42. What’s up?

I’m 42. 42? This happened so fast.

I’m so blessed to be here. Everyone didn’t make it. I’m not quite sure if that’s a gift or a curse, but I’m grateful still.

42 things I’ve learned on this journey. I don’t really have a full 42, but here’s a handful.

1. I’m magical. Like, I’m overwhelmingly incredible. I’m a damn unicorn.

2. My opinion matters as much as everyone else’s. I am just as important, but not an ounce more than.

3. No one has a right to disrespect me, not friend, family, or employer.

4. I’m doing what makes me feel good and discussing it with God. Outside opinions just complicate things. If I didn’t ask, save it. If I did ask, be brutally honest with me.

5. Everyday we wake up is a renewed chance to get life right. Keep striving to be better.

Happy Birthday to me😘

$LeandreaLarry

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I. Don’t. Know.

I’ve recently become obsessed with true crime podcast.

Serial – Podcast

“So…we’re coming by this welcome to South 40 sign, and there’s this girl out there walking around in front of the damn sign holding a cell phone. And, she’s got on a pink top and nothing else. No fucking panties. No goddamn socks. Barefoot. And, I remark that to Roger. I don’t remember what I said. I probably said, “my God look at her,” or something like that. And Roger’s sage advice was “usually when you see jokers that look like that, they’ve done something to get like that.” -John B, the genius

The intereviewer was silent. He was waiting for the rest of the story, or parable, as I think he called it. There must be more. There wasn’t. And, the storyteller felt the point was missed completely. However, later the interviewer finds purpose in the story.

For me, is it that simple? Did we create our circumstances, or did stuff just happen? Is it as simple as she did something?

I was left wondering about this woman.

Was she abused? Had she escaped some insane circumstance and was left in this position? Was she a victim?

Was she cracked out? High as a kite? Not even realizing the situation she was in?

Is that her fault? Is she self medicating something we don’t understand? Is there something she has pushed down deep? Is this her way of numbing her bigger pain? Is half, or 3/4, nakedness minor in comparison to the battle she’s trying to suppress?,

I don’t know. Maybe I am just overthinking, the way I tend to overthink.

Bringing it back to my non-in-love-life. This guy asked me, “why are you single.” It was meant to be flattering. It was supposed to be this, “how hasn’t anyone scooped you up yet.” (I said that aloud in the voice my youngest son uses for old men.) I giggled with all the feminity I could muster. Then I smiled and sweetly said, “I don’t know.”

This is when “I don’t know” became the accidental theme and title.

The real reason, however, is deep, and dark, and emotional, and it might run you off. It will be told without smiles and femininity. I may release rage or tears or rage and tears.

What’s your preference?

Giggle.

I. Don’t. Know.

My last major relationship fucked me up, for lack of a better phrase. He was a narcissistic asshole that I ended up experiencing some sort of Stockholm syndrome with and stayed WAY to long. He’s cruel, and that relationship has made me question my own decision making. I was rocked to my core after that relationship.

That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I’d already fought through some childhood trauma, ex-boyfriend shit, and trying to figure out my own wants and needs. Finally, I just realized I don’t have the energy or desire to be anyone’s partner. Nope. Casual is all I really have to give.

That’s it. More complicated if I include the details, but that’s the gist of things. I could change one day or for one person, but today I’m single because it’s easier than not being single.

So if you find me naked waist down, in a pink shirt, it’s not this joker’s fault. Not entirely my fault, at least.

I don’t know for certain, though.

I no longer have jurisdiction.

Some people, some situations, are just too much for you to handle on your own. They need to be given to God. Often not neatly. Often given in frustration, or anger, or tears, or totally depleted of every emotion.

I am there. I am all of those.

When you release someone, they feel it. They know it in their core, and they will fight like hell to gain relevance back in your life. They will be desperate for access to you. Don’t slip up. Don’t venture back.

There is nothing, but chaos for you there.

And, you have no jurisdiction.

Toxic relationships, emotionally immature people, the cult of narcissist, and the fucked up children in adult bodies need you to see them. They need your attention. And, they will tap dance naked in the street if it gets them noticed.

