“What are you harboring in your heart that you have yet to forgive them for?”

I was watching The Shack the other day; that’s when I heard these words. “Who have you not forgiven?”

These words stuck, possibly even stung… Yeah they stung. They hurt. So much so that I can still feel the piercing at this moment.

“Who have you not forgiven?”

The thing is…I pride myself in the ability to forgive and move on. If you were to ask me about grudges, I’d tell you that I don’t hold grudges. But maybe there’s  difference between holding a grudge and offering forgiveness. Maybe not.

When I heard the question, “Who have you not forgiven?,” I searched my heart. Lo and behold, there was a person who I had not forgiven. This is a person of the past. A person who I severed ties with physically but failed to sever ties with emotionally. Not because I still loved or was in love with that person. Instead, it was because there were damaging pieces of the relationship that still follow me today.

Pieces that cause me to question my motives. Pieces that trigger the thoughts of clothing choices. Pieces that make me question my interactions with men.

The words and emotional responses from this man literally made me question who I was. Made me question my loyalty. Made me feel so bad about myself and my choices to the point that I said I’d never allow myself to get into another relationship like that.

This weekend, I decided to forgive him. I decided to no longer allow these things to harbor in my heart, and per the example in The Shack, I’m making it a point to forgive him over and over again. Not because I’m not a strong and confident woman, but because it’s the right thing to do. And not just because God said so, but because I’m understanding the power of forgiveness.

While writing this post, I feel a lightness — an airiness — a feeling of overwhelming and unmistakable peace that (from experience I know it) only comes from God. It’s a feeling that says that I have now let go. I am now able to move on. That I am now experiencing my healing.

Over the past 7 months, I have experienced a brokenness like no other. Moreover, I’ve lived in a state of perpetual anger over the last two years.

This weekend has been a moment of “no more.” All because I’ve decided to let go and forgive.

Today, I leave you with the same question. What are you harboring in your heart that you have yet to forgive? What is stealing your joy or taking up a space where so many other life-giving sentiments could dwell? I encourage you to search your heart. All you have to do is be willing to forgive. God will help you do the rest.

If you haven’t seen The Shack, take a moment to check it out. It could be life-changing.

Love you. Until next time,

Gina

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“You are the source of my life. You are the source of my strength. I lift my hands in total praise to You.” – Richard Smallwood

America. We stink.

I thought of several short essays I could write for this post of affirmation, but this is what resonates right now.

I could’ve written an eloquent letter to my black men letting them know just how much I loved them; how I admire them for their poise and persistence during this tumultuous time.

I could’ve written a letter to people with fairer skin about the plight of the people and why it’s time that the message of Black Lives matters started to resonate.

I could’ve written a message full of anger and and hate. But that’s not my style.

It hasn’t been for quite some time.

THE PROVERBIAL CHIP ON EVERYONE’S SHOULDER

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about getting past the “b” word. I allowed people to assume what the “b” word was. In reality, the “b” was for bitter.

I’m not sure if bitter ever has a place? In food, it’s hardly ever regarded as a positive note. In life, it’s what we like to call people who seem to have this everlasting chip on their shoulder.

And that’s what we’re seeing today. A lot of bitterness living out loud.

People are bitter – standing with the presumptuous chip on their shoulder. But the reason for the chip is different.

Blacks have a chip on their shoulder because from the day the majority of us were brought to this country, we’ve had to fight. We’ve had to fight to live. Fight to eat. Fight to get married. Fight to rest. And for centuries, we’ve been fighting for equal rights.

Generation after generation, we’ve run, hidden, fought physically, picketed, marched, and staged sit-ins. In the midst of all this, generation after generation, we’ve continually been told we’re not good enough. We’re ugly. We’re only good enough for sports. We’re not smart. We’re stupid. We are not the elite. And when we finally do something for ourselves, we’re told we’re racist and separatists.

No homie. We’re just trying to survive.

This is survival, yo.

