Category Archives: Love

2016When God Says No


Hey blog readers. Hope you are doing well. I am actually doing pretty well(that’s an understatement) but I want to discuss a few things that are on my mind. Let’s just say that 98% of life is going well for me right now. It’s the other 2% that I am still processing.

So, I know that I talk a lot about mi vida loca particularly when it comes to guys and relationships. What I am about to say, just pile it on top of the loca hot mess pile called Gemma’s love life(aka no life). Let me tell you a story. It’s true. Names are being protected to spare the guilty. Okay, so here it goes. A long time ago(over a year ago), I met someone. Let’s call that someone Mr. Fire. Just go with it. Mr. Fire is nice, charming, handsome, and would potentially fit the list of good on paper. Mr. Fire asks me for my number, which I give to him. Mr. Fire calls me. Mr. Fire texts me. Mr. Fire emails me. Mr. Fire always checks for me. Mr. Fire takes me out to a bookstore where we have interesting conversation because that’s what you do with Mr. Fire. Let’s fast foward to a more recent time. A friend mentions, Oh, Mr. Fire is married. I’m like Oh, okay. That’s interesting because Mr. Fire has never 1)worn a wedding ring 2)spoke of a wife 3)mentioned being married and this is why Mr. Fire is Mr. Fire.

Let’s just say this is where God steps in. Because in recovery we talk about God doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves. Well, God showed up and out. It was finally revealed that yes indeed Mr. Fire is married(with kids) and that’s how you know God speaks through people. So, what did I do? I deleted Mr. Fire out of my phone and tried not to explode when everyone that I mentioned it to, put the onus on me and what I did or didn’t do. Because apparently, men can do no wrong, even when they are dead wrong and everything will always be my fault. For the record, I never did anything tawdry with Mr. Fire.

In another weird turn of events, an old acquaintance(like someone I know of) saw me and asked me about my ex(because people who remember us together only know how to ask me about him for some reason). Well, he said that my ex is back and closer than before. So I have been trying not to freak out(I’ve been praying about it) because my head is like “Yep, he wants to kill me”. People close to me have told me that maybe he has changed(which is possible). But I just don’t even want to see him.

I got Mandy Hale’s new book and she talks about not dating for a year(which is something that I keep telling God about or rather He keeps telling me that that is basically the situation). I’m not sad about it, I just wish that I could just be completely turned off(if that makes sense). Like, no crushes, no nothing.

Thanks for reading


2016 The Year Of Being Open To Life


Hey blog readers and viewers. I hope you are having a great new year so far. I know I am. I told God and the universe that I wanted to be open and a lot of good things have come my way.
     I had two interesting job interviews this week. I hope to hear a good word soon. Classes started back in my doctoral program. I don’t think I have been more excited about a semester. Anxiety aside, things are looking up. People are showing interest in my research. I’m getting amazing feedback and that’s great fuel to keep writing.
     I renewed my gym membership so now I have to go. I’m going swimming tomorrow. I have been getting in some good workouts.
     I met someone. I know it’s early but it is so interesting. We are getting to know each other. We spend time talking. He seems to be into me. Which is surprising. I already laid down the law. He knows where I stand. So even though things feel great, I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop. I think he is intrigued because I’m not looking to hookup. I’m also very honest.
     We are using SAS this semester and I had to get another laptop and amazingly found one for just my price and all I need. I’m calling it an early birthday/dissertation gift.
     I feel like I’m in a really good place at the moment and that’s great. One funny thing is that now that I found someone to be interested in, all of these other people that I was interested in before have all made a point to reach out to me. One day I was thinking about how many guys may still have my number in their phones. I know that’s an odd thought.
     But whatever happens, it’s nice to have someone to think fondly of and know that someone is thinking about me too.
Well I better try and get some sleep.
May your tomorrow bring even more joy than today 🙂

2016 Defending The Reality Of Poverty


So for those who may or may not know, I quit my job a few weeks ago. It wasn’t because I was like oh hey I don’t need a job anymore. There were some changes going on at my job and due to a lack of communication(which was continually documented) and having to rely on the bus as my mode of transportation, I had to quit my job. Everyone knew this, no one was left the dark, they just chose to act surprised when it happened.

