Saturday, 1 August 2015

A Recipe for Being Single

We go through life alone. Eternally in our own heads, eternally stuck in this one body that we didn't choose and can't swap out. Every person in the history of people has been alone their entire lives, and yet somehow the world has convinced us that we are in need of something - someone - else. My other half, my soul mate. 

You Are Not Alone

Around a year ago, I'd finally read enough poetry to realize this wasn't true. I was single, and I was whole. I filled up my days with learning, documentaries, friends, laughter, reading, adventures, thinking.  On Facebook I see friends hurdle from relationship to relationship, I look back at how I so desperately craved someone to validate my worth by loving me. I want to tell them, I want to go back in time and tell myself that I am already capable of being whole - no other half missing.

I've had a year of wholeness. I've had men come into my life and into my bed and my heart hasn't awakened. Not for want of hopefulness - but I realized that I cannot bend for people any more. Someone is either a perfect fit, or they are someone else's entirely. I'm still not sure whether it's a good thing to be able to switch off and shut down so easily... as they say, to avoid vulnerability and to avoid feeling is to avoid life, and miss out on the one thing that makes us human. 

That said, on the other side of the coin... I feel freedom for the first time! I can finally plan a life that I feel excited to live, and wake up every day to. There is no pain, there are no bruises on my skin or on my heart. With the exception of the possibility that I'll want children one day, there is absolutely nothing stopping me from carving out a life entirely my own, and enjoying every single moment I was given. 

The Painter

So, here is my Recipe for Being Single.

1) Validate yourself, don't wait for someone else to validate you.

Your self-worth is so important. First off, if how you look ranks highly on your self worth, then by all means - throw yourself into the gym, the salon, the tanning booth - do whatever it takes to make yourself feel happy when you look in the mirror. BUT. Facewipes will wipe, and water will wash, and one day we're all gonna get old. It's great to feel beautiful, but it's even better to get your self worth from things like intelligence, kindness, talent and depth. And best of all, these are things you can know about yourself without having anyone else need to approve it! Be kind to people, let people in when you're in traffic, open doors, ask a cashier about their day. Be patient with people when they are upset, have a joke with someone in a bad situation. And then you can say... I am kind. And kind people don't deserve anything special and don't win any prizes in life, but man it feels good to be kind. 

2) Design a life you want to live

I'm a next-weeker. Next month I'll do this. This summer, I'll go on all these adventures. Next year I'll go travelling. And it comes around, and hey look - I'm sat on my phone swiping through tinder looking for someone to do it all with. This had to change.
I think it's human nature to want a partner, a witness to your life. For me, I wanted so badly to bring the magic I had found and to pour it into someone else's eyes... who knows what for. But, as we refer to paragraph 1 - we're going through this trip alone regardless. 

So I stopped planning, and ran up the hills behind my apartment and through the fields. The amount of times I have cried with sheer overflow of magic, feeling and humanity on these runs alone is hard to count. To be alone is to be human, and to belong deeply to yourself is the most incredible thing you can ever own. These runs gave me the ability to travel alone, to eat alone, to walk myself home alone at night and, most importantly, to live my life alone.  People who are excited to live their lives don't deserve anything special and they don't win any prizes in life, but man - it feels good to be excited to live.

3) Kisses aren't contracts

It sounds cruel and unfeeling, but learning to see every budding romance as something that will come to an end has helped me hugely in my quest for wholeness. I set my standards for my suitors high, but my expectations very low. This did not leave me disappointed. Instead, weirdly, I'm now on good terms/good friends with all the guys I've dated, and my heart didn't get injured one bit. People are human, they will not always love you, even if you're fucking awesome. You will not always love them, even if they're fucking awesome. Being strong doesn't mean you deserve anything special, and strong people don't win any prizes in life. But man, it feels good to be strong. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you this poem:

After a while you learn the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul.
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning,
and company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses are not contracts,
and presents aren’t promises.
And you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead...
With the grace of a woman,
not the grief of a child.
And you learn
To build all your roads on today,
Because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans,
and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns
if you get too much…
So, you plant your own garden,
and decorate your own soul...
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure…
you really are strong,
you really do have worth.
And you learn, and you learn…
with every goodbye,
you learn.

4) And finally

When you do give you heart to someone, after you have spent all that time on your knees, gluing the broken bits of your heart back together. There will be no red flags. There won't be quiet police sirens in the distance, the smell of smoke will be one you don't even remember. Because when you are finally whole, when you truly love being alone, when you belong so deeply to yourself that sometimes it hurts, that's when there isn't room for anyone but the right person. And if the clock strikes the midnight in your life, and they haven't shown up, you'll know they were there the entire time, looking right back at you in the mirror. 

Whole people don't win any prizes at life. But man, it feels good to be whole.



  1. WOW!!! Fabulous with words as well as photography!!!❤️

  2. This is really true. much of a wisdom Rosie 😊 loved this. ❤

  3. A wonderfully put together post Rosie, wise and beautiful words! :)

  4. Beautifully Written. I'm not sure any number of words or logic really ever change reality but it is nice to have a beautifully written piece like this to look back in and aspire to.

  5. This is so great Rosie. I just got out of a 7 year relationship and I'm just beginning to see that maybe I will be just fine by myself.

  6. Rosie, i''ll forever love these posts from you. They've helped me greatly in recovering from a five year relationship ending. You're such an inspiration to me, in more than one aspect of my life. I just want to thank you for being so open and honest. You're such a genuinely beautiful person inside and out!

  7. I hope someone find you, someone very nice. It isn't fun to be alone when you get older, and all of your friends have children and a family. You just don't fit in anymore. You have to "be with them" because of friendship … but only when they have "free time".