Phone Calls

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

I’m an old soul, born circa ’93 but in my heart, I feel like I’m from an earlier era.  I love phone calls.  Yep, I’m one of those weird people that rather receive a phone call than an email or a text message.  It’s something about hearing the voice of those you love, it’s comforting yet exciting.  It’s a simple way of building connection and intimacy, two things that I hold dear.

I have a friend who is a master of connection.  She is the only one I know that loves phone calls, facetime, and face to face meetings.  It’s like she feels no anxiety as she bares herself to me in conversation.  Every time I’m with her I feel safely loved, heard and just free to be myself!  Over the past eight months, she has taught me about connection: both with God and others.

I realized that I shied away from connection because it allowed people to see me. And I mean see me: in rawness, brokenness and undone.  Yet, it is this baring of oneself that builds intimacy and connection.  If you cannot see me fully, then you cannot know me and you cannot love me.  Now, I find myself putting my phone down in the company of others, preferring face time calls, and wanting to have amazing conversations over a hot cup of coffee.  I prefer connection because to me:  it’s raw, it’s intimate, and it’s real.  Who wants to be in relationships and cannot be real?  Who wants to invest in something that only appears to be close?  That only appears to be solid?  Not me.  I’m good without the facade.  Give me the real, where I can hear in your voice that you’re not good.  The real, where I don’t have to decode your text messages or wonder why you used a certain emoji?  Instead of laughing emojis, I want to hear the ones I love laugh and I want to know that they are laughing from a genuine place.  At the end of the day, we all want something real.  Now, for my friends who are not like me, I’ve mastered my text game: GIFS, emojis, and short paragraphs of text but in my heart, I love a good phone call!

So why talk about phone calls? Well… maybe because we live in a world where people desperately want to feel connected.  To something, to anything; to someone, to anyone.  There are people all around us who want to know that they are seen, heard, loved and valued.  If we look up from our screens and start looking into the face of those around us, maybe we will build connections based on the raw, based on the real.  It’s harder to forget about those whose voices you hear frequently- that’s why when someone is around you all the time, you find yourself feeling closer to them.  On the flip side, those we only engage with via social media from time to time and even through an occasional text, sometimes we forget about them.  We forget to see how they are doing, beyond the highlight reel, we forget that we were once apart of their lives.  Our friendships lack communication, our relationships lack depth and before you know it, it’s easier to move on breaking covenants because what we had lacked the real- it lacked connection beyond a keyboard.

I encourage you to look up!  To be aware of those around you.  I encourage you to come out of your comfort zone and to connect.  I love phone calls, but it’s because at the end of the day I am okay with vulnerability. Are you okay with being vulnerable?  Are you okay with revealing who you are to have depth in your relationships? It’s okay if you’re not ready yet.  It’s okay if vulnerability frightens you, but I can guarantee that the level of love you desire is only coming through vulnerability.  What you want in your friendships and relationships is only going to come through revealing who you are, baring yourself to your inner circle.  Depth only comes through the raw, it’s only strengthened through the real. Happy connecting!

Xoxo,

Simone 

 

 

Open.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers

“Be Open.” That is the instruction ringing in my heart.  All of my fears are contending with the Lord in the form of what-ifs, yet in kindness, He repeats himself once more: “Open your heart. Open your heart to love.”  Tears stream down my cheeks as I realize that I’ve been closed to the idea that someone will actually love me.  Fully.  To tell you the truth, I’ve just fully accepted the idea that He loved me fully.  I just became content with that phenomenon; that in spite of all of my mistakes, weaknesses, and shortcomings, this great God was in fact deeply in love with me.

My heart resisted but the instruction remained the same, “Open your heart. Open your heart to being loved.” “But God” my heart persisted, “What if he hurts me?” The instruction remained the same, “Open your heart.  Open your heart to being loved.”  “But God.” my heart pleaded, “What if this breaks me worse than last time?” The Father remained gentle, in pure kindness- he stated one more time, “Love, the choice is yours. But darling, I’ll ask again – Open your heart.  Open your heart to being loved.”  I sat on my couch and I heard his gentle voice like oil caress my spirit and I had a choice to make.  Either I would open up and take the risk of pain or remain closed and ultimately alone.

