August 9th, 2014.
My first official day in Stillwater at Oklahoma State University.
The plan was to start over. I had a plan to be better. I spent my time studying. I started going to bible study and reading the Bible on my own. I didn’t go to any parties and I didn’t involve myself in any business that was not mine, and most importantly, NO BOYS!
It worked. My first semester flew by and at the end, I had a 4.0 GPA (President’s Honor Roll), an on-campus job, a position on an executive board, and scholarship money in my pocket. I felt better than I had in a very long time. I asked God to mold me and he did just that.
My second semester got rocky. I was so happy to be working again that I took on a lot of hours I shouldn’t have. I was working 20-25 hours a week, classified as a sophomore taking 18 junior level credit hour courses and involved in multiple student organizations. Safe to say my grades began to slip. I took on more stress than I needed to and I caught myself spending less time being social. In the mornings, before anyone else was up, I would sit in Scott Hall, read my bible, and try to understand what He wanted from me.
I finished my first year and decided to stay throughout the summer. I had a job and finding housing for 2 months was hard, but I found a space on campus that I was willing to live in. I spent the summer taking classes and spending time with myself. I started going to the gym, I was talking to God on a regular basis and I was excelling in Business Calculus. I was also very lonely.
Friends from high school made it clear that my presence wasn’t necessary. I drove to see them multiple times during the first year, but there was never a trip to visit me. I decided I didn’t deserve such one-sided friendships anymore and discontinued reaching out. I told myself if they cared and if I meant anything to them, they would reach out to me. What I didn’t realize until now, is that, I had trained them to treat me that way. I always reached out to them and checked in, they never had to. So why did I think that they would start just because I stopped?
I told myself that I needed to be alone for the summer and indulge myself in everything that is me. I didn’t talk to anyone outside of work and I thought this was the best way for me to focus and develop my relationship with Him.
I kept up with this lifestyle until my 3rd and final year of college. It wasn’t until my 21st birthday that I really decided I had reached my goal. I had a relationship with Him, a 3.54 GPA, and was a supervisor at work. I had moved into a house and was fully taking care of myself, physically, emotionally, and financially.
I developed a new friendship that was/is unlike any other friendship I’ve ever had. You can read about that in His Timing is Not Your Timing. I prayed that He would “introduce me to people that were truly here for me,” that would help me grow into the woman that I am supposed to be. People from my past began to re-emerge. I thought God was telling me to give them second chances, that they were supposed to be in my life, so I welcomed them, discussed our past issues and tried to rebuild. God is tricky that way. I realize now that He was testing me. Helping me to heal past wounds and move forward, not backward.
Darius came back around in December 2016. We spent time rehashing our past and why we didn’t work out. He even broke my two year no-sex streak that I had worked so hard on. Failed test #1.
We continued an on-off “situationship” until my graduation in May. I couldn’t believe he actually showed up, he bailed on my high school graduation (which was 10 minutes from his house) so I was sure he wouldn’t come to my college graduation, but he did, and it made me happy to know he was still there for me, but that ended the next day and our relationship is now nonexistent.
Darnell came back in February 2017. He turned my world upside down. He came to me for advice about a new relationship he was developing. He didn’t take my advice and began dating the poor insecure girl. She ruined us. She didn’t like that he and I were such good friends because I was “too pretty” and female. She would text me from his phone hoping to catch me saying something sexual, but that was never the case. She even convinced him to cut me off in order to be with her, and he did. It may sound crazy, but I’ll never forget that day. It literally broke me. I remember trying to hold my tears together so I could make it through my shift at work, which I didn’t. Hearing him tell me that our 10+ year friendship was over, and for her, was the hardest thing I ever heard.
He conveniently called me a few days later to tell me that he had to say that because she was listening and I should have known he didn’t mean it. That was the beginning of our end. I couldn’t let someone else continue to have that much control over me. She caused enough havoc that he eventually broke up with her, and in the midst of telling me about it, decided it was a good idea to profess his love for me and our marriage. Then proceeded to get mad at me for not being excited and wanting the same thing. I don’t think he’ll ever understand why I didn’t feel the same nor will he understand what he’s done to me over time.
Imani came back to me just in time for my 21st birthday, thanks to Nicole. Imani was one of those friends that I told you about, I distanced myself from her and she didn’t seem to notice. Her re-emergence was perfect timing though. We were both going through similar issues, graduation was coming soon, and she knew my upbringing and who I was before college, so talking to her was easy. She is still relevant and I think He really did bring her around, not as a test, but to stick around. Between Imani and Darnell, I felt like maybe I was understanding what He wanted of me.
There’s one other person that He brought back around and I haven’t quite figured out his purpose yet. Brief history?
I met Jerome in high school. I was dating a close friend of his and he was dating a girl from his school. I’m not really sure how, but he and I developed a very real relationship. Sometimes I would talk to him more than my friends. He knew a lot about me and he paid attention. I didn’t think anything of it, until Imani brought it to my attention that people were starting to notice our friendship. I thought nothing of it, but after awhile backed off. My goal wasn’t to start trouble for anybody, he was just a good person and easy to talk to. Time passed and his face re-emerged during the summer after my first year of college. We met a few times not far from his house and pretty much only had a sexual relationship that only lasted for the summer. It wasn’t until my last year of college when I noticed he was moving into my area, literally down the street, that I reached out to him. We started hanging out again, but it was more than just a sexual thing. I truly just enjoyed his presence (and still do). It wasn’t until this time that I actually got to know him. He’s a pretty wonderful human being, even though he can be a complete pain in the ass. He’s sarcastic, aggressive, and sometimes really annoying, but his heart is beautiful and seeing the way he loves is amazing. I haven’t figured out if there is a lesson to be learned from him or if he is here for good. Nicole always mentions how good of a relationship he and I have, that we act like an old married couple, I’m not really sure what it is, but I enjoy his company, and, so what if I get a little something extra whenever he’s around? God is tricky, so for now, I’m just enjoying the time I have with him; he’s a really good friend to me.
I’m not sure God’s reasoning for bringing these people around, I hope I listened to him and made the right decisions. He made sure college was a true journey, exploring myself and Him, and the people around me. Now that I have graduated, I can see all the lessons he set forth for me, I needed them.
I finished one journey, but the next is just beginning…