I was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook (as you do), when an article on modern women buying rings to celebrate milestones other than their engagements popped up. I glanced at the hand holding my phone, where a synthetic sapphire sits among zircons (I guess…) on the ring finger. It’s my right hand, and not an engagement ring. It seems to be the trend among single women, celebrating their independence. I have, however incredible that is (and however sadly for some), left the club. Celebrating singlehood is no longer on the cards, but I am quite determined to celebrate the amazing woman that I was before getting a boyfriend, and that I keep being afterwards. My new status doesn’t make me better or worse than I was before a man started to look at me with soppy eyes every night after work.
I often regret how much time I wasted wanting something I didn’t have, and chasing after the wrong people, when I should have been celebrating the woman I was. I, along the whole of the Church, professed a belief in a God that wonderfully and fearfully made me, one of me, not because He needed one, but because He wanted one. And still I, along with the vast majority of the Church, often felt defective for not being loved by a human being, as if the gruesome death on a cross that Jesus endured to atone my sins wasn’t enough love and validation.
It’s no more than two or three years since I had started to accept the idea that perhaps, I was destined to be single for life. I had started to find many reasons why being single was great, freedom more than anything else, and in fact some of it was freedom to be a workaholic. I mean, who is running a business while a full time post-graduate student and candidate for a local election and still a blogger? Someone once asked me the question about how I manage to fit it all in, and the truth was that being single (and not dating) meant a lot more time on my hands than if I had someone who demanded my attention.
Now I have someone who demands my attention, although I still work late often and he has to deal with me on FaceTime while in a Twitter chat or something. It asked me to evaluate whether I cared about this person enough to make space for him in my day. It doesn’t come easy, or naturally for me. It’s not like in romance novels when suddenly everything falls into place and you breeze off from brunch with the gals to seeing an art gallery followed by a romantic dinner and everyone is happy. I’m ill and a lot of what I do requires effort, and my weekends of late look more like a series of 1h30 naps. As much as I don’t want it to, I don’t always have the energy to keep in touch with more of one person at a time, and the person first on that list is my long-distance rlationship boyfriend because if he wasn’t I would be better off single.
And for that reason, I believe that being in a relationship makes it all the more important to celebrate me as me instead of me just in relation to the other person in my life. I don’t want to disappear behind my relationship status, I may be half of a couple, but I am also whole. A whole who has her identity in Jesus and not achievements, that’s true, but I’m also a woman who has achieved things worth remembering.
More importantly, this was a ring chosen by my mother when I exchanged a birthday gift from family, and she is also a woman who has achieved a lot. Her fight with cancer showed me a side of her that I had never seen, and changed our relationship for the better as now I understand her more as a woman. This is more than just a ring now, it’s a family memento that hopefully will last for at least a generation or two after me, in hope that the girls in my family will know that they are enough and the only man who has a right to validate them is Our Lord, God incarnate.
Today’s blog post has been part of the Love Blog Challenge 2018 on the subject “Celebration“. Find the rest of the series here.