Why Not Be The Best Version Of Yourself!

S0 here it is: In a few weeks I will be turning 29! Yup 29. (I am silently wondering if I should be having a brief panic attack) Since I am entering my last year in my twenties, I have decided to do a little bit of self-reflection.

While in my twenties I would say that I almost met all of the societal expectations of girls in their twenties. I graduated from college, entered the professional world, learned how to balance a check book, and dated a variety of men. Where did I go wrong? Well I didn’t get married, and I have no children. In my thirties, if I stay on this track  I will be considered a social leper by the standards of some.  Apparently marriage and babies is the icing on the cake for women in their twenties. Therefore, when women reach their thirties they will be complete with a family, or divorced, take your pick. As a woman, if you are still or newly single in your thirties, you continue to go on what may seem like endless dates, continue to look for Mr. Right, or maybe just Mr. Right now, oh and  you even get the wonderful added pity of people who feel so sorry for you life of singledom that they go out of their way to offer to find you Mr. Right now. Do women ever get the chance to just be happy with themselves, by themselves, and love it?

I spent the majority of my early to mid twenties involved in serious relationships. When I was around the age of 24, I was dating a man who I just knew I wanted to marry. For some strange reason I wanted a husband right then. My boyfriend at the time was cute, and he had a job, he took care of me, so he was perfect to marry right? Well no it was not that simple. I wanted to get married yes, but not because I actually wanted to be a wife or understood what it actually meant to be a wife, at the time I just thought the idea of having a husband would be nice. I would have someone to take care of me, and we would just automatically become one. I must give the credit to God on that one, he knew exactly what he was doing with that didn’t work.

At 24 I would have made a horrible wife. I’ll admit it, just horrible. I was selfish, egocentric, bratty, spoiled, and had no idea of what it meant to be a wife, or how to treat a husband. Marriage was just a word in my vocabulary. I truly wanted the wedding and not the marriage. Looking back life worked out exactly the way life was supposed to work.  However, if I did get married the advantage was then I would not have to face life alone. I could go from living with my parents, to living with my husband. When I was younger I remember my mother telling me that I needed to find a husband so he can take me away. To my mom, she could just marry me off so she wouldn’t have to support me anymore. What a silly idea that was. When the marriage plan didn’t work out, I created a new plan, my own plan. My plan actually turned out to be the right plan. I would live life for me, and figure out how to be the best version of me first before I tried to share my life with someone else.

Around the age of 25, I once heard Oprah and Mya Angelou say that life gets better at 50. So being the me that I am, I figured that I only have to wait 25 more years, then life will start to get good. I will feel free, and living my best days…but at 50, which seems like an eternity away. Did I really want to wait that long? No. I have a huge problem with impatience. So my next thought was how do I make today my best day. I can make life start right now, today, and really live. The advantage had been that I could figure that out all by myself. I had no one to answer to. It was my life, and I could do whatever I wanted to with it. Suddenly I realized the bright side of not getting married, and being a horrible wife at the age of 24. I was given the opportunity to grow, to learn, to love me for who I am, to learn to love other people exactly for who they are, and to learn how to be a good wife. With growth, I learned compromise, I learned the joys of giving, and to be happy seeing other people happy.  I found my own personal happiness, and no one could take that away from me.

During my twenties I feel my biggest accomplishment has been becoming the a better version of myself. With time spent alone, I have learned to love myself first as an individual. Doing small things on my own, has helped me to learn to appreciate my own company.  I am content in knowing what I love and what I don’t love. What I want and what I don’t want.  I used to have fears of going to eat alone, going to the movies alone, or vacationing alone. In the past few years I have overcome all of those fears, and many more. So as I turn 29 do I feel like I have life figured out? Oh no, far from it. But I do know that I am now living life at my best, I appreciate everything that I have to offer to the world. Most importantly, I know that I do not have to wait another 20 years for life to start, because I am ready to start living  life at my best everyday.

How much baggage is too much?

