Earlier this week I talked with my therapist about my man struggles. Over a lagging video call, I shared my frustrations about how I have not had a serious crush on a guy for a few months and how I do not know if or when I will ever desire a specific man again.
“It’s not even that having a boyfriend would improve any area of my life, because my life is already complete,” I said. “I just wish I knew now if I would meet a guy on February 8, 2022. Or at 3pm on April 5, 2023. Or if I just will never meet a man I want to date and fall in love with.”
“But what would you be missing if you never met a man you fell in love with?” she asked.
“Literally nothing,” I said. “It’s just the not knowing.”
After this session, I thought a lot about how the unexpectedness of whether I will meet a man who I want to
dominate me date bothers me. Unlike a lot of people I know, I feel so content and complete with myself, my closest friends, and my various ways of trying to make a difference in the world. I know others who use romantic relationships to dispel loneliness or to feel as if they are “adulting” successfully (i.e.., following the heteronormative/patriarchal designated life path). I could not care less about finding a man for either of those purposes. Thus, as I ran to BlackPink’s “As If It’s Your Last” on the treadmill of my empty neighborhood fitness center, I wondered how much my frustration with not knowing if I will ever date a man stems from my general orientation toward planning and my lack of spontaneity.
The other night I had a trauma nightmare that related to my issues with unexpectedness. In my nightmare, I worked at a sleek, futuristic-looking corporate firm. On my way to the lobby to buy something to drink I somehow noticed that my mother had been named CEO of Starbucks, which I guess was housed in the same building as my corporation. As I ordered my drink at the concession store
which was probably a fruit smoothie because I am also fruity and taste delicious, my mother appeared out of nowhere and then, a little later, started yelling at me.
In my nightmare, the cashier and a random man managed to restrain my mother after I asked for help. Even though the dream ended okay, it made me reflect on how growing up, my mother would scream at me at random intervals in which I had no control. I remember how as a kid, my brother, my grandparents and I would always keep watch for when we would see my mother’s 2006 Honda Odyssey pull into the driveway, so we could warn one another and evacuate any area of the house she may come into contact with. As a child, no matter how much I tried to prepare, my mother would still fly into unpredictable rages that left me in tears for hours on end.
Seven years have passed since I left my childhood home. With more distance from my mother’s abuse, I am trying to remember that some of the best parts of my life have been unexpected. When I chose to go to my undergraduate alma mater instead of UPenn or UVA, I had no clue that there I would meet the two women who are now my closest friends, women who are both independent and caring, emotionally intelligent and excellent communicators, hilarious and wise as fuck. When I graduated from undergrad and felt devastated upon leaving my first long-term therapist, I did not expect at all that I would discover BlackPink in later 2017, who would follow up their summer smash “As If It’s Your Last” with “How You Like That” and “Lovesick Girls” in 2020, thus completing their holy trinity of pop perfection. As a kid I made it my goal to escape my childhood home so I could finally be happy, though I didn’t predict the specific forms of joy that awaited me: dying my hair pink to honor my queerness and match Rosé from the “Lovesick Girls” music video, laughing with friends about inadequate men over Skype and Zoom and FaceTime, and going on a walk to take out the recycling while reflecting on how I want to write my upcoming blog post about accepting the unknown.
I am trying to tell myself: it is okay to sit with the unexpected. Maybe a queer man of color who I will
lick forge a healthy emotional and physical bond will come or maybe he will not. In some ways I still feel a bit activated by the uncertainty. I want to know now, so I can plan or at least eliminate some of the unknown. But unlike during my childhood, I am okay with not knowing, because I am okay in this moment. As I write this, I sit in my dining room with my pink hair, an empty packet of fruit snacks to my left, typing the last few words of this post, safe and sound.
What is your relationship with things that are unexpected or unknown? How do you cope with what you do not have control over in life? General reactions or feelings related to this post? Hope you are all doing well and until next post!