The Truth About Yesterday’s Post, the Girl who Broke Up With Me, and Personal Finances
First thing’s first: A warning that today’s post is a little all over the place.
Second thing’s second: I owe my readers an apology.
As most people who read this blog know, the success of UIGM can be attributed mostly to its honesty. Yesterday’s post (“Don’t Let Her Marry A Starving Artist”) wasn’t completely honest. Don’t worry, I didn’t Jayson Blair/Steve Glass/Manti T’eo things. I watered down the truth and for that, I’m genuinely sorry. I changed some things for the same reason I sometimes change the times and places of events and leave other characters nameless in my posts: For the purposes of creative license and to protect myself and others. Those who know me in real life can usually piece together details, and know the real story, but there are more people I don’t know who read this blog, and it is why I put up this wall between them and myself along with the people I write about.
I don’t turn up the drama on anything I write about (what we call James Frey-ing it); if anything, I turn it down. Whether it’s because I’m embarrassed by the more non-fiction version of events or I’m concerned with what the reaction might be, I temper things down because the truth is sometimes too much for even me to share. And maybe what I should do, when I know I’m writing about something that I’m sensitive about, is not write about it at all. Maybe I should wait until I’m comfortable with whatever has happened and then share with you all.
I didn’t do that yesterday. I’ve had a lot on my mind, and most of it has been about my finances. I’ve been opening up to more people in my personal life about it, and I knew it would be good to open up about it on this blog. So I decided to write what I wrote yesterday.
It was a fairy tale version of what actually happened, written in the more romantic second-person voice, because when done right, it sounds pretty. So I apologize to anyone who read the post and connected to it in a genuine way.
Ninety percent of the post is true. Everything from what my mother said to me before I moved out and started my first job after college to the money problems I faced with my first girlfriend. Those things happened.
The portion of the post that wasn’t true is as follows:
Too embarrassed to say anything to the girl, you made a decision that would break her heart and yours at the same time. The first thing you did is you admitted that once again, you were in a hole. This got her upset. You told her you understood why she was upset with you, and then you told her it is why you had to let her go.
Yeah, things didn’t happen like that.
She let me go, and this is how it happened.
It was a Friday and she decided to take the day off from work. Since she had a couple of appointments uptown, not far from where I lived, the plan was for her to stay at my apartment while I went to work and we would meet up later. When I left, everything was fine between us.
The day goes by and before I leave work I reach out to her to see if she wanted to do anything. Still tired from an exhausting week of work, she said she didn’t feel like doing much, and at most she wanted to get something to eat because she was hungry. I asked her if she wanted her space or she wanted my company because she can be particular about her space.
With little enthusiasm, she said I could come over and so I did. At her place, I could feel the negative energy, the reluctance from her to be close to me. She was cold and as distant as East and West, but I let it slide. That Saturday I went about my day and didn’t hear from her at all. We originally had some plans that night, but the two of us were tired and opted to stay in at our respective places.
On Sunday, I called her and texted her in the morning. She texted me back in the afternoon and said she would call me within the hour. Three hours later she texted me, “What’s up?” I texted her back, “I thought you were going to call me.” My phone rang, when I picked up, it was her on the other end sounding annoyed.
Knowing her well enough to know things weren’t going well, I asked her to tell me what was going on with her and if there was something wrong. She hesitated, and then said, “I need to ask you a question.”
“Okay,” I said. “What’s your question?”
She asked: “When I was at your place on Friday, I grabbed your keys and right beside them a stack of unopened envelopes fell, are you behind on your rent again?”
“Well, I think that’s something we should discuss in person,” I said.
“Okay, well come over,” she said.
When I arrived at her place, I explained to her how I got in that hole again. (As I said in yesterday’s post, she was with me when I got in the hole the first time.) But getting in the hole again was something I kept from her because I was embarrassed and I was sure I could handle it without her help. I also knew it could change things between us if she found out.
She said when the envelopes fell, she picked them up and she noticed how they were addressed. Then, she took one and put it up to the light. That’s how she knew how bad the situation was.
She asked me what I was doing about it.
I said my family was bailing me out.
She asked me what I was doing to make sure it didn’t happen again. I made mention of how I’m changing up my spending habits, and a bunch of other gibberish. When I say it’s gibberish, it’s not because what I was saying wasn’t true but because I think that’s what it sounded like to her.
