Long after a break up I would insist on meeting with my ex for “closure”. Something I thought I needed in order to move on. That somehow, speaking to the person I was no longer in a relationship with would bring me some sort of peace or comfort. For some reason I thought that closure was the medicine to cure a tainted heart. But it was just an excuse to see him again lol.
There was a lot I didn’t understand when I was younger. More common was “why would a guy say I’m such a great person but in the same breath say that he doesn’t want to be with me?”. I accepted the split and called it mutual but after a few weeks or months I would still have questions. Questions that I believed could only be answered by the person who once loved me but stopped all of a sudden. So I would reach out, asking to meet up so we could talk about what all happened between us and how we got to the end. Some of them were open to it and some were not (mainly Shawn’s scary ass, thinking I just wanted to jump him lol). I would rehearse for this closure meeting, the things I wanted to say, the questions I had and I would write down some of those questions just in case I forgot. See, this was very important to me. I’m the type to think about what I could have said way after something happens so I had to ensure that I would not do that this time, I would not get lost in his charm, or whatever else I found attractive, that could distract me from my purpose.
It’s closure day and I have said nothing I had rehearsed. Instead I’m kissing all up on him like nothing ever happened (huge face palm). Then we spend the rest of the day like we’re boyfriend and girlfriend again. Just for me to go back home and send a long text message (that he never read) saying all that I intended to say. And that right there was my closure.
Closure for me is a myth. Why do I need to speak to the person that broke up with me, pleading for the reason why we didn’t work out? Why couldn’t I just accept it and move on the same way we accept many other things we cannot change? We had a good run together. We laughed, argued and learned new things while in each other’s company and just because it’s over doesn’t mean that it didn’t mean anything. You know, I think that it was mainly because I didn’t want to start over. I was so afraid of starting all over with someone new that I would have tried anything to get that old thing back. But with age comes wisdom and some people are truly just seasonal and I have found comfort in that.
Closure comes with true acceptance within oneself. So what if he has already moved on? So what if you miss him? So what if that song reminds you of him? That’s how life experiences are. Many things in life will remind you of the past, some will make you smile and some will bring you sorrow. Yet, we tend to separate a romantic relationship and look for a deeper meaning when emotions resurface. I had to learn how to manage my emotions and I am still learning. So now, when I feel like someone owes me an explanation I try to be clear on why I feel that way. Do the work within yourself before you waste time and possibly money chasing “closure”.
“He needs to know how much he hurt me”, “He has to feel the pain that I feel”…and those were the thoughts that started off that 4 paragraph text message I would send to the lucky young man who hurt my little feelings because of what he did or didn’t do at the time. I have a message for my old self….HE DON’T CARE AND HE’S NOT GONNA READ IT SIS!
I thought I was making a statement and actually guilt tripping him into caring about how hurt I was but I should have just packed up my dignity and kept it moving the same way he did. He said he was coming to town to see me and I was hype because after the 4th cycle of break up to make up it was make up time again. But this time was different, he said he also wanted to go see the other girl he dated during our “break” and I lost it. The audacity of you to want to go see that dog-fac….that woman who was nowhere near as poppin’ as me!! See I was also the girl who would speak ill of the next chick (man I’ve grown lol) when I didn’t even know her from Adam (but I did know her from Facebook, my search game was on point). After he said that I felt like an option, like he was saying “well imma go see both of them then choose who I wanna be with for real”, well I wasn’t having it because this girl right here is always the only choice. I was so livid I didn’t even give him a chance to finish his sentence (I would regret this later on but life goes on). I hung up the phone and started typing. Yes, it would have made sense to stay on the phone and say all that I wanted to say but remember, I’m upset so my sentences will not be formed correctly and I’m emotional so I will cry while yelling at him and I have to remain a thug and thugs don’t cry. So there I was walking to the train crying and typing a few strong worded messages (with a voice message when my tears took a break).
