Since then, I've been exploring for myself what it is to be single. And here are a few thoughts:
1) I may never have another significant romantic relationship and I need to be okay with that. And not just okay, but actually prepared to live a full and vibrant life because you know what? Romantic relationships are not all there is in this life. They aren't even most of what there is. One can have other meaningful, deep relationships, a satisfying career, personal goals, and generally a whole life without a romantic partner. And instead of allowing my thoughts to be consumed with the possibility of "meeting someone" around the next corner, I want to live my best life right now, in the fullness of being by myself.
That said, I hope for romantic relationships in the future, and I have this little warm kernel inside of me that has a hunch I won't be #foreveralone. I think people call that hope. But in any case, #foreveralone doesn't scare me, it sounds rather peaceful, actually...
2) I have renewed and deepening respect for the single women in my life. They know shit. They get stuff done. I look up to so many women in my life who are rocking it. I had a wonderful conversation with a single friend who's a little older than me about her years of singlehood. We agreed that the ability to do whatever the heck you want at home, travel wherever, and make life plans for yourself was a pretty good deal. You've probably heard me talk about how I love being the boss of me, and there is no place where one is more thoroughly the boss of oneself than when you're single, childless, and romantically unattached. 10/10, would recommend.
I've started listening to Shani Silver's podcast "A Single Serving" and reading some articles she's written on singlehood. Getting connected to a community of single people all learning to embrace the #singlelife has been wonderful. I also read this hilarious book called "Live Alone And Like It", a hilarious gem from 1936.
3) If you read my blog post about not knowing who I am when I'm by myself, you'll remember that one of my big challenges lately is figuring out who I am by myself. What I've come up with so far is this ultra-refined theory: I am me. Even if all the degrees and identities were stripped away, I just am. I wasn't even high when I thought that up.
You see, as far as identities and beliefs go, I'm almost a completely different person from 21-year-old me. And yet... And yet I'm still myself somehow, you know? Even though I'm a raging feminist, a doctoral student (I actually thought I wasn't smart enough to pursue further education), I'm bi, I'm divorced, I'm clinically depressed, I'm no longer a Christian, I'm no longer capable of producing offspring. Even though all this is different, I am still me. When I think about how single or not, we are still ourselves, I'm reminded of this song lyric:
Other people and my relationship to them don't define who I am as a person. Whatever my relationship status, I'm still me. For better or worse. And, for the record, I like myself enough to think that being me wherever I am is kind of wonderful.
4) At this time in my life I'm finding being alone truly delightful 98% of the time. Sometimes I feel lonely and wish there was someone else here... but then I remember how I'm applying for all these jobs all over the place and how that uncertainty would be difficult on a partner who has their own hopes and dreams. I walk around my house in various states of undress, I go to bed when I want, I watch whatever I want on Netflix, I spend my money on the things I would like and consult with no one. My career goals can change every day and no one cares. These are all things I didn't have before. People don't talk enough about how amazing it is to be by yourself. You can start a dance party at 9pm on a Tuesday or be in bed with a cup of tea and a good book. No one cares.
Like I said, I hope to find someone who I'd like to share my life with again someday. But right now, I'm kinda having too much fun doing whatever I want to do... It's hard for me to imagine a romantic relationship that won't be inherently limiting of me in some way that I am not ready to allow for at this time. Things will probably change, but that's the weather today, folks.