I’ve recently come to the decision that I’m going to name my future cats after all of my favorite kinds of cheese. First we’ll have Mozzarella, then Cheddar (an orange cat, obviously), Gouda, Brie, and finally Ricotta. Yes, I am a painfully single twenty-one-year-old girl. Yes, I’ve gotten my heart broken a decent amount of times. And yes, I’m super bitter. But a recent conversation with an Old Flame about my future cats has me rethinking all of that.
When I told Mr. Old Flame about my cats, he laughed. “You’re going to have to start liking more kinds of cheeses.” His response was met with my mouth ajar, my eyes narrowed, and my mind wondering how much of an incredible jerk are you? He laughed some more and my eyes further narrowed. “Come on,” he insisted, “you know you’re awesome. You know I think you’re awesome.” And you know what? I really am pretty awesome.
My college is noticeably more densely populated by women than men, so naturally I’ve encountered just about every variety of young adult female imaginable. I’ve met a lot of single girls, and they’re all pretty awesome. To be fair, I’ve met a lot of taken girls, and a lot of them are pretty awesome too, but this post isn’t about that.
This is about the girls I see drinking their pink moscato out of plastic “Single Ladies” wine glasses and who bitterly don black to the dining hall’s “Couples Dinner” each passing Valentine’s Day. As a fellow pink-moscato-drinking, all-black-wearing, single lady, I totally feel for those girls, but I have to ask: why all the bitterness? I’m single, and in a lot of ways I want to proclaim that my lack of man does not define my personality, but maybe in a lot of ways it does. Maybe, it defines those traits Mr. Old Flame deemed so “awesome.”
Being an awesome single lady has taught me a lot, like how the way I dress is for me and that food was meant to be eaten and enjoyed. It’s taught me that there’s a whole world inside of my campus’ library and that if I really want to, I could rule that world. What’s cool is most of my fellow Future Cat Ladies of America have embraced those luxuries that the single life provides, too.
I’ve learned that it can get hard sometimes, that a lot of nights I really do feel the emptiness inside of my hand and that yes, I will get lonely. But I’ve also learned that sometimes comedy is the best answer, that days where it gets a little bit darker than the rest, I just have to trivialize this all because really, if being single is the worst thing in my life, I’m pretty damn lucky. I’ve learned how to laugh. I’ve learned how to laugh a lot.
What’s more is on those darker, lonelier nights, I’ve learned that if I can’t laugh, it’s okay not to. It’s okay if I want to gather around my fellow Future Cat Ladies of America and watch The Notebook and cry that Allie and Noah’s love is so pure. I’ve learned that even if I am single, everything will be okay. I am okay and I am a valid, important, and worthwhile person who is deserving of happiness. I think people call that “confidence.”