When I was younger, Friday was my favorite day of the week. It was a work day, so I felt accomplished and a valuable member of society, but then it was the night that kicked off the weekend – which most of the time meant friends, social moments, relaxing and fun.
But with age comes… Perspective. Responsibility. Exhaustion. Mental gymnastics….. Life.
And that Life has a way of changing, altering, hindering, freeing, pulling, pushing, ripping apart, putting back together, adding, subtracting, editing…. and oftentimes in areas we never wanted to be different. And as if that wasn’t enough, with each of those things, those moments oftentimes have physical, spiritual or mental adaptation that must accompany.
I used to think maturity was just a by-product of aging… But with each passing year, and with the countless interactions with humanity, I’m not convinced it’s solely the passing of time that brings maturity – I think it’s much more related to all the circumstances, the interactions and reactions to the things mentioned previously – the working to figure out the next step forward, while being intentional to let it shape you for the better, and not make you frustrated, sad, lonely or hopeless.
Yes – that all sounds so dramatic, but there are times when drama – and feeling the full gamete of circumstances either makes or breaks you.
So Friday’s (and the weekends) used to be my week’s highlights….. but the older I get, the more those few days have become less shiny.
I’ve had people comment on my “fullness of schedule”. They’ve mentioned how they envy my ability to go, do, be, anytime I want, with seemingly no limitations on my time, or expectations from anyone.
Yes, I’ll admit, there is definitely freedom that comes with singleness, but there are also emotions, thoughts and feelings that I would challenge most anyone who have not been in serious relationship or married before their mid-30’s – to feel, to sit in and truly experience. It can be gut-wrenchingly painful.
Please hear me… I’m not complaining about my life – I honestly LOVE it. I love what I get to do, who I am, the “freedom” I have, but those moments, where all those ‘limitless, free, no-one-demanding-my-time-and-attention-moments’, stare me squarely in the face, for what feels like the millionth Friday night, AND Saturday, AND Sunday without a hope that it’ll ever be different. There are times, in those moments where you question if you missed an obvious “directional sign” (that apparently everyone else and their brother got along the way), or the “this is your life-direction marker”…. smack me hard in the face (head and heart).
I think I used to love Fridays…. and weekends, because it was filled with non-stop things, people, activities that allowed me to be distracted – to feel, fun and good times, and didn’t allow space to feel, think or face growing up. Life was fun. Full. Distracted and I loved it. All of it.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve discovered the value of intentional down-time, for lots of reason, BUT along with that, was also faced with reality of being alone with me! When the week is busy…. and evenings are full with after-work errands, groceries, catching up with occasional friends, again there’s not much space for emotions.
Adaptation, not only to your own life-circumstance is tough, but when it feels like everyone else’ statuses changed; weddings, babies, family, work, pets, etc/etc….. and everyone’s lives are “perfect” and progressing weigh tough on you, it takes effort to figure out how to be with yourself and be ok with it.
There are moments when I get it! But then there are moments when Friday rolls around (and here it is again)……. and a small bit of panic grips my head and heart……. What if I don’t have plans, make plans or be asked to join someone else’s plans….? Can I once again be ok – being face to face with ME and the countless ‘I am… but….” conversations.
Yes, I am complete…. but desire something more
Yes, I am content…. but still love the extended invite
I am confident…. but feel isolated in flying solo
I am fun…. but it is just better shared with others
I am loved….. but I want to love
There has been (and frequently still is), the desire to just fill time, watch movies or go shopping or just do anything – to avoid time with me, and it has been ok, and possibly the right choice. But there are other moments, when I choose to just be with me, to feel – even when it’s painful and not pretty, and I know after the moment as have passed, that I’ve moved a tiny smidge forward!
I obviously don’t have much of life figured out… but I’m hopeful that one day I’ll have moved a significantly marked distance forward. Life is a process….. thankful I’m still learning!
So why write this? Great question. There’s part of me that always hesitates before I post. Am I too honest, too vulnerable…. maybe I am! But there’s always a little nudge to hit post, because maybe there’s someone else feels like this, but can’t find the words to express it, and this might just be the thing that helps move us all forward!