Happiness sometimes hits you the moment you’re driving somewhere, completely alone. The sun will be sitting against the horizon, lighting the world you call your present. The windows will be down and you feel the breeze against your skin – it reminds you that you’re alive.
Just the right song comes on the radio. You find yourself moving to the music and living against the words. You’re blooming in the moment of independence and you feel every bit of yourself growing more comfortable within your skin.
In these moments, I’m always reminded of the happiness that sits at the bottom of my heart. Sometimes it’s weighed down by heartbreak, by regret, by doubt, or anything that doesn’t feed the beats we usually live off of.
In these solitary moments, though, I accept joy. I let its light settle into my core until its brightness is reflected in my eyes. I harbor this bliss. I let it live on my lips and explode into laugher. And then I dance. I dance to my own music, the one I’m creating out of my loneliness. Yes, loneliness.
It’s a loneliness I no longer fear. Instead, I embrace it. I learn to love the quirks between how I take my coffee and how I always have to wear heels even if I trip every time I do. I accept and rejoice in the broken heart that lies in my chest, because it’s getting lighter every day. My loneliness is teaching me how to let go.
So I drive. I drive following my intuition. I drive towards dreams that are my own. I drive at the edge of spontaneity or on the spool of routine. But I drive with my loneliness beside me. Finally, I’ve decided to fall in love with my own company.
These are the reasons why I’ve fallen in love with myself and fallen in love with the solitude. Infatuated with the understanding that single can be a gift rather than a burden:
1. Because when someone asks me to travel, planned or impulsive, I can say yes without checking with someone.
2. Because I can stay up late with Jack and Coke at the bar, or with Jack and Kate on Netflix, with no one to decide my plans for me.
3. Because I can sleep in until noon and do so with a blanket I don’t have to share. I can sleep on the right or on the left. I can sleep backwards if I please.
4. Because sometimes I like to stay in sweatpants without any makeup. Because sometimes I’m too lazy to shave my legs.
5. Because I can order a chocolate cake and eat it at all to myself without any judgment or having to share.
6. Because I learned to compliment myself versus waiting to hear it from someone else. I am confident solely on my own.
7. Because I am my own priority and I can follow my dreams without making sure that someone else is following me.
8. Because I can leave my phone at home and not feel obligated to check in with anyone.
9. Because Fantasy Football is starting and I’d rather watch a chick flick.
10. Because I don’t have to doubt how my relationship is going… because me, myself and I are doing just fine.
11. Because I can shamelessly flirt, I can dazzle strangers, I can be just one of the girls or just one of the boys, I can, I can.
12. Because I love myself and won’t settle for anyone who loves me any less.
So after this drive I buy myself flowers and reapply the lipstick I wear just for me. I move with grace, and I bounce with every step. Because in order to be loved, one day, every day, all days, you must love yourself first.
You must adore your quirks, mature from your mistakes, smile humbly at your accomplishments, and recognize your soft soul in your reflection with endearment. You must find this confidence within yourself in order to lead a happy life. You must also find the wisdom within your core so someone can fall as deeply in love with you as all your broken and repaired pieces.
Until then, I drive with my loneliness as my passenger. Together, we dance to the music and we take the road less traveled. My loneliness and I, well we’re the best company. We’re heading towards an unknown direction that some call destiny… A road paved by my own hands and with a beautifully broken heart.
So with windows down, loneliness and I are in for quite a ride. We’re happy in the solitude. We’re blissful in the repairs that sound sweeter when we sing them out loud. And until someone sings that song along with you, sings it with all your imperfections, and memorizes it with all the flaws, just drive.
Because it usually comes in the moment when you’re driving somewhere, lost in loneliness, when you realize you’ve never been happier.