There was a point in my life where I was surrounded by people I knew and felt comfortable with. When younger, I would tag along with my older siblings or my parents and not really even have an identity of my own. In high school, I started dating and was in a relationship for close to 5 years. My boyfriend at the time was someone that was very well known and since I would tag along everywhere with him, I became pretty well known as well, but my identity always seemed to be his girlfriend. I felt like I lacked my own unique identity. When our relationship ended, it was a scurry to try and find who I really was and what I wanted for my life without having to rely on someone else’s decisions. It’s taken me some time to learn about certain things I liked and things I wanted to do, but not having someone in my life that directs my thoughts and opinions is very liberating. It’s definitely hard at first, and granted, I’m still learning how to be single, but I’m enjoying learning about myself and God’s plans for me along the way.
Inspired by the movie “How to Be Single” (I am not recommending this movie. I will give a more detailed review of it in a later post, but in a nutshell, besides the language, the topics, the indecency and the themes covered, there are several ideas of singlehood that are not correct according to the Word of God and to the world view of a Christian.) The idea of the movie however, is that once we have ended a relationship (or never have been in one, if that’s the case) it is very difficult to learn how to act, and what to do. We always feel kind of awkward because we don’t have a right-hand man.
Being single, I’ve learned so much about myself. I’ve changed in little things, like cutting my hair, to big things like choosing a different college major, because of what I’ve learned about myself since being single.
So, inspired by a BuzzFeed video,* I’ve decided to come up with my own list of how to own singlehood. Some of these may even help you learn things about yourself that you never knew! Many times, we can be ashamed to go out there and own up to our singleness, because of the pity glances we sometimes get from onlookers. Maybe we are just more self-aware when we are alone, but we become embarrassed to do certain normal day-to-day activities. I thought it might be fun, if we challenge each other to do some of these things and to comment (and post pictures) of some of our stories about the experience.
1. Go to the movies and watch one alone. Quite honestly, I have yet to do this. I have friends that do it all the time, but most of the time I would rather stay at home and watch on my computer as I lie in bed. It is on my to-do list however!
2. Go to a nice restaurant and order a treat-yourself meal. This is probably my favorite item, and even though it seems to be one of the most awkward things to do alone, I love doing it. I guess, maybe because I’m a “foodie”, but saving money just to be able to go once a month to a restaurant and ordering whatever I feel like eating is just awesome!
4. Get a spa day. Schedule a massage, or a pedicure/manicure or something to boost your spirit and your confidence.
8. Go window-shopping. Try on a whole bunch of clothes you don’t intend to buy, just for the fun of it.
11. Go to the beach and have fun. If reading in the sun on the sand is your idea of fun, do it. If it’s going into the water and ridding the waves, do it. (Just make sure to stay safe.)
12. Visit a new church. This is probably one of the hardest things I’ve done. I’ve always been someone who would go to a church with my parents and be instantly known by everyone because of my parents’ status as missionaries. Going alone to a church where you have little to no contacts is challenging, but it has probably been one of the most self-learning experiences I’ve had to do.
13. Go sit on a bench at the mall and people watch. Another thing I love doing on my own. We lived just a few blocks from a mall, and when living alone, and I was tired of being at home, I would just go on down to the mall, walk around a bit then sit on a bench watching people and observing their strange antics. Call me weird, but it’s kind of funny and refreshing to see other people who are weirder than you in their day-to-day.
14. Finish a project you’ve been postponing or just haven’t finished. Being a DIYer, I have tons of projects I sometimes don’t finish. This is a tough one for me, since sometimes I can lose inspiration or time.
15. Déjà-vu. Relive a childhood memory or pastime.
16. Sign up for (and go) to a class of something you’ve always wanted to learn, but never had the courage. For me, this is probably the biggest one I’ve done. After finishing up my teaching degree, I decided to go back to college and get a completely different degree in Culinary Arts. Best decision ever! Besides that, I’ve taken music classes, done a Sign-language course, and taken modules in Biblical Counseling.
19. Volunteer for something. For someone who is feeling alone and like their problems are enormous, sometimes it’s just great to get out and see other’s problems, or to serve other people.
I hope that you can get out there and get the courage to do some of these ideas. Do you have more ideas of things to do to own our singlehood? Which of these have you done? What are some of your adventures?