Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Slow Down

"Slow down baby, you're movin too fast
You got your hands in the air with your feet on the gas
You're 'bout to wreck your future running from your past
You need to slow down"
-India Arie

Yeah... I was all excited about the last post. You know crushes can be so fun especially in the new phase. But I was totally jumping the gun. I started thinking about it like, "did I really just write a blog proclaiming my newfound "like" for someone?" Bad idea. Especially when it is very possible that said person could read the damn thing. See this is usually what happens and I am trying to start fresh. Usually I get all excited when I like someone and I have to tell them everything and it either gets awkward or I become the pursuer. Well at this point in time I am starting fresh, for once in my life I want to be pursued. I want to take things slow. And most of all I want to build a love out of a friendship instead of jumping into romance.

I need to slow down. I need to let it happen. I need to focus on the present and bask in the newness of friendship. All I can say is that this is a learning experience for me. I get so excited about things and I just honestly don't want to extinguish the fire before it even ignites...

Most of all I don't want to let the mistakes of my past negatively affect the decisions of my future. So hopefully I haven't a) scared off the poor man b) caused said crush to think I am crushing on someone else or c) made a complete ass of myself. I'd be willing to bet that option c is a definite yes, but hopefully I can continue on this journey and do better next time.

From this point on I'm slowing down and pumping the brakes. Thanks India.

Until the next song plays...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


"If you just realize what I've just realized,
Then we'd be perfect for each other
And we'll never find another
Just realized what I just realized..."
-Colbie Caillat

So for the first time in my life... well for the first time in a long time, I have a crush. Yeah yeah I know I'm too old for this stuff. But see I can't help it. This guy, well honestly he's just new and wonderful and intelligent and completely different than any other guy I've ever liked. I've met guys like him before and I kind of brushed them aside and banished them to the "friend" category because they just "weren't my type". Not now though. Not after I have had my time to realize...

I'm so thankful for the time I had to myself, for the reflection I've done, for the introspection that was necessary to bring me to this place. The place where I can appreciate what a healthy relationship looks like. The place where I can place a real value on a person that is continually showing me that in building a friendship and beyond accountability is welcomed. The place where I can feel that even if nothing ever comes of this above all else I know I'm on the right track in terms of my standards.

I'm so grateful that I took the time to realize more about myself, and more about what I wanted so I can now look at my options and say with confidence that I know what I want.... And hopefully he'll just realize and I'll get it... But he'll have to meet me halfway cuz I refuse to spell it out for him. It may take time but thats ok like I said before I'm ready.

Until the next song plays...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Why Does It Hurst So Bad?

"Why does it hurst so bad?
Why do I feel so sad?"
-Whitney Houston

In light of the recent events my soundtrack has led me to a love song that is one of my favorites. This song on the "Waiting to Exhale" soundtrack is one that speaks of being sad after leaving a love that you know in your heart is no good for you. Let me just say story of my life. But after being forcefully exposed to the current domestic abuse drama that babies Rihanna and Chris Brown have found themselves in, this song just jumped out at me.

First of all let me say that this situation is completely out of control. Accusations, press releases, family statements, tabloid stories and covers, celebrities weighing in on the red carpet, and the pise de resistance... The official police evidence picture of Rihanna post incident was actually leaked to a tabloid website. As a human I am disgusted and as a woman I am appalled. First of all this is a private situation that has taken place and been exploited by the media all for the love of money. This is shameful. Not only is it shameful that all of this is being played out publicly with people taking their sides and rallying behind one side or the other, but people all over this country and dare I say the world, are missing the point and making this into a debate much like the ones in the recent election.

This tragedy is multifacted and above all else personal. These two people are both in the midst of making life changing decisions and facing demons that are not easy to tackle. I am just outraged that people seem to be oblvious to this fact. Even members of their families have had the audacity to come out and give interviews on the situation to tabloid television shows. This in my opinon shows the temperature of our society when it comes to this thing we call domestic violence. There is no real sympathy, emapthy, sorrow, disgust, or even understanding. We as a community haven't realized that abuse is a tragic thing not only for the abused but the abuser as well. Having been in an abusive relationship myself I can recognize the shame, embarassment, pain, and self-loathing that comes from being in that. My heart goes out to both of them and I pray and hope that above all else the both of them get the help they need and find the place of love and completeness from within.

Please give them their privacy and space to hurt, and grieve, and heal; to think, and reflect, and ask why it hurts so bad...

Until the next song plays...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Funny Valentine

"My funny Valentine
Sweet comic valentine
You make me smile with my heart"
-Ella Fitzgerald

So today is Valentine's Day. I am single on Valentine's Day. The "but" that goes here is the fact that I'm not bitter. I'm not huddled in my bed in the fetal position, listening to Toni Braxton, depressed. I am smiling today. I am happy today. I am laughing today. My heart is smiling today. I am focused on the love I have within for myself, my family and everyone else around me. I am content and I am proud of myself for this milestone.

Until the next song plays...

Friday, February 13, 2009


"By the time I recognize this moment
This moment will be gone
But I will bend the light, pretend
That it somehow lingered on..."
-John Mayer

Friday the 13th and Valentine's Day Eve. Today was supposed to be, in single Jasmine's mind, a bad day. A very, bad day. A no good, horrible, rotten, complain about the couples, turn off the radio because of the love songs, prepare myself for Toni Braxton's Secrects album and wallowing in the fetal position tomorrow kind of day. But you know what? It wasn't that kind of day at all.

