Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Who am I the villain to?

These past few days I have been thinking about my ex. The good memories I have of him are forever tainted and his position as the “villain” of my past has been permanently established.  He will always be remembered by me as the selfish one who broke my heart. Even though I can’t put all the blame on him, he still carries responsibility for his actions. He was so wrapped up in himself that he either never stopped to think how his actions might affect me, or just didn’t care. This made me wonder about my actions towards others in my past, if I treated someone so selfishly that I am the villain in their past. I don’t think I have ever been so selfish and careless that I would be the villain. But there is one person that comes to mind that it’s possible. There is Drew.

I only have good memories of Drew, but thinking back, he may not have some good memories of me. Drew was a nice guy. He was attractive, into the same things that I liked (anime, pokemon, etc.), and most importantly he was so into me. I mean, Drew would practically do whatever I wanted, he liked me so much. Even though I was honest about my lukewarm feelings towards him, he continued to chase me. Drew was so eager to get my lukewarm feelings to the boiling point that he really started to put things into over drive. It was as if his life started to revolve around me. I admit even though I was a bit concerned by his devotion, I enjoyed soaking up his attention. Drew could always be relied on to boost my ego.

I met Drew after a very traumatic experience in my life. Drew really helped to make me feel good about myself when I hated looking at myself in the mirror. He looked at me as if the sun rose and set out of my behind.  I enjoyed going places with him because it was very apparent that he was over the top proud to have me on his arm. It felt great. But I had no desire or intention of ever returning Drew’s affection the way he wanted. Even though I was honest about my feelings, I always seemed to be dangling a carrot out for him to chase after. I admit I was selfish. I was concerned about his strong attachment to me, but I didn’t care about how my careless attitude towards him would affect him. I was only focused on how he made me feel about ME. But I have to thank God for my mother. She holds us all accountable for our actions towards ourselves and others.

I remember the conversation with my mom that made me cut Drew loose.  I was making plans to hang out with Drew on the phone. My mom was listening as we were making these plans.  When I got off the phone, my mom didn’t pull any punches or even segue into her comment. As I was walking to the fridge to grab myself a popsicle, she said quite calmly, “You know you’re no good for that boy.” If anyone ever wants to know where I get my bluntness from, it’s from my mom and no other. She has a way of bringing up a thought from weeks ago, without any forewarning, throwing a monkey wrench into whatever thoughts you’ve been throwing around. My mom is the ultimate “Mind Ninja.”

So imagine carefree me looking forward to my next outing with Drew when my mom tells me I am “no good.” I am not paraphrasing. She really called me “No good.” So when I asked her to explain why I’m “no good.” She explained in her observation voice, that it was clear that Drew wanted much more than I was going to give and that I was stringing him along. I tried to defend myself by saying, I couldn’t be stringing him along because I was honest about my feelings towards him. In her mom voice, she explains that my words and actions were confusing him.

I was saying I didn’t want his affections, but I was allowing him to show his affections towards me. By allowing him to express his affections, I was giving him hope that he could change my mind. By dangling the carrot in front of him, he would think that if he worked hard enough, he could catch me. She told me, it will break his poor little heart after he has put so much work in and still doesn’t get me AND on top of that I would be the cold heartless woman that used him.  Now this description of who I would be if I continued to play with Drew’s emotions thoroughly upset me. I started to weigh my actions because I didn’t want to be cold, heartless and callous towards Drew because I truly liked him. Just not in the way he wanted.

I remember after accepting that my actions have been careless towards Drew, I still wanted to try to keep him as a friend. I asked my mom if I could keep him as just a friend. My mom said be a true friend and cut him loose. It would be too easy to fall back into the already established pattern of him trying to gain my affections, no matter how careful I was. It was one of the hardest conversations I have ever had to this very day with someone. Telling him that I had to end our dealings with each other because I was looking out for him didn’t make much sense to him. It took a little while before he realized that I meant what I had said. He stopped trying to reach me, and I hoped I only bruised his ego.

