twenty something

Under Construction

Under construction. That seems to be the theme of my life right now. I’m in between jobs, not loving the city that I’m in (not even really liking it) and so confused about what God wants me to do.

I’ve been reading my Bible and praying every day searching for an answer, but I feel like I’m not listening hard enough. Or maybe God is giving me an answer and I just don’t like it.

You know, I read all these articles every day about “How to be successful as a 20 something” or “The 3 keys to success by your 30’s” and a lot of other crappy headlines that are crafted by writers like me to get those who have felt that they have lost their way (also like me) to click the link and hopefully share the article.

The truth is, no 500 hundred word article is going to have the exact answers I’m looking for. No amazingly successful 25 year old can tell me what I need to do in order to be successful. All I can really do is pray and trust God. And currently, that answer is truly driving me insane.

I realize I’m all over the place in this post so far, but just bare with me.

It seems like I give this blog some love and then leave it, I give it some more love, and leave it again and so this time around I asked God “What should I be writing, what should this blog be about?” and while I was home for the holidays visiting Light of the Word Christian Church (if you’re in Indy, check them out!) I got my answer.

I have sat through countless sermons where the pastor tells the congregation that we all have gifts that God gives us and I’ve been lucky enough to know that mine is writing for most of my life. I remember being five years old and saying I wanted to be an author and an illustrator. Now I’m not too crazy about writing and drawing children’s book anymore, but I do still want to write. So I listened to all those sermons and I wrote more the second half of 2015. I got published in Elite Daily and more clips from Thought Catalog, I wrote for Barkley’s blog, published my first think piece on LinkedIn and I even started and finished my first novel. What a blessing!

But here I am, a week or so into the new year with some serious writers block. Actually, some serious life block (is that even a thing?). Every thing is up in the air right now and guys, I’m scared, I really am. I’m excited about what God has in store for me, but I’m terrified too because I like to control things and right now, there are just somethings that are really outside of my control.

So I kept praying the same prayer because the word says to “pray without ceasing,” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

On the first Sunday of the new year Dr. David Hampton preached about how to grow the church. He said one of our main missions as Christians, is to bring sinners to Christ and I’ve been thinking about how I can do that ever since.

Personally, I do not think I’ve been called to preach, I’m not a fan of crowds, or public speaking and I’m not the best at uplifting people, so the thought of teaching a Sunday School class, or preaching to a congregation isn’t for me. But I am a writer and I do like sharing what I’ve been through in hopes that it will help someone else.

So, that’s what I’m going to do.

I have a lot of doubts, I’m not sure what’s particularly exciting about my life. (I feel like you all will soon realize the answer is nothing.) However, if I can use this blog to be really raw and honest about my walk with Christ, I think I’ll be doing something right.

As for my professional life, I’m currently freelancing in Kansas City and it’s a move I made a lot sooner than I wanted to, but it is what it is. All I can say is, pray for me friends. My 20’s so far have been a bit bumpy, but it’s all been worth it and I know that there is nothing I can’t do without Him on my side!

God Bless,

-BK 

How I realized the one, wasn’t the one

I’m always weary about writing anything too personal, I feel like that’s what my journal is for, but I’ve been sitting on this piece for some time now and It’s gone through a lot of editing thanks to one of my best friends (you can follow her here). I submitted it to Thought Catalog and it’s one of the first pieces they didn’t publish and honestly, I’m glad they didn’t. I think I needed to talk to the person this is about before just blindly posting my relationship woes on the internet.

The truth is, he was the first guy I seriously (but not so seriously) dated, the first person I felt comfortable around and had a connection with. I saw a future with him and I thought finally my life had begun (or was about to). Then, I read this awesome article about being a single twenty something and it was so eye opening (seriously click the link and read it).

As a Christian I definitely feel the pressure of finding my modern day Boaz and getting married. It’s all anyone seems to focus on (let’s just the ignore the fact that I am a graduating senior, interning for Dell and at the the capitol in Jefferson City next semester). But you know what, marriage is important to me and it is something I dream about often and I realized that every failed relationship isn’t necessarily a failure, but an learning opportunity. So, I decided that sharing my story on this blog might actually do some good. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

I wasted more than a year of my life. What’s worse is that, I spent too much time trying to be special to someone who didn’t value me. I know what you’re thinking: this is another one of those articles that will bash men. I’m not here to do that. I’m here to tell my story, and to possibly help someone else in the process.

I met him and he changed everything. Looking back at it, I feel like he fell out of the sky and decided he was going to “date” me. Our relationship was so random. The conversation was easy, there was no pressure, no awkward silences, it just felt right, but I was too stubborn to admit I might actually have feelings for him, so I just went along with it, making sure not to care too much.

After four months of talking, he asked me on a date and I was ecstatic, I thought about it the entire week, and when the day finally came I was shaking and couldn’t focus on anything else.

After all my anxiety, he stood me up.

