Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Current is to Beautiful to be Controlled

Getting to a point in life where the big things in life no longer consume you can be exhilarating yet very scary. Not in a sense that you feel actual fear, but more of a general understanding of your circumstances, and the numbness that surrounds them is almost awakening. 
You are able to take a step back and remove yourself from any and most situations. I guess this could be translated as finally accepting that you cannot control life no matter how hard you have tried in the past. 
Accepting this loss of control isn't easy. Of course you will still face your emotions head on, but once you've stepped back and accepted the situation for what it is, you learn that it is supposed to be. 
I could tie this to many examples. For me personally, I could use my Air Force career as one. At one time in my career I thrived on turning the worst situations into award winning programs and this was done at an expense of myself and to my children. However, at this point in my life, I can sit back and calmly say, I've done enough and my trip on this road is simply done. I don't want to celebrate it, and I don't want to bask in the moment, I simply want to move on to my next successful journey. 
A second example would be getting caught up in the hope for Love or believing that one person must be the one. I've learned over the years that's it's possible to always find "a one" if you are always moving and in the grand scheme of things if you never moved there that person would of never been one. But sometimes you trip over a soul mate, and that's when you definitely just have to let time guide you, but in time...a long time, you realize exactly who they are.
But when you don't....it's pointless to get upset when things don't end up as you plan, because life is about timing. But most importantly about making a conscious choice on your time. 
Let's delve into this conscious choice of time a bit...
Think about it, if you were walking down the beach and you saw a golf sized diamond 💎 at the base of your feet, do you think you'd walk by it? I mean seriously.. would you pick up that diamond and think to yourself...hmmm, I just don't think it's the right time for me to find a diamond and sell it and make millions from it and live happily ever after so you toss it into the ocean for someone else to find? Of course not!! 10 out of 10 Individuals would pick up that diamond and feel like they won the lottery. 
It's a bit ironic right? 
How one could easily tie money to their happiness, and make that decision right away but when it comes to love or finding an amazing person, knowing they are the best for you, you can simply step back and say it's not my time for this and toss them back in the ocean? While bewildering I've come to accept at this freedom of loss of control that it's okay to just not be the one. The truth is something was ultimately missing in the connection. If that was a fear, or sexual, or physical, or culturally, or common interests. One puzzle piece just didn't fit and that's life. 
Not being the one does not mean you were not good enough, attractive enough, educated enough...they just knew or you just knew..that throwing a diamond back into the ocean was their decision and you have to respect that and just let it go. Because the next time you wash ashore, there will be someone who treasures what they find. Or sometimes, you will wash ashore again to that same person and they have now learned they'd never take the chance of losing you again, because they know now their love for you is unconditional. You could be a diamond or coal. It doesn't matter because you are invaluable to them. 

But until then...You beautiful diamonds out there, embrace the feeling of losing control and allow yourself to sink to the bottom of the ocean, where it's quiet, and still. And allow the undercurrents to move you thru the bits of sand and closer to the shore again while you enjoy your surroundings, ultimately knowing you are the most beautiful thing at the bottom. For the sun will still find your glow and allow you to always illuminate at the surface for another to possibly find. 

Monday, February 29, 2016

Don’t let “My Type” define you…Let your “My Wants” be your map to happiness

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  How many of us can relate to this?  We all have our demons, habits, or expectations, which we have allowed to drive us in life.  While younger we don’t even realize we are making choices that were groomed from poor childhoods or even entitled environments.  That is what is so beautiful about humans; we are so unique in our own way.  The differences we experience growing up and living life are all so individualistic, you are guaranteed to never find someone exactly like you in life. 

However, these experiences tend to navigate back to our life whether positive or negative.  We constantly repeat the same things over and over again.  This is because we develop a habit for the way the experiences make us feel. For example, lets use the jumping on the fitness wagon.  Some people love the feeling of freshness, therefore, setting a goal and starting a new fitness program fires sensors in their brain.  Creating an exercise plan, diet, etc…breaks up the monotony of life and creates excitement.  However, after a few weeks, the freshness wears off and the joy of the previous goal no longer stimulates the drive for something new.  You all have been extremely supportive over my fitness journey, but I’ll be honest, this is the first time in 10 years, I have actually followed through with competing and I am still not there yet.  However, this time, the freshness didn’t matter because the constant results of hard work motivate me everyday.

Another area I think we do this in is dating.  Something drives us to a type of person we are “sexually” attracted to.  I have had many types lol…From blond/blue eyes, to only islanders, to only Latinos…A running joke with my friends is I wont chase a man, but let him have muscles and tattoos and a Bi$&h might just power walk. I’d say this has been my type for the past couple years.  Dating the same men, “My so called type”, and expecting a different result each time. And when I did date someone who didn’t fit this type, I’d get so caught up in what was my type I never ever gave them a fair shot and ran away before I would hurt them.  I never embraced the good qualities. 

