There’s something about the month of May that makes me reconsider my entire life. It’s like an internal check-in to evaluate how the year has gone up to this point. It’s also my half-birthday month–which is another reminder that I only have 6 months to go until I’m a year older. Last year around this time I was living in Atlanta and working in a job I didn’t really love. Needless to say, a lot has changed since then and I’m happy to say that I’ve had the chance to travel a bit more because that was one of the things I resolved to do last May. Since then I’ve traveled to Las Vegas, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Spain, England, France, Italy, Monaco, and Malta. In addition to that I quit my job and moved across the country to California. It’s been eventful to say the least but I’ve learned a lot and have also acquired a new skill set. Working in a busy hospital and coordinating care will definitely have you learning a lot of new medical terminology that you didn’t learn in graduate school. I also decided to try my hand at teaching and am now facilitating a class of 16 graduate students in a weekly online class. It’s been challenging but fun so far. A lot of decisions were made last May and we’ll see what happens this year.
I ran into this article and found the title eye catching. You can read the article here. The term “mentally strong people” isn’t something that I’ve heard commonly used in any circles. The article had some great points and I liked number two the best, “They don’t give away their power.” Power is something that a lot of people have but never realize it or use it. Thus, they give their power away without knowing it. There’s books you can read about it (i.e. 48 Laws of Power). One way that I’ve seen people give up their power is by losing their cool in a situation that they don’t like. Stressful situations are never enjoyable but they get worse when people totally flip out over something that they can’t change in the moment. It’s at that point that you’ve lost control and it’s in those situations that people sometimes have to intervene and make choices for you. Coming from a background in mental health, that choice often meant putting someone in the hospital involuntarily. Needless to say, the article has some great points and I think that they all are true. But by the same token, it’s ok to not be mentally strong all the time and to seek assistance when you need it. Ignoring something doesn’t mean it goes away. Even if you are “mentally strong.”
I ran across an interesting blog post that has also been making the rounds on various social media outlets. If you want to read it, you can find it here. Just the comments alone are off the chain. The author tells her story of being a pregnant unmarried woman who is also a pastor and is not stepping down from her leadership position in the church. Oh the outcry! People are shocked that she would “dare” not publicly be repentant and spend months hiding away in shame due to an unplanned pregnancy. But she is clear in her article that she made her peace with herself and God and is moving on and enjoying the moments. It’s always been interesting how women are treated versus how quickly some people are to sweep a man’s indiscretions under the rug. There’s some type of righteous indignation that seems to follow pointing the finger at someone’s supposed “sin.” She’s not a young pre-teen. She’s a grown woman with a career and a stable home and yet people are riding her about her personal choices in her own life because she’s in a leadership position in her church. I understand the expectation that those in leadership uphold a certain standard of “acceptable” behavior. However, why is being sexually active and getting pregnant on the same level as adultery, stealing, or exploitation? There are plenty of men who have committed actual criminal offenses in leadership positions and have been allowed to get off scot-free with the “we all fall short” excuse. Life is short and can end without warning or reason so why exactly is abstinence before marriage still considered a sign of a “real” Christian? Don’t get me wrong, there are people who have chosen that life of abstinence for themselves and are happy and content with their choice. But there are others who it doesn’t work for. Of all the things to do in the world that are bad, why are the bedroom activities of two consenting unmarried adults judged so harshly? There’s literally so many other legitimate things to be up in arms about in this world we live in. A pregnant unmarried pastor is a non-issue (or at least should be). Next.
Religion is one of those things that qualify as a touchy subject. It’s off limits if you’re talking to a group of strangers at a dinner party and not the best first-date conversation material. I remember hearing quotes about religion being the opiate of the people and how it’s a psychological crutch, etc. All the arguments, pros and cons aside, there’s always some inherent danger in allowing someone else to think for you. There are people out there that live and die by the words of their faith leader. There’s a dangerous dynamic that happens when an entire group of people trust one person to guide their lives. It almost sounds like the makings of a cult. While blind faith may be admirable to some, to others it’s an opportunity to take advantage of people in a vulnerable situation. Hope isn’t a hard thing to sell when it’s exactly what people need. Everyone wants to hear that they’ll rise to the next level and become healthier and happier. There’s value in genuinely believing that your life will turn around and that the next breakthrough is around the corner. But there’s also something to be said when these promises of a better life, financial stability, a spouse, and a nice car are tied to how much money you donate to the cause. When you’re inundated with promises of prosperity if you’ll give your last dime and demonstrate your loyalty, it’s time to consider the role religion is playing in your decisions.
Again, I ran into this blog post and absolutely wanted to share. There comes a time when you realize that no matter what, you can’t love someone into loving you. It’s a hard reality to face because we want to believe that our love can change someone who doesn’t want to be changed. I’ve had a similar experience of the writer and I have to admit that it’s not comfortable at all. But time helps and it gets better as you move on. You learn to love from a distance and be ok with that.
