For the past 20 years, I have been single. I haven't even go on a date let alone have my first kiss until earlier this year. I was too insecure. I wasn't comfortable in my own skin, and I genuinely felt annoying. For the longest time, I thought that I needed a boyfriend because that's what people my age were doing. I thought that if I had a boyfriend, all of my problems would disappear. I would be happy and confident, and complete. Like I was just a lonely puzzle piece who has yet to find their match.

I got help for my mental health and began college, became more independent, gained more confidence. I now have found someone, but looking back at my thought process now, I realize that I was wrong.

I learned that I have to make myself happy. People used to tell me this all of the time, especially when my depression was at my worst, and it always frustrated me. I didn't really believe it for a while. I thought that it meant that I was alone to be happy. I thought that I couldn't have help from friends, family, or professionals. But now I've learned that getting help to be happy is okay, because you are putting the effort into it. You're the one to go get medication or vent to friends. Not everything is going to be handed to you, you have to ask because you probably know what's best for you.

I learned that before I could really be in a relationship, I had to be more accepting of myself. I had to forgive myself for all of those little mistakes. Yeah, sometimes I do have those days where I don't want to face the world. I get those days where I just feel fat and ugly. But a boyfriend isn't going to fix that, like I thought it would.

A partner is there not to complete you but to help you grow. They're there to open your life to new experiences, and open your mind more about the world. They're there to help celebrate the good times and help you through the bad. They're there to be your best friend.

And if you find someone who isn't interested in you, that it completely okay. They can't see your worth and they don't deserve it.

And it is completely okay to not have a partner. It is your choice.

You are not a puzzle piece.

You're the whole goddamn canvas.