“Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.” ~John Allen Paulos
Over the past ten years, I always had a man by my side. I was always in a relationship.
I was in a relationship for eight years before my ex and I got engaged, then broke it off because of the distance—my ex’s reason. Not long after that I got into a two-year relationship with a man who loved, yet cheated on me. It was a messy break up.
So after ten years in relationships, I found myself alone.
I’m 31 and single!
Recently some questions have bounced around in mind: What happened to me during those years? What did I get, gain, achieve in these two relationships? Why am I now alone? What will I do? How do I do things by myself?
Now what? Where to start?
I started to panic, to hyperventilate—until I found this quote:
“Single is not a status. It is a word that describes a person who is strong enough to live and enjoy life without depending on others.”
Yes I am scared. I was so used to sharing everything. I was so used to having someone around.
But the reality is I am my own person, and if I can’t enjoy being single, how can I enjoy being with someone else?
So I started reading about being single, and interviewing other happy single people. Surely I wasn’t the only 31-year-old person who felt uncertain about her new singleness. I needed to find proven ways to be happy as a single adult woman.
In my research, I learned some important truths about being single:
1. Being single gives you time to be by yourself, with yourself.
Finally some me time. This is the time to reconnect with myself, a time where I can talk to myself, debating all the questions and answers that are bouncing in my head.
This is the time of reflection. This is the time of acceptance and letting go, which brings me to the second point…
2. If you don’t let go of the past, you will never appreciate the present.
Yes I have fond memories of my exes, but that was in the past. I know I will always cherish those memories, but I need to stop clinging to them to live for today and plan for tomorrow.
Buddha said every day you are born again—that means new experiences and adventures for today!
3. It’s only after you have lost everything that you are free to find out what you were missing.
During those ten years, I lost love, a pregnancy, and my health. I truly believed I had lost everything. I can’t even start telling you how many tears I shed during those difficult times.
Now that I’m single, I have an opportunity to do all the things I put off while I was putting all my energy into my relationships. I have to believe that I will eventually have the things I lost, but for now I’m taking this time to enjoy myself and complete myself.
4. Change can sometimes be good.
Part of me feels afraid of this quick change. Adaptation takes time, yet I’m already thinking of all the possibilities—meeting new people, going to new places, tackling new projects.
Sometimes change is the best thing for us, as it opens us up to new activities and environments.
5. Being single does not have to mean being afraid to love.
My heart has been bashed, bruised and broken. But I don’t feel traumatized, and I know I will love again. Hopefully the next someone will treasure and treat my heart with love and respect.
Staying open to love isn’t just about attracting a new relationship; it’s about being open to life.
6. Even if you’re single, you still have so much to appreciate.
“Being single is not the end of the world,” a friend said to me. She continued by saying “There are other problems that are more depressing than being single—hunger and homelessness, for instance.”
This felt like a slap in the face to wake me up. It reminded me that even with a broken heart, I am still standing. I’m still breathing. There are still so many possibilities for me.
7. You’re not alone when you’re single; you still have family and good friends.
I am lucky to have a supportive mother and sister. They are my sanity—my light. Spending time with them relaxes me in a way. I’m also fortunate to have wonderfully good friends who are always there with open arms, ready to listen and support me.
I know for sure I can always share my happiness and sorrow with them. I can always depend on them without feeling the slightest bit of guilt. And now that I’m single, I have even more time to devote to being there for them.
8. Being single is a call to focus on yourself.
Sometimes being in a relationship can make you lazy about developing yourself. You can get so comfortable that your goals take a back seat.
When you’re single, it prompts you to look deep inside yourself and identify the person you really want to be—whether you’re in a relationship or not.
9. Something better will come your way if you’re open to it.
I found a lovely quote through twitter, “To see a rainbow, one has to pass a storm.”
When something bad happens, we tend to concentrate on the negatives, forgetting that there must be something positive hidden somewhere in the havoc.
You will know happiness in the future—and in the present, if you’re open to it.
10. Life is a balance. When there is darkness there will be light.
I believe that everything in life is a process. When something dramatic and fast hits us, it will take time to process it and start over.
I am starting over.
As a newbie in singlehood I still have a lot to learn, understand, and explore. I sometimes need to be reminded to be grateful for what I have.
As we all know, these words are easier said than practiced. So I hold onto one important idea that I’d like to leave you with:
Change comes from within. You alone have to decide if you want that change.
Photo by Mitya Kuznetsov