1. Travel alone: I have been to Spain, England, and Austria by myself. I alone determined how to use a Turkish toilet (a true accomplishment of my singlehood.) I went on lone woman roadtrips to Charlottesville, Chincoteague Island, and Williamsburg when I lived back east. I once spent the night on Antelope Island in my car, because I was so afraid of the bugs getting in my tent, and that turned out to be a very wise idea. I drove across the country by myself, which was mostly awesome except for hour 16 on day 2 which ended on the West edge of Oklahoma City. That was a LONG. DAY. I have seen the sun rise and set across more unique landscapes than I could ever describe in a single post. That being said, I can’t wait to wake up in New Orleans with Dan.
Not my most flattering spain picture, but I'm drinking marriage water in Las Asturias, it seemed appropriate. (only took it 4 years to work, pfshshsssshhh)
On the way to Charlottesville, Battlefield Hunting.
In the Horse Palace in Vienna Austria
2. Wallow in the ache of a broken heart. I have indeed had my fair share of heartache. I had a very growing but very unhealthy pseudo relationship in college which I thought might have left me permanently ruined for love. After it ended, I ate a lot of ice cream, listened to way too much Avril Lavigne for a 21 year old, did a lot of shunning on Facebook, and then finally one day looked at a sunset again after months of indifference and smiled. I did it alone, and I’ll never have to do it again. (I don't think you need a picture of this one. Maybe I could show you a picture of how chubby I was after all that Haagen Daaz?)
3. Spend a weekend with a married couple your age. Ahhh, this is a good one. I got to go to Hershey PA with one of my absolute favorite coworkers and his soon-to-be wife, and while there were a fair number of jokes about checking into a hotel as two women and one dude, it was one of the funnest trips I’ve ever been on. We ate ourselves silly, openly mocked the Chologanda (that’s chocolate propaganda, if you missed it), and mused over the effectiveness of a chocolate spa wrap (NOT effective must clearly be the answer to that question). But moreover, I appreciated how much they loved each other, how happy they were together, and in the last few months before moving back to Utah, saw one of the best examples of true love and commitment I’d ever had in my life. And it also makes you damn lonely. Glad I did I only did that one once.
(Would you believe that I forgot my camera and don't have a single shred of evidence this trip ever happened? It did. I still have M&M stains on my fingers from that weekend. )
4. Don’t come home all night. Ha! Another one of my favorites. I was known to spend the night occasionally in the Student Government Offices at the U. There were these love sacs there which should have been burned by then, but weren’t (they definitely have been now) and we used to stay and clean up after Crimson Nights until 6am, and then crash in the office, whole lots of us piled in ways only college students would pile.
Besties working Crimson Nights and having a right good time.
5. Stand up for a cause you care about. More than once. Wild Horses, Obama’s early campaign, a Utah State Bill that would make animal abuse a felony, and numerous spending bills for the U when I was in college. I am a walking cause. I don’t think that will die with marriage, though in honor of our mixed-politics marriage, they will probably be less political in the future. :). Also, I once led a crusade to change the student body election process in High School. I was like, the Joan of Arc of fair high school elections. Yeah, the ones that are a popularity contest. I KNOW.
Some party-neutral animals who might need defending someday. uh huh.
6. Have a real adventure. Should I count living in Moldova for a month? Living in DC for 2 years? Biking to Mount Vernon and back on my single speed bike one Sunday? Training an ex-racehorse to jump when I was 13? I think that I shall say, all of the above.
7. Learn how to take care of yourself. When I slipped down my cement stairs and accidentally put my hand through a window, I called the ambulance myself, tore the strap off my purse and made a tourniquet, and waited for the ambulance on my curb. And, I made both my EMTs and all three nurses laugh at my civil war stories that night. After the surgery, I did all my own exercises, changed my own bandages, managed my meds, handled all my insurance claims and bills, scheduled my physical therapy appointments and surgical follow-ups, and still went to work and typed 43 words per minute with one hand. Yeah, I’d say after that, I can take care of myself.
8. Buy something hugely impractical just because you love it. Well, we can’t all be Tiff and buy a Porsche. I think my something was more of a somewhere. More than once, I have splurged on trips that I just couldn’t resist, and they were always worth it. Actually, one of the biggest of these was a trip home to Utah last September. I was bummed about my hand, hating my job, feeling lonely, and I so desperately wanted to see old loving wonderful friends, and this yearning happened to correspond perfectly with my high school pal Cassie’s wedding. What ensued was catching up with Gretchen again, and her INSISTING that she had someone she needed me to meet. And yes, two months later, she introduced me to Dan. Good splurge.
9. Develop a hobby.
I think the 300 Breyer Horses stuffed in my living room closet that I refuse to sell probably count.
10. Be completely, utterly, wholly single for at least three months. Three months? Try three years. I didn’t date at all in high school, and only briefly dated a couple guys in college, with the exception of Mr. FauxDating. I refuse to count that. Dan is by far my longest, healthiest, most growing and selfless relationship I’ve ever been in. Whether I’d done these 10 things or not, I wouldn’t so much as blink again as a single woman than be with him. Actually, I’m just deeply, profoundly amused that there are people who need this advice. I know those people, but I’m still amused.