“So, do you have a boyfriend?”
It’s a chilly Wednesday night in mid-December and I’m getting my hair cut by a beautiful, petite woman with perfectly brown hair and a newly placed ring on her left hand.
“No, no.” I replied.
“How old are you?”
“23, about to turn 24.”
There’s a brief silence, the kind of quick quietness that follows after someone has said something sad and you’re scrambling for the right words of solace.
“Oh, don’t worry. You have time! I met my fiance…” says my hairdresser, going off on an inspirational speech about how the right guy will come along and that I’m still young.
I smile politely, nod, and pretend to listen, but in my head all I’m thinking is “I honestly don’t give a shit.”
You see, I’ve been single pretty much my entire life. This isn’t exactly a new thing for me. I can’t remember the last time I went on a date. In college, every guy I’ve been involved with on some level has always just dipped out without warning or reason. And now as a somewhat functioning adult, it’s been pretty much the same deal. No guys. Just me, myself, and I.
Part of this chronic singleness I find myself infected with could really just be my fault, potentially remedied by simply letting the dude pursue me for once. Allow him be the one to text first and make him sweat a little by taking my sweet time with a reply.
The thing is, I’m really bad at the whole hard-to-get, mysterious girl thing.
I’m told it’s supposed to help the guy like you or something, but I have no concept of a poker face and you’ll pretty much always know how I’m feeling either because of my expression or I’ll just flat out tell you. There’s really no such thing as an unshared emotion with me.
Whatever the reason is, be it my total lack of enigmatic allure or that maybe there just aren’t any good matches for me right now, I just don’t have a boyfriend, nor do I have any almost boyfriends. I have no one-day-could-possibly-be-my-boyfriend boyfriends. I’m not doing the whole “we’re talking, but not really sure what’s going on at all” thing with anyone.
Sometimes, I start to wonder that maybe I should try a little harder to be dateable and be more inclined to find a boyfriend. After all, there’s nothing wrong with companionship and intimacy and all that. But I’ve also realized this: I have way bigger things to become than someone’s girlfriend.
I want to be a writer. A real writer, one that not only gets paid for my words, but also brings light to things that people may not have seen before. I want to share my story and hope that someday it might help someone else tell their own, or at least feel more comfortable in their own skin.
I want to be someone who helps those who need it the most. I want to work hard enough to support myself, but also have enough to contribute to the causes I care deeply about. I want to volunteer at animal shelters and be someone who takes the homeless out to breakfast and really listens to what it is they have to say.
I want to be the best friend I can be to the people I’m fortunate enough that put up with me on a daily basis. I want to help them through their toughest moments and also be there to celebrate their victories, both big and small.
I want to be someone my family is proud of as their daughter, granddaughter, sister, cousin, or niece. I didn’t pick my family, but I got damn lucky with the people I was given and I want to be someone who recognizes this every single day.
I only get one lifetime to become all of these things I want to be, and becoming someone’s girlfriend isn’t going to give me the motivation, talent, or time to do so. All I have is me and I really hope me is enough.
I think I will be.