An old friend called last night and I was pleasantly surprised. After we said our hellos, he asked if I'm OK. Can't complain, I said. He breathed a sigh of relief that got me curious. We updated each other on what's happening in our lives and he said that he read my blog (On being single...) and was worried I'm getting desperate (hahaha)! And here I am, thinking that blog was an optimistic take on being single!
You may have this image in your head of a brooding, cheerless, chain-smoking spinster who snaps at everybody. First of all, I quit smoking 5 years ago (what an accomplishment that was!). I'll admit it though---there are days when I'd like to murder some people, or scream at the rooftop, bomb the Congress, or trash the office. And I could write a book called "Why Being Single Sucks?" That happens sometimes when I'm PMS-ing---most days, I'm a happy, carefree, single woman.
In the middle of the week, I decided to give myself a day-off...invited two single friends and they joined my independence day. We drove to the Mall of Asia, watched a movie, did some shopping, and had dinner by the bay. We can do all these things at the drop of a hat because we're singles. Aren't you glad we're singles???
girl-friends and a cousin
Spontaneity. Freedom. Flexibility. These are some of the best things about being single. It allowed my cousin Franzia to explore the islands with her friends. It allowed my friend Dee to spend her weekends with street-children. It allowed my friend R to quit his job and become a full-time missionary. It allowed a co-worker to scuba dive in Anilao anytime he wants to. It allowed Franzia’s friend J to change careers and move to Batanes. It allowed me to experience travel without missing a husband and kids back home.
Coffee breaks banter would sometimes drift to the topic of sex. While I join in with my share of green jokes, married colleagues say that sex isn't always thrilling. Sometimes, it's awkward and messy, boring and tiresome. As a single woman in this sex-saturated society, sometimes I need to hear this. Who said celibacy is easy???? It's simpler to desire sex, but more complicated if you're looking for closeness, affection and affirmation.
girl power at work
Listening to my married friends over the years, I've learned that marriage isn't always chocolates and roses. Singlehood may have its bad days...but my married friends remind me that married life has its share, too.
Now, the classic question: Can men and women be "just friends"? Remember the movie, When Harry Met Sally? In this husbandless season of my life, I found this to be possible. Without my guy friends, the lack of a husband or boyfriend could be very obvious. We talk on the phone, exchanging creative ideas, meet for coffee or dinner discussing valuable insights about our gender-differences---Vive le difference!--- have a drink every now and then. I'm savoring these male friendships. If I'm married now, I'm not even sure we'd be able to be friends.
friends in San Francisco
I'd lived alone for years. What could have been the loneliest time of my life turned out to be the most rewarding. I would sing along with the radio at the top of my lungs, watch my favorite TV shows over and over again, stay in bed with a good book and stay there until the wee hours of morning, eat breakfast at 10pm, ice cream at 2am, dance naked while cleaning my apartment. There was richness to this time of my life that I wouldn't trade for anything---even the days when the relative silence did actually turn into loneliness.
I've learned that being alone in public has its benefits, too. I take trips alone---sometimes for vacation, some for work. I go out and chat with people I meet at museums, restaurants, airports, resorts...exchanging cultural info. I'm free to take spur-of-the-moment expeditions and connect with interesting people along the way.
I have incredible friends. These are the kind of friends that I can call at 3am and who would take me to the ER when I'm not feeling well, make me laugh while recovering from surgery; who would listen to my rants about an awful day at work, or hold my hand after a terrible date. They are the kind of friends who would accompany me to drive around in the middle of a typhoon to look for a gotohan. We cry at our failures, celebrate our accomplishments, laugh at our blunders, and comfort each other during bad times.
Sharing real life---warts and all---as a single woman has enriched my life in more ways I can't even imagine. All the laughter, deep sharing, moral support, and silliness---are sweeter than just about anything I know.