Tuesday, May 16, 2017

My Failed "Love"

I’ve spent the last 8, almost 9 months, trying not to look back—trying not to relive my hurtful past. I found myself going through emotions like sugar floods your blood stream, shooting up when digesting a whole row of Oreos, almost an entire pizza, and whatever else puts the nail in that binge-eating-coffin, only to crash down again—leaving you passed out on the sofa face-down in a puddle of drool.
It was as though on the outside I looked serene and (the hope was) put together, however, on the inside I found myself in a tempest of waves crashing against each other, gasping for air, with no clear skies in sight. I wanted to pretend my mistakes, my hurt, my failures, and my unwanted circumstances had never happened. The only bad thing was—they did happen. And I felt every single moment if I wanted to or not. These past months have ranged in all sorts of feelings and emotions.

I have never been the type to “need” a relationship. I always felt that when I found the right person that I would "just know", and I was determined to hold out for it. In 2015 someone came into my life, someone who I thought I knew. He promised me the world, he promised he would protect my heart, and I took a chance on love for the real first time in 29 years. I thought that he loved me so much that he could never hurt me. The unfortunate thing about life is that things happen that you are never prepared for.

Not only did our relationship go off the rails (the destructive way a train would if it went off the rails)—it has left me with scars. I am happy to report that I finally have found happiness again. I can enjoy my life and don’t take a second for granted, it is just unfortunate that I had to lose so much to be able to count my blessings. The biggest blessing has been there all along--my parents, who have been an incredible blanket of love I unknowingly had kicked away for so many years.

I have been incredibly independent since I was young—wanting to do things on my own. Even pushing the grocery cart as a child, I would get irritated when my Mom would put her hand on the end of the cart-- leading it toward the isles she needed to go down. “Mom! I can do it!” She apologetically let go, and it was obvious she was simply on autopilot—not realizing my innate desire to be free and independent, but it also displayed her inherent Motherly-nature. (I’m so grateful for that Motherly-love and intuition parents have to guide their children—especially Mothers.) I was frustrated because I knew I had it in me to do things and do them well on my own.

Into my adult years, I was the same. I wanted to be as far away from home as humanly possible—not depending on anyone but myself. I spent the majority of my adult-life spending time with and sharing my feelings with my best friends, and learning by experience how to live my life, always remembering the lessons I learned from home. This past year I ran into a life-crisis that I could never have prepared for, and after I exhausted all of my efforts within my scope to problem-solve, wracking my brain and capacity to find more drive, I realized that I was like a gas tank on empty: the life had literally been sucked out of me.

I had given everything in me for a relationship that seemed to never improve. I had never admitted openly or to myself to ever have loved someone, but I had fallen in love, and that declaration was made. I had imagined a life and family with one person, and that was hard to let go of. The hard part was that I knew deep in my heart and soul, the unshakable feeling that told me that something was wrong. (#spideysensesareneverwrong) The “perfect man” I had known in this seemingly love-filled relationship started to change. I somehow became the emotional punching bag to his life’s problems. Nothing I did was ever enough, and nothing I said was ever right. It got to a point where I was afraid to share my thoughts or feelings because not only would they be shut down with little thought, but being belittled stopped me in my tracks—like a deer in headlights—I did not know how to react to this foreign concept. How did that fit in a happy, healthy relationship? It’s simple—it didn’t. To my detriment in this situation—I am a fighter. I never took the out-of-left-field criticism lying down, however, I am a peace-maker, and would give in for the sake of bringing peace. 

