5 Must Dos Before ‘I Do’! #WeddingWednesday

5 Must Dos Before I Do

I was at an event on Monday night and a friend of mine, whom I don’t see often, saw me and pointed to her ring finger. Where’s your ring? she mouthed to me. I shrugged my shoulders and mouthed back, Not yet. If I had a dollar for every time I had this conversation for the last ten years I’d be debt free! No lie! It’s coming soon though … you’ll have to talk to Daniel about that. No don’t, because it’ll happen when it happens. In the meantime though I’ll enjoy my single status and the freedom that it implies. I’ll embrace it and start saying my happy goodbyes.

In the meantime I’ve come up with five must dos BEFORE the wedding comes: Continue reading 5 Must Dos Before ‘I Do’! #WeddingWednesday

In the Blink of an Eye…

I stared at him from the top of the porch stairs.
 I blinked back tears. 
Neither of us moved, we had said so many things, so many angry things, too much to take back. The scene of earlier was etched into my mind.  It replayed over and over again like a broken record.  
A clean break.  That’s what I needed.  That’s what I wanted.  It made sense.  Right?  I gave him back his ring.  But he didn’t take it.  He left it behind before he walked out the door.  I couldn’t follow him.
Chained to my bed with the weight of the loss of him.  My tears slid into the ocean that had been my pillow.  What have I done?  If you love someone, set them free and if its meant to be they’ll come back to you.  Unicorns and fairy tales.  
But. There. He. Is. His eyes were intent upon me, not even a blink. 
 I blinked back tears.
I felt the ring making its mark on my palm.  He stood in the pouring rain, drenched from head to toe, and it wasn’t getting me soaked that stopped me from stepping off the porch, it was pride.  
But I had been lying to myself for months, denying him my love, to feel loved, and to hear the words. So much time has passed.  
But now, staring at him, only four feet away, I felt that the words were now on the tip of my tongue, longing to be said.  
I blinked back tears. 
A rush of emotion flowed through me as I ran to him, into his arms, and I looked into his eyes, and finally found the courage to say it, “I love you, I have since the first day that we met, its like, I’ve searched for you my entire life and here you are,  and I was afraid if I embraced that feeling, that you’d leave, and take my heart with you.  I gave it to you once and I never got it back.’ 
He stared back, and without saying a word, I leaned forward and kissed him.  There in that moment nothing else existed, just me, him, and the rain.  But his arms were firmly pushing me away, his eyes were large and sad. 
I blinked faster.
His lips moved but I heard no sound.  Am I ok?, he’s asking.  Seeing someone else?  Am I hearing this right? But we’re meant to be? 
My face was wet from the rain but I blinked back my tears anyways.  
If you love someone, set them free and if its meant to be they’ll come back to you.


Check out the FB Page of Shades of Social Media; it represents the stories of women of color online.

To Three….Two….

Image from http://popular-buzz.blogspot.com/2012/04/free-birthday-cakes-wallpapers.html

July 13th, 2012 marked the anniversary of my birth.  It is symbolic for another year to live my life, to fulfill my dreams and become the AWEsome being God has made me to be. If I’m being totally honest here, every year has felt the same, nothing new or exciting. Just another day to mark off the calendar.  Pretty depressing, right?  I used to think so.  I would spend a good chunk of my birthday in bed, feeling sad.  Last year that changed though.  Last year I decided that my 31st year of life was going to be different.  I would enjoy life more.  I would give more of my time to others.  I would be a great friend.  I would work on being the healthiest me I could be.  I would be thankful for every little blessed item in my life.  I would have a better relationship with God.

Of all the things I’ve given extra effort to this past year, which one do you think has effected me the most?  Well yes, you guessed right, my relationship with God.  It is to Him that I am grateful.  He has opened up so many doors for me.  I feel most at peace at church.  I also feel that it pushes me to be better in all aspects of my life, for through God all things are possible.

The Birthday Girl…PS these are not all my drinks :)

This year I didn’t spend one extra minute in bed than I needed to.  I spent it celebrating!  I received a handful of texts and phone calls throughout the day.  Many of which I was not expecting and that warmed my heart so.  It was as if God was saying to me, Yes you’re doing great, Keep up the good work.  I gave thanks many times over that morning in mass.  I felt truly honored.  A special thanks to all my friends and family who wished me well on the anniversary of my birth.  I am thankful for you all!  Please join me in raising a glass…To my 32nd year of life, may it hold great accomplishments, hugs and kisses, laughter, tears of joy, special occasions, friends and family. To 32. Salud.

May we all feel this way on our birthdays, that is my wish for you.

Until then,

PS You can catch me most days on the FB page.  Come share your high energy with me.

