Not only is this the first year of a new decade, it is also the last year of my 20s. I will turn 30 in about 10 months. This fact didn't bother me too much until I went home for Christmas.
I love going home and I am blessed with a loving and supportive family. My parents are completely accepting of my uncoupled life.
But I think that others are beginning to find it strange. After all, I am almost 30. I am getting old. Pretty soon I won't be able to have children. Do I have any prospects?
My age, coupled with the fact that I am still unemployed makes me out to be somewhat of a pity case in the eyes of some relatives. They are not trying to be assholes; they are genuinely concerned for me.
But I've never lived life according to the pattern. I've always broken the mold. And going home for Christmas this year, I realized, for the first time ever, that I have ALWAYS been the black sheep.
I find so much value and joy in my life. I am happy and, despite current financial strain, I feel secure. Unfortunately, my joyfulness and security doesn't translate back home. Only my parents (who have actually visited me) see the value of my life here.
It is sad somehow, to realize that my own precious and amazing life, when viewed through the eyes of my extended family, is something of concern, something to fret about.
Until now I haven't felt much societal pressure to couple and marry. I've pressured myself because I felt that it would make social interaction with my coupled friends easier or because I thought it would alleviate various other stresses in my life (which I learned it would not). I no longer feel any self-pressure to couple. But I am beginning to feel it from outside in the form of the well meaning queries of loved ones and their stories about their friends, the moral of which always seems to be: "Don't give up hope, you can still get married and have children, you still have some time left".
The great thing is that I don't go home very often. Instead I live in a city where I have always felt accepted and where I have a network of coupled and uncoupled friends who are supportive and appreciative of who I am and see me as a whole person with a life worth celebrating.
If I had never left my home state and had stayed amongst these same people I would have never have gotten to know myself. Part of the problem is that my life in my old city was filled with relationships with people who did not understand me, who had expectations of me that I did not have of myself. It is not their fault that they have a different world view. It is not their fault that they can not comprehend, even now, who I am or what I am doing or how I could be happy living the way I do. These are intelligent, loving people. But there is a narrowness to their thinking. Moving to a new city gave me space for new friends and to establish new relationships with people who are more like me. I am sure there are plenty of kindred spirits back where I come from but my life out there was too full of existing relationships for me to meet them.
So if you're single, give yourself a fresh start this year. If you've wanted to move but were afraid to do so, reach out to this online community for moral support and take the leap. (It is much harder to move once you're coupled.) If, for whatever reasons, you need to grow where you're planted, make a fresh start in another way. Take a class or go on a solo roadtrip. Or just try a new grocery store or a new brand of toothpaste.
The Singlution is back in business in 2010. My fresh start includes posting Monday-Friday with homeowner and do-it-yourself advice, single blogger and single resources profiles, giveaways, personal stories and more.
Happy New Year to my fellow Singlutionaries!