Tag Archives: Dating

I’mperfect

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My finger kept running across the label.

Valium. For Panic Attacks and Anxiety. 

On my left was a bottle of wine. The bridge¬†between the two sat with me for a little too long. Sure it wasn’t new. I’d entertained the idea for years. But this time I was considering dancing with it. I could hear my family laughing downstairs, gathered around a Christmas movie, enjoying each other’s company. The haphazard note I’d written wouldn’t help. Somewhere inside me I knew I didn’t want to die but I didn’t want to live either.


I don’t know the exact moment it happened but I learned to hate myself at a very young age. At seven, I took a brillopad to my leg to get off the “dirt” because I wanted to look like all of my white friends. As a teenager I underwent radical diets to look like the thin girls who got asked out. In college, I struggled with suicide ideation. All different expressions but they all came from the same place of a deeply rooted and internalized hate. I was never one of the pretty, popular girls with straight hair and boyfriends. I wasn’t tall and gorgeous like my sisters. I was sick for a good portion of my childhood and it showed in scabs, scars, rashes, and other unsightly skin reactions. I was a walking freakshow as I was told numerous times. That made me an easy target for bullies. I can still remember in vivid detail the laughs of my tormentors. The happiness in their faces when they could call me fat or ugly, pull my hair, kick me, or find some new form of torture. Each time I absorbed the shock of the blow and let it sink below the surface. Each day the pain grew. Each day the message got louder and clearer, “You’re not wanted.”

I began to hate myself intensely. I told myself I didn’t deserve to take up the space that I did. I didn’t deserve to breathe the air everyone else did. The hate morphed into impossible standards. If I didn’t get an A, I was even more worthless. If I didn’t lose the weight, no one would ever want me. If I stopped reading and thinking so much, I’d get a boyfriend. If everything that made me unique was destroyed, I’d be accepted…acceptable.¬†

I would sit on the floor of my closet in the dark and hug my knees. I felt safe there. Unlike most children, I wasn’t afraid of the monsters that lurked just beyond my clothes and underneath my shoes. I was afraid of the ones on the outside getting in.

But it was too late, they were already running rampant in my head.


When I started dating I was indoctrinated by the belief that I was so unloveable that any consideration from a man was met with my undying love and affection. I hated myself so much that I really believed anyone who could look past my reprehensible “faults” and at least like me was as close to love as I could get. I enthusiastically took emotional and mental abuse because I thought that was the best I could do.

When people complimented me, it never registered. Call me smart and I’d counter with, “Not enough.” Call me pretty and I’d counter with, “Not enough.” I kept praying and hoping that I would find “the enough” on the other side of some condition being met. It never was in reach and so long as I judged myself in the mirror of perfection I would always find something more to fix and less to love.

I hated myself for so long that I wanted to die. That’s all hate grants you. It exhausts you nearly to the point of no return. It infects everything good and beautiful in your life and kills it slowly. I sat in my room while my family celebrated and I wondered if it would be better without me. Then I saw their faces once they found me. Maybe they’d think I was sleeping. Maybe they’d try and shake me awake. But it wouldn’t last long and then they’d know. How could I let them feel that kind of horror? They would feel guilty for something that wasn’t their fault for years. ¬†I didn’t want to trade in my pain for theirs and I truly didn’t want to end my life. I put the orange bottle out of sight and folded up the note. I told myself that I was either going to let my hate kill me or I was going to find a way to live and find happiness.


I used to be terrified of being this vulnerable, of opening myself up to this degree. But the more I look around, the more I see it’s necessary. I hear the little cues in conversation, “If I could just,” “When I…” “I need to do this so I can be…” and I know the little seeds of self-hate live in others. When I read the comments about Tess Holliday getting signed to a major modeling agency, I saw those little seeds come out in words. When I watched the division and negativity after the Dark Girls and Light Girls documentaries last week, I saw those little seeds come out in tweets. When I watch friends deflate because some anonymous man swiped left instead of right, I see those seeds burst and take root. We need to stop treating happiness as some carrot we dangle in front of people. No one person deserves it over another. It’s not a race. You can try and chase it the world over without realizing it starts with you.

Dark-skinned, curly-haired, wide-hipped, flat-chested, whatever you are, you’re golden. Love your rolls, love your curves, love your lines, love your shape, no matter what state it’s in because it’s yours. There’s no use in measuring ourselves against perfection because it’s just as unbelievable as it is unattainable. Why should you wait to be happy when your life isn’t a rehearsal? This is it. If you can’t be comfortable in the skin you’re in now, what makes you think the second you reach a goal, it’ll suddenly find you? You can’t fight insecurity with another insecurity. You’ll never win so chuck it in the trash. Perfection doesn’t allow you to see yourself as the beautiful person you are. It tells you you’re too much or not enough. You’re enough. I promise you, you’re more than enough.

