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Tick-Tock...

My Teddy Bear doesn't realize it, but his days are numbered. I care for him too much to keep him in my sick and twisted fantasy.

He doesn't deserve what I'm putting him through -- even if he doesn't know what's going on.

And what is going on, you ask? I'm not in love with him.

He's a great guy -- no doubt. But the love I had for him died a slow, painful death in the midst of lies, manipulations, and no sex. If that makes me sound superficial, I'm sorry.

Trust me when I tell you that I tried. Lord knows I did. I did everything I possibly could to make things good. I tried to understand when he told me that sex wasn't the only way to be intimate. I checked my emotions when he told me that the way I relayed information was too roundabout to be good for him. I shut up when he shut down my ideas, thoughts, feelings. I really did.

Now there's nothing left. But I care for him too much to hurt him right now.

Of course, one could argue that everyday I ma…

Flashback...

I am remembering love.

I realize I don't have it now.

Two years ago, I was in love. Truly, madly, deeply. There was no question about my feelings or my allegiances. I was all in -- heart, mind, and soul. The connection New Boo and I had at this time two years ago was so deep, so strong, so everything it needed to be that I thought it would never be broken.

Five months later, it was.

Now, we're not friends and barely lovers. I realize he's trying to purge me from his system. He never trusted me and my love for him, and now he's trying to get rid of me. He's trying to make me the slut he needs me to be so he can walk away from me and say, "She was no good anyway. She didn't deserve me."

And I've been letting him. I'm proving to him that I'm not worth it. I'm whoring around with him the way he always thought I was when we were together.

What the hell is wrong with me?

Glutton For Punishment

Just when I think I can't punish myself anymore, I do.

New Boo hadn't reached out. I wasn't supposed to reach out, either. But I forgot.

I forgot that I don't need to talk to him. I don't need to hear his voice. I don't need him weighing in on my life. I don't need him at all.

But I do need him. Maybe I always will.

And is it that I need him, or I just want him more than I need to? I'm not sure. All I know is that I feel so much better when I know he's okay or I know I can talk to him.

Until I don't. Until I realize that there's no point to us talking. All that happens is that I get upset and I cry because he's the one I gave my heart to, only to have him shatter it in 15 million pieces.

The killer is that I keep doing it. How insane is that?

None of this would be happening if My Teddy Bear hadn't left me emotionally adrift.

Oh, I finally figured out what's wrong with us. He doesn't like me. He likes -- even loves -- the idea…

Finally

My Teddy Bear came through. Literally.

I don't know if he finally got his medical issue together, or if someone told him that I was considering someone else, or what, but he came here like a man with something to prove.

He spent the weekend proving it to me. I got it.

Now I'm back at square one.

Honestly, I forgot how much I enjoy him. There's a reason I date him -- and it's NOT just because I don't have better things to do.

I tried to express to him how much I was enjoying him and how we need to keep this up. All he could say was, "You don't have to keep bringing it up."

Ugh.

Anyway...we had a great time.

My heart is still kinda whacked out, though. Now that I remember what the love was actually about, I'm glad. And I know that if I want to, I can and will move past New Boo.

Let's see how long MTB can keep up the good work...

No Inspiration Here

When my story is written, no one will look at my love life and say, "That was so inspiring."

Not even a little bit.

I'm caught in a crazy castle I built, and I'm the only person who can free me from it.

I love New Boo. No doubt. He does not love me. Again, no doubt. My Teddy Bear loves me. I care for him, but I don't know that I love him now.

So why don't I just walk away? Why not leave him where he stands so he can find someone who'll love him as much as I love New Boo?

Because I don't want to hurt him. Because I haven't been able to tell him how I've been feeling and I don't want to leave him with the same abandon that New Boo left me.

Because I've been broken, I don't want to break him. Inasmuch as he's made me angry and done things I don't like, he doesn't deserve that kind of pain. No one does. I don't care how angry I've been at his blatant manipulation, I don't want to destroy him the way New Boo dest…

No Words...

I finally saw him.

New Boo came over. We talked. Then we didn't talk. He spent the night.

I am devastated, and I hate myself for it.

I really thought I could handle it. I can't.

The problem is that I love him. I have no delusion that he loves me. He said that he cares for me. He doesn't want to hurt me.

And he didn't. I hurt me by letting him have what he had not earned. I gave him what I wanted him to have and to want.

There's a funny sort of politics to relationships and breakups. No matter who does what, it all goes out the window in light of the love between you. Even if it's one-sided, there's love there. And both of you feel it. It never really goes away. You bury it when you're around other people. You negotiate it when you're alone. But when you are with that person...it's so crazy. You want to be strong...say it doesn't matter...but you can't. You give in because there's no other choice for you in that moment.

Now, I'm n…

My Fitz

New Boo is my Fitz.

It finally makes sense.

