Category Archives: love

For The Days When It Feels Like Love Eludes Me

May 22, 2017

One.

You were never a little girl who dreamed of white dresses or picket fences, but you are a now woman who dreams of love. Lately your dreams have transformed into hunger, an insatiable abyss at the pit of your stomach that you simply can’t seem to ignore.

Two.

You’ve written this story one million times before. You don’t want to write it anymore. Each time your fingers curl to pen this narrative, you tell yourself that these words are the flesh a horse you’ve beaten to death. You don’t want to keep shouting and screaming on the Internet that you are yearning to be loved; it’s a chapter of your memoir that has grown stale. Yet you will write this story again and again because you know that you aren’t the only one. You can’t be the only one. There are other people out there starving just like you.

Three.

Some days you are fragile and easily shattered, unable to swallow the flurry of wedding photos that now dance across your newsfeed. You don’t want to be that person who can’t muster up a double tap to co-sign someone else’s happiness. But some days you are that person simply because you are a human being, a thread of emotions that do not always connect and can’t always be contained. Forgive yourself and log off. Pick up your broken pieces.

Four.

One afternoon you will write, “What I judge in others that is in me is a proclivity to plant deep roots with men who are unattainable, or will never have the capacity to love me in ways that truly nourish and nurture all the parts of me.” You will ink those words on the unlined pages of a book during Ashley’s writing workshop. It will be the first time you confess to yourself and to a small room of women that you are a willing participant in your own disarray. It will both liberate and trouble you to know that the pattern of men you’ve tethered yourself to is not coincidental.

Five.

The process is defined as a “systematic series of actions directed to some end.” Perhaps the greatest action in that systematic series is scraping through your wreckage and finding a way to love yourself, time and time again. Let the love for yourself rise from every cave you’ve traversed and every corner you once overlooked. The most savory love peeks out from behind hidden places.

Six.

Forego the impulse to fill your life to the brim with distractions. Sit quietly with your demons. Listen to the stories each one of them has to tell.

Seven.

Drape yourself in a kimono of grace. Let it cover your shoulders and drip down your arms. For the days when you keep asking yourself why it seems like love is this golden thing that keeps eluding you, wear an extra armor of tenderness. Those are the days to believe that the Universe is simply doing its work. Those are the days to trust the process. Those are the days to remember that you are flawed, fragile, beautiful and complex, deserving of love just like everyone else and on a jagged journey to uncover it some day.

Xoxo,
Tyece

Field Notes From the Fallout

January 24, 2017

Photo by Pedro de Sousa, www.unsplash.com

Gather up your broken bits. Your shattered glass. Your tattered threads. This place is no longer your home.

One. You must let your heart break. Your strong will and your rock solid resilience are not a match for the tornado winds of heartache. Your precious hands will not hold your heart together. So let go. Tilt back. Fall free. Crash hard. Resistance does not serve a heart that’s already splintered.

Gather up your broken bits. Your shattered glass. Your tattered threads. This place is no longer your home.

Two. Your heart knows things long before your mind will accept them. Your heart, your intuition, that feeling you get at the pit of your belly – those are your strongest compasses, and yet you still question them. But your heart knows. It always does. Your heart knows the very moment a connection bears a crack. Your heart knows that in the grand scheme of human connection, those cracks often times become craters.

Gather up your broken bits. Your shattered glass. Your tattered threads. This place is no longer your home.

Three. There are the shifts that happen and the courage it takes to recognize them. There is the moment two people break and the moment they choose to articulate it. These two moments are hardly ever the same. The tug of war between reality and reluctance has almost always resulted in a ripped rope.

Gather up your broken bits. Your shattered glass. Your tattered threads. This place is no longer your home.

Four. Your heart’s somewhere in between the breakdown and the breakthrough. She vacillates between letting go of something old and holding out for something new. So let the pendulum swing of the present teach you what it will. Allow the in-between moments to minister to you in the ways that only they can.

Gather up your broken bits. Your shattered glass. Your tattered threads. This place is no longer your home.

