One year ago, I wrote an open letter to three men. What these men had in common was me, and their desire for commitment during a time when I wasn’t ready. It was the most viewed piece I’d written for WC prior to my domain switch, and it was my most vulnerable. I tend to share my opinions about things through my writing without too much personal detail; however, it’s apparent that people enjoy reading work that’s more personal. So, one year later, where are things now?
First, I’m in a relationship. A healthy, serious, committed, exclusive relationship. She’s great. We met while I was writing the ‘letter,’ and in some ways I believe I needed to confront those emotions before getting to know her. I’m nearly certain that without producing and sharing the open letter, I would still be emotionally unavailable and terrified of commitment. I will say that getting to know her was easy and genuine. After we met, I wanted her around all the time. At some point in a relationship you realize things will become serious unless something bizarre happens and the connection is destroyed. With her, I’ll admit it happened early (for me). It meant I had to self-reflect and ask myself what my plan was and where I wanted things to go. Clearly, I chose to hang up my jersey.
So what have I learned?
The timing of the ‘letter,’ meeting my girl, etc. is too coincidental. I truly believe the ‘letter’ was weight I needed to remove from my shoulders. Not only to love openly, but to provide an explanation to the men I potentially hurt. Let’s be clear – them being men was not the issue, despite the theory you’ve generated. I’ve learned that romance is demanding. It tugs heart strings you never knew existed. It greets you in the mirror every morning. I had to learn to face myself and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
I’ve learned the role of self-reflection. Without it every relationship will fail. The void you feel will never be full. Beyond romance, self-reflection challenges us to consider our role in situations. It makes us realize that the truth can be dark, but that doesn’t deplete its value. It took me 25 years to confront the reality that I’ve (possibly) hurt people. None of the men discussed in the ‘letter’ have ever asked me for an explanation or apology; I’m glad it was something I chose to do for myself.
What made me write the ‘letter’?
I felt like it was time. Last August was a very complicated month for me, romantically. Prior to thoughts of writing the ‘letter,’ I was dating someone who had similar fears that I had about commitment and what a relationship would entail. The difference was, I was no longer afraid. I soon slipped into the shoes of each man highlighted in the ‘letter.’ I was confused, ashamed, inspired, and proud simultaneously. When I realized commitment no longer terrified me, I knew I had to speak up about it. At the time I was experiencing what it felt like to be “there” (ready for a relationship) alone. I’m not sure how I got “there” to be honest. One day I woke up and thought, “what is the point of this (the gray area)?”
How have I changed?
I am no longer afraid of the way my emotions influence me because I am willing to challenge what they mean and who is affected. I can ask myself, “so where do we go from here?” Social media is currently obsessed with the idea of “confronting your trauma” before engaging in serious romance, so maybe the ‘letter’ was a version of that. I understand that being ready for love includes being ready to give love also. I don’t believe anyone could deem themselves ready unless he/she has contemplated the ability to give and receive.
And what happens when you’re not ready for love?
You don’t fully receive it. And that’s only a disservice to yourself.
Peace, Love & Lil’ Wayne,