At seventeen, I didn’t know what love was, nor did I know how to find it, but I knew that everything in me was screaming for it.
It wasn’t until I was in my twenties, however, that I realised there were more to the typical equations of love that had been portrayed to us through social media, media and other pop culture items, but that the ideals of love are complex in their nature - because we are complex in our nature.
I am simply, a complex kind of love. And that's okay.
I watched Girls Trip recently, it was a beautiful story. I appreciated the story of Black women friendships and developing strength through one another. With very beautiful actors...and fruit.
However, one scene that stood out to me. When Ryan, played by the beautiful Regina Hall, asked her long-time unrequited love interest Julian, played by the also beautiful Lorenz Tate, why he hadn’t been in a relationship and began to allude to him playing the field as the tortured artist, he laughed and rebuffed her.
But it was what he said next that blew me away.
‘I just haven’t found my equal.’ Finding your equal.
A lot of the time we try to reach out for companionship. We yearn for it in ways that are sometimes disastrous and on the brink of compulsion. In doing so we search high and low for the people that make us ‘whole’.
We trick ourselves into thinking we are broken because, arguably, that is what we are told. Singleness is seen as negativity. Disruption. It is seen as loneliness, not aloneness.
All relationship should be an ‘addition’. What about looking inward and realising you are your equal?
I sit down at my desk, longing for the return of my black coffee, rubbing my head and worrying about the impending pressure of the durag lines, thinking about whether because I don’t love parts of myself, is it really causing me to be blinded from finding what I would consider my equal?
From finding love? For feeling as if I wasn't enough for it?
This was a recurring feeling. Since 2014, I have embarked upon an internal journey to healing, that has been both a crushing and nourishing voyage through feelings. Feelings of worth, and how necessary I am to the conversation on love, and whether I am deserving. The thoughts recur, and I continue with my day, but I am nonplussed most days when I find myself deep in thought and feeling, wondering when I will meet my equal.
This is by no means supposed to be a long winding essay where I come up with some kind of answer telling you what to do. This is my sounding board. If you relate, you relate. If you don’t, you don’t.
I want to see people win in love.
Through the challenges, people face when it comes to love, we learn how to open ourselves to getting closer to freedom. Freedom doesn't live in the mind, it lives in the heart.
In Audre Lorde’s essay ‘Poetry Isn’t A Luxury’ she sums this up nicely.
The white fathers told us, I think therefore I am; and the black mothers in each of us-the poet whispers in our dreams, I feel therefore I can be free. Audre Lorde.
The essay describes the Eurocentric ideas of ‘thinking, therefore existing’ as something that is further removed from the Afrocentric ‘feeling, therefore freedom’ as being a limitation to the way that we approach life.
If there is anything I want people who are reading this to take away, is that feeling is really and truly the essence of believing and living your best life possible.
All of the thinkers I have read have done nothing for me but keep me as insular as they. But until I owned my own feelings, the small feeling of the most minuscule remnant of liberation gave me hope.
Let yourself be free to love. I will be. No matter how hard my brain tries to fight it.
You will find your equal. When you have made yourself someone who only can be matched to the highest standard of yourself, they will stand with you open-handed and say:
'Thank you for letting me find you.'
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