Tag Archives: failure

Breaking Up; Soaring to Your Own Destiny

“Your relationship may be “Breaking Up,” but you won’t be “Breaking Down.” If anything your correcting a mistake that was hurting four people, you and the person your with, not to mention the two people who you were destined to meet.”
― D. Ivan YoungBreak Up, Don’t Break Down

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Photo: http://www.blisstree.com

I truly believe, my breaking up with my husband, provides us both with a path to fulfill the gaps in our lives that was inhibiting us from living our own destined satisfying and blissful life.  I believed we were both constricted in a life with each other where compromises were made. These adjustments we made on behalf of each other, were contradictory to the core of who we each are. For what the sake of marriage?   Yes, concessions should be made in marriage, between two people who love each other enough to build a future. But, if it is contradictory and constraining who you are, the other person has to either adjust due to his or her love for the other person or release them and let them soar to reach everything they desire. On that note! Fly, Fly Away! Salute to new beginnings, new encounters and new experiences…and hope they provide a joyous ever after!

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Photo: http://www.chacha.com

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A Divorced Husband That Bitter? Really a Middle Finger Sculpture Next to Ex-Wife’s Home?

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/18/middle-finger-ex-wife_n_4296764.html

Recently in the news it was reported that a man purchases a sculpture and affixes it facing his ex-wife and new boyfriend’s house which just happens to be next door.  The man cites the issue is not with his former wife but with her boyfriend, whom she had an affair with while married to him. Can’t you just move on with your life and let her be? Actually, how about just moving away, so you don’t have to face their betrayal daily? Funny news. Had to share!

As Published on Joint Interest Digital Magazine: The Best Man Holiday Movie Insight: Should A Woman’s Intimate Past Affect Her Pursuit for a Loving Relationship?

Please read my contributing article as published on Joint Interest: Upload 2 The New Connected World Digital Magazine. Also sign up for weekly updates and look out for future contributing articles as well.

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Photo: http://www.necolebitchie.com

The highly anticipated The Best Man Holiday opened this weekend, and I must say, it is indeed a must-see! I will not give the movie away, for those who have not yet seen it, but I had to reflect on the movie and the The Best Man prequel after this weekend. In the prequel, you recall that Julian (Harold Perrineau), fell in love with Candace or “Candy” (Regina Hall), the exotic dancer at Lance’s (Morris Chestnut) bachelor party. In the sequel, the two are married with children, but an unusual turn of events forces Julian to revisit his wife’s former lifestyle. While watching the movie, I thought to myself, “Are the men that I know — the “Buppie” black urban professional career men — willing to look past a woman’s former lifestyle? Would a man accept me or my girlfriends even if they did not approve of a former occupation, past relationship or action I committed? Could they love me knowing I was a former exotic dancer, an escort, incurred a bad reputation for being involved with the wrong men and/or an explicit sex tape that was accidentally released?

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Photo: newscififangirl.wordpress.com

Many men often cite how they seek to attain a classy woman, a “lady,” someone who is motherly, supportive and caring. They want a woman who represents herself well and is respected by her peers and community — with one caveat: the woman also has to be a “freak” behind closed doors. Men that I know consistently express how they do not want other men knowing his woman’s secrets that are shared intimately between the two of them. They steer away from pursuing marriage with women who have notorious reputations of romping around with other men.

best-man-holidayPhoto: http://www.ctpost.com

At present, an inequality in views of past actions by gender among peers, community and the media still exist. Men are placed on a pedestal for sleeping with multiple women and are excused for testing the waters. We give them the benefit of the doubt.  We justify their actions because it is learned that men suffer from a high sex drive, are judged by their experience or lack thereof with the opposite sex. In fact, doesn’t history and certain cultures allow men to wed multiple wives? The “Big Love” lifestyle is intriguing.

On the other hand, women who express their sexual curiosities are categorized as whores. Women who have used poor judgement and fell for men who chose to exploit them via sharing their intimate moments to the public are viewed as promiscuous and dense. How many times does the media discuss how Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian attained celebrity status through their notorious “sex tapes” and how society is quick to judge their young adult mistakes?

