Fri | Dec 2, 2016

The bond of sisterhood

Published:Monday | November 24, 2014 | 12:00 AM

On my way into the office yesterday, the security guard stopped me to say that his sister has been following my quest and was rooting for me.

I laughed when he said that because I didn't know anyone was 'rooting' for me. I know some persons were watching to see where the journey would take me. I know from the messages I've received that persons understand and appreciate that I am sharing my journey. I told him to tell his sister thanks, and for some reason, I felt inclined to ask him about his sister.

She has two children with different men, and none of these men are playing a role in their child's life. She had been depressed because she felt that she had failed her children, because their fathers had chosen not to be involved in their lives. Listening to him share some intimate details about his sister, I found myself getting very emotional. I knew that feeling all too well. People seldom plan to raise a child on their own when they enter a relationship.

As it turns out, his sister has been on her own 'quest' for some time now because she wants to settle down, but had been choosing some men that ended up doing more harm than good before they moved on. It was only when she started to read my article that she started making some adjustments to how she was doing things.

I'm Not Alone

I felt so pleased when he said that, for the simple reason that I have realised that I am not the only one on this journey. When I started this journey, it was about me and my family. But as time progressed, it became less about me but about my 'sisters' that were on this journey with me and could relate to my story. I told him to tell his sister that I was rooting for her too and I was glad that she found something in my story that could help her.

On a given day, my Facebook account has at least three different messages from women that I have never met, encouraging me or asking my advice on something. I appreciate these women so much and as much as I have impacted them, they have also impacted me. My favourite place right now to vent/ celebrate and get advice is the CLOSED Facebook group, Black Moms Connect.

It has more than 7,000 mothers who have different stories who share, motivate, and elevate each other daily. I strongly recommend this group to any woman who wants some support. It's private and no one in your friends list can see what you have posted, and that's what makes it awesome for me. Total privacy to release my crazy side whenever I feel like, and not be judged for it.

Taking My Own Advice

When I wrote about intrapersonal relationship last week, my friend, who is always brutally honest with me, sent me this message:

"I have always and continue to hold true that one does not have to be in a marriage to be happy or to feel fulfilled - society has instilled in us that 'truth' grounded by a religion(s) which most people don't adhere to - so then, what's the point? I agree with most of what you said in the first half of your article - at the end of the day, people will always have something to say and time will always continue with or without you, if you can accept that then nothing else matters. I say to myself everyday, 'Pops, you can't reach end of month and still be broke, you just can't.' But with this economy, it's likely going to happen anyways - so accept it, move past it. You said it yourself - 'You have to develop Yanique first' - be you, be happy and remove dependency on everything. You'd be surprised to see that the 'pressure' you feel magically disappears.

"Here is the problem - I doubt you have (and most of us never really do) really worked on that intrapersonal relationship. You may have started to, and although you may feel a bit more self aware, there are still many things that are a struggle - and without talking to you everyday I can tell - even from the expressions in your writings. Now if I can - and we are not dating, then imagine someone who is.

"That's not to say that the problem is you, or anyone else for that matter - the problem is that this journey that you are on will be inhibited severely by those factors. So while being single, your path may have a few roadblocks here and there - relationships/marriage or the attempt at them, comes with crossroads, highways, junctions and the worst of all of them - detours. Until you can really manage that (intrapersonal relationship) you are screwed, and because you have children it makes that process even harder because your development as persons includes their development and that often comes with conflict (with yourself, with others and with your children) which limits your ability to develop you - and that's what most men, especially the ones without children, automatically are afraid of.

A Mental Factor

"This is why I hate it when women say that it's a responsibility factor why men either don't want kids or want to be with a woman who have kids - that's really not the case - it's really a mental factor for both men and women - are both set with themselves to merge the paths that they are on - 99 per cent of the time? The answer is no.

"In order for the journey/quest to be remotely successful - both parties have to be on the same road, going in the same direction in the same car, with the right amount of car seats going to the same place - and nuff side road inna Jamaica.

"None of this should be a deterrent, however; it's not like it has never happened before, the point is to not force it. Who is to say that the guy you were having fun with, who also liked your kids, wasn't the 'right' guy? It was all fine until you expressed a desire to stroll down Constant Spring Road and he was all the way in May Pen heading to Westmoreland - although the paths at that time were different, it doesn't mean that they wouldn't cross again and that his feelings wouldn't have changed. The question then is this - do you want to be married or do you want companionship?"

I can honestly say that he has given me a lot to evaluate. I need to decide what exactly it is that I am searching for, and truly figure out if that's what I really need. I started on this journey with one destination in mind, and I woke up this morning thinking I need to take a detour. My destination hasn't changed, but I wasn't sure I was on the road that was going to take me there. I wasn't sure I was travelling with the right map anymore, and I may just need to pull over.

Share your thoughts on Yanique's Quest with us at lifestyle@gleanerjm.com.