ANGER

There is a thing right between my eyes, a bit north of the bridge of my nose. Its not quite a wrinkle. Its not a bump. Not a pimple. Its a dark spot, kind of. Its more like a shadow. Its the spot that marks the scowl that has been tattooed to my face for the past three months. My face is tight all the time. I rarely smile. I can feel the tension in my jaw as I grit my teeth constantly. Even when I do laugh, it is a brief burst of sound. Then I go back to scowling. The new kind of bitch I am these days has gotten mad, and stays mad. A lot.

I’m not pretty anymore. I don’t even try to be. I haven’t worn makeup for months. Occasionally I’ll try to halfheartedly put it on, only to remove it shortly after.  I don’t live for cute dresses and fly shoes as I once did. These days if you happen upon me I’m likely to be wearing a hoodie, camo pants or black leggings, combat boots and a black leather coat. I am dressed like I’m about to go to war. Because that’s how I feel many days. As if I am constantly under attack, and I have to prepare to fight at any moment. How can I fight in my normal winter attire of sweater dresses and patterned tights, cute cardigans and stiletto heeled boots? At work I’m wearing loose fitting pants and bulky sweaters. Boots. Not much jewelry, if any. Not a single curve showing. I need to be prepared for whatever fucked up shit is about to happen next, and I’m dressed in preparation for whatever battle I might come across. When I try to dress up, more like I used to dress, I look and feel awkward. I dress a lot like a man these days, I think in part because I want to be left alone. I feel like a lot of what has happened to me in recent months happened partly because I’m a woman. There is a particular way men attempt to bully and intimidate you when you’re a woman, especially if you’re a woman they’ve had a relationship with in the past. And I think because I’ve always presented myself in a rather “traditionally” feminine way with the dresses and the heels and makeup, these men have felt emboldened to attempt to bully me with threats in such in a way they wouldn’t have if they didn’t see me as weak and “feminine”. Part of me thinks maybe they’ll leave me alone if I look like I might kick them in the throat at any moment. So I dress like a hit man out of a really bad movie. It makes me understand the necessity of the ‘angry Black woman’ facade. Because say what you want about angry Black women, motherfuckers leave them alone. And that’s what I want. To be left alone.

Like I’ve said, I’ve been really angry. And my wardrobe choices and my attitude reflect it. But underneath the anger is an ocean of hurt. Ten thousand unanswered questions that I want to ask my ex, and all of them start with, “why did you do this to us?” I know him well enough to know he has convinced himself that its all my fault somehow, or at least someone’s fault other than his. He’s conveniently forgotten how his actions and words began this whole process. He’s conveniently forgotten that I had no desire to leave him, but his actions forced my departure. And how he handled things afterwards just made things worse – the glaring silence after his actions, his retreating from me for months on end, his inability to communicate, to appropriately express frustration, the way he has refused to apologize to all of us, his unwillingness to reconcile the wrongs even though the relationship WILL NOT reconcile – these are all the things that led us here. When it was all said and done, holding on to and acting out on his misplaced anger has meant more than anything to him – even me. Who he should really be mad at is himself, and who he should really begin healing is himself.

But this is how he copes I guess – by convincing himself and whoever will listen to him that this is all my doing. He has always enjoyed his anger. He is comfortable with it. It makes him feel strong I guess. I think he thinks it makes people respect him more. But now I have become angry too, as angry as he has always been. In that respect I am more like him than I’ve ever been – red hot anger flows just beneath my surface, all day every day. I used to wonder how he could go around feeling like this all the time. Now I know. I’m sure its killing me. I don’t know how he carries this around all the time. I remember how I felt before I became this angry person – I felt freer, lighter, more able to move through my life. Now I wake up every morning with a heavy boulder of rage lodged on my shoulders. Its so heavy, so very heavy. The anger makes my shoulders slump, and my back strains to manage the weight. I literally struggle to walk upright. No wonder I can’t walk in heels anymore.

