single for life?
If you read my blog religiously, or even, have glanced at it even once before, you've probably noticed that I never write about love, dating, relationships — connection.
I've written a couple of blogs by request in the past few years, and I stick by them (see Why I Want to Be Single For Life).
But, I've never really been completely honest. I've never really opened up.
I wasn't hiding anything. I wasn't doing it on purpose.
I didn't realize I was shying away from it at all.
Until recently, that is.
Now, if you've been following along this year, you've seen lots of new posts about mental health. Anxiety, depression, body image, etc. etc. etc.
I've been dealing with a lot.
I've been dealing with a lot of shit. A lot of shit I don't really like to talk about, and if I do, I really hope the person on the other end of the conversation will truly listen — leaving me feeling a little bit less alone.
I've been dealing with a lot of shit that I didn't know the root of. The reason? Well, for one, there are lots of roots. A tree doesn't grow from one, afterall — and neither do we.
Neither do our highest highs... and our lowest lows.
You could give credit to a lot of things. Friends moving away, friends becoming distant, uncontrollable body image dysmorphia, self-destructive habits (put in place to bandaid the pain — unknowably of course), my creative versus logical mind, social media and the comparison game, different events, having the insane pressure on myself to "do great things", figuring out how to be an adult, having big dreams but honestly, little faith.
You could give credit to life.
There are many reasons why we go through hard times or set ourselves on a path of self-destruction. Sometimes, it might be a tragic event or something similar of course, however I do believe that when we do these things to ourselves, it has many layers.
That being said, once I realized something was going on that I didn't quite like (aka when I got to my lowest low), I began to dig to find the root. Because I'm all about life realizations (obv).
It seemed like every day I was on the phone with my mom, "big realization today — I think I do this because of this." Poor woman, I'm exhausting.
Each day (or should I say, on my good days) I was finding different pieces to my puzzle — slowly but surely putting them all together — piece by piece.
And then, I thought I was good. I had figured it all out, afterall. I was taking the steps, I was realizing what self-destructive and sabatoging habits I needed to fix — I was staring straight at the roots.
But I wasn't better.
And, side note here, I want to make it clear that just because you realize something is going on (ex: depression, anxiety, etc.), it doesn't mean you all of the sudden are happy go lucky. You don't wake up the next day and say, "man, I'm glad I figured out that I'm depressed and that I know why — I'm totally fixed!" Nope, not even close. Because, while going through mental issues, you are fighting battles every day. Except for you don't even know it. What does that mean? Well, your demons are winning. They're getting stronger every day. Once you figure out your problem and start to get down to the roots, you still have battles — you just get to fight back now. And you get to come back stronger every day. So, the war rages on, but I promise you you will win.
Okay, so back to my story. I had just figured out all the pieces to my puzzle (so I thought). But, I still wasn't better.
I continued to battle my inner demons daily (see above), but something was missing.
Though I didn't even realize it yet.
All I knew, was that I couldn't do it alone — I needed help (#noshameinmygame).
After weeks of different practices to combat all of this, I was finally introduced to the deepest root of all. The root that had been hiding. The root that I thought I didn't care about at all. The root that I thought wasn't even attached to me.
And no, I'm not talking about connection with my friends (you all are great).
True connection. You know — love, dating, relationships — connection.
For so long, I shut this part of myself off from the world. Never letting anyone in. Never thinking that "he would like me." Never letting myself be vulnerable, or, as I saw it "weak."
Never letting myself be dependent on another.
Because I'm an independent badass, right?
I told someone about all of the things I was going through, and they told me that one of the culprits is my lack of deep connection — my lack of letting myself even try to find it, and even, turning it away when it comes knocking.
To be honest, I left feeling a little offended. "PSHHH, that's honestly offensive to think that I would be so affected by boys. Like, no. This is about my career, my dreams — my life. That is not what this is. I don't even care about that."
It was this reaction that had me stop to think a little harder. To take a good, long look in the mirror and admit something to myself that I didn't even know was there.
Because, the fact that I "didn't care," the fact that it "doesn't bother me that all my friends are in serious relationships and have found their person," the fact that "I LOVE doing everything alone and third wheeling," — that was the problem right there.
