What Are We?

The infamous DTR, is the conversation most men and some women avoid with a ten foot pool. Within our current society this conversation is unavoidable due to the current state of dating.

I never really sat and thought about this question until it was mentioned within a conversation with who I will refer to as “the blue eyed boy”.  Mr. Blue eyes simply stated that after a while he was about  to approach the question “what were we doing?”(If you do not know the outcome of this please read “Bad at Love” posted previously its alluded to in the second story). I stumbled on a generic answer that it was naturally progressing in its own direction, and I sounded like a true tool at the moment and also after  when reflecting on my answer.

To be honest, I did not know the answer to the question. We were sorta friends but were we aiming towards more? All of our conversations were mostly platonic enough with an edge of flirtation. Well to be fair a little more than an edge of flirtation.

I openly flirted and did have genuine interest but all we had was two hangouts and constant messages. Does that define a relationship label?

When you look at what dating has become within the modern society for millennials, you start to understand why the question arises so often, and how someone could easily ask the question what are we were after a few hangouts and constant communication.

Dating is a shit show. Before when analyzing dating methods in the past we went from courtships and young marriages, to less formal settings where one dated and married their high school sweetheart or typically their first love. Through a few more decades and so many other steps we some how get to our modern mess of dating without clear definition if you are just “hanging out” or are you something more. Leading to the infamous DTR conversation.

Today’s dating arena contains the following  (but not limited to) relations : Netflix and chill style dating, Christian courtships, friends with benefits, sex without the friendship, poly amorous relationships, open relationships, strictly only friends, hanging out, and the classic relationship.

To put it lightly dating is confusing. You never really know where you stand and there is the constant question that plagues us naturally:  Do they want more out of this?

Although I gave the worst douche bag answer to the “blue eyed boy” (which some day I will apologize for),  he still made me realize how unclear it could be.

With traditional dating out the window within our society, it is time for those who want something real to stop waiting to ask the question “what are we?” and to start controlling the situation from the start. We need to start dating intentionally.

Dating intentionally is a well known concept within the Christian community. That is dating someone where both of your intentions are marriage or long term commitment.

At some point although I highly agree with dating intentionally and dating someone with similar intentions, lets take this concept a step further.

It is time to start building friendships intentionally. With intentional dating someone there is already an established label, and there is already the stigma that the two of you are in fact together in some form of a relationship.

So what is building friendships intentionally?

One thing I rarely do is label every person as my friend. I have a plethora of coworkers, acquaintances, and fellow brothers and sisters in Christ but very few friends within my inner circle. Personally, friendship is an extension of my family. Many of my friends become intertwined with my life that they become an essential part of my family. There is a study that shows that people that you keep within your inner circle develop who you are and shapes key parts of your personality. My goal within my inner circle is to constantly keep people around that not only are genuinely amazing individuals,  but people that I would love to emulate in some form or a key quality they possess that I lack. Every person within my inner circle contains many characteristics that I wish to possess or help me grow and achieve goals.

Intentional friendships is not limited to people who are just potential romantic partners. The reality is you should be intentional with every friendship that you manifest and contribute to.  You should intentionally build friendships in hopes that one of the friendships could manifest into something more romantic and into intentional dating.

Building an intentional friendship is truly getting to know another person past social communication. There are four types of communication Social (superficial-weather conversation, mental (ideas and non-controversial beliefs), emotional (fears and tear jerkers, hopes, and more controversial beliefs), and spiritual.  Intentional friendship building gives you two months to really start to learn about the person. In reality it typically takes a life time to truly know another person, but taking two months without being overly romantic or any  physical touch or completely alone time is key. You really start to see if you would be friends with this person let alone date them. It allows for the infatuation period to be less about getting to know the person and more about a connection the moves past superficial communication. You move past the first stage of communication to the next and start to build the trust of the other person. At the end of two months the two of you can decide if you want to DTR, date intentionally, or just be friends. Within this stage no one gets deeply attached on an emotional level and it helps to really understand compatibility. You either find someone that you want to date or you find another friend along the way.

