This week marks the beginning of fall semester. For me, it is the last semester of college. One good thing about the beginning of fall semester, is the reminder for every college student, that Christmas is just around the corner. Not everyone can make it home for the summer, and for those who live thousands of miles from home, Christmas is usually the only time one can go home. Christmas, the one time of year that one gets to see every person they knew growing up and gets to show what they have become.
Along with Christmas, comes every adult single person's favorite/dreaded Christmas tradition... a tradition most have practiced every year since they were 17. The beloved tradition of having aunt, uncle, grandparent, cousin, mom, dad, brother, sister, friend, church member, acquaintance; all asking you if you have a boyfriend or girlfriend yet. Every person feeling it is their personal duty to remind you that your biological clock is ticking, telling you how when they were your age they already had a spouse and two babies, asking what's wrong with you to have not found someone who wants you yet, and every other demeaning kind of question you can think of.
Every year my scapegoat answer has been "I am nowhere near ready for a relationship." But this year is a little different. This year I have to face the truth I hoped would never happen. All my life my plan was to be married before I graduate college. Here I am, in my final semester, without even a prospect of a boyfriend. Now it is not just judgmental onlookers asking where is my husband, it's my own thoughts and plans shouting inside of me, "What's wrong with you?!"
About 6 months ago I got desperate, hoping and praying to find someone and fall madly in love before fall semester began, so that I would hopefully have "a ring by spring". Because of that, I joined every online dating site I could think of and afford, and went to every singles event I could fit in my schedule, all with the mentality of "I have to find someone before my time runs out."
I found myself talking to guys who I didn't really like, who had different dreams than me, different beliefs than me, different lifestyles than me, and I did it all while selling out my own hopes and dreams, beliefs and lifestyle to try to fit into their world so that they would want me. All it did was lead to major stress and disappointment.
Then it hit me this week. Why am I changing myself to please society? Why am I giving up my joy and adventure and freedom in order to finally please everyone pressuring me about why am I not married yet?
People ask me what's wrong with me. Truth is, there is nothing wrong with me except that I refuse to be forced into a box to fit the mold. Marriage is a beautiful thing. But does that mean it's meant for everyone? I'm beginning to think not.
Truth is, I love my life of freedom...being able to come and go as I please. I could get a new job today, or quit a job tomorrow, and only have to worry about how it affects me. I could buy a house in Minnesota tomorrow, and decide to sell it next week and move to Europe, without anyone else's approval. I can hit the road and not speak to anyone for days without having someone upset that I didn't take them or tell them where I was going. I can go along to a movie with a male friend, with out having to worry if someone would be upset about me being alone with another man.
I was trying to talk to a relative about this the other day, and they stopped me and asked me to just be honest with them and admit that I am a lesbian. Our society is so fixated on being with someone, that this person refused to believe I am happy being single and so resorted to just changing my orientation. Again I ask, why do I have to be with someone, male or female?
Some people live their lives to the fullest and count their every blessing when they marry a good spouse and raise great kids. But why should that mean someone else didn't live their lives to the fullest if they lived a great life without a spouse and kids? Was Mother Teresa wrong? `Was my only reason for being born, to be raised, get married and have babies to raise so they can get married and have babies to raise to get married to have babies to raise to get married to have babies?
I am tired of believing I must get married and have babies. I am tired of society forcing me into that mold. I am not interested in forcing myself into a relationship just to please society. I am about to graduate college. I am at the prime of my life. I can get a good job, do lots of fun stuff, and make life changing decisions any time I want to, without having someone else's permission. I am not ready to commit my life to another person. Honestly I don't know if I ever want to. I know I want to be a mother some day, but there are plenty of motherless children out there needing someone who's stable and caring like me.
Maybe someday I will change my mind on all of this, but for now I am giving up on dating, and want to just enjoy being young, single, and free.