The interesting part to dating is that I do get to meet a variety of men. Although it is not always a positive experience, and there are some men that I want to forget, I like to think of each of them as a possible extension of my social network. If we can’t date, maybe we can be friends.  Some of these men I do like as people however, they are not boyfriend material. Others I find that I like, are absolutely boyfriend material, but they come with baggage.  And when I say baggage, I don’t mean emotional (although that may be trouble),  I mean physical, like kids, an ex-wife, or multiple baby mammas. Now that is the baggage I try to stay away from.

Before I actually realized that I was in my late twenties, I would never ever date a man who already had kids from another relationship. No matter how nice, cute, and smart he was,  It was just an absolute NO!  I am not a person for drama, and for some reason baby mama equates to drama. Although the two people can have a very cordial relationship, there are always kinks that need to be worked out. And I believe if you want the man then you have to take everything that comes with him, including kids. So if a man had kids, I was not interested.

However, since my move to Hawaii I have met a plethora of men who either have kids, ex wives, or both. And although they may live in a far away place such as the mainland, they still exist. It is easy to find a man on this island who has probably been married and divorced by the time he is 25, and of course has one, two, or three kids. Or he just may have one, two, or three kids without ever being married. Should I fault him for having a past life? No I can’t do that. But it really makes a relationship difficult when I come with just me, and he comes with a prior family.

A few months ago I met a really great guy who has baggage. A whole lot of baggage. And because of that I fail to allow myself to move forward and like him. If we had met 10 years ago, I would have instantly fell in love and would have began to plan our wedding in my head. In my world he would be the man who compliments my style, the one who inspires me to do better, the perfect addition to my life, and I to his. He is attentive, he has the most amazing charm that comes with a caring attitude. He cooks, he is smart, and he communicates like no other man I have met.  Unfortunately for me it is too late. He has BAGGAGE.  He is 30, but he also comes with three kids, one ex-wife, and one other baby mama. To me that’s a lot of baggage. Baggage that I just don’t think I am ready to deal with. To be with him, means that I must take on a ready made family. Am I ready for that? I don’t think so. I just recently learned how to not be selfish and self-centered. I will say that I am still learning how to care for a man, but now to care for a man and his kids? Wow, that is just too much too soon.

So, how much baggage is too much? Am I missing out on a good man because I choose to stop myself from extending love to his prior family? Or, am I correct in admitting that kids are not something I want to deal with right now and move on. I want my own family, with my own kids. It is not the same if the kids belong to another woman. But, if I believe that I can truly love someone, maybe I should be willing to accept everything and everyone who comes along with him.

Maybe I can start with accepting a man with one child, but a man with multiple children…ummm that may be a little bit too much for me.

What women can do for men: My very own personal ode to the Good Man

It is sometimes said that “A good man is hard to find”, so when a woman finds a good man, shouldn’t she want to show him and the world that he is a good man?

I recently wrote the blog titled “Chivalry is dead, and MEN killed it”, based on the notion that men have forgotten how to treat a woman while dating, and women have accepted the non nonchalant, sub par, dating behaviors. However, I must truly admit that not all men have killed the art of Chivalry, and the world does have some good men who deserve kindness, care, and the love of a good woman as the perfect addition to their lives.

When I hear women say that there are no good men anymore, I must slightly disagree with that comment. I know many good men, however in the past I have chosen not to date them. That is a fault of my own. While a good man will be right in front of me, I often chose to look to the left and go for the bad boy. With my own growth process, and maturity, I have realized that the bad boys I used to love so much will only leave me with tears, disappointment, and a broken heart that somedays feels like it is still in need of repair.Those good men that I know, are always there to pick up the pieces, watch me cry, and stay with me through the process of healing my heart. Why do they stay? Because the men who I speak of, that I know are good men, actually happen to be some of my closest friends. So when women say, “there are no good men left”, I just think about many of my male friends and say, Yes there still are good men. There are plenty, we just choose not to date them.



So this post is for the women. Women, we say we want a good man, but when we get him, what happens next? Do you know how to treat him? Do you know how to make him feel special? Do you know how to keep him as the most important man in your life?

