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

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

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

But Why Does She Live Alone?

“But why does she live alone?” That was the question my then four-year-old niece sleepily asked my sister after it dawned on her one evening that I, unlike most she’d come to know in her few years on this earth, live alone. She must have thought of this thought very thoughtfully because she also asked “if I had any family”, and “if it would help if they stayed with me more often”.

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I giggled upon first hearing my sister recount the story of my niece’s sleep-ushered concern about my living arrangements. After thinking about it further, as I often do with most things, I felt a sense of proudness. NEVER in my wildest dreams could you have paid me to believe that I would be alone at this juncture in life. I was born and bred to be a Mrs. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I’d gone from living in my parent’s house, to a colorful array of roommates (and boyfriends) in college, to roommates (and boyfriends) after college, to back to my parent’s house, to married, to married with a goddaughter living with us, to divorced with a goddaughter living with me…and into the mix of all of that was a smattering of a few more boyfriends and the aforementioned ex-husband. With that said, again I’ll say that never in my wildest dreams could you have paid me to believe I would be alone at this juncture in life…and never in my wildest, wild dreams could you have paid me to believe I would actually enjoy it. Shocking. I know!

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Prior to my niece’s questions I’d actually begun to relish in the fact that I live alone. I actually really like this life. I’ve been in the season of solo before, but this season feels different. I’ve crossed the bridge of personal maturity to the land of alone, but not lonely, and have grown to appreciate my solitude, the remote control, rising as early as I want to, turning down the thermostat, having girlfriend gatherings, coming and going at will, even deciding when I want to take out the trash or if I want to roll it out to the curb at all. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t plan to stay in the season forever, and there are surely things about being a spouse that I desire from and with the right man, but while I’m here I’m growing to enjoy this space and my place for as long as I can, until the marvelous surprise that is my future reveals itself.

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@AngelaMichele316

You’re Not the First, But You Can Be the Last

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Newsflash…what you’re going through is nothing new. You’re not special when it comes to the trials of life.

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So here’s the skinny…

  • Your money is not the only money which acts as if it’s forgotten your checking account number.
  • Your ex is not the first ex to do something to make him or her an ex.
  • Your children are not the first children to forget your rules or how they were raised.
  • Your job is not the first job to fail to value you in pay or praise.
  • Your friends are not the first friends to disappoint their friends.
  • Your family member is not the first family member to abandon, under-appreciate or fail to support a family member.
  • Your dreams are not the first dreams to take the long, long, long route to arrival.

The fact of the matter is you’re not the first to go through anything you’ve gone through. However, you can be the last to allow it to define you, permanently damage you, hinder you or steal your joy.

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@AngelaMMoore316

Nobody’s Perfect and That’s Perfectly Okay

Here’s a secret that’s been silent too long. Nobody’s perfect.

No person is perfect. No job is perfect. No organization is perfect. No group of friends is perfect. No church is perfect. No family is perfect. No school is perfect. No marriage is perfect. No civic or social setting is perfect. Plain and simple, nobody’s perfect, and that’s perfectly okay.

So, with that said we have to decide to allow imperfect people, places and things to be just that and not place expectations on them which are impossible to fulfill. We have to continue to look for the good in humans, even the fake, flawed, phony, misguided, messed up, hurting and discombobulated ones, who are sometimes and often not too unlike us. We have to cut slack, operate in forgiveness, take the pressure off and allow room to grow just like God does for us daily. Not that all people are meant to be in our lives. Some clearly are not, but some are, which means we can’t always cry foul and choose to remove ourselves from others at the whisking of the wind. Whether through example near or not as near we have to continue to learn from them, engage with them (if that’s God’s will), be open to others who may not or may be like them, and live life fully vested and invested in the notions that:

  1. We can’t always shut down and shut off from people.
  2. We can’t do life alone.
  3. We can’t hold on to the bad of one and place it on others.
  4. We can’t expect people to be, do and think as we are and do.
  5. We can’t always take things so personally and/or hold it permanently.
  6. We can’t isolate everyone and everything at the sign of unmet expectations.
  7. We can’t let the fear of being hurt stop us from being helped.
  8. And nobody’s perfect and that’s perfectly okay.

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@AngelaMMoore316

Girl, Somebody Lied to You!

Washing my hands in the restroom at work, gazing in the hazy mirror at my newly cut bangs (from a less than new sew-in) the words, “Girl, somebody lied to you” crossed my mind. I was shocked initially, almost wondering where this inner, loud whisper derived. As women, too many times than not, we have listened to lies from others about ourselves, lives from ourselves regarding others and even from ourselves regarding ourselves. Before you hop on an “all men are dogs” channel that I simply do not and will not ever subscribe to do know that I’m not referring to the “player, cheater or not quite mature enough to handle the responsibilities of a relationship” kind of man we might have knowingly entertained or naively encountered. I’m talking about the bold face lies society, unwise influencers, and our own misguided hopes and dreams might have told us. (BTW…is a bold face lie different from a scared face lie? #ija) I digress.

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I started thinking of a list of a lot of lies we, as incomparably beautiful, God-created, life-giving, purpose-overflowing, love-filled, spiritually gifted women, need to know longer believe about us if we’re going to be the fabulous, fabulous women we were all created to be. I’m not listing lies, as I prefer truth. So below I offer you a sampling of seeing yourself from a different point of view.

