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I Lied: I'm not Coping with Loneliness (Long Read)
Warning! Rant Alert-Proceed with Caution.
I'm a self-sufficient, independent, and successful twenty-something. I'm also a great liar. In under fifteen minutes, I lied to a congregation of fellow Christians, and said: "I'm fine. How are you doing?"
I haven't been "fine", since I discovered I've been lying about dealing with my loneliness. Every year of my life, since the age of fourteen, I've told people I'm fine, things are great, it's all good.
At 22-years-old, I am too young to worry about marriage and starting a family. That shouldn't be on my mind. I need to live life to the fullest. I need to travel. See the world without a ball and chain.
No, stop feeding me garbage. Stop telling me what I need to feel, and how I'm supposed to feel it. I've read every blog on loneliness. If it was posted, printed, tweeted, or pinned, I've read it. If it involves coping, finding hope, dealing with it. I tried the tactics.
I ate healthy, slept, exercised, mingled, lived, and spend time with myself. I fell in love with myself. I found an amazing career. I've started my blog. I'm editing my novel. I am doing so much for the universe, I had to get my stomach pumped because a rainbow burst out of it.
I'm so fulfilled. I'm so worthy. I'm so happy I'm on Earth.
I just can't stand being single anymore. I'm going to need more than medication to free me of the pent up ball of hatred growing inside of me, like a monstrous fetus from a D-rated sci-fi.
Yes, this is a rant. I'm through.
In middle school, I wasn't really interested in being in a relationship. I just wanted to be included. One girl was dating, and all the other girls dated. I had to be included. So, I did everything necessary, I wore make-up, extra perfume, bought cute outfits, and styled my hair with flammable products. I had only three friends that were girls. The rest were guys, smart, cute, nice, obnoxious, stupid, and so on. Only problem was, I was friend-zoned (there wasn't a term for that back then). I gave of myself, bought lunches, let guys cheat off of my homework, and I even purchased candy to keep them near.
Did I ever get a boyfriend?
Nope, but I did lose my best friend and first crush to the girl who won the talent show.
By high school, I changed my tactics. I knew being fat was the problem. I had a weight problem since my mom conceived me. So, I started starving myself. I'd eat breakfast and have dinner. But, never ate at school. I drank gatorade. I ate a single fry while at lunch. I knew what kind of guy to hang with, mostly the skater dudes, that liked to scream-o bands, like Attack Attack or the punk bands like Panic at the Disco.
I started downloading rock songs on my iPod Nano, I shopped at Hot Topic. I dyed strips of my hair purple, and when the dyed streaks turned copper, it was like a new style. I hung out with the goth kids during lunch breaks, the punk-rock kids high-fived me in the halls. The cutest skater-guys knew my name. I was friend-zoned, but then it wasn't a term we used in my high school yet.
So, when I left high school after freshmen year and transferred to college. I knew now I had the opportunity to step-up my game. I was smart. There were a variety of guys on the college campus, so I had plenty of opportunities. I realized there was something wrong with me. I was black. So, I stopped acting the way a stereotypical black person would act.
I studied physics. I joined the intellectual clubs. I delved into writing sci-fi. I started to amp up my anime viewing. I still listened to rock music. But, I would skip the occasional Lil' Wayne song on Pandora.
No one liked me. And, I had an additional issue, I was mature for my age. But, I wasn't of legal age. Even if someone had a crush on me in one of my classes, I was too young for them. Even my classmate, who was seventeen, and brought her twenty-one year old boyfriend to prom could get a guy. I couldn't.
I knew I was a stupid kid. Following the latest trend in order to attract guys. I was failing. So, I focused on my faith. Maybe, if I remained faithful, God will give me the man I dreamed of. I prayed. I got baptized. I gave up romance novels. I cut up my Twilight fan-tee. I skipped big chunks of the anime, Bleach. I focused on building my spiritual fuel tank.
I focused on reading the accounts of faithful single women. I learned about the plights of those who wanted love, but found it through serving God. I gave my heart to intense study. And, I focused on building a life based off of my faith. As far as my secular life, I focused on making money and taking care of my disabled mother and minor brother.
I fell for a guy in the same faith as me. We went to the same congregation. I tutored his sister just to see him. And, his mother was my manager. He worked in the same department as me. He was handsome, funny, smart. He laughed at my jokes. We'd have lunch together.
I started taking extra time in the morning to get dolled-up for work. I wore heels in the office place. I bought bags that matched my skirts and blouses. I talked about the Bible with him during water breaks. I tried to win him.
