Loving After Losing In Love

*Strong language and content. For big Black Girls only. 

Pitcher 6- Loss

darkness-7It’s dark in here.

And, I can’t breathe.

I’ve never really been afraid of the dark. I just don’t care for it.

“Every fear … every nightmare … anyone has ever had.”

I’d attempted to volunteer for intuition, anger, apathy, accountability, forgiveness, resurrection or redemption. All the emotions that I’m happy to own; where I’m still in control. And, the outcome is primarily up to me…still leaving me with SOME action to take.

But, The Black Girl spoke and called me forth for “Loss.” Damn. Loss. Ok. I thought we were pass that whole part… But, the Divine is clearly using this chick to deliver healing. So, here we go.

As unsexy as this one seems…it’s suddenly bringing back all the feels.

“Every fear … every nightmare … anyone has ever had.”

I failed.

He failed. We failed. I FAILED.

And, every fucking body knows it.

winning-1050x700I am used to being first in my class and ahead of my time.  My life has been filled with full scholarships, valedictory beginnings, and summa cum laude-esque endings. Never longed to be down with the in-crowd. I AM the in-crowd. I started my first business in the sixth grade. Poverty couldn’t hold me. Lack of legacy does not slow me down. I traverse the country at will, having travelled internationally since the 90s, when I was in grade school. I have uprooted and relocated my entire life 11 times…one of them being to New York City at the age of 19, with one duffle bag, no friends or family nearby, and without a cell phone. I was the first in my family to attend college. I finished at the top of my class in an area of study where 88% of students either change majors or drop out completely. My life’s goal is to walk in freedom, with no fear, all while winning; so much so that it’s tattooed across my wrist. Leaving generational curses in the dust, I am changing the trajectory of my entire bloodline. Literally. I pride myself on being a trendsetting trailblazer.

I was NOT planning, however, to be first of my tribe down the path of divorce. There was no divorced-couplemanual hidden in my heart for that. My internal compass must have taken a wrong turn. Divorce wasn’t at all a popular or common choice among my peers or my predecessors at that time. Either they hadn’t even been down the aisle yet, OR they were completely committed to happily-ever-aftering it – with the happy part being optional. Divorce would become my modern day Scarlet Letter…announcing to future suitors and people who’d held a certain perspective of me and my life, that I am indeed flawed, and make “mistakes” like the rest of humanity. I was experiencing unforeseen tough times in my late twenties, despite the many triumphs of my past.

My fight or flight game is so strong…the sting of heartache doesn’t have a chance to catch me until the next lifetime. I am the self-proclaimed “Queen of Resilience.” Learned the “never getting too attached” game before I could walk. (And once again as a silly teenager – the hard way.) Because…get attached to what? Something or someone, who doesn’t love me back the same way? Nope. Not happening. So, I made the safe choice. This one: resume-perfect. Whole plan, bulletproof. We walked the path of perfection, according to immaculate instruction and everything should have been flawless. fight-or-flight

Except, it wasn’t.

Turns out there is no such thing as fail-safe planning your life. And, when the walls came tumbling down, there wasn’t much of a warning. All at once, I’m outside myself, naked and exposed, abandoned and embarrassed, wondering what the hell happened with no “good enough” explanation for “the people.” No, there wasn’t any cheating. (At least not any that I knew of.) No, we weren’t beating on each other. (At least not physically.) We were just two good people, with good intentions who turned out to not be great for each other.; not meant to do life together as lovers, after all.  It’s not the stuff that nightmares are made of…but not at all the dream come true we’d hoped for.

Twenty-nine is much too late to get used to being average. And, it’s much too early to settle for a life of ever-deflating mediocrity. In short: I was bored to tears and he was tired of trying. Both of us were feeling we had no space left to bend for the other without breaking. So, we chose. Failure, the mandatory wearing of the scarlet D, in exchange for the reclamation of freedom. Deal. And, the jump felt fine at first…until gravity took effect.

“Every fear … every nightmare … anyone has ever had.”

Heart doesn’t just race anymore. She’s an ultra-marathoner.

