Let’s talk about your current Facebook Newsfeed at any given moment in time. Allow me to guess; baby, baby, baby, engagement ring on a well-manicured hand, baby, baby, a slutty girl taking a selfie, someone’s wedding, a cat doing something cute, baby, baby, and another baby? When I scroll down my own home page, however, I see a bunch of elated single people my age prancing around with a good buzz, having a phenomenal time. So who’s really missing out here?
If you always dreamed of getting married, buying a house, and watching some little people that look just like you grow up right before your eyes, I feel like it’s safe to assume that once you achieve all of those things, the level of contentment you experience may very well surpass anything us non-spouses and non-parents can conceptualize. I really wouldn’t know, because I’ve never shared those aspirations with you. But never have I ever been more single in my life, nor have I ever been happier than I am right now.
Please excuse this temporary interruption in your scheduled programming for an important public service announcement: We no longer live in the Colonial Times, people! Pa doesn’t have to bend Ma over while she’s churning butter out of a wooden barrel in order to make a baby by the Fall so we can sew him some overalls and thrust him out to help us with the Harvest. Maybe Ma and Pa want to go to Europe first, and make sweet love in a grassy knoll outside the Eiffel Tower. Or Maybe Ma was a little too drunk the night they met and peed on her own phone after dropping it in a public toilet, and they never saw one another again. Who cares, really? When you are a kid, it’s acceptable to want to grow up fast, but as adults, let’s take a chill pill, shall we? The following are a list of fairly legitimate reasons why single people in their twenties to thirties have the absolute right idea.
1. Self-discovery: Picture yourself at 21. Yikes, right? Besides that awful haircut and that weird, unflattering off-the-shoulder top you used to over-wear, did you really have any effing idea what you were doing with your life, or even who you were? The more time you spend in your own skin, the better you begin to understand exactly who you are and what’s important to you. This comes from years of working as a professional, from years of meeting new people, from accumulating life experiences, and from having the maturity to learn from them, whether they be good or bad. You may not know the time frame, but you generally know where you want to be headed by the time you hit your upper 20’s. You’ve also learned enough from new and enduring relationships to figure out what behaviors you are willing to tolerate from the people in your life. You are now the upmost expert on yourself, and it stems from you having dedicated these last few years to becoming independent, and figuring much of your shit out. And you are a pretty cool cat, if you do say so yourself.
2. Financial Stability: Aside from the grasp the student loan company has on your nuts/lady balls, your money is pretty much your money. When you get your first grown-up job, it’s really God damn exciting. The paychecks (hopefully) are far more significant than the ones you used to make as a Summer Camp counselor, and because you worked hard for them, you get far more protective and specific over what you want to spend them on. But most importantly, that freedom to choose is all yours. You can save up for a dream vacation, or a new car to replace that old jalopy your friends have been teasing you about for nearly a decade, that smells like a box of crayons hidden in a used diaper. Or maybe you want to drop a few hundo on bottle service at a bitchin’ nightclub so you can feel like P. Diddy, even if only for an instant. Regardless, it’s important for both men and women to be able to stand on their own two feet before they begin to rely on or to try and support anyone else. I wish more young people would read and reread this memo. The only thing that sucks more than having student loans, must be having to start worrying about your kids’ loans before you’ve even finished with your own.
3. Babies are Terrifying, and so is Commitment: Have you ever seen a newborn baby? Holy scariest shit I’ve ever seen! I work in healthcare, mind you, and when people go to hand me a new baby, I immediately grab the seven closest items around me, and declare that I’d love to hold it, but that my hands are unfortunately quite full. And being around a baby is an entirely different scenario than actually having one, and gaining the responsibility of determining the fate of such a delicate, impressionable little creature. How does one know when they are ready? Similarly, how are we supposed to know when it’s time for us to outgrow dating hot douchebags and actually start searching for the man we want to marry? Is there a max number of douchebags over a specific time frame of douchery? How does this work? How will I know if I’ve chosen the correct weiner to share my life with, and if that weiner and I are ready to replicate ourselves? I’d personally like to hold out until I achieve 100% certainty before I make up my mind.
4 Spontaneity: If I want to pack a bag and move across the country next week, I can do it. I know this, because I’ve done it before. Bearing in mind that I’d also need to have the financial stability in order to do so, the point is that no one else in this world is relying on me. I can change my life, and I can change it again, without warning. I can buy a last minute concert ticket, or go away for the weekend without having to check in with anyone first, and without having to hire a sitter to look out for my imaginary toddler or my imaginary super hot husband; yet another reason why I have yet to buy a dog.
