Friday, February 17, 2006

grown folk grow.

you know what i hate?

i hate being manipulated.

isn't that the most juvenile shit ever? isn't that what we used to do in high school with each other? grown folk don't do that shit, or do they? maybe i should say grown folk SHOULDN'T do it. we should recognize our own weaknesses and just step the fuck back and let shit play itself out without our orchestration, cuz the bottom line is folk are grown and are gonna do what the fuck they wanna do. if we know about ourselves, then we know what situations make us more likely to try to manipulate the people involved so that we have the desired outcome.

we're all guilty of it. we've all fallen victim to it.

this ain't a self-righteous rant. this is me acknowledging the fact that because i've done it, i know it when i see it. in the past, my low sense of self esteem at the time had me behaving carelessly with folk. i mean, i was sincere enough. at the time, when i told brotha i liked him, i thought i meant it. however, it was more likely because he was assuaging my fragile ego. he made me feel good about myself because he was digging me. i would cultivate his like for me because i liked the feeling of being liked. that's what made me feel giddy. it made me feel worthy. it made me feel beautiful. but did i really give a fuck about his feelings? no. did i experience any personal growth as a result? no. did i get to experience the powerful nature of love between grown folk? HELL nah. the only fulfillment i got was a stroke to my fucking ego.

as i got older i recognized that weakness within myself. that's the kind of behavior i NEVER wish to exhibit again. it is not a reflection of the kind of person i am or want to be. if i have to resort to that kind of shit in order to find emotional satisfaction, then evidently that relationship ain't healthy for me. part of being a grown up who does grown up things is being able to recognize bullshit and nipping it in the bud, even if the bullshit just so happens to be coming from me.

i understand falling in love ain't easy, but when it's between grown folk it shouldn't be overly hard.
it shouldn't be drama-filled
shouldn't be full of doubts
shouldn't be insecurities cropping up when people resurface or other friends are discovered
shouldn't be about 'winning'
shouldn't be about 'losing'
shouldn't be about one minute feeling one way when hanging with one person and then another way when hanging with someone else
shouldn't be about telling only what's necessary to keep harmony
shouldn't be about falling into complacency and staying there because personal growth is too scary
shouldn't be about doubting one's own appeal

when two grown folk are in love, there's only truth. there is only confidence and security in the relationship because there is confidence and security within the two grown folk doing the loving. grown folk tell it even if it means they might not be looked at in the best light afterwards, but they tell that shit anyway cuz the continued good health of the relationship depends on it. grown folks might not always have control over their feelings but they damn sure know when to check them if they're gonna hurt or get hurt in the process. grown folk know right from wrong and behave like they do. they don't just get lost in the fucking moment just because the situation was out of their control. grown folk hold themselves accountable for their actions and if that action is a selfish one, grown folk grow out of the habit.

in other words, GROWN FOLK KEEP GROWING.

there are plenty of fucking people in the world who make us feel, plenty of folk who touch us in one way or another if we have the courage to put ourselves out there honestly and truthfully. we, as grown folk, make the fucking CHOICE whether or not to act on how folk make us feel. we analyze what's going on with ourselves, what's creating the vulnerability necessary for a person to reach us emotionally. sometimes our feelings are spurred by our own insecurities and sometimes they're spurred because of the realness of the situation, the bond that's created because two souls came together and found harmony based on truth. it ain't always of a romantic nature and it don't always work out, but grown folk keep it moving, because life is full of experiences, both fulfilling and unfulfilling. if we grown we learn and move on, more empowered for the next encounter.

so regardless of what i may or may not feel for folk, ultimately i am responsible for the choices i make. you folk know i'm not happy in my current relationship. meanwhile, i won't be stepping out on him. EVER. i could flirt til daybreak, write about fucking, sing about sucking, drink in thoughts of someone else in my imagination from time to time but the bottom line is that i'm grown and that means i can't be the child who selfishly goes after what i want simply because i want it. my heart might want to do it, but this is where my brain steps in and thank goodness for that.

