Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Joys of Being Single

That's right.  You heard me.  I know, I know.  I usually write about the tough stuff about being single.  I like to write about it on here, because it helps me get to the bottom of the things that I'm thinking about.  I don't usually need a place to process the good parts about being single.  Yet, if I'm going to clutter up cyberspace with my woes, I feel the least I can do is offer some clutter about the good things, too.  

I can drop whatever I'm doing in a moment and go do something else if I want to.  I can decide midway to one place that I'd rather go somewhere else.  On a weekend or holidays, I spend time with my friends and family.  I can go to bed early or late, as the mood hits me.  I can get up early or late as the mood hits me.  Of course, I work for a living, so that interferes somewhat, but not too bad.  I can decide what food to make when and I never have to cook if I don't feel like it. (Note to self: buy stock in Lean Cuisine and Hot Pockets.) I like that I can leave my place a mess, and it won't get in anyone's way.  I like that I can clean it up, and it will stay clean until I get back. I can watch a movie at a random time, just because I feel like it.  And I get to pick whatever I'm in the mood for, no compromises.  I have school loans, so I don't have a lot of money to burn, but what I do have, I only have me to spend it on.  For me, that translates to a ridiculous number of books, which I can read because I have the time.

Someday I hope that the singleness will end.  If it does, I will not regret the loss of these things, but there will definitely be times that I miss them.

I had always hoped that I would meet someone and get married right after college.  When I went to grad school, I didn't mind that I was single because it was kind of intense and I didn't have a lot of time for extra stuff anyway.  I am now going on three and a half years after grad school.  Let me tell you about some of the things that have happened in the last three years.

One thing that happened is that I have been going to a church with an incredible priest who is truly lives out the title "Father".  He has been a spiritual director and confessor that has helped me grow and understand the spiritual life on a whole new level.  Actually, more like a series of deeper levels.

I have met a group of friends that are amazing.  You can't even imagine what it's like to have a whole group of friends about your own age that are in love with God and on the same path you are.  Well, maybe some Protestants can, but these are Catholics, and that's hard to find.  I do not think that I would have gotten nearly as close to them if I had not been single.  I needed friends.  If I had not had so great a need, I'm not sure that I would have kept coming to their various get togethers.  I am such an introvert and they knew each other so well, it was definitely outside my comfort zone.  I am so grateful that I needed them so much and that I have gotten to know them so well.

I have had time to study my faith on a whole deeper level.  I remember when grad school started to wind down and I started turning my focus back to my faith.  Lent of my last year of grad school, I started to go to Mass daily when I could.  I also found a Catholic bookstore and went to town.  It kicked off a great start to these last three years and I have gotten to return to truly studying my faith after 7 years of studying college stuff.  I have had so much time to study as a single person and do projects and Bible studies that I never would have gotten to do otherwise.

Theology of the Body.  I had heard of this before the last 3 years, but this was my time to finally study it.  At first it was foreign, but it continues to get more and more familiar.  It has changed me.  It has changed how I view marriage and it has changed how I view other people.  If I do get married, I will be able to bring something to it that I never would have understood before.

Finding true worth. I grant you, this is still very much a journey that I am on, but I can't begin to tell you how much healing I have experienced in the last 4 months.

Finally, discovering that God is enough.  I learned that this doesn't mean that the feelings of pain or loneliness go away.  This doesn't make the desires of my heart any less.  It only means that He is enough right smack in the midst of it.

After these last 3 years, I would now say that He is my Beloved and I am His.  I know that He can and does bring a lot of people through some of these same steps in the journey in and through living out their married vocations, but for me He has chosen this path.  I always tell Him it has been well worth it.  Then, being the human that I am, I always add, "Yep, it was worth it, but we can change it now, right?" :)

1 comment:

  1. good post, friend. Yes, I'm still catching up on the older stuff you have written. Lame, I know. :)

    And, I love my family more than my own life, but I would be lying to say I couldn't go for some more sleep, cleanliness, and dollars at this point!! Call me selfish. I call it honesty. XOXO