“It’s about time.”
Someone said that to me after I started dating my current boyfriend.
I lost my previous boyfriend to cancer, and I thought that there was no “right” amount of time before deciding to be with someone else seriously, but I really had no problem with being alone.
In fact, I loved being single.
I wouldn’t say I liked it for the reasons other people in their 20s did. Although I enjoyed partying, I didn’t feel the need to hide it from someone who would become my significant other. I love sex, but I have never fit in with the hook-up culture.
The reality is that I just like being with myself.
There’s something alluring about silence—or that there isn’t such a thing. I never made it through the entire book of Walden, but I respect the idea of Henry David Thoreau being one with his natural surroundings.
In the most silent of nights, if my thoughts aren’t racing, there are a multitude of noises that surface. When I’m in the city, it could be my neighbor’s snore, the light ticking of my refrigerator, or the sirens from the street below.
When I’m in a rural environment, regardless of how inaudible my surroundings seem, there is always another life form presenting itself. It could be a woodpecker incessantly ravaging a tree or the wind blowing around loose branches.
We are never entirely alone in a celestial sense.
So, what is it about being single and seemingly alone that we refute?
I feel that every culture paints a picture that we are meant to be paired. As little girls, we would all watch films that told us we needed to find our knight in shining armor. We were made to think that our primary purpose in life was to reproduce—that no one should have to walk through life without a second set of footsteps beside them.
But truthfully, maintaining a single status can actually result in a more significant score than the kind people swipe for.
My self-worth surges as I spend more time with myself.
The groundless statements from others do not burden me.
I know myself more than anyone else does, and unlike people I meet at specific points on my timeline, I am aware of everything in myself that predates them.
In a culture that would happily die knowing they spent the entirety of their lives on the internet, worrying about follows and posts, I need to know that this is not real anguish—because true vigor lies in my very being. I know that I do not diminish after someone stops responding.
We must learn to respond to ourselves—this is illustrious.
Being single shows us that we are never really alone. It brings us closer to the force that makes our abilities possible.
It brings us closer to our light and our darkness—the very things that make up our soul.
Being single allows us to fully form ourselves as individuals. It also gives us the power to contain that within our next relationship.
How can we find freedom in our relationships if we never find freedom in ourselves?
One of my first childhood memories is of me staring at my hands in awe.
To this day, when I’m by myself in the human sense, I sometimes sit and stare at my hands—in reflection.
The thought that crossed my mind as a child while looking down at my hands was the same thought I got after exerting myself through an endurance-related activity.
“How the f*ck is this possible?”
Our bodies are so resilient, so it’s indisputable that it is quite the same on a soul level.
And if we find that we’ve moved from the single status to “taken,” this self-awakening process is not complete—we are stuck with our singular self, indefinitely, whether we like it or not.
So we better get to know it.