worrisome + waiting?

If you’re in your twenties — early, late, or into the next decade, then you probably know the struggle of seeing everyone you know getting married, engaged, starting a family, etc. And you’re ecstatic for them! Genuinely! You see their pictures, hear their stories and it really fills your heart up. But on the drive home, the fact that you’re still out there kicking the bucket alone may start to settle. The little feelings of fear and impatience begin to creep in, and you may wonder if you’ll really end up alone, or maybe you and Jack from high school will keep the pact about settling for each other at 35 (but that’s still 10+ years away).

I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I have all the answers, because it is a frequent battle with myself on my own identity of being single. And, not only just being single, but being single and working to thrive in it. Like I said, it’s a daily struggle when you’re constantly bombarded with the pressure of getting hitched or settling down from your family and peers; or, on the other hand, you’re encouraged to go out and ‘let loose’ every weekend night, in hopes of falling in love with Mr. / Ms. Right at the bar. (because that seems logical). Is there a middle ground anymore? Is there a way for complacency and contentment to be praised, or at least tolerated? Call me old-fashioned, but I like to think so.

Bear with me here, because there are some who might call me a hypocrite — and they would be right. When it comes to my own relationship life, I tire easily of being still — of actually letting God lead. My impulsive tendencies get the best of me, and it causes me to have a few too many ‘almosts’. I always say I won’t put all my eggs in one basket, and I usually don’t. But boy does it feel like it. I get my hopes and expectations sky high (just look at my poetry!) before anything really happens. This ultimately psychs me out and ruins things before they even start. So, while I could be called a hypocrite, I feel the need to write about this, because it’s something I feel God is calling me to do too.

While I am immensely filled with so much elation and love for those closest to me starting new chapters of their life, I realize that I am too; they’re just different chapters, because we’re different books. Does that make sense? Your story — your Freytag pyramid, if you will — is not going to look the same as your best friend or the girl who you went to high school with, your buddy from the football team. Your story is different, because the path God has set before you is different.

PERSONAL EXAMPLE:My sister is getting married in April, and as bittersweet as it is {because I’ll miss our heart to hearts while we meal prep at midnight and face mask swapping on the weekend}, I am incredibly excited for it. Her fiance could not be a more perfect match for her, and I cannot wait to see how God continues to lead them. Less than four weeks after her wedding, though, I am graduating from college. (Which is absolutely wild to think about). Out of the seven kids on my mom’s side, I’ll be the first one with a Bachelor’s Degree, before going for my Masters after a couple years of teaching. We’re both embarking on new, exciting chapters of our life — neither outweighing or outdoing the other. We were called to do different things and be different people. I don’t discount it, rather relish in it. By the same token, my best friend will be welcoming her first child, a little girl, in the spring. I am already adding things to my Amazon cart to spoil the living daylights out of the perfect bundle of joy. Although I would love to be able to get hitched, move to Tulsa, and raise our kids together by next summer, I don’t think it’s in the cards for me; I don’t think that’s where God is calling me.

Regardless of your religious views or beliefs, it’s important to look at your own paths and where you’re headed. Focus on your goals. What’s the next big thing for you? A promotion at work? Finally, investing in that hobby you’ve been putting off? Graduating from school? Getting out more? Whatever it is, focus on that. I don’t want to say “Focus on you”, because that sounds a little cliche and narcissistic. Instead of looking at yourself or looking down, look ahead; see what’s next and run for it. You never know what’ll happen when you least expect it. I’m not saying you should turn into a frosty robot if someone approaches you or you should say no to a blind date, because adventure is out there. But your horizon shouldn’t be focused on finding the elusive one, obsessed with relationships that you wish you were in. It should be painted with all the possibilities and potential you have — everything you are capable of. Because you are so much more than a relationship status or a table for one on a Thursday night.

I hope this has given a little insight or help in some way, if you find yourself in a position similar to my own. It’s a sticky situation, but I don’t think it’s meant to be. Like most weird, hard-to-navigate things in life, I think it’s important to keep some things in mind: 1.) Be easy on yourself. Don’t think/be too serious about it. 2.) Everything comes in time and patience (this is where I struggle!). No one is setting a timer on things, except for you. Take a breather. 3.) There’s strength in numbers! Find like-minded people, and bond over similar interests, albeit food, drinks, or dogs! 4.) You are enough.

Xoxo

DeAndra Merrills