Day 2: Describe a Moment When Being Single Really Sucked
This is where it starts to get real, y’all! As you know, my message is all about loving and appreciating and celebrating your single life…BUT…doing it in a real, authentic, honest way. And if we’re going to keep it real with this blogging challenge, then I’ll be the first to admit that while 99% of the time, I love my single life…every once in awhile, I have a day where it just plain sucks.
One of my favorite things to do on a pretty day is go read in the park. I have a favorite giant old oak tree that I sit under, and that coupled with a blanket, a stack of books, and my Starbucks literally makes for a dream day for me. In those quiet, peaceful moments (and sometimes hours) that I sit under that tree in the sunshine, I feel complete and total bliss. It’s like the rest of the world fades away and I am free from the busyness of my schedule and email inbox and responsibilities. Free to daydream and travel to faraway magical places in whatever book I’m reading and escape reality for the wild limitless landscape of my imagination.
One recent day under my tree, however, I happened to look over to my right to a cluster of trees a little deeper into the park. I noticed a hammock tied between two of the trees and smiled, thinking to myself how wonderfully peaceful it looked. Then I looked a little closer and saw that a couple was lying in the hammock. They had their heads and feet in opposite directions and each was reading their own book as the hammock rocked back and forth lightly in the breeze. As I watched, I saw the guy reach out and take his girlfriend’s (wife’s?) hand gently as they both continued to read. It was such a natural, sweet, fluid gesture, something they no doubt did several times every day. To them it was just something they took for granted – reaching out for a hand to grab and finding it. But to me, I might as well have been watching a movie with Greek subtitles, that’s how incomprehensible the certainty of having a hand to hold felt to me. And in that moment, my heart broke a little.
Though I turned back to my own book and stopped staring at the couple, lest they think I was some weird stalker girl…I couldn’t shake the feeling of emptiness in my gut. For me, the grand moments of life don’t really phase me as a single person: Attending my book launch alone, going to a movie alone, not having a date to a friend’s wedding. I rarely bat an eye at any of those things and am, for the most part, content and confident to fly solo. It’s in the quiet moments that I really FEEL my aloneness: In that moment someone hurts my feelings and I wish I had someone there to defend me or simply provide a shoulder to cry on, in that moment my GPS takes me somewhere crazy and I have no one to weigh in on which way to go, in that moment I’m sitting under a tree in a park reading a book and wishing I had someone there beside me to take my hand the way the guy in the hammock took his love’s hand. In those moments, my walls come down, and I admit to myself that sometimes being single just HURTS.
That feeling usually passes pretty quickly for me and I get back to remembering why I love my singleness so much…but I think the thing to remember in those vulnerable moments is this: I don’t know whether I’ll ever have someone there to grab my hand in the park, but I can’t let that stop me from reaching out my hand to grab onto other things (and I mean that a lot nicer than it sounds – LOL!) There’s SO much joy and possibility and life to grab onto that has nothing whatsoever to do with finding love or romance. I can grab my friends’ hands. I can grab my nieces’ hands. I can grab a homeless person’s hand and pray with them, as I’ve been known to do. I can grab the opportunity to speak life and hope and love into the hearts of others. Heck, I can even grab a pair of designer shoes if I want, because I have no one to answer to about how ridiculously expensive they are! And I can grab HAPPINESS. It’s there. It’s a different sort of happiness than the couple in the hammock – but happiness is still happiness, any way you slice it.
I hope you reach out and grab your own form of happiness today.
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