As it’s recently passed my mind went to May 11th, the day I met (2002) and married (2007) my ex-husband. Let’s set the scene: it’s 2007 and I’d just graduated with my master’s degree. So I was feeling myself being that also in 2005 I’d obtained my bachelor’s degree in 3 years flat. 2 months post-graduation I was married to the guy I’d been dating for the last 5 years. So yay me, 2 time college grad, finally have a “real job” making good money as I’ve been told forever that’s what I’m supposed to get and I’m def letting the world know on a regular basis I’m a Mrs. to a cutie patootie and aren’t we just a nice profile pic couple…..so life is great right since I’ve done all this by the age of 23?! Hit the game buzzer (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5X8qDDMC-o) EEHHHHH WRONG!!! A year later we were divorced. I won’t play blame game because I feel we both made some no no’s in that year. To be honest neither of us had a true concept of what marriage meant and I think we were both just too immature to handle the hurdles that come with being someone’s spouse. We aren’t bad people we just weren’t good together and I think we realized that once we said I do with the cute wedding pics and moved in together. We can talk today perfectly fine and have had many conversations about life post us and a few laughs at the blunder we called a marriage. But BABY back then I was devastated with a capital D!! I mean we went into this thing loudly belting out Chrisette Michele’s a couple of forevers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ng0svHgAZB4 ). This kind of thing isn’t supposed to happen to me. I’m usually a person who does great in anything I set my mind too. I felt like a BIG FAT FAILURE!! I mean I’m divorced and I’m only 24. Now I try to awkwardly get back into dating having the slightest idea what I’m doing as I’d been dating him since I was 18. I’m thinking GIRLFRIEND you are totally damaged goods. I mean who’s going to want a divorcee and I can’t believe I got it so wrong when it felt so right. It took me many many and I do mean many years to work past this as I’d often cringe when I had to explain this failed marriage to friends, family and guys I dated (I didn’t want to lie when asked if I’d ever been married). So it’s like I held onto to that badge of shame for years of this so called mistake. But the question I had to ask myself is how long??? Like seriously how long am I going to beat myself up over getting married too young to the wrong person, how long am I going to be ashamed to speak about it, how long am I going to not forgive myself???? At some point do I get to rebrand, you know like the celebrities do or am I forever damaged goods?!?!
(In my best Leon Lonnie Love voice from Martin voice https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mhpfYimP40 ) For my spiritual and southern Christian folks please dust off your cup holders excuse me I mean bibles and turn with me to Luke 7:47-“Therefore I tell you, her sins, many [as they are], are forgiven her — because she has loved much. But he who is forgiven little loves little.” I’m gonna steal a word from good ole Joel Osteen down in H town hole it down-Did you know that forgiveness opens the door for love to operate in your life? Open your heart to forgiveness. Receive Christ’s forgiveness and extend it to others. When you are forgiven much, you will love much. As Christ’s love flows through you, your faith will be strengthened, your hope will be renewed, and you will be empowered to live the abundant life He has in store for you! Being in Christ comes with many benefits. You are a dearly loved, completely accepted, totally forgiven, uniquely chosen child of God. And because you have been adopted into God’s family, you are now heir to a plethora of precious promises. So we always talk about forgiving others but what about ourselves, why is that so hard to do??
