One Singular Sensation

May 28, 2007

by Carrie Ann

When I was younger, I had a very specific timetable for myself. I would go to college at this age, get married and that age, and be done having kids at this age. I basically thought that I would live my own mother’s timeline: start young, finish young. I guess it’s good to have some sort of plan, but my life has turned out very different from how I thought it would, and that’s a good thing, too. But I had to learn to be flexible.

I have realized lately that I am a late bloomer. I am glad, looking back, that I did not marry younger (although at the time it’s all I wanted). I am glad that I had the chance to work and go to school before I became a wife. I would have been a lot less mature and a lot less “worldly” had I jumped into something sooner. I could have forced my timetable, but I’m glad I waited for Todd. Even still, there are things I wish I had done as a single person that I never had the chance to do.

To be honest, I have a hard time relating to people who don’t feel included as single people in the Gospel. You can be as included as you want to be in any situation, except maybe Junior High and some playgroups in Japan. We have argued as much in previous topics about being childless in our family culture as well. Being childless has not stopped me from making friends or being involved in the ward. Being single didn’t keep me from going to the temple, participating, or feeling like I was a part of a ward family. My older sister and brother did not get married until “later” as well, and I never sensed bitterness or impatience from them either.

People might not always be nice. There are people who are completely insensitive. Mothers will most likely hound their single children for all eternity. But isn’t it always about what you make of it? I don’t see people like Sherry Dew being “held back” because she’s single. Our stake young women’s president is single AND childless, and no one is questioning her ability to lead and serve.

I understand that the requirements for full celestial glory include being married AND having posterity, but can I be bitter if it doesn’t happen for me in this lifetime? How will being bitter change anything? I will make the most of it, and I have.

And I make sure the young women in my class understand this as well. We are very careful about the lessons and activities we do concerning temple marriage. Never will you catch me planning an activity where we go try on wedding dresses, because the reality is that not everyone is going to get married in this lifetime. I want them to really understand that. We teach them very clearly that if they choose to fully participate in the whole celestial rewards thing it requires them to marry in the temple, but we also try to instill in them a sense of confidence and purpose and individual happiness aside from that. Marriage doesn’t make you happy. Only you can make you happy.

P.S. Sorry about last week. It was a great topic and I have enjoyed reading the posts and comments alike. I was in Portland visiting a sister and new baby and was too busy falling in love with my new niece to tear myself away and post. Ahh…baby love…


One comment

  1. I totally agree with everything you have said.

    While still single at 33, I am so grateful I didn’t marry the guys I dated in my younger days. In fact I still look back and fervently thank the Lord that he gave me the wisdom and strength with one guy in particular to be faithfully obedient to the NO I received. Oh how my life would have been miserable if I had married this man, if I had succumbed to the desire to be married and have kids and in so doing lowered my standards. Where would I be now? I shudder at the thought. I realize now I was in love with the idea more then the man.

    It used to bother me when well meaning folks would ask me when I am going to finally settle down and DECIDE to get married and have kids – as if it were that simple – I decide to be thin I decide to be married I decide to be rich – POOF! Now I simply say “I am accepting applications if you would like to recommend anyone!” That shuts them up and turns a formally awkward silence into a much lighter moment.

    I have a great life and have had great opportunities, adventures and experiences. I refuse to sit around and wait for a husband for my life to start. I am going to continue to do as much as I can as a single, then when I find the right man and have kids I will have that much more to share with them.

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