Home > women, Work > It All Happened Without You

It All Happened Without You

September 30th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

This isn’t about you. Not you either. This is about all of yous. The girls with whom I once shared my dreams and now are no longer around to see them come true.

As I think about what’s next, and I stay true to the belief that whatever it is it’s going to be great, I think about all of you who knew me then. You girls who let me tell them about my moves and my goals, but for whatever reason, aren’t around to see such things happen. I couldn’t have done it without you, but in a weird way I did.

My mom once told me to find a woman to build a life with and when she said it to me, it was more like a warning, less like a lesson. “If you do it on your own, you’re not going to want to share it as much,” she said. “You may mean to, but trust me, you’ll be selfish even if you don’t intend to be.”

Well, here I am today, working hard to accomplish the things I want most in life without one consistent person in it. My mom’s words still ring loudly in my ears, but just because she said so, doesn’t mean I bring a woman into my life while I make my next move. I could never use a woman in such a way.

What I can do though is recognize you who was once around when some very good things happened to me. I can remember you who held me down while I was interviewing for a job that at the time was the biggest deal in the world. I can remember you who was waiting already at my apartment the day The New York Times Magazine asked me to write an article I pitched them. I can remember you who I woke up the day GQ asked me to do the same. I can remember all of you who were there to witness these little moments of my personal history unfolding, and I can remember how intimate those moments were.

When I shared the news with you, I didn’t feel the need to share it with anyone else afterward, except for maybe Facebook, but you know, that’s not a real person. You were the only one I cared to tell, and the rest would have to call me if they wanted to hear the good news.

These days when I get some good news, it’s a little different. It’s not so much the loneliness that strikes me, nor is it an empty feeling. I have a great number of people who root for me every single day, but for some reason I also always think about you who is not here.

Maybe you were there  in the beginning when I first let you into this plan I had to succeed, but eventually it all happened without you, and I would love to share it with you, but I don’t think it would impress you. One of the great ironies in life is being with someone who has always believed in you. When you achieve all that you set out to and you tell them, they’re almost never surprised. Your good news doesn’t impress so much as it reaffirms what it is they already know.

But we both know I’ll probably tell you anyway. Even though you’re no longer around to see me make my next move, you deserve to know about it, especially (especially) if it’s a good one.

It’s odd to say this, but when you were around for the hard the times  — losing my job; losing my biological father; being hospitalized — the comfort of your presence never compared to when you around for the good times. Maybe it’s the man in me, but hard times always seem to be easiest to go through by myself.

I remember being all alone when I received the news one of my best friends, Trey, was killed in a car accident. I remember how I was relieved to receive the news alone in my apartment, that way I could allow myself just one good cry without the feeling of someone watching me get it all out. And I compare that feeling to the one I had when my sister called to tell me I would be an uncle. I was also alone then, and I felt so, just so lost. Of course I was through the roof with excitement, but have you ever been the only witness to something unbelievable? It’s like the feeling you get when you make a basket from 3/4 of the court with your eyes closed and no one is there to bear witness. The first thing you’re thinking is, Damn that was awesome and you’re running around with your arms held high. Then the “aw shucks” moment comes when you realize you’re only jumping into the arms of the air, and no one was around to witness your incredible shot.

Sharing bad news is intimate, but so is sharing good news.  I love that you held me down whenever times were hard, but I definitely missed you when the times were good.

——————————————————————————————

THE PROCESS

Health: Ate horribly yesterday and no I did not workout in the slightest either. So far, this part of the process is slow.

Career: In talks to meet with the head of a major media outlet on Tuesday, may be an interview, may be an informational. We will see.

Real Quick: The SIXTH edition of the Poppin’ Questions Podcast is now up. Click here to listen

Categories: women, Work Tags:
  • ladybird

    Maybe because I am single and can relate to just about every word you wrote, but I believe one of your best yet! *walking away smiling…….*

  • Cherie

    Great post!

  • danah

    aaahhh man Jozen. Unfortunately I feel your pain. All these amazing things have happened within the last 3 weeks and the one person who I know would be so excited for me is no longer around. It sucks. Yeah you tell friends but its not the same. :/

  • Phia

    Great post!
    I can relate to this feeling. It seemed all of the big things in my career started to happen shortly after my ex and I broke up. I remember feeling like we’ve talked about these things happening for such a long time and how proud he would be. I felt bad when I couldn’t share those moments with him but when I did see him and get the chance to tell him he said “I knew you could do it”.
    I used to feel like “success is nothing without some one you love to share it with”. I’m grateful for the times he was there to encourage me.

  • Avie

    Wow Jozen, this post could not have come at a better time. As I sit typing this comment, my eyes are filled with tears… just yesterday I was having these same thoughts and now today you have put them into words. I don’t know if I’m sad or happy that I’m not the only one feeling this way, but thank you for sharing. I hope all is well and that you have a great day despite the rain.

