Response has been great around the featured essays from the Spinsterlicious Sweepstakes. I love hearing your stories and, apparently, so do lots of other people. What I love most is that we’re changing the stereotype of who a single woman is. When people- who-don’t-know-better make jokes about single women as “crazy cat ladies”, “angry”, “too unattractive to get a man”, I wonder who they’re talking about. Certainly not the readers of The Spinsterlicious Life. Take a look:
Sony Heron of Queens Village, NY
My parents set a great example of modern marriage, even though they were married in the UK over 50 years ago. They allowed each other to have full lives that did not include each other; albeit, unconventional compared to their friends’ lives, it made them both happy. In fact, when my Dad developed colon cancer after retiring, my Mum (a registered nurse and midwife) cared for him around the clock, until the end. My role model, however, was my aunt (Mum’s sister) who never married and traveled around the world for most of her life. As an author, wherever she found inspiration, that became her home…for a time. She always had such wonderful experiences, was loved by so many people and was always happy.
Other than my parents, there are very few successful marriages in my family including this generation. Additionally, I attended an all-girl private school, totaling 1200 students. The majority of my fellow alumni have been married at least twice, some thrice. And some, the week after graduation….can you imagine?
I knew that my Aunt’s life could and would be my blueprint. Although I haven’t lived in more than two countries so far, I can proudly say that I’ve traveled extensively and happily.
The true joy of being single (with a boyfriend) is that I choose to do what I want, eat when and where I desire, and if I change my mind and opt out of an event, it’s my choice and I impact no one.
I cannot imagine what it is like to raise children: the dedication, sacrifice and constant worry. Not to mention the runny noses, scraped knees and far worse. I am in awe of my friends who make that decision; all the while, ever-thankful that I chose the other path. Most especially on Sunday mornings when I lay out all of my newspapers and read with abandon. I do enjoy discovering new restaurants, visiting my favorites, spending time with my other single sisters and of course, my ‘me time’…..spas are every single girl’s birthright and we don’t have to wait for anniversaries or birthdays.
I am thankful every day for my life and celebrate it fully!
Angie Bruns from Greenwood, IN
“After getting married young for all the wrong reasons, I am now a divorced single parent doing it all on my own. I embrace being single by living as an example to my kids that single can be wonderful. It is a time to find out who you are and do all the things you want. Especially for my daughter, I try to show and teach her that she is a complete, wonderful, interesting person independent of her relationship status. Every girl needs to know that she is complete just exactly as she is. Relationships should add to your life, not complete it.”
Melyssa Schmitt of Englishtown, NJ
“I look at every day that I’m single as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I’m grateful for the freedom I have to do what I want, when I want to without guilt or worry. So many people in relationships aren’t able to do that.
I’ve used the last few years to discover new things about the world, the people around me and myself and am continually amazed by what I learn.
When I first became a single mom I was terrified. My initial instinct was to run to the nearest man out of fear. I didn’t think I could make a life for myself or my son alone.
Singleness taught me otherwise. It took me from wanting someone to finally being someone.”
Kathy Vega of Redwood City, CA
“I have been embracing being single for over 20 years now. I was widowed in my 30’s left with 3 very young children and have been single ever since. I have had some truly unusual careers including computer programming, crime scene investigating, working at my town’s police department but most of all keeping in tune with what I should be doing every single day to both inspire me and contribute to the world around me.
I did not want to be the other half of a relationship although I did plenty of dating, loved the conversation and sharing ideas with others. I focused on myself and my immediate family and friends. At 50 years old, I even tried modeling and was very well received. Then I thought I wanted to be a graphic artist so I went back to school. I always felt I wanted to try to do the things that interested me. I never expected to be great at everything, but I was truly surprised when some of my projects turned out amazing. I have no regrets and I do not take a day for granted. Each day I feel that you can be your best, and when it shines through, it shines on those around you. No one thinks about you being single, but being awesome!”
Dani Patarazzi of Chicago, IL
“I recently let go of someone emotionally that I was in love with throughout my 30s. I had high hopes for our relationship, but in the end he just wasn’t the one. And that’s okay. Because ever since I released him from my heart, I opened myself up to the universe and allowed new experiences, friendships and casual dates into my life. And what a wonderful trip it has been so far!
I truly feel like my life began at 40. I’m having more fun and living a more positive, healthy and happy life now than I ever did in my 20s and 30s. Because instead of focusing on my career or finding a husband, I’m focused on me. I know what I want and what I don’t want. I have more self-respect and confidence than I ever did before. Because of that, I’m free to be my authentic self and enjoy every moment of my single life.