When I stopped hating myself, I started breaking “rules” I was told to live by. I stopped relaxing my hair and let me curls show and I felt beautiful. I wore dresses that showed my dark knees and chubby thighs. The world didn’t collapse, no one was blinded by the sight of it, and I felt beautiful. I started finding joy in what I’d considered imperfections. I started finding joy in myself. Some people don’t like to see that. Let’s be honest, most people don’t like to see that. When we think of happiness as something bestowed instead of something obtained, we get envious of those around us who have it. Hurting people hurt people, doesn’t mean you have to receive it or pass it on. Let that be someone else’s fight. They have to learn, just like you will, just like I did, that the love you’re chasing isn’t somewhere over the rainbow, it’s right in the palm of your hand. Grab that happiness. Embrace that love. Reject the hate.

I wake up every morning and I write this in my journal:

ImPerfect

It’s a reminder to myself that what the world may call faults, I call beauty. What the world may say doesn’t deserve love, will garner all the love it needs right from me.

You deserve to feel that way too. Remember that as we all aspire to feel better, do better, and be better.

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Check Your Bags: Claim Your Emotional Baggage

“Do I remind you of him?”

I was sitting on the bed talking to my then boyfriend. We were talking about our fathers and the traits we picked up from them. Some of them were great, some not so much. He was staring at me intently awaiting my answer.

Of course he did. I looked away for a second.

“Not at all silly.”

That’s when I knew we were doomed.

After the¬†breakup, I remember wailing aloud to Robyn in the shower and crying the ugliest, sappiest, snottiest cry I’ve ever done in my life. I was heartbroken…but I wasn’t surprised. In fact, immediately after we broke up, I was relieved. While I was pretending that everything was great when we were together I was stressing out internally. I was depressed. I’ve never found it hard to see people for what they are but I like to grant them¬†the benefit of the doubt anyways. Often times they prove me right and go along repeating destructive patterns but sometimes my¬†intentional naivet√© is just the space they need to grow and transform. This was not one of those situations. There was mama drama, family drama, communication problems, a lack of emotional development, unresolved personal issues, and years of baggage that I saw clear as day. But I still went forward with it. *Sigh* I know!

I wanted into the secret club of twentysomethings that had already met “the one.” You know the ones that seem so stupid perfect in their Facebook pictures? I wanted that security because I didn’t feel secure in any other part of my life. I forfeit my happiness for the appeasement of other people. I was that same little girl who just wanted to fit in with everyone else. But at what cost?

As I leaned against the tile of the shower I realized that, even if only in a small degree, I brought this on myself. I knew we’d never last, I knew there were more than a few fundamental, major things in his life I didn’t agree with, but I pursued it anyways. He had his problems but I clearly had mine if I was so desperate to choose him. ¬†I wasn’t going to spend this break-up blaming someone I no longer had any connection or relationship with. I was going to focus on the most important relationship I had —the one with my self.

So I cracked myself open, I looked back at all the relationships I’ve had before. Boyfriends, friends, crushes, everything. It was more than a little terrifying to see the patterns come to light. The fact that I’m attracted to anger and brokenness. The fact that I do so out of a crappy sense of self-worth. The fact that what I truly wanted was in a different world compared to what I had been accepting. It all came down to me. I might not have caused those people to be antagonists but I allowed them to antagonize me because I believed that’s what I deserved. At the end of the day,¬†I could blame as many people as I wanted but I was the common denominator.

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Have you ever wondered why it’s so easy to call out someone else’s faults but not our own? What we hate in others is usually what we’re afraid to acknowledge in ourselves. It’s not fun but it is enlightening. ¬†We promise we’ll never be like our parents but focus so intently on it we transform into them almost overnight. It’s time to stop deflecting our pain and hurts onto other people and reflect on who we are and who we want to be. We need to really examine what we’ve held onto and why we’ve let it get in the way of healthy relationships and choices.

I looked back at some of my journal entries and created the Check Your Bags Worksheets¬†just for you to help¬†with self-reflection.¬†¬†It’s completely free because I think it’s important to know the baggage we carry and even more important to claim it. Even though I’ve done similar type exercises, I did this again and was surprised by how something so simple illuminated some underlying issues for me. My sincere hope is that it helps you too. Work through these worksheets and let me know how it helps you. Please remember to not be too hard on yourself during this as well. Believe me, accountability will push you forward but harsh criticism will only hold you back. Be gentle!

As always my loves, feel better, do better, and be better.

