February 28, 2011

Guest Post - Kate

Thyme

Here is a guest post from one of our friends who needs no introduction. Her post will take care of that.

Hello, Golden Hearts. Liz and Heather have asked me repeatedly to write a guest blog post on the topic of “what makes me happy as an LDS single woman.” 

I am Kate. Here are a few things that make me happy: the bags of fresh veggies in my kitchen, the Thyme plant growing in my living room, my black bottle of ink and fountain pen, and Motown music. There are plenty of other things that make me happy. And when it comes to my happiness, I don’t think it makes a lick of difference that I am single – I don’t need to wait until I’m married to be happy. If I was married and those same things didn’t make me happy, then heaven help me.  And what if I ended up like this sad sack?

About a month ago, I met a recently divorced LDS man for dinner, our very first meeting. He proceeded to talk to me for 3 hours about every aspect of his divorce and broken family life. He could not tell me one thing that personally made him happy. He had no clue how to be himself on his own. Usually when we hear the phrase “get a hobby,” it is meant in a sarcastic way, and I said it and meant every word. I even tried to help him think of things that he would enjoy, and encouraged him to seek some professional help since he didn’t have the capacity to figure out his new stage of life for himself. Nice light dinner conversation, right? 

Following this first encounter, he just started copying things that I enjoyed: reading the book I was reading (which was a quirky book about cooking that I never would have recommended to a man to read), cooking the foods I was cooking...really annoying since he was trying to get recommendations on how to cook a food that he admittedly did not like. He continued telling me about his broken family. I know what I can handle, so I determined that I could only discuss things with him that were his hobbies, and that I could not be an enabler for his pattern of negativity. I refused to discuss his divorce or his family life any further. We kept a limited e-mail correspondence for about a week before there was nothing left that I would discuss. I generally choose to associate with people that have some sense of their own identity. Who knows…maybe one day when this guy finds his own identity, and what makes him happy, one of you might be interested.
 
(Hadn’t had a date in a few months, then got that…Sheesh!)

I’m an LDS single woman. I’m happy that I know what makes me happy and that I can be happy on my own. As my visiting teacher and I were discussing a few weeks ago, there are a whole lot worse things than being single. And I’m not picky about men – I’m just smart.

Maybe I have an over-developed sense of self, but I don’t think so. Who I am on my own is important to me. Because whether I am single or married, I am me. I choose my life and I choose whether or not I am happy. If I was married, it would still be me determining whether or not I was happy – not my husband making that decision for me. And just for the record, I would rather be happy alone than unhappily married.

I am a person of value now and forever, and my value is not determined by my marital status.  That makes me happy. I am Kate.

7 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Hi Kate. Thanks for sharing. This is very interesting to me and got me thinking.

    I am Karina. Happily married - make that blissfully happily married for 7.5 years. Why it's so interesting to me is that I have not "found" myself yet.

    I cannot tell you my hobbies.

    I can tell you that I go to the gym every morning. I put my husband through school when we were first married. I home school our four kids now. I like to read. I have dabbled in things in the past, like cooking healthy for my family, or gone with my husband on his outdoor hobby adventures and deciding it's not for me. Even sewing. I love teaching the Marriage and Family Sunday School class at church.

    I think if my husband (or Marie Palmer even) were asked to describe me, I would sound very boring. But he looooves me so.

    My point is, I'm totally okay with who I am because it enables me to support my ambitious husband and raise four little kids.

    Now that my youngest is 17 months old, I'm ready to "discover" more about me. It's very exciting.

    If I were to get divorced, I would probably dabble in everything everyone else was doing too as I tried to start over.

    You sound happy and healthy, you're witty and probably adorable, and I loved hearing your thoughts.

    P.S. Do you like "light" dinner conversation? Not me.

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  3. i really like this post. i have known several women who have waited for happiness to come with marriage and been sorely, even bitterly, disappointed when it didn't magically appear on their wedding day. i don't think that idea is disappointing, i think it is liberating. it gives us as individuals the control back rather than handing over our state of being to things beyond our control.

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  4. Here Here and Kate is great! I love this post.Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Hi Karina,

    In answer to your question, I do like to have some depth in a dinner conversation. I would note the difference here would be that this particular dinner conversation went beyond depth to burdensome.

    Kate

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  6. Kate, thanks for the excellent post! I think when you're in a position where others may have a tendency to feel some pity for you (which I think is true generally for single people - LDS or not) you can start to feel sorry for yourself. Or more like, you start to wait for permission from others to live a full and happy life.

    I recently heard of a single LDS woman calling her life “Plan B”. That feels so deeply wrong to me. I couldn’t agree more, “I am a person of value now and forever, and my value is not determined by my marital status.” Thanks for sharing your wisdom, Kate!

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  7. I really like the part about "I would rather be happy alone than unhappily married."

    Girl, that's the truth. Been down that road too.

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