New Year, Same Me

“Do not believe in anything because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything because it is spoken by many. Do not believe in anything because it is written in religious books. Do not believe in anything on the authority of your teachers. Do not believe in traditions just because they have been handed down. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

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I’ve been so busy over the last couple of months that I haven’t had the opportunity to reflect over 2013 (or blog). For as long as I can remember, I would set New Year resolutions at the end of a year. Last year, in an inspired moment, I made New Year intentions. However, by January 1st things were already not going anywhere close to how I had planned. Despite the rocky start, 2013 turned out to be an absolutely amazing year. Yes, there were a few (read: a lot) bumps in the road, which made me question choices I was making, but I needed those bumps to occur to finally reach the path and pace I’m at now.

With January 2014 being a mere 4 days away, I’m starting the year with cautious optimism. Wait, I retract that statement, I’m starting the year with complete optimism– go hard or go home, right? I do not plan on making a dozen resolutions only to forget about them by the first week of February. So, I’m making one choice and that is to just hit play.

What I want most out of 2014 is tweaks, that in change give me a slightly better life and perhaps offers me the chance to do the same for others. I do have actionable goals dancing around in my beautiful mind, but they’re a) rather boring and b) rather personal. Instead, I am going to share a few mantras I’m using this new year. Because I’ve already pressed play on living the life I want, I’ve been using these since the latter part of 2013, and they’ve been unquestionably valuable. They feel right. They feel relevant. They feel “now.”

1. Metanoia

2013 will forever be remembered as the year I unlearned everything I was taught & finally felt free. Metanoia is the journey of changing one’s mind, heart, self, and/or way of life. I discovered that being comfortable with yourself, beliefs, desires, actions and thoughts are all paths on this journey that leads to happiness. I’ve practiced metanoia for several months now and it works. I am generally happier and when I am happy it only brings about more happiness.

2. Just start. The journey will change (you).

This is a big one. For too long I stayed in a job and entertained a relationship that brought me nothing but conscious misery. I was so afraid of starting over in both instances, that I allowed fear to takeover my life. Then one day, I just did it and let go of them both! I didn’t know how I was going to survive being without either, but I learned along the way. Now I’m in a career that brings me so much joy and my romantic life has never been so wonderful [blushes]. My journey changed for the better, changed me for the better and all I had to do was start.

3. I am beautiful.

Say it with me, I am beautiful! I am including this here for a reason. Yes, I wouldn’t mind if I gained some pounds (no error, I said gain). Yes, I would love larger breasts. Yes, I want my curls to stop being so rebellious. That is all fine. But I must know that I am beautiful regardless of any of that. I am a beautiful full stop. We all are. Remember, someone’s inability or unwillingness to see your worth or beauty does not decrease the value of either.

With all of that being said, 2013 was about taking first steps. It was about ironing out the emotional wrinkles. Unearthing the obstacles I put in my way and finding that I am stronger than I made myself out to be. 2014 is about continuing to work on this amazing person 2013 helped me become. To do everything in my life with soul, creativity and love.

My Breaking Point– Freeing Myself

“Forgive yourself for not being at peace. The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace is transmuted into peace. Anything you accept fully will get you there; will take you into peace. This is the miracle of surrender.”

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A few weeks ago I reached my breaking point. Nothing in my life was making me happy and I had fallen into a deep depression. I hated my job so much that I cried every morning before going. My love life was so nonexistent that I forgot what it felt like to be truly loved by a non-family member. I was no longer receiving fulfillment from majority of my friends. I was told by my doctor that I have a condition called PCOS and I have fertility issues. Then to put the cherry on top, all of my unhappiness has caused me to fall underweight and I need to gain 20 pounds in the next three months (which isn’t that easy with my metabolism)!

I was basically a walking personal disaster.

Times were tough and everything felt raw and scary and like nothing would ever feel comfortable again. That is when I decided to take charge of my life. My first act of business was pulling the plug on my job. This was without a doubt the scariest of all the decisions. In the last 10 years, I have never been without a job. Even while in college, I maintained two jobs, while taking an excessive amount of credits. I’ve never been one to rely on other people or ask for help, but these were two things that I knew would come with this decision, and for my health and sanity, I knew this is what I had to do.