At the end of the day to trust in the instruction of God is to ultimately trust in Him.  To trust Him requires the hard thing:  it requires facing our fears, it requires confronting our doubts, it requires trying again at the thing we think we suck at the most.  For me, love.  I have this obvious track record of failed relationships, of apparent heartbreaks.  I have this rap sheet of ugly moments and countless memories of love lost.  I am a woman who has made peace with her regrets yet fear gripped me when I heard his voice.  Fear came to remind me of my past and shame came as a drinking buddy ready to cosign me into self-sabotage.  Yet, here comes Holy Spirit: kind, gentle and full of truth with one simple instruction.  Be Open. Open your heart to being loved. 

So, here I am completely open and vulnerable and just plain scared but willing.  I am willing to be open, I am willing to be loved.

I have no idea where this heart journey is going to take me.  All I know is that I am committed to obeying sweet Holy Spirit’s instruction.  I am committed to being open and to keep my heart open to being loved. I am willing and my heart says “Yes.

Until next time,

Simone 

FIC: https://i.ebayimg.com/images/i/371447628482-0-1/s-l1000.jpg

 

I Got It Wrong

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers-

Around this time five years ago, I wrote a post called “My Only” expressing joy in the idea that I found (what I believed) to be my “one and only,” the one I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I thought I found the love of my life. I was wrong. I found a man that was incapable of loving me to the capacity that I needed. I was looking over my blog memories when my stats revealed that someone read that post a few days ago. My first thought: “Simone, delete that post!!! That relationship failed, get rid of the memories of your failures, erase the post.” But, that isn’t life, we can’t go around erasing the terrible things that we’ve experienced. We face our failures, we accept them and we learn from them. So here are three reasons, I believe my getting it wrong was necessary for me to learn how to get it right.

  1. I accepted the love I thought I deserved: subpar, broken and inconsistent. The guy I thought was forever, in hindsight, did not love me well. And to tell you the truth, I can’t blame him. He was not loved well and he had no genuine connection to the One who loved him well. When your life is absent from the Creator of Love, it’s hard to love others. Instead, you love them through your broken version of the love you’ve received. That is the way he loved me: from a place of fear/distance, insecurity which drove his patterns of lying about stupid things, ghosting and poor communication and mediocre because to invest in love is to open himself up to the possibility to be in pain. He prided himself to be a master of pain avoidance and he did this by loving from a shallow place. The worst part was I loved the same way: my friendships were not deep by any measure of the imagination. I was trying to be everything for him, even if it meant being untrue to myself. Lastly, he was everything and because I did not think highly of myself; it was like girl you betta take what you can get. WRONG!!! Now, I’ve grown and I can see that God was like “Homegirl, you deserve so much better!” Thank God!  
  2. I was not okay with being alone. In fact, being and dying alone was one of my biggest fears. Therefore, I settled with “better than what I had” but not necessarily great. Anything that is better than what you had always seemed to be the best but it is not until you understand what you’re worth that you realize what you’ve settled for. There is nothing wrong with looking back and being like “he’s not that great- in fact he’s trash!” I wasn’t secure within myself to have that moment of awakening but God not waiting on my point of enlightenment, in mercy, decided to save this girl from herself! I’m so grateful He did. Because, if we’re honest not one ounce of love lives in fear; so to build a love out of it would be a decision to settle for a love that is indeed false. Perfect love expels fear; there is no fear in true love. As I’ve grown and come to love myself, I seek to be absent of fear and perfected in love. It is the heart of the Father that we are full of love and void of fear and that should be demonstrated in our relationships. To be unafraid is to be truly in love. 
  3.  I realized that I needed to heal. Yep, there were wounds that I neglected thinking that I would find healing in my relationship but that’s not how it works, you are to come to your relationship whole ready to complement them. It is so dangerous to bring your open wounds to someone and expect them to have the balm to heal you. It breeds codependency and easy disappointment. God knew that I needed to heal, that I needed to be alone to really seek him for this necessary balm. The best thing that could have happened was the ending of my relationship because the end of that thing opened my heart to the fact that there were wounds that needed to heal. Ladies and gents, the best thing you can do is heal. Heal and then enter into relationships with other people. Don’t bring your baggage into your relationships and place expectations on people to heal you. Only God heals, so allow him to heal you with His love.

