A Very Good, Very Single Life

It’s a new year, I turn 27 at the end of the month, and I am (still) single. Just as I have been at the beginning of every other year, and heading into every other birthday.

When I was in high school I attended a wedding of people who were 25 or 26, and I remember thinking, “I’ll definitely be married before then.” In the community I grew up in and still live in, marrying young is normal, almost expected even. Younger versions of me were foolish and prideful in many ways, but this–my assumptions about how a relationship would factor into my life–has proven to be the most glaring example.


Photo Credit: WEB AGENCY

A while back I read a post by the blogger Leigh Kramer that’s made me reconsider how I approach my life. She wrote, “I began dreaming about what my ideal single life would look like. Taking a future husband out of the equation entirely: what would a happy, whole life look like for me? What would need to be in place for me to feel I’m living my best life?”

Planning out my days and weeks on my Google Calendar has become essential to me, but even the phrase “life plan” nearly makes me ill. I like small bits of time to be planned ahead, but not big expanses of time. Yet as I considered Leigh’s post, I realized I’ve always been resistant to the idea of envisioning or planning for my long-term future in terms of being single. Months ahead, maybe even a year, sure–but to think much beyond that felt like giving up hope of things ever changing. Except when I look at my life, as good and full as it is, but very much lacking any reasonable prospects of marriage in the near future, I have to wonder if it’s more damaging for me to not think of my future in terms of being single. It’s all I’ve ever known, and it might be all I’ll ever know.

I’d be lying if I said that even typing those words wasn’t painful.

But it could be true. It doesn’t mean I’m a failure, or less than, or unworthy. It just means I’m single, and might always be. I can’t plan on my life becoming something it very well might not.

So how do I accept that, or at least as well as I can? How do I continue building a good, full life, even though it’s not the kind of good or the kind of full I imagined?

There are some obvious ones for me–despite my at-times complicated relationship with it, faith is always my utmost priority, even when I don’t do a great job of actually making it a priority. I know I’ll have no business getting married if being with him doesn’t make us both able to better love, serve, and glorify God because we are together than we would if we were apart. A tall order, but an important one.

Then there’s the people. I may not have a someONE, but I do have a lot of someoneS. The ones I share DNA with, and the ones I don’t but who have no less significance in my life just because we don’t find each other on a family tree.

Those two are easy, and while the order of the someones might have to shift a bit should a someone come along, they’d both still be there. But they don’t comprise a whole life. They might be priorities, but there’s a lot of living to do in all the other time.

I have no concrete answers for this yet. Will I learn to be okay if things don’t ever turn out the way I had hoped and imagined and prayed they would? How will I not just get through life, but fully embrace it for what it is?

What does a very good, very single life look like for me?

Til next time…


p.s. What does your vision of the good single life look like?


If I Could Plan Things

Yesterday I planned out the next year(ish) of my life.  Relationships, jobs, living arrangements, trips, some goals, and more were all accounted for. “If I Could Plan Things,” I called it.

A dangerous thing to do, maybe. If I keep looking back at it, checking off things that do happen and lamenting those that don’t, I have set myself up for frustration and letdown. My life could become consumed with regret at the goals I did not achieve, things that did not happen in the timeline which I wanted them to.

However, my reason for thinking through what I would like my next year(ish) to look like was not to create a checklist, meticulously putting a tick mark next to each thing as it happens. Fortunately I have realized that no matter how hard I may try, I cannot plan everything that will happen. And truthfully, as I thought about what I’d like the story of my next year(ish) to read like, I got kind of…stuck. After covering my major plot points, characters, and setting, I couldn’t think much further.

My point in thinking through this was to lay out what I’d like to happen so I can see what IS in my control. Because lots of things are NOT in my control. To a large extent, I can’t control which characters come into my life and which leave it, though I may be able to control the environments I put myself in in which I might meet new people. I cannot control major plot points, such as which jobs may or may not be offered to me, but I can control which ones I apply for and how my resume looks. I cannot control unexpected circumstances that may land me in a different location than I am in or have ever been before, but I can control how I accept those changes. And though I have control over some of these things that may affect some of the goals I’ve set for myself, I also have to accept that failure is possible. And if I do fail, even that can turn out okay.

There are some things in my plan that I have no control over. I believe my God has control over all of it though. Even the things I can actively work towards, he ultimately governs. Which is both comforting and unnerving. As has happened before, his plans may not line up with my desires. And that might (and quite possibly will) frustrate me.

Except I believe, though I may not always feel, that he absolutely knows what is best. Not necessarily what will make me the happiest, or what will be the easiest, but what is best. So even though I might have a plan for what I’d like to happen, ultimately it comes down to trust. To trust my God is working things out in ways I cannot see, for a life that I may not have planned.

Til next time…