All the demons look like prophets

I was sitting with a group of people the other night. All of them married, of course. They were saying things like, "my wife will tell you" "my husband knows this better than anyone" I just felt overcome by a sense of aloneness. Not loneliness per say, just this feeling of being unknown by someone that intimately but at the same time not really wanting to be known by someone that way.

The older I get the more I am surrounded by almost exclusively married people. Not that I mind all that much. I love my friends, married and otherwise.
It's just that sometimes, I don't want to be alone. I don't want a husband, but I don't want to be alone.
It's hard to explain that in the moment, because the easier answer for most of my married friends is to start dating (as if it's that easy). My 5 year old nephew has even told me that I need to go to "husband land to find a husband". I asked him where husband land was, he didn't seem to know, which wasn't very helpful.

I restrain myself from telling people that I don't want to be alone because most days I can't bear the idea of being alone. But I can't bear the idea of being married or even in a serious relationship either. So what's a girl to do?
There aren't many single ladies around my age (or even within 10 years of my age) that I hang out with or that are around for me to hang out with in my "circle". The ones I know live on the other end of the state (even though I keep begging them to move to Cincinnati)
It's all very whiney sounding in my head.

I know that marriage is good, important and lovely sometimes. I know that it's awful, stressfull and full of tension at other times. I'm not trying to imagine a marriage between Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan or anything. I'm just saying that when I'm sitting in a group of people that are all married I sometimes feel like standing up and shouting that not everyone there is married. Not everyone there has kids. Not everyone there that's single is looking (sometimes desperately) for a spouse to fill their arms.
So when we're all together, please don't look at me and say, "Oh you'll find out when you're married" or "Oh get ready when you have kids you'll..." because I don't know that I will, or that I even want to most days. Keep in mind I don't know that I won't or that I don't want to most days either.

I have a pretty high tolerance for all things marriage and babies, thanks to my lovely friends that are deeply entrenched in spouse and parenthood. I love my friends babies, I love their spouses and I love getting a glimpse into a marriage on some level. But on other levels, I'm more than happy to hand the babies back and go home to my empty house and dance around in my underpants without wondering if I'm bothering someone.

At the same time as all of that, I wonder. Do you know what I mean when I say I don't want to be alone? Because I don't know most of the time, it changes moment to moment.
All I know is, no one has to buy me a ticket to husband land anytime soon. But I know some ladies that would love to know which direction it's in if you figure out where it's at.

Do you know what I mean
When I say I don't wanna be alone?
What I mean when I say
I don't wanna be alone?
Empty spaces
Shadows hit by streetlights
With warning signs and weight
Of tired conversations
In the absence of a shoulder
In the absence of a thief
On the brink of this destruction
On the eve of bittersweet
Now all the demons look like prophets
And I'm living out
Every word they speak
-Jars of Clay Work

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Pete said...

I think I know exactly what you're talking about because I feel the same way most days.

Someday I'll be there, just a foot stomp away, and we can go do single things all the time. :) Then we'll have conversations like "oh you remember how fun that was....back when you were single, right?"

It will be glorious. :)

jake - aka the comment novelist said...

I used to always tell people that they'll find what they need when they stop looking for it. Now a little more diverse in my circle of friends, I realize that's not always true because it really is different for everyone.

I realize it must be hard to not have the brand of intimacy you need when you need it sometimes, but you do have several deep connections of a different sort that I think are beneficial.

I remember one of the ministers at my old church talking about "alone" versus "lonely". It made a big impact on me at the time because I was single, and it helped to realize that while I was never really alone, it was okay to feel lonely and talk to God about it.

I don't know where your path leads any more than you, and while I can't provide everything you need, I can provide an ear and a shoulder.

Love you, sweet lady.