The complexities of our twenty-somethings. You know, that time when you expect all of your dreams to come true— the finances, the family, the house. You’ve figured you’ve done everything right to your standard and your waiting for the shit to fall in line. As a almost thirty year old, I’m hype that all of my shit is falling into the places I need them to fall into. Of course, I wanna be a millionaire, living in Potomac, Maryland by next May, but for what it is… it is. I’ve watched the demand for more, more, more plague the women within my social class. I’m not gonna front as if the More More More gawds don’t African dance on my conscience from time to time. I think that’s a normal thought process in early adulthood, but when your functioning, self worth and happiness is thrown off because of it… Houston, we have a problem.
So peep, sometimes my grandiosity is what keeps me pumped up. I like to consider myself the love child of Michael Jordan & Allen Iverson. On one hand, I’m all of A.I. : rebellious, possibly a team player but don’t really got time for that shit, I rather look trendy at work than dress up, I’d put my [baby moms] out the house naked if she got crazy.
On the other hand, I’m Jordan in his prime cause I’m killing ’em! 1) I’m young and making strides in my career as a young, free-spirited, Black woman, 2) my credit and money management skills are A1, 3) I am the decendent of Queens (and drug lords but…), 4) I’m my own happiness, and 5) I have family and friends who love and support me beyond measures.
Nevertheless, as the drum solo of the More More More performance begins in my mind, the beat starts conjuring up my doubt and like a harvest god reacting to the rhythmic request of his people, my AI plague takes over and reminds me:
“Sis you the best, but you ain’t got a RING RING!”
But I’m not mad. This is the way I see it and I hope my perception eases someone’s anxiety today (especially, my man’s LOL) and opens their mind to consider their own story in relation to their wants and needs.
Last night, I sat with two of my close friends for 5 hours—over tacos and Coquito. For about three years, we have been a conversational quad consisting of love, support, disagreements and building up ourselves and each other simultaneously. They are a tad bit older—in age and experience—than I am and we all wear different [womanly] hats: wife, mother, sister, etc. In our imperfections, we’ve learned so much from one another’s successes and failures.
Our conversation began with the moms discussing parenting struggles, and with two mental health clinicians in the room we inevitably ended up citing how one’s own trauma subconsciously seeps into one’s behaviors, expectations, standards, and determines the lens from which one sees his/her life. By the time the Coquito hit, the unanimous opinion about what we choose to accept and how we weigh our success is based upon this Black Catholic proverb: a communion cracker tastes like the greatest meal you’ve ever had, if ya ass has starved your whole life.
Living in a capitalist society, we can all agree that the belief that our starvation has ended is confirmed the moment we attain some coin stability, some status and a leased E-Class Benz (All white, tinted or keep it!)
Even our male counterparts are more inclined or look forward to giving us our 6th ring once his money is right. It’s just our nature. Once your 5 rings are stacked, the “what’s wrong with me?”, and the “imma be single forever!” kicks in. Like sis…you 28! Are you sure you gonna be single forever, ever? Girl, once those thoughts take over, your mind literally goes into survival mode.
I know you’ve seen Saw 1,2,3,4,5,a,b,c and The Final Chapter, when fairly healthy and thriving humans—stuck in a little basement for excessive amounts of time— start eating their co-workers, cutting their limbs off , and killing their partners to get the fuck out. That’s us. The ‘Jordan but also A.I.’ girls. Once successful women realize they have everything BUT a ring, they are down to the homeless shelter with a sign offering their resources and traumatized hearts to any Will Smith, on the bathroom floor crying with Jayden, who will write them a poem.
No shade to Will. He was a good ass father…
My point is: What’s the race?
Have you checked your trauma?
What impact will your unchecked trauma have on your life partner and your current/future children?
In recent years, I’ve admitted [aloud] how much my paternal displacement affected my perception of love, parenthood, and relationship longevity. Much of my early twenties were spent waiting for someone to fuck up so my theory on men and “betrayal” was supported by evidence. Men leave you. They take what they need, they care about you in relation to how well you meet their needs, and once whatever void is filled… they are on their ashy ass way; a stronger, well loved and confident being; while women wail in the conviction of our feelings of abandonment; awaiting a healer that never comes.
I waited for any man to prove me wrong, while pushing them as far away from me to ensure I was capable of staying afloat when they ultimately proved me right. As a vieja, I can admit what I really wanted was/is to be saved from my own trauma and emotional miseducation. I still wanna be proven wrong. I want it to be confirmed that I am worthy of hanging around for, making sacrifices for and being chosen first. Because when you have been a second tier priority to men in your life, you either think it’s normal and milk it for all you can get (painful or not) or you want different… you demand more. Both reactions are legitimate, human and worthy of empathy.
In my current relationship, I beat myself out of the mindset that my partner must continuously prove to me that he is permanent. Yes, it is his job to ensure I am secure in his love, but it is not his responsibility to single-handedly undo my trauma. In an unprocessed mindset, he could jump out the window, risk it all, and the “6th ring” would be the ultimate proof of his commitment to my crazy ass, right?
It would only further perpetuate the main premise of my abandonment (that I just made up by the way): your promises, false hope, words over action, shiny tools of distraction, and superficial protection is what makes your love genuine, long lasting and permanent. And that’s a bald head lie! For me anyway, because sometimes absent parents come with all of that and guess what… they are still absent. When I receive my 6th ring, I want it as a token of our hard work, healing, and comradery through the fight against trauma… not as a Band Aide for it.
We gotta be solid and ready because ain’t no leaving me. Ain’t no “this wasn’t the right time?”. Ain’t no “I wasn’t ready, but that’s what shorty wanted and because she held me down so long…. I thought I may as well.” Ain’t none of that! Obligation and “may as well” is why I have paternal issues in the first place, and although the thought of my partner perpetuating my trauma feels safe, familiar and comforting…
This is my stance, saints, and if you disagree with me I respect that. If it’s happening and it’s right, do your thing, congratulations and I’m sincerely happy for you. BUT IF IT AIN’T HAPPENING AND YOUR TIRED OF WAITING… CALM TF DOWN AND THINK. If your idea of marital union is about trips, IG posts, finally not shacking up ’cause ya mama been judging, a bomb ass ring and a wedding dress sent from the gawds… I get it because the instant gratification is intriguing AF. The reality is longevity aint cheap. If longevity isn’t what you want, I got a cousin in Jamaica who’s been selling cocaine since he was 13 years old and will be your husband for 3 years MINIMUM; paying rent, taking you back to Kingston annually, Buju Banton performing at the reception… all that.
(Leave a comment below).
But if you’re looking for love, togetherness, longevity and growth, I implore you to use your partner to facilitate healing in advance. Take time to resolve your shit because I can bet my God Father’s dentures that your impatience has nothing to do with running out of time or having so much love to give that you can’t wait anymore; and more about unhealed wounds and fears needing direct attention. I have faith that what’s for us is for us. Do you not see how we’ve stormed into the major corporations, courtrooms, hospitals, classrooms, congress, motherhood, pain, progress, abuse, grief, mental health, racism… and how we’ve refused to negotiate our worth? Demanded change? Demanded acknowledgment? Your love life, your healing, your ‘partner in everything’ deserves that same challenge. Chill on rushing my God’s hands, sis.
Every player on the Cavaliers has a ring, even that 18 year old Rookie who played all of 3 minutes the entire season. Even with no ring, Allen Iverson’s tenacity, passion and drive is unmatched. Once your foundation is strengthened, everything will fall into place. I promise.
To ” The Allen Iverson Girls, who’s 5 golden rings are enough!”, be encouraged!