Do you think you’re too good?

[Photo credit JT Gaze][Photo credit JT Gaze]

[Photo credit JT Gaze]

“You think you’re better than everyone,” they often say.

“No… But you obviously think I think I’m better than everyone. Why is that?” is always my reply.

The worst part about being around mediocre people is that, mediocrity is all they bring to your table. I’m an alpha female and that only scares a man off when he realizes I can’t make him a better man, he should have already been one. When it comes to female friends, we typically have a better time when men aren’t around — as soon as a guy they like pulls up or their best friend asks to follow me on social media, the vibe changes. Leaving any relationship on “good terms” is the most difficult thing I’ve done. “It didn’t work out,” for a reason and while you try to acknowledge that it was God’s plan, it’s difficult to ignore the reasons why it didn’t work out. It’s also always hard to see your own flaws… so I’ll start with mine. 

I’m not a nice girl. I’m a good woman. I’m educated, driven and determined. I’m successful: I have a salaried job with benefits which helps me afford having a place and car of my own. I can support a man if he needed me to… but I tend to attract men who need me to. I have no children and I’m God fearing… but with all that, I have the same expectations of the men I date. I “expect too much”. I’ve made the mistake of thinking that just because everyone is entitled to find their own way, that the men I’m dating should also be able to find their own way. No. We should agree more than disagree. Being an artist, I run into a lot of “artists” or “entrepreneurs” who, for the most part, are folks who don’t have the patience or ability to put in effort for others for too long without seeing monetary profit. A lot of these folks… either live at home with their parents, or live off of the help of others. Most of these people have an online person that would make you think they are doing well, but if you saw how they lived… if you really know how they got there. If you knew how long they’ve actually been broke for. But, I’m a corporate professional, so I have my personal judgement. 

I fear dating a man who would tell my children they don’t need to go to college. YOU can raise your children however YOU want, but my children will go to college because I don’t want them to wait until their 50 years old to have a place of their own. To financially qualify for a place of their own without having to have me co-sign. So that their not 40 years old asking their girlfriend of 2 weeks to co-sign on a car. So their not a basic broad working her ass off at a dead end job and her only next success will be the man she marries. I want my children to have   them Now, I don’t own a home, but I know people my age who do. But only people who’ve gone to school and dedicated themselves. I believe in education. It’s become one of my non-negotiables in a relationship, just like it is for some jobs. People think that a college degree means you’re “smarter”, it doesn’t. It means that you signed up for a program and had the dedication to see it through. You made the effort to at least dedicate yourself to the bare minimum… But, then again, that’s why some places ask for your transcript, because you can all just make it through.

I no longer date men with children. I used to feel bad counting that man out because I didn’t want to look at his child(ren) as a burden. I used to think that if he had a child, I could see what kind of father he was and it was too true. I decided that I don’t want to be with a man who leaves a relationship. Being the Dominican/Cuban I am, I’m raised to believe that if you have a child with someone, you’re married. It also took me some time to accept that if I have made the decision that I’m not ready for children and/or I haven’t found the right one, I have the right to want my partner to feel the same way. I want to feel like someone chose me over anyone else. Some men, just like women, have children just because they feel like it’s the next step. They’ll have no home, no car and no savings, but they’ll have a child just because they’re getting older. Those men, just like women, tend to be gold-diggers (be offended if you want to be). I’ve met men who choose to have a child with a woman because she’s “doing well for herself”, not because they love her. Not because they want her in their life forever… but because they just want a baby. The worst case is when people have a baby because they’ve run into someone they consider “exotic” and have this disgusting, self-hating desire to have a mixed baby. I don’t want to take care of anyone else’s child. I don’t want to babysit. I love a good volunteering opportunity, but I can’t play step mom. That’s a responsibility added on my that I haven’t been able to prepare for. When you have a child with someone, you at least have the 9 months to get used to the idea of being a mom. On top of that, I can’t share my man. I want my man’s main priority to be me. It’s not until you date a man who “takes care of his child” that you realize that  he’s gone every holiday and the only “vacations” you’ve taken are trips to go get his child. You might think you’re doing the right thing by waiting downstairs in the car or in the McDonald’s across the street, but that’s stress that I don’t want to have to go through to prove I’m a good woman. I have enough stress thinking about meeting a man’s family, without having to meet the woman who has already bore his child. Not for me. I also second-guess friendships with moms, because when you have to look for a sitter, I have to look for a sitter. And when you’re never just a “drunk girl” anymore, you’re someone’s drunk mom. I’m sorry I feel this way, but I’m not the only one. Would you prefer I disrespect you and applaud you as a MILF; perhaps you do but — again — not for me. 

