Dealing With Broken Bones After the Fall, Not Before

Yesterday afternoon someone asked me why I wanted to buy a house. I explained all the reasons I have been gathering together for two years. That list of good, happy, excited reasons that I have been simmering and steaming, waiting for a time when it would boil over to drown the fears and other negatives underneath. In my excitement I showed them pictures of a house I love. I told them about all the changes I would make and the amazingness that would occur in the house and in my heart once it was mine. They  listened, they nodded, they kindly chuckled at the right times; then they said something they probably felt was very practical and helpful. “What happens if you meet someone that you want to marry and you’re stuck with a house?”

I want to be honest here. No sugar coating with a layer of pretty words. That question they asked? It really chapped my ass. Let’s start with the subtle reminder of how woefully single I am. Because I’m sure this question came from a place of kind-hearted concern, and maybe even optimism that I would, in fact, meet someone very soon. But any reminder, good or bad, is a prickly subject for a single lady. Pretty much every woman I know, whether they want to be in a relationship right now or not, has some level of “I am going to be alone for the rest of my life” syndrome.
I like the way my life looks right now, and I’m not bitter, but it’s not like I haven’t thought about what my life would look like with someone else to give me support. Instead of having the financial, physical, and emotional support of another person while searching, buying, and remodeling a home I am in line to do it myself. 
So thank you for reminding me how repulsive I am (joke, don’t get mad at me for self-deprecating) and how my dating/engaged/married/betrothed/whatever friends get to do this together (not a joke). But that’s not even the main thing that bothered me. What bothered me is that it felt like they were suggesting I stop my life and wait for the presence of a person before proceeding.
I told this person I wasn’t worried, and they shouldn’t either, and they continued, “You have a nice set up at your apartment, do you really want to get down the road and regret buying a house?” Intended or not, I heard, “Maybe you should wait on a house. Wait for a man to come along and sweep you off your feet so that you can begin your life.” Again, intended or not, that’s what I heard. Wait to start your life. Sit patiently in silence and wait for all the things your heart wants, that you are being called to. Don’t do anything to strive for the things you want, put them on hold, because someday someone is going to come along and bring them to you, and then your life is allowed to start.

This calls for more sugar reduction: less dusting with pretty words, more visibility of my soul, because I want to be as clear as possible. The very last thing I am waiting on, is a fucking man to give my life meaning. I refuse to press pause on my life and sit in silence. I will not and cannot live my life in expectation of “what if”. Let’s set aside the fact that I am fairly slow moving on big decisions and therefore wouldn’t marry someone I just met. What if I meet someone tomorrow and fall madly in love and we move to the freakin’ alps and I have to turn around and sell the house I just bought? 

Who gives a shit? Really. Because also on the list of what if is “what if I never meet my person and I am single forever?” If that’s the case, then why the hell would I sit and wait for something that is never going to exist? That isn’t a real pleasant alternative, so you know what? I am choosing to ignore both options.

There’s a quote in EAT Pray love that I’m going to share with you because there’s no way I can word better than Liz Gilbert.


“There’s a wonderful old Italian joke about a poor man who goes to church every day and prays before the statue of a great saint, begging, “Dear saint-please, please, please…give me the grace to win the lottery.” This lament goes on for months. Finally the exasperated statue comes to life, looks down at the begging man and says in weary disgust, “My son-please, please, please…buy a ticket.”


Sitting in my apartment hoping, praying, waiting, that my life will grow is like asking to win the lottery but never buying a ticket. Waiting on “what if” isn’t going to bring me any kind of happiness. Maybe my “hard-headedness” as it has been labeled, makes people uncomfortable, and I’m sorry for that. I’m somewhat impatient for change, and forcefully independent. But I’m also smart, and careful, (and humble) and if by hard headed you meant that I know what I want and I’ll do whatever it takes to get it, then yes. You’re exactly right. I am hard headed. So thank you for your concern, but I am not waiting on a kind gentleman to sweep me off my feet so that I can begin to grow the way I want to. Maybe I will meet someone at some veiled, foggy, indefinite curve along the road, and guess what? If I do, I’ll be happy, free, and fulfilled on my own because I haven’t stopped my motion to wait for him to travel down the road to me. I won’t have sat stewing in frustration that it has taken him so long to come from his distant abyss to find me, we will be meeting in the middle. I’ll be able to offer more to this other person because I have let myself grow the way I felt called. I’ll be a whole person by myself, not half a person until I meet him. Our two parts when put together will be greater than 100 percent because of it, and I think that is truly awesome. 

And if we get stuck with a house you know what’ll happen? Absolutely nothing. We aren’t the first, and we won’t be the last. People figure out shit like that together all the time.

So no, I’m not afraid I’m going to meet someone that I want to marry and I’ll get stuck with a house I can’t sell. I’m afraid that I will be sitting still in front of a statue praying and lamenting when the answer is standing right behind me, just waiting for me to get up and make my truth happen. My real, true, vital growth today means so much more to me than a future “what if”. 
I will most certainly make mistakes. I may get stuck with a house and an infinite list of other future wrong decisions, because I can’t predict what is going to be wrong or right, but I know that I won’t get stuck with stagnation, unhappiness, or regret because I blended in and held still.
I will deal with the broken arm after the fall, not before. In other words, I will deal with my problems if or when the situation occurs. But what’s the point of trying to predict my downfalls? I’m not living my life waiting.
I’m not afraid of “what if” I’m afraid of “what if not”. I’m afraid I’ll be so busy asking and waiting, that I will miss my opportunity to buy a ticket.
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