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Used to Be.

I used to be that girl.

That got daps from her girls when #1 and #2 would page me at the same time, just as #3 was picking me up from school. Back then? I was that girl who had boyfriends to match every outfit and honey, nothing ever went outta style in my closet. I broke up with dudes over voicemails and threw away love letters. Dodged guys in the hallway so I wouldn’t have to have “that” talk ‘cuz God forbid I went to boat dance with someone from my own school. “No, I don’t like u. No, I won’t give u a chance. And no, I won’t think about it.” That girl never played on anyone, but she played with minds … and most likely hearts … and definitely feelings.

Then, I became that girl.

That fell in love. And for the first time ever, I entertained the idea of marriage. I wrote my first name and his last, with a promise ring to match. I kept stuffed animals, and ticket stubs, and invitations, and Valentine’s Day cards. “I” became “we” and “we”became “us” all without ever losing ME. That girl wrote songs to a melody only they could hear. So I learned to beathe deeper, hug tighter, kiss longer, and dream sweeter. That girl smiled with her eyes, shined on cloudy days, and floated with no wings.

And then, I became that girl.

That needed space. That needed to live. That needed to be free. That needed some time apart. That neeed reassurance. That just wanted to make sure. That needed an excuse. That needed to be “independent.” That wanted to meet new faces and touch new bodies and give out her number when it was asked. That wanted to be selfish. That was selfish. That chose to replace love with the thrill of the chase. That took her relationship for granted and swore she meant it when she said, “It’s ok. You can date other people too.” Until he did.

So I thought I could be that girl.

That just didn’t give a fuck. That could fuck the pain away. And have one night stands. And booty calls. And be a gold-digger. And play the role. And hustle MEN. And pretend she didn’t care. And asked for favors with a lick of her lips and bat of her eyes. That thought she was a hard rock when she really was a gem. Bumpin Jay-Z all day everyday. “I parts with nothing, yall be front. Me give my heart to a nigga? Not for nothin. Never happen, I BE FOREVER MACKIN. Heart cold as assassins, I gots no passion, I gots no patience and I hate waiting so nigga get ur ass in here and let’s ri-i-i-i-i-ide.” That girl filled voids and threw away the big picture for momentary happiness and attention. I was the great pretender.

But then inevitably, that girl showed up.

And that girl knew that other girl didn’t exist. Who thought she was nothing. Who didn’t matter. Who wasn’t loved nor felt she deserved to be. Who thought shit was so unfair and never caught a break. Who was worthless and stupid and ugly and every synonym of it. Who knew she would never find happiness again. She didn’t want happiness ever again. I cried and cried and cried. In the shower until my fingers became pruny. And in bed, until I fell asleep – hoping and wishing God wouldn’t let me wake up. That girl gave up on life, gave up on love, and gave up on herself.

Until, I became this girl.

Who is finally allowing herself to live, love, and be happy once again. Who although is bruised, will never be broken. Who is STILL learning, but learning from her mistakes and learning how to move on. Who is thankful and grateful and blessed. For everything. Who knows she is talented, and intelligent, and beautiful, and will never allow another person to make her forget. Who refuses to settle for anything less than she deserves. Who is humble and knows not to take anything for granted. Who is selfish. Fuck yah, I said it. ‘Cuz ain’t nothing wrong with wanting more for urself. Who loves life, those in her life, and most importantly loves herself.

And I never, ever, want to be that or that or that girl ever again.

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