I was asked by my baby blog sista Serenity3-0 to discuss the notion of settling, amongst other things.
I saw *crickets* when she asked my thoughts on such. I sent an email saying
"Dear Chicken, can you be more specific?"
I could see her eyes rolling quite hard when she read that.
She ought to know by now how slow I am. And getting my thoughts on something is like pulling teeth with cheap tweezers. Very difficult to do. Don 't know why she bothers to browbeat me about things.
I know why... That chick wanna be like LadyLee!!!
LOL!!! HA HA!!
No, that ain't the case. I just have a different point of view about things... I suppose.
But I carry her questions around in my wallet and I've been pondering them since she gave them to me on June 1. I take time to write a page here or there concerning them. I have searched the coffers of my mind and personal diaries for something...
That something that would remind her of just how insane that is.
I don't think that she will mind me posting what she said. (If so, uh, you need to let me know, chile). But I think that it is important, and something that crosses every woman's mind at one time or another in life.
"It is too easy to settle for a man, job, etc. When you keep running upon obstacles, you get tired and decide to just take the first thing smoking. I need a reminder of just how stupid that would be."
To Settle or Not to Settle?
That is the Queston.
An all too important one at that.
You know, I read a post over at Aretha's spot a few months ago that made me shake in my frickin' shoes.
Ya'll know I'm a hardcore bootleg tomboy, but I do believe I even might've dropped a tear and had a hard lip quiver behind that post.
The title of the post was "Eff You, Aretha"
She was expressing to a fella that she didn't think they should see each other anymore. I am not sure if they were dating or not, but she wanted to stop all communication with him.
Well, the guy nutted up on her, right there in the restaurant.
I pulled a quote from that post. He'd just snapped on her, told her she was acting crazy, told her she was afraid of relationships... just tripped out on her something awful.
"I told him he was the one acting crazy, and that if he “thought” he loved me, chances are that he doesn’t. I told him that since he’s going to throw a tantrum I may as well be completely honest. I told him that the truth is that I do want a relationship. I do want someone to have full access to my life, my thoughts, my desires, I do want to have sex and a lot of it, I do want to go away on fun weekends, I don’t want to date around and have other guys date around, I do want to fall in love…I just don’t want it with you. ..."
Shoot. I think I must've read that post 5 times.
I commented in that post, in particular to that quote I just pulled:
"My goodness. That right there struck me. I mean, how many of us have those very same feelings, and yet are browbeat into something and stay in it for YEARS... still having those same feelings, and end up kicking ourselves for not going with that initial feeling.I applaud you for nipping it in the bud. And you got a glimpse into LL's true character. Better now, than 5 years down the road. Good for you for going with your true feelings and not lowering your standards. Not eff you, but good for you."
Aretha made a choice that evening. Well, not that evening, because her response shows that she had put much thought into it.
The pertinent thing here is that she made a choice. A decision.
She chose not to settle.
She chose to say "I have a standard that a man must meet to be worthy of my love, and I am NOT lowering that standard."
So many of us do not take that route.
I have had my isshas with that in the past. I have settled. And I tell you, it is NOT a good thing and it is NOT a good feeling.
I met my ex-husband when I was 24 years old. I was young, heavily involved in grad school.
Over the years, there were many problem. He clubbed too much. He drank too much. He was terrible with him money at times. At times he dealt with the wrong people.
...Sold a little weed when he, you know, needed a little extra money to get by.
I couldn't get mad about that. Hell, I smoked some of his stuff when I needed to relax.
Can't get bent out of shape about that, right?
I can tell you the very time that I knew I needed to step away from him and go on with my life.
I'd just moved in with Oldboy. It was when the liquor store called about a $69 check that had bounced when Oldboy wrote a check off our joint account.
The liquor store peeps were talking trash to ME, threatening to put it in collections and put it on MY credit if the money wasn't paid.
I responded by yelling, "I didn't write that check! I drink Boones and Gold Champale, and it don't cost that much!"
