On turning 30 uniquelyunoriginal 9gag instagram logo

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I recently entered a new decade of my life. “The third floor” or the “dirty 30” as some people call it. I couldn’t help but be inspired by Jane Austen- because I am a female who loves British literature and it is kind of a motif of my people. gas mask bong how to use I was also mildly inspired by an assignment I had my students do where they wrote a letter to a character giving her advice on her new marriage (Hello Taming of the Shrew, you’ll forever be my favorite). This post will be less of a letter and more of a reflection, or a public diary entry so let the wild rumpus of my untamed thoughts begin. Careful- it’s dark down here.

Physically, yes, I look different than I did when I was 20, but my journey with how I look has been as rollercoaster-y as Trump’s cabinet (sorry, had to get a political jab in early). Maybe it’s just me, but if I’m completely honest I’ve never loved how I looked. I remember envying the slender frames of my friends, completely jealous of how their lithe limbs could beautifully drape any silhouette as we strolled through the stores at the mall. I loathed shopping with them. f gas regulations ireland They would giggle and trade clothes, and I would struggle with the zipper of the dress I wanted to fit into. As I’ve gotten older I’ve “learned how to dress for my figure” as I’ve heard many times. Many a pep talk to my curves and resistant zippers has occurred within the walls of a dressing room. For the most part I’ve accepted my shape, but honestly, it would have been more difficult (darn near impossible) to even know that my body type is actually more near the norm if society had not taken the progressive steps it has to showcase the diversity we women have. Yay us! I can’t talk about my relationship with my body image without talking about my relationship with food.

I think my food issues hit me the hardest in graduate school. I ate OEC every day after my evening classes. No, really, this is not an exaggeration. I remember vividly how the stress, anxiety, loneliness, and downright negative thoughts hit me, and all I wanted to do was go to Kroger and get a sheet cake to gorge myself on. Do you know what I did? I went to Kroger, picked out the perfect cake, drove home to my apartment where I lived by myself, grabbed a fork, and dove straight into that cake. static electricity zapper You’re already fat, so what’s another bite? Nobody asks you on dates, so what’s another bite? You’re weak. You deserve this shame.

While my deeply-layered shame still rears its ugly head sometimes, I do believe I am past this very low point in my life. Moving forward I hope to have more resolve. Moving forward, my only wish is to be healthy, and thankfully God has strategically placed supportive, understanding, and knowledgeable people into my life. So, here’s to looking at a healthy Ashley sometime this decade.

There are countless iterations of the statements above that I have heard over the years of singleness. I’ve been honest with myself and with other people close to me, and I totally understand their points and the validity of their points. Probably the best analogy though came from one of my best friends when she said that babies who “skip a step” in terms of the accomplishments before they start walking don’t develop the same later in life (or something like that). Her supposition was that I basically skipped a step in terms of my dating development, and that’s why I am, for all intents and purposes, terrible at it. electricity around the world I embraced my independence wholeheartedly as I traveled in the UK and Europe with my Kindle app and Google Maps to guide me. It wasn’t that I set my mind to the I don’t need no man mentality; I fell into it naturally. As years went by I downloaded and deleted all the dating apps. You name it- I’ve used it. I could weave many a tale of the turbulent and tumultuous times of forays into the dating world, but who wants to read never-ending narratives of the same result? Instead, I will write a general outline of what it looks like.

Girl gets hopeful, restless, etc. Girl downloads dating app and/or reactivates old dating profile. (Why don’t I just delete these for good?). mp electricity bill payment online indore Girl carefully chooses pictures and quotes. (Don’t want to set the expectations too high, so girl picks fairly recent pics). Girl gets messages. Girls flirts. Girl gets date, then maybe more dates. Girl gets ghosted with no explanation OR girl sees guy out with another girl, or in the worst case scenario, girl sees him back with his ex (that’s a real-life story, guys and gals).

So when people ask me why I’m single I get frustrated because there isn’t a simple answer, and what the person is really asking isn’t for 12-15 years of all the ways I have been slighted. gas chamber What I think they are really asking is “Why haven’t you just settled into your role and expectation as a female and wifehood and mommyhood with a nice man who will take care of the kids and provide for you? Why have you resisted? How have you managed it? Doesn’t it make you sad and unfulfilled?”

No, Nancy, it doesn’t. Do I sometimes get discouraged and lonely? Duh. Married people do too by the way. grade 9 electricity module Should I just give in and marry the next guy who DMs me and says “Hey.” then 30 minutes later “what size bra are you?”? No, I shouldn’t. I’ve settled into my role as Tete or Auntie depending on which little nugget you ask. I’m glad for it. I’m thankful for it. I’m totally Lorelai-ing it, and I am not ashamed. Just keeping my eyes open for a cranky diner owner with a backwards baseball cap.

Now I will talk to myself, and maybe even the few of us left who are 30 and above and still killing it in the single sister way. You and I don’t have to do anything except what God commands of us in His word. year 6 electricity One of the most influential books I’ve read was Passion and Purity, and honestly, it changed the way I understood single-hood. I think I loaned my copy to someone and never got it back, but thanks to the internet a quick Google search brings up some quotes that others found meaningful from her brilliant book as well. So to myself, and others like me, I say cheers to us. May we continue to enjoy, find joy, and grow where God has planted us- even if it is hard for others (and sometimes ourselves too) to understand. May we seek Him first, and only Him first. May we resist and fight shame in whatever form it takes, whether it is well-meaning relatives or friends, an inundation of happy couple holiday posts, or the stories we know and love from movies, novels, plays, or musicals.