“I got a small circle, I’m not with different crews…”

Hello there!

So I am officially back in Texas for the whole summer. It’s barely been a week, but I think my Texas twang has started to resurface and I’m adjusting to the heat. Now I’m out of school for the summer and back home, like literally back in the confines of parents and my little sister which hasn’t happened for more than a week since I was 17. YES> I usually worked/went to school while in undergrad before so my mom got me for a few weeks at a time, even when I came home in December from Chicago I ping-ponged back and forth between here and SA every other week, so being actually in my hometown for an extended time is _______. A multitude of emotions if I’m being honest. I am happy to be home, don’t get me wrong, it’s just an adjustment in lifestyle and just living day-to-day.

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My little sister is pregnant with her first baby if you hadn’t seen my gushing already through social media so I’m really really excited to be home and supporting her. I went to her first doctor’s appointment yesterday and it was a tearjerker for me hearing the heartbeat of my future niece/nephew in the monitor. It’s always been just me and Alicia, and we’re 20 months apart. For those of who know both of us or grew up with us, she was always right at my coattails until she wasn’t lol But being so close in age had it’s advantages and disadvantages, mainly the one being that I didn’t really ever feel like the “older sister,” we grew up together and experienced everything simultaneously, I never got to really play that older, wiser role. Having a baby now in the family is an exciting experience getting to witness somebody grow in that perspective, and while I’m not a big fan of kids, I’m thoroughly excited for this new little mini alicia the world will see.

I had an interesting conversation today with one of my close girlfriends (S/O to nancy) and while we did a quick catch up on her lunch break since I’m preparing to head off to Houston in the next month (yay) she said something that kinda struck a chord with me. She referenced being married/with child now how the circle around you gets smaller and it made me reflect on my own. I’m pretty sure ya’ll have more than enough references to how my friendships have strengthened and weakened with people over the year I’ve been in school. For some people it really made the difference being away, things got lost, we got lost, or just something came between us. At times I came in between us taking things for granted, other times it was the reverse.

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Some relationships both male/female have grown so much, people I’ve know for years, we have grown in admiration, respect, and love for each other. I know or feel at least we are solid, unbreakable, and regardless if I spent every week talking to you or we caught up when we could, I know we’re not going anywhere. Other people I reached, they reached, and the bond thinned itself out, and even when I tried to hold on to it, it slipped through my hands. It almost felt like a trade with some friendships because for some I lost, I gained 10 fold in Chicago, I gained this awesome group of people who love, support, and get to see this vulnerable side of me that not even some of my closest friends have in regards to my writing. The understanding and bond that formed out of that really helped not fill the holes lost by certain relationships, because some people can’t be replaced, but others well, they needed to go. It was inevitable.

Then there are some people where we don’t change, or you don’t change, still up to the same ol’ same ol’ and not going anywhere. There’s a comfort in that, but it’s also a scare when I have changed.

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I can point out interest I have that are different, goals, passions, heightened desires, so much I really was able to figure out about myself being away, and other things that need work, or that I thought I knew, but wasn’t as concrete as I thought. I did change, not in a 360 cigarette smoking, recluse writer transformation, but I’m not the same person I was when I left in August, and I’m okay with that. I have a deeper respect I feel for myself for allowing that to happen and not fight it. I learned when I allowed that to happen with myself I was able to look at my circle and the people I surround myself with and be able to say to myself, What are we doing for each other? What do we do that is helping us grow? This person wants _____ in their life, am I doing that? This person wants to stop ____ am I enabling that?

In regards to my circle, I’d say it’s pretty solid. I have really been empowered this past year with specifically my female relationships and finding new ways to support, uplift, and grow. My friends are near/far around Texas, but I’m really proud that I have surrounded myself with these dynamic, fun, and really strong group of girls who are all reaching and climbing for more in their lives. I was able to do that with my girlfriends in Chicago as well, and I’m proud to keep good company around me. Spending the summer making memories, talking,and growing with them is what I’m looking forward to most this summer. We are all at such different eras of life so that face to face interaction now that I can do since I’m home is really important to me.

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Growing this summer is really what my priority is, in my faith, as writer, and my fitness (never ending goal). I’ve really been reflecting (as always) on how I plan to make the most of out of my summer and what I want to come back to Chicago with, and that’s what I’ve decided.

