“I Get To Be Me”: What To Say When Married Friends Look at You Like You’re a Crazy Single.

The night I learned, “I Get to Be Me” was an average Wednesday night when I had nothing in particular to do, and happened to be invited to an impromptu dinner at a friend’s house.  Turns out, it was a celebratory dinner for friends of friends who had just gotten married, a second marriage for both the new husband and the new wife.  It was two couples and me…a party of five, and while math provides its own unique message of “the fifth wheel”, I was feeling extremely content and comfortable about being the odd man (or woman) out.  

We sat down to the ‘full meal deal’ dinner table, complete with food, wine, and conversation and I found myself mostly listening to the other people talk.  The “we” of every statement, the new things “we” are doing, the places “we” are going.  I sat in silence for what felt to be a long time when I started to think about all the things in life that I do and have done as a single person that I find extremely joyful. 

It was just then that my friend Mark piped up and said, “You know, I just can’t help but think of Jenn and how proud I am of her.  It must be crazy to be single at times and having gone through her own divorce years ago, she has managed to create this beautiful life as a single person.”  I smiled at Mark and told him, “thank you”.  There was silence in the room for the first time that night and it felt like the space of honoring the deceased.  

The recent bride who was about 12 years my junior turned and looked at me with pity in her eyes and grabbed my hand from across the table.  She looked at me, rubbed my hands, and suddenly all of her non-verbals were trying to soothe me and tell me that it was “okay”.  With the air of condescension breezing past me, it brought me the realization of my own empowerment.  “Hey, I didn’t ask for or need your sympathy.  I am happy to be 43 and single and I am enjoy being who I am.  I get to be me”.

I’d never been so happy to be me, to stand up for myself. It was in that moment that I realized the freedom of my own independence. I get to be me and get to stop trying to conform to the mold of being married or in “relationship” to someone else. I definitely get to stop looking outside myself to the land of comparison to white picked fences.  Where and how I live is actually very rewarding and fun. 

Independence is happiness.     

Susan B. Anthony

Google independence and you will find a definition of freedom, self-reliance, and autonomy.  The very nature of the word independence embodies a unique person who stands on their own two feet, self aware and making their own decisions. It stands for someone who can loudly and proudly say, “I get to be me”! This motto is living in true acceptance of the self, the gateway to powerful love, happiness, and healing.

“I get to be me” is being an independent, living life as what I call Spiritually Successfully Single. It means being free to create what you want out of life in a way that matters to you, and no one else.  It means being enough, simply because you ARE, and not judging yourself against impossible standards.  

Honestly Speaking: Married or Single, no matter how successful, will only be truly rewarding or happy if you can learn to love yourself and be yourself. Cultivate you. Have fun, play, create.  Your way. 

You are meant to be free to be you and to shine in life. You deserve the freedom that comes from knowing you have everything you need right now to move forward with purpose.  You are here for a reason and you are required to continue stepping forward into your true self.  Within you is a divine blueprint of DNA that has meaning for you, even if others don’t understand it.  

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.

Friedrich Nietzsche
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Jenn Maronek

Nurse | Blogger | Coach | Author

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