Monday, December 3, 2012
Why I Keep Writing About Being Single
I hate to say this but the reason I write about being single is because I think about it, a lot.
"Am I a feminist failure?", I wonder to myself.
The Leslie Knope (Parks & Recreation reference) in me feels like I should be spending my time advancing/getting a career or perhaps doing my part to chip away at the old glass ceiling. This would be productive. Instead, my romantic gooey core has turned me into what often feels like a twelve year-old girl trapped in a twenty-three year old's body.
Am I a walking Taylor Swift song?
I get upset at myself. Why do I care if I'm single? Then at my family. It'll happen when you least expect it. Then at my friends in relationships. The timing isn't right. And then in a Legally Blonde-esque moment I get mad at the TV. "LIAR!", I shout to no one in particular– the universe perhaps.
And then I pull myself together and I write. I write so I will stop thinking about it.
I pause, breathing in and out until I have my head on straight again. I put on some Beyoncé and let my female power surge through me. I don't need a man, right?
Here comes the "I'm awesome" monologue.
Ashley pull yourself together, you're great. You're not single because you are lacking, you are single because it's not the right time. Focus on yourself. Stop being dramatic– you're not going to die alone– so enjoy being single now. I'm telling you, ten years from now when there are crying babies hanging all over you, you're going to wish you were single again.
Yes this actually happens in my head, and I would be embarrassed to admit it if I didn't know so many girls who were going through the same thing.
Being single is hard for so many reasons. Somewhere in the back of your mind you are anxious about the future, nervous that you're doing something wrong, and insecure about your insecurities. You wonder how you got to 20, 23, 27 without ever having been in a serious relationship. It's impossible not to compare yourself to those around you, even though you know it's foolish to do so.
And maybe the hardest part about being single is that you're not really supposed to talk about it– at least not in a real way. Self deprecating humor? Love it. Pointless rant with your girlfriends? Acceptable. But what about when you're really afraid you'll end up alone? That's when it gets awkward, right?
Well I'm here to say it's okay, it's necessary. Feeling insecure from time to time? Well that's a given. Bottling up your feelings and letting those insecurities eat at your confidence? That's just silly. Personally, I write about being single because I'd rather write about it than let it get to me. I would encourage you to do the same. Maybe you're not a writer and that's fine; but let those feelings out. Paint them into a picture, sing them in the shower, or call up a trusted friend. But whatever you do, don't let them stew.
In the end everyone is right– it's just not your time yet– and there is no way around it. Despite our high hopes there's no way to trick someone into liking you– no magical text message, email, or outfit that will get the job done. In the meantime, give yourself a little break.
Don't feel bad for feeling lonely, that's human enough. Just don't get stuck waiting for the future, because you only get one right now. So make it awesome.