Tuesday, February 18, 2014

One is the loneliest number... NOT!

I've been single for the majority of my life. I am more than used to sympathetic smiles and the knowing nods of family members, coworkers, and sometimes even friends. Poor little Lauren, she has to spend all this time by herself and occupy herself with hobbies.

The funny thing was I never felt like I was missing out on anything. I have an amazing group of friends and my family is out of this world. Because I was single, I was able to put more energy into me and the people I already knew I loved. If I wanted to see a movie and none of my friends did, I just went by myself. I wasn't moping around on a Friday night feeling sorry for myself, I would just take myself to see Spank! or get an obscene amount of B-Dubs and eat them on my bedroom floor.

I spent a lot of time single for the better part of my life (I'm talking collectively 22 out of 24.5 years) and I honestly think that I'm better for it. I'm constantly growing and I know that, but I also know what I need right now. I like insanely long baths, to the point of people knocking on the door to make sure I'm okay. I like binge watching TV on DVD and no, I don't feel like I wasted my whole weekend. I like cooking weird shit for people and I don't do trial runs - if it sucks, we're both suffering through. I need to talk about my feelings... a lot. I cry, alright? I like writing down quotes that seem really straightforward and obvious because it helps me remember that seemingly "obvious" stuff. I can be indecisive, but once the decision is made I'm all lists and organizing and full steam ahead.

I think that every person on this whole earth should enjoy spending time by themselves - without needing social media to distract themselves. I think that sitting in the silence or dancing in the Daft Punk when no one's looking is the best way to get to know yourself.

The video attached I saw years a go and it really inspired to spend some time alone - ON PURPOSE. When I started doing that, it all changed for me. I believe spending time alone changed my life forever. It was really hard at times and I spent some of it in deep confusion. I would come home, lay down at 4 and not say a word to anyone all night. Sometimes I couldn't sleep, I just wanted to lay in the dark in silence. That wasn't a choice, that was a need. The depression I had been struggling with the only part of my life I could ever see. I wasn't giving myself enough credit, enough love or respect. Then I directed a focused energy on it. I tried to figure out why I was feeling so heavy, so weighted. I wanted to know why I was being so cruel to myself all the time. Instead of ignoring my problems, distracting myself from them, I spent time focusing inward. I've crawled out of that hole I had flung myself into it. I'm slowly filling in the ruts inside my soul. When I give a little time to focus on myself, I'm more present in the moments I share with others. It sounds odd, but spending time by myself has made me a better friend, daughter, second cousin, even employee!

I'm not single anymore by the way. I'm in a relationship, 5 months today, and I love the shit out of this man. He inspires, motivates, and moves me; he makes me feel insanely safe and loved. I want him in everything I do; I want to share everything with him, but the important distinction that I've made is that I don't need him. I am strong on my own. I am smart on my own. I am loved on my own because I love myself. And I think that makes me a better girlfriend.

Self love is not the same as narcissism; it's not conceited nor selfish. It's knowing yourself and loving that person, flaws and all. It's striving to be better while loving where you're at. It's fucking hard and I struggle every day, but when you find that sweet spot - God is it good. I find myself throwing my love around to every one: waiting an extra 20 seconds to hold the door open for someone, smiling at strangers, wanting everyone to know that the world is kind and lovely when you're kind and lovely to yourself.

So take yourself out this week! Go see Labor Day since you're boyfriend won't go with you or make a date with yourself to paint or whatever you do. Hell, go watch the Knicks game at B-Dubs; it is Wing Tuesday you know?

"Be nice to yourself. It's hard to be happy when someone's mean to you all the time."

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