If you're a Scandal fan, you know that one of the main story lines is the one involving Olivia Pope and President Fitzgerald Grant. He's married, but he loves her beyond reason. And in spite of the fact that she has Jake Ballard firmly in her grasp, she can't shake the love she has for Fitz.

That's how I feel about New Boo. I know he's a lowlife and a cad. He's a liar and probably a cheater and my heart won't allow me to let him go. I find myself thinking of him...imagining our life together...and even though I know that our relationship meant way more to me than it ever did to him, I miss it terribly.

What is wrong with me? Why is it so hard to let him go? He clearly isn't pining for me. But he indulges me because -- let's face it -- it's good for his ego. I'd probably indulge me, too.

I hate the love I have for him. It's like the worst virus I've ever been infected with, and there's n…

Ugh...Why?

Why don't hearts do what you want? You'd THINK my heart would be on board with someone who wants to love me. But no...my heart wants to revisit the past.

New Boo wants to see me. I want to see him. Ugh.

I have no business seeing him. I know that seeing him won't solve anything. I know that. And yet...

I want to see him SO bad. I know without a doubt that no good can come from it. I don't know if I'll be so disgusted that I start kicking him, or if I'll just dissolve into a puddle of tears. I don't know what would happen.

I've worked so hard to be whole. I don't know that it's worth it for me to risk becoming undone again.

Of course, none of this would be an issue if things were better between me and My Teddy Bear.

That fool doesn't realize just how close he is to being single. I am TIRED of being with a man who thinks sex is optional. I do NOT appreciate it.

I saw a blog today from a divorced guy who's sharing his story to keep other peo…

Trapped...

I feel like I'm trapped. That's the only way I can describe it.

As much as I know it to be pointless, I still think about New Boo. I still want to be with the person I fell for two years ago. I want him to be the man he made me believe he was. The man of my dreams. Even beyond the aesthetic and physical, he made me feel safe and care for. Even though I now know that it wasn't real, I felt like he guarded my heart.

Now I'm stuck in a situation with a man who would probably move heaven and earth for me -- as long as I don't ask him to. It's always got to be on his terms and in his time. My needs are pointless and irrelevant. He does things like get me a phone case because he knows I don't have one. He'll get my glasses fixed because he knows I'll forget. But when I ask him to make love to me, he says I'm nasty...or that there are other ways to be intimate. Basically, anything that keeps him from having to expend effort beyond what's been allot…

I Miss You...

It's been five years since you left us, and I still can't get over it. I almost forgot that you weren't here, but when I wanted to check on you, I realized it all over again. Today is your birthday. You would've been 46.

I still think of you. I want to get your opinion on all the things going on in my life. I want to update you on the latest moron who tried to get his mack on...or hear how things are going with you. Who  you've had to put in his or her place. What goofy thing you're tripping off this time.

I want to know what you think of this election. I'd love to hear your impression of Hillary or Donald...how they make you feel. Maybe you'd vote for a third party candidate. Or maybe you wouldn't vote at all and we'd fuss. I'd do my best to make my case for why it would be necessary for you to vote, and you'd blow me off with something like, It won't count anyway.

Wait...I know you wouldn't do that...but I digress...

The point …

Just Grab 'Em by the...You Know

When you've been sexually assaulted, you can't dismiss the degrading language used by the GOP nominee as "locker room talk." You just can't.

I can remember the first time I was touched without my permission. I was 12 years old. My best friend lived about 15 miles away from me, but her bus driver lived in my neighborhood. I came up with a great plan to hang out with her after school. Since hers was one of the first stops on the route, I would catch the bus with her, and play until the route was finished. The bus driver would pick me up, and we'd ride back to my house.

All was well until he decided he wanted to "teach me to drive." What it ended up being was a way for him to rub on my budding breasts. He's run his hand up my side until he got to my chest. The first time it happened, I was so confused. I didn't understand what was going on. I think I let it happen a couple more times -- to make sure I wasn't making it up in my head -- and t…

Broken?

I think I may have broken my relationship with My Teddy Bear. Even though I've been unsatisfied, I wasn't necessarily trying not to be with him. But he saw a side of me yesterday that disgusted him.
I don't know if I told you, but I moved last week. My homegirl's mother --who's in the nursing home -- has a three-bedroom apartment. Rather than continue to pay exorbitant rent apart, we decided to come together and move into her mother's house. Because of logistics, I moved in first. It probably wouldn't have been a problem, but the place has been sitting up unused for a while and certain "undesirable residents" have moved in. For the average person, that probably wouldn't be a problem. For me, however, it is. I am afraid of those types of residents and have been all my life.
We were here trying to get things together yesterday. I'm not sure what MTB wanted me to do, but I told him that this whole experience terrified me. He thought it had so…

Eureka!

It finally hit me what the problem is...

I'm afraid I'll never feel wanted again.

