There are so many books, authors, and blogs about finding love. I’ve read many inspiring pieces from mothers, business women, and leaders. Each time I take away important lessons, but I continue asking myself one question:
Where are the stories of women who are happy being single?
Where are the women who enjoy serenity by the shore, a cool breeze on a summer evening, a day at the library or writing in a cafe? Why does society insist we always need someone by our side? Why do we have to be “career women” to fill the “void” of a partner? Why must we continue to put on a mask to cover up who we really are?
Why can’t we just be happy being where we are and with what we have in life?
Maybe not all of us are searching for happiness on the outside. I struggle to relate to the mom bloggers, the articles about finding the perfect mate, and the books about “leaning in.” Success is not dependent on who you are with, what you do for work or what you own – success is within your soul.
Over the past decade I have searched for success in all the wrong places. “Maybe living here will fix me,” or “Maybe being with him is the answer.” Maybe, just maybe, if I grew out my hair, had that apartment, wore those shoes, I would be happy.
No… no. None of those things filled my soul.
A couple of weeks after moving to Boston I spent my birthday and Christmas by myself. I moved here thinking I had a companion, but he wasn’t who I thought he was and I decided to end things and venture out on my own. I wrote about my Cat Lady Christmas, being happy as a Bachelorette, finding pieces of New York in Boston and relating to Holly Golightly.
The look on people’s faces were always the same after I told them about my holiday: sympathy, surprise, and sadness. Apparently, it’s expected that you must be home for the holidays and that you must have a lover to enjoy your life. Quite frankly, I have heard enough stories of unhappy marriages, family drama, and holiday stress to know that I am doing something right. My holiday was just lovely – and it was peaceful.
I have peace inside myself. Eight months later, my sentiments haven’t changed. I haven’t met a new guy, I haven’t felt I am missing out on life, and I haven’t stopped ordering guilt-free takeout.
What if the new normal is being happy being single?
I have met many amazing, inspiring friends during my time in Boston. However, my happiness doesn’t depend on them. I would much rather live a life of quality over quantity and serenity over a social life. As a writer, this is easy to say, but I truly mean in my heart when I say:
You, too, can be happy on your own.
I want to help other women to feel confident being in their own skin, going on that solo adventure, moving to an unfamiliar city, and ditching their designer mask to wear what makes them comfortable.
It has taken me several cities, many mistakes, and relentless relationship attempts to get here, but I know I can finally say: single isn’t a stigma.