something better

I admit it: I dwell. I don’t mean to. I would love to just move on, but that’s hard for me. Instead, I constantly think about what I could’ve done differently. I wonder what I did wrong. I try to reimagine those moments and keep them even though they disappeared months before.

I’m easily reminded of pieces of my past. Nostalgia gets to me and never really stops.

Until I find something better.

In my moments of dwelling, I used to think I’d found nothing better than what fell apart because I couldn’t get anything better. I somehow convinced myself that I had already achieved the most that I ever could. That I already met the people I clicked with the most. That I couldn’t move forward, only take a few steps back.

When I think of “moving on,” I think about coming to turns with something. Not being happy. Not feeling fulfilled. But accepting the fact that things aren’t the way they used to be and dealing with it.

And if that were the case, the whole notion of “moving on” would suck. I’m not sure if anyone else thinks about it that way, but I only ever thought that I could “move on.” I never really considered the possibilities of moving forward.

Until I allowed myself to have something more.

Because the world doesn’t just hand you everything you want. You have to go find it for yourself.

Dwelling stopped me from searching. From finding. From discovering.

Something better wasn’t just going to appear out of nowhere if I didn’t go out there and try to make something happen again.

It wasn’t impossible to find something better. It was actually easy. I just had to go out into the world and take a chance on people.

It’s not the same as before. My memories still resurface. But this time, I won’t obsess over what I could’ve done better. I’ll keep trying and learning. I’ll do better.


Miss Independent

Maybe calling myself “independent” is a way to glamorize that I like being alone. I don’t have a problem admitting it; though I love people, I also treasure my alone time.

I recently went to a concert alone, and I actually received a comment about that being “so sad.” I wasn’t sad, so I don’t know why this person was. That’s not to say that I like going everywhere alone; I was writing a story about the concert and when I’m working, I like to be focused and alone. But without even knowing the circumstances, people were so shocked and sad that I would go by myself.

I know some people who refuse to eat alone. I don’t have a problem eating alone. I often prefer it. Some people are terrified of being alone, and I treasure it. That doesn’t make me a better person, just a different one. And for some reason, people find that hard to comprehend.

For some reason, people think “alone” automatically means “lonely.” People think that  I couldn’t possibly choose to be alone. Because, to them, if I had the opportunity to surround myself with people, surely I would.

And maybe that’s true for some people. Some people are both alone and lonely, searching for people to fill them with energy and comfort and a sense of belonging. I love being around people, but it also drains me. I’m the most energetic writing in the middle of the night, accompanied by no one but the sounds of soft music and my keyboard as I type. I’m the most energetic sitting in an empty room, flipping through the pages of a magazine and sipping on coffee. I’m the most energetic when surrounded by my own ideas and the possibilities they could create. And around certain people, I’m energetic too. But I need the balance of both. I need late nights alone with words on pages. I need late nights with people with words floating quickly into the air around me. Some people make me feel like I belong. But to me, it’s more important that I feel as though I belong on my own. And I do.

Sometimes, I want to be around others. I want to tell jokes and laugh and connect with people. I want to be inspired. I want to have deep conversations and hear new stories. But sometimes, I want to sit on the floor and scribble words into a notebook. Sometimes, I ignore text messages for a few hours simply because I don’t feel like responding. Sometimes, I look at the world as an outsider surrounded by groups of people, not because I’ve been unfortunately excluded, but because I chose to step back and take the world in. Because I want to be aware. Because I want to know people, but I also want to know myself.

Sometimes, I have to get away and go for a long walk by myself. Sometimes, I want nothing more than to go on a long walk and have a deep conversation with someone else.

This isn’t one of the romantic comedies or pop songs where “miss independent” falls in love or becomes cool and worthy then abandons her sense of independence. This is my journey, and sometimes, I need to explore on my own. I might be alone. I might be lost. But I’m not in search of someone else; I’m simply discovering myself.