I know that special someone is out there, but I don’t have to meet him by a certain age. Society conditions us to believe that we need to be married by a certain time, become parents by a certain age. But life is much more exciting and unpredictable when we don’t do things the conventional way. So until he comes to me, I will continue to learn, love, laugh and grow. Fulfill my dreams, reach my goals, enjoy every wonderful experience, and learn from every bad one.
My life won’t be complete when I find that special someone. My life is already complete.”
Jana Mundt of Edmonton, Alberta
“Becoming okay with being single was a big step for me. As little girls we were raised to think marriage and kids was our only destiny. I bought into that. It took a long time to not feel like a failure. With age comes wisdom and confidence.
I am the oldest child of a man who taught me that I could do anything I wanted to do. My dad instilled in me that gender didn’t matter and I was capable of following my heart’s desire. Today I am a strong, confident woman who knows who she is and what she wants. I firmly believe you have to be happy with yourself in order to be happy with someone else.
I thought I’d be long married with kids at this point in my life. At the same time, I don’t feel I am missing out by being single at 42. I have a niece and nephews I adore, great friends and the freedom to visit them when it’s convenient for me.
My home is decorated the way I want it and I have done most of the renovations on my own. I am proud to have the tools, both figuratively and literally, to be able to accomplish this. Thanks Dad for teaching me it’s okay to stand on my own two feet.
I am at a place in my life where I would enjoy a partner to share my life with but don’t feel it’s necessary to be married. My “husband” would not define me; I have already done that for myself. I hope, if I met the right person, he would appreciate that about me. Single is not a state to be pitied; it is a state to admire and enjoy. Single does not mean alone. Single means full, vibrant, fun and capable. The grass is greener where you water it.”
Candice Kilpatrick of Brooklyn, NY
“I have been single for a long time, but I just had my zen moment of embracing my singleness in the past month. I realized that for all of my life I have put the happiness of others before my own happiness. These people weave in and out of my life, but I have not been a very good friend to myself! Externally, nothing has changed about my situation, but now that I am focusing on being kind to myself and putting me first, I am seeing the world through Possibility-Colored Glasses! What before were “challenges”, I now see as “opportunities”; I resolve to leave every person I encounter in better shape than I found them, and that includes myself! My new theme is gratitude and celebration, and I am the happiest I have ever been. I wouldn’t have gotten to this amazing place if it wasn’t for my singleness!”
Tara Dublin of Portland, OR
“I’ve only been single for 6 months, after two back-to-back long relationships. At 43, I’m learning who I am on my own, how I handle things without backup, and what I truly want for myself. I’m continuing to set an example for my sons that we keep going no matter what. My life isn’t easy: along with being a single mom, I’ve also been unemployed for a long time, and living through this as a single woman is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But I know when it’s passed and I’m on the other side of it, I’ll look back on this period of my life as the time I really grew up and learned how seriously awesome I am.”
Chris Mahlmann of Chicago, IL
“I embrace being single because it affords me the opportunity to meet, flirt with and enjoy people from all walks of life with all types of backgrounds before I have to make a long term committment. I like to call it “research.” With all of the divorces and broken homes, I don’t want to rush into anything, I am open to finding love, but not actively searching for it. I’m just trying to experience the world and the people in it until I find that special someone. I also want to build a strong foundation before I get heavily involved with someone. Being single allows me to work on establishing myself in my career, putting some money away and becoming the best me that I can be. :)”
It’s not too late to enter. In honor of National Unmarried and Single Americans Week, The Spinsterlicious Life is hosting a sweepstakes that encourages single women everywhere (or who, at least, read this blog) to add their voices to the conversation and tell us how they embrace being single. Details below:
- Tell us how you embrace being single, in an essay of no more than 400 words, by clicking here: http://eleanorewells.com/spinsterliciousgiveaway/
- You’ll be entered to win one of three fabulous prizes: (1) A 4-day/3-night stay (airfare not included) at the luxurious Secrets The Vine Cancun (courtesy of TravelSmiths Inc.), (2) a Pleasure Basket of adult toys and accessories from AdamandEve.com and a Cuff bracelet provided by A.Jaron Fine Jewelery, (3) Mind, Body and Spirit Relaxation Gift Package courtesy of GIVE and a 3 month fitness membership at NYSC.
- Every other day until the end of the month, we will feature a lucky entrant’s essay on how she embraces being single.