Nobody longs to be the last single person standing amongst their group of friends but alas, here I am as just that. At an all-girls dinner the other night with my dearest girlfriends, it occurred to me as I sipped my slush infused vodka drink whilst listening to the wedding, pregnancy, “we” and “us” chatter among them that I had nothing relatable to share in the conversation. I mean, I don’t always like to talk about the last dip-shit I dated and it wasn’t like I was going to just be like “Aww that’s so cute, here’s a video of my cat!” (Insert crazy cat lady jokes here) to try and feel somewhat included. Instead I sat and listened intently and let it dawn on me that I am officially the last single girl in my crew. And it was okay.
For the past three years I have attended numerous events without a plus one, unless you count the bottles of wine or six packs’ I carry in tote as my “dates.” I’ve been to baby showers, children’s birthdays, housewarmings, pre-dominantly coupled holiday events and gatherings, engagements, and I will happily attend at least two weddings next year with excitement to celebrate the incredible milestones with the people I love and care about. But this is it; this is the divide. I am in a league of my own now.
Sometimes people try and tell me “they know what it’s like to be single” and tell me to embrace this time in my life. Well let me tell ya, I’ve embraced the crap out of this life for three years now. I am awesome at this life. Mind you, most people are comparing said experienced single life to that time that single meant wearing a hip hugging mini-dress, stumbling around in heels and being woken up by Mom vacuuming on Sunday morning before embarking on brunch with your previous night’s hangover victims. In your late twenties and early thirties, single means paying rent or a mortgage, student loans, car payments, vet bills and every other bill you never had at 21, having a responsible adult non-calling-in-sick-for-a-hangover attendance record at your job (which you now call a career), spending your single person income on endless celebrations for others whilst supporting yourself in the process and of course, keeping that liquor cabinet stocked, because you’re going to need it! It’s no cake walk either and there are pro’s and con’s to both lifestyles. Many hands make light work. Single hands make many trips. Sometimes it’s exhausting (though I have mastered the art of carrying 12 grocery bags up two flights of stairs in one trip- BOOM!) Sometimes I wish I could throw an “I’m single and surviving” party with a registry at the BC Liquor Store. I’d wear a Superman Cape. The “S” standing for “Single” (and Super.)
It’s not that I’m not happy being single, it’s just that I am overexposed to relationship chit-chat and it makes me feel so pressured into fitting in with the norm, and fitting back in with my friends. I have friends stressing out about not wanting to wait any longer to have children because they will be too old I’m just sitting there, all single and shit thinking “uh-oh, I am going to be that too old person they fear!” and it’s just like this endless cycle of feeling inadequate about my status even though I shouldn’t. Am I the last single girl in my circle? Hell yea I am. Does it mean I’m defective? No way. I’m not “too picky”, I’m not “looking too hard”, I already “love myself first” and whatever other stuff people are always feeding me to justify the reason I’m still single. I am single because simply, the right guy hasn’t come along yet, and that’s okay.
Being single sometimes feels like it comes with a negative stigma at a certain age. People ask you “what’s wrong with you?” or assume that you have higher expectations than you should. In this modern day and age, 30’s are the new 20’s and so the process of defining our own individual sense of self while putting the puzzle pieces of life together before inviting someone to join you takes longer. I may not have a child by the the time I planned to several years ago, but you learn to let go of expectation in favor of facing what your destined for.
The truth is yes, I’ve had some bad luck and maybe I’ve even made some of my own mistakes along the way (who hasn’t?) One of my neighbours told me when I met her nearly three years ago “this is our learning life” and the statement lingers in my mind every time I go through an ordeal. I’ve learned a ton on this journey, none of which I would have ever learned if I would have been in a relationship. I would have married the guy I was with three years ago and been standing in a kitchen barefoot and pregnant right now completely unaware of the amazing potential ahead of me. I also would never have started this blog. I wouldn’t be writing a book. I wouldn’t have a cat who plays fetch and makes me laugh every day. Through the process of truly embracing this single life and the dating world swirling around it, observing and learning from my friends relationships from the outside, to experiencing a wide variety of different personalities from the inside, I know without doubt that I am one hell of a catch -a sturgeon full of caviar. Once someone rips these walls down, I’ll be gleefully participating in mutual conversation with the girls at dinner; and in the meantime, there’s always vodka.