The second act of business was letting go of the hurt and hatred in my heart. A good amount of my posts have been about my ex and the spiraling disaster of his betrayal and our relationship. What I discovered, though, was that by still harboring these ill feelings for him, I was ultimately still giving him control over my life. When we were in a relationship, I did and cared too much. I would spend sleepless nights thinking of all the ways I could be a better girlfriend and make him love me the way I needed him to. Majority of the relationship, I adjusted my own wants and likes for his. I am confident in saying, I am not that woman anymore.

I’ll admit (because I’ve written about it) that I have let him off the hook semi-easily in the past; I’ve been over-forgiving. I saw myself as an honest woman who was taking risks for love, while others in my life saw me as a stupid naive girl who was hoping for love so much, she was blinded by it. Both may be true. But I don’t regret my past decisions. I would still do it all over again, in the exact same way (mostly).

So if I have no feelings of regret, why am I still allowing these ill emotions to affect my life? I’m not bitter, so why am I playing the bitter role?

These questions led me to take another risk. I decided to have some type of closure with my ex and to work on a new type of relationship– a friendship. This was a decision that I originally planned to keep to myself. I’ve learned in life that everyone has an opinion about everything, and sometimes too many voices in your ear can be that gray cloud of judgement. I am 25-years old and I know ME and what’s best for ME better than any other person in this world. I saw that there was too much hurt in my heart and opted to finally let the heart heal. I didn’t want to be the type of person who is so hurt and embarrassed by her past, that she stops taking risks and builds unbreakable walls around her. No, I won’t laugh;  or be embarrassed or feel regret for the love I didn’t find. I’ll smile because I’ll know that I was a woman who never let the pain of not being loved, stop her from loving and making new friends.

Some may think that I am a hypocrite. I preach to my girlfriends on knowing their worth and not allowing a man to treat them like scum. But I personally don’t believe that me forming a friendship with my ex, alludes to me not knowing my value. Actually, in all the years I have known him, I envied what an awesome friend he was, compared to him being a shitty companion. So, instead maybe I am what you call a paradox. I want to be happy, but I think of things that make me sad. I’m extremely lazy, yet I’m overly ambitious. I don’t always like myself, but I’m in love with who I am. I say I don’t care when I really do. I crave attention, but reject it when it comes my way. And the person who broke my heart, is the only one who can repair it.

All in all, I hope that those in my life will be respectful of the decisions I’m making for myself. I don’t feel the need to elucidate my decisions and I’m not looking for encouragement, support or approval. No matter what, my focus is on ME and ME now.

Talking to My 19-Year-Old Self

“You were born to be real, not to be perfect.”

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I can still recall when I was 19 and 21 seemed so far away. Now, having celebrated my 25th birthday just a few months ago, I am starting to feel really good about it– opposed to how distraught I was initially. I shake my head in disbelief when I think about my early twenties self and how utterly lost I was. If there were to have been a way I could have sat myself down and given ME a stern talking to, this is what I would have said:

1. That man-boy you’re dating is a complete asshole. You know he’s an asshole, but you insist on continuing this sickening love affair. He’s damaging your self-esteem, your self-worth and your relationship with friends and family. When you finally have the big breakup,  you’re going to have a really hard time coping for a while. So difficult that you’ll cry yourself to sleep many nights on the cold bathroom floor. It will be okay.  You will be okay. Pushing yourself through it, you’ll eventually understand why it’s so worth being rid of him. Because, trust me, he never changes.

2. You’re going to go through a long single period. You’ll go on a few dates. You’ll even have a pseudo-relationship with a great guy, but you just aren’t as into him as you need to be. Again, you’ll be fine, but you’ll be single. I’m talking 2 years of singleness (…and still counting). Some days you will absolutely love it, but more times than not, you’re going to miss that constant companionship. Regardless of your desire for romance, you will not settle and you will not date men who aren’t equally intelligent and kind. That’s definitely a lesson you took from your previous relationship.

