My first year of college was spent at a community college. I wanted to be close to home, I could’ve gone anywhere probably, I had great grades in high school. I was transferring the next year, I told everyone.
I always had to defend my choice, I thought. Who would be impressed by me getting my core classes out of the way for a small price? I was scared to leave home and wanted to save money, but you can’t just tell people that, I thought.
I’ve had the same stigma attached to being single since I was aware of the fact at age 4. I don’t think I ever thought it was okay to be single. It just seemed to me like people had to be together.
At the risk of sounding like I shouldn’t be writing for this column, it may surprise you then that I’ve been perpetually single since the beginning of high school. Maybe it was my constant need for a committed relationship that’s been stopping me. Maybe it’s that secretly I’ve just been trying my whole life to impress people enough to want to be with me, and that constant need to be better has gotten in my way.
In one of my favorite movies, Before Sunrise, Ethan Hawke observes that he is always around himself and never gets a chance to be someone different. Everything he does, every kiss, every moment, has to involve him no matter what. I think I’ve felt some of that too, I just wanted to experience someone else, to not have to just experience me.
That’s not to say I’m not happy with who I am, far from it. Rather, I think the problem is that I can never accept just me as enough. I’ve always felt like some other half I was supposed to know is missing. But publicly, I would like to admit to myself here that I am very happy with who I am and very proud of the person I’ve become. I’ve done a lot of great things in an effort to make a name for myself, and I think even that I have done successfully.
So now I find only one thing left to do. There’s obviously a reason I’m writing this piece this week, and I’m sure you can figure it out based on my tone here. I’m ready to start a very extended Hi-Datus, as I call it, and just spend some time getting to know myself. I want to learn more what it is I like, how I can be happy alone, and how I can better find what exactly it is I’m even looking for, and even better, help others to do the same. As the wise artist Fergie once said, “This [guy] don’t stay single for long,” but as long as I can help it, I’m gonna say I’m single, and I’m not going to justify a damn thing.