Which leads into dating intentionally. Dating intentionally has two aspects. The first aspect is knowing self which I discussed in my post “When to settle down” in depth, but it simplifies to knowing your own self worth, what you deserve, and not settling for anything less. Along with knowing oneself you must truly be ready to enter the third stage of communication which is emotional communication. You must be able to break down your walls and let someone else into your life.  The chasm between the first two levels of communication and the third is rather wide because the third level is the level of trust, intimacy, vulnerability, and transparency. Most of us are afraid to be wrong and absolutely terrified to be rejected and communicating at the emotional level opens us up to be rejected, hurt, and scarred.  Most of us yearn for this emotional connection and communication with people, but for individuals, like myself, we constantly push against it settling for mundane conversations about abstract ideas and superficial topics. Truly dating with intention means communicating about our fears, dreams, faith, motivation, wants, needs, and joys.

Naturally all of this leads into the last type of communication, spiritual communication,  and hopefully a relationship that withstands time.

Building friendships and dating intentionally avoids the awkward stages and conversations that we all dread. It also leads to less confusion on wants and needs as well as hurting another person or feeling hurt yourself.

This is easier said than done. I preach intentionally dating to teens until I am blue in the face but application is not always as easy.

You must truly be ready to settle down and make your intentions clear. When you are not clear about wanting to build a friendship and staying the course of intentional dating, infatuation can easily take over and true intentions get lost in translation. When you cannot adequately express yourself and your intentions, it is easy to never truly enter an intentional friendship or begin to intentionally date.

Lesson well learned from Mr. Blue Eyes , who once gave me uncontrollable butterflies. Acknowledge the need to build an intentional friendship with someone before diving into intentional (or just regular) dating. When you do not slow down and build the solid friendship, infatuation can easily fade leaving two people who truly do not know one another. If you are similar to myself be open about your walls that are hard to overcome and remember building a stable foundation is key to constructing any structure that is worth while.  Move to emotional communication and past that with someone only when you are truly ready but be open about not feeling ready. Stop trying to impress and express. Express your true self and open up to all the possibilities.

 

 

 

Being Human: Love

So the theme of the week was love. I talked personally about being bad at love and followed it with a post on determining the moment you are finally ready for love. Obviously as I posted on Monday, love is not something I would say I am always wise on, at least within the romantic realm.

Today I am going to apply the concept of love to the series being human. There are so many facets of being human, but one that is a constant for every person on this planet like faith is love.

Examining love outside of relationship goals and stories of my struggles is a bit easier for me. Looking at love from a project stand point and being less critical of my own faults causes a lot of revelation on what it is truly like being human.

Love according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is the following

Love:

a (1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties

  • maternal love for a child
(2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers

  • After all these years, they are still very much in love.
(3) : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests

  • love for his old schoolmates
b : an assurance of affection

  • give her my love

As one can see love boils down to affection and attraction towards someone. According to Merriam-Webster and most other sources love is this emotional attachment or desire towards another person.

I do on some level agree with the definition of love provided, but it is truly not all-encompassing. Love is more than an affection or attraction to someone. In the realm of being human most of us have had the feeling of love outside of people. We love the high of a drug, we love our pets, we love the feeling of sleeping in on a Saturday, we love the drink that erases the worries of the week, we love praise from other people, we love attention from our crush, we love the high right after sex, we love the intense rush after facing our fears, we love God and our faith, simply we has humans love so many things.

One can argue that I am over using the word love and taking it out of context,  or it may seem that I am taking small things that we like and saying we love them. In reality, I am not at all. As humans, love is more than an emotion towards a person.

Love is a chemical reaction and more specifically a human chemical reaction.

Although there are some people who say that love is more complex than a chemical reaction, first we need to stop and think about all the times that humans love objects and abstract ideas, and later I will address this argument.

Falling in love and the action of loving  is created when our bodies release certain hormones and chemicals that simply create an overall happy and calm feeling for the person. This overall chemical reaction or high leads to so many of us becoming addicted to love, the concept of love, or things that imitate this reaction and emotions released.

Love makes us feel good. So many people chase the high or feelings of that precious chemical reaction that leaves us feeling great and satisfied.

Some of us go after it by chasing the wrong mate, some of us gain similar feelings through owning animals, some of us become adrenaline junkies and chase adventure, some of us satisfy it through one night stands or masturbation, some of us find it and chase it through drugs and alcohol, and the list is endless. We simply start to fall in love with things that happen to imitate the same feelings and chemical releases.