I should've been gone after that.
But instead I settled.
I paid the check plus the 25 dollar bounce fee. And I promptly removed my name and money from his account and got my own.
I placed a band-aid on a bullet wound...
Any which way you look at it, I settled for what was beneath me and not up to my standard.
I think I was just young. He was a decent guy. Kind and very funny. A good lover.
I loved him. He loved me.
But he didn't know what he wanted in life. I didn't either. My only goal was getting through school. Period. I'd worry about that life thing later.
We'd been together 5 years. And at the age of 29, against my better judgement, we got married.
My reasoning: I have been with Oldboy for 5 years. That's a lot of time. I don't plan on getting with anyone else, so oh well... Might as well get married.
The gist of it: I settled.
People like to talk to me about things. Not sure why, because I am a bit stringent when it comes to certain areas of my life, one of them is not wasting ANY time on a dude that is not worth my time. PERIOD.
Makes for a less than exciting life... Well, not for me, but for other people. What folks think of me is several orders of magnitude less important that what I think of myself.
But I do have the life experience of making the crucial mistakes. We all do, in some way or another.
You want to hear my biggest advice?
Let's do a little exercise.
Close your eyes. For only a couple of seconds.
Think about your current situation with that man.
Now open your eyes.
Imagine that it is NOT a few seconds later... It is 10 years later.
Do you like what you see? Do you want to be in that very same situation 10 years later? Can you keep going through the same ish? Do you see yourself growing over that 10 year period?
Because let's face it: We gotta get off this ish about "I'ma change him."
No you ain't.
Stuff gonna get worse.
He's slapping you around. He cussing you out. He's got a slight cheating problem. He can't find a goal if it was sitting there staring him in the face. He jealous of you. He don't have a life, but pissed at you because you are enjoying yours. His friends are shady. He don't like your friends. Heck, he don't even have friends. He's lazy. He's disrespectful to others. He's just plain stupid.
There's nothing about him that makes him unique. Negro is CRAZY.
All of that is alright, though. Just means he loves me.
Nope. And you know, if you are being honest with yourself, that this is simply not the case.
For we all have something deep down inside, an alarm, that goes off that signals...
"Something here is not right..."
We can choose to ignore the loud blaring of the alarm...
We can choose to keep hitting the snooze button, i.e., keep making excuses, put off removing ourselves from the situation.
Or we can shut off the alarm, get up, and get ta stepping. We can choose not to settle.
After settling and getting married, I promised myself that I wouldn't do that again. I am not saying I'll never get married. I am saying that I would go into it fully satisfied that I haven't lowered my standards, knowing that I have increased as a person as a result of this man being in my life. I have grown. In turn, he has grown as a result of being with me.
Of course, this sends mixed signals.
And this is when you see a man's true character come to light. Just like we saw in Aretha's post.
Dudes swear you are harboring baggage, afraid of getting hurt... Man, I've heard all KINDS of explanations for my ways. I've heard some creative explanations that I myself would have NEVER thought of. sigh.
Dudes know they can come with the mighty deep psychoanalyses, don't they? lol
All with the central goal of NOT building you up as a person...
But simply getting you to lower your standard.
But the bottom line is: I am choosing not to settle. You are not what I want.
I caught a clue when I spent 9 years with a man that I had no business being with.
And I knew it was time to go when we were having conversations about having a baby, and I said
"I'm a woman. I want to have a baby. I want to be a mother. I want to experience that.
I want to have a baby... just not with you."
(You can imagine the problems that THAT statement caused.)
And I think that's the reason why Aretha's response to the livid suitor resonated with me.
I had said something similar, albeit in a different situation.
Overall, the stance was the same: We both chose not to settle.
So the question is. "To Settle or Not to Settle?"
I'll let you pontificate that for yourself.
I do have a bit more to say on this... on the spiritual tip.
We're gonna brang this issue home, knock it out the park... on purpose.
But this post is already too long.
To be continued... sometime this week.
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