love, relationships

When Loved Correctly

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“When a woman is loved correctly, she becomes ten times the woman she was before” – unknown

I’ve seen this quote float across social media for the past few years.  Usually retweeted on Twitter or posted on Instagram with the comment “SO TRUE” to verify its validity, this quote is probably one of the more popular ones. By now, you know that I love love. I love everything about it because it is the driving energy within and around all of us. Our existence is love personified and our survival is love actualized. That being said, this quote doesn’t really do it for me.

Here’s why: It perpetuates the notion that love is something that must come from someone else. Saying when (not if) a woman encounters a partner that loves her correctly (whatever that means), she becomes ten times the woman (because womanhood apparently has levels) she was before (prior to being in a romantic relationship). In other words, if you’re a woman and you never find love, you are doomed to remain a basic, Level 1 woman. Bummer.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not being deliberately obtuse. I get that when some of us are blessed to love and be loved unconditionally by a romantic partner, and in the way that we need to be loved, we feel invincible. Many of us develop into fuller versions of ourselves because we feel inspired to do so. Love can do that. Self-love. Entering into and remaining in a healthy and loving relationship is indicative of the woman’s wisdom, fortitude, and good judgement. She loved herself enough to choose a partner who would add, not detract, from her life. Those are the makings of a woman who is already improving. Her partner held her hand and perhaps provided steady ground during the more difficult times, as she did with him. It is a true partnership (hence the image I chose for this post).

You may know by now that as romantic as I am, I don’t subscribe to the “love at first sight/ it’s us against the world/ love will conquer it all” ideology. Love is energy. Committed love is work. Healthy love is an ongoing project. It is a choice you have to make every day. So when you carelessly say “I’m a better woman because you loved me,” you’re discounting yourself! You’ve sold your feelings to the highest bidder and have entrusted him to develop and grow on your behalf. You were so honored to be wanted by someone that suddenly you have a new lease on life. You think, “well maybe I am worth something. And he suggested it so maybe I should go back to school.” Never mind that your friends and family had been encouraging you to do the same thing for years. Girl…remember who you are.

You are the bomb. You woke up today, got yourself together, and did something that only you can do.

When you love yourself correctly, you find a partner ten times better than the one looking to make you better.

Peace & Love,

Adri

Scholarship

Adri Speaks for Books 

Note: I am accepting submissions at this time!

It’s that time of year again! If you are or know a young lady going to college who could use up to $500 for books or other school-related supplies, I’m sending checks to colleges and universities. Yes, only for women at this time. Here’s what to do:

1. Send an email to adrispeakss@gmail.com with the following:

  • Your picture
  • Your social media handle
  • An essay of 350 words or less answering the following question: what is happiness?

2. I will contact those chosen within 2 weeks.

3. Funds will be sent directly to your institution. If I have to apply the credit to your school’s bookstore, I will, but other than that- no exceptions.

It doesn’t matter if you follow me. Your GPA is not factored into my decision. Your grade level doesn’t matter, either. It just has to be at an institution of higher learning.

Sorry, no trade or technical schools at this time, but I have not forgotten about you!

Any questions? You can send me an email hereContact me

Peace & love,

Adri

Uncategorized

School is Out

Alicia Keys’ “Lesson Learned” plays from my Spotify Web Player as my fingers hover over this keyboard- unsure about how to start or where to begin. I don’t have a plan for this entry. I don’t have any cute anecdotes or advice to give. I don’t feel very wise, right now. I woke up this morning feeling better than I did yesterday. So instead of feeling like a fool, today I just feel silly. Instead of feeling used, today I feel overzealous. Instead of feeling burned, today I feel stung.

Baby steps, I suppose.

I’m struggling to find the underlying meaning in recent events and it’s bothering me that I can’t identify what I’m sure is a profound lesson. There is comfort in meaning. Applying a lesson to a bad situation gives that situation context. Should I have done things differently? Should I have asked more questions? Should I…? I refuse to accept that things happen just to happen because that means that I am at risk of repeating this mistake and I never want to feel like this again.

I worked so hard to become more open and vulnerable. I ignored my natural inclination to be guarded, suspicious, and hesitant and instead tapped into parts of my heart that I only reserve for those I deem particularly special.

Behold: the result of being vulnerable.

I’m likely to relapse.

I’m an addict. I’m addicted to rules, tactics, and strategy. I feel like if you play by the rules that work for you, you’ll win. During my whole vulnerability stint, I abandoned a fair amount of those rules for a more organic “let’s just see how it flows” connection. I felt safe enough to do so. I went with my gut instead of my head. I behaved as if feeling what I feel now was not a possibility.