We become a slave to the feelings and high of the chemical reaction.

Aside from the chemical reaction, on some level I agree love is more than a chemical reaction.  Love can manifest past the chemical state with certain people and specific things. You can have this emotional attachment to something that started with a chemical reaction but simply becomes a constant in life that helps connect us to the world around us. As humans we not only crave that precious chemical reaction we also crave attachment and connection which is the second facet of love. Love for our faith gives us attachment and connection that we crave. It gives us something to hold onto when there is no one. It gives us hope when all we see is despair. It is a connection to something beyond us, it is a connection to something better.

The same connection can be applied to a romantic relationship, drug high, to partying, our friends, our animal companions, adventure, and so many other things we claim to love. It is an attachment or connection that allows us to feel a little less alone within the world and connected to something bigger or attached to something that takes away our reality. It simply helps to fill a void or emptiness.

Being Human is not simple but understanding that we crave love and connection helps us understand one another a little better.

So often we succumb to judging others and ridicule them for the decisions they make in life that helps them feel attached and connected to something. We label them in society as misfits, drug abusers, rebels, zealous bible thumpers, and so many other derogatory things.  Simply we all have a choice but we need to stop labeling and judging others and start understanding what leads them to the choices they make and how can we love and connect with them regardless of their choices.

So often I write about bringing joy into your day and random acts of kindness. I write about it so often because, this is a way to connect and attach yourself to other people. It also helps those people becoming connected to the world around them. Never underestimate human connection and spreading a little piece of love to the world.

Love is a powerful tool and a huge aspect of being a human. It is bigger than faith and purpose because most of the time love and connection leads us to our faith and purpose. It is a language that every single person on this planet can relate to on some level. Love can transform a life in a positive or negative way.

So why not make it a positive experience each day.

Love is our human connection.

-Bella

 

 

When to Settle Down?

After writing my last piece on being bad at love, I really had a chance to sit down and think about love and life. So I joke around about being bad at love, but the truth is I am truly not bad at love (which was evident towards the end of my last post), but I wanted to share the second half of that piece that was missing.

In a society that defines success not only by your own personal accomplishments, but also by your relationship status, it is easy to see why love is on everyone’s mind. As I get older and slightly wiser, I have started to realize that just like everything else in life, love has a timing and place.

Over the past three or so years, I have been focusing so hard on securing the perfect relationship with someone and for some reason I lost focus on how important picking the right person needed to be. I floated between people who truly were not built for the person that I was and the person that I was trying to become. This lead me to great heart-break as well as breaking other’s hearts.

The last two people who I considered dating more than friends were the two individuals I needed to enter my life to truly allow me to figure out this whole love “thing” in my own sort of way. There comes a time in every person’s life when they finally realize that they are ready to truly “settle down” in either in a relationship or life in general.

First thing, you will experience the worst heart-break that you could have ever imagined. This could be the person that you end up marrying later down in life, or it can come from a person without any romantic ties at all. You experience a heart break that will take the wind out of you. It will hit a place you did not know existed. It is the heartbreak that comes when you realize you are not ‘good enough’

A little less than a year ago, I gained feelings for someone who was a genuinely nice person but they would never see me as their ideal partner. Although our we had a similar faith, mutual respect for culture, similar cultural and religious upbringing, shared a mutual friend base, similar infatuation with one another, and career goals were in the same place, having a woman who did not constantly look up and feel inspired by him was not something he desired. Having my own career and becoming continually successful within my career was both intimidating and a turn off for him. Consequently, he only saw me as an object of desire and not a viable partner in life. One drunk night, I texted him how I felt without a filter. He never replied to my text and two weeks later he had a woman crush Wednesday on three of his social medias(if you have not figured it out it was surly not me). At the time I deleted his number, deleted him from snapchat, unfollowed him on Instagram, and unfriended him on Facebook. I have never felt an ache as bad as I did with him. My confidence took a hit, and I was not secure in the person I was becoming.