Worst than paying step mom to a child I didn’t give birth to, is trying to raise a grown man. I think the alpha-female scent I give off attracts men who need the extra support -_- I love to be a support force for people, but I don’t want to be used so often. I want to be there for you, not depended on. If I’m stable enough to know what to have in my bank account so that I don’t overdraft, I need a man who is at that same place.  New York City is a tough place. I’ve tried not to pass judgments because there are a lot of people who live with roommates in cramped apartments, or in project apartments that have been scammed or passed down to them… but if I’m not in that situation, why should I accept it from anyone else? Living situations are the scariest thing in this city because the moment people come to visit you in your own place, they survey the place to see where they can spend the night or if you have an extra closet to put their things in. I will never again have a man move in with me (and I’ve never moved in with a man). I think that we should move somewhere together. I can afford my own place, so I’m not looking for a discount. It would be great to pay less rent, but the point is to grow. To have more space. Some people just want to attach themselves to you for their own benefit, not for the benefit of each other. 

I’m not “better” than anyone, but I’m in a better place than some people. I’ve had friends and potential guys who make a checklist of all the things I have and assume its been given to me. Nope, I sat in classrooms and paid attention and interviewed and worked my ass off for everything I have. My mother is still paying off the mortgageS on our house and I am so proud of the garden she’s nurtured out of that dirt patch we’ve called a backyard. The fact that I come from that dirt always reminds me that I am no better. I am dirt, too… But the difference is that I turned into something else — I’ve bloomed. Some people never want to be any better than they were and that’s what sets us apart. “They’re not like you, mija” my mom says every time I split with a guy who never deserved me in the first place or when I part ways with a friend who I no longer want to sit with. I have the right to want to be better than I was. Everyday. And I have the right to choose to surround myself with people who want the same and help me work towards that goal.

I’m judgmental, and I think we all are. A lot of people pretend not to be judgmental, but it’s the same as reverse racism. A loose whore will call a reserved woman a prude. I’m learning to accept the fact that I don’t have to accept everything. I happily allow people to be who they are, but I don’t have to encourage or support them in things I don’t agree with — and I damned sure don’t have to participate.  I find difficult for me to find anyone in the same position as me aside from my co-workers — and I try to keep that relationship separate and professional. It’s very difficult to find brown people like me in the same place as me. I suppose that part of that is due to society, but part of that is due to their own actions. I need people who can navigate both worlds with me and without me. People who relate to me more in my successes than in my failures. I don’t want to bond on what we “been through” anymore, I want to align on where we are going. 

We might not being going to the same place. And that’s ok… for me at least. I suppose if I felt like someone wanted to go to a “better” place than me, I supposed I’d think they think they’re better than me, too. But my level of self-esteem just doesn’t register that way. I don’t think anyone is better than me… and that’s not because I think I’m the best, but because I don’t compare myself that often. I know what I want and what I don’t want. I have preferences and expectations. I enjoy myself. While I am content with who I am, I constantly encourage myself to be better tomorrow than I am today. Its had it benefits and drawbacks. 

It’s not as easy as it reads. I lose “friends” often. I’ve had my share of poor relationships. And… for now, I’m alone. But that’s how they say it is at the top. If I’m a crab in the barrel, I wouldn’t be the one pulling the other down. If only crabs knew how to gather themselves together, even if momentarily on top of eachother, to pull themselves up. But… those claws won’t allow for it. You might loose a part of yourself trying to get out… but that’s just one of the many sacrifices you’d have to make… like leaving some of the others behind. 

These are just my thoughts… just what I’m feeling at the time. 

– Ella



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