Honey child, let me tell you....... 'Merica was NOT amused by the latest utterance from the lips of their Commander-n-Chief at the recent Presidential debate. I'm sure that night, the google algorithm went bonkers as scores of people were eager to know precisely what the heck his latest debacle meant. I don't need to get into all the particulars that sparked this outrage; all I know is that was some tea that was bound to go down the wrong hole. All the same, getting a better understanding of his phrase forced me to examine myself more closely, as most things do these days. All I can tell you is this, while the term was bad timing at the debate, it sure was an eye-opener for me.
So, have you ever been madly in love, only to break-up, but you're still hoping against all odds tingum' catches some sense and you'll rekindle? Well, sorry to inform ya, you are in relational standby. Just as in real life, one often ends up on standby when something or the other (warranted or not) distracts and detours you from your intended destination. You know, like when you're headed to the airport but you had to stop at the mall one last time? Ah, well, if you're Bahamian, just kiss your check-in window goodbye.
Contrary to expectation, you can pray all the way there in hopes that the airline gods can get you on this next available flight home. Chances are, unless it's a slow travel day, that standby seat never really comes available.
Translation: when a distraction happens, the scheduled itinerary is usually cancelled.
On the flip side, have you ever been in a relationship, and you've put everything before the other person? I mean, from the cat, the dog, the pig, the hog, even to the fly on Mike Pence's head. Well then, somebody in this scenario is steady standing back and sometimes unawares. Translation: people WILL make time and provisions for what's important to them.
Being in either of these positions is not necessarily bad, BUT it's what you do next that makes all the difference. You can either pony up and pay for a secure seat on another airline (walk away), or you can bite the bullet and confirm a seat on the next flight (work it out). No matter how thin you slice this, though, you need to make up in your mind, there's gonna be a wait.
You'll already know Miss-To-Legit-To-Quit done subjected herself to all kinda dumbness in these last 20 years. I was that PYT pining over a dude whose actions clearly indicated that I was not then nor would I ever have been a priority. Still, I was happy on standby because it didn't matter the lapse in time between his calls; I went running when it came through. My downfall, I never stood back to evaluate the situation. I was foolishly happy to know my name, at the very least, was on the list. Oh-'Em-Gee, sometimes I feel like my life was worst than a low budget lifetime movie event!
Anyway, when I finally caught some sense and stepped back, I was able to hit the much-needed reset button. So I reclused because I was too all-over-the-place to garner the peace I needed to heal. I began to focus on my life for a change. I got a degree, had some exposure and experiences I otherwise would not have had, and met some pretty amazing new people along the way. And just like that, high off my zen sabbatical, I re-entered life—almost just as I knew it. Then BAM, just like that, I did the same garbage all over again. Don't side-eye me! Don't you dare criticize me for being a pot, when you fully know you a kettle!
The danger of being in a zen headspace is that you start to think everyone is where you are. Rather than see the reality, you can be trapped in a mental Narnia. You can honestly begin to think everyone is happy and whole—sipping the same kool-aid. You think, surely everyone has it together, at least that's what it looks like. Ahh, you can picture it, you, the lion, and the witch, in the wardrobe—all living peaceably in Narnia, where people are not mean or crude or selfish. Like, seriously, no dude out there is gonna purposely hurt me. Right? Chicks, not users! Right? Not even the spawn of Satan is out there, leaving a trail of broken hearts in his wake. There is no way! You earnestly believe that while you were off on your gap year tour, the world somehow rid itself of the buffoonery—but no, alas, that did not happen. But don't be mad either, it's okay. Everyone's season of awakening is not in-sync with yours.
So how did I, Miss-Smart-as-a-Button, let myself be goosied once again. More than zoning in on remembering the pain, I zeroed in on pleasure. I had yet to learn this coveted lesson: That there are two kinds of pain in this world—the pain that hurts and the pain that alters (Equalizer: Robert McCall). Sadly, I didn't let my pain change anything. All I did was eventually forget how much it hurt and sought only after things I knew made it feel better. Boo thang, let me forewarn you that ain't it and that ain't enough. We often let the fear of being single cause us to leap eyes wide shut into situations our spidey senses alert us not to. We just grab-up anything that resembles a partner, like it's the last loaf of bread on the shelf during hurricane season. Ma'am, what's left on the shelf usually ain't your brand, but know that you always have a choice. You can take it as is (so don't complain), or if you gonna take a chance, ensure it has nutritional value.
In the literal sense, being on stand by or to stand back means there should be monitoring activity in full effect. Are you watching for triggers? Or are you on the date letting flattery cause you to miss some small but pertinent queues? Lest I remind you, you can go 50mph in 30mph zone all you want, should you get stopped by the cops, you're gonna get a ticket. It will NOT matter if you say you didn't see the sign or claim you didn't know. They'll nicely clap-back with that 'ignorance of law excuses no one' mantra. Imagine if we got a ticket every time we ignored some signs in our personal life? Shoot, I might as well just turn myself in, "Officer I gee. Just arrest me!"
Miss-Know-it-All me was there looking pretty and smiling, with blinders on—not seeing the city for the smoke. Like when I traded meaningful conversation for kicks and giggles. Or when I noticed myself snooping through someone's phone because dots weren't connecting. I looked the other way when actions weren't consistent with words. And I somehow viewed the gaslighting as the other person caring enough to point out my shortcomings. I overlooked what many may call the minute but visible signs. Then before I knew it, I was in too deep. Literally, on the cusp of making something permanent that should have only been on a trial period, maybe even a sample or simply not happen at all. Talk about escaping by the skin of my teeth.
Listen here, standby doesn't mean you won't get on the plane. But stand-by requires patience (self-control). Am I worried I'll die alone, never having a fella ask me the female's most coveted question? No! Not anymore. You have to make peace with your life as it is—moment by moment—as you're living it! So, if I meet someone today, that's great, super, awesome! If I don't, my life in its current state is enough to keep me fulfilled, purposeful and entertained all the same. I can't stress myself out about every guy that walks pass me wondering if that's him. Jack, that's to much pressure. No, I take the liberty to stand-back, which means I've stopped doing something or being actively involved in too many things for a time. That allows me to then think about things in totality and make decisions calmly and reasonably. Then, and only then, am I good to put my name on the standby list. That then indicates I'm ready or available for immediate action or use, should the need arise. You can't be on standby and still looking for your luggage. Suga, you bout to get left behind!
Sidebar: There is a caveat to Standing back. It is not only a process by which you look for flaws. It's also about seeing what is right in front of you. Stepping back helps you recognize the gift in what you already have, why you should be grateful and clues you in on how to ensure your grass always stays green!
The stand-back position is essential because it gives you a chance to study the opposition. You can't do that if homie already knows where your spot is. Simultaneously, the stand-by position means that you'll know when it is right to move based on the intel gathered from the former. My silly advice, stand back until your stand-by position is confirmed, and that agent has handed you a boarding pass! " You are now free to move about the country!"