Like all girls, I always envisioned I would be married with children by a certain age. Having come from a broken home that left me in pieces, I was certain that having my own home would amend the damages and facilitate in fixing myself, and make sense of my purpose. I longed for stability and love, and I resented my reality and love. Love was a sensation I sought, but all I was taught was that love is waiting for someone who is never coming home, love was yearning for someone to hold you to keep you from breaking and that love, love was giving someone the power to destroy you. Nevertheless, I also learned about timing. That time itself heals, that time is virtue and that time tick tocks along with your destiny.
I’ve truly come to accept that certain things just don’t happen, or aren’t meant to happen. My grandmother used to always tell me that before your birth, your book was already written for you and to have faith in destiny. I’ve always agreed with that sentiment because it was comforting to consider the thought of that instead of forfeiting to your reality. It’s just like when people say “everything happens for a reason”, we don’t know what the reasons are but don’t we tend to convince ourselves that things happen because they are meant to? We want to believe that there is a purpose for all our hardships, because we don’t want to amuse the reflection that it is because of our own accountability. I’ve struggled with navigating through my chapters, and I find myself questioning where I have been, where I am and where I am going. If it will all lead me to the destiny I believe that I desire, and not get wedged with a fate that I won’t be able to accept. Learning to trust my journey even when I don’t understand it has been both challenging and exhilarating.
As I learn to acknowledge that things aren’t meant to happen or simply isn’t happening at the moment, while holding on to the notion of getting what I feel should belong to me, I’ve reached a peak where having love and giving love now feels like fairytale. The image I’ve painted in my mind of a life I have always longed for has become an imagination. The picture of a beautiful white picket fence house with three children running around as I stand beside a man who loves me, is so far away but the need for it is so close to heart. How do I construct that image in real life? How do I put aside my self-destruction and allow love to restore me? How do you sever the self-harmful behavior and live the life you crave and not be trapped with uncertainty over where life has taken you? How do you retrieve control? These questions linger in my mind and I don’t have any of the answers, all I have is hope.
Growing up with a divorced single mother taught me the significance of independence and to never settle. Being guarded has constrained me in various ways and worst of all, loneliness has become comfortable. Being unaided allowed me to discover who I am and figure out why I constantly chose to be alone. I knew from early on that since I didn’t know how to be loved, I simply needed to be left on my own. And in its own mysterious and secluded way, my loneliness is how I have been able to maintain having control of my life. Eventually, being on your own also disables you from seeing how far you have come. There isn’t anyone reminding you on your good or bad days how much you’ve accomplished. There isn’t anyone to share the highs and lows with. I am in a peculiar transition in my life – some dreams have actually come true and yet, I am filled with a prospective reality that I am scared of. I worked extraordinarily hard to get to where I am now – which is moving to a city I have always wanted to live in and establishing a career I always knew I wanted to embark on. I always wanted to have the sense of being accomplished by the age of 25 and I actually made it, it is the one thing I feel so deserving of and it all feels surreal. But, at the same time of having what I always wanted, I also have nothing. I have everything but nothing at the same time. I am mutually happy and sad.
I am a conversationalist. I value when someone, anyone, allows me inside their mind and share with me their journey, their hopes, the misgivings and all their aspirations. I like depth, as I fall deeper within my lonesome. I crave having someone to talk to, someone to care for, and to simply have something of my own; all the attributes I lost and was neglected of while growing up. Professionally, I am fulfilled and personally, I am unfilled. Although I chose to go on this path, I still marvel of how I ended up where I am and how I became who I am. I so shoddily wanted a story to tell. I was envious of relationships – whether they were fresh, good or wrecked. I’ve never been competent of truly being a girlfriend and I didn’t distinguish a healthy relationship of a husband and wife from my parent’s marriage, therefore, when I see relationships around me, I find myself staring like a child, and being fascinated because I’ve never actually seen it or felt it before. The one heartbreak I did have, I was breaking alone while his heart quickly moved on, and the experience I had with him, years later, has still left me damaged. It was earth shattering and I simply don’t want to go through it again. Still, I am envious of heartbreaks; because heartbreaks remind me of it coming along with someone you can cry too and cry for, someone to fight for and a face to dream of. But wanting it and having it is not the same, I persuaded myself that I no longer wanted to contain any of it. I had nothing to fix, and no one to be broken with, and again, I so deficiently wanted a story to tell, a story other than my own.
As I started to get older and life took me along its twists and turns, I learned to focus on a career and put aside the fairytale of love. A career has value, it has security and a career won’t ever decide it didn’t want you any longer. My force and my dreams were fixated on establishing a career and moving away from Brooklyn. I watched so many lives move on with marriages and children, and I was stagnant and didn’t choose to attain any of it in order to protect me, in case I never have any of it. Does that make sense? I couldn’t find my worth and became engrossed with my insecurities. I mastered how to dislike myself and couldn’t comprehend the idea of someone wanting to love me. I also knew I had limitations when it came to love and relationships. I made a personal decision to abstain from sex till marriage. It was an assessment I made that I could have revoked at any time but I chose not to. I have been persistent on holding on to my traditional values, and as right as that may sound, I have nothing to show for being a ‘good girl’. In dissertation, I am considered perfection, but in reality, I am well thought-out as flawed.