She said my plan wasn’t good enough. She said she found it unattractive that I had no plan. She said she felt like she was with a boy and not a man.
She said she didn’t want to be with a boy. She couldn’t be with me. She wanted to be there for me, to help me, but she couldn’t do it as my woman, not anymore. It hurt her too much that the man she knew made her most happy was the same man who couldn’t afford to settle down with her, to get her a ring, to start a family. All of these things are things she wanted with me, and things she knew I wanted with her, yet none of them were things I could provide.
That’s what really happened, and even as I’m writing this, I hesitate to push the “publish” key, but if you’re reading it now, you know what I decided.
I know a lot of people are inspired or moved by my stories I share on this blog. People ask me all the time, what motivated me to write a “relationship” blog and I tell them, the ones I used to read weren’t as honest about their own lives as I felt they could be. I’ve always thought you can’t talk about other people’s relationships unless you’re willing to talk about your own.
That’s what this blog is about, after all, the key word in the title of the blog is “I.”
The reason I didn’t tell this story yesterday is because I know some people are going to judge the girl in it, and think she should’ve done things differently. The truth is, she too read the post yesterday and told me, it made her look weak.
She isn’t weak, and whether anyone agrees with her decision or not, I was with her that night, and I saw the strength it took for her to say those things. As hard as it was to hear them, it was just as hard for her to say them. One little detail I forgot to add is a lot of what she said was said through tears. But I can’t protect her or defend her from you all and I can’t sacrifice the truth for her protection.
The night of the breakup, I told my mom what happened. I was hesitant, because my mom really started liking this girl, and I knew when I told her what happened she was going to be disappointed things didn’t work out.
To my surprise, though my mom was indeed disappointed, she also said she couldn’t blame the girl for what she did. “You know, she’s right,” my mom said. “Maybe you’ll learn from this and if you want her back, you have to make the necessary changes in your own life in order to get her back.”
Well, one thing I’ve learned is, keeping things in, no matter how personal they are, isn’t helping me. The truth really does set us free, and even though I don’t know most of you all, dear readers, I think we understand there is a mutual respect and appreciation for one another here, which is based on my honesty. I care about you all, and because I write about my life in a very authentic way, you all care about me to an extent. I appreciate that and it motivates me to continue writing.
On this blog, I have written about forgiving the man who raised me (Pop) and the man who didn’t (my biological father). I have written about becoming an uncle. I have written and documented how I lost weight and gotten into shape. I have written about the death of one of my best friends and I have even helped one of my other best friends meet his wife-to-be. Through sharing these things, I know they have helped me and they have helped some of you, which is why I’m going to start being more open about my personal finances.
I seek solace in the fact that A LOT OF PEOPLE are struggling to make ends meet, to pay the rent, to keep the lights on. I know A LOT OF COUPLES struggle to stay together because of what they’re getting paid and not getting paid, and how they’re managing both of those things. Maybe, if I’m more open about my own struggles with personal finances on here, and my journey to get them under control, A LOT OF PEOPLE will be motivated to do the same. I don’t get paid to do such a thing, but I do believe I get rewarded.
This blog, has been an ongoing journal of a very interesting life, something deeper than a relationship blog. I think one of my best friends said it best the other day, that my blog isn’t about relationships specifically, it’s more about becoming a man.
Let me tell you something about becoming a man: You have to get dumped sometimes by someone who loves you for the shit you won’t fix in order to fix it.
I have learned firsthand, no woman really cares how much money you make. This woman, the one who broke up with me, didn’t even know how much I made. She just knew whatever I made, I wasn’t handling it responsibly. She saw me well-disciplined in so many other parts of my life, but when it came to money, she saw a child and no one wants to be with a child.
Fellas who read this, if you’re struggling to get by, take a look at what you’re doing and why you’re struggling. Then, fix it. And when I say fix it, I don’t mean the problem itself, I mean yourself, the person who caused the problem. Then ask someone for help, and if you have a woman who holds you down, make her one of the first people you ask. Be honest with her. It may scare her, but tell her, you’re only doing this because you want to get to a place where you can take that next step in life with her, assuming you want to. If she leaves you, fix it anyway and don’t let it stop you, because another woman will come in your life, and you don’t want to strike out again, especially for making the same mistake twice.