It Happened…..

Prior to marriage I firmly believed I’d be the woman who’d balance her career, hobbies, ministries, relationships, businesses, marriage and self love. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

There was absolutely no doubt in my mind I’d find the formula and execute well. Even when I gained 70 pounds (like literally a 10 year old attached themselves to my body) BEFORE marriage, I already had a plan to get the weight off and keep my pre-marital sexy going. πŸ™„ I had all the plans, encouraging sayings, and great intentions, then….

IT HAPPENED!!!

One day, I had no idea what I liked. I couldn’t figure out what I should wear. I wasn’t sure how I felt about my makeup. I couldn’t think of things to do without my husband. I hadn’t visited family or friends (without my husband) or gone shopping for myself. I had become everything I dreaded! I WAS ALL ABOUT MY HUSBAND and nothing else!πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ How could this happen to me? Where had Alishia gone? Who snatched my body? And most importantly, WHY????πŸ€”

I had this all figured out. I would not become the wife who had no life outside her husband or forgot what my life was like prior to marriage! I could not believe this! Then it dawned on me, I’d stop being intentional about ME! Mostly, women are predisposed to caring for everyone BUT themselves. We’ve also been societally exposed to the myth that becoming someone’s wife is the ultimate goal. 😏 Some where, someone dropped the ball with this! Lol! Somehow self care became taboo and selfish (which essentially describes self-care but I’ll stay focused for now 😜). How could anyone lead us to believe we are only considerate of ourselves when we decide to take a break from wife and mom duties, work, chores and thinking of everyone else?? How?

I drove myself nuts trying to come up with a reason for this but you know what? I’m DONE seeking it out! 🀫 My energy can be spent PRACTICING self care instead of trying to figure out how or why it’s wrong to some people, lol! I have a right to “turn off”. Even God restedπŸ™ŒπŸΌ! The almighty, all powerful God of the entire universe took a moment to sit back and enjoy the work of his hands! He admired what he created. He SAT DOWN! If he did, WHY WON’T WE?!?

After 19 months of marriage and bonus child (that’s what I call my stepson now, lol) rearing, I’ve realized I’ve placed this pressure to be everything πŸ‘πŸΌon πŸ‘πŸΌmy πŸ‘πŸΌself! And it’s senseless. I deserve a day off or new jeans that make my buns look amazing, lol! In fact, I SHOULD model God and RELAX sometimes. My husband does not even expect all these absurd things from me nor does my stepson. I told myslef to go above and beyond for no good reason, lol!

It’s okay to desire being a good wife, mom, friend, and loved one. Really, it is. The problem arises when we aspire to be super-wife/mom/friend/employee/boss/entrepeneur/etc…. There really is a season for everything, including REST. We tend to think of seasons as summer, fall, winter and spring, which is true in that aspect. However, seasons can switch more frequently than that. Especially when it comes to self care. And that is ok! Take some time to yourself. Even if it’s on the ride home. Don’t take the call! Decompress! Just say no! Lol! Then your…it happened moment will be you taking care of yourself for a change, lol!

You can be anything you want, just not everything at the same time. And that’s perfectly ok!

Until the next time…..

#notetoself #notetous #selfcare #superwomanisamyth

I’m Not Like You….

The current political climate has uncovered deeply rooted hatred in some and pain in others. Watching the news today is pretty reminiscent of the 60’s and 70’s (according to my parents and grandparents). The sight of police brutality, racially charged hate rallies or even reading some posts in which true hearts are revealed can be disheartening to say the least. We’d hope people would be sympathetic to the plight of a minority in America, specifically African Americans. No slight to other minorities, at all. I highlight this difference because it’s my culture, I live it and I have relatives who were actually alive during slavery. We’d hope someone else, although they have not had the same “American” experience, would decide to suffer with us. We’d hope they’d feel our pain, be sensitive to it and try putting themselves in our shoes right?😏 Differences cause lots of issues, race just happens to be an obvious one but it’s not the only one.