And then there are people who don’t look like us who have a bitter chip on their shoulder for multiple reasons: Some think we’re taking their jobs. Some think we’re not good enough for the sons or daughters. Some think we shouldn’t have the same rights. They think we’re inferior.

Then there are those who think we should “be over” the “slavery thing.” Some think we haven’t worked hard enough; they think we’re riding on a free pass. They think our men are dangerous or drug dealers.

Then there are some who feel they are (and may be being) blamed for the plight and hurt of people of color. So they rebel. Or maybe they harbor feelings of hurt because they can’t understand why they have to bear the burden of things that happened long before they were even born.

Ultimately, this bitterness stems from hurt, fear, pride, and rejection — sometimes all combined.

IT AIN’T JUST YOU

I know because I have experienced this bitterness. It’s a bitterness that I have to keep in check — appropriate it for the right moments, places and times.

Yes, I get ticked off when I go to work and don’t know whether the person walking the halls are friend or foe. Yes, I question whether or not a “friend” is no longer speaking to me because of my outspoken nature surrounding the Black Lives Matter campaign. Yes, I get ticked off when I think that I may not be getting a promotion or treated fairly because of my race.

But then I’m reminded of my friends who’ve brought their kids around me. Laughed with me. Joked around with me. Watched me cry. Those FRIENDS are white.

I’m reminded of the promotion and support given by my white boss. I’m reminded of the encouraging words white people have said to me as they’ve watched very vulnerable steps I’ve taken in this journey. I’m reminded of the white people – adults and teens – who joined the picket line with me…and those who stopped to simply say “we agree.”

If all people who didn’t look like us were our enemies, I wouldn’t have stories like this.

In the midst of all of this, we must stop. Pause. Remember racism is an individual thing.

Just like we don’t like stereotypes to be applied to us, we must implement the same thinking and behavior.

Finally, I’ve learned we must be willing to be vulnerable enough to share our stories and compassionate enough to hear the other side. We must be willing to speak as well as to listen, even to those who don’t share the same view points.

C IS FOR CONVERSION

If we don’t have any other example, we can think about our conversion to Christ.

There was a time when we were on the other side of the Jesus fence. We couldn’t stand Christians. We just didn’t get them. And thought, why would we give up our “freedom.”

Those on the other side of the fence knew there was so much more to gain on the other side, but we had to be willing to cross to the other side.

America. We have to be willing to cross to the other side. There’s so much to gain on the other side of hate, anger, separation and inequaltiy.

To my fellow black Americans, be righteously angry, but sin not.

To my fellow white brothers and sisters, know that all we want is equality. Not perceived equality, but one where we don’t have to worry about who is calling us the “N” word behind our back. One where we don’t have to hide who we are when we go to work…or to a restaurant…or to a club…or to the mall. One where we don’t have to worry about being “the good black.” Where you’re no longer referred to as “one we can trust.”

We should get to a point where we’re simply referred to as people. PEOPLE.

Is it going to take time to get there? Absolutely.

Will we ever get there? Probably not.

But we can get closer.

We’re closer than ever before so let’s keep moving.

HOW TO GET THERE

It all starts with you. It’s a matter of your heart. His heart. Her heart.

The bible says that what a man thinketh, so is he. It also says to be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

We have a lot of things to unlearn, America. Ignoring it like a moldy leftover pot that’s been left in the sink for too long isn’t going to help. The only way we’re going to get the smell to go away is by putting in the work.

Examine your biases. Check yourself. Identify how you can make a difference. Then do the work.

If it’s by picketing, do it. If it’s by breaking down the barriers and having the tough discussions with people who look like you and those who don’t look like you, do it. If it’s by simply affirming within yourself that you won’t let another day go by living in hate, do it. Do whatever it takes to bring unity AND equality.

It’s time to start cleaning up this stinkin’ thinking and move on because #weareone.

AFFIRMATION

I will not go another day with hate and unforgiveness in my heart. It starts and ends with me. I will be the difference.

