I’ve probably given this a lot of unnecessary, over-analyzing thought within my own mind (yes, the thoughts of a 20-something woman can be pretty deadly), and I’m not sure if this just a serious case of the “Cuffing Season” blues, or if it’s just me, but I’m hoping some of you girls (and even guys) can relate.
On average, I must skim through hundreds of blog posts a week, most of which are accompanied with bold headlines that read something along the lines of “12 Signs You’re An Independent Gal” or “Boys Beware: What You Should Know Before You Date an Independent Woman.” Don’t get me wrong, the articles are well-written and a totally refreshing read, but it makes me really wonder: What if I have all of those “signs,” but I simply just like having a guy in my life? Does that still make me needy and the complete opposite of independent?
Maybe it’s because I’m slightly biased as a woman myself, but I almost feel as though nowadays, women are so caught up in creating that “independent” image for themselves (which is incredible, and more power to you), but they’re so scared to be vulnerable and are constantly in denial of their feelings as a human being. Who was the one to declare that you can’t be independent and vulnerable at the same time?
So here’s the conclusion that I’ve come to. My mind works like an overactive pendulum, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Yeah, real deep, I know. But really, one minute, I will be dwelling over those “Independent Women” articles, which brainwash me into thinking having a man is for the weak, and the next minute, I will be dwelling over my 50 Shades of Grey book, craving that so-in-love, gotta-have-you-now (minus the whips and buttplugs) relationship.
I know for a 110% fact that I’m perfectly capable of succeeding on my own, and I know my self-worth. I’m not going to settle for a temporary high, or anything less than I deserve, for that matter. I don’t need a man to constantly surprise me with overpriced roses on the daily, or to hammer my new pink cowboy boot frame to the wall (I once nailed my entire room decor with my red high heel, and I’m still proud). But in those times of pure entertainment, it would be nice to have someone to laugh at myself with.
BUT, I have had my fair share of relationships that have brought out the worst in me, which have left me with some major scars. And I’ll be the first to admit, a lot of these have stemmed from my own insecurities. Don’t get me wrong, there are some days I wake up, look at myself and instantly regret plowing through my 12-pack of Ghirardelli chocolates the night before, but the bottom line is that I’ve become comfortable enough to look deeper within myself and become more accepting of me as exactly who I am. And as I’ve become more independent and comfortable, I’ve started dabbling in some dating and interacting with new people, but no matter how independent I become, there is still nothing more rewarding than when someone else simply helps bring out the best in me… and I don’t think this makes me ANY less independent.
I kind of like to think of it like solving a really tough math problem. The really methodical 20-step, unnecessary way you were taught to solve it is engraved in your head (and you’re more than capable of solving on your own after a few Adderall pills), but when there’s that person who shows you a different method of solving it, there’s nothing greater than that “OHHHHH!” moment. That’s what I love. I love being challenged. Yeah, I challenge myself every day, along with my friends and family, but it’s nice to also have that significant other who sees things slightly different than me.
And quite frankly, I still DIG the mushy love stuff. As independent as I am, I still fall hard, I’m a sucker for handwritten notes and unexpected compliments and stupid nicknames, and who doesn’t like to have someone to cuddle with at the end of the night when you’ve had a crappy day at work? There, I admitted it!
What I’ve come to realize is that it all comes down to accepting yourself for you, which is probably the best, most independent accomplishment you could achieve in your lifetime. However, we are all only human, and beneath that tough façade of “independent” control we sometimes like to put up, there is absolutely nothing wrong with letting your guard down a little and wanting to share your life with someone who also accepts you for you, and even more.
Because why go through life alone, when you don’t have to?