Manik RatheeI thought I was prepared to see you again. It’s been about a month since I’ve seen you last and that was a train wreck in itself. It’s been a few months since we’ve spoken and that ended up with me in tears. The girls and I were relaxed, having a few drinks and…
Recently I had the opportunity to take a few days off from work and go somewhere new. This year has been primarily spent in my cubicle so it was nice to have a change in scenery that did not include a view of the parking lot from my third floor window. Needless to say, instead of the usual vacation that included a hotel, rental car, and subsequent daily adventures, I went to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico. Upon arrival someone took our bags and we met our personal concierge who was our designated contact person. From carrying our bags to a third floor suite to picking up a dropped fork within seconds at the buffet, the service was amazing. It’s not often that you have daily housekeepers who actually CLEAN, unlimited food (and top shelf drinks) along with frequent phone calls inquiring if you need anything. It was just really nice. While I wasn’t able to FULLY relax because I was spending too much time contemplating my life, it was nice to only have to decide between spending time at the pool or beach. After that experience I have to say that my vacation expectations have been raised and it will be hard to top the all-inclusive experience. After all, after never having to lift a finger for a week, who would want to go back to anything else?
One more date story and I won’t post another one for a while…. Anyway, once upon a time I was told that the way to meet a nice and stable significant other was join a nice church and get very involved to the extent that I forgot about getting a significant other and then he would magically appear. He would sing my praises. And tell me that he had been watching me since day was and was impressed with my selflessness and willingness to dedicate my time to a worthy cause and we would live happily ever after. (totally different blog topic). Needless to say, I decided that I needed to become more involved in church related activities and joined a church. A rather large one. One day after service I got approached by this guy. Well, more like stalked because he lurked in the shadows while I was talking to other people. He tried to be discreet by looking at his phone (oldest “newest” trick in the book) and looking away whenever I glanced in his direction. Side note, working in a locked secure unit with psychotic individuals will make you learn how to be extremely aware of your surroundings at all times. Anyway, he didn’t approach me and I continued to talk to other people. I soon wrapped up my conversations and headed for the door. Then he made his move and called out “Ma’am!” as I was headed to my car. Not trying to be rude, I stopped walking and waited for him to catch up. He told me his name and stuck out his hand for the limpest handshake in life. I didn’t hold it against too much because homeboy was super nervous. He started to stutter because he was so nervous. As painful as it was to watch, I decided to do the right/nice thing. I’ve been told that I appear way too unapproachable and I tend to have a “don’t talk to me” vibe/persona/whatever when I have something to do or a timeframe. So this guy stutters through telling me that he’d like to get to know me better and asking for my number. I knew that it took a lot to get up the courage to approach me and I didn’t want to brush him off because rejection really sucks and he had this little puppy dog look. I’ve never been in the business of crushing hearts and dreams. I felt bad for him but also wanted to provide some positive reinforcement to approach other women in the future. There’s enough men out there who don’t. So I gave him my number. The real one. And inwardly shuddered while doing so. About a week or so later he called me up. I answer the phone and there’s this long awkward pause. He doesn’t say hello, he just breathes. So I say hello again and he finally responds to the greeting. After this follows the most awkward conversation I’ve probably ever had over the phone. It’s apparent that he expects me to carry the entire conversation so I put on my therapist hat and made an effort to engage him. No luck..he gives vague one word answers and it’s the conversational equivalent of pulling teeth. So I make a very legitimate excuse about needing to get my rest for the night and I end the call. I don’t hear anything from him for a few weeks. I’m not really surprised. Then one Saturday he calls me again. Another awkward conversation ensues. But this time he’s asking me out to a comedy show he won 4 tickets to. He tells me that he has a friend who wants to go and he asks me to find a friend to come as well so it’s a double date. Being as accommodating as I am I told he I could probably find someone but that his friend would have to pay for what she ordered. He balked a little but eventually agreed. Mind you, he asked me out on the day of the event with about 5 hours advance notice. Needless to say, I found a friend who agreed to come along. We got to the place and he was late. I get it. Things happen. He apologized. The three of us waited for his friend to arrive. And waited. And waited. The venue opened and people were going in. They announced that the doors would be closed after a certain time and no one else would be allowed entry so that the show wouldn’t be interrupted. No friend in sight. He wanted to wait for his friend to arrive before we went inside but gently insisted that we had 3 out of the 4 people present and that it didn’t make sense to miss out on the entire show just because one person was late. He begrudgingly agreed and called his friend. Turns out his friend was currently sitting at home watching the NBA finals and said that he intended to leave his house when the game ended. So we went inside and watched the show. His friend arrived about an hour and a half late and snuck in through the stage entrance in order to get in because the main doors were closed. My guy had a grand old time and probably about 4 beers too many. His hyena like laughter bounced off the ways off the venue and his friend’s manners weren’t that great either. However, when the bill came they both paid for our food. So if having food paid for is the determining factor for a date I guess this was one. My friend went home and he offered to walk me to my car. I guess hoping to chat a bit more or at least get some reward for his efforts. His friend followed him as he walked me to my car. I thought it was hilarious. Now, I’m not the expert by any means on social cues but if my friend has a date and he’s walking her back to her car I know enough not to follow them both right to her car door. Apparently his friend didn’t get that memo. Needless to say, the nonexistent mood was killed. He texted me again a few weeks later. I didn’t reply.