Five. Your heart will break one thousand times over in one life span. It will break because of lovers and friends and half-lovers and family. It will break because of the Universe’s relentlessness and the unpredictable ways in which the wind blows. It will break when you expect it and it will break while you are fast asleep. We do not get through the tunnels unscarred; we do not sail across the seas unscathed. So, yes, your heart will break one thousand times over. But it will mend itself one thousand times more.

Gather up your broken bits. Your shattered glass. Your tattered threads. This place is no longer your home.

Six. There is something beautiful about the way the ground rips apart when your heart breaks. It splits your world wide open and gives way to new galaxies.

Gather up your broken bits. Your shattered glass. Your tattered threads. This place is no longer your home.

Seven. You are every last one of your broken bits. You are the sacredness of your shattered pieces, the patchwork quilt of your tattered threads. You are the magic of your split skies and the grace of your new galaxies. You are the sum of your jagged edges, enchanting in the way your experiences melt together.

So, gather up your broken bits. Your shattered glass. Your tattered threads. Build castles from your fractured pieces and call this new place your home.

Xoxo,
Tyece

How to Love an Artistic Woman

August 24, 2016

Disgust

Image courtesy of unsplash.com

Do not try to clean up her messes. Relinquish the need to keep all of the shelves stocked with everything standing neatly in its place. She does not need you to replenish her cupboards; she needs you to pour into her soul. That is what she will ask of you time and time again. That sometimes insatiable and often maddening hunger for her soul to be feed is what has driven many lovers before you away; she is a ravenous beauty and a deeply rooted beast.

Get comfortable with paint splattered on the walls and wine staining the bottom of the glass and lights that stay on until 2 a.m. Let go of the need for a normal kind of life. An autopilot kind of life. A bottom line kind of life. A “honey-I-made-your-coffee-just-right” kind of life. Do not ask her when she’s coming to bed.

She will come to bed. Eventually. When she does, she will wrap herself in you like headphones tangled in keys at the bottom of a purse–inadvertently, recklessly, a labyrinth of your bodies like she never even left.

Resist the urge to sling words like “sensitive” or “emotional” her way as insults. The world demonizes too many of us for what are simple displays of sheer humanity. Reward her with kisses on the nape of her neck for being one of the courageous few to strip herself of the facade.

Drop the cape. She does not seek salvation; she seeks purpose. Identity. A place in the world that she can unabashedly call her own.

Proceed with caution. She will not hand out points for showmanship or slick lines. Take everything you’ve ever learned about how to woo a woman and hurl it out the window. Let her peel back your layers. Be brave enough to peel back all one thousand of hers.

Remember she is not glass; you can hold her tightly. Despite what history might dictate, she will not shatter. Kiss her scars for good measure. Lick her wounds with fervor. Run your fingers over the burns of her past. Taste every story still standing on her skin. Read every poem still being written from her sin.

Teach yourself not to be afraid of the dark. She gives birth to her most striking art in the darkest places under the dimmest bulbs.

And when she shows all of her colors and emits all of her light, do not ever be afraid of that either. Stand in her sun; soak up her rays. Recognize the exquisiteness of her spectrum.

Love her because she is equal parts whiskey and wine. Love her because she is both a mess and a Mona Lisa. Love her every time she pulls you apart and puts you back together again. Love her when you’ve run out of words. Love her when she’s run out of words. Love her urgently. Unforgettably. Undoubtedly. Paint her in the watercolors of your adoration. Love her because if you dare to love this artistic woman, you may be the first person to ever love her the way she’s craved her entire life. Love her because if you dare to love this artistic woman, your love story will become the kind of masterpiece she couldn’t have ever crafted alone.

Xoxo,
Tyece

On Love and Podcasts: The First Half Of 2016

August 2, 2016

 

The brisk January day when I said I was open to love

The brisk January day when I said I was open to love

I’ve teamed up with State Farm® as part of its Color Full Lives campaign, an initiative that promotes positivity & empowerment and celebrates all women in the African American community through a multitude of experiential and digital engagements. You know how this works-views, opinions, and musings of the unscripted kind are all my own. 

