Day 4: Today I didn't wear mascara

And that’s a big fucking deal.

For a little backstory: I’m the girl who NEVER (and I really do mean NEVER) leaves the house without mascara. I put it on if I’m taking the trash out, I put it on if I’m going to see my grandparents, I put it on at 5 a.m. just to sweat it off in a 6 a.m. yoga class.

I always wear mascara.

Because to be honest, I’m not comfortable without it. I’m not comfortable that someone (maybe even a potential date, gasp!) might see me bare-lashed, might see me looking anything less than perfect. My hair could be a mess, I could be wearing sweatpants and a T-shirt… but if I have mascara, I’m okay.

So the fact that I didn’t wear it at all today? Big. Fucking. Deal.

And yes, I went out in public. Multiple times in fact. And guess what: no one noticed. No one except me.

It’s a really big turning point for me, a really big mind shift. I was getting dressed to go run errands this morning and of course, reached for my tube of mascara. But then I stopped myself: Why was I going to put it on just to take it off when I got home? Who was I trying to impress at Target? And more importantly, if I’m giving up dating for a year, WHY am I trying to impress anyone at all?

So I put it down and walked out the door, naked lashes and all. And as small as it sounds, as silly as it sounds, I have never felt as free as I did in that moment.

Because I was finally giving a (figurative) middle finger to all those pressures and expectations that as a single woman, I’m supposed to look a certain way, that I’m supposed to try harder, that I’m supposed to do everything just to make myself the perfect future girlfriend.

But now that I’ve committed to a year of being single, that weight is no longer there. And dang, it feels good.

P.S. This 100% doesn’t mean I’m “giving up” on myself. Or that I’m going to live in ratty clothes and greasy hair. Of course I’m still going to get dressed up. Of course I’m still going to wear mascara most days. But the point is that I no longer feel like I have to do that… and that’s an incredible feeling.

Day 3: So excited I can't sleep

At 12:45 last night I woke up to pee. Just like I do every night. Except last night was different. Because while I usually fall right back asleep, last night I almost couldn’t (spoiler alert: eventually I did).

But for almost an hour, I laid in bed wide awake. And it wasn’t because I was sad or hot or worried or stressed—it was actually the opposite. It was because I was so freaking excited.

Excited for the year ahead. Excited for all of the things I want to do. Excited for finally coming into my own, for finally putting myself first and saying fuck what anyone else thinks.

I was literally so excited about life that I couldn’t sleep…

That’s amazing. Seriously. That hasn’t happened since I was like 8 years old and excited to go on vacation. But as an adult? Sleeplessness is basically because of work or because of stress. Not pure excitement about life.

So while I woke up really tired this morning, I also woke up really hopeful. I truly believe the next 363 days are going to completely change my life, completely change who I am (for the better!), completely change what I want and what I ultimately end up getting.

It inspired me to make a list of all of the things I want to do in the next year because there are SO many. A single girl bucket list, if you will. Like take a solo trip to Europe, join a book club, and learn to make bagels. (The full—but constantly-being-updated—list is here.)

And yes, I recognize that these are all things I could do with a partner. And yes, I recognize that I didn’t have to take a vow of singledom just to fucking learn how to make bagels. But in my heart, I know this is what I need to do. I need to do it all for me. And to be honest, that’s all that matters at this point.

P.S. Back to the whole trip to Europe thing: I literally was thisclose to buying tickets to Italy last night. Keep in mind that 1) I’ve never been out of the country and 2) I’ve never gone on a vacation by myself! Like who am I?! But I really almost hit “buy” spontaneously. And while I’m going to wait a few days/weeks before I do book it (I think), the realization that I can do stuff like that now was probably the best feeling I’ve had in a very long time.

And on that topic… for people who have traveled overseas, help a girl out: Italy or Ireland or France in the fall?