Feeling fabulous! Berlin Wall, summer of 2014
I did not write this article but man does it hit home. I connected with it so deeply that I felt the need to share it with my imaginary fan-base of readers. When I set off to travel for the first time, that was a big step in learning how to love myself – love my own company and enjoy being alone. It’s not easy but I learned so much about my likes/ dislikes, what sets me off and what makes me happy. The biggest lesson I learned was that I am capable of so much more than I can possibly imagine and that any mental limitations I set of myself can be overcome with hard work and courage.
Tad bit of a long read but trust me, it’s worth it and will give you many things to reflect on. May I present: Why It’s Important To Be Alone by Kelly Bishop from Thought Catalog.
There are always those who immediately manage to move on and find another GF/BF right after a break-up. Starting something new definitely helps you move on from heartache of your past in hope for a better future. But to those who relationship-hop: are you really learning anything? About yourself, about what you want, or more importantly, what you need? If you are always in a relationship, you’re always giving some of yourself away, sacrificing your time, feelings, desires, goals. You are immediately allowing yourself to once again be defined by someone else.
For some, it is simply terrifying to be alone. You don’t have that person to text and call every day, don’t have someone to sleep next to you, tell you that they love you. People like being in a relationship because it provides a reliable safety net, and also, company.
But it is so important, especially while you’re young, to spend time alone. You cannot be defined by another person. You cannot feel whole only when you’re giving yourself to someone else. Your twenties are when you explore, discover who you are, learn about yourself, understand what you want, mature and grow as a capable and independent individual. It is the time to learn how to make yourself happy, how to love and accept yourself, how to live on your own and be content without anyone else’s approval.
Your heart might get broken, the person you care for the most might leave you, everything might fall to pieces, but when the dust settles, it will just be you. You are all you have. The life you built, you created, you lived with. You are left with who you are. Not your family, or friends, or significant other. You are not left alone at night with their choices and their feelings. You are all that is left. Other people don’t determine your worth. They don’t determine what you deserve. That’s all on you. When people walk out of your life, you still have your life. You can still shape it how you please, move in the direction you want.
So if everyone did walk away, what would you have? Say you’ve been in a relationship for years. Say that person leaves you. Would you be content with what’s left? Satisfied? Happy? Would you praise all of the decisions you’ve made if you were suddenly on your own? Have you cowered from life due to other people? Have you limited yourself? Compromised yourself? Would you have the strength to keep going alone? Or would you just drift aimlessly, waiting to be saved by the next person who comes along? Would you still feel whole?
Well, you should, because you were a whole person before ever meeting them. No one else completes you, because you’re already complete. You always have been, always will be, even if you don’t always feel like you are. Respect yourself. Love yourself. Get to know yourself. Because no one else will ever be able to the way you do. You are who you have to spend the most time with in life. You are who you will be left with at the end of the day. Shouldn’t you allow yourself time to grow and develop and prosper without the burden of others for a while? Shouldn’t you be able to function in this world as an independent person?
Relationships don’t define you. People don’t complete you. They don’t create your life. They don’t make or break what you do. They don’t give you the motivation or drive or encouragement you need to succeed. They don’t give you happiness, love, the sense of wholeness. You do. You, and you alone. And there is nothing more rewarding than discovering that.