Single. It’s such a lonely word. We as women are conditioned to link our worth to whether or not we are in a relationship. Think about it. When you tell someone you’re single what’s usually the first thing they say? “Aw why? [Insert unnecessary compliment here]” Why is it assumed that the grass is greener on the lover’s side? I’ve been on both sides and the truth is they both have their pros and cons; such as life. I noticed I had more confidence when telling someone I was in a relationship. Why? Because “true love is hard to find.” In a pool of liars, cheaters, and all around fuckbois I managed to find someone who hadn’t yet let me down. I was “winning” at finding that thing people search high and low for… love. Until one day I lost. I lost who I thought was the perfect person for me. She celebrated my successes with me, she made me feel beautiful, we always had fun together, and every day I would discover new quirks about her that I adored. I lost her. Not physically (she’s still breathing, I guess), but emotionally. Conversations got shorter. Sweet gestures went unnoticed. She became withdrawn. I couldn’t shake the feeling of déjà vu … there must be someone else. Unfortunately I was right. Needless to say, I’m single. I don’t say it with confidence the way I spoke of being boo’d up. Funny how that works.
Something about fresh singlehood makes me feel like I’m visiting Earth for the first time; I have to readjust my routine (what can I say, I am a creature of habit). Things that were once “we” are now just “me.” I always looked sideways at women who couldn’t keep their shit together when a relationship ended. “Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean you have to lose your autonomy.” That’s what I would tell friends that I could see were sedated under the spell of love. It’s always easier to give advice, but much harder to take it when you’re the one that needs advising. It has taken time for me to hold a mirror up to myself and really scrutinize the woman staring back at me. What do I want for myself? How can I reclaim my time? You may be reading this, because you’re going through a similar situation. Since my singlehood is still fresh I’m making up the rules as I go along. But here are my steps to healing (so far).
1) Be selfish!
Why not? Everyone else is! You come to a point when you realize all you have is yourself at the end of the day. You might have a big support system but it’s ultimately you who has to pick yourself up and make things happen. After my tears dried I had to remind myself that I was in charge of my life. I could let this break up, break me or I could let it give me a new outlook on life. What is something you have been wanting to do? For me it was to create a space where queer women of color could form a community and not feel a sense of “otherness.” Take this time to really put in work and you will see the fruits of your labor. Which brings me to point #2
2) Stay busy!
It’s easy to throw yourself a pity party and cry in bed after putting on a front for the general public all day. But I found that if I keep myself busy I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. Now, this isn’t to say ignore your feelings. Allow yourself time to be in your feelings, but make it a point to accomplish at least one thing that day! Don’t waste your days trippin' over someone who probably isn’t even thinking about you. #RealTalk
3) (Re)Discover things you love!
Take time to do things that make you happy. What’s something that you love to do? Is there a restaurant you wanted to try but never did because a certain someone didn’t like that type of food? Is there an artist you want to see live that they weren’t a fan of? GO DO IT! This goes hand in hand with being selfish, this is your time to discover (or get back to) the things you love to do!
That’s what I’ve got so far. It’s a process, and it won’t be easy. Seek solace in the fact that there will come a day that you can hear their name and not feel pain. When I think about my ghosts of exes past I don’t feel a fraction of the emotions I did back then. People come into your life for a reason and I believe each one of them teach you a lesson. While I may be hurting now I know my future self will thank me for allowing myself to learn from it. Your future self will thank you too!