Friends, the guy I was with was NOT my one and only, but he was integral to my growth. He taught me what I did not want in a person. He taught me what I was not willing to settle for. He taught me that what I’ve embraced was not real love. I’m grateful that things ended because it gave me the freedom to learn about myself and to love me.  So, there is no need to fear mistakes because even our mistakes are redeemable in the hands of God.  He has this tendency to take our bad things and He promises to make them work for our good.  He rights our wrongs. 

God allowed me to get it wrong so that He could make one thing right, me!  

Xoxo, 

Simone 

FIC: https://i2.wp.com/digital-photography-school.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/black-white-mistakes-4.jpg?resize=750%2C750&ssl=1

Misplaced Expectations.

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers-

I’ve been guilty of many things, one being the placement of expectations on those I love without agreed upon conversation. I know what you’re thinking, “Simone, you can’t just be out here expecting things from people who have not verbalized their agreement to fulfill certain roles!” I know. It’s not my intention to placed these expectations on others but if we’re honest deep down on the inside, we expect people to love like we do. Yes, we do! We expect people to be as tolerant as us, to give as much as we do, to be concerned with what we care about, to see the world through our lens. The disappointment comes when we discover that someone is not loving us the way we expected them to, that they are not being as kind as we expected, that they are not as honest as we expected. Our disappointment comes from our own misplaced expectations.

I recently came to a place with someone that I love that left me deeply disappointed. I entered into this friendship with this person, shared my heart with them, even told them things that no one else knew about me. I became aware of a bit of dishonesty from them to me and I was deeply troubled: I WAS ANGRY!!! Man, you could not tell me I wasn’t justified in my response. The problem was, I was really angry with myself. Angry that I placed these expectations of honesty and truth upon someone and their failure of those expectations. If we’re honest, our anger is with ourselves. We’re disappointed that we placed faith and trust in someone that we thought could do no wrong, but they did. Problem is: we’re all human, liable to make mistakes. We are all liable to get it wrong and there is grace for mistakes.

So…if I could offer any advice. Please do not place expectations on people unless there has been a direct conversation stipulating behavior. We cannot expect perfection, but we should not tolerate crap either. Some things can be cleared up by mere communication. So have the conversation… do that person value honesty the way you do? How do they feel about the concept of respect? Do they value you? Why do they want to be in your life? What is the role that they want to place in your life? Do you agree with this role? Express your feelings, desires, stances on relational definitions and let the chips fall where they lay.

Rid your life of misplaced expectations.

Xoxo,

Simone

FIC: https://cloud.visura.co/346518.xx_large.jpg

I Am Too Proud To Beg

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

Happy Pre-Christmas Week!  I’m home for the holidays and I can feel the hustle and bustle of excitement in the air.  It’s been a while since we’ve talked, so I thought I would share something with each of you tonight.

As I began to gear up for dinner prep, I began to think about the holidays as a whole.  As many of you know, I ended a long-term relationship this past July.  Before this final break up, I was stuck in this on again- off again whirlwind of a relationship.  I spent seven years devoted to this rescue project, who did not acknowledge my own value to invest the same.  It was a living nightmare.  The sad part of this whole fiasco was every Christmas I would do the absolute most to convince him that I was “it.”  It was as if in my mind the magic of Christmas would cure our toxic relationship.  Slowly but surely, I awakened to myself, and now I am convinced that I deserve better.

