Category Archives: Dating and Relationships

Love is “Frozen” and My Take on Disney’s Warped Stories of Love

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Last weekend when I went to the barber shop I ran into an old lady selling bootleg DVD’s.  I figured why not skim through what she has because I just knew she had Disney’s Frozen.  Ever since Cydney first saw it about a month ago, she has been talking about Frozen non-stop.  When it snowed outside she would as if I wanted to join her in her Frozen World.  One time Cydney said to my sister that she loved her.  My sister asked Cydney what is love and she responded “Love is Frozen!”  My sister asked me what that meant and I told her that it was a Disney movie.  I hadn’t seen it so I didn’t really have a clue what it meant either.  I just assumed that as a film made by Disney that love was somehow the theme of it.

Since I bought this DVD nine days ago I’ve seen Frozen about twelve times.  I never pay attention to the whole movie.  This right here is a tip in advanced parenting:  Never fully pay attention to the something the kids watch repeatedly.  Since you have to see it over and over again you’ll find something new each time you watch it (brilliant, right?).  I think the second or third time I watched the movie I was half sick and asleep.  I woke up just in time to head the living snowman, Olaf explain to Ana what real love was (Ana doesn’t know what real love is but I don’t want to give spoilers for those who might care).  Olaf said “Love is putting someone else’s needs before yours…”  That made me pause for a second.  The Olaf the snowman is standing in front of a fire and is beginning to melt because he said he was staying to help Ana.  She tells Olaf to go because he’ll die and then he responds “Some people are worth melting for.”

Man, those two lines had me all kinds of in my feelings.  There’s another quote that made me feel a certain way as well: “You are lucky it wasn’t he heart [that was frozen] .  The heart can be tough to change.  But…the mind can be tough to persuade.”  These little children’s movies say some deep things in them.  What Cydney was trying to say now made a lot of sense.

I think sometimes Disney movies do a little too much.  They give this idea of a fairytale love where things work out perfectly in the end after lots of adversity and a prince or prince-like character proves himself worthy.  I’ve talked to a lot of women who said that while they loved Disney Princesses (and all have a favorite one) feel like these movies let them down.  They’ve all wanted some man to treat them like they’ve seen in these movies and it be magical or something.  I’ve dated a couple of women who have said some variance that Disney lied and these aren’t real.

The dad in me wants to believe that Disney Princesses are real.  One day that’s what I want for my Cydney.  I will teach her as much as I can to keep the villains out of her life, but that’s what I want for her.  I obviously believe they’re real: I’m Princess Man.

I think these movies are designed to give little girls something to look up to.  They leave out the details of all of the work that is required after said prince and princess fall in love.  With the exception of Bambi and The Lion King, they leave out the details of how real things can get.  They do what parents do every day: they shield children from the hurt that comes along with life.  We do this so that our child has a stronger foundation and experience with hope that the hurt cannot last long term.

Back to the quotes:  these quotes reminded me of one girl I’ve dated within the last two years.  They were one of them that said that Disney lied to them.  They swore up and down that this didn’t really exist.  However, when I would hang out with them at their their place I noticed that they had a bunch of these movies.   They even one of those name drawings you can have made for you by a street artist in Manhattan that had the Disney Princesses all around it.  What I saw was a cynical person who wanted nothing more than to be shown that someone thinks she’s amazing.  That’s not a negative thing.  In fact it’s something we all wanted deep down.  I could see it in how she’d talk about certain topics that some villain had frozen their mind like in the movie.  I say the mind and not the heart because  she’d still show signs of hopefulness and an unconscious theme of wanting to be loved was prevalent.    I’d put quite a few of her needs before mine and play it off like nothing.  Because nothing else worked, I would do some fairly over the top things to fulfill that need and even just because the dad in me even wanted her to believe that Disney Princesses are real (Fathering a daughter with no mom to do some of this for me has made me a sap).  Watching Frozen made me think I should give her a call.

As I’m writing this, Frozen is playing on Cydney’s TV for the third time this morning and fifth time in twelve hours while she’s sick.  I think I see a part I haven’t noticed before.

 

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Broken Hearts

Life throws all kinds of curveballs.  We’re told at an early age to put our best foot forward and eventually things will work out.  The road to things working out is littered with potholes, jaywalkers, fallen trees, and its a dark road so you can’t see any of these things.  You live and you learn.

