Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Bruh, 2014 Was One Hell of a Learning Session

By the end of each year, we flip back on old blog posts and diary pages to look at what we were so adamant about changing (or not changing) about ourselves. Praying that some inner or outer transformations occurred, trust circles shrunk and expanded, and that we know an ounce more about ourselves than we did 365 days ago. It's fun to wonder and revisit the mindset you left behind or lifted off with before all the confetti fell.  

I was flapping my gums about honoring and focusing on me this year, and I think I've lived up to that more or less. I've experienced some serious highs and lows this year, channeling both sets of emotions into understanding not only my needs and wants, but how others factor into creating said emotions. A year of focus on myself turned into even greater lessons about the people I'm surrounded by. Whether I liked it at the time or not, outside elements and personalities really helped me learn about my abilities, my distractions, my limits and my lack thereof. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Feeling Love, in Retrospect

We sat in silence, absentmindedly eyeing the backs of the wooly bus seats in front of us, occasionally stealing glances at the greenery whizzing by on our ride up from the Atlanta to New York City. Our hands were were clumsily linked at the fingers and rested on the lump of jackets between our laps. Dumb smiles plastered our 16- and 17-year-old faces. That moment could've easily been an awkward silence. But it wasn't, because just moments before, he'd asked me to be his girlfriend. And I said yes.

Before that two-week college tour spent under loose adult supervision, he and I had said no more than a few words during brief hallway huddles with mutual friends. We were simply colleagues. In time, I'd learn that the L-word was more than just part of a Hallmark card greeting and the quiet, dreadlocked boy who sat on the other side of Ms. Medlin's English class would eventually claim ownership of my heart.

I can't really recall the moment I said I love you for the first time and meant it. I'm not even sure which one of us said it first. But I know that when we exchanged our virgin sentiments, the new feeling made perfect sense. Almost seven years of uninterrupted singledom later, whatever fleeting feelings I felt then have reduced themselves to a figment of my imagination. It's not that I've become scornful of love or anything. I just… forgot. 

Some things I can still recount from our courtship. There were spontaneous trips to the Bronx Zoo and Roosevelt Field Mall during days off from school. There were times I'd visit his house to say hi to his mom, aunts, sister and little brothers, then sit on his bed not doing anything but playing Wii games, listening to Ne-Yo and (willingly) folding his laundry until it was time to head back to my side of the subway map. I remember trying to keep up with my best friend and her boyfriend to the pulse of Soca music down Eastern Parkway during the Labor Day Parade. Or that one time I went to National Wholesale Liquidators with my mother and pushed a wobbly cart down the hosiery aisle, imagining us one day grocery shopping as a couple. We talked for hours on the phone about everything and nothing as if I didn't have to get up before 6 a.m. for school the next day. Sometimes there were arguments about whatever, where I angrily hung up the phone just to see the same number call me right back minutes later, and him insisting that we just talk it out. Closing every exchange of words with "I love you." Yes, 2007 was no doubt a blissful year.

During the time we were together, my heart felt full of something. There were plenty of unforgettable experiences -- all kept in tact by Facebook pictures I refuse to delete for nostalgic purposes -- but now, I can't necessarily equate them with feeling "in love."