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I sat there weeping silently as he gently reprimanded me. Using a surgeon’s precision he delicately cut me open with his words, being both encouraging and brutally honest. “You would be doing a disservice to God to not use what he gave you. Do you know how many times I’ve watched that video of you singing in my loft?! The world needs to see and hear that. It is your duty”. I felt the urge to give up slowly start to wane. It sizzled quietly under my breast bone. His words acted like a blanket, countering the burning pain of defeat. Then in his final blow, when he knew he had exposed the heart just enough, he said, “You need to treat your craft like you do your relationships”. Boom. K.O…A roundhouse kick to the chest as if he knew this would bring everything he had said full circle, as he should. Our 15 year friendship, included a brief courtship, where I allowed him access to the very heart of me. Bay Area creatives, we speak the same language, different dialect at times, but we have enough common ground for in depth conversation.

I have a history of dating project men and putting them on pedestals. Project men are men with known or unknown issues, who women like myself, somehow initially find enduring, humble or illusive due to our own issues. We take them on in an effort to fix them, love them in spite of and rebuild what is broken. Sometimes this is done unconsciously, and other times it’s done because you’ve already invested much time and exposed yourself so much that the idea of doing it again is less appealing than simply “fixing” the guy you’re with. Oh, did I mention that we “fixers” often operate under the ridiculous ideal that people can be fixed… by us, that is. And that when they have allowed us to fix them, they will in turn show us the same unconditional love and loyalty. Funny I know, but this was once my subconscious mind.

The amount of years I’ve spent on project men could account for at least 2 reality TV careers. Thankfully the operative word here is history, meaning in the past, not the present. This conversation with my long time friend must have been the nail in the coffin for my next decision. The catalyst, occurred nearly a year prior, when I brazenly left my last relationship with my final project man. He continued, “You must treat your craft like your relationships. I know from experience the time and nurturing you give. You must give that to your craft”.  It all made sense to me.

Despite my aloof capabilities, I am truly someone who believes in love. Honestly, I’ve dreamt of it since I was a little girl. Not because of society but because I am simply built that way.  As a little girl I often played “getting married”, using a long sheet for my hair, not my veil (which explains my hair fetish), with handmade flowers made of paper and pencils and my groom, Mr. Teddy Ruxpin. He was cute, cuddled with me at night, listened when I spoke, told the best stories and entertained me when I was sad. And most importantly, unlike my father, he was always there. And the next day, I’d be busy “singing at the Grammys” or interviewing myself on my faux radio show. Maybe this is why I’ve tried so hard, put so many before myself and endured things that undermined my value? I just have always wanted it.

The problem was, I was not in a relationship with my craft. Relationships are mutual. When dating another person you ideally have someone meeting you half way; coming over, calling you, taking you out on dates. But with your craft, you are the active participant… almost the entire time. Reciprocation comes in spurts and your craft does not put out until much time has been vested, until you have truly proven yourself.

You essentially have to be a stalker. Relentless in the pursuit of your beloved, without fear of failure or criticism from your peers; without fear of being rejected or arrested by the police. You must blindly give out the love you want reciprocated, until you get it back.

How the hell do I have a relationship with an inactive/semi active participant? This question haunted me for days after.

In love & relationships, there is typically a pay off. Company, a deep emotional connection, affection, sex. What is my pay off here? What do I get from practicing or developing my craft? What do I lose whenever I try to walk away? What is that worth to me?  These are the questions that floated in my mind and really forced me to be honest with myself despite the fear. You see, when you are an adult pursuing the unconventional, your relationship to your passion is often tested and evolving. It is your job to re-cultivate what made you fall in love in the first place. You have to diligently work at reevaluating your growth against your goals in order to find new ways of making them sync and feed your soul, despite your changing life and responsibilities. Just like a marriage.

I have been using my gifts professionally for a little over 9 years. I watch, mostly young, individuals tie the knot and party with loved ones as they stare at each other with drunk lust and adoration. But it is not them who move me. It’s the 20 plus, sometimes 60 plus years in married couples that intrigue me. You know what they say when asked what the secret is? Commitment, willingness to change and grow together,  mutual effort and what almost all of them say – work. (Work meaning applying new ways to resolve, compromise and appease both parties not working for thankless, endless arguments or struggle- to clarify.)

I came to the conclusion that if I am willing to give my all to a man who may or may not do the same, why not go all in for my purpose? I chose to reevaluate why I fell in love and why I’m still here and what it’s going to take to make this work. I’m at a curious crossroads in my life, where God has afforded me the opportunity to be all in. So why not give my all to a partner that I know I was created for?

I got married on June 2nd 2016 and in typical Dasha fashion, got some ink to commemorate the experience.

I’m all in.