By Lily Foss ‘13Feminism Columnist
My boyfriend and I broke up over break. That isn’t what this article is about. The breakup itself was actually fairly mutual, and although it was emotional for both of us, I think we’re both in good places now. So don’t worry about me. What I really want to talk about is the new me: Single Lily.
It isn’t as though I’ve never been single before. Totaling the lengths of all my relationships, I’ve been unattached for a combined eighteen years out of twenty-two (Baby Lily was terrible at scoring dates with the other babies in the maternity ward). But this time, it’s different.
When my (now ex-)boyfriend and I started dating, I was nineteen. It was the beginning of our sophomore year. In general, I had spent the eight-year span between my first real crush and the start of that year as the lovelorn character from a Taylor Swift music video. But that summer, I read Sue Monk Kidd’s “The Dance of the Dissident Daughter,” and it inspired me to make a promise to myself: I was never going to take any sh** from men ever again. I had spent my romantic life up until then pining over one boy or another, and it was going to stop.
Then I met my boyfriend four days into the school year, so I never had the chance to put the new Lily to the test. But here I am, two years later, single again. While I was at home, I worried about what this would be like. Would I be able to keep the promise I made to myself? Or would I do what I had in the past and put my personality on hold in the hopes of getting some guy to date me?
Well, so far, so good. For one thing, I’ve discovered that I’m pretty much over the college dating scene anyway. If any of you remember that scene in “Clueless” where Cher is talking about how she doesn’t understand why Dionne is dating a high school boy, that’s pretty much how I feel about college boys right now. “Whatever” [makes ‘W’ with fingers].
But even aside from that, I’ve changed in the past two years. I took my first Women’s Studies class, and thus discovered my passion for feminism. I had my first relationship with a guy who loved me and treated me well. And I just generally learned more about myself and what I want and expect from my life. So even though this is a new experience for me, I’m starting to become pretty confident that I can survive the rest of the semester by myself, and love every minute of it.
The summer that I made that promise to myself, I bought one of those little prayer box necklaces. But instead of having a prayer on it, the piece of paper inside says this,
Be strong. You rock.
I just need to remember that this semester. Because that Lily is a smart cookie. We should all take her advice.