Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Adulting, Boys, and Pity Parties (#HavePatience)

I've never been one for pity parties.  Yet, recently, that's exactly where I found myself...Pity party for one, anybody?

Sometimes growing up can be hard.  (Can I still say that at 24?)  Legally I've been an adult for six years now, but as time goes on,  I see my friends all growing up in different, anticipated, and expected ways.  Some are moving out of their parent's homes.  Some are in new or serious relationships, getting married and having children.  Others are working in a financially secure jobs - with benefits.  There are a few that I know that are doing well in all three departments, plus many other areas in life.

If you're a long-time reader of my blog, you know a few things about me: I'm 24, I still live with my parents, and I've (still) never been on a date.  I've (still) never had a boyfriend.  And while, I am employed by a wonderful nonprofit that I love working for (the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation), I am part-time don't yet earn enough to live on my own.

By the standards of many, I'm behind.  Or maybe I should say I'm behind by the standards I've set for myself...Maybe both.

A few weeks ago I had different discussions with three of my dearest friends.  They all (now) have boyfriends, they are now moving or have moved out of their parent's homes. I am SO excited for them and I am so glad that they are accomplishing so much.  I celebrate for and with them!!...Yet, I sat there during these discussions, unable to fully relate.  I sat there, wondering, "When will I be able to move out on my own?  When will I have the joys of being in a relationship?"

Told ya.  Pity Party.  I know, envy isn't my best quality.  (And trust me, my moments of jealousy aren't something I'm proud of, and would have been much easier to hide.  However, I feel like there must be someone else out there who can relate.  Someone else who can be encouraged knowing that they are not alone.)

Soon after, I expressed my frustrations(?) to one of my close friends...All while probably sounding completely desperate, which is also not normally like me...But hey, if we're on this honesty train...Choo choo, y'all.

And then the irony happened.

I'm not usually the girl guys flirt with, or the one they show interest in.  Usually I'm the one on the sidelines, eating popcorn, watching all my friends in that role.  Then again, my friends have told me many times that I'm just blind in that aspect of life.

But then it happened: A guy showed interest.  Actually, strike that.  Within just a day or two after my venting session, TWO guys showed interest.

----

Who doesn't need this reminder?
Scene 1, Guy 1:  I reconnected with one of my friend's friends.  Actually, I was standing in the post office for 20 minutes while waiting for their custodian to help me save my phone...Which I very gracefully dropped between a counter (which was bolted down) and the wall.  And then walks in my friend's friend (let's call him Miles) with his sweet grandpa.  Miles eventually helped the custodian help me, and I was reunited with my phone at last!

Later Miles and I were texting...And I got awkward.

Miles: My grandpa told me you seem like a very cute girl.  I have to say that I agree.
Me: Shut up.  You're being ridiculous.

WHAT...?!!?  I told him to SHUT UP??  Who says that?  Oh, yeah...I do. (#SMH)

FYI: Don't forget about Miles.  We'll come back to him in a minute.

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Scene 2, Guy 2:  I went out with some friends.  There was a live band, and we ate pizza.  Some people were dancing.  I was sitting, hanging out with my friends.  Then, I noticed a guy trying to get my attention.  Although, at first I was certain he was trying to get the attention of my friend - but he wasn't.  So, I went to him to see what he wanted.

Guy: Why aren't you dancing?
Me: I don't dance.
Guy: Come on, let's dance!
Me: No, really.  I don't dance.  I'm kinda boring like that.
Guy: *Walks Away*

Once again...WHAT?!!??   I'm boring??  Where do I come up with these ridiculous responses?  (#Reason4509ImStillSingle)

For the love!...I've lived in London,  gone viral on Facebook, and am writing a book.  Why did I tell him I was boring?  I nearly decided to chase him down later to tell him, "I told you I was boring - but I'm not.  I think your good-looks distracted me and somehow cut that important wire between my mouth and brain.  So sorry...Can I tell you about the time I was pooped on by a dolphin??"

----

In the midst of this, Miles told me he was interested in me.  Actually, he told me he was "intrigued" by me - and sent me a sweet list of the reasons why.  He started to text me on a daily basis, consistently in pursuit.  Yet, I took his words with caution, knowing we had to be strictly friends and nothing more.

There's that rule that every girl should have a list of requirements she wants in a guy...A list she won't budge on.  Mine is short and sweet and has been rather consistent since the age of 16.  My top four requirements?

1. He must be a Christian, striving his best to follow God.
2. He must respect my decision to stay sexually pure until marriage.
3. He must have an interest in missions.
4. He must respect his parents.

Miles isn't a Christian - and that's not negotiable if you want to date me.

And here's the thing...I learned some important lessons through my life's recent, ironic moments.

Lesson one?  I'd rather be single with no one showing romantic interest in me than single and having non-Christians showing interest in me.  You don't know what you're missing when you don't have it.  I've lived 24 years without a guy spending time pursuing me (unless I've been blind in past situations, which is highly possible), but now I've had a taste of what that could be and feel like.  I'd rather stay single, without anyone in pursuit of my heart - unless he's a Christ-follower.

This year I'm writing that book.
I'm learning to play the piano.
I'm getting that AA degree.
I'm chasing those God-sized dreams.
Also, for various reasons, I've learned I have a wall around my heart that I need to start tearing down.  Yes, I need to guard my heart...After all, if I don't, who will?   But I can take down the spiked barbed-wire that pokes out, discouraging someone from trying to reach my heart.  I've always said I was willing to date if the right guy came along, but I don't think I was as willing as I thought I was at the time.  I'm pretty sure my heart not only had a wall with pokey barbed wire, but it also had an alarm system and guard dogs as a companion.

The most freeing lesson of them all?  I may not be moving out yet, have a "Facebook official" boyfriend (nor a non Facebook official boyfriend), or financially sufficient enough.  But...I am writing a book with different publishers interested.  I am pursuing my dreams.  We're all adulting in different ways - and we don't have to fit the mold, going at the same speed (or route) as everyone else.  It's okay to write that book before you move out of your parents house.  It's okay to live overseas with a mission organization for 6 months before getting that college degree.  You're not required to follow a specific list to live your life.  It's okay to do things differently!

Make 2016 your year, whatever that may look like.  Write that book, record that album.  Move out of your parent's home, ask the girl out.  Get your passport, sign up for college classes, or apply for that job.  Dare to dream your own dreams, and take the steps to get where you want to be.  There is no specific order we have to go by to grow-up and adult.  Go buy yourself some Nike shoes and, "Just Do It".

Take those chances and live the life God has called you to live.

The Travelin' and Adulting Chick,
Crystal

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