I Still Want to Be Married

Recently in an episode of the hit show Super Soul Sunday on OWN Oprah Winfrey sat down with Shonda Rhimes the topic of marriage surfaced, and has since surfaced a lot on the internet. Both successful women admitted they did not want to be married. I applaud them for that. In today’s society that’s a courageous statement to make and own.

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I have been single and satisfied, single and unhappy, married and in newlywed giddiness, married and miserable, divorced and devastated, and divorced and happy as a lark (as I am)…and I still want to be married.

With everything I’ve been through and everything I’ve put myself through, because there is a difference, I still want to be married, and the right way to the right man. I applaud myself for that. Nothing which has happened like pain, anger, mistakes and mistreatment, settling into Singleness: Part Deux , seeing I could start over while looking cute, keeping my sanity and sharing my joy, and discovering uncovered talents and strengths has changed my heart’s desire. No doubts of being too old, too late in the game, too “other things I shan’t say” or any other concerns sent straight from H-E-Double Hockey Sticks has altered my dreams. Not even having my own schedule and abundant amount of “do what I want-ness”, embracing who I’ve become, or enjoying time with loved ones has changed my mind about marriage. Nothing I believe will happen like an amazingly, rewarding new career with lots of influence, opportunities to help others, travel, rewarding purpose and M-O-N-E-Y has altered that. I just believe that whomever God is making ready for me (and enhancing me for) will be able to roll with it, as I roll with him.

Oprah and Shonda, if I may refer as if I know them, live professionally successful lives and didn’t attribute any catastrophic event as the catalyst for their declaration regarding not wanting to be married. It saddens me to see women and men who let life rob them of their God-given dreams and desires and settle for what is rather than believe and act on what still can be…regardless.

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I still hold to the hope of meeting someone new, going through that awkward stage of phone talking and new fangled courting, praying for clarity (with a lot of questions…that’s just how I am), and being challenged to stretch and grow even more by the mere presence of this new dude in my sphere. I look to the day of not initially knowing if he’s the one, surveying my girlfriends for their thoughts, not knowing why we’ve met, meeting his friends, and spiritually working through the grown-up challenges which come when more than one person is involved. I still hold to the hope of a real and appropriate proposal (that’s another story for another day), sweating my hair out at a reception with our favorite jams blasting, and embracing my new family of “in-loves” (not in-laws) to share memories with which last a lifetime. I still hold to the hope of cooking dinner or enjoying a cooked dinner, while gazing and giggling across the table, watching football (please, Jesus let him like my school), debuting my head scarf which I’ve had since I was a tiny teen at Ramsay High School, working through demanding schedules, traveling, supporting and being supported, growing spiritually and tackling life’s ups and downs together. Then, at the end of the day, I wait for the certainty decades later as we stroll or ride a scooter slowly through Publix hand-in-hand looking for LeSuere Very Young Small Sweet Peas and canned pears to help with our digestive system that it was all worth it. It was absolutely worth it. A slow-stroll, peas and pears? Yep, I still want to be married.

@AngelaMMoore316

Who Were You Before Hurt Happened?

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Have you ever wondered who you were before whatever happened happened that hurt you enough to change who you were? A recent conversation with a friend prompted that thought as I saw how this person clawed through the damages of the tragedies of past hurts to try to cling for dear life to the progress she’d made in an effort to hold on to that progress rather than revert back to her natural response from the past. We talked about her fears of facing the person responsible for that pain and how much that one single individual’s presence had alter her life in a way no man or woman deserved. We also talked about how we wondered what must have happened to the person who hurt her to allow that person to be so hurt that transferring hurt was the solution. We talked and talked and talked. I wondered aloud and internally. Who was my friend before this happened? How could she have been had this not happened? And more importantly we talked candidly about who she could STILL be in spite of what happened and because of what happened so she would be in a position to help others.

I don’t know what you’ve been through. I’ve been through a few things in my young age of 43. Just read a few of my blog posts to find out about my unwanted trysts with sickness, death of loved ones, divorce, loss of opportunity, betrayal and all that not-so-good stuff. Sharing that time of talk with my friend made me wonder how much of the sting of those things I’d carried, and for how long, and didn’t even know it was along for the ride of my life shaping me into some simulation of who I once was, but robbing me of the beauty of who I should have been had I not received the bad brunt of its unwelcomed delivery. I wondered if I am carrying any of it remotely still allowing it to alter things like my subtle response to situations, my trust of others, or my apprehension moving forward in circumstances similar to those which might have caught me off guard or got me caught up.

