SHIAVON’S JAWN: Thank you for breaking my heart


Robbie Pierce

Photo illustration

Shiavon Chatman, Opinion editor

A jawn. Pronounced jôn. Noun. A person, place, thing, or event that doesn’t need a specific name. An indescribable, but memorable entity.

I’m Shiavon and this is Shiavon’s Jawn. (If these two words don’t rhyme, then you’re saying my name wrong.)

This year is ending a lot differently than it started. I spent the first six months wasting my time with a guy who didn’t bother to learn my middle name. I spent a great chunk of the summer months with a guy who romanticized and exploited my abandonment issues. 

My friend described my energy over the summer as “chaotic,” and she was right. I was heartbroken and angry but I disguised it with going to the club almost every night. Drinking way too much Crown. And thinking I’m doing the Lord’s work by deleting snaps the next morning with already a 100 views because I was drunk screaming “AYEEE,” way too loud.

I was having a ball. I was also a disaster.

But then everything changed. I had to step out of my comfort zone and I learned so much about myself. Change is inevitable and I’m an Aries queen that is starting to love it. 

My Aunt Johnnetta has always preached to me the importance of loving myself before I expect someone else to love me. And then I had an amazing conversation with my friend where we explored the idea of whether loving yourself completely is even necessary. 

I’m sort of in the middle now. I do believe that loving yourself is the key to happiness, but it’s not required for someone else to love you. We love and accept broken people all the time. You don’t have to be whole to find love. 

You don’t have to be complete, but you have to be OK with being alone. Love is about vulnerability and without it, you can find yourself in a surface level, one-sided relationship. Being able to love your own company is one of the sweetest pleasures in life. I learned this the hard way. 

Last year, I went through a breakup that shook me to my core. I had to learn how to do things on my own and not have someone to send my reaction memes to. But I’m forever grateful for him leaving because I wouldn’t have met the friends that changed my life this year or the glorious relationship I’m currently in. 

I started going places by myself — the movies, the bookstore or to my favorite restaurants. I appreciated the thought of knowing what I bring to the table and reflecting on the areas I need to improve. But most importantly, it gave me the opportunity to reflect on who I am as a person. 

I’m not perfect so it’s time I start acting like it. I stopped thinking about how I was coming off to the guys I was dating and I started dating myself.

In proper fashion, because I ain’t no cheater, I “broke up” with the guy I was dating and gave myself all the love and affection I needed.

I was totally happy for the first time in months. I got to explore my friendships deeper, I revisited my love of journalism and then I met him. 

To be fair, I’ve only talked about him to my friends, my beautiful parents, and now, well, all of you. I haven’t gotten to annoy my Aunt Netta with every single detail. But I’m saving that “I’m in an interracial relationship, can someone pass the dressing please,” for Christmas dinner.

In the end, my journey of self-love made me sleep a little bit better at night. And the purpose of it wasn’t to find a boyfriend. But having someone to share a bowl of pasta with or send my purposely ugly selfies to is not so bad.

This is my weekly column where I’ll keep you updated on my straight-to-DVD life, my hip-hop snob opinions, being uncomfortable in this political climate and being a Black woman in predominantly white spaces.