Let’s rewind to about…two weeks ago…I’m on Thanksgiving Break spending the week in South Jersey with my family (I think Trenton is Central Jersey, but it’s debatable). I’ve just finished my third month of being a full time teacher and goodness knows I could use this break. As we (teachers) clocked out and say our good byes and engaged in small talk about what we had planned for the holiday to which we all agreed on “sleep” being the highlight, we set out…going our separate ways, closing the doors to our classrooms and checking out mentally.

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Yes! I thought to a mental break…a break away from teaching AND being a grad students. On Thanksgiving Break, I didn’t eat myself into multiple food comas, in fact, I barely ate (I had a Mexican food craving rather than Thanksgiving food..so what…fight me if you don’t like it) because I barely got up from my cozy bed at my parent’s house. I turned off work emails, but not my personal email account because you know…sometimes in the midst of all the junk mail, I actually find some cool shit in there somewhere. WHAT WASN’T COOL however was an email that I had gotten from an ex. YUP, you read that right…this year makes THREE years since we’d gone our separate ways so WHY IN THE NAME OF THE GOOD LORD WAS HE SENDING ME AN EMAIL?!?!?!?!? In summary, it was an email “seeking atonement” for his wrongdoing and telling me how proud he is of the woman I’ve become…and for a second, the old Dej that would’ve replied back in anger with some snappy and petty comments ALMOST surfaced, but then I realized how much I didn’t need that apology. The past three years in his absence have been about me reclaiming myself and my identity. It was about examining those six years and reflecting on the person I WAS when I was there, what I liked about myself when I was with him and what I didn’t like and during those reflections I realized that the things I didn’t like about myself when I was with him heavily outweighed the things that I did like about myself.

So I kindly responded telling him not to contact me again (I mean if I changed my number and blocked you on social media sites, why did you think email was the next best route?) and added his email to block sender with the help of several tweets and emails to the person behind the Google gmail social media account (I’m tech savvy, but sometimes I have a slow moment..sue me).

Point of the story is there is a purpose behind every. single. thing. that. happens. to. you. in. this. life. GOT THAT?! Every. single. thing. It’s an opportunity for you to RECLAIM YOURSELF!!! Even when you’ve fallen off, just experienced a horrible break up, got laid off from a job, or found yourself deep in the muddy swamps of unemployment…it’s an opportunity for you to rise from the ashes like a Phoenix (channeling my inner Dumbledore) and that’s exactly what the hell I did and you betta ZOO IT TOO BOO BOO.

xoxo

10402885_10153104856801997_1167179388693634504_nWhen I first started this blog, I had already written and published my first book which was a somewhat autobiographical account of my many experiences and lessons learned in the areas of friendship, dating, my spiritual process, self-acceptance and my climb on the career ladder. I had also picked up my first paid freelance writing gig with Madame Noire. I was writing therefore I was in my element, but somewhere along the way I became branded a dating and relationships writer for the publication and at first it was cool. I had a load of experiences in dating and writing about it allowed me the vulnerability I needed to heal from my own past disasters.

But back to my blog, when I first started this blog, it was supposed to be a continuation of my book, but I didn’t know how to frame things other than sharing experiences of my own, but when I was featured in Quirky Brown Love’s 200+ Black Bloggers List as an “inspirational” blogger it dawned on me that I had to a story to share…stories…and I can share them and frame them in a way that offers solutions and empowerment to those reading them. So I began to do that on my blog, but since Madame Noire had the larger readership I figured I would shift my content there as well, but when pitch days came, I wasn’t getting the feedback that I hoped for. My inspirational stories were often trashed and the dating trends and topics took precedence over everything.

I’m currently going through a transitional phase in my life. I am a recovering over lover, I’ve taken a step back from dating so that I can actually focus on living my life and as I was updating my Digital Portfolio a few days ago, I noticed that other than dating, there wasn’t much substance to my Madame Noire writings. I mean sure I’ve covered other topics, but generally it was all dating, all sex, all relationships…and here I am still single. So I thought, maybe it’s time you focus on something else Dej.

