Writers are often inspired by other writers, or at least other written things. If that’s not the case it’s probably because jealousy got in the way and that competitive drive kicked in. Nevertheless, words are perhaps the most beautiful tool out there for someone to make a point. Of course, not everyone is an ink-in-the-veins natural scribe born with a quill in hand, the ones who prefer facts and numbers would most likely cringe at that last sentence. Even if a person is like Moses and they despise words because of a stutter (physically or mentally, because sometimes what we want to say is there it’s just hard to verbalize in a way that sounds okay) there’s no doubting that we live in a written world; and thankfully so because for the ones who strive to echo Hemingway, sometimes the spark for the fire just isn’t there. That’s when warming up beside another’s blaze comes in handy.
A Tumbr post from a talented friend of mine gave me something to roll with this week. She wrote about singleness in her superb down-to-earth perspective. It’s too good to spoil, go ahead and read it for yourself. Her words on the topic of being ‘unattached’ were encouraging, as with most things in life I look for application. How can I use this? What’s my personal take away? Do I need to adjust my paradigm on what it means to be in a relationship with me, myself, and I? The post discussed a truth that is equally brilliant as it is secretive-being single is a gift-again, for the young ones in particular-being single is brilliant. It is a freaking gem that should not be pawned. The world seems to work against that in every way. In every sector coupling is promoted. Not even just man-woman commitment, also with friends. The world seems to cast a shadow over those that are less than two. There’s almost an audible whisper from social media that says; who are you close to? How many friends are in your group? How many invites, how many likes, how many shares? Muttered over and over in the back of our minds as if it matters. Questions like that are nothing more than a careless whisper. The last thing society wants is for people to pay no mind, the world tries to create depth in a kiddy pool by overloading the concept that if you are alone you are not good enough. They say life is better together, really? Tell me, who are they anyway? No one even knows. Being in a relationship is not the ultimate life goal. It’s just not. At least it shouldn’t be. Not dying alone would seriously be the saddest finish line ever. There’s so much more to the race than just making it to the end.
This is not meant as an argument against those that are ‘meant to be.’ Forever together is an incredible thing and honestly, it should happen to everyone and chances are it will. What’s frustrating is that people seem to forget about a lot on their way to the altar more specifically, women. Females are more emotionally focused on being in a relationship and having the faithful support of a man. Maybe it’s just because pinning wedding things is immensely addicting, or maybe it’s because of what happened in Genesis chapter three. It’s a good guess that the latter caused the former.
Let’s go back to the ‘gem’ mentioned above. It’s hard to see diamonds when they haven’t been dug out of the dirt. Sadly, that’s what a lot of us do (myself included) in the gap between growing up and growing old. Girls and boys alike sit in the dirt waiting to be dug out by their soul mate thinking that’s when they’ll really shine. This mentality is to be expected when society defines everything by status and TV and movies are constantly boiling over with racy romantics. The single season is so undervalued. It truly is a secret treasure. The part of life lived solo is what equips a person for the other part. The poet Bukowski said it well; “madness is caused by not being often enough alone.” Being single means doing whatever, whenever. There’s no one to answer too. Being uninvolved means designing everything at your leisure. Friendships, interests, living arrangements, career choices-you choose. You get to pick. It is entirely up to you. If ‘I don’t know’ was the answer to any or all of those…fantastic. Now is the time to figure it all out. For the legal adults who feel nothing like it for the love of God, embrace the stage of fumbling with grace. As lame as it sounds, get to know you. Do it while you can. It will not last as long as it may seem. Pretty soon, all the ‘expected’ milestones of life will be hit. The degree, the career, the marriage, the kids etc.…that’s just how it goes for most of us and that’s great because those are blessings in themselves but there’s no skipping seasons, so please revel in the current one.
Don’t be a cliché single female who sobs every time a rom-com is on, yearning for that nightly man-pillow so she doesn’t end up with a bunch of cats. Be the opposite, strong, tenacious, driven. Don’t let the secret of being single slip away. Live it up. Invest in what you love. Nurture your dreams; find a cause to care for. Treat your body like the temple it is. Refine your independence. Push the limits, overload on resources, and submerge in experiences. Dance in your underwear. Find out what faith really means and develop deep roots (Psalm 1:1-3). Fall in love with yourself before you’re head over heels for anyone else. It might just be the greatest thing you’ve ever done.