I didn't care.
Except for I did.
Or at least, I think I need to.
Not a ton, not more than my career (lol sorry) — but maybe, even, just — a little.
I had pushed this part of my life so far down, so far away — that I genuinely didn't feel emotion toward it. I genuinely thought it was fine. #Single4Life as they (I) say. Why was I single for life? Because I was forcing myself to be.
I'm not saying that now that I have realized this, I walk around the streets looking like Eeyore and moping because "I'm alone."
In fact, it's just the opposite.
Because, I know I can do life on my own. I know I can handle my shit by myself.
But the thing is, I don't really want to — at least not forever.
And I'm finally admitting that.
So no, I'm not going around searching for that love. No, I'm not going to date the first person that shows interest. No, I'm not going to give up on my dreams of finding a true partner that will take on the world with me. And no, I'm not sad.
But I am willing to try. I am willing to allow myself to be loved. I am willing to let others in.
I am willing to (try to) be vulnerable... as scary as that seems.
I am willing, and that makes all the difference.
For too long I pushed it out of my mind. I let everyone else date while I focused on my career and [insert one million more excuses for not having a boyfriend here].
For too long I forced myself to be strong — to be the strongest, the only one okay with being alone.
It's just been too long.
Well, I'm scared.
I'm scared of dating. I'm scared of sucking at it (I like being good at things... you could say I'm prideful to a fault). I'm scared of not being liked back. I'm scared of making the wrong choice. I'm scared of making the right one. I'm scared of falling too hard — of abandoning dreams in the name of love. I'm scared of finding out I'm incapable of love at all. I'm scared of everything, every little piece all at once.
I'm scared of someone truly getting to know the whole me — like, reading my insanely intricate planner get to know me — and turning around out the door.
I'm scared shitless.
But I'm more scared to leave this piece of the puzzle out of the final project. I'm more scared to work hard to get through my rough patches, only to fail because I'm not looking at the whole picture.
I'm not saying I need to date someone. I'm not saying I need to get married. I'm not even saying I need to find my person.
I'm saying I need to be willing to try.
I'm saying I need to allow myself to be happy, too. To allow myself to even entertain the idea that someone might love me back — that maybe, there is someone out there for me. That maybe, meeting someone doesn't mean my life as a single person is over — but that it could actually mean that I become more myself than ever before.
I'm saying I need to swallow my pride — to admit that maybe, I do need connection after all. That I'm not only a future CEO and distinguished writer (okay I'm dreaming here peeps).
That I'm just me.
Someone told me I need to stop playing victim in regards to my dating life. This woke me up if nothing else. Because, yeah, it won't always be pretty. And yeah, it does add some suspense and ups and downs to life. Yeah, not every single guy is going to want to date me (thank god).
But maybe, that's the whole point.
Playing the game, dating the wrong people — messing up. Maybe, sometimes, getting it right.
Maybe I need to stop playing victim.
So that's what I'm going to do. And my friends, it has been a long time since I've been in this mindset — so this is going to be a process. One that will be filled with lost battles... but once again, I assure you that I will win the war.
So, you could give credit to a lot of things. Friends moving away, friends becoming distant, uncontrollable body image dysmorphia, self-destructive habits (put in place to bandaid the pain — unknowably of course), my creative versus logical mind, social media and the comparison game, different events, having the insane pressure on myself to "do great things", figuring out how to be an adult, having big dreams but honestly, little faith.
Not letting myself be vulnerable.
Not letting myself just, be.
You could give credit to life.
You could give credit to the fact that actually, my life is great. That I love that I have big dreams. I love that I'm creative and logical. I love that I have friends that have moved and friends that have grown into their true selves.
I love that I have gone through this, because when life happens again, when life comes at me with something even harder, I'll know that I am stronger.
I won't give in.
So today, I choose to not let my past dictate my future. To end bad habits, to start new and beneficial ones. To forgive myself and move forward. To let myself love and be loved. To not give in to what I want now at the expense of what I want most. To move forward stronger.
Today I choose happiness.
Because life is beautiful, friends.
And, I guess I'm finally admitting that it IS about sharing it.