Next Lifetime (A Guest Post by @LaBakir)

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Today we have a guest appearance from the lovely and talented LaBakir. Make sure you show her some love in the comments.


“Now what am I supposed to do when I want you in my world…I guess I’ll see you next lifetime.”

That was our song, although at the time it had a totally different meaning. We were sophomore’s in high school and dated briefly before I began sweating* dealing with an upperclassman. I was so smitten with Mr. Jock, that I ignored what was right in front of me. What was better for me at the time. I’ll never forget the day J.G. was preparing to leave my house, Erykah Badu’s video for “Next Lifetime” came on as he pleaded with me to give him another chance. He told me I wasn’t the only girl that Mr. Jock was dealing with, but like old folk…I wasn’t hearing him. As he stood in the doorway to my house, J.G. quoted Ms. Badu and said “I guess I’ll see you next lifetime”.

And he left.

That wasn’t the end of J.G. and I though. We remained good friends throughout high school, even as he began to change before my eyes. The lanky boy with dark eyes and freckles decorating his nose would eventually be kicked out of school, having to attend evening classes. The young man who once played football and was considered a pretty boy would start hustling and involving himself in illegal activity. It just didn’t make sense. This wasn’t the J.G. I knew. This wasn’t the guy that I’d play fight with in the hallway between classes before getting caught by a teacher. Or the kid with whom I’d plot to ask for bathroom passes at the same time, during the same period to roam the halls for five minutes and eat candy. It certainly wasn’t the guy who would buy me “corner store pizza” before sitting outside for hours on the porch or shooting hoops.

But it was who he had become.

After high school, I went to college while J.G hit the streets harder. While my nose was in the text books, he was handling business out of state. On a visit home for Thanksgiving, I ran into J.G. and we began spending time with one another. Since graduation, he became a father and picked up a cigarette habit while I was accumulating student loans and working for the athletic center. Nonetheless, our chemistry remained and J.G. became my “unboyfriend”. I knew that he and I couldn’t really be together because we were living in two different worlds. Mine collegiate, his criminal. Our “unrelationship” lasted a few months until his baby mother gave me a call. Apparently they were still together, so I removed myself from the picture. I was the one who left this time. Maybe Badu was on to something. Perhaps J.G and I could only exist in another lifetime.

I graduated from college and returned home. Through word of mouth I found out J.G. was serving time. This broke my heart, as I envisioned so much more for him. I found out where he was located and wrote him a letter asking if there was anything he needed. I never received a response and just chalked it up to the fact that maybe he was working things out with his baby mother.

It’s four years later and I hear from a friend of a friend that J.G. is trying to get in contact with me. Not knowing what to expect, I get his number and give him a call. He wants to see me, and suggest we grab a bite to eat. J.G. is still quite the gentleman and I’m enjoying our conversation, but nothing could prepare me for the next twenty minutes. He tells me he’s been thinking about me and he wants me to be his girl. He reassures me that I’ll be happy and he’ll take care of me. That he knows what he has to do to keep a woman like me. He’s almost thirty and he’s ready to get out the streets. He wants a good life and he wants it with me.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Well let’s do a quick assessment our resumes*:

J.G.’s Resume
- 10 year old child
- an ex-con
- currently going through a divorce
- on parole
- unemployed (although he claims otherwise)
- owes $5,000 in back child support

LaBakir’s Resume
- no kids
- no record
- college grad
- employed
- good credit, Roth IRA, and life insurance

In the most non-judgmental tone I could muster, I explained to J.G. that maybe I wasn’t a good fit for him. Just because we have a history, doesn’t necessarily mean we can pick up where we left off. Years have passed since we’ve had regular communication and A LOT has changed (see the above). While he was busy in the streets, I was working on setting a foundation for the type of life I want to live. My vision does not include a man covered in tattoos unless his name is Terry Kennedy with a few priors. *cue wind chimes* It includes my man Terry Kennedy and I traveling the world, enjoying life, and perhaps reproducing two athletic sons who love to skateboard. I wonder what my family and friends would think. I try to envision bringing J.G. home to meet my daddy (who’s a correction officer and 3rd degree black belt in jiu jitsu). As active as my imagination is, I just can’t.

“You only think this is crazy because it’s me saying I want to be with you. Are you going to hold my past against me? Don’t you want to be happy?” J.G. looks at me intently waiting for an answer, motorcycle helmet in hand. I ignore his gaze as I tell him I do want to be happy, but that what he has going on is a bit too heavy for me. I let him know that I can be his friend and that’s it. This answer doesn’t make him happy, but he’s persistent that the story will end the way he wants it to. I roll my eyes and tell him I have to go.