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I pray I’ve been able to successfully heal from the pains of the past, not forgetting them, but certainly no longer feeling them or forcing them on others. My chat with my friend made me more reflective, doing a self-check, to see if my prayer had been answered. I even asked another friend to check me, boo. This person did. I’m glad. I’m no where near perfect but I’m bound to not be bound by my past. Regardless of where we are in life, and what has happened, we all have the God-given ability to be who we were meant to be. It won’t be easy. It won’t be pretty. It won’t be fast, but it will be worth it. So I ask. Who were you before hurt happened, and what are you willing to do to be that person and better? You owe it to yourself and the world awaiting your life as a beautiful testimony.

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@AngelaMMoore316

Are You My Now or My Later?

I’m a bit misty-eyed this morning after an exchange with a college friend who expressed regret for not appreciating an association in his life. After the brief conversation I was reminded, as I reminded him, that there should be no regret. All things happen for a reason, especially in our teens, 20s, 30s or whatever years come before our maturation does (let’s just be real.) I was able to share with him that God doesn’t waste His investment in us. He’s not going to allow any good seeds deposited into His good (flaws and all) children to go bad, even if it takes a while to see the fruit. His goal is life more abundantly and He never fails, even when we feel we have. His goal is to strategically use people, places and things to help get us what we need to get us to where we were meant to be, even if it seems like it’s taking us forever to get there, or even if we feel we’re okay where we are. Plain and simple, He knows what He’s doing especially when we don’t.

I was asked in an interview recently what my biggest regret was. Without hesitation I blurted out “not making the most of my relationships”. For a good little while I lived with the “I wish I would have” notion. I’ve learned to be grateful for who I am and where I am, but my mind would flirt with thoughts like “I wish I would have kept in touch with that person”, “I wish I would have joined that group”, “I wish I wouldn’t have spent so much time with those individuals”,  “I wish I would have taken that job, or never left this job”, “I wish I would have listened to my daddy’s advice about spare tires and football players in college”, “I wish I would have gotten to know him/her”, “I wish I would have followed up on that offer”, “I wish I would have been more sociable” and so on. My I wish list was as long as a premium bundle of Indi Remi found in your finest neighborhood hair shop. But why? What present or future purpose was wishing from the past producing for me? None.

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Life is like a pack of candy, Now and Laters to be exact. I remember growing up enjoying those bite-sized pieces of “tear the silver filling out of your teeth” taffy goodness, and treasuring how long they lasted in chew and in leftover flavor. I guess that’s where the whole notion of eat some now, save some for later derived. Such is so with people. Some people are sent to impart and impact during the here and NOW. Their purpose for our lives is urgent and immediate and felt instantly like that first burst of sweet, fruity flavor once we broke through that thin paper wrapper which often sticks to portions of the taffy treat. Other people, by God’s great design, have an impact so lasting that their goodness is meant to be savored and seen LATER like that wee bit of sticky leftover candy often found stuck to said fillings later on in the day after ones Mama has yelled from the front porch to come home because the street lights are coming on. Both, as in all things in our lives, serve a purpose when needed. It doesn’t matter when, whether now or later. What matters most is that we become who we were created to be all along thanks to the help of the rich and colorful array of sweet people placed in our lives.

@AngelaMMoore316

It’s Okay to Say You’re Not Okay

It’s okay to say you’re not okay. Yep, it’s true. Despite how society or our sanity might encourage us to think otherwise, not being “okay” is a fact of life we all have to face, embrace and express in order to really, truly be “okay”.

How many times has someone asked “how are you” and your response was “I’m great”, I’m good”, “I’m fine”, or “I’m okay” when deep down (possibly not too deep actually) you were anything but?

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Why is it that the need to show strength in times of weakness is a need, when in our times of weakness we most need to show that we’re weak so we can be strengthened? (Repeat that sentence aloud five times. I dare you.) Now, I’m a proponent of faith, hope and positivity. I believe the Bible to be true and that we should speak those things that are not as though they are. I look for the brighter side of life in most things, and try really, really hard to see it in those things not so easily seen. In fact, I’m certain that behind my back a few people call me Polly Positive and other cute alliterative phrases that I appreciate. But I’m human. We’re all human, and by that mere fact alone that means that at times we’re not going to be okay.

