November 6, 2013

on being alone

The message of this post has been weighing on my heart for a very long time. It's something I've sat down to write only to end up deleting everything, shutting my laptop, and vowing not to revisit the topic for fear of not saying what I actually mean or saying exactly what I  mean...

I am hopeful that this post will be exactly what I mean it to, but if it falls short or seems uncomfortable, I apologize. 

I am twenty five. That is nowhere near old. I recognize that in the grand scheme of things, I am very young. Most (not an exaggeration) of my dear friends are in serious or committed relationships. I am not. I am the unmarried pal and that is a role that I have never begrudged. I realize that my relationship status does not define me, but it is a big part of who I am. I think that there is this huge push in Christian culture to get married early, find your soul mate (If you want to know what I think on topic, read Hannah's post here. I agree with her entirely.), and start reproducing precious little felt board loving, scripture memorizing babies. That is not necessarily my path and I am learning to forgive myself for that. It's a weird concept, forgiving yourself for something that you really don't need to forgive yourself for, but I think that I had some strange expectations and I am okay with realizing that's not how it is going to be. 

When the topic of singleness is brought up, my friends are so completely encouraging. 

"How are you still single?" 

"You are such a great catch!"

"Any guy would be lucky to have you."

I appreciate their words, but on the flip side of that, it can almost makes me think, "Well what the hay is wrong with me then? What am I missing that they can't see?" It makes me feel like I am incomplete because I am just me, there is no Mister or beau. Just me. Just Jess.

I recently put myself out there in a way that made me feel terrified and very alive. I got a sudden burst of bravery and decided to just go for it. I knew that I was facing rejection, but I also felt like I needed to be honest with myself and take ownership of my feelings. I was describing it to my sister as though I were applying to a school I knew that I wouldn't get into. I said, "Camille, it's like if I were to apply to Harvard- I know I'm not getting in." She quickly reminded me that this particular gentleman was no Harvard. Just a guy. You know what I mean though. There was no false illusion of running off into the sunset holding hands. I just got brave and decided to be honest. Honesty is the best policy, right? I was rejected, in a very polite but real way and you know what? I'm okay. I cried because that's basically my spiritual gift and I just feel very intensely, but I didn't feel bad about myself at all. I was proud of myself for being vulnerable. It's not something that comes easily for anyone, but relational vulnerability adds this layer that seems to make everything even scarier. I was okay though. It reminded me that I am a person with feelings and I have the right to be honest about those feelings, I don't need to be embarrassed or lie about them. 

I have no idea what the future holds for me in regards to romantic relationships. I work at a university where the majority of my interactions are with college aged boys or with married coworkers. The city I live in isn't exactly a bustling metropolis. I don't want this to come off as whiney or like I feel like I'm missing something. I know that I'm okay. I know that I'm equally as wonderful single as I would be in a relationship. It can just be such a peculiar thing being single when the majority of people that I share my time with are married or dating. 

I don't really know what I think about being "called" to a certain thing or another. I think we sometimes have a way of projecting our desires onto what God wants for us. I certainly do not think that I am being called to singleness, but I am being called to faithfulness, regardless of what my relationship status is. I wouldn't say that I'm waiting, because that makes me feel like some damsel in distress and that is not what I'm about, but I am "waiting" for someone who makes the vulnerability, the emotions, and the honesty worth it. For now, I've got a new sparkly dress (I'm pretty sure they have healing properties) and episodes of Grey's Anatomy to watch. There are ten seasons of that show to watch- I will have enough to keep me busy for quite a while. 
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3 comments :

  1. This is so true and thus beautiful. I hate the phrase "called to singleness." I feel like it is a backhanded church chiding that married people give single people. NO. We are ALL called to faithfulness, in wherever we are in life.

    And yes, sparkly dresses do make it better.

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  2. Girl, I'm right there with you. Some days I'm pretty thrilled that I can do whatever I want and sleep through the night (babies are cute but seriously). Other days seem heavier and harder to get through. I'll send tiny sweet thoughts to you on those hard days and we will both be just fine. Thank you for your words. I needed to read them today.

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  3. (Slow clap.)
    You are the best.
    A large part of me wishes I could have had you as such a positive single role model during my naive college freshman life.

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