Opening Act

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Opening Act: warm-up act, or supporting act is an entertainment act (musical, comedic, or otherwise), that performs at a concert before the featured act, or "headliner."

Thanks to the social media age we live in, moving on into your 'happy,' from and ex can be harder than ever before. With tags, screenshots, and DM's being open 24/7, like a real NYC bodega, how can one truly resist the urge to 'troll' an ex's page, who isn’t ‘private’ or hasn't blocked you? Who hasn't snarled at the new love interest, while unnecessarily comparing yourself to her? Mentally tearing her down, dismissing any notable outer beauty with, 'I mean, she ain't all that!' Because of course, she is not or ever will be as fabulous as you. Am I right?! How could you not judge and question his newly discovered faithfulness, commitment desire, and loyalty? Since when did he become proficient in public displays of affection, like with these nauseating hashtags. #WithBae #Her #MyRib #RelationshipGoals #Us If you're guilty of these thoughts and actions, slowly raise your hand with me. If you are more evolved than I am, and most of the world, and have never partaken in an online troll, venom session, congratulations on your expert level of adulting. Teach us your ways, without charging too much. Thanks in advance.

Via the 'old school' way of communication, 'the grapevine,' aka bochinche, I was informed that my ex, who also happens to be my former domestic violence partner, allegedly, is now a doting father and a loving, 'I now keep my hands to myself,' husband. I'd be lying to you through your screen if I said that I believed any this or was initially happy for him, her, or the children when this gossip was shared. I immediately sucked my teeth, rolled my eyes into the back of my head and dramatically began to compose a PSA to the world, detailing his shortcomings. Yes, my humanity had been activated, and I can admit that I was jealous, and my first thought was to assassinate his character, to anyone who was willing to listen or view it, when I posted it on social media and my website. We don't follow each other on social media or have any direct contact whatsoever, so there was no way to verify this inconsistency of being for myself. Why did I even care? So many years had passed; I moved on, I'm happy, married to another man, I've healed, grown and evolved. I watch Super Soul Sunday, with mother Oprah every week, I meditate, I don't drink the entire bottle of wine anymore....most of the time, I'm now a boujee New York socialite, in my head, so why was I so mad? Why was the thought of him being a better person than he used to be so hard for me to comprehend? Was it hard to believe; or is it that I felt no other women deserved what I fought (literally and figuratively) to get and never did?

I allowed my ego and emotions to have their moment in the spotlight and finished its tantrum, then my compassion, maturity, wisdom, and logic finally made an appearance. I thought: “If I'm not the same person I was when we were together many moons ago and had grown, why couldn't he?" If my husband isn't currently in a relationship with a wounded, hot-headed, young lady; with daddy issues, and little to no self-esteem, that my ex then knew; could it be that his wife isn't in a relationship with the damaged, aggressive, borderline alcoholic, immature young man he once was?" My deep level of thinking temporarily stumped me, but it didn't stop there. I then asked myself: "Would it make you happy if you found out he was gay, instead him loving another woman the way you feel he should have loved you? And why aren't you thrilled that another woman was being treated well, and loved?" BOOM! Out of all the questions, I was asking myself, that one overloaded and shook my brain.

 After two glasses of wine, a failed attempt at journaling, some Mary J Blige (Because MJB is necessary), and another glass of wine, it became apparent that it was about my vexation for being his 'opening act.' All the rehearsal, and practice; the performance's, the sweat, tears and sometimes blood I put into waiting for this man to show up as grown up, all for this new broad to receive the VIP benefits of the headliner. HELL NO! I don't deserve that; I put up with all of his Bull Shit and his families too. Where is the guy that had all the excuses, and told all the lies? The nerve of someone growing up and becoming an adult after being so immature, reckless and damaging with and to me. Don't get me started on the rudeness of the new Mrs., for not seeking me out, and sending me a thank you card, for molding and shaping her new beloved, into a man of substance for her. I deserve a reward for being his emotional and physical punching bag, so she didn't have to, my ego said over and over again. Cue Meghan Trainor's "Credit." That's if she ever heard of me, I mean how can I expect her to know my story if I never told her. And if I did, would she care? She'd have every right not to focus on who her husband is now, not on the opening act, who allowed herself to start the show with no contract, for little to no fee.

Oh, how I wish growth and reaching this level of understanding were as fun and simple as listening to the Queen of Hip Hop Soul, sipping (or gulping) wine, and temporary breakdowns. I wish it was as simple as it seems when it works out in the movies, like what happened with Steve and Miranda on Sex and The City, The Movie. After watching it for the hundredth time, I had a different understanding of their reunion. They were headed for divorce and, heeding the advice of their therapist, took some time apart to evaluate their relationship. If the two were interested in staying married, they had to meet on The Brooklyn Bridge on a set date and time. While Miranda was filling her legal pad with the many reasons why Steve wasn’t worthy of her boss lady presence, she, too, had an ‘A-HA moment’ - she had also broken her vows in various ways. Though Miranda is a fictional character and doesn’t share my storyline, watching her take self-inventory and ownership of her thoughts, actions and the role she played in the breakdown of her marriage (and choosing forgiveness) inspired me to do the same.

Everyone has the right and ability to change, and have their growth respected and acknowledged. Our growth is momentarily paralyzed when we focus on the past pain we allowed and participated in, instead of celebrating the possible evaluation of others along with our own. Except a small few, who fell in deep early, and stayed there, everyone is someone's 'Opening Act.' We'll set the stage, and take the Boo's, for the main act to come and reap the rewards of our ‘warm up’. It's annoying AF, it hurts, it's not easy, it doesn't seem fair, but it is life, and it’s OKAY! The next woman is someone's daughter, sister, friend, and mother, she deserves happiness too, and you contributed to her happiness and sanity in some way. Just think about how many women may have possibly contributed to your happiness by being your boyfriend or husbands opening act. How many editable arrangements, and flower bouquets should we all be sending out? My ego and I are no longer jealous; we now laugh at the thought of wasting any mental space because someone picked up what we once threw away. Because of my presence, someone is experiencing happiness. I've paid it forward without even realizing it. I added a brick to my mansion in heaven. Yay me!

Let's have some 'Girl Talk'

Stefanie, Life Architect

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