I talked myself in and out of this topic about three times before I opened my laptop to write. Before I get into this topic, I want you all to know I talked to my ex about what I was sharing. We are still friends, I still think he is a great guy, and I don’t have any regrets about that relationship. We don’t men/ex bash over here.
What’s on your mind? The question that Facebook has always asked. The question that is sometimes filled with the truth and for others what they wish their truth was. You don’t have to stunt for the book…We know you in real life lol. I have seen relationships begin and end. I’ve seen job promotions and the start of new businesses. I have watched friends carry their babies for 9 months and I’ve seen those same babies get ready for their first day of school. I have cried with Facebook friends as they have had to bury loved ones, celebrated with them as they have moved, graduated and got a new car. I’ve seen the weight loss pics, the sweating in the gym pics, and if you’re like me, gain some of it back pics (me and food need to break up for real this time lol).
What am I saying?? Social media, the internet, these apps…play a big role in every aspect of our lives and we want to share it. Likes don’t motivate me but they’re cool (my love language is affirmation lol) …But if your life is consumed with “likes” then the absence of those blue thumbs have the potential to break you too. So, before I get started forreal I want you to know this blog is all over the place…I had a topic in mind then as I started writing it took on a mind of its own. So, here’s a very honest part of my life…a part that I haven’t shared because of fear…a part that has been dormant for exactly 9 months and now it’s time for me to release this thing.
I pride myself on being open and honest. Probably because I don’t think there are enough people who are honest…or at least honest where it matters. Ya know? Honest about the things that could actually help the people who are around us. We all have those people who post EVERY aspect of their lives…*Going to the bathroom* *Opening the refrigerator* *Smelling the milk to see if I can get away with it another day* *changing the light bulb*…you get it lol! Being a “public figure” I didn’t mind sharing pieces of my life because if people can draw strength from it, I was cool. If you are new to this blog, please take some time and read some of the other pieces. I talked about being a side chick, I talked about my sex life, I talked about how I struggled with having an ethnic name…there’s not too much I won’t talk about. If I’m getting free why not help others too. I have had guest bloggers talk about subjects like infidelity and another one about racism.
However, there was a part of my life that I never discussed on social media and this is partly because it was nonexistent. I had everything I wanted…a good job, a couple of degrees, a wonderful and supportive natural and church family, money, a reliable car (nothing fancy but it’s paid for), a place to call home with awesome roommates but there was something that I couldn’t buy, something that I couldn’t control (I am a control freak), something that I had to wait for (I am a bit impatient too) and that was love.
My last exclusive relationship was with my high school sweetheart, 8.5 years ago, in between that time and when my ex and I got together I was in that side chick situation (Read “Confessions of a Side Chick) and some sex situations (Read “Divorced at 19” and “Sex and the Single Woman”) not to mention online dating (oops did I say that?).
If I had a penny for every time someone told me I was a good catch I could buy a #1 from Chick-fil-a by now…Dr. Pepper, hold the pickle….and don’t forget my honey mustard. You’re such a good listener, you’re so pretty, you have it all together (whatever that means), you have a good job, you’re educated, blah blah blah. I couldn’t help but to think that there was something wrong with me. If I’m everything that they say I am then why can’t I get a man. I’m watching others get in relationships and I know…never mind. So, I had a friend that suggested online dating. Initially, I was like, “nahhhhh bruhhhh” because in my mind only desperate people do this…in my mind ugly people do this (just being honest), and in my mind, I was neither one of these things. My friend told me she had tried it and met some cool people then I began to get intrigued by the idea of it…I told you I was being honest.
I felt like I was in a build a bear workshop. They would know from jump street that I was a church goer, I was very tall, I wasn’t into smokers, wasn’t into people who practiced other religions, and the list goes on. All I had to do was adjust the age, job, family, and religion filters accordingly, right?
One evening while chilling I get a notification that someone liked my profile. I see his picture...he’s cute, educated, a Christian, we like the same music…ok, I see you…now what? I’ve never done this before…how do you start off the convo? Hi? We start to converse…he’s a lawyer, found himself on the site because he didn’t have time to date the traditional way, said I was beautiful and wanted to know if I was interested in dinner. I watch too much TV so of course I play out all these lifetime movie scenarios where he follows me home, or puts something in my drink, or tries to take my goodies.
I told him that I would like to talk a little more before meeting and he agreed. We decided to talk on the phone…he gave me his number and I blocked my number before calling. The phone rings twice, the person says hello, and I immediately look at my phone three times to make sure I had dialed the right number because his voice, this voice was sooooo familiar. When I tell you this dude sounded just like Lil’ Wayne. I knew it was too good to be true, I knew there was a catch. I can’t date Lil’ Wayne!!!! Buttttttt it wasn’t a deal breaker…We would continue like this before I finally gave in and decided to meet him. We went to a nice restaurant. Of course, I brought my purse because I was not going to assume that he was paying. I decide to wear flats and I’m so glad I did because he was a little shorter lol. If I would have worn my heels I would have been 6-7 inches taller than him. He talked about himself the whole time…IN THIRD PERSON…that was annoying. We went out one other time then I was like, “you know what? I’m good”.
Why did I let someone talk me into doing this if I was content where I was? Because I wasn’t content! I felt like my clock was ticking and I didn’t have a man, a prospect, a potential, a date and I WANT BABIES!!!!! I was 24 and some change and my little sister is preparing for marriage and even my little brother had a girlfriend…what was I doing wrong. I was tired of playing the game…” don’t be too available but don’t play too hard to get” “Don’t answer the phone all the time but let him know you’re interested” …Why can’t I say, we’re both single, we like each other, we have some things in common, we see eye to eye on core values…can we go to the movies or nah? Oh, that’s right because that’s thirsty.
