The ABC’s of Singlehood pt. 3

Being single can be HARD! It can also be very helpful in shaping women and men to become better for the next level of life whether marriage is included or not.

recite-wid4gj

As mentioned in my previous blog post The ABC’s of Singlehood pt. 1 and The ABC’s of Singlehood pt. 2, in March 2017 I had an opportunity to speak to single women and married couples at the Can You Relate Conference 2017 hosted by Algernon and Taneisha Tucker. It was great for me too as my newlywed husband and I learned so much from the others. I spoke on the ABCs of Singlehood and thought I’d share a the last tidbits of what God and a lot of mistakes in life afforded me to know.

Here’s the rest…which happens to start with Rest.

R-Remember to rest. You can’t want a man to take care of when you don’t take care of yourself.

S-Stay far, far away from the wrong somebodies. (You know exactly who they are. You know exactly what they do or you do that doesn’t need to be done. The date, location, or faces may change, but the foolishness which ALWAYS comes remains the same.)

T-Trust the process and purpose of singlehood. God knows what He’s doing, when He’s done and why it took so long in the first place.

U-Use this time to travel and have FUN! By no means is singlehood a green light to be boring. Be safe, but have fun. Be wise, but live. Be frugal but explore, learn, go and see.

V-View singlehood as a blessing, and treat it as such.

W-Work out. (Yikes!) Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and in the hands of the one who takes care of her temple. Firm hips, pouty lips and how low you can dip are not guaranteed.

X-eXude eXcellence Yes, I cheated with this letter. Carry yourself in such a way that greatness, love, humility and confidence, kindness, poise, and contentment are what others see.

Y-Yield to wisdom from those who know what you don’t yet know, like the married people, divorced people and single people who are perfectly okay where they are.

Z-Zip your lips to complaining about any and all seasons of your singlehood. Don’t cancel your own blessings by complaining.

you-are-exactly-where-you-need-to-be-quote-1

@AngelaMichele316

The ABC’s of Singlehood Part 1

Recently, I had an opportunity to speak to single women and married couples at the Can You Relate Conference 2017. It was great for me too as my husband and I learned so much from the others. I spoke on the ABCs of Singlehood and thought I’d share a few tidbits of what God and a lot of mistakes in life afforded me to know.

As a newlywed of only three whole months, I realize I’ve been single in every decade of life. From my first high school heartbreak to all of college, to part of my 20s, to my divorce in my 30’s to my early 40s and now, finally I’m married again to my very best friend. With that, came a lot of opportunities, as I now like to call them, to see singlehood differently, realize the error of my (old) ways, work on fixing those things which had hindered me (like my sassy, quick-witted mouth), learn from those around me and get myself together. I, by no means, know all there is to know about singlehood, but let’s just say singlehood and I tangoed enough over time for me to at least figure out 26 nuggets to share with you. The most important of them all is that being single is a blessing, if you allow it to be.

Here’s 1-8. Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3 coming soon!

recite-wid4gj

  • A-Attitude adjustments are a must through each season of singlehood. You won’t always like it, but that doesn’t have to affect who you are or how you see yourself.
    • I would be dishonest, also known as a liar, if I painted being single as peaches and cream with a cherry on top. It’s not. With that said, there is a LOT about it which single people may not like. When those times arise, it’s important to keep attitudes in check as not to further delay the process and progress.
  • B-Be not deceived by the myths of marriage…It’s not always fun. It doesn’t cure whatever was wrong before you said “I Do”. A slothful single woman can easily become a lazy married one.  An angry single woman can easily become a married bitter wife. Marriage is WORK!!!! It’s more than about cuddling, cute selfies and hot sex.
    • Reality shows, social media, other people’s marriage, possibly even one’s own first marriage might have painted a picture of marriage which simply isn’t real, or isn’t real all the time.
  • C-Celebrate the milestones of others who are walking paths you desire to tread…weddings, anniversaries, new babies. (Even throw the celebrations yourself!)
    • Wanna show God you trust Him? Do something for someone else in the very area you’re waiting on Him to do something for you.
  • D-Do things now which will benefit you later…save money, protect your credit, balance your schedule and bank statements, manage your household duties, take care of yourself.
  • E-Enjoy controlling your coming and going, your calendar, the remote, the thermostat and the radio.
    • That really is a blessing!!! (Ask me how I know as I have to watch movies and sports sometimes when I’d rather watch Food Network and HGTV all the time.)
  • F-Forgive any and everyone who needs to be forgiven, including yourself.
    • Do this as often as needed.
  • G-Get out of your head with the “by this age I shoulda” dates and age ranges which aren’t fair or feasible.
    • God does NOT operate on your calendar, schedule, timeframe or deadline. And that’s a GOOD thing! The sooner that’s realized the better life will be.
  • H-Heal from past hurts, self-inflicted and otherwise.
    • You know what’s hurting you. Do something about it now. Get help for it so that you don’t run the risk of hurting that man God is preparing to find you. (If you think God is going to let your pain hurt a husband…well, let’s just say He loves him, and you too much for that…which may explain the delay in delivery of your beau, boo or bae.)

