Single Year: The Reboot

Okay, so it’s been a year since I started this website and made a committment to be intentionally single for an entire year. WHEW, that flew by fast.

First things first, I didn’t post, and I apologize so very deeply. I was overwhelmed at the support I got from my blogosphere fam with the start of this website but as soon as I got some opposition from my real life fam I stopped at go, leaving anyone who was looking forward to reading this blog high and dry, and keeping claim on a domain name I had very little intention of using (sorry Dan.)  Now, I feel as if I owe you all an explanation, and definitely a reason to continue reading.

The past year has been all kinds of tough. But, it has also been all types of beautiful. I’m still technically single, but I did not spend the entire year 100% committed or intentional to it. As a matter of a fact, I think I downloaded Tinder, OkCupid, The Leaugue, Bumble, and Coffee Meets Bagel looking for a companion. Needless to say I didn’t find one. Looking back at the mission of Single Year through diffrent eyes, eyes an entire year older, I see a facade. Single Year was my public declaration of my hope to find a contentment that I truthfully wasn’t seeking. Can I share my heart? <- Christianese for, let me be honest with you. I started Single Year with the full intent of finding or being found by a spouse within the year. I thought that if I could demonstrate my contentment God would send me what I was waiting for, a husband. Actually, if we’re being 100% I just wanted a man. I didn’t even need him to be husband material. Sigh, but, that was then. This is now.

Over the past year God has publicly and privately revealed my fraud, called my bluffs and tested my obedience, and FAM. Let. me. tell. you. It has been good. Hard, uncomfortable, and frustrating but good. I feel like a new person, I am a new person. I’ve been transformed which is great cause thats what Jesus does. It is CRAZY what can happen in a single year.

Look, I don’t know exactly where God is going to lead me. Sometimes it’s left, sometimes it’s right where I want to be, sometimes it feels REALLY JACKED UP but, it is always good. So, today I want to redefine single year a bit. Ok, a whole lot. Instead of being my public commitment to staying single for a year. It’s going to be a space for testimony of how God is using me to glorify him, and a testament to just how much can happen in a sigle year. Additionally, I want to  create a space to share other people’s testimonies as well. If you have a testimony, or an account of how God has led you and transformed you through challenging times (single, or not) then PLEASE share. I would love to feature you in some way or another. I want Single Year to be less of me, and more of an encouraging site that is both real real, real intentional, and real inspiring. 

Sending Love from D.C.

Nae.

 

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I Let Some Guy Put His Hands On Me

Tonight at the club, some guy put his hands on me. He wasn’t an acquaintance or a friend, but he was a friends, friends, significant other. Let me set the scene with as little petty as possible. We were coming down the stairs after the club shut off the music for the night. He and his girlfriend were already down the stairs and were facing the group coming down. As I walked down the stairs he pointed to my jacket to imply there was something there, I looked down and he flicked my face. Not with his finger but with his whole hand. I looked him in the eye, gave him a glare and walked away. He looked proud, his girlfriend said, “babe…did you just flick her face?” pushed him gently, playfully.  Reprimanding him the same way a mother might reprimand her toddler for tossing a spoon on the ground at the dinner table. I turned away. Ignoring him. He proceeded to reach over the crowd to push my head, like a kid of a winning baseball team might do to a kid on the losing baseball team as they walk away. It was taunting, it was degrading, it was disrespectful, and it served no purpose, no purpose but to appease him, probably his lost drink, and his small ego.

