There Are More Than Four Seasons In Life

Our mid-twenties are kind of a crazy time. Something I find so interesting is the incredible difference between people’s lives. Up through high school we all had so many similarities. We were all in school, spent our free time studying or doing some sort of hobby or sport, and we all relied on our parents to take care of us.

Once we graduated, most of us went off to college and had pretty standard experiences. There was more room for difference, but we all worried about similar things and had the same goal — to graduate and get a job.

Becoming an adult and trying to figure life out has been a new ballgame, and our Facebook newsfeeds are filled with such different journeys. Some of my friends are already married with kids, while others have crazy nights similar to those we saw in college. I see pictures of short skirts and clubs, and photos snuggling with babies in pajamas early on a Saturday night. There are other girls like me who are doggie moms, and then those who hope to be one day when they have enough time to spend on a pooch.

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Macy and I spent a Saturday night in watching a Taylor Swift concern on TV.
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One of our favorite activities on the weekend is going to get ice cream together! Macy usually ignores the dog treat and goes right for the vanilla cream.
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Jax is my little teenager and loves going on adventures at the dog park or around the lake. 

So many of my single friends are tired of being in a dating rut. Being in your mid/late twenties and trying to sift through dozens of guys on dating apps is hard work. Our hearts are made to love, and built for companionship. It is absolutely normal to desire a partner in crime to battle the trials in life with and celebrate the little wins you have every single day.

Just because you are seeing more and more engagements and marriages on social media does not mean that you are behind others in life if you don’t have a partner to spend it with yet. You may not have met the right person or finished everything you need to do as a single person. I believe that God’s timing is perfect, and that He often works in mysterious ways. Loneliness is one of the most difficult feelings to sit with, but if you try to learn from it and be productive throughout every season, in life you will reap the benefits in your future relationship.

Whether you are in a season of singleness or in a new season of partnership, make sure you try to live each day with a grateful heart. We always have something to be thankful for in life, and temporary loneliness can often create a new appreciation for companionship. Remember that feelings are fleeting and are not permanent. This is something that can be hard for someone who’s heart is led by feelings to realize, but it makes life a little easier when you know that a difficult season will eventually come to an end.

If you are struggling in a new season of companionship with someone — guys, trust me, I don’t have personal experience but I know the beginning of marriage can be a difficult adjustment too — know that this will pass, too. Learning how to live a life together and not getting to make decisions on your own can absolutely be trying. There is a reason so many people say the first year of marriage is the most difficult and I believe it’s because of all the new changes you must adjust to. There are little differences that you guys have which can get annoying — dietary needs, cleanliness in the home, and work schedules to name a few — and there are big life decisions that need to be made as a team. You will not see eye to eye on every single thing — after all, some of your differences are probably what united you in the first place and make you a better unit! You will, however, work through things together and continue to learn how to communicate with one another and grow from your disagreements. As long as mutual respect is kept in the relationship, this season of marriage will one day be in the past and have created an even stronger bond than you had before.

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Today’s lesson: Your story is unique, and everyone has a different time table for how their life is going to go. Just because many of your friends are experiencing one thing right now doesn’t mean you will today, too. Enjoy every minute of every day. Whether you are super-single and figuring out how to navigate the world by yourself, or are busy creating a family of your own, remember that life comes in seasons and as quickly as this one came to you it will one day be gone and you will be in a new season of life. 

Everyday People

You know what’s kind of crazy? We interact with broken people on a daily basis. Whether they are trudging through heartbreak or there’s something else they’re dealing with, these blank faces surround us. They’re shopping in grocery stores, standing in line at Starbucks, walking around the mall, and even sleeping in the homes beside our own.

It makes my heart hurt thinking about others in pain. People reach out to me on a regular basis about recent breakups or tricky situations with their significant other, and I always wish there was more that I could do to help than offer a hug, ear to listen, and a handwritten letter reminding them that they are not alone and things always get better.

