“I’M THE ONE TO BLAME…AIN’T NO LOVIN’ ME. SO, DON’T COME LOOKIN’ FOR LOVE”
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Dear Young Dia,
I think you always struggled with just wanting attention…loaning the pits of your heart for anyone to linger…loaning the pits of your garden to anyone’s fingers…trading the lies of your confidence to your insecurities…it’s no wonder I jumped through hoop after hoop trying to get someone to love me. The truth is…you should’ve never played victim when it was you who pitched your mind, it was you who pitched your soul, it was you who pitched your body. It was you lingering in those rooms, to taste the lips of even family, just to satisfy this forsaken lust, attention, and curiosity. If I could tell you anything…it would be..to take pride in being ME. Take pride in being you. You’ve held these mistakes in for so long, maybe out of fear someone would judge you..maybe out of guilt because you warped those mistakes to start playing victim…you twisted those memories into your own version of lies. You already felt bad about your big thighs…the last thing you wanted was to have anyone think that you were nothing but a pit of lies. A volcano of stories, ready to erupt with ANYTHING to get anyone to like “me”. But nonetheless, a tsunami flowing with love you ALWAYS gave so freely. A storm silently and kindly raging. So Young Dia, this is who you are. This is what you’ve done. Place it for the world to see. You were just like everyone else, but what makes you special is that no one can pull off “me”. I would tell you to take the mask off…for everyone to see. I would tell you to close your heart. You thought it wasn’t there, but love was always around me. I would tell you…to even enjoy the pain and the guilt and the lust if you knew the “me” it’d turn US to be. Young Dia, the past cannot hurt you nor can it bear any blame. Press on towards your future with all love and no shame. You were always beautiful and you were always loved…even when you couldn’t tread up stairs lightly. Love was in the air in you, love dissolved the air from God, and love ALWAYS flowed from your family. Cant you see? Young Dia, don’t go lookin for love. For it was always around you…and it’s always around me.
I struggled for so long, questioning, “Why didn’t you want me?” How could a mother just up and leave her only child? How could you just treat the comfort of my grandparents home as a dump..just to leave me? I beared the last name of someone who wasn’t even my daddy…Ma, why didn’t you love me? Tears sting as I think of the letter I wrote when I was 17. I said I hated you. But the truth is…to say I hate you means I also hate me. Still searching for love, that’s what you told me brought me to you. I remember the night just as vivid as the moon above me in the dark blue. I sat on a bench as the tears trickled through my lips. From your hips, you said you beared a gift. You told me what you NEVER told me. That while you may have left…your biggest achievement was having me…Because while I was looking for love, just like you, Ma you told me on that phone that you HAD to have me in order to love YOU. Those tears were bittersweet that night. Because I can only imagine your courage…facing an decision to get rid of a baby…that ain’t easy. Then, giving birth to a baby you had to leave. That night I also learned, my life could’ve ended as quick as “1,2,3,” if you decided to spread your fears in a clinic. Mama, you may not be perfect. But, I stand proud that you didn’t end it. I stand proud that through what you may call bad choices…you went lookin for love and you found me. If I could take back that letter, I’d take back those words of selfishness, pain, and deceit. I’ve spent my whole life trying to be NOTHING like you. But, the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. And I’m proud to say…Ma, I am you. And you are me. And we are BOTH free. I think you eventually stopped looking for love once you realized, you too had it. I’m proud of you ma. You looked in the mirror, you saw it through, and you did not quit.
I used to think I’d never last in any relationship because the only love I got from you was supposedly a check on the day I was born. I guess I was your scarlet letter as you moved on…I hope you wore my “A” everyday and wore it everyday with scorn. Everyone praised the gift they received on June 25th, but I guess you were scared. I used to wish I had your lap to sit on, and you called me 'baby girl'. But, I guess you weren’t ready. Maybe you were embarrassed. Maybe you and ma weren’t going steady. But, at the time…it should’ve never been about you. I’m selfish. It was always about me. Daddy, the only thing I needed to hear from you was “Don’t go lookin’ for love”. I needed that for me. I searched for you. Ma sat me down one day and told me your name. It didn’t take long for me to see the same chinky eyes and chubby cheeks on you that were on my face. The hate I harbored for ma, it’s crazy…but I never had for you. I just wanted to know…I needed to know…Why was I never good enough for you? It’s okay because I found the warmth of the title “daddy” in the comfort of “Nana”, “Papa”, and “Auntie”. I hope one day you thank them for the job you couldn’t do. I know I sure do. I hope you enjoy the security of your other family…I hope one day you see my face on a TV and stare in disbelief…Because while you may have left, I am still you. And you are still me. Did you go lookin’ for love? Is that why you left me? Neglecting the bundle of it that you never knew already existed. I would’ve loved you so much daddy. You could’ve came home angry at the world…and I would’ve hugged you tight, reminding you of all the good that was still here. Maybe ma and you would’ve had a bad fight, and I would’ve been the one wiping away your tears. I’ll stop now. Because I won’t sell myself dreams. After all, you gotta be careful what you pray for. Words from my mama, says from the way you treated her…I was better off with you walking out the door. So, wherever you are daddy, I wish you the best. Maybe I was the worse. Maybe I was your curse. But don’t go lookin’ for love. I’m already here. And if you already found love. Please, if you don’t do anything else daddy…keep it near.