  • http://bubblyblackgirl.wordpress.com renae

    I’m sure we can all relate to this post. What I’ve learned my experience is that it’s wonderful to always have someone there to witness the bad and great moments of our lives. Going through it alone, however, encourages us to develop a love and happiness for ourselves that’s so needed, so that when we do come together with a significant other, we’ll know how to be happy for ourselves as always, and how to be there for them as we once were ourselves. Get it?

  • Starita34

    “It’s like the feeling you get when you make a basket from 3/4 of the court with your eyes closed and no one is there to bear witness. The first thing you’re thinking is, Damn that was awesome and you’re running around with your arms held high. Then the “aw shucks” moment comes when you realize you’re only jumping into the arms of the air, and no one was around to witness your incredible shot.”

    ^^^THIS! Thank you! What a perfectly vivid and accurate description of being single! I hate when people look at me wanting a mate as I don’t think I’m good enough or “incomplete” or insecure or whatever. I’m awesome. I’ma make that shot (win at life) with or without an audience (a man); but having a man makes the EXPERIENCE so much better! People can relate to that visual. Yoinks! *snatches the quote* Consider this example stolen, I’m using it, unabashedly, repeatedly, loudly! Life is better to me when it’s shared. Period.

    I love that you’re being up front with your progress, even when you fail. I find that being held accountable by saying goals out loud help me a ton as well. Best of luck. I’ma go ahead and send a prayer up for you tonight on the life goals. You’re welcome. I’m kind of a big deal. My home smells of rich mahogany and I have many leather bound books. 😉

    P.S. – I love when it rains in NY…you get all warm and gushy…I can’t help it, I dig it. <3

  • BoomShots

    That is an interesting view by your Mom. I cannot say I have ever thought about it in that way but I do see where she is coming from though. I have been hit with the “selfish” label a whole lot in that respect too. But I am in some respects a loner and I have developed habits attuned to not depending a lot on others and so there is not a lot of sharing either the wins or the losses.

    I see it as some of us need other people more than we may need them. So while I do enjoy sharing my life with people I love, I do equally enjoy my solitude. For a person like me for whom solitude is important there is a delicate balance to maintain in building relationships.

    I think if you are not someone who actively expresses needs or seek out others for interraction, you will always have people to share in your ups and downs. It just happens to be just how our society seems to work. If you think about it so much of our relationships require constant engagement with others. I admittedly find that tiring, I have only encountered one woman with whom I could be in a space at the same time and have her not need to be engaged. I miss that….. :-(.

  • Teddy

    This si an amazing post. Often times I find myself wanting to share of my successes and even failures with those from my past but I catch myself and convince myself to leave them there…in my past. Even tough a part of me yearns to tell them. Especially because they’ve always supported and believed in me despite me, at times, not believing in myself. I know it’s prob too late for that thing you had going on asking for favorite quotes you’ve written but i really did like this from today’s post…

    “One of the great ironies in life is being with someone who has always believed in you. When you achieve all that you set out to and you tell them, they’re almost never surprised. Your good news doesn’t impress so much as it reaffirms what it is they already know.”

  • http://weightlossandthesinglegirl.wordpress.com/ Single Girl

    This was amazing. You always find just the right words. Great post! -Single Girl

  • Teddy

    Ok I’m back again…ok homie you have GOT to do better with that Health part of the process! Start getting in the habit of eating better and taking care of yourself now so it doesn’t come back to bite you in the @$$ later! Plus if you adjust and change that part of your lifestyle gradually now it DEFINITELY won’t suck as bad trying to fix it when a few years from now you’re all soft and pudgy and ur bp is raised and wondering when the weight etc crept on. I only say this b/c I’m right there with ya on this one! It’s a movement no #fatassness! Take care!

  • Kady

    Another great well written piece.

    Can I just put it out there that I miss “Stories” and “Girls not to fall for” I really hope your not over those types of post.

    On the process: It takes time, im learning that as I try to get back down to my undergrad weight. Goodluck with the Job opportunity.

  • Mayra

    Great post! Good luck on Tuesday!!

  • http://loveh8relate.com Sway

    I really really like this post Joz…interesting perspective indeed…

    You are such a good guy to think of your exes in that way (the devil on my shoulder says when it comes to my exes, success is the best revenge..lol)

    I guess for me, as much as it feels good to have my guy there for me when things are going great, when he is there for me when things aren’t so great makes me appreciate him even more.

    Anyone can be there with you to share all your accomplishments and successes but when they are still there when you’re going through hard times, that definitely shows their character and how much they care about you.

    Don’t worry Joz, all of your accomplishments will be great stories to tell your future gf. And she will one day be the one who you can share all your new experiences with whether they’re good or bad.