Being stood up reminded me very quickly why I never wanted to believe in love in the first place. I immediately deleted his number and moved on. Or so I thought.

What seemed like it would be happily ever after, turned into nothing. I haven’t dated a ton of guys, but I was still sure that this one was so different. When you really care about someone, you begin to let your standards fall.

He didn’t lie to you, (except for that one time, but that was totally necessary, right?)

Plus, he might be the one.

I kept lying to myself. Three weeks later, I get a simple text “Hey lady, wassup?” I thought this was some kind of joke, though I didn’t show it, I really did like this guy and so even though I was relieved he finally text me, I was also confused as to why he was so nonchalant, as if he hadn’t stood me up, or ignored me for three weeks. I responded with something bitchy to let him know I was pissed and the apology texts rolled in.

*rolls eyes*

But I let him back in. I looked past it and let him make it up to me. It would take him standing me up about three more times (and then apologizing profusely) for me to realize I deserved better. I’d never dealt with this before. Even though I knew I didn’t deserve to be treated the way he was treating me, I kept forgiving him, as if a bottle of wine and free dinner with a movie solved all our problems (spoiler alert: it didn’t). I never said it to him, but I thought he was my first love.

I turned to my best friends for support, and even my mom, but most of the time their advice included some bullshit about our relationship being “real love” (because lying and being deceitful are fantastic qualities of real love).

I allowed his carefree attitude and the lust of a summer romance fool me. Everything felt perfect that summer. I had found the one. But school resumed and things began to change. The effort to communicate, spend time together and be a couple was gone. I let this go on for a little more than a year before finally saying something because I knew once I did, there would be no turning back.

Looking back at it, a text message saying “I’m done with you, you’re a piece a crap and I deserve better,” wasn’t the best way to try and end things, but that’s what I did. Such is life. He didn’t take it well. He called me a brat, said I didn’t know what I was letting go of blah, blah, blah. I didn’t respond, deleted his number, and we stopped talking.

Almost a month later, in the midst of my best friend getting engaged and a family member passing away, he called me and even though I didn’t have his number memorized, I knew it was him. I ignored it. He texted me, I ignored it. He texted me again, I gave in.

Turns out he was pledging into a historically black fraternity and really wanted me to be at his probate. So, despite all the bullshit of the past year, I went and I bought him a gift because I was proud of him, and in a giving mood. The possibility of what could happen next excited me.

I went to his probate with my two of my best girlfriends and at the end of it, all I got was a hug. To make matters worse, he didn’t even take my gift. He said he’d come visit me soon and get it, which never happened.

For weeks and weeks that stupid black box sat on my kitchen table and mocked me. It sounds dramatic, but every time I walked out of my room and saw it, I got sick. I just wanted to be done with him and I feel like I had done everything in my power to try to be. He told me he felt like I was the one, but ignoring me for weeks, and rolling over to his side of the bed when I wanted to talk about our relationship didn’t feel like love. I held on to the idea of there being an us, but most nights I was alone, with brownies he never came to eat (but always seemed to beg for).

I forgave him, multiple times. I prayed, read the Bible, and prayed some more. I read the story of Ruth and Boaz repeatedly, hoping to find the part where Boaz was a jerk to Ruth, but then turned it around, but it wasn’t there. I bothered anyone who would listen to get their advice, but the truth was, I just wasn’t over him. He wasn’t my Boaz. I had to realize that.

After spending time at my parents house, I returned to my apartment and decided I was getting rid of the gift. I realized I was holding onto it because it gave me hope that I would see him again or hear from him, but the reality was it had been a month, it was over, for real this time. I realize I could have just thrown the gift away, but I wanted real closure.

I drove 30 minutes down the highway in rural mid-Missouri, rain pouring and the sky pitch black. I put the gift in front of the doorway, knocked and walked away.

Now I’m sure you’re reading this and thinking wow, you left a gift at his door, big whoop. But it isn’t about the gift, or even that I got rid of it, it’s what it symbolizes. The gift was the last part of me he would ever have. It meant I was finished.

Every person that walks into your life teaches you something about yourself. My not-boyfriend (what I called him behind his back) taught me that love is real and finding the one is possible, he just wasn’t it. He taught me what I wanted from a man and more importantly not to settle for a boy. He helped me see my beauty without the makeup or the nice outfits and perfect top knot bun and he taught me the importance of spending time with the people you love without letting social media or electronics get in the way. He taught me to trust my gut and to stand up for myself the first time, not the fifth. He also showed me what love isn’t.

Not every relationship is going to have a happily ever after, nor is it going to end with a civilized talk, resulting in a mutual decision to go your separate ways. You shouldn’t have to beg someone to pay attention to you to know your worth. It should be natural. Being wanted and loved is an amazing feeling, but sometimes you’ve got to forget how you feel and remember what you deserve. And once you do, you won’t settle for anything less.