3. You are truly beautiful. Not just on the outside, but on the inside as well. You start to notice this not only in yourself, but in others, too. I remember when you would spend hours stressing over the way you looked and never thinking you were good enough. You wouldn’t wear your hair curly because it didn’t reach the center of your back, like your straight. Go ahead and shake your head, girl. One day you will love those curly strands and will be working on years of not putting heat to that head! Hell, half the time you just throw those curly locs up in a bun and feel absolutely gorgeous!

4. Don’t take a job you’re not passionate about. Yes, it looks good on your resume. Yes, the benefits are amazing. Yes, you will be able to financially support yourself and move out of your parents’ house. Guess what, though– you are fucking miserable. Complaining to friends and family constantly, followed by going home and pouring a glass of Jack Daniels is not healthy. You’ll eventually know exactly what it is you love and work towards that.

5.  Work on that temper. Being a Pisces and overly emotional do not help in this department. You have to try, though. Overtime you get much better at controlling yourself, but your wrath tries to surface every now and then. Keep calm; it’s never the end of the world. I promise.

Just know this 19-year-old, Morgan–you’re braver and at the same time, more fragile than you think. You make some pretty stupid mistakes (Lord were they stupid), but you also make some great decisions. At 25 you will be happier, calmer, slightly (let’s not push it) wiser, healthier, appreciative, and overall more well-rounded. Remember: laugh more, cry less, be adventurous, hug lots and be thankful for the people who love you.

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Reading the Signs and Letting Go of Hope

READING THE SIGNS AND LETTING GO OF HOPE

THE DC LADIES

APRIL 30, 2013

BY: MORGAN JOHNSON

We often don’t see things as they are, but more so how we hope them to be. The thing with hope, though, is sometimes it’s not enough and you have to know when to let go.

When someone likes you romantically, they go out of their way to talk to you, be near you and do nice things for you. All one really has to do is look at their own actions when liking or being interested in someone. You’re usually more open with your time and reply to messages quicker. You want to know everything about them from their opinions to their routines. You want to know them to a deeper degree than others know them. When you’re into someone, they pop into your mind when the slightest things remind you of them– with most things reminding you of them. [read more….]

What We Aren’t Taught in School

“Your first love is the person you will always compare everyone to. The person that you will never truly get over, even when you’ve convinced yourself you’ve moved on.”

Love Lessons

From preschool through college, we’re sat down and taught skills that someone has deemed useful and necessary for life. Not once, though, in all the years of great educators coming together to compose textbooks and lesson plans, did one of them think to implement courses on life and love– and how tragic they can be, and how to survive.

I wish they had. I wish someone would have taught me……..

That when your heart is hurting, there is indeed a physical pain involved. A pain that’s so intense, it puts menstrual cramps to shame.

That  you have to appear strong when sometimes you feel so alone & weak.

That giving your all; giving your best; opening up & allowing yourself to be vulnerable, still may not be enough.

That your love may not be enough.

That you can live without ‘them,’ but it will hurt like hell everyday. Such an excruciating pain it dramatically seems equal to death.

That you should never jeopardize who you are, for someone else.

That memories can be triggered by anything from music, a picture or even a stranger that resembles a familiar face.

That even when someone has broken your heart, your feelings for them don’t just wash away with your tears. You’ll wake up each morning confused on how you could still love this person.

That communications is usually both, the problem and solution.

That you’re supposed to support one another no matter what. You build, grow, achieve & succeed together.

That as much as love can be beautiful, enjoyable, exhilarating and satisfying– love fucking hurts.

No one has taught us how to love each other. We weren’t handed books on how to control our  emotions & our anger. We weren’t taught how to resist temptation or how to work through issues & salvage relationships. We often enter this chapter of our life young & wearing a blindfold, because no one thought to teach us.

I was taught to read, multiply & who the Founding Fathers were–an important lesson I needed, though, was the essential facts of love & life.

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Defining Love

DEFINING LOVE

THE DC LADIES

APRIL 2, 2013

BY: MORGAN JOHNSON

 

Experiencing heartbreak had me so confused about love. I had always imagined it to be deep and euphoric, the kind you hear about and see in the movies. A feeling that isn’t circumstantial or one-sided.

As painful as it is to admit, what I experienced was not love and it took me some time to accept that.