Now I look back on that situation with different eyes, eyes that have seen first hand how cruel it is string someone along. I had recognized the wisdom of my mother’s words even then. Which is why I decided to be a true friend to Drew and protect his heart from me. I hope and pray that I succeeded. I could say that I did it purely to protect his heart and I did want to protect his heart. But the true reason I did it, is because I didn’t want to be the “villain” that can give such ugly scars to the heart of a person that I say I care about.  I wanted to truly care, not careless, careful.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Unmarried with Kids

Let me just give you a bit of how this subject came up for me. It wasn't a profound conversation that I had with a colleague or friend. But from thinking of someone I haven't spoken to in a while. It seems the older I get, more and more of my friends are starting to have kids. One of my best friends just had a beautiful bundle of joy, and as I was about to call her to check up on my God-daughter, I started to think about another one of my friends I hadn't spoken to in a while, Tiny. I was thinking about sending her a text saying, "I am still waiting on my wedding invitation." This being an on-going joke between her and myself since she first told me, that she and her fiancée were trying to have a child but were not going to get married first. Being the old-fashioned girl that I am, I had deep reservations, told her so and started joking about having a shot gun wedding. This being my second friend who decided to have kids now and get married later, I was noticing a trend. A trend that, I for one am sorry to see, is catching. There are plenty of people that don't believe in marriage, but still want to have kids. Or the women who just can't wait for marriage to have kids. Or the couples that put off marriage until after the kids. I really just don't understand.

When I think about the reservations a person may have about marriage, I wonder how is it that they can get pass that fear and have kids. It's still a lifelong commitment. You're still going to have to deal with the mother/father of your child. So how is marriage more of a commitment than bringing another life into this world that will need to be nurtured? I'm just saying. It doesn't add up to me. Maybe because I am a woman. And as one, I feel that a woman is honored when she becomes a man's wife. It's a title that men will not give to just anyone. It's like men are saying "You are my treasure, and I want to keep you for myself," when they ask a woman to be their wife. I can understand why a man would not want to get married but still have kids, I just don't understand how a woman can do that. It's like my mom says (and probably every other mother), "Why buy the cow when the milk is free?"

This question leads me into my wonder at why an engaged couple would choose to have a child first before marriage. I have been told that its because there is no money. Last time I check the cost of raising a child is up to millions of dollars. Where as a courthouse wedding is only the cost of the marriage licence, which is hardly breaking the bank. It costs more in this economy to fill up your tank with gas. So if you're putting off getting married until you can save up for your dream wedding, it will probably take longer than you expect because like I said earlier, babies aren't cheap. In fact, I have a new logo on that. BBB Babies Break the Bank.

I wonder how many other couples out there are deciding to become parents first and married later. What reasons are they giving themselves that make this the better solution? Why is raising kids less scary than saying "I do."? Is it selfishness or insightful? And if you think it's better to raise kids out of wedlock, do you believe in God? Not trying to condemn anyone's lifestyle choices, but where is the accountability? I can trust you to be a good father of my child but I can't trust you as a husband. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Why I moved on

I learned some very painful lessons with my first love. I learned that just because I love him doesn’t mean he loves me. I learned that I shouldn’t judge everyone by my own standard. Meaning because I won’t cheat doesn’t mean he won’t either. Maybe the most painful lesson of all is recognizing that while I was planning a future around him, he was planning a future for himself without me. But I think the most important and final lesson that people must learn once a relationship is over is not letting go, but moving on.

We hear a lot of things as women that causes us to be able to carry a torch for years after we are no longer a thought in their heads. Sayings like “Let it go and if it comes back, its yours,” serve to make it hard for women to move on. We let things go and in the back of our heads keep looking for signs of its return. Anyone can tell you that it’s impossible to move forward if you are looking back. So the most important and the hardest lesson is moving on.


