It was one of those silly online quizzes—the kind you blaze through instinctively. Simple questions with simple answers.
For anyone else, it may have been that easy, but as 2018 drew to a close, I found myself staring at a screen, feeling my whole life unravel.
“Do you prefer being single?”
Until that moment, the answer had always been, “Yes, of course!” But that was before I was five months deep in a relationship that was making me question everything I thought I wanted.
For nearly a decade, Singleness had not only been my state of being, but my calling. I found purpose in validating Singleness as a way of life. I read all the books. I championed the cause. I didn’t hold back. I made sure everyone who asked knew that I was whole and happy on my own, and that everyone deserved the freedom to feel that way.
I didn’t realize it then, but I had hung my identity on a relationship status. So it should come as no surprise, really, that God felt the need to rip that rug from under my feet.
“Do you prefer being single?”
My fingers itched to click “yes,” but I realized the honest answer was “no.”
I remember confessing to my friend Brett that I felt like I was cheating on myself. I worried all over her inbox that maybe I was giving up too much by becoming something I had once scorned.
She lovingly and gently talked me down until I came to my own conclusion that, while I was perfectly capable of functioning independently, I wasn’t certain that I wanted to anymore.
“There it is,” she wrote.
And I knew she was right about that being the clincher, but I still didn’t know where that left me and the complicated mess I had made of my goals.
I felt like Rapunzel, drifting on the lake as she awaited the culmination of her lifelong dream.
“What if it’s not everything I dreamed it would be?” Or worse… “What if it is? What do I do then?”
Let me tell you, Flynn Rider was lying when he said the good part was finding a new dream. At least for me, it has not been quite so enjoyable.
Because unlike our perfect little storybook characters, I wrestle with the idea of a person being my new dream.
Lately, I’ve been quoting The Little Rascals to Levi, playfully reminding him that “what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is ours.” But I think maybe I am more selfish than that. Maybe I want something that is still entirely mine.
I realize this isn’t fair of me since I have already wholeheartedly staked a claim in his dreams, but in my defense, he made it too easy, having been carving a space for me in his story all along.
There was no room for him in my story. He was never a character who was meant to play a role in my tale. But he showed up anyway, and when he did, it felt like there wasn’t a place for me in some of the pages.
I’ve missed blogging, but how could I continue writing Beyond Waiting from this side of Once Upon a Time? I never wanted to be the person who wrote about Singleness after being removed from it, but I’m also not quite ready to surrender this calling just yet.
So I don’t know where that leaves me. I don’t know what shape this story will take. I feel like a messy first draft with gaping plot holes, but I’m still here, claiming ownership of my story. I hope that counts for something.