High School Singeldom

Do you remember? A ball of hedonist urges, the desire to numb the wildly swinging hormones but also embrace their wantonness? The push and pull of external forces and the zig zagging of identity? The message to define oneself and yet continue to explore and remain open, sow the wild oats. All while trapezeing a tightrope of remaining in the good graces of some and out of the line of fire of many.
Ah…this sounds akin to adolescence, yes? And even though some of us are decades away from that season of our lives, its ghosts can waft around with middle fingers in the air. Let’s face it, this petri dish of insecurity sprouted roots in many of our internal terrains.
Being single often feels akin to old feelings of exclusion birthed during teenage years. Not completely ostracized, but also painfully aware of missing out on something “ideal” this is the state precariously trodden by some of us un-paired. I resonate with certain values—a desire to create a natural place of belonging via 1) nourishment 2) connection and accountability 3) wisdom/knowledge and 4) creativity….these values all lend themselves with ease to the ultimate Gold Star, the trifecta of Marriage, Children, and HOME OWNERSHIP! Obtaining these three brings honor, merit, and often, easy acceptance into social spheres where a girl knows her place.
I am a 30 something professional single woman, who cherishes themed potlucks, reveres homemade projects, and craves the sanctity of home. A goal of mine is to be known by my neighboors so well that they drink my apple cider on Halloween. People have called me the most married single person they know….. Many of us single women in America are often content, passionate in our independence, grateful to be able to wake up in the morning and read in silence. I am disappointed by the depiction of single women in the media (either of the Sex and the City variety or the chaste cat lady) and saddened when left out of most public conversations involving the topic of home life. We aren’t fashion obsessed; we don’t own 5 cats. And yet, at the same time, we constantly are required to answer the “why are you still single” question, pelted by those with Gold Star status. We respond with poise, and self-effacing acceptance as others look at us with longing, as if we are deeply flawed or surely deprived due to our single status. And then we wonder: do we want NOT to be single? And if so, is this desire coming from us, or from the dictated norm?
Ah! See! It often feels like high school…I am free to be me, and yet am pressured (by self and others) to attempt to belong. For those of us single homebodies, either not capable, not called or not desiring the Gold Star membership what does singlehood feel like? How is it different, unique, blessed, and painful? (Do guys go through this?) I am guessing that this feeling isn’t unique to singledom status. There is likely something about each one of us (things we can change or cannot) that makes us feel simultaneously excluded and grateful not to belong….

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