Somewhere in between our tapas and bottle of wine, I told my friend that this was the year I would be open to love. That was back in January, when the air was brisk and my heart was wide open. Like everyone else around me, I was pumped up with the kind of blind and inflated hope that ushers in a new year.

It’s August now. The air has grown thick and humid, and this heart of mine is more of a spectator to love, than a veteran recipient of it. Since that dinner in January, I moved my twenty-something self much closer to the District of Columbia, started swiping left and swiping right despite vehement declarations that I would never download Tinder, and watched time tick in the weeks that one man stopped texting me. And through it all, somehow, I’m still open to love – less as an eager pup hoping it manifests for me romantically, and more as an ardent and spirited observer of how that love has taken shape for people in my orbit.

The June day when I celebrated love, also known as my sister's wedding (photo credit Jazzmin Awa-Williams and Dejah Greene)

That beautiful day in June when I celebrated love, also known as my sister’s wedding (photo credit Jazzmin Awa-Williams and Dejah Greene)

Perhaps what I’ve learned most is that being open to love means just that – being open. It means extracting lessons from both the monumental and the molecular, keeping an ear out and an eye open for any pebble of wisdom you can garner from anywhere. I’ve collected a lot of that wisdom this year from podcasts. From the essayists behind the Modern Love podcast to the rapport between husband and wife duo Danyel Smith and Elliott Wilson on #RelationshipGoals, there’s always something new to be gleaned from people’s perspectives on human connection.

And then there are the ladies of the Color Full Lives podcast.

Color Full Lives, a new podcast sponsored by State Farm, combines the sharp and influential voices of American radio personality Angela Yee, self-proclaimed “Duchess of Tech” Tatiana King Jones, and lifestyle influencer Francheska Medina, known for her brand Hey Fran Hey. During each episode, the women share their perspectives on everything from branding to diversity in tech. But, the episode that tugged at my heartstrings was episode 3 where the women broke down the raucous, unpredictable, and grey world of dating and relating. You can listen to it here.

 

Here are a few standout gems from the episode.

On trusting your partner in the age of social media | “If you have to look, you already know what it is.” – Angela

On balancing a public online presence with your private life | “I have a duty to protect myself and my family. They are people who did not sign up to be this public person.” – Tatiana

On dating a man’s potential instead of acknowledging his reality | “I’m a sucker for some potential. But, lesson learned. I’ve been burned too many times with that one.” – Fran

On not settling | “I’d much rather be single than be with the wrong person.” –Angela

On reconciling what a person looks like on paper with who they are in real life | “We tend to assume markers of success mean something about the mind of the man, but it’s not the case.” – Fran

On relinquishing the idea of saving or changing a partner | “Put your capes away! Why bother?” – Tatiana

These are all lessons we learn along the way if we are lucky, and early on if we are smart. But, we’re not always that smart. If there’s anything I’ve learned and heard reaffirmed from the women, it’s that the cobblestone road to love is a hands-on experience, a fight in the ring, a jump in the mud, and a dance with the devil. But, like the three of them, I am trying to both learn from my mistakes and laugh about them along the way.

That hot July day when I was surrounded by love

That hot July day when I was surrounded by love

I’m not sure how else “being open to love” will manifest this year. I don’t know if it will crystallize in some way or remain shapeless, coming to me through sound bites and spectatorship. But, what I do know is that I’ll remain open to whatever love – or podcasts – have to offer.

This post was sponsored by State Farm, as part of its Color Full Lives campaign. For more information, please visit https://www.statefarm.com/finances/

Salt

July 22, 2016

karen postA Guest Writers’ Week post by Karen Devigili

I still remember the way two of his lower eyelashes clung together as I saw the first palpable sign of sadness drop from them after hopelessly clinging on for a few seconds. The tear drop fell so violently, gravid with teeming despair. It fell past his remarkably high cheekbones and landed on his quivering chin, bending the rules of physics along with it. I watched it try to escape, unsuccessful, and ashamed of its existence as it lingered aside the corners of his lips.

