Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Guest Post by Stella Skywalker

Hi Friends! My name, well codename, is Stella and I can’t even begin to describe how happy I was to find this blog. As a single, never been married woman I have finally reached the place where it's really starting to bother me. 40 isn't too far away and my 'patience' (if I ever had any) is starting to wear thin. I unfortunately live in an area where too many singles are inactive especially those in their 30’s and 40’s and more often then not I find my heart aching to have someone who ‘gets’ it and who can share the ups and downs of this time of life. Too often I feel completely alone and while I have been blessed with some truly amazing friends my bestest and dearest are all married with families and though they love me, empathize, cry for me and with me and pray for my blessings to come they don’t understand. Sometimes you just need someone who gets it and who is struggling the same way you are, striving to stay strong and doing their best to avoid taking the seemingly easy way out. So all that said I’m happy to be here and I’m happy you’re here too. Hopefully my thoughts and ideas are shared and not further evidence that I really have finally lost my mind. So here we go…

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the one I call “the jerk.” We’ve all met him; we’ve all been under his predatory attack; some have succumbed and some have fought with all they’ve got. He is relentless and I have come to finally figure out he will never ever go away. I have to become stronger then he is until his attacks are merely barely noticed annoyances rather then the “knock me off my path with the force of a nuclear explosion” events that I have recently experienced.

Now that I have your attention let me make it perfectly clear who the jerk is. He is not one of our sweet brothers who struggle, as we do, with making it through this life. The jerk is the adversary - the one who lives to see all of us fail. The one whose sole purpose is to keep us from happiness, keep us from knowing who we really are, who lies and deceives to make sure we stay confused and unfocused.

Have you ever really stopped to ponder who you are? What lies within you to achieve and become? Every now and then I can feel it. Actually feel who I have the potential to become. It’s all there and wow she is SOMETHING. Granted the Stella I am today is far from that amazing being that I can occasionally sense but just knowing that I could someday become her is a rather sobering thought. How do I get there? How do I hold on to this idea even though this time of life is pummeling my self-esteem, my faith, my hope and sometimes even my belief in Heavenly Father’s promises? The jerk is making sure that I am challenged every step of this particular part of my path and quite frankly I’ve had just about enough.

So why is he trying so hard? Why is he making sure that every happy feeling is hard earned?

As I think about these things only one thing comes to mind. Something great is coming. Something wonderful and eternally important is headed my way and he wants to stop me. If he can keep me from going to church, going to the Temple, saying my prayers, reading the scriptures, paying my tithe, and following the guidance of the Holy Ghost and the Lords servants then he wins. Heavenly Fathers plan is thwarted and yet another eternal family is yet to be created and my eternal misery is laid in a very firm foundation.

I have a new favorite talk. It is Russell M. Nelsons: Stay in the Boat. His council is to beg us to stay in the boat until we get to the other side. Sooner or later this trial has to end. It has to change and though we may not yet see the shore it’s out there. I know it is. After all, if it weren’t the jerk wouldn’t be working so hard to convince you (and me) that it isn’t.

Monday, August 16, 2010

A New Approach? (Marnie)

My sister sent me a link to an article about a new book that has come out called, It Just Hasn’t Happened Yet, written by Karin Anderson. I think any woman over 30 who isn't married can relate to this article. Who hasn’t had the questions about our marital status, “You are so cute, I can’t figure out why you aren’t married!” I actually had one man actually say as a followup, "no really, why can't you get married? What's wrong with you? Are you too picky?" It was as though I had some sort of secret to why I've not succeeded at finding a mate. I was so shocked and embarrassed by the comment I actually started defending myself racking my brain for reasons why I hadn't achieved the goal. It was humiliating and I'm ashamed I let him make me feel that way. I'm sure I'm not alone in having situations like that.

But back to the article...

