Shattering the Glass Slipper

Nov 26, 2013 by

          On Sunday, I went to The Gentlemen’s Expo alone. I want to maintain my confidence in my independence, given that my future European adventure is likely to be a solo endeavor. My last autonomous outing was in September, so I felt that it was time for another one. Unfortunately, I was not in the required I-can-meet-people-anywhere mental state. I wasn’t in any state to go out – alone or with friends.

          Confession: Lately, I’ve been pretty fucking upset about being single. I’ve been ignoring it by busying myself, denying the fact that I’m using my social life to forget my lack-of-love life. However, I’ve reached the point that I can no longer set my single status aside as a minor annoyance in the back of my mind. I am breaking-into-random-tears-while-driving upset. I am even-Supersoaker-by-Kings-of-Leon-can’t-save-me upset. I am driving-around-Toronto-at-1:45-in-the-morning-in-sad-search-of-a-club/boyfriend upset. (Recall that I rarely club, nor do I expect relationships to come of clubbing. #desperatetimes) My desire for a relationship has grown to astronomical proportions. If a genie were to grant me either a boyfriend or a ticket to Europe right now, I would choose – stone me, my fellow independent women; I deserve it – a boyfriend.

          Ugh! I hate that I just wrote that! Fortunately, having a boyfriend and going to Europe are not mutually exclusive, but could I be more of a girl by hypothetically choosing a hypothetical guy? Let me explain. I’ve always considered an extended stay in Europe to be my life dream. Before The Happiness Experiment, I hoped that it would save me. When I decided to make Europe a priority upon beginning The Happiness Experiment, I planned to set money aside for as long as I could handle living in the GTA. I hoped that I’d be able to withstand the life that I hated until at least summer 2014 in order to save a reasonable amount before flying away, but I wasn’t so sure. Then, happiness happened. Saving for Europe comfortably settled into the background of my life. As I began enjoying where I already was, I stopped anxiously waiting for future travel. Now, I’m content with not knowing when I’ll board that plane. I’m fine if it takes years to save enough money, as long as I’m consistently making progress toward my goal by regularly adding to my dream fund. No longer needing Europe to save me (I did that on my own), I don’t need to scrape together the bare minimum to go, and hope that I financially survive upon landing. I’m not in a rush anymore.

          In retrospect, I realize that what I wanted more than anything, more than Europe, was a social life. Yes, I preach independence and self-reliance, and I am a big believer in both of those things; but, I believe in using them to cultivate a lifestyle that makes you happy. For me, a happy lifestyle includes wonderful people to share experiences with. I would also like it to include a boyfriend, and I refuse to be ashamed of wanting someone more than I want someplace. Humans are social beings. It is okay that I want companionship. It is acceptable that I want to share my life with others. It is goddamn normal to want to wake up next to a guy. What is not cool is prioritizing other people over my own happiness, which I do not. Confessing that I want a boyfriend to the degree that I do does not make me less independent or less ambitious. It makes me honest.

          Having admitted that finding a boyfriend is this important to me, let’s get back to Sunday, the day that forced me out of denial. I walked around The Gentlemen’s Expo completely lost in thought. Torturing myself with reasons why I’m still single, I had little interest in interacting with the people around me. I was on the verge of tears, and wanted nothing more than to be at home. Because I paid to be there, I forced myself to stay despite knowing that it would make me happier to cut my losses and get the hell out. By 4 pm, a couple of hours since I had arrived and an hour before the show closed, I felt that I had put myself through enough. I was losing control over the lump in my throat. The exit door hadn’t even closed behind me before my tears burst. I couldn’t have been more grateful for the lone walk to my car or the hood of my jacket shielding the drops that froze to my cheeks. I can’t do this anymore, I thought to myself. I can’t pretend that I’m fine when I feel like something is missing. Fuck you, Prince Charming. My foot isn’t dainty enough for your glass slipper anyway. I’m done waiting to be found. I am no goddamn Disney damsel in distress. I take action to make things happen.

          Yet, I’ve failed to exert the necessary effort to obtain a relationship, I reminded myself. Why? Because I’m quickly bored? Because online dating sucks? Because sex is easily attainable? Too bad. I’m refocusing my efforts on what I currently want most. Boyfriend by Valentine’s Day? Deep, fucking, terrified-to-fail breath. Challenge reaccepted!

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