Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lions, Tigers, and Bears

"I'm not scared of lions and tigers and bears; but I'm scared of loving you"
"Lions, Tigers, and Bear" - Jazmyn Sullivan

I have a lot of conversations these days with my friends about relationships. Whether we like to admit it or not, I think it's something on a lot of our minds. This whole quarter life thing apparently has us contemplating our relationship statuses and where we go from here. The convos I've been having range from "why does he/she get on my nerves?" and "why won't they commit?", to "I really think I like him/her". But with all the talking that I've been doing I've started to notice a common thread in why many of us are having a hard time committing and being committed to. The reason: fear.

I'm really beginning to feel like many of us, women and especially men are allowing fear of the unknown to get in the way of pursuing relationships. It's natural to fear the unknown because well, we don't know what to expect from it. I mean who's to say that that woman you're interested in won't break your heart once you make it official? But isn't that part of the game? Being willing to take that risk.

Men spend a lot of time lamenting over women who pass judgement on men based on their prior experiences with them, but I think men are guilty of doing the same thing! I can recall a few times where I've heard guys make generalizations about women, ie. "women are crazy/overbearing/ruthless", all purely based on THEIR experience. When you let things like this get in the way of pursuing someone new, you're just as bad as the woman who has labeled all men as "selfish dogs" just because her last boyfriend did her wrong. Believe me, I'm not saying anything is wrong with being afraid, if you will, but I really wish more guys were willing to admit to it and talk about it.

I honestly can't say that I feel like I'm scared, afraid, or have a fear of falling for someone. Maybe my lack of experience in the realm of love makes me naive; like a little kid who doesn't fear because experience has yet to teach them to.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Appearance Matters

I have 5 tattoos.

For those of you who know me personally, did you know that? Have you ever seen even 3 out of the 5? Trust that I'm going somewhere with this.

Over the weekend I had dinner with a male friend. While conversing we discussed the types of people we could see ourslves being with. By type I'm referring to white collar, blue collar, boughie, "hood", straightlaced, a mix etc etc. During the conversation, my friend alluded to the fact that my appearance, the tattoos and my newly dyed hair, may keep me from being able to attract the white collar, college educated, ambitious type of guy. He falls into that catagory and we've been friend for years, so when he further went on to admit that he would hesistate to take me to a company event, all based on my appearance, I was nothing short of astonished and well, hurt.

The look on my face was one of instant and utter confusion. Yes I have tattoos, only two of which are visible at all times, and all of them are small. My hair is cut Halle Berry short and currently a coppery auburn. I personally never gave either of these two attributes of my appearance much thought at all. That was until a couple weeks ago when one of my co-workers, a black male, said my hair was very "urban". And now that I think about it, I have had guys tell me I needed to pump the breaks on my tattooing. Had I slowly and subconsciously been turning myself into someone I'm not? And was that someone keeping me from finding a guy I felt might be compatible with me?

I'm college educated and gainfully employeed. The fact that men may be judging me strictly based off of my appearance totally throws me for a loop. I can't lie, I think we've all been guilty of judging someone solely based off of what we see; however, I never thought that person being unfairly judged would be me.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Location, Location, Location

So I'm back like I never left :o)

As I grow up and travel on this road deeper into adulthood, I ask myself a lot of questions about my life. One of them of course being, "Why am I terribly single?". I have really given this a lot of thought. I mean, I'm attractive, smart, funny, caring, ambitious, whitty... I definitely think I have the basics on lock (don't mean to toot my own horn, but *toot, toot*). Finding it hard to answer the question for myself, I've asked some of my good guy friends why they think I'm single. And every one that I asked, who lives here has said, "because you live in New York".

Do you know how tired I am of hearing, you're only single because you live in New York. You better believe I give that comment serious side-eye action everytime I hear it, but is there some truth to it? When I think about women that I went to college and high school with, I am quite the anamoly. Many of those women are in committed relationships, are engaged/married or have a kid or two. And you know what? None of them live here. My girlfriends here, on the other hand, for the most part are single... just like me. I can't think of one female friend that I have who lives in NYC, that's in a committed relationship. I live with 3 other women, and still not a one in a relationship. And believe me, the majority of these women are not single because they are choosing to be but because that's the status that has been chosen for them. Having grown up in DC with parents whose Southern roots run deep, and attending college in Atlanta; the idea of being single at 30, 35 is not something I have envisioned for myself.

Those of you who know me, know that I've been living in NYC for the past 2 1/2 years. I love this city, and have done so since I was a little girl. There's something about the life that pulsates within this concrete jungle that draws me in like a moth to a light. However, since moving here right after college, my relationship with the city has grown to be quite a love/hate affair.

Living here is really like being in a bubble. When people mention venturing away from the city, aside from taking vacations, many people give a "why would you do that?" face. How many different cities do you know of where you have so much culture & entertainment in one place? But aside from NYC being a bubble of sorts, I've also noticed how distinct the New York frame of mind is. For the most part I would say that the men and women who are drawn to this city are dreamers. For those of us who make it past the first year, we know how hard it is to live here. But despite how difficult and frustrating it can be to live here; people stay, in hopes of making it big.

That pursuit of success, whether it's in the field of banking, entertainment, fashion or otherwise; gives people a focus and drive that I've never seen anywhere else in such large numbers. And because everyone who lives here knows that we're all here for a bigger purpose, I think we get stuck in a timewarp type of situation. We, ESPECIALLY THE MEN, don't have time for relationships and "nonsense" like that; at this moment, while we're still in our 20s, NOW is not the time. For relationships and children, there's always tomorrow, today is about making it.

Hence, why my new nickname for this city has become Never Never Land. We hold down jobs and pay bills but that's about as "adult" as it gets. It's not uncommon to encounter a 30+ yo with no spouse, children, or property to call their own. People here date like they're still in college and you know what, it's all good because that's what everyone else is doing. Unfortunately, for a Southern girl at heart like me, that's not enough.

Am I reaching here? Or is the big apple really a big playground for adults who have little time & patience for anything other than attaining success? Maybe I'm just seeing the grass as being greener outside of this bubble I call home.