This article talks about how single women after a certain age (she says 40, but in Mormon culture I think it starts at 30) start to really listen to some of those back-handed compliments and wonder if there is truth to it. I know I’ve fallen for that trap, thinking that I must be a total mess if I can't get married because everyone thinks I should be. Yet some of the most obnoxious, rude and so-less-than-perfect women somehow land a husband. Anderson’s idea is that the only reason people get married is because they are “lucky.” I’m not sure if I completely agree. Some are maybe lucky. But some are just stupid. It does seem that finding a spouse is all about timing - your timing, his timing...and if that isn't right, there is no marriage. When I think about it like that, it does sound all about luck.

If it is all about luck, that also means that everyone is on the same playing field. No married woman is a better than a single woman. You can’t make judgments of how good a person is based solely on marital status – although I think society does it all the time.

Anderson is saying there really isn’t anything wrong with us. That it “just hasn’t happened yet” and to not stress about it. I think I agree to a point. I still think the “Marnie” of 1997 who was nowhere near being ready for the idea of marriage, would have run from marriage faster than anybody. I'm sure of that. But things have changed and I'm not that same "Marnie." I’ve been working on so many things and trying to be more open and more approachable. Yep, I’m not exactly where I want to be. However, being perfect shouldn’t be a requirement to get married - and frankly, it ISN'T. (I really do want to kill the person that started that rumor!) So obsessing and getting down on myself doesn’t help the situation at all. And that’s where I think this article has a really important message: we shouldn’t give up and throw in the towel, but instead repeat to ourselves, just as Anderson says, “it just hasn’t happened yet!”

Friday, August 6, 2010

Want to Share?

Do you have something you'd like to share on the Confessions of a Single Mormon Girl blog? We (well, it's just mostly me now) are open to guest posts from other single women who want to share their thoughts and feelings about this time in their lives.

I figured it out and we now have a new email address you can send your post to. It works, I promise! So please send it on:

Last Single Standing and Blogging - at least on this website :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Reality (Marnie)

I was talking with a friend who has a medical condition that keeps her from having kids. Well, she thinks it would. She isn’t married yet and hasn’t had the chance to try it out. But she’s 40 now. And she truthfully told me she doesn’t want to have kids. She’s just too old. The dream had died and she had moved on to just appreciate being an aunt to great nieces and nephews and “waiting for the millennium” to finally get her chance at motherhood.

I applauded her ability to move on, but personally I’m not there yet. I’m still selfish and think I can still have a kid even though I’ll probably be 61 when that kid moves out of the house. Jane Seymour had twins at age 46 and she's been my hope for the future.

Is it fair to be that old and have kids? Is it right? Is it wise? Beats me! It’s just what I want! And yet, it doesn’t matter what that “want” is. I can do all I can – and I’ve done a lot to find a mate – things that would make “normal” women roll their eyes and as we’ve seen, strangers make comments to this blog condemning me and saying, “seriously? You still think like that?” But I’m committed! I’m determined! And yet in the end, I have zero power over the situation. If it isn’t what God wants, it ain’t happening…

That realization that it's out of my control has been a tough road. Just like so many single, Mormon women my age, I take on life with full force. I’m accused of being too independent and intimidating to some men. But nothing has brought me more tears and faster to my knees than my search for a spouse. And I’m still there. Still on my knees. Still pleading. But I’m coming closer to the fact that there is only one way and that’s God’s way. For it to be right and what I want, it’s in God’s hands and his timing.

I only wish I could embrace God’s way with happiness and gratitude. I still get so sad and annoyed about it - more than I should. Maybe when I can truly accept God’s will with gratitude, things will change? Yep, I’m still trying to outwit God. Anticipate his moves and actions – understand his motivations. But that doesn’t work either.

I think what I want most is understanding of the apparent “necessary wait.” If I need to learn something, let’s do it! Let’s learn! Let’s get this over with! I don’t care how painful or scary. Let’s get this over with!

Yet, it isn’t about running into a fight and scrapping around. It’s about waiting and being ok with the wait. And it's apparent I’m not…yet.