The other day I thought I was a genius.
As I got out of the car in Flagstaff I had the all-too-common problem of not wanting to leave my half-eaten gyro in the car, but also not wanting to eat it or throw it away. Dilemmas, am I right? So after a brief moment of consideration, I tied the plastic bag with the food in it around the strap of my purse and let it hang by my side as I perused Barnes and Noble. Genius. So there I go, walking casually around Barnes and Noble in Flagstaff, filling my arms with more books than I could possibly take home to live with me, and my half-eaten gyro is flopping by my side. I swear I smelled like some serious onions and taziki. It wasn’t until the 8th or 9th weird look that I looked down and realized how absurd it was to have a plastic bag of chicken and pita hanging off of my purse.
In that moment I concluded that if I were a hermit I would be crazy. I’m telling you, if you guys think I am a little weird now, you cannot even imagine what I would be like without social norms to attend to.
So of course this moment of weird solitude got me thinking about being a hermit and being alone and eventually downslide into the pool of understanding singleness (threads of thought run rampant when I hang out by myself). And I decided a few things.
I decided that I don’t think anyone- the church, the world, society- deals with singleness correctly. My whole life I have been told that I am waiting for the right man. I have been taught to anticipate the blessing of marriage, to believe that it is part of what I am striving for. But no one ever sat me down and told me the truth.
Truth #1: Being single is awesome
No one ever prepared me for growing up by saying,
“Hey. I want you to know that being single is fantastic. It is a seriously fun season so enjoy every minute. Go hike mountains, take random road trips, hang out with people and travel the world. Make the most of every minute because this season will not last forever.”
Why in the world do we not glorify singleness? Why in the world do I have to feel inadequate if I am not married at 25? This season has been the most blessed season I could imagine. God has been able to move and work in me, improving me each year and teaching me through a variety of experiences. In addition, I have gotten to walk alongside so many marriages, learning from the struggles and joys of my friends. I have become much better prepared for the next season because I have used these years of singleness to the fullest.
Truth #2: Single people can be friends with married people.
My married friends are awesome, and I don’t mind at all when they cook me dinner or let me watch a movie with them. It rocks. And we all learn a lot in the process. So don't be afraid to mingle with the marrieds. Marriage is as awesome as singleness.
Truth #3 Neither singleness nor marriage is a fairy tale, nor are they a death sentence.
I will be honest, I am definitely looking forward to the next season. I believe that someday I am going to meet someone who is going to be the greatest of blessings and I will enter into a new and exciting chapter. And I really do hope that it is coming sooner rather than later.
But for now I get to work a dream job every day. I get to travel and explore and sleep in a tent in my living room. And this season of singleness is not filled with sadness and longing for the future, it is filled with joy for what is now. It is filled with so much good that I know I will look back and see that these years were not wasted. God was alive and good the whole time. And it is a blessing of my life that I want other people to see and understand (although I will take any recommendations on any men you might know, preferably tall and on the West Coast who are looking for a shwarma/book-loving girl with spunk…i.e. me….).
I guess my hope is that every young girl and guy can begin to see the fullness of life that is within singleness as well as marriage, and perhaps we as adults can begin to change our tune as we talk with younger people. Singleness is awesome. Marriage is awesome. Let us rejoice in both.
And if, by chance, you are ever walking around a bookshop and smell some greek food amidst the literature, go ahead and look for me. I will living up my weirdness in the fiction aisle and I would love for you to join me. :)