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We all need people who can be trusted to hear the words, “I’m not okay.” Before I go any further, this post is not particular to me. While this hasn’t always been my life’s story, at this juncture I absolutely am okay. I’m better than okay. I’m good. My times of me not being “okay” left me with no other choice than to know that God would do a Romans 8:28 on my “not okay” making it and me all good. I’m so grateful to God for the ability to rise above any attempts to attack my “all good”.

Now where was I? Oh yeah…We all need people who can be trusted to hear the words “I’m not okay.” I know I would not have made it to now without the support of those I desperately (I mean desperately) needed back then when I wasn’t okay. We owe it to ourselves to have healthy, loving, and supportive outlets to go to in times where okay seems like a joke, yet we still desire healing as our final destination.

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I’ve grown to know that it takes more courage to say “ouch” than to pretend that we’re not in pain. So if that’s you, and you know that you know that you’re not (yet) okay, say so. There are people who’ve been where you are. There are people with listening ears, and leanable shoulders. There are people who love and care for you. There are people who believe in the power of prayer with proof as an accompanier. There are people who can make you laugh if nothing more than to provide a brief reprieve from pain. There are people who can help cook, clean, keep the kids, pull you out bed, let some light in figuratively and literally if needed, lend a few dollars, review a resume, put in a call, offer some wisdom, take you to church, pray for that stubborn spouse, cover that child, sit in the hospital, direct you in love and redirect you with purpose, dry your tears, silence your screams, share their testimony, share their mistakes, or simply offer an escape for you as you work your way to better than okay. But you have to say so so they can do so. Okay? Okay.

@AngelaMichele316

Forgiveness 101: We Have Beef and I Have Sodas

I had the weirdest dream, you guys. I was at work working, and oddly enough, a not yet favorite person of mine for lack of a better phrase was in my office which is also odd because this person does not work with or near me, and is on a short list of last people on earth likely to visit me. Just as clearly as the words I’m typing, this said person was sitting just to the right of my leather office chair as my caramel-colored desk was covered with bags of food and several cups of soda random people were bringing in during the sequence of the dream.

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This “push me closer to Jesus” person was thirsty for something to drink and did not hesitate to let me know so. There was a sense of beggi-ness, or possibly humility that I’d not ever seen. Even through my dream, I could feel the story of Joseph and his brothers unfolding (Google it, or even better, read this awesome treasure of truth called the Bible), but then something happened that scared the hebedegeezes out of me. When “prayer pusher”, as I will from hence forth refer to this lovely human being, asked me for something to drink I didn’t do what I thought I would do. I didn’t offer one tiny sip of soda, or drinks for the road from my overflow. Instead, I started gulping those drinks down like a fish out of water who’d finally been cast back into the sea. I was so very disappointed in myself that I literally made myself wake up. Hopefully I was playing a mean, mean prank and was only going to drink a few sodas for GP (general principle) then gladly share what was left with “prayer pusher”, but it surely didn’t start out that way and I wasn’t going to sleep on to find out that it didn’t end up that way.

When I shared my dream with a certain loved one she said, “Girl, you should have swallowed ‘them’ sodas up like nobody’s business.” I was tickled because I know part of her was playing and the other part was slightly serious. However, I wanted to be like Joseph and be able to extend help to one who hurt me when most needed. More importantly I wanted to be like Jesus.

Now that I’ve somewhat digested the dream I see that there is still forgiveness left to offer from me. One thing I know about forgiving is that it’s like a delicate onion and often comes in layers, especially when the person is a repeat offender as people often are (because that’s just what we, as flawed people, do). Sure, there’s so much I’ve long ago let go of because those battles are over. That’s easy. But I will admit, I need to forgive “prayer pusher” and anyone else for things even as they ensue. That means as they happen I need to readily forgive. Why? Because God says so. (Don’t believe me…check out that Bible again.)

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Now, I’m not saying “prayer pusher” will ever be in a place of needing something desperately of me, and I certainly do not wish or want that, but I need to be ready to release whatever is needed should that need arises. In the meantime, I accept that I still have work to do internally because I don’t want anything or anyone holding me back from being who and how I’m supposed to be, even in my dreams. After all, in the words of Ms. Lauryn Hill, “How you gonna win when you ain’t right within?” And I will win… “prayer pusher” pushing me and all.

So yes, “prayer pusher”, we have beef and I have sodas…to share.

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@AngelaMMoore316

Being a Wife Didn’t Ruin Your Life

I had a great night’s sleep after Charter decided to go out leaving me TV-less and wireless. That means I rose this morning earlier than normal with a thought on my mind for divorced women. Let me interrupt that thought by adding another thought. I hate the devil, and I’m pretty sure I’m not on his “favorite girl” list. I peeped his game in my own life a few years ago, and would like to call him out today.