The problem is that it never lasted because this relationship was lopsided. One can only carry the slack for so long. I had never been exposed to such treatment in my entire life that I started to lose my confidence and could feel the fire within me slowly starting to be put out. I realized that if this relationship was going to work, it would be if I gave up my hopes, dreams, and even me—my personality, beliefs, and family.The person I thought I knew for a very long time became a new species, and it scared me, but, what got me moving out of this relationship was the epiphany I had that if I kept going along with the dysfunction of things that I would one day wake up and not be able to recognize myself. I did not want to lose the drive, spark, and fire within me. The worst part is that when you (think) you love someone, you self-sacrifice. It was hard knowing when to stop self-sacrificing since it would erode the very essence of yourself. Because you love someone you are willing to give up everything for them, but there is a limit, and i had hit mine months before I was brave enough to make the change, even when that would mean I would lose what I had grown to love. 

This was a relationship that I swore my entire existence that I would never be part of—unbalanced, emotionally abusive, and unfulfilling. Here I was, participating in a surreal nightmare I wanted to wake up from. Just thinking that way brought another crashing wave over me—the gurgling guilt almost downed me.

It hurt. It hurt to realize that every good feeling, moment, and euphoria was now categorized into a folder in my mind etitled, “The Biggest Facade of My Life”. Looking back, I wondered if any of it was real. I still do. How can someone who declares they love you so much be the author of so much pain, hurtful words, and self-destruction? They are questions I will never get the answers to. All I can do is stop looking back and keep moving forward.

Pablo Neruda said, “Podran cortar todas las flores, pero no podran detener la primavera”. It means: “You can cut all the flowers, but you can never detain spring.” No matter how much someone beats you down emotionally or physically, no matter how hurt you can leave a relationship or situation—it can never rob you of the beauty within you.

I’ve met people that embrace their scars. I met a guy whose eyes would sparkle while explaining to me while pointing to different parts of his body each scar and each story he had acquired during his lifetime--so proud of the fact that he had been cut up and healed again. He didn’t keep picking at the scab just to deepen the scar. He let it heal, but he appreciated the mark that it made and the lesson he took from them.

I am not one who likes to show off my battle-wounds, especially when I never expected to fall the way that I did. In this case, I had imagined my life very differently than how it panned out. If my life had gone according to plan I would be a married woman, spending my life with a man who loved spending time with me, and who treated me with love and respect. Instead, I am a single 31-year-old woman who was settling for a relationship where I was anything but treated as a priority or with respect. The confusing part is that it didn’t start that way, or I would have never accepted it. Inexplicably, things crept in and changed, but, I was able to gain the courage to walk away from a hurtful relationship. I have a scar. I initially thought it was the ugliest and most painful thing to look at. Now, it is fading. It’s not like you can forget what you’ve been through, but I am appreciating it’s mark in my life.

During this time away, having changed my environment and surroundings; I have made deep and true friendships that genuinely fill my life with joy. The exchange of one bad relationship to a universe of healthy ones, even platonic ones, has been a wise-change. I am building something through them that I did not have, and I value it. I’m learning how to love again. I am learning how to be a better me. I am building my relationship with my parents and there is so much depth there. I feel that the purpose of life is to learn how to have peace with yourself and with others. I am determined to only allow in my life (when that time comes, a romantic) someone who makes my world better, who brings peace into it. Truly, someone who challenges you and inspires you to be better is the only type of friendship turned to love worth having. The rest is just superficial, uninspiring, and won't be worth the mess.

I am a changed individual, and my favorite part of myself from managing to survive the tormenting waves is that I am more compassionate to others who are experiencing hardship and I know the difference that kindness, support, and love can make to someone who’s trying to survive one day at a time. My feathers are not easily ruffled like they used to be. I used to judge women who found themselves in an abusive relationship because I had always been strong, firm, and no-nonsense. I had never made a mistake in love until now. I can see from their perspective and I understand the pain, self-deprecation, and disappointment from failing in love, and lacking the self-respect to leave sooner because of such conflicting, guilt-inducing emotions. Now, I understand how it feels. I do not excuse their offender, but I understand them more for lingering, and love them even more because I’ve been there. I am also the testament that putting it off will only make things worse. I am thoroughly convinced that my pain is the caveat to help someone one day in the future who will need someone who just “gets it”. I hope to be there for them. Until then, underneath the exterior of me is a heart that knows the need for kindness and is preparing for a love that will last, and this time, I hope it is forever.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

A Book In A Bookstore

Standing @ a book shelf in a book store that I always admired from afar but never grace (often) with my finicky-bookstore-entering presence, I felt a pang of emotion I had yet to experience from flipping through a book whilst in a sea of book worms. #aretherewormsinthesea?

