29 and counting part 2

 

Presently 6 months and 28 days away from 30!              

 

Photo courtesy of Astrid London

Something happens as you get older.  Time starts to fade, and outsiders are suddenly more interested in your personal life than they really should be. Lately I have noticed that more and more people actually have expectations for where I should be in my life. Not career wise because they see that I love my job, and I am independent enough to support myself, but they have a strong interest in my love life. I don’t think I care as much about my own love life as other people do. Why do they care so much? Sometimes I wonder what is so wrong with their own life that they seem to take so much time caring about mine. Yeah, I do go against the grain. I have never been a normal chick anyway. I prefer to march to the beat of my own drum, that way I don’t have to adjust to a new beat when I hate the song anyway. I live my life my way, and it works for me.

In my pre-phase for 30, I already go into each week knowing that at least three people are going to ask me if I am married, do I have a boyfriend, or do I have kids. The follow-up question being, why not? With a comment of, “you are so pretty”.  I have been asked these questions so much that the answers no to all of them, and it just hasn’t happened,  roll off my tongue in the same manner as if someone were to ask me my first name.

As I get older societal expectations grow. Some days it can be overwhelming. In true form, I ignore them. Independence is an anomaly, and to be connected to something, or someone is a 30 something  must have.

I on the other hand look at the glass half full. News flash #1: It is not hard to get married. Believe it or not there are men who want to get married. So sure I could have been married by now.  Would I have been happy? Probably not. Marriage does not guarantee love or happiness. So where would that leave me, 7 months away from 30 and possibly on the road to my first divorce. Yeah, I’ll pass on that one. 30 and divorced does not sound like much fun.

The subject of kids. Yeah, I guess I want them one day. News flash #2, It is not hard to make a baby! So sure I could have had kids by now. My life plan just worked out a little bit differently.  I have more to learn about myself before kids enters the plan.  I love kids, but I also love returning them back to their parents after a few hours.

At 30 people may wonder more than ever when I will settle down, and adjust to what is expected of me. Not sure.  But, I know that I am just where I need to be in life and so life is good.

A daily reminder to myself,  in actuality I am happy where I am at. I went through a lot to get here, so why not enjoy the moment. Five years ago the thought of being able to watch a sunset in Waikiki was an impossible dream that would never happen. Today it is my reality. My life did not happen by accident, it comes with purpose.

A  good friend of mine always tells me not to allow someone to enter my life who is going to take away my happiness. If I allow myself to fall to the pressures of society before the time is right, the end result may be a sacrifice of my happiness. Today I choose to own my happy.

 

To be continued…

 

Photo courtesy of Astrid London
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29 and counting….Part 1

I once heard someone say what is the point of being 29 if all you do is think about turning 30. I agree!

Presently I am 7 months and 10 days away from my 30th birthday. I have decided to document my journey through the dark cloud that encompasses the last days of my twenties. This is Part 1.

I am starting to think that being 29 is probably the worst age ever. I used to think being 15 was bad. At 15 all the talk was about turning 16. I had envisioned my life magically changing at 16. It didn’t. It was the same. Same school, same friends, same life, same me.

Now, I think being 29 is worse. I know better since I am older. I know my life will not magically change on my 30th birthday. It will be the same life. Of course, I will be the same person. Yet, why does it feel so scary when I think about turning 30? I never imagined what my life would be like at 30, I always thought it was too far away to think about. Now it’s coming up, and coming up quick. Inside I want to just run away, but I have to face it in full force. Life at 30, no turning back.

