Follow by Email

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How Do I Know?

“I’m proud of you!”
“I can’t wait to see your dreams come true!”
“You are great!”
“Your life looks like so much fun!”
“You are awesome!”

As I cleaned my house last Sunday, I began to think of these words of encouragement and admiration that I hear from my friends and loved ones often.  I love words of encouragement and I will always be grateful for them… they keep me going.  The problem is I can’t see the things others see in me for myself.  Sad, right?

My cousin sent me a text the other day that simply said, “I’m so proud of you!” and I was completely thrown off guard because it came at such a random time.  My reply was, “For what?!? LOL”.  The “LOL” is a significant part of my reply, because I truly chuckle at the fact that people see so much greatness in me!  It’s not low self-esteem, at all; I’m just trying to see it in myself…

She said that she was proud of me because I have taken a situation (the breakup) that would have broken anyone else, and turned it into something wonderful.  I replied with, “Thank you” and then I began to think…

How do I know that I’m not broken?  Yes, I’ve made the best of where my life has brought me and I’ve made a commitment to find a way to smile daily.  But, still…How do I know?  Writing Table 4 One has exposed me to some wonderful people and experiences; however, I still feel incomplete.  Not because I want my ex, but because I want to be more than independent, happy, single, and alone!  Yes, I’m content… Meaning, I have realized, accepted, and made the best of my life as a single woman; however, I still want more!

Life is not black and white; mine isn’t, at least.  I don’t think that anyone can ever be completely anything… Happy, content, sad, caring, fearful... ANYTHING… Life pulls different things from us, depending on what we are going through, at the time…  I often struggle with the roller coaster of emotions…  Yes, I understand that I have good days and I’m grateful that they outweigh the bad ones, but my issue is who to turn to when I’m not happy, fun, social butterfly, always smiling Courtney.

Sometimes, I don’t want to be “on”.  Sometimes, I want to kick, scream, cry, and complain.  But I think I have conditioned myself not to “go there”.  I’m working on finding a balance, a way to be completely me, at all times.  Not that I’m phony or pretending to be someone I’m not… (Ain’t nobody got time for that!).  But I am struggling with finding a balance.

For now, I’m blessed, happy, content, loved, admired, encouraged, sad, emotional, unfulfilled, envious, confused, lonely, and still finding my way at the same damn time! The journey continues…

Table for one please… finding my way… Love me or leave me alone…

BACK TO HAPPY TIP: Commit to smiling, at least once a day.  It will make the dark days a little brighter!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

There's Hope...

How often do you take the time to say “thank you”? I mean, being really grateful for where you are in life…

I say “thank you” often; when I'm happy, sad, frustrated, confused... WHATEVER! I always try to remind myself that things could be worse… I've learned that no matter what, I will always want more... So, I thank Him, in the meantime…

I could talk to you for days about how I want more of this or more of that, but I'd rather tell you why I'm thankful for what I already have.

My parents are my biggest fans.  They are, without a shadow of doubt, #TeamCourtney!  They give me wonderful advice, they support me and all of my big ideas, they catch me when I fall, and will always be there for me. Not everyone can say they have both parents in their lives or their support; I am thankful for my mother and my father because they believe in me.

Does your family work your nerves?!? LOL… Mine does! But I am SO thankful for them.  They challenge me to be my best. They support me beyond expectation and they hold me accountable for my actions. My family will always be there for me to be voices of reason, to be my cheerleaders, and to tell me the truth! I am blessed to have a family full of people who want nothing but the best for me! I am thankful for my family because they will always be there.

I am thankful for my followers because they inspire me! To have people who care about what I have to say is humbling enough… But the fact that people faithfully read Table 4 One once a week and support my events is awesome! I started writing this blog for selfish reasons and now its purpose has evolved to so much more than that. I am thankful for the people who read my blog because they support me.

My connection with Urban Fetes has taught me so much! They have exposed me to wonderful people and have given me the opportunity to share my voice…and for THAT I am thankful! Through Urban Fetes, I have met people and built relationships that I will cherish for the rest of my life. They believe in me and support me to no end.  I am thankful for Urban Fetes because they connect me.

Friends! I speak often of how I'm grateful for my friends because they choose to be in my life. I can call on them when I am sad, happy, want to talk, or when I’m bored and they are there! I am so blessed to have so many of them, ones who I can cry with, pray with, write with, party with, drink with, or do nothing at all with! I am so thankful for my friends because they accept me.

I am thankful for sanity and for strength! I am thankful for my voice... I am thankful for my openness and the fact that I am unashamed. Yes, if I had my way, I'd be in a completely different place in my life, but I'm not and I'm still thankful. I've learned that everything doesn't happen when we want it to; each of us has a purpose and although I'm still trying to find mine, I will thank Him, in the meantime... Prayers, in the meantime, are the ones that matter most to me because it’s easy to say “thank you” when all is well...

So, I'm thankful for it all! I'm thankful what I have and for what's to come. I'm thankful for the journey...