I had passed more people than I had anticipated, sort of ashamed of myself for even considering that people in bookstores had died out like a bad fad--just think about Pokémon go. #butilovepokemon

I stopped several times trying to get into a title but they all seemed the same--not getting my attention. It didn't help that I was "just looking around". I read one book about crap, yes, excretion. Fine, not actual bowel movements, but how to get crap out of your life. It was on clearance--that's all I'll say.

I meandered some more, wanting to drop mountains of unowned change on a book with Van Gogh's paintings and portraits. In any book shelf, there should be at least one painter's book, in my opinion.

I found my way to the section with an enormus selection of books of counties in Vrginia. There was a book that showed picture of the history and people who lived in Charlottesville, Va ,(the town I found myself in at this given moment), back in the early 1900's. I saw radiant African American men and women, some smiling, and some attempting to do so. I saw group pictures of farmers and families. They seemed so real, brought to life from words on a page to actual beings. History. But history hurt my heart.

The differences in society that I could feel from looking in the eyes of those photographed made the hair on my forarm stand up and goosebumps adorn my olive-tinted forearms. I could never imagine a world of division...but the past had a strange juxtaposition of injustice and moments where smiling was appropriate...Life is an interesting paradox. 

I flipped ahead to a few more pages, observing people who may have been standing in my exact spot years and years ago.

I put the book down, and walked away. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Clearing the Facebook Air

I’m single. For some reason this has been an undesirable topic the Facebook world seems curious about over the last few months. Is it because my Facebook wall isn’t adorned with pretty couple pictures or love statuses that it once knew? Ew, I’m grossed out I even remotely did that EVER in my life. Cheese fest. Forgive me. I definitely learned my lesson on unnecessary vomit-inducing statuses that also can bring up in the lives of others some bitter tasting memories. I’ll keep it together for next time. Pinky swear.

I don’t mean to offend, however, I did not realize the ramifications of putting my relationship status over a year ago for the world to see (my first and perhaps last time,)  which progressed into a lot of support from people I met along the way of life definitely switched to be something that would come back to literally haunt me technologically. Let me introduce you to my good friend the preposition: BUT. It just didn’t work out. Things just sometimes don’t turn out how you think. #ThankGOD #hindsight20/20

As I’ve struggled through the ups and downs of a relationship that crashed and burned, and I feel so bad saying this, but I have cringed at most of the inquiries about my personal "love-life". I feel like I’ve “read” it all and heard it all: from Facebook messages, texts, and phone calls. I was bombarded with the classic—“Hey, I saw you were engaged, is that still happening?” Or, “I stalked you, what happened? I thought you were getting married!”, and my favorite one: “Are you married?”. I will say the one time that felt good was when someone asked if I was married, I said “no”, and they asked me out. Props to him! That was back in July. I am currently single, am not “confused” about my doomed for failure relationship, and yet I have no such luck! Nnnnno dates. That’s okay, I’m still recovering from being totally disappointed in the male-population!

Needless to say of what you’ve read so far, I would like to give some advice and Diana's Code of  Ethics for anyone tempted to write someone with something so personal as an obvious relationship-fail and what you should or maybe shouldn’t do about your observation. 

First off--why are you asking? If it's purely out of curiosity--maybe, no, just don't. Curiosity killed the cat and our friendship. For me, those messages were a twist in the dagger already placed there by someone I thought truly cared about me when I was going through the darkest of times during the craziest part of my life. I’m sorry if you feel that goes out to you. I know, I sound so mean! Not all inquiries fell upon deaf ears. Everyone’s personality is so different, but for me, if I wanted to talk about it, I would have talked to you about it, blatantly posted about it, or made it clearly manifest somehow. Because I no longer post sweet nothings, pictures with a significant other, or am keeping a low-profile does not cue inquiries. 