Ladies and gents, this is the first Christmas in a long time that I am truly single.  I mean single-single.  I am single in my mind, heart, body, I belong to God and me alone.  Christmas is not my favorite holiday because of whose attached to me (contrary to Hallmark Channel’s popular belief), neither does this holiday bring me joy because of who is sitting at my dinner table.  Christmas is my favorite holiday because its the day God in goodness full of love gave the world a gift that was too good for it:  His Son.  He loved me enough to give me a piece of himself. And if the Creator gave himself so freely, why on earth should I have to beg someone to love me well?  I don’t.  Point, blank, periodt!

Friends, it took me seven years to learn that I deserved better.  Seven long, teary-eyed, exhausting years.  Now that I recognize my worth, I’m not begging anyone else to.  I know that I’m beautiful,  I know that I’m dope, I know that I’m wife material.  I understand that I am God’s gift to humanity, that I’ve been fashioned in gentleness and grace, that my class and elevated thinking is one to die for.  I know who I am.  And this awareness of me has shifted my whole approach to relationships.  Friends, know thyself!  Recognize the goodness that lies within you and refuse to beg anyone else to see what’s inside- especially someone with no vision, no goals, no ambition and a little to no future.

Be too proud of yourself to beg!

Xoxo,

Simone

Memories

I remember being prompted to write to you.

To unleash all of my thoughts and to direct them solely to you.

But fear came in, and I determined

that I could not bear such a weight of honesty.

I did not want to face this insecurity,

so I remained silent.

Yet, I could not continue to hide that…

my mind remembers you.

My mind is also convinced that 1+1=2…

that one day there will be

the two of us, freely

engaged in a relationship with one another

and not just simply together.

My mind and not just my heart is shipping us on the daily.

To tell the truth, you’re to blame

because since our first meeting I haven’t been the same

and that’s when fear and doubt came…

and I silently watched you forfeit the love game.

Hmmm… isn’t it crazy that after all the time that’s gone by,

after sleeping under different parts of the skies,

after absent vacations, birthdays and graduations,

after new jobs and new life situations,

after twists, turns, life unexpected promises,

after suicidal attempts and divine God-visits,

after years of addictions and brand new shoes,

after realizing that life was more than being cool..

I still cannot forget about you.

Trust me, I tried.

I stood in the mirror and lied,

said that I didn’t love you anymore.

I went too far in my confession, I even swore-

to those that loved me dearly and to those who witnessed my pain.

I promised I wouldn’t choose you, because I didn’t want you to break me again.

But my mind doesn’t care because I remember:

Indian and Thai food, Lakers, “Lebron, the princess!”, Christmas 2012, Phoenix (Parisian boys), “I’m destiny, you’re looking at it”, bagging contest, CNC galore, food science degrees, brewery dreams, “Sept. 15, Don’t forget!”, fields and fields of broken dreams.  July 10, 2011,> hands clasped at the altar.

I remember and I tried desperately to forget.

For 5+ years, every moment I’ve had in life has found a way to connect to you.

So… I know I’m intelligent, but maybe I’m a fool.

Because even on your worst days- I still want to be with you!

Maybe this is grace personified in me,

maybe this is love, maybe this is being free.

Maybe this is compassion bestowed liberally…

all in all, still remains the question of what to do.

Yes, I’ll admit it.  I never stopped loving you.

©Simone Holloway, 2018

FIC: https://i2.wp.com/indiacurrents.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/memories.jpg?resize=500%2C333&ssl=1

Grace, Poise and Confidence

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

Happy Friday!  I don’t have class today and I smile on the inside knowing that there is a God and He loves me dearly.  This week has been such a busy week and I cannot wait to get a free moment to sleep!

DISCLAIMER: I’m talking to the Ladies today!  Guys, you all are awesome but I’m speaking to my sisters, aunts, nieces, friends, and mentees about something missing from our world.  