I’ve spent the last year in a predominantly Caucasian church. From the very beginning I felt like a fish out of water because, well, I’m different. It was literally culture shock in every sense of the word. Different people, different music, different service style, different leadership type just different. But like most black people born in the 80’s and later, we’re open to change and trying new things; so I dived in.πŸ€ΈπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ•³

Needless to say, it was not fun nor a cake walk. I’ve found out I am a bit naive when it comes to my expecations of leaders everywhere but especially in the church. I have this strange idea that fairness and equity is a real thing people should operate in. I was SO wrong, lol! It appears hierarchy reigns (at most organizations) and we just have to fall in line. I can’t say whether or not this was intentional but it felt just like so many other things in the world; do things our way or face the consequences. Speaking up and out was usually dismissed as “the leader makes decisions and we have to follow them”. Okay, that’s obvious but at what point are we treated as individuals with minds, opinions, feelings and experiences and not a piece on an operational assembly line? If the person speaking out is different from you and your only rebuttal is “just do what the leader says” things start to seem a little strange and one sided.🧐

I’ve always been the one questioning status quo, searching for the truth/meaning behind things and willing to put myself out there for the sake of others. This is the first time in my life that this completely worked against me and I can’t find a reason other than I’m not like them….my approach, my thought process, my reasoning (or lack thereof), my experience, (you probably expected me to discuss race here, lol) there was not one string in which we could connect or be bonded although we were involved in the same ministry. How does that happen? Usually a group of singers or ushers or hospitality members find common ground strictly on the basis of working on the same team. So we have to ask ourselves, are we able to work with people who are not like us and actually value them? Or will we simply ask people to conform? Last time I checked scripture made it clear that we are not hear to conform to the views (racist, unaccepting, pious and cultish) of this world but be transformed in our minds (think, be, love like Jesus) and help others do the same (Romans 12:2). If we are not doing that in the church, what exactly are we doing? Church, of all places, should be one location where all colors, creeds, backgrounds, nationalities, personalites and the like can find peace and acceptance. And I don’t mean acceptance in the sense of do what you what, how you want and we’ll never say anything (that’s the extreme opposite of discrimination which isn’t cool either). But it should be a place where one feels safe.πŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

If things are happening in your local assembly where people believe they can’t speak up, and you are aware of this, you have a problem. There will always be an Alishia, somewhere. You know, the one who speaks up and out, asks questions, gets to the bottom of things, searches for deeper meaning and is all in all, an advocate. This person will likely be viewed as an agitator, rebel, leftist or anarachist of some sort; just reading those words will cause negative feelings in some people reading this, lol! But ask yourself, church leader, isn’t that EXACTLY what Jesus was, is and will be until He returns and cleans up this place? He challenged every thing that was not like his Father in Heaven. If anyone’s behavior, heart, rituals, practice or religion did not represent God he absolutely spoke up. He rebuked, He corrected, He chastised, HE SHOOK THINGS UP!! Ultimately causing people’s hearts to change and in turn created even more rebels! He was just as much ochampion as he was a troublemaker! Learn to embrace different views and perspectives. You may find some things could and should change simply because you willingly and enthusiatically accept the fact that I’m not like you……βœŠπŸΌπŸ‘ŒπŸΌπŸ’ͺπŸΌβœ…πŸ’›πŸ’™πŸ’œπŸ’šπŸ§‘β€οΈπŸ–€

Until the next time…..

#notetoself #notetous#differentiscool #advocate

#METOO

I have not blogged in months, literally. This morning while scrolling facebook, because I really want to stay home today πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚, I noticed how many women AND men posted #MeToo. I’m amazed that 2017 has not yet leant itself to being transparent about sexual abuse, until Hollywood started…

The topic has always been so taboo and in our true β€œpretend like it didn’t happen and it will go away” fashion. We see how well that’s been working 😏😏. I’ll start with myself. For years, until I finally broke down to my father in 2012, I’d always openly shared my history of sexual abuse with friends and even strangers. Somehow I believed I had to protect the ones who hurt me. Ironic much?!?! πŸ€”πŸ€”Β I carried the burden of guilt, shame and feelings of low to no self worth. I often asked myself questions like β€œDid you askΒ to be hurt”? β€œWas there something youΒ could have done differently”? β€œWere you carrying Β yourself a certain way”? I asked myself THE SAME questions others asked me when I released the information about this. And the same feelings of condemnation and shame flooded my heart and mind when I turned around and blamed myself like others had done.

I’ve been date raped (by 3 guys at once, let’s not even talk about the blame I received on this one). I’ve been molested by loved ones, which went on for years. I’ve been manipulated into statutory rape (he was much older and NO I didn’t want it, he convinced me I owed him and due to my history of sexual abuse, I obliged). I’ve also been date raped by a β€œboyfriend” after repeatedly saying NO. It meant nothing and he proceeded to β€œtake what was his”. πŸ˜“πŸ˜“ I’ve also had loved ones think my siblings and I were sex toys in their twisted fantasies. I watched my mother give herself away for drugs. My life, even at times now, revolved around sex! The abuse and exposure to these things at an early age warped my view of love. I thought β€œwell if I care about them I guess I have to give them sex” 😱😱 Sounds crazy right? Then there are those who experienced things like this and worse but became cold to sex. And are now struggling to be intimate in marriage because sex brings back awful feelings.

