Reaching That Point: Growing Into My Gift & Growing Apart From Someone

We find ourselves in different worlds now.

It is possible to be in the presence of someone and still feel alone. Or have your mind drift to someone, something, new in your life and think nothing of the person adjacent to you.

Nine years and nine and a half months later, I find myself in a weird space. I’m falling in love with something, maybe falling out of love with another. And maybe it isn’t that I’m falling out of love so much, so let me rephrase. I’m assuming my focus has simply shifted, my priorities lie elsewhere and I’m measuring this newfound love in correlation to what I’ve known love to be.

It was always the two of us, suppressing our innate passions to feed into the fervor of one another. But as the years went by, we grew comfortable with one another and yet, uncomfortable with ourselves for not meeting our own personal goals. We did what a lot of twenty-somethings, but most, thirty-something’s do – have children and build a family – but didn’t do what a lot of people our age accomplish and that’s actualize our dreams. I think the older our kids got and the more we stood firm in raising our children to be what they want to be, not what we want them to be, we started to ask ourselves, are we doing what we want to do?

I’ll be honest and admit, I had those moments of  “putting my life on hold for a bit when I had children” and focusing on just my family, catering to the kids and their needs and meeting the upspoken demands of my partner. But something happens when you echo those words to the little person staring back at you, that looks just like you, to do what you love. And when it’s late at night and you’re fighting the urge to pick up a pen but can’t because you have to get up early in the morning and be someone’s mom, followed by someone’s employee, again, you ask yourself, well? Are you doing it? Is someone stopping you or are you stopping yourself?

Because I can’t count how many times I had to repress my hands from letting out the thoughts that wanted to drown me, the words that wouldn’t come out the right way from my mouth, knowing that if I fell into that desire, I’d lose myself – in the words, in my journal, on my iPad, on a Word document. And I couldn’t lose focus even though that’s all I wanted to focus on when I had a family to provide for, and look after, and tend to.

But when it’s quiet, I started to hear myself say do what you love to my children. And they weren’t home. I started to see my face when I said it to them, but I was looking at myself. So I gave in. 

And we’re here.

Feet away from one another. He into his music, his first love, I into my writing, mine. We’re here, “but we’re not here.” And when I’m stuck on a sentence, I’ll glance up and look at him and my God, he looks so happy. He concocts and composes and blends music so effortlessly and so I wonder, why does our relationship require so much work? The sounds from his speakers helps me write, helps me think sometimes. Why can I connect more with the creation than the creator? 

He told me, he wishes I would look at him the way I do a clean page to write or type on. 

Your eyes light up. You get this fire in you.

And in my moment of honesty with the world and myself, I tell him without telling him that I can’t look at him in the same way – at least not right now. The more I fall in love with writing, the more I fall in love with me. There’s a vulnerable side the journal sees that I can’t show anyone else. It’s weird, but “there is no excellent beauty, that hath not some strangeness in the proportion”, no? 

We reached this point.
Where we can’t go back to before. We have to continue to feed the gifts that feed our soul because if we don’t, we’ll be haunted by the very words we say to our children. There’s nothing like having the sound of your own voice prey upon you. You’ll go crazy. And nine years and nine and half months later, doing what we love is the only thing keeping us sane, even if we’ve started to grow apart.

Gotta Work On You First

It was one of those affairs in high school where you etched you and your boyfriend’s full names in wooden desks and stayed on the phone for hours on end, way before cell services offered unlimited talk. Your only arguments would consist of who would hang up the phone first and the first thing you’d hear in the morning was of hard breathing on the other line. You’d finally hang up and rush off to school to see the same face you spent hours swooning over and dreaming of. As adolescents, you’d still make pinky promises and if you were lucky, you’d get a promise ring because his minimum wage job couldn’t buy you an engagement ring at the moment. You held on to every word as a naïve 16 or 17-year old and when things ended because he found the cheerleader prettier, your mother didn’t approve of him or you both got in trouble for running the phone bill up to $300, your tiny little teenage world collapsed.

Then, it was on to the next one. You’d find someone new and it was back into the mode of googly-eyes and perfect pictures. It was the same thing over and over again and you’d fall into this trance of blaming yourself for failed relationships and I Love You’s said in vain. Healing to you is moving to another person in hopes that they’d be able to end all, cure all.

Teenage love is funny.

Oh, but wait. This thing happens to adults too.

I shared with you the part in my relationship where things turned sour and I took a leave of absence in my post He Want That Old Thing Back. For so many of us, it’s easy to paint an image of what others have done to us – directly or indirectly – and pinpoint that as the reason why we do what we do. Your boyfriend was barely around and you found comfort elsewhere. He never made affirmations of your beauty and you sought refuge in magazines and Instagram honeys. The man you swore was the love of your life, cheated and now your trust issues are full-blown. 

But after you’ve embraced solace in a new man that you know isn’t right, gone all out on a new look to still feel unpretty and realized the burden of never opening up and trusting again is like carrying the weight of the world within your heart, then what?

