Tuesday, March 25, 2014

This Post is NOT for Vegans

Single ladies in the house? Lemme hear ya!!

There is no such thing as simply being a woman. Think about it. One can be a young woman, but once she achieves adulthood around 21, she becomes a single woman. You'd think that around 30, she would finally achieve the status of "woman," but, alas, she is still clumped into the pile of "women" that are single.

A man can be a man. In fact, I bet upon hearing the term "single man," we all feel a little odd. It doesn't sound right. It's not something you hear often. It was the title of a movie. Special. Single men get their own special term: Bachelor. Bachelorette is a meager adoption of the term that barely broaches the topic of what it really means to be one.

A mother can also be a mother. We categorize our single mothers, but we do the same to single fathers. Even saying, "married mother," feels weird.

Mothers are mothers. Men are Men, but women are either single or married, Miss, Ms. or Mrs.

It implies that a woman hasn't really achieved personhood until she is either married or a mother. But I'm not going to knock either. I would like to experience both. I think.

That said, I am a single woman. I am in my thirties. I am not thirty. I am IN my thirties, and I am single.

I actually like it. It took a while. It took years of scrunching myself into a little ball and decrying my humanity without a partner. How can I live without a man?! I put things off (like learning how to pay bills on time) thinking someone would eventually take care of that for me. I did this. ME. Caroline.

I spent nights alone, wishing someone would just "get" me, convinced that no one would, while secretly hoping that by being convinced no one would, I would trick the universe into proving me wrong.

I waited and watched. Watched and waited. Secretly, because NO ONE will want you if they know you want them. NO ONE will love you if you need it too much. I held my breath. I pretended I was someone else. I even fancied myself a femme fatale at times. Followed by a trail of men, drooling, ready to jump into action when I snapped my fingers, but never able to hold the true essence of me: the Single Woman.

But I don't do that any more. I wrestle with dating (it is misery, but occasionally fun), and I wrestle with not dating. I see it as a whole, in its true state, as simply living.

I have found that if I avoid looking at fashion magazines, I feel much better about my body. The same is also true of ignoring the pictures of full and happy lives lived with a handsome man, a beautiful child or two, and fantastic fashion sense and consumer savvy. If I don't let society tell me what life is supposed to be, I get to define it in any way that I desire.

I am learning to be a whole person. I am not free of the longing for companionship, and I am not free of days when I wish the dishes would do themselves or a benefactor would wipe out my debt. We cling to what we know.

These are the aspects of life. These are the things that make life worth living: the uncertainties, the outlandish dreams, the faith that spring will come eventually (for the love of all that is holy), but most of all it is the love.

Love knows no bounds. It has little, if anything, to do with buying a home and having babies. Those things have more to do with the economy than love. If you look for love, you'll find it. I have friends that love me, family that loves me, but more importantly (and sentimentally) I have a me that loves me.

Mothers, go kiss your babies. Men, go kiss your ladies. Single women, go kiss your cats. We all have a great deal of love to share. Don't be defined by who loves you, rather, define yourself by who you love.