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.
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 ourselves. No 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.