I was single before. In fact, I’ve been single for over 80% of my life. But, for four and a half years, I’ve been off the market. Those years were at a pivotal point in my life. A point during which I studied abroad (translation: no scoping out for foreign strange as I shouted “molto molto” in response to any and all Italian questions aimed at me), turned 21 (translation: no “Make out with 21 guys before 2am” or “Do a ‘blowjob’ shot off the bartender’s lap” dares), graduated college (translation: no final undergrad flings where the challenge is to hook up with someone from all four years of school, and a bonus for the victory lap senior looking so fly in his second commencement robe). Hell, I even missed the boat on moving to a new city as a single lady. Translation: I ended up renting an apartment slightly too big for one (but, apparently, too small for two) which I’m now living in alone. Other than some basic life differences between living with a romantic partner and living alone/being single (i.e. cooking for one, lots more closet space, the occasional pang of feelings when you remember or see something that reminds you of them), there have been a few things that have surprised me in these past few months of being single. Pleasant surprises, and, inevitably, a few not-so-pleasant ones. And, since I’ve shared very little personal information about my life post-breakup, I figured this was as good of a place as any to start. Sharing is caring, right?
Needless to say, I didn’t really “fix it”. But I DID get wired internet. And that’ll suffice, for now.
2. Beloved Bed
I’ve fallen deeply in love already. Only it’s a lot bigger than your average significant other.
A few days after the breakup, I went out and bought a new bed from Ikea (which was a MISERABLE experience, Ikea alone. Led to crying in the middle of the checkout line and utter exhaustion). LUCKILY, I got the bed of my dreams out of it. And, when Macy’s was having a bedding sale, I figured New bed, New blanket, right?! The combination of the two has confirmed my belief that there is no better way to “Treat Yo’ Self” than a good night’s sleep. And who would’ve thought that my first love after a breakup would be Swedish (and made of wood)?
3. No Guilt November (or October. Or December.)
Living in a new city, starting a new school, there are infinite opportunities to go out and try new things. That being said, I often felt guilty leaving my apartment knowing that my partner at the time was not a part of all those new things. This is definitely a personal fault, and I’m sure bothered me a lot more than it bothered him. But that being said, it had me feeling bad a lot, or choosing not to do things because I didn’t want to ditch him. Now, if someone throws out the idea of an impromptu happy hour – I’M IN!
Bonus shift with Living Social starting in 20 minutes? Lemme grab my coat.
A latke party in honor of Hanukkah? See you there.
I’ve realized that I am a person that not only wants these new experiences, but craves them. I want to meet everyone in Philly, I want to make new friends, I want to dine at new places, I want to see pop-up shops and hit up new neighborhoods to explore. And, as selfish as it sounds, maybe it’s for the best that I’m not doing all of that with a partner who isn’t as interested in those kinds of trips and adventures.
4. NEW FRIENDS!!
Since all of that internet drama went down (and I had a minor meltdown since I had a paper due in an hour), I had to rush to a nearby cafe to get my work done with free wifi. I was lucky enough to sit down next to this lovely person:
No shoes, no actual shirt (it was just like… some cloth, wrapped around the chest region), maybe no sanity.
This isn’t really DIRECTLY related to being single. But it was still hilarious and ridiculous. And I wanted to share.
5. Give me a head with hair, long beautiful hair. Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen.
I’ve probably blow-dried my hair more in the past 2.5 months than I did in the previous 6 years. And, despite my memories of being younger where I was CERTAIN that blow-drying took 2 hours to complete and was an experience full of pain and agony, it’s actually more like a 15 minute process with MAJOR payoffs.
I think I never wanted to blow-dry it living with someone, as it is loud and mostly obnoxious. But now, living alone, naked blow-drying has become a favorite pastime.
Don’t judge me.
6. Best Friends Forever
The initial outpouring of support post-breakup was overwhelming. If a friend in need is a friend indeed, I was everyone’s friend. I was in need of love, of ego stroking, of funny memories, of hugs, and of grilled cheese. And I received each and every one of these.
But after the dust settles, after the Facebook notifications have tapered off and the phone stopped blowing up with texts and calls, there’s a lot of alone time. And it’s during that time that you realize a very important concept. And, despite Carrie Bradshaw hitting on this long before my first heartbreak, it took until now to really “get it”, and it kind of surprised me how hard it hit home:
The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself.
I’ve heard it countless times, but it’s never resonated more than this year. And here’s the follow-up part, the piece that makes me giddy just thinking about it.
And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous. -CB
In the meantime, I’m feeling fairly enamored with that white-haired, PBR-loving lunatic. So, you know, no hurry.
Less about me, more about YOU! What’s an aspect of yourself that you’re MADLY in love with?