A virgin walks into a tattoo parlor…
Sounds like the beginning of a really odd joke, doesn’t it? Yuppp! That’s my life! A 27 year old virgin raises questions on its own, but a 27 year old woman who is single? Now that’s where the real interrogation begins. Yes indeed, I am single as a dolla dolla bill y’all! Singleness seems to be proving itself as a gift and a curse all in one, and I am it’s main squeeze.
Today I had my very first tattoo consult. My GPS took me to what felt the ends of the earth and then it short circuited, re-evaluated itself, turned me around and caused me to be ten minutes late to my appointment. I hustled my buns into the studio, a flurry of blonde hair frantically invaded the calm space and the first words out of my mouth were, “I’m fired, aren’t I?” Two tattooed men looked at me very confused and assured me it was quite alright and confessed they had been late themselves. Phew! As if being voluntarily stabbed with needles wasn’t stressful enough.
I’ve wanted a tattoo for a long time now, and finally it seems like the right timing. My mother would differ. “Why don’t you wait until you’ve met the man you’re going to marry first?” On the off-chance that the man I am destined to be with will not accept me as I am…? I sat in my mom’s living room the night prior to my consult with a good friend of mine as we dove into deep discussion of the elusive “future husband.”
I believe my man is out there; full of joy, kindness, and a heart that shares certain passions with me. Will he care if I have a tattoo? I don’t mind if he does or doesn’t. Will he care that I am curvy or will he even prefer it? I. Can’t. Care. I gave up trying to figure out what he will or will not love, because I know that he will love me, but first, more importantly I must love me. That’s when I realized, singleness is a gift; The gift of freedom. What I do with my time, my space, my body, is up to me, and other than caring what God would say or call me to do, it’s up to me. Me. Me. Me. Obviously I care about how things affect my family and friendships, but ultimately, I do what I want.
But what about Monday?
Monday I was a ball of tears. The perfect storm of hormones, disappointment, fear, and fatigue. On top of it all, I came home from work and was lonely. I do pretty darn well as a single person. I pack my schedule full, my friendships thrive, and I take care of myself. None of that changes the fact that there’s a place inside of me that holds my deepest desires, and inside of that space, dwells the need for my companion someday. Monday I was lonely. I craved to share my day, my struggles, and my success with my partner. Again, the elusive “future husband”. Dude. Wherever the hell you are, get your ish right so our path’s can cross. (Naturally he’s already in trouble, and it’s all his fault.) KIDDING. Absolutely joking. But it would have been lovely to spend the evening with my “person.”
And there it is. The curse of singleness.
Recently I went to a women’s conference, and they touched on the subject of singleness. They laid out the obvious; the freedom and the loneliness that I’ve just touched on, but I think they missed some things.
When you are in a healthy relationship possibly moving towards marriage, your other friendships become second in line. My girlfriend time is PRECIOUS, and at this point it thrives and competes with no one else, but someday it will have to. My husband will come first, but my girlfriend time will remain vital and forever a part of my world. I will have to prioritize. Yikes. In my singleness I don’t have to share a bed, I don’t have to think of someone else’s likes and dislikes when I grocery shop, and I can get up and leave my home whenever I please. Freedom. Girlfriend time. Unashamed selfishness.
The gift of singleness.
I also think it’s important to acknowledge the pain. It is PAINFUL to crave to love deeply and partner with someone while having no control of when and how it will happen. I will choose who I love but I can’t force myself to, and I can’t do any voodoo trick to bring them into existence or make someone take interest in me. I wait. Patiently, and not so patiently. I wait. It hurts. Monday HURT. I couldn’t control the tears that fell. I tried, ohhhhh how I tried. Through the grocery store, to the mailbox, up the steps to my apartment, while I cooked dinner for one, washed my face, brushed my teeth and tucked myself in. They fell. By the end of the night my face was swollen, blotchy, and my heart hurt. It sounds pathetic, but it felt as involuntary as could be. An outward expression of what my spirit felt.
Sharing one of my most intimate moments with you is not for the purpose of throwing a pitty party. I genuinely feel that I need to shed light on the reality of the pain that is caused when it is not yet the time for our deepest desires to be filled. I want to advocate for those around me who have or are currently experiencing moments similar to these. I want to tell them, “It is OKAY to feel what you are feeling.” I cannot even count on all of my fingers and toes how many times someone has told me to cling to my singleness and not wish it away. I agree, but what about the Monday’s of our singleness? I feel we need to stop shaming single people and stop promising them, “Once you stop looking, it will just happen.” As if our singleness were an illness and this was the prescription. No.
I have almost beat at least three people over the head following that statement. I wasn’t looking Tuesday through Saturday but I’ll be darned if Sunday I didn’t wish for it and Monday didn’t long for it. It is NOT your fault you are single. It is not the right timing. Excuse me PERSON, who is in a relationship, do not belittle the very real desires of the single people around you, but rather encourage them that, “Yes baby, it is painful right now. It is okay to feel that feeling, but please try to remember that your time will come, and I hope you can see the gift that singleness can be for this season.” Want me to grab you a pen so you can write that down? Muzzle yourself unless you are able to lift those around you, honestly!
For those of you that are single, I want to say this; I am finally learning that I am probably still single because right now I can do more good for this world as a single woman, than if I were distracted by a relationship. When the day comes, yes, I will happily be distracted by a relationship with a great man. I also trust that when that time comes it means that we are no longer more powerful as single people but rather as partners. Timing is everything. I have said it before, and I will say it a million times again, “Trust the process.” I hope and pray you can trust the timing as well.
Fire inside of me! I am passionate about this, because it is my story. Somewhere between viewing singleness as a gift and recognizing that it may feel like a curse as well, I’ve found contentment. I don’t think we should deny any of our emotions, I think they might be the truest form of ourselves and they are RELEVANT. Just as important, I don’t want to dwell in or glamorize any one of them either. I will remain content, I will see my singleness as a gift but I will acknowledge the pain. I will allow myself to FEEL whatever I need to. Someday I will most likely grieve aspects of my singleness, while I rejoice in my partnership. I will allow myself to feel the emotions that come with that too. I look forward to the day, but for now I wait, and I get a tattoo, for me. Me. Me. Me.
Let’s trust the timing.
Xoxo, Dolla Bill Jess