I broke up with my longterm boyfriend on a Monday. I’m still not entirely sure why. All I know is that I had one of those breakthrough moments of clarity in the midst of uncertainty.
During those moments, I thought of something entirely unexpected: Oprah. I had a lot of doubt and hesitation about my decision to end my relationship, but Oprah’s iteration of “Aha! Moments” made me feel a lot more sane.
I realized that in life, many people reach a point of clarity in the midst of a lot of disparage. For me that newfound lucidness made me realize that I did not want to be in a relationship.
I later realized that I was tired of being comfortable. For me, relationships are a comfort blanket that keep you safe from the turbulence of single-dom. So, my decision to break things off with my longterm boyfriend was in retaliation to that tranquility – whether I knew it at the time or not.
Reflecting back, I find this particularly strange. After all, it seems that my entire life is a mix of unsettling, unexpected things that I have no control of. I am a self-proclaimed workaholic. I take 20 hours per semester at school, work retail, write for a local publication and GrrlPunch. All of these things leave me flustered, stressed, tired. . .anything but comfortable.
So, why would I yearn for more uncertainty? Seemingly comfortable relationships should be my refuge. Why would I go and flip my life upside down on a whim?
I ask these rhetorical questions not because I know the answer, but because they’ve been bouncing around my head ever since that Monday.
I still do not have an answer, but in asking these questions I have learned more about myself. In fact, in the last five months of my single life I have learned more about myself, and who I am, than ever before. Namely, I concluded three things.
To summarize my self-reflective realizations, first, I learned that I am impulsive. That one is a given. Why else would I listen to and follow those “Aha! Moments” so whole-heartedly?
I think impulsivity has a lot of negative connotations. However, I am referring to a potentially beneficial kind. I think people, by nature, desire stability. When we find it, we hold onto it. I don’t think that makes it necessarily good.
I had stability. A thoughtful, cautious, non-impulsive person would never abandon that. As a result, I took a leap. I followed that whim because I knew if I didn’t, I’d get stuck.
Second, I learned that I’m supremely independent. If I had it my way, I’d never get in a relationship again (that’s the rash, impulsive side of me speaking – she’s very matter-of-fact). Often times, I think being tied down limits me in a multitude of ways. As I mentioned before, I’m a self-proclaimed workaholic, and having a significant other in my life distracts me from doing what is most important to me: working.
It is so easy to spend a night in with your significant other instead of writing that extra article. For me, relationships serve as the ultimate distraction.
In my final realization, I remembered something about myself. I remembered I’m in my 20’s. I thought my teenage years were tumultuous – I had no idea what was coming for me.
Naively, I thought my 20’s would be a put-together time of fun and relaxation. As a youth, I envisioned college like the movies. Mistakenly, I never anticipated this much learning and conflict.
As a result, I reimagined my 20’s. And in that reinventing I eliminated a crucial figure that I had once desired: a boyfriend.
If I’m going to navigate these years, I want to do with my best friend (Lucy) by my side, not a comfort blanket (boyfriend). I want to push myself, I want to learn more and I definitely want to remain independent.
On that Monday I unconsciously made a decision for myself. I decided to be uncomfortable. Because in the face of uncertainty, you learn more about yourself than you ever did when you were blindly comfortable.