I was at a work conference recently and the speaker said something that I haven’t been able to shake.
He was talking about how hesitant people are to do anything (in fact, they may even think its impossible) until they see someone else do it first. Then suddenly, once one person has done it, everyone else feels like they can do it too. That thought threw me back to the way I used to look at living life as a single girl.
Growing up, I had never seen a woman live and thrive in life without a man.
That wasn’t the story in my family, nor in the town I grew up in. Everyone around me married their high school or college sweetheart. But on the day that I graduated college, my college sweetheart wasn’t mine anymore. I was going off into the world a single girl, and I had no concept whatsoever of what that would or could look like, and I hesitated, because no one before me had gone first.
Can you do anything as a single girl, I wondered?
I honestly didn’t think so, because I had never SEEN someone do it. I expected the narrative of my life to look exactly like those that I had seen around me, and suddenly, it didn’t anymore. This is a story that is true for many of us.
We are largely following a generation who got married younger than we are now, and their lives were the model that we expected to follow.
There’s never been a generation before us in which the majority experienced singleness well beyond their school-aged years, which some would say is a tragedy, but I see as an opportunity.
An opportunity to go first.
Friends, we can be the ones who change the way that everyone thinks about singleness from here forward.
We can live our lives in such a way that it never even crosses the minds of the generation after us to ask what’s possible as a single person. They’ll never ask because they will have seen so much life lived by those ahead of them, that the thought that your relationship status somehow defines you will be erased.
But to do that, we need to show them. We need to show them what singleness can really be, living this life to its fullest potential, dispelling every myth and false belief along the way.
We need to go first.