Like many millennials I’ve come to really appreciate the convenience of online shopping. There’s something satisfying about ordering an item and getting it in the mail two days later. It’s easy because I don’t have to leave my house. I can remember something I forgot at the store, order it it in less than five minutes and then forget about it. Last year I decided that it was time to get a new car. My 1998 Honda Civic had been reliable and great on gas but it was challenging driving a stick shift in 3 hours of rush hour Atlanta traffic every day. Like many people, I knew I didn’t want to go to various car dealerships getting price quotes and dealing with shady car salesmen. So I decided to go with the online option because I thought it would be less stressful. And I was right. I picked a car, got financing approved and it took about an hour. My car arrived five days later and the company dropped it off at my house. It was the first time that I had the chance to test drive the car and I had 7 days to try it out before deciding if I wanted to keep it or get my money back. Definitely an experience I’ll do again.
Like many single people, I often get the chance to hear the reason why I’m single from many nice and well-meaning people. Personally, I find the unsolicited advice annoying but that’s a different topic. The reasons always vary and tend to involve some advice on self improvement. All well and good. This week I heard a new reason that seemed more ironic than the other ones I’ve heard up to this point. I was told that I’m single because I appear to be too independent and “put together” that it appears that I don’t need anyone. I will say that there’s a certain type of confidence that comes along with the continued ability to manage your bills and life without the input or assistance of a significant other. You make the hard decisions and life with the consequences alone. It may not always be ideal but you make it. But let’s be honest, people like being needed. There’s a certain security that comes along with knowing that you’re needed. You see couples who have broken up with both partner feeling utterly lost because they were so codependent on each other that they lost themselves in a relationship that ended. I think that there’s a balance or a sweet spot to be found concerning being “too” needy or “too” independent. Personally, it makes more sense to me to be too independent instead of too needy because it almost seems like the “lesser” evil. You have people with bucket lists of places that they want to visit and the only thing holding them back is finding someone to take along. Regardless of everything responsibilities have to be addressed and bills need to be paid. I think that’s just basic adulting stuff. It’s not an indication of being too independent to have a companion. But that’s just my opinion. So am I going to try to appear more needy for the sole purpose of landing a significant other? Nah.
It’s funny how adulthood doesn’t always turn out the way that you planned as a kid. I remember having a grand vision for my life as a kid that included doing what I wanted when I wanted to. Each birthday was a year closer to being 18 which was the magic number in my mind where I would suddenly emancipate from the endless rules of my parents. One perk of having a non-traditional education meant that i had a little more time than most my age. After finishing high school a few weeks after I turned 17 I decided that I wanted to take a break so I did. For the next year I chilled at home and took community college classes with the intention to hit the ground running when I began college. The great thing about that year was that I could collect my thoughts with minimal responsibilities. During that time I sold books door to door and even sold knives. I know a lot of people who went directly from high school to college and still had no idea what they wanted to do with their life. They go through a year or two and drift from major to major spending large amounts of money they don’t really have. The thing about young adulthood is that you expect to have more answers than you did as a kid when in fact you just encounter more questions. You want the world to be black and white but sometimes it ends up being a really weird shade of gray. The thing I like about being an adult is that it was similar to what I imagined as a kid. I do what I want, when I want. The sad part is that there are also hundreds of stipulations to that simple fact. The stakes are higher, the consequences for stupid mistakes can easily wreck the future. It’s similar to driving in a fog on a dark night. You know where you’re going but still can’t see five feet ahead of you and your headlights just illuminate how much more fog is ahead.