Living Life Purposefully

Where Purpose Meets Passion

Monthly Archives: June 2010

I Was Told “No”

There’s an innate need in every one of us to feel as though people care for and about us. Many of us face darkened periods and don’t know how to get out of slumps in our mood. For some, the slumps can be quite devastating. My most recent episode with my “problem” has scared me in a such way that I’m once again seeking help.

*Before I go any further, I’ll say this: If you experience a “slump” in your mood that lasts an extended period of time, seek help! Go to a professional, someone at your school, in your church, or wherever. Go talk to someone. If you have a friend that experiences depression, give them a hug or a message every now and then to say that you care. It’s deeper than a bad mood.

On Tuesday February 23rd, 2010, I went home and I wanted to die. I walked into my place of residence and felt like it didn’t belong to me. I felt as though my possessions weren’t mine and that I served no purpose in being here. Although there was light outside of my window, I felt as though I was standing in the darkest place that could exist. Something had come upon me and swallowed me whole. My essence. My reason for being.

I went to sleep.

I made up my mind that this was just a funk and that I was having a “bad day” because of the stress from my life. I went to sleep. I dreamt of nothing. Even my dreams were void of life. The following morning, I got up. I thought, “I just need to meditate more and I’ll be okay.” After I finished that meditation, I felt as though something had come to swallow me again. This left me in a pool of tears on my floor.

I hadn’t experienced that reaction in some time. I knew to be afraid.

But I kept going. I put on my clothes and my happy face. I made my way to class. I remember thinking, “The weather matches my mood.” It rained the night before and would continue to rain until the following day. That’s what I remember about last week. It rained. The joy that I got out of that was that I could wear a pair of rain boots that my Mom graciously bought for me. It was almost like a piece of home.

That day went by and I felt myself growing more disconnected. I started to miss little things. The smile of my brothers. My Mother’s voice. Hearing my Dad laugh. A random message from my best friend. Blindly, I tried to reach out to all of those people…hoping that maybe this would shake me back to a place of happiness. It didn’t work. That night, I prayed harder than I’ve prayed in a while. I asked for help.

Then I slept.

This night, I had a nightmare. Images that I’d imagine the mind of a prisoner’s mind flashes back to when they reenter into society. There were screams of pain, women being abused, men being murdered, and the sorrowful cries of children who were starving. Where these images had come from, I’m not sure now. I don’t want to know. It was a reminder of the suffering that exists and I awoke with a start.

Drenched in sweat and feeling as though my chest was caving in.

The following day, I felt empty. I felt so empty that nothing could fill me. And when you feel that empty, what’s your reason for living?

I went to class. I hoped that being around people would help me some. I hoped that their moods would rub off on me. That somehow, they’d be so overflowing with happiness that I could begin to fill myself again. I smiled. I joked. I laughed. On the outside. Inside, I wept. Inside, I raged. Inside, I felt as though I could feel myself dying.

That night, I went home and I thought of suicide. I had a moment of clarity while my back was pressed against the floor — there have to be some people who want me here and even IF I can’t see it, it’s only fair to try to get help.

Friday morning, I called a center. They couldn’t fit me in. I asked for a referral. That person couldn’t fit me in. I then began to talk to the counselor on-call. I felt like I was beginning to get a grip…for a moment, I felt like I had a grip. But that “Why live?” though flashed again.

I decided to see if I could be kept somewhere overnight (at this point, I was having trouble sleeping…I hadn’t made it through an entire night yet). I called the hospital. They told me to come in. I went in and was “evaluated” to be turned around and told to go home. My problems weren’t serious enough to warrant a bed and besides that, I didn’t have insurance (I’m guess their whole issue was that I was “calm” and “coherent”). I called another place, their intake period was already closed. I tried. I mean, I had tried. I had to face the darkness alone.

I began to count the minutes. The seconds that passed. I practiced breathing and I prayed. I wanted to the sunlight to come swiftly. Only then would I feel “safe”.

Well, the sunlight came. I was brought out of my shell by a good friend. We went out and a had nice time. I laughed and met new people. I felt revived. That night (Saturday), I slept. There were no dreams but I began to feel a peace. I thought to myself, I just need to make it to Monday. That’s all I’m asking for. To make it to Monday. A new week. A new beginning. A new start.

That night (I believe), a friend of mine was at work. Saw that I was up and started to talk to me. I began to confide in her. It felt good to get some things off of my chest. I can honestly look back and say that the conversation that night was a REAL turning point. It ended just as the sun was rising and it felt like my sun was rising. I was okay. I knew it and I felt it.

To know and to feel something is an entirely great feeling. To know that even if someone tells you “No” that there will be someone who will listen feels amazing. To know that when you’re hurting and can’t fully explain why that there is another person who can validate what you’re feeling while also offering a helping hand helps to make you feel whole.

I felt like a person again. I felt like it wasn’t a mistake that I was here. I felt that someone other than my Mother and Father loved me just because. It wasn’t obligatory. They don’t have to. But they do. And that’s what counts in this world.

As Bassey Ikpi would say, “Love someone and mean it.” (By the way, she’s great. Really inspirational too.)


You can follow me on Twitter: @Complex_Smplcty

© This post was originally written March 3, 2010. All thoughts contained in this post belong to that of the author. Don’t steal. It’s not right or fun or nice.

9 Ways To Win Her Heart

I’m back to blogging and as with everything in my life, I’m in a state of transition. I’ve recently graduated from school, moved back home, and I’m ready to take on life and all it has to offer me. As a single woman, that includes testing the waters in the Sea of Dating.