Spend time with the one you’re with….Feed your soul.

…There’s that song….’Love the one you’re with’, well spend time with them to.  Yesterday was a lovely Saturday.  The sun was bright and shining.  The temperature was in the high 90’s.  I had talked myself into staying in the comforts of my air conditioned bedroom.  I threw the list of things I wanted to do out the window.  Some days you just want to do absolutely nothing.  Especially when there is a laundry list of things to do.  This didn’t happen though.  Instead I enjoyed a lovely day with my boyfriend.  He reminded me of the plans I had made the day before and I was going to do them whether I wanted to or not.  I dragged my heels for a good hour, when I should have been getting ready but I wanted to have a little “do nothing” time. Once I was dressed and ready to go, my spirits picked up.

We started off our Saturday afternoon with a delicious lunch at Ralph ‘n’ Rich’s.   This restaurant is located in downtown Bridgeport.  I have been here a handful of times, and I have never been disappointed.  It is a lovely place to have large groups of people.  Once Daniel’s hunger was tamed we ventured off to the Art’s Festival on the Green in Bridgeport.



 It was great to see all the people come out for this event, despite the heat. It is important to support artists, after all they help us to see the beauty in all things.  I picked up some beautiful prints from my friend Shanna Melton; to see her works you can visit www.poeticsoularts.net.  It has been a pleasure to see her painting evolve.  She is also now doing photography.  Aside from paintings, there were a number of jewelry vendors and other items of an artistic nature.  We cooled off with generous cups of ice cream.  A band was playing melodies and we even got to watch a fashion show; who knew how pretty a dress could be, made up of different ties.  I didn’t snap a picture of that because the model moved to fast for my bloggie, but take my word, it was very pretty.


Photo from Fandango

We rushed off from the art’s festival to catch the 1:45 showing of Ted starting  Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis.  Its a story about a grown man and his teddy bear.  I won’t ruin it for you if you plan on seeing it.  The one liners will keep you amused throughout the movie, but I suggest you watch it during matinee hours.  It is not worth a full price ticket. If you have kids, this is Rated R, I DO NOT recommend this movie for children under 17.

No movie is complete without dinner, right?  We shared a delicious meal at Taco Loco in Bridgeport.  On my quest of trying new things, I fell in love with Yucca Fries, Dos XX beer and Lime Cilantro dressing.  I meant to take a picture of my Avocado with Mahi salad, but I forgot and I ate it all. :/   I assure you from the trace of absolutely nothing on my plate that it was delicious.  Desert was purchased at the local Stop and Shop, Breyer’s Natural Vanilla Ice Cream and FRESH Strawberries.  


A few episodes of one of my favorite t.v. series on Netflix is how we ended the evening.


Daniel and I did a lot yesterday, but none of it was really important.  It was a rare treat to have that chunk of time.  We could have done absolutely nothing.  What was important was the time we spent together.  It is important to spend time with loved ones.  Its one of those things that feeds our souls, like I spoke of last Sunday.  Sometimes life gets so busy that we put off saying Hi to a friend or a family member.  It is not done on purpose but it just gets pushed back on the list of things to do.  If you’re reading this and someone has popped into your head, then take a few seconds and send them a text.  Type Hi and add a smiley face :) This translates to… Its ME and I was thinking of YOU.   This Sunday feed your soul by giving that estranged friend a call or the aunt you haven’t seen in many moons.  Feed your soul.

Until then,

Should We Come with a WARNING Label? PART DOS

Hello!  Upon thinking about this topic some more (Shall We Come with a WARNING Label?), I find it interesting that IF we were in a relationship, and a friend’s mirrored ours, we’d advise them to leave but not take our own advise. For example, if I were dating someone who told me they did not want to commit, and I stuck around because I was in love and believed that it would “all work out in the end”, and my friend told me he was in a relationship with a woman that did not want to commit, but he wanted to stay believing that she would change her mind. I’d advise him to let her go and move on. Explaining that she has already stated that she did not want to be in a relationship, so why believe she’d change her mind. If she didn’t realize already how awesome he was by now, who knows when that would happen, and he’d just be angry in the end. Which he shouldn’t be since she’d already said she didn’t want a relationship to begin with. I would see my situation as being different, because the person I’m in love with, will surely change his mind….not lol Then I’d yell at myself when I snapped out of it.  I’ve done this before so I know.  People tell you who they are, believe them.  Why do we not see these things for ourselves?  And if we do, why does one convince themselves that things will be different this time?  Is it that we secretly want the same thing, to not commit?  When did you realize it was time to let go? If you find yourself in a situation as stated above, ask yourself this, “what are you telling the universe you want?”  I remember watching The Wedding Date, and a line in the movie made so much sense.  The father is talking to Kat, the main character, that is still pining over the man who loved her for seven years and called off their wedding because he was sleeping with her sister(which she never knew), she’d brought an escort to her sister’s wedding (marrying another guy) to make her ex jealous…I remember reading a fascinating articIe in the New York Times Magazine once, where this guy said, “Every woman has the exact love life she wants.” You know what? I agree with him. But I refuse to believe that this is what you want, Kat.’   I do not believe that we want to be in relationships that bring us nothing but misery. The sooner you realize that the faster things will start to change in your life! Focusing on the positive, the happy things you want to come to be, will make it come. If you choose to focus on the negative, all the things you do not want, well guess what, you’ll get what you don’t want. On this terrific day, Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want.

