THE BRITNEY SPEARS SYNDROME A.K.A. THE “LUCKY”
I’ve never had a boyfriend, and in three days I will turn 24.
It no longer surprises me that this fact surprises people. I have gotten too many “No kidding?” and “You gotta be lying!” to react any differently. In fact I have crafted the best answer when I deal with these types of interrogation: “I’m not yet ready. I still have my career to focus on.” Funny how people seem to totally understand if career is the reason for a lackluster love life as if the two are mutually exclusive things–you either are a loveless bachelorette with a dog to kiss and take on vacations with, a divorcee holding a senior position in the company, a happily married housewife who has long given up on the career ladder for a growing family, or a satisfied girlfriend juggling 3 jobs a day. As the “Lucky” song goes, “She’s so lucky, she’s a star. But she cry, cry, cries in her lonely heart, thinking.” If you happen to be one of these profiles, people get it instantly. Let’s blame it to pop culture.
While I do not exactly believe that the aforesaid mutual exclusivity is a natural law of life, multitasking has never been my skill as I tend to focus on and accomplish one thing before moving onto the next. If I had to expound on my answer by default “I’m not yet ready. I still have my career to focus on,” essentially what it only means is that until I have established a stable career, I shall delay any romance in my life.
In this regard, you have to know that I made a solemn vow to God (“Three Promises”) that I commit to keep in return for definite requests with regards to “the one”. Specifically, I ask God that (1) He simply place “the one” in my life when I’m ready, i.e., that I wouldn’t have myself actively search for him in due time, and that (2) “the one” ticks all the boxes in my very specific checklist. Yes, I do have my checklist which I surmise is true for many women around. So what is mine like?
Celeste’s “the one” checklist
- He is a practicing Catholic.
- He plays tennis on a competitive level.
- He knows how to play an instrument.
- He is of a different racial background as mine (I’ve always fancied an interracial relationship 😛 ).
- He is intelligent.
- He will love my family as I will love his, and
- He is capable of loving and of being loved (in short, I don’t want a difficult guy lol).
…and if my ways are God’s I had the perfect timeline: I will meet that exact guy at 27 when I have gained a footprint in the organization and industry I am in. Until then, I will just have to pretend that I acquired the Britney Spears syndrome and deal with the mutual exclusivity thing. One cannot serve two masters after all.
MR. RIGHT AT MY DOORSTEPS WITH THE DOOR CLOSED
As I gradually got to know him, I discovered particular things about Malachite that just blew me out of the water! In case you’re interested in knowing,
- is a Catholic who goes to Sunday mass and sometimes on daily mass, and who routinely prays the rosary and the chaplet of the Divine Mercy
- was the top seed in their high school tennis team, currently plays tennis as a leisure, and joins amateur tennis competitions
- plays the saxophone and is first seat in his senior year
- is an American with Italian descent
- graduated in the top 10% of his class in high school, and as a cum laude in the university
- has the intent of getting to know my family from the start, and establish a good relationship with them
- expresses his fondness of me, and loves that I am the same way
I would be blind to not see a perfect fit! Could he be “the one”? Well he seems to be, yes–only we met on April 2016, which is–uhm–4 years earlier than I had expected. Confusion grew, and believe me or not, this exact exchange occurred in my mind as I started to get to know Malachite more:
Celeste A: Oh come on, Celeste! You’ll be a fool to pass up on Mr. Right.
Celeste B: But you see, he’s not on your blueprint. You cannot meet Mr. Right now, not at the time you just quit your job! Maybe he’s just a distraction.
Celeste A: Apart from the timing, he’s exactly the man you asked God for! Don’t deny it to yourself.
Celeste B: Pos + Neg = Neg, Darling…Mr. Right + Wrong Time = Mr. Wrong.
For a time Celeste B won my heart. Malachite and I even had this conversation at almost 2 months of talking:
On the other hand, Malachite has always been more positive that I am the one he has been “praying God for and more.” However, he was careful not to assume that a relationship with me could be a possibility because I obviously do not fancy having a boyfriend at 23! He does respect my vow to God, and he doesn’t want to get in the way of fulfilling the Three Promises that come along with it. Nevertheless if it were up to him, Malachite would want to meet his “the one” around this time so he can get to know her for three to four years as her girlfriend before finally marrying her.
There goes the big word–conundrum.
AM I READY?
My 27-year old fantasy is a fantasy indeed. Maybe a tad too immature even. I had wanted to meet the man in my life right when we are both ready to start a family, date him for six months, and get married shortly thereafter…but I am not Britney Spears, and life isn’t Hollywood.
What exactly have I really been asking God for again? Isn’t it to place “the one” in my life when I am ready, and not when I’m 27?
It’s been exactly 5 months since Malachite and I started “growing” our relationship, and in this period I begin to understand that readiness is not a matter of age. When I see Malachite, I see a loving boyfriend, a great husband, and an amazing father. When I see Malachite, I see my future. In the past 5 months that we spend time with each other, I finally understand what many say that “when you meet him, you’ll just know.” Malachite and I are not officially dating yet, but we have an understanding that as soon as we meet in person he only needs to ask and he will get my yes.
So am I ready?
In 5th grade I took Tae Kwon Do as my sport. In Tae Kwon Do, there is a position called Narani Sogi or the Ready Stance. It’s when you position your feet at a shoulder’s length, and have your arms forward slightly angled at the elbow with your fists tightly closed. It is called a Ready Stance sure, but really, you will only feel ready to fight when your opponent starts attacking you. That’s when your adrenaline gushes and your body starts heating up. You choose in an instant your course of action.
Readiness is not something you choreograph or plan. It doesn’t transpire when the clock strikes at 12. It is a choice that you make, and will soon become a state of mind.
I’ve never had a boyfriend, and Malachite isn’t the most experienced when it comes to relationships. We both have never truly loved a person (other than family), so we don’t know the boundaries between like and love, falling in love and actually being in love. But we want to be together, so we make a choice. He tells me that he’s “made up [his] mind” and that he “will be ready when I am ready.” No timeline exists because readiness is after all a choice, and then a disposition.
HAPPY 5TH TCM DAY, MALACHITE!
On April 5, 2016 we officially met and each month thereafter we celebrate this day. It’s been 5 months since, and you completely ruined my life blueprint. All this time I’ve convinced myself that I will be ready when I’m 27, not when I’m 23 (or 24!). Then you come along.
No, life doesn’t work on compartments–you don’t get a boyfriend after you’ve forged your career, and you don’t necessarily lose your career when you get married. The mutual exclusivity thing isn’t a misfortune but is something you decide on, that is, you make up your mind whether you want one of the two or both. Meeting you, I made a decision. I want both. I realize that I do need a hand in my career when you’ve stepped up to be my partner. You’ve carried me through my failures and helped me see glimpses of success. You show me that life centers on love, and when there is love every single thing falls into place and finds its balance on the grand scheme of things.
For a time I was confused if you really are “the one” with the timeline not being right, but in hindsight it all makes sense. You came at the perfect time–right when I needed to humble myself and realize that I cannot do it on my own, that life is so much better when you don’t walk alone.
God has gotten it all written out: Celeste will want to have her first and only boyfriend when she’s stable with her career, and Malachite will want to meet her sooner than later. The two will meet halfway such that Malachite will meet her sooner so they can get to know each other better, and Celeste will wait a little when she’s settled with her career before she says yes to him.
You are Mr. Right at the Right Time; I was just under a wrong mindset. So if you ask me now if I am ready, here’s my answer…
With you I will be.
Happy TCM Day, Malachite! You are the blessing that I am most thankful for.