Anyways…. I wanted to talk about something that is near and dear to my heart.  I am a big proponent of equality and ridding isms in our world, but I am also super concerned with this push to be a bad “B” rather than to be a lady filled with grace, class and poise.  We as women are powerful!  We are extremely powerful when we are filled with class, poise,grace, gentleness and strength.  I think because of the injustices, we have been taught that we have to assert our authority and become aggressive to be recognized which could be nothing further from the truth.  I love to see young women who carry themselves with class, not arrogance but a steady confidence in who they are and their ability.

My mom taught me to carry myself as a lady, she used to always tell me that when I entered into a room- my positive attitude and confident presence would speak for itself.  I did not have to show off my body for attention, I did not have to be the loudest person in the room, I did not have to esteem my own accomplishments and brag about my  abilities.  If I did a great job, those I impacted would speak my praises for themselves.  I used to think that she was just being super old fashioned and I spent time doing the complete opposite.  I came across as one who lacked self-worth, one who was super insecure and one who did not know the finesse of being the woman God created me to be.  This guy I was talking to said he wanted a girl that was just like a guy but with a different sex organ…ummm… I could never be that for him: because even though I was cool in conversation and extremely easy-going I was not a guy and I had no desire to become one.  There is something so amazing about living a life of class, respect and honor as a young woman.  This is not something that should be shunned or looked at as of days of old but something that should be adopted and revisited as a society.

Based upon experience, I’ve enjoyed my interactions with the guys around me by being who I am: a classy, gracious young woman.  It’s like my behavior, pulls out the gentlemen that are inside of them.  I experience more chivalry, more intimate conversations about life, and a supreme level of trust that came from an air of gentleness and security.  Our strength does not come from our aggression but rather from our gentleness.  I think God designed women the way he did to pull out the best in the men/world around them.  He made us powerful vehicles of life and he created within us this art of  cultivation and  beautification.  We make the world beautiful and we make the lives of our significant others beautiful with our words, mannerism and infectious attitudes.  It’s time that we uplift and build the rights of women around the world- by teaching each other that we are worth more than what we have been labeled.  We are not the property of men or society but we belong to a God who created us in grace to exude grace.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama is goals where it concerns grace, class and poise!

Until next time,

Simone

FIC: http://www.niamagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/First-Lady-Michelle-Obama-Opens-Up-to-Vogue_Nia-Magazine.jpg

Rooftops

Looking out of the window, gazing at the rooftops…

Oh, how I wish I was up there, hands stretched towards the sky.

I can feel the sun beckoning me outside, but I’m trapped within circumstance.

Trapped with responsibility, captured by what appears to be easy.

And I, would love to run away and find myself on a rooftop with you.

Let’s admit it- we always see better then we’re a little higher.

Level one for me has expired,

and I desire something more than what I see.

I want to be free!

Free in deed and not just in words,

serenely taken by the beauty in you.

So, what will I do?

Nothing, I’ll wait…

for my time has not yet come.

©Simone Holloway, 2017.

FIC: https://rutheh.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/nyc-rooftops-night2.jpg

Hanging Out….

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

Happy Thursday!  Thurdsdays are wonderful because they mean that we are a few days away from the weekend.  I hope you all are having a great day!  I have a confession to make- I HATE the way my generation enters into relationships!!!! LIKE, I REALLY HATE IT.  Maybe I’m just an old soul, but I am so attracted to the way my parents and grandparents approached dating, marriage and long-term relationships. A term that just irritates the heck out of me is this new form of dating entitled “hanging out”. OMG that phrase used in the romantic context drives me up a wall…

When someone tells me they want to “hang out”: my mind goes platonic/ friendship, casual clothing, chill-mode.  To me, I have no incentive to place any effort into the interaction that I may/may not experience.  SO… when a guy asks for my number and then ask if we can hang out, I’ve already placed them into the friend-zone.  I hang with my friends and I date potential significant others. This notion of I’m going to monopolize your time, require effort to test your potential without placing in effort myself, and expect girlfriend benefits without the label is very damaging to relationships.  Like, back in the day- if a guy wanted to date you or pursue something romantically with you- like, he asked you out on a date.  He planned the date.  He picked you up for the date, maybe opened doors for you and made you very aware of his intentions with you.  Today, the conversations are like- “Let’s hang out, maybe grab a bite- not really sure.” “I’ll call you, maybe- probably text you and we’ll meet up maybe.”  It’s so fickle.  Like: one day you’re digging me, one day you’re not.  One day you want a relationship, one day it’s too much for you and you’re confused.  Like bruh, it’s not that deep!  Let us not continue to waste time.

