Screw Cupid! Who says you need a partner? Why do we think we need that for validation? That’s ridiculous.
Somewhere around the new millennium, a group of my friends and I decided that February 14th would now be known as “Singles Awareness Day.” In the spirit of Carrie Bradshaw, we decided that we were fabulous all on our own! We made dinner reservation for 15 at a fantastic restaurant downtown and then went out dancing. People sent us drinks, our waitress said we were inspiring, gorgeous and hilarious. It was very empowering to know that we could be happy as ourselves…especially on a day that celebrates couple-hood!
Flash forward 16 years and look at these same women. Some are married and raising families. Some are working moms, others stay home full-time. Some are teachers, a few have moved across the country. Two of us met our husbands later that year, another took a decade. One is an executive for a large hospital. One has been living a glamorous life in fashion working for designers on both coasts and is now launching her own line.
Yesterday I “stepped in it” so to speak. I’ve always had the mentality that women (and men, too) are amazing all on their own and shouldn’t need a mate to complete them. I foolishly posted this meme on my personal Facebook feed and tagged some single women that I admire. A couple were flattered, but not everyone. I thought that I was cheering on these amazing people who were doing things I respect. One is changing kids’ lives every day in inner-Chicago, another is a crime reporter for a newspaper. One is the above mentioned fashion guru. A newer member to this singles club is a fellow mom going through a divorce and making a better life for her and her son. Another is someone I’ve known her whole life and is the smartest person I know. She will be curing the world’s diseases someday! I admire her for getting her PhD at one of the best schools in the world!
What I want all these amazing people to know is that I love them and find inspiration from them. I hope they find inspiration in themselves. I know some of you are thinking, “Heather, you’ve been with your husband for 16 years…you don’t even remember being single.” But I do. I remember feeling the pressure to “find a guy” when I was constantly attending other’s weddings. Feeling the longing to start a family.
Please don’t forget that although I have these things, I want what you have: A career you love, seeing my name in print on a byline, having the courage to completely change careers in my 30s, to follow my dreams, to live in a high-rise condo downtown with a view. Drinking cocktails on a “school night” and having a fabulous wardrobe. Working toward having “Dr.” before my name and PhD after it on my business cards. Being an expert in my field.
Don’t let the craziness of Valentines get in your head. You are an amazing person! You are on your own path and timeline. And remember, someone out there wishes they have what you do.