I Am Learning To Love The 10-Year-Old Me, Or A Manifesto For Single Women Everywhere

God bless you, beautiful.
Publish date:
May 22, 2013
being single

I can’t believe the number of stories I've written for xoJane since I joined in August (and happy birthday to the site -- we are TWO! I suppose that means I will be one in two months?).

And I realized tonight, one of the most essential things about what it is that I’m writing, that I’m actually trying to say is simple. It is stark. It is simple.

Women, we are OK.

Like, in all of it.

In all of the ecstasy and bleakness of being a single woman (and fuck it, this goes for you in relationships, too), we are OK. Creepy awkward question-filled, update-giving high school reunions and all. We’re OK. We’re totally OK.

As in:

We do not need someone else to make it OK, to tell us it is OK, to be OK.

He didn’t call, he didn’t text, he did this, he did that, he fucked me, then he didn’t fuck me, then he kissed me, then he looked at me in this way, then he--

WHO GIVES A SHIT? Who gives a shit, girl?

YOU are OK. I am OK. We are all so fucking OK.

I never used to believe any of this. I needed the love, the hug, the assurance, the tight snuggle spoon that says I will never ever let you go. I so wanted a boyfriend, some great sexy glow, some perfect coupling, some measure of confidence that I would suddenly one day be granted -- and that it would finally (ta-da, finally!) all be okay.

But it’s all an illusion. I realized that today.

I felt peace.

I can do it. No matter what.

Sure the insight will be gone again in moments, in seconds, but then I will find it again. And to have it as a palpable brick of courage inside you, ah, that I like.

“And what about you? What about your love life, Mandy? Are you dating anyone? Anyone? Huh? Huh? What about you? What's going on with YOU?”

What about me? I’m motherfucking great, that’s what. Sure, it can be hard and lonely and sad so often. People can be mean, your heart can get broken, and you think you know why you get up every morning but then suddenly there’s something else that you want and you're aching and you’re always, always wanting and never satisfied and then you get what you want and you’re bored and then you’re worried about losing the thing that you have and then it’s just -- dissatisfaction. I want so much. We all want so much.

It’s good, but it’s exhausting. I realize that part of me, part of why I like to fuck, part of why I like to fool around with a man is that it gives me something, a moment of fake OK-ness.

And this is where I get into trouble is when I am simply WANTING a man, where I have this primal sense of hungry WANT, of hungry I AM NOT OK WITHOUT YOU BECAUSE YOU MAKE ME FORGET ABOUT THE LONELINESS AND ALIENATION OF MYSELF.

It's a crack pipe hit. A sexual fleeting crack pipe hit if you don't have the love within.

We get it, Mandy. You’re a single woman. You write for a women's website.

But you don’t actually get it. You don’t actually get it until you’ve lived in these shoes.

My acupuncturist once told me: “Mandy, love that little child inside of you.” Amy Poehler said this once at an event I went to, and I've never forgotten it: “Love the 10-year-old you.”

Love the 10-year-old you who just went for it, awkwardly, blindly, fucking it up, but still going for it, bad hair, bad teeth, bad clothes, and you BELIEVED and you stumbled but there was a part of you that just knew. You just knew how rad you are.

Such crazy unwarranted confidence and faith. That was real and fresh and strong and true.

I see it in my girlfriends all the time and I know their secrets and they know mine, and what we have there is an exuberant, wild, ecstatic slumber party style love.

A love that says: We will always, always, no matter what be OK.

Let's do this together, okay?

Let's love the 10-year-old us.


Find Mandy long-form at http://tinyurl.com/stadtmiller.