How to be single..in your circle...
Hi. My name is Megan...i’m 32 years old, i enjoy good wine, the feeling of not being hungry, the smell of a bookstore, constructive debates, and sketch comedy.. i’m a writer, a mom, i’ve been a bridesmaid 6 times, a maid of honor twice, and i could literally win an award for my awesome parallel parking skills. Since I can’t put this on my resume (well..i can..but...lol) I feel like this is what my online dating profile would sound like if I had one LOL. Let's cut out all that extra-ness...you don’t care if i enjoy long walks on the beach and Cabernet sir, let’s just get to the point here. Like it or leave it, loser. LOL ok ok no i’m kidding...but that sounded appropriate right?? ...Welp, Valentines Day is officially over, and kudos to us for surviving another engagement season. From December to February its always like a 3 month long episode of Oprah's favorite things..."You get a ring! You get a ring! Everybodyyyy gets a ringggg!!!!" Lol, and Facebook doesn't let you forget it either. And it shouldn't, I mean, i don't care how many times you've been hurt, everybody loves love. And after picking up what little i had left and moving here 10 and a half years ago, I learned that when I developed a pretty amazing circle of girlfriends. We’ve been ratchet together, and we’ve seen each other through some rough relationships…..but most importantly, we’re constantly growing along with each other :) ….. just within the past few years, one got engaged, one got married with a kid (i introduced them <3 ...insert bragging rights here ), and one just met the man of her dreams. I'm not even done with the destination wedding we have in July, and i'm already planning my hairstyle for the next one. Needless to say it's been a busy season for us lol :) ..the whole time, i’m just sitting over here, drinking my Abita, watching Saturday Night Live, reading Shonda Rhimes, and..well...writing to you, lol. And the funny thing about where i am now in my life, is that i like it this way. At 32 years old, i can still taste the tequila from my 20’s, but i can also slightly start to smell the retirement plan of my 60’s...aaaaahh, breathe it all in lol..My 20’s were amazeballs though, I lost a lot, but i learned a lot in return. And the closer i got to 30, i started to feel the wrath of that natural pressure that we, mostly women, put on ourselves if we’re not where we thought we should be by that age. I made tons of bucket lists and vision boards, i would post quotes on my mirror in the morning, i was reinvigorated with this burst of energy that was directing me to just do SOMETHING, and do it fast!! And let me tell you..that shit is exhausting. Because these werent things i should have waited for, these were things i should have been doing for myself every day no matter how old i am. Needless to say, not much on my list of bucket lists got accomplished between 29 and 30. I had an EPIC birthday party, and woke up the next morning with my first lesson in being 30, and that was discovering that now, a hangover was the closest thing to death ive ever experienced. And if i could recover from that, i could do anything. The closer i got to 31, i realized that suddenly, I had zero fucks to give lol almost as if i ran out at age 29. I was progressively coming full circle with myself, settling down in this skin and this soul of mine, loving the process of developing my own voice and not shrinking myself down for the comfort of others anymore. I truly realized what people meant when they say “Life starts at 30” because it wasn’t until i started to live like i had nothing to lose, that i really even started to live at all. I don’t care who you are, nobody’s life goes exactly according to how they plan it 100% of the time. The most you can do is be prepared. And I am a living testimony of that, lol. I’m supposed to be graduated from Columbia University by now. Working at Essence Magazine, contributing on MSNBC from time to time….Lol...hey, a girl can dream right?? But, at 21 years old, living in New Orleans, La., in 2005... God had other plans. And now here I am:) Talking to you. Talking to you about how i discovered the beauty in my own space, my own identity, and my own singularity…..in the midst of the flourishing love lives around me <3
Embrace your space. People place a lot of emphasis on enjoying your own company, but a lot of times they fail to clarify that doesn’t just mean at home. Trust me, as much as i love curling up in my onesie with a cold bottle of wine and a good Netflix documentary, i also love setting my DVR, and stepping out for some fresh air and a cold beer every now and then. Sometimes i feel like being bothered, sometimes i don’t. And there’s so much beauty to appreciate in something as simple as having that option. My friends will tell you, I’m a sucker for a good dive bar or pub, and i’ll go solo, have myself a seat at the bar, liable to break out my book or laptop at any moment. I get a lot of weird stares, and a lot of weird questions….but the stares and the questions don’t bother me. However, the mentality behind those stares and questions, do. What’s so wrong with seeing a decent looking woman somewhere alone, minding her business, and enjoying herself? Now, you don’t have to go to the most poppin nightclub in town, that’s your call lol….i’m just saying enjoying your own company doesn’t have to just be within your own four walls. Besides, how on earth would you meet people?? (refers to match.com, lol) ..You should be confident enough in your energy to find contentment in your company in public, as well as private. As your circle grows, you’ll find that individually everyone is consistent in adjusting to new priorities while at the same time socially finding the balance in each other’s chaotic schedules. So basically, if there was an art exhibit, or a movie, or a poetry reading in town and everyone was busy that weekend, don’t deprive yourself of that experience girl!! Pack your pistol and your pepper spray in your purse, and go listen to some damn poetry.
