V is for View from the Single Lane

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

I’ve only known Vickie for less than a year, but I feel like I’ve known her my entire life. It is pretty crazy how people come into your life and make such an IMPACT the moment you meet. Her positive energy, drive for life and humor are only a FEW of my favorite things. From bike riders, running, and drinking beer, she's one of the best friends to have on YOUR team. Today, Vickie takes us into the single world and she explains her life perfectly. Keep being that social butterfly.

V is for View from the Single Lane
By Vickie Reinecker 

I feel like I should start this piece off with a disclaimer.  “If you, the reader, are in a relationship of any kind that precludes you from defining yourself as single, please know that I am happy for you!  I am in no way discounting your lifestyle by seemingly bragging about mine.”

Okay, with that said, my (single) life ROCKS!  That statement, that truth, was a long time in coming.  As a young girl, I had the typical boyfriend/husband/motherhood dreams that my friends had; that my parents, in their close-minded “don't you dare be different” mentality, were sure would happen for their little girl. My parents should have had a clue that this “American dream” might not happen since I was notorious for not following “the rules”!

Labeled at an early age as a social butterfly in a disparaging way by a teacher, I was admittedly more interested in talking and socializing than in my studies.  That “flaw” would become the foundation of strength that got me to this point in my life.

When it became apparent in my mid-thirties that “the one” might not exist for me (much to the dismay of friends who continuously set me up on dates after a long-term relationship ended at age 28), I took serious inventory of my current status.  Was it possible to be happy on my own?  All of the people in my world were in pairs.  I'd be the odd man out.  The third wheel.  If a relationship/marriage/kids were not in my future, what then?
The answer was yes!  That social butterfly “flaw” meant that I was blessed to have maintained many of the friendships that otherwise would have gotten lost in the aftermath of a long-term breakup...you keep some, you lose some.  I realized, in the most cliché way, that I was the master of my destiny.  My happiness was my choice!  And I chose to be happy whether in a relationship or single.  As fate would have it, thank goodness I did because I've been single for more years than I've been part of a couple!

This epiphany came at a time that my closest friends were having children.  What timing!  Need a date night?  Call Vic!  Sleep deprived from walking the floor with the newest addition?  Call Vic!  She'll sleep over and get up with that little munchkin all night long!  I loved those years!  I got the good and not so good aspects of babies/toddlers and developed the best Aunt VeeVee relationship with six of this planet's most awesome kids, who are now almost all teenagers, starting to drive, date, etc.  Maybe it's time for me to enforce some distance...just kidding kiddos!!

All along, I have never felt that I was missing out on something.  That's a typical misconception of some couples, by the way.  How can you be happy single?  See how happy we are?  Don't you want this happiness?  I've had a “taste” of that happiness and let's just say we aren't all destined to like the same thing--kind of like pizza toppings!
I also got good, in my opinion, at being “that” friend.  The go-to friend.  The listener.  The sympathizer/empathizer.  I believe that because my day-to-day life is as drama-free as one can get, I have the extra capacity to listen, love, support and empower.  Not that I'm better than anyone else, I just have the luxury of being available and accessible when a friend calls.  You get 100% because nothing else is taking up my time and I acknowledge how blessed I am that that is my reality!  Had a tough day at work and need a drink and an ear to vent to and your other friends are running kids to practice/games, making dinner, etc.?  Call Vic!  Chances are she'll make you go for a run before that drink, but hey, it can't all be about you!!

A friend once sent me a meme that said, “It's not that I'm bad at relationships, I'm just incredibly good at being single!”, and the moment I decided to be happy no matter my relationship status was when I realized what I was good at...friendship!  My single status has blessed me with more in-depth friendships, not just acquaintances, and those friendships are my world.  Just like your spouse or your kids or your career are yours.  I can honestly say that while I am alone, I am not lonely.  Read that again.  I did.  It brings me to tears of joy to realize that I don't just say that flippantly but in all honestly.  It's especially true this past year.  So many ups and downs (not drama, just life) and the people I have met through running have, in my opinion, been the reward for my hard work!

I have an awesome life!  It just happens to be a single life and I am more than okay with that!  So if you encounter a “single by choice” person, please do not assume that something is wrong with them or that they can't possibly be that happy alone!  Instead, grab a net and capture that social butterfly!  I promise you, she will be the friend to change your view!

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