PRAYER

Lord, help me to not allow my heart to be a residence for hate. Lord, replace hate, bitterness, and anger with your joy and peace. Help me to live the life that you’ve taught me to live; one where I love my neighbors as I love myself. Lord, the world is ugly; America is ugly, but there is not one hurt that you cannot heal. Help us heal. Help us to not only cover up the bruises. Let us feel the hurt. But then let us move on. Let us do the hard work. Help us to cry in front of one another. To argue, but utltimately to not let the sun go down on our wrath. Bring unity. Bring joy. Bring genuine laughter and peace.

Lord, we will lift our eyes to you. Amen.

See you next Wednesday.

Gina

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“You are smart…you are enough.”

I was recently presented with an opportunity to work alongside a cohort of professionals on one of my organization’s internal projects. We’re in the very early stages of this project, where the foundation is being laid. Key questions are being asked and the work that is fundamental to the identity of this project is being executed.

As with any project, the work is being divvied. My friend drew the lucky straw of drafting a few statements to represent the groups purpose.

After reading these statements, I was left a bit perplexed. Thesaurus-laden buzzwords and corporate jargon had drowned out the message. I asked my friend to rewrite the statements in plain English. Though she knew I had good intentions, she was offended.

I wanted her to see that her message, the one she believed in, the one without the colorful language was enough. Adding colorful language not only took away from the message, but it made the reader work harder. In fact, I had to read the statements more than once to deduce what was being said. And in the end I was still confused and frankly, frustrated.

But this also created a great opportunity for feedback. While, my colleague wasn’t happy with my feedback, I had the opportunity to follow up with what was in my heart.

My feedback had less to do with the message and a million times more to do with what I believed, and what she needed to believe, about herself.

I had an opportunity to tell her that she was smart and that she didn’t need to rely on anyone else to tell her that. She didn’t need the “extras” to impress anyone. Simply being who she was was enough. And when she delivers her message from her heart, that would be enough.

I had an opportunity to tell her that she was, and is, enough.

 

 

Affirmation

Today, I repeat this message to you. You are enough. Give yourself the gift of relaxing the security of who you are. Stop trying to outfit yourself with the proverbial colorful layers — fancy clothes, an extensive vocabulary, multiple degrees, or the pursuit of the seemingly “perfect life” — to gain the approval of others or even yourself. Don’t water down the magnitude of who you are. Be you.

The Bible says that you were fearfully and wonderfully made. Who am I to disagree with God?

Take off those layers. Life is a lot lighter and much clearer without them.

Until next Wednesday,

RP

Tell someone they are enough.

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“I just don’t get along with females.”

The first time I heard this statement was when I was in high school…and it’s continued into adulthood. It’s a statement that baffled me for years. I thought, “why would someone have a hard time getting along with other young ladies?” Then it hit me…boys; “boys” was the only rational explanation I could come up with.

The idea of not being able to get along with females was one I didn’t get because I didn’t live, eat and breathe boys as a teenager or even college student. With (what I know now as lifelong) friendships, sports, dance, work and studies – and a pretty healthy fear of my mother – consuming my time, my brain didn’t work like other young girls. Did I like boys? Of course. Did I have boyfriends? Yes. But I just didn’t obsess over them. They were just part of the everyday routine.

But after teaching youth Bible Study to a class of high schoolers, I realized just how atypical I was…or maybe they were the atypical ones. Nah, it was me.

Our discussions often surrounded supposed haters and boys. I was constantly inundated with who was beefing with who and who was dating who and so on. And the girls…I had to keep my eyes on the girls.

They were lovely young ladies, but if an ounce of testosterone entered the building (no matter how good looking or not so much they were), these ladies about lost their minds. And it was while I had that class that I understood why women didn’t get along.

And get this, I wasn’t exempt.

As I grew older and transitioned into independence, I too felt the pains of female-to-female tension. When I no longer saw dating as a game,  but as a means to an end (i.e. dating for marriage), I allowed low self-esteem, pride, jealousy and even some controlling behavior set up shop. I looked at women as my competition. And I, ultimately, became catty, untrusting and bitter.

But that’s not who God has intended us to be.

