Me At Your Expense

Have you ever found yourself playing second fiddle in a friendship, situationship or relationship? When the other person takes centre stage and everything is mostly about them?

So there was this situationship. The guy is used to being in the limelight and has a fair share of ego. He looks good, a go-getter who always gets what he chases, ambitious guy executing his dreams, social, used to plenty of attention from the ladies and basically has a nice life revolving around what he wants.

Enters me. The sanguine who is used to attracting attention wherever I go. Only daughter of my parents (well my brother is the only son but this is not about him, lol). Girl who used to top her classes and was well known in all the 7 schools I went to (not counting the 4 institutions of higher learning). You get the picture; I’m a little selfish and I like having the world revolve around me.

Now the problem is when two such people meet and both are stubborn, there’s bound to be problems.

I hadn’t noticed how I was taking the background until recently. It occurred to me that I knew so much about him and he knew little about me. I’d be the one supporting his ideas and being there for his projects yet he was never in mine. Conversations were mostly about him, his plans and issues. If we talked about me, it always had something linked to him. I knew his background and a lot to do with his ex; I doubt he can retell anything about mine.

One day, something in me just snapped. I found myself being there in the background in the name of supporting something he was doing. I reached out just to let him know only to realise I was ignored. It was obvious after adding 2 and 2 that I was probably being shoved aside not to interfere with his spotlight.

I was pissed off! Here I was trying to be a good friend only to be treated that way. Then I remembered how it’s never been different. I was to be a non-entity at the back. Not even a shadow because that can be seen. The stage was only his and God forbid anyone knew I was anywhere around it.

I found myself asking why I stay. Friendship is mutually beneficial and so should be any form of relationship (including situationships). My friends know how amazing I am even with my many flaws. They see my value even as I see theirs because I’m surrounded by such incredible people. We sharpen each other. Adjust each other’s crowns and show the world how proud we are of each other.

So again, why would I be in a place where I am not seen as anything? Where I am not worthy to even be shown to other friends. Where nothing I do is good enough unless it serves the other’s pleasure. Where I’m made to feel like I’ll never be good enough. Where I’m forced to second guess myself.

My guess is as good as yours: this is not a healthy space. I’ll leave you with this profound quote to ponder on:

You must find the courage to leave the table, if respect is no longer being served. ” Know Your Worth- Tene Edwards


The Enemy I Loved

The hardest part about moving on in relationships (platonic or romantic) is the comparison; when you compare what you had versus what exists now. Where best friends become strangers, the happiest of couples break up or situationships turn into a complicated mess.

You’re left to deal with the memories of the wonderful thing you had but struggle with reconciling it with what you’re left with in the present. You look at someone who you shared life with, had spectacular moments with; someone who you opened your heart to and left your soul bare. You look at the way you treat each other now. The awkward moments when you meet, the deafening silence between you two, the cruelty that replaced care and affection, and the vast space in between.

You have numerous moments when you reminisce on the good times. More than once, you find yourself wishing you could go back to the way things were. You miss them terribly.

But then you remember what got you in the place you’re currently in. The changes, mistakes made, character flaws, harsh words exchanged, cold treatment, lack of effort to reconcile… the list is endless. Suddenly you recall the darkness and the coldness.

You sober up and realise that things are better off this way. It’s hard mostly, it sucks big time and it hurts most times. But you know deep inside that there’s no returning to where you once were; that ship sailed.

So you pull up your big girl/boy pants and drag your feet. It’s time to embrace goodbye. Time to truly move on. Yeah, parting is such sweet sorrow.

Drop 26

Dear Mr 26,

That’s the exact number that represents the drop of percentage of her rating. You see, the first time someone ever attached a percentage to her name, they decided 76% would be the most suitable representative. And no, she didn’t complain because firstly, she found it befitting and secondly, simply due to the fact that it was by a school master who had chosen to bestow upon her the highest rank of leadership. He knew she had her imperfections but even at 76, he still found her perfect enough for that role.

13 years after that 13 year old got branded 76, she met you. Conversation after conversation, she found herself liking the person you were. In no time, she discovered those feelings were mutual. That’s when it all began.

26 was one of the reasons she was hesitant. When one has that number of twelve months in their lifetime, they’d normally not be considered. But evident maturity that kept revealing itself became the saving grace. So despite her initial hesitation, she went with the flow.

