Straight from NY to Paradise Turns 5! -Happy Bloganniversary

Happy 5th Birthday! If my blog was a child I would be getting ready for it to start kindergarten. Awww blog you have grew up so fast (insert mommy tears).

Life happens quick, sometimes too quick for me. I constantly think about writing daily, however everyday I find an excuse not to write. Time goes by and life continues to happen, and still I feel like nothing gets done. I finally sat down and decided to write today, finally I am writing!

After months of procrastinating and sitting in that endless pile of overwhelm, I decided to turn to what I know and write. It comes with great irony that I picked this month to return to writing. Word Press has been so kind as to acknowledge that I have reached my 5 year blogging anniversary! It is really hard to believe that it has been a whole 5 years since I have started blogging.

In the last 5 years my life has taken more twists and turns than I could ever imagine, emotionally I feel that I have been through it all. But yes you are correct Word Press, I have reached my 5 year blogging milestone. 5 years ago Straight from NY to Paradise in a Day was given life, and my own personal life was given a voice. I had a story to tell, I wanted to tell it. I wanted to inspire others not to be afraid of change, not to be afraid of living, just live. Life happens and life changes so go with it.0171.jpg

I really want to laugh and cry as I write this. I think back on the girl I was 5 years ago, I was single and fierce! Fresh out of a roller coaster of a relationship, still in love with the man who was my past, but ready to start a new phase of life as a free spirit and face the future.  I was ready to take on the world, unstoppable in a sense, but I quickly learned that I could be stopped. The world does not exist for you to live in it alone, it is out there for you to share, to embrace with others, to help others, and sometimes even get help from others. In August of 2009 I had been living in Honolulu for 6 months. And to tell you the truth, I was very much alone. I was still confused about my impulsive decision to move to the other side of the world, and even though I had met a few people, I had a very real fear that if I died no one would notice. The feeling that I would go unnoticed was scary, adding that to a sense of uncertainty about my job, my life, and what to do next, I was really mess of emotions, with anxiety and self-doubt leading the pack.

Yes I was single and fierce, but really I was alone.  Lucky for me I quickly discovered that I was not the only mainland escapee that have flown themselves over to an island in the middle of the pacific to get away from….well everything. I found a love of activity and a love of new friendships. Over the last 5 years, my biggest accomplishment was basically proving to myself that I can live. No matter how depressed I am, how lonely I am, and how much I just want to disappear, I know that I can live, and life always gets better. I think I may have forgotten that lately with the chaos of everyday life back on the mainland. I experienced life in Hawaii for a reason. I experienced being completely on my own for a reason. My next lesson to myself is always to remember those reasons, life is meant to live on purpose, and everyday is a new opportunity to fulfill that purpose.

 

In 2009 I was 27, single, impulsive, and extremely naive. In 2014, I am 31, in a relationship (no not married, sorry), less impulsive, more aware, and slightly more responsible. At 27 I just wanted to run away. At 31, I’ll admit I still want to run sometimes, but I will try a bit harder to stay, to work through it, and always keep in mind that with each day life will keep getting better.

So 5 years later, what did I really learn? In Honolulu I found a love of nature. A hike, a run, or  the view of the mountains as the sun wakes you up is the epitome of everything calm, and the most powerful way to ensure that you will have a good day. I learned to love to push myself. No matter if it was at work, in the gym, or running a race, I knew I could always go harder, do better, and motivate myself to never give up. I learned to appreciate yoga, I really miss the easy access to the yoga studios that are located on every corner. I learned that I am a survivor, life is lived with challenges, now I know that I can overcome every one that comes my way. I learned that I hate dating. I would never want to date in Honolulu again! I learned that I really do miss people when they leave, goodbyes are hard, I hate them almost as much as dating.

Finally, I learned to appreciate the kindness of strangers. When I moved to Honolulu, I knew only myself, and had three suitcases. Strangers helped to me find a home, helped me to find food, and ensured that I was able to keep my job. Those strangers became my friends, who eventually became my family. Never take the kindness of others for granted, that lesson made the difference between me having a home in paradise and just being homeless in paradise.