OBSERVE. As mentioned before, between friends and family, i’ve been in my share of weddings, as I’m sure many other professional bridesmaids have. And being the bride as well as an active member of a bridal party can sometimes be stressful and overwhelming equally on both ends. But before you get all “Always the bitter bridesmaid, never the bride” on yourself, you should take a step back...examine, and reevaluate your perspective. First, allow your environment to be the example which cultivates the opportunity for you to learn from the lessons of others. By opening myself to fully engage with the experience of being a bridesmaid, thru the great times, and the pretty shitty ones, i was not only able to completely enjoy being a pillar of support and sharing in that special day with my loved ones, but it also gave me the capacity to redirect my focus on my surroundings, instead of my circumstance, in which i started to slowly learn exactly the kind of bride, as well as wife, that i myself wanted to be one day. Like a sponge, I was grasping for knowledge with each walk down the aisle, whether a positive or negative experience, and it ended up being the foundation for a more well rounded outlook on my own personal life. Remember, in retrospect, the most you can really do for yourself, is be prepared.
Don’t underestimate your input. My friends and I, both home and away, have started to slowly settle down, one by one, amongst ourselves. And it’s always natural to be fearful of certain transitions, especially when the dynamics of your personal life don’t always fall in line with the personal lives of your friends anymore, which is again why it's so important to find a circle of friends that you can grow WITH. And when you do, don’t be so shocked to discover that they value your advice more than you think they do. But first you have to understand the important, and new role, that the purpose, the power, and the placement of your advice can play in regards to its delivery. It was in the purpose of my input that i rediscovered the promise of my friendship to love them and support them but be genuinely honest at all times. It was in how they deeply value my assistance that i found the power in my own encouragement and was able to unearth the true worth of my words. And it was in the journey of solidifying my position within myself that i learned the sensitivity and the significance surrounding the placement of my opinion, and how it fit respectively within the boundaries of those around me. I’ve always been the one with all the opinions and all the advice to give even if nobody asked, but as the characteristics of our lives transposed, i started to become more and more selective with the disposal of both my cautions as well as my counseling. I felt like, they have the whole package now, what in the world could i advise them on?? Along the way, you’ll lose some fake, temporary people, shaking them off like dead weight...But, no matter how fancy that package is wrapped up on the outside, eventually you will learn that real friends, will always need their real friends. Whether in a relationship or not, your friends know you’re not some bitter, negative, Debbie Downer or else they wouldn’t want to be around you in the first place. So in the process of being honest with yourself, don’t ever think that just because your circumstances are different, that your friends are too. They know what’s in your heart, and they’re confident in the fact that you’re always coming to them from a place of peace.
It ain’t for everybody. In other words, what's for you, is for you...so let what's theirs, be for them. What turns you on, might be totally gross to your friends, and vice versa...so learn how distinguish between the two and not let that be the platform you base your advice. The things that might bother you about your friends significant other might actually be one of the top things she loves about him, so understand that before you form your opinion. My best friend since college will be the first one to say "Megan, if i lined up your exes, i don't think i'd find a type." and then in the next breath she'll say "Oh yeah, He's so Megan." Lol. I don't know what that means, but i like it:) ...and i love even more how we embrace the diversity between all of us, as we grow into ourselves. So with that said, stop comparing!!! Your timeline is tattooed with opportunity, designed personally and specifically for YOU. So chill. I stopped worrying about me not being married by 30 when i saw my peers getting divorced at 27. I stopped worrying about not finishing school and graduating college on my time, when I started to see people with master's degrees getting laid off. These are very attainable goals that you should strive to achieve, but not get discouraged when they don't happen when you think they should. Once you understand that everything in life is temporary and no one is immune to the possibility of failure, you won't let the speed bumps and so-called shortcomings define you. So, use your resources while you have them, because you are where you are for a reason, so milk it for what it's worth and ride that baby til the wheels fall off.
Remain Open, Optimistic, and Ready. Sometimes, i think my friends think i'm their personal comedian, which is ok, but I'm just saying lol. I'm always the one with the jokes, the one that gets along with everyone, and the one who's liable to wander off into Narnia and make friends with strangers while the rest of my homegirls are all booed up with their boyfriends, lol. And as easy as it is to get lost in the process of embracing your own space, you must find the medium in between your solitary contentment, and your own social growth. To put it simply, don't get too comfortable being by yourself that you become closed off to the company of others. Don't limit yourself to yourself. Caution is key, but don't suffocate yourself in the deafening sounds of your own solitude. However, at the same time, nurture your capacity to listen to your intuition and reserve your right to be selective in your circle. Because balance is everything, and know that if you cultivate optimism, the universe will reciprocate that energy back to you and fill the gaps of your heart. Don't be sitting in a corner with your headphones on when opportunity comes knocking on your stoop.
The main idea here is to engage as much as you can, with what you can, while you have the time to do it. Blossom in the place you are at right now, yes.. this open space, this canvas, and capitalize from your circumstance. To the best of your ability, use the means you have within your reach to manifest yourself mentally and spiritually into the person you want to be for yourself, for those around you, and for the legacy you'll leave behind.
Look around you, my love......be single, be open, and be inspired.... <3