I've always tried to keep this blog as honest and organic as possible so in light of that, I wanted to share what I've learned/experienced in the last couple of years being single. It's been a lot of fun to say the least, but it's also been frustrating and a little exhausting. I hope what I have to say resonates with you in some way and maybe you can relate.
I've always been a hopeless romantic. I admit it proudly. Maybe that's how I found myself photographing love for a living. It's also why I've spent a lot of time figuring out how I feel about love and why I've decided I don't want to ever settle down with someone. I've been a single lady for a while now and in that time have seen some unfortunate patterns that are really common in my generation. The fear of commitment, the fear of finding something better, the grass is always greener, the idea that "settling down" is the end of your social life as you know it. I see things differently and because of that it's been hard to find someone in a real way.
Seeing these patterns unfold before me has made me admire my friend Josh on how he went about his relationship with his wife, Lacy. He saw her, let her in and went for it. Was he nervous about what that meant? Sure. Was he giving up seeing his friends as often as he used to so he could spend time with her? Yes. Three months into their relationship he moved across the country to New Orleans to be with her. What I think is the most amazing part is that he was smarter than his fear and didn't dwell on the what ifs that so often keep us stagnant. He moved past the "but my Independence! But my freedom! Is this the end?! Is there someone better? Should I keep looking?" He let his true feelings for Lacy take precedence. He chose happiness. Thankfully, they are back in LA living a lovely little life and more importantly close to me because....let's face it, that's really what matters here.
The term "settling down" in general needs to stop. I've always hated the negative connotation that goes with it. Settling? Why would we settle? There is something so finite about it and to be honest, makes me want to run for the hills. Would I like to find someone to spend my life with? I sure would. Do I want to settle for someone just because I want a someone? Hell no. I want someone who looks at being together the way I do and is excited about it, not just doing what they think they are supposed to do. I don't want to be someone's experience. I don't want to be someone's next step. I want to be someone's adventure for life. Unfortunately, I have found that the great guys I have met lately don't see things this way. Things get a little serious and they run. Of course, there have been those who have walked away for other reasons too, but for the sake of staying on topic we won't get into that (although...why would they walk away? I have no idea. I'm awesome. Eh..anyway...). I'm aware this doesn't just happen with men, nor am I trying to bash men in any way. I'm just speaking from my own experiences here.
Needless to say, I've learned a lot in the last two years and I'm so grateful. I've learned I'm ok being single. I spent so long in the wrong relationships that I think I forgot myself. I forgot how much I love being alone and how much I yearned for it when I was committed to people who weren't right for me. I've learned how resilient I am, how strong I am, how much I love being a kid and how much I need that from my significant other as well. That being said, I have also come back to understanding what my parents taught me when I was growing up (and still do). Needing someone doesn't mean you've lost yourself or are less independent. It's a beautiful thing to reach that place with someone and it should be celebrated, not frowned upon. I look forward to that happening to me again one day, but until then, I'm going to continue enjoying where I am in my life and that is kicking ass and having a damn good time while I'm at it.