There is something about the beginning of Fall. The heat melts away and the cool crisp air takes over. For a few short weeks it feels like a fresh start, the start of something new. For me, beginning of Fall is more than a new season, it is the next chapter of my life. This Fall I am about to embark on something that I have never experienced before as an adult, singledom. Okay, I know this isn’t a big deal for most people, after all I am only twenty-six. However, since age 19, I have been in the same relationship with a man who I thought was the love of my life. Spoiler alert, he wasn’t. Now for the first time as a societally accepted adult, I am alone. I mean really alone. No roommate. No pet (stupid apartment complex). Just me. This time around the game is completely different. I am older now and the stakes are higher. I’m not just looking for someone for the time being, I am looking for someone for the future. I mean let’s face it, if eighteen-year-old Courtney could see me now she would be utterly confused. This was definitely not part of my ten-year plan, and although I HATE change, I have no choice but to accept it.
The worst part of this whole experience is that since I have been out of the game for so long, EVERYTHING has changed. The Internet seems to be both friend and foe to the single girl and I have no clue how to even begin to navigate it. Tinder? Bumble? Coffee Meets Bagel? Whatever happened to meeting someone organically on the street, at the store, hell, even at a bar?! The thought of experiencing dating in the fast-paced, tech-driven world is mind-boggling, scary and admittedly a little exciting.
What is the only thing that is more frightening that my single relationship status? My full on independence. As someone who identifies as a feminist, I hate myself for the way I have built my life around my ex. Don’t get me wrong; he was great to me in so many ways. He served as my protector who provided for me and looked out for me. But, this ultimately led to the loss of my own self-identity and true independence. So, at twenty-six I have to learn for the first time how to stand on my own. I have no safety net. I am responsible for all of my decisions, both personally and financially. These are things that sound so simple, yet I am struggling with the concept of fulfilling these tasks.
I know there are tons of other women and men out there who are going through the exact same thing as me. It’s reassuring to know that I am not alone, but also terrifying to be unsure of what my future holds. Life is so unpredictable. Just recently I was fantasizing about my dream proposal, my children’s names and buying a condo. And the next day it was gone in a flash. I’m losing more than the love of my life in this break up, I’m losing a part of myself. Or at least a part of whom I thought I was. But all I can do is hope that the same unpredictability that brought on my break up, will also help me to find out who I really am.
The reason I am writing this is to not only help me, but also to help others. I want to be completely open about an experience that is so personal and private, in hopes that it will help heal the wounds of love lost. I want to find strength in heartbreak and maybe documenting all the raw moments of this new journey will give me that strength. So stay tuned because I am about to share the most awkward, amazing, heartbreaking and thrilling experiences on my path to finding myself and my true happiness.