You know when you know you’re old? When people start bringing their kids to you to ‘learn from you’. If you are part of my generation (you’re currently in your 20s) the standards for being a role model are shockingly low. As in, I don’t live with my parents and I’m employed full-time and this has somehow qualified me as an expert on life. To my generation I say, thank you for making my look good – suckers!
The funny part about this is that every day I don’t fall down my own stairs, crack my iphone screen, split the butt of my pants, or break the laptop my work has entrusted me with (which in fact hates my guts and breaks itself to make me look bad) still feels like a success to me. So needless to say, I’m always surprised when people want my advice or say there’s a ‘young person’ who needs to meet and learn from me. Yikes, how sad. Just kidding…mostly.
Don’t worry, there is a flip side to this. These are typically people who were married with 3 kids by my age and they are more than a little alarmed that at 28 I don’t seem to be anymore hurried to ‘settle down’ than I was at 22. Don’t worry, I didn’t forget you guys. I’m still sensing your disapproval and panic. Your vibes are coming through loud and clear.
Ok, I’ll reign in my sarcasm now and say something serious.
I got the ultimate compliment recently. It was from a sweet friend who has kids my age and recently went through a divorce. I invited her and her grown daughter to my home for dinner. I LOVE to cook for people. It is the marriage of my two of my favorite things: people and food. While there she said, ‘Becca, I’ve been watching you for months trying to learn from how you do single life’. I of course then wondered what exactly she’d witnessed since I wasn’t aware I’d been watched. Good news: no hidden camera. So she only saw public Becca, not I-drink-from-a-two-liter-of-diet-coke-in-my-underpants-while-watching-Revenge Becca. Which yes, is a thing.
But really, it was the sweetest compliment. She said she admired my independence. My excitement about life. The way I live in community with friends. The way I cook, clean, entertain, read, blog, and lead. I really can’t imagine a more meaningful compliment. But if that wasn’t enough (which it is more than) she is one of the single most impressive women I know. She has an unbelievable passion for the Lord and for people that literally shines through everything she does. When she blessed the food and my home that night I got chills. She is amazing. And she wants to learn something from me? Wow.
So as much as I love to avoid talking about my so called singleness (as in: not married or engaged) I thought why not share with you some secrets to being a successful single:
– Love every season of your life. I whole-heartedly subscribe to this view of life. Every season is awesome in it’s own way. Singleness? Well, let me tell you it comes with a lot of freedom. As in, I get to go where I want, when I want. I get to hog my vacation days to see my family, my friends, or new cities and countries. You can watch what you want on TV (please Lord let my future husband be obsessed with football too so this is a non-issue). This season is full of choices that really mainly only affect you. I don’t need anyone’s permission to spend money. Hallelujah and pass me the Nordstrom catalog.
– It’s never going to be easier than now. This is what I tell myself when I get annoyed at all the things I have to do on my own. Like snake the drain, take out the trash, cook meals for 1, etc. This is the easiest time in life. Later I get to balance more and hopefully I’ll do that with excellence and without pouring sweat (doubtful if I stay in Tampa). I use this to convince myself to work on being able to do all the things I’ll probably be counted on to do later, now. Except snaking the drain – when I get married: that’s on him.
– Good guy friends. This is my golden standard for making the single life awesome. If you have the right guy friends (and these rare gems are seriously hard to find) you almost think ‘I never need to get married!’. I hit the jackpot in this category. Not a day goes by that they don’t check on me, encourage me, remind me they love me, or build me up. They never, ever, ever let me date losers or settle. And best of all? They make you laugh. All the time. I never stop laughing with these guys. If you’re a guy reading this then you need the opposite of course but I warn you, they might fall in love with you. Just kidding. Kind of. (No, I’m not in love with any of my guy friends so no one start rumors…again)
I am NOT giving out his number but I have to brag on one particular guy friend who literally asks me at the end of every phone call, what can I pray for you about? And then proceeds to pray for me before we even hangup. Every time. I mean, seriously people, friend jackpot winner right here.
(this is the ultimate secret to singleness)
Be awesome. Do it. You won’t regret it. And it turns out if you spend your time and energy working on you, you’ll attract some pretty swell people in the process.
Be whole. One of my high school friends always use to say, ‘you have to be a whole person before you can be half of a relationship’. Live by these words friends. Be whole. And if you’re not, work on that before you find someone. Don’t ever expect someone else to ‘complete’ you. That’s not how it works.
And last but by no means least…
Relax. People get so stressed out about being single, dating, getting married, impressing people, timelines, etc. Deep breath. Deep freaking breath people. Life is too short to worry it away. Enjoy each season and let them come as they may. Enjoy yourself.
That’s it. That’s the secrets. Which are now not a secret.