Ok. *Breathe* First thing’s first…
I wrote a blog post on Friday. This happened on Monday:
The post above is the toned-down version of my first post:
When her voice cracked and she started to choke up and I heard her say my name and look straight into the camera, it sent shivers down my spine. I woke up this morning like, “Did that really happen? Like, for real?” (speaking of The Real, lol). It felt unreal being mentioned on The Real. And I literally rewatched that part of the show (that I luckily taped on my PVR!) before I went to work this morning.
Here I am writing in my little corner of the web, and the person who I am writing about reads my blog and mentions it on her show and is touched by what I wrote. *faints*
The thought that I could reach someone seemingly unreachable (because she has like a million fans/followers you guys) is startling and deeply humbling.
I’m not writing this post to brag or to suck up to Jeannie or to try to get her to notice me or try to get another shout out or try to get on the show (although, admittedly, if those things were to happen I would not be opposed), but I’m writing because, as always, this phenomenon has prompted me to think and thus write.
Despite having the work that I hold dearest to my heart mentioned by one of my favourite celebrities on a show that is broadcasted on Fox and BET all over the United States and Canada, I was too busy brooding over man problems.
Remember that date I mentioned in my last (and now famous) blog post? Yeah… The date went very well — extremely well if I do say so myself. It was a four-hour long date. Yeah. But it’s been about four days and I haven’t heard from the man. (Now, I realize that it’s only been four days, but then again, it has been four days, and, to my knowledge and recollection, there has been no natural disaster or war with Korea in the last four days that could prohibit him from sending a text. Thank you very much.). I think he has — what’s the term again? — ghosted (yes, I consider Urban Dictionary to be a legitimate reference). Halloween is next week after all, so perhaps he started celebrating early.
(Okay, so before I wrote that at first, I thought, “Suppose he reads your blog!” But then I was like, “Nah. He told me that he is hardly on Facebook. What’s the likeliness he’ll read this? And plus, no one reads my blog anyways.” And then I was like, “Yeah, no. Makes a whole lotta sense to say that in a post where you talk about how the Jeannie Mai read your blog… So, like, yes — people actually do read your blog.” But then I was like, “Whatevs.” So I’m writing this anyways. *shrugs*).
Because I’ve never been the kind of woman to wait beside the phone for anyone to call (whether friend, family, delivery man, doctor, nurse, man, woman, boy, girl, alive, dead or unborn), I continued to live as interesting and active a life as I could and as I typically do.
I went to the Loretta Bates Masterclass on Saturday night and danced until I could dance no more with my Zumba idol. I spent hours on the phone this weekend talking to good friends. I taught Aqua Zumba on Sunday and Monday and I taught Zumba today (Tuesday). I went grocery shopping (I love grocery shopping!) and I found some recipes on Pinterest and I cooked and ate yummy, nutritious food, and allowed myself a few indulgences (like the dark chocolate I bought at Farm Boy). My winter boots from Amazon came in the mail and now my feet will be warm (and dry! Praise God!) all winter. I bought some ZumbaWear so that I can continue to be stylin’ in my classes. I downloaded new songs for my Zumba classes and practised new choreo. I downloaded and subscribed to new podcasts for my mp3 player. I watched my new fav show “This is Us” on TV. I showed up to my regular, 9-5 day job with as much gusto as I can muster.
I also tried to focus on my plans for my life — Like, I turn 30 in February and two of my friends from elementary school and I share the same birthday week and we’re all turning 30 at the same time so we were planning to go road-tripping in California (I’ve never been to California). There’s also a Body Positive Fitness Alliance conference happening that very week in Cali, so I’m trying to figure out how to kill two birds with one stone. I started to turn my mind to the many business ventures that I want to somehow set in motion.
I did, and I am doing everything “right,” but it still sucks. Living life out loud still doesn’t completely inoculate oneself from the creeping pain of rejection.
It’s kind of a damn shame — Jeannie Mai literally gave me a heartfelt, sincere shout out on her show (she didn’t even mention anyone else y’all) but I’m over here worried about if I’ll ever get a text back.
I thought about texting him. But then I was like, “no.” No, not this time. So many other times I’ve texted guys asking for clarification, for closure, sacrificing my dignity in the process. But not this time around.
I came to an epiphany a few months ago: I have a lot to offer. I really do. Me especially. And people of value and quality who have a lot to offer typically don’t go around peddling their goods and services, hoping and wishing and begging for a buyer. They stand proud in themselves, and if no one buys, so be it.
