Brewing my cup of coffee one morning, the radio ever so lightly filling in the emptiness of my apartment, I decided to laze around for a while. Picking up one of my favourite books – a compilation of love letters from great men and women in history, I was pulled in the compilation. There were layered expressions of love and longing expressed so beautifully in ways that words could have ever been written.
Taking a break from the book and while finishing my coffee, I tried to recall the last time I was actually in a relationship, or in love. I am very aware that many in our generation equate being in a relationship as a fulfilment of social obligation, there might not be love but there is convenience.
At the same time, I am also aware of many around me who settle down, or fall in love or are desperately searching for their better half because the next person on their friend list is tying the knot. And this is all happening in a circle of 20- something young adults.
I feel, in my perspective, that being single does not necessarily mean one is alone. Let me tell you that there was a point of time in my youth where I conformed with peer pressure and felt the need to feel complete with the endorsement of a relationship and social approval of my circle. I thought that made me less lonely, that made me an adult and strong!
Little did I know, that I couldn’t have been more wrong ! I have felt the loneliest in my life for a very long time, ironically when I was with someone. The moment I grew up completely alone, I have never felt more complete as I do now.
There is a difference between being alone and lonely. And there is a way you can enjoy both without feeling too stigmatised by society. I know that there is always pressure on us as young adults, to have everything sorted. You should have a stable career by 25, get married and have kids by 30 and not later and so on and so forth. But have you ever wondered, that in the rush of getting things established and wanting to spend a life with someone else, how well do we know ourselves first?
Loving and respecting yourself is a way of setting a standard of acceptable behaviour from someone you let in your life in the most intimate way possible. Self-love should be really endorsed more!
Its nice to have someone’s thoughts help you fall asleep at night, but its equally important to be at peace even when you are on your own. If you constantly feel the pressure to jump from relationships or settle down for mediocrity because of convenience, it’s time you recognise that.
There was a long point in my life where I used to feel shackled up at the thought that I was single, and that maybe there was something wrong with me! But off late, I have realised how important it is to be aware that being single in your 20’s is often a gift in disguise.
Its a time and phase in your life where permanence of anything is an illusion. It’s a moment where you are too young and too old that you have ever been. You are constantly shaping and altering your life, well at least I am! It is also the phase where you start understanding the importance of family, close friends and handling mental health and trying to balance it all.
You no longer let depression and anxiety be an issue and you try hard to calculate your career goals because that’s priority. These are your selfish years. These years are for you and you alone. You put in the best work for your development while listening to your heart skip a beat just at the thought of your exciting future. Its a time when you want to dream of all the successes and the love that you deserve and you envision the relationship you would want to settle for.
It is also a time when you are constantly meeting new people. All the time. You soon realise the kind of people you enjoy conversing with, and often the difference between the ones who will text you at 3 am and the ones who will send you morning texts.
You know dates are easy and without expectations and you appreciate when someone is passionate about their life and what they do. You fall in and out of attractions, you kiss too often and you fall too hard, but all in all you learn to take care of yourself first, you learn that you are your own first priority and if no one is there, you can fall asleep listening to the song of your heartbeats.
You get to live unapologetically and one day at a time. You make space in your life for someone to enter with their baggages, when every now and then you have finally learnt how to organise yours.
Till then, one day at a time. And drop the idea that you have to “settle” in order to have been successful.
Jumpsuit – Wardrobe