Posts Tagged ‘independent

03
Feb
10

Single Life

Dear blog,

I hope you are not feeling neglected. I have been negligent in fulfilling my New Year’s resolution to write to you more; I have been busy preparing for my Olympic adventure! Please forgive me. I may be taking a blog-hiatus for a few weeks while I live out my bucket list!

There, now that that’s out of the way….

Although I spend a lot of time on this blog venting about all the things that suck about being single (and there is a lot of material on that!) I do, every now and then, try to focus on the advantages that come with this way of life as well. I was recently reminded of one such advantage, when I spontaneously decided to tack on an extra week to my Olympic adventure, and spend some time visiting a friend of mine in Hawaii. Vancouver is already half-way there, and so I figured – why not? I have the means, I have the vacation time, and I have the desire to do it (really, who doesn’t have the desire to go to Hawaii). Sure, there were plenty of reasons I shouldn’t – can I afford to take three more days off work after already taking three weeks? Is there other things that I should be spending/saving my money for? (Even though I got a very good deal on the flight and it was cheap relatively speaking, it still set me back a bit). And logistically, can I pack for three weeks in Vancouver followed by a week in the tropics?

But in taking a page from The Buried Life – who knows where we’ll be tomorrow? Sure I might be able to go to Hawaii another time, but maybe not. So when these kinds of opportunities present themselves, I’m learning that sometimes it’s best to throw caution to the wind a little bit, and just go for it. That’s not to say I agree with spending money frivolously or doing things without considering the consequences, but spontaneity is the spice of life! And I never want to look back and think “What if?” I doubt I’ll get back from Hawaii and wish that I hadn’t decided to spend a relaxing week on the beach. One of my favourite lines from RENT goes: “Forget regret, or life is yours to miss. No day but today.”

Of course, being single makes ‘being spontaneous’ a bit easier to execute. No other person’s plans to consider, and no finances to worry about but your own. At the same time, sometimes I find myself questioning whether or not many of the assumptions I made about my life when I was younger, will actually come to fruition – so I feel this need to sometimes act impulsively, for fear that I might lose opportunities and experiences that in the past, I’d foreseen happening under different circumstances. Many of my friends are in the marriage/house-buying/baby-making stage, and travel is a rather low priority at this point in their lives. So, who knows how long I’d have to wait before someone wanted/was willing/was able to take a trip like this with me? I never used to be a spontaneous person, but in the last few years, I’ve started looking at life a bit differently….

I truly believe that the only things certain in life are death and taxes; no point waiting for something that might never happen. “Get busy living, or get busy dying” – as ‘they’ say. And, travel is something that is really important to me; whether it’s a weekend away to someplace I’ve never been to or an overseas trip abroad, I think it’s really important to see life beyond the ‘bubble’ that we live in each day (I have my Contiki experience to thank for that outlook). It’s a big priority for me while I’m still living the single life – I have plenty of time for all the other grown-up stuff. And because I’ve already filled this post with philosophical quotes about life, here’s another one I love: “The world is a book. Those who do not travel, read only a page.”

So, I leave you with the wisest quote of all: Just do it.

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27
Jan
09

The Single Girl’s Survival List

One of my best friends, L., came by tonight for a catch-up – it’s been more than a month since we’ve seen each other. I was telling her about how I went to see the movie Revolutionary Road on the weekend, and that although it was a bit on the slow side (I found), it painted a realistic picture of marriage that I found to be somewhat refreshing. Don’t get me wrong – I didn’t take pleasure in the fact that the characters in the movie had issues in their marriage, but I like how it showed that no marriage is peachy-keen all the time; that getting married and having children might also mean (for some people) sacrificing some of the dreams/plans you have for yourself. And that’s life – a choice we make.

As we were talking about the movie and some of the things it made me think about, L. told me that she wishes she could have known at what point she was going to meet her husband, J. When I asked her why, she simply said that she probably would have taken advantage of those few extra months that she knew she was going to be single. She couldn’t really pinpoint what she would have done differently, but I wondered if perhaps she missed the mystery and excitement of waiting and wondering, and perhaps would have taken advantage of  some of the opportunities that, let’s face it, only single people have.

Along with the movie, my conversation with L. made me think about the post I’ve been meaning to write about all the reasons that it’s good to be single. I’m thinking that I’ll keep an ongoing list of reasons on my blog, and everytime I come up with one, or experience another reason, I’ll add it to the list via my regular posts. When you get as down about being single as I do, it’s good to have a list like that to go back to so you can remember (and put into practice!) all the reasons that singledom doesn’t suck.

I also went out with my single friend J. this weekend – we come from completely opposite camps. She dates a lot, spent a year on her own in Australia, and really enjoys having fun in her single life. But, she’s afraid that she’s scared of commitment, and will never have a serious relationship. I WISH I could be more like J., and just let loose and have fun, but I’m too aware of looking for someone who will be relationship/commitment potential. Our conversations inevitably end with: “the grass is always greener…” But, everytime I talk to J., she reminds me of what it means to enjoy the single life. Not just when it comes to dating, but having the courage to take advantage of all of  the opportunities that are available; not just as a single girl, but as a woman with no commitments, no one to consult, and the world at her feet. Hopefully making this list will remind me to seize the day and see this silver lining in every situation that would otherwise, get me down about being single. Here we go:

1. I don’t have to consult with anyone about how I spend my money. If I want to go on a trip or buy something, I can, without feeling like there’s an obligation to let someone else spend the same amount to be ‘fair.’

2. My Christmas-buying list is half the size of those who have significant others with two families to buy for.

3. I can watch all the trashy, reality-TV I want without being made fun of, or having to change the channel. I OWN the remote.

4. I don’t get dragged to, or forced to spend money on movies I don’t really want to see.

5. My weekends are entirely my own – I don’t have to incorporate anyone else’s plans and I can say ‘yes or no’ to whatever events I want without consulting anyone.

6. I don’t have to miss any of my family events because I need to split time with ‘in-laws’; especially on the important holidays.

7. I can flirt with whomever I want, whenever I want – without guilt 🙂

8. I can travel anywhere, at anytime – the only person’s schedule and finances I have to worry about is my own.

9. I can apply to jobs or take advantage of any opportunity, anywhere in the world, without having to consider anyone else’s life plans. Hmm….I like this one. I might consider it.

10. Amendment to #7: I can make-0ut with anyone I want – without guilt.

11. I get to enjoy dating and meeting new people. Getting ‘wined and dined’ if you will (Ok – so it’s more like getting treated to a Starbucks coffee, but you get the jist).

12. There’s still some exciting mystery and anticipation about the men I will meet and who could end up being “the one” (if there is such a thing).

13. I still get to experience those first date, first kiss, first crush butterflies – that makes the rest of the dating experiences SO worth the wait.

It’s late, I have to sleep, and this is all I have right now. But stay tuned for my amendments, because I know thre are many more. Feel free to comment or incorporate your own thoughts, and I’ll be sure to add them to my list!

17
Dec
08

Is it a Single Girl’s world?

I’m determined that at some point I’m going to write a post about all the advantages to being single. I know that there are many. But to be brutally honest, most of the time, I find being single very lonely. Around the holiday season, I find it especially tough.lonely

I’ve been single most of my life. At (almost) 27, I’ve  had one serious relationship that lasted about two years. I have never been the ‘boy-crazy’ type, but I’m not a wallflower either. I’ve dated around. The funny thing is, I’m not so sure that it’s the ‘being single’ that bothers me, as much as it’s the fact that I’m bothered by the fact that it…bothers me! Does that make sense? In a world of Sex and the City, female presidential nominees, and chick-lit, aren’t we supposed to embrace our inner single girl? To be independent, strong and happy on our own? To have it all? To focus on our careers, and our friends, and our interests, instead of wishing for a husband or partner? It feels expected now that single girls have to be happy about being single, or else they’re seen as being some kind of ‘house-wife wannabe’ stuck in the 50’s (and just for the record…that could not be further from who I am!)

I am a strong, independent, out-spoken, intelligent woman, with a good education and a job I love and am good at. But does that mean I have to be happy being single? Because…I’m kind of ….not. I want a partner. Someone to share things with. To cuddle with, to work with, cook with, sleep with, talk with, travel with, fight with….and just ‘be’ with. All of it. Being single has it’s advantages, and I’m glad I’ve been able to spend my early twenties figuring out who I am without being influenced by anyone else. I’ve had the chance to meet people, to date, to travel, and to make my own decisions about anything and everything without having to consult with anyone. So, is it strange that sometimes I feel like a fraudulent “single girl” because I’m not really enjoying my single life?

This post is full of introspective and rhetorical questions….guess I just needed to get it out of my system. Would be curious to hear your thoughts!

29
Nov
08

Staying Cyber-Sane

facebook-logoThis week, I had two different single girlfriends talk to me about how difficult Facebook is making it for them to forget about past guys. When you have a tool at your disposal that makes it so easy for you to essentially spy on the activities of someone who a) broke your heart, or b) is in a position to break your heart – it’s trouble. And it’s not just Facebook (and did I mention Facebook chat?) – there’s My Space, MSN Messenger, Twitter, texting…there’s so much technology going around that it’s practically impossible NOT to keep tabs on people, even when you don’t want to! And with iPhones, Blackberrys, Sidekicks, and every other kind of technological device, you have access to the info 24/7.

