CHASING WATERFALLS


I'm not the most adventurous gal out there. Most times, when I'm presented with an adventure, my mind is open but my guards are up. Especially when it involves me being outside, communing with nature. To a nature-enthusiast, the outdoor experience can be a calming, enchantment of the wind, the trees and the chirping of the birds. Me on the other hand, my perspective is contrary. While in nature, I often feel disoriented and clammy, and itchy - all while trying to avoid every little critter in my space (their space, actually). It's everything but serene.

If it were up to normal circumstances, you would not catch me trying to explore these earthly elements - but a few weeks ago, I felt an internal nudge to go chasing waterfalls. I had a dream. In the dream, I was wading at the bottom of a beautiful cascade of water. Once I woke up, I wasn't sure if it was last night's dinner or my subconscious speaking to me, but I had a pleasant feeling about it nonetheless.

You see, most of my dreams fade from my memory shortly after they occur - but this one remained, so I decided to further pursue its significance. Symbolically, dreaming of a waterfall represents letting go, releasing and in the end, gaining revitalization and renewal. That's all I needed to see. I was convinced to fulfill my dream in the most literal sense, and I did.

LESSONS FROM EXES


Not too long ago I was at home, drinking water and minding my business. Suddenly there was a ping from the messenger app on my phone. To my surprise, the sender was a dearly departed, former male acquaintance - from an old relationship. A relationship that ended a long time ago. I mean, way back when T-Pain was popping and guys were wearing white tees and snap-dancing in the club.


My first thought was naturally, "what does he want??" Afer ten years of no contact whatsoever, I couldn't fathom why he would invest the time and energy into looking me up, composing a message and slithering his way into my inbox with regret, remorse, and explanation. Chile, please.

Don't take amiss, there weren't any hard feelings on my end. I mean, I had ten full years to purge all of the offense. I was just perplexed that he was still stuck in the past (and assumed that I was too) - but as you would expect, I kindly sent him on his way and gave him the closure that he may have needed.

After that happened, I couldn't help but look back at all of the relationships and complicated-ships, I had encountered in my twenties - and my oh my it's been a bumpy ride. I've dated some characters - everything from the womanizer, to the starving artist, to the commitment-phobe. There was even a time when I found myself on a "date", in a tent, in somebody's mama's garage (I wish I was making this up!).  Although it's pretty embarrassing, I can sincerely admit that my dating life has been a hot mess.


I've said it before, dating is hard - but it teaches you a lot about yourself. As you go through this journey with different suitors, you begin to realize what you're really looking for in a companion. It can be draining, but the lessons you learn along the way are well worth your while. With all of that said, here are a few lessons that I've learned from my exes.


MEMORABLE MOMENTS


In just a few days, my niece Micah (also known as Jellie) will be headed back home from her fourteen-day visit to Georgia. She lives in Ohio, so I normally only get to see her about twice a year if I'm lucky. Sure, we video chat and text every now and then, but nothing compares to those connections developed through memorable moments. Those moments that light up your face whenever you think about them. The funny stories that no one else would get because they just had to be there. The very moments that make nostalgia so nostalgic. Gratefully, this summer, I got to have those moments with her.