I was watching another video on http://ted.com and Mellody Hobson was speaking on the subject of race. It was a very intriguing and inspirational video to watch and I think what caught my attention the most (besides her speaking about the moment where she was mistaken for the kitchen help at an event in New York that she had accompanied her friend to who was running for US Senate in Tennessee) was when she said we needed to get to the point in our lives where we were comfortable in discomfort.Life is filled with many uncomfortable situations and it doesn’t help us grow when we continue to feel uncomfortable in them. How many times will we experience predjudice? How about heartbreak and disappointment from someone you trusted? The fact that you are human simply means, you will, more often than required, experience heartbreak and disappointment. Now what follows heartbreak? a period of solitude. is it uncomfortable? Yes, very uncomfortable… especially if you have become a serial monogamist like myself. It is difficult and very uncomfortable to break the cycle; but it is necessary. Now you may ask, “Tshego, what is a serial monogamist?” That is what Google is for 🙂
Let’s get back to the point of learning how to be comfortable in discomfort, since Mellody related it back to the subject of race, we will be relating it to the subject of self discovery. Now I want you take yourself as many years back as you need to, till you get to the point where you were in pre-school. I want you to think back to the awkwardness you experienced when you first got there and did not know anyone. Remember how painful it was to introduce yourself and how you though the other kids would reject you? Too far back for you? OK.. OK wait I got it! Think about that awkward moment in the elevator. Perfect! It is awkward right? (NOOOOO STOP THINKING ABOUT SOLANGE!!!!!!!!!) You don’t know whether to look at the other person/s, or say hi. It’s painful. even though we experience this situation often. I’d like to believe that this is exactly how we are as serial monogamists. The person who makes things awkward in the elevator is myself. I have been so afraid and uncomfortable to be with myself. Like the elevator situation; it cannot be because I have a personal vendetta against the person that makes me unable to greet them. I don’t greet because I’m afraid of the person’s response. What if they don’t say hi? what if they respond in a language I am not fluent in, then proceed to ask me for directions in that language and I couldn’t help them? So this is exactly why it has been better to focus on someone else but myself, it seemed easier. I’ve been afraid of opening that can of worms… of apologizing to myself for putting us through all the things I have been through. What if I don’t accept my own apology? What if I speak in a way I don’t understand? What if I challenge all the characteristics I have believed myself to have and discover that I am nothing like the person I have been presenting myself to be? Its a scary and daunting task. But I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to have a fulfilling relationship with someone when you know nothing about yourself. It really is like you being the star in your own show. You figure out what’s hot in the dating scene and alas! You are now that. There is hope though. I’m here to tell you that you will get tired eventually and in the end you will need to deal with the elephant in the room. It will be weird at first but when its done right it will feel like the best relationship you have ever invested your effort in.
As I have already said, the period of you being single after a serious (or not so serious) relationship is awkward and uncomfortable. It can be avoided (if you avoid this period, you are a serial monogamist, no two ways about it) with the help of rebounds and nights filled with regret. Or, we can just learn how to face this situation head on and actually learn something from it. We can find out who we are, what we like, what our favourite food is, what our pet peeves are, what makes us sad or happy, what standards we need to set for ourselves, what goals we need to make…. gosh there are endless discoveries! Be the Dora in the adventure of your self discovery. If you want to know what I have learnt so far as a single and normal human being, here’s the link to a post I wrote earlier on this week (https://loveselfbeautiful.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/dont-waste-my-time-with-your-hello/)
Now, with everything said and done. If you’re in a relationship and its going well for you, do you boo boo! But if you are in the period between “oh ghaaad im soooo alone, might as well kill myself cause no one cares about me” and “hey you’re sexy, lets date” STOP. Stop right there. Find a mirror, look at the reflection and start whispering sweet nothings to it. Do it until you believe every word. Do it until you no longer feel like a freak for doing it. Do it until the person staring back at you no longer finds you awkward, but laughs because they know a lot of self love is coming their way! ’cause honey, in the words of RuPaul; IF YOU DON’T LOVE YOURSELF, HOW IN THE HELL YOU GONNA LOVE SOMEBODY ELSE!!!!!?