My Claddagh ring lost its charm the other day.  Literally.  But while browsing the latest “hello, I’m single” jewelry selection to adorn my now naked finger, I had to take a second to appreciate the symbolism.  Even my ring was tired of the flip-flopping.  Not wanting to waste this teachable moment, I obliged and decided to dig deeper.

Let’s review:  outgrowing the convenient co-habitation college beau (I was in college, he was “producing music,” playing the other woman unknowingly (perhaps/very naively), reuniting with the crushing first love 8 years later to ultimately endure more crushing, turning a hasty engagement riddled with couples counseling into a real friendship, getting jerked around by the confused co-worker friend(?), and finally falling for the “right” guy at the wrong time narrative.

Gosh when I read them all back to myself, I feel like I should be turning much older than 29 next month.  But at one point, with all of these men, I thought, “I finally got it.”  I knew who I was (I didn’t), I knew what I wanted (I don’t), and I was happy (at times, for sure).  I had found that person, who could forgive my faults and build me up when I needed.  The ultimate buddy check partner.

The beautiful thing about someone liking and choosing you, is that you get to like and choose them too.  And for those dynamite couples out there that match personalities, insecurities, turn-ons, etc, I am truly happy for you, because it proves to me that it’s out there against such incredibly impossible odds.  I mean, really think about those odds for a minute…

(cue “Single Ladies” crescendo)

But for the rest of us, my experiences have led me to some insight you’ve probably heard and promptly ignored once before (you’re in good company, see list above).  If you don’t know who you are and what you want, how could you ever expect to make an informed choice in the matter of love, and to that end, life?  Unfortunately, you may not always learn who you are through staying single or even enduring bad relationships.  Sometimes that person is shaped in the good times, which may consequently lead to the bad.  You cannot predict what you or your (potential) partner will want 10 seconds, 10 months, or 10 years from now, so accept that you cannot control even something as “simple” as your own heart.  Honestly, right now, just accept that.

In the end, I think my ring may have gotten its heart-shaped point across once and for all.  I decided I am going to explore a ring-less 2017, focus on forgiving my own faults, and be the ultimate buddy check partner for anyone in need.