5 years later, I am living in Virginia, working in D.C. and I am no longer a girl on a rock in the middle of the pacific. I am a 31 year old woman in the DMV!  I am surrounded by friends, family, and strangers. Life continues to be full of twists and turns, so keep reading to see where I end up over the the next 5 years. I can’t wait to see what happens, all I know is I just have to be ready for the changes.

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences!

 

maui 2

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Evolution: The dating edition

One of the greatest things about life is that it is always changing. Change is constant, and because of this we always know its coming.  We evolve. As a species we are always evolving. Evolution signifies growth, without change there can be no growth.  The mind cannot stay stagnant, it grows, and by growing we know we are living.

In the midst of changing (or growing older I guess), I have come to realize that my whole entire dating life has made its very own evolution. I must admit that it is an evolution that is a long time coming, and one that was much needed. As I look back on my dating past, I do so with the hope that I have taken in the lessons learned, and my dating future will be better and wiser. The past is a reflection of a point where we once were, I quickly realized that I want to be somewhere else, not there.

Recently I have noticed a common theme when I go out on dates, I am bored out of my mind! I find myself waiting for that moment of climax that will add meaning to any date, but it never comes. Let me explain more: My mind travels a million miles a minute, I have tried to slow down my thoughts…it doesn’t work.  I have an endless array of thoughts that are constantly occupying my brain space. The thoughts are never ending and always changing (hence why I suck so bad at yoga, and why I struggle with sleeping through the night). Therefore, due to this  fact it is pretty difficult to hold my attention. When one thought enters I am already about 10 more thoughts ahead.  I end up purposely looking for an attention grabbing something, just so I can focus. The focus is much needed, and when I am focused, I am finally at peace.  When a person is able to hold my attention I am in delight. I am yet to find a man who can hold my attention so I can enjoy a date with him.

With my evolution in dating I have discovered what I am genuinely interested in…A good conversation! With excessive dating,  I commonly get asked the question, “what are you looking for?” Finally I have discovered the heart of what I am looking for. Intellectual stimulation! A mental orgasm that will lead me yearning for a second and third date as soon as possible. In my world of thinking, if a man can easily bring my mind to a state of climax with his words, the sexual climax must be a million times better. Right?

But seriously, I usually would not think that it would be this difficult to find a date with conversation that is motivating and inspiring, a conversation that you want to never end. Am I asking for too much? Probably. But I don’t care. I like a man who can make me think. A man who is not afraid to challenge me. I know I may seem brilliant, but I do have my moments when I am wrong.  Does anyone read books anymore? I will even enjoy a great conversation about why our whole political system is so messed up. Wow am I boring or just old? Not sure.  A few years ago I would have thought these were boring topics, now they are topics that I chase after.

A friend told me that I have evolved myself out of the dating pool, that doesn’t sound so good to me. I don’t ask for too much. I just ask to date a grown man. I’m not a total prude, I love talking about sports, music, movies, but I want more. I want depth. I guess I want to finally be an adult, in an adult relationship. Can we say scary?

Now that I have embraced my evolution, I just have to find my male counterpart who has embraced his.  In my 20’s I was only attracted to the physical appearance of a guy, that was enough for me and all that I needed to make him my boyfriend. Now don’t get me wrong, I still am a sucker for a physically attractive man, I actually need that too, but maybe not as much. In hindsight, it’s never going to be all I need, and I truly need more to make a lasting relationship.  So where do I start? My new place to pick up men who read books…the bookstore! Wait, do any bookstores still exist?

 

Positive thought, positive energy, positive experiences

 

The independent woman: A positive concept with a negative vibe

The concept of Miss Independent is one that is quickly becoming a misconstrued notion to many men. It seems to have transformed from the idea that women can be liberated to get the most out of life with or without a man, to one of  men feeling that an independent woman does not want a man, and would rather be alone at night. How did that happen?

Well a few weeks ago Tyrese was ever so kind, and gave his input in a message for independent women. Check it out here:

Tyrese’s Message to independent women

Thank you Tyrese, I’m sure we all really needed to hear that (yeah not really). However, you did inspire me to clear a few things up for men who may like yourself, not truly understand the wants and needs of an independent woman.

