I have, by and large, been single for more than four years and it’s a bit like being stuck on a see saw. It is the best of times, and it is the worst of times. Its letting go of the rope which you thought was holding you back, only to realise it’s now wrapped around your neck. The double edged sword metaphors all apply.
For those of you who have met me during this time, a little introduction may be in order. I had my first true love when I was 13 years old. Snicker all you want, but this is as true as day turns to night. I’m sure this epic love affair will still find its way into the pages of my blog, but this is not that tale. After he who shall not be named, I dated serially for the next 9 years. I cannot remember a time between the ages of 13 and 21 when I was not in a relationship. I was always a girlfriend.
There is no part of me that regrets this, and I look back at my long list of boyfriends with affection, for each of them truly meant something to me. But, the truth is that with each relationship, you give a bit (or a lot, as the case may be) of yourself to the other person. I arrived at 22 after yet another break up and realised that I didn’t really know who the hell I was anymore. I grew up being passionate about a great deal of things, but after moulding yourself into a relationship, you invariable become a ‘we’ and that comes with compromise and sacrifice.
So by no fault of any one man, I came to the conclusion that I needed a big time out. And like a child being put in the corner to sit and think about what she has done, I removed myself from the familiar and took a hiatus to England. There, away from the history of a life lived in pursuit of the happiness of others, I had the opportunity to put myself together again. It took some time to banish me from myself, but eventually my time there ended too quickly. I am forever grateful to those who made it possible, and my only regret is that I am not there now to share with them the end result of all their support and understanding.
I came back not only ready to live my own life again, but redefined in my own hopes and dreams. Now I have been back for 18 months, and I cannot be happier with the life that I have. However, with this new found me, comes the realisation that I cannot be single forever. Human beings are apparently not made to be alone, and therein lies my predicament.
The problem is not that I am fearful of being hurt again; I have learnt that there are much harder things to deal with in this life than a relationship ending. The problem is that I have worked hard at building up my own self again, and I am proud of what I have achieved. I’m not trying to sound arrogant, if you know me, you know the least of my problems is thinking too much of myself. I am much more afraid of my own behaviour than that of any man. I am afraid of being a girlfriend first and a person second again. I am selfishly unwilling to give up this great gift of a second chance.
So I see saw… One day I think I’m miserably lonely, the next I think I’m happily lucky. Eventually, I’m going to have to get off the see saw and date again, it’s inevitable, I know that… Be that as it may, in the meantime, I’m quite content. My ups and downs are quite neutral of late, and even though I come down to the ground with a thud sometimes, I know the next up is not that far off – All I have to do is dig in my heels a bit deeper and give myself a push in the right direction… But more about that later…