Saturday, October 6, 2012

Let's Talk About It: Making LOVE Last!!!

What is one thing that we all wish to obtain? Unconditional Love!!! What is that exactly? How do you get it? Better yet, how do you GIVE it? and whom should you give it too? Across my timeline and newsfeed I often see those single, women and even men yearning for that unconditional love, but the truth is, are you really ready for what it take to obtain a long term love filled relationship?

My husband and I will soon (on 10/18/12) be celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary (YAYY!!!). Collectively we have been together for NINE years!!!! Having met at 17, we have had our UPs and downs, but we have remained together for NINE years straight...none of that off agian, on again stuff. So while I am still (relatively) young, I think I may know a thing or two in this area. Not to say that I am an expert nonetheless, I can only say what has worked for us.

I will try to do this without spilling too many "beans" but hey nobody is perfect and when I say we have been through it....we have been THROUGH it. This was my first "real" relationship so I can't really say but I would imagine that one like ours, getting together so immaturely and literally having to GROW up together, is one of the most challenging things to do.

Adolescence is one of the toughest stages of life, taking your own struggles, and merging them with another. In my experience I learned that being in a relationship and starting a family does not make you grown or "mature". It may make you THINK a bit more about certain things in life, but it does not make you exempt from those confusing conflicts such as in Erikson's Psychosocial Stage "Identity vs Role Confusion", trying to find yourself and be yourself while trying to "please/conform" to your significant other, which part is your geniune self? which part is bit of you molding to the other? and how can you tell the difference between the two? In that relationship it is so easy to try to "surpress" your true self for the sake of your relationship, being so endulged in one another, at that time...I think it is possible to "skip" that stage, but for only so long, eventually you will come back to it, no matter your age, you will want to identify with your true self, which may ignite a conflict in your relationship if you significant other does not understand this, luckily for me, mine did.

I say all of that to illustrate that relationships are HARD and I KNOW this. This is all my PERSONAL opinions, if it helps you, then I have done my job, but I am in no way expecting you to agree with EVERYTHING that I say.

There is no "perfect match" for you. If I made a list of my perfect husband would not have made the cut. For example; he is responsible, determined, god fearing, great father, clean cut...yadda yadda ya...everything BUT romantic!!! And I so happen to be a HOPELESS romantic. I watch all of the chick flicks and think that that is how my life is supposed to play out...profess your undying love for me in the rain, so I know it's real. Yea in my dreams with this guy. So say I leave him for a hopeless romantic huh....who does not pay the bills on time, who may be unreliable, or whatever the case. The point is no one is going to be PERFECT...think about what attributes are most important to you... the ones that you have to take in consideration when deciding if you can spend your life with this person, SHARE your life with this person.

Getting with someone, falling into lust, like or sometimes even LOVE is the easy part, but once you are there, how do you STAY there? That is the challenge? This is what has worked for us, and when I say works for us, that does not mean that we have been doing this and so this is what works, I mean this is what we have LEARNED to do, how to make it work, and it doesn't mean that we never fall short, and slip up. I look at it this way:

As much as I love God, I still slip up can I be perfect with/to another human being with no slip ups? It's impossible, and it's the same with him to me.

I think when you look at it that way, it puts things in perspective. Now I am no expert, so I can't say that you can take that mindset and make it work with just ANYONE...I still believe that it has to be YOUR one, the one that God made for you. How do you know if this one, is YOUR one? That I can not answer for certain, as I am sure it is different in everyone's case, but for me, when I look back on my life, it all seems to have revolved around meeting HIM, like I met him at just the right time in my life...and the fact that I love him at his worst it just makes sense, all that other "stuff" like "communtication, trust, and so on" you can work on, love is the one aspect in a relationship where if it's there then it's there and if it isn't well then it isn't and it won't be. You can't make yourself love anyone, whom you just don't love...and vice versa.

So my rule is: If you LOVE (truly LOVE) him/her, then you can make it work.

How do you know if you LOVE someone? Some may ask. My answer to that while personal, to me, may bring light to the situation....I could say "When you want for them, more than you want for yourself, everything that you want for yourself and more"...while that is real love, it is a bit cliche and can be mistaken. So will tell you this:

One morning my husband came in hung over and sick, while out getting him some medicine I found out some VERY disturbing news (while I want to tell you to just use your imagination, I know most will assume the absolute worst, and well I live in a small town so let me just clear this up, no he did not have sex with anyone least he SAYS that he didn't -_-) anywho I found out that he'd lied to me about where he had been....or perhaps with whom he was with, furious I stood there in the medicine aisle, wanting to drop everything, leave his ass throwing up until he was left hollow...I did even put the medicine down....but my heart would not let me. He was pitiful...and the biggest baby when sick. While I was still furious, I could not let the boy suffer...smh, so I bought the medicine, gave it to him, all the while cursing him the hell out!!! HELLO!! LOL but it was at that moment that I realized that I just loved him, in my core, and as long as I felt like that love was being reciprocated, then I would work it out till the end of the world with him.

