It’s Saturday, New Year’s Eve, and I’m single.
Well, not technically. Technically, I am still married and separated. Do you know, we don’t even have a written separation agreement? He’s been out of the house for more than 11 months and we’ve worked out our schedules, support payments and kids with the equivalent of a handshake. That’s a miracle right there. Now all that’s left to do is get the details finalized with our lawyer (yes, our), and wait.
We’ve been separated almost a year. So why is it that today, after weeks of every other weekend sans kiddos, for the first time I am truly feeling single?
I know the answer to that question, but it is not as important as accepting this fact – for the first time since I began dating 22 years ago at age 14, I am without any romantic focus. Even when I was “single” there was at least a romantic fantasy to keep me distracted. And when I was not single . . . well, if you were a girl in your twenties for Y2K, you know. You’ve been there too.
So here I sit on New Year’s Eve, a single girl for the first time ever. I’m probably going to be a third wheel tonight at the party I’m attending. That’s OK, it’s reality. Far better than the pretend world I’ve been hiding in for far too long.
Being single on New Year’s Eve means I’m lonely and grieving what I’ve lost – the nuclear family, the trip to Disney World together, physical intimacy whenever I wanted it (even if I didn’t), the things we never did together as a couple, having someone to cook for, folding his laundry, making our house a home – together. Hearing and saying I love you, even during the times when we said it hoping if we said it enough it would be true one day for both of us at the same time, in the same place, in the same way. Hugs. Especially the hugs.
Being single on New Year’s Eve means knowing that tonight there will be no magical midnight kiss, and being grateful, because I know in my current state I couldn’t sustain anything more than a magical midnight kiss, even if I tried. And as much as I’d like to try, I’m not 22 anymore. Today I know better, and I’m grateful. Begrudgingly grateful.
Being single on New Year’s Eve means being happy for my less-than-single friends. For my cousin, brother and future sister-in-law who will be married this time next year. It’s been a long journey of singlehood for them. And being happy for my friends who’ve been where I am for many years, have learned what I hopefully will learn, and now find themselves in various stages of their first truly healthy relationship. I am both envious and humbly thankful, because they give me hope that it’s possible for me, too.
Being single on New Year’s Eve means for the first time ever I am in solidarity with all the other single girls. It’s a special subculture with lots of different cliques, and now I will fit in with at least some of this crowd. I’ve been waiting for this day ever since middle school! I hope you’ll welcome me with open arms, ladies!
Being single on New Year’s Eve means I’m not alone. I may be sitting here eating the last of the holiday leftovers by myself, but I’ve got good company. I have my God. Yeah, yeah. The same God I’ve resented all these years because He doesn’t have arms to hold me. Oh well. Some men don’t use the arms they have, either. But God does have a heart that beats for me, a jealous heart that wants all of me, not just part, and just as I am, unflattering body hair and all. I have never in my life been able to give any man my entire self. Maybe that’s because I’ve known all along that there is no man who could hold my entire self. There’s a Christy-shaped hole in the heart of God, just as there is a God-shaped hole in my heart that nothing else could fill.
Being single on New Year’s Eve means knowing this, and knowing I’ve found my perfect fit.