Music Monday: An Ultimate Love Song For You

Atlanta, GA native, Jamie Grace

Atlanta, GA native, Jamie Grace

Lately I’ve been consumed with all things pertaining to love. I’ve even convinced myself to believe that Spring is really the cuffing season of the year (sorry, Winter). Love is in the air, and everyone is basking in it, so it seems. This month’s music discovery fits the scenario wonderfully.

When I listened to “To Love You Back” by Jamie Grace the first couple of times, I cried like a baby. Meditating on the lyrics, I reflected on how God loves me despite my imperfections, my sins, and how I don’t have to feel guilty when I focus on His undying love for me. Then I started thinking of how wonderful it is to have someone to love me in the same capacity; that was when the tears really started to overflow.

Jamie sings about the kind of love I believe we all long for deep down. A love from someone who has a selfless heart. wpid-phpthumb-1.jpegWouldn’t that be the greatest thing of all much like the commandment itself? I strongly believe that this kind of love (agape love) is the love God intended for us to have in our significant relationships but only so many fail to reach.

There’s nothing more I can say but only to suggest for you to take a listen to the lyrics and imagine having such a love where your significant other loves you just as God loves you. You’ll likely not want anything short of it again.

(Either the day of or the night of our wedding, I don’t care. This song will be played.)

*k*

Jamie Grace – To Love You Back (Official Lyrics Video)

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RE: The art of connecting with an introvert

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Per a girlfriend’s request, I was supposed to write about what it’s like to be an introvert. Initially, I shunned the idea and told her I didn’t know what I could possibly say that would be any different from what’s already been said. That was several months ago. And while I had intentions to write about the life of an introvert anyway, I never started on it like I have other entries waiting to be published. That is why I am sharing this post from a fellow blogger instead. I’m not being lazy, I promise. OK, maybe a little. But I enjoyed reading lotusgirl80’s insightful version so much I could not not share it.

Click on the link to read her take on the idiosyncracies introverts have in common:

The art of connecting with an introvert.

I will say that this blogger’s opinion is 110% on point. To further support her basis, I want to exemplify some of the points made in her article.

Number One: Introverts are not the chatty type. Talking for the sake of avoiding the silent barrier that often forms between people we’re attempting to get to know is very tiresome for taciturn introverts like myself. Mental fatigue is the best way I can describe this. We’re internal creatures, so our minds are constantly on all the time. When we meet someone, we may appear to be socially awkward and shy to them. People mistakenly think I’m shy, but I’m really not. It’s just that I’m such an observant person who has to process the information my mind is collecting in a social setting. If that makes me socially awkward, then so be it.

As for being an internal creature, I can know exactly what it is I want to say aloud. Actually saying it aloud is another story. Articulating my thoughts can sometimes be challenging. What I intend to say comes out the wrong way, and so it often results in people being offended or feeling like I’m being too harsh in my judgment. Or what I intend to say sounds strange and unfunny when it was funnier in my head. So failing to articulate my thoughts result in me keeping my thoughts and feelings to myself.

Number Two: I find it amusing how my girlfriends are sweet enough to ask me to spend time with them or go to the big party of the weekend when they know I’m most likely to say no than I am to say yes. I do have my moments when I want to hangout with my girlfriends and have a good time (I rarely invite them out unless I’m absolutely bored and want to go dancing), so I’m not anti-social; not completely anyway. I find that once I’m out somewhere, after so long, I need to leave. I need to leave because when there are too many things happening at once and I’m around too many people it tends to drain my energy. Not physically but mentally. Social settings can be too much of a stimulation to the brain, so an introvert like myself has to remove herself from that setting to recharge the energy she has lost or else she will shut down. I’ve found that two hours is the most I can do. Anything above and it becomes grueling to just try to keep the party going.

Attending big parties or even a gathering with more than four people is a bit too much for me; however, I will admit that sometimes, especially when it comes to gathering with friends, I prefer for it to be with a large group. That way I won’t have to talk as much. The ones who are the gregarious types can have the spotlight and I don’t have to worry myself with trying to entertain a conversation. The downside to gathering with several people at once? The pressure to say something, anything, out of fear of appearing to be the weirdo of the bunch who hasn’t said a word all night. The perils of being an introvert, I tell ya!

Number Three: I can play instruments. I have a creative mind (I write fiction for crying out loud). And I daydream a lot (for an adult). Does that make me a nerd? Not really. I prefer the word eccentric to describe the creative side of me. It sounds cooler.

