Don’t Date Right After Divorce

I don’t know how else to say what I’m about to say without just saying it. Do yourself a favor and don’t date someone right after divorce. Yes, I know they may seem nice. I know they may say it’s their former spouse or almost former spouses fault (that’s a WHOLE ‘nother post about NOT dating people who are separated because separated people are still married and with that comes a bunch of guck and stuff you do not want to deal with. I know.) Anywho, I know this newly “free” male or female may seem to have it all together. I know they may appear to be an answered prayer. I know they may be so caring and kind and fun to hang out with. I even know they may be lonely, and you may be too, but I know that they are NOT ready for a new relationship right out of an old one.

A conversation recently with a counterpart who is dating a man with ink still wet on his divorce decree reminded me of the year and a half I spent in a Church of the Highlands Restoration Small Group for men and women who had experienced divorce and separation. Hearing her gush about how nice he was, how mean the ex-wife was, how they’d known each other for just a little while but bonded so beautifully and how she really wanted to be with someone took me back to that chilly, Autumn Sunday where we discussed dating and marriage after divorce  in my small group. It took me back to the moment when the hosts of the small group read the writing on the papers we were discussing and the words about how much time we should take and wait before dating and definitely before marriage rang in my ear like a whistle from an overzealous, courtside referee. I remember shock and awe sitting next to my friend who was going through the same trial. (Hey, girl, hey! Thanks for helping me get through that stage with my lipgloss and high heels on point.) Speaking of lips…I remember “exercising my eyes in the upper part of my head” and sucking my lips like a defeated school girl thinking there was NO WAY IN THE WORLD I was going to wait one year for every two years I was formerly married to get re-married like the wise couple recommended. I had been married nine years so you do the math to see how my mind calculated that to=TOO LONG TO WAIT!

thK5O2I4XS

I’m so glad God saw fit to thwart my fast plans. I felt like I deserved a real, and good marriage. And I did/do. I’d gone through the extended small group. I had personal counseling with an amazing Christian counselor. I’d gone to counseling with my former spouse when I was begging him to reconcile. (yep, you read correctly.) I’d prayed. I didn’t have anybody beat anybody up when all of this was unfolding. I didn’t succumb to pressures attempt at depression. I kept eating and in fact, didn’t lose a single pound through the trying ordeal. I didn’t fall out with God, the church or church people. All of this, and you mean to tell me I STILL wasn’t ready regardless of how many times I tried to prove otherwise? I was a hot mess being made better and simply wasn’t ready to come right back out of the gate trying to stroll down the aisle with the first man who spelled my middle name correctly. Neither is anyone else right out of a covenant union stitched, snatched, weaved, orchestrated and ordained by God regardless of what happened to tear it apart. Healing of this nature takes time…lots of time.

th8DCNMQK3

So, as I sat and listened to my associate I thought:

  • I wonder how she’s going to handle navigating through the imminent ex-wife and the children situations…also known as drama.
  • I wonder how she’ll feel on holidays, if she’s alone as the man and his former spouse figure out how to do what’s best for the children (and the children deserve the best.)
  • I wonder what will happen if he decides to go back to his ex-wife.
  • I wonder what would happen if he shuts down communication with her because of the pressures of his new and reduced financial arrangements.
  • I wonder if she’s even asked him if he’s gone to counseling and still going.
  • I wonder how she’ll respond if she gets the side eye from friends or his family members who prefer the former wife.
  • I wonder what’s going to happen the first time he accidentally calls her the ex-wife’s name or makes an unfair comparison of her macaroni and how she folds clothes.

th8T8Z0VEI

In all my wondering regarding her I remembered that I used to wonder why God would dislike divorce so much, and have in place all of these “rules” for the extended restoration process. The truth is, divorce stings like a MOTHER…pinching her child in church after he/she smacked on a Jolly Rancher too loudly.  So I wonder no more.  I know that He loves us and has a unique process of healing for His children, especially those who have endured this kind of loss. His timing may not seem fair, but God is doing us a favor. There are some messes He simply doesn’t want us messing with. So, with that I will say again…don’t date someone right after divorce.

thBRWA2OOF

@AngelaMMoore316

 

It’s Not Hard to Find My Heroes

A line from a Public Enemy’s Fight the Power song tiptoed through my mind while at a conference. The in-your-face and oh-so-factual line, “most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps” found its way to my head and decided to hang out for a while.

dciyf4bw4ggvb8cld6k25cg0d_600x596x1.jpg

As I mulled over that music, which temporarily took the place of all things PRINCE, I realized how absolutely true that is.

