I’m ten years old. It’s 3.15pm. School finished at 3pm and Mum still hasn’t picked me up from the school gates. Jessica, Becky and Shaniqua are all long gone, and it’s only Billy (the boy who picks his nose) left. Wait. No, he’s gone too. I stare into the distance, willing my Mother to appear, but as the minutes pass, that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach intensifies; I realise that I’ve been forgotten. Mum isn’t coming. I’ve been left behind.
I think the emotions I experienced while waiting to be collected from school as a child best describes the feelings that creep up when another friend gets engaged on Facebook. I’d never wish that Jess, Bex and Shan be left behind too, but as they wander off singing with their life partners, I’m reminded that I’m still waiting.
There goes Jess. There goes Shan. There goes Dani.
Will I ever be picked up? Will I ever be chosen?
I write for all my single people who don’t get consumed with jealousy when their friends get cuffed. There is genuine joy (awkward pun) and jubilation when my friends find happiness in the form of another human being
(the concept of marriage genuinely baffles me, it’s another thing my mind cannot conceive; I’m supposed to love you and be with you FOREVER????) I think there is a part in all of us that seeks out that love from another, a love that differs from the love that is offered from our friends, family and even God. It’s different. Unique. It’s like a hunger that cannot be satisfied by anything else. For some of us, it grows beyond our control, becoming acute and desperate.
I’m not in that space yet. I think my desire for a relationship is more a consequence of external factors than internal forces. If everyone on FB wasn’t in the business of getting married and pushing out babies, I’m unsure whether a desire for a boyfriend would even exist. I’m content in my sphere, with my many projects and my crazy friends. But there are moments when those are not enough. When I realise that the books that I hold will never hold me in return. When my projects come to an end and all I have is time. When my friends already have weekend plans. When I’m in the house on a Saturday night, writing this post instead of being taken out by the love of my life.
In Dani’s last post she wrote about a question that has been posed to her since getting engaged.
‘Why not me?’
I have to admit I’ve asked this question. As pictures of baby scans, wedding proposals and the likes have filled my Facebook TL (Twitter isn’t as brutal), I’ve asked ‘Why not me?’ This question isn’t limited to changes in relationship and family status, rather, it crosses my mind when a friend moves to Dubai, when another earns £200 a day or when another buys their own home at the age of 22. When others seem to be enjoying milestones that seem inaccessible to me, I ask myself why I’m not in a similar position; what did I do wrong? I must admit, it’s a difficult question to answer without throwing a 3-minute pity party.
Despite the sporadic waves of lonely and the ‘Why not me?’ question, I’m in a pretty good place. I’m 4 weeks away from staging my first ever play in a theatre, I’m surrounded by people who love me for who I am, and while I’ve managed to bring my love for chicken and alcohol under control, both still bring me copious amounts of joy. I am determined to be content with this phase of my life. I watch plays, eat out and visit different Churches alone because I want to be okay with being on my own. I don’t want my singlehood to scare me or to spend this time watching, waiting and hoping some guy will stumble across me. I’ve accepted that I might just be alone forever. I hope one day my husband reads this post and laughs at my pessimistic view – but what if he never does? What if I’m single for the rest of my days?
I’m not going to tell you that God has someone just for you; there are enough blogs that are in the business of selling dreams. I am going to tell you that you have a purpose (Jeremiah 29:11), that the world needs you to be the best you (Colossians 3:23-24), that people are depending on you to show up and be great and that if you let it, your potential will be buried with you. I think being single can feel like a small pain in your leg. If you concentrate on it for long enough, it’ll hurt to walk and it will become all you think about. However, if you focus on the fact that you can write, feel, think and see, the pain will lessen and you will begin to see life in all its fullness.
I don’t know if I’ll ever get married. I don’t know if someone will ever love me enough to want to spend the rest of their life with me. The idea blows my mind and the thought makes me incredibly nervous so I’m obviously not ready.
Are you? Is it what you want?
Or do you want it because it’s what everyone else is doing?
If you are genuinely ready, then pray about it without letting the desire to be loved cause you to forget that you are loved immeasurably. If you’re like me, humbled by the thought of marriage and perhaps too crazy/insecure to even see that far ahead, then remember that right now, in this very moment, you are enough; full, whole and complete.
Lots of love,