“I feel like there’s something wrong with me,” she said. “I mean everyone else is married or in a serious relationship. Then there’s me: twenty-nine and single, depressed. There has to be something wrong with me, right?”
Brooke’s feelings about singlehood are shared by millions of people—maybe even by you. Because being solo is the worst thing that could ever happen, right? It means you either aren’t enough or don’t have enough of something, like beauty or success. So it’s natural to compare yourself to everyone else until you feel borderline suicidal.
That’s what Brooke did. And that negative emotional state prevented her from sticking to the habits and goals that would give her the purpose and joy she really wanted—and which would eventually attract a partner worth having.
My response to Brooke’s vent changed her perception about singlehood forever. And I’d like to share it with you now.
Being Single: The Golden Opportunity of a Lifetime
So you’re looking at these women with the corporate jobs and the houses and the husbands and kids, and you’re thinking about everything you lack. You’re not getting younger after all; you’re not exactly where you want to be. But guess what? The people you’re so jealous of actually envy you.
Most of them followed the prescription for happiness to a T—degree, marriage, house and family…but they’re all on some prescription or another, like Xanax, or three glasses of wine at night. Most of them lead quiet lives of desperation, and they all put on smiles when they’re really screaming inside because they lack what you have unlimited access to:
Their own fucking lives.
In doing exactly what they were expected to do, they never had time to pursue their dreams and fall in love with their own lives. So they got sensible degrees they didn’t really want and married sensible husbands they didn’t really love, and all of this because they didn’t know they could actually love their own lives and do what they loved. That wasn’t an option for them. But it’s your only option.
So thank freakin’ God that you don’t have a crappy relationship to distract you from being awesome! Be grateful that every day is yours to decide. Because if you were in a relationship—especially the average toxic mess—you’d have every excuse not to love yourself or follow your dreams.
Instead, you have the opportunity to heal your old insecurities and become whole for the first time. You have the chance to devote yourself to your purpose and make a real difference to people. You have the time to upgrade your life to the point that nothing short of unconditional love could tempt you out of being purposefully single.
And you think something’s wrong with you? This is the opportunity of a lifetime!!!
My Dad used to remind me every time we talked that by my age he’d already had four kids a house and a master’s degree. I could always count on him for motivation…ha.
But I just got off the phone with my old man today—three years later; and I told him about my new writing position with the best entrepreneurial magazine in the world, the awesome money I’m making as a coach, and the butt-loads of fun I’m having doing what I love—flying to San Diego for beach volleyball trips, rock climbing, hiking, etc. His response was the same as it was three years ago, but different too:
Damn, Son. You might not know how lucky you are. But when I was your age, I had a wife, four kids, and a career in the Air Force—I never had time for me. I never got to do the things I loved, or follow my dreams like you’re doing. Damn, Son.”
I used to be the black sheep of my family. Everyone was married and had degrees and mortgages and kids while I slept on my Mom’s couch. I was stuck in the past because I regretted all my failed relationships and hated that I wasn’t successful like my siblings.
But when I made the decision to make each day the best of my life, to pursue my passions of writing and coaching, to do the things that made me happy, and to build back my confidence and self esteem, my situation suddenly became more desirable than any I had coveted. It’s because I have my own life. I get paid to help the people I’m called to help through the talents I was born with and the experiences that are distinctly mine: I’m living my purpose. And it’s all because I embraced the reality that being single was the best thing that could ever happen to me.
You’re twenty-nine now—(I’m talking to Brooke, of course.) If you want to be happy now, and if you want to have a real relationship ever, you have to start embracing your singlehood like it’s the greatest gift in your life.
Brooke is now the first female president of the United States. I’m totally kidding, but she’s kicking ass and loving the single life that she’s worked her butt off to make so great. And I think if you took a year just to “do you,” so to speak, you might just find yourself in a similar situation. Loving your life. Growing as a person. Making a difference.