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What My Quarter Life Crisis Taught Me

Being single is not a disease, nor are you diseased because you are single.

In the age of everyone posting their every move on every social networking site known to man, being a 20 something and single can feel isolating. Every time I log onto Facebook, someone else is engaged, married, pregnant or has had a baby. My Twitter feed is gushing with song lyrics about being in love, my Instagram feed full of “date night” and kissing photos. It would be so easy for me to look at these things every day and get down on myself or sink into self pity and stuff my face with bon bons because “woe is me I’m single”. But, you know what? I’ve never been one for the easy road, and being single does not define me, bring me down or mean anything is wrong with me. We are not defined by our relationship status. We are defined by the content of our character. Romantic love is not the only kind of love that can fill our lives with joy and purpose.

My life and heart are overflowing with love and relationships that bring me joy and make me feel alive. So turn off the computer, close those social networking apps on your phone that are full of posts that make you feel like you are lacking, and go out and live! Fill your life with things that give you purpose. Invest in the relationships in your life that bring you joy. Spend time with your parents, your siblings, your friends who are single, too, your friends who have families, your colleagues. Singleness is not a disease. Singleness is not a curse. Singleness is not a definition of who you are. Who you are is who you choose, day in and day out, moment by moment, to be.

Everyone should live alone at some point in their lives.

For the last 14 months, I have lived alone in a one bedroom apartment with my cat. Those 14 months have been some of the best of my life. I have always been comfortable being alone, as I have always been somewhat of a loner and an introvert, but there is nothing in the world that will teach you more about who you are and how to be comfortable in your own skin than living alone. Plus, there is no one to make a mess! Unless, like me, you happen to have a naughty cat who, on occasion, may make a bigger mess than even the naughtiest of toddlers.

Life is almost never easy.

In fact, life is often really, really, really hard. And confusing. And complex. But despite it all, life is incredibly beautiful. So soak it up! Focus on the good. Find the beauty. Embrace the hard stuff as awesome opportunities to learn and grow. Life may not be easy, but life is worth it.

If you are lucky enough to have one friend with whom you know no matter where life takes either of you, your bond will always be the same, you are lucky beyond measure.

Like anything in life that’s worth it, maintaining friendship takes commitment. In my adult life, my closest friendships have somehow transcended the definition of just “friendship”… my friends are something more like soulmates. They are the people I call when something wonderful happens and I want to share it, the ones that hold me while I cry when it feels like the world is crashing in around me, the people who can tell just by the look on my face or the tone of my voice what I’m feeling or what I need. They are the people who aren’t afraid to call me on my shit, the ones who can make me laugh like no one else can, the ones who no matter how many times we disagree, we make each other mad, we drive each other crazy… at the end of the day, none of it matters because we choose to forgive and we choose to let the things that bring us together trump the things that could tear us apart. Most importantly for me, my friends are the people that I can be 100% authentic with and they love me, and they can do the same, and I love them. I truly believe that if you are lucky enough to have ONE of these friends who is a soulmate, you are lucky beyond measure. I hope I never, ever take my friendships for granted.

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