To Be Single, Gifted and Black
image via angela mayhoe
BEING COMFORTABLE WITH SINGLEDOM
*Disclaimer - If we have been in a relationship or dated, this does not diminish our time together. People come into our lives for a reason and your timing was perfectly plan. Thank you for your contribution towards my personal growth. My intention for you is to receive the same growth from our experiences together.
My first kiss was unexpected, daring, a bit messy and lingering. I was a late bloomer - a senior in high school and my first boyfriend was walking me to gym class. He lead me towards a back path that I now assume was common knowledge for starry-eyed teenage couples to take in between classes but I was oblivious at the time. We cleared a corner, and in a moment, my freshly covered books (I was obsessed with having clean book covers on all of my books - matching of course) were on the dingy floor accompanied with dust bunnies, an empty crumbled Cool Ranch Doritios snack bag and a balled up napkin. I was met with a pair of brown eyes and a steady hand that gingerly cupped my face. My first thought was to duck but my instincts ignited - I leaned in and let go. He was a connoisseur of this maneuver as his execution was effortless and married with confidence. Me on the other hand, was clueless and I just mirrored what I had witnessed on my mother’s soap opera - thanks Luke and Laura. The kiss seemed to last forever - then it was gone in an instant. Stunned, I grabbed my books and tripped my way out of the door as the kiss lingered on my upper lip. During my stretches in gym class, I tried to replay the act over and over again in my head but by then the acute details had faded away.
This was the beginning of my dating journey - a road paved with butterflies, girlish giggles, love stained eyes and a healthy dose of vulnerability. In its lifetime thus far, I have experienced a live-in boyfriend, hook-ups, infatuations, foolish decisions, soul connections and fairytales that ended badly. During all of these relationships, I viewed them as just experiences - I never had an end goal. While most of my girlfriends were looking for love, marriage and starting a family - I was focused on becoming me. My main priority was trying to figure out how to excel in my talents and make a living doing what I love. I never wanted to be married or have children. So, who’s to blame for this? I could point the finger at my mother, as she hammered in my head to not depend on a man. She created a household for my sisters and I that was saturated with getting an education and being independent. I could blame my father for not being a good example of a husband - which made me determined not to be a duplicate of my mother. I could blame society (and certain black men) for viewing strong black women as difficult, intimidating and unattractive which leaves us with a vision and successfully single. I could blame myself for getting so lost in the enjoyment of my solitude that I didn’t make room for another person.
I have realized that blame isn’t going to manifest my desires of now. I have left blame where it began - wrapped up in fear and the lack of responsibility to make change. I appreciate my singledom! It has gifted me the time to discover myself, my needs, and my wants. I’m now at an amazing place of knowing that I can be happy and thrive with - just me. I don’t need an external existence to provide me joy or validation. With this knowing of myself now, I’m open to the idea of sharing my space with someone and creating experiences together. Someone who has discovered this same comfort with themselves and will come as a whole being into a union between two people. I’m not willing to settle or lower my expectations. I have done a lot of work on myself and created this existence of intention and I will not let that go just so I can check the “married” box on the “to-do” list of normality. I do believe in fate - an idea that once we open our hearts there’s a shift and things began to arrange themselves for our benefits. This requires an action of letting go - really letting go. Believing your wants and not thinking against them - I want this but…
This is to me releasing doubt and knowing that what I want exist. No, I’m not picky - I have standards and if those standards aren’t meet, I’m still okay being with just me. So to all of my married and boo’d up friends, I’m good. I will continue to develop a more authentic sense of self and stroll down my destined path with ease. The time will come when that unexpected moment occurs - I’ll be face to face with passionate eyes and a pair of strong hands, my instincts will kick in again to allow me to lean in and let go.