To my younger self, current self and fellow #MeToo’s in the world, IT IS/WAS NOT YOUR FAULT! Let go of the condemnation and guilt! Let go of the need to protect your abuser! I know, you don’t want to hurt anybody but you don’t see you’re HURTING YOURSELF more by being silent! You may not be ready to face your abuser, especially if it’s family or clergy 😱, yep, family and family friends are top sexual assailants. Don’t blame me, blame the statsπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ. But you HAVE to TELL SOMEBODY. YOU HAVE TO BREAK THE CYCLE! Your silence is putting your babies at risk. Your silence is giving your abuser a proverbial β€œpat on the back”. BREAK FREE! HEAL! OUTLOUD!! I love you, now you love you!

Until the next time…..

#NotetoSelf #NotetoUs #MeToo #NoOneElse #IfICanHelpIt #WeHealTogether #OutLoud πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’š

 

It’s our 9 month-iversary!!!

I’m actually amazed at how much can transpire in such a short time. The past 30 days have been interesting, lol! Step/Co-parenting is HARD! πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈOmg, lol! Instead of adjusting to one personality (your spouse) you’re learning 4 personalities (your spouse, your stepchild, the other parent AND yourself because honey listen, you turn into a new person suddenly becoming a parent).

Before anyone objects or says what’s possible πŸ€”πŸ˜‚let me say step/co-parenting is NOT the same when you do not have children, ok? πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ It’s really easy to say be patient when you’re already a parent. You’ve already become accustom to less free time, schedule changes, sick children, family outings, etc. So I’ve gone from having ALL my time to myself to very limited “me” time. It’s hectic and navigating all 3 new relationships has its ups and downs. I’m sure one day I’ll post about the joys of these changes but not today. πŸ€ΈπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ•³ 
If you’re reading this and are in a similar situation it’s ok if you aren’t always feeling your new life and blended family. It’s ok if you want time to yourself. It’s ok if there are hiccups along the way. It’s ok if you don’t find yourself enjoying the navigation of your new roles. It’s all ok. Don’t feel guilty, bad or less than for being human and feeling your way through things. You’ll find what works for your family. And once you figure it out you’ll knock it out the park. Until then, be patient with yourself and enjoy the process. And don’t be afraid to vent your frustrations, it’s normal and healthy. Lol! 
Until the next time……

#HappilyEverMcLin #FirstYearStories #JourneyToForever #DispelTheMyth β€οΈπŸ˜πŸ’…πŸΌπŸ€ΈπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜˜β€οΈ

It’s Our 8 Monthi-versary!!

🚨Long post alert! (Sorry, sort of. Lol!)🚨
We’re getting close to our first anniversary! It’s exciting, scary and trying at times. This month was our most difficult so far. I know. I’m not supposed to say that. I’m supposed to talk about how we never argue, how life is grand, how we’re soulmates and madly in love. Because that’s what you do right? Suffer in silence and keep up appearances. Well, not here. If that’s what you want move along. We vowed we’d be honest and transparent chronicling our first year. So here’s the real…..
We both wanted out at some point this past month. We both decided one day that going on would be too difficult and it’s easier to cut losses sooner than later. Being that we both come from backgrounds of quitting when things get tough that seemed like the most logical decision. After all the emotions subsided we actually communicated. We talked about the promises we made to each other that we forgot in this short time and decided to keep going. Sometimes you have to remember why you go started. Draw from that happy place and move forward. That simple. I’ll be glad when my husband shares as much as I do for two reasons: 1) he has so much wisdom to share. His quiet strength is amazing. 2.) so that some of y’all can stop trying to guess what’s up since I do all the talking. Lol! 
If your marriage is in a dry place just remember why you got started. Those reasons were enough to decide to marry, they’re still enough to keep moving. Don’t suffer silently or alone. Secrets have done nothing but imprisoned us. Break free, out loud! Until the next time….
#HappilyEverMcLin #FirstYearStories #JourneyToForever #DispelTheMyth β€οΈπŸ˜πŸ’…πŸΌπŸ€ΈπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜˜β€οΈ