When I first turned 29 it wasn’t so bad. Another year of life. I still felt like I was 22. Somedays I still think I am 22. But I’m not 22, I’m 29! When people ask me my age, I often forget that I am 29. I want to say 22 or 24 or 26, then it hits me, I am really 29. When the response is “wow, you don’t look 29!”,  implying that I must be much younger, unfortunately I am not flattered. I do feel that I have a youthful essence. However, I think I really must be old if the response sends someone into a state of shock. Though I know being 29 or 30 are not really “old” ages, these are ages that take on a lot of responsibility. Responsibilities that I don’t want some days. I can’t go socially embarrass myself in public, or on Facebook, or Twitter, and blame it on my young age. I can’t sleep all day and blow off work like they are classes in college. I hate to drink during the week because the hangover is miserable.  I have to think seriously about retirement, and have invested interest in the debt ceiling crisis, all because I realize that congressional decisions affect my livelihood. I am forced to be an adult every day I wake up. I am turning 30.

One of my best friend’s turned 30 a few weeks ago. In her true extroverted fashion she had a foam party. Why not? It’s fun and reminds us even at 30 we are still young. She asked me what we are going to do for my 30th birthday. My response, sit around and cry. I can’t help it, I am really not looking forward to this. Her response was, no I am not going to let that happen. And I know if she can help it, she won’t let me mope around with pity because I am a day older than I was the day before. I will have to take 30 like a true champion, with a smile.

At 29 I feel like I am going through a mid-life crisis. I feel the need to kick start my life into gear before I turn 30. It’s time to step up to life. It is my go hard, or go home moment. I have questions for my life. I question my choices in dating, which dates I should go on, and which ones I should just outwardly reject.  I question my career frequently. Is this something I want to do for the rest of my life? What if I want to do something else? A career where I can allow my true self and talents to shine. How would I go about doing that? I have invested a lot of time and money into my current career. Am I allowed to just throw that all away out of indecisiveness and moments of boredom? Have I set myself up for a successful life, or is there much more I need to work on?

To be continued….

My Happy Soundtrack- I’m gonna smile cause I deserve too

Honolulu from Diamond Head.
Image via Wikipedia

Back in Honolulu!

I wake up and  it is another beautiful day in Honolulu. The sun is shining, I look over my balcony at the mountains going towards the Pali, and my day starts off with a smile. How could it not? I already know that I am alive, I feel healthy (well most of the time), and I have a lot to look forward to. So each day I tell myself, “I’m gonna smile cause I deserve too”, as sung by Leona Lewis.

Flashback to a few years ago. I remember a time when I didn’t smile as much. I would wake up in New York sad. Unhappy with my job, my personal life, nothing seemed to be where I needed it to be in life. Life for me was out of place. I would wonder, where did my happy go? During that time I had a sad soundtrack. You know that soundtrack we have for moments of self pity. Those times when we want to sit around feeling sorry for ourselves and just cry (or maybe I am the only one who has one of those). My sad soundtrack was a running playlist of songs on my ipod that I would play over and over again. I would go into a deeper feeling of self-pity each time I listened to these songs. The problem? The only person who knew I was sad was me! I would be sad to myself. So obviously the only person able to get me off the sad train to nowhere was me.

In case you need a soundtrack for moments of brief sadness (keep them brief!), I can help you out. I know a great list of songs that really fit the mood. As much as I listened to them, I could say in some strange way they did catapult me out of those moments of sadness. My advice to you: don’t stay on your pity pot too long, it us fine to sit on it sometimes. But, try not to do it too often, and bounce off of it as fast as you can. If you sit too long you may get stuck.  Being happy is a whole lot easier than loathing in self-pity.

Better in Time
Image via Wikipedia

My sad soundtrack was most used for those post breakup moments (of course, I’m a girl!) Those moments when love was lost, and I felt my world was about to come to a crashing halt, with no plan how I will get out of it. The more I listened to each song, I thought maybe it will put a stitch back in my heart one by one, but no it didn’t. Eventually only time did that. But my sad playlist did offer me some comfort while riding on the NY city subway!

