Another fellow Georgia alumni, Bridgette is also a writer and author of The 365: The Year of Getting Back to Me. Like myself, Bridgette loves words and love. In our post collegiate years, we’ve formed a quiet bond that is founded on our mutual respect of love and creativity.
Bridgette was gracious enough to participate in The Questions.
Make sure to check out her piece Ghost Man of Him a Lay Us, which is this week’s featured Love Poem.
Name: Bridgette Burton
Hometown: Stone Mountain, Georgia
Age You First Fell in Love: 17
What is Love?
I think now in the last two years, I have learned more about love than I ever have. I have been trying to evaluate it through different relationships. And after reflecting on all of those things, I can say that love is more than just a gushy, feeling inside. It is more than the butterflies in the stomach. It is more than the excitement you get when you see the receiver of your affections. Love is a conscious decision. A decision that you wake up every morning to say: I love you no matter what. Love is action. It is supporting. It is encouraging. It is sacrificing. It is praying for. It is talking to. It is arguing. It is making up. It is the everyday actions that make a relationship happen and sustains a relationship.
Tell Me About Your First Love*:
I fell in love at the age of seventeen. My first love was my high school/college sweetheart. We met in [the] 9th grade and what first attracted me to him was his smile. And as we got closer over the years, that smile always made me feel better. On and off we were together for about 7 years but consistently 5 years.
He was kind. He was smart. He was athletic. He was compassionate. He would do anything for you and wouldn’t expect anything in return. He had routines for everything. He loved his mom. He was funny. He was a loyal friend. He worked hard. Once he had his mind set, he was focused on that. He loved music. He was patient. (I was the stubborn one lol).
We had inside jokes. We always laughed with one another. He always tried to be creative. He was a science person but he knew I loved the arts and he loved it too. He took me to plays. We had movie nights. We watched House for hours at a time. He was the first person I shared my faith with. We prayed together and for one another. We went to church together. At one point we would go to bible study before school in the mornings. I prayed for him and God answered that prayer with our relationship.
I just knew he and I were going to get married. I [was] fixated [on] that goal and three years after we have broken up, I am just getting myself out of that mindset. I loved him deeply. I always wanted to give him my best. He was my best friend. I could tell him anything and not feel judged. I knew that he wanted the best for me and I wanted the best for him. I wanted to do everything I could to make him happy.
Songs for different stages of our relationship:
1.India Arie- Beautiful Surprise (meeting him and the beginning of our relationship)
2.Jill Scott- Crazy (during)
3.India Arie- He Heals Me (during, at the apex of our love)
4. Beyonce- I Miss You (as our relationship began to fade away)
What Song Reminds You of an Old Lover?
Diary, Alicia Keys
This is my favorite song of all time! The person this song reminds me of was my first puppy love. I remember telling him I loved him though as if it was something real lol. And actually it was him who told me he loved me first. It was a different love than what I experienced with my first love. Maybe it was more than puppy love. There are still times I think about us. It was intense and dramatic I remember for sure. I had a nickname for him, “Poison”. He was poison for so many reasons. I used to catch him in lies and would forgive him the same day and sleep with him. Sometimes I think I have made our relationship up. The things we experienced were so crazy, it couldn’t have been real. But there are times and notes I have saved that validate the existence of us. So I guess I am not that crazy.
He was very different from my first love. In general I always thought of him as this playboy and it shocked the hell out of me that he was actually attracted to me. I remember writing that I was just supposed to have a crush on him. It was never supposed to go any further than that, especially since he was older than me, but it all kind of happened. He was smart. He was talented. (played the saxophone, wrote poems, wrote music). He loved music too, Ludacris especially. There were different playlists he had on his computer that we would listen to.
I will never forget his room. Everything in a certain order as if it was a showroom. There was no personal touch. No pictures of family or friends. No special memorabilia. It always intrigued me. He always had this sense of mystery about him. One day, he pulled out a photo album. There were photos of him as a kid. There were photos of his family. There were notes that he kept. (And there were the ones I gave him!) When he showed me this, I felt that it was him letting me in. But [I also] remember thinking that if I could just break that barrier, things could be so much better. I always felt he held up a wall and wouldn’t let anyone in. And I wanted to see what was beyond that wall. Diary was the song that embodied all those emotions I felt. “I won’t tell your secrets, your secrets are safe with me.” I always wanted Poison to trust me with his secrets. But I guess I never was that important to him for that.
Would You Consider Yourself to be Sexual? How Aware and Open Are You to Sexuality?
On May 13, 2014, I made a decision to be celibate until marriage. Before then I had not engaged with someone sexually since March 4, 2014. So I am going on 3 months [with] no sexual intercourse. This is probably the longest I have gone since my senior year of high school.
In general, I have always considered myself to be sexual being. I lost my virginity the summer after my eighth grade year. From here I have had different sexual partners. Some experiences I do not ever want to remember again and there is one in particular I can’t seem to get out of my head because it was so amazing.
Sex to me is a spiritual experience. In that moment, you are giving your all to someone. It is such a powerful connection. I always enjoyed that I could give into my greatest desires and fantasies. And yes I was open to exploring my sexuality to the fullest extent.
My decision to become celibate was spiritual. I still feel the same way I feel about sex but the manner in which I was exploring my sexuality was only glorifying myself. As a Christian, I always want my actions to glorify God even in the sexual realm. I think what I was searching for can only be achieved when I am committed to someone physically, emotionally, financially, mentally, and spiritually.
What Influence Has Music Played in Your Life?
Music is an integral part of my life. Period. My parents are not musical from what I know. But my aunt is a beautiful singer. I wake up and put on my music to get ready for the day. At work, I am blasting my various Spotify playlists. I can’t stand my office to be silent, so I am the first person to turn on some type of music. I am always looking for new artists to listen to. I have periods of time where I am obsessed with an artist. I try to share their music with everyone I encounter. I have moments of my life that have their own soundtrack. Growing up my mom would always get me the cd’s I wanted. So I had cases of cd’s. I played in the band so even now I try and find the chords in music or try and tune myself based on the notes. I judge a potential mate based on their musical tastes. If we can’t vibe musically, we can’t work. LOL
Who is Your Favorite Artist?*
I think my favorite artist is Tupac Shakur. For me his artistry went beyond his music. I think many claim to be artists, but truly do not understand the burden/responsibility/legacy it holds to proclaim such a title. Being an artist is more than your music. It is your being. So in short I think Tupac embodied holistically what it meant to truly be an artist.
My favorite song of his is “Do for Love.” This song relates to my love life because I find it interesting that I am reflecting on different relationships and examining the lengths I went “for love”, which I also think Tupac was doing. I think in the end of the song Tupac states “I’m a sucka for love.” and I think at times I have been that “sucka”. I hope I have grown and learned but I love the idea of being in love and feeling all gushy and wanting to do for someone else and wanting to decide every day to love someone. Love is beautiful; I just hope I find it again.
*Participants asked to provide a song that supports answer.