After this I took a social media hiatus for about three months and started to discover who I was. Outside of my career, social media presence, persona I present to my friends, persona to my family, and all the faces I constantly change to fit my environment. I dug deep into my faith and truly cleansed my soul. I stopped becoming the person that people expected to see or interact with and slowly became the person I always felt I was deep down. The ideal person that I wanted to not only be perceived as but the person I felt was truly who I was. I gained both my confidence and the true knowledge of my past self, current self, and what the future holds for the person I am striving to become. (Just to spoil the ending, we are both now mutual friends with respect for one another who share the same best friend so we are bound to constantly interact)

Second, you will experience one of the most satisfying times when you are not the right person for someone or someone does not see you in a romantic way and you….survive (GASP). Not just survive but thrive. You chalk it up to the person not being the right fit and move on. During the season of finding myself I dated sporadically but kept everything light and tried not to see a future or make plans with another person before I truly became content with myself. At the start of this year, things turned an unexpected turn with a coworker. It was a true infatuation stage. As the infatuation cooled for my coworker, and I truly become engrossed within career shifts on my end and some of my own personal issues, he decided to have the “let’s be friends, I am not sure if you are the one I want” talk. As I felt the conversation coming from a mile away I did not feel the doom that I would typically feel in the past. It was more of a relief. It was the moment when I truly realized that I was whole on my own. I was not searching for someone to complete me but was looking for a person to compliment the whole person I already was. I was finally searching to find another whole person. It is an awakening moment when you realize that it takes two whole people to truly pursue a relationship. Two people who realize who they are as individuals but they are also ready to merge their life with someone else that can amplify and promote growth as two people together.

Although the most recent experience did not leave me torn or had a moment where I felt like I needed to have a full on self-discovery phase (although I spent like eight hours thinking about the situation days later-because I naturally overanalyze everything), it also made me realize that every person needs to get to a certain place in life before truly jumping into the dating pool.

So here are a few ways to realize that you are truly ready to settle down.

You know it is time to “settle down” when you finally realize you are a whole person on your own. You do not need anyone to complete you. When you are broken with the pieces still on the floor and you are still reassembling the pieces of yourself, it can be impossible to allow someone else to fit the pieces together in the proper way . It is hard to truly love another person when you cannot love yourself. Accepting the love from another can only come after you love yourself and have made yourself whole. Being once broken but pieced back together allows light or love to shine through the cracks but you are still whole in your own fragmented way. Being whole is the first key to being ready to accept the love someone else has to share with you.

Settle down when you are content with yourself and not willing to change key components of yourself to please another person. Simply you can truly be the unedited version of yourself. If a certain trait is not attractive to your potential match than they are simply not meant for you. Your true self-will eventually surface and it is easier to start sharing who you truly are as a person than to have it discovered later after emotions are invested.

Settle down when you find someone who you can mutually grow with. It is not about who is more successful or who is more accomplished, it is about finding a person that allows you to grow and you do the same in return. We are humans that are constantly attempting to perfect ourselves and growth is unavoidable. You must be okay with the person you meet being someone totally different in ten, twenty, and even thirty years down the road. Change and growth can be viewed as the element of most lasting relationships because it eliminates becoming complacent or bored with the person. You will learn to love a new person every few years and so will the person you are with.

Speaking of mutually growing you must not erase the past you have and the past of the person you are with, but simply accept it. There will always be someone they loved before you, or a past that may be frightening. We all have demons or chapters of our lives that we hide away from the world. Accept the fact this impacts the person but may not define the person and who they are trying to become. We are not a victim of our past but rather a product of what our past holds. It affects each person differently and in unknowing ways but has little effect of the absolute and final outcome of who that person becomes. You are truly ready to settle down when you accept your past and are open to the idea that many people have a colorful past in turn.

Settle down when you realize you do not always need to be right (most people who know me-knows I sometimes struggle with this one). In fact, it is okay to be wrong. Having someone who thinks differently than you on some subjects is important. It keeps you from having a single mind-set and being able to see the diversity in the world. Most of us tend to find people with identical beliefs as our own and remain blind to the world around us. I am not saying that you need to find someone who is your complete opposite. Like you are a devout Christian and you need a hard-core atheist, but at the same time I am denoting that you need to find someone that may have a slightly different perspective than yourself. Just realizing that you can be like a person but be different enough to learn and grow. If you are both open-minded about ideas and do not shut down the other person’s thought process, this can help both of you grow. Agree to disagree at times.

