Valentineless Valentines Day

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By Veronica

February 14th is here again.   Valentines Day.  The one day of the year that highlights your relationship status.  For some, it is a day filled with flowers, cards, dinners, and edible arrangements from that special someone.  For others, it’s a reminder that there seemingly aren't enough fish in the sea.  I have found myself on both sides of this coin. 

On past Valentines Day, I can recall the feelings of joy I felt in receiving flowers at work or going on dates. It is wonderful being acknowledged for all your wonderful talents and the joy you bring to a loving relationship.  But what happens when you have no Valentine? 

I can attest to the mixed feelings felt when my relationship goals didn’t match the calendar date.  A day that is meant to celebrate love can serve as a reminder that you don’t have anyone or that the person you desire doesn’t feel the same way.  But before you delete all your social media apps as to avoid the timeline flood of love today, here are a few things that may aid you in surviving Valentines Day without a Valentine.

  • Celebrate the love you have in other relationships.

My mom has always done such a wonderful job of making Valentines Day special.  I still remember her bringing home my favorite candy and a card.  Think of those that pour into your life throughout the year, and use the day to thank them for the love.  This year I gave her a small stocking stuffer and a card to say I love you.

  • Celebrate you.

Schedule a mani-pedi today.  Enjoy a glass of wine.  Put on your cutest workout outfit and head to the gym.  Get your favorite latte.  Beat your face and take selfies for the gram.  Binge watch your favorite show.  Write a letter to your future self.  Catch up on sleep.  Grab a bouquet from Trader Joes.  Treat yourself to that outfit you’ve been eyeing (if its in the budget).  Find some way to remind yourself that Valentine or not, you are worthy and enough.

  • Celebrate with others.

Some of my best dates have been with my girls.  Plan a good ol’ Galentines Day to eat, drink, and be un-married as a needed reminder that your are not alone.

  • Remember that it is JUST A DAY.

My bestie Eboni wrote a great piece on the fallacies of Valentines Day (click here to read). Don’t allow Hallmark to have you trippin’!  You are not defined by how many gifts you receive (or don’t receive) on one day. 

 

The core of any loving relationship is the awareness of self.  The love you have for yourself far outweighs any amount of love you could ever receive.  So, regardless of which relationship box you check today, be good to you.

 

How are you celebrating this Valentines Day?

 

Love Without Fear,

Veronica

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Year Without Fear Review

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By Veronica

January

It all started with a haircut…

One year ago...

One year ago...

Reeling from a break-up, I wanted a change.  I needed a change.  Hiding behind the direction of others, I felt like I wasn’t living for me, afraid of living a life of my choosing.  In a lot of ways, I didn’t even know the life I wanted to choose.  I decided that 2017 would be the year I figured it out, my Year Without Fear (read about how clueless I was about the crazy year I was about to have). Challenging myself to fearlessly try new things, and believe in the impossible.  For me, at that moment, that was just a haircut!  That’s it! That’s all!  Be very careful of what you ask...the Universe is listening!!!  I didn’t know it then, but my fears (and tears) would be challenged in ways I never could have imagined!  Unbeknownst to me, I was about to  take an amazing ride full of great highs, lows, lessons, and blessings.

 

 

 

March

Presents aren’t always wrapped perfectly.

I learned I was expecting…a human!  While I always knew I wanted children, I definitely didn’t plan or expect to be become pregnant this year.  A time that should have been filled with excitement and joy was filled with fear and sorrow.  Would I be able to raise a daughter as a single parent?  Would I be able to still fulfill my own dreams with a child?  As the weeks progressed, she grew and so did the realities of the new life I faced.  I would be a mom…forever!  I couldn’t undo it.  As her presence in my body became more apparent, I realized the everyday miracles of a little life that (for reasons I still don’t know) chose me to be her mom.  What a privilege!  My pregnancy was the cornerstone of my year, and it was incredible!  It opened my mind and heart to be fearless in other decisions.  Welcoming my baby girl in December revealed a peace I never knew existed.  It exposed a new purpose for living, and boy did it make me fearless.  

Unknowingly Pregnant

Unknowingly Pregnant

April

All I have to do is commit.

36 weeks pregnant and deep end swimming!

36 weeks pregnant and deep end swimming!

I started swim lessons.  At the beginning of every lesson, I had to talk myself into it!  I committed myself to Just Keep Swimming.  In time, the techniques I learned started to make sense.  I was learning to swim!  By the end of November, I felt comfortable swimming in the deep end of the pool.  What a feat!  It proved to me that some fears require some time and practice, and conquering them are as possible as your commitment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

May

Just take the first step.

