The holiday season can be a tough time of year for us. I get it, trust me. Christmas with the family where they will ask you who the lucky guy is that you’re seeing, office Christmas party with no husband, or maybe you’re having slight anxiety about New Years plans.
We live in a society that tells us: “by this age you should be married”; “by this age you should have kids”. When I was younger, that’s how I thought my life was going to play out. I thought I was going to be married by 25, with three or four kids and my life would be the fairy-tale society told me it should be. Maybe that’s why my 20’s was so confusing. For a while I felt like I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I knew I wasn’t ready to settle down with someone, I knew I wanted more from a career, but I still felt like I was doing something wrong. I felt somewhat like a failure to society, even though I had been contributing whole heartedly to it.
Have you ever noticed that the media will praise celebrities when they are in a relationship, but then feel bad for them when they are single? Jennifer Aniston is a great example of this. She is also a great role model for people to look up to. She doesn’t and has never cared what society thinks.
As a culture, we are trying to break out of that mold society has set for us.
This is why I am an advocate for self-love and self-care. It took me a while to realize that I do not need to be that chicken with my head cut off. I probably could be married with kids by now, but I chose not to settle for someone that I wouldn’t want to spend my whole life with.
In my mid-20s I panicked a bit and I spent time ‘looking’ for that perfect guy, that I annoyed myself. I didn’t have patience. I felt pressured. But really, I was just pushing away anyone great. I was dating guys that weren’t right for me and letting them treat me poorly.
By my late 20’s I took a step back. I decided to focus on myself for a change and stop ‘looking’. Because like Ru Paul says, “if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love anybody else? Can I get an Amen!?” So, I did. Trust me, it wasn’t a straight line to success. I slipped up, felt pressured again and would online date, but I always ended up not liking the process. While successful for some, online dating isn’t for everyone.
I turned my attention to me. I started letting go of my past hurt, I joined a gym, got a personal trainer, started hanging out with a solid group of people, went out to more social events, volunteer opportunities, got a life coach, started working at a salon and eventually started my own business in the field I love.
It’s amazing what can happen when you focus the energy into finding that ‘special someone’ and turn it into loving and caring for yourself. This doesn’t mean that I was being selfish. I still made plenty of time for others including my family and friends.
I am 31 now, still single, and still feel pressure from society. I slip up occasionally with negative thoughts about what society wants for me and I often worry about what other people think. But, when I regain focus, I remember how much I really do love myself. How amazing it is to be single and how I am living my own fairy tale! This doesn’t mean that I want to stay single for the rest of my life, or that I can never love and give energy to someone else, but now I know that I am whole within myself. I know that I will be ready for that person to fit when/if he comes along.
Believe me when I tell you that the holiday season isn’t easy for everyone, single or not. Celebrate the love that is all around you: the couples, the single people, the kids, the elderly. We are all different, but all the same.
I like to write down five things everyday that I am grateful for. Sounds weird, but it works! Maybe you are grateful for your dog, or the spin class you go to weekly, or the job you love, or the friends you have, or your beautiful smile. Whatever it is, I urge you to try it with me. Write it down, be grateful for it all, and enjoy every bit of this holiday season!
Tag @tokbeauty when you are writing your gratitude lists. I would love to see!
Cheers and Happy Holidays!