No new posts have graced this page since August and that reason is threefold. First, the age-old master’s excuse which I won’t dwell on mostly because I finished all the course work for my last class this week (whoop whoop!). Unfortunately, this also means that I will have to create a new excuse to get out of things that I don’t want to do, but that’s for future me to worry about.
Second, life feels normal. While I’m still living in a foreign country, I’m on a US Army base where everyone that I communicate with on the reg speaks English (albeit in a marked southern twang) and hails from the United States. I’m not trying to learn a new language (survival Spanish for the win!), adapting to a new culture, or traveling to fantastic places. This leads into the third and final reason for the radio silence which is lack of inspiration. When you’re traveling consistently and seeing wonders of nature or ruins that are steeped in history, inspiration just kind of taps you on the shoulder. However when you’re scrubbing feces off of a sidewalk at 7:45am or reminding a child for the thousandth time that if a toy isn’t a ball, it should not be thrown, inspiration is notably absent. That being said, this particular post has been bouncing around in my head in various forms for months, and it’s time to let it out so I’m just going to sit back and see where it takes us.
“I’m going to die alone and marry Christmas.” -Jess “New Girl”
Christmas is a magical time of year. The twinkly lights, the mushy music, the mistletoe, the way people are just nicer to each other. I fall for it all hook, line, and sinker. I even embrace the sappy Hallmark Christmas movies that all blur into one another. You know the ones I mean. Honestly, how many different movies can they create that revolve around the premise of a stressed out female bringing a fake boyfriend/fiance home for the holidays and proceeding to fall in love with said fake boyfriend/fiance because of the magic of Christmas. My usually cynical brain sits bound and gagged while the joyous, childlike part exuberantly celebrates the glory of my favorite season. Every year, I think that maybe next year I’ll enjoy the holidays with my guy who may or may not buy into my mad love for Christmas but (hopefully) tolerates my tree decorating ritual (oh yeah, there’s a ritual), Christmas music blasting, lame Christmas movie viewing, and the Santa purse….
Let’s face it. Christmas can be a tough time of year to be single. All of the Christmas movies and songs encourage….no, practically mandate the presence of a significant other with which to snuggle up by the fire and do all of the Christmas things. Because of that, I’m feeling inspired to write about the beauty of the single life. Before I begin, I would like to say that I am not at all hating on marriage or any of my married or seriously dating friends. I fully hope to someday have to debate which family Christmas to attend (“But God only knows what kind of drama will break out over the dice game this year! We can’t miss it!”), but in a season where couples seem to be everywhere, us single gals (and guys) can feel a bit outnumbered.
All right ladies, I know the look–the one that people give women of a certain age whose left hand remains noticeably ringless. The well-intentioned “those guys don’t know what they’re missing”, “it’ll happen for you eventually”, or “aren’t you worried that you’re never going to find a guy if you keep traveling?” comments that make you feel like you’re some decrepit spinster living in someone’s attic. NO. I’m happy being single, and you should be too. Here’s why.
Single life is freedom. Wide open spaces. The wind in your sails. Want to move to a different country? Go for it. Want to try something crazy that you only half believe will work? DO IT. Want to shut your phone off and see/talk to absolutely no one for a few days? Yeah, girl! Total control over the remote, the radio dial, and your social calendar. Free. As. A. Bird.
I’m tired of the “but you’re such a great girl. How are you single?” line. I’m single because I want to be. I’m not a wallflower waiting for someone to whisk me into the dance of life. I’m already dancing! If you want to come and dance with me, great! and my apologies in advance for my white-girl dance moves, but I’m not going to sit on the sidelines and miss out.
Circling back to the glorious Christmas season, eat as many Christmas cookies as you want, allow the tears to drip down your face unhindered when Susan hugs her mom and new stepdad at the end of Miracle on 34th Street (she finally has the family she always wanted!) or when Clarence finally gets his wings in It’s A Wonderful Life, drink eggnog (if that’s your thing), and allow yourself the simple joy of sitting by a lit Christmas tree. You can enjoy Christmas as a single person just as much as anyone else, and if you start to struggle, message me. I’ll be doing my single lady thing as well, and I’ve got your back.
***Sidebar just in case you think I have it all figured out, I will share two confessions with you. One: I can count on one hand the number of guys that I haven’t gotten sick of texting within two weeks. It’s usually when I see a message come through and catch myself groaning or rolling my eyes that I know it’s time to move on. Two: I can also be counted on to screw up pretty much any relationship or potential relationship with a guy that I really care about. Overthink everything? Check! Crippling self-doubt? Double check! Honestly, I’m not the least bit surprised that I’m still single! It’s much less mentally exhausting. The magnanimous part of me is hoping that other women my age have it more figured out than I do and have no idea where I’m coming from, but there’s a small part of me that’s hoping that some female out there is going “Really? You too?!”. It’s for those ladies that I share these confessions. Someday, I may find a guy that I really enjoy talking to for more than two weeks and manage to not hit the self-destruct button, but for now, I’m just sitting back and enjoying the ride because it’s a good one.***