So I applied for unemployment(as we all have a right to do). When you apply for unemployment benefits, you have to have an interview which requires you to answer questions related to your case. Well, the interviewer asked me questions related to my commute and related to my mode of transportation. First I had to break down my actual commute by time and miles. Second, I had to reiterate that these proposed times were never concrete. Then, the interviewer  asked me how long I had been without a car.

For the record, I have not had a car since 2010. Not because I don’t want one. Not because I can’t drive. Not because I don’t have a license, but because I cannot afford a car. So my main mode of transportation is the bus. Which works pretty well during the day but some sort of switch flips at night and it is only good in certain parts of town. Our city is shaped like  a wagon wheel and most of the buses only cater to four sections of the wheel.

At the end of the interview, the interviewer mentioned that not having a reliable mode of transportation would hinder my unemployment benefits. Which made me think that many, many poor people are unable to access their unemployment benefits because of the fact that they are too poor to afford a car.

It also brought up the usual of people who have never been in poverty not being able to understand the reality of what it means to be in poverty. Yesterday a friend had to drive to my place to leave a note for me about this interview because there was no way to reach me without my phone. All of these things add up and don’t help those who are already down on their luck.

Here’s to new jobs in the New Year 🙂


2016 Potential and Possibilities


Hey blog readers and viewers, looks like we made it to 2016. You may be wondering how 2016 will be different than 2015. You may be wondering if 2016 will be better than 2015. The answer to these questions is: As of this moment, I don’t know. I hope that things will be different. I hope that things will be better. But I know that this can only happen when I focus on changes that I need to make in order to have better outcomes.

I am doing my best to keep a positive outlook on things and that includes minimizing negative energy(I may not be able to eliminate it but I can definitely minimize how much of it I allow myself to be consumed by). Negative energy is draining and I want to be a source of positive energy so I believe that you get back what you put into the world so I am attempting to put more positivity in the atmosphere.

I haven’t made any resolutions for the New Year but I do have goals. Last year I had a huge list of goals and when I looked back over them, I had accomplished half of them. I was quite surprised if I do say so myself. So the plan is to continue working on the other goals in order to accomplish them. I know it sounds simple, but it requires work and dedication. Also, I believe that we have to have not only faith in ourselves, but faith in our goals(that they are achievable).

One part to achieving a goal is making a plan. I made a workout plan(for most of 2016, a meal plan, and of course a training plan for my running). These are things that I have done before but seeing them written down really did something to me, it made me excited. So before the new year hit, I had racked a few days under my belt of consistency.

I always make plans to read through the Bible in a year but I really don’t like reading the book of Genesis( I know that sounds horrible but hear me out), I think the first couple chapters of Genesis are quite dry, they are pretty much in my brain and I just struggle with getting through them consistently. Well, I am praying that I get through it. I will keep you posted.

Last semester I had the awesome experience of writing the first and second drafts of my dissertation proposal. I know right!? I couldn’t believe it either, until I did it and did it again. Well, now I am working on the first draft of my dissertation seeing it in full draft form is a wonder in itself. I am so excited about it. I am just glad to be on the right track.

Next week classes begin for the second semester of my second year of doctoral work. I feel like I am ready for it and I look forward to what the new semester brings. I have worked very hard to brush up on my coding for my stats and I am really excited about it.

Well, here’s to a great year!



