When you’re in your mid-thirties and single, people feel the need to constantly put you in your place and give you their unsolicited two cents. And some of that feels like folks lobbing dollar coins at your head. It’s exhausting.
Some people think single is lonely and uncool and that the single woman is wandering about longing for something she doesn’t have and envious of all the marriages and babies. What a sad and uninformed perspective.
You want to know what single really is?
Single is getting to make coffee at 4:00 am and wander about the house contemplating life without worrying about waking anyone else up.
Single is binge-watching Netflix and binge-reading John Grisham novels and binge-daydreaming about road trips for the summer.
Single is knowing I only have my own underwear to fold on Saturday.
Single is not having to ask anyone else what they want from the store.
Single is wandering the aisles of Target for three hours and mentally redecorating your house without purchasing a single thing.
Single is ordering the pizza toppings I like most, and not having to share my beer.
Single is shooting guns on Saturday without having to rush home to make dinner.
Single is curling up in front of the fireplace on rainy evenings and writing five blog posts in one sitting.
Single is hiking to the crag and watching the sunrise without being interrupted.
Single is holding all the babies and getting to be the novelty aunt. And it’s fun.
Single is taking off for a hike whenever and wherever I want.
Single is not having to come up with a reasonable explanation for why all the queso is gone.
Single is leaving church on Sunday and not having to worry about getting a table at the restaurant afterward because you’re going to go home and eat leftovers and curl up with a good book.
Single is going to midnight showings of Star Wars and not complaining about being tired because it was TOTALLY worth it.
Single comes with painful reminders, particularly when filling out wedding RSVPs. Or when asked to be the 3rd or 5th or 11th wheel at a gathering.
Single is sleeping alone and having only yourself for comfort when it storms.
Single is hard. Sometimes.
Single is lovely. Most times.
Single is so often trial by fire. Some people think you have not matured or experienced responsibility until you have birthed a baby and/or walked down an aisle. But the fire that refines one individual may not be the fire that refines another. I’m only thirty-four and I was thrust painfully into adulthood some twenty years ago. Some of us get burned by fire you cannot imagine. Nor do we wish it on you.
I’ve known great loss. And I’ve known great love. My heart breaks when I see parents who don’t parent and don’t love their children. My soul hurts deep within when I watch unfaithful spouses and people who manipulate the truth to suit their own needs and feed their own images, their loves ones be damned.
I don’t know if I’ll ever marry. I don’t know if I’ll ever bear children, and I don’t think I physically will be able to even if I were to marry. I want those things, I’ve always wanted them, but I’m not looking or hoping or searching. I’m choosing to let it happen organically in a timing of the Lord’s making. And I’m choosing to dwell in singleness and explore the adventure of it. It’s not a disease. It’s kind of awesome. And I much prefer it to what I’ve seen in relationships of late.
I’m happy. I’m whole. And I’m single. Imagine that.