Tis’ the season to be jolly…

I think it was Kelly Clarkson who said it best and I’m paraphrasing her words, but it goes like this. Whoever said love will find you when you are least looking has no idea what they are talking about. Show me a single gal who is not looking? Amen sista! Our society puts a lot of pressure on women to be attached. Singledom is less favored by females for many persuasive reasons; some are economically motivated, but I think, a lot of it is driven by social norms. Relationships have turned into badges of honor that people wear to belong an imaginary, exclusive club. If you are a single girl and dating without being in a committed relationship, you are given a lot of less desirable labels. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about. There are lots of double standards out there that we have to fight through. If you are a single woman over a certain age, popular culture would have you believe that your world is almost over. What’s there to look forward to past your 40’s if you are not already married with kids? Freeze your eggs now! Even my own family ‘worries’ about me and my mom never misses an opportunity to ask me if I’m dating again. I get it, mom’s worry and the concern comes from a good place. But, when did the definition of happiness hinge upon coupledom? Why can’t I be happy alone?

About 7 months ago, I made a conscious decision to stop dating, pursuing, expending any energy towards, the opposite sex. At first, I wasn’t sure if I was even serious about my commitment. Let’s face it, I’m not the most patient person and if you’ve been following me you know my penchant for impulsiveness. Still, I watched myself spiraling in an unhealthy pattern of wanting and needing without receiving. I was projecting my frustrations from a great many things onto a great many other things. I was one big fucking wound that wouldn’t heal! I desperately wanted something to stick- whether it was my career or relationship or something as simple as a basic friendship. I was jammed. I was frantic. I was chasing after everything like a mad woman hoping for a sign. I prayed. I cried. I yelled. If you’ve been there, then you know what I’m talking about. It’s the most helpless feeling… and quite humiliating, too. Even then, at some basic level, I knew the problem began with me and I had to do something drastic. So, one day, 7 months ago, I simply stopped. That’s all I can say. I struggled with it at first, but I stayed strong and began compartmentalizing my life until my entire focus conveyed onto my work. I had no idea the change that was about to engulf me, but this impulsive decision, spurred on the heels of a messy breakup, is probably the best decision I’ve made in my life. It has done wonders for my morale. It’s made me excel at work and gain the confidence of my peers. It’s made me believe in my own myth- the mentally strong woman I knew was hiding out behind the flimsy exterior. It’s made me confident, poised and has freed up all of my mental energy to focus on other worthwhile projects… like this blog, for example. I’m still trying to figure out where I want to take this, but for now writing has been quite comforting. I’ve met some great guys in the past 6 months and my decision has allowed me to freely cultivate their friendship without the bullshit. I’m able to tell them that I’m not dating anyone for at least a year, probably longer, which makes it not about them and genuinely about me. And, if I meet someone who truly sweeps me off my feet in the coming months, then he will only respect me for my decision and won’t mind waiting until I’m ready to get back in the game again. Go ahead, test me if you don’t believe me. Tempt me with a good time! This gal is blissfully single and happily social for the foreseeable future.

Ladies, if you are stuck in that relationship to nowhere, here’s my advice: Give up! Stop chasing love! Give yourself a break and take a vacation from this vicious cycle. What’s a year in the grand scheme of your life? You deserve the break! There is no secret to finding love. There is no such thing as a perfect relationship. There is no void to be filled. It’s all a hoax. The only person you need to be chasing is your own damn self. Chase your dreams! Look into your heart and find yourself again. Mom, if you are reading this, I am genuinely happy. I’m getting to know my true self after 35 years and it’s been a rewarding journey. I’m learning to live with my highs, my lows, my blahs and my blues, without being affected by someone else’s sensibilities. The only thing I’m rushing towards these days is my bright future. Apparently, you can teach an old dog new tricks and leopards do change their spots, if they so choose, though I think I’m more like a Puma, don’t you? Rawwr!

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