Lets include some more context. This guy, we’re going to call him Misogynist 1. Had been with the group all night, through 4 entire stops. It was my friends celebration and we all went out to celebrate. I spent the night enjoying the DJ’s and playing designated driver. I was having a good time. There was a big group of us, probably 12,  which dwindled down to about 9 as the night continued. Out last stop was this nightclub. Misogynist 1 had been looking at me all night, trying to catch my eye. I don’t know what he wanted, I’d smiled earlier and exchanged “common courtesy’s”. I didn’t know him and wasn’t paying him any mind. As the night went on he drank more. I was doing my cute lil’ sober dances by my lonesome on the side, occasionally joining in with the group for the current Top 40 hits. Halfway through the night he grabbed another drink, maybe 5th of the night. I was dancing near him with the group and he dropped his drink. I was closest to it. We all stopped, it had spilled all over me and the floor, it was whatever. No one apologized, he just stared at the ground. I moved away from the spill and kept dancing, “It happens.” A friend remarked to him nearby. The group laughed it off, Misogynist 1 and his girlfriend walked back to the bar, and came back with another drink. Misogynist 1 continued staring.  We danced until the DJ stopped and everyone headed out down the stairs and out the door. That’s when Misogynist 1, waiting at the bottom of the stairs, looked at me, said “Hey, Look”, pointed to my shirt and did A and B. And do you know what happened next?  After he reached across the crowd to push my head. You know what I did? Absolutely nothing. I didn’t smack him across the face. I didn’t cuss him out, I didn’t stop to give him a glare, I didn’t do anything. I just kept moving like women do. Like we have to do, because here is the truth.  In that moment I was concerned for my image, and for my body. There was no space to defend myself amidst all of this consideration and self protection. By the time my mind caught up, the moment was over. Misogynist 1 won’t think of it ever again. I thought about it the entire way home.

First, I tried to brush it off. Ignore my initial feelings toward it, tell myself it wasn’t a huge deal.

This moved me into, “Don’t worry about it girl, he ain’t shit.”

Further, I tried to take a posture of forgiveness. Literally, praying for God to change his heart. I tried not to be angry.

Asking God to change his heart, moved into asking God to let his girlfriend find someone who is not, not shit, or at least help him change before he has daughters.

My thoughts paused. I thought again about how I felt in that moment, and it was vulnerable, unprotected. My thoughts moved toward my relationship status. My desire for a boyfriend. If I had just been there with a man none of that would’ve happened.

I brought this up with God. I mentioned, that I really wanted a boyfriend, like I’d mentioned time and time again, but instead of just wanting him for companionship I wanted him for protection too. It was just another good reason for God to send me the right guy. Because misogynist’s don’t respect female bodies like they do male bodies, and if i’d been there with a man Misogynist 1 wouldn’t have laid a finger on me.

Next, I held back tears, because I’m a strong black woman and this little shit wasn’t going to make me cry…but this shit isn’t little. It’s big as fuck. It’s bigger than Misogynist 1 and it’s bigger than my personal fears related to my image and the reclamation of ownership of my body.

Misogynist 1, displayed a blatant lack of respect for my body, my boundaries, and my personhood when he put his hands on me tonight. And it’s more than a lack of respect for my female body, but further my black female body. We were on the staircase hundreds of people below us, the club was well lit, the house lights were on. People saw him, and no one came to my aid. “The most disrespected woman in America, is the black woman. The most un-protected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America, is the black woman.” -Malcolm X. And it’s the fucking truth. Misogynist 1 knew that no one would say shit. He knew that I wouldn’t say shit. He was playing his only powerful role as a male, because he is actually small, lacking character, discipline, and humanity. M1AS (read- NAS- then replace N with M1…good job.)

He felt entitled. He felt entitled to acknowledgement, he stretched for that. Maybe he felt entitled, to “get me back?” maybe he thought I spilled his drink? Regardless, he exercised the right he felt he had to express his feelings onto MY black female body. This problem is monumental. It is the problem that sees to the senseless murders and assaults that are inflicted upon women who dare to express ownership of their own bodies, who dare to exercise authority over a Misogynist’s request about what their bodies will do and how they will function. It is the problem that see’s abusive Misogynist’s get away with anything and everything, it is the problem that fuels rape culture, it is the problem that silences churches, it is the problem that plagues our mothers and their mothers. It is the real reason that our elders tell us to cover up, not to our shame but for our protection. It was the only way they knew how to protect THEIR bodies in a culture that worshipped Misogynist’s. It is the inability of Misogynists to understand that the only body they will ever have any say or control over is their own. Their inability to understand that they are not owed or ENTITLED to ANYTHING-EVER.  Not for dinner, not for an act of bravery, not for chivalry, not because you opened the door, not because you called me pretty, not because I smiled in your direction, not because you feel like you should’ve had an apology, or a second date… We do not ever owe you ANYTHING. Especially not our bodies. So don’t touch them, or worry them.

Note: In this article I use Misogynist instead of men and that’s simply because they’re not the same. I am fortunate to know some men. They are gentle, protective of others,  humble, hardworking, peaceful, kind, and they posses self control.They understand that the only bodies they have a right to belong to them.

