There’s a lot of emphasis on vocation as either ‘married life’ or ‘religious/consecrated life’, or an emphasis on vocation as being something off into the future — which it is. But our vocation is also active here and now, and the one vocation that all people are required to go through first is singlehood.
We tend to overlook this crucial period of our lives as the dreaded ‘default setting’ (which is true), but it’s also a called a ‘vocation’ for a reason: it’s a calling. We may not be called to singlehood for the rest of our lives, but we’re undeniably called to it at one point of our lives. It serves a purpose that, to God, is so important that no one can skip it.
Like many people, I, too, yearn for intimacy, love, and connection in the deepest way. And like many others, I, too, have come across opportunities in my life where I “almost” had that with another person. I say “almost” because it didn’t quite get that far — and for good reason, as I’m realizing in hindsight.
6 months have passed since our mutual decision to leave things as “almost”. Yet to have my co-op advisor say I looked more confident than I did 6 months ago — after 6 months of no longer having a security blanket over me, after 6 months of dealing with the natural sense of “loss” that came from letting go of someone I really care(d) about — surprised the heck out of me. It made me reflect on life like hadn’t in a long time.
I can’t deny that “loss” was an accurate description for how I felt, but it was not an accurate description for what was actually happening in my life. I’d been so focused on living, I forgot to take note of how much progress I’ve made in 6 months. And now I know:
If this was truly loss, why was I crossing major things off my Bucket List? If this was loss, why was I taking on positive opportunities that once scared the heck out of me? If this was loss, why was I re-connecting with important people in my life? If this was loss, why was I falling in love with certain activities I once lost passion for? If this was loss, why was I learning more about the movements in my heart with regards to a career? If this was loss, why did I feel more comfortable in my own skin than I had in a long time? If this was loss, why was I falling more in love with Love Himself?
I am beyond grateful that in allowing myself to ‘lose’ such an important part of my life, God has opened the doors to so many others.
What I’m trying to say is: singlehood is NOT a default setting that one remains in when all other doors are locked. It’s a period of life that is flooded with opportunity. So treasure it. Make the most out of it. It’s God’s gift to you, and your gift to the world.
I can confidently say that right now, I am exactly where I need to be. Right now, singlehood is my vocation. It may not be that way a year or so from now, but at present, it is. And, to my surprise, I am actually excited.