Number Four: I like receiving tangible gifts as much as the next person. Gifts that are created by the hands and from the heart are the ones I cherish the most, though. I’m a total sucker for handwritten (even typed) letters. Making a meal for me when I don’t expect it warms my heart. I remember when I spent the night over at the same friend’s house, she had made a breakfast sandwich for me. I didn’t expect that from her. I thought I was going to have to go to the kitchen and make my own breakfast or grab some from the McDonald’s on the corner. But she did that for me and I thought it was very sweet of her. (But she’s always doing thoughtful things for me, so that’s nothing new.)

I’m not great at picking out Hallmark cards to give to others, but I love receiving cards. I still have cards from my loved ones and old friends from my high-school days. I will, however, give you a letter. If I need to express my deepest feelings or if I don’t have a tangible gift to give someone for a special occasion, I will give them a letter . . . typed. (My handwriting is too unbearable to read. After all, I am an introvert whose mind is constantly going. My handwriting reflects that.) Oh, and big displays of affection (incessant compliments, too) are a turn-off. That’s why it is not a good idea for the guy to propose to me in a public place or even in front of family members. When in doubt always keep it simple.

Number Five: Whatever you do, don’t you dare ask me too many questions; that’s my job when getting to know you. And please, I beg you, don’t let your questions be too trivial or too vague or too open-ended. When I was somewhat dating seeing this guy, every time I talked to him or whenever we went out, he would always start the conversation with, “Tell me something good,” and he would always want to know what I did for the day. I dreaded having to talk to him because I knew the question was coming. I found myself trying to think of something to say prior to our causeries and outings just so I would be prepared for his repetitive inquisitions. I don’t like talking about myself; never have. Even if it’s something as simple as talking about how my day went, I just don’t enjoy doing it. I’d rather talk about things that reveal the character of a person: memories of their childhood, their favorite foods, the last movie they watched, et cetera. Mundane things don’t interest me. Talking is my time to escape from the ordinary things of life (remember, I daydream a lot). I’ll answer your questions, but please believe I’m secretly hating you for doing such a cruel thing to me.

untitledIntroverts are nothing but aliens compared to our extrovert counterparts. That is to say, we really do alienate ourselves from the world because our inner world is entertaining enough. And speaking of extroverts, I admit I do like being around them the most. Whether I need an extrovert as my mate, I don’t know yet. What’s important is for him to understand that when I say I need a break or for him to not talk to me, I mean just that and I need for him to grant me that request without being offended. The same can be said for friends. Luckily the real friends who have known me for a long time understand that I can’t deal with high-maintenance kind of friendships. A few of them still call me a “stranger” and it’s annoying when they already know that I’m not going to call or text them every week to see how they’re doing. Months go by before they see me or even hear from me most of the time.

So if you know an introvert, try not to make false accusations about their temperament. Understand their characteristics and let them know that you understand them. For understanding their characteristics goes a long way with these types. Demonstrate patience in getting to know your introverted friends or significant other and you will discover how absolutely amazing and exciting they can be as they unveil their many layers. Do this and they will appreciate your commitment to getting to know them in the long-run.

2013: A Year in Review

Christmas has finally come and gone! Which means a new year with new beginnings is coming.

I have been eagerly anticipating for 2014 to get here, you have no idea! Not that 2013 was a terrible year or anything. I’m just over it and ready for a new year filled with new, uncharted, unexplored territory to greet me. A new year presents the chance to hit the refresh button. Looking back on all that has happened in 2013, I realize how everything I experienced has prepared me for what’s to come. I was unaware of all the preparation at the time, but I now see how it all plays a part in the journey I am taking in the upcoming year.

The beginning of the year: January 2013. What a month to start off on the wrong foot! If I recall correctly, it was the very first day, or maybe it was the second day. No matter, the new year was already being unfair to me with its sick and twisted humor; for January was the month when I was forced to quit believing for a relationship to progress to an official status–a “relationship” that somehow only existed in my mind; one that I knew was not in my best interest. I won’t go into details about it, but even though my stubborn heart and I knew it wasn’t right for me and I needed to let go, it wounded me in the end. I remember how I wasn’t feeling well on the very day I discovered heartbreaking news from a man who claimed to have loved me, too. The crushing news was a wakeup call. Granted, it was a delayed call but a wakeup call no less.

I swear this was me. Ugly crying face and all.

I swear this was me. Ugly crying face and all.