The “pimp” lifestyle is what many men seek to gain, and a pound to the hand is given by their boys when they share they are casually dating more than one woman. In contrast, women who choose to date more than one man are classified as “fast.” We shun the woman who chose to attain money in a difficult economy to pay for college, feed her children, pay for housing by seeking occupation in one of the most demanding and easily attainable careers for women. The exotic dancer, escort, music video model, or a model for adult men magazines occupations are high in request in the obsessively visual entertainment industry. Shouldn’t these women have a chance to start fresh in a healthy, loving and supportive relationship with a man without being judged?

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Photo: www.thelmagazine.com

My view is that despite your past choices, whether it was a mistake, an act of survival or you were just embracing your sexual freedom, at present you are the wonderful woman that your man or potential mate will meet. Your sexual past is your past – let it stay there.  Your lifestyle as a dancer, escort or just a woman who made “bad decisions” does not affect your genuine love and affection for your man. Past experiences provide wisdom and strength but do not represent your character at present. We learn from our actions. Yes, one can argue that women made choices to delve in certain lifestyles, but so do our male counterparts. We let men be themselves and explore, yet we accept them when they are ready to settle and become a caring and considerate man to a woman. Shouldn’t women be given the same opportunity?

Film Review The Best Man HolidayPhoto: www.crescent-news.com

I say be open-minded, love your woman, understand her past and embrace her at present. Usually, there is more to her story than what her past portrays. The Best Man Holiday provides an exemplary example of a professional and confident man who endures challenges in facing his wife’s past. Yet, he chooses to love and accept his wife despite her past indiscretions.

What are your thoughts? Do you think Julian was right for accepting Candace’s past lifestyle? Should our cosmopolitan man be accepting of a woman as what she represents currently or should he consider her past intimate choices in choosing a mate? If considered, does he owe it to himself and the woman to rationalize the basis for her past decisions?

Duke It Out! Screw A Lawyer

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One of the sole reasons why I wanted to start this blog was to aid those who are in an unhappy marriage or separated from their spouse but cannot really move forward with their lives because of the fear of “divorce” itself. The word “divorce” has so many negative connotations. Movies highlight the divorce process as stressful, differences are escalated and all reasoning is removed. Hollywood sensationalize the gold digger wife aiming to take more than half of his spouses earnings…and the husband transferring assets to the Cayman Islands to avoid paying part of his wealth towards his kids.

Many of my peers are surprised when they learn that I am divorced from my former spouse. They are shocked because 1) this is the first time hearing that I am no longer married, as they think to themselves what the heck happen, and 2) stunned that I chose to end my marriage and it is already completed. They often have follow-up questions on how was I able to end my divorce quickly. My marriage was not a drive-through marriage, there were kids and assets that were involved….and we were married for about three-quarters of a decade.

However, I wanted a quick-ending and researched how the drive-through marriages were dissolved before their one year anniversary. I was terrified of the divorce process. I was trying to justify ways of annulling my marriage even though our marriage did not qualify for an annulment. I heard the stories from my now divorced friends about how much money they spent on lawyers. Ewwwww! I did not want to waste any additional funds, his or mine on any lawyers. I am already thinking of how I am going to afford my lifestyle solo…so if possible I am avoiding the lawyer route.

I also did not want nor have the time to take off of work to go back and forth to court. That seemed like an arduous process. Why would I want some judge who doesn’t even know me nor my kids lifestyle to determine what I should rightfully deserve a month? I know my bills intricately, way more than a judge that is not hip to the current parents generation costs of raising kids. Shoot, just birthday parties alone are 20x more than they were for the 70s, 80s or 90s babies. The cost per kid for a birthday party in New York City almost equates to the cost per person at a moderate wedding in the MidWest. Yeah, that judge would not understand, nor my son who attends these fabulous birthday bashes and wonder why he is not having a birthday celebration this year. So yes, I had to take all of that into account too.

