Dear Diary

I haven’t done a really truly honest post in a long time, but since it’s a new year (Happy New Year by the way), and my newest romance has just come to an end, it felt important to start off on a new foot. After all, I was a writer before I was a blogger, and having a place to share my thoughts and feelings was a big part of why I started RAOP in the first place.

In a lot of ways I’m crazy lucky- I have an amazing apartment, the best gang of friends a girl could ask for, two purrfect pets, and on top of all that, my dream job. Everyday I get to wake up and do what I love, a career that I pulled from my imagination and somehow managed to make into a full-time reality. Every night as I snuggle up into my bed I thank my lucky stars for where I am and all of the extraordinary moments I’ve had.

But if we’re being honest, and that’s what this post is all about, there’s something missing.

I’ve written the words “It’s no secret I’m a hopeless romantic” far too many times, but in this case I think it’s worth repeating. I am one of those people who just loves love- I swoon over engagements, cry in almost every movie I see and sob at weddings. My parents have been together since their early teens and were married before my mom turned 20, and as the most in-love married couple I’ve ever come across they’ve given me some pretty big shoes to fill. As soon as I’d watched my first fairytale as a child I became fixated on finding “the one”. I knew it was only a matter of time.

And yet here I am, 25 years old, and two nights ago I had my first New Year’s Eve since puberty that didn’t include a kiss at midnight with someone I love.

So here’s the thing- In every way I can fathom, I have built my life into a fairytale. I have worked hard to get where I am, climbed my way up the long braid of golden hair to the highest tower and kissed far too many frogs along the way. I’m not afraid to say that I love myself, that I love being single, that I am strong and confident and hardworking, and that I think I have a lot to offer another person. But even though I believe in love above all other things in this life, I somehow can’t seem to find it, or at least to make it last.

I know, I know I should be happy with what I have, but in the spirit of “being real”, everything I have feels a little less sparkly without someone to share it with. As a blogger and a follower of other bloggers in my community and beyond, I see so many posts about happy relationships, new engagements, fresh babies and tales of sweet meetings, but I’ve never really seen anything about us single bloggers- how hard it can be to date, and even worse, to love. Between people who don’t understand what I do or take it seriously, and people who are trying to take advantage of what I do (oh yeah, I had a first date tell me they’d like me to show them how to be successful on Instagram and then leave directly after I shared my story) it’s a bit of a mine field out there. And then there’s the issue of finding someone I’m serious about and not knowing when or how to introduce them to my world. On one hand I can’t help but crave posting about dinner dates, about holding hands on a snowy walk and driving off into the sunset. But on the other sharing my relationships only means sharing my heartbreak, and unfortunately the past year has taught me that I need to ask myself “Is it possible this person is just posting about me and asking to be on my feed for a follower boost, or do they genuinely like me?”

In short, I’m a little tired. Yes I’m young, and yes good things come to those who wait/when they least expect it/etc. but I can’t help but feel a little less twinkly every time I walk away from a lacklustre date or give my heart away to someone who doesn’t have the capacity to give theirs back. Each time a relationship ends, whether it’s my choice or not, that happily ever after slips further into the distance, at times so faded and small that I start to question if it even exists at all, or if it’s simply a mirage painted by watercolour films and mommy bloggers.

I wish I had an answer to my own questions, but that would be too easy wouldn’t it? As a go-getter in every other aspect of my life, the hardest part about this whole thing is I really have no control in the matter. All I can do is wait with fingers crossed for someone to share my sparkle with, listen to Katy Perry songs, and keep closing my eyes to make a wish every time it’s 11:11…

In the meantime, a little bit of self improvement never hurt anyone either, right?

In the interest of healing from heartbreak, I’m making January all about growth and self-love. Get ready for healthy recipes, new workouts, daunting challenges and more honesty than ever before. After all, single, married, in a relationship, or otherwise, we’re all in this new year together.

Header image by the incredible Matt Crump