To a few of you who did write me, and I wrote back confiding, it is because you proved to be a true friend over the years, and not just someone out of left field wanting to find out how my life got ruined. I felt I could trust you, and I hope to Jesus up in the heavens that I can continue to trust you with the delicate story that is mine and that is also very PRIVATE. And you know what? I will do the same for you. I will be there for you, non-judgmentally, and lovingly as you helped this bird with a broken wing heal. I’m starting to soar—and I have you to thank.

Secondly, don’t let Facebook or social media be a place where people cannot move on with their lives, or feel defined.Don’t make it a place where crossing personal boundaries is “ok”. What I found to be truly shocking was that people who I haven’t talked to in YEARS, and never really shared a deep side of my life or self with felt it was clearly okay to directly skip the "how are you, I’m glad we caught up," and just went for the one-two punch. I interpreted that and sometimes it was literally a sentence like: "What is going on in your relationship? I saw your happy-couple posts from the past so I'm entitled to know", as if our friendship was deep-enough to share such intimate and life-changing experiences of why it did NOT work out. Not many people asked me how we started out, how am I obligated to say how it ended? Further you'll read how there is no need to cause the feeling of obligation.

Maybe I have it all wrong. Maybe that was someone trying to be there for me if I seemed like I was hurting or needed a helping hand. I apologize if this blog hurts your feelings. I guess I just needed to clear my personal conscious and also make a point that these personal failures should be just that—personal. 

Here's number three: For someone who is being asked to talk about things that are just too painful or too personal, it is okay to say—I do not want to talk about it.  But I will speak for all of us and say, thank you for thinking of us. Thanks for thinking of me and doing something about it. And a special thanks to those who have been there forever and didn't push or pry too hard because I knew I could open up if needs-be and you would have my back, even if it seemed like the wrong thing. Your faith in me to do the right thing at the end of the day meant the world to someone like me. But remember, those friendships and heart-felt conversations have to be earned. They shouldn't be demanded or expected. 

I guess here is my fourth and last tip is--the  best way to help anyone or me is to just love and accept  me, even for the things that will never be spoken.  Also, be that good friend NOW, not just when it's convenient. If you do that, when you feel you should reach out, the person who may be unwilling to share just might trust and feel they can open-up so you can help them through the ups and downs of this truly mind-boggling, heart-wrenching, and spiritually developing journey called life.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

C*H*A*N*G*E

Happy Sunday!

This week has been like all my other weeks except I had more down-time than usual. What did I do with my down time, you ask? Well, basic chores and of course, feeding my hunger to watch New Girl. I have a disease of watching it as much as I can. This is what happens when a great show is discovered late in life.

Today, for example, after church I got home, dropped my purse on the couch, tossed off my jacket, threw myself next to my purse, and turned on New Girl. Something is wrong with me. If I’m ever home I’m most likely glued to the couch and watching new girl. Don’t fix it me.

Change.

All I’ve been hearing lately is how change is inevitable and you can, “always count on change”. Blah blah blah. I don’t think I like change. In fact, I know that I don’t do well with change, yet, I realized that I don’t like to be confined by same-ness in my personal life and in my persona. I don’t like boundaries and I don’t like being told what to do. So, perhaps the contradiction is that I seek change in life and especially in my style. Why? It's simple: I like to be different. 

I’ve changed my hair color countless times within the last year. I went to the hair salon yesterday without a true plan of what I wanted done to my hair. Things that had crossed my mine: platinum tips, blue tips, or an auburn look.

