Christmas is over and the countdown has commenced. Thursday marks my 30th NYE. It will be my 29th without someone to kiss.
Even as I write these words I have to steel myself, take a deep breath and silently whisper, “Nothing’s wrong with me.”
Growing up I thought I’d meet my husband in college, be married by 25 and have a baby or two before 30 — just like my mom and dad.
Graduation came and went. No boyfriend.
Twenty-five came. I had a boyfriend. My boyfriend broke up with me. Twenty-five went.
Twenty-nine came. Still no boyfriend…
I tried. I put myself out there. I was vulnerable. I asked men on dates. I told them when I liked them. I left my number on napkins. I dated people I met in person — ski bums in Breckenridge, doctors in Denver, Turkish Casanovas in Abu Dhabi, a musician in Portland, a Cabella’s-loving hunter in Boise and product managers in the Bay. I got on Match, Okcupid, Tinder, Bumble and How About We. I swiped left. I swiped right. They swiped left. They swiped right. I got accepted. I got rejected. I fell in love. I got my heart broken.
Meanwhile, I watched as many of my friends, exes and unrequited loves fell in love and got married. Some found their soulmates. Some found great loves. Others found the right person for right now. I went to the weddings. I toasted their love and happiness. I meant it! I still do.
I’m beautiful. I’m brilliant. I’m bold. So what gives?
I’ve exhausted every excuse in the book. “I’m too pretty.” “I’m too intimidating.” “I don’t have enough time.” “It’s all about timing.” But the truth is, I’m not that pretty. I’m not that intimidating. I have as much time as I’m willing to prioritize. And timing is — at best — half the battle.
So then, what the hell is wrong with me?
Absolutely. Positively. Nothing. Except for the fact that I would ever give anything or anyone permission to make me feel like something is.
My twenties weren’t what I imagined they would be. I didn’t fall in love and get married. That used to make me feel small. Until I realized that while I wasn’t preoccupied with falling in love with someone else, I was freed up to fall in love with me.
I visited 15 countries: worked in three and lived in one. I had two hugely happy and successful careers and have started a third. I lived in five cities and forged families across the globe. I survived two traumatic experiences. I lost myself. Now I’m financing the existential journey to find myself again.
I am kind. I am creative. I am courageous.
My life is messy, imperfect and filled with my fair share of issues. But my issues aren’t the reason that I’m not in a relationship. And not having someone to kiss when the clock strikes midnight is not one of my issues.
Happy New Year!
I’m looking forward to my next decade’s worth of NYEs. I’m certain that they’ll usher in adventures, which I will tackle as the confident woman I have come to love.