My Teddy Bear doesn't want me. I know it's not my fault. It's completely him and he's finally admitted it. With his testosterone being at an all-time low, sex is not on his agenda. I get that.

That's not my story. I want to have sex whenever I can. I want to feel another human next to me -- and not just when I'm asleep. I want to have a man touching my body in the way that men touch women. I want to put my lips in places that make a man's eyes roll back in his head. I need to feel like I hold the key to someone's pleasure.

That's what I thought New Boo and I had. I was in love (or lust, whatever) with him in three ways -- truly, madly, and deeply. It was so insane. I remember feeling like the sex couldn't get any better and then it did. Every time. It was so good that if he looked at me and lowered his eyes, I would get moist. There was a heat between us th…

Makes Me Wanna Holla...

I'm not sure what's going on with me, but I feel like screaming.

For some stupid reason -- and I call it stupid because it has absolutely no place in my life -- I am missing New Boo. He's proven himself to be an awful human being, and yet...there is still a shred of love for him left in my heart. I don't know why.

My Teddy Bear is doing what he does -- which is nothing. I'm not pleased with him, and it's not his fault. It's mine. I know this has a LOT to do with the lack of sex. Of course, I'm on week one of a six-week sabbatical from all things sexual so I can't do anything anyway. But I think I wouldn't be so antsy if we'd had sex in the six weeks prior to the procedure.

I hate it when my mind takes me through all kinds of pointless memories that don't mean anything. Thanks to all the lies New Boo told, our whole relationship exists on a plane that's completely meaningless to me. I don't know what was real and what wasn't, …

For the Love of an Alpha Male

Throughout this process of moving and recovering from last week's surgery, I finally realized what it is about My Teddy Bear that vexes me -- he's not an Alpha male.

My family is (mostly) women, but the men who are there -- my brother, my uncle, even my cousins -- are men. They walk in, assess a situation, and handle it accordingly. We women might have input, but ultimately, the men that are around run the situation. We may not like the way they run it -- and we might complain mightily -- but they run it.

MTB doesn't do that. He may walk in and assess a situation, but he won't take charge. He waits for me. If you know me, you KNOW that's never good. Don't get it twisted -- I'm a leader and if it's something I know and understand, I can and frequently do take charge. But I realized that I am subconsciously trained to let a man take the lead in other situations. My brand of feminism is about being strong enough to take a step back. No matter how long I li…

Moving...

I'm moving.

The apartment New Boo and I got, the one I cried in all last summer, is about to be a memory for me. The lease is up and I can't afford to renew it, so I'm going someplace where I'll pay half the rent.

I wish I could've stayed here forever. But there comes a point where you need to be able to stop making life decisions for basic things. I honestly couldn't afford to do this without help or a better job.

I can't lie -- it hurts me to do this. The last time I moved, we swore it would be the last time. I wanted to start our family here. I wanted us to be like the couple we rented from -- strong and loving, with a solid foundation.

In the end, all we did was playing house. And clearly, not very well.

So I'm moving.

Earning It

I told you that My Teddy Bear had spent the entire summer trying to convince me that there were other ways to be intimate and that I was "wrong" to want sex all the time. Ultimately his problem was low testosterone.

When he told me, I was a little upset. "Why didn't you tell me this before?" He was like, "I didn't know how."

This is the same man who told me that trust was "earned and not given," and he asked me for the opportunity to "earn my trust." After all this time, I realized that he didn't trust me.

Now true -- I didn't ask to earn it, but I can't believe that he doesn't know that I'm trustworthy. I try my best to be as good to him as I know how to be. In spite of the fact that he doesn't give me Vitamin D on a regular basis, I'm always here for him and by happenstance, I didn't cheat on him.

(I know he doesn't know about the latter, but that's not the point.)

The point is that he&…

Nothing By Chance...

Has it ever occurred to you
That nothing occurs to God?
He knows the end from the beginning.
And you'll never catch Him off-guard.
There's no need to be dismayed.
Our God is already made a way.

- Brian Courtney Wilson, "Nothing Occurs to God"
That's been the sum total of my thoughts this week. Inasmuch as I'm completely baffled by what's going on around me, I know that He knows. And THAT makes all of this bearable.

And what's been going on lately? Let's see...
I was supposed to have surgery to treat my painful periods. It was postponed...because my period started.My boyfriend finally revealed to me that his testosterone is low. He's spent the entire summer trying to convince me that sex isn't the only way to be intimate and that I was wrong to want it.My boss is a petty trick that makes me want to slap her in the mouth. Hypothetically, of course. When this song came into my life, I just broke down and cried. I realized -- yet again -- that …

That Day

Fifteen years.

That's 180 months; 5,478 days. 131,472 hours. 7,888,320 minutes.

I've lived, loved, lost, loved again. Relocated more times than I care to admit.

And yet, that day never leaves my mind. It has become a part of my DNA.

