Letting Love Bloom

…on it’s own timetable.

If you were to ask me, the number one key to unhappiness is desiring something you don’t have or dreaming of things that haven’t occurred. Whether it’s something reasonable or not isn’t the point. 

I understand that this is a touchy subject for some and speaking about it will make me seem as if I feel like I am some love expert. But I personally feel like I know quite a bit about this subject. So I’d like to briefly share with you what I’ve learned:

1. You cannot control who walks in and out of your life. You can only control your own footsteps. The person for you could walk into your life tomorrow… Or two years from now. What if that person has been in your life for a good bit of time already? You never know. Yes, you don’t know. So what’s the point of constantly being on the lookout for love when you won’t even be able to recognise it until it finds you?

2. When you focus so much on finding love (who that Special Someone will be, when you’ll find them, how old you are, what Aunt Sally said to you at the last family wedding…) you start to lose your focus on what is really important, your happiness. Be happy. Catch up on your favorite shows on Netflix, visit Costa Rica, take up a new hobby! 

3. If you are unhappy as a single person, you will be unhappy in a relationship as well. A person cannot change your emotional state permanently. If you need someone in order to be happy, what will you need next when you figure out that happiness still hasn’t occurred? 

4. Casting so much attention on “The Perfect Person” distracts you from working on being “The Perfect Person”.  There’s nothing wrong with having a list (mental or physical) of what you want in a person, but it’s important to know you have to be a certain type of person to attract the person you are looking for. Use your time to better yourself into a woman or man someone can’t live without.

5. Do you. No need to stand in front of the stove waiting for the water to boil. Or to plant yourself outside with your head tilted up to the skies in expectation of rain. A minute can feel like an hour when you are staring at the clock. Live your life. Hang with your girls, explore the world, explore yourself! Eventually the water will boil, the clouds will spill over, and the minute will be over.

Don’t worry, Be happy.

Role Modeling

Growing up, I didn’t have the most favorable circumstances. At 9 years old, I was a chubby bookworm who was new to town, living in a single -parent household. I was quiet and easily persuadable, constantly second-guessing myself and feeling misunderstood. 

I yearned for friends and acceptance and kindness, things I had just realized weren’t a reality for me in my new school. 

Picture me as the kind of child I just described. Add to Her some dorky clothes, wire-framed glasses, and a stack of books practically superglued to her hands. Oh, and she is one of the few black kids in her school. No, I didn’t say class. I said school

Of course I was bullied.

You know what helped me to come into my own and become less discouraged? It was women who were older than me who took an interest in me and took time to get to know me. They saw potential and beauty in me though it was difficult for me to see it in myself. They took me to the city fair when my mom was at work, they let me enjoy their pets when our apartment didn’t allow them, they shared with me their stories when I was dealing with things I couldn’t fully understand. They were the good example I needed and the close friends I yearned. 

Granted, I was still bullied in school. I’m not at all saying that their presence and companionship somehow made me less of a dork. I still made straight A’s, I still defended the Special Ed. kid everyone always tormented, and I still looked just as special as he did probably. 

    

It took time for me to completely come into my own, to really know who I am and who I’m not. To be completely honest, I didn’t fully start to understand who I really am until I moved to New Orleans and had to make decisions for myself. But that is just a part of growing up. 

You won’t know who you are at 9 years old. You won’t at 13 years old either. Few know who they are at 16. Add roadblocks and temptations to the equation and it gets even harder. But in all honesty, I know that the time I spent with these “special friends” from age 9 to 18 shaped me to be a better person. 

All of us can choose to be a significant part of a young person’s life in this manner. 

Be there. Show them what life can be like if you live it in the right manner. Teach them that life goes on though today was bad or this month or this year. Assist them in working through their problems. Share with them your journey, your memories, your mistakes. Be their friend.

This world isn’t getting any better. Think about the issues and struggles you faced when you were young. Multiply it by 10. Young ones have it hard. Some of them have to overcome adult-sized problems. We all have the power to alleviate some of the pressure and stress these kids have to go through. It just calls for a little effort and initiative.