I don’t usually pray but recently, I did.
A few days ago, my colleague shared that when she was 30, she told god she was ready to accept she’d grow old alone. She was a no-boyfriend-since-birth, she had been waiting for far too long. Soon after she uttered that prayer, she met her husband. Being an NBSB myself and one who has been at it longer than her, my first reaction to this story is to copy what she did. I thought maybe if I tell God that I was ready to give up too, he’d suddenly take pity and send me a man.
But who am I kidding?
If God is all-knowing he already knows my plan before I even say it; therefore, it wouldn’t work.
This conversation, however, had me wondering about something. What if my destiny is to be alone?
When you are surrounded by family, friends, acquaintances, basically everyone on this planet who are mostly coupled up, it’s kinda hard to be single and not feel like an anomaly. When my high school classmates started getting boyfriends, I wondered why none of the boys liked me. This went on until college when friends and classmates had a sex life to flex while I was there a mere listener to everyone’s latest tryst.
I despaired upon the fact that I couldn’t say, “Ooh, same! Or me too!” and that my thoughts were more in the line of, “Why not me?” or “When is it even going to be my turn?” or worse, “Am I ugly?”
People always ask me why I am single, and they would come up with all these theories like I have this unbelievably high standard, or that I don’t smile a lot, that I am too “mataray,” too picky, too shy. They always determine I am the problem and that it is my fault I cannot find someone. Years and years of hearing this same shit had me convinced that I am, indeed, the problem.
I have friends whom I don’t see often and when we do, the first question that would come out of their mouths is that if I have a boyfriend already. I know they mean well but it happened every frickin’ time I couldn’t help but feel that my whole being is diminished by my single status. Never mind that I can travel the world, never mind I do well in my career, never mind that I have a house, all these seem to be nothing if I don’t have a boyfriend.
I came to the point when I started feeling angry by everyone’s take on my love life. It is nobody’s business but mine, why do people care so much or put their noses to things that shouldn’t concern them, it just makes me mad.
Because they are too concerned, I too become very concerned. There were many times I would wake up in the middle of the night with a fright that I would die alone. I wish I’m exaggerating, but I’m not. Being single since time immemorial and being told by everyone that this is not the way it’s supposed to be, took a toll on my mental health. I felt ugly, undesirable, and unwanted. Billions of people in the world yet it seemed like there’s not even one man meant for me. I am telling you, the hurt it does to one’s confidence is real.
And then this conversation with my colleague happened and a thought arose that maybe, I am not meant to be coupled up. What if my cause of desperation is my need to be normal, to have the kind of life (or love life) as everybody else? What if all I have been trying to do all my life was trying to insert myself into the narrative that is not meant for me? I mean obviously, I am not living a life with a regular plot of boy meets girl, experiencing a breakup, finding a new boyfriend, getting married, then having kids.
Is this actually my destiny (if such a thing even exists) and I just don’t accept it?
If this is the life I’ve been given by God, destiny, or the universe, then why do I feel miserable? Why can’t I just take it for how it is? The bigger question is, why do I feel the need to live as most people do?
Maybe I am one of the unlucky ones (or lucky depends on how you see it) and I was born to live through life alone. If this is the case, then I have just wasted my whole life despairing over something, which I have no control of. It also means, I have prayed, wished upon a star, tossed coin on the wishing well, tried to law-of-attraction the hell out of something that is never gonna happen, which leads us back to my first point, I have frickin’ wasted a lot of my time and energy over this shit.
Going back to my opening statement, I found myself praying to the lord (or universe) carrying all these thoughts. I did this with an open heart I think I even shed a tear or two.
I prayed, “God, if this is the path that you want for me, if you really don’t have anyone for me, then please grant me the grace to accept this. I have a fear of growing old alone, it is one of the reasons I have been feeling so miserable over my state of singlehood. So, if this is your will, then please take away this fear. Then I may be able to live happily, without regrets, and without desperation. I lift this all up to you. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Or something to that effect.
Then I slept and had a dream that the newborn baby of my sister died, and I just sort of, let it happen. I didn’t even think of asking for help or taking it to the hospital. Then I left it in the house, told no one until eventually, people smelled the decaying carcass of the baby. And I was so afraid that I would be sent to prison because even if I didn’t kill the baby, I didn’t save it either, so people might think me responsible.
What does this dream have anything to do with what I had been yapping about earlier? Well, nothing, or maybe it’s related, just that I don’t know how to interpret dreams. But if I take a stab at interpreting it, maybe the baby is my hope for love, which I am finally letting go and leaving for dead, and the stench represents the last of my desperation.
I just shared with two friends my decision to finally accept my “destiny” and to choose to be at peace with it. Because if I am going to be completely okay with this, then the people around me should be okay with it too and perhaps, finally get off my case about my dating life or lack thereof.
I have to be honest, this is a hard pill to swallow, but I must find a way to be kind to myself. The pressure that I put on myself for many years needs to go. I don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night again fearing I’d grow old alone. I can’t continue living like this. If this is my path, I only want to be completely okay with it and not waste many more years thinking that I am less of a person because I’m alone.
I am a whole person with or without a man.