Very recently I met a man I am so very happy to call my friend.  I thoroughly enjoy our conversations and more importantly he makes me laugh.  He communicates about his life freely and really listens to what I say back to him.  For one of the first times in my adult life I actually feel like I am getting to know someone as an adult.  But what really woke me up is when he asked me what my type of man was.  Of course I went back to my rat wheel and stated the main type of man I normally date.  I could feel at that time as I wrote those words, he heard what I said, and protected himself in a sort of way. Any smart man would do that, because one must be careful of what and whom they give too.  But that isn’t what was so eye awakening. 

What really hit me like I got smacked in the head with a frying pan…JESUS Tess its so easy to see, is this…

All these men I have dated over the last couple years may of held my initial interest but really for one reason…They fit the mold of my troubled past. 
What I’ve grown accustomed to. That majorly overrated “Bad Boy” image. 
And when I thought of this new man, my new friend, my heart got warm,
because something woke up in me, and its beautiful. Because what I realized was no matter what comes of this new friendship, he is more “My Want” and holds more of what I desire in someone then any of the men I have dated or even married.

You see I dated one component of an individual in my past, the “My Type”, and tried to build and support the rest into “My Want”. Now lets talk odds for a second.  Let’s say you have 10 “My Wants” in someone.  For example, educated, successful, loving, communicative, etc….and the “My Type” is only one of those…so if you date someone who is only “My Type”…You are dealing with a very poorly stacked deck…Seriously what are your odds?  Maybe 2-3 out 10 qualities that would make you happy.  Which may work for awhile, but at some point the bad is going to outweigh good and you or them are going pull chalks. 

But when you look at someone, and throw the “My Type” to the side and really just focus on their qualities and how they fit the “My Wants”, you quickly realize that your odds of finding happiness are significantly greater…I’d say maybe even a “Perfect 10”.

So thank you new friend for helping me realize that Mr. Right will always be Mr. Wrong if I don’t focus on “My Wants” and not just “My Type”. And possibly...if they meet your desires of what you want in someone, they really were "Your
Type" more than you ever realized.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Fear not your enemy, but the one who said they love you

Fear not your enemy, but the one who said they love you.  As my story tends to go, I opened up my world to someone who over the past five years showed me more pain and sorrow than happiness, and in the end, he confirmed what my friends said he would do for years.  So many times, as I complained about him, they would say, let him go Turaeza, he doesn’t deserve you, and I would agree but something always made me accept his good instead of the bad, and in the end we were like a fire that engulfs itself because it would get to hot.

The more I pulled away over the years, the more he entered into my life.  I tried to escape many times, I dated others, but unfortunately, I had allowed him to become my foundation, and what I would call a my best friend.  It was so easy to do.  He is what I knew. He was my home. He was where I wanted to be. And as hard as I tried to take a new path, my trail always led back to the same place.  A place I knew he would be waiting for me.

For some reason, I thought I was different.  I don’t know why I did.  I thought the act of him never leaving my side was the effort he was able to give at the moment.  While the others (women) came and went, no matter how long they lasted; I was the one he never gave up on.  You see as a little girl whose father died I have a fear of abandonment.  Isn't it so clear that I would hold even tighter onto something that may have hurt at times because at least I knew it would always be there?

I don’t think I will understand my decision throughout all this, or why I thought he was so special.  And I don’t know how I could of let myself believe I was so different when I watched so many hearts get broken over the years. But I’ve always wanted and chosen to see the best in others.  That is a strength and weakness of mine.  And I think that we get to a point in our lives that a circumstance will always appear to show you the true spirit of someone.  The problem is, I think we see it all along, but excuses are often easier to face then letting something go, and having to face the unknown.  Like a blank piece of paper, waiting for you to begin your new story without them in it.   

This lesson was hard.  This lesson will stay with me for my entire life.  This isn’t a story of friendship and love that I lost.  I know I am always writing about relationships or my dating disasters.  This was a lesson of allowing a mediocre friendship/love impersonate what it is like to truly feel something and to experience what the epitome of loss feels like.  This was a lesson of ultimate cowardice.  And finally, this was a lesson of being the easy way out.  You see what I realized when I allowed the anger to subside is he wasn’t always there when I did not or did need him, nor did he never leave me.  In hindsight, he never really was there.  It was I that never left him.  I allowed him to come back when he couldn't face the reality of life.  I was the one who held on.  And I am the one who let go and walked away.  But in this I gained something only my heart knows and will cherish until I die, and I have now accepted it is time to find something not to walk away from. 

