• Noèlia Ribó

Talk about us. I’m a Singleton, and it’s damn OK. Part I.


Dear reader,

let me introduce myself.

I’m 42. I have no children. I’m single and there is no official ex-couple in the picture, there has never been one, indeed. I’m a teacher and I run/own an English school in a town near Barcelona. My life is quite a good one. I have an extraordinary family and a wonderful group of friends. I love surfing and traveling around the world, which is something I try to do as much as I can. I love spending time with my beloved ones and I am always in for some new adventure and some fun time anywhere possible. I am in a constant need of learning new things and growing as an individual in soul and mind and I truly think life is way too short to complain about it. On paper, it seems as if I’m having the best of lives. Who wouldn’t!!

At 41 I’m totally independent and free to do whatever I want to do at all times, without having to justify my decisions or wasting time negotiating with a partner the slightest of steps I take in life. Being single has many perks, most of them related to the fun of not being attached to anyone, that means I can do at my own will, and I can still get to live the thrill of meeting new people and having love affairs, no strings attached; Amazed by the possibility of still experiencing this bunch of butterflies in my stomach every time I get to know a new fling in crime. And what can I say about not having any children... Those lovely and restless little human projects who take much of your time and make you carry the heaviest of responsibilities on your shoulders for the rest of your existence. Those sweet little creatures who become teenage nightmares in time, and then turn your life into a rollercoaster of emotional ups and downs, picking up fights for no reason. 

But let’s get back on track, how amazing life is when you get home after a working day and you do not have to worry about dinners, schools, arguments about money expenses or even other people’s problems. So you get to choose your own dinner menu; the TV show you madly want to see; your clothes, your hobbies and your holiday destinations, and you don’t have to give any explanation to anyone on where or when you come and go, you can just simply do as you wish. On the whole, it’s like paradise on Earth.

Oh, forgive me, I forgot to mention my gender...I am a woman. So let me say it again in a different order: I’m a woman. I’m 41. I have no children and I have been single all of my adult life. And I’m mostly happy and smiley. How about that?

I sense a bit of a shock for the fact that I’m a woman, as if you had imagined what I’ve just described as the idyllic perfect life of an adult man in the prime of his life. Why shouldn’t you be in shock? Which woman in their right mind wouldn’t be proud or comfortable for being in my situation? Sadly, the answer to that simple question would be quite a lot in many parts of the world. I truly sympathize with all women around, no matter age, race, social class or religion they have and to whatever circumstances they live in. All of us are stuck to the burden of birth and we must learn to travel along the path of our lives the best way possible with the tools and resources available; avoiding obstacles and learning from mistakes and enjoying success. I hear you and I persevere with you.

Luckily for me, I was born in Barcelona, which is supposed to be a well- developed place, free from social prejudices and inhabited with open-minded and culturally advanced citizens.

But really? Is it?

When I was asked to write about my love/life status as an adult single childrenless woman, at first I thought there was not much to say, since for me there is nothing exceptional with my life, I am used to it since it’s been the way it is for a quite a long time now, probably for quite more than half of my life. That’s probably why I do not see myself as a weirdo or a rare extreme case of Pan Syndrome, at least not anymore. I am just a woman who is a result of many circumstances, just like anybody else, so I wouldn’t be honest with myself if I did not say out loud that, despite all the

reassurance, acceptance, complaisance and strong voice I have in the matter of my current single state, I surely had and still have my tough moments.

Everything I said in my introduction is true and real, being single is all that and much more. It can be so much fun. Being single and being a woman is not that easy though. It’s never an easy path for many reasons, being the concept of “social anomaly” maybe the toughest one to face. Western societies brag over how advanced and progressive they are on matters such as equality and acceptance, and in a general sense, they are. I’m sure that I have many less inconveniences and obstacles than most women in other countries. My kind of choices and opportunities are surely more abundant than the ones many women around the globe have. I’m most liberated from any family, cultural, political, social or religious pressure. I’m not urged to get married to whoever man my family picks up for me, because sadly, it’s required to be married at certain age. I do not have my voice silenced to speak my mind and I get to say whatever I feel I have to say, even if that is: NO, I don’t want to do that. I’m not mutilated or sold to the best bid in exchange for some money my family depends on. I don’t have to tolerate any sex slavery in front of men who think I am just a piece of meat, and obviously, I do not have to accept that anyone determines or judges any aspect of my life, not even from my closest ones. I can have the control of my future, whichever I wish it to be. I know it’s hard to say no, I understand that sometimes you are hand tied and you must give in. I admit we can’t and don’t have to fight all the battles, but we have our voice, all in one, so I feel I have the moral commitment to speak the truth, my truth, loud and clear for those of you who cannot speak!!! Try as hard as you can to keep your own bubble of independence and self-esteem. It’s your precious treasure. And it is only yours.

Love

Noelia

* In reference to ABC show “A million little things”. S1 E7

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