This Up Close: LIVING SINGLE post comes from the energetic and entertaining, Sheryl. She grew up in Virginia and currently teaches school outside Washington, DC.
So when I was first asked to write this post, I thought to myself, “Seriously? I’m being asked to write a post about being single? I’m only 26! I guess I’m the next Sheri Dew. Better yet, since my name is Sheryl, I’d be the next Sheryl Dew.” But in reality, I do have an opinion about being a single, black female as a Latter-day Saint Christian, and I don’t mind sharing it.
Living just outside of the Nation’s capital where everyone is so concentrated on verbalizing their resume and playing the asking game of, “Who do you know?” and “What are you doing here in DC?” before asking your name, it can be a challenge to remember the more important principles of God’s eternal plan for His children. However, I do think about one of those principles often and that one is, eternal marriage. I openly tell people I want to be married. Sometimes I get the response of, “Don’t think about it and continue on with your life.” I sometimes want to scream back and say, “It’s not like I’ve been waiting around and not doing anything with my life! If you’d like my resume, I am a BYU graduate and a former collegiate athlete. I served a mission. I returned honorably and worked at the MTC. I’ve worked three years for the Especially For Youth program both as a counselor and a building counselor. I currently teach just outside of DC through the Teach for America program where I’m doing my best to alleviate the achievement gap. and I’m almost finished getting my masters!” (Out of breath) Instead, I usually respond, “Well, I really want to be married.”
So when I sit down and think about it, I wonder why I’m not married? It could be my race. I belong to a predominantly white church (well in America at least) and I’ve heard the most outlandish comments from people I’ve dated like, “My dad thinks it would be a bad business idea if I ever married a black girl.” However, I’ve also dated boys outside of my race whose parents embraced me with open arms. Is it the fact that I come from a single parent home? In our culture, that is taboo whether anyone wants to openly admit it or not. In response to that I grew up in a very stable home centered around strong gospel principles and values that I could carry into marriage and although it isn’t the typical family set up, it’s how I was raised. Please don’t judge. Sometimes I think, “Could it be me? Am I too picky?” However how can someone be too picky when there aren’t that many dateable options?
At the end of the day, I’m left feeling frustrated and confused. I’m left thinking, it’s a miracle that two people can find each other in this huge world, be single at the same time, like each other the same amount to commit to dating each other and then commit to eternal marriage. As I look at all of my married friends’ blogs, I think, “Wow they are so happy. There is something missing in my life. I’m so behind!” Even though marriage doesn’t equate to internal happiness, I know I yearn for it. I want to be married. I want to be starting a family in THIS life not just in the next to come! I love Sheri Dew, but I don’t want to be her.
Even though this topic can be a frustrating topic for me and many of my single friends, when all is said and done it only takes one. We are frustrated by the men in our wards who aren’t dating or asking us out. We are equally frustrated from the choices of guys we have to date. They are often focused on their careers and having fun. As one guy told me once on a date, “I like being single. I finally have money in my life and I can do what I want when I want.” To that I think, “Marriage isn’t some lock where the key gets thrown away buddy. You can have fun when you’re married too!”
Again, it only takes one. That one can be found. That one has been found for many.