Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Being Southern + Being Single

Let me start out saying I don't have this all figured out. But here's what I do know: being single is a huge part of my life +  although  we all handle / deal / struggle with it in our own ways, I think we can help each other out.  If my struggles + victories can help you in any way, then I want to share them with you here. This may get a little long, but stick with me :)

You + I may be in completely different stages of life, and that's okay. Its a little creepy, but I know the demographics of those who read my blog + know that most of you are between the ages of 20-35. This means that you are either getting married, have lots of friends getting married, or both. I'm in the middle category. In 2015 alone, I will have gone to 8 weddings as a single person. EIGHT. That's not including the two I helped work nor the two I will have missed. I'm going to do a post just on how to deal with being single at stay tuned!

Being single at 25 in today's society is portrayed as normal. And it is.  Think about TV shows like FRIENDS, How I Met Your Mother + The Big Bang Theory. Most of the cast are in their late 20s, right? I do enjoy my life as it is right now. I get to do whatever I want, when I want to. I don't really have to plan around anyone else's schedule {what if he also received 10 wedding invitations this year too?!}. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll see a lot of fashion photos, but you'll also see tons of photos of me going + doing things I love with people I love.

What you won't see on Instagram are the nights when I cry a little before bed or the conversations with other single friends about our frustrations. And why not? It probably has a lot to do with wanting to put a my best 'filter' forward. Southern women are known for our strong-will + determination. Scarlett O'Hara was as feminine as they come, but when needed, her Southern Grit came out + she got things done. We know how to host the best dinner party, while masking what is really going on inside.

I'll be honest. There are times that it hurts a little when people ask me if I am seeing anyone + I have to reply with no. The whole "oh don't wish away your singleness, because you have so much freedom that you'll never have again" thing can also irk me to no end. They don't mean to hurt my feelings, but it just happens.

So what's a southern single girl to do? What is the right response to being single?

I don't know what the right response for you is, but here's what I'm learning:
1. It's okay to cry.
You know when a little baby cries because she skinned her knee, and her momma/daddy just holds her + says "just cry it out, its okay, just cry it out." Well, that's how I feel like God handles me sometimes. The parents' know that skinned knee won't hurt for too much longer, but the kid doesn't know that. God knows what He has in store for me, but right now, when I need to cry it out, He's there holding me + listening to me. This is also what my momma still tells me when I'm upset. Thanks Momma! King David had a moment too, when he cried out with tears.

Psalm 56:8 (NIV) "Record my lament, list my tears on your scroll, are they not in your record?"

2. Sometimes its about an attitude adjustment.
After I have myself a nice little cry, I MUST remember that He is in control. He knows what breaks my heart + what makes me the happiest. Psalm 139 tells us just how well He knows us individually. When people make comments or ask me if I'm dating, it is my response to them that concerns Him. I can either go on the defensive, which makes me feel even worse about myself, OR I can truly be grateful for this part of my story.

Ladies, it's not always easy. Okay, a lot of the time it isn't easy. Being vulnerable with those around you + letting them know what you are struggling with, is a great place to start. That can be hard for us Southern ladies to do, but sharing from a perspective of asking for support instead of venting out your frustrations, will allow your friendships to be sweeter + more genuine.

So many things are expected of women in any culture, not just the South, but let's all try to overcome those + be who He created us to be.

Go have a good cry, but when you're finished, remember that this is YOUR story + no one else's. He's put this part in your story to draw you closer to Him - just enjoy the dance :-)

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