As a single woman, happiness is my only goal

received_2162487400681309Many single women feel like marriage is the ultimate key to eternal happiness, and I used to feel the same way. However, after going through a marriage (and divorce), I’ve learned that I’m in control of and responsible for my own life’s joy. Instead of spending time and energy focusing on marriage goals, I’ve shifted my focus on things that genuinely make me happy.

  1. I’d rather spend time growing. My professional and personal success is very important to me. While I greatly enjoy climbing the ladder in my career, I also have huge aspirations to own my own business and grow that as well. To a level where I have to just manage my employees and make sure everything is running smoothly. In addition to growing in my career, I also enjoy working on my spiritual and emotional growth.
  2. I love hanging out with my closest friends. I’ve been blessed with the absolute best friends on earth and I truly treasure our relationships. They’re some of my biggest cheerleaders, they make me a better person, and they play a vital role in my overall happiness. Instead of focusing on the romantic relationship I don’t have, I choose to cherish the platonic ones I’ve been blessed with. After all, these people are the ones who will be there through it all.
  3. Family is just as important. The time I spend with my family is so very precious to me. Especially after losing my mother a few years ago, I have grown to appreciate every moment I get to spend with my family. The joy I have when hanging out with my dad, step-mom, brother and sister (in-law) would be hard to replace. Same applies to my aunts, uncles, and cousins. They’re supportive and love me unconditionally.
  4. I want to travel the world. I love to travel. I’ve visited several different cities and countries but there are so many others still on my list. Traveling offers so many benefits. In addition to being an escape from the real world, it can also be very educational and enlightening. I always seem to return home with a new sense of purpose and gratefulness.
  5. I enjoy my “me time.” It wasn’t always the case that I would enjoy being alone. For so long, I longed to be around others and really really wanted a boyfriend to fill what felt like an emptiness within me. After achieving adulthood in my 30s, spending time alone provides a bit of self-rejuvenation. Whether I’m cuddled up on the couch enjoying a good book or catching up on my favorite television show, I can find plenty of happiness spending quality time with myself.
  6. Self-sufficiency is an accomplishment. My ability to take care of myself makes me very happy. It’s a great feeling knowing that I am my own provider. My self-reliance gives me a confidence boost that’s reflected in other areas of my life too. I rarely see a task as too difficult to take on. That’s a great attitude to have and one that I plan to keep even if I do end up in a relationship down the road.
  7. I love marching to the beat of my own drum. There’s nothing more satisfying than being able to make my own decisions and not have to worry about how those decisions will affect anyone else. I absolutely love the fact that I don’t have to consult with anyone about my own life choices. It’s a beautiful feeling and one that I’m not quite ready to give up.
  8. I enjoy the carefree approach to love and relationships. I truly believe people would take more risks in relationships if they weren’t so concerned about things not working out in the end. I’m not advocating recklessness but there is something to be said about living in the moment and enjoying each season you’re in. There’s no pressure when you’re single. If things don’t work out, it’s OK.
  9. Being married doesn’t automatically make you happy. Trust me, been there done that. Got the fucking T shirt. But that shit takes work. I tried hard, for several years, to maintain the happiness only to find that the other half of the marriage already moved on without letting me know. As a single woman, if I focus on the things that truly make me happy, anything else that comes along, be it marriage or a family, is simply a bonus to an already wonderful life. And I’m getting a big bonus in April with my baby girl.

So it took me 30+ years to get here, but I’ve never been happier. The joy that shines from inside is sometimes overwhelming. And I hope to share this joy with as many as I can.

Breaking the habit

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I don’t know about you, but for me it’s hard to break a habit once I’ve incorporated it into my daily routine. Some habits are good, like brushing your teeth or working out. But some habits are bad, like eating an entire box of cookies in one sitting. I’m not here to talk about good or bad habits, rather I’m going to focus on comfortable habits.

We are creatures of habit. We are predictable. We enjoy routine, and don’t like disruption. Sometimes, we start doing something because we enjoy it. For example, I started practicing Kung Fu in 2011 because I enjoyed the exercise, the learning experience, and the community. I saw many benefits outpouring from the training, and decided to make it a habit. Even when I was scraping by financially, I still made it a priority and found the means to continue paying for the classes.

This was a good habit that I incorporated into my life to make it better. But sometimes I’ve incorporated a bad habit just because it makes me feel better. Or I add something to my routine because at first it seems great, but over time I start making excuses when it’s really not so great.

I’ve found myself in this sort of cycle when it comes to dating and relationships. I tend to be attracted to the same type of guy: a little arrogant, a little smart, very good looking, self-absorbed, and fake(?) nice. Every time I start having feelings for someone like this, I see past the bad qualities and only see the good stuff, the surface things. But over time, the truth shows it’s ugly head. And my problem is that I start making excuses for them. In my head they aren’t perfect, but they’re also not terrible. In reality, they’re just not the right person for me. But for some reason, I can’t let go.

Is it the fact that by this time I’ve spent time, money and energy on them? Or maybe because it feels comfortable. They’re always around, and I enjoy their company. Or am I just used to their company and can’t remember how it was before? Then I feel trapped. How can I break this habit? This cycle of self-destruction, of dating the wrong guy. The list of wrong guys I’ve dated seems endless, and all at once it feels like I’m staring down into an empty bottle. Where are the good guys? Better yet, where’s the right guy for me? Does he even exist?

So I challenged myself for this year: I’m breaking this cycle I’ve allowed myself to fall into. Moving forward, I will be honest with every guy I meet. If after talking once or twice they don’t meet my standards (deal-breakers), then I will be very clear in regards to my intentions and how I see them. This is something I thought I was capable of doing last year, but I lost my way. I let my guard down, and I let the wrong person in. No regrets, because life is all about learning and growing. And I’m learning and growing everyday.