Nov 15, 2021 | Life, Relationships | 3 comments

If you put a fork on the stove top it will become fiercely hot. When you pick it up, your soft, tiny fingers will blister immediately.

You remember fingering the filled orbs on your palm every time you set the fork down on the countertop for months after that.

You never set a fork down on the stove top again.

Life lessons.

But what about the lessons that are seemingly less subtle in the way that they don’t leave physical markings in their wake, but a relentless scratching. A constant resurfacing. What about lessons so obvious, yet so unappealing, they might as well send, “You up”? At 2 am.

What about the lessons that you put a Valencia filter on, dressing it up and down, depending on the season. Perhaps if I turn the brightness down…

I thought that I might share (re: regurgitate) my unpleasant, albeit absolutely necessary, encounter with some of my cringeworthy lessons that I’ve finally decided to stop crawling into bed with…

  1. You’re not a good communicator, you’re seeking validation and reassurance instead of reassuring yourself. Speaking your truth sometimes looks like shutting the fuck up.

Listen, ouch.

I know.

We are always going to need reassurance at some point. We might be feeling raw, or emotionally spent. Maybe you had a long day, maybe you were vulnerable and overshared. Just because you’re “communicating” often doesn’t mean you’re being a good communicator, and if anyone ever mirrors the same behavior, you know that shit is exhausting. Are you actually telling someone how you’re feeling or are you looking outward for your edges to be smoothed?

Like I said. Ouch.

  1. Your partner doesn’t have to meet all of your needs.

This one rocked me. Like most of us, I grew up with the understanding that Your Person is going to be your BFF, your lover, your Ear, your Shoulder, your business partner, your event coordinator, your running mate, your XYZ.

And then when they’re not all of those things, all of the time, and you become resentful, and wonder why they can’t just wrap it all up in a nice bow…

This was told to me by two people I trust very much this year and both times I was like, BUT?!

There are no buts. We can’t be All The Things to one person, every waking moment.

Weird, hey? #IdLikeToCallAFriend, and honestly, you should too.

  1. Not everybody is going to love the way you love, and that’s okay.

There’s not a lot of grey area here. Bottom line: if you enjoy folks showing up authentically, you’re going to have to let them be authentic…

What a concept that has been somewhat lost on me until I loved someone in a way that I was finally ready to, you guessed it, shut the fuck up.

  1. And last, but certainly not least. The lesson that makes me feel as though all of my skin has been scraped down with steel wool, leaves me feeling very exposed, and still has the capacity to make me want to gag…

Just because you love someone really hard, doesn’t mean they can’t and won’t leave.

Your girl has some deeply rooted Mommy Issues + abandonment issues and while I’ve known this, it’s taken 33 years for me to finally hold up a mirror and say, “Girl, yikes.”

They do still leave. I’ve witnessed it too many times to count. What I had to untangle from was the idea that they wouldn’t if I back-burner’d myself, or if I loved them in every way I could, or loved them hard, or loved them entirely.

As we know, as I knew, but wasn’t willing to admit, if we’re back-burner’ing ourselves in the name of LoVe, we’re actually not doing a great job of loving anyhow, you know?

As I type this, my cheeks are flushed and I’m rolling my eyes at myself for my unwillingness to admit to myself all these years that this is, in fact, one of the very shitty ways I have shown up in relationships in the past, and just, like…

Knock your shit off, and also, three cheers for self-realization, and having the audacity to do different. 

When will we learn? It took me this long. While it makes me feel vulnerable and raw to share these parts of me, I needed to set the fork down somewhere different (finally) if I wanted more and better and healthier and truer, and maybe this nudges you to do the same. 

What do they say?

Don’t just talk about it, be about it.

I try hard to do this everyday, and I feel (mostly, heh) grateful when I get served another lesson to have the opportunity to be about it.

All my love (and cringe),




  1. L. R.

    You’re doing it and doing it well. We love you, bb. <3

  2. Rhoda Yawn

    Ava, there have been many statements/ thoughts that you have shared, this piece – darling person – is so so well written and, now so so appreciated.
    With affection, Rhoda 🌟

  3. Aunty Marsha

    Very difficult things to learn. Remind yourself often. And remind us too.


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