Sunday, February 20, 2011

Singledom: A Year Later

I can't sleep.  I've got a lot on my mind, but it's kind of ridiculous considering the severe lack of downtime I've had in the last few weeks...besides the week I was sick.  That allowed for plenty of downtime sprinkled with occasional trips to the local corner CVS to restock my supply of Kleenex and Theraflu (have you ever used that stuff?  They could say "Cures your cold in twenty minutes, guaranteed or quadruple your money back" and I'd still never buy it again.  It tasted like what I'm sure the innersole of my father's yard work sneakers would taste like if you were ever so unfortunate enough to have to consume them.).  But, this lack of downtime has seriously impeded my ability to blog as well as to acquire quality material.  In short, my social life is dead.

The more I thought about this, as I was laying in bed tonight listening to the overhead ceiling fan drown out the sound of the 16-year-old rockband wannabe teenager nextdoor do horrible things to a completely innocent drumset at an unreasonable hour that makes me feel like I'm turning into "the old lady next door," something dawned on me.  I've come full-circle.

I rushed to my laptop to see if I was correct and after a few clicks realized that I was, in fact, thinking clearly.  I am mere days away from a pretty significant milestone:  the one-year anniversary of "Lost in Singledom."

This time a year ago, I was stuck in a job where I felt I had been given a courtesy interview for a promotion, during which I had been treated as though I were a child playing "Let's Go to Work" dress-up everyday.  I fully expected one of my interviewers to lean over to the other at one point and say "Aww...look how cute Melanie is when she pretends."  I had no social life to speak of, with absolutely no potential love interests in sight.  I'd had my heart broken more times than I care to reference, mostly by the same few gentlemen who, for some reason, I had maintained some hope of them coming around to my way of thinking one of these days, although I had yet to realize at that point I'd been waiting away years of my youth.  A major shift in my everyday life was about to happen, and I knew it, but I was deathly afraid of what it meant for me.  I would be alone a lot more than I had been really ever in my entire life.  I was scared of not only not having constant company, but also of being my own company for such long periods of time.

And then it happened.  It dawned on me that the only person who could change my life was me.  I don't know what made me think of it, but writing had always been my go-to therapy as a teenager.  I can't tell you how many times my father had to swing by the store on his way home from work to pick up more notebooks for school because I'd filled mine with teenage poetry and the beginnings, middles and ends of stories trapped in my head that I had to release.  I had a few friends that were bloggers, but to me it seemed like this strange subculture of people who wrote about things like celebrity gossip or posted scripts they'd written for long-ago canceled television shows that they couldn't seem to let go of. 

Then this title popped into my head.  "Lost in Singledom"...  it seemed too good to just leave hanging out there.  What if I wrote about my life as a late-twenties single girl in a big city?  Too Carrie Bradshaw?  Maybe.  But, maybe, if I was honest about it, people would read it.  At first, I honestly didn't care if people read it.   I watched "Julie & Julia" and had visions of watching my followers skyrocket overnight, but knew that wasn't my particular reality.  Then Singledom started catching on.  People at work started reading it.  I had this strange subculture of my own.  My coworkers would ask me about Mr. Man of the Week in the hallways or on the way to the bathroom.  I heard that there were whole conversations happening from office to office about my social life, the one that hadn't even really existed a few weeks before.  Then I started getting followers that I didn't know in the real world and I caught the blogging bug.  I started looking at things in terms of its blog material quality and the focus shifted off of how pathetic I was and onto how entertaining I could be.  I truly enjoyed sharing this vast period of craziness with the outside world because I started learning that I was not alone.

The best part about the blog taking off has been the connections that I've made with people that I would have never had without it.  You know those people that you went to high school or college with who you just thought had it all going for them?  How could she have dating problems?  Look at her...she's gorgeous, she's funny, she's kind, she's fashionable, she has perfect skin...blah, blah, blah.  I'd think, if I only I looked like her, or talked like her, or drove the same car she did, then I wouldn't have all these issues finding a man.  So many times over the course of the last year I've learned that no one, absolutely positively no one has had a perfectly smooth ride of dating, no matter what it looked like from my perspective.  Besides that, I've reconnected with old friends who have now become such a valuable part of my life who just a year ago I had no communication with.  I've made new friends with other bloggers all over the country and been absolutely shocked by the distances that "Lost in Singledom" has traveled.  To know that people around the globe have read my words about my experiences in this tiny little corner of north Georgia is thrilling.  The fact that they keep coming back to read more is humbling. 

So, contrary to how I would have planned it, one year later I am still single. And that's okay.  I'm still in Singledom, but I don't know that I'm as lost as I was three-hundred sixty-five days ago.  Granted I most definitely have not found the way out, but I think I've learned to navigate a bit better.  Every single one of those guys over there (yeah, check out that list on the right.  That's a year's worth of silliness.  And I took the last quarter off.) have taught me what I'm looking for, but in more cases they've shown me what I'm not looking for, which is just as important.  What started out as a therapeutic time-filler in what I anticipated would be a lonely, quiet year, ended up being pretty...well, action-packed.  I know who I am and what I have to offer so much better than I did twelve months ago.  I'm more confident that there is someone out there for me and maybe I'm just still on the path to figuring out who he is.  Maybe he's still on the path to figuring out who I am.  Hopefully those paths will cross soon, but if not, I'll still be here!  Writing and blogging and complaining and laughing and sharing it all with you.  The ultimate goal of this whole thing is to find the very last name to add to that list I mentioned earlier and then ride off into the blogosphere sunset.  But, until then, expect more shenanigans. 

So raise your glass fellow Singletons and non-fellow Marrieds.  Here's to dating, weeding through all the crazies, kissing lots of frogs, and hopefully someday finding the one person that you want to wake up next to the next morning.  Oh, and to blogging about it!

P.S. Want to find out just how far I've come?  Start from the beginning.  Click here to read my very first (albeit short) posting.  I remember being so nervous about it that I reread it at least 100 times.  Before I had a one single follower.


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