The true benefit to me having so many male friends, who are ACTUALLY good men is that I am able to learn from them. I am able to hear what they want in a woman, and I am able to generalize some of those ideas into what I can do for a good man. So I decided to make a list of what I can do when I am finally able to get out of my own way, and accept that man who will not be the bad boy, but who will be a good man for me!

Women:

  • This first point should go without saying, everyone wants to feel special and feel appreciated. If you have a good man, he is thinking of a way to put you first, a way to make you smile, and he makes you feel like you are on a pedalstal every second of the day. So why not do the same for him? Make him feel special, show him that he is appreciated for who he is, give him what he actually likes (not what you think he may like, or what both of you like). Just make it be about him, actions speak loud, and if you take yourself out of the equation just for him, he will be sure to notice.
  • This next point I got from a friend of mine who is a truly awesome good man! And while talking to him I came to a simple yet powerful revelation: Try asking your man what you can do for him! You may be dating the good man who seems like he has life all figured out. He has stability, intellect, and a personality like you can never imagine. You may wonder, “Where do I fit in his life ?” or, “What can I do for him because it seems everything is always done ?”, Well JUST ASK! The words, “What can I do for YOU” can go a long way!
  • A good man will not just treat you like you are his number one, he will treat you as the ONLY one! So that means: Women act as if you are the only one, and trust your man! Leave the baggage of the past douche bag in the past, don’t be afraid to let go and love. Trust that he will take care of your heart every step of the way.
  • While the Independent Woman is nice, sometimes a man may also want the Traditional Woman. Honestly I struggle with this one myself. However, I am realizing that a strong man also wants a woman to act like a woman. Don’t be afraid to “Cater to your man” (as said by Destiny’s child). Cooking a nice meal for your man when he gets home from work or waking him up with breakfast, pampering him to make him feel better, and cleaning up the home are ways to show him that you appreciate all he does for you inside and outside of  the home. Make the home a home, so you both can enjoy each other’s company at the end of the day.
  • Attempt to take care of the small stuff, so he can focus on the big things! Men have huge egos! Good men want to feel like they are the protector, taking care of their family, and making sure that all the business is handeled. Women, we all want a happy man, who does not look like he is full of stress every second of the day. So chip in where you can! Take care of what you know you can do without his help. The small tasks inside or outside of the home, let him feel like he is free to handle anything else. With less worry both men and women can be happy!
  • Allow a man to be a man! Don’t be afraid to take the one down approach at times in your relationship.  This is something I personally learned from past relationships. I am a huge talker and love to enter my own opinion whenever I feel necessary. However, there are times when we as women  just need to be quiet and allow a man to figure out things on his own, or make his own mistakes without our input.
  • Give your man space and time with the boys. Nobody wants to be under the constant suffocation of their significant other 24/7,  that is just unhealthy. Allow your good man time with his friends, since he is a good man you don’t have to worry about his friends having a negative impact on him.
  • Allow your man to do things for you. No matter if he wants to cook you dinner (but really can’t boil water), open doors, buy you flowers, or take you out on a romantic date, allow him to show you how much he cares. Don’t blow him off, put your own friends first, or claim you are too tired for him. He is a good man, let his light shine bright in your life.

A good man will inspire you!  Accept his challenging opinions, his motivations for you to do better, and be open to his offers to help you with any aspect of your own life.  A good man will see the two of you as a team, so if he is happy and doing well, he wants to see you equally as happy and doing just as well as him. The good man will not be jealous of your accomplishments, but he will continue to motivate you into a wave of ultimate success. In return do the same for him. A good man has no time for jealousy or envy in a relationship.

  • Finally, Do Not use sex as s a punishment for your man when you are upset. Yeah, just don’t do that.

Chivalry is dead, And MEN killed it!!!!

Anyone who really knows me, knows that I HATE dating. And if you read the previous blog titled Ahhhhh Dating Sucks, you would completely understand why. I would like to think of myself as the self proclaimed Anti-Dater! What some may call dates, I call hanging out, or kickin it. I find those to be safer terms without the pressure of worrying about the label of what we are actually doing.

