Saturday, April 19, 2008

Singleness, Part II

Growing up I never would have imagined that I would be single and childless at age 25. (Thought that maybe all through the end of freshmen year of college.) I had this image that marriage and family made you an adult. Having a mortgage, mowing the grass, talking about insurance at dinner parties, climbing into your mini van (SUV nowadays) to go to church on Sundays, and having amazing home-cooked meals each night, all meant that you had arrived. 25 and single was just one step away from spinsterhood... Another life lesson learned.
Since high school I have always had a steady string of boyfriends/dates in my life. Everything from a 3+year relationship to dates that ended so badly I wanted to never see a guy again. Even when I came to China, I made the comment on the plane that I was going to stay a year and return to marry the guy I was seeing. HA! But for about a year and a half now, I have not been on a date and it has been a good period in my life.
Have you ever seen the movie Runaway Bride? I was like Maggie. With each guy I dated, my identity would form to theirs. If they like scrambled eggs then that was how I liked my eggs. Anytime I would get upset or frustrated I would hold it in because I did not want to upset them. This often would carry over into any relationship I had with anyone. Not anymore. Somewhere along the way I have found my voice. Beth Quarles, can be an angry, mood swinging chick who is not afraid to let you have it if needs be. I sure as heck don't let others control my whole identity. I am more comfortable in my own skin now than I have ever been. Sometimes I am even downright proud of myself. ;) (Note: maybe my Yankee friends have just rubbed off on me...)
Don't get me wrong. I do not like being single. Out of all my friends, I would say I have the biggest desire for a family. I want to have many (12) children, raise a multicultural family and still attempt to be a super mom while teaching my kids that there is true Purpose in life. I have spent many a nights lying in bed crying because I was so lonely and many foolish afternoons spent just thinking "What is so wrong with me?" However, I do not regret this time in my life where I have found out that I can do things on my own. I can survive in a foreign country. I can make decisions for myself. I can cook. I can control my money wisely. I can speak and be heard. I can say with all honesty that I struggle with being single, but so relieved that I am not in a relationship because I settled or one that causes unhappiness. Maybe I am a little too idealistic, but I have dreams and I can be patient to see them come to fruition.
In the book Rethinking Singleness, the author says that we should not have the mindset that God will provide a man for us. I disagree with this statement. While I do think that we, as women have to be "marketable" (for lack of a better word), I believe that all is really up to God's timing. Each day I do think about my appearance. Do you think I like spending 30 minutes putting on makeup for the heck of it?!? I am learning to cook, attempting to sew, trying to figure out how to fix things, run a home, etc. all with the hopes that one day I can be useful to somebody. (Plus, I just enjoy it.) I do believe that I am a catch. However, my future spouse has not been revealed. Instead, I am in China, working and living. I believe that was my Father's will. He made a way for me to be here and I trust that he will provide the "perfect" spouse for me if I am patient.

I did not mean to go on talking about myself for quite so long... Now, I am running late to some cooking lessons, so next time I will post on dealing with some of the struggles of singleness....

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