Long Over Due

~Hey Family! I pray this week has made you realize how much your presence impacts others’ lives. It did just that for me. This journey will definitely be one of the most emotional ones yet. It honestly is long overdue though…

Before we get started, I’ve reached out to the person involved in this journey. I always said I would never ask permission to write my truth, however, this is a sensitive subject. She has given me permission to openly and truthfully discuss this time of our lives. Ready to explore? Indulge and Enjoy!~

I hurt you… I hurt you before I even had a chance to know you… I remember the day so vividly. The first fire drill of Sophomore year. You told me I looked like a cute dinosaur. You even referenced the fictional Barney character Baby Bop. (Years later, you told me we had been joking in the class prior, and I believe you, I just can’t remember the conversation.)

Baby Bop… I felt like you were attacking my physical appearance. I assumed because you transferred in from another school, you were trying to “make a name for yourself.” I remember vowing to make you cry every day for the rest of our high school career. But, I didn’t realize how impactful high school is on the rest of our lives…

I embarrassed you… I took a class assignment, in Religion class nonetheless, to air out a bunch of rumors I heard about you. If creating a PowerPoint wasn’t hurtful enough, I and, two other individuals presented it to the entire class. Laughing and looking in your direction the whole time.

I did everything I could, to assassinate your character… I mean, I can’t even remember all of the terrible things I said about you. The rumors I would hear through the grapevine and make sure they were continued. The hate, I felt for you… The hate, I felt for me…

After a year and a half (maybe a little longer), something in me clicked. I remember pulling you aside and giving you a generic apology. There was no explanation… No conversation… No ownership… Just I’m sorry.

The revelation that hit me this week, on the 10-year anniversary of the second month of senior year, is I still owe you an apology. You see, I apologized privately for a public crime. I ruined parts of high school for you and whispered sorry… Well, my beautiful friend (Yes ya’ll, after all this she accepted me as her friend, and still does!), this is the apology you deserved.

I am sorry… does not begin to remove the damage I inflicted on you. I’m sorry… cannot bring back the precious high school moments, that ended up being not so precious, because of me. I’m sorry… will not dry up the tears you shed, wondering why I hated you so much. There is nothing, NOTHING IN THIS WORLD, I could say to reverse the pain I’ve caused you, however, I pray, my sorry brings you just a little peace…

You didn’t deserve what I put you through. You are so beautiful, loving and intelligent! And, I promise, you were all of these things back then. Your confidence infuriated me. Your beauty intimidated me. Your bubbly, outgoing personality mocked my desires for me. You were perfect in my opinion, and you still are. I envied you.

When you compared me to Baby Bop, it destroyed the last seed of confidence I had. Because you didn’t know of my low self-esteem, you walked away unphased. That was the moment I chose to hate you. And no, none of this is me saying my actions were your fault. This is just how unhealthy my thought process was. No explanation I give will justify the words/actions I targeted you with, however, I pray, my explanation brings you relief.

What I need you to know is, you are one of the strongest women I know! There are high schoolers killing themselves to get away from their bullies. Not only did you fight through my tormenting, but you also excepted me as your friend once I stopped. You have never thrown any of my actions in my face. Your friendship is the definition of forgiveness. Recently, you said something that broke my heart… Your exact words were, “I wish I could see what you see, but thanks.” Allow me to tell you just a little of what I see…

Your smile is radiant, and it lights up every room you walk into (ALWAYS HAS). You are so ambitious! I remember when we were getting laid off at work. There was this specific job you wanted and you refused to accept any other offer. Guess what, you got it! You’re a wonderful mother!! The way you have taken on motherhood is so amazing to watch! You’ve exhibited an abundance of grace, in your new life journey!

To say, “I’m proud of you,” would begin to express my feelings towards you. I respect you! I appreciate you! I admire you! I am grateful for you! And, I cherish you! Keep shining bright, beautiful!