Misogynists will make a million excuses, and are not only or always Male. Matter of fact, 63% of women in Alabama may be Misogynist’s. Misogynist’s will read this article and ask for further detail, Did I ever do something, if I was drunk. They will say he was drunk and acting out of “character” they will lean on the side of empathy for Misogynist 1, but here’s the thing. That’s not the point. The point is this, Tonight, at the club some guy put his hands on me, and it was not in defense to immediate danger, or to catch me from a fall. It was for him, whatever need he needed to meet, and it was at my expense.

And that’s not okay.

Little things indicate bigger patterns. Call it out. MEN, call it out amongst your colleagues. Women, if you feel safe call it out, if you’re unsure get a man to do so. Misogynist’s. If you’re reading this post, thats a good first step.

Let’s be better humans.

Grace and Peace.

Why You Should Take a Chance on the Girl Who’s ‘Never Been Kissed’

Girls who have ‘never been kissed’ or who spent their teenage years not in love  probably spent their teenage years one of two ways. Avoiding the opposite sex, for fear of screwing up royally or under strict parental guidance. No matter which way it happened this girl enters adulthood with a heaping helping of expectations from herself and from everyone else, and a lot of realizations to have.

She probably is not incredibly comfortable around guys, you make her nervous. She doesn’t hate you, she hates annoying butterflies popping up in places they don’t belong, like her stomach.

She probably is looking to catch up on the experiences she “missed out” on during High School. Cute dates, cute cards, flowers, long lingering hugs(yes hugs).

She also, is most likely taking things really slow.

If you haven’t guessed by now, I was the ‘never been kissed’ girl. I didn’t know what to do in a room of attractive heterosexual men, I was super eager to find a boyfriend, but at the same time, I wasn’t going to let some random boy kiss me without working for it- puhlease. This affected a lot of my social interactions and levels of growth. Not in a bad way, but definitely in a confusing way. My only claim to romance was crushing hard on a Troy Bolton looking guy in my class and embarassing myself everytime I spoke to him.

When I got to college there was so much selection that I was certain that I would be in a relationship within the first month of college, I hadn’t figured in how uncomfortable I would be around guys though, and I hadn’t factored in that I could NOT flirt. I just thought it would happen for me, that the right guy would love and pursue me and it would all happen overnight or at first sight. When I got to college I wanted my disney channel moment, and I just didn’t get it. If I sat here and tried to explain every emotion and lesson that followed my inexperience we would be here all day, so i’m just going to segway right into what you came here for. Why you should date the girl who’s “never been kissed”.

The girl who has “never been kissed” will be patient with you. She’ll appreciate the romantic things. She’ll probably get giddy when she see’s you. She will treat you well, she’ll be willing to learn with you, she’ll give you advice,she’ll want to see you succeed, she’ll expect the same from you, and she will challenge you to be great.

Getting to know the girl who has “never been kissed” will be so worth your time. It will be much like starting from the beginning but it will be worth it, because when you love her, and love her earnestly, and love her well she won’t be able to contain the happiness you make her feel.

5 Ways to Have Fun as a Single during Cuffing Season

Y’all it’s cuffing season, and for singles around the world this time of year is…not very fun. Couples walk around holding hands, drinking cocoa, proposing on snowy nights, giggling on ice rinks, bombarding holiday parties!..Even advertisements for cozy blankets and chic winter styles turn into advertisements for “things to buy for him/her” and the saturation of all environments with mistletoes is insane. Like, can’t you hang up fresh garland? Aren’t mistletoes expensive?

I’m mostly kidding, but being single this time of year can feel kinda lonely, so as the veteran single girl. <- That’s sad, I’m never using that again. As the writer of this blog, i’m going to share five ways to have a joyful, single, winter season… no S/O, or winter fling necessary.

  1. Go and drink all of the hot beverages, and look like you came out of a magazine with your mittens and earmuffs, and steamy cocoa.  Do you see the joy in these people’s faces as they drink their hot beverages in peace? Yea, you do. And people don’t interrupt your beverage bliss when you look like that either…just saying. You might wanna do this as often as possible.

