THE CRIME AND THE CONVICTION (Kingston enters the room): Tear drops. A tear dropped and all of a sudden I was falling apart. My murderer had just exited the room and I was now bawling. He is possibly my one and only love and so far the greatest love I have ever known. While in the same room with him…I held my own. You see…I never let him see me cry. But once he walks out…the tears drop and my secret is now exposed. Strong independent fierce me is scared of losing a man…just this one man. A man whose feelings for me are dead upon arrival. Hardly anyone knows my secret for I could always keep a man for a very long time. I am beautiful and successful yet one of the few things society notices about me is how long I can keep a man! They piss on my degrees and shit on my career but oh that Kingston would not be that memorable if she could not keep a man! As the years go on, the whispers get louder. She can keep them but boy she can’t get them to close the deal! No one really listens to me when I say that I never wanted to be married nor have children. No one pays attention to the fact that I have had many suitors that wanted to spend their lives with me. All society cares about is the fact that I am now an unmarried woman of a certain age with no children. Barren…they call me behind my back. BARREN! As in nothing grows there! No one knows for certain if this is true…least of all me yet the whispers haunt me to the point where I start to believe their lies. A woman ain’t shit without a man who claims her…they say. I stand there frozen with my degrees in one hand and my career in the other. Puzzled. Essentially made to feel barren. I sure can keep a man but I can’t get him to worship me. I cannot get him to stop seeing my strengths as weaknesses. Make your man feel like a man…they say. If I cannot do this then I am a failure. Then the next stage of torture begins. MOVE ON…they say. Find a man who can commit and give you children…they all chant. Never asking if my womb is even open to interpretation. My interpretation. They make my love fluid as if it can transfer to any penis ready to commit. Never mind that there is something about him that made me stay. Never thinking for a second that my mind, body, and soul are not for sale. I am not livestock for men. I belong to me!!!! I am still the master of my own destiny. I am still KINGSTON JAEL FIRST OF HER NAME, QUEEN OF HERSELF FROM THE ISLAND OF JAMAICA, AND OF THE HOUSE OF MICHAELS. I am a queen. In my heart, I have always known this. Why then would I allow society to question my every move and allow him to attempt to murder my soul? Why would a fiercely independent woman do this? I went to a party once and they were serving something called Kool-Aid. Many had grown up drinking it but it was never served in my home. Instantly, I did not like the look of it but everyone else was happily drinking it. Who wants to be left out? No one. So I sip…but am careful to not gulp it like others around me. The Kool-Aid has the taste of desperation, loneliness, and complacency. Yet I continue to sip. Making a face I think…maybe it is an acquired taste? Maybe I will get use to it? Finally I start to feel sick and I stop sipping. He is standing over me now and I can feel the tears in my throat. Kingston, be strong….I think. Demand your worth! And if he walks out and never comes back…your life will be full no matter what. There will be love…maybe not romantic love…but the strongest love of them all…SELF LOVE! You can walk with your head held high and not have to worry every moment of the day that his emotionally unavailable self will abandon you! You can decide to not be part of the flock that blindly follows the shepherd. You can dare to be different. You can ask for your worth AND more…just like a man would do…while maintaining your womanly strengths. You can be unapologetically brilliant in a room filled with people. You can stand alone. It would be misleading of me to not point out how terrifying this all is. Who will stay with me as I age? Who will remind me that I am great and perfectly made on the days I doubt myself? Who will leave the singles pity parties behind and join me on my island of one? Who will bravely step forward and remind me that it was his loss…not mine….if he does not return with a brand new attitude….one of gratitude, love, and respect? Who will laugh with me? Who will cry with me? Who will help me celebrate my strengths? He exits the room and I start to cry. Not one of those begging my lover to come back to me cries….but one of those cries of exhales. I am breathing. Exhaling. Crying. I am standing up. I am throwing the fucking Kool-Aid down the sink. I am exhaling again…this time effortlessly. And now I’m dialing the number of the one person in the world that understands my struggles the most. I am calling for reinforcement. I am calling Harmony. And I am now sipping a glass of moscato wine. I was never meant to drink the Kool-Aid. I am wine…getting better with age. THE EXPUNGEMENT (Harmony enters the room): WOMEN
So there’s a saying behind every great man is a strong woman but there is no saying about who stands behind that strong woman. I think it is her girlfriends. It is the people she surrounds herself with. It is the people who tells her she can when she thinks she can’t. It is the people who tell her she’s beautiful when all she sees is ugly when she looks in the mirror. It is all the people who still believe in her when she cannot or does not believe in herself. Strong fiercely independent women have a struggle. It is a secret many do not want to talk about. In this secret dungeon…they seek love, acceptance, companionship, and sometimes maybe even something more than that (that is if she is daring enough to ask for what she is truly worth and more)…. but they’re so busy giving away all of themselves that sometimes they forget about self care. If more women took the time to love, support, hold up one another, celebrate each other’s accomplishments, and compliment a stranger (who is really her sister in this struggle)
