Best Case Scenario
"I've been peepin' what you bringin' to the table
Workin' hard, girl, everything paid for
That's a real one in your reflection
Without a follow, without a mention"
The straw swirled the ice in the drink around. Pure Mezcal. Pure truth.
“Isn’t it nuts to know you’re someone’s best case scenario?” I asked her. The smile crept up slowly and the weight of the truth hit us — she knew what I was referring to, but also she didn’t because in a deeper way I was really only talking about us. Two twenty-something women who had met interning in their teens and had somehow found themselves on similar life growth paths.
We’d started treating ourselves as our own “if I had one wish, it’d be you” and the world had followed suit. Nothing speaks of female empowerment more than knowing that your worth is anchored solely to the person you are as you sit in your deepest moments or happiest moments. It’s been hard won and, admittedly, ephemeral. It’s why we sat rooted to the couch. We knew to pause and toast the win because too quickly we’d be back to the hard work of living. We’d have to fend off the voices in our heads that spoke to our insecurities and to our feeling that we weren’t enough. We’d have to invest energy to speaking truth and piling facts like Jenga pieces. Women do so much emotional work and in some ways we were toasting to the moments that were teaching us to pass the hot potato to its rightful owner and dance in our underwear instead of burning our own hands for the sake of others.
She’d finished her drink, I was halfway through mine. I was telling myself it was the heavy hand that poured the Mezcal, the Mezcal was telling me this had always been me. To know I didn’t need anyone to tell me I was sexy to feel it, listen it’s a feel. To want someone to tell me I was sexy and to know it’s dealer’s choice, listen it’s a feel.
This season is the reaping for all the years when weighing scenarios and expecting the absolute worse was my go-to. Bad and hard still happen, but faith is in an interesting thing and it speaks strength into your weakest moments. In the midst of so much hurt and disappointment, I don’t expect to have my heart broken more, I don’t expect to be disappointed, I don’t expect to have to look over my shoulder my entire life. I trust that the deadweight will shake off sooner rather than later.
I count four ice cubes and take a few more sips of the drink. Life is as good as it was last Monday and that’s a reality that I’m referring to when I repeat the question, “Isn’t it nuts to know you’re someone’s best case scenario?” Because yeah the butterflies are there when you flirt over text, but there’s a whole stampede of happiness when you sit with the truth that you’ve always been your own best case scenario.
There comes a point in our lives when we work on ourselves not for anyone else’s sake but our own. We detox. Whole 30 our entire lives because we know that eliminating the toxic will give us new standards that our present self is more comfortable existing within. We outgrew friendships, we started new families, and we learned to sit in silence and enjoy our own company because that’s how you keep life balanced. Choosing to ignore the fact that we grow and morph into more anchored versions of ourselves is to sell ourselves short of the life we actually want.
“I never thought about it that way,” says my friend.
I have. A lot lately, actually. I have so much to offer to a partner, I am so willing to receive so much from my partner, from suggestions to his presence to his connection. You don’t get to that point if you’re constantly trying to earn your place. It needs to be yours for the taking and yours for the losing. It needs to be his for the taking, his for the losing.
Three ice cubes, a couple of texts in my head, I look at my friend, “I think it’s really cool. Something we’re deserving of.”
I should’ve added — to own ourselves in this way isn’t an easy feat, it’s a lifelong commitment to ourselves and staying true to whoever we wake up as on any given day. We’re our best case scenarios. And maybe someone else’s too.