You are ready to settle down. When another’s opinion of you does not destroy who you are. Someone telling you that you are not what they are looking for or you are not their ideal mate should not be life crushing. It can hurt, but it should not send you into eating chocolate ice cream alone and crying. Well let me stop here for one second…first anyone who makes you feel this way should never be a part of your life and you were lucky you escaped in one piece, but second the important part of this statement is that your self-worth should come from knowing who you are and never trying to live up to an image or to someone else’s ideal of who you should be.

Settle down when you realize that jealousy is a personal issue and not your love interest’s issue. Having jealously is both natural and a part of human nature. It is how we react on this needless feeling that defines us. I am naturally an overly jealous person, but through training and self-reflection I have learned a few things about it. Jealously is a true reflection on one’s own trust and confidence. It is a manifestation of self-worth and the value we place upon another’s actions that has little to do with them and more to do with our own personal demons. Jealousy is this little monster that tells you that you are not enough. Being jealous is not an issue for your partner or romantic interest to fix but simply your own. Why do you feel this way? What is the true cause of these feelings? On that note if a love interest is purposely flaunting and trying to make you jealous than that person is truly not mature enough for a real long-lasting romantic relationship and you should consider other avenues. If you are open and communicated your concerns and make it a point to tell the person that you feel a certain way because of your own securities, some people are willing to eliminate situations that will cause you to experience low self-esteem. Jealously again is natural and not saying that you should never feel jealous but realizing that jealousy is a reflection of you and not another person is key to knowing when you are truly ready to settle down.

I have focused the last few sections on self and self-reflection but being ready to settle down is a two-sided coin and also involves someone else. Being content with oneself and understanding who you are is vital in the success of a relationship, but there are many other instances that you must move past self-reflection and fulfillment to engage in the reality that a relationship takes two people and a lot of compromising and editing of your life to merge two lives into one consistent relationship.

Settle down when you are able to put someone else’s interests ahead of your own. There is compromise and sacrifice in every relationship. It could mean engaging in topics or movies that have little to no interest for you. The important message here is that in a healthy relationship, your partner’s happiness is just as important as your own. Being willing to put someone’s interest above your own, at times, is a sign that you are ready for a long-term commitment.

Settle down when you can allow the little things slide. No person is perfect and we all have traits that are undesirable. Overlooking this undesirable quirks or not bringing a large amount of attention to the small things is fundamental. We are constantly searching for the perfect person without flaw for a marriage, but most of the time we need to settle with a few quirks and overall be happy with the person they truly are. Again it is a part of being human having at least a trait or two that is not as desirable to others.

Settle down when you can accept a person for who they are at that point in life. Entering into the a relationship in hopes of changing a person into your desired mate will never work. It is important to note like stated above in healthy and thriving relationships, both partners will motivate one another to become better versions of themselves and growth is inevitable, but growth is not the same as trying to change someone’s nature. So be honest and open and never enter a relationship in hopes of trying to mold an individual into your perfect ideal mate.

Settle down when you are ready to merge your life with someone else. Although your relationship should not take up your entire existence, it does affect a large portion of your life. You become interconnected with someone else’s family, friends, hobbies, children, pets, and the list can go on forever. And consequently they become a part of yours. Sure at some point there are boundaries but willingness to allow someone into your daily routine and being a part of someone else’s is a big step on showing someone you care and are willing to make the commitment. This is the first step in building bridges into one another’s life and starting to tear down the walls that separate you from them.

I save my most valued and most important point for last. You are ready to settle down when you are happy in your singleness. As I stated above about being whole and finding self-fulfillment is beyond important. It goes hand in hand with the fact; if you are not happy single, you will not be happy in a relationship. Single is a simply word that can describe someone who is strong enough to live their life by themselves until the right person comes along to share it with them. When you are constantly looking for a relationship out of loneliness, you will find yourself settling with the first person who comes along that happens to have interest in you. You must have enough self-respect and dignity to hold out for the person that truly deserves you. The only way you can truly be able to hold out for this person is to be happy long before they have been introduced into your life.