Walk on by them.

They are outside your parameters.

Don’t hard sell me to anyone.

If someone doesn’t like me, that’s okay. Please don’t try to convince them otherwise. We aren’t all meant to be friends.

Honestly, they may know a version of me that you wouldn’t like either. I haven’t always been this person. I have been a different version of me in different circumstances. I have reacted in ways I’m not proud of. I have said and done things I don’t want to relive. They may have their reasons.

And, I may have mine. They may be avoiding developing a relationship because they know they don’t deserve one. There may be a story they aren’t comfortable telling.

Either way, don’t give anyone the hard sell on me. If they don’t want me to be a part of their lives, I’m in full support of their decision. Don’t push. Don’t beg. Don’t even ask them twice.

It will not always work itself out.

I started clapping when I saw this. I was sitting in a doctor’s office, and before I knew it I’d had a hallelujah moment. Thankfully the front office staff knows me, likes me, and wanted to know what I was celebrating.

Then we celebrated. We range in age from 27-58. We all related to this post in a thousand different ways. From the woman who married her high school sweetheart, gave him 3 kids, nursed his mama before she died, then a midlife crisis was his justification to move on. To the youngster who thought she would be a married stay at home mama by now.

We ALL got it.

Lord have mercy.

We got it.

I returned to my seat 15-20 minutes later. Smiling under my mask from the moment. Knowing this blog was coming.

No one owes you anything. There are no true commitments. Everyone has free will over their own lives. We can make whatever decisions we desire, or need. And that’s what you have to remember as you move inside your relationships.

You must be totally comfortable and confident in your decisions, because that’s all you have. Results are not guaranteed. Loyalty isn’t guaranteed. Appreciation isn’t guaranteed.

Disappointment lives inside expectations.

Follow your heart. Do what feels good to you. Honor your character. And, understand that everyone is not like you. They weren’t raised like you. They don’t want what you want. And, they may not care about you the same way you care about them.

It will not always work itself out.

And, that’s okay. Sometimes it’s about the lesson. Sometimes you needed to see the truth before you got any deeper in.

Guard your heart.

My brother sends me a healthy mix of motivation and trash from the internet. He knows I need to be both encouraged and entertained.

This right here, hit me hard. So often we give people space in our lives that don’t deserve it. They weigh us down because we stretch their moment into infinity. We have to learn to evaluate our relationships and let go of those that mean us no good.

Lessons learned:

Guard your heart above all else – Protect your heart because it holds both your love and your peace.

Finding out who is who – You know it early on, but sometimes you absolutely refuse to accept that truth. That’s when we’re making life harder on ourselves than it has to be.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭4:23‬ ‭NIV‬‬

https://proverbs.bible/proverbs-4-23

Individual Relationships

This reminds me of conversation I had with an ex boyfriend. I was trying to explain to him that I was unhappy in the relationship. I really wanted out. I REALLY wanted to escape him. I was looking for him to understand that I was miserable. Nod his head. We’d hug and walk away forever. Just like the movies.

He told me that we were good. I was overreacting. He claimed that I just needed to calm down and stop looking for problems. I was in my own head.

What?!

The relationship I was in was toxic. It was chaos. It was exhausting and over. I was going through the motions. The perfect plus one. Playing a role like I had no options. This was not what I wanted for my life.

We were in two different relationships. He was getting a passive version of me that did whatever it took to get through the day. I was getting the arrogant real him that didn’t care about me enough to notice I hated him.

“The eye can never see their own face.” I often think about this when I look in the mirror. Am I even perceiving myself the way the rest of the world does?

Can I handle something casual?

So, I typically write about relationships. And, that’s kinda been my thing. I’m a really good girlfriend. I’d probably be a great wife, too. It’s just not my desire. I don’t want that today.

Don’t want, or can’t handle?

That’s another entry.

What about something casual? DTF? FWB? Me? IDK?

