and were you being good to yourself?
I’m comfortable being mad real and mad open about the fuckery of my dating/romantic experiences. I feel bad sometimes, but I’m not crushed and demolished by the shit. I told y’all, feelings are healthy and it’s okay to be in them sometimes. I’ve been called mad, bitter and/or miserable for deigning to speak freely about these things… but nah. I’m mostly transparent. I enjoy sharing my tea — with croissants and good local honey. I realized a few years ago, after my Samantha Jones fiasco (yes, that actually happened in my real ass life, at a house party, on top of my toothbrush) that it really isn’t even about me… I’m dope and some people are fucked up.
It’s taken me years to really process through that and believe it: you’re dope and some people are fucked up. Saturday night, while I was sitting in my house mad as fuck at being stood up (on a date to a sold out concert I was super excited about), I wasn’t even responding to my girls who were making evening plans amongst themselves without me. Later, while taking the quickest shower of my life after one of them had COME THRU with the hookup on tickets, I reflected on why.
Because I was ashamed/embarrassed that my little fly night wasn’t going to happen. Because I’d trusted someone else to make it happen for me. And because I’d known in the back of my mind that it wasn’t, so I was also kinda mad at myself. But I was like, “dude but why are you ashamed though? You know how you feel about shame.”
Now here’s how I feel about shame: I don’t like it. I only keep secrets about things I’m ashamed of, and I’m only ashamed of things I do that like, actually hurt people. And I try not to do those things. What I won’t do is be ashamed of some shit that was done TO me. I came to that like 5 years ago. Sometimes we must remind ourselves.
So by the time I rinsed off, I was like fuck it then. I’m not ashamed. I didn’t stand myself up; I didn’t do anything to deserve to be dissappointed. And I certainly wasn’t going to let that disappointment jack up the rest of my evening now that I’d made a way outta no way.
…even the rain you love so much made rust out of your jewellery?
I didn’t even watch Lemonade Saturday night, but it’s funny that I was seething over the situation while reading social media posts about it. Y’all know how quick I am to send a #checkyouremail. Had I turned on HBOGO it’d been some slow singing in the DMs right now. But the juxtaposition of events is funny to me.
We. all. go. through. the. same. shit. Really. Maybe not the same exact shit but we all live in the same world and are at least confronted by various levels of foolishness on a daily. Such is the unfortunate nature of dating in 2016, and always. Blanche Devereaux was running hoes but also getting her heart broken. The Supremes have songs about fuckboys. Ain’t a damn thing changed. And we have these conversations with our girls, with our confidantes, with our mamas (and sometimes our confidantes have these conversations on our behalves, with our mamas) but we still tend to carry this secret shame around about being disappointed or heartbroken or cheated on or stood up or treated carelessly or cast aside or faded or ghosted on like it’s some secret. Like it’s some shameful thing we deserved and thus brought on ourselves. So we don’t talk about them openly. We accept and internalize that maybe it’s just us. After a while that becomes a cloud that’s hard to emerge from.
your body, your mouth, your heart, made specifically for loving…
Last night I was chopping it up with friends and retelling the Story of the Weekend to one of them. She was more upset than I was about the whole thing, and mentioned that she’s been in that cloud, and she’s kinda accepted that. Now, while I get the idea of taking a break from dating and relating, or stepping back a little and focusing on self, or even giving up (which I have done, albeit temporarily, a dozen times or more) I can’t fuck with that cloud anymore. That ain’t the place to just be. Not for no ever.
Because the way I see it, saying “I’m giving up” and staying in that cloud is to place your energy, your femininity, your sexuality, your stuff… into a box and shut it away out of disappointment, fear and self-protection from mishandling by external hands. I get it. I did that for basically the first 7 years of my adult life. While I don’t regret that move or fault anyone else for feeling its’ necessity, I just have to be in a different place with it.
My stuff is my stuff.
It’s taken a long time, and I don’t even know if I’m fully there with it yet, but I had a come-to-Oshun moment with my spirit somewhere. My feminine magic, my sensuality, my yoni power, whatever you wanna call it, isn’t dependent on a target. I used to wonder, like as recently as a couple months ago, how in the world one can feel sexy and powerful and confident in that way without any other person edifying it? Because desirability is dependent on being found desirable, right? Well chile, I can’t really tell you how but I just know it ain’t. By some magic (my own? I mean maybe.) this is now a thing I know to be true.
All my this doesn’t need an audience to be present. I don’t require a partner in order to be as sexual and light a being as I feel alighted to be. My desirability is not contingent on whether or not I even know I’m being desired. Because it’s mine.
I have no idea how that works but it’s fucking beautiful. I just exist.
Now, I’m not one for magical thinking. I’m not saying stepping into one’s own will Law of Attract a partner, as many people try to sell. If that were the case, I’d be freshening up for bae right now instead of scrolling through the Supremes’ discography (actually, bae and I would be scrolling through the Supremes’ discography together, later.) Nor am I gonna act like claiming the power of one’s yoniverse will absolve one from being impacted from all heartache. I got Gmail open in another tab, write-reading this flaky fool to dust. Shit often sometimes gets tiring and frustrating and diminishing and all those things, but finding yourself within yourself, independently from whatever is happening or not happening externally, feels a hell of a lot better than taking people’s antics personally and rendering yourself any less than whole and holy.
Plus, you get to tell your story. Stories are cathartic and stories are fun and don’t get me started about owning your damn narrative. That Samantha moment I mentioned? The first time I recounted events I cried. By the third time I told it, I realized it’s kinda lowkey hilarious. By the fourth I had my flourish and pregnant pauses down pat. By the next week I was regaling our mutual friends in group settings with the magnitude of fucked-uppedness their homeboy was capable of. Top 10 fave yarns, easy. I told the hell outta that ridiculous shit, because it wasn’t my shit to feel bad about.
In the end, he’s the one who’s ashamed and mortified any time it comes up. As he should be. It was his shit.
I mean… lemonade is cool. I just got a thing for Arnold Palmers.
Quotes excerpted from “and were you being good to yourself? [love letter to self]” by Warsan Shire