Ever notice how a single blade of grass can grow in the cavities of asphalt and concrete, it’s sheer will for life indignant, persistent to rise despite the weight of cement and the danger of a million trampling feet or heavy weight vehicles?
In my life I am attempting to make a conscious effort to be like the grass, impervious to elements and changes designed to put weight on me. I admit, professional, I adapt to change extremely well. I am a problem-solver, independent thinker, and a creative innovator (SN: This my friends is why I am the resume and interview queen! Can you hear the confidence in the words “problem-solver” and “independent thinker”? I’ll have to elaborate on my interview genius in another post…lol) skilled at tackling crisis’ and difficult changes. Although, personally, I admit that I sometimes tend to easily get on edge so to speak. I don’t run from change, but I do not embrace it in peace. I can become easily irritated, often becoming short with those closest to me. In other words, I am weaker than a blade of grass.
Thank God that with each day comes new opportunity to learn, to do better, to set a goal(s), to reach a goal(s). As of late, my daily goal of seeking and staying in peace is showing itself to be within my reach. I am so happy to be on the right track especially knowing that the concrete is being formulated and readying to be poured. I need my armor to protect myself, and, as much as I can, my family from the dangers that are both “seen and unseen.”
I am uncertain how the upcoming changes in my life and my family’s lives will affect our relationships with one another or impact our daily lives. But what I am certain of is that there are allowances for an abundance of opportunity. Opportunity to grow in Christ, to better ourselves individually and as a family unit, to fine tune our relationship, to hone skills that in the daily hustle and bustle of our lives as parent, spouse, employee, son, daughter, aunt and uncle we have allowed to become rusty, and to pursue personal and professional endeavors that we would have made excuses to not tend to had we not been pushed in a corner by these changes and forced to evaluate all that we are not doing to lead a bountiful life.
I may be naïve to feel a rush of excitement given the dangers seen and the dangers unseen that are sure to lie ahead, but I’ll be honest, I am excited. I’m looking forward to learning how strong of a woman I truly am. I’m looking forward to showing my husband how much love I have for him and that the vows that I so thoughtfully wrote and recited to him almost 4 years ago are not empty, but words in motion.
I can’t see the dangers that lie ahead but I know they are there. I am not afraid. Instead, I am protected and fitting myself with the armor of peace…and faith.
This post was inspired by life and the words spoken by two people who are so worthy of being quoted.
I hope that this post provokes dialogue, thoughts and actions that you may not have otherwise had this evening without visiting Be Quoted. I appreciate that you’ve taken the time to read my rants.
Be Heard – share your comments.
Recently I watched an archived episode of The Dr. Phil Show (don’t judge) about a morbidly obese woman who had gained over 100 pounds throughout her two-year marriage. Her spouse was completely disgusted, embarrassed and turned-off by her weight gain that he claimed led him to begin an extramarital affair. He, and a number of the shows guest found his infidelity acceptable under the circumstances of her rapid weight gain and past unwillingness to control her weight.
The possibility of actually retiring at the age of 55 might actually be feasible if I could have pocketed $1 for each time I’ve heard a woman say, “all men cheat,” or heard a man explain his infidelity with the simple reminder, “I’m a man.” Oh ok. Well why didn’t you say so? I’ll just pack my things and go now. Take care. WTH?
Upstanding men who do not make a habit of cheating – yes, they do exist. At least one I know of for sure. Right, honey? I said RIGHT? – should be offended by the “I’m a man” statement used to rationalize blatant disrespect. I think most of us can agree that, “I’m a man” is a piss-poor excuse, not a justification for cheating. But are there some excusable reasons for infidelity? Apparently so.
Tune into any of the 1,001 court shows, talks shows, reality talk shows and you’ll witness a number of men and women cheating on their significant other citing that their infidelity is the reaction to first being cheated on. According to this rule of thought, cheating is not only acceptable, but also warranted.
There is a number of excuses that cheaters have been known to give: “I’m not built for a long distance relationship”; “I can’t stand your mom”; “you’re boring in bed”; “you knew that I was unhappy”; “your middle toe is longer than your big toe.” Blah, blah, blah. The common denominator is that all of these excuses blame the “victim” or the person being cheated on leaving behind the notion that the act of cheating is not the decision of the cheater, but controlled by the person being cheated on.
