Love on Single’s Awareness Day

Hiking with FriendsIn the past few months since returning home, I’ve fallen in love with my city in a way I never thought possible. I left several years ago and swore I was never coming back. Last July I panicked, swallowed my words, and returned to my childhood home. The transition hasn’t been easy, but really, what major life transition ever is? I thought that coming home would be easier than my other moves to cities where I knew practically no one, but this one was equally difficult. Differently difficult, and unexpectedly challenging.

My family and my cat welcomed me home. Childhood friends who remained or returned made it feel like things hadn’t changed that much, but even if home hadn’t changed, I had. I grew into myself in these past few years away; I learned what I’m passionate about and what I need to be okay with life.

While away, I realized the importance of close relationships. This one’s a little ironic, actually. I realized how much I needed close relationships in my life through extended periods of loneliness during college. My first summer away at summer school was particularly difficult, and the strain of a long-distance relationship may have made things worse instead of better.

These past few months at home have been some of the hardest to weather as I’ve learned how to choose positivity and forgo my natural timidity. I’ve met some amazing people and gotten to be a part of some inspiring conversations with people who want to see our community develop a more positive attitude for our city. I am encouraged, inspired, and comforted by their heart for our city.

Even with all of the joy that has come from meeting people, I still wonder about what the future holds. I’m a young adult, caught somewhere in the struggle of underemployment. I feel like I’m ready for a position with responsibility, and that I’m ready to have some sort of relationship after more than 2 1/2 years of single living. A relationship may not be in the cards for me right now, just like there might not be a full-time job for me for a while. That’s okay. 

Life is still good, whether I am single or not, whether I am employed or not. The world is still a beautiful place, and I am blessed to have a loving family and friends. My mom will leave some chocolate out for me on Valentine’s Day(Single’s Awareness Day), I may go visit my nephew, and I’ll end the day off tutoring a 7th grader.

On Valentine’s Night this year I will be sitting in a coffee shop with my fellow 20-somethings, talking about what we want to do for the city. We’ll ignore the fact that it’s a commercial holiday full of hearts and flowers, and throw out dreams for this place. Maybe drinks across the street will be involved as an end-of-the night celebration.

Wherever this week finds you on the scale of single and lonely to 30 married years later, I pray for blessings for you this week – for a beautiful world and eyes to see the good in it. For courage to make a new friend and hope to believe that good things are still on their way. Most of all, for peace in this life, no matter what life you’re living.

friday view