I failed miserably. He wasn't reciprocating. I was his co-worker, his spiritual sister, I was a friend..., again. But, I didn't let that deter me, for three years. I remained his friend. Proud to be his friend.
I told his sister when she was much older, and almost finished with high school that I liked her brother, would he like me back?
She gave me a sweet doe-eyed look. She thought it was sweet I liked him. She wasn't sure about his feelings. I wanted her to tell me it's a good idea to ask him about being an item. She still wasn't sure that's what he really wanted.
I didn't press the issue. I continued being his friend.
During the weekends, he stopped texting me. At congregation meetings, he stopped giving me side-hugs. At work, he avoided conversations with me. He sat directly behind me. He would go eight hours without talking to me or asking me questions about a project. When I got promoted to a different department, he never visited, even when he had assignments in that department.
I was broken. I ruined another relationship.
It was me. I was much too fat. Or, it was probably the fact that he was white and I was black. That's it, or maybe my intelligence was too much. Or I needed to stop talking about the Bible to him.
I put him on pause. I deleted his number to fight temptation. I visited a different congregation, a different guy. He was very different, not the type I went for. He was corny, he was unpopular, he liked to joke about his bodily functions. And, he rejected me when I told him I might like him.
So, I was sitting at rock bottom, only at 18-years-old, and then something weird started to happen. My high school friends were off living their lives, getting knocked up, married, or frisky. They changed their boyfriends like underwear. The pregnancy posts were making me nauseous. So, I got off Facebook for a while. My christian friends started to change too. A lot of the same things. They left God, and joined whatever. They started getting married, and keeping me out of the loop of wedding nuptials, until it was time to pay them for inviting me to a party I didn't want to go to, i.e. gifts. The women who were my spiritual rocks, started to focus on their husbands, and preparing their daughters for marriage.
The teens I tutored as a 20-year-old woman, was asking me for dating advice. The women in my congregation turned 16, dated for a year, married by 18, and most of them didn't have driving license. I started to feel my joy for the congregation grow weak.
I kept praying. I kept asking God for a mate. My heart started breaking, as another wedding invite was sent to my home.
My mother was cynical. It was her nature. Men will love you. Men don't care about your weight. Men don't care if you're smarter than them. Men don't care if you memorized all the books of the Bible. Men don't care if you make more money than them. Men will always love you no matter what you are to them.
I believed it. I just needed to keep doing good. I kept studying the Bible. I kept going to the congregation meetings. I kept positive. I kept smiling. I kept going to weddings, alone. I kept tutoring my engaged, teen, students. I kept sitting in front of my TV and watching the latest royal marriage, or celebrity baby or wedding.
I started to get stressed and panicky about the future. I picked up kickboxing. I dropped thirty pounds. People noticed. I felt truly happy. I was more outgoing. I attended more parties. I hung out with more of my dating friends. I kept reading about singleness in the Bible. I made a decision to stay single. Life was good and okay. I was fine.
I gained my weight back due to stress from work. I changed jobs. I made more money. I bought more new things. I felt happier. I had my singleness plan.
Then, I got a boyfriend. The guy that verbally rejected me swung back around. He liked me. He wanted to date me. We talked about marriage within a month of dating. We were both Christians. We were both working. We were both happily fat. We both liked the others race. We wanted mixed-children. We wanted to be in paradise together, forever.
My friends didn't like how weird he was. My mom didn't like how controlling he was. My brother didn't like him. I stuck out with him. He was quirky. He was protecting me. He was a guy. And, then I saw what I was doing, and it crushed me. I broke up with him. I apologized for wasting his time. I pulled away from everyone. I got rid of social media, again. I took down our pictures. I ripped up any future of marriage, interracial babies, and happiness.
I was settling. I was going to marry someone who was immature, irresponsible, and at times unhygienic, because I didn't want to be alone.
I hate loneliness. I hate being 22-years-old, and working with other people who are the same age as me getting married, planning babies, planning dates, and hooking-up.
I'm not going to find anyone. It's the end of the year. There are six weddings planned in my congregation for 2017. I'm going to be alone for a very long time. I don't see a future filled with happiness or children.
I see another decade filled with crying myself to sleep. I see another decade of an empty bed. I see another decade without children. I see another decade where my emotions are pushed to the side because no one cares if you're single. No one cares about you. You're not even important to marketers.
I don't care what 2017 holds for me. I gave up on finding love. I don't care about being a wife. I'll forever be broken.