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Monday, December 5, 2016

#LOLOSLOVELIFE: The Prince Charming Syndrome

#LOLOSLOVELIFE: The Prince Charming Syndrome

Sometimes I wish a Prince Charming would come and save me. He'd see beyond my heartbreak, messy life, negative bank account, and broken dreams. His love would restore my faith in the male sex. His strong arms would embrace my bulging frame, fat from antidepressants, and emotional eating. His eyes would see me for the radiant, beautiful, smart, loving, Godly woman I am. In him I would find a safe harbor, a trusting confidant, a friend, a lover like no other. When he leans in to kiss me, I feel desired. My sense of femininity is renewed through his passion for me. Then, just like those movies I grew up watching, Prince Charming would whisk me away to his castle. It's a place with no worry, strife, disappointment, or despair. All of my friends who comforted me in the wilderness would be there cheering for us.

I grew up watching romantic fantasies like this play out over and over again in Disney movies. Snow White, Cinderella, Little Mermaid, all women in distress who are saved by a handsome Prince Charming. My favorite tale is Cinderella. I still find myself applauding and cheering when Prince Charming comes and makes things right in her life. Girls nowadays have much stronger, independent heroines like Merida from Brave, and Mulan. These woman did not need a man to save them, they went out and did the saving themselves.

When I was young Disney taught me that men save women. My Southern upbringing only reinforced it. My mother and aunts would say, "Get yourself a good man with a good job and money." When I reached my mid-twenties they would say, "Don't you want to get married?"  When are you going to have kids?" 

And, my favorite comment, "Get you a man that loves you more than you love yourself." WTF. It was if I was not complete as a woman because I had not found a man to love me.

As a single, childless, damaged thirty-something woman I can see now I've been searching for someone to complete me forever. It all started when my father left........

I never knew my biological father. The story is he knocked up my mom when she was 19 and then wanted nothing to do with either of us. My mother rarely had anything to kind to say about him either. He was a womanizer, player, tempter, a dog. But, the comment that shaped how I view men the most is, "He didn't want you." That abandonment has played on my psyche since I learned that my own blood discarded me. I have longed for acceptance from men.

In my adolescence, I found the most joy playing with baseball with my male cousins, or being the comforter to all the guys in high school. Due to the Navy, my stepfather was never around when I was little. He gave us money, a house, prestige, opportunities but in my formative years he never gave me the type of fatherly love I so craved. He was distant, and cold. And, when I think back to my childhood, I can remembering fearing him, forced hugs, and awkward I love yous.

In my twenties the Tomboy in me gave way to a curvy, sexy woman. I fell in love for the first time, and in the arms of a beautiful bald, chocolate man, a void in me was filled. Mr. G.Q. loved me in a way no other man had. He listened to what I had to say. He played videos games with me. He taught me what it meant to make love. He rooted for me tirelessly, and whenever I was in need he was always there. I couldn't get enough. I fully expected us to live happily ever after. I thought that marriage would make me feel whole, complete, saved just like Cinderella. But the marriage never came. He cheated. I moved out, and went searching for the next man to make my fairy tale a reality.  I chased marriage with all I had. I stayed in relationships way too long, stayed when I should have moved on, and endured more than I should have. ....

Now in my thirties.. I've let go of the illusion of a Prince Charming... my heart just can't take that fairy tale anymore. I think it's time I do my own saving..... I want to love myself on in the valley and the peak. I want to know comfort in my own arms, and more importantly I've found a love greater than any man can give. When I realized that God loved me in spite of my bad deeds, ugliness, and mistakes it freed me from a desire to be saved by a man. What heartache has taught me is that man will fail you. He will piss you off. He will lie. He will cheat. He will use you. But, God's love is constant, enduring, and everlasting. In my darkest days, when the tears wouldn't stop flowing, it was God who rocked me to sleep. When everyone leaves, God is the still voice leading me through. So now my prayer is not for a man to save me..... It's not for a man to whisk me away from my pain or hardship. My desire now is for a man who try his best to love me flaws and all. I want a man who will laugh at my quirky humor. I want a man who loves like Corinthians says: patient, kind, slow to anger, never holding grudges... And in my pursuit of God's love I'm hoping he heals the hole of abandonment I've endured for far too long... to allow me to be the kind of partner I want to receive.