Unhealthy competition is the antithesis to love and compassion. How can you show mercy if you’re busy trying to identify the fault? You can’t.

Instead, you find yourself in the position of adversary and foe. You waste energy envying what “they” have. You spend time tearing down the powerhouse that you were promised. You get in your own way, point blank period. And you block your own blessing.

Today, I’d like you to be affirmed in yourself. Your uniqueness. Your strength. Your personal blessings. Know that when you are affirmed as one, you can become affirmed as many.

Moreover, be affirmed in your sisterhood. Know that she is not the enemy. She is your sister…one who brings a unique set of strengths to the table. And while feeble apart, together you can change the world.

#BeAffirmed

Assignment:

  1. Share this article and include #beaffirmed
  2. Over the course of the week, reach out to a woman…young or old and let them know how they have made (or are currently making) a difference in your.

See you next Wednesday.

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Love. What is it really?

Is it a feeling? Is it an action? Is it a word to describe a feeling or an action? Or is it something else.

The bible says that “…God loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him would have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

The Bible also says that love is patient and kind and doesn’t boast in evil and a whole slew of other things.

And if you ask my Pastor, the Bible is a 66 book love letter.

So why is it so hard for us as humans to wrap our brains around love?

Maybe it’s because love is so much bigger than just a feeling or an action?

Maybe it’s not about the kisses and the gifts and what media – or social media – portray.

Maybe it ‘s about sticking through it when times get tough. (Patience)

Maybe it’s not about running our mouths when he or she has presumably done you wrong. (Kind and Not boasting in evil.)

Maybe it’s not about the flowers and kisses and warm and fuzzies; those are all just by-products.

It’s about sticking to it when you hate his guts; when you feel ultimately heartbroken, but decide to let him explain.

It’s about bending further than you’ve ever bent before only to learn that you, indeed, won’t break. Instead, your flexibility increases with every patient, kindness and not boasting in evil exercise there is.

It’s not about seeing who pulled the short stick. Maybe it’s about realizing and accepting that when you put the sticks together, you both win.

It’s about seeing you need as much growth as you think you are valuable…all without losing sight of your worth.

Books have created fantasies…Cinderalla was the greatest of them all, but as soon as we remove the Disney enamored lens, we’ll realize that love isn’t pretty. It’s messy. It doesn’t end merely with a happily ever after. Instead, the ending is more like…they worked each day ever after.

They found happy and they found love, but that was only the first step. The rest was a great big culmination of the chorus of Rhianna’s most recent hit, work (and all that crap you don’t understand in the middle). And when you put it all together, a hit is made.

I’m simultaneously living that hit and looking forward to it.

And that’s what I mean by “love is messy.”

Until next time,

Gina

Note: This was written before the previous post.

Decisions are an essential, inevitable element of everyday living. What to wear? What to say? What to eat? Even what to think? But some decisions are bigger than ever. Some are life altering driven by the core of who you are.

These include where to go to church? An overall way of living. Your career path and even where to work.

Then there are decisions that are even bigger. Decisions that you seemingly have little control over. Decisions that are not influenced by, but yet dictated by the essence of who you are.

These are decisions that you have little control over. As much as you desire to be liked or change certain behaviors so that you can be liked, the makeup of yor DNA, personality, and might I add calling, don’t allow you to change.

This is why singers will always sing. Dancers will always dance. Those who are naturally charismatic will always be charismatic. And those who are naturally influential will always be influential.

I happen to be all of the above…so I get it.

On the other hand, it’s hard when your calling is to be something that’s not popular. It’s hard when your character is to go against the grain. It’s hard when your calling is to be different.

You often approach a fork in the road when throwing in the towel and jumping on the bandwagon seems like a good idea.

“I’ll just be fake nice,” I said to myself. That was when I was internally chastised for giving in to the pressure. For even considering not being who God called me to be.

That’s when I was reminded that Jesus wasn’t liked. He wasn’t fake nice and he offended a heck of a lot of people.

