I’ll Buy My Own Flowers
I turned thirty-five this year. It was Easter Sunday and I refused to see anyone. It was a tough day. I wasn’t where I wanted to be in life and I was extremely hard on myself about it.
Weeks later, I went home and my family celebrated with cake and candles. I wasn’t sure what was going on or who it was for. Neither did my grandmother who said, “what’s going on? Did you finally find yourself a boyfriend?”
Yes, I’ve been single for a really long time. My high school boyfriend wasn’t very nice to me and I walked away knowing I deserved better. I haven’t been in a relationship since.
I’ve gotten a lot of odd comments and questions over the years and I’ve always taken them so personally.
A few days ago I was dropping my other grandmother off and the same old conversation started again. “Have you found someone yet?” was her first question.
When we got to her place, she asked me to park the car and come in. She wanted to give me something. I almost refused – receiving is always so much harder than giving. I went in and she handed me an antique vase. It had been in her family a long time she told me.
We chatted and I shared some of the pieces I’ve written lately. We had an amazing talk. When I got up to leave, she said “I hope you find a man to fill that vase for you one day.” Normally this kind of comment would completely deflate me but something has shifted lately. I gave her a cheeky little smile and said “I’ll fill the vase myself. I’ll buy my own flowers. I’m worth it.” I know I really meant it because she chuckled, looked me straight in the eye and said “Yes you are.”
So I did. I bought myself a dozen red roses.
I don’t have a clearly outlined, ten step process for how I got there and I also know that “there” isn’t permanent. Life is messy and it’s a process. It’s not perfect and neither am I. I do know that it took a serious amount of awareness, vulnerability and growth along the way. Here are some of things that worked for me.
Find yourself a Mentor/Coach: You can’t do it alone, nor should you. Once the pain was bad enough and I was really ready to change, I was lucky enough to meet some incredible people along the way. They started out as mentors and have since become true friends. Find someone that will not only support you but challenge you.
Get out of your comfort zone: I signed up for some experiences, two in particular, that took me so far out of my comfort zone that I had no choice but to either shut down completely or grow. I chose growth. You only grow when you’re not comfortable. Do something that scares you so completely.
Get yourself some hobbies: I realized that I was all work. I took classes and tried new things to see what I liked. I compared it to throwing darts at a wall and seeing what stuck. Some things I loved and some I won’t ever try again. It not only puts you around like-minded people, you’ll figure out what lights you up. People want to be around people who love what they are doing (and that doesn’t just apply to work).
Address what’s not working: I started turning over every stone in my life and seeing if it was a true fit. From work, to relationships with others and with yourself, if it’s not working, the first step is admitting it.
Summon up some courage: I finally had the conversations I’d been avoiding for too long. It required an amazing amount of courage. The toughest one of all was with myself. It’s one that I have to keep having – every day.
Be patient: This one is my biggest struggle. It doesn’t happen overnight. Be patient with the process and with yourself.
Today, my life is completely different. I’m happier than I’ve ever been.
Want to know how I had a massive breakthrough and finally started dating after nearly two decades of being chronically single?
Check it out ==> https://vimeo.com/259496955
With much love,
Also published under a different title on Elephant Journal: