Last year, love for me was a series of spectacular hits that became grossly off-target misses. Every attempt I made at relationship was tossed into the crapper long before I even had a chance to lift the lid. Though it’s been swell to have an “active” romantic life, the yo-yo effect of gaining and losing love every couple of months began to take its toll. When the crush I’ve been nursing since this past February recently started to tank, it brought my mojo down with it. The first viable option I’d had in ages, this crush was the last straw. There was only one thing to do: play Stella and get my groove back.
Sunshine, seashells, shirtless men running the beaches like prize stallions – nothing facilitates mojo retrieval like a trip to the Caribbean. On vacation over the past ten days, I danced until my thighs were sore and downed umbrella-topped daiquiris like it was my job. I got massaged, got tan and got hit on by hunky Caribbean barmen who made me believe I was the most comely creature ever to have walked the earth. Really, I had the time of my life. There was only one problem. My groove was still AWOL.
A little R&R is always supposed to cure what ails you. But if there’s anything I’ve learned while traveling it’s that you can never get away from your shit. It sneaks into your suitcase, catches a lift in the cargo section of your airplane then meets up with you at the hotel.
“Now, that’s a gorgeous sunset,” your shit says as you sit on a beach chair by the pool. “Though wouldn’t you prefer to be gazing at it with a special someone?”
“What a handsome young man,” says your shit. “Doesn’t he look a lot like that guy who dumped you back in ’07?”
Don’t get me wrong. If I have to reflect upon what bugs me about my world, I’d rather do it while getting my hair braided in the tropics. When I’m an old woman looking back, I’ll remember this vacation as one of the most butt-kicking things I’d ever done.
But walking along the beach it was hard not to think, ‘please don’t let my crush back home tank.’ At dinner, it was difficult not to imagine my crush there. As Americans, we seem to believe folks should overcome sadness quickly. Get over it, you pansy. Move on. And certainly, women who whine about being alone are just wimps.
In truth, I’ve always been too proud to admit when I’m down, so high-tailing it to another country has always made sense. Not anymore. It’s okay to want love. It’s okay to be sad.
Now, after being home a few days, my tan is peeling, my body is in detox and my crush has officially tanked. I’ve got to find a way to recover. One option is to find another Caribbean island on which to roam and jiggle my hips.
Another option is to sob uncontrollably into my pillow. To listen loudly to sappy love songs until my ear drums ring. To let the sadness pour out of me until there’s nothing left but the sweet rhythm of my own healed soul. I’ll know it’s back because it’s a sound only I know, the one that keeps me on beat with this whimsical dance of love. It’s called my groove.