Yesterday, I touched lightly on the topic about not doing the things I’ve always wanted to do. Of course, most of us may have one or two general setbacks that require us to jump over a hurdle before we can get some things done in our lives. Well on top of all the hurdles that I had acquired, just because, I had created this stupid, stupid idea that was holding me back.
I can’t tell you when it started, but for some reason, this little head of mine began to believe that if I didn’t have a boyfriend, fiance or husband, there were some things that I could not do and had to be ruled out, naturally, because single people don’t do those things alone. As if that wasn’t bad enough, to add to it all, I also started to actually believe that there are some things I couldn’t even do with friends, or family members. Of course, thank God, the Lord started dealing with me, and one by one, all these silly little ideas that I had owned, were being tossed out of my mind. Now, I can go to the movies, by myself, go to any restaurant with a friend, or by myself, take long walks on the boardwalk everyday by myself, or even go on trips by myself. Now that I’m over it, I can look back and try to figure out why I allowed what society, the church, my peers and my family thought about being single to affect me.
To be single, in your twenties, and in America is actually difficult, if you’ve grown up in an environment like me. First of all, I think most West Indian families have this fact, especially if you are a girl. You are not moving out of that house with anyone unless you guys get married. In fact, I know some people who are married and still living at home! The views of the church, alone, is not easy. There is an unspoken understanding that goes along with dating, and of course, there is this eerie rush for young people who are dating in the church to get married. Most of my friends are already engaged, married, pregnant or having kids, and not all in that order! The pressure to marry the person you’re dating is so great right now, that I’ve seen a lot of young girls try to get pregnant in order to “keep” the guy around. This brings “shame” on the church, but I guess no one really cares once they’ve “gotten their man”. Once that happens, all is right with the world… right? WRONG!!
Have you ever wanted something because everyone else had it. Okay, let me find another way of putting this. Have you ever found yourself liking something that everyone else had, and actually gotten it. Then once you’ve got it in your possession, you don’t really like it that much anymore? Then when everyone else stops liking it, you kick yourself for getting it, or ask yourself what in the world you were thinking? Well, that’s what I think all this “love” stuff really is. I’m not saying that everyone is wrong for wanting to be loved. I’m not even saying that everyone tries to find love because they see others doing it. What I am saying is, if we only took the time to spend more time alone and truly assess ourselves to see who we are and what we really want, we could save ourselves and others all the heartache and pain we cause. We are human. That makes us selfish, greedy, envious, and the list goes on. We just want what we want sometimes, but we rarely stop to think about why we really want certain things, or people for that matter.
Last night, I went for a walk on the boardwalk with my friend. She and I have been friends for almost 20 years. Even though we have been friends for so long, there is still so much that I have never shared with her. People have a way of only telling you what they want you to know. We touched on why she thinks I need to start meeting guys after I said the boardwalk was really a nice place to bring a date for a stroll. I opened up a lot to her. I told her about some of the things I had always wanted to do that I used to think I couldn’t because I was single. I didn’t recognize it before, but because I opened up to her, I realized something about myself. I realized that I want the kind of relationship that comes with all of that. Many times, we may look at a relationship from the outside, and even admire the couple, but we never really know what goes on behind closed doors. Sometimes, people get together, just because, and stay together for convenience. I wanted to be able to enjoy the time I would spend with my significant other.
I would want him to be a friend first. I would want him to also enjoy my company. I would want to spend quality time with him, and go on trips, and I wouldn’t want it to be forced, because he thought I would go off if he said no. I realized that the reason I haven’t settled for any old thing is because I still have hope that there is someone who genuinely wants to also do these things with me, and I’ll be damned if I get into a relationship with someone who does not want to go for a stroll on the boardwalk with me on a Sunday night.
What’s the point of being in a relationship if you’re still lonely?
With that being said, I will have you all know that I go to the boardwalk by myself and soak in the sun, the sunsets, or the moonlight. I go to theme parks with friends, and when they’ve chickened out, I get on the rides by myself! I buy my own nachos and water and get inside the theatre before the previews start, just so I can get a great seat for myself. I walk around Union Square and take pictures of the squirrels. I don’t need anyone to share these moments with me. I appreciate them now, because I know that this is quality time I am spending with myself. It’s really nice to be in your own skin and be surrounded by people and feel comfortable about who you are and your place in the universe. I still remain hopeful that one day, I will be able to do some of these things with someone who I really care about, that cares about me the same way. I am just happy that I can say I have done these things, and it didn’t kill me to do it alone. I actually like to think I am better because of it.