180 Days!!!!!

It’s our 6-monthiversary!!!! πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽˆ
I received a call earlier and hubby went over my spending (he’s the budgeter in this relationship) to make sure we were on the same page. Then I walk in the house today to clean and folded laundry. I laughed because my husband could have done anything he wanted with his off day yet he chose to take care of the house. 180 days in seems like forever on the days we aren’t getting along. Today, it seems like we don’t have enough time to explore all the love possible. Lol! Either way we’re learning the true meaning of partnership. We don’t have defined roles. I don’t cook because I’m the woman, I do it because I’m good at it and enjoy it. He doesn’t manage our money because he’s the man. He does it because he’s good at it and enjoys it. We refuse to let society, family or other marriages define our roles. We’re exploring our strengths and capitalizing on them while working on areas of development and getting better. That’s it. No formula. No gender specific roles. Just being who we are. No pressure. No lofty expectations. Just living. I hope we can encourage someone to do the same. Your spouse has a particular set of skills to enhance your particular set of skills. Let it work. Enjoy it. Even when mistakes are made, cause that’s definitely going to happen. Let freedom reign in your household, responsibly and lovingly. You’ll find peace there. Until the next time….. #HappilyEverMcLin #1stYearStories #DispelTheMyth #JourneyToForever πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜˜πŸ˜˜β€οΈβ€οΈπŸ’πŸ»πŸ’πŸ’‘

Selfie!!!!

Cleaning the house earlier I thought to myself….how is it so easy to post a selfie (put yourself out there for the world to critique) but difficult to be accountable for awful behavior or terrible decisions? I mean seriously, we post close up shots. Some of us daily, with no thought of any repercussion or consequence. But the minute we’re confronted with facing our “selfie” we run! Lol! πŸ˜³πŸ€”πŸ˜‚

After pondering a bit, it hit me!

Most selfies are filtered. Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat (still don’t understand that one) all have filters. Most of us dare not post without them. Webster defines filter as : something that has the effect of a filter (as by holding back elements or modifying the appearance of something). I took holding back and modifying from that definition. As real and open as we claim to be in the social media age, we aren’t! Lol!! Everything we post about ourselves is held back and modified (for most I should say, I know someone will vehemently deny this! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚). 

We’ve basically created modified versions  of ourselves to present to the world. What would social media be like if we all presented our authentic, unaltered-selves?? πŸ€”πŸ™ƒπŸ€£ The idea is probably scary for some of us!! Let’s make a deal! Let’s truly be our selfies!! Let’s let the world see what’s real! You with me?? No?? Maybe?? Ok, no pressure! Just consider for me! Thanks!! 

Sincerely,

Over Alter Egos 😘

82 Days In…..

This was the last moment I had to myself on our wedding day. I was in deep thought about what was transpiring. I really had no idea just how much my life was going to change. I miss solitude at times. I never fully understood how coming home alone was my way of recharging my batteries. I’m learning to embrace sharing my space and I’m much more intentional about alone time. I love my husband and our life. But I also loved the life I had (mostly) before becoming a wife. Getting married later in life comes with it’s own set of challenges. Always practice self care ladies. It isn’t selfish or wrong. It’s essential. You can’t take care of your family if you aren’t well. Never forget that. #notetoself #notetous #HappilyEverMcLin#JourneytoForever #FirstYearStories #DispelTheMyth

30 Days….We Made It! Lol!

Can’t let the day pass without acknowledging my husband on a successful month of marriage, lol! 30 days ago we said I do and I’ve watched us grow tremendously in a short timespan. Everything hasn’t been all peachy, lol…we’d be lying if we said otherwise. We’ve seen the best and worst of each other but we made it. This time may seem short but we know one bad decision can change the course and length of marriage. We celebrate small things and look forward to great things! Compromise, communication, grace, forgiveness and patience are things our marriage CANNOT live without! Happy 30 days babe…let’s make the next 30 even better!#HappilyEverMcLin #JourneytoForever #GodFirst #MarriageisMinistry

Day 40: The Probation Period (look it up πŸ˜‰)

I’ve found out communication in marriage is no walk in the park, lol! The slightest disagreement seems world crashing (so petty) lol! Although this is temporary if you don’t get a handle on communication expectations NOW you’re headed for trouble. πŸ™„πŸ€”πŸ˜‚

On a brighter note 😬😬:

My husband is a chameleon, seriously. I can count on him to be whatever I need in the moment. He’s been my pastor, banker, financial advisor, counselor, praise & worship team (plays no games about giving God praise), cheerleader, advocate, voice of reason, housekeeper (when I’m tired or overwhelmed), alarm clock, life coach, errand man and etc…..aka THEEBOMBDOTCOM (dear feds, its a figure of speech, don’t put me on your list of threats. Please and thank you. πŸ˜ŽπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ’…πŸΌ)

Hope this helps someone appreciate the good and the opportunities for improvement. Marriage is what you make it. Are you investing?#HappilyEverMcLin #JourneytoLove #GrowthandDevelopment#ImNoExpert #JustSharingMyHeart Β πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜˜πŸ˜˜