To be continued…

@AngelaMichele316

 

 

Singles, You Can Do It…Yourself

Singles (and by singles I mean not married, even if you have a boo or a bae, with the same last name you’ve always had, with the same last name you used to have and now have again, filing single on taxes and checking the box which says Miss, Ms. or Divorced )…

Here’s a little secret. You can do it…yourself. While scrolling through my new best friend Pinterest I came across a clever post. Of course I can’t find it now, but it read, “Stop expecting others to do for you what you won’t even do for yourself.”

thUNKKWAQE

It’s as simple as that. The time for waiting on life to start is over. Newsflash, life is well on its way to being exactly who its meant to be for you! The mindset of, “I’ll do this when I have someone to do it with” is debilitating. The notion that life alone or in the company of friends, pales in comparison to the married life is a myth. I can tell you a thing or two about both. The thought of “I have no one so I can’t do whatever it is I really want to do” is cuckoo. Pardon my harsh language.

In the words of my daddy when I would pout as a teenager about wanting to do what everyone else was doing, “You were born by yourself. You’re going to die by yourself so stop always talking about what other people are doing.” The same is so in the land of singlehood. We can’t wait on others, compare ourselves with others or complain about others. We simply have to do it. So go ahead and do those things you want to, can afford to, have time, and deserve to do.

  • Go to a movie alone or with friends
  • Eat at that five-star restaurant
  • Plan an amazing trip out of town
  • Plan an even more amazing trip out of the country
  • Invest in that rental property
  • Make financial investments
  • Get a massage
  • Join a gym and go at it solo if need be
  • Start a business
  • Write a will (I know that’s grim, but hey, singles have stuff to leave behind too.)
  • Buy a house
  • Paint your house
  • Learn how to garden or repair a car or cook
  • Remodel your bathroom…unless you have zero remodeling skills as I do
  • Or do like I did and buy those close up concert tickets to see Diddy and the crew… #cantstop #wontstop #badboyforlife
  • bad_boy_logo

 

Whatever you do, singles, just make sure to take time to do it for yourself. You deserve it! Of this, I’m sure.

IMG_1273

IMG_1274@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

Why Don’t You Have Kids?

“Why don’t you have kids, Sweet Tee?” those were the words blurted out by my five-year-old niece as she sat in the back of my car battling a stomach bug which would have given the grownest of grown-ups a run for their money. Riding along for what seemed like two hours instead of 30 minutes as she “released” things which obviously didn’t want to be in her body, and didn’t care that we were in an enclosed car on the interstate, it was as if each time she “released” a sweeter than normal spirit would come over her causing her to profess her resounding love for her little sister, gaze out of the window and declare how special rainbow-colored uniforms are or apologize profusely for the mess she was making. Just before we arrived on the long, winding road leading to my neighborhood she whispered barely above a whisper the words “Why don’t you have kids, Sweet Tee”?

I was about to answer her question when we had another bout with the bug which almost made me pull over even though I was just blocks from home. Instead I kept driving (and praying and silently pleading for no more), when, upon entering the garage she said, in an even softer, sweeter, almost angelic voice, “Oh, I know why you don’t have kids. So you can help take care of us.” Baby….the floodgates of my Wet and Wild mascara mixed with Maybelline eyes almost broke. I don’t know if it was because of her innocent revelation, because I was finally home to be able to clean her and my car up, or because of feeling like I’d received a personal confirmation from Heaven. Either way I was almost a goner.

Do I have any kids is a question I hear a lot. I’m sure it’s normal for people to ask as an icebreaker or get-to-know-you go-to, especially for people like me who are in their 40s or who are or have been married. It doesn’t bother me at all to answer no, or say I have no biological children. But I recently read about entertainers like Tyra Banks, Chrissy Teigen and Aisha Tyler who’ve shared their heartfelt bouts with infertility, choice of career over children or difficulty conceiving and their perspectives challenged me to share my story.  Word from the wise: Take a moment to think about questions you ask of others, especially those who are unmarried or without children. You never know their story and what your questions might be stirring up.  Please be mindful.

watchyourmouth2

I think back to being in my upper teens, lying in a hospital bed and being diagnosed with endometriosis. Foggy, due to the anesthesia, I recall the doctor saying, “she probably won’t be able to conceive”, or something of the sort. As a teen, who barely had a stable boyfriend that hit me like a ton of bricks. I held on to that bedside burden and readily shared my accepted fate with those soon-to-come boyfriends as if it were some sort of scarlet letter of which they needed to know even though, in my late teens and 20’s children should have been the furthest thing in my mind. About a decade after my diagnosis, the Lord would silence the implanted doubt in my mind and prove that I could conceive, but ultimately show that His plans were bigger, greater and better. Go God!

