OH HEY SUGAR PLUMS.
Or something like that. Sugar Plums? Bubaloos? Nice people that read my blog? Well I simply don't know what to call you lot anymore, but whatever I do call you, PLEASE KNOW THAT YOU ARE ACE AND VALID AND BAE.
Anyway, today's post is something that's been on my mind for a while, and well I guess it has since becoming single again, and oh boy do I hate to admit that.
We all have them right? We set them upon ourselves, we freak out if we haven't answered every email that we were supposed to by 5pm, we panic buy 14 frozen sausage rolls in the LAST CHANCE section of Sainsburys because I mean hey when you've had 3 too many Pornstar Martinis - just who knows what is going to float your boat? AMIRITE?
But no, I'm talking about the deadlines that we set for ourselves, the ones that hang out at the back of our minds and say "HEY YOU - TICK TOCK TICK TOCK. Your time in the sun of being a care free girl in her early 20s is over honey, better marry up, settle down or you'll be that sad girl sitting alone with her vibrator in 20 years time."
In three weeks time, I turn 26. It's funny as you age, because you start to reevaluate these milestones if you will, and just where you thought your life would be at this point. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that teenage Millie thought her life would be a hell of a lot different to the life that surrounds me now. I thought I would be married by 24, and have my first baby by now, I thought I'd be married to the love of my life, I thought I'd have a career that I'm settled on and look around the room feeling calm and in awe of the stability that surrounds me.
But nope, instead I'm happily single. I have a 9-5 that bores me beyond belief and I spend all my efforts on my side hustle, knowing it'll pay off. I drink a lot of wine on a regular basis and I can't even get a text back most of the time. - and that's okay.
It's okay that I had my heart broken. It's okay that my version of happiness right now looks very different to what I originally thought it would look like.
Quite simply put, it's completely okay that I haven't met the one.
DON'T BE TOO SMART
I was constantly fed shit like this when I was a teen. "You've got to be smart enough to catch his attention for a conversation, but not smart enough that you overshadow him."
Erm nah. I'm a confident, smart, attractive woman in her mid twenties and I'm not afraid of showing it. Yes like all of us, I'm looking for love. But one thing I won't ever do is settle. It's not about what I can bring to the table to prove that I'm a worthy partner, it's what you can add to my life, cherry on top mentality all the way. If you can't handle me winning political arguments, and talking your ear off about a new book or insane writing technique you aren't the one for me.
A quote heard back the other day has stuck with me. "I am the table. What are you bringing?"
SHOP THIS POST
"IF YOU SHOP AROUND TOO LONG, ALL THE GOOD ONES WILL BE GONE."
I feel like everyone's been fed this in some regard. Heavens knows, I've even had family and 'friends' try to talk me into staying in an abusive relationship because "It's not THAT bad, he has a good job, he loves you!"
I won't settle. I won't be told to settle, even if it's disguised as a compliment. I'm looking for a soulmate who can bring just as much to the relationship as I can, and I'd rather choose myself and end up alone, than play victim to the patriarchy and settle for someone who is not worth my time.
THE NOTION OF SOULMATES
Quite simply, I refuse to give into this idea that one day I'll meet the perfect man that will complete me. Believe me, I've done it all. I've fallen for the fixer upper, who you can help put his life together along with yours. I've done the ridiculously perfect man you end up idolising who focuses on your faults over his own. Nobody is perfect, and nobody is going to complete me. That's upto me. I'm Millie Ryan, and I'm going to live my life to it's complete and utter end, whether I find 'The One' or not.
THE DREADED TIMELINE
I don't think there's any word that can strike as much fear and panic into the heart of any woman in her mid twenties - mid thirties than the word Timeline. We read 'He's Just Not That Into You', we analyse text messages, we hear all these stories about Julie's cousin's friend's brother who had sworn off women but when he met the one he married her within 5 months, because he just knew she was the one, etc etc etc.
Everyone's timeline is different, but I wanted to be married by 24 and pop out my first child by 26. Well that is until I realised how damn quickly time passes and at the ripe old age of 21 decided this was maybe slightly unrealistic and scaled it back to being married with a kid by 30. I wanted to live with the partner for 3 years before marriage, and 2 years before we had kids. Oh wait, doesn't that mean I should have met him two years ago? Damn. Maybe he was the abusive boyfriend I had? Or maybe he was the guy who stopped on a bridge in the middle of our first date and said "hi" to a train.
At the end of the day, I'm not sure I believe in soulmates, I don't want to believe in the notion that someone completes me, because I want to know that I complete myself and that when I find a partner, he will simply add to my fruitful life. I believe that I'll meet an incredible partner one day, and whether I meet him at 26 or 56, I'm done with panicking about my timeline, and focusing on me, and the right person for me.
LET'S BE EACHOTHER'S SOULMATES
Okay we all know exactly what episode of Sex and The City I'm referring to here, and it's always the one that I think of when it comes to becoming happy and content with being single. The notion of soulmates goes back to Plato's The Symposium, where when soulmates find eachother they would lie together and feel 'no greater joy' than being together. What if we called bullshit and decided to find that greater joy within ourselves? Whether there's a boy by my side or not.
In all honesty (I mean let's be real for a hot minute here), these pictures by Kaye are BREATHTAKING, we shot them a couple of weeks ago in Covent Garden and as soon as I got the proofs I instantly thought 'Oh lol it looks like I've married myself.' (and yes I actually say lol out loud in my thoughts... problem? No? K let's continue.) I mean why can't I choose myself? Why can't I choose to be my own soulmate? Why can't I choose to put every effort that I have previously put into men who weren't worthy of my attention into myself, into self care, into pursuing my career goals and dreams? Then I realised, oh wait. I can.
The woman you are becoming will cost you people, spaces, relationships and material things. Choose her over everything.