Enough already with the years of silliness about singleness

After 20 years of living with the ‘spectre’ of a life of singleness and childlessness – I’ve decided that no further care is to be given by myself about said ‘spectre’ henceforth and forevermore.

An epiphany recently struck when driving home, whilst waiting for the lights to go from red to green and tapping the steering wheel to some evidently forgettable tune on the radio.

No more.  That’s enough years of silliness about singleness.

I’ve spent the last 20 years continually hearing theories about why I was ‘still single’.  One of the most common being that there were ‘issues’ that needed to be ‘fixed’ in me before I was ‘ready’ for the right person to come into my life.  Oh my.  How many other singletons out there have heard that wee philosophical pearler from many a well-meaning friend over the years? Leaving us feeling ever-so-slightly condemned, a little more of a failure, somewhat more frustrated, and even more pressured as a result.

The last 20 years have been punctuated by subconscious ‘thresholds’ i.e. the If-I’m-not-married-in-5-years’-time-I-will-totally-die threshold.  Or the ‘January crisis’ – for the last 20 years, between January and my birthday in March, an annual internal trauma ensues, going along the lines of why-am-I-not-married-what’s-wrong-with-me-where-are-the-years-going-am-I-so-unloveable-that-not-even-one-man-on-the-planet-finds-me-even-remotely-interesting.

Sigh.  Enough silliness already, I hear some of you say.  Heard it all before, right?  But some others reading this might actually find something in there that resonates.  And in the process, maybe feel less alone, less ‘weird’.  I wouldn’t share such a thing if I didn’t believe that to be the case 🙂

I’ve spent the last 20 years believing that if I had to spend the rest of my life single and childless, this would be a fate worse than death.

After the random epiphany at the lights the other night, I now no longer believe this to be true.

If I have to spend the rest of my life single and childless, then that is perfectly OK with me.

Not because I don’t want to be married or to be a mummy, I’m no different from most other women who do want that – but because I’ve finally made true peace with the possibility that this may not ever happen for me.

I confess, for the last 20 years I’ve been trying to convince myself that it would be fine if I grew old and died single, but secretly the prospect always terrified me, as I’m sure it does many others who might be less ready to admit to it than someone like myself who is now, frankly, too old to care what others think of her.

But the increasing probably in my own life that a life of singleness is indeed ahead for me, terrifies me no longer.  It actually intrigues me.  I now often wonder what God could do with my life, now that I won’t be wasting any more energy on that whole why-am-I-still-single-will-I-ever-meet-someone lark.

I refuse to be robbed any longer of the happiness that has always been right in front of me.  Of the blessings that have always been mine.  Of the love that I was born to give and to receive, and of those brought into my life for me to love and be loved by.

It’s not a great distance from my head to my heart, but It’s been a long journey from one to the other…facing the fear in my head and making it real in my heart.  But I’m so glad and grateful to have arrived at this place.

The key thing that brought this epiphany about was so simple.  At the lights that night, one thing overwhelmed me, and I pray it will continue to overwhelm me for the rest of my days.

Gratitude.

I am grateful for my life.  For the many blessings.

I am grateful for my mother, my father, my sisters, my brother, and I am grateful for my beautiful 1 year-old nephew who last night toddled over to me with his wobbly little walk, wrapped his arms around my neck, snuggled up to me, leaned his head on my shoulder and held onto me.  So precious.  The joy that he brings to our family – and to me personally – could never be put into words.

I am grateful for the beautiful friends in my life.  For friends around the world who keep in touch online and via Skype.  For friends around the world who have come to visit me in New Zealand.  For friends in New Zealand who have welcomed me into their hearts and lives in a country where keeping closed-off into one’s ‘clique’ is, sadly, more often the norm.  For friends who trust me with confidences that I will honour and take to the grave with me.  For friends who I trust with the same.

I am grateful for the roof over my head.  For the transport I have.  For the work-life balance that comes with not needing to work every hour that God sends.  For the independence and flexibility that allows me to volunteer, to spend more time with those I love, to go to the gym (!) when others are in the office, to write.

I have a nice life.  I appreciate that it is a nice life, and that it’s a blessing.  Stress and drama surfaces every so often, but not too often and on balance, I love my life.

If this is the rest of my life, for the rest of my life, then I’m all good with that.

If it changes in any way (not just in the ‘marriage/children’ way BTW – just sayin’!), that should be OK too I guess, but only if it’s a God Thing.

Otherwise, status quo = Pretty Freaking Awesome 🙂

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