They say your 20s are a time to learn all about yourself. Your great qualities, your shitty ones, your insecurities, everything. I think I’m finally at the point in my life where I’m recognizing everything about myself. I’m learning to become more open and honest with myself. Last night at the Black Girl Magik workshop, I opened up about my biggest fault: romanticizing what could be.
There have been way too many instances where I’ve kept someone in my life for too long because of the way things could be, the way he might see me eventually, or the way we should be together. Maybe it’s the optimist in me, who tries to be open and positive about all of my relation/situationships and never see an end to them. Or maybe it’s the day dreamer in me, who will think myself into a whole different state where everything between me and mine is just perfect. I don’t know what it is just yet but it’s a bad habit of mine.
For the past few months, I’ve been trying to avoid anything involving dating, talking to, or even texting someone new. It’s probably not the best of ideas but I’m “dating myself” until I decide I’m ready to even consider dating someone else.
But lately during my lonely “Netflix and Chill” sessions, I slip up and think of an older situationship that I’ve always wondered about. He would always say the right things like ” You’re beautiful” or “You’re special” or “I love you” (after sex of course) but he never treated me as such. I can’t tell if I romanticize his usual “sweet talk” because I don’t hear those words enough or if I only believe those things about myself when it comes from the mouth of someone I have feelings for. Either way, I always end up complaining to my homegirl, who gives me a stern “Girl, leave that nigga alone” face, then eventually fall right back into the same old shit, on his time of course.
I am constantly reminding myself to take people for who they are, not for who they have the potential to be. Not for the theory that if I hold it down long enough, he’ll eventually realize how good I am to him and decide to take things further. Not for the thought that maybe one day his homeboys will sit down and tell him how he slept on me. Not for the thought that his actions and his words will match soon, but for who he is and what he is showing me right here and now.
Last night, I learned how important self love is. It’s always been a constant battle of mine, but I’m realizing that living in this self made fantasy of “what if” isn’t worth half of the mindfuck or unanswered text messages it comes with. It certainly isn’t love on his part or mine.
So lesson one on the journey to self love? Take a man for exactly who he shows you to be; not the person he could become and definitely not for the person you think you need him to be.