I sit here in my new home and I look around at all the work I've done to get to where I am.
Outside on our deck, a George Foreman grill stands strong that I put together. In our living room, a lamp sits proudly, a lamp that I purchased and found a way to light. In the hallway, various art pieces hang, art that I measured, eyeballed, stud searched, and nailed into the wall. In my bedroom, a colorful and eclectic display of items decorate my room that I packed, shipped, and unloaded all by myself. Wafting through the house, there's the aroma of dinner cooking that I shopped for, paid for, and prepared.
And I did this all by myself.
Man, what a feeling.
Harking back to Celine Dion's iconic All By Myself song, sung in lonely desperation by Bridget Jones, I resonate very well with being by myself. All my life, I've grown accustomed to being by myself, especially in the relationship department. I have yet to go on more than a few dates with someone, have yet to have a boyfriend, and have yet to go a week without being asked about my height or called intimidating.
Throughout my high school and college years, I watched as my friends got boyfriends, became pregnant, got married, had babies, and all the while, I pushed on, just me, myself, and I.
And all the while, I became completely ensconced in my own company. I wasn't lonely, as there's a difference, but I was alone. While everyone around me went out, dated, and had relationships, I got to know myself very intimately. I became comfortable in my own skin, my own company, and I learned early on that I have what it takes to go forth in this world without needing someone else.
Granted, there were (and are) plenty of moments when I wanted help. I would've jumped at the offer of someone helping me hang art, but alas, I was once again stuck with myself and I managed to do so just fine, albeit the art hangs just a wee bit crooked.
Sometimes, I watch with envy as my roommates help each other and work together as a team and I long to know what that feels like, but then I remind myself that the power all lies within me and I do have what it takes to do things by myself, as troubling as it is at times. And I remind myself that someday, I will have someone special to help me.
There's a Rupi Kaur quote that inspires me and fits this situation quite perfectly:
what is the greatest lesson a woman should learn
that since day one
she's already had everything she needs within herself
it's the world that convinced her she did not
Everywhere I look, there's messages and photos that tell me that I'm not good enough by myself. I'm surrounded by the idea that I need something else, someone else to fulfill who I am in order to succeed. To that, I take my own hammer and nails and prove to the world that I am complete and that I can do what I set my mind to, which doesn’t always mean relying on someone else.
What I’m learning whilst being all by myself has to do with becoming independent. And when I do get help hanging up art someday, it will be because I want help, not because I need it (unless it’s really heavy, in which case then yes, I do need help).
So you see, while I'm technically, by the book, "all by myself", I remain whole all by myself.
And that is the greatest strength of all.