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Content: Being Happy Where You Are

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8:31 A.M September 28, 2011.¬†I was officially 21. Time to celebrate! Right? No. Not today. I couldn’t stop crying. My mother was walking down the aisle at my age. What was wrong with me?¬†

Church didn’t help. Every week came with the announcement of a new engagement. If you listened carefully enough you could hear that slight twinge in the pastor’s voice.¬†What’s wrong with the rest of y’all?¬†

I read book after book after book.¬†“How to Keep a Man,”¬†“Pray Til He Shows Up,”¬†“Pray with One Eye Closed,”¬†“Waiting” and the sequel “Waiting til Tonight,”¬†“Your Dude is on the Way,” and¬†“Girl, He Ain’t Here YET?!”

You name it, I read it. I bought into it. I devoured them like they were magic spells that once completed, my Prince would apparate to my side.¬†I got plenty of frogs but my Prince never arrived.¬†What’s wrong with me?

PrinceOvertheShoulder
No worries, I’ll find you Mr. Nelson.

When I couldn’t find someone sexy and sanctified (pray for me y’all), no one my age and ready to commit, or anyone sane and alive, ¬†I asked myself again and again…WHAT THE F*CK IS WRONG WITH ME?!¬†

As women we naturally have a thousand answers to that question. Too fat. Too skinny. ¬†Too smart. Not smart enough. Too light. Too dark. Not pretty pretty enough.¬†We’re either too much or not enough. So you want to know the truth? Something¬†is¬†wrong with you.

Oop. I’ll let that sit.

It’s nothing to do with your looks and everything to do with your feelings. What I’m telling you isn’t some secret only married women know. A lot of them don’t, some never will. Not everyone will get married. That’s just a fact loves. When you accept that reality you should feel at peace. Why? It means that Damoclesian expectation is off the table. No pressure. But for most of you, just like it was for me initially, you probably feel terrified. “I’ll be all alone!” No girl, you’ll be with yourself and the people who love you. What’s wrong with being with yourself? NOTHING. Unless you cannot stand the sight, thought, or idea of you. So to answer the question, you¬†is what’s wrong with you.

A man will not fix you. A baby will not fix you. A marriage will not fix you. A friend with benefits will not fix you. Do you realize how ironic it is to need someone to spend time with you when you don’t like to spend time with yourself? How sad is it to need someone to esteem you when your own self can’t do it? I know I might sound harsh but the truth is often inflammatory. You need to hear this. Stop waiting for some cure for how you’re feeling to fall from the sky. Stop posting salty things on social media about how, “You’re happy to have your newsfeed flooded with engagements.” When what you really mean is, “Where’s mine?” Stop arresting your happiness and expecting someone else to set it free¬†{Click it to tweet that truth}.¬†¬†That’s your work and it’s irrational, irresponsible, and childish to expect anyone else to do it for you. Don’t make loving yourself anyone else’s job but your own.¬†

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You need to rewrite your content so you can be content. Marriage isn’t easy. It’s not a wedding everyday. It’s two imperfect people who commit themselves to each other daily. It’s a beautiful thing to witness when it’s done right. But as a recovering wedding coordinator, it’s mind- numbingly tragic to watch an impending wreck. So many couples convince themselves that they’ll get better after the stress dies down, like life will never be stressful again. They force a smile when something in the back of their minds is whispering, “No.” They get caught up in the commotion and forget to acknowledge their emotions. They say “I do” to terrible communication, emotionally stunted, easily intimidated, angry princes and princesses with little to no shared experience. They make promises that they’ll always remain the same while literally changing the status of their relationship in front of God, their family, and friends. They say yes because they need someone else to accept them without thinking of doing the same for their partner.

But from the outside looking in, their Instagram pictures and their cute Facebook posts look darling. That’s because¬†we filter out the bad and tell the story we want to be told, not the truth.

One of the saddest things I’ve witnessed happened when I was ten. As an Army Brat I was used to being around female spouses who wore a smile and an empty stare. They held down the fort at home with little to no recognition…or sometimes help. “Mrs. C” was that kind of woman. She was sweet but even as a child I could tell she was very sad. On the outside everything looked perfect. Her husband was a high ranking officer and they lived in one of the mini-mansions up in the hills of the post. She loved to babysit me and I loved her because she bought me chicken nuggets (don’t you judge me!). I was waiting for my mom to pick me up when her husband got home. He smiled curtly at me but his eyes threw daggers in his wife’s direction. They went to their room to “talk.” I’ll always remember her screaming,” I did everything for you!” and his response,” I never asked you to.”

I heard with a child’s mind but I’ve processed it differently as an adult. My dearest single ladies, the books, the prayers, the substanceless dates, the products, the clothes, all the things we do to find a man, we need to be doing to find ourselves.

Stop entertaining fools in your court, queens. No more dates with guys who can only remember your number after midnight. No more putting up with verbal and emotional abuse just so you can say you’re in a relationship. No more investing in someone’s dreams who can’t invest in yours. No more enthusiastic acceptance of scraps when you deserve to be sitting at the table. No more waiting for a prince to whisk you away to a cold, dank castle. Build your own kingdom.¬†Write your own love story and start with uncovering, discovering, knowing, and loving YOU.

