Ambivalent (Adj.) Having or showing simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings toward something or someone,

I’m a complicated girl, not because I feel like being difficult, but because I know what I deserve. If what I deserve overpowers my thoughts of you I will walk away, but not without saying, “Thank you.” - Tanya Hazelwood

We live in a world where society decides who you are before you’ve even been given the chance to decide for yourself. I recently sat down with a friend who is allowing me to tell you her story. Per her own privacy she’d like to remain anonymous. However, I’ve had multiple encounters with young people who have been in her situation. In middle school, she was the new kid, like all new kids they either end up in the “popular” group or bullied until they’re no longer new. Of course, at a predominantly white school a person of color is for the most part bullied. From the moment she stepped foot in this school she was targeted, but she tried to lay low. That was until a rumor spread that changed her school experiences from middle until the end of high school. When you are judged and essentially given a new identity by people who don’t really know you, it stirs up every emotion possible. The kind of bullying that followed her left her making decisions that would alter every goal she ever set for herself. Her story begins here, Nicholas Sparks makes billions of dollars portraying a small idea of what love should look like. Yes, these stories are good, but when you’re young it’s hard to separate what others idea of love is and reality. Let’s face it nobody is gonna build you a house and write 365 letters professing their love to you. As much as every hopeless romantic would love this it just isn’t real. In this day and age it’s not practical unless you did well for yourself and can afford this lifestyle. If that’s the case then proceed with your amazing life. However, if you live in California you can barely afford an apartment. This is why from an early age parents start grooming their children to come to a place where they can support themselves financially. We start taking classes that colleges can look at and be impressed. If you’re privileged your parents start signing you up for sports such as, rowing so you can be “recruited”. If you have to work hard to get good grades and at least make it to community college then you get yourself in after school classes that help you further your education. The problem with growing up that nobody warns you about is distractions. Out of all of the distractions in the world, hers was a young, full of himself, troubled boy who she would eventually find out she loved. Like all great love stories they met in class, though she wasn’t attracted to him at first. It wasn’t until she was introduced to him through a mutual friend that her attraction to him would grow. As they got to know each other their feelings grew stronger and would finally bloom into a relationship. The annoying part about planning out your life is that you never know what you are planning for. If there is one thing everyone knows it’s that plans change and people change it’s inevitable, but no matter how much changes you have to let life play out. After graduation, they would soon find themselves in an unbreakable love. When you’ve never been shown what love is in all of it’s true forms, you think that the first sight of it is the standard. Before she even knew who she was, she was found making the biggest decision of her life—Marriage. We’ve all been fooled by love at least once in our lives, we’ve been told to fall into it and fight like hell to keep it. Nonetheless, love is not one of the hardest games to play it’s deceiving and filled with lies. Throughout her relationship she would support them financially, but the respect she deserved was never given. She no longer wanted to be apart of this union so she left to find out what her life could be like if she had remained single. Upon returning home to live with her mother, she learned that she was pregnant and would soon have to change her plans once more. After telling the father of her child that she was expecting he didn’t believe the baby was his, and that was the moment she knew she’d be on her own. We hear stories like this from so many woman who put their faith in a man who wouldn’t reciprocate the same feelings. Motherhood if I ever come close to it, has always been portrayed as a beautiful and sacred experience. The idea that a woman can immediately shift her focus to care for a small being that hasn’t fully developed yet is unimaginable. Single parents deserve recognition based on the soul fact that they put their lives on the back burner to make sure their child is taken care of. My friend has gone through hell and back for a man that to this day denies his beautiful curly headed little girl. As she grows she will have questions about her dad, but through the heartbreak she will understand what it means to be strong, independent, and selfless. When asked what she would tell girls in her situation my friend responded with, “Never force something that will never happen, it’s not worth harming your child, and you gotta work your ass off girl.” It’s okay to believe in love and to go through as many changes as life puts you through. The main thing my friend and I believe is that you should never change yourself to fit into someone’s life if they don’t truly want you in it. The hardest decision to make is one that changes you from being the person someone perceived you to be. My friend is happy with her life because out of all of the darkness she received one of life’s most precious gifts and through that she’s found love. Love within herself and love for a child who surprises her every single day of the week. At the end of the day, to die in love is a goal we all have, whether it’s with yourself or somebody else to die in love is obstinate.

-T