You’ve done the Tinder thing. Signed on and swiped left until you just signed off wondering why you even got on in the first place. Were you just being too picky? It’s not like they weren’t attractive. You just don’t care that much. You’ve just got way more important things to think about — like your career.
Career Over Everything
My mom had very clear advice for me.
Get a degree. Get a job. Get married. Have kids of your own.
But I had a different idea. I wanted to follow my passion for writing and performance. I didn’t want to work just another JOB. I wanted to start my CAREER.
To me, working a job versus working on my career is the difference between making someone else’s dream come true and making my own come true.
Sure, jobs are helpful. A partner would be nice. Kids? Not really my thing, but whatever floats your boat. What I’ve always wanted, more than a job or a partner or kids, was a chance to share my talent with the world. I have a feeling I’m not alone in this. There is a slew of millennials making the choice to build their careers instead of starting families.
And I understand why my mother might be worried. The career path has not been easy. I’ve questioned my decision to pursue a CAREER instead of applying for a regular 9–5 JOB at least once a month for years. (Rent anyone?) The hard times have left me wondering if I was giving up too much to pursue my dreams. For some people, the answer is a resounding: Yes!
I need a family! Wouldn’t it be nice to just come home to someone who I can be goofy with after all my hard work? Wouldn’t be easier to just let someone else tell me what to do and get paid a consistent check?
For me, the answer is definitely: No. Maybe. Yes…just not right now.
I mean, I’m not heartless. I have needs just like everyone else. And it would be easy to go after the same things as others. To settle down and do what everybody else is doing. But the fact would still remain that fighting to build my career as a writer has been more rewarding and just as fulfilling as I hoped it would be.
I wouldn’t want to give up my amazing career for just anyone. Settling down is just going to have to wait.
I feel as though I am living the life I was meant to. And yes, it means I’ve missed out on building meaningful romantic relationships. I’ve sometimes missed not having a supportive romantic partner to lean on —but I’m happy for the time I’ve had to work on myself and my dream without the distraction.
Friends Are Benefits
How do you handle the loneliness as a single person?
The answer is simple. Friends. I make sure I try to make some time for them. I try to make sure I build in this area as much as I need to. My friends are a little more understanding of my work-focused lifestyle.
They understand that my career is my primary concern at this point in my life and give me the space I need to focus on it.
Instead of having to worry about checking in every day with a partner, which has proved difficult for me in the past whenever I was working on a major creative project or touring as a performer, I can plan a hang out day once a week or once a month with my crew. Depending on my work schedule, I can interact with them more often or less often, without it being detrimental to our relationship.
If I was in a romantic relationship, I wouldn’t want that to be the case. I’d prefer to have more consistent contact with my partner. I’d want to be able to offer more of my time and attention to someone special.
The Benefit of Being Single
Being a career-minded single has given me the much needed time to grow as an individual and I truly believe it will prepare me for the RIGHT partner — when the time is RIGHT.
One day, I might meet my future partner and be ready to cut back on the amount of time I dedicate to my career in order to focus on building a healthy relationship with someone else.
But for right now, I am enjoying not having to check in with anyone else if I want to give more time or attention to a new project. Or go on a spoken word tour in Canada. (Where I’m writing this now.)
I get to be my first priority and right now — that’s all I want.