Seeing the Finish Line

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Guys….guys…guys. I’m almost done with school. This week is going to end week 10 of 11 for my last class in my MBA program. I can’t celebrate just yet, I still have another paper to write, and a final, plus I have 3 days of military training this weekend, so I’ll have to do it all when I get home.

My graduation isn’t scheduled until October, but Lorenzo is already planning things for us to do to relax and spend time together. I feel like I have been almost ignoring him for the past year and a half. I’ve literally had to tell him one day not to plan anything for us to do without speaking with me first because there was always too much for me to do. So I know he is just as excited as I am.

Its been 5 years since I started my MBA program. After a really bad Economics class I took a semester off, which later turned into 3 semesters because I was spending my time looking for another job. I went back, and then took another semester off because Lorenzo and I had to move and were buying our house at the same time. I even took a break from my blog last year, so I really didn’t get to document any of it. Now here I am, about 10 days away from being completely finished. It makes me so happy because I knew that the time would pass anyway, and I’m glad that I stuck with it and had the determination to finish.

We’re not going to talk about my GPA right now because this class has been sketchy for me. I’m sure it will take a hit, but I am preparing myself to deal with that. Its not like they are going to put it on my the degree anyway…so….

But, its not like this is the end for me, there is still lots more for me to work towards, the first being a job that is more in line with my degree, certifications, and retiring from the military next year. So I’m still going to be a busy lady– just without homework.

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Starting Over or New Chapter?

So I did something a little drastic last weekend.

I decided to cut my hair.

More specifically, I cut off heat damaged hair that I’ve been trying to grow out for the past 3 months. So now my once shoulder length tresses are in an experimental curly fro. Why experimental? Well, because I still don’t know how to take care of it or what products my hair responds to. My friend and natural hair vet Queena is helping me figure it all out. She’s a blessing.

I’ve haven’t had a relaxer since 2013. I transitioned to natural, and would get my hair pressed about once a month or less, so my routine was very low maintenance and low manipulation. Back in October I realized I had heat damage, and almost ALL of my hair was affected. I decided to stop getting it pressed and kept it in braids until this past weekend.

I spoke with Lorenzo about it. I had to explain heat damage (bless his heart) and why I wanted to get rid of it. When my friend came over to help me trim my ends (I really don’t do my own hair guys, please don’t judge me), I told  her to just cut it off. So I guess you could say I did a big chop (sort of). I spoke with hubby again before I did it. He asked a lot of questions about how I have to take care of it going forward, what do I do if I want to straighten again in the future, etc.

When he finally saw the outcome, he stared and examined it. No smiling. When I asked how he felt, he said he wanted to make sure I was happy and was thinking of the best way to support me. I was way too excited when my hair just curled right up.

I also discovered that I have 2 different hair types. The back of my hair grows in loose spiral kind of curls (3C?) while the front grows in these loose zig zags (4A?). I think its pretty cool.

I’m pretty excited to see how this turns out in a few months. Lorenzo says he feels like I’m starting over, but I see it as starting a new chapter.

Long live the curls!

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How to Not Kill Your Husband 101

I’ve been trying to figure out for the past few weeks how to write this in away that won’t be held against me later on in court, in the strange event that something does actually happen to my husband and for some reason it looks like I did it. Let me preface by saying: I don’t ACTUALLY want to kill my husband. I think that sometimes I get so irritated with him that I think I want to kill him, but I don’t. He’s just happens to be irritating me at that particular point in time and I don’t know how to handle it.

Is this what marriage is? Dealing with someone whom you love so much, yet at the same time can’t stand the sight of, but yet if they weren’t around you’d be sad? Just me? Probably. Lorenzo irritates me sometimes. Half the time I don’t know why, but I just really understand why some women keep cast iron skillets in the house. They are not just for grilled cheese sandwiches. I don’t even know if he knows that I want to strangle him sometimes. I think he does though…I can’t hide my facial expressions.

I asked my sister if she ever felt this way with her fiancé. She agreed. She said she really wants to kill him sometimes, but then she knows she’ll be pissed at him for actually dying so she doesn’t chance it. I remember having dinner one night with another couple, I am not even sure what happened but one minute everything was cool and then the next thing I know my friend is calling her fiancé annoying. He asked what he did, she said, “You’re breathing. You breathing annoys me. Ughh, you’re so annoying.” After a minute, Lorenzo laughed. I looked at him like he was crazy and said, “What are you laughing at? You’re annoying too.” I had to ask my friend who’s been with her husband for a total of 20 years how she doesn’t kill her husband every week. Her answer, with no hesitation: lots of prayer.