I, by no means, am saying I’m even close to being Jesus. But isn’t it funny when your character reflects his boldness and his ability to go against the grain and suddenly you’re not Godly. Our lens of a holy God is so blurred by the smear of a “nice” God that we get it wrong.

We go out of our way to select the right words, put on the fake smile, and act “Godly” when we forget that it was that same God who called the lady out for being a prostitute. The same God who chastised the Pharisees for being pompous. And the same God who pointed out the fact that his closest friends had little faith.

Yet, this is the same God that we praise for being loving, patient and kind.

It’s funny how we can appreciate, see and accept both sides of Christ. Yet, we have little room to do the same for those we call our brothers and sisters.

If I said I didn’t know that I rubbed others the wrong way, I would be lying. But that was part of what I’ve been called to do; to go right when everyone is going left. To strive for better when others will settle for good enough.

Going against the grains isn’t a smooth process, but it can be a refining one.

It can bring fresh air to an otherwise gray world.

It can bring light to an otherwise dark existence.

To you I ask, what parts of your brother have you discarded because it rubbed you the wrong way, and have you ever considered the validity of the approach. Paul wanted to kill Christians but them became the leader. His zeal caused him to go too far on one side and bring massive change on another. Same person. Same personality. Different goals.

My question to you…have you ever thought how you’ve rubbed your brother, yet had patience, forgiveness and acceptance shown toward you. That’s what being a Christian is about. It’s not about trying to mold someone to who you want them to be. It’s about understanding how their piece of the body works with yours.

Which part do you play and how does your brother fit? 1 Corinthian 12:27.

 

My goodness. The Holy Spirit is working with me so please bear with me as I write this post.

I’ve struggled with the concept of fake nice until right now…this very moment.

First let me explain what fake nice is. It’s the concept that we have to deliver the truth or more broadly where everyone puts a smile on their face while rubbing each other on the back to make them feel good about themselves. It’s a mask; a facade to be accepted, politically correct or to not hurt anyone feelings. Or that we have to say things certain ways for them to be accepted. At the nitty-gritty of what it is, it’s a lie.

A bold-faced lie.

It’s covering up how you really feel. Just because someone doesn’t say racist statements doesn’t make them less racist. It just makes them more politically correct.

Just because someone knows good bible verses doesn’t make them a Christian. It just means they know scripture.

 

And jus because someone doesn’t package a message exactly the way you want them to say it – or the way society has trained them to say it – doesn’t make them rude. It makes them human.

We live in a society full of lies.

We talk about muslims and cover it up with the fear of terrorism.

We talk about Mexicans and we cover it up with fear of economic stability and safety.

We talk about African-Americans and we cover it up with false truths.

And we talk about whites, but cover it up with the notion of equality. Yep. I said it.

But we never talk about the real problem. The fact that all of this – racism, political structure, the things that keep us up at night – is a measure of the heart. The fact that as long as we can  point our fingers at others, we will NEVER need to point our fingers at ourselves is the biggest problem of all.

Accountability is our real issue. As soon as someone holds us accountable, we become offended. As soon as someone stands up for themselves or projects their voice, that’s when we suddenly have a problem with people.

Don’t believe me. Prime example: Jesus.

People loved the “loving”, miracle-working Jesus. But when Jesus laid down the law – confronted the proud – that’s when problems arose. He shook things up. It was no longer the status quo. There was a new leader in town, and people weren’t ready for it…so they tried to play with his mind.

The pharisees tried to trip him up. (Help me Holy Ghost. yep I went COGIC on y’all right there (smile)) They tried to make him lose at his own game, but they missed one key factor; Jesus wasn’t just another guy on the street. Jesus was called for one reason and one reason only. To save the world from their sins. And that’s what he did.

Jesus never strayed from his purpose. No matter how much people spit on him. No matter how much they beat him. No matter how they pierced Him in His side.

He asked God to take him off the project. Then He humbled himself and said, “not my will but Your will.”

In this season of transition, I will prayerfully say, “not my will, but your will.” I will be spat on. I will be teased. I will be ridiculed. (There’s no question to it.) And in the end, God will get the glory.

