THE LESSON I LEARNED: BOTH STAYING AND LEAVING ARE ACTS OF LOVE

Earlier on this year there was a guy. A real good guy that I never expected to meet and whom I learned a lot from. Up until him I don’t think I’d ever been treated with such respect and adoration. With him I could just be myself and he found it beautiful. We have since parted ways but I will forever cherish him for how he made me feel and treated me. Because of that experience I hold myself to an even higher standard because if someone could see the Queen in me surely this Queen could be seen by many more.

I vowed to myself that I could not go on a dating detox again (the last one lasted a year lol) or dwell on the separation but that I would just have fun with it and just having fun with it meant I was in for some crazy ass dates. I have officially seen it all. There is nothing that anyone can do now that will shock me. For about two weeks in early April I was a serial dater. I think I was so used to talking to the awesome guy that I needed something to fill the void and distract me. I wasn’t heartbroken, I just missed him and talking to him. So for two weeks I overbooked myself with dates and off I went.

I hate small talk and I seemed to have forgotten that dating means a lot of tiny small talk. After about 3 glasses of wine everything seemed to turn around. Wine just makes the world a better place. There in front of me sat well-educated established good looking men who were trying to do and say anything to impress me and for some reason I just didn’t connect with any of them. I tried (drank more wine) but nothing. For the first time in a long time I felt nothing. And this isn’t normal for me because I love love.

Looking back I might have been rebounding without trying. I think after my last heartbreak I promised myself I would never allow myself to be THAT sad over guy so this time I just went numb. My best friend the Queen of “say how you feel and let it out and just cry it out” was very taken back by my new lease on dating. She was supportive but I think she knew I was just running from pain. There was one guy that proved himself to have some potential. So I cut everyone else loose and just focused on him. First of all before I go on I need to mention that he is the most handsome man I have ever been with and I still can’t believe he asked me out.

According to society’s standards this is the perfect guy. If this guy had walked into my life 6 months ago then I’m sure we’d be very serious right now. But 4 months ago I met a real good guy whom I never expected to meet. That guy raised the bar. So there I was having lunch with my handsome man and having every girl in the room just swooning over him and I the girl at the table with him felt nothing. He asked me to join him vacation the following weekend and I think he expected me to get excited like every normal girl would when a beautiful man is asking to go island hopping with him but I said nothing instead I downed my wine. He would text me good morning and then try call and I would void my phone cause then I didn’t have to explain or talk to him. Looking back now I know I was running. Creating bigger messes for myself and for a while it worked. I convinced myself that the past 4 months didn’t happen and this is what was supposed to happen. I had this perfect guy in life that I’d always wanted but I was numb. Since the day I decided not to hurt like THAT again, I was numb.

Everyone around me was so happy for me for putting myself out there so quickly and even happier when they saw what I came back with. But no one knew that this perfect guy was actually quite a douchebag. I didn’t want to ruin the fantasy. He and I we were picture perfect. Even though he didn’t respect me or my boundaries and when I was with him Nothando didn’t exist. It’s like he saw me but didn’t see me. I was the young girl with the cute smile who didn’t know any better. He knew he was a catch and though he never said it, I always felt like I had to be happy he chose me when he could have anyone. I knew I could do better than him. I knew I could be treated better and actually be seen. My best friend has this theory that I scare men off with my brain. They expect me to be pretty and that’s all. Something good to look at. But once I open my mouth and this pretty little lady turns into a pretty lady with strong opinions then they return to my seller. This isn’t what they purchased.

To cut a very long story short, I ended things with the perfect handsome man because he couldn’t believe that I didn’t want to sleep with him. I mean how dare I have standards when it comes to my own body! It wasn’t his reaction that shocked me but the people around me whose reactions really shook my foundation. Its like everyone couldn’t believe that I was going to let the perfect guy go because of sex. Like it was such as obvious step to take in our relationship.

And that’s when I realised how easy it is to settle and lose yourself in the motions. Staying true to yourself and your beliefs is hard as fuck especially when the world around you is saying otherwise. To everyone I had it all but I knew that having it all came with compromising myself and I just couldn’t do that. Because this relationship was me settling and running from pain. Distractions are only good for so long until they require you to make a conscious decision and then you wake up and look around and you don’t even know how you got there. You’ve been numb so long. So you now you have to make the tough decision to stay numb or wake up and feel. Feeling is hard! Feeling alone and feeling lost is hard. Feeling the loss of person is hard. Feeling every ounce of your soul hurt is hard and hard is not easy. Numb is easy.

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It was only last week when I sat with my Queen of “say how you feel and let it out and just cry it out” best friend that I felt. I was tearing up on the outside but inside I was weeping. I was a mess. What was supposed to be an hour lunch catch up turned into a 7 hour long chat. It took 7 hours of talking about feelings and crying for me to finally let go. Let go of losing a dear friend. Let go of grey areas and the what ifs. Let go of any hope. Let go any self-blame and self-bashing. Let go of every thought that I wasn’t good enough. Let go of every small talk conversation that drained me. Forgive myself for looking for comfort in the wrong arms. Forgive myself for settling and listening to everyone but myself. Forgive myself for choosing the easy route and going numb and most importantly forgive myself for not being there for myself.

I never used to understand why people came into our lives just to leave until now. Because staying is hard. Leaving is easy. Staying requires effort and work. Staying means accepting what you have and being willing to work at it. Leaving isn’t giving up though. Leaving means I would but I just can’t work at it. I’m now thankful for everyone that left me because they knew they could love me to their fullest potential. I don’t want to be what they settled on.

The lesson I learned: Both staying and leaving are acts of love.

With love, Nollie.

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