Am I just crazy? Seriously, that’s a real question because its like, one minute I love, love, love him, he’s #BAE, and he can do no wrong; and the next I want to throw things at him. Or vice versa; he’ll purposely do things to get under my skin then turn around and be super sweet (usually in the form of getting me food). Maybe I’m just hungry. I don’t know. And I’m about 175% sure I get on his last nerve as well, but if I ask he’ll probably feel like I’m trying to set him up or something, so I’ll never get an honest answer. On a good day.

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Shout Out My Husband for Being Awesome

I swear that my husband is the most patient man on the planet. He has to be. He’s always calm and even when he is frustrated he doesn’t raise his voice. He’s never overly emotional and he so far above any pettiness that its inspiring for me to stop worrying about things and opinions that don’t matter. But of all that, most importantly, he puts up with me. Every. Single. Day.

Sometimes I feel like I am a walking train wreck. Other times, I feel like I have it all together and I’m the shit and you can’t tell me otherwise. There are days when I get so caught up in my own madness that Lorenzo will stop and ask me, “What are you thinking about?” because my emotions ALWAYS show on my face. Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like if I never met him. Would I have ever given up this ridiculous pattern of dating men who obviously didn’t want the same things I wanted? Would I have ever fallen in love again? Would I have ever gotten married?

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Honestly, about a month before I met Lorenzo I’d decided that I was just going to be single for the rest of my life. It wasn’t that I was refusing to date, I just didn’t think there was a man out there for ME-someone who could be compatible with me and my personality that I actually wanted to spend my life with who didn’t get on my nerves. I was even super skeptical of Lorenzo when we met, and it didn’t help that the first 8 months we were dating one of my co-workers almost had me convinced that he was going to kill me (she’s since given up on that idea but I haven’t, he IS a Marine for crying out loud).

Anyway, I’m grateful and blessed and happy to have my husband. He’s taught me so much about who I wanted to be, just by being himself. His maturity level is on 98 (he has his petty moments), he taught me what it feels like to have someone take care of me without wanting anything in return. He holds me accountable, challenges me, and doesn’t tolerate any of my crap. He’s never disrespectful and his communication skills are immaculate. Having a chance to know the people in his circle has helped me pick better friends- his friends actually help each other in times of need, there is no drama, and they all take care of each other. Its really something to strive for. He’s always really warm and he massages my scalp if I ask. He knows how to cook and doesn’t get all bent out of shape if I want to go shopping.

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Don’t get me wrong, there are times where we end up on the wrong side of each other’s attitude, like when we went to Pappadeaux and bought gumbo and he took mine to work… (*sigh*) but, so far, its nothing we can’t handle. So…shoutout to him.

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Submit: A Four Letter Word

I was on Instagram today and I follow a page called Black City Girl (@blackcitygirl_) that talks about marriage, finding love, bettering yourself and all that jazz. Today there was a video posted about a couple who recently married, and the husband was explaining the reasons why he committed to his wife:

  1. They share the same core beliefs (faith)
  2. She respected him as a man
  3. She makes him feel needed (depended on him)
  4. They built together

I will admit that I like that page because sometimes they post very uncomfortable truths that a lot of women don’t want to admit to or agree with, and this one was definitely one of them. It seems like everyone totally dismissed points 1, 2, and 4 and completely focused on the “dependent” part. There was a lot of opposition from a few commenters, while there were others, like myself, who were more accepting of what was being said. Somehow dependency turned into submission, and then that turned into domestic skills. I attempted to clarify what I thought “dependent” means but I can only use my own life as a point of reference; and again there was opposition.

I think that the issue with the word “submission” is that we usually go to the textbook definition of it which is “to give over or yield to the power of another” and many people, including myself, were not having it. Like at all. Especially when you start using Biblical references such as “wives…submit to your husbands” (I’m not sure where this is in the Bible exactly but its there) and people just lose their minds. There was a lot of,

“I’ll never submit to a man…”

“I’ll never make him feel needed”

“I’ll never depend on him…for what?”

The problem I was having with these comments was that these women (who were all single by the way) wouldn’t even stop for a second to consider what the other married/engaged women were saying when talking about “depending on their men”. I stated that dependence in most cases in not financial dependence at all, but just giving a man the FEELING of being needed- and that is so BROAD that it could mean many different things to many different people. Dependence can mean spiritual, emotional, guidance and insight, or any other feeling depending on who you are asking.