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We all have different ways of dealing with sadness and loneliness. Some people go out into the world and try to distract themselves with a good time, while others struggle to get out of bed. Just because someone is smiling on the outside doesn’t mean they don’t feel broken on the inside. I have had times in my life where I couldn’t hold everything together, so I rushed to the bathroom to cry. A restroom — whether it’s public or in a home — is a private space that absorbs tears well. There are times where you are surrounded by people but couldn’t feel more alone.

My heart has been content and full for awhile now, but I am often reminded of how brokenness feels through friends and my beautiful readers. I can sense when something is off, and it isn’t difficult to spot emptiness in someone’s eyes. A damaged heart is something that everyone can relate to in some way or another, and I think it’s so important for humans to stick together in every way they can in this world. With things that cannot be controlled like sickness and death, there are already so many difficult things to deal with. Why not stand up for one another and choose to love each other every single day?

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Today’s lesson: Be a light for people in your life. Whether they’re strangers or your very best friends, leave each person better than you found them. Use words to build confidence, companionship, and joy, and realize that you absolutely can make a difference in someone’s life whether or not you’ll ever see them again. Choose to love people each and every day. Love and compassion are absolutely a choice, and they are so easy to freely give to people. Why not try to make the world a better place, one broken heart at a time?

You. Are. Strong.

I was just watching the final episode of Ben And Lauren: Happily Ever After? (Can we all please just act like I’m supposed to watch things like this since I write primarily about dating?) and it inspired me to write a new post.

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Photo Credit: Jose Perez/Splash News

Don’t settle for someone who isn’t certain of you. It broke my heart when I heard Lauren say that she felt like she wasn’t sure what she’d do without Ben, that she couldn’t imagine a life without him, but that she still wondered whether or not he thought she was good enough for him. This comment hit me hard because I’ve been there before, and it sucks. The overwhelming feeling that you have wondering if you really could go on without your partner while simultaneously realizing they may not want you in their life is one of the sharpest pains your heart can possibly feel.

You know what I learned in my life, though? I can survive without him. I can survive without the next him, and the next. Of course I want a man who I don’t want to live without, but the reality is that I am a strong and resilient human being — even when I am hurting — and I can absolutely walk away from a relationship if I am not being treated well. If someone is treating me poorly or stepping out of our relationship, I have a wonderful support system of people who will get me through the breakup and help me back onto my feet until I do find the guy I’m supposed to be with.

It took years for me to learn so many of these life lessons, but now that I’ve realized all of this there is no way in hell I am going to stay with a man who is unsure of his feelings about me once he really knows my heart. The beginning of a relationship is the time where you get to know someone and after you get comfortable with them you see whether or not you really are compatible in everyday life. No, I wouldn’t want every single guy I date to be sure he wants to marry me right off the bat, but once we decide we do want to spend forever together, statements like, “I love you, but I’m just not sure if we are right for one another…” are a really, really big deal.

Someone I once thought was going to be my forever finally told me he loved me, but wasn’t sure whether we were really supposed to be together, and instead of leaving I stayed… And stayed… And stayed…

By this point in our relationship we knew each other like the back of our own hands and honestly, in hindsight, he was very right. We weren’t right for each other. I still respect this person and want nothing but the best for him, and I do hope he finds a girl he never has to wonder about. That’s the kind of love I am going to wait for, and I know I’ll have it one day. No matter how hard things get it won’t be a question over whether or not we want to be in each other’s lives, rather it will be a matter of how to get over the hurdles life throws at us together.

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Today’s lesson: Once we take anxiety about being alone out of the equation I believe we can often think so much more clearly. Instead of settling for someone because you just want to find “your other half,” wait for the person who will be your partner in crime and a costar in your story. Until then, learning how to be strong while you’re single will help you wait for the love you really deserve.

