The Prodigal Son

The Prodigal Son. It’s a timeless story. If you don’t know it by name, you’ve heard the storyline. Even if you aren’t the church-going type, you’ve heard the real-life version.

The Prodigal Son. Every family has one…or two.

The parable can be found in Luke 15:11-32 and goes a little something like this… A father has two sons. The younger, impulsive, less responsible of the two asks for his inheritance. His father gives it to him, only for the son to blow it and hit rock bottom. The son is forced to tuck his tail and crawl back to his father with nothing to show for himself and beg for a place to stay and recoup. The father accepts his baby boy back–surprisingly very happily–even at the judgement of the older, more responsible son, who didn’t squander his inheritance. When big brother refuses to celebrate little brother’s return, the father says, “You are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”

Continue reading “The Prodigal Son”

Out of Character

You ever “come out the side of your face” or been “taken outta character?”

It’s kind of a conundrum, isn’t it? People push your buttons, and you feel something. Like, a hot feeling up your neck. Sweat. Shaking. Can’t bite your tongue…a need to say something. And then, BOOM! You’re “outta character!”

But are you, really? Or are you just showing your character?

Continue reading “Out of Character”

Chapter 3, Section 1

We are living in a chapter of a future textbook.  We are living in a paragraph of an undergrad sociology essay on culture in America.  We are living in a verse of a poem on hate and hurt.  We are living in an episode of a news show, a random sitcom, or a drama series.

We are literally living in a history lesson. Our grandchildren will ask us to tell them about 2020…the riots and protests, the disagreements and leadership, the decisions and repercussions. They will sit in awe as we describe what we have experienced in the last 12 months. We will talk about innocent people losing their lives, groups of citizens coming together to fight a common cause, regular people standing up for what they believe…a year filled will various events and a myriad of emotions.

I don’t want to live in a society where the current mess is normal. I don’t want my children or your children to grow up in a society where the current mess is normal. It should not be normal.

Every single person has their own beliefs, customs, perspectives. Every single person has their own LIFE. Every single person is different. Every single person is uniquely and wonderfully made. Every single life matters.

Continue reading “Chapter 3, Section 1”



We have had some stuff goin’ on ’round here, haven’t we?!  Lawd have mercy!

A pandemic.  Closing of schools and everything else.  Quarantine.  Unjustified brutality and protests for equal treatment.  Rising case numbers in the pandemic.  Hard conversations.  Personal stuff.  Family stuff.  Work stuff.  Enlightenment.  Shifting of priorities.  New normals.

It’s enough to make you wanna throw yourself down on the bed and exhale a soul-relieving breath, hoping to blow it all away and see clearly. Continue reading “Screensaver”

The Devil don’t waste bullets.

Don’t put a purse on the floor.

Don’t put shoes on the table.

Don’t buy your significant other a pair of shoes.

Leave through the same door you entered.

Trouble comes in threes.

The Devil don’t waste bullets.

My grandparents had some serious beliefs.  Rooted in old geetchie heritage.  I took all those ideas as my own.  I put my purse in a chair or my lap.  I put shoes on the floor, or if they’re new, I might leave them in the box and put them on the couch.  I’ve never bought my husband shoes…not directly.  I’ve given him a gift card so HE can buy shoes.  I leave out the same door I came in.  I hold my breath when trouble comes because I know there’s more coming.  And I know the Devil don’t waste bullets. Continue reading “The Devil don’t waste bullets.”

Diggin' Deep

I used to have a therapist. A legit one. I shared this, remember? That was right before I hired you.

Anyway, my previous therapist asked me one time, “What would you say are your son’s personal truths?” I reacted with confusion…partly because I had never thought of it and partly because he was only four. Do four-year-olds have personal truths? I think I might have even asked him that question. Don’t laugh. He didn’t. He actually asked a follow-up question–“What are your personal truths?” Again, I reacted with confusion…partly because I had never thought of that either and partly because I was in a dark place at the time. Did I even have any personal truths? I know I didn’t ask THAT question out loud. But it turns out, yes. Yes, four-year-olds have personal truths. Yes, I had personal truths. I have them now. You did. You do. We all do.

