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I run down the city streets in my gorgeous, new champagne-colored heels.
I love these heels. They complete my navy blue pencil skirt and ribbed, sleeveless cream shirt. But I need to learn how to bring sneakers with me on days like this when I’m running super late.
I pause for a moment to readjust my backpack that holds too many items. Items I don’t even need during the workday. But the moment I empty out this bag, I’ll be stuck at work, needing some sort of paperwork that lives within this bag. So it travels with me to and from work each day.
It’s heavy and takes up crucial moments out of my sprint to make the evening train home.
My heels click away against the tiled floor at the underground station. I check my watch, and I’m still making good timing.
As I zoom to a staircase that will take me even further below the surface to my train, I begin my frantic search for my boarding pass. One of these days I’m going to leave it in the same place to avoid the panic that sets in as my feet bring me closer to the steps.
I stop with a sigh of relief as my boarding pass is now in hand. The excitement for the weekend now begins to set in. I still get the Friday feels, even though I have no plans. Fridays just feel good.
I begin to walk when I notice an older couple walking in front of me. They remind me of someone’s grandparents. Just then, he reaches his hand out to grab hers. She accepts his hand as they lace their fingers together and continue to walk through the station.
My heart melts.
I want that. I want someone to hold my hand when I’m old and gray for no reason other than, because.
For f*ck’s sake! I just spent years working on myself to be complete on my own. It took all but one moment to bring me to my knees.
I recovered from my broken heart. I forgave everyone who ever hurt me. I took the time to heal. And then I moved on. It was a struggle, but I got through it.
My newly healed heart is really happy.
Self-love became my pledge of allegiance. I stopped looking for love on the outside and found that sh*t within. I became connected to myself in a way I never knew existed. I gave myself the love I deserved.
It is a love like no other.
I gave up on someone giving me my happily ever after. I became my own happily ever after. I learned I was capable of bringing myself the life I wanted—on my own.
I feel whole and complete.
I built self-improvement into my daily routine. I am the best version of myself.
After all that, I still want to fall in love.
I sat by myself on my train ride home, deciphering what it all meant. Did I just waste my time working on myself? Was all of that work worth it if I’m still pining for love?
I walked around in a fog for days. I couldn’t wrap my head around how confused I felt. I thought I did a good job working on myself. I thought I was all set to live the rest of my wonderful, amazing life on my own.
As weeks went by, I started to notice more happy couples around me doing “couple” things. I became aware of the way lovers looked at each other. I began to recognize first love, fun love, serious love, and forever love. Love was all around me. Each time I noticed a happy couple, it made my heart skip a beat.
Until one morning, I woke up and it came to me. It was all worth it. All of the work I put into myself was worth it.
It was so I would believe in love again.
Every minute was worth it. I needed to become a new me. The old me was a mess. She was broken. She was empty. She was hurt.
Working on ourselves isn’t so that we can be strong enough to be by ourselves for the rest of our lives—alone. We are made for connection.
We didn’t work on ourselves to stop love. Nor did we work on ourselves to reject love. We were born to love. We work on ourselves in order to find a better love.
If we are lucky enough to find love again, we are more prepared to accept the right kind of love we deserve this time around. Not broken love. Not half-ass love. Not fake love.
We are prepared to accept a perfect kind of love. A love that lasts. A love that is caring. A love that is true. A love that is faithful. A love that is real.
That feeling of wanting to love again means we are ready to love again. All that work we did to heal, to find ourselves, to learn to love ourselves, and to feel whole and complete was to get us to that moment when we are ready to open our hearts and love again.
I did the work on myself so I could be happy on my own if that’s the way it goes. But it doesn’t mean I have to be happy alone.
Love might mean taking chances. Love may be a mistake. But it’s worth making.
I am ready to love again.
I am ready to take on love again.