#60: Michelle 2.0
Updated: Aug 23, 2022
After declaring myself officially single – for the first time in 4ish years – that my daily goals and activities remain the same. I still work, workout, call my parents, and spend time with friends as I did before. However, my attitude changed. Since my relationship was long distance with a 10 difference, I rarely spent more than 1-2 consecutive hours on the phone. When I wasn’t actively on the phone, or sending a quick text 5-10 times per day (not much), most of my non-work/workout headspace was devoted to another person. I was always stressed about the nature of the relationship, wondering what he was doing and hoping he had a good day, or wondering why he hadn’t called and if he loved me. I constantly missed someone else.
When the relationship first ended, my headspace was occupied replaying the past in my head, wondering how it could’ve turned out differently. I expected to go through this for weeks, months, or even years. Instead, I feel healed. I feel the more outgoing, energetic version of myself coming back.
I desperately wished circumstances could be different, but I have all respect and no regrets. For a long time, I was convinced I’m not capable of being alone. I said a few weeks ago that I needed to force myself to try it. I thought I was embarking on some huge journey of riding a bike without training wheels, until I realized that I’ve been doing it all along.
Anyway, I’m under a lot less stress now that I’m not constantly thinking about someone in a different state, let alone country. I have no choice but to live in each moment, and I love it. My time and my future are my own. I suddenly have energy to enjoy a run, have dinner with friends on a weeknight, or stay out for another few hours on a Saturday. I’m perfectly capable of being alone, and actually value my alone time more now that I have the energy to get back to my hobbies.
Before, when I returned home for the evening, I immediately needed to watch TV, eat, and unwind. Until bedtime. I didn’t have the mental energy to build LEGOs or finish decorating my apartment. These days, I return home (or work from home) and look forward to building LEGOs while listening to an audiobook. Do you know the last time I genuinely wanted to “read” a book? What’s more, I finally found the energy to order the last decorations for my apartment. In the best way possible, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be than in each moment. I can point to a few specific moments when I really felt like myself again. The most memorable was running 6 miles on the treadmill, overlooking the vast ocean on the first morning of the cruise – after some heavy drinking the night before. I don’t know how to explain it, I just felt energy in that moment. I felt like the Michelle Buyer I used to know.
Of course, you want to tell me that I’m only 23 years old, and 4 years is nearly a quarter of my life, so what am I saying? Technically, you’re right. I’m not a different person, nor do I want to be. I actually love who I am, and the people in my life for the last few years made me an exponentially better person. But, in the times in my life I’m not overrun with stress, I stop to smell the flowers and appreciate what’s around me. I live for the small moments and enjoy coming up with elaborate plans to bring people together. I can almost always pull energy out of my ass to go meet new people, knowing the interaction will energize me. I missed that version of myself.