What are they?

When I thought about my young son during this session, I decided that his truths would probably center around what he felt were his talents, what he liked, and with whom he spent his time. Then, I thought maybe that would work for me, too. So here’s what I came up with…

I’d like to remind you, now, that this is a judgement-free zone. I’m getting really real with you, so, again, don’t laugh.

After some mental ping-pong of random ideas, I settled on these—I thought my four-year-old son would say: I am a good builder. I am creative. I am a good helper. For myself: I am patient. I am open-minded. I am honest.

Mental break. Insert think bubble. My post- broken-marriage, narcissist- surviver self is on overload right now. Gahhhhhh! Y’all, this is hard! It hurts my heart thinking about where I was 6 years ago. So much growth has occurred, so much change has happened, and so much shifting has pushed me to this place. THIS place. I can look back and be sad. And that’s ok. I’m ok with that sadness because I’m not stuck there anymore. But, maaaan…it makes my eyes water admitting that I struggled to find my sons personal truths. And mine. Six years after that therapy session, I could give you a handful of truths for myself, my husband, AND all four of my kids. Deep ones. High-five worthy.

Ok, snap out of it! Break’s over! Let’s leave the water cooler and get back to the business at hand. (P.S. if y’all didn’t just read that in Snoop Dogg’s voice, we can’t be friends, lol)

I equate Personal Truths to who you are. Like, legitimately who you are. In your core. Buckle up…this may take a couple curves and I don’t wanna throw you. Pay attention. By the way, did I mention that I like the awkwardness of having different views and the uncomfortable conversations that arise from them? No? Oh. Well, you’re in for a treat!

Miss, Mrs., & Ms. Three different identities. I’m a true believer that people don’t change. True believer. Soapbox status. Red-face, teary eyes, Italian hands, hype status. I know some of you are reading this and nearing that status in disagreement. Let me explain my thinking…not in an attempt to convince you to take my beliefs as your own but to possibly begin a discussion.

You are who you are. Way down deep in your core. Your core values are what they are. Honest. Greedy. Compassionate. Selfish. Empathetic. Jealous. Kind. Judgemental. Generous. Bitter. Your inner workings are set. Your natural self.

Don’t get me wrong, your situation can change. And your reaction to situations can change. As you grow, you may react to the same situation differently. You MAY…or you may not. It depends on your core. Who are you in your core? What are your personal truths?

Do you care about others over yourself? Do you base your happiness on what others think or see? Do you think that good always wins? Do you harbor feelings of jealousy or resentment towards others for having certain things? Do you fill your bucket by filling others? Do you like to see others fail? Do you always have to be first or top or best?

There are so many questions you could ask yourself in the pursuit of finding your core. You should ask yourself…but you have to get real. Be honest. I mean, if you’re not honest with yourself when you’re by yourself, what’s the point? But don’t worry—if you’re not, someone will figure you out and point fingers or dole out accusations. Go back and read the last post about accusations because you’ll need to brush up on some strategies for making amends. [winks]

Seriously, though, if you’re going to walk around this planet and interact with people, live your day-to-day life, have an impact on others and the world…why wouldn’t you dig deep and figure out what your personal truths are? Who are YOU in your core?

Let me go back right quick. I stated that people don’t change. And I know you sucked your teeth. But, hear me out. Your core values are set. Hold on—I BELIEVE your core values are set. I BELIEVE you are who you are. Period. Think about it.

You may be generous, open-minded, and passionate. Apply that to life and you would be a giver, a servant, a lover, and you would want to share the benefits of giving and doing for others with everyone.

You may be passionate, greedy, and honest. Apply that to life and you would unapologetically look out for yourself, tell no lies, and probably focus on issues that benefitted you.

You may be empathetic, greedy, and honest. Apply that to life and you would be brutally honest when it benefitted you. You would know when you hurt people with your honesty but you would be unbothered.

You may be empathetic, compassionate, and generous. Apply that to life and you would be kind and giving; you would feel everything (both good and bad); you would share advice and probably burn out from filling everyone’s buckets every day.