Sitting in a salon chair is harder than you think. The way you look for the next 6-8 weeks is based on what you decide in that chair. I changed my mind several times, consulted my hairdresser…and got an omen. Auburn/Red.
To be truly honest, the color didn’t turn out exactly how I envisioned it. Now, when I look in the mirror I have a few famous red-heads that flash through my mind of perhaps whom I resemble: The Joker, Lucille Ball, Carrot Top,  and…a Pin Up Girl for the 1940’s. When I have to pick one to make myself feel better, I pick the Pin Up Girl. I even tried to resemble one today by trying out some hair-do’s. I will have you know, hairdos are very hard to do. That, and pay attention at church with an audience filled with babies.
So, may it be known that I am adjusting to my new do, change still isn’t my favorite, even change I bring upon myself. 


On a different note: I really can’t wait until Tuesday. Don’t forget, Tuesday is discount night at the movie theater.


Well, I better go back to watching New Girl. Happy internet surfing, because that’s how you found  this!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

What I Look For In A Man--According to Diana

I was asked by co-worker last week what I look for in a man, and he made me think deeply and specifically. I figured, this is a great topic to blog about. When I told him what I look for in a future spouse, I was waiting for him to tell me what I am usually told, which is the following but not limited to:

“Oh Diana, you’re so picky!”
“Nobody is perfect.”
“You aren’t getting any younger.”
“When are you going to have a baby?”
“You need to be open-minded”
“Try online dating. It works for some people.”

If anything, he supported my thoughts and told me to wait until what I’m looking for presents itself. 

This is a first. #shocked

Once you are almost 30 and have no prospects of getting married anytime soon, people assume that you don’t want marriage, that you have some type of addiction that prevents you of any “stable relationship”, or that you are a complete snob. If that’s the case, that is news to me, and is pretty audacious of someone to assume that of the general population in my age-bracket and relationship status. Oh, and, I beg to differ.  

I would rather remain single for the rest of my life (a bold statement, I know) than “settle” or feel like I have settled because I don’t want people to keep telling me that, “I’m not getting any younger” or to fulfill a timetable of expectancy for ‘happiness’. Although I want to be a married person, and I want to have kids, (and I wonder if I will ever obtain those dreams,) I won’t cheat myself or convince myself to fulfill that for the wrong reasons. Maybe I’m being spiteful to prove a point, but someone has to do it. Maybe I’m naïve to NOT believe that a successful life is accomplished when a list of "accomplishments" are reached by age 30, for example. If that’s so, I boldly and unapologetically disagree.

So, prepare yourself to enter my mind and my current list of what I find to be important and attractive qualities in a man.

My List
What I Look For In A Man—According to Diana:

What is attractive and what I look for in a man?

1.       Humble Intelligence—being smart yet not looking down on anyone. They can see the good in anyone, educated or not, and do not put themselves above any race, class, or person. They can learn from anyone from any walk in life and are open to the perspective of others.

2.       Big-hearted—He can see a need and meet it. He sees a hungry man on the street and offers him a sandwich. He is someone who looks outside of himself and is willing to make a difference, big or small.

3.       Respectful—He treats everyone with respect and kindness. He treats his Mom like gold, opens doors for women and others, and has clean comments. He won’t degrade me as women, call me “hot” or tell me what he wishes he could do to me (ew), but treats me and others (especially women) with grace, kindness, and with importance. He sees beyond the exterior and appreciates the inner-beauty of individuals, especially of me.

4.       Has Principles—He is willing to stand up for what is right and not being apathetic of the effects of his stance. He is more worried about doing what is right than doing what is easy. I would not have to worry about him being shady or seeing what he can “get away with”. I would look to him to know what to do when I come to a cross-road or a hard decision because I know his opinion would be based on principle and doing the right and moral thing.

5.       Willing to Try New Things—I embrace differences in taste and interests, yet, he would be as willing to try what I like as I would try what he likes. What matters is spending time together and learning about each other. That doesn’t mean we are attached at the hip, but, it means every now and then, he would go with me to see a movie from the 1930’s even if he hates black and white movies, and I would go to his event of choice that he wants me to be a part of even if I would rather kiss a toilet seat. It doesn’t have to be every week or month, but, it is fun sharing in something you are passionate about with your significant other. There is nothing as unattractive as a snobby boyfriend/husband. #saidthegirlwhosneverbeenmarried #ihaveseenmyshareofunhappymarriages #thisismylistremember?