When I think about how angry I am, I get dangerously close to hating all men at times. When I am feeling that way most intensely, I reach out to my men friends and they remind me not to feel that way, and that particular strain of anger subsides. But my general overall anger does not. I find talking to my friends and acquaintances in general does a lot to help push back the tides of anger flowing in me. They pour love into me, both men and women. It smooths away my furrowed brow. It is not lost on me that at this time in my life, when my life has no romantic love in it, no sexual love, none of the types of love associated with domestic partnership, it is FULL of every other kind of love imaginable. My children love on me much more than they ever have, and they are doing more than they ever have to find ways to achieve independence. It makes me proud. My cousins tell me they love me. My friends, many who know the details of my current struggles love on me hard. They hug me TIGHTLY when they see me, and rub my back as they do, and whisper kind words in my ears, men and women alike. Sometimes they kiss my cheek. They reach out and hold my hand when they see me frown, or see the angry tears spring to my eyes, and the warm of their kindness overtakes my anger for a bit. They tell me they love me, boldly and loudly, they look into my eyes and say I LOVE YOU, men and women alike. And I respond with I LOVE YOU TOO. And it does help, it does. Just not all the time.

But then the nights come, when I’m in bed alone, trying to sleep and wondering how I got here. Then the dams break and the anger floods my mind and body, endless gallons of anger, anger that tries to drown me as I fight the current that wants to sweep me away, waves that want to baptize me as indoctrination into a lifetime of bitterness. This is the anger that has had me scowling constantly for weeks on end. When I look in the mirror all I see is all my rage, and my hurt, sitting there in that dark shadow between my eyes, just north of the bridge of my nose. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever be happy again. If anger is just my lot in life going forward.

mad tula

Then I remind myself that this is not serving me and my empire. The dark brooding is simply making it harder to build the alliances I need to create to flourish. I turn to all the work I must do, all the empire building I must accomplish, all of the legacy creation my life and my loved ones lives deserve. And though I’ve been knocked off the path to my best self, I’ll find my way back.

To re-purpose a popular phrase – “Spring is coming!”

I look forward to that.

welcome back

 

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MY BOOK GOT SOME RECOGNITION!

**WE INTERRUPT OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED MUSINGS FOR THIS**

So, my book, “She’s Such A Bright Girl: An American Story”, got a bit of recognition. The details are below – congratulate me!

******

For additional information please contact:

najahb@petulacaesar.com or petula@petulacaesar.com

BALTIMORE AUTHOR RECEIVES NATIONAL RECOGNITION FOR MEMOIR ABOUT HER UPBRINGING AND COLORISM

“…a graciously and generously-provided tool for would-be allies who seek to eliminate, in themselves and their communities, the personal and institutional racism that causes and perpetuates colorism.”

north_street_seal_hm

Baltimore-based writer Petula Caesar’s first book, a memoir entitled “She’s Such A Bright Girl: An American Story” has been recognized nationally. A panel of award-winning writers recognized her book as one of the top works submitted to North Street Book Prize, which honors the top self-published books in the nation in categories ranging from poetry to literary fiction to children’s books. Out of nearly one thousand entries, Petula’s book finished among the 11 awarded winners, receiving an honorable mention in the Non-Fiction category. In talking about the book, the judging panel described the book as “an exploration of the intersections of racism, classism, and sexism with a focus on colorism within the author’s nuclear family,” adding that the book “urgently needs a wider audience…this book should be included in high school and undergraduate classes on racism and sexism. It’s that good. It’s that important.” (Read the full review at https://winningwriters.com/past-winning-entries/shes-such-a-bright-girl.)

Petula and her book have been the impetus for several passionate and at times tense discussions about racism, colorism, classism and privilege that she facilitates at local library branches and in other community spaces. She’s also publicly shared some of the more humorous elements of her struggles as well, most recently at the popular quarterly event Stoop Storytellers. Petula’s story of mistaken identity was a big hit at The Senator Theater this past October, drawing laughs and uncomfortable silence from the hundreds intently listening to her story. “I relish that tension that happens when people hear about, or read about my story,” Petula says. “That tension, that discomfort, that weird silence that happens when people are struggling with their feelings around a subject is absolutely necessary. We cannot begin to do the incredibly difficult internal work of addressing our feelings around race, color, class, privilege, and so on without that discomfort. If my book, and the conversations it leads to don’t make you uncomfortable at times, angry at times, or even sad at times, I’ve done a poor job as a writer, as a facilitator of difficult conversations, and as a storyteller in general.”

Learn more about Petula and her book at www.petulacaesar.com. You can hear her Stoop story in her Media Room, along with her interview at Baltimore’s NPR station WYPR-FM.

 

Moving On

03 - chris at cracker barrel

This time last year, my mom had less than 2 weeks to live. I didn’t know that at the time. More specifically, I didn’t know exactly how many days she had left. But I did know her time was coming very quickly. By this time last year, she had been hospitalized and I was starting to go a little crazy with how rapidly my life had changed. I was trying to figure out how to cope with what I knew in my heart was about to happen. My mom was about to leave me for good. I had watched and helped my mom guide her husband and her brother to the end of their lives through hospice care, so I knew what to expect. I’d read all the books about the stages of death and such, so I knew from her first hospitalization that we were marching quickly to the end.

