I’ve never understood or agreed with the “finding your other half” thing in regards to love and relationships. I’m a whole a** person right now what do you mean I need someone to make me complete? It was in solitude that I found out how unknowingly right I was. By putting so much of my energy towards seeking the affections of others, I was missing out on the love of my life.
My college career can be organized into four chapters: “Felicity”, “What Cherry Pop?”, “New Friends”, and “Studio Chronicles.” My senior year of college I signed my first one year lease alone with no roommates. When the landlord said “studio” I was fully prepared for my living situation to be akin to an upscale prison cell. I was pleasantly surprised when not only were my bedroom/kitchen and living room separated by a hallway, but my soon-to-be haven had everything I needed to learn, understand, check, and ultimately fall for myself. The exposed brick gave this Kentucky home a New York style flare, and it was also perfect target practice for glass cups I never used. Fits of rage brought on by daily frustrations. Sure, I kept journals (34 and counting) and I did vent in between the lines, but I wanted to do something. The scratching of pen to paper wasn’t loud enough to tune out the sadness, uncertainty, and heartbreak.
My last year of college was ending and although I loved my major, it didn’t provide me with a guaranteed career path. So the pressure to prove to myself that I didn’t just waste 4 years and thousands of dollars I didn’t have was on. I was (am) the loner that didn’t always like to be alone, but got afraid that people won’t understand me like I do. Cancer sun + cancer moon + cancer rising x the carried atelophobia = bottled up emotions that will explode at any giving moment. I was also developing feelings for someone on the rebound at the time. I fall hard. Like “yeah just go ahead and pour that concrete all over me fam” hard. I knew this, but did everything in my power to convince myself that what I was feeling wasn’t real. It was a fling and should be treated as such. But when someone treats, touches, and speaks to you like a delicate thing for what seems like forever, it hurts when you realize the brevity of the moment. Whatever the case was, there were times in my apartment where I said:
F**k a journal.
And this China.
The sun and the moon seemed to like my place too. I’m an early bird and I habitually meet the sun as it rises to wake the world. You’d think he’d know to skip my house after our daily wake up calls featuring green tea and blunts, but no. My place lit up like a cathedral everyday and was just as beautiful as one. After he was done flirting with my walls and corners it was time for my skin. Stretch marks, ingrown hairs, and pimples all seem to look better when they’re shea-buttered down and sun-kissed. Is that me looking radiant and sexy? Me? Let me make sure by strutting around in a XL t-shirt and a bonnet that’s two sizes too big. Better yet, let me record myself doing so on my webcam for evidence that it is, in fact, me slamming my back against my closet door striking a pose, and not a fierce doppelgänger I needed to square up with for breaking and entry. The party really started when the moon showed up. Her usual tardiness would never stop me from opening my balcony door when she knocked for entry to one of our dance parties. I have a small fear of the dark so my Yaya gave me these electric candles that changed colors. With a bomb a** playlist and rainbow lights, I did every move I was too shy to or didn’t want to do at the club in front of moon rays. The sweating ruined twist outs and the creaking of my hardwood floor surely pissed off my neighbors below - but I felt good.
Self-love is loving yourself in every phase that you come in. I’m not encouraging breaking glassware (you’ll cut your foot on a piece you missed during clean up). I am, however, encouraging you to realize that the things that you do, although sometimes hard to interpret or explain, are valid. I used to beat myself up for feeling anything but happiness. Sadness. Anger. Disappointment. These are signs of something or someone making me feel some type of way and a real bad b***h would not let that happen right?
You have to let these emotions come. The trick is learning how not to let them overstay their welcome. For if you do, you’ll be just as shattered as that broken glass and the joy of sunrises and moonlit dance parties would be forgotten.
Self-love is being okay with being alone because you’re never really alone if you have yourself. In almost every diary of mine, since the release of Dangerously in Love, I have found myself quoting what I consider my favorite Beyonce song “Me, Myself, and I”. It’s timeless not only because of who she is, but how relevant the song has been since confusing pre-adolescence, to now in even more confusing young adulthood. The song is obviously about her doing the most for a lover who wouldn’t give the same amount devotion, but it was from not being shown the love that she found another kind. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, know that you are the most important beholder. Because once you do every move you make is beautiful. Self-love is putting on a face for nobody because too often we worry about what so-and-so thinks when so-and-so can’t even think for themselves. Why on Earth would I go to a function and surround myself with people who could care less about me, when I could dance alone in the dark with someone who truly loves me and have more fun?
The Studio Chronicle chapter ended when my lease was up and a job offer took me to Los Angeles. Subsequent opportunities took me to Atlanta where I remain today. Things don’t get easier after you start a committed relationship with yourself. You’ll have more trials and tribulations that will test the love. However, one thing I have learned to love about me is that I never give up. I have fallen on my face 100 times. Plans A, B, and C have all failed. I’ve relapsed and talked dirt bad to myself while engaging in more destructive and compulsive behaviors. But I’ve also stood up 101 times. I have plans D thru Z on deck, and I unashamedly find the time to lick my own wounds and reintroduce myself to myself. Falling in love with myself has carried over into how I see and plan to tackle the world. I have to be tenacious towards every goal and seemingly impossible dream that I have because if not I’d break my own heart and, well….
“I know that I will never disappoint myself.”
Self-love has changed how I view relationships whether platonic or romantic. I almost feel bad for the unfortunate, but the blessed individual who wants to carry me to the altar. Because I won’t say “I do” unless I’m positive that this person’s love for me is as forgiving, relentless, and assuring as the love I have for myself.
Loving myself has opened a new chapter for me and I’m excited to write it. I don’t know who I’m becoming, but I know I’ll love her till death do us part.