More important thing to remember than all these signs of knowing the right time to settle down, is something that you cannot read or someone can not advise you on. That is how you feel. When a person is in the right season in life or stumbles across “the person”, you are destined to know that you are ready to leave the single life behind and build a new life alongside someone else. But until that time comes that you find the person who fits into your love story, continuously work on yourself and defining your own happiness because one day you will be able to share this with someone else.

When you are truly ready to settle down, as I experienced myself. You will surly know.

 

-Bella

Bad At Love

When looking at my blog from a far it is really tough to understand the overall theme or natural flow that exists. For many people who read and follow along, it seems a little disconnected. Like random thoughts or ideas placed into one place.

Well unfortunately  it is random thoughts and ideas that some how end up typed out and published, but more importantly there is a defined themed throughout. Each piece explores human nature and the norms in society. From stereotyping, to being introverted, suicide, being happy, struggles, and my newest series being human; each post explores aspects of society and human nature.

I typically write from a place of knowledge, wisdom, research, or my soul. One topic that is not often discussed or highly talked about it romantic relationships and love.

It is not that I do not feel like it is not a topic for discussion in regards to norms in society and human nature because it is usually a topic that plagues our society and is in fact a large aspect of being human.

Of course I will explore this topic from a specific angle within the series of Being Human at a later date (If you have not read the first two than 1. go read them because the series is bound to get interesting and the more thoughts and opinions will shape the future of the series and 2. you will not understand the difference of this post to the one in the future in the series of being human), but I often do not speak on the topic because I am one of many who cannot figure out this love thing. (or so society thinks)

It is not that I am an emotionless corporate climber without work life balance, or the opposite a hopeless romantic that jumps in and out of relationships in hopes of finding the love of my life.

I am simply bad at love.

Writing that is both a relief and also really tough for me. I am person that prides myself in becoming successful in anything and everything that I truly put effort into. I believe the more effort and time you spend, you will soon reap the rewards of your effort. Regardless of the time I put into love and finding love or the time I allow escape and let nature takes its course the more I come back empty handed.

We as Americans are engrained in the belief that if you hit 30 and you are still single and on the market that you ultimately are one of two thing. First is that you placed importance on your career over finding love or you are not lovable. We live in a society where relationship goals is a hashtag and oversharing everything in life including your love for another is normal.

As I slowly creep towards the age where I am unable to donate my eggs due to my age, and having more than one pet makes you a _______ mom or lady. I have had to stop and really think about love.

Have I found romantic love. No not within a life long person, but I have found love. Love in my career. Love in who I am. Love in my confidence. Love in laughing. Love within my family. Love in my purpose. Love in my faith. Love in my sweet pups that deal with my craziness. Love in the daily joys.

I am not bad at love, I am bad at the image of romantic love in society. I have so much love to give and have not found the person to share it with. I do not know if I believe in soul mates or a defined love of my life. But I know when it is my time to explore romantic love, it will not be the idealized image that society has engrained in me to have and strive for. It will be this true and honest love that I have been learning exists in my daily routine.

Chasing Butterflies 2.0

Within the past year, I have adopted and coined the phrase ““Chase the butterflies, because that is when you feel truly alive”.   Anyone who actively follows my writing has read multiple pieces about chasing the feeling regardless if it comes to love, changes in life, or something as mundane as sharing your soul through your work.  This has been a constant motto when I decide to actively pursue a new adventure in life.

Every human naturally has the instincts to alert them of danger and unknown territory.  We are naturally programmed to distance ourselves from things that are not natural to our-self. When things are not familiar we begin to feel afraid, our hearts starts to race, we become nervous, we avoid the unfamiliar, and ultimately we stay within our comfort zone.  We are simply creatures of habit.  Our brain is also programmed to tell us “you cannot get this done”, “this is crazy”, and any other phrase that stops us from pursuing something head on.