Now I understand its 2017 and some folk aren’t religious and are more spiritual, atheist, scientologist, heathen, etc. Whatever floats your boat chile cause I’m not here to judge and have a come one come all policy on this site: I just want us all to be great!! So for all that fit in the I don’t have time to be reading them scriptures you quoting category the question is aren’t you tired of staying in the damaged goods parts of the grocery store. Don’t you want to rebrand yourself? Now this is a lengthy lil read ahead for those with a limited attention span like myself but I promise at least one of the below examples applies to you:
Sooooooo you were a 304 back in the day and have a reputation at your college, small town, old job, church. SO FREAKING WHAT (no pun intended by the word freak well maybe a little pun J)?!?! You ain’t one now so how long are you gonna hold your head down in shame? Have we learned nothing from Kim Kardashian? She took hoeing to new heights and rebranded it into a multimillion dollar business. And didn’t Draya say a few years ago your hoeness can be erased and might I add she also did a great job of making herself be known for more than just a groupie lol?! This ain’t The Scarlet letter so you don’t need to have a big fat H on all your Target clothes. There is life after hoeing ya know. You have to move on and give yourself grace for not making the best choices in previous partners. Pray for forgiveness, go to counseling, see what made you so free with ya goodies, if its self-esteem because they gave you attention then look for self-esteem building exercises to make sure you feel good about you and history doesn’t repeat itself with your or daughter(s) if you’re now a mother. Look for attention in positive ways such as being a mentor, public speaking, acting/improv classes, being a lead or point person on the job, join your local urban league/NAACP and get involved. Ya gotta start loving what you see in the mirror every day before you expect someone else to. If some guys try you like you still that chick from 10 years ago, remember a simple NO won’t hurt em. Seriously who cares what they think of you as they are not your husband. As hard as it is to hear, this type of guy may not ever take you serious besides that good lay in the sack as he’s stuck on the past you, but someone else will so don’t get so tore up over that one fool. He probably ain’t that cute no way if you turn your head to the sideK. I know many past 304 members who canceled their membership and are happily married today. And yes, they were transparent with their husband/wife that their past wasn’t squeaky clean and some even like that their woman turns up behind closed doors. Most importantly let’s not forget these guys gossiping about you paying not a noun one of your bills so just keep em in ya past honey and make a vow to yourself to be more stingy with ya cookie in the future, use protection if ya do share it and hold your head up high cause you’re a beautiful woman. J
You flunked out of school so what!! Schools are open year round, are even completely online (University of Phoenix, Capella, Walden, etc) now it’s never too late to go back. I mean FAFSA can be obtained, they giving student loans away like candy (but please use sparingly as you do have to pay them mugs back), you can research for local scholarships in your area, if you work for a major company see if your job has an educational reimbursement program. I see nontraditional students all the time accomplishing their goals. I mean check out this 95 year old woman getting her bachelor’s degree so what’s your excuse if Ms. Nola can strut her stuff on campus with that designer cane (http://www.nbcnews.com/id/18338864/ns/us_news-wonderful_world/t/woman-set-be-oldest-college-graduate/#.WRiq3oWcFMs ). If you happen to owe money that’s stopping you from obtaining FAFA, reach out to the school/collection agency to establish a payment plan or use those yearly taxes instead of being colored and balling out on a new cell, car or clothes you don’t need to pay down the debt. If you don’t have it like that make the sacrifice and set up a separate checking account for yourself to add money each paycheck to pay off the debt. If you learn differently or it takes you bit longer to obtain the material maybe ask the school for accommodations for extended time, check into their tutoring hours and/or online tutoring.
You got a divorce or a relationship ended sour even if it was mostly your fault, ok and?!?!?! If it’s possible, have a conversation with that person to apologize and clear the air, if not pray to God for forgiveness and vow to do things differently moving forward. Or since it’s 2017 and you and the Lord ain’t cool like that, talk to yourself and have a conversation about what you took from this relationship. Be honest with your next partner and tell them you’ve learned from the error of your ways. Vow to be a nicer person, not to cheat, be more attentive, clean/cook more like yo auntie used to do in the 70’s for your favorite uncle, do them porn star performances 3 nights a week that you saw on pornhub, have more family time, whatever you declared you try and frfr make efforts to do so. If you don’t know how to do something ask someone you feel comfortable with for tips or look online for articles to help. The internet has it all…..