Plus, more importantly I did not like nor wanted my status to be classified as “Separated”.  I wanted that title to be as short-lived as possible. No pun attended for those that are “separated” and are comfortable with their status. But for me, I loathed that label…..I felt being “separated” meant that I was not 100% my own woman. I “technically” still belong to someone. Matter-of-fact everyone I would meet while I was going through the divorce process felt the same way. The status “separate” means to me that she is unhappy in her marriage and is taking a break but not necessarily taking the steps to dissolve the marriage and move on with her life. When I was dating, if a gent said he was separated, that is exactly what I thought of him and moved on. And as expected, when a man met me while “status” is separated, that is exactly what they thought of me and I should expect the same. So I thought lets just eliminate all of those ambiguities as quickly as possible. I want to press forward with my life.

I will admit while my divorce process to my friends appeared seamless….we had our spouts. Boy, did we! But our spouts were between us, not with a third-party involved….and the major battles were handled before I filed the divorce papers.

Last fall, I came to the absolute decision that the divorce would be imminent. My pondering thoughts from the Spring and Summer reached a conclusion. So what did I do, I went online and read about the divorce process. Figured which way I would be filing…hmmm…”unreconcilable differences”.  I thought that was the best category and the quickest way in New Jersey to end a marriage. There was no “separated” for a year requirement. Six months were required, and the man and wife could “technically” be under the same roof but sleep in separate dwellings. The six months began from the time you started the paperwork, not when you filed. Hmmmm. Sign me up!

I thought what can a lawyer do that I cannot do for myself? I went to business school, am a Certified Public Accountant, I know how to complete my tax returns…yeah, who needs a lawyer. I created an Excel spreadsheet and itemized every cost associated with my kids. The basketball clinic, daycare, school tuition, dance classes, summer camp, clothing, hair cuts, food and sitter cost. Then I itemized housing costs, rent, electricity, cable, mortgages and etc. I looked at what each of our contributions were to all of these costs. I looked at the housing costs that I pay monthly and the entire amount that I would end up paying, sans any contribution from him. Okay…that might be a bit of a stretch….but I paid this rent before on my own when we were living in two states. I think I can make this work. I then had a larger contribution towards the kids expenses….so I thought maybe this is where I could balance the difference. So I came with a monthly figure of the entire cost and did a clean and fair allocation. There it was all of the costs of living and supporting his kids right in front of him. The details were there….I thought to myself, I wish he would say something! Easy, rational clean break, right? Ha! Oh boy, he said something all right.

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Round 1: The battle begins. He says that while the expenses somewhat appeared accurate, (thought I embellished a bit), he also has to think about getting his own place and other additional expenses. Yeah, I guess I did not quite factor that in. But my expenses would be higher too. Hello! This is not going to be easy for both of us, I said. We are both incurring additional costs. I am not asking alimony…just child support. Of course, his rebuttal was he could technically ask for alimony too and claim full custody. Whoa!! Wasn’t expecting that. I thought this would be relatively easy. Isn’t it natural that the mother gets full custody, especially when the kids are younger? Plus, I am better organized and if I left the kids with him…didn’t even want to think of that notion. Anyway, he travels for his job…so that option does not exist.

So I look at the numbers again, I knock a few hundred off. He should be good with this. I begin to research the filing process and required forms. There are so many forms needed, good grief! On the New Jersey website…. the types of forms are cited but I don’t see where you can download them. At this time, I feel that I am on a roll….yeah I went this far, who needs a lawyer to hand me forms and charge me an exorbitant fee. Found a website http://www.divorcewriter.com, my Savior. Essentially, it was an online questionnaire that ask all of the essential questions to complete all of the divorce filing forms. The website itemize your assets, childcare costs, division of property, delegates which parent has the kids on holidays, and whether it is every holiday or alternating holidays. Wow! So much I have to answer… not sure I knew all of these answers yet. I manage to complete it all and pay the nominal fee. The forms were sent to my email and printed versions were sent Federal Express the next day. Ah yes! Just in time for me to give to my spouse by the end of the day.

