(Original post date Dec. 18, 2014)
A few thoughts on the upcoming holidays and being single.
1. I love Christmas
2. If you don't have a date, celebrate. Go out and sit on the lawn and do nothing; cause it's just what you must do and nobody does it anymore. - Fiona Apple
When I was 15, the main goal of my life was to marry very young (preferably a tall, thin guy with dark hair, skinny jeans and a Mewithoutyou t-shirt... this still applies), go on a lot of adventures in other countries, probably live in a van at some point, play music, take pictures, and thaaaat was pretty much it.
This all still sounds really, really great to me, but one of the flaws in my 15 year old logic was thinking that I needed to be married to have all the adventures I was dreaming about. This drove me to date countless guys (not countless, I can count them actually, sorry) that I wasn't even interested in, hoping I would fall in love with one of them so I could finally start this exciting endeavor.
When that didn't seem to work, I eventually began to have some adventures on my own, and moved across the country to work for a church in California. But, in the back of my mind I still couldn't do anything really exciting, like live in Africa or camp all over the country, until I had someone who vowed to go along with me. I finally did date someone I was really crazy about, and when he broke up with me I was less crazy about anything and more just crazy. I was convinced that my dream was dead. He was the one, and now I was doomed to a life of learning to love cats and working jobs where customers say things like, "I require one of your peach smoothies and a cheddar bagel", or ask if we "have any coffee that doesn't have coffee in it? like milk or something?" (OMG. Just stop.).
That break up was actually one of the best things that has happened to me in, because although my dream started dying, a similar but powerfully different one took it's place. My happiness stopped being reliant on other people, and I stopped waiting around for someone else to make my life what I wanted it to be. I also developed some of the deepest, best friendships I've had in my entire life during that time. Those people (you know who you are) have become my blood; my family; my best friends. They've changed me for the better, forever.
My life still doesn't always look exciting, and I'm working on taking steps to do all the really crazy adventures I want to go on (turns out they takes loads of saving money and planning, and I like to spend a looooot of money on tacos...), but that's okay. Sometimes adventure just looks like not feeling anxious for a minute. Any day where I realize I'm breathing normally and enjoying the world around me without worrying about next steps, or if I'm living up to my potential, or if photography will ever take off, is such a treasure to me. We put so much pressure on ourselves and each other to BE something. To do something crazy, or inspiring, or memorable, and it feels like more and more we are a culture consumed with the fear of being forgotten and so we don't actually live in any of the moments we've been given. Wow. That sucks.
All that being said, I'm not some super human unfeeling robot who wouldn't want to find some really incredible, kind, funny, tall, Jesus-loving man who wants to be my best friend for ever; but! I'm also really, really happy that I'm not married to someone I don't love or who makes me feel lonely, and that I didn't get married when I thought that was all I wanted, because I was an idiot and dated lame people. Being alone and being lonely are two very, very different things. I spent a lot of time drinking hot chocolate, watching Christmas movies, and decorating for Christmas by myself, and it was awesome. Listening to Sufjan Stevens Christmas album is like the audio version of holding a puppy. Christmas is the best whether you are in love, or not in love (I am in love for the record, but with Christmas. I might even Merry it. AYOOOO).
But, to all the single ladies, you don't know what's coming. Be thankful, there are better things ahead. I never would have become the person I'm proud to be if I didn't go through all the crap I went through; God does actually know what He's doing. Don't date the wrong guy just to avoid being alone; it's not worth it.
And to all you married folks, we love you, we love your babies, but stop telling me my biological clock is ticking. I'm fine, and also open to adoption, so shut up.
Merry Christmas, kids.