I Had To Be Single Before I Could Be Taken

I Had To Be Single Before I Could Be Taken

Another story of self-growth.

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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.

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An Open Letter To The Guy I'm Finally Getting Over

I think I'm ready to listen to the happy Taylor Swift songs again.
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I remember when all of this started. I couldn't have predicted you if I'd tried. I was so focused on myself that it took me a while to even admit I was interested in you. You were the one I didn't see coming, and then before long, you were the one I couldn't imagine leaving.

I'll be honest. I lied to myself and to everyone else for a long time. “We aren't anything serious," I'd say. “I'm just having fun." How stupid was I to think that I could resist getting caught up in you? Those months that we spent together were some of the best of my life. I didn't think it was possible for someone to make me laugh like you did, to make me feel the way you did. You brought out a side of me I had never seen before, and even though that scared me, I didn't want it to stop.

You had me so fooled.

One day, just like that, you were gone, and before I knew it I couldn't even recognize myself anymore. I couldn't imagine how someone I had given so much to could just leave like that and not even look back. The months after that was a string of waking up and losing you all over again, telling my friends I was fine one second and crying to them the next. And the second I started thinking I was OK, I saw you again. We talked, I cried, I yelled, you cried, you yelled, and for a couple of weeks I pretended that everything would be OK, and you really meant it this time and we would make it. But just like before, it wasn't real.

Realizing that took me longer than I'd like to admit, but this is what I need you to know: I'm moving on. Finally, after months of dialing your number just to talk myself out of it, I can say that I'm moving on. I won't listen to sad songs anymore. I won't look at our pictures and re-live the days we spent together. I'm erasing every trace of you. I'm smiling brighter, I'm laughing louder, and if it's the last thing I do, I swear I'll find something that's better than what we had.

That's not to say that your memory won't knock the breath out of me on a Tuesday afternoon when our song comes through my headphones. That's not to say that I won't remember the promises you made me and want to scream at myself for ever believing you. But the difference is that I'll recognize the pain in those memories, and then I'll set them down and walk away. Because I'm done carrying them with me and I'm done giving you that power over me.

So don't call me up someday when I've finally forgotten your laugh, don't think about me at all if you can help it. You lost that right when you made the choices you did. This isn't some stupid love story we'll tell later down the road about how we beat the odds and came through stronger on the other side. This is done, do you understand? I'm finally done.

Years from now I'll look back on the adventures we had and laugh at how crazy we were. I'll remember the fierce happiness I felt while we were running wild together and I'll be grateful for this because it has molded me in ways I can't begin to explain. Someday I'll tell my daughter about you and pray that she learns from my mistakes, and when that day comes I'll wonder where you are and genuinely wish you the kind of happiness that I will have found.

I know you'll never read this. But I'll read this, on those nights when it feels like everything is starting to fall apart. Again and again and again, I'll read this and remind myself of the promise I'm making at this very moment, to look forward and stop letting your memory dictate my happiness. Someone wise once said, “Suddenly you'll just know, that it's time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings." Well, I'm trusting that this was just one short chapter of my book, and this is me turning the page.

On to the next.

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I'm Scared To Ask Boys To Hang Out Because Society Has Led Me To Believe That I'll Seem Desperate

Ladies, would you ask a man out?

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Let's get this all out, I'm an anxious person. I suffer from "slight" anxiety, I wouldn't say it's horrible, but I deal with it. Nerves, it's something I'm quite familiar with in life, nerves and I are friends, actually. I've dealt with "slight" anxiety for years and it has stopped me from doing many things, which I regret. My "slight" anxiety has reappeared once again in the situation involving the male gender.

I'm not going to act as I've never talked to boys before because I have and it's not the scariness things for me, but when it involves boys I like, it's a whole new situation. Once I start developing any sort of feelings for boys I like, I turn into an anxious mess. That over-thinking, can't say the right words, too scared to embarrass myself anxious mess.

Well recently, that anxious feeling mess of myself has undoubtedly come back to life in some shape or form with this one particular boy. I think it's time to dive into Aby's semi-complicated by not really complicated sort of, just being dramatic love life. So, there's this boy that I've found attractive for quite a while, it's great to admire from afar. I always knew he was there, we were friendly, and nothing really came from that until recently.

In the past month or so this boy has been giving me the most mixed signals I've ever had in my lifetime. Do you like me? Do you not? Are you flirting with me? Ae you just being friendly? I've liked many boys in my time, but I've never thought so much about what this one particular boy and what his deal is? It's been over a month and I still can't figure him or it out, so I've been thinking of doing something every girl is somewhat afraid of, asking a boy to hang out.

I know, it sounds so small and sort of dumb, but doing something like this petrifies and turns me into a nervous, anxious mess. I'll be one hundred percent honest that I want a summer fling, someone to do all those fun things together without the commitment of a boyfriend. It's the beginning of summer, which means I need to start sorting my options out right now.

Here's the issue, I want to ask him to hang out, but I'm scared to ask because I don't want to seem desperate at all. Society has led us to believe that men should be asking girls out instead of vice-versa. In all honesty, it's a bit messed up, but I've been led to believe that "guys ask girls out". So, I've always waited to be asked out because that's what society has taught me and that's what I've allowed.

Now, I'm preparing myself to ask this boy to hang out and I'm getting quite anxious, all the possibilities. What if he doesn't like me? Thinks I'm ugly? Figures out that I can't drive? Hates me? Thinks I'm annoying, oh gosh, the endless possibilities. One thing I know is that I have to try, so I'm going to be bold and ask him to hang out.

It's scary, I'm scared, but I'll never know if I don't try, which is true. Life is filled with mysteries and you won't know if you don't look, right? So, I'm going to get over my anxiety and just try, wish me luck in attempting to ask this boy to hang out.

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