Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Happy Single Highlight: Shelly

M. Shelly Conner 

from Chicago, Illinois. 

Since you have been single, what have you learned about yourself? I've tended to be a serial monogamist, moving from one relationship to the other with little time in between for focus and reflection.  I think there are certain things about ourselves that we learn in relationships and other things that only show up when we are unattached.  Since I've been single, I've been reminded of things most important to me as an individual. Most of all, I've learned that I really enjoy the pleasure of my own company.  I've learned self-worth. 

For women who are trying to understand their own self-worth, what did you do to learn about and appreciate you?   I practice self-forgiveness and have developed a friendship with myself.  It is important to have a friendship with yourself. Think about how you are with your best friend.  If she was having a hard time you would tell to take it easy and not to be so hard on herself. We do that for our friends but not for ourselves. We should talk to ourselves as we would talk to our best friends. I am working on being a best friend to myself. 
What are you doing now to prepare yourself for a healthy relationship? The same things that I am doing to prepare myself for a healthy life... completing my degree, seeing the final manifestation of long term goals (career, publishing, etc.).  What I do for myself will only benefit a relationship. 
What areas do you tend to struggle with most in relationships? I'm a bit of a leech. I latch on hard and fast sometimes.  I think people get swept into it but then it can be overwhelming. I think I try to make partners of those who aren't ready for partnerships.  Or at least, I have in the past. I have a tendency to date a person's potential as opposed to their reality.  I've also felt compelled to convince people of my own worthiness. But as previously mentioned, I learned to appreciate my own self-worth since being single. 
What characteristics and traits do you find most compatible? Which ones are most problematic and why? Creativity and intelligence (usually academic).  Free-spirited. You have to be fairly open to connect with me.  As such, close-mindedness and stubbornness are problematic.  People who aren't good communicators also are incompatible.  There must be a sense of humor and an appreciation for my type of sarcastic, dry witted, sometimes raunchy, basic assholery.  Jealousy, mean-spirited, and spitefulness have no place near me. 

What are the qualities of your perfect mate?  Honesty, honest communication, sense of self – spiritual as well as physical. I know that unconditional love is hard but I want a person who will strive for it. I want a person who will aspire to do more, be more and see more for self or anything that she is a part of. I have dated a vast range of women but I prefer women of color with natural hair. 
What do you love about love? It's absoluteness.  It is complete if you allow it to be. Everything we do is about love... in search of it, in denial of it, distrust of it, and fear of it. 
What has being in a relationship taught you about you? That I love being in relationships.  A large part of me loves to share and discover with another. 
What do you admire about yourself? My perseverance.  Resilience. I push past fear and move towards my goals. 
How would your friends describe you? Many call me a dirty old man...affectionately, of course.  They'd say I'm funny, smart, entertaining and generous. 
What do you like to do for fun and why? I like to throw parties. I enjoy having my friends around me in safe environment.  I cook.  I love karaoke.  I have a setup in my basement (The Fun Salon) and my friends have fun singing, dancing, drinking, eating... 
What is our love language and how did you learn that about yourself? If I recall, I respond to words of affirmation and acts of service.  I think I give acts of service.  I read the book with an ex.  It didn't help us though.  
Finish this sentence…..before I die I want to have a successful writing career and family. 

I love writing too. When did you start writing? I was always a writer. It started as a hobby but I realized that if I wanted others to invest in me that I had to invest in myself. I had to make it a priority; I had to make it my job. I was a teacher for 10 years and I felt that I was “planning B” it without even trying to do Plan A. I had to give it a try. 

What inspires you to write and when people read your books what do you want them to feel, know, say, do, etc?  Life inspires me to write. It's how I process, learn, grow, relate...it's my output. I believe that we have things to learn in this life and we have things to give that reflected our learning. My writing is what I have to give...my expression. 

My novel has yet to find a publisher, but I want people to feel whatever it is I am expressing in the character, the tone, etc. at the time.  For example in my novel everyman, there is someone that I consider a truly deplorable character. Yet what happens to him is a travesty of justice and I expect for the reader to actually feel sorry for him in the moment it occurs. I would like for people to be entertained by the narratives, engaged by the characters, educated by the themes, and moved by the language. 

How important is spirituality to you? Extremely.  I am spiritual but not religious.  I find most religious dogma insufferable and usually don't have much tolerance for those who use it to oppress others. 
What important lesson did you learn from your mother that has helped you in life and in relationships? It's ok that there are different types of relationships, friendships.  Not everyone can be a best friend. But it doesn't mean that they can't be any friend.

You can connect with Shelly at:
website: http://mshellyconner.com/
blog: http://mshellyconner.blogspot.com/
Short story "Passing" available in Skin to Skin Magazine (issue 4)  http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/674612

(Interview conducted by SharRon Jamison)
We thank you for sharing your journey of happiness in singlehood! Your story will encourage, inspire and uplift other singles. We wish you continued success and happiness. www.createloveforwomen.com
Create Love -- Founders 
 Imani Evans and SharRon Jamison

We are looking forward to seeing you at the 2nd annual CREATE LOVE CONFERENCE FOR WOMEN
MARCH 8, 2014

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