Boys Ain't Nothing But Trouble


"Stay away from those boys," she'd say after looking at my honor roll report card and passing me a few bucks to get by. "They ain't nothing but trouble," she'd proceed.

My Aunt Vi had such a way with words - a way that was straight to the point and firm. And by firm I mean frightening. I listened to her. I listened to the stories of her mistakes and I listened to her predict the mistakes I'd make. I was too young to take it personal, so I inhaled it all. I breathed it all in as the only truth I'd ever know and recited it over and over to myself, "stay away from boys." I looked across the room as my mom sat in agreement. 

By the time my Aunt Vi died, I had already had my few bouts with boys. I wish I could've told her 'thank you' for trying. 

But I'm happy I didn't stay away from boys. I'm happy that at 15 my mother gave me 24 hours to wipe my tears and hop out of the depression I fell in, at the face of a Myspace dispute over a boy. I'm happy that at 17 I fell in love and then got my heart broken. I'm happy that at 23 I was wrapped in a difficult situation with a man I had no business being with. I'm happy for the times I entertained guys because the feeling of being wanted made me want myself. I'm happy for the tears I shed as I still felt like nothing. I'm happy for me having been so unhappy at those times. All those moments took pieces from me; they took chunks out of me. Chunks I'd never anticipated getting back. Chunks I didn't care that I lost. Chunks that were later filled with God's love, new identity and a restoration of self. 

See, had I stayed away from boys, I would've never felt how good real love felt and how awful wrong love is. I would've never been able to tell the two apart. Had I never lost such large pieces of myself at the ease of a broken heart, I would've never experienced being filled with God. I would've never felt how much love mattered in the middle of me falling apart. Had I never isolated myself the way I did after one of my most painful breakups, I would've never been able to find myself. I wouldn't have been alone long enough to learn myself; I would've never been able to create myself.  

Had I never been emotionally emptied, I would still be spiritually empty. I wouldn't have been able to be filled to the brim, if I was still filled with myself. I needed that hurt. I needed that pain. I needed those late nights of not eating and overflowing tear ducts.  

Had I stayed away from boys like I was instructed to, I would've never had to hold onto God. I would've never had to reach for His hand in my darkness. I would've never had to cry out to Him for help. I would've never been covered by his grace. Had I never been peeled back to my core, I wouldn't have ever known what it was like to be brand new. To be re-assigned. To be made whole again. 

The beauty of life - and the message I often try to convey - is that there is a moment of growth in everything. In all the pain there's a revelation; a burst of sunlight that breaks through the closed blinds and the dark room. There's always a reason. There's always a purpose. There's always more to the pain.  

My aunt worked hard to keep me out of harms way, without realizing that harm would chase me; it would catch up with me; and it would enlighten me. She always shared with me the trouble she experienced, but never shared the lessons from them. She wanted to protect me from it. She wanted me to learn without having to experience. Perhaps that was where the trouble started. 

"Stay away from those boys; they ain't nothing but trouble." She was right. But trouble isn't all bad. And boys aren't either. 

  • Share:

You Might Also Like