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So I’ve been building. I’ve been working on something that will be of direct service to you all. I’ve been more cognizant of my content and I’ve decided that I don’t want to be a dating and relationships writer anymore. I want more substance, more inspiration, more empowerment, more encourage for women to build themselves and each other up. I don’t want to write about love and dating and sex anymore. I want to write and share inspirational stories of things that matter.

 

13413584_10153958736901997_240553383155892860_nI recently came across a quote that read “Everybody wants an ambitious woman until they realized they have to step their own s–t up” and I believe I liked it, screenshotted it, and shared it on all my social media platforms because I could relate to it so much! I’ve often been told that I am a “Too much” woman. I used to feel so offended by this. I couldn’t understand how I was being too much by simply demanding exactly what I want out of life or by expecting better for the person interested in me, but then I came across an article by sexuality doula, Ev’yan Whitney “I Am a Too Much Woman.” She states,

“There she is. . . the “too much” woman. The one who loves too hard, feels too deeply, asks too often, desires too much.

There she is taking up too much space, with her laughter, her curves, her honesty, her sexuality. Her presence is as tall as a tree, as wide as a mountain. Her energy occupies every crevice of the room. Too much space she takes.

There she is causing a ruckus with her persistent wanting, too much wanting. She desires a lot, wants everything—too much happiness, too much alone time, too much pleasure. She’ll go through brimstone, murky river, and hellfire to get it. She’ll risk all to quell the longings of her heart and body. This makes her dangerous…Forget everything you’ve heard—your too much-ness is a gift; oh yes, one that can heal, incite, liberate, and cut straight to the heart of things.

Do not be afraid of this gift, and let no one shy you away from it. Your too much-ness is magic, is medicine. It can change the world.”

As I read, I let those words resonate with me and I thought about how even as an outgoing introverted, quiet woman, “too muchness” has affected my life, more specifically my love life. I wondered why men always seemed to be attracted to the successes that appeared in my life, but was immediately intimidated or fearful of committing to the woman attached to them. It was almost as if I looked good on paper, but was too much to actually be with in real life, because it required them to do something in their lives that they weren’t ready for: grow. So I’d beat myself up for being a too much woman; for loving too hard and for pushing too hard for them to be better, certainly not for my sake, but for theirs. I even simmered down a bit to be more accommodating, but that often left me feeling like I settled. In retrospect, I realized that all of the times I believed that being too much was frowned upon, it was usually being spewed from the mouth of a man who had nothing going for himself. So today, at this very moment, I’ve made peace with my “too muchness.”  I wear “too muchness” on my sleeve as a disclaimer to those interested that if you can’t step up, it’s better to step off. I’ve embraced my “too muchness” because I’ve learned that when you expect little and demand little, you get lesser.

You end up dating and convincing yourself that you’re okay with the fact that he doesn’t know what he wants yet and that he hasn’t even given you a blueprint for his intentions because you believe that eventually he’ll flow into things. You end up being okay with the fact that the separated man has baggage from his unresolved marriage because he makes you feel comfortable. You’ll convince yourself that you’re okay with not getting the quality time you desire because “you need a new hobby anyway.” You’ll even convince yourself that it shows dedication and loyalty to be paying his bills because you know one day he’s going to pay you back or hold you down when you’re in trouble…despite the fact he hasn’t even committed to you.

Relationships and love aside, you’ll display those same types of settlement in all other aspects of your life. Whitney charges us to embrace those magical moments in our lives where we finally decide to be brave enough to go for ours. She says, “Us Too Much Women have been facing extermination for centuries—we are so afraid of her, terrified of her big presence, of the way she commands respect and wields the truth of her feelings. We’ve been trying to stifle the Too Much Woman for ions—in our sisters, in our wives, in our daughters. And even now, even today, we shame the Too Much Woman for her bigness, for her wanting, for her passionate nature.

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And still. . . she thrives.”

So thrive on my sisters with your too much self.