You made some really jacked up financial decisions: credit score # looking like your water bill, none of your people trust you enough to loan you money cause they will never see it again, don’t have a retirement, no savings, you owe some bill collectors and you had to change your # to duck and dodge em? ….UMMM OK….you know you can fix your credit right? People do it all the time. If you know financial literacy is foreign to you reach out to professionals. Most of your jobs have an employee assistance program that allows you to consult with a financial advisor for free, there are tons of free apps that help you keep track of your finances, websites such as http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/resources/free_materials that can give you resources, most churches offer free classes or if that makes your butt itch to step in the holy place check your local community center. Also the guru Dave Ramsey has awesome books on getting rid of debt https://www.daveramsey.com/. Credit karma is also a good free place to start. Reach out to at least one of those collections agencies and see if you can create a payment plan to get it off your credit, try to auto draft $20 per paycheck minimum into a savings account, if you get paid biweekly that’s $520 a year. Ally bank www.ally.com allows you to open an account for free without any balance and if you have direct deposit you can set it to automatically to go into this account that you don’t have as easy access to so you don’t blow the $. If you owe your cousin Ray Ray maybe try to give em a few dollars even if it has been 2 years later. Point is you have to start somewhere just don’t stay stagnant! Some progress is better than no progress. Don’t convince yourself that since it’s not happening at once there’s no point. A snail still reaches his destination eventually right?
Got fired from a job. You do know they have others right?! If you live in a major city you pass by corporate offices every day. I know I know that job made your ego feel great and it was bit of a blow to not have that as part of your identity but don’t you have more to offer in your greatness besides them 40 hours for someone else’s company?! And yes we all need $$ to pay our bills so get back in the grove. Even though job searching is a full time job itself: Go to networking events and bump elbows with the whos who in your area, ask your family and friends if their company is hiring and let them know you are looking, are you part of an alumni with your school, if so reach out to them I mean that’s what you pay the $50 a year for, the perks! If you are in a sorority time to Order of Eastern Star, skee-wee, ooo-oop, z phi and eee yip towards a job HUNTY. That’s what sorors are supposed to do help each other out! You better get off your high horse and ask sorors can they hook you up pink, red, blue and gold style. Somebody in that grad chapter works in or knows HR, update your resume and linked in profile and make sure you have given copies out, go to that local job fair, register with the workforce center or temp agencies and follow up biweekly, Hire a head hunter to market you, Or maybe it’s time to start that business you’ve always dreamed of. Point is your obituary when you die is not gonna say employee #____ so why put so much stock into that position. Stop feeling bad because it didn’t work out and move on to bigger and better!
You played the side chick or had a child out of wedlock and embarrassingly did the Maury you are not the father once or twice to figure out some things. It’s ok. You love your child and they are in a healthy stable environment. Besides when your son/daughter looks at you with those big cute eyes all they have is unconditional love. They could care less about how they got here or your past indiscretion. They simply see the best mom in the world. If you don’t feel you are/were the best parent. It’s not too late: take a parenting class, reach out to an elder in your family for advice on how to do things differently, or if your kids are old enough ask them what they’d like you to do better. If you were side chicking it up, no judgment here but ask yourself why you’re ok with being in the #2 slot and how long this will work for you. If it’s already over then at some point you have to-you already know the word FORGIVE yourself for messing up someone else’s covenant. If you’re bold enough then maybe an apology to the spouse is an option, if not then you have to just make a vow to block that person from your life and not go back down that rabbit hole. Most men don’t leave their wives or baby mommas for the side chick. And in the event they do then guess what your side chick spot is now open so like my granny used to say you may lose him how you get him idk just something to ponder on. But if you’re past that side chick life then coparent if you guys are in that boat and let that be the end all be all. Go after that gold medal which is the #1 spot as you were never meant to be second class. No one sets out for the silver in the Olympics.
You did someone wrong and disappointed them such as parent, friend, boyfriend/girlfriend, soror and you’ve felt guilty since. If they are willing to talk to you then maybe it’s time to face the music apologize and discuss ways to rebuild the relationship/reestablish trust. Are you bold enough to write them a letter if you don’t feel comfortable putting yourself out there face to face? Or come up with 1-2 things you can do to show your regrets as you know the person and what they like. If they have totally written you off as much it hurts you have to forgive yourself at some point and move on promising not to hurt another person the same way. Don’t forever stay being that person with bad character that people warn others about. There is life after petty.