On that very same day, when I was ill plus wounded, my sister informed me of her engagement to her boyfriend. She’d sent me a text, so I thought I’d missed the proposal. I assumed my now brother-in-law had proposed to my sister at a family’s gathering on that day. (He had not. They only announced it to everyone at the gathering.) So there I was at home, sick, brokenhearted, and happy all wrapped up in a wool blanket. A cruel joke: that was what the universe was playing on me, and I did not find it the least bit funny.

As the newness faded from the new year, my heart was on the mend, I was well, and I was working. The new year was finally giving me a chance to redefine myself. So what did I do with a newfound confidence? Well, I mustered up the courage to approach a guy for the very first time ever, I adopted a new mantra (“Nothing to lose, everything to gain”), and I started to develop a different attitude about how I was going to live my life in 2013. Springtime rolled around and my confidence was at an all-time high. So high, I let friends of mine convince me to finally start a blog. Not sure where those so-called friends ARE, but Tada!

And then I unexpectedly stopped working. And then I was out of work for a few months. And then I started back working. And then my sister’s wedding happened. And then I lost track of time. And then I started working not one but two jobs. No joke, I felt as if my life was spiraling out of my control everytime I tried to grab ahold of it. And yet, here I am, still blogging and happier than ever.

December is on its way out, which means 2013 is too. (Good riddance!) What happened in the past year is exclusive to 2013 alone, never to be experienced again, thank GOD! It wasn’t all so bad, though. The year did have some highlights even though it started off with negative vibes. I’ve had the chance to work as a stylist to women who love fashion just as much as I do. But being in that position taught me that although it was something I wanted to do, it’s not something I’m too keen on pursuing as a full-time career as I’d thought. Nothing wrong with dressing others. I’m appreciative to my customers when they thank me for all of my help, making their day (and wardrobe) brighter. I just prefer dressing myself (laughs). And there’s nothing wrong with that! But I think the best thing 2013 has done for me was that it allowed me to find my true passion again–a passion currently in the works.

Just as I’ve said goodbye to loved ones who moved away, 2013 brought me new friendships and relationships with people close by to across the seas. Those new friendships and relationships have helped me to broaden my thought-life and I’m grateful for each and every person who has given me sound advice. As for the guy I approached? Yeeeaaah . . . more on that later.

I must say that the BIGGEST opportunity 2013 presented to me in the entire year is still in the developing stages, waiting for its culmination in 2014. What is this opportunity I’m speaking of? Hmmmm, I’m not ready to reveal it just yet, IF I choose to reveal it.

While 2013 started out so horribly (or so I thought), the ending was everything I wanted it to be. And I cannot wait to see what surprises 2014 has gift-wrapped for me.

Having said all of that, I wish everyone who has read down this far a HAPPY BRAND NEW YOU! I think the new year is the perfect time to make your dreams come true. Don’t you?

Eat a bowl of black-eyed peas and have a Happy 2014!!!!
Peace, love and light.

*k*

Kindred Spirits and Divine Connections: The kind of friendships sent from above

I’m in a glass case of emotion!!!!

Friendships are such a wonderful gift! Every time we step away from our front door and out into the unpredictable world, we enter into possibilities to meet new people and establish connections with them. Maybe that person is the new neighbor whom you haven’t had an encounter with yet. Or maybe you’ve been neighbors for awhile, but neither of you has ever introduced yourselves to one another. If you have a job and you work in a setting where you have co-workers, that setting stands as a prospect to get to know someone; the same pertains to your classmates if you are a student. If you’re like me, you may meet people through mutual friends. I could incessantly name all of the ways we meet others in our daily lives. The point is, when we connect with someone, we really don’t know how that person will affect us down the road of association.

Recently, I helped celebrate a good friend’s grand business venture which resulted in her having to relocate to another state, and while I am rejoicing with her about this new chapter in her and her husband’s life, I am finding that I am not handling it so well. I don’t speak Yiddish, but sending her off, wishing her good fortune left me a little verklempt. After I received word about her leaving the city that I love, it left me thinking a lot about the bonds we form with other people, who we choose to cherish, and how those bonds positively or negatively impress upon our spirits.

I call my friend my kindred spirit. We call each other Virgo sisters. The way we clicked when we first met was in all honesty cosmic, for lack of better words. I’m an introvert, so sometimes it is difficult for me to converse with others until I’m comfortable with being around them. My friend and I only hung out a couple of times after the first time we met. Regardless, our level of interaction seemed like we had been best friends or at least had known each other for years. We had not; however, after only knowing her for ten months, I consider her to be one of the few whom I can call a good friend. For me, that is a rarity.