What continues to be made clear to me is that it can be a very daunting experience — dating that is. You take the chance and put yourself out there to be accepted or rejected. You wonder if you’ll meet someone with the same likes and the same dislikes. You believe in the possibility of finding your one true love and imagine that you will run into the ONE.

Tricky thing is: you have to DATE first (or at some point).

One thing to that continues to pop up in talks with girlfriends of mine is that people don’t date anymore. I say, people don’t know how to date and are afraid to say, “I prefer that you put in effort to court me.” So, while lying in bed (I’ve been a little sickly) I came up with a list of ways to “Win Her Heart”. Without further ado, here is my advice!

1. Respect is KEY!

I’ve seen a disturbing trend when it comes to people interacting with one another — the lack of respect. While some may think that it’s easy to turn this behavior off, it isn’t. It’s especially unnerving to be approached by someone who spouts something that leads you think, “Are they operating with a full brain?” You don’t want the possibility of this to run through a person’s mind in your initial meeting because you probably won’t have the opportunity to practice steps 2 – 9. Take home point, RESPECT IS KEY!

2. Pay attention to where you meet the Lady.

I can’t count how many times I’ve had an awkward encounter because the seemingly interested party forgot where we met OR didn’t use the surrounding as an indication for what I liked to do. But why pay attention to this? Humans are creatures of habit and we frequent our favorite places. If you meet in a bookstore while browsing titles on the shelves, it is safe to say that the person enjoys leisurely reading. If you meet in the organic aisles of your neighborhood grocery store, it is safe to say that the person enjoys things related to their health. If you meet while at a lounge where a jazz group is playing, it is safe to say the person enjoys jazz. By taking the time to really reflect on where you meet a person and what you’ve learned from the first conversation, you already have some insight into the kind of person they really are.

3. Be clear about your intentions.

This one should go without saying BUT since it’s on the list, it needs to be stated. If you are not looking for a relationship and just dating, say this. If you have multiple options say this. If you really just want sex, say this (with tact). Much heartbreak can be avoided if people are clear about their intentions from the beginning. Also, when you take this step, you signal to the other party that you welcome their honesty. By having necessary discussions and being clear from the beginning, you can avoid your car being keyed, windows being broken out, and ads being placed on Seriously.

4. Figure out similarities and differences.

Why is this important? Because it is. You don’t tackle friendships without knowing key differences between yourself and your friends, so you shouldn’t tackle a relationship (or a potential relationship) without figuring this out. It leaves awkward moments to a minimum as well. Here’s a story. I once dated a guy (seriously, we had one date) and I made it very apparent that I didn’t eat certain foods. The foods that he loved however, were foods that didn’t love me. He suggested we go to a restaurant that at first glance struck a perfect balance between the two of us. We get there and I can’t eat 90% of the menu. Key difference between the two of us is that I have severe food allergies. While he enjoyed the date, I didn’t. We still keep in contact though.

5. Actually date!

Even though this is a blog about dating, I saved this for now because people need to be reminded that a solid foundation needs to be built between the two people. Steps 1 – 4 remind you to get to know the person for who they are (or who they wish to let you see). Step 5 is simply a reminder that if you want to become good at dating and increase your chances for love, then you need to date. And I don’t mean, call that person between the hours of 11 pm and 3 am because you’ve confused dating with becoming acquainted with their insides. I mean, DATE! Go out at 6 pm. Take a walk somewhere. Catch a movie. Cook a dinner. Play at the arcade. Go bowling. Do something. DATE!

6. Cheap and thoughtful dates ARE okay.

Now, the big thing about dates is that we wish to make a GREAT impression. What usually happens? Standard dinner at some restaurant that neither one of you would probably ever go to just because where you wear a dress that you forgot you had and a girdle that pisses you off (wait…is this just me?). STOP THAT! Thoughtful dates are great. Cheap and thoughtful dates are even better. As a Soror/friend of mine made clear on Twitter the other night (shoutout to @GMDud), cheap and thoughtful dates show you care. She mentions going to a music store and discussing music. I say have a themed dinner at someone’s house and a discussion about your careers (to figure out how they connect to each other). We are both admitted nerds and realize that those two ideas may not work for everyone BUT the point is that a date that is memorable, enjoyable for both, AND cheap is always a win.

7. Show her who you are.

By showing her (or the person) who you are, it gives them the opportunity to really be their TRUE self. How many times have you shown interest in a person and dated for three months only to realize that you dated their representative? It’s annoying. Quite annoying. When you let your guard down, there is a certain comfort that comes with the transparency. And in dating, you need all of the comfort you can get! (Sidenote: This is not to say that you shouldn’t put effort into anything because you should always put some effort into dating).

8. Don’t bad mouth those exes of yours.

When you talk negatively about your exes, the person isn’t saying, “Poor you for dating them.” The person is thinking, “What is the nearest exit so I can escape?” Your dating past is your resume to your current dating situation. If YOU say that every other person that you’ve dated is crazy, then my dear, it’s you. You are the common denominator. If you let it out that every other person you dated was a liar, my dear, you can not be trusted. If you let out that one person keyed your car, then you two belong with each other. Again, your dating resume is the best reflection as to what kind of dating candidate you are. So, don’t bad mouth those exes…after all, they are your references.

9. Give her the opportunity to do the same for you.

This should go without saying, so I won’t say much. The take home point with this is that dating is all about the game of reciprocity. If you want to make a good impression and win the heart of a special someone, allow her (or him) to do the same for you!

I sincerely hope that my advice helps someone out there, not to mention, you should head on over to this BLOG to see the kind of people that you shouldn’t date…at all.

Happy Dating!

~Miss C. Jayne