It happened again this weekend. While pushing my cart around the grocery store I ran into someone I hadn’t seen in years. Of course we exchanged pleasantries and then…. it happened…… THE question everyone likes to ask….
“So, are you married?”
When I reply with a simple “No” the look I get is always the same.
“Girl, what are you Waiting on? You are not getting any younger!”
People cannot seem to fathom that a 41 year old woman is still single…especially in the South. By now I should have been married at least 18 years, and be throwing graduation parties for my first born. I should be driving a mini van, be President of the Church Ladies League, and post tons of stuff on Pintrest and Etsy, all while maintaining my ranch style home, complete with adorable flower garden.
Instead I live alone with my dog, in a rented townhouse. I drive a small Honda Civic, and I am the most uncrafty lady in my town, much less my church. The only flowers around my home are the weeds that sometimes bloom a pretty purple or yellow.
I am suddenly exiled to the land of Poor and Pathetic. Population one.
It is unimaginable that I could be contented living the life of single woman. Surely I am weak and volatile. I need another human to come and complete my existence to make me whole and full. The nights and weekends must be torture as I sit at home in my robe, crying as I sing Celine Dion songs.
I mean isn’t that how every single woman over 30 spends her evenings?
Not this gal.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Having a significant other would be delightfully wonderful, but I have not been blessed with such as of yet. Does that mean my life is on hold? Does that mean I can’t have dreams and goals that I want to accomplish? Does that mean that I must spend all my free time holed up in my home on Match.com trying to find THE ONE?
My worth and place in this world is not based on whether or not there is a ring on the 2 finger of my left hand. Being single does not make me any less or more of a person…. I am simply… still me.
For a short while I fell into the trap of being the pathetic single gal. I literally married off all my roommates and college friends. With each and every bridesmaids dress, tossed bouquets in my direction, and bite of wedding cake, I fell deeper and deeper into the trap.
What was wrong with me? Why did men not find me appealing marriage material?
But ultimately I decided instead of waiting for life to happen… I was going to go out and live it. Why couldn’t I have the awesome dinner at the new fancy restaurant in town? Why couldn’t I go see the new box office thriller? Why couldn’t I go explore some of the places I have always wanted to visit?
I could. And I did.
I started embracing my singleness. I was free to do what I wanted to do. There was no checking in with anyone. No having to compromise my plans for someone else. No having to do what someone else wanted instead of what I wanted.
If there is somewhere I want to eat… I go eat.
If there is a movie I want to see…I go watch it.
If there is a place I want to explore….I go exploring.
I am only alone if I chose to be alone. I surround myself with people who embrace my singleness and we walk through this journey called life together. We often share holidays, birthdays, and vacations together.
Perhaps someday love will find me. Until then I REFUSE to sit and let life pass me by. There is simply too much to see and do! If I am lucky enough to find love, he will have to embrace my fierce and independent nature. My value and self worth is NOT based on my relationship status.
Life’s journey is different for us all. It is what you make of it. It’s all about learning to dance in the rain.