I’m starting with a sigh because here I go again. I have a lot to unpack and I’m here, again, with the intention of working through these emotions that just keep popping up. Now mind you, when I work through these things, the response I get is usually overwhelmingly supportive, and I have to thank all of the people who encourage me, and love me, and read my thoughts and see me for who I am: just a woman trying to figure this life thing out, which is what most of us are doing. But still, whenever I write about something that’s weighing on me, I’m hesitant. That being said, I was hesitant at first. Sometimes I really wonder if it’s a good idea for me to be so transparent. I wonder what people think of me that they’re not saying. I wonder if I write about my weight, and my love life, and my struggle with confidence and some people just read and go, “that Shameka sure is fucked up.” I wonder that. I do. But even with that, I have to persevere. I have to express myself. So here I am. Here we are. And here we go. Again.
I’ve been thinking quite a lot about love. I write about love… all the time. Most of my stories have some element of romantic love in them. I’m kind of obsessed with it. There are so many ways I can go, so many places the characters take me. But more often than not, I’m writing that all-consuming love, that TV melodrama love, the love that really conquers all. I’m writing the love I wish I had. Now, I know enough to know that love is far more nuanced in the real world. It can fade, even when we don’t want it to. Sometimes we grow out of it, or are forced out for reasons beyond our control. You don’t always get a hundred chances to make it right. Sometimes separation… is just that. But even with all of that real world knowledge, I’m still writing out my romantic dreams.
In one of my earliest blogs (see link here https://shamekaerby.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/not-the-same-girl/), I wrote about how my last break-up had chilled my romantic, optimistic nature. How I was more cautious, guarded. And how I was afraid I’d be that way forever. I’m kind of happy to say that the worse didn’t happen. I may seem a little more guarded in my real life, but my stories are proof positive that my romantic nature is fully intact. Plus, I’m not afraid to like people again. I’m still optimistic about it- mostly. But the sad truth is, as much as I believe in it, and write about it, and hope for it, my love life has been a pretty big disappointment as a whole. And I have no idea why.
I thought for a while that my lack of confidence was killing it for me. I even wrote a blog about it (https://shamekaerby.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/kill-them-with-confidence/) . I mean, all of the relationship “experts” go on and on about how you have to project a certain way, and attract people to you, how you can’t want it too bad because men will sense your desperation and they won’t want you. I took it all to heart, got to the bottom of why I wasn’t confident, vowed to work on it as much as I could. And I did work on it. I even think there’s been progress. But still… disappointments. People said I should broaden my horizons. So I tried online dating. More disappointments. I won’t link those blogs. Who needs to relive my slut shaming episode again anyway? Not me. Then, I thought maybe it was my weight. So I tried to lose some. But that wasn’t the problem. It wasn’t my weight as much as it was the way I felt about my weight. I didn’t feel attractive, which circled right back to that confidence thing.
Anyway, next I tried to unpack all of my issues inside as a way of cleaning out the cobwebs and getting to the bottom of things. I realized that my biological dad had left me with some feelings I needed to acknowledge. I realized that this led me to seek people who were emotionally unavailable because I wanted to “fix” them. I mean, I got to the crust of some pretty heavy shit. And I needed to. I did it for the right reasons, and I’m better for it. But a small part of me wonders about whether I’ll ever get to share my emerging, emotionally healthy self WITH someone. And it’s hard not to believe that it’s just you. But I know some pretty wonderful people, who are also single, who are also hoping that love will happen for them. So I know I’m not the only one slugging through this shit, and that makes me feel marginally better. Still. Some things are hard to process.
I have loved. But I have never been loved in return. I’ve been lusted after, wanted, desired. And that feels pretty good. But none of the men I’ve loved have ever loved me back. Not one. I’ve heard the words, but they weren’t true. That made me sad, when I first said that out loud to myself. You know what made it worse? I had to talk myself through the reality that maybe it won’t happen. I mean everything isn’t meant for everyone, right? Maybe things like lasting romantic involvements and children aren’t meant for me. Maybe. Now before you accuse me of having a defeatist attitude, I haven’t given up all hope. I’m just saying that at some point, I may have to accept that those are things I’m not meant to have, that my purpose is different, that my fate won’t bend in that direction. Maybe. I had a conversation with one of my aunts about hormones and she told me to get ready for more changes because I was nearly menopausal, like that was supposed to give me some sort of comfort. All I could think is that my biological clock was running out of batteries. And I… am running out of optimism. Not purposely, of course. Maybe I should stop having conversations with people.
Anyway, as with many of my blogs, I don’t have the answers. I guess I’m not supposed to have them. Yet. If you’ve ever heard a genuine, “I love you too” you’re pretty lucky for that–don’t forget it. And all is not lost. I still believe in love, and in its absolute power. I’m still telling stories, and still making people fall in love on paper. For now, it’ll have to be enough.