I hated life as a single person. I agonized over the thought of dying alone. I was terrified that something was wrong with me and pleaded with God and my mother to fix me. Something had to be wrong with me because I couldn't seem to find a boyfriend or nail down a serious relationship. I was drowning in self-pity and it showed. I was annoyed with the words of attempted solace, "You just haven't met the right guy," "You're better off without him," "You will find someone." I watched relationships grow around me, and got sicker with each morning I suffered through without a "good morning" from anyone other than my mother. I was tired of this way of life, but I was tired of trying too.

So I stopped.

My Senior year of High School, I stopped trying to find a boyfriend. I started focusing on college, and the life I wanted for myself. I became the epitome of an "independent girl who doesn't need no man." I learned to live alone and fend for myself in college. I learned to change tires and became self-sufficient. I found surviving on my own was not so difficult, and that life without someone special really could be okay. I filled the emptiness in my bed with a kind-hearted dog and an extra pillow, surrounded myself with friends, and went on amazing trips.

I figured out what I wanted in life, and set career goals for myself that didn't include planning around a wedding. I packed my days with all the things I loved to do, reading in a hammock with my dog, riding horses through the woods, attending concerts, binge-watching Netflix Originals like it was my job. I had learned self-sufficiency, but even more than that, I had learned self-love. I no longer placed my worth in my ability to be "chosen" by a man, and life was good.

Life was good, and life still is good, with one minor difference. When I finally stopped looking for acceptance from a man, a man showed up. Crazy, I know. This man likes to sleep in hammocks while I read books in my own, and he rides horses with me in the woods, he also has a dog, but she's too hyper for his bed, he likes to go to concerts, and he too is an avid binge-watcher of Netflix Originals. He came to me at a point in my life where, for once, I didn't feel like I needed a man to be happy, and honestly, I couldn't be more grateful.

Without learning that I could do this life thing on my own, I would've never become the independent person I am today, and independence doesn't mean you have to be alone.