He chose me because He knew I could take it. He also knew that I’d point it all back to Him.

Lord, while I don’t like it, I still say thank you for trusting me with such a responsibility.

Now I ask, what has God chosen you for?

 

Over the past 6 years, I’ve heard (or had it implied) that I was not okay how I was.

Wait. I’ll take that back, I’ve heard that for A LOT of my life.

You’re not poised enough.

You’re wild.

You’re crass.

You’re not pretty enough.

You’re not good enough.

And the list goes on.

And despite my SEVERAL accomplishments, I believed – and internalized – EVERY SINGLE ONE of the comments above.

I ruminated over them. I agonized over them. I’ve been anxious about them. Heck, I’ve even cried over them. So it’s to no surprise the amount of self-esteem battles I’ve had to fight.

Simply worrying about what others would think and trying to change with the mask of bettering myself became my reality. I’d try to be prettier. Wish I was more poised. Be better.

And to this day, I agonize over the fact that I feel SO misunderstood.

But let me tell you. I WILL NOT and DO NOT accept someone else’s reflection of who Regina is because your reflection is the exact antithesis of who Regina really is.

I wasn’t created to make others feel good.

I wasn’t created to be the Queen of England.

I wasn’t created to be the soft spoken pushover that some want me to be.

No. I was created to be a BOLD child of the King able to stand against ANY form of principality that comes against me.

The Word Says:

I am more than a conqueror.

For me to cast down vain imaginations.

The battle is not mine.

And when I have done all that I can do, just stand.

See there are people in this world who want to take your joy. And the Bible says the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy.

But today, I say, I recognize the enemy. And He CANNOT have my joy. He CANNOT have my peace. He CANNOT rule over me.

I am the heir of a King.

I am part of a royal priesthood.

Maybe that’s the reason “God Made Me” is one of my favorite songs. Though the children’s choir sang as I directed, it ministered to me…

“God made me, He made me who I am…

I’m a conqueror

I’m victorious,

I’m a winner

I’m a winner.”

God made me into ALL these things and more.

So to the naysayers…if you’re not reinforcing who God says that I am, why are you talking at all. Remember, the power of life and death is in the tongue. (And I’ll go on a limb and say it’s in the written word as well. Not scriptural, but I know words – in whatever form – make a difference.) So if you’re not speaking life, why are you speaking at all? Or maybe I should say, then WHAT are you speaking?

Maybe I’m not the person you’d hope I would be. Or the person you expected me to be. But you know who I am, the person God created me to be. And I actually like who I am. And that is why I’m no longer apologizing.

There are 2 types of people in the blogging world; those who have a blogging schedule and know what they’re gonna write about…then there are people more like me. You know the ones who kinda just pick up their blog and post just because…

I wanted to be one of those people with the schedule and pretty blogging journals, but let’s face it; I have ENTIRELY too much crap going on in my life to create concerted blogging time. And beyond that, I’m balancing my “free” time with other things like spending time with my bae, crocheting now that the season is here, and just breathing for goodness sakes.

And this brings me to one of the biggest myths out there: Single people have a ton of free time. Whoever concocted that Jimmeny Cricket of a lie should be banished to hell without hope for water.

While we may not have hubby and kids to care for, there are A TON of other things calling for our attention.

