Profiles in the Gap
Did you expect this time of singleness?
I was born and raised in the South. I started my life out in Louisiana and am now living in Texas, which is where I grew up. It is very customary for folks to get married right out of college or within a few years of graduating college. Some might disagree with me because I live in a large city in Texas, but for the most part, the culture I exist in still condones these beliefs. With that being said, being 31 and unmarried came as a surprise to me. I had my life planned out from the time I was 14, and nothing has gone according to my plan…Thank God!
I was expecting to go to college at Texas A&M and get engaged under the Century Tree (a very long standing tradition at that school). I was going to graduate and get married that summer to my handsome prince, but obviously, none of that happened. I ended up going to college at LSU for one semester and then transferred to a tiny, yet awesome, school in Ohio called Franciscan University. I spent three and a half years there. I made amazing friends and had a wonderful time. I also received a top-notch education. After graduating with my bachelor’s, I went back to LSU for my Master’s. I was starting out my second year when Hurricane Katrina hit. That one year was the most formative year of my life. After I graduated with my Master’s degree in Social Work, I left for a year of missionary work in Washington, DC. After I finished my time there, I came home and began working as a social worker in Houston. I have been doing that ever since.
Has the change from what you expected been exciting or disappointing?
I can’t honestly say that I was excited or disappointed about my life’s trajectory. At the time, I was living all of it and finding some of it to be exciting and other parts disappointing. I really want to be a wife and a mother one day, so every day that passes and I don’t realize that dream, it stings a little. However, looking back over my life, I know I would not have done anything differently. I have been able to do things that many of my friends and family haven’t been able to do because they got married and had kids right away. I have had the opportunity to throw myself into the pain of this world for the purpose of bringing about healing. I have had some success, but I have been hurt as well in this process.
Do you seek or find fulfillment in your career? If not, where do you seek / find it?
For a while, I did seek fulfillment in my career, but that wasn’t working. So I started to seek fulfillment in relationships with my coworkers, family, and friends. That helped. I have befriended more people who are totally unlike me in the past five years than I ever have in my life. I have had many meaningful conversations with them and hopefully have been a positive influence in their lives. I refer to this time in my life as building bridges. There is so much that separates us with religion, political ideologies, and personal prejudices, that often we could benefit from remembering we are all human.
How does faith play a role in your actions and your outlook on your life as a single young adult?
My faith informs everything I do. That’s not to say I don’t screw up on a very regular basis. In fact, the confessional sometimes seems to be my second home. However, I am constantly trying to live my life according to my moral values. I do that at work, with my friends, with guys I am dating, with people I am ministering to. Everyone knows where I stand.
A lot of times it’s easier said than done, though. I would say the scenario that plays out more often than others is trusting God’s will with my vocation. Most of the time, I do that pretty well, but then the Holidays happen and the Hallmark movies start (do not, for the sake of all things good and holy, watch the Hallmark Holiday movies). It’s not that it’s a sad time of year for me, it’s just that I find I have to fight harder to keep my faith in God, to trust Him with this one aspect of my life. I constantly have to remind myself of what’s real and what’s not. I prefer to deal in reality. It helps keep me sane. For this reason, I also don’t watch “chick flicks”.
Since you have this time, what are some challenges you give yourself?
Since I have this time, I’m using it to advance my career, to start a blog (eventually), to spend time with friends and family, to travel, and to encourage others along their journeys as well. It turns out I’m pretty busy. I would say the only thing I’m doing to “challenge” myself is the bit I mentioned previously about living my life in reality. It consists of not getting sucked into fairytales, not making up romances in my head, and finally, but most importantly, not giving in to the enemy’s storytelling. He’s a very good storyteller and has been telling us all kinds of crazy stories our whole lives. I’m done with that kind of Fiction.
I’m looking forward to seeing how others are spending their time. One thing I have definitely learned through the years is that we all have a different path to the Father. Walking that path is where life happens and we find out who we are and who God created us to be. It might seem like you’re walking it alone, but just look around you and you’ll be surprised how many people are walking with you. I wish you all a Holy and Blessed Advent!