Onto The Next One
I read a quote once that said “If you aren’t happy being single, you wont be happy in a relationship.”
Now granted, when I first read that, I was in a relationship, and I imagined it was written by a lonely person who was trying to compensate for the lack of love in their life. However, there was something in there that always stuck with me.
Fast-forward...in a few weeks, I will have achieved my promise to myself to be absolutely single for a full year, a simple effort to understand, and put that quote to the test.
To allow the time to be single is the strongest journey anyone can encounter. Yes, there were long nights on the phone with friends, talking about how I was ready to settle for anyone just to not have to be the single one. Then there was valentines day, Easter, the warm summer Chicago days, and then the start of cuffing season, all sprinkled with the constant desire to simply Netflix and chill with anyone who would listen to my emotional rants. But in a true test of the culturally forgotten concept of commitment, I held true to my resolution.
Almost a year later, I have toyed with the idea of sharing all the things I learned along the way. But the true test of what the journey has taught me can only be manifested in a conversation with the person that is man enough to explore this newly untouched territory of the best me that ever happened to me.
To the next one,
I could teach you all the ways to love me, I could show you how to carefully construct your sentences to get me to surrender the wall I have built up. I could tell you the soon to be forgotten stories of the hims, and them that tore through a distant time before you. But oh what fun it would be to watch you figure me, out.
There would have been a time when I would have wanted you to do me the favor of proving to them that it was possible to love me. There would have been a time when all your red flags would have been painted white by my shortcomings, in an effort to convince myself that your actions were only the norm when someone like you took to chance to love someone like me.
But now, I ask you to openly embrace that I, do not…need you. I don't want you, and all that you bring. And before you overreact, please understand that my rejection is the beauty of this whole journey. I have come to understand that at our best, we are designed to dwell in a place of constant mutuality. I have found comfort in a place that I call home, that others may label as being alone. It is my comfort in solidarity that has given me the ultimate strength to be able to walk away from pieces of you, before you make pieces out of me.
Understand that I will respect your manly desire for power, but there is no power in a man, if your only power is to take the power from me with gentle whispers of I love you’s and I need you’s. Keep your flowers, and all your gifts, that you think you may use to passify my potential to walk away. They say less of what you feel for me, and more of what you need from me.
Don’t hold up your magnifying glass to my flaws, as you draft the conditional offer upon which “we” will be built. Understand that 365 days of selfies and over 1000 photos to prove it have prepared me to reject your constructive insecurities. You will come to learn that vanity is my proudest emotion. The undeniable power to look at me again and again from my own point of view. Not in a boastful manner, but in the excitement of contentment.
Don’t tell me that I am too emotional. The same emotional vulnerability that allows me to let you lease my heart and it’s emotions without any hopes of tenancy, are the same emotions that will overthink and overact in a perfect wave that forces heart-full separation. It is these over-emotions that will over-protect me from the secret texts, the silenced rendezvous between the two of you’s that will be described as the “it isn’t what it looks likes.”
Remember that your looks won’t draw me, or keep me. I will give you the respect of measuring my feelings for you, based on how you make me feel. Because I have learned that with the lights off and the world asleep, I can’t seem to see your abs, your designer things or your car. No, not from this point of view.
To the next one, I can only promise that everyday I will challenge you to try and love me half as much as I love me. I challenge you to have the confidence to be the right one, the only one and the bravest one. Don't try and knock down the wall I built. To knock down the wall will only expose the delicate side of me that has been preserved, for you. I ask you to find the door, or make a door. Just make sure you close it behind you.
And if ever you ever find the need to leave, find comfort in that fact that I am always half packed to re-embark on the beautiful journey back home to the place we call alone. For I’ve been lost and I've been torn. But I thrive on the one promise I made to myself.
If it takes forever to find what I have curated as the one.
Then forever sounds like fun.
Photography: ChiChi Agbim