What Grief Looks Like


    Today is my Mom’s birthday. She would be 63 this year but she passed ten years ago. It doesn’t feel like ten years. It still feels like it just happened.
     I still blame myself for my Mom’s passing. She had COPD. She hadn’t been doing well. So that morning I tried to help her. She called me by my sister’s name. In my family no one calls anyone by their actual name it’s always whoever is on the brain. I got her some juice. She spilled it. I fixed her a nebulizer treatment. I asked her if she wanted to go to the hospital and she said no. I should have called the ambulance but I didn’t. I went to work.
     When I came home she was on the couch. I was confused because that morning she was in bed. I called to her but she didn’t answer. I called 911 and they told me to check her pulse but I couldn’t. I just kept calling for her. I got scared. It felt like forever for the ambulance to come. I called my family and they told me not to call my sister.
     The first responders just seemed to wait. I went outside. They came outside and told me she was gone. I primal screamed. Even though my Mom and I had a tumultuous relationship, I couldn’t imagine life without her. I still can’t.
     So I felt like it was all my fault and even though people tell me otherwise, I will probably always believe it. I miss my Mom so much. So I get mad when people don’t treat their parents right because you can’t take any of it back when they are gone.
     So for a long time I think I always held suicide as my go to card because I was a horrible daughter and I deserved everything bad that happened to me. I thought every problem would be solved and everyone would be happier if I wasn’t around. My family on the other hand doesn’t quite see it that way. They don’t believe that people have a valid reason to take their own life. Me on the other hand, I’m way more sympathetic. I try not to judge people’s motivations.
     Don’t get me wrong, I’m not having suicidal thoughts. I just miss my Mom. And yes even the strongest people get lonely at times. But at the end of the day, even though we may not be able to see it, we all have purpose in the Earth. Sometimes I wish I were able to be as strong as my Mom and sister emotionally but I’m not.
      If you are missing someone today, talk to them. Tell them that you love them and miss them. It matters because you matter.


Dear Future


Dear future husband,
                                    I have dreamed, hoped, wished, and prayed for you my whole life. I have always had a part of my heart and spirit reserved for you. I have had moments where I thought I glimpsed you or even met you but I know that I wasn’t even close by a long shot.
Thank you for your patience, compassion, kindness and love in advance.  Thank you for your strength in the meantime.
    I know that I’m not the easiest person to get to know or love but I thank you for going the extra mile and believing that I’m worth it. In return for your generosity of spirit,  I promise to love and cherish you with every fiber of my being. All and anything that is good in me, honors all that is within you.
     I know that the wait is not easy but always remember that you are worth it. For you I would do all that I would normally think that I could not do because having you in my life makes me that much better.  I would write all of the loveliest words because you summon them from the deepest places.  I would sing new songs just so that you would know of the new melodies that you bring to my heart.
    What is love without you in it? What is fear as long as you are standing near? Why does all of the wasted time seem as if a memory when you are a true gift? All of the mind boggling questions seem to disappear when you are so many wonderful answers.
     With every fiber of my being, I honor you, I’m in awe of you, and I can’t wait to see where the rest of our journey together takes us. Over mountains or through the lowest valleys,  we can get through it all together as long as we continue to let God lead. May we never tire of blessing others because of how blessed we are.
     Always know that I’m waiting and praying for you and I trust that you are doing the same. God bless you and keep you forever and always. Your heart and spirit help me draw closer to God as we seek His face and purpose.
Love forever and always,
Me the luckiest girl in the world xoxo

Notes From The First Year


Hello blog readers,

So this is it, I am in the last week of my first year as a doctoral student. Can you believe it? Here are some thoughts and things that I have learned along the way. Also, here are some things that I wish I would have known but hopefully can use in the future.

1. Keep an open mind

Starting something new is always a challenge but the more open you are to new ideas, the better things can get. You don’t know because you haven’t gotten there yet.

2. Take notes by hand

I don’t know what it is, it may be a security blanket for me but note taking helps a lot. Even when I look back on notes that I have taken by hand, I can make more sense of things.

3. Laugh a lot

Laughter can make even the bleakest moments better. Your code didn’t run, laugh. Your reviewer said that you know nothing, laugh. When it seems as you have no friends, laugh. Just keep laughing. It will pass.