Almost none of us have expected our lives to have turned out the way that they have,  Twelve years ago in high school, I’m sure my best friend I was on the football team with, ran the hallways, and started a rap group with would think that before thirty we’d both be single fathers via divorce and loss.  I know a mother or two who would say that they would have never thought their high school sweetheart would be an asshole after all they’d been through.  We just about all have traumatizing stories and baggage from broken hearts.

My friends who have recently or are currently going through some form of emotional PTSD talk to me as someone to relate to in this manner.  I guess I make moving on seem easy.  Even with dating, I try to keep this in mind that they have probably recently been through something similar.  Honestly, I haven’t dealt with heartbreak in quite some time.  I’ve broken Timile’s heart a time or two and she’s done the same.  Even that was three and four years ago.  Time has passed since then.  With that said, my last relationship was a success.  Tragic, yes.  But there was no bitter breakup or even ending things amicably because we just didn’t fit.  I can just give advice on finding good distractions, being resilient, and acceptance through tragedy because at the end of the day a broken heart is just that: tragic.

I know my friend won’t admit it about his divorce, but he’s upset that he’s had to go through it.  No matter who I know that goes through it, I’m a parent; so I always think about these things in terms of having to deal with my daughter when she experiences it.  I’d be an idiot to not do otherwise.  Cydney getting her heart broken is as sure as one day I will die.  My first thought is how gangsta my daughter will be.  Because she has me, she will be thoroughly educated on how men are, how the game works, and how to eliminate as many jerks as possible.  There will be a bad Valentine’s Day or two (That guy will have HELL to pay for ruining her birthday… I cannot stress this enough!), but she’ll be schooled how to “thug” her way through it.

She’s a cute kid, and genetics suggest that she will be a beautiful girl with many suitors.  There will be a time where she will not want to listen to me because she will think she’s grown and I don’t know anything.  But, all experiences that I’ve been through personally and have been told will all be used to educate somehow someway.

What if she’s that girl whose high school or college love she marries and he has other kids while they’re married or something else (Well, other than the obvious that man will be sweating bullets about me)?  Love her through it.  When Timile broke my heart a few years ago, I loved her through it and she figured out that nothing was better for her than me.  I was patient enough to show her.  However, there aren’t too many stories like Timile’s and mine.  Probability suggests that there will be periods of complacency, lies, and all’at.  The one thing I can tell her whether or not I ever go through heartbreak again is that time heals all wounds.  However, don’t rely heavily on time.  Make your own fate and speed up that process with acceptance, knowing the next one won’t be like the last, adapt, and keep an open mind.

That I’ve done recently. 

Closure

I left Washington DC yesterday with lots on my mind.  I found myself doing the same thing that morning that I was doing six months earlier at the turn of the New Year: sitting on the stoop at my friend’s apartment with my phone in hand listening to some music I’d worked on when I had a free minute.  I don’t create stuff often and these days its more or less when I have something to write about.  The six months in between January and July 2 have been interesting.  A lot has gone on in from my mother having surgery, the blog taking off, establishing and the ending of connections and such.  At the halfway point of the year, I found myself thinking about two things: who I was conversing with six months while heading home and closure.

People want closure on their terms.  If its a relationship we want a big moment of debriefing so that we can move on knowing where we went wrong, and that big aha moment where we can walk away knowing where you and that other person stand.  Many times people wait around waiting for it hoping one day that conversation comes along, wind up never ending that chapter, and bringing that baggage into the next relationship.  More than likely, that conversation is never coming.  When it does, its almost never good because one person walks away with feelings conjured back up.  I’m not saying that looking for this is a bad thing.  Everyone wants to know what someone they care about thinks of them and what they can do differently to avoid things ending similarly (Chances are its a similar pattern of relationships with the same kinds of people).

I think the only thing flawed about this wanting closure is allowing your fate to be in someone else’s hands.  I’m a firm believer in making your own closure.  It is up to yourself whether or not you bring open wounds into new circumstances.  Yes, some wounds are harder to heal and may take the right person coming along to right a few wrongs.  But as much as possible, make your own closure.  For a long time, my coping mechanism was to keep moving on like things never happened.  It wasn’t me acting in denial, I used my flaw of thinking about several things at once as a strength and would keep busy with all the other things on my mind.  Not the best practice because while on a day to day basis I was alright but I didn’t wind up actually dealing with whatever was in the back of my mind.