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Round 2: I deliver the forms to him for review before we file with the court. Well, talk about amnesia! I think it was the initial shock, that I was not playing games and serious about the dissolution of our marriage. I think the whole entire time, he thought I was just blowing steam and providing empty threats. His first blank question was “What the heck is this?” Well a bit more graphic than that. Then after accepting what the forms were, the game of 100 questions began.  The amount he would pay, how the child support contribution percentage was calculated and what is all of this amount in the “Other” category that magically boosts the child support total. Hey there! The ending balance is the same as was noted on my spreadsheet I showed you a week or two ago. Do you Remember? The “Other” amount is for all of the additional expenses we choose for our kids that is not necessary a line item on the form. The assets were laid out, you keep what you brought into the marriage and I do the same. I stay where I am at or another place in my building, and you find a place. Simple enough. Then he comes with an idea. He wants to alter the percentage of his contribution based on the hours the kids spend with each of us. He suggests joint custody. Joint legal custody, sure, physical??? Okay buddy….let’s think about that. So every other week you want our kids to have a different house to live under? Oh, what about the times when you are out-of-town for a project? Hmmmm. You are more than welcome to come by in the morning to take the kids to school or come over for visits in the evening and stop by extracurricular activities when they are not with you. I am not keeping them away. I encourage that. We can adjust the percentage for the time you think you will spend with them, that is feasible…but joint custody now. No way! I am not invoking all of that change on my kids right now. When my son becomes older, we can discuss further but not at their age now.

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Revisions are again made, and let’s say they were made 3 or 4 more times afterwards. So I had DivorceWriter re-send revised papers at least a few more times. However, we did it amongst ourselves. We did not need a lawyer to come help us to decide. Yes there were threats and blows from each of us. Accusations of how I was not fair with my terms and he was going to have a lawyer to review and defend his behalf. I thought fine, do that but here are the itemize expenses. So now go pay thousands of dollars for them to review but still pay my agreed upon amount. He eventually caved in and a final agreement was made. Can I file these papers now? Sheesh!

Round 3: The battle of selecting a date to get the papers notarize. Finding an agreed upon time just to stop by a bank for a notary was a hassle in itself. Maybe he was avoiding it, who knows. But the dates were re-scheduled a few times. I was finally able to file the divorce papers in January 2013. This followed a few months of us duking it out.  I can now say my divorce is filed. I feel relaxed. I accomplished a milestone…and did it without the consult of lawyers. I share the filing information to my then husband. I guess this was another blow. He is thinking….Wow! This woman is serious! She is not joking! Twenty questions are asked again. How long is the process? How will the child support be handled? Will it be taking from my check? He begins to think my child support number is again too high. Really???? I have bitten the bullet and modified the numbers to now barely covering the costs to raise my kids. I am not compromising anymore. So I think if you have a problem, go ahead and bring on the lawyers, cause my foot is down. I make steps to move to another unit in my building, planning for space that can accommodate myself and the kids. He begins to look for a place to live nearby. The process is smooth, he begins to pay his designated amount before our court hearing. This agreed upon process is slowly but surely working. We duked it out and said screw the lawyers!

Any delays are now self-inflicted, delaying in serving the papers, getting notaries on subsequent papers that are required for divorce completion. This is expected, I am a novice, I don’t file divorce papers for a living…and I hope I don’t have to ever go through this again.  Finally, we receive a confirmed court date. Yes! The process is almost over. I share the news with my kids father ….Uh oh! He wants the date postponed. Now the uncertain decision of what school my son will attend in the fall is weighing largely on what he is agreeing to pay monthly. Here we go again! I have to re-do the math of all the costs that are entailed in raising our children….and how he actually received the discount “Super Dad” package. I explain to him how he can keep that title of “Super Dad” by acknowledging whatever difference in amounts could be used for other perks and necessities for the children…like a larger contribution in the college fund. Or don’t see it my way,  I am ready to duke it out some more. Let Round 4 begin!

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In the end there was no delay in our date and the duking out we did months before paid off. We both saved on lawyer fees and were able to come up with an agreement that was in the best interest of our kids. I do not have nightmares or grief of my divorce process. The decision and having a divorce, are stressful enough in itself. Divorce is an emotional undertaking. Why add more anxiety by going into further debt with lawyers when you can use that money towards your children’s future.  Duke it Out! Come to an Agreement! And Screw a Lawyer!

Let Life Flow!

