Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Yeah, wow.

No one reads this any more.

And it's that fact that gives me the balls to admit what I'm about to... Like I can whisper my secret to the internet, then turn off my computer and the poison is transmuted out of me and into a server somewhere in downtown San Francisco, and just quarantined there forever.

Ever since I can remember I/we have been bombarded with ads on TV and in print of people in love. (I turned off the TV years ago, but humour me here...) This subconscious signal that is constantly reinforced every time we go to the movies. Like it's the purpose of life- to meet someone and fall hopelessly for them, breed, and grow old together.

But wait a minute... Who the fuck said that's the purpose of life?

And why should we listen to them?

I'm a romantic at heart, I have always loved the concept of love. I could fall in love so easily (and in reality never fall in love at all). I pined for it when I didn't have it. Drugs.

Love is drugs in your head that your body makes, in this thing called life which is a dream you have between deaths.

It's chemicals and electrical impulses. It's natures way to say to you "Make babies so you can evolve into whatever I have planned for your species in 465 billion years." It's your ego saying "The world needs little half-you's running around. It's CRUCIAL." It's a hunger pang for your balls.

That's all.

I've been single about 4 years now. Dated one person for two weeks. Otherwise, just me.

The thought of this terrified me for so long. Every new day was proof-positive that I was a loser, unloveable, impossible to want, ugly. At the time of writing, there are 11,856,727 females in this country alone...

... And not one of them wants me.

And my whole sense of self was based around that. If I needed proof that I was just awful all I had to do was wake up alone again. Women had this all-consuming power over me, through their approval (or lack of it), which is really just a terrible responsibility to place on people you've largely never met, and that no one really wants. It wasn't their fault I wanted them, it wasn't their responsibility to be anything to me at all.

Eventually after a few years went by I realised that this situation was likely to not only not change, but it was pretty much guaranteed to get worse with each passing birthday and family size pizza.

And after I struggled with denial and all manner of other K├╝bler-Ross style symptoms, the inevitable happened... I accepted it. I accepted that the love I had always dreamed about was never, ever going to happen. And after a year or so of that, a strange thing happened.

I realised I love being single. I prefer it. I realised it wouldn't matter who came along and said they cared about me- I don't want it. I don't want it, and I never wanted it. But I thought I wanted it, because it is part of our shared programming to believe we want it.

Right now you're probably freaking out at the 'shared programming' bit and thinking I've utterly lost my mind. But if you think about it, advertising is mental manipulation of you by others with the goal of making money from you. If you couple up and have children, it opens up a million opportunities for businesses and products to sell you things you'd never buy if you were single. So the broadcast narrative in ads (and TV shows that are basically opportunities to be long ads with product placement) is to tell you to fall into this thing called love; and to glamourise it like they do with every other product they want you to buy, and to make you feel like a loser if you don't have it (keeping up with the Joneses).

So, through all of this freeing realisation, and the understanding that I was going to be single for the rest of my life and die alone, came acceptance. And from that acceptance grew the realisation that not only was this new state of affairs fine, it was preferable to me. And the second it became preferable to me, all of a sudden I was in charge of my own life and direction, and my agency and self-esteem weren't held hostage by all of the women in the world who never wanted that responsibility in the first place.

Being single is my choice, and no one else has a say in it. I don't rely on anyone else to be single. No one can take it from me. And most importantly, it's not contingent upon the approval of people outside of myself.

Talk about liberating! I wish I had the capacity to come to this decision 20 years ago.

But that never would have happened, because 20 years ago my biggest problem when it came to women was trying to get a night to myself. When you are spoiled for choice, your instinct is to choose carefully, as opposed to choosing nothing at all.

And of course (because this always happens) the second I had changed my mind and celebrated my single life, the drought ended and I was propositioned for sex like it was the eve of the apocalypse. So many girls who I had always thought of as just friends or acquaintances suddenly felt a burning need to tell me they had wanted me for a long time, but only had the courage now to tell me.

And even the thought of having sex again didn't sway me, because (here's something gross) I can satisfy myself sexually, I don't need anyone else to help me, and I prefer to keep other people out of it anyway. I don't want to deal with their insecurities or kinks or anything else. If I want to get off, I just do it. No drama, no games, simple.

I still delight in women.

I still love the little things they do, the things they say, idiosyncratic personal things. Style, poise, the music of their voices.

And I appreciate those things the same way I appreciate someone else's Lamborghini- it sure is pretty, but I don't want that responsibility. I can love it without owning it. And I seek nothing in return.

Something I have been thinking about for the last few years was, what would the defining thread of the next chapter of my life be? I feel like I have found it.

I have plans, things I want to achieve, things I want to see, do, experience. And they are all personal, solo things. Just nature and I. Just the planet and little me. I like feeling small in the face of nature's utter majesty.

For the first time in my life, I'm happy.

I'm happy.