Had previous substance abuse issues. Maybe it’s best to stay away from people and places that trigger you. Know your limits. AA/NA groups work for some and others it doesn’t but maybe you should consider starting a hobby, volunteer in some way that holds you accountable such as mentoring, establishing a nursing home friendship as they are often lonely and their families don’t visit, teach a class at the homeless shelter, start a food drive/feed the needy, start a scholarship in your area for kids with financial need, something whereas if your presence is missed someone is going to ask why you aren’t around. If that’s not your calling then ask yourself what is. Point is stay busy and active. If yall can’t tell I’m good and southern but the saying goes-an idle mind is the devils workshop and I think there’s a bit of truth to that even minus the religious connotation. Surround yourself around a good support group of people. And if you have that urge better let it be known and also come up with some realistic coping strategies to help you stay clean. Easier said than done for sure but worth a try.
I’m going to put all jokes aside on this topic as it’s very sensitive and many women struggle with guilt and shame after making this decision. You had an abortion(s) before. Maybe you were too young to rear a child, you couldn’t afford to care for a baby, it was the wrong guy to coparent with, you didn’t want to disappoint your family, maybe your religious beliefs conflict with this choice and so on. I don’t care if you are prochoice, anti, prolife, abortion is a hard decision PERIOD! A lot of women feel ashamed and guilty after and suffer in silence as abortion is a hot topic, meaning EVERYONE has an opinion on it and some women just don’t want to hear the shame on you for having one speech. But sis you can’t continue to suffer in silence. You need to be honest about how you feel as not acknowledging this is an unhealthy coping style. And let me also add its ok to mourn your baby even if you know it was for the best to proceed with the abortion. It’s still a loss and don’t let anyone tell you what and how you should feel. I want you to be unapologetically honest about how your emotions. If you get sad around the time of the baby’s due date acknowledge that. If it’s anger that the child’s father seemed unfazed by your decision acknowledge that and so on. Point is be real so you can heal. Know your triggers and how to deal with them if they should arise. For example, if seeing other pregnant people is a trigger for thinking negatively about the abortion, then identify a positive way of coping with this situation. Everyone knows at least one person that’s had an abortion. Now again I’m not stating whether I agree or don’t, I’m just saying it’s common so maybe reaching out to that person for support, if you belong to a church and you know they are a loving and nonjudgmental group maybe consulting with a member/asking for bible verses and prayers to help you cope, keep a journal if you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone you know or here’s a non-judgmental and supportive resource: 1-866-4-EXHALE or http://www.yourbackline.org.
Fell off on your relationship with God. It’s never too late to reconnect. It’s a church on every corner in the south along with liquor stores lol so just play eenie meanie miney moe on one, I’m sure your granny/aunt or mom would love to do show and tell on their heathen relative that returned to the house of the lord and cook you a nice Sunday dinner after. Or if you can’t stomach being on show and tell display at your childhood church and too much messiness is still going on since you just know Deacon Jones is over Sister Smiths house more than just for bible study (Jokes people relax) most mega churches have online sermons, you can call in anonymously for prayer on that good old Morning Prayer line, google daily/weekly lessons, many free apps you can download will send you inspirational quotes, or start your own life group with friends. Point is don’t let guilt stop you from restarting. (Back to Lonnie https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJpryU81Er8 )…..
2017 is the year of renewal and rebranding. We will not continue to allow our past to dictate our future. Don’t be what I call an IMA girl- I’ma do this this and this and never start. Don’t talk about it be about it! Whatever’s on your heart do it! Your past ain’t squeaky clean so what. No one really has a picture perfect life. Some are just better at hiding their dirt than others. Unfortunately for you yours was just a bit more public but TRUST everyone has a few skeletons in their closet. So don’t let your damaged past make you think you’ll have a jacked up damaged future. Hit that Aaliyah if at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qOnInTJsos ) put it on repeat and go!!!
Time to keep it one hunned people what have you felt that you’ve failed in that you’ve carried for years and what will you do to finally forgive yourself and move forward?Read more "Damaged goods or can we rebrand ourselves????"