Photo by Garret Oledzki
From the age of 17 to about 27, I always had a boyfriend. I would move from one relationship to another so quickly it was almost as if one was just a continuation of the last. I never spent time alone, I never planned to be alone; the thought of being single made me want to hide in the bathtub and cry, or hide under the covers in the hopes I might just disappear.
Then I grew up. I got a dog, had my heartbroken, and found success in my career. Lately I’ve been reflecting on the words of Carrie Bradshaw (perhaps due to my recent trip to NYC), and maybe she is right. Maybe we only get two of the three: a fabulous apartment, a great boyfriend, or a lucrative career. When I was younger I would have picked the apartment and boyfriend hands down, but somewhere along the line things changed. I’ve learned that boys do in fact come and go; bad ones, good ones and great loves… but at the end of the day you always have yourself.
What I use to think was a weakness, I now understand is probably one of the greatest strengths one can have: the ability to be happy alone. I realize now that spending time working on myself is the best investment I could ever make, and although I do date, I cherish my evenings at home alone, reading, reflecting and having pillow fights with Moose, my beloved Bernese mountain dog.
The best thing I ever did for myself was travel to Paris for two weeks last summer, solo. I never thought I would be able to do this, let alone ever want to. My excitement leading up to the trip surprised me, and I barely slept the week before my departure. Needless to say my trip was amazing – it allowed me the opportunity to just be myself. I knew no one, I had no one to impress, nowhere to be, and no one to report to. For the first time in a long time I felt free. I said goodnight to the Eiffel Tower every day and fell asleep with a smile on my face.
This trip definitely made me view my life differently; it really taught me ‘the art of being alone.’ I approach my relationships from a different perspective now. I am no longer looking for someone to complete me or to be my other half, I am whole all on my own and I couldn’t be happier about that.