Now that I have your attention with a quirky meme (really just anything with Foxes will always make my page)… It’s time to be a little serious and get real about something close to my heart. This is a love letter to all my fellow single ladies…and if you aren’t single, read it anyway because you know someone who is :)

It is perfectly okay to be single (at whatever age). I wish I didn’t have to say that, but I do… When I feel defensive or tire of the same questions (“why are you single? You’re sooo great….”) I remind myself of this fact. It is okay to be single. I am a little weird, but I have always enjoyed being single: I can do what I want, when I want to, and not have to consider anyone else. I can invest all of my time in my own interests, spend extra time with friends and family, focus on my career, volunteer in the community, meet new people, travel, and basically kick ass at life. Win-win. So remember why you have chosen to be single and own it.

It is also perfectly okay to be a little sad about being single. Valentine’s Day can be hard on us. So many of my single girlfriends are smart, successful, driven, talented, sexy women. 364 days out of the year we are on top of the world and celebrate our singleness (aka “freedom”) by owning our shit. This particular day though, tends to spotlight the one thing missing from our lives (I’m going to be generous and assume that other single gals don’t hear about their singleness from family and friends at every holiday gathering/wedding/event, like I do!): that special romantic love, a fulfilling relationship, the satisfaction of having some guy write a card and make dinner reservations in advance. Unless you’re like me, when many of my non-single valentines days I actually felt lonely while in a relationship. Many boyfriends forget to plan dinner, buy a card, or make a romantic gesture.

A couple final thoughts. Because perspective is everything.

To the world: single is not broken. Please don’t try to fix us. Instead, love us for who we are, support us in our endeavors, and be just as excited for our upcoming vacation/promotion/cooking class as you would be for our latest date (or fake it).

To my ladies: Love yourself. Sounds simple. Love yourself because you determine your future. Love yourself by running that race, lifting that bar, trying that class, making the job change, going back to school, dumping that guy, starting anew. Be you. Own it.

For a long time, I hid who I was. I wanted people to like me. I wanted to make my parents proud of me. I wanted to be the perfect girlfriend, daughter, sister, friend, employee, student, coach, etc. That was exhausting. I ended up waking up one day and feeling lost. I had no idea who I was. I started the process of slowly finding myself. I realized not everyone would like me or understand my choices. I realized my conservative family would not agree with some of my choices. I realized that my work environment was toxic and deterring growth. I realized I probably did not ever want to have kids of my own. I saw the friendships I had outgrown, the pursuits that no longer piqued my interest, the clothing I hung on to that was no longer my style or size. I realized my perfect man didn’t like the real me. So I found a way to like myself. I found a way to change what I couldn’t live with, accept what I couldn’t change, and to find peace with it all.

Ladies I’m not here to tell you what to do, but I will tell you that you are perfectly okay the way you are. On this Valentines Day, celebrate you. Because you are worth it.