enough

you are significant with or without a significant other

I read this article from my favorite Shauna Niequist and immediately said YES. This was exactly what I needed to read. The article was filled with so many very important reminders that you are loved and of value, regardless of if you are single, dating or married. This is definitely something that hits home to me. While I’m dating now, I often felt “less than” compared to my friends with boyfriends. And now, I’m bombarded with wedding updates on Facebook and it often makes me question where I’m at in life. And that’s just silly. The blog post was an important reminder to accept, embrace and most of all, ENJOY the phase of life I’m in. Rather than being single and wishing to be dating/married or dating and wishing you were married, it’s important to just be present with and thankful for that stage of life.

I am valuable and significant and important and loved in the state of life I’m in. I was still valuable and significant and important and loved when I was single. I will still be valuable and loved and significant and important and loved when/if I ever get married. And so are you.

Hope you enjoy and get as much out of the article from Shauna as I did. It’s long but very, very awesome. xo!

You are significant with or without a significant other.

I say it every time because our culture is weirdly obsessed with romance and couples and being part of a matched set.
I say it every time because some of the people I love most in the world are single—either because they haven’t yet found their person, or because their marriage has ended. Honestly, I’ve reached that age when I hear more divorce announcements than wedding bells.

And sometimes I wonder if there would be fewer divorce announcements if we weren’t so hung up on marriage as a status symbol or accomplishment.

I love to tell people that it’s okay to be single because so many of my very favorite people are single. And it breaks my heart when they feel like they’re less or half or waiting around for their real lives to start. That’s garbage.

You are significant with or without a significant other. Marriage isn’t like being named prom queen. It’s a partnership, one I love being a part of. But it doesn’t make me more special. It’s not a status symbol.

For whatever set of reasons, our culture loves the Game of Life two-in-the-front-seat way of living. But that’s not the only way. And you’re not less-than for being solo in your car in this season. And I’m so sorry if sometimes you feel that. That’s awful.

Here’s the truth: some of the worst people I know are married. I don’t know how it happens. And some of the truly best people I know are single. I don’t know how that happens, either.

But what I do know is it’s not about the fundamental value of the person in question. Your value is not up for grabs, and certainly your value is not riding on a cultural obsession with romance and tulle and diamonds.

You are significant with or without a significant other.

A few thoughts for my single friends, who I just adore:

Don’t wait for marriage to start your life. Oh, man. My single friends do this so well. I love all the ways that my single friends are living well, with a great sense of adventure and purpose. They’re starting non-profits, traveling the world, creating homes with great style and creativity, contributing to their communities with so much love and honesty.

One of the very worst things about the whole wedding tradition is that we help people set up households when they get married, communicating that homes and nice things are for married people. Why should you have to be married to own a decent knife? Why do we only give married people towels and china? Shouldn’t every person, married or not, have a decent coffee pot? Isn’t that sort of a basic human right?

I remember when a single friend said, listen, I thought I’d be married by now. I thought I’d find that person and we’d buy a house together and buy furniture together. But just because that hasn’t happened, I don’t have to use an upside down milk crate for a nightstand, like I live in a dorm room, do I?

No, dear sister. Grown-ups should have good knives and nightstands and homes that have been created with love and attentiveness. You don’t have to wait for a partner to invest in your space, in yourself, in your life.

At the same time, being single is an opportunity, even if it’s not one you choose. Spend it. Singleness gives you a little more flexibility (unless you’re single parenting, which is a whole different deal, and which means I think you’re absolutely amazing.).

You might not want to be single right now. I get it. But it affords you some freedoms, and you should take them, every single one of them. I’m so proud of my single friends who are traveling like mad and living in interesting places and training for super-time-consuming races and getting fascinating graduate degrees.

Not every season affords this flexibility, and if you have it, grab it. Take it. Use it up. Please don’t wish away this season just because it doesn’t look the way you thought it would. What does singleness afford you? Time to write that book? Space to learn that skill? Flexibility to spend the summer in that dreamy place? Even if it’s not what you wanted, or not what you planned, how can you spend the opportunity you’ve been given in this season?

And while there are moments when you don’t want to be single, please do know that there are those moments when married people don’t want to be married. There are those moments when parents don’t want to be parents. It’s how life is, for all of us.

A thought for my married friends:

Don’t miss out on friendships with amazing people because they’re single and their rhythm of life is different than yours. My single friends add so much to my life. My life would be so much less rich and fun and challenging if I was only around married people. Lame.