"There's hope... It doesn't cost a thing to smile... You don't have to pay to laugh... You better thank God for that!” - India Arie

Happy Thanksgiving and remember to be thankful for what you've got...

Table for one please... I'm thankful... Love me or leave me alone :-)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Nobody's Perfect

“You are looking for the perfect man!”

I was completely shocked to hear these words come from my friend’s mouth, as we had one of our heart-to-heart conversations a couple of weeks ago.  And I know that this wasn’t a blurb or senseless thought because, as friends, we are always open and honest with one another.  So she meant it…she truly feels that I am single because I am looking for the perfect man!  Wow!  At first, I was defensive but then I challenged myself to take a step back and make sure that she wasn’t correct in her observation.

I used to be a “one chance girl”, when it came to dating.  I’ve written before that I had to open my eyes and begin to date men who I normally would not, just to see if I was missing out something.  So I did; I pretty much went out of my comfort zone and I didn’t come across anyone I was super interested in, while reluctantly dating those men.  I would run away as soon as something went wrong.  It’s almost like I was looking for an excuse not to date them.

So, I took my challenge a step further… I decided to give the men I was dating more room for error.  I say this because, for lack of better words… Shit Happens!  I make mistakes, of course; especially when dating, so I had to realize that other people make mistakes as well.

I know, understand, and accept that I am A LOT to handle… I’m a woman!  With all of that being said, I know that every man cannot handle me!  When I date, I look for certain attributes from that person…NOT perfection.  I have to get to know them enough to decide if I want to invest the time to get to know them better and lately I haven’t wanted to do that with anyone!

As my friend and I continued to have our heart-to-heart, she said something that really stuck and gave me a little more understanding of dating.  She said, “When a man loves, he gives her all of his love at once; however, when a woman loves, it grows throughout their time together”…

This statement stuck with me, as I have heard variations of it from other people, as well… My friend is not the only person who views me as “looking for perfection”.  I am not willing to risk investing into a life with someone who I am not willing to entrust with “all of me”.

Another friend asked me what exactly I am looking for in a partner…

I am looking or waiting for someone who will appreciate me when I am at my best and comfort me when I am at my worst.  I want someone who is goal-oriented and driven, in their own right.  I want someone who is equally yoked.  I want someone I am attracted to.  I want someone who is NOT perfect, or perfect for me… perfection is over-rated.  I want someone who is willing to grow into “their best” with me… As I grow into “my best” with them.  I don’t want perfection, I want substance.

Table for One please… Still growing… Love me or leave me alone.

BACK TO HAPPY TIP:  You should value the opinions of your loved ones.  People who truly love you, always have your best interest at heart.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

That's What Friends Are For!

Lessons!  I love them; I believe that life is used to teach us…  The experiences we have whether good or bad should be used to grow.

I have found that I learn the most lessons from the experiences of others. I’ve been fortunate enough to have open and honest friends who I talk to on a regular basis.  I’ve recently tried to make my experiences mean something.  Meaningless interaction is for the birds!  No one wants to feel alone… Having great friends who you can be completely “you” with, is not only comforting but extremely necessary...

I recently had a heart-to-heart conversation with a very good friend of mine and it got REAL.  I had to make the decision on how/where this completely necessary conversation was going to go.  As a friend I had to make the decision to be completely honest (whether it helped or hurt my friend) because I needed to!  We all know that the grass is always greener on the other side but sometimes we need a little help smelling the roses that we have!

As a single woman I have been forced to find contentment.  I have real friends who are falling in love, getting married, buying homes and having babies all around me!  I have challenged myself as a person who has none of this to be happy for them as well as be hopeful for myself.  As friends we sometimes have to separate our personal struggles in order to be “there” for our loved ones.  I personally know how hard it is to force yourself to be happy for someone (especially a close friend) who has what you feel is SUPPOSED to be yours.

Not so long ago, I was the mean friend; I actually closed off and completely lost “my character.”  I didn’t want to hear about my friend’s joys and victories because I didn’t have any of my own. 

What kind of friend are you?
Is your friendship conditional?
Are you only happy for others when you are happy?

I had to make a personal decision to slap myself in the face and make the decision to be better for my friends.  As a friend I don’t feel like I was being completely “there” for them when I checked out…  I would want my friends to be present through the good times as well as the bad.  So, even when I want to kick and scream, be angry, jealous, run away or cry… I SUCK IT UP because I would want them to do the same for me. 

Think about the type of friend you are and whether you are being the type of friend you would want to have in your life.  It goes back to the saying, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you…” Be happy for your friends and be happy in your life!  The lesson I’ve learned is sometimes you have put the feelings of your loved ones in front of your own.

Single, married, in love or not be grateful for what you’ve got! And soon enough your friends will be there to support you as you go through your next GREAT CHANGE!

Table for One please… Living unselfishly… Love me or leave me alone…

BACK TO HAPPY TIP: I know I’ve said that it’s ok to be selfish, however it’s a much greater service to be selfless… Especially for your loved ones…