Somewhere in Texas, I have an exe running all through my social media right now.

No one keeps tabs on you like someone that’s done you wrong. I mean dirty. Ridiculous.

They want to see who you love, who loves you, and every move you’ve made since you shook them.

Borderline obsessed? Not really. They probably aren’t reviewing your life daily, but at some point something will remind them of you. And, they will waste hours of their time checking on you. You will be running marathons in their head.

The impact you had on their life wasn’t ignored. It just wasn’t appreciated. And, after you’ve gotten the strength to change your life, they will reminisce and wonder while switching back and forth between your IG and FB.

So…keep posting.

I got my feelings hurt.

Feels like I have about a thousand of these posts. I recognize that enough should be enough. Maybe the realization has to come with individuals. Maybe the lesson is supposed to be learned again and again. IDK. Well, this is life.

I blame myself though.

I heard this story once. While walking, during the winter, this man discovered a snake frozen on his path. He hesitates briefly, but brings the snake home. He carefully places the snake near the fire. The snake warms. And, the man excitedly reaches out to embrace the snake once he realizes he’s going to be okay. Immediately the snake bites the man. The man is confused. He’s angry. After all he’s done. He rescued this snake from near death. He brought the snake into his home. How dare this snake not be grateful and kind? The man starts to scold the snake. He demands and explanation for the snake’s behavior. The snake hisses and says, “through it all, you knew I was a snake.”

Damn.

I’m not saying this person was a snake, because he didn’t hiss at me. But, I did get bit.

If I offer you friendship, while balancing career and home, kids, life, passion, and responsibilities, I expect you to offer me friendship back. You don’t have to be me. And, you don’t have to be perfect. You just have to be friendly.

Because I thought that him seeking me out meant he was mature enough to be my friend. Now I realize that he sought me out because he needed the friend he knew I’m capable of being. He needed me.

It didn’t even dawn on him that I may have needed him too.

Clarification: I’m not scorned. I’m not a desperate woman who missed out on love. I wasn’t certain that was a path I wanted to cross anyway. I didn’t rush him into my romantic life because I wasn’t sure he had a place there. I’m not angry or bitter. I wasn’t holding out hope for more. I just expected him to be the friend I’d been to him. He hurt my feelings.

Never stray too far from who you are.

Heard something on TV today that rang startlingly true.

“It’s not uncommon for any of us. If we feel passionate about another person, and that relationship is not going well, it could shift who we are. We could become somebody we’re not.”

Thank you Tom Thompson, of Miamisburg Police Department, from season 25 episode 1 of Snapped. You sir, just explained the crazy person in the relationship.

I wish I had a church fan right now. I need something to wave. Tom T. better preach.

This is the total truth. We have all fallen from grace in a highly emotional situation. We have all stepped out of character. Each of us has an embarrassing story.

I’m pleading with you, take a moment when your heart is breaking. You’re devastated. You may even be furious. Take a moment, just one, and remember who you are! Listen Queen. Listen King. You are not to stoop to their level. Be the person who builds a bridge and gets over it. Do not give them the satisfaction of seeing you be anyone other than the royalty you are.

Cry when you get home, privately. Call a friend. Call a real friend. Talk it out, privately. Do not embark on a path of embarrassment. Remind yourself that EVERYONE has a camera phone. Don’t be the hot new thing.

This concludes my PSA.

We make time for what’s important.

This is what I know. A man that is truly interested in you, will not let the sun set without connecting with you. Ever. Unless one of you is incapacitated. That’s the truth. I promise.

Same goes for a woman. At the minimum, there will be a good morning text, a midday check in, or a “how was your day” to shut it all down. I promise.

I know a man is interested in me when he wants to be the first and last person I connect with each day. Equally, I know that a man is not that interested when he lets the day pass without ensuring I’m “good.” Literally the text I’d get from my exe, “you good?” Randomly throughout the day. I knew we were solid…until we weren’t. And I knew we weren’t when the communication started to die. We got to a point that we weren’t hitting the minimum. He wasn’t interested in connecting with me. No hard feelings, though. I promise.