MOM BY THE WATER
In hindsight, I feel badly that I wasn’t better about communicating with my family about my mom’s illness. But it really did happen quickly, and I froze, like a deer in the headlights. I wasn’t sure who to call, and when, and in what order. I just did the best I could, which sometimes meant spending hours crying and not being on the phone talking to people about what was happening. It was a lot. Every call I made to family and friends saddened me more than the last. “Yes…she’s sick…its cancer…it happened very suddenly…she’s in the hospital now…not sure how serious it is yet…well you know since Marva died she hasn’t really been the same…” over and over and over again. And then, when they’d inevitably become sad, suddenly I was in the role of having to comfort them. It got to be a lot, so oftentimes I just avoided those conversations. It was the only way I could stay sane, and I needed to stay sane, because my mom was about to die.

When my mom passed on February 13th, she was at home, in her living room. I was at her side. I am glad for that, though I would have never thought I would have been strong enough to bear such a blow. I was there for it all…the death rattle in her throat that eased away bit by bit, the achingly slow yet way too rapid separation of her spirit from her physical body, the silence that snuck into the room as her soul left it. At those moments it was just she and I. I wanted it that way. When the sound of the death rattle diminished and finally stopped, and I knew she had departed, I felt the weight of my abject loss settle in my heart, where it still resides to this day.

broken heart love sad

Photo by burak kostak on Pexels.com

I didn’t rush to call anyone. There was no need. I just sat there, in the room with her, or what was left of her. I felt the pain start to course through my veins, like I had been poisoned. I didn’t even cry at first – it was as if I wanted to closely examine the intense grief before it consumed my body. But eventually it entered me and exploded, and I began to scream and cry incoherently. No one came to console me, and I was glad. I needed to experience this initial explosion of intense hurt without anyone around trying to lessen the pain. I needed to let it burn.

For a few minutes or hours I let it burn, and then I called the hospice people. They sent a nurse out to make everything official. And just like that, all my immediate family of origin was gone. Both parents and my sister. They had all traveled down the road to other realms and I was left here without them.

asphalt blue sky clouds countryside

Photo by Nextvoyage on Pexels.com

I am thankful that I was able to provide mom a home going service that I think pleased her. I remember very little about it, although I hear it was a beautiful funeral. I picked out everything with the utmost care, down to her outfit and her casket. Shades of mauve and silvery steel gray everywhere, including the flowers and her suit. I gave the eulogy, and I hear I did a good job. I don’t really remember much about that either. Friends sang, and they did well. Me and my kids did a dove release at the grave, which I heard was a nice touch. Less than six months later my life exploded again, and I had even more loss to mourn, which included losing much of the support system that had sustained me during the loss of my mother. And then again, roughly six months after that, I lost even more. Literally every time life knocked me down, when I managed to get on my feet even a little bit, it knocked me down even harder. By the time the year ended I was punch drunk from all the blows I’d taken. For a minute I even considered not getting up anymore since life seemed to be so upset that I wouldn’t stay down.

Now it’s been almost a year, and I find myself, as humans tend to do, looking to find the lessons in it all. I look for the wisdom all this suffering was meant to impart in the hope it wasn’t all just for nothing. While I don’t find any new lessons learned, what I do find is that I have had old lessons reinforced and driven home to me like they never had been before. Things I had paid lip service to in the past now resonate deeply in me, down to the very marrow of my bones. All the losses have truly caused me to value all my loved ones, especially those who stand on the front lines of my life with me day-to-day. I am clear on how strong I am, emotionally and physically. In fact, all the losses have painted a clear picture of what my strength looks like – a picture I needed painted, because I’ve always considered myself a weak person. I was not raised to be strong, or independent. If anything, I was raised to be the opposite. But there is a steely quality to me that now I respect and understand, because now I know what it looks like. Now when I draw a picture of strength in my head, it looks like a wall – quiet and intense solid and unmoving. MY strength makes no noise, and because it is so quiet, I’ve often made the mistake that it didn’t exist. But like any healthy body, my strength isn’t in my head or my heart. It is in my core, and by existing there, it supports all of me. This strength is always running in the background of my life like a program that isn’t used very often. It is so quiet sometimes I forget its there. But when trouble strikes, it pushes me out the way and takes over. It shelters me and provides me armor to fight my battles. It does not waste time with demonstrations of its force. It simply does its work when the time comes, then goes back to running in the background of my life.

