I am a single girl in my 20s, but I am constantly falling in love. I am falling in love with the sunset seen from my balcony, with a glass of Merlot, with the space I have in the bed when I stretch out in the morning, and with the ease of booking a plane ticket on a whim without asking anybody. I am falling in love, however slowly, with myself, too. It's been a messy fall, with bruises and scars, but it's also been beautiful in this breakdown.
I think there are a handful of things every woman in her 20s needs in her arsenal when falling in love with life -- and a man is not one of them. Here's my list:
1. A passport.
This is your invitation to see the world. Go see those places instead of just reading articles or liking your friend's picture of the Eiffel Tower on Instagram. Spend the money, take the vacation days, book the last-minute flight and make friends at the hostels. Do it while you're still young, wild and free.
2. A beloved lipstick.
The perfect lip color will make your smile stand out even more when someone falls in love with it. Until then, make it stand out when you smile at strangers and smile at yourself. The right shade can complement you more than you know (this is my personal favorite). So, add a little color to your happiness.
3. A go-to pair of shoes.
I've fallen in love at first sight plenty of times. It usually happens in the shoe section of Macy's, but it's happened in other places, too. A great pair of heels will make you feel like you own the place and allow you to walk with a confidence you otherwise wouldn't realize you had (all while perfecting your outfit).
5. A dream.
As they say, if your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough. So be afraid to dream big, but don't be afraid to chase that fear. Run after those dreams with full force and know that you can conquer them all on your own.
6. A pet.
I may be biased... but having a cat has really helped me as a single woman (all crazy cat lady jokes aside). The same goes for my friends with dogs and other animals. Having the responsibility of taking care of a life teaches you a lot, and it's always nice to feel loved unconditionally while having some animal company.
You should always have a safety net of cash to use when, and if, you need it. You should never want or need to rely on someone else later on. Be financially responsible for your own life.
8. A home.
Screw man-caves. Make sure your apartment/house/whatever is the perfect retreat from your daily life. Decorate it. Put love into it. Make it a home that brings you relief the moment you walk through the door. What you need is a personal oasis.
9. A circle of friends.
These are the people who will get you through all stages of your life. When your heart breaks, when your car breaks down, and when you break records. You need them as much as they need you. Everyone needs some solid company for the roller coaster of life.
10. A perfected dish.
Cooking for one isn't always the best, but it at least allows for a lot of trial and error. Try every Pinterest recipe that speaks to you, until you perfect the one dish you can impress everyone with.
11. A career.
Make your LinkedIn profile "wow" anyone who lands on it. Build your resume. Create your elevator pitch. Work on becoming the rock star you're meant to be, and climb the ladder towards the success you're destined for.
12. An emergency kit.
Always have easy access to these things, so you're prepared for whatever life throws at you: aspirin, tampons, condoms, Band-Aids, a bottle of wine, chocolate.
13. A desire for more.
A single woman should never settle. This applies to men, good wine, coffee, her salary, and anything else important to her. Fight for what you deserve, and always strive for more. The world is yours if you go after it.
14. An honest laugh.
A real laugh sings so much more sweetly than a fake one.
15. A favorite book.
Sure, we base a lot of what we expect love to be on fiction, but it never hurts to dream. All these books are somehow based on real things. Have a favorite book (or 10) that keeps your imagination alive. Grow your mind, fill your heart, and use your time with literature that changes you (my personal favorite).
I may be single, but I've never been more in love.
For more, check out SingleStrides.com