Hi, my name is Lauren and I used to be boy crazy. My first crush in kindergarten was on not only one boy, but his best friend too. My second crush was on a boy named Paul and it lasted from 5th grade to 8th grade (I have issues letting go of people, clearly).
At the age of 6, I chased boys around the playground and shrieked hysterically when they tried to catch me. In middle school, I would turn beet red when ever my crush would say my name.
At 15, I had my first kiss. At 17, I fell in love for the first time. And at 21, I had my first heartbreak.
So many years of my life has revolved around boys. My major milestones and moments, have always been about falling in and out of love. At 14, I couldn’t wait to get kissed for the first time. At 15, I couldn’t wait to get a first boyfriend. And at 16, I couldn’t wait to have sex. At 17, I couldn’t wait to fall in love. And now, I’m 23. And I don’t want my next milestone to be about a boy. And I don’t want my goals anymore to revolve around another person.
I want my goals to revolve around me.
After graduating college, I suddenly wasn’t interested in finding myself a nice gentleman. I suddenly didn’t feel the need for it. And right then and there was when I knew that this is what life was supposed to feel like. It wasn’t supposed to be about catching the guy anymore, it was supposed to be about finding myself. By myself.
I have come to truly understand what it means to be happily single, and to not fret about that ‘status’ anymore. After graduating, I realized that instead of chasing boys and all of their little white lies, I was going to chase something that I knew was going to be permanent. I was going to chase something that for once was something I would never regret going for. I was going to chase my career. And work hard as fuck.
And so I did.
This is what it is like to put your career over getting a boyfriend.
I have no dating apps. I don’t spend countless hours in the hopes of finding my soulmate. Instead of swiping right and left, I write poems and essays, working at the craft that I love most. Instead of going on terrible dates and fretting about someone I barely know, I make time for my best friends, my family, and for me.
I wake up every morning completely grateful that I get to write for a living, and that the dream I had as a little girl, is coming true. I wake up every morning, by myself, not needing anyone to hug me or give me comfort. If I’m lonely, I find comfort in my co-workers, in my friends and in myself. I don’t look for guys anymore. I don’t even look for sweet and steady kisses that used to be the only thing my 16 year old self could ever hope for.
Now? I look at what I want and need for me. And right now, my boyfriend and my longest relationship to date: is my career.
So, here’s to finding yourself through your career instead of through a guy. Here’s to focusing on what makes you glow from the inside out. Here’s to putting yourself first.
And here’s to finally being able to realize that I don’t need a boyfriend to make me feel fulfilled.