6.       Does Little Things to Show He Cares—He would remember things I said in passing or in conversation which shows he cares and listens. He would find ways to let me know he’s thinking of me and that doesn’t have to cost money. What I would love? Hand-written letters. Random surprises.

7.       Works Hard—He does his best in all his efforts. It doesn’t mean he is the best at everything, it just means he puts his heart into every project and every job. It just shows that he will be a good Father, provider, and example.

8.       Loves God—He is not afraid to talk about God or to share his thoughts on the topic. I don’t mean preach to people who don’t want to talk about religion, it just means that his belief in God is integrated in his life and I won’t have to ask myself, “what does he believe?” because I will just see it in his daily actions and persona.

9.       Makes Me Feel Beautiful—He looks at me differently than other people and treats me differently. He will see in me what goes unnoticed by the world around me. He will support my dreams, ambitions, and believe in me, which will only make me feel beautiful. He will see my outer beauty and will see my inner beauty. I will see it in his eyes, and in his behavior.

10.   Deep Conversation—we can have conversations about anything and the conversations are anything but superficial. We can talk about the taboo things in life, and search ourselves and even differ on topics, yet respect one-another’s opinion, listen, and swap thoughts and perspectives. We are stimulated by our discussions and respect each other’s opinion.

I’m still working on my list and figuring out what matters to me, and although it may seem impossible to find what I’m looking for, I really don’t think it’s too much to ask.
I’ll keep working on being the person I want and working on my imperfections, yet, I embrace the single person within.
This is my life, and I am not going to wish for a different one.

Hasta la proxima,


Diana

Saturday, March 14, 2015

A Lesson From Cinderella: Have Courage & Be Kind

C * i * n * d * e * r * e * l * l * a

Everyone knows the story of Cinderella. And most people know the new movie came out this Friday, you know, the new Cinderella movie. I won’t give you a synopsis of the movie, nor will I give you a review of it. It’s really not my style to do that, although it’s not a bad idea. But, what I will tell you is that (1) I saw it and (2) the theme of the movie is something I absolutely, positively agree with:
Classy Motto

             Have courage and be kind.


As simple and perhaps scarce as that is, I know that all people that I have personally interacted with have the capacity to be both those embodiments of goodness and have shown that to an extremity. I also know that I, along with the human race, are beyond capable to be anything but courageous and have been guilty of outbursts of anything but kindness, but of: meanness, spitefulness, harshness, pride, point-proving, and the list goes on and on. I know I have done that and I don’t think I’m a bad person. I’m sure you have experienced those emotions as well, and I don’t think anyone else who has done that is a bad person. It’s merely a struggle of how to manage emotions and grow as an individual.

But, then there are those people who are past the point of struggle between doing what is right and following your natural reactions; there are people out there who have no desire to be good, have no desire to be kind, and don’t use courage to do the right thing, but have “courage” to do harmful and hateful things.

An example of this: You know when you are watching the news and they put up a mug-shot of the ‘person of interest’ the police have been chasing for weeks and “his (or her) ” picture is up because there is news to report: they finally caught him. When you look at their demeanor you sense something of darkness in his eyes, and you hear people who have associated with him comment about him as, “evil”.

Yes, that is out there as well. It doesn't exactly scream that all people are good, or to trust in humanity. If anything, it is more reason to close your heart, lock your doors at night, get a pit-bull and get an alarm system. It also makes you not want to look at people in the eye when you are walking in the city at night and to clutch to your wallet and purse as you go about your business. HOWEVER, as realistic as these circumstances are and as much as I agree with being careful and protective, there is also so much room in this imperfect world we live in to be a ray of hope that there are good people in this world, and that there is mercy for everyone. At one point or another, we will all be at the mercy of human emotions and human reactions. If that is so, we better practice for one day we will be the recipient.

