Fifty Two

Tonight we had a meeting for church and were discussing doing a Christmas lunch thing. It was brought up about whether or not we should invite partners. I realised then that I was the only one without a partner and instantly dreaded the idea of going to a lunch where I would be 13th wheel.

Is this my life now? Will I just be that single person in a sea of couples?

I text B today and ended things, said that I didn’t feel chemistry with us and wanted to be clear on my front that I didn’t really see us as more than friends. He responded well (better than A anyway, who said he thought he was in love with me) ((what the actual fuck aye)) and said he felt the same.

I do nay like being in this space – caught between not wanting to be single but not having any viable options.

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Thirty Nine

Feminism and faith – this was the topic discussed at the Contemporary Feminism panel talk tonight. Something that one of the panellists said really struck me – they said that we tell the stories we’re told.

Doesn’t that just hit the nail on the head? How often does society just perpetuate the same narratives that it’s been fed? Without being conscious of what we’re consuming, it’s only natural that we regurgitate the same old story.

I’m 27 now and only in the last several years have I started unpacking all the narratives that I’ve internalised, deconstructing everything that I took to be absolute truth and trying to understand reality in a more raw form. I’ve only just scratched the surface, there’s still a long way for me to go in taking apart all these things I’ve learned as true.

When the panellist said that, it reignited the fire and desire in me to write children’s literature. One of the narratives that I’ve internalised (to my detriment) is of the classic fairy tale ending – the princess being saved by the prince. Only now as an adult do I see how harmful that narrative is. There are so many problems with it!

  1. It’s heteronormative.
  2. The princess is always secondary to the story – just a prop for the prince.
  3. The happily ever after is when the prince saves the princess and they get married.

Being single terrifies me, because being alone terrifies me, because I’ve subconsciously absorbed the idea that I can never be truly happy, can never have my happily ever after on my own. I need a man in it. Maybe that’s part of the reason why the breakup with J was so awful – it wasn’t just losing him, it was also losing that fairy tale ending.

I don’t know if it’s possible to untangle myself from this narrative now, I feel like it might be too late for me. But it’s not too late for kids. They can learn a different story – where diversity is celebrated, where princesses are go-getters and do whatever the fuck they want, where the happily ever after is all sorts of relationship statuses.

Twelve

Tonight I caught up with a good friend who’s been with her boyfriend for almost 2 years now. She told me tonight that she’s not sure if she wants to be with him anymore but is caught in that hard place of having too much history to want to let it go, even though she feels like she needs to.

In my singleness, I always feel like relationships are bliss, and forget that they have their own struggles. I do think that my situation is different though – that it was the wrong time, rather than the wrong person. But even so, it reminded me that relationships aren’t the magical salve for loneliness or pain. There is loneliness and pain in relationships too. It might look different than the loneliness and pain in singleness, but it’s still there.

Having said that, I really miss the intimacy of being in a relationship. And sex stuff. I really miss the sex stuff. I miss sleeping next to someone. I miss waking up with someone. I miss doing the every day mundane stuff like walking down to get a coffee in the morning, or getting groceries together. But maybe I just miss it because we were good together. There are definitely exes in my life that I don’t miss doing that stuff with.

I guess tonight’s conversation with E just reminded me that there are blessings and burdens in each stage of life. It’s so easy to be blind to the good in your current state.