Y’all, I’m blessed. I’m blessed to know some amazing women whom I call mentors, mother, besties, sisters, mentees, colleagues and friends who are simply nothing short of amazing. This post is simply to say thank you to them for being who they are…my heroes.

Shout-Out.png

So I SHOUT OUT…

  • My role models who wake up before I do (and I wake up early) and slumber less than I do (and I love sleep) to make it happen at home, in business, in ministry and look fabulous while doing it.
  • My moms and single moms who do what they have to do to lead, guide, provide, expose, pray, educate, cheer, chauffer, support and sprinkle a little fun in the lives of their family all day, every day.
  • My singles who have decided once and for all that life alone is better than life with someone who needs to be left the heck alone.
  • My sisters who have sealed the deal and officially changed their names to Doctor despite rearing families, dealing with loss of loved ones and overcoming personal tragedy and disappointment.
  • My examples who have taken the body they were given and literally worked their butts off to have the body inside and out they deserved.
  • My grown women at the helm of uninvited or unexpected recreation who buckled on their seat belts, prayed through the court appearances, assured the children, reworked the finances, held their tongues, offered grace and forgiveness, wiped their own tears, accepted their new (which used to be old) last name and lot in life and believed God for His absolute best for their children and them.
  • My sheroes who rose out of gut-wrenching pain and loss so stifling to live to see another day and another and another and another, believing with each day that the next would be better.
  • My seasoned ladies who stop the world to take care of their men, nursing them back to health or take up for their children praying them back to where they need to be…and sometimes doing it at the same time.
  • My loved ones who have lost mothers or mother figures, but have not once ceased to be amazing mothers, mother figures, friends and healing partners for those depending on them while they greatly depend on God.
  • My trailblazers who aren’t afraid to speak up on the job, ask for what they deserve or support those who are mistreated/misunderstood and do it with a professional smile and “handle my business” attitude all the while.
  • My bold beauties who dare to stand on the side of right when it’s not comfortable, when it causes confusion within their social, spiritual or professional circle and when they don’t want to, but know they have to.
  • My determined girls who don’t take no for an answer…whether it be in their families or desire to grow their family, on their jobs, with their health and everything in between.
  • My smart chicas who decide to take a break, get away, shut down, or selah for self.
  • My pom-pom squad who are not afraid to sincerely see another sister shine and flash their own light in that sister’s direction to make sure she shines even brighter.

 

So, while most of my hereos don’t appear on no stamp, I’m glad they’ve decided to stick with me, because I’m shole (as in surely) determined to stick with them. We’re all going somewhere and need each other to get there.

387e55e68ef8d160d93d535981f8c1aa.jpg

@AngelaMMoore316

 

 

Check Your Bags, Please

Situations and relationships come and go. Unfortunately, what doesn’t always leave when they go is the baggage they bring with them and to us. As women we are often the unknowing recipients of other people’s simmering stuff. That, mixed with our own mess, and carrying it along “for the ride”, stifles the very essence of life. And while I’m there, let me just say that, again, as women, we know when we’re not right. We know when our attitudes, actions, reactions or reasoning are off, and if we’re honest, we can be honest about the who/what/where/when/why behind it. Those subtle or not so subtle insecurities, sarcasms, quick (hot headed) responses, fears, bouts of envy, fits of doubt, lack of trust with anyone, assumptions of the worse in others and so much more could merely be baggage we failed to dispose. Baggage, ours or from others, and ALL it brings with it isn’t a mystery or invisible unless we choose to pretend that it is.

The older I get and the more I see the more I know that leftover baggage can do a lot of damage. It can weigh down, slow down, hold up and hurt! Yes, shame on the other parties for leaving their guck with us. However, shame on us for letting it linger.

th

Like the stellar services of an excellent concierge at a five star hotel or the terminal workers at our favorite airports, we have earned the right to check our baggage leaving it at the door. The ONLY baggage we need to carry into our future is that made by Samsonite, Louis Vuitton, American Tourister or Gucci, sold online or available in stores.
The days of holding on to what holds us up are passe’. That means PAST in case you didn’t know.