Your core is a mix of qualities. Sometimes the combination of qualities can have a posture effect on you and others…sometimes it can end up having negative effects. The situation would determine that. The people involved would determine that.

Life changes. Situations change. Life affects you. Situations affect you. But I don’t believe they change you. I believe you are who you are…and you respond to life and situations based on who you are. Based on your core self.

Being a kindergarten teacher, I happen to be a self-proclaimed expert on giving directions and then modeling my expectations. So, I’ll go first…again [eye roll]. Six years and an extra lifetime of life experiences ago, I said I AM PATIENT, OPEN-MINDED, AND HONEST. These are all still true. Always have been. I think my parents hung their hat on the honesty part at some point of my teenage years because I couldn’t lie when asked a direct question…what did you do this weekend while we were gone—ehh not much…versus did you have a party—hesitant-trying-to-lie-but-can’t yes. [sigh]

While those statements are true and I pride myself on them, I feel like they’re not deep enough. Like, just below surface level. When I dig deep—or better, when I’m pushed to dig deep—I settle on other ideas.


It took me a long time to get to a place where I could confidently and honestly say these things about myself. I had to experience and process years of low self-esteem, countless experiences where I suffered the consequences of poor decisions, loads of hurt, a broken spirit. Being on the other side of that life, I look back with sadness and pride. My story isn’t very different from most of yours. Hurt is hurt. Loss is loss. Tears are tears. And joy is joy. Triumph is triumph. We’re allowed to give ourselves some mental high-fives, y’all!

Now, since the conversation is one-sided in this blogging world, I can’t ask you to have a go and share your ideas. But I’m going to anyway. What are your personal truths? Who are you? Who are you, really? Way down deep. In our core. Dig through the hurt. Push aside what others have accused you of being—true or not. Dust off the self-confidence that’s hiding in there somewhere. Fix those broken wings. Dig deep, y’all. You might be surprised at what’s hiding down there.

Pointing Fingers

Y’all ever been accused of something? Falsely, I mean. Or falsely in your eyes, anyway.

Take a minute to think about it.

Keep thinking…

Cue Jeopardy music.

Let your cheeks get pink. Let your eyes get wet. Let your hands start to sweat. Let that anger start in your stomach and rise up your neck.

So, you know what I’m talking about? Good, we’re on the same page now.

Being accused of something that you see as false might be one of the most frustrating things on this planet. It might be one of the most emotionally draining things you’ll ever experience. You’ll get all the feelings. No positive ones, mind you…ALL the negative feelings! Anger, sadness, frustration, confusion, denial, more anger, more frustration, more confusion…not in that particular order, but y’all are with me! When someone says something about your behavior or your character or your work ethic or your parenting or your beliefs…WHEW!! Watch out, buddy–you just lit a bottle rocket and it’s gonna explode in your face!

In my relatively short life–haha, I know you know I’m not young–I’ve experienced my share of false accusations. I’ve had people attack my work ethic, my behavior, my parenting, and my character. And let me tell you…I felt all the feelings. All. The. Feelings. It seems as if you go through the processes highlighted by various support groups, like A.A. and N.A. Denial. Support. Etc…Maybe that’s why those groups are so valuable and effective. They teach adults the life skills so they can handle difficult situations.

I am not an expert on the 12 Steps, but I have had friends and family members who have benefited from the program and the relationships made in the program. It’s a way of life, a paradigm shift that is so valuable to people. People. All people. Don’t think I’m making light of this, at all. I’m not. I’m making use of it. I think that we can apply the general outline of the steps to any problem that we face.

Think about it…we’re talking about accusations. You with me? Let’s dig…

First is admitting you have a problem. In this case (one of an accusation), someone else has identified your problem for you. They have done the first step for you. Isn’t that thoughtful? They have highlighted something you did or said or didn’t do or didn’t say as offensive, wrong, too much, or not enough.

