be very sensitive to the things that certain people say. I don’t keep a lot of people around me so when I do let someone near me, I care about what they think.  I am always working on improving the way I interact with others so some of the sensitivity has worn off over the years. There are certain things that I think are rude and unnecessary and I’m not going to say them to people who I care about and I expect them to have the same respect for me.

4) I’m a casual sort of woman. I have two points here. You are not going to catch me out in public each day wearing heels and make up. As much as I love those things, they are a pain in my butt and I only wear them when I feel like it. I don’t have to wear them everyday to feel good about myself or to look good. Some women like to dress up to the nines everyday and I love the different styles and looks that I see but that’s just not me. I can throw together a hot outfit and beat my face with makeup just as well as the next woman but I’m not going to do it on a daily basis. Second point… notice my use of the word WOMAN instead of girl.

5) I demand respect. I believe that there is a certain way that men and women should treat each other and I won’t settle for less. You aren’t going to talk to me any kind of way or treat me like I don’t matter. If I don’t matter, there’s the door…please dont’ waste another second of my time. I am the type of person to treat my man like a King so I expect to be treated like the Queen I am.

So…there’s my list. I think I might expand it at some point but it’s good for now. ;0)

February 27, 2012 Posted by | Affirmation, Less than 3 | , , , , | 5 Comments

Be the Change Pt. 2- You don’t have to care but you ain’t wasting anymore of my time!

Long title but I really love it. The first part of Be the Change was about helping bring about changes at work and those things are all falling into place. This time I want to reflect on a recurring theme in my relationships with other people. This is one of those situations where I need to take better care of myself.

Similar to those who I have allowed to hurt me and stay are the ones who just kind of lurk. They don’t particularly care about me or what happens in my life but they are just AROUND. Their sole purpose is to fill my days with pointless chatter about nothing at all. But when it comes down to it, they aren’t interested in being there for me or letting me be there for them. I have to find out about big changes in their life from my FB or Twitter timelines or even from another person. There is either no verbal confirmation that I have any importance in their lives or they say it but don’t mean it. There are two different profiles for these kinds of people in my life.

#1- The “Bestie”- So I actually do have some pretty kick ass besties who are great but then there are the posers. I have two or three people in my life who at some point, called themselves my bestie but never really acted like one. These people made no attempt to visit me when I moved to Arizona but were somehow able to take other expensive trips around the country. These people completely left me out when things happened in their lives that needed sharing and I ended up hearing about stuff way later. When I did talk to them, it was because I was calling them and trying to touch base…never the other way around. I live in Korea now and do you think that they ever contact me to see how I’m doing or to ask about what kinds of things I’m experiencing here? Nope. The reason why this hurts so much is because these are people whom I’ve actually been through a lot with in the past. Some were never really about anything and I just failed to see it but others are people who once cared or pretended to care about me.

#2- The ” Candidate” – We have all been in situations where we wanted to date someone and we were really feeling them but they just always gave off this vibe like they could take or leave you. WHY ARE YOU WASTING MY TIME?! You can sit on Kakaotalk and run your mouth for hours about what a great wingman you are for your friends but when I am going through something, you don’t even ask if I’m ok?  Or, you take 5 hours to respond to messages normally but if I send a message that is even remotely sexual, you are ON IT within minutes? Or, you spend hours a day talking to me but you can’t or won’t admit that you are even a little bit interested in me. ( Either you aren’t interested or you  think you are too cool to say so…either way, you are wasting my time!) I could spend an entire year of my life talking to a person like that and I would never move past the ” I guess we’ll just have to wait and see” stage because they are not worried about me. They just like to hear themselves talk.

So what I’m trying to say is that I want to surround myself with people who care. No more letting others come in and be heartless place holders. No more letting people occupy parts of my life and make no contribution and keep me from making a contribution in their lives. I have spent a lot of time in my short life trying to hold on to people who just didn’t really care. I was just something to do when they were bored or another friend on their friendslist. When it’s time to let go, it’s time to let go. My goal though, is to be able to recognize these people earlier so that I won’t have to let them go because I will not have allowed myself to get attached to them in the first place.

February 22, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why do we stay? (And return?)

When things are good...

 Recently there has been a lot of talk about Rihanna and Chris Brown. People are saying that these two are making music together and possibly getting back together. I’m not big on celebrity gossip but hearing about this has made me think about a few things. Why do people stay in miserable situations or return to people who have damaged them? How in the world do you just forget about being beaten down ( physically or emotionally) by someone? I’m reminded of  all of those episodes of daytime talk shows where people are confronted with the same question and the answer is always the same. ” But, I love him/her”.   It seems to me that we will allow things to go very wrong and very far in the name of love. Are we so hungry for love that we will push aside our self-respect and let someone treat us like we are subhuman? Absolutely…I see it everyday. But what happens inside a person to make them believe that this person who is really torturing them actually loves them? 

How do you forget about this?!

 Personally, I have never stayed with or returned to someone who made me miserable but I am guilty of sticking myself into the same unhealthy situations over and over. The people change…the misery doesn’t. I think that some times I do it with the belief that something will change or that the person will finally care enough about me to stop hurting me. Just to clarify, I have only been in one relationship where the guy thought he would hit me and he only got one shot in before I kicked his sorry ass. And that was the end of that but am I really that different from these women who stay in abusive relationships?  I may not let anyone beat on me but I have allowed people to make me feel bad about myself. I have Given so many chances when I suspected that the other person was being dishonest with me. I put up with crap for the same reasons they do…I’m hungry for love. Am I any better?

