This title doesn’t exactly capture the sentiment of this article, so let me clarify. I’m going to share specifically about three things I used to feel sorry for myself about as a single woman, but no longer attach a sad story to. Now, they’re just things that have nothing to do with me being single. Trust me, you’ll understand more once I get going.
I shared my first taste of this in my article “Emerging Like A Phoenix In My Romantic Life.”
MY FORMER, SAD, SINGLE WOMAN STORY
In order to really understand these triumphs, I need to elaborate on the way I used to be. Before I met my now ex, I was single for a full decade. And during that painful time of searching for love but coming up short, I harbored a super sad story.
I used to equate so many things in my life with “being single,” and used these things as a way to feel so sorry for myself. For instance, when every holiday would come around, even though I LOVE holidays, I would still feel sad. Because I would always think to myself:
“Another holiday is here and I still haven’t found a partner. So I can’t fully enjoy this holiday, because I don’t have a partner to enjoy it with. Everyone has someone to snuggle with and I don’t. And even though I’m surrounded by loved ones and having a great time, this sucks. And I won’t ever feel fulfilled until I find him.”-My former self
And then I found him…or so I thought. Until he broke up with me in December of 2021.
THE MIRACLE OF GRIEF AND LOSS
I don’t know what it is, but something is always released when we experience a loss. Things we can’t even begin to comprehend or unpack. And in order to experience these miraculous releases, sometimes all we have to do is survive the pain.
The rest is done for us.
That is the miracle.
1. I NO LONGER FEEL SORRY FOR MYSELF WHEN I’M SICK
As I’m sitting here typing out this blog post, I’m feverish, achy, and hacking away. I tested positive for Covid this morning. Either way, I feel like shit. And when I was single, I used to always worry about getting sick and being alone. I would imagine a dream man running to the store to get me tissues, and feeling attracted to me even with a raw and runny nose. Then, I’d snap back to reality and remember I was all alone, and would just pray I’d never get sick. Of course, I would get sick on occasion, and I was always fine. But I was super sad and scared about it.
However, this time around as a newly single woman, this first time I’m getting sick since my ex feels so very different. The thought of feeling sorry for myself hasn’t even really crossed my mind. Except in this way where I’m recognizing this triumph. I’m super sick and I feel like utter fucking shit. But I’m not alone, have been chatting with loved ones all day, and can take care of myself. It’s kind of amazing to feel this way after so many years of my sad story surrounding illness and singleness.
I have historically longed to watch fireworks with a beloved, yet have never had the chance in my 42 years of living. Even when I was with my ex, we never got the chance, even though we tried. And we were together for three and a half years.
During this past Fourth of July, I made sure I had a fun group of friends to view fireworks with. Because I love fireworks so much, I truly would have been sad not to see any, or to watch them alone. But I recall my time with my friends was so utterly lovely. And not once did I wish I had some lover beside me to hold hands with. I was so giddy with excitement, as were my lovely friends, and we were all so happy to be together. It was a truly beautiful evening, and a beautiful moment in time to experience with them. I mean, okay, I still want to see fireworks with a beloved. But my sad, single woman story surrounding fireworks is seriously gone.
3. DOING CHORES THAT HE USED TO DO
One of the most wretched and random thoughts I had when my ex was breaking up with me was about chores. Chores that he would historically do, and that I would now have to do. I mean, I hate chores, I really do. But this sinking feeling didn’t have as much to do with the chores as it did with a symbolic, painful reminder. I imagined that every time I had to drag the super heavy garbage bin out to the curb, that I would die inside. I dreaded the painful reminder of the fact that not only does he not want to be with me, but now I have to do this shit.
From the very first week after our break, I was totally fine dragging that trash to the curb, and have been ever since. It’s a thing that both grown women and men do all the time. And it’s no big deal. It has nothing to do with me being single, and that former, single woman story is now dead to me!
I’M SO LIBERATED NOW
The beautiful thing about these triumphs (there are so many more, and this is really just a taste), is how liberated I feel. These single woman stories I used to tell myself actually informed my love choices. Because in the back of my mind, I was looking for someone to be the happy ending to these bizarre fantasy tales. Now that I’m free of those ideas, I can actually choose my next love partner based on LOVE, rather than fear.
Can you imagine all the beautiful ways that this might play out for me? I can’t exactly, but I’m starting to hope. And that is all someone needs to keep the heart open and attract all the loveliness in the world. Don’t you think?
So, have you ever told yourself any “single woman” stories? Have you ever been liberated by a painful loss or heartbreak? And if so, how were you freed up from this loss. I would love to hear your shares my dears! xo
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Featured photo by Adrien on Unsplash
Tissues and tea photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Fireworks photo by Mike Enerio on Unsplash