This is simple. Thank you. For the moments you’ve seen me cry about the guy I thought was gonna be with forever…and the next one…and the next one…and the next one. Thank you to those who choose to stick around even after the battles I’ve lost AND I’ve won. And for the lies I told, some of you know, and you still accept me… for me. Just as the water of my love flows, thank you for the wave of love you give me. Sometimes…yeah, life does get lonely. Some of you know I’m too strong to pick up the phone and call. So, thank you…for calling me. Mama Hannah, thank you for cursing me out when I’ve done nothing but act carelessly. To so many…many…many hotbox sessions…those were needed for great relief. To so many careless drinks…yes, even the Nyquil, those nights were needed for great memories. People tell me I have so many “friends”, but truth is…they do come and go. And sometimes, I never know. And after we loved hard, stayed up late, and cried together, I’m left with sheer moments. Like the time you had to stay in my room Curtis, on the run from Campus Security. Or the time I told you I was fine, but you called my poker face Tyrek. Kim, life was all good as drunken freshman when we fell on the party floor. Keiara, I bet you’ll never forget when we started the “electric slide” in the party as soon as we walked in the door. I guess what I’m really saying is that for all these “friends” , I am forever grateful for memories and the love you gave to me. Because while I was lookin’, I failed to see that I had a Keiya, a Taylor, a Tianna, or a Nickson beside me. Look what you guys have done to me. You filled me with a love that I don’t have to look for…a love that was ALWAYS within me. So, thank you Amanda for always telling me when I’m trippin’. I can always leave it up to you Seirra to always pray for me when I’m slippin’. I am so proud that you have joined me on this journey TJ because you were among the first to help me when I felt like I was going crazy, and thank you for harboring my secrets. Thank you Melissa for making my 19th birthday one to remember and giving me that bomb lap dance just when I needed it. Tatyana , I saw you break and that vulnerability is something that will never be forgotten. As long as you got me, I got you. Ha. Da’Vonne, thank you for playing phone tag with me even when I can get so busy and forget about you. Crystyle, I bet you’ll always remember “My Neck, My Back”. So will Tre’ and those shots I made you both throw back. That’s enough for now…can you feel the love that looms between my words? The adventures that does my heart joy in knowing what I have given. To everyone that is and isn’t mentioned…this is us. This is the love that is already here. No searching high or low. And to those not in my words, you’re still in my heart. To those who have already left, I’ll always remember our start. And I will miss you. I will miss US. and part of you will always be close to me. To those who will leave, I’m just thankful that you were a leaf on my tree. You were a branch that grew from this broken stump. You were a hood of shade when I couldn’t bear the light…when I couldn’t bear ME. Thank you for the roots of love you planted. Thank you for your seed.
To whoever you may be. You did all of the above: you fed me attention, you told me I was pretty without makeup, you made me believe I was a Queen, you had my back, you made me feel free, and you took care of me. Every one started out so intense…because in you I saw a “happy” me and in me, you sought a “better” you. But, I just can’t offer the love you’re looking for, if first, I have to love me. Truth is..I went from you baby…to you baby…to you baby……to losin’ me. In you I found what was bad that only I could make good. In you, I found a partner that I just wasn’t ready for, so I walked out the door….and in you, I found freedom….From my own depths of “lonely” and you offered me a good time, excitement, and someone who’d probably jump off a bridge for me. You offered me chemistry. You offered me what I envision I’d want to marry. But in loving all of you, when did I love me? In lookin for your love, when did I enjoy the love for me? Now, all that’s left is the broken heart that I broke as a result of playin’ me. All that’s left is lips that twitch ready to kiss late. All that’s left is beating hearts, eager to announce it’s soul mate. But, don’t go lookin’ love. Not when it’s the wrong timing. So, when I say I’m not the one you want to love right now, believe me. I know you still love me and it’s clear to see. You should just share a couple moments with a woman like me. You’ll probably go insane with a woman like me. I’ll build you up, but ain’t no lovin’ me. And I’m the one to blame…ain’t no lovin’ me. So, don’t come lookin for love….Because I have to love me. Baby, it was never anything with you. It was EVERYTHING to do with me. And I’m not lookin for your love anymore…I’m lookin’ for me.