My sorority sisters also embody a lot of these qualities and even if I didn’t get to talk one on one with them while I was gone, they often would tweet, snap, instagram, or text me little words of encouragement and support that always made me smile. People always wonder why I go so hard for my chapter being 6 years old in Greek life, but it’s because of the girls, it’s not about the letters. The letters unite us, but no matter how hard people may think, the LETTERS don’t generate the relationships you see, that genuine love for one another, WE DO THAT>My family tree gained a new respect for each other this year, and I waited and worked really really hard to build it, so that kept my spirits up. So many girls I pledged and got to spend time with when I was in undergrad graduated and are now on to making their new paths in life, it’s so exciting!

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In regards to guys, it seems like I lost more of those relationships this year,I don’t know if it was lack of communication or maybe because for some we never had a good foundation to begin with. Some just fell off, but others took a different kind of toll, and I miss them. There’s 2 guys specifically if I think real hard I would talk to in a second, apologize, try to make amends if I could because it means that much to me, but some bridges can’t be rebuilt, no matter how hard we try. That’s life. We were in each other’s life for a season, and maybe that’s all it was ever going to be. That never sits well with me cause as I have told you all before, I have a hard time letting go of people, but yeahh.

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Then again…some of the male company I had was fueled off the wrong types of desires from either party.People who we do nothing for each other, or maybe we do the wrong things for each other and bring out ugly distorted versions of ourselves. I’m working on healthy, positive people in my life, so our time has to be up because I just can’t tolerate it anymore, for my own self-respect. So having a boyfriend now, it’s best not to have that type of man in my life. Yeahhh about the boyfriend…

Well just know he is a wonderful human being. We were introduced through a mutual friend and he makes me quite happy. Even though I understood how the um news of my love life was a surprise to many since I haven’t been in a relationship in a long time, just know I am happy. The lack of friend’s opinions and advice in this current situation really helped me learn more about myself in my previous relationships if that makes sense. I often found it a need or necessary to get 10 different opinions before talkin’ or pursuing a relationship with someone. Now while yes (those of you rolling your eyes) it would have served me well in the past since I could have saved myself some drama to listen, I didn’t. This isn’t about that though. I learned that I don’t need the opinions of others on who I date in order to feel secure about dating them. If anything, needing those extra 10 opinions shows how if anything I probably shouldn’t be dating this person I need so much commentary on. In the past if I had listened to my gut I wouldn’t have pursued that time with that person.

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Does this mean that other people’s advice and opinions don’t count? Sure they do, I want to know if you’re getting a creepy vibe, or even… (which happened a lot in my past) they’re seeing something I’m just not since I had those kind of blinders on my eyes. But I’m not in college or highschool anymore ( well college, but not undergrad), while I want my boyfriend/friends to mutually respect and hell even get along with each other when the occasion and event calls for it, do I need their opinions before pursuing a relationship? No. I really feel that I should have that own security in my choice and not rely on their opinions to dictate or change my perception of him. I think when we as people put that added pressure on ourselves before even starting this new chapter with a potential mate we mess it up for ourselves. What if your friends don’t like him? Why? What is this going to change? Will you feel differently?

Does this mean I’m not going to share or talk about him? Oh no. I will sing his praises all day everyday if you ask me, he’s quite a character. Probably to be honest the most genuine, positive man and human being I’ve had in my life in a long time. He’s such a smile, he’s always laughing and beaming this great energy. I would love to tell whomever about him, but I will say there is a kind of nice comfort in being able to select who I share with. Dating in Greek Life gives you no privacy in my opinion, everyone and anyone is in your business. You have an added set of eyes, sometimes that’s good, and in my own experience it wasn’t. The eyes may see, and the mouths may talk, but it’s not always in your favor. That scrutiny your under dating in that bubble isn’t always kind to a relationship that isn’t exclusively private. But he’s not Greek, just happens to live with someone who is lol

He’s out of the country as we speak on deployment, but when he comes home in December maybe he’ll make his way around these parts. 🙂

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This was much much longer than I anticipated, but I hope your summer starts off well and I see you soon 🙂 I’ll be bouncing around all over the state if my plans go accordingly.

Current Read: Wild by Cheryl Strayed, Listening to: Nicki Minaj: Feelin’ Myself