Friday, June 15, 2007

I recently wrote a blog where I spoke about giving up on love. I expressed my feelings about not believing in the beauty of love and all of its possibilities. I was coming from a place of raw emotion, like exposed flesh to toxic chemicals. I was feeling like that extra napkin you grab at McDonald's. You pick it up knowing damn well you don't need 10 napkins to eat some fries. But you do anyway, and as soon as you've had your fill, and your belly is full, you toss those extra napkins away. Never giving any consideration that by balling them up and trashing them, the napkin is no longer useful to anyone else. So when I made that declaration about being through with love, I was balled up, laying in the trash, feeling used and useless, unloved and unlovable. But apparently, there were lessons to be learned, even in the trash can.

After I posted that blog, I've had friends try to console me and persuade me to change my mind on the topic. During numerous conversations, I heard it all: "You can't give up on love." "He's an ass. Don't let him take love too!" "You're hurt now; but you will laugh about this later." My response?? "Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitttttt!" (gotta say it like Clay Davis from The Wire for full effect!! LOL) I would concede that yes I believe love exists, out there somewhere - just not for me. Life with the absence of love is apparently my destiny and I have to get okay with that. The conversations would continue, until they would give up, and say "Okay Janelle. Fine. No love for you. I'ma pray for you." I would just shrug and say, "Whatever, man." As I settled into this new existence, navigating the ins and outs of not caring anymore, and coming to terms with my loveless fate, a stranger said one of the most profound things to me. Someone who reads my blog that, as far as I know, I've never met, left a comment saying "to give up on love is to give up on God". Wait a minute. Give up on God? What the........? That goes against all of the thousands of dollars my mother spent on 12 years of Catholic school education. Giving up on God is a hell of an existence (both figuratively and literally, according to Sister Mary and all the other nuns who taught me). I've read this stranger's entire comment so many times, I hear those words whispered in my mind. She even took it a step further and challenged me (yes, challenged ME) to "believe in the impossible". I've carried these words around with me over the past week. Took them with me to Memphis for my sister's wedding (Beautiful by the way; another blog entry to follow). Heard these words whispering on the wind in my ear as I sat in the church during the ceremony. I knew I looked good in my dress, just didn't feel good in it. I sat there in the pew, happy for my sister and her happiness but all the time thinking about my current state of unhappiness. My tears were a mixture of joy for her and sorrow for myself because I truly believe I will never know this happiness. During the sermon,the Reverend instructed my sister and her husband to simply let go; to let go of the pain and hurt from all past endeavors. He told them in order to truly love and honor each other they must love and honor who THEY are TODAY standing before each other, ready to make this life long commitment, not whomever they THOUGHT they loved before, and the pain, anger, frustrations and disappointments those people brought to their lives. He told them if they were going to argue, go 'head and argue - just don't say and do things you wish you could have said and done to the persons who hurt you. "The person standing before you today is not the one who hurt you in your past. Remember that." He told them that a part of their commitment today was a commitment to let go and forgive the past. According to this Reverend, if they couldn't let go and forgive then they might as well give up on love now. I felt as if he were saying this more to me than to my sister and her husband. After all, I was the one who had signed my own Declaration of Lovelessness with the remnants of my broken heart. Here I was, just waiting for the ceremony to be over so I could party like a rock star at the reception, and instead I was given instructions on how to deal with my unhappiness: simply let it go and forgive. Could it really be that simple?? I wanted to yell out, "Rev, you're asking for too much! It ain't that easy, mannn!" But fear of a down home beat down for ruining my sister's day took over, and I sat there and just let his words soothe my soul and tend to my broken spirit.

Okay, now I've received the challenge from a stranger, and the instructions from a reverend (sounds like a scavenger hunt, right?? LOL), so what now??? I'm still not quite sure of who I am and what I feel. How can I believe in myself again, trust my judgement, and be confident in the decisions I make?? Honestly?? I have no freaking clue. Helllooooo, if I had all the answers I'd be making Oprah money right now, ummkaaay???LOL But seriously, I realize now that this, in and of itself, is a journey, a process. So it's okay for me to give love the "yeah right" side eye for now. It's okay for me to see a couple holding hands and feel a little sad. It's okay for me to want to scream out "Why???" at the top of my lungs. Its okay for me to rip a tshirt he gave me to shreds (damn that felt good!!! LOL) I now know I won't feel this way always and forever (the song is playing in your head now too, right??? LOL) I'm letting go little by little everyday. The burden of it all doesn't feel so heavy and cumbersome. The load is getting lighter and somewhat easier to carry. Eventually, I will forgive manchild (I'll never forget this shit though. I ain't stupid now..LOL) for the layers upons layers of lies and deceit. One day, his words and actions will no longer affect me in such a negative manner. That will be the day I have finally, simply let go. I know that day is coming: just can't tell you the exact date. What I have realized about myself is that TODAY I am okay with existing in the journey. The journey is where I need to be for a moment. And I know this journey ahead is not easy; after all is said and done, I am fighting for the life I deserve, and I fight to win . So if I backslide, please remind me of this blog posting. I promise to pick myself up and keep it moving.

While today I still don't quite believe in the existence of the beauty of love for me , tomorrow is another story. I'm okay with not knowing what it holds for me, because what I do know is that tomorrow will be vastly different from today. I have a stranger, a reverend, and, most of all, God to thank for that.

My friends, your prayers have been answered. I no longer dwell in the trash can. I accept the challenge and believe that the impossible could possibly be possible. There is a glimmer of hope for me after all.


Maria said...

And I meant every word of it!

rashad said...

I'm glad you haven't given up man..there's plenty of fun and love ahead. Like I said before, if my corrupt ass is still able to believe in love, I certainly thinkg you have a favorable fate as well.