Why “Normal” Lives are Overrated.
For the past 23 years, every year, I’ve gone on a girls weekend with a particular group of ladies. The five of us go to a different place every year and spend three days seeing the sights, eating and drinking too much, watching chick flicks, and especially engaging in girl talk. For the entire twenty-three we’ve been doing this, the other four girls have been married, to the same men, and living “normal” lives, while I’ve been single to one degree or another. And I have to say that I used to find this completely unfair. How was it that these women found their husbands in college or shortly thereafter, got married, and had been living happily ever after for well over twenty years, while I spent the same time struggling as a single person and desperately seeking Mr. Right? I always had a good time on these weekends, but inevitably I came home feeling jealous and slighted, that life was not fair. And then one year…
Is the grass always greener?
We spent most of the weekend discussing our lives, which for the rest of the girls involved discussing their husbands and kids. I’m used to this by now and since most of their kids are older, I actually enjoy hearing about what’s going on in their lives. Believe me, in the early years there were times when I thought if I had to listen to one more discussion of PTA meetings or soccer practices I was going to put a bullet in my own head! But those days are past and since I haven’t had any dating stories to share with them for the past couple years I spent a lot of time listening. And what I found was that while I’ve always seen their lives as stable and happy, they actually have a lot of issues – kids with special needs, kids dropping out of college, kids with health issues, marriages that are boring or less than happy or romantically challenged. So, yes, they lead “normal” lives, but is that better than my single, “abnormal” life?
Green grass comes in many shades
What exactly is a “normal” life? In my mind, a normal life was one where you met the love of your life sometime in your 20’s, got married around 30, bought a house in the ‘burbs, had a couple kids (or not), and spent the rest of your lives working toward promotions at work, raising your kids (or not), taking vacations, buying a bigger house and nicer cars, and saving for retirement. Is this a nice way to live? Sure. But is it the be-all-end-all? Absolutely not! My four friends are living the exact “normal” lives I just described and are they happy? Well, they certainly aren’t miserable or even what I would call unhappy, but their lives are definitely not without issues and many of those issues are ones I avoid by being single and childless. So, I guess what I learned from that particular girls weekend is that “normal” is not always better. And who wants to be normal anyway? In fact, we single girls have the opportunity to lead extraordinary lives because we have the ability to make our lives any way we want them without the constraints of relationships. So, come on, single girl, it’s time to stop looking at single as abnormal and find a way to make your life extraordinary!
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