The first time I ever laid my eyes on Chichen Itza I cried.
It was unfathomable to consider I would actually one day stand in front of it. I also remember a time when I couldn’t imagine getting married. I didn’t think I would ever feel deeply enough for someone or that someone could feel that way for me.
I can say now that I’m happily married after being single for 25 years.
However, I think it’s important to have a more in depth dialogue about singleness. Singleness is not a disease ( I stood by this idea when I was boyfriend-less for 23 years and I stand by it now, even as a married woman.) It is a gift; an incredible and undervalued gift. I won’t simply say (as most do) that “singleness is great! SO LET’S TALK ABOUT MARRIAGE” This is a real singleness talk meant to give you encouragement and understanding for what life looks like for you right now.
You see, life doesn’t begin once you’re married.
It began the day you took your first breath and what you do now on your own is just as important as what you do when you are sharing your life with someone else. I am so grateful for the 23 years I had and for the unimaginable things I experienced. My deepest regret is not appreciating it sooner. (My appreciation and value in singleness happened five months before my husband asked me out.)
You get to be selfish in singleness but not in like a demeaning negative way but in a “you get to focus on your own needs kind of way”. I’ve heard too many people discuss a relationship in the interest of how it will cater to them. No successful relationship is ever about how you’re served…. It’s about how you serve others. But enough about relationships, this is about your singleness! You have the freedom to go do the things that give you life while you have time for them! Travel or play a sport, start your dream business (because your money is your own), run some events, learn a new skill. Get comfortable with yourself and if you already know who you are, great! You know what you want so go do it. Love is not a “fix it” solution. It should not replace the life you have but add to it. Disagree with your friends, live with difficult roommates, cut the “people pleasing” misery (Jesus was not a people pleaser) but learn to communicate respectfully, honestly, and effectively. Accomplish your lifelong dreams and desires. Get the personal adventures out of your system because once you take on the marriage adventure your obligations to your family will make your personal dreams harder to achieve (though not impossible.)
Really relish this time because in comparison you have so little of it. I’ll say it again. Life doesn’t start when you’re married. It began at conception and you’ve had this whole time to work some magic. My hope is that you are so full and whole that whomever you do meet can simply be a gift to be appreciated and not taken for granted because real love doesn’t fix…. It amplifies.
Written By: Joanna Parsons