Last week marked 12 months of the new title…you know that shitty ‘Ms’ option on every client intake form.
I never gave those 2 letters so much weight until now.
I have a very vivid memory of driving home with my husband at the time, from a friend’s birthday only a couple of years ago. Amongst the friendship group were some ‘single’ friends, and I found myself indulging in ‘horror’ dating stories, learning about the challenges of single life and gaining insight into internet dating tips and tricks.
My mind was boggled and then reality set in, which I vocalised in the car.
“Imagine, just imagine, how hard it would be to be single now. And then add to that, being a parent”. Geez I’m SO glad I am not single!”
I remember feeling immense fear expressing this, shuddering at the thought and then acknowledging the challenges and pain it could potentially bring.
Famous last words….
According to all of the ‘professional’ support we have sourced over the past 12 months to help navigate such a mammoth and emotional transition in our lives, we have been labelled; ‘A Unique Case’.
Amicable, kind, respectful, mutual and self-aware.
I have no desire to EVER air my dirty laundry, because truth be told, there wasn’t a whole lot dirty about it.
My marriage didn’t fail, it reached its expiry date in that format.
The relationship isn’t dead, it is just different.
We were 2 souls, connected for a purpose. (As we all are)
We served our dues.
We cried, laughed, felt immense love and pain, made great choices and poor ones, said things we meant and didn’t mean and finally, after 10 years, owned our truth and realised and agreed that it was time to close that chapter of our lives.
In return; we were blessed with a whole lot of awareness, some cold, hard truths, an experience of deep, deep love and 2 precious children which we are committed to raising with utmost consciousness, love and unity.
I am in no way downplaying the scope of my reality and the decision my ex and I made.
The outcome was not made lightly, nor without enormous pain, suffering and heartache.
But for the purpose of this BLOG post, I don’t feel it is necessary to go into detail.
So rainbows and unicorns aside….this doesn’t change the title that I now wear however.
One that has in fact consumed me for a big portion of my adult life.
My higher/enlightened self wholeheartedly recognises that the outcome of my experience was necessary and right, but only writing from that place may not necessarily serve the purpose of this BLOG. And that is, to be honest, to be authentic and to call a spade a spade and quit the BS!
This new title takes me way back, essentially to my ENTIRE 20’s.
I liken that decade of my life to the movie 27 dresses starring Kathryn Hiegel.
Always the bridesmaid, Never the bride.
All I wanted, so desperately, was to find him.
I searched high and low. I was a very ‘committed’ single person.
And now I have the tale to tell.
I had it all: the husband, the kids, the dog, the business and even the fancy white picket fence.
Ah the irony…
In 2021, I am a single mother of 2 children and I continue to have moments where I need to pinch myself to remember my newest reality.
The one that CAN be challenging and often painful.
Sure I can find the pros to having every alternate weekend off from parenting essentially.
But along with that comes overwhelming feelings of loneliness, guilt, shame and fear, not to mention missing my children BIG time.
All feelings I am sure many single parents can resonate with.
And perhaps married and engaged and partnered….
I am navigating my new title. My new status. My new world.
The one that feels strangely familiar and yet so bloody foreign.
I recognise that I have spent such a large portion of my single and married life, being defined by a title.
We all are. Society seems to do that to us.
And because of this, it is a scary ordeal.
Suddenly, the title is no longer, and I am left feeling a little uneasy and somewhat unsteady.
Where is my confidence? Who do I lean on? Who has my back? Who the hell am I?
I am officially out there.
Do you know how frickin confronting that is after 10 years?!
Over the past 12 months I have questioned so much of myself as a ‘newly’ single woman.
My values, my beliefs, my humour, my chat, my intellect, my style, my career, and most certainly the angry line that runs vertically between my brow, that is a decade deeper!
And then throw in the mix the added protective element that goes with being single AND a parent.
‘Hi I am Fiona, and I have 2 kids OK!’ (paired with some crazy eyes)
Tonight in the shower, I envisaged writing this BLOG, Carrie Bradshaw style. (just swap her skimpy & sexy kit for flannelette PJ pants and an oversized hoodie)
I was overwhelmed with a sense of empowerment.
Why the hell does this ‘word’ need to be a title?
Since when are we defined by a 2 syllable, concoction of letters?
Single, married, engaged…who gives a shit.
Sure some of us want to love and feel loved by a partner.
Sure we want companionship and support.
And yes, we all want to be held and kissed and adored by a mate. Well I’ll speak for myself and say that ‘HELL YES’, that is definitely on the agenda one day.
But I fly my current flag with pride knowing that I also have a choice.
We all do.
I chose my TRUTH which was painful and so damn scary.
But in return, was gifted PEACE. (A much more grounded, honest and attainable feeling of happiness.)
The lonely feelings won’t dissipate from this moment moving forward. Nor will sneaky feelings of self judgement and fear.
And that’s OK, because those are just emotions, there to remind me to keep building my awareness but not define me.
Merriam Webster defines the word single as: consisting of or having only one part, feature, or portion.
Merriam, I have multiple parts to me and abundant features, that are all moving, growing and expanding by the millisecond.
Perhaps the single folk out there can remember this next time they are required to circle those ridiculous letters on the form!