In this installment of the Season of Singleness, we’re discussing the topic of flaws. Let’s face it: WE ALL HAVE THEM! Trust me, it is HARD pill to swallow and when you do, it takes a LONG time to digest.
Well, I’m talking about my flaws from the perspective of one of my favorite shows: A Different World My favorite characters are: Whitley, Kim, and Jaleesa. They can be a GREAT mix, but these individuals had their shares of flaws and mess-ups.
Let’s start with the flaw of perfectionism. Some might saw that this is far from a flaw, but when you’re dealing with human beings, perfection can get in the way of progress. Perfectionism reminds me of Kim.
Y’all remember that Kim was ALWAYS about her business, especially because she refused to compromise on becoming a doctor. I get it because my goals are so important to me, but Kim and I forgot (at some point) that you need support along the way, no matter what form that may come in. It was apparent Kim was going through it in various episodes, whether it was pledging, keeping up with studies or just finding a moment to relax. Sis and I needed to chill especially because perfectionism begins to spill into other areas, especially RELATIONSHIPS! Whew. I look back now and realize I needed to be FAR from perfect. I needed to be authentic and vulnerable, no matter how hard that may be. Kim, girl, we gone be alright!
My girl Kim eventually became a part of the standard I envisioned of myself and we both learned that we just need to be in progress not perfection. However, while Kim was speaking to me as the essence of #TheProfessionalBlackQueen, another Queen was learning how to go with the flow. That Queen would be Miss Jaleesa!
As an older sister and (typically) the oldest out of my friend group, Jaleesa spoke to part of me that often gets overlooked. You ever had someone say “well you’re the oldest, so you should be the most responsible?” Yeah, Jaleesa spoke to that part of me. It was a responsibility I never really asked for when I was coming up, but it soon manifested itself to make me “the girl that likes to run everything”. I felt for Jaleesa; you’re really just out here trying to propel yourself forward, but you have to make sure those behind you learn some valuable lessons. You may ask why? Well, because some folks *cough negative nancy and beverly* will have ten things to say about imparting wisdom on the young folks, but they never did not do that for you.
Jaleesa began to get a grip later in the series, but personal growth and her relationship with the Colonel changed her to be more go with the flow. I think because she finally had someone to finally say “girl, just chill out”. Jalessa might have never been a fan-favorite but she resonates with me as the flaw of Rigidness or Inflexible. On the good days, this can be seen as super-organized, but on the bad days, WHEW! Manic or insane is what comes to mind. Going with the flow is not always easy but don’t be so rigid and uptight that nobody wants to be around you or just avoids you when they know you are having a bad day.
Who didn’t love Ms. Whitley Gilbert? Well, Season 1 of A Different World made Whitley mostly intolerable, but you knew that her fashion sense was nothing to play with. Whitley was the epitome of how you can emulate bad and boujee and be completely oblivious to your surroundings. Whitley wanted what she want when she wanted and nobody could tell her otherwise. She was not keeping up with the Joneses because she WAS the Joneses. As much as Whitley exudes the upper class Black person and as much as I wanted to be her, she also struggled to be present and supportive (especially in earlier seasons). Now how do these character flaws show up in relationships? Well, some would determine you to be self-absorbed.
Self-absorbed?! Whitley didn’t back down from what she wanted. Granted, that is true, but too many times people had to tell her how she needed to treat them. The iconic wedding episode even showed how much she needed reality checks in order to become likable. She often had to be slowed down and made aware of how her words and actions were harmful. I realized I could be self-absorbed, especially if I had other things on the top of mind.
Everyone had their flaws and personal flaws do not just go away because you are in a relationship. During this season of singleness or if you just have a need for personal growth, ask the five closest people to you your biggest flaws. If you don’t want to know exactly who said what, create an anonymous Google Form. Don’t take it to heart (you might do that anyways), but know that you are human and you are just trying to grow. Flaws are potholes in your character. They need to be fixed. Every day won’t be perfect, but you’ll be better.