  • E

    Great post, Jozen. Sitting here getting a pedicure, crying reading this. Very relatable.

  • http://www.since84.wordpress.com Talia

    …I assume this is why so many people have dogs.

  • Solo

    It seems like every major event in my life there was no one to share it with me. The sad thing is sometime I had a girlfriend. Even now girlfriend and and all at family gatherings I am flying solo. SMH!

  • Simply Beautiful

    Great post Jozen! Words of wisdom from your mom. I’m going to have to remember that to tell my son when he starts liking girls.

    @BoomShots

    Sometimes it’s just good to enjoy a person’s space and energy. When my ex and I were together there was one time I went to his house and he was on his laptop handling some business and I was on the couch watching a movie. There was no pressure from me to get him off of his laptop as I just needed to feel his energy. I knew that once he was finished he would come and join me. It was a perfect moment, well for me at least. He probably thought I was crazy for not being demanding of his time, LOL, as most women would have been.

    A lot of women need to understand the value of just being in the same space with the person they are with.

    Awe dang it, I just had a moment…

  • Anike Love

    Wow…it’s so funny. Yours was the first blog I had EVER read in the blogosphere, and every time I read it, I realize why I’m so drawn to it! Your words are so transparent and so pure. You know when someone’s talking in a room with no furniture and the words just sound so stark, crisp, and unadulterated? That’s what it sounds like to me every time you write. It’s like you’ve figured out a way to eliminate all the static noise characteristic of many blogs so that your voice and words never get drowned out…that’s real….

  • B*

    “These days when I get some good news, it’s a little different. It’s not so much the loneliness that strikes me, nor is it an empty feeling. I have a great number of people who root for me every single day, but for some reason I also always think about you who is not here.

    Maybe you were there in the beginning when I first let you into this plan I had to succeed, but eventually it all happened without you, and I would love to share it with you, but I don’t think it would impress you. One of the great ironies in life is being with someone who has always believed in you. When you achieve all that you set out to and you tell them, they’re almost never surprised. Your good news doesn’t impress so much as it reaffirms what it is they already know.

    But we both know I’ll probably tell you anyway. Even though you’re no longer around to see me make my next move, you deserve to know about it, especially (especially) if it’s a good one.”

    Exactly.

  • leressa

    Great post Jozen… I recently broke up with my ex of 14 years and I think the hardest part has been not having that person there through the bad times but you are sooooo right.. not having them there through the good time ( for me and for him) has been hard as well. I automatically want to call him or go home to him when something good happens and share it with him since he was there for the early years.. the planning and dreaming phase of it all… Your moms words are so true.. someone else can come on board later but I think I am a little selfish with my successes both big and small when it’s someone who didnt get in on the ground floor.

  • http://rewritingthehilife.blogspot.com Mel

    well said. well said. It is like the people that walk into your life are meant to walk in for a reason. I totally relate to the “sharing the good news” part because the people that believed in you…especially the ones that has seen you struggle to get to where you are at..its reaffirming. It because they knew all about your potential even when you didn’t see it in yourself. totally feeling you on this. single female trying to succeed in life, trying to establish myself and I don’t think that I would be the person that I’am today without the past loves that helped me throughout the years. love this post.

  • Nadia

    @ starita warm and gushy lol but I totally agree with you Josen. And I’m going to kick your butt for not taking care of yourself. If you continue on this path of unhealthy eating it WILL catch up with you. Remember everything in moderation. At least add one healthy thing. Your body will thank-you :-)

  • Nadia

    And um Josen..could you stop reading my thoughts? It seems like I was thinking exactly the same thing. It’s like that song by Kindred “Where would I be if I didn’t know you..”

  • http://www.avenue8.com MissMina

    “If you do it on your own, you’re not going to want to share it as much,” she said. “You may mean to, but trust me, you’ll be selfish even if you don’t intend to be.”

    So True

  • Starita34

    @Anike Love
    He turned me out on to the blog world too :-) Now I’m a total addict! Thanks for that Jozen!

  • Netreia

    I know I’m a day late, but thank you for your male perspective. It does make a little more sense to me, I can dig it Jozen…But, I will say I absolutely agree with your mom. As a single lady “doing it on my own” and I recognize the selfishness already.

  • Jinx Moneypenny

    When my mom died I was with my ex, but he wasn’t there for me like I needed him to be. He wasn’t all the way present. I still think he was trying to run away from it all, like avoid the unavoidable.

    Hence part of why the relationship is over.

  • ATLs.Marc.of.Excellence

    “If you do it on your own, you’re not going to want to share it as much,… You may mean to, but trust me, you’ll be selfish even if you don’t intend to be.”

    -I know I’m late, but that reads like my life… the downside to being single and successful….