Pay attention to who makes times for you. We are all very busy. Time is precious, and it has to be manipulated often. Give credit to the person who found a couple minutes to check in. Ignore the person who claims to not have been able to find the time. Because they are only too busy for you. I promise.

We make time for what’s important. I promise.

40 feels good.

This is 40…

I’ve had A LOT of anxiety about turning 40. It came up so quickly. My youth is behind me. Technically, I’ve bypassed middle age. We may never know, but IJS.

40 didn’t feel celebratory. It felt inevitable. It was this 24th day of January, or die on the 23rd. Happy I made it through. Even though I’m convinced heaven will be so incredible we will feel stupid for being nervous, I want to stay here. I want to love my boys, drink margs and eat queso, travel this world, and drive around in my new Bronco for awhile. I’m not done. Please God, let me stay.

Tangent.

40 makes me anxious because although I’ve accomplished stuff, I’m behind. I’m not where I’d planned to be. I’ve so much work to do. I have to get things done while the getting is good, as I’ve been told.

I’m studying change. I want change in my own life. The old ways haven’t gotten me any new success. I’m manifesting the greatest accomplishments, putting in the work, demanding what I want, and saying no EVERY SINGLE TIME it feels right.

I am embracing this next decade with everything in me. I’m anxious and apprehensive. I’m terrified and excited. I’m ready. 40 is going to be this expansive, extensive, adventure that I’ll learn and grow in. I’m taking everything it has to offer. I’ll put my feet up in my 50s.

XOXO

Today

I’m sitting in a salon chair. It’s been about 15-20 minutes of hair color doing it’s thing. I’m spilling my guts to my hair stylist. I’m wallowing in the chaos of my life, and she’s refusing to let me throw this pity party. She’s pouring positivity into my situation. She’s encouraging me. She’s building me up. She’s loving me wholeheartedly.

This is the only type of relationship I want in my 40s, and I’m just days away from entrance. I’ve had everything else. I’ve been everywhere else. I’m only entertaining the absolute best for me in this next decade. Personally, I’m living in the moments. I’m taking it day by day.

Because anything else will destroy me. I recognize that.

Grateful for the people who remind you of the way God works, the strength you forgot you had, and the beauty of your talents.

XOXO

FYI: Professionally, I’m knocking off heads and demanding everything I want. IJS. The personal me, and the professional me, will have more separation.

Must I repeat myself?

Few years back I talked to this guy. He was nice enough, handsome enough, and carried enough of a conversation to maintain my interest for months. We had chemistry, but nothing ever came of it. Then we fizzled out.

Couple years later, we started again. Same chemistry, and we moved a little further along. Then it blew up. He played silly games. There was unnecessary conflict. It came to a hard stop.

Couple years after that, he resurfaced. We had a conversation about the past early on. I didn’t want to live that again. Any resemblance of the past was a deal breaker. I can’t keep traveling the same paths expecting different destinations.

It imploded. Felt it big, but it wasn’t much of a show. I just faded into black. I wasn’t going to have another conversation about expectations and what was. I just wanted to leave.

Couple months later, he pops up out of nowhere with a declaration and hope. Nah, bruh. I can’t do it again. I can’t keep repeating myself to adults. Especially not to adults where I’m not clocked in, earning compensation for regurgitating these words. Because my hourly wage is the only thing that would encourage me to do this for the umpteenth, or third-ish, time with you. Believe that.

The fact that I gave you those other chances has led you to believe I always will, and that’s very false. I misled you. I apologize.

Your inability to lead a strong relationship, to do what you say, and be accountable are really undesirable characteristics. I’m no longer attracted to you, but we can always be cool.

Are you having good sex?

I seldom discuss sex because my aunties have access to this, but I feel compelled. I’ve recently, in the same week, talked to 2 different women that have been having awful sex.

They didn’t even know.

It reminds me of that moment you put on your glasses for the first time and realize everyone else has been seeing clearly. Wow.

I have been nominated, by the masses, to tell you that sex is supposed to be amazing.

I mean REALLY amazing. Change your life fantastic. Every cliche statement out there is true. Rock your world. Earth shattering. Incredible. Extraordinary. Back blown out. Sweat soaked sheets. Edges nappy. All encompassing!

When it’s done correctly.

That’s the key.

