It’s been one year since I started sharing my dating adventure in CAWLM. As I look back over my previous articles, I’m reminded of all the life lessons I’ve learned while waiting for Mr. Right. I’m optimistic that my dating situation will eventually work itself out, but if it never does, that’s fine too. To be clear, I’m finally at a point in my life that I know how to rock being in a relationship. By “rock” I mean that it can be fantastic, but it can also be rocky: uncertain and unsettling. Still, I plan to continue to take my time, choose wisely and enjoy being single. As for this holiday season, I especially plan on taking advantage of the “enjoy being single” part. Let’s be honest, human nature is to want what someone else has versus appreciating what’s right in front of you, for example, “If I only had him, I would be happy.” My feelings are simple — I’m currently single and loving it! I’m not saying if Mr. Right rolled up that I wouldn’t ride off happily into the sunset with him. It just means that while he is still on his journey to find me I will focus my time on taking advantage of all the single pleasures that life has to offer. My favorite gifts Let me take a moment to review some of the reasons that being single brings me happiness. In the spirit of the holiday season, I’ll refer to these reasons as “gifts.” Let’s unwrap my first gift right now: Gift # 1 (Being the real me) I hope this year my articles have demonstrated my willingness to reach out, humble myself and put forth the real me. Like I’ve said in the past, it’s not easy being vulnerable and trusting someone with my most valuable possession — all of me. But the gift to myself and others is the steps I take to remove my inhibitions and bare my soul. Some may view this as a refreshing approach, but I simply call it a relief. Gift # 2 (Space) When I’m by myself, I’m confronted head-on with self-doubt and fears. If I were to be totally honest, it’s in the moments when I’m alone that I reflect on the current state of my life. By now you’re asking, “So what’s the gift part, Catrice?” Disengaging from distractions and spending quality time with myself has been the spark for some of my greatest decisions. Meaning, space plus alone time can equal good judgment. Gift # 3 (Executive schedule) This is my absolute FAVORITE gift, and the most desirable one for all of my attached and married friends. The executive schedule can be defined as doing whatever you want to do, whenever you see fit. This gift allows me to focus totally on selfish activities that make ME very happy. I can spend hours on my makeup and hair (looking really good) without feeling the death stare from a mate who thinks we have to be on some stupid schedule. Part of the fun is to remove worry, when possible. KEEP AWAY FROM MY ZEN, fools! Also, I regularly indulge in spa days, shopping trips, parties, getaways, overnights, brunch dates, movies, theatre dates, concerts and the list goes on and on. I’m literally exhausted from the endless outings, all approved by yours truly. To be fair, not having children helps to free up my schedule, but no matter the reason, it’s really nice to set my schedule as I see fit. Rock that relationship status While there are other countless gifts that fuel my gratitude, the outcome of 2015 is simple for me: be open to being in love and being single. Surprisingly, these two concepts aren’t mutually exclusive. I’m not advocating a specific relationship status, rather I’m sharing my appreciation for the most valuable part of any relationship status: enjoying life. Learn how to rock the thing in your life that may otherwise prevent you from enjoying yourself and others. Intimate, meaningful relationships can come in all kinds of forms. Try and find the one that works best for you. Just don’t forget to unwrap your gifts while on your journey. It’s been a wonderful 2015, my CAWLM family; let’s look ahead to a loving and prosperous New Year. As always, thank you for following my dating adventure. I’d love to hear about your year of dating — feel free to email me at email@example.com. Happy Holidays!