Omnipresent in the female New York psyche is the nagging suspicion that our current romantic predicaments are our fault. Days come, inevitably, when the hobbies and the communities and the profession are just not enough to keep me from crawling into my warm featherbed and staying there until 6 in the evening, trying desperately to run away from myself.
I know why it happens. I know what’s going on. I’m not happy. I’m dealing with a bunch of really sad stuff, family history stuff and childhood stuff and other stuff, and I’m not at peace with myself. I know that. But it takes a lot of courage to keep trying to lead a satisfying life in the face of it all, and I know I deserve some serious acknowledgment for that. I know I’m vulnerable to using a boyfriend to make myself feel like I’m okay, and that’s wrong. The fact that I cannot find one definitely can mess with anyone’s head, but I know that I have work to do on myself.
After all, a lot of ground has been covered in my life. I recognize that I need to be more independent and look to myself for the means to a happy life, not hand responsibility for my happiness over to some single guy who’s probably got problems himself. The problem is that accepting responsibility for your happiness is REALLY HARD. It means facing your s*** and coming to terms with all the lies you’re telling yourself, all the games you’re playing, everything you’re running away from. It’s way easier to spend time with a boyfriend than to do all of that.
It’s tough work. Facing your self-hatred, your anger. Some days I’m not sure I have the strength to carry it out. Luckily, my faith in God buoys me when my strength fails, and when the moment passes I’m still here with my feet on the ground and breath in my lungs, the work and its promises stretching out in front of me. I don’t think anyone can do this by themselves. It takes God, in some form or another, to see you through a dark night like singlehood. In reality, the very nature of being single is that it forces you to spend time with yourself, in a very elemental and visceral way. It’s hard to run from your demons when you’re the only one in the room, and that’s what makes singlehood so challenging for so many women.
Luckily, I have lots of cool stuff in my life to support my happiness. I’m so glad I’m not working in some fluorescent-lit office as a file clerk, or caring for a disabled sister, or dealing with the death of my best friend. I’ve put a lot of effort into creating a positive life for myself, and it’s really paid off. My writing keeps me busy and out of an office, which is awesome. I love spending time in cute little cafes or at my local community center with a cup of coffee and soymilk, clicking away and enjoying the freedom of not having to answer to a single solitary soul.
I love eating a no-carb diet and cooking for myself. I love juicing in the mornings. I love my krav maga martial arts classes, which I will discuss in my next blog post. I love going to special events and book clubs. I love living alone in my apartment and listening to Louis C.K. while I chop vegetables. I had some pretty s***ty friends in my life, so I got rid of them, which felt good. I’ve gotta find some new ones now. Friends are really important for a single woman.
I’m grateful. But the work still stretches in front of me, seemingly endless. I guess it’s just a matter of taking it one step at a time.