His lips, his lips, his lips, the ones that used to carry the happiness I fell in love with, were now so rich with heart-breaking futility. And his eyes, pointed in my direction, still could not see me. They looked through me like a torn veil, standing between him and the world he used to recognize, obscuring his view of that sense of independence he craved so strongly. The one I took away. I used to think it so beautiful when he covered himself in me, self-sacrificial, and euphoric in my scent. The utter elation between the molecules that composed our stories, as we lay in my bed, “three hours feeling like 5 minutes”, he used to say. But he sat there, eyes glossy, looking at me like a misguided memory, concealing the truths he wished he could have chased.

I could suddenly see the places he would have gone, the nights he would have had to himself, establishing his organic youth further, as opposed to letting his restless wanderlust accumulate into frantic boredom like a pestering insect. He tried to ignore it for so long, and I watched him do it. He let it land on his sighs, as he swallowed the frustration of not knowing how to rid himself of it. He couldn’t kill it; he loved it too much. That tiny pest was the last reminder of who he used to be. And he slowly began to realize it used to be a part of him, he shouldn’t need to swat it away. Those were the days when he looked at me less, understood me very little, and became increasingly absent. I would have done the same had I not sacrificed every part of me that didn’t find a place in our relationship.

He didn’t just wipe his tears, he sunk his face into his hands, the kind of tragic image that called for a soundtrack. Indulgence on top of indulgence. I took a serious moment to try to describe to myself the kind of pain that I was feeling. “I need to remember this,” I thought, “This is important.” After abandoning my obnoxiously ruthless and habitual tendency to objectify the situation by imagining what my dopamine levels probably looked like, I took a deep breath.

I suddenly saw myself floating, naked, out somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, between continents, surrounded by a black sky: I am freezing cold, floating on my back and the waves, indifferent to my existence, continue to thrash me underwater every now and then, whenever they please. I can feel the sharp, dreadful sting of the salt water on dozens of cuts, scrapes, and wounds on my bruised pale skin, and yet the only thing I seem preoccupied with is the vastness of everything. As I stare at the black sky full of stars-so deceitfully miniscule- like specks of dust deliberately sprinkled above humanity for purely aesthetic reasons, I am only reminded of how unfathomable the size of what’s under me is. The ocean, the creatures, the wholeness of their interactions as they create this vapid kingdom.

And I float there, slightly amused by how paralyzing the searing pain of the salt on all of my wounds is. I can feel it on my beat-up blue lips, my mouth half open, inviting the pain. I begin to see what might look like some sign of life on my peripheral, but by the time my eyes shift, I realize I’m chasing a hallucination of a life boat that moves accordingly, mocking me. It is only then that I suddenly realize, like a striking shock to my system, the reality of my situation. I can see myself, lifelessly floating in the crux of it all-so far from everything. My body, thousands of miles away from civilization, between the distant stars and the vast ocean. And this realization, awakens my long-lost ability to have a visceral, painful, human experience.

I start to feel a tear streaming down my face as I find myself floating back to significance. Although they loyally drift through my skin and into their salty, boundless, counterpart that is the sea, my tears feel bigger than anything I could imagine. And the stars, oh the stars. The stars that looked like simple decorations moments before now shone with their glimmering, incandescent light, enchanting me with their effortless beauty. The blackness of their surroundings, the vigor with which they shone, so far and resilient, as they covered the sky, made me feel a special kind of painful joy.

That’s when I felt the warm trickle of reality roll down my own cheek, on that painfully sunny day as I looked at him, now sobbing. Fully aware that he was just as lost as I was, I knew he was at least on dry land. I always resented him for that, but I suddenly felt a warm sense of acceptance. I reached out and took his hands away from his face. I kissed his salty tears, knowing that although the salty water on my wounds in the ample monster of the sea would be thought much less favorable than his despair on land by most, I disagreed. Even through the blistering pain, there’s nothing like that black sky, nothing like the sea, and I’m sure he’s never seen as many stars as I have.

IMG_6904Karen is a communications professional with a passion for words. On her time off she likes to overthink how to spend her time off while watching YouTube videos with her dog. She currently lives in the DC metro area. Connect with her on Twitter @Silvana_Dev.