~Monday, November 21, 2011

Singled Out

I've started getting calls from my family for what I want for Christmas. Each time it sends me into a slight panic. I don't have a Christmas list, because if I really want something, I buy it.

Single people are inherently selfish. If I really sit down and think about it, it's astounding how selfish I am. And it's not because I'm not a nice person or that I secretly hate Little Orphan Annie, it's just the nature of my life.

How many times in the last year have I had to compromise on what I wanted to eat for dinner? Zero.

How many times in the last year have I had to compromise on what I wanted to watch on TV? Zero.

How much of my income do I get to spend on myself? Every damn penny.

The amount of time mothers spend thinking about their children? That's the amount of time I spend thinking about me.

This inherent selfishness is caused by a lack of other people. There's no one else. There's no one in my day-to-day life to consider. There's no one for me to care for or to buy for. I find that devastatingly sad.

The happiest I've been are the times I was doing something for someone else. When I picked up an item for a boy because I knew he would love it. When I mailed a care package across the country for a friend. The semesters in college that I made the dean's list were the semesters I had a boyfriend. The semester I landed myself on academic probation was the semester I was single. I simply function better when I have purpose.

This life—this lonely, single life—it's without purpose. I work odd hours because my life does not affect anyone else's. How isolating is that statement? I do not affect anyone else. No one affects me. I am an island unto myself.

More so than I want a man to be invested in my life, I want to be invested in his. I feel the need to love more than I feel the desire to be loved. Dammit, I want to give. I'm tired of the selfish life. I am not fulfilled without purpose.

But how do you do that? How do you love someone? How do you create that opportunity? I'm great at the short term: dating and meeting someone new. It's in the long term that I falter. I'm stuck at chapter two.

Each time I'm hopeful and I put myself out there and I try like hell. It's all I can think to do.

23 comments:

anna said...

perfect.perfect.perfectly said.

creativintage said...

I LOVE THIS. (and you!)

Northern lass said...

So true, great post!

Budge up, make room for me on the selfish singles bench :)

Jen said...

I understand and appreciate the sentiment of your post, but saying that as a single person you/I/we have no purpose is bullshit. It's been almost 7 years since I was in what I would call a serious relationship but I've found immense purpose in my life by pursuing fulfilling work & building up some amazing friendships. I'm not saying that that can take the place of being in love, but being fixated on that as the one thing that's missing from my life only results in me getting depressed. We need to support each other in finding that kind of purpose!

Bathwater said...

I understand the joy of buying for someone else. The need to love someone else. I feel better when I love harder than the other person.

I think it is easy getting roped into loving someone else. The hard part is figuring out what to do when they go away.

bluemoon said...

I totally get what you're saying. I feel the exact same way. I don't believe my life is directionless without a relationship, and I definitely don't think that's what you're saying. You and I (and many others!) just have a lot of love to give, and we feel more complete when we have a consistent outlet for exercising that need.

KingofHearts said...

I'm starting to become very familiar with the feeling.

Emily said...

I'm not even sure what to say to this besides "ditto."

Paige Jennifer said...

See, I don't have a problem with the giving. I just suck at the receiving. And maybe that explains why I've always partnered with a man who remains selfish, even in the relationship.

Wow, I think I need to eat a cookie.

Gretta James said...

could not agree more!!!

Breeza said...

I agree to a point, but I don't think that just because I'm single I don't have a purpose. If I thought that, I wouldn't be alive. There's always a purpose in life.

Je m'appelle Danielle said...

I agree with this, with the exception of finding someone to complete my happiness. However, I am happier when I am with someone, even other people notice it. Then they like to say "I've never seen you happier" after we broke up. That part's pretty unawesome.

treacle said...

Turn the page and you'll find yourself at chapter 3 soon enough x

Unknown said...

Man in my life = a life with a purpose. Sorry I just can't agree with that statement.
Maybe the reason you can't get to chapter 3 is because you skip chapter 1?
I'm not trying to tear into you; but truly I became happy when I learned to complete~ alone. Now I have something real to share with someone. I am happy whether I am with someone or not. Since I am happy and have a purpose in my life I find I am not willing to settle for just anyone. I don't need anyone else to complete me or make me happy or give me a purpose. You have to know yourself and make peace with who and what your are, otherwise you will constantly be searching for someone to do it for you.
It isn't easy. Many women never do it. Good luck and I hope where ever life leads you, you find happiness.
And tell your family to give to a charity in your name for Christmas.

LP said...

I do get what you are saying but for me being single for a long time helped me not only to truly know myself but to learn to love who I am and be happy on my own. Being single for 2 years just before I turned 30, while scary, was one of the best things that have ever happened to me, not only I had the time of my life; it made me a better person.

I am now in a great relationship; best one I ever had and I don’t think that would have been possible without going trough that period of discovery.

nuttycow said...

Surely your purpose in life without a man is to be awesome and wonderous?

My new theory is to stop worrying, stop analysing and just get on with it.

Scrumps said...

I think some people might not actually get what you're saying. I don't think you're saying that being single means you have no purposed. It just means, that the things you do are influenced by nobody and that your actions only have consequences for yourself and you want that to change somewhat. I don't think there's anything wrong in desiring that. Sometimes people want to have something to invest in - and I think that's what you mean by "have a purpose" as such (please feel free to correct me if I am wrong - this is my interpretation of this post!)

But maybe for the time being, until someone is worthy of your purpose, you can find something else to invest yourself in. Maybe mentoring? I'm not sure if that's your kind of thing but if not, outside of comfort zone type activities, usually remind you of the strength you truly have. (Sorry if I sound like I'm being all new age/preachy!).

Sarie said...

I agree with Bluemoon and disagree with Unknown.
I was single for practically 8 years and when I started dating my current boyfriend I finally felt like I found myself again. I felt more balanced and more me.

Sarah said...

Relax, I am not saying single people don't have a purpose in life. This post was merely how I was feeling at a given moment: wanting to care about something greater than me.

Bluemoon and Scrumps were bang on.

Erin said...

So, this doesn't seem to bode well for your relationship with Abraham. To me you come across as very, very willing to make space and concessions for someone you care about- you've written about doing it for S, Chris, and Val. Try to enjoy the time you have to spend on yourself because eventually someone will enjoy all of the attention you spend on others. If Abraham doesn't, then kick him to the curb. I love the advice you got a few posts ago from someone who said, "Expect more."

Anonymous said...

ah hey, i'm glad you are giving to peeps who need you though :)

if this helps, me and my b.f. are both still very selfish about our personal likes/hobbies/work and we're 6 years in - BUT we also give each other something every day. love notes, house favors, dinner, surprises, sweet texts, time... the equation just changes to like, 199% divided by 2.

-dont

Anonymous said...

well, now i feel selfish in my reply but i have no way of deleting it.

i guess i was just rooting for the concept of not losing your identity in a relationship ~ but of course that's not what you were writing.

i think you are very giving, to all around you. thoughtful comments, support to your teams, us readers. and when it's time, you'll be writing that next chapter and finding new balance!

-dont

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