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To Ride or Die Is the New High!

I was his valium, and he was my molly. I was ying, and he was yang. Sometimes I even felt he was the Joseph to my Mary. Okay, that's a run-out. But I promise you, at one point, I wished I could bottle him so that all the women in the world could know what it felt like to be this happy.

Hold on wait! What!? What-in-the-Bobbi-and-Whitney was going on in my life that year? (shrugs) Beats me. All I can suppose is that I was so spaced out on dopamine laced with oxytocin that I missed the comet sized red-flags that were so visible, that they could be seen with the naked eye from space. So if like me, you are out here high on that toxic love, buckle-up boo, this is about to be a bumpy ride.

To overdose on anything can lead to death!

I've never done drugs, well, not illegal ones. But I've heard that the first high is the only real high one will ever get. The dependency on the substance is you, forever chasing a feeling that you'll likely never get it again; hence you become addicted. To me, that's just like this feeling most of us call 'love.' No matter how bad it gets, many of us stay stuck in relationships we know deserve nothing more than the symbolic ashes to ashes, dust to dust, sign-of-the-cross.

But no, we stay, chasing that initial feeling we got when home slice first licked his lips, tilted his head at a perpendicular angle, pointed at you with his mouth and in a low baritone said, "Love you bad yano!" Or that time you'll run into his boys at the carnival and he introduced you as, "Yea, dis the wifey." At either of these moments, cradled in the recesses of your childlike innocence, you were twirling like a kid drunk on fructose syrup. Sorry sis, if you don't know how this ends, spoiler alert: this saga is about to get real lengthy and by lengthy, he's 'bout to waste your time.

High on what?

Fast forward a few years later, if you find yourself referring to this intoxicating love as Bonnie and Clyde, just know that that reference alone is eerie. And for the record, so is Romeo and Juliet. Now, I've heard of these epic loves all through the years and in my little 'life is a rom-com' bubble, I secretly wanted a love like these famous couples until I read the stories for myself.

Whoa there buckaroo, skuurrrshhhhh-pump the everlasting breaks! Bonnie and Clyde died together. Both were shot in a police ambush while in a stolen vehicle (insert 'seriously' emoji). Romeo and Juliet, who fall in love despite their families being at odds, committed suicide because they could not stand the thought of being apart (insert unamused emoji). Yet we continue to brand our love lives (like we are some cow on the farm) with these labels and wonder why things are falling apart (insert zipped mouth emoji).

Women are more than likely to play the character in the story who has to swallow injustice to protect the ego or the image of a man. Make it make sense chica! What is so aspiring about being shot together by the police in a life of crime? Why would you want to emulate that? Why would you identify your relationship as "we are the modern Bonnie and Clyde?" Where did you learn that? Who taught you that? Seriously, you liken your 'life is not a fairytale chapter to that of glorified criminals? Wow! This is powerful!

Whatever it looks like to be called being a ride-or-die chick, I opt out. Can we use different words like supportive, understanding, reliable, devoted, but ride or die, why? This is an extreme concept of loyalty that doesn't seem to have any worthwhile benefits. To endure hardship is one thing, but why does modern love have to come at the price of heartache to prove its authenticity?

Why do we have to die even before we've had a chance to live? Hold up, why is it even called ride or die chick? Am I to understand that dude ain't dying too? No, no, no--pineapples, I don't like it (in my Kevin Hart voice). Seriously, you'll don't see anything wrong with this wording?

Puff, Puff, Pass

Kirk and Rasheeda, Princess Diana & Prince Charles, Chris Brown and Rihanna, Ozzie and Sharon, Fitz Grant and Oliva Pope, Bella and Edward, Anatasia Steele and Christian Grey, Noah and Alley (the Notebook) ALL TOXIC! Yes, I said it. While I don't know any of these people personally, some being fictional characters and other real-life stories, why are we #relationshipgoals, idolizing only a part of a much bigger picture?

I need parents to aspire to be their kid's #relationshipgoals, now that makes sense to me. It's as if the universe's rule for women is that we 'put up' in the name of being chosen. Then voilà, some of our desperation becomes so whitewashed that we respond to anyone who tries to warn us bout Sir Flops-A-Lot, with the most dimwitted phrase in all of womanhood, "Well, at least I gat a man!" "Oh, sorry, love, my bad-as you were!"