This is necessary for your life and for your future love. In order for you to be open to anyone that will want to be with you in the future, you must completely close the door of your relationship and move on. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to throw yourself back into the dating pool or walk into someone else’s arms, in fact, I advise against that. If you’re like me, you may have sustained some pretty bad emotional wounds and they take time to heal even after you moved on. You owe it to yourself and your future spouse to take the time to heal to prevent any future harm. You will have scars but it’s a closed wound, not open and bleeding into your future relationship. I bet you’re wondering what’s the difference between letting go and moving on. I can give you the difference as my heart began to learn it and my head began to make sense of it.

My relationship had a lot of problems and dissatisfaction. If you’ve been following my blog you have a pretty good idea of what went wrong. I admit, I broke up with my ex, but I hadn’t let go when I broke up with him. I still had expectations from him. I expected him to try to correct the wrong he did. And even though I knew he couldn’t correct it, I at least expected for him to allow me to expend all my frustration and pain from his betrayal on him at least. I think I really began to let go when I received a potted butterfly orchid, my favorite flower, from him.

The thing is, I have been mentioning this flower for about a year and a half, along with other non too subtle things I wanted him to do. I even found myself checking my mail box in case he finally decided to write me the love letter that I have been wanting for ages. I waited a week before I checked the mail. Honestly I was expecting my mail box to be filled with lovely handwritten letters. So imagine how I felt when I received my favorite flower, ordered offline, with some typed note in it (I don’t think I even know what his handwriting looks like). I can’t even remember what it said. It probably said “Sorry.” So much for effort and sincerity. When I saw this, I let go. I knew then that I could wait for the rest of my life and he would never give me what I truly wanted, just the things he was willing to give. Can you imagine that even knowing this, I still had not moved on. Why? The answer is quite simple. I love him and I still wanted to be with him. So what event caused me to move on?

Well, my ex always seem to have these periodic M.I.A. moments. Things are going along fine and bam! I can’t reach him, and he hasn’t called.  I often believed it was technical issues, but after recent events I am not so sure anymore. So imagine my reaction when he pulled yet another M.I.A. Since he had lowered my expectations for him so far I didn’t try too hard to reach him. About fours days after we last spoke, he finally sent a text saying that some things had happened on his end and he was taking time to pray about things. I was a bit angry, but that cooled quickly. I just didn’t care anymore. His excuses meant nothing to me. I was really finish. My friend Tre said, “It’s true that when a women is finished with you she just doesn’t care anymore.” My response was, “If he wanted my care and concern, he would have given me something to care about.” The message probably took less than a minute to type and it could have been sent four days ago. I didn’t respond or call him ever since then.

The day before he sent the message, I had already moved on. I even sent him a message the day before he text me. Reading it, it doesn’t seem like a good bye message. It doesn’t even have a farewell in it. Just a few lines of gratitude for the lessons in love I learned from him.  I had already realized that I wanted something better and I wanted it more than I wanted him. So when he disappeared yet again, I moved on. Thinking of the future I would have if I stayed with him turned me away. How could I not expect for him to do this even with kids? He has not changed in the three years I’ve known him, why should I expect for him to change in the future? What can I say to my kids when their father just decides not to come home one day? What would I say when they look at me and ask, “Where’s daddy?” This is why I moved on. I had stopped looking at him as a lover and started to look at him as a possible husband and father of my kids. When I started to evaluate him for the future I really wanted to build, he came up severely lacking.  Even though I loved him and wanted to be with him, the life I wanted to have with him was not possible.  He can not be that man. So I moved on.

I learned the difference between letting go and moving on.  You can let go of someone and forever after hope for his return to you. Moving on is just that, Moving on. Not looking back, not hoping for his return. Not hoping for him to FINALLY realize what you could have together if he just gets his act together. You completely separate those thoughts from you, moving on to true happiness. Even though you may have truly wanted to be with him, and acknowledging the possibility for the desire to remain for a long time, still move on. I moved on from his reality. I removed him from the dream I had built with him at the center. The dream is still good, but he can no longer have any part of it.