Is it possible to let empowerment get to your head? Is it possible to allow your painful past and the guards you’ve put up to dictate how you treat people? Or, in another case, those who have hurt you–even when they are long gone, is it possible that you make others pay for what they’ve done?

The week–past one–going into the weekend has been one that really took hold of my emotions. Seems like every fear and doubt that I thought I shoved away about my relationship are coming back, and they have new friends. Then Chester Bennington died. So on top of feeling like I’m the worst potential wife, current girlfriend, and crappy person, one of my favorite artists from the early legs of my writing (as well as the angsty years of my teen experience) dies of suicide.

You know how sometimes you don’t really realize what someone means to you?

Of COURSE Chester was an amazing singer and artist. But I stopped really listening to LP around the time they collabed with Jay-Z. It wasn’t anything personal, it’s just that my music tastes sort of shifted for a while. LP was still on every mix list I made, but mainly everything pre-collab. Hearing that he died, it sent something through me. I’d listened to some of LP’s newer stuff, and the regret sank in. So I’m going to binge listen to everything this weekend and upcoming week.

I already cried a little, sang a few songs on Smule Karaoke (my profile is here), and just got out all my tone-deficient feels in the process. It’s amazing how the lyrics just come to you after all those years. But let’s be honest–I didn’t go a lot of places as a teenager. I had friends, but I was still rather unpopular. I was odd because my Blackness didn’t match most of my peers, and for some reason that mattered when I was just trying to be myself. I didn’t know we had to follow a manual for being Black.

Anyway…

I spent a lot of time at home, online, writing, or playing video games. I spent a lot of time with music. Remy Shand, Prince, Gorillaz, Nelly Furtado, Norah Jones, Linkin Park. So while I was making sims, I was singing to a lot of their music. When I was writing my sad little poems, I was reflecting on the emotions LP showed us in their work. Maybe it encourage the wackiness that remains, but all I know is that LP really did save my life, and Chester shined the light on better choices concerning working out my problems.

He made expression an option, that’s for sure.

The doubt part is just kind of due to the way conversations have been going between A and I. I’m starting to worry that maybe I am too young for him. Maybe I’m not strong enough like he wants/expects. Maybe I’m not the best girlfriend or person for him. Unlike the “ticker tape parade” he talks about, maybe I just want the same general enthusiasm I give him when he talks about things in his life that interest him. And maybe I don’t know all the questions to ask, or the right things to do–but I do care for and love this guy.

The honeymoon phase has been over, and that’s cool, you know? We reached a place of comfort where farts and skin tags ain’t a thing. Just seems like sometimes when we joke, it gets hurtful. It stops being playful, and sort of turns into how he really feels or at least thinks about me. When I point this out, he gets uncomfy and talks about all he has done for me–which, yes, is a TON. But my point is that it often conflicts with how he talks to me. That part he doesn’t get, and says that’s just how he is.

When I get blunt, suddenly I’m not very nice, and how dare I….in so many words.

So, you know, feeling like your partner has a lot of truth behind statements like “if not for your [insert parts or aesthetic he likes], then I don’t know if….” puts you in a place.

Am I really that bad of a person that my looks (which aren’t that great, but maybe 4 people find me attractive) shield my overall crappy-ness?

I’m also kind of tired of having long, serious talks about all of this. Like–we’ve talked about all of this and it either dies down or rears its head at another time. It’s making me doubt whether or not I am really good enough for this person. It’s making me feel more like a stepping stone.

And one time we argued so hard that he looked me dead in the eye and said “I wasn’t just saying I love you to say it! I LOVE YOU.”

I know that he means it. A person doesn’t reach into their wallet for you or take you where he has taken me, or opened up like he has. So why are the doubts there?

It’s conversation. Some of them go fine, some of them remind me that we have an 8 year age gap. That we were raised differently. That we feel things differently. We see the world in different ways. We love, but we also clash….hard. We joke, but sometimes it hurts like a motherf*cker.

We have good times.

We have bad times.

But one of us is sitting there with fears and doubts, realizing that she isn’t like other adults, and doesn’t feel good enough or right enough for the person she is with. Or that his doubts are probably being fed with every mistake or stupid action. She isn’t that great, and it’s just a matter of time until….

It’s a bad feeling.

Especially considering how badly she wanted love in the first place. The most frustrating part is that she’s actually trying, and it just seems like she makes it worse every time.

Ugh.

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A Better Frequency

If love were as green and easy as eating a scoop of ice cream, we’d all be in a glossy-eyed state of jaded bliss. Love takes work, faith, maturity, courage, and a lot of other branched out things.

I was actually worried about the weight thing. I think my friends were upset as I was about the weight thing. I was sitting there, thinking that I was going to have to risk my relationship to be healthy. I was mad with a stress headache, upset that I was going to lose my man. Confused that if he loved me as he said he did, then why would my losing weight be unattractive? I know he likes bigger women, but I don’t intend on being as big as I am now for the rest of my life. It’s already hard enough for me to find shoes that fit. Yay, cankles.

So, we talked.

At first, I didn’t even want to. He asked me about the text I sent, which collided with mushy feelings he wanted to express. So that got put on hold. What I didn’t like was that he kind of didn’t respond for half a day, but, whatever. Independence Day. He asked about it, and at first I just said let’s not, because I decided that I had to be selfish on that. My health determines whether or not I’m actually here to be loved. I decided that instead of asking, I was going to do. If the chips fell, and people couldn’t handle it, maybe it wasn’t meant to be.

I told him how I felt. I pretty much said that instead of asking, I was going to do. I would hate to risk things, but my parts are sums of my existence. There’s more to me than parts. The love should be there. He’s telling me he’s worried I’m going to “get Nia Long super skinny”, and I’m squinting like….no. 145-150 is my goal range. And I’ll still be curvaceous with the perks of what he likes about me. But I don’t intend on being some kind of nutty gym rat who drinks smoothies from a bowl. What I want to do is incorporate better habits and lots of movement into my life. I want a natural, happy experience.

