Relationship status shaming

Thursday, October 29, 2015


Garden of the gods - Colorado Springs, CO


Once Halloween ends, it seems like we are in a race against the holidays. Gift shopping, making plans to see loved ones, and figuring out how to celebrate a new year. Let's face it, 2015 is wrapping up and although I am one to get a little too excited about the holidays, it's also the season of evaluating your romantic relationship status. While several people who have a significant other are focusing on where they will spend the holidays meaning which family do they see or split time with, I'm in the relationship camp where I'm working on what kind of answers do I give when I have to answer the most dreaded single person question... "Are you seeing somebody?"....Sometimes I want to be like, seeing who? A counselor? My family?...Just to confuse people into thinking I didn't actually understand the question, this usually leads to an awkward reply, No, I'm not. I'm single. Which always leads to a surprising reaction of sadness or pity from the other person.

I've always been confused by that reaction. Since when does single mean being sad? Don't worry, this isn't one of those, Why being single is so great posts. I think that whatever your relationship status there will be something great about your life. What concerns me most is the relationship status shaming that goes on from both sides of the relationship spectrum. Being single, I am not single because I don't want a husband or to have a family. I desire those things, eventually, when I'm ready for them. My singleness isn't a disease or sickness looking to be cured.  I am content creating my own lifestyle on my own terms and in my own way. It's not meant for everybody, but it's meant for me in the season of life I'm in.

Breaking up this serious post with my cutie pie nephew photo

But let's not forget how great us single folks are at shaming those in relationships. Making our friends feel guilty for not hanging out with us as much because our friends have a significant other. We end up saying things like "If we were in a relationship I would never do this, this and that"...well guess what? We single folks aren't in a relationship, can we actually make that judgement rationally? Probably not. Or even worse - we look at our married friends with or without children and think they "settled" or that they got married too soon and didn't fully experience life. Which is absolutely absurd. Most of my friends married (or taken) with or without children are living their dream life and they are doing everything they wanted to do as an individual, but they are living life alongside their best friend in the process. How magical is that?!

And what about those in between? Single parents? Or parents who wish to have children, but can't have them? Or those separated or divorcing? What about everybody else that falls in the middle of the spectrum? Are we all going to shame each other because of our relationship status? I sure hope not. 

Let's be grateful for every person in every life path regardless of their relationship status. As a single person, my worth is more than my relationship status and my loved ones who are married or taken are more than just theirs as well.

Selectivity

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Being selective does not mean being rude, disrespectful, or neglectful, it means choosing and choosing well.

Being selective can also be interpreted in several ways. However, I want to keep it simple:

I spend time with people who care about me and who inspire me to better and in return I do the same for them. Don't settle, you adapt your tribe's habits, make sure they're at least good ones. 

I only add people/events/things to my calendar that I like. 

I love being in a variety of time consuming roles. This means cutting out the unnecessary obligations from my life. This doesn't mean burning bridges or pissing people off, it just means being diligent in how I utilize time. Example - I stopped getting coffee with so many people. People who I started to feel obligated to see. Removing these hangouts made my schedule more free for people I wanted to actually connect with.

I make my own decisions.
I may ask others questions or for their thoughts, but I make my own decisions and I've stopped feeling bad for disappointing people who were upset I didn't make the decision they had for my life...Because it was never theirs to have.





26: Take more risks, Do what makes me more happy & holy

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

2015 has been a gem. Turning 26 in March hasn't been so bad either. I haven't blogged in awhile, but a sweet friend and my first and former boss from graduate school just started one with her husband. You can read their story here: Life as a famiLee

Her writing has inspired me to start somewhere again, and I've decided to talk about 26. With a great friend passing in April, I've been thinking of the good memories I've had with him, including this past winter getting stranded in Denver and he came over to entertain me until my flight...laughing as I type this. I also think about what I loved about him and how I can help his legacy.

I decided like several of his family and friends, the best way to keep his legacy is to live like him. In his 23 years of life, he lived more than most people do with 80 years.

So, this is how I plan to Live Like Jannik:
  • Take risks and experience more firsts
  • Do more of what makes me happy & holy
  • "No rules"...I will get to that one later ;)
May's Living Like Jannik...

How I took risks or experienced more firsts 
- I started volunteering at my Church to connect new people into our congregation. I typically like more personal roles in Church like a small group leader or a Sunday School Teacher, but this is good re-energizer for me. Trying a new role, mixin' it up :)
- I cut off a friendship that was toxic to me and it has almost been a month. I feel myself healing every day and it's liberating.
- I inherited a lovely pet named Olive!

What I did that made me happy 
- I took my staff to a San Francisco Giants game! I loved getting to experience the beautiful game of baseball with them.
- Met my baby nephew for the first time.
What I tried to encourage myself to be more "Holy" 
- I started reading about my Christian Faith more devoutly and praying more intentionally for others. Asking people specifically what I can pray for them, even if it was awkward to ask because I didn't know them well.

....Now, the only rebel at heart, but external rule follower in me can't completely embrace Jannik's "no rules" life philosophy, but it has encouraged me to live life the way I want to, not the way I should.
This photo has been used at several memorial services and captures exactly who he is.
Cheers bud, 26 is for you!





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