So, I’m not feeling this hook-up culture  masked under a common phrase “hanging out.” Dinner dates never go out style, chivalry is still a cool thing to have and phone calls are so much better than text messages.  And guess what?  Having standards is awesome too!  Let’s hang with our friends and date those we develop feelings for.

***Side-note:  I think this “hang-out/faux dating/hook up”culture is rooted in this deep-seeded fear of rejection by both men and women and this was like our band-aid to remedy the situation but that’s another blog post for another day… ***

Until next time,

Simone

FIC: https://68.media.tumblr.com/14b12f2b311c7d597871fc52fb2d650d/tumblr_omlm7zde3m1ujcvduo1_500.gif

 

You Are Enough

Hello old friends, new followers and  fellow bloggers-

I wonder how the world would look like if we loved people for who they truly were and not for who we wanted them to be.  Just think, what would our relationships look like  if we chose to accept our significant other in their entirety?  Would we be happy?  Would our relationships last?  I think the number one problem in relationships is the lack of acceptance towards one’s partner.

Many enter into relationships viewing their partner as their latest rescue project, an avenue of change, and not as a human being deserving of unconditional love.  I used to be so guilty of this, entering into relationships with this mission of changing the person I was with to fit my needs/desires.  This mindset misses the mark of why we enter into relationships in the first place.  We choose to journey with someone so that we can learn from them and vice versa.  We enter into relationships so that we can love someone in their entirety and in return we receive the same or a greater level of love. There is nothing worse than being in relationship with someone and not feeling like you  are enough- like you can’t be your true self with that person.

For years, I spent so much time hiding myself  from those I loved.  I was so afraid that I would not be accepted as I am, and in turn I picked up all these “rescue projects” along the way infused with a spirit of judgement.

There is this amazing verse that speaks of giving mercy, for the same measure of mercy given is the same measure of mercy that we’ll receive.  I think that we should do the same in our love, we should love people for who they are.  We should embrace them for who they are and not strive to change people into who we desire for them to be. When we go into our relationships seeking to change that individual, we are telling them that they are not enough for us just the way they are.  Our words or actions communicate that these individuals we swear to love are not: good enough, kind enough, smart enough, beautiful enough, and etc.  After awhile our significant others are knocked out of their throne of awesomeness, their empire of confidence and begin to question what makes them special and unique.  This is not the message God wants us to share with the world.  He made each of us different with different talents, gifts, features and etc.  He created us to accept our difference, to wear our awesomeness with pride- to Him, we’re enough!

So… I don’t know who mishandled your heart or who made you feel like you would never be enough, but I just wanted to let you know that YOU ARE ENOUGH FOR GOD.  He loves you for you.  His love is not contingent upon your job, GPA, swag or even your family connections.  He loves you for you.  If God who has a higher standard than us, love you for you- why can’t your significant other do the same?  I spent way too much time compromising myself so that others would like me, so that this guy who is only occupying a small margin of my existence would give me the time of day- but as I grow older: If I cannot be myself then I do not need to enter into relationship with that person.  I rather be true to myself than compromise who I am.  I’ve realized that I am enough and that those who love me must love me for me.  Point blank period!

Well family, I hope this encourages you. Always be reminded that you are enough and you do not have to abdicate your throne for anyone. Sit on your throne and rule like the QUEEN/KING you are.  Much love!

Until next time,

Simone

FIC: https://66.media.tumblr.com/f2feb3194450a36f2e2082b3d053b660/tumblr_noji4jKBNf1tf8ykeo1_500.png