Due to my natural inclination to remain within comfort, I have made it my personal goal to chase the butterflies, to push past all my fears.  To become truly alive.  Fear is such a huge limitation even when we do not even recognize fear. Personally my anxiety and the expectations that I see within society limits the things that I pursue.  The truth is I limit myself in so many ways in life, as do so many other individuals.  We constantly tell ourselves that we are not good enough or allow society to tell us what is acceptable and what is not.  Chasing the butterflies has become a constant reminder that at the point when the fear of the unknown comes within my life that  I will constantly pursue that unknown.  That moment when you fear jumping the most is when you need to take the leap because growth is not developed within comfort zones.

As I coined “chasing the butterflies”, I have never stopped to think of the symbolism and importance of butterflies within the world view.  Butterflies have a vast amount of meanings depending on the person and the culture.  Within the christian religion butterflies signify resurrection, other people around the world see it as symbols representing endurance, change, hope, and life. There are so many heartfelt stories and meaning to each person that you come across.

Today as I hastily began to get ready for my last Sunday within my current position, I look up on my mirror and see a green butterfly. My first thought was that I was going to remind my niece to stop placing stickers on things throughout my house, and something told me to blow on the sticker, as i began to blow the wings of the butterfly fluttered and than moved to another position.  This was in fact a butterfly in my bathroom at 7 am in the morning was pretty peculiar and it was my favorite color.

I am not a person that believes in coincidence or mistakes.  That butterfly was my symbol.   It was a symbol for my life and the current life circumstances that I am at right now.  I am making a huge career move, and I have been questioning if my abilities will be suited well with the new responsibility. I have been struggling with my confidence to drive steadily into the future without looking back.  I have had butterflies and have felt the fear lingering within the dark corners of my being. Not only with my career but also within many aspects of my personal life.  The color green is a symbol of growth, ambition, harmony, renewal, and energy.  It is time for my new path. I am going to chase my green butterfly and start to feel more alive than ever before.

You will always catch me chasing the butterflies.

 

What Are You?

This poem/ open word piece is dedicated to anyone who has been wrongfully identified as a different race or ethnicity. It is also a testament of how I feel when people judge or make an assumption based on my physical features.

Your almond shaped eyes are so deer like, Are you middle eastern.

Your skin has a golden brown hue, Are you Puerto-rican.

You eye brows are dark, thick, and well defined, are you Italian.

You are hips are larger in proportion to your tiny waste, Are you African American?

Your nose is round and lacks a defined ridge, Are you Mexican?

Your hair creates the most perfect spiral curl, Are you Dominican?

Your lips are so full, are you Latin?

You speak Spanish, You must be a Latina.

You speak English with a lack of ethnic accent, you enunciate your words, you know the difference between to, too, and two. What are you?

I speak multiple languages, fluent in two and can understand four because I have a desire to communicate to every person that crosses my path. I do not expect everyone to know English. I speak Spanish because I yearn to travel the world.

My full lips allow me to speak up when everyone falls silent. It helps me to spread a positive message to the world, and call people to action. My lips are full of action.

My curls decide to twist, wrap, and take a different course everyday. Just like life my curls take their own direction. Sometimes I see them as a mess where others see their beauty. My curls are there to show a perfect representation of my life. Its crazy and a mess but outsiders only see the beauty of it.

My round nose that lacks definition. It does it’s job. It smells the small things like flowers budding, chicken frying, and my dirty dishes. It may not have a defined look, but its purpose is to allow me to appreciate the little things and warn me against hazard.

My large hips protects me when I fall. They allow me to bounce back. The also bare all the negative comments about women and how their bodies should look. They hold me upright when I should be falling apart.

My eyebrows are dark, thick, and well defined. They protect my eyes from dirt and anything that should not be within my precious eyes. They are well defined like my perception on things that do not belong in my life. They are thick because they had to shield my eyes from the world.

My golden hue skin. This was created from love. Two people who did not see color but love. I golden hue is unique like no other because it is never the same hue. It changes with time. The more light in my life the darker I become. The more I see darkness the lighter my skin becomes It reflects my life and mental health. It is an indicator of where I have been through.

Lastly my eyes. The beautiful almond shapes sees the world as it truly is. It sees that brown people are not viewed the same as the white man. My eyes see that the color of my skin is a predetermination of guilt. It sees that when I speak Spanish because of a language barrier others look at me like I do not belong. I see the the media wants to cast people of middle eastern decent as terrorists. I see that not all men are treated equal even if we are created equal. I see the injustice. I see the pain that is caused by injustice. Most importantly I see you judging me for who you think I may be from only my physical features.