The purpose of the messages was to tell him that he was a horrible person for hurting me again but I knew that he knew. He was aware of the impact those words would have on me but he just didn’t care. Those messages didn’t make him feel guilty for hurting me or made him hurt the same way. My feelings were separate from his and expressing my disdain for his existence was not going to take away the pain I was feeling nor strike him with the same discomfort. I was suppose to work through my feelings by myself with the help of a diary or a trusted friend who would just listen and not suggest that we find some dudes to jump him. All I wanted was to vent and he was not the person to vent to at all. I did more damage to myself because I allowed my emotions to take over. It’s even worse when the guy doesn’t respond to any of the 10 text messages or if his response is not what you expected. Hours later he finally responded and hit me with the “are you done?” (lmao), and just when I was going to start another long message he calls and I decided to answer because I was calm already. He explained himself and I actually listened and when he said he didn’t read after the first two sentences I was kind of relieved because I was embarrassed after I read what I had typed. I did not present myself in the best light and it seemed like my self esteem was not present at all.
When my feelings are hurt by someone, friends, family, or significant other, first I try to dissect why what they said hurt so much. Is it because there’s truth in what they said that I haven’t faced yet? Are they speaking from a hurt place and only trying to hurt me in the process? Is it even worth picking a fight over? My dignity is more important than letting someone know how much they hurt me. I give people more credit than that now. You know what you did, no need for me to tell you.
I’ve strived for perfection my entire life and just realized it this year. I still don’t believe I purposely had to be great at everything, and not to sound presumptuous, I was just always told how exceptional I was at the things I could do. From being in the top of my class in elementary and high school to cooking. There was that one time I was ranked 2nd in the class (not 1st like every year before that) and I went home crying, like the hyperventilating type of crying lol. I was book smart and never got into trouble in or out of school. I didn’t fail and because I didn’t, no one had to tell me that it was ok to fail, that it was not the end of the world, that it is a part of life and growing up.
I knew what I liked and stuck to it. I never tried to play any sports, and that one time I ran in the relay race I was in the hospital a few hours later for “breathing troubles” so I never tried to do that crap again. I knew how to braid hair, I knew how to cook, I read books every chance I got and I was always patted on the back for doing those things.
Then I became a woman and the smallest sight of imperfection would cause a panic attack. I got fired from my first job, “it wasn’t working out” is what they told me but all I heard was that I wasn’t good enough, that I didn’t excel at something. I found myself sleeping on the floor of my cousin’s apartment making trips to the library to look for jobs on craigslist. At this point I barely had anything left in my savings so this was the bottom for me.
That’s when it all started. When I started belittling myself and blaming my circumstances on what I thought were my horrible decision making skills. It’s been years now and I still speak poorly of myself when I make an error or if I’m not perfect and something I try to do. I don’t even read as much as I did before and I curse myself every time I notice I’m doing something trivial that’s time consuming and I could be reading a book. Negative self talk takes over and if I don’t take the time to realize and work through it then it will consume me.
Negative self talk is your inner critic that causes you to blame yourself, causes you to doubt yourself and what you are able to achieve. You think that you’re not good enough. You don’t believe that you can do something so you don’t even bother trying. If not managed it can cause a tremendous amount of mental stress. I’ve learned to manage my negative self talk by noticing when I’m being a “Debbie Downer” or “Negative Nancy”. When I notice it I take a minute to breathe and remind myself that it’s just life and I don’t have to be perfect at everything. It’s easier said than done but with consistency I can attest that it helps.
Practice daily by speaking positivity into yourself. Remind yourself of your beauty, your strength, your resilience, your passion. Look back to how far you’ve come and remind yourself that if you made it through that then you can make it through anything. Life is what you make it so make the best of it because tomorrow isn’t promised. Love yourself everyday no matter how hard the day may seem. Negative Self Talk is something we can all kick out of the door of our lives.
