Growing up as an only child, I spent the bulk of my life proving to people how good I was at sharing. I became a master of compromise and, hating confrontation, flourished at making sure everyone always ended up in a win-win situation. I hated the stigmas associated with not having siblings: spoiled, not good at sharing, selfish. Those words still make me cringe but being single has shown me that sometimes it’s okay to be selfish, and sometimes not sharing is the only way to become independent.
I spent most of my 20s in serious relationships and I shared a lot. I shared my time, I shared holidays, I shared movie choices, and I shared my love. I shared openly and freely, without hesitation and with complete sincerity. Looking back, maybe I compromised too easily, maybe I shared too much, and maybe I was naïve enough to think being benevolent would help love stay. It didn’t.
So, now that I’m single I’m beginning to enjoy not having to share my life with a significant other. I have enough friends and family to disperse my time with that the thought of throwing another person into the mix makes me want to gag. I don’t want to share my bed or my pizza. I don’t want to share time between families at Christmas and Thanksgiving. I don’t want to share the cable bill or my Netflix. I don’t want to share my hopes and dreams. Most of all, I don’t want to share moments and make memories with someone who will just hurt me in the end.
It goes further than having my guard up. To the extent that I actually enjoy doing my own thing and not having to run things by anyone. I am thoroughly loving my independence and taking this small blip in time to be selfish. I can explore the world beyond my front door or choose to stay in bed and watch Netflix (which by the way, gives me much more accurate suggestions now that I’m not sharing. How did they KNOW I would love The Mindy Project?) I can go to the gym or order a pizza. I can go out of town at the last second. I can live my life on my own terms and not worry about sharing my time with another person and trying to plan my life around their schedule.
Not gonna lie, sometimes I do get those conflicted pangs of wanting to share my life again. Thinking it would be nice to have someone around, someone who made me not want to be selfish anymore. Someone who wanted to share adventures, no matter how big or small (and not just at the beginning of the relationship when everyone’s on their best behavior). Someone who made sharing easy and who made me want to revert back to my old pre-broken self, full of guileless hope and butterflies and love. Someone who didn’t take advantage of my sharing but saw it’s benefits as much as I do.
I’m not there yet though. I still need time to heal, to mend my heart and my soul. I need time to be selfish and do my own thing. I have already found so much independence and I’m not ready to give it up yet. I am happy being single and making my way in this world without sharing my compass or believing that another person’s wants and desires are more important than my own.
I often times need to remind the hopeless romantic part of my brain that I’m not losing out on flowers and kisses but instead gaining a whole side of my bed that once seemed obsolete. It’s gonna take someone special to make me want to share that again, but for now I’ll continue living life selfishly and sharing myself with the people who will never break my heart and who always share back just as much.