5. Forming New Relationships: From my friends and family members who are married, I’m constantly hearing about the struggle to stay connected with old friends, particularly one’s who aren’t married and who do not have kids. The combination of two now very differing lifestyles, and the difficulty that comes with having to now account for a whole family, makes it far more challenging to visit with your pals. Granted, living in a major city like San Diego makes it much easier, but as a single person, via recreational sports or mutual friends or social events, I make new friends constantly; amazing ones. I love being able to meet new and interesting people all the time, many of whom will introduce me to the next few new acquaintances that I make. At this stage of the game, I prefer adding to my network of friends, versus struggling to hold on to the ones I already have.
6. Travel: Travelling is expensive, but invaluable. I struggle to understand people who are content going to the same place for vacation over and over, or to not travel at all, considering all the incredible things there are to see in the world. I have national and international travel wish-lists, prioritized based on where I’d go first if I fell into a shit-load of money, or if I bring myself to stop buying rounds of fireball shots when I go out. Aside from the fact that purchasing a plane ticket for another human is expensive, there are lots of amazing places in the world that children simply do not have the capacity to appreciate. I remember going on vacations as a kid and thinking, this shit is ultra boring, can we get chicken tenders and go back in the pool? Can you picture pushing a baby carriage up an Egyptian Pyramid? Sounds pretty awkward, if you ask me.
7. ‘Me-Time’: God, I love my ‘me-time’. On a day off from work, I can set an alarm, or not set an alarm. I can leave my dishes ‘soaking’ for an extra day or two if I so choose. I can eat two-day-old cold pizza for breakfast, and then lay around in my underwear all day listening to N’Sync Pandora whilst sending my friends inappropriately hilarious pictures I find on the internet. No one wakes me up before I’m ready, and I don’t need to serve as an example for anyone, which must have you thinking at this point, ‘Thank God’. But the moral of the story is that work and life can be extremely stressful, causing me to value my time off as well as my privacy very much, not only so I can frolic around my apartment doing weird shit when no one’s watching, but also so I can maintain my sanity.
8. Making an Ass of Yourself: As long as you don’t take yourself too seriously, a little self-humiliation is totally good for the soul. Remember that time you got so stoned you opened the back passenger-side door of a car that pulled up in front of you at your apartment that you thought was your cab, but was actually just a chick and her boyfriend trying to do laundry? Remember that time you threw up on your buddy’s cousin’s boat into a tiny bowl you created with your own hands because you were so hungover? If I can lay my head on my pillow on a Sunday night and laugh myself to sleep, I know I’ve done something right. Realistically, these same behaviors on a parent or a spouse would be immediately persecuted. ‘That dude needs to get his life together, doesn’t he like, have a baby? Ew.’ And maybe we are somewhat justified in judging him, no? Good luck explaining to your teenage son that you missed his third birthday because you got so hammered you set your own boxer briefs on fire at a Tim McGraw concert.
9. Facebook Weddings are Simply a Pissing Contest: Lets be real; all that shit is super expensive. The more lavish the whole ceremony, the more likely the Newlyweds and their dog Cooper have been eating Ramen noodles for dinner for the last few weeks, which is no where near as trendy as it was in college, I assure you. And while the weddings you see broadcasted all over your Newsfeed seem utterly fantastic, a wedding is just a day, remember, in the course of an entire lifetime. One day. And a marriage, ideally, is forever. And do you know what’s worse than being the only single friend your friends have? Being divorced, or miserable as all hell. No one has a perfect life. You, on the other hand, from the words of Katherine Heigl in 27 dresses, remember that you still get to have hot hate sex with random strangers, and feel so much better. And as a side note, for heaven’s sake, ladies, stop stressing about your ‘eggs going bad’. It’s totally gross, and you aren’t even that old. Plus, you’re scaring all the men away.
Again, this post does not serve to criticize people who are married or who have kids; more power to you that you’ve got most of life’s major obstacles sorted out already. But for those of you who are more like me, learn to give yourself a break. You have a ‘big kid’ job, don’t you? You’re doing ok, really. Time frames are insignificant when you consider how much personal growth and strength you’ve gained thus far, which will translate to your inevitable sublime preparation for whatever other grown-up shit life will throw your way when the appropriate time comes. In the meantime, live well, laugh often, and enjoy the ride.