|Have an irrelevant photo of last weekend's Sunday brunch! Mmm... French toast...|
So I haven't been single since I was 19. There was a tiny blip, a couple of months, in 2007 when I was technically single... but it doesn't really count, because I was dating someone who I wanted to be in a relationship with, so really, I wasn't single. I've not been single since I was 19. And this is a crazy thing for me. Firstly, I don't know how to be single. I really don't. I know how to be ridiculously head-over-heels in love with someone who's wrong for me; and I know how to be in a long-term, serious, live-in, committed relationship with someone who's more a best friend than a boyfriend. But I don't know how to be single.
When I was 19, I was not the same person I am now. I was so shy, I'd never had a boyfriend, and I thought boys were these terrifying and beautiful demi-gods whose only purpose was to be lofty and unattainable. The first boy I met who was cute and talked to me and seemed vaguely geeky was, I thought, The One. He was kind of a jerk, not a good boyfriend, rarely emotionally available and was constantly blowing me off for a video game. But I didn't know any better. I thought he was the fucking shit. And I thought, if he breaks up with me, I'll never ever find anyone to love me again. I clung to him like an insane barnacle. It didn't work out.
When I was 21, I was single again in August of that year. I kissed a lot of my friends, and I got drunk and did questionable things that are totally not ever going in this blog, and I was a completely different person than I had been when I was 19. But I didn't want to be single, I didn't know how to be, and within a few months I was in love again, and five and a half years later, that relationship ended.
So here I am, 27, actually single for the first time since I was 19. I still have no idea how to be single. I'm still a nervous wreck most of the time, cute boys simultaneously terrify me and make life worth living, and I feel like I'm the most awkward, unappealing creature on the planet most days. But I have a lot more confidence, a little more experience (very little), and an actual desire to be single. This is the first time I've wanted to be single. And that's exciting! But also scary. Still, I'm excited. This is the first time I've not been obligated to someone else in almost 8 years. This is the first time I can do everything for me, and not worry about someone else's feelings. I can get whatever tattoos or piercings I want, I can get a really stupid haircut and not have to worry about being attractive to my partner, I can flirt with whoever I want and not feel guilty, I can stay up all night or sleep in 'til 3:00pm and nobody will judge me or expect me to behave in a certain way. It's awesome. And it's barely begun.
It amazes me that the most painful decision I've ever made has led to this feeling of freedom, relief, and ultimately happiness. I feel happy, I feel excited about life, for the first time in... a year? I love it. It's overwhelming and a bit terrifying, being single and being in charge of my own life 100%, with no partner there to catch me if I trip up, but that's exhilarating. It's what I want! And I have Lyall, after all.
I just hope I don't fuck up this whole single thing, because I have a tendency to fuck shit up. We'll see how it goes. Wish me luck.