Quick story: I used to be one of those women, the “I’m a strong Black woman who doesn’t need a man for anything” (snap my fingers two times) types. I was having a conversation with a male friend who constantly – and I mean constantly – cheated on his wife. He cheated the entire time they were dating, engaged, and after they married. When I finally asked him why he kept doing this, he admitted to me, “I love her, but, and I know this is going to sound crazy, but she acts like she doesn’t need me. I just fit into her plan of having a house, marriage, and children. Its like she doesn’t want me for anything else.”

He went on to tell me that as archaic as it sounds, men NEED to feel needed. This was when Lorenzo and I were still getting to know each other and I was still holding on to my own views about what that meant. A year later, a few months before he proposed, I thought about what my ex-friend had said, so I asked Lorenzo straight up, what the thought “submission” meant. He told me that he wanted me to let him help me.

That’s it. No talk about finances, no stay at home barefoot and pregnant, no do what I say and wait on me hand and foot. None of that. After we had that conversation I felt SO much better about marrying him. He asked me for something that I could actually give him. Was it hard? Yes. I’d spent my entire life taking care of myself so it was extremely hard for me to let him have some of my responsibilities, but honestly, it didn’t kill me. I still have my job(s), my own money, my same spending habits; its just that he takes out the trash, checks on my car when the lights come on, pays for me to get my hair done, fixes things around the house. Not a bad deal if you ask me.

I think that people should really take the time to get to know the people they are involved with. I can understand that it can be hard to believe anything I’m saying when people are so used to dealing with people who are not worth it. But, I think that when you find the “right” person for you, it makes it easier to work these things out. I thought that “submitting to a man” was the most horrible thing you could ever say to me, but when I was able to think about it as it related to Lorenzo, it was really just allowing him into my life enough so that he knows that I DO want him around. Lorenzo knows I don’t “need” him-especially in terms of finances, its one of the things he loves the most about me. Hell, he’s been super supportive of me getting an MBA so I can get a better paying job to make more money. So its not about keeping me under his thumb, or “behind him” its about allowing him to help me be the very best possible version of me so that WE can thrive together.

I’m curious as to what people think…. please share.

What Happens in Vegas Gets Posted on my Blog

 

Last weekend was my last vacation before the holidays begin next month. Lorenzo and I flew out to Las Vegas to meet up with one of his friends who still lives in Albuquerque, NM. (If I haven’t mentioned this before, Lorenzo lived out in New Mexico for a while with his job. He and I were introduced by a mutual friend and had a long distance relationship for 2 years before I moved to Atlanta).

Anyway, we met up with his friends and the cousins of the friend. I’ve been to Las Vegas once before, and Lorenzo had been there multiple times while he lived in Albuquerque since the flight is just over an hour away. The first time I went I stayed at a not so great hotel, I can’t remember the name, but this time, we stayed at the Bellagio. If you’ve ever been there, you already know that it’s a big hotel that has a water show every 15 minutes, it beautiful, and full of expensive stores that I can just barely afford to shop in. He won’t say it, but I think Lorenzo was teasing me by having me try on rings at Harry Winston.

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Bellagio

 

While we were there, we ate at a few of the restaurants at the hotel, because Lorenzo I and share a love of good food, we also did a tiny bit of shopping and went to a restaurant called Joe’s Seafood and Steakhouse. This was special for me because Lorenzo and I went there on our first date in Chicago back in 2011. We went on the gondola boat ride at the Venetian, and zip lined off of the roof of the Rio Hotel (thanks, Groupon). Lorenzo and I also went to the Bad Boy Reunion Tour that Saturday night before we left. It was awesome. During the show, I was surprised that I remembered so many words to so many of the songs, and I was even more surprised that my mother used to let me listen to that kind of music when I was in high school. I knew that some of it was vulgar and sexual but Oh, Em, Gee. Wow. Halfway through the concert, I thought to myself, “I used to sing along to this when I was in 14?”

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Venetian

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Zip Line from the Rio Hotel

 

Fortunately for me (and my parents), I knew how to separate music, television, and video games from real life. I had to learn quickly that high school is nothing like Saved by the Bell, so I needed to get my life together. I am not much of a gambler, so I didn’t spend too much time doing that. Lorenzo and I played some slots when we had down time in between events and Lorenzo played Blackjack with his friends for a while. I suck at Blackjack; I have an app on my phone that I consistently lose money on so I figured I better not risk it in real life. Besides I already have an addiction to makeup, I don’t need to add gambling to that as well.

