Today's blogging challenge: Describe a moment or day when being single really sucked.
The toughest part about this is choosing just one. I managed to narrow it down to two moments. Neither is what you might expect.
Not long after my separation, I remember having to fill out a new patient form at a doctors office. I was humming along, answering all the questions the same way I had answered for years. Until...
Emergency Contact Information
Ugh. I panicked. I had never not had an answer to that question. I was engaged for three years and married for ten. For as long as I could remember, I'd entered X's name and phone number.
I suddenly realized there was no one for me to put down. I live alone, and I can't expect anyone to show up at a doctor's office just because I have an emergency. Sure, I have friends and family, but they all have lives and responsibilities. This was the first moment I realized that, as a single person, for the first time in my life, no one is responsible for me.
It was probably the most profound moment I ever had in terms of realizing how my post-divorce life would never be the same. So naturally it took place within, like, 20 seconds in front of a dozen strangers in a waiting room.
I entered my father's name, address, phone number, and relationship as 'parent' and moved on to the next question.
The second worst moment of my single life (so far) was right around my 35th birthday. It was the first birthday I spent alone. I felt old, and like I was a failure. Divorced and single was not how I envisioned my life would be at 35.
I had gone on a date with a guy months before. One date, and we'd drifted apart. At one point, we IMed and he confided that he'd met someone else, and it seemed she was pregnant, and he'd been dealing with all of that. I'd wished him well, and moved on.
This night, right around my birthday, he sent me an email. The subject line read: Great News! When I opened the message, it said: The kid's not mine. Call me sometime? ;)
I'm not even kidding.
I deleted the email and laid down on my bed and cried. I had never in my life encountered such a mess, and I couldn't believe this was my life, at 35, dealing with this kind of nonsense. It was such an overwhelming sense of failure and no hope.
In the morning I woke up, chuckled, and had a great day.
The take away from both of these stories? Being single is going to suck sometimes. So is being married (trust me, I know). But the part that sucks is never, ever permanent, and it's never as bad as it seems at that moment.
When life throws you an unexpected hurdle, and it feels like the worst thing ever, you should feel encouraged. It means things are about to start looking even better than you ever imagined.