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Friday, 31 July 2015

WRITING || I'm Not Ready For My Other Half.

I feel like I always start these sorts of posts of with, 'I read something the other day that really inspired me', but it's so true! There are so many great, young female writers out there that never fail to perfectly encapsulate my shared hopes and fears. The article, 'I'm Only 22. I Don't Want Someone Else To Be My Whole World'', actually appeared on my Facebook News Feed and I couldn't resist giving it a read. After all, from the title alone, I sensed it would be my kind of article - and I was right. It got me thinking.
I am 20 years old and write a blog. I am 20 years old and study English Literature. I am 20 years old and single. These are all very straight-forwards facts about me but you'd be surprised as to which one people choose to focus on. And maybe even more so when they find out it's my choice - after all, doesn't being in a relationship mean that you have your life together? No. At least, not in my experience.

I am 20 years old and also a self-confessed hopeless romantic. My favourite books are usually love stories,  my favourite movies tend to revolve around a couple, and the music that really speaks to me usually has something to do with having your heart broken. Yes, I love all that cringey stuff. I love getting flowers from that special guy and those butterflies in your stomach when he messages you first thing in the morning. I've been in that euphoric state where everything is happy and wonderful because you're with a person who makes you feel secure and loved. It's amazing.
But I'm also all too familiar with the agony of waiting for him to call, the near-constant fighting that makes you realise that you two aren't perfect, and battling the pain of not seeing them everyday because you know they're no longer good for you. If you've experienced all this then it can sometimes be hard to think of romance in a positive light.
But I do, I promise I do. I still know that there is someone for me - as horrendously cringey as that sounds (I may be a hopeless romantic but I am definitely not soppy). I know there is because when I get to a certain stage, I trust that I'll prioritise my love life. But not now. I'm not ready yet.
I'm 20 years old and I have a tendency to obsess about boys - and I know for a fact that I'm not the only one. Does he actually like me? Is he going to call? Why hasn't he texted me back? To be honest, I'm just bored of it all. In the past year alone, I've been more upset about boys then I have been happy just dating the guys I've been 'seeing'. I don't have the energy and/or the time to wonder what they're thinking. For where I am right now, I just don't care. And I shouldn't be ashamed of that - which is not to say that anyone in particular is shaming me but it does feel like I'm constantly surrounded by couples pledging the force.
One very wise internet lady who is also a favourite blogger of mine, Hannah Gale, once wrote that 'if a boy likes you then the whole relationship/see each other thing will feel easy'. It's probably the best romantic advice I've ever read and something I always think of if I'm ever wondering about a boy. My foolproof way of knowing that a guy isn't worth your time is whether I feel the need to talk to all my girlfriends about it - if so, then I listen to a hell of a lot of Taylor Swift and try to forget about him. It has about a 90% success rate.
I know it's a cliché but I feel like this time in my life (i.e. being a student and just generally being young and devoid of much responsibility) is precious. That I need to pursue my passions and what I want to get out of life. Because I know what I'm like in relationships and I'm the girl who gives her all to the other person - which isn't necessarily a bad thing if you ask me. I'll always be a feminist but that doesn't mean I'm not a damn good girlfriend when I want to be. But for where I am right now, I have a lot of other priorities to keep me busy. I want to be the best student/friend/daughter/sister/blogger I can be - and I don't want to risk a guy ruining that if I'm totally honest. Because in previous experiences, they have a tendency of messing up my plans.
I hate the expression 'my other half' - and that's not because I'm a bitter single person, no - it's because it suggests that you need someone else to make you 'whole'. And I'm a pretty well-rounded person in my own right! I feel like after some trials and tribulations, I'm finally where I should be - I'm studying a subject I adore at a university I love, I'm keeping to a regular blogging schedule, I'm working to earn some money over Summer, and I'm blessed to have so many wonderful friends both at home and at uni. I'm exactly where I need to be and I don't need any one else to 'complete' me just yet. And just rolling with the clichés here but I so desperately want to travel, and unlike the Kodaline song ('Brand New Day' - yes I'm a Irish music nerd) I want to do it alone. Maybe it's because 'Eat, Pray, Love' (above) is the book I always turn to when I'm feeling down about men. Of course I miss the intimacy of a relationship and often wish I had that special someone waiting for me when I finish work in the evenings - but in the larger scheme of things, a relationship is not something I'm ready to hand myself over to just yet.
I'm 20 years old. Fact. There are so many experiences I've yet to have. When I look back over the past few years, it's astonishing to think how much I've changed. And these are the years where I need to be a little selfish in order to find my feet. So a relationship isn't on the cards for me right now - I want to stand still and just 'be' for a while. There's no time limit on my break from the dating game, maybe it will take the right guy to sway me. But whenever I do 'settle down', I want to take comfort in the fact that I was independent and secure enough to spend a little time just focusing on myself. Knowing that I'm my own 'other half'.
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