Even now, its a hard habit to break.  When Timile passed away, the first thought in my mind was about doing whatever I had to do to get Cydney back.  Eventually, I dealt with it.  When Timile was diagnosed, I knew there was a good chance that she wouldn’t survive her fight with cancer.  Eventually things got worse and worse and the idea of it being just Cydney and I seemed more real.  When the day came, I wasn’t devastated because I had prepared myself for it.  Was it the hardest day of my life? Yes.  But I spent most of it being there for friends and family who took it hard.

There is no one way to make your own closure.  Everyone is different.  If your goal is to find peace and understanding, you will find a way to it.  The best way to do so is to be aware of your flaws.  Personally, I analyze everything.  When things go awry, I obsess over minor details and can’t think about anything but what did I miss.  Not wanting to deal with a counterproductive flaw became my motivation.  I look at a situation or person and I run the gamut of possibilities that can happen.  Looking at their patterns of behavior or how they react to certain questions, I make predictions and narrow things down by probability.  They usually wind up being correct.  I prepare myself for just about everything.  When things don’t turn out as I plan, I just tell myself “It’s not for me to understand right now.”  Of course parts of me want to break down every facet and interaction with people.  When I do, I just tell myself that same quote until it becomes habit.

How does all of this tie into where I was six months ago, who I was conversing with, and what I was listening to?  Well, I wrote a song a week or two after in leaving January that predicted exactly how things would turn out: “It ain’t hard to tell, the exception’s the norm.  Because you make it all the time, and you follow form.  All you can do is brace yourself because the forecast says here comes the storm.”

The Wedding

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It’s that time of year: Wedding Season.  My friends are in their late twenties and early thirties and everyone left and right is beginning their forevers with someone they love.  Timile’s cousin, Brian was getting married in Washington DC this weekend.  Brian and I had become pretty good friends because whenever Timile and I would come to the Hampton Roads area, we would stay at his house and talked about a lot of things such as relationships that he and I had both been in and just what plans were for the future.  I was happy to see him marry someone who seems to compliment him very well.

Weddings make me think a lot of things the last few years.  When one of Timile’s best friends got married in December of 2010, all I could think about was my future with Timile and the little girl she was carrying under the red dress she wore as a bridesmaid.  When one of my best friends got married a few months later in Atlanta, my thoughts were about my family and how much I wish that we could have a normal life wondering why things had to be so difficult.  The next summer when my former roommate and his wife to be tied the knot I was happy that they finally got it together and wished for them to have what Timile and I once had.

I had plans of marrying Timile years ago.  I had a ring priced for her in December of 2008.  1.76 carats in the middle, white gold, modern cut, and the diamond studded wedding band interlocked through a hookup for under $5,000.  It seems like every time I started thinking about us getting married things went awry.  I’d get let go from a job, business would dry up, an interview that was knocked out of the park with a hell of a referral wouldn’t pan out.  We would get into arguments, well they were more like Timile venting her frustration about our situations quite often.  She even went as far as letting me know about someone she’d stopped talking to when we started dating who was now married and in a nutshell the life they had could have been hers.  Yeah, that made me feel like shit, but I understood and was doing the best that I could.

Looking back, I know there was a reason we didn’t get married.  If so, very few occupations would have had the kind of insurance to pay for the six weeks in maternity and the months of chemo treatments.  Timile would have passed away and on top of a child and student loans, I’d be paying off medical bills forever.  Even after Timile had Cydney, we talked about getting married but we couldn’t just due to insurance purposes.

This wedding the other day had me thinking about my daughter as well my own life.  Seeing the bride walk down the aisle welling up with tears as she was arm and arm with her father I couldn’t help but think about the day that I am that man with my daughter.  I’d probably be in tears myself, especially with Cydney.    Knowing her mother is looking down, that this little girl who was my life and it was just her and I will be living the rest of hers with someone else as well as a myriad of other emotions.  As scary as all of that sounds, I know it will be a glorious day and I will drown my sorrows that night.

The wedding made me think about my own future.  I have not even the slightest clue what that may be.  Do I think I’ll get married one day?  I do.  Do I know to who?  Haven’t the slightest.  I’m going to be all the way honest and say that my prediction is that its someone I already know or have known as an acquaintance.  I don’t think too much about that however weddings tend to conjure up such thoughts.  Well whoever it is would have to be incredible with Cydney.

