I've been there. Seeing another ring, engagement, wedding, pregnancy and feeling like my singleness is a defect. It sucks - all of it. Wanting to see people happy, but also knowing that seeing them happy make you feel less than sometimes. Even the strongest of us feel a twinge of jealousy seeing another person hold what it is we think we want and deserve.
But this is not a bitter single woman article though, this is a single woman who has found freedom and joy in simply breathing article. This is a woman who wants you to find that same joy and peace, so that you too can be elated to see other people reach these milestones in their lives without remaining stagnant, bitter, and stuck feeling how you don't want to feel.
If you know me, I pray a lot. I have to give that disclosure because this epiphany came to me while I was praying about my singleness. I've been extremely happy within the past few months. I dated a few guys, but none of them really made me interested in a long term thing so I wanted to know what I was missing. Why wasn't anyone a right match? Was I too picky? Was I dating wrong? Suddenly - it came to me.
For the first time, I was free.
I made peace with my past and the people who hurt me. I was finally over my ex. I didn't want for anyone other than myself. My focus was on my dreams. I was free and that would take some getting used to. When I say free, I mean light. Like air that's how free I am. Sometimes we are so used to be connected, tied to, and apart of something more than ourselves that we forget that we alone are enough. We empty our baggage out only to rush in to another situation and fill it back up again. I decided that vicious cycle that I was apart of was not for me anymore.
I also had to realize that these people are smiling, crying tears of joy, and speechless in public but only after years and months of hard work, dedication, and servanthood to another person in private. I had to ask myself if I was really ready to put in that work like they did. I had to ask myself if I even had met someone that I thought was worth that much energy and the answer was no.
But what is worth that much energy?
You are. My posts and videos are. The text messages I get thanking me for my vulnerability are. Getting stopped in the hallway at Kaiser (Hey Ms. Mary!) - that is worth it. The little girls that will come after me and won't have to make the same mistakes I did - that is.
Find something bigger than a romantic connection. There is so much more to life than that. Don't make it your milestone until it's time.
Give yourself a break and stop trying to make something right and just be free. Enjoy your ride here on Earth and work on leaving something so that people will know you were here. How will they know in 2100 that you came this way? Throw your heart into making this world a better place. That's how you survive cuffing season.
Gabriella Payne is an international motivational speaker, confidence expert, and advocate for women. She works tirelessly to build confidence in girls and women by transforming their mental thought patterns and teaching new, healthier habits. She is also an advocate for domestic abuse survivors and teaches a six week course called "Escaping Abuse".