4. You are here for a reason and a purpose

So you may have these moments where you feel like you don’t belong and you just don’t measure up. You are here for a reason. So you don’t even know what a statistic is. That’s what books are for. You are here for a reason. You don’t feel like you measure up next to superstars. You have a purpose. Actually, breathe in and out and use these words as a mantra. Mind blown.

5. Embrace who you are, it will take you a long way

So you are an uber nerd. That’s okay, your nerd brigade will support and encourage you. Embrace who you are. You have great ideas but don’t think you know how to write very well. Embrace who you are and get some help. Online, offline, in a book, there is a ton of help out there for your dilemma. Embrace who you are. You like comic books,graphic novels, and all things nerdy. Embrace who you are. Your friends already do and they don’t care because they are just as nerdy in their own way.

6. You may not be in a relationship the way you think you are

So you may not have an actual partner but you have a relationship with your dissertation. It will be a long term relationship and that is okay. Love it, live it, learn it. Embrace all those in your life who support you no matter how other worldly you may sound.

7. Write your lit review as soon as possible

Gather all of your data and articles as soon as you can. Then look for a system to help you write your lit review. There are tons of resources to help with this as well. Just write, because the more you write even though it may seem like crap or someone tells you it is crap, you can always save it and use it for something.

8. Back up your data and files

I am still working on this but it is okay to have several copies of the same thing in numerous locations because you just don’t know how many times in a semester you will leave all of your flash drives at home(count as of now:4).

9. Don’t be afraid to email your professor something silly, the worst he or she can say is no

So being the slow person that I am, I find myself with the weirdest thoughts and questions. Sometimes I have to email my professors to get their feedback or perspective. Also, sometimes you just have to get used to hearing no, so that when you do hear yes you can be pleasantly surprised.

10. Use your voice it’s the only one you have

So, sometimes things happen and you don’t feel like you are being heard, use your voice. You think things should be changed, use your voice. You need help, use your voice. Often times people may not know what you need unless you use your voice so use it.

11. Self-care is the salsa of life

So you are having a good day, dance. You are having a bad day, dance. Just keep dancing. Like Dory says “Just keep swimming”. Keep doing the things that help you to protect yourself and give you balance. You are in it for the long haul and you have to stay healthy.

12. Kindness never hurts

Even though you may think you know everything(or 85% of everything), there are others who know more and who can help you. Be kind. You want to treat others the way that you want to be treated, so keep being kind. Even when your feelings are hurt. Or even when that totally hot guy who you think you would be perfect for still doesn’t see you. Be kind to him and his new girlfriend lol. There is a lot wrong in the world but there is also a lot that is right and how better to be a change for good than by being kind.

13. Not everyone needs to know your story, that is a priviledge

So you have a wonderful, amazing, wild ride of a life story. Well, congrats but that doesn’t mean you have the right to tell the whole world until you actually get your book written. There are people who don’t actually want to hear your story but for some reason try to pry it out of you to hold it against you, don’t fall for it. Silence is golden. I’m working on it. I am getting better at it.

14. Be the person that you want to be in a relationship with

You can’t keep lamenting about being single if you aren’t trying to be your best self. Because your best self is not a lamenter. Your best self spends too much time being awesome to complain, gripe, or have pity parties about why you are still single. You are still single because you just are. Tis life.

15. Accept compliments

The mailman called you a hero, accept it. Someone else calls you smart, accept it. You have friends who like you just the way you are, accept it. What would life be like if you spent more time just being awesome instead of trying to shape shift into someone else’s form of awesome? Sometimes you just have to give yourself a break and be bat cat.

16. Help somebody

So a good professor friend told me that life isn’t about getting the Ph.d, it is about what and who you will be helping because of having the Ph.d. Who can you help now? How can you help someone. Take time each day on or off the clock, to help someone. Who helped you when you needed help? Who helps you now? Giving back never returns void.

Well friends, here are just some tips and sage advice from me to me and you