Am I being too judgemental? If I didn’t have a history with J.G., I wouldn’t have entertained that conversation with him due to his resume. On the surface, he is NOTHING I look for in man. However, he has a good heart and has always treated me well. Being 100% honest, I’m just not sure if that’s enough. Are we really compatible or is it our history that is making it appear that way? J.G. is suggests the third lifetime is a charm, but I can’t risk getting caught up in some foolishness.

*sweating- exercising extreme thirst for someone. Don’t judge me. I’m not the only one guilty.
*resume- a person’s qualifications taken into consideration when in the running for being apart of your life

bag lady. digital nerd. beauty junkie. shoe whore. i'm a sucker for big words and box-fresh kicks. know a little bit about a lot of things and have something to say about everything.

Comments 41

  1. Great post, LaBakir! I have had a similar situation, where a past partner has reappeared asking for the opportunity to be in my life after either misdeeds in general or towards me in the past. So, I understand the position you were in when you reconnected with him. (Ain’t romanticizing the past a b*tch?) The answer you gave “J.G.” was the correct one. I think the ambivalence you’re experiencing now is based on the fact that you two have a history, but I would not recommend giving into that beyond fantasy. The path he took is not one that the two of you could ever grown in. I’m sure you want him to be happy, but not at your emotional and/or physical expense. p.s.- that song has a special meaning to me too.

    1. LaBakir says:

      Thanks!

      And yes, romanticizing the past is a b*tch. Its funny that you called it a “fantasy” b/c I told him he created a ‘”movie” in his head of how things should be, but it’s just not realistic. Furthermore, I don’t even think J.G. acknowledges the fact that he has “baggage”.

  2. Miss Jenkins says:

    Great post. It’s always hard when chemistry and good sense conflict. That said, I have one piece of advice: Trust your intuition.

  3. I don’t disagree with you. I’ve had similar situations with chicks from my past. They “seem” to have good hearts, or maybe even they aspire to get back on the straight and narrow and see that i’m in a position they want to be in. Either way, ain’t going to be a next lifetime.

    In my particular case, I decided to go to college while a past chick decide to go in the government. She lacks serious social skills and maturity, but she is always like, “But I got money.” Smh… i’m sorry we have nothing in common.

    1. Streetz says:

      Cosign Dr J. LaB you did the right thing for you. Good hearts can involuntarily swindle you!

      Good Blog!

      1. LaBakir says:

        Thanks Streetz!

        Yeah…I’m avoiding this swindle for sure. I’m trying to make him understand that..sure we have fun together, but there’s more to life than that. I mean really, if I get a job in law enforcement…what I lookl like being a parole officer and my boyfriend is an ex-con?!!!

        1. Reecie says:

          yeah the conflict in my career is a huge deterrent (for me anyway) but I’ve known to recycle in the past so part of me was like “give it a try” *I know, I know* maybe if you were like 22-24 (the era of semi grown stupidity, lol)

          you know what’s best for you, and you are right there is more to life than “having fun” he would HAVE to establish some solid, legal work history to even entertain the thought.

          1. LaBakir says:

            I know Reecie! If I was younger, the recycling thing might work. Hell even if he wasn’t trying to be serious…but son wants to settle down. iCan’t! He would definitely need to settle his debts, find a job and handle his divorce. Damn that’s a mouthful.

    2. LaBakir says:

      LOL @ “But I got money”

      I feel as though J.G. and I don’t really have anything in common. I’ve done some traveling and have done things that I know he never has. Example, when we went out to eat…I ordered falafels and hummus. I explained to him what it was and told him I ate it for the 1st time when I went to Egypt. USUALLY that leads to a decent coversation. Not this time…all it led to was a “oh yeah, when” and a blank stare.

      1. Humble_One says:

        @Dr. J (@DrJayJack) & LaBakir

        “But I got money”

        This is the problem I had with the chic I mentioned in my comment. I’ve ran into a few women like this. Money and degrees does not equal intelligent conversation. Quite a few people think their salary puts them on a certain level. A broke person that doesn’t read will have the same conversation as a person with a decent job that doesn’t read.

  4. Humble_One says:

    LaBakir, you did the right thing. You two chose different paths. Those paths have made you the person you are today. I don’t think JG realizes that LaBakir in 2010 isn’t LaBakir in 1999. People change so much b/w their teenage years and young adulthood. People (unfortunately not all people) learn and grow from experiences that they have. I tried to mess with a chic I messed with before my ex after we broke up a few years ago. It felt so odd talking to her b/c I was on something totally different and she was on the same stuff she was on when we were in our early 20s. This topic is one of the reasons I feel you don’t go back with an ex.