    2. Read a new book. Cuffing season for me, is also midterm and final season. Isn’t it nice that those two highly emotional seasons run side bcool-reading-books-factsy side? So nice. In the midst of all of that madness, nine times out of ten I don’t have time to read, not even my textbooks. But if I cut Facebook from my daily agenda, I could finish a book a week and wake up smarter everyday! Here’s the thing, reading has some serious benefits. It can increase your vocabulary, improve your ability to focus, improve your memory…the possibilities are endless, and great. Why not spend your time doing something that cool? YOu know, Oprah reads… and she’s Oprah. So, you know.

 

 3. Go try something new! Go to a haunted house with some friends, or go to some networking mixers, and holiday parties. Learn how to ice skate. Go swimming while the local rec pools aren’t too full, take advantage of all of the free art galleries, restaurant specials, and baked goods. Make some more friends, join a book club! Y’all the amount of parties and free things that happen in the winter are overwhelming. Take advantage of that! If you’re going it alone though, be safe. Let someone know where you are, who you will be with…etc.  But do something fun!

4. Pamper yo-self. I think that a lot of the time there is an assumption that single women choose not to “groom” themselves in the winter. Like, you don’t have to shave therefore you don’t, you don’t need to wear makeup, so you don’t… ya-da ya-da… I know that there are a lot of things wrong with that concept but I hear it quite a bit from my boo’ed up friends. “At least you don’t have to shave!” Well, it’s true, I don’t have to, I mean… you don’t either but, if I want to I do. Winter is a time to treat your body like you treasure it, inside and out, you know? Vegetables now come in all of these delicious soups, fall nail colors are out, and what feels better than a hot shower at the end of a cold day? Very few things, with no matchy color schemes to cater to, and no pressing dates with your shaving razor, you can go wild.

5. Finally, spend some time giving back. During winter there are an abundance of volunteer opportunities and clothing drives. Giving back is something that’s wonderful all of the time, but winter is a good time to try it out if you haven’t already. Organizations like, Angel Tree force you to consider someone else’s needs above your own by picking out a good gift for a kids whose parent, or parents may be incarcerated. At your local soup kitchens you can learn about life from people who may view it differently from you. There are so many cool opportunities to spend time considering other people during this season. Try some of them out!

Your winter season should be one that you enjoy. It is literally the season in which natural things are being restored. Trees and plants, and bears:), have all run their cycle  through the year into fall and are getting prepared to bloom. You need time too, you’re in the process of blooming. Keep preparing, get more comfortable with yourself, drink lots of hot beverages, treat yourself, appreciate where you are, how you’ve grown, reflect on where you want to be, and enjoy the season.

There’s this cool bible verse about preparedness too, which we’ll talk about more later, but long story short. The guests (virgins) who were prepared by bringing extra oil did not have to go find more oil, so they were ready when the bridegroom came to get them, they just went to celebrate. One of the morals of this story is to be ready ahead of time for what you expect to come.

Matthew 25:1-46 ESV 

“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. …

Til next time!

SingleLady

Celebrating Small Victories

It used to be that I would walk into a room full of guys and immediately assess each one’s “date-ability”. Seriously, for a while that’s all that I thought guys were good for, dating and flirting. Subconsciously, I thought they we’re all checking for me too, so I would get all these shy butterflies thinking a cute guy in class was looking at me when in fact, he was looking at the last classes notes. Talking to guys used to make me nervous too because I always thought they were checking for me, when they may not have been. This anxiety y’all was powerful and pitiful. Ever since my sophomore year of college…okay, maybe freshman year, every guy was a potential in my head and at the time, this was logical. I mean, according to circa 90’s Disney Channel, everyone’s just trying to find love right?! Wrong, thankfully.

Today was one of the first days that I can remember in the last few days that I sat in a room full of guys, relaxed and actually had a good time. Like, no pressure fun. And y’all, it was so great! I laughed like a nerd, I danced around, I was comfortable in my body, I cracked jokes and it helped create an environment that was comfortable for everyone and it was baller. Of a room of maybe 15 guys I was only really making awkward eyes at one, and that was just because he kept chatting me up and it was late, and I was unable to answer simple questions, and he just didn’t get my sense of humor which…is unfortunate for him because I’m hilarious. Anyway, here is to celebrating small victories! I think that the barrier of my desire to be perceived as dateable, and always checking for a significant other have been one of the things that has kept me from being myself in front of others and that’s just not good.  Sometimes I think back and I realize what cool relationships I could’ve had if I hadn’t tried to turn them into more than friendships, and it reminds me of why this moment is good. It’s teaching me that I can have fulfilling platonic relationships with men that are as fun as my relationships with my female friends. I’m so excited to see what kind of friendships this will bring. So, here’s to new friends and small victories.