Don't get me wrong, some of us women can be a piece of work too, which simply means that on either end of the spectrum, this notion of how much abuse one partner can take in the name of love will be a never-ending cycle if you don't stop it. Does that really prove how much you 'love' a person? That you stayed through years of mistreatment only to have this man show you any semblance of love cause he's now sick and old and no one else wants him?

Let me tell you, I may not have suffered any physical abuse in my relationship history, but one time I tried giving a dude an ultimatum by saying, "If I walk out that door, I'm not coming back!" My boy got up from his desk, walked around, opened the door for me, and like a flight attendant, showed me to the nearest exit, with a smile.

Whew, child! Needless to say, he never had to worry about me again, cause just like all toxic men think, he didn't count on me actually moving on. On the days I had some sense, I took Judge Lynn Toler's advice and didn't allow a man to tell me twice, (well three times max)- that he didn't want me.

Yes, I'm a spinster, and most of the couples I mentioned are married. But honey, just like me, most of, if not all of those relationships, had red flags, caution signs, fire alarms were beeping, sirens were blaring, stoplight was on red, and a storm watch advisory was issued! I mean every sign to say do not proceed was evident and very visible, I'm sure. Yet, just like me, they forged on.

So while I may have drunk the kool-aid, or taken a puff, or two or ten, at this juncture in my life, I'm prepared to find me a Persian cat who I'll name Tabby. If by chance I have to be a cat lady, might as well have a nice cat. It is absolutely not worth it just to say you gat a warm human blanket! Trust me sis, alone does not translate to lonely. This life offers so many other options for living.

If loving you is wrong, yip, then let me take my 'L' and go sit down. Because being right with 'me' is what's paramount.

While both sexes have their flaws and no one is perfect, I just need everyone to pick a struggle! Man, you'll can't expect me to ride and die! Translation: You shouldn't have a funky attitude and be high maintenance. You shouldn't be ignorant but strong and wrong. You shouldn't be brazen and broken. Pick a struggle! PICK A STRUGGLE! Please, pick one battle!

Listen, if you get the impression that somehow I think I'm all that, then you're wrong because there is a difference between being confident in who and whose you are and thinking of yourself more highly than you ought to. No, I'm not perfect, but every day I strive to be a better me than I was yesterday. I know where I'm likely to fudge things up, so I ask the Holy Spirit to help me do the work to change. I have struggles just like you, but I acknowledge them and strive to do better.

So, no, I'm not prepared to be the Bonnie to no Clyde and his shenanigans. But what do I know, right? I may be just a girl with a scorched relationship record but I know one thing to be true, if you keep calling yourself Bonnie, see if you don't keep attracting Clyde. Clyde, whose sole goal is to take pleasure in robbing you of your time, emotional stability and self-worth. Keep calling yourself Juliet and see if Romeo doesn’t show up, so you both can poetically die together.

High on Life

What I've vowed not to do ever again, is let someone else's voice narrate my life's story. My shoulder was not meant to bear these burdens as often as they are being dished out. While I may be strong and when pushed in a corner, I rise, that's not the way this is supposed to work. No, life does not guarantee any marshmallow clouds with rainbow sprinkles, but with all the other issues life has, why should my partner, the person I should be building with, be the foreman of the secret demolition crew? Nuh-uh boo, that's too much!

Know that whatever you make contact with you catch.

Listen up, when you are injured, the other person does not walk away limping. Make being with you a sacred space. So, I reiterate for the umpteenth week in a row, go get help if you're hurting! Don't mind Clyde and Romeo, they clearly ain't bout this life. I want to remind you that you deserve love. You deserve happiness. You deserve all that is good and pleasant. Don't settle in the role of a peasant, when you have access to The King.

If you remember nothing else I've ever said, I need you to know this one thing, He who began a good work in you WILL complete it. To be high is a state of euphoria, induced by a substance. All's I'm saying is make sure the substance (and I recommend faith) you chose to fuel you is heaven tested and God approved.

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