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When I was a teenager I always wondered how my life would turn out as an adult. Where would I live, who would I marry, what type of career I would have? These are some of the many questions that I asked myself. I remember hanging out on the corner with my home girls, designing our fantasy lives and planning for the future. We all wanted to have a good career, nice family, a big house, and an expensive car. I think that was everybody's plan at one point in their lives. I imagined the day when I would be a fairy princess coming down the aisle to get married to the man of my dreams. A fairytale made in Heaven.
We thought that we would one day record an album to become famous singers and tour the world. I was really into dance so I was the one that always wanted to choreograph all the steps to our dance routines. I had a neighbor that lived two doors up, named Mrs. Brenda, whom I visited quite often. One day, when she was throwing stuff out, she gave me one of her old dresses. Even though, it was way too big for me, I was the happiest kid in the world. That dress made me feel like a superstar. I would put on that dress and spin and twirl around in the floor like I was dancing on stage. I think that was when I fell in love with dance. I was a little girl with big dreams. I have always dreamed big, but they seemed to always get shattered.
My middle school years were the best years of my life because I was a very popular teenager with lots of friends. When you're the center of attention you always feel important, right? There was never a dull moment. Wherever there was a house party, there I was with my girls. Although, we never got into trouble, we weren't perfect angels either. We snuck out the house on a regular basis and hung out all hours of the night. However, as you get older, the popularity dies down and the friendships slowly fade away. After high school graduation you will see old friends for the first few months and then you won't see anybody for years. Every now and then, you might bump into those people that thought they were hot stuff and wore the latest fashions. It's funny because they're not as glamorous as they thought they were and their fashion didn't get them very far. They now have no front teeth, children by several partners, in and out of prison, or strung out on drugs. Seeing such a sight gives me strength and makes me realize how blessed I really am. It gives me strength to push through the trials of life and to continue on to make my life worth living more and more each day.
I love having a good time. Then again, who doesn't? I love to laugh and enjoy being me. I hate being around people that I have to front for. It feels good when you don't have to pretend to be someone that you're not. I realize that a person has to wear many hats, but it feels good to just take the hat off and enjoy life. Another thing that bothers me is fake people. I never understood the reason for that. It takes too much energy and effort to be fake. I think that's what drives me to keep to myself. I would rather be home alone watching the Good Times Marathon than to be around a bunch of people who are phony. I see people who proclaim Christianity and holiness do everything under the sun, but what's right. These people curse like sailors, do drugs, go to clubs, and do a little bit of everything else. I respect people more when they are true to themselves and demonstrate their trueness. If you're a Muslim, be true to the faith; if you're prejudice, don't pretend that you're not; and most of all, if you're a homosexual don't be on the down low, be honest with yourself and your mate. I have no problem with accepting someone for the true person that they are. The problem is that people are too busy trying to hide who they really are.
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How do you know when you've found the right one? One thing that
I've learned throughout my life is that I may not know who the right one is, but I sure know who he's not. You can wait your whole life for that special someone ... maybe he'll come maybe he won't.
There was a discussion on the radio one day and a lady was asking for the advice of the radio host about her relationship. She said that her man was giving her eighty percent of what she needed and she was trying to decide whether to leave him or not. Another lady called in to comment on her email. She said that she should stick with him and work out the problems because nobody is going to give you one hundred percent of what you need. One of the radio hosts immediately interrupted her and said, "I don't believe that." That discussion made me think. Does one hundred percent really exist? I really thought that lady was crazy to want to leave someone that was giving her more than half of what she needed. I remembered getting close to zero. We live in a society where it is believed that there are no more good men left, but I beg the differ. I'm a good woman that deserves a good man, so I can't give up on hope that there is some wonderful guy out there waiting for me. I heard someone say that men are like parking spots. The good ones are already taken or reserved. The ones that are left are either handicapped or too far away. I don't know if there is someone that can give me one hundred percent, but I will happily settle for eighty percent, and then, we can grow together to be one hundred percent. God knows that I'm far from perfect; so how can I hold something over someone else's head and expect them to be flawless?
