Sometimes I stare at my exposed brick walls and look around my home-for-one and sit on my giant bed alone and think, “I’ve made it. I’ve arrived. I have everything I want.” And I feel incredibly grateful and blessed in that moment. And then I wonder, “So, what do I do with the next 60 years of my life?”
It seems that everything my 17 years of school taught me and every job and goal I’ve had for myself has lead me to this place, this career, this life of going to work and eating what I want and maintaining my appearance and dabbling in all of my hobbies. I am blessed that God has given me everything I have ever wanted at such a young age. I’m enjoying myself so much. But I’m also able to see now that maybe there is even more to life.
When you spend six months decorating a home that only you get to enjoy, it starts to feel a little pointless. When you spend hundreds of dollars on a cat who barely loves you back, it starts to feel a little vain. King Solomon back in 900 BC had every physical thing he could ever want, and he felt a similar way. Meaningless, he called it. Every single thing under the sun was meaningless.
He concluded this:
“I perceived that there is nothing better for [mankind] than to be joyful and do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.”
You can be such a well-developed human being on your own. But if you don’t have love in your life, you will never reach your full potential. How could you? Love sharpens; it heals all wounds; it elicits selflessness, and it evokes all sorts of innate gifts you didn’t realize you had. You think you know who you are, and then you realize that you could be so much more, if you just let go of all of your own ideas and embrace what God has for you.
There’s a particular idea that marriage and commitment and being in some sort of domestic role is inhibiting, boring, for the almost-dead, to be avoided for as long as possible. But I see now that if my mom hadn’t chosen my dad and moved across the country with him three times, she never would have reached so many people. Sure I’m pretty good at living alone, but maybe I’m not supposed to. Perhaps being in love has made me the most empowered I have ever been.