Think about the amount of pressure we place upon ourselves simply because we are of a certain age. There’s so much pressure that we don’t even stop to be thankful for all that we have accomplished and how far we’ve come. No matter how slow the process is, we all grow as we navigate through life. Sometimes I like to take a minute to look back at where I was 5 or 10 years ago and it’s definitely an improvement.
I just found my voice a few years ago. Yea that sounds weird but what I mean is that I recently just learned how to speak up for myself. I was a shy kid and as a teenager and into my early 20s I just went along with a lot of things people wanted just because I was afraid of not being liked if I said no. That was a stressful way to live (half of my blemishes in my last post was a result of stress as well). I was just your typical “yes girl”, anything that was asked of me, I was doing it. I learned how to braid hair early and I was exceptional at it, but at one point I was braiding everybody’s hair so much that I started to hate doing something I once loved. I’m not sure when it actually happened but I just remember I was saying NO to a lot of things I use to say YES to and I was being questioned about it. When I started to hear a lot of “WHY’s” asking me to explain why I no longer wanted to do certain things that’s when I knew I had changed.
Personal growth is something I’ve learned to give myself credit for over the past couple of years. Of course I still have some more growing to do but I am really proud of myself for being in control of my actions. In this world, you will run into many people who will have an opinion on what you choose to do with your life. Caring about what they say is the fastest way to unhappiness and stress. Once you are secure in who you are, nothing anyone says will shake you.
1 Corinthians 13: 11 says “When I was a child I spoke as a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a (wo)man, I put away childish things”. I share that to say, it is ok to change and grow, it is ok to not want or do the same things you did as a child, teenager or even when you were 5 years younger than you are now. Find the beauty in your evolution and embrace it. Most importantly, don’t ever let anyone make you feel defective for changing. The world itself is ever changing and we should be growing with it if not ahead of it. Some people may not understand your change and that’s ok, leave them behind, they might catch up to you one day…maybe.
My own apartment (no roommates) but my place still doesn’t measure up to my cousin’s spot in Virginia. My hair is full and past shoulder length when blown out (shrinkage is real!) but my twist outs still don’t come out as nice as Naptural85’s (look her up on Instagram she’s dope). I can give a few more examples of me comparing myself and my life situation to someone else’s but doesn’t that take away from me appreciating my own blessings?
There is a difference between aspiring to be like someone because they spark inspiration in you and actually envying them and wanting what they have. On Instagram, TheShadeRoom sometimes posts beautiful surprise proposals from couples. Some people see it as inspiration saying “One day that will be me” while some envy and even criticize the couple (usually the woman) saying “Well if she can get a man I just don’t see why I’m single”. Comparing yourself to someone else is the ultimate slap in the face to God (if you’re a believer) as He continues to bless you with things that you take for granted. We don’t know the path that led these individuals to their fortune so we shouldn’t desire their fruits without being aware of their labor.
I remember when I found out my ex got married two years after we broke up. I didn’t care that I knew he wasn’t the one for me, I was just upset that somebody else got the ring. I bashed that women passionately, calling her ugly (but she’s not) and saying things like “I made him better for her…that’s all my hard work”. You know, all the things to make me feel better because I felt like I lost. Not realizing I was just making myself miserable wondering why her and not me. As I matured I realized that there was a different path for me and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. And who’s to say I would’ve been happy as a married woman in my early 20s?! I would have missed out on all the glorious life experiences I’ve had so far.
The miserable feeling is a choice. You are choosing to rob yourself of the joys of your own life as you spend an enormous amount of time wondering why you don’t have what the next person has. Appreciate your apartment because there was a time when you only could afford a room in someone else’s apartment. Love that hair on your head because you probably had a perm once and never had this type of volume and you most likely did the big chop and didn’t even know if it was ever going to grow back. Be happy for that woman who got proposed to in Paris and don’t wonder why her and not you, just simply be happy for her. Your happiness lies within the appreciation you have for your life even if you know there is room for improvement. Your life is yours and no one else’s and you should choose to cherish it and never think that you fall short of anything.