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Back to the message at hand.

Dear, sweet, beautiful, valuable, worthy, trusted, overcoming divorced woman...Being a wife didn’t ruin your life and the divorce didn’t either. In my Master P voice, ‘ya heard’? That’s right. Being a wife didn’t ruin your life. Don’t buy into the BS (Backwards System) of thinking that your life has been ruined because you honored the holy matrimony of marriage, trusted your spouse, stayed when you could have (Biblically) left him before he left you, believed God, honored God’s words and way (even, and especially when you didn’t want to) or did anything pleasing in the sight of God regarding your now concluded union. Okay? Okay. (And let me say, this absolutely goes for husbands too, who might have had their worlds turned upside down by unforeseen and/or unwanted divorce. Wife and life just rhyme.)

The enemy wants you to believe one thing, versus that which is certified TRUE. So I’m about to spoil his tricks…

  • You didn’t get stuck with the kids. You are simply the one primarily trusted to rear them at this time. What an honor!
  • You are not trapped where you are. You are just under reconstruction with plans for an epic come up and come back.
  • You didn’t leave and lose your career to help your ex-husband. You were professionally, temporarily rerouted to ingnite gifts and passions you didn’t know you had for where you are going. And you’re going somewhere big!
  • You didn’t get the short end of the stick.  What you will get is the ability to use that “short” for something so much greater in the long run.
  • Your finances and credit aren’t ruined because of the actions of others. You are simply perfectly poised for a post worthy miracle.
  • Your love life isn’t over. You are merely under repair for the perfect spouse for you in God’s time and through the beauty of the amazing story he is unfolding.
  • Your children don’t have to suffer. Yes, their lives will be filled with lessons possibly learned earlier than desired, but the ability to love, be loved, have a healthy relationship with both parents, heal (spirit, soul and body), enjoy life and not follow in the footsteps of divorce is theirs.
  • You are not alone. Your marriage might have ended, but there is a God-ordained village around you waiting to support, love, encourage and care for you when you need it most and from some of the most unexpected faces/places. Look for them and let them in.
  • You will not always hurt. You can and will heal if you allow healing to do what healing does…and that’s heal you.

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There you have it. Again I say, being a wife didn’t ruin your life and the divorce didn’t either. They just added an extra layer of purpose and power. So if you’ve ever thought that divorce did you in, thinking yourself “dumb, stupid, stuck, trapped, forgotten, or naïve” for believing, trusting, loving and trying your very last best for what you promised God you would try your best for, tell the devil where he can go. Oh wait. he’s already there. No need. Just carry on living and trusting God for greater.

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@AngelaMMoore316

Thanks, Dudes!

Here’s a growth moment for you…

I was sitting on the phone chatting with a dear friend, something I rarely do, and that friend mentioned a hang out in Atlanta I used to frequent with an “ex-of-old.” Boy, oh boy, did we use to have a ball at this Georgia establishment, especially if it involved him riding off on his motorcycle looking all Larenz Tate-ish from Love Jones with the Fugees blasting from the nearby Saturn, Eclipse or 300ZX. (Notice I said, “him riding”, your girl was a chicken and would follow or meet him there in my champagne gold Maxima.) Bless my heart. Anywho, I digress.

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In remembering those fun days, the sting of whatever separated us was nowhere to be found. The “oh-my-goodness” my world is over (or so I thought) that I probably thought at the end of the association didn’t cross my mind.  The antics I ensued in in my humble form of “revenge” was now reduced to a mere giggle (or gut buster depending on who I was recalling the memory of the immature things I’ve done in the past).  And let me just be real, because that’s what a blog is for after all, I am super sorry for all the get backs I tried to give. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t do anything remotely worthy of LMN (Lifetime Movie Network) because remember, I’m a chicken, but I could come up with some mischievousness so quickly it would even shock me. Don’t believe me? Then don’t dare ask my sister about how I messed up her first acrylic nail appointment with my 20-something tomfoolery. And don’t dare talk to my old friend who was like a brother in and shortly after college or my bestie since kindergarten. LOL!!!! (Bless my heart and my quick thinking mind.) 

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I racked my brain following that conversation about that Atlanta hot spot. I starting scanning my “relationship” file and realized that flaws and all on both sides of the coin, circa the late 90s, I was blessed to closely know and grow from some really cool dudes who have all grown into some really great husbands, fathers, businessmen, leaders and the likes. Some I would even comfortably call my friend with no ungodly thoughts attached one way or the other. Whodathunkit?!?!?

