I remember graduating from undergrad more than 10 years ago. I had no job, was back home living with my folks, was in a new relationship that was scary and stressful as hell and had just got rejected from a paid internship in my field that would have resulted in not only a possible career, but steady pay for the next three months.

Needless to say, I was feeling hopeless and like shit. But I was too prideful to let the world know. It wasn’t until I went to visit my friend’s mother one day and she saw through my facade.

“You gloat about your achievements, but we both know that school is over,” she said. “I need you to understand something. It’s OK to be lost and it’s OK to not have it all figured out. And you know what? I don’t have anything in my cup to give you because my soul, too, is currently empty.”

I immediately started crying because I couldn’t fool her. I was hurting for guidance …something to convey that I was always the overachieving rockstar I was known to be. I needed my cup filled, but she was honest enough to let me know that she had nothing to give at the moment.

Fast forward 11 years and I still remember that cup incident. And honestly, it brings me to my point regarding romance.

So many of us rely on our mates to pour into us. Ideally, this isn’t an unreasonable expectation as life will often leave us depleted and thirsty, so to speak. But realistically, how many of us are with partners who have “empty” cups? How many of us are constantly pouring into mates who expect us to keep them hydrated without offering to return the favor? Better yet, how many of us have broken coffee mugs because we are attempting to carry enough liquid for us and our significant other?

Love is not a burden. It isn’t continuing to pour the same liquid into each other’s cups either. That’s recycling. It’s each person taking their cup and seeking outside liquids to mix with their mate. That’s how you grow as individuals and in love.

Some people don’t have anything to give and it happens. But we all must determine if what they do have mixes well with our contributions and if it doesn’t, we must have enough faith to let them go. Why? Because each and every one of us deserves to have our cup filled in abundance with liquids that not only feed our souls but soothes it.


  1. Shantell you have Always shined… Im so very proud of you and your accomplishments….You did that…. #thisblackgirlbeenrocking …. much love family

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