Next comes the denial. They threw out the accusation, and it’s your turn to respond. They may have identified your problem in a direct manner or an indirect manner; they may have had emotion tied to it or been totally unemotional. You could feel hurt or angry or embarrassed or confused. Sooooo, you take those emotions and deny. Deny, deny, deny. “I didn’t do that.” “I didn’t mean it that way.” “You misunderstood me.” “That wasn’t me.” There are numerous ways you could respond.

Now, the immature denier–or narcissisti,c if we’re talking about certain people near and dear to the Devil–would stop there. They would stall there at denial. Then, the situation would come back to the accuser so hard and fast…like a catcher trying to make an out on second.

For those of us who have some maturity and compassion for the human race, admitting that there is some truth to what the accuser has claimed would be the next step. You’ve had time to deny the issue…and you’ve had time to process the information. The emotions. You’ve had time to reflect. Empathy kicks in and you start to ask yourself: did I? Could what I did or said have been taken that way?

If you have a strong village, you may reach out for advice or insight. I have a team of people in my village. They’ve had various life experiences and are always open to let me “pick their brains.” There’s a level of trust in a village. You can count on those people–YOUR PEOPLE–to tell you the truth. Even if it’s not exactly what you thought or wanted to hear. Your people will step up and be truthful. Truthful and caring.

Then, we make ammends. We go back to the accuser and discuss it. We admit our faults and explain our thinking. A resolution is made and all is well.

All is well, right?!?!

I mean, on paper it looks and sounds so simple. So black and white. So procedural.

Identify. Deny. Admit. Get support. Make ammends. That seems SO EASY! But it’s SO not! Why?? EMOTIONS. Emotions are why. Emotions make everything amplified. Emotions make everything deeper. Maybe you don’t want to hurt feelings; maybe you hate to see others cry; maybe you’re scared. Scared to lose someone or scared to have that hard conversation. But what happens if you don’t? What happens if you bottle it up and leave it unaddressed? Do you go to that mind cave I mentioned a couple months back? Do you put the issue in a box on your shelf and seal it, only to have it explode open in the future?

I’m a pretty reflective person. I’m a big girl. I don’t have a problem putting on my big girl pants and dealing with stuff. As long as I’m allowed process time, I’m generally open to hearing your take on my wrong-doings. I think, as adults, we sometimes expect certain allowances…certain grace…but we don’t always give it. We expect others to understand that WE see things through a lense of who WE are, but sometimes we don’t expect others to do the same. Now, read that again. THAT, my friends, sounds crazy. How can we expect others to let us process information through our emotions, our experiences, our mess but get defensive or upset when those same others do the same processing?

I mean, I’m speaking for myself and asking for a friend.

Wouldn’t it be easier to just give people grace? Have some empathy? Ok, easier might not be the right word. It IS harder to give people grace. It IS harder to have empathy. It takes lots of thinking and reflecting and trust. It also takes confidence…confidence to be ok if the resolution isn’t what you anticipated. To be ok AND still be able to make amends.

I teach my kindergarteners two different processes for problem-solving: Win-Win Guidelines and I-Messages. I know it sounds elementary, my dear Watson. But sometimes we teach adults through children. Mr. Rogers did it.

The Win-Win Guidelines are a set of argument rules. You start with an I-Message–‘I felt jealous when you…’ ‘I was sad when you…’ ‘I was confused by your…’ All of the messages start with I. That softens the blow of the accusation following it–‘I felt jealous when you flirted with that girl in the belly shirt.’ ‘I was sad when you said you didn’t care about my boring work presentation.’ ‘I was confused by your ignorant comment regarding the impeachment.’ I mean, don’t get fired up–I’m just giving examples! Anyway, when you use an I-Message, the person being attacked (for lack of a better term) isn’t immediately on their defense. They aren’t on edge, waiting to deny and strike back.

Then, the listener (the person with the problem) is supposed to repeat the I-Message. ‘I heard what you said. You said you felt angry when I didn’t back you up in that argument with my mom.’ Repeating the statement gives the accuser some validation. It lets them know that you heard them and there’s value in what they said.