IF it’s done correctly.

If you don’t feel this way, he or the combination of the two of you, are not doing it right. You’re doing it all wrong, and you should stop immediately. Immediately.

If desire is intact, there are resources to help you. Communicate, because the first thing is always first. Have a conversation. Discuss your likes and dislikes, no one reads minds. Slow it down. Take your time. Get intimate. There’s a difference in intimacy and sex. They’re related though, and unless it’s just a hook up, they NEED each other. Then try to read a book, watch a video, or visit a website. New techniques can’t hurt, or the arousal of seeing or discussing someone else might increase the passion.

Passion is a key word. Desire and passion. If they exist, you can figure this out.

If you aren’t emotionally invested or they are a selfish participant, why are you even getting undressed? Why let them inside of your body? Why waste your time? Those are real questions that deserve answers.

I’m too old to have trash intercourse, and too busy. If the stars have aligned just right for me to be available, kid free, and emotionally invested, it better be new age, next level, can’t buy this shit in stores perfect. It needs to have me having tremors up to 48, nah 72, hours later. I need to spend the next day smiling in recollection. Otherwise, miss me completely. I’d rather continue on this vow of celibacy.

For clarity’s sake, you cannot expect the world laying on your back like a dead body. Participate. It’s not a one man job. It feels like that should be clear, but just in case I’m literally saying to you: “Get in there sis, and do your part!”

Follow up conversations and tutorials aren’t available. You gotta do the work. I’ve led you to the water. Drink.

For my aunties, this is educational only. Celibacy is totally intact.

What’s the timeline?

What’s the timeline to do relationship stuff?

Does the timeline bend and curve by age or status?

How is this all supposed to work?

I’m speaking with a friend of mine. Crash and burn relationship. And, she’s beating herself up over 1. when they slept together, 2. when she introduced him to her family, and 3. when she said I love you. She’s all but called herself an idiot, and sounds like the moment right before tears. Classic sharp inhales and sniffles.

1. I recall this episode of Girlfriends. Joan is explaining that you shouldn’t sleep with a man before the third date, or on the third date. Something like that. Ummm…okay? Maybe.

Date? Like pick me up or meet me at a venue. We dress the part. Chat over appetizers. Laugh over cocktails. We offer each other bites of our food. Ooh and ahh. Then kiss once on the first date. More passionately on the second. And, then our clothes will fall off at the end of the third? That doesn’t sound totally reasonable. What if we hike? Or, paint? Or, do coffee and I nibble on a cheese danish or muffin, all cute?

What if we aren’t traditional, Joan?

What are the new rules supposed to be? Why are there rules? Why aren’t we comfortable doing grown folks shit when we feel grown enough to do it. Disclaimer: When you are a legal and responsible grown folk with another legal and responsible grown folk.

2. Meeting my family always feels like such an undertaking. I’d welcome rules.

How about the time my boyfriend surprised me? Showed up at my house unannounced. Then my mom came over. I had to make an introduction. It was sooner than expected, but I wasn’t gonna hide either of them in a closet.

You strike in the moment then. Play it by ear otherwise?

And, my kids. I don’t like introducing men to my kids. It’s such a slippery slope. Even when you think they could be a good one, they can totally disappoint you. Too soon could be always.

3. And, in my youth I followed the girlfriend love rules. Never say it first. Never accept it during sex. And, depending on how you’re feeling you can say it back or say thanks with a sly smile.

Not anymore. Life is too short. If I love you, I’ll tell you. When I love you, I’ll probably assess my feelings for a week or two. Then I’ll happily tell you. It’s not a secret. It’s not a weakness. And, I won’t say it because you did. If I’m not there, I’ll be honest. No sly smiles.

In conclusion…

All of this to say, there’s no real timeline. You have to move based off your relationship and your feelings.

My major advice: Don’t act in honeymoon bliss. Don’t make any decisions while you’re still in that window of perfection. Your reputation and credibility are pending. Make quality decisions. Give everyone time to have dropped the fake shit. Once you’ve seen them angry or frustrated, with a few drinks in them, or having to make a major decision you’ve seen the real them. That’s when you should be most comfortable moving forward.

Carry on, and good luck out there.