One of the greatest blessings of being single during my 20's is that I have done a million new things, and if for that reason alone, I am grateful to have been single. I have traveled extensively, I have accepted dozens and dozens of invitations to go here or go there, see this or see that, try this new restaurant or that ice cream shop. I don't mean to say that being married disrupts the ability to see or experience new things, but I would proclaim that it's not the same. I spend my nights and weekends playing. I have not been tied to anyone or anything which means I can drop everything in a moment's notice and do whatever I want. And I have!
Some of my all-time favorite memories have been the NASCAR race and all-day tailgating that happened in Richmond, or all the polo games I've been to, the horse races, the Duck Beach weekends, the day trips to the South or the Northeast, the hikes on the weekends, the ward retreats I've been to in the mountains, the Saturdays spent at numerous waterholes, the different festivals around the city, or Friday night food trucks. This doesn't include the hundreds of different restaurants I've tried, the meals in the homes of each of my friends, or the dozens of fro-yo dates I've been on. This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to my social life. I should include a plug here that this is the exact reason I am obsessed with my city. It has afforded me a life of fun that I wouldn't trade for anything, and I feel like I haven't even begun to describe all my experiences. There are dozens more.
Sometimes when I get to work on Mondays I'm more exhausted than on Friday afternoon when I left because I have played all weekend. It's not uncommon for me to go to a party on Friday night, play volleyball on Saturday morning, go to brunch, then the gym, then a dinner party on Saturday night. Sometimes the evening will conclude with more sports or ice cream trips or bike rides around the monuments. Sunday means church and then socializing afterward. Most Sundays I have a least one commitment for dinner, a game night, or a walk around the neighborhood with a friend. Some Sundays I do all of that and more.
I am certainly not proclaiming that I want my singleness to last forever. Heaven knows I have spent countless hours of pleading on my knees for the man with whom I can spend the rest of eternity. I am fully aware (and hope) that there will come a time in my life when I will be tied to home with children who need nurturing. There will be years and years where my life will revolve around sleeping schedules and nursing schedules and sick kids and doctor's appointments. There will be a time when I am responsible for a home and bills and meals. There will be a time where I don't see a movie for months at a time, or days when I never leave the house, or periods when all I will think about is cleaning dishes and potty-training my 2-year old. I will gain new experiences as I figure out how to parent a sassy-mouthed child or teach modesty to a daughter in a world that glamorizes sex. And you better believe that I am ecstatic about that. I can't wait for those times. Heaven knows I have waited a long time.
But I very much declare that I have enjoyed this decade of relative easiness and fun. I would not trade my 20's for anything. I would not trade this time where I have been carefree and without a whole ton of responsibility because it has allowed me to slow down time. More than that, I don't believe I will have a single regret when motherhood becomes my sole focus. I will look back at my 20's and know that I lived a rich and fulfilling life, and then I will look forward and take nurturing children and creating a home by the horns.
What I'm trying to say is that I'm grateful. I recognize that other women will experience their 20's different than I. They will grow and develop by having new experiences while raising kids and that is completely fine. But since my lot in life has been a little different, I chose to be grateful for how my life has played out thus far. I am positive that when I find my companion, that experiencing new things will be magnified because I will be able to share those moments will my favorite sidekick. It has been said that marriage brings the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Perhaps I will give up the frequency with which I experience new things when marriage and family arrive at my doorstep, but I also believe that experiences will be deeper and enhanced in being able to share those moments with the love of my life and my future family.
For now I will continue to seek new experiences in order to slow down time and make life always sweet for the living. There is so much life to live no matter what phase you're in, and I just love life too much to not do anything about it.
(Watch this video to see what spurred my thoughts on this subject)