I can remember a time when I sat in the abyss as I watched my friends get “cuffed” one by one. My Single Ladies days were diminishing, and instead of ladies I felt like I was the single cat lady.
I know we all hate being that only single friend left on the outside looking in. During our darkest, most self-pitied nights, we scroll down our social media timelines deciding if we actually want to like that pic where your friend and her “boo-thang” are doing something so annoyingly, nauseating, lovey-dovey, cute and oh just so filled with hearts and butterflies. So you click like, and a single silent tear rolls down your face and all you can think is…WHAT ABOUT ME?!
Please don’t get me wrong, when my sisters are in healthy loving relationships I am so supportive. I want to see my friends in love and happy, because after all that’s what I want for myself.
However, before I knew what it was truly like to love myself wholeheartedly, I would question my singleness. When is it going to be my turn? Why do I keep ending up with men who didn’t want to be devoted to me? It was like having some kind of leprosy. I mean, I’m a great catch, right? Or, is something wrong with me and nobody wants to tell me?
Well, there was something wrong with me. Something so deeply rooted, life changing, and so in my face wrong that I can’t believe I didn’t see it myself. All the while I was out trying to find someone to love me, I didn’t love me. Internally I didn’t speak highly of myself. I compared myself to every airbrushed, nipped and tucked celebrity out there, and I wasn’t happy with the woman that I saw in the mirror.
Energy is everything and when I went out with my friends they would be confident, vibrant rockstars. In my mind, I would be thinking, is it me, or does so and so have an internal fan that blows her hair back like Beyoncé when she enters a room? It was her confidence that she embodied and that made everyone take notice. (And I asked…no she didn’t have an embedded secret fan. Lol) She wasn’t like me stuck living in some unrealistic fantasy world in which I wasn’t living up to. My lack of confidence focused around body issue and the men around me took notice. Here’s one piece of advice a previous suitor gave me.
“Ebonique, if you don’t like something about yourself, you’re telling other people it’s ok not to like that about you too. Eventually, they won’t like you at all”
Well, that definitely stuck with me. I didn’t have any overnight changes in which I woke up and was like “Yaass world, I’m great!” What did happen though, was I started this internal conversation and asked myself, what exactly is it about me that I don’t like? Why haven’t I changed it? What can I do to change it? If I’m such a good catch, why can’t this be seen by others? What type of negative thoughts about myself am I allowing to steal my joy? Once I started finding the answers to these questions, I noticed something. Those invisible dark clouds that used to follow me everywhere, started opening up. I saw light. I felt air. I could breathe. I was too caught up in how the world perceived me, and if I didn’t look like so and so, than I’m not good enough.
I truly started to understand my worth, and beauty and none of it revolved around what society told me I’m worth or their depiction of beauty.
Those around me started to take notice, men would approach me in a whole new way, at first I was so shy with the attention that I was getting, but I stood proud and strong in the woman I became. I loved me. Yes, my booty is phat, and yes my thighs are large, but I am a beautiful Black woman. I wasn’t made to look like anything else, but me.
Wanting to be in a relationship with another person is not a bad thing. We should all aspire to find our other half and be in a fulfilling relationship, that is a big goal in my life. However, you must know yourself, value yourself, and be able to love yourself before you try to have those experiences with someone else.
I became content in my singleness because being in a relationship was no longer a validation of my happiness. Being single wasn’t telling the world that I’m not good enough. I know how to be happy with me alone. I indulge in the things I love. I travel, I run, I hike, I create, I hang out with my friends and I meditate.
People always want to know where I find my happiness. I tell them that is wasn’t easy, but it required self-reflection, honestly and the motivation to demand better from myself. You have to love you for you, and stop trying to measure up to everyone else’s ideas. I found happiness within, and what I manifest outwardly is Black Girl Magic.