Hey friends, it's been a long time.
In the past 6 months, this blog has honestly been the least of my concerns. I was NOT checking for this site and even considered shutting it down. It wasn't until a friend of mine asked me to start posting more #CookingWithVina, that it dawned on me that I actually missed Love & Society, my little corner of the Internet that I built. I was threatened with the deadline of April 1st to get this site back up and running, which also happens to be the unofficial start of Spring (even though technically, it was March 20th), so in true Vina fashion, I have a post going up right at the last minute.
Spring has a way of reminding you of new beginnings. Mother nature starts to calm down from a mess of a winter (although Florida never got the memo that winter actually happened), fresh flowers start to bloom, the days get longer and warmer, animals come out of hibernation and for some strange reason people like to do spring cleanings. It's like the world sort of wakes up from a nap and starts to gear up for Summer, where the real party begins. So here I am, start of Spring, with an updated site and a fresh perspective on life.
Okay Vina, that sounds nice... but where you been? What you been up to? Why'd you stop writing? When's the wedding?
The long and the short of it: I ended the engagement, which has caused me to go really silent on here in the past 6 months. If you follow me on social media, you know that I've briefly talked here and there about it, but it hasn't been the focus of my conversation. Not that your relationship with another person should ever define your world, however when you go through a major life change like that (or even a minor life change), you are allowed to take as much time as you need, so I did. I talk a lot and could have said A LOT, and probably would have said more negative than positive, so it was important for me to just shut up. Now, I am sure that I will write plenty of post in regards to a breakup like : How to Get Over It, What To Do When You Know It's Time, Surviving Your Ex Dating, and all that, however they will be written in a light that helps people, especially women, rather than "tear down" my ex. I'm not into that, so you're looking for a I'm-Bitter-And-Hate-All-Men post, you're on the wrong site. I still have respect for my ex and I know he'll do well in life... just not with me.
Now to the more important question of: what have I been up to?
Again, the long and the short of it: getting my life together. I am in a REALLY good place right now, probably the most peace I've ever had, and I definitely attribute a majority of it to the breakup. I'm not giving the breakup credit for my peace, but I will say the breakup was a catalyst and magnifying glass on various areas of my life that definitely need work, and while working on those areas, I have found peace. I've never been one to just sit around and let life happen, so though I have been "silent", I've been BUSY and actively focused on me.
Here are some of the areas that I have been working on:
I spent the entire month of December going to the beach every morning.
It originally started as a "project" to capture a picture of the sunrise everyday (see below some of my favorites), but truly ended up being one of the most "healing" practices I've ever did. I'd wake up, let the pups out and go, just as I am. Didn't brush my teeth, wash my face and most certainly did not do my hair, and I didn't care. I wasn't there for anyone else, but me. Not to get all "New Age" or anything but I believe in the healing properties of water. Stressed? Broken? Falling Apart? Immediately get yourself to the nearest beach, lake, pond, river, tub, something. & then repeat. For 30 days or until you feel better, whichever happens first.
Do I go to the beach everyday now? No, I don't feel the need to but it's still a frequent place that I visit.
I came back to Christ and got connected to this amazing little church called Christ Fellowship. Ironically this PK (Pastor's Kid) who couldn't stand church, who'd rather clean the house than go to church found herself at church 4 days out of the week... on my own.
I found myself willing waking up at 5am so that I can pray and study the Bible.
I found myself serving... willingly... joyfully actually.
& then I found myself connected to amazing friends who were also really into Jesus, and life has gotten sweeter from there.
Lately, I have been really focused on making new friends, male and female. Getting connected in my church has allowed me to meet some awesome people. I don't mean awesome on surface level, I mean, down in the weeds, getting-in-your-business awesome, and I love it. I've laughed, cried and climbed roofs (no really) with these people and they have changed my life. As far as dating (because I am sure someone is wondering) I am not and not really interested... yet. Will I jump back out there eventually, yes, but right now? No. I am digging being all about me and the pups right now. Plus dating is expensive and expensive is not in my budget right now :).
Speaking of budget, I took the ultimate humble pill and recognized that I HAVE to get better with my finances. Going from two incomes in one household to just one, causes you to realize that you can't spend money like you used to. Also going from two incomes to one means that I don't have a partner to fall back on to help me in case finances do get tight. With that said, I have to be more intentional about how I spend. So I am doing a complete financial upheaval in my life. Here are some small steps that I am taking that I find are helping:
- Creating a budget and being super honest where I stand with it. That will obviously look different for everyone, but that means if a day trip to Miami is not in Vina's budget, then a day trip to Miami doesn't happen for happen for Vina.
- No longer eating out, which sucks because I LOVE eating out. I'm a good cook, scratch that, I am a great cook, but there's something about going to a place where your food is ready in 20 minutes and you don't have to clean the kitchen afterward. So I've started eating at home before going out, packing my lunches and obviously cooking a lot more. Thankfully I have friends that care enough about me and my financial future that are keeping me accountable in this area.
- I am tithing... every paycheck... on my gross income... and then giving a little more over that (insert audible gasp here). Which you're probably thinking: Davina that's silly, why would you donate your money to that large church? Why not use that to pay a bill? Set aside savings, etc. I know it makes no sense, but that's where faith kicks in. I have seen some miraculous things occur just in the area of my finances since I've started tithing, and I refuse to give this principle up. Correlation does not imply causation, however I can't help but notice, that when I started tithing, things started to make financial sense. Food is on the table, the pups haven't starved and my rent is getting paid.
- Operating on a cash basis and leaving my debit card at home. This is a tough one for me because I never carry cash, but if you literally don't have the means to pay for something, than you won't. Ever notice how right before pay day when you only have $5.68 in your account (we've all been there) you find new and innovative ways to make that $5 stretch? I aspire to create that mindset of scarcity throughout the entire month. If I literally only have $10 on me without access to more, then I will find a way to make that $10 work, regardless of what's in my bank account.
So that's where I'm at in life. Busy, focused and working.
As always, thank you for reading and sticking around during this journey.
Trust me, there's more to come.