JOURNEY & JEWELS: Second Time Around
For me, it was always, “I am only going to do this once”. However, that was not my story. Years ago, I was young, googly-eyed, and ready to be married, or so I thought. It was not long after the cake had been cut and the honeymoon came to an end, that we’d both wake up to see that we were simply not for each other. Stay awhile, as we journey through my reality. I’ll share with you all how my experiences shaped a man that is strong enough and worthy of calling I’sis my wife.
I really thought that the first time around would be the "picture-perfect" marriage that I saw in the movies. I learned very quickly that many of those images were merely illusions. Soon after I got married, reality knocked on my door, and in no time, my marriage was over. Most people see who I am now and wonder how I could have been divorced if I am this big advocate of love. The truth is, the person that they see now is not the person that I was in the first marriage. I’ll admit, my communication skills in my first marriage were almost non-existent, and at the time, I felt like I had a lifetime to learn the ropes.
The hardest part for me was knowing that I had to face the public with this failure. I felt like I was in the ring with self-doubt. It was the one opponent that would win each round in my fight for my happiness. After each round, I would go into my corner, battered and bruised. Rest assured, I had family and friends in my corner, fueling me to get up, and fight harder. So, that's what I did. I realized that in order for me to win the battle, I actually had to swing back!
I had to look around in an empty apartment, somehow pick myself up, and start over. As daunting as that sounds, that period of my life was crucial to my growth as a man. This forced me into a space where I had to take advantage of this very challenging moment, and use it to invest in myself. Who knew that redecorating my apartment could be so liberating? It was deeper than just decorating, I was making a statement to myself. I was using my new "bachelor pad" as an expression of who I was becoming at the time. Did it still hurt? Yes. However, each day I made it a priority to focus on being reflective, and growing forward.
This defining moment in my life prepared me to love better, beginning with the person in the mirror. Writing became an outlet for me to express all that was changing in my life, and it helped me to purge myself of the negative emotions that burdened my heart. I found comfort in writing. My writings started with myself, and later reached thousands of people who had experienced the same pain that I had felt. It was then that I realized that I wasn't alone.
While my writings helped me to grow from being hopeless to hopeful, I still battled with the lingering thoughts in my head, questioning whether I was good enough, or worthy of a second chance. Yes, I had thousands of followers on social media, and I’d even spoken at events on the topic of love, but I'm human. As I used my past to help others heal, I wanted to remain optimistic that I would one day find love again, and this time, I would make sure that I am ready before entertaining the idea of marriage. As my writing became more hopeful of a love that I believed I deserved, a good relationship didn’t seem too far-fetched. I knew that if I found someone worth dating, that I would move forward with a purpose and intentions of possibly getting married.
I had been divorced for a couple of years when I connected with my now wife. Overtime, our relationship as friends grew deeper, but I knew that I wanted to love again, and she was exactly what I wanted in a life-partner. I found myself falling for this woman with every word uttered, and every smile captured. Do I want to do this again? Well, as the relationship continued to blossom, I soon realized that I could see myself with her. Only six months after making it official, I was sure that I wanted to marry her, and it became evident when I proposed to her!
My journey may not have been the easiest, but I have learned so much about me and what I wanted. I was open to love again. See, being open to love means being prepared for heartbreak, but trusting that it won’t happen to you again. Would I have liked to have I’sis be my first wife? Of course, but with the first experience came wisdom, and now I find myself avoiding mistakes that I would have easily made in my first marriage.
1) You Are Enough.
This goes for both men and women. Whether you were previously married or just dating, understand that you are more than enough for the person meant to love you. We all experience breakups, and for many of us, it can be pushed to the very edge of a breakdown. However, never let an experience go to waste. No, you’re not dumb for giving your heart. The issue lies in the fact that many become so bitter with their experiences, that they miss the lesson. Experience is our best teacher. The goal is not just to go through life, but rather to grow through life. When you choose to use life’s biggest lessons to help you evolve, you are preparing your best self for your future mate, and most importantly, you are giving your best self to the person in the mirror.
2) Remain Hopeful.
Break-ups and divorces can leave you feeling broken. It can drive you away from the idea of wanting to ever love again. If you subject yourself to the state of hopelessness for too long, you will enter into a state of depression. Hopefulness is an attitude. When you change your attitude, you affirm that whatever you desire for your heart is possible. Yes, this was the second time around for me. However, this was the first time that I felt completely connected to my mate. It can happen.
3) YOU Are Not A Failure
People will try to proclaim that YOU are a failure because your relationship didn't last. Your relationship may have failed, but YOU didn't. People will try to pin you to your past and make you feel unworthy of loving another individual. The person you were in one relationship does not have to be you in another. Yes, you can grow.