“Oh my gosh you look like 12, you’re so young! And you’re living alone in a city you’re not even originally from. You’re gutsy!”
I was told this line a while ago by our guests today, a family of 7 who are mostly America-residing Filipinos. They’re friends of my aunt, and we have been communicating with them for more than a month now as we organized their El Nido trip.
“And you’re single? What an adventure! You’re living the modern life! Single, moved out of the city, living in her own pad –you really are gutsy!”, Charisse gushed. I smiled back and told them we were brought up by an independent, strong-willed single mom. That, and the fact that I know, deep in my heart, this is where I’m called to be. I didn’t tell them this, but something about her pronouncements of my gutsy outlook in life made me both excited and fearful.
I guess I really am gutsy –moving away from my life in Makati, from the world I know –to run a business that may or may not be successful. The hope is that it will be, but that aside, what made me “fearful” were those words, “you’re single! What an adventure!”
When you’re single, like me, you have all the time to do what you want to do: put up a business, move out of the city, travel, meet different people. The cup of adventure is overflowing as everything is open before you, no people to limit your movements, no need to ask permissions.
It is exactly these things that make one also fearful. There’s so much freedom, so many places to explore, so many people to meet, so many things to try out that you begin to wonder whether in all your adventures, you will, as a single girl, meet someone who you can share these adventures with. Again, the fear in me has to do with the fact that I’m living exactly the life I want to live as a single girl –but at 27, and if truth be told, I am ready to settle down.
I had a conversation with my best friend a week back that went like this. “I AM living a full single life. But after living so independently all these years, you just want to meet someone to share your adventures with. You still want to do what you’ve been doing, but this time, with someone else.”
And when I reflect on the words of Charisse, as living a “modern single life”, I wonder whether I like that idea, or whether deep in my heart it’s not what I’m after. Yes, it’s gutsy to move out, gutsy to start fresh, and gutsy to be single. That last part –I may not be fully “gutsy” at all.