  1. A man or marriage won’t make you happy. (Ask a bunch of other married, dating and no longer married women how we know. Happiness is an exclusive right. No help is needed. I promise this one is true so if you were clinging to it like a newborn to its milk machine please let it go.)
  2. Marriage won’t cure your ills. (If struggling with financial mismanagement, loneliness, fornication, low self-esteem or any other issues before marriage, and not taking steps to be healed from it, an “I Do” doesn’t take it away. It just shifts it into another gear.)
  3. You really don’t need makeup. (I “heart” make up. I really, really do, but I know that it is strictly an enhancement to all the goodness, flaws and all, about us which already exist, but it is not a necessity. We’re fine with or without it. Literally, and figuratively.)
  4. Your voice is important. (Often as women we feel our voice, opinion, thoughts, ideas or histories aren’t embraced so they must not be important. They are and must be heard. Ya heard?)
  5. Women can be friends. (Forget the Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday night reality show and social media fighting. Women are social creatures by Godly design. More importantly, we’re communicators, which means we are equipped to get along, stay together, talk it out, establish trust and enjoy the love, support and influence of other women meant to walk this amazing journey called life with us.)
  6. Your hips are hot. (Don’t be fooled. Those areas in which you carry as a testament to your DNA, your life’s struggles, your overcome medical obstacles…childbirth included, or whatever is behind the story of your behind and its less than perfect body buddies is beautiful. As is. No pun intended.)
  7. Being spiritual, smart, sincere and sophisticated is haute. (It is absolutely popular and eternally trending to have a relationship with God and show it, speak properly, use correct spelling and grammar in formal and less than formal writings, be kind, be generous, showcase your knowledge in all types of settings, pursue higher education, be classy, carry poise, and take the lead as lead in areas of which you know you are gifted.)
  8. Your spiritual Father has the first and final say-so. (For those who have bore the pain of the lack of presence from an earthly father or a proper one, do know that your real Daddy is the MAN! He loves you, won’t leave you, is trustworthy, will show up when He promised, won’t forget a birthday, has you on His mind all the time and loves you. Yes, I said He loves you twice just so it can settle in.)
  9. Pouty mouths, duck lips, and frowny faces can’t compete with a smile. (I don’t know who hijacked the smile, but I demand a swift return. Ladies, nothing says “confident, sexy, approachable, mature, friendly, or comfortable in the skin I’m in” like a good, old-fashion smile. Try it. Often. Please.)
  10. Gaining a new job, new house, new body, new man, new car, new degree, and/or new circle of influence is a blessing, but it won’t build you… and guess what, should you lose one, any or all of it, it won’t break you either. (Ask me how I know.)

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@AngelaMMoore316

Uuuggghhhh! Why Do You Have to Be So Happy?

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It’s not often I spill the tea. I’d much rather savor a warm Orange Pekoe Spice Blend of it with a hint of Earl Grey, while my pinky is slightly lifted and my head tossed ever so gently back. Anyhow, today I’m spilling some tea (also known as the 411, information, deets, da truth, the business, beeswax and a bunch of other colloquialisms of which I’ve not yet become hip to). Today I’m spilling the tea on how hurting people often feel about happy people. Baby, a person hasn’t smiled until he or she has had to smile for someone who has what was once had or what we want to have, and we need to be, have to be and should be genuinely happy for them.

Is it just me or is it sometimes hard to be happy for others when hurting in the area in which they are happy? This is especially so with the increasing popularity of social media. Pics, posts and timelines can sometimes cause in a tailspin.  I know I’m not the only one who has felt this way, or at least I hope. I could tell some stories about smiling on the outside with a bunch of “why not me” on the inside as I mustered through enough internal fortitude to hold back tears and simultaneously saying congrats (congratulations was too big of a word to utter). I can hip you to the game of wanting to shut all the way down on people and social media if I saw one more “I’m getting married. I got a fabulous new job. I went on an exotic vacation. I’m debt free. I’m healed. I have a new house.” post. Not that I’ve lingered in those feelings, but I’d be less than truthful if I said, at times, the raw, initial real emotions stimulated by praying to come out of the negative while a friend is flowing in the financial overflow, or going to a wedding while going through a divorce, or planning a baby shower while baby-less doesn’t sometimes sting like an angry, lower Alabama yellowjacket on a hot August day. It does often sting. Not all the time, but certainly sometimes. And it appears, at least during times where this had been my struggle, that the longer the pain and the subsequent promise I’d been waiting/hoping/praying/believing for as a result of it lingers, the harder the enemy tried to get me to stop sowing seeds of sincere gratitude on behalf of the one who just so happens to have already reaped his or her harvest.

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So what is one to do when one struggles with how to stay connected to, happy for, and inspired by those who were a source of joy prior to the pain? That’s a good question. We have to keep on being happy for the ones who are happy. Sorry, it’s not rocket science, even though it may feel like it at times. I have learned that in those times where I was most challenged in this area the decision to be happy, present, and/or a participant in another person’s blessing did one or two things. It helped usher in my own blessing in my area of need or it served as a needed distraction until that said blessing shows up. Both of those pushed me closer to God so it was worth it.

Will there be times where one simply can’t be there like that fabulous wedding with a candy station and photo booth I missed shortly after my ex-husband left? Absolutely. Will there be times where one tries to maintain the same support or presence as once had, but have to make minor adjustments for sanity’s (or your pocket’s) sake? Yes, ma’am and sir. Will there be times one didn’t think he/she would able to do it, say it, be there or be a part and do it anyway with trembling knees or shaking hands then find out at the end of the day or end of the night that all things are possible? Please believe.

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Whatever happens as a result of what hasn’t happened yet, that internal, sincere place of being happy for those who are happy has to be there and stay there regardless of where we are and what we’re going through. Why? Because we owe it to those who have been there for us to be there for them as best we can through their stages of rejoicing and celebration and through our own personal stages of our healing, restoration or waiting. Plus, the seasons will change and one day we’ll be able to share the goodness of who God is and what He has done, and we want to be able to operate in and exercise compassion for those who are where we once were because we remember how it felt to be there. Now sip on that:)

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@AngelaMMoore316