I’m thanking God for this growth y’all!

 

Signed,

Single Lady

It’s Easy To Be Single When You Have No Options

I told myself I would be fine just being friends with a bunch of guys, but when they get flirty?! Crap.

I’m good, but still fragile. I thought I was going to get through this semester without swooning over the next prince charming or getting frustrated about late texts, but alas. We’re here. It is easier to be single without options…can I get a Yes?!

If no guys are pursuing me, it’s easy to feel content being single in that, but if they are pursuing you… it’s a different story. I just want to take a few chances, I shouldn’t but I want to.

(internal dialogue)

SINGLE SINGLE SINGLE HAPPILY SINGLE NOT FLIRTING NOT HOLLERING JUST BE CHILL. Is this fool gonna text me back?

 

Signed,

Single and Sad about it, today.

When Single Is Hard

I grew up in the church, surrounded by young and old couples. I thought to myself, one day… that will be me. Coming up on 23 and never having been in a relationship, sometimes it’s hard to see young couples in my church. It’s like a sore spot on a self inflicted wound. No one has done anything to me, that particular couple hasn’t done anything to me just watching them, have the thing I think I want, can hurt. Especially in ministry. In ministry it can feel like, “what am I doing with my life. Everyone is 23 and engaged poppin out babies every month. Yes, I know I’m working on my career and ministry but can we pause that so I can get a husband?”  I mean, at the end of the day I feel a little bit inadequate as a single woman in the church, like i’m missing out on some massively important characteristic of getting to know God. Which, just isn’t true. Marriage has its benefits. Of course! Two become one flesh, built in best friend (not in the bible- but cool perk) yada yada, great things! But what I think sometimes we miss, is that singleness has its benefits too. For some odd reason this morning I was listening to, 1st Corinthians and Paul was talking about how good it was to be single. And I’m sitting in my room at 2am (peak thirst hours- says one of my single friends. I try to miss that and go to sleep around 1 y’all. #ProTip) listening to Paul’s letter to the Church of Corinth in which he emphasizes how good it is to be single. As a matter of fact he says not in so many words… If you can stay single then do that. Paul suggests that singleness gives one the authority over oneself to devote one’s time to the Lord and not to need to cater to the needs of their spouse, which is commanded if you have a spouse. Look, see for yourselves. Also, read 1st Corinthians 7 in it’s entirety because Paul is a sassafrass.  

Anyway, 1st Corinthians 7: 32-35 says,

32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.”

To be single is to have the opportunity to devote one’s entire self to the Lord, and THAT is good news. For the past 8 or so years I’ve been maneuvering through singleness like it was some disease that I needed to be rid of, not thanking God for the blessing that it is. It’s easy to feel like the odd one out when you’re surrounded by married couples and skeptical church mothers but each season holds a blessing, and the blessing in the season of singleness is the opportunity for complete devotion to God!

It’s day 7 of 365 of intentional singleness and I’ve finally found the purpose. Found a way to focus when single is hard the purpose is not to fall more in love with my own dang self cause i’m a strong independant woman 🙂 ( Which I am.) , It’s not even to find comfort in being alone, it’s to grow in relationship with my savior. To get to deeply, personally, and intimately know the Lord. Not in the same way that a wife gets to know her husband but in a way that is even deeper than that beautiful bond, a way that Paul believed was deeply satisfying and deeply worth it.

So, Father, this is my prayer.

I believe that a deeply personal and intimate relationship with you is more than worth it, but God my flesh and faith fail on a regular basis and I find myself wrapped up in the same lust, sa me guilt, same game, same self doubt, same lack of confidence, same anger and just same afflictions. Lord I believe that you keep me, but help my unbelief. Please be with me and remove the distraction of my flesh. Thank you Lord for being faithful and pursuing me. Lord please reveal more of yourself to me in greater depth. I love you, thank you. Amenzies.

 

Over and out home skillz! Go forth in peace.

 

SingleLady