on ANYTHING about herself…we could exhale beautifully together. In this exhale lies encouraging words that maybe no one has told her today or in her entire life…that TOGETHER WE MAKE EACH OTHER BETTER! Maybe she…we…really need to hear that. It is so hard to be a successful woman especially when you are a party of one! No partner in sight. No partner to make society feel comfortable about her “successful” existence. If a woman does not have the validation of a partner…she becomes an unwanted invisible being or comic relief for other women who sold their souls to be men’s livestock and are now secretly regretting it! I know this for I live it everyday. People look at me like I have failed in some kind of way. My education…my degrees that hang on the wall somehow make me less than…because I don’t have a husband…AND I don’t have a child. But I don’t want either one of those things. I want the man who will love me, support me, and appreciate the fact that I went to professional school and EARNED my degree. I, HARMONY FIRST OF HER NAME, QUEEN OF HER LIFE, OF THE HOUSE OF HER FAMILY, EARNED HER DEGREES AND CAREER WITHOUT HIS NAME! That is my family’s legacy…not his. This is the only man that I can love…one who loves me for who I truly am. I will accept nothing less. The lucky man who gets me needs to be 700 kinds of shades of special because I am not willing to settle. I would rather be alone. There! I said it! The thing that single women are not suppose to utter. I let my secret out. The secret that I would rather never have known the intimacies of that kind of true relationship than to give up any part of myself to have a relationship that is less than what my soul desires. Hell…my soul demands it! The thought has crossed my mind that this man may not exist…for me. And then what?! I have finally accepted that one day I may join the masses and succumb to the misconceived notion that a woman is nothing without a husband. I will drink the Kool-Aid and join lost women everywhere…drowning in the notion that I cannot be great by my fucking self! I hope that day never comes…for any of us…my fellow strong independent women. But right now my story continues. Bravely. Wrapped in self love and self care. However, this journey is not without its challenges. Currently, I am into someone. I like him a lot…more than any other person I have liked in a long time and he is scared of being hurt! I don’t know what to do about that. I have made myself vulnerable. I have put myself out there with respect to my feelings for him. And I think that scares him. I have told him I am complicated. He has told me he likes that about me. I have told him I am into him…and every time I feel like we are making progress… he pulls away. I don’t want to scare him. Hell the feelings I have for him scare the shit out of me. But I am strong enough to stay any course without sacrificing myself like a lamb. I don’t know how to reassure him that I don’t intend to hurt him. Yet I am so frustrated that I have to be held accountable for his heart and mine! While I don’t have a lot of experience in relationships, I know I am strong, fierce, and independent enough to weather any storm of love. I will not blow away at the first sign of a strong wind. Hell a tornado could come and if the love is that supportive…that honest…that raw…that true…and that passionate…I promise you I will be the last woman standing! Stand I will…without compromising the qualities I love about myself…for I do not know how to do it any other way. I am not the girl who will play dumb to make any man feel better. In fact, I am the girl who will throw my education, my vocabulary, and my degrees right in your face. If he is man enough…he will catch them and fucking celebrate my achievements for it is nothing less than what I would do for him. I will not be his cheerleader while he stands in my bleachers dismissively….weakened by my inner and outer beauty while a storm brews around us. He must be wise and caring enough to cheer me on too! Am I being unreasonable here? Society whispers YES but my gut tells me NO. My instincts tell me that I am worthy of all of these beautiful things. And what if I do not receive them? Well this may mean that I am single forever. I am OK with that but my parents are not. I’m struggling to find the balance between what I want and need. I don’t want my parents to worry about my ability to survive without them, but I need them to appreciate that I am not going to settle. I do not want the lives they created for themselves. I want to do better! And I have always fucking hated Kool-Aid that others have already drank. I would rather be a cold can of Bud Light …popped open for the first time, quenching the thirst of only one man…the only man that was deserving of me. ~KJM and Harmony on Charm School Monday. As long as I have friends like Harmony, I will be okay no matter what happens with the Ex Factor for he is not the main source of my happiness and I will no longer allow him to be the main source of my unhappiness. My love is real and it is raw. I am not one of those women who will settle just for a man that wants me. I choose who is deserving of me and I will put a foot so high up his ass if he ever starts slipping. Society takes a man’s love so seriously (for he is not suppose to fall in love all the time) yet makes a woman’s love so fluid…like that love can transfer to any man ready to commit with a good resume! This is simply not true for strong women. We love who we love and no matter what happens he cannot destroy us for our source of happiness, strength, power, and intelligence never came from him. Self love and sisterhood are what it is all about! To my sisters in the struggle, may we continue to support each other no matter the storms that come. Harmony you are beautiful and you are intelligent! No matter what happens with this new guy…I’m here for you! Together…we are unstoppable. One love ?