I’m a firm believer that despite how many home cooked meals one makes, kegel exercises performed throughout the day, or how beautiful one is, it doesn’t guarantee that infidelity will be prevented. Infidelity is a choice that one makes. It doesn’t “just happen.” There is no justifying it, but maybe you disagree…
The moment I read this quote it reminded me of a response I once gave someone who asked me how’d I know I wanted to marry my husband. He questioned whether I married him because for the 2 grueling years I was in graduate school he came to visit me every month by plane despite the distance between us; or was it the fact that he supported me during some of the worst times of my life; or, maybe it was because he had been consistent for the 5 years we’d known each other before we wed?
I confess, all of the aforementioned were befitting reasons to marry him, in addition to him being a beautiful man inside and out. But I reconciled that I said “yes” (or some unintelligible babble that was equivalent to the word yes) to the proposal and 9 months later “I do,” because of all the things he makes me want to do for him.
Love and relationships are not only about how that person makes you feel and what he/she could do for you. It’s about the actions conjured up by the shared love between the two of you. Actions you’ve never cared to think to do before. Believe it or not, we all love to give and with the right person there’s no need to question or second guess giving freely. When it’s right there’s no need to solicit friends opinions, asking, “Do you think I should…?” You do for the one you love because you feel there is no other viable choice. It’s what makes you happy. For this, you are grateful to “your love” for helping you tap into a benevolent love that in the end leaves you open for receiving the love that you’ve deserved all along. I said “I do” because my husband was, and still is, the kind of man whom I want to make a sandwich, sweet tea, and a slice of Death by Chocolate cake for. I’ll search near and far for a made-from-scratch recipe because his love puts me in a benevolent mood (usually…lol). LoVe…
When I became engaged over four years ago I was ecstatic! After a few days of excitement and absolute shock I began practicing the signature of my new last name-to-be. While my new name isn’t completely horrendous, it lacked the flow of my birth name. So, why not just keep my name? I would still be a married woman. After all, a name is just a name, right?
If my then fiancé was that hung up on me not “forsaking” my family name and “cleaving” to his, then he’d compromise to appease his bride. Isn’t marriage the canvas for the art of compromise? Well, I decided this would be our first test at marital compromise. Always a stickler for debate, I proposed that he take my name and I take his. The proposal was not an absolute exchange that called for either of us to abandon the name that had been with us forever, but simply exercised the convenience of the hyphen. That way I would inherit his name while keeping my own and he could share my family name as well.
Perfect right? He DID NOT think so. In fact, he pitched a fit. Immediately he opposed.
“I never heard of anyone doing that before! I’m a man. A woman is to take on a man’s last name!”
Says who? The fake proposal turned serious pretty quickly. I couldn’t recall reading any fine print in the Bible or the law that explicitly stated a woman was to unequivocally give up her family name. She is not obligated, but expected to obey tradition and willingly forsake her family name with no interjections and no questions asked.
Believe me when I say that I am not so selfish that I couldn’t submit to my husband-to-be and sacrifice a piece of me for “us.” I understood and respected the fact that marriage was built on the tenet that “two become one.” Zealously I looked forward to the oneness that marriage had to offer. I didn’t seek to rile anyone up or ruffle any feathers. I just wanted to know why, in 2008 with independent women mantra’s frequently being seen in literature, heard in music, and watched on television and every other facet of life, the union of “we” couldn’t be recognized with the bridging of family names on both sides of the marital structure?
Of course I was sad to mourn the death of my last name but I’m an 80’s baby accomplished at strutting the way us independent women strut while clutching the traditions that have been passed down from our Big Mama’s Mama. Nevertheless I forged on with one more question and based on my fiancés response it was an even more audacious and unnerving question: How did he feel about giving our future children a hyphenated last name linking both of our family names.
That question led to a series of befuddled facial expressions, perpetual head shaking, and muffled sentences all beginning or ending with, “crazy woman.”
My goodness, what was the big deal? We are entering into a union, yes? Yes. These will be our children, yes? Yes. So why was my half hearted proposal to detour from the custom creating such distress from the men in my life – my fiancé, his two friends, my father, my cousin? Albeit, my choice to embrace one name – his, I found it fascinating to see the pissed off reactions of all the men I asked.
For all of us women who have carried on the torch of sacrifice that has been passed down in our family for generations, is asking our husbands to make room for the hyphen too much to ask or should we just add the sacrifice of our name to the long list of things that we’ve given up all in the name of love?
Mrs. The Man (No hyphen. No interjections. No questions. Just plain ol’ Mrs. The Man)