I’ll be honest, I thought finding love would be easier.
I remember growing up and imagining what my life would be like. By 27, which is the age I am now, I thought I’d be married, have a house and a dog, and would be having my first child.
Needless to say, none of those things turned out to be true. In reality, I’m single and live in a convertible one-bedroom apartment with a cat, a roommate, and no kids.
However, my current state can completely shift with a different perspective, because not having the things I dreamed of as a kid doesn’t mean I don’t have things I never dreamed of.
I make the lack of those things sound negative. In reality, it’s all about the life I created for myself in spite of not having those things.
I may be single, but I also know exactly what I want. I come up with great stories and still get to stretch across the whole bed. I’ve learned to love my time in my own company. Through this time, I’m on my way to becoming my best self.
I may also live in a convertible one-bedroom apartment, but it’s on the Upper East Side in New York City - a city I’ve always wanted to live in; and even though I don’t have kids yet, I do have the opportunity to do whatever I want (within reason). I know that this time - in this city - will shape me to be an even better mother in the future.
So, you see, perspective can change everything and these words are for anyone who thinks they’re falling behind. Speaking of perspective, how can I change my own about thinking that finding love would be easier than this?
As a naive 20-something girl, I moved to New York fully expecting to fall in love with a stranger across a fleeting subway. Maybe we’d hop into the same cab. Maybe we’d make eyes across the bar. Maybe we’d be walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, smile, and both change our direction.
Maybe I’ve seen too many movies over my lifetime; or, maybe I’m not thinking big enough.
I watch others fall in love and start their lives. What I instinctively feel is that I’m left behind and running out of time. What I haven’t realized until lately is that I’m merely on a different path.
Their path led them a certain way and so did mine. My path is just a little curvier, with many forks in the road, some potholes, and unstable terrain. Yet, every once in a while, I reach a clearing on the path with a view that makes me forget about all the expectations I set for myself.
I thought it’d be easier to find love but maybe that’s the point. Love wasn’t meant to be easy for me. I am meant to see all the ways it could be wrong and am faced with making choices about what I deserve. I am meant to face this world alone for a little bit longer because it’s preparing me for an even greater world of my own making with someone else.
All of my terrible dates will make the good ones even better. All of the great guys I could’ve fallen for will pale in comparison. All of my experiences, if I change my perspective, will make the love I receive even grander than I’m capable of imagining.
I thought it’d be easier and sometimes it’s really hard to drag myself away from negative self-talk or self-pity. What’s important to remember is I shouldn’t be asking myself, “what’s wrong with me?” I should be asking, “what do I want to do next?”
I’ve come to realize that the hardest lessons, the longest paths, and the toughest choices will lead to the biggest rewards. So, I should be rejoicing instead of sulking over the guys that don’t text me back, the ones that ended up being in the middle of a divorce, the ones that were too crazy, and the ones that fucked up too many times.
I should rejoice because if I make the conscious effort to look at my life differently, I’ll see just how lucky I actually am. My lack of love does not define me, but, rather, it motivates me to find love in other places. I can find love in travel, in these words, in city streets, and even in myself.
I should rejoice because when my road leads me to him when the time is right, and I’ve learned everything I’ve needed to, it’ll be the grandest story of all. I should rejoice because if all of those missed opportunities were wrong, then I can’t even imagine being right (and I have one hell of an imagination).
I should rejoice because the true love that seeks me is harder to come by, harder to find, and harder to keep. I’ll deserve every bit of that hard love and you better believe I’ll ready for it.