It’s been four years since my last serious relationship. We met in high school and vowed to make it work when I went off to college. He stayed at home and I moved away. I packed his sweater, the stuffed animal from Valentine’s Day, and more pictures than I could count. The first few weeks were easy, and I could still feel him and home so closely in my grips. But then school got intense. I met new people, and I was finding myself wonderfully caught up in my independence. I was stretched to the ends of my wits and the further I immersed myself in this new life, the farther we drifted apart.
The silence between text messages got longer. I heard people’s whispers about the classic Turkey Dump, but I told him, “that would never be us.” We used to call each other every night before we fell asleep. But, as each week passed the phone calls got shorter and then, soon enough, they almost didn’t exist. When Thanksgiving rolled around, begrudgingly, I let him go.
It was nothing to do with him and all to do with me. I was changing as a person and he was staying the same. You’ve heard the saying “You can’t love someone else until you love yourself.” But, it isn’t just about loving yourself.
It’s about discovering and understanding the many pieces that make you whole.
When I came to college, I became a completely new person, and I loved every minute of my journey. He was always off in the distance, steering on a different road and I was here, out in the milky way, trying to capture a million different stars that I didn’t know existed. Despite all the changes, never once did I stop loving who I was, and that, above all else, was my guiding compass. My self-love was parallel to that of a journey through the milky way. I was always moving forward and there were endless turns that I couldn’t wait to take. I was happy for each new path and opportunity presented to me, but he remained constant like the Sun and I was no longer in orbit.
I have grown and stretched beyond those wild imaginations I had set in first year. I have now collected my stars and made my own galaxy. I am so wholly content with my being; I love my job, I have incredible friends, and I feel as though I am fulfilled with who I am. At 22 that relationship feels like an extremely distant memory, a solar system unto itself. Sure, there have been dates along the way, some more promising than others. And when the dates go poorly, I’m thankful that I’ve made it through these past four years on my own. But being on my own and happy, doesn’t mean that I am unwilling to share my life with someone else.
You can be single and still yearn for love.
You can wish for little bits of someone else in your every day; the lilt of a smile, the good morning text messages, the surprise hot coffee on your desk Monday morning signed “have a good day, beautiful.” Some people say the love they discover in someone else is their other half, but I’m not looking for someone to complete me.
I am whole on my own.
So whole in fact, that I have an abundance of my own love to share. I want to spend my days watching movies I hate because it makes that person next to me smile, eating spicy foods even though they’re not my favourite, and buying tickets for that band I hate just because they love them. I’m so happy being me, that I can’t wait to share it with someone else. It’s about standing side by side with my significant other, pulling the things out of each other that we couldn’t see in ourselves before. I’m not looking for the sun. I am my own galaxy; I am just looking for a star that fits just right.
Featured image via Elvira Puleio.