Ok, so you're not really long lost, but over our blog, communication has been sparse. Let's just blame it on hibernation (a topic you can read about in my post next week), and call it good.
So, I sometimes feel that there is this weight on my shoulders to always be ok, to always be happy, to always be stable. I don't really know why that it is. It might be this mistaken idea that if I'm not ok, I'm not being grateful and I'm not being strong and I'm not being righteous--"Let the Saints be joyful in glory" (Psalm 149:5).
I think I also pride myself on being independent, and being mopey just doesn't fit independence. When I was younger, I honestly, sincerely believed that being single and 27 had to be the worst thing possible. I thought there was no way I could be happy and single. As it turns out, that is the furthest thing from the truth I live. Single life, I've come to believe, is just as happy and hard as married life (but I've never been married, so what do I know).
And because of this false belief from my childhood, I sometimes worry that people are feeling bad for me. I mean, I remember single women coming home when I was in high school who were 25, 28, 30, 35, and people saying things like, "Poor girl." Heck, I thought that too.
The idea of someone thinking that about me is really uncomfortable. I don't want anyone's pity, especially when it's typically hard to find something to pity about my life. So I feel this responsibility to prove them wrong if they happen to be thinking "Poor girl" about me. I feel compelled to have poise and to have a smile and to be fearless. I must stand independent and have it all together. Move along. There's nothing to pity here.
That fear of being pitied makes it hard to not feel shame when I do need help and I am not making it all by myself.
I think I have believed and still fall into believing that adults don't need anyone else. We use phrases like "Learn to stand on your own two feet," and it feels like you're weak sauce if you need a hug or you need someone to listen to you or you need a cheerleader.
But I think this is a falsehood. When God was creating the earth and mankind, he said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him" (Genesis 2:18). I think God saw the wisdom of two people walking on their own two feet but side by side, which brings me back to where I started.
I'm a single woman, and while I am independent and strong, I also need people and I need support, and there is no shame in that. I love this quote from English poet John Donne: "No Man Is an Island." And while quite honestly I often feel like I am an island, I like to think that I'm an island among islands, that loved ones are not too far off when I need a pick-me-up, and that in return I'm able to send waves of support their way too.
|Background photo from Dmitry Teslya|
All that said, thanks for being my archipelago, Steph.