It’s often said that we feel incomplete without our “better” half. We meet someone new, someone exciting and intriguing, whether that be through physical companionship or emotional intimacy, it feels lofty and soft, comfortable. Finally, we think tenderness. We feel held or at least in a perfect world we do. But if we approach life through this lens, the lens that sees only romantic relationships as fulfilling our needs, as the yin to our yang, then each time we lose
that, we lose our joy about life.
Despite me still being young and youthful, my last two relationships showed me that the road ahead is certainly not a cakewalk, not if you don’t know who you are on your own. Since being single, my daily reflections and check-ins with myself have made it utterly clear to me I am in the right place when I am alone. Because what we don’t realize is when we are “alone,” that is, not in a romantic relationship with another, we open ourselves to the possibility to be loved by everything and everyone else. Before that, there was no space. Relationships, though beautiful and fulfilling when done right, take so much away from the world at large.
When I was consumed with the turmoil in my relationship, I never woke up early to make my coffee just the way I wanted it, to shower a bit longer because I deserve that warmth. I never turned on YouTube to find a new mentor or teacher I enjoyed, I never sat in stillness to explore myself more. I never want to invalidate the power of romantic love, but I will certainly vouch for the power of self-love, self-companionship, and even more than both of those, the power of love that exists not between two people, but between a community, between you and nature, between you and your goals and dreams, between you and your favorite meal.
Our “feistiness” as women doesn’t need to include or show off outward strength or power, it doesn’t need to be an empowering Facebook post or a text to your ex that you’re “doing well.” Our feistiness can exist in the moments we feel belong to us, it can show up in the willpower to travel to your new favorite continent, to attend your favorite author’s book event, to meet a new best friend, and be able to hold them through their struggles. Your feistiness can be the photograph you took on the bus or the train because you thought it was beautiful, it can be you being bold enough to sell that photo on your new Etsy account.
I took a leap of faith back in January and moved my life to Leeds, England, a place I do not see myself settling down in, but a place I see myself healing. I play the sport I love. Over here they call it Football, in America we call it soccer. Though I was still involved romantically with my partner, there were parts of me that knew something about me leaving would end in me being alone. And I was right, a few months after the move I was single. The best part of being single here was I wasn’t ready nor able to really mingle. Life has become very still for me in my new home; still, soft, music is always playing, rarely do I attend many events or activities, and rarely do I meet new people or engage. I think part of the reason is that a relationship can take and take and take, and you give and give and give, and suddenly you deeply missed those moments of peace. If you’re anything like me, those moments are powerful and fulfilling. Again, those
moments keep me feisty, they keep me who I am. Independent, powerful, thoughtful, comforting. I realized that the space that once was taken up by the stressors of a romantic relationship is now packed with fictional stories I love, movies that make me cry, journal entries that keep me grounded, meditation that keeps me mindful, friends that keep me earnest and enthusiastic, habits that keep me controlled, views that keep me expansive, food that keeps me
We fall in love, what a beautiful and unimaginable feeling that is. But, if we’re able to fall in love, it means we’re bound to fall out. With anything, that is. You might love eggs one morning, but in a year or two perhaps you can’t stand the smell; you might love horror movies for the thrill, but one day you decide they’re not for you anymore. The same has and will always hold true for people. Though we hope to never end on bad terms with one another, sometimes worlds collide, and collision means to cease, to stop, to discontinue. How sad it would be if we always felt that when one thing goes, we cease to exist. That moment is only reserved for the heart when it stops beating.
So, go be feisty, be feisty in your garden…grow herbs that you add to your homemade cocktails, be feisty in your new notebook you’ll reflect in about what you dream to become one day, be feisty when you splatter paint on a canvas and call it art. Read a book and fall in love with the character, watch a movie and explore why you loved the cinematography, or go bowling with a friend and get a strike, maybe two in a row, spend time training for that half marathon because you told yourself you always wanted that. In the meantime, know that within all these intimate moments with yourself you are creating brand new stories to share with the next person you might love. And repeat, and repeat, and repeat.