A rollercoaster ride ensued. Moments of pure ecstasy were in abundance but confusion and disappointment lurked close. Then you declared that you didn’t think your heart was in a position to love her as she deserved since it was recovering from the major blow it had been dealt with.

Separation happened, she moved on and her heart shut you out. Winter was back and she went back to her normal frozen state. That lasted about a week until you returned with a solemn pledge to do whatever it took to make it work. Promises were made, analogies given to better explain and she decided to give you a second chance against her better judgment. Her only condition was that you’d give her time to realign and time for her heart to thaw if the warmth of your love held.

Well, that also lasted about a week until you came back with more uncertainties and an idea to take time off to have all confirmations that this was it. The plan was to step back into the friendship realm while consulting God.

She, after some deliberations with herself, decided not to do anything. After all, if a man was truly interested, there’d be no hesitation. She had already deciphered that he wasn’t sure and therein had found her answer. So life moved on; it wasn’t always easy but she somehow managed.

Until a fortnight later when you came along. Misses were confessed on both sides and compromise followed. But that barely lasted because soon after, you brought up your percentage. So apparently, 50% was all your heart could allocate and that was simply when together (out of curiosity, was it a 10-20% while apart?).
From a 76 to 50… But that wasn’t even the highlight that day. The real confession was that there was someone who was at 80 (guessing the 80 was while away). She appreciated the honesty and told you to go after what your heart wanted. Regrets are a nasty thing to carry around so she gave you her blessing. Plus, there’s never any wisdom in trying to hold onto someone that wants to go. Most of all, it helped that her winter hadn’t been completely over so freezing wasn’t going to be a problem.

I guess this is her goodbye; not that you need it since that was already agreed upon… but maybe some catharsis was necessary and words had to be put down.
All in all, this is her farewell to you and anyone who comes with percentages. It’s all or nothing for her.

The Enemy Within

Self sabotage has a name. It has a shape as well. Beautiful feminine curves, smiling lips and long slender fingers. It has a charming personality that draws so easily. It also comes with a brilliant mind that can think up a storm.

Self sabotage draws in ever so tenderly and effortlessly. It captivates and fascinates. Deeper and deeper it draws, then somewhere waist deep, panic claws.

That’s when the shift begins to occurr. Slow and unnoticeable at first. A little withdrawal here and there. A number of raging mental storms. Emotions are stirred, feelings of inadequacy reign. Insecurities arise. Past ghosts are resurrected.

Then planning begins. How to withdraw. How to run. How to ruin this. Withdrawal proves pointless because self sabotage is being beautifully pursued. There’s no place to run this time because all major spaces are covered. Only one option is left…

Enter hearty conversations. Emotional intimacy is built. Comfort rises, guards are lowered and boundaries fade. A little touch here. Strong arms open to hold. The safety in being held provides security.

Self sabotage is suddenly aware of how things would pan out. A misstep here and there, then everything will be instantly taken away. Self sabotage has some mercy; no need to ruin this one. But then storms rage soon after; mind becomes a battlefield where victory stands no chance.

Experience after experience; mercy is overshadowed. Self sabotage kicks in fully. Meeting of lips is allowed. Hands intertwined. Boundaries are pushed further and further away.

Self sabotage has a bittersweet moment and isn’t sure whether to enjoy this as the beginning of the end or mourn the loss that’s just started. Mixed reactions. Mixed emotions. Self sabotage stares into the pair of eyes that have no clue that this is goodbye.

Regrets flood: why did an innocent heart have to fall prey? Mourning over what could have been. Walls are quickly brought back up. Pushing away is now being done actively. Tears will be shed. Awkward moments might follow. Innumerable questions will be raised.

But all that matters in the end is that self sabotage succeeded… yet again.

My Five Stages

They say there are 5 stages of grief; well I’ve lived through each with you. Bliss didn’t stay because you chose to walk away. All I was left with were these 5 steps which I have finally found a way to express adequately… good old music. I guess it’s true what they say: there’s a song for everything you feel. 