Reading stories from people who lost loved ones on that tragic day still brings tears to my eyes. I still don't find myself rushing down to Ground Zero. I still don't trust life away from home without my phone.

As I look out from my place in the Bronx, I see the same blue sky I saw 15 years ago. The eyes I looked with then could see without assistance and thought our country, though deeply flawed, was safe.

I'm older now. Wiser. My eyes can't see anything clearly without progressive lenses. My safety as a woman and an American is threatened every day. As a Black person, it's doubly threatened because things can happen to me that'll never be prosecuted. Even though my life matters, this country doesn't understand how much…

Another Delay

There are times when I feel like someone is playing a cruel joke on me. This is one of those times.

I was supposed to have surgery to clear up my issue with fibroids and uterine polyps. It's an issue I've been battling for about ten years, but this year has been especially brutal. Everything was set. My fill-in person was set, my boss had been notified, and all I had to do was complete a few tasks for my second job and get my house ready. Then, the bombshell...

My period came.

While that's NEVER pleasant news -- especially when you're dealing with fibroids and uterine polyps -- I wasn't overly alarmed. After all, I thought it would be the last time I'd have to deal with this particular pain and suffering.

To be on the safe side, I called my doctor to make sure everything could still proceed. Guess what? It can't.

That means that even though my fill-in person was in place, My Teddy Bear had taken off work to get me home, and my mom and brother were already s…

The (Real) Final Straw

So...I thought I had gone through just about every emotion I could with New Boo. I've got a new one now -- complete and utter disgust.

One of my good friends is in town. She was one of the few people who got to meet him when we lived together. So we were catching up, and I was telling her about My Teddy Bear. I described him as being New Boo's polar opposite. She said, "Oh, so he's got home training, he's respectable, and he doesn't try to hit on your friends when you go to the bathroom."

Huh?

She said, "I didn't mention it at the time because we'd all been drinking, and I wasn't exactly sure how to handle it. Besides, I knew y'all wouldn't be together long." And she was right. That happened in March and we were done by June.

Of all the dirty, sneaky, underhanded actions he took, this was the lowest. Up until then, he'd just been someone who didn't work out. Now I know him for the lowlife dog he really is.

I blocked h…

Why, Lawd!

The Bible says that His grace is sufficient for thee. But when I think about how those parents must feel when their children are gunned down in the street by dirty cops, I can't imagine how much grace is needed.

I'm so thankful that my family and I haven't been touched by that kind of violence. But I'm not stupid enough to think that it's not possible. That's the scary part. No matter what we're doing or not doing, being or not being, the color of our skin makes us a target. It shouldn't be that way.

They say that Black people are more violent. They treat women like animals -- not like the delicate flowers they are. All because their skin isn't alabaster.

There was a time you only had to worry about the criminals. Now the cops are declaring open season on us. There's nothing more disheartening than being targeted as violent by those whose sole purpose is to protect and serve.

And when the worst happens, where do we go for justice? It's been …

The End

Dear New Boo,

I knew that tonight would be a pivotal moment in our history, and you did not disappoint. No matter what I thought before this evening, you addressed everything I needed clarification on. Thank you for that.
I had all kinds of fanciful thoughts in my mind about what this evening would be. I took every scenario I could and played it out to its end. Each and every one of them. And when I got to the one that actually happened, I thought to myself, surely he won't let this happen. Surely he cares more than that. If he reached out, surely he'll follow through.
But no...not you. You did what you always do. You stood me up, and you let me down. Again. 
I shouldn't be surprised. In fact, I'm not. No matter how much faith I try to put in you, you constantly prove that you don't deserve it. No matter how much I try to see the good in you, you always manage to bring the worst to the forefront. And if my feelings are hurt, it's my fault for trying.
You don…

In Pursuit of Simplicity

I sometimes wish for a simpler time. Back when there were no bills, no credit reports, no jobs. A time when I could escape within the pages of a book for hours.

Our parents would live forever and we were safe in our neighborhoods. The only thing we worried about was whether we were gonna get caught doing something we weren't supposed to do.

How I long for those days now.

I'm supposed to see New Boo tonight. I know I shouldn't, but he asked and I want to. My friends don't want me to go, and I know it would break My Teddy Bear's heart. But I want to know what he could possibly have to say after all this time.

Basically, my heart needs to see if its made the right decision taking up with MTB. And I hate that I feel this way.

Even though I spent the last year putting myself back together, there's still a bit of my heart that's holding out hope. There's still a part of me that wants to be with the man who orchestrated the worst heartbreak of my life.

What th…

Uh Oh...

When New Boo and I broke up, he said, "As long as we're both alive, there'll be a chance for us." Now that My Teddy Bear is on the scene, it's unlikely.

But now New Boo wants to see me.

I kinda want to see him, too.

