In middle school, I had low self-esteem. Is that surprising? No. There were so many hormones and the monsters of comparison floating around middle school, so I can probably say that I was not the only one in that boat — even if the boat was the Titanic and we were all sinking.

I don't think my self-esteem got better until I finally got a breast reduction. Looking back, they were the source of a lot of self-consciousness. Now, one could say I am THRIVING. I've written about it on this platform several times, so if you've been keeping up with me on this journey, you know ALL of my feelings toward that subject.

Now, in middle school and almost every chick flick, it's drilled into you that having a significant other will lead to happiness.

It's almost like a math equation: you plus another person will equal a happy ending. Well, as my college life has shown, that is not always the case. Recently, I've learned that sometimes people just want to see how much they can take from you. Does that add up somewhere in the math equation? No. There's a lot of unknown variables in these equations, the personality traits of different people being some of them. And, quite frankly, these unknown variables cause way too much stress.

I've learned that I'd rather be alone and hang out with my dog than around people who suck the life out of me.

I'm sure not all people take things from you. In fact, I know not everyone is the same. However, it will take a long time to convince me of that from here on out — simply because of the "hookup culture" that is so prevalent in today's society.

My dog? In contrast, she brings me so much joy — even though she has a UTI and pees in the house sometimes. Libby is there for me at all times.

She's my biggest fan and the best cuddler in the entire world. I remember when I first got her because she was all that I could think about. I also probably showed pictures of her to everyone I met. When I come home, it's like she hasn't seen me in years, and the excitement is there 100 percent of the time. She is the reason for all of my healthy habits, truly. We have a great morning and night routine that she loves to follow, and I love to follow with her.

I don't know if another person will ever come close to the amount of love I have for my dog, or help me to form the best habits for myself. And you know what? I am perfectly content knowing that. I have no desire for a relationship right now, and that's perfectly OK. Cuffing season can come at me because I'm ready to face the entire thing alone with my dog.

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