When I started sessions with my coach, shortly thereafter I declared this the Year of Self, focusing on self-care, self-love, and self-preservation and wouldn’t you know it, it’s as if the Universe worked it in that other women came into this moment with me. I saw it everywhere – blog posts and articles on radical self-acceptance. The loneliest moments are in the beginning phases of starting to find yourself but a sisterhood unconsciously molded itself together meeting and connecting with other women who were on the same journey of Alone Time In Order to Grow Time.

We need that – but a lot of us are growing adults with adolescent mentalities. We don’t believe in healing in mental and emotional solitary confinements. We don’t know how to be alone and we’d much rather be with someone we know isn’t it right for us for the time being – until the crying at night subsides, until we can suppress the feelings of jealousy that arise when we see happier couples. We believe that life is a little simpler when someone is there to guide us, hold our hand, spoon feed us and pacify our emotions but a team can’t thrive as a whole if one unit is hindering growth. Girl, get cho’ mind right.

I pray for Naya Rivera who got married to some dude the same day she was scheduled to marry her ex-fiancée, Christina Milian who shamefully held Lil’ Wayne’s hand in public, weeks after being spotted with her ex-fiancée, and Khloe Kardashian who’s moved on to French Montana after watching her talk painfully about moving on from ex-husband Lamar Odom on Keeping Up With the Kardashian’s. 

Rebound Realness.

We keep up with people who can’t keep up with themselves. We don’t want people to know we’re wounded, especially when there’s an image of “holding it together” to maintain. We don’t want to be human; we’d rather be robots and live a fantasy world of delusion and recycle lines to ourselves that it’s going to be okay knowing that it really won’t be okay because facing the hard cold facts of life and ourselves is too painful to fathom.

We know we need to get real – shit, we want real, lasting relationships – but for some reason, fraudulence gives us comfort. Playing with love and then shaming the beauty of it as a whole confuses me. The older I get, I do believe that you can love someone without fully loving yourself because that journey of finding out who you are and wholly accepting and embracing every inch of you, is just that – a journey – but I don’t believe you’ll find out who’s for you (better known as, The One) until you know who you are. 

What will you accept? When you’re single and under the impression that that equates to loneliness? Anything. You’ll do almost anything to be and feel loved; bending your back turns into breaking your being, being that ride or die forms into killing who you are. But the funny thing about life is, you can also be with someone and still feel that sense of desolation and seclusion.

True Life a.k.a. RNS: I Know ‘Cause It Happened to Me

We fall in love with potential, clouding our own judgment and we hold the belief that we have the power to change someone else when we refuse to change ourselvesNo one is going to make you whole – you have that power. Stop giving yourself away to any ol’ thing and start consenting to the love you know you deserve – and that? Starts inside the very person that’s hurting. You.

To The People Who Like To Pick At Our Past

At first it was funny… and well, that tweet still may be. Then, it was the single ‘I Hit It First’ that clearly was about Kim Kardashian even though Ray J claimed it wasn’t, yet the pixelated photo kinda sort of proved otherwise. Now, Brandy’s bitter little brother is offering sex tape profits to Kim and Kanye West as a “wedding present”. His Twitter bio is a simple, I don’t hang with stars, I create them. No one knows the names, much less remembers the women on For the Love of Ray J so who are the other randoms-turned-celebs, I haven’t a clue.

Ray J girl, you’re holding on way too tight to the past and you’re doing thee most.

But everyone has a Ray J in their life, right? Starting from the ex who won’t let us go to the friend who dwells on the days in high school. They “joke” around about our weight way back when or like to bring up old news no matter how hurtful it may be to us. They’re the people who claim to be off that but their every move seems to focus on you and they prefer to live in a place you no longer reside at. 

People love to hold things against you and will remind you of your errors like a repetitive Sallie Mae notification. One lesson I’ve learned as a woman is, no matter how close you are to people, it’s important to keep some things to yourself. I’ve long heard about using discretion when discussing your relationship with your girlfriends but I learned the hard way when an old friend of mine kept bringing up past events every chance she got. Our conversations would start off in the present and suddenly drift backwards, never forward and never focusing on what was next for my partner and I. I truly believed she thrived off my past, my pain gave her pleasure but the minute I felt just a drop of happiness, her unhappiness was magnified. 

A lot of people don’t want to see you doing better than them. A lot of people will hold your past hostage when your only focus is your future. If you can’t applaud me, especially after I found happiness after leaving what felt like hell, you got to go. I can’t keep you around if all you choose to do is focus on what was and what I used to be. We can’t vibe with one another if you think nothing will ever be as good as your last and you choose to mope over the memories of what could have been. I’m not saying you can’t hurt over your breakup or feel a little shitty because your college days are over and you wish you could have that old thing back, but there’s a difference when you’re comfortable feeling complacent and living in the now isn’t an option. My mistakes molded me but they don’t define me.

And if you hold what I’ve done against me when I’ve let that part of my life go, please remember one thing:

What Sally says about Suzy says more about Sally than Suzy.

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