It’s All About Zo

Love-WallpapersToday, I’m going to talk about one of the reasons I am here in Atlanta, one of the reasons for this blog…my love: Lorenzo.

Lorenzo and I were introduced by a mutual friend in December of 2010, about 6 months after I returned to the States from my tour in Iraq. My friend Tia called me up one night and asked me how I felt about long distance relationships. I had been in a place where I didn’t mind having someone to talk to, but I didn’t want to actually date someone so I thought that it couldn’t hurt. I was living in New Jersey and he was living in New Mexico.

We used to talk on the phone for hours when we were first introduced, after a few months it was a combination of both phone and web chats. We exchanged pictures, talked all night every night. He told me about his goals, his family, his military career, his childhood, and the things we wanted for civilian career and his life. We connected to each other through our words.  In April of 2011 we had our first date in Chicago.

Chicago

It was after we spent that weekend together that I knew I wanted to be with him. He is intelligent, sophisticated, ambitious, realistic, mature, humble, and a leader. He isn’t easily influence by the actions of others, he makes his own decisions and doesn’t let the silliness of other things going on in the world get in the way of his goals. He values himself, doesn’t tolerate disrespect from others.

Lorenzo was born and raised in South Carolina, just outside of Myrtle Beach. He is the 6th of 7 children, 4 boys and 3 girls. He has 14 nieces and nephews, but no children of his own. Whenever someone asked when he and I were going to have our own kids, his reply is, “Kids? With an ‘s’? That’s plural.” He went to college in Atlanta, and has also lived in Washington D.C., and Albuquerque. Right now he is working as a contractor for the CDC. He’s a talented artist, plays basketball, likes to travel, try new restaurants and loves seafood…especially snow crab legs, and has a thing for Cole Haan shoes.

We’ve been living together for over a year now and things are peaceful in our home. The man I fell in love with over the phone is the same man I wake up to every day. Our regular conversations include wedding planning, purchasing a home, how to start a business, idiotic things our exes did, idiotic things everyone does, and how we would take care of our families if we ever won the lottery. He normally speaks near perfect English, that is…until he’s talking to either his mom or this brother…then the southern accent comes out and he tells stories about how he grew up playing in the woods and chopping down trees.

He’s romantic, generous, charming, and I can’t wait to marry him, have his last name, and build my life with him.

The “90 Day” Rule

90-Day

 

 

 

 

Ahhh, Instagram.

Things that your friends post on social media can tell you a lot about them…what they are thinking about, what they think is funny, or if they are just trying to get a rise out of people.

One of my friends on IG posted this the other day and I thought it was super interesting take on the 90-day rule (at first I thought it was funny, then I thought, “hmmm, I wonder what people will say”). So later on that day, I went back to check.

He didn’t have as many responses as I thought: one or 2 “Yes’s” and about 3 “No’s”. Now, mind you, I don’t know his friends so I just gave my answer, which was “Yes” because A) I have my own money and B) I would like to see how creative a man can get when it comes to dating and there is no money being spent.

He began to tell me how the base factor for a relationship should be companionship- someone to share your dreams and goals with-and that there shouldn’t be a “quid pro quo” basis- money for sex, or sex for money–and then suggested street walking as an alternative if that is what you are seeking.

What I find interesting is that there are people who don’t think about companionship at all when dating someone new, they go straight for trying to see what they can get out of the other person. I’m not going to lie, when I was dating it was hard not worry about whether or not a guy was expecting sex in exchange for taking me out (and then chalking it up to “chemistry” and “attraction”). I didn’t have a 90-day rule though, if things got physical, it did because I was ready, however, some of them proved to be not worth the trouble waaaay before 90 days were up and before anything physical ever happened so I was able to walk away unscathed. Lorenzo on the other hand has some horror stories about women who flat out told him that if he was having sex with them he had to pay for something. Or after he took a girl out, she felt it was appropriate to ask for money to pay her cell phone bill. Another woman, who didn’t have a job, was living with her parents, and had a medical condition that didn’t allow for her to qualify for medical insurance said she was looking for a man to take care of her financially…and when he asked what she had to offer in return, she pointed to her body. *facepalm*

He never gave any of these women money, in case you were wondering. His response to them was “if the shoe were on the other foot”, would they date him- the answer was usually “no”.