Thank you…for lovin’ a lil sinner like me. After so many prayers of just saying “Lord, you know my heart” and turning right around and lingering out late in places I know I shouldn’t be. Thank you…for accepting me for the insecurely confident, joyful, stubborn, impatient, ambitious ME. God, I know if no one sees me. You see me…and you give me clarity. I was doing good once- single…and it was just you and me…and I was happy. Somewhere along the way, I just got lonely…and nah, you weren’t enough. You couldn’t put me to asleep. You couldn’t trace the curves or stretch the limbs of my body. You were just there when I needed prayer…and when I needed something to bless me. And I’m sorry. For always running back to you after I realized I tried to place you in yet another body…trying to seek the love you already give within the darkness of being in someone’s arms. For trying to make my own rainbow in the midst of my own storm. I’m sorry….for being me. For being truly…the black sheep. But, in a moment… I cried…because I didn’t want you to move me…I didn’t want to leave what felt right…what felt good at night…what felt like it would put me right where I started…alone. But, just as clear as a crystal ball, I see. I went lookin’ for love…and there it was…right here in YOU…right here in me. These words won’t be enough for the nights I creep…for the nights I drink…for the nights I’m the FIRST one ready to match. But all I can say is thank you…for still crowning me just a “little” below your angels and still calling me a Queen. I’m not ashamed of the love I know is here by the surplus amount of your grace. Because when evil tries to lurk from my past, I don’t feel guilty. I know light is what I see…and light is me. Lost as lost can be, crooked as crooked can be, broken as broken can be…thank you for lookin for and lovin’ on me.
Last but not least….
Damn Dia. You’ve really outdone yourself with this one. Just put it all on the table, huh? Yeah, this is it. You’re ready…for whatever. You’re ready to “just be”. You know, there was a time we couldn’t sit in the silence. It forced me to look at me. And I was scared…I was so scared of what I’d have to see. But it’s clear to me, I’m just…me. And there’s nothing…nothing..NOTHING wrong with me. See, ya problem is Dia, you get so warped in this society. You forget about “me”. We weren’t meant for things we see. We were BUILT. We were declared. We were decreed. We ARE free. Yet, you still find yourself in traps…trying to cage me. Whether that’s through silence, your insecurities, or the love you think you don’t get for me. Dia, baby, I’m here. This is me. It’s ALWAYS been me. If I wanted you to get the love from somewhere else, I would’ve sent you to Burger King…At least, there you could ALWAYS have it your way. That was corny as hell, but the point is…I’m here Dia…and I’m here to stay. So love me…and ONLY me. It’s okay to give love, give it freely, but it’s also okay to NOT be ready. You’re 21. We’re not ready to walk down a damn aisle or let alone cook breakfast in the morning. Girl, you don’t even know how to enter a room “quietly” without giving any warning. Love is good and all…and hey, I’m glad you’ve got a couple Bachelor’s on their toes. But, you aren’t a prize that can be bought with a ring. You’re a wanderer into a forest, you’re bare toes in the spring…you’re a trip to the water…you’re a hike through Spain…you’ve been caging your freedom and that’s what’s been bringing you pain. Because while you love everyone, yes, I know you really do. It’s okay to admit, that you like to wander…you like to see the world…you like impulsive…you like SPONTANEOUS you. And I’m not ready for you to lock that in just yet. Because we have a world to see…I have a waterfall to show you and JUST you. I understand you wanna get married. I understand they also wanna marry you. But…just WAIT until it’s true. Stop tryna lock them…and dammit Dia…STOP TRYNA LOCK YOU. One day, it’ll happen and I have a feeling you’re gonna be so in love…there won’t be any stopping you..But please, for God’s sake, just enjoy me and you. Because Atlanta and Emory? They’re calling you. The moon? It’s waiting for you. I am so in love with you Dia and so proud…because you’re starting to feel it again..just like I hope you would. You aren’t just some girl…you’re the Little Queen that COULD. Smile. I see you smiling as you write this…just happy that you’re happy…an hoping that someone gets SOMETHING as they read. I see you Dia. Keep being happy. Keep writing…And please for me…keep being free. Love always, your trap queen. Love me. I love you girl.