If you were anything like me for the duration of that month, year and every other day leading up to that time period, you were drawing up your plans to take your respective career ladder by storm, trying to find your footing and permanency in building up your work and credentials within the multiple degrees you worked hard to earn, and not caring a thing about finding a guy who, in your words, “would only eventually leave.”
Believing this mantra, you almost never dated and, outside of accompanying friends and family on special events, dinners, or nights out on the town, you hardly saw the outside of your home’s door.
“Your last date was two years ago, Jess,” a friend and co-worker told me one day during a casual bout of conversation. She emphasized the words as if I hadn’t already known.
“So?” I said back, defensive, not looking up, if I recall, from a stack of files. “I work and I don’t have time for it.”
After more back-and-forth on my dating life, or lack thereof, she asked, “What are you scared of?”
I swallowed hard.
That question again, I thought to myself.
Because, deep down, I knew what I was scared of and I knew I’d have to face it in this matter sooner or later.
At 16 years old, I was sexually assaulted.
My assailant, a stranger, was swiftly caught and remains jailed to this day.
However, despite the love and compassion of my family during the healing process, pieces of the damage endured and, at 27 years of age by that year, still affected me.
So, I decided to finally face those demons of fear and, over the course of that year, I did so, gradually.
With overwhelming support, I charted the dating field, going out with only men I had gotten to know and felt I could trust.
Nothing went further than the second or third date, but I was proud that I had taken great strides in facing something that had plagued me for years.
Then, the ante went up significantly.
In October 2015, I went on a date with a man who had become my first boyfriend.
We were together for seven months and, over time, we had gotten to know each, trust each other, shared secrets, pasts, interests, and our first kiss as a couple.
Flash forward to 2018, we’ve since broken up, but I don’t regret the experience.
I took a chance.
I fought my fears and made headway on the journey .
Journeys are not always fun and full of joy and happiness.
In fact, they can be downright maddening and irritating.
There is frustration, uncertainty and fear.
There is also learning and understanding, two powerful weapons against fear and doubt.
Even now, nothing is perfect.
Sex, trust and intimacy can sometimes still be issues, but they are no longer subjects concealed.
Instead, they are discussed and analyzed so that the load can be lightened.
Author: Queen J
Author Bio: My name is Jess. I am an Ed.D, a freelance graphic designer and an extreme lover of all things literary. I own and operate my own consulting firm, Create Forward, as well as Forward Scribes, a blog that let me read the books that kept me sane during and let me share them with other readers. Recently, I began 100 Lit, a podcast and online show documenting my attempt at 100 reads per year while merging books with the interesting facets of everyday life.
Link to social media or website: http://www.queenjreads.com