As newly single, I feel that I survived the pitfalls of my first solo Valentine’s Day with reasonable aplomb. I drank – responsibly (no drunken texts or Facebook posts here); I treated myself to America’s favorite comfort food – pizza; I watched cheesy romantic comedies in my pj’s. Not once did I succumb to anything remotely akin to an emotional meltdown. I awoke this morning, no regrets, commenced a cathartic, if challenging run, then indulged in a well deserved cup o’ Joe, heavy on the cinnamon flavored cream, light on the sugar. Kudos to me. (Look at me, practicing self-praise.)
Granted, I spent 14 years with a guy who insisted that Valentine’s Day was a product of mercantilism, not love, so there wasn’t particularly anything of note to miss. “You should romance your partner every day, not just when told to by a greeting card company.” Ironically, I can’t remember a time when he lived up to the “every day” part. Perhaps it’s selective memory, but it begins to make a girl suspect that the disdainful principles were simply an excuse to shirk the effort.
Today I instead celebrate Singles Awareness Day! It’s an affirmation that being your own sovereign nation is vastly superior to pining for someone who isn’t all-in. Recognizing that self-worth should not be dependent on someone else’s opinion of who you should be.
Most importantly, it’s a day to honor the fact that solitary doesn’t have to translate to lonely, if you actually enjoy your own company. Solitude has always been important to me. I’m not suggesting that there aren’t a number of people who are an indispensable part of my life – I would never give up that love, support and companionship. However, silence and solitude are things I crave, that I require to ground myself. It’s the way I perceive and process the world.
The Douche is social, gregarious, outgoing; a more-the-merrier-all-the-time kind of guy. I’m reticent and bookish. I prefer days of hiking, reading or gardening alone, punctuated by the occasional, intimate gathering. We were always a study in opposites. However, I’m coming to realize that over time I allowed his personality and needs to overshadow my own. I lost myself.
The past month or so I’ve finally started to focus on the things that nourish my soul, for the first time in years. Here’s to stepping out from under the shadow, for staging a coup d’état against one’s own self and regaining absolute sovereignty.