At the beginning of the spring semester, I met a guy on a dating app. How every good story starts. We started talking and it felt like we had a genuine connection. He was attractive and he seemed really into me. After staying at the Women's March for a while, we met up at the White House and went to the AMC in Georgetown for a date (#OnlyAtGW).
We saw the new Ruth Bader Ginsburg movie: On the Basis of Sex. The date itself seemed to go well; we got to know each other better and he seemed like a really cool guy. But after the date, my texts were answered with radio silence.
At first, I thought he must just be busy, but after 24 hours I started to worry. Now it is clear that he ghosted me.
When I first realized this, I was extremely sad, disappointed, and angry. Instead of telling me that he wasn't interested in me anymore, this guy had taken the coward's way out. I didn't even know what I had done wrong. Everything had seemed to be going great and then all my high hopes came crashing down.
After talking with several friends, I realized that I could handle this unfortunate situation two ways: either I could wallow in self-pity, or I could pick myself up and try to learn from this experience. I realized that if I wanted to be happy and confident, I couldn't allow this letdown to define me or discourage me.
I am still learning how to be resilient in the face of rejection. Freshman year of college is a fundamentally disruptive time in someone's life, a time of radical change and personal evolution in the adaptation to new circumstances and environments. In the midst of this ongoing process of enlightenment and growth, I've realized that if I keep basing my happiness and sense of self-worth on the actions of others, I will always end up feeling disappointed and worthless.
I've learned that happiness isn't something I should look for in an external source; happiness has to come from within.
I need to be happy on my own and accept the fact that I don't need another person to complete me; I am whole. I am focusing on self-love, self-care, and self-improvement, striving every day to be the best version of myself that I can be, trying to let go of all the doubt and fear and insecurity holding me back. I am still a hopeless romantic at heart but I am slowly becoming okay with being single. I am learning the virtue of patience.
There is this idea in Buddhism of seeing suffering as your teacher, and I am trying to learn from all the lessons life has been giving me. I know that one day, love will arrive; it could happen tomorrow or next month or next year.
But one day I will meet a guy who I love and who loves me back, a guy who is smart and kind and handsome and good, who treats me the way I deserve to be treated. And when that moment arrives, all the pain and heartbreak, all the broken hopes and tears cried will have been worth it. But for now, I am content to be holy on my own.