Lately I have been hearing a lot of guys quote Dave Chappelle with the infamous line “Chilvary is dead, and women killed it”. Really? Then it came to me, that is just an excuse for men to throw the actions of chivalry out the window. What happened to true old school dating. Dates with EFFORT!!! Somewhere along in time men stopped opening doors, stopped picking  up women up for dates, and stopped wanting to impress.  Women, sadly we have accepted this as the norm, and go with it for fear that we will not find better.

So I came up with the quote “Men became lazy, and women accepted it”, now that seems like a more realistic standpoint to me.

What do I mean by that? Well it seems that dating has changed so much over time, men are throwing out the bare minium to get sex from a woman and it has become acceptable because they are getting what they want.

Please don’t ask me to come to your house to watch a DVD and eat pizza as a first date!  I don’t want to see your house, hang out on your couch, and no I will not end up in your bed at the end of the night!

So you may not be able to afford to take a woman on a date that consists of going anywhere outside of your living room.

Disclaimer: If you cannot afford to take me out, Don’t Ask!!! Simple! Ok now before you start writing hate mails or call me a gold digger,  let me explain:

I understand we are in hard times, a recession is happening amongst us. Got it. So men, its time to bring out your creative minds and do something different. Why not have a really cool date on a budget. Think outside of the boring box of dinner and a movie. I have lived in New York and Hawaii, two of the most expensive cities in the nation.  I will tell you men, you can date on a budget. Hawaii has plenty of free beaches and tons of mountains to hike. NY has a free parks,  Central Park has summer stage, and really inexpensive ice skating in the winter. So will a little creativity before going on a date kill you? Probably not, so lets put it into play!

I think I have a million “WTF”, “funny as all heck”, “can you believe that some men really do this?” dating stories. Unfortunately I can’t write them all down here because instead of a blog, I would have a book. But I do want to share my very own list of what men should not do on a date. Hopefully this will help in the second birth of chivalry, and women will stop accepting the effortless date.

So Men Please:

  • Don’t pick up a woman then blast the radio so loud in the car that you are blowing out her ear drums. Besides, that leaves no room for conversation, and I don’t want to hear that you think you are a better singer than R. Kelly, or you know that you can rap better than Drake.
  • Don’t invite a date to a movie, and then act like you are going to go broke if you have to buy popcorn, a drink, and a hot dog. Therefore, you walk at expeditiously high speeds to avoid the concession stand. That tactic is for the high school kids, and I really hope that if you are over the age of 18 your mother is not giving you a weekly allowance to take a girl to a movie. Please Don’t complain about how much food at the movies costs, (we all know it is expensive). And PLEASE don’t start to eat the one hot dog you bought for your date because she asked (and you were too cheap to buy one for yourself), then say “well I paid for it”!
  • Don’t make her finish all the food on her plate, or finish all her drink just because it cost you money! Really, that is just tacky.
  • Don’t be cheap when taking a girl out on a date. Obviously you like this girl, and you want to show her that she can be important to you. It doesn’t have to be a lavish date, but if you are working with a budget, plan the date. If you make the plans based on what you can’t afford then you don’t have to worry about this girl breaking your pockets. Be Creative!!!!
  • Don’t constantly plan group dates with all your friends. Look I am a pretty social person, and love meeting new people. But how am I going to get to know you if  time is always being split between getting to know you and getting to know your friends?
  • PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY!! This one goes for girls and guys. Don’t go on a date and send text messages, check your email, or answer unnecessary phone calls. That is just rude! I hate when a man answers the phone on a date and says, “Yo what up man, let me call you back, I’m on a date with shorty right now”. Unless someone is dying or injured, put your voicemail to good use.
  • Which leads to my next point, Please do not address a woman as “shorty” or “ma”. If your are over 24 then you are too old for that (and i think 24 is pushing the age).
  • I know we live in the age of social networking, so if you’re a hardcore player in the social network game then you may be tempted to advertise your date on facebook or twitter. DON’T DO IT! Look you would not call 800 of your non-closest friends and let them know that you just went on a date from your own personal hell. So don’t open it up on the internet. Trust me it’s a small world out there, and you never knows who knows who.
  • Don’t assume if you are invited over after the date, that you are also invited to spend the night. Feel the vibe out, have fun with your date, and please know when to go home!
  • Do not be afraid to open all doors, pull out her chair, or appear to be genuinely interested in her, it helps, and women pay close attention to the small things.