So often, we make the ugliest decisions, very publicly. When we realize how wrong we really are, we shoot a text and apologize, for our ugly behavior. Here’s the thing, the party we hurt deserved the same apology as the pain we delivered.

In a perfect world, none of this should have happened, but it did. I shouldn’t have been a bully, but I was. Because I couldn’t reverse my words and actions, being fully transparent, I should have called a pep rally to the auditorium, called her on stage, and apologized for my actions, in front of the entire school. But, I was a coward back then. For me, over 10 years later, this is the next best thing.

Allow me to be clear, I don’t know if she even thinks about the events of high school. I do, which is why we have explored this. I want everyone to take a few points from this journey:

Watch what you say.

Think before you speak.

Fix your insecurities.

And, own your words and actions (good and bad).

I love you all beyond belief!

As always, feel free to ask questions and/or leave feedback in the comments section.

(All new journeys will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.

Angel On Earth

~Hey Family! I pray blessings and love to you and your families this holiday season. This week is going to be very different. A close friend was killed this Tuesday and I will not be able to attend the funeral so this post is my goodbye to him. Relax and explore some very raw emotions with me. Indulge & Enjoy.~

I remember the first time I saw you playing, with my big brother Anthony, on the playground at Holy Family Elementary School. My first thought was  “He’s too old to be playing with my brother…”  I couldn’t understand how a third grader could have gray hair, probably because I was only a second grader. I soon found out you and my brother were the best of friends when you ended up walking home with us one day. From then on you became another brother…

You were always so nice to me. Even when my biological brothers were jerks. You would tell me, “That’s what brothers do,” and convince me I had no reason to be upset while still acknowledging my feelings. I remember being upset with you once because you laughed at one of their jokes about me. I’m sure I was being overly emotional but, as soon as you noticed you apologized and promised to never do it again… to my recollection, you didn’t. When my emotions got the best of me you always gave me the biggest hugs and told me not to cry. For some reason that was enough.

From failed relationships to me deciding to move to Georgia and, not knowing how to manage being so far from family, you were there. Oh wow, I just realized I never even said thank you. You caught so many of my tears. Even when we hadn’t seen each other in years.

You were entirely too perfect for this world. A man willing to give anything and everything to help the next person. I literally, have never heard you raise your voice in anger. I definitely remember how you filled the room with laughter and joy though.

It’s eating me up that you had to suffer. It’s pissing me off that I’m writing this post. I keep telling myself that God had to take you because you were too perfect to live among us selfish individuals.

I am so sorry that life happened and I couldn’t get out of my mess long enough to be the friend to you that you were to me. I’m sorry I missed your call on Thanksgiving and never made time to call you back. I’m sorry our hearts wasn’t as big as yours.

I don’t have to ask you to forgive me for being flawed, because I know you already have. The lessons and conversations you have taught me will remain in my heart forever. I promise to do my best at smiling as bright as you and spread as much joy and you did in your short 28 years of living.

It’s crazy how the world works. The kindest, most people seem to deal with the most pain. You literally are the most genuine person I’ve ever met. I’ll never forget all of the nights, I use to classify as annoying, watching you and the boys playing video games. Dragonball Z and wrestling were always the topics of discussion, while you drank like 4 glasses of Nesquik Chocolate Milk and tell corny stories, that seems way funnier now…

It’s so hard to believe your gone. Even harder to try to make sense out of a tragedy that will never make sense. I’m not ready to say goodbye, none of us are. I don’t want to end this post because it seems too soon. No, it is too soon…

I know your family misses you immensely. I promise to check in as often as they allow me to. I promise to help them continue to shine your bright light through this dimly lit world. You will always remain in our hearts.

Thank you for being the amazing angel you are.

In memory of

Joshua Santos

August 6, 1990 – December 18, 2018

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.

Mending the Past

~Hey Family! Notice anything different? This week has been a beautiful mess! While writing this post, I questioned how ready I was to share this stage of my journey. The final decision was to share because anyone embarking on this journey with me deserves transparency and truth. I honestly pray you CAN’T relate and learn from my mistakes. 