When it was time for the garter toss, I tried to stay under the radar and not be called out to catch it.  I thought it would be really weird if I caught it and “The next one to get married” was of all people the former fiance of the family.  I almost made it, too.  At the last minute, the tables of family turned around and said “Chad, get up there!”  I responded “Nah, I got Cydney and she’s getting tired.”

“Oh, we’ll hold Cydney for you.”  Reluctantly, I got up.  I don’t like awkward moments so I went along with it, but I didn’t position myself to catch the garter.  I posted on Facebook and said jokingly “That awkward moment when you hide during the garter toss and you get called out by your former fiance’s family to get up there…”  A response from someone from my church said it all: …it is the promise of love and happily ever after that moved them…awkward yes, but you’ve got chapters to write still…

Very true.

Honesty: A Dating Piece

Yesterday I was reading an article on who is becoming a good friend of mine’s website Kia Speaks Also. It was an article about being honest when it comes to dating/relationships. I was all for it. The first thing I thought about was Chris Rock’s stand up Bigger and Blacker where he talks about dating. He jokes about how at first everyone lies. You don’t meet the actual person, but their representative. I’ve found that to be a very accurate statement. Nine and a half out of ten times people make themselves seem good and on their best behavior in an effort to be presentable and trying to put their best foot forward.

I told my friend that her article made me think so we need to have a conversation about this and to expect a post based on this post she presented. It became a long conversation about dating. Once again, this isn’t something I’ve really done since I was twenty so I needed to talk out my experiences after losing someone I planned on spending the rest of my life with.

She asked me if I found dating to be different. I replied “Not really. However, my approach is different.” I’m all about being very honest and candid. I told her how just about everyone has questions about Timile. I find it to be awkward because the last thing I’m bringing up is someone’s past, but I guess I have an interesting so people want to know about it. At this point, those experiences have become a part of me so its one of those things I wind up talking about in great detail. In being honest I answer all questions. Generally I do that with just about any questions that are asked.

We talked in detail for hours about the different people I’ve had interactions with in the last year and a half. If we’ve gone out, talked extensively, or anything else under the clear blue sky: you came up. Since many of us went to college together at one point or another I never brought up names. I talked about how people were similar and different. To anyone who has heard a story or two from me in the time can attest to I have some interesting stories that are quite entertaining.

Since I’m usually orating these tales I don’t think too much of them. This conversation was via gchat so it was interesting actually reading these situations and actually being face to face with them. I wasn’t just telling these anecdotes to a friend, I was being honest with myself.

The main thing I’ve noticed is that I do have some bad habits. What is the main bad habit? I’d rather not say in this particular medium because it may or may not arouse questions. I will just say this: we attract what we’re looking for. I always say jokingly I don’t look for trouble, but trouble always finds me. Me saying that makes me laugh because when I would leave a date or meeting up with someone the common phrase said to me right before goodbye is “Stay out of trouble!” It makes sense that such a phrase is uttered frequently because usually whoever and I are both not looking for something long term. I know I wasn’t so my main bad habit that comes up a lot is my insurance policy that almost garuntees long term doesn’t happen. This isn’t necessarily a good practice and isn’t because I’m not over Timile or anything; its me reverting back to what I used to do before I started dating Timile. When starting over with anything you usually start back at square one picking up right where you left off and figure out what needs to change.

We spoke extensively about one person in particular. Yes, that situation wound up having the most interesting stories but I hardly divulged into those. My friend had lots of questions about it. She said she learned a lot about me through it. Its not someone I talk to many about in great detail so it was a good thing to see and analyze. My friend joked and said what is a common colloquial phrase that I am “About that life.” Maybe it was how I spoke about it that touted the most questions because while talking about it we seemed to have a certain chemistry. I was able to look at it from the outside looking in and  say that it was a learning experience. What I appreciated the most about that time was that as honest as I was she was as well; and that is probably why we clicked. The elephant in that room will probably die of starvation because it won’t be addressed.

In being transparent throughout this conversation and being translucent to you all is that in order to be completely honest with others, you must be honest with yourself. I am able to talk about Timile, court dates, and such on first dates is that I have been truthful with myself which has given me past. My past in almost any facet of my life stays there so I can address whatever and whoever is in front of me presently. People appreciate that.