1. Denial
Now and then I think of when we were together. Like when you said you felt so happy you could die. Told myself that you were right for me…

(Somebody that I used to know- Gotye)

I had terribly enjoyed each moment with you. Spending time with you made me happy and I’d be in awe of the person I kept discovering.  Maybe all that glitters truly isn’t gold because that happiness would fade soon after you left. I always came up with reasons and excuses as to why your silence kept growing. Eventually, I ran out of them. I still tried to justify everything because I didn’t want to believe the alternative.

2. Anger

I know I can’t take one more step towards you, ’cause all that’s waiting is regret. And it took so long just to feel alright, remember how to put back the light in my eyes. I wish I had missed the first time that we kissed, ‘Cause you broke all your promises… You don’t get to get me back

(Jar of hearts- Christina Perry)

Oh I was pissed when I realised that there was no reasonable explanation for your silence. No, you don’t get to treat me like that, is what I said. I even wrote a quote for it: 

“You don’t just get to discard me when you please and pick me again at your convenience.”

And like Christina sings, yes, you don’t get to get me back.

3. Bargaining

Say something, I’m giving up on you. I’ll be the one if you want me to. Anywhere I would’ve followed you. Say something, I’m giving up on you

(A Great Big World – Say Something Lyrics)

Then I’d remember why I really liked you and I’d want to try salvage the situation. I’d decide to be the better person and reach out. Basically, anything to get back to conversations like we used to have and to take things back to those beautiful moments.

4. Depression
Don’t leave me in all this pain. Don’t leave me out in the rain. Come back and bring back my smile. Come and take these tears away. I need your arms to hold me now. The nights are so unkind. Bring back those nights when I held you beside me. Un-break my heart, Say you’ll love me again. Undo this hurt you caused, When you walked out the door, And walked out of my life. Un-cry these tears, I cried so many nights. Un-break my heart

(Toni Braxton- Unbreak My heart)

Oh the pain! The number of times I’d reminisce and want to cry. Tears were elusive but that pain was tangible. I began asking myself if you changed your mind or maybe you lied right from the start. I couldn’t reconcile the promises you made and affections you showed, with how you were acting. It would hurt if you changed your mind but it would break me more if I discovered you were lying all along because that’s not the kind of person you’d be. Maybe I’m just not as good a judge of character as I assume.

5. Acceptance

But you didn’t have to cut me off, Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing… But you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough, but I don’t wanna live that way, reading into every word you say…

(Somebody that I used to know- Gotye)

You made me want you You made me leave you. You made me tumble and fall. But if I Can’t have you the way I want you, I don’t want you at all. Baby, I can take a lot Cause I love Everything you got… so if you got Someone else I gotta go. Oh, that you know. Yeah that’s it honey I quit I’m movin’ on…

(Adele – That’s it, I quit, I’m movin’ on (Sam Cooke) )

Yes I wish things were different. I wished that you wouldn’t have cut me off. But I can’t keep putting up with frequent silence. Yes I still think you are amazing and that you’re one person who I’d do forever after with. But despite the fact that you hold probably 80% of what I desire, that 20% missing includes communication, which for me is practically everything. 
So yes, if I can’t have you the way I want you then I don’t want you at all. Yeah that’s it honey, I quit I’m movin’ on. 

PS: I know we have plenty of Christian love songs; but y’all don’t do break up songs?? I need options people 😉 

All… Most… Almost

It’s amazing how easy it is to know these days. One or two interactions and it’s easy to know if someone is what I’d want or not. Two or three interactions and my eyes opened to the fact that you were all I’d been searching for. 

I’m yet to understand how one person can be the culmination of everything I dreamt of. How similar thought patterns can be. How things that made me peculiar were perfectly normal with you. How experiences I went through shaped me to be a person who easily blends with the person you are. How every bit of what I saw as imperfection were the very strokes the Master used to create a masterpiece you loved. 

Well, loved, is my assumption based on your words and actions. In actual sense, you uttered those 3 magical words that hearts worldwide dance to. My own heart fluttered when I heard them. I think it even stopped for a moment. I was scared at that moment. Maybe scared blows up the magnitude of what I truly felt. But yes, I didn’t know what to say; afraid I wouldn’t fully mean it if I said those words to you. 

Love is sacred and it’s a huge responsibility; it’s not something I take lightly. It felt like a beautiful privilege to be the object of your affections in that manner… but I didn’t want to make cheap promises. I’d want to give you everything that love comes with.