@AngelaMMoore316

Ladies, We Can’t Become That Girl

Hearing of a former spouse of a superstar who is now engaged to another superstar share a bit of “shade” regarding her exes engagement brought a point home. Breakups are hard. Ask me how I know. Seeing the one you broke up with or who broke up with you build a new relationship can be harder, especially if it’s public, even in our own little worlds. BUT, Ladies, we can’t be that girl. What girl you ask?

thG0JZMQ3T

We can’t become that girl who:

  • Talks about what happened ALL THE TIME.
  • Throws shade directly or indirectly at the ex boo, bae, husband or hunni.
  • Throws shade directly or indirectly at the next boo, bae, wife or hunni of our ex boo, bae, husband or hunni.
  • Loses our identity when we lose a relationship.
  • Gets consumed with the goings-on of a person who is gone.
  • Engages our friends in the tomfoolery that is our newfound passion for being a part-time, unpaid private eye.
  • Compares our ex relationship with his next relationship.
  • Compares our next relationship with our ex relationship.
  • Doesn’t believe that the BEST is still yet to come, regardless.

We can’t become that girl, but we can be a better woman.

Get-Grown

@AngelaMMoore316

Why Won’t He Just Leave Me Alone?

If someone would have told me in my teens and 20s I’d be sharing tough lessons learned with others in their teens and 20’s in my ripe old age of 43 I would have laughed and walked away. But as life would have it, that’s the case. A recent conversation with a beautiful sister a decade or so younger presented me with the question, “Why won’t he just leave me alone?”

untitled

Let me just say, (as I feel I say often), God has a sense of humor. I suppose that’s to be expected since He created it. That phrase, “why won’t he just leave me alone?” was one of my go-go questions regarding relationships which I might have known going in wasn’t right, or found out quickly in the mix that it was a mess. In a party of pity and perceived helplessness I would pose this prose to whomever would hear. I probably got on people’s nerves about a couple of “not-to-be-named, thank you for reading my blog, I’m glad we’re friends now” exs. Anywho, my pity party was especially frequented by my girlfriends in similar situations who would back me up with, “I know, girrrrlllll! He need to just go on ’bout his business if he know he ain’t right” and other silly sentiments we shared in our season of development. Thankfully, I had some wise women, too, who would tell me what I needed to hear, even if I didn’t always listen.

whine

Here’s what I now know and freely offer to others. The same power I placed in others hands I held firmly in my own. I didn’t have to wait on them to leave I could do it myself. Eureka! (Plus, let’s be real, what man (or human) is going to readily walk away from something or someone who is giving him everything he wants even if he knows he doesn’t deserve it?)

The true testament of strength is not what we hold out for others to do. It’s what we do for ourselves.  And a real, strong, grown woman can do it, even when it hurts, even when it crushes the hopes and dreams and concocted wedding plans she had and be okay with it knowing that she deserves the best, AND she can turn around and accept her role in the failed relationship, heal, forgive and move on with a smile on her face and some treasured memories and lessons in her heart. So ladies, (and I’m speaking only to single ladies, not covenant bound married women as that’s a WHOLE ‘nother ballgame), if you know he is not right for you (and you know you know he’s not right) don’t hold off for him to part ways. Bid adieu (that means say goodbye, farewell, holla at ya, peace out, I’m ghost, ta-ta, so long, adios, or sayonara) for you.

@AngelaMMoore316

IMG_6612.JPG

I Owe You, Girl

A funny thing happened to my Hotmail account. It flashed back to 2008 and is permanently stuck there on my phone, totally disregarding all other correspondence from then until now. While deleting several dozen emails representing My Life: Phase 1 I found some old pictures from way back in the 90s.

Let me just say, the Lord has a sense of humor. The few pictures which stuck out most were ones of me at some of my career highs and personal lows in My Life: Phase 1. I looked at them with an equal amount of overwhelming proudness from the woman I saw, as if she wasn’t me. I looked at them also as a reminder of who I really am, what I’m made of, from where I’ve come and Who’s in control. (Not to mention I LOVE the spark of sass I saw even through the grainy-ness of those forgotten photos.)