It takes a strong man to understand a person like me. I can be a handful to deal with at times. Then again, every female can be quite complicated. I need someone that will know when I want to be bothered and when to leave me alone. I get in these moods where I am so happy to be single and not have to deal with a mate. It would be too draining and time consuming. I remember when I went on vacation for a week with my boyfriend and when we came back he wanted to stay at my house. I was like, "Didn't we just spend a whole week together?" I wasn't use to that. I mean ... how much of my time did I have to put in? I guess he wasn't used to hearing that so he got upset. He wanted to be with me all of the time and when we weren't together he wanted to be on the phone. It was cute in the beginning, but then, I was feeling smothered. It really got on my nerves. I wanted to ask him if there was a football game on or didn't he want to hang out with the guys or something? It was really getting kind of scary ... possessive even. He turned into a completely different person if I was on the phone talking to someone else in his presence. I got yelled at for answering my phone when my dad called me. Who did this dude think he was? All attention was supposed to be directed to him when I was at his house. Like he was a king or something. Perhaps, King of the Valastics. I hate a man that demands so much attention and is so needy. I think a man that demands a lot of attention and is really needy has insecurities and always feeds off of the other persons' energy. There was someone else that I was involved with that was such an attention getter. He always had to be the center of attention and always fished for compliments. Everyone's world had to revolve around him. He always had to be the one to make every decision about everything for everyone. Boy, I sure know how to pick'em. This is why I choose to stay single. I'd rather be happy and alone than to be with someone that makes me miserable.
If a man needs to beat on you and make you feel less than who you are there is no need to stay. I can understand that women try to work it out for the sake of the kids and they are hoping that things would get better, but later for that. Things may never get better. I've been in some complicated relationships in the past. I've learned a lot from my experiences and have done my best not to repeat them. I try to lead by example and live life with no regrets. I've been through the storm and rain, but what didn't kill me definitely made me stronger. And, I get stronger and stronger every day.
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I'm still waiting to meet the man of my dreams. That special someone that would sweep me off my feet and love me forever. It's been a long time coming, but, I know he's coming soon. When he crosses my path I will know that he is the "one" for me.
One day, I was in the café at the University that I go to and there was this good looking guy in there. He was having guy talk with the guys serving food behind the counter. I glanced at them talking without scoping him out. I didn't feel compelled to do so, so I zoned them out. I just stood there in my own little world not paying them any mind. I played it off like I didn't see him checking me out. When my food was done I just walked out like it was nothing. When I got to the door I looked back at him to see if he was looking at me. For a second, our eyes connected. Then I thought to myself, maybe he's not all that bad after all. A few weeks later he was just a faint memory in my mind.
One Saturday morning, when I was in class, I needed to use the restroom. I kept telling myself to wait until the teacher was finished talking before I walked out. Ten minutes later, I was saying the same thing. Finally, I just got up and walked out in the middle of the lecture. I walked out the door and turned left and just happened to glance to my right. There he was going into his class at the end of the hall. I'll be darn. Perfect timing, I thought to myself. When he saw me he stood in the doorway until I was out of sight. I didn't know if he was staring at me because he remembered me from the cafeteria or because I was a woman who had caught his eye? We had several run-ins like that one. The conversation was never more than a greeting and we only saw each other turning corners and walking into classrooms.
Seeing this mysterious man so many times for only about 6 seconds started feeling like a cheap thrill. I wanted to talk to him to see what he was about but I was nervous about knowing. He might not be anything like I imagined so I didn't want to disappoint myself. Therefore, I kept my mouth shut and just enjoyed the ride of a cheap thrill. Some crushes are better off staying a crush.
Several months went by before I saw him again. When I did see him I wasn't too thrilled. He did his usual stare as he walked towards me. I was in a snotty mood because I had just failed another test that I'd studied all weekend for.
"What the hell are you staring at?" I said with my eyes bulging out my head.
"Well, excuse me," he said frowning up his face.
