Cherish this time, girl.
You're leaving me speechless these days, and not because you're doing something wonderful or amazing. It's because you're actually doing the opposite: you're so focused on finding love, so resentful over the fact that your future partner hasn't arrived, that you're missing all the good stuff.
You're unhappily single, I get it. Your friends get it. Your parents. Everyone on Facebook (and Instagram and Twitter), too. I know you can't see it because you're too busy counting all of the things you don't have to see what you do but there's a lot of goodness attached to that single status. A lot of hope. A lot of things that one day, you'll look back and wish you didn't take for granted.
Like sitting in that white, overstuffed plush chair that you bought with your own damn money without consulting anyone. Or that trip to Portugal and Spain that you booked on a whim with your mom. Or the fact that each and every single day, you are the ruler of your own universe.
You dictate your schedule. You decide where to go, what to do and who to see. You can end a date as quickly as you can find one. There are no limits, no compromises, no discussions, no expectations. You choose the path you want to take and you walk it: confidently, kindly, boldly.
You might roll your eyes at me and question, "But I don't want to be alone. What's so good about that? I want a partner." Your heart does want one, your body does, too (those one-night stands get old after a while, eh?). You wish you had someone to argue over where to order in takeout, someone to pull the covers back from in the middle of the night, someone who cared about how your day was and wanted nothing more than to come home to you.
Unhappily single self, those days will come. But they will also come charging into your life without warning, and they will demand you shift your priorities and change your attitude. And not because you're doing anything wrong but because relationships are work. Hard, hard work.
Being in a relationship may seem rose-colored and enticing, and at times, my single self, they will be. But you may never truly cherish and value the beauty and simplicity of being single until you aren't one day.
When you're in a relationship, you have to throw your selfishness to the side. Your indulgences become savings to go on a trip with your person. Or to buy a home. Or to save for your children's education.
Those Monday nights spent binge-watching The Mindy Project will have to give to meeting his friends for a drink. Or going to his work event. Or watching something different on Hulu because you love him.
This whole love thing might feel far-fetched and distant. In those dark moments, it may even feel impossible. But it's definitely somewhere. I wish I knew where (then you'd stop worrying so much about it) but I do know it exists. I see it all the time: in my friends, in my family, in strangers that litter the already-far-too-crowded New York streets.
But before you can find this relationship, you must find the love that's already inside of your heart: for life, for adventure, for self-love, for your friends, for the privilege of being human and getting to wake up everyday, knowing it could be the day that changes your life.
You feel that love in your heart — it's warm, it's powerful, it can't be contained. It's why everyone tells you your eyes are beautiful because of the person that's shining from behind them.
Keep sharing your heart with the world. Keep traveling and seeing the world. Keep believing in goodness, in romance, in butterflies, in your dreams, in yourself.
I won't tell you to stop worrying — a part of you always will. But every once in awhile, single self? Maybe after yoga or when you're walking those two miles to and from work each day, stop. Take a deep breath. Look at all of the things unfolding around you.
Own the part of the universe that you make better. Smile that beautiful smile of yours. Love with that beautiful soul. And my love, one day, you will have what you want. But for now, for these precious few years of being single that seem so long, and yet, will one day seem so short, savor the independence.
Enjoy the act of getting to know, and getting to love, that single self of yours. It won't last forever, but it will make you a better partner, a better person, a better woman. So why not own it?
You're already so loved,
Future Happily Taken Self