I previously wrote the blog Miss Independent: Gift or Cruse, which questions if men are intimated by an independent woman. A man may   feel inferior if  he thinks that a woman does not need him. He will question himself, by asking “what can I do for her?” However that should not be the issue. Let me clear up a few misconceptions, and maybe men who think similar to Tyrese will have a new perspective of what it means to be  miss independent.

For a woman to say she is  independent,  it no way also means “I don’t want a man”, or “I don’t need a man to do anything for me”, or “I would rather stay at home with my dog”.  Of course independent women want and need a man. To be an independent woman, is to be a woman who is not defined by a man. A man is in her life to make her better, she will only allow men to enter her life who will make her better. An independent woman wants a man who will respect her and truly understand her worth. She is independent because she is not going to date just any type of man. She will not allow a man to disrespect her, or treat her any kind of way because he thinks that she needs him.

When a man is with an independent woman, he knows that she does not need him so she can be his dependent, however, she wants him to be apart of her life. She wants to be able to depend on him, and makes that choice knowing that she can also be just fine without him.  She wants him to be a man, do the things that real men do. Protect her, love her, take care of her and the family,  because sometimes even independent women get tired of depending on only themselves.

When black men feel that the independent black woman is synonymous for “sistas with an attitude”, it sends the message out that black men aren’t listening, or recognizing the needs of black women. Sure we have our own job, pay our own bills, and can take care of ourselves without a man in our life, but yes we do want a man in our lives. We want that emotional connection to a man who is understanding of the hardships of the independent woman.  The attitude that you may see is not purposely there to scare you away, it is there to protect us from men who are not capable of handling the challenge of being with an independent woman.

So to Tyrese, or other man who feels they have a message for independent women, listen closely. An independent woman wants to be loved by a man, an independent woman wants a partner, an independent woman has needs and expectations for a relationship. If you as a man are not able to fulfill those needs, those expectations, and cannot step up and be a real man, then yes, you will feel that this woman wants to be alone.  In actuality she does not want to be alone, she is just more than you can handle. In that case you have to be man enough to admit that you just are not ready to be in a relationship with Miss Independent.

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences

5 reasons why I would make a horrible military wife

In the next few weeks many of our troops will be returning home from the war in Iraq. In Hawaii many military wives are anxiously waiting the return of their beloved husbands. What a great feeling it is to have those who so proudly serve our country return home to their families.

Before moving to Hawaii, I had never dated anyone in the military. In Hawaii all I seem to meet are men that are in one branch of the military are another. At least 8 out of every 10 single men are either in the military or have been in the military at some point in their life. During my time here I have had a lot of experience dating men in the military, and I have come to the conclusion that I would make a really crappy military wife. That lifestyle is just not for me. For the women who are military wives, I commend them. They are strong women. Women who have to be able to deal with a lot on a daily basis. A military wife is no ordinary wife, a military wife takes on a lot more. Military wives take the duties of a wife to a whole new level. A level that I don’t think I will ever be ready for. Not only is she married to her husband, she is also married to the military.

I have thought about it long and hard. I have pondered over what type of wife I would be. I think I would be a pretty good wife actually. But I know I would be a horrible military wife. And here is why:

5 reasons why I am not military wife material

1. I hate sleeping alone at night: One guy I dated told me that he had trouble finding a girlfriend because he is never around long enough. He said that he would have to be with someone who is ok with him not being available. Due to deployments, or trainings, your husband is likely to be gone a lot of the time. I don’t intend to get married to sleep alone at night. So the idea of my husband going on a year long deployment…not only would I have anxiety over his safety, it just gets lonely after a while. Who gets married to be by themselves? Not for me.

2. When the military tells you, you pick up and move: I really don’t like people telling me where I have to live. Yes I am a free spirit. I love to travel. Obviously,  I have no problem moving where I know virtually no one.  However, I like to do things by choice. I don’t appreciate when people force me to do something or go somewhere. So because I am such a free spirit, I think I will only be happy moving to destinations where I choose I want to live.

