Content: Being Happy Where You Are

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8:31 A.M September 28, 2011. I was officially 21. Time to celebrate! Right? No. Not today. I couldn’t stop crying. My mother was walking down the aisle at my age. What was wrong with me? 

Church didn’t help. Every week came with the announcement of a new engagement. If you listened carefully enough you could hear that slight twinge in the pastor’s voice. What’s wrong with the rest of y’all? 

I read book after book after book. “How to Keep a Man,” “Pray Til He Shows Up,” “Pray with One Eye Closed,” “Waiting” and the sequel “Waiting til Tonight,” “Your Dude is on the Way,” and “Girl, He Ain’t Here YET?!”

You name it, I read it. I bought into it. I devoured them like they were magic spells that once completed, my Prince would apparate to my side. I got plenty of frogs but my Prince never arrived. What’s wrong with me?

PrinceOvertheShoulder
No worries, I’ll find you Mr. Nelson.

When I couldn’t find someone sexy and sanctified (pray for me y’all), no one my age and ready to commit, or anyone sane and alive,  I asked myself again and again…WHAT THE F*CK IS WRONG WITH ME?! 

As women we naturally have a thousand answers to that question. Too fat. Too skinny.  Too smart. Not smart enough. Too light. Too dark. Not pretty pretty enough. We’re either too much or not enough. So you want to know the truth? Something is wrong with you.

Oop. I’ll let that sit.

It’s nothing to do with your looks and everything to do with your feelings. What I’m telling you isn’t some secret only married women know. A lot of them don’t, some never will. Not everyone will get married. That’s just a fact loves. When you accept that reality you should feel at peace. Why? It means that Damoclesian expectation is off the table. No pressure. But for most of you, just like it was for me initially, you probably feel terrified. “I’ll be all alone!” No girl, you’ll be with yourself and the people who love you. What’s wrong with being with yourself? NOTHING. Unless you cannot stand the sight, thought, or idea of you. So to answer the question, you is what’s wrong with you.

A man will not fix you. A baby will not fix you. A marriage will not fix you. A friend with benefits will not fix you. Do you realize how ironic it is to need someone to spend time with you when you don’t like to spend time with yourself? How sad is it to need someone to esteem you when your own self can’t do it? I know I might sound harsh but the truth is often inflammatory. You need to hear this. Stop waiting for some cure for how you’re feeling to fall from the sky. Stop posting salty things on social media about how, “You’re happy to have your newsfeed flooded with engagements.” When what you really mean is, “Where’s mine?” Stop arresting your happiness and expecting someone else to set it free {Click it to tweet that truth}.  That’s your work and it’s irrational, irresponsible, and childish to expect anyone else to do it for you. Don’t make loving yourself anyone else’s job but your own. 

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You need to rewrite your content so you can be content. Marriage isn’t easy. It’s not a wedding everyday. It’s two imperfect people who commit themselves to each other daily. It’s a beautiful thing to witness when it’s done right. But as a recovering wedding coordinator, it’s mind- numbingly tragic to watch an impending wreck. So many couples convince themselves that they’ll get better after the stress dies down, like life will never be stressful again. They force a smile when something in the back of their minds is whispering, “No.” They get caught up in the commotion and forget to acknowledge their emotions. They say “I do” to terrible communication, emotionally stunted, easily intimidated, angry princes and princesses with little to no shared experience. They make promises that they’ll always remain the same while literally changing the status of their relationship in front of God, their family, and friends. They say yes because they need someone else to accept them without thinking of doing the same for their partner.

But from the outside looking in, their Instagram pictures and their cute Facebook posts look darling. That’s because we filter out the bad and tell the story we want to be told, not the truth.

One of the saddest things I’ve witnessed happened when I was ten. As an Army Brat I was used to being around female spouses who wore a smile and an empty stare. They held down the fort at home with little to no recognition…or sometimes help. “Mrs. C” was that kind of woman. She was sweet but even as a child I could tell she was very sad. On the outside everything looked perfect. Her husband was a high ranking officer and they lived in one of the mini-mansions up in the hills of the post. She loved to babysit me and I loved her because she bought me chicken nuggets (don’t you judge me!). I was waiting for my mom to pick me up when her husband got home. He smiled curtly at me but his eyes threw daggers in his wife’s direction. They went to their room to “talk.” I’ll always remember her screaming,” I did everything for you!” and his response,” I never asked you to.”

I heard with a child’s mind but I’ve processed it differently as an adult. My dearest single ladies, the books, the prayers, the substanceless dates, the products, the clothes, all the things we do to find a man, we need to be doing to find ourselves.

Stop entertaining fools in your court, queens. No more dates with guys who can only remember your number after midnight. No more putting up with verbal and emotional abuse just so you can say you’re in a relationship. No more investing in someone’s dreams who can’t invest in yours. No more enthusiastic acceptance of scraps when you deserve to be sitting at the table. No more waiting for a prince to whisk you away to a cold, dank castle. Build your own kingdom. Write your own love story and start with uncovering, discovering, knowing, and loving YOU.

Thirst. Don't let it be you.
Thirst. Don’t let it be you.

What’s something you’ll have to rewrite to feel content? Let me know and as always, feel better, do better, be better!

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6 thoughts on “Content: Being Happy Where You Are”

  1. Truth ! I can definitely relate to this piece. It is not easy when you have a desire to one day meeting and being with your life partner. But I realized this desire needs to be aligned with my Heavely Father plans for me. To love someone you must first love oneself. It is often a forgotten or unknown practice. I always heard we can be our own worst enemy. Instead I hear the Father say we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We are the apple of His eye. Not one mistake is in us. Truly a flawless creation. #Beautyweare

    1. YASSS! Thanks Genesis! I needed to hear that. There’s such a rush to get down the aisle but we need to readjust our focus. What is the rush? What’s the point of rushing into a relationship you’re not prepared for, want, or are even matched in? I think so many things, start with the self, the spirit, and yet we’re told as women to draw our attention anywhere but. Our lives suffer when we don’t. Iyanla called it “self-full” not selfish. LOVE it!

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