I’ve just finished watching a hilarious movie called ‘How to Be Single’ with Rebel Wilson & Dakota Johnson. Rebel stole the show as she always does, and despite the story being light hearted and entertaining it got me thinking.
When my second serious boyfriend let me just after University, I was devastated and hit an all time low. I didn’t go out, I stopped exercising, I lost a ton of weight, I couldn’t find happiness in anything I did anymore. I couldn’t stand the thought of being by myself, I hated my own company.
So I decided, to avoid being by myself, I would make myself super busy. I threw myself into my 9-5, then took on two extra jobs as a tutor and at my local radio station. My days would start at 7am and end around midnight. I would make sure all my weekends were fully booked months in advance so I always had plans, and suddenly, I felt a million times better.
I realised the key to my happiness was to always be busy, that way I wouldn’t have the time (or the energy) to think about my ex and the fact he had torn my heart out. As time went by, I thought about him less and less until eventually, I didn’t think about him anymore – my plan had worked.
I adopted the same method to pretty much all my breakups ever since until earlier on this year. After my last relationship ended this summer I realised that I had just kept filling my time between the various men I dated with pointless activities and events. It was exhausting and deep down I knew it wasn’t the right mindset to be in. I still hated the thought of having to stay in by myself on a Friday night –it would fill me with dread. Moving to London made me realise this had to change.
This city is full of fiercely independent people who eat alone, travel alone, visit the cinema/galleries/exhibitions alone. I suddenly felt compelled to learn to stand on my own two feet and find happiness within myself. I realised I didn’t need a guy – or all the activities and friends in between them – to make me happy, I could be perfectly happy by myself.
As soon as I put this realisation into practice, I felt like a new woman. I could do whatever I wanted, when I wanted. If I couldn’t find a friend to watch a movie with, I’d go to the cinema by myself. If I felt really tired on a Saturday night, I could stay in and eat takeaway by myself (however lame that sounds). I was in charge of my own happiness, not my friends or any men I dated.
That shift in the root of my happiness impacted my current relationship. When I met my current partner, I didn’t seek out happiness from him, I was already happy within myself when I met him – he’s just an added bonus to my happiness!
So I challenge you, my fellow readers, to think: are you in charge of your own happiness? And if not, what can you do in order to feel happy on your own?