I don’t know what kind of experience he went through, but I don’t plan on losing my head or myself in a sea of vanity. I’m conceited and a little self-absorbed now, and people have a problem with that. I mean…I spent all my teen and tween years sitting in the corner all sad and moused up. I want to sing the body electric and celebrate the me yet to come, damn it. I am 31, and I’m seeing a lot of things in my life with a greater clarity than I thought I ever possibly could. I want to live as much of that as possible with my mate, and myself.

I think he understood, and hope he found assurance. I don’t know if he lost someone because of that, but the only think I can think of that would make me leave is if he cheated on me. That’s an automatic game over.

Then he goes deeper.

The idea of cohabitation attracts him. How he hated how the month was over before it got good, how I took care of his house…and him. He liked that feeling, and starts telling me what I can do to help with my part of the rent. It’s all music to my ears, and I find myself missing the noise of his open-mouthed snoring, and the way he looks when he’s deep in thought. I miss the itch of his facial hair against my face, and the warmth I feel when he takes me to one of his special places. I feel myself itching closer to the idea that life without him is not worth it. I can’t live without him.

Yes, he gets on my nerves sometimes. We confuse each other, we have long talks to find clarity….

But he’s teaching me about accountability and the razor sharpness of the world, while I would like to think I show him tenderness and the coolness. And I think with time and polishing, we could be great.

I knew I loved him long before he did, and accidentally said it. I felt love because he gave me concentrated hope and a different way to see things. He has given me the ability to find grounding on shaky terrain. Despite my wacko shortcomings, he has faith in me. He wants a life with me, and is willing to help me step up to get there.

Where has he been all my life?

It’s so hard to stay mad at him, because we talk things out. We figure things out. I write to get shit out, but for the most part we talk. (Sometimes bark and bite)

When the smoke cleared, I felt better. When he told me he wanted me there, so many things rushed through me. Warmth, happiness, ambition.

I want to pull my weight, of course, but to be in paradise with him and not have to go back to Paris (TN) or Chicago….I would be so happy. Starting a life with him would be absolutely amazing. I’ll take whatever job I can get to support the effort.

That’s a wacky scene change, I know. It really was, but the way he understood me as soon as I laid it all out sort of made the transition. As soon as we left that topic, he began expressing just how much he wanted a life with me. I know that was the answer to my question if I mean more to him than…what I am. I mean, I know he’s got a type. I also know that sometimes people use you and sort of target you.

When A was telling me he wanted me to live with him, and that he wouldn’t mind if I had a part-time job, I realized that yes…this man is nuts about me. It’s more than what he did for me when I came to visit–he wants me around permanently. He wants to make a little love nest with me, and not these now and then trips when we can see each other for a week or a month at a time.

When we moved on to that topic, he talked to me in such a way that let me know that I mean a lot to him. And even with crazy debt, he wants an “I” to be come “us”. I sat there, spinning, thanking the universe and myself for being patient. Sad, yes. Depressed sometimes, yes. But never truly giving up on love. And even if I lose it all tomorrow (PLEASE NO), I will have loved and been loved. I waited, I suffered, I felt like no one would or could ever love me…

Then he comes along.

Here’s love, snark, friendship, GOOD AND AMAZING SEXOLA HOLY CRAP, nerdship, Blerdship, good political talk….razor sharpness….but the maturity and reliability I’d been asking for and praying for all along.

It’s….odd sometimes, but it’s pretty damn great most of the time.

Mixed Signals

I know he likes big women. I know he has been with bigger women than me. He can’t shut up about that part when it comes up. Still, knowing that I could lose him just because I want to lose 60 pounds and keep going until I am 150 pounds….that hurts. And this is what he has said to me. He will no longer be attracted, and that he wants me big. “We will find a happy medium”.

I don’t want that.

I mean, yes I said I was his and my body was his. But consider the context of that. Spiritually, as partners. Physically, as lovers. I’m still in charge of my body. I want to be healthy so that we can have kids. So that I can live my best life, not tied down to asthma or gout. So that I can feel better about myself. Sometimes I feel great, sometimes I do not. This is a personal battle, but now I have to consider the fact that I could lose this guy, because “one of the reasons” he chose to be with me is because I’m big and tightly stacked?

The fact that I’m kind, funny, passionate, wacky, and full of empathy means nothing? The fact that I’d do anything to love, honor, and protect means nothing? The fact that I took a chance to be with him, despite the distance….means nothing? If I lose weight, it’s all over?

I guess this confuses me, because at the same time my weight and physical ability has been commented on by him. He didn’t believe me when I said I had an asthma attack going up that huge hill to take out the garbage. Granted it was good exercise, I could have passed out. His nonchalant response was to get over it and do that one little thing he asked…even if it was uncomfortable. Then he laughs and jokes about me being allergic to healthy food because certain granola (the one in KIND bars and Honey Bunches of Oats) makes me itch. THAT HURT. I love fruits and veggies. He kept joking about that, but got hurt when I quipped about him thinking he was a guru because he works out.

At one point he even talked about wanting to see me healthier. But when I talk about direct goals? Oh no. That’s too much. Why should I stay obese? Because nobody else could possibly want me? Because if I’m fat, I won’t go anywhere? And although he told me my long profile is what attracted him, and he wouldn’t have done all he did thus far if he didn’t love me….

The weight loss comments have me screwed up.

I want to lose weight.

How is that a threat or a risk to our relationship? If we are really in love here, none of that should matter. Me losing weight to be a steady 145 or 150 should not be an issue.

If you love me for me, and not for what I look like.