I genuinely believe we become new people every 3 months. Whether we finally applied a lesson we’ve learned or finally walked away from something that was holding us back, there’s growth every 90 days. In other words, you should be telling people “new me, who dis?” four times a year. As we grow, we only have two options for the people in our lives. We can either retrain them on how to treat us by repainting the outdated images they have of us in their minds or we can simply leave them somewhere in the previous growth cycle. We retrain people by making our current standards a reflection of what we deserve, and/or by practicing exactly what we preach. We also retrain people by actually having a consequence when they insist on being in our lives yet refuse to rise up to our standards. It doesn’t matter if the standards are completely new because Wale taught all of us to remind those we love, “if we gonna last more, I gotta ask for more and if that means I’m asking for too much then I’m sure we’ll end up like our last.” This can be applied to every area of your life, whether it’s your job, decade old friendship, or relationship. If what you require becomes too much for something then it should end up like your last something – something that lost you. I mean, I have that down pat. The issue now is that it’s time to look inward and see what else has been causing the delay in my growth process. It’s easy to point the finger and get rid of people but self-evaluation is a whole different ball game.
It took me so long to realize that it’s okay to have things about me that I need to work on. I never considered working on these things because I thought they were just apart of who I am and whoever loves me will accept it and work around it. I’m my biggest critic and I never allow myself room to fail. Failure to me has always been a synonym for average and being average has always been my number one fear. I’ve always considered myself great but who the fuck convinced me that great was another word for perfect? Being great actually means you are very aware of your imperfections. It’s okay to not be the perfect friend, the perfect gf, the perfect family member. However, as soon as you say your flaws aloud, it’s your job to fix them. Ignorance is only bliss because when you don’t know better you’re not required to do better. It’s also okay to acknowledge that you’ve been through some shit that took a toll on you and that you’re still healing. You’re not the only one who knows that you’ve defeated demons that would have killed anyone else. People in your life know that about you so
I’ve felt pain that would have landed anyone in a psych ward easily and that kind of pain is the kind of pain that’s present in most areas of your world. The new me acknowledges that carrying that type of pain proves that I’m not where I need to be emotionally yet and that I should be present every time the universe offers me an opportunity to grow if I want the results I’m aiming for in love and life.
It took me so long to move on from my first love and sometimes I still think I have a slight grip on the past. It didn’t take me long to let go of him because he was this amazing ass person who did no wrong; it took me a while after the breakup because I had something to prove. Actually, I had two things to prove. 1. I no longer needed/wanted him. 2. I’m not as hard to love as I used to be. Reading #2 might suggest that #1 is a lie but it’s not. It’s more of, “hey, look at me and all of this amazing shit I have going on and all of the amazing shit I’ve transformed into. Nope, now I’m the one who doesn’t want you. How does it feel?” I put so much energy into trying to repaint the image he had of me in his head. I put so much energy in trying to prove to him that I’m a different woman today than I was when we were dating. I put so much energy in trying to be the one he felt got away. But I should’ve listened to Drake when he said to do it for myself because men never notice. Don’t get me wrong, I did do it for myself but I wanted so badly for him to know that it happened. However, I’m realizing that it wouldn’t have happened without him leaving first and it isn’t for him – it’s preparation for the man who’s patiently waiting for me to get my shit together.
It took me so long to break out of my “saint” shell. I had to do everything perfect, keep my body count below 2, be the girl who cannot be broken, etc. I had to paint a picture in everyone’s head that I was the good girl, I did no wrong, and whoever fucks me over is an idiot who doesn’t deserve to be happy without me. I honestly don’t know how I became so wise because I went out of my way to avoid a lot of “young-and-dumb-but-learn-from” mistakes. When I met guys, I went on and on about how I go to a top HBCU, how I’m studying psychology, how I plan to be a forensic psychiatrist, etc. When they would call me and ask what I’m doing, “nothing, studying.” When they would do or say anything sexual it was “um, no” or my favorite, “chill.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m really big on education and I love school and making good grades and even fine ass men. However, the problem is that I put who I was on a pedestal like being a good girl who’s all about school made me more special than other girls. Like it made me more of a good catch, despite the fact that even though I was a good girl, I also came with more baggage than Delta.
It took me so long to realize I’m not the perfect lover. That maybe, just maybe, that relationship failed because of me and not him. That yes, I was great when we were good but it’s how I acted when we were rocky that extinguished our flame. That yes, I was encouraging when he was making me happy but I talked down on him when he was making me feel like shit. & that “him” is not just one man – it’s every man I’ve been serious with. Granted, some would argue that my actions were a result of his and that should justify things (and by some I just mean the old me) but I’m still figuring love out and love says you don’t only love people during the good times because the bad times are what makes or break the relationship. The good times are just there for decoration and photo albums. I admit, I am far from the perfect lover because I only know how to love when I feel loved. I magnify the pros of dating me and completely leave out the cons because I always thought love was like church: come as you are. It’s like trying to sell your beautiful house when you know majority of the things inside are broken. You put emphasis on the fact that your house is expensive and the most beautiful on the block, but you leave out the fact that it won’t do everything a house is supposed to because it’s missing pieces. They’ll notice and your response will always be, “but my house is beautiful right?” They might even help you work on a few of the things inside but eventually they’re going to realize it’s YOUR job to make sure your house is ready to be on the market, not theirs. They’re going to be on to the next one that requires a little less work and you’re going to be stuck doing what you should’ve done before you tried to sell it – fixing the damn house by yourself!
So here’s to the new me. The me who’s well aware that having flaws doesn’t take away from my character. The me who knows that there’s still a lot of growing and evolving to do. The me who doesn’t give a damn if my ex still thinks I’m too hard to love. The me who will do what I want and what makes my heart flutter without worrying about what others may think about it. The me who realizes I don’t have love figured out and I’m actually not the perfect gf, and my ex actually might find someone better than me because he had me when I was trying to convince him that it wasn’t a big deal that my house was more beautiful on the outside than it was on the inside. The me who knows that there’s things I need to work on because there’s a few bags left in baggage claim that I have to sort out. Here’s to the new me. The me who realizes there’s a lot of people rooting for me and that hiding behind a mask labeled “strength” is only delaying the growth that they’re anxious to see. The me who realizes some of this shit IS MY FAULT! Some of this is a result of my decisions and my choices. Some of this is a result of acknowledging my flaws without working on them. So here’s to her. The girl who is taking off her mask because she knows a mask only has the power to hide, it never had the power to cure and in 90 days from now, she’s going to be asking “new me, who dis?” again.
Thanks for reading!