I was sitting down on this black, sort of massage chair in his kitchen, watching him make huckleberry pie from scratch. Music from his Spotify playlist was playing in the background and I was asking questions about his life, details and experiences he had that I didn’t already know about. I watched his movements, his stance, the way he held the knife in his hand and slice through the dough, the way he even used the rolling pin. He looked over his shoulder and smiled at something I said, laughed while spreading the dough in the pan. He looked into my eyes as I spoke, noticed my wing eyeliner in the midst of making me laugh, blush, and smile. He would listen intently, responded to my comments and the story I began to tell. I didn’t know what it was about this particular moment that got me. I didn’t know why the words “I love you” popped into my head, why they pervaded my mind whenever he looked in my direction. Suddenly, everything felt normal, familiar…a home I never knew existed right in front of me. He was right there. He was it, and it was then that I had fallen for him.
Now, if you are asking if I just puked in my mouth, yes I absolutely did, currently doing so as we speak. While I agree the last couple of sentences were quite clichéd and horribly corny, I have to admit to the fact that I had once felt that way, believed in this sort of fairytale that we idolize in movies. He was my “first love” they call it, “but certainly not your last” they say (insert eye-roll emoji).
But I’ve come to a realization that this man I wrapped my entire world around, this man I had once admired, loved, and deeply cared for, shouldn’t have been my first love. I shouldn’t have fallen for him in that moment. I shouldn’t have fallen for him at all.
I should have been my first love. I should have loved myself first.
Wow, I am speaking out of tongue with these laughable clichéd phrases, but unfortunately, it’s absolutely true.
Before I met him, I was quite content with myself. I was confident, sexy, in tuned with my sexuality, felt amazing in my body and in my own skin. I was succeeding in school, I was laughing with friends, I was loving my family…and I felt free then, alive, dancing on chairs at house parties, swaying my hips, nodding my head, singing notes too high that would ultimately break wine glasses and crack window panes.
But there was something that was missing, a colossal hole inside of me that’s reluctant to be filled. I remember discussing this with one of my roommates as she noticed that something about me was off, and I had trouble explaining this strange emptiness I had, a black abyss that nudges me every time I establish some kind of serenity.
And then, you guessed it, I met him.
As you can predict, I associated meeting my ex with filling this hole inside of me. In my very blind, fairytale mind, I was “complete.” Because I viewed myself as whole when I was with him and admired who he conveyed himself to be, I convinced myself that I was truly happy, that essentially, without a man in my life, I will never be satisfied. This wasn’t a conscious thought, and I didn’t even realize what I’ve done until after the relationship ended. Actually, I didn’t realize how prominent this issue was in my life until recently.
The unfortunate aspect of this is that I’m not the only one who has convinced themselves of this ridiculous notion. Society has taught women that marriage and being in a relationship is essential for their happiness, that without a husband or even a boyfriend, they could never be happy.
I came to realize that that pit inside, that hollowness I had, should have been and needed to be filled by me and only me. It’s true when they say you are the only one that can make yourself truly happy, that no one else can. How can you expect to love and be happy with someone else when you can’t even love and be happy with yourself? How can someone else make you happy when you don’t even know how to do that yourself?
That relationship I had should have added to my happiness, and not become my happiness. Being in a relationship isn’t everything. Being in love and married isn’t everything either. But I have to admit, with social media being the ultimate depressor, it is easier said than done.
So if you ever see me at the movie theaters by myself, don’t bother me, and certainly, don’t hate.
I’m on a date.
I’m still discovering my true happiness, and ladies, there is definitely no shame in that.