Last new year I was in a hotel at Heathrow, alone. I chose that. I chose to buy the prosecco, and salmon dinner, and to light the scented candle as I chowed down in a fancy toweled bathrobe, London’s fireworks on the telly and mates from all over the world on FaceTime. The next day I got up, made a token gesture of twenty minutes in the gym, and got on a one-way flight to Bali because life is too short not to do ridiculously poetic things like literally propel yourself into your future on the first day of the year, accepting tomorrow as a question mark.
I’ve always loved the fresh start, the good intention of it all. January 1st promises a do-over, renewed faith, beginnings. I spend the days between Christmas and New Year making lists, reviewing the year’s achievements and accomplishments and setting an intention for the upcoming year. I have specific goals, too, but I like an over-arching theme. Last year, it was “sit at the grown-up’s table” – I was determined to make my mark as a career woman, to take up my space in the world unapologetically, understanding implicitly that I am capable, and able, and thus presenting myself that way, too. In romance, that meant I would date men (not BOYS!), with intention and purpose and clarity. I would not, I decided, let them lead me on, or lead others on, and there would be no more games. “Sitting at the grown-up’s table” in dating meant, for me, that I’d own the fact I am looking for love, and, you know – eventually a husband.
I made that distinction because I cannot tell you the number of boys I have dated in my past who were the opposite of what anyone could consider “husband material”. I told myself I was simply looking for a bit of fun anyway, so that’s all it ever was. But, I want more.
2015 saw dalliances with a French artist, and an Australian divorced father of two almost twenty years my senior. There was an Indian yogi and a German engineer, and hand on heart? All of them I respected, and admired, and tellingly would not avoid in the street, now, on the other side. But none was my husband. None was The One. So I ended the year as I started it. Single.
I’m loathe to use the word “still”. I’m not “still” single. I’ll never “still” be anything because last year, the deliberate adventure of it all, the becoming of it, changed the way I think about myself because I did, indeed, sit at the grown-up’s table. I sat at the grown-up’s table and dated a lot of men, and the thing is, is that I have no doubt every last one of them prepared me for the one I should be with.
Yes, in the new year I would LOVE a new boyfriend, but more than that I’d love more of the adventure that gets me there. The courage to keep asking questions, before he is my answer. That’s my 2016 theme. Trust the process. It’s so much more exciting that way.
Follow Laura’s adventures on www.superlativelyrude.com, and on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as @superlativelyLJ. She is a self-confessed social media whore and her memoir, Becoming publishes on June 2nd 2016 with Hodder & Stoughton.