Here we are at the end of the year. Whew! For many of us, 2016 was a doozy, honey
it took Prince and damn Willy Wonka smooth out. Mercury seemed to always be in retrograde, there was apparently a New Member Intake into Petty Phi Petty Inc., and The Angry Cheeto was unfortunately elected the next Commander In Chief. On a more personal level, three friends of mine passed away and it hit me harder than I could have ever expected. 2016 was akin to that drunk uncle that shows up to family events, talking reckless and starting drama-- making everyone super uncomfortable. You’ve been told repeatedly to just ignore him, while Granny threatens to hold the good part of the cornbread hostage if he keeps acting like a damn idiot.
To top it all off, my love life was super, sucky. By July, I had had enough of the Series of Unfortunate Dates, and took it upon myself to go into seclusion. To give myself a Date Break-- so to speak, and redirect my focus to my personal growth among other things.
It was such a liberating decision and one that I desperately needed to make. I had begun to hit the gym harder, bypassing jars of Talenti in exchange for carrots, (a big deal, by the way) my hair was growing, #locnation, my skin was glowing, #melanin, #coconutoilandtings, and I truly felt like things were finally on the upswing. Overall, I found myself happier and in a much better space.
They say that you attract what you put out, right?
So, less than three weeks into my #GracePeriod (see what I did there?) I met someone who shot his shot in my DM’s after we’d both made comments on a mutual friend’s post. We began chit chatting, and getting to know each other. I thought he was handsome, had a great personality and was overall an extremely interesting person. We clicked.
Be that as it may, something in me just didn’t feel ready to take the plunge.
*Enter, well-meaning girlfriends.* Also known as the Don’t Block Your Blessing Crew.
DBYB Crew: God done sent you a good man, who puts your needs first, is super sweet to you, and seems like he wants to commit. Girl, you better not block your blessing.
Now, I love my girlfriends. I do. But I was terribly confused. Granted-- I did tell them how great of a guy he was. But I also placed just as much emphasis, if not more, on the fact that my Date Break had just started and I wasn’t necessarily willing to sell myself short by jumping into something before I was ready, just because I presented with a viable enough option.
Their responses/suggestions though, seemed to sidestep my thought process, dismissing it only as self-sabotage and putting it second to the idea that I could have possibly found my “happily ever after.” *Insert deep eye roll*
Against my better judgement, I decided to date him, and at first it was going well, but my greater sense eventually kicked in and it ended up being only something slightly short of a disaster. He was amazing, but I was hesitant. Needless to say, it didn’t work.
Thankfully we were able to salvage our friendship by having that, “this is where I am in life,” conversation that I should have had in the first place, but it surprised me how many of my good and dear well-meaning friends seem to ignore my need to be with myself, almost filing it under some kind of life crisis instead of a true feeling.
I’m all for a great romance and partnership when the time is right, but women are routinely questioned when they make a decision that seems to be against the norm, while men never get that push-back. It’s accepted as law that a man has to be “ready” first. Have we become that socialized in this endless search for male companionship that we’d be willing to sacrifice a personal journey for the sake of a good man coming along? Why do we continue to perpetuate the narrative that our identities are almost completely rooted in finding a partner?
As if a few months of two-stepping to Drake in my underwear with glasses of Prosecco, and not worrying about anyone else isn’t a thing that I needed. Tuh.
Will Great Guy be there when I’m ready to try again? Who knows. When I come out of this, will I even want to date him again? It could go either way.
If the, DBYB Crew had it their way, I’d be with child and planning a wedding.
Be clear: A good thing at the wrong time, is still the wrong thing, and that is something that I firmly stand by. Who’s to say that a blessing won’t end up being a curse if you’re not in a position to receive it?
As we head into the Year of Our Lord 2017, I learned to respect my greatest know it all well-meaning girlfriend I have—my intuition (Hey girl, hey!) To be fair, she’ll also tell me when I’m trippin—but she knows me better than anyone else and I have to honor that.
Ultimately, I am looking forward to what love (both external and internal) and life have to bring in the New Year, and I am optimistic.
Oh, and, 2017-- don't you come in here with that bullshit. We're gon' have a good year, ya hear?
Love, Peace and Grace.