What I Learned on My Vacation

Remember when you had to write those essays in elementary school about your summer vacation? Mine was always boring since we never went anywhere for the summer. More than likely I was enrolled in science camp like a big nerd. Well, on this vacation, I had quite a bit of time to think about myself, who I am and where I want to focus next year.

1. Free Indeed
I’m a 31 year old single black girl – unattached and free. Meaning, I can do whatever I want. I can go on vacations without asking permission, I can spend all my money on shoes, I can eat chocolate at 7:30 in the morning. That’s something to celebrate. But moreover, because I’m free, I need to find someone else that is free also. Someone who is available and willing to work with me to define our path together. For the past couple of years I have been limiting my freedom by attaching myself to men who weren’t free. Men who were too emotionally scarred to open themselves up to love or who were too selfish to only want to explore a relationship with one person. Men who were already committed or entangled in some way with other women. Men who weren’t confident in what they had or who they were.

The thing is, I don’t have to be patient while you get your “situation” under control, or figure out what you are going to do with your life, or work through your fear of commitment. Call me when you get it together and get free yourself, because that’s where I’m at. Catch up!

2. Family Matters
Living in Africa and understanding more about the communal culture over here has shown me more that my relationship with my family needs some serious reconstruction. I’ve treated my family with a kind of detached interest, flying in for holidays, talking to family periodically about mundane things, intervening financially or emotionally only when necessary.

We are a family that has been broken. The pieces have been taped back together but the essence of us has never been the same. But I envy other families, where mothers and daughters talk through their problems, where siblings are best friends, where they love to spend holidays together. I would like to see my family strengthened – and that is going to take work.

3. I Am Ready for Love
The single black woman shtick has gotten old. I mean, I’ve done it well, if I may say so. I’ve kicked it. But now, I’m ready to develop something with someone, to talk about our plans for the weekend, to wake up beside and cook breakfast for. I’m ready to start sharing my life with someone. In other words, I’m ready to settle down.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this, in particular, I’m wondering what is thedifference between settling down and just settling. Now, I believe that people who want to get married, make decisions that lead them towards getting married. I obviously haven’t made those choices. But I’m ready to start making more decisions that point that way.

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