It's a long time to be gone
Oh, time just rolls on and on
When you need a shoulder to cry on
When you get so sick of trying
Just hold on tight to your dream.
~ Electric Light Orchestra
I remember those first months when I first moved to Atlanta. I had just turned thirty and was finally out of residency. I'd secured the job of my dreams. And honestly? As far as anything beyond that, I'd just given up.
Let me explain.
The vast majority of my romantic life had been spent as a singleton. Uggh. Wait--let me revise that word. "Singleton" sounds horrible, doesn't it? Okay, so I was whatever it is you call a woman who you constantly see and wonder why on earth they are STILL single despite being educated-not terribly hard on the eye-confident-somewhat funny or fill in the blank. I was constantly being set up or introduced to people. I generally had dudes ask about me and ask me for my number in public places, too. But almost always, it went like this:
The ones who liked me, I didn't like back. Or the ones I liked weren't ready or right.
I recall being introduced to one guy who was super-nice, super-thoughtful, super-reliable and mostly attractive. But for whatever reason, I only felt platonic feelings for him. I recall standing in the bathroom at a restaurant pleading with myself to just GET OVER the not being romantically attracted to him part. I even employed the heavens. I think God must have been busy.
See, an acquaintance had told me that the reason women "like me" were singletons (oh, hell I'm using that word) into their forties was because we're too damn picky. This expectation of chemistry and physical attraction was just too tall a damn order. If I just showed up long enough, my feelings would grow. I mean, eventually. If I'd just shut my piehole long enough to let that happen.
I did try that. The whole wait-for-it-to-grow thing. But I would always feel like no person deserved to have someone escaping to bathrooms at restaurants to coach themselves in the mirror and pray for God to step on it in the feelings department. It also just didn't work for me. I couldn't bring myself to even hug let alone kiss any dude that I didn't have genuine romantic feelings towards.
And so. That meant that I'd spend a lot of time alone. I finally accepted it.
So by the time I reached Atlanta, I'd resigned myself to just being single indefinitely and having fun in a city that was known for being single-professional-black-folk friendly.
So that's the truth. I'd given up. And figured that having kids and all that stuff wasn't for me. I'd gotten myself okay with that, too. And even when I went out with men on dates, I assumed it wouldn't work out. Why? Because, for me, things rarely did.
Then one day, when I least expected it. . . .it did work out. I met Harry and things worked out for me. For me.
Here's my advice: The whole forcing yourself or waiting and waiting to catch feelings thing is something to which I don't subscribe. Not only is it cruel to the person you don't really like, it also robs you of the opportunity to meet your real match. Instead, just be honest with yourself. If someone shows you who they are, believe them. If it isn't sunshine or chemistry or whatever you like to all it, then keep it moving. I mean it. And that? That last part is the key.
Keep. It. Moving.
Some of the best advice I ever got was this: All you're looking for is one person. Not two humdred. So don't stress about being out at every club and party. Just take care of yourself, do things to make yourself happy and confident, and release those who suck the life out of you. Then you'll attract the person you've been looking for. Oh, and the person who is holding your hand or touching your body but who isn't holding you down or touching your heart at the same time? Tell them to kick rocks. Stat.
Today is my eleventh wedding anniversary. And I'm still pinching myself. But I never, ever miss the chance to reflect on the ache I once felt to meet someone like the BHE. I know that if I hadn't gotten into such a strong relationship with myself there's no way that I could have attracted someone like Harry. And you know? It's hard to be kind to yourself in that way. Society makes you seem so broken when you're single so you start to hide and hate that aspect of your life. And if you let it define you, that makes you hate you. Which kind of sucks and makes it hard for your to attract the love you deserve.
My point? Simple. If there was a Harry out there for me, there is someone special looking all over for someone else. (Read: YOU.) Keep the faith and don't give up. And hold on tight to your dreams. And your dream guy or girl. No. Don't be stupid. But also don't assume that you settling is the only chance you can have at quasi-happiness. Because it's not. It's NOT. If it worked out for me, it can work out for anyone. This I know for sure.
Happy Anniversary to us. And happy birthday to our family.
Now playing on my mental iPod. . . .