A Friendly Reminder

It’s always funny meeting up with people I haven’t seen in awhile or don’t know very well and having them tell me how great my life has seemed lately. I also love hearing people who I haven’t kept in great touch with have kept up with my writing. Reading is the best gift you could ever give to someone who loves to write.

I just wanted to write a little reminder that Single in The Suburbs is only a little peek into my life, and far from the entirety of it. Yes, I write about some of the more intimate parts — namely my love life and dealing with a chronic illness — but I have so many other stories worth telling that I don’t share on here. I have others’ privacy to respect and I often have little things that happen in the day that aren’t really worth writing about, but that I would tell a friend.

Another thing I wanted to touch on today is the feeling of loneliness. I think life often happens in seasons, and you can’t expect every season to be as amazing as the last one. Sometimes we need to be bored or challenged to grow. In theory it sounds like it would be amazing to be happy all the time, but when I really think about it that wouldn’t make me a very dynamic person. Some of my most relatable writing has come from my deepest pain and greatest struggles. People aren’t meant to be perfect, nor is life.

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Lately I’ve had a season of loneliness. I think part of it is the change in weather and possibly a sudden drop in Vitamin D and outdoors time, but the other half is what has been going on in my life. It can be really hard making new, close friends at this age, and many of my close friendships have been kind of put to the side because of new jobs, moves, and significant others. Somehow I thought as we went into our mid twenties that friendships would be easy, but in reality it feels like college was the simplest time. If a good friend got a new boyfriend who occupied most of her time there were so many other people around to keep me company, whereas now there aren’t so many people who are super close by.

I think a lot of readers think I have things all figured out since I am in a new, comfortable relationship, but a boyfriend has never been my entire source of entertainment or support. Mine is overseas right now, and I don’t get to talk to him a ton or have date nights on the weekend. I am so happy that I met a really great guy, but that doesn’t make my life magically easy or complete. It’s really been hard on me having a long distance relationship like this, especially without having a lot of my girl friends around.

I’m someone who will always need really close friends, even when I am married with kids. I so cherish the time I get to spend with my them — I love girly things like makeup, crafts, baking, rom-coms, and, of course, talking about dating and cute guys. I’m lucky enough to have a few great girls to call my best friends, but relationships have changed and I’m still adjusting to the new dynamic of not necessarily having someone right around here when I need them.

I’m not really afraid to admit that I’ve felt like this because I think we’ve all been here at one point or another. I don’t want to hide the hard parts of my life on here, because I want to be genuine and really connect to the people who have taken the time to read and return to my site. Loneliness isn’t something that is in my life very often, but when it comes about I try my best to be good company for myself and learn new things that I might not otherwise have time for. Lately I have been doing a lot of writing and practicing some magic tricks — a hobby very few people know I really enjoy.


Today’s lesson:
I have talked to a lot of people the past few years who have felt like this, so just know that when you do feel a twinge of loneliness that we’re all in the same boat together. Taylor Swift’s song “22” says it best that twentysomethings can be, “Happy, free, confused, and lonely in the best way.” I wouldn’t change being in my twenties for anything right now, even if it can sometimes be a challenge. The people I do have in my life are amazing, and I’m looking forward to making new friends and growing in those relationships, too. Life is sometimes just what you make it, and you can always make time to grow as an individual, even when you do feel a little unsure of your footing.

Singleness Is Not The Same As Loneliness

I went through the first breakup of my entire life just over a year ago.

In all honesty I was absolutely terrified about re-entering the world without my significant other by my side. Many of my single friends seemed to hate being “alone” and I watched girl after girl get dumped, and either get back together with her ex or find a new guy within the matter of weeks.

Being single must really suck, I thought to myself. After all, some people I knew went to great lengths to be in some sort of a relationship, even when it wasn’t the right one. Others complained about how hard it was to find a great guy, and wondered aloud whether they would always be single.

