Beyond The Afterglow

Written by: Taaureane Rasheediah Paquette, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Every relationship is different in your life, especially the one you have with your partner. It’s the one that can often tilt the scales in your favor or end in heartbreak, with pieces to pick up. It all starts with that mating dance, the will they or won’t they aspect, which goes from weeks to months. During this time, you are introduced to the surface of your potential, save for what may happen later on. While you go through the excitable texts, long phone calls, and FaceTime, feelings are developing when you are apart. The attachment, the silly pet names, and the ability to be yourself with some you care about deeply. As this evolves into a relationship, you must keep the “honeymoon phase” going, and as we will discuss, that isn’t always easy.

I have been in three relationships in my life, and they have all taught me to see a different version of love. In my first one, it was more or less the puppy love that an inexperienced female has. We were together for years, and while I never saw a future, I didn’t want half the self-worth to leave. Let me explain. I didn’t think that another man would ever love me like he did. Instead of settling for prime rib, I gave myself the leftover scraps. Looking back, I know I deserved better, and if I had the confidence and knew my worth, I wouldn’t have wasted 10 years of my life on him. In the end, I left the relationship on my own terms and began my self-healing journey. You have to prepare yourself for what is coming towards you, rather than what is behind you. Love will miss you if you are ready to receive it and embrace what beautiful comes from it.

Entering the dating pool after that was scary. I had no idea what I was getting into. Technology obviously changed during this time, and online dating was the rage. I signed myself and began the vetting process of a potential suitor. That was an interesting situation, men that weren’t so honest about themselves or just downright scary. So I decided to give it a little break for a little, work further on myself, and really soul search for what I was looking for in a partner and myself. At the end of the day, you have to be able to sit with yourself and your own company. No one can fill the void you make for yourself. Months later, somewhat healed, I returned to the apps and found the man of my dreams. He fit the criteria that I wanted in a partner and someone I knew I could grow with. We had our first date and kissed at TGIF, and didn’t look back. My bucket list is partially done because of things we have done together, including seeing shooting stars on the beach. I know it sounds corny, but those are moments that take your breath away.

Years later, we became engaged and went through a series of tragic events. Losing my mother before our wedding was a crushing blow. It changed the way I looked at love as a whole. I was trapped in an abyss, not feeling anything but numb, I began to push him away. At the lowest part of my tailspin, I couldn’t even love myself, never mind another human being. He didn’t give up, though, and he’s always done the best he could to make sure that even if I lacked the ability to truly feel it, I knew that I was loved. Losing my best friend, as hard as it was, had to happen for me to grow. No longer was I protected in this world. I felt emotions I didn’t think were possible. In those moments, you see, the afterglow ended. Faced to deal with my demons, I had to rebuild myself and my relationship. We were like two ships in the night since we took on additional jobs to pay for our wedding. That ended up being delayed about a year and a half because I just didn’t know what direction to go in. Fast forward a year later, and we are saying our vows in front of our loved ones. There was a butterfly there, which everyone saw and said was my Mom. It was her approval of the union and her blessing.

No one tells you how difficult a marriage can be and that it doesn’t come with a guidebook. There will always be outside forces: family, work, and just life in general in the way. That’s why it’s important to continue to have a happy medium in your relationship. It has to be 50/50 to get over the humps or “seven-year itch.” Or circumstances in general change your perception of everything. Last year around the time, I went through an awakening after years of just existing. Since then, I have allowed myself to fully feel love unconditionally. I believe you have to hit your own version of rock bottom before you can rebuild your empire. Last year I truly found myself, and it changed my relationships immensely. Mental health is so important to address with your partner. If either one lacks it, please step up to the challenge. My relationship, which now I keep very private, is the catalyst for what I have become. I have become an advocate for mental health and empowerment for both men and women. Building a community and resources for others to benefit and educate themselves. Creating a brand that is my legacy, and finding the love and light inside myself, to pour into my partner. I also want to take this moment to thank the love of my life for being patient and listening to me sob at night, giving me the faith that I was doing what I was meant to in life, and allowing an audience into our world. Most of all, for being my best friend and loving me until I fully healed. The afterglow you see is just the beginning of this wonderful journey called life.

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Taaureane Rasheediah Paquette, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Taaureane Rasheediah Paquette, is a blogger and podcast host who specializes in mental health. As a child, she was the victim of abuse, which has helped her elevate her cause to the forefront. She is the creator of Taaury37, a brand that represents female empowerment and relationships with each other. Due to the pandemic, this was a lightbulb moment, that turned into a movement. In addition to the blog and podcast, she has created a proposal for female empowerment at her workplace. She is the host of Taaury37, which streams on Apple, Google, Spotify and more. Also has been featured as guest blogger on Dear Malaak, The Mighty and several independent magazines. Her mission: That victims of traumatic events to have a voice, and end the stigma of mental health.



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