Today I had so much on my mind, I had to prepare a session of community building for the program that I'm in and I looked love in the face today and smiled. I gathered 11 of my program participants together and cooked for them, decorated for them, made a mix cd of love songs for them, and basically dated them for our session.
At first I did not want to think about V-day because of my current situation. I just wanted the calendar to skip from February 13th to February 15th. I mean Valentine's Day wasn't gonna mean anything to me. But that attitude was only gonna last so long. Why? Because I'm a hopeless romantic. I freakin love valentine's day! Everything about it says Jasmine. So instead of running from it I decided to run right into it. I decided to focus my love in a way that was not romantic. I mean the magic V-day rules booklet never said it had to be about romantic love only. So anyway I got my group together and did for them what I might have done for my SO if I had one. And magically, well unexpectedly, it felt damn good! It felt good to express my love in other forms. So insert a-ha! moment here...

I have found that I can get just as much joy from non-romantic love that I can from the romantic kind. This is all new to me. Well let me rephrase that. All my life I have viewed love as different things for different people or relationships. So the family love is cozy, feel good love. The friend love is that ride or die love. The mother-child love is that die for you love. But the butterflies in the stomach, silly, goofy, excited love well that was reserved for the mate. I mean I know I'm not the only one that had the understood call-waiting hierarchy in high-school.
Well today I reject that school of thought! I know that love is multi-faceted, that is one of the greatest thing about love. But for me, from this point on, I will view love as just love. No special nametag or set of special accessories depending on the who or whom. I just want my love to be just as intense, just as pure, just as exciting regardless of the situation. This frees me to be the best lover I can be and it doesn't create a ingenuine love for those that I love.

So this Valentine's Day I will not be looking at the lack of the romantic love in my life as a deficit, I will see this day as a very special day for me to concentrate on perfecting my love to ALL of my loved ones. I want everyone I love to know how much I love and appreciate them and that I will vow (to try) to spend the rest of this year thankful for their presence and not bitter for the abscence of romantic companionship.

I'm glad this moment of clarity is lingering on.

Until the next song plays...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Underneath It All

"There's times where
I want something more
Someone more like me
There's times when this dress rehearsal
Seems incomplete"
-No Doubt

Ok so if you haven't already noticed I am focusing a lot on love since we're in the month of lovers. Reading these lyrics makes me think of how much I've learned over these past 7 months. My quest through single-dom has lead me to create above all else a standard that seemed to be non-existent in my past love life. I was previously void of knowing exactly what or who I really wanted. I was honestly just in love with love; or what I thought was love anyway. I didn't know myself and more importantly I didn't love myself.

Looking at the past used to make me feel so many things. Shame, guilt, regret, anger, embarassment, basically every horrible feeling that you could think of. I held on to so much of that because I was so busy blaming myself for the bad things I didn't at the time think to take a step back and learn from everything. And so I went, from bad relationship to bad relationship, from bum to abuser, to womanizer. Never learning really just hurting, and wishing that I could find more. Then one day I realized, with the help of many different people, that something was missing. My love life was missing something very important and so was I. See I expected to find this knight in shining armor, this perfect mate that had his shit together but the truth was I didn't have my shit together. In the words of India Arie, "If you want a butterfly, you gotta be a butterfly..." and I realized... I didn't have standards for myself so how could I have standards for my love life.

So here I am 7 months later... I am not professing perfection. I still have some insecuritites and as I have said in previous posts self-love is a journey not a destination but I feel better. I feel more whole than I did before. I finally have those standards, for myself most of all and then not just for men that I date but for the relationships that I may have in the future. I now am aware of what I want, what I deserve, what is acceptable. So now I can with confidence say, "I want something more, someone more like me..." Someone that is on this journey of love and self-awareness. I want my butterfly...

Until the next song plays...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Ready for Love

"I am ready for love
All of the joy and the pain
And all the time that it takes
Just to stay in your good grace"
-India Arie

To be ready for somthing is defined as being, "completely prepared or in fit condition for immediate action". This is an interesting definititon to me especially when related to being ready for love.

This blog has been a very personal account of my thoughts and feelings thus far so I don't see any reason to hold back now. This song that has seemingly crept its way into my soul has actually forced me to really think about the words. Not just the music that, if you have ever heard this song, slowly lulls you into a reflective trance but the actual words. What exactly is my girl India trying to say to me? Well after much time listening, singing, thinking, and personal reflection, I think I may finally understand. I believe very strongly that love is a journey, a deity, an action, an emotion, a reaction, even a declaration. Love is all of these things. Love is something that none of us will ever completely figure out. Love is also, depending on what it may be at that time, something that we must prepare ourselves for if we are looking for it's full power.

Love is such a force. Real, pure, unadulterated love is a force that cannot be contained, cannot be silenced, cannot be manufactured. This love is the source of freedom for the soul, nourishment for the spirit, wholeness for the lover. To answer those of you wondering, I am not speaking of any specific love. Not talking about a man, woman or child, just sharing my revelation. For a long time I was caught up in defining love in all of its forms but just recently am I realizing that love cannot be defined.

For me recognizing that this powerful, relevent force can't be defined along with recognizing that in order for me to experience all that it is and has to offer I must submit myself and prepare myself. In another part of this song she states, "If you'll take me in your hands I will learn what you teach..." I have spent so much time lately learning from love, learning to love, learning about love, and even learning how to be loved.

In a roundabout way I am saying all of this to say that I too am ready; completely prepared; in fit condition for immediate action; for LOVE. And all it has to give, and teach, and reveal. I am ready to love myself, my son, my family, my friends, my world, my life, my solitude, my ups, my downs, my everything. I'm ready to immerse myself in what love has for my future... Ready... Finally...

Until the next song plays...