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I Met My Person At The Wrong Time. So, I Had To Let Him Go.

Perhaps it's not about if we are ready for love, but if love is ready for us.

Her Voice

Gather around, everyone. I have a story to tell––a modern-day love story.

It was the year 2018 and I was a wreck. I was emotionally drained from a toxic relationship, so I bought myself a flight from Chicago to Los Angeles for a week-long getaway. I was able to shut off my phone, ignore work emails, and simply relax.

While I was there, I met this eccentric woman who could read people's energies with the touch of their hand. When she read mine, she told me that in August I will meet someone who will come into my life and give me the support I needed. Fast forward to a year later, I didn't know that this certain someone would actually appear and we would connect the way that we did. Especially at an inconvenient time.

I met him in August 2019 and we can call him "A".

I could be my complete self around him… 

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People have told me that I am charismatic and multidimensional. It really depends on the person I'm around at the time. But with "A", it didn't matter. He was able to see all the different sides of me and I didn't shy away from them either.

Not once did he judge me for knowing all the lyrics to College Dropout and can sing every classic Disney song under the sun (off-key, by the way). I like to hear corny jokes and I like to critique movies from start to finish––so did he. I remember when I would have solo dance performances in the middle of any room and he would join me with moves of his own. It was a level of comfort that just came naturally for "A" and me.

He was the friend I wasn't looking for… 

Ironically, having mutual friends is how we met in the first place. So, it wasn't difficult for us to be open with each other. We were able to talk about our childhood, secret creative passions, and what we wanted for the future. We also showed up for each other, which was huge for me.

"A" genuinely supported me with my career and my writing. I didn't even ask for him to do that. It was nice to know that whenever one of us felt anxious or doubtful, we would be right there telling the other person, you got this. "A" was the hype man I never knew I needed.

He reintroduced me to intimacy…

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I used to associate intimacy with sex. In the past, I was involved with emotionally detached men. So, I was used to dealing with men who, outside of sex, were unaffectionate and always had their guards up. "A" was the opposite. With "A", I was able to be vulnerable with him. I was given the space to enjoy being present with someone no matter what we did.

Whether it was cuddling on the couch, cooking our favorite meal, working out together, etc. There are so many ways to show intimacy that I didn't even realize. I suddenly figured out that true quality time is my perfect ending after a long day of work. Like a calm peaceful landing, "A" felt like home.

He didn't complete me… 

When I met "A", I didn't look for ways for him to complete me. I didn't convince myself that he was the answer to all of my problems. People sometimes make the mistake of seeing a friend or partner filling empty voids or bandaging heartbreak. I didn't see "A" that way.

When I looked at "A", I saw a man. A man who was strong, but a man with his own flaws nonetheless. I was aware to not project any of my issues on him and he would do the same. Neither of us was in search of perfection. We accepted each other for who we were as individuals with no pressure or expectations.

But, it was time to focus on me… 

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Even though I met this great man in August, this specific August was not a time to meet someone new. I was in a season of transition and selfishness. When "A" came along, I had just started a new job, I was going to therapy, newly single, and going back to school. I was in a good mental space.

I told myself that I was going to prioritize this time in my life for unapologetic self-love. I didn't want to jump into another relationship. I just wanted to focus on being committed to me. I made sure "A" didn't take up all of my free time. He wasn't a distraction, but someone I could enjoy life with. I needed to intentionally pour into myself instead of pouring into someone else.

He knew I deserved more… 

"A" couldn't give his all to me and I respected that. He was honest about where he was in life and refused to string me along. He spared me from the usual cycle of men being "one foot in and one foot out" in relationships. He knew what my values were and encouraged me not to bend them, not even for him.

Despite how our feelings grew since day one, it wouldn't be fair to either of us to be in a situation we weren't completely ready for. I know for me, I never want to be in a position where I compromise my needs again. "A" knew this and was clear that I deserved to have all my needs met. No one should ever settle for good enough.

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It's funny how they say when you find your person it's going to be magical. Where the person sweeps you off your feet. A woman walked into a bar and locked eyes with a man from two tables away. But in this instance, no feet were swept, it was just being at the right place at the wrong time.

I still believe that "A" and I were meant to be, just like that eccentric woman told me. But we all can agree that life is unpredictable. Who knows when "A" and I will cross paths again? Perhaps it's not about if we are ready for love, but if love is ready for us. I'm still learning as we speak. Whether you believe in people telling you the future or that things just happen by chance; people come into our lives on accident and stay on purpose.

So, to the man who inspired this article, if you're reading this, I'm glad you stayed as long as you did. I love you for that.

Are you a member of our insiders squad? Join us in the xoTribe Members Community today!

Featured image by Shutterstock.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

Lawd, lawd. I'm assuming that I'm not being too presumptuous when I start this all out by saying, I'm pretty sure that more than just a few of us can relate to this title and topic. I know that personally, there are several men from my sexual past who would've been out of my space a lot sooner had the sex not been…shoot, so damn good. And it's because of that very thing that you'll never ever convince me that sex can't mess with your head. The oxytocin highs (that happen when we kiss, cuddle and orgasm) alone can easily explain why a lot of us will make a sexual connection with someone and stay involved with them for weeks, months, years even, even if the mental and emotional dynamic is subpar, at best.

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