    1. LaBakir says:

      Thanks Humble…and no he doesn’t realize that I’m not the same person. Plus I’m older and much more is at stake. I can’t be his project manager as he attempts to play “catch up” and get on the right path.

      He tries to make me feel guilty too.

  5. Gina says:

    I’ve been in a similar situation wondering the same things you did…could I bring him home to meet my parents/educated friends/colleagues when he has a criminal past, no job and no prospects for one. I always thought I was being judgemental and snobby, but reading this puts it all in perspective…thanks!

    1. LaBakir says:

      You’re welcome Gina! I was teetering that line between feeling like a snob and keeping it 100% w/ myself, ya know?

  6. Lola says:

    Max this is an awesome site! Gotta add to the blogroll!

    LaBakir… Wow Sissy!!! This was an awesome post!

    I definitely think that while he may have your true intentions at heart and knows that he will treat you right, he definitely came way too heavy on you, pause.

    Question tho, do you feel a bit guilty of the path that his life took because of your decision to not be with him back in high school? Has that ever crossed your mind?

    1. LaBakir says:

      Thanks Sissy!

      I agree, there’s not a doubt in my mind that he has my best intentions at heart. But he laid too much on me at once, and he has more baggage than Louie V.

      Ah, the million dollar question: I guess I do feel a bit guilty. Sometimes I think that if we were together, maybe things would be different for him. Perhaps I would’ve had a positive influence on him, ya know? But on the flip side, that also could be me w/ a 10 year old child…struggling to get by. I definitely wonder “what if” at times…

      1. Lola says:

        You’re welcome.

        And you’re right, that could have been you with the kid struggling, still in college, with no Roth IRA, and maybe, this may be a little harsh, with only a dream to try and catch because life could have been difficult. OR… it could have been the best… but I think that it was suppose to be like this, your life wasn’t suppose to be tied with him :)

        1. LaBakir says:

          You’re right. I have to trust that everything is working out perfectly and things are the way they’re supposed to be.

        2. CHeeKZ Money says:

          y’all and these ROTH IRAs. I need to see your term and APY before I can sign off on balling with an IRA. Your money could not be working for you to the level that you need it considering the type of economic situation our generation is in with no social security. Plus people our age just assume the ROTH is a better play than the traditional based on the fact that they plan on earning in the future.
          A) that is only a plan
          B) Even if you earn more in the future that doesn’t at the time of your retirement your bracket will be. Esp if the Tea Party takes off.

          I could go for hours. I’m not snaping on saving for retirement. Just the attitude behind not being with a guy who doesn’t have one. Who knows maybe he picked up some stock tips while in the Pen? You want to ball in your golden years holla @ your boy.
          #MADOFF

          1. emti says:

            is a ROTH IRA like an RRSP?
            *canadian girl is confused*

            1. CHeeKZ Money says:

              the exact same concept as an IRA. A Roth though you pay the taxes now, and when you withdraw the money is all yours, minus the tax on interest

  7. angelj1217 says:

    Excellent read, awesome song and a pickle of a situation.

    The only difference is that in the song they morphed into the same thing…butterflies.

    I try not to pass judgment and hopefully J.G. will come out of his cocoon and become a butterfly like you already are.

    Keep the stream of consciousness coming..great work

  8. keisha brown says:

    cmon.. why wouldnt you want to get back together..like a DECADE later??
    this is why you are single..yo degrees aint gonna keep you warm at night…
    he’s got potential and wants you..

    *sarcasm oooozing out of my soul right now if you can’t tell. lol.

    you have to make the right decision for YOU. you are the only person that you can control. he made decisions in life that lead him to the point he’s at now. you don’t owe him anything but being honest, which you were.

    3rd lifetimes NEVER come to pass because 2nd lifetimes rarely work out. and with good reason.

    stay strong.

    great post!

  9. CHeeKZ Money says:

    This post isn’t good. Its superb. I was reading at the edge of my seat waiting to see how this was going to end (similar to the way I felt watching the video for Next Lifetime, wanting to see if Badu would get her man). Plus I got some insight into Labakir that I never knew. You ride a bike? Like Sons of Anarchy style or Ninja? That is so bada$$, ninjas in economy cars can’t even holla @ you.

    Seriously good post. Good song. And I find myself singing the lyrics to that song ALL THE DAMN TIME. I don’t have that mentality of ‘its not meant to be.’ When I meant an amazing person, I think it is meant to be, but it is not b/c of outside circumstances. I know about ten women who I can say I would love to spend the rest of my life with. I picked one, but that is only b/c I had to.