And don’t assume that because someone’s single, they don’t want to hang out with married people, or people with kids. Our Cooking Club is a mix of married and single. Our small group is a mix of married and single. Some of the sweetest connections my kids have aren’t with my mom friends but with our single friends, and some of the most necessary and loving conversations I’ve had in recent months have been with single friends.

We all lose when we spend too much time with people right in the very same demographic. Life gets too small.

Dear, dear single friends: if I could reach through the screen, I’d put my hands on your shoulders, and I’d remind you as often as you need to hear it: you are significant with or without a significant other.

Being in a dating relationship or a marriage relationship doesn’t validate you or make you more.

You are extraordinary, enough, more than enough.

Don’t let a multi-billion dollar wedding industry tell you who you are. What do they know about your particular awesomeness?

You are significant, with or without a significant other.

{Image via here}

dear dedicated girl

dear dedicated girl

Dear Dedicated Girl,

Sometimes you just have to decide that you have had enough. Sometimes you just have to make that completely solid decision that enough is enough and that things absolutely, positively have to change….and you have to make that decision before anything else can happen.

And sometimes…you have to hit a pretty rock hard place to finally get to that decision…to finally get to that place where things are painful enough that you will do anything to change them.

You see, you have to DECIDE that you are DONE feeling rotten, or you are done getting treated badly, or you are done being taken advantage of, or you are done being overweight, or you are done doing a job that you can’t stand. And you are the only one who can really decide that for you.

So, dear girl, thank those times that get you to that place. Thank the rock hard places that wake you up and make you finally decide that enough is enough. Instead of cursing those experiences and those times in your life…thank them for getting you to finally decide to do the right, but difficult things that will get you to where you want to be.

Because once you decide…..everything changes. Once you decide to finally believe the truth that you are as valuable and important as everyone else…that happiness is meant for you too….that your soul has always been meant for peace…..once you decide, you can do it.

It won’t be easy…but staying where you don’t belong is far more difficult. When enough is enough……..be brave and listen to your soul….listen to Truth. Go where the peace is.

You are so very loved…..especially in these rock hard times.

You can do this.

via Brave Girls Club

peonies

a cell phone, a bucket of water and peonies

how beautiful are these bright pink peonies? i love looking at them and plan to buy peonies as often as i can until their season is done. sadly, while picking these beauties out, i dropped my cell phone into the bucket of water holding the bunches of flowers. now, i’ve had my share of cell phone fiascos — i just bought a new one in april, plus have had countless shattered screens, dead batteries, etc. but friday, i experienced water. so, while i enjoy these insanely gorgeous flowers, my very new cell phone sits in a bag of rice. sigh.

what i’m a bit frustrated about though is how much i let this affect an entire day. i spent way more time than i’d like to admit sulking and feeling sorry for myself {i have to buy ANOTHER phone?!}. i also felt a little lonely – and i think it’s because i’m so used to obsessively having my phone in my hand and instantly having access to anyone i want to talk to. when your phone is in a bag of rice, it’s not quite possible to text anyone and everyone whenever you feel like it. it’s been an eye-opening weekend seeing how much i rely on my phone and how i need to learn to be okay without it too.

the bright side about the whole experience is that i was reminded by several people who love me, challenge me and encourage me to have a little perspective. they reminded me that yes – it’s just a phone. yes – i can replace it. yes – it’s annoying and frustrating, but it will all be okay. it’s been really awesome to sit back and think about these people who constantly are helping me look at situations through a different lens; the phone incident this past weekend was just one example. the shauna niequist quote below perfectly captures how i feel about the people who reminded me to look on the bright side this weekend, or in the words of shauna, find a new way to tell the story.

“left to our own devices, we sometimes choose the most locked up, dark versions of the story, but what a good friend does is turn on the lights, open the window, and remind us that there are a whole lot of ways to tell the same story.” - shauna niequist

summary? the story i want to tell is that i have these amazing vibrant flowers to admire, i have a loving support system surrounding me and i have a less-than-functional cell phone that is easily replaceable. today, i hope you learn to re-tell your story.

diversity

wisdom from maya angelou

yesterday the world lost an amazing lady – poet, activist and influencer of love and strength, maya angelou. i’ve always been inspired by not only her words, but her actions, to make the world a better place. here’s just a few of her wonderful reminders to look on the bright side of life, to live bravely and courageously and to always, always, always love. RIP.

have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.

there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.

love recognizes no barriers. it jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.

nothing will work unless you do.

shine on! let nothing dim the light that shines from within.

never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.

you may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.

i know for sure that love saves me and that it is here to save us all.

no sun outlasts its sunset but will rise again and bring the dawn.

image via here