Stories from middle America

(A girl on her front porch, super proud of the plants she hasn’t killed.)

After reading and loving Amanda’s post on always identifying with being single, I wanted to take a cue from her writings to share how my journey has been 200% opposite of that.

A blind date in a small dark Omaha bar with champagne on tap, we met. Eight years ago I settled very nicely into the best love I’ve ever known but somehow, in some way, it fell apart. The silent war began. We couldn’t pull through. And the thing about being single, and not-as-young-as-I-once-was single, made the life I was facing a pretty big pill to swallow. Not to mention the gaping hole in my chest.

I always thought I related to single life. But, I realize now that I’m not sure I ever did. I had a boyfriend all through high school, after that I swiftly moved into a relationship during college that led to my son (who is now thirteen, I mean, WHOA!) and then came the man from the dark bar in Omaha. (Well, technically there have been two other men of significance along the way, but I’m going to follow Rob Gordon in High Fidelity and only discuss the ones who REALLY got to me – making my list of the top three, not the top five.)

I spent too much time after the man in the dark bar being inexplicably sad, desperately holding onto the fact that my life might not include a significant other. A brother or sister for my son; a two car garage; a fenced in yard with a dog or two; added to the list of things I thought I was losing by being single. I thought one thing – expected one thing – and toted around certain truths to get through the day. But I was missing all of it. Every single ounce of it.

After hiring a great sounding board (my therapist) I realized the benefits of taking the time to see who I actually was and not the expectation of who I thought I should be. **Off topic for a second: I think everyone should have a therapist. Not because anything is wrong with you, but because we should all have someone non bias to chat with in life. One who is actually educated in the process; one who can help you through; one who can explain any kinks. MENTAL HEALTH IS SO IMPORTANT. 

Over the past few years I’ve started to wear it differently. I’m more comfortable with the idea of being single, and more at ease with the notion that this is my tale. The rest has been my history, with the future open to whatever it brings.

I have made a load of good girlfriends. I have found things I’m passionate about accomplishing (other than being a good mother, duh!). I’ve downloaded Tinder and then quickly un-downloaded it because it’s literally the WORST if you actually want to date someone of substance. I stay up late a lot, but I have not mastered the pleasure of a good whiskey drink. Maybe with time, huh?

I’ve figured out that I can have the things I felt like I was missing being single. My son and I welcomed a dog to our pack. I have a one car garage and a landlord to call when I need something fixed around the house.

I look forward to more. In 5 years, when my son is headed out of my home, I may actually be in a position to travel. Traveling alone could really be a life changing experience and I can get excited about that…

  • Amanda Rucker

    <3 <3 <3

    • Ginger McCandless

      You filled your quota of love today with that many hearts 🙂

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