The after breakup “closure” – a myth

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”.

xoxo

Jess

Negative Self Talk

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.

xoxo

Jess

Comparison is the thief of Joy

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.

xoxo

Jess

Single does not mean Lonely

Four years ago on my 25th birthday I felt grown. I’ve had a steady job for the past four years, my relationships with my friends and family were striving and I had finally stuck to a workout plan and ya girl was looking snatched and yes I was single!

Now as we fast forward to me approaching 30, with a new job that I’ve only had for the past three months, some deteriorated family connections and friendships, and don’t even think of asking me when was the last time I did some cardio. I am still single and somehow I have been categorized as “lonely” from people ranging from a 10yr old child to a 40 something male. It might be based on the fact that I have not introduced my family to a boyfriend since, well, never. There was this one dude back in 2011 that one side of my family met but he’s still a myth to the other side, I’ll give you the story on him later on.

By definition, single is “unmarried, unattached, without a partner, free (which is a personal fav)” — loneliness is “feeling sad and unhappy about being socially isolated.”. I am not sure when these two words became coupled but I believe them to still be mutually exclusive. Sure some may say that they feel lonely when not in a relationship but feeling that way sometimes does not make you a lonely person. There is a stigma on being a single woman that makes it hard for the majority to believe that she can be happy while single. That her jubilance can only stem from companionship. That her joyous exterior is only a fa├žade and deep down inside she is secretly wishing for a partner. I am currently in the “when are you gonna have kids?” phase, because I am not quite a full woman until reproduce. Interestingly enough, I don’t hear “when are you gonna get married?” anymore, as if they gave up on that dream for me.

The most frustrating part is that I have friends and family members, females ranging 25-33yrs old questioning their entire existence. “I’m 27 with no kids, that’s crazy”, “I’m almost 30 with no man, why did this happen to me”, “I’m tired of seeing these young girls getting proposed to on Instagram”. Age has put us all in a panic, thinking that we should have a certain status because we’re getting older and maybe it’s linked to the fear of dying alone, I’m not sure, but what I do know is that it’s sickening and quite heartbreaking to hear these grown women with many accolades negate their life achievements and being consumed by the chase of a certain social status.

I use to chase the same thing. When I was 17 I just knew that by 25 I was going to be married with a child right out of college. Well, as you live you learn and I had to learn that God/the universe (yea religion is another subject I’ll talk about later) had a different path for me that what I had convinced myself to be true.

As a 29yr old single woman I would like to tell my sisters that you are not alone. Just because you see happiness through companionship all around you does not mean that you are defective. I’m not saying to give up hope of your dream of having a family of your own with a husband and child/children. I am saying to find happiness in this stage of life that you are in. We only have one life to live so why spend it worried about what we don’t have and when we will have it? Enjoy your days of being single, take up a new hobby (like I’m doing with blogging lol), take yourself out sometimes (I love my solo sushi dates), read more (I just started “An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones…yea I know but it’s not what you think), just do more of whatever you love to do and spread that joy to those around you. Your heart will thank you and your mind will stop punishing your spirit.

 

xoxo

JayEll