    Ever wonder what JG’s life would have been like if you listened and left the Jock? I mean JG is the lowest form of man for SNITCHING IN AN ATTEMPT TO GET BUNS (a violation of the most serious MAN LAWS). But maybe if we have got with him, some of your positive energy will rub off (we know he wouldn’t have that kid!).

    I don’t know about not giving a guy a chance based off a resume. Sure it would be hard for me to date a girl working at Wendy’s. But really we all know that sometimes smart people with potential don’t end up in the white house if they never met their Michelle. The most important thing in a relationship is that a brother treats you right, and LG got the covered. I got a crew filled with LGs, I’m not better than them just because I got a job that I wear a suit and tie for. I’m not jumping down your throat, its just that its a really good topic.

    1. Yo Cheekz,

      I thought the same thing about that Man-Law violation when I read it, but, I decided to let it rock because holmes was clearly fighting for his life in that conversation. He had to pull out all the stops. Plus, he clearly cared about her. Like really really cared. 10 years later he still cares, and jock dude is who knows where.

    2. LaBakir says:

      LMAO! I can’t take you CHeekZ. I don’t ride #pause bikes, J.G. does. However I do enjoy paint ball, white water rafting, traveling and playing basketball. I’m also a Taurus and enjoy long walks in the park…but I digress.

      You’re right, who knows how things would’ve turned out had I given him another chance in high school. And I’m not trying to be judgmental at all CHeeKZ, I’m really struggling with this. I just know the lifestyle he’s currently living, I can not get down w/.

    3. LaBakir says:

      LMAO! I can’t take you CHeekZ. I don’t ride #pause bikes, J.G. does. However I do enjoy paint ball, white water rafting, traveling and playing basketball. I’m also a Taurus and enjoy long walks in the park…but I digress.

      You’re right, who knows how things would’ve turned out had I given him another chance in high school. And I’m not trying to be judgmental at all CHeeKZ, I’m really struggling with this. I just know the lifestyle he’s currently living, I can not get down w/.

      Oh, and I had that Roth IRA for about 4 years now. Before the economy went to sh*t. And in no way was I trying to talk down about anybody who doesn’t save for the future etc. That was merely for comparison purposesfor the readers on J.G. and myself.

      Hell, looks like I may have to talk to you about $$$. You seem pretty knowledgable. I’m trying to be #Madoff to ya know :)

  10. LaLa (I think i’m gonna try that out as my new E-nickname for you because I’ve been having trouble getting LaBakir to roll smoothly off my tongue),

    This post was wonderful, gave me a knot in my stomach for a moment. I know I really feel something I read when I have a physical reaction to it – kudos to you.

    In terms of the situation, you must guard your heart as if it’s your most sacred possessions. Regardless of his past and all the external influences, when you look into a man’s eyes, you need to be able to say, without doubt, that you have no problem taking your heart out of your chest and putting it in his hands to carry with him for the rest of his life. If you can’t trust a man like that, then that’s not a man you should be having a serious relationship with.

    I think the trepidation you’re feeling around the situation stems not just from the fact that you have history together, but, it may also be because you feel like the external influences are effecting a decision that, in an ideal world, you should be making with your heart.

    I think if you remove all the external situations (i.e. resume, where he’s been where he may be going…), and just look at your relationship with this man for what it is, and what it could be, you’ll be able to rest easier – with whatever decision you come to.

    Me personally, I’m big on leaving the past in the past… I’ve had many wonderful relationships that may not have reached their full potential, and, while reminiscing is sometimes fun, it’s not, at all productive. I find that my memories are always just a little more wonderful than the actuality of the relationship. The few times that I have dipped back into the past, the reality of why it didn’t work, why it couldn’t work always punched me square in the chest – and both her and I ended up hurt more than we were the first time – and – on top of that… the original memory was now ruined – so I can’t even romanticize anymore.

    1. CHeeKZ Money says:

      I like LaLa homey. We are going to have to stick her with that one

      #yesinthatwaytoo

    2. LaBakir says:

      Lol, I can rock w/ LaLa…I may have to put that as an aka after LaBakir

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post…thank you so much! I don’t typically write about myself on my blog.

      You bring up some very good points. In an ideal world…my fantasy world, I’d move forward with J.G. What better story than past lovers reconnecting despite circumstances and making it work? Sounds real good. The type of stuff that gives a girl shivers.

      But those external situations are a serious “road block”. They are making look at things that I desire in a man and a relationship from a whole new perspective. Here’s a man willing to give me what I ultimately desire (a relationship), something other men w/ immpecable resumes have not been willing to.

      I’ve never confronted a situation like this before. I’m used to dealing with emotional road blocks with men, not situational.