In case you were wondering, here are some of my favorites for my past of sadness:

  1. Usher-Burn
  2. Chris Brown- Say Goodbye
  3. Leona Lewis- Better in Time
  4. India Arie- This too shall pass- *Favorite*
  5. Mariah Carey- I stay in love
  6. Boyz II Men- Doing just fine, or Seasons of Loneliness
  7. Alicia Keys- Sleeping with a broken heart
Wow those songs are sad,
My Happy soundtrack is much better, it’s motivating, inspirational, and keeps me on my daily vote of confidence that, I am That Chick! It keeps me smiling, keeps me positive, and reminds me through moments of sadness, life always get’s so much better.
These are my favorites from my Happy Soundtrack:
  1. Brandy- Camouflage
  2. Just Stand up!- Various female artist including, Mariah Carey,  Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Rihanna
  3. Beyonce- Ego
  4. Bruno Mars- Just the way you are
  5. Fabolous- You be killin em
  6. Ace Hood, Rick Ross, Jasmine Sullivan- Champion- *Favorite*
  7. Flo Rida- Who Dat Girl
  8. Pink- F**kin’ Perfect
  9. Keri Hilson- Pretty Girl Rock
  10. Natasha Bedingfield- Unwritten
  11. Kelly Rowland- Heaven and Earth

What’s included on your Happy Soundtrack?
*Positive energy, Positive thoughts, Positive experiences!

August book selection: Everything Happens For A Reason by Mira Kirshenbaum

Cover of
Cover via Amazon

On my journey to “living my best life now”, as said by Oprah, I am attempting to incorporate a monthly book selection into this blog. Please note that I said ATTEMPT. I will do my best, but not sure how long I can keep it going. My life changes quick, so please watch me for the changes.

Lately, I have had the feeling that God has been telling me to go right,  and I keep making that sharp left. Somehow going to left seems so much more exciting than going right, so I pick my way. Of course it never works out, it’s not the right way, it is a dead-end. As always God  brings back to the start of the path, I don’t get lost , I don’t get in trouble. He allows me another chance to follow him, infinite chances to go right. I listened to God, and when he spoke, he brought me to a book, a book that will forever change the way I look at life.

This month’s book selection is,  Everything Happens for a Reason: Finding the true meaning of events in our lives, by Mira Kirshenbaum. While reflecting on past events in my life, changes that have been made, I once struggled to find meaning in them. I had a bad habit of feeling sorry for myself, hating the world that I was in, just hoping for something better that never came. I would wonder, why do certain things happen the way they do? Why do some events turn out bad, and why can’t things just go the way I want them to. I wanted perfection from life. Who am I kidding? Life doesn’t work that way.  The odds are not always in my favor, and every event is not going to always have a happy ending. In life bad things happen. Bad things happen to everyone, the good that comes out of those bad events are the reason why they had to happen.

Through her writing, Kirshenbaum points out  that there are ten main reasons why these bad events take place in our lives. Through each chapter she thoroughly explains each of these ten reasons, she conveys real life examples from people to make sense of  the true meaning as to why certain events may occur in life. Kirshenbaum is able to help  the reader reflect on his or her own life events, and find a way to make that event fit into one of these reasons. This book opens the reader up to deep self-reflection,  possibly gaining closure and moving forward from events that appear damaging to our lives. Kirshenbaum writes in a way that enhances a positive overtone for negative events. This book portrays the message that life does get better! People are resilient and if we are just able to bounce back, bounce back quick,  and look for true meaning, our lives will be better than we have ever imagined. Kirshenbaum does an excellent job of making the reader feel at home within the book, and brings the message that life does not just happen to happen. Life really does happen for a reason.

The Ten Meanings of the Events in Our Lives, by Mira Kirshenbaum

1. To help you feel at home in the world

2. To help you totally accept yourself

3. To show you that you can let go of fear

4. To bring you to the place where you can feel forgiveness

5. To help you uncover your true hidden talent

6. To give you want you need to find true love

7. To help you become stronger

8. To help you discover the play in life

9. To show you how to live with a sense of mission

10. To help you become a truly good person.

My challenge to you is to sit and reflect on the negative events of your life, if you feel you know the reason why they happened, great! You are one step ahead. If not, if you continue to feel sad, wonder “what if”, or have trouble moving on think of the meaning behind this event. How has it changed you? Can anything positive come from this negative event? Look within your inner self for the reason, trust me it is there.