So, I move on as the storms continue to rage around me. I now build things that can withstand the storms. I build as I miss my mother with a pain that hurts so much at times I cannot breathe. I build as I miss my old life and mourn the loss of relationships that I thought would last the rest of my life. I build a new life, a new me, not on the ruins of the life I had, but on a firmer foundation with a better understanding of the strength I possess.

I build, and I move on.

#myempireisbeingbuilt

I MISS MY MOM – THE ANGRY BLACK WOMAN!

My momma was an angry Black woman. But she never taught me to be one.

I don’t know this because of anything she ever showed to me. By the time I was born my mom had been under my dad’s calming and soothing influence for quite a while, so I never got to really see that side of her directed at me. I saw it directed at others occasionally. She lavished nothing but soft and gentle love on me and my dad from my point of view. But my family members had lots of stories about my angry momma from the days back in Jenkinjones, when my momma didn’t take shit off nobody. Period.

08 - chris twentysomething

My momma wasn’t for the bullshit in her day according to everyone who grew up around her. She fought a lot, and thought nothing of fighting. When the aunt who raised her and her aunt’s husband would fight, my mom would be right in the middle of it, trying to help her aunt kill her husband. My mom got kicked out of her senior prom for fighting. She even threatened to throw my dad in the creek a few times. My mom played no games. She took no shorts. You did not fuck with her. She was mean. She was angry. She was quick to throw hands, and I hear she was good at it. She would fight dirty too…if she had to. She did what she had to do to kick ass.

Angry. Black. Woman.

06 - swimsuit chris

By the time I was born, this side of my mom had been buffed away into respectability under my dad’s influence. There were no temper tantrums – we didn’t even raise our voices in my house. Every bit of my mom’s angry Black Woman traits was washed away, and the smoothly sanded face of dark-brown gentility was presented to me. Sweet, soft and endlessly kind, was she when I came to be, and that was how I experienced her through my childhood.

11 - wedding picture

48 - mom and tula in new york

33 - chris and tula in baltimoreIt wasn’t until I began dating that I began to see signs of my mom’s formerly rough exterior. She never liked anyone I dated – so much so that she often threatened to beat them up or even shoot them for imagined slights they had committed against me. (In some cases the slights were not imagined.) My mom was five feet tall on a good day, and by no means a big woman. But when she got angry at my boyfriends, or any of the men in my life, platonic or otherwise, she struck absolute fear in each and every one of them. She could shoot laser-sharp daggers from her eyes, and could cut them on sight. Her voice could become gruff and angry on a dime. The way that she could transform herself into this feared creature was astonishing. One minute she was a sweet little lady, the next she was Medusa spitting venom out of every pore. Without exception all my men friends would say, “your mom scares me Tula. I don’t want no problem with her.” And all of them, even the most shitty ones, paid my momma the utmost respect. Not just because she was my mother, or because she was an elder. It was that they weren’t entirely sure that they could beat my momma if they had to fight her. Even when she was old! You just couldn’t be sure with her. She was so quick to slice someone with her tongue, you just figured someone with that much mouth probably had hands to back it up. But you just never knew for sure. And for men, those moments of hesitation in a fight while they would be trying to assess my momma’s ability to hurt them, my momma could easily sneak them and get a crucial shot or two in. Maybe even kill them, because my momma grew up in a time when you didn’t win or lose a fight. You either survived or you didn’t. Stakes was high. So if she fought a man, she knew she had to kill him. Point blank.

19 - chris in baltimore

In some ways I envied the effect she had on people. People were afraid of my mother. They feared her. Literally. No one ever feared me. To my mind I was weak and mousy. I wasn’t a threat to anyone. No one ever worried about how I might respond to things. No one ever worried that they might make me angry. No one worried about the face of displeasure I might make at them. No one ever feared me. But they feared my mom.

03 - chris at cracker barrel

But my dad didn’t want me to be that kind of Black woman. The angry, mean, fighting kind. The kind people feared. So he raised me to be different. The exact opposite in fact. He raised me to be pliable, deferential, easy to get along with. He raised me to be nice, and kind. To be beautiful. And I was.

petula age 21

But now, I am at a stage of my life where I need to channel my kick-ass momma. In my current dark days, I need to learn how to let a muthafucka know that coming for me was a tremendous mistake.I need to learn to literally fuck shit up. I need to learn to strike fear in the hearts of muthafuckas. No one seems to think twice when its time to fuck with me. It comes way too easily. But I know I have an ancestor – my momma – who was not to be fucked with. Even into her 80s, she could look at a grown ass man who towered over her and strike fear in his heart, make him look away and shudder with fear. I need to be an angry, frightening Black woman. Someone that a muthafucka will think twice about trying. Men don’t do that with me. I’m so soft and pliable. Sweet Tula. Easily played. Always overlooked. Easy to ignore. No one has to consider me. Not like they considered my momma.

