Love. Love. Love. Advertisements. Marriage invitations. Couples walking down the street. Engagements announced via social media. Everywhere you turn it feels like the world is reminding you of your singleness, or encouraging you to pursue relationships, or pressuring you to find the one and settle down.
In some ways, this makes sense—connection is beautiful. And discovering a person whose soul meshes with yours—there’s honestly nothing like it.
But sometimes we get so wrapped up in pursuing relationships that we forget there’s so much more to life. We get so pushed by the world to feel a certain way, chase a certain person, be at a certain place by a certain time—that we forget, first of all, that we’re not alone in our feelings. And second of all, that love is not everything. Yes, it’s damn beautiful. But it is not everything. It’s not.
For the longest time, I thought that love would be this answer I was searching for. I’m young, but like most young people (ironically, I’ll admit), I felt like I was behind in this ‘race’ for forever. There were people around me getting married, having children, starting their lives with a special person on their arm—and where was I?
I was constantly plagued by all the things I didn’t have, rather than seeing where I was. Which was in the perfect place for growth.
For the longest time, I fell into relationships foolishly. I gave my heart away like it was a slice of pizza—something to be consumed, and consumed quickly before the flavor ran out. I was always with someone, always searching, never content to simply be with myself. And, of course, I didn’t see it that way. I happened to fall into people and they happened to be perfect at the time. To me, it was as simple as that.
But I was chasing all the wrong things.
I was in such a damn hurry to love, to open, to be with someone and plan a beautiful future that I forget to plan my own—one without anyone else. I was so excited about sharing my heart that I neglected to share that love and light with myself, first.
And no, I wouldn’t go back and change one thing, unlove any person. Because every hand I held and all the lips I kissed made me who I am. But no longer am I pressured to find a person or search for love. Right now, the only thing I’m looking for is happiness.
And if I get to share that with someone—well, then that’s an added bonus.
I’m not searching for love. I’m not bending over backwards to find a person, to hold them in my arms, to map out our lives together and have it be beautiful and magical and like the fairytales I was promised as a kid.
I’m not searching for perfection. Not looking for someone who will make sense of all my broken pieces—because honestly, I can do that on my own.
I’m not chasing someone before I chase my dreams. I’m not looking for a connection without considering whether this connection will benefit the wholeness already wild within me.
I’m not looking for love. Not looking for a person to fill my life—because it’s already filled with all the beautiful dreams and ambitions and promises for a future that I’m continuing to build.
I’m not pushing people away, but I’m not making romance a priority. I’m chasing happiness because that’s where love will come—when I’m full, when I am becoming the woman I’m meant to become, and where I have room to let someone grow alongside me—choosing a messy, happy life together.
I think I’ve had it wrong in the past. I was forever chasing a person rather than a dream, forever looking for love rather than a person to love life alongside me.
Honestly, maybe it’s not about the romance, but about the passion I create with someone else. Maybe it’s not about focusing so much on whether someone is ‘right’ for me, but if our goals and dreams and perspectives are aligned.
And then, in time, will we choose happiness, choose each other, and then, unconsciously choose love? (I hope so.)
I don’t want to chase love, chase relationships, chase romance. I just want to chase happiness, chase people who fill me with light, chase an existence that is fulfilling and hopeful and good.
And maybe that’s where I’ll find the one—not in a place where I’m continually pressured to do and be and feel—but where I’m comfortable, where I’m ready, where I’m happy. And where he finds himself with me, and happy, too.