Emotional maturity. I’ve spoken about this before on how emotional maturity will help you avoid fuckboys. Packaging advice through discussions on intimate relationships is always the easy entry way. But emotional maturity is more complex and nuanced than just how it relates to your dating life.

Emotional maturity is taking the time to develop self awareness and shed your emotional insecurities. Vulnerability is the biggest tenet of emotional maturity and potentially the hardest one to find balance with. A lot of these insecurities will center around your intimate relationships but they also center around your sense of self, your goals, career, friends and family life.

How do you handle walking into a room full of a women? What insecurities does it strike up when it’s a room full of educated Black women, like a sorority or church sisterhood meeting? How would you react if it was a room full of economically poor Black women from segregated urban areas? Emotional maturity plays a role in both of those settings.

For me it was joining a sorority and walking into that alumni meeting full of educated ambitious Black women and feeling a sense of coming undone. I was projecting that the women were going to judge me in a less than way, articulating like no one was going to understand me, playing the background because I had placed too many mental hurdles to jump over. I realized that most of my issues with befriending other women, were self-manifested. A lot of women do this because in patriarchal society the rhetoric around women is demeaning, placing us in some absurd fight against each other. A lot of us are carrying this same patriarchal chip on our shoulders, so what happens when one focuses on shedding that chip and those insecurities that upheld those negative feelings?

The truth is, in the immediacy, loneliness creeps in because we do not live in a society that promotes self-awareness, outside of being self-aware enough to know that your outer appearance slays. Working on your emotional maturity will show you how emotionally immature the general population is. And in practice that will mean there is a smaller circle of people you’ll be willing to engage with as part of your intimate social circle. Sounds bad, but it’s absolutely not. It is human nature to become more stuck in our ways as we age. For most, we hit about 28 years old, and our social circle starts dwindling. The mantra “no new friends” became a thing for a reason. But with emotional maturity it is not that you’re snubbing people, it is that you are investing in more quality relationships, That you are better understanding how different people function in your life and that not every needs to have the expectation of being your friend levied on them. Social acquaintances serve a fulfilling purpose with the potential of inspiring others to invest in their emotional maturity and grow along with you.

Loneliness is the first hard function of shedding emotional insecurities and growing in your emotional maturity. Stay committed and you’ll see close friendships strengthen and new friends blossom organically. But then there is another lull.

When do we, you or I catch a break?

We work to do better, inspire others to do better, but where is that ah ha moment, that peace, that enveloping happiness, that allows you to hit the stride of a carefree Black girl? Typically the question of when you can catch a break arises when something bad happens. You had found your rhythm nose to ground working on working it out. Then someone throws a brick at you from behind and ignites all those latent insecurities that hadn’t gotten to yet. They startle you and everything becomes a question filled with distrust, as we forget just how far we’ve come.

This is something myself and quite a few of my friends have gone through this year. From the outside people view us as successful, on the inside each of us has faced internal struggles that knocked us off kilter, set off a lingering depression and had us upset at being upset. Or upset that we didn’t couldn’t keep it all together. But we have to recognize that this bump in the road is a part of our success story, both in what we having coming and the success we have now. If you can articulate what it is your sad about, what it is you need to do better than you have succeed in finding self awareness. So many people have not found that gift. Give yourself those moments to be sad, to cry, to take a nap or a break. Talk and journal it out. Throw the pity party and then clean it up and stand up so you can keep on moving up.

It is absolutely hard to keep pushing forward, but patience is such a necessary virtue and something I have been overstepping. I definitely need to work on my patience and my faith. I’m committed to this journey because I can look around and see the benefits, both in long established friendships becoming more fulfilling, wasting less time in my dating life and yielding better results in men that I entertain, and watching the people around me blossom, especially as I take on living in a new city. I am continuing on my journey of emotional maturity and you should too.