Tis the season of blooming romance, long walks on the beach and watching the sun set on the horizon. I felt it for months there. I was so close. I could feel myself reaching towards it, making great attempts to grab it with my own bare hands and lock it up in a safe to conceal from anyone else’s sight. It had been over two years since I’ve felt anything close to love and to finally begin to feel it again, I almost knew it was too good to be true. The funny part is, I was right. He seemed to have other plans in mind, someone else who had his heart and that was something I couldn’t change. You can’t make someone fall in love with you and that’s a lesson that took me quite a while to learn.
Where am I right now? I would love to tell you a budding story of how I have met someone new and have fallen madly in love with them. I would love to say that this new man has made me realize that everything happens for a reason and I would not have met him if the other hadn’t left. That’s the story we all want to hear. But the truth is, I’ve been spending a greater amount of time than I’m willing to admit lounging around in my sweatpants, under the covers, marathoning reruns of Gilmore Girls with my cat. How cliché right? How ‘typical-heartbroken-single-girl’ of me.
The truth? I’m not heartbroken. I’ve been heartbroken. I know what it is like and so I know that that isn’t how I feel right in this moment. To be completely honest, I’ve never been more driven and inspired. In the midst of budding romances, I have never felt more content with myself, by myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love love. I love being in love. It’s the most indescribable feeling. It’s unexpected. It’s uncertain. It’s whimsical. But I’ve come to realize that that isn’t what I want or need right now.
Almost at the age of 20 and only having one semi-serious relationship on my resume is not something I should be ashamed of. It sounds silly when in written form because I’m still so young. I’m allowed to be free and have fun and do it all on my own. I’m allowed to not have a serious relationship on my brain. However, I find that having a relationship or even wanting one has been engraved in our heads for so long that carrying the mindset of not wanting just that appears to be a tad bizarre, especially for women.
“You’re happy? On your own? That’s just what single people say to make themselves feel better. Don’t worry, you’ll totally find someone soon. I think. I hope. Maybe you should change your hair colour.” – Every girlfriend I have currently in a relationship
Who’s heard that one before? *Raises both hands and legs while trying to make an attempt to lift myself from the ground with the sole use of my derriere only to realize I am not that able-bodied*
The fact of the matter is, I don’t need love and I’ve spent far too much of my life devoted towards finding it. I don’t, however, regret those years only because I believe that at that time, that is what I needed to be doing to reach the point where I am at right now. The point being comfortable and content on my own. I have greater plans for myself, things I need to accomplish by myself, places I need to see, and strangers I have yet to meet. I have dreams of skydiving in Argentina, bungee jumping in New Zealand, writing lengthy journal entries in a café in Paris, and dancing on a beach in Australia while carrying a large piece of fabric and wearing a floppy hat. I blame tampon commercials for that one.
For most of my life, I almost felt obligated to make men a priority because everyone else did. If I didn’t, there must be something wrong with me. That is, until I began to prioritize myself and my own needs. After suffering years upon years of depression and still struggling to fight for my own life each and every day, I’ve come to acknowledge that this battle can only be fought and beat if I do it on my own and if I begin to love myself first without a man’s approval. I have enough love coming from the great group of people I surrounded myself with. I’ve dedicated my life to my writing, my health, and my own well-being. I can’t say I don’t get lonely sometimes but I can say that I have experienced greater loneliness while I was with someone else.
I don’t think love is easy, but I do think that finding yourself is much harder, which is why I choose to spend a great amount of time doing just that. There is nothing wrong with wanting to fall in love with someone else just like there is nothing wrong with not wanting it. I think the greatest challenge for me and I suppose many others out there is to accept that it’s okay to not want what others expect you to want. Falling in love with someone else is a rollercoaster ride but falling in love with yourself is a journey and sometimes it’s better and even more freeing to simply walk it alone.