Why I Want to Stay Single

2014 will undoubtably go down as one of the toughest years of my life–of which will become subjects to write about later on. But the apex of everything that was horrible about this year is that my seven and a half year relationship ended.

He was my first real boyfriend, we were both seniors in high school when we started talking–this was all long distance, he was in New York City and I was in Nebraska.  Over the years, we spoke every day becoming each others’ best friends, becoming so comfortable with each other that when we finally did meet, three years after first speaking, being together was the most natural thing on earth.

For reasons that will become obvious later, we broke up.  And now that I’m going off into the world all lonesome, here are the reasons why I’m going to face the challenges of my life alone for now.

I am used up.

I literally do not have any more love to give anyone right now.  I barely have enough to give myself.  I spent seven and a half years trying to move heaven and earth to accommodate him and our relationship.  I have loved enough for two people, loved enough for when my effort was all that was keeping things going.  It wouldn’t be fair to put someone in the position I was in, forcing someone else to push me along in love.

I am at my absoslute lowest.

I have been tamed and stunted by life.  Since 2010 I’ve been tossed around quite a bit and 2014 was the worst of it.  The way I feel right now must be pretty similar to how Samson felt after his hair was cut and he was captured.  Or like a forest after a wildfire has razed it.  How could anyone love me when I’m at this point, so far away from who I used to be and who I could become?

I want to have the time and space to grow into the person I want to become.

I have been with someone, with the same person, since I was seventeen years old.  I have never had the opportunity to grow alone, uninfluenced.  I want to meet myself and I don’t want someone else telling me how I should feel about myself or who I should be.  I need to recover and I can’t do that in a relationship; it’s inevitable that the person I’m with would influence me. I want to come back at full strength and even improved.  I want to explore the depths of myself that I suppress because of another person’s acceptance or not or rules of society.

I need to find someone who can handle me.

I am an unbridled force of nature.  I am chaos, creation, destruction, freedom, control, power, ambition, sex, and violence.  I am what carried my ancestors into battle–I am fearless, daring, and brave.  I am hellfire and passion.  I am absolutely bursting at the seams to be unleashed and reach my potential.

It’s going to be a long year but I know I have within me what it takes to get out of this and come out better for it.

White privilege or confidence and ambition?

I know this subject is sore for a lot of people and seems to be getting only more sore a topic.  It has caused me, someone who usually pauses and thinks about something objectively before responding or forming an opinion, to have knee jerk reactions and emotions get involved.  All sides of the conversation are guilty of defensiveness and I want to be able to have a candid and open discussion about something I encountered yesterday that I’m struggling with.  No name calling, no assumptions, nothing.  Any ignorance I may display is not intentional and I would gladly be educated if done in a respectful manner.  Trigger warning over.  It makes me so sad that I would even have to put a trigger warning instead of just being able to be open and discuss thoughtfully.  Man things have really degraded in society…

Anyway…

Yesterday I was speaking with a coworker who is an older African American lady and we were talking about how she recently graduated with her bachelor’s.  The conversation kept going and I expressed how excited I was to go back to school and I was looking forward to the challenge of law school and trying to do some good in this world.  She then brought up that she has a daughter working on her undergraduate in Criminal Justice at a community college and she will transfer to a four year university soon.  She plans to go to law school once she graduates as well.  She continued talking about how her daughter has really set herself up well for law school; she currently works as a security guard while going to school, her aunt is a Constable here in Texas and has offered her an internship, her uncle is a Yale law school graduate with his own firm in Dallas.  So I naturally asked, where is she looking at for law school.  She goes on to mention some very small, 2 or 3 tier schools and starts laughing when she says her daughter dreams of Howard or Harvard for law school but knows there’s no way she could ever get in and is just trying to get into one school in a 2 or 3 tier school.

I remained polite and the conversation moved on from there but I was troubled by her daughter’s lack of confidence in herself in her choices of law school.  Her daughter has a decent GPA.  Yes, she is at a community college, but she has really started taking her studies seriously and her GPA has gone up drastically and she will transfer to a four year school soon and will, undoubtedly, do just as well as she has been.  She seems like a very determined, hard working young woman; she both works and goes to school–this is no easy feat.  She has done everything right to set herself up for a law career and has already started studying for the LSATS.  From this description of her, I see absolutely no reason why she couldn’t get into a tier 1 school.

Then it made me think about myself in relation to this.  I went to an academically rigorous, yet small school in the Midwest that no one has heard of.  I had a decently high GPA of 3.68 and pushed myself in extracurriculars and even worked as well, though I was fortunate enough to have had enough in scholarships I didn’t need to worry about student loans and my parents were able to support me.  Unlike this young lady, I wasn’t planning on law school from my undergraduate (lack of confidence and naivete pushed me into dreams of a more academic career) and didn’t properly prepare myself like she has.  I didn’t take on internships…I worked during the summer so I could pay for next years’ expenses and I lived in the middle of nowhere.  I didn’t want to burden my parents with having to support me financially while I trotted around the globe (my dad was paralyzed in an accident in the middle of my schooling and times got rough for us).  Then I moved to Austin and I just started working.  Besides from a major in Government/International Affairs, minors in History (with an emphasis on human right’s in Latin America) and Philosophy, I have no experience with law.  I have no connections.  Nothing that will set me apart.  But that does not stop me from believing that I will only get into a tier 1 law school.  It has never occurred to me that I may fail.  I just have this faith that everything will work out right.

What is my reason for this confidence?  Is it a belief in myself that is unshakeable?  That I know what I’m capable of if given the right opportunity?  Or is this an example of white privilege?  My heart doesn’t want to believe this other theory.  I know I’m intelligent.  I know my skills.  But that comfort I have…that I know everything will work out…does this come from the advantage of privilege?  It makes me feel unworthy of any opportunity that may come my way.  As if I stole it from someone more deserving.  As if my hard work was nothing, that I was already given a head start and extra help along the way that negates my effort.

I’ve been wrestling with it ever since I had that conversation yesterday.  And I honestly don’t understand it.  I haven’t brought this up with my black, though not African American, boyfriend.  I know he would say that it is confidence in myself.  Blacks from other countries don’t seem to have strains of the same thoughts as their counterparts who have been born and raised in the United States, descending from a line of people who came here enslaved (this is an anecdotal experience based on the many interactions I have had with black, non-African Americans).  I have no one to ask about this and I want to sort out these thoughts and have an open discussion.  I doubt I will get that since I have chosen to remain anonymous on here and have a very minimal following (mostly spam people).  But please.  If you are reading this and have something thoughtful to add to this.  Please do.  I would love to speak with you and appreciate your respectful, thoughtful responses.