February 21, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment

It’s a New Year…new me?

The last few months of my life have been all about growth. Even when I didn’t realize it, I was changing and learning to be better to myself. I think that I have always been pretty good at loving others and doing things for them but not so much when it came to myself. I think I would like to make that my focus for 2012. I find myself getting annoyed with people who insist on making resolutions every year and making them such a huge deal all over the internet but I also get annoyed with people who take such a strong stance against resolutions. I guess I don’t really know how I feel about them. One thing that I can tell you for sure is that I wrote some on paper every single year but I never go back and look at them and think about my progress. I have had so many journals and blogs that I have no idea what my resolutions have been in the past. I think that I, like so many others, got caught up in the action of writing them and forgot to take action.

So won’t use the word resolution but these are some things that I would like to do and focus on in 2012:

1) Finish my first novel and become a better writer I am off to a slow start with this but I think that’s because I am putting way too much pressure on myself. I am forgetting that writing is something that I love.

2) Let go of any unnecessary anger and sadness – In any given day, I go through the entire spectrum of human emotions. It’s exhausting and I want to try to be more easy-going. I am always getting angry or sad over things that really don’t matter and all it does it shorten my own life.

3) Get in the gym twice a week- Ok so I don’t need to lose weight and I’m not in bad shape but I think that a lot of my medical issues could be avoided if I just got more exercise. I have only been to the gym once since I got my membership and that’s a shame! I know I would feel better physically and emotionally if I got more active.

4) Make better food choices- Finding out how my body reacts to different foods and developing a good diet for myself should be a priority. There are certain things that I need to stay away from and things that I need more of. I have already started to increase my fruit and veggie intake as well as water. I’ve also put myself back on daily vitamins.

5) Have more fun/Make more friends- I am not super social like I once was but I think that going out the other weekend helped me to see that I don’t have to be all uptight about going out anymore. If I can make a couple of new friends for going out and maybe one new friend for my emotional needs ( someone who will be there for me and allow me to be there for them…) I think I would be ok. I’d like to make at least 5 new friends this year….and I mean FRIENDS…not just someone whose name I learned.

6) Organize and manage my sleeping- Part of the reason I got sick recently is because of my awful sleeping habits. As it is, I really don’t sleep that well and haven’t for a few years now. I wake up a lot during the night. I would like to do some research and try to understand why that is. The sleeping issues are going to get dealt with this year.

7) Go to the doctor/dentist regularly- It’s so easy to overlook this when you are feeling fine and have no health emergencies. I have a doctor’s appintment set up for this week already and I’m looking for a dentist. I have to take better care of myself. It doesn’t make sense for me to have this great medical insurance and not use it to take care of these things. I have had some scares in the past couple of years and I should be monitoring my health a lot better than I have been.

8) Date casually and have more fun with it- I don’t even think I would want to call what I want to do dating. I mean…a better description would be hanging out. I don’t want to narrow it down to one person anymore. There is too much pressure and I don’t do well when I am so focused on being with one person and making them my BF. I will hang out with whoever I choose and do whatever I feel like doing. I won’t make up a bunch of corny rules or over think things. Don’t misunderstand though…I’m not going to stop respecting myself or start doing things that make me uncomfortable just to do them. I’m still not bringing people into my home until I know them and I’m still not going to sleep with just anyone.

9) See more of Korea- I have been here for 6 months and I really haven’t seen that much outside of the shopping areas. I would like to see more and learn more. That also means getting back into learning the language and not being so lazy about it. ( Although, I am reading, writing, and listening pretty well!)

10) Enjoy my own company- These last few days, I have really been doing this and I want to make it an everyday thing. It has made me less desperate to find someone to spend my time with. I start the day with plans for what I want to do to make myself happy or to fulfill a goal and I get so busy that I’m no longer thinking about how I don’t have a man in my life. It’s pretty awesome.

11) Finish my Administrators certification- I already have my Master degree in Educational Administration and I passed the AZ state administrators exam back in March 2011. All I have to do to be licensed in the state of Arizona is get my 45 hour Structured English Immersion class out of the way. Then I can get my documentation together and pay for my license. I plan to take the course online and then apply for the license from here. I think that having the actual certification will help me if I decide to change to administration even if I end up in a different state.

12) Get all As in my Professional Counseling program of study- So far, so good with this. I want to maintain  and graduate with a 4.0. I have a long way to go before I will be finished but I’d like to focus on this year for now and make all As my goal. I’m 3 classes in and I still have my 4.0.

13) 100% effort in teaching- Too many times, I like my depression or my feelings about my current situation get in the way of my teaching. So I’m not teaching older students…these kids can’t help that and there is no reason for them to suffer. I wouldn’t say that I have done a bad job teaching thus far but there definitely been days when I didn’t put forth my best effort. Sometimes I go in there and just feel physically and emotionally drained. I think that I can fix that by focusing on some of the other things that I’ve listed above.

So, I have exactly 13 things….I’m not going to think of 13 as an unlucky number because as of right now, I am creating my own luck!

January 8, 2012 Posted by | Affirmation | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment