i took myself on a date
As a 24-year old single woman with no kids or serious love interests, I’ve been on this life-long quest to learn how to cope with my *ahem* loneliness.
At times, I feel like such a failure in my single-hood as I scroll through social media and see pictures of my friends’ weddings and newborn children. At the same time, I’m constantly reminded by my mother that when she was my age, she was married with two children. I mean, I know my friends are proud and my mother says what she does in jest, but it still hurts a little.
Anyway, one thing I tell my single friends who complain about being single is that this is the prime time to take care of yourself. Here’s the thing: my mother always taught me that two people need to be complete in themselves before coming together.
Not perfect. Complete.
You have to know who you are as your own person in Christ before you can try to bind yourself to another soul. I think one of the best ways of doing this is by taking yourself out on a date. I like to tell my friends (and myself) that it’s important to date yourself while you’re single because out of all the relationships we’ll ever have, we’re going to be with ourselves the longest. We should take time to get to know who we are, you know?
So today in between orders I did for my job, I found myself with a little over an hour of free time to kill. I didn’t want to drive myself all the way back home just to have to come back on the other side of town. (I’m not the richest woman in the world, so I’m gonna save as much of my gas possible…)
Near my next stop, there was a little vine covered arch where cars could pass through that I’ve passed by dozens of times. I knew it was some kind of park or zoo or something, but I’ve never found the time to actually make my way in there.
I decided that now was my chance. I had time, curiosity and hadn’t taken myself out in a while. I pulled into the dirt parking lot and gazed at what appeared to be a large garden with multiple plaques. Upon visiting a few, I learned that I had found myself in the middle of an arboretum. There were a number of different plants, benches, gazebos and wildlife.
At one point, I saw a little dirt road and decided to follow it until I was lead to a large bridge which took me to a mini forest of sorts that was sprinkled with more benches and gazebos. Not only was it the early afternoon, but I was also the only person there, which made the trip especially magical and quiet. All I heard was the wind, birds and the few bees that flew between the last blooming flowers of summer.
Being alone has it’s perks: I was able to appreciate the tiny sounds of nature as pebbles and dead leaves crunched under my feet and completely lose track of time every now and again. I have to admit that there were some points in which I would have loved to turn and say, “This is the place I was telling you about. See? There’s where you can see all the different kinds of butterflies. And look! This was the huge rosemary bush I was talking about!”
I don’t know if that day will ever come. But for now, it is a memory that I can hold onto for myself. Had I had more time, I would have loved to take a book, notebook, or even just sat and meditated on God’s Word. I debated whether or not I wanted to take pictures or a short video of my walk, but decided against it this time for a couple reasons:
First ,this was a date. Just me and myself. I wanted this moment to just be for me and to enjoy being alone at that point in time instead of feeling the need to take pictures of everything before me.
Second, there were many places I knew that would be much more beautiful when autumn is in full swing. I could already see myself there in my yellow coat and the trails scattered with acorns and orange leaves. I want to capture that on film for sure.
I don’t care if it’s a movie, an ice cream, or even just 20 minutes on a bench in the park. Take this time when you’re single to enjoy being alone. Take time to be thankful that you have nobody else to worry about, nobody else to take care of, nobody else to look out for. Don’d wait around for someone to depend on. Take care of yourself.
Take yourself out on a date. Get to know you. I bet you’re pretty great.