So far, I haven’t said anything about my relationship status. Maybe you didn’t notice. Shoot! I barely notice, until my family comes at me on Christmas and Thanksgiving with side comments about how I’m still single and haven’t got a man yet and how I’m not ugly and I’m not getting any younger and how it’s plenty of men out there that don’t mind women with kids. *Roles eyes in irritation*
Don’t mind them. Most of the time, they’re just joking…kind of. But honestly, I don’t write about it because I don’t think about it that much. I buy toilet paper more often than it crosses my mind that I don’t have a ring on my finger. Mind you, it’s just me and Jai so I don’t buy toilet paper all that often. Plus I buy the big packs, that last a long time…Anyway.
I’m single. And right now, today, I’m totally cool with that. Don’t get me wrong, if a Tall Glass of Sanctified, Well-Dressed Fine-ness were to waltz his way into my life, I wouldn’t put up a huge fight. But I won’t be “waiting on him at the doe’” either. I’ve got things to do with my life, my time, my money, and most importantly for my child.
And I don’t subscribe to the whole single-by-choice mantra. I’m single because that’s what I am. I don’t need a B-clause for that statement because it doesn’t require an explanation. I didn’t choose singleness anymore than I chose the shape of my nose. It is what it is and that’s fine with me…today.
Besides, (responsibly) getting involved with a guy is a big decision, which requires careful consideration when you’re a single mother. There is a lot to think about. In my case, I’ve got two hearts to protect. Two lives and two futures to guard. I don’t take that lightly. Plus, it’s not like I can just hand pick a good one from the drive-thru like: “Yea……Can I get-a ummm… Tall Idris Elba special, extra Saved, extra Buff, but hold the drama…with a side of good credit and strong leadership skills?…You’re all out, you say?!” #JesusBeADriveThru…
But seriously and on a honest note, my satisfaction with my singleness has a mind of it’s own—it comes and goes as it pleases. I can’t figure out the formula. If I could figure it out, I’d set up my life in a way that outsmarted the dissatisfaction and loneliness that knocks on my door from time to time. One day, I’m sitting on my couch and I think to myself, “Gee, I wish I had someone to watch a movie with!” and by someone I specifically mean an extra tall, extra Saved Idris Elba special. Other days, I sit on my couch and think, “I don’t have time for a movie!” which inevitably leads me to, *Z-Snap* “I don’t have time for a man.” <—-Most classic independent woman line EVVVER! Only second to Tyler Perry Movie Titles and “What Can A Man Do for Me that I Can’t Do For Myself?!” Coming soon to a theater near you.
The only thing is…I don’t at all consider myself an “independent woman”…anymore. Definitely been there, and done that, though; bought the t-shirt and the key chain! It’s not that I’m not an independent woman. I’m just not an independent woman…anymore. If that makes any sense. (If it doesn’t, it’s fine. I might’ve even lost myself on that one.) Bottom line, I don’t like taking out the trash. Or bringing groceries in the house. Or worrying about how the car is going to get fixed. If you like those things, Power to YOU! I don’t. However, I recognize that those are HARDLY reasons to jump on the first train pulling out of the Singleness Station.
Between Jai, blogging, working two jobs, and trying, TRYING to have something that mildly resembles a life, I honestly don’t have any extra time. (But let an extra tall, extra Saved, Idris Elba special find his way to doorstep…I might have a little time.) The point is, my time and energy are already maxed out on things that really, truly matter to me. This doesn’t mean I’m putting my needs on hold to raise my son or develop my career. I just mean, right now, I’m good…and that’s good.
I wasn’t I’m not always this satisfied. I have gone through some dark, terrible, and LONG seasons of loneliness and not necessarily because my love life only consists of me, myself, and Jai. Occasionally I feel lonely because I’m not in a relationship but most of the time I feel lonely because there is some form of negativity in my life–even if that negativity is me! (Ouch!)
This is where I would normally break down and tell you a melodrama about my life that clearly illustrates the theme of the story.