Lesson learned.

dating, love, relationships

Let that hurt go: The Slow Reveal

This moment was a long time coming, yet it doesn’t stop the flutters in your stomach. There you are, across from the man you’ve decided was better than the rest. And you’re naked. You watch him nervously as his eyes search yours and leave as they drift lower…and then back up as they settle on your eyes once more. He’s seen you.  All of you. Piece by piece, you carefully removed each layer of yourself until there was nothing more to show- yet you’re fully clothed. Although you can’t help feeling anxious, you’re confident that he won’t run for the hills. You’ve accomplished the art the Slow Reveal.

Dating the men in your Starting Five is thrilling at its onset. There is rarely a dull moment and you know that any one of the men you’re dating would make a solid boyfriend. But you know that your personal Steph Curry, aka your MVP, is the one you truly want, and knowing this can be a source of excitement, terror, or a combination of the two, along with a healthy dose of doubt.

“This is amazing, this guy is great!”

“Oh I’m not too sure, I’ve picked some real losers in the past.”

“I can’t get hurt again. I just can’t!”

I thought about making this entry a lot lighter and inject more humor into it, sort of like the last entry. But that didn’t feel right for a number of reasons. For one, knowing when and how to reveal yourself to someone is no joke. And I very recently struggled with this (more than anyone would know). When you’ve been hurt before, you often have a chip on your shoulder and walls up as big as Texas. Secondly, for those of us who feel more than most, the pain of unrequited love, betrayal, dishonesty, and disrespect is enough to make some of us swear off dating forever. Lastly, the reality is that most of us have dreamt of love during the quiet moments. Amid dating and flirting and all of the fun that singleness brings- we seek something real. And that something can only be gained if we’re willing to open our hearts and minds.

When you meet that special guy, you’ll eventually have to cut off the others and make it work with your MVP. So how do we do this while also being smart about it?

The Slow Reveal ™ : The technique in which one slowly discloses their personality (specifically the quirky and odd ) traits to a potential significant other.

When you’ve been out the dating game for a while, begin dating around, and finally meet someone worthwhile, sometimes you have a desire to be straightforward and transparent. You don’t want to play games-you want to be serious. Bravo! You’ll cut through a lot of riff raff that way. But you also don’t want to scare off potential partners with your version of “transparency”. Transparency doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re an open book, fully discussing your struggles with lice and bad credit from the jump. Instead, I’ve taken it to mean that if one should broach a particular subject, you are willing to flip to the chapter in that open book.

Take the below scenario:

Attractive Potential  Partner: So what happened in your last relationship because you’re too attractive and intelligent to have been single for long?

Slow Revealer: Well we’re just different people and decided it was best for our mutual happiness that we were apart. And thank you for the compliment.  So what about me makes me attractive? *flirty smile with raised eyebrow*

This question is usually a death trap to the oversharer. They’ll launch into stories about crazy baby mamas, throwing bricks at cars, and sexual anecdotes. (Seriously one of the most awkward conversations/ dates I’ve had). But the slow revealer knows better. They’re an open book but they won’t divulge the exact contents of the page. When it’s early in the game, personal questions should get the Cliff’s Notes treatment: short, sweet, and to the point.  And if you end on a flirty note, the topic can transition smoothly to something else. This leaves something to the imagination and room for more information as you get to know this man better. Take some time before telling him that your ex broke your heart in 10 pieces and that you had to crawl and claw your way back to healing. Trust me, I know how that goes.

I sometimes question if I’m revealing too much or not enough. For most of my life, I shared very little. People didn’t know anything about me and I prided myself on being guarded. But then I got my heart broken when I was a young whippersnapper and I thought “what the hell?!” I thought I did everything right by keeping everything to myself. The problem is that you can’t help who hurts you. You can only help how you respond to it. So I got real with myself and figured I’d share what I wanted to share and keep what I wanted to keep. It’s worked pretty well for me over the years. That’s why I don’t agree that relationships are about keeping up a lie but rather deciding who deserves to know your truth. Not everyone needs to know about your embarrassing moments or painful stories. But when you find someone who you believe does, do so carefully. Yes, even if you’ve been hurt. Yes, even if you cried yourself to sleep for a month straight after that last relationship. Yes, even if that pesky feeling of fear creeps up.

You don’t have to let that hurt go. It’s not easy and it’s insensitive to ask that of yourself or anyone else. But you do have to accept it for what it was and move away from it. We can become addicted to our sad story like addicts are to their drug of choice. When things get a little too good, we shoot up with another hit of “that time my ex hit me” or “that time I found out he cheated on me and got her pregnant” as a defense mechanism. You continue to live within the comfort of your pain.

Enough is enough.

Suppose this new guy is terrible and everything you feared comes to fruition. Now, what? You’ve lived through the hurt before and you’ll live through it again. You can’t shut out everything in an attempt to shield yourself from pain because then you’ll shut out the joy of love.

You have to have the courage to trust love one more time. 

It’s always worth it.

Peace & Love,

Adri