"Do you think I like him? You know me better than anyone else in the world. You can answer this question." "You do," my best friend said to me. "You do, but you've always found reasons not to pursue anything more. Your biggest excuse to not pursue things is that you need to focus on yourself and your career, yet you're able to have late weeknights with him, date-adventures with him, and talk to him daily. He knows you on an intimate level, different than how other guys know you."
I stood there in silence as her words replayed over and over again.
She ended the conversation by asking me, "So what does that say?"
I smiled because whether I was aware of it or not, I like him. I definitely like him.
A lot of people never really understood why I stayed single for so long. Sometimes, when I'm out with my girlfriends on a Thursday night, I would get bombarded with questions such as, "How does a girl like you not have someone special in her life?" No matter how hard I would try to beat around the bush, it was almost impossible to escape everyone's burning question and curiosity about a personal life that didn't belong to them. At the core of it, I knew that these men could not wrap their heads around the idea that someone like me can actually stand her ground and be completely satisfied with herself. Little did they know that the confident and energetic girl who has no trouble approaching them is the same girl who experienced a lot of pain and heartbreak.
At the time, I was extremely content so when these situations arise, it was almost easier to smile my way through conversations as I continued to explore my pool of temporary options. My mantra was simple. Like the guy enough to give him bits of your time, but not enough to give him your full-self. This meant that I never felt the urge to give any of these guys my loyalty, my trust, and my commitment. After all, if you're not bae, you don't get bae privileges.
While I was having a good time and enjoying myself, my career was the only thing that was running through my mind. At the time, I was spending money that I didn't have and my freelancing work was not enough to help me sustain myself financially. At one point, I had to turn down every dinner dates with friends because I could no longer pull money out of my savings account. The last and final thing I could even think about is finding myself a boyfriend.
So for 6 months straight, I began to hustle. Once I got into the momentum and flow of things, I started to hear back from companies and had at least 3 interviews scheduled every single week. During that time, I was consistently talking to one person every single day, but I never put much thought into it since my biggest fears has always been that I would somehow end up losing my sense of ambition and drive.
One night, while I was laying on my bed after a long day at work, I pulled out the book that I've been completely obsessed with and that was when everything hit me. I've been living in my own fears for way too long. Immediately, I felt a strange mental shift and the rest was history.
My former self always praised her independence and feared anything or anyone who might threaten it. I was wrong. I was so wrong. I've never been more independent in my entire life.
Nowadays, I get to eat the food that I want to eat, buy myself something nice every once in a while, and enjoy quality time with a very quality man. "You mean this entire time....this is what I have been so afraid of?"
One of the lessons I've learned is that I am by no means giving up my current path to be on an indefinite pause. I am still working hard and my career is still running on my mind (probably more now than ever). This time, however, everything is different. Now I have someone I can share my struggles and successes with. The good and the bad.
I'm extremely excited for us and for our journey. I am also proud of myself for going after something even if it means I'm holding on to dear life and hoping it won't leave me broken like the last. Did I also mention how exhilarating it feels to conquer a fear and kicking it right in the booty? Try doing something that scares you and let me know how it goes ;-) Until then, Fight On!