Showing My Daughter What Interest Looks Like: A Dating Piece

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As anyone who really knows me can attest to, I’m not one to be transparent. Bear with me:

I was sent this as a link a few days ago. I didn’t write anything Friday because all day I was looking for the words to write what I thought and felt about this. It is a post in which a father wrote a letter to his daughter with regards to self-worth. The inspiration came about by this father stumbling upon different articles about how to keep a man interested and how these articles had it all wrong. He then explained that all that mattered is someone being truly invested into his little girl in the same way he is in his wife.

To say that this man hit the nail on the head is beyond accurate. He said just about everything I would, will tell, and demonstrate to Cydney.

I’m not really a talker, I show how I feel think through actions and let them be my evidence. As a father, it is my job to lead by example. Cydney is only two but even at this age is where I begin showing her her own self-worth. At this point, that is carried out by planting seeds that will promote certain behavioral patterns because at this time in life she is a blank canvas and is the most impressionable. I show her by telling her all the time she is beautiful, gorgeous, and pretty much that the world is hers JUST because she’s mine. She doesn’t have to worry about me losing interest because even the things that she does that I don’t like I pay attention to the smallest of details. I build up her confidence so that when the world tries to tear it down they cannot. One day it will pay dividends because someone (many will try) will feel the same way and rise to the occasion of doing the same in a way that as her father I cannot.

Unfortunately, there is no mommy/daddy dynamic right now for Cydney to see in action how it should look from the outside looking in. Hopefully there will be one day, but there’s a chance that it may not happen. All I can do is my best part to show her and let her know from my own experiences and of course that I did and felt the same way about her mother. I will be honest about my own dating life to use examples of how one should go about (and sometimes not) courting her.

Since she is young, I do let her be around a lady or two so that she can see how I look at them and talk to them. It isn’t to impress someone, to get attention, or even for the young lady to get to know Cydney. It is so she can see now what it looks like for a man to show interest and this somehow be a part of the instilling process on her young mind and heart.

Cydney is a smart and very inituitive little girl. She knows who I’m on the phone with, who I am interested in, and I think when I do take her out she kinda draws attention to who she thinks I might be interested in. I’m not sure about that one all the way, but it is a theory of mine that so far seems to be true. When I take Cydney around someone who I am really into she pays attention and gravitates towards them. She can tell when I’m just biding my time as well and will be polite, but that’s about it. I know this to be true because I’ve had her in a room full of people on a few occasions and her attention be on whoever she knew I only had eyes on and for. It ain’t much, but its the least I can do. As she begins to get older I cannot do this because there will be extra attachments which may make ending relationships hurt her more than me and I can’t bear that having adverse effects on what I have begun to build. But by then, she will have enough of an idea what that level of interest looks like based on the foundation laid out for her by her father.

Moms have the most important job in the world. As a father, my job is to provide security, make and build a foundation, give confidence that when it is shaken show it is nowhere near destroyed. When it comes down to that real life shit, give that dose of real talk with no chaser, just to reinforce its done out of love. Maybe things have happened the way that they have in Cydney’s and my life so that I could do just that before someone comes around. Maybe its for me to have “practice” doing it again before I have suckered some unfortunate soul to take on hanging around me for life. It could be all the above. But now isn’t the time for me to know that. Its all about showing Cydney that she means the world and should be given just that.

Here is the http://drkellyflanagan.com/2013/04/17/a-daddys-letter-to-his-little-girl-about-her-future-husband/”>link.

Nostalgia

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An except

After lots of encouragement, suggestions, seeds planted, and even a few demands I’ve started writing the long version of my story to be put into book form. There’s a lot to write about, recall, and ask for accounts from other people who were there to help me remember details or give input from what they saw from the outside looking in. Its a daunting task, but I’ve started.

The best place to start was Timile and my story because that was the original adventure. Doing so has been interesting. Starting from when we met, began talking, and our first couple of dates has made me think about things I haven’t in years. Taking these memories that are pictures in my head and looking at them externally on a computer has made me laugh a little bit. Being face to face twenty years old me and my young decisions gives perspective. We all look back at being younger and think “What the hell” is common but puts into perspective of who we are now.

Of course, I’m looking back at these memories fondly and not so much as from a place of sadness. Who I was is just that. Losing someone in any context is hard.