So here is to the ones out there who have been hurt.  You are not victims.  You are fighters, warriors, survivors.  Do not allow the actions of one become the bitterness of your future.  Take each punch with a grain assault, feel the pain, cry your eyes out, and get the hell back up and press.  Press for the life you know you deserve.  Ultimately, the only reason you experienced this pain is to help someone else out, recognize the actions so it doesn't occur again, or to truly value the actions of someone who treat you amazing when you find them.  Isn't it always that way. The one's who love the hardest or appreciate life's gifts are the ones who know what pain truly feels like or know what it's like to have nothing at all.  But in this lesson, I choose to smile and find happiness, and I hope you can too.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

When your heart breaks... Remember you're not the one walking in shame

When he chose to let go, I believed I was the one who had lost.

As the minutes, hours and days passed, I came to realize that I was looking at a picture he had painted for me. The vibrant colors that once stained the canvas were beginning to fade. The moment I began to paint for myself again, my soul and heart began to flourish.
I had not lost him; it was he who had lost me.
He saw the broken spirit within me that I was working hard to rebuild. He was drawn to the passionate energy I was, unknowingly, pouring out all over the place. He was on the same journey but was tired of doing it on his own. The difference between the two of us was that I would have continued to fix myself; I never seeked out others to do a job best done on my own.
I bravely took his hand, trusting that he would do his best to love me, that he would do his best to give me what I needed in return. I was under the illusion that this was the agreement we had come to.
I soon came to see that he loved me, solely, for what I was able to give. I continued to fill up his tank with my love, energy and passion, but every time I would come to him for mine, he never had any to give. My tank eventually ran dry and, instead of trying to find a way to fill it, he chose to move on to another that was already full.
It was he who had forfeited.
For me, his exit was the open door back to where I had left off. A door that was now open wider than it had been before.
For him, it was a tragic love story he chose to write.
He will miss me.
He will miss me because my love was deep, genuine and pure.
He will miss me because my default listening mode was without judgement.
He will miss me because I wanted to learn him; he was my favorite subject.
He will miss the way I could bring a sense of lightness to anything I deemed too serious.
He will miss the way I touched him with purpose and never anything less.
He will miss the way I would sometimes speak to him with everything other than words.
He will miss the way I was able to see the optimism when it seemed impossible to find.
He will miss my welcoming smile that awaited him at the end of every day.
He will miss my gentle touch that eased him into every morning.
He will miss my contagious curiosity and need to wonder.
He will miss my light that I could shine into his darkness.
He will miss me. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary

At some point in our lives we must choose a foolish road and completely set what we have learned and experienced to the side.  I always get so perplexed when I hear someone say they settled for someone of something.  Perhaps because I know I am not an average woman and I am far from basic.  Therefore, I have always felt that when the right person comes along they should be just as strong and successful as I. Which on more than one occasion, has never ended great for me.  However, I choose not to wallow in what I didn’t get out of it, as I know meeting them was never for me.

There are many times we come across individuals who are placed in our life for a small time or a reason.  We tend to grasp to those experiences, because when we are faced with being alone, we must face the fact that once again we failed.  And in failing, did we really fail or did we simply not accept settling for something that was never intended to be in our life as a permanent situation.  But why does it hurt every time we ask ourselves?

I will tell you, I AM SO FUCKING tired of sharing my story.  Telling people my tale.  Explaining how I grew up, what experiences in life have made me who I am today.  This is why being alone sucks, but what sucks more is sharing a piece of your heart with someone and letting them into your history so that they can take all this information, let it go in one ear…Enjoy you for a moment…and then move on to something easier.  And like I have told many women and men, we once again place the blames on ourselves.

It really is a vicious cycle.  I met a man awhile back and when I tell you he laid out his life history in a resume, he DID.  You know what I am talking about right?  You can grasp what a man wants from you based on what he shares with you.  Most men do not want to go into detail about their upbringings, what they want in life, where they want to retire, etc, unless they see something where you could possibly be a part of it.  This is the case of a resume.  And women...We do the same thing.  We talk to please the conversation and not simply to share our general feelings on a subject.  Do you see what you are doing here?  You are SETTLING!  But are you doing it for the greater good? Hmm…

The crazy thing is you don’t care that you are settling when you do this, because you are selling your resume.  Hoping they like what is put before them and will hire you on to their team of life.
So anyhow, this guy sells me his resume and would simply fall off the face of the earth.  Then when or if I saw him again and blow him off, the conversation would go full circle again.  Learning more about each other’s wants in life.  Sharing very personal upbringings and discussing your future lives plans.  Then again…falls off the face of the earth, until repeat 3, 4, 5.  And while this would normally be very easy for me to brush off, I didn't this time. 

In my heart, I wanted to feel what it was like to just be completely vulnerable.  Put it all out there.  I felt that maybe this time I should put the cold heart, the hard mind to the side and just melt into the thought of a possibility.  And I never saw it as settling, or losing myself, my strength, never for a moment.  I truly believed in my heart that there was a reason for me to choose being a fool for love than a strong independent woman who fears hurt and rejection. 