Before we dive in, I promised you all a therapy update! Even though there’s not much to share, I want to keep my promise. It was a really comforting first session. Definitely informative, we talked about a little of everything. I’m not going to say I left feeling awesome because I didn’t. When I left, I was in deep reflection of my past. I guess that’s where this blog stems from… Indulge and enjoy!~

The hardest part of this journey is admitting how much destruction I’ve caused people around me. I’m being forced to reflect on circumstances that I’ve become numb to. Acknowledging that I was a horrible friend. Take ownership of my actions and how it changed the position I held in their lives.  Allowing them to tell THEIR TRUTHS without taking offense. Asking for forgiveness with no expectation of receiving it. And, allowing them the time they need to reflect and decide they are willing to allow me access to their lives again. 

I’m being forced to humble myself and put my ego aside. I can’t approach the conversations in defense mode. I have to be silent and really hear how I hurt some of my closest friends, my best friends even. Realizing that even if they choose to forgive me, they may never allow me to be as close as I once was. 

Keeping it real, I was blessed with some amazing friends! Like my best female friend, I mean at this point she’s my sister, but she has been to hell and back with me. Granted throughout the time we’ve been in each other’s lives (10+ years) we’ve had some amazing times! We were each other’s support systems. Because of the points we were in our personal lives, we supported each other in different ways. I was her physical support (like helping with my niece), but she supported me emotionally. 

Emotional support sounds easy, right? WRONG! She had to deal with my raw emotion, which isn’t pretty at all, trust me. She was the call that was made 2 seconds after my heart was broken, or in the midst of making a dumb decision. My voice of reason. But, what happens when you’re too broken to accept words of wisdom. You run…

Her life became my personal revolving door, popping in and out when convenient. No matter how many times I disappeared she was always there with open arms to deal with my next crisis. Sometimes, I ran because I didn’t know how to sit and listen when she needed me, other times I ran because I knew she was telling me the right thing to do.

The last time I walked away was in early 2017. When I came back, late December 2017, I found out I have a nephew!  I was shocked, confused, heartbroken even. I couldn’t believe it had been that long, but I had missed 9+ months. She welcomed me back but it took us a long time to “get close” again. We had a lot of generic conversations in the beginning. And, I know she would deny it however, I believe my inconsistency is a part of the reason why I didn’t meet my nephew (in person) until just a few days ago.  I honestly can’t blame her though. 

Though I’m so thankful she accepted me back into her life, everyone isn’t that easy to forgive. If they do forgive, they aren’t that quick to move forward. I met my female best friend through her brother, my male best friend.  We connected my freshman year of high school. He knew everything there was to know about me. Literally the ONLY guy my mom would let me hang out with.

Our friendship took a lot of twist and turns, we always bounced back though. Well, when I move to Georgia, we’ll talk about this soon, I was so damaged that I allowed what I knew to be altered. Our entire friendship became blurry. I allowed my male best friend to be portrayed as my enemy.  Instead of standing firmly in the facts, I built up anger, hate, and rage for someone I once loved.  That caused me 4 years and counting of friendship with him. I finally reached out to him and we talked for about 2 hours.

The end result being he forgives me but doesn’t know if he wants me in his life. He’s unsure if mending the past is worth it at this point. For me, I understand why he’s so hesitant, I just want him to be able to enjoy my healthiness the way he had to deal with my pain. Did I tell him that? Of course, however, he is a strong-minded person and there is nothing I can say or do to sway his thoughts. I have accepted that there is nothing further I can do and, I can’t make the decision for him. I will respect whatever decision he chooses. 

To think about all the lives impacted by my insecurities is overwhelming at times. I wish I could sit down and genuinely apologize to each and every one of them. I understand and accept that I could only offer them who I was in that moment. It just saddens me to know that all I could offer was brokenness…

You know what to do from here! Feel free to ask questions and/or leave feedback in the comments section. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook!

Beautiful Passionate Love

(All new post will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.