There comes a time after the dust has settled after separation/divorce, when dating enters the equation. For me, I needed to know whom I wanted, before I proceeded down this slippery slope. I had never dated with kids before. I remember talking to one of my friends and she was surprised I was looking for a man who had been divorced and had kids. “Why do you want someone with all that baggage?” she asked.
“I really can’t remember. It was truly a blur. It is more of a reflective total, than it is remembering an exact feeling or moment.” That is pretty much my answer when people ask, “what was the first week like when you was separated from your husband?” You see we separated after living together for eight years. In that eight years, routine had been established for my household.
When life throws you a curve ball, routine still takes place. The kids still needed to go to daycare. I had to call into work and handle the unexpected. Procrastination had my house void of food, so grocery shopping definitely had to take place. That was just the beginning of the day. The evening routine rolled around and I had to pick the kids up from daycare. There was dinner, bath time, story time, and then bedtime. Finally, when I had put the kids to bed, I took some “process” time. All that meant is I cried myself to sleep.
By: Mia L. Hazlett
“I’m a strong independent black woman. I don’t need a man.” I spouted this ignorance to create a portrait of I’m not sure what, so many times. Not only am I unsure of my reasoning, but I honestly feel it was so others would think I had my shit together, when I didn’t. But I’ve come to discover, bravado is wonderful in the absence of humility.
I say this because it was a lie. At my weakest, I became dependent. I am not gay and want to be in a relationship, so therefore to do that I need a man. The funniest part about that saying, I’ve heard it said by tons of women, who are either in a relationship with a man or hunting for a man to be in a relationship with. Continue reading Build Your Village
By: Mia L. Hazlett
I don’t know about you, but for me, I can tell when change is coming. I sense that change is coming in my life. It’s not a change of ease, but one that will require discipline and focus. I’ve learned in life, there are instant and gradual changes. Easy change, I look at myself in the mirror and don’t like my clothes or hair, different outfit or new style. Hard change, living a two-income lifestyle and suddenly adjusting to a one-income lifestyle with the same two-income lifestyle expenses.
The thing about change, many people categorize it as easy or hard. I relate that to their level of patience. It’s considered easy when you can just change your jeans or shoes and feel more comfortable. Instant. But it’s much harder when you have to wait 2 years for the right job to come along. Not so instant.
When I have these weeks where I burn myself out, I have to remember where I was just four years ago. I used to say things like, “I would do anything to be busy or be late for something.” I was 15 months unemployed and wondering if I would ever be employed again.
Now I’m overbooked and running on empty. I never dreamed I would be raising my kids by myself. Don’t get me wrong, you know I’m a Village believer, and I have a wonderful Village that helps me out. But ultimately, when my alarm goes off at 4 am and my eyes just shut 4 hours before, it’s all me.
I guess my message is, reach out to those who love you more than you can love or even take care of yourself when you are ready to jump off that cliff. I reached out to my BFF yesterday, because I was ready to leap. I sent a quick text to her. I demand perfection from myself and now I was stretched at every end. Work was overwhelming, I had a term paper due and a final to study for, softball and sneaker shopping, and get this, my kids want dinner every night.
So, on 4 hours of sleep for the past 4 nights, my workday came to an end yesterday and I was ready to leave. I prepared for the next day, grabbed my jacket, pushed in my chair, shut the light off, and closed my office door. I forgot to walk through it before I closed it. It was dark. I was then at a stop light and the people behind me were honking their horns at me. One jerk came around my car and flipped me off. It wasn’t a stop light. It was a stop SIGN. I was waiting for it to turn green.
I started crying at that moment. I knew I was burnt out, but as any single mother knows, we schedule our pity parties into our free time. My commute is my free time. I was rushing, (late mind you and having my father pick my kids up) to my daughter’s softball game. By the time I sat at her game, I had been driving for 2 and a half hours. But, as Supermom, I couldn’t just watch her game, I had to study for my final too, so I pulled out my textbook and read at the same time.
Just in time, my BFF called when I was about to cry. My daughter’s coach said, “Good job Jazzy,” and I looked up in time to see her throw the ball in. I missed a play. BFF once again talked me off the cliff. My daughter stepped up to bat and we both cheered her on. I realized at that point, her godmother had attended every softball game too. She refuses to send child support, but I’m okay with that, as long as she continues to attend her games from 2000 miles away.
By the time I climbed into bed at 11 (because I was going to bed early) I had submitted my term paper, fed my kids, prepared for today, but I knew I had forgotten something. I forgot to eat. But I’m grateful. I’m not where I was four years ago.
By: Mia L. Hazlett
When I turned 40 this year, I reflected over the past four years. I had separated from my husband, embarked on a journey to start my life over as a single-income parent, endured over two years of unemployment and homelessness, and watched it come full circle through restoration. The one thing that remains, I am still single almost five years later.
The one thing where I’ve stayed steadfast, expectations. I have expectations for the next man who comes into my life. One of the major characteristics he must possess, financial stability. It’s funny because I’ve encountered some men who relate this to them having to come into my life and support my children and myself. One man could not simply pay for a quick dinner we met up to share. He had moved in with his friend and had no children in his household to support. For me, he was just not in a financially stable situation.
The other thing I’ve learned in dating, I keep things grown. No games. No secrets. You ask, I tell. He asked if we could see each other again and I said no because I don’t feel you are in a financial situation that will allow us to be compatible (maybe not those exact words, but you get the hint). He responded how he was not in dire straits and he was happy we weren’t going to see each other because he didn’t feel like supporting anyone.
I guess my question is, is it unreasonable to have a financial expectation of someone when looking to be in a long-term relationship? Is having an expectation of a checking and savings accounts, a gold-digging mindset?
By: Mia L. Hazlett
That’s right, I’m done with the Jesus thing. I haven’t done a very good job with it, so I’m through with thinking I can change all things and have complete control of everything and anyone that comes into my life, so I’m not going to waste any of my time or energy trying to change the impossible.
I would love to turn water into wine. It hasn’t happened. I just look crazy and end up disappointed. Apparently, I have not been blessed with that special ability. In accepting that I will have to pay for wine, I’ve also accepted I can’t change people, only myself. I spoke the other night to one of my BFF’s friends. He was having relationship issues, so he unloaded his problem and sought advice to his situation. He is a preacher who puts God first always. Over the past six months, Sunday was the day he and his girlfriend shared to worship God together. She considered it their day. He considered it a day he spent at church worshiping God. This particular Sunday, he decided to bring in a friend who was in need of a church home. He had spoken to him over the past few weeks and his friend was on the verge of suicide. He informed his girlfriend his friend was joining them and she was upset that he invited someone to church without informing her first.
It seemed odd to me this woman who knew she was dating a preacher, was somehow upset he would bring someone in need of a church home to church. He added a few other things he thought had changed about her over their relationship for the better, but was hoping she would continue to change in his favor.
The thing is, there are core behaviors in people, which form their character. When we get to thinking we can change these behaviors and attempt to form them to the mold of the person we want them to be, we are trying to play God. We put so much effort into changing that person, just so we won’t be alone, that in the months or maybe even years we put into changing the wrong person for us, we could have found the right one.
Know who you are and who you want in your life and you will attract them. If the wrong person comes first, know they are just that, the wrong person. Don’t waste your time or theirs trying to change them. If you want wine, seek wine. Don’t try to be Jesus and take some water and perform a miracle. It’s not going to happen.