The times I would allow a relationship to develop, I would get cheated on, and I once ended up in terribly abusive relationship. I didn’t make the right choices in men; it was only their darkness that attracted me. I don’t know how to see the light in a man, and I had to come to terms with it all being tied up to deeper issues stemming from the absence of my father. As I got into my twenties, and after going through my latest and greatest heartbreak five years ago, I shut my spirit off and became cynical. I didn’t want to invest in anything that wouldn’t get anywhere. I disregarded and rejected every man who was interested, because I knew I had nothing to offer them, other than great conversations…but the matter with that is, men want more and I require much less. A woman like me acquires a man’s intellect, thoughts and passions. A woman who is fascinated by how he maneuvers and study how he functions, to crave being a part of his existence, to want his flesh and not just settle for the butterflies he can make me experience. A woman like me wants his soul, to be permitted inside his darkness and be the radiance when he needs it most and a woman like myself, will wait for the tolerant man who can take pride in having someone like me, someone with principles, someone who cultivates, someone who has saved herself for the man who can be overwhelmed with the concept of having a woman untainted and all for him. Men want to take women through a storm for their gratifications, as they collect names like a hurricane, and I never been and never will be just a name. I want to be the moon that aligns the stars and thrust someone to make their wishes come true. And when someone can’t find the strength to look up because life is weighing them down; I want to be the sun that can shine for them when they need it most. I want nothing from someone, other than to make me feel like I matter to them. That is all. I was clever enough to not want someone to love me; where that alone would be enough, as to where I wouldn’t have to learn to love myself. I was smart enough to dive into my independence but dense enough to sink and paralyze my youth.
Life also trained me how to walk away and at twenty-two years old, I finally left Brooklyn. I moved to Myrtle Beach for two years to finish school. I learned and grew a lot and the most significant lesson I learned was that I have a tendency to run away instead of dealing with anything internal. But when you don’t deal with what has gone or still going on, it keeps going on. I was being held back incapable of feeling my existence. Even with a new city and having a roommate, I remained isolated and locked myself in my bedroom when I would be home from school and work. I had family around, so I wasn’t always alone but I was lonely. My life was occupied by working two jobs and attending school full time, and I held on to my circumstance and I ran with the verity that I was working hard to secure my future, and that nothing else should matter in the present. I wasn’t allowing myself to feel the life I was living in; instead I kept trying to be an architect of days that haven’t happened yet.
I am in the process of revaluating myself, figure life outside of wanting two of the things I now have (new job and new city). I walk into my studio apartment in Miami Beach, with a stack of bills on the counter and a list of errands I have yet to accomplish. My phone is never on silent but it also never rings. I go for a stroll and I stare at the faces that walk by. I look in admiration of the holding hands and I question if I will ever have someone to hold on to too. I can never comprehend how I became used to being alone, to the point where I question if there could be a life for me without loneliness. I’ve become too accustomed to it and I want to readjust away from that feeling. I saunter back home and I am still astounded of where I am and how far I have come. I am finally here! Could it be, that I was worthy of a dream coming true? Now what? How do I turn my emptiness into fulfillness? I want to have it all. What I do want now is the same thing I have tried to escape from. I want love and to finally be loved and as much as that scares me, it is something I am finally permitting myself to…desire.
I used to believe that I had to prove myself to everyone. I wanted to be validated. It was a weight I was carrying that became a ship on my shoulders. I had to let go of the need to attest to everyone who and how I am. I needed to dig in and identify why I was becoming angry; was it because I was ashamed of whom I am and the choices I have made? As proud as I am of myself, is as much as I am bitter. However, I am realizing that I only owe myself the aptitude to be free and open, the courage to introduce myself with confidence, the continuous willpower to hold on to my ethics and standards, and the spirit to make them be appreciated, the strength to continue to search for my self-worth and forgive myself and the aspiration to want love in my life and to no longer be terrified of it.
I am starting to believe in the fairytale all over again, through gaining more wisdom and as my imagination wanders, I am revisiting the image I have painted in my mind of a life I always sought after and trust that I deserve for it all to happen. Although the unknown is scary, I’ve come to terms that I am doing myself a disservice by being trapped in a bubble I’ve been living in. You know, I’ve always wanted children. It is the only fixation I have desperately wanted, but I am stuck by my own manipulation into believing I don’t want it, again, just to shield myself in case I never do acquire any of it. I am not frightened of feeling pain; I am scared to go crazy over love, and anxious to have another earth-shattering heartbreak. The reasons why I am protecting myself is because I can be prepared, be equipped for that loss of never having children, thus how I can just carry on living with the void. Since I wasn’t secure of having a boyfriend, a marriage and kids, I wanted it to be known to everyone around me that my focal point was only to obtain a career and not a relationship, I didn’t want anyone to think that my loneliness was because something was missing or wrong with me. I need for people to know that it was because of my own choices, which is true, and that I am the only one that has the supremacy of my being. It’s been my freedom and me. Frankly, I had to be honest with my new self and stop convincing the new me that I didn’t want love, and that love didn’t want me.
In the end, I’ve been a girl who thought would have it all, but I ended up being the woman who just wanted it all. Can you recognize the difference between the two? I do and it’s a hard pill to swallow. But this was my reality and I had to let go of the vision I have planned for myself and live in what is happening. It is time for me to ascertain who I really am in this moment, and to face my qualms of love and to no longer consider it will destroy me but instead, to allow that light in and have it repair me.