I've been single for awhile now, and I'm still learning what being single really means. I'm awkwardly maneuvering between mediocre dates, falling in love in grocery store aisles, and writing off men in general. I'm constantly straddling between wanting to be married right now or wanting to explore the world solely alone well into my late twenties.
To be honest I don't think I have any idea of what I want as a single woman. I still have too many things to figure out about myself before I could figure out someone else. And that's why this year the thing I'm mostly grateful for is being single.
I barely find time to sleep or go to yoga that I could not imagine dating another human being. Even more so the idea of planning a wedding, or starting a life, is so overwhelming when I still haven't figured out my lunch. There is a lot left on my to-do list before I could look at someone and honestly think, "yes, this is it."
I'm not ready to be someone's plus one just yet because I want -- no I need -- to become somebody first. And it's actually thrilling, you know. It's thrilling to get to know yourself because then you'll never settle for less.
I'm thankful for a lot this year, but these are the reasons that I'm grateful to be single:
1. I spent my time how I wanted. I scarcely had to consider someone else in my decisions. Whether it's traveling on a whim, stuffing my face in pizza on Saturday, sleeping in on Sunday, working late every night, binging on Netflix without the "chill" or turning off my phone to read undisturbed. Whatever I wanted to do -- I was able to (outside of outright responsibilities).
2. I spent my money where I saw fit. Eventually I'll have to support other people than just myself. Yet this year, I got to allocate my paychecks selfishly. I got to save. I got to buy a car. I got to travel. I got to get my parents great gifts. I got to splurge as a reward. I got to really be a true adult and learned to budget properly without someone else to worry me.
3. I dated and I learned from it. This year I had a mix of great dates, bad dates, and ones I've already forgot about. I've had some amazing conversations and some that made me reach for my phone for backup. Even though they didn't go anywhere I don't regret a single one; they each taught me about myself and what I'm looking for.
4. I got to know my friends better. I had all the time I wanted to devote to my friends. I even traveled through states and countries to see them. I was able to dedicate my time to the people that have always been there. I got to know significant others and support friend's futures. We got to create memories before we go on to start families.
5. I got to focus on my own goals. This year I had many f*ck ups and milestones, but I persevered. I got to reach potentials and then reached my ambition even higher. I saw what I was capable of and what I had been missing. I had to lean on myself and learn to be independent. I had to figure out on my own how to reach my dreams and I couldn't be more appreciative of that.
6. I got to fall in love. I may not have fallen in love with someone, but I fell in love with life. I fell in love with new hobbies, new cities, and even with my own quirks. I got to discover things out of my comfort zone and appreciate them all on my own.
You see, these holidays will not be lonely. These holidays will be spent celebrating freedom and rejoicing in this solo journey. These holidays I will binge watch sappy movies on the Hallmark channel, overeat turkey, stuffing and peppermint bark, and smile solo on Christmas.
These holidays will not be about "are you dating anyone?" or "when will I get grandkids?" These holidays will be all about "where is your next trip?" and "have you taken over the world yet?" I'll tell them the world is on my list.
So, I'm thankful for this solitude, because this was the year I started to use it to make moves. So I thank you, Universe, for keeping me single this year. This was the year I started to change the world until I find someone that changes mine.
See more at: www.SingleStrides.com