IMG_6328

To the high heels everyday, blue suit and fierce, precision, layered red hair wearing go-getter, who would get up at 3:30am drive to one part-time job clear across town from her Highway 280 apartment, then burn rubber in her champagne gold Nissan Maxima to her head her full-time news gig at 9am, work until the news demanded no more, and still make time to take time for herself, her friends, a bustling social life, lots of community service, active work in the church and of course, time for family I say, “thank you for reminding me of what’s in me.” I owe you, girl.

IMG_6329

To the naïve, young woman full of hopes and dreams and love and expectations at her engagement party beaming on the stairwell with thoughts of what God desires for her and of her, excitedly posing at the exact place which would ultimately end up being her place of employment after the elaborate engagement party hosted for the wonderful wedding which led to a short-lived marriage ending in divorce (and the desperate need for employment in My Life: Phase 2) I say “thank you for reminding me of what’s in me.” I owe you, girl.

IMG_6330.JPG

To the woman who endured the PAINFUL, experimental, super long steroid shots in the eye covered by an itchy, irritating as the dickens patch to keep her eye from popping out, taking 17 pills a day, who gained 50 pounds in one month after a fight with Graves Disease and Thyroid Storm tried to send her home to sweet Jesus, but couldn’t (BOOM!), yet still monitors and deals with it to this day I say, “thank you for reminding me of what’s in me.” I owe you, girl.

iou-i-owe-you-note-21-720x340

Here’s what I know. Nothing happens without reason. Today, for some reason, as I sat in delightful solitude at home enjoying my peace and quiet God wanted me to take a look back knowing it was what I needed to help propel me forward. I know he knew that not only could I handle those TONS of emails and pictures representing My Life: Phase 1 without a smidgen of anger, sadness or regret, but that I would view them with lots of smiles and giggles. And, because I know He knows His daughter, I know He knew I needed to be reminded, even through a grainy old photo, of how fly I looked nestled up on that television production board like a boss, so that I could prepare to be one in whatever new and blog-worthy ways He desires in My Life: Phase 2. So to those three versions of me in My Life: Phase 1, I say I owe you, girl. Your struggle, sass and sense of survival was not in vain. I hope to make you proud.

@AngelaMMoore316

 

Settling is for Quakers

Lately my “settle game” has been tested. Like a college student on edge with rapid fire final exams, I’ve been being faced with test, after test, after test on whether or not I would settle. From career opportunities I’ve mustered up courage and sense enough to say “no” to, to truly examining my deserved preferences in a mate, owning my pickiness and sticking to it like Elmer’s Glue from the 70’s (not this new-fangled stuff), even to knowing my financial aptitude right now and not budging from that budget, I’ve been serving up slices of “no settle” like nobody’s bees-wax.

Before I proceed let me just say I feel like, of late, I’ve been talking about relationships/boos and baes a lot on my blog. That certainly is not the center of my attention at the time, but the topic just keeps coming up in my circle. So while the frequent posts are not on purpose, they must somehow be. Anywho, I was talking to a relative about why we’re still single. She offered the notion that we’re just too “special” and there’s nothing wrong with that. We’re like that limited edition whatever it is which is worth waiting for. The same must be so for our boos because they are certainly taking the long walk home.

marstudio-blog-impatience

Anywho, again…I was also talking to an associate about another associate, who, by all accounts fits the bill in most of my “must haves”, especially the way he dresses. (Call me shallow. I care not…LOL!) Still, there were things important to me which were not present. So I’ll pass. Let me proudly say that the Angela of old would have overlooked those few, albeit important factors as she fatefully did in the past and settled only temporarily until it drove her NUTS because she knew better in the beginning. Not so now, honey. Not so now.

Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely know that there are things in life which occur by the gentle (or not so gentle) command of our caring God which cause us to do things which others, self included, might deem as settling. I’m not speaking to those things. If God almighty says it we have to do it. I’m referring to the things which we know without a shadow of a doubt are not for us yet we settle still. That’s not the business. That’s some trouble waiting to hijack your life’s story.

settling-is-for-quakers

So I leave you with this as I hopefully graduate soon from Settling 401: The Advance Course. Settling is for Quakers. It’s as simple as that. Just because it worked for them doesn’t mean it works for you.

quaker.gif

@AngelaMMoore316

A Good Man is Like a Good Weave

In honor of my focus on L-O-V-E for today’s #bloglikecrazy post…

Hair and I have been cool like two cubes in an ice tray since my Mama decided I couldn’t get a Jheri Curl as an 8th grader at Homewood Middle School and finally let me get a permanent after one round of Ramsay High School band camp in the 9th. I’ve always enjoyed the accessory of hair. I like the flexibility of it, the versatility of it and the wow factor often generated from it. I love my own hair and I like the mystery of purchased hair.

62d746c38de899c0c023b15d7b178d5e.jpg

In recent years, I’ve enjoyed the variety of looks, styles and personas compliments of weaves and wigs. There’s just such a beautiful transformation which comes from instantly taking on a new look and taking it off or jazzing it up at liberty. I also relish in the shock of people who don’t recognize me because I’ve changed styles in less than 24 hours. However…the real, deal beauty of a hair accessory is not often in what it presents on top, but what it covers underneath.

Weaves or wigs are a lot like a good relationship. They make us look good on the outside while covering what’s underneath. A good wig or weave will know the shocking, mangled, braided, twisted, thinning, dry, dirty, dandruffy, itchy, oily, thick, stinky or cornrowed tresses we carry and cover it until we reach our stylist or solution of choice. Much the same, a good man for his one and only woman can know the brewing mess that’s simmering within and cover as that woman deals with it like the best $159 bundle of Indy Remi or the finest $59.99 Vivica Fox signature hair piece.

Wigs_on_display

It’s not that what’s being covered is to be permanently covered up with no thought of tending, but there are things in life which take time, special attention, gentle care and repeat conditioning or intense management from only those sent to handle it. Just like a premium piece of affixed hair, ladies, a good, God-sent man, will allow God, he and his woman to take care of those internal things while externally carrying on business as usual, knowing that the world might not be able to handle what they’re dealing with as they’re dealing with it, but he can and is honored to make it a priority to do so. He’s able to allow his woman to help him, as she should, but also relishes in the fact that he has something to offer her which no other can.  He accepts the challenge to do so, balancing work, children, extra-curricular activities, church or whatever else he’s entrusted with knowing that she is his main order of business. And at the end of the day, he’s spiritually aware, sort of like a wig or weave (but minus the spiritual awareness…LOL!), that how she’s presented is a direct reflection of him.

untitled

I’ve been told by a few that my “please, please, please can’t I have some of these qualities in a husband this time” prayer list is too picky. I politely beg to differ! Yes, I do want at least 83.94% of the things on my list. However, give me a man who can cover, work with, transform and enhance me like I just swiveled around in the chair of Jennifer Rose of JRose Beautique and that, ladies and gentlemen, is what I call a bundle of blessings. (Get it, bundle, as in hair…LOL!)

@AngelaMMoore316

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.

Shonda-Rhimes-Oprah-Winfrey-600x400

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.

wedding

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

Hey Girl, What’s Your Secret?

Have you ever seen something of another woman’s and wondered how she does it? Have you ever wanted to desperately find out more about it whether it be her outfit, how she keeps her house clean, how she’s stayed married, how she landed her career, what she does to stay fit, how she made it through her tragedy, how she reared successful children and stayed sane, how she manages her time, how she forgave, how she keeps both her marriage and her meals hot and fresh, or how she manages to slick down her hair ever-so-gently over the partial weave she rocks?

Have you ever wanted to ask her, “Hey Girl, what’s your secret?” but didn’t ask because of reasons deemed rational, but which are likely irrational? I know I’m not the only one who’s thought if I inquire I’ll come across as comparing, coveting, nosey, or even worse, trying to “bite” her style.

150617-secret

Next time you’re faced with a desire to know more about someone you admire just ask. Simple and plain. Ask. We are here as each others guides through this wild ride called life. No sense in going it alone when someone has the secret which can help make our journey more delightful.

help-a-sister-out-small

@AngelaMMoore316