A semi-stream-of-consciousness on being single in my 30s

I have a Five-Year Memory Book that I received back in 2012 from a dear friend. As I enter in my thoughts or deeds for the day, I like to look back on the other four years. It’s so interesting to see how there are some patterns, such as pumpkin carving with friends usually happens this week (er duh), but then there are other patterns in which I am hiding in books or avoiding life with movies. Or when I break up with someone. October just isn’t a good month for me.

Last year I broke up with this guy I was seeing. It’s now fully been a year. It seems so long ago, but then it also seems like yesterday we were on the River Walk and I was thinking what a kiss from him would be like.

Tonight I was taking a bath listening to The Oh Hellos and this song struck me

Hello my old heart
It’s been so long
Since I’ve given you away
And every day I add another stone
To the walls I built around you
To keep you safe

This song reminds me of C.S. Lewis’s quote

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

I wonder how many stones God has and will have to move. As each year passes I become more like a stone, cemented in my ways. I can’t even think of how I would be with someone else. I am so used to being on my own; in my own head; doing what I want; being alone. Is it even possible for me to share my life with someone else?

I go back and forth between contentment and desire.

when-harry-met-sally-original.jpgIt doesn’t help that I was watching When Harry Met Sally today and I kept comparing myself to them. They’re in their early 30s and I am watching this film thinking, my life looks nothing like that. I don’t even date. Why isn’t my life as together? Well, for one I am not in a movie. This isn’t the 80s. And I am a Christian.

It’s the FOMO (fear of missing out). Stupid envy! There were so many things in my 20s that people do that I never did. Either because I didn’t want to do it or it wasn’t an option. I fear much of my 30s will be the same. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life. I am incredibly grateful for everything that I have. I find incredible joy that can only come from God in all aspects of my life, even riding the L. But there are times, like tonight, laying in a bathtub wondering about my heart, if I will ever date, marry, and parent.

It wouldn’t be the end of the world if none came to pass.

But I just wonder. What type of wife would I be? What type of mother would I be? How much would I learn about God, myself, and humanity because of those special relationships?

As a kid I had this image in my head of my future. None of it has happened. And for the most part, that’s good! But that small percentage is painful to realize it will never come to fruition (i.e, I will never be in my 20s, skinny).  It doesn’t help that this weekend five young 20-somethings stayed at my place and reminded me how different I am from them. Not because I am 30 but because I am at my core different. I was never that type of 20-year-old. So, it’s really hard to envision what type of life I will lead. I have no comparison. (Wow does that sound arrogant! I hope you know what I mean.)

I feel selfish most of the time. Yes, I try to use my time wisely. I serve God in anyway that I can. I serve the church as best as I can. I love others as best as I can. My life isn’t a waste because I am single. It’s very full and well loved.  Love from a man isn’t the most important thing in life. Love from a child isn’t the most important thing in life. All of this is true. All of this I know. And I thank God that I am not in want of it all of the time; instead, I just have my moments when I think what if? 

That question is both good and bad. It can drive you, but it can also stall you.

And in the end, I want my heart to align with God’s. I want what He wants. If I am to marry, if I am to be single, if I am to … so be it. As long as God is in control, it is well.

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