  11. Ok, having read this post again, and read through all your comments, I’m starting to read between the lines a little.

    What I’m realizing, is that, you guys are spending time together. Like… I’m thinking it’s more than a couple dates.

    So – now – that has me wondering… did you cross the line (i.e. just pretend there’s a link to max’s post form last week about line-stepping)? I mean, I’m not tryna be foward, but, if you gave homey a lil’ taste of the goodies (figuratively and spiratually, it’s easy to see why he’s tryna get his life together. Giving a dude who aint had much go for him in a while a lil trim is like giving a dude who aint had a haircut in a while the shape up of his life. He starts seeing himself in a different light… tryna figure out options and sh**. It’ll make a dude who ain’t had 1 thought about he future in 5 or 10 years start thinking about… well… IRA’s and (in his case) 529 plans and shhh.

    So, not to be too forward LaLa, and of course, you’re not obliged to tell… but… did JG smash?

    1. I didn’t proofread the above at all… y’all know what I’m tryna say…

    2. Nah, he didn’t smash. Scouts honor. I did see him more than once though. I told him over the phone this wasn’t going to work, and he wanted to talk in person. Hence the “motorcycle scene” at the end.

      1. CHeeKZ Money says:

        Seriously you should invest in a Bike. You already look so cool on one in my mind.
        You got your biker jacker on.
        Gloves with the fingers cut off.
        No one could eff with you.

        And if JG or LG or GG needs a 529 plan all he needs is 500 bucks and my phone number. Seriously OG Bobby Johnson only has 8 years left to save for his seed and it can count against the money he owes in child support so he doesn’t have to worry about his baby momma buying Gucci with his cash.

        1. LOL!! Alright CHeekZ…you gonna show me how to ride o_O

          Lol at OG Bobby Johnson…forget him, I need to set up my own meal plan

        2. Way to be solution oriented Cheekz…

  12. Super Suki says:

    Great post B. :) I’d comment out the ass. But here’s all I got. I love that song. For a few reasons you could agree with. I think you should follow your heart…sometimes. That damn things doesn’t know what it wants isn’t good for the rest of the body all the time lol.

    Don’t mind me. Great post. J.G. Hmm, this man is still around. He sees you got your shit together… That CS though? Be careful. The slightest link btwn your money and his and BAM! They’re taking it…

  13. Starita34 says:

    Hey LaBakir, I know I’m late (vacation day with MamaD *fist pump*) but I just had to say brava m’lady. I enjoyed the post and the comments greatly.

    Of course you look good to J.G., you always looked good to J.G. You just look good ;-) *brushes your shoulders off* You chose to end it with J.G. Every. Time. Relationships are reciprocal. Yes, you would be good for him, yeah, you probably would’ve been good for him in HS too…but what about LaLa (loving that btw)?

    And it’s not a matter of a superficial resume diss; you know this man. Resumes are for getting to know someone unknown (thus you referencing his resume to us, the readers, who need a quick, general idea of who J.G. is). You didn’t say “no thank you” to J.G. because of any resume imperfections. You said no to J.G. because the direction in which he’s chosen to take his life and the direction that your life is heading are incompatible. Based on actual history that you share. He cheated on a woman with you. You know this, you were there. He chose a life of crime. Which seems inherently outside of your lifestyle choices (correction officer running through the veins and all). He’s still married, he’s gotta get some things together before he steps to LaLa, history or no. In general I think taking and giving points based on resumes is a bad idea; but that’s not even the issue here babe. You know this cat. He can be a friend, you can be supportive, as it seems you always have been. But he’s not for you, and you should feel no shame in that. I understand the guilt, but it’s uncalled for in this instance (IMO).

    I hope to see more personal notes from you. Loved this. *e-hugs* (just cause I feel such kinship with ya and I’m a hugger #TommyBoy)

    Hope you’re lovin vaca Max, you left your spot in good hands.

    1. Hey girl, hey!

      *in ghetto Dora voice* Thank you for all the love! I’m so glad my b*tch Starita came through and dropped a line on my word function…now leh’go!

      Thank you for breaking it down even further for me. Reading it from someone else’s point of view gave me more insight, ya dig? And I agree w/ taking and giving points due to a resume…its not something I generally due. I just wanted readers to see how we compared on paper…outside of our high school relationship and all that mushy stuff. ALL of what J.G. is dealing with…I’ve never encountered a dude like that before. So it’s never been an issue when considering if I wanted to pursue something w/ a guy b/c our lifestyles were always (mostly) similar.

      *e-hugs* Yes, you’re my sister from another mister…and mrs. :p

      *sighs* I guess I’ll be patiently waiting (for the right one). Fiddy.

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