7 Things I’ve Learned About Myself By Being Single
So, here we are, a few days before the Day of Love. This year, like the last few years, I am single. Unless my niece and nephew take pity on me and send me a surprise gift, there will be no chocolates, no bouquet of flowers, no romantic dinner or silly card for me.
By society’s standards, I am a failure because I am alone for Valentine’s Day.
I am one of the invisible masses on this day. One of the people to be ignored as apparently happy couples celebrate their love. If God forbid, I decided to treat myself to a nice dinner at a fancy restaurant on February 14, my sitting alone at a table would make people uncomfortable and the wait staff would do what they could to get me out as quickly as possible.
I know this because I travel a lot on my own, and fancy restaurants are ALWAYS nervous and uncomfortable when a woman is eating by herself. I haven’t noticed this response when men are eating alone, but that is a post for another day. There is an overwhelming belief in our society that to be truly happy and complete, you need to have a special someone in your life, a partner to go through life with. And while I do want to meet “my” special someone, I have to ask: When we buy into the concept that having a partner in life completes us, are we preventing ourselves from seeing that we are complete and special as an individual?
Learnings from being single
Here’s what I have learned about myself because I am single:
- I have a lot of courage. I am not afraid to go through life, pursuing my dreams, and going off the beaten path by myself. I’m not afraid of breaking through the norms of society when they hold me back from being authentic. And I don’t sit around, putting my life on hold, until that special someone shows up. I don’t let fear hold me back from experiencing as much as I can of life; which is why I’ve walked away from my job, walked away from the traditional idea of “home”, traveled around the world, and built and lived in a house in the Guatemalan jungle.
- I am fiercely independent. This might be a little bit of a negative when it comes to being in a relationship, but I know that I can hold my own regardless of what life throws my way.
- Listening to my heart, instead of my mind, is the best way to navigate life. My heart never steers me wrong. My mind, however, can fill me up with fear that holds me back.
- I live life at peace with who I am. I’ve had the opportunity to connect with my heart and soul and see that at my core I am love. I am complete and perfect in my imperfections. While I do continue to evolve and grow, I don’t feel the need to hide any aspects of me or use someone else as a crutch to make me feel better about myself.
- I am an interesting person. I have experienced many different things, peoples and cultures in the world. I have worked with a variety of firms and clients. I have overcome my personal hardships and losses in my life. All of these things make me “me” and “me” has a lot of people ask for stories about my life.
- I am capable of great amounts of love. I have had the opportunity to connect with people from all different walks of life, see the commonality that we all share, and send — and receive — love to each and every one of them. This one probably cancels out the potentially negative aspect of being fiercely independent.
- Even when I am alone, I am rarely lonely. Because I am at peace with myself, I’m not afraid to be alone.
Someday I will have someone to celebrate Valentine’s Day with. For now, I am immensely grateful for the life that I have and for who I am. I think I’ll celebrate by making that dinner reservation for myself!
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