Once the message has been given and repeated, then the people find a solution and make amends. The solution is a win-win, though. Don’t forget that. It’s a WIN-WIN. Not a lose-win, not a win-lose, not a lose-lose. Days of silence is a lose-lose. “Ok-you’re-right” is a win-lose. “I don’t have anything to say” is a lose-win. PEOPLE! A Win-Win is when both parties win. It’s a compromise.

Remember, the accuser has been heard and validated. The accused hasn’t been attacked. So, we’re already on the right track from jump! The discussion that follows should be calmer and less emotional. There it is…less emotional. That’s how stuff gets settled.

A kindergarten approach is elementary, I know. But it’s a novel idea, right?

Mercy! Mommin’ is HARD!

I love my kids.

I have four…two that I birthed and two bonus cherubs.

I love my kids.

It’s summertime, and I’ve been home with them full time for 50-something days.

I freaking love my kids.

I heard a teacher-turned-comedian go through her set saying, “I love my students,” over and over while describing crazy things they do that test our patience. Since then, I use her strategy when reviewing my tribe’s day-to-day chaos. I jokingly repeat that mantra to myself randomly throughout the day–“I love my kids.”

It’s not a joke, mind you. I DO love my kids. Sometimes they just drive me batty.

They make me scratch my head in confusion. They make me growl in frustration. They make me cry from anger.

They also make me smile with pride. They make me laugh until I cry. They make me feel like my heart could burst because I can’t possibly love them enough.

During the school year, I have a 7-hour “break” from my home kids. So when I’m home in the summertime, my appreciation for teachers grows tenfold. I’m sure some of y’all can relate [winks]. Naturally, the teacher in me attempts to structure the day like a school day. Key word: attempts. I would give myself a strong E for effort in that area.

Combined, we have two 10-year-olds, a 7-year-old, and a 6-year-old. All boys. All. Boys. I repeat, ALL BOYS. Thank you for your whispered prayers, positive thoughts, good juju, and genuine sympathy as you re-read that.

So, anyway, I have four boys. Our days follow the same general schedule: breakfast and screen-time, adventure, lunch, reading time, rest time, screen time, activity, dinner, activity, bath, movie, bed. Sometimes the order is different, but this is pretty much what our day looks like.

First, let me address this “screen-time” before you do. There’s a time limit. And they play together. I mean, I’m not gonna lie sometimes I justify it because they’re technically interacting with people…and sometimes the end-time gets shifted based on my energy level…but, the majority of the time, we stick to our agreement.

Next, let me address the “adventure” and “activity” portions of our day. I stole the title “adventure” from my sister. She ranks in the rockstar status in the area of making things sound way funner than they are–I want to be more like her when I grow up. In the meantime, I’ll steal some of her words and fake some of her energy and hope for the best!

Adventures can be big or small. They can be legit adventures or sister-energy-infused mundane outings. Some qualifying activities include: picnics, trips to the trampoline park, visits to national parks or museums, playground dates, beach days, art projects, target runs, bike rides, and on and on. I mean, honestly, if you present any activity with my sister’s enthusiasm, EVERYTHING is an adventure!

I love my kids.

Not every day is as successful as it sounds.

I get tired. I get run-down. I get lazy. Sometimes I want to lay in the bed until 9am and have my kids make their own breakfast. Sometimes I want to binge-watch an adult show. Sometimes I want to lose an hour on Pinterest. Sometimes I want to listen to music on the porch. Sometimes I want to sit in silence and forget my name and responsibilities. Sometimes I want to let the laundry pile up and the dishes go undone.

Like lots of moms/wives/women, I want to check out. The catch is…I want to check out with no consequences. Like, I want to leave the laundry and have it still get done. I want to leave the dishes but have them done. I want to lay in the bed or get hooked on Pinterest while the house still runs. I don’t want to lose that time either. So that hour I spend laying the bed or zoned into social media wouldn’t be lost. Like some crazy time warp thing where the time would still be the same as when I started.

I know you’re shaking your head. I know you’re mumbling, “bless her” or “amen sister.” Total honesty here.