Here's the deal. I gave New Boo my heart. My whole heart. And he broke it -- and me -- in 20 million different pieces. Crushed it, actually. Even though I didn't want to, I gave him everything The Man Formerly Known as The One -- who will now be known as RIP -- earned. I know it was crazy, but in hindsight that's exactly what I did. That's why I think I took it so hard when we broke up. I was mourning what I had with both of them. Since RIP died, I invested everything in New Boo.

When he broke me, I had to regroup and put myself together. MTB has been a big part of that process, but not every part. And there's still a part of me that wants to know for sure if I'm completely over him. I can't do that unless I see him. It'…

My Personal Superhero

My Teddy Bear continues to prove that he loves me in ways I never thought about.

As I told you before, I've been dealing with health issues. It's not pretty at all. I won't go into details, but let's just say that it's messy and leaves me weak sometimes. Weaker than I'd ever want to admit, actually.

Anyway, a friend of mine was coming to visit and I was trying to get my house ready. I managed to clean my bedroom and the bathroom before MTB came over. All I had to do was get the living room and kitchen together. But my body wasn't cooperating at all. I was in so much pain that I laid it down.

I woke up the next morning in a complete mess from my issue. After I got up to clean myself up, he says to me, "Go lay down. I'm gonna finish up for you." I wanted to argue, but I couldn't because I was in too much pain.

That man cleaned my apartment. All of it. Swept AND mopped my floors and did all my dishes. And did it with a smile.

Just thinking ab…

I'm Learning Today

Learning who and what you are is an interesting endeavor. It would be nice if we could do it alone, but most times, it takes someone else to help you see.

For me, this person is My Teddy Bear.

His patient nature -- much like still waters -- lets me see things I never saw before. We had a discussion about sex, intimacy, and the like and I realized something -- I've been doing this all wrong, and for the wrong reasons.

I haven't been sharing about this, but I'm dealing with some health issues. At this point, surgery is on the table and I'm kinda scared. The doctor says there's nothing to worry about, but if I'm honest, it's more than just the invasion of my body. It's the attack on my womanhood.

MTB has been walking with me during this entire ordeal, and he has been wonderful. No matter how much I miss the delusion of what I had with New Boo, I know he wouldn't have been ready for this. When we talked about my issue with sex, he told me that in some w…

Now What?

I don't know what I'm gonna do. I am having issues right now.

First of all, I'm realizing some things about myself that I really don't like admitting. For one, I am NOT satisfied with My Teddy Bear. Why, you ask? Because sex isn't a priority with him.

Some people drink. Some smoke. I like to have sex. It quiets the voices in my head that talk crazy to me. For those brief, shining moments, I get to be the best of me. I'm beautiful, sexy, and desirable. No matter how fat I am, in that moment I'm able to make someone else feel good. That makes me feel good. Also,  I know how to relate on that level, so everything that I perceive to be wrong with me goes out the window.

MTB doesn't know this. Even though I've always felt this way, I don't talk about it. Most of the guys I know actually want sex. They probably use it the way I do -- as a feel-good situation.

Things with New Boo weren't like that. We had a real connection. Or at least I thought we…

Brunch Anyone?

Brunch reservations. Who would've thought making them would bring up so much?

My Teddy Bear just changed his schedule, which means that we haven't seen each other this week. As you know, this has been a hard week for me because of the reemergence of New Boo and my other issues. Anyway, he asked me to make brunch reservations for Sunday. I tried to ask him what he liked, what the budget was, etc., but all he said was, "Just make 'em. It's not that deep."
I didn't realize it, but it really WAS that deep for me. 
The last time I made brunch reservations was for me and The Man Formerly Known as The One.
It was so painful for me at the time that I didn't write about it. Basically, he came to visit me for his birthday, and I wanted to make it special. I got an outfit that I knew he'd like, a present that would mean something to him, and I made reservations for brunch at this really great spot in the city. It wasn't until all of this was done that I …

Repeat Performance...NOT!!!

I knew it would happen. I just knew it.

New Boo called me.

He texted me first from a number I didn't recognize. The minute I saw the words on the screen I knew it was him. Instead of playing the "who is this" role, I entertained it. Next thing you know, I'm on the phone with the orchestrator of my greatest heartache. I'm talking, laughing, and sharing with the man who broke me.

He says he's sorry. He knows he was wrong. He admits he was screwed up and messed up with me. He misses our life together.

I do, too.

But I've moved on. I've got a good man who loves me to death. I have someone in my corner who treats me like gold.

I told him that.

So why was I thinking about seeing him again?

Fortunately I have good friends who love me enough to pull me from the brink. My girl said, "The woman he's living with is probably about to put him out."

It was a year ago when he started acting out with me. It must be something about spring with him.

Whate…

The State of Me

Have you ever felt like a fish out of water? That's how I feel with My Teddy Bear.

He's an awesome man. The way he treats me is second to none. I'm realizing that men actually CAN love women in a way that's real and pure.

