After weathering tricky times, it’s natural for us all to be craving normality, the thought that our lives may thrive again, and even some boundless hope for more romantic things on the horizon. Y’know, things even more romantic than a third vaccine dose(!) and booster. This year, I went through a break-up from a long-term relationship and it completely threw my life as I knew it into utter disarray. Despite the break-up being on my terms, untangling a life built together is always difficult. And it was.

Of course after the initial shock and multiple stages of grieving, things felt decidedly bleaker. I didn’t know what being single felt like, or, I couldn’t remember it. I had my heart… I’ll call it poached… by someone I’d always loved. At times I felt like I was paddling to stay afloat in a world where I desperately craved love, and had so much of it that I didn’t know what to do with it all. Throw in some self-identity issues from The Pandemic and I had a bit of a general crisis on my hands.

And yet when the world slowly began to unlock, so did the walls I’d carefully built. It turns out, the love I wanted to pour into somebody else was best poured back into myself. It was time to channel some of that main character energy positively and fully romanticise my life, living it through the lens of another. You know the thing we all accidentally do on Instagram: share only the impossibly lovely things about our lives. I brewed myself the fancy drip coffee each morning. I started my days with a workout and a 15-minute journalling session. I took myself on solo picnic dates by the lake. I watched sunsets and visited beautiful settings. I bought myself the chocolates. I wrote pages and pages of messy thoughts. Then, I hand-poured personal candles for the people I love. I surprised friends with their favourite treats. I revelled in cosy evenings playing games with my best friends, brunch dates with my girls, TV marathons with my family.

I’m not the only one that’s lived a romanticised life since the world began to ‘unlock’ either. I firmly believe I would’ve embarked on all of these lovely missions to make my life look and feel rosy, break-up or not. There’s been nothing greater than seeing fellow content creators blissfully immerse themselves into autumnal activities, take themselves on solo trips, book dinner alone at their favourite restaurant, embrace accidental alone time because their friend perhaps didn’t feel 100%. I love how we all appreciate a simple walk outdoors again, and how transformative a great cup of tea enjoyed quietly can be. Time apart from our past lifestyles made us all remember exactly which parts made it worthwhile, and I’m here for how we’re all romanticising our lives again.

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