The Kindness of Strangers

When Southern Mom died, my linesisters in the DMV rallied together, brought me dinner, bought my plane ticket home, and loved on me when I wanted to be left alone.

As the plane descended upon the city where I grew up, I cried silently to myself.  The flight attendant saw me, gave me some Kleenex, and asked if she could hug me when the plane landed.  I said a soft, “Yes.”

I’m not sure how they knew, but what each of those women gave me at those moments are what I needed, even if I didn’t want it or think I needed it at the time.

Upon my return to DC, I cooked dinner for linesisters.  I wish I had gotten the airline attendant’s name that was so kind to me so I could have properly thanked her.

It’s amazing to me how strangers or your friends or people you hardly know are so kind to you, not because they have to be but because they want to.

Since the passing of Southern Mom, the relationship between my maternal family and me has not been great.  I know I haven’t behaved perfectly, but I definitely feel like some people have done things and treated me unfairly when they shouldn’t have.  I don’t want or need to go into details, but I’m always amazed at how sometimes your friends will treat you better than family.

So, I’m just going to do what I’ve been doing for the past three years-pray for everyone and live my life the way I know my mother would want me to.  I see a little bit more of her everyday in the things that I do.  And I hope that I am making her proud.

Hopefully one day things will work out and get back to normal with my family.  But until then, I can’t let what’s bad hold me back from doing what’s good.  I pray that those of you that read this will remember that as long as you are doing what you are supposed to do, that’s all that matters.

Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

Value Yourself, Because No One Else Will

Happy Tuesday!  So, I know the title is a bit cliche’, but it’s the truth.

So, this post was going to be about the guy in this post.  And it still will be.  But I’m also thinking about other aspects of my life, in particular work wise.  Let me just say that I love my job, but I sometimes feel undervalued and unappreciated.  But, that’s all about to change!

Now, about the guy.  I finally cut that off.  Yesterday.  And while his parting words were, “I understand”, I felt like he was trying to make himself the victim.  Like the reason why we never moved forward was because of me.  Or through no fault of his.

And yes, in the beginning, he said that he wasn’t looking for a relationship (I wasn’t either), but we just happened to bump into each other after a year.  As time went on, my feelings started to change, and his did, too, according to him.  But if we’re behaving as if we are in a relationship, then we need to re-evaluate or have a discussion.  And we always started, but we never finished, which according to him, is a “bad habit” we have.

So, what did I do regarding this bad habit?  I told him “I’m over trying to talk to you”, and “I’m done.”  His response? “That sounds like something I would say.” (Really???) “I understand.”

While I’m slightly disappointed, I feel like such a big relief.  Honestly, I didn’t really think he was a keeper; I think I was trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.  Yeah, we had some laughs and great times, but he wasn’t the one for me.

You may be saying, “Elle, he told you in the beginning that he didn’t want a relationship.  And if you weren’t satisfied, why did you stay involved with him for so long?”  That’s actually a great question.  Women, and sometimes men, have a habit of staying in dysfunctional situations.  And if we do not make people value us, they don’t.  And it’s easy to stay in places where you are unappreciated and undervalued.  And it’s not to say that the other person is a bad person; it’s just that they are not the one for us or the one we are meant to be with.  It’s up to each individual to determine his/her own worth.  Value yourself and know your worth.

Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Elle’s World

So far, 2017 has been great!  I am officially in my mid-30s (and I’m totally ok with that!), I went on my second trip to California (even though it was for work), I attended the wedding of one of my best friends, I took my first international trip, AND I start graduate school in 3 weeks.

Travel is always fun!  And I told myself on my birthday that I wanted to travel internationally at least once a year from now until I can’t anymore.  So, for my first trip, I went to Cuba two weeks ago and had a ball!  Although I got sick (like really sick!), I still had a blast and am willing to go back!  The people, the culture, the city of Havana, and most of all, my girls, were just what I needed!  We were there for 5 days/4 nights, and it was long enough!  While I had a great time, I was more than ready to come home.  The process was easy (we got our stuff before the man on Pennsylvania Avenue made his announcement), and getting there and coming back were easy, despite the fact one of my friends almost got me detained because she wanted the customs agent to stamp her passport when were leaving. 😦 (Long story!) I learned about the country, got a nice tan, and brought back some great souvenirs.

My birthday this year was EPIC (though it didn’t start out that way).  I broke my phone, but I had a great 3 day celebration.  And Southern Cousin even came up to celebrate!

Most important, I start graduate school in less than 3 weeks.  I’m excited, nervous, apprehensive, all that good stuff that comes with taking on a new endeavor that is meant to add to my life in the future.

Lastly, my job is going swell. Though I’ve been given more responsibility (darn me for being so efficient!), I am also adding more to make me better.  I am sure this will make me more marketable and valuable at not only my current job but when I look for new positions after I finish graduate school.

So now that we are almost 3/4 of the way done with 2017, I am excited to see what else is in store for Elle.  Oh, and my love life?  The guy from this post is still around (WOW! Has he been around THAT long???), but it’s not what I want.  And I’m seriously considering ending that, for a number of reasons.  Maybe I’ll post about that later.

In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy these last days of summer.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Dating Sucks!

