Written by President ELLA
I’ve spent the last year trying to find peace. Since I don’t want to give up on possibilities, I’ve found myself redefining things like “happiness”, “success”, “love” and “friendship”. I’m constantly weighing what the world says these things looks like vs what I believe they are vs what I have. It’s real easy to search for #relationshipgoals or #friendshipgoals and come out depressed.
From guys to friends, I’ve realized that the “rights” women fought for have left me, inevitably, independent. I find myself gravitating toward women/people who handle their business without me. I want a man who can take care of himself and me (even though I can take care of me; I can take care of us on the rare occasions needed). And I want friends who can take care of themselves. I just feel like I’ve worked too hard to carry anyone’s burden. I know I come to the table with my baggage, but I can a carry my bags. I find it unfair for anyone expect me to hurt just so that they can feel better. Trapped under the weight of a “ride or die” culture, I feel like people expect and/or require you to go through it with them in order to prove you love them. I can’t do that anymore. I can’t be kind and understanding if it negatively affects me. I can’t keep going to war. I’ve grown up and I’m officially through with toxic relationships.
It’s hard to say “no” to people. It’s hard to remove yourself from circles and situations without offending people. Also without getting lonely. Peer pressure is a real bitch. Easier said than done, but learning to put yourself first will save your life. I mean, I’ve never been in a plane crash but I know you gotta put your face mask on before your help the the kids. I’ve lost a lot of relationships by putting myself first but I don’t regret it at all. I might come off a bitch bitch I don’t want to participate in something, but I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. Putting on a pretty face for someone else does nothing for me. I can’t be a person today, that I’m uncomfortable being the rest of my life. I’ve made exceptions in the past… but I can’t be expected to continue to make the same mistakes for different people. I don’t care how someone feels about my baggage, because I’m ok carrying it alone. As I sit around looking at the comforts I’ve gotten myself, watching my credit score rise, I’m happy I’ve never actually needed anyone but my mother. It’s easy to come off as selfish or self centered, but I think people use those terms for bullying you into handing over whatever you’ve worked hard for.
I work hard in my relationships, I give my all even if it’s not good enough. My problem is that I don’t know ifI’m supposed to “deserve” x, y and z or go out and get them on my own. So I really deserve what I’m asking for? Am I asking for too much? I’m not immune to having looked at myself like I’m flawed because someone else is inconsistent. I’ve had to take a long look at myself and make sure I’m really watering the grass on my side of the fence. I try my hardest, I really do. So when I decide I need to move on… it’s really, really, real.
When it comes to friends, I need to be friends; I am not the bank and I don’t give out loans. I can’t take on the burdens of others, financially or emotionally. K Michelle said you can’t raise no man, so I don’t accept mediocre love in relationships either. I now immediately believe people when they show me who they are because we all have our personal issues, but we’re not all honest about them. I’m surrounding myself with people who put nothing above their word & who also don’t want to deal with my bullshit. I’m learning to put my peace first. I’m learning.
The most difficult thing about writing a column like this is that I never want to lie to you. I never want to seems like I know more than I do; I know nothing at all. The truth is, I’m figuring this all out but I truly learn lessons day by day. I don’t think my life is supposed to be perfect; it simply hasn’t been thus far & to think think it will be now would be insane. That doesn’t mean it can’t end perfect, tho. I think I’m suppose to earn everything I get and learn everything I know. I want the nest, so I know it’s going to be hard. Everyday I learn a new lesson and I’m trying to stay patient as my life continues to grow — hopefully forever. If I’m lucky, I’ll have enough time to for everything to figure itself out & that is where I find my peace; I never lose faith in the future. I know that I’ll get everything I dream of, but I also know it won’t be easy. I don’t worry about it. Todo se resulve, my mom says. Everything figures itself out.
With that said, I’m just trying to chill. I want “happiness”, “success”, “love” and “friendship” — when I figure out what those mean, I won’t settle for watered down versions! Maybe I’ll be never be satisfied, but I’m at peace with that, too because at least I’ll know I tried.
These are just my thoughts. Whatever I’m feeling at the time.