I believe it was three years ago when I heard the quote that would become relentless is challenging me. “People are so afraid of being single.” I’m sure over the years I’ve paraphrased but that was the gist of the comment from my next door neighbor. We share the same birthday and common interests though we are at least 40 years apart in age. When I had more time, we would occasionally sit and have frank talks. I’ve always admired her because she is divorced, lives alone, faced cancer, is a loving grandmother and leads her own damn life. She’s usually out on trips with friends or having friends over. There is nothing about her life that says “empty” or “I need a husband to rescue me.”
I’m not writing this about her though. I’m just saying, the image of her looking me in the eye and saying “People are so afraid to be single” haunts me. It felt like she knew she was talking about me even though she has no information on my dating history. However, if one were to review my dating history the words “Afraid to be single” would be written all over the record. I have this fear of dying alone surrounded by cats and pictures of my friends and family. No one will find my body for days and no man will ever love me enough to make a commitment of marriage to me. That is my worse fear.
Today, I forced myself to tear apart that fear. Worse case scenario:I remain single. Okay. I have cats, I like cats. I have family…I love family and they love me and my friends…my friends are great. I have no doubt that I will make more friends as I am totally likable person. I figure if my worse case scenario includes these peoples, I’m good. I won’t lie and say all of sudden that fear disappeared. I won’t tell you that I had a “come to Jesus” moment and all of sudden a husband and kids no longer mattered to me. No. I still want that. However, that want isn’t my entire world.
I, apparently, have been doing ‘single’ wrong this entire time. I always fall short of embracing the freedom of alone because the fear of alone is never far behind. I stayed in a relationship that was textbook “He’s Just Not That Into You” for almost a year in order to avoid the possibility of being alone. I never stopped to ask myself if I even wanted this person there. Any time I started to question it, I found myself clinging onto the failboat tighter. And nothing helps a failing relationship last longer than when your friends stop trying to be “nice” about it.
There have been other examples but that’s the one with the least amount of shame and this is a public blog. Let’s just say: I’ve done some really stupid things in the fight against alone.
So another project for 2010 is to embrace singlehood and let whatever happens happen when it happens…should it happen. I refuse to spend the rest of my 20s crying and heaving my shoulders with the same old questions (“Why can’t I find a man to love me?”). I have paid too much attention to that part of my life and let many other facets fall to the wayside. If I continue to focus so much on my single status then chances are the pictures of family and friends are going to be fewer and even my cats won’t like me.
So that’s my single post. I’m sure there will be more. I wrote this out all at once and that feels good.