A classmate of mine recently told me how lucky I was to be in such a “perfect relationship” I had to stop her there because there’s no such thing.
Maybe its the fact that I rarely post about us that sets this illusion to those who normally don’t spend much time with me and bae, but the idea that we live in a time in which the health of your relationship or “situationship” is scaled by the content you post still drives me a bit nuts.
The truth of the matter is, social media can easily portray a fairytale or a horror story depending on who is behind the caption.
This post highlights what worked best for me and it serves as a testimony for those currently going through what I did.
My mother was the first person I went to the first time I got played. I grew up in a pretty balanced household, as traditional as my parents were with their Dominican values and spirituality, my house wasn’t a machista setting. A setting that is pretty normalized in Latin American culture.
When my mom decided to go back to college eighteen years ago my dad took over our morning routines – which included braiding my hair right before school. They took turns with the cooking and my dad ironed and washed his own clothes
I mean my dad was a low key chef who could take care of the house as well as himself and my mom was a girl boss who did great in college while being a mom and running her own corner store in North Philadelphia.
These simple actions set both an example of how teamwork was important in a relationship but also set the standard high for the man I would marry in the future. However, people have a way of surprising you. They can seem one way and turn out to be completely different.
My mom gave me the best advice the day I told her about my situationship. First, although I had guys in mind that I could date, she told me to give myself time to heal. She also told me to fall in love with myself, get to know me and more importantly focus on the learning experience.
Second, she told me that moving forward she wanted me to keep five aspects of a healthy relationship in mind: trust, love, good communication, honesty, trust, and healthy intimacy. When one is missing, an unbalanced vibe will surround the relationship.
While many look down at community colleges, I am grateful for the path I took and the amount of money I saved as well. What I’m most grateful for was the opportunity to meet creative individuals that were highly motivated on making it somehow. These individuals saw something in me that was bigger than what I have ever imagined.
The environment at CCP was diverse and refreshing, it was exactly what I needed to recover from a recent death in the family and the weird situationship.
The creatives that were there for me those years know who they are and they also know that they’re the main reason I started my clothing line.
While attending CCP I was introduced to a world of underground music, art, and fashion enthusiasts. Every weekend, I explored the city that I ignored for so long. I fell in love with thrifting and fashion expression. The networking led me to an internship with RecPhilly, slowly I found myself embracing the music that I once was too timid to represent. This era of my life cultured me and pushed me to embrace the oddities of my bi-cultural identity. This era also introduced me to my love for traveling.
At nineteen I was able to experience studying abroad with friends and dope professors. I realized I wanted to explore the world and immerse myself in history while studying the Mayan pyramids and the indigenous people in Yucatan, Mexico.
We are in the age of “self-love,” but in my early twenties, it wasn’t something that was spoken of too often. The simplicity of a quote like “If you don’t love yourself, you cant love anyone,” may seem like a no-brainer, but I would witness women fall out of character and lose their principles over men didn’t value them.
Women who were beautiful and smart had the lowest self-esteem, this would somehow ruin their situationships. I could have been one of them. I got to get to know myself so deeply, that I knew my road to self-love wouldn’t be over anytime soon.
I decided that I would invest in my happiness and peace of mind. I got in the habit of self-evaluating my day at night. I would ask myself what were the mishaps of the past 15 hours? Did I handle certain situations correctly? What would I do differently next time?
I became a better person throughout those four years and changed many bad habits that were enabling me from being a better person. At one point, all of my friends were in a relationship and while no one believed me, I was truly happy alone. I loved being alone.
People couldn’t understand why I didn’t have a boyfriend. They would ask me “are you picky?” or “Are you not over so and so”? I didn’t feel lonely, I felt free.
Now, don’t get me wrong I LOVE being in a relationship now, but if I couldn’t have been happy alone, how was I ever going to be happy in a relationship?
To the person going through a similar situation, just know it gets better, but focus on yourself and growth. `