MEN:  Lets bring back the art of chivalry, don’t let it just die. Lets embrace the rebirth of chivalry! Right now it is hanging on due to the life support from the good men, but with all men it can have vibrant everlasting life.

WOMEN: Lets accept the chivalry of men that show it and, show men that we do appreciate them, and we also appreciate the effort when they think outside the box and strive to be different.

Things I now know at 28, Just because I wasn’t paying attention at 27

MY BFF Dana and I on my 28th Birthday!!!

So I had a birthday! Last month, on March 19th to be exact I turned 28. Or as some people like to say…30 minus 2. Lets count it down!!!  But I’ll just say 28 for now.

It took me a while to really start to feel my brand spanking new age,  and say out loud that I am being pushed into becoming a year older, which is why it took me a month to post this blog.  Yes people I am 28! No longer can I claim ignorance as an excuse when I really just want to get wasted and pass out in some strange place. Nope I know better now, and I am not allowed to engage in my old college girl acts of random, crazy, fun!

Since turning 28 I don’t feel any different from when I was 27. But I feel a huge difference from age 18!  I now sit and watch CNN…OH NO!!! And I actually turn on Fox news, (as I wait for the day that that network will suddenly disappear),  just to see what nonsense, or new socialist theory Glenn Beck would like to rant on today. I am starting to think the Real World on MTV is not good television anymore, maybe because I am now too old to ever be a cast member. Actually, the only good show on MTV is 16 and pregnant. That is because I like to watch the unrealistic ways these girls think they can manage their lives and a newborn at the same time.  Now that is good television! Oh and the cast of the Jersey Shore will always be a bunch of idiots in my head. But I do wonder where they will be in 5 years…hmmm.

I understand that life means real responsibility, and every choice I make falls on me. No bail out for me! At 28 I have felt the joys and disappointment of love, and I still continue to move forward on the journey of learning more about love, life, career, and everything else that comes along with being 28 (Or the prepping phase for 30).

28,  in my late twenties, officially. The point where women start to get really anxious about being 30 and alone. No kids, No husband, Oh no, will I be myself forever!! No I don’t have those feelings just yet, I still feel great being just me, but I am clearly making a mental note to myself not to settle for a fool! I remember I am better than that, and settling will lead to eventual unhappiness.

So here is a brief list of things that I now know at 28, that maybe I didn’t want to accept at 27, but life is about reality right?

  • I will probably never hit the lotto to become rich quick
  • I will probably never marry a rich millionaire athlete or movie star (I think I am too old now, LOL)
  • A retirement account is a good thing to have
  • Being on reality TV is not exactly the best way to become famous
  • Bad days do not last forever, and a even greater day will be coming soon!
  • Love does not happen in a day
  • I will have to compromise in any relationship I am in
  • Men do like women who cook
  • Men like to be pampered as much as women do
  • Dating younger guys isn’t necessarily a bad thing
  • It is ok to date guys who have reached the age of 40 without thinking he is an old ass man, and the fact that he likes me is repulsive
  • It is perfectly fine to date outside of my race ( sorry black men, but can some of you please step your game up!)
  • If I want something in life, then I will have to work to get it (damn it!)
  • It is a great thing to budget your money
  • I can survive on my own
  • I will get married to an awesome guy, who will also be my best friend
  • I will never ever get back together with my ex because he is worse than a total jerk!  (hey that is really good to know!)

I am excited to see what life has in store for me at 28, the first month hasn’t been so bad, so in the next 11 months I will continue to move with the changes of life, and embrace the good, grow from the bad, and continue to learn how I can improve on just being a better me!