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From Our Readers: Being Single Is Not a Disability

When it really isn't.
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I just read an article that I, a single girl, am now considered disabled. Wow, being single is now a disability, apparently. So before I get the privileges of this disability that include discounts on public transportation and comfy seats in public offices, let me tell you the reasons why I stayed single.

First, my heart is not stone-cold or stone-hard. I have a perfectly normal beating heart that falls for someone or something foolishly, and later on gets left alone. I also had my fair share of failed love stories and unrequited love. I also had episodes of bitterness, but I got over it. Why would I force myself on people? I would like to believe that if it's meant for me, then it's mine. All roads will lead him to me. Call me a hopeless romantic, I don't really care.

Second, I always have a fear of staying with someone all the time. Would I be able to stay committed? I have a tendency to easily get tired of the things that I love. Can that someone, the person that I love, keep my attention? Because I have a very short attention span.

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Third, being alone for me has been totally okay; not great though but okay. I can live with it. It is normal to long for company but I always liked being alone or having a time of my own and taking control of my schedule.

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Fourth, I have a mean streak that gets so bad. We all have that, but can I live with someone who has it, too? I really don't know. I easily get disappointed by little things that I consider unpleasant. Maybe that's my fifth reason. It all starts with a disgusting thing that he does and everything goes downhill after that.

Sixth, I love fictional characters. Maybe they set my standards unrealistically high. How can you not love those imaginary guys? Dreaming is for free, so let me dream higher than the Empire State.

Seventh, I am not pretty. Who would choose ugly? The advocacy of erasing standardized beauty hasn't been implemented thoroughly. Maybe it takes a procedure or some sort of surgery to change people's standards and perspectives.

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Eighth, most of the guys (not all but most) have eyes for fancy things. That includes different girls, as if girls are a special kind of luxury that they need more than one.

And ninth, being single and blessed is a choice. There are times when I don't feel that it is, but I know that it is in fact, a choice. I don't know the minor supporting details of other people regarding this but we all have reasons for our choices. Some will not understand and others luckily will.

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If you know me, and know me well, I am not the biggest fan of idyllic lifestyles. With a Type A personality, I act immediately upon whatever challenge that needs to be addressed. I actually enjoy keeping my mind preoccupied: doing university work in my favourite cafe then running errands around town, grocery shopping here, updating my accounts there, photocopying documents on the way down the street - all just in time before having a glass of champagne at the bar with my friends come evening.

And so, you could imagine my bewilderment when the next challenge to be faced was an extensive self-quarantine protocol. I didn’t know what to do when my greatest responsibility in this situation was to do nothing at all. My first few attempts to combat my consternation were very much rooted in distraction and imagination. My distractions involved conducting research, writing songs, calling family and friends, filming videos, and eating chocolate! My imaginations and fantasies were centred on travelling, shopping, even clubbing (which I rarely do) for when they find a cure to COVID-19. I did anything and everything that could be considered constructive in order to pass the time, mainly hoping I could just undertake the basic human necessities to survive - that is, eat and sleep the day through - until the next day comes, until the world is closer to becoming a better place, until quarantine ends, until my flight follows through, until I see my family and friends again.

Days in self-isolation and suspended flights turned to weeks and turned to months. By the third extension here in Spain where I study Fashion Business, I had to tell myself this shall be my new normal now, that I was blessed to be healthy, that I was tired of merely existing and missed what it was like to actually live - even if just within four walls. Little by little, I began to find significance in the simple occurrences of the day: the soft glare of the rising sun beaming golden streaks through my bedroom window upon waking up, the fragrance of freshly washed bed sheets that I had painstakingly hung to fit a relatively small clothes rack without crumpling them, the crunch and tanginess of warm toasted bread topped with raspberry marmalade, the buzzing sound of a phone call from home just waiting to be answered, to the caress of a fuzzy sweater to keep warm at night. I realised, “What pleasures to be enjoyed in the pause of slow living!” Through this continued pause, which I loathed at first, I began to appreciate each moment of the day rather than wish it would pass more swiftly, moments I had overlooked so often before the lockdown. I started to find that the challenge of self-isolation was never to pause both the regular routines of life as well as the positive emotions that came with these - as initially, I thought it meant to pause all happiness, so as to withstand a time of endurance in hopes for a better tomorrow, much like a form of delaying gratification. Life is just too fragile these days to delay gratification any further.

Life has paused, but it has not stopped. Believe that like any punctuation mark in a sentence, the pause will provide the right timing of things to take place. Till then, let us not waste our time waiting. Instead, we could be in the moment, seek substance in simplicity (that is, in what we already have), And enjoy the pleasure in pause. “Practice the Pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.”

They say time heals all wounds, but it has been ages - is heartbreak exempted?

I have forgotten when was the last time we shared a smile - the last time when I saw the glow in your eyes and the last time when you whispered an I love you to me. I have forgotten when, but here I am - writing to you again.

I do not know if you will read this or you will just add this one to my proses and poems that you left unread, but you see, I am still hoping. I am mailing the pain of us to the gods out there - hoping they can take the pain away. I should have gotten over you, but instead of forgetting and accepting our ending, I am writing about us in tissue sheets, carving about us on trees, telling about us on the back of my journals, hoping that a thousand or a million write ups about us, can make me forget about what happened.

I am writing, waiting for the point where I can no longer write anymore, for I have none to tell - but when? I have nothing in me anymore, but the memories of us - and no matter how hard I try put those to its own grave, the memories grow back like lilies in the swamp - painful and beautiful at the same time.

No matter how hard I try to silence those and put it at the back of my mind, those ring back, playing like the favorite song we used to listen. They say heartbreaks turn into poetry and that is what happening to us - but poetry should be dulcet and dreamy, why does ours sound like pain and agony? They say time heals all wounds, but it has been ages - is heartbreak exempted? Darling, I guess not.

Anne Luna A day ago
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