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Isn't it pretty?

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Stuck Being Single

I just read the above article at Aish.com (great website, by the way). I can easily relate to the author’s thoughts on being single – and I admire her very much for her positive attitude, which I know is a struggle to uphold during the difficult years of being single, especially in a community that puts so much emphasis on family. The author makes an interesting point in her article, and I think it is one that singles often have difficulty focusing on. Yes, it is hard being single, and yes, it would be great to get married. But there are advantages to being single also. There are things that single people can do that married people can’t. I am not using this as a reason to not get married, but I think that singles should appreciate what they do have rather than focusing on what they don’t. Walking home from shul on Yom Kippur, I was thinking about how weird it will be when I am married, and have babies, and I won’t be able to attend shul on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. To me, what else do you do on those days? It must be so difficult to really feel what the holidays are about when you are sitting at home, watching your children. I would miss all the spiritual tunes, the Birkas Cohanim, the feeling of being with a group of people all pouring their hearts out to Hashem at the same time. If I was married, I wouldn’t have had many of the opportunities that I have been given. Almost two years ago, I thought I had found the one, the guy who I would spend the rest of my life with. If I had married him at that time, I probably never would have returned to school, I would have continued working in jobs that held no meaning for me. I would never have discovered that I want to teach, because I would never have met the professors at school who have inspired me. My life with him probably would have been fine, but if I had married him, I don’t think I would have been given the same opportunity to work towards my potential and I don’t think I would have had the same desire to do so. And I am extremely grateful for that opportunity; it has definitely caused me to grow into a more complete, fulfilled person. There are so many things I can do while being single that I won’t be able to do when I am married. I am constantly aware that I would be able to juggle all the responsibilities I currently hold if I was also a wife and mother. And I know that I have a lot of freedom and independence now that I won’t always have. Will I gladly give those things up? Yes, absolutely. But I think it is important for me to appreciate them while I have them, and to know that Hashem is giving me these opportunities for a reason. I truly think that having this time now will make me a better wife and mother later. The author concludes her article by saying “There are times when I feel like it's enough. I've grown enough from these challenges. I'm ready to move on to the next set.” I feel that way all the time. But I guess Hashem knows better than I do, and He will bring me the right person when I really have grown enough and am really ready for it. Until that time, I will strive to see the positive aspects of being and appreciate the opportunities I am being given now. And when I am married, I will look back on this time and know that I had all of it for a reason.

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