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Friday, January 1, 2010

A Fresh Start, Single

As promised, I am back to writing in the new year! Welcome to 2010!

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!

8 comments:

Stevi said...

What a fantastic post! You are so great. I love the part about moving. I am so excited to move to grad school out of Utah, on to bigger and better things. I will have to talk to you about St. Louis if that is where I end up going, to get some advice! :)

I wish you a Happy New Year with new beginnings, tying up of loose ends, and letting loose!

Anonymous said...

Glad that you sound so good after the Christmas back home - glad that you didn't let anything get to you :-)

Hope you have a great 2010 :-) :-)

io.

Anonymous said...

Hi there! Happy New Year! Blessings for you in 2010.

I love how you express your thoughts and it's amazing (for me) that I can identify with a lot of the situations you point out as they have happened to me too... In many ways I'm the black sheep of my family as well: 34, no children and no bf in sight, both my younger brothers have partners and even children but not me, just me and my dog; recently got laid off from my shitty job, plus I live in a third world country where standards of society are different than in the USA (machismo).

BUT I'm very excited 'cause I decided after years of thinking about it, to move out of my banana republic country for good, where I have always felt that I don't fit in, to live in a developed country.

On the other hand, I feel proud to have accomplished important personal and financial goals by my age, including traveling extensively to many countries for pleasure and work. Several women that I know here were just born to be like plants in a pot, they will never move from the porch. Crows fly together, eagles fly alone. I am an eagle.

Anyways, I wanna ask for moral support from the Singlutionary community since I will move to the USA in a few months (with all legal immigrant status, allowed to work) and am a tad nervous about having to start from scratch at 34 years old!

Change is always good, but it's difficult at first to readjust. I have a secret hope that once I move then I will have much more options for everything. As for guys, dating again will be fun I suppose, but what I really want is to be a single mom in 1-2 years from now. No bf, no partner. Just me and the bb. I lost my faith in finding real love, the whole relationship thing just f...g annoys me, it's a waste time. I rather use my time for something else.

Singlutionary, please keep on writing! Take care.

BR

The Singlutionary said...

Stevi: I am so excited for you to move too. I think there is a quality about staying in one place but there is also so much wonderful-ness in going to someplace new entirely and forging a life there. I had moved around a lot before I moved to TX but I always knew someone. Being here all by myself also made me grateful for all the things back home.

Iol: Happy 2010 to you too!!!!!!

BR: Hi! Thank you for your wonderful comment. The thing about moving to another country (or another region in my case) is that suddenly anything strange about you can be blamed on the fact that you came from someplace else and so people are more accepting. Back home all my strangeness couldn't be blamed on my growing up in the same place as everyone else because they were nice and normal and wanted to get married and have kids and live down the street from their parents. There is nothing wrong with that -- I just didn't get that memo hard wired into me. I LOVE your metaphor about the potted plant! And the eagle. Do you have a blog to share? I am sure everyone would love to hear about your moving adventure. Where will you be moving in the USA? Feel free to email me privately (singlutionary@gmail,com). Are you aware of a group of women who want to be single mothers by choice? I think it is called choice moms. They have their own blog which for some reason has disappeared from my blog roll. choicemoms.org and the blog is: http://choicemom.blogspot.com/

Kahnee said...

Welcome back, sweetie!

I look forward to your home improvement posts. i really need to catch up on my home maintenance so that when i'm ready to move I won't have so much work.

hebba said...

Yes -- isn't it funny that those who you'd think would know you best just don't get you? I often get a guilty feeling over the "I don't WANT what they have" thought. As if wanting something different is something to be ashamed of. I'm not. Ashamed of my life, that is. I love my single life. Even when others don't get it.

The Singlutionary said...

Hi Kahnee! So good to be back! I always see people fixing up their houses in preparation to sell them and think: they could have been living in this beauty this whole time. I get supreme enjoyment in the fixing up of little things.

Hebba! I always feel utterly defensive when I think "but that is not the life I want". I feel very deviant too. But you are right, there is nothing wrong with what I DO want. Although, it does sadden a part of me that the people who have always known me, can't know me now. I am on this journey alone in many ways but I have chosen this life. I didn't want to stick around my home town and replicate, to a T, the life I was brought up in. Sometimes I worry that others will be insulted when I express my desire for a different life. But I am not insulted by their life, so why should they be by mine?

Anonymous said...

Hi Singlutionary. I emailed you privately on Jan 21st. You'll recognize my email address when you receive, that's for sure! LOL
Please acknowledge receipt just to know it didn't go to your spam.
Cheers, BR