The same goes for him, I realized his love for me was real, when I was at my worst, deserved him the least, and yet he still stood by my side, even if it hurt him to do so...together we stood and we still stand.

I have watched couples get married and divorce and I just wonder what it the difference between them and us? Why not us? I don't have an answer to that, and as the elder would say "Just keep on living". I am not saying that we will NEVER divorce, though I pray that we don't. I am aware that some 20, 30+ year marriages sometimes just end...I don't know all the answers but I like to blame communication on that one. Someone have spent more than half of their lives silently unhappy and finally decides to bust a way will a I believe that anyone in a 20 year marriage suddenly decides to leave at year 22 bc they have been unhappy for the past 2 years :-/ Not happening.

In a nutshell, what do I think is the key to making love last?
~Accepting your partner for who they are.
~Communication, on both ends, if you are going through somethings emotionally, don't be afraid to talk to your partner about it, be open. Their role in that should be LISTENING, and being supportive, because whatever it is that you are feeling, it's YOU, yours to feel and you can not help that, should not be ashamed of it, or feel the need to hide it.
~Listen. Listen to THEIR needs, THEIR wants. Whatever they are trying to convey to you, truly listen and process the message. Once I would shower him with gifts, surprise parties, date nights, whatever, keep in mind that I am a hopeless romantic. I was loving him the way I wanted to, the only way I knew how to love, nevermind the fact that over and again he was expressing his true need from me and I would shun it off as if it were a joke, feeling as though, I loved him perfectly enough. If your partner is telling you something, they are telling you for a reason, listen carefully.
~Compromise. While sharing one life, you are still two people, with seperate thoughts and desires. Learn to meet in the middle, win some, lose some, give some and take some. Don't do with anger or attitude, your partner is "part" of you, so while YOU, yourself, may not be getting what you want, you're still getting what YOU (as a whole) want, if you can fathom that. LOL.
~Lastly...Don't fight one another, fight FOR one another. I think that is self explanatory.

Hope I wasn't to "long winded" and ran ya off. Hope you enjoyed this piece, and as always...Thanks for reading =-)

Friday, October 5, 2012

How I Style and Care for My Box Braids!!!

In all honesty, this may not be a fair title because while this is HOW I have styled my box braids...I have had them for only 3 days. Worn them in these 3 styles and will continue to play with different styling techniques.

Let me discuss my installation process. Some of you who have been following me, may know that I have been wanting some box braids for the LONGEST, and after a traumatic experience at the African braiding shop, I quickly said "Fahget about it"...well now that they (box braids) have become more popular again, more "kitchen beauticians" are welcoming to do them again...while before they would flare their nostrils at the thought of how long they took.

Well a friend of a friend did mine. Though my last relaxer was in July, I am extememly underprocessed/ texlaxed. So I have quite a bit of new growth. A few days before the appointment I cowashed my hair and blew it out, so that it wouldn't be to tangled. The night before I GHE'd for moisture. The morning of was hectic so I wasn't really able to comb through one more time before the appointment. Anyway to make a long story short, she was soooo gentle with my head and even more considerate and careful with my hair! I am always so nervous about other's in my hair when I am in need of a "perm" because my kinks get so tangled and coily. I have no complaints on the installation process. As far as the braids themselves go, I am happy. I would have liked them maybe 2 inches longer, they are close to MBL now. Would have prefered them to be a bit thicker as well. They were braided snug but not to tight, again no complaints.

I plan to keep them up until Dec. 30, (unless they still look good) give my hair a good shampoo (ORS Creamy Aloe) Good DC with heat, and then get them re-braided again. Unless it will be to much stress on my hair to get it re-braided the same day, then my perhaps, I can wig it for a week, then get it re-braided.

I am at a cross road again not knowing whether I want to transition or continue to relax. So my plan is to stretch for one year before I make a decision. My last relaxer was July 21, 2012. I want to PS (protective style) up until then, do a big reveal, perhaps a length check by way of professional flat ironing if my relaxed hair is still "up to par", then make a decision as to whether I want to relax it or continue on with a long term transition.

My Box Braid Regimen??
I will cowash my braids every two weeks.
Spray with Braid Conditioning spray as often as needed
Oil scalp with Castor oil 3x a week.
Exercise at least 3x a week
Drink at least 50 oz of water
Take Biotin.

I am just so glad not to have to deal with the delicacy thay my hair requires, that I don't know how to act. I was in the castor oil challenge, then due to bunning I fell off on applying my castor oil. Now that I have my braids, I won't be able to do a length check or results pic, so I will just wait until December. I hope to be APL by then :-)

What is your Fall/Winter plans for your hair???