Thirst. Don't let it be you.
Thirst. Don’t let it be you.

What’s something you’ll have to rewrite to feel content? Let me know and as always, feel better, do better, be better!

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Who Loves You?

MM-WhoLovesYouWPMainOoo y’all, I apologize for the delay. I moved…back to my parents’ house (hooray for extended adolescence) since I’d been waiting for my lease to be renewed in August. YEAH. Long story short, I decided against renewing almost 6 months after the fact and moved in with the raddest roommates in the world in the meantime (or forever, let’s not got caught up in details or judgments here).

If you want a little taste of my hellish moving experience,¬†head over to my dear friend¬†Evelyn from the Internet’s Vlog¬†on Youtube. She’s hilarious and one of my nearest and dearest friends.

Ok, back to the task at hand. I wanted this to be three separate posts but for the sake of time, I’m going to combine this into one so we can move on to the fun-introspective-inner dialogue-gut wrenching-reflective-traversing our soul, stuff sooner. Yippee! Emotions! I can tell you’re just radiating with enthusiasm. ūüôā


If you read my post on¬†letting go¬†you know that it’s easier said than done. Especially when it comes to intangible things like feelings and negative thoughts but what about people?

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It’s not fun and it’s far from¬†pleasant but you will find out it is necessary. We can’t always keep everyone¬†right where we want them forever and honestly, we shouldn’t. That’s right. Some people may “fall by the wayside” as my mom would say. As an Army brat, I have always struggled with that concept. I didn’t want to let go. I didn’t want to forget. As I’ve grown, I realize that letting a person go may be better for my own mental health in the long run than it is to hold on to them. Tough decisions have to be made but that’s why I’m here to help. I wouldn’t expect you to walk through the fire alone.

One of my nearest and dearest friends always jokes about how we first met. We were opposites in a lot of ways. She was forward and direct, I rambled and avoided confrontation like that plague. Eventually we grew closer and I came to see¬†her like a sister but I was always thrown by one of her rules. She called it the “care wagon.” Think of a wagon train or a car trip, where you only have so much space. Some things have to get sold, donated, or left behind. That same concept applied to people.¬†Not everyone can come with you. Similar to my analogy in my last post about holding on to things in your hand, you only have so much space in your heart, and it’s your responsibility to make sure you fill it with the right people.

Again, this concept was foreign to me initially. Your love¬†is boundless and should be available to everyone you meet! Everyone deserves your love! Right?…Right?!

No girl, they don’t.

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While she had her limited availability policy, I had a¬†revolving door policy. You could leave and return whenever you wanted, you could barge right in, you could come in and rob me blind and I would still let you back in with no sense of discernment. Some of you will call that love but it’s not. When you allow people to use your time, energy, love, talents, things, anything of yours willingly and without consequence, it’s like setting out¬†a mound of fresh steaks outside your door, you’re going to attract a lot of stray dogs. You can’t feed everybody! As cute as they may look, they can still bite you. What you exude, you will always attract. People can sense when they can push you around and pull you down. That’s why you have to set some healthy boundaries and remain consistent with them. They aren’t meant to keep¬†you from the world, they’re meant to keep you safe.

But what if someone has to let go of you? Shet man. None of this is easy. It’s not comfortable and it sucks to feel rejected and abandoned but take that as a sign that it’s time to self-evaluate. Did they let you know why? Do you agree with the reasons? Or are they just full of shit? Whatever direction you’re coming from you still arrive at the same conclusion, if someone doesn’t want you, is it worth your emotional energy to try and keep them? I’ve never heard of a healthy, satisfying one-sided friendship. That’s because they don’t exist. If someone’s letting go of your hand, it’s not a sign that you should grasp on tighter and claw into their flesh like your life depends on it. All you can do is gracefully accept that reality and move on.

I know for a lot of you there may have been some people that you had to leave behind in 2014. Hell, there may be some folks you left behind yesterday. It doesn’t have to feel good but it should feel right. I remember an excerpt I read in a Suze Orman book a few years back ( the financial stuff clearly didn’t stick as well in the ole noggin’). She was talking about this invasive anxiety she had about some relationships. She was tired of it so she made a list of all the people she was having problems with, called them up, and told them the deal. They either worked it out or she moved on, either way the anxiety was gone once she was done. Do you need to let go of some folks in your life?¬†Here’s a¬†free worksheet¬†with extra goodies I made to guide you through the process.

If there’s some relationship worth salvaging, and both parties are willing to do the work, get in there and fight for it. But remember not everything is worth saving and not everyone¬†can be saved.

I’m so excited by the topic and I really want to continue the conversation. Digest and then let’s discuss!