“Why are you still single?”
I shudder every time someone asks me this. This question is like sharp nails slowly peeling their way down a chalkboard. How do people expect me to honestly answer this question?
I have no idea why I am single. Thanks for asking.
Watching everyone around you get married and build a life together while being the only one standing alone on the outside can feel isolating and confusing. Why am I still single? After having some serious chats with my closest married friends and living with a married couple for a year, my perspective changed. I got to see first hand how hard married life can be. How much work that you have to put into it. The grass is not greener. Being single, I can travel whenever I want, where ever I want. I don’t have to ask anybody if I can do anything. I have complete and total freedom. Now when I am asked that question I answer;
“Because it’s awesome and I am really happy, why are you still married?”
Owning The Perfect House
Owning any house for that matter. It seems like the ultimate confirmation for official adulthood is buying a house. I appreciate that it’s a smart financial investment. However for someone with a transient soul, going into debt for the next 25 years for a pile of brick and mortar sounds more like a jail sentence. I have chosen to spend my money building stamps on a passport. Just because it’s unconventional and different doesn’t make it less of a valid life choice or make me less of an adult.
This is one I really struggled with. Growing up I didn’t think there was an option. Women had children that’s the way it has always been. In my 20’s I decided I was an independent woman and that children would tie me down. By my 30’s I thought that maybe I did want kids. I followed a lot of really amazing travel writers who had kids yet were still travelling the world. I realised it was not an either-or decision. However I had items in my cupboard that lasted longer than most of my relationships, so I went to a fertility clinic to see about freezing my eggs. It was during this process that I found out that my weak heart would not be able to handle the hormones your body produces during pregnancy. I would not be able to carry a baby to term. It’s amazing how you can grieve for something that you weren’t even sure that you wanted. I reverted to my perceptions growing up. As a woman and having children was my inherent right, and that right had just been taken away from me. I felt like a part of me had been stolen. After months of feeling like I was a victim with no prerogative, I saw that in actuality I have many options. I can seek out surrogacy or decide on adoption or be the best damn Godmother in the history of the planet and rock that title. I may choose not to have kids at all, but that doesn’t make me less of a kick ass woman.
Rocking A Super Model Body
Starving myself, following fad diets and the latest workout trends was exhausting. Pilates, Zumba, P90X, aerial yoga, boot camp, all to live up to someone else’s idea of the perfect body. The people I was comparing myself to have personal trainers, cooks, and nutritionist to help them look that way. I just have me and most times I barely have time to eat. When I stopped putting so much pressure on myself to achieve a perfect body and focused on being healthy, I began to feel happier as well. I was getting compliments on how I looked and was even getting regularly ID’ed at the liquor store. Being 35 and getting carded for wine, now that’s a trend I want to be a part of. I have accepted that it’s ok if parts of my body are squishy and I no longer beat myself up if every now and then I eat an entire bag of chips for dinner. Being happy is the best thing I can do for my body.
A Fat Bank Account
Having a certain amount of money saved by a certain point in life and stressing about it not being there is no way to live. I was so focused on reaching a particular number that I stop living. All I was doing was working. What good is money if you are too worn out to enjoy it? I crashed. I had a breakdown and had to escape life. I went into hiding in Nicaragua with no phone or the internet; I was completely off the grid. I used that hard earned savings to take the time to experience life instead of just passing through it. Planning for the future is ok, as long as you don’t miss the present to make it happened. You never see a U-haul following a hearse, you can’t take it with you when you go. I learned to enjoy life now because the one certainty in life is that nothing is guaranteed.
Other People’s Drama
Life is dramatic enough without creating more. I follow the words of Eleanor Roosevelt;
“Great mind discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”
I want to be a great mind and surround myself with other great minds. Quality over quantity. I would rather have a few great minded friends than a hundred small minded ones. So I have cut the toxic people out o my life and walk away when my co-workers start gossiping. I actively search out positive, like minded people to spend my time with.
What My Future Holds
Every single time I get my damn ducks in a row one of those buggers wanders off. Just when I think I can see my future clearly something happens to cloud the picture. I had a crystal clear vision of my future with a beautiful man. He was English (I have a severe weakness for accents), we met in California while at a conference. We had a whirlwind romance and continued to grow the relationship through Skype and phone calls every day. He came to visit me in Canada, and we were planning on travelling the world together. This was my fairytale story. It was perfectly clear. Then, I found out he was married. Future shattered. Didn’t see that coming! Life throws you curve balls that blindside you in the face. It’s happened before, and it will happen again. I have learned to take deep breaths and to accept that the future is unknown. I may never get my ducks in a row, but I always have my wine bottles in a row, and that is a future worth celebrating.