I posted this on Facebook years ago (I never knew who to attribute it to):
I’m smart, I’m funny, and I’m good company. I’m an intellectual. I’m educated. I’m deep (you know what they say about still waters). I’m really pretty. I have beautiful eyes. I have a nice figure. I have great shoulders and smooth, supple skin and big boobs and a nice butt and fun hair. I’m fit. I’m fun. I have a great personality. I’m kind. I’m honest. I’m compassionate. I’m nice. I cook, and I cook well. I can throw down in the kitchen. I can sing (when I try). I can teach and I can dance (I admit that that last part is still a surprise to me). I’m talented and gifted. I’m interesting. I have interesting thoughts and interesting hobbies and interesting interests. I think I’ll make a great girlfriend/wife. People have told me that I would make a good mother. And heck — Jeannie Mai mentioned my blog on her show so I’m obviously going places.
I’m messy and I have my flaws but I also have so much to offer this world, let alone any relationship. Men should be falling over me. I am the prize. So I shouldn’t have to ask for clarification. I shouldn’t have to check in. I shouldn’t have to prompt a response. I don’t want to be with someone who is seemingly okay with keeping me waiting or wondering.
Jeannie Mai giving me the shout out this week reminded me that I have a lot going for me in life (other than my love life, which kinda stinks right now), and it definitely showed me what I really should be focusing on — my writing. If that shout out didn’t happen this week, I would’ve felt really bummy (or bummier than I do now). But her mention bolstered my self-esteem and helped me direct my mind to what really matters.
I have a platform and my blog has reach — so much so that it touched and comforted a real-life celebrity who I’ve always admired but never had the chance to meet. Words have power. My words have power.
(Side note: That’s why cyberbullying hurts. It doesn’t matter if they are spoken aloud or read on a screen — words have an effect. So it’s important that we are kind when we are online [That rhymes! Look at me rhyming! That line is copyright though so makes sure you quote me.]).
And how Jeannie is handling her divorce gives me a reminder of how to handle the “not so great” moments of life.
When news first broke on Friday about Jeannie’s divorce, I instantly went to her Twitter profile to see if she had posted anything in response. Instead, I saw posts of her being on an upcoming show with Snoop Dog and running after the ice cream man. All last week — days when she knew she was facing an impending divorce — Jeannie kept it calm, cool, classy and kept her business undercover, all the while being a boss lady on a nationally syndicated-show.
Homegirl is living her life.
And the best antidote to being single, I’ve found, is to go out and continue to live your own damn life. I’m gonna take a page out of Jeannie’s book.
I have long believed and historically maintained that dating is the devil incarnate (and online dating is its spawn), which is (one reason) why I have not been a very big dater. Given how pure-hearted and sensitive and honest I am, and the fact that I try to lead my life in an open, transparent and vulnerable way, I knew that modern dating in today’s world would take a toll on my self-esteem (and sanity). But after getting a pep talk from my sister (shout out to my sister Chantall and to sisters who have their sister’s back, even if that sister is older) and after years of living on this earth, I have reluctantly and begrudgingly begun to realize that in order to find loving partnerships in this life, you have got to take a risk. Sometimes those risks will land you at the altar, honeymooning in Maui. Oftentimes, however, those risks will not pay off. Sometimes you will get hurt in taking those risks. Those risks may have you lying flat on your ass, staring at the ceiling, wondering, “What happened?” But if you live your life without ever taking a risk, arguably you’re not living life at all.
I took a risk and it didn’t pay off the way I wanted it to, but I’m glad I took the risk. I’m still interesting and attractive. Taking the risk shows that I am still living life — that I’m still alive, that I’m not a passive observer but an active participant. It shows that I’m engaged in my life. It shows that despite the bruises, I’m still in the game.
Risks build resilience, and resilience is needed in order to have a full life.
Jeannie and Freddie took a risk in marrying each other. To be honest, anyone who gets married takes one of the biggest risks of their life. You take a risk getting to know someone or marrying them or getting engaged. Your time and your heart is on the line. They didn’t know how they would grow or how things would go, but they decided to bet on love. They ended up growing apart. That’s okay. That’s what can happen when we take risks. And even though they are getting divorced, they had ten happy years together as proof that their risk was not completely in vain. Jeannie and Freddie will be all the more resilient for having taken this risk.
The Bible says that “man may roll the die but the Lord determines how it falls.” (Prov. 16:9, 33). But that shouldn’t keep us from rolling the die in the first place. Rolling the die is part of the game. You have to roll the die if you are going to play the game of life. It just means that the outcome is out of our control and we have to let the chips lie where they fall.
So, what I’m trying to say is this:
Jeannie is one of the hosts that I connect with the most on The Real. If she is reading this (because, you know, apparently she reads the blogs of her fans, even if they are just some random, non-famous person writing in Ottawa, Canada) I just want to say “Thank you.” Thank you for the plug. Thank you for your candour. Thank you for always keeping it real on the show. I’m so glad my words touched you and could provide some comfort to you at this difficult time. I’m so glad that God gave me a gift and used me to bless you. And I thank you for showing us how to continue to live a real and authentic life, even in the midst of heartbreak.