I believe in true love.
I believe that, someday, somebody will come into my life and I'll know that they're the person I want to share life's adventures with. There's a man out there for whom I will be willing to sacrifice time, ego and distance. There's somebody out there with whom I will spend decades of birthdays, Christmases and anniversaries. There will be somebody who makes me love them more than I love my independence.
Just not today.
Right now, I don't want someone who is "my whole world" or "my better half." I don't want a man who knows me better than I know myself. I don't want somebody I can't imagine my life without.
I want to feel whole on my own, be my own rock -- my own soul mate. I don't want to look back and see chances I didn't take because I was busy altering my future and my plans for somebody else. Because, right now, I'm not ready.
I have dreams and plans that only involve myself. There are things I want to do that I can't do if I have to stray from the path I'm on -- or the path I want to be on -- because somebody else is relying on me.
So I don't want to meet my soul mate today.
I am fiercely independent. My parents raised me to not rely on anybody or anything in the pursuit of what I want.
And, when I love, I love hard. There is no "halfway" with me. If I'm in a relationship, I'll never love somebody less than I love myself. And I've learned that, right now, I don't know how to love somebody else so deeply while also maintaining independence. I know several strong women who can, but I'm a hopeless romantic and wear my heart on my sleeve.
I've convinced myself that I can't imagine my life without a boy. I've made decisions based on their opinions, and I've left the same men for the same reasons--for trying to control who I am or who I become. I've also left men for trying to alter their plans to make me fit.
I've learned as I've grown up that, even when I do find my soul mate, I don't want to not be able to imagine my life without them. I want them to better me, foster my independent growth, love me for being able to function without them. Before I enter a serious relationship, I need to be complete while completely alone. I don't want a "better half." I want to be whole on my own. Then, as the inevitable happens and a heartbreak occurs along the way, it's not the end of the world. Then I have somebody to fall back on--and that person is me.
In your 20s, you're at a point in life where you can go wherever you want from here. There are no absolutes and, for the first time in your life, nobody's telling you who you have to be. You get to be selfish. At least for me, that's the most liberating sentence in the English language. I'm not ready to settle. I'm ready to wake up one morning and decide I need a change, and not run the idea past anybody before up and moving across the country. I'm ready to meet different people and learn the personalities that I resonate with most.
There are some people out there who do marry their high school or college sweethearts. I know so many people who have done so or plan to, and I think their relationships are healthy and mature. They've learned how to be independent and yet still grow together. There's absolutely nothing wrong with finding your person at 16 or 18 or 23. I just know enough about myself to know that's not who I am.
I want to imagine, try new things, go on adventures, fail, succeed. And I want to do it alone, so that way, I'll always be able to imagine my life without a boy, because by the time one comes into my life, I'll have already done it all alone.
I'm 20. I can't wait to find a boy whose eyes I can look into and say "I love you" and know it means "I love you for always." I can't wait to find the person that challenges me and helps me grow. I can't wait to have a family and to have somebody to share all of these great things with. Right now, I just haven't lived enough yet.
That day will come. Just not today.