I always wondered if a 90-day rule is even necessary. Why does it have to be there hanging over your head determining the outcome or the course of the relationship? Why can’t people just date and get to know each other, and if things don’t work out then move on. Why is money a factor? Why is sex a factor?

I guess I say these things because money isn’t a big deal to me. I work very hard for my money and I don’t mind spending it on people I care about (which is why it irritates me when people imply that I’m with Lorenzo because he has a good job and buys me nice things). I’ve never cared about how much money a man was making, as long as he was doing what he could afford to do and wasn’t always broke or going broke by trying showing off. I don’t require a man to buy me purses and shoes…I do that for myself. I just needed him to be financially responsible so that we could build a life together. Some people don’t get that.

I would love to hear some feed back about the original question: Would you date a man who made you wait 90 days before he spent money on you? Why or why not? I’m not here to judge, I just want to understand the point of view.

And guys… I also found this yesterday…how to find a wife:

 

 

 

 

Learning to Live with Loss

While I generally don’t like to report bad news, I still need to be able to express what’s happening with me so that I can get it out of my head. The past two weeks will probably rank high on my “toughest things I’ve had to deal with in life” list. Losing someone is always a shock, especially when its completely unexpected no matter how it happens. I lost a friend recently, not to an accident or something tragic, but due to natural causes. Because I want to respect her family’s privacy, I won’t go into detail about her medical history.

I met her when I moved here last year; I went to a Meetup.com event for women in Atlanta at a bar somewhere in Midtown where there was going to be a live band playing. She and I started chatting, you know that usual-where are you from, what do you do, how long have you lived here stuff. We exchanged numbers and have been in touch ever since. She was originally from Queens, New York and had relocated to Atlanta about 7 years ago-completely by herself. She had friends that moved from NY to ATL, but they all ended up moving back and she decided to stay. She was single and dating, had a good job and was looking for better employment. She would always send me job openings that she found that she thought I would be a good fit for. I used to make time to have lunch with her, visit her at her house, we bought each other Christmas and Birthday Gifts. Because she was so used to living alone, I never wanted to impede too much on her space so whenever she told me she just wanted to rest or stay at home I didn’t push it.

She was so smart and funny, focused and goal oriented. She still had a New York accent so talking to her always made me feel like I was still close to home. There was no drama with her, I felt like she and I could have been friends for years.

Lorenzo and I found her in her home after I received an email from one of her friends asking me to check on her because they haven’t heard from her all week. When I thought about it, I remembered that she wasn’t responding to any of my text messages either. The worst part about finding her was having to call her mother to tell her that her daughter had passed away. She was only 34 years old.

Lorenzo and I did everything we could to help her mother and her family deal with this tragedy. Her other friends that lived here in Atlanta also came out to help as much as they could. We buried her yesterday; her mother decided to keep her here in Atlanta because she knew she loved it here. I felt relieved when I found out because at least now I can go visit her.

Knowing that life is so short, losing so many of my own family members over the years, and being in the military has made me somewhat comfortable with the concept of death. Its not something anyone wants to think about, but its something we are all going to face sooner or later so it just reinforces how we all need to be prepared for it when the time comes, whether it be by having a Will,  life insurance, etc. Having to deal with losing someone you love will be hard enough, your family shouldn’t have to deal with worrying about how to pay for the funeral or how to manage your affairs.

I know that she is in a better place now, where this is no more pain. I don’t question why this happened, I just wonder why it happened so soon. I’m going to miss her so much.

Rest in peace L.T.L.

Misery Will NOT Get Company

no-negativity

 

 

 

I would like to consider myself a pretty positive or optimistic person. I think I’m pretty easy going and laid back…for the most part.

One of the things that I was worried about when moving here was if I was going to have a hard time making (and keeping) friends. Not because I’m a horrible person, but because I really don’t have the patience to put up with crazy drama queens and their negativity; and I’ve heard a lot of not-so-great things about women in Atlanta.

I have 4 biological sisters, a step sister, 12 to 14 aunts, and about a million and a half female cousins. It is safe to say I grew up around a lot of women so I’m used to being around them. Most of my life, even though I was every shy, I’ve always managed to make friends. It wasn’t until  after joining the Army and when I started college that I started to experience how ugly some women can be.