I’ve learned that love is so much more than an Instagram flick or a ProFlowers delivery. Love is being the biggest cheerleader for someone there ever was. You’re rooting for them all the time, and for every single thing from getting their dream job to completing their first 5k. It’s wanting them to succeed in anything they apply themselves to and believing, not just thinking, that they’re the best at whatever it is they’re doing.

When you truly love someone you want them to be happy and to be able to always protect this person from any evils in the world. This could range from a discouraging parent to a mass murderer. You are constantly concerned about their well being  often times more than your own. If they hurt, you feel their pain. [read more…]

A Letter to My Evil

“And now we’re apart and you’re just some stranger who knows all my secrets and all my family members and all my quirks and flaws and it doesn’t make sense.”

Dear You,

January 2, 2013 I changed your name in my phone to ‘666.’ I never once thought it would come across my screen again, but it was a change that would help me resist any temptation to reach out to you. I would always be reminded that you are my evil.

March 28th, 666 appeared across my screen, however, and for a moment I thought the devil was trying to contact me (in some ways that holds truth).  It had been almost three months since our last communication and I had forgotten about the name change; this was until I opened the message. Immediately, I was reminded.

As I sat at my desk and repeatedly read over your minimal words, I experienced a plethora of feelings. At first I was in shock. Shocked that you had actually contacted me. Next there was a sadness. I thought back to the last interaction we shared and the pain I felt. The continued hurt I have had to cope with over all our years. Finally, I became angry. How dare you!!

Once again, you were putting your feelings and needs above mine. You disregarded the fact that I am forced to carry around a bruised heart because of everything you have done. You didn’t think about how hard it has been for me to finally come to grips with the fact we will never be together again or in each others lives. You didn’t care that I could have possibly been making progress in falling out of love with you. None of that mattered to you. All you were concerned with was expressing yourself. Regardless of it did any damage to me.

I think what made it all so much worse, was the context of the message. There was not a single apology, which only leaves me to believe you still see no error in your ways.

Needless to say, I did not respond and I never have any intentions to. You can keep your words. The same words that have been used to abase me. None of them mean anything to me.

I thought I hated you, but I don’t and I have found forgiveness. What we shared was a toxic, tainted, tarnished love. You were my first and so far only love, so I’ll always keep you in my heart. I am going to continue to let go, though. When you’re not in my life everything seems better and wonderful things happen to and for me. That’s more joy than an apology or anything from you could ever bring.

“Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.”

-Me

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She’s Dating the Same Guy

SHE’S DATING THE SAME GUY

QUARTERLETTE

MARCH 27, 2013

BY: MORGAN JOHNSON

 

It’s been approximately two years and one month since the downfall of my long-term relationship started, and two months since I’ve officially let go of our on-again-off-again toxic romance and quit obsessing over quotes like, “Why can’t you want me like the other boys do? They stare at me while I stare at you.” Even so, he still manages to slam back into my mind with the force of a door; a door that I thought I had closed.

Each and every time I think of him, I am surprised by the intensity or maybe just the idea of it all. When I closed this door, or at least believed I had, I said things like, “He’s not the type of guy I want in my life,” “He’s not a good person” and “He doesn’t know what he wants, so I don’t want him.” I said these things out loud to people, believing that it would take away the pain.  It didn’t, though and I am thinking of him, but not in the way that I should.

After a big breakup it’s hard knowing that your ex is dating someone new, especially if you haven’t moved on as quickly. My go-to reaction, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this, is somewhat jealousy–and not necessarily being jealous of the girl. I may scroll over her picture and glare at it a few times, but I’d say that’s normal. What I’m jealous of is the man. The man I think she’s getting. In my mind, he’s never the same man I had; she’s getting the best version of him. A version that I always believed lived in him, and worked year after year to help surface. The man I should have had, causing me to only think of him in the best form. [read more….]

 

Me Now, 3

“Free yourself, live your dreams”

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Moving. Well technically not for another 17 months (that happens to be when my lease is up). However, this is a big move. I am heading to the west coast– WAKE-UP, SAN FRANCISCO!!!!!! I work well under pressure, but I prefer to be prepared, so planning is in full circle. Unfortunately, I only know one person in the Bay area and they live all the way out in Concord– an area I’m sure I’ll never bless with my presence– so I will truly be thousands of miles away in a new city, all alone. It’s cool, I ain’t got no worries (yes, I’m abashed that I just referenced a Lil’Wayne line). I’m beyond excited about this move; new opportunities, memories, people and adventures await me!