I realized that, while none of my past relationships of long ago were forever (thankfully) they all left me with some great memories, needed growth and some pretty swell guys who are etched in my life’s story, forever, whether they knew it or not. What they didn’t leave me with are any scars, damage, regret or remorse which we often believe we must carry through life like some badge or “been there, done that” honor. That’s a blessing and the beauty of choosing to grow. God will grant us the ability to see and settle on the good in others because that’s exactly what He does for us. The good is all I see, because at one point they were good enough for me. (And I think I’m pretty grand, which means they must be too.) So thanks, dudes. I would shout you out or tag you by name, but that wouldn’t be wise. You know who you are.

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@AngelaMMoore316

 

Life Has Left Me a Hustler

Hold up. Wait a minute. Before you read more into this blog post title allow me to clarify myself. I said “hustler”, not “hustla”. Despite how “interesting” times might have become since “I do” turned into “I don’t” or since career adjustments, unmet financial obligations from others, life’s surprises and the likes have come I’m still a lady so “hustler” it is. Even as I type, however, a popular rap song of some years ago comes to mind that definitely doesn’t apply to what I intend to express. (I can hear that flirty little melody in my mind…Get outta my head why don’t ya!) When I say “hustler” I mean one who is an enterprising or aggressive person determined to succeed. Yup, that’s me!

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Now, with that cleared up I shall proceed…

Within the last five or more years I’ve discovered strengths, skills, techniques, creativity, chutzpah and gumption within me that I didn’t even know I had. Let’s be honest. I didn’t even want to have them! I guess I never knew I had it because at the time I didn’t need it. The Lord had my hustle on hold. He’s so sweet! Sure, I’ve been somewhat frugal some of my life. Certainly, I could find, fix or remix that which was old and make you believe it was new. Yes, I’ve been awakened too many nights to recall just to hear God tell me ideas and thoughts which were beneficial to whatever person, cause or job I was working on behalf of at the time. True, I’ve always been a very hard worker and organized trying to stay on top of my business and often helping others do the same. Yep, I’m a believer in the “early bird catches the blessings” so I rise at “o-dark thirty” and stay or stay up as late as I need to get things done. But of late, I’ve had a super-natural, God-given ability to pull some rabbits out of some proverbial hats I didn’t even know I had. And to top it off, God has gifted me with the most amazing support system of friends of old who are now new, friends who are new and are needed now, and family and loved ones who have been there for this adventure. And while many of them are too faced with what some might consider impossible obstacles, they bring with them a hustle that would make Memphis’ own Djay smile. My squad (I feel so urban saying that) can grind with the best of them in the best possible way!

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So here I am embracing the newness of me and my hustle. The knock downs, nos and blows have turned out to be like a thirst-quenching fuel to my inner fire. In as much as I could do without them they light me up! And let me tell you, with the ferociousness in which those knock downs, nos and blows are coming just consider me lit! The most amazing part in all of that is that, while it appears that my strengths, skills, techniques, creativity, chutzpah and gumption are in vain, this newly revealed, daily remembered and nightly revved up hustler in me gets back up, buffs off her high heels, freshens her face, swoops her hair, lifts up her posse’, shouts out her Daddy (God) and gets back at it, again, and again, and again.

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@AngelaMMoore316

Step Right Up and Enjoy the Show

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Hear ye! Hear ye! You are currently in the midst of the intermission of a COLOSSAL come back story! Yes, sir. Yes, ma’am. You are. Yeah, you!

See, you thought the lights going out or coming back on to empty seats meant it was over. You thought because someone decided to get out of his or her row the show was not going to go on. You believed the closing of the curtain meant “The End.” Sike!

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Surprise!!! It was only the beginning… a part two, an interlude, an intermezzo, a break, a reprieve, a respite, a scene change, a character shift, a cliff-hanger even. It’s a bunch of things, but it’s certainly not over.

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So go right on and get back in position. Upgrade your props. Plan your after party. Print more tickets. Allow the Director to rearrange some plots. Allow the Director to rearrange some people. Refresh your face. Fire up the band. Round up the ushers. Roll out the red carpet. Pop the corn. Pose for paparazzi. Pour the Coke and step right up and enjoy YOUR show. After all you’ve been though so far, don’t dare think a single scene is going to waste. Oh no, the show must go on, my loves. And it only gets BETTER. I guarantee!

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@AngelaMichele316