Tag Archives: adulthood

It’s OK to be single and 23

The other day I had a conversation with one of my college friends about being single. Her and I had both recently ended our “summer flings” with guys we knew from the beginning wouldn’t work out. Hers was an undergrad med student and mine an engineer I met briefly who lived 5 hours away and we managed to keep up whatever we had for nearly 4 months. Lots of our friends are in relationships, some long term some not so long term, but we both agreed that there is this stigma in today’s society that maybe girls put on themselves that we aren’t supposed to be single. As 23 year olds we should be seeking out possible suitors or in long term relationships. What happened to being young, single and just plain ok with it?

Guys our age have this bachelor attitude towards life that makes them not want to settle down and “play the field”, but why can’t 20-something women do the same thing? There is something (which I have yet to figure out) about society that makes us have this old maid complex towards single women. We all think our biological clock is ticking and we better settle down now because we’re getting “old”. The thing is we’re not and the girls who think that are rushing into relationships solely for the reason of being in a relationship. Women can be just as career driven as men, want just as much freedom as men, and do whatever we damn well please. The problem is, most women my age don’t think that way. Even if they’re not ready for a relationship they are more than eager to jump into one for the sake of being able to say at the next family function they’re dating someone.

The point on this topic is to make 20 something women see that it is ok to be single and there is nothing wrong with it. Some people may find it when they’re young and it may last them a lifetime, but it’s just not for everyone. Find who you are before you’re on the hunt for someone else. It really isn’t a race and there is no prize for the first to cross the finish line. Live your life, don’t worry about when you’ll get married, you shouldn’t be concerned about your biological clock because when something is supposed to happen it will. Forcing things is only asking for a failure and I’ve seen too many friends make that mistake by trying to force things with the wrong people.

Be single, be free, and be just plain ok with it.

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Rediscovering Cleveland – The Cleveland International Film Festival

Back in Cleveland where the weather is bitter cold compared to the sunny and humid air of the Florida Keys, my friends and I headed out for Ohio City this morning for breakfast at Bon Bon’s. The atmosphere there is great and the coffee was delicious. Four cups of coffee later, we caught the rapid and headed for Tower City for the 38th annual Cleveland International Film Festival.

We stood in line to get tickets for stand by for one of the Dutch films, got our tickets and waited in line for the possibility that we would get in. An hour and a half later they told people that the film was full and we could get our money back or see another film. We almost went to see Oliver Stoned, a film about a 27 year old living in his parents basement who gets stoned all the time, but decided on Pelada.

It was a great decision. Pelada was about a couple who were former student athletes playing soccer for Duke and Notre Dame. They traveled the world finding pick up soccer games in different countries. Although I’m not a huge soccer fan, I loved this documentary. I think this movie had a greater message behind it.

I learned two things from this movie, that culture or politics shouldn’t determine friendships and you can still be passionate about something even if you feel it’s time to grow up and put those things in the past. When they were in Iran one of the young men they were playing with said my favorite quote of the entire movie,

Politics shouldn’t determine friendships

The USA and Iran have such bad relationships with each other because of our governments and most of us have not every interacted with someone from Iran. As they found out while they played soccer with the Iranians they can be friends with each other even though they have extreme government and cultural differences. Another stop in Jerusalem showed the unrest between a group of Arabic and Jewish people playing a simple game of soccer. Their religious and cultural differences came in between their ability to just play the game.

The lesson of living out your dreams as you age was apparent in all the people they met. When they were in Tokyo and Shanghai they met groups of Asian men who worked 10-12 hours a day and still took the time to play soccer for an hour each day. In South Africa, a group of construction workers building the stadium for the 2010 World Cup gave up their lunch break to play a game of soccer instead. As we age I think we all start to give up things we enjoy or love to do because it’s what we see as practical or good for the family. We all have to grow up sometime right? We don’t have to give up the things we love.

I never thought I would have found myself at the film festival this past weekend, but it was a great cultural experience and it was awesome to have something like this happening right here in Cleveland. Moving home from college has been quite the adjustment, but finding new things in the city that I enjoy doing had made the transition into adulthood here that much easier.

Reflection.

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I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting lately. Reflecting on my past, reflecting on my current life and questioning what the future might hold for me. For the past four summers I kept saying this is my last summer before I have to be a real adult. Each summer throughout college I said that exact phrase to my parents wanting me to get a job or buckle down on school work. So, today I took about a half hour on what may be one of the last nice nights of the summer of 2013 to drive around my town and see my past. From the beach to the high school to my junior high and childhood playgrounds I just drove by and thought if the memories. I truly am a real adult now and I have to think back on the things I did and how I would have done them differently and how I could have changed things. Nonetheless the past is in the past and there is no way to change the way things were.

To say I am feeling nostalgic tonight is an understatement. The simplicity of life that we all take for granted as young kids and teens is something I wish I knew. There are still things I wish I could take back and those things will continue to happen, but I wish I knew how little of an impact that would make on most peoples lives. I will still have regrets, as will everyone, and those who don’t have not lived. We all make mistakes and those people who can be around you through your mistakes and the small or sometimes large blunders are your true friends. I wonder about the friends that I’ve made to know if they are the true friends. I can say with out a doubt I have at least one, but are all the others true friends or just acquaints? One of the many questions I asked myself tonight.

Not only was I reminiscing, but I was thinking on the future as well. I know that as far as most post college grads are concerned I’m pretty successful. I have a job in my field that I love, I don’t have very much debt, I’m about to purchase my second car, and I have a good amount of money saved up. But, I don’t feel like this is the next chapter for me. I can’t help, but feel like this is maybe still the same chapter. I just need to find out what it is that’s going to be written in my next chapter. What is the next thing in my life that will be new and exciting that makes my life unique and worth living to the fullest. Half of me says I need to start looking out of state and the other half couldn’t imagine leaving my family. I just need to learn to be happy again and it’s finding that place again. My bridge from the pure ecstasy of college to the boring mundane life back in the suburbs with my parents is a hard one to cross when I just want to go running back to the other side. One leg at a time I need to learn to stand on the other side. Not necessarily in the suburbs with my parents because it’s not who I am, but as an adult who is successful and able to be independent and proud of what I’ve accomplished and who I am.

So as I watched the sun sink down on my suburban beach town, I said goodbye to my childhood and hello to a life of adulthood and all the burdens and joys it may bring.