I call myself a hopeful romantic—the girl who has often spoken of “bae goals.” I’m the girl that always dreamt of a partnership that felt like butterflies in the stomach and smiling throughout the day for reasons unknown to the rest of the world. When it is from my man’s gaze, I like the male gaze.
I found my hopeful romance when I moved abroad. My son’s father and I met all the way in Cairo, Egypt, and since then have seen the world together, creating a life for ourselves and our son that we (and others) could only dream of. Seven years of what others could perceive and assume to be “bae goals” and, for a time, it was. However, for the past few months, I’ve been going through the process of divorce. Through this process, my concept of a bae has been reframed.
As opposed to aligning what bae goals would look like with a partner, I have spent more time focused on the bae in me. What do I love about her? What about her makes me feel warm and tingly? What about her makes me laugh or soothes my spirit? Divorce teaches you that sometimes it’s not always them. You also play a role in why some things just didn’t work out. And guess what? It’s absolutely okay to go inward and realize that maybe the bae that was you wasn’t so appealing compared to the bae you’re meant to be.
One of my biggest accomplishments in my inner-bae goals was creating self-care routines. I recognized that in my previous marriage I was often left angry and frustrated—feeling overworked and constantly stretching myself for my son and his father. Since then, my biggest goal has been to see to my self-care without guilt. I’ve created a daily face-cleansing routine that constantly makes me feel renewed, restored, and happy to look at myself in the mirror. I’m not sure why that one thing gives a boost to my days and soothes my nights, but it has become a key tenet of my Bible of Bae: “Thou shalt not neglect thine mug!” Because contrary to popular opinion, Black does crack—and so does anything else that you don’t tend to and care for.
Travel is a big love language of mine, so I have gotten back to taking solo trips and truly getting to know me again. Because what’s a better bae goal than someone truly knowing themselves? Post-marriage, I’ve learned that being the biggest and best version of myself is the best gift I can give to me and anyone who comes into my life. Along with this realization, I’ve recognized that focusing on becoming my own goal of love, appreciation, and admiration will surely manifest into the person I need and want at this stage in my life.
That new bae will get a version of me that takes care of myself—firstly and unapologetically. They will have a new blueprint to follow, a map of reciprocation that allows them to fully understand and show me the same care I’m giving myself. They will see a woman who reaffirms her worth through actions like therapy and travel, and they will have a better understanding that it is not only a necessity for me, but for them, too.
I am my “bae goals”, and I’m happy that I no longer feel the need to be validated by someone else. Yet I am hopeful that when the time is right someone will recognize, appreciate, and celebrate the bae in me.
What goals do you have for yourself to step into the best season of your life and foster a better inner-you to attract the bae you want?
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