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4 Life Lessons Learned From Writing

I absolutely love this blog! I have been blogging off and on since 2017. Although my blogs were published, I was not ready for others to read them. Then, a little over a week ago, something changed. I was finally ready to be seen. If you understand what I mean. Basically, I am finally comfortable with being me. Again, I love this blog by Tony Bologna. Check it out!

4 easy to implement life lessons you can try today.

4 Life Lessons Learned From Writing
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The Bully

A bully’s goal is to intimidate others into bowing to their demands. Bullies do not ask, they always demand. Once their demands are met, they may think they have won. They need not boast, because the battle has just begun.

Food for thought: People who bully others, and claim to do it for sake of humanity, are just as deadly as those who bully to intentionally cause harm.

Shaun

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Trust: Real Love

Since I am up thinking about it, I might as well write about it.

The other day I wrote about trust. I admitted that trust was my biggest issue and that trust in romantic relationships was probably the worst. Well, last night on Tyler Perry’s If Loving You Is Wrong, one of the characters, Natalie, was dealing with the same exact issue– trust. You see, Natalie and Lushion (her fiancé) have been together for several years now, and she still does not trust him. During last night’s episode, she allowed someone to put doubt in her mind about Lushion’s faithfulness. Instead of remaining calm, and thinking things through, she allowed doubt and fear get the best of her. Which caused her to make a few irrational decisions. I know that was only a show, but things like that happens in real life, every day!

Then, this morning, as I was laying in bed, I kept replaying the scenes over and over in my head. For those who know me, know I love to tweet during my shows. Well, last night I was tweeting things like, “Natalie, trust your man!” and “Trust Lushion!!” Which is so ironic because I have trust issues, too. Hilarious! It is funny how it is easier to give advice to others, but so difficult to follow that same advice.

When I think about it, my trust issues began long before I was in a relationship. It began while watching other women in relationships– my mom, stepmom, grandma, aunts and family friends. As a child, I watched their relationships like I was watching a good soap opera. Basically, I was all up in their business. You know the phrase, “stay out of grown folks business”? Well, I believe it was coined just for me. I was ALWAYS up in somebody’s business. I used to watch how the women would light up when their significant others would do something special for them. Unfortunately for most, it never lasted long. Eventually, I saw them down, and sometimes depressed. You know… whenever he looked at someone else or stopped calling or visiting. During that time, I also witnessed a lot of abuse. So when I decided I was ready to give love a try, I proceeded with caution.

The first guy I seriously considered dating was this guy in my church. Back then, he was dating almost every girl in the church. So when he finally became interested in me, I was reluctant to take the bait. So reluctant that while I was contemplating giving him a chance, he got with another girl. Talk about heartbreaking. But in the end it was all for the best. Let’s just say, I dodged a major bullet. He had a lot of issues.

Side note: Here is a prayer I used to pray: “Lord, if it is not for me, please do not give it to me. I do not care how much I beg and plead, do not give it to me. And let me be okay with it.”

Well, God always kept His end of the deal. However, I overrode His warnings so many times. Look, I will admit, sometimes I just want what I want. I will ignore the warnings and go after whatever it is. Yes.. that’s me– Shaun. With that said, I am finally learning to listen to and wait on God. Y’all, I am so grateful for His mercy and grace.

As usual, I got sidetracked. Ugh! Trust. I have only been in four relationships. The first three left me wondering what was wrong with me. Why did they choose someone else? My first boyfriend went back to his ex. My second boyfriend married his ex. But then again, I am not sure if they ever really broke up. Guess I was always the side chick. The third… now that was just a bad decision all together. So many lies. But you know what, I cannot be mad. Again, I dodged all kinds of bullets by them leaving me. Today, none of them are with the person they left me for. All I have to say is, God is so good! Of course I was hurt at the time, but looking back, and now seeing how things turned out in their lives, I am so grateful God removed them from my life.

Now the fourth relationship was with my ex-husband. As I have written many times before, he was the rebound guy. He was the total opposite of the others. I was not in love with him. I saw him as the safe guy. My thought was, if I get with him, I will never be hurt. That was a lie. During our first year of marriage, I went out of town for a week only to return home to several calls from a number I did not recognize. As I scrolled through the caller ID (we had house phones back then) I noticed that several calls were received around 2 and 3 a.m. I was like, “I know this is not happening again!” Unlike with the other guys, I confronted him. I asked who was calling him that early in the morning. He said it was the wrong number. I was like, “Really?? Several times?!” So I called the number and his little friend picked up. The first thing I did was ask for her name. Of course she gave me some bogus name. But I already knew who she was. You see, he had been talking about her a few weeks earlier. Crazy, huh!! Well, the joke was on me. The safe guy was not so safe after all. Lol! Unfortunately, I was around five months pregnant and decided to stay. I mean, what were my chances of finding someone who would want to be in a relationship with someone with two kids (my daughter was 8 at the time). A few years ago, he told me that he got me pregnant on purpose because he did not want me to leave him. Wow!

Today, I am looking for a person without any red flags. I know, I am probably not being realistic. However, I am looking for someone who is God-fearing, honest, dependable, trustworthy, and loves me and only me. HA!! Sounds like a want ad– BUT it’s not. And of course I have to love him, too. Y’all, I am just too old for infatuation or lust, so it has to be real love. (Can’t y’all hear Mary J. Blige singing Real Love. I can. Lol!)

Anyhoo.. this was much longer than I expected. Probably going to delete a few things before I publish it. Or perhaps I should publish it as written. I believe the unedited versions are always better. Enjoy your day!

Shaun

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Enjoying the Quietness

Decided to start my day early. I can finally hear birds chirping. I also hear cars driving in the distance. However, things are pretty still and quiet in my house. Well, besides the hum of the refrigerator. You know what… I think I will sit here for a few more minutes and just be. Yeah.. just BE.