I need to channel my momma’s fight. Her anger. Her rage. Her willingness to fuck shit up, consequences be damned. As I am channeling her these days, I listen to old-school gospel music. I find I’m most connected to her as I listen to the gospel of her youth, Mahalia and James Cleveland, and the 5 Blind Boys of Alabama and Mississippi. I find the juke joint music and play it, hoping I can take the fire that raged in her and make it rage in me.

Momma – come show me how to be angry!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things I Am Learning While Building My Empire

PART ONE: THE INTENTION

I want to start with a bunch of disclaimers and contextual information.

TULA AT SHADE

I have not been building my empire very long. A few months at best. I’m very new to this, and I don’t have a lot of experience. But in spite of that, I do have a few observations to make that may sound foolish to those experienced with empire-building. So, I’m going to be exhibiting a bit of vulnerability by acknowledging what I don’t know. Additionally, I am very specifically speaking about what empire-building looks like as a woman. Empire building is a very different experience for us. It has a completely different set of trials and tribulations that have everything to do with gender and how our gender is perceived. More specifically, my observations are around what it means when a woman is doing something that she isn’t necessarily expected to do, like empire building.

Empire building requires being clear about the vision.

Even coming up with my hashtag, #myempiremustbebuilt took time. The hashtag was originally #theempiremustbebuilt, and I rolled with that for a while. But because I know being extremely clear about what you want is vital to success, I changed it. I want the empire I build to be mine. I may share aspects of it with people for our mutual benefit, but I always want to be in the leadership role of this. And acknowledging that I do want to be in the driver’s seat was a struggle – all of the negative self-talk began. “What makes you think you can do this?” became the constant question in my mind. But I have learned to counter with “why can’t I?” I mentally run down a checklist of all the things I know I am, all the things I know I have. I remind myself of the tools and skills I’ve collected over the years. And I remind myself of the time and effort I put in attempting to help other people build empires I thought I was a part of, only to discover that I wasn’t really. I remind myself of how it felt to count on others to validate my worth, instead of doing it myself, first and foremost. I remind myself of my responsibility to value myself and what I have, period. I must set my price and add tax, shipping and handling charges. That is an inside job, not something I should outsource to others. With all that in mind, I changed my hashtag to #myempiremustbebuilt. Because I do want it to be mine. I am also creating a playbook for what power and influence look like for me. How I wield power and influence isn’t going to look like what people are used to. It is not about defeat and conquering others and making them submit to my will. It is about the recognition of how creating small collectives of powerful people with the right leadership and sharing of resources can create change. But to be clear, the leadership is mine, the vision is mine. What I bring to the table that others don’t is the ability to identify others with skills and talents that they haven’t quite figured out how to maximize, while I am maximizing my own. And as I’ve gotten older, wiser, and more able to navigate my ego and my heart, I can identify that in people no matter what kind of relationship we have. My superpower is the ability to illuminate and elevate everything I touch. This is the superpower my empire is built on. It is my vibranium.

When I started using #myempiremustbebuilt as my hashtag, it was in jest. I had always wanted to really put some intention around my creative endeavors. Next thing I knew, I was publishing my book, doing some book talks, producing several really amazing shows, curating a fabulous circle of talented people who have been incredibly supportive, and who also want to build empires. And I encourage them to, in conjunction with mine. A huge part of empire-building is strategically placed allyship (more about that later.) Centralized, absolute power is not a benefit to my empire, plus I don’t want to be the only empire that exists. I need to have trade partners, I need to have defenders, I need to have thought partners, I need to have protectors and counselors. My best interests need to be the best interests of the collective, and vice versa. Most importantly, I need to make sure any enemies I have are respectful and distant. Hate me, but don’t try me.

