Love, companionship & other musings

I think I’m going through an interesting time in my life.

This year alone, I’ve seen a record high number of breakups of long term relationships among my friends (I’m talking 5+ years), as well as engagements on my news feed. In fact, one of my best friends got married this year, and he’s the first in my circle to do so.

Some girlfriends and I went on a trip this weekend, and we reminisced about how different things were this time last year. The theme was consistent – whether you’re in a partnership or single, it feels like everything is shouting at you that you MUST be in a relationship. From fifteenth wheeling at parties, to being the “last single friend” of a group, to all your neighbours asking when “you guys” moved in – it can make you seriously question your self-worth.

It would be so easy.

So easy to settle, so easy to say yes to the guy asking you out on a 3rd date, but you’re just not vibing with. So easy to text that boy back who you know you don’t have feelings for, but would drop everything if you showed interest in him.

So easy to couple up and settle down because you don’t want to be alone.

But the truth is, not wanting to be alone, or feeling like your life is incomplete, is the worst reason for wanting a partner. You have to be complete on your own. There is no “missing puzzle piece” – a good partner should complement and elevate you in ways that you can’t achieve alone. But you should already be and feel whole as an individual.

I implore you: don’t just look for a warm body to sleep next to at night, or companionship for the sake of it. Hold out for the real deal – that irresistible pull towards somebody else, that connection with another soul. The one that keeps you up at night, grinning ear to ear.

The one that rarely comes, but when it does, stays with you for a long time.

You smile politely at your date, and wonder if that connection and depth will ever happen again. You worry that it won’t.

But deep down you know it will, because it has happened before, and it will happen again.

In a world that is built for twos, that screams something must be wrong with you if you’re not coupled up – staying single takes courage. It takes independence. It takes humility. It means being okay with being by yourself. It means trusting the process, and knowing that your time will come and with the right person. And you’ll know it when you see it.

The real love story that we should be cultivating is the one we have with ourselves, for it is us we spend the most time with. Others come and go, marriage cannot seal our fates; whether it’s falling out of love or death, all we get is a temporary companion in the turbulent climate of life.

Being happy with yourself is the first and most fundamental step.

And I like the company that I’m keeping.

-J

Advertisements

I am stupidly happy

Because in this very moment, I feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

IMG_1885.jpg

I don’t need much to be happy. I am a lady who enjoys the simple pleasures in life. Like this current moment: wrapped up in multiple blankets on my couch, throwback tunes playing in the background, tea and macbook in hand, talking and laughing with friends in our group chats.

Everything is as it should be at this point in my life. It doesn’t matter that I haven’t reached the goals that I set for my future self – we’re not there yet. I’ll get there in my own timing.

I am stupidly happy because I have an amazing circle of friends, people I truly love the crap out of and the strongest support system. I am happy because my home really feels like a home to me, and I can live independently on my own terms. I am happy because I earn my own living and use it (carefully) however I desire. I am happy because I feel myself strengthening inside & out. I am happy because I know I am contributing positively to this world.

My life is far from perfect, but none of it matters. I’m happy not despite the imperfections, but because of them. I know I will never stop learning and growing, and the world is at my fingertips. I can do whatever I want.

For the first time in my life, I’m not scared of this happy bubble bursting. Usually when I get “too happy” – I wait for the other shoe to drop. What’s going to mess this up? But I don’t have that fear this time. Life will never be a continual high, but as long as I keep a good head on my shoulders, I can get through anything.

– J

Leaning In

I never really understood the concept of just letting yourself feel negative emotions. Growing up, I always made it a goal to crush and squash any feelings of sadness, anger, or grief. I thought that if I let myself feel those things, I would’ve “lost” to it in some way.

I thought the best way was to bottle everything up, not talk to anyone about it, and just vent privately in the comfort of a journal or digital notepad. I would become my own therapist, talking myself out of feeling a certain way, and a lot of the time it worked. I wasn’t to show any emotion, I was to hold it together, I was to act completely fine – and if (god forbid) I didn’t, I would beat myself up relentlessly for it because I perceived it as being weak. My perfectionist tendencies spilled into my personal life in a big way.

As I got older and my circle of trust and confidantes grew, this got a bit better as I was able to express myself to my close friends and the bottling of emotions eased up a bit. I could tell people how I was feeling, seek advice and comfort, and just allow my loved ones to hang lights in the darkest corners of my mind.

Still though, I always felt tremendous guilt and self-loathing when those less than desirable feelings bubbled up. I’d force myself to squash them, kill the feelings, erase as best as I could, and that was how I coped with anything traumatic in my life.

But in light of recent changes (and I’m talking many major parts of my life have been turned upside down), I’ve learned that being kind to yourself is everything. Instead of pushing away feelings of confusion, turmoil, or grief – I let myself feel all those things to my core. I lean into the sadness, the unpleasant feelings, and let it wash over me. I let my friends’ words be a source of comfort, of relief, of stability.

What I’ve realized is that these feelings are fleeting – here one moment, gone the next. If I simply allow myself to be a normal human being and process the emotions, then over time they improve and do not come back to bite me later as it often does with suppressing my emotions. I do not criticize myself – I am kind and gentle and I let myself know that it’s okay. Perfectionism and being unjustly hard on myself has no place in my fight for mental health.

I want to say to anyone out there going through a period of transition or uncertainty, that it’s okay to be feeling the way that you are. Do whatever you need for yourself to feel okay, to work through all your thoughts and feelings, and most importantly to be nice to yourself when you feel like you least deserve it, but need it the most.

– J

26981395_10159980117500235_46118049_o.jpg