I really like being single.
When I am dating, engaged, and married, I will probably like those things too. And I will probably blog respective lists like these when I get to those points. But for now, being single is what I can testify to. As you will gather, this post isn’t about anybody’s set of circumstances being better than anybody else’s, but about being happy no matter what. We all live such abundant lives- how can we not be grateful?
1. The knowledge that I am a whole person. I get tempted to sometimes feel like I need another person to complete me, or to complete my life. Not so. God didn’t make me with any missing peices. As my neighbor always told each of her grandchildren in order to help them believe that they were the favorite,
“You are perfect, whole, and beautiful.”
2. Helping to mother people who need mothering. Sometimes, this means helping to mother other people’s little children, but usually it doesn’t. Usually it’s someone whose need for nurture and compassion is a little bit less obvious, like your visting teacher (or, heck, maybe even your teachee), your bishop (or maybe your bishop), or the new member of your ward (or maybe an old member of your ward). I’m not saying that marriage and literal motherhood or fatherhood prevent one from caring for others, and I’m not saying that mothering people is a way of “making up” for not having children of my own to mother. I’m saying that taking care of people fills space in our heart that will always need filling and will always add richness to our lives.
3. My ability to ignore anyone who gives me trouble about it. I think I’ve actually lucked out in this department- I rarely get hassled for being single. But when it does happen, it comes in the form of something like,
“Did you know that your ovaries start producing rotten eggs on your 23rd birthday?”
JANETTE IKZ, one of my favorite spoen word artists explains her response so eloquently in the piece titled “I Will Wait For You.” She says,
“No longer will I be weighed down by friends and family talks about concerns for my biological clock when I serve the Author of Time!”
Our family and friends are always well meaning, but sometimes don’t quite understand what is actually helpful. It’s not up to us to correct them or shut them up, but it is up to us to decide how we respond to and internalize comments made by others concerning our position in life.
4. The fact that Mother Theresa was single. And she is my idol. Also, this lady. (Make sure your English captions are turned on unless you speak fluent French.)
5. Enjoying and capitalizing on the freedom of singlehood. I can do whatever I want, and I answer to almost no one. This is great! I love being able to take weened trips at the last minute. I love being able to spend my money on things that I want without having to weigh it against the wants of another person. At dinner, I just eat what sounds good. On the weekends, I just do what I feel like. Now, obviously, life has it’s demands, but no one is going to be hurt if I decide to go to a 9:30 pm movie on a week night.
6. Serving in the church. For this, I am going to have to refer back to my girl JANETTE IKZ again. At the end of her aforementioned piece on singlehood (which, by the way, you really should go watch- my quotations do it no justice), she makes what I think is her most powerful statement, which isn’t so much about being single, but about being attached to God:
“But to my Father, my Father who has known me before I was birthed into this earth, only if you should see fit. I desire your will above mine so even if you call me to a life of singleness, my heart is content, with you the one who was sent. You are the greatest love story ever told, the greatest love ever known. You are forver my judge and I am forever your witness, and I pray that I will always be found on a mission about my Father’s business.“
Personally, there is nothing that makes me feel more whole than the knowledge that I am doing what Jesus would would do if he was walking in my shoes, especially when it comes to administering to the children of God and to the affairs of His kingdom.
7. Doing things that are only available while I’m single. Like flirting. Or going out of country to teach for a year. Or going on a mission (or maybe even another mission). It’s not about the joys or privleges of singlehood being better than the joys and privleges of non-singlehood, but about the idea that life passes quickly and the journey is full of experiences that will only be available to us for a short time. Capitalizing on time-bound opportunities will help us live a full, happy life no matter what circumstance we’re in.
What helps you love being single? Or dating, or engaged, or married, or parenting?