With all that said, it is my pleasure to present CAESAR PRODUCTIONS, LLC.
Caesar Productions temp logo

To be continued…

PART TWO: EMPIRE BUILDING AND SEX

FINDING OLD STUFF…

Because I be finding stuff sometimes…

 

Single – This is about to get interesting…

struggling

As many women do when they’re newly single, I think about my exes. Exes from years past, and more recent exes. Exes I’ve written about in this blog, much to their chagrin. I revisit those relationships in my head, trying to find dangerous patterns that I may be repeating currently, or have repeated recently, making sure whatever lessons I learned in those situations are still at the forefront of my mind. And of course, I think about the sex I had with these people. One of the ways I know I’m over someone is if I can think about the sex I had with them and enjoy those memories in isolation, without thinking about other, more unpleasant parts of the relationship. Can I remember fucking them without getting upset about how we broke up or without focusing on the pain of how it ended – that is the test. After all, no matter how things ended with anyone I’ve ever dealt with, at some point that person meant a great deal to me, and there is no reason to ignore that just because it went badly. The good parts deserve their rightful place in my memory. At this point I can think about all my exes that way, except my most recent one. It’s my personal highlight reel. I remember the rainy nights, the unusual locations, the odd circumstances, the tender moments, the trips we took, the hotels we stayed in (I love hotel sex), the funny stuff, the really amazing lingerie and heels I wore, the candles, the music, the really good sleep that happens afterwards if things go well. The moment when he’s inside you and you are certain that this moment encompasses everything you need to know about the meaning of life.

These are the things I like.  These thoughts amuse me most times, and  they’re way better than porn. A man recently asked me if I liked porn, and I said “nigga, I AM PORN!” (I had been drinking at the time, I’m not sure what that even means, but it impressed him. He’d been drinking too.)

porn hub

Stop clicking it. It’s not a link. Pervert.

Sometimes doing this makes me horny, which isn’t a good thing right now. My options in that department are limited, and come with a lot of complications that I just can’t deal with right now. My emotions are all over the place these days – some days I really don’t give a fuck, others I give all the fucks in the universe. Some days I cry bitterly as I drive past my ex’s house, the tears blinding me and I have to pull over to wipe them out of my eyes. Other days I know I could put a bullet in his head and think nothing of it because he’s hurt me so deeply. I am the walking wounded. It’s not that I think I’m going to feel bad forever, because I know I won’t. I know I will get over this eventually. But I know that I need to go through the process of being hurt, and I hate that part. I hate this part. I hate the feeling lonely part, the crying part, the second-guessing the whole relationship part, the horny part, the part that needs tight hugs like I need air, the part of me that feels like I can never trust a man again, which is really bad because all my best and closest friends are men. But its good too, because they also remind me all men aren’t trash. And maybe my options aren’t as limited as I think, but I don’t have the energy to unravel those things right now. My life now requires familiar things, safe spaces, people who aren’t new to the landscape of my life. I need the security that comes with history, with extensive shared experiences, that comes with people who know me, and those are the people I am filling my life with at this time. People who I know get me in at least a few important ways.

When I started therapy in the early fall, my therapist told me to think of some things I enjoyed about being single. And I did manage to come up with some stuff that reminded me that being single does have some good stuff to it. But its just not stuff I want. Not right now. What I want is what I had…or at least what I thought I had…a happy, stable, long-term relationship. And yeah, its cool to come and go as I please, to randomly hang out with good friends, to fill my calendar with activities and projects, it still all feels like a placeholder for what I really want but can’t have right now – a relationship. I listen to people who are happily single talk about how glad they are to be away from jealous, possessive exes and situations where they couldn’t grow, or be themselves, or make progress in their lives. But my relationship wasn’t like that, which is why I miss it. I don’t want to hate being single, because I know there is a lot of value in this time of my life. My personal hashtag is #myempiremustbebuilt, and being single will likely give me the best chance at achieving the things I want to achieve. In the past, men haven’t been interested in supporting me while I built my empire. They wanted me to help them build theirs, which I did – then they got mad when I turned out to be better at empire building than they were. It was all good until I began to eclipse them, then the saltiness came.  It’s cool though – I still have love for each and every one of them to some degree – they just can’t stop me or top me. I hope they’ve each come to terms with that.

I want to enjoy this single time. I don’t want my whole existence to be centered around the absence of something, because there are really a LOT of good things in my life right now. I have some of the ABSOLUTE BEST FRIENDS and colleagues. I am proud of how I’ve curated my circle of support. They are, each and every one, amazingly beautiful human beings. I am beyond blessed to have them, and humbled that they allow me to take up space in their worlds. I have a great new job with a lot of potential. There are good things sprouting up in the cracks of my broken heart. I just have to learn how to make them grow.

 

 

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