*I must admit, I’ve never watched “The Bachelor” on ABC, but I know what they trot out on a weekly basis bares no resemblance to my life at all. There’s no mansion with 15-20 women vying for my hand, no jet setting to fancy locales for a rendezvous and no roses being handed out at the end of the night to symbolize that I want to see a woman again. That’s not the life of this bachelor or any of the other bachelors I know.

The unscripted story of a real-life bachelor may be quite boring to tell the truth. Sure, they’ll be a date here and there, a few late-night visits, but mostly the cameras will catch footage of a guy going to work, going to have a few drinks, coming home to channel surf and idle time which leads to introspection.

That’s the glamorous life of a single guy. Of course there’s more to it, we’ll get to that eventually, but before the fun starts, the question comes: Do I want to do this for the rest of my life? The answer varies depending on the night before. If dinner and movie led to some things I can’t mention here, the answer is yes. But if dinner was preceded and followed reruns of “House” until I fell asleep, the answer is becoming a resounding “no.”

Being single allows you ample opportunity for contemplation and you find yourself looking deeper and deeper at yourself over the most non-consequential things. Two weeks ago, my rumination began after realizing I cooked too much rice for dinner. Do you know how much money is wasted on dinner for one? That was the first question, followed by, do you know how much it costs to buy food for two people? Of course I do, I did it for two years and what happened, I blew that and ended up cooking dinner for one every night.

I find it funny that I never considered spending my life with someone until I turned 30 and noticed that most of the people around me were married, engaged or on their way to be one or the other. Still, I was convinced that I was destined to get my Larry Blackmon on forever, you know, live the single life. 30 became 31 and I was still cool, but then something started to happen. It seemed like every woman I became involved with was on the fast track to marriage and I began to actually think that destined looked more like doomed. But I kept the lie the lie alive until the holiday season came and I found myself alone. Scratch that, I was lonely! My family has scattered across the country in the last few years, so the big family holiday didn’t happen and my ex was not around (a sign that she has moved on), so I was alone eating Chinese with the ladies in my life, my cats!

My next look in the mirror was the most painful of them all, because it was on this peek that I began to deconstruct me. I’ve always been aware of my imperfections, but somehow I rounded them into the perfect me, at least that’s what I thought. In the last few months I’ve unearthed truths about myself that I forgot I buried and as I continue to break down the walls I’ve hid behind all of these years, I’m learning more about myself and learning how to be a better me. I’ve been amazed at how peaceful and happy I’ve become since my soul searching began, so I can only be optimistic about the results to come.

So, for the most part I’m no longer “on to the next one” (a work in progress), I’m out to find one I can love and grow with. I’ve come to understand that I have to be rebuilt from the ground up and that means confronting the ugliest parts of me and moving on from there. I know it’s going to be a journey and I still have a distance to go, but I’m worth the trek, so I’m opening up my archive…

About the writer

Between rhetoric and reality is where you’ll find The World According to Teef. Plainfield, NJ native Al-Lateef Farmer is a self-styled social documentarian that tackles everything from politics to pop culture, Reality TV to relationships with a brand of social commentary rooted in independent thought that is unfiltered, uncensored, unforgiving, but never unreal! Take a trip to his world at