I have a few friends who were married, had children, and are already divorced. When I talk with them, we all start off with the same mindset of “When things first started, I had no idea that this is how things would turn out.” Its very true. I think that knowing how things would turn out would block our blessings. To my young divorcees and widowers if many of us had known how things would turn out we probably wouldn’t have gone through with whomever we would eventually part with simply because of the hurt it causes ourselves, the seeing our kids act out, and somehow keeping it together for them like things are normal knowing you have to make a new normal and you’re dying inside. But that’s being young and not having experiences that have defined us yet. We’ve all learned things about ourselves that will somehow manifest itself later.

Eventually you won’t think about the hurt as much and the good times will be what you remember. As I’ve said before, I hardly think about the bad times, but just the times shared that were simply our everyday lives. Looking at those things and my child makes me think that something great came out of it. The manifestation of Timile and my good times that no matter how much an environment shapes her has an equal amount of our good qualities and a few that I couldn’t stand about my partner but makes me laugh a little because they’re just like her. As I’m writing, sometimes Cydney stops me and demands attention in the same manner her mother would. It makes me laugh because it confirms that what I’m writing out may be tragic but it was a great ride.

I guess I say that to say to those who’ve been there and those who haven’t but statistically that will change for about half of you to say it’ll be fine. Just look back and know there is a lot of good that will come from it. That can be in the form of preparation for the next partner(s) or if that doesn’t work out then the kids themselves. Its all a segue for the rest of your life.

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Another excerpt

Meeting the Kids: A Dating Piece

I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday who is also a single parent.  They were telling me about someone they had been dealing with for a couple months and I asked are they ready to meet the little one. Their reply was maybe. I asked “What was the criteria on you letting someone meet your kid?” As I asked it, I was kinda asking myself.

Hmm.

There are some who say yes its a good thing to do up front and who isn’t. I say it all depends. I have taken Cydney with me on a date or two due to circumstances but nothing more than that. I actually kinda like Cydney being around because she’s a great judge of character. She usually gets someone I’m digging a little bit verses I’m just trying something out. She knows who are just the friends and who is someone who I’m really good friends with.

Does everyone meet Cydney?  Absolutely not. Cydney is by far my most prized possession and while I do share her with the world there’s a difference between what I share externally and when I do internally. Bringing her around on a intimate setting is something else.

Of course the questions arouse if Cydney gets attached and it doesn’t work out. Well, once again it all depends. If I think it’ll end amicably and we can still be friends after I will. Plus, she’s two. She won’t remember them and when its time for her to date they’ll become a story to tell I call “The Ballad of (insert name).” But that’s just me. This could and probably will change the older Cydney and I get.

The meeting kids thing is different for men and women. Yes, men tend to use being single parents to their advantage to get attention but I don’t have to. You want to know about me as a father I have a whole blog about it. With women its more of an emotional experience that makes the bond closer and even harder to separate from someone who shows love to your little one. Whether you’re the male or female, it does make you feel a certain way when someone who has no obligation to yours genuinely loves them.
Sometimes you hit it off instantly, sometimes you meet that person somewhere and you have your child. Life is like that. Many times our children are our private lives and letting one in means letting down your biggest wall with the barbed wire and all that. They’re your heart and soul and bearing that early can potentially have adverse consequences. If you can handle it, then go forth. But really think and weigh the pros and cons before you do.

Manly Talk About Marriage and Kids

I’m twenty-seven years old. A seasoned adult but still adolescence seems like yesterday. It seems like yesterday my boys and I were holed up in my apartment doing studio sessions with dreams of making it in some variance of big and then going out partying or philandering. I think all of us are now either married or have kids.

As you get married and have kids your conversations for the most part change. Still being young some still have the young and single mindset and you don’t. Being that Timile and I were practically married since we were 21, most of my friends didn’t get it or understand the transition into not really hearing the salacious stories that come along with being in your twenties (I did, but you learn as a man not to do so in front of the Mrs. But even that changes).

I bring this up because two of my closest friends and my conversations have changed drastically. My best friend Brandon and I lived down the block from each other. We went to both high school and college together but became best friends in college. He’s now married and his son Andrew is a few months older than Cydney. I’m not exaggerating by saying that a good 80% of our conversations are about our kids, what they’re doing now/yours do that yet, what they watch on tv; 15% what we do when we don’t have the kids, 1% work, and the rest about whatever else. I never thought I’d see the day where two grown men throw around the word “cute” (In a manly way of course) so much. The same goes for my best friend from high school, Tre who has two sons age five and six.