I’m sure I’ve said this a MILLION times before.  And I still stand behind this statement.  I hate when you meet someone new and you have to figure each other out – your quirks, what makes him tick, what you like about him, WHY you like him, etc.  And of course I always say this to myself when someone new comes along and he doesn’t fit into this ideal that I have created.

So, as you guessed it, yes, I met someone new.  Actually, we met last year, texted for a few weeks, then stopped talking.  About a month ago, we ran into each other in these DC streets and have been going pretty steady ever since.  Until we weren’t.  Well, we kinda still are.  Actually, let me explain…

We are COMPLETE opposites!  He’s Northern. I’m Southern.  He’s spontaneous. I’m a planner.  He’s stoic.  I’m jovial.  He uses actions to let me know how he feels (about me).  I use my words to let him know how I feel (about him).  He does not use the word “dating”.  I want to be courted.

The first time we went out, he invited me out to brunch.  We talked for FIVE HOURS over small plates and mimosas.  But, it wasn’t a date. In his mind, using the term “date” presents certain expectations.  And since it wasn’t a date, we went dutch.

Because I still have problems reading men, even at 35, I talked to TyAnthony, who advised that this was not uncommon (to not use the word “date” when getting to know someone).  So, I put on my Big Girl 21st Century Dating Pants and opened myself up to getting to know this man.  So far, it really has been a pretty good experience.  He texts me every day (though I prefer phone calls), and we see each other at least once a week.  He makes me laugh. He makes me think. He challenges me. And yet, something’s missing.  He’s not pursuing me the way I want to be pursued. (That’s the first time I’ve been able to put my feelings into words. I know, shocker!)  And do I cut-off what could potentially be a great guy because he’s not chasing me the way I want to be chased?

There was a whole lot more I was prepared to share, but I think that next to last sentence pretty much sums up what I’m feeling.  I will say that earlier last week I shared with him that I felt that I was planning most of our…outings. He chuckled and said, “I didn’t know we were keeping count.” I gave him the side-eye.  He did hear me.  I worked late the next day, and the next thing I know, he sends me a text saying that he’s 5 minutes away from my job. Totally impromptu and we hung out for a bit.  I did appreciate that, it brought a smile to my face, and gave me warm fuzzies on the inside.

So, where am I now?  I don’t know.  Yesterday, I was ready to write ol’ boy off and be completely done.  Today, now that I’ve had time to re-assess and think about what has happened in this short time span?  I’m still willing to give him a chance, especially since I have been known to cut dudes off when they do one thing that I don’t like (I know; I should do better).  It may be my defense mechanism so I don’t get too close to anyone.  I am talking to TyAnthony tonight to get more clarification and some feedback.  If anyone knows me and appreciates my quirks, it’s him.

Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!


Why Women Delve Into Their Careers

Being weeks away from 35, I have been able to do some self-reflections and assessments and figure out what I want to get out of life and where I want to be within the next 10-15 years.  I begin graduate school in the fall, which I am very excited about, and my going back to school has allowed me to think about the possibilities and the next steps I want to take in my professional life.  I have also been thinking about my financial health.  After doing some assessments and actually writing down my expenses and income, I realized that I should be much further along with saving than I am.  The good thing is that I have been doing a better job of being a good steward over my finances; the fact that I am now writing them down makes me feel better and that by my managing my finances a little more closely I can do the things that I want to do, especially international travel.  Additionally, Facebook reminded me that it was two years ago today that I officially moved into my house.  This reminder was a welcome memory to see how far I’ve come in being a homeowner (and how much further I have to go to get my house just right.) As I plan for my career, my home, and my personal life, my love life has taken a backseat.

To be honest, I have become jaded and dissatisfied with my love life.  From meeting men who aren’t geographically desirable to men who are too immature to men that were crazy (like almost certifiable) to men that just weren’t for me, I have almost come to the conclusion that I will be single, if not for the rest of my life, then for a really long time.  And if I’m being totally transparent, at this juncture in my life, I’m kinda ok with that.

Sure, I miss going on dates and getting phone calls from suitors and all the other mushy stuff that comes with dating and relationships; however, I’m so focused and excited and nervous for what’s to come in other aspects of my life that I’m really not too concerned with my love life.  And because everything else is going great, it has taken my mind off of the fact that I am single.  With NO prospects.

When something is going right in our lives, it is very easy to focus on that positive and to give two sh*ts to the wind about the stuff that’s not so positive.  That’s why I personally believe that’s why it’s SO easy for women to become absorbed by their jobs.  They have the requisite education credentials, they gain the necessary experience at work, they are leaders-movers and shakers, and they continue to get promotion after promotion and advancement and notoriety and everything else they need to be successful career-wise.  When a man comes along, it would behoove him to let that woman know how he plans to enhance her life and how they can be great together in order for her to give him the time of day.

Earlier this week, I was hanging out with some friends of mine that are married.  I let them know that, “I don’t necessarily want to put this out in the atmosphere but I think I’m going to be single forever.  At this point in my life, I really just want to meet a man who has the same values as me, wants one or two children, and we can put our resources together to buy a bigger house (than mine).”  The husband let me know that I am not the problem (I really needed to hear that because sometimes I think I am).  He assured me that DC is a tough place to find a quality mate.  Which, I already knew.

At the end of the day, I will be focusing my upcoming birthday celebration, work, travel, and graduate school.  If a man comes along he’s really going to have to have his stuff together in order to get my attention.  And keep it.

Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.