I took my first solo camping trip the weekend before Thanksgiving 2021. It was myself and my dog, Andy. As we were out hiking, I was thinking about being alone in this world. It was a good trip and I have a 3 week-long trip planned for summer, so this was a good test.
My kids asked how it was camping by myself. “You know it was really good except at night when you have no one to talk to sitting by the fire. I just ended up going to bed at 8 pm.” This trip left a gaping hole in my life I didn’t realize was that big. Uh-oh!
My thoughts this morning, as I sit in my favorite Starbucks, concerning these realizations, is the sheer fact I have just “forgotten” writing about it for two weeks. I even spoke to my writing coach about it. She didn’t even hesitate to say it: “you’re avoiding writing it!” Writing about this has eaten my lunch every day.
I expressed the fear to her of being too vulnerable and she quite calmly said, “I know there are women out there who need to read it, because you have a spin on this they need to hear.” “Ouch!” Plus, the added shame of being in this place at this age and admitting it had been a large hurdle.
Maybe you have felt:
the sting of being last
not being at all,
There are wounds and pain.
I’m not sure who didn’t pick you.
I’m not sure who let you go.
I’m not sure who didn’t treat you right.
I am wondering these days one of two things: is God confirming my singleness or is He just saying be patient and wait? Single life has been good for me. I’m not complaining.
But on this day, in all my humanness and frailty, I’m confessing that He isn’t enough. I know, I know. I should be thankful and grateful that He is all I need and for His choosing. But here I am admitting I don’t want it to be just Him and me. I want a physical person, a third party to enjoy these years with.
I want someone to snuggle up to on the couch when I’m dogged tired at the end of the day and watch “Ted Lasso” or basketball ('tis the season). I want someone to massage my shoulders and neck when I’ve played too much pickleball, or I’m stressed because my lesson plans aren’t finished.
I watch as we chastise and pay little to no attention to the fact that we are chosen in a million little ways every day. I am chosen by my kids, my job, and my friends. It just so happens it’s not the chosen I’m looking for. Trust me, I’m SO grateful for this choice, but….
I downplay it every single day because it isn’t what or how I want to be chosen. I think I know the best way to be chosen and if that doesn’t appear then I am left empty, beat down, and tired.
“Yes, I was chosen today, but…”
Honestly, I’m struggling with this right now. I don’t even want to deal with it. I’m stuck in this perpetual cycle of not wanting to walk alone and not knowing where to begin, or if I even want to begin.
I know it’s not really an either/or this or that; or do this and get this kind of deal, but to be chosen is a rare and beautiful thing. The feeling of shame is so overwhelming I can’t even begin to voice this to God yet. Something must be wrong with me because I have so many good things in my life and yet….
I just want a place to put my heart.
I refuse to be an obligation.
I don’t want to be someone’s trial run.
I don’t want your pity and for sure don’t want you to try to fix it. It’s nice to hear someone tell me it’s going to be okay, and that God has someone for me. I understand God has this all planned out; but from where I sit, when I hear this, it is a dump truck of shame on me, because as a Christian, Jesus should be enough. You don’t know this, but it runs deep.
This makes me as vulnerable as I’ve ever been. I don’t like the way this feels. I don’t like admitting this is where I am. But here I am.
I just don’t know how to walk through it. I want the feeling of being wanted or chosen to go away. The yearning for someone to choose me just so I can stop feeling this way. (Which is a desperate move if ever I saw one)
I want to give you some steps to walk through it because as a coach, that’s what I do, but I just don’t have any. Maybe in a year or two, I can come back and say do this or that. Right now, nothing. I just know, I wake up every day and I’m still in this place.
I’m reminded that I am chosen even if it’s not exactly how I want to be. I’m so grateful for this choice, but the dichotomy leaves me speechless. You know this but want it this way.
If you are walking through something similar or you have walked through and have some action steps, please reach out. I would love to share them with my readers and my friends who are in the same predicament.