Kids need a referee. They need a chef. They need a housekeeper. They need a life coach. They need a freakin’ manager, y’all. A personal dern assistant. Someone to remind them that the day begins with a clean outfit and some toothpaste on their teeth. They need someone to keep their minds engaged in the living people in their immediate vicinity. They need a gentle reminder to be nice to their siblings and parents…and neighbors and friends and people in general. They need a reminder about sustaining life through food and water consumption. Mom is that reminder. I am that reminder. Me.

I love my kids. And I love that I’m in that role of the master reminderer.

It’s a strange combination of power and pressure that not everyone is equipped to handle gracefully. Ok, I just felt your reaction to the word gracefully. Maybe you think gracefully is an interesting choice of words. Let’s discuss…

Go back to fourth grade. If you’re like me, it’s too far and I’ve lost you already. It’s fresher for me because two of my boys just finished fourth grade. You learned grammar and word stems and prefixes and suffixes and root-words during that school term. So, let’s look closely at the word gracefully.

According to my friends Miriam and Webster, grace means the quality or state of being considerate or thoughtful; mercy. Further, graceful means displaying grace. So, displaying consideration or thoughtfulness or mercy. Therefore, gracefully means to do something in a considerate, thoughtful, or merciful way.

So, to restateIt’s a strange combination of power and pressure that not everyone is equipped to handle gracefully. To handle with consideration for the differences in your children’s needs and personalities. To handle with thoughtful actions, statements, strategies based on their experiences and emotions. To handle mercifully, knowing that sometimes you make mistakes, sometimes it’s hard, and sometimes you don’t know what the heck you’re doing.

What a heavy load to bear, huh? But you know what–you and I are part of a strong community.

Mommin’ is hard, y’all. It’s not for the weak of heart. It’s not for the unsure. It’s not for the people who think they have all the answers. My mom has always told me, “NEVER say, ‘my kid will never…because one of them WILL.'” This job is full of inconsistencies and changes and trials with lots of errors. If your heart’s in the right place, the kinks will work out and the babes will turn out alright.

So imma hang my hat on that MERCY in GRACE.

The Silence

Hear that?

That loud, empty quiet…

That anxiety-filled, exhausting space…

That question-producing, self-conscious place…

That lonely headspace that happens when your loved one, friend, or significant other is hurting, struggling, down, reflecting, or experiencing some other emotion or situation to which you’re not invited…

I used to employ the silent treatment. In my other life…when I thought nobody understood me during my teens and again when I thought it wasn’t important during my marriage. I would retreat to my cave–remember that place? The mind cave where I go to crawl into my feelings…the place that can trap you if you’re not careful. Yeah, that place. I would pack my bags and settle in for a long winters nap…or until my brain worked out my emotions and created a plan for dealing with the outside world and my inside turmoil.

“The Silent Treatment.”

I get it. I really do. I still retreat to that place sometimes, y’all know that. My visit is much shorter than it used to be. But I still go. My process time could be described as giving the silent treatment. It’s not on purpose or meant to hurt anyone. It’s more of a self-preservation thing. Like, I’m experiencing this THING and my emotions are chaotic.

The realization that you’re hurting “outsiders”–meaning those people who don’t live in your brain– is one that doesn’t happen until you happen to be an outsider, yourself. You don’t even realize the questions you’re producing in someone else’s brain when you retreat to your mind cave. You don’t know the extent of self-doubt, confusion, or hurt you’re potentially spraying into your loved ones’ brains and emotional banks.

This is a recent realization for me, personally. Y’all might be on a different level, might have different perspectives on this process and treatment…I stand by my fine print–my statements are based on my experiences and emotions, not an end-all, be-all.

So, like I said, I employ the silent treatment. Always have. BUT…come on, y’all knew there was gonna be a “but.” I love a paradigm shift, a change in perspective, a devils advocate-type of discussion.

Anyway, I have retreated to my mind cave. Sometimes I still do retreat to my mind cave. Like, yesterday. And I employ the silent treatment. I have and I do. Like, last week. BUT it’s not days, not a multiple-day trip. It doesn’t even require bags anymore.


