I was asked by a young mother, “what it feels like to be single?”

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What is the best age in human life? Have you heard the saying, ‘life begins at 40?’ I don’t know the sense of it. Does it mean that the first three decades are just a waste of time? That’s going to be a pile of massive rubbish then! Anyway, I’ll find it out soon. What about the 20s? Usually, most of us have already graduated from school at this stage. We have also found a decent job. Some of us were trying to save money to buy a dream car, to invest in a house, or to travel the whole world. At this point, we are starting to enjoy our freedom. No more school, less parental restriction and we handle our lives in our own ways. Oh! Also, people usually find their life partners in their mid-20s when everyone is already stable and ready to build a new cycle of life. I said, ‘usually,’ but not all the time. Ha!

I have a very good friend of mine, who was married in her early 20s. I can say that she had a good long term relationship with her boyfriend back then. They got married sooner than she expected because of an unplanned pregnancy. So unfortunately, she didn’t have a chance to finish her studies. But hey! They are still together up to now and blessed with three children. Occasionally, we check on each other in a distance and ask how we are doing in life. One day, she started our conversation when someone announced their marriage on Facebook. Hmmm… not really an announcement such as news, but kind of like that since it is posted on social media, which is a new normal now. And here’s the thing. You know, when you’re single and a couple is getting married, people start to bug you and ask you when you are going next. A typical-nosy-neighbour-in-the-house-@&%&%!(*!&%#! If I could just say, “are you willing to pay my bills if I’m gonna get married?” Lols, just kidding! I’m not swearing. By the way, that’s not the issue here. So, my friend told me that I shouldn’t be pressured, and I should trust God’s time, which is 100% true and nothing but the truth. Okay, enough! Going back to her, she told me that she feels sad sometimes and wonders what it feels like to do the things that a single lady does as a young adult. She didn’t say it exactly, but maybe what she meant was, what it feels like to enjoy life as a single person. Does it make any difference? It’s kind of a little bit heartbreaking for me at that moment. I was like, “all this time, you want to go back and enjoy life without your kids?” Which of course, I doubt. Then, gently, I asked her if she has some regrets. I don’t know what’s the better phrase to use but I couldn’t think of any other words from my mind. Then, she replied that she has no regrets about what had happened. Not at all. She said that she is happy with the family that she has. She’s a happy wife and a happy mom… But I can tell that she has a huge curiosity about her kind of ‘what ifs’ for me. Looking back on that conversation, I’m not sure if how happy she is in her life. You know she is a happy wife because she receives love from her husband. She is a happy mom because of the love of her children. But deep within her, there is a very small hole where her ‘what ifs’ are coming from, which makes her a little not too happy on the other side.

I believe her when she says that she has no regrets. I believe her with all my heart, knowing how she loves her beautiful children. I’m not a mother yet, but I know that having a child is a lifetime gift as a woman. It makes the mother to keep going no matter how hard life is. She can even survive the world without a partner as long as she has her little ones in her arms. But I think, what my friend feels right now is ‘longing.’ I know where is it coming from. She is longing for the things that she was supposed to experience in her younger days. And I know that her desire for this ‘missed adventure’ comes from the people around her. Especially today, where everything people do is instantly posted online. Oops! Just a quick disclaimer, I have no issues with that. Everyone has the freedom to do it. Perhaps, my friend’s longingness comes from her own perspective. As she told me ‘I shouldn’t be pressured and trust God’s time,’ I should have told her the same thing. She shouldn’t compare herself to other people if she didn’t have the chance to do what they are enjoying. Look, we have different timelines in this world. Not everyone’s the same. An apple tree bears apple fruit. An orange tree bears orange fruit. A mango tree bears mango fruit. And the list goes on… But one thing is for sure, everything has its own season. Some people found their love in childhood. Some people get married twice. Some people get pregnant in their 40s. Some people own a business in their teenage years. See, we fulfill life at the different stages. Everyone has their own stories. We should have faith that everything happens with a purpose. I believe that there is a purpose in my friend’s case. Who knows what might her three little kids bring in her life once they grow, right? We’ll never know. Only time can tell. At the moment, she should be grateful for the life that she has and enjoy every moment with her kids, which for sure she does!

At the end of our conversation, I told her that she just probably needs some ‘me time.’ I have no idea how to be a mom. I don’t even know if I responded appropriately by saying she should have her own time. Because being a mom is a full-time-non-stop-forever job. But I think, even she has responsibilities for her kids, she also has a responsibility to take care of herself. And that is never ever going to be a selfish thing to do. She deserves to have a life as how she gave her life for her family. And in saying that, cheers to all the mothers out there!

P.S. I will always be proud of you no matter what you become my friend.