Jenae America is a storyteller, photographer and pulp fiction writer.
JENAE: My name is Jenae America and I'm a storyteller, photographer, pulp fiction writer and a badass woman. Being single was something that I was scared of. I was raised in a house of loving parents. Four brothers and sisters. And as I got older I realized that I put so much pressure on myself...I put a lot of pressure on my young, little, tender heart. I didn't know anything. I witnessed my parents marriage and their arguments and I'm studying about what it's like to be with a companion and so on and so forth and I just found myself being drained and disappointed.
ZAK: About what?
JENAE: I was drained and disappointed about the relationships I pursued. I was drained and disappointed about people and how they act and how they have the free will to do anything even if you give them your very best. And it just made me feel like I'm unlovable and it's not a pretty site. Especially as a woman because you don't want to be looked at as desperate. You want to look at yourself as confident and cool and calm in any state. And I've witnessed woman who are married who I could just tell, they have a calm about them but it wasn't because of the marriage. It was because of them and they had somebody else come into their life.
ZAK: So, what changed?
JENAE: What changed was, it was the summer of 2020 and I remember that I'm thinking about my last relationship. It ended just before COVID hit. It was only 4-months with a young guy. He didn't know what he wanted and obviously was using me and I tried so hard to keep him and I remember just thinking about it and then I basically announced to myself I'm gonna stay single and I felt like this spiritual feeling of somebody taking something off of my shoulders. It was almost like a heavy coat and somebody just took it off. And I was like, I feel lighter and I had the courage to pursue that idea to the point that every time I scrolled through social media and there's something about relationships I was able to look past them and be like, that doesn't interest me anymore. Now, I'm not gonna say it wasn't a mental battle but it gave me the strength and courage to not look to others to feel fulfilled but look to myself and my morals and yeah, that's it and accept everything about it. I got more concerned about doing things for me and not for other reasons that had nothing to do with me. I changed my perspective. Basically being single means testing the love you have for yourself and being single is not easy because you feel lonely, you feel you can't do nothing with the urges so the fact that if you're going to a place by yourself you don't have anybody watching your back because that's a benefit as well but it's testing the love you have for yourself because the benefits of being single was, I ended up becoming strong, sharp, interesting and unique. I ended up being pretty dynamic because of how much I've widened my world in being single. Enjoy being single because you deserve to get to know you and love you first.
ZAK: That's so beautiful. Like, are you open to being in a relationship if you meet the right person?
JENAE: Right now I'm casually dating. I'm enjoying the person's company and getting to know them and I believe if it's meant for me to say, hey, I want to move forward. Well, it takes two to tango and if the person doesn't say anything, I'll be like, well, back to dating me again. And that's easier said than done but I can definitely say it's liberating. It's very liberating.