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.
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?
I have to admit that, in general I enjoyed the conversation I had last night with five strangers about the bad things that happen to your previously active sex life after you get married.
Honestly for most of my marriage the sex was fine. Both of us are generally pretty adventurous by nature so when I could get it, it was cool.
There were obvious things that got in the way like;
By: Mia Hazlett
We have yet to meet. God has been working on me, as well as on you. Let me tell you, He had a lot of work to do. He first had me deal with undesirable life circumstances. It was the best thing He could have ever done both for me and for you.
You see, to deal with my marital separation, my transition from two-parent income to one, homelessness of over two years, unemployment for the same length, led me to define who I am today. Not only do I know who I’ve become, but I’m secure in being this incredible woman.
So how does this benefit you as well? I’ve dealt with my past and left it there. You don’t have to compete with my past, because I’ve refused to allow it to become my present and have taken the lessons, to avoid it repeating itself in the future.
I’ve also waited for you. I did not rush to find someone to fill a sudden void and dishonor my faith. I waited patiently on God, and asked Him to craft you for me, for He knows me better than I know myself. Not only does he know the desires of my heart, but he knows who is best for me. He has restored my heart to love freely again, because there are no past burdens that I continue to carry.
I’m happy I waited for you. You are an honest man of God, integrity, and value. I have an unwavering faith that God made you for me and me for you.
With Love, Respect, and Appreciation,
By: Mia L. Hazlett
Let go. Let go. Let go. Let God. Let God. Let God.
You want to know who I am? I am the daughter of God, who was filled with a heart’s passion to write and be an exceptional mother. I am an educated professional who supports her family on a single income, but I am not a single mother. I am a dreamer to some, but not to myself. How is it a dream if I made it come true? https://www.createspace.com/3747445 Yes. I made my dream come true. I wanted to write and publish a book. I wrote and published a book.
My book came from letting go of my past. What you’ve just read about who I am, was not how I always felt about myself. I had to give up everything to be in my present mindset. I left a horrendous employer. I separated from my husband. I moved out of our apartment. In all of these endeavors of finality, I brought along with me my two daughters.
I realized my life had come down to keys and a title. I no longer had house keys. I no longer had keys to an office. Above all, I had turned in a job title and marital status. I was a grown woman with no job, no home of my own, and now checked separated, instead of married. I held the key to my car and the title of mother. I was at the point, where I had to let go of my past and have faith in my future. I had to let go and let God take control. I did.
Presently – there has been almost complete restoration. I’m living in a beautiful new home. I have a wonderful job. I bought a new car. So yeah, you figured it out, I’ve remained single throughout this all. I’ve dated, but my heart and mind are not ready.
As I finally come up on my divorce, I realize I had to let go of my past relationships, so that God may bring new in this area of my life. I’ve had to say good-bye to the bad and the good. I’ve learned many things about myself from all of them, but to move on, I’ve had to close the door. That’s right, I’m finally at a point in my life, where I close the door, instead of letting God do it for me. I am so thankful that I let go and let God.
About a week ago my daughter showed me this beautiful video by a college student, Jefferson Bethke performing a spoken word piece about religion. So many things about this video stood out to me but one line stood out so clearly, it’s the one I quoted when I shared it with my friends on Facebook.
He says “I spent my whole life building this façade of neatness, but now that I know Jesus I boast in my weakness”.
I recently had lunch with a friend who I thought I was just meeting to talk about work type stuff. That discussion quickly went by the wayside when she decided to trust me enough to tell me about some difficult times she was having. One thing that stood out to me is that she had not told many people.
I knew exactly why.
As women, especially black, professional women, so much is expected of us. If we don’t appear to have it all together at all times, we are always afraid we will be immediately dropped into the stereotypical troubled black girl bucket.
We feel like we have to be relatable to our non-minority counterparts (like they don’t go through hard times). It’s an unwritten understanding that we have to be twice as good as our peers to earn equal credibility, thus, leave no flaws visible.
The other thing that happens among us is that we “hate” on each other. When we get a win; get a great job, find a good guy we are happy for our friend (sort of). But when we find ourselves in over our head in that new job, or that guys turns out to have a wandering eye, SOME of our friends are the last ones we want to turn to.
So we hide our weaknesses, and pains, sometimes to the point where we endure pain, abuse and worse in silence.
Momma said keep family business in the house, right?
I am as guilty of this as anyone, but little by little I am starting to open up. But to Mr. Bethke’s point our trials are our testimony.
I don’t have a ton of money, or lots of free time, but I do have my story. I have been through so many things, and with faith, patience, prayer and support I have come further that I knew I could, and I know I have more to accomplish. If five years ago when I felt like my life had reached a new low, someone would have told me “I’ve been there, hold on, it will get better” that would have changes so many things for me. I might have even gotten to this point faster than I did (I spent a considerable amount of time wallowing in my sorrow).
So if you’re reading this today, and you are going through something difficult, listen, I know it’s hard but if you push through it, there is something good for you on the other side.
Sometimes it’s hard to keep the future beyond the struggle at top of mind when you are going through something bad. I need reminders, for EVERYTHING. Write it down, big, and put it on your mirror. I know one woman who had it taped her steering wheel. It helps to keep reading it even if you’re not feeling it. Read it out loud, generally what you speak becomes your truth.
Finally know, you are not alone.
Others are standing where you have stood. If your friends don’t understand, or they are haters, find some people that do understand. I never ask parenting advice from non-parents, or people whose kids are terrible. Reach out to people who you think might k now what you are talking about and might be able to help. F what your mama said and speak your truth. It makes your human, and just might get you what you need to get through this thing.
If you can’t find anyone, come find me. My friends and I have unfortunately been through some pretty rough times, and we are all still standing strong, and being blessed every day. We’ve been broken too many times to judge you on your broken-ness.
And when you get through it, and I am sure you will boast in your weakness, and be there to hold the next woman up.