My A to Z Challenge is a blog about singleness. Some myths, some thoughts, some of the things that I have been learning as a 30 something year old single American woman, in a culture that sees this as something that is less than..... join me on this journey.
H is for How to not be defined by singleness. Singleness Myth #8: I will always be defined by my singleness, there is no way to get out of it.
It is true that our marital status is a huge part of our culture. Just like our race, national heritage, economic level, etc is. We are defined by all of these things. Here lately though I have felt like across the board our culture has decided that the way we are defined is more negative than positive. I believe that we are all trying to change this, but I think that there is still a long ways to go.
So how do I get away from being defined by my singleness? What do I do?
First I have to recognize for myself that being single is not something that is holding me back. I am not missing out on life because I am single. Sure I am missing out on the aspect of married life, but that also frees me up for a lot of things. This past winter I was able to volunteer at a homeless shelter once or twice a week. I wouldn't have been able to do that if I had other obligations at home. It kept me out till 11:30pm, something that I just wouldn't have been able to do or felt comfortable doing if I had a family at home. I'm not saying I wouldn't have done it at all, I just probably wouldn't have done it as much.
I think that how I view my singleness definitely affects how others view it. If I am constantly posting about wishing I had a husband and kids, then I am not going to be content, right. I am not going to be content with any part of my life, and people are going to see that.
Instead if I see my singleness as a gift, then that is going to be how other people view it. I won't get as many looks of pity as I would otherwise.
Another thing that I do is fill my life up. I fill it up with people that are like me, aren't like me, and people that I genuinely just have fun with. They are my family. Some nights I do spend at home, but I have come to believe that those nights are for filling my cup back up, so that I am able to go out into the world and serve my community in a greater way.
The third is that I have an answer for those that ask why I am single. I don't just say the "I don't know, I wish I could find someone." I have an answer. I am single because there is something that I need to be doing right now, that I couldn't do married or in a relationship . That's my answer. Some days I don't wish it was, but it is.
Finally how to not let singleness define you is to be who you are. Don't get stuck on having to go places with people, don't look at every couple holding hands or with kids and let it pierce you like an arrow to your heart. Know that you are living life the best way you can. Our culture has programmed up to think that being single is a curse, when in reality being single is sometimes the best way to really understand who you are and the role that you have in this amazing world.