If you have time read, Everything Happens For A Reason by, Mira Kirshenbaum.

*Positive energy, Positive thoughts, Positive experiences!

NY memories: A permanent mark in time

Still in New York: Day 4

Statue of Liberty National Monument, Ellis Isl...
Image via Wikipedia

I’m feeling a little bit reminiscent today. At my core I am a sentimental girl (even when I don’t act like it). I am that girl who keeps everything ever given to me by a past love. I keep old pictures, and random items for years, Deep down I can’t bring myself to just throw them away. What am I holding on to? If only I can figure it out, I might actually dispose of these items. But if I throw away pictures it would be as if those memories never happened. As if a once happy moment in my life was never there. Although, the end result was the personal torment of ending a relationship, the story of a time when things were good in that relationship are in those objects.

Why do I bring this up? Well when I come back home, I stay in my old room. My room that is filled with pictures, objects, and a plethora of memories of a time period when I was with an ex boyfriend. Twice I have loved, and twice it hasn’t worked out. Life changes and self reflection has brought me to a point where I do realize that it just wasn’t meant to be. Everything really does happen for a reason, and those relationships are not what I needed for my life.  However, the memories are still there. Trapped in my room. In my dressers are pictures, on the desk and in the closet are stuffed animals. I left my memories trapped in that room. Better than taking them with me to Hawaii. I needed a fresh start, for my own mental sake I needed the past to stay in the past. A past that always seems to come back into the present each time I enter the state of New York.

The memories are not only trapped in my room, they are actually in small areas all over the city. With each of my past relationships, I have a memory that virtually takes over Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn. Wow, it’s a good thing I never dated anyone who lived in Staten Island. The city has memories of romantic dates at wonderful restaurants, times of relaxation in central park, long subway rides to our next destination, and since I love to walk;  times of just strolling up and down the blocks of Manhattan. The Village is a New York favorite area of mine since I attended NYU. But with the thought of stepping foot into the village comes the memories of waiting for an ex by NYU, eating pizza after class, or just wanting to use a building to go inside of to escape the winter cold. Yup New York, my city of memories. Memories that I can’t just throw away. Buildings, landmarks, and food, all come with a separate memory that will always be there.

Greenwich Village Photo NYC

It’s funny because when I get a new boyfriend, I try not to do the same things or go to the same places that I did with my old boyfriend. Crazy, yeah maybe a little. But, each place for me has a special memory, so I feel it is more fair to create a new special memory, than to attempt to recreate a new memory in the same place. Is that always possible? No of course not! The city is big, but not that big. There are things that I will always love. For anyone I am dating, if we happen to be in New York, we will probably repeat an event that I shared with someone else. Hopefully I can stay in the moment, feel that it is special, and not think about the last time I was in that same place.

I wish I could say that Hawaii is completely free from any tainted memories of an ex boyfriend. Unfortunately that is not exactly true since shortly after I moved there one of my ex boyfriends did come to visit. I guess it was just that type of love that I couldn’t get away from, even though I knew that I really needed to be away from it. So some parts of Honolulu do have memories of him. That I can handle a lot better than New York. Since there is so much more of Hawaii that I can see with other dates, the memories of my ex in Hawaii are close to non-existent. I don’t feel as if they are written in permanent marker like my infamous New York memories. They are written in pencil and will eventually fade.

New York and I will always have a love-hate relationship. At one time I was in love with the city, now I feel I love it for a brief period and will tolerate it the rest of the time. This is also what the relationship with each of the past men in my life has become. Once we were in love so deeply, now, well I don’t even know what it would be considered now. Toleration? Friendship? Love-hate? Sure why not all of the above.  As they say, I guess one day the memories will fade. Through it all my city will always be the same. I will be open to falling in love with it over and over again during every visit. Soon I will have new experiences, and even better memories.

'Downtown is where it's at' United States, New...
Image by WanderingtheWorld (www.LostManProject.com) via Flickr

Now if only I knew what to do with my collection of old cards, pictures, and gifts???