cuz no matter what i feel, all of that shit is superceded by the respect i have for him and myself and the relationship itself. if i don't show respect for this relationship, what does that say about any relationship i have in the future? what does that say about me? any relationship i have in the future is jeopardized because my integrity is in question. any brotha i get with will wonder why i felt the need to cheat, and then wonder if he's gonna be the next victim because i was too much of a coward to just end it and instead chose to sneak around like a child. see, cuz grown folk don't cheat.

yeah, i said it. let me repeat. IF YOU CHEATING, YOU AIN'T GROWN AND YOU AIN'T GROWING.

cuz if you were, you'd either bounce up outta your situation or find a way to live with what you got. if you bounce, you do it because it's the best thing to do for everyone involved. you do it because your personal growth depends on it, not because you've got someone else to fall back on. that's childs play. that's riding a ten speed with training wheels.

if you see someone who has a history of leaving one mate for another, bounce the fuck up away from that person because he or she ain't grown or growing. they don't know what the fuck they want and therefore, keep running from one person to the next, constantly searching for the missing 'thing' from their life. whatever the fuck they looking for, they ain't gonna find it in you. that's some inner shit they gotta figure out, cuz happiness begins and ends with self. a person who's happy with him or herself won't have to leave one mate for another because ultimately, his or her life is fulfilling with or without a mate. that shit was me, folk. i was always getting out of one relationship only to get into another one, thinking i'd finally find the happiness eluding me. i had to grow up to figure that shit out.

and if you the one who always finds him or herself attracted to someone who got someone, check yourself. why do you always find yourself wanting what someone else has? why are you so fucking cool with the idea of someone disrespecting their relationship just to be with you? do you think that just cuz someone made the choice to either jeopardize or leave what they got now that somehow, you're more valued? do you really think it means you're the 'better' choice? cuz really, it only means someone chose to run away like a kid would do and you just happen to be the convenient way out, the perfect hiding place for them to fold themselves into and fuck facing their responsibilities or the repercussions of their actions or their own inner demons that make them run away in the first place. so either it's pedophilia and you fucking with a child or you both two children who don't have a fucking clue as to how to do it grown folk style. either way, you're being used. you're tissue that person uses to wipe his or her ass, and believe me when i tell you the shit's gonna be all on you.

see? i get it now. i'm a grown folk growing.

my heart might be selfish but i'm gonna try my damndest not to let my actions reflect it because i believe folk get what they give to the world. i've been bitten in the ass too many time by karma's sharp teeth to not have eventually learned that lesson. i believe that in order for me to continue my personal growth, i have to stop being victimized by other folk's poor decision making, stop pulling the 'well, she's doing it, so i had to go along with it' excuse because she ain't me and my decisions are mine. only i have control over my actions. if i pull a selfish move, i'm gonna own up and reconfigure shit so there's less of a chance of that shit happening again.

getting 'caught up' in a situation might be cute and romantic for a minute, but it also means i let outside forces control me instead of the other way around. love ain't about getting 'caught up' in the wave, unequipt to either swim or save yourself from drowning. it's about choosing to riding that fucking wave with the security and strength of a world-class surfer and diving in the depths with the self-assured strokes of a certified deep sea diver.

it's about equipting yourself emotionally via education through learning from experience so that when the love is there, you recognize it, you savor it, you drink it in, you float in it, you swim in it, you immerse yourself in it cuz you ain't afraid of it. as a result you're uplifted by it, buoyed by it, refreshed and cleansed and rejuvinated by it, yet you're always equiped enough, educated enough, strong enough emotionally to never let the waves overcome you, never let the depth of it overwhelm you to the point where it's drowning you, and you always got the tools necessary to bring your ass back safely to shore if that shit get too choppy or storm-filled.

so when this situation is all over i'll be able to leave with a clear conscience because i will have been completely honest with him and myself, like grown folk are supposed to be. and if love don't find ME, that's cool too. meanwhile, i'm grown, so any applications submitted to me in the future must be from GROWN FOLK ONLY.

if you see yourself in these lines, don't get mad at me. that's the childish thing to do. instead do what grown folk do. recognize...

...and GROW.