I believe that in order to “have courage and be kind”, that we need to be observant.
There are two scenarios from this past week that have shown me that as much as I want to be the recipient of kindness, that being kind takes courage and being observant helped me, perhaps, make a difference in a justice-seeking world.

Perfect Bread-stick Placement
Jiana--Besties for Life
Last Saturday I went to the Olive Garden in Salt Lake City with my home girl, JLowe. That’s right, JLowe. (Keep in mind, she was around before JLo, and has infamy in her own right.) My best friend Jenny and I were out gallivanting at this point, in the Olive Garden. While she fed the lion wall adoration a bread stick, while we devoured our soup and salad, I noticed our waiter helping other customers. For some reason, I noticed his lip kept quivering. Crying? That was quickly ruled out, he had no tears. Our middle-aged, perhaps toupee-wearing server seemed to have an inability to stop his mouth from quivering and Parkinson’s came to mind. He was kind and thoughtful and tried to hide his ailment. When he was gone a different waitress asked if she could take our plates away and went on how she “couldn't believe he didn't take your plates”.

“Oh, I didn't notice, it’s okay,” I said.

“No, he’s new. He should have taken these for you.” She said.

A tad uncalled for, if you ask me…was she trying to make him look bad? Although our meals were only about $10 each at the end (thanks to Jenny’s gift card), I felt beyond impressed that this fellow needed a pick-me-up.

A $20 tip? Sure, why not.

Can I afford that? Haha. That means “no”, however, sometimes you have to have the courage to do something outside of yourself trusting that God will take care of you because you are taking care of His.

Sunday was a new story. After church, don’t ask me how, but we found ourselves in Whole Foods. I had resolved to not buy anything. Everything at the store looks more amazing when you are hungry…and well, duh, when you are at Whole Foods. But, as I was waiting around for others to finish up, I noticed this seemingly homeless man with tears in his eyes scoop and scrape the bins at the salad bar filling his very tall container. Observing him close-by I wanted to ask him, “What’s wrong? Why are you crying?” however, that felt super random and super rude. And, well, I guess at the moment, I was extra wussy.
Classy Sign-age from Whole Foods


I walked away, but kept watching him from a distance. (Creepy? Thank you!) I knew something was wrong although didn’t know him. But, for some reason, I couldn't look away.

He walked up to the cashier and by the body language and the delay to pay, something was wrong. I was too far to hear him, but I started to walk closer and closer because although I was not courageous enough to talk to him at an opportune time, I couldn't let a second chance to follow this prompting slip away. He wasn't paying but the cashier was talking to him. When I got close enough to hear, I heard the cashier say,

“You can get a smaller cup and fill that up.”

Without thinking, I made my entrance, “Does he not have enough?”

“No, he doesn’t.”

Ignoring the fact that it was a Sunday, I said, “Well, I’ll pay for it.”

Also ignoring the fact that I just blew a LOT of my paycheck buying new glasses the day before and wondering if I budgeted enough to pay the rest of my obligations for the next few weeks, I got out my plastic and he swiped my card. At the time, I wondered if I was doing the right thing, that maybe I’m being helpful but I will be in a rough-patch later but sometimes you have to not be rational.

$16.88

He turned to me:

“Hi, I’m Julius.”
Julius shook my hand and thanked me profusely, “Thank you, thank you,  thank you so much.”

“Hey, it’s okay. Good luck with everything.”

I only regret not asking him his story and where he was from, what he was doing and how things were going…but, at least, maybe, he feels like in the vast world we live in, where people only look out for their own and where you “can’t trust anyone” that he had a glimmer of hope that there is good in the world.

I know that I had a more solidified understanding of God’s love for all his children in all their different stages of life and more compassion for those that don’t seem to catch any breaks.

