Wednesday, June 11, 2014

20 something & single

everybody's on a different path in life.

i find myself saying this a lot. to myself, to my friends, to my family. is it reassuring? i suppose. we all should be reminded that life isn't a cookie cutter, and that just because someone else is doing it, doesn't mean it's right or wrong for you.

growing up in the southern united states, things are what you'd call a little "old fashioned". yes ma'am, no sir, extra grits please & thank you. it's a highly traditional culture. small town gossip yields endless chatter of who so & so is dating, what their daddy said about it, and when he's gonna "pop the question" - because goodness knows, there's nothing southern women love more than planning a wedding.

i could get into societal expectations of women regarding marriage, but i'm going to focus on some other thoughts. i think we can all agree that in many parts of the world, emphasis on finding a partner and settling down at a predetermined age is prevalent and unnecessary. but specifically, for young women under 30, the idea of being single seems to haunt them.

i was 20 and living in a dormitory at alabama. i had a roommate - a traditional girl, very sweet and kind-hearted. yet, at 20 years old, she spent nights watching the notebook and crying about how she was "never going to get married". somehow, her worth and value at the age of 20 was directly tied to whether or not a man wanted to spend his life with her. she had so much ahead, i thought. she still hadn't graduated, she couldn't even legally buy alcohol. yet marriage was what plagued her.

since graduating in may 2013, i've made a lot of changes in my life. i'll say it: i was a serial monogamist. i didn't seek it entirely consciously... or, at least, my brain tells me to say that. maybe i did. either way, i was in a few multi-year relationships back to back. and while i learned a lot about my flaws, as well as what i want in a future life partner, what suffered was time devoted to myself. i learned this the hard way.

i've done more in the 9 months i've been single than i have in years having a man by my side. i've excelled at my day job, started a regular yoga practice, built my blog following, made countless new friends, been to tons of concerts, attended a mardi gras ball, joined a kickball team, planned summer trips to denver and atlanta, founded a local blogging network, started a summer internship, collaborated with local businesses and so much more. would i have done all that if i had been devoting my weekends to a boyfriend? maybe. but it has been so satisfying to commit myself fully to anything and everything i desire - except another person.

everybody's on a different path in life. if yours leads you to marriage, that's wonderful. but don't force your path to be like someone else's. don't cling to what isn't right or healthy for the sake of normalcy. address the fears, tackle them, be wholly you - and if a partner appears in the midst of it all, then great. but if not? keep on keepin' on. you won't find yourself looking into the eyes of someone else.


  1. Fab post! Definitely words to live by. I met my husband when I was 27 - before that I did exactly the same, lived life to the full and if that person came along then that was a bonus! There's someone out there for everyone, for some it just takes longer to find them but that doesn't mean you should wallow and worry about it!

  2. I definitely had to learn this lesson on my own! This is a great post! Good for you for not conforming to anyone else's (aka, the South) standards. It feels good to just do your own thing for a while.

  3. I love this! I don't know why everyone is always in such a rush to settle down and get married, or start a family, or put themselves on a time line in general. Sure, you can want those things...but let them happen when they happen! You gotta live your life!

  4. Thank you so much for writing this post. I loved reading it. I feel like society puts so much pressure to be married, have a house, and kids by the time we're 30. I'm almost 28 and I don't have any of that. Yes, I want that in the future but it will happen when it's meant to be and if it doesn't happen, then it wasn't meant to be.

  5. I love this -- especially the last line. That's important to remember, significant other or not! It's so awesome how much you've accomplished in so little time!


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