I am single. I have been single longer than I was married, plus a few of my dating years thrown in as well. So, as Valentine’s Day approaches, I have no sense of anticipation for whispered affections over an exquisite meal, flowers sent to work to vex my female cohorts, or hearts-and-flower cards in my mailbox. I am invariably left out of Valentine’s conversations at work as well. I don’t really mind, I guess no one wants to risk making me feel unhappy because I am single. But I am not unhappy. Not really. Oh yes, there are some times when I wish that I had someone to go out with, to read the newspaper over a brunch of bagels and coffee with, to visit museums and antique stores with. But for the most part, my singledom has been hard-won.
I have loved. I have felt what it means when you say “you complete me.” I have loved passionately and soulfully. I have loved excitedly and I have loved calmly. I have also been hurt. When I’ve loved, it has been so absolute that the rejection of it has left me with no breath. I have felt physical pain that has doubled me over from the realization that I’ve been passed over. The psychic scars are with me yet.
I am single, but I am living my life on my terms now. I no longer have to compromise. I can live my life according to my values and principles. Some may say that I am rationalizing a lonely life, but I know how far this tree has bent and it feels great to stand tall and move with the wind.
I look at how far I’ve come, I remember how much I’ve experienced, and I know that whatever I do now, it will be because it is best for me. Being the captain of my ship does not just mean that I must go down with it, it means that I can chart its course.