While married, my ex-husband and I spent many grueling months (maybe years, I can’t remember) and lots of money on infertility treatment to find out what was the cause of not being able to have children when there were no known natural barriers to conception. I was jabbed in the stomach, stuck in the arm, pricked in the finger, dosed with pills, operated on, hooked up to machines, advised, consulted and consoled more times than I can remember with “no known reason” being the answer. My ex-husband was a man of faith so he proudly, publicly proclaimed what he believed God was going to do for us. I joined others and him in making preparations, choosing names, buying gifts and all that good stuff for the children which were sure to come. They didn’t. I bore the physical pain, doubt, internal fear and self-inflicted embarrassment when each “no” didn’t match up with what I believed God had said “yes” to.  Within a year of that time period my marriage ended. Again, God was showing His plans were bigger, greater and better. There wasn’t a medical reason for lack of conception, but a spiritual one. Go God! (Because He knew my reaction, response and bounce back would have taken a completely different route if children were involved in my divorce.)

Anywho, here I am a 43-year-old, footloose (not really) and child-free woman, who, admittedly ponders how much different my life would have been with my own seed. Truthfully, from time-to-time I wonder who will feed me Honeycrisp apples, drive me to Publix or take care of me when I’m old, especially because I’m currently not married, but I’m seeing all the more that that’s not my business. I’m God’s responsibility and if I’ve learned anything it’s that He knows what He’s doing and it’s always good! I never thought my life would turn out as it has. I thought I was born to be a mother and I am, just in a Heaven-made kind of way. Just ask Isaiah.

my-thoughts-are-not-your-thoughts

So now I look back and forward in appreciation for the born of my heart, not of my body godchildren, relatives and others I’m blessed to know and love. I also look from side-to-side at my other sisters in this journey of biological childlessness hoping to remind them of the extra-special, set aside gift they are to so many. And for that, and them I am eternally grateful, even if I needed a car-ride reminder during a child’s helpless battle with regurgitation to be so.

@AngelaMMoore316

Don’t Ask Me for Money

Don’t ask me for money. That’s a hard statement to make, but a necessary one indeed. At this juncture in life, an abundance of money is something that is slowly (but surely) making its way to me. It’s coming. I believe. But it appears to be on lay-away. As my moola takes the scenic route to reach me, the ability to give to others financially above the above and beyond I’m already doing for those things important to me, required of me or related to me (not in terms of family) simply doesn’t often exist.

Roll-of-money

I’m a single woman, who works for a small non-profit, who is divorced, who had to spend her savings and a settlement during and after that divorce, who still has major financial battles related to the remaining and ongoing parts of that divorce, who is in the midst of a life/financial/stewardship make-over (Go, Jesus!), who loves to give. However in terms of coins, cash, dinero, nickels, cabbage, C-notes, cheese, guap, juice, banknotes, dough, duckies, dead pres’, paper, long greens, stacks, racks, cheddar, loot, ends and Benjamins, I simply don’t have it like I want it right now. I know the Ross Dress for Less jumpsuits, the dresses from My Sister’s Closet at the YWCA Central Alabama and my real sister’s closet in Maylene, Alabama may fool you, but that’s not through big funds. That’s favor, and often FREE. I know the presentation, posts and pictures of the fabulous life I recognize I’m blessed to live might paint a pretty picture, and believe me it is (beauty for ashes, baby, beauty for ashes), but again, my checkbook register can tell the tale of how a little looks like a whole, heckofa lot! (Go, Jesus! Go Jesus! GO!)

483fc419eb4e9dd7ac2e9fb3547709ad

No to bemoan the point of the temporary place I’m in, while I realize the reality of my skrilla right now, (Did I just say skrilla? I’m so #35211), I also realize the reality of my seed. No, I don’t have as much money as I want to have and give right now, but I do have valuable things with which I have been blessed that I am obligated to give until and after I get what I really want to give. We all have something to give no matter where life has taken us and how long we’ve been there.

So no, please don’t ask me for money because the answer can likely be “I wish I had it to give.” But I can offer my unconventional wisdom, my physical presence and support, my joy in connecting people who need to know each other, my wealth of community resources (some of them are indeed wealthy), my insight on finding and keeping a job, my expertise in events, communications, professional development, conflict resolution and getting and keeping media attention. Until my bread is ready I’ll freely share my testimony of healing, my unapologetic perspective from the Bible, my prayers, my home for football and festivities, my social calendar, my written and spoken word for motivation, my compliments, my genuine love of mankind, my family with those who are without, my hidden nuggets of found or forgotten clothing, never used wedding presents, extra furniture and fixtures, and the likes with those in want and in need. And as I wait for my wads I will cheerfully give my ever-evolving view of life with the fact that through the grace of God life gets better.

a6a5452657ccdebbd1226ee61749462a

It took a while for me to come to the view of focusing more on what I do have while longing for what I wanted, and seeing the value of giving what was in my hand until I had what’s in my heart. I now know my benevolence is not dictated by my bucks. Have you reached that point? It’s such a refreshing point of arrival, and I’m just willing to believe that it’s more valuable than a bunch of dubs, big bucks, lettuce or ducats. (I just adore the urban vernacular. I truly do.)

@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”.

thCAIFS7MK

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!

thCAZ27G7M

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.

thCAVBF5UC

@AngelaMichele316