Let me start this blog post with some housekeeping remarks.
My favourite vocalist is RnB singer/ songwriter Chanté Moore if it wasn’t already obvious. So expect her to pop up now and then throughout this blog, whether in a GIF, quote or post. Secondly, this week’s post revolves around a particular chapter from her 2014 self-help book, “Will I Marry Me?.” Thirdly, expect a follow-up post and podcast episode with myself and a special guest discussing the book in 2022.
“Will I Marry Me?” is a self-help book that Chanté wrote to assess and review all of her relationships though, more importantly, each of her selves in the journey of self-examination. Chanté stated something that a lot of women could relate to;
“I realized that sometimes I allowed circumstances and people to dictate who I would be and I conformed to make them happy. My true self would lend way for me to be who others expected and needed me to be.”
I have been doing a lot of self-examination throughout these last two years. During these unpredictable months and moments of stillness, there was no better time to look within and see myself for who I am. At the beginning of the year, I received “Will I Marry me?” in the mail as a gift from Chanté, and I instantly read it cover to cover (child… I wanted the 411, I’m not going to lie). However, recently I decided to start rereading it, and just like the first time around, some chapters and points stood out to me. This time, I am reading it with more focus on how I identify with Chanté and her selves.
There are 14 chapters in this book and out of 14, there are nine characters that she covers:
- Daddy’s Girl
- Independent Woman
- Desperation Queen
- Invisible Woman
- Bitter Woman
- The Cow
- The Girl Next Door
- I Am Wonder Woman
I want to focus on the Independent Woman (chapter six in the book) for this post. Mind you, I don’t have a long history when it comes to relationships, nor have I ever been married, but this was one of those chapters that I read and gave one too many highlighted streaks. This chapter had me doing double-takes in the mirror, taking accountability for something that was hurting me and my relationships instead of helping them.
To learn more about the book, watch Chanté Moore on The Terrell Show discussing the inspiration behind her self-help book.
The Independent Women acts as if she has everything in control. She often wants to do for herself and often has difficulty accepting good help when getting it. PROS – They can get the job done and are not afraid to work or sacrifice. They are usually not looking for a meal ticket. She is both strong and dependable. CONS – She usually doesn’t take time to recognize when a good thing is right in front of her. She is usually busy doing too much and often advertises what she’s doing instead of who she is. LESSON LEARNED – She must learn that weakness is strength made perfect. She should learn to accept help as much as giving it.
I have always labelled myself as the Independent Woman, a characteristic that always seemed well-fitting. From the classroom to my job, to friendships and my everyday operations, I was always independent; it’s what I knew. Since I was a kid, it was always hard for me to let someone come in and help me or do things for me. I hated asking for help because I associated it with being defenceless, needy, weak, dumb, incapable, etc. To ask for help took more courage than me showing my mom my latest report card (and believe me, I was not a scholar, to say the least).
Rereading this chapter, I see how being an Independent Woman, as good as it, also caused some downfalls and setbacks in my last relationship. Issues that I would not want to bring into my next one. Like Chanté, this attribute flowed heavily into my relationships. I’m so used to being independent and depending on myself that it resulted in me having a hard time letting a guy in. The thought of showing any vulnerability and potentially giving away my power scared me.
“Becoming self-sufficient doesn’t mean you don’t need others.”
Nevertheless, I have to loosen the grip on being self-sufficient and give a guy a chance to attempt to make me feel comfortable enough, so that he can be sufficient for me. No, I’m not saying to be my caregiver or a sugar daddy; what I’m saying is that I want a guy who is also self-sufficient and able to do for me as well. Care for me with his variation the way I know I would care for him. There is a balance between being vulnerable and letting him be a man versus giving up your being and giving him much control over your life. It’s almost like knowing the 5Ws and the How. You have to find the Ying to your Yang.
Mind you, at 25, like most situations in my life, everything remains a work in progress. Like many things, I will learn as time goes on. Who at my age has everything figured out now (if you said yourself, you’re probably lying to yourself)? All I know is that I want to be more open and welcoming, especially when it comes to dating. I can’t continue to withdraw and then question why things are not happening the way they’re “supposed to.” I want to ensure that I date on my terms and be realistic, not self-sabotaging, resulting in a heavier burden.
As time goes on, and through experiences and meeting people, I hope to find that person I can be equally yoked with—a man who doesn’t get jealous or sees me as a threat. Instead, a man who will equally support and uplift me the way I would him.
“We may not need a man to make us happy, but it’s okay to want a man around.”
Well, let me go back and finish this book. There is still so much to read, unpack and assess. If you’re interested in reading this book, let me know in the comments below.