dear you: an open letter to women like me

“you are strange and terrifying and beautiful.”

-Warsan Shire

You planned for the best, you prepared the worst. You measured the value of every outcome. You consulted with your group chat, and put  your P.I. skills to use. You exhausted every vetting opportunity. You decided it was worth the risk. You counted the other risks taken in the past year or maybe even the last two. Why? Because this is important. You like numbers. You wait for the stars to align. You only do things that feel right and exit the moment something seems off. You played by every rule. You listened to all of the things your momma/sisters/aunties told you about being the right amount of coy and unavailable. You got the handbook from them and mastered it. You did every single thing you were supposed to do.

You were wrong. 

You were wrong. You were wrong and you don’t know how, or why. You don’t understand when this happened. You don’t get where you slipped up while researching. You can’t seem to pinpoint where you created the “karma” you believe this to be stemming from. You reread all of the texts. You, the woman who searches for answers in everything, can’t grasp how there aren’t any.

You reacted.

You slowly distanced yourself from things that used to feel as normal as brushing your teeth or washing your hair. You forgot. You internalized. You asked yourself what you did to cause this. You asked God what you did to cause this. You looked to your friends for clarity and they told you that you were perfect. You didn’t believe them. You abstained from sex. You thought it was just you. You compared situations with no similarities. You cried. You asked why.

You stopped.

You took time to breathe. You remembered. You rejected bitterness when it threatened to consume you. You were rejuvenated. You accepted the lessons in hopes that one day they’ll prepare you for much better. You cried a little bit more. You said your final goodbyes and they didn’t involve a text or a call.

You didn’t know that we were the same woman and we? We choose peace.

-Rif