“I want to be an independent woman who falls in love, finds a great partner for her lifetime, has kids and kind of does it all. I’d like to have it all” -Jennifer Love-Hewitt
I was raised by two women that had, for a very long time, been single mothers. Other than my grandfather and my uncle, there weren’t many significant men in my life. That was okay, or so I thought at the time, because you couldn’t possibly miss something you never truly had. Looking back, one of the things I am most proud of in my upbringing is the fact that I was raised by headstrong, independent, driven women. Those very traits were nurtured into me and became traits that I too am now well known for.
In fact, my boss recently introduced me before I accepted an award and the three initial words of the speech: Strong, sassy and stubborn. Well, yeah, she wasn’t wrong. Those traits are so ingrained into my core and they’ve largely been without conflict, except for one situation: love. I’m fairly open when it comes to my experiences (which to be clear, are less than few and far in-between) but lately I’ve been struggling with this one thought: how can I nurture an intimate relationship with another while still maintaining my strength and values as an independent woman?
The problem is I never wanted you, I never wanted to fall for you.
I absolutely hate that I want you. I am embarrassed that you’ve become someone I need.
The truth is, the time I spend with you means everything to me, but that is a difficult adjustment from equally enjoying time with myself as well.
The tug-of-war between independence and being a part of a unit.
I once allowed my feelings for someone to be so strong that when they broke up with me, well, they broke me. I grew up witnessing a strong woman accomplish anything and everything she wanted without needing a man or anyone else to pick her up when she stumbled. The truth is, I believe that is me as well, but I can no longer deny that a part of me, deep down in the most intimate parts of my soul wants to share my life with another too. I want to come home after a long day and sit across from my best friend and tell them about the best and worst of my day. I wouldn’t mind sitting in silence with my head across their lap as we silently watched the news or a movie I’ve probably seen one too many times.
The truth is, I’ve figured out that I don’t mind being alone, but I don’t want to be lonely. The contradiction is, I want to be a woman independent, though strengthened by my equal. I’m aware these are large contradictions. But the truth is, at the end of the day, I’m an independent woman who too wants to be loved.
These are my secrets. These are my intimate thoughts.Published in