Last summer, I said Hello to Brooklyn for the first time; the borough, not Mary J. Bliges alias.
Dont get me wrong, Ive been there a few times, but going for business doesnt count. Well, I was strolling down the block with a colleague of mine when my attention was snatched away by a freshly baked apple pie cooling on the window sill (yes, in Brooklyn).
Let me tell you, even though there was a black steel gate, a 15-step porch and an angry looking dog separating me from a taste of that pie, my mind was still racing for it.
My colleagues phone rang, so she answered it and our stride slowed some. And there I was a leap, porch climb and a reach away from bubbling apple perfection; and quite possibly, a bite in my backside from Cujo, the angry looking dog. Then out of nowhere, my daydream was interrupted by the thunder clap of my colleagues phone closing. How could he do this to me? she said, while slowing our roll even more.
We stopped in our tracks, she stepped into hugging distance, leaned her head on my shoulder saying, I loved him with all that I had, Deshair, wrapping her arms around me with her hands clutching onto my shoulder blades. How could he throw away what we had, just like that?
I never really got around to seeing more of Brooklyn that day, and for good reason. I cant remember how long our embrace lasted, but I do remember that after we pulled apart and I looked up at that window sill, that sweet smelling apple pie was gone. I was ready to cry my damn self.
We spent most of the evening back at her apartment in silence. I had so many things to say, however, I was smart enough to know that she didnt want to hear a lick of it. So as I stood there playing bowling on Nintendo Wii, I thought about her situation and how Ive heard it all before: I was everything that he/she could ever want there was nothing in the world I wouldnt do for him/her.
Personally, I also thought about how I would only see her after she hit a rough patch in her relationship; any signs of smooth sailing meant that I wouldnt hear from her as much, if at all.
Once I began to play Tennis on the Wii, I thought about that sweet smelling pie again (what can I say, Im always hungry). But this time around, I thought of the pie as a whole, in relationship terms. We learn by default that a relationship should be 50/50. As 1 + 1 = 2 in my mind, I began to see the flaws in this equation.
For two people to come together under a 50/50 connection, thinking of this ratio as equaling out to 100%, subconsciously the relationship is being looked at as a way of completing one another.
50/50 is geared more towards splitting or sharing responsibilities. Looking for comfort through convenience. Convenience should be for stores, not relationships.
50/50 has a good chance of becoming 0/100.
A 50/50 connection lacks what any level of a joining requires, balance. When it is believed that having someone in your life is what completes you, the feeling of giving that person all you have comes naturally, even if what youre giving them is misguided.
And if you so happen to give more than you receive, the beginnings of losing yourself will take form. 50/50 becomes 40/60, then 20/80 and then by the time you come to your senses, or your senses are forced to come to you, youre already empty; theres an icebox where your heart used to be - youre 0/100.
The 50/50 concept is a lose/lose - one loss is of self, and the other loss is of others. As the ratio changes on this emotional see-saw, parts of who you are chip away. I noticed that with my colleague, shed talk to me about how tough school has become for her and in the same breath talk about what her boyfriend was up to and how she supports him. She wasnt as bubbly or as sarcastic as she once was. Even her aging process was increasing.
And this is where the loss of others comes to a head. Because youre devoting so much time and effort towards your 50/50, suddenly youre not keeping touch as you once have; youre canceling engagements to keep your significant other happy, and the list goes on.
This is the blinded loyalty that results in the deterioration of your current connections. Yes, the same connection that youd try to rekindle after your relationship is over.
On the other hand, if we can look at a connection as 100/100, two hot bubbling apple pies working together as a unit, we can establish some balance.
Each person comes into the connection as a whole onto themselves. Neither one is looking to be completed by the other.
100/100 sets the stage for independence first, dependence a distant second.
100/100 relationships promotes the Give and Take concept, as well as a Business as Usual approach
100/100 connections defines balance and breeds teamwork. Teamwork and convenience are not the same. As a team, teaching, learning and being a motivator are paramount. Each participant also handles their total responsibilities.
Most importantly, the participant isnt willing to compromise what they already have on the table for the sake of the relationship. For example, if you spent 20 hours a week devoted to studies before the connection, those 20 hours would remain in tact.
There is a self reliance about 100/100 that makes it more viable. When you are whole, youre not looking to fill any void which, more often than not, places a damper on your connection. You have an understanding in place, rules in place, building a strong foundation instead of a home that floats above ground.
It is safe to say that no matter the ratio, connections arent fool proof. There will always be some type of struggle to overcome. You just have to take the good with the bad, weigh your options, steer away from conveniences and maintain a self reliance even in togetherness.
Tips From The Socialite
Convenience is for stores, not relationships. Make the right decisions for the right reasons. For example, people often make the mistake of moving in together far too early. Usually because they spend a lot of time together and figure that its a great way to save money by splitting the bills.
But what happens when a job is lost? One person is forced to carry the weight of the bills, now doubled because you have someone guzzling up the electricity at all times of the day, as well as eating you out of house and home. I can dedicate an entire column to this statement alone. I just might
Voids are not to be filled by others. Its simple, if youre having a concern with loving yourself; this is something that you must address on your own. It is not always a 0/100 scenario, which leaves you in a state of coldness. By trying to fill a void through someone else, you could emotionally drain them, 100/0.
Stay the course. Time management is a key to healthy connections. Do not sacrifice your future for the sake of making someone smile in your presence. If they decide that they dont want to accept your hustle, they will do whatever is in their power to knock it.
If you want to get in good with the Socialite, bubbling hot apple pie would do the trick.