Wildflowers Unscripted Writing Challenge Day 8: A new/different city
I credit the city of Plano, Texas with teaching me how to be single.
I know what you’re thinking. Where the fuck is Plano, Texas? But, let me explain.
Two years ago I moved to Texas for work. I knew it would be an eight-month stint there and the move came at a much-needed time in my life. When I got to Plano, it was as though some ominous cloud lifted. I could see clearly now, the rain was gone, all that good stuff. During those eight months, I learned how to actually be single for the first time in my post-grad life.
Of course, saying I “learned how to be single” begs the question of what does it actually mean to be single?
That’s why I hate the term “single and ready to mingle.” I feel like that term should only be reserved for drunk sorority girls in college bars. Outside of that context, it just makes my skin crawl.
Being single means something different for every person who takes on that relationship status, which is usually each of us at some point in this life. While I lived in Texas, I learned how to fend for myself. I learned how to go out alone and talk to complete strangers. I learned how to quiet my life and focus on the things that mattered to me. I worked out. I started this blog. I worked a shit ton. I spent entire weekends alone. I cooked (well…on Sundays.) I rid my life of all the boy craziness that too often plagues it. And, maybe some of that sounds mildly depressing, but it was the definition of being single that worked for me.
We put a lot of pressure on people in relationships, but we also put pressure on people when they are single. We forget that each person defines the word and, more importantly, the lifestyle, differently. Single doesn’t have to mean ready to mingle. If you want to date multiple people, fine. If you have zero interest in dating anyone, fine. If you want to go out every weekend with your friends and imbibe adult beverages, awesome. If you want to stay in every weekend with a new book, also awesome. Single is whatever you choose to make it. You just have to make it work for you.
Plano, Texas was where I learned how to define my version of single. In some ways, that time in my life was the happiest and most zen-ed out I have ever been. I miss it. I know it would not be the same if I went back now. And, I have learned how to be content with where I am at this point in life. But, Plano, I miss you. Because you taught me how to be single. And, just with that, you taught me a lot.