I never had a problem being by myself before — I was actually super-single until I was nineteen. I was a late bloomer and honestly didn’t care about my relationship status (Or lack thereof); my first boyfriend just kind of fell into my lap, and then stuck around for another 5 years.

The scariest thing about a breakup, to me, was that I didn’t have any female role models in my life who I felt managed their breakups well. I’m sure I have plenty of friends who did, they just didn’t talk about how terrible a breakup felt while they were going through it, and I didn’t really realize at the time how hard it is to leave someone you are so comfortable with.

If I could get one message across to the girls (And guys!) who read this blog, it’s that being single does not mean you are lonely.

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After months of fighting the inevitable, I finally took the leap of faith alone. The uncertainty of the situation was terrifying, but I knew I had an army of friends and family who would help me through my first breakup. Just because I didn’t have one particular person to look up to about being single didn’t mean happy single people didn’t exist. This was when I decided to be my own role model and choose the way I wanted to look at being single.

Part of our breakup wasn’t a choice; my boyfriend and I were going to break up, whether I liked it or not. The loss of someone who had been such a rock in my life was devastating, but I was strong enough to get back up on my feet and keep going through life. My friends were amazing and 100% there for me, whether it was during work hours or at 3 in the morning. I really do think breakups are one of life’s biggest pains that almost everyone can be empathetic toward. There is something about that terrifying time in your life that most people can relate to, so they gather around to help in any possible way they can.

Once I was out of the relationship I felt free. I realized being single meant I could find the right person for me one day and that in the meantime I could have fun with my girl friends and my family. I was no longer wasting time my time with someone who wouldn’t be there for me in the long run, and was able to build on other relationships — one of those being my relationship with myself.

I have so much more to write about singleness and breakups, but this is a good start. I just want to be very clear in saying that being single is not a terrible, lonely thing — it is a great learning experience and an amazing time to grow if you allow it to be. Just because you have a friend or two who don’t like being single, does not mean your fate is sealed. Be your own role model, and your own best friend. After all, you know what you need better than anyone else!

Today’s lesson: Instead of running into a new relationship you can develop your own interests, meet new people, and strengthen friendships with people who will be around for the long haul. No matter what happens in life, you will always have yourself, so you might as well become the best version of you to live with!

I’d Say It’s Fall Right Now

Have you ever heard that life comes at you in seasons?

This is comforting, as anytime you are stuck in a “winter” you know spring is right around the corner and that things will have to get better soon enough.

I was lying in bed last night feeling a little bit lonely. I was thinking about how nice it would be to have someone to snuggle up to and just fall asleep with.

Once I thought about it a little more, though, I realized the next few years (Or however long it will take me to date, and then get married to my future Mr. Right) are the only ones I’ll have left as a single lady. Even being exclusive with someone is completely different than being married. I’ve already decided that I don’t want to live with anyone until after my wedding, so I’ll essentially be living up to my “Single in The Suburbs” title until that day.

This is the only time I’ll get to spend every evening at home with my entire family and have my own room. This is kind of the beginning of the end of the first major stage of my life.

Thinking about my life in this way makes my loneliness subside and makes me want to appreciate every day I have left here. Don’t get me wrong; I’m still so incredibly excited for the day I realize I’m spending the rest of my life with someone, but I also cherish the present time I have with my friends and family. Right now I don’t have anyone I need to plan my schedule around, I can easily make plans with friends on a whim, and I can go to bed as early or as late as I want without worrying about another body in my bed.

Life isn’t about just making it through the more difficult seasons; it’s about learning from them and choosing to put on a coat and gloves when it’s winter and brave the cold to still get the most out of your days on this earth.

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Today’s lesson: Having chronic widespread pain has made it really difficult to see the bright side of things sometimes, especially when I’m having a particularly bad day. Even just looking at my little puppy and seeing how she depends on me makes me realize that I have a beautiful purpose for my life, though, and that hopefully one day I can use my pain and suffering to glorify God.