So why am I having a hard time accepting it?

I swear...I never thought I'd be here, but I am. I don't feel worthy of his kindness and affection. And I can't pinpoint why I'm having issues with it. It's like I've finally found exactly what I need in a man, but I don't know that I'm good enough for him.

Could it be because New Boo still creeps into my dreams?

Please be clear -- NO woman deserves to be put through what NB put me through. I treated him like gold, but he tossed me aside like glass. I sometimes think that the way I'm feeling about MTB is how NB felt about me -- like he wasn't good enough.

The difference between me and NB is that I recognize MTB's goodness as being an inherent part of him. I unders…

No Rest

Writing is the way I deal with most things these days. It's easier for me to type than to talk sometimes. The way I see it, I can get everything out without having to answer questions about it.

This thing with Prince has me shaken.

I'm fully aware that he was human, and humans die every day. They're not designed to live forever. But when talking of someone as iconic as Prince, that's what you expect. They're not supposed to die when you're not ready. Or when there's no reason to think that they would. He wasn't even sick -- as far as we know.

Maybe if we knew more about him, this wouldn't be so hard. If we had an insight into what was actually going on in his life, it would make this easier.

My initial Facebook status when I heard the news was, "I do NOT want to believe this, and I don't want it to be true. As this news settles into my heart, I honestly can't handle it and I don't want to. Prince provided the soundtrack to so many m…

Sunday Morning...

French vanilla coffee brewing, good music playing, your man playing on his computer, and your best friend having brunch. Laughing, talking, teasing, and having fun.
Sometimes, even in the midst of chaos, life comes together in a way that really makes you happy.

Out of Words, Out of Time...

There are times when you run out of words. Letters won't come together to make syllables, and sounds get stuck in your throat. That's how I've felt this week.

I got hit by the news that the person who gave me my first job died. He took me under his wing when I was fresh out of college. For some reason, he saw something in me and nurtured it. I don't know if that was his original intention, but that's what he did. The situation he put me in allowed me to learn things that some people never do. It's crazy how many things I do today that are a direct result of what I learned during my time with him.

It's been 20 years since I worked with him, and now he's gone. I always thought I'd see him again...maybe even work together. This was NOT supposed to happen. He wasn't supposed to run out of time.

That's why I've run out of words. Damn.

Doug Banks, 1958-2016

Worthy

Sometimes I wonder if I'm worthy of a good relationship. I certainly don't know how to do it. I feel like every time I'm with My Teddy Bear, I'm dancing as fast as I can so he won't see the real me.

And who am I? It depends on the day.

Some days I feel invincible. I feel like his love is the wind beneath my wings. I think I can fly as high as my wings will take me.

Other days, his love is a burden. It weighs on me and threatens to suffocate me because it's so pure and honest, and I don't feel worthy. I feel like a fraud so many times when I'm with him. It's not that I don't love him. I do. But I don't know I deserve him.

I think about his goals. We talked about them one morning, and he told me that one of his goals was to find someone to love. I want to be the one he loves, but sometimes...it's overwhelming.

Another thing he wants is to have good credit. My credit was great when I left New York. A few years in Los Angeles was enough to w…

Wow...

They say that when the right person finally makes his or her appearance in your life, you'll understand why none of the others worked. I'm finding this out with My Teddy Bear everyday.

He finally declared his love for me. It was nothing like I'd imagined it to be.

We were coming home on the train from an impromptu date. On our right was a lesbian couple making out like they didn't have a home to go to. On our left was a woman whose outfit was a study in stupidity. (SN: When it comes to spandex, just because it hugs you doesn't mean it loves you.) We were giggling at the scene and just enjoying each other's company. As we neared my stop, he was telling me how to get home safely. And then he said, "I love you."

To say I was shocked would be a gross understatement. I looked at him and said, "What did you say?" He repeated himself and I gave him a kiss and got off the train. I had a look puzzled bewilderment on my face because he'd chosen th…

What Love Looks Like

Things may be going crazy at my job, but I can honestly say that my love life is better than ever.

My Teddy Bear is making me believe in love again. After New Boo, I wasn't sure that I could actually give my heart away. MTB is changing that slowly but surely. And he's not doing it in a crazy, passionate way. His is more methodical and very different from what I'm used to.

This weekend, we went to a surprise party for his best friend. It was my debut into polite society, or as I like to call it, my time as the speckled pup at the dog & pony show. And when I say he took me around and introduced me to everyone as his girlfriend, I only say it because it's true. What I loved is that they were so happy for him. One of his aunts almost cried.

Later that night, we were at karaoke when he told me that I was a big hit with his people. He was so happy, and it showed. And that made me happy, too.

I don't know what the future holds for us, but I know that he'll do his …

Do I Matter?

There are so many times when I question myself. Today is one of those days.

