There aren’t many situations I encounter where I am in the minority.
I am at that stage of life where I guess I am supposed to start making commitments that will last longer than a bout of healthy eating or an attempt at keeping up with a gym membership.
But I am a late bloomer in more than one sense. My body, face, and fashion sense absolutely took its precious time developing during adolescence and into early adulthood.
I am also not in any way, shape, or form ready to make choices regarding life-long commitments like many of my friends, coworkers, and family members.
This is where I find myself on the wrong side of the fence. On the outside looking in.
I am at a point in my life where I am just figuring out how to support myself, cook food that is not poisonous, and make choices that won’t significantly impact how my skin looks after I turn 35 (yes, mom, I am using sunscreen).
I cannot imagine committing the rest of my life to someone. I could accidentally poison them, and I am not ready for those repercussions.
I can’t even figure out how to stop drinking after one glass of wine. How am I supposed to talk finances and and mortgage rates when I have ten dollars in my pocket and all I can think about is how many 3$ wine bottles I can buy at Trader Joes?
Objectively speaking, I am just not ready for it. That is not to say that I am against people who have found that person with whom they want to spend the rest of their lives.
I saw my best friend get married at twenty-three this past May, and it was amazing. When you witness unconditional love, it is truly a magical experience.
But people are wired differently. If we were all the same at every point in life, our existence would be stable, predictable, and utterly mundane. The idea that you don’t know what is coming next is fascinating, exciting, and makes life worth living.
I hear a lot of people complain that they are the only single one in their group of friends, like it is a curse, disease, or something to be discouraged.
We should stop associating the word ‘single’ with negative ideals. It is not a deplorable state of being in which we are forced to constantly fight and claw our way out, knowing that a human counterpart is the sole way to reach complete happiness.
Being single is an opportunity and an advantage not afforded to everyone. It is a chance to take risks, like moving into an apartment with three complete strangers off Craigslist. Or a time to find out what you genuinely enjoy doing, like writing about how ugly you were in middle school or your complete inability to adhere to social cues.
It’s a waste of time, energy, and your face before it wrinkles to worry about not having a significant other. Take advantage of the fact that you don’t have to answer to anyone and do the craziest things while you still can.
Ride a horse in South America with a cape and a margarita.
Because who wouldn’t want to live out an inter-continental alcoholic equestrian superhero fantasy?
Dress up like a Christmas tree with your friends and pretend every other topiary structure is your relative.
Because…. why not?
When you’re older, I promise it will be way more fun to think about when you and your friends held hands and prayed with three strange men in the middle of Boylston street during the Red Sox victory parade.
It won’t be so fun to think about how many things you missed out on because you were too busy wishing you had a boyfriend or girlfriend.
Take heart in the fact that you can have just as much, if not more fun with your friends and family while you’re single.
Embrace each opportunity and event and treat it like it will be the last time you’ll ever live through it.
Because the next time you are on Boylston Street after the Red Sox win the world series, you may not be with your best friends, but with your boyfriend, and he sure as hell won’t allow you to hold hands and say a prayer with strange men in the street.
Think about it.