And that’s just the thing – half the time, we don’t WANT to know what these guys are up to. Because if we find out that they’ve been actively ‘social networking’ (it’s almost impossible to hide activity on Facebook), we wonder why WE haven’t heard from them. And if they’re not social networking, we wonder if they’re avoiding us, or we make excuses as to what they must be up to instead. The thing is, we’re spending so much time trying to decipher their cyber activity, when really – you get no clear answers from it, and end up making assumptions that may or may not be true.

msn_messenger_logoNot only does technology make it easy to keep tabs on people’s activity, but the introduction of Facebook has opened up an entirely new dimension of cyber-spying (no, NOT cyber-stalking). Pictures, status updates, live activity feeds, videos, open conversations, seeing other people’s friends – it’s an open invitation to torture ourselves! While there’s no guys on Facebook that I’m ‘cyber-spying’ on at the moment (I’ve purposely left my last crush off my friends list for fear of losing my sanity), my latest thing is looking at all the people I went to high school with who are recently engaged, married or pregnant. Why do I do this to myself? I have no idea. But I know some of you out there are doing it too!

Talking to my friend, who is currently experiencing the disappearing act of her latest guy from the social networking world, I started to realize just how much power these tools can have over us single girls. I mean, me and my single friends are the furthest thing from boy-crazy, needy, clingy or co-dependent. Quite the opposite actually – we’re strong, independent, intelligent, successful women. Yet, it’s hard for the availability of this  information and the ease in which we can access it, to not get the better of us! Does this make us crazy? No. Sometimes, we’re just looking for answers. Sometimes, we’re just curious. And sometimes, the information is just too available. The key is knowing when to cut ourselves off, whether that means excercising will-power, or using the ever so powerful DELETE key. Regain your cyber-sanity ladies!

25
Nov
08

Flaws and All

beyonce

Today I was watching Beyonce on the Ellen DeGeneres show – I wouldn’t say I’m a loyal Beyonce fan but I do love the two new songs she has out right now: If I Were a Boy, and Single Ladies (come on girls…how can you NOT love that song!? If you haven’t heard it, look it up on YouTube) And if you saw the SNL skit with her and Justin Timberlake, you’ll have a new appreciation for the song as well 🙂 Ok, I’m getting totally off track…

Ellen made a special request for Beyonce to sing another song from her new album called “Flaws and All.” I was so moved by the song- the melody is beautiful and the lyrics are beautiful too. I think it’s a lovely tribute and reminder to single women everywhere that we deserve to hold out for that person who will love us flaws and all; settling for someone because we hate being single is not the way to go. So if you’re having one of those “it sucks to be single today” days, listen to this song and remember that it’s better to hold out for the guy you deserve…

And on the other hand, if you’re having one of those “I’m a sexy, independent chick who loves being single and kicks ass” days, then Single Ladies is the track for you 🙂

Just wanted to share – enjoy!

07
Oct
08

Maybe the grass isn’t always greener…

Before I start my thoughts on this post, an update on the JD scenario. FINALLY got an email from him late last night. I was starting to a) give up hope, and b) think that if it takes a guy this long to shoot out a brief introductory email, he’s not worth it. I’m glad he finally wrote, b/c I wasn’t ready to give up on this one! Short story – JD sent a cute intro of himself and sounds as nice in his email as I’ve been told he is. He told me a bit about himself (not much I didn’t already know from L) and asked a couple of good questions about me. Very articulate and well-written email (no spelling/grammar mistakes either! Picky, I know – but as a former English major, this is a HUGE pet peeve for me!) So – I plan to write back soon and hope that we can arrange a group-type date in the next few weeks.

So – this past weekend I got together with my best friends B and C at their place. They invited another couple that they are friends with, who coincidentally, I went to high school with. I wasn’t really friends with this couple (D & J) and to be honest, we definitely didn’t hang out in the same circles (ie. me in the music, academic, “nerdy” clique, and them in the football, partying, popular clique.) Of course, high school is over and we’re all adults, but whenever I hang out with them I feel as though I’ve time warped right back to those days – and they haven’t changed at all.

All this being said, D & J have been dating FOREVER. They started dating in Grade 10 and just got married last year. This means that they have been together for over 10 years. As I was regailing the group about my dating adventures, woes, and upcoming plans last Saturday night, I could have sworn that there was a bit of jealousy behind the eyes of D & J. And, they started being inquisitive about my dating history, what I’ve been up to recently in the dating world, and were joking about what “dating” is really all about! J joked that she had never really been on a “real” date before (let’s face it – you can barely DRIVE in grade 10, let alone afford to go out for a nice dinner) but I could tell that there was part of her that was disappointed that she’d never really been able to experience what a “grown-up date” is all about.