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“Let Life Flow!” My new credo in life. Worry free of all aspects in life I cannot control and embrace the present moment! Not attempt to scribe the closing of a book, the final act to a play, the conclusion to a thesis….just polarize the now. Eliminate the categorization, definition and tag on me, my family, work, social and dating life. Just be fluid. Continue reading Let Life Flow!

The Gym: My Constant Friend

GetAttachment

The gym has and continues to be my constant as I go through the ebbs and flows of my new life path.  Now I have always been sporadically physically active  throughout my adulthood but of course there are life obstacles that stray you away. Childbirth, work deadlines, kids activities, social commitments and the emotions of dealing with marriage, family and friends. But I will say the summer of 2012 was when I decided to make exercise a constant influence in my life. Last summer was a very emotional period….as I was contemplating my decision regarding my marriage. I needed an escape and outlet to channel my depression, grief, anxiety, confusion and lets just say control the inner “crazy chick” that started to amuse the visuals in my head of my children’s father becoming a full-size punching bag. So I needed to run from reality and clear my head. It began by taking AM three-mile runs along the Jersey City waterfront. Then I incorporated bootcamp, kickboxing, sculpting, dancing and spinning classes. The gym provided me with a sense of community.  When you see others dedicated to attending class you aim to follow suit.  I found a great instructor that was tough-spirited and played all of my favorite beats. A gym class that simulates a club experience? What??? This is a hidden secret. These classes aided me in channeling my negative energy into building my self esteem. I started to notice the change in my physical appearance, others began to take notice. And let me tell you a woman on the brinks of divorce….compliments on how together you look is the best positive reinforcement a woman could want. However, don’t get too caught up in the hype….you have to maintain your effort and also decipher between the compliments and just the dating “game”.

When I start my work day in downtown Manhattan and am bogged down with the occasional blues….maybe because I am frustrated on how tough it is to be a single mom and how their father could be of better help, bothered that my son went to school angry because I made him tardy again, or my post-divorce dating life sucks…and it looks like my new founded single-hood will be a constant state in my life, or forgot that I had a 9am meeting at work and was completely unprepared to provide a de-brief on my existing projects….My lunch date with New York Health and Raquet Club helps me clear out all of those frustrations. Regardless if I am prepared or not for my gym date….by the end…. I feel refreshed and positive-spirited that I conquered the task at hand. The perspiration from my gym class sheds the toxins of my blues away.

When I reflect on how I was able to manage through my decision in getting a divorce, going through the paperwork and court, the back and forth of negotiating and my current journey as a single mom and divorcee….the gym has been my relentless friend. The gym has been there to pull me up and build my confidence to where it is at present. The gym is my constant. The gym is my unconditional friend.

My Separation From The “Ring”

 

During the intense period in determining to get a divorce from my ex -husband…..there was another separation that I had to consider. The removal of my wedding band from my left index finger. This decision triggered me to take a deep pause….matter-of-fact I had to sleep a few Continue reading My Separation From The “Ring”

Damaged Goods…Ruined or Fixable?

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Since entering the dating scene as a fresh divorcee….I have become perplexed with some of the men I have encountered. To be specific a certain demographic….the late 30’s to mid 40’s single metropolitan professional men. These gents at their root are wonderful individuals. These men are the backbone within their community, successful in Continue reading Damaged Goods…Ruined or Fixable?

The mere though…

The mere thought of divorce terrified me. To me, divorce symbolized failure.

Annette Funicello

This is a common thought amongst married and unmarried folk alike. When speaking to my many gent and lady friends who have not yet married….this is cited as the number one reason they have not taken that plunge down the altar. They don’t want to fail….to me not giving yourself the option to experience marriage or true companionship like marriage, is limiting your growth as a person…and to me not trying epitomizes failure. Marriage to me is a beautiful experience. While my marriage did not last…..I do not think it was a failure. It allowed me to learn more about myself and grow into the wonderful woman I am today. I was able to better learn my own needs and desires from life and adjust accordingly. If given the opportunity, I would do it all over again. Cherish your marriage….and if it is not working…don’t view it as a failure but as a learning experience that will help write the exciting next chapter in your life.