Closing on my 2nd Property

Closing on my 2nd Property

Knowing I would be adding to my household, my mother suggested that I consider buying a home.  I was completely reluctant!  I had enough on my plate, and (in the words of my grandma Ruby) nobody ever fell out of a house!  I went to view the property and only saw the work it needed.  I didn’t feel I was financially or physically prepared to purchase a home and move while pregnant!  Sometimes opportunities present themselves when you don’t feel you’re ready.  When something is meant for you, taking the first step is all you need to do, and things will come together.  So, I took the step.  By October, with a lot of help, I was moved in with some renovations already complete.  God is good!

 

 

December

I can do anything!

The greatest test of being fearless was definitely giving birth.  (Sidenote: there is a much longer post coming about my birth story…because it was that terrifying and amazing!) This experience took my emotions to places I have never even imagined.  It exposed an inner strength I didn’t even know I possessed.  It was completely imperfect.  Nothing like I planned, but in conquering this experience, I know now that I am capable of achieving any goal.  And when it was all said and done, a mommy was born!  Wow!  What a beautiful way to culminate the year.

I am a mommy!

I am a mommy!

As I reflect on this past year, I am so grateful.  I saw many low places, and shed many tears, but I made it.  Let me clarify.  I made it ON TOP!  A new home, a new life. and many new lessons.  I learned to trust myself.  I learned to lean on others. I learned to create my own happiness.  I learned to embrace the process.  I learned to believe.  If I can achieve all these things in one year…the future is limitless!  And I am ready for whatever there is in store!

How was your 2017?  What is the title of your 2018?

 

Love Without Fear,

Veronica

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Mama Bear

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by Veronica

So, it’s almost go time.  Baby has been cooking for nearly 40 weeks, and ready or not, she is coming.  These final weeks have been filled with anticipation, preparation, and so much love and support from those that care for me.  I can officially say I am nesting.  With preparing her room, my home, washing clothes, and installing car seats, all my energy has been centered on making sure that her arrival will be a smooth transition for her and I.  This time has also sparked other feelings.  A heightened sense of protecting this seed is slowly emerging, and despite all my pre-pregnancy constructs, the claws are coming out!

The mama bear syndrome is the instinctual beast that is released on anything that is perceived to attack or challenge a mama’s dominance or her offspring. In other words, DON’T COME FOR ME (or my baby) UNLESS WE SEND FOR YOU.  Being a new mommy in my mid-thirties has afforded me the opportunity of seeing many mommies come before me.  So, I know a mama bear when I see it.  Believe it or not, I had an open opinion of disdain for Mama Bears.  I can remember going to visit Bestie Nikki’s little ones as infants, and literally being put on a timer in terms of holding them! She’d sit less then 5 feet away, and just wait.  Then, after what felt like only 10 minutes, she’d say, “ok, I’ll take her now”.  I’d give her so much slack about it…in a loving, Bestie kinda way, of course!  And she could care less.  She was going to show me who was boss!  Then, I couldn’t grasp the need for protecting her cubs from even the closest of people.  I couldn’t understand how or why she went so hard for them.  Then,  didn’t fully get it…but now I do.  I’ve have to just admit it.

My name is Veronica…and I am a Mama Bear.

My little one isn’t even earth side yet, and I already feel a strong urge to protect her from ANYONE with even the potential of harming her.  I can see my claw marks showing up everywhere.  I am really trying to be remain calm, collected, and aware that I am not the first person to have a baby, and my baby is not the second coming of Christ.  I, however, understand now how a Mama Bear is created.  Pregnancy, rather it be easy or difficult, is an emotional roller coaster and a huge physical sacrifice.  You gain weight, you can’t drink, and you make substantial adjustments to ensure a tiny life is sustained and successfully enters the world.  Ain’t nobody changing their life for 40 weeks, laboring for hours, and pushing a watermelon out of a lemon to just “go with the flow”.  That tiny life is EVERYTHING to that mama.  She is going to move heaven and earth to make sure that child is happy, healthy, safe, and sound.  If that means she obstructs your feelings or your agenda, so be it.

They say recognizing something is the first step to recovery, so I am trying to keep a few things in mind as I continue on this journey.

  • Get a second opinion – The village has helped tremendously.  They help me decipher between moments where I might be over-reacting and moments when my attack is appropriate and warranted.  They’ve allowed me to vent…sometimes you just need to get it out. 

  • Lead with Love – In most situations, it’s not what you do but how you do it.  In the same way that parenting will require patience and understanding, maneuvering relationships surrounding me need patience and understanding.  Its a transition for everyone, not just me.  Generally, people just want to help, and regardless of the current feeling…the help is needed.

  • Do you – Motherhood is just one of life’s many journeys.  It is a learning and ever evolving process filled with lessons and blessings.  Mistakes will happen…so what!  Those that love and care for you will understand.  Savor every moment.  Be fully present.  Be fully you!

So when you come and visit my little love, and I am meeting you at the door with hand sanitizer and a live-in doctor to test you and administer a flu and whooping cough shot, smile, comply, and know that I just want the very BEST for my little girl!

Are you a mama bear? What are your stories?  I’d love to hear!

Love Without Fear,

Veronica

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