My settling, my choice to be a fool for an imaginary possibility. 

Well it didn't go anywhere except for complete silence. And while I felt a bit of pain, I couldn't help but smile.  Smile for two reasons.  One, I knew it wasn't me.  I still knew I was amazing even with the rejection.  And two, because it woke me up to the fact that sometimes settling is not such a bad thing.  Sometimes it is just a moment when you realize that everything this person has or has endured is something you can see your life supporting and loving.  And that is not a bad thing at all.  It is just a moment and person you could see settling in life with.  To feel completely accepted and loved without reason.  And ultimately if I can find that with someone again, I would be ecstatic risk the unusual to settle for love and not ordinary.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Rose in No Man's Land

A Rose in No Man’s Land

Typically in historical times, the conventional mindset was war is a man’s fight.  However, there are more than 250 documented cases of women who served in the ranks of both the Union and Confederate armies dressed as men, an act at once rebellious and patriotic, using this usurped male social identity to claim full status as citizens of their nation and access male independence in an age when neither was available to women.  These sacrifices were at times patriotic, and at other times were out of love to remain close to their husbands.  These amazing women encountered intolerable conditions to change a society of suffrage and to give us the rights we are afforded to at this moment.  And to date, the total numbers of women who serve in the Department of Defense only make up approximately 14.5% of the total force. 

As a proud woman serving for almost two decades in the Air Force, I have come across a variety of women serving.  I would tell all who read this to never judge a book by its cover.  Treat a woman as an individual first, and allow them the opportunity to prove their dedication to the mission.  Being a girly girl myself, I have been misjudged many times over my career.  And of all that have been honest with me later on about judgment, told me that they judged me first on gender and personality and after I had earned their respect for my leadership and professionalism, exclaimed they would stand behind me any day in any battle.  I tell you this because it is honest, and many times we avoid honest facts as to not offend another individual.  I say instead of fearing judgments, be yourself, embrace your personality and characteristics you were born with, and show all those who work with you or for you what a “Jet Packing” lady looks like.

I know it’s not easy.  Our lives upbringings often dictate our behaviors and mentalities on many subjects.  Personally working with a “tribe” of women on the USAFE Inspector General, I have personally seen how many women adapt to the environment they work in to achieve success due to working in a male dominated career field. While I know this is a norm, I would preach to the young women in the Armed Forces to embrace your confidence and the characteristics that you carry as a woman.  One of these characteristics, personally my strongest trait and by far my favorite, is empathy.  Empathy is the ability to recognize and share people’s feelings and one of the most important tools in a leaders tool box. In Simon Sineks latest best selling book, he states, “the lesson I’m learning is that I’m useless by myself.  My success hinges entirely on the people I work with, people who enlist themselves to join me in my vision.”  Know your people, show them you care, and in the end, your people will take care of you regardless of gender.

Lastly, I would ask you contribute to the cycle of history.  Make our military a better place for all.  Understand that success and ideas are placed in your heart for a reason.  It is up to you to take a plan, put it into action, and be willing to stand behind it whether it succeed or fails.  Ultimately, if your passion furthered a program, you succeeded regardless.  Women are going to continually grow in our armed forces and acquire higher positions.  With these acquisitions of positions, the direction of our Armed Forces will change with broader understandings and innovative changes.  Areas of focus will further you, and your capabilities in the military.  For example when I joined the Air Force, GI Jane was once just a movie, but in my short time, women are now entering piloted programs to serve in active combat roles. 

I’ll conclude with this,a new personal legacy of mine that I will share with each of my female Airmen.

This is the story of a Rose in No Man’s Land.  It goes:

I've seen some beautiful flowers,
Grow in life's garden fair,
I've spent some wonderful hours,
Lost in their fragrance rare;
But I have found another,
Wondrous beyond compare.

There's a rose that grows on "No Man's Land"
And it's wonderful to see,
Tho' its spray'd with tears, it will live for years,
In my garden of memory.

It's the one red rose the soldier knows,
It's the work of the Master's hand;
Mid the War's great curse, Stands the Red Cross Nurse,
She's the rose of "No Man's Land".

Out of the heavenly splendour,
Down to the trail of woe,
God in his mercy has sent her,
Cheering the world below;
We call her "Rose of Heaven",
We've learned to love her so.

While the story of a Rose in No Man’s Land once stood for our Red Cross nurses who supported men in combat, I say we broaden this mindset to all women in the Armed Forces now.  Because, while just a flower, a rose withstands life in some of the harshest environments, yet stands strong with beauty throughout all seasons.  Congratulations! You are now the roses of no man’s land.  Let’s leave a legacy and continue to stand strong and stand tall!