I can already imagine the comments and statements after people read my title. In fact, let me just take a moment to make myself clear: This is the life that I currently lead. This is the life that I have led for most of my adulthood. Being a single Black woman is what I can relate to. Welcome to my worldview!
This is the life that I currently lead. This is the life that I have led for most of my adulthood. Being a single Black woman is what I can relate to. Welcome to my worldview!
I have spent so much time chasing the lifestyle I thought I should have or was told I should have. I know I am not alone in making this statement. However as a Black woman, I see daily images of “ideal lives” that don’t reflect my current reality or even include people who look like me.
I mean, I could watch and enjoy Sex in the City if it appeared on Hulu or Netflix. However, I did love and embrace Girlfriends because it was closer to my reality. Even though other women who aren’t Black may have the same experience, I can’t speak about you. I can only speak about me. Anyway, back to the lifestyles.
I was chasing the college social experience while carrying the “the first child, grandchild, you better not mess up” cloak. So socially, that did not work well. I was the typical “follow the rules” first child. Truth be told, I didn’t have much of a social life in high school (thank you Facebook for that reality check). So, of course, it didn’t carry over. The academic part of college was manageable;the social part, not so much. That is when I met my first husband. With him…
I was chasing the ideal marriage while maintaining my “strong Black woman” armor (my dad made sure I would know how to take care of myself). I did this while navigating the start of my teaching career and balancing the stress of an interracial marriage.
Our marriage was an escape from both of our homes. I was the age when most of my family members were married. College degree or not, I was getting married at 21. I changed, he changed, and that led to…being divorced at 28.
That was when my social life kicked in out of necessity. I had no close girlfriends and the other friends I had were starting their married lives. I could either stay home and wait for invitations or get out and enjoy my life. So, I started traveling, going out to dinner, and doing other activities alone. It was the best thing that could have happened to me.
Yet, I really didn’t accept that as my life. Being single, being alone, in my mid-30’s was not the ideal (according to my perception). So after 10 years of having a decent lifestyle…I met husband number two. He was younger and Nigerian. [PSA: Younger men can match the energy we have as women of a certain age. The ideal is having a man your age who has the same energy…Don’t rule out younger men.]
Let’s just say our marriage fell apart for many reasons. I take responsibility for my part. He is now successfully using his engineering degree, while I pay off the marital debt (long story). A degree he obtained while I worked three jobs to maintain our household. (The second divorce is still too raw. I got married after being single for 10 years. There was the promise of kids. We’ve been divorced for 2 years and 8 months.) I only speak a little about it here because…
I was so busy trying to change the picture. I didn’t take the time to explore the larger image before my first stroke hit the canvass.
That second divorce made me realize I need to live the life I have in that moment. I was so busy trying to change the picture. I didn’t take the time to explore the larger image before my first stroke hit the canvass. I kept trying to build my life around what I thought it should be. Instead, I should have paid more attention to the experiences that made me happy and brought me joy.
I need that happiness and joy. I am the only one standing in my way. I need to embrace and accept my current lifestyle: a single professional Black woman of a certain age (47), who left a definite impression on the two men she married.
I am a solo international traveler, a lover of Groupon (how else would I get to drive a Lamborghini two summers in a row), and a computer nerd. I am a book lover who enjoys medieval histories and has found a new interest in science fiction.
So, for us, as Black women, to live our best lives we should try to focus on the moment. Easier said than done when you have the voices of mommas, aunties, play aunties, friends, and other family members in your head.
It may not be perfect, and we may fall into the trap of wishing for more. We may be tired, and we may wish for someone to help us carry the load. You and I are at this point in our lives for a reason. That reason, in my view, is out of our control.
What is in our control is how we approach the life we are given. I am going to try to focus on the experiences I need to bring joy into my life. I believe that is when I will finally live my best life.
What are you going to do to live your best life?
Thank you for stopping by! ❤️