If one day, I find myself without $16.88 to get food in my belly, to find a place to rest my head, or to feel like I’m a human-being, I perhaps will have faith that I will be given a moment of grace, because no matter what good I do in this world, I am flawed. We all are. And, because of that, there is more reason to have courage and be kind.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Zumba Enduced Thoughts: the Body

(I'm writing on a laptop with no enter button--hence the giant paragraph.) I was supposed to be sleeping 51 minutes ago. :( Goals--they are tough to keep and i just broke day 1 of going to bed on time, however, i just have the urge to write in my neglected blog. Sorry, body. I will make up for my negligence to you later.   Lately, i have had my normal struggle resurface, and if you are a woman who struggles with this then you feel me, but my battle is against not my body but the condition of it. All day today i have just felt sick, and if my body had words it would say, "I am not functioning at my optimum potential, lady". It's right. And, i can tell. And, you know, it seems all so easy in my head until i run into conflicts, and until my mind takes on so many different perspectives, it's hard to know what to believe. Some of those thoughts are, "Screw diets, they suck. You're great, 'just the way you aaaarrrrre'" as Bruno Mars sings that to me. Then I think, "No, you are full of potential, woman. Why don't you try to reach it? Challenge yourself! Eat healthy and get back to your most healthy weight" Sooouuups aka super motivational in my head. I think i have like a Sylvester Stallone voice when i'm in the zone. Then i have thoughts like, "dude, you're hungry. Pizza sounds fabulous right now", or "Just a piece of (this extremely caloric-empty treat) is to be enjoyed! Endugle!" Man, so many thoughts. I know it can't just be me. So, today was one of those days where you are way too aware of your body. It was telling me all the things that were wrong with it, how i need to basically be nicer to it and help it function better. So, i listened. I fed it natural and nourishing foods, and i drank my high quality H20. If that's not love, really, then my plant-care-taking skills served me no good. To top it off i decided i should really exercise and do things that are actual enjoyment. Running? Not right now. Maybe when i'm 20 pounds lighter and don't feel like a sausage with legs aka a wiener dog. Zumba. It's always the answer to any situation. I'm having a crappy day! Zumba. I'm bored. Zumba. I want 500 donuts. Zumba. Work was stressful today. Zumba. Seriously, it's a no-brainer. So, I went. I made it to Zumba. I was surrounded by people of all shapes and sizes, yet, when i saw my reflection i had the classic, natural man thought, "Oh Diana...what happened to you?!" Then i danced and forgot and then i would catch a glimpse and all my thoughts of when i was younger came back. It's a hard thing. The body has a purpose and that is to house our spirit yet we get so caught up in what the world and what society deems as beauty. And, a lot of times i am guilty of what i think a lot of people are guilty of...until i am at this goal, i'm not beautiful, i'm not successful, i'm not...whatever it is that you think. This is my life-long battle. I constantly fight with my thoughts debating what matters to me. And, here is what i decided: It matters what i feel about myself and how i see myself. It doesn't matter what category society puts me in. This world has a skewed perspectiv, not me. And, they have a skewed way of judging what matters to a human-being. Being so focused on the outside discredits so much of within. I don't discount the outside matters, but truly, i think the true definition of beauty is seeing what others can't see; in finding the vitality and value of what goes undiscovered. What good would it do to me to have something that the world thinks is fabulous when i find it unsatisfying? I would rather have a treasure and be the only one to know of it than to get vain and empty admirers. That's not to say i don't support health and fitness. Oh, I do. My body is right. I have to take better care of it. And, i will work on appreciating it at all stages of life, but, my hope is to not get brain-washed by what the voices in my head, the clones in Hollywood and all around me decide is valued and wanted. I will be the keeper of my own opinion. That is more of value than what the band-wagon of blind clones is on.  And, to end my story perhaps on a high note...I went up to the Zumba teacher after class to thank her b/c her songs freaking rocked and i just realy enjoy her class and her response to me was, "I notice you all the time. You are beautiful".