A penny for your thoughts?  What advice could you give someone trying to end a relationship (officially committed or not)?  How can a person take charge of their love life?

Until then,
DjRelAt7
 
 

Happy Valentine’s Day Week!

It’s that time of year again, where we embrace the commercialized holiday of St. Valentine.  While February 14th is no longer recognized as the day to remember Saint Valentine, the martyred saint; his name is kept alive year after year.  We fall in love with the idea of love.  We hope that on this day, the love we give away is returned.  We look forward to the gifts, the dinner, the cards and the sudden decrease of money in our wallets. We do this all with smiles on our faces! This year let’s give this ‘Valentine’s Day Industry’ a message and not buy the flowers, chocolate, jewelry and fancy dinners.  Let’s make cards out of construction paper, and bake cookies instead!  Let’s celebrate in March and tell this money-making industry ‘WE ARE NOT GOING TO LET THIS RIDICULOUS PRICE GOUGING FIASCO CONTINUE!’

Who am I kidding?  I sent my boyfriend an email with my wishlist of potential gifts on Friday; to which he laughed.  I think that gifts should come from the heart.  However, this month I have been trying to stick to not spending any cash towards items that are not absolute needs (#NoUnnecessarySpendingFebruary).  Of course, the best sales are going on, now that the winter months are almost over, so I see so many cute things and I’m like adding things to shopping carts and then abandoning them last minute.  It really is hard.  Anyways, my whole point was to give an idea on this Soulful Sunday.  Normally I would post sales going on and places to find awesome deals despite the price hikes that Valentine’s Day brings.  However I thought back to Christmas time, and the things I got or gave and I have to say that giving the gift of making memories was at the top of my list of favorites.  Last month, my boyfriend and I used one of the Christmas gift’s I got him, A Two-Hour Photography Workshop at Grand Central (NYC) with Judith from Sundays in New York.  
                               We took the train into the city and had brunch at Michael Jordan’s Restaurant in Grand Central Station.  I tried my first Bloody Mary (didn’t like it). 
We got to visit the nooks and crannies of Grand Central.  We laughed with the rest of the class as people tried to avoid the cameras.  We learned things, together.  It was an experience, a memory made to last in our book of memories.  Isn’t that what we really want anyways?  Memories to keep us warm when we’re bored in the nursing home at 93?
Simply Vera Platform Heels, Vera Wang for Kohls
Maybe I’m wrong, though :)  Comment below and let me know what you’re looking to get for Valentine’s Day, what your favorite Valentine’s gift has been thus far OR let my boyfriend know how great I look in these shoes!  
Until then,
djRelat7

Please don’t hurt me…

Click to Leave Blog
Bleeding Heart by Arelis Cintron


How are you on this Wake Up Wednesday?  I hope you are safe and happy!  I know you are wondering what is up with the title of this blog, right?  Well, a few Sunday’s ago I wrote Marriage, For Better & Worse? Or Just For The Better?, how divorce has become so easy to do that most couples do not really work on their relationships.  However, there are a few instances where I would definitely say yes get the divorce.  Domestic Violence is definitely one of them.  I hope that if you are reading this, that you are not one of the many victims of this crime.  Some of us have been fortunate enough to have never experienced a moment in our lives where we feared danger to us or someone close to us.  Sadly, I’m sure a majority of us have had a personal experience or have witnessed one.  October is “Domestic Violence” month, so today I wanted to share some statistics I have learned, signs of domestic violence and information to seek help if you need it, or if you know someone who does.  If while reading this you feel you are in danger please hit the Bleeding Heart image to LEAVE NOW and be redirected to a safe site to search for kitchen curtains.

What is domestic abuse? Wikipedia.org defines it as: “Domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, child abuse or intimate partner violence (IPV), can be broadly defined as a pattern of abusive behaviors by one or both partners in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, family, friends or cohabitation.[1] Domestic violence has many forms including physical aggression (hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, slapping, throwing objects), or threats thereof; sexual abuse; emotional abuse; controlling or domineering; intimidation; stalking; passive/covert abuse (e.g., neglect); and economic deprivation.[1] Domestic violence may or may not constitute a crime, depending on local statutes, severity and duration of specific acts, and other variables. Alcohol consumption[2] and mental illness[3] can be co-morbid with abuse, and present additional challenges when present alongside patterns of abuse.

