So I’m trying, along with countless other young women, to address the “why” and the “how” and the hurt accompanying singleness. And maybe this is just my opinion (I’m about to state is as fact; argue with me later): Our culture is twisted. We flaunt feminism, claiming that women are absolutely equal (if not superior) to men. And then we wonder why they are no men. I have news for you, single ladies: the median age for marriage is 35. Just half of U.S. adults are married.
I’m done throwing pity parties, so buckle up. The truth is that I’m 22 and regrettably without a significant other, and although this is not at all what I expected from my 22nd trip around the sun, it’s actually been an incredible teacher.
But I’m not here to mope about being single or tell you it gets any easier with each passing day. I’m here to tell you that our story, your story, started long before that of creation and we’d better start living like it. Today — today — is ripe with blessing. That doesn’t mean we can’t wait for something, hope for something, have deep and often overwhelming desires. I get it; I feel all of those things with you. But waiting is not the equivalent of standing around with hands in our pockets. It’s about action. Focused, intentional action to a specific end.
Learning to wait well is a little bit like being on a train. You’re going somewhere, moving forward. Some hours are spent speeding past the green-brown-blue blur of the countryside with only splashes of pink for rose gardens and sketched outlines for buildings. And then the train slows to round a bend or pull into a station and you can see a boy walking his dog. You can see expressions on faces, the 2-for-1 deal at a local bakery, the tangle of ivy and honeysuckle in a backyard. It’s beauty on a new level, a detail-rich, enhanced level.
That’s waiting. It’s about absorbing the world around you in a way you can’t when you’re going a hundred miles an hour. Either way, you’re alive and moving forward, but one way allows you to savor the world more fully.
Ladies, it’s time to stop wallowing. This, too, is a season. The train will pick up speed again and you’ll wonder where the past few weeks have gone and how you could have missed them. But now, right now, be content to notice the freckles on their faces. Enjoy the next challenging assignment at work, or a home-cooked meal and a sunset. Absorb the soft drumming of the rain. Take pleasure in being alone or surrounded by people.
Waiting gives you the opportunity to invest in individual lives and to take up new (or old) hobbies. It’s all about leisurely walks after dinner, or arriving early at the office, or reading stacks of good books. Your mind isn’t pulled in 20 different directions because it only needs to focus on a single direction.
Bonus: This season of slowness leads to gradual life change on deeper levels, to lasting transformation. It holds its own sort of lovely for people who are willing to notice it. Start today; savor it with me.