Moving into the new year you often reflect on your year and anything it brought you or maybe things you lost. Especially if you're single.

You're creeping up on your thirties, scared of being absolutely alone for yet another year. After you have to explain yourself over the holidays and listen to friends and family give daunting speeches about how "pretty, smart and great" you are, you just feel like you're a mess.

An absolute single mess.

Somehow everyone has created this notion that because you're pretty or smart, or have a good job, a good life, are funny, have a good personality, that you MUST have a significant other to actually enjoy yourself. Success starts being measured by marriage and children as soon as a woman hits her twenties.

Being loved by a significant other is the ultimate gain… but what if it's not?

Maybe the reason you're single is that you ARE great. Pretty. Smart. Funny. You have everything. And you DESERVE everything. I listen to those statements all the time. It's become a heavy mantra, "... but you're so great." Oh, I HEAR YA!

I'm not single because I'm incapable of dating or because I am bad at relationships or I don't know what I want — I just don't prioritize a man over my own goals.

I don't have the patience or capacity to date all the time or force myself into relationships that don't work. I don't have the energy to worry about finding a man to marry me. I have other things on my mind and fulfilling someone else's need for my relationship status ISN'T one of them.

We all grow up thinking we must look for our "other half," constantly searching, forcing ourselves like square pegs in round holes, to try and find our soul mates, and we completely miss the mark.

We're not halves. We're not made up as half a person.

If that were true, we'd pretty much never be able to function throughout our childhoods.

The thing is, love is messy. It's not easy. It doesn't come with a protection plan or an extended warranty. It isn't always beautiful and it's never perfect.

Soul mates don't exist.

When you fall in love, you're choosing to always accept someone for who they are. You have to be in a capacity to handle anything, including every flaw your partner has.

You're choosing to be OK with their weight, appearance, the way they cuss too much while watching football, how they act when they're with their friends and it's how they are when they're broken.

I've dated enough to know that I'm OK being single.

I am single because sometimes I'm picky and busy and I'm not willing to date someone who loves me for my surface. We are not surface people. We aren't just flowers. We are roots and dirt. We need more than just sunshine.

We can appreciate that people find us great and believe we deserve to be with someone. But instead of saying, "but you're so great" maybe people should simply say, "you're great." When the right people come along, it will just work. You won't have to fight it.

Life isn't summed up by who you marry or when you meet. Life is more than just a romantic story.

Be humble. Be kind. Help people. Change the world. Adopt a dog. Travel. Write. Absorb life. Try a new hobby.

You can't live on the surface of what fits perfectly in magazines and movies.

Our stories are more than title pages, and not every chapter is going to be a blissful moment. We are so far from the end of that book… why rush it?

I wouldn't even know how…

We are living our best lives. Single. Happy. Healthy.