I’m giving into temptation and blogging, even though it’s 12.25am and I should be winding down for the night. I just got in from work 30 minutes ago. I biked home from the office while listening to music. I locked my bike up outside, and I came up into the flat. I grabbed a big bottle of water from the fridge. I closed the curtains. I opened the mail, and I peeked on social media. I read a few articles online I had bookmarked throughout the day, and then I started getting ready for bed. Yes, it sounds really boring and super trivial, but this is my new normal. And today, it actually felt normal. Like there wasn’t a hole. Like there wasn’t supposed to be someone in the apartment, waiting to greet me as I walked in. I liked crawling into bed alone. I’m ok to close the curtains and turn off all the lights by myself. I didn’t have to worry about cooking someone else dinner, or getting home from work late. And today, all of these boring things that have maybe felt sad, or misplaced in the past, just felt normal. Like this is my life, and it’s totally cool.
I’m going to tell you something scary and new.
I don’t want to be in a relationship, and I really don’t care about getting married, having babies, being a family, being responsible, moving through life, thinking about what’s next.
Isn’t that crazy?
I remember being a senior in college, and having a conversation with a girlfriend about being single. Neither of us were in relationships at the time, and we were both concerned as we were 22 and solo. Can you believe that? 22 and concerned. Even when I did meet Ben, when we had our first, second, third, and fourth year anniversary . . . when he proposed . . . when he told me he wanted to spend his life with me . . . I felt relieved. Like I had sorted out something big that was on a list I was meant to tick off. I felt like I had achieved a milestone in my life that other people were typically worried about, or spent a lot of time searching for.
Oddly enough, after everything I’ve been through, I have this strange, grey feeling of complacency in my chest. Relationships? Meh. Kids? Meh. Boyfriends? Meh. I think this is the first time in ten years I haven’t really cared about finding ‘the one’, settling down, or moving on to whatever (whoever) is next.
I never really understood girls who liked being single. Who said they didn’t want a boyfriend. I just couldn’t comprehend it, and I always thought they had to be lying. That they were secretly sad they were single, that they felt lonely before falling asleep at night. But on nights like tonight, when I get home and open the post, surf the web, crawl into bed, and don’t talk to anyone else but myself in my head, I feel utterly content. And now I realize how narrow-minded I have been.
It’s probably because I’ve always felt lonely. Even when I was with Ben, some nights before I fell asleep, I would feel sad, because when I closed my eyes and started dreaming, I would be alone. But guess what? I live in Amsterdam, while all of my family and life-long friends live in the US. I have an apartment here, a job. I take care of myself, and I am completely independent. I am more alone than I have ever been in my entire life. And for whatever crazy-odd reason, I don’t feel alone. I don’t feel sad. I don’t feel like anything is missing.
Which makes me think, maybe I’ve been looking for the wrong thing all along. I’ve spent the majority of my adult life looking for the one, searching for love. Wanting to fill a hole, to find my other half. But maybe all I really needed to find . . . was myself. Maybe I am my other half. Maybe I am the voice of reason, the unconditional lover, the string that ties my crazy mind to the ground.
I’m 27. I’m single. And yet for the first time in my life, I’ve never felt more complete.
And that’s pretty fucking cool.