Competing Priorities – Ambition Magazine
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Competing Priorities

A few weeks ago while driving through my favorite part of the Ohio Miami Valley I began to reminisce of a time when I wasn’t so single. Now I know that I should avoid this, but I began to get sleepy watching the sun set on that oh-so-familiar ride through The Greene and then Centerville, so while approaching Middletown I checked in on an ex. This particular one was more of a friend to me than anything and I sincerely missed our inside jokes, so I called.

We talked a little about old times, talked a little about what was happening now and how the feeling of missing each other was mutual. Then inevitably the conversation turned to why we ever broke up anyway. He told me that he didn’t feel like a priority. I told him that it’s in my nature to have a lot going on, a lot of competing priorities. I have my daughter, my family, my faith, my side hustle, my job, my friends and so-so social life, my workout routine and that’s the short list. I honestly don’t know who I would be if I didn’t have several irons in the fire. As I took a break from explaining to really digest what he said, I realized that no, he probably didn’t feel important in my world and I am not sure that I know how to make a man a priority with so much other stuff going on. I actually felt bad for a second.

I suppose now it’s needless to say that dating is difficult for me.

Not to mention that being hurt in a previous relationship makes me naturally untrusting upon meeting any new suitor.

When I do meet guys, I dive deep into their eyes, looking for the soul that won’t fail me. “I don’t believe you- I don’t believe you-I don’t believe you” I sing in my head when they talk. Out loud I say nice things, play the shy girl but what I’d really like to say, is that I’m nothing short of amazing. I am God-fearing, intelligent and I can cook. I should be treated like a queen. No, I don’t want to play baby roulette with you and if you are wasting time trying to date me and three other women at the same time let’s just quit while we’re ahead. In addition, I have a daughter who is my everything, a job with seniority and a side hustle which are all more important than you right now so unless you have something to say that might convince me that you should have a shot or that you’re genuinely interested or better yet that you are superman because I damn sure am superwoman, I probably don’t want to hear it.

So I don’t say that, of course, and I have to take the time to learn whether or not I should be talking to that person at all which is extremely difficult because my time is very valuable. When you start working for yourself you start to understand that a lot more. Wasting time is wasting money. Wasting time with the wrong person is also like wasting valuable hours that could be spent with my child (see Office Hours and Cartwheels). Perhaps I need to wait until I am 40 to date when she’s in college but that’s not realistic. I always consider outrageous solutions instead of creating a balance because it is one of the hardest things for me to do. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that I don’t know how to split myself several ways without letting someone down or letting something slip.

In the end I have to do what pleases me and right now a significant other is not that high on the list. In fact, last December I made a list of goals for 2014 and “date” was like number 27. At this particular time, what pleases me is doing what pleases my daughter, following my dreams and creating the best quality of life for us. I suppose anything that happens organically while I’m doing that is what I’ll have to work with and whoever Mr. Wonderful is, will have to be wonderful enough to understand.

Ashley Aya Ferguson
2 Comments
  • Anonymous
    August 28, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Your honesty is refreshing in a world where we experience similar things but keep many of those struggles on the DL.

  • Anonymous
    August 29, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    You are a queen and that means you deserve nothing short of King. But a true King might need to rank a little higher than number 27.

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