Love is a choice and commitment. You said it yourself. And yes I recall that too clearly because those words captivated me as you expressed them. See a girl like me, strongly believes in the same. I wouldn’t hesitate even the slightest bit, to utter those three magical words if I was certain of commitment. 

But my all, turned out to be my most. I came alive to the fact that like most of us, you aren’t perfect (and shouldn’t be). You ticked most of the boxes, just not all. I am okay with that. I had no problem dealing with any shortcomings. I get how cocoons are easy to get used to. 

Well, that was until I grew tired of having to come up with excuses. Unreplied messages were simply because of endless meetings. Missed calls that were never returned was because you’d get home exhausted. Those “seen” messages on social media must have come when you were distracted… I’d keep seeing you active/online and ran out of excuses to explain away the reason my messages and calls remained ignored. 

My heart became black and blue; taking too many hits because I cared too much. Anxiety became a companion that kept showing up since I wasn’t sure if you were safe or okay. 

However, these wounds became too many. I couldn’t take anymore pain. Yes the choice to shut that door equally hurt, but I had to choose me this time. Maybe because I’ve been there a few times and this started looking a little familiar. My heart was afraid I couldn’t survive such pain; I can’t go through that again.

Magical words devoid of matching actions are simply ashes. They are evidence of a fire that once blazed but now they’re nothing. Just empty words… particles being blown away and scattered by this wind blowing; the wind of change. 

You were the one I almost had.

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

It was a gloomy day which perfectly befitted the moment because we were going to bury someone dearly beloved. I was wearing the black dress I bought (whose length I’d immediately had reduced, Lol) and a new purple trench coat. Along the way some car got stuck in the mud or something but all I remember was that the funeral concession stopped and we had a chance to interact with people. I saw him. Heart almost stopped.

Of course he’d be here, this wasn’t something he’d missed. I think I was beginning to like him a lot more than I’d cared to admit. We talked briefly and you can bet my heart did a few of those flip flops. That didn’t last for long, soon we were back to our cars. I seem to briefly recollect introducing him to my parents; he must have been in the company of my cousins because I’d be committing suicide if I had dared to bring him over alone.

Eventually we get to the burial site. It was still cloudy and quite cold. I had done enough crying for several days so by this time, I was far stronger. I don’t like crying in public, so any emotions were shoved aside; all except one.

He was mostly right at the front taking photos alongside many others, but of course my attention was solely pegged on him. I had people to talk to and followed proceedings so it would sober me for a while before I’d steal a glance and be adequately distracted. I looked around me and noticed there was a bevy of beauties everywhere my eyes could see. Sigh, who was I kidding? A guy like him drew too much attention and there was no way I’d get his.

This crazy fog set in just as the family was heading to the grave site. People started rushing to their cars and choppers because the diminished visibility would be an issue. I had to go find my parents because I was to travel back to the city that same day.

He found me before I could trace my parents. He tells me to wait because he was trying to see if he could get me a vehicle going straight back. I’m guessing he planned to travel with me. Oh a girl had to be flattered by that display of chivalry! Unfortunately, he didn’t succeed but told me that whoever arrived first would wait for the other. I got there first.

I waited for forever! He kept apologising and I understood because he was at someone else’s mercy. After what seemed like hours (well less than an hour) he got there and ice cream followed. Long story short, he took me back to our hostels and stayed for a while to talk. Being the gentleman he is, he handed over the ice cream he bought for himself when my friends got there (yes, I love my friends tremendously but no, I don’t love them enough to share my ice cream).

Of course he’s always been a gentleman of sorts. From the first time we met, I noticed that chivalry. I was fascinated by his vast knowledge and travels. I love people who are well read or travelled. We got along quite well and I loved those conversations. He once got me a very beautiful yet simple bracelet in my favourite colour. I was swooned!

This story doesn’t have a happy ending and it’s worse because it was my fault. Oh goodness, I liked the guy! But then that whole faith thing came up and my unequally yoked lessons wouldn’t give me peace. I’d noticed how much he liked me but I had to kill it. So I withdrew and cut off communication. That was cruel and it hurt me badly, but I had to do it because if I allowed it to go on longer, the heartbreak would have been very ugly!