Changing this thought pattern won’t make you alone forever.
My brain, which at this point is just a small, charming rodent doing its best to pedal a penny-farthing, struggled with a recent professional situation. I’d love nothing more than for the world to flock to my work like they do to the seemingly endless stream of people preparing food on TikTok, but after six years, I’ve learned that my palatability is…unique. I am not an acquired taste, I’m one you simply must be ready for. No one can tell you to reframe the shit parts of your life that are dragging you around, you have to want to. A podcast listener of mine let me know that she shared my work with a friend, but that the friend wouldn’t listen to it. The reason she gave? “I don’t plan to be single that long.” Babe.
I find this phrase heartbreaking. “I don’t plan to be single that long.” It implies so many shameful, scared feelings and forced optimism that’s being used to will oneself into a state of being saved. Saved from the unacceptable life state of being single. There’s so much fear and shame packed into this statement that the person who made it can’t even accept what she is for an hour of auditory entertainment. And who could blame her? Every societal message we receive (apart from my podcast), tells us both directly (urgency messaging from friends and family) and passively (every book, blog post, Instagram account about being single that is actually about DATING) that we’re wrong. If all we know of singlehood is that it’s wrong, of course we’re not planning to stick around in it one second longer than necessary.
This statement doesn’t make me sad because I assume that this person actually will be single into infinity, or that I assume she’s lying to herself. I think neither. It makes me sad because I think about the state of mind she must be in to give this as a reason for choosing not to spend her AirPod battery on a podcast about the validity of single life. It’s clear to me that she thinks being single is a low form of living.
I don’t need to defend my beliefs as to why being single is a completely wonderful state of living, but if you need the support, I’ve already done so. What I’d like to focus on instead is the mindset behind this statement, to help anyone who feels similarly reframe the way they think and feel about…