Thought Catalog on five steps to embracing your single self

A friend of mine kept sharing well-written blogs from Thought Catalog last year, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I noticed this list in January and it made me smile. I hope it’s useful for you, too:

..Single means you have no significant other, and by significant, I mean someone not genetically related to you for whom you’d walk on newborn babies or hot coals or dissolving wads of cash to save him/her from even an ounce of pain. The person you sleep with, even regularly, does not count. He or she does not cuddle under blankets with you pre-midnight and put up with your ice cold, winter-crusted feet to watch bad reality television. Your 3 A.M. “hangout” buddy doesn’t feed your cat when you’re out of town, or buy fabric softener in your favorite scent so you smell heaven when you’re dreaming. Single means you’re alone at the end of the day, both literally and figuratively speaking. But it’s ok. Here’s how to enjoy it.

 
1. Continue to sleep with your special friend
That is, however, only if he/she doesn’t make you feel like crap. But if you enjoy the company of a late-night someone providing you pleasure on a platter like a midnight gourmet cheese tray, stick with it. Enjoy it. Recognize it for what it is, and don’t try to turn that person into your boyfriend or girlfriend. If you two (or three…kinky!) have never left the bedroom, you probably never will. If you can’t accept this, then stop fooling yourself, or stop seeing this person.

 

2. Be all that you can be
No seriously, this is not just the Army’s vague mantra. We all know that when you’re in a relationship, you get round and happy from all the eating and midnight sex games involving whipped cream and chocolate and the love-for-one-another-through-thick-and-thin-emphasis-on-thick and the comfort and security of lurrrrve. So if you’ve always wanted to run a marathon or speak a new language or learn how to cook or sew or grow plants or dance the damn jig, now is the time to acquire new skills. Once you have a significant other, they suck the life out of your life in every area except love. (Just kidding! Kind of).

 

You can read the rest of it here. When is the world supposed to end this year? May? I might need to get on this list, then. Joking! Sorta.

Reads for the Weekend: Tips for being happy when you’re single, Valentine’s Day & International Quirkyalone Day

I’m going to follow The Oatmeal’s advice here. Less complaining. More sexy rumpus. I got you.

Laurel House, known as QuickieChick, on surviving Valentine’s Day as a single lady.

Agapi Stassinopoulos talks to The Happiness Project about what makes her feel good when she’s blue. Fluffy pillows and reading whatever she wants are involved. It made me happy just to read it.

Yes, it’s true, you can tell by the fact that no one can make any reservations at their favorite restaurants for a party of one that the mega-holiday of marketing love genius celebration is approaching. I love you Valentine’s Day! It’s also International Quirkyalone Day, started by the phenomenal Sasha Cagen. If you wanted to have a party of other self-loving, non-coupled folks, here’s a party pack to get you started. If you don’t know if you classify as a quirkyalone — it doesn’t matter if you do or not, we’re all very accepting and totally non-judgmental — take this quiz. Or, just follow the advice below. & have a great weekend.

News One: 10 Black Women Who Made America Great

I was reading a review copy of “My Story, My Song,” a lovely, slim book that will be published in April by Lucimarian Roberts and her daughter, Robin Roberts, the coanchor on Good Morning America. In it, the elder Roberts writes beautifully about how her faith and music sustained her over the years. One of the things that stood out to me was this lovely quote from Mary McLeod Bethune’s “My Last Will and Testament:

I leave you love.

I leave you hope. I leave you the challenge of developing confidence in one another. I leave you a thirst for education. I leave you a respect for the use of power. I leave you faith. I leave you racial dignity. I leave you a desire to live harmoniously with your fellow men. I leave you, finally, a responsibility to young people.

 

I was thinking of that when I revisited this list of ten black women in history whose contributions to America are often overlooked. My list would be much longer. I also need to read more Mary McLeod Bethune.

 

Planned Parenthood Saved Me

After a decade of striving to be objective and fair in news coverage, I was always uncomfortable writing about my personal experiences unless I felt like it was necessary to prove a greater point about the invisibility of certain stories in our culture. It took Susan G. Komen’s decision to cut funding to Planned Parenthood (which it has since reversed) to remind me of the importance of taking a side. I found this Planned Parenthood Tumblr today and submitted the following piece to it. I wanted to share it here, but also encourage you to follow the Tumblr and some of the great stories there:

 

The year before I left the Bronx for boarding school, I got pregnant.

I was 15.

I’d known since I was 12 that I wanted to become a writer. So, I kept a journal. In this journal, I wrote in painful detail (sometimes in red pen) about sex with my boyfriend at the time. My mother, a devout Catholic who went to Mass daily, read my journal while I was out with said boyfriend, and, after reading my journal entry aloud to my boyfriend and his mother, promptly dragged me to Planned Parenthood near 149th Street in the South Bronx.

The whole time we were there, my mother said her rosary in the waiting room. I distinctly remember throwing up, which almost never happened, which is how I knew that I was pregnant before they told me. I don’t know if how this went down was legal or not, I just remember the doctors noticing that there wasn’t something quite right about my mom (she had bipolar disorder and could be extremely violent — if she found out I was pregnant, she would have probably tried to kill me, and that’s not an exaggeration) telling me privately that I was pregnant and asking me gently what I wanted to do.

I told them I could barely feed myself, and my mother was in the same boat. They scheduled a time for me to come back, but when my mother came into the room, they said that everything looked fine and that I wasn’t pregnant.

If I hadn’t had an abortion, I would never have traveled, made it out of poverty or gone to college when I did. The door of opportunities would have inevitably shut. I pray daily for forgiveness, but I also am deeply thankful and indebted to Planned Parenthood for the important, life-saving and life-changing work it does.

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