While I was in Iraq in 2009 and  2010 I decided that I wasn’t going to have unnecessary negativity and drama in my life and that included the people that were bringing it in my life in the first place. Subsequently, that meant letting go of some people I had been friends with for almost a decade (but I’ll save the details of that story for another time).

So before I moved here I was told by people that lived here (and some that didn’t) to be very careful with the women in Atlanta, and in the South in general because a lot of them will smile in your face and try to steal your man behind your back (but I mean, you can find someone like that anywhere right?). Lorenzo was very stern about his stance on that, mostly because he knows a lot of guys who claim to be friends with each other but will talk about trying to sleep with the guys wife when he’s not around….again another story for another time.

Fortunately, I have been pleasantly surprised because the women that I’ve met since I’ve been here have been super nice people. I haven’t had any of the issues that other people have warned me about, and I’m grateful for that. I think because I’ve already dealt with so many issues from other people back home, that I’m not allowing people to get so far up in my life that their decisions effect me emotionally. While I care for the friends I have made here, I don’t get wrapped up in their lives and they don’t get too deep in mine- which I think it was makes the difference.

But do I miss being super close to females? Sure I do. Who doesn’t love girls nights out, lunch dates, dancing, movie nights, and girl talk? I just think I’ll save those nights for my family and some of my old friends from back home. I’m not put off by the idea of having female friends, I just know now what kind of craziness I’m not willing to put up with anymore….

 

I know guys never have these kinds of issues…. or do they?

 

 

 

15 Reasons Why You Should Blog

Originally posted on Fernanda's Choice:

 photo SM-closet-18_zpsa269a2f7.jpg

Photo Credits: Something Navy

1. You’ll become a better writer. At its core, writing is communication. It is about recording thoughts on paper and compelling others to agree with them. To that end, writing (just like every other form of communication that has ever existed) improves with practice. Blogging will not force you to become a better writer, it’ll just happen as you do it. And becoming a better writer holds important benefits for the rest of your life—whether you are creating a book, a presentation, a résumé, or an anniversary card for your spouse.

2. You’ll become a better thinker. Because the process of writing includes recording thoughts on paper, the blogging process encourages you to stop and think deeper. You will delve deeper into the matters of your life and the worldview that shapes them. Unfortunately, at this point, many will choose not to blog (or write at…

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The Update

writer 2-737732Hey everyone! I missed you! Have you missed me??? I hope so :) Okay so just a quick update on what I’ve been up to for the past month.

The class I’m in right now has been literally kicking my butt, but the good news is that its almost over!!!! I have one more paper to write and one more final exam and then I am D-O-N-E. I’m giddy with excitement ;) So, I’ve spend the past few weeks either doing homework, or worrying about doing homework. I was starting to feel like I wasn’t spending enough time with Lorenzo, but he has been super understanding about it because he knows how important it is to get my work done.

But, my birthday came and went. I took a few days off from work and finished up my homework and the next day Lorenzo planned out an entire day for me: I got up early, went to get my hair done, then later on in the afternoon he took me to a place called Wed Studio to get my make up done by professional make up artist Mimi Johnson, who is A-mazing. She was so sweet and nice, and she did a fantastic job. Later on that night, we met up with my brother and went to do a photo shoot. It was so much fun. I haven’t done a photo shoot in about 7 years (I’m not sure if I mentioned how I wanted to be a model for all of about a year…I did a few photo shoots with up and coming photographers but never went much further than that.) Here are some of the shots:

 

 

 

Mirror Skirt Us WEHat

 

You like??? I love them.

But anywho… with my class being over soon, I should have a little more free time until I begin my next venture. I’ll keep you posted.

12 Signs You’re Addicted To Reading

Alexandra:

I absolutely love this post. As I was reading it, I was smiling thinking, “Yup, that’s me! And that’s me too!”

Originally posted on 101 Books:

Before I start today’s post, I’ve got to give credit to Thought Catalog—who inspired me with a post on this topic a couple of weeks ago.

So I’m totally stealing the idea, without stealing any of their specific points, and hopefully we can have fun with this.

The premise is simple: How do you know if you’re addicted to reading?

Here are the signs:

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