Love Should Not Be The Center Of Your Universe

Unsplash / Mariana Vusiatytska

When I first set out to write songs, I was pretty open. I was willing to experiment with genre and tempo and lyrics and anything really.

I very much adopted an “I’ll try anything once” mentality. (This has since become my overall way of life… within reason, of course.)

Nonetheless, I had only one rule… NO LOVE SONGS.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, as a young adult listening to music, I felt really excluded and marginalized by love songs. I was smart and cute and funny and expressive kid, but I was also incredibly, incredibly awkward.

When I heard love songs, songs about charming, perfect boys falling head over heels for beautiful, effervescent women, I felt like that would never be me.

I would always be the girl who got paint on her shirt in art class (then), who spilled wine all over herself at the party (now).

As a teenager, I was sure that I would never be the girl that all the boys liked. And this upset me much more than I was willing to let on.

So I vowed not to make romance the primary focus of my life. I vowed to cultivate my independence, my strength, my intelligence, my sense of humor and made the decision to prioritize how I feel about myself above how anyone else (male or female) might feel about me.

I was determined that this would extend to my music. I wanted to write songs about learning to love myself, about getting through my lowest lows, about finding strength in my weaknesses, about the zillion other non romantic journeys I have the privilege of taking every single day.

And I’ve kept that promise I made to my past self. I’ve taught her about filling her life with laughter and love, romantic or otherwise.

I’ve showed her how to follow her dreams.

I’ve kept my romantic life out of my music and my writing process entirely.

Until now. Thought Catalog Logo Mark 

Shayna Leigh is a singer/songwriter who spent the first few years of her life hiding in her cubby at Pre-School.

Keep up with Shayna on Instagram

More From Thought Catalog