If you know me at all you know I love a strong, independent woman. I think it’s so important for female characters in movies and on TV to have their own lives, dreams, and stories unrelated to their romantic interests. Women in real life are just as multidimensional as men, are they not? I aspire to be a strong, independent woman who don’t need a man (but wouldn’t mind one accompanying her in being badass).
Anyways, I saw How To Be Single in theatres last week and that’s why I’m writing this. It was (spoiler alert?) about a girl who decides that she needs time away from her long-term boyfriend in order to learn who she is when she isn’t with someone. It takes her a long time to finally come to terms with truly being alone and not needing to be leaning on some guy all the time, but she gets there. The movie ends with her (spoiler alert again) not ending up with any of the men she had romantic ties with throughout the story. It ends with her – alone – in the Grand Canyon, fulfilling a long-time dream of hers. While the movie was cheesy and cringey at points, the end really stuck with me.
I’ve done a shit ton of stuff by myself in this past year, and I have had some of the best times of my life. Alone. I like to think my Grand Canyon Moment happened last fall, while I was in Seattle. The weather wasn’t particularly great and I was tired from walking for ages but I was standing on the beach in a foreign country with no obligation to be anywhere or see anyone and I felt at peace. I have a note saved on my phone from that day that says, “I was walking along the beach earlier staring at the water and listening to 30,000 Feet by Ben Rector and I started smiling to myself because I love my life a lot sometimes, you know? Seriously, I have seen a couple places that I never thought I’d see. And I’ve done it all by myself.” There is plenty of time to be with other people, but make sure you leave plenty of time for yourself, too.
Some photos of me on solo adventures (they’re all selfies because I was solo, obviously):
I’m not afraid to be that friend that tell you to stop listening to what people tell you to do. The friend that will listen to you talk about places that you want to go and tell you to just go already. That will tell you to stop waiting for other people. If you’re always in a relationship you’re always adjusting things to fit that other person, you’re always going to have to make compromises. As much as love is about compromises and blah blah blah, it can suck. Then you get old and you have proper responsibilities and roots somewhere and you can’t just move to Japan like you’ve always wanted to (yes, I just finished Master Of None and I’m still thinking about it). I’ve always believed in doing as much as you can before “finding someone” and doing all those “together” things. Or maybe you’ll find your person while you’re off on your own, being your own version of single. Your version of single might be travelling alone, or living alone, or joining a club where you don’t know anyone, or going to the gym by yourself when you’ve always gone with a partner. As trivial as it might seem, it’s worth a try. Who knows, you might end up moving to northern Canada and living in a tiny cabin by yourself for the rest of your life because you love being single THAT MUCH.
Helen Anderson made a blog post similar to this one recently, and I probably wouldn’t have even known about How To Be Single if Abby hadn’t made a video about it, so go check those out if you wanna hear people cooler than me, saying what I’m trying to say, but better. Or differently.
“All this time I’d been searching for true love when I already had it. Every poem is a love poem, my dad had said. I’d always thought he meant romantic love – but there were so many kinds of great love: mother and daughter love. Father love. Best friend love. Aunt love. Mother’s-best-friend love. Friendish friendesque love. Love for the living and love for the dead. Love for who you really are, for those weird parts of yourself that only a few people understand. Love for the things you yearn to do, for putting words on a page. Love for traveling, for meeting new people and seeing new ways to live. Love for the world, for it being a hard pain in your ass. Love for the questions, for the ever more complicated questions.” – Margo Rabb (Kissing In America)
Oh, and happy international women’s day!!