I consider myself to be a liberated woman.
I mean, the only way I'd ever burn a bra is if one accidentally caught fire on my curling iron but I've read Betty Friedan and Judith Butler and Bitch magazine. I can rock high heels and lipstick with the best of them but I've traveled by myself and I've lived by myself and I've spent more of my adult life single than partnered because I don't want to settle.
At brunch with a friend this weekend, I heard myself chant that familiar refrain: "I'd rather be by myself than with the wrong person." I expected her to agree but she surprised me by admitting that her last relationship caused her to question her commitment to that philosophy.
After taking a step back, I realized that she was right. As a single woman with no real prospects, it's easy for me to look at the unhealthy relationships of others and say that I'm better off but what happens when I'm in an unhealthy relationship of my own? I know so many strong, amazing women who, in the context of a relationship or a potential relationship, will put up with the most outrageous bullshit and I can't say that I'm entirely immune to this condition.
Sasha told me about a conversation she recently overheard on the street. A woman was complaining to her friend about her relationship problems and the friend responded frankly, "Hey, at least you got a man."
At least you've got a man.
At the end of the day, is that what it's all about? I've been financially independent for three years, I've backpacked across foreign continents by myself, I know how to change a light bulb and catch a spider and refill the air in my tires. I'm in law school. I'm my own knight in shining armor, why should I need a man to validate me?
But there it is. I had a moment this summer in a train station somewhere in Eastern Europe, lost and alone and rain-soaked, when I realized... I can't do this alone. Life is hard and I know I can kick ass but I can kick even more ass if I have someone to hold my purse.