I hope you do one thing everyday that makes you feel great. It sounds silly but its sincere all the same. Even the most frivolous of pursuits are important if they make you happy, I hope you know that. Never ever be ashamed of the ways you seek out joy in what can so often be a mundane day. As for me? I must run and sweat to feel at ease. I also like lying on my grey parquet floors with all the windows flung open and sometimes, I like to drink black coffee at midnight so I can stay up too late and write. Curling my hair makes me happy. Nude lipsticks and too much bronzer applied cross legged over coffee is how I prefer to spend the early morning. My little dog Biba spinning in excited circles every time I open the front door is an incredible joy. There are so many silly simple things all around me that make me smile and so often I find myself looking right past them and into the shadows of an emotion I should let go of. For a long while now I’ve been sad, even prior to my relationship ending – the sadness developed into boredom which had me tossing and turning into restlessness, and inside those emotions I spiraled and got carried away. I too often overindulge my melancholy, I always have, even as a child, I was inexplicably yet profoundly sad sometimes. Sadness, as a sentiment, is a complicated one, layered like a mille-feuille and easy to exaggerate. Perhaps its this intense, promise-of-a-soon-summer-sunshine that has evaporated all my gloom away or maybe I just grew an inch or two in emotional strength and found my way out. But I’m happy and even happier to be able to express that here. When I look back on emotive patterns and the times in my life I was most content, they are the eras of when I was alone, without a man and lacking the burden of love. I like too much to be alone, which is an uncomfortable truth of mine. Perhaps I’m not mature enough to commit to one person, perhaps I’m overly independent or maybe I’ve not met the right man. Potentially, I’ve devoured too many feminist books but it riles me when men tell me what to do, and they all always do. Or at least the ones I’ve known. But above all, I believe I’m a tough woman to love, really. I’m too much of all the things I love about myself and too little of the things I pride myself on not being. And I’m okay with that, genuinely. I want to live all over this globe, I will never ask a man for money, I will always put myself first. I love my job and that’s a priority, always. My dreams don’t shrink but seem to only expand. I’m not even entirely sure I could share a house with a man and the idea of a husband mostly makes me shudder. And the thing is, when men first meet me? They quite like me but slowly, with time, the traits that captivated them begin to irritate them. I mean that in the most modest way possible, I also mean that in that I am the least needy person in the world and most men I’ve met are looking for a girl to mould not a woman clutching at the entire world. Obviously, like all of us, I am hopeful for love but all the love I have so far known has brought nothing but a big old ache. And that’s why I discarded the sadness, because here are all these things, all around me that guarantee happiness – I am focusing on those and forgetting love for now. And it’s absolutely, fucking, liberating, believe me to realize its hard for me to love and its hard for a man to love me. There was a good reason for me choosing to be single for an entire year. So here’s to me and here’s to you, maybe you’ve met the most perfect man, I still believe they exist or perhaps you are like me, either way; I hope you do one thing everyday that makes you feel great. You owe that to yourself, you owe it to life, because with or without the love of a man, we as women have a life. Never ever forget that. Never stop enjoying all the silly things that make you smile, they are a habit crucial to your happiness.