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Growing up allows you to reflect … to look back on things that maybe once seemed so real, but after learning more about how the world works, you sort of get an understanding of the reality behind it … for example … relationships.

So many relationships are built on illusion and infatuation … misconceptions about how each partner really feels or about who they really are. They’re built on a not so promising future, but a quite convincing one … where he or she will tell you everything you want to hear, you’ll believe it, become involved, revolve your life around the person only to lose sight of yourself, and then later on, you’ll find he or she didn’t really want any of what they said---they were just speaking in the heat of the moment or maybe, they did mean it at the time, but have grown in a different direction and now want something more. This can be painful.

On the other hand though, some relationships are built at a young age, and remain consistent and strong because neither one of those people have the desire to look elsewhere and are completely content with one another. Those are the rare yet extremely admirable instances.

But what about the rest of us … what about those of us who want to love and fall in love and be in love and do loving things with someone we love, but have a hard time letting ourselves commit to that opportunity. What about us?

Well, here’s what I know … at 25 years old, I am freer than I’ve ever been … bound to no one or nothing. I am the decision maker, the financial provider, the only person I have to answer to and it’s really freaking amazing. It’s a time in my life that I know I will later wish I had back and will really appreciate.

So if that’s the case … if it’s a time that’s sooooo awesome and a moment in time we all eventually want back, then why do we rush love? Why do we make ourselves commit to another human being before we’ve even come to terms with who we are, what we want and what we need? Is love really that amazing that we need to hurry up and find someone so we don’t end up alone?

I’ll tell you one thing about love that I’ve come to learn through the years and it’s that it comes in many forms and it comes when you least expect it, usually with a person you least expected to love and then and ONLY then can you live and love without regrets … when you’ve fallen in a love that’s unordinary.  

I’ve loved a few people, but have been in love only once. It’s extremely difficult to do … love someone but not be in love, or be in love but not loved in return. Love has come my way so many times and with each new person I grow to fall for, I learn more and more about myself, what I want and need, and what I deserve. Had I given up on finding those answers prior to now and settled for a boy who was clearly never going to be the man I needed him to be, I wouldn’t have known how awesome and amazing my life and love could grow to be.

The years of loneliness are sometimes viewed as years of unwantedness … not even sure that’s a word, but I like it … unwanted-ness? Ok, still not sure … but, what I’m trying to say is that the years of being lonely aren’t always unwanted, although the world may think that by looking in from the outside … sometimes, they’re lonely by choice. Sometimes, we wisdom seekers and happiness chasers choose to be alone until we’ve found someone or something worth bringing in to our lively bubble.

So actually, the lonely years are the best years … the years where you find yourself and explore. You can play, and joke, and laugh and smile and wake up with messy hair, bad breath and no regrets or shame. You don’t have to seek approval from anyone but yourself. You don’t have to worry about anyone else’s schedule, anyone else’s needs, anyone else, period. The lonely years are the golden years. Don’t rush them. Embrace them. Engage in everyone you meet and when the unordinary strikes you, you’ll know it. And you just may fall in love. All the mundane, tedious to-dos become ten times more enjoyable when you’re in love … maybe that’s why we rush it … because of the fluffy feeling we get when we’re in it … But that fluffy feeling can’t come if we don’t first, grow in order to fully love and know ourselves.

If you’re that girl who goes out and sees love all around her in envy … you still have growing up to do. Love comes when you least expect it and when you can appreciate, understand and come to terms with that, that is when you’ll find it. Grow first. Love second. Don’t rush it.