Hey I am still learning.
I’m still learning how to love myself and I am trying to learn how to love others.
You met me at a really awkward time in my life.
Like I have said a zillion times, since I was my teenager’s age I have had a boyfriend. The gaps between them have been less than 90 days. That is a really long time of being half of a couple and having to sacrifice what you know is right and good for yourself for the good of the whole.
And I was terrible at it for any number of reasons, especially the number one reason, saying yes when I really wanted to say no. Saying yes to spare someone else’s feelings whether it was what I wanted or needed or not.
I came here to start over.
To watch my son go to high school and go off to college or wherever, not worried that mom is sad over some dude, or mom can’t buy him whatever he wants because she has to share the money she makes with some dude, or not being there for him because mom is playing that same role for some grown ass dude.
And without being here a full month, the next thing I know, I am in a relationship again and what makes it strange is that you are really, genuinely a nice person, kind hearted and you are good to us. You’re fun to be around and a good lover and we have enough things in common to not only be life long friends but I don’t have a problem with saying that I love you.
I have not afforded myself the pleasure of living in the present. When you take care of yourself and another person you are constantly in the past, reliving mistakes so that you don’t do them again and trying to prepare for the future. Its extremely stressful. And sometimes, when everything just falls into place, having you around allows me to live in the present moment and I will always be grateful for that.
The only times that I don’t care what happens next is when I am in bed and I feel like I have gotten myself into a lot of trouble with you, living fantasies out loud under the sheets and those expectations carrying over into other waking hours. I would never purposely play games with your heart, you in particular, because you haven’t done anything to me to deserve mistreatment.
I also have been an uncontrolled freak fire for the past several years, with the thought in my mind that this roller coaster doesn’t last forever, and one day, I may be too old to fuck so I should get it in while the getting is still good. Plus, this has given me ample experiences to write about and all the greats say that you should write what you know.
I tell you about how I used to be because in some ways I miss that freedom but at the same time, I don’t want to be that way with you. I don’t see you in an imposing way, my mental image is a cute kitty cat, drinking lots of bowls of fresh milk and perhaps that has stunted our relationship overall instead of helped it. Of course, you do not have to prove your manliness or prowess to me, that would be dumb to go out of your way to be anything for anybody, I would certainly not approve. You’re the kind of guy a chick should want to settle down with me the part of me that wants that life, likes the idea of living it with you.
But there is a part of me, a strong part of me, desperate to not have anyone to answer to. Desperate to do what I want, when I want, where I want, with whom I want, without remorse, or a reason. In a lot of ways this is very childish and I understand why I desire it, I never really got a chance to BE a child. I have been a grown woman since I was 11 years old and quite frankly, I’m kinda tired and a little jealous of people who got to be reckless in their youth.
I don’t care what any woman says because if she says anything other than what I am about to tell you right now she is either a liar or a lesbian. Women crave all forms of confidence and security. Those two things come in many forms.
I may be a lot of things but I am not a liar.
Straight Men, in my humble opinion, appear to want respect and praise. The popular line from the movie Scarface, although sexist and vulgar, would not have rang so true with so many people if it did not expose our inner most desires:
In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women.
Is it right? Of Course Not. Is it fair? No. Is it the way it is, yes. Because if it wasn’t that way, every fat, ugly, pimple faced chick and every awkward, stupid, tiny dick, broke boy would always have an endless supply of life partners lined up that they could choose from.Or even better, people would worry about and take care of themselves, loving freely without the fear that if they don’t couple off they will be stigmatized, shunned, or lonely.
I fight myself.
I say self, look how lucky you are. you have a great guy who would go to the ends of the earth for you, love him.
Then reason says, well, you’re being selfish because, would you go to the ends of the earth for him, knowing full well you struggle with love and trust? Can you financially afford the possibility of caring for 4 children? Do you have enough money to handle a situation of you being the sole breadwinner again? Is that the life you even want? Don’t you think you ought to be spending time cultivating the best version of you instead of starting yet another relationship?
Then I say self, life is not promised to any of us and neither is love. We have to take the good when we can find it because there are no guarantees. Be happy and enjoy what you have right now in this moment. You may not find love, real love, ever again. Don’t lose it because of fear of things that may never happen.
Then reason says, oh well in that case, just be fake then, just pretend to be the wife type when you aren’t. Stop seeking to create the best version of yourself and the best life for yourself because someone else wants you to care about them. This is what you always do. Stop loving you to love anybody else all the damn time and before you know it stupid you are going to be dead anyway and we each die alone. Then you resent it. You turn cold and clammy because you know that you are wrong. How can you make someone happy when you arent? How can you sit there and prevent someone from finding the soul mate, who is on the same page, because you think love has an expiration date? How can you say you truly loved anyone if you aren’t smart enough to love you first?
I hear you saying that I have all of the time in the world, but then I hear you and me making future plans together off the cuff.
I hear you saying I can meet the important people in your life when I am ready but receiving texts and photos indicating now is the best time so why not.
I hear you saying that you will be awesome and we will be amazing together for years and years and years and it only sounds like the prettiest jail I have ever heard of.
I hear you saying we don’t have to get officially married if I don’t want that but I look at my hand and a beautiful ring stares back at me.
Some days, I don’t want anything more than to lay in bed with you forever. And as soon as I think that, the fear creeps in- well if we do that Tomika, who is going to pay the light bill?
Some days, I want to fuck you and suck you and squeeze you and scratch you and get high with you and do it all again from the top. And as soon as I think that, the fear creeps in- well if we do that Tomika, we have to go to family reunions, and have family cook outs and move in together and buy a house and pay four college tuition bills instead of just one.
So I conclude if you are my one true love for the rest of my life, would I even have these fears? ( Because if I would, then it’s not you it’s just me with the problem)
And there is no way for me to know that for sure.
So I do this horrible dance, pushing in and pulling back because regardless of what you SAY that vibe of together foreverness should hold true throughout. My drunken self, my true self, who is unafraid, wants to be with you, clearly. My mind, my practical and logical self still has tremendous doubts.
Being a single mom obviously I don’t particularly care to hear another man say he would traverse the world with me in the hopes that his kids would be AOK until he could see them in the summers. This feels like a red flag.
Being always concerned about money cause I have another mouth to feed much like an employer it does give me pause to consider making a life long commitment which includes finances with someone who floats in and out of jobs and careers like most people change clothes.
Being older now and having had to suffer the mean opinions of others in order to get to freely be the true geeky girl that I am without caring what others think, I struggle with someone who still isn’t sure exactly who he is and why he is on this planet and what he truly has to offer the world after 35.
This is my training- to seek confidence and security.
So in conclusion, you don’t have to put up with me and you know that. I love you enough to know that allowing you to freely move is the best way I can show you how much I care so if that means you can’t do this dance with me, I understand from the bottom of my soul.
Do I want you to change for me, absolutely not, that is not love to demand someone become for your benefit. Do I want to see you love yourself as much as you love me, absolutely there is nothing more attractive than a man who doesn’t admire himself, but takes care of himself because that alone is proof that he can take care of you.
We’ve moved fast and slow and fast and slow and still haven’t found that nice rhythm yet. Maybe we will maybe we won’t but if nothing else we have been upfront and honest with each other to a fault and no one can begrudge us that truth.