Statistics:

  • Every 15 seconds a woman is battered in the United States by her husband, boyfriend, or live-in-partner. (Source 1)
  • Domestic Violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 to 44, more common than automobile accidents, muggings and rapes combined according to findings by the former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop. (Source 1)
  • Other research has found that half of all women will experience some form of violence from their partners during marriage, and that one-third are battered repeatedly every year. (Source 1)
  • Drinking proceeds acts of family violence in 25 to 50% of all cases of domestic violence. (Source 1)
  • When I am asked why a man/woman doesn’t leave abuser I say: They stay because the fear of leaving is greater than the fear of staying. They will leave when the fear of staying is greater than the fear of leaving.( Rebecca J. Burns TheLastStraw)
  • Sexual violence, sexual coercion and dating violence are significant issues for young people though frequently unrecognized and even more often, untreated. (Source 2)
  • The Violence Against Women Act of 2005 was the first comprehensive federal legislation to address violence against women in the United States. (Source 2)
  • One of the most common reasons an abused woman stays in a relationship is because she is economically dependent on the abuser. (Source 3)
  •  Elder abuse is the maltreatment of an elderly or disabled person by a family member or caretaker. As with intimate partner violence and abuse, elder abuse can include physical, sexual, or psychological abuse; financial exploitation, and/or neglect, including the denial of basic needs such as food and medical care. (Source 3)
  • Child abuse, or child maltreatment, is an act by a parent, caretaker, sibling, family member, or other person that results in the physical or emotional harm or death of a child. Emotional abuse, neglect, physical abuse and sexual abuse are all different forms of child abuse. (Source 3)
  • One in 10 American couples engages in intimate partner violence each year. (Source 4)
  • Men and women initiate domestic violence at similar rates. (Source 4)
  • Partner aggression is often two-way. (Source 4)
  • Many factors contribute to domestic violence incidents. (Source 4)
  • Many victims of domestic violence face barriers to getting help. Men Specifically. (Source 4)

Warning Signs: From the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence: 
 Does your partner:

    • constantly criticize you and your abilities as a spouse or partner, parent or employee?
    • behave in an over-protective manner or become extremely jealous?
    • threaten to hurt you, your children, pets, family members, friends or himself?
    • prevent you from seeing family or friends?
    • get suddenly angry or “lose his temper”?
    • destroy personal property or throw things around?
    • deny you access to family assets like bank accounts, credit cards, or the car, or control all finances and force you to account for what you spend?
    • use intimidation or manipulation to control you or your children?
    • hit, punch, slap, kick, shove, choke or bite you?
    • prevent you from going where you want to, when you want to, and with whomever you want to?
    • make you have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually that you don’t want to do?
    • humiliate or embarrass you in front of other people?

 

It you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may be a victim of domestic violence. You are not to blame and you are not alone…On their site if you need help or someone to talk to the number is 888-774-2900.

Get Help: (Source 5) SAFETY ALERT: If you are in danger, please call 911, your local hotline, or (in the U.S.) the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224http://www.thehotline.org/  A nice feature of this website is the pop up window; the Quick Escape button, located at the top Right hand of each page on the website, redirects the user IMMEDIATELY to an unrated site.

 If you feel you are in danger PLEASE:

  • Tell a trusted friend, coworker or neighbor about your situation
  • Hide a bag at a neighbor or friend’s house with keys, identification, money and copies of important documents
  • Have a phone accessible at all times and know which numbers to call for help
“America is making steady progress in the national effort to curb intimate partner aggression.”
Until then,
I hope you are safe and happy!
djrelat7
PS: A shout out goes to The TJX Companies, Inc for underwriting the business style card that reads: “L O V E IS…caring, trusting, secure, accepting… IS NOT… Controlling what you do, who you see or where you go, stopping you from seeing your friends and family…Shoving, slapping, choking, hitting, intimidating or threatening you with weapons…
PSS: For your own reading you can find the information in this blog from the following links.
Source 3: Safe Horizon
For more information:

Male Victims of Domestic Abuse

Domestic violence against men: Know the signs, seek help

A Hidden Crime: Domestic Violence Against Men Is a Growing Problem

Connecticut Judicial Branch, Law Libraries: Domestic Violence In Connecticut   http://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/Law/domesticviolence.htm

www.thehotline.org/

Upcoming quotes in October will be from: The Last Straw Blog