My married friends, most conversations become vent sessions. Only the newlywed ones have happy stuff to say all the time. Those of us that know better just sit back and wait for that first “I can’t STAND ______” to laugh and let them know how them vows you took just got real. Us who are parents also love to hear the married ones talk about how busy they are and crack up laughing at how things will be when kids do come along.

Well, as a single parent I got a foot in one arena and one in the other. I still relate to the vent sessions (NEVER do one where they can hear you. Fire, and brimstone will come down second only to the Book of Revelations), and help the new guys out. So its interesting of trying to find balance between the two. And just loke in these conversations that’s exactly how it goes: kids first and almost all and then whatever’s left is for whatever else ensues.

Context: Another Post About Relationships

Last night, I found myself watching Alicia Keys on Oprah’s Master Class.  There was a time in my life when like many others my age my love for her was real and you couldn’t tell me otherwise that she was singing about me.  I kid (kinda).  Well, in watching it I came to two revelations: one of them being that I am still kicking myself over not taking my piano lessons seriously.  I totally get why ALL of my music teachers hated me.

The second came about forty minutes into the program.  She started talking about when she met her husband, Swizz Beatz.  She started off with the old phrase “You know when you know.”  I’ve heard it a million times as well and I agreed and disagreed.  You absolutely do know.  It may not be right away, but eventually you do.  

The controversy of Alicia Keys and her husband comes from the fact that when they started seeing each other he was married to someone else.  In theory, that sounds all bad.  Lots of confusion, adulterous affairs, and home-wrecking.  I’ve had a lot of friends and peers of mine say that she was in fact a home-wrecker.  My thought was that was a little too harsh not necessarily knowing all of the details.  The thing about being young and still being young is that for the most part you’re inexperienced in life so your look on things are fairly idealistic.  In theory, they are right.  In reality, wrong.  Who’s to say that the the home wasn’t already “wrecked””  How do we know that the first marriage was supposed to happen in the first place and that wasn’t just going with one’s heart and not listening to God or whatever higher being you believe in’s plan?

It got me to thinking about Timile and me.  When we met, I knew we were supposed to be friends.  Eventually when just being flirty and showing signs of interest, I wasn’t sold on her because it we didn’t seem like the right fit on the surface.  However, in a little bit of time i knew she was supposed to be someone I was supposed to be with.  I just knew she was the one I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with.

Looking back, I was who she was supposed to spend the rest of her life with.  That was just five short years together but a lifetime nonetheless.  I hate to say this but I guess it’s cathartic to say that unfortunately Timile wasn’t the love of my life.  I look back to all of the things that we were to and for each other and knowing who I am now our thing wasn’t supposed to be forever.  Why?  Because there were big and little things that said so.  I guess I look at who I am right now I know that some of our personality traits wouldn’t have fit down the line.  And that makes sense because now and eventually I will be a different person than I was while we were together.  It sucks, but sometimes that’s how life is for some of us.  Some people are fortunate to meet someone the classic way and the struggle that comes along with life brings you and your spouse closer.  Sometimes the adversity comes in the beginning and things get interesting or its fairly smooth sailing along the way.  

Experience is the best teacher.  It’s the cruelest of ways to learn because the lesson comes when the circumstances are over but it stays with you much better that way.  Experience also brings context.  You tend to look at things way past the surface and not so ideally because your life lessons have told you things usually are always more complicated.  Whenever the conversations about “home-wrecking” came up I always thought “nah” just because most of the people giving conclusions have not been married, had no children, or were newly married in which the furthest extent of their problems were just what would be considered “adjusting.”  And that’s fine.  I just didn’t have that experience.  I guess the point in all of this is to say something to a lot of my followers and readers whether its about AK and Swizz Beatz, my circumstances, or others is that eventually things get more complicated than “Boy meets girl…”  As you get older “Boy meets girl but is married and knows he shouldn’t be,” “Boy meets girl with kids,” “Girl meets boy in a serious and seemingly happy relationship but its not supposed to be but you know and you gotta make some shit happen.”  You never know.  No matter what those may be, you have to make peace with what got you to where you are and someone will probably see through those voids you may have and be able to fill them.  And you never know who that person is until you meet them.