I actually had a great day. I worked overtime to make a great paleo meal -- chicken spaghetti. Even though I have to write tonight, I took time out to make this healthy meal because I'm trying to commit to laying aside this weight. And it came out good -- much better than I thought it would. I was proud of myself.

The plan had been to go to an industry event tomorrow with a couple of friends. While I'm kinda over it, my friends were excited to go. I was excited for them, and I knew I'd have fun.

So why was the party tonight instead of tomorrow?

To be clear, I'm known to be forgetful. I get things wrong all the time. But this time, I made sure I asked. Twice. And I was told that the party was Thursday. So why did I get a periscope notification from the party? When I asked my friend about it, she was sick because she's one of the few people who seem to be on my side. She didn't know I did…

Really??? Really!

My Teddy Bear is getting under my skin. That's the only way I can describe what's happening right now. He's an adorable man who makes me laugh. I don't remember the last time I felt so good while being with someone.

So why do I keep thinking about New Boo?

It's crazy. When TMFKATO and I broke up, I was hurt, but I didn't really put a lot of energy into thinking about what I'd lost. I didn't have time because New Boo was all-consuming AND he was super jealous. Even when my ex died, New Boo made me feel like it was crazy to mourn him. So I didn't. I let him steer my thoughts. I let him steer my life. I let him run everything around me. I became what he SAID he wanted.

Except I wasn't what he wanted. No matter how good, how faithful, how honest I was, I was NEVER going to be what he wanted. And believe me, I tried. I couldn't be what he wanted because he didn't know what he wanted. He was and is a miserable individual who doesn't want t…

Marathon vs. Sprint

This man is going to teach me how to be in a relationship. He's going to make me a better woman because he's going to balance me out. I didn't know how off-kilter I really was.

My Teddy Bear, in the role of my new boyfriend, got his social debut at our very first Chicken & Tequila party. (And yes, that's all we had -- chicken and tequila.) He came, he saw, he played cards, played with the kids, and completely charmed and impressed my friends. Then we came home.

I knew he was tired, so I didn't trip when he conked out on me when we got home. But when we got up the next day, I was kinda bummed when he said he was tired. But then we had a discussion, and now I see the error of my freaky ways.

Inasmuch as I've wanted a relationship, I've never really known how to get past relations. New Boo wasn't able to help me because he was so busy hiding. Since he didn't offer me insight into him, I took sex to mean intimacy. And while I've always known tha…

And So It Begins...Again...

My Teddy Bear & I are official. After spending an adorable Valentine's Day together, he asked me how I'd feel if we were to stop dating and be in a relationship. I readily agreed because I love him (even though I haven't told him yet.) It's only been a month, but I think he's got the goods.

So why did I have a New Boo moment?

MTB and I went to see Daley in concert last night. (SN: If he comes to your town, I highly recommend you going. He's dope, for sure, but his opening act was great, too. Katy Shotter is her name. Just saying...) One of my favorite songs in "Be." The lyrics say, "If don't know what to say, I promise not to make you feel bad. You're not the only one afraid to say you're still in love."

When I was going through the thick of my pain, I longed to hear NB say that he loved me. Even though every one of his actions said otherwise, I wanted it so bad. Thankfully, I moved past that into this new reality, but hearin…

That Question...

I spent the afternoon with My Teddy Bear. I think I could love him.

Today was significant because he shared something deeply personal with me. I appreciated him for doing it, but it brought up the one question I didn't want to discuss yet -- his need for children.

More than anything, I don't want someone to get stuck with me and miss out on the things they want out of life. I can look at how he is with me, and I know he'll be an amazing father. The LAST thing I want to do is keep him from that. But with me not getting any younger, I know that my window is closing. And I want him to be happy.

So I asked him, "What if I can't give you that? Would you be able to be satisfied with just me?" He said he could, and I'm sure he means it. But I can't shake this nagging feeling that one day he'll wake up and realize that I'm the reason he doesn't have a child of his own. I don't think I can take that kind of guilt.

Of course, these are questions…

Snow Day Musings...

"Oh Snowy Day..."

The snow is coming down in NewYork City. It's almost a white-out situation.

I'm in the house alone. That's never good. I have leftover liquor from New Years. That's even worse.

So I'm in this house drinking alone.

I spoke to My Teddy Bear today, and he's good. Kicking it at home with his sister and her family. I've spoken to and texted him all day.

But when I looked out of my window, watching the snow come down...I missed New Boo and that other one.

To be clear, I don't want to be with New Boo again. Now that I'm in the throes of a new situation with My Teddy Bear, I am very happy. He's adorable and he cares for me in a way I'm not used to.

But when I'm alone...sometimes I do wonder what New Boo is doing. If he misses me. If he remembers watching the snow fall with me.