Hope you enjoy your day!

Shaun

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Missing Momma Kate

Sitting in my recliner watching episodes of Matlock and In the Heat of the Night. I remember watching these shows, along with the Golden Girls, late at night with my grand-godmother, Momma Kate. It was our nightly ritual whenever I visited. I would sit in her bedroom in the rocking chair, while she laid in bed. We rarely spoke. Just watched our shows. I miss those days. Grateful God placed her in my life. So thankful for the wonderful memories.

Shaun

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Trust: Friendships

Yesterday, I wrote about getting to the root causes of my issues, insecurities and hurts. I said I would use this time to reflect and heal. Well, I decided to tackle my greatest issue– trust.

I am beginning with trust and friendships because this is where I feel I first learned to trust others. My first friend was my sister. Even as toddlers she was my ride or die. I always knew she had my back. My sister, Yvette, is 15 months younger and a brilliant person. No lie! When we were little girls, I used to tease her because she walked slow, talked slow and was a little chubby. Perhaps I was jealous because she had more book knowledge than me. She was always reading something. I, on the other hand, used more logic, i.e., common sense, to accomplish things. And when I think about it, we have not changed much. Too funny!

Side note: Yeah.. I will admit I was one of my sister’s bullies. Wish I could take it all back because I now know I caused many of the hurts and insecurities she experienced throughout her childhood/early adulthood. And for that, I am so sorry. By the way, when she brought everything to my attention, I apologized. I never meant to hurt my best friend.

Okay, back to my relationship with my first best friend. Y’all, I never had to wish for a playmate nor was I ever lonely. It was always Shaun and Yvette. We came as a pair. As we grew older, our roles began to reverse. She became the more dominant, outgoing person and I took a seat in the background. As teenagers, I loved how she brightened up places with her loud laughs and personality. She was the life of the party. During this time, I was more on a path of building my relationship with God. I was the church girl reading books and falling in love. Today, the roles have reversed once again. I am the outgoing one and she is more conservative. Life.

Besides my sister, I only have one other true best friend. Over the years I have called people my “BFF” (best friend forever), however, this one is my BFF. Her name is Shawn. Yes, another Shaun/Shawn. We met when we were two years old and have been friends ever since. In our 44 years of friendship, we have never had a fight. Honestly y’all, we rarely disagree about anything, or you could say, we agree to disagree and leave it at that. As I said, she is the true definition of a best friend.

Now, there was this one time when she hurt my feelings. It was only that one incident, but it must have really hurt because I still felt the sting just now. It happened when we were in grade school. I believe we were passing each other in the lunch line and I tried to get her attention. As usual, she was busy talking to one of her classmates and never looked my way. I felt ignored. Looking back, I do not think that was the case. She may not have even noticed me because as soon as she got home from school she came over. After that incident, I never quite trusted anyone when they were in the presence of other people, and I still feel the same way today. When someone I know is with one of their other friends or acquaintances, I automatically assume they will treat me differently, or act like I do not exist, so I keep my distance. Clearly this is an issue I need to overcome. As I said before, it is time that I address the root causes of my issues and insecurities.

I believe my relationship with Shawn is special because in our 44 years of friendship, we have never lived in the same city for more than two years at a time. Throughout our childhood our moms moved around a lot. Neither of us lived in one city for more than a few years. When my family lived in Jackson, hers lived in Detroit. When we moved to Topeka, they moved to Chicago. By the time we were in high school, she was in Milwaukee and I was in Junction City. We were always moving. Although we were forever moving, we kept in touch through letters and summer visits with our grandparents. Y’all, we loved to write. We wrote so many letters, back then. Personally, I could not wait to get one of her letters. They were like reading chapters from an adventurous novel. She always had something exciting going on. To this day, I still have a few of her letters from high school and early adulthood.

Eventually, we traded our letters for cards. Now we text and send each other e-cards. We typically call each other once or twice a year, or if the news is too good to put in a text. Yes, we would rather text than call. This is why I love her! We also try to meet up once a year even if it is only to spend a few hours together as we pass through each other’s state. When we turned 45, we decided to start having annual girlfriends retreats. So far we have spent our first two in New Orleans. This year, since the COVID-19 pandemic, we have not decided what we will do. Maybe we will do something spontaneous. We love adventures!

Anyway… y’all know I get sidetracked, lol… a couple of years ago, we decided to redefine our relationship. We are no longer BFFs. We are sister-friends because we are so much more than friends. I guess you can say she set the standards and expectations for other friends that came along, and for those to come.

Of course I have other stories about friends who have come and gone. Some of those relationships resulted in hurts and insecurities. Yesterday, I revisited those pains and released them. People are human. They are who they are. After 46 years of life, I realize people make mistakes. People say and do things that they later regret. As with my sister, I probably hurt them too. And if I did… well, let’s be honest, I know I did… I am truly sorry. We live and we learn.

So most of the friendships I have today, I have had over 20 years. Within the last few years, I believe I have gained 2-3 more close friends. Right now we are still learning each other. Friendship is not something I take lightly. My circle of friends consist of people who respect my space; those who understand my sense of humor (because I often laugh at things that are not funny); and those who understand that when we do things for each other, they are gifts, no repayment expected (not just speaking in terms of monetary gifts, but visits and calls). We encourage each other. We cheer each other on. No jealousy– only admiration. These are the things that have contributed to our long lasting friendships.

Okay, this was about trust between friends. The next trust issue I will address is trusting family members. There are a lot of scars there. I also need to address trust and professional relationships. Y’all, those hurt too. The last one will be trust and romantic relationships. THAT ONE… Whew!! Listen, I cannot guarantee I will share them all, but you never know, I just might.

Shaun