Pictured here with my friend, Cherie (left), on the night of her "Good Luck" party. We even accidentally wore the same colors!"

Pictured here with my friend, Cherie (left), on the night of her “Good Luck” party. We even accidentally wore the same colors!”

I had no idea that she would leave such a positive impression on me when I met her. As a woman, I admire her for her beauty–for her sense of humor. I admire her for her tenacity. I admire her for being a successful entrepreneur (one who’s humble at that). I won’t even begin to talk about the genuine adoration that is so visibly evident between her and her husband; it is truly something to behold.

I never thought to let her know about the impression she has made on me. That is, until she emailed me about her leaving the city. Right then I took the time in my reply to let her know that I would forever cherish our friendship no matter how often we hung out or talked to each other in the past. I just hate that it took for her to tell me that she was leaving for me to let her know that. This post only serves as an extension of my appreciation for the positive energy she exudes and for her demonstrating sophistication. Like I told her, I am grateful for having crossed paths with her.

People come, people go; it’s true. Some people will vibe well with us; others won’t. It is left up to us to sift through the gems worth keeping–to nurture the friendships worth holding on to. Don’t wait until adieu or worse. It may not always mean to make a phone call every single day, week, or month. In some friendships between two, they can go without speaking to each other for periods of time and pick up where they left off as if they had never missed a beat. Where I think we tend to miss the beat is in our understanding of the connection and the way others silently motivate us through their lifestyle. If we ever grasp that understanding, then we should express to that friend that has impacted us so greatly how much we appreciate them for just being them. It is one of the most elevating things we could do for another. As the saying goes, you reap what you sow. And who wouldn’t want to be told “Thank you for just being you” in return?
*k*

“No love, no friendship can cross the path of our destiny without leaving some mark on it forever.” –Francois Muriac

Cherie Fields is the operator and manager of Iron Tribe Fitness (located in Huntersville, NC). If you're near the area or know of anyone who is interested in improving their lives,

Cherie Fields is the operator and manager of Iron Tribe Fitness (located in Huntersville, NC). Find out “why she tribes” and join The NC Tribe family for a different approach to a physically-fit lifestyle.

(*shameless plug* Visit Iron Tribe’s Huntersville, NC Facebook page here. *end shameless plug*)

Crush Groovin’: I Got The Zsa Zsa Zsu!

crush-on-you

Remember that initial fluttery feeling you get when you first realize that you really like someone new? It’s the stuff magic is made of. You know: glitter, butterflies, bunnies, kittens, rainbows, unicorns. You want to hold on to that magic for as long as you can. Well . . . .

I think I have a crush. No, strike that. I DO have a crush. And (surprisingly) he makes me feel that way–all fluttery and what not. If you’re past the age of 30, though, isn’t calling it a crush kind of silly? I don’t know about you, but it is a bit too juvenile for my taste. However, I do like the word smitten; very fond of that word. So let me rephrase it.

Mash me up good ’cause I am very smitten with a guy! He shall remain anonymous and a mystery to friends. So much of a mystery, if he’s reading this, he may not immediately realize that this post is about him until the very end. Or maybe he does know. Because I believe that he is smitten with me, too. Strike that. I DO know that he is smitten with me.

In the time that I have gotten to know him, he has become an exceptional, supportive figure in my life. There is some commonality between us. We text AND call each other throughout the day (a huge plus for two people who don’t enjoy talking on the phone at all but genuinely enjoy talking to each other). We have both opened up to one another about past hurts (another plus for two people who are extremely guarded). Yes, we’ve had our share of disagreements. He has been there to hear me complain and vent about not-so-great guys, even. And goodness, does he know how to keep me laughing even when he’s not trying to! He even thinks that I’m hilarious. Any guy that thinks I am hilarious gets plenty of star stickers in my book.

But that’s where the story ends as we are not able to close the gap to make it official. (Such is life!) We have become really good friends and it is refreshing for me–someone who hasn’t been so lucky with men recently. Even though we are unable to close the gap for reasons only known to us, I pray that we can remain friends for all eternity. Because I know that if I ever lose myself at any point in life, I can count on him to remember who I am and to dig me out from under and he can count on me to do just the same. (To you, there’s your clue. 😉 )

*k*

This doesn't depict our situation. I just wanted to add this 'cause I think it's funny.

This doesn’t depict our situation. I just wanted to add this ’cause I think it’s funny.