Knowing him, nothing is significant and he probably doesn't even think of me now. It's clear to me that he impacted me way more than I …

In My Feelings, Part 2

So I'm in my feelings. Again.
Here's the deal. I told you last time that I'd be having a biopsy this week. That happens tomorrow. I thought my homegirl would be able to go with me, but she's got an engagement to attend that she just can't get out of. So guess who said they'd go with me? You guessed it -- My Teddy Bear.
Here's the problem with that -- I don't know if he's ready for the mess I might be afterwards. Heck, I don't know if I'M ready for the mess I might be. The way I see it, there's only one honeymoon period in a relationship...one time when they think you're absolutely the best thing ever. He doesn't know I snore, and he thinks that I smell like juices and berries all the time. This situation could render me human in his eyes.
And of course, because I'm the one who thinks things all the way through, I wonder if he'll see me as damaged goods. I always fight that thought anyway, but now there won't be a doub…

In My Feelings...

I'm feeling some kinda way, so please bear with me. So much has happened since we last spoke.

For one, the new guy -- who I'm gonna call My Teddy Bear -- is awesome. I know they all start off that way, but I swear he's different. For one, he's real. What that means is that he's not looking for perfection. He sees me just like I am -- flaws and all -- and he STILL likes me. I honestly don't know how to act, but I'm gonna do my best not to mess this up. For real.

We all know that the true test of a person is how they react in a crisis. For the record, I'm not the best person to have around when things go awry. It's not something I'm proud of, but it's the reality of my life. Fortunately, that's not the case with MTB. As he told me, "I'm a grown man."

I recently decided that it was time to get my health together. So I went and got a physical and a well woman's exam. The well woman exam doctor is someone I saw last year whe…

What Football Taught Me...

I am 45 years old. But I am not dead. Sometimes I feel like my dreams of a family are over. They are not.

This struck me as I was watching the game between Alabama and Clemson. Full disclosure -- I NEVER watch football. I fundamentally don't believe in it. What that means is that while I know it exists, I don't believe I should participate in it.

Anyway, that was an EXCELLENT game. Both teams fought until the bitter end with Alabama winning it 45 to 40. For some reason, it struck me because those kids wanted that victory and it was hard-won.

I want a family, but I know it'll be a hard-won victory over a worthy opponent -- my mind. So many times I've heard myself think, "I might as well give up. It's never gonna happen." As you can imagine, I definitely thought it during the summer of tears.

Now, though, there's a new dude in the picture. And while we've only been on one date, he's already stated his intentions to me. I don't know what the …

The Date

I went on my date. 
I think my life may have changed forever.
Things started out innocently enough. I met him at his job and we went to the restaurant from there. He picked out another place he'd wanted to try, and it was very cool. Even though someone told me to wear jeans, I opted for a dress and boots. My thing was that I wanted to look like I cared, but not like I'd tried too hard.
We had a great time. We ate and walked a bit afterwards. And then he brought me home, because he wanted to make sure I got here safely. (His words, not mine.)
After making out a bit, he said something to me that literally brought me to tears.
He told me that he wants to build a solid foundation with me. That he's after my heart and my mind first. In his opinion, the body will follow. Because he sees big things in our future, he's not to get things out of order. And he wants to earn my trust.
So why did that bring me to tears, you ask?
Because honestly, it's what I've wanted to he…

Old Friends in New Roles

Looks like 2016 is getting off to a good start. I have a date. And not just any date, mind you. It's a date with someone I've known for a minute.

This guy is actually the friend of a couple of friends, and I met him at my homegirl's house. I never thought he'd be interested in me -- especially since he met me during my summer of tears, also known as the summer of 2015. Heck, I didn't think I registered with him.

That is, until he reached out to me. I spent almost two months in California, and he hit me up on Facebook. I can't lie -- I was kinda surprised. Even though we've always been cool, I never thought he liked me. In fact, the chick he went to elementary school had been trying to fix him up with my neighbor. We made plans for him to buy me drinks at my birthday party in New York.

Sadly, the party didn't happen. But you know me -- I reached out to him and said, "Say, the party didn't happen, but you still owe me drinks." He agreed, and…

Happy New Year!

We've reached 2016, and I'm glad. Last year was hard on me. I can honestly say that there were some losses that I didn't expect, some I did, and some I hoped wouldn't happen. And after that, I'm still standing.

Between TMFKATO and New Boo, I didn't know if my heart would ever be whole again. Honestly, I still don't. But both relationships taught me about who I am, what I want, and how to handle myself if I ever get them. They also taught me what NOT to do, and that's undervalue or underestimate myself. Now I know -- beyond the shadow of a doubt - what I can and can't take in these situations.

I now understand why people do what they do. I finally felt my own heart expand beyond its boundaries only to slapped back to reality. Now I get it. It was a painful lesson -- one that I don't wish on anyone.

Running from your problems won't necessarily solve them. All it does is make it easier for you to avoid them. Sometimes that's necessary to th…