Now we have Thanksgiving and Christmas to look forward to. We are not big on Halloween, so I really don’t count it has something to celebrate. I’m not sure if it’s a good idea anyway with all these creepy clowns running around terrorizing people. Seriously, though, what’s up with that?

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View from the roof of the Rio Hotel

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Paris Hotel (view from the Bellagio)

Marriage Advice Gone Wrong

People love giving their opinions, even if you never asked for it. I used to be like that, but I had to learn to keep my 2 cents to myself unless I was asked. This way, if I said something they didn’t like, I could always follow up with, “Well, you asked!”. As I got older, I had to learn to take things with a grain of salt. Then I started paying attention to the people I was listening to, and that’s when I started ignoring folks all together. Why? Because people don’t know what they’re talking about! Your girlfriend/BFF who is never in a relationship or can’t keep one but always giving you relationship advice? Yeah, you shouldn’t listen to her. The guy who constantly cheats on his wife but tries to tell you what he thinks about marriage? Nope, you shouldn’t listen to him either. And you probably shouldn’t take financial advice from your adult friend who still sleeps on their parent’s couch and is living check to check but always has designer clothes and always wants to hang out. Just don’t do it.

Fortunately for me, I married a man who doesn’t listen to what other people have to say about his decisions. He knows what direction he wants to go in and doesn’t let other people deter him from his path. If someone presents an idea to him, he asks questions- lots of questions, before he would even consider it. When Lorenzo and I were dating, we were living in 2 different states. He relocated to Atlanta from Albuquerque, while I remained in New Jersey. Needless to say, there were a lot of people (read: men) who were trying to convince him to date as much as he can and play the field – even though he and I were already committed to each other. Not gonna lie, I got some crazy advice from people after we got engaged as well. Here is some of the craziest we’ve heard:

Don’t get married. Lorenzo had other men say this to him. Why? Because they felt like since he was young, successful, and childfree that the LAST thing he should do is settle down. They wanted him to go around and sleep with as many women as he could – because honestly, that’s what they would do. A lot of those guys had dead end jobs with a kid or two by multiple women and had their wages garnished due to child support payments. But maybe if they weren’t sleeping around so much and having kids they would have extra money to…oh, well never mind.

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Let yourself go. Multiple women have said this to me. I was shocked because I didn’t think people actually did that; I thought it was a joke. I used to look at them and think to myself, “You can’t be serious.” I didn’t keep myself in shape just to “catch a man,” I’m in the military so I have to stay in shape and honestly, I actually give a shit about my health, so no, I won’t be doing that.

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Marriage is boring. Or, “you won’t get to do things you like to do.”  I don’t understand this one. Is everyday supposed to be a party? If you’re so bored, why don’t you plan a trip or an outing or something? I can understand not having a whole lot of time to indulge in your hobbies if you have kids but if you don’t, why can’t you? I don’t get it. Someone will have to explain this one to me.

Don’t tell your husband about all of your purchases. So, lie to him? To me, this means that he can turn around and do the same thing by keeping things from me. Why would I want to do that? I’m a pretty financially savvy person, so I know better than to spend rent money on a new purse or make a major purchase when we are trying to save for a house. No thanks, I’m not trying to cause arguments intentionally.

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I’m sure that folks have the best intentions when they offer advice, but I realize many of them speak from their own experiences rather than placing themselves in the other person’s shoes; and just because its something you’ve gone through or would do yourself doesn’t mean its the best thing for ME. If we’d listened to everything other people told us to do we’d be arguing all the time just to prove we don’t have secrets, we would’ve bought a house in a not so great neighborhood and another house that we didn’t like just to live next to people that I didn’t know. We also would’ve had a kid just because someone Lorenzo worked with was pregnant, also someone I don’t know; and went into debt planning our wedding. Lorenzo would have taken jobs that wouldn’t have helped his career and I would nag him and start arguments about next to nothing, just to do it.

The moral of this story: people sometimes give shitty advice, not just about marriage, but about life in general. I think people should consider the person they are getting advice from and always do what they think is best for them. That other person who has so much to say about your life doesn’t have to deal with the consequences of what is ultimately YOUR decision. Listen, but with caution.

 

 

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