So farewell Prince Charming.... and the dream of happily ever after..... and hello to a realistic love....


Thursday, December 1, 2016

#FineFellasFriday: Kedrick Harris "Why Do You Fight?"

#FineFellasFriday: Kedrick Harris "Why Do You Fight?"

My first question for cage fighter Kedrick Harris was, "Why do you fight?" Why would you willing sign up to be beaten, hit, kicked, or worse in a steel cage? Why do you fight Kedrick Harris? What motivates you to fight?

I guess that question could be asked of any of us. Why do any of us fight? We fight to live. We fight to love. We fight for our country. We fight for a cause. We fight to overcome life's challenges. We all fight for something. Meeting Kedrick made me ask myself the same question. What am I fighting for? For Kedrick the answer to that question is deep, poignant and inspiring.

Over the course of an hour, I learned that Kedrick fights to inspire. He fights to be a leader. He fights in honor of his brother, Brandon Whittington, a 23-year old who was shot and killed before seeing Harris realize his dreams.

Harris met me at a Starbucks in Chesapeake days before his first title match for the Spartyk Fighting League in October. It was a beautiful fall day with a clear blue sky, light breeze, and sunshine. Kedrick was days awat from his first championship bout, pivotal fight in his career. But compared to the fights Kedrick has faced in his life a steel cage match is nothing. His toughest battle, was conquering the anger and sadness that nearly consumed him when his brother was killed.

"In the beginning, I was angry. I was angry at the world," Harris said. Kedrick's brother was shot and killed in a car robbery just days before his 23rd birthday.

"I was so sad, because I couldn't do anything." After mourning the loss of his brother, Harris wanted to do something with his anger, find a way to channel it into something positive. So at 19 years old Harris enlisted in the Army just like his brother once had. The life of service took him to a tour in Afghanistan, and Iraq as a diesel mechanic. Harris says it was in serving his country that he found meaning for his life, and came to peace with his brother's murder.

"I learned to live with it," Harris said. "I still think about it everyday. I think about our inside jokes too," Harris said remembering his brother. "Now it is what it is. I cherish his memories that we made, and I hope to make more memories like that with my son."

After serving nearly four years in the army, Kedrick worked as a contractor until his position was cut. He tried working as in waste management. While it paid the bills, it didn't fulfill him the way the Army did. It was in that moment, Kedrick decided instead of punching a time clock he'd chase his dream of being a cage fighter.

"I have always been a fan of cage fighting, and I thought it was a cool guy thing to do," Harris said. "So I said I'm going to give it a try."

Harris contacted a promoter and started training. It didn't take long for him to land his first match at the Ted Constant Center in 2014. Harris doesn't remember much about his first fight but he does remember the high he felt. A locked steel cage, adrenaline pumping through your veins, your opponent staring back at you; cage fighting was a roller coaster of emotions.
The mixture of nerves, fear, excitement, and anticipation was intoxicating. Instead of going back to a regular 9 to 5, Harris decided to make cage fighting his career.  With the help of family and friends Harris has continued to book fighting gigs. Since his first fight, Harris has raked up quite a record. He is currently 4-1.

 Harris ultimately lost his championship title in October to a former training partner, Ryan Nugent. But, he's still grinding and preparing for his next fight.

"I train constantly so I'm always ready to fight," Harris said. In time he's hoping that his career will inspire others to chase their wildest dreams.

" I want to be part of the barbershop talk," Harris. "I want to be what they talk about."

Kedrick's life is a testament to the power of never giving up. When he lost his brother. He refused to let the pain stunt him. When depression and Bipolar Disorder drug him down, he fought even harder to overcome. It's a beautiful testimony to never giving up on life, yourself or your dreams. Whatever match comes next whether it is inside or outside of the steel cage, I know Kedrick is going to give all he has. He has children now, a growing fan base, and platform to show others that they can fight too.

That's is what  being a Good Girl Chronicles #FINEFELLA is all about; using what you have to dream big and motivate others.

Thank you Kedrick Harris and Nile Owens for letting me tell this story.