She looked at them. All, of them and let out a long sigh. “When will it be my turn?”, she said to herself for the 100th.
The way they all looked at each other made her long for what they had.
Though she had everything she needed and more, she would give up much to get what she wanted.
Home she went, day dreaming of the day prince charming will sweep her off her feet.
Ask any little girl and she’ll tell you pretty things of her wedding day. From the dress to the flowers, the cake, decoration and the guest list; we all dream (a little too much) of how it will all pan out. We carry that dream into our teenage years and the pretty little details get plentiful. As we mature, we become more focused on the who we marry rather than the how.
But what if no one comes along?
What if you become one of those girls who are left on the shelf?
Could I be damaged goods?
These are doubts that so many ladies experience.
What breaks you, builds you
I was once an overly enthusiastic girl in my teen years just envious of my peers who were in relationships. And mind you, it was as though every single one of them had a partner. I felt singled out, awkward and insecure. It was frustrating and even affected my self-esteem being single.
Sometimes I laid awake at night and cried out to God hoping that a suitable person would be sent to me.
Learning who you are and to love yourself
I waited and waited and looked out of my imaginary tower, but my prince never came. Somehow, the more I searched for love, the more I lost it. The love lost was not a romantic love, but a love for yourself — your identity and confidence.
I continued to battle alone. Awful reunion dinners were one of my worst nightmares as relatives check up on you and remind you that time is of essence.
For years, I cried and cried especially during the nights thinking there must be something wrong with me. When more positive advice came my way such as ‘’Enjoy being single! You have all the time in the world for yourself!” and “It’ll happen when you least expect it. For now just be happily you”, I would pretend to agree but inside I was so fixated on having a relationship I allowed myself to forget bountiful blessings that I have and became so fixated on what I don’t.
But through tough times you develop a resilience. When you learn that you are not alone and you cannot put the meaning of life and its happiness on one man’s shoulders — change begins.
“Don’t put your happiness on a man’s shoulders!”
Embracing you for you
Slowly I began to embrace that there is no shame in being single! Once you begin to see that, important positive lessons can come out of it. Sometimes I meet others who are amazed at hearing that I’m (always) single. Instead of moping, I start to see that there’s nothing wrong with me.
It is only when I look back on those times I realise that indeed, my prayers were being answered. It is through the span of 7 years of singlehood which I grew and learned so much about womanhood and my identity that makes me who I am today.
It was through singlehood that I learnt of my virtues, passions, capabilities and the very foundation of who I am, according to the Creator’s design. Some would say all that could be learned while being in a relationship but I beg to differ. This is because I was very much an impressionable wide-eyed girl, oblivious and naïve. If I had been attached to someone, I would not have blossomed with the values that I hold today. I’ve learned the differences between confidence and ego, independence and being presumptuous. In times that I have doubt, I learn to ask and seek wisdom from the right sources.
“There is no shame being single!”
Finally! But the learning never stops
Today, I’m blessed with a loving partner. We were right under each other’s noses and were friends for a long time. And one fine day, a spark ignited. And now, being in a serious relationship wasn’t all the fairy tale that I dreamed of it to be, because we are only human and that’s our saving grace. In a relationship, we have our fair share of good days and bad days. Some really bad days will even make you question why you are together in the first place. But ultimately, I believe that we have to open ourselves to learning whether you’re single or attached. Even as a couple, we are still discovering ourselves as individuals and I believe that it never stops. We never cease to learn new things about ourselves, each other and about the people round us.
So in every season, be it singlehood, in a relationship, or parenthood, I strive to remind myself to view life’s happiness in totality and not through an error magnifying glass.
About the Author: Victoria Lin is a concerned citizen writer born into the millennial generation. She recognises children and youth today find it very challenging to open up to real people and tend to turn and hide behind social media hoping to “self-heal”. She hopes her story will relate to people and remind them that it is okay to be single, and that life begins before you find your Significant Other.
Victoria is a Communications graduate and is currently furthering her studies in Early Childhood Education.