I have a confession: this is actually the second (and hopefully final) draft of this post. The first draft was started very, very late on Saturday night when I couldn’t sleep. I wrote and wrote until I couldn’t write anymore, saved the draft, and went to sleep. When I got up on Sunday morning, I opened the post, read it, and thought, “STEPH HOLY CRAP YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SHARE THIS WITH ANYONE.” So, I deleted the draft.
But then, a funny thing happened, as they so often do in my life. I woke up this morning to a different post. One written by the creator of my list, Ria. Man, I love that girl. Somehow, she just gets me and says what I need to hear, even when she doesn’t know it’s what I need to hear. The post was about trust. Trust in the people we love, being afraid to trust, being able to trust ourselves…and damn, it was exactly what I needed to hear.
See, I’ve been struggling with something that I’ve only recently been ok talking about, and even then, I’ve not ever shared the core of the problem. But today, I will. Because today, somehow, from the other side of the world, Ria shared about trust and her struggles, and I knew it was time for me to tackle mine.
In true Steph fashion, I’m going to shift gears for a second, but don’t worry- everything will come full circle. Today’s topic is being single, and boy oh boy, do people have a LOT of opinions on that. If you’re single, nod your heads with me. If you’re not, perhaps you remember a time when this was true, and if you don’t, allow me to elaborate. As a 29 year old single woman, I am presented with many opinions on my singleness. Most of the time, these opinions aren’t asked for. In fact, 99% of the time, they aren’t asked for. And yet, they are still flung my way at full force. I guess it’s been that way since I started dating. I’d have a boyfriend, and the general opinion was that I should be single. “You can’t be happy with someone else, until you’re happy being alone.” I heard that more than a couple times. Or, I’d go through a break-up and hear, “Oh, I knew he was bad for you from the start.” Oh really? Why the hell wasn’t I clued in on this? But the real opinions started a few years ago. I had been single for a few years, had just bought my own home, and was for the first time in years, completely ok with being single. In fact, I was a little excited about it. But apparently, that isn’t supposed to be the norm. I was asked WHY I was single more times than I could count. Why I didn’t have kids turned into why don’t I like kids (keep in my mind where I work…) When shopping for a water heater, I was asked why my husband sent me to do a man’s job. I was told to stop being so picky. Told to be more picky. Told that I hadn’t “been through enough of the crappy guys” to have met my future husband. Once, I was told that I should probably freeze my eggs, since “who knows when I’d actually find someone.” I have two things to say about this: first, please don’t ever say these things to people. Ever. Even if you think you’re being helpful, or loving, you’re not. Hearing these things hurts, no matter how used to them I’ve gotten. So please think before you speak. Second, despite these things, I still enjoy being single. Well, except for one thing…the whole reason I’m writing this post. The whole reason I deleted it the first time.
I am one of very, very few singles left in my friend circle. My friends who are in couples/engaged/married, God bless them- they are such amazing, lovely people and do everything in their power to make sure I don’t feel like a third wheel. And most of the time, I don’t. But occasionally, a little voice creeps in to my head and reminds me that friendships can change, and that’s where my trust issues come in. See, happy as I may be being single, I am so afraid that that factor may change my friendships. Because I don’t understand being in a marriage. I don’t know what it’s like to argue with my husband. I don’t have any children. I’m not in the same “phase of life.” And because of those things, I am constantly worried that I’ll be phased out. That I won’t be the “go to” friend anymore. That I won’t be included in things because I’m not a couple. That I just won’t understand. I’m ok being single. I’m not ok missing out because of it. I may not be married, but I know how to listen.
I needed salsa today for lunch, so I drove across town to my favorite spot, got my salsa, and decided to take the highway back home. On the way, I wrestled with this post- do I write it or not? Yes or no? Then I decided to deal with it the only logical way possible- I decided to scream it out. I rolled back my windows while going 70mph on I-80, and screamed. I screamed for all the singles who hold their heads high when they’re met with constant unwanted feedback. I screamed for my friends, that I love so much. I screamed out my worries of this post being seen as passive-aggressive, or hating married people, or being a one-woman pity party. I screamed about my feelings of inadequacy because my friends are wives or husbands and me? I’m Steph. I screamed and screamed and screamed until I laughed. I started laughing. “Steph,” I told myself, “your friends love you. You are supported. No one is going to think that you’re being a jerk.” So, I decided to trust. I drove home, made lunch, drove over to Nissan for an oil change, and am typing this post on my phone in the waiting room. Am I still scared this post might not be well-received? Absolutely. But this post isn’t about other people. This blog isn’t about other people. It’s about me. It’s my one spot where I can be completely selfish and scream my feelings out, and that’s what I intend to do. That’s what I did today. I completed the final scream on my list, and I admitted some big things today. And you know what? It made me feel brave. Here’s to being brave today, and everyday.
Until next time,