Am I going to be endorsing debauchery in this post? Not one bit. However if you are looking for encouragement and advice in the single phase of your life, carry on, you are most welcome.
Before I enter into why the phase of singleness can be a crucially beneficial time of your life I would like to quash some world notions on the ‘benefits’ of being single. Yes I’m going to sound like a preacher when I denounce couldn’t-care-less relationships, casual sex and nights spent bent over ceramic chambers, but if you are honest with yourself you’ll realise that the aforementioned activities don’t do your physical wellbeing or mental health any favours. Are all these activities fun? They wouldn’t be temptations if they weren’t… but they are bad for you and most likely you don’t need to look deep down to know it. The good news is I’m not here to condemn you but to affirm you! We all have the gift of free will. You aren’t bound to certain actions or habits forever. Today I would like to introduce two terms that will help and will pop up a lot in this ‘Individuality’ series:
- Intentionality – living a life of deliberation, without constantly stumbling into things
- Plasticine brain – the ability of the brain to change throughout life
Life has prime stages for explosive growth. Singleness is one of them. Another stage is called ‘the Pit’ which I’ll refer to later this week.
When you’re single and intentional in your singleness, you’re in the best time to learn about yourself, the best time to figure out what you enjoy and what you are good at. Often in this chapter of your life you have one major responsibility, yourself, meaning you have more time as you have less people to be responsible over. What can you use this time for? More learning and setting yourself up for whatever your metric of success is. This is achieved first of all by coming up with a metric of success. This is vital. How can you hit the target when you don’t know what you are supposed to be aiming for? In this period explore by reading books, learning languages, travelling, building healthy habits, working to delete bad habits, learning organisation, studying people and coming up with the traits of the person you would want to be with once the phase is over.
I’d like to challenge a fallacy that we let ourselves be deceived by far too often. How many people have you heard say these words, “I wish I had known this when I was younger?” Or “I wish I had known this before I got into the relationship?”. We lie and say we’ll pick up the behaviours we need when we need them. Learning all the above once this singleness phase has passed is possible; it’s much more difficult but it’s possible, it’s why we have plasticine brains – but why would you want to grow a plant in the dry season when you can do so in the rainy season? The friction of embarking on a discovery of self when you have several more responsibilities is incredibly grating.
Lastly we have plasticine brains, which means the old ways of thinking don’t need to be the ways of thinking forever. It means we can learn new things. However it takes significantly more effort to unlearn things than it does to build new habits. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking I’ll do these things now then stop when I’m in a serious relationship or when I reach 30, 40 or 50. You’re setting yourself up to fail and to eventually drown in depression.
Conflict rises when expectations and reality don’t align. Internal conflict leads to stress and prolonged stress may lead to depression. So I’ll help you out a bit and be a bit harsh when I say:
Don’t expect the bad habits you’re cultivating now to instantly disappear when you want them to. Instead be intentional today about what habits you want to build in this crucial period of your time.
Cherish your singleness and grow baby, grow! It may be hard, that’s cool, I’ve got tips to help you do just that starting with tomorrow’s post: ‘Lying Is Good For You’.
P.S. Thank you all for helping this blog reach 100 followers! Onwards and upwards. Be blessed.