I feel quite settled as a single woman who works hard and travels solo. However, I also have a trekkers group, a reading club group, an urban socialising group, and a group of mentees who I mentor. So I also have enough social interaction.
Yet when an aunt or my grandma mentions my single status as a bad thing, or when I attend a friend’s wedding or see my friends with kids, I do get thrown off for a while, and I wonder whether my single status is one I will live to regret some day when it will be too late to seek companionship. How do I know for sure whether my decision is a healthy one and truly in my best interest?
Despite the fulfilment and excitement that your current life and schedule offers you, there’s no accounting or definite timeline for evolving needs and desires.
Would you say that you are the same person today as you were 6 years ago? To change is to learn are to learn is to grow. Such variances in one’s personal values and desires and transitions between ‘where one is’ and ‘where one will be’ follow no pre-decided schedule. A plan can only carry you so far.
Metaphorically speaking : The lone wolf who works best alone - may finally learn to hunt in a pack. A person seeking independence from bonds that tie him down may very well be the same one someday seeking companionship so he can build a permanent home with someone. Someone socially awkward or introverted may develop the need to strike up conversations to feel connected with others. The fact is that people do change. They change what they want. They change how they see the world. They also change what or whom they would like to dedicate their life to.
As a single woman today, there is nothing wrong with feeling settled and comfortable doing what you have said you are doing. For this, there is no stamp of approval that you need. As clichéd as it sounds, there is indeed great peace and joy in discovering one’s true purpose.
In today’s world...there are social, economic and professional options and opportunities to cater to every personality type, lifestyle and mind-set that exists out there. You merely have to concern yourself with what immediately lies ahead of you for the moment.
You are not a fortune teller and neither are you a spiritual being so go easy on yourself if you ever find yourself being overly-self-critical. If you are enjoying the present moment – you are doing something right!
To live in the past or worry about the future is to disregard the fact that patience combined with a zest for learning is the key to unlocking one’s true potential.
Everything requires planning and thinking. If finding a partner/mate are a part of the larger dreams that you have always had for your life – then you have to be honest with yourself about that. We cannot escape ourselves. If you have no interest in starting a family or getting married, then that clarity too needs to be something you work to achieve through introspection.
Don’t worry about the opinions or gaze of an aunty or a grandmother. These ladies grew up in a different time period. Womanhood and family roles have evolved since their time. Gender based role were defined very differently when they came of age.
After all, we are all products of our conditioning. It is thereby perfectly normal for these women to find it hard to reconcile themselves to a lifestyle that they were never offered, told to consider and that they never had any access to.
In patriarchies, women have historically been seen as companion pieces to what was mostly skewed towards the ‘male agenda’ or the ‘family agenda’. These ‘pre-sets’ may perhaps have been a result of times of war, economic development and the socio-cultural evolution that we often read about in books.
You will need to empathize with how these ladies are getting a tad thrown off when your lifestyle choices that inadvertently defies the values that they have witnessed and grown up with. This is normal. This is similar to a person feeling out of place when they are in a new country where they are unfamiliar with the language and customs.
To challenge a belief system is to challenge the foundation on which a person’s self-esteem and reading of the world rests. That’s what makes it so difficult and perhaps a non-worthwhile endeavour.
To know if your decision to continue to stay single is ‘healthy’ one, you will have to ask yourself if you are running away from something or if you are rebelling against ‘the system’ in some manner. Give yourself the opportunity to grow as an individual. You are not expected to know what you will want several years from now. We work with the information we have and not with the information we wish we had.
However, do introspect and perhaps draw up a vision chart about what you want for yourself. Your freedom and dreams are yours to protect and celebrate. What we may very well regret one-day need not have anything to do with what we regret today. Either ways, you have little to lose since regret is a marvellous teacher.