After my online dating flop, I decided to pour myself into my 9-5, my Coach Jaleesa endeavors, and into school….and then it happened. When I wasn’t looking for it, when I wasn’t expecting it…he came out of nowhere. He (my ex) could dance, sing, cook, he was funny, family-oriented, he went to church, had a nice car, had money, no kids, had a job, a degree, and he treated me like a queen. Honey, I was on cloud nine!!! We spent hours on the phone talking about everything! Music, books, politics, family, life regrets…you name it! It didn’t take long for us to make it official.
I did something I had never done before (maybe because I had not had a boyfriend in the 8 years I had a Facebook lol) I made my relationship “Facebook official” after 6 weeks of dating. This announcement received 400+ likes, 80+ comments, phone calls, texts, and inbox messages…someone even shared it lol (didn’t know it was that deep lol). I still waited a few weeks before even posting a picture and I never tagged his name. Why? Because my life was public and his was not. I knew people would try to friend request him and/or stalk his fb page. As our relationship progressed so did my business. He was supportive of the business and was not upset that I had to “pencil in” our dates. At this time, I was booking sold out events just about every weekend while still working my 9-5.
Not too long after getting together I quit my full-time job. He was there for all of it. One day while talking about the future of Coach Jaleesa he makes a comment that I laughed at in the moment but it stuck with me. He said, “Jaleesa, I will not be the Stedman to your Oprah”. He was laughing but I am a person that believes there is seriousness in every joke…. I played along but I put that mug in my pocket. Christmas was great, Valentine’s Day was amazing…what happened next I wasn’t prepared for…He broke up with me. Why? “Because my success was emasculating”. My response: “I wish you would have said that you were cheating”. In my mind, if he was cheating at least I could change my hair and/or my wardrobe so he could see me stunting on Facebook and see that his new chick ain’t have nothing on me. Childish…I know. But my “success”, as he called it, I couldn’t change. I couldn’t change the degrees, the hard work, the sweat and tears. I couldn’t reverse the decision to quit my job.
I brought back to his remembrance that Stedman and Oprah joke. He said that he wanted to be with me but he didn’t feel good enough…felt like he needed to accomplish more. Told me I knew what I wanted in life and he didn’t. This was a Friday in March. I went through so many emotions…I was hurt because you knew I was “Coach Jaleesa” before we made it official. I was mad because I felt embarrassed…not only did I make this relationship public but I couldn’t keep a man for 6 months…I’m the one who had advice for everyone else, the one who was a crying shoulder to everyone. I was angry because you’re breaking up with me for the things that make me great. I felt sick to my stomach. Men are quick to say that they don’t want a gold digger. They don’t want someone who is dependent. Yet, when a woman has it “together” it’s too much…. it’s emasculating.
I called my mother, voice cracking and words mumbled. I told her that she always taught me to go after what I want and as bad as I was hurting that I would not dumb myself down or dim my light to make him comfortable. I cried the remainder of that day. Saturday my homeboy made me get out the bed. He called and asked me if I had showered…. “NO!”. “Jaleesa, get up and shower I can smell you through the phone. I’m not playing! I’m on my way over there!” I showered because I knew he was serious lol. He came over and reassured me it wasn’t me. “There is nothing wrong with you”, he said. I believed him but tell that to my hurt feelings. My homegirl came over with Cookout milkshakes (mine had extra Reese’s) and of course it’s not a break up without playing “Brokenhearted” by Brandy ft. Wanya Morris from Boys to Men. I sat in the dark the rest of Saturday. Sunday I danced…because that’s what I know to do. Monday, I put my feet on the floor to get out the bed but I couldn’t get the top half of my body out the bed. Oh, but Tuesday! Tuesday I went to 5 a.m. prayer and I asked the Lord to heal my heart. I had too much work to do...and I had spent one too many days crying over this. I literally felt the Lord heal me in prayer. I haven’t cried a tear since March 8th.
I didn’t change my Facebook status to single, I just removed it altogether lol (I literally just made it public yesterday). I didn’t bash him and I didn’t post those bitter posts about being single or finding a good man. I had my moment privately. Ladies, PLEASE don't let everyone see your meltdown. No one should ever know what you are going through via a facebook status! Wanna know my 4 statuses posted after my break up?
See? No "I can do bad all by myself", "I wasted my time", "Men are stupid" posts. Why? Because every experience is a learning one.
I wanted to write this because I wanted to be free. That relationship ended 9 months ago, and this is my first time saying anything about it because I was afraid of what SOME people would say.
That day I got myself together I continued with my ABC’s of Success. The letter was G. I put on makeup and combed my hair and I declared that successful people knew how to “Get over it and Give God Glory”. And that’s exactly what I did. Since then I have hosted numerous events,
completed a 3-part tour, started a blog ;-), started preparations to write my first book and the list goes on. Whewwww I feel so much better. Never will I ever keep my truth to myself because of fear of what people will think. The reality is they are dealing with their own demons, their own relationship issues (or lack thereof), their own insecurities, their own successes, and their own statuses. Thank you guys for reading this long tail blog lol.
Questions, concerns, or comments? You can comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Love you guys!
**Coach Jaleesa announcement** We all need motivation sometimes, right? Starting January 2, 2017, I will send out weekly encouraging emails. They will serve as subtle reminders to keep pushing, be encouraged, keep pressing and go after IT! Whatever your “it” is ;-) If you are interested in being added to this email list, please send me an email at email@example.com and use subject Email Encouragement. I promise it will only be once a week and no spam!