The other night a friend asked me who is the person that broke my heart. All I could do is chuckle. The timing of the question was inconceivable. My ex’s birthday just passed. John Legend’s Green Light was playing in the background. In 2009, I gifted tickets to the Evolver concert to my ex, which turned into more of a parting gift rather than a birthday gift. We broke up days before Valentine’s Day. The irony. I have tons of thoughts about that relationship around this time of year, but to vocalize it is a delicate topic.
If I go back ten years I would have never expected to become heartbroken by a woman. Let alone the emotional path of falling in love with one. I shared with my friend the relationship ended because ultimately we wanted different things. I was asked if I still love her. I said, “Yes. I believe you never stop loving someone you just move forward in spite of.” I know for certain I couldn’t have said that back then.
That relationship ending led to me seeing a therapist trying to find resolutions to questions in my head centered around my sexuality, abandonment, guilt and an accumulation of past and present issues. Instead of running from problems and jumping into another relationship I found myself sitting in calmness with myself for the first time. I would discuss these hardcore issues with my therapist and spend time reflecting with the pursuit of internal growth. Each session I was unpacking some aspect of trauma that was unacknowledged but engrained in my behavior. I began journaling about my past thoughts, present actions, and future wishes. I started having settle conversations with my mom and identifying the correlations between the two of us. I realized our relationship was strained because we are just a like. I sought counseling for one relationship and it helped me with my most significant relationships among family and friends.
Coming out of that relationship created so many teachable moments. It took me several years to become myself again. The aftermath has heightened my self-awareness and transformed my ideology on relationships. I vowed to myself that I would do better by myself and to others with no attachment to the outcome. I came to grips with my sexuality. I believe sexuality is fluid. I believe sexuality is fluid if you allow it to be. The Kinsey Scale assigns three categories to people - heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual on a seven point scale. Through the years I’ve teetered the scale and have come to the conclusion for me it is really about the connection. I have specific characteristics that I am looking for that I believe will complement me in a partnership. I just don’t know whom.
I would have never expected to be single for ten years. I thought I could be healed and jump back in the dating pool, but bobbing and weaving through friends advice and dating apps has been daunting project to say the least. Often I felt like when I was healing, society sped up and I got lost in the shuffle unable to catch up. While I was learning my standards others were swiping right and lining up dates. Regardless of me knowing a lot of people, I still feel lost in the crowd when it comes to dating. Trying to figure out this casual love game, I refuse to play. Perhaps, I serve with too much intention.
Around the age of 32, I finally got some bravado about myself. I have a couple of degrees, worked in corporate America and newly pursuing my entrepreneurial plans. I have some experience. I know somethings. I’m qualified. I felt good about myself. On the other hand,
I had a difficult conversation with myself about the possibility of being single for the rest of my life. I don’t remember all of my thoughts, but when I looked around I felt like the odds were against me in that specific area of my life. As a Libra that strives for balance I had no answer on how to equalize professional and personal success. Somehow, at that moment, I came to terms with it. I no longer know how much of it is an option or just letting the dust settle. It is what it is. But I had to learn to release myself from the pressure of dating.
With a few success there comes a ton of challenges. Those are not seen or bragged about. Truthfully, one of the biggest things that has made me reluctant about dating is understanding my value as a person when finances are removed. I don’t expect to carry the load, but I also don’t want to be a burden to anyone. For so long money has been attached to my ego. It has been hard to separate the two and stand as whole person and feel like a contributor. The inconsistent cashflow has made it stressful on gauging what is priority. Often I felt guilty if I treated myself to little things let alone accompanying with someone else.
For the past six months I’ve been working hard and finally feel on solid ground. I see my therapist once a month. I started working full time, business is better and I’m following my budget. Oh and I dropped a few pounds. I’m grateful for those small wins that have allowed me to embrace the total state of happiness. The number ten represents completion of a cycle or a new beginning. I have evolved! I’m not saying in 2019 I am diving into the dating pool, but I am at a place where I am at peace and progressing in all aspects of my life. My heart and calendar is open! This is the best place a single person can be that is willing to return to love.
“Love is where you find it. If you lie about that, you lie about everything.” James Baldwin
Michelle Ngome is a podcaster, speaker and two-time author of Success Undefined and Network, Navigate & Nurture. She host the Networking With Michelle Show podcast. Currently, Michelle serves as the founder and President of the African-American Marketing Association. Michelle’s imprint includes Inc., American Express, Moneyish, eWomen Network, Mashable Houston, People Fund, WomeneurCon and a lot more.