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Monday, July 22, 2013

Living the Single Life-Enjoying it While I Can

Living the Single Life:
By: Christine Smith (McFarlane)

The proverbial dream when you are a child is that you get yourself through school, decide what profession you want to go into, get into a good college or university, meet someone, marry and then have kids. When this dream is met, you then juggle your relationship, career and kids, and try not to go crazy in the mean time.

But these days, it seems like more and more people are bucking at this dream and living the single life-me included. Careers come first, before marriage and kids, well they come or they don’t at all. For me, I’ve never had children, but I could call my oldest niece, the daughter I never had. We have had a closeness that has always been difficult for me to explain. I feel truly blessed by having her in my life.

I had dreams just like any other kid. I wanted to be a writer, become rich and famous, have a house or live in a mansion, and have a partner. Of course, at the time I was dreaming of all this, I didn’t know the curveballs that would be thrown my way, or the healing that I would have to undergo in order to get to where I am now.

I came right out of the child welfare system right into college to study Journalism-Print, but then had to drop out when I got really ill with anorexia nervosa and depression. These two illnesses landed me in the hospital more times than you could imagine, but with treatment I slowly but surely turned that around.

After much encouragement from certain people in my life, I went back to school in my early thirties into the Academic Bridging Program at the University of Toronto, and then upon completion of that program, I was accepted into undergraduate studies. This is where I decided to specialize in Aboriginal studies, and where I learned what I had yearned for all my life- my culture, traditions, and language. I graduated in 2011, and have been trying to establish myself since as a freelance writer/photographer.

So living the single life isn’t something that I outright planned but it’s also not something that I am just going to change out of the blue without putting great thought into it. I like living in a bachelor apartment, and having my own space. Yes, sometimes it can be lonely not having someone close in my life, but I don’t want to jump into just any relationship. I want to be able to meet someone, get to know them, and then explore what being in a relationship with them would be like.

Right now I am happy with where I am at, because I am working on myself so that I can be that person that someone would want to spend time with. Being single is not the be all and end all of things. I never thought that I would be single at the age I am now, but it’s not something I am really ashamed of either. It is something that has just naturally happened. Sometimes being single brings about questions from others around me. If you're single, I'm sure you have heard questions at some point like

“How come you’re still single?” or they’ll ask

“Don’t you want to have kids?”

I fine that the answers to these questions and others will vary with every individual. But here I am at almost 40 years old, and I am living a life nowhere near of what I dreamed back in childhood. I’m living the single life. Some of the reasons I have chosen to be single include the following

 1.     I have trust and intimacy issues because of things that have happened in my past

 2. I've experienced losses that make it hard for me to believe that people will stick around me

       3.   At this point in time, I don't want to be tied down because I like being independent and not dealing     with the drama that relationships can bring to your life. 
       4. I want to establish myself both personally and professionally
AH! Living the single life, I didn't think I would be at this stage in my life but I'm enjoying it while I can. Some day down the road I may meet someone but I'm not in a rush to be with someone just because society dictates otherwise.

When I meet someone, I’ll meet someone, until then I’ll enjoy my living space, my semi independence and go after my dreams. I don’t want anything to possibly stop me, because after all these years of working hard on my healing path, I’m just starting to live now.

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