• Alyssa Piperis

Relationship Status: Happily Confused & Responsibly Wild

Is it weird to say I’m happily confused? Maybe yes, maybe no. Who cares. That’s pretty much my relationship status. I’m a few months off of a breakup, feeling great, missing my ex, building stronger friendships, working more, working out more, going out more, getting my flirt on, feeling sad, feeling happy. I’m all over the place but also at peace. It’s a really interesting space to occupy.

I’m still figuring out why I felt the need to end things with my ex, but I’m not focusing unnecessary attention on the “why.” I sometimes ask myself, “Was there really something missing with us like I thought, or was it me I needed to work on?” The answer: Maybe the latter. Maybe both. Probably both. No matter which choice I go with, both are inevitably true. And it kinda doesn’t matter right now.

“Go, even though you don’t know exactly why you can’t stay.”

I came upon this quote last night as I was reading Cheryl Strayed’s “Tiny Beautiful Things” (read it, read it, read it if you haven’t!), and it speaks to exactly what I was feeling; what I’m still feeling. I can’t put my finger on why I had to leave, and I shouldn’t have to. I felt something in me that told me to go, so I went. It took a few tries, more than a few tears, and lots of “I’m not ready to let you go” sex, but I finally went. I was numb and then an absolute mess and then I was fine. And now I think I’m getting sadder about it as time goes by. But I’m also meeting so many new people and experiencing greater empowerment and drinking more whiskey. So there’s a lot I’m feeling. Lots of good and some not so good. (Just so we're clear, the whiskey is on the "good" side.)

All in all, I’m weirdly happy with where I am.

I genuinely don’t know what I want right now other than to be happy. And I think that’s a pretty great thing to want, if nothing else. I get confused sometimes, and my confusion weighs a little heavy on my heart, but it’s always outweighed by my knowing that I’m doing what I need to be doing, even if I don’t always know exactly what I’m doing. That's a mouthful, I know, but a truthful one.

Yes, I loved being in a relationship. I loved being in that relationship. I’m really, really good at loving someone. Being a partner and support system. Taking on someone else’s dreams as though they’re my own. Being there through ups and downs. Saying the right thing. Knowing when to say nothing at all. Knowing where and when to touch and kiss. Not always knowing what to say or do but working through it together. Fucking up sometimes in stupid little ways and communicating our way back to normal.

I’m excited to have that again, but I’m also profoundly enjoying being single and exploring and flirting. I feel sexually curious and free in a way I never have, and I’m still trying to navigate these feelings. As someone who’s always been kind of a “sexually conservative” person (not to be mistaken with a prude…at all :)), I don’t know how casual sex or a one-night stand would make me feel. I don’t know if I’d ever actually go for it, but I’m loving being open-minded about it for the first time. I feel more confident in my body than I ever have, and I’m going right up to every guy I’m intrigued by (and walking away if he's not single, of course). This week at work, a few different coworkers of mine, on different days, asked me if I’d just had sex. Apparently I had a “sexual glow” about me. The answer is a big fat “no” to the sex inquiries, but I’ll keep that glow in my pocket, because I’m definitely feelin’ it.

For the first time in a while I’m not trying to have all my shit together, or look like I have all my shit together. I don’t have my shit together. My life’s a little messy right now, but not in a bad way. I have dreams and responsibilities and bills to pay, and I’m not losing sight of that. I’m just giving myself some leeway to be a little more wild and extra vulnerable so I don’t have to spend years with “whys” and “why didn’t I’s.”

Right now, I'm going to give myself permission to truly live out my 20s. I hope my future self is as happily confused and responsibly wild as I am right now, just with a little more life experience and love in her life.

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