I’m at the mall, shopping for a stylish outfit for a long, overdue date with my man. After three years, my fiancé is being released from prison. During that time, I moved all over the US to be closer to wherever he was transferred. Soon, he’ll be here in Philly. No more solo vacations with my daughter. I can finally enjoy life with my partner, a relationship I have sacrificed for for years.
Our wedding is next month. I will finally be his wife and carry his last name.
His release date comes and goes. I don’t here from him at all. When he does contact me days later, he decides to call everything off. He needs his freedom and doesn’t want to be tied down, he says. He has already been sexually active with other females, he admits. He digs the knife in deeper when he tells my best friend that he isn’t attracted to me because “I won’t get a breast reduction and ass implants.”
I am in complete and utter shock. Disbelief. No wedding? Three years wasted? I crumble and only snap out of it when my best friend says the following words:
Tab, trust me, let this one go. You never beg anyone to be with you.
Her words change my life instantly. Something in my mind clicks. My past comes flooding back and I think about the parade of men who have humiliated me only for me to continuously chase them to try and fix things. Not this time, I say to myself. I block him on social media and on my phone – and his friends as well. I never contact him again. I manage to let go of three years in just 10 minutes. It breaks my heart. I cry for three consecutive days, but I have a new sense of power and control.
I look at my past and wonder: what makes me settle for men who clearly don’t deserve me? Why do I avoid red flags when they are blatantly staring me in the face? The tears flood down my face again. I realize that I have allowed years of low self-esteem and an abusive past dictate my choices in men. I have struggled with weight my entire life. I have felt ugly and disgusting at times, and to be honest, I couldn’t even look in a mirror. So, if someone cheated on me, could I really blame him? If a man called me a loser and walked all over me wasn’t he telling me the truth? My father told me I would work at McDonalds and live in Section 8 housing from the time I was 10. If my father couldn’t love me, how could a man?
I have struggled with knowing my worth my entire life. But that one sentence…
You never beg anyone to be with you.
That one sentence changed my life.
I look in the mirror at my beautiful body. I have worked very hard to lose the extra weight. I think about my career and how I’ve climbed the corporate ladder. I wasn’t able to go to college, and it always haunted me. I became a statistic when I had my daughter as a teenager. Yet, despite all of this, I have defied all stereotypes. I am a successful, independent woman worth a Hell of a lot more than I have given myself credit for.
There is a man out there worthy of me. It is no longer about whether or not I am worthy of someone. I now know what I bring to the table, and as they say, I am no longer afraid to eat alone.