And sleep – abandoned me like love on a Mary J. ballad.

How in the world did we get here?

I am the sorest of losers. In the competition of life, my motto is simple: STAY WINNING. Life is an ongoing celebration and this train doesn’t even slow down for rest stops. My trajectory is: victory, next level, victory, quick nap, victory, next level, victory. And so it goes…

Loss? Loss…is NOT a part of the plan. Who missed the memo? Doesn’t he know who the hell I am? I don’t need him anyway. Never needed anyone. Never even liked him. He basically tricked me. The untrickable, fearless FLY GIRL!!  And yet, here I sit… like a penny with a hole, in just the clothes on my back. Still reeling from the impact. Knocked back on my heels when I usually tread barefoot. THIS was NOT a part of the plan.

There is a way that grief comes to LITERALLY sit upon your chest, like a 38-year-old toddler demon baby to keep you company. Nightly. He refuses to leave — even when you dismiss him repeatedly. He is ever present with you – choking the life out, every second. He’s there on the elliptical, and when you try to sleep or breathe or smile. Reminding you always of the loss: that something you wanted (love) is now hopelessly missing. It’s probably never coming back. And, it took your precious dreams (family, children, legacy) along with it. Never. Coming. Back. It’s gone. And, in its wake lies a huge, gaping hole. With the casual commentary of nosy neighbors constantly blowing through to help keep the pain alive.

The weirdest part of the grief was the confusion. How can I miss something I never even wanted that much? Because in truth, it’s all you EVER wanted so much. And, you thought you’d solved the generations-old mystery of finding men that don’t leave. Only to be proven astoundingly wrong. Not different. Not better (as you’d hoped). But, the same. As anyone else who’s ever wished upon a star and landed at the bottom of the ocean, suffocating.

What happens to a dream deferred, that’s finally captured, but then bursts into flames and burns up in front of your face? The ashes slip through your fingers leaving you dazed, confused and tear-stained. Feeling charred.

lemon treeFucking lemons. Who left these lemons in my kitchen? I did not purchase lemons. I distinctly remember the bitter lemonade of my childhood and worked SOOO HARD not to choose lemons. But, here I am getting all the recipes from the elder mothers on how to make lemonade. Another decade of long-suffering and my lips won’t believe the goodness, they said. Hang on, hold out, please God, PRESS ON for the sweetness after the tart, dear daughter. And, it might have been enough. Except that I am deathly allergic to suffering.

I ground those babies up into the disposal of life and headed boldly back out into the garden. And dammit, the first few miles, I thought I might just die of thirst. Contemplated pulling those lemons back out of the garbage to salvage what was left into a tolerable drink. Not possible. Even if I’d wanted to.

I tasted many fruits I didn’t like; some that just wouldn’t go down and others came back up violently. All were incompatible with my digestive system. Then finally, I stumbled upon the most delicious pre-made drink, chilled to perfection, waiting for me in the sunshine. Turns outblack-couple-kissing1 mango-pineapple-passionfruit is my just-right flavor. God knew all along. And damn, it is so satisfying.

I hardly remember those old lemons now… Until some black girl pushes me back down memory lane.

Keep pressing queens. There’s life after lemons. For sure.

-“Freedom,  the Fearless”

Until the conversation about each of the phases is complete, you’ll hear the voices of various contributors who will dissect the recently released, updated Black Woman Manifesto: “Lemonade.” This post is specifically about “Loss.” Some of the contributors have chosen to use a pseudonym. Others have chosen to submit inspired works of fiction. If any name used reflects that of someone in reality, it is only by coincidence. Read all other posts at www.blackgirlspeaks.me . 

2 thoughts on “Loving After Losing In Love

  1. Divorce. Such an ugly word to me. And don’t dare call me a “divorcee”. I am single. Period. At least that is how I try to live my life because the constant reminder of divorce is NEVER fun. This is a great post! I know some of the author’s feelings all too well. That feeling of “how the heck did I get here!?!?!” is palpable. But healing happens….and lemonade can be super sweet!

    1. Healing certainly happens. We need only to SPEAK it and receive it. Thank you so much for reading the series.

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