  1. Emergency [fill-in-the-blank]. Whether it’s an emergency babysitter, emergency contact, or emergency shoulder to cry on, the single person is that person. Why? Because friends call you because they know that they’re likely not interrupting family dinner time, likely you can relate, and you’ll be there to listen. You don’t have to give the best advice. You just have to be the best listening ear. You have to be able to chime the “I get it[s]” and so on. And while I think it’s a blessing to be called on, I also know there’s a time when I have to turn off. So, no. I don’t answer phone calls or texts. Not because I don’t love you, but because I need to be able recharge so that I can give you a better me than the person you’d talk to if you were to talk to me at the time when you called.
  2. We have our own set of stuff to deal with. Contrary to popular belief, simply because we’re not dealing with fussy kids, soccer practice and the managing the clash of personalities that come with relationship building, we do have our own set of problems. From wondering whether or not we’ll have kids or get married to attempting to determine our next career moves, we have big things on our minds, and we don’t have little Johnny’s bright smile to take our minds off of it. Instead, we’re greeted by balancing cleaning our homes, wiping up dog poop, going grocery shopping, and the list goes on. And if I want something quick from the store, I can’t send hubby to get it. I can’t ask baby girl to bring me the remote control. And the clothes don’t fold themselves.
  3. We have big decisions to make. When the biological clock gets to tickin’, we gets to thinking. And that thinking is about alternatives to child-bearing and rearing. From freezing eggs to artificial insemination to adoption to fostering, we feel the pressure to determine how we will be mother or father because we’re beginning to lose hope in the traditional way. And to be quite honest, the traditional way (for myself at least) is a little less appealing. “You mean you want me to play outside with a 7 year-old child when I’m forty.” That sounded much more appealing at 22. The energy of a 5 year old was tiring 5 years ago. So, please help me understand how I’m supposed to play tag with little Johnny 5 years from now. iPads don’t sound so bad after all. (smile you freaking purist Nazis)
  4. Work is a back up for loneliness. Sure, I’ll work 2 more hours so I don’t have to face how lonely my life really is. How many single people have said this? And that’s sad. Really sad. But I’m one of them. I’d take on the extra hours so that I wouldn’t have to face my reality of how lonely it really is at home. Sure. We say we do it now because we can, but reality is, it’s a great way to fill a hole. Point. Blank. Period. So while you’re rushing to get to Susie’s soccer practice (regardless of how stressful that balance may be), we’re also balancing something. And when we don’t get the promotion or the raise yet we put in the time and the energy…well, that’s another issue.
  5. We have our own relationships to manage. Soooooo…you’re married. We’re just trying to get there. So let’s talk about what that really means. For some it means separating the good from the bad. Then once you have someone you’re compatible with that makes you smile and feel all good inside, you start working on making it continue to work. The necessity for the “c” word – communication -comes out as things get real. Balancing both of your schedules, emotions, and personalities is a thing. And Lord knows that if he’s a good one, the pressure to keep it going gets real. It’s no longer a fling nor someone you’ll let go in a New York minute. No. This is worth the fight. And last time I checked, the word fight didn’t come with fuzzy connotations all around it. And by the way, if you already have a pretty tight schedule, the addition of this amazing man or woman is just enough to set your balance arry if you don’t keep things under check.
  6. And speaking of busy schedules, yes we do have one. Maybe you’re in the running for mom of the year or best dad ever, but don’t forget the people who’ve helped you get there. I said it earlier, but I’m gonna go back to it. We’re your babysitter, the last-minute ride giver, “auntie” of the year, though we don’t share an ounce of blood. On top of that, we’re church member of the year, ministry leader of the year, head politician in charge or whatever else SOMEONE ELSE wanted to add to our agenda.
  7. Our escape is limited. I’m not sure I’d love to come home to little Susie’s mess, but I’m sure the joy she brings is worth it. And heck, maybe she’ll grow out of it one day. But as long as we’re single, we will continue to live in our brains. We’ll be bothered by media a little too much. We’ll be enticed to overshare on FB because that’s where the majority of our interpersonal communication happens, and our homes will be a little less joyful because, heck, there’s nothing like you and four walls to remind you of just how quiet your home really is. You get pissed because your space is cluttered. The amount of “stuff” you have begins to bother you. And darnett, nothing is okay until you take care of it! (And yes, when you see me cleaning like a nesting pregnant woman on the verge of labor, just know it’s a by-product of a bigger issue.)

I’m sure there are a thousand other things single people can add to this list. And yes, I’m sure there are several married with kids who’ll say “we have the same issues.” But this isn’t about you. We hear your puke, breastfeeding, whiny kid stories every day. Let us have our moment. #SingleLivesMatter

Disclaimer: Yes…I’m still in an awesome relationship. I love that guy.