Alone. It’s something I’ve struggled to deal with this past year, but also loved. 2016 has been testing at times, but it’s also the year I took many jumps no matter how much they scared me.

I’m not going to lie – I’ve struggled this past year and a half of being single, don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been sat at home crying into my pillow.. well, not every night but loneliness crops up in ways that makes you want to hide behind the alcohol, the late nights and the parties. In doing this, you make a lot of mistakes – you’re not thinking straight. You’re doing everything possible to have that moment of intimacy you crave, be it for one night or a few stupid nights.. heck, in my case a few months of stupid nights.

Loneliness can be a scary thought. It normally crops up after a particularly bad break up, a few non starter relationships or after floating through life never really having that connection with anyone you find. It’s something that for me that has been the drive for a number of very stupid decisions of mine, those late night texts to exes, the one night stands and the nights you definitely drink a lot more than you know you can handle. It’s been a learning curve, and I’ve learnt to FINALLY love the loneliness. Sounds crazy, right? Stay with me.

We often put single into the category loneliness. I have a love/hate with loneliness. It can be a dangerous feeling but also it can really bring you into your element.  So why is loneliness a good thing? First off, it shows you’re a human. One with feelings, that one day will do anything in their power to make someone very happy. It forces you to spend time not just by yourself, but with friends too. It builds on lifelong friendships that for me, this past year have been invaluable. During my time being single I have learnt so much about myself, just how much of my life I’m willing to compromise for someone, how much I need my ‘me’ time, how much I can actually look after myself and love it. It’s made me realise just how awesome and beautiful my friends are. I have been on holidays, attended parties I would of normally missed, I have eaten out at places I wouldn’t of tried before, I have done things that scared me, I have taken risks and I have loved every damn second. Dating is hard, and it can be discouraging when time after time it feels like you’re hitting a wall. Have faith. Your lobster is out there and it will come when you least expect it to. We all have that overwhelming feeling of the ticking time bomb, that one day our time has passed and we’ve missed out on our once in a lifetime love. We haven’t. It’s still there and what’s meant to be will be.

I’ve never been single for as long as I have this time, it was hard to find my feet and realise just what I was looking for – not just in a guy, but for myself. Everyone has always told me no one can love you if you don’t love yourself and honestly.. It’s kind of true. I don’t mean walking round thinking you’re the most beautiful girl in the room (although if you have this confidence – own it!) What I mean is loving the broken pieces of yourself.

I think I’m fairly broken in many ways, I’ve had past relationships that have chipped away at me, I’ve had ones that have been disappointing, I’ve had ones that have tried to knock down my tower but see, all these broken pieces form together to make the beautiful stained glass piece of art that is.. well.. me. It’s built me my own castle, I’m stronger than I’ve ever been. Our lives are pretty similar to that of a stained glass window. The broken pieces of different coloured glass, formed together to make a beautiful masterpiece, a story. It really stuck with me, my life is far from perfect and there are many things I’d change, do differently, go back, or would I? All these parts of me that I feel are broken, maybe one day I will look at them for the beauty they could be… they are me. I have to know that one day someone will come along, see these broken pieces and love each and every single one. Someone will love yours too. Those little pieces of you that right now you’re hating, someone will see them for exactly what they are – the STRONG woman you are and all your battle scars. Own them. Go be awesome.

Inappropriate Agony Aunt:

It’s all very well celebrating the stained glass story of your life… but remember there’ll always be some dick with a brick who’ll come along and smash it!

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