September 20, 2016

A Year Alone: Why You’re The Most Important Person You’ll Ever Date

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 Štefan Štefančík
Štefan Štefančík

Grab a buddy, two’s company, you’re better together.

Unless you want to be alone.

This past year has been uprooting. I’ve been through a lot, and put myself through even more – emotionally, physically, and all the rest. My life a year ago is a striking contrast to what it’s become today – from who I’ve become today. I barely recognize the girl who once stood before me in the mirror as I splashed water on my face each morning, hoping to be happy. The difference: I am happy now, and I’m in love…

With ME.

This past week, I celebrated my one-year single-versary. Note: celebrated. This year has left me speechless, grateful and stronger than I knew possible.

A year ago, I decided to take moves, to make waves, and to create the life I’ve wanted – to become the woman I’ve wanted. I’ve spent the past 371 days centering myself, rooting my values and happiness more fully in my own life instead of in the lives of others. I may only be 20-something, but I have a darn good idea of the person I’m striving to become – one who’s both passionate and compassionate, giving while also fully living for herself.

The choice I made to be single was just that: a choice. I chose myself over (former) us; I chose my dreams over his; I chose my happiness above all else.

I left someone who loved me, someone any girl would be lucky to have or to know. To the next girl: hold on tight, he’s a darn goody.

I let go of security and comfort, hoping that what I’d find – who I’d find, within myself – would be more fulfilling. Romanticized or not, it’s the hardest decision I’ve made thus far.

But as I reflect on my decisions and the workings of this past year, I don’t regret it. I don’t regret prioritizing myself, and I don’t regret honoring my needs and ambitions. I don’t regret acknowledging the relationship’s shortcomings and satisfying my cravings for self-identity. If I can’t make honest and healthfully selfish choices at 21, I never will. This time is solely for me, and I may never get time like this again – ever.

I’ve never struggled with confidence; I’ve never been hesitant with who I am. But last August I found myself mid relationship and completely apologetic of my needs and myself. I needed a change, so I made one.

And while this entire experience sounds positive and uplifting, my post-breakup coping came in waves.

Surprisingly, breaking someone else’s heart can also break your own.

My long-haul of a journey to self-content started in a traditional (and exhilarating) way: the honeymoon phase. I blissfully smiled at my singularity and reveled in my lack of obligations. I spent many days on long, rejuvenating walks and treated myself to ice cream while reading books on benches. But as time passed, different emotions set in, namely: loneliness and a multitude of identity crises. Read: a nose ring, a few new highlights, and the mere fact that I now own joggers.

These last 12 months have been a gift. I’ve uncovered both the old and new Megan. They’re synonymous in an eerie, majestic sort of way: the old foreshadows the new, and the new is rooted in the reparations of the old. I’ve taken time to discover and rediscover.

I found the little girl my daddy fell in love with; I’ve strengthened the young woman my mother worked so hard to sculpt and build up; I’ve practiced the supportive and nonjudgmental best friend my sister has always needed; and I’ve chosen to embrace the beautiful, genuine soul I’ve been destined to become. I’ve needed this year and this time to explore – to give myself the chance to cozy up and get familiar with the girl I wasn’t allowing myself to find. I was tired of talking about her, so I decided to start being her.

And here I am.

I am relentlessly and unapologetically me, grounding each day in fulfillment and self-love. I strive to love every moment I have, every inch I measure, and every pound I carry. There’s something so delicate and satisfying knowing that the root of your happiness lies within your soul, and that no one can take it from you. I’ve never felt a power this strong or a love this deep.

I may be single, but boy, has it been fabulous. I’ve never been this happy, and I’m constantly filled with gratitude and positivity. And that’s love, isn’t it?

So, when you look to your side and don’t see your PIC, your SO, or the love of your life, it’s OK. (S)he just might be within you. TC mark

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