Is love a choice

Something occurred to me today: Life is full of our choices.

In the past, I’ve always assumed that that statement meant choices like whether or not to go to college, the foods we eat, the place we call home, whether or not we adopt a dog…. Yes, those are choices. I don’t think I ever understood that life’s big events are also choices — Whether or not to have kids. Buying a house, or a piece of land, getting married are all choices,too.

Prior to this, I think those have always felt like things that happened to other people. I know of friends who never wanted kids, struggle at raising kids, and then choose to have more kids. My choices have always been along the lines of, “What do I have to do to survive? Where do I belong? What do I need? Am I becoming the person I want to be?”

Today I hung out with, for a short time, a guy I met a few weeks ago. He was on his way out of town so our time was limited. I could tell that we were attracted to one another. That’s new for me. I’m usually pretty oblivious. His demeanor is a bit reserved. He thinks I’m funny — which is nice– and he’s pretty emotionally transparent. As we were driving in the car on an errand I thought, “Wait a second, I could totally choose to date, fall in love with, and marry this person.” There was no “gut feeling” about it. It was simple.

I’m not saying that I’m going to do any of those things. I’m just sharing that I witnessed a moment. Love isn’t necessarily catalyzed by meet cutes, and hormones. Sometimes it’s meeting a nice person and choosing to be with them. That’s interesting to me. That’s a whole new way to look at love.

The person I mentioned that I was lusting after in my previous entry returns tomorrow. I haven’t seen him in a few weeks. I’m interested in how we are around one another. I wonder if this newest “choice” revelation will change things for me.


This entry isn’t about being Black, or how I wear it.  But, I’m still Black and this blog is still mine so we’re good. 

This entry is about love.  Not mine.  I’m not in love though I’d like to be. I’m in lust, but that’s a different story. [Like wake you up in the middle of the night from scandalous dreams cursing hoping no one heard you, lust. Plan things in advance because you know they’re going to make that person smile, lust.  Lose time because you’ve been daydreaming about situations that could be but just might not, lust.]  I’m definitely in lust and readily admit that love is still pretty far behind me.

A friend, however, is ass deep in the ass end of love.  The part where all the shit comes out and you find yourself covered in the substance pulling your hair out. Where you’re in the craziest headspace of your life and you’re too close to killing yourself than is good for anyone.  She’s in the mirror image of a situation I was in such long time ago. The one that broke me into so many pieces I still wonder if I’ll ever be legible.  The one that had me convinced I was at the end of everything.  She’s hurting in such a powerfully similar way I cry when she does.  When her hair falls in front of her face as it does when one is distraught I remember my disheveled-ness of yore.  Fuck. She reminds me of the shit show I was.  The shit show I’ll be again if I ever fall in love again and that shit scares me. 

She keeps apologizing for being crazy. For taking energy… for being ugly. I can barely get the words, “You’re not crazy. You don’t have to apologize” out of my head fast enough.  We’re going hiking today.  She needs to get away from here, from this place. From them.  She needs to get away to a much further distance than we’ll travel this morning. But I’m not sure she can. 

I, on the other hand, will continue to play at lust as if whatever is looming on the other side is the safest place in the world. 


This post is not going to be organized.

I was once in a terrible relationship. He was an addict and my first love. For a girl with abandonment issues and from a dysfunctional family that did not a healthy love, make. Our relationship hurdled down a gamut of emotions, as most relationships do. But, dating an addict is different. Dating an addict when they first decide to get clean is extremely different. Dating an addict who is also your coworker and eventually creates this messy triangle between your friend-also a coworker- and you at the boarding school where you grew up and all three work, is novel fodder of epic proportions.

It took me an excruciating amount of time to get to a place where I wished them well. They’re married and have a kid, and I honestly hoped they were in a fabulously healthy place. In order to stay in that well-wishing spirit, I need to stay as far away from information about them as possible.

Finding out that my friend, let’s call her Sarah, went to visit my ex and my former friend made me pause. We’d been playing phone tag and I’d stopped trying to get in touch with her because I knew I’d ask her how my ex was doing knowing it was bad for me. Codependency does that. Falling in love at 24 with a predatory addict does that.

After talking on the phone with my friend I went to a bad place. A terrible place. I knew I would. Not because of how they were doing, but because of how my friend referred to and categorized my relationship with him. It was along the lines of: “…he’s doing so much better now that he’s not with you. His wife [my former friend] is so different from you that he’s a much better person now.” Typing that gives me literal heartburn.

Hearing that made me question my sanity. I began to believe what she said.

However, here’s the truth: He’s not better off now that he’s not with me. Those two statements have nothing to do with one another.

The first time he acknowledged his addiction was while we were dating. He began to see a therapist and do some serious work. During this he began to go to meetings and stop “acting out.” This was a time where he chose to work on his issues and when he became incapable of dealing with them reverted back to old behaviors. This is a person who, while in a relationship; got a blow job in a McDonald’s bathroom because somone offered him one –like it was a box of Nuggets–, who trolled the back pages of The Stranger met up with and received a blow job from a *transgender woman even though he reportedly “was not attracted” to her and hated himself while it was happening, who has slept with hundreds of prostitutes, who, while married to his first wife, had sex with a poor woman in his neighborhood for money several times — they had an “arrangement”, who physically fought an ex girlfriend for pills she’d been prescribed because he was addicted to them.

This is a person who physically assaulted a student where we worked and only received a 3-week, without pay, suspension from his job. This young girl went on to commit suicide a few years later.

I was the adult who saw him assault her, I was the adult who picked up this sobbing child and carried her to safety. Who spoke with his class afterwards and helped them know that his actions were unacceptable. Abuse is never okay.

I was, am, and will always be the person that reminds him of his inability to get clean.

I remind him of his failure. I am a source of pain for him because after knowing all of his dirty secrets, I loved the shit out of him. I didn’t judge him. I stood by him as he treated me terribly. I loved him as he fucked up his life. I walked away when he dove face first back into his addiction in front of my eyes.

He is not better because we’re not together. He is not better because he is in another relationship. I am not, nor was I ever the reason he was an asshole to me and to others. His actions have nothing to do with me.

For Sarah to trivialize a relationship that was pure hell is offensive and hurtful. For her to assume that our relationships are anywhere NEAR being on the same plane is idiotic. I held his figurative head over the toilet bowl while he vomited up his self-hatred, fear, and inability to love anyone not just me. I lashed back at him when he treated me terribly unlike anyone he’d ever known. I stood my ground in situations where his other partners cowered. I stayed in that relationship for entirely too long while he used me.

My memories are real. His actions were real. His addiction is real. Her assessment of my relationship with him is unreal and bullshit. It’s pompous, misinformed, and based on 3 days with a couple and mostly like a shit ton of Facebook photos. Facebook exists to share the gilded and hide the truth. There was no hiding with me. Anyone who dates me doesn’t have to hide.

Typing this is a syntaxed sigh that weighed heavy while internal. This is something for me to look back on and remind myself that it happened. It was horrible, painful, difficult, and real. The first time I fell in love was difficult, ugly, brutal, and very very fucking real.

Ugh, I really need to see a therapist.

*the issue is not with getting a blow job from a transgender woman. the issue is his self-hatred and inability to engage in intimacy during the sexual act…doing something that made him despise himself.