I explored this phenomenon. I didn’t go all the way, as if I owe anyone the details, but I did try the casual lifestyle. Lighthearted texting, brief calls, and dates that were more drinks no dinner.

I like it! Why would anyone do anything more than this?!

I owe nothing. I don’t have to do anything more than just show up when I want to. I don’t have to provide any moral support, cook any meals, or meet anybody’s mama. I just laugh at dumb jokes, have my bar bill handled, and get to have protected sex if the mood is right.

This works for me. It’s right in my life, right now. Except there’s no one providing me any moral support either. I’m giving all the physical parts and missing out on all the emotional parts.

Shit. And, I though it was foolproof.

Maybe I need to let the dust all settle and pursue that golden girlfriend title. Might even let someone drag me down the aisle. However, today I will emotionally support myself, pray it all away, and let the physical needs be the priority.

Protection

It’s funny the way God protects you.

I dealt with this man, off and on, for a decade. A whole, entire, 10 years. In that 10 years, we never worked out. It was always chaos. It was always difficult.

I didn’t understand that I was being saved.

In this decade, this man started off better than he ended. His life never promoted beyond the first year. Everything slowly fell apart. Each year ended harder than it started. Where would I have been? What would this have done to the path I was on?

God protected me from his journey.

That’s a protection we can only see in hindsight’s 20/20 clarity. Because I was in it with him at times. Close enough to be compassionate. Far enough away to never be impacted. I wondered why life kept dealing him these hard hands. I refused to see the part his own decision making played in his life. I loved him. I was so madly, deeply, in something like love with him. All of his ridiculousness looked logical…well justified.

I never want to love like that again. I thought that love was left in my teens and twenties. I was/am far too old for blind affection.

It’s true that God’s decisions are covered in favor. When he steers you away from someone, count it as a blessing. My aunt said to me today, “while we are looking at the next 5 minutes, God is looking at the next 500 years.”

Amen.

Parent/Child/Caregiver/Dating/Friend Relationships

“You haven’t really posted in awhile. What’s going on?” I was asked by a regular reader while picking up some necessities at Ulta. I had my head down, checking “notes” in my phone, to ensure I’d gotten everything I needed.

I looked at her. Smiled. Then felt bad that I hadn’t maintained my blog. I love writing. I love discussing relationships. I don’t have near as much romance going on as when I started this. I was newly in my 30s, no mortgage, just one child, and actively dating. BUT, I still have a story to tell.

I’m a completely different person now. I’ve seen some shit.

My focus now is on developing my relationships. Figuring out how to grow and change in them.

Things are different.

I’m seeing someone, but I’m not. (If you’re reading this, don’t be offended by that statement. We haven’t had the “what are we” conversation. I’ll blog again after we do.) We’re defining things as we go. It’s light and casual. He understands that I don’t have a lot of time, and he’s being patient. He won’t wait forever. He won’t think I’m always worth this amount of effort. That’s fine. Hopefully I’ll figure things out before we get there. Or not. I’m not overthinking this.

I’m still the 41 year old mother of both an almost 3 and 16 1/2 year old. I still have a full time job, support my oldest son’s business, pay these bills, take care of these people, and have a dog. And now, my dad lives here. I’m his caregiver, his assistant, and his maid.

It’s a lot. It’s so incredibly much. When I tell you I’m tired. I’m tired. I’m. Tired.

And, my house is a mess. And, I’m cooking almost everyday of the week. And, this isn’t who I am. Was?

This is almost verbatim what I told her. I was playing with my hair. Loving the cut and struggling with the loss of 12 inches of my security blanket.

“Well, your hair is cute.” She said digesting my life story.

“Thanks.”

“Listen, post when you can. I’ll be waiting, but you have your hands full. I’m not rushing you.”

“Thank you.”

“I’ve been there. It’s a lot. Take care of yourself.”

And, then she hugged me. It was genuine, and awkward in these corona times. My eyes got misty. It was so…nice.

So, here’s my post. That’s the update. I’ll try to do better. I’ll discuss all my relationships. I’ll keep redefining the blog as my life changes.

XOXO