18 Oct Couldn’t Be Me…Until It Is Me.
I never understood why people stay together when they don’t want to be together. Out of convenience. For the kids. Out of comfort. I used to think to myself, man, that could never be me. I could never be one of those people that just stay in something even though they are not happy just because.
I’ve watched it with my friends. I’ve watched it with my family. As I look back I’ve begun to realize that I’ve seen it with me. It IS me. We get so stuck in I’d rather be in something that is mediocre as opposed to being by myself though we completely understand that no matter how it has been framed we are still by ourselves. We just don’t say it aloud.
I keep thinking about these roles that we play and the reasons why we play them. Coming from a single-parent household I’ve been hell-bent on ensuring that my children don’t grow up the same. I want them to come from a happy and loving home with both parents. My dad was present, don’t get me wrong, but I was envious of those other kids that had both their mommy and daddy under one roof. Those kids that had brothers and sisters, instant best friends, protectors, even when they didn’t get along with one another. At least they had someone there to fight with.
You don’t realize how sad and/or lonely you are until you have a moment that magnifies that you’re sad and lonely. You don’t even realize how long you’ve been in that state. It’s not every day. It’s not every night. You laugh and you enjoy yourself authentically and unapologetically but sometimes when the lights go off you feel it. It creeps back in from the shadows – for where there is light there must always be shadows.
Success does not equate to happiness. Complacency, comfort and familiarity are not to be misconstrued for love. There are times where I hit goals or accomplish something that another human said that I could not and boom a burst of happiness with the told you so but that’s a temporary high. An embrace here and there or a term of endearment can spark that thought that maybe love still lives here, it’s just been buried, and we are something more but it only takes one comment, one dismissal, for it to hit that we’re just going through the motions.
Couldn’t be me.
“I pray my daughter never grows up trying to figure out why she is not enough for a man to love her.”– Anonymous
It hits different when you feel like that little girl that grew up to be that woman always wondering why she’s never enough. I keep hearing these narratives about black women and the things that I too was raised with like “you have to be better than everyone else just to sit at the table” or “you go to university to find a husband”. Those sentiments don’t go away when we grow up.
I feel like I have to push harder, be better, and overachieve just to be taken seriously. I have to be the “magical negro” – there’s no nice way of saying that. If there is a problem then I’m going to fix it. If there is no way you better believe that I will make one. It’s that Olivia Pope Syndrome but it is absolutely exhausting especially when it is so engrained in you that you can’t turn it off.
It is never enough…
I’m sure my second part to this, if the first one my readers did not find a connection with is this – NEVER ENOUGH. If I cook and clean and wash and sew then that will be enough to make him happy and if he is happy then he won’t leave me. If I wear my hair a certain way or agree with everything that he says even if internally I think he’s fucking stupid then he will adore me. The thing of it is, no matter what I do, no matter what you do, if he’s the wrong guy, he’s not going to give a fuck what you do right and what you do wrong. Unfortunately for me, to date, he’s always been the wrong guy. It starts to make me feel that maybe I am the wrong girl?
I don’t cook or clean or wash or sew (I do some of those things but follow me here) because my grandmother pushed me to be Gabrielle Union – I’m Corporate America. I’m better than the next guy. I’m here to fuck shit up and succeed. What she didn’t push to me in the narrative was how to “dim my light” without burning those around me. I can catch attention but I can’t keep it and I can only speculate as to why. You don’t see a lot of men clamoring to hold the boss’s purse. My most successful relationship was when he made more than me and when the tables turned so did his head.
There is always somebody better.
Have you been traded in for two 22’s? Ha! Regularly. Do they leave me for other women? Not entirely. They cheat and I make them leave behind it. They don’t have the decency to break up with me and then go live their lives. No, that’s not a lesson everyone learned in their youth. I was raised that you leave if you’re not happy and you don’t cheat. If you cheat, it’s already over, so pull the plug. There are repercussions when you don’t which full admission sometimes we have to live through to understand.
I planned a break up. I ran into my ex. I RAN into my ex and still executed the breakup after. Wrong, yes, but a nice little bow. It was over because it was over and the transgression was completely unrelated — oh shit, I’m that guy. Another, I didn’t plan a break up, I didn’t know I was in love, I ran into my ex – I RAN INTO MY EX – and I didn’t end the relationship. Karma kicked my ass for it. Lesson learned. Just because you CAN get away with it doesn’t mean you should tempt the fates.
Yet another it couldn’t be me…until it is me.
Perhaps the reason we stay in these shitty ass situationships is because of something that we’ve done in our past? Maybe for whatever reason, though we WANT the hearts and stars and rainbows, we don’t feel like we are worthy of them. The life coach in me says this, “You have some healing to do baby girl,” and my best friend would add, “…on your own.”
“You cannot make a person happy. I thought that was a real deep idea. You can make a person smile. You can make a person feel good. You can make a person laugh. But, whether or not a person is happy is deeply and totally and utterly out of your control.”Will Smith
Compliment my happiness, mothafucka, don’t disrupt or diminish it.