It seems every time I wear a suit of some sort, I have something strong to say. Bold, fierce, demanding; it is wonderful how a simple co-ordination of colour in pants and jacket can evoke these emotions in me. And so I feel compelled to say something, something that dangerously sways between feminism and self-defense. I will call this thing, protection. You see, I have a life I love. And I don’t have a love life. I’ve stayed safely away from men thus shoving more time aside for the success I want in life. Recently, I have dipped into dating in the same way one might go wine tasting. Swilling to then spit it out. It has been almost an entire year since I ended my last relationship. The longest I have ever been alone. And in those 365 days, I found a home, adopted a dog and today, in the midst of a September that has stunned me; this has been an incredible month of work. A personal best. I’m busy, between two countries and in my limited time off, I prefer to hang out with Biba or work on my book.
I feel like I am really, finally on my way. Not a day has gone by in the last few months where I don’t marvel at how happy I feel. Accomplished in many quiet ways I don’t feel compelled to share with anyone. It took me 6 struggling years into my twenties to get to where I am right now. Happy alone, satisfied with my success all the while, optimistic about the future. Sure, I still sigh and eye roll. But the irritations in my life are now fairly simple. There is no late night drama, no confusing arguments that stick like humidity and best of all? There is absolutely no one I have to answer to. My decisions and my successes are all my own. And yes, I’ve rambled on about my dating dashes to you all on snapchat – meeting men to then leave soon after I’ve insisted paying for my own coffee. As soon as the coins hit the table for my unfinished latte, I am halfway out the cafe door. But one thing, both being alone and dating has taught me so far? Protection, self-defense and I’m not referring to fighting in the physical sense.
We as women, so often tend to fall into the lives of men rather than defining our own. I have too much love for both myself and this life of mine to hand it over entirely to someone else. As for the men I’ve been meeting? They don’t seem to like that. I’m either creepily attached to my dog or too vapidly immersed in my work as a fashion blogger or money obsessed. Now, I know not all men are like this, but a lot of them seem to be intimidated by my independence. Or at the very least, irritated by my wish to share nothing more than a few meals and glasses of wine with them a week. You see, I refuse to let anyone hone in on what I have. I like what I have. It took time. It took work. I’m not giving me up for anything.
Is that selfish? Perhaps but I’m too determined to care. So I say fight – put walls around your own goals and make sure those bricks you build up are solid in strength. It took me a very long time to realize that, oh how foolishly I so often flung my everything into men that weren’t deserving. The man deserving would never expect this, far too busy running after his own achievements. I’m no man-hater, I know the good ones exist, but until I find one, I say fight. A lot can be said for self-preservation. Protect yourself, you are all you truly have. And if my words don’t persuade, let me twist those I heard in a song by Big Sean, ‘Learn to make it on your own. If you love yourself, you’ll never be alone. I hope you get everything you want and chose. It will be the realest thing you ever know’.