Relationships

The Year It Took To Rebuild My Confidence

Normally when I go somewhere or experience something new, I try to do an accompanying photo post to recap it. I’m not one of those people who takes tons of pictures of everything or constantly posts on social media. However, this most recent vacation last week was a little different in terms of how the planning went.

I’ve never been to San Francisco so I had no idea how massive the Bay area actually is. Over the summer, I knew I’d be in Cali towards the end of the year anyway so I started looking at reasonably priced flights to North Cali in the summer. Apparently, flying to the Bay area is expensive as hell!

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The flight wind up costing $215. Given the results I’d found, that was cheap as it gets.

Initially, I’d planned to spend most of the daytime outdoors. But the weather was like “YOU THOUGHT”. The positive thing is that I had time to reflect about this last year.

What I’ve noticed as time goes on is that we’re all dealing with the same types of things. We learn how to get through and get over by not being scared to be ask for support.

Men need to know it’s okay to struggle with sex and coping mechanisms and suicidal thoughts and therapy. It’s okay to question God and wonder if we deserve love after we mess up over and over. We need to get real about the range of emotions that make us human. But we also need to have conversations about accountability and learn how to own up to our BS then pick up the pieces and work through it.

I hit a point where my self-esteem was low. Some days I wasn’t sure how I’d ever get back to feeling “normal” again. Well, I can say it’s taken a year.

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The Post About Nothing And Everything

When I sit down to write for the internet to consume – whether it’s 1 reader or 500 – I’m deliberate with word choice and execution. However, today is one of those days where I need to let my heart speak. I have things that I’ve been wanting to share but have been waiting for the right moment or rather, the proper post do so.

I’ve grown a decent readership in the past few years so by all means if you’re expecting eloquence, you might want to ignore this 1 and head over to Medium for my latest piece.

So I’m currently embarking on a 40 day fast where I’m spiritually cleansing my life. It started after my pastor delivered a message where he spoke about reaching the point where you feel like you can’t take it anymore. If you’re interested in checking it out, you can watch it here. (Fast fwd to about the 15:00 mark)

There are parts of my life in need of a hard reset and purging. I don’t want to wait until the new year. I don’t plan on doing a recap or one of those “year of review” style posts so here it goes.

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5 Things I’ve Learned While Not Having Sex

It’s been a long time that I’ve written about my sex life in great detail. The reason for that is there wasn’t much to tell. However, this year I’ve been struggling with my celibacy.

Around my birthday, a woman offered to cook dinner for me. It seemed innocuous enough but I still had reservations about it. The truth was I didn’t trust myself around women. It had become increasingly more difficult to not be overrun with sexual thoughts. My heart and mind were in one place but my body wanted to respond the way a human body naturally responds to pleasurable stimuli. Not only was it a conflict of emotions, it was a conflict spiritually.

I didn’t wake up one day and decide to be celibate. I gradually made the decision to stop viewing sex as an automatic expectation in a relationship, though. I also decided to stop using sex as an escape.

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Be Your Woman’s Biggest Fan

 

When a man has a dream, a woman wants to do whatever is within her means to help make that dream come true. The problem is being a helpmate is usually to her detriment.

Single people argue talk a lot about potential. There aren’t a bunch of Barack Obamas and Stephen Currys walking around in the black community. That’s mathematically impossible. There is an abundance of Michelles and Ayeshas though. These people–celebrities that we hold as standards in terms of relationship desirability–seem to represent the extremes of potential. Obama is a double Ivy League graduate. Steph is the son of a professional athlete and he effortlessly shoots 3s from luxury boxes. They’re not accurate examples yet people cling to them as a way to measure potential in men.

To me, it makes more sense to look at the distance between point A to point Z. If you meet a man that you’re interested in enough to date, find out where is he on that spectrum. Point J, P, T? Has he even started? That’s a tangible way to estimate the likelihood of him even coming close to the dream he’s trying to sell you.

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You Break Curses By Not Being Afraid Of The Scars

It’s taken a few days to digest Beyonce’s latest opus. I’m still processing the nuances of the visuals for Lemonade and the album. I watched the visual a few times. I gave the album a fifth listen last night. I’ve heard it enough to have favorite songs. I don’t think I’ve sat with the movie enough to catch all of the details. Thankfully, a lot of journalists have already analyzed and deconstructed both.

So I’m not exactly going to do that.

What I can take away from this album and its accompanying visual is that Beyonce has shed the last bits of perfection that she spent a great deal of her career and life living in. Save for a few songs, she’s talking about what happens to a woman after the honeymoon stage. How does a woman replenish herself when the well has run dry?

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3 Things To Pray About When You’re Single

Part of my commitment to growing in faith is spending more time in fellowship. The church I go to does a monthly service that’s dedicated to young Christians. The pastor has covered great topics from employment to getting your finances right to most recently dealing with temptation.

January’s topic focused on relationships. More importantly, the pastor’s message was about the dangers of not having a plan for your relationship. His scripture text was about Samson and Delilah.

When I read up on the man Samson really was, I can see some parts of me in him. Samson is the type of guy that relies on his own devices when it comes to women. He follows his emotions because that’s what rules him. He makes the same mistakes repeatedly because in truth he has no idea what love really is.

You have to trust that God will place you in the right time and place to meet who He has prepared you to be with.

We’re all guilty of bad patterns when it comes to relationships. We pursue situations that are not godly because they make us feel good. We become so enamored by physical attachment that our ability to discern is rendered useless. The other problem is a lot of times we don’t even know why we’re dating.

Any relationship that’s built on false pretenses or opposing agendas is doomed to fail.

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Post Revisited: Like > Love

Everybody has a person that leaves an indelible mark. Who they are and what they mean to you is intricately woven into your past, present, and perhaps, your future. Their imprint in the timeline of your story is unique. It’s why Lance married Mia in spite of his boy sleeping with her first. It’s why Noah wrote letters to Allie. For an entire 12 months, bruh! However, if they’re only around for a season, you’re left with memories. Those thoughts get pushed to the recesses of your brain even when you try your hardest to forget. I used to not believe in the phrase “I/we fell in love”. However, it makes sense now. Love, in its dopest form, has the space to blossom when you like a person first.

I wrote a few years ago how important it was to me to like the woman I choose to plan spend the rest of my life with. There’s so much more value in liking your significant other.

As I was driving to work this morning, my favorite song at the moment came up in the shuffle. There’s a part of the song I sing along with every single time – “If there’s such a thing as heaven sent, girl that’ll be you. It’s all new to me, cause I’ve never been so over the moon”. I love this particular set of lines because for me, it captures the essence of being smitten with the one you love. The phase where like turned to love is a feeling you’ll never forget. If you’re lucky enough to marry him/her, you’ll want to feel that same spark over and over. (Sidebar: it’s funny to me how the lady is nodding in a slightly cocky way lol Men are sprung once and they’re sprung forever)

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Read my full piece on Medium