If you ask me what my biggest fear in life is, I would answer in a heartbeat that it’s to be/end up alone. I’ve delayed so many trips, movies and restaurants because I didn’t have company that day/night/week/weekend. I chose to have roommates because I thought living alone would be lonely — ends up having roommates mostly means a constant messy kitchen and overflowing trash cans!
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had an average share of romantic company: I’ve had a healthy and happy 6-year-long relationship (in reality it was 5, plus a year of avoiding the unavoidable — that we grew apart), several-month-long intense but mostly heartbreaking stories, and some short-lived fun flings. But if I do the math, I’ve spent most of my life and of my 20s without a partner.
I’ve also always been somewhat of a social butterfly and connector, surrounded by lots of friends. And some not so good friends too for that matter.
I guess what experience has taught me is that being around other people, may it be in a committed relationship, a millennial netflix-and-chill relationship, living with roommates or being constantly surrounded by people, might make it seem like you aren’t alone, but it doesn’t mean you’re less lonely. To not be or feel alone you don’t just need company, you need the right company. But mostly, you need to be ok with just you.
I made a good friend in San Francisco who has truly inspired me over the past years — she moved here more or less at the same time I did and used her time here to really set herself free, do all the things she wanted without judgement, and visit all the places on her bucket list. She did some solo trips and took a lot of time to think about who she is, who she wants to be and who she wants to be with. Everything she did, she did it for her. It was a rediscovery process that I was so delighted to witness as I saw her smile grow bigger every day. Her experience and drive have inspired me to take more ownership in defining my own path and to also focus only on one person for a while — that person being me. With this, I don’t mean I want to be alone. I really don’t. But I do want to be able to live a rich and happy life while alone. I prefer that a million times over being unhappy with a partner.
So this year, I will try to overcome my fear of being alone. I started the year with my first solo trip to Palm Springs. This year, I don’t want to impress anyone. I want to be impressed. With the world, with people, with myself. I guess technically that means I will impress someone :) This year, I want to feel true, complete, real happiness. And I want to own that happiness, not have it depend on anyone else. I won’t mind having someone special enhance MY happiness tho!