3. Those damn secrets: The stuff you don’t know because of security measures. Yeah I know national security blah blah blah. I hate secretes and I need to know what is going on. It’s not that I wouldn’t trust my husband,  I like to know what is going on in his life. Lets talk and share information.

4. The family toll on deployments: I want my children to know their father, and I want their father to know his children. Deployments are hard on children. I work with children. If one parent is in and out of their lives, it can be disruptive to the family unit. When it is broken apart, you have to then spend time putting it back together. I want to have a consistent household. I want a husband who is part of every minute of his child’s life as possible. From walking, talking, to the first day of school.

5. Your supposed to connect to other military wives: I dont’ want to make false friends with other military wives. What if I don’t like them, am I just free not to like them?

 

 

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences

 

Soul Mates: Is that for real?

After nearly two weeks, I finally returned to Bikram yoga today. Painful is an understatement for the appropriate word to describe that experience. By the start of the floor series I was ready to go back home and crawl myself back in my bed. A missed week of Bikram, is like starting your first hot yoga class over again. On my travels east, I did go with my friend to a Bikram Yoga class in Virgina, however the experience was nothing like the Honolulu Bikram experience. Ahhh, another reason to love Honolulu 🙂

As I attempted my 90 minute moving meditation in the very hot room, my mind started to wander. Well my mind always wanders, nothing new.

But today my wandering brought me to thoughts about soul mates. Do they really exist, or is the idea of a soul mate a piece of fiction that can be comparable to Walt Disney fairy tale?

If this blog by some random chance of fate gone wild ever turned into a book, turned movie, my movie would not be your typical love story, or romantic comedy like so many other single girl goes on a random adventure to find a new life kind of movie.  My movie would be more like a cynical comedy. Somewhat like Juno. Dry humor, with an unpredictable ending that is still unwritten.

If my life were fit for true Hollywood fashion it would go something like this: I leave New York, fly across the world, end up in Hawaii, learn the island, then randomly meet a gorgeous, charming man in a way that involves some form of irony, he falls in love with my quirks, flaws, and amazing personality. We spend an endless amount of time together, we have the all too predictable conflict over a meaningless topic, eventually get back together because we realize this is what the universe wants. The ending:  we drive pass the ocean into the sunset. In movie world, I would have met my soul mate by now, or at least someone who I thought was my soul mate for the time being.

However, in reality, my life works something like this: I leave New York, fly across the world, end up in Hawaii, learn the island, make a ton of crazy friends, engage in life threatening adventures just to see if I survive, go to work everyday but love my job, and sit around thinking about what my next life challenge will be. Hmm that may not be interesting enough for the big screen. In my movie world, I will not stumble upon Mr. Perfect one day, who I eventually realize is the one I have been looking for all my life ( how cheesy does that sound anyway?)

But I am starting to wonder, do soul mates actually exist. Some married  people have said, I knew I had met “the one” the moment I laid eyes them, is that real? Or, do people just say things like that because it sounds like love? Personally, I don’t think I would know  my soul mate if he actually did come and save my life because I was about to get by a bus (just saying). I am not sure if ever in my life have I just laid eyes on someone, and knew he was “the one”. I think I have actually fallen in love by accident, it just happens over time. Obviously I haven’t yet met my soul mate.

Since I have decided that I would not make a good career military wife, I doubt my soul mate is on the island of Oahu. Maybe he is on Maui? Or,  maybe not. Since there are so many people in the world, maybe we all get a pick of three or four soul mates. Fate would have us only meet one anyway there would be no conflict later in life. Perhaps my soul mate is in another state,  he  could actually be in New York and I just missed him. I could do some more traveling in case my soul mate is in another country. However, if fate brings us together than I really don’t have to look for him right? He will just pop out of the sky one day by some random coincidence. That sounds about right. I am not searching for “the one”. I will just stay still and let life happen.

To anyone who has found their soul mate, how did you know it was that person? And more importantly are they everything you expected they would be?

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!