Ah, let’s talk (love) life.
I use to be more motivated to write about these things when I was sad. Writing and devouring Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in the wee hours of the night listening to my favorite soundtrack of Kelly Clarkson. I know they say you shouldn’t listen to sad, sappy love songs or watch tear-jerking movies after a break-up, but I totally did that! For me, it was an aesthetic experience; finding comfort of an emotional companionship in music, movies, and novels that matched my current feelings. In many ways, it was filling in the void and used as a replacement for my lost and broken relationships.
But today, I am happy. I’m living the life I’ve always wanted: I’m travelling around the world, exploring new cities and meeting many people. Currently, I’m writing in a cafe in Taiwan with a cup of green tea matcha beside me. Of course, I get the fleeting moments of loneliness, but that is normal when you’re living in a city of 2.6 million people that you don’t know. I am happy and blessed to be here, living my dream.
Even still, as a young, single 24-year-old, I do think about dating and, one day, finding love– again. I can see my mother now; like a cheerleader rooting from the sidelines anticipating for the day I bring a guy home. It’s funny; I think my mother worries about my romantic relationships more than I do. I’m reminded on a weekly basis, “Juliet, why are you still single?” or “When I was your age…” spiel. Ok- yada yada… thanks mom, I get it. Even though we don’t always see eye- to eye, you can always count on mothers to love you more than anyone else.
Deep down, I know I am loved; everyone is. Sometimes, it just takes a little bit of time before we can feel it. I admit, I didn’t understand nor appreciate what love was, not until I lost it.
This is where it usually starts. That one heartbreak that changes you, turning your life upside down into an emotional roller coaster of twist and turns- yes, it’s nauseating. And yet, the trill of the ride is so sought after; we’re all waiting in lines, waiting for that one unexpected ride to take us to places unimaginable, feelings indescribable, and a love irreplaceable.
I experienced my first heartbreak, two years ago. When I was lying in bed and received a text message of what I find to be the most traumatizing and gut-wrenching six words of any relationship, “I think we need to talk”. Oh f*ck.
And in a matter of two hours of agonizing words exchanged, it happened– I got dumped.
My heart was shattered to pieces that night. Many nights after that, I spent thinking of the “what-ifs” and blamed myself for not trying hard enough, doing more, and hoped maybe we can try this again. Let me tell you, it was rough.
Breakups are hard. They’re hard because even if you see it coming, you never expect it to actually happen. Suddenly, it hits you and your whole world comes crashing down. It turned my rather logical side into a soggy pulp of emotions. In the following days, I began to FEEL the lyrics of every sad song, quoted words of inspiration and self-help, and looked back at every Facebook photo from 2012. There were moments I even sabotaged my own happiness but I don’t regret any of it. Life is like that sometimes. Things get really messy before it starts getting clear. Deep inside my broken mess was a human being waiting to be fixed.
Whether you’re the one doing the dumping or the one underneath the pile of sh*t, breakups change you. At the time, what I thought was my life falling apart, eventually turned into something better; my life was actually falling into place.
The Single Life.
Aside from the two romantic relationships I’ve been in, I have been single for most of my life. However, as I began to re-build myself, I started to understand what it was like to be single, and I mean to really be single. People have a tendency to think “being single” is this unfortunate state, a status that is meant to be changed.
Contrary to popular beliefs, being single isn’t about looking for love, or at least not the kind you’re used to looking for. As narcissistic as it sounds, being single is as full of love as with any other relationship, it’s a thing called self-love.
I know it sounds really cliché, but follow me here–
Because when you’re alone with yourself, if you are there long enough; you will face down your demons. This is the time when you really get to heal yourself. It’s the time that we use to make ourselves better, even if it takes five years to do. It gets easier though. After a while, you find yourself to be great company.
Being alone and worrying about yourself when you’re single isn’t selfish, it’s necessary. It’s about maturing as an individual. I’m not saying we have to be perfect human beings before getting into a relationship. No, but I do think people have to know themselves before they know what they need in a relationship.
I mean, let’s get real, how can anyone possibly try to make someone else better if you don’t know what’s wrong with yourself.
For me, being single isn’t about looking for someone to love me; I stopped seeking for love in all the wrong places and people. What I’ve noticed is, once you’ve stopped worrying about finding love, you start to see it all around you. I truly believe that when you start doing the things you love, the right people will come around.
So, start loving yourself first. Only then, will you find someone who will be worthy of your love. I’m still learning to do the same. I know if and when I choose to date again, that guy will be amazing, because I will not settle for anything less.