I’m an independent woman (hear me roar?!). I like to pursue hobbies and activities on my own. I go to the pub, Shakespeare plays, footy games, markets, cafes and libraries on my own – and I love it. I do these things with friends and family too, but I immensely enjoy my own company. I consider hanging out with myself to be high on the priority list of an active social life. Does this make me sound like a selfish loner? Of course it does, and I don’t care.
I’ve also enjoyed pursuing said hobbies and activities with people I’ve dated over the past couple of years. But on reflection, while the enjoyment was there I think I found it mostly annoying and inconvenient. I’ve previously written about the horrors of dating, and I won’t repeat them here. However, in summary it’s expensive, tedious and full of expectation to compromise on pretty much everything. Sure, I go through phases of “wanting a boyfriend” (whatever that even means) or believing for a moment that something is going somewhere with some guy, but I truly love being single.
My lifelong dream is to live and work in New York City – even if it’s just for six months. I think about it daily and my hope is to achieve it in the early part of 2017. To achieve my dream I need to save money and keep the prospect exciting. It’s something I will not compromise for anyone, and by anyone I mean a guy. (It’s already been strongly suggested by my sister that I’m not to leave the country until she gives birth to her first future child. As the cool aunty I plan to be, I will happily oblige!) I’d hate to be in a position of dating someone right before I left to pursue my dream, because I’d have to dump the poor bastard. I would never ask a guy I was dating to uproot his life to come with me to New York City, my dream. I can’t think of anything more selfish and I’d resent him if he asked me to uproot my life for his dream, especially if it was at the expense of mine. And that is no way to live: full of resentment and no dreams.
My sister got married last weekend. It was a spectacular day for so many reasons, least of which I got to witness one of the happiest days in my sister’s life, a day she shared with the man (my new brother-from-another-mother!) she deeply loves and respects. I wasn’t sure how I’d react on the day; perhaps with nerves or tears of joy. But I caught myself many times looking around at the ceremony and reception with absolute contentment. It was such a beautiful occasion, and I was bursting with happiness and pride for the newlyweds.
Leading up to The Big Day, and on the day itself, I had people ask me how I felt about my sister getting married before me. It was explained to me, like it was the most obvious thing in the world, that my sister jumped the queue because she is younger than me. Some of the people who asked me this had never met me before. I was dumbfounded, for two reasons: firstly, that people still actually believe in sibling marriage pecking order, and that I was surprised I was asked when I probably shouldn’t have been. Naturally, I had to hide that I was offended by such a disrespectful accusation and simply laugh it off. I had to convince these people I was happier than anyone that my younger sister was getting married. I’m not sure if they actually believed me.
I closed my co-maid of honour speech with admiration for my sister: “you’ve shown us all that you can lead a fun and meaningful life, not just as an individual, but with the love of your life”. I absolutely believe this to be true, I wouldn’t have said it otherwise. But I don’t think this is my path. I don’t foresee myself as a bride or a wife. Maybe “it” will happen one day…one day. But if it doesn’t my life is full: of dreams, of family and friends who I love with all my heart, and I couldn’t happier.