Because I talk. I leave the lonely space. I stand up. I allow myself time to be on the floor, in my head, in my feelings for a minute……..and then I. Get. Up.

Y’all find someone to talk to. Find someone who won’t talk back. Find someone who won’t ask questions. Find someone who has no dog in the fight. Find someone who will sit and listen to you talk it out.

Find someone who will listen to YOU FIGURE IT OUT.

You don’t need to hear advice. You don’t need to hear how someone else did it. You don’t need to hear how you’re right and he’s wrong. You need to hear–I understand…what do you think…how do you feel about that… Be in a judgement-free zone.

Y’all find a friend like that. Be a friend like that. Talk. Seriously…TALK. Get up. Seriously! GET. UP. Figure it out. Don’t be the reason someone takes a trip to their own mind cave. Forward progress, people.


How do you know you’ve met “the one?”  I mean, is that even a thing anymore?  The One?

I’m talking about the peanut butter to your jelly…the up to your down…the sun to your shine…the ebony to your ivory…the salt to your pepper…your soul mate…your perfect match…your other half…the missing piece to your puzzle…the one who is said to “complete” you.

How do you know they’ve made their entrance, stage left and are ready to take their role?  

Are there fireworks in your brain?  Are there googly eyes and unicorns and rainbows?  Is there music playing?  

I mean, I’m going full romantic comedy here but really…I’m asking for a friend.

Fun Fact: I don’t pick the best male partners.

I’m pretty sure my parents would agree with this statement. My track record is a bit questionable. And I guess I use the word “partner” very loosely.

From the stage where I stand right now, I see my twisted dating journey so clearly. I see the lack of self worth, low self esteem, and loss of control. It’s so clear to me why I turned into Richard from Saturday Night Live–“I do it myself!” Once my marriage ended, I took control. Out of both necessity and desire.

Since my divorce, I’ve been on an I-am-woman-hear-me-roar kick. Full-on look-at-my-independence, I-can-do-this-myself, step-to-the-side-please, single mom pedestal. I’ve told y’all about my “I-don’t-need-you-I-want-you” perspective on relationships.

Enter Mister, stage left.

I wasn’t even prepared for his entrance. Matter of fact, his entrance came below the radar of my heart due to the time and head space I was occupying. Even saying that, though, I can identify exactly how I felt when I first met him.

No fireworks. No music. No googly eyes. Ok, maybe googly eyes. But I knew. I could feel it in my bones. This man is my person.

But the timing wasn’t right. I wasn’t ready to have the right thing yet.

Fast forward. Two years later. The land has been claimed. The flags have been captured. The label has been given.

Scary? Yes. Intimidating? Yes! Worth it? YES!

My 20-year-old self wasn’t ready for this type of love. My 30-year-old self couldn’t have handled the way he looks at me. My 34-year-old self wouldn’t have let him take care of me. But my 35-year-old self? She’s ready. She’s ready for that soul-touching, top-shelf love.

It makes me a little sad to think that I was missing this. It hurts my heart to know that I could have been experiencing this selfless love way sooner. It baffles me that I thought I didn’t want this or, worse, didn’t deserve this.

But I DO deserve this. Everyone deserves this. Every person out there should feel this crazy, unexplainable happiness. Everyone should smile uncontrollably and giggle for no reason. Everyone should connect on a level so deep that no words need to be spoken. Everyone deserves to KNOW that someone loves them; to feel it way down deep. Everyone should be so confident and secure in a relationship that no fears or worries or doubts exist. Everyone. Deserves. This. This happiness. This connection. This trust. This support. This love.

So, y’all get you a man who sees down to your soul when he looks at you. Get you someone who makes it hard to lock eyes with because of the butterflies he gives you. Get you someone who’s main objective is your comfort and happiness. Get you one who cleans up when your kid (not his) throws up in the middle of the night. Get you one who has your car detailed while you’re out. Get you one who lays in bed and watches the church service. Get you one who shows you off. Get you one who can’t keep his eyes off of you. Get you one who makes you feel loved. Get you one who wants nothing from you…except you.

Cause y’all….I got me one of those. And I’m riding first-class on this train.