Last night I grabbed my notebook and went to write and watch the sunset at one of my favorite spots in the mountains. I am realizing that sometimes I am the best lover I can be for myself, so I put on dresses, pack my notebook, and drive myself somewhere beautiful over and over again and let the earth hold me.
The sun dipped into the mountains and those around me started to walk back down to the parking lot. There were couples getting into cars together—I wondered where they were going. If they were going to make dinner and cook slowly with the warmth of the day settling in their bones, or maybe they were going to the pub to drink brown beers and then switch to whiskey as they cozy up on the same side of the booth. Maybe they were going home to eat pasta and drink wine in bed and stay there until 10 the next morning. Maybe some of the couples I saw weren’t in love anymore. In fact, maybe lots of them weren’t in love. Maybe a woman coupled up with another saw me walking the path alone with my notebook and my dress and the golden sun and thought, “How nice it would be, to have time for my art and to walk paths alone.”
I think we idealize partnership so much that we forget when we are not in partnership, there are others worshipping and aching for our aloneness. We often view being in partnership as the “ideal”, but is it? This is not to undermine the beauty and purpose behind being in any kind of relationship. I get butterflies just at the thought of finally meeting a person I have that connection with. Humans are built for it. But I think we need to move past the conditioning that it is always the ideal. Depending on where we are in life, sometimes being single is what honors our path best. I have many people in my life that are in partnerships, but when I really take a look around me to observe them, there are only a few that I genuinely admire. It’s easy to look at others and idealize and romanticize their love, but we never know what’s going on behind closed doors. Lots of people give up parts of themselves to be in relationships. Lots of people put their own personal goals and life second. Lots of people are with the wrong person that doesn’t see or understand the fullness in their hearts. Lots of people stay in partnerships merely because staying is the comfortable option.
So I let myself admire the couples and smile at the love I hope they have and create stories of what they will do together when the sun dips into the mountains for the night, but I also embrace my aloneness. I embrace the milky sunset I am taking in by myself. I embrace having all the time in the world for my art. I embrace putting on a dress for no one but myself. I embrace the tenderness and openness in knowing that I could meet somebody any time, any minute.
I sure as hell know that when I’m married with children, I’ll look over at the woman watching the sunset alone in a beautiful dress, smile at her softly, and remember who I am.