I wish there was only 1 story, and I wish it was exciting. My most recent experience with loneliness (and depression) lasted for several months and was quite uneventful. Every weekend was the same thing: Come home, lay on the couch, cry, eat (y’all should’ve known I was at least going to eat), repeat. Come home, lay on the couch, cry, eat, repeat. Same thing all weekend, every weekend. On Sunday’s I took a break from crying to go to church but after that it was back to my couch, with a blanket, some fancy cheese and crackers, and a box of tissues.
Why was it just limited to the weekends? Because. First of all, Jai spends weekends with his Daddy and I wouldn’t dare fall all into a million pieces like that in front of my son. Second, I was only working one job at the time so I had no productivity or purpose, and plenty time to plan a pitty party. (Say that 5 times fast!)
I lived like this for months. And nobody even knew. They would say, “You are always smiling!” “You have so many friends!” They had no idea how dark and lonely my life was in that season. All that smiling, and all those friends, and I was still a scared little girl, bumping around in a lonely world.
This is such a dangerous place to be–at the corner of Way-Too-Available Ln. and Desperation Rd. It’s like the emotional “hood”. You will get high on fear, stabbed by bad choices, and robbed by hurt feelings before you even make it off the porch—all because you can’t stand the idea of being alone.
Relocate to the Land of 1. The honest to God truth is,1 is NOT the loneliest number.
Don’t look at me like ????? Stay with me, I promise this will all make sense in just a moment.
Email me if I’m wrong (LaNee@OneParentWonder.com) but we feel MOST lonely when we are in the physical presence of one or more negative people; when people won’t validate and acknowledge us to our full capacity.
Think about it.
Yes, you’ve felt lonely when you are by yourself, but you’ve also felt lonely when you were surrounded by people, who might even know you, but they have emotionally isolated you with negativity: rejection, failure, hate, invalidation, unkind words, ungratefulness, abuse, and unwelcoming behavior just to name a few. All of these things are what truly make us feel lonely.
So no, 1 is not the loneliest number. 1 + a (-1) is the loneliest number.
And don’t sleep on the fact that YOU can be the negative one in your own presence. That’s why we can feel SO lonely when we are alone. Because we sit there beating up on ourselves about our lives and our situations. Of course you desperately want somebody to come in and be a buffer between you and yourself! You’re jacking yourself up!
The thing about it is, while we fight like HELL to avoid being physically alone at ALL costs (a.k.a. des-per-a-tion), there is a good chance that we are maneuvering our way right into the midst of the loneliest possible situations and relationships. Dating ANYBODY, exposing our children to ANYTHING, going ANYWHERE, knowing better and doing it ANYHOW just to avoid being the negative one in our own presence. We let somebody else come in and do it for us. And where does that leave us? Well, you know I like math problems…
1 + (-1) = 0
It leaves you at 0, which is ACTUALLY the loneliest number. Don’t be a Zero.
I’ve made a LOT of bad choices and put me and Jai through some painful and unnecessary experiences trying to avoid 1 and leaving myself and Jai with 0. And after relocating from my own emotional ‘hood’ here’s what I know for sure:
(1) Zero isn’t just the result of isolation from negative people; it’s also a by-product of unhealthy distractions which will isolate you from your children too. They need at least 1 to show up for them or they are going to be right there on Zero with you.
(2) Being alone is only terrible if you are your own (-1). You’ve got to STOP doing that yourself. Otherwise you will continue to live on the corner of Way-Too-Available Ln. and Desperation Rd.
(3) Once you really (truly) stop being negative with yourself, for real, and not just on Facebook, you will lose the tolerance for allowing other people to be negative with you as well.
(4) Productivity kills negativity. You know there are better things you could be doing with your time. Do them ON PURPOSE! Do small things like clean the kitchen or put away all the laundry on your bed. (I know I’m not the only person who does that!) Start making progress and before you know it, you will start feeling a little bit better.
(5) Productivity births optimism. After a while, your house will be clean, your car will be clean, shoot you might even enroll in some classes or something! *Cues Jimmy Cliff’s I Can See Clearly Now* (I picked up sewing during that season of my life! I got pretty good too!)
Stay Wonderful! 🙂