I haven’t been single since my sophomore year of high school. I’m currently a junior in college.
Eight months, three years, five months, five months; each one a separate relationship.
So when my (now ex) boyfriend called last night and said, “I just can’t do this anymore,” I breathed a sigh of relief, smiled and agreed with him. I had been thinking the same thing.
We started out strong and had a fun summer together, but my return to school really changed things. I noticed how different he and I are and how we don’t have much in common. We tried to build something substantial around a simple, mutual attraction. It didn’t work.
I could tell our relationship had been failing, but I decided to cling onto the hope that things would return to how they were in the beginning. It was effortless then. I was absolutely crazy about him and knew he felt the same way about me. But it slowly deflated. And instead of owning up to this and breaking it off myself, I waited for him to do it.
Why? Because I’m scared of being alone.
There. I said it.
“You’re 19, Em,” my mom says, “you’re fine.”
I know I am. So why do I feel this intense pressure to meet someone, fall in love, get married and live happily ever after?
One word: Disney. And all the other happy-go-lucky movies I watched as a child.
It’s their fault I grew up and babbled about my eventual wedding and practically have the whole damn thing already planned.
I need to change some things.
I don’t just want to be alone, I want to be okay with being alone.
I don’t want to see my ex with his girlfriend and feel sorry for myself. I want to continue the laughter I had a few weeks ago when he returned to the dining hall with his and her dishes to put in the dish rack. He thinks he’s being a gentleman, but he’s really just stripping her of her independence. (She can do it herself, ya dummy!)
I don’t want to walk around campus looking for my next beau. I want to focus on me and my work. And if something should happen along the way, cool.
It shouldn’t be It’s not a priority.
I don’t want to panic anymore. I want to feel secure in my own skin. I owe that much to myself after being a shapeshifter in these relationships over the past five years.
Jane Eyre said, “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
No net currently ensnares me. Watch me fly away.