Hating gentrification. This cross-country move calls for a lot of research. It’s only expected that during which, I run across a lot of articles about gentrification. Before reading many of these article, I had a standard idea of what gentrification was and actually was in support of it. After further review, though, I am completely against it. I am a huge fan of urban development and would love to be a media content manager for an urban development firm, BUT what is done after the development is what has my fists clinched. To move people into a neighborhood, you don’t have to move others out and that is exactly what’s happening. Minorities are being forced to move out of their longtime neighborhoods because after redevelopment, the homes are far from their financial reach. One article said it best, “commit to revitalization without displacement.”

Listening. I am still loving musical covers, especially acoustic versions. Tori Kelly’s cover of “Suit & Tie” is a gift from the Lord and Savior above. Saying I am obsessed, would be an understatement. Let’s also not neglect the fact that King Bey herself just blessed us with her latest track, “Bow Down.” LOVE IT! Yes, there has been a lot of controversy over this track, but it’s mostly from those who do not understand the King. Clearing the air– she is NOT subliminally speaking to other female artists. The track is meant for press members, critiques, etc. You know, the ones who acted as if her lip synching the National Anthem was a sin.

Staying healthy. Exercise just isn’t for me. It may be because I am naturally thin, so my mind believes you only workout if you’re trying to drop some pounds. Before anyone throws a bitch-fit, I am aware that’s not the only purpose for exercise, but that knowledge gets pushed to the back of my mind when it actually comes time to workout. So, I’m taking baby steps. This past weekend I stopped off at my local Vitamin Shoppe and picked up a bottle of vitamins. Now if we’re being totally honest, in the 4 days I’ve had them, I’ve only remembered to take them once. To be fare, a large part of that is due to the fact the last time I took vitamins was when I would pray the Flintstone character next to my cereal bowl wasn’t the purple dinosaur. Yeah, it’s been awhile. I’ll do better, though. I’m hoping that these vitamins not only give me a boost of energy, but help with my hormones– ’cause ain’t nobody got time for that (ugh, I just used another embarrassing reference).

Reading. Myself and two of my girlfriends have started a tiny book club. We’ve picked several books to read between now and the end of the year. We’re not following the traditional guidelines of having a book club, but it’s pretty much the same concept. Here is our list for the year:

  • 20-Something, 20-Everyinything: A Quarter-life Woman’s Guide to Balance and Direction
  • The Awakening
  • Gone Girl
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being
  • The Edible Woman
  • What I know Now: Letters to My Younger Self
  • Girls in White Dresses

Dreaming. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been having a beautiful nightmare. Talk about an oxymoron. I refer to it as such because in this dream I am receiving the love from someone of my past that I always wanted. They’re being the person I hoped they had the potential to be, and they’re being that person with me. It’s pure utopia. In this dream I wake up, only I’m still really dreaming, and realize that it’s all just a figment of my imagination. I then begin to cry the same way I had when my heart was initially broken. In reality, when I finally wake up from this two-part dream, I shoot up and find it hard to breathe and a thin line of sweat streaming between my A-cups. Being able to feel the love I once felt is beautiful, but going through heartbreak again is a complete nightmare.

Giving second chances. I’m not sure if I told you all, but Netflix and I were on a break. I was just fed-up with them never having what I wanted to watch. I was finding myself too frustrated, so I decided we needed space. That was until I was told about a show called Prison Break. Let me start by saying this was the best thing introduced to me since my mother gave me a taste of my first french fry. There are 4 seasons, which each have roughly 22 episodes. I finished the entire series in 3 1/2 weeks. The show is amazing! So amazing that I don’t regret not watching it when it was actually on television. By doing that I would have had to wait a week between each episode, which is comparable to being horsewhipped (though I’ve never been horsewhipped, I’m sure they’re equal). If you haven’t seen it, GO WATCH IT RIGHT NOW. If you’re like me, you’ll think it’s just about breaking out of prison, but it’s so much more than that. Plus, Wentworth Miller is [tries to figure out how to get the heart eyed emoji placed here].