What am I?

I am human like you.

Meet my Squishy.

Squishy: A person who carries their emotions on their sleeve and are open to express emotions to others. People who are not afraid to share their love, heart, and soul with others. A person who appears to be more vulnerable but open to the possibly of love and romance.

One of my best friends is of the opposite sex. We both meet in college and learned that personality wise we are pretty similar. Although I have theories on the nature and cause of our dynamic personas, it all boils down to that we just vibe and understand the underlying nature of one another on a weird level because in many ways we are practically the same person. We know our downfalls, and what outside forces change our beings.  We are different enough but face similar obstacles in many realms of life especially in regards to trusting others.

Due to our natural similarity, my dear friend figured out my love life by fixing and accomplishing the impossible within his own.   He is due to be married to the love of his life within the next few weeks, and along the way discovered our weakness.  Our weakness is the squishy.

To allow some history, I am a guarded person. I keep my emotions in place and never allow myself to truly love someone on a romantic level. I am great at making people like and most of the time love me without returning the same mutual feelings.  By nature I do not feel emotions on the same level as “normal” humans. I rarely get “butterflies” in my stomach, I do not see wedding bells and future children, and I never plan on them meeting my family or friends (which are a huge part of my life). That does not mean I do not date because I date and get a decent amount of interest, but usually my friends and family find out by me talking about “this” guy I dated last month.

Recently I had a slight change.  I was introduced to someone who intrigued me initially, annoyed me beyond measure, but ultimately made me have the “normal” emotional feelings that people have. As my friend, mentioned at the beginning,  would say “I met my squishy”, a person that felt natural to be around, but also gave me the butterfly feeling. Someone who I did not shut off within the first three hours of meeting.  That I laughed at the very things that usually would make my skin crawl… you know the horrible pick up lines, being philosophical for no reason at all, talking about how sexy Latinas’ are (because he assumed I was a Latina which drives me crazy), making everything into an analogy that makes absolutely no sense at all, not being direct, and making  unnecessary rash and rude comments as a joke to prevent people from getting mad. In general he is everything that I never go for in a guy, but felt drawn to him for no good reason.  I finally felt vulnerable. Being near him felt natural and familiar. For once I did not give half truths to someone that I hardly knew from a random stranger on the street. A light finally went off.

To put everything into perspective, and to get to the point of this whole thing, I finally felt something.  I felt the mushy, squishy feelings that I have suppressed and never thought possible. I met one of my “squishes” .  Luckily, I have a guide who has went through the same process as me to help figure out my feelings and to make me recognize that he is not the only squishy I will encounter. I will find one that one day, I will ultimately marry (which if anyone who knows me well enough knows is a frightening thought for me). One day I will become truly vulnerable, and this person will awaken every emotion that is buried deep inside.  Until than (which I am glad it is not now because I am truly not ready for it) I will go through life carefree and know that deep down I am actually human and not a machine without feelings. I will constantly be searching for the person that gives me instant butterflies, and will be my forever squishy.

My advice is to open yourself to unexplained feelings.  If you are an over emotional person who falls for each person that crosses your path, know that there will be someone that will one day reciprocate those same feelings.  For those who guard your heart and soul, you will find someone that will destroy every barrier that you are hiding behind.  It is okay to be afraid of the vulnerability, it would more concerning if you are not. Regardless, you will be loved beyond measure and  you will love like you never imagined possible. Romantic love is in the cards for you. Just have faith or run away both are viable options (in my unemotional, unprofessional opinion).

Spoiler alert: This first squishy was not a squishy meant for me. He is meant to rescue someone else (and I am meant to rescue another-at least for the time being), but I have determined that without him disturbing my unemotional state, I would never have gained the knowledge that there is someone out there that will awaken my soul like no other person has.  A special thanks to my best friend, his future wife that some how manages to love him and be great friends with me (two people who are resilient and tough as nails), and of course to my first squishy who has shown me what life as an emotional person feels like,  who unfortunately will somewhat remain in my life due to mutual acquaintances.

Until the next time…. I will continue to chase the butterflies.

-Bella Kat