If you think about it, D & J will never have the opportunity to “re-live” a real first date. They’ve only gotten to experience those exciting butterflies, excitement, and honeymoon-type “crush” phase ONCE in their lives – they probably never will again. Since the age of 15 or 16, there’s never been any real “mystery” for them. No anticipation waiting to meet someone who will just sweep you off your feet – they were settled into a comfort zone before they even left high school! This is not to say that high school sweethearts can’t make it – I know plenty who are just as happy, or more so, than those who “dated around”. Some of those couples are meant to be no matter when or where they meet, and I don’t doubt D & J’s love for each other or the success of their relationship. But, I have to say that I did take a bit of satisfaction from the fact that they seemed a little bit jealous of my dating experiences. And for a brief moment, I was actually excited to be  living all the excitement that comes with a “single” life, instead of having had everything decided for me and the mystery gone at age 16.

Of course, dating has it’s down sides. My blog posts have been filled with reasons why I’d rather be in a relationship than be alone. But, at the end of the day – I still have the mystery, excitement and anticipation of knowing that the “best” part of my life is yet to come; that there’s still someone out there who I’ll get to share all these amazing things with. And I get to have that “first-date/honeymoon phase/crush” period all over again!

Despite my loneliness, I’ve had a great couple years and have really established myself with a wonderful job I enjoy, the purchase of my own condo, and an amazing traveling adventure all over Europe; I’ve experienced tons of what life has to offer – no worrying about sharing or agreeing how to spend money and no other person to consider but myself. That is one thing that high school sweethearts can’t say – that they’ve been 100% selfish and have lived life for themselves without having to consider what anyone else wants or doesn’t want. They haven’t gotten to enjoy those butterflies of anticipation that comes with meeting someone new – someone that could totally, and utterly surpass your past relationship and make you see how much more amazing and happy you could feel. Not to mention feeling what it’s like to kiss or have sex with someone new – not that it’s better or worse than what long-term couples have, but it’s something – someone – different. It’s nice to experience the good, the bad, and the ugly (physically and emotionally) to really make you appreciate what you have when you find it.

So, I guess this is one of my “less-cynical-about-being-single” posts. It’s important that we step back from our loneliness once and awhile to see things from the other side, and understand that that grass isn’t always greener on the other side…

09
Sep
08

The Truth About Being Single

Everyone says I should be blogging. It’s what you’re supposed to do in the professional word to get your name out there. Funny enough, I won’t be sharing my name on this blog. But, for every other single girl out there who is going through what I’m going through, I’m sharing my stories. Because I think about being single….a lot.

Some random thoughts on this topic….

Sometimes I lie to people and tell them how much I enjoy being single. It feels like that’s what I’m supposed to say, you know? Because Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda made it OK to be single – and showed us how wonderful life can be when you have your true girlfriends and no man in your life. Fair enough. I know there are people out there who are perfectly OK being single and would be happy if that’s how they stayed for the rest of their lives. I admire those people. Really. But here’s the thing: I’m no longer sorry to admit that I am NOT one of those people. I GET LONELY. I mean really – I will give $100 dollars to anyone who can introduce me to a group of 40-something women who are living the life of the girls from Sex and the City.

I think back to a course I took during University called “The Single Girl in 20th Century Fiction and Film” (yes – it WAS a real seminar course – a great one actually!) We talked a lot about Sex and the City; how much we love it and how empowering it is to woman because they talk about sex, and have sex, and date and enjoy being single. Then one day, a girl in my class made a very sobering point. She said, “We all love Sex and the City. But let’s be honest. The truth is that we only like it because it’s not us. We’re so far removed from it right now and although we love the characters, we don’t want to be them when we’re 35 years old, sleeping with random guys, spending money on cosmos and partying until 4am.” It was one of the scariest truths I had ever heard.

What I hate the most, is that I feel guilty admitting that I don’t like being single. I was raised to be an incredibly strong and independent woman. My mom is one, and my grandma was one. And I AM ONE. But sometimes it feels as though strong, independent women can’t admit to being lonely. And I have good friends; great friends in fact. I own my own condo and have a great job that I love. I’m very close to my family and generally happy with everything else in my life.  I don’t NEED a man in my life to make me happy. However, my last relationship ended almost four years ago – and although I don’t regret ending it (he was not the one for me), I miss the cuddles, the calls, the kisses, the dates, his family and friends, the sex – and the moments I appreciated that someone fell in love with me.

At the end of all of this, I DO believe there is hope. That I will find someone. Through the online dating, blind dating, speed dating, random meetings -whatever it takes. So here I go.

Having finished this first post, I’m off to watch The Hills*.

*NOTE: Benefit #1 to being single: no guy to make fun of me for watching The Hills or other fluffy shows.




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