Loving. I have fallen in love with learning like we’re meeting for the first time again. One of the greatest joys in life is coming across an unfamiliar word and having to look it up. I am a believer in life being the greatest educator and each day it’s proven to be true. I love waking up knowing that I’m going to learn something new. Then there’s times when I’ll say or know something that I didn’t know I knew, until that very moment when the words are leaving my mouth. I feel like Bradley Cooper in Limitless and someone slipped me a NZT-48.

Being a millennial worker. Without a doubt, I am a managing baby boomer’s worst nightmare: a millennial worker. Things like company culture, work-life blance, media engagement, work results, etc. are more important to me than how much I’ll be getting paid or how renowned a company is (explaining why I turned down a high-paying job that I knew would bore me).  I enjoy offices with a modern feel and open workspace. I like working in teams and with a lot a younger, tech savvy coworkers. I don’t want to only work from home, but I like having the option. What time I come in and leave shouldn’t matter, as long as I get things done. We millennials (or at least the ones living up to the stereotype like myself) have caused a huge uproar in the workforce. My suggestion to our older superiors and counterparts, is to follow the lead of so many other companies and embrace the new work environment/experience. It’ll eventually be the only option.

Check out two other articles on millennial workers:

The Truth About Millennial Workers

7 Surprising Ways to Motivate Millennial Workers

Contributing. I have recently signed on to be a contributing writer for both Quarterlette and The DC Ladies. Be sure to check out their websites and articles from other contributing writers. They are both amazing sites and have great inspirational pieces for all women. I should have my first entries for each published some time in April, so be on the lookout (I’ll update you regardless).

Enough about me, what are you currently up to?

The Sensuous Man

“Maybe you are searching among the branches, for what only appears in the roots.”

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I’m often asked what my type is and I am never able to give a direct answer. I’m not one who is attracted to a specific height or build. I don’t go for athletes and they don’t necessarily have to be the ‘pretty boy.’ Of course there’s something that gets me hot, though. After much consideration and evaluating my past, I realized that my type is the sensuous man. Most of us have a psyche that is more conditioned to a person’s physical, but for me, it’s the man’s psychological traits that make him desirable.

So who is the sensuous man you ask?

The sensuous man varies in appearance. Regardless of what he looks like, he is the one who tends to be most popular with women. This is the result of him taking the time to pay attention. He appreciates and compliments every detail of a woman. He’s the type to notice something as simple as a new pair of earrings or that you parted your hair a different way. He’s the the one who makes it a point to look in your eyes when speaking. And trust me, there’s nothing more attractive to a woman than a loving and attentive man. He is also the man who knows exactly what to do or say when you’re feeling down and hormonal. Talk about score!

This type of man is an extrovert. Someone who has an amazing sense of humor & winning smile. They’re well read, can hold their ground in a conversation possesses an array of confidence. In addition to having manners, he is the reason chivalry has not yet died. The sensuous man is one who is loyal, responsible, dependable, well groomed and knows how to pamper a woman. All which aren’t to be confused with being uxorious.

Some would assume that being a sensuous man means to be metrosexual. This is not true. This man is evolved. He expresses his true self in a sophisticated, authentic, free and brazenly way. It’s not about being vain or the next fashion model. He is clear about who he is; what he wants out of life; and how he shows up for himself, family, companion, colleagues and friends. His lifestyle is a life of style; always putting his best foot forward.

The sensuous man is also known for being sexually satisfying. The connection two people share during sex is triggered with sensuality; without this, the sex dies. When a  man is in touch with his sensuality, he enables a woman to truly open herself up to him. This makes for an ecstatic and powerful sexual response– something much bigger than a physical response to genital stimulation. A man with sensuality has seductive skills that go beyond physical technique. A woman is not pleasured by his clever tricks, but by the way that his body is in tune with hers– physically, emotionally, spiritually and energetically.

The man I yearn for is of a different breed. I do believe that men can develop their sensual side– it is a matter of mindset– a decision. It’s something that will take time, but is worth the results. Remember, a sensuous man is a complete man.

What’s your type?