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You can be happily independent, but still crave love.

So yesterday was Valentine’s Day. And as many people did, I spent the day single.


And listen, in a way, I actually prefer this. I like being on my own for that holiday because it takes all the pressure off. Instead of stressing out about what present to get or if you booked the right reservation, you get to treat yourself and focus on that. Plus you can make the day more about general love and friendship rather than just romantic love.


I planned a great Valentine’s Day. I treated myself to Starbucks in the morning, had a busy but good shift at work, then came home and threw myself a Mamma Mia party where I watched both movies and wore costumes and sang/danced along. It was a good day of celebrating me instead of worrying why I didn’t have a guy to spend it with.


But here’s the thing. I still woke up this morning feeling a little lonely.


I woke up kinda wishing my body pillow was a human I’d been cuddling with all night. I kinda wished someone had written me a sweet note about how much they love me yesterday. I kinda wished someone had been singing and dancing along to “Dancing Queen” while sitting next to me.


And I don’t admit stuff like that often. I mean, my personal Instagram post yesterday was wishing myself a Happy V Day and calling myself the love of my life. Which I stand by because I am the forever love of my life, but that isn’t necessarily a post of a girl waking up feeling lonely the very next morning. Just another further reminder that what we project into the world, on social media and otherwise, is never the full picture.


Even so, for the past several years, I have been quite proud of my singleness. I’ll be the first to tell you I am a strong woman who doesn’t need a man. My season of singleness has turned me into a new person who I am genuinely very proud of. I truly do believe that everyone needs to enjoy time like this to get to know who they really are. To prioritize loving yourself and knowing what you deserve in a relationship.


So when I say I’m happy being single, I’m not lying. I am happy. And I would much rather be single than with the wrong person, I can tell you that for sure. I enjoy my independence, but the confusing part is that I still get lonely.


It’s a weird, frustrating paradox.


But here’s the big thing I realized when I was journaling this morning: it’s okay to feel more than one thing, even if they’re contradictory.


It’s okay to enjoy singleness, but also have moments of loneliness. It’s okay to be in love and sometimes crave alone time. It’s okay to value independence, but still admit you want to be loved.


At the end of the day, don’t we all just want to feel loved?


Even the strongest, toughest, bravest people out there want to feel loved. We want someone to cry to at the end of the day. We want someone who knows our secrets and works to make the bad days better. We want someone we can be intimate with not just for a night but for a lifetime. We want love.


And if you’ve found it, that’s freaking amazing. I’m not going to lie, I’m jealous! Not in a “jaded single-girl on Valentine’s Day way,” but in a “that looks awesome and I want one” kind of way.


I may be the only person who needs to hear this reminder because it’s probably obvious to a lot of other people, but you can be strong, independent, and self-sufficient and still be in love. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. Admitting that you want love doesn’t make you weak. It doesn’t make you any less of a badass. It makes you human.


This is one of the reasons I love Jo’s big speech at the end of Little Women. In Greta Gerwig’s 2019 adaptation, it goes like this:


“Women, they have minds and they have souls as well as just hearts and they’ve got ambition and they’ve got talent as well as just beauty, and I’m so sick of people saying that love is just all a woman is fit for, I’m so sick of it… but I’m so lonely.”


So many people cut off the end of that speech, and I don’t know why. Cause it’s the part that always makes me cry. Sure the beginning of it has my little feminist heart cheering along because we DO have ambition and talent and women ARE more than just pretty faces. But the fact that she believes all that and fights for all that and can admit she’s lonely? That really hits home.


I think for a while now, I’ve been very focused on looking strong, secure, and happy. And for the most part, I am. I have found success and have a lot to be proud of in my life, but I still have things that are missing. I still feel lonely sometimes.


You have come so far. You, too, have so so much to be proud of. But if you feel like something is also missing, that’s okay. It’s all about balance. Searching for that missing piece doesn’t mean the rest of the puzzle isn’t a masterpiece. Because you can feel two things at once. You can have great days followed by crappy ones.


Nothing in life is an exact science. There’s no perfect solution to happiness. Instead, I’m just choosing to feel my feelings. Yesterday, I had a great, lovely Valentine’s Day on my own. Today, I woke up a little sad and lonely. Tomorrow, who the heck knows? But I’m not going to score my overall happiness or success in life on those individual moments. We are all individuals full of every little feeling, moment, and thought inside us. And no matter how contradictory those emotions may seem, it never makes them wrong.

Wanting love is a part of life and that desire will never take anything else away from you.


All my love,

-ACB-


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