Before I bolted through the stairwell door I glanced back at him. He was standing in front of the elevator door pressing the button. It just so happened that he turned and looked at me at the same time that I looked at him. Then, he stretched his eyes open wide and stuck his tongue out. I just walked through door letting it slam behind me. Since I was pressed for time I ran down the three flights of stairs as quickly as I could. The sound of my high heel boots echoed throughout the entire stairwell. In order to get to the last flight of stairs you had to come back out the stairwell door. I sprinted so fast down the last few steps that it felt like I was flying. I got to the next to the last step and somehow missed it. Bam! My hands slap the floor and my books scattered in every direction across the floor. My keys slid all the way to the crack of the elevator door. The next thing I knew, the elevator doors opened and I was staring at the shoes of the guy that I had just dissed. He reached down and picked up my keys. He had to stare for a second because he couldn't believe his eyes.
"Are you alright? Here, let me help you up." He helped me up off the floor. I was so embarrassed that I didn't even look him in the face; I just reached for my books. "I got it." He handed me my belongings.
"You're welcome. Are you okay, Miss ..."
"Yeah, I'm fine. Just call me Sauni."
"Sauni. That's a nice name. I'm Silas." He reached out his hand. "You know, you really shouldn't be running in those kind of shoes."
"Yeah, tell me about it."
"Do you need help getting to your car?"
"Uuuh, sure why not?"
After our first "real" conversation, we started dating. After a few months went by I let him meet my three year old son, Keegan. They got along very well and his daughter absolutely adored him. Brianna was a few years older than Keegan but that didn't stop her from wanting to play with him. She protected him like she was his real sister. I never asked Silas to fill the shoes of his father but he did so anyway. I was a little afraid of our relationship because it had been a long time since I was into someone this deep. I really liked him a lot and I had never been in love before. It didn't take long for me to realize that this was the man that I've been waiting for. This is the "one" I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
Silas was one of the educating coordinators for Bowen Elementary School. Although, he didn't have his own classroom, he filled in for many of the teachers and advised them on classroom management. He worked closely with other teachers in the district and often was asked to speak at teacher conferences and to sit in on parent conferences. He had a passion for working with young people and wanted to do what was in his power to help them have a brighter future. Silas was a young man who was well known in the education field for going the extra mile for students. Especially, for those who had no male role model in their lives. He is a well-respected African American that had a good name in the community. You don't see much of that every day in the neighborhood. Silas was easily titled as arrogant because of the many hats that he wore and the respect he gained. But, the truth is, he just had it going on. I have to admit, that was the impression I had of him at first but that was far from who he really was.
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Silas and I had been dating for ten months and things were going great. I couldn't be any happier. Summer vacation was over and it was time for him to go back to his job. I was still studying to get my teaching credentials so Silas got me a job at the school where he worked to help me get my feet wet. I actually thought that working with him would hurt our relationship but it seemed to work out okay. We never rode to work together because we kept our relationship low key in order to maintain professionalism in the workplace.
When I first started working at Bowen Elementary School I thought it was a challenging job. Working with urban children wasn't always easy. There were days when I felt like I couldn't tolerate the disrespect and felt like changing my profession. But, there was something within me that wouldn't let me quit. I couldn't just walk out on children that had experienced more in their nine years of life than I've experienced my entire life. Some of these children never had a shot at feeling the love of two parents and most of them didn't know what it felt like to have a home cooked meal every day. The more I went to work the more I realized that I was there for a purpose. I never gave up on the hope that I had to make a difference in at least one child's life. Once I got to know the students and understand their situation I started to build close relationships with them. They let me know that they are regular kids that just need love and attention. What a wonderful feeling to know that I have torn down a wall that a child has built so firm and strong. There were days when I left work patting myself on the back for seeing a child change their negative behavior into making positive choices.
While working at Bowen I was able to take my creative abilities and demonstrate them through the children. I organized a performing arts team to promote positive behavior and to help academic performance. There is nothing that I love to do more than dance. I feel like I was cheated out of dance opportunities that could have really taken me far. When I was fifteen I was badly injured in a car accident and my range of motion was limited. Every time I watch the different forms of dance on television and movies I feel my passion burn within me. I feel as though the greatest way to release my aspiration is to recreate it through talented children. Every time the students performed they did such an awesome job that my I felt good the entire weekend. I proudly wore a smile on my face as if I had received a hundred dollar bill. The effort and energy that they put into it was so rewarding to me.
Excerpted from Waiting for Love by Cassandra JerVey Copyright © 2011 by Cassandra JerVey. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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