The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.
- Mark Twain
Last week, I had the opportunity to visit Julia up in Maine. It was only a short trip, but in that time we had a lot of fun and took some really great pictures. I had never really been to Maine so this was great to experience it for the first time! On the bus ride home, I did some thinking.
There is such a focus on relationships in our culture. Every tabloid has headlines of "OMG did you hear who dumped so and so?" Every Cosmo has explicit titles of things that really don't deserve to be on the cover if you ask me. All of the TV shows we watch, movies etc. have this "crucial" element to do with the idea of relationships. For some reason, that's what gets viewers. And really, thats okay because I love to watch them just as much as anyone. "Getting that guy" or "getting that girl", "making them love the other" are common themes and I can think of three titles to match up with each one. Well, how about "single girl not focused on why she is single, but instead enjoying life and working hard to be who she wants" for a common theme? Oh, right, because that probably wouldn't "sell."
Instead of trying to imitate movies into real life, let's start actually grabbing our lives by the horns and living them. Get out of the screen. Get off the couch and move. You want to wonder why your life doesn't look like theirs? 1. Because it was written and made up to be a character's life, not yours. 2. Because you're sitting on the couch, enveloped in the show/movie, so of course you're not going to transform into that person who has the "perfect life."
I get lonely sometimes. Who doesn't? I'm going on 20 years old and I've never had a real boyfriend. Why does that seem like it should be a big deal? Everyone is different, so this may not apply to you, but it's not the hugest deal if you're single. Take it from someone who has been, for what it seems, eternally single. Just because you don't have "someone" does that mean you're automatically required to feel lonely? Because you don't have a boyfriend or a girlfriend, that is a stamp of awful? I've been there, I've felt that way. I've said to myself countless times, "Why won't anyone love me?" My friends can attest to this complaint. It seems ridiculous reading my own words, so now I know for sure that I'm correct in saying what I have to say next. "Why won't anyone love me?" is simply not true; I am loved. This is not me bragging so please don't take this the wrong way. We are never alone. We all have parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters, friends, dogs, cats, etc. that love us! Whether we have a significant other or not should never take away from that.
Learning to be "alone"? No, that's not what I'm doing. I'm learning that being single is great! It's fabulous in fact! I'm writing this for those who are feeling the way that I have felt before. "Don't look for love, it'll find you when you least expect it." I encourage you to stop looking at everyone else and to look at yourself and love what you see. Whether it's physically or internally, being you and loving you is crucial. Instead of focusing on all of the other relationships, in real life or on screen, how about we start building relationships with ourselves? When we start to appreciate ourselves and live the life we want, that's when that loneliness will fade away. We must not settle for less than great and we must hold ourselves to that standard by treating ourselves great. There is no progress without change. Let me hear all the single ladies (and boys)! Own it! Don't be ashamed of it. Being single shouldn't come with a negative connotation, but rather an empowering ideal of strength and individuality. Take the time to learn, grow and love yourself. May that be through reading your favorite book again, taking yourself out to dinner once a month or going for a run; do it and love it because those are the things you should do when you're in a relationship with yourself. Love is the strongest thing we have on this earth, take advantage of it by walking down the path of life, loving those around you. Just don't forget to love you on the way.
"I am still learning."