It all started after an intense breakup, and I watched the movie How to Be Single for the first time. Not to be dramatic but that movie changed my life (lol). The moment Dakota Johnson made it to the top of the Grand Canyon alone to celebrate the New Year, tears rolled down my face (not really but my throat was definitely tight). Since then, I have discovered the beauty of loneliness, and I have delved down a wonderful journey of tears, frustration, annoyance, and then bliss.
There is such a huge pressure to be in a relationship. If you are past 25 and still single, is there really any hope for you? Oh, you’re just now getting married at 30? Shame. Maybe it was the awful side effect of southern church culture where everyone just rushed to get married and the local college’s slogan is “ring by spring” (barf), but it has taken a very long time for me to realize that it is perfectly okay to live it up alone for as long as you want.
On days like today, the oh so dreaded Valentine’s day, being single can often put one in a depressing, angry mess. Rarely, there are insane people like me who obsess over this holiday because of their love for hearts, chocolate, and flowers (all from my mom). But even on my favorite holiday, I get so upset at how many people are so miserable due to the fact that they are not with a significant other. There are so many wonderful things about being alone that are so extremely taken for granted. I have been known to buy last minute plane tickets and leave the following weekend, or decide to drop everything and go to the beach. I love to shop and go eat by myself, and I am so indecisive about everything in life that if I really had to factor in someone else’s opinion I honestly think I would burst.
There is a certain beauty in solitude. You learn to really admire yourself and your surroundings, and you start to see the world in a different perspective, your own. No one is influencing your thoughts, telling you how things should be. You are allowed to be selfish, and believe me when I say I plan on being selfish for a very long time. I never have to check in with anyone, if I want to fly up to see my friends in Boston I go, if I want to study abroad for an entire year, I apply. For some people, they don’t mind it, but I truly do not see how beneficial it is to be a young adult and be chained to a person who is still figuring out life just the same as you. Sure, some relationships are healthy and they really do love each other and they wouldn’t change a thing, (the amount of times I’ve had to smile and nod along to this is sad), but from my own experience, if you don’t truly know and love yourself, how can you fairly devote time, attention, and love to someone else?
I didn’t type out these 500+ words to say that dating is terrible and you should all love to wallow in your singleness, but for me, learning to love being single has been the most wonderful period of growth in my entire adolescent life. I’m spending my summer in Italy, my spring in France, I’m interning across the world, and I am getting to plan out my life exactly how I want it, because as I always say, the only person you need to please is yourself.