As always: Positive energy, Positive thoughts, Positive experiences!

Conversations With God

  One day a few weeks ago I was feeling really lonely. Not lonely because I missed anyone, and it wasn’t a literal type of lonely. I was just lonely on the inside. A sudden emptiness that overcame my sense of presence. I couldn’t figure out why I was feeling so empty inside. I wanted to just be in a different place but I did not know how to get there. Through the feelings of emptiness came a cloud of sadness. It wasn’t a new feeling, I had been in that space before so I wasn’t alarmed. The re occurrence of that  feeling was an eye opener for me, I knew what I needed to do to get out of it, it was time for a much-needed conversation with God.

Every so often I may start to miss my family and friends on the east coast. Sometimes I just miss being around people who have known me for a long time, and even know what I am thinking without even saying a word. My longtime friends know when my smiles are forced, and can tell by the sound of my voice when I am feeling troubled. I must say that those are the times that I actually will not talk to them,  since I live close to 5000 miles away, I can hide my feelings by not picking up the phone. However, I do try to speak with my mom at least once a week, usually on Sunday, and every Sunday I get the same question; “Did you go to church today”. Honestly most Sundays the answer is no. The no is not even because I choose sleep over church.  I wake up extra early on Sunday’s to make it to the gym for my weekly spin class. The excuse is really after the gym I come home, eat, and relax from my morning workout. The truth is, in reality I am avoiding God. I am avoiding a much-needed, overdue conversation between me and God.

When the lonely feeling came back, I knew it because it hit me in the gut. (I wonder if that is God punching me in the stomach)  Yet, I knew exactly what I needed to do to remedy the situation. I no longer let that lonely feeling overwhelm me with depressive thoughts because I understand where it comes from.  It frequently happens when I stop listening to God, and start listening to myself.

During  one conversation with my mom she told me, “you need to go back to church”. I guess she picked up on my monotone voice as if something was bothering me.  Her tone was like any caring mother, one of not really telling me, but still telling me what she expected me to do. So, I listened. That Sunday I went to church and decided to come face to face with God.

I must admit my spirituality is somewhat of a lifelong struggle. I am a Christian. However, I could use a lot of work on my relationship with God. I go to church and sit. Yes, I am a church sitter. I like to go listen to the sermon, and then go home. Not the most Christian like thing to do, so that is one of the areas that I have told God I will work on. I am at times conflicted about what to believe in the bible, mainly because the bible was written by man, more precisely A MAN. I still and will always believe in God, I trust in faith, but when it comes to the bible…well lets just say that I still have some questions.

That Sunday while I was in church I decided I was ready to have my conversation with God. Truthfully, I was not really sure what that conversation would look like. Was God like my own personal therapist, does he just sit and listen while I talk? Or, does God answer back with sound words of advice?  God already knows everything that is going on in my life so I don’t have to explain the whole background story, maybe he does all the talking and I just listen. In my head are images of me and God sitting on a comfy couch having a conversation.  I talk, and he is giving a gentle smirk to all out laughter because he sees my life as a daily comedy show.  Sometimes, I know God is sitting back and laughing,  inside I am laughing right along with him. I feel like God and I are old friends, we could talk for hours, he would tell me everything I need to know about life. When we talk I know that everything will be alright. God is always able to make everything alright.

In church, I talked to God.  I listened to God’s response. In the car on my way home I continued the conversation, and when I got home the conversation just kept going. I realized I don’t need to hide from God, HE already knows what I want to say and, what I need to say.  Every so often,  I  get confused if it is God I am listening to or just my voice in my own head. When that I happens I know I need to slow down and listen harder. God knows. God knows all.

Lately, I have met a few men who have started conversations with me  before and after church, we have even exchanged numbers. Oddly enough I know God is waiting for me to have that conversation with him. I will talk, and he will sit back and smile.  I can just see that Godly smirk right now, the smirk of inner peace saying that everything is going to be alright.