With city temperatures dropping, gloves and scarves coming out of hibernation, and iced coffee being exchanged for hot – I can’t help but think of change.
Fall is my favorite season because of the possibility it brings to the atmosphere, but winter brings this idea of transition. Wardrobe, food, transportation, and mentalities (winter blues, anyone?) makes a complete transformation between the sweltering days to the freezing ones. We’re literally forced to change.
At times, life is like that too. We reach a point where making a change is absolutely necessary: when the job sucks so bad we can’t stand to go to it, when that five pounds has turned into twenty, when drinking has become a must-have instead of a treat.
Recently, I interviewed a couple who own a maternity line for urban moms-to-be for the magazine. With an upcoming reality show debuting at the start of the year and a baby on the way – this duo was on fire. During the interview, it was evident how easily they worked together in and out of the business, and how passionate they were for the pregnant-new-parent industry (if you can call it that?).
Although I asked her a million questions that she gave great responses to – there was one thing she said that really stuck out in my head and caused me to jot down notes for this blog on the train back to my office. As we were discussing reaching her target market, she said: “It works really well that we’re creating a family right now as I’m growing this business. You really can’t even begin to understand what being pregnant is like unless you’re actually going through it, feeling what you’re body is going through, and freaking out.”
In my head, I thought, “That’s true. You also can’t grasp what being a single girl is like unless you are on.” And then, as I listened to her and watched her interact with me and with her husband, it occurred to me that she hasn’t always been this beautiful, successful, married, and glowing with-child woman. At one point, she was a single lady, just like me. It’s just that now, she’s in a different part of her life.
So does that mean being single is a stage? Is it a required transition? If first comes love, then comes marriage, then the baby in the baby carriage, what comes before love? Being single?
I’m not sure I like thinking of my life in stages, but in a way it makes sense. You can’t be a couple or a triple or foursome, if you’re not a single first –mathematically it doesn’t work. Right now I’m a 20-something gal climbing the ladder in her career and exploring the dating jungle that defines NYC. But in three years, I could be married? In ten, I could have a baby and a bump? How does life progress through these stages so quickly?
Are we ever not transitioning from one thing to another? And if we can’t completely depend on the stages in our lives that we hope to happen, will in fact progress, do we have faith? Instead, do we live in the here-and-now? Or do we do a combination of both?
If every stage is just a preparation for the next, are we ever really living in the segment of our lives we’re in? Or are we always anticipating the next step, the next decision, the next move? Once we’ve found that person, we rush to the alter. Once we’re at the alter, we rush to the nursery. Once we’re in the nursery, we rush to the playroom. Once we’re in the playroom, we’re looking at Harvard? Does it ever stop?
And do we lose what we’ve found in the steps before as we keep moving?
Being single gives us a mindset of independence, self–reliability, and confidence. I’m sure marriage gives you new perspectives and babies do even more – but I don’t think we should ever fully transition out of the single-lady values. Being “good on our own” isn’t something that should change when we move into the next step. I don’t think single is so much a stage as it is the foundation for the rest of our lives.
After all, it’s important to be able to depend on our own two feet before we play footsie with hubby or kiss the bottoms of our baby’s toes.