Ever since I was a kid, I've been on my own. It's been me against the world and no one could ever stop me. But in the middle of not letting anyone stop me, I got stuck in a cycle of taking too long to let people help me. I had walls and barriers that Donald Trump can only dream about, but even those couldn't keep everyone out. Some people fought me and made it through and those people made my life so much more meaningful. But even then, it was me against the world in the name of those I loved. The fight was always meant to be mine alone.
Now my life is shifting in a direction that I didn't foresee and I hate that I don't know what will end up happening. I don't know what's around the corner, but I still have the insatiable feeling that I'm going to have to do it alone. Only this time, I'm not so sure I'm okay with that.
I've spent my whole life feeling like an island and it's hard for me to picture myself any other way. I structured my life around keeping this sense of comfort. I only participated in relationships that left space for me to be or feel like an individual. Friendships, no matter how co-dependent and lovely, always left me with a little bit of distance. Just how I like it.
In my short adult life, I decided that romantic relationships weren't an option. They were a nuisance, a road block that would deter me from the rest of my life. I can't conquer the world if I have to drag someone along with me, so I've steered clear and that was great for me. For a while.
My brain never developed feelings for people romantically. Probably as a defense mechanism against unnecessary pain. My life has always been so complicated and full of hurt, why would I add to that when I don't have to? I want to be alone. At least, I thought I did.
Recently I've had a thought running through my head that keeps growing louder and louder to the point that I can no longer ignore it, no matter how hard I've tried.
"You don't have to be alone."
After years and years and seasons and seasons of fighting for myself, by myself, I think I convinced every cell in my body that this is what forever looked like for me. The only way for me to succeed was by myself. No one was good enough to help me and maybe I wasn't good enough to be helped. Maybe I didn't deserve to not be alone. No one would ever be up for it.
As a strong, confident woman, I never came to terms with these thoughts. I don't have these types of insecurities. They hold people back and nothing holds me back. But try as I might, they are keeping me from pushing forward like I used to. They're holding me from something that I think will make me better. No one will ever be able to tell me that I am not capable, but I have to realize that I still have tons of room to improve and I love to improve.
Everyone says that a partner makes you better. They push you farther. Love makes you a better writer. I feel stupid admitting that I think I want that because I have convinced myself that strong women don't want that and I am a strong woman. But that's a toxic way of thinking. Strength isn't about doing it all on your own. I've always known that, but my own toxic strength kept getting in the way of me actually listening when people said that I don't deserve to be alone. I don't have to be alone anymore.
I'm not sure if I am in a place where I can say without a doubt that I'm ready to take that step, but at least I can admit it to myself and write it down, which for me is the same thing I guess.