I’ve been thinking a lot about winning at life.

Not in the “I win at life” standpoint, but that inner competitive urge that rears its ugly head whenever someone has a major life event, like getting married, having babies, etc. Or when I find out that certain people might have new girlfriends.

I’ve talked a lot about how I’m purposefully “out of the game” as it were dating-wise. Besides the fact that I’m planning a cross-country move in the next 4-12 months (and a cross-country book tour!), I don’t want to be with someone because I’m desperate to be with anyone. That usually results in bad coupling decisions.


So I’m consciously uncoupled, but that doesn’t mean I’m perfectly okay with that decision. Sometimes, especially when everyone else seems to be “moving on” with their lives, I wonder, “Should I be moving on with my life, too?” (read: Should I reinstall Tinder and get back out in the dating world?).

The healthy, non-desperate path-to-happiness is to be okay in my own skin without needing anyone else to make me happy. If I happen upon a person that shares my life goals and supports me, then that’s great. The knocked-into-my-head path to happiness is to find me a man to take care of me and pump a couple babies into me.

Path A is completely within my control: I can choose to write and be happy with whatever life comes my way.

Path B puts my happiness in the hands of someone else – and turns me into a man-hunting psycho-bitch who goes through men like tissues.

I really want to be the first person.

I still wrestle with changing my own perceptions about what “winning” at life is. For twenty-seven years, “winning” was one thing: Get married and have babies. That was the way to hit the life-jackpot, and I was sprinting as fast as I could to it. Because I had to do it before everyone else, because that was the only way to “win” at life.

The problem with that is that life is never that simple. Millions of people get married and then get divorced. Fertility isn’t always a certainty either – and once it comes there’s a million different things that could go wrong. Even if I were to “win” at life, life isn’t a single moment – it’s a collection of millions of moments. There’s no one goal – and we all die in the end.

That’s why it’s so important to live in the moment, to find happiness in the every day and in the life that I have at this moment. And instead of waiting for someone else to “deliver” that happiness, it’s much more satisfying to create it myself.

And that, my friends, is how you win at life.